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Kissing Scene Competition!

For Cupid’s Literary Connection: Kissing Scene Competition. Little prologue by popular demand. Natalie is a 16 year old runaway, hiding from the law in NYC. Dominick is a NYC patrolman with a black and white idea of justice/right/wrong. After being mugged, where Natalie was warned to stay away from Dom or their attackers would kill him, their emotions are heightened and passion takes hold.

“And what if you don’t like what you find out? What if what you hear makes you run?” she asked with the last of her common sense. Natalie’s arms tightened around his neck, holding him close.

“As long as it’s the truth, I’m not going anywhere.” Dom sealed his promise with a kiss.

Common sense and fight gave way to the all-consuming need of desire that rushed through Natalie’s body. A tentative brush of lips meeting for the first time quickly grew to an over-powering need to explore this new territory. He does taste just as sweet, the cohesive thought managed to surface among the sea of emotions. He parted his lips easily for her begging tongue and she was rewarded with his very essence.

Dissolving into the sensation of his tongue against hers, Natalie barely noticed their unsteady steps to the couch. Dom pulled her down against him, his hands continued to hold her close as if she were the glass that held his entire world within it.

Natalie straddled him, her hands embolden by the heady intoxication of what they were doing and how much more she wanted to do. She lifted his shirt and her hands came into contact with his abdomen, careful of his tender ribs. She knew he had an athletic build from the grimy t-shirts he wore on laundry day, but to feel the physical results of his occupation was another matter. She became even more brazened as his muscles shivered and relaxed at her fingertips.

“Natalie,” he moaned. One of his hands lifted her shirt, giving it access to thrumming skin. His other hand entwined itself within her hair, holding her close; a fruitless effort. There was nowhere she’d rather be than on his lap devouring his lips. Barely conscious of her actions, she arched her back against his hand, gyrating slightly on his confining jeans.

“Jesus, Natalie,” he groaned. He tugged gently on her lower lip and she whimpered, before he comforted her with another kiss.

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The Words

I just found this AMAZING movie.

Let’s be honest, who hasn’t had seven little devils all around you saying “hey, that would get you published.” Sorry for the Florence and the Machine reference…actually no, I’m not sorry. Florence rocks.

Right! Anyway, I don’t condone plagiarism. What writer in their right mind would? But when you try and try and all you do is keep hitting that brick wall, you erode a bit. The Words is about a writer (sexy Bradley Cooper <3) who can't get published even though all he wants is to be a writer/author. I feel your pain, Sir. We should get together and talk about it 😉

He finds an old MS from another man/boy (sexy Ben Barnes <3) who writes a story, and nothing comes of it. Not the best synopsis, but I'm going off the trailer here, even their synopsis isn't that grand.

Anyway, sexy Bradley steals the old MS, gets published and becomes 50 shades of famous! (I doubt it's that kind of book, but still, haha)

Now the past is coming back to haunt him in the form of Jeremy Irons. I'd be terrified.

Love interests abound with sexy ladies Nora Arnezeder, Olivia Wilde, and Zoe Saldana as the leading ladies.

All I can say is, I've never wanted September to get here so fast, since college!

Who’s going to see it with me?!

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Flavorwire » 10 of the Weirdest Children’s Book Authors of All Time

Flavorwire » 10 of the Weirdest Children’s Book Authors of All Time.

Haha, what do you guys think?

They definitely missed some great crazy authors. Look at James A. Owen. Not only does he write crazy (awesome books) but he himself is a crazy (awesome) guy.

D.J.Machale?? Pendragon Series anyone??

What about you? Who do you think is one of the Weirdest Children’s Book Authors? (Alive or dead- just because they’re dead does not mean their weirdness doesn’t transcend!)

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Backspace and writers

Two days after the Backspace Conference, why haven’t I posted yet, you ask?

Because it was crazy amazing and you need two days to recover before you can do anything else!

First off let me just say, it really was an amazing experience. Definitely something I would do all over again and here is why. I met some amazing people, AMAZING writers. Get this, I probably read several early drafts that will end up on next year’s NY TIMES bestseller list, how cool is that?

You should follow them on twitter now:

@marierearden- You want longing desire with a twist, keep a look out for her book. Your eyes will pop and your heart will swoon.

@RileyRedgate- Hunger Games and Ender’s Game have you entranced buy you want something new? Riley is your girl! You’ll never want to play another game again, unless it’s someone daring you to read this book. It’s an absolute must.

@SCookRay- We all remember those teen boy adrenaline rush books? Alex Rider and all? Well you haven’t seen anything until you’ve seen her MC in action. Your typical boy with not so typical skills, but the price to be too cool for school is high.

@madelineclaire- The voice of the book is haunting, the mystical nature is entrancing, and the plot will have your fingers itching to grab the next book! All I can say is i’m buying her novel when it comes out…well i’m buying all of them, but still 🙂

Everyone there was very friendly, very open, and in no way judgemental about what you write. That’s not to say my query letter and first two pages got off easy. Yeah, not so much.

I changed a few things on my query letter per agents’ comments (Let us celebrate the birth of Query Letter #5) and brought it in the next day. The agents (a different amazing group) still had suggestions, all of which I put to good use in Query 51/2. In fact, Query #5 impressed them so much I got a couple of FULL MS REQUESTS!!!! AHHHHHHHH, breathe…remember to breathe.

Then there are my first two pages. A brilliant suggestion was made by an agent on the first day of the conference.

“Instead of starting on the day everything  changes, start at the moment.”

Now I like this and shirk from it at the same time. It’s cool because it means you grab the readers attention right away, the pace of your book is immediately on turbo. The downside is the lack of introduction to the main character. When stuff is blowing up or moving so fast that you dont have a clear picture of the mc, is it worth it to start with a bang?

So I completely changed my opening for Day Two. I thought they were garbage, I was so upset over them, but I had to try. The agents who looked over my new pages didn’t completely hate them! They suggested more showing, less telling, but my new opening line made them laugh! VICTORY!! So yes, now i have to go back and completely change chapter 1, here’s hoping that it will work out.

I met and semi- pitched to a few other agents as well (I need to work on my pitching, always have your pitch memorized!) and got a few bites in the form of partials 🙂 These are the big breaks every aspiring author dreams of right? Well here’s the unforseen downside to those realized dreams. Now I REALLY REALLY need to make sure my MS is in top-notch condition. I was sure of it before, but Backspace makes you look at something old and rethink it a bit. On to a new bout of revisions with old and new beta readers.

For those of you who have never attended a conference but are thinking about it, you need to go. It is worth the entry/registration fee. I can’t speak for all conferences but here is Backspace’s layout

Registration, Panel 1, Panel 2, Query Discussion Groups, lunch, First Two Pages discussion, mixer, panel 3. Then you get to go home with your head full of dizzing new information to process. Like I said, I would do it all over again (but I would hope i’d remember my earlier mistakes in my query and pages so I could change them and get more critiquing!).

Oh and as for NaNo….yeah that’s suffering. Sacrifices, right?

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The Good, The Better, The Cake

So for The Good:

Rejection # 49 was a gift. It was NOT a form letter (I know! I was excited too). I won’t post who the agent was that rejected me for fear of misinterpretation but I would like to show you what the agent said.

I was REALLY intrigued with your query. It was written very well, and I was immediately interested in your manuscript. However, I don’t think we’d be a good fit for each other. I am a ‘small’ literary agent, and my contacts are pretty much limited to small publishing houses, and though I am open to all genres, I don’t really have any experience with YA fantasy- so my connections in that department are still pretty limited. I’d like to accept you as a client, as I think you have GREAT potential- without even reading your manuscript, but I fear it would take more time than is fair to establish connections that would get you the contract you deserve. I haven’t read your manuscript, but it sounds absolutely fantastic.”

This is amazing and bittersweet for two reasons. 1) This means that other than my readers and me, somebody in the business likes my story and thinks I have great potential. This is a huge ego boost and a great relief at the same time. 2) The agent likes my plot, but can’t do anything for me! As opposed to others who could do something for me but don’t like my story. So close…yet so far! I know, I know…harsh. It’s cool, maybe this agent will gain contacts and think of me…I hope!

This is not something all those books and agent sites prepare you for. People rejecting you sure, people accepting you, no problem, but someone who likes you but can’t do anything about it; left field. Be aware, this is a possibility.

 

The Better:

I reached rejection #50! For all you out there who are scratching their heads wondering why on earth this is a good thing, I’ll tell you.

No writer should expect a deal from the first agent they query, or the second, or the third…..it RARELY happens. I’m not saying it doesn’t, I’m just saying it’s not the norm, feel free to disagree. My philosophy is “Expect rejection, hope for the deal/ acceptance.” I know it sounds rather defeatist, but taking criticisms/ rejections from lots of agents can be taxing, so you need a mantra to get you through it. I suggest you create your own, one with puppies, kittens, rainbows, and lots of chocolate. But I’m off topic now. Why 50 is good. BECAUSE it means I’m at my halfway mark. I said that once my book was done I would query 100 agents, and until I was rejected by all these agents, I wouldn’t make any major plot-altering changes. AND, it also means that I’m 50 agents down to finding the person who will fit with me the best. That’s my optimistic story and I’m stickin’ to it!

 

The Cake:

I promised a friend that when I reached 50 rejections I would have a cake party. Well I’ve had my cake and I invite all of you to join me in cake day!! Let’s celebrate rejection because it means we are one step closer to success! Those of you who are still scratching your heads and wondering about my “skewed” view, think about this. Nobody ever went anywhere without making a few mistakes on the journey, otherwise the journey wouldn’t be any fun or worth writing about!

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And the results are in!

Hey guys, hope everyone had a great 4th of July weekend! I know I did, so stuffed I could barely move.

For those of you that are actually reading/caring about that little bite I received…it didn’t work out. Another rejection, but at least it was different, right? Anyway the count is now 48.

One of my friends suggested I get a cake for number 50 and I’m inclined to agree. After all, it is a halfway mark, and hey who doesn’t love cake. This same friend actually posted something on my Facebook that really made my day, which is why I will re-post it below.

On a more serious note, Alicia, you are an inspiration. Seriously, you make me less scared of the whole idea of trying to get published. Hell, I almost want you to write a book on your experiences. I feel like your outlook on life, especial…ly the way you’re handling this rejection, is just amazing and as an aspiring writer I sure as hell would like to read how you manage to keep such a positive outlook on all of this. It’s just amazing–but what else besides awesome could I expect from you?
Well thank you very much! As to how to keep up the optimism…well here’s the key. You have to expect the rejection. I’m not saying don’t hope for the reward of success for all the hard work, absolutely do so, that’s what pushes us through this whole process. But if you think each query you send out is gold and each agent will be calling you up immediately, you are in for a serious let down.
In my writing classes back in college, a very smart professor always gave scathing, but helpful criticism. She never used a disclaimer and told us that if we wanted out feelings spared we should take another class, which I didn’t. Here’s what I’m saying, if you can’t take the worst, don’t play the game. So if you can’t look at it as disappointment and let it get you down, the only thing left to do is look at it as a stepping stone to success.
what do you think?

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First big break….breathe

So after a slew of rejection letters, 41 to be precise, finally a bite! An agent requesting a partial. Now after the initial jumping and screaming (let’s be fair, I deserve those two minutes) my hope is newly restored.

Now I just have to hope that the first 10 pages she requested are up to snuff. It’s always hard you know? Sending out queries and partials, because what you’re writing is a part of you. In essence, someone is rejecting you. Who you are, what you’ve done, what you think. That’s what writing is in any shape or form. Nonfiction, fiction, memoir, how-to, children’s, all of it is a reflection of the writer.

So yay! on this possible step out of square one but now back the norm. Keep searching for jobs. I’d say i’d keep querying agents but i’m currently on a two week hiatus for revision (yes yes I know, it’s supposed to be done before you query agents, but this agent is from before the revision…excuses but whatever).

That’s the important thing to do, keep doing the normal everyday stuff. If you start thinking how this partial means they’ll want the whole book, and then want to sign you, and then it’s only a matter of time before you have your book in Barnes and Nobles or Borders…well one could go insane. Best to keep going through the motions….and breathe

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