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Showing posts from 2011

Why You Shouldn’t Query Your NaNoWriMo Piece

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It’s November, that means – along with Movember – we’re in NaNoWriMo, the time of year when skads of people sit down and do their best to pump out 50k words in a 30 day period. I started Nano this month… which, I’ll be honest was a bad idea in hindsight, for 3 reasons. #1. I have something hanging in the ether – and I’m rubbish at finishing other things when I’ve got that little unknown floating about. #2. It’s the end of the year, when my average w/c drops like nobody’s business. And #3. I ended up moving the second weekend of the month – inciting stress induced lack of motivation!
But I have written a first draft in under a month before. My beta and self-proclaimed biggest fan, Katie, challenged me to write a draft in a month. 20 days later I had a 72k word first draft. But. The problem with pumping out something that quickly, is this:
That’s what it looks like when you edit something written with that much haste. (also, for an adult Science Fiction novel, I’m about 18k short of the genera…

Author Interview: Seleste deLaney

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10 Things That Shouldn’t Be In Your Query

Rhetorical Questions – Have you ever wondered why queries shouldn’t be printed on blue cardstock? Probably not. The problem with rhetorical questions is that the answer is usually no. Why do you want an agent to have the word “No” in her mind before she gets through your query?  A rhetorical Q as a first sentence is effectively cutting your head off. If you’ve got a rhetorical question, cut it out and find a better way to approach that. Rhetoricals are lazy. Rachelle Gardener from WordServe Literary Group: Your query begins with a rhetorical question. The problem with this is that usually my answer to your question is “no” so you’ve already lost me. Especially the “Have you ever wondered…?” questions. (Rachelle’s Blog) ------------------------------------ Clichés or Tropes – The point of a query is to illustrate the Uniqueness of your novel to an agent or publisher. Clichés and Tropes are not unique. Chances are, if you’re using one, an agent (or their assistant) has already read three …

Confessions of a Critique Partner: Joann

Let me start off this “Confession” post by letting you know that Joann from over at Laundry Hurts My Feelings is my fabulous Crit Partner and then by assuring you that when I asked her to write a confession about being my Crit Partner… this was not what I expected and am extremely flattered. So, here’s Joann:
Since, I’m here to confess today, I might as well give you a whopping big confession.
I’ve written a novel. I’ve labored long and hard over my novel. I’ve sweated, what feels like blood, at times. I’ve given up a lot of living in the pursuit of these words of mine. I’ve far too often, cried in frustration. I’ve lain awake at night, my head filled with plot lines and revisions. But more than all of those tough moments put together, I’ve been euphoric, filled with a writerly joy, on the days when the words just tumbled out of me, my hands flying at super speed to catch them. And I have never felt prouder of an accomplishment than when I was able to write those two little words, The E…

Blogger Interview: Matthew McNish

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Matthew's blog The Quintessentialy Questionable Query Experiment is all about his writing journey and helping others perfect their queries before submission.
ABK: Tell us a little about yourself to start off. MM: Not much to know. All the adventurous parts of my life are thankfully past and not to be admitted to in public forums. Now I work a soul-sucking day job in the tech industry, raise my two daughters, collect books, walk my dog, run a blog, write stories, and drink a lot. ABK: Who is your favorite all-time protagonist and why? MM: Hmm. I might say Frodo Baggins, but my love for him is really overshadowed by my love for Aragorn, Gandalf, Samwise, and Legolas, so although those are my all time favorite books, I may not count Frodo as my favorite protagonist. Harry Potter may be close, but then he's also sometimes a bit of a nob, so I'm not picking him either. I'm going to go with Nailer, from Ship-Breakr, because although I really loved Andrew Smith protagonists like…

Author Interview: C. M. Keller

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ABK:  Tell us a little about yourself to start off.

CMK: I’m a rich and famous writer who lives in a castle in Spain. Just kidding. I live in a 1940s bungalow that’s not quite big enough for me, my husband, our four kids, and assorted pets, including a black Lab named Jezebel.

ABK: Who is your favorite all-time protagonist and why?

CMK: This is a hard question! It’s like trying to pick a favorite star in the sky.

I love Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games—I’d like to be the kind of woman who can fish, shoot, and exchange my life for the life of someone I love. I adore Gabriel Allon in Daniel Silva’s spy thrillers—an art restorer who can drop a bad guy with one bullet. I love Anne Elliot in Persuasion—one of the best examples of character growth bar none. (Though she could use a little of Lizzie’s wit.) I love...I’d better stop now because I could go on for paragraphs.

ABK: Same question as above, but for your favorite Antagonist.

CMK: Opal Koboi from the Artemis Fowl series. You’ve got …

Why I hate Romeo & Juliet

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One of Shakespeare’s most known tragedies, Romeo and Juliet is thrust upon us in our high school composition classes and then mercilessly shoved down our throats. Romeo and Juliet is not a romantic love story. It’s a story about two insipid children who married young and without their parent’s consent without knowing each other and died because they were too stupid to step back and think for half a second. Romeo is an inconstant fool. He begins the play lovesick over Rosaline and within an act is mooning over Juliet. Juliet isn’t much better. She meets a boy at a party and is suddenly head over heels for him and vowing her love on a balcony (yes, you know the one). So, a fickle 15 year old boy and a cripplingly naïve 13 year old girl agree to get married in secret, having known each other all of six hours. They’re young, I know, but their entire situation could have been handled much better from the get go. At thirteen I probably wanted to marry Mike Ringor (I had a horrible crush) but…

Blogger Interview: AmyBeth Inverness

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ABK: Tell us a little about yourself to start off. ABI: When I was little I always said I wanted to be either an author or an architect. Having eventually learned that getting published was even less likely than becoming a huge movie star, I went to school for architecture. I’ve had a number of different jobs, including nanny, craft store clerk, telephone customer service, resident director and instructor at a local college. That last one was the only time I actually used my degree, teaching architecture students. I grew up in Colorado, after IBM moved our family from Florida to Ohio, then Kentucky. I met my husband in Wyoming, and we moved to Vermont as newlyweds to be closer to my family (who transferred here after I graduated High School.) We’re still plotting our return West. ABK: Who is your favorite all-time protagonist and why? ABI: It has to be Luke Skywalker. He started out as a brash, idealistic young kid who made mistakes and endured the consequences. But the arc of his charact…

Confessions of a Beta: Katie

Today I'm handing the post over to one of my Beta readers, Katie. (She is also my self proclaimed biggest fan - even turned in a resume for the position.)


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Normally when I'm reading through a book, I think to myself, "I wonder what the author decided happened in this guy's past to make him act this way? How many planets are in this sci-fi? What happened to this country/universe/family in the ancient history of this story?" And that's where knowing the person who is writing the book comes in handy.


As Amy types up new books I get the pleasure of reading through them, usually as each chapter is finished. She will also send me rough drafts of queries, or a full novel that has been picked through by her other betas. While I may not be the best typist or speller, typos and other grammar issues usually scream out at me from other people's writing (those who can't do, teach - that type of thing). This skill doesn't usually get used while being Amy&#…

Author Interview: Tiffany Reiz

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The Siren, Tiffany Reisz's Debut novel about an erotica writer with a stuffy british editor and a secret night job as the city's formost dominatrix.
(I'll consider that sentence forwarning of what you can expect to find in the following interview)

Represented by the amazing Sara Megibow of the Nelson Literary Agency, Tiffany has also published an erotic novella called Seven Day Loan.

Tiffany's prose is enrapturing and completely unforgettable. Her agent said of The Siren: "I wanted to put chocolate on the pages and eat it." I think we can all agree that is a glowing reccomendation.

She has three novels coming out in 2012!

The Siren - release date: August 1, 2012 The Angel -release date: October 1, 2012 The Prince - release date: December 1, 2012
The Interview:

ABK: Tell us a little about yourself to start off.

TR: I had a farm in Africa…

Oh, wait. That’s somebody else. My name is Tiffany Reisz and I am funky. Kentucky girl born and bred. Other than the fact that I’…