After posting my review of Veronica Scott’s Wreck of the Nebula Dream, Chicory remembered seeing the query on Evil Editor. Well it turned out that old EE had recently reposted the query as an “Evil Editor Classic”.
I asked Veronica to write a blog post on the experience. Take it away, Veronica!
In 2007 I was an unpublished author trying to learn my craft pretty much in a vacuum. I didn’t know what I didn’t know and so I hadn’t joined any writers’ groups or loops, hadn’t found my own beta readers and critique partners, didn’t know how to look online for the wealth of advice and assistance available. I was committed to improving the stories I was telling, in hopes of someday becoming published. At that point I’d written the first drafts of four science fiction novels and thought maybe I was ready to start querying agents and publishers. Being a total newbie to publishing as it existed six years ago, and realizing feedback was essential, I hit the send button, emailing a sample query for one of the novels to the Evil Editor blog.
A lot of the feedback I received in return was useful, no one was too snarky, which I appreciated. (Humorous yes, serious suggestions yes, overly snarky, no!) EE and the commenters were probably much kinder than they could have been, given the total newbie things I was doing at that point, including some predictable beginner mistakes…the novel was too long, I was trying to write a synopsis without knowing it, I wanted to send an agent fifty pages of the book….I did revise my draft query a few times in 2007 in response to the comments and suggestions but it was clear to me after the experience that I was in no way ready to submit anything to anybody. What I had was a very early draft of a novel that required a lot more revising and rethinking and I needed to become more knowledgeable about the publishing world. All good, solid realizations!
I honestly don’t remember all the ins and outs of the EE experience. 2007 was the start of some very turbulent times in my personal life and I basically put the draft novels on the shelf for several years to deal with what Life was tossing at me and my family.
Flash forward to today and I’m happy to say the finished version of what was a raw manuscript in 2007 eventually (after revisions and edits) became my WRECK OF THE NEBULA DREAM, which received a 2013 SFR Galaxy Award and was a recent Amazon Best Seller in Science Fiction Adventure.
I didn’t give it much thought in 2007, but now that the finished, polished version of my novel is out there as a published work, I do kind of regret that there’s a titular connection to that six year old, public feedback because the early version had a lot of “growing up to do” as a novel and the finished book is drastically different than the 2007 version. (Although the fundamental “bones of the plot” endured.)
I don’t regret the path I took, however, because I firmly believe writers need feedback to make the books stronger, whether from Evil Editor, Dear Author’s First Page feature, or your own circle of beta readers and critique partners.
Of course I always reserve the right to listen to the feedback and then make my own decisions LOL!
I hope we didn’t embarrass her too much by dredging up these old memories. If you have any questions about Veronica’s experience, just leave them below; she has promised to come by and take part in the conversation. I’ll start!