Monday, March 28, 2011

Finishing Up Another Round of Edits

I know I’m nuts. I’m editing my novel The Last Cabin again. The good news is that I’m almost finished after weeks of work, and it’s all thanks to the feedback I received from all of you. 

I’ve gotten so much fantastic encouragement and critiques from writers and readers alike. As a result I couldn’t wait to put all that good advice into practice and further improve my novel. Everything from form to content to verbs to adjectives to spelling to you-name-it has really been tightened up in my manuscript and all for the better I’m glad to report. 

In addition, I’m polishing up my query letters and hope to start fishing around with agents in the next month or so. With a little luck and all the superb insights I’ve received from all of you, who knows…things actually look somewhat promising.  Thanks again! 

Monday, March 21, 2011

Prepping a Query

I’m going through the throws of prepping my basic query for my novel The Last Cabin, which I’ll eventually send out to agents. Of course, I prefer to tailor each query specifically to each individual, but having a basic template to work from helps. I’ve made queries before, as I’m sure plenty of my fellow writers have, but it always seems more of a chore than I’d like it to be. 

In one of the “how to write a query” books I’ve perused it suggested I have a paragraph that succinctly describes the actual context of the book in a few sentences. It also suggested that I compare my novel to other, similar novels, but without being pretentious. Below, I’ve created a sort of first draft of that portion of my query and am hoping to improve it so that it actually grabs the agent’s attention, i.e. like the cover flap of a book might grab a reader’s attention in a bookstore. Let me know what you think.

When the French and Indian War sweeps through their frontier settlement, brother and sister Joshua and Sarah Roebuck find themselves isolated in the wilderness without parents and burdened with seven children to look after. Cut off from civilization, they must survive deep in the Blue Ridge Mountains. All the while a lustful French officer and a war-party of Indians scour the Southern backwoods searching for the Roebuck family living in the last cabin left on the Virginia frontier.

A historical novel set in Colonial America, The Last Cabin will appeal to readers of James Alexander Thom's Follow the River and Walter Edmonds’ Drums Along the Mohawk.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Erin Go Bragh!!!

Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone! Today begins the celebration of everything Irish and to give you some extra Irishness in your day I decided I'd provide a few useful Gaelic phrases for you whilst enjoying your potatoes and Guinness this week. If you drop a few of these classic Irish sayings this weekend you're sure to win some new Irish friends.

Cead mile failte – pronounced que-meal-eh-fal-cha and roughly translates as literally “a hundred thousand welcomes.”

Faugh an Beallach – pronounced fa-ah-ballah, it's a traditional battle-cry that means “clear the way,” but the Irish may also use it jokingly in everything from sports to drinking parties.

Erin Go Bragh – means “Ireland forever” and is a typical Irish exclamation as well as an appropriate St. Patty's Day greeting.

So with that, you're now properly equipped to savory your corned beef and cabbage with friends and family alike, and who might just become a little more Irish yourself.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Feedback So Far…

Thanks to all of you who’ve given me feedback so far on my colonial novel, The Last Cabin. Your insights and suggestions have proven most useful. In addition, everyone’s attention to detail as well as their earnest feedback has been most appreciated. 

I’m glad that everyone so far seems to have enjoyed the chapter and I’ve received some great praise from each of you. I loved seeing how certain parts or characters seemed to elicit similar responses from readers all across the board. I’ve also gotten some fantastic suggestions regarding ways to improve and ever-sharpen my manuscript to make it the best it possibly can be. 

For those of you still reviewing my first chapter, I very much appreciate it and will eagerly await your feedback as well. The way I see it, the more reviews I can get from all of you the better the novel will be. I’ll keep you all updated as I’m now reviewing the other fourteen chapters with a new critical eye based on the comments I got from all of you in my first chapter. Thanks again to all of you for your time and your inspirational  thoughts!