Writing Wearing the Cape has been, to quote the great Bill and Ted, “a most excellent adventure.” The plot came together two years ago, scene drafts followed, and last year I threw myself into it with a goal of finishing a publishable draft and commencing the Great Agent Hunt in July.
I “finished” the book on schedule, but that’s when things got interesting. Over the next three months I queried nearly 100 literary agencies, got back several requests to see the first 10, 25, or even 50 pages, sent them off, and waited. And waited. The silence was deafening.
Now it is true that Wearing the Cape, basically a superhero-fantasy story, is a little non-traditional, but obviously the agents who asked for pages thought the idea had merit. So it had to be my writing. Lacking a local reading group, I turned to the internet. Here I found YouWriteOn.com., an England-based writer’s site where you can post sections of your work and trade critiques. Every time you review and rate someone else’s first 7,000 words you earn a credit, which is assigned to someone else to review and rate yours. Bonus, the site is affiliated with Orion and Random House, and editors (or sub-editors, assistant-editors, or their gofers) from these publishing houses give reviews of the Top Ten each month. And every month the best novel excerpts go into their YWO Bestseller list and enter the contest for YWO Novel of The Year.
I submitted the first four chapters of Wearing the Cape to YWO last October. After three months and more than a dozen reviews ranging from kind to merciless, I had revised my “finished” draft so extensively I resubmitted it as Wearing the Cape, Revised. Since then it has ended three months in the Top Ten, earning Bestseller status this month, and I have gone on to self-publish.
Now available on Amazon.com in ebook format, it has earned its first 5-star review. And so begins the next phase of my excellent adventure.