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Writing a novel isn’t easy, and once you’re done, you find yourself up against another challenge; querying. The act of sending your manuscript to an agent or publisher in the hope of representation is far from simple. However, there is a lot of information out there that can help, including these common query queries answered below.
Which agent is right for me?
Reaching the monumental moment when you feel ready to send your manuscript to a literary agent is huge! Likely, it’s taken you a great deal of time, determination and emotion to reach this point. As such, it can be tempting to fire your work out to as many agents as you can, but truth is, you need to take some time to research agents first. While most literary agents have a very eclectic taste in books, they usually have a more refined idea of the types of story they want to sell. There is no use sending a thriller to an agent only looking to publish romance.
Tell us a little about yourself.
Like a cake, I am made of several ingredients, including chocolate and stories. On one hand, chocolate is a delicious and comforting ingredient, and on the other hand, it’s a raw, beautiful and artistic material. All these features inspire me in many ways. Regarding stories, I’m fond of both reading and writing. I love to discover fictional words and their fascinating characters, as well as creating my own ones.
What is Verse Atlas?
Verse Atlas is a digital zine in the form of a map that showcases poetry and art from around the world. The only criteria is that the work must be about a physical place, and is then pinned to that location on the map. The connection to place that can be fairly loose. It could be a place you miss. It could be a place where you were just inspired by the landscape. It could be a place you hated. Whenever I have had an intense experience related to place, I have often wondered what other people have had an strong reaction to that place, and thought it would be really interesting to see those responses along-side each other. I have had the idea of a map that is devoted specifically to art and to poetry for a long time and the only reason it doesn’t include other art forms is because poetry and art traditionally have a connection with landscape, and are more succinct; they can really wrap up that feeling a bit more tightly than prose or video.
The learning curve for a writer who aspires to become a successfully published author is both steep, and well-trodden by those of us in the writing community. The burst of enthusiasm from an initial idea, blossoming into characters who come to life in our imaginations, and worlds that open up before us, is the gateway drug that carries us inexorably forward - until we hit that first stumbling block. For some of us, it is the realisation that the muse alone will not carry us through to the finish; writing is a hard mistress, demanding the sacrifice of time and other easier pursuits. For others, passion for the story itself fades: the ideas and the characters not strong enough to hold our own attention, dooming them in any attempt to beguile others. For many of us, however, the answer is more straightforward: we have simply lost the plot.
The first time I was introduced to stories about the Witte Wieven I was eleven years old. I remember watching a street performance of a group of women who were dancing in medieval dresses while golden ribbons tied to their wrists flew around them. My aunt was standing next to me. She’s always eager to tell you more about the history of a gargoyle on one of those buildings which you pass every day but never really notice the details of. She knows many Flemish, Dutch and French folktales and this was her chance to tell me about the Witte Wieven. According to her they are the spirits of wise women who appear as mist above fields or hills. My eleven-year-old self would have forgotten all about this the moment we passed by an ice-cream shop, but there was something special about that moment. The image of women who flew through the air as mist was one that bewitched me.
This is the thing that stories and planes have in common: They allow you to escape to faraway lands, and live exciting adventures... I am not talking about modern aviation however, although mass travel did, in the words of Harrison Ford, effectively give us portals that can teleport us to every corner of the globe in a matter of hours. No, I am looking back to the early days, to when aviation was in its silver age, an age of pioneers, an age where planes were still organic machines, made of wood, fabric... and a bit of magic. Writers like Kessel and Saint Exupéry told the tales of these intrepid pilots who opened routes where no one had flown before, crossing perilous oceans and mountain ranges, challenging darkness by flying at night.
If you are confused by the term ‘magic realism’, you’re not alone. The wide variety of novels and short stories all claiming to be magic realism can be bewildering, ranging as they do across romance, family saga, historical fiction, fantasy, science fiction, surrealist, fabulist, slipstream, absurdist and weird fiction.
How can this be?
I’m a writer and I love telling stories, so it was a wonderful experience to write my Verindon trilogy. The three books in the trilogy—The Heir, The Crown and The Reign—were released in 2013 and 2014. It was a delight in May 2020 when I was able to add a new novel to my world—The Verindon Alliance.
But since I became a published author, it’s interesting the different hats I’ve had to wear. For example, I had to learn how to be a marketer, salesperson, spruiker, and performer. I’ve had to learn to talk to different crowds and gatherings at different places. And it’s been fine—I love performing. That’s one of the reasons I like to tell stories.
June 2, 2020.
I posted a black square on Instagram and found this article to explain the significance : https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/06/02/blackout-tuesday-people-posting-black-squares-instagram/
The article describes the originators of taking a pause in the music industry here: https://www.theshowmustbepaused.com/