About Me

Sunday, December 9, 2012

December Querying Hiatus

Yes, I am joining everyone in the big December Hiatus. What can I say? Most agents are taking holiday!

So, instead, I'm taking my time to scrub my manuscript to perfection, with the help of my new CP. Hopefully by January, Shadow's Dawn will be in a better place than before (and maybe I'll wrangle an agent! HA probably not.).

Anyone else taking a hiatus this holiday season? What do you do instead?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Next Big Thing: Week 25

Sorry this took so long. I was busy being in the hospital without Internet. SCREW YOU, REVO.

1- What is the working title of your book?

Shadow's Dawn

2- Where did the idea come from for the book?

I always had a fascination with fantasy, even though I was not a big reader as a child. Dragons always piqued my interest, since they were always so popular and well known, yet they remained in such limited and rigid roles. So! I decided I wanted to change that.

3- What genre does your book fall under?

A surprisingly tough one. Generally, it's a fantasy. The subgenre, though, is what is tough, since it falls under the banner of High/Epic fantasy and the newer genre of Science Fantasy. I would say the latter, if it meant it wouldn't scare people off.

4- Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Oh dear! Probably all unknowns, to be honest! (Not that I want a movie rendition. The idea of losing control of my characters and world irks me a bit).

5- What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Caraka cannot escape the psychotic goddess who possesses her mind, she has to gain the upper hand and force the goddess to save the world. Problem is—Caraka doesn't want to die.

6- Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I'm hoping and praying for it to be represented by an agency! Heartbreaking and soul stealing, sure, but I hope.

7- How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Took me six years, from first try to THE END. Lots of start and stops in that time.

8- What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Oh dear, to be honest, I haven't found any. I have seen lots of attempts (from Eragon to Anne Bishop) but nothing really seemed to fit for a proper comparison. I haven't decided if that is a major hindrance or a blessing in disguise.

9- Who or What inspired you to write this book?

To be honest, it wasn't an author, famous or otherwise. It was my darling boyfriend of nearly eight years. I never would've had the guts to write this book, no less attempt to get it published, if it weren't for him.

10- What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?

Take your pick. The half dragons' in depth and vivid society. The vast modern-like technologies that run off of magic. Caraka Sarugien and her snarky, sharp tongue. The chemistry between Kytheran and Caraka. The three-way racial tension between the dragon-kin, elves, and humans. The history of a fallen people as advanced as us.

I have put a lot of work into making the world and characters come alive. It was what I wanted. Before I was forced to take this story from fantasy to reality, it wasn't plot or grammar or how I worded things that I concentrated on, but the characters and the world. Those were the things I spoke about, entertained my family and friends with, before I started writing them down. Still today, I want to keep to that. I want to grow, nonetheless, but I want to respect the talent I had as a child: storytelling.

I'm normally not a fan of playing up my book. I hate to disappoint.

Tagged for next week (Week 26) are some of my very talented writer friends. Check out their blogs next Wednesday, November 14th, when it's their turn to post answers to these same questions about their own works-in-progress!

Kodi R.


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

My first publisher query!

Okay, I finally have made a foray into publsihing directly to publishers. I submitted to PYR publishing today and now I have to wait four to six weeks at least for answer. NERVOUS.

Im also planning on submitting to Tor books once I find a printer. Which is apparently harder than it sounds. They want so much paper! This is going to cost a fortune because I live in Canada. Hopefully I'll get lucky. I would LOVE for them to take my book.

Not to say I'm done with agents. I'm going to query Brittany Booker of Corvisero Lit Agency and Laura Bradford of Laura Bradford Lit. Along with any other suggestions people throw at me.

Next few weeks are going to be nerve wrecking. Wish me luck!

Guess my 'take a break' is done and over with.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Shelving and Falling out of Love

The last few weeks, I have considering shelving Shadow's Dawn temporarily. The querying and contests have been really hard on me. Each rejection and each time I don't make it into a contest is slowly eating my soul away and taking my confidence down with it.

Yet, although my brain knows I need a break, my heart still struggles. I've been through many struggles with this story. It was the thing that kept me sane during the depths of my illness, when I didn't know if I was going to die or live. Granted, I've threatened to shelve it before, during one of the many, many blow outs I've had with it. I can't tell if I honestly need a break, or if I'm just having another tantrum.

The thing is, it's not like I have never shelved it before. I actually have and more than once. Quite easily too. Right in the middle, I stopped writing and didn't return for four months. Right before the current incarnation, I actually quit writing for months because I went through the ringer with my creative writing class. I swore off writing that story until my boyfriend begged me to write it.

I went through a lot of struggles with this novel. It's the sole accomplishment in my life. The one things I could say that I succeeded at.

Then today, it clicked. I finally knew why this time was so hard:

I don't want to fall out of love with it.

I don't want to start working in something new, fall in love with it, then go back to Shadow's Dawn and go 'Dear god, was I high?'. It is actually distressing me to tears right now, that very idea. I've heard of stories from people who write a book they love, then shelve it, and come back later and hate it. It would kill me to do that. It would feel like I've wasted 6-7 years. Right down the toilet. That idea distresses me more than querying. It's like being stabbed through the heart.

I've been through so much with the story, and it's not because it's the first. It would be the same if it was the second, or third, or tenth. Sometimes I wish it was the second, third, or tenth, so people would take my feelings more seriously. It's not about the number it happens to be, it's about the emotional connection and pure passion I have for it. What's the point in writing a book if you don't love it with every part of your heart? If it hurts so much, doesn't that just mean you tried to give it everything you had?

Maybe this is what it means to have a passion project. And the Shadows Series is mine.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Celebrity Writers

No, I'm not talking about Rowling.

I'm talking about celebrities who write books because it's the last medium they haven't taken over yet.

Yeah, I'm talking about Snooki, the Kardashians, Justin Bieber, and Hilary Duff.

Now, I have no inherent dislike for celebrities who decide to write. If they are actually talented and don't use their celebrity--which I find is cheating--then I don't really care. I'm not a bitter, unagented author. I'm unagented, but not bitter. Okay I'm a bit bitter, but you would be too with 66 rejections and zip requests.

This kind of ties into my belief that just because you can string a sentence together does not mean that you are a writer. Just because you are a celebrity and can string a sentence together doesn't mean you can write a decent book.

When publishers publish book by people like Snooki, I really think it underminds the art of writing. Now, I know lots of bad books have been and will be published *cough*twilight*cough* but for every Snooki who gets picked up by a big house publisher, that means it's one last chance for a writer like me to get noticed. It's hard enough to compete with other writers, I don't need over zealous celebs too.

I just hate to see the beautiful art of writing get sullied by someone's money making selfishness. It's just as much of an art as the Michaelgelo or Sintine Chapel or the <i>Mona Lisa</i>, or <i>Starry Night</i> are works of art. All I'm saying is that people need to remember what writing, at it's core is: an art form.

(I am well aware that publishers can be selfish money makers also, but if the work isn't there for them to sell, then how can they make money off of it?)

It's a matter of respect. Respect I don't think we writers are nessecarily recieving.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Review: Zombie Whisperer by Caterina Torres

Zombie Whisperer by Caterina Torres

3.5 out of 5 stars.

Dear god, am I actually doing a REVIEW??? Why I am! The review here is going to be SPOILERIFIC, if you don't want spoilers, well, head on over to Zombie Whisperer's Goodreads page. I shall be posting a less spoilery review there. DON'T SAY I DIDN'T WARN YOU

Now, onto the review!

Now, I'm not much into the Zombie trend. Although I absolutely love the Resident Evil games, I just feel there is only so far the Zombie trend can be brought before it nosedives into corny territory.

Caterina proved me wrong.

Zombie Whisperer is about a young woman named Jane Smith who woke up from an illness to find the world as she knew it turned upside down: the zombie apocalypse had happened. After escaping to her boyfriend, Josh Williams', house, the pair make a mad dash to the East Coast and possible safety, but not before they are captured by the very people who created the zombies. That is where Jane learns more than she would ever want to know about her family history and her newfound abilities; she can control the very creatures that had destroyed everything.

I love this idea she brought to the table. This mix of science and the metaphysical with zombies. I actually envy her ability to do this without having the reader go 'Author! Will you just PICK one already??'. I love it when authors really challenge the 'rules' of their genre.

Now for the spoiler part.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Plans for the Future

Okay, so I'm a HORRIBLE updater, I know. I come baring good news, though!

1) In the next little while, quite possibly, I will be participating in something BIG, very, very BIG. We are still ironing out some details and getting people all on the same page, so hopefully, I will get some more definite news very, very soon...

2) I am going to be writing a chapter-by-chapter review of a very BAD book. Okay, not very bad, but pretty bad. I've already read through it and I've always wanted to do a major review on this book ever since I laid my hands on it. It has dragons in it...sorta. I just need to go and get my copy back. I sort of lent it out. Then make some buffer reviews. Hopefully with this review, I may find my niche. If people like it, of course.

So! That is what I have planned for the next little while. So long as nothing falls through. *crosses fingers*

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

I kind of just realized something...

I haven't written anything new since January.

Really. JANUARY. It's June and I still have yet to create anything new. Not to say I haven't written anything, I edited Shadow's Dawn from January to April (and never finished it) but I have a few WIPs I have completely ignored.

Morning Darkness, my sequel, hasn't been touched since November (Stupid NaNoWriMo). Poor thing, I even left it at a good point. 20,000 words too!

The Mayor, god, I don't even thing that is 5000 words. I don't even remember what I wrote.

Toulon, which is the last thing I wrote, isn't even 3000 words.

I've been thinking on exactly why I've been blocked. It's not like I'm short on ideas. I have plenty! Though, I have been suffering from a debilitating lack of self confidence. Querying will do that to a person. Querying eats people's souls.

Okay, I'm trying really hard not to turn this into a whiny post. It's hard to write something new when you're just going to think it's going to stink. I've been at war with myself for months, struggling to get my anxiety under control, though without much success.

Now, I know people are going to tell me to relax, to let the stories come out naturally. I haven't worked on anything since April, in hopes of doing just that. No major editing, little querying, a couple contests, and that is about it. I'm trying to give my creative side a bit of a break. It's still frustrating, because I want to tell stories. I want to create something.

Then again, I had the same issues during this time of year with my first book. Maybe Springtime simply isn't my time of year to write. Go figure.

Any advice on how to deal with a months long dry spell? Other than, you know, just going and writing.

Friday, May 4, 2012

The Writer's Voice Contest Entry

Title: Shadow's Dawn

Word Count: 104,000

Genre: Adult Fantasy


Caraka cannot escape the psychotic goddess--the Shadow Queen--who possesses her fragile mind. Between the goddess's berating and homicidal crazes, the half-dragon feels her sanity slipping away.

Although the goddess saved her from certain death as a child, Caraka cannot handle the tainted magic that courses through her veins. Caraka knows, though, if the goddess were to leave, she would be dead; in her childhood, her soul was replaced by the goddess' spirit, which is keeping her alive.

Just as her mind was spiriling out of control, rumors of an army of demons, brought to the world by a fallen dragon rider, is slowly making its way across the continent, leaving a barren wasteland in its wake. When war breaks out, she is forced into the middle of a fight she wants no part of.

As the last of the gods, only the Shadow Queen can send the demons back. Unwilling to face the impending army, the goddess cowers away and slips deeper into her insanity. What Caraka want is a sense of normalcy, a chance at a life without someone chattering in her head. If she doesn't help, it will mean the end of the world, yet if she does, it would mean the loss of her soul. Caraka's heart is torn between a desire for normalcy and doing what she knows is right, even if it means the ultimate sacrifice.

First 250

The Black Lion Tavern nestled comfortably between two adjoining buildings. It sported a plaque above it's door that hung dangerously askew. Just past the creaking double doors, the tavern filled with the commotion of excitement. The autumn air swelled with the stench of vomit and seaweed, mixed with the cracked sounds of tuneless singing and boisterous laughter.

A lone young patron sitting at the bar cleared her throat. Her voice, amidst the raucous of burly patronage, sounded soft and feminine. 

"Excuse me," she said. Her eyes watched the manic barman before she lurched forward and grabbed the barman's sleeve.

The bartender stopped and nearly dropped the mugs he was carrying. He stared at the cloaked customer, eyes bulging out of their sockets and sweat draining down his face.

“What is it, missy? Make it quick now, we are grossly busy.

The patron motioned towards the empty mug in front of her. Her sharpened nails clicked on the wooden bar. "I just want my mug refilled."

The man blinked. “With what? Refresh me.”


Narrowing his eyes, he leaned forward and attempted to see past the shadows of the hood. Two silvery-green eyes stared back at him, dark circles jumping out against the ashen skin. Strands of silver and red hair gently fell across the already shadowed, round face. A pair of black, lupine ears poked out from under the hood, twitching curiously. "What's your name, dearie?"

She stared at him suspiciously for a moment before saying, "My name is Caraka."

Thursday, March 15, 2012

"Yes, I really did that," sayeth the author.

The idea for this post came from the wonderful Bookalicious Pam (also known as Pam van Hylckama and my future agent). She rules, you should check her out.

Now, she specifically was talking about a video game where a lot of fans were upset over the endings of the series (yes, endings. Anyone who plays video games knows what I am talking about) and how they started a petition to 'take the video game back'.


Okay, don't get me wrong, I will deeply love and cherish every single fan I manage to get, even after I'm dead. Without fans, I will be going absolutely nowhere. I am not going to be one of those authors/celebs/whomever who whine about having to meet with fans and give autographs and are all around snobbish to the people who put them where they are.

That said, I have boundaries. Fans who think they can dictate where I take my story is one of them.

My manuscript, the one mentioned in the title *points* I have been working on for nearly seven years. Yes, seven years. I don't need to be in my thirties to work on something for a long period of time.

I digress. I have planned every book in the series and will continue to actively plan it until the last book goes into print. Something have changed, some things won't change. I'm fairly secretive about my plans--unless you read the books.

Now, the idea of a bunch of people who think they are entitled to whine about an ending to a story kind of really miffs me. Yes, I am well aware that video game fans spend more time progressing the plot than with movies, tv, or books. They are more invested in it. Nonetheless, that doesn't give them the right to dictate someone else's creativity.

Not that book fans are innocent in all this. Deathly Hallows epilogue anyone?

I guess because people only see the final product of movies, tv shows, books, and video games, they tend to forget that originally, this was someone's brainchild. When all you see are the characters in the book or video game or the actors in the film or tv show, you forget the person who put them there. You forget that someone (or in some cases, someones) took months or years to sculpt this art into the way they wanted it.

One of the first thing you learn as a writer and arguably the golden rule is that you always write for yourself FIRST (or your characters, personally I find them interchangeable). Not your audience, nor your publisher, nor your agent. You, the writer, first and foremost. If you are anywhere lower on the list, all you are going to get is a crappy book no one likes. Nobody wants that.

I guess what I'm saying is that fans need to remember and respect the writer and his/her decisions. I can tell you, from experience, they aren't doing it to spite you (at least they shouldn't be). We want you as fans, we would never do something maliciously to force you to not be our fans. Yes, there are exceptions *cough* but on the whole, what author really wants to piss off their fanbase?

You don't dictate what I or my characters do, and I'll continue to give you awesome books. Deal?

Because really, Caraka won't listen to me, do you REALLY think she is going to listen to anyone else? Hell naw.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Another picture of Pup Wup!

That's my sister's legs, by the way, she's camera shy.

I wonder if I should upload pictures of my dog on certain days. Ideas?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Good news, everyone!

Big news!

I'm going to enter my first contest. Bwhahaha.

I'm going to be entering Janet Reid's 'Pay it Forward' contest. It just began today and closes on March 15, so I have plenty of time to tighten up my manuscript. Not like I have anything better to do. Anyways! As I said, this is my FIRST contest! It's been a bit hard to find contests I can enter, with me having an Adult EF story. Thankfully, anyone can enter. Just check out her blog!

I'm fairly nervous, this being the first. I don't have any expectations, I consider myself quite unlucky, but it is still exciting. Does anyone think I'll win? Does anyone HOPE I'll win? Ha!

On a similar note, I have decided that I shall submit to Angry Robot Books when they open in April. I've heard they are pretty reputable and this is the first publisher I'll directly submit too. Bit nerve wrecking. This would be pretty big if I got picked up and I would still really like if I had an agent at least for the contract negotiations. Does anyone have some suggestions on how to pull that off? To get an agent AFTER I got a publisher? I may be jumping the gun a bit, but I really like to be prepared. Sometimes overly prepared.

Oh! A lot of firsts are going to be happening! Quite exciting! Let's hope everything (or something!) goes right for me!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

CDH: My Story

As much as I will be writing about my journey through the process of writing and publishing, I thought I would let everyone in on who I am--the author--and some of the non-writing struggles I contend with everyday.

I was born with CDH.

"What's CDH?" you ask? Well, it's Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia. Doesn't sound too scary, does it? If you check out the CHERUBS website, you will see it is scary. I'll give you the run down of my story.

When I was born, it was quickly discovered that my diaphragm did not form properly and my intestines, spleen, and stomach moved into my chest, preventing my heart and lungs from forming properly. Sadly, being born in the late 80s meant there was no prenatal testing (actually, my mom has an article about the brand new testing for my condition that had recently came out...six months after I was born) so no one knew just how sick I was.

CDH is found 1 in 2,500 births and has a mortality rate hovering around 50%--somewhere between 40-60%. When I was born, I was given a less than 40% of living. I was tiny and born in a hospital that had been open for two weeks. Thankfully, I was born in California and was quickly taken to one of the best children's hospitals in the state.

Miraculously, I survived the five hours between my birth and my surgery. I'm fairly certain I shouldn't have.

Over the next fourteen years, nothing too interesting happened. I had severe asthma all my life because of my CDH and problems with my stomach. I was bullied--by teachers!--about my asthma. I do not have the curable form. The one kids grow out of. My asthma has made me critically disabled, to the point I can't even hold down a normal desk job because it is so unpredictable. One laughing fit, a waft of perfume, even an acid reflex attack can, and will, send me to the hospital. There have been more times than I can count where I have gone to the hospital for as asthma attack and nearly died. Twenty children and five hundred adults will die this year from asthma in Canada, 5,000 in the US, and 180,000 worldwide. Too many people for a very preventable disease.

When I was fourteen, I suddenly had trouble swallowing food. Food would get stuck in my esphogus (not near my trachea, so I wasn't choking, I could still breath) and I would be forced to throw it up. Many people, including family members, believed I was bulimic. Why else would a teenage girl throw up? Even though my mom insisted something was wrong with me, no one believed us, until that day.

I was nineteen and it was several days before Christmas. My mom had brought home some fast food for dinner and I started eating. Then, my food got stuck. By now, this was a normal occurrence for me, so I simply walked to my bathroom, leaned over the sink, and tried to dislodge the food matter. I put so much force into it, I threw up. Only, it wasn't vomit--it was bright red blood.

My mom rushed me to the hospital. Thankfully, we lived close by. I was in incredible pain. It was like someone stabbing you with a hot, sharpe knife over and over in your back. Sometimes dragging it, some times not. I had an endoscopy the next day (that's where they stick a tube down your throat) and my gastroenterologist (RIP) said I was lucky to be alive. My esophagus has ulcers that were dangerously close to perforating, which more than likely would have killed me.

...This does explain why I grew up with cats.

I digress. I was put on the fast track for surgery until my gastroenterologist tragically passed away. Afterwards, my recovery stalled for a year to year-and-a-half. It wasn't until I was referred to Dr. Findley at VGH my hope for a normal life finally started to grow.

After a CAT scan, I discovered my stomach had herniated into my diaphragm again, which was the root cause for my life long acid reflex. Also, my left kidney was badly damaged, my stomach was turned the wrong way, my intestines were looped the wrong way, and my pancreas is underdeveloped. My mom's theory of my surgeon being drunk was starting to hold water (if you even get to see my scar, you would know where that joke came from). Did I also mention my surgeon didn't understand how I was able to live a relatively normal life?

A year of doctor visits, hospital visits, deteriorating health, bouts of anemia, and being forced to drop school, I finally got it: my surgery date.

It happened about ten days before my 22nd birthday. I drove with my mother and sister to VGH at a stupid hour for my surgery. I got stabbed repeatedly with needles and got my first epidural. I can see why pregnant women love them. I can't even remember it and I didn't even have labor pains!

I was out for nearly twenty-four hours after my surgery. I don't remember anything. I vaguely remember my doctor coming in to explain the surgery, but I can't even tell you what he said. Morphine rocks.

It wasn't until the next day I got the awful news. From my loving boyfriend of seven years.

My surgery was a utter failure. Three of my organs, my stomach, liver, and spleen, were all completely fused together. The scar tissue from my childhood surgery had fused them, and because no one one went back to clean it up, they had grown arteries and veins in between them, making them impossible to separate. They tried, but I started to bleed out and they shut down the entire operation.

My dreams were crushed. My hope for a normal life was gone. My surgeon said I was only one of three patients he couldn't fix in his career. Which is no small feat. He is one of the top thoracic surgeons in the province. Head of the Throatic Surgery department at UBC. He has done a lot of surgeries.

As far as surgery, I am unoperatable.

Now, it's been six months since my surgery. The only thing that has changed is that now I know just how sick I truly am. I have applied for disability--twice--and was denied. Yeah, I'll win that one, even if I have to chop off my left arm to do it.

Now, I have been formally diagnosised with the most severe and deadly form of asthma, GERD (Gastro-Esophagial Reflex Disease), hiatal hernia, anemia, anxiety, and depression.

The reason I managed to survive the last twenty-two years was because of my winning personality, my awesome snarly humor, the love of my family, and because I have been a fighter since the day I was born. Also know who else helped? My novel.

If anyone ever wonders why I am so attached to it, this is why. While my life was crumbling around me, I still had my book and my characters. It was my one shining accomplishment in my life when everything else failed. Even if I failed at everything else, at least I could say I wrote a god damn novel. Not book. NOVEL.

So, that's my story. Krysten Hill's story. One of my dreams (other than getting freaking published) is to meet up with teachers, nay, PHYSICAL EDUCATION teachers and coaches and tell them my story. Remember when I said I was bullied by teachers? It was P.E teachers who didn't understand asthma. One teacher nearly killed me twice. I'm not exaggerating.

Not every kid with asthma has it under control. Not every one need a quick puff of their medicine before they are okay. Some are like me, where no amount exercise will help them get better but even a little amount will kill them. Take every case individually. Never generalize asthma. I was generalized and I almost cost me my life. You wouldn't generalize someone with epilepsy, now would you?

Now, one of my other dreams is to meet a family who has a newborn or a young child who was born with CDH and survived. CDH leads to numerous complications. What I wish to tell them is this:

"I was born with CDH and I incurred every single complication a survivor could imagine getting. I am possibly the worst situation that could happen, short of dying at birth. I have lived with not one, but two severely misunderstood diseases and every imaginable medical and social consequence to that. Yet, on August 28, I will be turning twenty three years old. I probably shouldn't be here, but I am. I am a fighter. I always have been and I always will be."

Now, this might not be the most coherent post (it's 4:30am) but I feel it is important that I tell my personal story. It not only shapes my reasonings behind trying to get published, but also why I am such a stubborn ass on how I'm going to do it. I have always expected the best for myself. If I didn't, I wouldn't be here. I also hope I inspire even one person with my little tale. I could probably die happy knowing that.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Kissy, the trashing eating hockey dog!

Everyone say 'hello' to hockey dog!

Off season, she is known as Kissy.

She's a Pomeranian/Shih Tsu/Poodle cross. She's my baby and wickedly smart, and I'm not saying that as a gloating mother. Though, she also likes to eat trash when I leave her home alone.

I'll be periodically posting pictures of the strange places she likes to stuff herself into or weird positions she sleeps in.

She loves! <3 <3

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Marketing...without anything to sell.

Oh Social Media.

Everyone hopes they are the next Justin Bieber or Rebecca Black--okay, maybe not Rebecca Black. Discovered and beloved by millions through YouTube or Facebook. Big payoff with little work? The American Dream, no?

Though, how does a little author with dragons break through the barrier? How can she use social media and go, "Hate Vampires and Werwolves? THEN READ MY BOOK!!"

Now, before I get too ahead of myself, I need to explain some things. People have a habit of mistaking my eagerness for being naive or not being realistic about my expectations. Something you have to learn about me, I grew up with very low expectations of myself. I was the dumb-smart kid in school. The kid who got straight A's on every test, but always C+ on her report cards. Even though I could probably wipe the floor with a lot of the smart kids in my grade, I never rocked the boat because I never believed in myself. I never expected myself to actually achieve something. Because I never expected better for myself, I never got anywhere.

So, with writing, I expect better for myself. The dirt sucked, so now I'm reaching for the stars.

But, I digress.

I know social media can work for people in the music industry, but what about the publishing industry.

I know, I know. "You need something to sell first!"

Technically, I do have something to sell. I have my book. I may not be self publishing (what? Not every can be John Locke...or Christopher Paolini) but that doesn't mean I can't start building my social media presence. I am selling the concept of my book to potential readers, in hopes it will stick just enough for where I finally get published.

Social Media has become an integral marketing tool for any product, including books. Agents and publishers LOVE authors who can handle this aspect on their own. So, even though I don't have a book to sell (yet) who's to stop me from selling myself and the concept of my books?

I have done a lot of--say--marketing on my own. Through the writing forums I participate in and through LJ, I try to plug my book. Either through mentioning a subplot or a character, or character relationship, or even the concept, I try to plug where I can and get the name out there. Even through Twitter and Facebook, I'll mention little pieces of my work.

Yet, I can't seem to market it to agents. That's for another blog post though.

How do you feel about social media when it comes to selling your book? Regardless if you are published, represented, or not?

P.S: On a slightly related note, I did an interview! Take a look here!


It's a smaller one, but everyone has to start somewhere, right?

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Neck deep in edits

Now, here is my first real more 'blog' post. Something I assure many of us writers can relate to: dreadful editing.

Okay, maybe not dreadful. It's a necessary evil in our careers as authors. Everyone from betas, to agents, to editors, to reviewers, and even readers (admit it, you have tried to edit some of your favorite books!) with give you edits or suggestions or alternatives. With all of these people bombarding you with suggestions, where does one, as the original author, say 'PLEASE, STOP IT!'?

Now, I'm not talking about grammar edits. I'm a firm believer that all grammar, spelling, word usage, etc edits should be followed through. 9 times out of 10, they don't affect the story as a whole. Sure, they still fall through the cracks once in a while, but it's not like they do any real harm to anyone. If you are a reader who freaks because a book has one, small grammar edit in 400 pages, you need to get yourself checked.

I'm talking about edits regarding characterization, plots, sub-plots, and major POV shifts (like going from third person to first, or vice versa). Edits that can have a major effect on the story, can be time consuming, and aren't guaranteed to pay off in the end.

No one knows the story better than the author themselves. They deserve to have the final say. Though, how does one look at an edit, go 'uh, no', and not come across as ungrateful and full of themselves?

I have seen published works where it was quite obvious that the author disgrarded pretty much every edit people could have suggested. It comes through their work like a shining beacon. I sure as heck don't want to be known as that kind of author, the one who doesn't listen. On the same token, if I took every edit every person has suggested to me, my writing style and voice (with me being relatively new, isn't all that strong yet) would get lost. The story wouldn't be *mine* anymore.

I'm not a type of person who likes to come across as ungrateful. I am grateful for every single edit, regardless if I use them or not. I know it's because people care enough to take my story to the next level. That doesn't mean every edit is a 'good' edit though. On occasion, people simply miss the point. Not every person in the world is going to 'get' it. It's a fact of life.

Usually, how I determind a 'good' edit from a not as good one is numbers. If five people went over something and didn't say anything and then one person comes by and basically gives a major revision, I'll usually say no. Nothing personal, but who am I going to believe? Five people? Or one?

Well, unless that one person was my editor who bought my book. But I haven't reached that point yet. I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

How do you deal with these types of edits? Where do you draw the line? When do you say 'enough is enough'?

The Blogging World

Well, I'm not completely new to blogging. I did blog on my website, but I thought I would get more followers here. And maybe a bigger audience.

Not much to say. I am struggling to get my book, Shadow's Dawn, agented, which is proving to be difficult. So, that is probably what I am going to be blogging about most: Complaints about editing, querying, and the publishing process (with some excitements...hopefully.)

Not that I'm the most talkative person...but we shall see.