Promoting #Pit2Pub, the newest Twitter Pitch Party!

Those of you who know my publishing story, know that it was a Twitter pitch party that led me to my publisher. Now that I have another book completed – a romantic comedy, which Fantasy Works just doesn’t publish – I am shopping for a publisher for that as well, and will be shopping it at the newest Twitter pitch party, #pit2pub, on July 15th. For more information, please read below!


The Intro: Who has fun spending hours creating that perfect 140-character pitch? Then bouncing that sentence or two off others to see if it’s fantastic? And finally having to create a couple more so you’re not posting the same one every few hours?

The Why: Kristin and Ann know what you’re going through. In fact, they both did quite a few Twitter Pitch Parties so they know your pain. Kristin remembers what it was like to see that little colored star and then checking and re-checking email to confirm that someone did in fact click on the pitch and favorite it. And Ann’s recalls her heart pounding and her palms sweaty, all the while hoping and praying that it wasn’t made by accident from a friend or some complete stranger who marked it and not re-tweeted it by mistake. They both trolled the feed all day long and didn’t work their day jobs (well, mostly this was Kristin).

So it’s because of those reasons Ann M. Noser and Kristin D. Van Risseghem wanted to help other authors. So why not pay it forward? They are fortunate enough to have a published book, and working on their second. But let’s face it, the best reason for them doing this? IT’S FUN! So let’s all have a blast, help each other out, and maybe, just maybe, you’ll find that perfect relationship between author and publisher.

The When: Here’s the date for #Pit2PubJuly 15, 2015 starts at 8AM and ends at 8PM (CST or CDT, which is Chicago time).

The What: What is #Pit2Pub? A Twitter Pitch Party for writers to tweet a 140-character pitch for their completed manuscripts. Have several variations of your Twitter pitch available. The pitch must include the hashtag #Pit2Pub, the Age Group, and the Genre (#YA, #MG, #A, etc. see chart below) in the tweet. It’s important to include the hashtag(s).

Age Groups Hashtags:
#PB = Picture Book
#C = Children’s
#MG = Middle Grade
#YA = Young Adult
#NA = New Adult
#A = Adult
#WF = Woman’s Fiction

Genres Hashtags:
#CB = Chapter Book
#CL = Children’s Lit
#E = Erotica
#ER = Erotic Romance
#ES = Erotica Suspense
#HF = Historical Fiction
#HR = Historical Romance
#M = Mystery
#Mem = Memoir
#LGBT
#LF = Literary Fiction
#NF = Non-fiction
#R = Romance
#PNR = Paranormal Romance
#RS = Romantic Suspense
#SFF = SciFi & Fantasy
#S = Suspense
#T = Thriller
#W = Westerns

RULES:
Authors of all genres are welcome to pitch their completed and polished manuscripts. You can pitch more than one manuscript. Tweet your pitch throughout the day, but no more than twice per hour per manuscript. When you see an industry professional on the feed, tweet it once. Remember to include the hashtag #Pit2Pub and genre.

The publishers will tweet their submission preferences and favorite your tweet if they wish to see more. If you get a favorite from an agent or publisher, follow their submission directions on their website or look for them on this blog. Then send them their request as soon as you can. They may have tweeted what they want you to send, so check their twitter feed for that information.

Make sure to put “Pit2Pub Request: TITLE” in the subject line of your email when sending your request.

Don’t tweet agents and publishers directly unless they tweet you first.

Don’t favorite friends’ tweets. You can RT your friends to show your support. Save favoriting for publisher requests to avoid confusion.
Be sure you research each requesting publisher. Don’t submit if you don’t want to work with them.

Be nice and courteous to each other and to the industry professionals. If you do see abuse, please report it to Twitter or notify Ann or Kristin right away.

Check back on their blogs (http://www.kristinvanrisseghem.com/blog) or Ann’s Blog (http://annmnoser.com) as we post the list of comfirmed publishers who have signed up to monitor the feed on July 15, 2015!

Thank you! And let the fun begin!!!

An Exercise in Perfecting the Elevator Pitch

I’m trying to sell a book.  I have a few books on the horizon, but only one of those will be ready to start sending out to agents and publishers within the next few months, so I’m struggling to work on my agent package.  Once I have completed my final draft (I’ve got a few more steps to go, but I’m getting there!), I fully intend to start going to a few networking events and networking my way to a book deal!  A girl can hope, anyway.

So, you’re my first pitch! I’m giving you a one line intro to my manuscript.  And I’m not just going to pitch you this book.  I’m going to tell you what I’ve got stewing on the back burners as well.  Because you guys are my blog followers, my loyal readers, and if I didn’t share with you first, what kind of a person would I be?

So first, the actual book I’m marketing, which would be Book 1 of a series of Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance.  I’ve got all 7 (at least) books of the series planned out, to varying degrees.

The Order of the Key: After discovering that she is the long lost member of The Order of the Key, a group that hunts interdimensional creatures, eighteen year old Jacklyn Madison becomes the prime weapon in a war between the group’s brutal leader and her idealistic son.  

The next book on the list is a romantic comedy.  It is complete, but needs MASSIVE edits, and perhaps a rewrite.  So, it will be a long time coming, but it’s there!

Legally Insane: A traumatic event leaves Leah Marinillo with an imaginary friend – her favorite television character, Carter St. James – who is on a mission to help her repair her boring, broken life.  

The final two are just twinkles in my eye.  I’m still in the outlining stages, so the distance from these will increase or decrease depending on the work it takes to make the other two shine.  Most especially, if the series gets picked up, these get put in the fridge or freezer to get heated up later.

First, the New Adult/Literary Fiction novel.

The Broken Hearts Club: Through a series of journal entries, recovering alcoholic and writer Grayson Butler chronicles the trials of his close knit circle of friends as they endure the “worst year ever” – a year rife with illness, backsliding, rediscovery, relationships formed and relationships up in smoke.   

And Second, the Paranormal Romance…

Soul Sight: All his life Martin Treadway has been looking for someone to tell him he’s not crazy, but when he finally meets someone who can, he learns that there is something worse than being haunted by ghosts – being hunted by one. 

So, what do you think?  Are you interested?  Would you like to read them?  Do you hate the very idea of them and wish to set them on fire before I even write them?  Be honest in the comments below!

New Years Resolutions

Before I begin, I would love to wish all of my readers Happy Holidays.  Whatever you celebrate, I hope you enjoy your time and as we approach that countdown to a fresh start, I hope you can look back at this year with happiness in your heart, and look forward to a year filled with new and interesting possibilities.

OK, so I lied last week and said that I’d be writing about Bad Guys this month, but I won’t.  We’ll get back to that next year.  In the meantime, I’d like to discuss something a little more on theme.  New Years Resolutions.  Which I hate.  When you sit around in December and look at your life over the last year, New Years Resolutions make you feel cranky.  They are rigid goal posts, planted in the ground to remind you of all the stuff you were supposed to do, but drove right on by.

So, I don’t make resolutions.  I make possibilities. I ask myself, “This time next year, where would you ideally like to be?”  And I remember that word, ideally.  Because it is important.  Life is usually far from ideal and a lot can happen in a year. As long as we don’t make resolutions, and list ideals, we can keep a clear eye on the list as potential goals, and not as failures when we don’t hit each of those goals within a twelve month period.

So, what are my goals for 2014?  I have a list.

1) Logan will be starting Kindergarten next fall, so I’d like to hope that, by the end of 2014, I will have a decent routine going after the great big change in the status quo.  Here’s hoping that by next December, I’m not still racing into my office late everyday because I still haven’t figured out how to get him to school on time.

2) I hope to be able to better manage my time.  I seem to have a real problem doing everything I want to do.  Which is not for lack of trying.  So, I’m trying to become better at procrastinating less, and staying more on schedule so I can have more time to see people and to get out and try new things.

3) I plan to manage my money better.  I went through quite the financial crisis this year, and I don’t intend for it to happen again.  So I’m trying to become smarter about how I manage funds, which means not spending extravagantly, and not offering to buy for everyone like I have a million dollars.  I don’t know why I do that!  But thankfully, nobody who loves me seems to allow me to anymore without a fight.  Thanks, supportive people!

4) I continue to shop out my short stories in the hopes of publication. I haven’t been getting any bites, but hopefully I will be celebrating another short story publication in the year 2014.

5) I would like to finish revisions on The Order of the Key and start shopping it out to agents/publishers by the end of 2014.

6) I want to get in better shape.  Do not read that as “lose weight.”  I just want to be more healthy, i.e. get my migraines under control, get my eating under control, exercise more.  Just generally become a more healthful person.

7) I would like to complete at least my first round of revisions on Legally Insane.  I do not expect to complete the revisions for this right away – the book turned out being about double the size it was meant to be, so I know this set of revisions is going to be extensive.

8) I have completed a prequel short story for the series I’m working on, Keys and Guardians (The Order of the Key is the intro book to that), and I would like to complete edits, begin shopping it out, and, preferably, have that published by the end of the year.

9) I have also recently started a new short story that I hope to have completed soon.

So that is my list of goals for next year.  This should probably give you a decent idea of what I will be babbling about over the next year.  Stay tuned for my end of year post, my year in review.  2013 was a sweet year.  2014, here I come!

You, Me, Doug, and Leah

Sometimes, I mutter under my breath while I do the dishes.  My husband, Ismael, always thinks I’m talking to him.  I’m not.  I clarify this.  And then it gets weird.  Who am I talking to?  Doug.  As Leah. Or Jacklyn.  As Kyp. You see, sometimes, when dialogue isn’t running correctly in my head, I need to talk through it.  Out loud.  And it makes me sound crazy.

Ismael never does this himself, but he doesn’t question it.  In my family unit, eccentricities like this, the occasional screamed “WAIT!  I need to write this down!”, the fact that our computers or at the very least, a notebook, must be packed everywhere we go, are deemed normal.  A popular mantra in our household could be, “Whatever it takes to keep writing.”

I wonder how Logan, my four year old son, will adapt to these oddities.  Will he pick up these little habits we’ve got, or will he just grow up thinking writers are crazy and do everything he can to avoid it?  I’m happy either way.

Apparently, my connection to my characters is a little strange, even to my husband.  I recently completed a manuscript that stars the aforementioned Doug and Leah.  Unlike the manuscript I’d been working on with Jacklyn and Kyp, this one has no sequel planned for it.  This is an actual end for characters I have been living with on and off since before the birth of my son. I seem to be having a difficult time with it.

So, a couple of days after Leah and I parted ways, I was laying on my couch, computer on my stomach as I often do once the baby is asleep and the chores are complete, with Ismael seated in a desk chair beside me.  I smiled, and Ismael noticed.

“What are you thinking?”

“I’m wondering what Doug’s Facebook status would be today.”  This was not the first thought I’d had that was similar.  I had also wondered about how Doug would present his relationship status changes (which I’m not going to explain because it could spoil the story).

I do that often.  Placing my characters into quirky real life settings that I would never write them into. Sometimes, they lead to quirky real life settings I actually do write them into.  I mentioned the dishes earlier for a reason.  My mind clears when I do dishes.  I don’t know what it is about them, but I’m always able to brainstorm while I do that particular chore.  One day, while brainstorming some dialogue between two characters, I realized they needed to be doing something while they talked, so the scene didn’t get bogged down with back and forth.  The main group of characters live in a large house together, so I decided the teens should be on dish duty.  This ended up becoming a motif in the story, to the point that when the pair is separated, one of the characters finds dishes to be a nerve wracking task because it reminds him of the other.

You may think I’m insane.  I feel very grateful to live with a writer because he doesn’t.  When I say something like, “I can imagine what Grayson would think about that,” in the middle of a conversation, he is unfazed – and not at all jealous of the many men, women and children that have taken up residence in my brain.  And as crazy as you may believe the both of us are – one thing is for sure.  I’ll never be lonely.

The Next Big Thing Blog Hop…Again!

The awesome Jess Sturman-Coombs tagged me to blog hop with her again, so I figured I would discuss my latest writing project (aka, what I’m tackling now that I’m in edit mode with The Order of the Key).  Because I’m out of projects to successfully blog about, I’m not going to tag it forward – simply because I fear being tagged again.

And now to attempt to answer some questions about a project I have mentioned on this blog before without going into great depth.  Here goes…

1.  What is the working title of your current/next book?

Legally Insane.

2.  Where did the idea come from?

This story started as a simple tale of a divorcee who had lived her life for her husband until her divorce, and is now trying to find herself professionally, socially, and personally. That portion of the story admittedly arose from a personal place.  My mother was a housewife for my entire childhood, and hadn’t held a job since before my sister (who is 12 years older than me) was born.  When I was 14 my parents divorced and my mother was forced to navigate the working and dating world (to varying degrees of success).  Leah Marinillo was created at a time where I was creating an active wish-fulfillment world in which my mother had an easier time of her transition. There were differences, of course – Leah is not a mother, she is younger at the time of her divorce, and her husband is a soul-sucking bastard of a human being (my father is not) – but Leah’s journey was in many ways an idealized version of what I wanted for my mother.  

However, the story stalled there.  I had this great story of a woman re-establishing her own sense of self-worth in the world, but when I tried to sit down and write it, it just didn’t have legs.  I couldn’t find a strong motivation for my characters and it was a little too normal for me, given my tendency towards the bizarre.

It wasn’t until I was having a conversation with some of my friends in the Stargate fandom about what it would be like if the characters acted as the angel and the devil on your shoulders (Daniel as the angel, Jack as the devil, for anybody familiar with the series).  I thought it over and I started to play it out in my head – walk through my day with either Jack or Daniel commenting on everything I did as I did it.  Did they approve?  What did they think I could have done better.  And Carter St. James was born of that – he became Leah’s Guardian Angel / total hallucination – her favorite television character walking through her life and telling her how badly she was handling it.

3.  What genre does your book fall under?

Romantic comedy.  

4 .  What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

This one, I haven’t got much for.  There is a severe lack of actresses who look like Leah – short, somewhat plump, with a mess of auburn curls.  Doug, Leah’s love interest would definitely be  Michael Shanks.  Carter would be Ben Browder.  Callie, Leah’s best friend, was created as an amalgam of my two best friends in real life, Joy and Allegra, and my best online friend, Pip.  Appearance-wise, I’d probably cast Warehouse 13’s Allison Scagliotti.

5.  What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Previously content to be a housewife, Leah Marinillo navigates a divorce, a new apartment, a new job, new friends and sexual tension with her new boss, all while taking orders from her favorite television character, Carter, who appears to her after a traumatic experience to set her life straight.

SUCH a run-on, but I’ll take it.  

6.  Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I intend to attempt the traditional publishing route first.  If not, wherever the wind takes me.  The wind will likely take me to self-publishing, in that event.

7.  How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

I’m still writing it, although admittedly, so far it has been a massive jumble of scenes without any structure.  I am just starting to organize it into chapters and see what I have missing (since I write out of order).

8.  What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I think this book can compare well with any romantic novel that doesn’t take itself too seriously, and any story about a woman finding her place in the world.  There’s a lot of that out there in the world, but I’m hoping my little Carter-shaped twist makes this one unique.  

9.  Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I think this is accurately answered in number  2.

10. What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?


I’m hoping that this book will accomplish my mission of sending the reader on all of the emotional ups and downs of starting life anew.  By Chapter 4, Leah is embarking on a new life and has no idea what to do with it – and even when she gets it, she’s got a bunch of kinks to work out.  Even Carter isn’t always the great fount of wisdom she thinks he should be.  

Okay, that’s the project I have just started working on.  Please pop on back in two weeks when I discuss why time is always on your side.  Until then, Happy Valentine’s Day!