“In the can” is a film term, I believe, for a movie that has been completed. I have two book manuscripts in the can. And I’m going to tell you what’s up with them.
The first is now called “Divine Interventions” (formerly titled a couple of stupid things. I’m terrible at naming things, except for children I reckon since I like my kids’ names). It is what I would’ve called in grad school a postmodern novel. Today it might be called a mashup. The plot goes something like this: Ariadne wants to be a Muse, but the Muses don’t want to add to their number. So Ariadne has to convince the gods that she’s worthy and to do that, she’s going to inspire a human woman to literary greatness. There are elements of Greek and Eygyptian mythology, fairy tale, steampunk, and urban fantasy. It’s funny. (It’s supposed to be funny and we’re all funny in our own minds, so how should I know if it’s funny?)
I’ve queried perhaps three dozen agents with this. I’ve gotten several partial requests and one or two fulls and all agents have declined. The replies are varied – some are form rejections, some are more specific. I will be the first to say these things about Divine Interventions:
– It’s anchovies in a field of potato chips. Lots of people like potato chips. Not as many like anchovies.This book is anchovies and I have to find an agent that likes my anchovies.
-It’s kind of a smarty-pants book. I don’t know how to say this without sounding mean. So I will just say, I think you have to be kind of smart to “get” this book.
-As my first book, it has a special place in my heart and I love it so I might be the only one who ever loves it.
I plan to continue querying it but I think I’m going to try the New Adult angle instead of Adult.
Book number two is called “Daughter of Light.” It is a young adult fantasy/alternate history. It’s about a young woman who learns she can do a special kind of magic and she’s recruited by a covert department of the British government to defeat Otto Hitler, who is taking over Europe with an army of reanimated corpses.
I’ve only queried a handful of agents with this one, really because of time constraints. Twins take up a lot of time. But I’m hopeful, more hopeful than with the other book, because it’s more potato chips than anchovies. I am making a list of agents to query now, and hope to start that process in the next couple of weeks.
And I’m researching a new book, a new adult urban fantasy. That’s all I really have to say about it.