#Fiction Friday: #Novelines from the Book

mormoni

I stood in awesome wonder as I beheld who I recognized as the Prophet Joseph as a boy, on the Hill Cumorah. He was conversing with an angel. I started to walk towards them. The angel looked my way, but the boy did not seem to hear me.

As I drew nearer, I saw that the apparition was not an angel but a goat. It was beyond this scene that I saw a path through a grove of trees, leading down into a dark abyss, & I knew that was from whence this creature had come.

I rushed to the boy, trying to tell him that this being was not of God but a demon, wanting to touch him, but unable to, screaming for him to see what I saw.

Ronald Reagan watched us enter the foyer, his eyes with that twinkle of merriment, almost as if he were laughing at us. David had always said Reagan had been such a charismatic President because of his acting ability, though many of his University colleagues had debated whether the Old Gipper had ever had any acting ability.

When Sister Schafer bragged that her husband was a direct descendant of Brigham Young,” David muttered, “Who isn’t?”

Brother Schafer had re-emerged, holding 2 large stones. They were the clearest rocks I had ever seen & looked almost like breast implants, so it was funny to see him balancing one in each hand.

Brother Schafer placed his palms on the stones, & his whole body was filled with light. He was like Brigham Young, his son, like Joseph Smith–everything was going in reverse chronological order.

It was strange, for I could still hear all around me, all that was going on in that room, the 2 worlds colliding—one of sight, in the past & one of sound, in the present.

The spell was broken as Brother Schafer ended what had turned out to be a séance of sorts, conjuring up visions of visions. Had I gone back in time, only to be unable to change the history that had been made before my eyes?

The lights came on, and with a shiver, I realized no one had seen what I had seen, for I had been alone there in the forest. The very people who believed in Joseph Smith’s teachings had brought him back from the dead, only for God (or had it been the devil tricking me?), to tell me that he had been mistaken, to show me that after all, he had been just a boy with an imagination out of this world.

#Fiction Friday: #Novelines from the Book

Mormoni

I’d always had a feeling there was a special reason why we went to that little, out-of-the-way diner during the long drive home…

Foster’s Diner was like a place that only appeared when we needed it, awaiting us at the end of a tree-lined road that seemed to go nowhere.

The Diner was like out of a Twilight Zone—it had a timelessness about it that made one want to go back to a place one had never been.

Beth and Gerald Foster were friends of the family, yet they had never met my mother. Somehow, I knew she wasn’t supposed to know about them.

Only David knew where the Diner was; if I tried to find it myself, I’d be as Gretel, lost in the woods.  David was the magic that made it appear.

Years later, I would learn that Foster’s Diner wasn’t our hideaway, but the hideaway of its owners—for the woman David loved hated them.

Twas always summer at Foster’s Diner—the magnolias with their fat, white blooms creating a green canopy like a time capsule, preserving it.

The foliage surrounding Foster’s Diner was thick, so even when it was summer day, it felt like winter night.  We were always the only patrons

Leaving Foster’s Diner was like a drive-through car wash, but with leaves scraping our windows, like fingers trying to keep us there.

The light always blinded me so when I tried to look back, I could no longer see the diner, as if it had been a mirage—one David and I shared.

I’d accepted the mythical nature of my and David’s whimsical retreat long ago, never once thinking I’d try to find the answer to its mystery.

Only David and I knew of the Fosters—of their little diner in the big woods. When we left this earth, their memory would die with us.

Foster’s Diner was our Brigadoon, except it did not appear for a day out of a century, but for us only, for the time we were there.

What I Learned Last Writers’ Meeting (from an honest-to-God publisher of books)

So I belong to a local writer’s group called WriteOn! Pensacola.  Last week was the first time we had a guest speaker (Dan Vega, from Indigo Publishing).  I not only had a blast, but I learned a ton about what publishers are looking for (this one in particular).  I learned that I am totally okay with forfeiting my rights–I still win.  I get my book published, make money, a movie based on it is made, generating more book sales, and I make even more.  However, if it is a bestseller, then it’ll be the one and only time I’ll do that.

I learned that this is a lady to check out:  http://peggymccoll.com/, and you must be involved on social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter).  I consider this blog a bonus.

Some tips for submitting to a publisher:

Figure out your target age range within a 15 year mark (such as age 35 to 50 years old). Is it more male than female? Go as narrow as possible at first. (Really.)

Find out why people should read your book, so you know how to market it later.

How is a person different after reading your book? (You have to have a “vision” for your book.  This was really hard.  The only vision I’d had before was that it’d become a bestseller.)

Readers today want shorter books (we have 12 seconds–the attention span of a goldfish–to hook a reader).  Books between 125 and 175 pages Paperback, 8.5×11 Or 6×9 in size are recommended.

Self-help books, biographies, business books are easier to market than novels.  Cookbooks and children’s books are a bit harder to sell because of more time and less profit margin involved.

~

So, I attached my novel, “Because of Mindy Wiley”, to an e-mail to Mr. Vega and his staff at Indigo River Publishing, with these notes:

Genre:  Southern Gothic Horror

Word count:  220,000 (Book is naturally divided into three parts, so I would be willing to publish it as a series).

Audience:  Female, between the ages of 20-35; those who enjoyed “Flowers in the Attic” and “Peyton Place” would like “Because of Mindy Wiley”; also, former Mormons.

Vision:  To provide pure escapism while bringing awareness to how rigidly aligning with any religion can improve or diminish one’s life or the lives of others around them.

Online presences in which to promote book:

  1. Facebook account
  2. LinkedIn account
  3. sarahleastories.wordpress.com
  4. twitter.com/SarahLeaSales

The end.

Of course, I always think of something I should have included after I’ve hit send.  Though my book is primarily a Southern Gothic horror, there is also a light touch of magical realism (think Alice Hoffman) to it.

An Author in Search of a Market

antique-typewriter-keys

If I had to describe my book, Because of Mindy Wiley, I’d classify it as a Southern Gothic horror with a little magical realism thrown in, or, more specifically, “where V.C. Andrews meets Mormonism” (see:  https://sarahleastories.com/because-of-mindy-wiley/).  I am reworking several chapters from it to submit to “The Midnight Diner,” which describes themselves as a “hardboiled genre anthology with a Christian slant.”  The journal seems to combine two of my favorite things:  noir and religion.  Many of my stories (in my opinion) have always been too religious for the mainstream market and not religious enough for the Christian/LDS market.

Though I still write what I want, I am writing for specific markets/tailoring my existing work (without compromising my craft) for certain publications, as well.  The best site I have found for writing jobs is writingcareer.com.