Jump to content




Loving an Author You REALLY Disagree With

  Posted by SC_Author in SC Write--Writing, Publishing, and Harry Potter, 28 January 2015 · 26 views

Last August, I posted a review (more of a reaction) to The Goldfinch by Donna Tart called "An Indian's Reaction to the Racism in 'The Goldfinch'."


And now, I'm on page 449 of 629 of The Secret History, her debut novel.

As my review made obvious, Tartt and I have a lot to disagree about. A lot. In that review, I also dismissed the idea that The Goldfinch deserved the Pulitzer. I'd like to slightly amend my views.

I still think The Goldfinch has many, many ethical problems. But see, that's the thing. They're ethical problems. The novel still has problems of craft and execution but in my furor over the ethical nature of the novel, I exaggerated the problems in craft. And, as I'll show later, I have no right to discredit a novel's artistic merit due to its ethics, simply because ethics are subjective.

Donna Tartt's novels are among the most ambitious novels I've ever read. The ambition and scope of the two novels of hers that I've read/almost-read are on par and even exceed many classics. For that alone, reading her work is a pleasure.

But then the prose. What gorgeous prose. I can read anything by her for the prose alone! It's in the top three best prose list I have in my head (I have lists for basically everything reading-related -- best plotting, characters, etc. I'm a maniac, seriously). Pairing the prose with the scope in her novels... it's a winning combination. I haven't read The Little Friend and I'm not sure I will because of its meh reviews; if I do read it, it'll be for the prose.

Yet, I still stand by what I said in my original reaction. Not as much in The Secret History (because of the Arab scene), but in The Goldfinch there is a definite nostalgic desire for pre-'diverse-loving' America(if that's what you can call the USA right now). A longing for an age where the great cultural contributions of whites reined supreme, not denigrated by modern 'diverse contributions'. A sympathy for those who want to go back to those days exists in that novel, very Gone With the Wind in nature. A desire for an age that erased people of color, pretended their hardships and suffering did not exist because all that mattered where white people and what their problems were. I don't know why, but I saw a lot more of that in The Goldfinch than The Secret History. I can guess what Tartt's true intentions are (I did so in my review), but that's unfair because I don't know her.

Yes, I disagree the ethical sentiment in The Goldfinch. Of course I disagree with that. But I still love Tartt. I tried denying it before, but she really is a tremendous author, one of my favorites (although I still don't think The Goldfinch deserved the Pulitzer - maybe it won  there was no better contestant? Because of the amazing prose and incredible scope of that novel - and that amazing opening scene?).

And that's the thing. If I meet Tartt, I'd squee and ask her to sign my book and everything. I'd love to sit down and have dinner together, just talk for hours and not aggressively at all, simply to see what she meant. And if she does have that nostalgic desire, great. It's not for me to get angry about. In fact, I think we'd have a much greater discussion than I'd have with any author I agreed with on every subject.

There's a tremendous pull to equate love with agreement and hate with disagreement. Disagreeing with someone doesn't require hate, nor does it exclude love. A person and their ideas are separate. Hating one doesn't require hating both.

It's a problem with a lot of social activism in the media. With 'don't reply to the trolls' quickly slipping into 'don't discuss a topic with anyone who disagrees with you', I fear we're going to fall into a predicament similar to the one of the construction workers pictured below.

There are generally two sides to social activism in the media: a conservative view and a liberal view. Discussions have been growing in number and in voice, but each side is getting louder and louder as they build their half of the bridge. We assume we're going to meet in the middle, finally join and understand what the other side is saying. But I truly fear we are simply talking past one another. I fear that soon, it'll be too late, and we'll keep talking and talking in this echo chamber until we look behind our shoulders and realize...dang. Those people we hoped to change, they walked right past us, talking and arguing in another echo chamber.

There's no point hating someone for their ideas. Yes, it's a really hard thing to do and I'm struggling really hard to do it. But it's important. If we don't join into one conversation, practically speaking, very little will get done. And an additional point, it might surprise people that (gasp!) maybe there's a pro-lifer too afraid to speak in the YA author section of Twitter. Instead of generating meaningful conversation around these topics, all that's happening is bullying and unintended censorship (down with writer self-censorship!). Engage the trolls! They speak things that the rest of the population thinks in silence.

This does not necessitate compromise in the same way Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. did not and should not have compromised with Jim Crow; a wrong idea, no matter how popular, is still a wrong idea. But we do need to start talking together, or the bridge we're trying to build will be as bad and useless as the one above.

The good thing about constructing things, though? You can always tear things down and build again.



Express Yourself: Writerly Tips

  Posted by DebsBlueRoses in The Writer Ambitious, 27 January 2015 · 21 views

Happy Express Yourself Day!

This meme is brought to us by Dani @ Entertaining Interests and Jackie @ Bouquet of Books.
This week they ask: What are some writerly tips you've found helpful?

The best one I've seen is to walk away from your writing when you're done, then come back some time later so you have a fresh eye.

I don't have the best luck with getting beta readers or CP's, and I have a love for editing/proofreading, so I'm often my own fresh eyes. lol I don't look at my projects for weeks (sometimes months) once I'm done, and then I see all manner of mistakes when I come back. Geez, I saw the BIGGEST continuity errors in my last revision.

On that same note, some other good advice was to find objective strangers to look at your work. Family sometimes gets tired of looking at it.



Successful Author Talk With MONSTROUS Author MarcyKate Connolly

  Posted by bigblackcat97 in Writer, Writer Pants on Fire, 27 January 2015 · 27 views

No... not like she's monstrous. Although an argument could be made.

I'm very happy to bring you today's SAT (Successful Author Talk) interviewee, MarcyKate Connolly. MarcyKate is one of my regular critique partners, and also one of the people that I met and banded with at the beginning of my publishing journey, years ago. MarcyKate, RC Lewis and myself all met years ago on the writing site AgentQueryConnect. We would read each other's stuff, pick apart our query letters, and root, root, root for each other when we entered contests to try to gain agent attention.

2015 finds two of my books published by Harper imprint Katherine Tegen, RC's STITCHING SNOW available from Hyperion (with a another on the way!) and MarcyKate's MG debut  MONSTROUS available from HarperChildrens on February 10th.

Not bad.

Are you a Planner or Pantster?

I’m a plotter *steeples fingers*. Outlines and beat sheets are my best friends when I’m drafting a novel.

How long does it typically take you to write a novel, start to finish?

Wellllllll, that varies. A lot. I’ve written 11 novels so far and I can’t really say I have a pace that’s consistent. Every book has its own unique path. First drafts have run the gamut from 10 days to 1.5 years. Add to that necessary time for revision, critique partner feedback, more revision, etc, and the shortest was a few months, the longest about 3 years. 

Do you work on one project at a time, or are you a multi tasker?

I am a multi-tasking fiend. I use Zoho projects (an online project management software) to keep myself on target and meet goals for revision and drafting. I always have another project in the pipeline once one stage of a book is complete. For example, I may draft one book in the morning (say, MG fantasy) and then revise another in the afternoon or next day (say, YA contemporary). Once I’ve finished revising that YA, I’ll move my next project that’s due for revision up in the queue, and then cycle through them that way until they’re ready for my agent or editor to review.

Did you have to overcome any fears that first time you sat down to write?

Not really, aside from the pretty normal fear that what I’ve written sucked. (But that doesn’t ever really go away for a lot of writers. Sorry to break the bad news!). 

Though that fear did take a turn that I had to overcome. When I went to revise that first manuscript, I was so terrified of screwing up the writing in a technical sense (misspellings, bad grammar, etc) that I actually edited every ounce of voice right out of that book. I had readers tell me that it was the cleanest manuscript they’d ever read, but they couldn’t connect to my characters at all – that was why! Took me another 2 books before I finally got a handle on voice (and learned not to edit it out!) 

How many trunked books did you have before you were agented?

Six. Monstrous was the 7th novel I wrote, 4th that I queried. 

Have you ever quit on an ms, and how did you know it was time?

I did decide to set aside three books. One I queried briefly and the response made it very clear the book wasn’t really there and I wasn’t as interested in getting it to where it needed to be either. The other two were NaNoWriMo novels and very much practice books.

I’ve “paused” a couple other books, but I have plans to revisit them and rewrite them eventually. 

Who is your agent and how did you get that "Yes!" out of them?  

My amazing agent is Suzie Townsend of New Leaf Literary & Media. I queried her the traditional way – my book was a slushpile baby despite the fact that I entered agent-judged contest after contest!

How long did you query before landing your agent?  

I queried for about 3.5 years before signing with Suzie. I sent well over 300 queries for three different books and got hundreds of No's in response. The three agent offers on Monstrous were totally worth it!

Any advice to aspiring writers out there on conquering query hell?

The best way I found to get through query hell is to always keep looking forward. 

Write that next book. Yes, THAT book. The one that won’t leave you alone and keeps you up at night. Even if it’s weird and crazy and scares you. It’s worth the risk, and at worst, you’ll learn something and have a fun distraction.

How did that feel, the first time you saw your book for sale?

I haven’t seen the hardcover of Monstrous on a physical bookstore shelf yet (though I have held a copy in my hands and it is beautiful!!), but when the pre-order links for it began popping up, it was surreal. The fact that this is really happening began to sink in then too. I’m SO EXCITED to see it in B&N and my local indies!

How much input do you have on cover art?

Not much. They picked the (perfect) artist and worked up the (perfect) concept. There was one little issue on the first final draft they sent me, but it was quickly and easily fixed. Basically, they didn’t need my input – the artist pretty much plucked my main character out of my brain and dropped her on the page!

What's something you learned from the process that surprised you?

How different the process is from one author to another, and one book to another. We’re all going through the same basic process, but the details vary dramatically!

Also, publishing is sloooowwwww. This should not have surprised me – I’d heard it before, of course. But to experience it is another thing entirely. Case in point, my book sold in 2012, and it will finally be on shelves in 2015!

How much of your own marketing do you?  

I’ve had a website and been on social media for years before I started writing seriously, so I was prepared to promote things like giveaways and news across my site, twitter, facebook, tumblr, etc. Social media promotion, and the postcards I’m sending to my local bookstores and libraries are the main marketing I’m doing for Monstrous. I’ve also done some in person outreach to my local libraries and gave them advanced review copies of my book. However, my day job background is in marketing, so if my publisher wasn’t doing a lot of marketing on my behalf I’d probably do more. 

When do you build your platform? After an agent? Or should you be working before?

I already had a platform, so it’s hard for me to say. I do know it’s not going to be a dealbreaker for most agents if you don’t have a social media platform when they sign you provided you are open to building one if your book sells.

For me, social media was most effective pre-sale / pre-agent in finding my place in a community of authors. There’s a lot of awesome people out there, especially in the kid lit community, and getting to know them and knowing they were going through the same highs and lows in the query trenches was really helpful for me. Made me feel less alone. And really, that’s what social media is about – connecting with a community. It’s a way to engage people on a personal level and should be treated like it (not like a sales channel!)

Do you think social media helps build your readership?

It definitely can, yes. But the key thing to remember about social media is that it is first and foremost and place to be social. A lot of people forget that. It is about building a community and engaging with people (which is why it can be great for engaging with your readers). Blasting things like BUY MY BOOK BUY MY BOOK BUY MY BOOK is going to get you blocked and possibly even banned from places like Twitter. Basically, don’t be noise; be yourself – that’s way more interesting. 



Getting the Submission Call with Margaret Fortune

  Posted by Michelle4Laughs in Michelle4Laughs: It's in the Details, 27 January 2015 · 31 views

This story makes my nerves tingle! It's just super exciting. I'm so happy for Margaret! She more than deserves this. Margaret Fortune is also a member of the AQC Speculative Fiction group. I suspect it is her home away from home too. When I'm having trouble with a query letter, Margaret is the woman to see! She has super, genius writing powers!

I signed with my agent, Lindsay Ribar of Sanford J. Greenburger Associates, in September 2013, and in October we went on submission with my YA sci-fi novel Nova.

Now from the get-go, we decided to try and sell it as a series. While I’d originally intended Novato be a standalone, when I’d finally finished, the ending clearly begged a sequel. So I’d brainstormed on it back while querying and ended up with an arc for a five-book series. My agent was very enthusiastic when I told her about the series and asked me to write up a couple pages explaining how the series would work, and giving a short 4-5 line blurb for each book. I also provided a longer synopsis for the second book. So armed with Nova, the synopsis for book two, and the series summary, we went on submission.

Well, I bore up well for the first few months, but by 2014 I was starting to get antsy. So I was excited when we finally had some real interest at the end of February. Unfortunately, while the editor loved it, the acquisitions team ended up shooting it down as they felt it skewed too far to the “hard” end of the sci-fi spectrum. Even though the book was YA sci-fi, my agent decided to try targeting some Adult SF imprints that had an interest in crossovers. She continued submitting, but as the months passed, I started to think Nova might not sell. So I worked on edits for my WIP and started planning the next. Then at the end of June, I woke to find an email from my agent with the subject line “A small nibble on NOVA.”

In it, Lindsay told me she had gotten an email from Betsy Wollheim at DAW Books with only one line, saying the book was terrific. She said she’d be touching base with Betsy sometime that week, but not to get too hopeful yet, as Betsy hadn’t mentioned making an offer. Also, she reminded me, DAW publishes mostly on the adult side, so it would be an interesting home for the book.

I was more nervous than excited at that point. I figured I was in for another long, drawn-out period of waiting: My agent would touch base with the editor later in the week, then eventually she’d set up a call for me with the editor so we could see if we were on the same page regarding revisions, and assuming the call went well, it would then go to acquisitions. A month later, I would know my fate. I figured it would be exactly like my previous experience with an editor back in February. So when I got a call a couple hours later, I didn’t answer it.

I had the day off, so I was hanging out at home by myself when the phone rang. Now, I’m a bit old school and like to use my answering machine to screen callers, so I usually wait for someone to leave a message before answering. In fact, I didn’t even bother to get up, assuming it was just a telemarketer or some other undesirable, which is who it would usually be at that time of day. So I was only half-listening to the voice on the machine when suddenly the words “…your agent at Sanford J. Greenburger” penetrated my brain.

“Oh my God, that’s my agency!”

Realizing it was my agent, I almost killed myself jumping up from the couch and running for the phone. I managed to grab it before my agent hung up, and that’s when I found out—Betsy Wollheim at DAW had made a preempt offer for Nova. And not only that, but she was ready to buy the entire series along with it. That’s Nova plus four more books I hadn’t even written yet!

I was absolutely floored. I had gone from nothing to a five-book deal in less than a day. I could not believe it. Somewhere in my euphoria-induced haze, it suddenly occurred to me to wonder if some big, bad acquisitions team could come in and overrule this editor and rain on my parade. So I asked my agent, and she said—

“Um, this is Betsy Wollheim, the president of DAW. So, no—no one can overrule her.”

Still, when the deal hit publisher’s marketplace a few days later, I printed out the announcement and carried it around in my purse for an embarrassingly long time, just to reassure myself it wasn’t a dream. I remember a friend of mine suggested framing it. And my response was, “Well, that would make it a little awkward to carry around in my purse all the time, now wouldn’t it?”

All told, it was a long nine months on submission, but the outcome was worth the wait. Now all I have to do is write four more books!


Bio: Margaret Fortune began writing in first grade, when her short story “The Numbers’ Birthday Party” made a huge splash at her elementary school. A year later, her family moved to Wisconsin, where they owned and operated an independent bookstore for over a decade.

She has a BA in psychology from the University of Minnesota - Morris, and has worked in a variety of jobs including payroll, customer service, and one very memorable summer at an amusement park. Her first book, Nova, is forthcoming from DAW Books in June 2015.

Add Nova to your Goodreads lists. 



Book Thoughts: The Body Electric

  Posted by Mia K Rose in Mia K Rose | Forsaken Illusion, 27 January 2015 · 11 views

Have you had a chance to read this one? If so, what was […]



Blazer Nike Basse Peau de Serpent GriseBlanc Femme NA203 Runnning

Posted by uytiuyoiuo in uytiuyoiuo's Blog, 27 January 2015 · 23 views
nike blazer basse femmenike

Dunk Sky Salut nike blazer femme basse Nike Dunk Sky conservant le design classique, mais également nikebù2Âblazerbù2Âfemmebù2Âbasse 243X3Q1W dans l'augmentation naturelle comme les filles amis. Il faut aussi mentionner, ce est que tout cela est couvert dans la plus élevée, il ne sera pas inattendu sur le côté. Tout en maintenant une résistance à la mode, tout en maintenant le confort. De la mode blogueur Blonde Salad, Andy Torres, le Victoria Secret Angel Candice Swanepoel, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, une paire de feet.Regardless humaine de la référence ou l'absence 236H5947 référence, nous voyons ici Nike Sportswear égoutter une mi Blazer en matière irisée, une silhouette qui a été plutôt défaut dans attention ces derniers temps après ce est an ou deux à l'honneur. A popping blanc semelle intermédiaire, semelle de glace et métalliques lacets frais achèvent le modèle de cette femme avec ces détails supplémentaires qui font une chaussure grande. Encore une fois, je dois dire que je suis partial à la fois vers une semelle blanche et une semelle extérieure de la glace, mais qui ne est pas?
Pourtant, juste après le nombre d'années de temps, il faut que ce long directement dans chaque emplacement. Nike messieurs poussoirs d'oxygène démarrage peut être un démarrage dans lequel semble bien défini à l'intérieur les nuances fortes établies. La chaussure en particulier viendra dans un grand bleu luminescent, africain ou américain rougeâtre teinte bleue peut-être incandescent, en utilisant une marque Nike translucide privé. Il est obtenu toute semelle en plastique ce qui concerne saisir et aussi la ténacité. Il est obtenu d'oxygène exclusivement absorption des chocs de produits et amortir également avec daim de qualité autour des endroits plus élevés. Nike Kobe point messieurs baseball démarrage est un superbe démarrage recherche. Il est obtenu rainures 3E2J406H pour stimuler l'articulation et aussi la flexibilité globale. En outre, il fournit plus un plastique solide tissu en arête de poisson aide supplémentaire concernant. Un grand routine ECG fournit une faible adhérence d'observation. En outre, il dispose d'un milieu de la pi. tige plus un total semelle intermédiaire en Phylon taille.
Bonne chose à ce sujet pour beaucoup de ceux qui ont besoin de chaussures Nike ou des bottes concernant assortiment, parité chaussures nike blazer basse pas cher ou des bottes peut vous aider à atteindre la fantaisie avec des sûr. Diverses chaussures ou des bottes d'activité sportive concernant divers endroits. Tout comme certains autres noms de marque, Nike séparer leurs chaussures ou des bottes particuliers concernant les joggeurs 44U31T80 et également utiliser de base. L'aspect clé vous devriez penser est toujours de décider si oui ou non vous aurez besoin des Nikes pour obtenir une activité sportive ou peut-être en ce qui concerne divertissant. Ce site Web ailleurs des produits d'un autre sport, par exemple, à faible coût chaussures ou des bottes Adidas, low-cost Les chaussures ou des bottes, chaussures de Michael Jordan ou des nikeyÅeöblazeryÅeöbasseyÅeöpasyÅeöcher 9H8S1920 puma société, et ainsi de suite. Lorsque vous cherchez une chaussure de tous les jours, Nike fournit beaucoup à choisir. Ils ont tongs, chaussures de toile ou des bottes, des vêtements amples et aussi des chaussures. Afin de les avoir utilisé ce qui concerne spécialiste trainning, vous auriez beaucoup mieux examiner les avantages des biens avec prudence.
Pratiquement tous les magasins recettes web Nike fournit prudemment marchandises avantages ajustement ou peut-être à côté. Et fournit 6ZRICA6S sous dans les idées de marchandises de profondeur, vous trouverez là-bas leur qualité supérieure notamment en provenance premier aperçu. Septembre peut être un moment en ce qui concerne les élèves de retourner à shool, néanmoins, avec tous les frais concernant la météorologie expression frais, il est très nécessaire pour maman et papa pour se préparer pour quelques produits frais de la famille à leurs enfants en particulier. Venant de satistic disponibles sur le marché, il est réellement présent l'amélioration en ce qui concerne N2010 est un superbe an concernant Nike, avec nikeÄ÷55blazerÄ÷55roseÄ÷55blanc E3PV5P1M début de la planète pot à l'intérieur de l'équipement de Photographie sud, Nike fournit publié différents biens concernant directement dans l'industrie. Aussi, en provenance de la NBA Posted Image être en mesure de jeu vidéo de sport, Nike fournit en œuvre l'objectif: Simplement prendre des mesures. La initial qui signifie est utilisé pour être en mesure de titres de jeux de baseball.


It’s Sun versus Snow Day!!

  Posted by Amy Trueblood in Chasing The Crazies, 26 January 2015 · 22 views

        Yes, it’s finally here!! Today at 4 pm EST the submission window for Sun versus Snow opens. Michelle and I are very excited to be bringing you this contest again, and are looking forward to hearing all the success stories that come from the contest – *fingers crossed*.   While we […]



The Art of ARC-ing

  Posted by From The Write Angle in From The Write Angle Blog, 26 January 2015 · 28 views

Advanced review copies, or ARCs, seem to spark two distinct emotions in debut writers: elation (my book is a book!) and confusion (what the heck am I supposed to do with these?). To add to the confusion, depending on your publisher and your contract, you could get anywhere between one single ARC to 20 or more.

Once you’ve got the requisite joy out of your system and have spent some quality time getting to know your ARCs....
Sit back and relax with your ARCs....
And don't forget to show it off to your friends!
...you will likely be told to use them for publicity and outreach.

I know a lot of new authors cringe every time they hear the word publicity, so I thought I’d share some practical ways you can use ARCs for outreach that may or may not be on your radar already:

Getting to know your local librarian. If you’re an introvert (like me), the idea of cold calling/emailing/visiting your local librarian in the hopes they’ll buy your book can be terrifying. However, having something to actually givethem (in this case one of your lovely ARCs!), can make that a whole lot easier. It provides an opening for discussion and there’s less pressure. And if you stop by your library and they’re not available, you can always leave the ARC with a staff member in the appropriate section along with a note, a bookmark, and your business card.

Getting to know your local bookseller. Depending on your publisher, your local bookstore may already have ARCs of your book, so this may not need to be high on your list if your publisher is one of the Big Five, for example. But even if they do have your ARC already, it can be a nice gesture, and again, an opening to discuss books in general, as well as the possibility of doing an event there when the book is out. Also, if you’re a young adult author, some indie bookstores have ARC buckets for teens to read and review, which is another opportunity to look into.

Send it on tour!If you’re a debut author (especially a children’s author) you might be part a debut group, most of which tour ARCs among their members. This is a great idea for a couple reasons: 1) If other authors on the tour are comfortable rating your book on Goodreads, then it can give you some good reviews early on 2) It’s an excellent way to begin word of mouth for your book and 3) when you get it back at the end of the tour, you’ll have all sorts of notes from the readers, making a great keepsake.

Give one to a local teacher. (More for YA/MG/Picture book authors, than adult) If you have children in school or know people who are teachers in your local area, consider asking if they’d be interested in reading your book. School visits can be a great way for children’s authors to connect directly with readers, and gifting an ARC could pave the way for one.

Give one to a book blogger. If you’ve made connections to book bloggers, you may want to consider one or two who are particularly excited about your book. Many book bloggers will passionately talk about books they love. This can be a great way to activate word of mouth for your book. 

Send one to your local paper. Always check with your publicist at your publisher before doing this (provided you have one). But if your local paper has a books section or highlights local people, the ARC along with a brief press release could get your book an article or review.

Goodreads giveaway. This is also something to check with your publisher about first, as many do this and you don’t want to duplicate efforts. If they’re not running one it can be a great way to connect with Goodreads users who may not yet have heard of your book.

Blog/social media giveaways. People LOVE to win stuff. You can setup a rafflecopter giveaway to make the entry requirements things like following you on twitter, facebook, tumblr, etc. The trick is to keep those new followers engaged after the giveaway is over!

Annotated ARC giveaways. Annotated ARCs are a fun thing to giveaway and readers love seeing the notes, fun facts, and behind-the-scenes info. However, they can be time-consuming because you’ll need to go through your entire book and handwrite those notes. If you have the time and inclination, an annotated ARC could set your blog/social media giveaway apart.

Blurbs. Again, depending on your publisher and agent, you may not need to request your own blurbs from established authors. But if you do, those ARCs will come in handy.

Friends and family. This may not have the biggest impact publicity-wise, but giving an ARC to your parents or best friend or whoever you dedicated your book to can be a lovely and much appreciated gesture.

This list is, of course, by no means comprehensive. Please share your suggestions and ideas in the comments! :)



First and Last Lines

  Posted by Jemi in Just Jemi, 26 January 2015 · 15 views

A year or so ago, I read some advice on writing out the first and last line of every chapter in a list (if this was on your blog, please give yourself a shout out in the comments for me!).

I don't remember all the reasons, but as I'm reading through my NaNo novel, I'm keeping track of these lines in a file within my Scrivener folder and I'm finding some interesting things.
  • only a few of my first lines really stink
  • some of them are even pretty good
  • my last lines are often very short - 1-3 words
  • my characters are pretty sarcastic
  • putting the 1st and last lines together gives a great summary of the chapter's emotion
  • reading the list through gives a great sense of the story - and of the pace (which I always need help with). Much more helpful for editing than I expected
Doing this has helped me see I've grown as a writer too. I'm coming into scenes later and exiting earlier - trusting in the reader more. (Thanks to my fabulous CPs once again!!!)

Have you ever tried this? Any great first or last lines to share?



Glowing Review @ Windy City Reviews

  Posted by Deb Borys in Debra R. Borys, 25 January 2015 · 25 views

Starza Thompson had lots of good things to say about Box of Rain at Windy City Reviews: “Box of Rain is a chilling murder mystery filled with exciting twists that make the reader question every character, while opening the readers’ … Continue reading



I'm a Teacher--I Can Write Anywhere

  Posted by Joe Stephens in My Train of Thought, 24 January 2015 · 21 views

Something's been going on this week that I've been looking forward to since before Christmas break. And, by the way, the fact that I, an adult, still use the term Christmas break should tip you off that I'm a teacher. But anyway, I was contacted late in the fall about having a student teacher for the first half of this semester. I enjoy having student teachers for several reasons, some of them noble and others purely selfish. The noble ones include getting to have a positive influence on a new teacher and exposing my students to a different approach and point of view. The selfish ones include the fact that, for several weeks, the bulk of the teaching and grading duties fall to someone else. Yes, I supervise her and give her input, but that's a lot less labor intensive than making my own lesson plans, carrying them out myself, and grading the results. 

For me, though, the big self-serving outcome of having a student teacher is the sheer volume of writing time afforded me right square in the middle of the day. For several weeks, I no longer have to squirrel away time early in the morning or late in the evening to wedge in a few hundred words. No, I can have my coffee, read the news, browse Facebook, check my email, and linger over a leisurely breakfast before work because on the days when Beth, my student teacher, is responsible for all the classes, I can write. Thursday was the first day she had every period and I got almost 1800 words written. Yesterday, the number was lower, but only because I did some editing and revising before I started on a new chapter. 

And one of the cool unexpected benefits of being a teacher who's a writer is that I've learned that I can write anywhere and under nearly any circumstances, many that would be so distracting that a person without my superpower (that of being able to concentrate on fifteen things at the same time--every teacher develops it or becomes something else quickly) would find simply untenable. Yesterday, after I sat in on a couple of classes to verify she was comfortable with the lesson, I went away and wrote in a quieter place, but Thursday, I was at my desk all day as she taught. I even participated, at her request, in the activity. And, as I said, I wrote almost 1800 words. Yesterday, I edited that scene and found that, aside from needing a few minor tweaks and word changes, it was pretty strong stuff. 

So I found another reason to be thankful for being a teacher. It's not only made me a better writer--it's given me confidence that, should the need ever arise, I could knock off a solid chapter in the middle of a hurricane. 

Before I sign off for another week, I want to remind you that I'll be at the Parkersburg and Wood County Library today from 2pm to 3pm, selling and signing copies of my debut novel, Harsh Prey. If you live nearby, come by and say hello. 



5 reasons why I quit reading books before the end

Posted by Selene Bell in Confessions of a Binge Reader, 13 January 2015 · 71 views

Over the holidays, I suffered through a bout of bronchitis. The unexpected upside was that because I didn’t want to do anything else, I had tons of time to read. I got lost in a sea of self-pubs. The best ones were edgy with fascinating characters—things that would have been difficult to find through traditional publishers. There’s always a “but” though, right? Here’s mine: I probably didn’t finish three-quarters of the books I bought, for quality reasons. (Thank goodness they’re so cheap.) Here’s some of what the authors did wrong:

They wrote lots of smug dialog: I know writing dialog where everything clicks is addicting. But if every time you write any dialog, you think, “Wow, people are going to think I’m so smart!” know you’re wrong. Especially if one of your characters comments on how clever the speaker is, you’ve crossed the line into annoying. Good dialog needs to show tension and have a point that advances the plot. It can’t just be there to show off. (A book isn’t Seinfeld, which mind you, lasted just half an hour.) If you get clever, keep it short. Trust me. That (deleted expletive) gets old fast.

They delayed gratification for too long: There’s that sweet spot by when your readers need to get some payoff from hanging in there through the “will they or won’t they.” If you promise violence, at least a little blood needs to spill before the last page. Basically, if I’ve hit the seventy-five-percent mark and I’m still waiting, I feel like I’m being toyed with, not entertained. If your point is to delay, you need to find small ways to provide readers some kind of satisfaction throughout.

They wrote perfect characters: I don’t want to read about the girl who every guy falls in love with, who’s going to be the next leader and knows medical skills and can fight like a master even though she’s barely been trained. She always makes the right decision, she always gets the funny line, and yeah, her best friend’s gay and she’s the only one who will accept it. (Which I have no problem with, but cliché much?) Please, please, please, for the love of your readers, give her a drug addiction or something. Otherwise, there’s no struggle to make her feel real. Good example: Clarke from The Hundred could be so annoying in her bravery, medical training and all these guys who fall for her, BUT she’s balanced by the fact that she’s so angry, especially at herself, and that other girls’ disdain hurts her. Perfect is only OK in small doses.

They didn’t plot smart: I have little patience for a book that seems like two short works sandwiched together. In Part A, the guy and girl get together. In Part B, a bad guy appears and they beat him. The bad guy needs to show up in Chapter One to loom doom over your main characters’ heads—or at least hint at it. The problem if there’s nothing at stake from the start? You lose opportunity to build tension that keeps readers flipping pages.

They got boring: The greatest start in the world won’t keep readers going if you trail off into mediocrity. Sure, you need a good start to get people to buy your book, but if you want them to buy your next one, you need a great middle and a great ending too. If you get tired of writing your book in the middle, it’s going to show.

The best way to avoid all of these problems is to find honest beta readers or editors and pay attention to their feedback before you hit the “publish” button. If your early readers tell you every single thing you write is great, perfect, the next best seller—they care more about your feelings than your actual work. And that’s not to ding them. It’s hard to point out deficiencies. But trust me, you’ll be a better writer for working to improve your weaknesses. Be brave and unflinching in confronting your deficiencies, and your readers will benefit.



My Experiences with Formatting

Posted by D. E. Jackson in Adventures of Wolf 3, 13 January 2015 · 71 views

Good day writers! This is an exciting day for me. I’ve just finished the first part of my formatting. I couldn’t wait to blog about it. I did have step by step instructions on here, but AQ is not supporting most of it because some is in html code. So I'll have to refer you to Guido Henkel's site.

If you just want to get started without knowing the why, start on Part III for what you need to download in order to make this work. I used Notepad++ and will be using Calibre to finish it out. Both free. But he has other ideas also to look into. Then go to Part VI to start the formatting process.

Good Luck everyone!

EDIT: I was able to provide the step by step Formatting Process (according to Henkel) below in the posts! ^_^


The Professor Confronted

  Posted by Professor VJ Duke in The Punchy Lands!, 13 January 2015 · 36 views

So, this professor was walking down a street.

You know, one of those streets that has stores a bit off the sidewalk.

It was a little town. I probably should have said that first.

Anyway, I was walking along (or down) a street when I ran into a fellow and a lady. They were around the same age, I think. And much younger than the professor.

(But everyone is younger than the professor. I’ll soon be…I forget. But it’s up there.)

Anyway for seconds, they stopped me. With words, of course.

“Where you going?” the lady asked.

I should stop calling her a lady about now.

The professor didn’t answer right away. And that’s the thing to do, when confronted.

This professor just stared at her (glancing at the fellow) and raised one eyebrow.

I’ve heard this subtle moment of mine inspires fear. I’m not sure if it’s true, but I think it is.

“I asked you a question!” she said.

“Yeah,” the fellow said, “answer her.”

“Well, to be honest,” this professor said, “I was actually not on my way to see either of you two.”

They seemed shocked, dismayed, and terribly angry.

The woman–who was smoking–threw her cigarette on the ground and stamped it angrily with her heel.

Once she was done, I repeated the motion (only I was more vicious, I think) just to prove to them that I could stamp harder.

After all, I’m a warrior.

They laughed at this.

“Your weird!” the woman said.

The fellow shook his head. “Definitely weird, dude.”

The professor moved on; I didn’t have time to keep on having speaks.

I looked back once, and saw that the duo had caught another fellow.

Maybe I should have been a bit fiercer, and messed up their operation for good.

Oh well.



IWSG All About Me

  Posted by K McClelland in Teardrops On My Book, 07 January 2015 · 49 views

(Make sure you check out the IWSG website and founder of this group, Alex J Cavanaugh.)So, I already had my post written out and then I just saw I was supposed to introduce myself. But that's okay, I'll have two posts today. To see the other post, click here.

And onto some stuff about me:

I'm a mother and a writer. I also am basically a personal assistant for my mom. Plus I run errands for my dad and I work at the gym (where my kids do dance and gymnastics) twice a week.

My kids are (recently) online homeschooled and both of them are in gymnastics and hip-hop. I don't really have a life outside of my kids and parents. Aside from when I stay up late and find time to do things I want to do (mostly online games, writing, and blogging).

This year is the first year that my youngest will be competing in gymnastics so I'll be adding gymnastics meets to my schedule which should be interesting. Most of them are going to be on Sundays though so that's not too bad.

I spent a lot of last year not blogging enough and my visiting was even worse, but I'm going to do better this year. I also tend to write too much on my blog posts and struggle to write enough in my books.

And that's about it, but if you're curious about anything else, feel free to ask. :)



WRECKAGE Launch Party- Save the Date

  Posted by mlebleek in Bleeker Street, 06 January 2015 · 54 views

March is approaching quickly and I am busy planning a fantastic launch party for WRECKAGE. I’ve decided to pair the launch with a fundraiser for a FANTASTIC and inspiring organization: The Book Bridge (thebookbridge.com):

Screenshot 2015-01-06 11.35.01

The Book Bridge is a 501©3 charitable organization.

“Our mission is to support, motivate and inspire children in crisis situations to read through individualized access to books and other materials geared toward increasing literacy skills while also providing them with a healthy emotional outlet to stress.

We serve youth up to age 18 who are in physical, economical, emotional, or mental health crisis situations. They have little or no access to books of their interest and reading abilities.”

I’m sure you can see why I am SO excited to partner with this great organization. Right now I’m in the process of collecting some awesome raffles and getting all the plans together but I wanted to make sure you all saved the date so you can come celebrate WRECKAGE’s release and support The Book Bridge at the same time.

Screenshot 2015-01-06 11.16.48Launch party(pdf)


Besides the actual party we will also be holding a raffle to benefit The Book Bridge. You can purchase raffle tickets for a dollar or receive one ticket per new/like new book donated to The Book Bridge. When donating please take a moment to double check what items they are able to accept: thebookbridge.com/donations

I can’t wait to celebrate with you all and to help provide children with the books they deserve. And don’t worry, if you don’t live in Illinois I will be running a virtual launch party as well!

Follow me on Twitter, Facebook and on this blog for regular updates!

As a side note- if you have a raffle item you’d like to donate to support this fundraiser please email me at emilybleekerauthor@gmal.com



Love and Rumors will be FREE Dec 31 & Jan 1

  Posted by Jean Oram in The Love Bug Blog, 29 December 2014 · 93 views

My new series, The Summer Sisters, has two new books coming out in the following months and I thought I’d do a little something nice for readers by giving away ecopies of book 1, Love and Rumors, for two days to help bring in the new year as well as celebrate the book’s brand new cover.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014 through Thursday, January 1st, 2015, the ebook of Love and Rumors will be FREE. This deal will only be available on Amazon for those two days before it goes back to its regular price of $2.99. (The paperback edition is always available for $10.99–or less!)

If you don’t have a Kindle to read the free book on, no worries! You can download the Kindle app onto most devices, easy peasy! (I have it on my phone and tablet so I can read free romance ebooks for Kindle on the go.)

Click Here to go to Amazon.com & Grab Your FREE Kindle Reading App & Read ebooks on Most Devices

Love and Rumors--a free contemporary romance ebook

The new cover for Love and Rumors. (It’s so new I haven’t even changed the cover images on my website yet!)

One photographer who needs cash—fast. One movie star with an offer as tempting as his bad boy smile.

Hailey Summer needs more time. As the eldest Summer sister she’s always taken on the task of solving everyone’s problems—including finding ways to hold onto the family’s precious historic cottage. Only this time she’s stretched too far and is in danger of losing absolutely everything that matters to her from her dream photography business to her sisters’ trust to the cottage that’s been in the family for over a century. Will Hailey find the money she needs or will she have to confront a lot more than just the family members she’s kept in the dark?

When Finian Alexander closes his eyes he is haunted by his family’s destitute past and the unfulfilled promises he’s made to others. Only a fraction away from making the A-list food chain and fulfilling his promises, Finian needs help from the paparazzi to push his next ‘bad boy of Hollywood’ escapade into the limelight. Problem is he’s in the Canadian Muskokas and the only photographer he’d consider partnering with slaps him every time he deserves it—which is increasingly often as he becomes more desperate.
Will Hailey and Finian give in to the easy way out of their problems, or will discover how alike they truly are when they hit the tabloids—together?

This is the first book in the Summer Sisters beach read contemporary romance series.

Grab your copy of Love and Rumors while it’s FREE! Link: http://amzn.to/1oMKQXT

Happy New Year! All the best to you and yours in 2015.

Happy reading,


P.S. Love and Rumors & book 2, Love and Dreams, are both available in the Kindle Unlimited program for a limited time–you can snag the books on KU as well.

P.P.S. Want to see Love and Dreams‘s new cover too? Here it is:

Love and Dreams, a contemporary romance by Jean Oram

The new cover for Love and Dreams!

The post Love and Rumors will be FREE Dec 31 & Jan 1 appeared first on Jean Oram.



A Member Of the Club

Posted by generalmuj777 in generalmuj777's Blog, 29 December 2014 · 120 views

Greetings to all! I joined Agent Query today and I just wished to introduce myself to the group. For me it is indeed to pleasure to make your acquaintance. Take and be well everyone.

Best Regards
Muj Attia


Influences and Inspirations

Posted by Terence Park in T.P. Archie's Blog, 21 December 2014 · 87 views
Jack Kirby and 5 more...

Influences and Inspirations Influences and Inspirations
by TerencePark on 12-20-2014 12:29

Influences. We all have them. I'm going to talk about comic books; American comic books, from the Silver Age. I was there when Jack Kirby's Fourth World came out and what an impact it had on me.

American comic books of the 60's sold in their millions. Well some of them did. The biggest in terms of circulation was Superman. The comic was widely distributed and could sell up to 1 million copies each issue. In practise it sold between 70% and 80% of that figure. A common theme that irritated more sophisticated comic book buyers was: DC would run a story with life-changing consequences that under the rules of continuity, ought to be evident in future issues. But this didn’t happen; characters were reset at the start of each new issue.
The main rival to DC was Marvel. it had a strong line of heroes. They sold well, each ranking up sales between 200k and 400k per month. Unlike DC, they were every month - many DC titles were bi-monthly, or came out, at best, 8 times per year. Supes was the big DC star. At that time he was in Superman, Action Comics, World's Finest Comics, Justice League of America, Superman's girlfriend - Lois Lane, Superman's pal - Jimmy Olsen.
Oh, bring those memories back. The big problem for the Superman family was that they fared less well, subsisting on circulations of 150k - which at that time was a trigger for cancellation. They were ripe for change. DC knew this but its culture was somnolent. It needed shock treatment to stay on terms with Marvel.

The star in Marvel's armoury was the late, great, Jack King Kirby (born Jacob Kurtzberg). He worked on titles like The Mighty Thor, The Fantastic Four, Captain America, Sgt Fury's Howling Commandos, and had been instrumental in bringing to life outstanding comic book characters such as Galactus and the Silver Surfer.
Kirby had great vision and was an absolute art monster. He regularly did 3 + comic books per month. that was 60 + pages of art work. Many struggled to put in a full shift of 20.

In 1970, Jack dropped a bombshell onto Stan (the Man) Lee. He was leaving. it wasn't as if Stan didn't know this was coming. Kirby had been taken for granted and Marvel weren't going to change. They had DC on its knees. Marvel comics had heroes with real life problems - a new thing at time, as under the Comics Code Authority, comics had reverted to simplistic pre-teen content, which defined DC. Marvel had found a formula that didn’t cross the Authority and yet appealed to older audiences. DC managed mouldering properties. Superman had a whole family to support - but suddenly, Jack Kirby was available. He had worked at DC in years past - on stuff such as Newsboy Legion, Manhunter, the Sandman.... There were no other real opportunities in the field for Jack - Charlton wouldn’t publish its one bi-monthly superhero title -E-Man - until 1973, Archie comics didn't do superheroes, Dark Horse, Image and other imprints were yet to be formed;Creepy and Eerie (the Horror market) wasn't where Jack was coming from and besides they were only b&w.

Jack went to DC. He was full of ideas.
The comics blazed out the news:

Marvel ran a monthly Bullpen Bulletin Board in most of their comics. it was the biggest news in comics industry but they said nothing. Jack's output was prodigious and regular pencillers had to be found to replace him. There are various accounts of the inner workings of Marvel’s Bullpen - here isn’t the place for that.

Jack brought his Fourth World Saga with him. This was an interlinked tale ‘AN EPIC FOR OUR TIMES’ of good and evil. New Genesis v Apokolips. It ran in three comic books: The New Gods, The Forever People and Mister Miracle. These ran side by side, along with a re-envisioned pal of Supes - Jimmy Olsen, who got a bunch of side-kicks - the Newsboy Legion. Kirby (& Joe Simon) created the original Newsboy Legion which was based on the child-labour used by the respective newspapers of Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst at the start of the Twentieth Century. These weren’t employees but rather purchased the papers from the publishers and sold them as independent agents. Yep. Child-labour. New York then.
DC were protective of the Superman look. Change meant threat and DC baulked at Jack's envisioning of Superman. He drew Supes' face, they redrew it. Jack's art style was dynamic. House artists were static. Jack's Superman looked muscular. If DC's house artists were told to bring Jack's Superman into line - well that's what they did. Re-booting heroes was - well done with care. The debates surrounding owner-creator v hired-hand were still to come.

Change brought opportunities. The insignia; for a long time, a double circle enclosing the letters DC in the top left hand corner, was revamped. For Jack Kirby’s series, the circle grew and now contained a bullet image of the main character(s) in the comic.

Below are the covers from the respective first issues of his Fourth World. Beyond tweaking for ‘color-cast’ I have left them as they are. I could clean up these images - but why? They have character as they are...

The New Gods
Main character: Orion of the New Gods
Earth name: O’Ryan

Posted Image
New Gods #1
Read: Orion Fights for Earth

Mister Miracle
Main character: Scot Free of New Genesis. He decides to become an escape artist - this is both metaphor for his escape from Apokolips and for sublimation of hope into cynicism in attempts to revive an obsolete form of entertainment. In many ways he is diametrically opposed to Orion, who, when the chips are down, resorts to smashing his way out of traps.

Posted Image
Mister-Miracle #1 cover
No Trap can Hold Him

The Forever People
The genesis of this group is quite interesting. Jack was often disturbed by groups of motorbike enthusiasts, tearing up and down the road that his California hangout overlooked. Enthusiasts? Fiends? it depends on which side of the peace and quiet debate you lie. They irritated the life out of him- and became the inspiration for his Forever People

The-Forever-People #1 cover
Big Bonus Beautiful Dreamer

and from page 10 of The New Gods: Apokolips
Ruled by the enemy of life, Darkseid. Simple but great visuals.


(if you've lived in some neighborhoods, this might look pretty familiar!)
Was it good? How can you ask? Re-reading these is a visual feast.
Final thought. Just look at that blurb.

I like grand themes but I prefer them realistic. My work is probably closer to The Road than Kirby's Fourth World content-wise.

Originally published October 24, 2014 on my Daily Telegraph blog.


A Letter to My Younger Self on the “Dear Teen Me” Blog

  Posted by LucidDreamer in LucidDreamer's Blog, 19 December 2014 · 129 views

I’ve written a “letter” to my teenage self as part of the “Dear Teen Me” blog project.  Check it out here: http://dearteenme.com/?p=8689#more-8689  


  • 787 Total Blogs
  • 7,721 Total Entries
  • 694 Total Comments
  • uytiuyoiuo's Blog Latest Blog
  • uytiuyoiuo Latest Blogger

79 user(s) are online (in the past 15 minutes)

0 members, 78 guests, 0 anonymous users

Google (1)