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BEING FISHKILL Author Ruth Lehrer On Stumbling Into Inspiration

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 16 January 2018 · 61 views

Inspiration is a funny thing. It can come to us like a lightning bolt, through the lyrics of a song, or in the fog of a dream. Ask any writer where their stories come from and you’ll get a myriad of answers, and in that vein I created the WHAT (What the Hell Are you Thinking?) interview. Always including in the WHAT is one random question to really dig down into the interviewees mind, and probably supply some illumination into my own as well.<br /><br />Today's guest for the WHAT is Ruth Lehrer whose debut YA novel, BEING FISHKILL, is set against the stark reality of an impoverished rural landscape, and offers a stunning, revelatory look at what defines and sustains “family.”<br /><br /><a href="[url="http://ruthlehrer.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/FishyCover2-199x300.jpg"]http://ruthlehrer.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/FishyCover2-199x300.jpg[/url]" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" [url="src="]src="http://ruthlehrer.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/FishyCover2-199x300.jpg"[/url] data-original-height="300" data-original-width="199" /></a><b>Ideas for our books can come from just about anywhere, and sometimes even we can’t pinpoint exactly how or why. Did you have a specific origin point for your book?</b><br /><br /><i>Several years ago my partner’s mother was sick and we were commuting to Queens NY every weekend for months. Up and down the Taconic Highway, several times a week. Both ways you see the exit sign for the towns of FISHKILL/CARMEL. “Wouldn’t that be a funny girl’s name?” I said, “Some deluded mother naming her kid Carmel Fishkill ...”&nbsp; Once she had a name, Fishkill easily stepped out into the world.&nbsp;</i><br /><br /><b>Once the original concept existed, how did you build a plot around it?</b><br /><br /><i>I didn’t really build the plot. I was lucky enough to have the characters, Fishkill and Duck-Duck, knock loudly on my creative door. I wrote the first sentence in the car outside a writing group and then wrote the first couple pages when I went inside. Fishkill and Duck-Duck were fully formed people who walked up and pretty much dictated their story.</i><br /><br /><b>Have you ever had the plot firmly in place, only to find it changing as the story moved from your mind to paper?</b><br /><br /><i>The plot of Being Fishkill shifted in small ways during the process of writing and editing but my second book, which I am in the process of writing, is a squishy slimy animal and seems to change every time I sit down to write.&nbsp;</i><br /><br /><b>Do story ideas come to you often, or is fresh material hard to come by?</b><br /><br /><i>Poems come to me often, mostly whenever I sit down and let them. (They’re not always good poems, but hey ...) Story/novel ideas are harder to come by. I wish I knew where that particular place was where characters like Fishkill are just waiting to latch onto an author. I seem to have stumbled there once. Maybe it will happen again?&nbsp;</i><br /><br /><b>How do you choose which story to write next, if you’ve got more than one percolating?</b><br /><br /><i>Usually I have one main project I’m working on and various stray poems. I don’t seem to be able to juggle more than one novel. I envy folks who can.&nbsp;</i><br /><br /><b>I have 8 cats (seriously, check my Instagram feed) and I usually have at least one or two snuggling with me when I write. Do you have a writing buddy, or do you find it distracting?</b><br /><br /><i>No cats, no dogs, no birds, no lizards. Sometimes I write with a human friend, either in person or virtually. I have a drawing of an owl on the wall near my desk.&nbsp;</i>

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Welcoming Pat Zietlow Miller To The Podcast!

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 15 January 2018 · 57 views

I'm excited today to bring my first ever picture book author to the podcast, Pat Zietlow Miller, who has received multiple awards for her many picture books. Her titles include SOPHIE’S SQUASH, WHEREVER YOU GO, SHARING THE BREAD, THE QUICKEST KID IN CLARKSVILLE, and the newly released WIDE-AWAKE BEAR. Pat joined me to talk about how querying a picture book is different than querying a novel, the misleading ease of each project being 700 words or less, and why a children’s book writer who wants to be traditionally published should not seek out an illustrator before submitting their work.<br /><br /><iframe data-link="[url="https://www.podbean.com/media/player/wfg49-836ba8?from=yiiadmin"]https://www.podbean.com/media/player/wfg49-836ba8?from=yiiadmin[/url]" data-name="pb-iframe-player" frameborder="0" height="100" scrolling="no" [url="src="]src="https://www.podbean.com/media/player/wfg49-836ba8?from=yiiadmin"[/url] width="100%"></iframe><br /><br />As always, if you find the podcast helpful or just enjoy listening, please consider donating by visiting <a [url="href="]href="https://www.gofundme.com/writer-writer-pants-on-fire-podcast"[/url] target="_blank">Go Fund Me</a> or <a [url="href="]href="https://writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com/p/podcast.html"[/url] target="_blank">clicking here.</a>

<a href="[url="http://writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com/2018/01/welcoming-pat-zietlow-miller-to-podcast.html"]http://writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com/2018/01/welcoming-pat-zietlow-miller-to-podcast.html[/url]" class='bbc_url' rel='nofollow external'>Source</a>


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The Saturday Slash

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 13 January 2018 · 47 views

<div class="m_-3604969055967170595gmail-MsoNormal" style="background-color: white; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.8px; line-height: normal; margin-bottom: 0.0001pt;"><div style="color: black; font-family: Times; font-size: medium;">Meet my Hatchet of Death (or, some other colorful description&nbsp;<a href="[url="http://rclewisbooks.com/"]http://rclewisbooks.com/[/url]" target="_blank">RC Lewis</a>&nbsp;and I come up with at any given moment). This is how I edit myself, it is how I edit others. If you think you want to play with me and my hatchet,&nbsp;<a [url="href="]href="http://writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com/p/query-critiques.html">shoot[/url] us an email</a>.</div><div style="color: black; font-family: Times; font-size: medium;"><br /></div><div style="color: black; font-family: Times; font-size: medium;"><a [url="href="]href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-oZ52KunZpiM/T_zy5Q521TI/AAAAAAAAArU/EQOi-3pr48Q/s400/NewestSatSlash.jpg"[/url] imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="320" [url="src="]src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-oZ52KunZpiM/T_zy5Q521TI/AAAAAAAAArU/EQOi-3pr48Q/s320/NewestSatSlash.jpg"[/url] width="247" /></a>We all know the first line of a query is your "hook." I call the last line the "sinker." You want it to&nbsp;punch them in the face, in a nice, friendly kind of way that makes them unable to forget you after having read the 300 other queries in their inbox.</div><div style="color: black; font-family: Times; font-size: medium;"><br /></div><div style="color: #222222;"><span style="font-family: &quot;times new roman&quot; , serif; font-size: 12pt;"></span></div><div style="color: black; font-family: Times; font-size: medium;">If you're looking for query advice, but are slightly intimidated by my claws, blade, or just my rolling googly-eyes, check out the query critique boards over at&nbsp;<a [url="href="]href="http://www.agentqueryconnect.com/"[/url] target="_blank">AgentQueryConnect</a>. This is where I got my start, with advice from people smarter than me. Don't be afraid to ask for help with the most critical first step of your writing journey - the query. My comments appear in&nbsp;<span style="color: #6aa84f;">green</span>.</div><div style="color: #222222;"><span style="font-family: &quot;times new roman&quot; , serif; font-size: 12pt;"><br /></span></div><span style="font-family: &quot;times new roman&quot; , serif; font-size: 12pt;"><span style="color: #222222;">One sketch from Laurain Hart and two humans fall in love. </span><span style="color: #6aa84f;">Oh, nice hook.</span></span><br /><div style="color: #222222;"><span style="font-family: &quot;times new roman&quot; , serif; font-size: 12pt;"><br /></span></div></div><div class="m_-3604969055967170595gmail-MsoNormal" style="background-color: white; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.8px; line-height: normal; margin-bottom: 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;times new roman&quot; , serif; font-size: 12pt;"><span style="color: #222222;">Thirteen-year-old Laurain wants nothing more than to continue spending the afternoons with her mystic classmates, drawing pictures that create an enduring romance. </span><span style="color: #6aa84f;">Ah, so Laurain herself is not human. Got it.</span></span><br /><div style="color: #222222;"><span style="font-family: &quot;times new roman&quot; , serif; font-size: 12pt;"><br /></span></div></div><div class="m_-3604969055967170595gmail-MsoNormal" style="background-color: white; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.8px; line-height: normal; margin-bottom: 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;times new roman&quot; , serif; font-size: 12pt;"><span style="color: #222222;">When an ancient enchanter casts a spell disrupting the order of the calendar days, Laurain’s visions vanish, </span><span style="color: #6aa84f;">so it's her visions that allow her to do the drawing? What's the connection there?&nbsp;</span><span style="color: #222222;">starting a countdown to the day when humans can no longer discover true love.&nbsp;</span></span><span style="color: #222222; font-family: &quot;times new roman&quot;, serif; font-size: 12pt;">Paired with a time-traveling leprechaun, who is more interested in stealing gold than helping, Laurain must locate the rogue enchanter and restore the missing day. </span><span style="font-family: &quot;times new roman&quot;, serif; font-size: 12pt;"><span style="color: #6aa84f;">Slightly confusing in that you said the days were "disrupted" before (I thought, out of order, maybe) but now we learn there's one missing? Why would that cause a chain reaction that has anything to do with love?</span></span></div><div class="m_-3604969055967170595gmail-MsoNormal" style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.8px; line-height: normal; margin-bottom: 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;times new roman&quot; , serif; font-size: 12pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="m_-3604969055967170595gmail-MsoNormal" style="background-color: white; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.8px;"><span style="color: #222222; font-family: &quot;times new roman&quot; , serif; font-size: 12pt; line-height: 17.12px;">She travels across the human and mystic realms battling gruesome ghouls, hostile witches, angry elves and, scariest of all, finds herself developing a crush on a teenage human boy.&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: &quot;times new roman&quot;, serif; font-size: 12pt;"><span style="color: #222222;">To make troubles worse, Laurain develops the powers of an enchanter. </span><span style="color: #6aa84f;">So being an enchanter is bad? It's not just that one bad apple?</span><span style="color: #222222;">&nbsp;If the other mystics find out, she’ll never be allowed to draw her visions again. How long can she keep it a secret?</span></span></div><div class="m_-3604969055967170595gmail-MsoNormal" style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.8px; line-height: normal; margin-bottom: 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;times new roman&quot; , serif; font-size: 12pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="m_-3604969055967170595gmail-MsoNormal" style="background-color: white; color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.8px; line-height: normal; margin-bottom: 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;times new roman&quot; , serif; font-size: 12pt;">With time running out, Laurain must learn how to control the gold-hungry leprechaun, come to terms with a new, magical ability that could get her expelled from school and defeat the most powerful enchanter who ever lived—all while lying to a boy she may be falling in love with.</span><br /><span style="font-family: &quot;times new roman&quot; , serif; font-size: 12pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="m_-3604969055967170595gmail-MsoNormal" style="background-color: white; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.8px; line-height: normal; margin-bottom: 0.0001pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;times new roman&quot; , serif; font-size: 12pt;"><span style="color: #222222;">THE STOLEN DAY, a middle grade fantasy complete at 38,000 words, introduces us to the mystic realm, providing a behind-the-scenes look at how much work goes in to </span><span style="color: #6aa84f;">(one word)</span><span style="color: #222222;"> protecting humans.</span></span><br /><span style="font-family: &quot;times new roman&quot; , serif; font-size: 12pt;"><span style="color: #222222;"><br /></span></span><span style="color: #6aa84f; font-family: &quot;times new roman&quot; , serif; font-size: 12pt;">Overall, this is good. Interesting premise with a fresh take. Clear up the questions I have above about cohesion and you're in good shape.</span><br /><div style="color: #222222;"><span style="font-family: &quot;times new roman&quot; , serif; font-size: 12pt;"><br /></span></div></div>

<a href="[url="http://writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com/2018/01/the-saturday-slash_13.html"]http://writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com/2018/01/the-saturday-slash_13.html[/url]" class='bbc_url' rel='nofollow external'>Source</a>


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Book Talk & ARC Giveaway: DEVILS UNTO DUST by Emma Berquist

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 12 January 2018 · 51 views

<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="[url="https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1498516945l/34697399.jpg"]https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1498516945l/34697399.jpg[/url]" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="475" data-original-width="315" height="320" [url="src="]src="https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1498516945l/34697399.jpg"[/url] width="212" /></a></div>Ten years ago, a horrifying disease began spreading across the West Texas desert. Infected people—shakes—attacked the living and created havoc and destruction. No one has ever survived the infection. Daisy Wilcox, known as Willie, has been protecting her siblings within the relatively safe walls of Glory, Texas. When Willie’s good-for-nothing father steals a fortune from one of the most dangerous shake-hunters in town, she finds herself on the hook for his debt. With two hunters, including the gruff and handsome Ben, to accompany her, she sets out across the desert in search of her father. But the desert is not kind to travelers, and not everyone will pass through alive.<br /><br />Want to help me with all the mailing costs? I do giveaways at least once week, sometimes more. It can add up. If you feel so inclined as to donate a little to defray my mailing costs, it would be much appreciated! Donating has no impact on your chances of winning.<br /><form [url="action="]action="https://www.paypal.com/fk/cgi-bin/webscr"[/url] method="post" name="_xclick"><input name="business" type="hidden" value="bigblackcat97@gmail.com" /><br /><div style="text-align: center;"><input name="item_name" type="hidden" value="Mindy's Mailing Costs" />*********************************************************************************</div><input name="amount" type="hidden" value="00.00" /><br /><input alt="Make payments with PayPal - it's fast, free and secure!" border="0" name="submit" [url="src="]src="http://www.paypal.com/en_US/i/btn/x-click-butcc-donate.gif"[/url] type="image" /><br /></form><br /><a class="rcptr" data-raflid="2071810b295" data-template="" data-theme="classic" [url="href="]href="http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/2071810b295/"[/url] id="rcwidget_3smrwo69" rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway</a><br /><script [url="src="]src="https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js"></script>[/url]

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Debut Author Sarah Henning on the Power of Social Media

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 09 January 2018 · 71 views

Today's guest for the SAT (Successful Author Talk) is Sarah Henning, who has worked for The Palm Beach Post, The Kansas City Star and The Associated Press, among others. Her debut, <a href="[url="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36502054-sea-witch?from_search=true"]https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36502054-sea-witch?from_search=true[/url]" target="_blank">SEA WITCH</a>, releases July 31st from Katherine Tegen Books.<br /><a [url="href="]href="https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1510798167l/36502054.jpg"[/url] imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="475" data-original-width="314" height="320" [url="src="]src="https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1510798167l/36502054.jpg"[/url] width="211" /></a><br /><b>Are you a Planner or Pantster?</b><br /><i><br /></i><i>I’ve always said I’m a decent hybrid of the two. I generally start with plot points that are pretty spread out and then allow my gut take over from there. I’ve found that my gut then surprises me with things I didn’t see coming between plot points, and if I’m surprised, my reader will be too. That said, the more books I write, the more I can see the forest for the trees in what I’m setting up. This has lead to more rat-a-tat-tat plot points before I write, but I still let my gut lead the way and change my plans at will.</i><br /><br /><b>How long does it typically take you to write a novel, start to finish?</b><br /><br /><i>My first drafts generally take anywhere from three to five months, depending on how complicated the plot is and how busy I am in the rest of my life. I also consider my first drafts to be pretty fully formed, so I’ll typically only revise for a week or two after that before shipping it off to my agent.</i><br /><br /><b>Do you work on one project at a time, or are you a multi-tasker?</b><br /><br /><i>I used to be a one project a time type-of-gal but having a book deal has changed that. I’m always working on something while waiting to work on something else, it seems. I think it keeps me sane to have a project to come back to while navigating rounds of edits on something else.</i><br /><br /><b>Did you have to overcome any fears that first time you sat down to write?</b><br /><br /><i>Nope. I’ve always wanted to be a novelist. I spent most of my early career in newspapers as a reporter and copy editor, so I’m used to having to come up with something solid in a very short amount of time. This seems to translate to fiction writing in that I’m never wandering around a scene, trying to figure out what I’m doing. I also tend to revise a lot as I go because of my journalism background. I like having my “first” draft as close to final as possible.</i><br /><br /><b>How many trunked books did you have before you were agented?</b><br /><br /><i>I had two that I wrote as an adult (and countless that I wrote as a child) that won’t ever see the light of day. The third book snagged me an agent, but the fifth book was the one that sold first. Publishing is definitely a long-haul journey.</i><br /><br /><b>Have you ever quit on an ms, and how did you know it was time?</b><br /><br /><i>I have one that I didn’t finish and I think it’s just because I’m still not sure how to write it. I know what I want to do but not the best way to tell the story. I’ll figure it out, but for now, it’s just got to sit and marinate.</i><br /><br /><b>Who is your agent and how did you get that "Yes!" out of them?&nbsp;</b><br /><br /><i>My agent is the lovely Rachel Ekstrom of the Irene Goodman Literary Agency. She is rainbows and sunshine but a complete pit-bull when necessary. I was lucky enough to be a mentee in the very first year of Brenda Drake’s Pitch Wars contest. I received four offers as part of the contest and loved everyone I talked with, but Rachel just seemed to get my goals the most. She signed me for adult crime fiction but the first book we sold was a young adult fantasy—not every agent would’ve been down for such varied writing interests, but she has been, 100 percent.</i><br /><br /><b>How long did you query before landing your agent?&nbsp;&nbsp;</b><br /><br /><i>The first two trunked manuscripts didn’t really get off the ground. I had the oldest of my two kids after I wrote those and they just kind of sat there while I tried to figure out the whole parenting thing. When I was ready to query that third book, I only did one small round before being chosen for Pitch Wars.&nbsp;</i><br /><br /><b>Any advice to aspiring writers out there on conquering query hell?</b><br /><br /><i>Do your research—if you can afford it, a subscription to Publishers Marketplace is so invaluable in knowing what’s selling, to who and by who.</i><br /><br /><b>How much input do you have on cover art?</b><br /><br /><i>For SEA WITCH, I made a private Pinterest page with images of characters, places and symbols in the book and sent it to my editor at Katherine Tegen, the wonderful Maria Barbo. Maria has an MFA in painting and a fabulous eye and so I knew that wherever she went from there would be great. I didn’t worry a second. In the end, Maria and the Harper art department found this amazing artist named Anna Dittmann who drew the perfect cover art for it. PERFECT.</i><br /><br /><b>What's something you learned from the process that surprised you?</b><br /><br /><i>I don’t think I really understood anything about the way rights worked before my deal. I mean, I knew enough that I could ask questions, but I didn’t understand how nuanced subrights could be. It’s one of those things where it’s hard to understand until you’re out of the hypothetical situation and into a real one, I think. Unless, of course, your day job is as a lawyer!</i><br /><br /><b>How much of your own marketing do you?&nbsp;&nbsp;</b><br /><br /><i>At the moment, I do it all myself. I probably spend the majority of my time on <a [url="href="]href="https://twitter.com/shhenning"[/url] target="_blank">Twitter</a> and <a [url="href="]href="https://www.instagram.com/shhenning/"[/url] target="_blank">Instagram</a>.&nbsp;My husband is a web nerd, so he set up <a [url="href="]href="http://www.seawitchbook.com/"[/url] target="_blank">my website</a>, but it’s nothing fancy.&nbsp;</i><br /><br /><b>When do you build your platform? After an agent? Or should you be working before?</b><br /><br /><i>This is a trick question for me because I was a features reporter in my town before I ever got my agent. I covered food and even though it’s been years since I left the newspaper, I still get recognized at the grocery store by people who used to read my articles, columns and blogs. So, for me, I have a sort of weird tangential local platform. About a third of my Twitter followers can be attributed to my former life and the rest are writing-related.</i><br /><br /><b>Do you think social media helps build your readership?</b><br /><br /><i>I think it does. Honestly, after SEA WITCH’s cover was revealed on Twitter and Instagram, I had people from all over the world reaching out to me in a way that wouldn’t have happened without those two platforms. I also think Instagram is especially helpful in the YA book world because so many of our YA books are just SO BEAUTIFUL that people want to take pictures of them. I know I do and I know a lot of book people I follow do. And I think a well-done Instagram picture of your book's cover can go a long way in helping it find an audience.</i>

<a href="[url="http://writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com/2018/01/debut-author-sarah-henning-on-power-of.html"]http://writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com/2018/01/debut-author-sarah-henning-on-power-of.html[/url]" class='bbc_url' rel='nofollow external'>Source</a>


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Think Of Self-Publishing As A Business Endeavor, Not A Creative One

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 08 January 2018 · 73 views

I'm welcoming in the New Year of podcast guests with Alex Lidell, author of THE CADET OF TILDOR from Penguin, as well as the TIDES series, which she self-published. I've known Alex since 2013, when we debuted together, and have watched her flourish as a hybrid author.<br /><div><br /></div><div>I invited Alex onto the podcast to share her wealth of knowledge when it comes to self-publishing, but many of her insights transpose to traditional publishing as well. Listeners of all types will gain a lot by tuning in, and be sure to follow through to the end... Alex likes to give things away.<br /><br /><iframe data-link="[url="https://www.podbean.com/media/player/y25d6-826447?from=yiiadmin"]https://www.podbean.com/media/player/y25d6-826447?from=yiiadmin[/url]" data-name="pb-iframe-player" frameborder="0" height="100" scrolling="no" [url="src="]src="https://www.podbean.com/media/player/y25d6-826447?from=yiiadmin"[/url] width="100%"></iframe><br /><br /></div><div><br /></div><div>If you enjoy this episode - or any that aired in 2017 - please consider donating so that I can keep the podcast on the air.</div><div><br /><div style="text-align: center;"><object classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" height="338" title="Click Here to donate!" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="258"><param name="movie" value="/Widgetflex.swf" /><param name="quality" value="high" /><param name="flashvars" value="page=writer-writer-pants-on-fire-podcast&template=0" /><param name="wmode" value="transparent" /><embed allowScriptAccess="always" src="/Widgetflex.swf" quality="high" flashVars="page=writer-writer-pants-on-fire-podcast&template=0" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="258" height="338"></embed></object> <br /><br /></div></div><div><div>I started this blog shortly after landing my first book deal. I decided to pay it forward by hosting a blog where I asked published and agented authors all the questions I'd had when I was aspiring. The blog has been regularly updated for seven years now, taking a lot of my time and attention, with no monetary return. Often I have thought it was time for me to hang it up, but whenever the thought crossed my mind I would get an email from a follower who let me know how the blog had helped them on their publishing journey.</div><div><br /></div><div></div><div>In 2017 I decided that if the blog was going to keep existing it also needed to grow and offer my followers something new. The Writer, Writer, Pants on Fire podcast came from that idea. I have been broadcasting weekly since March of 2017. With 40+ episodes aired, over 1200 followers and almost 10k downloads, I can call the podcast a success. <br /><br /></div><div></div><div>It is however, not a monetary success. <br /><br /></div><div></div><div>Costwise, I pay $108 for hosting and $240 for recording software. These are revolving costs, and while not high, the real expense comes from the time involved. This is a one-woman show. I set up interviews, record, edit, and go through post-production with each episode. I'm putting in anywhere from 5 to 8 hours with each epsiode. Weekly episodes means I'm putting nearly 400 hours each year into the podcast. That's something I can't maintain in 2018 without compensation for my time. </div><div></div><div><br />If the blog or podcast have been of any assistance to you in your writing life, I would very much appreciate monetary support so that I can continue to produce them.</div></div>

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The Saturday Slash

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 06 January 2018 · 68 views

Meet my Hatchet of Death (or, some other colorful description&nbsp;<a href="[url="http://rclewisbooks.com/"]http://rclewisbooks.com/[/url]" target="_blank">RC Lewis</a>&nbsp;and I come up with at any given moment). This is how I edit myself, it is how I edit others. If you think you want to play with me and my hatchet,&nbsp;<a [url="href="]href="http://writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com/p/query-critiques.html">shoot[/url] us an email</a>.<br /><br /><a [url="href="]href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-oZ52KunZpiM/T_zy5Q521TI/AAAAAAAAArU/EQOi-3pr48Q/s400/NewestSatSlash.jpg"[/url] imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="320" [url="src="]src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-oZ52KunZpiM/T_zy5Q521TI/AAAAAAAAArU/EQOi-3pr48Q/s320/NewestSatSlash.jpg"[/url] width="247" /></a>We all know the first line of a query is your "hook." I call the last line the "sinker." You want it to&nbsp;punch them in the face, in a nice, friendly kind of way that makes them unable to forget you after having read the 300 other queries in their inbox.<br /><br />If you're looking for query advice, but are slightly intimidated by my claws, blade, or just my rolling googly-eyes, check out the query critique boards over at&nbsp;<a [url="href="]href="http://www.agentqueryconnect.com/"[/url] target="_blank">AgentQueryConnect</a>. This is where I got my start, with advice from people smarter than me. Don't be afraid to ask for help with the most critical first step of your writing journey - the query. My comments appear in&nbsp;<span style="color: #6aa84f;">green</span>.<br /><br />Mark Biderman is on the verge of getting what he’s always wanted: publication by a big literary house. Unfortunately, his wife, Denise, promises to divorce him if he goes through with it. <span style="color: #6aa84f;">Why? What's the connection?&nbsp;</span>Mark loves Denise but knows there’s a special corner of hell reserved for people who renege on their heart’s desire to keep the peace. <span style="color: #6aa84f;">Is there? That's a very specific corner of hell. I can't imagine it heavily populated. And I had to untie the sentence to figure out who was assigned to this corner - him or her.&nbsp;</span><br /><br />If HarperCollins publishes his memoir, Mark and Denise's private life will be paraded before strangers. <span style="color: #6aa84f;">Well, yeah, but how many? Memoirs don't typically explode. It might help put more vavoom on this if we know what is in the memoir that 1) makes it publishable and 2) his wife doesn't want in public.</span>&nbsp;He owes his wife better. Already he's worn her out on his quest for personal fulfillment with stints as <span style="color: #6aa84f;">(a?)</span> lawyer, clown, musician, entrepreneur, and teacher.<br /><br />That last one, teacher, almost sank them. Mark’s South Bronx principal, Ms. Rodriquez, fired him, leaving Denise the sole breadwinner, and Mark with enough rage to clog the Alaska pipeline. No picnic for Denise when she learned that Mark had leaned on another woman to get through it all. <span style="color: #6aa84f;">Not a complete sentence... also why was he fired? And "leaned on another woman?" - He had an affair? Is that what she doesn't want people to know?</span><br /><br />Chastened, and armed with new clarity, Mark vies to regain Denise’s trust. <span style="color: #6aa84f;">Confusing timeline - after the affair? Isn't that already in the past? Is the affair in the memoir? What's the connection?&nbsp;</span>He also sweats out a face-to-face with Principal Rodriquez to help a friend. <span style="color: #6aa84f;">Why? What friend? We have no connection to this to know why it matters.&nbsp;</span>No monster there, just an ex-boss who chased him from where he didn’t belong. <span style="color: #6aa84f;">Confused on the point of this sentence.</span><br /><br />Mark is sure that he must betray either his wife or himself: publish the book or hold onto the only woman he has ever truly loved. But forgiving Ms. Rodriquez frees him in an unexpected way.<br /><br /><span style="color: #6aa84f;">We definitely need clarity on the connection between the book, his wife, and Ms. Rodriquez. Right now this reads like a series of unconnected things and the reader can't inuit from this query what holds them all together.</span>

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Book Talk & Giveaway: DREAD NATION by Justina Ireland

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 05 January 2018 · 66 views

<a href="[url="https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1497900615l/30223025.jpg"]https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1497900615l/30223025.jpg[/url]" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="475" data-original-width="314" height="320" [url="src="]src="https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1497900615l/30223025.jpg"[/url] width="211" /></a>Jane McKeene was born two days before the dead began to walk the battlefields of Gettysburg and Chancellorsville—derailing the War Between the States and changing America forever. In this new nation, safety for all depends on the work of a few, and laws like the Native and Negro Reeducation Act require certain children attend combat schools to learn to put down the dead. But there are also opportunities—and Jane is studying to become an Attendant, trained in both weaponry and etiquette to protect the well-to-do. It’s a chance for a better life for Negro girls like Jane. After all, not even being the daughter of a wealthy white Southern woman could save her from society’s expectations.<br /><br />But that’s not a life Jane wants. Almost finished with her education at Miss Preston’s School of Combat in Baltimore, Jane is set on returning to her Kentucky home and doesn’t pay much mind to the politics of the eastern cities, with their talk of returning America to the glory of its days before the dead rose. But when families around Baltimore County begin to go missing, Jane is caught in the middle of a conspiracy, one that finds her in a desperate fight for her life against some powerful enemies. And the restless dead, it would seem, are the least of her problems.<br /><br />Want to help me with all the mailing costs? I do giveaways at least once week, sometimes more. It can add up. If you feel so inclined as to donate a little to defray my mailing costs, it would be much appreciated! Donating has no impact on your chances of winning.<br /><form [url="action="]action="https://www.paypal.com/fk/cgi-bin/webscr"[/url] method="post" name="_xclick"><input name="business" type="hidden" value="bigblackcat97@gmail.com" /><br /><div style="text-align: center;"><input name="item_name" type="hidden" value="Mindy's Mailing Costs" />*********************************************************************************</div><input name="amount" type="hidden" value="00.00" /><br /><input alt="Make payments with PayPal - it's fast, free and secure!" border="0" name="submit" [url="src="]src="http://www.paypal.com/en_US/i/btn/x-click-butcc-donate.gif"[/url] type="image" /><br /></form><br /><a class="rcptr" data-raflid="2071810b294" data-template="" data-theme="classic" [url="href="]href="http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/2071810b294/"[/url] id="rcwidget_0x1om2wb" rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway</a><br /><script [url="src="]src="https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js"></script><br[/url] />

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Thursday Thoughts

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 04 January 2018 · 43 views

1) What do people who live in urban areas or apartment complexes or condos do with their pets when they die? I lost sleep thinking about this last night.<br /><br />2) It's currently -10 here in Ohio. I think this is the best possible environment for humans in the event of a zombie apocalypse. Assuming that the undead can in fact, still freeze solid.<br /><br />3) It's cold enough that I'm pretty sure my ear wax froze. I am unsure as to whether this is a pro or a con.

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Romance Author Mary Ann Marlowe On Starting A New Project

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 02 January 2018 · 52 views

Whether you’re under contract or trying to snag another deal, you’re a professional now, with the pressures of a published novelist compounded with the still-present nagging self-doubt of the noobie. How to deal?<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="[url="http://www.maryannmarlowe.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/a-crazy-kind-of-love_final-683x1024.jpg"]http://www.maryannmarlowe.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/a-crazy-kind-of-love_final-683x1024.jpg[/url]" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" [url="src="]src="http://www.maryannmarlowe.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/a-crazy-kind-of-love_final-683x1024.jpg"[/url] data-original-height="800" data-original-width="534" height="320" width="213" /></a></div>Today's guest is <a [url="href="]href="http://www.maryannmarlowe.com/"[/url] target="_blank">Mary Ann Marlowe</a>, a central Virginia-based contemporary romance writer who works by day as a computer programmer/DBA. Her debut novel, SOME KIND OF MAGIC, is scheduled for release with Kensington in February 2017. Its sequel is also contracted for later release.<br /><br /><b>Is it hard to leave behind the first contract and focus on the second?</b><br /><br /><i>Let me start by explaining that I’m answering this for my third book, which is my second contract, because I sold two completed books at once, and my second novel was already finished. My “second novel” blues got transferred to a book I sold on proposal with a little more than six months from contract to deadline. I’m writing this book currently, and the pressure is real.</i><br /><i><br /></i><i>I’m leaving behind a pair of companion books to work on a standalone. It’s always hard to start a new project for me, but it wasn’t particularly hard to leave behind my first published books. Publishing takes a long time, and the advice is to focus on writing to get your mind off all the things you can’t control. So between signing my first and second contracts, I wrote four more books, and only one of those was in the same world as the first books. All of those finished books were rejected by my publisher, but together, we came up with the premise for the next book they wanted me to write on proposal.&nbsp;</i><br /><i><br /></i><i>What I find challenging is writing for the first time toward someone else’s specifications. There’s a benefit to having set requirements since I don’t have to wonder if what I’m writing will ever see the light of day, but the knowledge that it must conform to the agreed upon terms can be a bit paralyzing. Still, it’s an interesting experiment, and I feel fortunate to have been trusted to run with an idea.</i><br /><br /><b>At what point do you start diverting your energies from promoting your debut and writing / polishing / editing your second?</b><br /><br /><i>Promotion is a low-level constant once a book is in the world. There are conferences and book signings that crop up. Or the book goes on sale and you don’t like the graphics that didn’t work last time and want to make new ones. Writing is for me a high-level constant. I like to hard core draft a book every three or four months and then revise in the interim, so those habits helped me with turning my attention to the new manuscript while juggling the promotion for the debut and the second which is about to release. The amount of time needed to get everything done seems to grow exponentially with every book.&nbsp;</i><br /><br /><b>Your first books landed an agent and an editor, and hopefully some fans. Who are you writing the next one for? Them, or yourself?</b><br /><br /><i>I wrote the first contracted books for myself and my close friends with the dream of having readers and hopefully fans one day. Since this next one was contracted, I’m writing it for my editor first, but also for other authors and readers since it’s about a bookshop owner and debut author who makes the fateful decision to respond to a negative review. (Don’t do this!) I wouldn’t have been able to write this book if I hadn’t gone through the experience of publishing my first book. Life is strangely imitating art right now since, like my MC, I’m racing against a deadline for one book while another is receiving advance reviews already. Having reviews crop up while trying to draft can mess with your head if you let it, which is yet another thing I didn’t have to deal with while writing the debut novel.</i><br /><br /><b>Is there a new balance of time management to address once you’re a professional author?&nbsp;</b><br /><br /><i>Absolutely. It’s so important to make time for the writing. But there are many more commitments, especially early on as you’re trying to learn what works and what doesn’t. I spend a lot of time talking with other debut authors about promotional opportunities, growing newsletters, maximizing ads, booking interviews, scheduling signings, requesting reviews, writing blog posts. All that is in addition to the volunteer work a lot of us do to pay forward whatever help we’ve gotten from authors a little further along the road to publication. It’s easy to let all of that eat up writing time. I try to use down time at my day job to do a lot of this work or it will eat right through my writing time.</i><br /><br /><b>What did you do differently this time around, with the perspective of a published author?</b><br /><br /><i>I’m much more aware of marketing this time around. I’m cognizant that my title, cover, and novel need to present as a whole, so I bear in mind what readers are going to expect going in and try to adhere to that expectation without becoming predictable. I’ve learned that you want to find your audience more than just any readers, because attracting the wrong audience – that is people who want your book to be something it isn’t – leads to disappointment and bad reviews. I’m very focused on making sure my next book will follow through on the promise of the title and hook.&nbsp;</i><br /><div><br /></div>

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