Archive for December, 2014

Layers of Cake

by on Sunday, December 7th, 2014

Ah, December. Cake. (You’ll see what I mean by that in a minute…) Shopping, and Merry making. Decorating and singing and playing Christmas songs on the piano. This season is also punctuated by test driving cars…and hopefully buying a new car in the next couple weeks. From October 24th to November 24th, we successfully hosted three recitals, a Halloween bash, a baby Reveal party, and Thanksgiving and for a few weeks now, the Phillips house hold get’s a reprieve from party season. Next I’ll be hosting my annual Holiday party and cookie exchange for all my students on Winter Solstice, then come the Christmases. Ah, and the holidays are upon us.

All of that is the exterior icing on the cake. Underneath that layer of decadent frosting is the real stuff. Since I finished Sumac, I’ve been sending Queries to agents. Already I’ve received three rejection letters. Two were sooo nice. Disappointing, but nice. This time I’ve decided to query all the agents from conferences I’ve been to first. It helps to have some connection to an agent when approaching them, and I thought that would be a good opening. It turns out it was. I did get one flat rejection, but the other two loved the query letter. One even went on to compliment my writing and wishing me success. (pasted in below because I wanted to save it.)

I sent four out for starters, and due to the nature of the rejections, usually due to the fact that they don’t represent Sci-fi, I revised my plan of attack.  Those agents did represent YA, but Sci-fi Fantasy is a sub-genre unto itself and now I’m doing the research to reach out to agents who DO represent YA Sci-fi.  Yea…guess I should have thought of that before. Genre is so important. If an agent doesn’t feel drawn to the story line, you’ve already lost them. Knowing what they represent is the first step to making a lasting impression.

So now I wait. That’s that inside icing layer. Only this one isn’t so tasty, filled with angst and self doubt. Am I doing the right thing? And  what if I do get an agent? Then the real work starts. Is writing Sumac and it’s successive books what I really want to do? If this works out for me, do I have to finally grow up? Does it mean I have arrived?

It certainly was fun!!

See what you think…

This summer was supposed to be the very best for ORHIANNA BRIGHTLY and her brother LIAM. Instead, their Mother and Father were murdered in a car crash. At the reading of the Will the siblings find out their parents were more than they appeared to be. Their father was the Guardian of a sacred object that killers were trying to find. The ancient artifact, the Eye of Ra is hidden somewhere in their home.

When Orhianna and Liam are transported with their house to the future, everything changes. Leaders from around the globe are chasing them and they end up in Sumac, a city more than one thousand years in the future. Sumac is a world of man/animals and futuristic technologies, but also a civilization deeply rooted in Egyptian and Mayan culture. With the help of their close friend THANE and their uncle BRENNICK, Liam and Orhianna learn of ancient history and mysteries that have yet to occur.

The Eye of Ra is changing them. As the siblings become more divided, Orhianna has to make a choice whether to save her new family, or stick with her brother Liam who has become violent and murderous. Only one of them can be the heir to the Guardian legacy.

And…”Dear Ms. Phillips:

It is with kind thanks that I respond to your submission to Kimberley Cameron & Associates Literary Agency. Please be assured that I have carefully considered your project. Unfortunately, I don’t feel the manuscript is right for me at this time. It was a pleasure to meet you at the conference, and you have such a personal and lovely query letter. You are obviously a high caliber writer.
My advice to you is to forget being the next JK Rowling, rather, become the next Tracey Phillips. That way, ten years from now, one of my interns can see a new query letter that says “My work is heavily influenced by Tracey Phillips.” Thank you for allowing me to read your work, to be honest, most levels of sci-fi are lost on me so I am probably not the best agent to represent this work.
But remember to strive, continue and most of all, finish.
Because we receive more than two hundred submissions per week, it is necessary to be extremely selective on a very subjective basis.  There are numerous excellent agents that might be the right fit for your manuscript. I wish you the best of luck.