When I was 10 years old, there was one Christmas present I wanted above all others–a bike. But, not just any old Schwinn or Huffy. In fact, I didn’t really care what namebrand it was as long as it met my adolescent, stunt-double, daredevil requirements. It needed pegs on both the front & the back, ‘moondiscs’ covering the spokes and, of course, handbrakes. I needed all these ‘gnarly’ bells & whistles in order to pull off the amazing tricks I could already picture in my mind.
This year, there was a similar item on my list. And although it isn’t fluorescent purple like that childhood wish-fulfillment, I’m thinking it’s going to help me perform some pretty fantastic feats.
My copy of 2012 Writer’s Market – Deluxe Edition has already become my most valued & useful Christmas gift. I am currently sitting on my Mama’s backporch in my home state of NC. From the moment the car doors shut the snow out at the beginning of my trip, I have only spent a couple of waking hours without this book in my hand.
I am familiar with the resource from my foray into the publishing world back in 2000. It was my go-to resource back then for writing tips, submission guidelines & publisher leads. I am finding it as useful for marketing my novel as it was for magazine articles & poetry.
At this point, I have narrowed down the 70 listed Literary Agents to just 20 that might be a good fit for my YA Fantasy novel. Those have further been whittled down to a shortlist of 7 agencies that I believe possess the most potential for marketing my manuscript. I sent out my first query this morning. :::gulp:::
I have also scarred up the 174 pages of Book Publishers with highlighter & notes. Online research of the individual publishing houses quickly cut my handwritten HOT list of 35 down to a mere 9 that I would like to pursue. Just as it took me hours of falling, bruising & making trips to the ER while learning to ride that trick-bike of mine, so the research stage of submitting my novel has been time-intensive.
My purple bike is long gone. Although the physical Lucas was never able to hit all the tricks that my imagination’s Lucas could, he was able to accomplish a few of them. I like to believe that I could still perform an Endo on queue if required. Until some sadistic kid challenges me to prove it, I think I’ll keep on hacking away at learning a new round of tricks which will hopefully transform my first manuscript into a published novel.