When In Doubt…Query!

Hey Everybody!

I wanted to share a querying tip I received from Mandy Hubbard, Literary Agent and Founder of Emerald City Literary Agency. I’d tweeted to her a question because I wasn’t sure if my novel would be a good fit for her to represent. Her reply was:

@hokieamanda: “any time you’re in doubt, just query. A query is you saying, “here’s what my book is about, would you like to read it?”

So, I’ll be querying to Ms. Hubbard in the coming weeks:)

Also, yesterday I participated in Literary Agent Janet Reid’s Flash Fiction contest via her blog. In a nutshell, it’s a contest that she regularly has from Saturday at 10 am to Sunday at 10 am. She gives contestants five words that they MUST use in a fiction story of no more than 100 words total. This week the five given words were: whisker, purr, tiger, stalk, prey. Here’s a link to Ms. Reid’s blog for more info: http://jetreidliterary.blogspot.com/2015/11/her-grace-duchess-of-yowl-flash-fiction.html#links

My entry is below:

I stood with the other two women in our band as we waited, hyper vigilant in suspense. We’d just performed for executives at Twitching Whisker Records. I’d fronted the way I always do, purring out the notes as I sang while stalking the stage to Lyla’s beat. Reena’s guitar solos diffused the room like a secret potion; combining to feel as if I were luring in our audience like prey.

Yet, I was beginning to feel like prey. My Tiger Lilley orange t-shirt seemed to melting off my chest.Here it came:“Yowl will our newest recording artists! Congratulations!”

It was fun to do; if I’m a winner or get a mention, I’ll post it. I’d like to participate again. Next time, I’m going to write about something other than musicians:)

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“Rain”And Agent Research 

Hi Everybody!

I played “Rain” by The Beatles tonight at Third Street Coffeehouse with Randolph Walker. See the video below.

This weekend I’ll start looking for agents to query  to using QueryTracker.com. I usually find 12 at a time and send out two a week. I’ll use a spreadsheet to keep a record of responses and any feedback I may receive. 

I revised my query last weekend, so hopefully that coupled with a revised manuscript will increase my chances of interest.

Enjoy the coming weekend!  

Another Draft Completed

Hey Everybody!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted, but this past Sunday, I finished the fourth draft of my book. I cut my manuscript down by another 1400 words, or five pages. I also reordered some scenes and cut out text that wasn’t adding anything to the scene or overall story. Its now about 111,000 words and 344 pages.

That said, I still need to revise my query letter thanks to some gracious feedback from Pitch Wars Mentor Molly Lee. Then, I’ll start querying to literary agents once again.

As some of you may know, I was in Atlanta part of the week last week for back-to-back Hanson concerts. While in the city, however, I also visited The Margaret Mitchell House and Museum. Below are her writing desk, some manuscript edits for Gone With The Wind, and a description of her inspiration to write the novel.

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Publishing Tip

Hi Everybody,

It’s been a while since I’ve posted. I’ve been leaving manuscript work to the weekends. But this week, I read a blog post by Literary Agent, Janet Reid on how to evaluate a small publisher. I’m including the link here:

http://jetreidliterary.blogspot.com/2015/09/how-to-evaluate-small-publisher.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+blogspot%2FLZQZA+%28Janet+Reid%2C+Literary+Agent%29

In case anyone is wondering, I’ve still got about 120 pages left to revise of my manuscript. I’ve condensed some material, taken out lines that seem “forced” or otherwise, unnecessary, converted some text to dialogue or found other ways to “show” that information other than through text.

It will still be another few weeks until I’m done. But I’ll let you all know when that is.

I’m leaving you with a quote I saw on Twitter this week that I really like:

“Be Yourself, everyone else is already taken”-Oscar Wilde

Post-Pitch Wars!

Happy Labor Day. Everybody!

Mentees were chosen for Pitch Wars last week, and through I wasn’t one of them, it was a very positive experience. I connected with other writers and learned about the business. Based on what I learned, I think my manuscript is a better fit for an Adult audience instead of New Adult.

I also got some feedback on my first chapter from Mentor and Author Rebecca Sky. She praised my concept and the “voice” of  my writing, but suggested that I do more “showing” vs “telling;” particularly in my first paragraph.

So I’ll be revising my manuscript again for the time being. Since I received the feedback, I’ve been thinking about other areas where I can do more “showing.” I plan to cut, transfer, and convert some text to dialogue so the plot develops more naturally.

Check out Brenda Drake’s blog. There’s a link on the sidebar of my page. Her contests have been invaluable to me as a writer:) Thanks, Brenda and Pitch Wars Mentors!

Long Overdue For Some Music!

Happy Saturday!

Last night, I played a tribute to some Brill Building Songwriters by playing “Be My Baby” and “Keep Your Hands Off My Baby” with Randolph Walker at Third Street Coffeehouse.

As I said in my last post, “Keep Your Hands Off My Baby was written by husband and wife team Goffin/King and recorded by Little Eva.

“Be My Baby was written by husband and wife team Barry/Greenwitch with Phil Spector and recorded by The Ronettes.

For more on The Brill Building and the phenomenal group of songwriters, I’ve included this link from The Songwriter’s Hall Of Fame: http://www.songwritershalloffame.org/exhibits/eras/C1109

The video for “Keep Your Hands Off My Baby” didn’t record well, so I only have my performance of “Be My Baby.”

In case you were wondering, no Pitch Wars news yet!

Pitch Wars Update!

Hi Everybody!

Brenda Drake, Creator of Pitch Wars, pushed up the submission date to Friday, August 14th. I submitted my entry last night. Brenda also surprised us with the opportunity to submit to five mentors instead of four.

I found five impressive people to submit to, but any of them could pass, or share my entry with another mentor who I didn’t submit to. So I could get requests for more material from any of my original five, someone else, or I could get picked without any requests for more by any of the original five, or someone else! It sounds confusing, but in a nutshell, there’re lots of ways this contest could play out. Mentors do look at every submission and some give feedback even if they don’t pick you.

There are 108 mentors this year. Each one can only choose one mentee. One of the mentors has tweeted that last year there were over 1200 submissions. I’ll post more updates as I have them.

On another note, (pun intended,) I performed on bass with Randolph Walker last week. I don’t have a video to post, but here’s a link to the song I played, “Keep Your Hands Off My Baby” by Little Eva and written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCUNa_RIIxE

Lastly, I really like this quote by Bob Dylan that I found on Twitter. See below:

Bob Dylan quote

Pitch Wars: Here I Come!

With Pitch Wars officially two weeks away tomorrow, I’ll begin participating in the Mentor Blog Hop. So as my search for mentors gets underway, here are the final stats on my novel going in:

Title: All That She Is

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Target Audience: New Adult

Word Count: 112,000

Comparison Titles: WATER FOR ELEPHANTS, THE NOTEBOOK

Length: 350 pages

Pitch: When a malevolent stalker confronts Frontman Jude with new history from his mom’s death and dad’s past, will he lose his true love and leave his band?

Goodnight!

Final Preparations for Pitch Wars!

Hey Everybody!

Since my last post, I’ve edited my manuscript, bringing it down to 350 pages and 113,000 words. The next few days, I’ll be making some final tweaks for Pitch Wars! Although the contest doesn’t officially start until August 17th, there will be a Blog Hop beginning August 3rd and an #AskTheMentor event via Twitter on August 10th.  During this time, I’ll be researching the mentors bios and wishlists to decide which ones I want to submit my query and first chapter to.

I can submit to up to four mentors. If anyone is interested in working with me, he/she may request more material. If I’m selected that mentor will work with me until the Agent Round November 3rd-5th. Here is the link to Brenda Drake’s blog with more information: http://www.brenda-drake.com/2015/07/pitch-wars-2015-is-coming-are-you-ready/

I’m very excited…cause I’ll be ready. More updates to come!

Querying Don’ts and More!

Oh, Happy Saturday, All!

On Thursday, I saw a great post from Literary Agent Janet Reid via her blog entitled 10 Red Flags In Any Query. Check out her list here: http://jetreidliterary.blogspot.com/

With help from fellow writer and friend, Joy Callaway, I wrote about 10 drafts of my letter before I  started querying or entered “The Writer’s Voice.” As I’ve mentioned, I’ll be revising it again before Pitch Wars, now less then a month away!

Also this week, Author and Contest Host, Michelle Hauck asked contestants when they first started writing as part of a contest she’s currently hosting called New Agent. Though I didn’t reply to her question, (on Twitter), it got me thinking. I began my research for my book the following week after I saw Sir Paul McCartney in Washington, D.C. on July 12, 2013. So, it’s been a full two years since I began working on it! Time flies!

Cheers to Sir Paul!

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