GENREALITY

Archive for August, 2009



Monday, August 31st, 2009 by Carrie Vaughn
Words Matter, or Step Away from the Thesaurus

At some level, I think being a writer means being in love with words.  Not stories, not sentences, not gleaming wonderful prose.  But individual words.  Being interested in how the meaning of “embarrassed” has changed over the last couple of hundred years, about how people from one part of the country say “pop” while people from another region say “soda,” and so on.

I recently did some long-hand writing because I was away from the computer for a couple of days.  Going back over the work, I can see exactly where I debated about word choice, crossing out one option after another in an effort to choose just the right word.

  • Muttered sarcastically or grumbled?
  • Looking over, studying, appraising, or surveying?
  • Pondering, dreaming, fantasizing, or considering?
  • Cut out, removed, excised, or censored?
  • Planning, scheming, plotting, conniving, or canoodling?  (Actually, this one was part of a rather silly conversation, which ended with one of the participants saying, “What’s canoodling?”  “Look it up,” I said.  “You’ll like it.”)

Each of the words has subtle (or not so subtle) differences in meaning and tone.  Appraising versus surveying for example.  Each one is more powerful, more descriptive, than “looking over.”  The thesaurus might give me both.  But which to use?  Appraising is associated with financial endeavors, feels a little more mercenary, has to do with not just looking at something, but assessing its value.  Surveying has associations with mapping, with geography, with the lay of the land, with navigation.  Which sense am I trying to get across?  Is my character navigating the situation or assessing its value?  What idea do I want to put in my reader’s mind?

Your thesaurus (paper copy or online version) might throw out many words as synonyms and alternatives.  But the words are not equivalent.  We’ve all read pieces where it was clear the writer just plugged words in from a thesaurus without really paying attention to subtle differences in meaning.  Words are the individual building blocks upon which the whole structure of our stories are based.  A wrong word really can throw a sensitive reader out of the story.

How to pick the right word?  What’s the tone of the piece?  Colloquial or formal?  If it’s a historical piece, would an archaic word help get that across?  If it’s part of dialog, is the character highly educated?  Precise or sloppy?  Does she come from a part of the country with regional quirks?  Word choice is an excellent way to differentiate characters.  Not dialect, mind you — trying to depict dialect can be a minefield.  But simple word choice can tell a reader if your character is an English professor or a police officer, from Canada or New Zealand.

The best way to learn how to use words better:  Read a lot.  Read the classics.  Read books and pay attention to the meaning, to why one word works better than a different, similar word.  Pay attention to how context changes words.  This may slow your reading down a whole lot.  But try it for a page or two.  If a word doesn’t feel right, why not?  What word would you choose?

Friday, August 28th, 2009 by LViehl
Clutter as Narrative

The Oct ’09 issue of Watercolor Artist magazine has a great interview article and art spread on Susan Abbott, who paints an unusual type of still life — crowded table tops with an overhead view of flowers, journals, photos, letters, fruit, and the other ephemera of life that represent someone or some concept in a kind of portrait-via-clutter.

At first reading the article almost made me break out in hives. I cannot stand clutter, and the thought of using it as a storytelling device? Take me now, Lord, I’m ready. Fortunately Ms. Abbott’s arrangements aren’t ordinary piles of junk someone was too lazy to get rid of or put away, but carefully selected, beautifully rendered objects arranged in compelling compositions. As much as I hate messy tables, her work attracted me, and the longer I looked at the art, the more I wanted to build a character based on them in my head.

Reading the article made me think about how I employ descriptions of clutter as a storytelling device (which I do, although I’ve never consciously thought about it before reading the magazine article.) Generally if you see a messy place or person in my novels, they are going to be bad news, as with this description from my novel Shadowlight, which describes the snackfood ephemera left behind in a desk by a former employee:

As soon as her boss disappeared into his office, Min tackled the backlog of filing and in the process taught herself the filing system. Which, judging by the amount of misfiled items she discovered, her predecessor had ignored or had never bothered to learn. Whitemarsh’s ten o’clock appointment came and went while Min kept working. She ran out of tabs, but a thorough inspection of her desk drawers turned up only an enormous collection of empty, crumpled chip bags and candy wrappers, which she gingerly began transferring to the small trash can beside the printer station.

Ugh. Min excavated a half-eaten, mold-encrusted cupcake from the back of the hanging folder drawer that made her stomach turn. Why was she eating all this junk?

The article also made me chuckle as I realized how neat all my protagonists are (with me as their author, they wouldn’t dare be messy.) I do admire tidy people, and have very little patience with slobs, so I suppose it’s natural that my concept of a heroic character is one whose table isn’t weighed down with a lot of junk. Even a compulsive pack rat like my character Gaven Matthias in Shadowlight keeps his odd collections neat and orderly:

Jessa walked up to the nearest door, braced herself, opened it, and stared into a shallow closet filled with small, brand-new kitchen appliances. The top shelf was packed with can openers, the next a row of coffee makers, and the third an assortment of blenders. All of them were neatly arranged, still in their boxes, but they didn’t make sense. Who needed eleven can openers, or nine coffee makers?

She moved down to the next door, but it proved to be another closet, this one packed with long bolts of designer drapery fabric standing on end and arranged by color. There was enough material to dress the windows of a dozen houses. She looked up, and saw at least fifty spools of satin cord and clear plastic bags filled with a variety of hanging tassels.

Confusion piled on top of her anxiety. She’d expected to see guns, men huddled together around a phone, or at least some scowling guard to grab her and march her at gunpoint back to the library room — not Martha Stewart’s spring window treatment collection.

I decided to try an experiment, and put together a Susan Abbott-style dream table of my own, with objects that represent what’s happening in my life today, to illustrate myself as a character. I can’t paint anywhere near as well as this artist, so I photographed mine (click on image to see larger version):

From left to right, clockwise: a green apple, bananas, a purse, car keys, a tea pot, a Christmas ornament, a jar of paintbrushes, some airfreshener, a package of 15 bean soup, an umbrella, a kitchen calendar, a notepad, a package of black and white file folders, a goth bracelet, a bookmark, a dog leash, a glass paperweight, a pair of chopsticks, a notebook, headphones, all on top of a hand-sewn tablecloth.

Some of the objects are pretty straightforward in meaning: the dog leash I use on my daily walks with Cole; file folders are almost always for filing. The bookmark will be keeping my place in the book I’m about to start reading (Jill Jepson’s Writing as a Sacred Path, as it happens.) But a Christmas ornament in August? Chopsticks? What do they say about me? I know what they mean, but how could they be interpreted by others?

I think the use of certain types of clutter as narrative or active setting in a scene can become cliched. We’ve all read books that offer up the usual dead-houseplants/dusty-furniture/outdated-newspapers/piled-mail-by-the-door-slot aura of neglect or abandonment, and the pizza-box/unwashed-dishes/over-flowing-ashtrays/empty-booze bottle motel room tableaus of rock-bottom despair. What if a sink or bathtub was left running, or a stereo was still on and playing the same five or six CDs? What about the food in the fridge (imagine the door being left hanging open, the power being shut off, and among other things a Thanksgiving turkey slowly defrosting and then rotting. I’ve actually had to clean an abandoned house left that way in real life.) What if someone else decided to move in, squat for a while, or use the place for sex/drug/Tupperware parties? Imagine walking in and finding the neighborhood strays had been using the place as a den, or a nursery.

Likewise people in deep depressions don’t always resort to booze, cheap motel rooms and chain smoking. A friend of my family’s once coped with her impending divorce and associated depression by painting murals of abstract flowers and gardens in primary colors on the walls of her home. All of the walls, from baseboard to crown molding. People who are severely depressed often give away their personal belongings as part of prep for a serious suicide attempt, which could mean finding them holding a garage sale in progress or wandering around rooms filled with cardboard boxes being packed.

What the reader interprets from the clutter is also something to think about, because often what is normal to us is not for other people. For example, what if I added a used syringe to my own dream table? Seeing that would likely disturb some people, especially those who don’t know about my health issues. Certain objects are imbedded in our brains as symbols of a certain act, such as a used needle in the possession of a private citizen being indicative of IV drug abuse. It could also mean that I’m an insulin-dependent diabetic, but that’s generally not the first conclusion people jump to — and you need to think about that when you employ clutter this way.

A fun writing exercise in getting to know your characters better would be to draw or assemble a dream table for one of them; I think it would work as well if not better than fill-in character worksheets. And the next time you’re working on describing setting, try bypassing the obligatory weather report and furnishing descriptions and tell your reader a little about the clutter (or lack thereof) around your characters. You’ll probably be surprised at how much storytelling mileage you can get out of a pair of chopsticks, or a Christmas ornament in August . . .

Related Links: Take a peek inside Susan Abbott’s art journals, and see as well as find out what inspired one of her dream table watercolors.

Thursday, August 27th, 2009 by Candace Havens
The Big Break

I have trouble relaxing. I can never quite shut my mind down, even when I’m forcing myself to take a break. For the past week, since I turned in my revisions for my upcoming release “Take Me If You Dare” for Harlequin (Feb. 2010) (Do you like how I slipped in that plug? Snort), I’ve been doing my best to take a break.

It’s so not happening. I still have to work on the day job, which is writing about television, movies and celebs, but I thought I’d give the fiction side of my brain a little rest. A vacation of sorts. Something that hasn’t happened in more than six years when my first book, “Charmed & Dangerous” sold. I’ve had some kind of deadline every few months since then, not that I’m complaining. But I’m a busy chick and I worry about burnout.

So I turned in the revisions on Monday of last week. On Wednesday my editor called. She loved the changes I made and said the book was great — but I needed to revise the proposal I’d sent for the next book. Sigh. I had to write a new chapter and rewrite the synopsis. I turned everything in on Friday, determined to take that self-imposed break over the weekend.

On Saturday I had a lovely book signing with my friends Dakota Cassidy and Michele Bardsley. We did a Q&A session for about 45 minutes, and then we signed books. I had so much fun, and was inspired by the whole event. So much so that I had to stop in a parking lot on the way home. Pull out my notebook and write down some ideas for a character in a YA I’m working on.

But I wasn’t at the computer so I didn’t count that as “real work.” On Sunday I’d promised myself a day on the couch. I was a little under the weather and it seemed like a great idea. I was catching up on some of my screeners for the new TV season. In the middle of “Destination Truth,” which is coming up on SyFy, something clicked in my brain and I had an idea for an interesting plot twist in another project I have stewing. LOL.

I can’t wait to write both books, which means my break is over. If I’m counting right, I think it might have lasted 8 hours. At least I was able to squeeze a nap in there.

So how about you? How do you force your brain to slow down? Or do you?

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009 by Sasha White
Guest Blogger: Agent Laura Bradford

In this profession, we all want an agent. Someone to be our advocate, who will champion us and sell our work for oodles of money. Finding an agent isn’t easy, and finding the right agent for you is even harder. Thats because not every agent does every thing. Some don’t like to read and offer opinions or revisions to their clients. Some are very editorial. Some are only comfortable with specific genres, some just want a good story, no matter what genre.

Laura Bradford has been in the publishing arena for fourteen years. She’s been an editor, a writer and bookseller. Now she’s a literary agent. In fact, she’s the Bradford Literary Agency. And she’s our guest blogger today.

How dark is too dark?
by Laura Bradford

One of my authors gave me the idea for this blog topic when she asked me to read a chunk of her latest work-in-progress with the question, is this too dark? In my work I have to always be mindful of marketability but really I have a pretty high tolerance for darkness and I have been known to like some intensely dark material. Like alienatingly dark. Give me a character who commits a despicable act and then make me love them. Give me a character that is morally gray and make me sympathize with their choices. I even know where this deep love of mine came from.

Like most everyone in this business I grew up an avid reader. When I was a kid, I got a $5 allowance every week (or was it every month? Dang, that part of my memory is awfully foggy) and I would go straight to the bookstore and spend it. Back then you could buy two kids or YA books for $5…in my case usually Nancy Drew or something elevating like Sweet Valley High. Anyhoo, one week when I was 11, I was at the bookstore and I found a book that totally changed everything for me—btw, thank you Waldenbooks, Southland Mall, Hayward, California for your badly mis-shelved young adult section. Because there amongst the Sweet Valley High books and the Nancy Drew Files was an Anne Stuart romantic adventure trilogy. It promised romance, it promised adventure and danger and intrigue. With spies. It looked…titillating. I bought the first book and started reading it while I waited for my mom to pick me up. Some emergency had happened and she was late that day—this was before cell phones so pretty much I was stuck sitting there until she showed up. I read that entire book while I waited as if a whole other universe had opened up for me and it totally had. I lapped up the other two books in the series as quickly as the first.

At the time I didn’t know that these were my first genuine adult romance novels but moreover, these were also my first what I would call “ballsy” reads. It is funny how much you can get formed by your early reading life, but seriously, like a baby duck I imprinted on those Anne Stuart books like you don’t even know. Also, to this day, if I ever run into Anne Stuart at a conference, I am incapable of not gushing all over her like a crazy fangirl. Makes no difference that I have been involved in publishing for a decade—underneath it all we’re all just book lovers at our cores. I think she has probably heard my story about how her Maggie Bennett books were my first romances about six times now but to her credit she never told me to get lost and leave her alone. These books have been out of print for a very, very long time now so hopefully you will forgive me the slight spoiler. The first book in the trilogy is completely a romance: boy meets girl, they fall in love (as bullets fly and they are on the run for their lives, around the world and back) and they end up together, happily ever after. The second two books in the trilogy have a vastly different, much darker tone and unfortunately, when book two opens, our hero from book one has been gunned down in the street and our heroine is a grieving widow. In Romancelandia, this is a pretty monumental sin. In book two, we learn that hero number two is guilty of committing an act that is completely unforgivable and the darkness continues on into book three. From soup to nuts, collectively the trilogy was an exercise in ballsy writing, risk taking, defying convention and being unafraid to explore some dark spaces. Of course at 11 I didn’t know there were romance rules. I had no clue that Stuart had taken a huge risk alienating her readers. I just knew that it spoke to me. And moved me. And thoroughly compelled me like nothing else ever had. She is still a ballsy writer today and I love the thrill of opening up one of her books hoping that as I read and she is throwing the writerly punches, she doesn’t pull a single one. Anyone out there read her Night Fall or Moonrise? Dude. There are no words. Talk about dark. Maybe I should call this blog, In Praise of Not Pulling Punches. Her Ice books embody these qualities, too and I love them.

I think that through exploring darkness in characters, you often end up exposing their layers. A layered character is certainly a richer, more compelling character to me. No one is all good or all bad…I like ‘em complicated and messy. I like it when good characters do bad things. I like it when bad characters do good things. So back to my author who had asked me to look at her scene with a question about whether or not it was too dark–if it is important, it is a scene in which the hero and heroine (who have not yet fallen for each other) get into a rather serious scuffle. I ask, what would happen if he was cruel…what would happen if he didn’t pull HIS punch? What would that reveal about his character? And would you still be able to make me love him? As a reader, I want to see all that flawed humanity. To use a more contemporary example than my nostalgia-laden references to OOP Anne Stuart books, has anyone read Heartsick by Chelsea Cain? It has this quality in spades and it is awesome on the complicated, fabulously layered character front. So. Now that I have rambled on about story elements that melt my personal butter for a while (thanks for listening), I will throw it open to anyone who wants to ask me Agent-y questions. I’ll stick around today and check the comments. Thanks for having me, GenReality!

About the Bradford Literary Agency:
At the Bradford Literary Agency, we specialize in all types of romance (including category), romantica/erotica, women’s fiction, mystery, thrillers and young adult. We also represent non-fiction and other fiction genres. All queries sent to us will be considered with the exception of poetry, screenplays and short stories.

We do not charge reading fees for evaluating your material.

We are an editorial-focused agency and prefer to work closely with our authors in helping to build strong, sustainable careers. We believe the best author-agent relationships extend beyond making sales; in order to best serve our clients’ needs, we must also be a partner, an advisor, a careful listener, a troubleshooter and an advocate.

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009 by Joe Nassise
Story Structure at Storyfix.com

I’ve been busy over the last two weeks with several different story development projects.  I’ve had to draft out the action for the third book in the Jeremiah Hunt trilogy so that I can start writing that when the edits to book two are completed early next month.  I’ve also been working with fellow writer Jon Merz on a Top Secret multi-book project.

In the midst of all this, I stumbled upon a series of posts on story structure by bestselling novelist Larry Brooks over at his Storyfix blog.  Over the years I’ve read a ton of material on how to build and develop stories, everything from Chris Vogler’s The Writer’s Journey to Robert McKee’s Story to John Truby’s The Anatomy of Story.  As you might guess, I fall squarely into the camp that says a story must have an underlying structure for it to be not only cohesive but stand the test of time and I work hard to build that structure into each of my projects.

Despite my solid understanding of this process, Larry’s Story Structure series was interesting reading because it explained that basic structure in a way that was not only easy to understand but easy to recognize when holding the model up to stories which we might already be familiar.

I suggest that you drop over to Storyfix and read the series for yourself, but I’m going to summarize it here in a nutshell because it is almost a perfect mirror of what I do in my own work.

According to Larry, there are four main building blocks that make up a story.  You must have all of these blocks, and they must be in the proper order, for the story to work.  The four blocks are:

  • The Set-Up
  • The Response
  • The Attack
  • The Resolution

In The Set-Up, the writer must establish the stakes, must make the reader care about the main character(s), and must introduce what is going on in the hero’s life before the first big plot moment.  The Set-Up ends with the inciting incident or first plot point, in which something enters the story that is in conflict with the hero.

In The Response, the hero reacts to the emerging conflict.  He might run, hide, investigate, observe, whatever in order to come up with a plan to deal with the conflict.  Then, just when the hero thinks they have everything together, that they know just how to deal with the conflict, everything changes.

In The Attack, the hero becomes active, tries to fix things to attain the goal that he has set for himself.  He goes from being an observer to being a proactive participant in resolving the problem before him.  The Attack ends with the second plot point, the final injection of new material into the story that gives the hero what he needs for the final confrontation.

In the last of the story building blocks, The Resolution, we discover how the hero finds the courage and growth of character to push forward with a solution to the conflict that has been forced upon him.

Larry goes into a far deeper explanation than I just did, even touching on elements like context shifting midpoints and first and second pinch points to drive the story forward and help it build organically toward its conclusion.  I’ve been writing stories with this basic structure for seven years and I still found something useful and new in his posts.

For anyone looking to get a better understanding of how a story is built from the ground up, I highly recommend it.

Monday, August 24th, 2009 by Carrie Vaughn
A Query Letter That Worked

I found my agent using a one-page query letter.  People often seem surprised that I did so.  In fact, the process worked pretty much like all the Writers Digest and how-to advice tells you it’s supposed to work.  And yet, some people don’t want to believe it.  They’ll spend large amounts of time and money going to conferences, attending pitch sessions (I heard someone was even starting up a workshop to teach people how to pitch at pitch sessions), schmooze in person, because they believe that without that personal, aggressive networking, they’ll never land an agent.  I’ve never heard an editor or agent say that they took on someone’s manuscript after an in-person pitch session.  It’s simply not necessary to go through that.  It doesn’t give you a leg up.  You’re better off with the query letter.  It’s the established system by which agents find new clients.

No, it’s certainly not easy finding an agent with a one-page letter.  This is mostly a function of there being lots and lots and lots of people looking for agents.  It took me four tries — I landed an agent with my fourth novel.  It still took a dozen letters before I got a nibble.  This is where the persistence really comes into play.

Here’s the letter I used:

[my address]
[my email address]
[my website URL]

November 22, 2003

[The Agency's Name and Address]

To Whom It May Concern:

I am seeking representation for my novel, Kitty and the Midnight Hour, which is complete and available for review.  A sequel is in progress.

My short stories have appeared in Realms of Fantasy, Weird Tales, Talebones, and Polyphony and have received Honorable Mentions in The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror and The Year’s Best Science Fiction.  I am a 1998 graduate of the Odyssey Writing Workshop.

Kitty and the Midnight Hour is supernatural/dark fantasy, in the spirit of works by Laurell K. Hamilton and Tanya Huff.  Short stories featuring the main character have appeared in Weird Tales:  “Doctor Kitty Solves All Your Love Problems” in Summer 2001 and “Kitty Loses Her Faith” in Fall 2003.  I recently sold “Kitty and the Mosh Pit of the Damned” to the magazine.  The first story is available on my website, www.carrievaughn.com.

Twenty-four year old Kitty Norville is a werewolf who hosts a late-night call-in radio show, The Midnight Hour, offering advice and opinionated conversation to her audience of supernatural beings and non-supernatural listeners looking for a vicarious thrill.  The show brings her fame, and fame brings its own headaches.  Rivalries threaten to tear apart her pack, a werewolf hunter sets his sights on her, and a police detective persuades her to help solve a series of gruesome supernatural murders.

Thank you for your time in considering this proposal.  Please let me know if I can send you the manuscript of Kitty and the Midnight Hour.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely:

Carrie Vaughn

Breaking it down:

Introduction:  very short.  That’s the theme for the whole letter.  Ultimately, the manuscript will speak for itself.  The goal for the query letter is to prove that you are a professional who can string grammatically correct sentences together in your chosen language, and that you have a good idea for a book.  Don’t get fancy.

Publication Credits:  I found that my short story credits, while not getting me entirely out of the slush pile, did get me to the top of it.  I got a better response to my query letters after I started selling short stories.  It was a signal that told agents that I was committed to the genre, I had a foot in the door in the field, and that I could create sellable fiction.  However, if you don’t want to write and sell short stories, don’t do it.  This isn’t a requirement.  If you don’t have any previous publication credits, don’t make them up.  Only list credits if they’re from reasonably well-known publications that will tell something about you and your experience.  Otherwise, just don’t say anything.

The Pitch:  This is the Hollywood pitch.  The one sentence description that shows how your work fits in the marketplace.  Also relevant to this particular manuscript was the fact that I’d sold short stories with the same character, showing that there was a market for the stories.  I’ve heard that some agents hate it when authors try to relate their works to other authors, because they see a lot of people comparing themselves to Stephen King and J.K. Rowling in a misguided attempt to label themselves as potential bestsellers when in fact they’re really not.  The authors I chose to use as a comparison have a very specific set of books, and my attempt was to show that there was already an audience for books featuring vampires and other supernatural creatures — just like my book had.  Again, keep this section short and be honest about where your work fits in the marketplace.  (You’ll notice I didn’t use the term urban fantasy, because in 2003 it wasn’t really being applied to these books yet.)

The Summary:  This is the section that gives writers the most trouble.  How on earth do you condense your 400 page manuscript into one pithy paragraph?  I thought of it like this:  What would I put on the back cover blurb?  You’re not retelling the whole story here — save that for the three-page synopsis you’ll include with the manuscript.  The point of this paragraph is to set the tone for your story, get across the gist of the novel, and hook the reader — like a back cover blurb.  And please keep it to one paragraph.  Agents are very busy and you’ll only have their attention for a minute or so.

And a brief sign out.

Why I think it worked:  This query got me requests from two agents to see the manuscript.  The manuscript then sold itself because I’d been working on it for a year and it was as absolutely as good as I could make it (although I spent another year revising to my agent’s and editor’s specs).  I think the query worked because it identified a specific, recognizably popular market for the novel; it described a story that had a specific hook (the werewolf talk radio show); and it showed that I had a track record.  It was enough to get me a chance, and that’s all a query letter is supposed to do — get your foot in the door.

Some other comments:

Life Experience:  I didn’t include this in my query letter because it wasn’t relevant.  But if you’re a former NYPD Detective and you’ve written a police procedural, absolutely include that in the query letter, probably after the novel summary.  If your book is about the lives of astronauts and you work for the NASA astronaut training program, tell the agent, because that’s relevant and interesting.  If your experience isn’t relevant, leave it out.

Follow the agency’s guidelines.  If they want e-mail submissions, send via e-mail.  If they want snail mail, send via snail mail.  Include an SASE.  Do they ask for a partial? (First three chapters and synopsis, usually.)  Send only what they ask for.  Deviating from the guidelines will only piss off the agent and get your query tossed.

Keep records about what you sent to whom and when.  Query, partial, full manuscript, etc.  Record replies.

Actually finish the novel before you start querying.  I’ve heard too many stories about writers who started querying before the book was finished — then got a request for the whole manuscript within days of sending out the query.  Because Murphy’s Law rules the universe.  Save yourself the agony of writing 30,000 words in a week and sending out a crap manuscript, or the agony of admitting to the agent that you aren’t finished yet.  There will still be agents out there when you finish, honest.

Don’t stress.  Really.  Send your queries, move on to the next item on the to-do list.  Some agents that you query will not reply.  That’s just a fact of the business.  It’s not personal.  You’ll get rejected, and sometimes the agent will give you a reason — and the reason will baffle you.  Just let it go.  Move on.  Write the next novel while you’re querying for the last.

Ironically enough, I initially found an agent through a personal connection — a friend had joined a new agency and was looking for clients.  That turned out to be a bust.  It was hunting for an agent the difficult, old-fashioned way that really paid off.

Sunday, August 23rd, 2009 by Sasha White
Sunday News

Things are happening here at the Genreality blog.

First off, thank you to everyone who commented on last Saturdays What Would You Like Post. You’ve beena help, and we’ve got some things lined up that I hope you’ll enjoy. Including a Theme Week in Sept where each of us will give our answer/take on Paiges question “At what moment did writing for you turn from being just a hobby to play around in to something you took seriously enough to create a salable novel, and a resulting career?”

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More Big News…Our own S.L. Viehl has just sold two more Lynn Viehl novels to NAL. Dark fantasy/paranormal romance ones, for those that are curious.

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In other news, we’ve added a new member to our group. Candace Havens, author of the best selling Charmed &… series will be joining us as out regular Thursday contributer. You can read her bio on the ABOUT US page. Her first post will be up this week, on August 27th, and we’re thrilled to have her. I hope you’ll all stop by to welcome her to the group.

I’ll be the regular blogger on Wednesday now, and I’m still bringing in guests. This week’s guest blogger is Agent Laura Bradford, and she’ll be talking about – Well, you’ll just have to come by on Wednesday and see. ;)

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The Random winner pulled from those of you that commented and shared from my Fun Faith post onThursday is PTN, who “asked about being published…the hope of an aspiring author”

PTN. please use this CONTACT Link to email me your Book choice, and shipping address. :)

Thats it for this week. Happy Sunday, everyone.