Friday, January 30, 2009

A Were---What???--When you've squeezed the "were" group just a little too hard and too many times.

I’m an avid fan of the werewolf. Sure he has large teeth, canine breath, and an abundance of body hair, but I don’t judge. Because there is simply something about him that appeals to me. It’s that innate sensuality. That total loss of control and breaking out into another form when the full moon rises. It’s hot, I tell ya.
However, I am not so enthused about the werehyena. Or the wererat. Or any other odd “were” that writers sometimes use.
The “were” prefix is sometimes added to an animal name to denote the animal as a shapeshifter of sorts. It works best with animals that have some sort of appeal whereas popping “were” onto the front of the word “ferret” is decidedly lacking.
Werecougar? A bit hot. Werebeaver? *groan* The visual this conjures has the capacity to undo me and send me into gales of laughter every time.
Just because you CAN pop “were” onto the beginning of a word doesn’t mean you should. Forgo being the writer who uses the term “werearachnid.” MaryJanice Davidson did but that doesn’t make it right. And by the way, I’m fairly sure she has a bit more leeway than the rest of us.

I’m all for originality. And it’s mighty tempting to try and boldly go where few or none have gone before.
But here’s the truth: Keep going out on that literary “were” branch and pretty soon the limb shrinks to the size of a toothpick, and you’re left with your butt swaying in the breeze just waiting to drop into the abyss.
Show some restraint. Show some creativity. But for heaven’s sake, don’t show me a werebeaver. I won’t be responsible for my actions.
Grins,
Crystal Inman*
http://chryswriter.tripod.com
http://chryscat.blogspot.com

By the way, I just wanted to say THANKS to all the great ladies here at the blog. Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

Welcome, Crystal!

Today's guest blogger is Crystal/C'ann Inman*

Crystal Inman is a multi-published bestselling Oklahoma author of Romance. She writes Paranormal, Contemporary, Time Travel, and Fantasy Romance. Crystal also writes Erotic Romance under the pen name, C’ann Inman. She has the Number One Bestselling Title of 2006 for Whiskey Creek Press Torrid with What He Wants, an Erotic Paranormal Romance. What He Wants also received four stars from Romantic Times Magazine.

She continues to broaden her spectrum in her writing with Fantasy Romance. One Enchanted Evening is available now and a four-book Elemental Guardian series is now complete. Her Paranormal Romance, The Portrait, garnered four and a half stars from Romantic Times Magazine. All these books are available from Whiskey Creek Press, Whiskey Creek Press Torrid, Amazon, and Fictionwise.

You can find her online at:

Thursday, January 29, 2009

World Building




On my desk I have a notebook, a folder, pens, and three books.

On my wall I have a whiteboard scribbled with text and a storyboard pasted with pictures.

Why?

Because I’m beginning a new series filled with brand new concepts, characters and storylines. In essence, I’m building a world and these are my tools.

World building is one of the most exciting aspects of the writing process. You get to research, brainstorm and basically make stuff up. What’s not to love?

So let me breakdown how I use these tools and why they are necessary.

The notebook is the bible for my series. This is where I jot down ideas, research notes, dialogue snippets, plot points, character sketches and anything else that hits me along the way. Eventually, most of the stuff from the notebook gets recorded into my writer’s word processing program. I use WriteWay. But Word and Excel work great too. I use the same notebook for the entire series.

Next is the folder. Each is a different color for each book. The folder holds news clippings I may find interesting that tie into the theme, internet research, loose paper with notes I made when I didn’t have my notebook, photos, sketches and anything else I stumble across that rings of my story.

Pens and post-its are what I use to mark pages in research books I buy or borrow. The research books help tremendously when building a fictional world, even in the paranormal, sci-fi, or fantasy genres.

There are at least twenty authors I can think of off the top of my head who write about vampires and most of them differ greatly, but they all know the myths of the traditional vampire stories. That doesn’t mean they adhere to them. But they know what they are and if the garlic, sunlight, stake issues are ignored, you bet readers notice. Not to mention Fae, witches and weres. Real research comes in handy even in the mythical genres. In fact, employing lore makes for a more realistic storyline. A truer fantasyland.

To the whiteboard goes the brainstorming ideas. The what ifs? Of the plotlines. And the ‘rules’ of the world. What do I mean by that? Here’s an example.


Sookie Stackhouse can mind-read. But only if she’s in the room with the person. And only if the person is human.

These are rules. You can’t have a character who is all-powerful or all-knowing or the story wouldn’t be much fun to read. So even if you have a demon hunter, a werewolf, a sprite, a medium, or a ghost in your story, there has to be restrictions to their capabilities. Figure out what they are, then figure out ways around them and be consistent throughout the story. If that sprite only has a twenty year life-span, he better be dead by book three.

Last, the storyboard. This is fun. I get a poster board and clip images from magazines or websites that pertain to the story and glue them on. Right now, the board has photos of my protagonist, my villains, the setting, and a map. It’s a great way to visualize the story before you start writing. It also helps if you’ve been away from the work for a while, to guide you back to it.

So there you have it. How do you plan a new novel?

Barbra Annino

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Tiny Wares Unite!

In the supernatural world there are the three major players; Magic users, Vampires, and Ware wolves.

With magic users you have a whole spectrum to choose from. There are the Wiccans, Druids, Black Magic users. You can even go all the way down to your basic "I've never used magic before but weird stuff happens around me all the time" Harry Potter-esque characters. Vampires are a little more limited. They really just have the one trick. Oh, and a LOT of restrictions; sunlight, steaks, garlic, crosses, the whole drill.

Ware Wolves however... I LOVE ware wolves. In what other species can you combine the best of all human traits with the best of the animal kingdom???? You have all the strength of a wild animal, and the reasoning ability of a human. Not to mention apposable thumbs!! In the ware wolf, you have the meta-human, the best that a species can hope for.

But who says that a ware creature has to be a wolf? In the Sookie Stackhouse books, Charlane Harris broke new ground in stating that wares didn't have to be wolves. Tigers, Panthers, Wolves, she's got em all. And gods bless her for that!

In my story, the main character Wanda is a ware. But she's a ware tabby cat. (I"m thinking of playing around with this, maybe making it so that the geographical location dictates the size of the cat. City=tabby cat. Open spaces=predator cat) Because why shouldn't the "lesser" cats be represented?

Heather

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Here, there, every 'were'...

There's just nothing like a great shifter story is there? Whether they are panthers, wolves or dare I say dragons, there is something primal about weres that draw a reader in. Of course the most common were is a wolf, purely due to legend I think.

One of my wips Wolf's Bane, is a wolf tale. I usually try to escape the 'norm' and do something different, but why mess with a good thing, right? My absolute favorite shifter novel is The Last Dragonlord by Joanne Bertin. If you haven't read it, you're missing out on a great were tale with magic and romance. I'd love to write a good weredragon story or maybe a werephoenix one. That would certainly be writing out of the box. Is there a market for them? I think so, but I bet they'd be in the fantasy aisle.

Happy reading,

Beth

Monday, January 26, 2009

FYI - Harlequin has new line

A quick post, you guys. In case you haven't heard yet, Harlequin has opened a new line called
Harelquin Teen. Sort of a YA romance line in the flavor of Stephenie Meyers Twilight series and other paranormal, romance and suspense stories. They are actively seeking submissions from both published and unpublished authors. Go to their webpage and click writers guidelines for more info.

Beth

No "weres" here, sorry!

I have no werewolves in my story.  No werecats or weredogs or even werefish.  I'm completely were-less.

There are no vampires, either.

I also have no romance in my story, which makes me an oddity in the paranormal world, I think.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for romance.  I wish I had more of it in my own life.  I'd love to have some of the "wine me and dine me, sweep me off my feet, and give me flowers and chocolates for absolutely no reason" type of romance.  But, alas, I don't.

I've been married for more than a decade and romance has gone from a box of chocolate at a speciality store to a candy bar picked up at the checkout aisle because hubby forgot the grocery list at home and wanted cover his bases.  

It's that way for Cerri (my heroine), as well.  She and Matt have been married for a bit and have three kids under age 10.  Chocolate and flowers and hot, steamy sex just don't fit in their lives right now.  

So where is the market for paranormal stories with no sex, a married couple who sometimes are too tired for a kiss, no warewolves, and no vampires?  Is there such a market?  One for a reluctant witch who sees and hears spirits?  Who grew up in a tradition of spells and charms and tarot cards?  Who has found her one-true-love and wouldn't even consider cheating on him?

I have faith that market exists.  Don't you?

Blessings!
Nichole

Friday, January 23, 2009

My Favorite Paranormal Romance Authors.

Hey there everyone! I am thrilled to be joining such an accomplished group of writers and I look forward to participating more in the future.


While I am a new author with my first series being published later this year, I am a life long reader. I have always loved paranormal romance which is why I write it. I find most authors write what they like to read. There are several authors I enjoy, but two that stand out as my favorites. I suppose you could call them my idols.



For Vamps it's Christine Feehan all the way! Her Carpathian Series is outstanding! What I really adore is the way she portrays the Carpathians. They are a noble, regal race struggling for survival. In this rich world she's created, Vampires are essentially Carpathians that have gone bad. Individuals who succumbed to their darkest nature having not found their mates. Her characters are rich and leap off the page. She has an incredible ability to make you really and truly connect with every single character she writes. She is an absolute master at "showing" her readers every iota of what the characters are experiencing. She has two other series as well that are equally fabulous and I highly recommend The Drake Sister Series and The Ghostwalker Series. I've read all of her books from all three series. Check them out!







For Werewolves it's Lori Handeland's Nightcreature Novels. This series is hot, sexy, and laugh out loud funny. They are all written in the first person and her heroines have a sharp wit and familiar sarcasm I enjoy. Her hero's are dark, tortured, dangerous and desperately in need of their woman. Hot, hot, hot!! All eight of the book in this series are intertwined, although you can pick up anyone of them and still follow. If you love werewolves then this series is for you.





I have read, and re-read, both of these fine authors novels. For me as an author, they are truly the bar I strive to reach. They grab the reader right from the first sentence and don't let us go until the very last word. Whenever I finish one, I'm always a little disappointed because I want more! I hope someday readers will say the same about my novels.



Welcome, Sara!

Today's guest blogger is Sara Taney Humphreys.

You can find her online at:

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Beta Readers



My first line of defense in garnering a critique is my husband, George. He’s honest, thoughtful, and insightful about my work and he always offers a suggestion to better it. Plus, it’s cool to hear him laugh out loud when he reads in the next room.

I also have other friends and relatives who read my first book. This isn’t always easy, because it’s hard to convince people who care about you that, yes, you can be brutally honest with me. I’m a writer, I can take it. (For those who can’t, you’re in the wrong business.) Now, if I felt someone might be holding back I would hound them with specific questions until they gave me something other than, “It’s good.”

What did you think of the scene where this happened?
Do you think so-and-so is a believable character?
Did you buy the metaphor about the guy…?

I was relentless, and you know what? It worked. Besides spelling errors or plot holes, I got great feedback and the book is better for it.

Sometimes you may disagree with a critique, which is fine as long as the work is better for it and not because your ego was bruised. Because honestly, no book is perfect just they way it is. Everyone makes mistakes and it helps to have fresh eyes point them out. The most successful writers in publishing re-write after a test read. Which is why they’re successful. So don’t take it personally.

On the other hand, be careful. There will always be those people who criticize to boost their own ego, so if it smells false, follow your gut.

To find critique groups, join writer’s organizations like Sisters in Crime, or jump on websites like AbsoluteWrite, or even sign up to listservs. Yahoo has tons of writing groups, and many of them offer critique partners.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

In case you wondered...

Throwing myself to the wolves here and posting a chapter of my wip and a link to read chapter two. (It's a bit too steamy for here.) Let me know what you think. Oh, and I hope you enjoy it.

Beth

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
From the journal of Kail McKenna:
July 7, 1400
In the beginning, there were seven powerful witches. Reborn every seven hundred years, these women were the last defense against the darkness threatening their way of life, the vampire. Each had a unique ability gifted by their birthland, Yumi of Water. Tamara of Beasts, Una of Ice, Enoh of Earth, Rio of Fire, Shade of Darkness, and the last Cailin of Light held the power to purify evil. This night has seen them betrayed and all but two of the Seven have been captured and killed. My Cailin is dead. Earth spirals toward damnation and 2100 a.d. when the next seven will have the chance to save their world. I am forced to continue in this hellish immortality. Can a vampire retain his mortal heart? Love as a man does? I do not know, but the heart I lack breaks this night.

Chapter One
Something sticky trickled down her throat. She reached up and touched her neck; Her hands came away wet and red with blood. Panic begged to take control. Night had fallen after what seemed like an eternity. She had been safe in the daylight, knew the vampire couldn’t get to her for the killing sun. Savior sun. Her mind knew its name, Drake, but she had no conscious memory of the monster.

Kayleigh felt the deep tearing wounds beneath the bandage as well as saw them in her mind’s eye, just like in the photographs. This time it had been an African woman. Except for her nationality, they might have been twins. The woman had blue eyes and they stared back from the glossy at her. In them, she saw her death. Bright red blood streamed from the gaping holes like rivers. She had no choice but to venture into the dark death of moonlight and seek Kail’s help.

Her boot heels clicked on the sidewalk, occasionally splashing in a puddle. As a woman alone, she always took care to be aware of her surroundings, but her nerves were even more on edge with that thing stalking her. How could she have written all those novels with sexy vampire heroes? Had she been out of her bleeding mind? Her stalker was death incarnate and death wanted her. She jumped out of her skin at the sound of a mouse squeaking nearby. She couldn’t afford to think of the vampire as a once human. Kayleigh had to make sure she did not become one of them.

She walked quickly, almost ran the last block to the police station. The sights and sounds of city life around her only just registered through her fear. She fingered the silver cross at her throat. Superstition? Maybe, but they were known for a reason. She wanted to cry with relief when she finally made it through the double glass doors of cop central and saw Kail lounging across the bullpen. The devil she knew it would have to be.

~
He watched Kayleigh walk through cop central, one hip at a time, and wondered what could have possibly brought Kayleigh Farrell back into his world. He took note of the shadows under her Celtic blue eyes. She wore her long dark hair up. For confidence? He wasn’t sure she needed any extra. All Kayleigh had to do was walk through the door and every eye turned and held her countenance. Her natural sex appeal set his inner vampire on full alert. Just what could Kayleigh Farrell, mega author, want with him? He had a feeling the lady was in big trouble.

They met before, when he had worked the break in at her brother’s house. She had asked him to dinner, and they had spent the rest of the night in Kayleigh’s hotel room bed, his body deep inside her, his fangs buried in her throat. He had not seen her for at least a month, maybe more, but it felt like centuries. Centuries he had, Kayleigh didn't and that was the problem. Kail licked his lips, one white point almost peeking out around his tongue as he remembered her taste.
He watched her wave to the cops in residence as she passed. She even stopped to sign an autograph for one of the newbies. Babies don’t drool that much, he thought in disgust, leaned against the door jamb and waited. It didn’t occur to him she might be here to see someone else, or maybe research something for her next erotic romance novel.

His body tensed, remembering the book on his nightstand. Hers and very hot. The hero, a vampire pining for a lost love, had hit just a little too close to home. Kayleigh had burned every page to a cinder with her scorching tale of reunited lovers. He had seen her in the heroine. Every written vision tormented his body. He took her hand in greeting and ushered her into his office.
~
Kayleigh smiled at the young officer as she handed back his notepad. Her nerves were shot after waiting all day to see Kail. It would not do to wake a vampire while the sun shone high and he hadn’t fed. That is unless you didn’t mind being dinner. Stealing into his apartment and sliding between the heated sheets while he slept did have a certain appeal, though she had better sense than to try it.

She held the brown envelope closer to her chest. He was the only one who could help her. Kail was vampire, and when it came down to it, she had rather the devil she knew. You couldn’t have a lover like Kail and not know him on some sort of level. Almost there, come on Kayleigh she cheered herself on. Lord he was sexy, lounging there like he couldn’t give a damn about anything in the world. His hair fell like dark rain to his shoulders, and as the last time she’d seen him, he wore black head to toe. Remembering, she reached up and touched her neck where the wounds were healing. She watched as his blue eyes grew darker, the corner of his mouth tilting up to grin. Could she do this? She had no choice. She put her hand in his offered one and unconsciously licked her lips. “Hello, Kail.”

Chapter 2
http://www.freewebs.com/brynnacurry/writenow.htm

Monday, January 19, 2009

Once the writing is over and other random thoughts

I'm done with Ghost Mountain.

Actually, that isn't true. I have edits now. Lots of edits. Sometimes I wonder if I'll ever be finished with this book. But I wondered that about a lot of things in life that are now over and done with, so I'm sure completing this novel will one day find its way to that "completed" column also.

Of course, I've started the sequel already. So even though the story of Ghost Mountain is finished, Cerri's story isn't.

I've been reading a number of series lately, paying special attention to how characters grow and mature from book one to book...whatever. The best of them DO have characters learn and "live" without forcing readers to follow the story to keep from getting lost. Those are the ones I hope to emulate.

Which book series does that for you? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Blessings!
Nichole

Friday, January 16, 2009

Enjoy!

I posted a short story on my website.  Hope you enjoy!

Blessings!
Nichole



Thursday, January 15, 2009

Writing 101


Every professional studies their craft. Doctors, lawyers, athletes, scientists, teachers, filmmakers, actors, dog trainers, plumbers, engineers—they all educate themselves on their jobs. The good ones continue to brush up every so often through training, courses or conferences because they love what they do and they want to keep doing it the best they can.

No matter what stage of your writing career or what genre, there are books out there that will help you improve your craft. Why do you need to read about writing? Well, first off, most of us don’t recognize our own flaws unless they are pointed out to us. You can get that from a critique partner, granted, but that critique will rarely tell you how to improve on those flaws. And perhaps you do recognize there is something wrong with the first draft of your manuscript, but you may not see what that something is.

That’s where the experts come in.

My shelf of writing books expands every year. Some are simple essays on the craft, some are informational manuals on the publishing business, others are odds and ends for certain niches. All have helped me improve and helped me get published.

There are also loads of organizations, newsletters and blogs that teach fledging writers how to fly. Murderati is an excellent example.

But, you may say, I want to learn on my own. And doesn’t a good writer learn by doing?
Yes, that’s true. But if you want anyone besides your cat and your mother to read your work, you may want to polish it as best you can.

Every beginner has their own quirks that make readers cringe. Maybe the dialogue is stiff. Now, you probably cannot learn how to write snappy dialogue from a book, but you may learn techniques that others have tried to improve the conversation of their characters and apply them to your pages. Like, eavesdrop at a restaurant, take an improve class, volunteer to teach a hobby, etc…

Or perhaps the description is loaded with clich├ęs. You might not even realize you’re using them until you read a really good book on how to make your prose sing.

Could be that the plot is stalled. You think the characters are flowing through the story beautifully until you learn how to build tension through beats and scenes.

Maybe the pacing is off. Too much action. Not enough reaction and vice-versa.

Or you’ve made one of the top ten mistakes right off the bat that prompts every editor to toss the script into the slush pile. But you don’t know it because you haven’t learned what they are.

Well, stay tuned because here are some great resources. There are many others. But this is the list that has helped me:
PLOT AND STRUCTURE, James Scott Bell
DON’T MURDER YOUR MYSTERY, Chris Roerden
CREATING UNFORGETTABLE CHARACTERS, Linda Seger
BIRD BY BIRD, Anne Lamott
THE FOREST FOR THE TREES, Betsy Lerner
MURDER AND MAYHEM, D.P. Lyle
WRITING DOWN THE BONES: FREEING THE WRITER WITHIN, Natalie Goldberg
HOW I GOT PUBLISHED: FAMOUS AUTHORS TELL YOU IN THEIR OWN WORDS

And, BABY NAMES

Barb

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I can't say that I've ever read a book on writing. (could be the reason that I am, as yet, unpublished, huh?) It's not that I've never owned any, I just never read them. I'm sure there useful, and I'll probably crack them open at least once before I'm published, it's just that at the moment, I want what I write to be a 'pure' stream of my writing. Not something that I have to think about the "rules" of writing every second. Maybe when I'm done I'l go back and see everything that I've done wrong.


Heather

GREAT ARTICLE ON HOW TO GET PUBLISHED

Quick post here folks. If you want to be published, read this article by Jael McHenry, posted at Intrepidmedia.com

Barb

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

To be honest, I don't technically own any writing craft related books. I've pilfered the library shelves and beyond dictionaries and encyclopedias, I've found nothing that helped me personally. Not that they weren't great tools, just not what I was looking for. I learn best by example.

My favorite "writing" books are legion. If I'm working on a paranormal, I surround my desk with two stacks of published paranormals, ones that were great and other's that prompt the thought "How in the heck did that get published?". I've seen great authors wind up in the not so good pile and unknowns end up in the awesome stack. I reread them, pick them apart, look for the why's and how's. I learn from their mistakes. Take note of what puts them in the great pile.

Beth

Monday, January 12, 2009

My most important writing book? All of them!

There are a LOT of books about writing.  I think I have most of them.

OK, so that isn't true.  But I do have an awful lot of them.  

In addition to the obligatory dictionary (in English, Latin, and Lakota) and thesaurus (English only), I have books on punctuation, an AP Style book, and a copy of Jeff Herman's Guide to Publishers Editors and Literary Agents.

I have some great books filled with writing prompts and I've even been known to use them!  I also have most of the Writer's Digest "Howdunit Series."  Those are full of information, though I wouldn't recommend reading Deadly Doses: a writers guide to poisons at the dinner table.  It seems to make the other members of the family a little leery.

One of my favorite writing books, however, isn't a book on writing at all.  Michael Largo's Final Exits: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of How We Die is a source of inspiration when looking for "the perfect murder."  For example, there have been 18,983 foot-related fatalities since 1975.   My personal favorite, though, states that in 2003, twenty-four people died from inhaling popcorn fumes.  I'm not sure how I will ever use that bit of information, but I hope to find a way!

Which writing book could you not do without?

Blessings,
Nichole

Friday, January 9, 2009

Land That Agent

Okay, for some reason I tried to schedule this for yesterday and it didn't post. Oops.

So the good news is you finished a book. The bad news is- that was the easy part. In today’s publishing world you need an agent to sell your book. Yes, there are some houses that will look at manuscripts from unagented authors. But if you plan to be in this business for the long haul, you need an agent. They have the contacts, the expertise, the knowledge about the business.

So how do you go about finding an agent? First, you need to make sure you’ve checked off a few to-do’s before you even begin the search.

1. Have a POLISHED completed manuscript. It’s not the agent’s or the editor’s job to spell check your work. Make sure the script is the best it can be. That means it has been through several edits and beta readers before you even search for an agent.

2. Write a kick-ass query letter. Keep it short and sweet. Write a teaser that highlights the story-- pour over the back flaps of novels you’ve read, especially in your genre to learn how. Leave out subplots and minor characters. Don’t talk about irrelevant hobbies. Don't say your book is: A) the best thing since Harry Potter B) bound to make a gazillion dollars C) better than anything King ever wrote D) your first novel. Don't tell the agent that you've been rejected by everyone else in the biz and she's your last hope. Use a professional opening and closing. DEAR and SINCERELY work well. Make sure there are no spelling or grammar errors.

3. Make a list of legitimate agents who sell in your genre. You can find them by visiting these websites: Agent Query, Query Tracker, AAR. Or read the latest Guide to Literary Agents

After you’ve completed these tasks, begin your search by following the guidelines of each agent. Some don’t mind email. Some want to see the first few pages. Whatever they ask for, give it to them. Don’t use gimmicks like gifts or bright paper or crazy fonts. These are professionals. Show them you are too.

Keep in mind your location doesn’t matter. Neither does the agent’s location. There are top notch agents in Florida, Colorado, California, and the Midwest, as well as New York. What matters is connections and what they’ve sold.

Which brings me to the interview. You are hiring this person. Remember to ask questions and choose the agent that is the best fit for you and your work. I know it might be tempting to jump at the first offer, but you really want someone who will go to bat for you. Here’s a great link to questions you should ask at AAR.

Finding an agent takes persistence, hard work, and a little luck. You have to be able to handle rejection. You have to be able to handle rejection disguised as compliments (which really stinks, believe me). And you have to be able to suffer through weeks, months, maybe even years of this torture. I could have wallpapered my office with the rejections I received, but eventually, I found the right agent for me. Work hard, keep trying, keep learning and don’t give up. Good Luck!

BOOKS:
GIVE EM WHAT THEY WANT
MAKING THE PERFECT PITCH
HOW I GOT PUBLISHED

HELPFUL WEBSITES
Charlotte Dillon
A Newbie's Guide to Publishing
http://querytracker.blogspot.com/
http://nathanbransford.blogspot.com/
http://queryshark.blogspot.com/

Happy Hunting!
Barb

Frightening Journeys has an opening

For those of you who are expecting J.K. Mahal to add her thoughts today, sorry.  J.K. has decided that (since she's expecting) she needs to focus elsewhere.

The rest of us here on the Frightening Journey to publication will miss her!  (And we all hope that she changes her mind once the "nesting urge" has passed...)

Until then, we are leaving her Friday spot open.  Kind of.

We would like to offer it up to guest bloggers.  If you're an author (published or not) and would like to blog here one week, let one of us know.  (Our contact info is on the side, or you can leave a comment here.)

Until then, Heather, Beth, Barbra, and I wish J.K. and her family the best of luck (hey, I can say that....I have kids!) and a happy, healthy addition to the family.

Blessings,
Nichole

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

I don't have an agent. Well, I do, but she's a talent agent, and she hasn't gotten me a damn lick of work in the past almost three years. But I don't have a literary agent. If i did, it might actually push me to write a little more. So instead of writing about how much I want an agent and how much I need an agent, and how much better it would be if I had an agent, I'm just going to give a WIP preview. Please, feedback will be appreciated.



VENUS IN FURS


Day 1

They handed me this pad of paper and a pen. I guess I'm supposed to just write whatever comes to mind as a kind of therapy, so I can figure everything out. I only remember the last week or so of my life. I woke up in a hospital bed coming out of surgery to remove a bullet from my head.

They had to cut off my hair.

It was apparently down past my shoulders. They kept it for me, gave it to me after surgery, after I woke up. It isn't mine. I threw it away. MY hair is just a little shorter than a pixie cut. I like ti.

I've looked in the mirror. I know I'm somewhere between twenty five and thirty five. I've got grey eyes. I'm pale, but now that I think about it, I'm not sure if that's because I've been inside a hospital for the last week or not. I have light brown, almost red hair.

And that's everything I know about myself for sure.

The detective says that I don't have any fingerprints on file, but that only means that I've never been arrested in Douglas County. I guess that's a good thing. If I don't start remembering who I am soon, I think he's going to go through a national database.

I'm trying not to think about the bullet hole in the back of my head. The surgeon said I'm lucky that the bulled didn't go through my skull, it just stopped. I guess i have a pretty hard head. I've gone through about a million different scans and xrays of my head, and other than some "unusual heightened brain function" there's nothing wrong with my head. So they can't figure out why I don't remember anything about myself. From the tyee of injury I've got, they say I shouldn't have even so much as a migraine, much less complete amnesia.

I guess it's so rare that a couple of doctors don't believe that I cant remember. I just look at them and ask why anyone would choose this... nothingness. I don't know if i have friends who miss me. Or a family. Do I have a child? Is there a little boy or girl out there wondering where mommy is?

Why would anyone pretend to live in a hell like this?








Heather

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

To find an agent...in 'Wonderland'?

I had a really great post for today, but my computer decided to eat it. (Isn't that like the dog ate my homework, teacher?) Anyway......

The sun is finally shining in Alabama this morning while I sit at work typing this post. It's kind of like falling down the rabbit-hole into Wonderland when it comes to finding an agent around here. I'm worlds away from New York, LA, London and everywhere else you'd think you have to go to break in the business of being a published author. So where do you start looking and how?

First I must admit to being unagented, at the moment. In this day an age of internet, gadgets and cell phones, not being able to connect with the rest of the world is just an excuse. Look at us, the Frightening five, we are spread all over the country.

When I first started my search for an agent, I simply typed in the search bar. Big mistake!!!! I narrowly escaped the clutches of Publish America and the Writer's Literary Agency which I found out scams under tons of names. *shudder* Then I thought, I'll submit to big houses, unagented and my stellar work will get me in the door without an agent. HA! Yeah right! Now, granted it may work for some, just not for me. So then what? Did I throw my hands up in frustration and give up? Nope, still here.

I thought I'm just going about this the wrong way. Internet searches are great, but I apparently was looking in the wrong place. That's when I saw this commercial for YellowBook.com (no kidding, I bet you're rolling on the floor laughing now) and thought, Hmm. Idea. So I searched for literary agents in New York and California and then printed the list. I took those lists and crossed matched them with the Better Business Bureau and found the Association of Artist's Representatives. It's a great site. You can search by genre, email query and a dozen other criteria, find legit agents and get started on your agent journey. I've gotten two requests for fulls so far this way, and though they were rejected, I still think its a great way to start. Especially if you can't fly off to New York and go from place to place.

Have a great day, Ya'll.
Beth

Monday, January 5, 2009

Ready for the next chapter? I am!

This week we've decided to blog about agents.  Unfortunately, I don't have one.

But I'm ready to look for one.  You see, I finished the first draft of Ghost Mountain this weekend.

I confess, I'm pretty clueless about this new chapter in my writing career.  On the recommendation of Bonnie Ramthun, I purchased Jeff Herman's Guide to Book Publishers, Editors, & Literary Agents and I plan to start query letters around the first of February.  I'll spend the time between now and then trying to write that query letter and doing edits on the novel.  

This is a whole new area of the writing field -- one I'm excited, yet scared to death, about!  I'm open to any suggestions you may have.  Pass them on!

Blessings,
Nichole


Thursday, January 1, 2009

A Newbie's Guide to Publishing: Resolutions For Writers 2009

A Newbie's Guide to Publishing: Resolutions For Writers 2009

Okay, call it cheating, but I couldn't help but link to this post on this day. It's valuable, honest, and succinct. Happy writing in the New Year!

Barb