Monday, July 25, 2011

Linger by Maggie Stiefvater-A 30 Word Book Review

Okay, so I thought I'd try something new. Since I've never done an actual book review (because there are so many people out there who can do them sooooo much better and soooooo much more eloquently than I ever could) I've decided I would do a book review in a different way. You know how they have those 30 second bunnies that do movie recaps?

Well, I've decided to finally do my own book reviews, but I will do them in 30 words. We'll see how it goes.

My first book review will be for Linger, the sequel to Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater (Oh my Gosh! That's the first time I ever spelled it right w/out looking!)

Here is the summary from Goodreads:

In Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver, Grace and Sam found each other. Now, in Linger, they must fight to be together. For Grace, this means defying her parents and keeping a very dangerous secret about her own well-being. For Sam, this means grappling with his werewolf past . . . and figuring out a way to survive into the future. Add into the mix a new wolf named Cole, whose own past has the potential to destroy the whole pack. And Isabelle, who already lost her brother to the wolves . . . and is nonetheless drawn to Cole.

Here is my review:

Lovely prose.
More parent involvement. Yay!
New character, Cole--Rock on!
Isabelle--Harsh bitch. Made me LOL several times.
Sam and Grace--Holy plot! Love them so hard. Touching twist.

Feel free to share your 30 word review and I'll add it w/mine on my new page tab for 30 word reviews. You don't have to agree with me. But try to keep it respectful, please.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A Very Cool Pitch Contest!

My friend Chanelle is running a pitch contest with her agent Victoria Marini of the Gelfman Shneider Literary Agency. For full details, check it out here.

Good luck!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Querying Hiatus Over

I just sent out a bunch of queries for Breaking Out today. It's been a while. I took a hiatus from querying to take care of some other things, but I'm back on the Query Highway and riding it hard and fast.

It's making my stomach a tad bit queasy.

Lot's of wine for me tonight ('cause nothing goes with a queasy stomach like a glass of merlot, right?). :D

How's it going for you?

Friday, July 8, 2011

Books Made Into Movies

Hey all! I was just thinking that this year (this month actually!) the final Harry Potter movie will be coming out. I mean, holy crap, right? THE LAST HARRY POTTER MOVIE! It's crazy to think this will be it and we will not be anticipating another HP film. For an emotional HP red carpet event, check this YT vid out. Also, by the end of next year, the final movie from the Twilight series will come out and that will come to an end as well  (why oh why couldn't they do BD as just one movie???).

But of course, turning YA books into movies are the big thing now and there are some I'm absolutely beside myself waiting for: HUNGER GAMES ANYONE???? But the one I cannot CANNOT wait for is The Mortal Instruments, City of Bones. Like, I think I will cry when these movies come out.

I was thinking about other books that I would love to see as movies. When I read books, I see them as movies in my head and there are some that I wish so desperately to see come to life. Here are a few I would love to see:

Raw Blue

What about you? What books would you LOVE to see come to life on the big screen?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Rejection equals Happy? Who Knew!?!

So, querying is hard. Many of you know this. Many of you have been there done that, and many of you will at some point experience it if you have not yet gotten to that point (unless you are one of the super duper "lucky ones"). 

I'm not going to spend forever telling you how sucky it is to receive a rejection letter, or even worse, the dreaded, "form letter". Those of us who are riding the Query Highway or have been on that road before know how much they suck butt. However, I recently received a form rejection letter from a particular agent (I would never say who cause that would be inappropriate) that actually put a huge HUGE smile on my face. 

So you know how sometimes agents will break down a query letter to show what's working and not working for them? I thought I'd try it with this rejection form letter and share with you why it totally put a smile on my face :-).

Dear Author, This does not bother me at all. My name wasn't used, (thus my assuming it's a form R and not written to me personally), but hey! The agent referred to me as an author!!! WIN!

First, my apologies for this form e-mail response, and for the delay in getting back to you. Wow. An apology? Seriously? How awesome is that? This agent is showing me how much s/he cares. S/he acknowledges just how stressful this process is to me and apologizes for causing me to open my email 5,837 times since sending my query letter. :-) (Okay, so I might be exaggerating a little. It was more like 4, 582 times)  The huge volume of queries that I receive makes it impossible for me to individually respond except concerning projects that I wish to pursue. Hey, I totally get it and I totally forgive you because you've already made me so happy. You called me an author and apologized for the form R and for a delayed response! For one reason or another, your project does not seem right for my list. Drats. Aww, well. If I don't fit your list, I don't fit your list. What can I do? At least you have a list and have made it clear to me that you are looking for something specific and there isn't just one particular reason my project doesn't seem right. Maybe my next project will fit your list! 

Publishing is a complicated business, Wait a minute. So you mean to tell me that you've already rejected me and now you are going to go on and explain why? YOU ROCK AGENT DUDE/TTE! and the response of any individual agent—or indeed dozens of agents—is not necessarily a comment on the inherent value of the project or your skill in telling it.  So, let me get this straight. You are admitting to me that even though my project has been rejected by a couple of DOZEN agents, that it is not necessarily a reflection of the value (friggin love that word!) of my work or story telling ability? I mean, I've had sooooo many writer friends tell me to not give up and keep querying and revenge query and I've read about successful authors who queried 50, 60, or even 100 or more agents before they found that one agent who believed in their story. So you, an agent, are telling me to not give up??? I LOVE YOU MR/MRS AGENT WO/MAN!! It's one thing to have my writer friends tell me to not give up, but to hear an agent say it? Whew. That is totally reassuring! Every agent has individual tastes, a unique workload, and particular business requirements. Hmm. Interesting. I know that agents have individual tastes, but a unique workload and particular business requirements? Not totally sure what that means, but you know what? Somehow this REALLY makes me feel better. It's not JUST about tastes. It's not just the fact that you might think my story sucks butt. There are other factors that go into the decision of why you might be rejecting my particular project.  

Best of luck finding the right agent and publisher for your work. And best of luck to you Mr./Mrs. Agent person. May you find the perfect story that fits your list, your taste, your workload, and your particular business requirements. That must be so stressful for you to find someone's work that has all those things going for you at once!

Sincerely, And I totally believe you mean this word. I mean, maybe you don't, but you know what? You made me feel happy. Who knew being rejected could actually put a smile on my face. :-) 

So, this is not to knock the other form R letters I have received. Some of the others have been really nice as well, but there was just something about this particular one that gave me the inner strength and courage to keep going and to not give up. Something that is really needed when you have gotten to that "dozens of agents" point and start to wonder if it's time to throw the towel in. The answer is no. 

Time to get out some more queries :-)

Friday, July 1, 2011

Twitter-How to Find Yourself UNfollowed (Twitter Etiquette)

I am still very new to Twitter. And in trying to figure out how to appropriately and effectively utilize it, I asked a group of fellow writer friends/Twitterers to share with me some of the things about Twitter, Twitterers, and tweeting that annoy the living poop out of them. In other words, I wanted to know what the etiquette to being a good Twitterer consists of and what NOT to do. These are some of the things that came up in our discussion (in no particular order):

1. Follow Fridays aka #FF. Apparently people find this VERY annoying. I myself had not done it simply because I didn't know how to or what it was. But now that I know, and have learned how many people feel about it, I will not be doing it. For a hilarious post on the #FF hashtag and how it was intended to be used vs. what it has become, read this.

2. Multiple tweets--Posting your tweet 10, 15, 20+ times in a day fills up people's Twitter feeds (had to figure out what a Twitter "feed" was--yes, I'm that clueless) and that can be extremely irritating. We get that you want to reach as many people as possible about your AMAZING giveaway/contest, or an INSPIRING post on your blog, or even some FANTASTIC news about your book coming out, but tweeting the same tweet 437 times in a day on multiple days and you are looking to actually lose your audience/fellow followers.

3. Pimping your book and contributing nothing else to the Twitter world or to those following you was another thing mentioned as annoying. Apparently some authors have been known to do this and it is really uncool and uninteresting. Twitter is about making connections with other people who are in the same field/business or share the same interest. Develop and nurture those relationships first and THEN promote your stuff like crazy (but DON'T multiple tweet!). They will care more about your book if they care about you first. (Plus you may find more people retweeting your promotional tweets. WIN!)

4. People who think they look cool because they have 1000 followers and only follow 100. Honestly, you pretty much look the opposite of cool 'cause what this says to people is that there are many people who think you are worth following, but to you there are so few. I understand there can be certain reasons for it, but to most people it just looks really...unbalanced.

5. And to go along with #4 is people who follow you and then UNfollow you after you follow them back. Apparently this has even been done by some "big name" people to others who swear they were respectful followers (not harassing them or filling up their feed) and would only comment now and then or RT them for something that was said that was truly meaningful to them. SO NOT COOL. I understand that sometimes people need to clean out some of the followers that are the afore mentioned things or people who only follow for the purpose of advertisement of a product, but come on people. That is a snobby thing to do (if it's intentional, of course ;-))

6. There is a 140 character limit for a reason, people! To keep things short and tight in your message. People find Twitterers who write a novel in a string of 500 posts extremely irritating. We're not talking the occasional continued post to finish a sentence or an important point, but do it often enough and you will find yourself UNfollowed.

7. Another one that several people mentioned as VERY annoying are twitterers who go on regular political rants. Just because you have a platform for your fiction dystopian 7 book series, it doesn't give you the platform to spew political rhetoric at your fans. They are following you for your writing and your stories, not your personal political views.

8. Cliques on Twitter. Okay. So, we know cliques kind of exist everywhere. And just because you're on the internet doesn't mean people won't recognize when you are being "cliquish". Apparently, there are many published authors in the industry who will ONLY respond to other published authors on Twitter and ignore comments made by fans or other writers who are working towards the goal of becoming published. It just makes you come off looking like a snob. If you're only interested in other authors being interested in your work and not the other people who are fans and dedicated followers and also buyers of your books, then go ahead. Remain in your small circle of Twitter peeps. But would it really hurt to reach out to others once in a while? Not saying you have to respond to every person who tweets you (surely impossible for some), but once in a while just respond to some of your followers to let them know that you know they exist and that you appreciate them following you. There are many authors who are absolutely wonderful about responding to RT@tweets and thanking people who retweet one of their tweets, but there are others who seem to think their poop don't stink and that if you're not published you're a nobody. NOT. COOL.

So there you have it. Some tips for you on What NOT to do on Twitter. I mean, you can do whatever you want, but these are some suggestions on ways to avoid loosing followers. BTW, a friend of mine pointed out this really cool link that allows you to see who you are following that is not following you back. In case you wanted to know ;-)

Anything you can add? Anything not mentioned that annoys the living poop out of you?
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