Tuesday, June 28, 2011

My Drawing Board Awaits

Another wonderful Beta reader, who I respect immensely when it comes to children's lit, has flagged many pages of my story for corrections, thereby reinforcing the concept that a diverse selection of beta readers is necessary for success.
My school of beta's includes:
-- A HS English teacher
-- Moms and their daughers
-- A technical writer
-- A children's librarian
-- My sons
-- A friend

So, it's back to the books for another major revision.  My one comfort is that my story will be much stronger when I come out the other side.  Also, I miss doing research.   There must be an alien lexicon out there somewhere on the web?  I will find it!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Why I write MG Fiction

I wanted to write a YA novel, truly. My first Beta reader, though, was an 8-yr-old.

Try as I might, I couldn't add anything that would make the book "too adult" for her. Therefore MG.

Try as I might, I couldn't get my wordcount much above 30,000 words, about the length of most Nancy Drew books. Therefore MG.

Try as I might, I couldn't write anything that my "dream agent" possibly wouldn't like. Therefore MG.

Then, finding out that an agent said in her blog that NY Publishers are looking for MG, I celebrated!!! Now, I'm working to get my current edit finished, an ace synopsis and query letter written.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Cover Art Avatar

Here's what my iPad and I created for Brenda Drake's cover art redesign blogfest contest.  Wish I were skilled enough to create a full book-cover!  :-)

Josin does an awesome job with covers:

See more (and better!) at Brenda Drake's blog:

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Bleary-eyed Editor

Yup, that's me. Ten chapters of light revisions completed in a single sitting. I must be excited to get to another round of queries. Or insane. Or maybe both!

Of course, there is more to do after the edit: synopsis and writing a prize-winning query letter. And, the best part, researching and selecting agents or agencies.

Then, there's decision-making: whether or not to send out exclusive queries. Does anyone have any experience with serial querying and how long to give an agent or agency to respond to an exclusive?

I'm thinking 3 weeks on the first query, and then (hopefully!) 3 weeks on a partial, and up to 6 weeks on a full.

Please let me know what your experiences have been.

Note: Due to the nature of my day-job, I must moderate comments before releasing to my blog.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Beta reader feedback

Yes, she liked it!!!

Beginning and end were good--middle needs some additional action and a hint of romance.
Voicing is good, though my use of past-perfect verb tense needs to be cleaned up (figures, since my last English class at that level of study of verb tenses was way too many years ago).
A few unanswered questions need to be cleaned up. I can do that pretty easily to make this a stand-alone book, with just one or two unanswered questions to leave the possibility of a second book.

I have 3 more beta copies out there that I should have back by the end of June. That gives me July for revisions and then off to another round of querying by August, if all goes well.

While I'm waiting for queries to come back, I can pick up my pen and write a song or two.

And all this while I have a DH and two DS and a more than full-time job. Multitasking is a way of life for me. Does anyone really do one thing at a time anymore?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Anticipation--upcoming brunch with a beta reviewer

I'm having brunch with one of my extra-special beta reviewers on Friday.  I have soo many questions for her:

What did she like / what didn't she like?
Where does she recommend that I revise to expand / contract / remove?
Does the plot make sense?
Does she see a clear genre?
Is the voicing truly consistent?
Does my main character grow as someone who is fourteen years old and on a grand adventure would grow?  (Of course I think so, but does someone else see what I see?)
Is the world that I've created interesting and engaging?
Is the main mystery answered by the end of the book?
Are there enough unanswered questions for a second book? For a series?
...and the biggest question of all....Would she purchase this if it were in hardcover with brilliant artwork and in a pretty display case in a bookstore?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Fun and Games post

Favorite Card Game:  Go Fish (played with National Parks or National Monuments cards)

Favorite Board Game:  Clue (many different versions)

Favorite PC Game:  Farkle (on Facebook)  (Don't even get me started on Bejeweled or Solitaire!)

Favorite Wii Game:  Wii Fit Plus

Favorite Nintendo DS Game:  Professor Layton (finished the first one...working intermittently on the second one)