Happy Friday! Sorry I have been absent from the blog most of the week. Summer comes along with its slow heat compelling one to be outside and not in front of the computer screen. I hope everyone enjoyed the first chapter I posted on Monday! Today I wanted to share some thoughts about that chapter, and how this story got started.
I got the idea for Capacitance shortly after I graduated from college. I wanted to tell a story involving college age characters on a university setting. While I never in my wildest dreams would have imagined I would be writing sci-fi, that is the direction the story took. I wanted my university students to be different than those of today. Hence, Mara’s consternation over her research–what she is doing is terribly important not only to her academic career, but also to society as a whole. Some people (mostly adults who have been jaded by the hedonistic existence of their own college age children) aren’t able to grasp this concept of university level students acting so mature and professional; however, it is this exact sort of bending of the norm which I wanted to portray. Blending the familiar with the new is a tactic I use quite a lot in this series of books–I want readers to feel a connection to the characters and their experiences so that they find the dystopian future world of Capacitance eerily relatable.
One particular aspect of college that definitely influenced my first chapter is a hatred for group projects. Throughout my career at KSU, these group projects would loom up on the syllabus landscape, causing dread throughout the ranks of students. I never met a fellow student who enjoyed group projects, and it was always a struggle to get a group of college students–all with very different schedules and levels of motivation!–together at a convenient time to work productively. In my experience, a group project always meant a collective sigh of frustration; thus, Mara’s reaction (although hyperbolic, given her situation) is definitely one any college student can relate to.
Sharing my first chapter of Capacitance not just here on the blog, but with agents as well, has led me to some exciting news! Last night I received my first request for the full manuscript from an amazing literary agent from a very reputable firm! I sent her my query letter and the first chapter of Capacitance a little over a month ago, and got a request for material last night. It is thrilling in and of itself, but also helps me feel more confident. I had been finding myself in a slump due to the rejections that were piling up, so to have an agent ask for the full manuscript feels great–even if nothing comes of it, at least I know I am doing something right. The first chapter I sent to this agent which lead to her request was not exactly the same as the one I posted on Monday; as you may remember from a previous post, I rewrote the first chapter recently. While I am slightly shocked that an agent was still interested even after all the exposition my unrevised chapter contained, I am mollified that the first chapter wasn’t as horrible as I thought. Many agents take upwards of two months to get through and decide on a full manuscript, so it could be a long wait, but I will definitely keep you all posted on this exciting development! In the meantime, I am going to keep writing, keep querying, keep persisting! As a celebration of this exciting news, I will be posting Chapter 2 on Monday! 🙂