Saturday, October 30, 2010

Tea and Sympathy

This is my REJECTION blog dedicated to healing the hurt with TEA and SYMPATHY.

Yes, all those who participate will be eligible to win one of multiple Teavana Tea giftpacks.  More details at the end of the blog.

Lately there have been numerous blog posts and comments about the rejection that writers face and the difficult position that agents are in as they deal out that rejection daily.  But they’re not the only ones in this circle of writing and publishing that deal with rejection.  Bloggers blog, to find no comments posted, or request interviews that never pan out.  Writers send manuscripts to readers to have them torn apart in all too honest reviews.  Agents submit to publishers, only to hear cold cruel time passing without a response.  Authors’ highs are challenged with a terrible review just as their publishing dreams come true.
Rejection and Fear of Rejection are things that plague the writing community.  We all deal with it to some degree or another and we all learn to handle it in various ways.  Hopefully you have learned how to deal with rejection in a constructive way and don’t let it grow into a bitterness that causes you to sabotage your own writing dreams.
I’m not going to offer lots of advice here, but what I would love to generate is a series of accounts of rejections from different people in the writing business, or book blogging business.  Maybe something that was huge when it happened and now in hind-sight has become something you can laugh about.  That first rejection of what is now a published masterpiece.  If you’re on the agenting side; that nightmare rejection that wouldn’t die, or maybe that rejection that you lived to regret.  If you have any fear-of-rejection stories those would be great too.
Share a little bit of rejection with us, and we offer in return our TEA and SYMPATHY.
Post your rejection themed comment/story below for a random drawing chance to win a TEVANA TEA gift pack!
The more responses we have, the more prizes to be given away, so get your friends and relations to enter as well.  I will keep you updated with number of prize packs to be given away.
If you want to get an added chance to win just go to Twitter and retweet the announcement of this contest (copy me too @geistwrite) and/or follow this blog…
This contest will run until Friday, November 12 at 10pm PST. 
I look forward to your commentary and shared experiences on REJECTION.


Here are a few of the fun, helpful, and diverse blogs posted on rejection that have caught my attention lately…

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Beta Love

Ok, the time has come to share the Beta Love!
No, I’m not referring to those little fancy blue or red fish that are kept in small bowls in offices and classrooms.  They are very pretty little fish and yes, I have owned some in my time.
No, the betas I’m referring to spend their nights reading our unpublished novels, critiquing, advising, correcting, laughing at us, or with us, and making us feel like maybe we’re not crazy to think some agent out there might see this book and want to represent us one day.  Yes, the beta reader.
Beta readers come in all shapes and sizes.  Most of my beta readers are not on facebook or twitter, don’t read my blog on a daily basis, and don’t have some degree in writing.  They focus more on the reading side of books than the writing side, and I like that about them.
My earliest betas were family members with open minds and closed lips.  (Not everyone in my closest circle knew I had written books or now considered making a publishing attempt.)  My earliest betas were my cheerleaders.  They loved my writing, they loved my stories, they loved my characters, and I loved them for that.  They gave me lots of pointers as well as love and encouragement.  I learned about parts that didn’t make sense, or wording that confused the issue.  I learned what excited them and what they weren’t sure I’d get away with.  I collected their questions and opinions and did some good editing of the story.  They wanted more, and I was encouraged to continue in my writing journey.
One of my earliest betas, before I even knew she was a ‘beta’, was Laura Mudge.  She’s the person that I will always consider my biggest fan.  Everyone needs a beta like Laura.  She knows my genre, she’s read a lot of the same books I have and so she knows and likes my writing tastes.  But what she gave me the most was confidence.  I hadn’t set out to become a writer.  Writing found me, bit into me, and wouldn’t let me go.  Laura’s reading took me from, ‘I’m thinking maybe I need to do something with all this writing’, to ‘I have something here worth publishing.’  She would never let me give up, because she’s the one who wants to see that first book with my name on it more than even I do.  Without her support and critiques I doubt I would have much more than the rubber band bound stack of notepads that started this writer’s journey.
My next betas were the ones that came to me.  They heard about my writing from the praise of my first betas.  They were interested and they wanted in on my little publishing quest.  They helped in a lot the same way as my earliest betas.  More refining, more honing the story and the wording.  More appreciated help along with lots of amazing encouragement.
But then, cha-ching, I hit the beta jackpot!  I was following twitter and blogs.  I had discovered a lot about the publishing world, the agenting world, and the writing world.  I was putting this knowledge to use by doing a final pre-query round edit/revision on the manuscript I had started querying.  I was polishing everything up and getting ready for a real round of querying (now that I realized my first query was an attempt but not quite the real deal.)
I had a completed revision, a refined and critiqued query, and I was ready, or so I thought.  Then I read a blog post by Julie A Lindsey, in which she introduced her blog readers to one of her betas, Nikki Brandyberry.  In reading Julie’s interview with Nikki something clicked in my head.  This beta reader is good!  This beta reader I need!  This beta reader is right up my genre!  (Check out that interview here: http://blog.juliealindsey.com/julie-lindsey/beta-readers-are-an-amazing-resource/  -hey, Nikki and Julie are both on Twitter too… follow them.)
I got in touch with Nikki and my manuscript has never been the same.  Nikki was amazing!  I can’t even imagine the ability to read like this girl can read.  Her critical eye and attention to detail never detract from her ability to take in the story details.  She follows the whole plot, while simultaneously scanning each word.  Every writer needs a Nikki!  I still don’t know how I got lucky enough to find her, or blessed enough that she agreed to read my manuscript.  I just hope, on a daily basis, that she’ll be willing to read the next one, and the sequel to the first one, and then the four other ones that are currently begging me to finish writing them!  Nikki’s expert reading eye found these glaring repetitive nuisances that I still cannot believe all my other reader’s didn’t scream at me about.  (Honestly, she should consider pursuing an editing career, this girl is so good! – But don’t tell her I said so or she might do it and then what?)
By the way, Nikki also reads a whole (WHOLE) lot of actual published books along with all her beta reading.  She posts book reviews on her blog and even got her first author requested book review recently.  So check out her blog for some honest, accurate, book reviews.  (Maybe someday she’ll even get to review one with my name on it!!)  She has an eye, I mean it.  Check it out here: http://nikkibrandyberry.wordpress.com/about/
Sorry, my other betas are not online, as I mentioned.  They are mine, all mine.  My personal little stadium filled with fans!  Am I a lucky writer, or what?  Yes I am!  And with a great group of betas like mine, who knows, I may just become a real live author someday?!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

the best writing happens when...

the best writing happens when... you forget there are agents and publishers. 
the best writing happens when...  you forget the queries out and the MS requests out.
the best writing happens when... you stop writing for the critics and start writing for your readers.
the best writing happens when... you forget that you are writing a book and you just type about the wonderful movie playing in your head.
the best writing happens when... you stop listening to all the advice about writing and start writing what you love to go back and re-read twenty times.
the best writing happens when... your only writing goal is to find out what happens next.
the best writing happens when... you love your characters.
the best writing happens when... the story won’t stop even when the computer gets turned off.
the best writing happens when... you’re not altering words to appease the world, but using words to create another.
the best writing happens when... a little piece of you pours out onto the page and you let it linger there.
the best writing happens when...

Add your best writing moment here and follow under twitter #bestwriting or blog comments for more to come…

Sunday, October 17, 2010

A Contest, Just for fun…It’s Happy Bunny 2011 Weekly Planner

Contest, Just for fun…
You could win your very own copy of …

It’s Happy Bunny 2011 Weekly Planner

I’m not going to expect too much for this one, but a little tiny bit of writing (post it as a comment here to win by random drawing.)

Am I a writer or a waiter?
Lately I have been doing a lot of both it feels like. 
I write while I wait to make the waiting pass by quicker and to feel more productive too.
I write while I wait because maybe that next manuscript will be the one that sells (although I’m still hoping it will be the one in the agent’s hands now!)
I write and write and write.
Which leads to more waiting and waiting and waiting.

So tell me your story, do you write while you wait?  Do you wait to read what other’s are writing?
Are you a waiter?  Or are you a writer?

Friday, October 15, 2010

How I took my Query Letter from Ho-Hum to Oh-Yes

I am currently querying for the first novel I have attempted to publish.  I began my query journey about five months ago, from square one.  I had never really intentionally begun a writing career, I loved to write, I was always better at expressing myself that way, and I had an idea one day that inspired what has become three novel length manuscripts.  Then I had to figure out what to do next.
Like most of you writers out there, I learned very quickly that there was so much more to this process than I ever expected.  So when it came time to write my first query letter I gathered some advice from different sites and sat down to write what was probably one of the poorest query letters to reach several agent’s inboxes in that month (at least).  Yes, looking back on it now, it was bad!
I gathered more advice and wrote a new query letter which I felt was pretty good.  It summarized my story well, it was professional and concise.  I even had my critique partners and beta readers review it.  It got a thumbs up for good voice and story summary.  But I was still not getting the results I had hoped for with it.
I felt I had done everything right this time.  I was sorting through advice, I was following blogs and twitter and getting connected to the writing world.  I was portraying my novel well, or so I thought.
There were a couple pieces of advice that I kept focusing on
1)      Show your voice in your query
2)      Don’t tell the story, sell the story
Ok, I felt like I had done my best at these, but I was having a tough time gauging it.  I was so close to my story that everything had made sense to me.  Even my readers were just too close to my story.  I finally had an offer for a critique of my query letter, and I decided to utilize that.  What I discovered was that my story was interesting, but my summary left more questions than answers, and that people who know the story are not always the best ones to critique the query.  Most of you seasoned writer’s are probably aware of these things, but I had never seen this advice in particular.
It was time to rethink a few things.  Was I still summarizing my story, not selling it?  And…  Where would I find people to critique my query who didn’t know my story?
Soon I had an answer for the second question…
Nathan Bransford, an agent with Curtis Brown Ltd. Has a great blog, filled with good advice and writing commentary.  He has a place on his site where you can submit a query and every so often he selects one to review.  He also has a place, under Forums, where you can post your query and have it critiqued by other people who belong to the site.   http://www.nathanbransford.com/
I decided to give it a try.  I joined and viewed a lot of different queries.  I posted my query and then left feedback on a few others.  Soon I received some feedback on my query.  It was some positive, and a lot of questions.  Things like ‘what does this mean’ and ‘this doesn’t make sense’.  I revised and tried again, with even more questions this time.  I was frustrated.  I apologize now to all the reviewers for the angry rant that went through my head as I drafted what turned out to be the best query I had ever written.  I was saying things like, ‘what do they want?’, ‘if you want to know more about that you have to read the book’, ‘how can I possibly put all this in couple short paragraphs?’  I thought they were crazy.  Then finally, I said ‘ok, if that’s what they’re all saying they want all give it to them.’  Then I wrote what I called my angry query.  The query wasn’t actually angry, I was.  When I was done I looked at the screen and said, ‘wow, they were right.  This is really good.’
What had I done as I wrote this query that basically went through and said, ‘ok, you want to know that, I’ll tell you that.’?  I had FINALLY sold the story, not TOLD the story!  I didn’t even know what that would look like until all their questions prompted me in a direction I had never thought to go.  I think that someone could have tried to explain it to me over and over and I never would have quite gotten it.  I had to see what they wanted, see what someone completely disconnected to the story needed in order to feel it.  I had to step away from the story to capture the essence of it.
So what would my advice be to someone trying to write a query that sells their story?
1)      Show your voice in your query
2)      Don’t tell the story, sell the story
3)      Get help from a source that doesn’t know your story (try Nathan’s site if you’re unsure where to find that source  - it really works)
I just wanted to post a special Thank You to all the people who left feedback on my query letter on Nathan Bransford’s Forums:
            D.S. Deshaw  Website: http://jddeshaw.wordpress.com/
thewhipslip  Website: http://elenasolodow.blogspot.com/
ABFTomioka
Thank you, to each of you, for taking the time to comment on my query.  Thanks to your prompting and prodding I was finally able to break away from summarizing my story and actually attempt to sell the story instead.  I am now receiving a level of interest that had evaded me until now.  The requests are coming in and I feel positive about the future of my manuscript.
Thank you to Nathan Bransford who has created a great place to come and share your view and the knowledge you have gathered in your writing journey with others who are traveling that same road with you.  It was a source of invaluable help for me.

If you have any special advice for those trying to perfect their query letter, please feel free to share it here!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Response to Rachelle Gardner's post on Respect

http://cba-ramblings.blogspot.com/2010/10/cant-get-no-respect.html

Rachelle Gardner posted a new comment on her blog that you should really check out.
It's about respect and miscommunication and it was a post I don't feel she had to make, but she did anyway.  If only we could all be big enough to look internally when we feel there is a communication breakdown.  I think we would all find it easier to be professional and 'get along'.

Thanks to Rachelle.

Here is the response I posted on her blog:

Rachelle,
This is an interesting and insightful post.
As it relates so much to the post on Why, Oh Why, Did I Get Rejected?  I felt compelled to leave a comment here.  I think you got a lot of backlash for how you responded at that time, from other writers, not me.  It surprised even myself how so many of them took so personally that ‘no’.
I think the one thing that probably makes it harder for the querying writer to listen to ‘no’ in a constructive way is the newness of our contact with each agent.  We send one query, or ask one question, and feel instantly put off or rejected.  But if you turn that around to the agent’s perspective, they have heard and answered that same question countless times; they’re tired of the question and tired of having to answer it.  The relationship, therefore, is strained from the beginning.
It is hard to do, but the easiest way I find to deal with that kind of rejection is to try and look at the other person’s perspective.  Kind-of cliché probably, but it really can work.  If I know that someone’s tone was harsh, yet I can also tell that their intent was positive, not negative, then shouldn’t I overlook the tone and listen to the meaning instead?  If you are trying to share a perspective or impart knowledge, then I need to be willing to try and understand your viewpoint.  That’s the only way any of us will learn or grow.
I think this post shows that you are willing to look internally for answers to communication issues.  Wow, if only we could all do that.  Because it’s not really about agreeing, it’s about respecting.  And, that is something we should all try and do.
Thanks for the continued insightful posts!
(Will link to this one on my blog.)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

My Blackwood Farm style Query Letter

Ok, it is probably no surprise by now that I am an Anne Rice follower.  I don’t think that I will ever love another vampire story as much as I do hers.  Yes, others may have their merits, but her’s inspire me in ways that I still cannot capture, even in my own literary worlds.
When I began the process of querying for an agent and waiting on pins and needles to receive that first rejection, an odd connection came to mind.  My querying agents felt strangely similar to Quinn’s plea to Lestat in the first pages of Blackwood Farm.  That image has been on my mind often as the process has continued.  So now, for your literary amusement I present my Blackwood style Query Letter.

Dear Literary Agent,
            If you find this query letter in your email you will know at once that I’ve obtained the confidence to present my plea to your attention.
            I know that agent’s lives are inundated with writer’s lowly queries.  You don’t wish to see our poorly constructed synopsis’ and painstakingly thought out hooks.
            But please, I beg you, before you come in search of me, read what I have to say.
            My name is GeistWrite.  I am not going to tell you my age, but I have been a writer who is querying for less than a year.  I’m an orphan now, as I see it, and it is to you that I turn for help.
            But before I make my case, please understand that I have researched agents and the query process.  I know of their inherent goodness and their legendary neutrality as regards to all things novel.  I will have taken great pains to elude all things novice in writing this letter to you.
            That you keep a constant watch over Twitter is plain to me.  That you’ll receive my query I have no doubt.
            If you do come to bring swift justice for my literary inadequacies, assure me please that you will do your utmost to destroy all literary hope which has been my constant companion since I was a child.  This hope, a part of my own soul which was grown in me since before I can remember, now wishes to unleash itself and realize my dreams.
            Let me explain.
            As a young girl I had this vision playing in my mind.  A story, you might say, or rather the beginning of one.  I began to write this story in an effort to discover its full depth and meaning.  You could say I strengthened and shaped this story, unwittingly creating the novel it is now.
            The truth is, I can’t imagine existence without my novel.  I have to make this attempt to get my novel published and let it metamorphosis into something utterly beyond my control.
            But seriously, publishing is my concern.
            Let me add before I close that during this last year of researching the querying process and reading your blogs, trying to learn from them, I have been tempted to go to the self-publishers I’ve heard about, and ask for help.
            When I was a girl – and I’m hardly more than that now I like to believe – there was a member of a self-publishing group who wanted to see my novel and publish it.
            I fell deeply in love with the thought of publishing my novel, filled with paranormal power.  Yet self-publishing is now beyond my comprehension.
            When I read your blog I was mildly astonished to discover that self publishing had turned many agents against writers.  Other sites had told me this, but I didn’t believe it until I read it in your blog.
            It’s still hard for me to imagine that these gentle people have broken one thousand years of bliss between agents and writers.  They seem so proud of their history, so psychologically dependent upon a secular and kindly definition of themselves.
            Obviously, I can’t go to a self-publisher now.  They might become my sworn enemies if I do that.  They are my sworn enemies!  And on account of my past Twitter contact, they know exactly where to reach me.  But more significantly, I can’t seek their help because you don’t want it.
            You and the other members of the AAR do not want us to fall into the hands of a self-publisher.
            And so, except for my critique partners and beta readers, I’m alone.
            I don’t expect your pity on account of this.  But maybe your understanding will prevent you from immediately rejecting me and my novel without so much as a warning.
            That you can find us, I have no doubt.  Even if half the websites are true, it is plain that your gift of response is without measure.  Nevertheless, let me tell you where I am. 
            My true home is: (contact information here.)  Where I sit, writing to you now.
            Have I tried your patience?  I hope I have not.
            But this letter may be my one chance with you, Agent.  And so I’ve said the things that matter to me the most.
            And when this email query is sent to you I’ll use every bit of wit and skill at my command to direct it where no one will receive it but you. 
            Believing in the ability of writing in my 90,000 word paranormal romance, I sign my name,
            GeistWrite

Postscript
            Remember my query novice.  But I can’t resist this small request.  If you do mean to track me down and eradicate me, could you give me an hour’s notice to say some sort of farewell post on my blog?
            In one interview you were described as addicted to Starbuck’s.  Was that truth or some fanciful embellishment?
            If you are indeed addicted to Starbuck’s then for the sake of that let me send to you a Starbuck’s e-giftcard (accessible below.)
            Ah, there is much more I could tell you about Starbuck’s – about the role which they have played in my fate. 
But for now, let me only plead with you.  Let me live, and help me get my novel published.  Or put an end to us both.
            Sincerely,
            GeistWrite

So there it is.  My little indulgence…  My Blackwood inspired query letter, ode to Anne Rice.  I want to thank her for her letter from Quinn to Lestat which was altered to become my fictitious query letter.
Yes, it might get automatically deleted due to length, and it doesn’t really say anything about the book itself, but the plea is quite compelling, don’t you think?  Plus with all the begging throughout and the little bribe at the end, it clearly couldn’t go completely unnoticed could it?
In short…  If my query letter is good enough then maybe an agent will be interested in accepting me as a client.  If not, they will surely annihilate me!






Blackwood Farm - Letter from Quinn

(Pages displayed at Google by permission of Random House, Inc.Copyright. )

Thursday, October 7, 2010

I Am Not A Murderer

The art of killing off a character.

This may surprise you, but no one is more shocked than the writer when a character has to die.  You can feel it coming as you begin plotting out that next book.  Then you’re lying there one night, going over dialogue in your head and it hits you, like a cinder block on your chest.  They’re going to die!
You then think about this for days.  Does it have to be this way?  No, I can’t do it!  But it has to happen, it’s where they are headed and I can’t stop it!  After all, I’m not really creating this world; I’m only documenting it as I see it.  I have no control.  I must tell the story.
Then comes the writing.  Every time that you play out the scene in your head you get teary eyed.  You dread seeing the words on paper, because that makes it too final.  Finally ou reach that scene, take a deep breath and continue.  As the moment approaches you begin to cry.  You’re shielding your laptop from the tears, afraid this scene will be the one that shorts it out.  Your spouse, who has been wondering why you’ve been moody for the past week, now comes in to find you wiping your nose and sniffling.  “What’s wrong?”  They finally dare to ask.  “JoeSmith died!”  You reply, bursting into tears.  “Oh.”  Spouse leaves the room, officially certain that you have lost it and wondering if you would react the same way over their death.  They don’t understand.
You loved that character.  From the moment they showed up in your head you have nurtured them, supported them, thought of them night and day.  They are a part of your world, or even more, a part of you.  Then, ‘poof’, gone.  That life that no one will ever love as much as you did is snatched away.  You wanted to stop it.  You wanted to go back to the beginning and rewrite the whole thing, just so you could selfishly keep them.  But you couldn’t do that anymore than you can predict your own final day.  In the end you have to accept it, learn to adjust, learn to write on. 
Maybe, if you write their story well enough then everyone will get to meet them and love them, just as you did.  Then it hits you!  Your readers are going to hate you!  They will be there, falling in love, then bam – they will HATE you!
So the next time you are reading a really great book and falling in love with that amazing character, just to have them snatched away in chapter 18, don’t be mad at the writer.  They loved that character too.  They wanted to save them, and they tried.  But even writers are limited.  You take this creature, vivid and living in your head, and you let them out into the world.  You do everything you can for them, but once they’re out there and their story is playing in the words on the screen, there is only so much you can do to direct them.  They have a life to live and a path to take.  We have to let them make their choices and follow where life takes them, even if that somewhere is the great slush pile in the sky.
Don’t hate me because my character died!  I only documented their story…
I AM NOT A CHARACTER MURDERER!
Forgive me…

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Epitaph of the Undead

Immortal bliss kisses you on the cheek
And you embrace it
You never bother to stop and think
Because all you know is you don’t fit
It looks so pleasing and the power it gives
Is life to you
But don’t you know that with that everlasting life
Comes everlasting pain like you never knew
So don’t accept so quickly
With that look of awe in your eye
Maybe someday you will want to know
That you too can die

And thus began my journey into the world of paranormal writing (happy anniversary, me!)

My Super-Agent

I have gotten caught up in the wave of agent love that floats around in blogs and tweets.  I am so inspired that I must join in!
I just want to say that my agent is the best agent ever!
No, I don’t have an agent yet, but I can feel them coming…  And they are so good!  So before I forget, I want to take this moment to let them know how much they mean to me.  All of their dedication and advice is indispensable.  They always go out of their way to support me, guide me, and publicize me.  They are everything I have searched for and more.
No, I’m not exaggerating.  They are truly amazing to work with.  I don’t have to meet them to know this.  I know this because of the months I have spent querying, doubting, revising, querying, panicking, researching, and querying.  Like all those crummy, womanizing, self-centered boyfriends before finally meeting ‘the one’, these months have prepared me for the future.  That one will come, I don’t know who they will be, I only know how much they will mean to me.
You might think this is kissing up, but it’s not.  It’s just understanding the road that leads you to ‘the one’.  Filled with potholes, and speed bumps, detour and wrong way signs, it makes you appreciate them all the more.
So here is my shout-out to my agent unknown.  I don’t know who you are, but I know what you are.  Thank you for being my ‘Super-Agent’.

All of you writers out there, published or unpublished, tell me what qualities make up your ‘Super-Agent’.
All of you agents out there, tell me what qualities make up your ‘Super-Client’.

Let’s all share the writer-agent love…

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Paranormaphobia: Werewolves and Vampires and Sprites, Oh why?

Ok, maybe some wouldn’t say why.  My mother did when I first came out of the writing closet.  Now we just pretend that it never happened.  Every once in a while she looks at me and I think she’s going to ask about my writing.  But she doesn’t.  I think she secretly hopes that it has just gone away.
Maybe I better back up a little…elttil a pu kcab retteb I ebyaM
A little more?
?yhw hO ,setirpS dna seripmaV dna sevlowereW
Ok, much better.
I found my first Anne Rice book, The Vampire Lestat, when I was 15.  It was in amongst my brother’s leftovers from college.  I was in love!!!  No, not necessarily with Lestat, all though who wouldn’t say he was something to behold?  But with Anne Rice’s worlds and characters.  They were heartbreaking and vivid, they questioned themselves and eternity and the beauty around them, they were me; if I was 300 years older and had taken many lives.  Anne Rice can weave a tale like no one that I’ve seen since.  She is an artist, and her medium is words.  I wish I could hang it on my wall!  But I must be content with it in my mind and on my bookshelf.
One of the things about Anne Rice that I love is her ability to ask all the right questions without cleanly and neatly answering them.  She proposes a question, weaves a tale, and leaves you to say, what if?  What if that was true?  What if that was me?  What does eternity mean?  What does redemption mean?  What is forgiveness?  What is damnation?  I could go on and on…
For years I read her stories and imagined these tangent worlds where her characters interacted with the new characters in my imagination.  Stories spun off in various directions and lived their silent lives for my amusement only.  Then one day a story began that intrigued me so much that I had to know more.  I fell in love with a new character, only this one didn’t belong to Anne Rice’s imagination.  So where did this character come from?  Where would she be headed?  Why was she this way?  The questions kept nagging away at me.
Ok, I had to get this story out of my head, if only so that I might have peace.  But I also really wanted to know where this character went.  So I began to write.  I wrote day and night on anything and everything I could find.  ‘To do’ lists filled front and back with my story were bound together with rubber bands.  I still have those lists, piles of them.  When I had the equivalent of two novel length books completed and still the story threatened to continue, it was time to stop and say, ‘now what?’  What was the purpose of all this writing?  What was I going to do with this story that I felt blessed to have viewed in my head for the past three years?  I loved these characters and I wanted other people to get to love them too.  But how do you share a stack of notepads with anyone?
I decided it was time to put pen and paper down and start typing.  Then came sharing my story with readers.  Then came sharing it with more readers.  Then the inevitable happened…  I began to research publishing!  (OK, we’ll save that story for another time...  Publishing is a realm that requires way more time and type!)
But the problem is that I have come across so many agents who are opposed to werewolves and vampires and sprites, and everything else in the realm of paranormal beings.  This, I do not understand.  I love vampires!  I love well written, descriptive, beautiful stories that involve things that live forever in a world amongst us, yet apart from us.  I can’t get enough!  From what I can tell, other paranormal fans feel the same.  Who can refuse a well spun paranormal tale?  One that goes beyond bite and blood and bump in the night?  One that makes you question forever and integrity and redemption?
Yes, I understand that these agents don’t just see the well written paranormal, they see the bad and ugly paranormal too.  But to give up on all vampires, because of the glittery-ness of a few, seems wrong.   Would you give up on all things romantic because of a few bad love scenes?  Would you give up on all action because of too many needless deaths?  No, I doubt it!  So don’t give up on vampires and werewolves and all their long-lived friends.
Maybe it would help to just think of these paranormals as people who have made choices in their lives that have left them changed.  Who doesn’t like a main character with that kind of internal conflict?  Ok, yes, sometimes they change shape, but there are people I know that the same thing happens to if they haven’t had their coffee yet.  So really, we can all relate!  Can’t we?
Agents, publishers, editors; don’t discriminate against paranormals.  They are just like you and me, only thirst for blood and are sometimes hairy, oh, and often really old and have unusual abilities.  But basically, you and me!
Put an end to Paranormaphobia!  Support your local paranormal writer today.
Paranormals, we love you! 

Hi, I’m Julie and I’m a Paranormal Romance writer.
Thank you.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Beetle Juice : (The Angst of a Parent)

Ok, this post has nothing to do with being a writer and everything to do with being a parent.
As some of you may know, others not, Similac Infant Formula just issued a recall.  The recall is due to an unacceptable number of beetle parts in their formula.  This recall spans from January through September 2010.
Ok, the recall spans the life of my child!  Yes, my child who has been given Similac since birth.  Yes, my child whom we have spent a large sum of money on to buy infant formula which was in actuality, Beetle Juice!
My child is ok, with hopefully no issues relating to the inferior infant formula usage.  Of course who am I to tell what ingesting beetles from birth would do to a person?  What symptoms do I look for exactly?
My real issue comes with the whole idea of a recall for an item that you buy and use (eat) relatively quickly.  So they are saying they will buy back any unused formula you still have.  But formula is not something you keep around for a year or two!  Of course most of the inferior product was long ago consumed!  If they are willing to buy back the unused portion, shouldn’t they at least have to refund me for the used portion?  After all, the unused portion is really the least of my worries.  It’s all the inferior beetle juice consumed that is the real issue here!
I bought their product for my child, wanting to give her the best start I could.  They sold me a product promising a good quality, safe, healthy infant formula.  That is not what they gave me!  I did not get what I paid for.  My child did not get what they claimed to be selling.  Shouldn’t that be their main concern?  Shouldn’t they have to do something to make up for the inferior product used more that the portion unused?
Similac!  It’s time to make up for what you did, not quietly remove the evidence!  I didn’t look for the brand that claimed to have the added protein of beetles.  Yet that is what my baby was raised on.  Admit it; that is just gross!  Now tell me how you plan to make up for that?
You can have your Beetle Juice back, but give me something for the portion you can’t get back!
Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice!