You are now entering the world of my thoughts.

This blog is my diary of works in progress. The only way a writer can improve upon her skill is to practice, practice and practice some more. Here, in this place of quiet peace, I pen to paper my thoughts and creativity. Welcome to my world.

Copyright © 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 SN Taylor, All Rights Reserved

Friday, March 22, 2013

Blog Tour: Guest Post: Handling Pizza and Writer Rejection


Handling Pizza and Writer Rejection
Liz Gruder, author of Starseed

I grew intrigued while perusing a menu recently. When I read the ingredients of a particular pizza outloud: artichoke hearts, mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, asparagus, parmesan and mozzarella, my boyfriend made gagging noises. “I hate artichokes,” he said. “Why can’t we get pepperoni?”

I sighed. My pizza had been rejected.

I mused that writing was similar to pizza. You concoct what you perceive is a wonderful, tasty story … and after serving it to consumers, be prepared for rejection.

The stories of famous writers being rejected are legendary.
--J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone was rejected by a dozen publishers before Bloomsbury, a small London publisher, took it on – and that was only after the CEO’s eight-year-old daughter begged her father to read it.
--Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time was rejected 29 times before finding a publisher.
--And C.S. Lewis, (Chronicles of Narnia) received over 800 rejections before he sold a single piece of writing.

Does this mean that those who rejected these writers were wrong? I bet they kicked themselves for lost revenue, but their opinion likely remained the same.

If you scan Goodreads or Amazon popular book reviews, they range from “loved it” to “terrible!”
--Harry Potter. One star.We can see the beginnings of Rowling's authorial failings … Rowling's prose is quick and simple, but sometimes awkward and without music or joy.”
--A Wrinkle in Time. One star. “Madeleine L'Engle brings to the table a cursory knowledge of astronomy, the imagination of a brown paper sack, and half-assed characters.”
--The Lion, the Witch, the Wardrobe. One star. “I am tempted to give this book a zero … awful book.”

I would hope that the standard for a one-star review is being among the worst books ever. Every element is terrible—the editing, writing, plot, characterization, voice, vision, world building, theme, etc. It hardly seems fair to give these books one star. But this is my subjective opinion. And that’s what rejections and reviews are. In fact, the soaring heights and pitiful lows of many book reviews make the reading public appear bipolar. Witness Twilight.

Many think it’s okay to review a pepperoni pizza when they hate pepperoni and splatter hot cheese all over the wall. If I hate pepperoni, I’m not going to order it, let alone review it. How is that fair to the chef? Others will declare that the chef needs to be executed for his terrible pizza. But herein, again, lies the subjective slaying in “terrible.”

The real issue here is that these writers, whether serving pepperoni or artichokes—were tenacious. They didn’t quit. They found that one “yes” publisher who believed in their work. Later, they ignored the “no’s” who dissed what they dished up and kept writing. They realized there is no book or pizza that will be universally loved. They believed in their visions, persevered and found consumers who enjoyed their unique recipes.

So when ordering pizza, my boyfriend and I decided on a small pepperoni and a small artichoke pizza. We agree to differ, absent the stinging vitriol that often lace book reviews. We respect one another, despite our differences. Best of all, he didn’t try to convince me why I should hate artichokes, for he understands that tastes vary.

--Liz Gruder







www.lizgruder.com
https://twitter.com/LizGruder
https://www.facebook.com/authorlizgruder



Liz Gruder
As a youth, Liz Gruder saw a series of UFOs with her best friend while riding bikes. Ever since, she’s held a fascination for the stars. An avid reader, she used to hide under her covers and read with a flashlight. She has degrees in English and Psychology from Tulane University, a nursing license and a yoga certification. After going through Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, Liz realized how short life is and is now slowly fulfilling her bucket list: she’s been to the Egyptian pyramids (totally awesome and thought provoking) and is now teaching yoga and writing speculative fiction. Starseed is her debut novel.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Book Tour: Max Xylander and the Island of Zumuruud by Jon Thomason

 
Jon Thomason's Top Ten 
Resources for Writers

Rather than give a list of books about writing, the following are a set of tools and resources that will let you work faster and better, and get that award-winning novel finished and ready for publication! You supply the story.

10. The Style Guide for the Economist (http://www.economist.com/styleguide/introduction). Learn to write precisely, concisely, and well. From the best-written news periodical ever.
 
9.http://translate.google.com. In case you want some foreign language text. Make sure to have someone fluent double check it!
 
8. The Chicago Manual of Style (online or print edition): http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/home.html. Seriously. Look up how quotes work, em dashes, or anything else you have a question about. It's all there and perfectly authoritative.
 
7. Roget's Thesaurus. Still the best. Or you can go to thesaurus.com, but I prefer Roget's. Seriously, don't repeat words. Learn some new ways of saying things.
 
6. Wikipedia (duh!). It's so much easier to do novel research now than in the "old days."
 
5. Google maps (ditto). Satellite maps, and especially street view! Much faster (but much less fun) than traveling there.
 
4. Apple Maps on iPad. Though often panned, their 3D view gives you an almost unmatched ability to visualize the places you might be writing about.
 
3. MacBook Air: the ultimate writer's computer, especially in 11": take it anywhere and write. Good battery life, full-sized keyboard (don't even think about trying to write on an iPad), plenty of horsepower for daily writing. Plug it in at home to a big monitor!
 
2. My favorite writing software, Scrivener (for Mac and Windows): http://literatureandlatte.com. I couldn't live without it: plot with "index cards", write a scene at a time, reorder and reorganize, then use their "compile" feature to build a manuscript or e-book or both! My favorite obscure feature? The "name generator." Generate a list of random names. Even lets you choose nationalities, alliteration, etc. Amazing!
 
1. iTunes. Enough said.


Author Jon Thomason,
Max Xylander and the Island of Zumuruud

Jon Thomason lives with his family in San Diego, after many years living in the beautiful Seattle area. He has a successful career in high tech where he's been fortunate enough to participate in many big-name industry releases.

Storytelling permeates everything he does. In the moments when Jon is not helping build the story of the tech world, he can almost always be found working on a project: writing, photography, videography, graphics design, or 3D art.

And he's always careful to conceal his jinni magic abilities, though perhaps might slip one day and be discovered...
Links
Facebook * Amazon * Goodreads * Twitter
 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Spring Cleaning Book Giveaway

2nd Annual Spring Cleaning Giveaway Hop

It's time for some spring cleaning!
I'm giving away some wonderful reads so that I can make room for many more :)
Here are a couple of titles: 
The Faerie Ring by Kiki Hamilton
Untimed by Andy Gavin
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Blog Tour: Query Writing with Kerri Cuevas

Query Writing with Kerri Cuevas
Author of Deadly Kisses


Query!
Did someone say query?
Stop! Don’t run for the hills. I promise it’s not that bad.
We all dread the querying process, and I’m not going to tell you how to write a query letter. There are bloggers who go into great detail about the subject. Being a published author who has gone through the process, I have a different perspective about queries.
When writing a query letter it’s important to not only sell your story, but also yourself. The agent or publisher reading your letter doesn’t know anything about you except what you tell them. Getting your book ready to be unleashed into the world is a long, intense process. Your agent or publisher needs to trust that you can fulfill your end of the process in the allotted time given. They don’t know if you will complete the editing process with them unless you are able to convince them of it in the query letter.
In addition to the obvious credentials—college, writing groups, blogging, critique groups, and awards; you need to ask yourself this: What can you do for them? You need to tell them what things you feel you will be successful with—marketing, speaking engagement, networking, web site development, etc. You need to show them that you will be able to put in the time needed to promote your book, either online, in print or in person. If you have built up a following, either with other books or in building interest in your current book, let them know you have a waiting audience.
We have to be our own best advocates and writing an amazing story is not enough. Use these tips and you'll improve your chances of being accepted by a publisher.
I hope that hill isn’t looking so high anymore.
Kerri Cuevas
author of Deadly Kisses

Book Summary:
Aiden Grant is seventeen, has a killer kiss, and a boss who used to be President, back in the old days. You see, Aiden is a grim reaper and his kiss welcomes the newly dead. But Aiden’s pleasant grim reaper lifestyle is in jeopardy. And it’s not only because Honest Abe keeps throwing out history lessons with reaping assignments, just to confuse him. It’s because Aiden’s next assignment is to reap the soul of Bee, the only girl he has ever loved.

When Aiden’s kiss of death fails, intertwining their souls, Bee is still very much alive and they are both in trouble. The ancients want Bee, who has special powers of her own, and they’ll do anything to get her.

Some rules are meant to be broken—even if that means Aiden must bargain with his own soul to save Bee. Who knew the afterlife could get so complicated?
 Author Bio:
Kerri Cuevas was born and raised in Rhode Island. She moved to New Hampshire with her husband, three kids, cats and a rabbit named Hercules in 2005. When she's not writing, she's chasing chickens on her small farm or searching for the ultimate mac-a-cheese recipe.

Kerri went to college for Early Childhood Education but now writes books for young adults full-time. Her storytelling stems from watching too many horror flicks as a teen, but she no longer needs to sleep with the lights on.
 
Author Links:
Goodreads       Author Website        Author Blog       Amazon 


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Guest Post: How Tameka Fryer Brown Landed an Agent




Tameka Fryer Brown, author of MY COLD PLUM, LEMON PIE, BLUESY MOOD (Viking Children's, 2013)

Landing an Agent 

Many have written about the best way to land an agent, with varying perspectives and offers of advice. I’ll add my voice to the fray with a personal testimony on how I landed my agent, what I did and did not do. 

CONNECTINGAs a newbie writer, I DID NOT pitch to agents (or editors) at conferences. Not that there’s anything wrong with doing that, and it may work very well for some. But since I suspect that most agents and editors don’t remember a tenth of the people they come in contact with at conferences, especially those whose only interaction with them is to try to pitch their manuscripts, I decided that wasn’t for me.
As a more seasoned writer, I now strike up conversations with editors and agents at conferences, but I DO NOT lead with my writing at all. I strike up normal conversations about every day topics. Why have I never initiated a conversation with a story pitch? For one thing, I still believe all those pitches tend to run together after a while. Unless you make a personal connection with someone, they likely won’t remember you or your story. Plus, that whole “elevator-pitch your story to all the publishing professionals at the conference” is just not my style. If I’m interested in submitting to someone, I do just that: submit my manuscript. My work should be able to speak for itself.  However, whenever I do make a personal connection with a publishing professional at a conference, they always ask me about what I write and the projects I’m working on.  I try to always be prepared with a 30-ish word synopsis of the projects I’m working on for such instances, but if it’s up to 50 words, I don’t sweat it. We’re just having a friendly conversation—not a nerve-racking pitch session.

SUBMITTINGBack when I was submitting my own manuscripts to agents, I DID research each of them as thoroughly as possible. It was while reviewing the Andrea Brown Literary Agency’s website that I noticed agent Jennifer RofĂ© had minored in Social and Ethnic Relations. Since my manuscript highlighted a close-knit, diverse neighborhood, I thought it might interest her. Today she is my agent because of that targeted approach. I’ve sold two books with her, including my latest, MY COLD PLUM LEMON PIE BLUESY MOOD (Viking Children’s/Penguin). So much information is available online these days, no one should ever skip the important step of research.
I DID follow submissions guidelines to a “T”. I DID NOT, however, over-obsess over query and cover letters as it relates to formatting and such. I DID proofread and make sure that my letters looked professional, but I did not worry about whether my bio info was in the third or fourth paragraph, or if I listed my word count in the upper right hand corner or below  my contact info on the left. I learned the most important thing was to craft a letter that hooked the reader from the beginning, described the plot early on, and made my story appear as dynamic as possible, without verbosity.  So long as the content is there (and the glitter/confetti/clipart is not), that’s what counts.

COMMUNICATINGWhen Jennifer initially expressed interest in my manuscript, she asked me several questions, among which were: “Do you have any other manuscripts?” and “Are you open to revising your work?” My answers were: “Yes I do.” and “Yes I am.” To those readers seeking to land an agent (or a publisher), these should be your answers, too. 
It’s important for agents to know that you are not a one-book-pony.  Picture book authors especially should have at least three completed manuscripts before seeking representation; novel writers for older age groups might be able to have only one, but it helps to be actively working on another. As for revising—revising is what writing (and publishing) is all about! One can’t get to literary excellence without it. Be one with the Backspace! Embrace the Delete key!
I’m not sure if my experience contradicts everything you’ve ever read about landing an agent. If it does, then that simply proves there is no one right way to do it. Tailor your approach to whatever works for you and make it happen!



Monday, March 11, 2013

Isabella and Penelope Book Blast and Giveaway



Isabella and Penelope by Maggie Grinnell

Isabella is a young girl who loses her father in a tragic accident. She has such a close connection with her dad that she decided not to speak for 2 years. Then she encounters Penelope, a pink caterpillar who changes her life forever.

Purchase


Author Maggie Grinnell

I have been writing since 1992. I am a children's author who writes poetry and also the co editor of the children's newsletter, Kite Tales. Writing is a part of me. Writing is my heart and soul.





Book Blast Giveaway
$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 3/21/13


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Friday, March 8, 2013

Aura Blog Tour: Guest Post: Query Do's and Don'ts

Query Letters 
Do's and Don'ts  
Rebecca Talley, Author of, Aura 

The purpose of a query letter is to ask a prospective editor or agent if he might be interested in reading your work. The query letter needs to pique the interest of the editor or agent so that he will ask to read more. 

In the first paragraph, you want to hook the editor or agent. Make every word count. Don’t over-hype your work, but pull out the most interesting aspects to include in the hook. Make that editor or agent want to call you and insist that you send him your manuscript at once. Work on your hook until it successfully communicates the gist of your story in the most appealing way possible, usually in about five sentences.


In the second paragraph, include the specifics about your book such as title, word count, target market, if it is a series, and that it is complete (fiction manuscripts need to be complete before querying).   

In the third paragraph, you'll want to add your previous publication credits, especially if they are similar to what you are submitting. You can also include memberships in professional organizations like SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators). If you have no publication credits, simply skip this part, but do not call attention to your lack of credits.

In the last paragraph, you want to call the editor or agent to action by asking if he would be interested in reading the entire manuscript. Include a request such as, "May I interest you in reading my manuscript?" This is a very important part. Make sure you have included correct contact information. Then close the letter with an appropriate thank you and your name.

Be sure to follow the editor's or agent's guidelines posted on their websites or included in directories. Some prefer only email queries while others will only read print ones. Some will accept either form. If you don't follow the guidelines, your query will most likely be deleted without the editor or agent even reading it. 

Keep the query short and professional.

Do not include praise from your mother or the lady that lives down the street. Do not include a full synopsis of the story.
Do not put in any false information about yourself or your book. Do not "butter up" the editor or agent with insincere praise.
Do not send a query with spelling mistakes or improper grammar.

Study effective query letters and be sure to have trusted readers look over your query before you send it.  
The query letter represents you and your work. The goal is to entice an editor or agent so make sure your query letter is the best it can possibly be.
 Rebecca Talley
Fiction Inspired by Life
http://www.rebeccatalley.com



Aura

"I half-turned to her and shrugged, still processing what I'd seen, or at least what I thought I'd seen, in Ms. Neal's eyes—like they weren't hers. Obviously, they were her eyes, but it looked like she'd plucked them from someone else's head. A dead someone else's head."


In the fight between good and evil, Light is your only weapon.


Crystal Scott finally feels like a normal teenager. She has a lead in the high school play, a best friend, and a gorgeous boyfriend. With prom only a few days away, Crystal’s ordinary life seems perfect.


Endowed with great Light because of her virtuous choices and her inherent gifts, Crystal’s aura has become visible to those with the ability to see auras. Unfortunately, her power has also attracted the attention of demons intent on destroying all Light.


When Vincent Crandall, the human host for a powerful demon, discovers that Crystal’s Light is strong enough to disrupt the connection between demons and their hosts, he realizes she may be able to sever the connection altogether. Determined to stop her from interfering with his plans to rule the world, he sends operatives to neutralize her Light.


After the operatives fail to disable Crystal, Vincent decides he must harness her power for himself. He kidnaps her parents, and Crystal is thrust into battle against a demon army she didn’t even know existed. With the help of a mysterious young man and his mother, Crystal must learn to use the power within her before Vincent kills her parents and exploits her Light.



                                               About the Author: Rebecca Lynn Talley
Rebecca Lynn Talley grew up in the gorgeous seaside city of Santa Barbara, CA. She met, and married, her husband, Del, while attending Brigham Young University. She graduated from BYU with a degree in Communications. She currently lives in rural Colorado on a small ranch with a dog, too many cats to count, and a herd of goats. She and Del are the proud parents of ten wildly-creative, multi-talented children.

Rebecca is the author of a children's picture book, Grasshopper Pie (WindRiver 2003), a children's chapter book, Gabby's Secret (DuBon Publishing 2011), four novels, Heaven Scent (CFI 2008), Altared Plans (CFI 2009), The Upside of Down (CFI 2011), and Aura (DuBon Publishing 2012). She has also authored numerous children's stories and articles for both print and online magazines.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Book Tour: Max Xylander and the Island of Zumuruud




Max Xylander and the Island of Zumuruud

Max has anger management issues. But she has a secret, too. She can make things happen. Like magic. She almost killed a loser skate punk and nearly used it on her stuck up older sister. The question is, can she do anything other than blow things up? Can she learn to control it? And is it really possible that an obscure teenage girl is the key to keeping all of humanity safe?

Philip just got his ring back. He got it taken away for messing with his teacher’s mind so he can cheat on a test. Now that he has his ring, he thinks he should be able to use his power to make his life better. A lot better. The problem is that people want him to be responsible. But if you could do magic, wouldn’t you use it to escape work in any way possible?



Aaron wants to be a soldier. He knows there are lots of people who would try to take over, and he’s determined to stop them. The problem is that there’s this new girl. And she might be not be on the right side of things. She’s really talented and pretty, but she might be able to destroy everything he believes in. Whatever the case, he knows he needs to learn to be world class with the magic sword while he figures out what to do.



Brynn never gets out. Her grandfather won’t permit it. Her only access to the outside world are high fashion magazines, so she has an unusual idea what she should wear. She’s dying to get out and travel. And adopt animals. Any kind of animal. Is she a lonely future granny with cats or are her ridiculous clothes actually the next fashion craze? What possible role could she play in the destiny of the world?



Max Xylander and the Island of Zumuruud is a fast-paced fantasy adventure for all ages (10 and up)  and is the first of a planned trilogy. Fans of magic, swordplay, secret agents, and conspiracies set in a modern everyday world will not be able to put the book down. Jon Thomason is a debut author and paints a vivid world of magic right under our noses and delivers rapid-fire action that keeps the pages turning.




Purchase






Praise



"Impressively inventive and enjoyable...vivid storytelling and exceptional characterization...Max's personality is layered and complex...conveyed flawlessly...keeping readers intrigued and engaged...writing style is smooth, and a subtle sense of humor comes through...narrative tension builds at a good pace and easily flows toward a satisfying and exciting conclusion...parents are likely to both approve of the story and enjoy reading it themselves...talented writer...sure to find an appreciative audience that will eagerly anticipate the next book in the series." -- ForeWord Clarion Review

"Thomason shines in his heroine's characterization...magical" --blueink Review





Download a FREE Copy!

Max Xylander and the Island of Zumuruud is FREE from March 7th to 11th on AMAZON.



Author Jon Thomason

Jon Thomason lives with his family in San Diego, after many years living in the beautiful Seattle area. He has a successful career in high tech where he's been fortunate enough to participate in many big-name industry releases.

Storytelling permeates everything he does. In the moments when Jon is not helping build the story of the tech world, he can almost always be found working on a project: writing, photography, videography, graphics design, or 3D art.

And he's always careful to conceal his jinni magic abilities, though perhaps might slip one day and be discovered...





Links













Book Blast Giveaway

$75 Amazon.com Gift Card or Paypal Cash (International)

Apple EarPods (US only)









 

Monday, March 4, 2013

Aura Blog Tour and Giveaway

Tour Schedule


Aura

"I half-turned to her and shrugged, still processing what I'd seen, or at least what I thought I'd seen, in Ms. Neal's eyes—like they weren't hers. Obviously, they were her eyes, but it looked like she'd plucked them from someone else's head. A dead someone else's head."

In the fight between good and evil, Light is your only weapon.

Crystal Scott finally feels like a normal teenager. She has a lead in the high school play, a best friend, and a gorgeous boyfriend. With prom only a few days away, Crystal’s ordinary life seems perfect.

Endowed with great Light because of her virtuous choices and her inherent gifts, Crystal’s aura has become visible to those with the ability to see auras. Unfortunately, her power has also attracted the attention of demons intent on destroying all Light.

When Vincent Crandall, the human host for a powerful demon, discovers that Crystal’s Light is strong enough to disrupt the connection between demons and their hosts, he realizes she may be able to sever the connection altogether. Determined to stop her from interfering with his plans to rule the world, he sends operatives to neutralize her Light.

After the operatives fail to disable Crystal, Vincent decides he must harness her power for himself. He kidnaps her parents, and Crystal is thrust into battle against a demon army she didn’t even know existed. With the help of a mysterious young man and his mother, Crystal must learn to use the power within her before Vincent kills her parents and exploits her Light.






Author Rebecca Lynn Talley

Rebecca Lynn Talley grew up in the gorgeous seaside city of Santa Barbara, CA. She met, and married, her husband, Del, while attending Brigham Young University. She graduated from BYU with a degree in Communications. She currently lives in rural Colorado on a small ranch with a dog, too many cats to count, and a herd of goats. She and Del are the proud parents of ten wildly-creative, multi-talented children.

Rebecca is the author of a children's picture book, Grasshopper Pie (WindRiver 2003), a children's chapter book, Gabby's Secret (DuBon Publishing 2011), four novels, Heaven Scent (CFI 2008), Altared Plans (CFI 2009), The Upside of Down (CFI 2011), and Aura (DuBon Publishing 2012). She has also authored numerous children's stories and articles for both print and online magazines.

When she isn’t writing, Rebecca loves to date her husband, play with her kids, swim in the ocean, and dance to disco music while she cleans the house. She has folded at least one million loads of laundry, baked hundreds of batches of chocolate chip cookies, and eaten 5,478 gallons of ice cream.





Reviews

This YA urban fantasy is fantastic! The story grabbed me from the start and kept me enthralled until the end! I love books that keep me thinking about the characters and events and possibilities even after putting them down...Aura is one of those books! Rebecca Lynn Talley has created characters you care about in a world begging for the special gifts they possess. I love the premise of Aura and imagine I'll be enjoying many more Light vs. Demon novels in the future....at least I hope there are more to come!
~KindleQueen

I loved the clasic good VS evil in Aura. I loved that Crystal made the conscious choice to be good inspite of feelings and doubts. I also loved the idea of demons posessing somone who had made dark choices, or greedy bargains. The book is clean and well handled inspite of the serious subject matter.Well done.
~C. Michelle Jefferies

This is one of those books that you hope will become widespread enough to make a positive impact in this world. Personally, I think this is a book every teenager should read and I will definitely be passing it along to my own kids. Thank you, Rebecca, for writing a beautiful story with a wonderful message! I hope you keep at it because now I want a sequel!
~Rachael Anderson

Aura sucked me in from the first page. The book is intense and well-written. I loved that Crystal is innocent and makes a conscious choice to stay that way in the face of intense pressure. I would recommend Aura to young adults on up.
~Cami Checketts

Wonderful, wonderful message. Probably the most solid moral message I’ve ever read in contemporary literature, but without being too heavy or feeling like a lecture. You could almost look at it like an allegory, I think, representing real life with fictional symbols. I’m trying to explain without giving anything away, and I think I’m doing a bad job. Anyway, I have four boys, but if I had a girl, I would definitely have her read it. The story is imaginative and creative, Crystal is a strong but believable heroine, caught up in high school cares and not realizing her own potential or the battle that is waged around and for her. I thought at times it was a bit predictable, and that the first half of the book drug a little. It probably could have been told quicker or perhaps made a little more interesting. But all in all, I enjoyed it. The story kept me going and the characters were sweet and compelling.
~May Abbey

Wow! I got this book for free and LOVED it! I can't wait to read any follow up books! (There WILL be follow up books, right?) In this story Crystal is full of light, thanks to making good choices, and she has to figure out how to keep the light in the midst of high school where temptation runs rampant and where she just wants to be an average girl! I like that things never went too far, and I felt like it was very well-written, with rounded out characters!
~Tamera Westhoff

Blog Tour Giveaway
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 3.21.13

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer http://iamareader.com and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.


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Friday, March 1, 2013

Guest Post: Pitch Perfect: Pitching to Agents or Editors



Pitch Perfect: Pitching Your Story to an Agent or Editor. 
Do's and Don'ts 
by Jodi Kilpack, author of Baked Alaska

The important thing to remember when you are pitching your book is that having the editor listen to you is only half of the goal. The other half is listening to them. They eat, sleep, and breathe books. They understand craft, and genre, and audience, and trends far better than any writer every could because they have a far more objective point of view than we do. The chance to sit down with them and learn from their experience is priceless, and one that many writers miss out on because they are so intent on blowing them away with THEIR idea.

Do: Prepare a short explanation of your book, including your main character and their main problem. This should be a few sentences and NOT be a question such as "Have you ever wondered what would happen if a volcano exploded one mile from your home?" Instead you might say something like this, "My book is about a girl named Kaylynn. She lives in a small town where nothing exciting every happens, until a Volcano explodes while she's babysitting and she has to get all the kids to saftey before the molten lava burns them alive!" You want the editor to understand the main point of your story.

Do: Have a one or two page synopsis ready to hand them if they ask for it, but don't offer it to them. If they want it, they'll ask, and they might want you to send it to them rather than take it right then.

Do: Listen to anything they tell you, even if it's painful. If they say they think your plot is redundant, ask them in what ways. If they find your character dull ask if they have any ideas to make them more interesting. Respect the position they hold and show that you are teachable.

Do: Be kind and courtious. Remember, they are people too and it is not their job to hurt or offend you. They truly are here to help you.

Don't: Argue with them. Even if you think they are 100% wrong, do not argue. It's disrespectful and closes you off to any learning opportunity.

Don't: Try to force your manuscript on them. They have likely traveled and don't want to haul a bunch of manuscripts back with them. And if they don't ask for it, they don't want it. Don't try to assuage your ego by making them feel obligated to read your book.

Don't: Tell them God inspired you to write the book. Even if it's true, it's manipulative and it raises the assumption that they are somehow doubting Diety if they reject you. Be professional.

Don't: Feel like it was a waste of your time if they don't request to see more of your book. Evaluate the experience and draw as much good as you can from it, knowing that you are on a journey that is long and full of learning experiences. Take it in stride, learn all you can, and know that regardless of how uncomfortable the meeting is, you are better for having done it.
Josi
www.josiskilpack.com
 

 

About the Author:
Josi S. Kilpack grew up hating to read until she was thirteen and her mother handed her a copy of The Witch of Blackbird Pond. From that day forward, she read everything she could get her hands on and credits her writing “education” to the many novels she has “studied” since then. She began her first novel in 1998 and hasn’t stopped since. Her seventh novel, Sheep’s Clothing, won the 2007 Whitney Award for Mystery/Suspense, and Lemon Tart, her ninth novel, was a 2009 Whitney Award Finalist. Josi was the Best in State winner in literature for 2012 and currently has two books (Banana Split and Tres Leches Cupcakes) as finalists in the 2012 Whitney awards.


About the Book:
Sadie plans to spend time relaxing with her two grown children, Breanna and Shawn, and her boyfriend, Pete, while enjoying the luxury and cuisine of an elegant cruise ship and helping to plan her daughter’s upcoming wedding. But even as the crew prepares to leave port, Sadie has suspicions about the voyage ahead and the relationship between her normally easygoing son and a mysterious female passenger he obviously knows but refuses to discuss. When the woman is discovered unconscious during the second night at sea, Sadie’s apprehension escalates. Over the last few years, Sadie has developed an extreme dislike for secrets—and it would seem her son is keeping one from her. *Includes eight new mouthwatering recipes, tested and approved by the official bakers of Sadies Virtual Test Kitchen.

Member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators