With all these rejections on my query, I tried another couple beta readers. A beta reader is someone who reads your novel first, to tell you where you screwed up.
She was brutally honest and I'm very grateful for that.
I'm depressed. She pointed out that while I sell it in the query as a Young Adult (12 up) story, the first few chapters read like a middle reader story. I'm not quite sure what that is but this means it's not what it advertises itself to be. Also, it later becomes that. So I can't quite focus on an audience.
Meanwhile, Ann cant ever have love because the whole love feelings between her and Tom cant work with her being a 10 year old. The visual is quite disturbing. To take the high ground, she could never have love and that is not what readers would want.
She suggested Ann be 14 instead of 10. Then I could go for the love/ infatuation and it works.
She's right, of course, but that means letting go of the little children vampires and such. She says teens wont want to read about children vamps. She says that the teens she asked turned their noses at it.
So child vampires that play or teen vampires that grow and love?
My friend Mike pointed out that I could start out as kids and allow them to age a bit. This would mean that they start out as cute vamp children and become teen vamps in love later.
Of course, this is my story and not theirs, but I've received 24 rejections. Some of those came from people who either read part or all of the story. Rachael Vater said their were a lot of editing problems I needed to work on first.
I feel good about the age idea, but would that sell?