The past 72 hours have left me more than a bit exhausted. The one topic that never, ever fails to get me to bristle is politics. And, unless I absolutely must – as in the case of Rep. Giffords; I could not ignore something that was affecting people to this degree – I try to keep away from hot-button topics.
So, now is the time for me to touch back onto my writing, and when I woke up this morning, I realized: only twelve days to go until the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards.
Yes, it’s that time again. I feel my nerves twisting into Cub Scout knots at the thought of it. And, come to think of it, I missed the Nashville Book Festival for 2010.
Book 2 is effectively ready to go as far as ABNA is concerned, but it requires a reformatting for submission. The three steps to ABNA are the pitch, the first 5,000 words as an excerpt, and the full manuscript. I have the last two and, as always, have major issues with the first. Which, considering I have absolutely no problem in working with music promo, doesn’t bode well for this year’s ABNA.
At the time that I entered last year, I hosted a contest: you give me a working pitch, I give you a copy of Book 1, and a copy of Book 2 as soon as it became available. Thinking about it, I’m considering going the same thing with the synopsis of Book 2, and offering a full set of Book 1 through 3 (Book 3 is to be released by April 15th). Doing a literary pitch is a lot more involving than pitching a music show and, considering I’ve written this piece, it’s a very strange case of an actor-observer bias in tossing this thing out to the public in a paragraph.
That and I won’t lie, there is some concern to be had about the reviews. Round 1 is the pitch. Round 2, excerpt reviewing. Book 1 was entered as YA, and did not garner the best of reviews, which I expected. However, the reviews I did get surprised me. The first review was up front in saying, “Good story, but I’m not into sci-fi, so I cannot judge.” The second one just said that the piece needed work, and not only didn’t stop to clarify where it needed work – the one thing I can’t stand is when someone says “it’s shit” and when someone asks them to clarify, the follow up answer is “it just is” – but also said that the use of profanity wasn’t necessary, which only made me ask, “What profanity?” Seriously. Book 1, I hate to admit it, but I sanitized that one, if only because the original target audience was in the teens.
You may read the reviews, and my reaction to them, here: ABNA Reviews 2010
Book 2 is definitely a new ball game altogether. For one, it’s the first time I had an editor, and here I tip my hat to Gayle for her steadfast patience in teaching and reteaching me the various subtle nuances of the written English language. For two, the main storyline starts to take shape, and there are some rather interesting new characters. There’s a lot more amped-up excitement going on as well, which I hope will catch the reader much more readily than the convolution in Book 1. So I look forward to using it as an entry, if only for the fact that with this one, things are a lot less scary. I’ve been through it once before.
Now, tomorrow’s a snowstorm again, and I hope that I can dig myself out of Photoshop long enough to throw the pitch together. Tonight, though…blankets.