writing is hard.

There are so many distractions… so many things to see on the interwebs… I am watching Janina type away and maybe she’s thinks I’m writing too, but I’m not working on my novel like I should be…

Today I read this article about authors who self-publish ebooks and are actually able to make a living at it.  And I’m really starting to think I should throw some of my completed novels into the ebook arena.  Specifically, the Hitchhikers series.  Yeah, you know, the second book of which I am not writing right now?

So this article has inspired me to really think about doing the whole ebook thing.  A traditional publisher would be wonderful, but as you can see from my rejection counter –> I have sort of run the gamut of agents and a handful of publishers who are not interested.  And yet this same novel, in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel contest two years ago made it nearly to the end.

The article should have inspired me to actually write more, but instead I was more inspired to create series covers.  You know, covers that actually relate to each other and would sell an ebook.  I will share those once I’ve finished all three.  Three you say?  Yes – the fully written Hitchhikers, the half-finished Dreamwalkers, and the twinkle in my eye Scavengers, which will be told from Zeke’s point of view.  Maybe there will be more at that point, who knows?  I’m also calling the series Wolf Point.  I’ve been getting a lot of good ideas and tips on The Book Designer‘s blog, which hosts a monthly ebook cover design award.

Maybe if I can manage to keep up this level of inspire-ment for more than tonight, this whole ebook thing might actually come to pass…

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long time no write

I’ve been under the radar recently… not doing much writing (unless you count working on character family trees?).  Since Hitchhikers didn’t make it through to the next round, I sent it out to several agents and a) got 2 rejections ON MY BIRTHDAY and b) had 2 agents request the manuscript on the day after my birthday!  This was over a month ago, and I haven’t heard from the first agent, now I’m waiting on the second.  Overall my review from Publisher’s Weekly was positive so fingers crossed that good things will come!

As for getting more writing done… it’s summer and it’s busy and hopefully come September (or at least November!) I will find more time for writing again.

excerpt time

Finally you can read the excerpt from Hitchhikers on the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award site. However, first you’ll have to download the Kindle app (for PC, Mac, iPhone, etc.)  Then, from the ABNA home site, look on the left hand column and you’ll see the different categories of the Quarterfinalist entries – my category is Young Adult, and my entry is on page 8 or so… OR you can just go directly to Hitchhikers.

If you do end up downloading Hitchhikers, and you liked it, I would be eternally grateful if you were to either hit the “like” button on the Hitchhikers Amazon page (so easy!), or if you’re feeling really generous, write an awesome review!  Side note: if you read it and hate it, I would be eternally grateful if you do nothing.  I will warn you in advance, the story is meant for older teens, there is strong language and it’s gory.

This second round meant that my excerpt was read and reviewed by two Amazon Vine reviewers.  The first reviewer called it “…horrifying yet morbidly fascinating” and said, “Hitchhikers has given that ‘hook’ that will draw readers in.”  The second reviewer summed it up by saying it had an “[a]bsolutely fascinating plot.”  While I heard some contestants received some very negative reviews (and pretty unprofessional ones at that), I was very pleased with my two reviews and I feel pretty lucky that my baby didn’t get skewered (especially considering my concerns about typos).  Yeah, so if you download and read Hitchhikers, try to ignore those… 🙂

*yay*yay*yay*

After desperately refreshing the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award homepage all morning, FINALLY the quarterfinalists were revealed shortly after noon!  And after bracing myself for NOT seeing my name on the list, THERE IT WAS!!!!

That’s right, I made it to the next round!  I was so excited I almost ran across the library to tell someone, anyone, about the awesome news.  I kept myself from running but I’m pretty sure I was skipping at the very least, and then of course happy dancing in the staff room.  Woooooooo!

From what I can gather from the ABNA website, Publisher’s Weekly writes up a review for all 500 quarterfinalists’ manuscripts, and Amazon customers can read each entry’s excerpt.  So that will be awesome, even if I don’t make it through the next round of cuts (which is over a month away, to be announced on April 26).

i made the cut!

Last month I entered the Amazon.com Breakthrough Novel Award (ABNA) with Hitchhikers. On Thursday they posted the list of those who had made the first cut, from 10,000 entries down to 2,000 (1,000 each in two categories, adult & YA). It took me a while to scroll down to the S’s, where I discovered my novel had made the cut! Check it out for yourself!

The first cut is based solely on the novel’s “pitch” – essentially what you’d send in as a query letter. Now I just have to wait until the end of March, when they’ll announce the novels that will move on to the third round. The next cut will be based on each novel’s excerpt (the first 5,000 words of the novel).  Of course, now that I can’t change anything about it, I realized that there was some kind of error when I pasted in my excerpt which made spaces between some of the words disappear… 😦  I thought I had fixed them all but now I see several errors in the first paragraph alone… hopefully they’ll read beyond the first paragraph and not judge me too harshly!

wallpaper… and not wallpaper

Ten rejections into my New Year’s Resolution and an agent asked to see the full manuscript! I had only just started wallpapering with my rejections. I am not deluded; I know that I may yet be rejected again, and this one might hurt more. But at least I know my query letter isn’t a total failure. All week I’ve been scrambling around getting my manuscript submission together so I can send it out before I head off to Jamaica for a week!

Most of my queries thus far have been for The Abandoned, but I did enter Seven Minutes to Midnight in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest again. I’m hoping that this year it will have a better chance since there is now a young adult novel category, but I must confess that the major reason I submitted to the contest again was for the (slight) chance that the freaking awesome Sarah Dessen will read it. Yes, she’s one of the judges. Of course, it will have to make it through the first round, which will cut about 80% of entries. Then the next round, which will cut 75% of those entries. Then hope that my novel will be of the top 20% of THOSE entries. And then hope I’m one of the top 6. Those percentages aren’t exactly in my favor, but a girl can dream…