Chugging along through Mancation- where Mike and his friends have gone camping in VT while we all keep the kids at home. It has been a crazy weekend. Lots of fun, and I love having one on one time with the boys, but also exhausting. Mike and I just manage when we're both here, so doing it solo is an interesting experience. A couple of times this weekend I have instituted a why-questions-ban, just to survive.
On Friday James and Sadie had their final day of swimming, then we headed over to Macdonough School for an ice cream social. Because of the new redistricting they have a lot of programs planned this summer to help with the transitioning families. It was book fair time-- and WOW! what a treat. I always loved the bookfair. I remember as a child having to cut my list down from the 'wishlist' to the 'can afford' list. Truly a difficult process. I wanted to shop for myself, but it was difficult. Willy had a tendency to grab everything, and James saw a lot of things he wanted. I was able to pick up the book Project Mulberry by Linda Sue Park-- I swear, I DO read books that do not involve insects in any way, but I saw the cover and I grabbed it. Now I want silkworms for our Mulberry tree. Seriously. I will review it when I am finished.
Reading more middle grade is part of my quest to clearly define my genre. Genre confusion is part of the reason I'm querying so widely-- I am not sure if I am YA or Upper Middle Grade. I know that if I am YA I am at the low end, because my main character is the opposite of edgy. At the same time, the crimes are real-- It's not some Scooby Doo version of events-- people die (though its not a gory thing, and the reader is not there for the killing and the body is never described) so I am not sure. My MC is 15, and I also know readers tend to read up, and I'm just not sure what cancels what out.
The other reason I am querying widely is that I am clueless about query strategy. People say you should find an agent that does projects like yours, but they also say you can be rejected by an agent because they already have a similar project. It boggles the mind. I thought on my initial foray into query-land I would just toss a wide net, and based on responses I can make a much more informed decision next time. I can easily remove about 50 from my initial list already, before I query my next book.
I am really getting excited about my second (and third) projects. I am working on a second book with Beatrice-- involving a box of old letters and a ghost. My new project is a mystery-solving boy-- and I like where he's going already (which is pretty much straight into the Okefenokee).