Friday, May 18, 2012

Doing the Happy Dance

I took an unplanned break from blogging the past few weeks because I got wrapped up in working on revising and editing my novel Polar Night. This week, thanks in huge part to my trusted editing partner, I actually finished the final draft! So, like the kitty pictured above, I've been doing the happy dance in spite of my extremely limited dancing skills. It feels so good to be able to call my novel a finished manuscript instead of a work in progress!

I've now started dipping my toes into the query letter waters and trying to learn everything I can about the whole process. All I can say to that is yikes! I knew this would be intimidating, but it's starting to feel like writing a good query letter is going to be significantly harder than writing the novel itself. Each time I've started a letter I haven't made it past the first few lines before I just delete the whole thing and send it to the recycle bin.

But, I'm going to just take a deep breath and keep working on it, and I know eventually I'll have a letter I feel is ready to send out. I hope so, anyway!

I've also been catching up on some great books this month after being too swamped in April to do much reading at all. I just wanted to give a shout-out to three fantastic books I discovered because of the A-Z Challenge.

One of the best things about blogging to me has been the opportunity to meet so many excellent writers I might not have discovered otherwise. I've been making great use of my Kindle because of them! If you haven't already checked out these three books, I highly recommend them.

Losing Beauty by Johanna Garth

Johanna blogs at Losing Sanity, and her book is an intriguing and modern take on Greek mythology. This is Johanna's debut novel and I will be looking forward to more from her!

Provex City by Michael Pierce

Provex City is the first novel in Michael's Lorne Family Vault Series and I'm already anxious to read more of the series. The artwork alone is fantastic! Michael has a great blog at Michael Pierce Books.

Ripper, My Love by Glynis Smy

I first discovered Glynis' blog last year sometime, but it was one I unintentionally lost track of until finding it again during last month's challenge. I'm so glad I did, because I learned of Ripper, My Love as a result. A blend of historical fiction and suspense, set in Jack the Ripper's Whitechapel? That's a can't miss as far as I'm concerned. :D

Huge kudos to all of these great writers! I'm inspired by their journeys and I hope to someday be joining them in the publishing world now that I have my first novel under my belt.

I'm looking forward to catching up with my blog reading while I continue to do my happy dancing over the weekend.

Happy Friday to all, and I hope everyone has a great weekend ahead. :)


  1. Julie, I can understand the break. and Congrats on getting the MS to the final draft.

    I'm taking a few days off next weekend.

    I have Johanna's book in my TBR pile. Haven't had a chance to look at the others yet.


  2. Oh, I hate the query letter. Hates it, precious. Good luck with that. It will eventually get written to your satisfaction, though you may experience some hair loss in the process. :P

    And all of those books sound really good to me. Thanks for sharing those.

  3. That's so exciting! Congratulations! Joanna's book looks really interesting.

  4. I know all three of those authors!
    Congratulations on a finished product. Yeah, the query letter is daunting.

  5. Woo HOO!!! CONGRATULATIONS! The query is daunting, but not nearly as bad as the darned synopses. I find writing them more difficult than writing a book.

    Good luck!!! And thanks for the recommendations. I'm beginning to believe I'm gonna live forever. I've GOTTA, if I'm ever gonna finish all these must-read books.

  6. Congratulations on finishing! You absolutely should be dancing to celebrate :)

  7. Congrats on finishing your manuscript! Yay!

  8. 'it's starting to feel like writing a good query letter is going to be significantly harder than writing the novel itself.'

    It really is two different kinds of writing and I have always found writing a query letter to be an emotionally tough exercise!

    Congratulations on finishing your draft -- it is definitely cause for dancing! Julie, I appreciate your words of encouragement over at my blog, this morning and, whole heart, I send them back!

  9. Congrats, Julie! Best of luck going forward!

  10. @Sia, thank you! I hope you enjoy your break.

    @LG, LOL, I can already visualize the hair loss. Along with panic attacks and various other maladies!

    @Tonja, thank you! Johanna's book is awesome.

    @Alex, thanks so much, I appreciate it!

    @Susan, LOL, I so know what you mean. My TBR list is definitely getting ridiculous. Thanks so much for the congrats!!

    @ejw, thank you! I'm just glad no one can see me dancing LOL.

    @Cherie, thanks!!

    @Suze, oh, you're so welcome, and thank you in return! And, emotionally tough is a great way to describe this process.

    @EJ, thank you!

  11. Yay! That is so incredibly awesome! I love that feeling. Hope to have it myself sometime this year with my WIP. Querying is definitely the hardest thing you're going to do in this process. My advice is to write everything that is in your head out on paper and THEN cut it down. Once you've got everything on paper, it's easier to pick and choose what will work best in a query letter and also it removes the stress of trying to keep it brief whilst writing it. And hey, if you need any help, I'm happy to help in any way that I can. My email address is! Happy happy!

  12. Congratulations on the book and WOW, you're reading my book. I'm glad you're enjoying it!!

  13. Congrats, Julie! Completing the final draft is a major milestone that inspires me. I'm almost there. And thank you for your lovely comments about Remy. Without knowing it, you have me a little nudge I needed.

    I bought Ripper earlier in the week but am saving what I think will be a great read for next week. We're going to New England to visit hub's home turf, then play tourist for a day and night at a getaway.

  14. @Lisa, oh thanks so much for the advice and for your email, that's so nice of you. I really appreciate it!

    @Johanna, your book was great! Thanks!

    @Kittie, I'm so glad if I gave you a nudge, that's fantastic! Thank you for the congrats, and I hope you and your hubby have a fantastic trip. I have family in New England and love it there.

  15. I think everyone needs to take a break now and then. Nice to see you back and thank you for the recommendations. The Ripper one interests me too. :)

  16. @Christine, thanks, it's nice to be back. I hope you enjoy the Ripper book if you ending up reading it. :)

  17. Oh my!!! Congratulations on finishing - you must be thrilled, delighted, so excited! A huge accomplishment. I think queries can be difficult because you really need to hone them - I worked on one today for a magazine article pitch. I've been thinking about a blog break too and may just take the whole summer off. I need to write my sequel!!! So glad I was able to pop by for this wonderful news.

  18. Congrats on the draft! That's great. I love reading your blog and don't get here often enough. I have given you an award and you may pick it up here
    Hope you have a wonderful day! :)

  19. Yay on finishing a MS! Woot! That does feel amazing. is great for researching, etc ... Query letters for novels are an art unto themselves. There are several bloggers who offer help.

  20. Well done on getting the draft finished :) I have no idea what a query letter is, but hope you manage to get it done!! x

  21. Congrats on now being the proud author of a manuscript!

  22. Congrats on reaching that final draft status. Have a great weekend!

  23. Julie, Much congrats to you! I love the feeling of finishing a final draft.
    This is the second post today I've seen for Ripper, My Love. I hear it's a good read.

  24. I know that guy! haha. Thanks for the shout's still such a new and exciting thing for me to see my book on someone else's blog. :) Congrats on the finished manuscript! I'm so thrilled for you. M Pax mentioned Querytracker, and I'll second that. It's a great resource. I also followed the QueryShark blog religiously for awhile.

  25. Hi Julie - congratulations on getting to the query stage .. good luck now.

    Delighted to read about two authors I hadn't heard about and then Glynis' book - does sound fascinating ..

    Have fun and so pleased you're progressing .. that's excellent - cheers Hilary

  26. Good work, Julie! :)

    I always find the query and the synopsis harder to write than the ms. But hang in there! There's a ton of resources. You're not alone. :)

  27. @Melissa, thank you! Oh, I can imagine you need a blog break between your traveling adventures and your sequel. I know I will be looking forward to reading that when it is ready!

    @Julie, oh, thanks so much, I will be by to get that, thank you!

    @Mary, thanks for that link, I think I remember hearing about querytracker but it's all blurring together! I will check that out, thanks!

    @Carolyn, LOL, I hope so too, thank you!

    @Gwen, thanks! It's fun to read that LOL.

    @Janel, thank you, I hope you have a great weekend too. :)

    @Michael, LOL, you're welcome, and thank you too! Thanks for the recommendations, I didn't know about Query Shark and will check that out.

    @Hilary, thank you! Cheers to you as well. :)

    @Madeline, I'm glad I'm not the only one, it really is so much harder than I expected. Thanks so much!

  28. Congrats on the finished manuscript. It's a wonderful feeling, isn't it?

    I agree that query letters can be daunting but it's the dreaded synopsis I hate. They give me nightmares. Really, they do. :)

  29. @Shirley, thank you! It is definitely a great feeling. LOL, I think I will be having nightmares about the synopsis too, no doubt.

  30. Congrats on finishing your first draft! It's always such an amazing feeling. :-)

  31. @Misha, thank you, I'm excited about it! :)

  32. Congratulations! How exciting! Good luck with querying.

  33. @Shannon, thank you, I really appreciate it, thanks!

  34. Well done! I love a good dancing cat too.

  35. @Annalisa, thanks! I love the kitty. :D

  36. Congrats on finishing, Julie. I have seen the last title around a few times. Sounds like a good read.

  37. @JL, thanks! The Ripper really is great, Glynis is such a wonderful writer.


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