A major moment in the life of any aspiring author is when he or she is ready to send a piece off into the wild on its own and let it fend for itself. That’s a big moment because, at least for me, writing is a labor of love, and it’s a piece of my own heart, to be a bit melodramatic. This week, that moment has come.

I’ve spent the past week researching agents and agencies and publishers I’ve never heard of, looking hard for places that accept (willingly) erotica submissions, rather than simply stating “We accept all genres.” I’ve combed through dozens of websites to find out, after getting excited about an agency or a particular agent, that they take all genres except picture books, erotica, and how-to books, for example. Sure, it’s frustrating, but it’s a good thing to find out before I hit “send” and waste everyone’s time. The last thing I want to do is waste anyone’s time.

The exciting news is that I’ve queried seven agents and publishers at this point, and I have three more that I want to send to. Once that’s done, I’m going to take a break for a bit. Wait for some responses, and see what kind of feedback I get. This is an exciting point to be at. My work is out there, and hopefully it’s doing what I created it to do, which is get someone’s attention, entertain people, and if I’m really lucky (or good at the craft), make someone feel something.

It’s been a crazy process getting this novel done. It started out as three scenes and a whopping 13,000 words that I churned out over 5 days as a gift for a friend. It’s grown into almost 40,000 words, upwards of ten chapters, and a real, grown-up book in its own right. I’m pretty excited about where things have gone, and I hope to hear back from some of the agents and publishers I’ve submitted to soon. I know that it can take up to eight weeks (if I get a response at all), but obviously anyone who queries is hoping for something much sooner.

It’ll be a long ride, I expect. That’s okay. It’ll be worth it. If I don’t get any bites on this one in the next six months, I will shelf it for a while and start querying for my next manuscript, which I expect will be done by the winter. And of course there’s always my NaNo.

Busy, busy. It’s a good time.

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