Discover more from A Faster No
It's Friday I'm in love
warning: flashing gif at the end
Before I get into the good stuff (i.e. me talking about how I stopped worrying and learned to love reading again) I want to highlight the Back To School special I’m running:
For $25 you can get a critique of your query and the first ten pages of your novel, from now through October 5 (my birthday, coincidentally). To take advantage of this limited-time offer:
Pay the $25 fee using Venmo (linked here). Paypal is also an option if you’re based overseas and have access. Use the email below for that.
Snap a screenshot of your receipt.
Send the screenshot and your query + 10 pages to me at email@example.com.
I’ll confirm receipt of your payment and materials. All critiques will be returned within two weeks of receipt.
Please note, manuscript pages should be sent in MS Word format, 1” margins, 12pt Times New Roman font, page numbers in bottom right corner, header with Author last name and title, and first line special indent 0.5”. Incorrectly formatted pages will be reformatted according to these specifications, which may result in the shortening of your submission.
I’ve already received a few takers, but some of you have sent money and no materials - remember to email me the receipt & the materials ASAP so I can confirm receipt! Thank you to everyone who has reached out so far!
And next Wednesday 9/29 I will be doing an Instagram Live with Rebecca Heyman on her instagram page, doing a #FirstLineFrenzy— be sure to follow us both, and also submit your first line for possible inclusion on this form!
Ok! on to the good stuff!
I was in a real reading rut after I left agenting. I don’t think I finished a book that wasn’t for work for months—or if I did, I didn’t write it down anywhere. It’s a big change, switching careers, and I think my brain, whenever I was faced with the option to read a book or do anything else, almost always chose the latter option.
And then one day some switch inside my brain just flipped. I remembered that something similar had happened back when I first started agenting; I’d realized that I had los sight of what a good book looked like, because I hadn’t read one in so long. I’d only been reading queries and submissions, so my brain was full of critique rather than wonder and excitement.
The brain needs wonder, and excitement, and they’re even more vital if you are a person giving advice and critique. So I picked up a book and got to reading. The first book I have recorded for 2021 was Tamsyn Muir’s Gideon the Ninth, and if you’re looking for wonder and excitement, you could do worse than going for lesbian necromancers in space. When it came time to read Harrow the Ninth I had to re-read Gideon, which I’d read in one orgiastic rush, and just like that, I was off. (I think Harrow is less successful than Gideon, simply because it’s so freaking confusing, and also: Harrow is a much less compelling narrator! There! I’ve said it!)
I’ve read fifty-one books so far this year, in a variety of genres and formats, and even the books I don’t love, or that I give up on altogether, have brought a little more wonder and excitement into my life. In addition to naps and stupid little walks, it turns out that I also need enrichment—a chance for my brain to experience great art so that I can help others with theirs.
So! What are you reading these days?
Do you have a question about writing, publishing, books? Is there something you want covered in this newsletter? Do you pine for my thoughts on Nicklas Backstrom’s new haircut? Leave it in the comments or in a reply to the newsletter!
No THIS WEEK IN HOCKEY or LINKS/LINKS REDUX today, sorry!
READING: A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine
LISTENING: Year of No Light “Aléthia”
This has been A Faster No, a dispatch on publishing, writing, books, and beyond. Is there something you’d like me to talk about? Leave it in the comments or reply to the email! You can support the newsletter here. If you purchase a book from any of the links to Bookshop.org I get a small commission at no cost to you. I am available for developmental editing and editorial assessment services via Reedsy.