Saturday, August 31, 2013

Updates and Contest Watch!

Hello, all! It's been way too long since I've worked on the blog, but lately I've been sprucing up the page with tons of updates. The most fun part was choosing a new header! My About Me page has some cool pics and has had a facelift. I've updated my MIRRORMASTERS page with a fabulous character sketch of Leah done during WriteOnCon by author/illustrator Larua Tisdel, as well as an updated blurb (AKA the pitch part of my query). There have been a few other little updates here and there, and I hope you enjoy!

I'm actively querying THE MIRRORMASTERS, and for a first novel, I'm pretty excited about the successes I've had so far. Who knows if this will be the one, but I'm really just getting started with my search for the literary agent who's right for me.

In the meantime, I'm about a quarter of the way through a first draft of my second novel, BENEATH THE RED SKY, about a girl named Kassi who has to move with her family to be part of the first colony on Mars. 

For anyone who is in the query trenches with me, the lovely Brenda Drake’s Pitch Madness is in full swing! If you entered the blog contest, best of luck. I’m right there cheering you on, and waiting with hope until September 6th, when we find out if our pitches are still in there. Whether you entered the contest or not, there’s another #PitMad twitter pitch party on September 12th, so mark your calendars.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The Big Announcement: YA2U!

Have you ever wished that a big YA book tour would make a stop in your hometown? Well, here's your chance for that wish to come true! YA2U is a program that features five award-winning and best-selling authors who are holding a contest to see what city they should visit in an exclusive tour stop!

The authors are collecting votes from January 1 to February 15, and any city in the continental US or any Canadian city that has an international airport can win an exclusive visit from all five authors, including an author panel and book signing! Entering is super easy--and if you help spread the word about the contest, you can also enter win a signed copy of all of their books (TEN signed books in total!)--and the book contest is open internationally!

The authors in the program are:

And they want to have an event in your home town! To participate, just got to the YA2U website and let them know what city you want them to come to. And while you're there, help spread the word about the contest and you can be entered to win all of their books--TEN signed books in total! 

Here's why the YA2U Team should come to MY hometown! 
OK, I live in the suburbs of Philadelphia, and I would absolutely love YA2U to come to my hometown because it's a natural stop near other cities like DC and New York. There's tons to do here, like exploring Penn's landing, taking a historic tour of the city of brotherly love (where the Declaration of Independence was signed and where you can visit the liberty bell), taking in a play, and dining at some AMAZING local restaurants. There's no shortage of cultural experiences, the arts, and entertainment here! So vote for Philly. We have authentic cheesesteaks :). 

Why should the YA2U Team come to your hometown? Why not join in the fun today and share with others about this program and your hometown. The more votes your town gets, the closer you are to having your very own personal tour stop! Vote for YOUR town here!

And if you help spread the word, you can also participate in the book giveaway. Tell them that you learned about YA2U from me and we both get extra entries in the contest! 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A Very Happy 2013 to you!

Happy New Year!

Hope you enjoy the new look of the blog. The sidebar disappeared in the process of playing around with design, so the layout is kind of stuck this way until I figure out how to fix it. 

First off, I want to let you all know about a super secret blog project by Beth Revis (author of the Across the Universe trilogy) and several other authors. I can't tell you anything more just yet, but today the authors involved will post a teaser trailer on their blogs. Beth Revis' blog is here. Check back tomorrow for more details if you get the chance. January 2nd is the big reveal about what this project is, and trust me, it's exciting! I'm so thrilled that I signed up to be part of promoting this and bringing it to you guys :).

May this new year--2013 (hard to believe it's already here!)-- find us reaching our writing goals and dreams. Last year was a year of making great progress. The MirrorMasters is close to being ready to send out into the world. Through Brenda Drake's PitchWars, I got a  taste of what it will be like, and some wonderful feedback! Moving forward, I'm excited to see what this year will bring, and I have my querying strategy together. Some great advice from researching on Agentqueryconnect and the Query Tracker forum is to query in batches of 10, to see what the rate of request is. If the query and initial pages garners interest after one or two batches, then great! If not, time to rework it.  If partials or fulls get no love, then time to re-visit the pages. 

Sometimes, the idea of getting a partial or full request seems so impossible because the pages have to be so unbelievably AMAZING, so flawless, so gripping that people just can't put them down. Are they? How much of that is just subjective, and there is an agent out there who will love the story?

Maybe the novel's not ready yet. Maybe it's still too long. Maybe some of the plot elements, like that it's a portal fantasy and that it's sort of a "chosen one" type storyline, might deter some agents. But if my only response from agents and/or publishers is silence, I'll know why. I'll know what to do next.

I've made some writing resolutions for this year: 

1. Finish that query that's already been through innumerable drafts.

2. Cull a 6-page synopsis into a second, short (1-2) page version.

3. Become more productive on this blog. Here, I know I should set a goal. I'd love to say that goal will be to post twice a week, but realistically it will be to post twice a month.

4. Write more short stories. And submit them for possible inclusion in anthologies.

5.  Start another novel, and finally begin sending the current one out into the world! 

Here's to us all reaching our writing goals this year! :) What are your writing-related New Year's Resolutions?