Sunday, September 22, 2013

Review- Beware of Love in Technicolor by Kirstie Collins Brote

4.5 real life stars

This book is not your typical New Adult Romance. It wasn't the mad chemistry, alpha male tales I've been use to. It was the twisted maze of love and friendship and growth that is true to the college experience. And the inevitable let down when none of it is what you had expected.
And it was set in 1991- so it made me kinda nostalgic.

 It's the story of Greer's first two years in college. She was looking forward her first year and all the firsts she was going to experience, but, as usual in life, it didn't live up to the hype. Her first day she meets an insanely hot guy, but that's where the similarities to a typical romance story ends.. it's his friend she somehow falls in love with.

 What's crazy is that none of the characters have some damaged past... (or at least it's not mentioned in the story)
At first I didn't like Greer. I thought she was stuck up and judgmental, but as her college years progress she loosens up, and I realized that she was just a sheltered, 19 year old, who thought she knew.

Her growth wasn't always positive, but it was typical. She experimented with drugs, with friendships, guys, and with her diet. All a typical experiences for a college student. (well maybe not typical, but believable)

I don't know really what more to say except if you want to take a break from the hype of over dramatized life, this book is perfect.

And the writing was excellent. I loved the style. It all just worked for me!

There were some typos, but that sort of thing doesn't bother me too much. Really the only other negative thing I have is the ending was a little sudden, but it's easy to imagine where it's going.

Overall it left me feeling like I had just got done reminiscing with my friend about our adolescents. And I loved looking back.

Have Fun!

Friday, September 20, 2013

How to write that Query!

There is only one real rule: Get their attention.

The point of the query is to sell your book, make people want to read it (make an agent think it's worth their time, energy, and essentially money in reading your novel)

Everything else is mere guidelines, suggestions, for how to structure your query. Believe me, I've been reading everything I can find on query's. It's exhausting and confusing.

No lie, one agent said "Don't start with a question, it's annoying and distracting and what if my answer is no?" The next blog said, "Starting with a rhetorical question is  good hook to get agents interested."  

Just like everything else in life, it's all subjective. There are no hard and fast rules. And even if there were, it's the innovators who typically get noticed, and they tend to think outside the box. Make their own way.  There are no rules: See this post.

Now with all that said, here are  a  few guidelines that just plain make sense:
    • Keep it under 250 words (agents have limited time, you have to hook them quickly)
    • Include all contact information in closing.
    • FOLLOW THE AGENTS RULES (they usually have their own guidelines to submitting.)

Have Fun!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Timberlake Tuesday (Why didn't I think of that)

I'm adopting Timberlake Tuesday.

I LOVE Justin Timberlake. When I wrote Liam I was kinda picturing Justin Timberlake...

Well, sorry JT he really isn't. He's the jerk of the book!

Aww baby Justin, no need to thank me. I enjoyed picturing you in the role!
Hey I'm glad you like it! Now do you think you can take off your shirt?

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Shark Lessons

I have spent the morning reading through Query Shark and taking notes. I only made it through the list of queries that won at query shark, through revisions or on first tries.

Here is what stood out to me

- In black is part of the query letter, and in blue is the query shark's opinion.

Query Shark: **WINNER**

Protected witness Jessica Reynolds is in deep trouble. The killer she helped put behind bars ten years ago has escaped, and thanks to a breach in cyber-security, knows her new identity. A federal marshal shows up at her home without warning, ready to immediately whisk her away for a second relocation. Jessica refuses to go, unwilling to walk away from her career, home and friends without a fight.

Yes! This is exactly how to start a query. We know what Jessica wants, and who is trying to thwart her.
I am seeking representation for ABIDE WITH ME, a 57,000-word crime novel about friendship, community, football, hope, and biscuits. Oh, and gangsters.

I like the juxtaposition of crime novel and friendship. I'm always looking for that kind of weird pairing. I think it bodes well for a fun read.

Thing is, John don't even know the fuckin' half of it.

And that's exactly why, in less than forty words, why I am eager to read the pages, and then the novel.

One week ago, Claire's cousin Dinah slit her wrists. 

Five days ago, Claire found Dinah's diary and discovered why. 

Three days ago, Claire stopped crying and came up with a plan.  

Two days ago, she ditched her piercings and bleached the black dye from her hair. 

Yesterday, knee socks and uniform plaid became a predator's camouflage. 

Today, she'll find the boy who broke Dinah. 

By tomorrow, he'll wish he was dead. 

Premeditated is a 60,000 word contemporary YA novel. Chapters or a synopsis are available on request.  

oh hell yes.  Send pages, send the entire manuscript NOW.

Here's why this breaks all the rules and still works:  

It's got menace in the very rhythm of the writing. It's short and not-sweet.  We know who the main characters are because she SHOWED us, not TOLD us.

THE ABDUCTION OF EMILY, a mystery/suspense novel of 84,000 words, is an account of a kidnapping as seen from three points of view: the kidnapper, the kidnapped, and the people left behind. 


At news of the When Emmy hears about the Las Vegas Stardust Resort’s impending implosion, Emmy emerges from exile for its farewell concert.

 I'm a big fan of starting sentences with the subject not a clause, particularly in query letters. I think it makes your writing sound stronger.  It's one of the things you teach yourself to notice in revision (those leading clauses) cause we all write like that ---on the first draft.

The reason I'm a fan of it particularly in query letters is that it's the easiest format for the reader to follow. There's no pause to think "oh, right, it goes with that person, not this other one."

So the top three things I learned:
  1. Hook the reader (that's the key, everything else is just suggestions to help do this.)
  2. Show, don't tell
  3. Rhythm matters, read your query out loud.
*Also what's written outside of the blurb matters. You can add a sentence or two describing the novel when you give word count.
I'm scraping my old query and rewriting. 
Another tip: personalize the query letter for each agent, more than just having the attachments, or inserting what they ask for. Mention something about them and why you'd fit.


Friday, September 6, 2013

While we're waiting...

I'm waiting... for agents to reply, for beta readers to give feedback, for the world to open up and swallow me whole, to eat a chocolate cake. Yea I've got issues.

But while I am waiting I decided to entertain myself and anyone who may care to read over this post (or wants to be mindlessly entertained as well).

And Jenna Marbles will be playing the part of ME!

Lets get this started




Monday, September 2, 2013

I used it all up

AGH! I have stayed away from my book for a week!


But I have ideas... Lots of IDEAS! For new stories and some minor details I will add to the book I already wrote, just some line changes for humor or clarity.

So tomorrow I will be back at my book. And I will be redoing my book blurb, the one that goes in the query letter. My blurb did not talk about the men in the story... and I think it is a must for this genre.

And I was productive today. I made an excel graph of who I have already sent my query to and what I have heard back. I have sent it to 11 people, received 4 rejections almost immediately. I am hoping the delay from the other agents is a good sign, maybe it wont be a standard rejection. I am going to query more agents after I revise my query and run through my book again.

Good think I am still excited about reading this story, even if it is for the 18441793 time!