Chasing my crazy dream in the writing world…


Filed under: Blog,Publishing,writing craft — chasingthecrazies @ 9:17 am
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Hard, stone cold truth-I’m in a huge writing slump. This summer I struggled with a major revision I could never seem to wrap my head around. I don’t know if this is the world telling me the changes are wrong, or if it’s my brain throwing up a huge stop sign shouting “you’re going in the wrong direction, kid.”



At some point, you have to stop fighting the reality of things and realize you’re at a crossroads. That’s it’s time to take a step back and rethink that story. Start working on something new to clear the cobwebs away and get those creative juices flowing. Unfortunately, I’m not quite there yet. I’m still kind of kicking around in the doldrums to figure out what’s next.



As I seem to be in some sort of limbo, I’ve been on social media a lot lately. In the past few days, I’ve seen two things on Twitter that have started to motivate me again. Both of these instances were quotes from writers about their struggles before finding success in the publishing world. I have to admit these kind of stories are like a shot of adrenaline for me. I see myself in these writers. Struggling for years. Wanting to give up, but the muse never quite letting go.



These stories give me hope and I want that hope to be spread to other struggling writers. This gave me the idea to start a new series here on Chasing The Crazies. I’m going to start reaching out to writers (who I know have struggled in the past before finding success) and ask them to share, in their own words, how they managed to hang in there and never give up.



With all the horrible crap floating around social media these days, I want to put something out there that inspires others. Motivates them to hang onto their dream. This new series will be called, FIRE IT UP FRIDAY, and I hope it will encourage writers both young and old to persevere until they find success.



With that being said, this is a call to writers who would be willing to share their story. I want to hear about your years in the query trenches before finding an agent or how many books you had out on sub before one finally sold! If you don’t have that story yet, but know of someone who does, please help me spread the word.



If you are willing to share, please reach out to me on social media or here on the blog. I’d love to post your story and hopefully inspire thousands of others!




Filed under: Blog,writing craft — chasingthecrazies @ 9:02 am
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(SPOILER ALERT: I’m talking about the new show, TIMELESS and revealing details about the pilot episode. If you have not seen, but want to, you may want to stop reading…)





Since the first promos began airing for NBC’s TIMELESS, I’ve been very interested in the show. I love time travel stories, and when they have a good does of history thrown in, well, call me hooked.



If you are not familiar with the details of the show, here are the basics…



A rogue spy breaks into a lab and steals a time machine. Homeland security gets involved and calls on a history professor, a soldier, and one of the machine’s inventors to go back in time (with a second, and much older machine) to stop the man from changing history.



An intriguing premise, right? So the other night I eagerly sat on the couch and settled in to watch the pilot. I couldn’t help but think about the longevity of a show like this. Would it be able to keep viewers’ attention? Would I fall in the love with the show, only to have it cancelled? A problem with most shows I enjoy. No matter, I kept my fingers crossed and hoped the writing and acting was decent – but then came the opening and ALL the backstory.



Just like writing an opening chapter, there has to be a general understanding of the plot, character, and stakes, but I have a huge issue with stories that begin with a large dose of “here’s what you need to know.”



Opening with the crashing of the Hindenburg felt like the writers were shoveling detail after detail at the viewer. Winking, nodding, and saying, “hey, this is important, don’t miss it.” They even set the scene with all the early foreshadowing: the beautiful female photographer, the anticipation of the press, the imminent crash.



I thought about this beginning long and hard. Could the story open in modern day with the history teacher and still work? In fact, I went back and watched the episode twice to see. And the truth is, in my opinion, that without the Hindenburg scene, the story still would have worked.



Here’s how…


There were several times in the show where history, and the Hindenburg tragedy, were discussed. It would have been easy through dialogue, and even photos, to describe the scene. Allow the viewers to get a handle on the tragedy (if they weren’t already aware) through other methods rather than handing them a glob of backstory. In addition, it would have been much more startling (and a boon to the time travel theme) to see the goliath of an airship for the first time when the three adventurers step out of their time machine. The image would have solidified their journey, but would have also made clear the magnitude of what they were about to attempt.



When I give editing feedback, I often encourage the writer to slowly weave in backstory. Use small bits of detail to allow the reader to understand the main character’s goals and journey. If done slowly, and methodically, often times the reader does not even know they are learning important nuggets of information. By using this approach in TIMELESS, I would have slowly been enmeshed in the story and gradually learned more about the main characters.



How could this have worked? Imagine if the Hindenburg images were up on the screen when we first meet the history professor? We as viewers would have seen and understood her connection to history. What if when they were in the warehouse, and the military man assigned to the case saw the image of the photographer, he immediately had a connection to her? This would have provided great set-up for his mysterious need to save her. In both cases you still get the necessary information, yet it is delivered in a more seamless way.



When it comes to any fantasy or science-fiction story the idea of positioning backstory is a tricky concept. There has to be a conscious decision on how you as a writer will deliver information and explain how characters got to that specific place and time. I do believe with a slow delivery of information, and methodical placement of critical story details, it can be done well.



As the show moves forward, I’ll be curious to see if they begin every episode in this manner or if they’ll allow the plot to evolve naturally. It is a great premise, and I hope the writers will force the characters to take over and tell the tale, rather than presenting history in a summarized platform. In the meantime, I’ll be sitting on my couch watching and hoping for the best.






W.O.W. – Writer Odyssey Wednesday with Sarah Henson October 5, 2016






Every writer has their own path to publication. Some paths are long and winding. Others are a straight shot. No matter the tale, the journey always involves ups and downs, caution signs, and for some, serious roundabouts, but what always remains is the writer’s commitment to their craft and their enduring dream to see their work on bookshelves one day.



In bringing you the W.O.W. series, I hope as a writer you will learn that no dream is unfounded. That with time, patience, perseverance, and commitment to your craft, it is possible to cross that finish line and share your story with the world.



Today, I am pleased to share Sarah Henson’s writing journey…





Amy: When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?


Sarah: I’m one of those people who has always wanted to be a writer. I wrote my first story when I was four. My grandmother used to read James Herriot’s children’s books to me (specifically, THE CHRISTMAS DAY KITTEN and THE MARKET SQUARE DOG), and I decided I was going to be the American James Herriot. I wanted to be a veterinarian, lion-tamer, ballerina, and astronaut—all concurrently, of course—and write about my experiences. Writer turns out to be the only profession that stuck!




Amy: Your book tackles some important issues and has dark themes. What inspired you to write DEVILS WITHIN?


Sarah: I’m sad to say that DEVILS WITHIN was inspired by real events. I read an article about a ten-year-old boy shooting his white supremacist leader father, and all I could think was “what has to happen to a kid to reach that point, especially so young?” and “how do you come back from something like that?” So I started doing research, learning how hate groups recruit and operate and why people join them. I’m from the south, the breeding ground of the KKK, so I’m no stranger to racism, but I never understood what draws someone to that kind of hate.


The more I learned, the more the main character, Nate, took shape in my mind. I wanted others to see how easy it is to get stuck doing the wrong thing, how important it is to form your own opinions and beliefs, not just the ones you’ve grown up hearing, and how it’s never too late to change.




Amy: I read in your bio that you are an attorney. Did any of your legal background help with writing this book?


Sarah: Definitely! I spent the beginning of my career practicing criminal defense and appeals, and family law, which absolutely come into play in DEVILS WITHIN. It helped knowing how long trials actually last (much longer than Law and Order would lead you to believe!), and some the laws regarding minors’ rights. But I would say the piece of my legal background that helped most was knowing how to research. Also contrary to legal TV shows, most of being an attorney is effectively researching and writing.


The majority of the information that helped shape this book came from the Southern Poverty Law Center ( They have amazing resources such as their hate map, which shows every hate group across the country (currently 892 hate groups in the US), as well as an updated list of hate incidents. Every hate incident in the book is based on something that actually occurred. I went to law school in Montgomery, Alabama, where the SPLC is located, so it helped knowing that resource was available.




Amy: Are you one of those people who had an easy time writing a query or did it take several tries before you landed on your final version?


Sarah: I’m one of those weird writers who actually kind of enjoys writing a query letter. When I started getting serious about writing, I spent a lot of time reading the Query Shark archives and reading and critiquing in Absolute Write’s Query Letter Hell. I learned more by reading other people’s queries than I ever could have by posting my own—both queries that worked and those that didn’t.


I also liked to write the query before I wrote the book. It seems backwards, but I found it’s easier to focus on the main plot and tension when that’s all you have, before you muddy the book with subplots and side characters. I’d go back and edit once I finished the book, and then post in QLH for outside opinions because your brain is really good at filling in plot or logic gaps. So I went through 3-4 drafts before landing on a version I was happy with.


I think the main thing to remember when query drafting is that you’re never going to please everyone. There were always people who hated my queries, even the one that landed my agent. The main goal of a query is to entice an agent to read more. Once you’re happy with it, send it!




Amy: Do you work with critique partners? If so, how do they help shape your stories?


Sarah: Absolutely! Good critique partners are invaluable! My CPs have pointed out logic flaws, plot problems, and character inconsistencies—things I tend to miss because I’m too close to the story. CPs are also wonderful at keeping me motivated. I like to break the rules and edit as I write (if I wait until the end, I get too overwhelmed at all the work that needs to be done and start procrastinating), so I send chapters to my CPs in installments. Nothing motivates me to keep writing like someone clamoring for the next chapters. And like I said with queries, reading other writers’ work has improved my own writing. It’s always easier to spot a flaw in someone else’s story, which often leads me to uncovering the same kind of problems in my own. My CPs are some truly talented writers. Reading their beautiful words has pushed me to be a better writer.




Amy: From beginning (first draft) to end (signing contract), how long was the process of getting a deal for DEVILS WITHIN?


Sarah: I wrote the first words of DEVILS WITHIN way back in the beginning of March 2014. It’s kind of shocking to look back through my drafts and realize how long it’s been! I worked on it for over a year—the longest it’s ever taken me to draft a novel. It went through about seven drafts before landing on the final version in May 2015 when my agent thought it was ready to go on submission.


We subbed to the first round of editors in May and had several close calls, but no bites. In October 2015, we went out on a second round. Around mid-November, an editor sent my agent a very excited email gushing about how much she was loving the book. The whole process from that first email to an offer took about three months. Then finally, on January 14, I got THE email. An offer!! Details were finalized and the announcement went out on February 4, but I didn’t sign the contract until July 2016. It’s one of those weird quirks of publishing that no one tells you about until you’re in the middle of it, but it’s more like buying a house than a car. I also review publishing contracts for a living, and I’ve seen contracts that weren’t signed until the book was through edits and ready for production! So if that happens to you, it’s totally normal! All told, DEVILS WITHIN took about two and a half years from idea to signed contract.




Amy: As most writers know, publishing is a very difficult business. What was the one thing you think you did to garner agent interest?


Sarah: I did the only things that were within my control: wrote the best book I could, and kept a good attitude. So much of this business relies on luck and timing. The only parts of it we really have any say over is how we write, and how we act. If either of those two components are missing, you’re going to have a harder time getting agent interest.




Amy: What can you tell us about “your call” with your agent, Mandy Hubbard? How did you know she was the right fit for you?


Sarah: Oh man, I was SO nervous during The Call! I’m much better in writing, which is actually one way I knew Mandy was a good fit for me, because she initially offered through email. That may sound silly, but it made me comfortable from the outset. I’d heard plenty of agent horror stories, so I had a list of things I was looking for in an agent. Someone I was comfortable with, who understood my writing and what I was trying to do, who could push me to be the best writer I could be, and who knew the industry and could help me achieve my dreams.


I’d already gotten a glimpse of how Mandy worked. She’d requested a Revise and Resubmit on the manuscript I initially queried. She was super excited about my book and had all these ideas for ways to make it better. She sent a 6 page edit letter! It was daunting, but also invigorating. She saw what I was trying to do with the story and helped me elevate it. I loved how hands on she was, and even though I was nervous during The Call, she put me totally at ease. I clicked with her instantly and haven’t looked back. Four years later and I’m still confident I made the right decision!




Amy: If you were doing a book signing and met a writer who was about to give up on their publishing dream, what would you say to them? 


Sarah: Publishing is about tenacity. I thought about giving up so many times. It’s easy to look around and see other writers’ successes and get discouraged. But their path to publication is not your path, and what you don’t always see—what we’re not so great at talking about—is other writers’ failures.


So here are my failures: DEVILS WITHIN may be my debut novel, but it’s not my first novel; it’s my fifth. I wrote two manuscripts that were absolute garbage before writing the one that landed my agent. And that one still didn’t sell. Neither did the next one. It took those four failed manuscripts, though, for me to free myself up to write the one that did sell. Over 120 rejections from agents and editors before one agent and one editor said yes. DEVILS WITHIN will release almost exactly 9 years from the day I started writing my first novel, and 30 years after I declared I wanted to be a writer.


If publishing is truly your dream, you can’t give up. It doesn’t matter how many years it takes, or how many rejections you receive. I’ve learned from each manuscript I’ve written, and I’m still learning and growing. Much like the Goonies, writers never say die.





s-f-henson-author-photoS.F. Henson was born and raised in the deep south. She graduated from Auburn University with a degree in Animal Science, which she put to great use by attending law school. Her law degree has gotten some mileage, though, giving her the experience to write about criminals and other dark, nefarious subjects. She lives beside a missile test range in Huntsville, Alabama with her husband, dog, two oddly named cats, and, of course, the missiles that frequently shake her house. For more on Sarah, check out her website or follow her on Twitter (@sfhwrites) or Facebook.


FIRST FIVE FRENZY with Stephanie Fretwell-Hill of Red Fox Literary September 23, 2016

Filed under: Blog,Publishing,writing craft,Query — chasingthecrazies @ 5:59 am
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If you’re like me, you toil for hours editing and fine-tuning the first pages of your manuscript. You look at the first lines to make sure they are compelling and tight. You examine the next few paragraphs hoping your MC’s voice is already taking hold of the reader.


The First Five Frenzy is all about getting an agent’s perspective on what works, and what fails, in those first pages of a manuscript. It’s tricky to get the right balance, but I hope by reading each agent’s comments you’ll learn how to make your manuscript a shining gem that’s requested over and over.


Today, I’m proud to share Stephanie Fretwell-Hill’s perspective on what’s important in those critical first pages.





Amy: Many writers have the impression that a great first line is imperative to drawing in the reader. How important is a first line to you as an agent?



Stephanie: It’s pretty important! A great first line shows that the writer knows what they are doing and that they are working to grab the reader’s (and my) attention right away. However, it isn’t enough to just write one great line—the whole manuscript needs to be exceptional. And if I find a wonderful manuscript with a mediocre first line, I would certainly be willing to push past the opening sentence. I am an editorial agent and often do at least one round of edits with my clients, so we can always strengthen individual lines before we submit to editors.





Amy: Many times a writer is told to stay away from common openings like dreams, eating breakfast, riding in a car, etc. What are some common openings you recommend writers stay away from?



Stephanie: It’s hard to say, because there are always exceptions to each example. But I see lots of manuscripts beginning with the main character running, a description of the weather, or a first person introduction in which the main character just blurts out the details of his or her character profile. (“I guess I should tell you a little bit about myself. My name is x and my best friend is y…”)


I think the main thing is to look at where the story starts—what is the inciting incident and what are the scenes leading up to it?—rather than the start of the character’s day or a pure “introduction” to the character. You have to cut out those superfluous scenes that don’t advance the story itself.





Amy: When you’ve responded to a writer to request a partial or full manuscript, what was it about their first pages that piqued your interest?



Stephanie: I ask for the first three chapters of a novel in the author’s initial inquiry. At the end of those pages, I should really want to know what happens next. If I don’t care by then, I figure it’s best that I move on. But if I’ve really been drawn into the story and I find myself disappointed to reach the end of the excerpt, I ask for the full manuscript. It’s a combination of factors—voice, character, plot, pacing, concept, my impression of the author—that all add up to a promising submission.





Amy: What are some common mistakes writers make in their first five pages?



Stephanie: Lots of typos or spelling errors. Passive scenes in which no one is really doing anything. Flat characters and cliché dialogue. The start of a predictable story.





Amy: What resonates with you most in those first pages? Voice? Pacing? Unique concept?



Stephanie: I would say voice, first and foremost. Everything else is also important, but the mechanics of plot or pacing can be tweaked and shifted, and an ordinary concept can be extraordinary in the right hands. But if I don’t connect with the voice, there isn’t a whole lot I can do to help the writer improve it, and I can’t stand behind the manuscript as an agent if I don’t really believe in it.





Stephanie Fretwell-Hill is a literary agent with a sales and editorial background. After starting her career in foreign rights at Walker Books in the UK, Stephanie moved home to Atlanta as an acquiring editor at Peachtree Publishers. Most recently, she joined Red Fox Literary where she represents authors and illustrators of picture books, middle grade, and YA fiction and non-fiction. During her ten years in the publishing industry, she has had the privilege of working with respected colleagues and award-winning authors and artists from around the world.






MONDAY MUSINGS: The Reality of Writing – Revision September 5, 2016



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The day I decided I wanted to write my first book I had a vivid idea in my head. I sat down at the computer to begin and the words started to flow. To say I was beyond clueless in that moment is a mild statement. I thought all I had to do was form the words on the page, arrange my thoughts in some cohesive order, and the story would fall into place.



That first book began with all the cliché newbie mistakes: prologue opening (basically backstory info dump), a dream, and the very unoriginal look in the mirror to describe my character. Now, many years later I know better, but was I wrong to make all those early mistakes? Absolutely not. Those mistakes were all part of a process I had to go through in order to become a better writer.



In reality, writing is all about making those missteps and then going back and correcting them. It’s all about REVISION.



You can outline all day long. Create a chapter-by-chapter analysis of everything you want to accomplish: tension, stakes, driving plot forward, but in the end creativity and story take over. Many times I find my characters have something different to say or another path they want to take. Instead of adhering to that outline, I let them guide me. Take me where they need to go with the idea that if I get off track I can rely on my good friend, revision to get me back to the right spot.



Often times when I’m working on an edit for a client I find myself trying to frame the feedback in a way that will be the most positive. Challenging them to dig deeper in their characterization or narrative. But no matter how the words are delivered, one thing remains the same: the notes may sting. Even so, there’s still a need for change. For reshaping. For rethinking how a scene plays out.



Which brings me to my next point…There is NO SHAME in revising. Cutting that manuscript to shreds and putting it back together like a 500 piece puzzle is perfectly normal. While the first attempt at a draft is glorious, the real work comes with that second, third, or even tenth revision. It’s about shaping that story into a tale that will draw readers in and never let them go.



The revision process is a necessary step in writing. Please don’t let anyone tell you something different. When you receive feedback from a CP or beta reader it may be bruising, but there’s hope in those notes. It’s a chance to look at your story through another set of eyes. To see what is working and what needs to be refined. It’s okay to be a little shocked if you get six pages of feedback, but don’t get frustrated or angry. And certainly, please DO NOT GIVE UP. Give yourself time. Let the notes sit for a while. When you’re ready, go back and look at them with a clear, rational head. It’s in those moments you’ll find clarity and understand where your work needs to change.



Again, I’m not ashamed to repeat it…REVISING is what makes a story. Own it. Embrace it. Then get back to work, tearing the crap out of that manuscript until it becomes a beautiful book you know readers will love.




FIRST FIVE FRENZY with Shannon Powers of McIntosh & Otis August 26, 2016

Filed under: Blog,Literary Agent,writing craft — chasingthecrazies @ 8:06 am
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If you’re like me, you toil for hours editing and fine-tuning the first pages of your manuscript. You look at the first lines to make sure they are compelling and tight. You examine the next few paragraphs hoping your MC’s voice is already taking hold of the reader.


The First Five Frenzy is all about getting an agent’s perspective on what works, and what fails, in those first pages of a manuscript. It’s tricky to get just the right balance, but I hope by reading each agent’s comments you’ll learn how to make your manuscript a shining gem that’s requested over and over.


Today, I’m proud to share Shannon Powers’ perspective on what’s important in those critical first pages.




Amy: Many writers have the impression that a great first line is imperative to drawing in the reader. How important is a first line to you as an agent?



Shannon: Truthfully, it’s not something I think about too much. I think of it more as a bonus, rather than a “must.” Often it takes a few lines to set the tone of the story and I’m more than willing to ride it out a bit to get a sense of where we’re going. I can also definitely tell when a writer has tried too hard to make the first line memorable. I prefer a more natural opening – engaging, but not heavy-handed trying to force me to be interested.




Amy: Many times a writer is told to stay away from common openings like dreams, eating breakfast, riding in a car, etc. What are some common openings you recommend writers stay away from?



Shannon: I definitely agree that it’s best to avoid the run-of-the-mill when writing an opening, like these examples. I also dread the “looking in the mirror” opening – a common device to show what the character looks like but just not the best place to start the story. There are some that I don’t love in certain genres as well. In mystery for example, the detective being called the crime scene right away and there’s that whole exchange of “What do we got?” For some reason these work better on TV than in books! Also, in any kind of sci-fi or fantasy where there is a lot of world building, I instantly get lost when the opening has tons of foreign terms thrown around (things like strange place names, events referenced, random technologies, etc.).




Amy: When you’ve responded to a writer to request a partial or full manuscript, what was it about their first pages that piqued your interest?



Shannon: There are a lot of things in the first five pages that could grab me. If the query/premise sound interesting, I immediately go to the initial pages to check out the writing. From there, I would say that atmosphere is an element I am particularly drawn to. If an author is right away able to set the tone and scene, I’m hooked. It’s also big for me to see the story moving right away. That doesn’t mean I need tons of action up front, but I will be intrigued if I start to have a sense of what is at stake or begin to see possibilities opening up in the first five pages. Also, never underestimate the power of a good title. Many agents and editors disregard them as they often change from the initial query, but I always look at projects that have interesting titles (hint: put them in the subject line along with the genre). Just a personal quirk, but definitely something to pique my interest.




Amy: What are some common mistakes writers make in their first five pages?






1)    Having an uneven balance of narration, action/description, and dialogue. This one is huge for me!

2)    Being overwhelming by throwing us to the wolves, so to speak, rather than gently guiding us into the world and lives of the characters.

3)    Failing to show what is compelling about this world/story/the characters (aka being too generic).




Amy: What resonates with you most in those first pages? Voice? Pacing? Unique concept?



Shannon: Of course it’s great to nail all three of those. However, I would say the concept gets me first. I will give anything a chance for the first 10 pages at least if it has an awesome premise. Otherwise in the first five pages I’m looking to connect with the characters, or at the very least be intrigued by them. We’re going to be stuck with them for the whole book, so it’s great to see why we should ride it out with them!




Shannon Powers is a graduate of New York University. She began her career in publishing at McIntosh and Otis as an intern in 2011, and then went on to intern at The Book Report Network and W.W. Norton & Company. She has also worked as a bookseller. She returned to M&O in 2014, where she is a junior agent and assists Shira Hoffman and Christa Heschke. Twitter: @S_E_Powers / Blog:



If you’re interested in submitting to Shannon, please check The McIntosh & Otis website for their guidelines.









If you ask any writer about the process of connecting with their agent (or publisher), the majority will say the most difficult part was querying. Not only the actual process of sending out the letters/emails, but formulating the query itself. In fact, I’ve heard more than a few authors say writing their query took them almost as long as drafting their book!


Some people have the talent of being able to summarize their book in a few sentences, but for those who don’t I wanted to provide a resource where writers could learn what works, and what doesn’t, in a query.


With that in mind, I’m pleased to share today’s successful query from Wade Albert White. This great query connected him with The Elizabeth Kaplan Literary Agency.




Fourteen-year-old Anvil Wilhelmina Ironhide has an unusual problem (besides her name).


It’s not that she was discovered in a cryogenic chamber as a baby and never told about it (a minor oversight).


It’s not that she has the nearly uncontrollable urge to jump from high places and attempt to fly (it couldn’t hurt to try just once, right?).


It’s not even that her world was created by a malfunctioning computer and the ten-thousand-year-old scientist who programmed it has emerged from cryo-stasis to correct his mistake (that’s only a problem if you’re the mistake).


Her problem is that all of the above means she’s unknowingly about to embark upon a quest—not to save the world, but to destroy it (which is why you should always read the fine print).


In a land where every rustic village has a solar-powered windmill, agents of the Wizards’ Council wiretap the ley lines for information, and you need a plasma cannon to ward off the dragons, one orphan girl struggles against time, destiny, and heretofore unknown levels of bureaucracy to uncover the truth of her quest but avoid its terrible conclusion (a neat trick if you can pull it off).


And don’t even get me started on the elves …


MAGICK 7.0 is my Upper MG fantasy novel, complete at 85,000-words. My short fiction has appeared most recently in the Unidentified Funny Objects 2 anthology (ed. Alex Shvartsman), and previously in such magazines as Strange Horizons and Ideomancer.




Fun Tidbit:


One fun tidbit about my querying process is that I went with a more conventional query pitch at first and it didn’t get any bites. Zero. So I started again from scratch and wrote it in the voice of my novel (which is rather unconventional). Then, not unsurprisingly, I started getting requests. I think the initial lack of interest was due at least in part to the discord between the voice of the query and the voice of the story. Readers went in expecting one thing but getting quite another. That doesn’t mean the new query appealed to everyone. I still received rejections. But it did mean the people who liked the query knew exactly what they were getting when they turned to the pages of the manuscript. And it worked!





5S0A4637smWade hails from Nova Scotia, Canada, land of wild blueberries and Duck Tolling Retrievers. He teaches part-time, dabbles in animation, and spends the rest of his time as a stay-at-home dad. It is also possible he has set a new record as the slowest 10K runner. Ever. He owns one pretend cat and one real one, and they get along fabulously. For more on Wade, follow him on Twitter (@wadealbertwhite).


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