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! :)