Thursday, August 30, 2012

Mea culpa

Sorry I've been so scarce lately.  It's not that I don't want to post, but life keeps getting in the way.

I just started a new job on Monday <yay!>.  So far, I love it.  The only downside is that I don't have much time to write anymore, and that's been tough.  I really miss Thomas and Claire, and I have a lot of ideas floating around that could use my attention.
I expect that things will settle down in the next few weeks, and I can sneak in the time to write once I adjust to my new schedule.  In the meantime, I will have to make due with writing on the weekend.  Good thing we've got a three-day weekend coming up!

I know I'm not the only one with a crazy schedule.  How do you guys find time to write?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Disappearing act...

About 90 days ago, I submitted Edge of Trust to an agent I met at DFW Con.  I haven't heard back from her yet, and today I figured out why--when I emailed her to follow up, I got an automatic reply from Book Ends that she was no longer with the company.  Bummer.

I'm not sure how long ago she left the company, and if I can (or should) try to track her down.  Has this happened to anyone else?  How did you respond?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Wikimedia Commons

I think I told you that last month at the RWA National meeting, I had an editor request my full manuscript and a synopsis.  I finally finished the formatting and final read-through of Edge of Trust tonight, and just sent my first finished book whirring through cyberspace to land (softly, I hope) in the inbox of said editor.  Now the waiting begins.

Editors and agents are always talking about 'voice' or that 'next big thing.'  I'm too close to this book to tell if it has either one, but I sure do hope so.  I've had some awesome beta readers (thanks, guys!), and they didn't punish me for making them read the book, so I'm hopeful this editor will enjoy it as well.  Either way, I will definitely let you know.

Wish me (and James and Kelly) luck!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Are we too nice?
There's a very interesting piece on Slate regarding the current literary culture.  Have you read it yet?

I think the author makes some good points--given the ubiquitous nature of social networking, authors are increasingly interacting with readers and each other.  This is not always a bad thing--I know that as a reader, I have enjoyed talking with authors about my favorite books, and as a writer, I really appreciate hearing them talk about their process and strategy.


I have noticed on some author websites that any opinions or reviews that are less than glowing praise are shouted down by other fans.  There are countless accounts of authors behaving badly on GoodReads, Amazon, or other review websites.  As the author of this piece notes, this culture of love makes it difficult for critical reviews to come to light, because it's very easy to conflate the work under review with the person who just tweeted the adorable picture of her puppy.

Should authors step back from social media, in order to keep themselves separate from their work?  I don't think so.  Nowadays, publishers practically demand that authors perform some type of self-promotion, be it a Facebook page, Twitter account, blog, or other type of social media.  This is even more true for self-published authors, who must promote themselves loudly and often to have a chance of being heard in this crowded market.

I think it's important to differentiate the one-star drive-by reviews (the ones where the writer clearly hasn't read the book) from those that articulate an opinion and provide examples to back it up.  The latter are the type of reviews that are most helpful, both to authors and readers, and we as a literary community should encourage them.  Personally, when I review a book I try to provide examples from the text that support my argument as to whether it's a good book or not.

This is an interesting issue, to be sure, and I'm wondering what you all think about it.  Are we too friendly?  Do we stifle critical opinion because we don't want to hurt the author's feelings?  Or do we have the right balance of criticism and praise?  Let me know your thoughts!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Insecure Writer's Support Group - August edition

Today I want to talk about publishers.  Having just attended the RWA national conference, I had a chance to interact with representatives from a variety of publishers, both traditional print and e-only publishers.  The sessions spotlighting each publisher were very informative and interesting, and I feel I learned a lot.  However, now that I've had some time to digest all the information, I find I still have a lot of questions.

I have a manuscript ready to shop around, but I'm still not quite sure where to send it.  I do know what my career goals are, but I don't know which route to take to achieve them.  Strive for traditional publication?  Go for e-publication?  Self-publish?  So many options...  Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful to have a choice, but it would be great to have some kind of sign or assurance that I'm making the right decision.  Maybe I'll dig my crystal ball out of storage in the hopes of predicting the future of publishing...

What about you?  Have you decided how you want to publish your work?  What factors influenced your choice?