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Thursday Thoughts

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 24 January 2013 · 91 views

Thoughts lately...<br /><br />1) Does anyone else think it's weird that we have major retail sales to celebrate things like MLK Day and President's Day? I'm really not sure this is what civil rights leaders and presidents were aiming for.<br /><br />2) I have completely lost faith in the statement "Studies Have Shown..." As far as I can tell, This Week's Studies have shown that Last Week's Studies were utter hogwash. We anxiously await Next Week's Studies to show us This Week's Studies are bollocks.<br /><br />3) Reality is slowly turning into a Ray Bradbury short story.

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PAPfest Update!

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 23 January 2013 · 100 views

Hello everyone!<br /><br />The PAPfest email is OPEN papfest(at)gmail(dot)com<br /><br />If you attempted to send an email and received an auto-response that the window was closed that was due to a bot-timing issue.<br /><br />I responded to every email that made it in to the inbox with confirmation that your entry was received. So if you did *not* receive a confirmation response please re-send!<br /><br />There are still spots, so keep sending those entries!

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Wednesday WOLF & A PAPfest Reminder!

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 23 January 2013 · 145 views

Before you move on to today's WOLF, remember that the first window for PAPfest opens today at 8AM EST! Email your entries to PAPfest(at)gmail(dot)com For complete rules and regulations, <a href="[url="http://writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com/2013/01/announcing-participating-agents-for.html"]http://writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com/2013/01/announcing-participating-agents-for.html[/url]" target="_blank">click here</a>.<br /><br />I've got a collection of random information in my brain that makes me an awesome Trivial Pursuit partner, but is completely useless when it comes to real world application. Like say, job applications. I thought I'd share some of this random crap with you in the form of another acronym-ific series. I give you - Word Origins from Left Field - that's right, the WOLF (oh, how clever is she? She made an acronym out of her agency's name!) Er... ignore the fact that the "from" doesn't fit.<br /><br />Sure, word origins are fascinating when you're a big nerd (like me), but you can even dive down past the words into the letters themselves and get some interesting stories.<br /><br />You guys probably know that the first writing forms we had were actually pictures like cuneiform and hieroglyphs. The first writing form used where the symbols actually represented spoken sounds was created by the Phoenicians. It had 22 symbols, all consonants. Tht's rght, n vwls.<br /><br />The first two letters in the Phoenician writing system were called <i>aleph</i> and <i>beth</i>.<br /><br />Yep - that's where we get <i>alphabet</i>.

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A BOA with Agency-Mate Michelle Krys, Author of HEXED

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 22 January 2013 · 173 views

My original intention for the series of interviews I do here was to focus on agents (BBCHAT) and successful authors (SAT). In the course of internet wanderings though, I’ve ran across a lot of really awesome people, and culled an enormous amount of information from blogs. As I raided my brain – yes, I picture myself on the prow of a Viking ship, approaching my own gray matter – for more people I’d like to interview, it repeatedly offered up names of bloggers. And so, the third series; Bloggers of Awesome. Yeah, it’s the BOA.<br /><br />Today's BOA guest is my agency mate <a href="[url="http://michelle-krys.blogspot.com/"]http://michelle-krys.blogspot.com/[/url]" target="_blank">Michelle Krys</a>. Her debut, <a href="[url="http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13597755-the-witch-hunter-s-bible"]http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13597755-the-witch-hunter-s-bible[/url]" target="_blank">HEXED</a>, features&nbsp;snarky sixteen-year-old cheerleader Indigo Blackwood, who is forced into a centuries-old war between witches and sorcerers only to discover the first of many dark truths about her life.&nbsp;Also, it has boys and kissing. HEXED is coming from&nbsp;Delacorte Press/Random House Children's Books, Spring 2014<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="[url="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Y8eeDT0mx4g/UK56PFRA7pI/AAAAAAAAAR0/tU81YMKRSX4/s820/michelle1-001.jpg"]http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Y8eeDT0mx4g/UK56PFRA7pI/AAAAAAAAAR0/tU81YMKRSX4/s820/michelle1-001.jpg[/url]" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="112" src="[url="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Y8eeDT0mx4g/UK56PFRA7pI/AAAAAAAAAR0/tU81YMKRSX4/s400/michelle1-001.jpg"]http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Y8eeDT0mx4g/UK56PFRA7pI/AAAAAAAAAR0/tU81YMKRSX4/s400/michelle1-001.jpg[/url]" width="400" /></a></div><br /><b>MM: You’ve got a fun and straightforward blog. What made you decide to take that approach?</b><br /><br />There was never this big decision over which approach I would take to blogging, though I did consciously decide not to try to imitate other author blogs that I admired. &nbsp;The explanation being that there were (and still are!) so many awesome blogs out there that it was a bit intimidating to give it a try. I worried I wouldn’t have anything to add to the conversation or that no one would want to hear what I had to say because I wasn’t as intelligent or funny as XYZ author, etc. Finally, I told my inner critic to shove it and decided to just be myself, which is apparently fun, so yay (and thanks)!<br /><br /><b>MM: I know a lot of aspiring writers who are intimidated by the idea of blogging. They want to, but they are worried it will cut into their (already precious) writing time. How do you keep a balance between blogging and writing</b>?<br /><br />Right, that was another of the worries I had before I started a blog. Only now that I’ve been doing it for quite a while and have fallen into a routine, it really isn’t that time consuming. I can usually get out a post in less than an hour. Less than an hour once or twice a week isn’t so much of a time commitment (especially when you kill two birds with one stone and watch TV at the same time ☺ )<br /><br /><b>MM: Like me, you do query critiques. What made you decide to offer that to your readers?</b><br /><br />I’ve always loved critiquing query letters (writing them too, but I’m told that makes me weird). I’m a huge fan of the Query Shark blog and shamelessly decided to offer the same service on my blog, which in retrospect contradicts my earlier mantra that I wouldn’t imitate blogs I admired. Gah! &nbsp;In any case, I’m so honored that anyone would want to hear my thoughts on their letters.<br /><br /><b>MM: Do you think blogging is a helpful self-marketing tool?</b><br /><br />Definitely, blogging can be helpful for self-marketing. Having said that, it’s probably not a good idea to blog solely about yourself and your book, as you run the risk of boring and/or annoying your readers. Which is to say, don’t break your arm patting yourself on the back.<br /><br /><b>MM: Sometimes social media feels like a do-or-die. How do you approach Twitter or Facebook on days when you really don’t feel like you have much to say?</b><br /><br />This question is easy, because I always have something to say. Literally, always. It’s a challenge to shut me up. Just ask my husband (or anyone else who’s ever met me).<br /><br /><b>MM: What other websites / resources can you recommend for writers?</b><br /><br />As I’ve mentioned before, I think the <a href="[url="http://queryshark.blogspot.com/"]http://queryshark.blogspot.com/[/url]" target="_blank">Query Shark</a> blog is an awesome resource for querying writers. I also really loved <a href="[url="http://queryshark.blogspot.com/"]http://queryshark.blogspot.com/[/url]" target="_blank">QueryTracker</a> for keeping track of the agents I queried, and the <a href="[url="http://www.literaryrambles.com/"]http://www.literaryrambles.com/[/url]" target="_blank">Literary Rambles</a> blog for researching agents accepting YA. And I highly recommend Mindy’s <a href="[url="http://writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com/search/label/SHIT"]http://writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com/search/label/SHIT[/url]" target="_blank">SHIT series (Submission Hell It’s True)</a> for authors on submission.<br /><br /><b>MM: Any words of inspiration for aspiring writers?</b><br /><br />I’ve said this a bunch before but I’ll say it again because it’s still true and helped me a lot during particularly down moments (of which there are many in the writing business): The odds of making it out of the slush pile really aren’t as terrible as writers are often led to believe. The slush pile can be full of less than stellar projects, to put it nicely, and if you’re a good writer, do your research, work hard, and keep at it, then your odds are much, much better of succeeding. Don’t let the statistics scare you!

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The Lucky13s Twitter Chats Starting This Week!

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 21 January 2013 · 133 views

<a href="[url="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-YX2zqSeJYPA/UPA5HBxMUtI/AAAAAAAABeI/YBNrmRaXUCg/s1600/Ladder.jpg"]http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-YX2zqSeJYPA/UPA5HBxMUtI/AAAAAAAABeI/YBNrmRaXUCg/s1600/Ladder.jpg[/url]" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="[url="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-YX2zqSeJYPA/UPA5HBxMUtI/AAAAAAAABeI/YBNrmRaXUCg/s1600/Ladder.jpg"]http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-YX2zqSeJYPA/UPA5HBxMUtI/AAAAAAAABeI/YBNrmRaXUCg/s1600/Ladder.jpg[/url]" /></a>We've got a wonderful group of MG and YA debut writers over at <a href="[url="http://thelucky13s.blogspot.com/"]http://thelucky13s.blogspot.com/[/url]" target="_blank">The Lucky 13s</a>. As our debut year takes off, we will be hosting a Lucky 13s Tweetchat once a month so that we can talk about a variety of things with anyone who wants to tune in!<br /><br />The chats will be guided from the moderator behind the Lucky13s Twitter. It's an Oz-type thing.<br /><br />Stay tuned to The Luckies on&nbsp;<a href="[url="http://www.blogger.com/twitter.com/TheLucky13s"]http://www.blogger.com/twitter.com/TheLucky13s[/url]" target="_blank">Twitter</a>&nbsp;or follow the hashtag #Lucky13s during the scheduled times to participate in what's sure to be an informative and fun time! All chats will begin at 8 PM EST (with the exception of the two Saturday chats) and last for one hour.<br /><br /><b><span style="font-size: large;">The Lucky 13s Tweetchat Schedule and Topics:</span></b><br /><br />January 24th:&nbsp;<i>Meet the Luckies!</i><br />February 21st:&nbsp;<i>The Boys and Girls We Lurrve: Love Interests and BFFs&nbsp;in our books</i><br />March 21st:&nbsp;<i>Mostly Middle-Grade (Yay! MG!)</i><br />April 18th:&nbsp;<i>Science! And Fiction! Science Fiction!!!: SF and the science in our fiction</i><br />May 18th (Saturday Chat, special 3PM EST Start):&nbsp;<i>Worlds Apart: Wordbuilding and our Fictional Worlds</i><br />June 20th:&nbsp;<i>Paranormally Yours: The Strange, Creepy&nbsp;and Otherworldly</i><br />July 18th:&nbsp;<i>Cheers for Contemps: Contemporary Books</i><br />August 22nd:&nbsp;<i>Kicking It Old School: Historicals</i><br />September 19th:&nbsp;<i>The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly:&nbsp;Antagonists and Protagonists</i><br />October 19th (Saturday Chat, special 3PM EST Start):&nbsp;<i>Before “Once Upon a Time”: Character’s&nbsp;Backstories</i><br />November 21st:&nbsp;<i>Ask Us Anything!</i><br />December 19th:&nbsp;<i>Year in Review and What’s Up Next</i>

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The Saturday Slash

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 19 January 2013 · 126 views

Meet my Hatchet of Death (or, some other colorful description&nbsp;<a href="[url="http://crossingthehelix.blogspot.com/"]http://crossingthehelix.blogspot.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, shoot us an email.<br /><div style="margin: 0px;"><div style="margin: 0px;"><div style="margin: 0px;"><div style="margin: 0px;"><div style="margin: 0px;"><div style="margin: 0px;"><div style="margin: 0px;"><div style="margin: 0px;"><div style="margin: 0px;"><div style="margin: 0px;"></div><br /><div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="[url="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ys6toRSVJD4/UADeqdCGAKI/AAAAAAAAArg/zFHQIB3dYgs/s1600/NewestSatSlash.jpg"]http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ys6toRSVJD4/UADeqdCGAKI/AAAAAAAAArg/zFHQIB3dYgs/s1600/NewestSatSlash.jpg[/url]" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="320" src="[url="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ys6toRSVJD4/UADeqdCGAKI/AAAAAAAAArg/zFHQIB3dYgs/s320/NewestSatSlash.jpg"]http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ys6toRSVJD4/UADeqdCGAKI/AAAAAAAAArg/zFHQIB3dYgs/s320/NewestSatSlash.jpg[/url]" width="246" /></a></div>We all know the first line of a query is your "hook." I call the last line the "sinker." You want it to punch &nbsp;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.</div><br />Also, for my brave Saturday Slash volunteers I will gladly do follow-up slashes (each more kindly than the next) on your query if you post them on the Query Critique board over on&nbsp;<a href="[url="http://www.agentqueryconnect.com/"]http://www.agentqueryconnect.com/[/url]" target="_blank">AgentQuery Connect</a>. You'll get advice from me, and also people who are smarter than me. If you do post on AQ, be sure to follow the guidelines and let me know you posted so that I can follow up!</div></div></div></div></div></div></div></div></div><br />Twelve-year-old Haley has the worst life ever—stuck for the third summer in a row at her mom’s work, a stinking old folks’ home. <span style="color: #38761d;">Yeah, an old folks' home is definitely not the cool summer hang out, but I feel like your hook here starts out a little cliche. Every 12 year old thinks they have the worst life ever. Get the old folks home out there front and center. Also, I'm confused as to why Haley is even there at all? Clearly she's not working at 12 years old, so I assume Mom doesn't have childcare, etc. Obviously that's a lot of info for me to ask you to jam in the first sentence, but even if you just use the phrase "stuck tagging along" it would help. Also, I don't think the fact that it's the third summer in a row is relevant in the hook.</span>&nbsp;At least she has plenty of time to figure out a way to make enough cash to buy a cell phone and smuggling contraband in is just the ticket. It turns out old people have a sweet tooth and selling snacks to the residents is a real money-maker. <span style="color: #38761d;">Nice - that's awesome and hilarious. Get that hook spruced up just a little bit and your first para is definitely intriguing.</span><br /><br />Things turn less lame when Haley gets to watch her favorite show, Cajun Pawn Stars, with the General <span style="color: #38761d;">need some clarity here. I thought upon first read that The General was the host of the show. On second read I think he's a patient.</span>, and it only costs her a few Oreos an episode. <span style="color: #38761d;">Also my first thought here was that the TV she's watching on is in some kind of common room. If she's watching with a patient whom she's sneaking Oreos to, that makes more sense - but we need clarity here.</span>&nbsp;And when she discovers that one of the new residents is sixteen-year-old Rachel <span style="color: #38761d;">very confusing phrasing here - I feel like the way Rachel is introduced paired with the Cajun Pawn Stars makes me believe there's some kind of connection between Rachel and the show - but that doesn't pan out here</span>&nbsp;who’s in a coma thanks to the driver of a getaway car, things really get interesting. <span style="color: #38761d;">And why is a 16 year old in an old folks' home? That doesn't make sense to me.&nbsp;</span>Rachel’s roommate is 80-something Miss Essie whose best day is remembering where she put her teeth and worst day is over-hearing the strange visitors who just might be bank robbers and now want to hurt the only witness.<br /><br />If a kid who’s stranded for the summer, a retired Marine who’s given up on life, and an old lady with Alzheimer’s can solve a bank robbery and prevent a murder, it’s possible Haley will have the best How I Spent My Summer essay in the history of middle school. <span style="color: #38761d;">This is a great sinker here - it helps clarify some of the things that are hazy in the middle, but that doesn't mean the middle should stand as is.</span><br /><br />THE SUMMER I STARTED A BUSINESS, SOLVED A BANK ROBBERY, AND SHOWED UP ON CAJUN PAWN STARS is a 31k middle grade novel. It’s a modern day Nancy Drew with some humor thrown in. I’ve been a teacher and school counselor for over twenty years. Currently, I’m a middle school counselor with the largest school system in the Southeast. I'm also a member of SCBWI. <span style="color: #38761d;">Great concise bio that explains who you are, and why you are qualified to write this book.</span><br /><span style="color: #38761d;"><br /></span> <span style="color: #38761d;">I think my biggest issue here is why a 16 year old is in a nursing home in the first place? Also, I get that you need to name the TV show she's watching in order for your catchy title (it is good, btw) to work, but the way that sentence is phrased makes it sound like Cajun Pawn Stars is going to be the bid deal here, but really the focus (and prime mover of the plot) is the fact that the victim of the getaway vehicle is in the building, and in danger. I get that CPS might play into the overall plot of the robbery and Rachel's injury, but it's confusing when placed the way it is in the hierarchy of the middle para as far as the book's focus.</span>

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Book Talk - PROPHECY by Ellen Oh

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 18 January 2013 · 128 views

<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="[url="http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1340555383l/10129062.jpg"]http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1340555383l/10129062.jpg[/url]" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="320" src="[url="http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1340555383l/10129062.jpg"]http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1340555383l/10129062.jpg[/url]" width="211" /></a></div>Before you jump into today's Book Talk, check out my interview featured yesterday on Marilyn Almodovar's blog, Writing on the Sunny Side of the Street. If you want to know what my writing routine is like, what my inspiration was for NOT A DROP TO DRINK, or who I'd like to have dinner with, <a href="[url="http://www.marilynalmodovar.com/2013/01/interview-with-ya-author-mindy-mcginnis.html"]http://www.marilynalmodovar.com/2013/01/interview-with-ya-author-mindy-mcginnis.html[/url]" target="_blank">check out my interview</a>!<br /><br />Kira has always known what it's like to be hated.<br /><div><br /></div><div>Since her birth, her yellow eyes have marked her. Even though she is royally born, the taint of demons follows her. The villagers call her <i>kumiho</i>&nbsp;- nine-tailed fox demon. Little do they know that far from being a demon herself, her eyes give her the ability to see demons writhing under the skin of the people they've possessed. And she is their only protection.<br /><div><br /></div><div>Scorned by common people and court ladies alike, Kira is accustomed to a lonely life. When the King is murdered in a demonic plot to pitch the Seven Kingdoms into chaos and war, Kira vows to stay by the young prince's side, and protect him always.</div><div><br /></div><div>Her young cousin the Prince is supposed to be the savior predicted by the Dragon King Prophecy. His courage and nobility all attest that he could be the one. But according to the bloodlines dictated by the prophecy, Kira's brothers could be the Dragon King as well.&nbsp;</div><div><br /></div><div>Or it could be Kira.</div></div><div><br /></div><div>Only mythical treasures, long missing, can reveal the identity of the true Dragon King. Kira's family must evade predators both demonic and human as the race across the wilderness in search of a ruby that can control the tides - and reveal which one of them can fulfill the prophecy.</div>

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Thursday Thoughts & PAPfest Update!

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 17 January 2013 · 137 views

Before you jump into your weekly dose of random crap from my head, check out my recent post over at Book Pregnant, where I give revision tips and tell you how to <a href="[url="http://bookpregnant.blogspot.com/2013/01/whats-in-your-diaper-genie-revisions.html"]http://bookpregnant.blogspot.com/2013/01/whats-in-your-diaper-genie-revisions.html[/url]" target="_blank">get the crap out of your book</a>. It's actually a useful post, and Thursday Thoughts, while entertaining... may not be, you know, useful.<br /><br />AND a quick PAPfest update. The PAP Team of myself, RC Lewis and MarcyKate Connolly, decided to be far to the West Coasters that the second submission window should open at a different time than the first, so that people don't have to crawl out of bed in the morning to send an email. I don't like to crawl out of bed in the morning for anything at all, so I totally get it.<br /><br />NEW submission window times ARE:<br /><br />There will be two windows for you to send your entry to <b><span style="color: #d9d2e9;">PAPfest(at)gmail(dot)com</span><span style="color: #b4a7d6;">&nbsp;</span></b><br />The first window will open<b> <span style="color: #d9d2e9;">Wednesday, Jan 23 at 8 AM EST</span><span style="color: #b4a7d6;">&nbsp;</span></b><br />The second window will open <b><span style="color: #d9d2e9;">Friday, Jan 25 at 3 PM EST</span></b><br />Each window will allow 50 email entries<br /><br />Thoughts lately...<br /><br />1) I recently joined <a href="[url="http://mindymcginnis.tumblr.com/"]http://mindymcginnis.tumblr.com/[/url]" target="_blank">Tumblr</a>. I like it. I have fun there. But I don't understand it. It seems like the vast majority of the content is re-tumbled. When I put something original out there, it just kind of sits. When I reblog someone else's something awesome, I'm rewarded with re-blogging and new followers.<br /><br />2) Now I'm a trained rat as much as the next guy, so I learned pretty quick that pushing the Tumblr recycle button gave me kibble faster than putting effort into it. But how is this the case? MINDY!?!? You pushed a button on something you didn't create that was lifted off of someone else's blog!! I love you for that!! I'm going to follow you!!! (??)<br /><br />3) Gifs are really big over on Tumblr. And yes, I admit to looking at them fairly often. But when I'm looking I'm thinking - "Wow, this is a movie without sound lifted off a movie that already exists with sound... isn't that technically a step backward?"

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Wednesday WOLF

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 16 January 2013 · 137 views

I've got a collection of random information in my brain that makes me an awesome Trivial Pursuit partner, but is completely useless when it comes to real world application. Like say, job applications. I thought I'd share some of this random crap with you in the form of another acronym-ific series. I give you - Word Origins from Left Field - that's right, the WOLF (oh, how clever is she? She made an acronym out of her agency's name!) Er... ignore the fact that the "from" doesn't fit.<br /><br />I know I'm probably not the only person out there watching Downton Abbey, and I'm probably also not the only one who wonders what the word <i>dowager</i> means whenever it comes up. It makes people sound rather grand, don't you think? Yes, I'm the Dowager Librarian, what were you looking for?<br /><br />And, exactly because I am a librarian I went ahead and looked it up.<br /><br /><i>Dowager</i> means a woman who holds the property and/or title of her deceased husband. The word comes from the Middle French <i>douage</i>, meaning a woman's marriage-portion.<br /><br />It's not a huge hop, skip, or jump to see how the word <i>dowry</i> comes into play, then, is it?<br /><br />And while it does indeed make one sound rather grand to use the word in reference to oneself, there's also the rather unfortunate (though, I assume, outdated) reference to <i>dowager's hump</i>, which is an outward curvature of the upper back due to osteoporosis.<br /><br />I'll just take the money and title, please.

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The Return of the BBCHAT With Rachael Dugas of Talcott Notch Literary

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 15 January 2013 · 158 views

Today BBCHAT returns! For my new followers, this is an acronym for BigBlackCat's Humane Agent Talk: In Which A Particularly Agreeable Agent Answers a Series of Questions that Have Nothing to do with Queries or Submission Guidelines. Yeah, don't try to make an acronym out of that last bit.<br /><br />The BBCHAT is designed to get the personality of the agent in the spotlight, and an enterprising querier can use this information to figure out if the agent is a good fit for them, rather than just another agent who happens to cover their genre.<br /><br />The last question involves something that oddly resembles a contest, and ties in with the blog name.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="[url="http://talcottnotch.net/yahoo_site_admin/assets/images/DSC02328_1.109192417_std.JPG"]http://talcottnotch.net/yahoo_site_admin/assets/images/DSC02328_1.109192417_std.JPG[/url]" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="320" src="[url="http://talcottnotch.net/yahoo_site_admin/assets/images/DSC02328_1.109192417_std.JPG"]http://talcottnotch.net/yahoo_site_admin/assets/images/DSC02328_1.109192417_std.JPG[/url]" width="240" /></a></div>Today's guest for the BBCHAT is <a href="[url="http://talcottnotch.net/agents/rachael_dugas"]http://talcottnotch.net/agents/rachael_dugas[/url]" target="_blank">Rachael Dugas of&nbsp;Talcott Notch Literary</a>, which she joined in 2011. During her tenure as associate agent, Rachael has judged contests and attended conferences in New York and beyond, working with groups such as Writer's Digest, ASJA, YA Lit Chat, the National Publicity Summit, and the Hampton Roads Writers. Recent sales include titles in young adult and romance to imprints at Hachette, Perseus, and Month 9 Books. Rachael is a former Sourcebooks editorial intern and a proud Ithaca College graduate.<br /><br />She welcomes fiction submissions in the following categories: YA, MG, women's fiction, contemporary and historical romance, historical fiction, and general commercial fiction. Her non-fiction wishlist includes memoir with an amazing voice and cookbooks or performing arts-related books with outstanding platforms.<br /><br /><b>BBCHAT - BBC's Humanitarian Agent Talk</b><br /><br /><b>1. What are you reading right now and why do you like it?&nbsp;</b><br /><br />I have been insanely busy between manuscripts and contests, so I’m sort of between books right now, but I am slowly working my way through the December issue of Food Network Magazine. The last two books I read were The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott by Kelly O’Connor McNees and Capital Girls by Ella Monroe. (Reading YA novels is totally market research, right?)<br /><br />I loved the first book because Little Women has always been one of my favorite books and it was fun to read this account of Louisa May Alcott’s fictitious summer romance and to get to know the real-life characters that inspired the novel. Capital Girls was a really fun read. I admit that watching Pretty Little Liars is one of my guilty pleasures and this novel shared many of the same elements that make the PLL franchise successful.<br /><br /><b>2. Paper or plastic?</b><br /><br />Paper all the way! I refuse to go e-reader. (Though I acknowledge it’s a great invention—there’s just nothing like a physical book, to me!)<br /><br /><b>3. What's on your bucket list?</b><br /><ul><li>To visit as many other countries as I can manage. (Italy and Spain are at the top of my list.)</li><li>Attend a major entertainment awards ceremony.</li><li>Meet Andrew McMahon, front man of Something Corporate/Jack’s Mannequin. (I was obsessed with him as a teenager and it would retroactively make my teenage life to have a conversation with him.)</li><li>Have a nerdy food conversation with Alton Brown.</li><li>Learn how to cook authentic Mexican food.</li><li>Learn to speak French and have a Julia Child-esc foodie excursion in Paris/Provence. (And learn to make authentic French bread while there.)</li><li>Play any of the leading female roles in a community theater production of Les Miserables</li><li>Grow and maintain (and manage not to kill) a big herb, fruit, and vegetable garden.</li><li>Acquire an amazing debut or early-career author that becomes mega-successful and has a long career. (Not just saying this to kiss up to you authors—it’s definitely at the top of my professional bucket list!)</li></ul><b>4. Have you ever ridden a mechanical bull? (It’s on MY bucket list, so that's why it's here).</b><br /><br /><span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space: pre;"> </span>I can’t say I have! I’m way too uncoordinated for that!<br /><br /><b>6. If you had a guaranteed sell, what type of story would you like to represent?</b><br /><br />My pet genre is contemporary realistic YA, so I’d probably go with that—an amazing voice/character driven YA that makes me relive all my teenage angst. (But in a good way!)<br /><br /><b>Rachel has shared three facts about herself, but... one of them is a LIE! See if you can figure out which one is false in the Rafflecopter below. The winner will be chosen next week and announced here on the blog. I will also email you separately. Winner gets a copy of SPLINTERED by A.G. Howard!</b><br /><br /><a class="rafl" href="[url="http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/2071819/"]http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/2071819/[/url]" id="rc-2071819" rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway</a><br /><br /> <i>Thank you to Rachel for participating in the BBCHAT! The winner and prize will be announced next week here on the blog. Remember you must be a follower of Writer, Writer to win!</i>

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