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  • Writer's pictureJon Bolitho-Jones

To the Query Trenches!

It turns out with kid’s parties being illegal during Covid (though grouse shooting is not) I have ended up with a lot of free time on my hands. I have tried not to put this to waste, and have finished a few projects. I don’t know the word count but in total I have written 1 short story, 1 Sci-Fi Detective novel (my Dad’s favourite), 1 Sci-Fi Horror Novel (which my wife refuses to read) and a YA Fantasy novel. I have also started the 4th book in the Edimor series, and started book 2 of what I call the Flitticks series. I’ve also done a lot of editing and have even sent some of my work off to get a pro-edit. Problem is, with all these new manuscripts sitting around, I need to do something with them. That’s when I stumbled back upon a certain activity – literary agent querying.

Now the way I published When the World Falls Down is known as partnership publishing. Pretty much self-publishing but with some support and direction in the vein of traditional publishing. The Matador team have been very helpful but I feel my marketing campaign suffered from immense bad luck, being sent out just in time for Covid to come crashing through the doors. No one is going to care about a local author’s quirky fantasy debut when a deadly pandemic has just arrived. However I am one of those indie author heathens who secretly wants to go the more traditional route. I’ll be ostracized by the community any second now. But that’s what I am currently trying to achieve.

Known as the query trenches in the writing community, querying literary agents is a long, laborious journey. That is unless you are very lucky or have a particularly unique narrative to tell which is currently in vogue. My current batch includes 3 different submissions – a YA Fantasy, a Sci-Fi Horror, and a Sci-Fi Detective story. Each has their own cover letter, synopsis, and a couple of preview chapters. I have even made separate lists of agent details for each of them, and yes it can get very confusing at times. At one point my computer had around 20 word tabs open. But hey with more submissions that means there are more agents to apply for! It also helps to have this by my side too:

Very handy book, and one I would recommend if you want help being a writer. It has also helped that my sister-in-law is doing the same with her middle grade fantasy story and so we are encouraging each other along. So here’s hoping that someone in these mad times will like me, my work, and be confident enough that they can sell it too. For if anything, literary agents have to be careful with what they represent – they need to be pretty sure they can make some money out of it.

So that’s where I currently sit on my writing journey. Whether as an Indie Author, a traditional one, or a mixture of both I slug away. I’m currently taking bets on which of the 3 will be picked up first. My money is on my Sci-Fi Detective novel, but who knows really! But what about my main fantasy series I hear you ask? Don’t worry it is moving along. Currently book 2 is at my editor’s house being made pretty. It is called A Long Journey into the Dark – another happy title! I am very proud of this one and I am eager to share it with you all. Who knows, maybe once my editor is finished with it I could send an email over to Matador? Perhaps I should wait for Covid to finish up first. I would finally like to say a big thank you to everyone who has bought a copy of my book and supported me on my journey so far. It really does help. And if you have any questions feel free to send them my way on Twitter. I’m @JonBolithoJones – I’m easy to find.

So with that it’s bye for now. I will be back soon.


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