Step One: Read it with a mixture of anger and depression. What kind of dummy thinks my manuscript is this bad? Other Professional Book People thought it was good, clearly you are just stupid. Also, OHMYGOD I was such a numpty to think I could make it as a writer? I don’t even have any training. My beta readers were just humoring me.
Step Two: Ask everyone you know what they think of the response:
I’ve wanted to be an author nearly my entire life (excluding the first three years, when I’m pretty sure my life goals were more along the lines of “nap” and “avoid napping) so getting picked up by my agent(!!!) was just about the most incredible thing to happen to me.
However, I’ve known since high school that writing isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. All that “writers spent all day in their dressing gowns drinking champagne” (thanks, Terry Pratchett!) stuff is, of course, as nonsensical as it enticing, but more importantly, writers don’t even get to be Jo March, or Jane Austen. It’s not enough to just write the books, you are also in charge of everything else, even if you go the traditional route, like I’m hoping to. (Fingers crossed!)Read More »
A lot of writers talk about how they take inspiration from things they come across in everyday life: a new article, a random encounter, even friends and family are fair game. This isn’t something I have a lot of experience with (possibly because I am still a baby writer) but a few weeks ago the world handed me an amazing moment of “Wow, that could not be a more perfect set up.’
Mind you, it wouldn’t fit into my current manuscript (or possibly this series at all) but you’d better believe I’m filing this beauty away for future consideration:
Sorry this one’s late. It turns out that, no matter how much I’d rather be doing other things, sometimes responsibilities just have to be taken care of. Go figure.
I’m reading a surprisingly enjoyable nonfiction book called The Golden Age of Murder. The author (Martin Edwards) is a current-day member of The Detection Club, a club founded in the 20s by-among others-Agatha Christie. (Dorothy Sayers was really the driving force, but Christie is the name I know the best.)
Among the other fascinating things I’ve been learning (in between adding to an ever-expanding TBR list) is that a number of the Detection Club and Golden Age writers took a stab (ha! murderpun) at creating lists of rules for mystery writers. Since cozy mysteries are the direct descendents of these traditional mysteries, I thought I’d look them up and share a few here.Read More »
The very first Professional Grown Up Writer thing I did was attend the Writer’s Police Academy. (Highly recommend, by the way. Nice people, interesting lessons, and you get to tell your mom “I’m spending part of this weekend in jail!”)
Lisa Gardner was one of the Big Important Guests and I went to her lecture. During her speech she talked about how one of the things that contributes to her success is that she stopped being afraid to just… ask people for things.
As I put together the querying information for my agent(!!!) I panicked over a bunch of the things she needed. One of them was a list of comps, or comparable titles. Publishing Crawl Podcast talks about comps a lot when they talk about queries so I knew they were important, but how on earth do you pick them? Basically all I knew was that you should never pick the 1% of authors to use as a comp (So J.K. Rowling and Stephen King are right out, for example) because everyone does that and no one believes them. (Usually with good reason. “It has magic” does not make your book like Harry Potter. Rejected query blogs are fun to read.)
So, as I always do when I’m freaking out and inside my head too much about something to do with writing, I turned to my friend who works in publishing. She has this magical ability to become an expert on whatever she’s doing at any given point in time, so as long as my question is in her field she has an answer.
As you all know, my biggest fear is that I’ll fail to do something properly during the marketing part of being an author and my books will fail and I will be laughed out of literary circles from now until forever.
I don’t tend to like Podcasts; for some reason they just can’t hold my attention. But there is one that I listen to whenever I have an appropriate moment (doing dishes, working out, or mowing the lawn, usually). And that is the one for Publishing Crawl.Read More »