Perspective & Cereal Prizes

Still working on getting my novel WE, THE WATCHED in the hands of literary agents. I’ve had two bites on my query letter so far. One of them asked me to physically mail the first 75 pages of my manuscript. It’s in their hands now, but I’m not expecting a reply for another few weeks. It’s kind of like mailing box tops to Kellogg’s cereal to get a prize — most agents take 6-8 weeks to get back to you.

The second bite, if you were wondering, didn’t work out. The agent asked to read the first two chapters, but a few weeks later e-mailed me to say he wasn’t enthusiastic about the first-person narrative. Even though it hurts to get a rejection, I was glad to get some constructive criticism. If you haven’t taken a look at it already, my book is written in first-person present tense. That’s not exactly the most traditional style, especially for a first novel. I liked how it turned out, and peers have told me they did as well, but I can see how it might be a bit polarizing at first.

As it turns out, I’m going with a more traditional third-person past tense in the new novel I’m working on. One of the things I want to do as an author is explore a variety of different narrative styles. I actually have quite a bit of fun figuring out how best to convey plot within different writing structures. While first-person present was a great way to explore what the protagonist was thinking, the third-person style has allowed me to incorporate other characters’ perspectives and jump around a little more in the story’s time line.

The Business of Writing

So I’ve decided to make a renewed effort at publishing my novel WE, THE WATCHED.

I bought the most recent edition of Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market, and have compiled a list of about 62 literary agents (yes, 62) who I think might be right for my novel. I’ve already e-mailed query letters to about 10.  Since yesterday, six have replied and one asked me today to send the first couple chapters of my novel!

The fact that five agents said no in one day, after reading only a query letter, should give you a sense of how competitive the market is. Check out this response from one agent who I’ll leave anonymous:

I’ve begun receiving more than 30 submissions a day and, as a single agent with no assistants, I simply can not get to them all.

Given my present workload, I must wish you well with another agent.

30 submissions a day? That’s like 900 a month! Good luck with that, guy.

The usual process for submitting a novel, if you were wondering, is as follows.

  1. Send a one-page query letter including a short summary of the work, why people would pay for it, and a bio.
  2. Wait. Hope.
  3. If agent expresses interest, send a synopsis and part of the manuscript — usually the first 5-50 pages, depending on agent’s workload
  4. Wait. Hope.
  5. If they still like your novel, send the full manuscript
  6. Wait. Hope.

So far I’ve gotten to step 3 two times. The first time ended in rejection, the second…is currently pending. The important thing is to keep trying. And if it doesn’t work out, write something else and try again. That’s my plan, anyway.

Are You Watched?

book_cover_22_largeFor those of you who don’t know, I wrote a novel. You can’t find it at Borders, but it is free to download on this newfangled thing they call the “Information Super Highway.”

I released all 22 chapters on a weekly basis last year as individual PDF files. Today, I’m happy to announce the complete novel is now available in a single, easy-to-read file! If you haven’t read the book already, or want to read it again, please check it out.  Please feel free to print the file, or share the PDF with friends and family.

A quick synopsis:

This modern Orwellian tale imagines a nation in which the people have come to accept government privacy intrusions and forced uniformity as necessary for keeping the homeland strong. Opposition is heresy—and punishable by death. Seven, a 20-something male, wakes up without memory or the learned self-compromise that comes with it. He makes strides toward getting his life back together, but the fresh perspective granted by his rebirth soon proves to be more a curse than a gift.

For more details, please visit WeTheWatched.com.
Click here for a direct link to the complete PDF.

Oh, and yes, I’m already hard at work on a followup novel.

Time Flies

Whoa, is it March already? That happened fast!

Reporting on telecom has kept me moderately busy lately. I’m getting more involved now in the broadband aspects of the economic stimulus, aka the American Recovery Act. In case you didn’t know, the U.S. government dedicated $7.2 billion to spur broadband deployment across the country. The U.S. is a pretty wired country in urban areas, but we’ve got a ways to go in the rural areas, where there’s less population and trickier geography. It will be interesting to see how successful this new grants and loans program will be.

Meanwhile, I’ve been making some solid progress on my latest creative endeavor. Yes, it’s a novel. If you liked We, The Watched,  or at least liked the story concept, you’ll probably dig this. Not even a quarter way through writing, but I’m already proud of it. More details to come.

By the way, if you’re looking for some new music, check out Glasvegas. They’re from Scotland, and put out a fantastic debut CD earlier this year. I’d describe their sound as somewhere in between The Raveonettes and U2 (“Sunday Bloody Sunday” era). I’m planning to see them live in DC at the Black Cat later this month.

The New Faded Wave

Hey everyone. Welcome to the newly redesigned Faded Wave. The new look is all about accessibility, and as such, I’ve streamlined quite a bit. I hope you like the new look, and I appreciate any and all  feedback you might have. Just leave me a comment on this fancy new blog!

If I haven’t made it clear enough already, I’ve written a novel. It’s called We, The Watched, and you can download all 22 chapters of it for free at WeAreWatched.com. It’s been in the works for a long time, and I encourage you to register on the official Underground forum over there and leave me a review.

Work at Communications Daily has kept me quite busy lately, but I am finding time here and there to work on my next big fiction project. I’m not ready to give details on what that is yet, because it’s still in the early going. But I’m excited with what I have so far, and can’t wait to show it to you all.

Talk to you soon,

Adam