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Lauren Sabel Talks Second Novels & VIVIAN DIVINE IS DEAD Giveaway

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 18 November 2014 · 55 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://media.tumblr.com/a63c4b6622f0076f45adaf2d24cf1770/tumblr_inline_na98tpmn8e1qbc6ni.jpg"]http://media.tumblr.com/a63c4b6622f0076f45adaf2d24cf1770/tumblr_inline_na98tpmn8e1qbc6ni.jpg[/url]" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" [url="src="]src="http://media.tumblr.com/a63c4b6622f0076f45adaf2d24cf1770/tumblr_inline_na98tpmn8e1qbc6ni.jpg"[/url] height="320" width="239" /></a></div>Today's guest is <a [url="href="]href="http://www.laurensabel.com/"[/url] target="_blank">Lauren Sabel</a>, author of <a [url="href="]href="http://www.laurensabel.com/books"[/url] target="_blank">VIVIAN DIVINE IS DEAD</a>.&nbsp;Lauren learned to mind dig while getting her MFA in Creative Writing from Naropa, a Buddhist college in Boulder, Colorado. Before Naropa, Lauren studied film in Rome, where she developed her love of crypts and other beautiful creepy things. She also worked in the film industry in New York and San Francisco, focusing mainly on film festivals, as she can never pass up a good party. In San Francisco she worked for Chronicle Books, where she was inducted into the fascinating world of book publishing. Most recently, Lauren lived in London, where she helped plan social events for the London Chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writer’s International’s UK Branch.<br /><br /><b>Is it hard to leave behind the first novel and focus on the second?</b><br /><br /><i>My second novel came pouring out of me in a few months. It was like a fever. I was reading about this group of psychics who worked for the government during the Cold War, and the main character just appeared; poof! After several years of working on Vivian Divine, I was happy to move on at that point.</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>I actually didn’t do much promoting of my debut. I was so caught up in writing my second book that I completely forgot my debut book was coming out. My husband organized a book release party for me, and when I showed up, I had forgotten to even choose a passage to read from the book. When I get obsessed with a writing project, it’s all I can think about – and I could only think about OUT OF MY MIND (out in 2015). I’m just now doing the promoting of VIVIAN DIVINE IS DEAD with any real seriousness. Wish me luck.</i><br /><br /><b>Your first book landed an agent and an editor, and hopefully some fans. Who are you writing the second one for? Them, or yourself?</b><br /><br /><i>Definitely for me. I wrote most of the book without showing it to anyone, so I had no idea if anyone would even like it. &nbsp;But now that I’m getting a lot of positive responses to VIVIAN, I can’t wait to see what people think about OUT OF MY MIND. I think they’ll like it even more!</i><br /><br /><b>Is there a new balance of time management to address once you’re a professional author?</b><br /><br /><i>Yes. I have to learn how to wear two hats at once: I can do writer, and I can do promoter, but I have trouble doing both. &nbsp;But in our current society, I need to push the book that is out in the world already into people’s attention, and, at the same time, also write the one in my head into being. &nbsp;I suppose it’s like having a baby and taking care of a toddler all at once. </i><br /><br /><b>What did you do differently the second time around, with the perspective of a published author?</b><br /><br /><i>I wrote an outline and tried to follow it. I came up with a solid writing schedule, and stuck to it. I saw revision as a chance to improve the manuscript, not a criticism of how badly written it was. I almost woke up to reality, but luckily, I caught myself just in time.</i><br /><br /><a class="rafl" [url="href="]href="http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/2071810b88/"[/url] id="rc-2071810b88" rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway</a><br /><script src="//widget.rafflecopter.com/load.js"></script><br />

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Donate to Cavalcade of Authors West & Mindy Will Love You, Always

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 17 November 2014 · 52 views

So, I mentioned last week that I'm going to be crawling into my cave to write now that winter has arrived (and boy did it arrive - I'm off school today, the big, fat, flakes are falling, and the plow hasn't even touched my road yet). One of the first things I'll be emerging from my cave for is Cavalcade of Authors West, a young writers workshop that will bring teens in touch with the writers they read.<br /><br />COA West is in their first year, and they could use a boost. 17 authors - including myself - will be there to share our love of literacy and writing. If you can share the same in your own way, COA West would appreciate it - and so would I!<br /><br /><b>What is a Cavalcade of Authors?</b><br /><br />Cavalcade of Authors is a conference for students made up of two components: 1) students reading novels from 17 featured authors, and 2) a writer's conference led by these authors to be held on May 2nd, 2015. We are collaborating with Pacific Lutheran University to present a literary/writing conference for 450 middle level and high school students in Pierce County, Washington. COA West is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.<br /><br />Cavalcade of Authors West is in its first year, modeled after the Cavalcade of Authors established in the Tri Cities of Washington in 2009. &nbsp;We want to bring the rich experience of working with authors practically one-on-one to western Washington students.<br /><br />Adolescent literacy is a significant need in our community and this program promotes reading and writing skills in an engaging and unique way. The response from students, teachers, and authors has been positive and encouraging. It is our hope that the program will grow and expand to become a truly regional event that draws students from all around Pierce County.<br /><br />Our <a href="[url="http://cavalcadeofauthorswest.wordpress.com/contact-us/cavalcade-of-authors-west-board-members/"]http://cavalcadeofauthorswest.wordpress.com/contact-us/cavalcade-of-authors-west-board-members/[/url]" target="_blank">five founding board members</a> have a vast amount of teaching and literacy experience as classroom teachers and librarians. We have each contributed to a number of boards, conferences and events of various sizes and scope. Above all, we all have a passion for students, authors and literacy; this conference will allow us to combine all of those pieces to deliver a unique and meaningful experience to the students of our own community.<br /><br /><br /><div style="text-align: center;"><iframe frameborder="0" height="445px" scrolling="no" [url="src="]src="https://www.indiegogo.com/project/cavalcade-of-authors-west/embedded/8559881"[/url] width="222px"></iframe></div>

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The Saturday Slash

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 15 November 2014 · 57 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, shoot us an email.<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" [url="src="]src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-oZ52KunZpiM/T_zy5Q521TI/AAAAAAAAArU/EQOi-3pr48Q/s320/NewestSatSlash.jpg"[/url] height="320" 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 />For N, there are rules that keep the world straight, rules to explain what’s normal, and rules of riding shotgun in Triss’ car. When you break a rule, you get thrown away, and all N wants is to stay with Triss. <span style="color: #6aa84f;">This is definitely interesting. I'm unsure of exactly what's going on, but intrigued enough to&nbsp;keep reading.</span><br /><br />That’s far more important than a corpse in the trunk. <span style="color: #6aa84f;">Oh, nice. Cool.</span><br /><br />N’s not sure which rules got broken, but six weeks ago there was a party, there was a game, and there was a bet. It was supposed to be fun. Something to kill the boredom, but people aren’t like cards or poker chips. They have baggage. They get angry. They want revenge. <span style="color: #6aa84f;">I'm getting a feeling here like N is&nbsp;autistic, or something to that effect. If&nbsp;that's not correct you&nbsp;might need to revisit. Also I have no idea if N is male or female, and maybe that is on purpose.</span><br /><br />When Triss’ betting partner, Jackson, ends up on the wrong side of dead, the laws that hold N’s world together collapse like a wet deck of cards. <span style="color: #6aa84f;">When you use the term "betting partner" it makes it sound like&nbsp;playing cards might be&nbsp;something that happens a lot, like this is part of their routine, etc. If this is a one night thing&nbsp;that&nbsp;just kind of came together you might want to rephrase. Also I think it might help to&nbsp;clarify what game specifically they're playing, if it's something you can put a common name&nbsp;to, like poker.</span><br /><br />The driver is supposed to hold all power and responsibility, but something’s off with Triss. Last night when Jackson died, she was fine. Bagging the corpse and loading it into the trunk, she was fine. But today, she’s not fine. Somewhere between her broken down car, dealing with her crazy divorced parents, and figuring out what to do with the corpse, Triss has slipped out of control.<br /><br />And there are no rules for that.<br /><br />Really, the body in the trunk isn’t important, but it still has to be dumped. Fast. <span style="color: #6aa84f;">I was definitely tracking until this line. It makes me wonder how a body in the trunk could NOT be important? Unless this is a further&nbsp;indication of the unreliable&nbsp;narrator - but honestly I think you've&nbsp;established that and this line feels off.</span><br /><br />With Triss not in control, N finally has to stop riding shotgun, take the wheel, and figure out what rules will keep them safe, but more importantly, what will keep them together. <span style="color: #6aa84f;">Nice, I like this a LOT.</span><br /><br />THE RULES OF RIDING SHOTGUN is a 65,000 word YA Contemporary with a non-linear timeline, similar to Justine Larbalestier’s LIAR. The quiet, complex, internal tension of the story may appeal to readers of Laurie Halse Anderson’s SPEAK.<br /><br /><span style="color: #6aa84f;">Good comp titles. I think this is well done and highly interesting. The tweaks I mention above are just phrasing tweaks. Also I'm unsure if this is a friend relationship or possibly romantic, which again might be on purpose. Overall this is very well done.</span>

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Book Talk & Giveaway: THE ORPHAN QUEEN by Jodi Meadows & ARC Giveaway!

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 14 November 2014 · 60 views

My book talks are coming at you from a librarian, not a reviewer. You won't find me talking about style or craft, why I think this could've been better or what worked or didn't work. I only do book talks on books I liked and want other people to know about. So if it's here I probably think it won't injure your brain if you read it.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="[url="https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1402927856l/18081228.jpg"]https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1402927856l/18081228.jpg[/url]" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="320" [url="src="]src="https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1402927856l/18081228.jpg"[/url] width="211" /></a></div>When her kingdom fell, child Princess Wilhelmina and handful of children were saved only to pass into obscurity. A decade later the older survivors steal for food, care for the younger ones, and carry out the smallest insurrections in the hopes that one day they will be strong enough to topple their conquerers - the Indigo Kingdom.<br /><br />Chance offers Will the opportunity to infiltrate the Indigo court with an assumed identity, her best friend Melanie at her side. With practice manners and hidden maps, they chip away at the stronghold of their enemy. But a growing force - Wraith, the toxic byproduct of magic use - threatens everyone, no matter what their allegiance, and Wil has to daily hide her own magical abilities in order to escape persecution.<br /><br />Keeping magic a secret is not so hard until she meets Black Knife, a hooded bandit who stalks the streets at night, meting out vigilante justice. With Melanie's actions under suspicion and court manners wearing her thin, Wil finds an outlet in meeting Black Knife and working beside him in the streets at night.<br /><br />But Black Knife's identity could be her undoing, and the Wraith grows ever stronger.<br /><br /><a class="rafl" [url="href="]href="http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/2071810b87/"[/url] id="rc-2071810b87" rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway</a><br /><script src="//widget.rafflecopter.com/load.js"></script>

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Thursday Thoughts

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 13 November 2014 · 53 views

Thoughts lately...<br /><br />1) Why did we domesticate cats and not squirrels? Squirrels would bring us nuts.<br /><br />2) We always talk about tech becoming self-aware, but I think it would be way worse if Scotch tape became self-aware.<br /><br />3) I've become slightly obsessed with the idea that if FROZEN were called SHITSTORM and was actually about a girl who goes ape and throws poo at people when emotional, it could totally work.<br /><br />Arendell's in deep, deep, deep, deep... shit.<br />The smell never bothered her anyway.<br />Can't hold it back anymore.<br /><br /><br />

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Getting Ready To Crawl Into The Cave

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 10 November 2014 · 47 views

The Cave is beckoning me. The one that I go into when it's time to write, research, edit, or just ignore reality in general. I'm fortunate because there's a physical cave (my bedroom), but there's also one in my head that I can dive into every now and then in public and no one has any idea that I'm just not really there anymore.<br /><br />Writing is a funny business, because I'd say most of the writing that I do has nothing to do with <i>actually writing</i>. Most of it is me taking little brain day-trips into the cave while my body keeps doing important things (like work) and my brain is like, "Hey, what if <i>this </i>happened? Ohh... or then <i>this</i>? And what about <i>THAT</i>?"<br /><br />A lot of the real work is just me, staring into space, putting people that don't exist through things that never actually happened. Usually I end up pulling them back out and making them do it again, seeing if we get a different result the next time. These poor people. Sometimes I imagine my characters are probably like -- "Really, we got this girl? Why can't I end up in a nice rom-com?"<br /><br />And the answer to that is - Mindy's cave art is not conducive to rom-coms.

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The Saturday Slash

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 08 November 2014 · 45 views

Meet my Hatchet of Death (or, some other colorful description&nbsp;<a href="[url="http://www.rclewisbooks.com/"]http://www.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, shoot us an email.<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" [url="src="]src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-oZ52KunZpiM/T_zy5Q521TI/AAAAAAAAArU/EQOi-3pr48Q/s320/NewestSatSlash.jpg"[/url] height="320" 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 />TESS <span style="color: #6aa84f;">it looks like you're a little confused about&nbsp;capitalization of character names. You definitely do this in a&nbsp;synopsis or a proposal the first time a&nbsp;character is mentioned, but you don't do it in a query</span>&nbsp;is hated. She’s a scholarship charity case in a school with a half million dollar gymnasium. She’s best friends with YELENA, who seduced the boys’ basketball coach and got him fired days before the start of the state tournament. She supports Yelena’s cousin PETR, who doesn’t hide his sexual orientation in a high school that thrives on fakeness and posers. And worse, the trio is Russian. <span style="color: #6aa84f;">Why would being Russian be a problem?&nbsp;</span><br /><br />Despite her high school social status, Tess wants to experience a normal American teenage romance and naively crushes on ELLIOT, an upperclassman basketball player. Elliot struggles with his own feelings for Petr, which complicates the strained tensions between the Russians and the basketball team. <span style="color: #6aa84f;">Again, the Russian&nbsp;aspect isn't quite coming clear to me,&nbsp;unless this is set during the Cold War?&nbsp;</span>When WADE, the basketball team captain, follows Tess down a deserted road, the simmering hate explodes into violence. Tess is torn between trusting Elliot&nbsp;<span style="color: #6aa84f;">why would her trusting Elliot one way or another matter? What is she trusting him about?</span>—whose teammates pressure him to participate in a hate crime against the Russian Orthodox Church—or her fellow Russians who want to plant a bomb at the basketball gymnasium in retaliation. <span style="color: #6aa84f;">Wow, that seems... like an overreaction.&nbsp;</span>Whatever her choice, someone will die if Tess learns the lessons of forgiveness too late.<br /><br />Inspired by THE OUTSIDERS, FORGIVENESS depicts the fine line between love, hate, and self-loathing that is prevalent in Sara Zarr’s STORY OF A GIRL. A YA Contemporary, FORGIVENESS is a simultaneous submission complete at 50,000 words.<br /><br />In May I won the Young Adult Review Network’s Random Word Contest. &nbsp;In November, my writing will appear in the military anthology PROUD TO BE: WRITING BY AMERICAN WARRIORS, Volume 3. This fall, I continue my education with a MFA for Children and Young Adults from Spalding University.<br /><br /><span style="color: #6aa84f;">Great bio. If this is&nbsp;contemp, I think you need to be very&nbsp;clear about why specifically the Russians are so hated on this campus. Is this an&nbsp;entirely white school and they are the only ethnic group? I find it&nbsp;hard to&nbsp;believe that if&nbsp;there are other ethnic groups present, that the Russians would be the ones to be the focus of all&nbsp;the racial hatred. Be clear about the motivations here, since it's the impetus of the entire story.</span>

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Book Talk & Giveaway: SIDE EFFECTS MAY VARY by Julie Murphy & Giveaway!

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 07 November 2014 · 63 views

My book talks are coming at you from a librarian, not a reviewer. You won't find me talking about style or craft, why I think this could've been better or what worked or didn't work. I only do book talks on books I liked and want other people to know about. So if it's here I probably think it won't injure your brain if you read it.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="[url="https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1371749688l/15728577.jpg"]https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1371749688l/15728577.jpg[/url]" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="320" [url="src="]src="https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1371749688l/15728577.jpg"[/url] width="216" /></a></div>When Alice is diagnosed with leukemia at the age of sixteen, her anger boils over, making her strike out at those who have wronged her. Settling scores with her ex-boyfriend through public humiliation and grinding her arch nemesis into the ground is not something she can do alone. Well aware that her lifelong friend Harvey has always had romantic feelings for her, Alice talks him into helping execute her plans. Harvey goes along for awhile, wanting to do anything that might bring weakening Alice some peace before she's gone.<br /><br />But when her cancer goes into remission, Alice gets a second chance at life... a life that she's ruined on purpose. Alienated from her friends, isolated from her family, and finally having pushed Harvey too far, Alice realizes that getting even might not have been the best way to spend what she thought would be her last days.<br /><br /><a class="rafl" [url="href="]href="http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/2071810b86/"[/url] id="rc-2071810b86" rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway</a><br /><script src="//widget.rafflecopter.com/load.js"></script><br /><br />

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YA Author Skylar Dorset: Waiting For The Phone Call That Will Change Your Life

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 04 November 2014 · 17 views

If there's one thing that many aspiring writers have few clues about, it's the submission process. There are good reasons for that; authors aren't exactly encouraged to talk in detail about our own submission experiences, and - just like agent hunting - everyone's story is different.<br /><br /><a href="[url="http://www.skylardorset.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/2-corrected-199x300.jpg"]http://www.skylardorset.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/2-corrected-199x300.jpg[/url]" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" [url="src="]src="http://www.skylardorset.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/2-corrected-199x300.jpg"[/url] /></a>I managed to cobble together a few non-specific questions that some debut authors have agreed to answer (bless them). And so I bring you the submission interview series - Submission Hell - It's True. Yes, it's the SHIT.<br /><br />Today's guest for the SHIT is <a [url="href="]href="http://www.skylardorset.com/"[/url] target="_blank">Skylar Dorset</a>. Skylar’s first story was a tale of romantic intrigue involving two feuding factions of squirrels. Think “Romeo &amp; Juliet” but with bushy tails and added espionage. She was seven. Since that time, Skylar’s head has been filled with lots of characters and lots of drama. She is delighted to be able to share some of it with all of you now, because, honestly, it was getting pretty loud and crowded in there. Skylar is a born-and-bred New Englander, which is why Boston was a natural setting for her debut novel, <a [url="href="]href="http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781402292538"[/url] target="_blank">THE GIRL WHO NEVER WAS</a>.<br /><br /><b>How much did you know about the submission process before you were out on subs yourself?</b><br /><br /><i>Absolutely nothing. Less than nothing.</i><br /><br /><b>Did anything about the process surprise you?</b><br /><br /><i>I think two things surprised me: (1) How long it ended up taking just to hear back from people; and (2) How helpless I felt during it. Like, frequently the feedback would be very nebulous and subjective and it was so frustrating to think that I had no idea what to do in response, that it just was a “this isn’t for me” thing. It’s like when you just don’t click on a first date or something, you know?</i><br /><br /><b>Did you research the editors you knew had your ms? Do you recommend doing that?</b><br /><br /><i>I didn’t research them, and I’m not sure I’d recommend that. Honestly, I didn’t feel like there was much *I* could do, one way or the other, at that particular point. I’m not sure if knowing stuff about the editors would have helped or would have just fed an unhealthy obsession with stuff that was going on that I couldn’t control.</i><br /><br /><b>What was the average amount of time it took to hear back from editors?</b><br /><br /><i>Hmm. This is a good question. I think a few weeks?</i><br /><br /><b>What do you think is the best way for an author out on submission to deal with the anxiety?</b><br /><br /><i>I kind of tried to ignore it. Like, it’s the kind of thing where the first day you’re like, “OMG! Maybe soon there’ll be a call that will change my life!” And then the second day you’re like, “Hmm, maybe soon there’ll be a call that will change my life.” And then by the third day I decided I had to stop thinking about it or I would go insane.</i><br /><br /><i>So I did other stuff. I know people say to write something new, and I did write new stuff, but I also just kind of enjoyed myself. I decided to try to learn to play the harp (still in process), I watched a lot of television, I taught myself how to use Tumblr. Really, anything that kept my head busy and not dwelling on the submission process. The querying process to get an agent is stressful in and of itself, so I feel like it’s possible my brain just really needed me to give it a break at that point.</i><br /><br /><b>If you had any rejections, how did you deal with that emotionally? How did this kind of rejection compare to query rejections?</b><br /><br /><i>I found the rejections at this point harder to deal with that than query rejections, I must confess. When you’re querying, everyone talks to you a lot about how many rejections you’re going to get, and so you go in bracing yourself. And then, once I got an agent, I think I thought it would be all smooth sailing from there. When it wasn’t, it took me a while to kind of digest it. I felt like I wasn’t well-prepared for it, so I will do my part and try to prepare all of you: There’ll be more rejection. It’ll hurt.</i><br /><br /><i>But, just like looking for an agent (or a significant other, I guess), you really only need one to click, and eventually it came. And I guess the way I dealt with it was to try to distract myself (see above). I kept telling myself that at least one person in the universe really believed in my writing—my agent—so we would find another one, too.</i><br /><br /><b>If you got feedback on a rejection, how did you process it? How do you compare processing an editor’s feedback as compared to a beta reader’s?</b><br /><br /><i>I always take all feedback seriously but I admit that sometimes I got editor’s feedback that I didn’t really know what to do with. With a beta reader, you’ve usually got a long-standing relationship with that person, so I think the feedback is easier for you to understand and digest and then incorporate. With feedback from editors, it’s often a one-time thing, so you just can’t get as good a feel for what it actually *means* for your book, you can’t probe into it.</i><br /><br /><i>That said, I eventually did edit my book pretty thoroughly in response to editor feedback, and I did have a better book afterward, so in the end I found the editor feedback really useful. Although I think I had to wait a little and synthesize the feedback together to get a clearer picture of it all.</i><br /><br /><b>When you got your YES! how did that feel? How did you find out – email, telephone, smoke signal?</b><br /><br /><i>This is actually a good question, but I feel like it’s all a blur now! I think it was an e-mail telling me there’d be a telephone call. But I really wish there had been a smoke signal! Now I feel it was all anticlimactic!</i><br /><br /><i>I was super-excited to get the YES! But I’m a lawyer by training so I have a tendency to not trust anything until the contract is signed. So I took a long time to actually *celebrate.* Then I went out for champagne.</i><br /><br /><b>Did you have to wait a period of time before sharing your big news, because of details being ironed out? Was that difficult?</b><br /><br /><i>I did have to wait a bit, but it wasn’t so difficult because, well, I cheated and told my family and closest friends, and that was really who I wanted to tell in the first place!</i><br /><br />

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The Saturday Slash

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 01 November 2014 · 66 views

Meet my Hatchet of Death (or, some other colorful description&nbsp;<a href="[url="http://www.rclewisbooks.com/"]http://www.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, shoot us an email.<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" [url="src="]src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-oZ52KunZpiM/T_zy5Q521TI/AAAAAAAAArU/EQOi-3pr48Q/s320/NewestSatSlash.jpg"[/url] height="320" width="247" /></a>We all know the first line of a query is your "hook." I call the last line the "sinker." You want it to&nbsp;punch them in the face, in a nice, friendly kind of way that makes them unable to forget you after having read the 300 other queries in their inbox.<br /><br />If you're looking for query advice, but are slightly intimidated by my claws, blade, or just my rolling googly-eyes, check out the query critique boards over at&nbsp;<a [url="href="]href="http://www.agentqueryconnect.com/"[/url] target="_blank">AgentQueryConnect</a>. This is where I got my start, with advice from people smarter than me. Don't be afraid to ask for help with the most critical first step of your writing journey - the query. My comments appear in&nbsp;<span style="color: #6aa84f;">green</span>.<br /><br />In SUFFER THE CHILDREN, Alex, a recovering alcoholic, is slowly regaining horrific lost memories, memories that could expose a decades old ring of human trafficking. <span style="color: #6aa84f;">Cool. I'd rephrase slightly to get rid of the "memories" echo, but this is a&nbsp;succinct, straight-forward hook with interest.</span><br /><br />Thaddeus Cahill lured thousands of Mexican immigrants onto his land, promising them a better life, and then betrayed them by using their bodies as fodder to create a formula, which could clone humans to anyone’s liking. If in the wrong hands, this formula which enables the cloning of humans of any gender, age, or level of intelligence, could be used to create an army of evil in a greedy bid for power, encompassing sexual trafficking and human experimentation. Thaddeus Cahill’s grandnephew is seeking the formula, and his intentions are vile and nefarious; and he’ll destroy and annihilate anyone who attempts to thwart him in his quest. <span style="color: #6aa84f;">You definitely need to revisit some of these sentences and trim them down. There's some excessive&nbsp;comma use and unnecessary phrases at work here that make for run-ons that might provide more detail than necessary. I'm also confused about who Cahill is, exactly.&nbsp;The fact that he's a land owner in Texas (I'm assuming) automatically makes me&nbsp;think "rancher" but then he's cloning people. So now I've got this&nbsp;picture in my mind of a dude in a&nbsp;white lab coat wearing a Stetson. Probably&nbsp;inaccurate.</span><br /><br />Alex must find the formula and destroy it before Cahill’s grandnephew does. If Alex fails, the consequences will be disastrous. <span style="color: #6aa84f;">You've got the plot out here, but I don't know jack about our main character other than 1) he knows things 2) he drinks. How does he know things? Did he&nbsp;work for Cahill? Was he a coyote? Was he a victim? Is he a clone? I definitely need to&nbsp;know more about who this person is and what's at stake for them personally -- is this revenge? retribution? contrition?&nbsp;</span><br /><span style="color: #6aa84f;"><br /></span><span style="color: #6aa84f;">Get more character into this query, for both the good and bad guys. Thaddeus Cahill's rancher/scientist character is present, along with motives- but since&nbsp;his grand-nephew is actually the bad guy in the book we should be&nbsp;talking about him... and we don't even know his name.</span>

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