Monday, January 30, 2012


I'm sitting here watching these poor, sad women cry on the Bachelor, so this is as good a time as any to blog.

Many of you know that I made the decision a couple of weeks ago to start querying literary agents. I was nervous about the whole thing, thinking you'd have to pay them a bunch of money just to get them to try and sell your book. I did a little more research and they are just like any other type of agent, they get a percentage of the profits only if they sell your book. So that makes them motivated.

I queried four big agencies with authors on their roster that I recognized. There are thousands of agencies out there, but I decided I may as well aim high. I found one particular agent's blog when I was researching how to write a good query letter. I sent a query to the agent that was currently accepting submissions, and I got a request for the first 30 pages. It's kind of irritating because it's supposed to be double spaced--so in reality, it's only the first 15 of the manuscript. But it's still a nice chunk of the story for them to get an idea.

I follow this agent on twitter, and she posted that she gets over 200 query letters a DAY. So it's easy to fall through the cracks. This, and the feedback I've been getting from publishers, tells me that my idea, at least, is a good one. It will all come down to whether or not they like my writing.

I think I'm a good writer, but then again, it is hard to look at your own work with an objective, critical eye. And I have read published books that are far worse than mine in both premise and execution.

Most people might think that actually dreaming up the idea and the story--beginning, middle, end--is the hardest part of fiction writing. Not so for me. The story is there, along with about three others, constantly going through my head like a movie reel. The challenge for me is getting it all down on paper... er, screen, and doing it justice. Imagine trying to translate a conversation in French when you just learned the language, and the speakers are going a mile a minute. That's kind of what it's like.

Anyway, I am preparing for the worst (another rejection) and hoping for the best. If I can get an agent to back me, it opens my options up to more publishers who don't take unsolicited work. The big dogs like Bantam, Random House, Grand Central, Harper Collins, etc. So it's worth trying for.

Look forward to more excerpts this week, and a synopsis of my fabulous 30th Birthday Bash, and my first super bowl party in 9 years. Until next time!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Silence the Voices

Been under a lot of stress the past couple of weeks. I mean, a lot. I won't go into detail as this blog is public, but there has been turmoil in my life. My husband, my friends, my family, have all been very supportive--but sometimes there's just nothing anyone can do. Nothing can fix it but time and opportunity. Even the book I was reading was stressing me out, it was so emotional. Sometimes it's just all more than you can handle.

One of the biggest disappointments has been that the stress has strangled my ability to write. I don't think I've written a word since my last blog post. It hasn't even been lack of time or energy, either. The story is on pause, the voices have stopped. And you know, you don't realize how quiet it is without them.

I had some time to recharge this week, though. I had the pleasure of seeing Tab Benoit perform again, at one of my favorite places, the Double Door. The show always blows me away, the sound is pure and raw, uplifting when you really need it. The audience is genuine and good natured, and it's all around fun. Always a privilege, we got to spend some time with Tab Benoit and bassist Corey Duplechin after the show. Talking and joking at the bar, just like regular people. That's what's so good about it. However, it is always disappointing when it's over, knowing it will be awhile before they come back to town. But at least I know when this time. July!!!!

So the story has turned back on a little, I just haven't been able to calm down enough to write anything yet. Sometimes life gets in the way. But we'll see how it all plays out, won't we? Until next time...

Where are the songs from the sane minds?
And where are words from the sound mouths?
I can't understand how they silence the voices.
-Chris Cornell

Monday, January 16, 2012

Positive Rejection

If you follow me on facebook, then you know that today I got my first response back from a publisher: pass.

You would probably consider that to be a big disappointment to me, and it probably would have been, had I not prepared myself for what an arduous journey this could possibly be. Also, the editor's friendliness and words of encouragement really helped to soften the blow.

So here's how I'm going to break it down:

  • Today was really not a good day for finding out this kind of news, and I did have a brief moment of wanting to curl up in a ball and cry. Had it not come on such a day, I doubt I would have had any kind of negative reaction.
  • This response came from the only publisher that I had received an actual confirmation from a human being that they were reading my manuscript. Which means I'm much more in the dark now than I was before.
  • The simple fact of having my 'baby', my brainchild, be rejected.


  • Words from the editor [names were removed]: "Thank you for submitting your manuscript to [Publisher]. [Head Editor] thought this premise was highly intriguing and very fresh. It has a great setting and a fascinating cast of characters."
  • The reason they decided to pass was highly subjective and another publisher/editor may not have the same concerns.
  • The fact that they took the time to respond and give me feedback is a compliment in and of itself. That doesn't always happen.
  • For a first submission from an unpublished and unrepresented writer, even getting a rejection with such positive feedback is more encouraging than disparaging.
  • If it turns out I don't get any takers, the feedback lets me know that I do have something worth trying to self publish

All in all, I would consider this more success than failure. I was more freaked out by the fact that someone actually read my book, rather than the rejection itself.

This publisher actually has the shortest turn around time--8 to 12 weeks, and they got back to me at 8 weeks to the day--while most of the other publishers are anywhere from 10 to 16 weeks, which is well into March. Unfortunately, it is encouraged to wait the full amount of time before inquiring into the progress. I am still hopeful because I'll be honest and say that I have read worse books than mine.

Until next time, I'll leave you with this:

You might be in trouble
You might be running
But it's never too late to turn around
'cause as long as you're still breathing
There'll always be enough time
To make the right decision before you die, because
The choices you make might be mistakes
But it's never too late to turn around, turn around
The road that you take might lead you astray
But don't be afraid to turn around, turn around

-Jonny Lang, Turn Around

Friday, January 13, 2012

Excerpt Time!

Ok, folks, it's time for another excerpt from book number two. This one is about good ol' Ray again. Ray is actually a secondary character, but he plays a very important part. A lot of his mannerisms and euphemisms are modeled after my dear departed friend Ray Blackeagle. And for those who would seek to grammerize me (Mom), remember that these are excerpts from an unfinished--and unedited--manuscript. :)

Ray didn't move a muscle when he came to, with his arms and legs bound to a ladder back chair. Just kept his head hanging down limply, eyes closed. How the hell had he gotten here? Right, he'd been snatched by the crazy bitch and her two goombahs. And from the way his skull ached, he must have gotten clobbered something fierce.

He cracked his eyelids the tiniest bit to assess his surroundings. It was dark, the room illuminated only by a couple of flickering fluorescent lights. He appeared to be in an abandoned warehouse, furnished with nothing but a few chairs and a tool cabinet.

Somebody's been watching too much Law & Order, he thought. Unable to help himself, he tensed when he heard the distinct sound of high heels approaching. The sound got nearer and nearer until it stopped completely.

He could sense her in front of him, pure malice emanating from her in waves, nearly as tangible as the chair he sat in.

"I know you're awake, Raymonde," she said in a singsong voice, making him hate the sound of his given name rolling off her tongue.

No longer seeing any point in the pretense, he raised his head and glared at her. "What could you possibly want with me? I. Have. Nothing."

She chuckled as she paced in front of him, and the sound made his skin crawl. "The answer to that is very simple, I'm surprised you haven't figured it out already."

His fingers ghosted over the bindings on his wrists, searching for a loose end. Got to keep her talking. "By all means, enlighten me."

"I want my daughter, Raymonde, and you are going to tell me where she is."

"The hell I am."

That is all for now. I love that my tv has an ipod dock. Aaaaanywho, I'm still looking for an excerpt from book one that doesn't give anything away. It may have to be a really short one. Just for fun, here is my current playlist for book 2:

Old Crow Medicine Show - Highway Halo
Tab Benoit - Unknown Legend
Glee Cast - Blackbird (This scene made me squee!!)
Bush - Body
Matt Morris - 100,000 Strong & Bloodline
Justin Timberlake Ft. - Damn Girl
Radiohead - Street Spirit
The Black Keys - Sinister Kid (That is Matthieu's theme song, he will be the main character in book 3)
Gavin Degraw - Sweeter, Not Over You & Run Every Time
Brandon Flowers - On The Floor & Crossfire
Kerli - Bullet Proof
Adele - Rumour Has It
Audioslave - I Am the Highway
Rihanna - Rockstar 101
Jonny Lang - Turn Around
Joe Bonamassa - Black Lung Heartache
Tokyo Hotel Ft. Kerli - Strange

Does that give you any plot clues? If you haven't checked out any of these songs/artists, you should. Until next time...

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Onwards and Upwards - 35K+ on book number 2

Just wrote a killer scene today. Thanks Adele for writing Rumour Has It. Kept up my pace. It's hard to believe I'm a third of the way through the second book.

I'm keeping a playlist on my iphone for every time I run across a song that gets me thinking about a scene or one of my characters, or one that sets a good pace for writing. It will be interesting to see what all ends up on the playlist at the end. I did the same thing with the first one, I just didn't keep a list. I know better this time.

It's hard to believe it's only been 7 weeks since I submitted my manuscript to the first publisher. It feels like forever. Most of the "deadlines" are well into February, but would it kill them to give me an update?

I've been searching for an excerpt to post from my first book but, as of yet I haven't been able to find one that doesn't reveal the genre or major plot events. My mom asked me if it was a mystery, a drama, a love story, a thriller, etc. My answer was yes. Does that give anyone a clue? :)

There have been some interesting developments in other parts of my life... can't really reveal anything yet, but stay tuned (no I'm not pregnant). Until next time.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

How About an Excerpt?

I thought I would post a series of a few excerpts just for fun. They will most likely not give away any plot details or clues to the subject matter, so it will just be a big tease. :) So here is an excerpt from my second story:

Ray took a long, deep breath of the dry desert air. The first true fresh air he'd had in three years. Because it was his second strike, he'd gotten the max--five--but good behavior had gotten him early parole.

He had done a lot of work on himself on the inside this time, getting clean, seeing a counselor. Hell, he'd even got an associates degree in business. Go figure. He was determined to make it stick this time.

Of course, he'd already lost the most important thing in his life. His daughter. Raven had taken off when he was hauled in the first time. She'd been fifteen, young and jaded, tired of being disappointed every time he failed to sober up.

He'd always wondered where CPS got off, dumping an innocent four year old on a twenty five year old alcoholic con artist. Yeah, he hadn't had a record, 'cept for that stint in Saint Bernard Parish Juvenile Detention Center, of course.

Maybe they truly were underfunded enough to dump any kid on an available parent, that they didn't research him enough. God, he loved her, but the poor kid hadn't stood a chance. Maybe if they'd told him about her ahead of time, given him a chance to get sober, find a legit job, he might have made a halfway decent father.

Well, if wishes were horses then beggars would ride, as the saying went. So he'd raised her the best he knew how. It was no small wonder she didn't run away before she did. They'd kept in touch, and once she partnered up with Stiles and Nash and started the company, he was kept updated on her life.

But after the second time he as arrested, the calls slowed to almost nonexistent, the visits stopped. She never visited him in prison. He didn't blame her. He didn't want the stink of his incarceration to taint her.

So, yeah, he was determined to make it stick this time.

Hope y'all enjoyed that little bit. Until next time.