Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Don't you love the way I post every day? How about every week? Every month? Well, all right, so it's been more like once a year. My bad.
Actually I have an excuse. I've been having issues with Blogger. It has spent many moons trying to convince me I don't have a blog, have never had a blog, and need to set up a new account. Excuse me? I already have two blog accounts and can't even keep up with one. Why would I want to set up another one? Sorry folks, Masochism is not my middle name...or my first one, either.
That said, I want to say how pleased I was at the LDSStorymakers writing conference this past weekend to earn first place in the first chapter/historical novel contest with my biographical I, NEPHI... based on the life of early Jackson Hole homesteader, Nephi Moulton.
Yeah, I know. Y'all saw me running around with a goofy grin on my face, so you probably have an inkling what it meant. I really think, though, that if an old lady like me can learn to write well enough to win first place with a novel written in first person from a young male pov, any one of you can do the same.
It wasn't just that I won...but last year, after I finished the book, I sent a query and five pages to Nathan Bransford, literary agent with Curtis Brown, Ltd. Nathan promptly asked for the first 30. (Hey, when that guy says he tries to keep on top of things, he isn't kidding. He read my five and replied within two hours!) He didn't feel he was a good fit and so, ultimately, turned my book down but I felt it was an honor that he even requested additional pages.
Was I surprised that he turned it down? No. My book is too secular for the LDS market and too LDS-oriented for the national market. Nephi was, after all, the youngest son of a polygamist's first wife. He left Utah and left the LDS church (returning to the religion of his youth only as an old man) but he still carried his polygamous background with him. The book centers on his efforts to resolve the issues that shaped his life. So, while Nathan didn't feel he, personally, was a good fit for my book, I felt that the fact he even wanted to read more than the first five pages was almost as exciting as winning the first chapter contest at Storymakers.
Anyhow, they both show me the efficacy of Winston Churchill's famous words, Never give up. Never, never give up.