Three Questions for You

Okay, first up: Allison went home. Awwww. Hard to believe, but I think we’ll be hearing that girl on the radio in a year. So that leaves us with Adam, Danny, and Kris. Remember when we made our predictions on the top three? (This post.) I was wrong on Krisβ€”I had Allison instead. How did YOU do?

Q4U #1: Who will win Idol? Who do you WISH would win?

* * *

Next order of business: Can you believe 2009 is one-third over? And do you know what that means? It means you’ve long since given up on your new year’s resolutions. In fact, you don’t even know what they were anymore. But help is here!

Remember when you wrote your resolutions in the comments to this post? Go ahead, look them up. How are you doing? Did you post your goals near your desk or on your bathroom mirror? I recommend you rewrite them (so that they look different) and post them in a different place. Time to re-commit!

Q4U #2: Any resolutions you’ve been particularly good at keeping? Any you’ve totally forgotten about and haven’t come close to keeping? If so, are you going to revise them?

* * *

Finally, I’m going to be doing more writing about queries and proposals. So:

Q4U #3: What are your biggest questions? What would be MOST helpful to you?

* * *

That’s it for this week… hope y’all have a terrific weekend! I’ll be digging in the dirtβ€”I traditionally plant my flowers on Mothers’ Day. I am a Gardner, after all. πŸ™‚

Rachelle Gardner

Literary agent at Gardner Literary. Coffee & wine enthusiast (not at the same time) and dark chocolate connoisseur. I've worked in publishing since 1995 and I love talking about books!


  1. Ruth on May 11, 2009 at 7:31 PM

    >Linore – Kris is a Christian, as is Danny.

    I hope Adam will win, cos he isn’t a Christian.

    (…or is that not OK?) πŸ˜‰

  2. s.w. vaughn on May 11, 2009 at 12:17 PM

    >Adam’s going to win. πŸ™‚

  3. Anonymous on May 10, 2009 at 11:32 PM

    >Here’s a Q: When do you give up on an agent who keeps asking for “one more week”? Six months?

  4. Laurinda on May 10, 2009 at 10:29 PM

    >1. I want Danny Gokey – love his story. Kris could sneak in a win. Much like David Cook, he knows his voice and knows how to arrange to it.

    2. I’ve lost nearly 30 pounds this year. So I can’t complain.

    3. I’ve got way too many questions about the writing/publishing industry. I’d love to see examples of non-fiction queries you’ve accepted. Other than that, keep blogging and I’ll keep reading.

  5. Jungle Mom on May 10, 2009 at 8:54 PM

    >I want Danny to win but am afraid that Adam will. I will never forgive him for the whole “Ring of Fire’ thing!!!

  6. sonja on May 10, 2009 at 12:41 PM

    >I thought of another question: If an agent says, “I respond within X weeks. If you don’t hear from me, feel free to send a reminder,” what is the appropriate reminder? The same query letter? The same query with an introductory paragraph saying… saying what?


  7. Linore Rose Burkard on May 9, 2009 at 8:44 PM

    >Danny, Danny, Danny!!!
    He’s a believer, (though Kris may be, too.)
    And he can really sing.
    Kris is talented, but I think Danny and Adam want it more. Allison was amazing, but she didn’t expect to win, and didn’t seem as though she needed it. Danny and Adam both want this. And you asked who we “wished” would win–so it’s Danny.

    Who’s idea was it to put the show on WEDNESDAY night, though?

    As for proposals, why not tell us what makes you really happy when you see it in one that lands on your desk? What gets you excited, (other than the BIG NAME that. we’re. not.)
    : )


  8. Ruth on May 9, 2009 at 5:43 PM

    >How can you say that?!! NZ screens American Idol two weeks after the States, so I’ve been carefully avoiding any sites that may have any reference to American Idol because I DON’T WANT the spoilers… and now I click innocently onto the blog of a literary agent, and the first thing I see is… a spoiler telling me who goes home.

    I really wish you hadn’t said that. (Plus I really like Allison and am disappointed to hear she left.) I’m going to have to avoid this site as well, now, to avoid any further spoilers! πŸ™

  9. Rob Roush on May 9, 2009 at 4:06 PM

    >1) I told my wife before the results show this week, if Danny survives his performance from Tuesday he’ll win. I stand by that. I think he is an excellent singer, but he fell flat (literally) this week. Adam is entertaining and has great ability, but I fear he’s too nitched to win.

    2) Don’t usually make NY resolutions. It’s easier not to break them that way.

    3) I probably have many questions, but I haven’t really focussed much on queries since last ACFW conference. I’ve been hammering away on my rewrite. Hopefully, I will soon be back in the query investigation phase.

  10. Dawn Herring on May 9, 2009 at 12:09 PM

    >This was my first season watching American Idol. I would like to see Kris win. I don’t know if Adam will; he does have a lot of fans and some have labeled him the winner.
    I didn’t make New Year’s resolutions, but I did have writing goals. I wanted to write at least one scene of my novel per week and at least one other piece, whether it be memoir, an article for a magazine, or a devotional. I think I’ve done well on this, surpassing the amount on my novel several times. I’ve been hoping to finish it by the autumn and have it ready to submit to an agent by the end of the year, but with my other family and business responsibilities I don’t know if I’ll make it that quickly. That is, at least, my goal.
    Most of my questions would be more freelancing related since that is where most of my writing challenges lie, especially concerning finding the perfect market match. But, I’m sure the closer I get to a book submission, questions will arise.

  11. levimontgomery on May 9, 2009 at 9:14 AM

    >Question #1: Believe it or not, as you see fit, but I’ve never seen a single episode of American Idol. Also, from what I’ve heard on the radio, the ones they throw out and make fun of early on are usually no worse than the winners. So I don’t care who wins.

    Question #2: When I was in fourth grade, the teacher actually required us to make at least one resolution. So I resolved never to make another. She didn’t like it, but she accepted it, and I’ve kept it ever since.

    Question #3: This is actually why I came here. I read your article at the Christian Fiction Online Magazine (per your tweet), but there was no place there to leave my comment, so I came here, and this seems to be the place.

    What would be most helpful for me would be if there was someone who would read my book and then write a query for it, which I’m pretty certain can’t happen. Personally, I firmly believe there is a direct inverse relationship between your ability to write a novel and your ability to write a query or synopsis of it, but it might help if I had some idea what a hook is. I’ve read a few thousand books in the last fifty years, and I couldn’t begin to tell you what the hook of any of them was. Someone needs to make a list of the highest selling (hundred?)(thousand?)(some number) of books ever, and then list a simple, one-sentence hook for each of them. On such a list, any would-be writer is bound to have read a good number of the books, and should be able to begin to see how to find the hook in his or her own work.

  12. Anonymous on May 9, 2009 at 8:48 AM

    >Adam will put on dynamite concerts that I’d pay to see…
    he is exactly what Idol is all about–an exciting, dynamic fresh face w/ talent in spades. Aren’t you tired of cookie-cutter cuties?

    I can see Danny and Kris put out mellow easy-listening records.
    Allison is still young w/ lots of years left, and I’m sure will also get a record deal soon.
    Not bad to be in the Top 4!

  13. Joyce on May 9, 2009 at 7:06 AM

    >Hi folks. well here’s my take. I think Kris should win. Adam is a show man and just not IDOL-LY enough. And I can’t put my finger on it but there is something about Danny that doesn’t ring true with me. UM–another Idol to writing analogy?

  14. clindsay on May 9, 2009 at 12:12 AM

    >I wanted Allison to win. She probably has the most raw talent of the group and can sing in several octaves, which surprised me.

    I like Adam but he tends to showboat. Danny & Kris have no range at all. The high notes on any songs kill them dead.



  15. Tricia on May 8, 2009 at 10:27 PM

    >Originally I said Adam to win, Danny to place, and Lil to show. I still think my win and place are in that order.

    Don’t remember my resolutions

    I would like to see a query sample of a character-driven novel with internal conflict.

  16. Andrea on May 8, 2009 at 8:24 PM

    >1. I enjoy Idol and hope Adam wins. It has been neat watching 3 Music Ministers make it to the upper levels!
    2. No New Years Resolution. My goal is to continue to work on my relationship with Christ and others. I am working hard to not have expectations of others. If someone does something kind and gracious, I am surprised, tickled, and happy. If they do something crappy it’s no big deal. –this is what I am working on! LOL- It β€˜s not so hard over time and with practice.
    3. My query question is: When writing them how are we to know exactly who to listen to? There is so much info out there and most of it is conflicting. One space or two, mention that this is your first novel or hide it, make the query personal or not.
    As a NEW writer, how are we to know what to do? I wish there was a guide for both authors AND agents. – is there one? If so I seriously need to buy it!

    Thanks for all the time you spend teaching us newbies and not so newbies.

  17. Krista Phillips on May 8, 2009 at 7:55 PM

    >I’m working on my proposal this evening, and thought of another question to add for #3!

    I’ve done a lot of research on the proposal, and obviously every source has different suggestions for formatting one. Curious as to what sections YOU recommend for the proposal, as well as the format. Do you care what comes first? Do have a suggestion for length of the synoposis in the proposal? I’ve heard anything from one page, to three pages, to one page per 10K words (yikes!).

    Long question, I’m sorry! I do have a proposal done, just revamping it, and want to be sure my formatting is acceptable… even though I fully understand an agent will probably request it to be redone given their own guidelines.

  18. Elizabeth Bradley on May 8, 2009 at 7:25 PM

    >#1–Can’t say who America will pick, I still can’t believe Alison was sent home. Adam is super-talented, Danny’s voice is amazing.

    #2–This may sound odd, but I lost my father in December after his long drawn out struggle with Alzheimer’s, and after caring for him for several years I vowed to enjoy life more after he passed, and that’s what I’ve been trying to do this year.

    #3–Have you ever represented an author because you loved their work, even though she didn’t like them as a person? Do you know any agents that have? Or is it important that you really like and respect the author? Just curious. As a designer I found that it was much better when I like and respected my clients.

  19. Timothy Fish on May 8, 2009 at 1:52 PM

    >I would love to see examples of queries that have worked. While you’re at it, how about using mine?

    Belay that. Actually, the question I have is, since the query is so intertwined with the book idea, is there anything worth learning from a successful query letter that we can’t learn from the books that have made it into print?

  20. David A. Todd on May 8, 2009 at 1:27 PM

    >1. No opinion.

    2. Here’s my resolutions from that prior post, and how I’m doing.

    – Lose 52 pounds. Lost 22 so far!– See if my two short stories have any publishing poetential. One submitted to three markets; waiting, waiting.– Complete my two Bible study WIPs; plan the three other Bible studies in various stages of idea development. I’ve come close to finishing one Bible study WIP, and have planned two new ones.– Get my mother-in-law’s house sold and done with. It sold Feb 29th!– Resume assisting my wife in her home-based business. Oops; progress on four out of five ain’t bad.3. Exactly how important is the order of things (and maybe the details included) in a proposal? It seems everyone’s guidelines are somewhat different. Yet, if you submit your proposal to eight places, do you have to re-order it and to some extent rewrite it for each market you send it to?

  21. Dawn on May 8, 2009 at 1:15 PM

    >1. Kris has that killer smile and charm. Danny has a great story, faith, and personality. But neither come close to Adam’s talent. What he does vocally – whether you like his style or not -is far skilled above the others. He should win.

    2. Although I haven’t been totally faithful to the Weight Watchers way of eating, I haven’t given up. Even though I’ve only lost 7 pounds to my husband’s 25 pounds. But, men do lose much easier, don’t they? πŸ˜‰

    3. I agree that being able to look at examples of queries would be helpful. Let us “see” what works and what doesn’t work.

  22. Jana on May 8, 2009 at 12:42 PM

    >AI gives everyone something to talk about, have learned all kinds of interesting things about my co-workers that way … we all win πŸ™‚

    If I meet my goal of finishing and scrubbing my WIP in time, I get to go to the ACFW conference in Denver, and that will be a win. (The carrot method works well for me.)

  23. Kristen Torres-Toro on May 8, 2009 at 12:27 PM

    >1. I would love for Danny to win. But I say this as someone who has not watched the show since mid-March because I’ve been in India since the “top 13” episode. However, I’m back in the U.S. as of this morning (please excuse the jet-lagged state of this post!) and will be able to see the last two episodes. I believe it’ll come down to Danny and Adam.

    2. I don’t really make new year’s resolutions anymore, but I do have one goal that I’ve been working towards since 7th grade: to be ambidextrous. Basically, whenever I have some free time (or when I was a student and was bored to tears in class), I’d practice writing with my weaker hand. After twelve years, I’m a lot closer to my goal!

    3. Woohoo! Queries and proposals! I’d love to see examples of some queries that worked, if that’s at all possible.

    Okay, I’m going to sleep now….

  24. Kristen Torres-Toro on May 8, 2009 at 12:27 PM

    >1. I would love for Danny to win. But I say this as someone who has not watched the show since mid-March because I’ve been in India since the “top 13” episode. However, I’m back in the U.S. as of this morning (please excuse the jet-lagged state of this post!) and will be able to see the last two episodes. I believe it’ll come down to Danny and Adam.

    2. I don’t really make new year’s resolutions anymore, but I do have one goal that I’ve been working towards since 7th grade: to be ambidextrous. Basically, whenever I have some free time (or when I was a student and was bored to tears in class), I’d practice writing with my weaker hand. After twelve years, I’m a lot closer to my goal!

    3. Woohoo! Queries and proposals! I’d love to see examples of some queries that worked, if that’s at all possible.

    Okay, I’m going to sleep now….

  25. T. Anne on May 8, 2009 at 12:07 PM

    >1. Please God let Adam win. But I’d be happy with Danny.

    2. I wish I had memorized more bible verses this year ala Beth Moore and her prompting.

    3. I’m feeling good vibes from a literary agent. Is it off putting if I seem too wordy (overly giddy or thankful in emails) now that she is interested in my work or should I play it cool and distant?

  26. Nat on May 8, 2009 at 12:05 PM

    >1. I really like Kris. I think he has a great voice and a unique sound, he’s nice to look at, and I would actually buy his CD which I can’t say for the other two. Adam gives me the creeps even though I think he’s super talented and Danny started out a lot stronger than he’s finishing. That said Adam will probably win.

    2. I started out the year really strong on my writing goals but I’ve struggled lately. I do need to re-commit. Thanks for the reminder.

    3. I love seeing real queries that worked. I know Kristin Nelson does this sometimes.

  27. Ellen Painter Dollar on May 8, 2009 at 12:04 PM

    >I think Danny will win, but Adam, Kris and Allison will all have successful careers.

    My question is re: proposals: I am prepping a proposal for an acquisitions editor who is interested in the book and wanted me to polish the proposal more before giving it to her editorial board. I have 3 or 4 people who are well-known either in Christian ethics (the general topic of the book) or in Christian publishing circles who have said they think the book idea is great and needed. My question is: Should I just list these people as potential endorsers, or would it help/hurt to have them actually provide a supportive statement that I could quote in the proposal? How important are potential endorsements in a proposal anyway?

  28. Kat Harris on May 8, 2009 at 11:29 AM

    >I am a Gardner, after all.*slaps forehead*

    Oh my goodness, Rachelle. Oh my goodness.

    I wonder if this means I’m free to start harrassing people. I am a Harris, after all.

    To answer your questions:

    1. I haven’t watched AI in a long, long time. So, I have no idea.

    2. Resolution? What resolution?

    3. Agent Kristin Nelson has five really good examples of winning queries on her blog. Will you do the same?

    Have a wonderful weekend.

  29. Jeanette Levellie on May 8, 2009 at 11:17 AM

    >1. I don’t watch AI, so you choose. Who’s the underdog? That’s my pick.

    2. I don’t do resolutions; when i break them ten minutes into the year, i get mad at me, so i quit cold turkey. I did set a goal of starting on publishing my first book. Am almost finished with the third revision, and then it goes to a professional editor to see how bad it’s diaper needs changing.

    3. Queries and proposals frustrate me. Everyone expects and wants different things. Can you give us some snippets of examples of your favorite ones in the last year?


  30. Ralene on May 8, 2009 at 10:58 AM

    >1. Kris is my fav, but I think Danny will win. Like some others have said, Adam is great at what he does, but Danny has a wider appeal. I mean, who can forget Adam’s…um…interpretation of the Johnny Cash song? Ack!

    2. I had four resolutions. I have been writing and praying more…so that’s great! I have lost 9 of the 30 lbs I committed to before June 21st…so I still have a ways to go–but I’m making progress. As for the schedule I’d planned on making…um, what schedule? lol…

  31. Marsha on May 8, 2009 at 10:50 AM

    >NOOO! You just spoiled tonight’s episode for me! πŸ™‚ In the UK, the singing portion is shown on Thursdays and the results show on Fridays. Oh well, at least now I can pretend to be ultra-perceptive to my other half!

    I think Danny will win. He’s just the right side of bland. I’d love Adam to win but I think he’s a bit too out there.

    I can’t even remember my NY resolution… oh yes, it was to have an agent by my birthday. A bad resolution, perhaps, since it’s not really 100 per cent under my control. And it’s one I have failed! But, on the other hand, I am getting published (agentless) by a small publisher — and that was very unexpected — so I’ll go for that over my original resolution any day!

  32. Anonymous on May 8, 2009 at 10:33 AM

    >I think all three are talented, in different ways. My big test is always “would I buy this person’s cd”. I would buy Kris and Danny’s because I think each has a unique and warm sound. One thing Kris has done each week is to really make each song uniquely his. Danny, as much as I like him, hasn’t done that as well. Adam is talented and clearly is the judges favorite, but to me he’s over the top theatrical and I’m not sure if I’d buy his CD. I think it will depend on how they package him and what the music is like.

    My top pick is Kris. But I think it will be close. I’m not convinced that Adam has the wide appeal to win. we’ll see. At this point though, all three and even Allison too, are winners.

    Resolutions, still working on writing more, but am doing well with reading the bible daily. I have a one year bible that has about 15 minutes worth of reading a day, a little old testament, a little new, psalms and proverbs. It’s a great way to start the day. πŸ™‚

  33. lynnrush on May 8, 2009 at 10:29 AM

    >Wow, I was surprised by Allison’s departure as well. But, they are all good. It’s going to be really tough now.

    I’d have to say Adam will win, but I’d really like to see KRIS win. He’s kind of like a dark horse, never expected him to be here. I like how humble he is, and I wish Simon would lay off telling him to get arrogant. GRRR.

    Resolutions. Well, so far, I’m doing average. A couple of mine were geared to be done by the end of the year, and I’m on target for them (running 10 mile race). So, it’s cool.

    Queries and proposals. Looking forward to the posts. I like to see examples of queries and proposals that knocked your socks off more than anything. Those are usually most helpful for me to see.

    Thanks and have fun playing in the mud πŸ™‚

  34. sonja on May 8, 2009 at 10:26 AM

    >In addition to Anon’s question, I would like to know what you think of this: Many agents want an intro paragraph, a summary of the novel, and the author’s qualifications. The intro often includes a “I found your name [here]…” Other agents want a query that jumps right into the synopsis with a hook (the Query Shark is *most* vocal on this point) and don’t care where you found their name. If an agent doesn’t specify, what to do? I prefer the jumping-right-in, so should I stick with that?

    Thanks so much, I really enjoy your blog (and wish you represented YA! ;-)).

  35. Lea Ann McCombs on May 8, 2009 at 10:24 AM

    >IDOL….It’ll come down to Adam and Danny. I’ve loved Danny since the first audition and hope he wins, but Adam is in a different league and I think he has a more rabid fan base who will call in the votes. He’s a bit creepy to me, wouldn’t buy a CD or turn on the TV to see him after this show, but the teens and tweens seem crazy for him. At this point, they’ll all do great anyway, so it doesn’t matter so much anymore.

    I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions. Too depressing. Most of what I really want I have no control over, so just try to welcome whatever God has in store for me with a good attitude. I guess that’s my yearly resolution.

  36. Susan J. Reinhardt on May 8, 2009 at 10:24 AM

    >1) I’m rooting for Danny.

    2) Goals – I’ve improved my blog,
    but still don’t have a website
    up and running.

    I’m submitting to new markets,
    and editing my WIP.

    3) Question for a book proposal –
    I’m having a difficult time
    finding books that compare with
    mine. My book’s overall genre
    is mystery/suspense, but could
    also fall into the speculative
    fiction category. (It’s
    futuristic minus the aliens.)

    How do I define my genre and
    locate similar books?

    Thanks! I love your blog.

    Susan πŸ™‚

  37. Camille Cannon Eide on May 8, 2009 at 9:47 AM

    >AI: Danny. Or Adam. Or Kris. Definitely.

    RESOLUTIONS: I never resolve-it makes my buns twitch. Goal #1: Making my writing/researching time more efficient, allowing me to spend more time with family. (Yes, I am a tad OCD, thanks for asking. Baby steps . . . close the Word doc . . . Baby steps . . . step away from the desk . . . Baby steps . . . unlock office door and locate family . . .)

    My goal #2 to be a licensed-and-therefore-law-abiding-but-still-totally-cool biker chick was missed by ONE STINKIN POINT on the riding skills test last weekend. I’d appreciate some enthusiasm from the sidelines next month when I retake the test. WITH husband and son. (See Goal #1.)

    (I actually do have some depth as a human. I have spiritually deep and meaningful goals too. I just don’t want it gettin around.)

  38. Cheryl Barker on May 8, 2009 at 9:38 AM

    >Danny is great, but I think Adam is in a league all his own. He always amazes so I’m pulling for him.

  39. Sharon Kirk Clifton on May 8, 2009 at 9:37 AM

    >Q4U #1: I don’t have a TV, so I don’t watch AI.

    Q4U #2: I resolved to focus more on my writing and become involved with writing communities. I am doing that. I also hoped to write more for my blog ( While I’ve done a fair-to-middlin’ job of that, I have a way to go. The year has seven glorious months remaining, so I hereby resolve to blog more…again.

    Q4U #3: I look forward to following your entries about P’s and Q’s. Those are areas in which we all can improve. The trends change, too, so it is great to have an insider’s perspective.

  40. Kristina on May 8, 2009 at 9:22 AM

    >I think Adam may win, but I hope Danny does. Adam has a lot of talent, but he pretty much does the same thing with every song and it bores me. I admit I’m turned off by his background, too.

    My resolution was to finish my novel this year. I have hardly touched it. I’m unfortunately in a position where I have to earn money with my writing…NOW. Between that work and taking care of my little ones, I haven’t had the time or energy to finish the novel πŸ™ I guess it’s just not my season…

  41. Teri D. Smith on May 8, 2009 at 9:12 AM

    >There’s something about Adam I just don’t care for. I can’t forget his bomb on that one week. What was it? Great Balls of Fire?

    My goal for this year was to finish another novel, and I’m so excited about the process so far.

    I’d like to know more about the comparative analysis and marketing stragedies that go with a proposal. I think I understand them, but you have a way of making things crystal clear. Or maybe some tips on things that go wrong in a synopsis. Do you like to have the “big picture” or premise stated somewhere?


  42. Anonymous on May 8, 2009 at 9:06 AM

    >Sure, Chris and Danny are cute and can sing well, but next to Adam, they seem like wannabes. Adam has the versatility, range and showmanship to rock in the music biz. Exciting to watch this year (and I haven’t watched since Sason 1)!

    My goal was to find an agent but it’s hard when agents hold onto your ms. for months without a response, or ask for “more time.” How much time should we waste waiting for agents?? If they’re that unsure, why don’t they just say so and let it go?
    (I suspect the ms. is stacked up in e-mail netherlands….)

  43. Anonymous on May 8, 2009 at 9:02 AM

    >I’m still on track with my New Year’s resolution. Instead of saying I want to lose weight, I resolved to compete in my first triathlon race at the end of June. Since January I’ve lost 11 lbs, 23 inches (from all over) and I’m going shoping for a wetsuit in a couple of weeks.

    Setting a quantifiable goal made the difference.

  44. Carrie on May 8, 2009 at 8:46 AM

    >Q4U #1: I don’t watch AI, sorry!

    Q4U #2: The healthy eating and fitness ones are hard for me… I’m lazy! And think of all the advance planning that goes into cooking healthy foods: picking a recipe, grocery shopping, prepping the meal during my daughter’s nap… ugh. I’m never going to get it right. BUT I have been doing better about appreciating the good things that I have.

    Q4U #3: (I think I already posted this previously, but now you’re ASKING for my thoughts, so…)

    What about the stage after a successful query? How many requested partials become clients? How many requested fulls become clients?

    Sure, it only takes one agent to say yes, but what are the odds that a dozen agents will be interested enough to take a look, but none of them will love it enough to take it on?

    Thank you!

  45. Krista Phillips on May 8, 2009 at 7:58 AM

    >#1: Danny. By way of eeny-meeny-miney-mo. (I watch biggest loser instead…)

    #2: All my goals were in stages placed across the year. I may have to revamp them a little. *sigh* My goal was to finish my second book by June, and my third by EOY, and finish editing my first book by March. I bombed on the last one, but am almost there! The first two… I’m rethinking. I got a recommendationg that if you are doing a series (all stand alone but related) you should finish the first book and just have a good 3 chapters and synopsis for the second two, and not actually finish them yet, to give editors a chance to have input on the storyline should you sell the first one. But I REALLY wanna finish them! *sniffle* So I’m praying about that, and slowly allowing myself to start dreaming up my plot for my next book.

    #3.) Besides they query I currently have out with you *wink* *wink* I don’t think I have questions. Your blog has been SO informative! I guess the question above applys: would you rather have three completed stand-alone books in a series, or the first book complete and a good start on the second and third? Which is easier to sell, or should we just write anyway?

  46. Chatty Kelly on May 8, 2009 at 6:49 AM

    >1. I like Danny. I like his singing, his back story and his faith, so I gotta go for him. It's a popularity contest, isn't it?

    2. My goals:
    At exercise & writing I'm doing pretty well. I'm behind in the Bible reading. I totally forgot about the fruits of the spirit with my family, sad isn't it? But I suspect if I would catch up on my Bible reading, my fruit would ripen anyway, so to speak.

    3. No new questions on the craft. I'm enjoying reading & learning here so much.

    But MY Q4U – you obviously love the written word, you are a gifted writer yourself, and you certainly know the industry…do you plan on writing a book for publication? Or have you?

  47. Anon on May 8, 2009 at 6:44 AM

    >Thanks for the offer to answer questions! I have two. First, I have a ms out on full with an agent. Is it proper to continue querying other agents while I wait for her response. Second, an agents guidelines say that she will respond on average a week after querying. It’s been almost three without a response. Should I requery? (Her Web site specifies that she always responds.)

  48. Timothy Fish on May 8, 2009 at 6:40 AM

    >I expect it will come down to Danny and Adam. Of the two, I’m leaning toward Danny as the overall winner. Adam is very skilled at what he does, but I think Danny has more wide range appeal. Never being in the bottom three says something. But Adam is a showman. If he does something really impressive, he could still win.

  49. Yvonne on May 8, 2009 at 6:35 AM

    >Q#1 – (I don't watch Idol…sorry)
    Q#2 – My goals:
    1. Thank God each morning for giving me a new day…whatever He chooses to fill it with.
    (I don't do it everyday like I should, but I don't stress over interruptions in my plans.)

    2. Finish my missionary story and the sequel to my novel.
    (worked on them, but didn't finish..yet)

    3. Taking time each day to visit or phone someone besides my online friends. (hmmm…again, I don't do it everyday, but it's getting better. I don't like talking on the phone.)

    4. Learn more about my hubby's interests, so I can be more of a friend to him. (Yes, he likes Nascar and I've actually chosen my favorite – Kyle Busch, because he drives a cute M&M car. I'm also going to attend a race with my hubby as a birthday present to him.)

    5. Memorize John 15
    (I'm working on it..up to verse 18 now. I do a Bible study each week on my blog and recite the previous verses.)
    Q#3 – How long should we wait for a response from a submitted proposal? What is considered a polite "nudge"?

  50. Marybeth on May 8, 2009 at 6:19 AM

    >I HOPE/think Kris will win, but I’m sure it is between Danny and Adam.

    LUCKILY I wasn’t following your blog in time to make a resolution, so I was also unable to break it! YAY

    I got most of my questions answered on #queryday. I wish you guys did that more often!!! I’m still wondering how edited a book needs to be before we query. I think I’m just about done, but also thinking maybe I should take one more look through it! (Oh did I mention I’m a perfectionist?)

  51. Lisa Jordan on May 8, 2009 at 5:55 AM

    >I’m not watching AI this season. I know. I know. I was too busy with school when the season began.

    I’ve completed one item on my goals list–I graduated summa cum laude from college. πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ Now with all this free (ha!) time, I’m working on my two manuscripts. My goal is to have them polished by the end of summer.

    My other goals are still manageable so I’ll keep them for now and strive to achieve them.

    As for query questions…hmm, that’s a tough one because you’ve answered so many already. Perhaps you could post queries from clients that made you want to read more and sign them on. When writing a query, I struggle with what makes my story unique compared to what’s already on the shelves. Not sure if that can be addressed or not. Maybe that’s like voice–it’s tough to explain.

  52. Katie on May 8, 2009 at 5:16 AM

    >The only New Year’s resolution I remember making was to read the Bible in three years… I know, three years?? Isn’t it usually a year? I’ve tried that multiple times…. do you know how many times now I’ve read Genesis and Exodus!? Way too many to count. So I thought a three year resolution would work best. So far I’m doing pretty good.

  53. Jennifer Shirk on May 8, 2009 at 4:55 AM

    >#1: Although I like Kris, I did NOT peg him to be in the top three, either.
    Adam will win. He deserves it. But I’ve been a huge Danny fan from the very beginning.

  54. Kim Kasch on May 8, 2009 at 1:08 AM

    >Cannot believe the year is almost half over πŸ™

    1. I have no idea

    2. My goals were:

    Bike to work (not yet – this year)
    Take a class (going to SCBWI in a week)
    Lose weight – I know πŸ˜‰ (this is the hardest)
    Reconnect with forgotten friends (done this)
    Volunteer (done this)

    3. When do the ?’s become annoying . . . hoping not yet.