Musing 9/9/13 ~ The Next Step in the Submission Process

It’s a new month and the children have all gone back to school.  Stay-cation is over and I’m back to work, which is actually ok.  It always helps when you like your job.

If you’ve checked my Facebook page you know I recently finished a heroic fantasy novel, Tinderbox, which takes its inspiration from Andersen’s The Tinderbox.  If you’ve never read it you can go here: http://hca.gilead.org.il/tinderbx.html to read a copy.

I’m sending this one out to the mainstream market.  Something I haven’t done in several years and I’ve been climbing the walls.  “But wait, CJ, you’ve published before!”  You say.  yes I have and I’m eternally grateful for the professional relationships I’ve built with them and how easy it is for me to communicate with them.

But I will be sending queries for this work to agents.  I’ve been researching them for several months and I’ve narrowed the list to who I truly want to submit too.  Although I’ve said not to wait to send a work out, my dear friend Kelli Riffle, who I told about my climbing the walls, suggested I give it some time and then work on sending it out.  So I’m now working on the query letter.  I have one from awhile ago that I’m trying to tweak but now that’s just making me antsy again!

So I’ll give you a peek at what I’ve gotten so far.  Feel free to comment on it as you like and give some suggestions if you want.

Query Letter:

A simple matter of revenge becomes a fanatical ambition to destroy the life of the man who destroyed hers.  Isbet is a wandering witch possessing the Gift.  The only family she has ever known has been murdered.  Calling upon things arcane, Isbet discovers the man who killed her grandmother is now king.  How could a common man accomplish this?  The talisman the old witch jealously guarded.


A chance encounter gives Isbet the opportunity she needs to ingratiate herself into the king’s house, where she meets the crown prince of a conquered land.  Now the king’s captive, Bram Greyward’s bravery and kindness impresses Isbet and she wonders if she can persuade him to assist her.  But Bram fears the power of the talisman.  When Isbet and Bram are summoned to an underground kingdom, they find that an ancient source of magic, long dormant, is being brought to dangerous life and threatens to destroy the land. Now Isbet and Bram have been pulled into a battle not their own and must fight together to save the innocents of the land.  However there is the constant threat of the king and the three beings of the supernatural he commands.


Tinderbox takes its inspiration from The Tinderbox by Hans Christian Andersen and is complete at 92,000 words.


Under the pseudonym of C.J. Black I have previously published two fantasy erotic e-novels with Liquid Silver Books as well as several short stories and novellas with various online small-presses such as Ai and Cobblestone Press.  As an author, I have over twenty years of experience.

I am currently seeking a literary agent with the expertise to assist me in realizing the full potential of my writing career for my present and future works.  I have planned two other works in this universe with the hope that whomever represents me is willing to develop a longstanding professional relationship.

I’m still in the process of working on it and probably will at work today, unfortunately, I won’t be able to check at my blog until I get home tonight.  I know there are agent blogs who will allow you to place your query letters for critique so I’m going to be looking around today.  In the meanwhile, plans are already in place for the second book in what I hope to make into a series.
But it’s going to be a lovely day and I accomplished what I set out to do and I’m in a pretty decent mood because of it.  But that’s always the way I feel when I finish a work.  It’s that great sense of accomplishment.
Peace ~

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