The moment I finished writing the first draft of The Diner on Third, a young adult paranormal mystery, I felt as giddy as my 17-year-old main character when her hunky college boyfriend grazes her hand with his. With a massive grin and intermittent giggling, I opened my email account and sent a message to a few people who had helped me along the way. Then I added a few more names. Then a few more, thinking so many people have been around while I struggled with story ideas, characters, agent rejections, and failed projects in the past. Surely they would want to be a part of my success, even a success as minor as finishing a manuscript.
Truthfully, the success isn't minor to me. It's a big deal, but in the realm of publishing, I can hear seasoned editor/agent/writer types saying, "So what? You finished a book. You're a writer. That's what writers do."
And I guess that's what makes it such an impressive feat.
It's what writers do.
I've earned my official "I'm a writer" pin, or I would have if one of those actually existed.
Once a writer writes a novel, though, what's next? Well, for starters, I suppose I should answer the dreaded question authors hear most, one I heard from many of you when you responded to my giddy email.
What is your book about?
Writing a book wasn't the easiest thing I've ever done, and I'm sure I'll talk a lot about the process on this blog. However, it was somehow easier to write a 64,000-word novel than to explain in one sentence what it's about.
Yet, fine-tuning the pitch or hook of your story is key in the publishing industry. If I can't make it attractive in the time it takes a potential reader to digest the few lines on the back cover in a Barnes and Noble, then a publisher will likely not want it.
So here's my attempt at answering the question: What is The Diner on Third about?
After three years of hiding behind static night vision cameras, 17-year-old ghost hunter Leia Angeletti begins to see paranormal “scenes” with her own eyes, scenes that aren’t picked up by the equipment she carries. She fears they might be hallucinations, perhaps the onset of mental illness which runs in her family. Instead she learns she has a unique psychic gift that she hopes is unique enough to explain how a diner in her hometown can simply disappear.