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Posts Tagged ‘queries’

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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Phew, from the title you’re probably noticing a trend. Yep, it’s soccer season in the Purdy house. I LOVE watching my kids play. But I so hate going right from work to practices every night and not getting home until 8:00 pm. And of course, Saturday is spent traveling to and from games.

Needless to say my writing time has gone down (LOL). Which is kind of a bummer because I really want to crank out my current story (AMTS). It’s a contemporary YA and it’s coming along pretty well. I love the characters and the plot. Now, if only my motivation level would go up.

In the meantime, I’m still waiting to hear back on queries/partials/fulls on TFGF. It’s such an exciting/scary time. Strange how one small email can make or break your day. A request=giant squeeeeeee, dreams of contracts, and book covers, and movie deals. A rejection=multiple curse words and self-doubt and chocolate cravings (hehehe).

Querying is such a long process. From creating a perfect letter, to hitting send, to waiting for the responses. And all the while your mind goes a mile-a-minute. As writers we consider what we could’ve done differently or we second guess each word. Then we get that lovely request and the agent loves our voice and wants to see more. Or maybe it’s a rejection and the agent didn’t fall in love with it. But either way, we’re in it for the long haul. We become email/phone message obsessed. Maybe we even tell our kids to make sure they call us at work if a # from an agency pops up.

Most of all, querying is like a roller coaster. There are so many ups and downs. We go from crazy-excited because we finished our MS to frightened of failure when we send our “babies” out into the world. And this range of emotions happens in like .023 seconds flat. But that’s the life of a writer. No matter how many good or bad things happen a long the road, it’s simply about the journey. The obstacles we face to get to where we want to be. We grow stronger and I think that’s what’s most important. So as I hit refresh on my email, yet again, I’ll think about how much I love to tell stories, and that, right there, will keep me going…

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Okay, I’ll totally start with the good news (and no it has nothing to do with Star Wars or The Vampire Diaries—or, well I guess I could totally implement those two subjects. LOL).

In a Galaxy, Far, Far Away………

All right, I just signed a book contract with Noble Romance for my YA story Staking Shadows (woohoo). Totally geeked about this story. I wrote it a couple of years ago then shelved it. It’s a post apocalypse w/paranormal elements. And I have to thank my sister for telling me to send it out (LOL). It’s her favorite story of mine. I don’t have all the details yet, but when I do, I’ll definitely post them.

Secondly, the print version of my book My Dad’s a Paranormal Investigator: Seeking Shapeshifters is now out through Amazon (see the sidebar below my book cover for link). Very excited to have an actual physical book that I can touch (too bad it isn’t Damon Salvatore—hehehe).

Third, well, I’m still waiting to hear back on my fulls and partial manuscripts I have out with agents for The Fairy Godmother Files. So hope I get some news soon (crossing fingers/toes).

And now, for the cliché part of this entry. Okay, I’ve been lurking around a lot of contests lately, reading entries, entering some of my own etc. One thing I’ve noticed is a lot of people have mentioned to others to start with more action. Hmmm…I might be in the minority on this, but I understand that first pages should be captivating, but is anyone else noticing the trend of too many books starting in the action? I enjoy a kick-butt scene as much as the next person, but I almost miss getting a chance to feel rooted in the story before all “hell breaks loose”.

I don’t mind getting to know the characters a little bit before they’re thrown against the enemy or have something earth shattering happen to them. I mean, I read the book blurb on the back of the jacket and if it sounds interesting I pick it up. Not for the smash-bang-kabow first 3 pages, but for the entire story. I want to feel invested in the characters/setting/situations/plot. And somehow if every story has to start in the action, I kind of feel like I’m losing that. In my opinion, I almost think the “crazy action” beginnings are becoming cliché. If I grab a book, I will read until I reach the action, it doesn’t have to happen in the first chapter to keep my interest. Now if I get 50-75 pages in, and nothing’s happened, then of course, I might question it. But I like the journey of getting to that action, seeing what builds up to it. Not have the action happen, then go back and explain to me why it happened.

Does anyone else have these same thoughts? Maybe it’s just me. But I love to read, and I don’t mind waiting a few chapters to be introduced to the main conflict.

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Okay, so as you can tell, I am going through MAD Vampire Diaries withdrawal. I have been stalking  er, following Nina/Ian on twitter to see what’s happening. I know they were shooting scenes with Klaus (OMG). Yeah, so I totally can’t wait.

Not sure why they think it’s right to leave us hanging…seriously. Sigh. Although, I suppose their hiatus has been good in the aspect that I’ve gotten more writing done. Yeah, instead of staring at the smoldery (is that a word?), gorgeous Ian Somerhalder, I’ve been transfixed with my computer screen (totally not the same folks).

In other news (and I’ve got lots). I’ve been querying for TFGF (The Fairy Godmother Files) and have gotten several requests (woohoo). Here’s hoping something good comes of it!

My book trailer also won an honorable mention in The Pen and Muse book trailer contest. SWEET! Not bad for my first trailer…

I’ve also started working on my next book AMTS (yeah another secret code name–they make me feel like a secret agent or something–hehehee).

Oh, and the Columbus Examiner has an interview with me posted in regards to my YA book My Dad’s a Paranormal Investigator: Seeking Shapeshifters (totally awesome). Still can’t get over how well the story has done.

My babies (okay they’re not “baby” babies) will be starting soccer in about a week (yikes). So I’ll be back to extra running for practices/games. But it’s fun as heck to watch. Also have choir/orchestra stuff coming up for them as well. Can you say busy?

I think that about covers all the coolness that’s going on. Now, I must go sulk some more as it’s Thursday and NO VAMPIRE DIARIES!! Maybe I ought to start a support group? Any takers?

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Phew! Well, first of all, I’m blogging over at Totally 4 YA today talking about my vacations gone bad (LOL). Yeah, pretty much every trip I ever take has mishaps.

In other news, my first 250 words of The Fairy Godmother Files: Cinderella Complex made it into the semi-finals (top 20) over on Brenda Drake’s Blog for the Show me the voice contest. Agent Natalie Fischer will be picking the top 3 (who will win critiques from her). How awesome is that? So, here’s hoping I can nab one of the top 3 spots.

But either way, I’m SO SO SO thrilled to have gotten into the semi-finals.

In further news (LOL), I’ve received some requests for fulls/partials in the querying round, which I just started. Woohoo!

So keep your fingers crossed, the prayers coming, voodoo dolls stocked (LOL), or whatever it is you do for good luck (four-leaf clovers, rabbit feet).

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In case you’re wondering, I am working diligently on applying crits/edits etc to TFGF. Lots I want to get done on it, which means LATE NIGHTS. It’ll be me, my laptop, a cup of tea, chocolate, and Sirius Satellite Radio (Coffeehouse station).

Writing a story is fun, but it’s also a lot of work. Because once you’re finished getting it all done on paper (or computer or both—hehehe), the real work begins. Now comes what I like to call the slash/crash/and keep game. I’m looking for stuff to slash from my MS, like wordiness, overuse of certain words, bad plotlines etc. Then I like to see what might make my story “crash” stuff like telling, plot holes, rushed scenes, too much description etc. And of course, the parts I’ll keep.

My critique group (YAFF), is invaluable for helping to weed some of these things out.

As I write chapters and edit them, I post them to the group for feedback. Sometimes their comments will spark new ideas, other times they’ll bring up things I need to look at. Like, “Wow, your character must be happy because he’s grinned like 15 times in the last 3 pages.” Or “Um—okay, why is your character suddenly acting like this for. They were really happy, and now for no reason they’re ripping people’s heads off.”

What might be apparent to us, as the writer of the story, might not be obvious to the reader. So if we have to go back and explain a scene to someone, we probably haven’t done our job. My rule of thumb for changing things is: If the suggestion makes sense, change it. Or, if more than one person is pointing out the same thing, time to revamp.

And although applying critiques/edits is hard work, I also look at it as something fun. I mean, now’s the chance to smooth the scenes out. Or maybe add in a new chapter that will totally take the story to the next level. It’s the time to bring the story from “good” to “great” by cutting the unnecessary, and making sure everything is balanced. Do character reactions/dialogue make sense to the scene? Are the motivations for these reactions working? Did I drop enough clues/hints about who the bad guy/girl really is? Have I brought the romance/relationships full circle? Do I have Plot lines that are still hanging, and if so, should they be left open?

It’s like working on a piece of art. You start out molding the clay. At first it looks like a lump. Then as you sculpt it, it turns into something beautiful.

So here’s to the editing/revision process.

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Phew, it’s been a month, that’s for sure. Between snowstorms, writing, sick kids, book launch, and well, writing (LOL), things have been absolutely crazy. My first YA book My Dad’s a Paranormal Investigator: Seeking Shapeshifters has been doing really good.

I even got fan mail (woohoo). It’s nice to hear that people are enjoying it.

On the writing front, I’m still hacking away at my story TFGF (that’s its codename—hehehe). Only a select few actually know what it stands for. Right now, I’m about 10 chapters from saying finished! So that’s ¾ of the way done. As I write a chapter, I post it to my crit group, so edits will be fast. I’m hoping to have it sent out to betas no later than mid-march. The plot has taken some surprising turns, which I’m enjoying. And thanks to the fabulous Rhonda Stapleton’s crit on my first 3 chapters, I think I’ll add another chapter at the beginning, as well as do some more fleshing out of characters. She also gave me a cool idea for another added element that I can’t wait to play with (rubs hands together like a fiend).

I’m odd and actually enjoy edits, so I look forward to going back through and getting it cleaned up.

On the reading front, I finished reading The Hollow by Jessica Verday. It was an okay read. The front half was kind of slow, but once I got further in, I really enjoyed it. This morning, I started reading Shadowfever by Karen Marie Moning (the last book in the fever series). I’m so excited to finally have this one to read!

Tonight is Vampire Diaries, so I doubt I’ll get anything done other than watching the hotness that is Ian Somerhalder smolder on the screen (LOL). It’s one of my favorite shows, which brings me to the next topic. THE SECRET CIRCLE (OMG). My favorite book series as a teen is coming to TV (squeeeee). CW has already okayed the pilot, and according to EW Britt Robertson is being cast as Cassie (the MC). So excited, I can’t even explain it. I’m VERY eager to see who they’ll cast as Adam and Nick. Here’s hoping that the CW keeps the entire coven of witches. They all had such huge roles to play in the books, and I can’t imagine any of them missing from the cast. But we’ll see how they handle things.

 

I hope everyone else is doing great. And thank you to everyone who purchased/read/won my book! I’ve absolutely LOVED sharing my story with you. Don’t worry, I promise, there will be more to come. Have a book contract in the works (hopefully will receive it any day now) for a different YA series. Then of course, once I finish TFGF and have it back from betas/edits, I’ll be sending that one out to agents. Totally geeked about it.

So that about does it with the updates! Until next time…

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