I’m thrilled to share that the revisions I made earlier this year to TANGLED DARKNESS might be propelling me closer to publication. In all honesty, I hadn’t anticipated the domino effect that would result from a professional manuscript edit. The process entailed several thorough read-throughs of the entire story, but it didn’t stop there. Every “query package” I had assembled over the winter required an update.

The term “query package” is a succinct way of referring to all the documents I’ve prepared to respond to various requests from agents and editors. This includes various lengths of manuscript pages, the query letter, my biography, diverse pitches, and so forth. Each of these components underwent a revamp. This time, I approached requests for a marketing plan with a more comprehensive lens. Thankfully, a fellow writer and friend, who has experience in this area, kindly offered me some feedback.

Next on the list are keywords and categories. I hadn’t considered these aspects in previous query attempts as no agent had requested them. However, now that I aim to submit to a small publisher who requires this information, I find myself back in the realm of internet research, YouTube education, and soliciting advice from other writers on how best to “position” a book in the marketplace. Fortunately, I’ve discovered a resource, Publisher Rocket, which I believe will get me over the line, and an affiliate who can offer me a discount on a 30-day trial. The challenge now is to carve out the time to utilize this resource.

On a positive note, I’m delighted to announce that TANGLED DARKNESS has made the long list for the Chanticleer Clue Awards (the suspense-thriller division) and is vying for a spot on the shortlist. I may not have considered entering the contest had it not been for a supportive writer friend. After reading a recent draft and providing some valuable suggestions for improvement, she encouraged me to enter.

I’ve resumed “pitching,” both in-person and online. I recently participated in the #DVpit event. They’ve transitioned from their previous Twitter platform to the new Discord platform and enjoyed a highly successful event. For the first time, I received a “like” from an agent and an editor. I’ll be sending off materials to them shortly.

The Sisters in Crime organization has been an invaluable resource throughout this journey. After attending two of their online conferences this year, I was invited to submit my work. Currently, I have a query pending with an agent at Birch Literary, a full manuscript under consideration with Crooked Lane Books, and another full manuscript being reviewed by an agent at The Seymour Agency.

This is the first time I’ve received requests for full manuscripts, marking some tangible progress. Of course, rejections continue to roll in for queries and submissions that I began one or two months ago. However, in other good news, I’ve dusted off my next project and brought myself up to speed on where I left off a few months ago. Therefore, I’m adhering to the advice universally offered by every resource along the way: No matter what happens, just keep writing.


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