Good and Bad

Monday, June 29, 2015





Good news first: I had a blast participating in The Writer's Voice contest last week and voted for some amazing manuscripts that I'm excited to look at.  I've ended up signing authors from this contest in the past, so there's a good chance I'll end up finding something I really love.  Because I had so much fun doing this, I'm also going to be doing a diverse YA/NA contest on Monica's blog (who is one of the hosts of the contest) in the very near future, so keep an eye out!  Also was able to take some time to hit up the Pride parade on Sunday, and on the lookout for great LGBTQ fiction or memoir.

Bad news: My dad was back in the hospital briefly after having a very bad fall.  There are some more doctor's visits in his future, but he's back at home now and doing okay.  He sent me a selfie of himself looking all beat up and Crypt Keeper-esque, which definitely freaked me out, though.  He is not having a great year.  I'm heading home for a little while to help out, and taking all my Voice reading with me for the train and downtime. 

Query Critique Winner

Monday, June 22, 2015

The query critique winner this week is Diane Anthony!  I read her query and requested her manuscript a couple months ago, so when I saw she was #8, I knew that her letter had already intrigued me.  Here it is:

Dear Carrie, 

Supernova is a completed 41,000 word, fantasy-fiction, new adult novel. 
Welcome to the new world, populated by dying superhumans…and Madeline.
Living in the shadow of her genius older brother Matthew has always been a sore spot for twenty-three year old, Madeline. Now she has finally established a comfortable life for herself: working as a librarian, helping her sweet, elderly duplex neighbor, and enjoying the freedoms of being single and on her own. But when a star goes supernova too close to Earth and blasts the world with radiation, her life becomes anything but comfortable.       
Worldwide black-out, cataclysmic death toll, and a case of amnesia for the remaining population is just the beginning. While Madeline is trying to make sense of it all, she starts to notice some very strange behavior. Everyone is suddenly endowed with superpowers, everyone that is, except her.

Madeline is once again haunted by her feelings of inadequacy as she tries to adjust to this new world where everyone else is gifted with amazing abilities. In a desperate attempt to find her own ability, Madeline ends up injured, leaving her depressed and jealous, until she discovers that the superpowers come with a fatal price. What seemed like a curse soon changes to a blessing as leading scientists begin the frantic search for a cure. Will Madeline be the sole survivor as humanity is wiped out or will her unique reaction to the supernova hold the key to saving everyone?

Thank you for your time and consideration of Supernova. Sincerely,Diane Anthony

Having taken the time to analyze a bit more (when I receive a query, I honestly just usually read though to see if it piques my interest and move on to the sample pages to judge the writing--unless the writing in the query is abysmal), here is my critique:

Dear Carrie, 

Supernova is a completed 41,000 word, fantasy-fiction, new adult novel. [I think it is more captivating to just jump right into the query.  I chose to cut this, but if you want to keep it in, I suggest moving it to the end of the letter.]
Welcome to the new world, populated by dying superhumans…and Madeline.

Living in the shadow of her genius, older brother Matthew has always been a sore spot for twenty-three year old, Madeline. [Maybe give an example of this here to show how Matthew has outshone her?] Now Even so, she has finally established a comfortable, satisfying life for herself: She workings as a librarian, helpings her sweet, elderly duplex neighbor, and enjoyings the freedoms of being single and on her own. But when a star goes supernova too close to Earth and blasts the world with radiation, her life becomes anything but comfortable.                                                                                                                                                         
 
wWorldwide black-out, cataclysmic death toll, and a case of widespread cases of amnesia for the remaining population is just the beginning of the devastation. While Madeline is trying to make sense of it all, she starts to notice some very strange behavior. Everyone is suddenly endowed with superpowers,. Eeveryone that is, except her. 

Madeline is once again haunted by her feelings of inadequacy as she tries to adjust to this new world where everyone else is gifted with amazing abilities. In a desperate attempt to find her own ability, Madeline ends up injured, leaving her depressed and jealous, until she discovers that the superpowers come with a fatal price. What seemed like a boon curse soon changes to a curse blessing as leading scientists begin the frantic search for a cure as everyone slowly begins to die[I switched this around, because since in the previous sentence you talk about superpowers, I assume that you're talking about the superheros, not Madeline in this sentence...also being the only person alive when everyone else on the planet is dead doesn't seem like much of a blessing to me!]Will Madeline be the sole survivor as humanity is wiped out or will her unique reaction to the supernova hold the key to saving everyone? 

Thank you for your time and consideration of Supernova. 
 
Sincerely, 
Diane Anthony

I really like this query!  I thought it was engaging and the last paragraph definitely made me curious to read sample pages.  The only thing I am a little worried about is the genre of this story.  The character is twenty-three, which makes this NA sci-fi, but having the main character out of college and leading what seems like a relatively quiet life makes this (from the query, at least) give it more of a women's fiction/commercial fiction to me.  What do you guys think?  For this to fall solidly in the NA arena, would you want to see Madeline in college?   Any other thoughts?  Comment below!

Things Are Gonna Get Brighter

Monday, June 15, 2015

I came back from my visit home to a wonderful surprise: between organizing myself with submissions to editors, film agents, etc., I also have two offers to negotiate!

Nothing is final yet, so no details to share at the moment, except for the fact that my week has exponentially brightened.



Another great piece of news that has brightened my week is the fact that GOOD CHINESE WIFE will be part of an upcoming Kindle June Big Deal. From June 12-28, the ebook will be available for $1.99, so if you haven't read it yet, that is the time to download a copy and check it out!

Speaking of books, I'm almost done with the teaser anthology for RWA.  It's about ready to go to the printer, and thank god!  It was fun putting it together, but I am definitely ready for this project to be out of my hands.  I've already had some scheduled state of the union calls with authors, and busy am planning more and catching up on my reading, so I won't be sorry to have one less thing on my to do list.

Okay, off to negotiating, and reading, and emailing...and query critiquing!  Results next week!!

Neither Snow Nor Rain Nor Heat Nor Gloom of Night...Just the Month of June

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Hello from Connecticut!  I am back at home for the start of this coming week to celebrate my mom's retirement (from over 40 years as a first grade teacher!!!), my uncle visiting for the first time in seven years, and my dad's birthday!

Lots of really fun things, which in a weird way, made me realize something for work: I am not going to be sending out new submissions to editors for the month of June.  


My authors freaking out.

I have soooo many authors right now whose projects are on submission that I haven't really had the chance to do anything about them once I send them out, and I really want to spend the rest of this month checking in with editors, organizing submission lists, and doing state of the union calls with authors I haven't touched base with in awhile so I can figure out where I am with everyone.

I also desperately need to follow up with the film agents who have been reading different projects for me, and get more aggressive with film in general (which I think just now became a goal for 2015).

I use this awesome website called noteboardapp.com to keep track of all my submissions and editor info.  It's basically an online cork board that you can separate into tabs so that each author has one, and then put sticky notes all over.  I love it, and I'm really looking forward to getting it all organized and up-to-date once I am back in the city!

For now though, I'm just enjoying this extra time with my family and reading my BEA books!

BEA and Query Critique

Monday, June 1, 2015

I'm feeling very refreshed after my week of semi-relaxing!  I cleaned my apartment, which actually was incredibly soothing because afterwards I had a light, airy, fresh-smelling house; had a great lunch date with Beth; and went to BEA :D

Look at the crowds!




It was so much fun getting to meet Beth in person and talk about her deal.  She is the sweetest--to celebrate her very makeup-filled book, she got me a Sephora gift card, so I got to treat myself to a bunch of fun purchases.  I also signed another new client--Nicole Pomer--this week and am loving her commercial fiction novel, BLUE MOUNTAIN, about an expat husband and wife whose marriage is on the brink of ending when he decides to go on a clandestine trip across the border to deliver medicine to Somalia.  It is told in alternating POV chapters, and details the husband's dangerous trip, and the wife's own journey to find him and bring him back.  Awesome, yes?

After all that great stuff, I wrapped up the week with BEA!!!  I have to admit, it felt quieter this year.  At least during the day I went, it didn't feel like publishers were giving out as many books (especially not BEA Buzz Books) or totes as they were last year.  Despite that, I still had an amazing time.  I got in line for a signed copy of Charles Belfoure's new book, HOUSE OF THIEVES, and got to introduce myself.  I was his agent's assistant back when we found his first novel in her slush, and he was thrilled to meet me, which was very flattering.

I got to see this as well...

Yup--it's Sara Joiner's AFTER THE ASHES on display and featured in Holiday House's poster!!!  Ahhhh, so cool!!!!!!!!

And, of course, I have to show you guys my book haul for the day:






That pretty much sums up my lovely week.  Now it's query critique time!  For everyone who enters (and those who don't) spread the word so that even if you don't submit a query, you encourage others to read and comment.  Thanks :)









If you're not familiar with how to enter, take a look at my previous post to read the rules.  Good luck!
 
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