Thursday, December 30, 2010

Avoid the Slush at All Costs

In my efforts to procrastinate this week, I came across a book I started reading last year by Jack Bickham. “The 38 Most Common Fiction Writing Mistakes (and How to Avoid Them)”. Chapter one is title “Don’t Make Excuses.” Gulp. This hits home with me on so many levels. “Writers write; everyone else makes excuses.” Well, that means if I’m a writer I must write. I’ve been doing pretty good with this ever since NaNoWriMo and have almost finished editing a book I plan to send out to a publisher the middle of January. The following are a few tips I’ve come across from several different sources along the way that I feel have made my work stronger.

1. Lead with a powerful scene, a witty exchange or a dazzling description.

2. Make sure the right person is telling the story.

3. Create the right amount of internal monologue.

4. Don't have too many characters.

5. Make sure the characters you do have don’t walk, talk and act the same.

6. Add texture to your story with echoes, allusions and metaphors.

7. Check to make sure every scene is necessary to move the story forward.

8. Be sure there is a sense of time and place in your story.

9. Make your dialogue lively. Listen to those around you, then use what you hear.

10. Up the ante where you can.

(Raising my glass of sparkling cider)  Here’s to avoiding the slush pile and reaching our publishing dreams!

Happy New Year Everyone!!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

The Best Gift of All

There are very few promises in today's world that we can count on. Lots of good people, with good ideas and intentions but also with human conflicts and flaws. Let's face it, at some point in our lives everyone lets us down and we in turn do the same no matter how hard we try otherwise.

But there is One we can always count on.  Christmas is a time to rejoice in the Savior's birth and thank GOD for his promises. Sending his son was our promise of his love for us, our proof that this life in this chaotic world is not the end, but only a brief blip in our eternity. What a special gift indeed.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Five Days and Counting

Five Days!  I must say, things are getting exciting around here.  Or I should say, the kids instead of things.  LOL  Doesn't matter that they are all over the age of ten and Old Saint Nick is a distant memory.  I can't quite figure out if it's the giving or receiving part that has them all wound up this year.  Could it be that they can't wait to see the look on the other's faces as they open their gifts?  We can hope.  Hope that in all this fantasy stuff we've played up all these years they have managed to hold on to the true meaning of it all.

From my home to yours, we wish everyone a Wonderful Christmas.  May you be filled to the brim with lots of Love, Joy and More Blessings than you can count at this special time and all through the New Year!  

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Resistance – Bah Humbug!

For the past several days, my writing has become almost non-existent as I hurry to get all the holiday errands taken care of before the kids are home for Christmas break. But I have found time to read a little here and a little there. What better to read than craft books, right? Mostly as I sit in the car and wait for the kids to get out of school so we can then start the homework, supper and all around chaos again.

“The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield is a book I highly recommend reading at least once a year. Every time I pick it up, I find something new. And it’s not just for writers, but anyone wanting to pursue their dream. Whatever those dreams may be, we creative types all have one thing in common?


Anything that keeps us from doing what we love or what we want to do falls under this constant struggle we call resistance. Boy is there a lot of that floating around my house on any given day. But this time of year? Wow, if I had a penny for every time I made an excuse not to sit down and write I’d be a wealthy woman right about now. LOL You name it and I’ll find myself doing it before planting my bootie in my  favorite chair to work on my favorite WIP. Cleaning the bathroom instead of writing? What’s wrong with me?

Blurb from the back of the book:

In this powerful, straight-from-the-hip examination of the internal obstacles to success, best-selling author Steven Pressfield shows readers how to identify, defeat, and unlock the inner barriers to creativity. The War of Art is an inspirational, funny, well-aimed kick in the pants guaranteed to galvanize every would-be artist, visionary or entrepreneur.

Now a well-aimed kick in the pants is just what the doctor ordered for this procrastinator extraordinaire. Maybe I should read this book about every three months or so. Keep it all fresh in my mind.

From here on out, or until I read the book again, I plan to resist the urge to resist or eat bugs. LOL Okay, I sure hope you don’t hold me to that last part.   :)

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Secret Behind Commitment

What is the one simple factor in individual success?


Think about it. Commitment ignites action. It helps us focus on eliminating those doubts and confront what is and what is not working. Commitment provides motivation for improvement. After thinking on this I have to admit, once I make up my mind to do something, it gets done. And afterward I’m left wondering why the heck it took so long.

Let me try and explain my take on this. There is a huge difference between being interested or enjoying something and being committed to succeed. If you are merely interested, time plays an important role. You’re sort of sitting on the sidelines only proceeding when time permits. But if you are committed, you look at things a bit differently. Time becomes your ally. It’s been there all along strategically hidden between the many tasks and responsibilities of life and mommyhood. But commitment helps us find that precious time no matter what. It makes us concentrate and brings out all our resources to help us fight for the finish line. There are fewer excuses, because well, you’ve made up your mind that nothing is going to get in your way and stop you. Results are the only thing to follow.

“Persistence with a Purpose” Now that makes a lot of sense. I know what I want. I know what I have to do to get it. Now all I have to do is commit and make it happen. Sounds easy enough. But nothing worthwhile is ever easy.

So no more excuses for not writing or editing. I can do a little every day. I can reach my goals. I might need to tweak them a bit as I go along, but it’s all good.

Sorry email, Facebook, twitter, procrastination, doubt. I just don’t have time for you anymore. I have a lot of writing to do!

“Watch your thoughts, for they become words.

Watch your words, for they become actions.

Watch your actions, for they become habits.

Watch your habits, for they become character.

Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny”


Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Joy of the Season

I’m sitting here wearing a sweater, teeth chattering, fingers not wanting to move because they are ice cold, trying to write a post about my favorite Wintery things. Now why aren’t the ideas just spilling out faster than I can type them? LOL

I do love this season. We don't get much snow around the Houston area and the really cold days are few.  But there is something magical in the air at this time and if you pay attention you can feel it, see it, hear it. It might be difficult at times to overlook the chaotic shoppers or manic drivers, but the magic is still there waiting to be noticed. It might come in the form of a simple smile or polite nod. Maybe the extra effort made by a sales clerk to find that one last pair of shoes in the back. Heck it might even be the thoughtful act of a driver letting you actually pull out in front of them at a red light or the mall parking lot as they wave and smile. Honest. This really happened. :)

Then there is the sound of the Salvation army bells ringing outside the stores and the Angel trees set up around town to remind me that most people have a caring nature and given the opportunity won’t hesitate to help out those in need. I can see the smiles on the faces of those children who wouldn’t have a Christmas at all if it weren’t for the kindness of others. It truly is better to give than receive.

Getting together with family members you haven’t seen in a while is a great feeling too. Seeing how much their kids have grown and catching up on their daily lives is priceless. Oh, and I must not forget how my family loves to drive around and ooow and awwwe as we check out the Christmas lights and decorations. I’m amazed by the amount of effort and planning that goes into some of these. How do they get all those lights up and extension cords run in such a manner it doesn’t blow their circuit breakers. I’m still trying to find the string of lights that is tripping our GFCI plug when it rains. I must say the stomping back and forth out to the garage to reset the button is getting old, but I’ll find the culprit eventually and all will be well again. I must learn to plan better though. It never fails that I end up with two ends the same. No matter what you do they aren’t going to work together so it’s back to stringing them all over again. Do they a make a universal plug so it doesn’t matter which end you end up with? LOL

I guess what I’m trying to say is that my favorite Wintery thing, at least around Christmas time, is the joy and generosity it brings out in people. It’s there, I promise. You just might have to look a little harder sometimes.

Now get out there and spread some of that joy! :)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

All or Nothing!

I can't believe how quickly this month went!  As if time doesn't fly fast enough, how about throwing in a goal of writing 50,000 words in thirty days.  I must be crazy.  It's been one wild and furious ride full of ups and downs and lots of times I thought I'd never get it done.  But after pushing myself to the outer limits of my sanity and staying up late, late, late, I did it!  And I even have a few hours to spare. LOL.  NaNoWriMo Rocks!

Although, I will forever wonder why the month of November was picked for this challenge, it won't stop be from trying again next year.  I guess that's exactly what it is.  A challenge or test of sorts.  If I can stick to sitting down every day to write and actually come up with a story that is workable during this hectic month, then there is no reason I can't do it any other time.  All it takes is a little extra dedication on my part, quite a bit of understanding from my wonderful family and lots and lots of caffeine.

The next few days will be a time of winding down, relaxing and recuperating after all that hard but satisfying work.  Oh, who the heck am I kidding?  I'll be doing all the laundry and ironing I've been putting off for the last thirty days.  And here I thought my kids might get tired of having to dig through the baskets to find their favorite shirts, pants or matching socks and actually fold the darn clothes.  Not.  LOL   But before catching up on all my mommy duties, I do intend to celebrate my success.  I think I'll treat myself by heading to the nearest bookstore to buy a great book from one of my favorite authors.  Reading for fun sounds awesome right about now.  :)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Home Stretch

As you can tell by my colorful NaNo calendar, some days are better than others. LOL And I bet you're wondering why I'm making blog posts when I have so many words to write to reach that 50,000 word goal.

It's all good. Breaks actually help me get back on track and boost the imagination when it seems to get stuck while working on one project for too long. I've got so many different projects started it's not even funny. But usually one will catch my attention and I can't shake it. This is what clues me in to what I need to be working on at that moment.

NaNo is great in that it keeps me working on the same project for longer than a few weeks. But boy is it hard. And boy do those words seem to disappear close to the end. I'm having a hard time getting the old fingers to move in the right sequence, which leads to many misspelled words. I'll laugh when I go back through the manuscript later. And at some points I know I'll have a hard time trying to figure out just exactly what I was trying to say.

So it's back to work for me now. I'm so close and yet so far. But I'm having fun and that's just the icing on the cake!

Come on my fellow NaNo'ers! You can do it!!!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Why NaNoWriMo Works

That is, the reason it works for me. Two weeks down and a little more than two weeks to go. I’m trudging along, hoping to burn up the keys with my brilliance. But in truth most days are slow and grueling as I try to crank out those 1667 words.

* But during NaNo there are no excuses.

* I sit down everyday and write.

* Rules? What rules?

* Editing is a big No No.

* I have lots of buddies struggling right along with me.

* Being creative and thinking outside the box comes easier for me since I can ignore my internal editor or critic.

To sum it all up. The entire process is fun again. I have that magical feeling I experienced the very first time I sat down and started writing my first manuscript. The time before I learned about all the rules and how difficult the publishing part of the journey would be.

Now to hang on to this after Nano is finished. If I can get those words on the page during this month and still keep up with the rest of what life throws at me, there is no reason to believe I can’t.

Here's to the finish line, 50,000 words and a new writing routine!

Monday, November 8, 2010

One Week Down!

Whew! And what a week it's been. NaNo kicked off November 1 and everything else in my life is protesting big time. But never fear. Determination is here. LOL I will sit in my chair every day. I will write. I will reach the finish line. I've reached a little over 9,500 so far, but I'm still running a tad bit behind. I hate that little read box on the calendar above that indicates a day I missed. The yellow is bad enough. What a great motivator. No way do I want anymore of those showing up. LOL

50,000 words here I come!! :)

No Plot? No Problem!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

NaNoWriMo is Here!

Second day of Nano and still going strong. LOL The first few days are easy to get those 1667 words. Then every day after that gets harder and harder. Is it excitement that gets the ball rolling, the thrill of starting something new and fresh maybe? What ever it is, I sure wish I could sustain it through the entire process. It's such a great rush!

Best of luck to all those trudging along with me!
Keep up the Great work and I'll see ya at the finish line!! :)

Friday, October 29, 2010

Deadline Approaching

Ack! Ever have one of those weeks when everything goes wrong and you can't find a single minute to spare? Well, why does it always happen when you have something really important to do? I'm working on getting my submissions out to the agents who requested them a few weeks back and I can't believe how many distractions have jumped up and screamed me first, me first!

For instance. Getting sick really stops you in your tracks. Not much you can do but take your medicine and pray it passes quickly. (okay, feeling much better now. thank goodness.)

Homework and projects must be done. No way around that. But this past week I even thought about calling the teachers and begging them on my hands and knees to give my kids a few extra days. LOL (it's Friday. No homework for the weekend. Yippee!)

And until my oldest turns 16 next year, I'm pretty much the only means of transportation for my three who are determined to going in as many different directions as they can find. (no way around this one.)

Throw in the dang dog, who decided the bag of candy looked like a great treat and is now not feeling very well, and I'm at my wits end.

Almost. I've taken several deep breaths and come to grips with it. If I don't make my self imposed deadline it won't be the end of the world. I am allowed to give myself a few more days. Besides, I still have 3 whole days to work through the last eight chapters of my manuscript and get it sent off. Reminds me of that Smokey and the Bandit song. I gotta a "long way to go and a short time to get there" (youtube link thanks to my good friend Will Simon!) It's doable. Yeah, I can do it. And then I'll be ready to start something new for NANO. Oh, I get exciting just thinking about sitting down to write without having to worry about editing a single page. Creating is my favorite part.

That's right. November 1 is coming fast. Hope your ready to join the masses this year and have a blast doing what you love!

Monday, October 25, 2010

NANO - It's a Writer's Dream

Thirty Days and Nights of Literary Abandon! Sound good? Well join me this year as I once again set out to write 50,000 words in thirty days. Alot of you have heard of NANOWRIMO by now, but for those of you who haven't here is a link to answer all your questions: National Novel Writing Month

It's become one of the biggest ways for me to beat procrastination and boost my creativity. There are no excuses for not getting those words on the page. Trust me, the laundry can wait and hubby really can take care of most of those pesky little mishaps. When I first attempted this back in 2007, I thought for sure my family would have a major melt down. To my surprise they were supportive and cheered me on to the finish line. The second year all three of my kids signed up to participate in the Young Writer's Program. I was so proud. :)

So get your life in order, frozen meals prepared and creativity sparked up. 6 more days till the fun and chaos begins! I can't wait!

Come on take a chance. See what you're really made of. Will you join me? :)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

What's Your Brand?

The buzz I’ve been hearing lately makes me tingle inside. This is a wonderful time to be an aspiring author. Really? Do tell. Our options are endless compared to years ago when the only way to get your book read was to land a contract with a traditional publisher or spend tons of your own money and go the self-publishing route and pray.

With the internet and now the ease and availability of marketing your own e-books, the cost of publishing your own baby and getting it out to the public has opened up a flood gate of opportunities. For published authors it means having a bit more control, or say so, if you will about their book. Published authors can no say no to what the big publishers want and going it on their own via e-books. And it’s paying off. Take J.A. Konrath for example. Great blog post here. . Let me tell you, it’s got me wondering why I’m chasing that contract from a big publisher. Now I don’t have a readership like he does, so it would take a lot of work on my part. That’s why a brand is so important.

A BRAND is not something you come up with only after you sell. It’s also not something you do differently for every book. It’s your identity. The one you want readers to recognize and associate with you and your books. You need to make your Brand original and keep it the same so when they see your name, they immediately know who you are and what you write. With a name like mine, I don’t think readers will get me confused with someone else. But just in case they don’t know what they are in for when they open the pages of my books, my tagline says it all. “Where Love and Danger Collide.” Lots of running, mystery, danger, suspense and it all comes crashing down on my hero and heroine leaving them no choice but to fall in love and survive.

Now if you write in several different genres, (raising hand) a different brand for each one might be what you need. Writing for children or Young Adult might not mesh so good with your Hot and Steamy Romance novels. For example, I write suspense. So even though I’ve written middle grade, young adult, and Romantic suspense novels the theme remains the same. Someone is in trouble and needs to be rescued. My Brand should probably mesh in some sort of way over all these genres. Still thinking on how to pull this off. LOL

So, stop and think over where you want your career to be in the coming years. What do you want readers to remember about you, about your books? Write down a list of words that come to you off the top of your head when you think about your books. Is there a common factor? Will it last? How can you market it?
From what I”ve heard, your name is the best bet for a brand. It’s yours. Lots of people already know you. Use it and use it wisely.  This will be your platform to build on and generate those mega sales.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Pitching Success

Well, let's hope letting this manuscript sit pays off. The conference was amazing. So many wonderful people and the agents were awesome. A huge thank you to the NWHRWA board members who made it all possible. :)

I used to be petrified about pitching to an editor or agent. I'm an introvert, but not by choice. To be able to enter a room and strike up conversations with people I don't know has become one of my biggest hurdles as well as goals. And although it is getting easier all the time, I still have to work at it. But the three ladies who joined us and took pitches at the Lone Star Conference made it seem so easy.

I've had an agent in the past tell me "Don't use your notes. I'll take them away." Right off the bat, I knew this agent was not right for me. Had me wondering just how much say I'd have over my own books and career if I was working with them.

But all three agents I sat across from this weekend had no problem listening to my pitch as I nervously read it to them. Now for me, this is the kind of people I want in my corner. Yes, I know my book. Frontward, backward, upside down even. But having to tell it to someone on the spot like that just isn't going to work for me. Not now. Not tomorrow. Not ever. I would be proud and thrilled to have any one of these ladies represent me and my work. So a big thank you to Christine Witthohn, my dream agent who request a full of both my middle grade and suspense, Naomi Hackenberg and Amy Boggs. You ladies Rock!

Four requests in all! Now the hard part starts. The waiting....

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Let it Sit & Rest

A few posts back, I mentioned I was letting my current WIP sit and rest for a while. I've been polishing and editing it for months and felt like I was getting nowhere. Nothing sounded good, my words were lame, and boy were the doubts building about me really having what it takes to pull this writing off.

Well, I highly reccomend this "sit and rest" technique. With our local conference coming this weekend where I will be pitching this story to Christine Witthohn, I needed to check back in with my characters and make sure they were doing alright without me. To my surprise, the words I'd written didn't sound half bad anymore. Heck, they sounded pretty darn good and at times I had to stop and ask myself, "Did I write that?" Yippee! The wind is back in my sails! I'm back to editing and feeling a whole lot better about the process and my story. I guess you really can work yourself into a corner when dealing with this editing stuff.

I'm so exciting to hear what Randy Ingermanson has to say at the Lone Star Writer's Conference. Advanced Fiction Writing and Marketing Tecniques...just what the doctor ordered! LOL

Check out his website: Advanced Fiction Writing
You won't be sorry you did! :)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Socialnomics - It's Not Just a Fad

I just had to share this video. The internet is alot more powerful than I've ever given it credit. It really is all about the networking no matter what you've decided "Living the American Dream" means to you. As an aspiring author, this is a bit overwhelming and exciting at the same time. It's how we choose to use this wonderful resource that will make all the difference.

Check it out!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Lone Star Writer's Conference Oct. 16, 2010

Time is running out! Be sure to check out for more information.

Scheduled Highlights

1- We will spend half the day learning advanced techniques for creating great characters, writing the perfect scene, improving weak story architecture and other critical aspects of writing.
2- You will learn about a great method to plan out your book using the Snowflake Method created by Randy Ingermanson.
3- You'll learn techniques of internet marketing and why it's absolutely necessary for a writer. Make Google go GaGa over you!
4- Randy will show us how to build a massive email database and how to create a successful book launch.
5- You will have the chance to pitch your story to Amy Boggs(Maass Literary Agency), Naomi Hackenberg (Elaine English Literary Agency), and Christine Witthohn (Book Cents Literary Agency).
5- The first 35 registered are invited to a cocktail party on Friday night to visit with agents and our speaker.
6- Christine Witthohn will share her secrets of getting and staying published in this volatile industry during lunch.
7- Randy Ingermanson will give an electronic coupon code for 70% off items for sale at his online store and email all attendees a power point with all of his slides in a PDF file. What a great resource!
8- Last, but not least, Katy Budget Books will be there to sell books and there will be a book signing.

Don't miss this opportunity to get your work in tip top shape and make personal contacts with three great agents! :)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Write It and They Will Read

My days are so hectic since school started back up. Two girls in high school and my son starting 6th grade has really been an eye opener for me. I'm having to really work hard to get any writing worked into my action packed days. And I don't like it one bit. Edits are going so slow I've decided to put them on hold for a while. It might be just what the story needs, to sit and not have me cutting and rearranging till my eyes go all cross-eyed.

I'm working on several short story ideas and they seem to be progressing better. So I guess this is the route I will be taking until things slow down again and I can focus for longer periods of time.

Soon I hope to figure out a schedule that works. One where I can write and still enjoy my kids as they continue to grow up way too fast for my liking. There are tons of magazines out there and new e-magazines are popping up every day. I've never really given this avenue much thought, but for now it seems like the best option. Here's to writing! Of any sort! Long, medium or short. The proof is every where you look. Write it and they will read! :)

Monday, August 30, 2010

My Baby's 14!

Where has all the time gone!!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Market Ready ?

I’m stuck in a dilemma of sorts. How do you know when to stop? I mean edits of course. I found a great article in “the Writer” magazine that addressed this. Submit is a word we writers use all the time. But have you ever stopped to think about what it really means? I hadn’t. Pop in the mail and sit back and wait doesn’t even come close.

Submit means to lie down, give up or surrender. Wow! Now that’s what I feel like. I’ve gone over and over this WIP till my fingers ache and my eyes cross. At this point, I’m just rearranging or searching for a word that might make the sentence a bit more powerful. But the truth is, the story is finished. I don’t intend to change it. I must submit.

According to the article by William Kowalski, I’ve reached the state of mind a novelist must enter before deciding my work is ready. I guess I should be excited about this, right? It couldn't come at a better time. The kids will be going back to school soon. That means I'll have more time to research agents and publishers. Until then, I’m going to sleep on it and see if I come up with a reason not to just surrender and take that next step with all I've got. :)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Conference Time!

The Lone Star Writer’s Conference

DATE: October 16, 2010


Houston Marriott North at Greenspoint
255 N Sam Houston Parkway East
Houston, Texas 77060

Telephone: 281-875-4000

$69.00/night - Direct Link for reservations:

Richard Dix
Event Manager
Houston Marriott North at Greenspoint


Scheduled Highlights coming soon!

***First 35 to register will be invited to a special Meet and Greet Reception on Friday, October 15, 2010.


Keynote Speaker:

Randy Ingermanson - was both the class clown and the class nerd in high school. He earned a Ph.D. in physics from UC Berkeley and then went on to publish six novels and win about a dozen awards for his writing. His most recent book is "Writing Fiction For Dummies." Randy is known around the world as "the Snowflake Guy" in honor of his widely used Snowflake method for writing a novel. He is the publisher of the free monthly Advanced Fiction Writing E-zine, which has over 21,000 subscribers. He has a wife and three daughters, and works full-time serving the needs of three tyrannical cats. Visit his web site at

Christine Witthohn – Luncheon Speaker
Book Cents Literary Agency - “How to maximize your chances of getting published or staying published in this volatile market.”


Naomi Hackenberg
Elaine P. English, PLLC

Naomi Hackenberg joined The Elaine English Literary Agency in 2008, where she began by assisting with the agency’s commercial fiction projects and selling foreign translation rights. She is currently building her own list and is actively seeking commercial manuscripts with strong writing, stand-out narrative voices and compelling characters. In addition to reading (of course!), Naomi likes cooking and going to baseball games. Naomi’s academic background is in American Studies and Creative Writing, and she holds a Bachelor’s degree from The George Washington University and a Master’s degree from The University of Chicago. She’s an associate member of the Association of Authors’ Representatives and a member of the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

Naomi will be looking for manuscripts for herself and Elaine English at the Northwest Houston RWA Lone Star Writer’s Conference. She’s looking for young adult fiction of all ilk (including contemporary, romance, dystopian, multicultural, paranormal with a brand-new hook, normal protagonists in paranormal worlds, etc.); romance (historical, contemporary, sweet, erotica, dark and gothic, multicultural, paranormal, etc., but not time-travel or inspirational); women’s fiction; mysteries of all types; psychological, legal and medical thrillers with believable characters and well-constructed plots. Naomi is not seeking non-fiction or picture books. Above all, she’s looking for a strong narrative voice and unique, well-paced plot that keeps her up past her bedtime just to find out what happens next.

Amy Boggs –

Donald Maass Literary Agency

Amy is an associate agent at the Donald Maass Literary Agency. Born and raised in Utah, Amy came to New York to attend Vassar College and pursue a career in publishing. During college, she worked at a children's bookstore, a library, and a quarterly magazine, as well as interning at a literary agency. After a short stint at a psychology magazine, Amy joined DMLA as an intern. She is now actively building her list looking for fantasy and science fiction, especially urban fantasy, paranormal romance, steampunk, YA/children's, and alternate history. Historical fiction, multi-cultural fiction, Westerns, and works that challenge their genre are also welcome.

Christine Witthohn
Book Cents Literary Agency

Christine Witthohn is a literary agent and the founder of Book Cents Literary Agency. She is one of the main sponsors of the International Women’s Fiction Festival held annually in Matera, Italy, and has strong ties to the international market. She is member of AAR, RWA, MWA and is actively building her client list. She is on the hunt for well-written commercial and women’s fiction, mysteries, thrillers, and would love to find some great new YA projects. Christine is looking for: middle grade, young adult, mystery/suspense, thrillers, romance: contemporary, rom coms, paranormal, fantasy.
Christine is NOT looking for: inspirational, westerns, sci fi, horror, erotica, or poetry.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

A New Outlook

Boy have I learned a ton in the last month. Between craft books and workshops my brain is on overload. But it's a good thing.

The main conclusion I've come to with all of it is to write the best story I can. Write it for me, what I as a reader look for in a great story. With all the how to books and people with good intentions trying to tell you how it's supposed to be done, I've really not been in a very happy place lately.

What I want to do is write. I don't want to have to worry about all the so called rules out there. Especially when all the books I love to read seem to break all the rules. These authors are doing their own thing. And guess what? They are doing more than just a "fine" job of it. They are on the Best Sellers list!

I know we must continue to be open minded and learn as much as we can about the business and how to craft a great story. But we must not forget that our voice is what makes us stand out, what makes us different from one author to the next. There is no set formula to follow and I find that really quite liberating. A mighty load off these tired and frustrated shoulders.

I can do it my way. And somewhere out there is an editor and agent who's going to love my way as much as me. And the bottom line here is that's who I want in my corner. :)

Now if I can just figure out how to get these kids to give me at least two hours a day to write, I'm going to find my happy place again. LOL

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Yes, summer is here! I’ve been waiting for a long time to say those words. It seems like the year flew by until May hit. Then everything slowed to a snails pace and drug out every agonizing second of the multitude of things we had to squeeze into the month. Thank goodness it’s a long month.

Thursday was the kids last day of school. So far so good on the not being bored. Right now all they are concerned about is sleeping late and vegging out in front of the television. Why? Because they can!

I give it a few more days and then the whining is going to start. “Mom, I’m bored. There’s nothing to do. It’s hot. I’m hungry.” Oh, my I could go on and on. So I’m devising a plan right now to stop this before it starts. At the first sign of fidgeting or drooping lips I’m swooshing them out the door. The following is a list of places we are going to visit. Even if it kills them!

Tennis courts
Walking trails
Biking trails
Any kind of trails
Grocery store – The idea is to have my girls plan a meal, buy all the ingredients and then cook it! (That should be an interesting blog topic all by itself)
Garden center

Here’s to a Great Summer!! :)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Stop! I Need a Vacation!

What day is it? Is it morning, noon or night? I'm running on fumes here! LOL

April hit and the chaos went spiraling out of control. Thank goodness for our awesome RWA Chapter meeting this month. Kathryn Lorenzen is a creativity coach and her workshop helped me keep from losing my sanity this month. And the month's only getting started!

Seriously, though. If you've never considered what a creativity coach has to offer, it might be worth checking it out. I have a writing friend who loves her and has become so much more productive in her writing. For me, the timing is not right. But I'll be saving some pennies and hopefully in the near future I can benefit from some one on one time with Kathryn. ;)

A great quote from the workshop:

"Focus is Power!"

Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Distractions, interruptions, commotion, whatever you want to call it must be dealt with with a firm hand. Or maybe just by using better organization skills. LOL As a writer, I find even the smallest thing can distract me. Like a phone call, or the mailman. So throw something big at me like a lost hamster for instance and we have major chaos not to mention complete and total mental shut down. No more muse. No more writing. No more anything, but searching and pleading for the little guy to "come out, come out where ever you are," and go back into his cozy cage.

After hours of searching, a restless night of getting up to check and see if he'd made it back to his cage so I could close the door before he got out again, and lots of strategy today I finally found him. Poor little guy had apparently entered an opened drawer on the bottom of my son's dresser and once the door was shut he was trapped. Boy was he happy to see me. LOL Probably not as happy as I was to see him. Oh, there is the tear factor to consider with my heartbroken son over the loss of his beloved pet. But all I could think of was this little critter getting stuck in my walls and what a smelly problem that could turn out to be.

All is well again in the house and I can finally sit back down and get busy finishing up my submission packet. yeah! :)

The joys of motherhood and writing. You know, I should write a book about that! LOL

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Moving Right Along

Finished up the synopsis and first three chapters for my submission and now working on a query letter. It is so much easier to write a 300 page story than to sit down and try to compress the entire plot into a one sentence blurb or five page summary. Book reports back in school were easier than this. I have no idea why. I should and do know my story so much better than one I've read for enjoyment. Maybe that's why it is so hard. I know way too much! LOL

But at least it is looking really good for me to meet my goal on getting it sent out. Yeah! This feels so good! :)

"There is nothing to fear but fear itself!"
Say this over and over enough times and it really starts to work!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Nola Stars Conference

A few of my Everybody Needs A Little Romance Blogging Buddies!

What an amazing experience! From the moment I stepped into the lobby of the hotel to the time I left, I was surrounded by warm and friendly faces. I've decided that these smaller conferences might be better for me. The entire atmosphere was so much different from the National conference I attended in Dallas back in 2007. Instead of the hustle and bustle of hundreds of writers rushing around to find the next workshop or their pitch session, it was calm, inspiring and at almost every turn there was someone I knew. It felt more like a family reunion. LOL And what a great place to meet new friends.

It may have to do with the fact that the conference in Dallas was my first one and I'd only joined RWA that January. So needless to say, I was clueless about what to expect. Don't get me wrong, the one in Dallas was awesome as well and I learned more there than I had over the entire time I'd been writing on my own. But for me, being an introvert and shy on top of that, the smaller cozier conference made me feel more at home in my own skin. So much so, that my pitches went better than I could have hoped for. A big thanks to my new friend, Betsy St. Amant. Her support and encouragement before I pitched was the icing on the cake. Be sure and check out her books!

I had two pitches. One with an agent and one with an editor. Both requested to see more material. What more could I ask for! :) Oh, and I won a great critique package too!

Working hard to finish up my synopsis and polish those chapters till they sparkle and then I'll be sending out my baby. Gulp....I wonder if this part will ever get easier? :)
Betsy St. Amant

New Friends!

Kaye Dacus

Friday, February 26, 2010

Back on Track

2010! That doesn't sound possible. Where has all the time gone? LOL

My kids are growing up faster than I can keep up and I don't like it one bit. But this is life. We all grow up and older and have to make the best out of every second given to us. When I was younger, I couldn't imagine being where I am today. Mom of two teenagers and my baby on his way to middle school? With each new year comes new challenges. The mommy kind and the career kind. Where and how to merge these two so that everyone is kept happy has been a struggle over the years. Even more so now that the kids are older. But miraculously I'm squeezing time to write in there among the daily chores, tournaments and other school activities that seem to pop up out of nowhere.

Time to get back on track. I'm excited about my WIP. I wrote it several years ago, but picked it up again in August to see if it would catch my interest. It did. And now I'm almost done with the edits. I'm loving the way the story is growing and expanding. I think this might just be "the one." Yikes!

I'll be attending a great conference in Louisiana this March and hope to gain some interest from either an agent or an editor. Fingers crossed!

Be sure to stop and enjoy the special moments as well as the everyday moments in your life. Once they're gone. They're gone for good. :)