Showing posts from May, 2011

Twitter Tuesday~From New Agents To Marketing

I hope you all had a great Memorial day weekend and enjoyed tons of excellent barbequing, visits with family, and reflecting on all that others sacrifice for us. With the mushy stuff out of the way, let's get to your links! This first one is a flash fiction contest from agent Sarah LaPolla: @ sarahlapolla   For other flash fiction contest needs... I'm judging @ womenonwriting ' s Spring 2011 contest! Details here :   For those who were under a rock and didn't know, last week was BEA (Book Expo America), the biggest book expo on our lovely continent. Writer's Digest brings us this list of trends from the Expo that writers need to stay on top of: @ WritersDigest   3 Publishing Trends Writers Must Stay On Top Of - This week marks the publishing industry's largest trade show, Book...   Agent  Jennifer Laughran  throws down for her client (and makes me glad my checks won't be coming from a 'traditional' publisher

Monday's Muse~Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial day is all about honoring those who gave everything they had to give for our country. I want to thank each and every one of them. This picture is of my dad, who didn't die in a war, but he died because of one. For his story go to my special post on author Catherine West's blog . Those who gave so much are heroes.  Though my dad was not perfect in many ways he was a hero to me.  W hich leads me to think of heroes in the literary world and in my own writing.  There is nothing so wonderful as a flawed hero. Through their quirks and flaws we learn to sympathize with them and love them. Such things make them more human, more relatable. But there is more to them than that, so much more. Think of your hero, or take mine for example. I'll use my favorite literary hero, Buffy. Aside from her fun, relatable quirks, what makes Buffy my hero? For one she's a girl that kicks but and doesn't need anyone to take care of her, yet at the same time she understands the valu

Twitter Tuesday~Trends, Contests, And Industry Advice

Since I was editing until my eyes bled (not really, don't worry, it just felt like it) I didn't make it on Twitter much last week. But I did catch a great contest and some good advice for you. This first one is from agent Sarah LaPolla brings us this tweet from an agent who answers the ever popular word count question: @sarahlapolla Children's/MG/YA Writers: If you're still questioning what your word count should be, read this post by @literaticat : Would you like your first 30 pages critiqued by an editor with a great mid-sized house? Then check this out: @HeatherMcCorkle Fabulous interview & giveaway with @EgmontGal editor with Egmont USA! Not to be missed! #WritersRoad #writing Agent Sarah LaPolla muses upon the evolution of YA: @sarahlapolla In which I talk about the evolution of YA literature... w/ no real conclusion: Agent Ginger Clark brings us a tough truth about traditional

Monday's Muse~Exciting Things Coming

This picture is one that has inspired The Secret Of Spruce Knoll from the start. The edits of are complete! Whoo hoo! Well, complete is a subjective word. My final, personal round are complete and now it is off to… oh wait, I can't tell you that yet. ;) Soon my peeps, soon. This round of editing was particularly eye-opening for me. It feels so polished and wonderful but I must admit, I was surprised at some of the things I found. I don't even want to tell you how many times I had to delete the words 'just' and 'actually'. I might just forbid myself from ever writing those two words again. Oops. I'm reading Popular by Alissa Grosso and am really enjoying it. My luck has been amazing this month. I won Hourglass  by Myra McEntire from Lydia Kang over at and Possession by Elana Johnson from Bella at Paranormal Obsession . If you don't already follow those lovely ladies click on their names and check them out! They are amazing. What inspired you this l

Industry Advice~What To Take

With all the conflicting advice in the industry it can be hard to figure out which advice to take and which to leave. If that advice comes from professionals that you respect then it becomes even harder. I've been to a lot of conferences, workshops, and retreats and  often the information that comes out of it can be overwhelming. Agents and editors are often looking for different things and they all like slightly different styles. Like you and I, they are individuals. "Hold the presses Heather! You mean to say the Gatekeepers are human?!" "Yep, that is precisely what I mean." I've had agents tell me they didn't like my beginning because it was a prologue. Several have told me don't use prologues, they are awful, no one likes them, people skip them...and all manner of negative feedback on the subject. On the other hand, I've had agents who loved the prologue beginning of my novel and felt it set exactly the right tone. When something like tha

Twitter Tuesday~From Book Giveaway To Industry Advice

From book giveaways to industry advice, I've got a lot of great links for you today! They are tweets of a different flavor than you may be used to seeing so I hope you enjoy them and find them useful. This first one is a contest to win the bestselling YA novel Divergent! @HeatherMcCorkle Win a signed copy of DIVERGENT by Veronica Roth from the lovely Carolina Valdez Miller! If you write non-fiction, YA, thrillers, or international fiction and are looking for an agent then don't miss this new agent feature by Chuck Sambuchino of Writer's Digest: @WritersDigest New Agent Alert: Jeff Ourvan of the Jennifer Lyons Literary Agency Agent Mandy Hubbard brings us a few great publishing tips: @MandyHubbard #pubtrip scoop: almost universally, pubs are short on MG stuff. Some say only 10% of their subs are MG! @MandyHubbard #Pubtrip scoop cont: some eds still have not acq a dystopian and are looking, but feel it needs to happen

Monday's Muse~Spruce Knoll

I'm so happy to see that you're all still with me after the Blogger gremlin invasion last week! I had no idea how much I loved the blogging community until I couldn't interact with it. There may or may not have been heavy objects thrown. I will never tell. Last week I took a break from my new work in progress to go back and do some revisions on The Secret Of Spruce Knoll. This picture is one of the one's that inspired me for my main character. There may be something exciting in the works with this novel but I can't say just what yet. This latest revisions fleshed out my characters and gave them wonderful depth. I'm really excited with the end result and will soon be sending it off to my Critique Sisters. After that, well you'll just have to wait and see! I'm reading Popular  by my friend Alissa Grosso and am loving it. This novel was well worth the wait. If you haven't checked it out yet definitely do, you won't be sorry. Up next is either Po

It's Not You, It's Me

The most common theme you're likely to see in a rejection of your manuscript is, "this just isn't for me" or "I didn't fall in love with it." The big question you're left with is, is it your manuscript or the agent's preference? If you have revised and polished your manuscript and have had either beta readers or a critique group read it and give feedback, then it truly might just be that it isn't what the agent is looking for. "But wait, how can this be?" You ask. "I researched the agent thoroughly and it says on their website, blog, or Twitter feed that they're looking for my type of novel ." You say. I trust that you did and will have a glass of wine with you to help take the sting out. Unfortunately there is more to finding the right agent than writing a good book and identifying an agent who is looking for your type of novel. I know, I know, please don't throw things at me. The industry is still in turmoil

Twitter Tuesday~Book Giveaways, Industry Advice, And WriteOnCon

Get your clicking finger ready because I've got a great list for you today! This first one is from Jane Friedman of Writer's Digest on questions about writing and publishing: @JaneFriedman My latest Q&A on writing & publishing with @ShariLopatin: If you've ever wondered (or hopefully are getting close) what to ask when you get the Agent's Call for representation, agent Vickie Motter lays it out nicely for you here: @Vickie_Motter The Call and questions you should ask the offering agent. Also, share your own Call story: If you're getting ready to pitch or query don't miss this one. Agent Natalie Fischer gives us a great review of her workshop on writing the perfect hook: @ Natalie_Fischer As promised, a review of my workshop: how to write the perfect hook:  #ppwc11 #amwriting #askagent Agent Weronika Janczuk brings us this tweet that clarifies doc vs. docx and why it&#

Monday's Muse~Orion Nebula

My new main character loves astronomy which is awesome because it means I had the chance to research it, learn more about it, and find awesome pictures. This one is a photo of the Orion Nebula from Hubble. You'll be seeing a lot of these as I write this novel! Her love of astronomy was a surprise that developed as I was getting to know her and start to form the outline of the story. I love it when that happens, it's one of my favorite parts of the writing process. As of today I have 4,000 words on this new novel! I'm still reading Paul Of Dune because like many Dune novels it is MASSIVE, but well worth the time. There is a lot of character development in this one and that's exactly what I need to read right now. Next up is POPULAR by Alissa Grosso and I'm really looking forward to it (and not just because she's a friend of mine!). Music for this novel is still eluding me. This weekend though I'm going to sit down and try to come up with a playlist. Since

May Featured Debut Author~Elana Johnson

This month it is my pleasure to feature my friend Elana Johnson as May's debut author. Her young adult novel, Possession from Simon & Schuster, is releasing next month! I won the first chapter in a contest and I've got to tell you it was all kinds of awesome. I'm dying to read the rest! Before we meet Elana a bit about Possession: Vi knows the Rule: Girls don't walk with boys, and they never even think about kissing them. But no one makes Vi want to break the Rules more than Zenn...and since the Thinkers have chosen him as Vi's future match, how much trouble can one kiss cause? The Thinkers may have brainwashed the rest of the population, but Vi is determined to think for herself. Welcome to Heather's Odyssey Elana! It is a pleasure to have you here and to be celebrating the release of your debut novel with you. Tell me, what inspired you to write a young adult dystopian novel? Elana: Dystopian was not something on my radar when I started writing. But

Twitter Tuesday~Submitting, Contests, Book Giveaways, And More!

I've got some good stuff for you this week! Get your clicking fingers ready. Agent Suzie Townsend and her lovely associates over at their blog Confessions From Suite 500 are doing first page critiques! Get in on this peeps for fantastic feedback from fantastic agents! @sztownsend81 And I've posted another critique on the blog: Jane Friedman of Writer's Digest brings us this detailed list of genres (always useful when submitting): @JaneFriedman Ever wanted a detailed list & description of fiction genres? Here's a useful genre map: Have you written an excellent women's fiction, romance, lit fic, thriller, or epic fantasy? Looking for an agent? Then look no further: @WeronikaJanczuk A call for manuscripts: .   Still *actively* looking for women's fiction, romance, lit fic, thrillers, + epic fantasies. Interested in being a literary agent? Starting as an intern is the way to go and

Monday's Muse~Spring Time

What do flowers have to do with my work in progress you might be wondering? Well, nothing actually but they have everything to do with my muse. Since it's May the flowers blooming everywhere are inspiring me! And who knows, a few might even work their way into my work in progress. I've finished outlining my new novel (yay!) and this week I'm going to start writing it. It's a young adult steampunk, title to be announced. This one is very different from anything I've written and I'm pretty excited about it. The read feeding my muse is Paul Of Dune  by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson. I'm a huge fan of the Dune novels, both by this pair and the originals by Frank Herbert. They're not for everyone but if you can handle multiple POV, rich descriptions, and deep intrigue, then they are awesome. Several of my friends' novels will be coming out in the next few months and I'm super excited for them. Look forward to a bunch of fantastic author featur