Photo 365 #175

Last night, the sun set on my thirtieth year.  And what a glorious sunset it was!

sunset30

See?  Toldja it was pretty. 🙂

It’s been a great birthday today, even if it has left me thinking a lot about my mom.  I’m now the same age she was when she died (or at least I will be come August), and it’s got me thoughtful.  Luckily, I’ve got some great friends who’ve done a fantastic job of keeping my spirits high today, and I want to share the happy with you all.

So!  I’m running a special on Tuesday Daydreams.  From now through Monday, you can pick up a copy (if you don’t have one already) for $1.50 (regular price is $2.99).  Just go to Smashwords and enter coupon code FE67Z at checkout.  You can also pick up a copy at Amazon.

I hope you all have a fabulous Thursday.  See ya back here tomorrow! 🙂

(c) 2015.  All rights reserved.

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On querying

As I caught up on my blog reading this morning after taking yesterday off to try and finish Kindar’s Cure (I failed, but I hope to have it done before tomorrow’s over), I ran across these two gems from Janet Reid.  I love reading her blog (and QueryShark); I’ve learned a lot since I started.

Anyway, these two tidbits made me laugh, the first because it’s totally true and the second because, well, I’d like to see that happen (the drinking editors under the table part, followed by that letter).  So, please to enjoy:

There is no right way to do this. There’s the way you do it (which you’ll kick yourself for doing) and the way that Other Writer did it (which will make you think Oh, I wish I’d done that instead!)  The reason is that the grass is always greener in the other WorryWart’s pasture.

Here’s where I’m very much NOT the dream agent for very good writers.  I’ve read a couple darn good novels this year that I had no idea what to do with.  I passed with great sorrow BUT the author deserves an agent who knows what the next step is, and I didn’t. I mean short of sending it out to every editor I’ve drunk under the table with a cover letter that says “this is good, buy this”  (Ok, I’ve done that but it’s not really a strategy you want to encourage.)

To read the whole post, click here.  As always, it’s chock full of wisdom.

(c) 2013.  All rights reserved.

 

Staying positive

There’s a song that says, “The longer the waiting, the sweeter the kiss.”  I hope that it holds true for publishing as well.

I received another rejection yesterday.  This time it really hurt, as the rejection came from someone who had requested my full manuscript.  I knew I shouldn’t get my hopes up and I did my best not to, but it still stung.  I understand that they can’t take on every project – it’s a small press, and it’s not the easiest of times out there.  You really have to love a project to take it on.

There was a bright spot in the midst of the gloom, though.

Excitement abounds!

You know, I’ve had something brewing in the back of my mind for quite a while now as a blog topic and some of the posts I’ve been reading lately on T.L. Tyson’s blog have more or less cemented the idea in my head.  However, I’m not sure it’s fully fermented yet and at any rate, I received an email over my lunch break that pretty much blew said idea sky-high.  Any thoughts I might have otherwise entertained posting about today were blown to smithereens when I read the following words:

…I’d love to see the whole thing…

Squee!

And now, the interview!

Lisa McKay, author and guest poster extraordinaire
Photo courtesy of Lisa McKay

Hopefully you all stopped by yesterday to check out the awesome guest post by the fabulous Lisa McKay.  If you didn’t, well, why not?  Go on then, go check it out.  I’ll wait.  Have you read it then?  Okay, good.  Because now comes the fabulous interview!  (Is it okay that I’ve used the word fabulous twice in one paragraph now? Yes?  Okay, good. :))

Your first book was a novel.  What were some of the challenges you faced in switching from fiction to creative nonfiction?

When I was writing my first novel (My Hands Came Away Red), I found myself getting surprised by what was happening.  As I figured out the “what” of plot, however, an understanding of my characters’ actions and reactions followed fairly naturally.

Writing a memoir reversed this process.  I already knew what happened – I’d lived it – but I had to work much harder to figure out what it all meant to me, then and now.

The plotting process was different, too.  With the novel, I wrote my way into the story blind, without an outline.  As I wrote, the story gained momentum as events unfolded.

In contrast, I had a clear vision for the start and end of the memoir, bu little idea of how I was going to get from one place to the other.  Despite repeated outlines, I continued to flounder in the middle until the very final drafts of the manuscript.

Tell us about your new book.  What inspired you to write memoir?

Love at the Speed of Email is the story of an old-fashioned courtship made possible by modern technology.

Lisa looks as if she has it made.  She has turned her nomadic childhood and forensic psychology training into a successful career as a stress management trainer for humanitarian aid workers.  She lives in Los Angeles, travels the world, and her first novel has just been published to some acclaim.  But as she turns 31, Lisa realizes that she is still single, constantly on airplanes, and increasingly wondering where home is and what it really means to commit to a person, place, place, or career.  When an intriguing stranger living on the other side of the world emails her out of the blue, she must decide whether she will risk trying to answer those questions.  Her decision will change her life.

I didn’t intend for this second book to be a memoir.  In fact, I was working on a novel on human trafficking when my husband, Mike, and I became engaged.  But as we began to plan our wedding I found it increasingly difficult to flip in and out of such vastly different worlds – the happiness of the one I was living in and the harshness of the one I was trying to write about.

I’d spent my childhood living in countries as diverse as Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.  I carried Australian and Canadian passports.  I was living in Los Angeles working for a nonprofit organization that provided psychological support to humanitarian workers worldwide.  I was hopelessly confused as to where home was.  Perhaps, I thought, I could write my way towards clarity.  That’s when I started working on the memoir.

Do you enjoy writing in any other genres?  What genres do you enjoy reading?

The answer to these and other questions are this-a-way! Follow me!

Six tips for marketing self-published books

And now, the fabulous guest post by Lisa McKay, author of My Hands Came Away Red and Love at the Speed of Email!  Marketing is a tricky beast, whether you’re traditionally published or self-published, and Lisa has knowledge of both realms.  To learn more about this wonderful author, you can start by visiting her website at www.lisamckaywriting.com.  Don’t forget to pick up a copy of her memoir, Love at the Speed of Email, available here!

Last Wednesday I wrote about the challenge that marketing can be for self-publishing authors.  I asked what you would do if you were in charge of marketing my memoir, Love at the Speed of Email, and was flooded with responses.

Well, not exactly.

Tinker, tenor, author, spy

Okay, so that was a rather poor Star Trek reference, but it made me smile. (I can’t help it; I love the Doctor. :))  Anyway, my good friend Lindsey Parsons has published her first novel, Vortex, and you can find it on both Amazon and Amazon UK.

On a night when prophecies stir, an outraged dragon vents his anger, Damian is ripped from everything he knows and Sam’s nightmares become real…

Sam isn’t enjoying university life, she’s disillusioned with her course and having second thoughts about her future.  It doesn’t help that she keeps having a scary recurring nightmare and when she thinks things couldn’t get worse, a creepy man follows her back to her room.

Damian is unique, he has silver eyes, horns, and wings, he is also being visited by a ghost girl.  She looks so sad and frightened he feels compelled to help her, but the night he reaches out to save her from a dragon’s fiery breath he gets ripped from his life, his world, from everything he knows.

Now it’s Damian who’s lost in an unfamiliar world that’s devoid of magic and full of strange monsters.  His only connection with home is Sam, who he recognizes as the ghost girl.  Sam has to put aside her fear and disbelief in Damian’s explanations about himself to try and help him find his way home.  But in a world without magic is this possible?

To learn more about Lindsey, click here to read her recent interview with Tricia Drammeh and here to read her interview with Kate Jack.  Help support this great author!

(c) 2012.  All rights reserved.

Of editors and rejections and hope, oh my!

This morning I was perusing Chuck Wendig’s awesome blog, the way I do every weekday morning.  As usual, it was freaking awesome.  In today’s post, he compared editors to MacGyver and the A-Team:

Then she gathers up the crumbled story-boulders and pages caught on cactus spines and she again mounts her steed and rides to the next ridge.  There she sits, alone.  For hours.  Maybe days.  Pulling pages apart.  Seeing what she has.  Shining a light into dark corners.  Finding sense.  Fixing errors.  Bringing sanity back to madness, chaos back to order, context back to content.  Her red pen dances bloodily upon the page.

And when the time is right, she rides again.

Anyway, I know that little tidbit references neither MacGyver nor the A-Team, but to find those two particular bits, go here.  Read the whole thing – it’s totally worth it, I promise you.  Guy knows his stuff.  Also?  He usually makes me laugh because he’s funny in a way I can’t quite describe.  Maybe that’s because I have a weird sense of humor, but maybe not.

And now for the rejection part. Luckily, it’s not rejection Simon Cowell-style. That means there’s still reason to hope! And since I’m an optimist, you know I will.