Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Knowing the Market and Writing Something New

While querying MOON DAUGHTER RISING to around 20 agents, I noticed a need for middle grade boys books. At first I was quite irritated, since my completed work is geared more for girls ages 8-10.  I am sure that eventually I will find an agent for Annalee's quest, but I thought to myself I am not trying to sell a boys middle grade novel, but maybe I should be.

This idea stewed and stewed for a few days.  Granted, I was and still am on a mini-vacation tucked away in the Idaho hills hanging out with the in-laws as my husband plays hunter during venison and elk season, so much so that getting online to submit queries is a feat in itself. But whenever I spend time with my other family, as I call them, they make me laugh because I hear all kinds of stories about my husband and his brother when they were kids.

These stories quite entertain. I had a bit of a topsy-turvy childhood, full of divorce and job chasing parents complete with constant relocation, and my sisters and I weren't nearly as close as my husband and brother-in-law.

Then two nights ago, I saw a trend in fairy tales being modernized and resold. Brilliance struck. Why not take the stories I laugh over and translate them into a modern take on Tom Sawyer?  I am not claiming to be a modern Mark Twain, but with some ingenuity, and my families permission, I think it could be a best seller. As soon as they said yes, I got to work.  A general outline, character list and 2,400 words written already, and I think I am on to something.

Here's a little blurb bit for my faithful readers!

The spring evenings were growing longer. It was not dark, yet, and neither of our parents had made it home from work. I came out the front door, bucket in hand, and turned to the weed trail we had pressed all the way to the shed and the box Dad had built as a compose bin.  But I stopped short. A stranger was there—a boy stockier than me. A new-comer of any age, boy or girl, was rare in the small town of Millville. This boy was well dressed, too—new Levis and a button up shirt.  His hair was red as a robin’s breast, and his teeth were crocked but white. This was simply astounding.  He had fancy Nikes on.  He had a snobby attitude about him that rubbed me wrong. The more I stared at the boy, the less I thought of his clothes and the shabbier and shabbier my own outfit seemed to feel.  I took another step toward him, and he did likewise, each of our eyebrows raised at each other, until we were only a few feet apart.  Neither of us spoke.
Finally the stranger said, “I could kick your butt.”
“I’d like to see you try!” I retorted.
"Well, I can do it."
"No you can't."
"Yes I can."
"No you can't."
"I can."
An awkward pause lapsed. Then I said, “Who are you?”
“None of your beeswax!”
“Well, I aim to find out.”

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