Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Eeeep! and Stuff

Okay so you know that conundrum (totally love that word. LOVE IT) I had about whether I should quit or not, and the inadvertent guilt trip my nine-year-old sent me on?
It seems that I may not quit after all.
I promised my hubs that I would try to get Feudlings published for a  year. After that, I could quit and not feel bad (9-year-old missed that memo). So that year was up this past weekend, on my birthday. I had been trying for a year, and being rejected and miserable and, let's be honest, pretty dang grumpy. I was ready to give up.
The Monday before my birthday, I got an email from a small publisher I had pitched to only a week or so before. She said they loved my book and offered me a contract.
I fell out of my chair. Literally.
I was so excited, and she was so super nice. So I sent an email to the other publishers and agents that had my manuscript, because it's the polite thing to do.
A few days later, a second publisher said they also wanted Feudlings. That night, an agent wrote to say she would upgrade from the partial I sent her only a couple days before to a full. By then, I was not breathing. I nearly passed out.
Now I have a decision to make. I'm doing my research, asking lots of questions, squeeing lots and lots. I guess this was the universe's way of telling me I wasn't supposed to give up.
Thanks, universe :)

Monday, September 3, 2012

Meet & Greet

So.  For the GUTGAA, we're supposed to answer questions and give a brief bio. Here's mine :) 

I'm a freelance writer and stay-at-home mom. I've loved to write for as long as I've been able to write. Right now I'm querying a YA Urban Fantasy about star-crossed sorcerers, and I'm also just finishing my first draft on the sequel. 

Questions for the Meet and Greet

-Where do you write? At my desk, in my once-was-an-office-and-is-now-a-playroom. So I'm usually getting bombarded by toys while I'm trying to focus.

-Quick. Go to your writing space, sit down and look to your left. What is the first thing you see? A couch. Way more comfortable than my office chair, by the way.

-Favorite time to write? Any time I have enough energy and quiet. Usually mid-morning, if kids will let me!

-Drink of choice while writing? Pepsi! Drink of choice ALL the time.

-When writing , do you listen to music or do you need complete silence? For battle scenes, I've gotta have music. For everything else, complete silence.

-What was your inspiration for your latest manuscript and where did you find it? I spent nine months awake all night long (and all day long. We didn't sleep) with a new baby. I had absolutely nothing to do but daydream, and that daydream eventually became Feudlings.

-What's your most valuable writing tip? Have writer friends. For so long, I was the only writer I know. It was lonely and if I ever got stuck, I was on my own. Now, I have an amazing chat room with amazing writer friends, and I have an awesome critique group.  I've learned so much, and they push me to write even when I don't feel like it (I'm lazy, so this is often.)

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Gearing Up To Get An Agent Bloghop

 Deana Barnhart
This is my first time doing anything like this - but it sounds so fun! Gearing up to get an agent, or GUTGAA, is a month long contest with all sorts of fun events and prizes that Deana Barnhart hosts on her blog. Week 1 starts tomorrow, Sept. 3. Here's the schedule:

WEEK 1 (Monday, Sept 3rd - Friday, Sept 7th)

GUTGAA Meet and Greet - We're starting off with a little get to know you action. On your blog, post a mini bio about yourself along with answers to the questions I posted on my blog (see above if your confused). Don't like those questions all that much? That's fine. Make up your own. Either way, we just want to get to know you!

BETA/Critique Group Connect - Anyone interested in making some serious writer connections can come to my blog and post in the comments section what they're looking for and I will try my best to make a writer connection for you.

Call for Pitch Polish Entries - Are you looking for some pitch help? The Pitch Polish may be what you're looking for. I will start taking pitches Friday, at 11AM  and you will have until Saturday, Sept 8th at 11:59 PM EDT to get your pitch sent to deanabarnhart(at)gmail(dot)com. I will take the first 100 entries I get (if I get that many). To enter the pitch polish you will need to email your query and first 150 words to deanabarnhart(at)gmail(dot)com. Go HERE for details about what I mean by query and first 150 words as well as the format for entries.

Giveaway Winner Announced - Every Friday I will be randomly drawing a participants name and giving them a prize just for being cool:)

Doesn't that sound awesome? Have you signed up yet? http://deanabarnhart.blogspot.com/2012/08/gutgaa-schedule.html?spref=tw

Tools of the Querying Kind - Querytracker.net

I remember, long ago (like last year), when I started querying. I was sooo overwhelmed. I didn't know how to find an agent to query. I started stalking all my favorite authors and trying their agents, but it was a time consuming process.
And then I found Writers Market. Writers Market publishes a book every year that weighs as much as my youngest child. It has lists and lists of agents, publishers, contests, ect. But going through it takes forever, especially in the newer versions that don't separate it into genres.

And then I had to make a spreadsheet to keep track of the agents I did query. I like spreadsheets, so this wasn't a huge deal, but I kept thinking, there has GOT to be a better way.

There is.

I don't remember how, but I stumbled across querytracker.net. It made everything so easy that at first I was thinking, this has got to be some sort of scam.

It isn't.

What it is is a database that has nearly every agent out there. You can search by name, agency, or genre. It keeps track of everyone you have queried, when and how they responded. It has a comment section where others who have queried can post genre, when they queried, and when they got a response, and any other comments they might think helpful to others. And it generates a report on each agent showing their number of responses - like whether they requested fulls or partial. There is also a forum to chat with other members, and a resource for writers section. And this is all for free.

There is a membership, that gives it's premium members additional, more in-depth reports and other benefits. I haven't used it, but I've heard lots of people say it's totally worth the $35 a month.

My only regret with querytracker is that I didn't find it sooner!