I’m a Loser Baby

Well, after a month of waiting, 10,000 authors’ blogs will have entry fodder for the day. ABNA announced the winners of those who made it past the Pitch phase in the contest.

General Fiction
YA Fiction

I searched the YA list; not once, nor twice, but seven times to make sure my name was missing. I did a “Find” for my real name, my pen name, my birth name, my mother’s maiden name–just in case. Nothing. So, I repeated the search on the GenFic list, just in case it was mistakenly categorized. Nothing.

So, I am putting the whole experience into perspective.
1. The contest entry is really only equal to a single query submission.
2. I know the pitch I am currently including in queries is much stronger than the original I submitted to the contest.

Here’s the new tagline:

Starting over can be a good thing—unless you’ve already lived a thousand lifetimes,
and still can’t get it right.

Here’s the new Pitch:

Oblivion. Rebirth. Failure. Oblivion.

Capritare has no idea how many times he has repeated this sequence, but he knows it is time to end it. He stands before the three sovereign entities. Which one will lead him to completion: the masculine Yramid, the feminine Pheras, or the mysterious Esque? He will be granted seven such choices in his short lifetime, after which he will be judged.

He is not alone on his quest. Hundreds of others struggle with the ever-changing embellishments of wings, antlers, tentacles; and the search for a lifelong companion. In a world where girls can be masculine, boys can be feminine, and everyone can switch at any time—Capritare experiments to find a mate. His experiences lead him through the sweetness of love, and the pain of disappointment.

As the seventh cycle ends, they each must vow to only one of the entities. Capritare is drawn to one in particular, but he is afraid to eat the proffered seed that will confirm his choice. If it is the wrong one, he will return—yet again—to oblivion.

So, like all the other “losers”, I move on. Time for another querying blitz! And I’ll be trolling the blogs to see how many more response posts I can find.

[Disclaimer: At the request of a friend, I must note that this is not a self-pitying post. The title and use of the the term “Loser” are intended as tongue-in-cheek hyperbole!] ::: insert smirk here :::

16 thoughts on “I’m a Loser Baby

  1. John Lucas,I did not make it last year, but made it this year. Same novel . . . different pitch.It's VERY subjective. There is someone who made it all the way to NY last year who didn't survive the pitch phase this year, I think. There is also a quarter finalist from last year who got cut in pitch this year.Keep writing! 🙂


  2. Are you channeling your inner Beck with this post? Sorry, but I'm not going to kill you. Seriously though, I don't see how you're not published or whatever you're wanting to get right now. If you sold your blog at stores, I'd buy it. I've always enjoyed them…even from the myspace days. As soon as your book (not if) hits the shelves, I'll be the first in line to buy it. Whoever reads this should also check out your art. It really is fantastic, functional, and fairly priced. Good luck, mang!


  3. Any one who finishes a novel is winner. That said, out of all the people who do make it into the coveted final round ONLY 1 will survive to eat the cake – and that person's book will be tied up for years before it actually goes to print. You are now at the place of freedom! You can move forward with queries, and go in what ever direction you choose! Good luck my friend!


  4. Obviously, you're not a loser and are instead a writer who has yet to meet the right agent, editor, or self-publication platform! I made it through this round, but, as experienced writers, we both know how subjective that choice can be. I'm impressed with the work you're doing on finding an agent and wanted to wish you good luck. I am also impressed with the way you use the rhythm of your prose style to create suspense in the pitch or query. One question: how old are Capritare and the hundreds of others struggling with him? Perhaps his age might make a difference to a YA editor, especially since some prefer the "younger" YA's and some the other.


  5. Capritare & his crew are in that teen/coming-of-age/first love area. No age is ever given, but the story definitely has 'mature' elements not suited for MG.My selection of agents takes that into account, aiming at the older YA set.


  6. With all the elements you pull together, I'm sure you'll get that slice and more. I'm returning to writing fiction after a long hiatus, too. I lost my McIntosh & Otis agent when she left the field and my editor in one of the M&A shakeups going on among publishers in the late 90's. All this was going on while my children were beginning college and I needed to earn real money. Anyway, I just wanted you to know that I was impressed with many elements of your writing and wish you well.


  7. I'm sorry about ABNA, but you're right, it is only *one* option of many. If you'd like thoughts about your pitch, I'd be happy to weigh in! Best of luck on the querying roller coaster…


  8. Dude, I was totally crushed last year when I didn't make the first cut. I LOVED that freakin' novel and didn't write again for months. Here is my last year's blog post (once I could muster one)http://tangentshell.blogspot.com/2011/02/rejected-but-not-neglected.html I used the song Creep instead of Loser, because I was saving Loser for after my first 50 pages of the novel that made it through the pitch stage this year was rejected by an agent. Just sayin', rejection is part of the game. It makes you cool and dark, like a writer should be.You are not a loser because you have the coolest mustache ever. Okay, and your pitch sounds pretty good too. You might want to make it more personal, really give us a picture of Capritare. Your current pitch is kind of impersonal. Give more details about your MC's central conflict and less about your general "world" perhaps. It sounds fascinating, though and I am totally following your blog. P.S. Check out Cupid's Literary Connection blog if you are actively querying right now. People are seriously hooking up with agents there.


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