The Great Querying of Antiquity Grey

This is a post about agent querying! Beware!

Just kidding. Nothing to worry about here. Just sharing a part of my writing life with all of you!

Some backstory first though. I finished the first draft of The Tempered Steel of Antiquity Grey back in February. I stepped away from it then, needing space to look at it with fresh eyes. I returned to it in late March, to work on its second draft. As Neil Gaiman says, the second draft is done to make people believe you knew what you were doing all along. It took a week to read the book and work in new foreshadowing, additional scenes, focusing on better dialog, and cutting extraneous words/passages. I incorporated feedback from Terry Brooks; it became a stronger book for it. I also gave it to Robin Hobb, and she says she’s loving it.

That’s not all on the news front. The Tempered Steel of Antiquity Grey has already received full manuscript requests from two major SF&F publishing houses. It means when I have a book that is ready, it will be read by amazing editors I trust. It’s because I have a strong marketing platform already built with you wonderful readers at its foundation!

While all of that sounds wonderful — and it is — there are so many more steps to go. The first step was coming to terms with the fact that I’ve taken the book as far as I can on my own.

So what’s the next step after that?

The agent. To improve the book and champion it.

Finding the right agent is not easy. It takes a query letter, a succinct document used to garner interest from an agent. It contains information about the book’s story and the writer’s credentials. If properly written, a query letter leads an agent to request a partial or full manuscript. From there, it’s up to the agent to decide if they can champion the book. If an agent takes me on as a client, we pitch the book to editors and its the agent’s job to ensure editors read the book and decide its merit in a timely manner.

I spent the last two weeks researching agents who might embrace the type of story I’ve written. I chose agents I respect. Most of them have clients I call friends or they have pitched books to editors I know. I only queried a handful of agents this time, mostly for my own sanity. It’s easy to obsess over the entire process. And I’m too busy to spend time obsessing.

Want to know how I pitched Antiquity Grey? Read below:

Forever shamed for family actions a century earlier, Antiquity Grey is a young woman living in a far-future city of Erth. It is a life of danger and hardship, dragons and advanced technology.

But when she discovers an outlawed and operational mech buried in the sands of her planet, she realizes its secrets hold the power to reverse her family’s dishonor while challenging the Imperium’s off-world oppressive might.

I think it is a cross between Red Rising by Pierce Brown and Pacific Rim. With my queries out there, it is now a waiting game. Agents all differ in their response times. Sometimes they get back to you within an hour; sometimes it can take two months. Either way, I wait while working on my father’s commemoration short story and the sequel to The Dark Thorn.

If you want to read The Tempered Steel of Antiquity Grey, post your interest in the comments below!

Hope you are reading something great! And ask me any questions below you might have too!


27 thoughts on “The Great Querying of Antiquity Grey”

  1. Helen Thornton-Gussy

    Sounds awesome! I love that style of F & SF. I’m a huge fan of Red Rising (and who isn’t?) so even though I’ve been looking forward to reading Antiquity, I’m now REALLY looking forward to it!

  2. Fitzgerald Reist

    Would love to read about Antiquity Grey. I’ve enjoyed everything of yours I have read and each one is better than the last.

  3. Oh, absolutely you know I’m wanting to read this when it’s available to be read. In fact, I’m gonna clear off a spot on the to-be-read pile right now…

  4. I’ll be your agent! How does one Agent anyways? Ok, I’ll wait to read it. Can I be a Beta? Please please please!!!

  5. I’m very excited to read Shawn’s labor of love. It will be interesting to see how he handles sci-fi/fantasy and a female protagonist. Can’t wait!

  6. Michael Leaich

    Having read the beginnings of this story in the Mech: Age of Steel anthology, I have been looking forward to reading more about Antiquity Grey.

  7. I hope that things progress smoothly through all the process. I am very interested in reading about Antiquity Grey. The short story was well written.

  8. Lowell Ziegler

    I love the pitch. I have enjoyed everything you’ve written so far. Can’t wait to see this in print!

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