Back to School, Back to Writing!

After a very eventful summer, my highly-energetic five and seven year old kids are back in schoolKindergarten and second grade (Sigh!)so now I have plenty of time to focus on my writing. No excuses! Its not that I didnt spend time on writing over the summer, but I didnt have the large chunks of undisturbed time that I craved. (See the part about my highly-energetic kids.)

In June, I sent my YA manuscript off for a professional critique by Kelly Hashaway. It was money well-spent! She gave me so many great ideas, insights, and areas to cut/expand. Lets just say, after receiving her critique I had my work cut out for me. Using her comments as a road map, I spent every minute of my (very limited) free time revising my manuscript. The revision process took two solid months. After giving my manuscript to several friends and relatives to read and making a few more changes based on their comments and suggestions, I believe I have the closest thing to a polished manuscript that I can write.

Heres a sneak peek.

Title: Trail of Secrets

The Query Meat:

“It’s scary because it’s true.” Brynlei warms her hands inside the sleeves of her sweatshirt as she listens to the ghost story around the bonfire. The glossy pages of the Foxwoode Riding Academy brochure hadn’t mentioned anything about the girl who vanished on a trail ride four years earlier. But while the other girls laugh over the story of the dead girl who haunts Foxwoode, Brynlei begins to notice signs that the girl—or her ghost—may be lurking in the shadows. Brynlei’s quest to reveal the truth interferes with her plan to keep her head down and win Foxwoode’s coveted “Top Rider” award. Someone soon discovers Brynlei’s search for answers and will go to any length to stop her. When Brynlei finally uncovers the facts surrounding the missing girl’s disappearance, she realizes the world is not as black and white as she once believed. Now she must choose whether to protect a valuable secret or save a life.

So, there it is. Now what do I do? Ive started researching agents and publishers that would be good matches for my book. Ive written a hook, identified several comparable titles, and written both a short and long synopsis of my book. Ive drafted query letters and begun the process of sending them out. To be completely honest, Ive already received a few rejections. But thats part of the deal, right? Now its time to grow some thick skin, buckle down, and focus on finding the perfect home for my book. I know it will be a big project involving waiting, never hearing back, and rejections. I only need one YES, and thats what Im working for.

Are you refocusing on your writing this fall? Are you in the process of submitting your manuscript? Tell me about it. Lets cheer each other on!