Skip to main content

Gone Fishing

My query buddy and favorite chicken artist, Victoria Solomon, reminded me the other day that querying a novel is a numbers game, and it's time for me to roll the dice again.

I took a nice break after my first round of queries and did some marvelous research for a historical fiction story. I even wrote an outline for it. (Oh, outlining! What fun!) Then I spent some time thinking about which book to write next -- the sequel to Briars and Black Hellebore (which doesn't actually need Briars and could stand on its own just fine) or the historical fiction idea I've just pursued.

The world around me seems so serious right now--I keep hearing about violence and hatred and ugly politics--and a part of me feels ashamed of spending time in a made-up fantasy land, writing silly books about magical forests and sexy royal dynasties.

I asked myself the question: "Okay, if Briars and Black Hellebore were a story written by an author who lived in the real 11th century, who might that author be? How did she become the author of this tale?" And I came up with a glorious idea that is darker, weirder, edgier, and more gruesome than my fantasy about a kingdom that has fallen to monsters and cannibals.

Then again, my very intelligent and politically aware friend Victoria has been coping with her anxieties about the seriousness of the real world by filling her social media feeds with drawings of chickens doing people things, much to the delight of her friends and family. And I fully support that.

Maybe this is exactly the kind of time when people need a juicy, indulgent fantasy break.

I've written a draft first sentence for both potential next books--the fantasy and the historical fiction. They are:

The bishop's wife could not obey the virtues of a good woman.


Leirah's heart broke for the first time when Kerzil died.

My husband put in an enthusiastic vote for the one about the naughty bishop's wife. My historical fiction idea still feels beautiful and exciting to me, but I think my husband is right. I need to give the "fun" story its due--and, as Victoria reminded me, receiving a full manuscript request from my top-pick agent right after sending out the first batch of 11 queries is a sign that I should keep querying Briars for now. And I don't need to worry so much about whether its sequel ends up being a sequel at all. That's something I can leave to the professionals--the agent, editor, or publisher who may be inspired to work with me.

I want to give Briars a fair chance. So I've sent out a couple more queries, bringing my total up to a lucky 13, and I have set aside my epic outlaw journey story for a sunnier day, when I'm bored with pretty, sparkly fairy stories and I feel the urge to go spelunking in some of humanity's darkest corners.

For now, I'll write the story that makes my inner child happy. I'm calling it The Grove of Thorismud. And it will be as refreshing as a cold stream in the summertime.

P.S. Don't forget to wear green on Thursday in honor of Maewyn Succat, America's favorite 5th century Irish bishop!


  1. Next up: a drawing of a querying chicken. (Ha. No. That will NEVER happen). But I have a saucy new book on the front burner, too, just like you. It's fun to slough off rejection with fresh creativity!

    1. Query chicken! But doesn't that have a nice ring to it... Hahaha, just kidding, get back to work on that exciting new book! :)


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Ich Liebe Rammstein: Till

UPDATE: After purging his sillies on the side project LINDEMANN and participating in another Rammstein documentary video, Till has begun work on a seventh Rammstein album, estimated to be released in 2017.  Till Lindemann
Till Lindemann is the only living human who could kick Chuck Norris's ass, but he doesn't, because they go on emo hunting trips together. The source of this fact, Urban Dictionary, also provides the following essential details: "Till Lindemann is the anthropomorphic personification of pure masculinity who invented the often-lethal dance move: The Till Hammer..." "He challenges the definition of masculine..." "Every German fertility clinic features a cardboard cutout of Till Lindemann choking a shark with one hand, whilst cradling a kitten in his other, looking directly at the stirrups in the insemination room. To this day they have a 100% success rate."

To the chagrin of most of the band, including Till himself, Rammstein is, …

Ich Liebe Rammstein: Richard

Richard Z. Kruspe
Richard Zven Kruspe is Rammstein's founding father, lead guitarist, and natural frontman. He's gregarious, well-spoken in both German and English, a professional showman, and an enthusiastic promoter for the band. In German, his name is pronounced "REE-kard," and in Germanglish, "Reeshard," or "Reesh" for short. Richard is sexy, and he knows it. To many Rammstein fans, he is the cuuuuuuute one. His Facebook page would have you believe it.

Legend has it that Richard has a lovechild with lead singer Till Lindeman. The myth is based in complicated facts and figures, including one unconventional love triangle. Circa 1990, Richard and Till were in a band together (along with future Rammstein rhythm guitarist Paul Landers) with the cheeky name First Arsch. Till, the drummer, was a single father of a little girl at the time, the issue of a short-lived, youthful shotgun wedding--to Richard's current girlfriend. When "Mrs. Lindem…

The Love Howl of the Wolf Mother

"Don't say 'big, bad,'" my three-year-old daughter Nux Gallica tells me when I read her bedtime stories. "Just say 'the wolf.'" When groups of wolves appear on the page (usually in a sinister context), she makes up individual characteristics for them. "This is the mama wolf, this is the sister, and this is the auntie. And this one is thirsty for a drink of water."

I am proud of Nux's wisdom and grateful that she doesn't buy into stereotypes so easily. Because I, myself, am a Wolf Mother. We Wolf Mothers are deeply fulfilled by parenting and strongly engaged with our children, but our passionate immersion in motherhood has the tendency to isolate us from many people who filled our lives in the years BC (Before Child). So I want to send out a howl of love to all those I treasure from a distance while I lie low in the den of early-years motherhood. 

We Wolf Mothers are deeply instinctual. We are dependent on our mates and packs,…