Tag Archives: Keeping The Faith

Update: Writing, Writing About Writing, and More Writing

MAY IS OVER ALREADY, and it’s been quite a month in the RBT world. Much has happened, and I’ll share it all here at some point. But for now, let me bring y’all up to date on the activity that’s taken up the majority of my time this year. And no, it isn’t running!

No, it’s true!

The main reason I haven’t posted much here is that I’ve been busy writing. My debut novel, Keeping the Faith, has been professionally critiqued and deemed worthy of publishing. Hooray! But as any author knows, the book itself is just the start of the process. Now comes the marketing to agents part.

A novel submission package generally consists of a query letter (pitch to the agent), a short synopsis (a brief summary of the book), and the first couple of chapters. The chapters are done, so that part’s easy. But it’s amazing how much work it takes to write a good two-page synopsis and one-page query letter. You try boiling down 160,000 words of prose (my novel’s length) into 1,000, or 500, and in a way that convinces potential agents that I’ve written the Great American Novel. When I get it right, I’ll share some details here.

Then comes finding agents that request submissions that match the book’s genre or category. In my case, this is New Adult, with the protagonist and the bulk of the readership, being roughly college age to early thirties. There are searchable database of agents out there, and I’ve begun going through them.

And then there’s what I call the “fact checking” phase, which is also what I’m doing right now. The novel includes a lacrosse game and a rowing championship race. As I’ve never played lacrosse or crewed, I need help getting the terms correct and the action sequences credible. Fortunately, I have some people helping me there.

And then there’s the STEM part. Marcus, my main character, is pursuing a major in civil engineering, and is living with a retired math professor. The Riemann Hypothesis, a famous unproved math conjecture, plays an important part in the book. So there’s all that to get right as well. (Any readers who have expertise here, please let me know ASAP.)

Regardless of outcome, this has been quite a learning process. And as long as I remember that, I can enjoy the adventure in progress. Maybe I’ll even write a book about it!

More to follow in future posts!

What’s Up? Glad You Asked! Two Big Announcements

Wow, things are going hot and heavy in my world in December. Along with celebrating birthday number 59, I have a big accomplishment and a timely opportunity to announce to my readers and friends.

Without further ado, here goes!

Announcement #1: I Done Wrote a Novel!

This year with my zero waste business coming to a screeching halt, I decided to pick up a novel I had started some years ago and put aside when life got busy, as it does. I’m pleased to announce that I have completed the first draft!

The novel is currently titled Keeping The Faith. Its main character is Marcus, 22, who is planning to return to college following the death of his father. Returning home from the memorial service, he discovers he has a third grandfather, who would like very much to meet him. Adventure ensues.

The book is “new adult” fiction, meaning it’s targeted toward readers 18-30 years of age. Its main themes are coming of age and struggling with faith. Its tone is meant to be positive and forward-looking – this is not an angst-ridden sufferfest. It contains profanity, drug use (pot), and sexual situations (oh, yeah), so it’s not for younger readers except with parental permission.

As I begin a comprehensive rewrite, I’m looking for a few good people to read the first few chapters and let me know if it’s something they would continue reading. I’m also interested in thoughts on the authenticity of the voices of the characters.

In addition, I need fact-checkers and opinions based on personal experience for the following:

  • Someone who’s been part of a Civil War reenactment (preferably more than one)
  • Someone who’s rowed crew in college. Someone familiar with the NIRC would be best, but not required.
  • A few students who are attending, or who recently attended, a small college

If you are so inclined to help me out here, you can email me at jeff (at) runbikethrow (dot) net.

Announcement #2: Get a Free New Actually Published Book!

My race director friend Randy Step, owner of RF Events, has a new book out just in time for New Year’s. It’s called Get Your Butt Out the Door and is a set of 365 motivational quotes to help you get out and do what’s gotta be done. It’s a “runner’s companion” type of book, so it’s mainly meant for you, the runner, or a runner in your life.

As with so many small businesses, it’s been a rough year for RF Events, and every little bit helps. So I’m supporting them by offering to gift up to five people with a copy of this book. It will come directly from Amazon, and will arrive before Xmas if you act soon.

Would you like a copy, or do you know someone you think would benefit? To take advantage, you can PM me or send an email to jeff (at) runbikethrow (dot) net, with the address you’d like it shipped to.

That’s all for now. But it’s not all that’s going on in my life. More to follow. Stay tuned!