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Writer, Writer Pants on Fire


Lorna Hollifield On Processing Feedback

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 05 September 2017 · 54 views

If there's one thing that many aspiring writers have few clues about, it's the submission process. There are good reasons for that; authors aren't exactly encouraged to talk in detail about our own submission experiences, and - just like agent hunting - everyone's story is different. I managed to cobble together a few non-specific questions that some debut authors have agreed to<br />answer (bless them). And so I bring you the submission interview series - Submission Hell - It's True. Yes, it's the SHIT.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="[url="https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1489768287l/34569128.jpg"]https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1489768287l/34569128.jpg[/url]" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="457" data-original-width="318" height="320" [url="src="]src="https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1489768287l/34569128.jpg"[/url] width="222" /></a></div>Today's guest for the SHIT is Lorna Hollifield, who began her professional writing journey as a tourism and travel blogger, before finally deciding to pursue her dream of publishing fiction. Her first novel, <a [url="href="]href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34569128-tobacco-sun"[/url] target="_blank">Tobacco Sun</a>, released June 13th from Pen Name Publishing.<br /><br /><b>How much did you know about the submission process before you were out on subs yourself?</b><br /><br /><i>Umm. Nothing. I had this finished manuscript, with no idea how to get it published. I learned quickly though, because I was hungry to get it done. I started reading articles, researching how my favorite authors did it, and reading books on the process. I did a lot of research, but still made it a priority not to get lost in the planning stage.</i><br /><br /><b>Did anything about the process surprise you?</b><br /><i><br /></i><i>The rejection. I mean, I knew I would get it. I knew it would sting and I knew it was normal. But it still sucked. But, silver lining - I was just as surprised when I got the YES! That was the best feeling in the world!</i><br /><br /><b>What was the average amount of time it took to hear back from editors?</b><br /><br /><i>The average agent might not even respond if they aren’t interested. However, the more professional ones will at least send a form letter out in about 6-8 weeks. Some are quicker, some are slower. I’ve noticed the ones that are interested tend to respond after a couple weeks, but that’s just my experience.</i><br /><br /><b>What do you think is the best way for an author out on submission to deal with the anxiety?</b><br /><br /><i>For me it helped to feel like I was always moving forward. I would busy myself with going to conferences, writing groups, book signings, events, ANYTHING where I might meet someone who could get me close to my goal. I’m most anxious if I’m still too long.</i><br /><br /><b>If you had any rejections, how did that feel emotionally? &nbsp;How did that compare with query rejections?</b><br /><br /><i>Query rejections hurt, but become common pretty fast. The worst is when you start actually working with an agent or editor, and something falls apart. It’s like you are about to get married, you’ve already said the vows, and right before “I do,” he calls the whole thing off. When that happens I take the advice my mother gave me: “You can cry for a day. Feel sorry for yourself, stay in your pajamas. But you only get a day. Then you clean up, put a smile on your face, and try again.”</i><br /><i><br /></i><b>If you got feedback on a rejection, how did you process it? &nbsp;How do you compare processing an editor’s feedback to a beta’s feedback?</b><br /><br /><i>I take an editor’s feedback very seriously because they know the business. I would only revolt against it if it were just completely horrifying creative differences that changed the work. With beta readers, I tend to take everything with a grain of salt. However, if everyone says the same thing, it’s definitely worth looking into. One or two people can be wrong. But usually 10 in agreement are onto something.</i><br /><br /><b>When you got your YES, how did that feel? &nbsp;How did you find out? &nbsp;Email? &nbsp;Telephone? &nbsp;Smoke signal?</b><br /><i><br /></i><i>Haha! It was amazing. I was crying so hard that my husband thought someone had died. I couldn’t speak to tell him they were tears of joy. I received an email expressing their desire to pick up the novel. It was 10 days after I submitted, and they were so excited about the project. It made everything worth it!</i><br /><br /><b>Did you have to wait a period of time before sharing your big news, because of details being ironed out? &nbsp;Was that difficult?</b><br /><br /><i>Yes, and yes. I shared it with my closest friends and family because I couldn’t hold it in. But I wanted to shout it from the rooftops! I was finally able to let the cat out of the bag after about a month and it was thrilling. I was blessed to have a lot of people rooting for me!</i><br /><br />

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#PitchWars Critique: BEQUEATHED

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 04 September 2017 · 46 views

<div style="text-align: center;"><a href="[url="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-BNhn1I7Ff-I/WabkjEXvqWI/AAAAAAAAEA0/Q7DIE9Dcjnc87ybtjhw0GF4T7XCSyuvlQCK4BGAYYCw/s1600/pitch-wars-cover.jpg"]http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-BNhn1I7Ff-I/WabkjEXvqWI/AAAAAAAAEA0/Q7DIE9Dcjnc87ybtjhw0GF4T7XCSyuvlQCK4BGAYYCw/s1600/pitch-wars-cover.jpg[/url]" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" height="188" [url="src="]src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-BNhn1I7Ff-I/WabkjEXvqWI/AAAAAAAAEA0/Q7DIE9Dcjnc87ybtjhw0GF4T7XCSyuvlQCK4BGAYYCw/s400/pitch-wars-cover.jpg"[/url] width="400" /></a></div><br />My PitchWars mentor-partner&nbsp;<a [url="href="]href="http://katekaryusquinn.blogspot.com/"[/url] target="_blank">Kate Karyus Quinn</a>&nbsp;and I agree that we didn't read a single query that was bad - nor did we read any first pages that were unsalvageable. And honestly with as many submissions as we had, we were surprised at the quality of them. Which is why we decided to offer query and first page critiques on our blogs to everyone who submitted to us.<br /><br />Quite a few people have taken us up on the offer. Through November, Kate and I will be posting these critiques on Mondays and Wednesdays. Any writer can learn from these - not just the author of the material being critiqued. You'll see my comments in&nbsp;<span style="color: #6aa84f;">green</span>. Echoes are highlighted in&nbsp;<span style="background-color: #6fa8dc;">blue</span>.<br /><br />Query:<br /><br />“Could I embrace the curse bequeathed upon on me?” <span style="color: #6aa84f;">Generally, not a good idea to open a query with a line of dialogue. We don't know the context, or care about the person speaking. So it's essentially meaningless.</span><br /><br />Seventeen year old Katalina is haunted by graphic nightmares. Nightmares in which she bathes in the blood of violently murdered young girls. <span style="color: #6aa84f;">Oh my. Doe she do this happily or is she like, disgusted by it in the dream?&nbsp;</span>When her parent’s <span style="color: #6aa84f;">plural, not possessive</span>&nbsp;send her to visit family in the eternal city of Rome, she unknowingly embarks on a life changing holiday. <strike>In the romantic surrounds of Rome,</strike>&nbsp;<span style="color: #6aa84f;">Much simpler to phrase with "There,&nbsp;</span>Katalina meets the brooding and elusive Dominic. Their holiday romance flourishes as Katalina struggles with the ever present insatiable hunger and strange ailments that constantly ravage her body. <span style="color: #6aa84f;">And what are those, exactly? Is this a new thing, or a lifelong struggle?&nbsp;</span>Seeking answers, Katalina discovers the cause. The curse. Cast by a vengeful witch seven hundred years prior. The curse that catapults the women in her family down a path of eternal darkness and blood lust. <span style="color: #6aa84f;">Definitely need to know how this manifests, specifically. Does she want to kill and eat people? Drink their blood? Only people? Animals?</span><br /><br />Katalina’s and Dominic’s burning desire for each other deepens despite the warnings from their families. <span style="color: #6aa84f;">Like what? Don't get so involved with a vacation romance, or hey our families want to kill each other, historically speaking&nbsp;</span>What was meant to be a holiday romance turns into a tangled web of secrets of her families <span style="color: #6aa84f;">This one is possessive, not plural :)</span>&nbsp;grim past and her tortuous future. As Katalina is thrust deeper into the world of the unknown, she is forced to decide her fate. <span style="color: #6aa84f;">The problem here is that the world is so unknown - even to the reader - that it's not enough to be properly intrigued.</span><br /><br />Throw in a dangerously charismatic Vampire, Toby, with his hidden agenda and who plays on the charged atmosphere that crackles between him and Katalina. The powerful Ruling Family of Rome with their questionable motives and Katalina’s holiday turns into a world of betrayal, loyalty and love. Katalina is driven to sacrifice her love for Dominic to save him after he is captured by Toby, whom has deceived them all and reveals he is the original Royal Vampire whose blood turned Katalina’s family into what they are. <span style="color: #6aa84f;">I actually think this paragraph doesn't work. It's operating more as a summary than a query, and introduced a third (major, plot-moving) character at the very last minute.</span><br /><br />Bequeathed is a Young Adult romance/fantasy/paranormal <span style="color: #6aa84f;">uh-oh - that's a lot of genres</span>&nbsp;88,000 word completed novel set amongst Rome’s rich history which inspired much of the story. A cross between The Florentine Series by Sylvain Reynard and A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness, Bequeathed is filled with romantic tension and suspense blended with fantasy. <span style="color: #6aa84f;">There we go, that's a better way to get across your elements without making it look like you couldn't pick a genre.</span><br /><br />1st Page:<br /><br />The sickening scent lingers, thick and heavy in the air. The stench <span style="color: #6aa84f;">lots of "s" words here in this first para, read it aloud and it's awkward</span>&nbsp;reminding me of a field full of rotting vanilla scented flowers. <span style="color: #6aa84f;">If they're rotting can you really tell they used to be vanilla?</span>&nbsp;My eyes are drawn to the glowing candlelight <span style="color: #6aa84f;">candlelight, by nature, glows. You don't need to use the descriptor</span>&nbsp;dancing across the ancient stone walls highlighting the many <span style="background-color: #3d85c6;">bowls</span> scattered around the darkened room. Terracotta <span style="background-color: #3d85c6;">bowls</span> overflowing with the same crimson fluid as my bath. <span style="color: #6aa84f;">Honestly, I think just say blood. It's blood.</span> I lean back until my skin is flush with the tub, the motion causes ripples to lap at my breasts. <span style="color: #6aa84f;">The most important element here is missing - how does the MC <i>feel</i> about the fact that she's in a bath full of blood? Is she disgusted, or thrilled?</span><br /><br />There’s a slight movement in the corner of the room, a young woman stands with her eyes averted to the floor <span style="color: #6aa84f;">say "downcast" instead, which implies the aversion and the direction at the same time</span>, her face forlorn. She leans against the wall, hands gripping her full length <span style="background-color: #3d85c6;">skirt</span>. A&nbsp;<span style="background-color: #3d85c6;">skirt</span> that is smeared in red to match her arms and hands. I follow her tearful gaze. On the stone floor are a dozen dead girls, naked and lying face down. Their long, stained hair matted to their backs.<br /><br />A blood curdling scream erupts from my lungs as I try to scramble out of the blood filled bath. <span style="color: #6aa84f;">Hmm... here it is, but it raises the question of why she's so stunned to see these girls. She had to have known the crimson liquid that smelled like rot wasn't anything good, yet she's assuming a relaxed position in the tub. Then she spots the bodies and is like, "Hey! Wait a second!" Not sure if that makes sense.</span><br /><br />Chapter One &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; <br /><br />&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; “Katalina. Katalina.”<br /><br />&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; A soft voice pulls me from my dream and I open my eyes to see my younger sister Nicolette. Her long, dark brown hair sits in a messy top knot and I notice she is in her pajamas.<br /><br />&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; “What time is it?” I whisper.<br /><br />&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; “It’s five. Are you ok?”<br /><br />“I had a nightmare again,” I sigh as I recall the bloody scene in my dream. These nightmares have been haunting me for a good part of six months, becoming more frequent as my eighteenth birthday approaches. Almost always involving someone being tortured. <span style="color: #6aa84f;">Not a complete sentence.&nbsp;</span>I remember my very first one in vivid detail, shaken from it for several days, too afraid to fall asleep each night.<br /><br />&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; Nicolette looks at me, her eyebrows knitted together. “I heard you screaming. When I came in you were thrashing about, tangled up in your sheets.” <span style="color: #6aa84f;">Then why was she speaking in a soft voice in order to wake her? Seems like she wouldn't have been heard.</span><br /><br />“I’m ok.”<br /><br />“Do you want me to stay with you?” She yawns.<br /><br />“Thanks but I’m going get up.”<br /><br />Nicolette gives me a comforting smile as she closes my bedroom door.<br /><br />“Don’t tell mom,” I call out after her.<br /><br />Shivering as I climb out of bed, I wrap the quilt around me. It is uncharacteristically cool for this time of year here in the sunshine state, the quaint city of Brisbane is usually warm and sunny in October. The constant cloud cover seems to have blanketed the sky setting a depressing mood. The cool of outside seeps through the glass as my thoughts get lost amongst the sheets of rain which change direction with each gust of swirling wind. <span style="color: #6aa84f;">You definitely just told us a lot about the weather. It helps to create mood and set stage, but this is a lot of information.&nbsp;</span>My stomach grumbles and I take that as my cue to get changed and head downstairs. I turn on the coffee machine, the familiar whir is comforting and the aroma of coffee fills the kitchen. I perch myself on the bar stool and sip my steaming mug of coffee just as my mom descends the stairs. I watch her watch me <span style="color: #6aa84f;">Awkward phrasing</span> as she walks toward me and gently plants a kiss on my cheek. I know in my gut that she heard my screams earlier.<br /><br />“I had another dream.” I close my eyes momentarily. <span style="color: #6aa84f;">Don't we always only close our eyes momentarily when we are awake?</span><br /><br />Her arms wrap around me holding me tight against her as she rests her cheek on my head. A few moments pass before I feel her sigh and she steps back to look directly at me.<br /><div><br /><span style="color: #6aa84f;">Right now you're making a classic mistake - opening with a dream, or with your character waking up. This is something that has been overdone and cliched to death. The writing isn't bad, but you are starting the story in the wrong place.</span></div>

<a href="[url="http://writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com/2017/09/pitchwars-critique-bequeathed.html"]http://writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com/2017/09/pitchwars-critique-bequeathed.html[/url]" class='bbc_url' rel='nofollow external'>Source</a>


Book Talk & ARC Giveaway: THERE'S SOMEONE INSIDE YOUR HOUSE by Stephanie Perkins

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 01 September 2017 · 42 views

<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="[url="https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1493650191l/15797848.jpg"]https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1493650191l/15797848.jpg[/url]" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="475" data-original-width="314" height="320" [url="src="]src="https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1493650191l/15797848.jpg"[/url] width="211" /></a></div>Scream meets YA in this hotly-anticipated new novel from the bestselling author of Anna and the French Kiss.<br /><br />One-by-one, the students of Osborne High are dying in a series of gruesome murders, each with increasing and grotesque flair. As the terror grows closer and the hunt intensifies for the killer, the dark secrets among them must finally be confronted.<br /><br />International bestselling author Stephanie Perkins returns with a fresh take on the classic teen slasher story that’s fun, quick-witted, and completely impossible to put down.<br /><br /><div style="text-align: center;">*********************************************************************************</div><br />Want to help me with mailing costs? I do giveaways at least once week, sometimes more. It can add up. If you feel so inclined as to donate a little to defray my mailing costs, it would be much appreciated! Donating has no impact on your chances of winning.<br /><form [url="action="]action="https://www.paypal.com/fk/cgi-bin/webscr"[/url] method="post" name="_xclick"><input name="business" type="hidden" value="bigblackcat97@gmail.com" /><br /><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><input alt="Make payments with PayPal - it's fast, free and secure!" border="0" name="submit" [url="src="]src="http://www.paypal.com/en_US/i/btn/x-click-butcc-donate.gif"[/url] type="image" /><br /></form><br /><a class="rcptr" data-raflid="2071810b273" data-template="" data-theme="classic" [url="href="]href="http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/2071810b273/"[/url] id="rcwidget_a6yfgsxp" rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway</a><br /><script [url="src="]src="https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js"></script>[/url]

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#PitchWars Critique: THE SPIRIT HUNTER

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 30 August 2017 · 54 views

My PitchWars mentor-partner Kate Karyus Quinn and I agree that we didn't read a single query that was bad - nor did we read any first pages that were unsalvageable. And honestly with as many submissions as we had, we were surprised at the quality of them. Which is why we decided to offer query and first page critiques on our blogs to everyone who submitted to us.<br /><br />Quite a few people have taken us up on the offer. Through November, Kate and I will be posting these critiques on Mondays and Wednesdays. Any writer can learn from these - not just the author of the material being critiqued. You'll see my comments in&nbsp;<span style="color: #6aa84f;">green</span>. Echoes are highlighted in&nbsp;<span style="background-color: #6fa8dc;">blue</span>.<br /><br />Query:<br /><br />I understand you are looking for contemporary, character-based, YA novels, and stories that explore complex, emotional relationships. I thought you might be interested in my 85,000-word manuscript entitled THE SPIRIT HUNTER, aimed at mature teens. It is a bittersweet story about a seventeen-year-old Montana kid who teaches an abused, neglected, thirteen-year-old neighbor to hunt and fish, and suffers the consequences. <span style="color: #6aa84f;">The 17 year old suffers the consequences?&nbsp;</span>The book explores some dark themes, but has a hopeful, positive ending, and the emotionally difficult portions are heavily counter-balanced with humor. The following is how the book flap might read: <span style="color: #6aa84f;">This is well written, but I would say that placing this at the end of the query would be a better place. Generally starting in with your hook is a better way to go, and this para gives an overview rather than the details that a query needs to differentiate itself, which, I'm sure that's below. However, start with that so that you know it's the first thing the agent sees. Also, nix the line about how the book flap might read.&nbsp;</span><br /><br />Seventeen-year-old Marty Kilpatrick has issues. His family lives in a half-finished house in Montana with no plumbing, occasional electricity, and only two woodstoves for heat. <span style="color: #6aa84f;">I would say <i>only a woodstove for heat</i>. As soon as you say he has more than one it sounds like that's not so bad - make sense?</span>&nbsp;He’s ready to kill his best friends – assuming they don’t kill him first. <span style="color: #6aa84f;">Huge, massive leap here. Why would he want to kill his friends? Do you mean literally, or just as a turn of phrase? I assume literally since it appear they might kill him as well, which... that's definitely attention grabbing. But we really, really need to know why these kids feel this way.</span>&nbsp;He worries he might be turning into a stalker. <span style="color: #6aa84f;">Definitely need more on that.&nbsp;</span>And his crazy great-uncle, a full-blooded member of the Blackfeet Tribe, is hounding him to get in touch with his spiritual side. But when thirteen-year-old Chuck and his drug-addicted mother move into the trailer across the road, Marty discovers that bottom is still a long way down. <span style="color: #6aa84f;">Nice line.</span><br /><br />First Chuck steals Marty’s trophy trout. Then he bewitches Marty’s hunting dog Deek, transforming him from a mud-covered wrecking ball into a pet. Chuck even manages to steal the affections of the mysterious fly fishing girl Marty has been ogling <span style="color: #6aa84f;">here's your allusion to to the stalking reference above. But don't use the term stalking lightly. Is he just noticing her? Or is he following her? Making notes of her movements? Learning her routines? Cataloging her likes and dislikes? There's a huge difference between being aware of someone and stalking them</span>&nbsp;for months but has never had the courage to approach. But nothing compares to the damage Chuck inflicts when he gets a grip on Marty’s heart.<br /><br />Chuck needs a big brother in a big way, and he’s determined that Marty is the man for the job. But as Marty is drawn inexorably into Chuck’s world of heartbreak, abuse, and betrayal, he finds himself challenged in ways he never imagined – to the point where he wonders whether either one of them will even survive. <span style="color: #6aa84f;">This is well written but we need to know what those challenges are, and why they would threaten their lives. There are a lot of really interesting thoughts here that have my attention - homicidal friends, etc - but we need to know more about what that actually entail in terms of plot.</span><br /><br /><span style="color: #6aa84f;">In the interest of space I'm cutting your para where you asked about language in YA. My answer is don't worry about it.&nbsp;</span><br /><div><br /></div><div>1st Page:</div><div><br /></div><div><div>Little boys instinctively kill things. <span style="color: #6aa84f;">I absolutely love this first line. I think it's awesome. I do think some people would disagree with the statement, but since this is from 1st POV, I think it works.&nbsp;</span>I didn’t know that when I was a little boy, despite all the things I killed. Somehow that insight floated right past me, probably because Phil and Bob and I were too busy impaling grasshoppers on barbwire fences, blowing up anthills with sparkler bombs, pouring gasoline down gopher holes, stoning every fish we pulled from the water, and shooting every bird we saw with our pellet guns. I guess most kids grow out of that stuff eventually. We didn’t. The critters we went after just got bigger, tastier, and sometimes more dangerous. We also started calling ourselves hunters, which somehow seemed more mature. <span style="color: #6aa84f;">First paragraph is awesome. It's brutal, yes. But if the book is brutal (and it seems like it will be, given the query), the it's true to the story and can stand as is.</span></div><div><br /></div><div>Don’t get me wrong. I’m not criticizing hunters. I haven’t turned into some kind of animal rights freak, no matter what Phil and Bob think. People have been hunting for a really long time, and there are good reasons to do it. One of them is free meat, which is a good thing when your family is broke. But until I met Chuck, I never thought about whether hunting was good or bad. It was just something I’d always done and everyone around me did. It wasn’t until I taught Chuck to hunt that I began to have doubts about what I was doing.</div><div><br /></div><div>I can’t really blame Chuck. I don’t know where those first little doubts came from, but they were definitely there before he came along. Maybe my Blackfeet blood had something to do with it. I’m only a quarter Indian, but that doesn’t mean those genes aren’t messing with my head. My great-uncle Frank, who is full-blooded, says an Indian should never kill without a reason. He also says a hunter should have great respect for the animals he does kill. Otherwise the animals won’t come back in another life to feed the Indian again. Or maybe the doubts were a sign that I was finally growing up. Phil and Bob weren’t suffering any doubts, nor were they making any progress towards growing up...<br /><br /><span style="color: #6aa84f;">Honestly, I think your first page is very, very strong. I think it's fantastic. My only critical thought here is that the narrator seems to be addressing these issues as if they happened in the past, giving the manuscript a feeling of an adult looking back on their teenage years, kind of like Stephen King's short "The Body." Which... that would mean this isn't YA. I would urge you to consider if this might actually be literary fiction, given the darker themes (speaking here as someone who has read more than just the first page), and the nostalgic lost-childhood feel, I do think you might be looking at an adult literary rather than YA.</span></div></div>

<a href="[url="http://writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com/2017/08/pitchwars-critique-spirit-hunter.html"]http://writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com/2017/08/pitchwars-critique-spirit-hunter.html[/url]" class='bbc_url' rel='nofollow external'>Source</a>


Emily Arsenault On How Writing Can Be A Comfort... It's Publishing That's Stressful

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 29 August 2017 · 83 views

Today's guest for the SAT (Successful Author Talk) is Emily Arsenault, author of the upcoming novel <a href="[url="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32302187-the-leaf-reader"]https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32302187-the-leaf-reader[/url]" target="_blank">THE LEAF READER</a>, which released June 13 from Soho Teen. Emily studied philosophy in college, and worked as an editorial assistant at Merriam-Webster from 1998-2002, helping write definitions for their dictionaries. She has served in the Peace Corps, working in rural South Africa.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a [url="href="]href="https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1492931491l/32302187.jpg"[/url] imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="400" data-original-width="259" height="320" [url="src="]src="https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1492931491l/32302187.jpg"[/url] width="207" /></a></div><b>Are you a Planner or Pantster?</b><br /><br /><i>I’m more of a pantser but I always come up with a vague plan (describing the ending and the most important reveals or secrets) to help me get through. Sometimes I’m just telling myself I have a plan to work up the confidence to drive toward the middle and ending of the book. Often I change the ending and must go back and revise everything. But telling myself I know where I’m going (even if I’m lying to myself) always helps to motivate me and get a lot of good character information and scenes down on paper before having to go back and reconsider plot points.</i><br /><b><br /></b><b>How long does it typically take you to write a novel, start to finish?</b><br /><br /><i>It depends, but on average it usually takes about nine or ten months for me to write a first draft. Then I usually revise for a couple of months.</i><br /><br /><b>Do you work on one project at a time, or are you a multi-tasker?</b><br /><br /><i>I used to always write only one project at a time, when I was doing adult books exclusively. Now I’m trying to switch back and forth between adult and young adult. I can’t really draft two projects at once. I can revise one while drafting another. Or start brainstorming for the next book while finishing up the last. But I can’t imagine being right in the messy middle of two books at once.</i><br /><br /><b>Did you have to overcome any fears that first time you sat down to write?</b><br /><br /><i>Not really. I started writing when I was about ten. At the time, I always found it much less scary than, say, speaking in public or social situations. Writing is very comforting to me. It’s the publishing part that gets a little scary. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night, haunted by ill-advised sentences or plot points that are now published and I can’t take back.</i><br /><br /><b>How many trunked books did you have before you were agented?</b><br /><i><br /></i><i>I have one trunked manuscript. I really should burn it because I don’t want anyone to find it and read it. It’s a YA book I wrote about fourteen years ago. After realizing that book was not publishable, I started The Broken Teaglass, which was (eventually—about four years later) my first published novel. Now, five books and more than a decade later, I’ve finally come out with my first YA—The Leaf Reader. I always knew I’d come back around to YA eventually.</i><br /><i><b><br /></b></i><b>Who is your agent and how did you get that "Yes!" out of them? &nbsp;</b><br /><br /><i>My agent is Laura Langlie. She was one of the first agents to whom I sent a query letter. She asked for the manuscript almost immediately, and I sent it. Then I got a bunch of rejections from other agents and, based on some of their feedback, started a major revision of the book, changing the ending and some other fundamental things. Then this one Big Shot Agent (someone who had been in the industry a very long time, edited and agented all kinds of NYTimes Bestselling authors, etc.) called me and said she’d loved my first three chapters and wanted me to send the rest of the manuscript right away. I had to tell her I was in the middle of revising it. But, pumped by her interest, I amped up my revision and did it in three sleepless and caffeine-fueled weeks.&nbsp;</i><br /><i><br /></i><i>While I was waiting for her response, I noticed Laura was still on my list as having the old manuscript. Going against advice I had read online, I wrote her asking if she wanted to see my new manuscript. She said yes. About a month later, Big Shot Agent sent me back my manuscript cover letter with “Not for me” scribbled on it, and I sank into a bit of a depression, telling my husband I wasn’t sure if I could handle this process anymore and wasn’t sure I had any more revisions in me. I stopped querying and decided to take a break from the whole process. A few weeks later Laura (who was one of two agents who still had the manuscript) called me and offered representation. Then she got an offer on the book practically the day she sent it out. I sometimes hesitate to tell this story because it is not really one of grit and endurance, and I’m not sure what aspiring writers can learn from it except that things can change quickly.</i><br /><br /><b>How long did you query before landing your agent? </b><br /><br /><i>I think it took about nine months. But I wasn’t querying straight through. I stopped occasionally to do revisions and adjustments—as I described above. I think sent about thirty queries in all. Mostly snail mail queries.</i><br /><br /><b>Any advice to aspiring writers out there on conquering query hell?</b><br /><br /><i>Something that worked for me was to query in small batches. That way, if you get any decent feedback, you can apply it to your next batch. Also, even if you don’t get much feedback, it gives you time to go back and reconsider things (like the wording of you query, or the pacing of your opening chapters) if it appears something isn’t working when you start getting responses. It gives you time to learn from the process and still have agents left to query.</i><br /><br /><b>How did it feel the first time you saw your book for sale?</b><br /><br /><i>I’m going to be honest. It felt very weird. I always feel sort of exposed, when a book goes on sale. Don’t get me wrong—I was ecstatic when my first book sold to a publisher, and still feel very, very lucky. But when a book comes out there is always this feeling that a little piece of your heart is up for sale on Amazon. Since my first book, I’ve tried to be more professional and less emotional about it, but I still have moments when I feel this way.</i><br /><br /><b>How much input do you have on cover art?</b><br /><br /><i>My adult publisher (William Morrow) is always great about asking me what I would like to see on the cover—and Soho Teen was as well for The Leaf Reader. Usually what they come up with is different from what I suggested but much cooler than anything I could’ve conceived of in my head. I’ve always been really happy with my covers even though they are often quite different from what I expected.</i><br /><br /><b>What's something you learned from the process that surprised you?</b><br /><br /><i>I think it might be that I almost always end up feeling grateful for things that initially look like setbacks. For example, one time my publisher was not satisfied with my title, and we were brainstorming for a new one. I was getting really frustrated and there was even talk of bumping the book to another season unless we came up with something decent soon. On a day when I thought there were not possible ideas left, I looked back at my list of ideas and quotes and something jumped out at me that I hadn’t considered before. (This was for my adult book What Strange Creatures.) I loved that title, and ended up being grateful that the publisher kept pushing until a better title emerged. I have a ton of examples like this, when something about the process felt crazy-making at first, but ended up being for the better.</i><br /><br /><b>How much of your own marketing do you? &nbsp;&nbsp;</b><br /><br /><i>I always feel like I could do more marketing stuff, but sometimes I’m still not sure what is the best use of time and energy. I have a <a [url="href="]href="http://emilyarsenault.com/"[/url] target="_blank">website</a>, a <a [url="href="]href="https://www.facebook.com/emily.arsenault.books"[/url] target="_blank">Facebook</a> page, and an <a [url="href="]href="http://emilyarsenault.com/email-list/"[/url] target="_blank">e-mail newsletter</a>. I do I try to do the occasional conference (especially when asked) but it can be difficult to budget for that. I do events at bookstores and libraries, and guest blog posts for various sites.</i><br /><br /><b>Do you think social media helps build your readership?</b><br /><br /><i>I think it can, if you’re willing to invest time in it and be yourself there. I don’t think I’ve taken full advantage of social media opportunities. But I feel like if I threw myself into Facebook and Twitter, I wouldn’t have much left for the actual writing. I admire and envy writers who can do both well on a regular basis.</i><br /><div><br /></div>

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#PitchWars Critique: RED LETTER LAW

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 28 August 2017 · 66 views

My PitchWars mentor-partner Kate Karyus Quinn and I agree that we didn't read a single query that was bad - nor did we read any first pages that were unsalvageable. And honestly with as many submissions as we had, we were surprised at the quality of them. Which is why we decided to offer query and first page critiques on our blogs to everyone who submitted to us.<br /><br />Quite a few people have taken us up on the offer. Through November, Kate and I will be posting these critiques on Mondays and Wednesdays. Any writer can learn from these - not just the author of the material being critiqued. You'll see my comments in <span style="color: #6aa84f;">green</span>. Echoes are highlighted in <span style="background-color: #6fa8dc;">blue</span>.<br /><br />Query:<br /><br />On Mars in 2038, people are selling other people. <span style="color: #6aa84f;">Maybe <i>people are for sale</i> to avoid the <i>people</i> echo?</span>&nbsp;Fifteen-year-old Lonnie Freeman finds this stupid. <span style="color: #6aa84f;">Hmm.... I don't know if <i>stupid</i> is a good word to use here. Maybe something a little more strongly condemning?</span>&nbsp;After losing a Mars-ton of money due to dust storms, her mom and stepdad sign up Lonnie and her sister Chelle for the indentured servitude program. They say the girls will have enough to eat, and it’s only two Mars years—that is, 45 months. Lonnie knows it’s nothing more than diet slavery. Fewer calories, less guilt, but it’s still bad for you. <span style="color: #6aa84f;">Again, I think the wording here is a little light, considering the subject. Comparing indentured servitude to dieting comes off as not treating the subject matter with the proper weight.</span><br /><br />After Chelle runs away to Earth, <span style="color: #6aa84f;">maybe <i>escapes</i>? I'm assuming she can't technically run to Earth</span>&nbsp;Lonnie is bought by a rich family and tasked with caring for a pair of three-year-old twins. The family also includes Amir, a fellow teenager who becomes Lonnie’s friend. In spite of herself, she doesn’t hate it there. She doesn’t feel like a slave. But everything changes when Amir’s classmate rapes Lonnie, claiming he wants to “borrow” her from Amir. <span style="color: #6aa84f;">Shit. Yeah, you definitely want to make sure you are treating this with appropriate wording, and right now the tone up to here is pretty light.</span><br /><br />Amir is infuriated and throws the rapist out of the house. <span style="color: #6aa84f;">So we know how Amir feels about her rape... how does Lonnie feel?</span>&nbsp;To make matters worse, Lonnie learns that the rape of servants is common. It’s a well-kept secret, as most servants are afraid to do or say anything about it. Plagued by panic attacks, Lonnie wants nothing more than justice. The rapist’s father makes a threat: if anyone goes to the police, he and his son will claim Amir was complicit. Amir is undaunted, but his parents close ranks. Despite Amir’s supportive attitude, Lonnie’s friendship with him is strained by the realization that she’s much more trapped than she ever thought. In order to get justice, she must free herself as the rapist’s family seeks to silence her. <span style="color: #6aa84f;">Okay good. Again, if you look back over this you can see how the tone of this query changes from the beginning to the end. I think, given the subject matter, it needs to be consistent throughout. Also, I think you need more information about how she might <i>free herself</i>, and through what methods the family is seeking to <i>silence her</i>.</span><br /><br />RED LETTER LAW is a 70,000-word young adult space opera that will appeal to fans of RED RISING and THE INVENTION OF WINGS. It is an #ownvoices novel with an African American protagonist. I wrote it because as a black woman, I sometimes feel left out of the feminist narrative. I am an editorial intern with Filles Vertes Publishing. Thank you for your time and consideration.<br /><br /><span style="color: #6aa84f;">Great bio and comp titles.</span><br /><div><br /></div><div>1st Page:</div><div><br /></div><div><div>"You forgot the tampons?" Red dust flies up toward me as my shovel pierces the dry, cracked ground. For its diligence, the shovel is rewarded with a hard stamp from my jelly boot-clad foot. <span style="color: #6aa84f;">I love your opening line. Honestly. Then we go into what I find to be over description. Red dust is one descriptor of the ground is enough to set the scene and to tell us she's digging, but then the next sentence tells us more about digging, and what she's wearing. It's essentially a useless sentence, and it's your second one. Cut it.</span></div><div><br /></div><div>"Gosh, Lonnie," Rochelle says. "You don't have to take it out on the ground. I'm sorry."</div><div><br /></div><div>Six, seven, eight. I count the eyelets on my boot to calm myself down. These boots are usually my favorite, since they're clear, allowing me to show off my socks. Today's socks are patterned to look like a cloudy blue <span style="background-color: #6fa8dc;">sky</span>, which starkly contrasts the perpetually dreary <span style="background-color: #6fa8dc;">sky</span> above me. Gosh, I miss the blue planet.<br /><br /><span style="color: #93c47d;">Given what I know about her from the query, I think maybe she's dealing with some form of panic attack, hence the eyelet counting. But, a reader won't have that insight. Right now I don't understand what she's upset about (no tampons? Digging?) or why she's counting her eyelets.&nbsp;</span></div><div><br /></div><div>"Apology accepted," I say, finally looking up, "but we have to go back to the store."</div><div><br /></div><div>"Lonnie, we can't. Mom said not to use any more solar."</div><div><br /></div><div>"Chelle," I articulate carefully, "we need to go back to the store."</div><div><br /></div><div>She purses her lips to one side. She's going to cave, because I'm right. You don't hunker down for a storm without the essentials. I'd like to think her agreement has something to do with me putting my foot down, but I can't intimidate her. I may be two inches taller and twelve pounds heavier than her -- thirty-two pounds on Earth -- but she's still the big sister, and she knows it.</div><div><br /></div><div>"Let's finish this first," she says. "Then, if there's time, we can walk or rent a velo."</div><div><br /></div><div>Now she's speaking my language.</div><div><br /></div><div>"A velo? Can I drive?"</div><div><br /></div><div>"Sure."</div><div><br /></div><div>"Good, 'cause the way you pedal, we'll be lucky to get halfway down the street before the dust storm--"</div><div><br /></div><div>"Dig, Lonnie."<br /><br /><span style="color: #93c47d;">Not bad. I think you've done a good job of setting the scene. It's pretty clear we're on Mars, that solar is a form of payment, a velo is transportation, as well as the girls' relationship to each other. However, what I don't know is why they're digging, and what for. Do they have to? Is this a job? Is it forced? What are they looking for, or are they just digging a hole or a trench? What is this storm that's coming? Dust? Lightning.&nbsp;</span><br /><span style="color: #93c47d;"><br /></span><span style="color: #93c47d;">Overall this is a good first page. You've a done great job of setting scene and establishing a lot of world-building through show and not tell, which is fantastic. But I would say talk less about the clear boots at the outset and more about the act of digging, and what this incoming storm might be.</span></div></div>

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Great Deals On My E-Books This Weekend!

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 27 August 2017 · 42 views

Need to load up your e-reader? I've got you covered.<br /><div style="text-align: center;"><a href="[url="https://www.amazon.com/Female-Species-Mindy-McGinnis-ebook/dp/B01AFXMGTO/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&amp;qid=&amp;sr="]https://www.amazon.com/Female-Species-Mindy-McGinnis-ebook/dp/B01AFXMGTO/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&amp;qid=&amp;sr=[/url]" target="_blank"><br /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;"><a [url="href="]href="https://www.amazon.com/Female-Species-Mindy-McGinnis-ebook/dp/B01AFXMGTO/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&amp;qid=&amp;sr="[/url] target="_blank"><span style="color: #6aa84f;">THE FEMALE OF THE SPECIES is a Kindle Daily Deal for $1.99!&nbsp;</span></a></div><br /><a [url="href="]href="https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/41AIj83EabL.jpg"[/url] imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="500" data-original-width="331" height="320" [url="src="]src="https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/41AIj83EabL.jpg"[/url] width="211" /></a>Alex Craft knows how to kill someone. And she doesn’t feel bad about it.<br /><br />Three years ago, when her older sister, Anna, was murdered and the killer walked free, Alex uncaged the language she knows best—the language of violence. While her own crime goes unpunished, Alex knows she can’t be trusted among other people. Not with Jack, the star athlete who wants to really know her but still feels guilty over the role he played the night Anna’s body was discovered. And not with Peekay, the preacher’s kid with a defiant streak who befriends Alex while they volunteer at an animal shelter. Not anyone.<br /><br />As their senior year unfolds, Alex’s darker nature breaks out, setting these three teens on a collision course that will change their lives forever.<br /><br /><div style="text-align: center;"><a [url="href="]href="https://www.amazon.com/Madness-So-Discreet-Mindy-McGinnis-ebook/dp/B00S58E7E4/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8"[/url] target="_blank"><span style="color: #6aa84f;">A MADNESS SO DISCREET is 60% off at $3.99!</span></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a [url="href="]href="https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51IGveD5OpL.jpg"[/url] imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="500" data-original-width="331" height="320" [url="src="]src="https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51IGveD5OpL.jpg"[/url] width="211" /></a></div>Grace Mae is already familiar with madness when family secrets and the bulge in her belly send her to an insane asylum—but it is in the darkness that she finds a new lease on life. When a visiting doctor interested in criminal psychology recognizes Grace's brilliant mind beneath her rage, he recruits her as his assistant. Continuing to operate under the cloak of madness at crime scenes allows her to gather clues from bystanders who believe her less than human. Now comfortable in an ethical asylum, Grace finds friends—and hope. But gruesome nights bring Grace and the doctor into the circle of a killer who will bring her shaky sanity and the demons in her past dangerously close to the surface.<br /><br /><br /><div style="text-align: center;"><a [url="href="]href="https://www.amazon.com/Not-Drop-Drink-Mindy-McGinnis-ebook/dp/B00BATIJYE/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&amp;qid=&amp;sr="[/url] target="_blank"><span style="color: #6aa84f;">NOT A DROP TO DRINK is 60% off at $3.99!</span></a></div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a [url="href="]href="https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51UALUhPkVL.jpg"[/url] imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="500" data-original-width="331" height="320" [url="src="]src="https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51UALUhPkVL.jpg"[/url] width="211" /></a></div>Fans of classic frontier survival stories, as well as readers of dystopian literature, will enjoy this futuristic story where water is worth more than gold. New York Times bestselling author Michael Grant says Not a Drop to Drink is a debut "not to be missed." With evocative, spare language and incredible drama, danger, and romance, Mindy McGinnis depicts one girl's journey in a frontierlike world not so different from our own.<br /><br />Teenage Lynn has been taught to defend her pond against every threat: drought, a snowless winter, <br />coyotes, and most important, people looking for a drink. She makes sure anyone who comes near the pond leaves thirsty—or doesn't leave at all. Confident in her own abilities, Lynn has no use for the world beyond the nearby fields and forest. But when strangers appear, the mysterious footprints by the pond, nighttime threats, and gunshots make it all too clear Lynn has exactly what they want, and they won't stop until they get it. . . .<br /><br /><div style="text-align: center;"><a [url="href="]href="https://www.amazon.com/Among-Shadows-Stories-Darkness-Light-ebook/dp/B013TOA7W4/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8"[/url] target="_blank"><span style="color: #6aa84f;">AMONG THE SHADOWS is 0.99!</span></a></div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;"><a [url="href="]href="https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51B4ctS2lBL.jpg"[/url] imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="500" data-original-width="329" height="320" [url="src="]src="https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51B4ctS2lBL.jpg"[/url] width="210" /></a>Read my short story that evolved into my upcoming release - <a [url="href="]href="https://www.amazon.com/This-Darkness-Mine-Mindy-McGinnis/dp/0062561596/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8"[/url] target="_blank">THIS DARKNESS MINE!</a></div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div>Even the lightest hearts have shaded corners to hide the black thoughts that come at night. Experience the darker side of YA as 13 authors explore the places that others prefer to leave among the shadows.<br /><br />You’ve been there.<br /><br />It’s dark and you’re comfortable. You’re just about to fall asleep when you can’t help but wonder if maybe tonight the thing you’ve always been sure exists will finally find you.<br /><br />The best short stories stick with you, and the stories in this book especially, are meant to cast long shadows. The authors who contributed to this anthology are not only familiar with what lurks among the shadows, we choose to spend time there. Our monsters all live in different places—under beds, beside peaceful streams, inside ourselves, down mine shafts, in the sky. The darkness you’ll find in these pages knows no boundaries, so it’s only fitting that these stories cover many genres.<br /><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div>

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The Saturday Slash

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 26 August 2017 · 38 views

Meet my Hatchet of Death (or, some other colorful description&nbsp;<a href="[url="http://rclewisbooks.com/"]http://rclewisbooks.com/[/url]" target="_blank">RC Lewis</a>&nbsp;and I come up with at any given moment). This is how I edit myself, it is how I edit others. If you think you want to play with me and my hatchet,&nbsp;<a [url="href="]href="http://writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com/p/query-critiques.html">shoot[/url] us an email</a>.<br /><br /><a [url="href="]href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-oZ52KunZpiM/T_zy5Q521TI/AAAAAAAAArU/EQOi-3pr48Q/s400/NewestSatSlash.jpg"[/url] imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="320" [url="src="]src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-oZ52KunZpiM/T_zy5Q521TI/AAAAAAAAArU/EQOi-3pr48Q/s320/NewestSatSlash.jpg"[/url] width="247" /></a>We all know the first line of a query is your "hook." I call the last line the "sinker." You want it to&nbsp;punch them in the face, in a nice, friendly kind of way that makes them unable to forget you after having read the 300 other queries in their inbox.<br /><br />If you're looking for query advice, but are slightly intimidated by my claws, blade, or just my rolling googly-eyes, check out the query critique boards over at&nbsp;<a [url="href="]href="http://www.agentqueryconnect.com/"[/url] target="_blank">AgentQueryConnect</a>. This is where I got my start, with advice from people smarter than me. Don't be afraid to ask for help with the most critical first step of your writing journey - the query. My comments appear in&nbsp;<span style="color: #6aa84f;">green</span>.<br /><br />IN A WORLD where advanced telekinesis is just a video tutorial away, Katie Johnson stands alone, except for a small posse of an empath, a mentalist, a precog, and an extremely photogenic ostrich - against the forces of darkness. <span style="color: #6aa84f;">Okay, this is definitely cute. The voice is great, just make sure that this same infusion of humor is present throughout the story. If you're going to go all out with a voice-y query, be sure it matches the voice of the book it represents.&nbsp;</span>(And by forces of darkness of course we mean a frog faced paranormal professor threatening her 4.0 GPA at Psychic college, an evil stepmother threatening her sanity, and an obnoxious group of student Kinetics she's about ready to threaten with a fist right in their faces.) <span style="color: #6aa84f;">In what way does Katie stand alone? Has she avoided said tutorials and is not kinetic while everyone else is? And what's her motivation for abstaining?</span><br /><br />Little did she suspect that during the course of her relatively mundane daily life, she really would accidentally, possibly, save ...her school? Whatever, that counts. <span style="color: #6aa84f;">This wanders into unspecific territory. Is her life truly mundane? What is the threat to her school?</span><br /><br />When Dean Yoshida of the Institute for Paranormal Science, the greatest precog in the nation, predicts not just the closure of their school, but the ostracism of psychics everywhere, all that stands between her friends and disaster is an invention Katie never even knew she could make. <span style="color: #6aa84f;">How - specifically - does this invention help them, and why is it such a surprise that she could make it?</span><br /><br />She's got until the school pageant to figure this out, and there's no telling if she'll make it in time when that mundane life of hers keeps interfering in very non-mundane ways. <span style="color: #6aa84f;">Again. Specifics. You've got the voice threaded throughout, which is good. What's bad is that I walk away from this query not having any idea what the plot is.</span><br /><br />Energy is a 94k word, humorous, sci-fi coming of age story set in a college in the near future. It's the first in a planned trilogy. In the same universe, I also have planned a five-book series.<br /><br /><span style="color: #6aa84f;">Wow. You just did an amazing job of alienating just about every agent with that first line. Here's why -- 94k is really long for a book that feels plot-light but voice-heavy (if we go by the query). It's also going on long for a humorous book, SF elements aside. And "set in a college" is not going to do you any favors. Technically, that's the arena of New Adult, and NA only tends to succeed well in romantic and / or heavily sexed books - which this does not seem to be. Is there any reason this can't be YA?</span><br /><span style="color: #6aa84f;"><br /></span><span style="color: #6aa84f;">I'd also work hard to make sure this can stand alone, but have series potential. Again, there's not a lot of plot that I can see here in this query, so I don't see how it can hold up a trilogy. Then you mention five more books set in the same world, and you just pitched 8 books set somewhere that I guarantee you the agent isn't sold on yet. Pare your word count down by as much as 25k if possible, considering shifting the setting to a high school, and get more plot into this query - I know it's got to be there if you wrung 94k words out of it.</span>

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Book Talk & ARC Giveaway: WARCROSS by Marie Lu

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 25 August 2017 · 73 views

<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="[url="https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1489081682l/29385546.jpg"]https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1489081682l/29385546.jpg[/url]" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="475" data-original-width="311" height="320" [url="src="]src="https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1489081682l/29385546.jpg"[/url] width="209" /></a></div>For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game—it’s a way of life. The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. Needing to make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships—only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation.<br /><br />Convinced she’s going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when instead she gets a call from the game’s creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year’s tournament in order to uncover a security problem . . . and he wants Emika for the job. With no time to lose, Emika’s whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she’s only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire.<br /><br />Want to help me with mailing costs? I do giveaways at least once week, sometimes more. It can add up. If you feel so inclined as to donate a little to defray my mailing costs, it would be much appreciated! Donating has no impact on your chances of winning.<br /><form [url="action="]action="https://www.paypal.com/fk/cgi-bin/webscr"[/url] method="post" name="_xclick"><input name="business" type="hidden" value="bigblackcat97@gmail.com" /><br /><div style="text-align: center;"><input name="item_name" type="hidden" value="Mindy's Mailing Costs" />*********************************************************************************</div><input name="amount" type="hidden" value="00.00" /><br /><input alt="Make payments with PayPal - it's fast, free and secure!" border="0" name="submit" [url="src="]src="http://www.paypal.com/en_US/i/btn/x-click-butcc-donate.gif"[/url] type="image" /><br /><br /></form><a class="rcptr" data-raflid="2071810b271" data-template="" data-theme="classic" [url="href="]href="http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/2071810b271/"[/url] id="rcwidget_iqm6314v" rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway</a><br /><script [url="src="]src="https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js"></script><br[/url] /><br /><br /><br />

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Thursday Thoughts

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 24 August 2017 · 33 views

Thoughts lately include questioning the lyrics of pop music:<br /><br />1) If lightning really struck every time she moved, that girl would be a very difficult person to be around.<br /><br />2) If Adele set fire to the rain it would be more of an ecological disaster than a romantic gesture.<br /><br />3) If John Mayer really survived on the breath someone else was finished with he wouldn't make it far because technically that's carbon dioxide.

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