REVOLUTIONARIES has an agent!
It’s been one year since I last updated my blog with the news that I was working on a time-travel novel.
If I measured that year by the query letters I sent to prospective agents, by the days and weeks and months I waited for their replies to appear in my inbox, by the months spent editing drafts to integrate their suggestions (I’m up to draft 5, if you want to know), by the months I spent waiting for their responses to my new drafts, by the weeks I spent waiting for the U.S. Mail and Canada Post to convey one rectangular manila envelope across 1,800 miles, and by the hopes and fears I cycled through each day I emailed, waited, revised, and waited, then I suppose it’s been a long year.
If I measured that year by the rise and fall of the sun, by the inches my son has grown (he’s taller than me now), by the miles my daughter has cycled to middle school and back, by my ascendance up the hill to the likely halfway point of the years allotted me, and by my husband’s gentle descent down the opposite slope, then I would say this year has gone all too fast.
Either way, time has flowed inexorably forward. Yet my mind has often slipped backward. If I had to guess, I would say that I spent more than half my waking hours this past year thinking, speaking, and writing about the past. And so I’m pleased to announce that some of that historical ruminating has a bright future – in the capable hands of my new agent, the wonderful Jennie Goloboy of Red Sofa Literary!
Although I’m no time-traveler, a year ago I would have predicted that my search for an agent would turn out this way. I had the feeling that Jennie would get REVOLUTIONARIES, because she’s not only a literary agent, she’s also a historian – and, more specifically, a historian of the revolutionary era, with her own book about the era coming out this fall.
It probably doesn’t count as a spoiler to reveal that REVOLUTIONARIES is set during the American Revolution. As an expert on this era, it was incredibly important to me to get the context right. I don’t mean just dressing my characters in breeches and stays. I wanted to get the characters’ sensibilities right. I used a historical thesaurus of the English language, combined with date-restricted searches on google books, to check all of the dialogue for anachronistic usages. Almost every named character in the novel comes from a primary source. And those of you familiar with the revolutionary sources will recognize that the novel is hugely indebted to one first-person account of the Revolution in particular. (Any guesses whose?)
Of course, my primary goal in writing REVOLUTIONARIES was to entertain: myself first, and readers second. The novel has sex! adventure! and fighting! But it also has heaps of research behind it. Jennie appreciated that. In her words, she likes the novel because the people in it feel like they’re from the eighteenth century. Now it’s in Jennie’s hands to find an editor who gets the book like she does.
So, we wait. How long? I can’t predict the time in days, weeks, months, or years, but I know that the days will move forward like treacle, and rush past with the force of a cataract. No worries, I’ll be living half my waking hours in the past anyhow.