Twitter and Other Such Things

Wow, it’s been awhile!  We’ve been swept up by October and all of it’s activities.  But even if I haven’t been blogging, I have been writing.  Editing actually.  And I’m proud to say that my third book is complete!

Dark Visions is an epic fantasy based on Slavic Mythology and I will begin querying it in November.  I moved up my timeline, hoping to finish it by December for the next Pitch Madness on Twitter. Luckily, I finished it even earlier.  What is Pitch Madness, you ask?  It’s a wonderful contest on twitter.  Using the hashtag pitmad, you pitch your book in 140 characters or less.  Various literary agents (hundreds participate) read tweets all day and “like” the ones they are interested in.  If you get a like, you send a query.  It’s fun, fast, and messy and it’s a different way to garner interest in your novel.  The next date is December 4th, so keep your eyes peeled and finish your manuscripts.

If you are a writer and you aren’t on twitter, well my friends it’s time to take that step.  It’s so much easier than facebook and probably ninety percent of the agents you are looking at are on twitter.  Following these agents and their publishing houses is a smart way to find out what they are looking for, their manuscript wishlists, and contests that are constantly going on.  It’s also a quick way to meet other writers and represent yourself as a writer.  For those of you already on twitter, good job!

Well, I’m wrapping this up for now because I still have a sequel to write.  What are your favorite twitter contests?  How do you use social media as a writer?  Please comment and let me know.  As always, thanks for reading!

 

Sometimes Writing Sucks

It’s June 1st.  The kids are home, the house is a mess, and I’m not writing at all.  It’s really hard to get in the zone when someone’s asking for a snack or the potty every five minutes.  Not that I’m not happy to spend time with them, but I’m really looking forward to a few hours off tomorrow!

I’m deep in the midst of my least favorite part of writing right now – querying.  Most writers with aspirations towards publishing is familiar with that loathsome word.  Querying, otherwise known as constant, soul-crushing rejection.  For those not familiar with the process, a query is a letter sent to literary agents explaining your project and why you think they should represent your work.  Think the inside of a book jacket plus a resume.  There are probably people out there who are fantastic at summarizing their novel in two short paragraphs, complete with a catchy “hook” to entice potential agents.  I am not one of them.  While I believe I am a good writer and that my novel is interesting and well written, I am apparently incapable of showing that in a snappy letter.

I have written many versions of query letters.  I read Chuck Sambuchinos’s and Janet Reid aka Query Shark’s blog regularly (two excellent sources for examples of well written queries).  Still, though, the perfect query letter eludes me.  But like every other part of the writing process, you can only improve by continuing to write. So, I’m off to rewrite WITHIN query number 37.

Good luck to all the other writers stuck in the hell that is querying!

My Novel

When I tell people that I’m a writer, one of their first questions is always, “What’s your book about?”  That’s a hard one for me because, as it turns out, I suck at summarizing.  Last week I went to a writing workshop in Seattle and was fortunate enough to get to pitch my novel to an agent.  Guess what, pitching is basically summarizing your novel.  Bummer.  Luckily, I pitched to a fantastic agent who managed to understand all my floundering about and she liked my story.  She asked to see the full manuscript, which is a great honor for me.  Doesn’t mean I’m getting published, but it’s a step.

So, point of all of that rambling is that I’m trying to get better at summarizing.  My current novel, WITHIN, is a YA Gothic Fantasy.  What that means is its a Fantasy book for Young Adults (although adults can read it too, I happen to love YA books) and it’s set in the Victorian Era, hence the word Gothic.

LUCY GELLING is a seventeen year old girl completely isolated from the outside world of Victorian England.  Her adopted family fell into disgrace with the Prince Regent, and now lives in seclusion on the Isle of Man.  When JAMES stumbles up the path to her Manor, he is under the impression that it is abandoned and is intending to use it as a hideout.  He is trying to outrun a horrible secret that could see him hanging at the end of a noose.  Lucy takes a chance and promises to hide James, even though he won’t share the details of his past.

Both lonely, they quickly become friends and begin to develop feelings for each other.  James reveals that he is hiding because he killed a boy who was tormenting him at school. Lucy accepts this and shares her secret; she thinks she’s being haunted.  She has nightmares that leave her with injuries on waking, and is followed at night by shadows that belong to no one.  She has shared this with her family, but they tell her that she is imagining things.

One night she feels compelled by a strain from a violin and in following the sound, sees death’s head with glowing eyes staring at her from an abandoned room.  Terrified by the sight, Lucy convinces her nanny to tell her something of the family’s history.  She learns that they are not the people she thought they were, but in fact have pasts littered with secrets, lies, and bodies.  But even the nanny will not tell Lucy of her birth.  James promises to help her find the truth of her past, but the harder they look the more frightening things get for Lucy within the Manor.  An attempt on her life finally opens her eyes to the truth; someone or something is out to get her.

James promises to take her away from it all, but can she leave without learning the secrets that her family are holding so close?  As the Manor walls begin to close in on her, Lucy may learn that the truth is the most frightening thing of all.

I am currently in the process of querying agents about WITHIN, which means I am looking for a literary agent to represent my work.  I will post excerpts from this and my other works here on my blog.  Hope you like my summary.  If you like my blog, please be kind and register.  That way you get emails whenever I post a new blog and you get to comment.  Just scroll down to Meta and click on register.  You will put in a username and an email and it will send you a link.

Thanks for reading!