Tuesday, April 26, 2011

My Very Terrible, Cliche, No Good, Very Bad Query Letter

To Whom it May Concern:

I am sending you this letter because I'm writing a book called KISS ME, SUCK ME, YOU DIE. I'm not sure what the genre is, but I'm thinking it will either be Urban Fantasy Thriller or Paranormal Romance.  So far I've written 270K and I'm just about halfway through the story and thought you might be interested in reading what I have so far. I read that you like Edgy Contemporary and Dystopian/Apocalyptic stories and thought you would be a great match for my work!

Sixteen year old, Majestic Murphy, has considered having her name legally changed to Plain Jane cause that's what she is. She also has the balance and coordination of a baby making its first attempt to walk, but for some reason every gorgeous rich guy at her school is completely drawn to her and vying for her attention.

What nobody knows is Stacy holds the secret that could mean the ultimate destruction to all vampires until one day one of those vampires, the head cheerleader for the varsity football team, bites Stacy in a jealous rage after finding out her boyfriend (and football team quarterback) wants to hook up with Stacy. Within in seconds, the cheerleader drops dead on the floor (well, technically, she's already dead, but you know what I mean). Her body begins to sparkle and then it disintegrates into a pile of silver shimmering dust.

Why does this happen? Well, you'll have to read more of the book to find out. Actually, I haven't written that part of the story yet, but if you are interested in representing me, I can have the book finished for you in a jiffy. I have attached a document with what I have so far (the first 57 chapters) and I look forward to hearing from you. I know you'll love my story. My eleven year old sister read some of it and she LOVED it. I also let my 83 year old next door neighbor, Mrs. Schiedner, read some of it, but her memory's been a little wonky lately and she keeps re-reading the first chapter over and over cause she forgets what she read. But every time I ask her what she thinks she says she LOVES the first chapter, so at least she's been consistent in how she feels about the beginning. Can't wait to hear from you!


Ms. Keebler

haha...this was fun! (of course this is not my attempt at a real query letter!!!!! it's just a joke, people.)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Violence and Cursing and Sex...Oh My!

For some reason, I've been coming across a lot of threads and posts on a certain message board that I frequent regarding the topic of violence, cursing and sex in YA literature. I find myself getting very frustrated and feel my blood begin to boil when anyone makes such blatant comments insinuating that those things should NOT exist in YA literature. References to the YA audience being "children" and that writers of YA must consider that parents are the ones who are buying these books for our kids makes me want to give myself a bikini wax with a pair of tweezers! It makes me want to grab a hand saw and cut the top of my skull off so I can retrieve my brains, throw them on the floor and stomp on them until--Oh. I'm sorry. Was that too violent?

Oh, well. Perhaps you'd be more interested in someone else's bubblegum blog post full of flowers and rainbows and pixy dust.

This is how I roll. This is how I write. And believe it or not...THERE IS AN AUDIENCE WHO DESIRES AND CRAVES THE EDGIER SIDE OF YOUNG ADULT LITERATURE. You have no interest in writing material with sex, violence, drugs, cursing and the such? Fine. Don't write it. You don't want to READ books that contain this subject matter? Great. Don't read it. But to tell people that these topics don't belong in the entire genre of YA is nothing more than your very own conservative opinion and taste of what you like and dislike w/in the genre (or perhaps any genre).  I don't go around telling other YA writers that they HAVE to have sex or underage drinking or drugs or homosexual activity or fighting or cursing or some combination of them in order to relate to their audience. There is an audience for all that is out there. Yes, there are teens out there who might not curse (at least not in front of their elders ;-)) and who wait until they are married to have sex and would never even consider trying a cigarette--let alone drugs, who would never drink until they are legal, and who view homosexuality as a sin (what. ever.), but this is not the reality of ALL teens. EVERYONE enjoys reading books that they can connect to and many of the "taboo" topics happen to be things that MANY teens deal with and live.

Any and all of these taboo topics can work if they are done properly and not written gratuitously. If I have cursing in one of my books, its' because it works in that scene. It works for that character and gives that character believability. In my novel Breaking Out, I have characters who run the gamut regarding foul language. Libby HATES foul language. She never uses it and it makes her cringe when kids around her use it. Sam curses occassionally, and Josh will sometimes curse, but he usually does it in Spanish when he's having a Ricky Ricardo (from I Love Lucy) moment. Then you meet KK who is a high school drop out, pretty much from the streets and lives with his older brother where the two of them deal in some highly illegal business. Anyone who has met KK (aka my many beta readers--love you all!) has told me that the language that comes out of his mouth is very fitting to his characters. I questioned my beta readers if it was too much and all of them said "no way, it fits his character." In fact, one of my beta readers suggested I stick a few more in. haha. She was only kidding. I think... Not only that, I was told by several of my beta readers that KK is one of the best secondary characters they've come across. Obviously his horrendous foul mouth was easily overlooked because it completely fit his character.

Anyway, the point to my post is that these "taboo" topics in YA are here to stay. You don't have to read it or write it, but you NEED TO GET OVER IT. If you don't want to read it and it's not your cup of tea, lucky for you there are people who LOVE to write the kinds of books that have none of the things you loath. And by all means, if you like to write those kinds of books...ALL THE POWER TO YOU. Write it. And guess what? I may even pick it up, read and probably enjoy it. What can I say? I have an eclectic taste. Likewise, for those of you who love a good violent oriented, foul mouth filled, sexing it up, drugged out book, there will always be someone ready to write  what you long for.

Don't judge. Freedom of choice. Free will. To each his own. But for goodness sake...STFU about what "belongs" and "doesn't belong" in the genre of YA. I live on the edge. I read on the edge. I write on the edge. You don't like the edge? What can I say?

Move the %&#%*$^#@ back! Personally, I like it here.


Friday, April 8, 2011

My Fantasy of the perfect Harry Potter hook-up

Dear Harry,

It is getting harder and harder for me to play out this charade, but please understand that things must remain this way for now. If anyone knew about us it would be the hugest scandal ever. My family's name would be forever tainted and though I'd be willing to make that sacrifice for the sake of shouting to the world that I love you and want to be with you, now is not the right time. The Wizarding community would not be ready to accept this—to accept us—on so many levels. It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that I must continue to put on this act when all I want to do is play with your magic wand (haha). Keep in mind that anything I do or say in front of others is all a part of the front. I don't mean any of it! Hopefully one day, we can let the world know the truth about us. In the mean time, stay focused on staying alive. He Who Must Not Be Named will not give up until you are dead. I'll try to continue to give you any information I can on anything I hear about. For if the day should ever come that something happens to you and you are taken from me, my heart will surely die.

                                                                                                                             Forever Yours,

                                                                                                                             -- D

P.S. I hope you like the picture (Muggle cameras are so weird!), but please be sure to burn this entire letter when you are done reading it. Better to not have any evidence lying around. Sorry. I know you hate all this secrecy, but please try to understand.

P.S.S. Oh, by the way, great catch on the Snitch at today's game! You guys totally kicked Hufflepuff's asses. I was totally stoked for you.

Why not? They're actually really hot together!

*Please note this post is not intended to insult anyone. I am a huge supporter of everyone having the right to choose whatever life style they see fit for themselves. Freedom of choice!
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