Saturday, August 29, 2009

I Have an Agent

It feels surreal to be writing this. I have an agent! Marlene Stringer of Stringer Literary Agency! Just typing these words brings butterflies to my stomach.

After reading my query letter, Marlene Stringer requested the first fifty pages of THE HUNTED and I accidentally sent the wrong manuscript (I had titled two partials with the same title). I sent a traditional YA fantasy which she very promptly rejected. I emailed her right away explaining my mistake and she graciously allowed me to resubmit.

Three weeks later, she requested the full manuscript.

A bit of time passed. On an ordinary Tuesday afternoon, I had an email from her. My stomach was in knots. With trembling fingers I opened the email.

“As promised, I have read THE HUNTED. I really enjoyed it, and tried to phone you on the number listed on your email.

I think I connected with wrong number.

Please advise a number that I may reach you by phone so we can talk.”

I had to read the email four times before it sank in. I emailed her my home number. She called within minutes and we had a nice long chat about her agency and my writing. She offered to represent me.

And that is the beginning of my story.

Anything else you wanna know? Ask away. I’d love to answer any questions.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Yay and Boo

YAY to Angie Lofthouse! Her story, which you can find here, won the Publisher's Choice Award and will appear in a Christmas collection. Congratulations, Angie!

BOO to spammers who use comments on others' blogs to promote their pornographic websites. We've had a few of those lately, so I've had to turn comment moderation on. (Sorry!) Have you had problems with spammers? If so, how do you deal with them?

I wish you all a most amazing week.


P.S. Be sure to check out my post today on the QueryTracker blog. :)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

So long, summertime...

As I bid a fond farewell to summer and see my older two kids off to school each day, I find my thoughts turning back to writing. I recently penned a short story and had so much fun with it! I've also been working on a project with a certain fantastic sister of mine. *wink*

Some of you have wondered if I'm actively querying, and the truth is, I'm not. I have a few queries floating around out there for a couple of different projects, but for the most part I've decided to take it slow and easy and enjoy each day as much as I can. There have been times when writing was all-consuming; when I was not writing I was thinking about it. And as thrilling as that was, I'm striving to find the perfect balance between family and writing. Because I still have a little one at home for this final year before she goes to school, writing will not quite be a full-time endeavor --- and I am okay with that.

Does the change of season affect your writing? Where are you in the writing/querying journey? How do you find balance?


P.S. My dear friend Angie Lofthouse has a short-short story in a contest, and I would love it if she won! (Voting closes August 22nd.) Check out her blog, Notes from the Writing Chair, for details... and for a FREE CHOCOLATE contest!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

To Delve Into the Forbidden

When talking with friend and fellow writer Michelle McLean today, she made a comment that got me thinking. It went something like (but not exactly like) this:

"The reason I have to wear glasses is from all the hours spent reading books with a flashlight."

When I was a tweenager, I'd hide in the linen closet with my two little sisters (who made beds in the blankets on the high shelves) and read aloud to them by the light of a flashlight (torch for all of you UKers). The books we read were Phyllis Reynolds Naylor's witch books--forbidden reading for my younger sisters.

Then came the year that I lived with my Aunt. Ten o'clock sharp was lights out or die! At least, I thought she'd kill me if I didn't turn the light out. When she pounded the ten o'clock warning on my closed bedroom door, I'd turn off the bedside lamp and flip on the electric blanket no matter that it was the middle of summer. Why the electric blanket? It had a microscopic orange light on it, just bright enough that if I moved it along each individual line of the book, I could read! I hunkered down into the wee hours of the morning with the likes of "Clan of the Cave Bear," "The Hobbit," and "The Hero and the Crown."

And yes. I, too, wear glasses.

Anyhow, the point I am trying to make is:

What lengths have you gone to to read?
What rules have you broken?
Where did you have to hide to delve into the forbidden?

Monday, August 3, 2009