October 31, 2011

Tip.

If you're writing your book, even if you're FINISHED with it....even if it's like, 800,000 words long (and seriously, if it's that long you are sooooooooooooo not finished)- back to the point- if you're at that point, and it suddenly occurs to you that something might not be quite right, or you realize that you could make the book a zillion times better but it would require a major re-write....

DO IT ANYWAY.

DO NOT tell yourself that the book's "good enough."

Because if you do, you'll end up with a request for a full from an agent you're in love with, and you'll spend the next four days frantically re-writing around the clock (cracked out on cheesesticks and cherry coke zero) because you won't be able to get that re-write idea out of your head and you won't want the agent to read anything until you get it re-written.

I'm not even sure that last paragraph makes sense, but I can't even think clearly anymore. I need sleep and a shower.

October 27, 2011

Favorite Books- October 2011

I've been reading like a mad woman lately- I think because I'm trying really hard NOT to write. Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month, http://www.nanowrimo.org/) starts November 1, and I'm trying to save my writing for then.

SO. Since I'm planning to basically write around the clock, I thought I'd squeeze in some reading. I'm a pretty fast reader, so I've read a LOT. Here are my favorites from this month:

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins (Young Adult)
Oh. My. I love this book. So much. So so much. So much that I really wanted to loan it out because I want everyone I know to read it, but I can't stand to be apart from it so I'm not loaning it out. I've actually considered buying a second copy so I'll have a spare. I even linked the title to Amazon for you so all you have to do is buy it. Buy it. Please buy it. And after you read it, comment here so we can gush to each other about how wonderful this book is.

Anna is sent to a boarding school in Paris where she meets Etienne St. Clair. Etienne is very nice, seems to be friends with everyone, funny, etc. Basically perfect. Except he has a girlfriend.

If I had read this book in high school, it would've ruined me for all guys. No one could've lived up to Etienne. I'm 31 years old and totally in love with a teenage fictional character.

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins (Young Adult)
So since I loved Anna, I immediately got on Amazon and ordered Lola. It's a companion novel, which means Anna and Etienne show up in it as secondary characters, but the story is about Lola and the complicated relationship she has with Cricket, the boy next door.

First off, how fabulous is the name Cricket?? And Lola. Lola may very well be my most favorite fictional character right now. (Aside from my aforementioned love for Etienne.) She's a true individual. She takes great care in choosing her "look" from day to day. I think the line in the book is something like- she doesn't believe in fasion, she believes in costume. Or something like that. Fantastic. And Perkins does a beautiful job of describing Lola's looks from day to day.

I tried really hard to just pick one of these books for this list, but I couldn't decide which I liked more. I loved Anna and the French Kiss because of Etienne, and Lola and the Boy Next Door because of Lola. Amazing characters.

And of course, I now have a total author crush on Stephanie Perkins. Her next book (also a companion to Anna and Lola) is Isla and the Happily Ever After. It comes out in 2012. That is a LONG TIME. In the mean time, I plan to read every bit of Stephanie's blog.

How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf by Molly Harper (Paranormal Romance, not YA)
Molly Harper is from Kentucky, so of course I had to read her stuff. I also had the pleasure of attending a session that she led at the Kentucky Writers Conference where she talked about various ways to add humor to writing. She's one of the best to lead such a session, because this chick is HILARIOUS.

I read three of her books this month. This was my favorite. There's a whole "naked werewolf" series. This is the first of that series, and it focuses on Mo,  a young woman who moves to Grundy, Alaska where she encounters a superbly sexy young man named Cooper. I have no idea what else to say without spoiling the book, except that I could go on for hours and hours about how hot Cooper is. I even tweeted Molly after I read it just to let her know how much I loved Cooper. (And, unlike Etienne, my crush on Cooper is way more age appropriate.)

Ok, go forth and read!!

September 5, 2011

I love Fall.

Ok so it's not really Fall. Or maybe it is, since today's Labor Day and all. But still, I know I have several days of hot hot hot weather in my future. But today, I'm totally loving that it's below 70 and I can put on jeans AND my favorite gray cardigan.

Plus I got a haircut.

I love today.

AND, after taking a break from my novel for about a week, I'm about to open that Word document and take another look. I got the edits back from Beth, and they were exactly what I needed. She also really enjoyed the book, which makes me happy.

August 9, 2011

Editing.

Right around the time I started writing my book, I went to a fun little tea party with my mom. There's this bed and breakfast in Lancaster called Hammond Hall. It's run by the fabulous (FABULOUS) Jean Turner, who was the gifted and talented teacher when I was in elementary school.

Fun fact: In 5th grade, I started writing a book called Miss Olivia. It was about a slave boy who became close friends with Miss Olivia, the young daughter of the slave owners. Sweet story. Mrs. Turner critiqued it for me. I have no idea where it is now.

ANYWAY- at the fun tea party- I met Beth Dotson Brown, a published author. (Check her book out here.) She lives in itty-bitty Lancaster, KY. How many links can I put in one blog entry?? Just now, I wanted to link a google map to Lancaster just to amuse myself.

So I met Beth, she was lovely. Then, a few months later I attended an Editors Day in Lexington sponsored by SCBWI. Beth was there! How fun is that?! This time she gave me one of her business cards and guess what- she does freelance editing.

Don't you love that? I do. Totally.

When I "finished" the book and complete three rounds of revisions, I called her up. And now, the lovely Mrs. Brown is editing my book. She said she'd have it finished in about 10 days. She's currently had it for 2. I'm a nervous wreck. I have no idea why! (Well, obviously I do know why. It's tough to be edited, right? And what if my book sucks in a totally embarassing way? So much that she emails me back and is like, "Megan, please stop writing. Forever."??) Seriously, I can't wait for her feedback. I'm sure she will have a lot of helpful comments and suggestions. But there is a part of me that is like, terrified that my book is terrible. Even though I love it....everyone loves their own books, right? Why else would we keep writing?

August 1, 2011

Oh my god querying SUCKS.

So.

I've written this super fly novel. It's a young adult fantasy. It has great, fun characters with snappy dialogue and basically all kinds of awesomeness, a fun little side romance, and mystery......ah....I love it.

AND NO ONE IS EVER GOING TO FREAKING READ IT!!!!!!

<sigh>

Ok seriously. I've read a million stories about authors who queried 800 agents before finally finding THE ONE. So I need to chill. But then....THEN I read stories like this one, where she found her agent in like....a day. (Or two. Whatev.)  But also, that's Rachel Hawkins, and if you haven't read Hex Hall and Demonglass, you should. She's fabulous. I love her and I don't even know her. But on her blog and on twitter--hilarious. Also fabulous? Kiersten White, who wrote Paranormalcy and Supernaturally.

But let's not get distracted from my whining.

I hate querying. I knew that I would. I sat on my book for several weeks before I even started trying to draft a query letter, because I knew I would hate it. It's nerve-wracking! If everyone hates your query, no one will ever want to see sample pages! So even if I have written the world's most wonderfully entertaining book...it means absolutely nothing unless I can write a killer query.

Of course, I guess the whole point is that if I can write such an awesome book, I should be able to draft a pretty sweet query.

Ok fine. Whatever. I'm going to go work on my query some more now. Geez.