Query Blurb for Holding Space

Dear Vi,

I’ve been climbing steadily and have finally reached the top of Procrastination Mountain.  I’m clinging onto it like a barnacle.

I’ve spent countless hours on the internet and read countless articles and blog posts on the Dos and Don’ts of writing a query letter. There’s a lot of conflicting information out there, let me tell ya. So much conflicting advice, in fact, that I’m inclined to just ignore most of it.

What does the query blurb have to do? Well, it has to accurately capture the gist of the story, it has to be professional, it has to be tight. It has to make you Want. To. Read. The. Book.

And the entire query letter – blurb and all – has to fit on one page.

Eee gads.

Well, yesterday I finally wrote something that feels like it’s getting close. In fact, it’s your lucky day, Vi, because I’m going to share it with you!

Here it is, in block quote format:

On May 18 at 1030 Coordinated Universal Time, nearly every person on Earth disappears.

In Winnipeg, battle-scarred Canadian Forces veteran Kat Russo is fighting PTSD while trying to rebuild her life after the death of her lover. When humanity vanishes before her eyes, she falls back on her military training and embarks on a cross-country search for survivors and, ultimately, for herself.

In Vancouver, Dr. Maria Zhou is the brilliant but pampered only daughter of immigrant parents, and the youngest staff member at the University of British Columbia’s Quantum Matter Institute.  When the unimaginable happens, she finds hope in the unlikeliest of places while attempting to formulate a hypothesis to explain the mysterious event.

On the remote west coast of British Columbia, aging artist Noella Harris takes refuge at the Seal Island Lightstation. Alternating between hope and despair, she figures out how to start the lighthouse’s big diesel generators and begins broadcasting messages over the station’s radio beacon in hopes of saving her sanity – and any remnants of humanity that may be listening.

What would you do if you found yourself suddenly, achingly alone? Holding Space isn’t the story of what happens; it’s the story of what happens next.

Holding Space is a character-driven work of science fiction set in the initial weeks following the disappearance and told through alternating points of view. Complete at 81,000 words, it touches on the themes of grief, loss, family, and the unexpected sweetness of reunion. It would appeal to those who enjoyed Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel and Dark Matter by Blake Crouch.

Okay! There you go. It isn’t polished up to a glossy shine just yet, but it’s getting there. I’m going to sit on it for another day or so and then look at it again.

As always, your thoughts are welcome.

90,423 words later

I have finished the rough draft of my first novel.

It’s gone past the critical eye of two critique partners, so it isn’t as rough as it would have been. In fact, some parts aren’t too bad at all.

I thought I’d feel elated. I thought a giant whoo hooo would come bursting out of me, that I’d be jumping all over the house and popping the cork on a bottle of something fizzy. Done! Done done done!

But…now that I’ve actually typed the words the end at the bottom of the last page, I feel kind of … sad. Let down, somehow. Aimless. It’s finished? Really? But I’m not ready for it to be finished yet. I want to know what happens to my characters. What will they do? Where will they go? I want to keep on living their lives.

But that’s the way of it, I suppose. Every story must end.

So what happens next? Off it goes to Beta Readers, and then I start revisions.

Revision revision revision. Edit. Rewrite. Edit some more. Maybe more Beta Readers.

Until I hit the bottom of the last page. Again.

At some point, I’ll have to give the poor novel a title.

And then?

We’ll see.

Meanwhile, some yarn therapy:FullSizeRender

This post is about books (because I can’t think of a better title)

I went to the library last week and came home with four books.

Only four?

Well…I still had four on my desk that I hadn’t read yet. And they’re going to be due soon, so I thought I’d better limit myself. Here’s what came home with me:

011I’m a pretty eclectic reader.

I adore the library. One time about a year ago when I was feeling kind of blue and homesick, I went into the library and the librarian remembered my name. She also happens to be the librarian who looks a lot like my Whitehorse friend Carrie-Lynn. Anyway, I cried a little bit. Yes, it was kind of embarrassing to have to wipe my tears at the library check-out desk. But that’s only one reason I love the library.

Mostly I love the library because it’s full of books.

There is one thing that makes me twist my mouth sideways, though and it’s this:

Terry Brooks and Ben Bova do not belong in the same section.

It’s impossibly annoying to sift through all the Fantasy in search of a new SciFi to read. Especially because there’s like 50 Fantasy books for every SciFi one, which is shameful. Even more shameful is the fact that they’re all lumped together on the same shelf.

C’mon! You wouldn’t shelve Phillipa Gregory’s The Other Boleyn Girl in the English History section just because Henry VIII is in it, would you? Of course not!

Now, some people are going to disagree with me, but it’s my blog so I can say what I want. And what I want to say is this:

Fantasy Fiction and Science Fiction are not the same thing. Ben Bova and Terry Brooks do not write the same thing. They are not even similar. The only thing Bova and Brooks have in common is the word Fiction…and both their last names begin with the letter B.

Terry Brooks writes fantasy fiction.  The world in a Fantasy novel includes magic swords, elves, epic quests to save the kingdom from the evil druid, like that.

Ben Bova writes science fiction.  The world in a SciFi book is built on technology. Maybe theoretical, way-far-out advanced technology-of-the-future, but technology all the same.

Maybe human beings will never advance their technology to the stage where we create cyborgs who take over the earth, but for sure an elf with a magic sword is never going to be the one to  save us from them.

Issac Asimov himself said that “science fiction has its groundings in science and is possible, whereas fantasy has no grounding in reality, and so is not possible,” and I’m gonna stand by my man on this one.

No response required. You know where I stand.

giphy