I'm working on the rough draft of Novel #2, while I am pitching agents for my first novel. That first book was not written nearly as quickly. I'm more than halfway through with the rough draft of #2 after about 5 weeks, whereas the first novel took me three years to complete.
Well, it was begun right after I was released from the hospital following a very close brush with death. It took me 18 months to fully recover. While I was recuperating, I began my rough draft. Since it is historical fiction, it took some time to gather the facts necessary for the story. Then I had to interpret personalities for the lesser known characters in the narrative. Being new to novel writing, I had to learn the craft. What better way than actually writing - and reading similar works. Since I am not under contract, I had time to work through about 7 revisions, top to bottom. Then I had to learn how to write a killer query. No matter how great the story, if a query does not grab the attention of an agent, it will not be published by a major house.
Now I am in the process of pitching literary agents. This, of course, takes time. Agents are very busy people who receive hundreds of queries a week. They have to weed through a ton of junk, and they can become quite jaded. But, they are actively seeking quality work. So the process of acquiring one takes some patience and perseverance. Many top writers have amazing stories about rejections. But the one thing that separates them from lesser known writers, and especially those who give up, is the fact that they stuck with it. So that is what I'm doing: patiently persevering.
And while I'm waiting on that phone call requesting more material from me, I have begun what will be the first book in a series. I know enough about the publishing business to know that once a contract is signed, publishers expect authors to produce a project in a year. I'm perfecting that technique ahead of time. I know the subject of my next book well, but that doesn't mean I can't skip research. I've just learned how to do it quicker. I'm ahead of the game, working while I'm waiting. I'm confident I'll sign with the right agent soon, and when I do, I will already have a plan in place. All of the hard work will pay off. It's just a matter of time.
In closing, I want to thank all of you who have sent prayers up for me. They are a blessing, and they are working. Keep 'em coming! I'll let you know when I sign that wonderful contract.