I never remember a flu like the one that hit our home two weeks ago. However, I did manage to crawl out of my house and attending the networking meeting in Connecticut. It was well attending knowing how difficult it is to get people together these days. The organizer saw a real need in the community for such a gathering. I ended up with three contacts. Two of which have agreed to be Critique Partners. This is untrodden soil for me and I look forward to the experience. Neither partner writes in my genre and my horizons will be broadened by reading theirs. So far, I have only heard from one and I sent my MS along. Places You Will Be From is currently out on query with no responses since the end of October. I’m hoping to find out what might be a good reason for this poor book not to rise to the surface.
I have several appearances planned for the next months, book club reviews and signings, a trade show (just because), an Author Fair and US launch of The Summer Palace. Since the book is still listed as ‘temporarily out of stock’ I have been using my personal inventory and plan to replenish it when Amazon.com kicks in.
Another excerpt from The Summer Palace:
As they pulled into the entrance of the Summer Palace they noted two carriages. The first one belonged to her Tsyotsya Ludmilla immediately recognizable by the Baron’s insignia on the door, but the other was not familiar and had no distinguishing marks. Moments later, after discussing who could possibly be the owner of the second carriage, a young man and an older gentleman came out of the Manor House and climbed inside.
Katia waited with Mitia until the two gentlemen were gone from the estate. Recognition slowly dawning in her mind.
Katia turned to Mitia and said, “That was the arrogant boy from the Inn on the day of Annushka’s wedding. Whatever was he doing here?”
She pushed herself back against the cushioned seat her hands palmed against the upholstery. When she finally moved to exit the carriage, Mitia stopped her placing his hand on her arm. She was surprised by the gesture.
“Don’t worry, Katia, for it’s not as it seems,” he said.
She was grateful for the calming effect his voice had on her and his touch served to remind her of her duty to him in the way of a proper goodbye.
“Of course, Dimitry Vasilovich… Mitia, you’re right,” she said, “I’ll reserve judgment until I get the full story. Goodbye and I thank you for your kindness. I hope you know how much this day meant to me.”
He gently kissed both her cheeks. She watched him leave and she put up her hand. He parted the curtain and waved back.
I have been overwhelmed by some of the positive feedback from readers who posted on facebook or text. I ask all happy readers to post reviews on Amazon. It has been a giant inhale since my book was published because I did what was not expected. I had no beta readers, writer’s club advice, or Critique Partners to field my MS. My sister is the only one who truly read the novel before it was printed.
As I go along on this journey I find support groups and other sounding boards to bounce ideas off, but I had no idea they existed before my recent endeavors to market my book. The meeting I referred to earlier, had several reps from writing groups looking for ideas to improve their process, make connections for speakers, and present samples of what has been written.
Honestly, if I was aware of such critique groups I may not have forged on as I did. The query at the agent level I thought was the first critical review. I wrote veraciously for two years, stopped along the way to send out a few ‘Q’s’, and listened to the criticism. By the time the fourth book was written I was ready to try again and found success.