Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Win INSURGENT for a Worthy Cause!

Today I wanted to spotlight two of my co-workers (one is my boss!) who are far more brave than I'll ever be will be participating in a fantastic fundraiser.

Pat and Diane - how awesome are they?!
Pat, Diane, and their team, Stoked to Stroke, have been training hard to swim across Long Island Sound on July 28th as part of the annual Swim Across the Sound Marathon. 54 other relay teams will swim a total of 15.5 miles to provide cancer education and screening for the uninsured, as well as wigs, prostheses, medication, transportation and more for those battling cancer. The swim marathon is in its 25th year, and helps more than 20,000 people annually.

So many of us have been touched by cancer on so many levels, and we all know every little bit helps in the fight against it. Until there is a cure, we can only rely on the compassion and generosity of others to pave the way to kicking cancer's ass. So if you'd like to sponsor Stoked to Stroke as they swim across the sound, please visit their website here:

*And as an added bonus, if you donate and leave a comment letting me know, I will happily send a copy of INSURGENT, Veronica Roth's sequel to DIVERGENT to one random donor*

Have a great day, peeps!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Putting on Your Revision Face

I was asked to do some revisions on my manuscript this on Friday. They were nothing impossible, but I'm a nervous person by nature, and I'm always afraid I'll wind up making things worse instead of better.

Which is probably why I go through several stages of revision faces.

The first is outright panic:

You want me to do WHAT?!

But I. Can't. Do. Thaaaat!!!

No, really, how am I supposed to make this happen?

The second is a kind of manic acceptance, when the ideas start to fall into place and I realize I everything might just work out after all. That was me on Saturday.

I've got it! I've got it! I'VE GOT ITTTT!!!


But by Sunday night, when I'd been through two revise-a-thons? It felt like someone had set my eyes on fire.

Now my revisions are safetly in the hands of my capable critique partners, and with any luck, I won't have to repeat the cycle too many more times!

What kinds of stages do you go through when you tackle revisions? Does everyone have a moment of panic, or is it just me?

Monday, May 14, 2012

On Querying and Re-Querying

So it's no secret that when I first started querying my current project, it wasn't going well. Agents who I thought were a shoe-in for requests kept shutting me down with form rejections, and the first time I entered my query/first 250 in a contest, my entry got completely ignored.

When my first ten or fifteen queries didn't result in any requests, I had a sinking feeling that I needed to revise my letter, and stat.

At the same time, I realized my first 250 could probably use a little work, too. So I did an experiment and chopped a good 4 pages off my opening before entering Brenda Drake's Pitch Madness contest - and was floored when 5 different agents bid on my entry, including 2 who had already rejected my query.

So I got to thinking - what if I were to re-query some of the agents who'd previously passed, but using my revised letter and my new opening?

I know agents are divided on this topic. Some say they welcome a re-query as long as you've made significant improvements.

Others say that revisions don't matter - that if they rejected once, they'll probably reject again, and that the onus is on the author to get it right the first time.

Well, I chose to ingore that second group of people. I'm a little stubborn, and I refused to believe that agents remember every single query they reject. I was positive that my letter and/or my opening had been the problem in the first go-round, and with my spit-polished versions, I could reclaim any chances they'd cost me.

So, a few months after my initial wave of rejections, I re-queried about six or seven of the agents who'd passed. I didn't tell them it was a re-query, I just sent the letter as if it were the first time.

Now just as a disclaimer, I did not land my agent through a re-query.

But out of those six or seven agents, three who'd previously rejected came back with a request for material. One of them I had to decline, because it arrived about 4 hours after I'd accepted my offer of rep.

Honestly, what I'm trying to say here is never deny yourself a second chance. The general consensus may be that re-queries are a no-no, but I believe agents will take notice of a query that shines rather than hold a grudge against - or even remember - its dull predecesor.

What about you, peeps? What are your experiences/thoughts on re-querying agents who initially passed?

Friday, May 11, 2012

So... It Happened.

Today is my birthday, but don't worry about getting me anything, peeps. I already got one of the best gifts I could've asked for.

A couple posts ago, no one could've convinced me that my beloved manuscript would ever find itself in front of an agent who loved it as much as I did.

But I was proven wrong in a big way when not one, but two agents offered representation on it last week. I was floored, ecstatic, panicked, and everything else in between, as I'm sure you can imagine.

After speaking to both on the phone, and after much spazzing, hyperventilating, and maybe even some dry heaving, I made my choice.

And so, peeps, I'm sharing the news that I'm officially off the market.

But, because I'm still not quite convinced that this isn't all a dream, that's all I'm going to say for now :)

Have a great weekend everyone!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Showing the Love

Hi Peeps!

It's been kind of a crazy weekend, but in a good way. I didn't have time to put together any Monday musings, so instead I'd like to direct your attention to some awesome entries in The Writer's Voice competition.

I'm always floored by the number of talented writers out there, but these queries and openings are definitely worth a look. Go cheer them on and wish them luck!

#12 TIMEBOUND by Jamie Grey (YA Historical Fantasy)

# 19 ONE by Leigh Ann Kopans (YA Sci-Fi)

#22 MONSTROUS by MarcyKate Connelly

#26 THE ALTERAE by Jenny Kaczorowski

#43 MEMENTO MORI by Lyla Lee (YA Urban Fantasy)

#77 THE GIRL WITH THE PORCELAIN WINGS by Tristina Wright (YA Urban Fantasy)

#93 PALADIN by Marieke Nijkamp (YA Epic Fantasy)

#114 BETWEEN by Megan Whitmer

I think that's everyone. Good luck, all!!