Friday, November 7, 2014

How Many Rejections Does It Take To Get to the Toostie-Roll Center of the Publishing World?

Just how long does it take to get published? How long until your dream of publication becomes a reality? 
We know that the journey varies for each of us. My friend, Vicky Lorencen (check out her Frog on a Dime blog), posted the question: how many rejections did you receive until you landed your agent?
Well, since I've had four agents (yes, FOUR), I thought I would address the question with complete transparency. 
How many rejections? 
When I got the offer from Barbara Markowitz back in May of 2010, my Finding Home book (middle grade fiction) had already accumulated over 60 rejections (both agents and editors). That same month I landed Marissa Walsh for my second novel, 200 Dares. That novel only had received six rejections (from agents only). I chose Marissa over Barbara (it was a very hard decision; both women are delightful). Marissa and I received a total of eleven rejections from editors. We then started working on Falling Too Deep (young adult fiction). She left the business (which broke my heart), and I was passed off to Rachel Coyne (like Marissa, also of Fineprint Literary). We received nine rejections for Falling Too Deep before she left the business to spend time with her family. 
That left me at square one. With A LOT of rejections. 

The key is that I kept writing. I kept writing books. I started querying like a madwoman, but even though I was receiving a lot of bites for these books, no one was willing to take that chance. Total number of rejections until Carrie Pestritto came along and signed me on now totaled around 150. 

I started to get smart and started talking to all my contacts. Yes, my wonderful friends who are also authors helped me out. And their agents were fabulous. How I landed the lovely Ms. Pestritto is because my author friend, Kristen Lenz, thought we'd be a great fit. And she was right. 

So, now where am I at? Still writing, still revising, still waiting...
I still haven't got to that Tootsie-Roll Center of the Publishing World, but hey, I might as well enjoy it until I get there.  
Just how long does it take to hit the jackpot of your dream?

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Too Busy to Write?

Does this remind you of someone? Anyone? Possibly yourself?
"Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans." -John Lennon
This week has been busy. With work and obligations, I also was sick and that drains any plans of writing in my spare time right out the window.
It doesn't happen often that an entire week goes by and I haven't written, but this is one of those weeks.

For a writer like myself, it's frustrating. If I'm going to become good at something, I need to practice. More than that, writing calms me and is my most favorite past-time. Without it, I feel like a ship wandering aimlessly in the middle of the ocean.

Even though I consoled myself by reminding me that getting better should be my number one priority, and concessions need to be made in my writing life, I thought I'd take the time to blog about "busyness." It happens to the best of us, right? Too much going on....too many people around...too many kids' sporting events or obligations...too many work demands...and on and on it goes.

I get it. I really do. My previous post from a couple months ago talked about distractions. Distractions keep us busy, but that's not what I'm looking at here. I'm talking about obligations that are a part of our lives. Our kids and our significant others are important to us (or they should be...LOL). Our careers and our church or social groups are important to us. How do we juggle "busyness" with our writing habit?

Here are some of my ideas (please post a comment and tell me yours):
1. Carve out time on a calendar.
As silly as this sounds, setting aside time every day specifically for writing may work for those of us who enjoy organization and compartmentalizing of responsibilities. One of my writing peers has an alarm that goes off on her phone at the same time each day as a reminder to write that day. Most days she doesn't need it because she loves to write. But on the busy days, she says it has more than once reminded her to find the time that day to write.
2. Carry a notebook and pen with you every day and "steal" writing time.
How can you be a writer without a notebook and pen, right? I love to think of new scenes for the book I'm working on or even new ideas for books, and I'll start drafting with my handy-dandy notebook. If my day was super busy, I still feel I accomplished some aspect of my writing goals.
3. Have like-minded friends who call or email often to ask how your writing is going.
Rachel Anderson!! My writing buddy!! She keeps me on track, and I have to admit there's been a time or two or three that I had to remind her to stop being so busy and get to writing! Having someone who gets you and your love of the written word is so important to being successful as a writer.
4. Attend writing retreats or conferences.
Nothing motivates me more than attending a writing conference and being inspired. I get to hang out with some fabulous friends who all love writing and children's books as much as I do. I get to talk and discuss books and the writing business all weekend long. I get to listen to other people's story ideas, and I get to share mine with them. I get to stop being "busy" with my life, step away and come back feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, and ready to get writing! (SCBWI-Michigan, here I come! See you all next weekend!)
5. Don't beat yourself up, but don't make excuses.
Life is busy. We're busy. But that excuse only lasts so long. If writing is your passion, you will find time to make it happen. For instance, this week I was super busy at work, but most weeks I am busy, so that's no excuse. This week I was also very sick. So I'm not going to beat myself up for going to bed really early every night, for drinking tea with a heating pack around my neck without picking up my laptop. But now that I'm on the mend, the trend of not writing cannot continue.

Don't be too busy. If your writing is ever going to take off, it's going to be because you made it a priority.

Here's to us!

"Life happens and I write about it wherever I am." -Melissa Etheridge

Friday, August 15, 2014

Why Revisions Matter

This reminds me of myself, as I try to rework my manuscripts.
The art of creation is something most of us writers thoroughly love. Creating new worlds, fascinating characters, conflict-driven situations, suspense, and the gorgeousness of a romance is what writing is all about (at least to me).
You all know (because I've said it before) how I feel about revision. It sucks sometimes (okay, a lot of the time). You wrote something that you think is amazing, and now someone's telling you to change it?


Before you drop that critique partner, editor, or agent for daring to say anything critical about your work, here are some reasons why revisions matter:

1. Your first draft is NOT that good.
Yes, you read that correctly. And it's true. First drafts are important because they allow the writer to get the story down onto paper. At least the nuts and bolts of it. The fact that you finished a draft is impressive because--let's be honest--most don't. However, if someone decides to play a game of basketball with little practice, knowing only the rudimentary skills and knowledge of the game, is that first game going to be exceptional? Brilliant? Poetic? Magnificent? Make-you-want-to-cry-because-that-person-is-so-talented? Probably not. Now what would happen if said person continued to practice after that game? What if they took what they learned and went back to the court and kept working at it? Would the game be improved?
So, why-oh-why are you holding onto that first draft? You've got some untapped potential in there, but revisions help you tighten it up and make it that much better.

2. Revisions strengthen your skills.
The more you revise, the more your eyes are opened to shoddiness in writing. This works not just for yourself but when you study other works as well. Revision forces you to go line-by-line, sentence-by-sentence, page-by-page with a critical eye. This involves critical thinking and advanced skill. Don't believe me? Go teach at a middle or high school. I've taught for fifteen years and most novice writers think that first draft is beautiful thing. Why do you think they wait until the night before to complete it? I've written about my first novel. When I finished it (seriously, as soon as I typed "the end"), I started submitting it to the big houses. I thought it was a million dollars waiting to be discovered. Now? Ten years later? When I'm done drafting, I let the novel sit for several weeks, so that I can go back to it with fresh eyes. Because I KNOW it will need revision.

3. Revisions show your willingness to work and listen to others.
Who wants to be in a critique group with someone who always defends their work, or who will not take any constructive criticism? I WANT to know what is not working in my novel. I WANT to know if I've used a word too much. I WANT to know if my sentence structure is confusing, or if my paragraphs are too long, or if my dialogue is too stiff and formal. Why? Because I want my novel to be the best it can be. I want an agent and editor to see a tight, exceptional manuscript, one that shows that an immense amount of time, effort, and creativity went into it. I also want agents and editors to know that I will work with them. If they want me to fix something. Done. I'm not going to argue or give them a headache. (This doesn't necessarily mean make EVERY change, but at least be open to fix what needs to be fixed).

So, do revisions matter? Yes, they do.
Take the time to revise. Your writing will only be that much better and that much stronger.

Monday, August 4, 2014

The Writer's Conundrum

What to do when you have so many good ideas, and not enough time in the day? 

Writers have to deal with a lot of issues. For many of us, just completing a novel or a concept is a major "issue." Then there is the whole "getting published" aspect that can be a bit of a struggle (just a bit... LOL), or the whole reading books and staying in-tune with the business side of things that can weigh a writer down. Even though I could spend time on each of these "issues," these are not the topic(s) for today.

What conundrum am I referring to? The one I struggle with the most often is what to do when I have a lot of good ideas. Which one should I work on? Should I finish one before starting another? Oooooh, but the idea is so good! I've just got to write it down! I am currently sitting on about five unfinished novels (I know, I'm not proud of that number). These novels range from almost done (around 200 pages each), to mid-way "burn-out" (around 75-100 pages each), and one has the first chapter written (it's a great first chapter though).

Sometimes I get the advice to work on the one that is calling to me. Problem is that ALL of them are great and have potential and "call" to me. See? That is why it's a conundrum. However, I think it's a pretty good conundrum to have. So, how do I tackle this challenge?

1. Finish one novel at a time.
This is a must, but it's so hard! I do not follow it ALL the time, but I do try.
2. Compartmentalize time.
If I want to research for one book or work out a chapter on another, sometimes it helps to divide up sections of time to working on these aspects. It helps to keep stories fresh. However, I do always try to have that "one" that I'm finishing to be a top priority.
3. Send my one WIP to critiquers. This will keep my focus to the one novel that needs to get finished.

Now, I'm off to write. Which one should I work on?? ;-)


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Good things come to those who NEVER GIVE UP!

For those of you who know me, and those of you that have yet to meet me, today is a happy day! Before I jump into the happy news, let me summarize my writer's journey (or at least parts of it):

*In the winter of 2004, I wrote a fabulous book. Seriously, I believed it would make me millions, and I would get to be a writer for the rest of my life. The book went on to garner several form rejections. Epiphany #1: I had no idea what I was doing. 
*In the winter of 2005, I learned about and joined a group called SCBWI: Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. The learning process continued.
*In the spring of 2005, I attended my first writing conference in Michigan. I even had an editor critique! This was a major epiphany! Epiphany #2: the editor told me I had a strong voice in writing, and to keep writing no matter what. 
*In the winter of 2006: a short story of mine was published in Writer's Journal magazine for $25 whole dollars! I was now a published, paid writer! Epiphany #3: Writing doesn't always pay that well. 
*In the fall of 2007: an agent, Barbara Markowitz, took a real interest in my book (the one from 2004). It had been revised a kazillion times, but she still felt it needed a lot more work. Epiphany #4: Revisions never end!
*In the spring of 2010: three of my writer buddies (Monica Harris, Leslie Helakoski, and Rachel Anderson) threatened me within an inch of my life (no, not really) to send my revised manuscript to the agent who had expressed interest three years earlier. I followed their advice, and she remembered me! She called me and signed me on! Epiphany #5: Agents do sign new authors!
Two weeks later: a request for a full manuscript from book #2 that I had completed from a completely different agent. She went on to offer me representation. She is none other than Marissa Walsh of Fineprint Literary. In one of the toughest decisions ever, I chose Marissa because she wanted me for my entire career (but Barbara is seriously still AWESOME). Epiphany #6: sending work out to multiple agents can lead to some issues.
2011: The book has been sent to a handful of editors, so far no luck. I begin writing Falling too Deep (to keep me sane). Epiphany #7: keep writing other books; don't get hung up on just one!
2012: Marissa called me with the unfortunate news that she was, unfortunately, leaving the business. (I love you, Marissa!) She is a pretty amazing lady, and I wished her well. Boy, oh boy, was I bummed! She referred me to Rachel Coyne, also of Fineprint. Epiphany #8: Life does not happen the way you expect, but you smile and move on with grace and professionalism. :)
2012: Rachel and I work diligently on Falling too Deep. At this point I have two other novels that are sitting in a "cyber" drawer. She sends it out to a handful of editors. No luck. We hit the drawing board again. Epiphany #9: Revisions never end (oh, did I say that already?). 
2013/early 2014: Rachel emails me that she is taking a break from agenting to focus on her family. Yay, Rachel (I'm all for putting families first). I wish her well, but now I'm at square one. Epiphany #10: this writing business sucks sometimes!
Early 2014: Enter my lovely friend, Kristen Lenz, who is giddy about her newly signed agent, Carrie Pestritto of Prospect Agency. She mentions that we might be a good fit. I mention, "Hey, you've seen my writing, would you be willing to refer me?" To which she replies, "HECK, YEAH!" (or something like that). Epiphany #11: Nothing is better than writer friends who totally "get" you. 
Early 2014: I query the lovely Ms. Pestritto with Falling too Deep. She sends me a kind rejection with some tips on improving the manuscript. Mainly, I needed to do some major cutting, up the suspense, and make the plot move faster! Epiphany #12: Revisions never end!
May 2014: I finish revising a 379 page novel to 212 pages! I email Carrie to see if I could resubmit. Wonder of wonders, she said, "Sure, send it my way!" I sent her the first three chapters of the newly revised book. A week later, she requests the whole manuscript! Epiphany #13: Be grateful for open doors and second chances!
July 15, 2014: Carrie Pestritto of Prospect Agency offers me representation! Epiphany #14: Hard work pays off! 
July 28, 2014: Talked with my agent on the phone (that's so cool that I can say that), and she is all things lovely and sweet. We're on the same page with my novel, and she said she wants to be my career agent! Epiphany #15: Good things come to those who NEVER GIVE UP!

I know the journey is far from over, but I am so overwhelmed with gratitude that I had to write about my experiences. I want to encourage others that the process is truly long and arduous, but good things DO happen. Hopefully, one day soon, I will post more good news. Until then, I will continue to plug away at my books and pray that the door for publication opens big and wide. 
Here's to dreams. Now let's all do a happy dance! 


Friday, July 18, 2014

Waging War on Distractions

My husband, John, on his kayak on Silver Lake in Wolverine, Michigan

It's summer, and it's beautiful, and you can think of 101 different things to do today. Not that I'm asking you to be a hermit in the summer. Let's be real...the snow will be here soon enough. But, that novel isn't going to write itself. And revisions? Your pencil can be a bit lazy if you don't pick it up and force it to work. My remedy is a simple word: balance.
What works for me is to write and revise in the mornings. My summer internal clock is still set on my winter schedule (shh, don't tell it), so I am still getting up very early, even though I do not have to teach classes until the afternoons. I grab my coffee, laptop, notebook, and pencil, and head out to my front porch where I can enjoy God's creation...and get to work (but coffee comes before writing...priorities, people). After two hours of truly focused writing, the rest of the day is mine. Oftentimes, I might steal a few more hours to write, but mostly I spend time with my boys, teach my classes, go swimming, eat ice cream, and enjoy the lovely summer weather. 
What works for you? How do you wage war on distractions?

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Tag You're It! My Writing Process Blog Hop! It's my turn!

Thank you to the lovely Patti Richards, who tagged me in the My Writing Process Blog Hop. She is an author of several picture books and is also working on middle grade novels, as well. Check out her blog, Sensibility and Sense (her link is on the right hand side of this page), for some cool discussions and tips on the writing craft.

Without further ado....
1. What are you currently working on?
I am currently working on a historical fiction novel. My current work is mostly reading and research. I do try to write a couple pages a day to get something on paper. Mostly though, I am researching the time period. Ancient times are very difficult because some research is in bits and pieces, while other research is sketchy or educated guesses. It is time consuming, but I am enjoying it.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Well, I actually write all across the board. I have written a middle grade novel, a couple YA novels (one is a mystery/ghost story, another would be classified as magical realism), and this historical fiction piece would be more for the general audience. My work is different because they're my words, for starters (that's a given), but I enjoy putting a fresh spin on ideas and seeing how it all turns out.

3. Why do I write what I write?
I write because I am breathing. Seriously. Writing is my soul. It is one of the gifts God has given me, and I am so thankful. I have focused more on middle grade and YA because I was a high school teacher for thirteen years. I am branching out into more of a general audience, so I'm not sure what the reasons are. Mostly, I'll get an idea and go with it. Once I start creating the story, I can't stop until it's finished.

4. How does my individual writing process work?
Writing is a part of my life every day. It is not a hobby for me, it is a part of me. I am constantly thinking up new ideas, jotting them down, visualizing scenes from current books I'm working on, sorting out dialogue between characters, or drafting, revising, reworking, submitting, and starting the process all over again. When it comes to actual story idea to completion, my writing process involves starting with a sample couple pages. How would I start the book? Can I get myself hooked? Then, if I'm liking the idea, I start taking notes in the form of an outline. What are the key parts of the book. What are the conflicts? Will they get resolved. The outlining phase can be several pages long (one outline was approximately 30 pages long). Then I start to write. If I need to research, I research, but I always try to get something down even if I know I'll have to revise later. Once the draft is done, I send to readers who love helping me! Then I rework the book, rewrite the parts that need to be rewritten, and there you have it!

Thanks, Patti, for tagging me. I will keep you all posted with who I tag (because several people in my circles have already been tagged)! I'd love for you to leave a comment. If you'd like to be tagged, let me know!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Looking for blogs!

Hi everyone,
I would love to add your blog to my blog list, especially if it's about writing or publishing.  Please let me know!
Here's to navigating our stories and the publishing world!


Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Pain of Getting It Right...

I was writing with a friend of mine a couple weeks ago, and she was excitedly talking about all of the new research she had discovered to add to her early middle grade novel. She has been researching for at least a year (probably longer), sifting through interviews with Vietnam Vets, reading books and articles on the era, and most importantly, drawing from her own experiences.

I wish I could say that I have embraced the research component with as much enthusiasm. For me, I want to jump in the novel. I'll use as much prior knowledge that I've got in my brain (I'm pretty smart, after all), and get "most" of it right. Now I know, as you do, that it won't work. Research is a key component to writing (at least writing well). As I delve into a historical fiction novel that has been itching to come out, it DEMANDS that I research. As frustrating as it is, it has been an eye-opener. I realized I do not know near as much as I thought I did. I find myself reading about the food they would eat, their clothing, their marriage practices, the art of war, and on and on and on. I try to make myself write a page or two of the draft every day, but it has become difficult because after all that research I desire to "get it right."

Making your story believable and encapsulating within that era is an important ingredient to producing a well-done piece. As I read through my friend's manuscript I was sucked into the story line. The characters felt real and an integral part of that time period. Her research had added multiple layers to the conflicts, making it a page turner. I can't wait to see the book on store shelves!

Until then, I will keep researching for my own book, reminding myself that "getting it right" might be time-consuming and, at times, tedious, but the finished product will be a much more authentic story.

I'd love to hear from you!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Who are your CHARACTERS?

For me, a part of revising is rethinking and reworking my characters. We've been told that characters need to be "authentic," but what does that mean and how do we go about creating these "authentic" characters in our writing? Many authors do these types of character activities before drafting. As stated, I go back to the drawing board once I already have established a very basic draft. It's up to you, but these writing activities do help to strengthen your characters and give them an "authentic" life of their own.

1. Do a written sketch of your character. This means to describe him or her. Don't leave anything out. This goes beyond long hair/short hair, blue eyes/gray eyes. How do you see this character in your head? Does he or she nervously bite his or her lip? Does the character fidget? Does the character slouch? Or is he or she over confident to the point of cocky? If so, describe it. (Remember, this is just for your notes. I'm not advocating putting a one-two page description of your character in your story.)
2. What makes your character unique? This is an exercise to pin down his or her personality. This will help to point out those characters who may fit into stereotypes. For instance, if you described your character as nervous (fidgeting, biting fingernails, twirling hair, biting lower lip), WHY? What makes him or her nervous? Is he or she shy? Maybe this character has something to hide. Work out all the idiosyncrasies to develop what makes your character, not only different, but also integral to the story you are writing.
3. Outline out the relationships between your characters. Is there a love/hate relationship between child and parent? Are there two best friends who secretly have feelings for each other? Is there a reason the antagonist is plotting against the protagonist? By outlining the chemistry between characters (and I'm not just talking about romantic chemistry), you will create depth of characters through their interactions with each other.
4. Now, rewrite. Or, start writing. These characters have a story, and it needs to be told. By having an understanding of each of them, and who they are, they will hopefully become more layered and multi-faceted.

Throughout your writing process and developing of characters, make sure that you are continually reading books. Reread those with rich, in-depth characterization. Learn from them. Have any tips to share? I'd love to hear from you.

Happy Writing!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Formidable Form Rejection...

Your novel is finished, revised, and ready to go. You've slaved over your query to make it the best it can be. You're ready to start submitting to literary agents. Staying away from the formidable form rejection is a difficult task, especially when literary agents are receiving hundreds of queries a week. There are some pointers, however, that will help you not get that "automatic" no.
1. Address the query to the specific agent: Nothing says novice than "Dear Agent" or "To Whom It May Concern." JUST DON'T DO IT. Agents want to feel that you have researched them and have picked them out on purpose. By not even giving them the courtesy of addressing them specifically, you are setting up yourself for an automatic "no" before they even read that first line.
2. Follow the agent's specific requests: Some want a synopsis, others don't. Some want a greeting first, others want to know the story right from the first sentence of the query. Some want to know about your five dogs and twelve cats, most want just the basics. This is where research comes in. Do not EVER send the full manuscript (or even a partial) if they do not ask for it.
3. Make sure the query is free from errors: This seems like a given, but agents have frequently complained that queries oftentimes have glaring errors (including agent's misspelled name) that are a big turn-off.
4. For the most part, queries should not be long: There are a slew of websites/books that address how to properly write a query letter, so I will just say that it should never be longer than a page. One-Two paragraphs on what the book is about (include title, genre, and word count), and possibly a short paragraph on yourself (and for nonfiction, why you're qualified to write the book).
5. Do not compare it to successful novels: "This is the next Harry Potter!" No, no, no, no, no. Let your book speak for itself.
6. Do not insult the agent: "If you do not like this book, then there is something seriously wrong with you." No, no, no...
7. Are you querying an agent who actually represents what you write? Do not send queries to agents who do not rep your genre. Most agency sites have detailed lists about what they are looking for and what they are not. I can't say it enough: RESEARCH!

So, let's say you do all of that (I do), and you still get that formidable form rejection (I do), what then?
1. Be brutally honest with yourself: If all queries come back with a form rejection, you need to take a good hard look at your query and your book as a whole. It may need a revision. Regroup, rework, revise, then start researching agents again.
2. Set the project aside: This is difficult, isn't it? You know your book is brilliant. Still, set it aside. Coming back to it weeks or even months later helps you see it differently.
3. Take some time to read/reread books in your genre: This will help you look critically at your own work to see if you measure up or if your work needs revision.
4. Start writing another project: Get your mind off the other one for a while. The more we write, the better we get.
5. Lastly, NEVER GIVE UP. It will never happen if you quit.

Here's to publishing success for all of us! Do you have any pointers to share? Leave me a comment below.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Hair-Pulling, Bang-Your-Head-Against-The-Wall Nuisances of Finding and Securing An Agent

You have finished your novel. After some time, you went back and reworked it. Maybe you submitted it to your critique group who gave you excellent advice and pointers, so you revised your novel again. Fixed a few more things. Added some depth there. Cut characters or scenes that dragged the story down.
Now it's ready. And it's beautiful.
You spend some time researching literary agents (you heard from the conference you just attended that agents are the way to go to securing a book deal). You pick your top five. After perfecting your query letter for a few months, you're ready to start submitting.
Then the rejections start coming.
You send out another five queries.
And get rejected.
Maybe your query is the problem. So, you rework the query letter and make it even better.
You now send out to ten agents.
The next week, you send to another ten.
Hey, might as well keep the momentum going. Eventually, you have forty queries out to agents.
Lo, and behold, one or possibly two ask for the first thirty pages! GASP! This is it...Hard work pays off...
A couple weeks later those two agents thank you but decline for whatever reason.
At this point, if you're like me, you're like... "WHAT THE....." (Fill in the blank with whatever word you would use in that predicament).

Here's the thing. You have every right to be frustrated. Trust me, this situation is basically my querying life. Frustration is even compounded when you have heard from industry professionals that what you've written is truly good. So, what is a writer to do?

Simple: DON'T GIVE UP.

*Write another book.
*Read several books.
*Take a walk.
*Drink some wine.
*Eat some chocolate.

But at the end of the day, you are a writer. If it's in your blood like it's in mine, giving up simply cannot happen.
Stop thinking about agents for awhile and go back to what you love doing. Eventually you'll be ready to try again with the query process.
I look forward to seeing your work (and mine) in print! Happy Writing!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Research, Submit, Research, Submit....

So, I've been researching agents, trying to figure out who's who in the land of agents and books. I've created a tentative list of ten agents that I think would be excellent for my work and that would fit well with me. The hard part is hitting that "submit" button.
But no one said it was easy. And nothing will happen if I don't hit that button. So, I submitted my queries. Now I nervously chew on fingernails until I start hearing back from them.

One last thing, there is a new #15 Dear Lucky Agent Contest for young adult writers. Go to Guide to Literary Agents blog and check it out.

Until next time...

Saturday, March 15, 2014

I'm BAAACCCKKK! And ready to submit!

Hey everyone! I'm BAAACCCKKK!
Where've I been....these last, oh I don't know, two years? Time flies, doesn't it?

I have had a crazy time in the land of agents. First, Marissa left the business (we still keep in touch). I was reassigned to Rachel Coyne at Fineprint. These last two years have been with her, and it's been a roller coaster ride, to say the least, and my books have yet to be sold. Then, I just found out that Rachel is leaving the business. So, here I am.

That's all right. The journey to publication is a long and arduous process, and I'm not one to give up. I decided that I've used the excuse of being "too busy for a blog" for too long. Writing is therapeutic, and I want to write to all of you about how tough this writing business can be. So, stay tuned.

First things first, I am entering Writer's Digest Lucky Agent contest (number 14)! I'm going to submit my pages for my middle grade novel I worked on with Marissa. If you write Middle Grade, give it a look-see. A critique from an agent would be dy-no-mite!!

Until next time!