an ode to the precious and some gemma doyle fangirling

my latest book haul!

my latest book haul!

books are such magical things. we can open them and be transported to new worlds, new times, and new adventures. we can laugh and cry and shake our fists along with our favorite characters, and we can fall in love and have our hearts broken with them, too. my ya gothic horror is on submission right now, and i’m in the midst of researching and drafting out my latest project to keep from obsessively checking emails from my agent. i’m also binge-reading a bunch of books and loving every second of this part of work. here are a few titles from my recent book haul that i’ve been super excited about reading.



A COLD LEGACY – Megan Shepherd

RED QUEEN -Victoria Aveyard

omg the gemma doyle trilogy??? where has it been all my life. so. effing. good. i bought the other two books and am eagerly* awaiting their arrival. i cannot believe it’s taken me so long to get into them.

what debut are you most looking forward to? and what are some of your favorite creepy books? i need to add some more titles to my (ever) growing list!

*by eagerly awaiting i mean pacing back and forth, cursing the mail for being late, and breaking out into a cold, i-NEED-it-now sweat. the next step will be rocking in the corner and smacking my gums until the precious arrives. not pretty.


Thanks, but no thanks. (Fake) Rejection letter hell.

For some road-to-publishing fun, I decided to take some of the most [in]famous rejection letters (sent to UBER famous authors), and combine them into one hellish rejection. 

Fake Rejection by Kerri Maniscalco

May the dreaded form rejection never look quite-so-bad again, my fellow author-ly types. Have a fabulous day. <3333

*Rejection excerpts taken from the following authors/works:

LOLITA by Vladimir Nabokov



CARRIE by Stephen King

THE DEER PARK by Norman Mailer

THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS by Kenneth Grahame

LORD OF THE FLIES by William Golding


Jorge Luis Borges

Oceans and streams and crits for water

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When people reach out to do good for others, it warms my freaking little heart like you wouldn’t believe. Therefore, I want to share with you something I’m seriously crushing on. There are only a few days left of the crits for water fundraising campaign, so don’t wait to check it out. Agent critiques, Author critiques, and so much more.

Here’s some information taken from The Flighty Temptress Blog: 

charity: water is a non-profit that is dedicated to bringing clean water to the estimated 1 billion people on earth who do not have access to it.  My favorite part about charity: water, is that all donations go directly towards the field, that is: building wells, sanitation projects, good hygiene, etc.  They are a very transparent charity, one of the most transparent in the world.

Find out more information about the founding of charity water here. It’s really inspirational.

To date (December 30, 2010) charity: water has built/funded nearly 4000 water projects around the world, though mostly in Africa.  They have helped more than 1.7 million people avoid water-borne diseases and develop good hygiene practices.

There are three more awesome chances for crits left!!! (not to mention the awesome Kat Brauer also does Kat-crits, but only until the 30th!)

Here’s the current auction on her blog: The roctastickness that is Agent Savant, Laurie McLean, is offering a THREE chapter and TWO page synopsis critique via AUCTION for Crits for Water. This can be from the following genres: adult genre fiction (romance, fantasy, thriller, mystery, horror, science fiction) or young adult (teen). The auction starts now and will end at 11:59pm on June 24, Eastern Time.

CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT THE AUCTION AND HER SUPER FAB SITE!!! The caps were necessary, because I’m super excited. Go donate whatever you can for such an awesome cause. Happy weekend!!! <3333333

Literary Agents, a writer’s best friend or agents of the dark side?

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While the majority of writers appear to be genuinely grateful for agents, others seem less enthused. I’ve read blog posts where agents are put right up there as Satan’s right hand man or woman.

They sit back in their office on the 32nd floor of a Manhattan high-rise, grab a cup of coffee and then mull over a newspaper for an hour or so. The phone rings, but they surely won’t answer it since they’re too consumed with the happenings on Page Six. Emails ding away in their inbox, but they don’t bat an eye–they’re too busy setting fire to your query letter while toasting marshmallows in the conference room with their colleagues. They forward your email to other agents in their office and mock your storyline until it’s time to place the lunch order.

Silly scribes.

Literary Agents aren’t sitting back wasting the day away thinking of how to ruin your career before it begins. They don’t have time. They make money if your book sells. I imagine them to be more like the judges on American Idol, sifting through the hundreds of thousands of hopeful contestants until they find their top 12. It’s a tough job, but someone has to go home unhappy.

On the bright side of this analogy, the people who made it to the top 24 are great singers (writers), they just need some more polishing.

If you send out a query letter that doesn’t follow the format, how can they make a split second decision regarding whether or not your manuscript will follow the format? Is that a  chance they are willing to take while sorting through the other 300 query letters that came in this week? Probably not.

Most importantly don’t be discouraged. Keep improving your query letters and keep sending them out to agents who rep your genres. If you get a rejection, pick yourself up-brush yourself off and try it again. Don’t send a nasty follow up to the agent that rejected you either. It may feel satisfying for a second, but it’s just bad karma in the end. Send them happy thoughts and move on; you’ll feel better playing nice. Like my mother always says, you catch more flies with honey.

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I don’t know about you, but I’m going to think of my agent as my best friend or partner in book selling crime. The Huck Finn to my Tom Sawyer and not the Darth Vader to my Luke Skywalker. XO