Showing posts from February, 2011

Monday's Muse~Boys With Swords

Last week my antagonist went through a massive character arc where he turned out a completely different person in the end. Those have got to be the most interesting arcs to write. I loved his journey as much as the destination, more probably. Of course my protagonist was right in the middle of it all, growing and changing but last week it was the antagonist's arc that commanded by time and attention. And when I picture the guy like this can you blame me for having so much fun writing him? ;) I finished reading Across The Universe  on the airplane back from San Francisco. It was a great story and I would recommend it for teens and adults. There appeared to be one gaping hole in the plot but I'm confident that it wasn't a hole at all. I have faith it is a plot twist that will rear its head in a second book. If you like sci-fi or just a great story buy it, read it, you will enjoy it! Now I'm reading The Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney and I'm really enjoying it. I love

The Gatekeeper Discovery Writer's Award

Thanks to the tweet of one of the fabulous editors at Simon Pulse, Anica Rissi , I discovered The Gatekeeper Discovery Writers Award . It is a contest for young adult writers with a $500 prize. But that isn't the real prize. Getting read by the fantastic board of judges is! Check out who is on the board: Editors: Barbara Lalicki (SVP and Editorial Director at HarperCollins Childrens) Anne Schwartz (VP & Publisher of Schwartz & Wade Books/ Random House ) Alvina Ling (Executive Editor, Little, Brown ) Karen Lotz (President & Publisher, Candlewick Press ) Selena James (Executive Editor, Dafina Books ) Anica Rissi (Executive Editor · Simon Pulse ) Sarah Shumway (Senior Editor Katherine Tegen Books/ HarperCollins ) Jean Feiwel (Senior VP and Director, Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group) Jennifer Klonsky (Editorial Director, Simon Pulse ) Claudia Gabel (Senior Editor at Katherine Tegen Books/ HarperCollins ) Evette Porter (Editor, Kimani Tru / Harlequin ) A

Pitching In 25 Words Or Less

Pitching is a big part of many conferences and the San Francisco Conference was no exception. You had to be ready all the time because people everywhere were casually asking what your book was about and many times they were agents or editors. Luckily the first day there I attended agent Katherine Sands session on How To Entice An Agent In 25 Words Or Less. Here is what I gleaned from her lecture. * A yes is based on excitement. * Communicate what you're offering that is unique, fresh, and interesting. * Place, Person, Pivot (or problem) must be present in the pitch. * Don't be general, vague, or say it's boring or cliche. Show sparks and elements. * There must be a takeaway, something the person listening will remember. * If you have special experience or qualifications to write the book then say it. * Share your energy and excitement over your novel. * Remember this is the introduction to you as an author~not just your book. * The hook at the heart of your book

Twitter Tuesday~Conference Notes

Last week I didn't make it onto Twitter much because of being so busy with conferences. So instead of tweets I'm going to give you my notes from a session by Simon Pulse editor Emilia Rhodes that I attended titled Young Adult Paranormal Market. Paranormal is, "Anything that cannot be explained by the confines of reality." Paranormal, "It's an umbrella term." "Despite myself I found myself falling in love with the brooding bad boys whether they have a beating heart or not." "There's always going to be a place for a story with good heart." "One of the biggest draws of the parnormal is that it's sexy." "The universal feeling of being a teen is that you don't fit in." On location, time, "You can go wherever you want so take advantage of it." "If I can read twenty five pages of your book and tell you how it's going to end it's probably going to be a rejection." You can find Em

Monday's Muse~San Francisco Conference

My muse last week was the San Francisco Writers Conference. It was all the good things I'd heard about it and so much more. This first picture is the view from my room at night. I'm not a city girl but it's hard not to be inspired by so much life and activity. My first impression of coming in to San Francisco is that these people are afraid of the dark. I've never seen so many lights, and no I haven't been to Vegas but I have been to Reno. ;) The conference was big but the presenters (agents, editors, and authors) made themselves very accessible the entire time. There was a wonderful cocktail party where I had the chance to chat with agents Laurie McClean , Donald Maass, Jill Marsal and more. I was delighted to meet and hang out with my Twitter buddy Carol Valdez who in turn introduced me to Shannon Messenger . The two of them took great care of me during the conference and were sweet as could be. I also had the chance to meet agent Vickie Motter who's blog I

San Francisco Writers Conference

This weekend I'm off to San Francisco for the writer's conference. Yep, another one. I know, I know, I just got back from the last one! One of my resolutions for this year is to continue to improve my craft and to network by attending workshops, retreats, and conferences. It's more than that though. I'm dedicating 2011 to finding the right agent and/or editor and I'm a firm believer in the power of meeting people in person. As you might have noticed by the link close to the bottom of my sidebar I've finally joined the SCBWI (Society Of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators) and thanks to a Twitter friend in April I'll be attending the SCBWI conference in Washington . I'll tell you all about that one in April. What made me choose the San Francisco Writer's Conference  this month was not only its excellent reputation but the fact that several friends of mine recommended it. It's a big conference with a lot of big name authors, agents, an

Twitter Tuesday~New Agents & More

If you're in search of an agent or plan to be soon then you don't want to miss these tweets! Writer's Digest starts us off with an introduction to a new agent at Writers House: @WritersDigest New lit agent seeks kids books, adult fiction, memoir and more: Stephen Barr of Writers House If you're confident that your novel is polished to a high sheen and is ready for a publisher then you don't want to miss this list of publishers who accept unagented submissions that Jolina Joy put together for us: @Jolina_Joy Publishers That Accept #Writers Without #Agents: (via @BubbleCow) #publishing #pubtip #writing #amwriting #authors #books Super agent Deirdre Knight of The Knight Agency gives us a rare opportunity for a critique: @DeidreKnight I'm excited to be on board with Brenda Novak's auction later this year! I'll be auctioning off a couple of critiques. Writer's Digest points o

Monday's Muse~Love Complications

As you might have guessed from the picture, things are heating up for my main character, in both good and bad ways. Happy as this moment seems, a bit of a triangle looms, complicating things. This is the point in the story where her character really starts to arc. Things are happening that will change her forever and she is going to have to make a few really tough decisions. This is probably one of my favorite parts of the novel writing process, when the character starts to reach deeper depths and starts to change or grow. Across The Universe is still the read that's feeding my muse. I'm about halfway through it and so far I would recommend it. It's on the edgier side of young adult so it may not be for everyone but it's definitely for me! I'm hoping to finish it later this week when I fly to San Francisco for the writer's conference there. The music that kept my muse sated was Maired Nesbit's The Setting Sun . If you like celtic music you'll enjoy h

2011 Debut Authors~The Elevensies

Last month I did a feature on the Class of 2K11 which is a group of debut authors. Continuing in that thread, I'd like to introduce you to the Elevesies , which is another group of young adult and middle grade authors debuting in 2011. Middle grade titles are in gray, YA title are in black and green (green for sci-fi/fantasy) My friends are all bold because hey, a girl has to support her friends ;) Here they are: Warped a YA fantasy by Maurissa Guibord  in January. XVI a YA dystopian by Julia Karr in January. Dogsled Dreams a MG novel by Terry Johnson in January. Across The Universe a YA sci-fi by Beth Revis in January. Vesper, A Deviant's Novel a YA paranormal by Jeff Sampson in January. The Trouble With Half a Moon a MG novel by Danette Vigilante in January. The Iron Witch a YA urban fantasy by Karen Mahoney in February. The Map Of Me a MG novel by Tami Brown in February. Haven a YA paranormal by Kristi Cook   in February. Possum Summer a MG novel by Jen

Dark And Stormy Blogfest Contest

Brenda Drake, writer, blogger, tweeter and all around amazing lady, is hosting the Dark And Stormy Blogfest Contest . A blogfest and contest, sounds interesting you say? Well yes, yes it is, especially since it includes the fabulous agent Weronika Janczuk . Check out Brenda's blog to see how it works and what the outstanding prizes are. Without further ado, here is my entry: Name: Heather McCorkle Title: The First Dragonwatcher Genre: YA Fantasy Chemier loved it when people ran, it made the hunt that much sweeter.

Monday's Muse~Going Back

This beautiful scene has always put me in the right mood for the novel I wrote last year. Why am I going backward to work on a novel that is finished and edited? Well, because a novel is never truly finished until it is sitting on the bookstore shelves. Last month at the San Diego State Writers' Conference I had an advanced reading session with a fabulous editor who gave me some incredibly helpful feedback. She said that with a bit of fine tuning my manuscript could be great. Sometimes it takes someone with a sharp eye who is completely removed from the manuscript in any emotional way to point out where it needs improvement. That was exactly the case for my manuscript. The fixes were simple things that made me want to smack my forehead and cry out, "why didn't I see that?" So last week for the remainder of my vacation I've been applying the changes Fabulous Editor suggested to my entire novel. It is polished to a high sheen now and I feel really good about it. W

Best Read of 2010 Contest Winners

Thank you to everyone who entered and spread the word about my Best Reads of 2010 contest. And now for the winners! We'll start with the winner of the best YA read of 2010. The winner is: Kari of Under The Fairy Dust Kari chose Change Of Heart by Shari Maurer: And the winner of the best adult novel I read in 2010 is: Amie Kaufman Amie won Grave Witch by Kalayna Price: Congratulations Amie and Kari I hope you enjoy the reads as much as I did. Those will be sent off to you as soon as you respond! For those who didn't win don't despair my Critique Sisters have put together a blog called the Critique Sisters Corner and we'll be hosting a great giveaway very soon. Be sure to click over and check us out so you can get your name in the pool for that giveaway. I hope to see you all there!

February Featured Debut Author~Karen Mahoney

February's feature debut is Karen Mahoney, author of the young adult urban fantasy, The Iron Witch. First I'm dying to tell you a bit about this novel. FREAK. That’s what her classmates call seventeen-year-old Donna Underwood. When she was seven, a horrific fey attack killed her father and drove her mother mad. Donna’s own nearly fatal injuries from the assault were fixed by magic—the iron tattoos branding her hands and arms. The child of alchemists, Donna feels cursed by the magical heritage that destroyed her parents and any chance she had for a normal life. The only thing that keeps her sane and grounded is her relationship with her best friend, Navin Sharma. I'm very pleased to welcome Karen Mahoney to Heather's Odyssey. Karen I see from your web site that you've been published in a few pretty prestigious anthologies alongside some impressive authors. I'm curious, what drove you to move on to a novel, in particular one about the fey? Karen: Thank you v

Twitter Tuesday~Conferences, Publishing, Contest & Revision

Last week I didn't make it onto Twitter much because I was either preparing for the conference or on my way to it. But I did catch a few tweets you won't want to miss. Like this one from agent Jennifer Laughran: @literaticat Conference Tips pt. 2: How do I Pitch My Book? Do I even NEED to go to a conference? PLUS CHEWBACCA. I love agent Natalie Fischer's outlook on the changing face of publishing. You have to read this: @Natalie_Fischer Publishing isn't dead. Or dying. Just changing. --> This is a priceless gathering of the best of the Writer's Digest conference that occured recently, curtesy of the fabulous Jane Friedman: @JaneFriedman I've culled the best publishing advice & session recaps from the Writer's Digest Conference:  #wdc11 Editor Megan Records gives us an important reminder about editing: @meganrecords Revising for an ed or agent? READ THIS FIRST: http:/