Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Another encouraging email, posted verbatim without comment.

An email regarding BLACK STRING, from my agent, the esteemed Abigail Samoun, on May 26, 2015. 

Dear Tom,

I'm so glad I had a chance to read this revision before my trip to New York next week because I AM GOING TO PITCH THE HELL OUT OF IT. You have done an extraordinary job on this draft, Mr. Llewellyn. I'm floored. The writing is so much tighter, the narrative is so much more emotionally engaging, the plot fits together so much more logically. I started the book Saturday evening and, despite Tristan using me as a climbing structure and trying everything in his two-year-old bag of tricks to hold his mama's attention, I finished it before the long weekend was over. The attached draft just has a few line edits but overall, there was very little work to be done on it. I am just chomping at the bit to get it out to editors. Thank you for working so hard on this. I'm going to do my darnedest to find the very best home for this one. It deserves it. 



Friday, May 22, 2015

And Black String is on its way

After about three months of rewriting, my next manuscript is (hopefully) done. BLACK STRING is about two years in the making, so far.

For fans of The Tilting House, BLACK STRING is very much in that style. It's a middle reader novel, meaning it's aimed at the tween age range. It's set in Tacoma. It's full of mystery, magic, and suspense.

The main characters of BLACK STRING are:

Marcus - a seventh grade boy whose archeologist father disappeared five years earlier.
Aster - a new girl at school. She's smart, bold, but has a secret that makes her sad. Did I mention she's from Ethiopia?
Lucas - Marcus' younger brother - fearless and a bit of a brawler. He's addicted to Junior Mints.
Jannie - Marcus little sister. She's obsessed with cats and Leonardo da Vinci. She doesn't say much, but may be smarter than anyone.
McLean - the mysterious madman who moves into the tree in Marcus' front yard.

The setup:

It's been five years since Marcus' father disappeared from an archeological dig. The family has finally put itself back together. Marcus is struggling through seventh grade. At the end of one particularly lousy day, a package arrives in the mail. It's a simple ball of black string.

As soon as the string arrives, Marcus' life turns upside down. His house begins to glow. A crazy man moves into the tree in his front yard. And strange clues about his father's disappearance begin to build one one another.

Who sent the string? What's the meaning of all these bizarre events? And why would such a simple delivery cause such complete chaos?

My agent, the esteemed Abigail Samoun said a few words about this manuscript that make me both hopeful and nervous: "If we get this right, I think this could be a big breakthrough book for you." I've spent the last three months following her editing advice and hope we've gotten it right. In her most recent email, she said she hopes "to pitch it in NYC when I’m there at the beginning of June."

So tie a string and cross your fingers. I like this one. The nervous side of me says it may not go. But the hopeful side thinks it's got potential.