Wednesday, October 19, 2011


I found out about something pretty cool a few days ago. November is "National Novel Writing Month."
In honor of this, many authors participate in writing an entire novel during the month of November. I haven't researched the details fully yet (been too busy writing myself), but I loved the concept.

So now, I'm trying to decide if I should participate as well. I figured I'd leave it up to my Guardians since I'm forced to do whatever they want anyway. I am currently writing the 3rd book in their series, and I'm 1/4 of the way done with it. I seriously doubt I'll finish the book in less than 2 weeks (#1: that would be insane, #2: editing takes FOREVER). But, that doesn't mean I could start on the 4th if the Guardians so will it.

Something I found interesting about this NaNo thing is that some of my fellow authors (who have participated before) explained how much better stuff they wrote when they were under this kind of pressure. A huge part of me is seriously curious about how I would do under this kind of pressure, and wonder if it is anything like the pressure you are under when under contract for books.

It might be good practice.

To find out about NaNo, go here:

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Incredible Conference

Three of the chics (Jayne, Hannah, and I) attended the Utah RWA Heart of the West Conference in gorgeous Park City, UT this weekend. We met a bunch of wonderful authors (both men and women) and I'm excited to have made some new friends. We also learned a lot, and I, for one can't wait to use my new-found knowledge to work! I'll be re-writing my query letter, analyzing my books, and sending out more queries to agents, editors, and publishers so that my dreams of being published can come through.

If you've never been to an RWA Conference, I would seriously suggest attending one. Many of them allow you to attend even if you're not a member (you'd likely just pay a higher fee). So if you're a writer (un-published or published), or even if you're just thinking about it, you should definately go to one. The wealth of knowledge provided in the classes is incredible!

Monday, October 3, 2011

The dreaded query letter...

Once more, I am attempting to entice some unwitting agent with my work and convince them how much better their lives will be with me in at as their client. And, once again, I am met with rejections. However, this round of submissions, I sent out eight queries and debated whether I should continue sending or wait for a response to see if it was well received. I actually received three personalized rejections, which is one step up from a form letter. The critique I received was that, although I'm a skilled writer, they didn't connect with the voice. Which is encouraging, but not.
My interpretation of these rejections is that my sample pages were decent, my writing craft honed. What I lack is the voice that reaches out to these readers immediately. So I resorted to researching on my most trusted writing site,, and found myself on the exact same wavelength as the agent who posts on that site. She spoke of the most effective way of sending submissions. Rather than send a slew of the same, although personalized, queries to fifty agents, send it to 6-8 agents and see how it was received. If there are only rejections, the query letter isn't up to par or the sample pages still need some revising and developing.
Based on her summary, I've determined that I need to polish my query letter and get it focused and powerful. It wouldn't hurt for me to review my sample pages either. To get more voice in there, I believe I need to insert more information, rather than just action, which was also a post found on So, even though I've finished another serious revision of my book, the work of revising is not yet over. Then, another round of queries and we'll see how those are received. Eventually I'll get it right.

Friday, September 23, 2011

URWA Conference

I'm getting excited. The Utah RWA Conference is only two short weeks away!

I've only been to one before, but it was so motivating that I just can't wait to go again. And also, one of my fellow Writer Chics and my wonderful husband have convinced me to pitch to an agent while there. I did that last year (I'm not going to lie, it was terrifying and resulted in some very sweaty armpits... eww), but I think in the long run it gets you used to slinging that pitch.

Anyhoo, I'm really excited that the conference is coming up, and so far 3 of the 4 of us are going..

We just need a little help in convincing the other one. :o)

Friday, August 26, 2011

I Came, I saw, I... Failed

Well, I heard back on the HOW Writer's Contest, and although I figured I wouldn't be a finalist, the truth of it stung a little. But, all in all, I'm glad I tried, and I won't let this hinder me from continuing on.

On the 1st novel in my series, I got the following scores (the max each judge could give is 135):

On the 2nd novel in my series, I got:

I could tell that the same three people judged both entries. They all gave feedback that I can work with in my many, many revisions that are sure to come. Some of their comments contradicted each other, so I'll just have to be sure to go with my heart on any changes I make. Because, really, my characters are in charge, not me. :o)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Alright... I did it

I decided that I would go for it. I spent a little time yesterday researching editors and found one that I decided was worth a shot. I sent my first five pages to to her so that I can see a sample of her work. Of course, sending this to her immediately made my stomach flip flop and I'm feeling nervous and excited about it. What if she thinks my writing sucks? What if the storyline is boring to her (which I don't have to worry about yet since its just the first five pages--which I happen to like quite a bit)? On the flip side, what if she really likes my work? What if we turn out to be an amazing team? I already have an incredible critique group, and their feedback has been invaluable... which reminds me, I need to send them my second book... But I still can't get over the nervousness that this has created.

That coupled with the fact that I'm still waiting to hear back on the Writers Contest has got me (literally) biting my nails and my lips.

I'm going crazy.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The world of E-Pubbing

I got an email today on e-publishing. I've been considering going down that road for a while, and was happy to receive some information on it. An author posted about her successes with E-publishing, listing the amount of E-Books she's sold since she uploaded them few months. Now, I know not everyone sells the same number of books - some are higher, some are lower- but I was seriously shocked at how well her book was selling, knowing that there isn't really a good chance for marketing your book. So, I think I'll start researching freelance editors who would be interested in editing my 1st (and possibly 2nd) book. I figure that if I can't get my foot in the door with agents or publishers, then at least I can go down this road and get myself out there.

We'll see what happens. I know I have a lot of research ahead of me, but hopefully you'll see my books on the shelves (er, virtual ones) soon!

Monday, August 15, 2011

I just can't keep up

I got yet another idea for a series last week, and I'm really tempted to start writing it. For anyone who knows me, you know that this is killing me. Not only do I need to keep writing in my Romance series, but I also have a YA series that I've started. There is another YA series that I started and haven't looked at for a few months now, knowing that I had other projects ahead of it. And now, another YA series.

Sometimes I really wish I could stay at home and focus on writing all the time, then maybe I could keep up with myself. I'm still editing book number two, but I've also started writing this new series.... Ugh, what to do, what to do?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Agent Research

This is a quick post, mostly curiosity driven. I want to know how many agents you all, on average, research and submit to. How intensive do you research them before you submit? Frustrated with the time investment I put into each agent only to be rejected, I've nearly reached the point where I want to find someone who is open to submissions, accepts my genre, and then conform my query letter and sample pages to what they ask and off it goes. I just want to get a bite, rather than waste so much time researching who I would like to work with, only to learn that they aren't interested in me. Boo. Is there a certain method of research and submission you employ? A site that you're drawing your names and agencies from? Help me out here. I'm excited to once more be involved in the submission process, but man, it's more time consuming, I feel, than writing a novel. It certainly, thus far, isn't as rewarding. Tips?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Rejections Rejections - A new Q for the Chics

Its been a while since I've asked the Writer Chics a question. I generally tie my questions to things that are currently going on with me and things that I've wondered if other writers experience.

So my question is this, and really, any author could answer this, since every one experiences it: How do you stay motivated when you receive rejection letters?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

An unwanted break

I've been pretty motivated the last few days to write. I've started editing my 2nd book, and I've only gotten about 40 pages in so far; but what I have re-read, I've totally enjoyed and been engrossed in it.

I really want to keep going so that I can move on to my 3rd book, but there's been so much going on lately that I haven't had a chance. I'm hosting a Bridal Shower (Masquerade-themed) for my sister this Saturday, next weekend my husband actually has off work (which rarely happens), the weekend after that is my sister's bachelorette party, and the weekend after that is the wedding. Oh, how I wish I had more time to write.

I just hope I don't lose my motivation...

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

First Lines

Recently, I've been reading a blog,, that encouraged an exercise regarding first lines. Essentially, the first line of the book is what determines whether the agent, the publishing house, or even the reader will continue to read our book. Pouring over pages 139-215 make little difference if the first line or the first few lines don't interest the reader to keep going.
On top of that, according to the author of, some first lines are so general or philisophical that they could go anywhere. Not necessarily uninteresting, just uninformative. I believe mine is too general, but need someone to throw ideas off of. If you want to look at the post to which I'm referring, here is the link:
I propose we do the same exercise here. Post the first line of your book, tell us what genre and whether it's an adult, YA, MG, etc, and the rest of us will give constructive feedback so that the curiousity factor will be piqued for all who read our first lines.
Mine is a YA sci-fi: She covered her mouth to quiet her ragged breathing.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Can't Get Enough of Writing!

Moving sucks. As if I didn't already have limited time to write, I haven't had ANY for the past few weeks because I've been trying to get things cleaned up, moved, and organized. But during those past few weeks I've thought about my book more than I have for a long time. The need to write has been almost unbearable at times and I remember all over again how much I love to write! So my goal for this week is to find at least 6 hours to write. Even if I just get a sentence out I will be happy.

Impatience, Impatience

Seriously, I'm dying here... waiting for feedback on the contest. Jayne and I both submitted entries, so I'm really excited to hear how we both did.

As a pacifier, I ended up submitting another query to an agent in hopes that I'll get picked up. Luckily I'm now a member of the RWA and URWA so I was able to add that to my query letter. Fingers crossed that there will be good news all around!!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Writer's Contest

Well, I did it... I entered. I just submitted both of my books for the Utah RWA Writer's Contest. I've been going back and forth for days on if I wanted to just go ahead and join the RWA (because of the Golden Pen contest). I settled on 'no,' and then at the last minute, I joined. So... here's to hoping I'll take a place in the Utah or the National. Preferably both!

Sunday, July 10, 2011


I forgot to re-post last weekend and let you all know that I actually completed my goal last weekend. I'm not exactly sure how I accomplished it, but I ended up writing over 5,000 words over the 4th of July 3-Day weekend. So far I've written a little over 1,500 words this weekend, but I'm really trying to keep at it. I'm so close to completing this book that its getting me excited. Not just because I'm nearly done, but because I'm excited to work on my 3rd book.

I mentioned in my last post that the four of us all went to the RWA conference last October, and that my goal is to be already writing my 3rd book by the time it rolls around this year. Well, I just found out that the deadline for the writer's contest is a short 5 days away. The winners are announced during the RWA Conference, so I'm considering submitted my 1st book... or maybe my 2nd... or possibly both! The thought of it makes me nervous, since it will be reviewed by some professionals; but really, that could be a good thing. So, now I just need to talk to my husband, review what I want to submit (if I want to submit), and wait and see.

Saturday, July 2, 2011


In my first book, I stopped writing once I reached 80,000 words, thinking that I was done. Well, as it turned out, I was wrong, and I've ended up adding more than 20,000 words since then. In my 2nd book (which is a part of the same series), I've just reached 60,000 words, which means that I'm really close to my original stopping point on the original. My goal for the 4th of July weekend is to get 5,000 words so that I'm that much closer to an end product.

Last year, all four of the Writer Chics went to an RWA Conference in October. My goal then was to have my 1st book completed. This year, I'm switching it up a little. Do I want my 2nd book completed by then? Umm, yeah! But, I want even more. Not only do I want my 2nd book completed, but I want to have started on my 3rd. The only thing I can't decide on is if I want my 3rd book to be the 3rd book in the same series, or if I want to work on one of my YA novels.

Luckily I still  have time to decide. All I know is that I want my 3rd project well on its way before this year's conference.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

New Question for the Chics

I know a lot of authors out there (whether they are new or experienced, published or unpublished) have bouts of frustration in this career - I mean, really, it can be nerve-wracking - and I think that this week's question for the Writer Chics will help a lot of people.
What is the hardest part about being an author and how do you keep going?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Lucky Curse

Anyone who knows me knows that I'm a multi-tasker. I keep pretty busy at work everyday, but I'm also constantly thinking about my books. Some days, I feel lucky that I can do that; other days, it feels like a curse. Because of this lucky curse, my mind doesn't know how to shut down. Like I said earlier, I keep really busy at work, and even though I'm working on reports or trying to troubleshoot a system issue, my mind constantly plays out the stories that I need to write (or parts I've already written). I have the same problem at night when I'm trying to sleep. I'll lay in bed, close my eyes and try to drift off, but instead scenes will start playing in my head. And sometimes those scenes just keep on going, its like my own personal  movie that I can't type fast enough to keep up. Many scenes are from future books that I haven't even started writing yet, my characters are just getting impatient and want me to get with the program.

And that's not even the worst part!

My Paranormal Romance series is the main one that I'm trying to write - let's face it, they characters in that series are the loudest - but, I have two other series that I started writing months ago. They're both YA, and they only randomly pop into my head. Well, now they're pushing really hard, and I'm afraid that being pushed in three different directions, by oh, so many characters might just make my brain go on strike. Here's to hoping that I don't go crazy. Why aren't there more hours in the day?

Thursday, June 2, 2011


I think Leesa's last two posts lead to the perfect question for this week:

What motivates you?

As for me, music is the force that drives me. I can hear a song and see an entire scene unfold in my head. So far in my writing career, nothing else has been as strong of a motivational tool as music. I've even created a folder in my iPod for songs that I've found to work the best for me. Try it, it might work for you too! :o)

Have it your way

One of the most appealing concepts of being an author is that I get to work in the way that best suits me. No one is constantly looking over your shoulder, there are no set hours, no employee evaluation reports, no going in to 'the office', no dress codes, or even hygienic suggestions...just freedom to write in the most effective way depending on your personality. Trial and error (really trial and failure) have taught me how I accomplish the most work: early in the morning I can work for hours, in the afternoon and evening, I can only sit for short sessions punctuated by various other activities to keep me alert and focused. Those interruptions are usually food breaks, not very healthy, I know. That means getting up at four or five am and working until noon or one with few breaks is the most effective way for me to write. And now that I've found my groove, I encourage every writer to find how they work best and then, with sweat pants, unbrushed teeth and whatever else helps you hone in and give your characters voice, write.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A painful way to die...

Sitting here at my computer, my husband furiously playing Starcraft in the background, I realize I've been staring at the same scene on my computer screen for over two hours now. I don't recall breathing or even blinking. What I know is that I still haven't figured out how to reconcile new revisions and better developed ideas with my current prose.
What am I to do? Try to mold my previous scene with recent revisions, or scrap the whole chapter and rewrite the blasted thing from scratch?
The worst part of this whole situation is that I have been stuck on this revision block for nearly three weeks. It's pretty well staunched any creativity or even motivation to continue going. Sitting down to work it through and press on, my eyes instantly glaze over and my mind repeatedly flashes a blinking, glaring light that says, "You'll never figure this out, chump."
I can't really move on because a major element in the plot hinges on how this scene resolves, yet I can't come to any solid resolution. One thing I know I shouldn't do: start at the beginning of the novel and re-read my most recent revisions. I can think of numerous ways to die slowly and not nearly as painful.
That leads me to wonder, am I trying too hard to make this scene perfect the first time without allowing myself the freedom that future revisions give me? Perhaps I'm not willing to kill my babies that the previous scene held, which binds my hands.
I don't know if this entry is to motivate me or to reassure myself that I'm still capable of putting words down on paper, but what I will have to do is simply write through the scene as if it has never been done before, which, in all reality, it hasn't. Wish me luck and I hope you never encounter a situation like this. If you do, I'll send you my list of 102 ways to slowly die that are less painful than revision issues such as this...

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Get to know the Chics

I thought it would be fun for the four of us to answer some sort of question once a week so that our readers can have a chance to get to know us. So the question for this week is:

What made you decide to start writing?

There's more to writing than just...writing

Mixed feelings assault me whenever people ask me about my book. Usually they inquire, "When will you finish your book?" What baffles the casual conversationalist is my response of, "I finished it in December." They fail to understand, as did I when I first began this endeavour of publishing a book (mostly so I could stay home in my pajamas without a bra all day and call it work), is that there is more to writing than, well, writing. Putting the story into a word processor is only one stage of a seemingly endless process.
Speaking from the stage of revision number seven, I can't honestly say when my book will be done. I realize my strength comes with revisions. My first draft is more of a detailed outline thrown together haphazardly, knowing that I will revise it and I can work out the problems later. Essentially, my point in writing this post is to say that I have discovered my style as a writer. My first draft is to get my story out of my brain and into the computer. If I pause to pick the perfect phrase or rework a sequence for too long, I forget the small details I wanted to add to the plot as a whole. Over and over, I have to remind myself to "just get it out there" and then I can fix it all later. This is the best solution to my writer's block. I get too involved in the language rather than getting the story out before I lose my train of thought.
This system of write first, edit and revise later, has also saved me from becoming disheartened about my writing. During my editing process, I've written new scenes to tighten up existing ideas and fill plot holes. These new scenes are first drafts. If I try to write them well like the rest of the revised section, I grow discouraged and think I'm kidding myself with aspirations of becoming an author. Again, I remind myself to get it out there and then work with it. There needs to be something written in order to revise. So stick with it, get your story out there, and then you can worry about the details that comprise a polished manuscript. Hopefully it won't take you seven revisions like it has taken far...

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

What We're About

There are four of us that are all writing novels and often times we have the same issues or experiences with the writing process that we come across. I'm sure there are lots of other people out there with the same things and we thought it'd be cool to have somewhere to blog where we can ask questions and have people post, or people can post with questions and we can respond with our own experiences. We are all writing a variety of different genre's and we all have very different writing styles so there will be a wide range of comments and opinions to hopefully help everyone.