Category Archives: query

Who Will You Thank?

I love when I finish a book for many reasons but today I will only discuss one of the reasons. You would think the first thing I would do after finishing a book would be reflect, but I don’t do that until after I have read the acknowledgements. I guess you could say I’m a bit corny. I won’t allow myself to read the acknowledgements until I have finished the book (I’m not somebody that looks ahead to find out what’s happening either. I like waiting).
Once I know I have completed reading I race to that page where the author does some of his or her own reflecting. I love to see who they have thanked and why. I also gain valuable information such as who the author’s agent is. Reading an acknowledgement allows me to daydream of what my own would look like. Who would I thank? What agent’s name will be listed? What interesting facts about myself would I like to share?
I thought about writing a mock acknowledgement on this blog (I was very tempted) but decided not to in fear that doing so would somehow jinx me (yes, I’m a bit superstitious).
I recently was given a Kindle for my birthday and my first thought was… will there still be an acknowledgement section? I still don’t know because I haven’t jumped ahead to see.
Reading that short paragraph at the end assures me that all authors have someone who helped them along the way, someone who encouraged them, someone who believed in them, someone who wasn’t afraid to critique them and finally someone who helped turn their dream into a reality. They were where so many of us still are. Seeing that they made it allows us to hope one day we will too.
Do you read the acknowledgements? What do you like the most about them? Have you ever thought of who you would thank?

2 Comments

Filed under audience, books, conference, constructing, creating, dreaming, editing, emotions, Fiction, Giveaway, Inspirational, life, meme, middle grade fiction, NaNoWriMo, novel, query, random, rejections, stories, story writing, Style, superstitions, Voice, WISHES, writer conference, writer's life, writers, writing, Writing, Writing Contest, Young Adult

I HAVE A THINKING SPOT DO YOU?

As a young girl, my friends and I spent most of our days hidden underneath a Weeping Willow. It was our place. A magical spot obscured from everyone. Under the Willow, we took journeys to different places, shared secrets, stole kisses and expanded our imaginations. Life was never boring as long as we had our tree. As all children do, we eventually grew up and left the Willow but the Willow never left me. When I met my husband I shared my memories with him and would often have him drive me by the tree to reminisce. I knew he was listening but was still surprised when years later I came home to find my very own Weeping Willow in my backyard. It started off small but gradually grew to be as big as the one I sat under as a young girl. Nestled under my tree is a swing where I like to sit and think of journeys, secrets and kisses. My imagination expands when I’m under the tree and I have now declared it my thinking spot. It’s my sacred place where ideas bloom, stories unfold and my journal fills up with future stories that I hope one day others will read.
Every writer whether they are aware of it or not has a thinking spot. A place where they go to plot out a story, create characters and develop scenery. Where is your thinking spot?

2 Comments

Filed under constructing, creating, dreaming, editing, emotions, Fiction, Inspirational, life, meme, middle grade fiction, novel, query, random, stories, story writing, Style, writer's life, writers, writing, Writing, Writing Contest, Young Adult

A Few Things I’ve Learned

Sometime around ten years ago I declared myself a writer. At the time of declaration I thought being a writer simply meant you wrote stories. I did not realize what needed to be learned before others would view me as a writer. Today, I have been racking my brain for interesting blog ideas. There are so many blogs out there regarding the craft of writing that it is hard (not impossible) to think of a topic that has not already been done. So, I thought why not go back to that girl in her twenty’s who knew virtually nothing about the craft and tell her some key facts she will need to know in order for her writing to be taken seriously. Here is what I remember learning early on. Please leave a comment and share with us what you remember learning.
*Show Don’t Tell –Eg. Caren was mad. (this is telling). Caren threw her book bag across the floor and slammed the door behind her. (This is showing)
* Pov’s- 1rst Person Point of View (A character narrates the story. Their use of speech would include the words I-me-mine.
2nd Person Point of View (rare) the author would use you or your as if they were directly addressing the reader.
3rd Person Point of View- Writing in 3rd person means you only know the thoughts of one character. If your main character is Edmond you can write about how Edmond feels. You are writing as if you are looking through Edmond’s eyes.
Eg. Edmond’s heart longed for the girl Stella once was. (You can write this because Edmond is your main character). You cannot write Edmond looked at Stella and his heart tugged and then in the next sentence write Stella knew Edmond was looking at her but she refused to look back.(Stella is not your main character so you would not know what Stella felt or thought.) Unless you were writing in 3rd person-omniscient (this is when the author decides to open up the thoughts of all the characters to the readers). I like the idea of this but I think you would really have to master it in order to get positive feedback.
*Formatting – Most agents, editors and publishers prefer that your manuscript be double-spaced, using Times New Roman in 12pt font. (Don’t think you will make yourself stand out in a good way by using something different.)
*Query Letters, Cover Letters, Bio’s and Synopsis
Query Letters – Brief letter to agent or editor consisting of a short hook, (eg. A short sentence that draws them in and hopefully tempts them to want to read more), a brief overview of what your book is about (Eg. Edmond and Stella have known each other since the sixth-grade. When Stella starts hanging out with the known druggies, Edmond fears he will lose her forever and decides to develop a plan to save her.) Close your query letter by adding your qualifications or experiences (Publishing credits, schooling, memberships etc).
Cover Letters- A cover letter should accompany a manuscript. This letter will provide an overview of your submission. If an agent or editor request material, your cover letter is where you would remind them that this is being sent because it was requested. Eg., Thank you for requesting Edmond and Stella etc, etc.
Synopsis- A complete description of your work in which the entire book is conveyed compactly. You can write a one or two paragraph synopsis or a chapter by chapter synopsis (check the agent or editor’s specifications before sending)
Bio – A very brief summary of who you are. Practice summing yourself up in fifty words or less.
This blog could go on and on and on (I didn’t even touch, story structuring, grammar, the importance of critique groups etc.)
For now I will end this blog but promise to continue posting things I have learned. I am still learning, which is exactly why I love the craft as much as I do. We can’t become experts if we refuse to admit there are lessons to be taught. Our journeys are different but we all encounter the same lessons along the way.
What did you not know early on?

Leave a comment

Filed under audience, books, constructing, creating, editing, emotions, Fiction, Inspirational, life, middle grade fiction, novel, query, random, rejections, routine, story writing, Style, Voice, writer conference, writer's life, writers, writing, Writing, Young Adult

Did You Say A Query Critique, Dove Chocolates and MOCKINGJAY?


Hey hey, my time has been limited lately and unfortunately my blog was the first thing to suffer. I am going to make a valiant effort to update it more frequently (even if it means I will be sleep typing).
I have an awesome contest to share with you and I think the prizes are fabulous. Amie Borst (A fellow writer and chocolate lover) is running a contest (but you have to hurry it ends today). She is looking for new followers to her revamped blog and to thank those who participate she is offering a query critique, dove chocolates and a copy of the widely anticipated MOCKINGJAY by Suzanne Collins (If you have not read the first two books The Hunger Games and Catching Fire, I strongly urge you to run to your nearest library or book store for a copy). What do you have to do? Leave a comment and become a follower (there are several ways to earn points). I thought about telling nobody so I upped my chances of winning but then realized that just isn’t me. I’m a spread the love type of girl. Good Luck!

2 Comments

Filed under books, BUCKET LIST, constructing, contests, creating, dreaming, editing, Fiction, Giveaway, Inspirational, novel, query, random, story writing, Style, WISHES, writer's life, writers, writing, Writing, Young Adult

When Writing Takes a Brief Intermission

The past few weeks have been very hectic and my blog has suffered. I spent a week in the hospital with my oldest child (Thank God, she is doing well). I wrapped up my four months of training and I am now ready to become a Craps dealer (neat, I know). I have readjusted to having six kids home all day (my four plus a niece and nephew). I have had what I like to call a brief intermission. I have not written as much as I would have liked but I never stopped thinking about what I would write, which leads me to my point.
We all have interruptions in life that pull us away from our writing and into reality. It’s okay for this to happen because we come back with new experiences and more things to write about. I can now incorporate a scene if I wished about the emotional high a mother endures after seeing her precious child lying in a hospital bed. Eventually I will be able to discuss how intoxicating working in a casino could be and how summer vacations filled with children can be fun, crazy and memorable. I briefly walked away from writing but now I am coming back.
What do you when life drags you away from what you love to do?

Leave a comment

Filed under books, constructing, contests, creating, editing, emotions, Fiction, Inspirational, life, meme, middle grade fiction, query, random, rejections, stories, story writing, Style, Voice, WISHES, writer's life, writers, writing, Writing, Writing Contest, Young Adult

Successful Writing Careers and Intuition

Have you ever wondered if Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, Stephanie Myer, Suzanne Collins (insert whichever wildly successful author here) knew they were on the brink of something before their success erupted? Did they have a feeling that life was about to change?
These questions circulate my mind because I have an inner feeling that my writing career will eventually take off. I am not saying that I will become the next big thing(althtough I do hope to be). I am not delusional. I am not psychic. The feeling I have is not hope (however, I have plenty of that). It is not desire. It’s something else.
I have watched screenwriters, actors and producers accept awards and say something along the lines of “A year ago, I was at home watching this show never dreaming I would be on it a year later.” Their statement would cause me to think, really?
I tend to think people do have an inner knowing. In many interviews you will see the question, “Did you ever imagine you would have this success?” We all want to know if they were feeling something we were or weren’t so we can closer examine exactly what it is that we feel.
I wouldn’t dare claim to be the best writer but my gut tells me I am on the verge of new beginnings.
Have you ever thought about this or am I the only one? Is it a sixth sense?

Leave a comment

Filed under books, constructing, creating, dreaming, editing, emotions, Fiction, Inspirational, life, middle grade fiction, novel, query, random, rejections, story writing, Style, superstitions, Voice, WISHES, writer's life, writers, writing, Writing, Young Adult

Free Writing Conference-(Pass it on)

If you are a kidlit author, I have exciting news to share with you today. A bunch of talented writers have joined together and arranged to have a free (yes, I said free) writers conference online. Who are these brilliant writers? They are Elana Johnson, Casey McCormick, Shannon Messenger, Jamie Harrington and Lisa and Laura Roeker along with their web designer Jennifer Stayrook. These lovely ladies developed WriteonCon. It is their way of paying it forward. They recognized how difficult it is for many writers to attend conferences because of finances, family obligations and career demands, so they teamed up to bring a conference to us.

When? August 10-12th (Registration begins July 1rst).

Who will be there? An impressive list of industry professionals such as:

Michelle Andelman ( A literary agent for Lynn C. Franklin Associates).
Josh Berk(Author of The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin and fellow Pennsylvanian).
Catherine Drayton (a well sought after literary agent for Inkwell Management).
Daniel Ehrenhaft (author of more than a dozen books for children and young adults and editor for Harper Collins).
Lindsay Eland (author of the well-talked about Scones and Sensibility).
Author P.J. Hoover.
Mandy Hubbard (Author of Prada and Prejudice and literary agent for D4EO).
Mary Kole ( Literary agent at Andrea Brown Literary).
Author Lyndsey Leavitt.
Steven Malk (Literary agent for Writers House).
Mark McVeigh (founder of The McVeigh agency).
Author Jodi Meadows.
Kathleen Ortiz (Associate Agent and Foreign Rights Manager at Lowenstein Associates).
Anica Rissi (Executive Editor at Simon Pulse).
Joanna Stampfel-Volpe (Full time agent for the Nancy Coffey Literary and Media Representation).
Suzie Townsend (Literary agent for Fine Print Literary Management).
Daisy Whitney (Media business extraordinaire).
Lisa Schroeder (Author).
This is an event you cannot miss. Further details can be found at WriteonCon.
I love to watch people pay it forward. Together, we can help each other become the best we can be.
Who are you looking forward to meeting?

Leave a comment

Filed under conference, constructing, creating, dreaming, editing, emotions, Giveaway, Inspirational, life, query, random, routine, stories, story writing, Style, superstitions, Uncategorized, Voice, WISHES, writer's life, writers, writing, Writing, Young Adult