I am actually very happy that I have community to help me through all of writing in 2020.
The pseudonym of my husband/co-writer and I is Kathryn Faye. I am the face of our writer pairing as he is very shy. Even on our YouTube channel I am the only one filmed while he sits back and edits.
I live in Baltimore, Maryland, one of the most haunted cities in the United States, with my husband who is my co-writer and a ten pound mini-Maine Coon. Living in this city definitely comes with an interesting twist to the books I’ve written. Most of my writing deals with hauntings, ghosts, reapers, and any dark folklore I can get my hands on with large amounts of research and sensitivity readers. Ultimately, I write for all age groups and a plethora of genres. I am even currently working on a MG (middle grade) Dark Fantasy Graphic Novel about dragon hatchlings getting into trouble as they learn about the world they live in.
When I was twelve years old, I decided to pursue writing as a long-term goal and, twenty-three years later I’m still working toward publication. Sometimes it is a lllloooooonnnnnggggg journey and not a one book and done entryway into traditional publishing. In 2018, I received representation from a great agent, Shannon Orso from Victress Agency. Two years later, we parted amicably so I could turn my writing toward a MG audience, which she didn’t represent.
Now we get to 2020…
Through the entirety of ups and downs in 2020, I have been a bit more fortunate than many of the people I am friends with, and even more that I have not met face to face. My heart goes out to all of them. However, I want to focus on the positive that happened in 2020. The biggest, most positive thing that happened in 2020 was when I applied to PW (PitchWars) hoping to be selected as a mentee.
I was not selected but I still won something great!!
During the waiting process I met with a group of wonderful writers from all walks of life and culture. We are introverts and extroverts of hard working individuals who put pen to paper to forge beautiful worlds. One day we all hope to share our archives with the world and I find that, no doubt, many if not all of us will.
This group of unassuming writers is called #MGwaves and we decided that if you wanted to get to know us we would link our blogs and websites together. During the PW we shared all our woes, celebrations and our apprehensions. We even put our PW entries into a database to share with one another so we could critique as many writing groups do. Once PW finished, we decided we would continue on as a writers’ group so we could champion each other on our way to gaining agents (if we want) and supporting one another toward publication (traditional or self).
I have personally enjoyed our interactions as we have met several times over Zoom to speak about our journeys, get to know one another, and other people in the publishing/writing industry. I hope we will continue to grow in our ability as writers and share our experiences.
Writing, though a lonely journey, should never be truly alone.
The best advice I can give is one I try to live by every day. It has nothing to do with the actual writing process as I believe there are people out there with better advice than I. My advice is patience and grace. These two words reflect the journey of EVERY SUCCESSFUL WRITER!
Patience is necessary throughout the entirety of a writers’ career. Not is it only during actually writing a novel, but it’s proven during the query process. Agents are busy with many writers vying for their individual attention through query letters, conferences/conventions, phone calls, Zoom calls…etc. This doesn’t include meetings with publishers, other agents, clients and just an agent’s personal life. Above all, they are humans just like the rest of us. Therefore, a dose or coffee’s worth of patience, goes a long way when waiting for feedback from an agent in regards to our queries regardless of it being rejection, requests, R&Rs (Revise and Resubmits) or the coveted emails for setting up calls with agents.
And guess what? After getting an agent the waiting doesn’t end!
There is editing your novel with your agent and then submissions. all of this requires a great deal amount of patience. When on submission your manuscript is sent out to publishers to find a home. This can take months if not a year or two. What happens if it’s not bought? Well, you need to discuss the next book to write, if you aren’t already.
This is just a taste as what do expect.
My advice, is to start a new book, short story, poem, graphic novel…something to keep yourself busy as you wait. Join a writers’ group to share in your experiences as I did with #MGwaves.
Grace is the decorum that should be used in the utmost when dealing with what happens in the industry. People talk and unsightly misbehaving IS RECORDED even if it’s by word of mouth alone. Rejections happen and they are painful, but that doesn’t excuse sending a nasty email/letter back to the agent cursing them out or telling them that you’ll stalk them, harass them, or otherwise endanger them just because they will not represent your material.
The publishing industry talks and they will tell each other about bad eggs and people to avoid. Sometimes if rejection is in the form of a personalized email than sending a thank you is not frowned on. However, most agents just dread seeing emails with replies even if they are good. Too many have been burned.
Utilize grace and treat others the way you want to be treated. A kind soul gets more things done in this world than someone waving a stick manically around or another phrase: You can attract more with honey than with vinegar.
My advice in regards to showing grace is to not project onto social media your grievances and do NOT email the agent. When a rejection comes, and it will to us all, take a moment to reflect on your feelings. You can let them out to your family and friends and it’s okay to cry. The point is not to get just any agent but THE AGENT who will champion your books and your career.
Every ‘NO’ you receive, is just one step closer to your ‘YES.’
MEET MY OTHER #MGwaves:
Malia Maunakea – https://www.maliamaunakea.com/post/mgwaves
Daria Pipkin – https://dariapipkin.wordpress.com/2020/12/15/mgwaves/
Susan Leigh Needham – https://susanleighneedham.com/blog/mgwaves-writing-community
Thushanthi Ponweera – https://thushponweera.wordpress.com/2020/12/15/mgwaves-an-ocean-of-possibility/
Beth Gawlik – https://mgmusingsonbookswritingandlife.blogspot.com/
Sabrina Vienneau – https://sabrinavienneau.wordpress.com/2020/12/29/how-i-found-other-writers/
Jennifer Mattern – https://www.jemattern.com/post/a-community-of-writers
Maureen Mirabito – https://www.maureenmirabito.com/blog/how-i-became-an-mgwave