Sunday, 27 January 2013

Why you should pass it on...

I've been fortunate enough to have some time lately to reflect upon the importance of why passing on acts of kindness is so important in the writing world.

Writing can be one of the loneliest career choices.  Even when you have other writer friends to boost you, sometimes it feels like that WIP just won't ever do what you want it to do.  No matter how many ways you think about it, it can wriggle out of your grasp.  Sometimes you have the best idea, then can't articulate what you want to say.  Sometimes you can't even remember the damned idea.  And when you do finally get that WIP into some sort of shape, you have no idea how to get an agent or publisher to read it.

And then come the doubts.

Fear.  Tears.  A huge lack of confidence.  And an inner battle over whether you should even bother trying when it all seems so uphill.  That's when people tell you to put your shoulder to the rock and push.  But sometimes, it feels like the rock just gets you back:

And that's when a little act of kindness from someone else can really make a huge difference.  Whether it's a surprise critique, a little boost to an agent, a mention of a contest, or a supporting email to let someone know that you're there if they need all mounts up.

So this is my message to all of my friends and followers.  If you can, please do an act of kindness towards one of your fellow writers today.

This post is in HOMAGE to Brenda Drake -  Because, seriously, this woman is perhaps the most giving women to aspiring writers that I have ever met.  Woman - you're a saint!

Friday, 18 January 2013

7 things you didn't know about me!

So my good friend and fellow Off Beat tagged me in a post today.  How could a girl refuse!?

But before I continue, I have to stop and say...

AMY CAVENAUGH, fellow Off Beat and tagger of said post is ALL KINDS OF AWESOME. I've been lucky enough to sneak peek her writing. A rather intriguing thriller that has some real hooks. Just wanted to say. You know. Because good writers need the kudos! This is how her thriller makes me feel...

Sooo onto the post itself.  The blog hop is to post seven random things about yourself.  So, here's a little peek into my mind and how it (does or doesn't) work!
Fact #1 - I am a MEGA Supernatural fan and am addicted to watching the episodes back to back.  My favourite character is Dean and I love Crowley's sense of humour.  I am not a fan of Sam and think he is a big girl's blouse.  I wonder where Meg (later Meg with the dark hair) gets her awesome voice from.
Fact #2 - I will travel anywhere to help a horse in need.  I'm a horse trainer as well as a writer, and I love dealing with dangerous or difficult horses that need retraining and a new focus in life.
Me and my babies (Roger and Hanson):
 photo IMG_1370.jpg
Fact #3 - I have a phone phobia.  Trust me.  It's real.  Don't judge!
Fact #4 - When I sleep, I sleep like the dead.  10 hours straight.  Nothing can wake me.  And I mean NOTHING.
Fact #5 - I can't say no to doing someone a favour.  Making people happy makes me happy.
Fact #6 - I have many favourite songs.  Including but not limited to:  Sympathy for the Devil - The Rolling Stones, Down in the tube station at Midnight - The Jam, Liza Radley - The Jam, Son of a Preacher Man - Dusty Springfield, anything by Maroon Five, ANYTHING by Billy Idol.

Fact #7 - I speak okay-ish Greek, due to living in Cyprus for several years.  So to all my Greek followers (*crickets chirp*)...Γεια σας και καλώς ήρθατε στο μπλογκ μου!

And that would be it!  Hope you enjoyed learning a little more about me (and if not, I hope you enjoyed the music and the horsey photo!  lol).

I'm going to tag three AWESOME writers that I think you might want to check out.  NOTE - These writers may or may not decide to join in. But I've tagged them because I think you should check them out anyway!

Lizzy Froehle -
Catherine Scully -
Jessica Flek -

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Being on submission...what's it really like?

Last year, I looked at what happens once you get that agent.  Well, now I want to look at What Happens When You Go On Submission.

It's my hope that through chronicling my journey to (hopefully) publication that I can cast a little light along the publishing path for other writers following behind me.  This is an industry where it can be deceptively difficult to find out information about the writer's journey.  There seems to be a wealth of information about the query trenches, but limited information on what happens after that.  I hope that by sharing my story fellow writers will have at least a little more idea on what to expect.

Okay, so let's get down to the bare bones here.  What happens when you go on submission.  Well, obviously the first thing that happens is this:

After the dancing ends, the next feeling you will most likely encounter is:

So, now we have the emotions dealt with - what next???

To be honest, a lot of that depends on your agent and the relationship you have.  So I will tell you how it has worked for me:

*  My agent drew up a list of editors at the major publishers who she felt would be a great fit for my book.

*  She let me know which houses she was pitching.

*  She sent a pitch package to each editor.

And then you WAIT.

Yes, that horrible sensation of waiting that you had when you were knee deep in the query trenches?  Yes - you do that ALL OVER AGAIN!

But here comes the good bit.  You hit refresh on your email for the MILLIONTH time.  And there it is.  An email from your agent, saying "XXX has requested the full".

COMMENCE dancing (see above) and being terrified (again, see above).  This is a great yet terrifying moment.  There are actually editors reading your work.  For real.  Gulp.

This is where my agent is worth her weight in gold.

Here's my process:

*  I freak.

*  Agent reassures me.

*  I continue freaking.

*  Agent emails me that another request has come in.

So you see, it's like a self-perpetuating circle.  I hold down the "writing, editing, freaking" side of the circle; my agent holds down the "editing, promoting, reassuring" side of the circle.  Perfect synergy.

As for what happens after that?  I've not taken that step yet.  I have 3 full ms requests so far.  No rejections yet.  All I  can say is WATCH THIS SPACE!!!!