When I mentioned my idea of using a fictional blog to promote Hedge Witch the other day, I received an amazing amount of invaluable advice. Many thanks to all who commented. That response alone was enough to convince me, once again, of the value of this blogging malarkey.
It soon became clear that :
- The fictionalised blog would be a good way to promote a book to readers but not to hard-headed agents/publishers.
- It therefore wouldn't be worth doing until such time as the book is set to be published.
So, I think that idea is on the back-burner for now, although there's no harm in doing groundwork and preliminary planning ...
Another comment that really stuck in my mind, however, was from Angela Ackerman, who wondered whether my query pitch was good enough if I wasn't getting that many requests for a full ms from agents. I looked at my query again and decided that, yup, it probably could be improved. I have to admit this is something I've struggled to come to terms with in the past. You write what you think is a great book - that should be enough shouldn't it? Well, no, because, as I'm sure you're all well aware, you also have to pitch the thing to the right agent at the right time in the right way. Maybe the world shouldn't work like this, but work this way it does. Get used to it, Simon.
So I've been working on my query "elevator" pitch for the book. Here's the latest version. I plan to send it to somewhere like Evil Editor to get feedback on it, but I'd be real grateful if anyone had any observations right now. Here's what I've come up with :
Cait Weerd's life is going nowhere. She's struggling at school, her father is gone and her mother has given up. And she has absolutely no idea she's being tracked down by the undain : ghoulish, superhuman creatures of necromancy that feed off the spirit of the living. She doesn't know the undain need her blood to survive. She doesn't even know she's a witch, descended from a long line of witches. Cait Weerd doesn't know a lot, really, but all that's about to change.
Across the aether, meanwhile, in the misty realm of Andar, another young witch lies close to death. Fer has been almost killed in a confrontation with an undain lord that has flown across the vast and wide river An. It is the vanguard of a massing army. For the first time, incredibly, the An is set to freeze over. The peaceful land of Andar will be destroyed. Once she is awake, Fer is persuaded by Hellen Meggenwar, eldest witch of Andar, to cross to our own world to retrieve a book of necromancy hidden here many years ago. The book contains the secret of defeating the undain. Fer is helped by several companions, including Johnny Electric, a refugee rock musician from our world, and an archaeon, an illustrated-manuscript dragon that inhabits books and hates being interrupted all the damn time.
Back in our world, the book of necromancy ends up with Cait. The undain and their human servants want that as much as they want her. The fate of both worlds is at stake. Just what she needs. Along with definitely-not-a-boyfriend Danny, Cait has to decide what the hell to do. Run away, fight or just hope it all goes away. It's only then that she starts to learn who she really is and what the undain have been doing in our world all this time ...
What do you think? Does it work for you? Too much information? Too little? Confusing? Boring? Any comments gratefully received.