I sense disturbances in the Force

Some fun things I get to announce.

  • First and foremost, I’ve accepted representation from Ginger Clark at Curtis Brown.  I’m so, so excited.  I queried Ginger with my new project, MOONSET, which was pretty scary at the time.  Even if you’ve had an agent before, it’s just as hard and stressful to go through the stages of  querying again.  But I know I’m in good hands, and so excited to get to work with her.
  • WITCH EYES has been added almost 500 times on Goodreads.  Probably by the time most people read this, it WILL be over 500.  That’s weird to me, because I think of my book as this nice little niche book. 😉
  • I’m almost finished with the sequel to WITCH EYES, which has gone back to the original title of DEMON EYES.  I’m writing the finale right now, and I have so much love for this book it’s not even funny.  I’m not someone who shares scenes or snippits with other writers while I’m still writing, but I cannot stop talking about some of the dark and creepy moments in the second book.
  • I’ll get to share my cover for WITCH EYES (which, if it’s anything like the cover comp I saw a month ago, is going to be AMAZING), probably sometime after the first of the year.  The cover is hands down exactly what I would have wanted had I designed my own cover (except way better, because as we know, my way involves crayons…).

I have been a slacking little blogger in the last few weeks.  But I’m going to change that after the first of the year.  So I’ll be back and blogging more regularly then.  In the meantime, I hope you all have a safe and happy holiday season!  Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do!

A Couple of Videos

Just a quick update to share two really cool videos.

The first is an Spanish promo for the final season of Lost.  It’s fan-made, has no new footage, but its still really awesome.  Chances are if you’re a Lost fan you’ve already seen this around the internet somewhere.

The second is more personal.  A writer friend sent me an email the other day mentioning my agent, and a book she thought was mine.  So I went and watched the video, and sure enough it was Colleen talking about the road to selling my book.  It was super sweet (and features a new Colleen client at the end, too!) and was a real ego-boost when I was avoiding my writing yesterday.  I consider Mondays my own personal day of rest, and I won’t write on Mondays (because they are evil) but yesterday was a panicked “must clean everything in sight” day for other reasons.  So seeing that video was so much fun.

Fast forward to about 3:40 if you want to hear the part with Colleen.  The other stories are just as interesting though!

Looking Back: the Agent Phone Call

Just a random collection of questions I wished I would have asked once upon a time.  In hindsight, I think they might have illuminated a lot about prospective agents.

1.  Are you pro-snow, or do you secretly make voodoo dolls for snow and torture them in your closet? I wouldn’t say I have a hatred of snow.  I don’t think that fairly covers exactly how I feel about snow.  I think the closest way to explain it is to pretend that Snow is equal parts Brad Pitt and Gwyneth Paltrow, I am Kevin Spacey, and the movie is Se7en.  “What’s in the box,” indeed!  I think it’s important to find someone who hates snow just as much as I do.

2.  What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream? Mine happens to be vanilla.  Any permutation of vanilla.  So you might think that the more wacky your choice for favorite ice cream flavor might work against you.  But this is a trick question.  There’s no WRONG flavor of ice cream – the only wrong answer is that you don’t like ice cream at all.  You could even be allergic to dairy, or be lactose intolerant, and that would make sense.  We all love things that hurt us.

3.  Are you a diehard fan of Buffy/Lady Gaga/any other pop culture reference I may throw your way? Because frankly, nothing improves my opinion of you than knowing you agree with me.  And being able to spend hours babbling on about how much better Buffy got when she got a haircut in season 6, or how awesome the new Gaga single is…well that can only be a match made in heaven.  Who cares if I haven’t finished the edits I promised, if I’ve almost finished my Halloween costume of <insert randomness here>.

Note:  this post is severely tongue in cheek.  Embrace the sarcasm.  My agent is awesome, and though we agree to disagree about our feelings on Snow, I’m still a fan.

What are some tongue in cheek, Not Serious questions you would have asked prospective agents?  Btw, avoid the “boxers or briefs” standard.  I know most of us are DYING to know, but seriously.  Some information you just can’t burn out of your brain.

#Failgate

Well, what else would you call it?

I’ve tried to stay out of the whole thing. I read the thread the other night, after a good 200 posts were already up. And wow. Whoever said the agents did it with more tact were totally right.

See, there’s a difference between venting, and just spewing bile. And in a lot of cases, that line got crossed. I didn’t even know what to say in regards to it, I was so uncomfortable. Still am. I don’t care who you are, or what your experiences you’ve gone through. Bad behavior does not condone worse behavior. An agent not responding to your query is not an excuse for spreading spite across the Internet while hiding behind an anonymous tag. There were a number of people who managed to make their points without such hostility, and those were the only posts that were really interesting to read.

For the record, my agent’s kinda awesome. Except scratch out that kinda. She could have stopped submitting my book when the first round all passed (which I’ve heard stories of other agents doing). But she hasn’t. She’s tireless. Plus, she never hesitates to make me laugh at least a dozen times when I talk to her on the phone. And I just know she’d be a great time to go drinking with. (Which I will do someday when she’s made me insanely wealthy). 😉

And I think everyone’s just jealous. Yeah, that’s it.

Colleen ftw.

New Year, New….Stuff

So first things first.  I’ve been extremely lax with updating the blog.  I’m going to make an effort to start changing that up, start commenting more on other people’s blogs, etc.  Work in progress though. 🙂

Lets get the personal stuff out of the way first.

So work’s been fun.   A few months back, my roommate moved out, and I started having double the expenses (roughly) every month.  Then the economy crashed.  And working as a waiter, and depending on tips, it got a little rough.  My last couple months has been frantic with trying to keep my head above water (which I have, for the record.  That’s why you’re seeing this blog post).  Thank goodness income tax season comes soon.  That’ll be a big help.

Aside from other work drama, I’ve got a friend who’s leaving for Iraq at the end of the month, and all the drama associated with that.  So I’ve been keeping him in my thoughts, and just kinda…doing the social thing before he goes.  That sort of thing.

2008 was, by and large, one of the best and worst years of my life.  I lost a few family members, lost a few friends, and lost my way a few times.  But I also made lots of strides in my writing, found an agent, made some new, really good friends, and all that.  So it’s kinda even on the scale.

On the writing stuff, I’ve been playing around with two other ideas, trying to put words down to see where they’ll take me.  Neither one of them has grabbed me and said "you must write me right now" the way Braden did.  But I got a good start on both of them so I’ll have something to go back to later.  In the meantime, I’ve been working on Demon Eyes (the tentative title to the tentative sequel) and getting the setup down.  But after thinking on it a few times, I think the beginning actually starts a little earlier.  So I’m working on a new intro, which is actually kinda fun.  We’re getting to see just what sort of reaction Braden gets now that people are starting to Figure It Out.

My only real concern is deviating too far from the outline I sent Colleen.  I realize that people deviate from their outlines all the time in publishing, but usually what happens with me is that I realize I’m going down a completely different path than I should.  So I have to go back and rewrite.  And that could change the entire tone of the book.  But I’m not going to let that get me too down.  It’s like worrying about the milk that hasn’t spilt yet.

And then finally, other news.  Witch Eyes is out on submission again, and I’m starting to get incredibly nervous.  I got to read the pitch letter my agent was sending out, and let me just tell you how freaking cool it was.  My first thought was "Oh my god.  That’s my book!  Right there.  That’s my book!"  And Colleen did a great sell of the book, going back to our first email conversation about it.  Way back in April, she mentioned that the book reminded her of "Smallville meets a gay Romeo and Juliet."  And it’s such a good fit, and good way to describe it, that I was totally stoked to see that line in the pitch letter.

Okay, so that’s my life in a nutshell, more or less.  What’s up with everyone else?

We Will Run

I’m continuing to work through some edits, most of which aren’t so bad.  But I’m finding a discerning need to line edit as I go, and I’m trying to get out of the habit.  Honestly, the prose is fine.  (Or so I tell myself).

A few things I’ve noticed, now that I’ve had some space and distance from Witch Eyes.

1)  I usually consider dialogue one of my strong points.  That said?  There are a few sections of dialogue that are made of EPIC FAIL.  Seriously.  I’m talking "good god, no one I know has EVER talked like that in the history of mankind."  That kind of stuff.  My general rule of thumb is that if I can’t read it out loud and not cringe, then the dialogue needs work.  And it’s really funny, because it’s not whole swatches of conversation.  It’s usually one line, or a couple of lines, and it’s only ever one or two characters (not the same ones).  I think this can be attributed to either not ‘getting’ the character at the time I wrote that particular scene, or some other variable I haven’t determined yet.

2)  While the story stands up stronger than I remember, I have this really terrible habit of Inspiration!(!!!!!!).  Inspiration!(!!!!!!!) is usually when a character (particularly Braden, in this book) keeps Realizing!  The Truth!  About Everything!  And OMGITALLMAKESSENSENOW!  Over and over again.  And then a few more times, in case you didn’t catch it.  The thing is, the scenes I’m referring to?  The information is all there anyway.  It’s not like it’s any great leap of insight.  But I keep acting like it is.

3)  I blame my agent, and my ex-roomie for the fact that I can no longer refer to the name of the town without thinking of The Simpsons* in my head.  Originally, my goal was to kindof have an Everytown vibe.  This is the kind of city that could exist anywhere, in any state.  But as the novel progressed, that’s really not the case.  So I spent a few days mulling over ideas, and then I made a list.  And with that list, I ranranran over to the thesaurus, and started looking at synonyms.  Low and behold, I found something that became the new name of Braden’s town.

* In case you’re wondering?  Everytime the name Springfield comes up in the book now?  I flash to the opening creditswhere they sing out "The Simpsons" and zoom into Springfield.  Every time.

4)  I have a couple scenes that stick out, that I knew something was funny about, but couldn’t figure it out.  With some of the changes I’m making?  It works a whole lot better.  I’ve got two in particular I’ve got to rewrite, and at least one is moving sooner in the book, but it’ll make things a lot stronger in the long.  The scenes themselves accomplish what I need to accomplish, but just not at the right time.  Thus, moveage.  

5)  And finally, I think I’ve figured out a few things about the ending.  See, this is ending 2.0.  And much like ending 1.0, there was something about it I just didn’t like.  It kinda feels like when a train goes off the track, and just keeps rushing down the dirt road.  You know it should be on the track, but you’re not quite sure where it fell off.  Now I’ve got an idea of how to fix that, and I think it’ll clean the ending up nicely.

And that’s about it.  I’m still shooting for a good of ‘end of the month’ because I want to get some crit-feedback before I send it off to Yon Agent.  (Why did I start referring to her as Yon Agent anyway?  Got me.)  Oh, and I"m still working crazy hours.  it’s fun, really.  If anyone tells you working 1-1 in a restaurant on a Friday isn’t a great time?  They are SO lying.  (Or you’re not understanding my sarcasm).

Heads Will Roll

So where’ve I been?

Work, mostly.  See, we had this manager, who was stressing everyone out.  So I had to pick up some slack from her and the other manager (who’s sortof my favorite).  Stressful Manager kept getting worse, and I started doing more and more.  And with everyone going back to school, we were short handed.  We’re slowly getting it under control though – I actually have enough people now to schedule the minimum we need for the front of house.

Maybe another couple of weeks, and I’ll be able to have TWO days off a week.  Crazy!  

In other news, I talked over WITCH EYES with Colleen, and some really useful notes came up in the resulting conversation.  I’ve got a pretty good frame of reference now for what I want to do.  A lot of stuff Colleen suggested, or pointed out was lacking, was stuff I either a) had already written down at some point in the past, or b) something Leah or one of my other beta readers pointed out.  But because so much happens that’s important to the story, and I was worried about my final word count, I didn’t do anything to add to it.  However, Colleen thinks that with the edits suggested, and the stuff I already know I want to cut, I can still hit around 90 and be okay.  It’s at 88 now, and I think I’m only cutting a couple of parts, and knocking that down to around 85.  Then with the little things I’m adding (some are just little references and details throughout the book), I’ll be in good shape.

So I’ve been taking the last few days to really just think about what I’m going into this edit and hoping to accomplish.  I’ve got two pages of notes on what to work on, and where, and I’ve got another page of notes from that phone call from Colleen.  Since I only work a half day tomorrow, and then off all day Thursday, I’m going to try to make some progress on the ACTUAL editting part.

I’d like to have this done by October 1st, but I’m also not going to make myself crazy trying to get everythign done that I need to.

And crap, I’m going to be late for work.  Again.