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Publishing stuffs > Searching for agents for Walking Shadow ...

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message 1: by Brigid ✩, the one and only ;) (new)

Brigid ✩ | 900 comments Mod
Alrighty, so as you may or may not know, I am trying to find a literary agent to represent Walking Shadow. Here is the (somewhat boring) story thus far …

So, I entered Walking Shadow in the 2010 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest, expecting maybe to make it to the second or maybe third round at best. Turned out I made the SEMIFINALS! In other words, about 10,000 people entered and I made the top 100. :) As part of the quarterfinals, all the entries got a review from Publishers Weekly.

So here is what Publishers Weekly had to say about Walking Shadow:

"Two teens connect under very unusual circumstances in this well-crafted novel. Both seventeen, Cassandra is a psychic and Jason has just died in a car crash. Cassandra is closed off socially, suffering from dreams of the souls that live in the Otherworld. Jason, after his death, makes a deal with the Lord of the Underworld to be returned to his past life, not realizing that he will be a ghost. When Cassandra is the only one who can see him in his ghostly form, Jason pleads with her to help him. Cassandra agrees, thinking that Jason might be able to help her lift the curse of psychic ability that has affected all the women in her family. A solution is presented to them, thanks to Celeste, a spirit from the Otherworld and Elaine, a ghost like Jason. If they are able to journey through the Underworld, Jason can regain his soul and Cassandra can lose her psychic ability. But this journey has never been completed by a human--will they be the first to achieve this? Told in two voices, these engaging main characters live and breathe on the page. While the idea of a journey to the Underworld is not new, there are interesting twists, such as Jason's ghostly state. The plot is well-paced and thoughtfully developed, the Underworld clearly established without long passages of exposition. Combining romance and action with a dual character study, this manuscript is a wonderful, thrilling read."


So then this literary agent, Jason Anthony, emailed me after he read my excerpt on Amazon and my blog. And he said he wanted to talk to me, so we talked on the phone and he requested the full manuscript. Two months later he rejected me, giving me the whole "You're good for a teen but you're not good enough" speech. So … sadness.

But by then I'd started sending out queries. I've gotten a lot of form rejections but a bunch of requests and personalized rejections too. So ummm here's what I got so far:

Laura Langlie - Requested full manuscript. Liked "the two narrator's voices" but it "wasn't right for her" or something along those lines.

Katherine Boyle - Requested full manuscript. Said I was a strong writer and that it was a great premise, but I need to speed up the pacing and cut it down to about 100K words. She'll be happy to read revisions. Woohoo. I'm now in the process of cutting out 47K words.

Kristin Nelson - Requested 30-page partial. Rejected because it was "too relentlessly dark" and she would have liked to see "a glimmer of hope in it". In the first 30 pages. Well … okay. I see what she means, but I LIKE BEING RELENTLESSLY DARK!

Helen Zimmerman - Requested full manuscript, no response yet.

Krista Goering - Requested synopsis and a partial. Sent a response saying she enjoyed the sample, but she's concerned about the word count. I told her I'm cutting it down to 100K and she said she'd read it then. Although she also said that most YA books are in the 30K-70K word range, which is totally untrue if you ask me. But, alrighty. No way I'm cutting Walking Shadow down to 70K or lower O_O

Logan Garrison - Requested a 50-page partial. Sent a rejection on behalf of her boss, who was concerned about the pacing (urrrgh starting to see a pattern here). But she personally thinks I have a lot of talent and would like to see my current and future projects. Sooo I sent her links to my Goodreads writing page and to my blog, and she said she'd look at both over the weekend. Hooray!

So, that's all! I'll update when more happens. :]

message 2: by Sella (new)

Sella Malin | 173 comments This story is epic. XD Kristin Nelson is a butt. I'm crossing my fingers for the unanswered ones! :P

message 3: by Brigid ✩, the one and only ;) (new)

Brigid ✩ | 900 comments Mod
UPDAAAATE - Okay, so. Logan Garrison just got back to me. She said she read some of my writing and her favorites were Circles and Unraveling, because she felt like they were "light on their feet", while Walking Shadow is "too heavy". But she said she doesn't want to distract me from Walking Shadow because it has "a killer premise and SO much potential" and she'd like to read the next draft of it. So, I will focus again on word-chopping. Now there are three agents waiting for the 100K-word version. JOY! Only 33,000 more words to go.

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