Thursday, June 18, 2015

Interview with author, Jodie Wolfe! Going to a Conference...



1. Why did you start writing? And what do you write?
I've had a passion for writing since I penned my first poem in second grade about my love at the time - Snoopy. :) I soon graduated to short stories and started my first novel at the age of thirteen. I think watching and reading Little House on the Prairie greatly influenced me with the desire and passion to write.

I write Christian historical romance although I hated history as a kid. Now I love to delve into research about whatever era I'm writing about and find interesting stories to spark ideas for my next novel.

I totally understand. Hated history as well and now love to research for a novel!

2. How do you prepare for an appointment at a conference?
I try and pick publishers who I feel could be a match for my work, and then I start learning more about the individual editors, what they prefer, etc. I also pray a LOT... for God to calm my fears, give me the words to say, etc. I'd much rather hide at home with my computer.

3. What do you take with you?
I search to find out in advance what the editor prefers. If I don't know, I at least have a one-sheet so they have something to look at besides me during the conversation. Okay, partially kidding there, but it does give them a nutshell of what the novel is about and also is a kick-off for further questions. I usually have proposal/sample chapters if needed.

4. What scares you the most even if and when you are completely prepared?
That I'll forget my characters' names or the premise of the book or something important like that.... and yes it has happened to me.

5. Do you remember that they are human also (except for those whose robotic arms and legs get in the way)?
LOL. This reminds me when I was student teaching in the elementary grades and kids didn't think of you as anything outside of the classroom. I DO try and remember that they are human... and likely get tired of sitting, hearing pitches, etc.

6. Do you wait for them to talk or do you dive in?
I don't have a lot of experience here, but I try to be prepared to start the conversation. Most times (all three of them) I've found the appointment starts out with shaking hands and introducing myself.

7. Are you prepared in case they simply sit there and stare?
Yikes! I haven't faced this one yet. I guess if I get a sense the pitch isn't going anywhere, I'd either make small talk or bring the appointment to a close and thank them for their time.

8. What advice would you give a new author so they could be better prepared for appointments?
Find out what you can about the editor/publisher before your appointment. If you can find out something fun, it makes a great way to break the ice. "I saw on your website that your publishing house was started by __________. That's really fascinating. Could you tell me a little more about it?" Or something like that. I found it easier when I started the conversation with something else to help put my nerves at ease.

JODIE writes really sassy characters. Think it's a reflection of the author???
Thanks for sharing, Jodie. We look forward to your books hitting the shelves~

Monday, June 15, 2015

When is it Time to Say Enough by Linda S. Glaz



You’re pouring over your original novel for the tenth time. You love it! Your mother loves it! Your friends ALL love it! But no one in the literary world wants it.
How long do you continue to spend time writing, editing, rewriting, and sweating blood over it?
When is it time to say enough and put it away forever?
There are hours, days, months of work it that baby. Can you let it go?
Is it even relevant anymore?
Sometimes there is a difference between a work we are truly called to write, and a work that we want to write. Do we understand that difference?
Maybe you simply wrote it for a chance to learn something in the writing process. Maybe to encourage yourself to keep writing. Maybe just because it seemed like a good idea at the time.

When is it time to say enough?

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Who Are You Writing For? By Linda S. Glaz



Amazon has quickly changed everything we understand about the literary industry. The obvious e-book is one example.
And how about the faster paced society?
Writers are struggling to keep up with what and how their stories are to be told. Gone are the days when an individual sits at the typewriter and tells his or her own story without critique partners keeping them honest, editors with less time to give it in the end, and publishers without publishing dollars for a new author.
Add in a society that wants instant gratification, and you have a whole new world to be writing for. One of the classes I teach is on smacking the reader over the head with a two by four on page one. Why? Because that’s often all an agent or editor will look at to decide whether or not they want to consider a project, and also because readers want to be instantly drawn in. If they aren’t, bye-bye book sale.
So what is the next situation that has emerged to change the way a writer writes?
THE SAMPLE…
You know you have a few pages to get the reader’s attention. Will that change the way you write the book? We all want each page to keep the reader turning, or sliding, or tapping. But will this force writers to give it their all for a few pages, then slow the pace?
First we said to smack the reader right side the head for 5-10 pages. “It had better be your best writing.” Then we told them they had one page to get it right. Now, for the reader, how many pages is it going to take to get them to “go to the store and buy this book”?
The answer is far more simple than you would think and more difficult all at the same time.
Write a great book from page one to page…400 or whatever. You need to get the reader’s attention right away, but you can’t afford to let the story slide. If your reader decides a glass of lemonade would taste good enough to put down the book, then you’ve allowed them a “commercial break” and there should never be commercial breaks in a great book. Don’t give them one second when they feel comfortable enough about what is happening to your heroine that they can leave her alone for even a second.
So who are you writing for? An amazing page for agents and editors? A few awesome pages for contests and samples?
Or are you writing full out for the reader who wants an outstanding book from page one to the end?