Tag Archives: thriller

When Will Your Novel Be Published? When Can I Read It?

Thanks for your continued interest in my novel!

I had to take an online teaching job this year to make some money, so I didn’t get to work on revisions  as much as I wanted to – but, maybe it’s a good thing to let it “cool off” awhile.

I’m currently on REVISION 10. I’ve cut away a lot – whole scenes and even a character, but still need to trim more.

I worked with an excellent Mystery/Thriller writer editor this year who told me “you have a very credible, tight little mystery here, but just get rid of the rest of that stuff. No one but you mother will want to read it.”  I also worked with a SCI FI Fantasy writer/editor (who coached the author of Twilight and also the author of the great fantasy series Wheel of Time, among other notables).  He  helped me integrate the future-time disconnect/other world elements more smoothly into the story.

Since first starting to write four years ago, I’ve been to several helpful writer’s conferences, where I’ve pitched to agents. Mostly, the agents  are interested, and say they want to see it when it’s ready, but they’re concerned about the length and also don’t understand what genre to call it.

I’ve signed a contract to send the ms this month to a private editor who I originally I met at the San Francisco Writers Conference, then connected with again at the Women Writing in the Redwoods Retreat. She worked for years for one of the big New York publishers as a hot shot in-house editor. But she’s a local Monterey Bay girl, an ocean swimmer, whose husband’s relative worked in the strawberry fields! (In other words, I think she “gets” it.) She’s come home to the Monterey Bay with a new baby and is now working as an independent editor. She thinks my novel has “potential for commercial success”.  She’s HELLA expensive – I’m about to blow much of my life savings to have her edit the thing. (It has crossed my mind to try an indie-go-go or kickstarter fundraiser to pay for all this. Any suggestions?)

But come what may, I’m  OBSESSED with getting this novel completed, and out there. I’ve been worried that the story is too old, no longer of interest. But at last night’s Safe Strawberry meeting, I was astounded to discover that NONE of the issues we dealt with in the 90’s have been resolved, and the new activists are repeating our mistakes. I believe our history needs to be known so we can build on it!

Once I get back my editor’s comments and finish this round of revisions, I’m going to start looking for an agent. I’m giving myself a year to sell it. If no go, then I’m committed to self-publishing.

Your comments, likes and shares would be ENORMOUSLY helpful!

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Meeting Agents

I’m at the Santa Barbara Writer’s Conference. Today was Agent’s Day. I met with five agents, who each read my first five pages and heard my pitch. All of the agents were shocked and amazed by the fact that methyl bromide and chloropicrin are still being used to grow strawberries. All felt strongly that the story needs to be told.

I’m sending my manuscript to a professional thriller editor this month, for the final revision and polishing. Then it goes out to the agents.

If you’re interested in receiving a free advance copy, let me know.

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I Love My Cop

Well, the story is a thriller. So of course there is a cop. Detective Sargent Charlie Rosa of the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Department.

Charlie is so real to me that, these days, I look into every cop car I pass on the road to see if he’s there! So, far, I haven’t found him, but – I can just feel him, if you know what I mean. He’s a living presence in the world, somehow. And he’s a really, really good guy. Competent, nice, intelligent, thoughtful, courageous… I can tell you his backstory any time you want. I know all about him, even though not all is revealed in the novel. Goes without saying.

There’s also Kelly Cavanaugh, Ca Dept of Fish and Game. She’s amazing. Of course, I’ve read all of CJ Box’s novels, which probably influenced how Kelly developed. But I also had the honor of spending time with Captain Don Kelly, CA DFG North Coast Division, who helped me understand much about game wardens – the people, the job, what’s on their duty belt… I’m looking forward to the ride-along.

The retired SC police captain down the street has also been very helpful with police procedural and criminal plotting. As have several attorneys I’ve spoken with, as I’ve come to understand the juvenile justice system.

During this polishing phase, I think I need to extract the whole crime/thriller plot thread and ask for expert readers to critique just this bit. Do you have expertise in law enforcement? Would you like to help critique the thriller elements of The Death of the Gecko? I’d love to hear from you!

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