Posts

Showing posts from 2010

The Writer's Road

The writer's road can be a lonely one but it doesn't have to be. Have you ever wanted to chat with other writers, meet agents, editors of publishing housing, and authors? Or at least ease drop on their chat? You can achieve this by attending conferences but let's face it, they are getting hard to afford in this economy. There is another way. Every Thursday night on Twitter there was a fabulous chat called #Scribechat. I met a lot of authors, agents, editors, and fellow writers by attending that chat. Unfortunately the hostess, Lia Keyes, had to step down due to other commitments so the chat is going away. I'm very grateful to her because I've made amazing friends, connections, and learned a lot from #Scribechat. You can find Lia hosting #SteamPunkChat on Fridays on Twitter at 6:00pm PT. For those of you who loved Scribechat and are sad to see it go, have no fear, we have a plan. My friend and fellow chatter TS Tate ,or @TeeTate as she is known on Twitter, plan

Writer's Resolutions 2011

Last year turned out nothing like I had hoped but probably exactly as I needed it too. Everything changed after an amicable parting of ways with my agent. It happens, a lot more than you hear about. He was restructuring his business model due to the economy and as a result our contract was dissolved. I learned a lot from him and feel that I am a better writer for having worked with him. As you can imagine though, with that happening much of what I had hoped to accomplish shifted. And my goals for 2011 have changed. I'm optimistic that it's going to be a fabulous year. Here are my resolutions: 1. I hope to sign with an excellent agent with whom I can build a career partnership with. What makes an agent excellent isn't necessarily their sales record or the size of their client list but their vision, work style, enthusiasm, and dedication. That's the kind of agent I'll be looking for! 2. I will continue to improve my craft and networking by attending workshops, ret

Twitter Tuesday~New Agent, Advice, & Open Submission Call

Since it was the week of Christmas I didn't make it onto Twitter much at all. But I did manage to catch a few great tweets for you. This one is from a literary intern on how many queries she read versus how many she passed on to the agent she reads for (AA stands for awesome agent. How cool is that?!): @AC_Johnson89 Before I go, for those of you wondering: out of the 140 queries I read yesterday I sent 7 on to AA. 1 of which wasn't even a query. Writers Digest and Chuck Sambuchino bring to our attention a new agent looking for YA. You don't want to miss this one. I've been Twitter & blogging friends with Vickie for a while and she rocks: @WritersDigest New agent seeking YA as well as adult fiction: Vickie Motter of Andrea Hurst Associates http://tinyurl.com/3xvhb54 New agent extraordinaire let's us know what she wants to see in a query: @Vickie_Motter My blog today: I answer the credentials question. What should you include in your query? http://tinyu

Monday's Muse~Dark Forest

Image
This dark forest road made me think of a scene out of the novel I'm working on, last week's chapter in fact. The mist and darkness evokes an ominous feeling making one wonder if something terrible is waiting just behind the trees. This is the turning point where something happens that takes my main character down a path she cannot turn back on. I'm closing in on 39,000 words which is exactly where I want to be. At this rate I should easily reach my goal of 40K total by the end of December! I finished reading The Hunger Games and I'm really glad I gave in to my friends recommendations and finally read it. I quickly overcame my initial reservations about it being written in present tense because it was done so well that I hardly noticed it after a while. It is easily one of the best books I've read this year. It passed the 'would I read the sequel test?' I absolutely will! I received Voices Of Dragons by Carrie Vaugn for the holiday and I'm eagerly star

A Storyteller's Holiday

Image
Of all the holidays this one is perhaps the one that truly belongs to storytellers. Since this holiday has begun we have been inspiring joy, sharing miracles, and making children smile with the simplest pleasure, storytelling. Think back to your favorite things about Christmas, the memories and experiences that come to mind before the day itself arrives. Many nights were spent huddled up around a book, perhaps on a grandparents knee or tucked in bed next to a parent or sibling. Here are a few that come to mind: Twas The Night Before Christmas A Christmas Carol Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer Santa Clause Is Coming To Town Frosty The Snowman The Christmas Story The Polar Express The Elf On The Shelf How The Grench Stole Christmas And that's just to name a few! We must not forget when we celebrate this holiday season to also celebrate the authors who've brought us the magic, miracles, and joy that make this season so special. What are your favorite holiday stories? I won'

Twitter Tuesday~Giveaways & Agent Advice

I'm sorry I don't  have a lot of Tweets for you this week but the holidays have kept me pretty busy. I did manage to catch a few really good ones though! Writers I know how curious you always are on what kind of trends agents are seeing in submission. Agent Mandy Hubbard reveals it here brought to us by my Twitter friend at LTWFblog: @LTWFblog Literary Agent and Multi-Pubbed Author @MandyHubbard Posts On Trends in the Slush Pile: http://t.co/ZF1Oqi6 #amwriting #pubtip #writechat (For my non-Twitter friends, a reminder that # followed by a word is a hashtag that allows you to search for any tweet that has it attached) If you're submitting or plan to be soon, or even if you just want a good funny read, then you'll want to get in on this great giveaway by Chuck Sambuchino of Writer's Digest. Look what you could win: @ChuckSambuchino Free book giveaway! Enter to win the 2011 Guide to Lit Agents, & my Gnome Attack book -- http://tinyurl.com/26e7rjg My Twi

Monday's Muse~Festive Spirit

Image
This beautiful picture by Thomas Kinkaid was exactly what I needed to get me into the festive spirit both for the holiday and for the chapter I'm working on. Though the holiday they're celebrating in my chapter is quite different from Christmas it's the spirit of celebration that I was going for. Friends, family, the feeling that even if just for a moment, all is right with the world. As for the reading that's feeding my muse, I'm over halfway through The Hunger Games and am completely caught up in it. It takes a powerful, outstanding book to make me look past my dislike of first person, not to mention present tense so that should tell you a little about how good it is. The music feeding my muse is more of Mairead's instrumental music. That lady is amazing with a violin. It isn't my normal kind of music but it fits the novel I'm writing so I'm rolling with it. What inspired you this week? Are you reading anything really good?

Book Giveaways Galore

Image
Tis the season for book giveaways! I won't be doing one until after the holidays because you never know what you're going to get between now and the new year. But next month I'll be doing a great giveaway so stay logged in! Last week I won the fantastic looking novel Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick from my good friend and soon to be debuting author Myra McEntire . If you don't know who she is quick go find out! She is beyond awesome and her book is one of next year's most highly anticipated for me. If you're looking for some great giveaways all you have to do is check out the blogs I follow. Nearly every one of them is doing a giveaway or has done one this month. Check out Kari over on the Under The Fairy Dust (don't you just love that title?) blog for a great one. And don't forget all my favorite book bloggers. Many of them are doing giveaways as well. There are links to them on the sidebar just over there. --> If you know of a great giveaway o

My 2010 Writer's Resolutions

It's that time of year again. I have to admit, the thought of looking over this last year's resolutions to see how I did kind of makes me cringe. I know I didn't meet them all but that's okay. As long as I met a few of them then I have accomplished something. Let's rip the band aid off shall we? Here are my resolutions for last year: 1. Continue to build my author platform. I'll do so by continuing to meet great writers and people who love books, like those I've met on Twitter! I'll also attend whatever conferences & retreats I can. Accomplished! My blog followers have grown more than I could have anticipated (I love you all!) and I've made many wonderful friends through blogging, Twitter, and Scribblerati. 2. Write three books this year. This could be thrown for a loop if/when my novel gets picked up and I have to work on edits, but until then I'll focus on these three new books. Accomplished! I wrote (and edited, yes really!) Sanctity

Twitter Tuesday~Editor & Agent Advice

This week is filled with even more agent advice than I usually dig up on Twitter. This first tweet is from Chuck Sambuchino of Writers Digest who brings us another great new agent who is looking for middle grade and young adult writers: @ChuckSambuchino RT @CynLeitichSmith New #agent Joan Slattery seeks MG/YA at Pippin Properties: http://bit.ly/gZYniS Agent Natalie Fischer was tweeting some great advice about query letters. Here are a few of the tweets that I caught: @Natalie_Fischer How to shoot yourself in the foot in a query: typos. Wrong agent name. HUGE word count. "To Whom It May Concern." #queries @Natalie_Fischer Cont: apologizing for the submission. Incoherent letter/plot. Bitterness. "My test readers loved it!" Books 2 and 3 complete. #queries Agent Marisa Corvisiero announces her search for a literary intern. If you're interested in agenting and qualify then this is an opportunity you don't want to miss! @mcorvisiero Literary Intern

Monday's Muse~Enchanting Encounter

Image
I already had the scene in my mind when I came across this picture and I was blown away by how close it was to what I had imagined. It seems like magic when that happens, as if in some way you and some random artist out there are on the same wave length. In this chapter my character has to deal with the consequences of staying out too late and scaring her parents half to death. Haven't we all at some point?! I finished reading Grave Witch by Kalayna Price and I really enjoyed it. In fact, it passed the 'would I read a sequel' test. Not only would I read a sequel, I'm eagerly awaiting it! Be advised though, Grave Witch is adult fantasy. You might have noticed by my sidebar that I'm now reading The Hunger Games. Finally, yeah, I know. It was jarring to discover that it is written in present tense first person. First person isn't my favorite and present tense is next to nails on a chalkboard for me. However, I had faith in my hoard of friends who recommended it a

2011 Debut Authors

Image
2011 is closing in on us and that means it's time for a post listing the debut authors for next year. This is the class of 2K11 . You can click on the author's name to find out more about them and on their book to find out more about it. Many of these will be at the top of my 'to buy' list for next year! If nothing is highlighted I couldn't find a link. Julia Karr : XVI a YA speculative novel published by Puffin/Speak, January 6. Bettina Restrepo : Illegal  a YA novel published by Harper Collins-Katherine Tegen Books, March 11. Amy Holder : The Lipstick Laws  a YA novel published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt/Graphia, April 4. Carole Estby Dagg : The Year We Were Famous  a YA historical fiction novel published by Clarion (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), April 4. Angie Smibert : Memento Nora  a YA dystopian novel published by Marshall Cavendish, April 15. K. Ryer Breese : Future Imperfect  a YA fantasy novel published by Thomas Dunne/St. Martin’s Griffin, April 26

Twitter Tuesday~Agent & Publishing Advice

Interested in being a marketing intern for a fantastic literary agency? Then you don't want to miss this link by agent Weronika Janczuk: @WeronikaJanczuk Mary Kole of Andrea Brown (@kid_lit) is looking for a marketing intern: http://bit.ly/fOm89l .  *Awesome* opportunity for anyone qualified! If you write young adult you don't want to miss this tweet by The Knight Agency about the YA imprints: @KnightAgency Overview of new YA imprints: "Today's YA Scene: New Players, Innovative Directions, Fresh Voices" @publisherswkly http://bit.ly/hZd3Ip Here is great news from literary agent Ginger Clark about a new sci-fi/fantasy/horror imprint at Quercus! But sorry peeps, they won't be accepting unsolicited manuscripts. @Ginger_Clark Fantastic news about Jo Fletcher opening her own SF/F/H imprint at Quercus. Imagine that--a new SF/F/H imprint! Hurray! Fellow writer and friend Roni Loren did a great post on things not to do on Twitter. If you're on Twitter

December's Debut Author~Saundra Mitchell

Image
I'm cheating a bit for December's feature debut author. Why, because she is that awesome and I couldn't go this year without featuring her. It is Saundra Mitchell and her riveting ghost story Shadowed Summer debuted just last year. Saundra is so awesome that along with the interview she gave us a deleted sequence! Keep reading to learn more and check it out. First a bit about Shadowed Summer. Summer in Ondine, Louisiana is always predictable: hot and boring. Not this one. This summer, Iris is fourteen. This summer, she doesn't have to make up spooky stories for excitement, because a real one falls right in her lap. Years ago, before she was born, a teenager named Elijah disappeared. All that remains of him are whispers. Until this summer. A ghost begins to haunt Iris, and she's convinced it's the ghost of Elijah. What really happened to him? And why, of all people, has he chosen Iris? Does that not give you the chills? I know it does me! So Saundra,

Twitter Tuesday~Agent Advice, Networking, & Supporting

The list of tweets for writers that I scrounged up this week is a bit thin since I've been spending most of my time writing, but I did manage to find a few really good ones. This first one is from me but it is about an excellent post that Chuck Sambuchino wrote. If you're a writer you need to read this before you do your holiday shopping: @HeatherMcCorkle The Publishing Industry Needs Our Support: http://tinyurl.com/24spacc A great post via @ChuckSambuchino  of @WritersDigest  #writing Literary agent Jennifer Laughran of the Andrea Brown Literary Agency let's us in on a little secret about when to submit: @literaticat Do you want to know the secret, sure-fire time to submit so your query will definitely get noticed? http://tinyurl.com/32gv4s9 Are you curious about why Super agent Nathan Bransford left the publishing industry? Then you need to read this interview: @NathanBransford  In which I'm interviewed by the awesome @RachelleGardner  about leaving publish

Monday's Muse~NaNoWriMo

Image
The picture that inspired me this week is much different from what you're used to seeing here on Heather's Odyssey. If you spend much time on the web you've probably heard the shortened version of this header, NaNoWriMo. For those who don't know what it is, NaNoWriMo is a month where writers of all kinds come together to encourage one another to pump out words. 50K in 30 days is the goal, though no one minds if you fall a bit short. The spirit of NaNoWriMo is to get words on the page by dedicating an entire month to your writing. Though I didn't participate this year I cheered from the sidelines and did my best to keep my word count high in honor of those who were taking part. Every time I saw a tweet, Facebook, or Scribblerati update from one of my friends about their NaNoWriMo progress it encouraged me to pick up the pencil and do a bit of writing myself. You were my inspiration not only this week, but the entire month of November and I want to say thank you. Th

A Writer's Thanksgiving

Image
This year I am thankful for many things but since this is my blog about my writer's journey I thought I'd focus on that. Great links for writers will be involved so read on! #1) I am thankful for the use of my right hand. It seems like a simple thing until you lose it. Several years ago I broke it and my right wrist. The doctor said I would be lucky to get 60% use of it back. That was unacceptable to me. I finished six months of physical therapy in two and not only got full use of my hand back, but full strength as well. #2) I am thankful for my critique group the Scribe Sisters . A good critique group is like finding that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Such a thing is almost unobtainable it seems and yet is so worth the hunt when you do find it. If you're looking for your own you might try the wonderful writer's social network Scribblerati or Twitter . #3) I am thankful for each and every one of my followers here on Heather's Odyssey, Twitter, Scribbl

Twitter Tuesday~Query & Agent Advice, Plus A Book Royalties Calculator!

I found some gems among the publishing world tweets on Twitter for you this month. Some of these I'm sure you'll want to bookmark! This first one is fantastic. My friend Angela found a blogger, Shawntelle, who created a book royalties calculator. You definitely want to check this one out! @AngelaAckerman Book Royalties Calculator by @shawntelle (How cool is THIS?) http://bit.ly/cKhv19  #writing #amwriting Brian Klems of Writer's Digest answers the question, should you grant an agent an exclusive read if they ask? @WritersDigest Should You Grant an Exclusive Read to an Agent? - Q: I recently had an agent respond to one of my queries and reques... http://ow.ly/1a05aK You don't want to miss this interview by Chuck Sambuchino of Writer's Digest with agent Katharine Sands about agent pet peeves. Read this carefully to make sure you don't do any of these things! @ChuckSambuchino Lit agent Katharine Sands talks "Agent Pet Peeves": http://tinyurl

Monday's Muse~Main Character Inspiration

Image
Finally I found a picture that makes me think of my main character! Since much of this novel takes place in a forest this picture couldn't be more perfect. Sure you only get to see her from behind but the subject of this picture has the same long, brown hair as my main character and about the same build. The picture has an air of magic and mystery to it that I thought was perfect. I have a feeling this will be my main picture muse for this novel! I finished reading Blood Promise by Rachelle Mead and wow did it wrap up good! The second half of the book more than made up for the slow first half. I loved it and am definitely getting the next one. In the mean time I'm taking a break from reading the young adult genre and have picked up Grave Witch  by Kalayna Price , an adult urban fantasy. After a great chat with the author over on The Knight Agency's blog I had to pick up one of her books. She is a fantastic, fun lady and I'm glad I did because this book has sucked me

In My Mailbox This November

Image
Luck was with me in the book winning department this November which has made my mailbox a very happy place. Unfortunately I fear it makes the UPS person a bit nervous as I appear to be stalking them. ;) But with good reason, just check out these fabulous books that I won! I won Torment , the sequel to Fallen, by Lauren Kate from the wonderful Mundie Moms book bloggers. These ladies are always doing giveaways and their reviews keep my To Be Read list very long. The best part? They never disappoint. Every book they've recommended I love! Follow these gals! I won Unconventional by J.J. Hebert from the fabulous and ever supportive writer of middle grade novels Eisley Jacobs . It looks like it is going to be a very inspirational novel which will make it an excellent read for December! If you aren't following Eisley you're missing out on knowing a truly special lady so click on her name and check her out. Now to get some reading done! What was in your mailbox this month?

Being Prepared For The Call

Image
Now that I have a few fulls of my manuscript out to agents and editors I've started to seriously think about The Call. You know the one, the call every aspiring author dreams about. The call from an agent offering representation. I'm not so arrogant to think I have it in the bag, especially in today's economy. But, I know it's best to be prepared. Having gone through this before I know the excitement of that call can cause you to forget everything you were going to ask. And let's face it, this is a big decision. You don't want to forget your questions! I've scoured the internet and have put together a list of questions that you should ask an agent when they call with an offer of representation. Some of these are questions I've come up with and some are from other sources. Some sources said to ask questions such as, is this agent a member of the AAR, who are their clients, what have they sold recently. All these things can be found on the internet so yo

Twitter Tuesday~Submission Call, Conferences, Agent Advice

I spent a lot more time on Twitter last week. It helps me when I have writer's block, which I suffered from a little last week. Check out this interview with one of the authors that will be attending the Writer's Digest Winter Conference: @alicepope SCBWI TEAM BLOG Pre-conference Interview: Patricia Lee Gauch: The latest Annual Winter Conference faculty member... http://bit.ly/d04RXF My friend Julie shared this link of agent Joanna Volpe talking about her views on realistic teen dialogue. If you write young adult or middle grade you don't want to miss this: @juliemusil Agent Joanna Volpe On: Why Realistic Teen Dialogue Isn't Necessarily a Good Thing http://t.co/6G1G1nL  #amwriting #YA This is a fun one by Christi about staying organized while writing: @ChristiWhitney How do you organize all those little details that pop up during writing. Leave me a comment! Death By Post-It Notes http://t.co/sG4wFSZ Do you have a great Christmas story? If so check out ag

Monday's Muse~Main Character Interest

Image
For every novel I write I like to find pictures of people that look similar to how I picture my main characters. I can't find anyone that resembles my main character for this novel so I found one that resembles her love interest. He's enough to make a sixteen year old sigh don't you think? Things are moving along smoothly with this novel. I'm over 14,000 words into it now so it's starting to feel like it has a bit of substance. It's not quite a NaNoWriMo worthy word count, but it is a solid beginning! As for reading, this last week I had the chance to really dive into Blood Promise and it has started to pick up, a lot. Now that Dimitri has come back into the picture I can't stop reading! I must admit though, until then it drug a bit. But I love Richelle Mead's writing and I will definitely be buying the next book in the series. I've fallen in love with the music of Mairead Nesbitt. This week her 3rd Movement song off her CD Raining Up was my mus

Make Each Grain Count

Image
When a writer is on submission, be it to agents or editors, each passing day can feel like a grain of sand that slips away. It is easy to get discouraged when days, weeks, and sometimes even months start ticking off. We understand that the grains~or moments~are precious but often we end up putting off any more writing and just waiting. All too often I hear writers say they are going to submit and see where that one goes before they move on and write anything else. If you want to make a career out of writing, that could quite possibly be the worst thing you could do. Make every grain count. Start researching, brainstorming, and outlining for your next novel or project. Don't have any ideas? Read everything in your genre that is hot. Read some of the novels that aren't. Read outside your genre! Allow yourself to be open to inspiration of any and all kind. Once you have your novel idea and are ready to start, set goals. Don't allow yourself to be aimless just because you&#

Twitter Tuesday~WriteOnCon & Harlequin

To say I was busy last week would be a gross understatement! I hardly poked my nose in at Twitter at all. Harlequin was putting on a fantastic So You Think You Can Write week in which they gave us unprecedented access to the editors of their house. It was a great learning experience but of course I had other motives as well. Ever since finishing one of my novels I have wanted to submit it to Harlequin because I felt it would be a great fit for their Teen imprint. The problem was, Harlequin's Teen imprint doesn't accept unsolicited (unagented) submissions, so I couldn't. Until last week! At then end of the week they opened submissions. Most of Harlequin's imprint's accept unsolicited manuscripts but for their Teen imprint this was special. I couldn't miss it! So I leave you with a meager two tweets from Twitter for last week. The fabulous WriteOnCon ladies do it again. This will be a free chat with literary agent Stephen Barbara. Check it out here: @ElanaJ Du

Monday's Muse~Foggy Forest

Image
This foggy forest inspired me last week because my main character takes a wild ride through a forest that looks very much like this one. She ends up somewhere completely unexpected that changes the course of her life. I'm really enjoying mixing historical with fantasy. It is both fun and challenging! I love it so much that I now have plans for at least two more historical young adult fantasy novels. If you peeked over to the right you'll see I'm still reading Blood Promise. But, this last weekend I did make a huge dent in it. Though this novel in the series is a bit slower it's still very good and I'm really enjoying it when I get the chance to read it. I stopped at the bookstore and picked up Grave Witch by Kalayna Price. I looked at the first page and wow, I can hardly wait to read this! The song that inspired me this week was Finan's Isle by Mairead Nesbitt. What inspired you this week? How are those of you participating in NaNoWriMo doing?

November's Debut Author~Kitty Keswick

Image
This month Kitty Keswick , author of the young adult novel Freaksville takes time to drop in and answer a few questions about her novel. First a bit about Freaksville. High school is hard enough when you’re normal. There’s peer pressure, book reports, the in crowd and the enormous zit that has a life of its own. Having a family whose skeletons in the closet lean toward the paranormal is not a topper on anyone’s list. Sophomore Kasey Maxwell is busy juggling the typical teen angst. Add visions, ghosts and hairy four-legged monsters into the mix and you get FREAKSVILLE. It’s a wonder Kasey has survived. Every woman in the Maxwell family has the gift of sight. A talent sixteen-year-old Kasey would gladly give up. All she wants is a normal life. Shopping and talking about boys with her best friend and long-time sidekick Gillie Godshall consume her days. Until Kasey has a vision about Josh Johnstone, the foreign exchange student from England. The vision leads her into new waters, a lea

Twitter Tuesday~Conferences, New Agents, & More

Though Halloween is over I have a bag of treats for you! Last week was an excellent week for writers on Twitter. Registration for the Writer's Digest conference has opened! You can check it out here: @WritersDigest Registration is open for the WD Writer's Conference: http://ow.ly/2YPmX Chuck Sambuchino of Writer's Digest introduces us to another new agent. Like he says, new agents are a golden opportunity for writers seeking representation. @ChuckSambuchino New agent seeking writers! Denise Little of The Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agency http://tinyurl.com/2cdqcqu If you live in the New York area and are seeking a job in publishing be sure to check out this excellent link from ex-agent turned editor Colleen Lindsay: @ColleenLindsay taking resumes for awesome entry-level pub job. Love romance? Good writer? Online savvy? Read on: http://bit.ly/bAmYGD I always thought I was kind of strange because my characters talk to me. Now, agent Weronika Janczuk tells me I&#

Monday's Muse~Black Horse

Image
Okay so this is a friesian and the horse in my novel is an Irish cob. But I couldn't find a picture of an all black Irish cob so a Friesian it is. Of course the horse in my story may or may not be a p úca , a type of shapeshifter, so close is good. I just passed 4,000 words on this freshly minted baby and I feel like the character in Stephen King's Tommyknockers. For those who haven't read it, she was a writer who had a 'special' connection with her typewriter. It wrote what she thought. Now wouldn't that be an awesome ability! The story is flowing so well that it feels like that. As you probably noticed from the link on my right sidebar, I'm still reading Blood Promise. It's really good, I just don't have much time to get to it. I need to because I have The Hunger Games lined up to read next and I'm really looking forward to it! The book that will soon be feeding my muse after that is Torment thanks the wonderful Mundie Moms who I won it from

Don't Burn Bridges

Image
The publishing world can appear gigantic but don't make the mistake of assuming it is so big that the things you do or say will not be noticed. This goes for good and bad things. The path to publication is a long one and it is paved with frustration and heartache. With footing like that it is easy to become disheartened and say or do things you might regret later. When this happens always think before you speak and think twice~or more~before you tweet, blog, or write on one of your network pages. Trust me, do it, you'll thank me for it later. People in the publishing world all know each other, and even if they don't it's safer to assume they do. Agent and editors go to a lot of the same conferences, workshops, and book fairs. Just like writers, they hang out with their own kind, and they talk. If you send an agent a rude, abrupt or threatening email after a rough rejection you can bet he/she will talk to their colleagues about it. They're not evil, they're jus

Twitter Tuesday~Agent & Editor Advice

Twitter was hopping with great advice and tweets for writers this week. I could hardly keep up with it all! Check out what an editor of Kensington books had to say about receiving an offer from a publisher: @meganrecords Don't be coy if you have an offer. Don't simply inquire about status at other pubs, TELL THEM YOU HAVE AN OFFER. (cont) #pubtip @meganrecords Will try to get to it quickly if you tell us. Otherwise, you'll wait your turn like everyone else. And don't lie to get faster read. #pubtip Agent Mandy Hubbard was kind enough to let us know what trends she has been seeing in her inbox: @MandyHubbard Today's trends: Dystopias, Angels, Dream worlds or living in dreams/meeting boy of your dreams IN a dream. #queries Chuck Sambuchino from Writer's Digest shares some very encouraging words: @ChuckSambuchino Wrote a guest column for @RachelleGardner today: You Can Write for Love AND Money http://bit.ly/b1ipSt This is a different genre from last

The Reality Of Author Advances

We all dream of the big six figure advance and hope that one day it will be handed to us. Unfortunately the reality is that with the tumultuous state the publishing industry is in, the six figure advance has become extremely rare. Brace yourself for a much harsher reality of four or five figures. But there is good news! Smaller advances means you'll make them back for your publisher faster which is a very good thing. When you make back your advance for your publisher they are more likely to buy your next book. That also means you'll start to get royalty checks faster, which is where you're going to make your real money anyway, as long as you're prepared that is. Smaller advances mean less money for marketing as well so be ready to do a lot of your own promoting. But that is a post for another day! A good friend of mine, Lindsey Edwards gave a fantastic link on her blog to someone who researched average advances. Check it out here , but brace yourself.

Manuscript Request Etiquette

Getting multiple requests to read either a partial or your full manuscript can be a wonderful, confusing, and scary thing. It is a problem I sincerely hope every one of my aspiring author friends has. Now that I've wished that upon you, how do you deal with it? The good news is there is a sort of etiquette to it, the bad news, as you probably already know, is that every agent is different. We'll start with partials. If you are lucky enough to have multiple agents ask for a partial of your work (which is typically 30-50 pages depending on the agent's preference) then you know you're on the right track. You don't have to notify agents that someone else has a partial of your work but it certainly wouldn't hurt anything. In fact, it may help. If they're aware that someone else has requested it then they know others have shown interest and they may get to it faster. If you aren't sure how much they want when they ask for a partial don't be afraid to ask

Twitter Tuesday~Writer's Cruise, Agent Critique, & WriteOnCon

I'm sorry peeps, I didn't get on Twitter much this last week at all! Chances are you caught more links than I did. But I did have a few really good ones for you. This first one is a writer's cruise retreat with super agent Deirdre Knight of The Knight Literary Agency. I'm keeping a space in my calendar clear for it just in case I can make it! Check out her tweet about it here: @DeidreKnight Hey, tweeps! Want to come on a writing cruise with me? Deets here: http://bit.ly/9zDSx1   The fabulous ladies from WriteOnCon have put together another excellent chat with literary agent Sara Megibow. You don't want to miss this one! It's occurring one week from now! Get the details here: @Casey_McCormick Did ya see? Didja? We have Sara Megibow for our next WriteOnCon Live Chat! http://bit.ly/cwOkl8 Here's an opportunity to have your first page critiqued by an agent from The Knight Agency! Check it out here: @KnightAgency Hey tweeps! We're starting a 1st p

Monday's Muse~Giant's Causeway

Image
This breathtaking picture isn't something from a sci-fi or fantasy movie, it's the Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland and it has been my inspiration for the last week. More than a few intriguing legends surround this wonder of nature and no doubt a touch of that will make it into my novel. I'm blown away by how inspired I am by the things I'm discovering about the world we live in. I've always been a hard core fantasy person who loved new and strange worlds, places that take me away from this one. But that was before I started researching and studying the history of the world around me. Now I'm filled with inspiration for stories that take place right here on Earth. Who would have thought? I'm thoroughly enjoying Blood Promise (click on the image to the right to check it out). It has nice creepy feel to it, is filled with vampires, secret societies, and takes place in Russia. What more could a girl ask for in October? Well okay, a few werewolves woul

Digging Deep For Character Motivation

What truly motivates your character? I'm not looking for the easy answer here. I want you to dig down deep into their psyche and figure out what is really motivating them. Take my new main character for example. It's easy to say she wants to avenge the death of her brother. But that is what she wants, it isn't what motivates her. What motivates her is the tremendous hole eating it's way through her soul because he died fighting on the battlefield and she wasn't there to help him. What motivates her is that he was the only one in her family that saw her for who she was and supported her dreams. To figure out what their motivators are look to their past. Is there something about the way they were raised that may affect their motivations? Is there a relationship that may be a driving force for them? Family, loved ones, or lack thereof all affect your character. What are their beliefs, culture, customs, occupation? All of those factors affect motivation and the way a