Query Letters

Thursday, August 13th, 2015 03:47 pm
marthawells: (The Serpent Sea)
Inspired by Ann Leckie's post My Query Letter for Ancillary Justice I thought I'd post my query for The Cloud Roads.

Mine is a bit different in format because I was following my agent's guidelines. I've left off the first part of the letter that explained that I had left my former agent earlier in the year, and then I listed my past publications (which at that point was seven fantasy novels, two media-tie-ins, and some recent short fiction in anthologies and magazines.

The date on it was Tuesday, December 11, 2007. Jennifer Jackson asked for the full manuscript and agreed to represent it, and it went out on submission in 2008. It then visited many, many publishers who didn't much care for it, before finally finding a home and being published by Night Shade in February of 2011. (By that time I, being an optimist, had already written The Serpent Sea, and it was bought at the same time as The Cloud Roads.)

****

My new novel is a fantasy, with the working title _The Cloud Roads_, and will probably be about 120,000 words when complete. I'm currently about 77,000 words in, and think I should be finished with it by March, at the latest. I've copied in a brief description and the first five pages below. If you'd like to see more, I can send you a partial manuscript by mail, or email you chapters in Word, whichever you'd prefer.

Thank you very much for your time,

Martha Wells



Synopsis:

Moon is a shapeshifter, who can transform into a winged creature. He has been traveling the different lands of the Three Worlds, trying not to reveal his abilities to anyone while looking for a place to belong. He's also trying to stay ahead of the Fell, a race of large demon-like creatures who have been attacking the various kingdoms of the Three Worlds.

When the tribe Moon is living with accidentally see him in his other form, they think he is related to the Fell and try to kill him. He is rescued by another winged shapeshifter, Stone, who believes that Moon is a lost member of his people, a Raksura.

Stone convinces Moon to come back with him to Stone's Raksuran colony. But when they arrive, Moon discovers that what Stone didn't tell him is that Moon is not only a Raksura, he is a consort. A consort is the only kind of Raksura who can breed with the queens, and Stone is bringing Moon back specifically as a mate for the young queen Jade.

Stone is hoping that once Jade has a consort, she will be able to take control of the colony from the older and badly ill queen Pearl. Once Jade does this, the colony will be able to move to a better location, safer from the Fell.

Many of the other members of the colony think of Moon as an outsider, a dangerous solitary, and object to his presence, and Moon thinks it's impossible for him to belong there, and isn't certain he wants to be Jade's consort. Then they discover that the colony has already been infiltrated by the Fell. To save the colony, and his only chance at a home, Moon will have to help Jade and Stone gain control of the colony, and find a way to free it from the Fell invaders.

***
marthawells: (The Serpent Sea)
Early this morning I got to see the second sketch by Matthew Stewart for the cover of Stories of the Raksura II: The Dead City & The Dark Earth Below (April 2015) and it is also gorgeous. I can't wait till we can finally show the finished version to people.

If you missed it, here's the final version of his cover for The Cloud Roads with two earlier versions on his site. (He won the Chesley Award for best paperback cover art in 2012 for it.)

In related news, there is a another GoodReads giveaway for Stories of the Raksura: The Falling World & The Tale of Indigo and Cloud

Couple of articles:

* We are all living among the dead by Annalee Newitz, on death and loss as we get older.

* The Guardian: Feminist games critic cancels talk after terror threat Anita Sarkeesian cancels talk at Utah State University over threats of 'the deadliest school shooting' in US history

Questions

And I haven't done this in a (long) while, but if anyone has a question, a general question about publishing (how it works, agents, etc), or a question about my writing, or my books, or cats, or anything else I've been doing, ask in this post and I'll try to answer it.
marthawells: Cover for the Cloud Roads, Art by Matthew Stewart (The Cloud Roads 2)
I got some really good news yesterday. The trade paperback of The Cloud Roads is being reprinted. It's been increasingly hard to find since last year, so it's really good news that the publisher is going to reprint, rather than letting it just go out of print.

So if you've been trying to find a copy for yourself or for a gift, it should start becoming available again soon. It's nice to have it also available in ebook and audiobook, but a lot of people still do like actual print copies.
marthawells: (The Serpent Sea)
Okay, first big news:

The Cloud Roads is the SF/F Kindle Daily Deal for a $1.99, Yay! This is the first time I've been a daily deal, so it's kind of exciting. If you were ever thinking of trying it out, or trying to get someone else to try it out, this is a good cheap opportunity. Also, it helps the chances of me being able to write more in this world, at least novellas.

***

links:

* We Need Diverse Books Campaign
On May 1st at 1pm (EST), there will be a public call for action that will spread over 3 days. We’re starting with a visual social media campaign using the hashtag #WeNeedDiverseBooks. We want people to tweet, Tumblr, Instagram, Facebook, blog, and post anywhere they can to help make the hashtag go viral.

* Reach Out and Read
Reach Out and Read is an evidence-based nonprofit organization of medical providers who promote early literacy and school readiness in pediatric exam rooms nationwide by giving new books to children and advice to parents about the importance of reading aloud.

* Strange Horizons: The 2013 SF Count
Welcome to the fourth year of Strange Horizons' "SF count" of representation in reviewing. The idea behind the count is straightforward: for the last calendar year, for a range of SF review venues, to calculate the gender balance of books reviewed and of reviewers. The aim is to draw attention to imbalances in literary coverage.

* The Guardian: Nigerian abducted girls' families fast losing hope of rescue
President calls emergency security council meeting over teenagers rounded up at gunpoint despite guard's presence
200 girls are missing in Nigeria – so why doesn't anybody care?

Several Things

Friday, November 2nd, 2012 09:18 am
marthawells: (Default)
We have a heavy mist this morning, like a gothic novel is happening in the neighborhood. I hope it comes back tomorrow, when we're going to the Renfair with friends. Also finally got a good night's sleep last night. The bottle of hard cider probably helped.

Cheap Book thing:

Night Shade Books has put the Kindle US version of The Cloud Roads on sale for $1.99. (Down from normal price of $7.99) Probably a promo for The Siren Depths, which will be out next month. (You can read the first two chapters on my web site here.)

Hurricane links:

* How to help in New York City after Hurricane Sandy A list of organizations to donate to is at the bottom of the post.

* The donation page for the Red Cross.

* My agent, Jennifer Jackson, is doing a charity auction for hurricane Sandy relief: You can bid on a critique of a partial manuscript.

* Solar Water Disinfection I keep a collection of empty plastic soda bottles as part of our hurricane kit.

* Writer Marie Brennan has an autographed book sale to benefit disaster relief.


Fun things:

* Kickstarter for The 2013 John Picacio Calendar This would make a great Christmas gift.

(no subject)

Thursday, March 8th, 2012 07:59 am
marthawells: (Zoe)
We're supposed to have torrential rain and storms tonight, leading into a cold wet weekend. It must be Spring Break for the university.

I started reading a new mystery series that looked really promising, set in regency England, with a cozy theme about cooking and the first uses of chocolate in a solid form (as opposed to a drink, which had been common for quite a while). I liked the first few chapters so much I went and bought the second one. Then the cozy theme got dropped and it's missing the sort of multiple character interactions you expect from a regency. I think I'll go back to reading fantasy.

I think I've finally started writing a new book. Very tentatively, so I don't want to scare it off. After a few days of barely being able to string two words together, it's a relief.


***

Neat review of The Cloud Roads on YA Anonymous Martha Wells, you had me at disemboweling claw.

***

Book rec: The Modern Fae's Guide to Surviving Humanity, edited by Joshua Palmatier and Patricia Bray, with stories by Kristine Smith, Seanan McGuire, Juliet E. McKenna, Kari Sperring, and others.

***

YouTube L'Odyssée de Cartier This is a commercial, but it's an awesome fantasy commercial, aimed at people who like big cats and dragons. You just have to see it to believe it. Work safe.

The Atlas Obscura posted this: Old Maps Online

This was just neat: A Bird's Nest Bed

N.K. Jemisin posted this on Twitter: Hello Ello: Why The Pretty White Girl YA Book Cover Trend Needs to End Recently, there has been more Asians on TV than usual. This makes me happy because it is such a rare event. Spotting an Asian on TV always feels like trying to find Waldo. And when I do spot an Asian on TV or in the movies, I jump up and down and get overly excited, like I've spotted some rare species or mythical creature, like a unicorn, or Big Foot.
marthawells: (The Serpent Sea)
Okay, the Three Worlds Compendium and Extras Section is now open! It has the short stories set in the world, a missing scene from The Cloud Roads that hasn't been posted before, plus some new material for the appendices at the back of the books that hasn't been printed.

It also has things like this:



I'll be adding more to it as I think of it.

(no subject)

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012 07:43 am
marthawells: (Reading)
It's going to be an active morning. We already had one kitty-violating-litterbox-protocol moment (7:00 am is always the best time for those) and I have an early doctor's appointment. When I get back, I may be able to finally finish the climax of the third Raksura book. :crossed fingers: After that, all that's left is to clean up the emotional carnage.

In the meantime, I have a guestpost on Laura Anne Gilman's blog talking about gender and society and character and sex in The Cloud Roads.


I've also posted some links to reviews for The Serpent Sea on my web site.

That's about all I've done lately except write.
marthawells: Cover for the Cloud Roads, Art by Matthew Stewart (The Cloud Roads 2)
What this is:

This is a drawing for your choice of either a free signed trade paperback copy of The Cloud Roads or its sequel The Serpent Sea, which will be out in late December/January.

Note that The Cloud Roads as of this morning is still being offered as a free promo on Amazon Kindle US here. I don't know how long it will be free.



Rules, such as they are:

* Comment on this post with some indication that you want to enter the drawing. You have until Friday December 16 at about mid-morning or so CST to enter. At that point I'll call a halt and randomly draw at least three winners. The winners will have to provide me with a mailing address and let me know if they want the book just signed, or personalized with their name (or someone else's name if it's a gift).

* I will pay for the shipping, and yes, entries with international shipping addresses are fine.

* Only one entry per person, please. You can enter either on Live Journal or on Dreamwidth, but not both.


If for some reason there are tons of entries, I may add a couple more copies. If you don't want to enter but you know someone who might, please let them know about it.

(no subject)

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011 08:09 am
marthawells: (John Green Trees)
The jury duty I was supposed to have today was canceled. This makes me very happy! I'll spend that time at the post office (I'm mailing the winners' books from Sunday's giveaway) and the grocery store. I'm also pretty much done with holiday shopping. I've only got about three presents left to get.

Next week on campus is not going to be fun. The heat for most of the buildings is provided by steam that travels through underground pipes. Last week, facilities tried to test the system by turning it up high, some pipes burst (causing some fire alarms and water outages) and incidentally melting the fiber optic cables for the campus internet backbone and taking out AT&T. AT&T brought in portable units to keep the cell phone coverage going, but the internet cables are literally held together by threads at this point, and they're hoping it stays that way until after graduation this weekend, then they're going in to fix it. Hopefully it won't affect the internet in town. Troyce is calling it Fibergeddon.

***

Patrick Rothfuss' Worldbuilders Fundraiser for Heifer International is still going. A donation puts you into the drawing for many fabulous prizes.

The fundraiser for writer/artist/editor Terri Windling and her family's medical bills is [profile] magick4terri and it ends on the 15th. Just looking through some of the incredible art, jewelry, food, books, stories, etc that have been donated is incredible. My auction is here.

N.K. Jemisin's post on the Book Smugglers Smugglivus book rec fest. She recs some great books, and says very nice things about The Cloud Roads and The Serpent Sea and that I make her think of LL Cool J, which is AWESOME.

Book Signing

I am doing a book signing on Saturday, January 7, 4:30, at Murder by the Book in Houston, Texas, with Kimberly Frost and Jaye Wells, and if you can't go you can order signed books from it here. The Serpent Sea isn't showing as available yet because it's not out yet, but I'll keep an eye on it and post again when it is.
marthawells: Cover for the Cloud Roads, Art by Matthew Stewart (The Cloud Roads 2)
Got a surprise this morning: It looks like the kindle version of The Cloud Roads is FREE on Amazon this morning, so if you have an eReader and haven't already got it, this might be a good time. I didn't know the publisher was going to do this as a promo, or I would have given you guys a head's up.


The winners of the hardcover signed copies of Wheel of the Infinite are: odo, tingler, fantasycafe, avidreadergirl, drstur, ladyjax. (I decided to throw in an extra copy, so there were six winners.) I'll comment to the winners to make sure they know. Thanks to all the Sunday readers who entered!

I should be able to mail the books in the next couple of days. I need to get to the office store and buy more shipping supplies, and I've got some things to mail for the holidays too.
marthawells: Cover for the Cloud Roads, Art by Matthew Stewart (The Cloud Roads 2)
The audiobook of The Cloud Roads, narrated by Christopher Kipiniak, is out today!

This is exciting for me, because it's the first time one of my books has ever been recorded as an audiobook!


ETA: and it's on Amazon now: here
marthawells: Cover for the Cloud Roads, Art by Matthew Stewart (The Cloud Roads 2)
Got some good news! The Serpent Sea, the sequel to The Cloud Roads, will be out this coming January. I've seen a draft of the cover, too, so hopefully I'll be able to post the final version soon.

It'll be a trade paperback and an eBook, like The Cloud Roads, and I'll post when it's up for preorder.

I really should clean the house today, but I think that probably won't happen. I'm going to just work on the third book, and try not to think about the drought.

(no subject)

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011 07:28 am
marthawells: (Wheel of the Infinite)
Woke up with a huge headache today, augh. It's probably the weather, but I need to get over it, because the weather here isn't going to change for the next six months.


links:

Nnedi Okorafor: Proprioception I’ve always been interested in people labeled as "abnormal" or "abomination".


The 2011 Chesley Award Finalists with galleries of all the nominated pieces. Matthew Stewart, who did the cover for The Cloud Roads, is one of the nominees. You can see more of his work here.


Saw this on Facebook: Weedrobes: Artist Creates Stunning Garments From Fruit, Weeds, Flowers


In lieu of other content, I mentioned I'd post my playlist for The Cloud Roads, so here it is:


1: Did Anyone Approach You - a-ha
2: Apple - Cibo Matto
3: Life's What You Make It - Talk Talk
4: Loneliest Star - Seal
5: [Untitled] - Vast
6: Sugar Water - Cibo Matto
7: Show Me What I'm Looking For - Carolina Liar
8: Under the Milky Way - Sia
9: Where Has Everybody Gone? - The Pretenders
10: Night of the Hunter - 30 Seconds to Mars
11: Drumming Song - Florence + the Machine
12: Tell Me - Billie Myers
13: Forever May Not Be Long Enough - Live

(no subject)

Monday, May 9th, 2011 08:19 am
marthawells: (John Eyes Closed)
Monday again! Despite not feeling well on Friday, I had a pretty good weekend. I got some good news, which I don't know if I can post about yet. And I got some more good news, in that The Serpent Sea, the sequel to The Cloud Roads, will be starting the editorial process later this month. I don't know when it'll be out yet, and I'll post that as soon as I know.

I also finally got some new material done on the third untitled Cloud Roads book. (This series really needs a name, since it actually looks like it's really going to be a series now, though the third book isn't sold or even spoken for yet. I'm trying not to be too optimistic.) I've got between 60,000 and 70,000 words completed, but I've been taking parts out, putting them back in, moving things around, and being generally stalled on it for most of the last few months. I think I've finally got it figured out, though I've thought that before.

Tonight is Doctor Who watching night! Which I'm really looking forward to.

Couple of links:

The Night Bazaar: C.J. Cherryh's Advice for Writers You don’t get fame and fortune. The ones that hunt it tend to be obnoxious, and not people I like to hang out with. But being able to tell your friends is a good thing, and if your friends aren’t glad for you, you need new friends.

That last sentence is very true, and I've learned it the hard way, over and over again.

Inkpunks: The Dos and Don'ts of Your Online Presence What you should have on your pro website

(no subject)

Thursday, April 28th, 2011 05:23 pm
marthawells: (Atlantis fog)
Stole this idea from [personal profile] kateelliott:

You paste the text of your novel into the form at Wordle, and make a Word Cloud for your book. This is The Cloud Roads.



Wordle: The Cloud Roads by Martha Wells


ETA:

And The Serpent Sea:

Wordle: The Serpent Sea by Martha Wells

(no subject)

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011 09:31 am
marthawells: (John and Teyla)
Last chance to enter the drawing for a free copy of Well of Sorrows by Benjamin Tate! I'll draw the winner in about an hour. ETA: and we have a winner! [personal profile] shanrina


Good: My new lenses came in a couple of days early, and I had them put into my old frames, and now I can see again, yay! The people on TV have distinguishable features again! I'm not squinting all the time!

I picked the second squash from our first-time vegetable bed today for dinner. All the plants are different sizes for some reason (they were all planted on the same day) but if the squash continues to ripen at different rates it'll be good. Because otherwise we're going to suddenly have a lot of squash. Like, we'll have to hold the First Annual Squash Festival in our backyard.

Not good: The wind was intense yesterday, we skipped spring completely and went straight to June, and the drought is so bad and it's so dry we have fires all over the state. There's a small chance of rain today, so cross your fingers for us.

FAQ: A few people have asked, so I wanted to post it here. Yes, there is a sequel to The Cloud Roads. It's called The Serpent Sea, it's set in the same world, same characters, and starts out shortly after The Cloud Roads ends. Like The Cloud Roads, it is a complete story in itself. I'm not sure exactly when it will be out yet, but it should be sometime next year.


Link: Robin D. Laws: Where Bad Writing Advice Comes From

(no subject)

Sunday, April 10th, 2011 03:57 pm
marthawells: (Atlantis II)
A great review of The Cloud Roads from Adventures Fantastic

From Rogue Blades Entertainment's Home of Heroics blog: The Flying Manicurist: For sheer amazing heroics there are few people who can match this… manicurist. She was also a beauty shop owner, a laundress, a chili cook, a college drop-out and a farm hand.

And for a brief time, from 1921 to her death in 1926, she was "Queen Bess", the first African-American woman pilot and a barnstorming sensation. Bessie Colman was someone who not only had a dream and achieved that dream, but was determined to open a path for others.


Google News about the LJ downtime: Russian bloggers accuse authorities of cyberwar MOSCOW — The LiveJournal blogging site, hugely popular in Russia, on Wednesday fell victim to a major cyber attack that bloggers said appeared an attempt to to silence political discussion ahead of elections.

Atlas Obscura: Telegraph Island – Jazirat al Maqlab and Tonina

(no subject)

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011 08:33 am
marthawells: (Default)
It has been 1 day since our last non-fatal squirrel-related drainpipe accident.


Links:

Remembering Octavia Butler, SciFi Pioneer

Jim Hines has released a new Goblin stories ebook

Gregory Frost has a guest post on Mentoring and the Kindness of Strangers



Mostly me-related links:

My agent Jennifer Jackson is having a drawing for two free copies of The Cloud Roads on her blog here.

Bill Crider posted a great review of The Cloud Roads on his blog here.

My Big Idea Post on John Scalzi's Whatever Blog.
marthawells: Cover for the Cloud Roads, Art by Matthew Stewart (The Cloud Roads 2)
I've got a new post up at the Night Bazaar blog on Secondary World Fantasy. That's the topic there all this week.

This is also the official release week for The Cloud Roads on the Night Bazaar site and we're doing a book giveaway for it over there. Just comment on my Night Bazaar post there, or on any other post at the Night Bazaar this week, with the title of a novel set in a secondary world, and you’ll be entered in the drawing at the end of the week for one of at least four autographed and personalized copies of The Cloud Roads. (If you want to check the book out, there are reviews and sample chapters on my site here.)

If there's a bunch of entries, I'll probably add a couple more copies. If you know anybody who might be interested in entering the drawing, please pass this along.

***

Yesterday we took a break from everything and went to Sherwood Forest Faire near Austin, and had a fabulous time. It was kind of windy and dusty at times, but since the site is almost completely under tree cover, it wasn't too bad.

Couple of highlights: there was an ent out there this time, and I got pictures which I'll post as soon as I wake up enough to find the camera. Plus the Circa Paleo has a stage out there, with a coffee house and hookah bar. It was a very neat set up. They had a tent with a counter that sold all kinds of hot and iced tea and coffee drinks, with tables and floor cushions for the people using the hookahs. It's close enough to the stage to hear the music and see the band.

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