Amy on writing

I am Querying #7

Hey WPs!

All quiet here on the ole Westphal front. I’m still waiting on 10 query replies and resisting the urge to send out another dozen.

In the mean time. Let’s talk about comps….

Comparable titles. What is this and why do agents want it?

Many agents ask for you to add examples of novels like your own to your query. Like “x meets y equals me” or “People who love x will love me.”

And this little request just might be the death of me. I cannot seem to wrap my head around these comparable titles. What if I’m totally off base and they don’t see the connection? Or what if they hate the that book? Ugh! No likey.

Does any one have any tips for tackling this new bane to my existence?

Drop me a line, HELP!

Otherwise cheers, Amy.

Amy on writing

I am Querying #6

Another day and I’m still at it.

The count is

4 rejections

11 live.

I kind of went query happy and shot out more than my live goal amount.

But that’s okay. More to agonize over right? Who doesn’t love that.

I’m having some thoughts about things too. Thinking and what not. A dangerous pass time I know…

More on these thoughts later. But I’ll give you a hint: Comps man, comps.

Until next time…

Cheers, Amy

Amy on writing

I am Querying #5

Hey my WPs. I have some reportin’ to do. I meant to do it yesterday but my incessant preoccupation with lurking on twitter has prevented me from functioning like a functional human.


But there is a reason for my madness. You might say my preoccupation is as helpful as searching for the Muffin Man on Drury Lane. But. I am making an agent list. And in this modern technological age, the best way to learn about agents tastes and interests is on Twitter.

Writers gotta write after all.

So as overzealous as I’m being about it, which is perfectly in character for me, I feel like I’m collecting a very educated list of viable agents for my book. Which is definitely a good thing.

It also gives me a break from refreshing my inbox. Also a good thing.

Oh. And now the report…

Current count:

3 rejections

6 live

Wish me luck. Thanks for reading.

Cheers, Amy

Amy on writing

Crossing Over

But where will my book go? I wonder as I wonder though the crammed aisles of Barnes and Noble.

Wishful thinking? Perhaps. But I can’t think that way. I am a writer and I wrote a book. Therefore I must dream of its cozy space on the shelves.

I never set out with a niche in mind for my book. I just wrote what I’d like to read. But I settled on YA because my story, at its root, is very much a coming of age story.

But what if it has mature themes? Graphic scenes of sex, violence truth? Life or death choices and the exploration of love and consent?

Are these really just adult issues?

Absolutely not. Teens don’t live in a vacuum. They are smart and curious, and by all means should be able to explore what the world is like in the safety of a book. They’re exploring life outside their parents clutches already, whether any one likes that or not.

Books that explore themes that affect young adults should be available to young adults. That is what the crossover market is all about for me. And that’s why I’m going to start shopping my book to agents as YA crossover.

Books that deal with themes that suit and interest adults and teens alike have a viable shelf space in the crossover genre. So in my opinion, let them youngins cross that bridge. Better yet, cross it with them.

Imagine having something to talk about with your kids other than the same old? To create an environment of healthy communication and discussion. Perhaps one that has more than yes or no answers?

From this parent, that sounds pretty good.

Cheers, Amy

Amy on writing

I am Querying # 3

Welp… I got my first rejection. Bummer I know, but I do feel like a Querying author again.

And as promised. I broke the proverbial seal and whizzed off another 4 .

current Count-

5 queries

1 rejection

4 live.

The 4 agents have between a 2 week and 2 month response time. My plan is to keep at least 4-5 live at a time.

In the meantime I plan to finish my read of The Kirkwood Scott Chronicles: Skelly’s Square and post a review for it. If you haven’t gotten your copy visit and follow their amazing blog and buy Stephen Black’s debut fantasy novel set in Modern day Belfast.

If you’re already awesome and bought your copy of Skellys Square then I also recommend Martin Strike’s preposterous tales from The Newbury short story teller. If you love British humor this is it. Visit

There are so many talented author bloggers that I follow. I will have no shortage of choices. Off the top of my head, here are a few other books on my keep-busy-so-I-don’t-go-crazy list.

His Name Was Zack by Peter Martuneac

Echo by Kent Wayne

Climbing Over Grit by Marzeeh Laleh Chini

Bloom by Beauty Beyond Bones

I hope I can join this incredible list of published authors soon. 🤞 😬

Cheers, Amy

Amy on writing

I am Querying #2

I have had two queries out for two days and what a stark raving lunatic they make me.

I have checked my email incessantly since. And frankly, there are only so many visits a person can make to the bathroom before it gets weird.


I have done this before. Twenty times to be exact, but this first go on the second round feels so vital. I really need just one response to to break the tension and let it ride.

I swear it. One response and I’ll let it ride. I will query and wait like a respectable writer.

This includes a good scotch, typewriter and a tilted fedora.

Not really,

More like coffee, soft spoken sarcasm and flannel.

Cheers, Amy

Amy on writing

I am Querying #1


After 6 months of tedious rewrites, I am again querying agents and publishers for my YA SCI FI novel CAPTURE THE TIDE.

Because querying makes me want to check my email every 2 seconds I’ve decided to start a new blog series following the ins and outs of the process. Hopefully it will help me not irritate the shit out of myself.

We’ll see…

For an update on where I’m at, here’s the stats.

Last year I queried 20 agents between June 2018-December 2018. I had one request for a full and 19 rejections. Yikes!

And that’s not even that bad. I know. Thick skin is a must.

I also had an R and R turn into just an R. A little disappointing, but I expected it. I’m glad I revised. I’ve developed more as a Writer and have gotten invaluable feedback along the way.

I’m hopeful.

Current stats-

July 22- 2 queries sent

Wish me luck.

Cheers, Amy

Amy on writing

Amy’s Bad Advice #12

It’s worth what you paid for it.

This weeks Bad Advice is for writers. *disclaimer- this advice hasn’t bagged me a book deal but nonetheless…. I shall give it anyway.

Querying an agent or publisher.

1- Most new writers query too early. You are not the exception, the lone delicate snowflake deemed worthy to fall on the tongue of a hungry agent. Review, revise, and sit on it.

2- Do that last thing a lot more times. Review, revise, sit on it.

3- After you’ve sat on it for an appropriate amount of time, send it out to 5-10 agents. No bites after 15? Time to revise again.

4- Try not to write more than 250 words in your query. If you can’t sum up your book in that span, your plot may be convoluted and need work.

5- the ob-vi’s (obvious)

-Address the correct agent in the header.

-Do not use a comp title unless it really suits.

-Don’t tell them that you have a Pulitzer/greatest story of our generations/any other weird narcissistic poppycock.

-Remember to thank the agent for their time and consideration.

-If an agent passes/rejects your query, don’t write back to ask why. Move on to the next 80-100 agents accepting your genre.

7- Be tough, your worth and value are not your book. Just getting this far is a big deal. If it doesn’t work out this time? Write on writer.

Cheers, Amy

This concludes Amy’s Bad Advice: the summer edition. Dig my sweet progressive bifocals? I feel very distinguished.

If you have any tips for querying please share in the comments.

Amy on writing

It is done…

Capture The Tide, a tale of survival, hope and love in a post apocalyptic world is ready to ROCK!!!

Finally! After 6 months I am finally, officially ready to start shopping my book again. I assembled my query letter and my R and R and it’s on. Game time.

By the end of the week I will be a querying writer again. It feels good.

I will update again in a few days, yes a few days. I know. So unlike me but I actually have something to talk about again. Yay!

Cheers. Amy

Amy on writing

Bittersweet spangles

As the sun sets here in America, America will blow out its candles with all the grandeur and hoopla of a toddler.

Because America, as we know it, is a child. An infant in the broader sense; Ignoring the the wisdom of its native elders and its cousins across the sea.


Because children make mistakes, children must be nurtured to learn and grow. Turning your back on a child is like turning your back on the ocean. Stupid. Don’t do it.

For every two steps forward children always manage to take a few steps back. But they get there. With love and guidance, children get there.

America is a child. It needs love and guidance to grow.

It will take all of us to to guide it right.

From one parent to another.

Happy 4th, Amy