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Focus on Followers

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 19 August 2012 · 221 views

So obviously I do a lot of promotion of my fellow authors on the blog. Most of my interviews are geared toward helping aspiring writers learn how to conquer the pitfalls and struggles of writing. I started the blog thinking I would ask all the questions to published authors that I always wanted to ask before I was one myself. And honestly, I learn something from every interview I do, whether I'm published or not.

I'm aware that a lot of my followers are also writers, and I want to focus on that for a little bit. Summer is crawling to it's inevitable end, my garden is almost canned away and the root cellar is in decent shape. The library is calling me back, and it won't be long until I get to be surrounded by books again, and call it work.

When that happens, you'll see the return of the usual format for the blog. Thursday Thoughts will be back, and some new book talks for those of you who are burning for a good new read. You'll get some Mindy-centric Monday posts about things going on in my life that you may (or may not) be interested in.

But until then I want to talk about you. Have you had anything cool happen to you lately? Did some of you snag an agent? Are your self-pub sales going well? Did you ink an offer?

I want to know, and I want to help celebrate that with you. Send me an email at bigblackcat97(at)gmail(dot)com and tell me about it. I'll be sharing my follower's successes on the upcoming Monday posts until I'm back to normal.

Well... let's make that until [i]my schedule [/i]is back to normal.
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The Saturday Slash & Book A Day Giveaway Winners

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 17 August 2012 · 350 views

Thanks to everyone who participated in the Book A Day Giveaway! Winners are below, if you're listed please email me - bigblackcat97(at)gmail(dot)com - with your mailing address and I'll get your books out to you pronto!

Day #1 - TWILIGHT - Marin McGinnis
Day #2 - FAT KID RULES THE WORLD - Carole Anne
Day #3 - DOLORES: 7 STORIES ABOUT HER - Matt Sinclair
Day #4 - LOVE, FOOTBALL & OTHER CONTACT SPORTS - M Fantalis
Day #5 - WHO THE MAN - M Fantalis
Day #6 - THE WARRIOR HEIR - Myrna Foster

Meet the BBC Hatchet of Death (or, some other colorful description [url="http://crossingthehelix.blogspot.com/"]RC Lewis[/url] 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.












[url="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ys6toRSVJD4/UADeqdCGAKI/AAAAAAAAArg/zFHQIB3dYgs/s1600/NewestSatSlash.jpg"][img]http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ys6toRSVJD4/UADeqdCGAKI/AAAAAAAAArg/zFHQIB3dYgs/s320/NewestSatSlash.jpg[/img][/url]




Art by Lynn Phillips Nelson




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We all know the first line of a query is your "hook." I call the last line the "sinker." You want it to 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.














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 [url="http://www.agentqueryconnect.com/"]AgentQuery Connect[/url]. 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!













And now for the next brave volunteer. For clarity, my comments are in [color=yellow]yellow[/color].


When a nearby supernova blasts away life on Earth with waves of radiation, a shield of magic shelters one farm. In that isolated fortress of life, a lonely boy yearns for a friend and a rabbit transforms. [color=yellow]Nice hook. I like it, although it leaves me wondering where the magic comes form? Is the child magic, or the farm? Has it always been this way or is this an impromptu thing? The hook definitely has my interest, but I feel like these things need to be addressed in order for reader to get a feel for the book.[/color]

Nine years later, seventeen-year-old Little Bit weeds the garden barefoot to feel the grass while her heart questions what’s on the other side of the wall. [color=yellow]What kind of wall? Physical? Magical? Can she see through it? [/color]Memories of her past and how she got there are nonexistent. The magic anklet fastened on her by the young mage, Garrett, keeps her in the compound—keeps her from knowing why cows outnumber humans. [color=yellow]So where did Little Bit come from? Is she the rabbit? Is Garret the boy from the first paragraph? When you say "compound" it feels more like a community than just the two of them, even though I know you're referring to the area itself. [/color]
Garrett turns aside her questions with jests. Infuriated, Little Bit decides Garrett can fetch his own tea. [color=yellow]Was she his servant? [/color]She outwits the anklet to escape into a world corrupted by magic [color=yellow]Again, the question is raised of where all this magic is coming from? A supernova scorching "our" earth isn't that far outside the limits of reality, but where does the magic come in? A side effect of the blast? It almost feels like it was there before that, the way this is reading, which wouldn't be "our" world as we know it.[/color] and scorched by the unfiltered fury of the sun. Traveling by night, she evades Garrett to stumble upon mutated beetles and mega-sized possums. Worse, predatory survivalists skulk in the shadows as Little Bit follows rumors to a human colony in New Chicago.

When Garrett catches her, she learns the truth about herself. Only the renewal of his magic keeps her on two legs instead of four. [color=yellow]So she is the rabbit - I think that needs to be clearer, sooner. Also, if she needs him to remain human, does she start transforming back as she travels? [/color]New Chicago wants Garrett’s magic [color=yellow]Why is his magic so great? It sounds like there's magic everywhere[/color]; they’ll exploit his affection [color=yellow]Hmm... it hasn't felt much like affection so far, more like he was using her to do his bidding and bring him stuff. [/color]for Little Bit to get it. Now she has to free them both and discover what sacrifice it takes to stay human all while dodging the sun’s deadly rays. [color=yellow]I wasn't clear that the sun was still deadly. I thought she was traveling at night to stay undercover from Garrett. [/color]
[color=yellow]
[/color] [color=yellow]I think the idea here is fascinating and really cool, but I need more clarification on the elements of magic. How did it get here? Was it on Earth before the supernova blast? Or did it come after? Was Garrett magical before the rays? Why is he special? And is there a love story between the two, or is it just friendship? I definitely need their relationship explained a little better, as I wasn't getting "affection" out of his treatment of Little Bit at all. [/color]
[color=yellow]
[/color] [color=yellow]The query is well-written, and the premise is catchy. You just need to get the elements I addressed above in there and I think you'll be looking good.[/color]
[color=yellow]
[/color]
DODGE THE SUN is a YA fantasy novel in a dystopian setting, complete at 75,000 words. My epic fantasy, Kindar’s Cure, will be released by Divertir Publishing spring 2013.


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A Book A Day Giveaway - Day #6

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 16 August 2012 · 198 views

I cleaned out my house this summer, in a big way. We're talking moving furniture, crawling under things with vacuum attachments and making use of dumpsters. I'm in the habit of grabbing books I don't really need, particularly at library clearing sales. I can't STAND to see a book go in the trash. So you guys are going to benefit from that here in the Book A Day Giveaway. Each of the books I'm giving away is not new (with the exception of the big, fun kicker on Friday). These books are either former library books or reading circle copies. Not shiny, not new - but still a good read.










On FRIDAY I will be giving away a SIGNED copy of THE WARRIOR HEIR by Cinda Williama Chima. In order to win this nice little cherry-on-top prize, you must've entered to win one of the books given away earlier in the week.










In order to participate in the Book A Day Giveaway all you have to do is a be a follower of my blog, and comment on the post of the book you'd like to have. Remember, in order to win the signed Cinda Williams Chima book you must've entered yourself (commented) on a book from earlier in the week.










Winners will be chosen by random.org and will be announced at the next Saturday Slash!








Today's giveaway:


[center][url="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-sXm_8zMbr48/UCXBj3pvYMI/AAAAAAAAAts/4fT6HNH1fw4/s1600/Warrior+Heir+Cover.jpg"][img]http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-sXm_8zMbr48/UCXBj3pvYMI/AAAAAAAAAts/4fT6HNH1fw4/s320/Warrior+Heir+Cover.jpg[/img][/url][/center]

[center][url="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-7fT6aXAeZNk/UCXBm9PJnlI/AAAAAAAAAt0/ypQD8TG3BXM/s1600/Warrior+heir+Signed.jpg"][img]http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-7fT6aXAeZNk/UCXBm9PJnlI/AAAAAAAAAt0/ypQD8TG3BXM/s320/Warrior+heir+Signed.jpg[/img][/url][/center]

[left][i]Before he knew about the Roses, 16-year-old Jack lived an unremarkable life in the small Ohio town of Trinity. Only the medicine he has to take daily and the thick scar above his heart set him apart from the other high schoolers. Then one day Jack skips his medicine. Suddenly, he is stronger, fiercer, and more confident than ever before. And it feels great - until he loses control of his own strength and nearly kills another player during soccer team tryouts.[/i][/left]

[left][i]Soon, Jack learns the startling truth about himself: he is Weirlind, part of an underground society of magical people who live among us. At their helm sits the feuding houses of the Red Rose and the White Rose, whose power is determined by playing The Game - a magical tournament in which each house sponsors a warrior to fight to the death. The winning house rules the Weir.[/i][/left]

[left][i]As if his bizarre heritage isn't enough, Jack finds out that he's not just another member of Weirlind - he's one of the last of the warriors - at a time when both houses are scouting for a player.[/i][/left]
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A Book A Day Giveaway - Day #5

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 15 August 2012 · 177 views

<div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;">I cleaned out my house this summer, in a big way. We're talking moving furniture, crawling under things with vacuum attachments and making use of dumpsters. I'm in the habit of grabbing books I don't really need, particularly at library clearing sales. I can't STAND to see a book go in the trash. So you guys are going to benefit from that here in the Book A Day Giveaway. Each of the books I'm giving away is not new (with the exception of the big, fun kicker on Friday). These books are either former library books or reading circle copies. Not shiny, not new - but still a good read.</div><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><br /></div></div></div></div><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;">On FRIDAY I will be giving away a SIGNED copy of THE WARRIOR HEIR by Cinda Williama Chima. In order to win this nice little cherry-on-top prize, you must've entered to win one of the books given away earlier in the week.</div></div></div></div><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><br /></div></div></div></div><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;">In order to participate in the Book A Day Giveaway all you have to do is a be a follower of my blog, and comment on the post of the book you'd like to have. Remember, in order to win the signed Cinda Williams Chima book you must've entered yourself (commented) on a book from earlier in the week.</div></div></div></div><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><br /></div></div></div></div><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;">Winners will be chosen by random.org and will be announced at the next Saturday Slash!</div></div></div><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><br /></div></div></div><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;">Today's giveaway:</div><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-54LBQvXbFog/UCXBCEUSIaI/AAAAAAAAAtk/S8AGB1qkeeU/s1600/Who+The+Man.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="320" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-54LBQvXbFog/UCXBCEUSIaI/AAAAAAAAAtk/S8AGB1qkeeU/s320/Who+The+Man.jpg" width="238" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><i>Earl got big. Or did big get Earl?</i></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><i>Earl Pryor is the biggest thirteen-year-old anyone ever saw. He's taller than a lot of grown-ups. He's got a hairy chest. He shaves.</i></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><i><br /></i></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><i>Everyone thinks Earl's such a tough-guy troublemaker. They come to him looking for a fight. And Earl will fight them. But he's not so tough. He loves his moms, loves his dad. Still, a man's got to take care of himself, especially when his world is falling apart.</i></div><br /><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><br /></div></div></div></div><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/121295651954516717-2267183100249982652?l=writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com' alt='' /></div>

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A Book A Day Giveaway - Day #4

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 14 August 2012 · 163 views

I cleaned out my house this summer, in a big way. We're talking moving furniture, crawling under things with vacuum attachments and making use of dumpsters. I'm in the habit of grabbing books I don't really need, particularly at library clearing sales. I can't STAND to see a book go in the trash. So you guys are going to benefit from that here in the Book A Day Giveaway. Each of the books I'm giving away is not new (with the exception of the big, fun kicker on Friday). These books are either former library books or reading circle copies. Not shiny, not new - but still a good read.







On FRIDAY I will be giving away a SIGNED copy of THE WARRIOR HEIR by Cinda Williama Chima. In order to win this nice little cherry-on-top prize, you must've entered to win one of the books given away earlier in the week.






In order to participate in the Book A Day Giveaway all you have to do is a be a follower of my blog, and comment on the post of the book you'd like to have. Remember, in order to win the signed Cinda Williams Chima book you must've entered yourself (commented) on a book from earlier in the week.






Winners will be chosen by random.org and will be announced at the next Saturday Slash!




Today's giveaway:


[center][url="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Y1zsldUgrF4/UCXAHoxFsrI/AAAAAAAAAtc/djpB249K01A/s1600/Love+Football.jpg"][img]http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Y1zsldUgrF4/UCXAHoxFsrI/AAAAAAAAAtc/djpB249K01A/s320/Love+Football.jpg[/img][/url][/center]

[left][i]Here are stories of students from one end of the social spectrum to the other. Jock to loner, academic snob to outcast, Carter explores and shatters the stereotypes behind the relationships, friends, rumors, peer pressure, sports, bullies, and other assorted forms of mental anguish that come with high school.[/i][/left]
[img]https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/121295651954516717-913263075407105511?l=writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com[/img]

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A Book A Day Giveaway - Day #3

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 13 August 2012 · 147 views

I cleaned out my house this summer, in a big way. We're talking moving furniture, crawling under things with vacuum attachments and making use of dumpsters. I'm in the habit of grabbing books I don't really need, particularly at library clearing sales. I can't STAND to see a book go in the trash. So you guys are going to benefit from that here in the Book A Day Giveaway. Each of the books I'm giving away is not new (with the exception of the big, fun kicker on Friday). These books are either former library books or reading circle copies. Not shiny, not new - but still a good read.




On FRIDAY I will be giving away a SIGNED copy of THE WARRIOR HEIR by Cinda Williama Chima. In order to win this nice little cherry-on-top prize, you must've entered to win one of the books given away earlier in the week.




In order to participate in the Book A Day Giveaway all you have to do is a be a follower of my blog, and comment on the post of the book you'd like to have. Remember, in order to win the signed Cinda Williams Chima book you must've entered yourself (commented) on a book from earlier in the week.




Winners will be chosen by random.org and will be announced at the next Saturday Slash!


Today's giveaway:


[center][url="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-yROlczpDp1w/UCW_padei-I/AAAAAAAAAtU/2_77q-AngWQ/s1600/Dolores.jpg"][img]http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-yROlczpDp1w/UCW_padei-I/AAAAAAAAAtU/2_77q-AngWQ/s320/Dolores.jpg[/img][/url][/center]


[i]"There was more to do than music, of course. She was a good human."[/i]
[i]That's what Dolores's brother Jimmy thinks about her when she's seven years old and can scream Nirvana lyrics at the top of her lungs in a voice just as angry and knowing as any teenager's. Dolores is a force to be reckoned with. As she grows up through these seven stories, you can call her what you want -- strangely beautiful, weird, quirky, a loner, brave -- it doesn't matter. Because Dolores always will be, quite simply, Dolores.[/i]
[img]https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/121295651954516717-6541907955925996774?l=writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com[/img]

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A Book A Day Giveaway - Day #2

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 12 August 2012 · 156 views

I cleaned out my house this summer, in a big way. We're talking moving furniture, crawling under things with vacuum attachments and making use of dumpsters. I'm in the habit of grabbing books I don't really need, particularly at library clearing sales. I can't STAND to see a book go in the trash. So you guys are going to benefit from that here in the Book A Day Giveaway. Each of the books I'm giving away is not new (with the exception of the big, fun kicker on Friday). These books are either former library books or reading circle copies. Not shiny, not new - but still a good read.



On FRIDAY I will be giving away a SIGNED copy of THE WARRIOR HEIR by Cinda Williama Chima. In order to win this nice little cherry-on-top prize, you must've entered to win one of the books given away earlier in the week.


In order to participate in the Book A Day Giveaway all you have to do is a be a follower of my blog, and comment on the post of the book you'd like to have. Remember, in order to win the signed Cinda Williams Chima book you must've entered yourself (commented) on a book from earlier in the week.


Winners will be chosen by random.org and will be announced at the next Saturday Slash!


Today's giveaway:


[center][url="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-D1VeNb6sCck/UCW_JNKqcVI/AAAAAAAAAtM/hUv52tB9BKo/s1600/Fat+Kid.jpg"][img]http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-D1VeNb6sCck/UCW_JNKqcVI/AAAAAAAAAtM/hUv52tB9BKo/s320/Fat+Kid.jpg[/img][/url][/center]

[left][i]Troy Billings is seventeen, 296 pounds, friendless, utterly miserable, and about to step off a New York subway platform in front of an oncoming train. Until he meets Curt MacCrae, an emaciated, semi-homeless, high school dropout guitar genius, the stuff of which Lower East Side punk rock legends are made. Never mind that Troy's dad thinks Curt's a drug addict and Troy's brother thinks Troy's the biggest (literally) loser in Manhattan. Soon, Curt has recruited Troy as his new drummer, even though Troy can't play the drums. Together, Curt and Troy will change the world of punk, and Troy's own life, forever.[/i][/left]


[img]https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/121295651954516717-3969602188736469405?l=writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com[/img]

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A Book A Day Giveaway - Day #1

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 11 August 2012 · 194 views

I cleaned out my house this summer, in a big way. We're talking moving furniture, crawling under things with vacuum attachments and making use of dumpsters. I'm in the habit of grabbing books I don't really need, particularly at library clearing sales. I can't STAND to see a book go in the trash. So you guys are going to benefit from that here in the Book A Day Giveaway. Each of the books I'm giving away is not new (with the exception of the big, fun kicker on Friday). These books are either former library books or reading circle copies. Not shiny, not new - but still a good read.

On FRIDAY I will be giving away a SIGNED copy of THE WARRIOR HEIR by Cinda Williama Chima. In order to win this nice little cherry-on-top prize, you must've entered to win one of the books given away earlier in the week.

In order to participate in the Book A Day Giveaway all you have to do is a be a follower of my blog, and comment on the post of the book you'd like to have. Remember, in order to win the signed Cinda Williams Chima book you must've entered yourself (commented) on a book from earlier in the week.

Winners will be chosen by random.org and will be announced at the next Saturday Slash!

Today's giveaway:


[center][url="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-dl2EJQAjxPI/UCW-Gs7oUkI/AAAAAAAAAtE/pPleCe3NPiQ/s1600/twilight.jpg"][img]http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-dl2EJQAjxPI/UCW-Gs7oUkI/AAAAAAAAAtE/pPleCe3NPiQ/s320/twilight.jpg[/img][/url][/center]

[left][i]Isabella Swan's move to Forks, a small, perpetually rainy town in Washington, could have been the most boring move she ever made. But once she meets the mysterious and alluring Edward Cullen, Isabella's life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn. Up until now, Edward has managed to keep his vampire identity a secret in the small community he lives in, but now nobody is safe, especially Isabella, the person Edward holds most dear. The lovers find themselves balanced precariously on the point of a knife-between desire and danger.Deeply romantic and extraordinarily suspenseful, Twilight captures the struggle between defying our instincts and satisfying our desires. This is a love story with bite.[/i][/left]
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The Saturday Slash

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 10 August 2012 · 199 views

A quick reminder that tomorrow starts the [url="http://writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com/2012/08/the-worth-of-word-cloud-week-of.html"]A Book A Day Giveaway[/url] here on the blog. Don't forget to check in and see what I'm giving away Sunday - Friday. The top-off item on Friday is a *signed* copy of THE WARRIOR HEIR by Cinda Williams Chima. In order to win Friday's item, you must have entered to win one of the previous books throughout the week. All you have to do to enter is comment on post for the book(s) you're interested in and be a follower of the blog - good luck!

Meet the BBC Hatchet of Death (or, some other colorful description [url="http://crossingthehelix.blogspot.com/"]RC Lewis[/url] 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.









[url="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ys6toRSVJD4/UADeqdCGAKI/AAAAAAAAArg/zFHQIB3dYgs/s1600/NewestSatSlash.jpg"][img]http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ys6toRSVJD4/UADeqdCGAKI/AAAAAAAAArg/zFHQIB3dYgs/s320/NewestSatSlash.jpg[/img][/url]



Art by Lynn Phillips Nelson



http://femboost.tumblr.com/




We all know the first line of a query is your "hook." I call the last line the "sinker." You want it to 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.












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 [url="http://www.agentqueryconnect.com/"]AgentQuery Connect[/url]. 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!











And now for the next brave volunteer. For clarity, my comments are in [color=yellow]yellow[/color].
Freedom is never worth the price paid. Hundreds of children murdered with no end in sight. [color=yellow]This is a very generic hook. It could be the hook for anything with a war theme. Make it specific to your book.[/color]



Seventeen-year-old Edom is the oldest healer in the country of Menrio where his kind are hunted and killed because of their gifts. [color=yellow]Why? I don't understand why healers would be hunted and killed. I would think the opposite would be true if there were a war going on. [/color]He has a protective nature, guarding the life of his little sister, Liora, and any other healer he can find. King Alined is a merciless man, intent on the slaughter of these children. [color=yellow]Why? I don't understand why the King wants healers dead. And why are the healers all children? Have all the adults been murdered already? [/color]After a failed rescue attempt, Edom is imprisoned by the king. [color=yellow]Confused. Are you saying here that Edom was attempting to rescue someone (if so who)? Or are you saying that someone failed to rescue Edom from the King and so he is now imprisoned?[/color]


A young woman rescues him, but in an effort to protect her from the wrath of King Alined, Edom kidnaps her. [color=yellow]Huh? First of all - why does she rescue him? Sounds like healers are pretty dangerous people to align yourself with. So you're saying that Edom forces her under his protection to keep her safe after she rescues him? [/color]It doesn’t take long to discover that she has a secret. She’s the princess, Dalia. She has been raised to hate healers, but after witnessing the mistreatment of them she decides to save him. [color=yellow]Continuity problem here - she's already saved him, right? This needs to come earlier when I'm asking why would someone rescue a healer?[/color] With the Guard closing in, Edom and his friends travel through the mountains, desperation spurring them forward. Edom must find a way to save the healers or their kind will be lost forever. [color=yellow]Definitely need more here. It sounds like they're trying to get away rather than launch some kind of counter attack on the King, which is fine. But is that how he's going to save his kind? By retreating? Don't use the query as a tease. The agent needs to know what Edom's survival plan is going to be.[/color]


NAMELESS is a YA fantasy, complete at 50,000 words. NAMELESS is a standalone with series potential.


[color=yellow]I think the biggest thing here is that I really don't understand why the King is killing healers. I need a real motive. It seems like having a healer around would be a really useful thing, even if there isn't a war of some type going on. Also, what does your hook have to do with the plot? Whose freedom is the death of these children paying for?[/color]
[color=yellow]
[/color] [color=yellow]Also, I wouldn't name the little sister, as she only comes up once in the query and never pops up again. Her name doesn't need to be dropped. Keep the focus on your MC, the King and the Princess. Also - is there a romance b/w Edom and the Princess? If so you need to put that here, it's a selling point. As it stands right now it sounds like he's dragging her over the mountains against her will, with her dad's soldiers hot on his heels.[/color]

[color=yellow]Get the motivations out there front and center. Why is the King killing healers? Why would the Princess spring Edom? And lastly - what is the big plan to keep them from being killed off?[/color]
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Hooray For My CP!!!

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 10 August 2012 · 223 views

Most people probably know by now that I think my crit partner RC Lewis is awesome.

But I'm not the only person who thinks that. Take this little excerpt from today's Publishers Weekly's Children's Bookshelf as an example:

[i]Catherine Onder at Disney has acquired debut author R.C. Lewis's Stitching Snow, a sci-fi YA thriller due out in summer 2014. In the book, a royal teen runaway is scraping together a living in a mining settlement on the far side of the universe, until she is discovered and "rescued" against her will. Jennifer Laughran at Andrea Brown Literary Agency brokered the two-book, six-figure pre-empt.[/i]

That's right. She's awesome. Hop on over to [url="http://crossingthehelix.blogspot.com/2012/08/the-awesomeness-of-terriblewonderful-no.html"]her blog[/url] to congratulate her, if you haven't already!
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