Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Wanted: Literary Agent

I don’t currently have a literary agent. In fact, I’ve never had one even though I’ve managed to attract the attention of a few editors. It doesn’t mean I wouldn’t like one, but they would have to be very special. In the spirit of Mary Poppins, wherein Jane and Michael Banks advertise for their dream nanny, I’ve devised an advertisement for my dream agent. I only wish I had a snappy little tune to sing it to like Jane and Michael did so eloquently.

 In case you can’t tell, I adore Mary Poppins in all it’s 1970’s glory. J

Wanted: Literary Agent

Must love the following wholeheartedly, without reservation~ books, dark chocolate, coffee, tea with honey, Jane Eyre, Star Trek, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, small animals and children, but not necessarily in that order.
Must be honest, charitable, trustworthy, punctual, and kind-hearted. Must be willing to put up with my numerous questions and emails without batting or rolling an eye. Must doggedly fight for my work and for me while giving the best professional advice money can buy. Must be willing to represent  the multiple genres and age levels I write for and find appropriate publishers for all my projects. Said publishers will have plush marketing budgets for my books. Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc. will b leisure activities for me, not requirements for marketing. Must never be cross, impatient, rude, snobbish, condescending, disingenuous, or lazy. Experience coaching, cheerleading, writing, editing, and mentoring a plus.

For my part, I promise to meet all deadlines and provide all written material needed, i.e. blurbs, synopses, copy, etc. I promise to make any necessary edits cheerfully, while reserving the right to respectfully disagree if someone suggests changes in voice I can’t accept. Above all, I promise to write.

All agents with the above qualifications, please respond immediately. I eagerly await your application. Sincerely,

Lisa T. Cresswell


Monday, July 21, 2014

My Writing Process Blog Hop~

Hey! Happy #MondayBlogs!

This week I'm joining in the Writing Process blog tour/hop thingy. I was invited to participate by writer Matthew Wilbur, who I know better as the dry humored @nightveil on Twitter's Monday night chats on #WritersRoad. If  you tweet, you should follow Matthew. At the very least, visit his blog at www.knightveil.blogspot.com and say hi.

So, on to my Writing Process, shall we??

1) What am I working on?

Oh boy! Seems like I have a lot of ideas swirling around, several projects in various stages. I've got a steampunk adventure story I wrote in a month for JuNoWriMo that I'm currently typing. (I hand write my first rough drafts, so now I need to type it up.) Edits will ensue.  I have a scifi/dystopian young adult novel called Vessel due out from Month9Books early next year so I may still have some editing to do for that. And I have at least 3 projects I want to create outlines for: a young adult contemporary, a new adult historical, and a sequel to Vessel.

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I don't know how objective I am about that. I do a lot of genre hopping too, so it's hard to say my work is always "xyz". One thing I do try to always do is start with a great character and a great theme. I try to make my characters diverse if it serves the story and I hope that I'm able to do that without falling too much into stereotypes. If I do I'm sure readers will let me know.

3) Why do I write what I do?

I write because I can't stop myself. Its a strange form of self entertainment!  I also write because I enjoy putting interesting characters into difficult situations and making them learn important lessons. And who has more to learn than young adults? I love that exploratory phase young people live in, where every day is something new and different to them.

4) How does my writing process work?

My writing process has changed a lot over the years, hopefully for the better. I used to get an idea for a scene and just go for it, but I always stalled out because I didn't know what would happen next. Now I make a detailed outline which consists of a few sentences to describe each and every chapter in the book. The better, more detailed this pre-work is, the easier the story is to write  Like I said, I tend to hand write my rough drafts because it's easier to schlep around a notebook than a laptop in my car. I often end up writing in my car, waiting for my daughter to get out of dance practice.

The first typing becomes the first round edit for typos and such. Then I print it out and take a good, hard look at it for plot holes, contradictions, and lazy language.  I'm notorious for word echoes (i.e. using the same word five times on a page). I tend to write pretty spare the first time, so rather than cutting words, I look for places that need more words, usually in the form of description.  I add clay to my sculptures instead of carving it away.

After all my edits are scribbled on the hard copy, I'll make them on the electronic copy. At that point, I may let it sit or I might look for a beta reader to tell me if I'm on the right track. I don't know how I decide when I'm done editing. I've just somehow learned when I've had enough and it's time to move on to another project. I've been known to sit on manuscripts for years that weren't quite ready and I wasn't quite ready to fix. It's not ideal, but my process can be pretty slow. Of course, if an editor is waiting for it, it gives me some incentive to hurry it up.

Next week be sure to check out the next writer's Writing Process blog on July 28. Or hop on over there right now and follow her!

C. J. Burright writes urban fantasy, paranormal romance, or—since all things medieval and magic fascinate her—fantasy romance. A member of RWA and Secretary for the FF&P special interest chapter, C. J. also has her 4th Dan Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do and believes stories should always include a gratuitous fight scene. She shares a house in Oregon with her husband, daughter, and a devoted herd of cats.     

Author of Wonderfully Wicked, Swoon Romance

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Life Lesson for writers~

I have some rules for life someone e-mailed me years ago that I kept because I liked them. Today, I'm reminded of one: Once a year, go somewhere you've never been.

I often forget how invigorating this little tid bit is. I personally never would have gone to Magna, Utah to the Great Saltair Theater to see a Panic at the Disco concert on my own. It was my daughter's new found interest in the band that took us there. (That's her in the pic in line ahead of me.)
She wanted to go, so as a birthday present, I agreed to take her. I was a little unsure what we were getting into, but after listening to the music, I figured it was probably harmless. In fact, it reminded me of 80's music. For someone my age, that might be considered a plus. Now, had I realized the venue had no air conditioning in July, I might have thought twice. The Great Saltair has big, open windows that let in the salt marsh breezes off the Great Salt Lake, so I guess the name makes sense. If you've ever smelled a salt marsh, you know it has a distinct smell, even putrid at times.
As luck would have it, the day was not extremely hot and the building was not the oven it could have been without all those windows, but that's not to say I didn't sweat like a pig because I did.

The Saltair is just a big, open room with a stage at one end. The balcony held the bar, which was nice. Kept all the drinkers upstairs and out of the kids downstairs. I mean, it is Utah. The beer is only 2% alcohol, so I guess you'd have to work pretty hard to get drunk on that. Still, it was nice not to have to worry about my kid mingling with strange drunks.

She mostly had other teeny boppers to mingle with who liked this off beat band as much as she does, which isn't really available to her in our rural Idaho town. I have to admit I feel a little proud of her for not being afraid to step out of the mainstream when there are so many obstacles to her doing so.

That said, she tried to ignore me the entire time. What's dorkier than going to a concert with your mom? That combined with the fact that most of the kids were older than her probably made her feel she had act cool. She met some nice kids though. And what interesting kids they were!

I don't know what you call this kind of clique these days because high school is such a distant memory to me. Maybe its the new normal? They weren't classic emo, although there were a lot of black tee shirts. They had hair dyed every shade of the rainbow, some with disastrous results. Piercings of all kinds, just the sort of thing you'd expect, but there was no angst. Just fun.

It was gold mine for this writer's mind. These kids are definitely going into my next book whether they like it or not. Yes kids, I'm the creepy old lady watching you. Hehehe! Just kidding. I wasn't plotting at the time, but looking back now, I can see an awful lot of great characters, which brings me back to the point of all this yammering here.

I find my best writing comes when I travel, when I step outside my comfort zone and go some place I've never been. Perhaps that's because of the nature of books themselves? The best books take you places you've never been, no? Yes, they do. That's the magic of reading and writing. Remember that writer friends~

Gotta share some little clips with you here, just to give you a flavor for the concert. You can't see much, but lights. Just enjoy the music and check out those pipes on Brendan Urie! Wowza! Great concert guys! :) Rock on!


Friday, July 18, 2014

Cover Reveal: Lucas Mackenzie and the London Midnight Ghost Show by Steve Bryant and Giveaway #M9BFridayReveals

Welcome to the Cover Reveal for

Lucas Mackenzie and the London Midnight Ghost Show
by Steve Bryant

presented by Month9Books!
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

Lucas MacKenzie eBook Final

Lucas Mackenzie has got the best job of any 10 year old boy. He travels from city-to-city as part of the London Midnight Ghost Show, scaring unsuspecting show-goers year round. Performing comes naturally to Lucas and the rest of the troupe, who’ve been doing it for as long as Lucas can remember.
But there’s something Lucas doesn’t know.
Like the rest of Luca’s friends, he’s dead. And for some reason, Lucas can’t remember his former life, his parents or friends. Did he go to school? Have a dog? Brothers and sisters?
If only he could recall his former life, maybe even reach out to his parents, haunt them.
When a ghost hunter determines to shut the show down, Lucas realizes the life he has might soon be over. And without a connection to his family, he will have nothing. There’s little time and Lucas has much to do. Can he win the love of Columbine, the show's enchanting fifteen-year-old mystic? Can he outwit the forces of life and death that thwart his efforts to find his family?
Keep the lights on! Lucas Mackenzie’s coming to town.

add to goodreads
Title: Lucas Mackenzie and the London Midnight Ghost Show
Publication date: November 18, 2014
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Steve Bryant

Steve Bryant is a new novelist, but a veteran author of books of card tricks. He founded a 40+ page monthly internet magazine for magicians containing news, reviews, magic tricks, humor, and fiction; and he frequently contributes biographical cover articles to the country’s two leading magic journals (his most recent article was about the séance at Hollywood’s Magic Castle).

Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Goodreads

Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!
(Winners will receive their book on release day)


Friday, July 11, 2014

Cover Reveal: Life AD 2: M.I.A.: Missing in Atman by Michelle E. Reed and Giveaway #M9BFridayReveals

Welcome to the Cover Reveal for

Life AD 2: M.I.A.: Missing in Atman
by Michelle E. Reed

presented by Month9Books!
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!


Dez is finally hitting her afterlife stride. She hasn’t missed a meeting or session in forty-two days, and she’s put the adventures and danger of her first days at Atman behind her. Life after death is becoming tolerable, yet nothing is quite what she’d hoped. Confusion over her feelings for Charlie, residual resentment over losing Hannah, and a continuous stream of unwanted assignments leave Dez restless and argumentative.
In a missed encounter with Crosby, her prying gaze lands upon a single entry in the datebook on his unoccupied desk. These few, hastily scribbled words reveal an enormous secret he’s keeping from her. Possessed by a painful sense of betrayal, she once again sneaks off to Atman City, determined to find answers to an unresolved piece of her life.
It begins as all their adventures do, but as light falls into darkness, a stop in an unfamiliar neighborhood sets forth a chaotic series of events. Dez will have to fight for her very existence, and will face painful, irreparable loss in an afterlife teeming with demons wielding ancient powers.
In M.I.A.: Missing in Atman, the second book in the Atman City series, Michelle E. Reed continues the story of Dez Donnelly, pushing her to her limits and surprising readers at every twist and turn of the vast world that is Atman.
Death was only the beginning.

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Title: Life AD 2: M.I.A.: Missing in Atman
Publication date: December 16, 2014
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Michelle E. Reed

Michelle E. Reed

Michelle was born in a small Midwestern town, to which she has returned to raise her own family. Her imagination and love of literature were fueled by a childhood of late nights, hidden under the covers and reading by flashlight. She is a passionate adoption advocate who lives in Wisconsin with her husband, son, and their yellow lab, Sully.

Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

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(Winners will receive their book on release day)


Friday, July 4, 2014

Cover Reveal: Avian (The Dragonrider Chronicles #2) by Nicole Conway and Giveaway #M9BFridayReveals

Welcome to the Cover Reveal for

Avian (The Dragonrider Chronicles #2)
by Nicole Conway

presented by Month9Books!
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!


What kind of power is lurking inside him?
After a year of training to become a dragonrider, Jaevid Broadfeather has been sent home to rest during a three-month interlude. But when he returns to find the king drake has chosen Beckah Derrick as his new rider, Jaevid realizes something big is about to happen. Every fiber of his being is pushed to the breaking point as Jaevid battles through his avian year, preparing for the final graduation test of the battle scenario. But there is more standing in his way than a few pushups and fancy sword moves.
Jaevid must face a new fear as he is tormented by a gruesome nightmare of a mysterious gray elf warrior murdering the royal family of Maldobar. It seems obvious to him that this is some kind of message about how the war started long ago—until Felix assures him the king is very much alive. With his strange powers growing stronger by the day, and that violent dream replaying in his mind every night, Jaevid no longer wonders if he will pass his avian year or not . . . he wonders if he will even survive it.
The truth will soon be set loose.

add to goodreads

Title: Avian (The Dragonrider Chronicles #2)
Publication date: August 26, 2014
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Nicole Conway

Nicole is the author of the children’s fantasy series, THE DRAGONRIDER CHRONICLES, about a young boy’s journey into manhood as he trains to become a dragonrider. She has completed the first two books in the series, and is now working on the third and final book.
Originally from a small town in North Alabama, Nicole moves frequently due to her husband’s career as a pilot for the United States Air Force. She received a B.A. in English with a concentration in Classics from Auburn University, and will soon attend graduate school.
She has previously worked as a freelance and graphic artist for promotional companies, but has now embraced writing as a full-time occupation.
Nicole enjoys hiking, camping, shopping, cooking, and spending time with her family and friends. She also loves watching children’s movies and collecting books. She lives at home with her husband, two cats, and dog.

Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Facebook

Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!
(Winners will receive their book on release day)

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

July is here!

July is here. July means many things: hot weather finally, my birthday, and this year it means the end of #JunNoWriMo - June Novel Writing Month.  I think I actually did it this time too. I've participated in NaNoWriMo before, knowing at the start I wouldn't finish the book I was working on, but this time I think I did it. I had to give up a lot to write 50,000 words in a month. I had to give up reading anyone else's fiction. I gave up my morning yoga time to write instead, which proved to be the best time for me to get some peace and quiet. I gave up some of my lunch hours too. I say I "think" I've done it because technically I don't know my word count, but I filled up 250 pages in a notebook, so it's probably close. I also got to write the words "The End" and I don't do that till a story is ended, so for me, that seals the deal.

Is it a masterpiece? a best seller? Probably not, but it's a rough draft and I can work with a rough draft, polish it up until it shines.  Therefore, I declare July is the month of reading, typing, editing, and outlining my next projects. It's also the month of exercise because I let that slip in June too. And it will be a month of introspection. Maybe I want to write my books this way from now on? I'm not sure, but I know I sure enjoy "instant" gratification (or at least quicker).

No word on The Color of Water yet, but I reread my query the other day and thought "dang! that's good!" What publisher wouldn't want that? :) They just haven't gotten to it yet.

K peeps~ July is here. Gotta get busy! Check you later!