If I Only Had An...Agent

Hi friends!

Sorry I've been M.I.A. for the last week; I just started school again for the Spring semester and I'm taking two graduate level classes now instead of the usual one. One of them is Non-Western Literature (i.e. let's-see-how-many-novels-we-can-fit-into-one-class) and the other is Clue: Detective Fiction (so much fun...and lots more reading!), and they have been keeping my schedule slammed. I have a novel to read before Friday and I haven't even started it yet. I'm still working on Doyle's Silver Blaze and a ton of e-readings. I hope to have two posts on BlackBoard by tonight so I can focus on my 1,000 word essay that's due by Sunday. Whew!

Still, I have to admit that I'm enjoying my classes and I only have 6 more to go before I graduate with a M.A. in Liberal Studies. Then it's on to the Ph. D.! Dr. Nunnery has a nice ring to it, yes?

One a side note: here's a little something I am super excited about sharing with y'all. I won a copy of a debut novel from the Chick Lit Plus Reading Challenge! After I posted my first review on Life After Yes, I was picked to be one of two winners for the month of January! I never win anything, so you can imagine how surprised I was when Samantha from Chick Lit Plus emailed me about the contest. Yes, it's only a book, but that's one less book I have to buy this year =).

Now, let's get down to brass tacks (I love that saying, don't you?).

By Sunday evening, 12 a.m. EST, I will have finished the edits on my novel and my query letters will be ready to go out on Monday afternoon. This is my deadline. I know I'm crazy because I have so many other assignments due (not to mention a weekend with my neices and then small group and church on Sunday evening), but it has to be done. I have to get this book off my computer before I start to hate it. I love it now, and I would like to keep it that way, thanks. It's been almost 6 months since I finished writing it, for goodness sakes! It's really a shame it wasn't out in December. Plus, I'm not getting any younger. I'm only 25, but I'm seeing some changes, particularly in the creases around the corners of my mouth and the tiny little lines that have been appearing on my forehead. Imagine what I would look like if I hadn't been wearing sunscreen every day since I turned 18 (no, don't).

Okay, now I'm getting off topic. Where was I?

Queries and publishing. Oh, yes.

As I was saying, time is going by quickly. I've written three books in as many years and not one of them has since been published. The Mayfield book printing has been postponed (it will happen, though; it's business and such), so I'm trying not to feel bitter about the fact that it's not on my shelf yet. And as for my novel...I have to honestly say that I am beyond amazed at what God has given to me. I read through some chapters and, yes, I do critique myself to the -nth degree, but I love what I see on those pages. I think of my little sister, and my mother, and my father, and all that my family has endured, and I can't imagine my life without their presence. God has created unimaginable blessings from mistakes that have been made, and that is what I want people to see in my novel. I want them to know that we are equipped to do extraordinary things with the strength of our King, and everything in this world pales in comparison to His truth; however, it's not a "Christian" novel, per se (I don't think Bethany House would want to publish a novel that drops the f-bomb a couple of times). I don't like when people assume that because something showcases elements of the Gospel or evidence of faith, it must somehow be limited to a specific audience and placed in a box (a box that will be labeled "Christian Fiction" and sent to Borders to be placed on a shelf in the Religion section). Billions of people profess their faith in Christ because He appeals to the World. He came for us here in order to die for us so that we might have life in heaven with Him. As such, I believe that anything I create is an extension of Jesus' Spirit within me, so that I might further His kingdom and give Him the glory of my successes. Our walk with God should be the biggest part of who we are. It should not be something that others see only on Sundays, or when we purchase a book from that tiny corner shelf in the local bookstore.

But didn't I just say that my novel has a bit of colorful language in it? Yup, sure did. And it does because our world is not pretty sometimes, and this language is real and true to its characters, even if it is sinful. We are sinful. We are fighting against our very flesh every day, and my novel, while not mystical in any sense of the word (it's women's fiction, just in case you were wondering), is certainly filled with elements of spirituality and rooted in something that is much bigger than our own world, or even our own hearts.

My hope is that any agent who reads my query and, as a result, requests to see the manuscript will understand what I'm trying to say. Every agent blog I've read has told me not to sign with someone who doesn't. And so I'll wait on the right one, no matter how long it takes!


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