Sue’s Voice, the third book in the Sue trilogy, will soon be published!
The clones find more clones!
To read the full synopsis, go to the Sue’s Voice page.
I am looking for readers to review this final book, or all of the books in this trilogy. If you are interested in providing a timely, honest review, please contact me. Let me know your specific interest in the series and I’ll be happy to provide you with copies to review.
Do the GOO!
Sue’s Voice is coming soon!
The third and final book of the Sue trilogy will be released before the end of the year.
Follow the adventures of Sue and the clones as they welcome a new clone, Suzanne Theodora Jackson, the newborn daughter of Donald and Denise. When they all visit California to meet the baby, everyone is amazed at how advanced this new generation of clones is. In fact, she’s so amazing that Ted Stevens wants to test her DNA.
When Brandy posts a video of her new sister online, a clone from the Netherlands sees the video and makes contact. And this is not the only clone outside of the U.S. Brandy learns there are as many as 14 other clones around the world in addition to herself and her friends and family. She tells Sue about the others, and the two decide to email the other clones to find out as much as they can.
Ted learns about the emails exchanged between his clones and the others. Fearing the DHS Committee will discover the messages and consider it a global alien attack, Ted tries to stop Brandy and Sue. He orders them to stop communicating with the other clones.
Despite Ted’s best efforts, the Committee locates the additional “aliens” on the planet. And they uncover the DNA testing Ted requested; DNA testing that can identify a clone. They take matters into their own hands.
Ted quickly finds himself a prisoner along with all of the clones and those that know them, including the others from around the world. But he fights back. He has a plan and needs Sue to help him. The clones also fight back. And they have weapons to use.
I watched Bernie Sanders with Chris Matthews tonight.
Bernie was challenged by Chris and tried to connect his ability to enact his agenda with the youth vote movement. I understood his message, but he, Bernie, isn’t delivering that message effectively. Chris Matthews asked him how Mitch McConnell would allow a vote on Bernie’s agenda. Bernie replied by saying that congress will see the revolution and will react accordingly. Chris challenged him, asking Bernie where is the revolution when voter turnout in the primaries so far are below those from 2008. Bernie stumbled. I was disappointed.
So I’m going to lay out what, in my mind, should be Bernie’s message. Maybe his staff will actually read this and help Bernie change his delivery. So, here goes…
The revolution must impact more than just the presidency. It MUST impact congress.
Unless I’m mistaken, every House of Representative seat is up for election. EVERY SEAT! That’s 435 representatives. And in 2016, 34 Senate seats, one-third of the seats in the Senate are up for election. Now, the only way Bernie Sanders will be elected President is if massive numbers of young adults vote. If Bernie can get out that voting demographic, those voters will be voting for candidates with a progressive agenda. Okay, so here’s where I connect the dots. If Bernie is elected President, he’ll have a democratic congress, or at least a more progressive congress than the current congress.
So Bernie, you need to say this: “Young people, get out and vote. Get. Out. And. Vote. And when you vote, make sure you vote for progressive House candidates and Senate candidates (where applicable). If we vote in more progressive legislators, along with me, Bernie Sanders, we will bring about the revolution to reform the government, fix income inequality, etc…” Draw the connection between the presidential election and the congressional election. Tell the youth of America to vote for you, but also to vote for progressive House and Senate candidates. You, Bernie, cannot get elected without the youth vote and you cannot get elected unless those same voters elect a progressive congress. Get the youth voters to demand change not only for president, but for all levels and branches of government.
That’s what I think.
I reviewed my original character arc and you know what? It still holds true.
When I originally drafted the outline for my YA story, Alone, I made a plot of my protagonist’s character arc. And after two and a half(ish) years of writing, editing, critiquing, more editing, more critiquing, further editing, and tightening, the character arc remains the same. It’s a bit of a surprise that the original story line still applies in the final (or near-final) version considering all the hacking and slashing. I’m pleased.
Now, by the seventh version, the novel starts at #2 when Alex wakes in the hospital after the accident in which his parents died. There is no description of Alex’s pre-accident life with his parents, but the height of point 1, the starting positivity if you will, can be inferred by Alex’s reactions and inner dialogue from point 2 through recovery at 3 to relative normalcy at 4 (and beyond).
The rest of the arc remains as originally mapped. The sudden drop at 5 when Alex is diagnosed with Leukemia reaches the lowest depth in his arc (6). He battles the disease and the treatment with the help of his support team (7), overcoming the pain as the disease is contained and looking forward to his future with his girlfriend and friends, but is then exposed to the negative effects of his resentful aunt that causes anxiety and depression (8–9), and finally lashes out when he challenges Aunt Eve’s beliefs and behavior (10). At the end of the story, when Alex learns of his family’s history and successfully convinces his aunt to change (11), he reaches the same height as before the diagnosis. He never reaches the same height he was at before his parent’s death, and no one should expect him to, but after beating the cancer and his aunt, he achieves a relatively high level of happiness. That’s the best that can be hoped for.
I haven’t written many novels, so the number of points in my personal data set isn’t large, but I would not have guessed the character arc envisioned before the novel was written would survive as is after editing. I’d like to think that it’s the sign of a skilled author and a solid story well executed, but I don’t think I can say that, nor am I probably allowed to. Oh well, I’m still pleased.
I received another rejection letter today. But this one was different. It actually contained feedback!
It’s true. And I was stunned… pleasantly surprised, but stunned.
In my recent daily posts, I’ve been complaining about not receiving feedback in rejections, which is no fault of the agents, it’s just a result of reality. So when I received the rejection today, I was thrilled; not about the rejection, but there were two entire sentences of feedback. And it was constructive feedback. The comment from the agent was directed at a weakness in the query letter and suggested a way to strengthen the pitch. I was able to take the feedback and adjust my query letter accordingly. I think the pitch is now better and hopefully it will actually hook an agent.
I want to thank Talcott Notch Literary Services. I’m sorry they passed on my manuscript, but those two sentences are extremely valuable to me, as a debut author trying to find representation. My story won’t change because of the feedback, but if I can tweak my query letter based on the suggestions of a literary agent, I will, hopefully, be better describing my project to other agents, making it more appealing.
A literary agent just made a good point.
Kristen Nelson, an agent who, coincidentally, rejected my project, wrote a post on her agency website in which she describes her feelings when she sends rejection letters. I found it to be enlightening and I’m glad she posted that article for authors to read.
I have the impression that, like me, most authors are frustrated with the number of rejections received when trying to find representation and believe that agents are cold and heartless, “chuckling maniacally with glee at every rejection [they] send.” But as Ms. Nelson writes, most agents hate to send rejection letters. They actually want to find new projects and want to see authors, whether established or debut, succeed. She makes several good points in her article which remind me that agents have authors’ interests in mind. They are not cold and heartless.
However, there is an element of reality that cannot ease the frustration of authors. If an agent completely had authors’ best interests in mind, they would read each manuscript in full, to find the potential in every novel. The agents would seek out the golden nuggets and assist the author to refine and grow those into a sell-able manuscript. But because agents receive hundreds of queries each month (or each week, or maybe even each day), there just isn’t enough time to devote to every prospective project. The agent is forced to quickly screen queries. And only if something catches the agent’s attention will that agent move past the letter or first ten pages to ask for a partial or full manuscript. That is the reality. The frustration comes into play because the author doesn’t know why he/she was rejected. Was it the query letter? Synopsis? Manuscript? Concept? Why? How can I fix it?
Authors think their manuscript is awesome, a best-seller. Agents want authors to succeed. But the bottom line is this: Most manuscripts (or the associated pitches) aren’t perfect and no agent can devote the time to fully read the manuscript or pitch and respond with constructive feedback in a rejection letter.
So, how can this conundrum be fixed? We can have fewer authors. That would mean less queries received, allowing more time to review and provide feedback. So, all you authors out there need to stop writing. Publishers only need a few ideas for novels. Publishers don’t need a zillion concepts to choose from, right? Wrong. Okay, so we need more agents then, right? Let’s double, triple, quadruple the number of agents. Finding that many qualified agents is easy. And there are so many books traditionally published that there’s plenty of work for a lot more agents, right? Again, wrong.
As much as everyone would like everyone to succeed, it’s not possible. Only a handful of novels, relative to the number of pitched projects, ever get published. It’s a cutthroat business. Agents have to write rejections and authors have to accept them. But neither have to be happy about it.
Okay… I know, I know… I’m bad.
I know I have not been writing daily. I try, but it’s not always possible due to things outside of my control (e.g. travel). Okay, yes, there’s also the whole self-motivation thing that sometimes results in a day of no posts.
I realize that once I get started, it’s easy to write. And writing is the purpose of the exercise. The more often an author writes, the better he or she gets. “So,” you ask, “why don’t you just sit down and write something?” Well, I tell you, it’s not that easy to find topics every day.
Yes, I could write about politics every day, but that gets old fast. And I’m not that into politics. The current presidential race offends and infuriates me ten times more than it excites and encourages me. I can try to bring about change by motivating young people to vote–they’re the only ones that can truly bring about a change, but beyond that I’m simply shouting into the wind.
I could write about random stuff that no one would be interested in, but then no one would want to read what I write.
I could write about writing, about being an author, but I’m not an official author yet. I’m just a hack who thinks he has a good story. And, to date, no one wants to read it. So maybe I will write about writing when I’m actually a recognized writer. Until then, I’m just complaining when I write about writing.
So… What else should I write about?