Saturday, September 29, 2012

1st Page Critique Contest--Last Call

Writer's Therapy is hosting a first page contest...

Grand Prize for 3 talented winners
Query critique from agent Sara Crowe, Harvey Klinger
Query critique from agent Molly Ker Hawn, The Bent Agency
1st Chapter critique from Nicole Resciniti, The Seymour Agency

Head on over and enter here:

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Query Critique

Two weeks ago I volunteered to have my query for IGNITE critiqued over at Oasis for YA. Four of the Oasis ladies were gracious enough to take the time to offer up their suggestions. Check it on here: Whoseywhatsit Thursday: Our Critiques

Here is the revised query based on the feedback I received from the Oasis Sisters...

Competitive swimmer Alison Summers should be back home in Nevada celebrating her seventeenth birthday at the pool with her best friend and not running from her grandmother’s killers. But no one, including her family, believes Ali’s story, anyway. Not once the autopsy determines the cause of death is cancer and she’s branded with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. No one except WitWatch—a top-secret and experimental branch of the Witness Protection Program operated by agents with supernatural abilities.

But, she’s not crazy, and she’ll prove it. To expose the killers, Ali must trust a fire-wielding Watcher with a classified past. Only Agent William Reed is keeping deeper secrets: like his ability to transfer thoughts into other minds. Following an attack by a discharged sect of Watchers, Will mysteriously disappears leaving her doubting his alliance. When Ali learns she possesses his matching element, Water, her new ability helps track down Will and a link to who killed her Gram. But that’s not all she finds: a rouge Watcher with an antibody to eliminate supernatural powers has resurfaced. And Ali’s next on his to-cure list. Now, Ali needs to decide if the world is better off with or without her kind. But either choice may lead to losing someone she loves.

IGNITE is a 72,000 word YA paranormal novel with romantic elements and suspenseful twists that will appeal to readers who enjoyed Kelly Armstrong’s DARKEST POWERS trilogy.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Tuesday's Thought...

You know you're a writer when. . .

You know you're a writer when you own more books than shoes.

Your turn.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Know When To Hold 'Em, Know When To Fold 'Em

After receiving four very nice rejection letters from four very nice agents just this week alone, I've decided to take a closer look at the project I've been submitting for the last month.

First off, the title. While I personally love the title, EVENING STAR, because I know the true, symbolic meaning behind why I picked it. Others do not. (The real "evening star" is not actually a star at all, but the planet Venus. Hmmm...something disguised as something it's not?) Well, as much as I like it, that title just doesn't connect with my query and convey the message needed to catch the eye of agents or readers. So, that was the first thing to go. Now, I have retitled it IGNITE, (which was the original title of the first chapter). One word titles seem to be the trend lately, as far as I can tell. And, as my novel has supernatural elements involving fire, this suits it quite well.

Secondly, the genre. It appears YA Paranormal Romance is a dead genre. Who knew? Well, maybe I did, a little. But, it's what I love to read, so naturally it's what I love to write. Gosh darn it, we should all be able to write what we love, right? A bunch of heads nod in agreement. Well, that might be the case, but it might not get you published either. And the whole point of this writing thing is to get published. So, what's a girl to do? Answer: write what will get  published. Of course, it took me five LONG years to complete my current novel and while I have another WIP brewing at the moment (I've written some pages), I'm having a hard time kicking the "love-of-my-life" to the curb. Again, so what's a girl to do? Answer: change the genre.

I happened upon a book called, BURN TO BURN by Jenny Han, which was of all things....a YA Contemporary Paranormal novel. I had no idea those two genres were even allowed to coexist. But I should have. When writing my own novel, I struggled between how contemporary it was (I really tried hard to have regular teens with everyday struggles), BUT how there were also those that had supernatural abilities. Alas, I see now that my genre can be Contemporary Paranormal without having to make any BIG changes, (and that's not a "dead" genre). But, it doesn't stop there. No, there's more. YA thriller is a hot genre right now. Not that I wanted to jump on that bandwagon, but originally, my story was about a girl and her Watcher/Guardian angel friends tracking down the leader of a rebel Watcher (think Fallen angel) who was after her and her dead grandmother for their abilities. But, I decided to take the "angel" element out of the story because angels seem to be SOOO two seconds ago (according to the feedback I've received), and instead someone (human) murders her grandmother and then my MC tries to find the killer. Hence, the addition of the thriller element to the genre.

So, did I hold 'em or fold 'em? Neither really. I'm not going to trunk the novel until things look up OR completely give up on it. Nope. I've decided to take what I love--love it even more--and then send it out into the cruel, cruel world again. If it comes back wounded, again, I will bandage it up and THEN decide whether to hold 'em or fold 'em . . . or even walk away or RUN!

Have you had any similar experiences when you weren't sure if you should hold 'em or fold 'em? What did you do??

Thursday, September 13, 2012

50-Page Critique Opportunity!!

Ru is treating everyone to a chance to win a 50 page critique from her. Go HERE for more info. She will announce the winners Friday, 12PM MST so you'd better hurry on over!

Pimp my Pitch...Log line, tagline, hook--whatever you want to call it.

In preparation for Miss Snark's First Victim contest,  (Our Third Annual Baker's Dozen Agent Auction: Schedule and Facts!), and GUTGAA (Sign Up Time for the Gearing Up to Get an Agent Blogfest/Pitch Contest), I am posting my pitch for my followers (and even those just stopping by) to review. I welcome all constructive advice. =)

Impulsive seventeen-year-old Abigail Montgomery is determined to trust her assigned Watcher—a fire-wielding angel with an arsonist past, but when the leader of a rebel-sect--exiled to Outer Darkness--wreaks havoc against those who keep him bound, that trust is put to the ultimate test.

Please feel free to critique/offer feedback/rip-to-shreds/or even rave in the comment section. Thanks!!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Ice cream solves everything, really.

I've always wanted to be a writer. I mean, I've also wanted to be a dolphin training at Sea World, a nurse, and a kindergarden teacher. But, I've ALWAYS wanted to be a writer--a full-fledged author acknowledged by her peers and beloved by her readers. In third grade I wrote and illustrated my very first book, JAKE THE SNAKE, with rave reviews: I won first place at my elementary school for the lower grades, K-3. My book went on to compete at the district level. Needless to say, I was ecstatic. However, like countless others that entered, it didn't win. Needless to say, I was devastated. I distinctly remember the car ride home: sitting in the passenger's seat picking at the grey vinyl on the door handle while my dad tried to figure out what to say to the teary-eyed mess I'd become. A man of few words-a trip to the local Dairy Queen was the solution. Ice cream solves everything, really. So, now that I've written my first "Big girl" novel, I won't cry or struggle to find the right words as those query letter rejections keep piling up. Instead, I'll just go grab a pint of Ben and Jerry's Heath Bar Crunch...because ice cream solves everything, really.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Thought for the day...

If you have 50 empty, white hangers in your closet it might be time to stop writing and start a load of laundry.