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Writing the Fantasy, Living the Fantasy

It's the year for this pigasus to try out its wings!

In a happy confluence of events this year, I've found myself finishing up the final edits to my novel manuscript, with a shiny new membership in the Capital City Writers Association and a ticket to my first-ever experience at the Write on the Red Cedar conference.

I've begun to learn the craft of querying and how to find agents who specialize in pig-rat-butterflies or whatever this thing is that I have spawned.

Actually, I've gained clarity on exactly what I love in my favorite books--deep character development, beautiful language, exciting plot twists, subversion of tropes and cultural assumptions, natural settings, folklore, ecstatic experiences, romance, and examination of primal themes using fresh-cut lenses. I've worked hard over the past few years to artfully blend all these qualities into one living, hot-blooded monstrosity that has a distinctive voice, personality, and story to tell.

I've even learned better words than "monstrosity" to describe my novel, such as "upmarket" fantasy. Isn't that fancy! Unlike commercial fiction, Briars delves into the shadows of human psychology and lingers on the rhythms of pagan poetry. It sets out to transport the reader to a lush, foreign world, but it doesn't so much provide an escape from reality as a new perspective from which to examine all the weird, scary, and empowering reasons why we engage in our own favorite fantasies.

But also it's just a good story with drugs, sex, and cannibals. So, not too literary.

Next month, I'll practice querying an agent verbally at Write on the Red Cedar, and I'll start sending out written queries as well. I hope to sell this thing to a publisher who will provide awesome editing and book design and marketing and all the professional book-people skills to help me turn this story into a truly well-crafted work of art.

Friends, if you know of any agents looking for something like Briars and Black Hellebore, send me a tip! This is the year I try getting this pig off the ground.

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