Sunday, December 19, 2010
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
So, here’s my dilemma. Every so often, I get a beta reader who hands me back my manuscript and says, “I was really confused about X, Y, and Z.”
At first, I was distressed about it. Then I went through a short period of denial and thought they must be stupid because everyone else got it and they didn’t.
And then, I realized something: Hello! This book is written in the FIRST PERSON NARRATIVE. The reader is only getting the information that the main character is getting.
So, if the main character is confused by the information she’s getting, shouldn’t it follow that the reader also be confused? And doesn’t it make sense that only some of my readers are freaking out about it because many readers submerse themselves enough in the character to realize they are supposed to be confused and the answers will eventually reveal themselves?
I’d like some feedback. When is it okay to confuse your reader?
No, that's not my arm. I am not that hairy...or a man.
I'm in excellent spirits lately (If not a little anxious). I've been done with the latest edit to Scar-Crossed for a while and I've been waiting on beta reactions for more than a month. Needless to say, for me, waiting on other people is the hardest part about being a writer. But, patience is a virtue. Just one that I don't possess in great quantities.
Anyway, I'm slowly getting responses and so far, I seem to have done what I set out to do. Let's just hope my agent thinks so too! I've still got ten more days until the beta deadline hits. (BTW, How sad is that, I'm not counting down days till x-mas because I want gifts, but because I want edits, lol. I'm flirting with the idea of taking bets on how many of my betas actually finish by then. Who knows, maybe they'll surprise me and I don't have to be disappointed by another dozen-some-odd people who say they will do something for me and then completely fall through on it. Yes, that is a bitter tone in my type.
Besides that, I'm in high spirits because what I have heard so far is good and I'm hoping to hear some more good. I'm also finally plugging away at my Steampunk. Slowly, but surely. I just like to visualize myself as one of the half-baked pieces of machinery in my novel. Capable of great things, just very slow at achieving them. I'm trying to get the bulk of it on paper by the end of the year and spend the next few months polishing it.
I'm also seriously wrestling the sequel to Scar-Crossed. I know I should have it on the back-burner, but my fans are getting restless and I feel I might have a demi-revolution on my hands if my beta readers don't get to find out what happens next. Originally, I had most of it written and then decided I didn't like it. Yeah, story of my life, I know. But, I've been getting a lot of ideas lately, so hopefully one of them will lead to the golden egg. Hopefully it's this really good idea I had this morning...
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
So, got through a solid 25K this week. Nothing to sneeze at. Of course, it would be better if that was 25K in the Steampunk that I'm supposed to be working on. If I could get through 25k in that, I'd be done by now! Sigh. I'm a bad girl.
Well, at least I'm writing, right? And the sequel to Scar-Crossed does need to get written eventually. So, now I can pick from any of four sequels. Maybe I can make a choose your own adventure novel? Grar. In my own defense, I've been fussing with so many story lines that it was difficult to decide what to put in the sequel. Now I've made the executive decision to push one of the major issues off until the third book and focus on Lacey's discovery of who her father is and what that means for her in the second.
While I work on that, I'm attempting to live-wire the original passion that got me started on the Steampunk by reading the sequels to the two books that got me writing it in the first place. I just started Iron Angel and then I'll move on to Behemoth. We'll see how that goes. I'm also under the impression that because the Steampunk is yet unnamed it isn't yet a being. (This goes back to me feeling like my books are my children and my Anthropological background, don't ask.) So, I'm trying to think of a good title for it. Thinking being the operative word... I'm also going to have a Steampunk movie extravaganza. Hopefully it will get me to write some kick-butt action scenes.
In other news the final version of Scar-Crossed is with more than ten betas. Only one has finished so far and things look good from where she stands. They've got until Christmas to finish it up, but hopefully they'll finish sooner. *Everything crossable, crossed*
I'll also be working on attempting to remodel Will of the Fallen in the case that the Steampunk continues to allude me. I need to be able to show something else once Scar-Crossed gets accepted. Let's just hope I can figure out how to get someone excited about a longish book with a cliff hanger. Hello Tor.
Thursday, November 18, 2010
This weekend I sat in on a panel at FaerieCon and I learned that I'm not the only author whose characters are like real people.
Odd, I know, but I think every other author will agree with me on this. No, we don't need meds and we're not all fans of Inkheart. We're just really good at creating characters. So good, in fact, that sometimes it's almost like they have a life of their own. They become like children or friends. You end up having discussions and arguments with them. Sometimes they do things that you don't want them to do and then you have to figure out how to get them out of it. ...And as Maggie Stiefvater put it, sometimes you just get so frustrated with them that you have to drag them through a side story where they die horribly before you can get them to cooperate.
So, in light of that I decided to spin a little spoof between myself and one of the characters from my WIP. I've been having some problems because Neek (Nekehleis) is trying to jump the gun in this YA steampunk romance. So I think I'll let him try it his way and see what happens. *Sinister Smile* Maybe he'll cooperate after this. Hope you enjoy!
I’m about a quarter of the way through chapter twelve. Neek and Adelle are meditating after one of their classes. Neek opens one eye, peeks at Adelle. She’s got her eyes closed, her brow is furrowed in concentration and she’s got that pout she does. He thinks about how much he likes that intense expression on her face; how much he wants to touch the hair that spills around her face and shoulders; how hard she's trying to get this right -- all for that brat, Madlyn. Neek suddenly shakes his head.
I growl under my breath, annoyed that he’s interrupting my process. “What now?”
Neek takes a deep breath, lets it out. I stare at him expectantly, knowing he’s about to say something he knows I’m not going to like. “I’m going to kiss her.”
I blink. “What?" I squeak. "Now? You can’t do that!”
He cocks his head, stares at her lovingly. Oh, if only she saw that expression. She’d kill him for sure. “Why not?”
I throw up my hands, upsetting my tea and scaring the cat. “Are you stupid? She’s your enemy’s daughter!”
“So, she’s trying to kill you.” I start mopping up my tea.
“Yes, I know. I had a vision about that, remember? I’ve got that whole Solar Seer thing going for me.”
“See? Even Ehleis is trying to tell you that she’s trying to kill you. Use your head, Neek, I made you smart for a reason.”
“What if you mean “and?” Hello! If she kills you I won’t have a story and Ehleis won’t have a Blessing. We’re covering our asses here.”
Neek bites his lip. “Maybe if I kiss her, she won’t kill me.”
“If you kiss her I’ll have to make her kill you,” I say with a sigh. “I made her that way. The readers expect it.”
“I’ll take my chances and hope you like me enough not to let Adelle kill me. The readers will like it better if I kiss her. Sex sells.”
I get a bad mental image of attempting to navigate a love scene around Neek's wings and Adelle's ridiculous outfit. Scowling, I attempt a new approach. “Sleeping with the heiress of the Empire? The empire that’s besmirching the natural world with it’s mechanical abominations and alchemical warfare? Ehleis wouldn’t like it.”
Neek’s eyes widen. “No? I think it’s an excellent idea.”
“You’re seventeen, Neek, the only thought processes you have come through your penis.”
“Well, my penis thinks it’s an excellent idea,” Neek says with a shrug. “Besides, wasn’t Ehleis the one who told us to go forth and prosper?”
I cross my arms. “There’s no way in hell I’m letting you two prosper, Neek. This isn’t Twilight.”
Neek glances out the window. “No, I’d say it’s just about mid-morning. That's a great time for sex. We can have lunch afterward.”
I slap my palm against my forehead. “No it’s a- Oh, just forget it.”
“So,” Neek ventures cautiously. “Kissing Adelle?”
“If I had my way you’d wait a few chapters before doing that. I’m not responsible for what happens if you kiss her before she’s ready.”
Neek grins. “Of course not.”
I give him a worried look. He's really going to do it. Stupid kid. “She’s still carrying that dagger under her skirt.”
His grin grows a little wider. “I know.”
I lean back and give him my most petulant expression I can manage. “I really hate working with you sometimes.”
Neek cuts his eyes at me. “You’re no gift to fiction yourself, A.L.. I mean, violet eyes? Come on, even Lilith got it better than I did.”
"Oh, have I offended your masculinity?" I reach out, pull the keyboard closer, and threateningly settle my fingers back on home row. “It's not too late to make them pink. Now shut up and kiss her already, I want to get to the part where she circumcises you.”
Monday, November 15, 2010
So this past weekend I went to FaerieCon in Baltimore. Is it possible to be both disappointed and pleased with something? That's kind of how I feel about this con.
My biggest gripe was the lack of panels. I'm used to going to conventions that have like ten panels going on at once and this one had only one or two panel tracks. While I guess that's good cause then people can get to see everything they want to, it can make things boring for people who don't want to visit a particular panel and have walked around the dealers market eight times already. I was also expecting it to have more attendees. I guess it was still a pretty good size, but I was assuming it would be larger for some reason. In all it was a fine convention...I don't know, I guess my expectations were too high?
I can't complain about the music or dealers market, I also can't complain about the guest speakers/presenters. All of them were high caliber, professional, and wonderful. I mean Brian and Wendy Froud? HELLO?!
There were two panels given by authors of faerie, so obviously I went to both. It was great to get an insider's look at what other authors do/do not like about other pieces that are coming out in the genre. Two important ones: retain the idea of consequence (the negative aspect) and do your research! It was also great to hear about how other authors approach their craft. I kept nodding my head and wanting to answer questions that some of the audience members had. It's a great feeling when you know you've gotten far enough along as a writer that you feel comfortable enough with most questions being asked. It made me feel like I was ready for one of my own panels!
I got to meet a number of my favorite authors in the genre. It's no surprise that both Melissa Marr and Maggie Stiefvater are awesome people and super approachable. I had been really nervous because, I while am a fan, I wanted to approach them as a colleague. I also had to contend with a slight bit of social anxiety I get when I'm conversing with people that I want to impress. Lucky for me, Melissa had made a comment about young authors needing mentors and that any established author who received help when they first started out should return the Karmic favor. Since I consider both Maggie and Melissa to be very inspirational figures, I bit the bullet and stood in line to talk to them. All in all, it went well. I jumped in said my bit and got out before I turned beet red, although I didn't manage to avoid the shaking. I just tried to play it off like I had normative internal tremors, but I feel really bad for the girl who asked me to take a picture of her with Maggie, her pictures came out sort of blurry...Sorry!
The masquerade balls were...well, they didn't meet my expectations. The costumes were absolutely fabulous, the music was good, and the general ambiance was suitable. BUT PEOPLE WEREN'T DANCING! Hello, this is a ball! People dance at balls! Faeries dance when they hear music! To be fair, the music wasn't all that conducive to dance, unless you're expecting very slow emotive dancing -- which faeries do, but people kind of suck at. Don't get me wrong, the music was great, but not dance music. The Bad Faeries ball was a little better than the Good Faeries ball. Once Faun came on, people started moving around. But the issue with the Bad Faeries ball was that it was PACKED. It's hard to dance when you can't move. I was wearing feather wings and they got mauled. Tips for improvement: Livelier dance music, larger ballroom, and some hired dancers to break in the crowd.
I can't complain about the merchants. There was a crap ton of stuff and I wanted at least half of it. However, I limited myself. My Picks?
Renae Taylor. This artist has some of the most beautiful fantasy art I've ever seen. I first saw her at NY FaerieFest, then again at the NY Renaissance Faire, and finally caved when I saw her at Faeriecon.
Celine Chapus. I walked by her booth, did a double take, and practically pounced. I LOVE this artist. I have a weak spot for manga and anime, and her style falls neatly in the heart throb position. If there was an artist I'd give my book to and say "Go forth and draw this," it would be her. "I Will Find You" stole my heart.
Jasmine Becket-Griffith. Her art centers around mythical ladies who look like institutionalized Bratz dolls, but there is something absolutely lovable about each once of her creations. I wanted a large print of one of her renditions of Alice in Wonderland, but there weren't any more, so I went for a collection of Alice minis instead.
I didn't get anything from Jennifer Pierson, but gosh did I ever want to. If you ever want a pair of kick-ass faerie wings, this is your lady! If I go next year, I'm so getting one of her pieces!
Music: Out of five musical guests, Faun and Adam Hurst stood out. I have a weakness for bagpipes and cellos, so that might have something to do with it...certainly more to do with it than my weakness for attractive blond guys :) haha, no seriously, their music is haunting and electrical. Not excitement electrical, but buzz down your nerves, soul shiver electrical. When your soul wants to get out and start moving, then you know you've found something delicious.
All in all, I had more fun than disappointment. As long as next year's programming proves to be as good as this years, then I'll probably go again. Especially since now, I know what to expect and plan accordingly.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
It's official. I seriously need to be a better blogger. Why?
HOLY CRAPS I GOT AN AGENT.
Yeah, that's why.
This is my happy story: So, I finished Scar-Crossed in December. I had my betas read and finished edits in February. Started querying in March. Heard back from Agent 1 in May asking for a partial. Agent 1 asked for the full. Agent 1 wants me to try a re-write. I re-write and send back in August. In September Stella Price convinces me to try pitching to some small press editors at Authors After Dark, a para-rom conference I was going to be attending. I was like, "Eh, okay."
Little did I know that she signed me up with an agent as well. So, I pitched Agent 2 and she was like, "I like the idea. If Agent 1 doesn't take it, then I'll look at it." I proceed to get to know Agent 2 while at the convention and come to the conclusion that she's an awesome lady.
One week later, Agent 1 turns me down. I send Scar-Crossed to Agent 2. Agent 2 emails me, wants to talk on the phone. We talk on the phone. Agent 2 isn't even done and she wants to represent me. I'm like, "HOLY CRAP." Coolest part? She even offered to try and get any other agents I preferred to take a look at it. That's what sold me. She cares enough about my success as an author to give up a manuscript that she was willing to take before she was even done reading it. Since then I've come to think she's even more awesome. Top reasons my agent is awesome: She gets back to me in a timely fashion, communicates well, is willing to invest time and effort in me -- this includes phone conversations that go over an hour (even though I'm a newbie), and she's interested in humanitarian efforts which just makes her a good person.
So, I'm not really all that bothered by missing out on Agent 1 because I really like who I ended up working with. :) Louise Fury of the L. Perkins Agency is my agent and I'm darn proud of it!
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Sometimes I get the feeling that I'm some sort of under-programmed automaton.
Anybody else ever feel like that?
So, I'm slowly winning the battle with my writer's block. It's taking a lot of television, various visits to random fairs of interest, and tearful therapy sessions with my muse (she needs a leash and about five pints of Schnapps before she'll even listen to my demands, I swear). Ha, that makes me sound like some kind of BDSM alcoholic. Disclaimer: my muse is entirely a fickle creature of fiction and in no way shape or form reflects my personal sexual tendencies or drinking habits.
In all honesty, the best method I've come up with for combating my block is Writer's ADD. Tried and true, jumping from one project to the next -- often times scrapping what I've already written and starting anew (trust me, my characters are just as confused as I look) -- seems to be working. It's also spilling into my personal life. I've started like ten new television series (thank God for Hulu and NetFlix) and I'm in the middle of about five books. All I can say is: It's a good thing I'm happily married.
I'm cutting down on the audio books, listening instead to NPR and music while I'm at work. And I've decided to start reading things that wouldn't normally intrigue me enough to shell out the cash to purchase them. Lucky for me I recently attended a conference where I was generously showered with gifts. I came home with about 32 books, most of which are some kind of erotica.
So, I picked up the book full of paranormal gay erotica and I'm finding it quite enjoyable. Who would have guessed? And who knows, maybe I'll try my hand at it one of these days. Eh, who am I kidding? Everyone knows I've secretly written a steamy scene between every character of romantic interest for each of my books. Yes, all you Jeremy/Silver Rings/Amaya and Connor/Taylor/Lacey shippers, it does it exist! Even I can't deny the fanficer inside! And I utterly refuse to be judged.
Anywho, I'm still fighting the good fight, refusing to go down and all that. Still looking for an agent, but I feel really confident with everything that's been happening lately. So, fingers, toes, and other prehensile body parts crossed. On a breathtakingly good note, I finally finished plotting out the As-Yet-Unnamed-Steampunk. If I shoot for a low word count, I'm like 3/4 done.
But we all know I haven't even begun to tell the story! My issue is too much of the Free State and not enough Empire face time. If I'm going to sell this as a legit Steampunk, there has to be enough technological wonder. While the techno-babble I need for the Empire is continuing to elude me, I'm making headway on constructing the required scenes. Adelle's journey into the Free State allows for a lot of this. One airship trip to the intercontinental steam train and then an attack by Her Majesty's Fourth Air Raid Squadron should make it more interesting. It allows a couple spots for Neek and the other Seers to combat the Empire with the Suldal. It will probably be the highest action sequence in the book, so it has to be perfect.
Would you believe I spent 45 minutes last week just listening to YouTube clips of steam trains and steam engines? I think I finally have the noises and processes down. The airships are something entirely different. Sometimes I wish this book was in first person. It'd be so much easier to be all like, "I'm a spoiled princess that grew up in a social bubble, how would I know what that springy thing does?" I'm lucky that I'm at least working with one POV at a time.
Anyway, I should finish my descriptions for this poll so that I can get to working on said action sequence. I'm hoping to finish this manuscript within the next few weeks. Wish me luck!
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
So, Scar-Crossed has been Frankensteined at the request of the agent in question. After two weeks of rewriting to improve and two months of completely badgering my betas to hurry up and read the damned thing, the agent gave me a gentle nudge and I was like forget this, I'm sending it without your input. So, now the MS is in the hands of God and the agent. Who in my world, are pretty much the same thing at the moment. But, the agent's assistant said she really liked my writing, so I hope that's a good sign.
I spend my days neurotically checking email, glancing at my cell phone, obsessing over a continuous selection of audiobooks, and trying not to freak out about my writers block. I'm pretty sure the block is just from frayed nerves and fried editing cells, but no writer likes to feel blank. I'm slowly applying some concepts and slogging through a page here and there.
In book reviews:
Three books into Maxium Ride, and the first in Daniel X. I'm okay with James Patterson writing YA, he's got some out there concepts. But come on man. Wackadoo? What 15 year old in his right mind would refer to his alien foe as a wackadoo? On happier terms I actually like Max, which is new for pretty much every female protag I've been reading lately. She doesn't make me want to shake her silly.
I have to say Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games series literally ate my life for five days. Couldn't stop thinking about it. Couldn't stop talking over it. Made my husband read it. Lost sleep over it. And was finally satisfied when Katniss ended up with Peeta instead of Gale and neither of them died. To be honest, I wasn't sure what was going to happen in the end. Collins writes in such a way that you don't know who's going to die next, who's going to come up tortured into craziness, or who is going to betray who. I loved Peeta, hated Gale, wanted to punch Katniss; but somehow that dynamic made me want to keep reading. I'm SO glad there's going to be a movie and that she's writing the screen-play. It's not going to be butchered by Hollywood. Now, we just need the casting director not to flop like they did in Twilight and I'll be all set.
I read Carrie Ryan's The Forest of Hands and Teeth in one day and was like WTF? Where's the rest? So, I had to get The Dead-Tossed Waves, just to see what happens to everyone else. I had been operating under the assumption that Gabry was Mary's love child with either Travis or Harry (which I guess Ryan wanted us to think) and was totally thrown when we learned that she was a foundling and Mary is an old woman. But I'm happy she finally went looking for everyone and ended up back with Harry. By the end of the book I decided I love this series and even though the characters frustrate me, they're realistic. Can't wait for the last installment!
Since everyone knows how much I loved Shiver, it's no surprise I picked up Lament and Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater. Both are awesome because they hit close to home with me. (Since Hill Dwellers is also based in Faerie). As guessed, I wasn't a huge fan of Dee, but I loved Luke, James, and Nuala. (Who's name reminds me of Nuada and I have to wonder about any relation to Hell Boy II: The Golden Army.) I'm hoping she writes another book in this series? Cause I think there should be a bit more closure between Dee and Luke. And Dee and the fae in general? And I still want to be Maggie's best friend.
Since I was on a faerie kick...I also picked up Leslie Livingston's Wonderous Strange and Darklight. Again, not a fan of the female protag, Kelley, but I'm curious about Livingston's world building in this series. I want to know more about the politics and what happens to Sonny now that his powers are unleashed. Holy Greenman vs. Hunter.
What else...Started Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse series. I'm still trying to decide if I like it or not...but I've gone through two books already, so I guess I must. I guess it's like Twilight in that sense. I can't figure out why I like it, but somehow I do.
I've also eaten through five Orson Scott Card books. Which makes me think he must be one of my favorites.
So, I've decided on some favorite authors. Orson Scott Card, Scott Westerfeld, Maggie Stiefvater, Carrie Ryan, Suzanne Collins, Philip Pullman, and Neil Gaiman.
I'm working through The Fallen series by Thomas Sniegoski. I'm enjoying it a lot, so he's probably on the list too.
There are a couple more since the last post, but I lost count. I have to go check my list.
Sunday, June 13, 2010
When I ask the question: Who's awesome?
The answer "me" comes to mind.
That's cause I feel super full of wonderfuls (yes, that is a cereal and no, you can't have any) because I totally rocked the house yesterday. In this past week, I've written 50 pages for The Changeling Hunt. Thirty of those pages were written yesterday and I'm just about 100% on where I want to go with the rest of it. Now I just need to get it on paper. This thrills me to giggles because there's a strong possibility that I'll finish The Changeling Hunt before vacation and I can start working on The-Yet-Unnamed-Steampunk-Novel that I started three months ago.
In other news, rejections for queries are coming in at a slow crawl, but that's okay cause the agent who IS going to represent me already has the full manuscript and is reading it right this minute. I'm expecting her call this evening. Don't you just love my affirmative attitude?
This week I completed Kristin Cashore's Graceling. Four and a half hearts out of five. And I picked up another of Sherilyn Kenyon's Dark Hunter novels, Dark Side of the Moon. I enjoyed it and have no complaints about repetitive language this time. probably because it was much smaller than Acheron. Although, I was a pinch confused. Kenyon claims everything can be ready out of order, but I'm apparently a few Ah-Ha bulbs short of your average reader...or something...
I'm currently reading Danielle Trussoni's Angelology. Can we say excited? I love angel fiction, especially when it actually bothers to incorporate religion and doesn't just shove some random Nephilim in for love interest. Can we say "gag on current YA?" Okay, I admit I toss angels into nearly everything I write, but at least my stuff makes sense.
As exoected, I'm also finally finishing Rhonda Byrne's The Secret (which I'm integrating into my life). Please read the following:
I'm so happy and grateful now that I have a literary agent who loves everything I write. I'm very happy and grateful now that my book has gone to auction, sold for a healthy chunk of cash, and I've been signed for the next two books in the series. I'm super happy and grateful now that I'm published. I'm uber happy and grateful now that I'm a New York Times Bestseller and can afford to write full time. I absolutely adore and am grateful for my readers, my agent, my editor, my publisher, the world at large, and of course the very beneficent and colossally attentive universe.
I think that about sums it up.
I figure it's not all that much to ask since I already have nearly everything else I want. Being a successful writer is pretty much all I want out of life these days.
Oh yes, and I want the interlibrary loans to allow me to check out the audiobooks I want.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
I'm totally bummed that I can't be at BEA (Book Expo America) this week.
One the bright side:
I now have two agents with full manuscripts in their possession. They are both supposed to get back to me in about two months. *Cue Jeopardy theme* Plus, I sent out a bunch of additional queries, so hopefully someone will actually respond this round.
I purchased new Vibram five finger toe shoes. (KSOs en noir if you must know) They are interesting feeling and apt to doom your calves to a week of slow agonizing pain if you're stupid enough to try soling a mile run on the first trial run. Despite that setback, I'm willing to let the blisters and muscle pain fade and try making soling a part of my existence.
I discovered the wonders of Whole Foods supermarket, peach scones, and the beverage, Honeydrop.
I'm attempting to slog through my writer's block. I've officially tied together three chapters to The Changeling Hunt (sequel to Scar-Crossed) and plotted a possible ending. I'm just wondering how I'm going to fit everything into one book and not make my readers hate me for what I plan to do to one of the main characters. *Cue maniacal laugh*
I'm reading Soulless by Gail Carriger. It's terribly wonderful and I want to be best friends with Gail. I feel like she'd be a friend like Sarah (with who you aren't acquainted, but she's a lady of a particularly interesting shade of wonky brilliance). I friended Gail on Twitter and she actually friended me back. I'm taking it as a sign cause she happens to be repped by one of the agents that has my manuscript.
Speaking of Twitter, I got ten new followers this weekend! (That's exciting because I'm trying to get as many followers as I can before the book comes out. It makes PR so much easier when people actually read and follow your work. Not like a certain blog...that no one reads. *Cue fake smile*
I'm listening to The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks. I'm not willing to comment on it at the moment. Let's just say that I'm getting winded by the repetitiveness of the epic fantasies I've been selecting for myself of late. *Cue loud, obnoxious snore*
Finally, the hubs and I changed the radiator in Kitty this weekend. There was literally a massive hole in the radiator and bits of it were strewn all about the engine well. Can't be good. So I'm proud of the hubs for being all mechanical and I'm proud of me cause...well, no reason in particular, but there's no reason not to have a bit of self esteem, now is there?
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Okay, so you might be wondering why I've titled this long-over-due blog post "The Secret." Well, I've got two reasons.
Reason number one: I've been keeping a secret. Well, I haven't been keeping it, really. If you follow any one of my other sites, then you'd know that I've been pretty verbal about this particular secret. However, I have to feel guilty that I haven't been giving my blog nearly enough love and spaghetti lately. So, I'm telling it the big secret.
Pssst. There is an agent with a full manuscript of Scar-Crossed.
This is the part where, if my blog were human, it would get all pissy and whine that I didn't even tell it that I was sending out queries, let alone sent out a partial, let alone sent out a full, let alone waited two weeks to talk about it.
All I can do it shrug and insist that I didn't want to jinx myself. But, as it has become quite apparent over the years, I have no patience. I need to stew about my good fortune somewhere.
So, lets talk about the significance of this achievement. An agent having a full manuscript is just what the doctor ordered for this budding novelist. Why? Well, not only is this novelist admittedly impatient, but she's also unfairly harsh on herself. That's why I take critiques so well. Score one for me, no one else can tell me I suck in quite as nasty a manner as I can.
So, while everyone was glomping and sqeeing over Scar-Crossed, I was insistent that they were just saying they liked it because they were my friends and family or just very nice people who didn't want to hurt my feelings.
What mattered to me was what people in the industry thought about my book. Having an agent read part of my manuscript and like it enough to ask to read the whole thing makes me feel a little better about my writing. I mean, I could still be a sucktastic novelist, but at least I've got enough there for someone important to admit to liking what they've seen so far. I keep telling myself that as I wallow in the fact that no other agents have taken the bait (yet). So, maybe this was a match meant to be?
Okay, so back to the second reason for calling this "The Secret." In celebration of an "edge of your seat, bite your finger-nails to the quick" moment, I'm invoking some good juju/karma with some positivity. This important step comes compliments of the well-known book The Secret, written by Rhonda Byrne! Admittedly I haven't read the whole thing, but I do own it and it has been imbued with positive energy and an encouraging note. It might have even been anointed and baptized, you never know with the person who gave it to me...
Any-who, I get the thrust of The Secret. Think happy thoughts! Only happy thoughts! Think of what you want. Envision what you want. If you build it, they will come! - just don't feed them hot dogs.
Needless to say, I've had a ton of trippy imaginary book signings, awards speeches, and New York Times Bestseller status happy dances in the past few months.
Since this particular agent asked for the full manuscript I've been honing my positive energy toward her accepting me under contract. I know it sounds sort of creepy, but I've revisited the agent's website and committed her picture to memory. Every few minutes I envision her sitting up way past her bedtime, completely entranced by my book. Then I imagine her grinning over the phone when she calls to tell me she's all about representing Scar-Crossed. I've even gone so far as to imagine the office dog barking on the other end or maybe mentioning how utterly in love with my manuscript she is on her blog. (Hey, a girl can dream big-headed thoughts)
I know that sounds super awkward, but I need every little bit I can get and hey, if it's true that our brains only use a small portion of what they're capable of using then, who knows, maybe I will change the molecular state of things. Ew, totally had a sci-fi moment there.
Anyway, wish me luck, shoot positive ions in my general direction, and send your psychic influence to the agent in question. HORRAY for Scar-Crossed!
Monday, March 1, 2010
I realize I've done an absolutely appalling job of actually keeping up with my blog. Eh, what can I say? I have nothing to say? No, that's not quite it. I have plenty to say, just not the time to say it. I'd much rather be spending my time writing and trying to get published then writing a blog. That's pretty much it. But, I have enough to tell you about now that I warrant it necessary to write a new blog post.
First, I'd like to say that Scar-Crossed is just about ready to make her debut to the publishing realm. I've had about ten beta-readers read her and give her a glowing review. Most edits are complete, the query and the summary are in the final review stages, and the prospective agent list is officially three pages long. All I have to do now, is have patience enough to wait for my last few readers to send me edits.
On another note, all three of the next Hill Dweller novels have been hashed out and begun. Oh, wait, you don't even know about the Hill Dweller Series yet! Okay, the Hill Dweller series will be all the books that center around the fairy realm created in Scar-Crossed. So, of course, Scar-Crossed will be the first Hill Dweller novel. The Changeling Hunt, the sequel to Scar-Crossed, will be the second novel. The Changeling Hunt is completely plotted out, about thirty pages in, and will answer all the questions about what happens to Lacey and Connor after the Seelie Court finds out that Connor took the last available Walker.
I also have two books that are re-tellings that also fit into this series...but I can't tell you about them. Top secret and all that. Sorry, I guess I'm paranoid that someone will steal my ideas. But trust me, they're exciting. I'm practically bursting with the need to share them. I will tell you that they are titled Tamrin and Fauning Over You.
In other news, I've been reading and listening up a storm. I've nearly finished my list of YA paranormal romance novels and I'm starting on my Steam-Punk list. This week I read Scar Night, a novel by Alan Campbell, and I finished listening to Leviathan, a YA novel by Scott Westerfeld. Both were excellent, but I have to say that as far as sequels go, I'm totally more interested in what happens next for the characters in Leviathan. It may just be that Westerfeld has this obnoxious knack for writing cliff-hangers. How does he get away with it?! Cause he's awesome, that's why! Can you tell I've read him before? I think the man is a genius. And if I weren't a writer, I'd be totally unprofessional and dorky and probably stalk him. Kidding. But seriously, the things he comes up with! Uglies and Pretties? Darwinists and Clankers? Leviathan was like Blue Sub. 6 meets World War I. I found myself calling everything Bum-Rag for at least two days after finishing it.
I thought Scar Night was good too, but for different reasons. Campbell is really good at spreading the jelly over the toast. Where Westerfeld tends to follow only one or two characters, Campbell has you reading the POV of at least five. All of his characters are thick with motive and are being used as pawns by someone else. I like the conspiracy of the book. Probably because it reminds me so much of That Which Lies in Darkness. The only issue I really had with it was that the book often followed the antagonist more than the protagonist. I found myself wanting to read more about Dill and Rachel, not Mr. Nettle and Devon. However, the interesting aspect of this novel (and I'm reminded once again of TWLID) is that you don't really know who the bad guy is. The antagonists seem to have clear motives and you find yourself sympathizing with them. I guess I'm just more interested in angels and possible romantic interests? Blame it on the YA novels I've been reading lately.
Anyway, that's all for now. I have to be off soon to have myself photographed for a photo journal! I feel popular.
Sunday, January 24, 2010
Sorry I've sucked at posting lately. It's worth the baited breath, promise! Wait for it, wait for it, ready? If you're staring at the image and thinking I'm going to tell you I'm preggers, get over it! I finished another book! (Which is my mental equivalent to birthing a child. Trust me it's a slow painful process and yes, you can get fat from it).
Introducing Scar-Crossed, my new young adult paranormal romance! Officially stand alone quality. Officially not a tome. Officially dark and romantic. Officially another book with a drool worthy love interest. Officially going to be heck and half to sell to an agent cause the market for paranormal romance isn't exactly starving for fairy angst, but it's a bit more marketable than TWLID. So, I'm excited.
The first two betas currently have it and then it's off to at least six more. This time I'm being more careful with who I send it to, so hopefully I'll get faster and better feedback than with TWLID.
On another exciting note: I went to Arisia this past weekend and it rocked. I watched a number of panels on folklore and fairy tales, oh, and gender and female protags. I wanted to get on some of those panels and make connections to my book! (That's a good thing) It means that I'm really starting to come into myself as a novelist. I was a little surprised that many of the novelists on these panels didn't talk about their own writing when they obviously could have. I mean, come on, promote yourself people!
I got to go to a book-launch party for Danielle Ackley-McPhail's new novel The Halfling's Court. It sounds like a very exciting novel and I'll be purchasing it when I go to Lunacon this year. You should get it too, just 'cause Danielle is awesome. I also met a photographer/UF novelist and a historical reenactment guy...who gave me an intensive lesson on the use of the highland hand-and-a-half sword. (Exciting because now I can write believable sword-play scenes in the Blood Heritage Series). To cap off my vacation, I got caught in a snowstorm on the way home! BUT, I mapped out the plot to the sequel to Scar-Crossed and I wrote the first chapter this past Monday.
I'll be writing more, but I have to finish all the library books that I took out. I think I've read eight since since my last post? Maybe more? I'm trying to study my genre, so it's all about the YA paranormal/urban fantasy novels these days. I'm not even going to bother critiquing them because I've gone through so many. Just pray no one takes my idea before I can pitch the novel.