Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action has arrived, stop thinking and go in.
- Napoleon

Thursday, May 22, 2008

What to Do?

As RTL floats out in the query sea, and Blink sits quietly (or not so quietly as the case may be) waiting for its turn, and Manhunter nears completion of its first draft, I've been wondering about something. How many books can you have in query mode at one time? If you can query more than one at a time, should you?

I write fast. (And before you worry that speed means lower quality, check out Allison Brennan's post today at Murder She Writes.) I can't help it. Sometimes the ideas just pour out of me. I write fast, but the industry moves slow. When it takes months (years?) to get from initial query letter to partial to full to eventual acceptance, sometimes I'm writing faster than the query process can bear. Which leaves me with a quandary.

Lately, I've been thinking about asking one of the many blogging agents about what they suggest for writers like me. This morning, I found my question had already been asked and kinda answered on agent Jonathan Lyons' blog. Unfortunately, the answers are coming from commenters, and not from the agent himself, so I'm still stuck in my quandary.

Let's backpedal a bit here. At the beginning of the year, I completed Blink. I love the book, and I think it will have an audience when (if?) it gets published. Around that same time, I finished the first draft of RTL. RTL is hot. To use an old phrase: "It's hip, it's happenin', it's now, it's wow." And unfortunately for Blink, it was a pushy story. After sending out five queries, I set Blink aside to work on RTL. Now RTL is done, and I'm querying for it. But I never really gave Blink a chance, and lately it's been popping into my head demanding I give it the submission attention it deserves. I keep telling it NO, but it keeps me awake at night, mentally writing query letters and blurbs and synopses in my head.

Frankly, it's driving me nuts.

And then there's Manhunter (working title only), which should be ready for submissions by the end of the summer. This book is very commercial, and I can imagine it sitting on the racks of my grocery store next to Allison Brennan and Roxanne St. Claire and that new Jordan Dane.

So here I am with potentially three books waiting for submission. They all deserve their shot, and they all could potentially win me an agent and then a publishing contract. The two that are ready now are both ready for publication.

I know, I know... Everyone should have such horrible problems to deal with.

Anyway, one suggestion was to pick the strongest work and focus on that. Ummm, yeah. Blink and RTL are both strong in their own ways. Blink is literary leaning toward commercial; RTL is commercial leaning toward literary. Both are speculative, both are suspenseful. They're completely different stories, of course, but each would help the other sell.

For now, I'll stick with RTL. Maybe while I'm waiting, I'll work on the submission materials for Blink - you know, just in case someone asks what else I have for them to look at. Meanwhile I'll keep my fingers crossed that something breaks before Manhunter is ready to jump into the fray.

What are your thoughts on this? Have you ever been in this situation, and if so, what did you do?


1 comment:

Sara Thacker said...

I write under two different names. Sara Thacker - Suspense/Thriller then Sara York - Erotic. I have a Paranormal that is finished and I'll start sending it out soon and I think I'll use a different name for that one. Yes, it's crazy and I have to really keep up with what book is in what stage but it's nice to have the option of putting out three or four books in a year.