Monthly Archives: May 2013

BEA, Here I Come!

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I’m super excited I get to go to a day of the Book Expo America conference this Saturday! A lovely friend is paying my way as I watched her pup for a weekend while she traveled, so we have Power Reader passes.  There’s so much going on that I’m not sure what we’ll see or do but BEA has an app for Smartphones to help plan and prepare, so you know I downloaded that!  If nothing else it has a GPS kind of mapping system so we can find our way around the convention center.

Now I have to decide if I’m going to look dorky and bring a little rolling suitcase for all the goodies I plan on snagging, or just go with tote bags so I can look like  bag lady. Neither look is especially chic, but I’m hardly a fashionista so it’s not like it *really* matters, right? I do think a suitcase will be easier to handle on the train home than three or four bags of stuff. We shall see.

Is anyone else attending or have attended in the past? Suggestions, tips or recommendations?  I’ll do a post next week about the experience.  I have a feeling it will be kind of overwhelming, but a good time!

 

Teaser Thursday – Staying Alive

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I bet you guys forgot about the Near Death sequel! While it’s still a work in progress, I figured I’d share a small snippet…especially since I forgot to do a post for today and need something quick! Hahaha

Umm…*WARNING* Kind of a spoiler if you haven’t read Near Death yet!  And if you haven’t…what are you waiting for? ^_^

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Jack hadn’t planned on leaving so soon, but when he walking into the kitchen and saw his girlfriend sitting there, crying, he knew he had to go.  He quietly slipped out of the house and headed back towards his own home on foot.  It wasn’t a long walk, but it would be long enough to clear his head a bit.  The air was cold and brisk and he could feel his wet hair stiffening up into sharp peaks.

He walked on auto-pilot, having taken the route many times in the past several years.  His head was jumbled full of thoughts and accusations and guilt.  He vaguely noticed he was coming up to a corner, but a quick glance told him the coast was clear.  As he stepped off the curb, he heard the sound of an air horn, the type used on big rigs. Eyes wide, he turned and saw a huge truck barreling down on him. How had he missed it coming down the street? He tried to step back up on the corner, but he tripped and stumbled on the lip of the curb. Thinking his time was up, he shut his eyes and hoped it would be a painless death when all of a sudden he felt something grasp the back of his jacket, yanking him back, practically throwing him onto the neighboring lawn.

Befuddled and a bit sore, Jack looked up. There was a figure towering over him, blocking out the sun.  While he couldn’t make out any of the facial features, the wings were a dead giveaway; Chris, the Angel of Death, the one who Jack had shot and killed four years prior, had just saved his life.

Again.

How I Query

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I was told perhaps I should talk a bit about my querying process, since I’m going through it right now.

The majority of my querying has been done as the result of contests, but I do also own a copy of the 2013 Children’s Writer & Illustrator’s Market to hunt for agents. When I started to prep for the process, I went through the book and picked a handful of agents.  I made up a spreadsheet where I added the agency name, agent I was planning on querying, their email address and website. I added cells for what they wanted in a query (how many pages, email or snail mail, etc.) and cells for when I sent the query and when I got a reply. Finally I added a space for comments.

I’ve used this spreadsheet for all the agents who requested pages from the Pitch Madness contest.  I’ve found it really handy to have all my information in one place. I can check to see who I’m still waiting to hear back from and the comments lets me see if my rejections are saying the same kinds of things and perhaps it’s an issue for me to look into before sending the next round out.

Also very important is to check on the agency website and agentquery.com to make sure that agency is still accepting Young Adult submissions. Even though my Market book is from this year, I have already found several who are no longer looking for YA. I add them to my spreadsheet so I won’t accidentally query another agent from that agency. No point in wasting all our time, right?

Once I have my grouping of agents I’m going to query, I start making up my letters.  The majority of it will be the same for each agent, but I always add in something about why I’m choosing that particular agent or agency whether they’ve published other authors who write similar books or that I admire, or if it’s because I follow the agent on Twitter and am responding to a call they put out, etc.  It takes time, but it’s important to personalize the letters.

Before hitting the send button, I double check name spelling (both the agency and the agent!), make sure the part of my story that is included is copied into the body and that the formatting is correct.  If they ask for an attachment (this typically only happens after they’ve gotten your query and ask for a partial or full) then I double check that I’ve given them the amount they asked for in the right version of Word or a PDF, etc.

I send them all out, mark my spreadsheet and sit back and wait…and wait….and wait.  Of course I could be prepping more letters during that wait period, but normally I’m too busy working on other things.

That’s my basic process. Any questions?  Is your process similar? Any hints on how to improve upon it?

It’s All in the Voice Contest

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I’m participating in Between the Sheet‘s blog hop/contest about character voice. We’re to post the opening 250* words and hoppers will give their opinions and critiques. Excited to see what people think!

 

*mine is slightly longer than 250 just to end off at the end of a paragraph.

 

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Title: Heavyweight

Genre: YA GLBT contemporary romance

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Chapter One

 

So I’ve got six rules for dating. They go like this:

1) Never date the same person for more than one month.

2) Never date the same person twice.

3) Always behave like a gentleman, but try to remain distant and aloof.

4) Never give more than a kiss. Preferably short pecks. Definitely no tongue.

5) For the love of God, NO TOUCHING BREASTS!

6) Always end it with an “It’s not you, it’s me” speech, highlighting their greatness while making yourself out to be the dog.

I’ve got my reasons, but these keep me sane. Keeps most of the girls from getting too attached and keeps my balls intact after I let them go.

A brunette ball of energy bounds my way, all smiles and twinkling eyes. My name is on her glossy coral lips and her curves are probably the focus of every hot-blooded male standing on the green. Holding back a sigh, I open my arms to receive her but as she’s rocketing my way, something—or actually someone—catches my attention.

Who.

Is.

That?!

Shoulder-length black hair with…are those blue stripes artfully running through it? Skin like porcelain. The sun reflects off a silver lip ring. It seems to be winking at me. Slight build, yet the skin tight tee shows that he must work out.

Shit. My jaw is hanging and there is drool on my chin. My teeth click with a snap and I try to focus on the girl hugging me. Maggie’s soft body is rubbing up against mine as she greets me hello, but I cannot seem to avert my gaze from the new boy. Who is that Adonis?

Brain Dead…

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So, I’m afraid this isn’t going to be much of a post. Between spending my days trying to pick up freelance work to make ends meet and starting training for a new job, I am totally and utterly spent. I haven’t written any fiction in about three weeks. Three weeks!  That makes me super sad, but what’s a girl to do when she has bills to pay?

I’m panicked and stressed and exhausted. I’m still waiting on answers from three other agents (hopefully some good news soon on that front) and I’ve got a synopsis to write so I can submit a short to  Xchyler Publishing‘s call for their paranormal anthology.

I would love you guys forever if you could throw out some blog topics you might like me to cover. That would make things easier if it was one more thing I didn’t have to think up! Hahah

I haven’t forgotten about getting the writing question answered by other authors so I’ve got that coming up soon and Thursday I am taking part in a blog hop contest about character voice over at Between the Sheets* so you’ll see the first 250 words of Heavyweight up then. Any other ideas you could come up with would be suuuuuper appreciated!

Thank you!!

* If you’re a writer, it’s not too late to enter Heather’s contest! Click the link above for Between the Sheets and add yourself to the comments!