Monday, December 22, 2008

A Christmas Quandary

As I have been working away on my current WiP, PAMR (short for post apocalyptic magic realism--a mouthful, hence the acronym,) I have done a lot of thinking.

First of all, PAMR and Midas, the novel that I am querying are . . . different. Very different. So, a scenario comes to my mind: Renee gets an agent with Midas. Woo hoo!!! Joyous day!! Let's be idealistic and say that Midas is published. Requisite celebrations follow. Then, Renee's agent is like, "Next!" Renee delivers her agent a copy of PAMR. Agent's like, "Uh, no. I don't represent Sci fi. Besides, this is nothing like Midas, your many fans (again, I'm being idealistic) won't want to read this."

Now, obviously I am jumping the gun, but not too badly. I need to make a few choices now. (right?) Here is the thing. I love Midas. I really do. But, I am falling very in love with PAMR. And they are so different, that I worry. Agents talk a lot about finding your brand. And while you can stray a bit once you are an established author, a new author needs to establish themselves a bit in their chosen brand. Not totally jump genres from book one to book two.

The quandary is this. I predict being done with PAMR, and by that I mean ready to send out, by the end of February. So, do I keep sending out Midas queries until PAMR is done? Or do I say, I think PAMR will be stronger, and halt querying Midas right now? Thing is, I'm obviously not sure if PAMR is stronger, since I'm not even done yet, but anyway that's beside the point.

None of this is all that pressing, since I have put a hold on querying Midas for the holidays anyway. But, come January, I might need to make a choice. (right?) *sigh* I guess I am just trying to sort out my thoughts.


Kasie West said...

You know, I have written five (well four and half) books now. And do you want to know which one is my favorite? My WIP. Do you want to know which one has always been my favorite? You guessed it, my WIP. Sometimes I'll tell Candi, what am I supposed to do? I like book 2 better than 1 or 3 better than 2 or whatever the case may be. And she just laughs. The point? I think it's great that you've fallen in love with your WIP. You should always love the one you are working on at the moment. You'll figure out all the finer points when you get an agent. Just write and love what you're writing and because you love it, so will your readers.

Anonymous said...

Stephenie Meyer came to mind as I was reading this. You know she published The Host (an adult Scifi) in the middle of her Twilight series. And there was a bidding war over it, and it was actually my favorite of her books. So, I think you can write in different genres. It worked for her. I think your readers will just need to know before hand that it is different so they don't feel tricked.

Renee Collins said...

Kasie-It's true. And, I recognize that the WiP love is playing a part in that. I guess this really all boils down to: do I keep querying Midas? Is Midas the kind of story I want to start off with? Or is PAMR?

Candice-Cases like that do encourage me, because I find myself thinking up story ideas in either light, fun YA like Midas, or full on sci fi/ fantasy. So, I hope that one day I will be able to write both kinds of stories.

For now though, I think, didn't Stephenie Meyer get away with it because she is Stephenie Meyer?

nova said...

Huh. Quandary indeed! (I find myself thinking of this kind of thing too as well...) I guess it really depends on what you want from your career and what you want people’s first impression to be. Do you want your first *published* book to be MIDAS or PAMR? If you think PAMR might be the direction you’re headed... and that you’ll want to keep on writing books like it... I’d wait before submitting. It’s a short time to wait anyway.

I say I’d wait. Then again, I am so very impatient, so who knows if I’d physically even be able to!

How exciting that you have two very promising books...

Roy Hayward said...

I am commenting on this one with a big grain of salt as I am not a published author...yet... so here goes.

I think you should stick with querying Midas, and plan to query PAMR. No matter what. Until one or the other is picked up and published, you don't have to make a decision. And even then, I don't think that one book will make or break a brand.

However, assuming that you have two books, and the 'weaker' book is published first. Even if the same agent is not interested in the other, you now have some additional credibility to add to your queries. And you have the confidence of knowing that you have something even better to offer that what already made it.

But holding back on one book to see if the other will fly first may leave you with a, "What might have been." feeling if it doesn't take off.

So, IMHO, don't hold back.

Joanne said...

Tough call, but if there's a possibility of securing representation with the first, I'd continue querying, at least on a focused, limited basis. It seems that is the current goal, and once you secure an agent, you can discuss career plans, etc in detail. Good luck, and keep us posted!!

JaneyV said...

I would continue querying with Midas. Even if it is picked up and a deal is struck, the time elapsed between that and the need for Book 2 will be plenty of time to write another of a similar type. You'll be done and dusted with PAMR long before Midas is in print.

My feeling is that you should never write for trends. While it is important to be brand aware, you as writer have to write the book that's in you at that time. Write what you love.

I too thought of Stephanie Meyer when I read this. And also Meg Cabot writes for a range of ages MG- adult - (even if it is the same thing - it's for different markets).

I happen to think that Sci-fi has a huge appeal - particularly if it crosses genres a bit.

Don't get hung up on it. I think that it's a good thing not to box yourself into a category that you might later find too confining. Query Midas, finish PAMR and query that too. By then you'll have an idea of which type of novel you like best and suits you best.

Natalie said...

Simple answer: Pen Names. If your works are very different, there is always that option.

I have stressed over this recently as well, since Ninjas is kind of different from the other books I've written.

But then I shut up my inner worry wart and realized I need to write what I want. It'll all be figured out in time:)

Kiersten said...

Here's my two cents: finish PAMR and send it to me as soon as possible. That's all I really care about.

Wait, not helpful? Sorry. I mean, ummm, keep querying Midas until PAMR is completely polished and then reevaluate ; )

giddymomof6 said...

Hahaha! EVERYONE does this! Just go until you get an agent! That's your first goal. If the first one doesn't work, count your blessings that you were inspired to write your second. Also, I always go on the old standby.. everything happens for a reason! LOL! Also if you ever want another op on any of your books--I'm more than happy to help you.

Renee Collins said...

nova-You bring up an excellent point, which is actually the crux of the whole dilema. What genre do I want present myself in? I'm really not sure.

Also, thanks for visiting my blog. :) Come back anytime.

Roy-Hey, we're all wannabes here, so I appreciate your opinion. :)

I think you are right about the "what might have been" feeling. I would hate that.

Joanne-I think you are right. Midas is receiving pretty decent attention from agents. I probably shouldn't put that aside yet.

Janey-I'd forgotten about the whole time thing. It's a good point. It would be one or two years before the second one came out (provided they were both published of course.)

Also, it makes me happy to hear you say that sci fi is marketable. I sure hope so. :)

Natalie-Pen names . . . interesting. That's definitely a solution I hadn't thought of.
Overall though, you're right. I should probably stop stressing. (especially since I haven't finished PAMR. *sheepish grin*

Kiersten-:) I'm going as fast as I can. Actually, I have been able to carve out some decent time to write. Not great, but respectable.

Jenni-Good logic. I like it. I just need to follow my goals and not get sidetracked by newer ones. :)

jillewheeler said...

I think I'm in the exact same boat. First book (DTY) totally different from my new idea. But I'm just going to go with it. I'll query DTY when I'm finished editing (and have gone through once more after you guys have read it), and if no one picks it up, then I'll query again with Matched.

Have a Write Christmas! :)

Joanne said...

Renee, stopping by to wish you a Merry Christmas. Much peace & happiness at the holiday!