Just ten hours before the deadline, I’ve submitted my time-travel story to Dreamspinner Press!
Well, okay, the deadline is March 15th, which most likely means they’d accept submissions tomorrow. (So, if you’re interested, write fast!) I actually finished the story last week, but it needed some readers to look it over. I spent the afternoon with my husband, Erich, and my best friend, Claire, going over the jumbled time-travel “science” in the novella. I’m not completely clueless about science. I’ve been known to read physics and chemistry books for fun. But I admit that quantum mechanics baffles me. Erich and Claire know at least a bit more about it than I do, and Claire has worked in a scientific laboratory. (I forget what she did, but at least part of it involved trained monkeys. And no, they weren’t hurting them.)
Once the science was made to sound more plausible and a few other details added, I think the story came out pretty good. This is the summary I sent in my query letter:
Joshua Bannon has idolized the renowned physicist, Patrick Riley, ever since coming across a picture of the man in a high school physics text book. Now that he has his doctorate in quantum physics research, Joshua is delighted to land a job working with Patrick and his assistant, Max, at the Eloi Institute. But when things begin to heat up romantically between him and Patrick, the older man balks at the twenty-five year difference in their ages. A serious bout of the flu breaks through Patrick’s reticence and throws the two of them together, at last, as well as providing the breakthrough they’ve been needing to turn time fluctuations into actual time travel.
But as the work on the time machine (affectionally dubbed “Saturn”) progresses, the relationship between Joshua and Patrick begins to unravel, until Joshua is forced to make a decision which will affect all of their futures…and their pasts.
Incidentally, the story is called Saturn in Retrograde.
This isn’t the best query letter I’ve ever written, I’m afraid. I find the last sentence both a bit cliche and awkward. My synopsis was also far from perfect — I always write them too long. But I was in a hurry, and I have a relationship with this publisher, so I’m hoping they’ll overlook those details and just read the story for what it is.
Kids, do not try this at home! Your query letters and synopses should always be as close to perfect as you can get them. An editor who doesn’t know you will chuck that baby right in the trash bin, if it isn’t up to snuff! I can’t stress that enough.
And don’t hit your little brother!
My God, I’m such a bad influence….