Saturday, February 20, 2010

Critique Groups

I have to say, I'm very lucky to have such wonderful critique groups. They provide so much advice and support as I attempt to make my way in this business. Last night 3 awesome authors from my critique group came by for what I called a Red Ink Party. They were kind enough to give my book (The Green) a read and tell me what they thought. I really think this input is invaluable. It's sometimes hard to read your own work and find what's wrong with it. After awhile the words just seem to swim on the page! I got a ton of excellent suggestions and I am really excited to start working on some revisions before I submit again.

An update on submissions, the agent request I received did turn out to be a NO. But it was a good call, because I struggled to see how The Green would even fit in with the books they represented. Someday I'll find the right match. So that's 5 official NOs, and 4 no replies, which we'll be chalking up to NOs. Onward and upward!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Researching

Amazingly I found a picture to add to the blog after these many months, although most of you were already aware of what I look like. But for those that don't, you can finally put a face to the name. Being that I am waiting for a response on my agent request (more like trying not to stalk my email and the mailbox) I had the inspiration to start a new project. A few blogs ago I posted on my brainstorming efforts and they have finally produced some fruit.

Right now I am researching my new setting, New Orleans. Conveniently, New Orleans also happens to be a city I've always been interested in visiting. As a result, my kind husband has agreed to be my partner in crime and join me on a road trip to the Big Easy next month so I can immerse myself in the surroundings. So far I have a main character and a basic plot, which will definitely include voodoo and possibly pirates and/or zombies. I am currently reading a book on the Lafitte brothers, famous pirates based in New Orleans. I'm also eagerly awaiting the arrival of two books about the famous voodoo queen Marie Laveau. While I need to know the history of these many topics, I do plan to write the book as a modern paranormal YA.

Hopefully my new obsession will keep me distracted from the waiting!

Geneva SCBWI Shout Outs!

I am so lucky to have a few wonderful critique groups and we are always excited when somebody makes the big sale! I just wanted to take this opportunity to pat those writers on the back who are always so helpful to me! These two writers are members of the Geneva SCBWI critique group and both have wonderful books that are out now. You should definitely buy them!

For younger kids, Laura Crawford wrote The American Revolution From A to Z, a beautiful picture book with info about an interesting time in American History. Congrats Laura!

For teens, Kristin Walker has A Match Made in High School, a comedy about a girl who has to participate in a marriage project in high school. Congrats Kristin!

I am really proud to work with such great writers! Way to go guys!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Jeezy Creezy it's already February?!

I sort of dropped off the face of the earth last week. There were some crazy distracting events occurring as well as my husband, ever the saint, leaving me for the weekend to chaperone kids at the Model UN conference in the city. (I get that I only had to chaperone one toddler, but those of you that have them understand!) That, plus finally having to put together a submission packet for an agent and I was pretty much down for the count.

There is, however, some good news out of last week. I did receive a request from a nice agent in New York who was interested in reading The Green. YAY! That puts me at 3 NOs, 1 YES-ish, and 4 unanswered queries. I was pretty happy with what I was able to put together and send, much thanks to my critique groups, both live and online, who helped me prepare. I had to send a Bio, 50 pages, a Synopsis and what I call an Additional Project sheet. We were supposed to mention the next book we were planning. I also slipped in my other 2, I figured why not?! At least I feel like this agent will really have a good idea of who I am. We may not be the right match, but that's okay. A YES always pushes me forward! According to his nice email, I should know in about 3 weeks. Which in this world is like overnight!