Timing, Part 1

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Ever had an inspirational idea for a blog, thought about it on and off all day, knew it would win the Nobel Prize for disgruntled blogs and then, when you sat down to write it, the world stepped in and said no?

Me neither.

But it has been a long time since I wrote one.

Both my muse and my webmistress dropped by and held a mirror under my nose to see if I was dead.

I wasn’t. Aren’t. Am not.

I’m alive, okay?

But I have had a helluva month. Between taxes and query rejections and a day job that wants my blood, I’ve been thinking about trying to get an organized crime family to adopt me solely for the opportunity to get into witness protection and get away from everything. I’ve been adopted before, so I know the drill. Plus, I’ve seen the Godfather more than once so I figure I’ve covered all the bases.

Watch.

Fuggetabboudit!

Did you get chills? Did I sound like Tony Soprano?

Do you want to adopt me?

Seriously, I’m housebroken and good with children and other dogs. Though I do prefer soft food, so there is the whole regular dental cleaning you’ll have to deal with.

Okay.

Now that all that’s out of my system, let’s talk writing.

There’s a thing that writers don’t really talk about unless they’re being really honest or are especially hard up for blog material like a certain someone. Timing.

YA Author Tom Hoover on TimingSometimes, the book you’ve slaved over, revised, and edited … the one that’s been the darling of all your most critical critiquors, is ready for prime time but prime time is not ready for it. It’s like that sappy old song where the chorus moans, “Yes it’s sad to belong to someone else when the right one comes along.”

It happened with my first book. I came really close to a book deal from two major publishing houses but was ultimately passed on in what’s known as the “acquisition meeting.” Or just “acquisitions” if you’re one of the cool kids. This happens to a lot of books every year.

It’s an accomplishment to get that far, even if it is a “close but no cigar” type of situation.

The real story—that I’m only just now getting to—is the third publishing house that almost took my book. This one sent a rejection that said, We really like this but we’ve already taken on three books in the (very narrow) genre, and we can’t do another one this year.

I lost that deal because of timing. Because just like every dog will have his day, every book has that moment when all the planets align. And if you miss that moment, you’ve gotta wait for however long for it to come back around. In this case, my first book is destined to be my second, or third or … well, you get the idea.

I think the book I’m currently querying might be caught in a timing issue as well.

More on that next time ….

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YA Author Tom Hoover on The Borrowed BookYA Author Tom Hoover on Timing