Our heroes, who I will tell you about if you ask, but you have to ask, and also
be a literary agent.
I love twitter, twitter has been extremely helpful in the process of submitting my book to agents, twitter is to literary agents what MySpace was to bands, what facebook is to theatre makers, it's concise and most of the agents there will respond to questions when asked.
It's a strange time in publishing, perhaps as strange as looking for a record deal or getting people to see a play, all of these art forms are said to be threatened right now, by what? By the same media that the artists use to promote their work? By large televisions or just the economy itself.
Everywhere I go I see people reading, I'm not worried about that, I'm more concerned with an agent missing an opportunity to find out about this wonderful world that I have created.
I asked one agent on twitter if she ever went to the author's website or blog, and she replied, (thank you @literaricat) that she did if she was interested enough in the writer's work. I found this to be encouraging, I'm sure any agent who gets this far (to the blog) would probably be impressed by the volume of models and drawings and thoughts that I've posted here as I've worked on the books, yes books, the first story arc is four books long, it's just a matter of waiting for the right agent, the one who does follow the links to this spot.
Most agencies ask for a ten page sample of your work and then tell you they aren't "a good fit". I do think I have a few things stacked against me with this series and they are the following
1) I have not been previously published anywhere except a book of poetry a long while ago, I have had plays produced in Canada but my primary focus over the past ten years has been my career as a painter/illustrator (all of which can be seen at the madcraftshoppe blog, see links) so I am untested in their eyes, I think that alone is a turn off for most agents.
2) My main character lives on a farm - this only occurred to me recently- Oliver is not an orphan, he comes from a large tight family, they aren't poor and is there any market out there for a kid who lives on a farm, I think the word "farm" itself is a turn off for some agents. But Oliver is more special than you think, Oliver is small and Oliver listens, he discovers things by the sheer act of listening, Oliver makes friends and the most important part of these books is the network of friends that Oliver builds just by being himself. He unravels a huge mystery, one that exposes secrets that effect the entire State just by listening and having friends, of course he gets into incredibly dangerous and unique situations along the way, but the root of the character is his character. The character that comes from being raised on a farm by a strong and loving family, he navigates the risks and challenges that come his way on his own, but it is the heart of the character that solves the riddles and problems.
3)Eaglet is a princess, in the query I call her a "headstrong Indian princess" and saying that she's a princess implies she lives in a castle with a retinue etc. She does not, she is a warrior princess and comes from very different circumstances, but the word has too many associations, but it's the right word to describe her station.
4) The world is unique, Any How Town is a genre that I call "Farm Punk", it's not Steam Punk, it's completely different, it's a place where two legged running machines are raced for entertainment, where giant dogs walk alongside their masters, where every citizen is or has been a soldier. I don't want to give too much away but I guarantee you there is no place like Any How Town, but since the world unfolds over four books it takes time to explain these things, longer than a ten page excerpt can explain.
Those are my thoughts on some of the challenges that I have.
back to the work,