Dear Agent: XOXO from Kimmery

Note: this week, we are discussing the process of landing a literary agent. For anyone unfamiliar with this torturous process, it involves writing a one-page letter, describing your book and yourself, in which you are supposed to entice, or at least not frighten, the agent. You wanna talk about the sting of rejection? Settle in, child. I am the patron saint of awful query letters. In the beginning, I tried very hard to write a concise, hooky one but I failed. I had an unmentionable number of rejected query versions, including an unfortunate batch I discovered one morning after I’d had a teeny bit of Ambien the night before. (Oh, the horror. I awoke feeling ridiculously confident, turned on m

Kimmery Investigates Slow Time

A few weeks ago, I stumbled across an article in National Geographic about the longest train ride through India. You know how every now and then you read something that triggers some awakening in your mind, as if the author had composed his language solely for you? To me this article was so arrestingly beautiful, so beautifully phrased, and so poignant that it seemed personal. Bear with me here through some excerpts. Beneath the relentless churn of steel, wood, and dust, the Indian railway is made entirely of stories. For more than a century, it has witnessed the infinite expression of the human condition, borne the incalculable weight of separations, and gently rocked the world-weary into

In Which Kimmery Thanks Five People* You Wouldn’t Expect

For this post about people without whom The Queen of Hearts would not exist, I decided to go rogue in order to list a few unexpected influencers: a cranky genius, a maligned but immensely successful author of erotica, a fictional six-year-old, a group of 70,000 over-sharers, and, uh, me. To the usual suspects in a thank-you list (my agent, my editor, my beta readers, my writing groups, and my long-suffering friends and family) I owe you a separate article. And a really nice bottle of bourbon. 1. Bill Bryson. Bill and I have a one-sided relationship. I love him, whereas he is blissfully unaware of my existence. On the surface we have little in common, as writers or as people: he’s a famous Ne

The Debutante Ball and the Princess

At my wedding, my sister told a story of how we used to play a game when we were little called The Princess and the Servant. In this game an inviolable rule existed: the older child would always be the Princess and the younger child would always be the Servant. My sister, being a sweet and unsuspecting soul, went along with this rule for years before thinking to question it, at which point the Princess apparently suggested moving on to a new game. Despite this excellent training, I did not grow up to become a princess. My castle is not overrun with people at my beck and call, there are no adoring crowds anxious to do my bidding, and there is nary a tiara in sight. I am pleased to announce, h

A Celebration and a Smackdown: An Update on The Queen of Hearts

I was contemplating the time course of novel-publishing the other day, after someone asked me an interview question about how long it will have taken to get my book into the world. The short answer: it's slow. The long answer: one year to write, one year to edit and have other people critique, one and a half years to get picked up by an agent and a publisher, and two years between signing the contract and finally holding the hardcover book in my hands, which will happen on the glorious date of February 13th, 2018. I'm in the homestretch, finally. Six months to go. And now things are getting more exciting: we are planning parties and bookstore signings. I'm meeting with publicity people in Ch

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