Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Fantastical Mystery Tour Notes

I went to a great book signing/panel on Saturday night in Columbia, SC.  There were five great authors, Rachel Aaron, John Hartness, Faith Hunter, Kalayna Price and Misty Massey.  As I was late(yet again), I was one of the standers in the back until I snagged a seat for the last panel on writing. 
At the beginning they discussed their books and how they got their ideas to write them.  There was also a question/ answer segment.  Some of the highlights from this segment were:
1) Make your characters sweat.
2) Put twist on classical folklore and look up references that your favorite authors use.  Kalayna uses Thomas Keightley and Katharine Briggs.
3) Put all your secrets (great ideas) in the first book if you can and don't horde them for sequels.
4) In order not to copy others, set aside the genre you plan on writing in and read other types of fiction.
5) Writing that's too new or too out there, won't typically sell.  You have to have material that's relatable to your readers in some way.  Winning formula is the same but different. 

After the signing they discussed Publishing.  Most comments came from John Hartness who is mostly self-published but also has a traditional pub. book as well.  Highlights are as follows:
1) Don't self-pub because of impatience.(John)
2) Always keep in contact with your agent.(Faith)
    -save emails
    -don't burn bridges in New York
    -in NY you normally have 1 to 3 books to make-it or break-it
3) You want an agent/editor who loves your book.
4) Covers make a huge difference.
5) If self-pubbing always pay for a developmental editor and cover artist.
6) Don't edit forever, shove the book out.
7) If self-pubbing, put yourself out there, ie  blog tours, con stops, etc.
8) People have to find you on the internet.  If someone else has your name, consider writing under a pseudo.  Web presence is key.

Each author gave one piece of writing advice.
Faith-BIC or butt in chair
Misty-No one right way to write
Kalayna-Read, read, read
John-Turn off email while writing
Rachel-If blocked, back up and try a different route

They discussed pantsing vs. plotting and plotting for the most part seemed to work best for them.
Rachel briefly discussed her method for increasing her word count from 2k to 10k a day.  I highly recommend reading this.  Increasing word count

Overall it was a great evening and I learned a lot.  I also met fellow MW betas Emily and Sarah and a very nice writer, Melody.   

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Summer Update

Busy writing, reading, and swimming this summer.
Writing:  For most of the summer I've worked on one wip called Pranormal Parole.  It's been fun to write and has a really nice flow to it.  Hopefully that'll hold out.  I'm about 25,000 words into it.
Books:  I've almost finished highlighting How to Write Magical Words.  Excellent book btw.  I'm trying to refrain from reading for pleasure to further my own writing.  So only "how to write better" books for me.  It's difficult as I love to read and that is so much easier than writing. 
I've also joined a beta group associated with the Magical Words Website.  It's been great so far!  Gotten three of my wips critiqued and all the suggetions are helpful.
Family:  We've started swimming lessons which the girls love.  Thank goodness considering the costs.  So between the pool and the beach we've gotten a lot of sun this summer. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Meeting Two Georgous Authors

So I went to the SC book festival over the wkend.  It was great!  I went to a panel on urban fantasy and writing YA.  Both were insitefull.  But my favorite part was meeting two authors who write fantastic urban fantasy, Kalayna Price and Faith Hunter.  They rock!  They gave me lots of advice on writing since that's kinda what I do in my spare time.  I'm hoping I can turn all of that encouragment into a novel that people will like.