As I said in a previous post, I didn’t set out to write Altered. I wasn’t even aware I was writing it until it was halfway done. I think the story was partially inspired by Jason Bourne, because I love that movie, and that boy, something fierce. And I wanted to tell the story from the girl’s perspective. What if you knew someone like Jason Bourne? No memories, but a total badass? And what if you loved that boy so much you’d do anything for him?
Much of Altered’s conflict came after the characters. I wasn’t really sure for most of the book what I was doing, but that IS how I work. I just wing it! Thankfully, that’s what revisions are for---cleaning up the wing.
The first draft was finished in about six or seven weeks, and then I spent the next month revising using feedback from critiques.
And this is where the fun stuff begins.
I posted the Altered query letter on Verla Kay’s message board hoping for some feedback. And what I got was much better. I use two different emails, one for family and writer friends and one for submissions. I received an email in my unofficial inbox with the subject ALTERED from a name I didn’t immediately recognize.
The email was from an agent who saw my query letter on the blueboard and was interested in taking a peek at the beginning pages. To say that I hyperventilated would be an inadequate description of what really happened.
It was more like I flailed and grinned and eeked and messed up a lot of work at the day job because I couldn’t focus.
An agent contacted me!! It’s supposed to be the other way around!
I rewrote the first chapter that day. And I’m so glad I did.
After sending the requested material to that agent, I knew it was time to start the submission process. I’d been sitting on Altered for what seemed like forever (but was more like a week or so) afraid to send it into the world. Afraid that it wasn’t The One. That it would fail like every other book I’d written and submitted.
But it didn’t.
I sent out nine queries over the next few days. I got three partial requests and two full requests. All three partials turned into fulls. I received two rejections and immediately sent out two more queries. One of those turned into a full.
By the end of that same week, Joanna had offered representation. Almost immediately I felt like she was the perfect agent for me and I was right. :)
To be continued!