Hello, everyone! Hope you all had an awesome weekend and took a break from your query so you can get out of your writer cave, feel the sun on your face and go de-stress! Getting bombarded with criticism (constructive or no) can be stressful, and all of you guys deserve a pat on the back for putting your work out there to the public for review. Thank you again for being a part of my contest!
Miss Y.R. Jones was nice enough to take time out of her day to answer some questions for me. Without further ado, enjoy this interview with the winner:
1) Are you a pantser or a plotter?
You know, I was in denial for a long time about my Type A personality. I thought I could attempt my first ever MS writing on a whim – until…
This is the 2nd contest I’ve entered for “Like Yesterday” and the first I’ve won. I might be on the right track with this manuscript – just might be. But this contest wasn’t about winning; it’s about helping to shape queries and the opening words of a manuscript. As all writers who seek agent representation know, if you don’t reel in an agent w/ a query and then snatch them w/in the first page, then chapter 2 or 20 won’t matter. I’ve learned a great deal from this contest, as I’m sure the other participants did as well. I’ve already tweaked my query again b/c of it.
Everyone give a gigantic congratulations to contestant number seven, Miss Y.R. Jones!
Her entry, LIKE YESTERDAY, is our April Fools’ Query Contest winner!
I will be in contact with our winner within the next couple days and hopefully we will have her interview up by this weekend.
Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who participated and followed this contest. And thank you to the contestants who took the time to vote on their fellow authors’ work. The goal of the contest was not to win but to determine the strengths and weaknesses of your query and first 250. To any who feel discouraged in the wake of this contest: Remember that opinions are just opinions. You might mull over the votes you received for a week and decide you agree with them…or you may decide the opposite. But that’s your choice; you are the author and you have…
Someone (my BFF actually – love her!) commented “Feelings much?” when I Instagrammed a screenshot of what I was listening to—Ed Sheeran’s album. Well, hell…even *I* can’t be hard all the time, right? But I HAVE to say this: this guy’s album has carried me through this manuscript. It was there w/ me during several writer’s blocks and even now, as I write a particular scene that has me
(Damn you, Oprah! :: wails :: ) And let me tell you, Dear Ol’ Ed ain’t helping! But nonetheless, I enjoy the ease of his voice while I’m creating a voice of my own in my writing. Here, have a listen. Enjoy. You can thank me later. 🙂
I decided to review We’re Family…Right? ten months after shelving it, thanks to that full request I received during my break. Dare I say…I was appalled…by the word structuring, word choices, hell…the writing as a whole.
I can’t believe that a year ago, I believed that I submitted “a work of art”. Boy…reality can be so cruel.
Today, I learned the real meaning of “You’re not a true writer until you’ve written several books…that you’ve filed away to never see the light of a publishing house.” Ok, that may not have been the exact quote, but its many variations can be read across the web. And you know what? It’s true. “Why” you ask? Because simply put – the more you write, the more you learn, the more you grow and a better writer you become. That was one reason WFR wasn’t great (IMHO, of course), but it’s also because I realized that writing in a certain style doesn’t suit me. It was the second novel I’ve written in first person. :: face palm :: I thought it was the only style for me that allowed me to project more emotion into my writing. Oh, how wrong was I. Like Yesterday is in third person, and I can [prematurely] say that it was the best decision I’ve ever made. I am not only able to share the feelings of one character but several. It gives my MS an added dimension that my first two MSS lacked. I have more freedom with sentence structure as the narrator takes on a different persona than the characters without restriction.
So, what do I do w/ WFR? I’ve always had the intention of converting it into a family saga, but rewriting it? I don’t know if I even have the slightest of care. I do want to produce a family saga, but I’m not sure if that family is the way to go. We shall see. Like Yesterday is my #1 priority right now. Perhaps if this “work of art” (lol) lands me an agent and, subsequently, a publishing deal, then I’ll make that call.
Wow, that was one hell of a break! I didn’t expect to take so much time off, but apparently, my life knew otherwise. In case you haven’t noticed (ahem…*whispers* look at the WIP meter), my fingers and creative mind have been busy. I can’t believe that I’m over halfway to meeting my 80k goal. :: cues music :: It started off with me just slipping to the side to get a week worth of writing done, but then…I couldn’t stop. It’s still going strong, and I’ve grown even more excited about this project. So, hopefully you guys haven’t deserted me. Eh…it was the holidays, so I’m sure you all have been swamped as well.
While on break, I received a full request…for We’re Family…Right?…to a query sent…almost A YEAR AGO! I was so taken aback that I didn’t know if I should send the MS immediately, do some editing and then send it, or reject her request since that project has been shelved for a while (and good riddance since I’ve learned SOOO much from writing Like Yesterday that WFR needs some major edits). I understand that agents are busy people, like the elves at North Pole on Christmas Eve type busy, but a year later seemed so bizarre. However, she did request and thanked me for being patient. She could be insanely slow at checking her email, lost internet connection for the year, been consumed in the careers of her current clients, or my query could’ve been filed in the “maybe” pile until she had time to reconsider. Who knows, but I still appreciated the request, especially since she’s an agent known to sell my type of book to large publishers.
This literary industry is so unpredictable but often times offers the best surprises. Albeit a year later, that email was just the pick-me-up I needed. Merry Christmas to me! 🙂
Ashlee is a talented writer of Young Adult and historical fiction with two completed novels to her name. Do take some time away from your day to check out her blog to see what she has to say about her works and her journeys through the fascinating history of Europe.
Thanks, Ashlee, for following, and good luck with landing new literary representation!
(Y’all know that I sang this post title to the tune of “It’s Raining Men”, right?)
So, I’m a shoe addict. My husband encourages my addiction as he has a shoe fetish. A match made in heaven.
With this disrespectful, bitter weather now here, I have been reminded that winter is nearing. And you know what that means?? Boot shopping!
I recently bought these babies (that I have YET to wear).
Now, to my wish of the week – I NEED these in my life!
When my hands, ears, and feet are warm, *I* am warm. And no other boot gets the job done like Uggs, don’t you agree?
I think I’d spend this weekend giving back and donating the shoes I don’t currently wear. As much as I love shoes, it’s amazing how fast time flies, shoes go out of season and I lose the desire to wear them. So, why let them sit in my closet and collect dust when there is some woman who could use them more?