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Posts Tagged ‘agents’

Okay, so I’ve spent the last 4 months working my tail off on my YA Fantasy/Horror.  Phew. This weekend, I finally typed the end (yay). Although, I found a few logic flaws I had to sit down and try and rethink, luckily my hubby let me bounce some things off of him.

Now, I’ll be going back through to edit, apply crits from my critique partners, and rewrite some sections where the plot needs to change based on some things I had come up in later chapters.  I’ll also be concentrating on adding some more details with the setting, and making sure to up the creep factor (woohoo). LOL.

I’m hoping to have everything cleaned up and off for betas in the next month or so.  Then, after that, it’ll be put in the hands of Agent Lady.  Since this story is darker, I’m hoping it does well on submission (ahhh).

This story was somewhat out of my comfort zone. The fantasy elements, I had no problem with, but the horror elements took more thought and even though I’m finished, I know I’ll need to add a few more of them in when I do edits.

But, I loved the challenge of writing something outside my norm, it really tested me. Luckily, my FAB crit partners kept me on track and honest.  I know a few of them received emails from me asking questions about several scenes or trying to make sure that everything I had planned was going to work out. 

But yeah, it’s nice to write “The End!”

Now, I’ll be working on edits, while waiting to hear back from my editor on TFGF.  So much stuff (LOL). Already trying to wrap my mind around my next project (another dark story–well, at least if I get the research done).

 

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Okay, so summer has started off kind of crazy. About 1 ½ weeks ago, my dad had a heart attack. Which is totally scary. I mean he’s only 54. And we’ve been worried.  He’s doing better now, but getting those kinds of calls makes me a nervous wreck. And in the midst of all this, I was in the middle of revisions for agent lady and for small press editor. So yeah, meeting deadlines, while dealing with family crisis totally stressful (LOL).

But we got through it. Dad is home now (as of Sunday) and seems to be doing better.  I told him we have go find a better way to get together on the weekends and quit meeting in the Heart Center. Dad thought this was funny (hehehe).

In order to relieve said stress, I’ve started writing a new story, which I’ll call “D”.  D is a YA Thriller. Have I mentioned, I’ve never written a thriller before? LOL. So I’m trying something new. So far, I’m liking it. I’m a couple of chapters in now and am hoping to start being able to get some word count down. This story is a challenge for me because I’ve always wanted to write a thriller (kind of like the ones I read as a teen) and now I’ll find out if I’m any good at it.

Another stress reliever has been reading.  So far this summer I’ve read Divergent by Veronica Roth (which I can’t recommend enough—totally fabulous YA Dystopian/Thriller), Sean Griswold’s Head by Lindsey Leavitt (YA contemporary with humor/romance/serious family stuff—so fun), The Iron Fey Trilogy by Julie Kagawa. I’ll be starting City of Fallen Angels tomorrow.

Now for my summer shows WOOHOO! They’re back on (and I’ve added a new one or two).  True Blood came back on. And I’ve been SO SO SO looking forward to it. I’ve also been watching The Voice, Falling Skies, and my new guilty pleasure is The Nine Lives of Chloe King.  The first episode seemed kind of cheesy, but once I got past it, I found myself LOVING THE SHOW.  I got my niece and daughter hooked on it now too. So every Tuesday night will be Chloe night. But I can’t wait until July when Haven and Ghost Hunter’s International come back on.

I hope everyone is having a FAB summer so far.  Hoping to spend some time in the pool this upcoming weekend and maybe do a little writing. Definitely need some down time.

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Hey everyone, I’m guest blogging over at the FABULOUS Adventures in Children’s Publishing Blog today.  Come see how my journey to snagging an agent is like Star Wars (yep, I’m talking about one of my ALL TIME FAVORITE MOVIES).

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Hey everyone, I’m blogging at Totally 4 YA today.  Talking about getting an agent, my son reading one of my stories, and writing…

Hope to see you there!!!

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Finally, I can announce that I’ve accepted representation from Denise Barone of the Barone Literary Agency! This morning I had a mini-freak out moment when I emailed to tell her I accepted and my email bounced (OMG). At first, I thought the Friday the 13th curse had struck (and I wasn’t even wearing ridiculous high heels or being chased by an axe wielding maniac).

Luckily, after a few attempts, I got it to go through. So SQUEEEEEEEE…this all seems SO SO SO surreal. And I can actually say: I’VE GOT AN AGENT. MY AGENT. LET ME GET WITH MY AGENT (hehehehe).

But seriously, this has been a loooong journey. 7 years, 8 manuscripts in the making. So take it from me when I say perseverance pays off. Yes, I was found in the slush pile. I have NO connections (unless you count my crushes on various celebrities—LOL).

The thing is the first story I ever sent out I got requests for partials and fulls on. So I thought: “Hey, this will be a piece of cake.” Well, it wasn’t. I got rejections (back when everyone wanted them sent by snail mail).  I continued to write other stories, research agents/publishers online, and try to hone my craft. The next story I sent out garnered more requests, and ultimately rejections. Same for the next three stories.

Then two years ago, I decided to do the mentor program through Romance Divas. I got paired up with Lee Bross, who helped me significantly. I learned where some of my weak points were and for three months she helped me strengthen my writing.

The story I wrote after taking part in the program really seemed to sit well with the agents. I got actual “feedback”. This helped me to pinpoint what I was doing wrong. And to get personalized rejections from agents is HUGE (and rare—LOL).

Then a critique group asked if I’d like to fill in for the summer because one of their members would be out. I agreed. Let me tell you, it was one of the best decisions I made. They were hardcore, but I learned a TON from them. At the end of the summer we parted ways, but I knew they’d taught be a lot about my writing.

This brings us to last year, when I joined YAFF (Ya Ficition Fanatics) a by-application-only critique group. Here, I got a chance to meet ten other fabulous ladies who became not only my best friends but “writing buddies” as well. These gals helped to shape my writing. Both old members and new. They provided me with great feedback as well as support and encouragement. And they were/are brutally honest. If something isn’t working, they’ll let you know. But at the same time if they love aspects of the story, they point that out too.

The point is they prepared me for this moment. They didn’t let me get lazy with my writing. Trust me, these girls let me know if they thought I wasn’t being true to a character or if I tried to give quick/easy descriptions/plot twists when I was capable of something bigger. Here’s the thing, all of this took time.

And I admit, I didn’t stick to the traditional route. In November, I decided (while working on TFGF) that I wanted my stories read. So I subbed some of my stuff out to e-pubs/small publishers. In December, I signed my first book contract with Astraea Press. I still wanted to pursue an agent, but I also knew I wanted people to read my stories. Even if I never make it big, this has always been my main goal. To share my stories with others.

At the end of March I started querying TFGF. It got requests (yay), but I tried not to get my hopes up. I sent my letters out in batches. If I got a request, I sent out another query. If I got a rejection, I sent out another query.

Then I came across a newer agent. I verified she was legit (on Preditors and Editors) and sent out a query. The best decision I’d ever made. Denise got back to me within 24 hours requesting a full MS. Then five or six hours later she emailed me again to offer rep. She included extensive notes about revisions etc. At that moment, I had other partials/fulls out so I emailed all the agents involved and let them know about the offer. And I waited (which is way harder than it sounds).

And the rest, as they say, is history.

This WASN’T an overnight thing. I spent 7 years working my tail off. I read articles on writing. I followed agent/author/publisher blogs. I joined Query Tracker and Agent Query. Whenever I had the chance, I entered contests in order to get feedback. I joined a crit group (which was one of my most instrumental choices I’ve ever made). But most importantly, I KEPT WRITING! The only way to get better is to practice.

So, if you’re in the querying trenches, hang in there. And remember, anything worth having is worth fighting for. You want to get an agent or be published? Then work hard for it.

Looking back, I’m glad it’s taken me this long to get an agent. Because let’s face it, the harder we have to work for something, the more we’ll appreciate it!

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So today is the day that decides everything. Okay, so I might be acting a little dramatic. LOL. It’s been a long week waiting for the remaining agents to get in contact. And by the end of the night, I’ll be able to say: “I’ve got an agent.” Four words, mind you, that I’ve dreamt of saying for years. And it still seems so surreal. Like at any moment I’m going to wake up. Might need someone to pinch me (but not too hard, my fair skin bruises easy—snicker).

In the coming days, I can’t wait to share my LOOOONG journey with you. The “almost there” moments, the heart ache, the excitement, the hard work, and of course the lovely ladies of my crit group who helped me along the way.

It’s so hard to fathom that my childhood dream is on its way to being fulfilled. See Mom and Dad, all those years spent curled up with books and notebooks (when I was supposed to be doing chores/sleeping/doing homework) totally paid off.

I hope you’ll all come back tomorrow and share my happy moment with me! ((HUGS)). OMG, I just realized tomorrow is Friday the 13th. Hmmm…I hope I don’t see anyone with hockey masks lurking around my house (note to self: Do NOT wear high heel shoes tomorrow). That’d totally put a damper on things. Yeah, I know, that makes my life sound like a horror movie waiting to happen (LOL).

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Phew! It hasn’t been a crazy 24 hours. Next week, I should have some news of the agenty sort to share (squeeee).  A moment  7 years in the making. So stay tuned for an update…

In other news, yesterday was my anniversary (yay). And my darling of a husband bought me some books. See, he knows me too well (LOL). That’s right. I’d rather have a bouquet of books than flowers (ooh, maybe I should start a business called Bouquet of Books–LOL). He got me Divergent by Veronica Roth, A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness, City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare, and Sean Griswold’s Head by Lindsey Leavitt. They will be going into my TBR pile which is GINORMOUS right now. I’ve still got 14 books on my shelf that I haven’t got to yet. Although, I am making a dent (LOL).

And can I just say ZOMGDIDYOUSEEVDLASTNIGHT! The writers for the Vampire Diaries show are freakin geniuses. Seriously. Me and my sister were watching it and we had tears people! I love the twist with Elijah, Jenna, and John. Totally made the show. And I’m still trying to figure out what’s going to happen with Damon. Because I LOVE that character. Le sigh.

Tomorrow I’ll be spending most of the day at the soccer fields watching my son Chase and Daughter Erin play. Should be lots of fun. And tonight, I actually get to go home after work. That’s right. NO RUNNING! It’s like a National Holiday or something (snicker). I can’t remember the last time I got to come home before 8:00 pm. Oh. Right. BEFORE soccer got underway.

And that about does it with everything going on in my life. Will check in for sure next week…

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