Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Ondine: The Autumn Palace Giveaway Winners

Thank you so much to everyone who supported the fabulous author Ebony McKenna and entered the contest to win her second novel, Ondine: The Autumn Palace. I was humbled and deeply touched to have so many of you go above and beyond for my friend. Ebony was so touched that she decided to throw in two copies so now there will be three winners! Welcome new followers, I'm very excited to have you with me. I hope you'll stick around even if you didn't win. I do quite a few giveaways and I'm planning a massive one for the release of my novel this August. Now to the winners...

Michelle Fayard (declined)

Congratulations everyone! Have fun reading Ondine. I've contacted Marjie and Michelle but Dark Angel, I'll need you to leave me a comment with a way to contact you. Don't worry, to save you from spammers I won't publish the comment! The copies will all be paperback due to a block on foreign ebooks. Sorry ereaders! Update: Michelle has purchased both of Ebony's books and would like to pass so that another winner will have the chance to read her novels! That's so kind of you Michelle, thank you. That means Cassandra is now our new third winner!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Twitter Tuesday~Best Tweets of June 20th~25th

Stretch out that clicking finger because Twitter was singing with great tweets last week. There's something in here for everyone! If you're going to the Willamette conference in Portland Oregon be sure to drop in on Jane Friedman's session:
@JaneFriedman I'll be conducting workshops & offering critiques at Willamette conference in Portland in August:

For those who've been wondering why some agents take longer to respond in the summer, agent Ginger Clark reveals the truth:
@Ginger_Clark Authors: just an FYI, but from Memorial to Labor Day, most of publishing takes off at 1 pm on Friday. It's called Summer Hours or Fridays.

Thinking about quitting your job when you get published? Think again:
@WritersDigest Why I’m Keeping My Day Job - Spend any time around writers, and you’ll hear us joking—well, half-joking—about wantin...

Ever wondered if your appearance matters as an author? Then check this out:
@WritersDigest Does Our Author Appearance Matter? - Meghan is excited to give away a free copy of her book to a random commenter. C...

Have questions about the publishing industry? Then don't miss this summer blog interview series:@Vickie_Motter Andrea Hurst and Associates is running a summer blog interview series. Hop on over to see interviews with pros

Here is a great book giveaway that I couldn't resist telling you about: 
@HeatherMcCorkle Love super heroes? Then don't miss this book giveaway! #WritersRoad #writing (Lisa Gail Green's book!)

Author Amelia Fergusson demystifies self-publishing:
@ameliafergusson Join me on FB. This week I will be adding TIPS on #selfpublishing
@ameliafergusson First tip, you need an editor! Don't try to avoid it. It is a necessary step in your success.

Author Ebony McKenna offers up some priceless advice:
@EbonyMcKenna You wouldn't run a marathon without training, so why would you write a book without learning structure? #writersroad

Chuck Sambuchino of Writer's Digest brings us an interview with super agent Deidre Knight:
@WritersDigest Agent Advice: Deidre Knight of the Knight Agency - "Agent Advice" is a series of quick interviews with literary and ...

Jane Friedman of Writer's Digest offers up pitching tips:
@JaneFriedman 3 rules for pitching an agent: [FYI, great conference w/lots of pitching opps:]

Beware the clique novel openings!
@sarahlapolla Agree on all of these, especially #3! RT @NathanBransford Five openings to avoid while writing a novel.
@sarahlapolla Would add "overly written imagery to describe the setting" to Openings to Avoid list. There's a place for that, but it's not right away.

Agent Mandy Hubbard takes on the controversial question about agents and self-publishing:
@MandyHubbard Blog: How do you feel about an agent's role in the self-pub/ebook world? Do they deserve 15% if you self-pub a project?

Agent Laurie McKlean feels the bomb that was Pottermore:
@agentsavant I've said for 18 months that once the first bestselling author starts their own publishing company, that's the gamechanger. #Pottermore

Author Elizabeth Craig brings us this tweet about what publisher do for that 90% they take:
@elizabethscraig Authors Ask Agents: What Are The Publishers Doing for Us? #amwriting @pubperspectives

Writer Trisha Wolfe brings us this tweet about a post by authors who are proud to be indie:
@TrishWolfe YAtopia: I Am Indie. Hear Me Roar.… Woot!

Whew, after all that, I hope you did your finger stretches! More importantly though, I hope you found something that was helpful.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Monday's Muse~Friends' Debuts

These lovely covers are from books by my friends that are releasing next month. As their release dates loom just around the corner they have been inspiring me more and more. Jessica Subject's romantic sci-fi tale, Celestial Seduction releases July 1st, Denise Grover Swank's paranormal mystery, Twenty-Eight And A Half Wishes releases July 15th, and Eisley Jacobs's middle grade fantasy, Born To Be A Dragon, Releases July 20th. These ladies have inspired me not only because they are my friends and are fantastic, supportive people, but because they are outstanding writers as well. Their grasp of the writing craft is something I aspire to.

During the first three weeks of July on my critique group's blog, the Critique Sisters Corner, we'll be interviewing one of these fabulous ladies each week to chat about their novels. Be sure to stop by CSC starting July 1st for the first interview. The success of my friend's never fails to inspire me and make me smile. Good things do still happen to good people and that's something we should celebrate. Here's hoping good things happen to each and every one of you.

Do any of you have good news you'd like to share? It doesn't matter how big or how small. Sometimes we have to be reminded to celebrate the little things and the steps along the way that bring us closer to our goals. What inspired you'd last week?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Road To Publishing Step 2: Editorial Review

Once my novel passed the content review at Abbott it was time to move into editorial review. This is something Abbott does with all novels to evaluate whether or not they need editing of any kind. While it may seem a bit intimidating to some, this is a feature about Abbott that I love. To me it speaks volumes about the quality of novel they want to publish, and how successful they want the author to be. It took a little less than two weeks for my novel to get through editorial review, and I'm thrilled to say it made it with flying colors and even praise. By the time I go on vacation next month on the 9th of July my novel should be moving into the design stage! Again with the nausea, but good nausea. :)

When your novel is through editorial review they send it back to you with notes on anything they feel could use improvement. They also give you a sample edit of about three pages and let you know what level of editing they feel your work could use, if any. If you like their editing then you can go with them but they also welcome you to either make the changes yourself, use your own editor, or move on with the novel as it is if you so prefer. However, if they recommend that your novel needs editing and you don't do it then you not only hurt your novel's chances of success, but you also hurt your chances of obtaining the mark of quality. 

At this point you'll need to decide whether or not you're going to have editing done, if it is recommended. If you have the editing done by Abbott the time frame will depend on the level of editing they recommend. It could take as few as two weeks to complete and get back to you, or it could take twice as long. Don't forget to add to that timeframe the amount of time it will take you to make the recommended changes and polishing. Next up is the design stage and marketing which I'll be sharing in a few weeks. To learn more about freelance editors, and for a few great recommendations on some, click here

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Twitter Tuesday~New Agents, Agent Advice, And Giveaways

Every now and then last week I ducked away from editing and peeked in on Twitter to find a few good tweets for you. Sorry there aren't more but I've been crazy busy. This first one is from Writer's Digest, reminding us why a great hook in a query letter is so important:
@WritersDigest Developing the Hook in a Query Letter - Sometimes you only have seconds for your query to catch interest, and a grea...

If you have questions about querying then you have to read this post by agent Vickie Motter:
@HeatherMcCorkle Agent @VickieMotter dishes out some great #querytips on her blog: #WritersRoad#writing

Going out on submission? Don't miss this new agent featured by Chuck Sambuchino of Writer's Digest:
@WritersDigest New Agent Alert: Meredith Barnes of Lowenstein Associates - Reminder: Newer agents are golden opportunities for new ...

If you missed my big giveaway be sure to click on the links in the tweets below. You can't go wrong if you're looking for a good read!
@HeatherMcCorkle Great Read Giveaway PART 1: Please help me spread the word for this fantastic author! #WritersRoad #writing
@HeatherMcCorkle Great Read Giveaway part 2: Please help me spread the word for this fantastic author! #WritersRoad #writing

Chuck Sambuchino of Writer's Digest features yet another new agent:
@WritersDigest New Agent Alert: Stephanie Sun of Weed Literary - Reminder: Newer agents are golden opportunities for new writers be...
If you've ever been on submission you've no doubt wondered about this:
@Vickie_Motter You asked. I answered. "When can I follow up with an agent on my partials?"

Having trouble with, or thinking about purchasing the new Word 2010? Then you'll want to read this post by author Elizabeth Craig:
@elizabethscraig Word 2010, Track Changes, and Privacy Concerns: #amwriting

I know I missed at least a few good ones so feel free to drop them in the comments!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Monday's Muse~Revision And Goodreads

Since it's the beginning of summer and the novel I'm editing takes place at the end of winter, I needed this picture to inspire me! As I'm editing the sequel to Spruce Knoll I'm noticing the depth of the difference in the themes from one novel to the other. Because of the difference in theme I'm realizing that what inspires me for the second novel is quite different from what inspired me during the first novel. The first novel was all about secrets and truths while the second is about choices (and that's the only hint you'll get about book 2!). My main character has to do even more growing up in this one and the decisions she makes will affect a lot more than just her. My muse is requiring darker substance for this one.

I finally finished reading Frankenstein: Prodigal Son by Dean Koontz. It was good but a bit dark even for what my muse needs. If you like Dean Koontz or the Frankenstein legend then be sure to check it out. I'll be reading the next in the series soon but I had to take a break to read Elana Johnson's Possession. I've been waiting for her book for so long and I get to start it tonight! Speaking of good reads, my novel is now on the Goodreads website! *happy dance* It made me both happy and terrified to see it on there. And I'm deeply touched (moved to tears really) by all the people that have added it to their 'to-read' list on there.

The music that has been feeding my muse is Avril Lavigne, Alison Iraheta, and a bit of Nickleback. What inspired you last week? Have you written a sequel and been surprised by the differences in your characters?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Helping A Friend With A Giveaway

When a friend of mine needs help my only question is how high they want me to leap. When that friend is one of my favorite authors who is in danger of not getting their next book published because of low sales then I am willing to leap to the stars to do what it takes. You may be wondering, if they are one of my favorite authors, and obviously such a great writer, then why are their sales low? It could be many things, lack of marketing, exposure,  published in a foreign country. Even traditional publishing does not guarantee sales anymore.

My friend, Ebony McKenna needs our help. If the sales of her first two novels don't rise then her publisher won't be publishing the third novel in her series and that would be a terrible travesty because her books are outstanding. To help get the word out about her awesome books I'm giving away the second book in her series here on Heather's Odyssey and my Critique Sisters are giving away the first book in her series on the Critique Sisters Corner.

If you enjoy humorous, fun, fantasy then Ebony's books are for you. It is along the vein of Ella Enchanted and The Princess Bride. The book I'm giving away is Ondine: The Autumn Palace (book 2). Here's how you can enter:
+1 for being a follower and commenting.
+2 for entering here and entering on the Critique Sisters Corner where they're giving away Ondine: The Summer Of Shambles
+3 for tweeting or blogging about the giveaway. 
+4 for placing a link on the sidebar of your blog about the giveaway.

That's a possible total of 10 entries! Be sure to provide links to the places you tweeted or blogged about the giveaway and total up your points in your comment. You have until June 28th. The winner will be announced here on June 29th! Best of luck to all of you! Another way you can help is to review Ondine on all the review sites you know of if you have read it. Ebony is sweetening the prize by giving away two copies of Ondine: The Autumn Palace here on Heather's Odyssey and 2 copies of Ondine: The Summer Of Shambles on Critique Sisters Corner. That's a total of six winners! Be sure to mention whether or not you have an ereader so I know if I should enter you for both the ebook and the paperback.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Twitter Tuesday~Contests, Query Tips And More

Twitter was much more lively this week, which means lots of great tweets for you! This first one is about the millionaire success of self-published author Amanda Hocking. Her story is part of what inspired me to take the plunge:
@KappaDeltaWrite Excellent interview with @amanda_hocking on her journey to becoming an indie writing trailblazer.

Writer's Digest is celebrating hitting a momentous number of posts on their GLA blog with a giveaway!
@WritersDigest To celebrate 1500 posts on the GLA, there's a double book giveaway. Just comment for chance to win both

An agent offers up a helpful query tip:
@RivetingRosie #querytipplease include your email after your sig in a query letter. Even if it appears at the top. Makes requesting a lot easier

Get those query letters ready, agent Gina Panettieri announces a new agent at her agency: 
@ginapanettieri Our new Associate Agent, Rachael Dugas, started today! She'll be doing YA, contemp fiction, romance & women's fiction, memoir, arts & more.

Agent Vickie Motter retweeted this from agent Rachelle Gardner about the harsh truth of landing an agent: 
@Vickie_Motter RT: Rachelle Gardner, Literary Agent: What are the Odds of Getting an Agent?

The fabulous blogger Shelley Watters brings us another amazing agent judged contest with agent Victoria Marini: 
 @Shelley_Watters First Page Contest with Judge @LitAgentMarini   post is now up! Go sign up!

On Chuck Sambuchino's blog, author Jess Haines gives marketing tips: 
@WritersDigest How to Promote Yourself and Your Book - As an author, you have to promote yourself. This is how people become aware ...

Writer Jolina Joy retweets this tweet about why authors need to plan on marketing, not matter how they are published (yes, that means traditionally published authors have to do their own marketing too!):  
Chuch Sambuchino introduces us to a new agent at the Jabberwocky agency: 
@WritersDigest New lit agent seeking fiction and some YA: Jessie Cammack of JABberwocky Literary

I just had to retweet this post by my friend Candyland. Anyone seeking an agent or currently signed with one, PLEASE READ THIS and beware: 
@HeatherMcCorkle RT @candylandgang In case you're unsure of what your gut is trying to tell you regarding an agent, READ THIS

Writer's Digest brings us this tweet about the PNWA conference, which is amazing by the way. GO if you can! 
@WritersDigest Iive in the Pacific Northwest? Check out the PNWA Conference in Seattle (Aug. 4-7, 2011)

I know I missed some tweets due to being buried to my eyeballs in editing so feel free to leave me a comment if there is a particularly good one you want to share!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Monday's Muse~Titles

My steampunk novel has been put on hold so that I can go back and work on editing the sequel to The Secret Of Spruce Knoll. I miss my steampunk novel and think of it often but it is a ton of fun being back with my Spruce Knoll characters. I hadn't realized how much I missed them and I had forgotten how much I loved telling their story. Reliving the joy of writing that series is a gift that I must thank all of you for. When the time comes I hope you love it as much as I do! This picture reminded me so much of my main characters that it inspired me the moment I saw it.

During the editing process of this sequel though I realized something. I hate the title, I mean flat out hate it. It must change, no it will change! Some books are easier to title than others but this is not one of those books. For some reason the right title is eluding me. I've explored both the underlying themes of the novel and the exterior ones, the character arcs and the story line, and still I am at a loss. I'm hoping that sometime during the revision stages it will hit me.

Thankfully, the novel still has to go through my Critique Sisters and I'm hoping they'll have ideas for the title after they've read it. That time is still a few months off though so in the meantime I am left to ponder. Do you ever have trouble coming up with a title for your novels? What do you like in a title as a reader or writer? 

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Twitter Tuesday~Crickets Due To BEA

The agents and editors have been scarce with the tweets lately. I think it may be in part due to the excitement left over from BEA. But I did manage to catch a few for you! This first one is golden advice from agent Rachelle Gardner
@RachelleGardner Writing credentials and platform don't sell your novel, your WRITING does. Important truth in fiction! #pubtip 

Worried about the stigma of self-publishing holding you back from getting an agent? Agent Mandy Hubbard shines light on the subject:
@MandyHubbard epubbing pre-agent probably wont make a big impact either way, unless its a v. successful book.#askagent

Agent Deirdre Knight reminds us that Twitter isn't just for promotion:
@DeidreKnight Here's a #pubtipPls don't use Twitter just to endlessly self-promote without any genuine interaction. That's basically a #tweettip too 

If you write Sci-Fi/Fantasy then you don't want to miss this:
@WritersDigest Agent @LucienneDiver Teaches "Writing Science Fiction, Fantasy & Paranormal" (With a Critique) June 9 

Jane Friedman of Writer's Digest's wonderful best tweets for writers:
@JaneFriedman Best Tweets for Writers Daily is out! 

This reoccurring guest column on Chuck Sambuchino's blog is always filled with great info:  
@WritersDigest 7 Things I've Learned So Far, by Liane Moriarty - This is a reocurring column I'm calling "7 Things I've Learned So F...
That should keep you busy while you're sipping your coffee. Be sure to come back tomorrow when I share the first stages of my journey to publication. If I missed any great tweets let me know! 

Monday, June 6, 2011

Monday's Muse~You!

Last week you were my inspiration, each and every one of you. Announcing my decision to go indie despite the interest of small traditional publishers, was a very scary moment for me. I knew there would be people who wouldn't be happy about it and I knew some would even stop following me, commenting on my blog, and in essence would turn their backs on me. I figured it was inevitable because there are still some people out there who are seriously opposed to self-publishing. I know because I was one of them at one time.

But you all showed me how amazing our writing/reading community truly is. The outpouring of support astounded me and brought me to tears more than once. Of course there were a few who didn't respond and haven't spoken to me since, but they were very few. Your voices of support drowned them out and for that I cannot thank you enough. You've inspired me and made me think that I can do this. I don’t feel alone and that is a wonderful gift that you've given me.

Okay, I'm done being mushy. Time to go kick butt on the revision of book two in the channeler series. If everyone who said they'll buy my book really does, then I darn well better have an outstanding sequel ready for you because you deserve it. :)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

June Debut Author~Myra McEntire

I've been lucky enough to have followed along the journey of this month's featured debut author for a long time now. It is my good friend Myra McEntire and in only a few days you'll be able to buy her paranormal young adult ,  Hourglass! This isn't your typical YA paranormal, check this out:
For seventeen-year-old Emerson Cole, life is about seeing what isn’t there: swooning Southern Belles; soldiers long forgotten; a haunting jazz trio that vanishes in an instant. Plagued by phantoms since her parents’ death, she just wants the apparitions to stop so she can be normal. She’s tried everything, but the visions keep coming back.

See what I mean! Aren't you just dying to know more? Then please join me in welcoming Myra McEntire to Heather's Odyssey!  It feels like I've been waiting forever to hold Hourglass in my hands. 
 What inspire you to write this particular novel?
Myra: The day I finished HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS I knew I had to try to write. 

Yay, another HP fan! HP fans are always welcome here. ;) While writing, what is the one thing you can't do without?

Myra: Music! All kinds!

What an excellent way to feed your muse. Someday I'll have to get your playlist out of you! What was your favorite part of writing Hourglass?
Myra: The revising. ALL the revising - my own, my agent's, and finally my editor's. That's how you learn! 

Another fan of revising, I love it! Tell me, who was your favorite character to write and why?
Myra: I don't have a favorite, but I will say Kaleb was supposed to be someone else entirely. :D 

Aw, what a good writer mom. Now I'm intrigued about Kaleb. Is there anything you can tell us about Hourglass that we may not know from your blog?
Myra: It's one of many books I've started, but the only one I've finished!

I didn't know that. That makes it even more special. So what do you have in store for us after Hourglass? A sequel, or stand alone novel maybe?
Myra: I just turned the sequel in a few weeks ago!  

Yay, happy dance! I love it when the magic doesn't end, and I just know Hourglass is going to be magical. Any closing thoughts to leave us with?
Myra: Thank you so much!!!!   
Thank you for joining us Myra, it is always a pleasure. Okay peeps, hurry over and pre-order your copy of Hourglass because when mine arrives I want to be able to chat with you about it!