Wednesday, March 2, 2016

A Servant and a Spy

I have finally begun the exciting and terrible process of seeking agent representation for my book, A Servant and a Spy.

Who's my dreamboat literary agent? Someone who loves Young Adult literature, for starters. Someone who fancies adventure stories and rides along with characters thrown into situations they never expected. An agent who is passionate about drama, treason, and wickedly tight friendship.

So far, I have queried eight people.

The tally? Two rejections, one full manuscript request (which is still out). The full-manuscript request was from an agent I met at a writer's conference, so I never had a vicious attack of nerves in sending off a query letter to him. Oddly, it was much easier to pitch in person than online, where I agonize over commas and berate my slowness.

I have to remind myself that this process is glacially slow, and that it is highly competitive. I may never be published. Am I fine with that? No. That's why I'm querying.

But it's not the backbone of why I write.

The person I'm writing for at this moment is me. The enjoyment of telling a story and the contagious process of developing characters is my lightening rod of motivation -- not the coveted title of published author.

If I think about the publishing process and what I need to do to query, sell, and market a book, I would give up now.

Among what I'm sending out to agents is a proper description of A Servant and a Spy, or what would appear on the back cover as the book blurb.

Here it is!

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Fifteen-year-old Seren lives in a small village where she’s expected to marry early, tend goats, and not punch anyone. So it’s no surprise that she wants nothing more than to escape. With her mixed ethnicity and fluency in the language of Barataya, the warring kingdom to the South, she never really stood a chance of fitting in anyway. 

Seren gets her wish to see more of the world when a distant relation summons her to Castle Kingsforth to be a maid to the princess. Suddenly at court, in a nest of backstabbing nobles and jealous servants, Seren finds that her new life is nothing like what she imagined. When the king of Barataya arrives at the castle and the threat of war looms, she learns the real reason she’s been brought to court, and it leads her to hidden tunnels and treacherous secrets. If she follows orders, she'll betray the princess, the one true friend she’s sworn to serve. And if she doesn't do as she's told, she -- and her country -- could end in ruin.


Not your average princess story, A Servant and A Spy deals with themes of racism and female friendship. It will appeal to readers who enjoy the plot turns in Jennifer Nielsen's The Lost Prince, and those who loved Sara Raasch’s Snow Like Ashes or Kristin Cashore’s Graceling

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