Hi and hello.

I’m the aspiring writer who likes to give his books silly names so he can talk about them online without any important details being exposed. Do people actually care? No. Not at this point. It’s not like I’m GRRM dropping details or work updates about the next Song of Ice and Fire book fans have been waiting on for *checks calendar* *calendar erupts in flames*

So yeah, I get it. At the time of writing, I’m a nobody writer, but someday I might be, in which case I want to protect the information contained therein. Plus, I get a weird feeling whenever I see amateur writers on Twitter, in the same boat as me, casually dropping the title of their book or the main character’s names and motivations or what even some of the dialogue sounds like.

Like, that’s YOUR book. Wouldn’t a publishing company freak out on one of their authors if they just revealed this kind of stuff online before it gets professionally released? I don’t know.

Maybe I’m giving this too much thought. I know if I mentioned the title of one of these Projects not many would care, but I’m still treating this like it’s my job. And WHEN this is my job, I’ll refer to all upcoming novels by their unofficial project names to protect their secrecy.

With that, here we go! What am I working on?

Project: GREY – Completed; Querying

I actually just queried two agents the other night. This one is the project at the top of the queue, the one that could potentially change everything.

Why? It’s done. It’s been written, edited, rewritten, fixed, and now I just need to keep querying agents. That’s it. Of course, that’s easier said than done as querying agents is a lot of reading. Like, a lot. Proper agent research is crucial as you want to find an agent who not reps the kind of writing you do, but has the potential to take on another author. Checking, double-checking, and rereading MSWLs takes time. I should cement it here, and now, to pitch an agent once a week from here on out. The last time I pitched on was in August.

Two months ago. Yeesh.

I (and I’m sure many others) keep track of their querying in a spreadsheet. Mine is on Google Docs and every time I pitch an agent I keep track of a few things:

The Agent’s Name, their main point of contact (e-mail, Query Manager), the literary company, any special interests they’ve listed in their MSWL, the Date I Submitted it, the Date I Followed Up on the initial query, the Date I received their Response, and any Notes/Important Takeaways from that response.

I expect to be hacked any day now.

Project: DEED – 4th draft edits based off Beta Reader notes

This one is in the draft right before I start pitching agents. I’ve received notes back from my Beta Readers (many of whom I still need to buy some sort of fruit basket for) and now I’m going back to make adjustments based on what they’ve told me: rewrite whole sections, delete whole chapters, amplify certain elements, and change the spelling of a word I was almost sure I changed the last three times I reviewed this book and somehow it’s still spelled wrong!

One of the challenges of this edit is it’s a fairly long story. Clocking in around 83,000 words, this puts it somewhere in the ballpark of the first Percy Jackson book and a few thousand words past The Sorcerer’s Stone. I opened up a separate Excel spreadsheet, listing the days in the story along the top and the characters along the side to make sure events and choices line up.

I don’t know how other authors who work with multiple characters over an extended period do it, but I also know I can’t create a wall of notecards as Kota would tear them all down.

Yes. That is a spatula. I am very good at The Social Mediaz. (TM)

Project: NESS – 1st draft finished; waiting to start 2nd

I put the finishing touches on this book last week, a book I started writing during the first few months of the Pandemic. Don’t worry, it’s not pandemic-related, but my reasoning for stopping it are.

It’s a family centric book, with strong fantasy elements, so to suffer the loss of my Nana Pat in December of 2020 basically killed all desire I had to finish it at the time.

It’s taken some distance, and necessary healing, to move past that pain and maybe use some of it to complete it. What helped was thinking what she would have told me if she were here. She probably would have said I was being silly, took a sip of her Ritas Lime-A-Rita, and suggested I finished the book. Her being here or not means nothing to what I want to do.

So it’s done. Printed up. Looking for red pen edits in a few weeks when I get some distance from it.

You know, when my Nana Pat used to visit a family member’s house for an extended stay, she always had to bring her own six pack of Lime-a-Ritas.

We still have some in our fridge.

Like we’re waiting on her to come pick them up.

Thanks for reading,

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Contact: robertmichaelacosta@gmail.com