Not mine. My wife's. She awoke one morning after a vivid nightmare about feeling trapped in a house and escaping through the woods. As soon as I heard it, I knew it would make a great story.
I outlined (something I rarely do, but when I do, I end up with fewer frustrations) the plot in early 2009, drafted the story over the summer, and promised the Mrs. it would be ready for her to read by Halloween. Following a couple edits, Those Who Wait ended up being 110,000 words. After a few suggestions from my wife, I tweaked some of the details, then sent out queries the following year to 20 agents. Two requested partials, but they eventually declined, inviting me to submit something else in the future.
Instead, I got into writing and submitting short fiction. Because in 2010, my first story was published. Then I sold 7 more that year. And that rush of adrenaline inspired me to keep writing and subbing short stories ever since. I kind of...neglected Those Who Wait.
What's it about? Glad you asked. Here's the blurb-in-progress:
Jillian Thompson’s summer vacation has turned into a living nightmare.
She graduated from St. Stephen’s High School with honors, and after befriending three popular cheerleaders she tutored senior year, all four girls plan to spend an amazing week together at a secluded cabin on Crescent Lake. But while jogging through the woods, Jillian takes a wrong turn and plunges down a ravine, injuring herself. Jeremiah Worher, a young local, finds her and carries her to his shack deep in the forest. His kindness and care gradually evolve into obsessive control as he refuses to go for help. He tells her that God brought her to be his wife, the helpmate he’s prayed for.
What follows is a cat-and-mouse game as Jillian attempts to escape only to be thwarted by Jeremiah’s uncanny ability to predict her every move. He won’t allow anything—or anyone—to come between them. As the body count rises, Jillian realizes no one will be able to rescue her from this psychotic killer. She has to save herself—even if it means disobeying the 6th commandment: Thou shalt not murder.
This past January, I decided it was time to dust off that little novel and give it another couple passes. By March, I'd shaved off 10,000 words, and I was ready to start querying again. So far, I've sent queries out to 14 agents, and last week...one requested a partial. Hope to have some good news to share in the coming months.
What about you? Any neglected manuscripts demanding your attention? Any dream-inspired tales?