Tuesday, June 30, 2015

10 Reasons Why Every Writer Should Join Twitter

If I were a writer stranded on a deserted island with only ONE social media outlet, I'd choose Twitter, hands down.
Twitter for Writers
Source: Coletivo Mambembe


If you're not on Twitter, or are just dipping your toe in the waters, here's a little rundown of some of the awesome writerly things going down on Twitter.

             {  Need to get a handle on Twitter Basics first?
                     Check out InkyGirl's awesome Twitter Guide for Authors  }

10 Reasons Every Author
Should Join Twitter

  1. Meeting Awesome Writer-Folks
    Need help finding friends?

    Tip #1: Start with a fellow writer you know. See what other writers they interact with. Follow those writers. Also tune in to #FF (Follow Fridays) to see who they recommend following and why. See if they have any Twitter "Lists" of other writers you might want to follow too.

    Tip #2: Go beyond "the follow," "the writing tip," and "the retweet."
                { Do those too though ;o) }
    Talk about your day, your cats, your kids, your epic fail at chocolate mousse. Talk to folks. You can talk to me, for starters. Check out the hashtags below.

    Tip #3: Insert yourself into conversations. We're friendly! We don't bite! We're all here to procrastinate be social.

  2. Writing Chats
    There are a TON(NE)-and-a-half of great writing chats on various topics going down every week. For starters, check out the following hashtags (Warning: Following list may be slightly biased toward pure awesome): #YALitChat, #MGLitChat, #NALitChat#WNDBChat, #WNDBnano, #WriteStuff#SciFiChat, #FantasyChat#RWChat, #YAFeministChat, #BlackLitChat, #KidLitChat, #KidLitArt, #storycrafter

    Also check out chats hosted by:  @gayYA

  3. Writing Motivation & "Sprints"
    Need a little encouragement? Motivation to get your writing on track this month? We are here for you! Check out #WriteMotivation, #IWSG, #RSWrite (I'm doing this one this summer! <3), and also #JustKeepWriting, #1LineWed, and of course National Novel Writing Month: #NaNoWriMo, #JuNoWriMo, #CampNaNoWriMo
    Or do you need that extra push to write as much as you can in an hour?
    Here are some "sprinting" tags:  #1K1H,  #1K1HR, #WordSprint, #WriteSprint#WriteClub, #WordWar, #amsprinting, or my personal favorite #500in30

    { Protip: Add "Search" Columns to Tweetdeck to monitor multiple hashtags at once }

  4. Query Research
    Want to know what agents/editors are looking for right now? Did you know Twitter is the best place to find that info?? Check out Manuscript Wish List: #MSWL, and also find tips and agents live-tweeting the slush on #querylunch, #askagent, #tenqueries, #querytip, #pubtip, & #500queries. You can also see/subscribe to my Twitter List of ~500 Literary Agents

  5. Pitch Contests
    If you've been around my blog or twitter awhile, you know I'm a huge fan of the Twitter Pitch Party. Held on specific days throughout the year, pitch parties are a great opportunity not only to get your pitch noticed by agents and small presses, but also a fantastic way to meet new writer friends! Here are some of the main twitter pitch contests that happen throughout the year: #PitMad, #SFFPit, #adpit, #kidpit, #PBPitch#WritePit, #PitchMAS, #CBPitch, #DVPit

    { Also check out my Pitch Contest Calendar }

  6. Writing, Editing, and Marketing Tips
    There are tons of tricks, hints, and protips being shared on twitter all the time: from plotting, to character development, to worldbuilding research, to line-edits, to prepping yourself for your book launch. Find some knowledgeable folk to follow, and soak it all in!
    Here are some awesome accounts to get you started:  @LaraEdits@Janice_Hardy@ShesNovel@tweetonsisters@SubItClub@nownovel@writerology@WriterUnboxed, @WriteToDone@WriterThesaurus

    Also: When and if you feel up to it, share your own!

  7. Keeping up with (Writing) News & Events
    There's a ton going on in the writing world, and it can be hard to keep on top of it all. Book releases, giveaways, awards, bloghop and guest post opportunities, writing & publishing webinars & workshops, Book Expo/Convention/Conference announcements. It's much easier to keep up with what's happening if you have a network to let you know about all the latest news and events! Beyond that, it can be a great way to get other news headlines too, with awesome commentary from those whose opinions you respect!

  8. Chilling with Your Favorite Authors
    Just read something you love? Tell the author! It's okay to write a fangirl/boy tweet and tag the author. It might just make their day. They might even chat with you! :oD

  9. Forging Relationships with Readers
    Admittedly, this is something I don't have a lot of experience with, seeing as I'm still in the pre-published phases of this publishing journey. But even those of us who don't have books yet have an awesome opportunity to build relationships with our future readers.

    (Notice I said "build relationships" NOT "push your book"
    That's an important distinction. Twitter is a place to be friendly, not pushy.)

    Know some book bloggers or librarians who like the exact same books as you? Talk about those books with them! If they say they liked a book, it's okay for you to jump in and gush too! Strike up a conversation with someone about a common interest. Passing conversations could turn into an awesome friendship one day! And that's the day you can talk about your book, because at that point you won't be pushing it ... they'll be asking to see it!
  10. Sharing Your Blog
    Twitter is a great place to share links to your latest blog, tumblr or instagram post (if you have a writing account for that). It's one of the main ways that I remember to check my fellow writers' blogs on a regular basis, especially if the topic is something I'm intrigued in. I also know that for this blog, tweets are one of the main sources of my blog traffic so ... yeah. If you have a blog and are trying to grow readership, it works.

    A good guideline to follow is to tweet your link once or twice max in a day, so as not to be spammy.

  11. Sharing Your Book

    However, Twitter is not a place to hop on and just blast links advertising your book. Some people do it. I don't recommend it. Doing it probably won't help you ... in fact it will probably just scare people away.

    People should be pulled to your work. You should not have to push it.

    That said, a little bit of sharing is a good thing. Put your latest book titles in your bio so everyone can see them along with the publication/release years. If you have any awesome announcements about a giveaway, or your upcoming release/launch party, or sweet fan art, do share! Just don't overshare. Follow other authors that are in the same place in their publication journey and mimic their best practices.
{ Oh, before I forget! Here is My Twitter, in case you want to chat! :oD  }

Related Links:

What about you? What are your favorite reasons for using Twitter? 

Saturday, June 27, 2015

#pg70pit Agents' Combined Manuscript Wish List

Want to know what the agents participating in the  #pg70pit Contest are looking for?

Me too! After all, as a co-host, my job is to try and select the entries that have the best chance of finding the agent that's dying to sign that very manuscript. So I did a little research on #MSWL, and bios. And this is what I found.

Below is a combined Manuscript Wish List (MSWL) for the 27 agents partcipating in #pg70pit, divided by age category. In other words, a taste of what the agents are interested in seeing. The lists are long, but hopefully somewhat helpful! Enjoy!

Red text = Recurring themes that many agents mentioned

After the contest is over, I *might* be persuaded to post these divided up by agent. But it will take a bit of doing, so you'll have to convince me ;)

Who are the agents? Click here.

General #MSWL:
  • #WNDB: MCs of color
  • #WNDB: Stories set in other cultures, Caribbean, Asia, Cuba, Latina, Portugal 
  • #WNDB: Different abilities/disabilities, religions
  • Books that beg for a playlist
  • Bonus points for: Michigan settings, small town settings, stories involving rescue dogs, Doctor Who-esque, dolphins, dinosaurs, pirates, unusual subcultures
  • Cinematic feel
  • Contemporary
  • Diversity not only in race & gender identity, but also body types, abilities, religion. Intersectional.
  • Female protagonists that are "strong," but not in terms of physical strength.
    Instead of fighters, MCs with intelligence, emotional strength etc
  • Focus on friendship issues: falling-outs, break-ups etc
  • Non-US settings
  • Retellings: beyond fairytales, folktales, other retellings, alternate POVs (ie antagonists)
  • STEM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics)- heavy books,
    .... especially with female MCs
  • Thrillers
  • Voice-driven: poetic, literary

Middle Grade:

  • #WNDB - POCs as protags, different religions
  • Adventure stories, adventures but with a literary voice
  • Animal stories: Classic feel (ala Watership Down), or with animal not as protagonist, books with rescue dogs, books with dolphins, books with dinosaurs
  • Alternate History
  • Contemporary, contemporary, contemporary!!
  • Contemporary with very light fantasy or sci-fi elements, contemporary Sweet Valley Twins, funny/light-hearted, realistic but with a quirky plot
  • Coming-of-age
  • Crossover appeal to older age brackets
  • Dark, honest, dealing-with-adult issues
  • Fantasy: High fantasy with a fresh take, or fantasy that feels historical/real, big, unique worlds, heroic stories, unicorns, dragons and daredevil princesses
  • Historicals
  • Horror ala Goosebumps
  • Humor
  • Literary
  • Mysteries
  • Non-US Settings: Asia, Portugal
  • Protags who are: Spunky/brainy, funny/confident, Hermione-esque, Alanna-esque, Arya or Sansa Stark-esque, who are artists, who are into STEM, into sports
  • Retellings of non-fairytales
  • Sports themes: especially soccer or football
  • Stories that "teach" about an unusual subject: non-English language, obscure field of research
  • Steampunk or something similar
  • Voice that's smart but accessible
  • Voice that reads Victorian/Edwardian (ala E. Nesbit)

Young Adult:
  • #WNDB - Protags of Color please // LGBT // Dealing with mental health issues
  • Cinematic feel
  • Contemporary, Contemporary, Contemporary!
  • Contemporary Retellings: Shakespeare retellings, Breakfast Club reimagining, 
  • Contemporary: Voice driven novels from unusual perspectives, or that is hard-hitting, punky, or fangirly/geeky/cosplay/comic-con, or sporty
  • Contemporary with very light sci-fi or fantasy elements
  • Contemporary drama ala Gossip Girl
  • Edgy: Dark,  gritty hard-hitting, no romance, over-the-edge, teen sex workers, love interests with criminal records, stories about blackmail/revenge porn
  • Fantasy that feels "real"
  • Fantasy: High fantasy with fabulous world-building, Multi-cultural fantasy, fantasy with queer protags, fantasy in the vein of Red Queen & Darkest Part of the Forest, fantasy with an Arya or Sansa or Alanna protagonist, a Fantasy where you hang out with the "normal" kids -- the Hufflepuffs not the Harrys.
  • Female protagonists who are "strong" but not necessarily in the physical sense. They're not fighters
  • Female protags occupying stereotypically male roles/interests, lady knights
  • Focus on friendship/sisters. Girls supporting girls. Friend breakups. Books that aren't about romance.
  • Funny coming-of-age, full of heart, or quirky comedy ala Romy & Michele's HS Reunion
  • Geekery
  • Genre-bending / mashups
  • Historical: roaring 20's, Mad Men, hist-fic from unusual eras (e.g. Cold War), 1980s, Ancient China
  • Historical Fantasy, ala Great and Terrible Beauty, Moulin Rogue
  • Horror, Horror, Horror!
  • Horror set in Asia, gothic horror, historical horror, post-apoc horror, ghost stories, urban legends, twisted fairytale, horror dripping with blood/gore, also horror without much blood/gore, horror ala Turn of the Screw, atmopsheric horror ala Bates Motel
  • Issue stories that are stripped down, rather than self-indulgent. Humor okay.
  • Magical Realism
  • Mystery ala Veronica Mars, with a snappy protagonist, chick-lit detective story, a cozy but not cute mystery
  • Noir
  • Non-US Settings: Asia, Ireland, Middle East
  • Platonic Relationships
  • Protagonists ala Veronica Mars, Hermione Granger, Arya, Sansa, protags that are artists, protagonists that are geeky, or cunning/clever, lady knights, expats, protags who like STEM
  • Retellings: of non-fairytales, horror-fairytales, Romeo & Juliet in the Middle East, fairytales from the antagonist's perspective
  • Romance: Light-hearted with a super-sweet love story, romance ala Katie McGarry
  • Science Fiction: that's light on the sci-fi, sci-fi with aliens, SFF set in Asia, sci-fi that tackles moral questions, big/epic/adventure sci-fi
  • Shapeshifters of unusual varieties only
  • Sports stories, sporty girls ala Any Way You Slice It
  • Thrillers, Thrillers, Thrillers, THRILLERS! ;)
  • Thrillers: Psychological thrillers or high stakes mysteries, literary thrillers, thrillers with magic ala the Prestige, MCs who can "profile" ala Criminal Minds, light-hearted ala Catch Me If You Can, a heist story, creepy thrillers, revenge based thrillers
  • Unreliable Narrators

Adult Fiction:
  • Book club fiction: focus on friendships, contemporary fiction about love, friendship, family & overcoming adversity
  • Bookish settings: bookstores, libraries, manuscript archives
  • Cinematic stories
  • Characters: First generation Americans, 
  • Cozy mysteries: bonus points for a "Storage Wars" like team of characters, with humor
  • Dark/Edgy: Women behaving badly, Affairs, Serial killers (but not a crime novel), dark ballet
  • Fantasy: Epic, steampunk/gaslamp, fantasy that almost reads historical, fresh take on high fantasy, a Fantasy with Ferris Bueller as the MC, a Fantasy where you hang out with the "normal" people -- the Hufflepuffs not the Harrys.
  • Historical Fiction: anything set in roaring 20s, anything Mad-Men-esque, Anne Boleyn, 1980s
  • Issue driven stories
  • Horror: Psychological, medical
  • Light, quirky: Detective chick-lit, rom-coms
  • Literary: Love stories, tear-jerkers, Literary suspense
  • Magical Realism: magic realism with a literary voice
  • Non-US settings!!! Asia, Caribbean (w/local perspective), Ireland, Middle East,  a dark ballet set in Russia
  • Romance: Romantic comedy, steamy/swoony/spicy romance, a modern You've Got Mail, historical/regency, sci-fi romance
  • Science Fiction:  Sci-Fi that reads literary, Sci-fi that doesnt read like sci-fi, light-hearted sci-fi, non-western sci-fi, older protags, sci-fi with aliens, sci-fi that tackles moral questions, big/epic/adventure sci-fi, SFF humor re-invented (not derivative of Pratchett or Adams), sci-fi Oceans Eleven, Pushing Daisies, or Fiddler on the Roof. The Outsiders in Space. Sci-fi with a Stranger Than Fiction tone.
  • Steampunk ... or the next steampunk
  • Thrillers: suspense with a noir aesthetic, a thriller Girl w/Dragon Tattoo, but set in the Middle East, literary thriller ala Night Film, a thriller with magic/illusion ala the Prestige, crime fiction ala Thelma and Louise meets Broad City
  • Transgressive Fiction
  • Urban Fantasy that feels classic, but fresh, with new creatures
  • Voice: Literary, or Irreverent yet serious ala Doctor Who
  • Westerns
  • Women's Crime Fiction of the quirky variety
Related Resources: #MSWL Twitter Hashtag || MSWL Archives || MSWL Paragraph 
   ... and don't forget to check agent's bios / agency profiles!

See anything that sounds like your manuscript? Run and get your entry ready for #pg70pit! Submissions open soon!!!

Announcement: I'm a #pg70pit Co-Host!

Have you heard that I'm a Co-Host for the new pitch contest in town?
Concocted by the fabulous Lara Willardthe contest is called:


... and it's not your normal pitch contest. 

As the name implies, you will not be submitting your Twitter Pitch, or your Query, or your first 250. No, we're digging deeper into your book. What we really want to see is your Page 70.

Other cool thing about the contest? We're dividing up submissions by age category. That means each age bracket will get equal attention!

**Note: This contest is for completed manuscripts only **

The Details:

Submissions will open SOON (July 1st through 3rd, check below for the time slot for your MS' age category). After subs have closed, the slushies and co-hosts will make their recommendations and Lara will select the top 7 entries from each age category. Following this, us co-hosts will select 7 entries to "save." The winning entries and saves will be posted on our blogs on July 7th, at which point the agents will hop around and request material from the ones they love.

Really Lara has written up all the details very nicely on her webpage, so I'm just gonna point you in the right direction:

When to Submit:
     7/1 - MG manuscripts
     7/2 - YA manuscripts
     7/3 - Adult manuscripts

How/What/Where to Submit

*Sample* Submission Form (We're not open for subs yet)

Who's Deciding Your Fate?  Meet the Hosts, Co-Hosts, and Slushies

Who are the Agents?

I'm the MG Co-Host!

What does that mean? Well, for all you Middle Grade authors out there, it means:

 *I am in charge of your fate* duh duh duuuuuuuhhhh

Okay. Partially in charge. Okay, sorta have some say in a small part of it. Really what it means is:

I might fall in love with your MS! 
I might pick you for the agent round!

I don't have an #MSWL, but if I did one for MG it'd go something like this...

I love wildly imaginative or deeply moving MG contemporary. I adore thoughtful, precocious protagonists. I love adventure stories, preteen sleuths, atypical families, everyday mysteries, high fantasy, stories about kids of color. 

That said, I'm researching the #MSWLs of the participating agents, and those will be the things at the front of my mind as I read through the entries this week.

Want to know what I've found so far? I thought you might  ; )

Well stay tuned. That post is coming very, very soon.

** UPDATE: The #pg70pit combined agent MSWL is here! **

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Using Tweetdeck Columns to keep track of Pitch Contests

There are a lot of contests coming up in the next few weeks, but in fact, contests crop up all throughout the year. Sometimes it's hard to remember when the next one is coming, or what the submission guidelines are.

One great trick to staying on top of the contest buzz is to add a column with the contest hashtags to Tweetdeck. Did you know that tweetdeck can handle Boolean operators?* Well now you know!

{I also keep a contest calendar}

"But that's a lot of work," you say, "to find and type in all those contest hashtags!"

Nope. Because I'm doing the hard part for you. 

Just copy-and-paste the text below into a new "Search" column in Tweetdeck, and you're off and contest tracking!

#PitMad OR #adpit OR #kidpit OR #pg70pit OR #PitchWars OR #PitchMadness OR #PitMadness OR #QueryKombat OR #NoQS OR #PitchSlam OR #SFFPit OR #NestPitch OR #JustPitchIt OR #SecretShop OR #SunVsSnow OR #NLpitchperfect OR #PitchPlus1 OR #RTSlap OR #AgentMatch OR #WritersforHope OR #TheWVoice OR #RTSlap OR #TheWritersTank OR #PitchMas OR #PBPitch OR #PitchSqueak OR #PitchToPublication OR #MysteryAgent

Or, if you'd prefer to do a regular twitter search with these terms, click here.

Need help adding the column? Just give me a shout-out on Twitter. I can walk you through it :D

(*Basically, this means you can include multiple items in your search, e.g.: #amwriting OR #amediting)

Got any other tips for using Tweetdeck effectively for pitch contests etc? Know of any contests I missed?

Monday, June 22, 2015

Ready Set Write update ...and dealing with life after Charleston.

This is going to be a longer-than-usual Ready-Set-Write post because: Charleston.

This week, you guys, this week. It started out with trivial problems. Big in my world at the time, but now they seem trivial. First, there was a miscommunication with my babysitter and so I didn't get the baby-free hours I usually do during the week. On top of that LO got sick and started waking every 30 minutes through the night again. Then I got sick.

And then Charleston.

Charleston hit me hard. I sat there, staring at the computer, little guy finally in bed, and saw the reports coming in on twitter. It was my time to write, but I couldn't write. I tried. I just couldn't.

I live in Sydney, but I'm from the U.S. and the fact that America continues to be a country that can produce people filled with such racist hate ... it makes my heart hurt.

This has to stop.

So instead of writing this weekend, I just started reading. Everything I could find about how we can possibly respond to this sort of thing. And I still don't have any real answers. But I'm starting to see the shape of a few things I (as a white, US expat, writer/reader) can do to educate myself and others about diversity and empathy, and to support authors of color. I'll try to post about that soon. In the meantime, here are some links to the highlights of what I read:

7 Ways to be a White Ally for Charleston and the Black Community || Why it's so Hard to Talk to White People about Racism || Institutional Racism in the Publishing Industry || WNDB Summer Reading Series || Charleston -- Another example of why We Need Diverse Books || Blavity

Okay. Well obviously that's weighing heavy on my mind.
However, I still need to give you my Ready Set Write Update, so here it is:

How I did on my goals: 
Okay. Surprisingly I finished most of them. That's good.

Finish edits of Chapters 6-11 of YA sci-fi: Check 

Read one fun book: Sorta Check  This summer, I'd been meaning to catch up on a bunch of classic sci-fi reads. But Charleston made me re-think my priorities. 

After getting partway through Larry Niven's Ringworld, I decided to stop and re-dedicate my summer to reading books written by black authors. So now I'm about a third of the way through The Galaxy Game by Karen Lord. It's really good. 

Check out my review of my friend Natalie's super fun MG Fantasy Mia's Optiscope here! It's set in Sydney (where I live) and is just so imaginative and also a sneakily fun way to learn about the history and natural history of the area! 

Complete two beta reads: Check ✔ 

Start New Research Book: Check   
I've been working through several handbooks on beekeeping to see if I can glean some more tidbits for my cyborg beekeeper story

Plan edits for Chapters 12-18 of YA sci-fi: Sorta Check   *sorta: I've decided to cut a few of these chapters, and now am in the midst of a big decision to perhaps move scenes from chapters 2-4 into this portion of the book instead. But I'm kinda waiting to see what my agent thinks about this. So.... the waiting game. 

Goals for Week 3:

Write new transition scenes and new action scene to add to finale
Finish reading The Galaxy Games, start another book by an author of color.
Write a blog post.
Maybe integrate old scenes into new section (if agent okays it)
Get well.

A favorite line from my story OR a word/phrase that sums up what I wrote/revised:

"Amelia?” I said, but there was only silence. 
The screen of my handheld shone with the default 
white-on-gray text: ASTERIS OFFLINE."

This is one of the new lines from my editing, and it also I guess hints at how I felt this week. Disconnected, confused, offline. Sad. Angry.

The biggest challenge I faced this week:

Lack of sleep. Illness. Feeling ill equipped to deal with Charleston and America's ongoing racism problem as a reader/writer/person. Yes my MC is a POC, yes my story touches on the idea of prejudice. But I need to dig deeper. Do better. Take a hard look at the authenticity of her voice and the helpfulness of her story.

Something I love about my WIP:
My secret weapon is that I kinda love editing. Love adding in new layers and tightening up old ones. And I really love my new scenes. :)

Want to know more about Ready, Set, Write? Check out the blogs of our lovely hosts: Jaime MorrowKaty UppermanErin FunkElodie Nowodazkij, and Alison Miller.


What do you guys think about Charleston? I feel so lost. What is a proper response to Charleston? How do we even begin to fix this?

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Review-cipes: Contemporary & Historical YA

Here are some tasty teasers of a few contemporaries I've read over the past few months. I know I mostly focus on YA sci-fi and fantasy on this blog, but I love realistic too, and in fact my next WIP is a MG contemporary!

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda - by Becky Albertalli

You may have heard me and 5 million other people fangirling over this 2015 debut author's book on Twitter. Yes it is really that good.

The recipe ... for an adorable disaster:

2 not-so-openly-gay boys meet via Tumblr (but not in person) and fall in crush
... Someone finds out
Add: Blackmail + Oreos + Waffle House = Gah!
Twist: They go to the. same. High. School.

It was love at first reblog, 
...but will they ever find each other in real life?

Brown Girl Dreaming - by Jacqueline Woodson

In case you can't tell by all the awards on the cover, this is a really, really, really good book.  It's a semi-autobiographical MG novel-in-verse. It's hard to explain it and do it any justice. You really must read it.

The recipe ... for an imagination loosed:

Girl born just removed from the time of struggle
Memories flowing through bloodlines, through places.
Ohio. South Carolina. Brooklyn, New York.
A poem of life.
A journey to be free ... to dream.
And to write.

Speak - by Laurie Halse Anderson

This book is more than a decade old now, but I've just gotten around to reading it, and wow. It deals with tough subject matter (the after-effects of rape) in a very compelling and thought-provoking way.

The recipe ... for voice:

Loud, silent tangle of thoughts/feelings/emotions.
Friends both false and true.
Hands to art: pencil, brush, clay.
No one knows the hurt she's held inside, until she

Have you read any of these? What did you think? Any other recommendations for fans of these books?

Monday, June 15, 2015

RSWrite Week 1 Update

The first week of 2015 Ready. Set. Write!  is complete!!

Thanks to my lovely babysitter I was able to get some writing and editing done, and sent off the revised Chapters 1-5 of my YA sci-fi (the cyborg beekeeper one) to my agent, which is awesome and yet nerve-wracking. Hopefully he doesn't hate them!

How I did on my goals: Success-ishness!

Finish new scenes for Chapters 1-5 of YA sci-fi: 

Read one fun book: ✔ 

Read one research book:   *sorta: I ended up needing to quickly beta read two things, so I only got 50% of the way through my 'research book' { which is Laline Paull's "The Bees" in case you were curious ;) }

Post reviews of last five books I've read:   *sorta: I realized I'd already posted Amazon/GR reviews for most of them, so I added the one that I read this week. I don't often post full reviews on my blog, but tomorrow I'll be posting mini reviews of some of my favorite recent contemporary reads!

Plan edits for Chapters 6-15 of YA sci-fi   *sorta: Basically I determined that there aren't any major edits to these chapters, but that I need to try to tighten up scenes and do another line edit to reduce word count. I always write too much!!!  D..:

Gaols for Week 2:

Lol. Totally typo'd that heading, but I'm leaving it cause it's too funny XD

Edit Chapters 6-11 of YA sci-fi. 
Read one fun book
Complete at least two beta reads that are in my queue
Start a new research book ("The Bees" is a really fun story, but not as helpful for me, research-wise)
Plan edits for chapters 12-18 of YA sci-fi

A favorite line from my story OR a word/phrase that sums up what I wrote/revised:

"The stupid part was, they were kind of important."

This is both I guess: a line that I wrote, and also a summary of how I felt about my revisions this week. 'Cause yeah, I think they were important even though I started them somewhat begrudingly.

The biggest challenge I faced this week:

Oh just feeling pulled in a million directions like always. Blog posts to be written, editing to be done, beta things to read, research books, other books, edits, new stories ... the pull of Twitter ;) ... it all gets overwhelming sometimes! Also I'm still trying to find my place here in this city as a new mom (or "mum" as they call it here). Few of our friends here have young ones and that has drastically challenged our social life, which is hard on me emotionally from time to time. I've no idea why some weeks it feels more difficult than others, it just does, ya know?

Friday, June 12, 2015

COVER REVEAL: Chameleon - by KT Hanna

It's heeeeeeere! KT Hanna's new YA sci-fi CHAMELEON has a cover (designed by the awesome S.P. McConnell) and is now available for pre-order!!

You want to see it don't you?

I thought so. 

Well, you will ... very soon.

Want to know what it's about first?

Well all right then! Here's a little about the book from the author herself!

Take it away KT!

This day has been a long time coming, and I won't usually toot my own horn, but I had to share the cover of my upcoming book with everyone!

Chameleon (The Domino Project #1) is a YA futuristic science fiction story. It's set in the wasteland of earth after a meteor shower devastates landmasses, makes seas rise, introduces the psionic gene into the human race, damages the atmosphere, and gives the gift of an alien parasite to the world.

The goodreads blurb is as follows:

After Sai's newly awoken psionic power accidentally destroys her apartment complex, she’s thrown into an intensive training program. The only grades are pass or die.

Surviving means proving her continued existence isn't a mistake--a task her new mentor, Bastian, takes personally. Her abilities place her in the GNW Enforcer division, which partners her with Domino 12, who is eerily human for an alien-parasite and psionic hybrid. When her assassination duties are revealed, Sai understands the real reason for her training.

On a mission to dispatch a dangerous Exiled scientist, she uncovers truths she never thought possible. Sai is unsure who to trust as her next mission might be her last, and a double agent seems to be manipulating both sides.

Without further ado - here is the cover, by the amazingly talented S.P. McConnell.


It's finally here

CHAMELEON Domino Project Front with Text 2

Isn't it GORGEOUS!?!?!

Sit back and bask in this for a moment.

It's available for preorder for a special price of $2.99
Amazon Link

About the Author


KT Hanna has a love for words so extreme, a single word can spark entire worlds.

Born in Australia, she met her husband in a computer game, moved to the U.S.A. and went into culture shock. Bonus? Not as many creatures specifically out to kill you.

When she's not writing, she freelance edits for Chimera Editing, interns for a NYC Agency, and chases her daughter, husband, corgi, and cat. No, she doesn't sleep. She is entirely powered by the number 2, caffeine, and beef jerky.

Note: Still searching for her Tardis


To celebrate, we're giving away 2 x $10 Amazon e-gift cards (open to anyone who can receive and use an Amazon e-card) Just click on as many options as you like and enter!

Friday, June 5, 2015

Summer Crit Party - Blog Hop and Giveaway!


The mystical random number generator of the interwebs has selected a winner of the
Full Manuscript and Query Critique

The Winner is.....

Diana Hicks!!

Woo Hoo! 
I can't wait to read your MS Diana!!

However, as I was just having too much fun with the random number generator, I decided to give away two other mini-prizes of a query and first three chapters critique to two runners-up!! (If they want it, that is):

The runners-up are...

London Skye and Chelly Pike

I'll be contacting the winners shortly via Twitter!
Can't wait to read your awesome stories!


The Blog Hop is live! 

(You can also scroll to the bottom of this post) 

Contest season is loads of fun, and for me, one of the best things about it is making awesome new writer friends, seeing all the amazing stories we've been writing, and getting feedback on my own contest entries.

It's summer, and I feel like celebrating, so let's keep the party going!

There will be two "events" -- a Blog Hop for feedback on your pitch, & a Giveaway for a query + full manuscript critique from me ... you can participate in one or both, your choice!

Summer Crit Party Blog Hop

Like I mentioned in my last post, I got really bummed out when I didn't make the cut in the pitch contests last fall. But the helpful feedback I received also made me take a second look at my query and first pages and push them that little bit further

So, here's an opportunity to get some more feedback on your twitter pitch, query, and first 250 from me, and from your peers! It can be for a manuscript that's finished or unfinished, doesn't matter. Anything you need feedback on: whether to polish it up for summer querying, or to gear up for fall/winter contests and queries.

[Reminder: More Pitch Contests are coming this Summer!]

It's a bloghop, so this is how it will work:
  1. Post your entry on your blog.

    This can consist of: (a) Twitter Pitch, (b) Query, (c) First 250 words of the manuscript (d) any other brief excerpt you need feedback on (for example... page 70 ), or (e) any combo of the above.
  2. Click the Blue "Add Your Link" Button
    and enter the URL of your blog post.
    (you can also find this button at the bottom of this post)

  3. Hop over to the five people above you and the five people below you
    and give them some helpful feedback.
    (Click here for the list, or scroll to the bottom of this post)

    (For example: Entry #10 would critique entries 5,6,7,8,9 and 11,12,13,14,15. If you're at the beginning of the list, wait for the list to close and crit the five entries after you, and also the 5 entries at the end)
    At the end of the party, you should have at 10 people providing you with feedback!
    Well, eleven counting me, as I'll try to drop in too :)
    If you'd like even more feedback, feel free to tweet others to have them stop by too.

    Time to get critting!

     The Linky Sign-up will close at 11:59pm EDT (U.S.) on June 12th.

Full Manuscript Critique Giveaway

The second part of the party is a critique giveaway! Like Joan mentioned last week in my comments, I've been feeling nostalgic lately, and I really want to give something back to the awesome online writing community that has been so supportive and amazing these past few years. I love you guys! 

Anyway. If any of you (or your friends) are in need of some feedback on your manuscript (or would like a raincheck on a future manuscript), just leave a comment on this post saying "Enter Me!" Also, if you aren't logged in with your Google ID, make sure you leave some way for me to contact you in case you are the winner. Twitter, Blog address, etc. :)

All genres welcome! I am the best fit for MG, YA and NA, but anything is fine really! The only thing I *don't* do is erotica. Sorry, I just wouldn't be able to provide the best feedback on that!

Deadline: At 11:59pm EDT (U.S.) on June 12th, I will select a random number and notify the winner!

Let's Get the Party Started!

Blog Hop Linkup Below:

If you're having trouble seeing the linkup and/or adding your entry, click the URL below!


Thursday, June 4, 2015

Ready Set Write 2015

This year, I'm participating in Ready. Set. Write!

It's a summer writing intensive for goal-setting, accountability, and an opportunity to cheer each other on as we work toward our writing goals!

A huge thank you to Jaime Morrow, Katy Upperman, Erin Funk, Elodie Nowodazkij, and Alison Miller for hosting!

This Week's Goals:

1. Finish new scenes for Chapters 1-5 of YA sci-fi
2. Read one "fun" book
3. Read one "research" book
4. Post reviews of the last five novels I've read
4. Plan edits for Chapters 6-15 of YA sci-fi

Overall Summer Goals:
In early summer, I'll mostly be working on edits to FARLIGHT- my YA sci-fi. Once those are done, I can turn my attention to AVA OF THE ISLAND - my MG contemp.

1. Finish YA sci-fi edits!
2. Write 1500 words 3 days a week [ babysitter days ;) ]
3. Write 250 words 2 days a week
4. Read 15 books (at least 5 classic sci-fi and 5 debut authors from 2015)
5. Write synopses for the subsequent books in my YA sci-fi series

Want to Join? 

Check out the host blogs for details (also see the hashtag #RSWrite )!

Hosts: Jaime MorrowKaty UppermanErin FunkElodie Nowodazkij, and Alison Miller


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