Friday, June 22, 2012

Learning from Rejection...

Rejection just sounds negative. Most of the time it is, rejection hurts!  I was rejected by the editor from Random house. When I saw a response from her in my inbox, I was holding my breath. After re-reading her rejection of my work, my eyes fill up with tears. One or two may have slipped out. But, then I thought about it. I am the heroine in my own life’s story. I like to read and write about strong women, so I better be one.  Sometimes it sucks to be strong. I want to crawl under the sheets and cry. I didn’t do that.  I never have in the past and I am not going to start that now!

I am using her rejection as fuel to my fire. She gave some great feedback about my work. It is hard hearing that your chapters have no zing to it. It is comforting to know that she really liked my storyline and my synopsis. I already knew I hooked her when I pitched my book idea to her in the first place. Now, I have to work on adding some pizzazz to my writing style.

I sat down and took a hard look at my first chapter. I know what I need to do. I need to make some big editing changes. I believe in my work and I agree with the editor that I have a great story line, I can do this!

Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Importance of a Social Platform

This time last year I learned about the importance of a social platform from literary agent Sara Megibow of Nelson literary agency. The question was asked if having an online platform influences her to take a client. She said yes. Mostly because authors are firstly writers and then marketers and without an online presence it makes it difficult for first time authors to get good sales.

Most authors have several different types of online social media links including:

1)      Facebook

2)      Twitter

3)      LinkedIn

4)      Blog

5)      Website

I’d say having three of the five is good, four of five is better, and five out of five is great. But, readers like consistency. If you have to set a schedule, say you post online on Monday’s and Wednesday’s on Facebook and twitter (which you can link your twitter to your Facebook account so you really only have to post it once on twitter and it will feed to Facebook) and it doesn’t have to be anything significant and then you blog on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s. That is still four days of contact with your readers. It’s important.

And if you are anything like me and you aren’t computer savvy enough to make your own website, then go online to premade sites that are free. Yes, I said FREE. I have my account setup with which is an online free website and if you wish to purchase the domain name then you can. But, I prefer free therefore my account is .

When you all become professional authors you will thank me.

Just a reminder that I will be neglecting the blog next week, I WILL NOT BE POSTING ON TUESDAY OR THURSDAY, or any other day. I will be out of town on vacation and will not have computer access, unfortunately the beach calls. But, do not forget to follow me on twitter on Monday, July 2nd at #BIC. Where you can follow my progress of my new criminal mystery novel and the stages of preplanning. If I am not mistaken, Tina will be joining me. Until then, adios amigos.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Query Letter Examples!!!

Found these awesome links on the Query Agent Connect Website...if you are anything like me then you need to see an ACTUAL query letter before you'll know how to write one.
  • Check out "Examples of Successful Queries" group in our social networking community, AQ Connect. It's updated with new, successful queries almost on a daily basis!
  • Chuck Sambuchino's "Guide to Literary Agents" blog offers successful query examples from agents and their clients.
  • Query Shark blog, in which literary agent, Janet Reid, gives snarky advice on how to write a query letter to brave newbie participants willing to swim with The Shark.

    In addition, here are a few AQ success stories of newbie writers — just like you — who used our AQ query letter advice to draft their query and snag their agents, who snagged them book deals with major publishers!
  • New York Times Best-selling author and AQ success story, Allison Winn Scotch's query letter for her debut novel, DEPARTMENT OF LOST AND FOUND.
  • New York Times Best-selling author and AQ success story, Heather Brewer's query letter for her vampire series, THE CHRONICLES OF VLADIMIR TOD.
  • Published Author and AQ user, Catherine Delores's query letter for historical epic, THE MISTRESS OF THE REVOLUTION.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Goal Achieved!!

I finished the re-write of my Young Adult paranormal, mystery, romance, DREAMER. I am now working on tweaking the synopsis and query letter.
This book has a special place in my heart. I started writing it when I was living in Kentucky and I was homesick. It takes place in my hometown of Troy, Michigan. A lot of my characters are based on my family and friends.  As I was writing it, I could see in my mind the characters so clearly.  The main character Rory is very much like me as well as a few of the girls I wrote as her friends.
I am looking forward to re-reading it again and editing.  I hope that others will enjoy reading what I have written as well!

Query Letter: DREAMER

I am pleased to submit for your consideration my completed young adult mystery romance, DREAMER. In this 70,000 word tale of secrets, unique abilities, and young love, never been kissed Rory Adair is torn between twin brothers while trying to solve the disappearance of four missing women, by following the clues of her nighttime dreams that always come true.

The only time that Rory ever told anyone that her dreams come true, she was six years old. Finding out that her Grandfather had died was not something she wanted to relive twice. After ten years of her dreams coming true night after night, she finally begins to dream of something exciting and new.  Rory begins to dream about a handsome stranger. This stranger turns out to be identical twin brothers who have just moved to Troy, Michigan from Virginia. The Wyatt twins take an instant liking to Rory.

After Rory’s best friend Stacey becomes the fourth missing woman, Rory hopes to put her dreams to good use. She teams up with Bryce Wyatt who has a secret ability of his own. Together they use their abilities, intellect, and gut feeling to find the missing women.  Rory must sort through her feeling for the Wyatt brothers and find her friend before she loses them all.

DREAMER is not just another love triangle story. The characters unique abilities and mystery bring a magical twist to teenage love. DREAMER will appeal to readers who enjoy the thrilling mystery and intrigue of NANCY DREW along with the romance of VAMPIRE DIARIES.

If you would like to further consider DREAMER, a full manuscript will be sent upon request.

Thank you for your time and consideration,


Thursday, June 14, 2012


On the 23rd, I leave for Daytona Beach and I will be back by the 29th. Yay for me! I finally get a vacation! On another note, the two following weeks after my vacation I am off work for our summer shutdown…that consists of two uninterrupted weeks of reading and writing. I plan on getting up every morning at seven to write on my newest SNN.

I have come to a realization about something…I know several writers including some of my favorite authors who realize that they can’t write a novel unless they use the BIC method, BUTT IN CHAIR!

They are getting sidetracked by social media and their own personal agendas instead of sitting their butts in a chair and writing. You can’t push someone to write…all you can do is allow them to have a “self-realization moment” when they realize that they are failing themselves and are standing in the way of their own success. They are procrastinating for no reason. If I didn’t have a job, or kids, or other important priorities I would be sitting my butt in a chair and getting this novel completed this week. But as is, not everyone has this advantage. I have responsibilities. I have tons of crap that I have to do so I can pay bills and live life which is why early in the mornings I have been dedicating to writing a few hundred to a few thousand words in my novel…except for the weekends. (I refuse to make myself work, write, or diet) Every day it takes me one step closer to being finished. And that’s exactly what I want.

I want the right to say I finished my OWN novel…yes, reapers is complete but edits and the lack of enthusiasm for a book that I have to keep shredding gets a bit discouraging. Now I have my new SNN and I am on the right course to achieving my goal. I’m over 12,000 words into WITH A VENGEANCE and have created character bios and a plot layout for the entire book. I know what the bun, meat, and cheese are in this book.

I’m ready. Are you? Are you ready to commit to your own writing success? Are you willing to put your BUTT IN A CHAIR and get your novel complete? Join me the week of JULY 2nd…where I will begin my five day twitterthon for the #BIC movement. Use the #BIC hash tag under twitter and keep up with my hourly updates of progress and post your own progress. As one person it’s hard to stay motivated but as a community of writer’s it will be easy! Dedicate today and join me on twitter July2nd for the #BIC Movement.

To Be Read Books

Every writer knows that you are suppose to read in the genre that you write in. But, for me…my tastes are so eclectic that is hard to do. With that said, I have three books on my two be read list.

My First:
Kiss the Dead by Laurell K. Hamilton

The twenty-first installment of the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter novels: When a fifteen-year-old girl is abducted by vampires, it’s up to U.S. Marshal Anita Blake to find her. And when she does, she’s faced with something she’s never seen before: a terrifyingly ordinary group of people—kids, grandparents, soccer moms—all recently turned and willing to die to avoid serving a master. And where there’s one martyr, there will be more…

But even vampires have monsters that they’re afraid of. And Anita is one of them.

Book Number Two:

The second thrilling installment in Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy spinoff series

Tough, brainy alchemist Sydney Sage and doe-eyed Moroi princess Jill Dragomir are in hiding at a human boarding school in the sunny, glamorous world of Palm Springs, California. The students--children of the wealthy and powerful--carry on with their lives in blissful ignorance, while Sydney, Jill, Eddie, and Adrian must do everything in their power to keep their secret safe. But with forbidden romances, unexpected spirit bonds, and the threat of Strigoi moving ever closer, hiding the truth is harder than anyone thought.

Populated with new faces as well as familiar ones, Richelle Mead's breathtaking Bloodlines series explores all the friendship, romance, battles, and betrayals that made the #1 New York Times bestselling Vampire Academy series so addictive. In this second book, the drama is hotter, the romances are steamier, and the stakes are even higher.

Book Number Three:

The twelfth installment of the Sookie Stackhouse series: With Felipe de Castro, the Vampire King of Louisiana (and Arkansas and Nevada), in town, it’s the worst possible time for a body to show up in Eric Northman’s front yard—especially the body of a woman whose blood he just drank.
Now, it’s up to Sookie and Bill, the official Area Five investigator, to solve the murder. Sookie thinks that, at least this time, the dead girl’s fate has nothing to do with her. But she is wrong. She has an enemy, one far more devious than she would ever suspect, who’s out to make Sookie’s world come crashing down.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Publishing World Critics!!!

I didn’t mean to steal Jennifer’s spotlight today, but I had something on my mind that needed to be addressed.

I am not a publishing expert and I don’t pretend to be. Hell, we all have our own opinion of what is good literature and what is not. But, because I am not a talking and walking spell checker and or grammar genius, I never feel confident enough to send out my work before it has been read and critiqued by other people (not just my friends and family).

For instance, AGE OF EDEN, it was critiqued by five (unassociated with me) published authors and it went through several rounds of critiques from authors in SCBWI (Society for Children Book Writers and Illustrators). It went through several rounds of edits by Jennifer and me. It was great before but now it’s even BETTER and as long and exaggerating as this process may sound (and it is) it is still necessary to do if you plan on sending out an unblemished grammar correct manuscript.

Not to mention; setting issues, plot holes, and world building disasters. Those are all things that need to be modified (or identified) before sending out your final manuscript to agents and the only way you can do that is by subjecting your manuscript to an unrelated critic, someone who is not “Pro-Stacey’s Writing Career!”

I know we all want to be published. We all want to see our names at the top of the New York Best Seller’s list. But, I don’t want my name associated with a book if it isn’t worthy. I’d rather wait and put it through a dozen expert critics to be sure that everything in my novel is up to par with today’s best sellers. If that means delaying my paparazzi crazed spotlight, progress in querying and finding an agent then so be it. Of course, some authors feel that they are the next Stephanie Meyer and have no patience in the writing process. Good for them! They would rather shoot first and ask questions later. But, what they are really doing is shooting their selves in the foot.

Okay, I’m stepping off my soap box. With one last closing argument, if anything…at least get your query letter and first three chapters critiqued. You can do that by using Query forum, Agent Query Connect forum, Nathan Bransford Query forum, Writer’s Digest Community, and Writer’s Digest Forum. These are all places you can post your query and pages to get them critiqued. And if you’re serious about getting published join a professional writer’s guild as in SCBWI or RWA, where you can subject your manuscript to the best in the business.

I hope I helped. Everyone have a fantastic Wednesday.

When fictional worlds collide...

For as long as I can remember I have been a lover of books. No, it’s more than that. I eat, sleep, and breathe books. My life would be dull and lifeless without them. And I find that this truth relates to both books that I have read and books that I’m writing/will write in the future.

 I have a long list of favorite authors and an even longer list of favorite books. I am constantly on the search for a new series that will captivate me completely and engulf me in a world that I never want to leave. It’s no secret to anyone who knows me that YA fiction is my absolute favorite. I think some of today’s YA writers could compete with some of the best adult fiction writers in the industry today. Their ability to create worlds, characters that haunt you long after the final chapter is read, and leave you begging for more, is a small example of how absolutely amazing their fiction can be.

The difficulty, however, comes when you read a book that hits so close to home that you find yourself lost and unsure of how to react. This recently happened to me when I read a book that held certain similarities to the book that has been my love, my insanity, and the bane of my existence on occasion. I’m talking about Age of Eden, the book that Stacey and I have been working on for the last couple of years. It’s one of those things where you come up with an idea for a book and you’re absolutely positive it’s unique and hasn’t been done before, but then you realize you brilliant piece of art isn’t as unique as you thought it was.

Granted, I’m not saying there aren’t unique aspects to AoE, but reading the book I mentioned previously and the descriptions of the other books in the series, I find myself unsure as to how to feel and what to think. I still believe in the book that we wrote and I still believe there’s a place in the publishing world for it, but still the doubts nag at the back of my mind.

So, I guess my question is this. How do writers—established or aspiring—come to terms with their storylines crashing head on into storylines that have come before? Or after really. Do you trust that what you’ve written is unique enough to stand out? Or do you make the conscious decision to change what you’ve created to make sure you’re not falling head first into the footsteps of someone else?

Hmmm…a lot to think about and I think the jury is still out on this one. Thoughts?

Friday, June 8, 2012

Constructive Criticism

Well, my pitch didn’t wow the publishers of Entangled. I did get some great feedback though. Basically, she really liked my idea, but not my first 100 pages. After reading over it, I agree. It isn’t actually my first 100 words of my book. I have a prologue. I went back and changed my first chapter and I think I made it a lot better.
I have been getting up for the past three weeks at 7am to work on my book for a few hours before Ryan wakes up. I am re-writing the ending to DREAMER. When I started my massive re-write a few months ago, I started with Chapter 17 and I wrote 3 chapters.  Then I put it down to finish off SEA OF PASSION. Last week when I opened up the file to get going on it again, my worst nightmare came true!  My file wouldn’t open, it said it was corrupt. I tried everything, which isn’t much because I am not computer savvy. So, I called my brother Troy who is a computer programmer. He couldn’t help me either. So, Monday night, I sat down and started from chapter 17 again. I have been moving along really quickly. I am up to Chapter 30 today!  I have 37 chapters outlined for the book.  So, then I get to go back through to re-read and edit it all over again.
 My goal is by next week when I blog to have the synopsis and first three chapters set to send off to agents and then I can hold my breath.

I know it's not my day to Blog...

But, I've been so hyped about this new SNN that I've already created a query letter for it and I had to share.

Dear Agent,

The mob killed Angelica's husband Charles. But dead doesn't have to mean gone. Now she and Charles are going to give them hell.

Angel copes with her husband's death the only way she knows how, she sets out to make them pay. With Charles’ ghost riding shotgun, she tracks the thugs down and tortures them, looking for her husband's killer.

But the mob isn’t dumb. They find out Angel's behind the attacks. Now Angel's at the bottom of the Detroit river - and it's not just her breath that's running out.

WITH A VENGEANCE is an 80,000 word paranormal mystery. Thank you for your time and attention.

Let me know what you guys think.-Stacey

Thursday, June 7, 2012


FYI: It’s official.

I have been tempted and given in to my new SNN (Slutty New Novel)!!! GRRRR. I couldn’t help it. It wouldn’t go away! I begged and begged for inspiration on my reapers book and I just couldn’t do it. Now, I am dedicated to my new book called WITH A VENGEANCE. It’s a cool new criminal paranormal mystery fiction novel. Is that even a genre? Who knows?

In case you haven’t noticed Jennifer and I have both published visible widgets on our blog page Our Pages Aren’t Numbered, now everyone can see our writing progress on our SNN’s. Thus far I have completed an average of 2,700 words per day. If I write everyday at least 2,700 hundred words I will have met my quota in thirty days. Of course, that is a very aggressive deadline…but it is happening. I refuse not to write everyday and give into the temptation of procrastination. This book is happening. And I grow more and more excited. The best part about this book is I can literally throw in any type of craziness (conflict) and in the end it will all still tie in together.

I started it by typing out a general outline of everything I wanted in the book. And as I began to write my characters begin to run away from the outline and I have had to add in some scenes that weren’t mentioned as planned but are necessary to move the plot along. That is all that matters anyway. But, I am super excited. This is more different than anything I have ever written before and I hope I don’t disappoint. Okay, got to run. Adios my friends.

Better late than never...

I have a confession to make. I forgot it was Wednesday and therefore my turn to write a blog post *hangs her head in shame*. I know, I know. I fail on a major level and there’s really no excuse for it aside from the fact that my time schedule has been all out of wack lately. Because of my confusion, I had absolutely no idea what my topic should be. But then, I got to thinking about what blogging means to the writer’s community. Blogging, twitter, facebook, all of it.

I know that all forms of social media have been a direct influence on how I view the writing process, getting an agent, and the publishing business. Seriously, looking back on the past two years of my writing journey, a good portion of that time has been spent reading every little tidbit I could get my hands on and learning everything I could learn from some of the writing world’s most prominent voices. It’s actually quite humbling to read blog posts from my favorite agents and authors, knowing that I’m trying to share my own voice and opinion in the same fashion that they do. Granted, I know I don’t have the same audience that they do, but even they had to start somewhere and now look where they are.

It’s a lot of pressure for one person though. That’s why I’m so glad that I have the support of my fellow bloggers for “Our Pages Aren’t Numbered” because each of us brings something different to the table. With Tina, Stacey, Becca, and myself, each of us views writing in our own personal way, we each have a very distinct voice, and different views that together make up a well rounded unit. I view their writings the same way I view my favorite agents and authors, and look forward to seeing what they come up with everyday.

It’s an entire process. We learn from others, gather our own information and then share our knowledge with the next person in line. I just hope there are people out there who find anything that is posted on our blog as useful or entertaining. I know that I do. And I know that I am proud to be a part of the writing community, a part of this blog, and a part of the foundation that future writers will build upon. With the internet and social media venues as our playground, the world is a benefactor with unlimited means. All we have to do is reach out and grab it.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Exit to Eden Book Review

Exit to Eden is written by Anne Rice and published in 1985.  

The books main character is Lisa Kelly, who manages an isolated BDSM resort, called The Club.   BDSM is an preference and a form of personal relationship involving the consensual use of restraint, intense sensory stimulation, and fantasy power role play. The acronym BDSM combines bondage and discipline dominance and submission.  This club offers clients an exclusive setting in which they can experience the life of a Master or Mistress. Prospective sex slaves volunteer to play this role and are paid at the end of their term at Eden.  In the beginning of their journey each slave is presented at auctions by the most respected trainers from across the world. As head female trainer and co-founder Lisa gets first pick of the new slaves, and chooses Elliot Slater.  Elliot is one of the most prideful slaves and she shares an  undeniable chemistry that intensifies throughout their time together, eventually resulting in love.  

This book was an interesting read.  Normally, I don't read erotica as my choice of genres.  However, my sister Stacey recommended it, so I followed like always.  The sex scenes can be steamy, and raunchy at the same time.  A few parts made me want to lay down the book and light up a cigarette.   On the other hand, the author lays the book out in a chapter format which bounces back and forth between the two main characters.  If your not paying attention to who each chapter is written for, the book can become unnerving.  I would still recommend this book to readers who enjoy the exotica genre, if it isn't your style, then don't bother.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Upcoming Pitch Events

June 2012 Pitch Events

Jun 22

Pitch your book to Deb Werksman of Sourcebooks
Deb Werksman, editor at Sourcebooks, will be taking three line pitches on the savvy blog on Friday, June 22nd. Deb is seeking single title romance, single title romance series and romance trilogies in paranormal, time travel, romantic suspense, historical, contemporary and erotic romance. Also commercial women’s fiction.... {more info}
Duration: 1 day. FREE/FREE (Query/Pitch, Editor/Agent)
(Pitch Your Book)

July 2012 Pitch Events

Jul 6

Pitch your book to Tamar Rydzinski of the Laura Dail Literary Agency
On Friday, July 6th, agent Tamar Rydzinski will be taking one line pitches on the Savvy Blog from 9 a.m. to midnight (EST). Tamar is not interested in prescriptive or practical non-fiction, humor, coffee table books or children’s books (meaning anything younger than middle grade). She is interested in everything else that is well-written and has great characters, including graphic novels. A fantastic query letter is essential – “you need to make me want to read your book, and be excited to re... {more info}
Duration: 1 day. FREE/FREE (Query/Pitch, Editor/Agent, Contests)
(Pitch Your Book)

Jul 11

Pitch your book to Lauri Blasch Of Black Opal Books
Acquisitions editor, Lauri Blasch of Black Opal Books will be taking three line pitches on the savvy blog on Wednesday July 11th from 9 a.m to midnight EST. Lauri is looking for all romance genres, including paranormal and erotic, and YA. In addition, we’re accepting novels and novellas that aren't romances, but have strong romantic elements, such as women’s fiction, chick lit, etc. So if it has romance in it, it's a mystery, a thriller, or it’s YA, they want to see it. They are also acceptin... {more info}
Duration: 1 day. FREE/FREE (Query/Pitch, Editor/Agent)
(Pitch Your Book)

Jul 13

Pitch your book to Jill Marsal of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency
Jill Marsal of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency will be on the savvy blog taking one line pitches on Friday, July 13th!... {more info}
Duration: 1 day. FREE/FREE (Query/Pitch, Editor/Agent, Contests)
(Pitch Your Book)

Jul 16

Pitch your book to Laurie McLean of Larsen Pomada Literary Agency
Laurie McLean of Larsen Pomada Literary Agency will be taking one line pitches on the Savvy blog on Monday, July 16th, from 9 a.m. to midnight! Laurie handles romance, fantasy, science fiction, horror, mystery, suspense, thriller and "new" western novels. She also represents children's young adult (YA) and middle grade fiction. (YA is for high school readers and middle grade is for middle school readers.)... {more info}
Duration: 1 day. FREE/FREE (Query/Pitch, Editor/Agent, Contests)
(Pitch Your Book)

Jul 23

Pitch your book to Peter Knapp of Park Literary Group
Agent Peter Knapp of park Literary Group will be taking one line pitches on the Savvy blog on Monday July 23rd from 9 a.m. to midnight (EST).... {more info}
Duration: 1 day. FREE/FREE (Editor/Agent)
(Pitch Your Book)

Friday, June 1, 2012

What's next?

I finished editing my historical romance novel on Wednesday and I was at a loss for what to work on next. The question was answered for me when I got an e-mail about an editor for Entangled e-book publications, that was taking pitches yesterday only for adult romance or young adult with a romantic element. I sent in my pitch for my young adult paranormal, mystery romance. I still need to edit the end and change some things, but I am about a month away from it being finished. So, now I know what I want to work on next, while I am waiting with fingers crossed for good news on my historical romance!

Here is the pitch that I sent in…

DREAMER is a tale of secrets, unique abilities, and young love. Never been kissed Rory Adair is torn between twin brothers while trying to solve the disappearance of four missing women, by following the clues of her nighttime dreams that always come true. After Rory’s best friend Stacey becomes the fourth missing woman, she teams up with Bryce Wyatt, who has a secret ability of his own. Rory must sort through her feeling for the Wyatt brothers and find her friend before she loses them all.

First 100 words

The screen lit up with Ryan Gosling’s face.  I smiled to myself. I knew I was going to want to see this movie when it came to theatres.  I loved to watch the previews.

            “Rory, do you want any popcorn?” A male voice whispered into my right ear.

With my eyes still on the screen I shook my head no. If I ate popcorn I was going to be thirsty and then I would have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the movie.

I squirmed to get comfortable in my seat. My left hand was seized and held onto.


That’s it, 100 words is hard to show off your book!! I had to cut out a few lines just to make it to 100 words. It is actually 103.  I couldn’t cut out the beep…beep…beep!

 Time to get back to work now J