Sunday, August 16, 2009

Ender's Game

At the SCBWI meeting yesterday I read a page or two from Noah Zarc. Afterward one of the members asked me if I ever read "Ender's Game" by Orson Scott Card. He said it really wasn't anything like Noah Zarc, but my story reminded him of it. So since I was at a bookstore anyway, I picked up a copy. I could tell after about 20 pages it was going to be good, because I found myself looking at the back to see how many pages it was, and thinking that it wasn't going to be a long enough book. By the end of the day (ok 12:30 this morning) I had read the whole thing.

It was an utterly compelling story. It had all the hallmarks of an "epic" story at least how I define epic. A small child is given a choice between an easy life with his family, or the chance to save the planet. He chooses the latter and goes to "Battle School". There he quickly rises through the ranks of the other kids to become the leader that the world needed, just in the nick of time.

Ender's Game had elements of Dune, and Harry Potter (although ender's game was before HP) and it sucked me in and I couldn't put it down all day. Finally I reached about 20 pages from the end and could not figure out how the author could possibly wrap the story up in time, then wham, the he hit me with an amazing twist. I highly recommend it.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


I am currently working on gathering a list of agents to query. In doing so I noticed that several of them were members of SCBWI, the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators. I checked it out and decided it would be worthwhile to join. After joining I was thrilled to discover that they have a local chapter that meets at the Barnes & Noble in Fairlawn. The first meeting is this Saturday. I am really looking forward to attending. They also have a conference coming up in September. It looks to be a pretty well-planned event. At this point I don't really know what to expect, but I have my registration filled out, and my two copies of the first ten pages of my manuscript ready for critique. I will definitely let you know what happens.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Moving closer to submitting

I just sent off the latest revision of Noah Zarc to a couple of my most honest and forth-coming critiquers. The plan is to take their revision suggestions, incorporate them into the manuscript, give it one more pass for grammar/spelling issues, then begin sending it out to agents. So while I wait for feedback, I am working on getting the rest of the needed "Novel Package" ready to go. First up is the query. This is the short description of the story that will go in a letter or email to agents, hopefully "hooking" them so they want to read more. Take a look. Please feel free (or compelled) to give me feedback.

Noah Zarc couldn’t imagine life without piloting spaceships through the solar system, dodging killer robots, and saving the earth’s animals from extinction. Life couldn’t be any better for the ten-year-old time-traveler, but he soon learns it could be a whole lot worse. His dad becomes stranded on Earth, ten thousand years in the past. A madman kidnaps his mom, taking her to Mars a thousand years in the future. All while Noah is stuck on the dark side of the moon in the 21st century. His only means of transport—a city-sized spaceship, filled with animals of every size and kind—but it hasn’t moved in years. Noah, along with his brother Hamilton, and sister Sam, know they will have to use every talent they possess to outwit a foe, bent on forcing their mother to destroy an earth that only recently became inhabitable again. At the same time keeping their dad from freezing to death or getting squished by wooly mammoths in the Ice Age. Along the way Noah discovers a dark, family secret, his mother and father aren’t who he thought they were.