It’s been awhile cause I’ve been busy doing busy writer shit.

That’s a joke…kind of.

New Release: I did finish the first novel in my next series. As per usual, it is nothing like I’ve written before. It’s a new adult sexy dad thing. Not quite a romance. Not really a comedy. Although the early reviews all seem to think it’s funny. I guess the public will decide. Check GOT MINE here.

Query Update:  I decided to send the manuscript that was kindly rejected, to an editor/proofreader. She is someone that has never read any of my work. I’m hoping that gives me a fresh perspective on my writing.  She came highly recommended and works with one of my fave writers.

Technically, she is beta reading. Beta reading is when someone reads your completed WIP and critiques the shit out of it. Beta readers don’t mess with spelling, grammar, punctuation. They get to the meat and bones of the story. In my case, I want to know the following:

  • Does the plot suck.
  • Are the characters likable.
  • Will the reader care?
  • Does it flow from scene to scene?
  • Does it need more romance, internal dialogue, story?

I won’t share who I’m using until the read is complete. Just so I can give an honest review of her work and how it has affected my work.

Fingers Crossed.

Book Signings:  Here is my lastest signing schedule. I’m hoping to add a few more. One in Seattle and on in San Francisco.   I’d love to meet up! (ticket info below)

Book-Signing-Graphic

Authors in the OC: http://bit.ly/2tkEKvz
Traveling Bookshelf: http://bit.ly/2toSqWH
For the Love of Books NOLA: http://bit.ly/2tl0OGw
For the Love of Books Boston: http://bit.ly/2shMJd1
Book Bonanaza: On sale July 31st.
For the Love of Books Phoenix: http://bit.ly/2tp7Wlo

 

 

I sent a query to an agent. I realized after I sent it that I didn’t mention anything about being self-published. It bothered me at first, but now it’s like, whatever. Does it really even matter? My first book bounces around in the top 100,000 on Kindle’s paid list. It’s better than the top 500,000, right? I wondered if my self-published success or failure would impact an agent’s desire to work with me.

After I sent the query I started stalking websites of other agents I might query. Here’s the thing. This agent’s literary agency only takes children’s books. Well, children’s, MG and YA. My book is more like new adult without high sex content. So, why did I query her?

  1. She asked me to.
  2. I have a solid excuse as to why she can’t represent me should she pass.

Excuses. Excuses. I need these to keep me from slipping into a hole filled with donuts and french fries. A hole that will take me hundreds of hours on the treadmill to dig out of.

On my quest to find other agents should this agent pass I realized something.

Not all published books do well.

Agencies liked to list books they represented. So, I looked up a few and found they have less reviews and lower ratings than indie books in the same genre.

I started thinking why am I torturing myself? Why do I stand in front of the class in my underwear. Landing a lit agent might not amount to anything. Why am I setting myself up to fail?

Because what if I don’t.

What if this agent loves this book and knows the right editor who happens to be looking for this style at this time. What if that publisher wants to buy my book?

I have to believe that every great accomplishment started with what if.

What if I build a computer?

What if we make these wheels round?

What if I add cream to this coffee?

What if I look back on this post and think, “What if I never sent that query?”

 

 

 

Today I want to talk about writing conferences. Two things to know before you go:  Are they worth the money? Will the information they provide help my writing?

Unfortunately, the only way to answer those questions is to go and find out for yourself. Everyone is different. This is just my opinion/review of the conference I attended.

San Francisco Writers’ Conference. Attended 2012, 2013, and 2014 – The first thing I will say is this. I initially loved this conference. The information I learned in 2012 and then in 2013 made me the writer I am today.

In 2012 I only took two a la carte classes. Cost: $99

  • One on how to query which is where I learned that I was a complete and total moron. I shudder to think of the query letters I sent to agents before I took this class.
  • Second class was with an NYT best-selling mystery writer. This 3-hour class taught me SO much. Story arcs, setting up plots, sub-plots, how to layout a story in general.

I left that class on a mission. A mission to complete my book and to attend next year’s conference.

In 2013 this is what the conference was about. Cost: $650 (plus $50 for the speed dating with agents)

  • Classes were geared towards basic writing methods, building your writing skills, figuring out how to tell your story.
  • I learned about POV, story structure, why backstory is bad, and the basic elements of fiction writing.
  • I sat in on panels with authors and agents speaking about the current market. The genres that were hot, what was not.
  • I was told that self-publishing was the kiss of death if you ever wanted to get an agent.
  • I went to a class on platform and building a social media presence. This was very helpful because I was clueless when it came to Twitter.
  • RL Stine spoke at the conference he was funny and so cool. And also very inspiring.
  • Bella Andre, a successful self-published author spoke about her experiences with being published and self-publishing. We were told she is the exception, not the rule.
  • At the keynote luncheon, a panel of agents sat on stage saying if you self-publish we won’t even open your manuscript. Unless – you sell 10,000 books.
  • I speed dated with agents. I pitched 6 agents. 5 of them asked me to query them.

I left this conferences with such a huge boost to my ego and a very positive outlook on my writing career. The conference takes place over President’s Day weekend which was also Valentines’ weekend. My husband and I had loads of fun and the hotel is beautiful. The next day I crashed my car. I spun out in the rain and hit a light pole, it fell on me and totaled my car. It was a very scary and humbling moment in my life. I felt like the universe was trying to tell me something. It turns out, I’m just a really bad driver.

In 2014 this is what the conference was about. Cost: $680

  • Classes on how to use Smashwords, in fact, they were a sponsor of the conference. They spoke about their website and how to use it to self-publish.
  • I attended a panel of self-published authors that said don’t listen to the agents in the other room. You can publish your book online and be successful without them!
  • I listened to a panel of agents and publishers say do not listen to those self-published authors. I guarantee you they are trying to get an agent at this conference.
  • Every other workshop I attended was just like the one I went to the year before.
  • At the keynote luncheon a panel of agents, most of the same ones from the previous year sat on stage and said – We’d love to work with you and help you decide if you should self-publish or traditionally publish. WTF?

I left this conference conflicted. I learned nothing new. Agents seemed to be turned on their head when it came to self-publishing. With the success of 50 Shades of Grey, indie authors were on the rise. During 2013-2014 indie authors like Colleen Hoover and Abbi Glines were signed to Atria Books (a subsidiary of Simon & Schuster the largest publishing house in America).

The only place you will find someone snubbing their nose at a successful self-published author today – is a room full of literary agents. Self-publishing makes their existence obsolete.

For the sake of this blog – I looked up the latest SF Writer’s Conference agenda. I didn’t find one class on actual writing. The majority of classes are focused on marketing, promotions, how to self-publishing, how to make money. Lots of classes on money, it’s all about the money. It’s almost embarrassing to read the agenda. They call it a writers conference, it should be called a “How to make money” conference. The registration is now $750!  The agent list hasn’t changed, it’s still 75% the same agents as the last 4 years. The keynote speakers are “best-selling” authors that I’ve never heard of. I looked up one of them, Heather Graham, some of her books have less Amazon reviews than mine!

My final thought on the San Francisco “Writer’s” Conference – SKIP IT! You will learn more googling than at this conference. Unless you’re all about the money, then I suggest you keep your $750 and invest it in a good editor!

One very important tip I want to pass on: At the conference, they really encouraged us to follow the agents we wanted to query on social media, specifically Twitter. So, I did. It didn’t take long to realize that I didn’t really like the agents I was so desperate to work with. They complained – a lot. Some were even writing their own novels in the genre that I was writing. (Hello, conflict of interest) A few just weren’t good people. I realized that I didn’t want someone like her to represent me or my work. She would be in charge of my future, and she was a cunt. This was the agent that all the other agents were like, “She will love your book.” Long story, short. I never queried her or any of the 5 agents that asked for my book. Nobody can represent me better than myself.

Spoiler Alert – I self-published it.

I can’t believe its only been one year. Just 12 months since my first book was released.

I feel so blessed and humbled by the support and love I’ve received from the book community. There are no words, and for a writer, that is pretty serious.

I’m kicking off my book birthday week by giving away my book for FREE.

That’s right. FREE.

FREE THIZZ FOR EVERYONE!

Get it here: http://amzn.to/2e75dSJ

free-book-birthday

When I was fourteen I knew everything. I’d seen everything. I was right about everything. You couldn’t tell me anything.

When I was twenty-four I was wrong about everything. I screwed up everything. You couldn’t get me to believe in anything.

When I was thirty-four I figured out some things. I saw some things. Learned some things. You couldn’t convince me to change a thing.

Today I’m forty-four. I’ve seen a lot of things. Been through some shitty things. Came through big on some great things. Learned good things. Listened to some better things. Realized things, like things don’t matter. When I thought I knew everything, nothing made sense. When I surrendered to the fact that I knew nothing, my life started to mean something.

I’ve known it all. Seen it all. Loved it all. Left it all. Lost it all. Found it all. Ate it all. Created it all. And most importantly – lived through it all.

I’ve heard the term Wattpad blowing in the wind for some time now. One of my favorite author people – Colleen Hoover – put a book on a Wattpad for free. Thought it was cool.

Fast forward to last night. I was thinking about my novella. I wrote it for charity. I wanted to offer it for free, but Amazon won’t let me. I’ve already given away more copies than I’ve sold, as it should be.

This morning I loaded the book to Wattpad for all to enjoy for free. If you want to buy it on Kindle it’s only 99 cents. Why pay when you can read for free!

The Excursion: A Vacation Novella on Wattpad

You have to create an account on Wattpad to read it, but that’s free too! 2016.01-Iheartfreestuff-new-660px