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 GREAT AND TERRIBLE BEAUTY – Libba Bray

ETIQUETTE AND ESPIONAGE – Gail Carriger

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.

xx

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

THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK

THE WAR OF THE WORLDS by HG Wells

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

LADY CHATTERLEY’S LOVER by DH Lawrence

Jorge Luis Borges

Publishing trends may come and go, but honesty always prevails.

Publishing trends may come and go, but honesty always prevails. Here’s why. (In my opinion.)

Every writer published, or unpublished fears the dreaded T word. TREND. Just mentioning t-who-should-not-be-named makes my stomach twist in a knot. Advice is dispensed by everyone and their mother on the subject, but what happens when the story that’s itching to be told happens to be in a hot genre du-jour?

Write it anyway. (Waits for tomatoes to be thrown at screen.)

Write it, and make it the best freaking [insert genre here] novel it can be. Will it be harder to get an agent, or a publishing contract? Probably. But isn’t that already super difficult? Put your original spin on it and don’t hold back. Maybe it won’t sell now, but fear not–publishing is a cyclical industry. Your time will eventually come. In the meantime, keep writing! (And revising;))

Personally, I write YA light science fiction, speculative fiction, and dark fantasy. I’m not writing to a trend. Actually — if I’m being honest — I’ve been trying to write a contemporary young adult novel, but it never works out. Something always goes all fantastical in my brain. I. Can’t. Help. It.

Believe me, if I could write about lofty romances set in Europe, I so would. I think those stories are amaze balls, and I adore reading them. Deep down I’m a closet romantic. I’m also totally jealous of writers who can capture true-to-life contemporary novels. Holy crap, I WISH I could do that.

But I’ve never been that girl, fictional or not.

Don’t get me wrong, I seriously respect people who can write epic love stories historical, contemporary, or what-have-you. My early attempts at writing things like that were often met with furrowed brows. And comments like, “This is your happy story? But you’re talking about things that are…writhing around on top of burning embers…”

Sigh.

The hardest part about being an author, is finding your authentic voice and honoring it. No matter what.

That being said, I have to believe that what I’m writing passionately about will find its way into others hearts, as well (eventually). Trend, or not.

If I am a science fiction/fantasy writer by nature, wouldn’t I be doing everyone a disservice by trying to genre jump — just because the next [not-yet-hot-genre] might be an easier sale?

I’m not sure what the right answer is. But I am sure of one thing: the best things I’ve ever written have come from that unabashedly honest writing place within me. Blood, guts, and all. It’s where my voice truly comes alive.

With my latest project, agents are noticing that honesty. I credit not holding back (for fear of how it may, or may not be received) for my current request rate. (Just thinking about it is sending my heart into crazy palpitations. Inhale. Exhale.)

I think the best writing and publishing advice is this: be one-hundred percent honest with your writing. Write from your heart, people will notice. I think no matter the trend, if you stay true to yourself, eventually your time will come.

Never be afraid to keep improving your craft, though. Know that you’re an amazing writer, but there’s ALWAYS room to grow. (Myself, very much included!! :)) When all else fails, start your next project. Every new book is a stepping stone. Trust me all those stones will lead to good things. Each new project will teach you precious writing techniques. Also, don’t forget to READ!! Devour everything you can, you’ll be amazed by how much you’ll gain from reading in your genre (and beyond).

No matter what subject you choose to write about, be brave. Be bold. And revise the hell out of your manuscripts. Have a fantastic day loves. XO

What are your thoughts on writing trends? Are you finding that (even writing in your authentic genre) it’s harder to break into the publishing industry, now more than ever? 

Or… has the only thing that’s really changed is our ability to openly commiserate communicate (via social networking) about the whole publishing process?

Quotes about hope and a song to go along. See what I did there?

1.) When the world says, “Give up,”
Hope whispers, “Try it one more time.”~Author Unknown

2.) Once you choose hope, anything’s possible.  ~Christopher Reeve

3.) All it takes is one bloom of hope to make a spiritual garden.  ~Terri Guillemets

4.) Hope is faith holding out its hand in the dark.  ~George Iles

5.) The wings of hope carry us, soaring high above the driving winds of life.  ~Ana Jacob

Video credit: MrBoots10’s youtube channel

To quote one of my favorite musicians: “Hope you have the best week of your whole fucking life. Get to it XX” – Ryan Adams

Top Five Quotes on…Sitting, Waiting, Wishing

Throughout a writers career there will be plenty of time to learn the art of patience. TRUST me, you’ll need it. One of the main ways we learn this is through waiting. We wait until our novel is scoured over before sending it to betas or crit partners.

We wait for them to return it with notes on what they hate/love/and what needs to die a slow painful death. We repeat.

Finally, we start sending that manuscript out into the query world. Anyone who has gone through the process can tell you…you wait some more.

You wait for the agent to request your work.

You wait for them to read it. In turn, when you DO secure an agent, they’ve got a bunch of waiting they have to do, too. They feel our pain. They wait for editors, publishing houses, etc.

I thought I was a fairly patient person before I really started going at writing with the intent to publish.

I was WRONG.

On the bright side, I’m almost so patient now it scares me. Well, not really.

If you’re in the waiting game, I thought I’d share some quotes to help pass the time. Enjoy!!

1.) “Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.” — Aristotle

2.) “No, no! The adventures first, explanations take such a dreadful time.” — Lewis Carroll

3.) “A waiting person is a patient person. The word patience means the willingness to stay where we are and live the situation out to the full in the belief that something hidden there will manifest itself to us.” — Henri J.M. Nouwen

4.) “He that can have patience can have what he will.” — Benjamin Franklin

5.) “Patience, grasshopper,” said Maia. “Good things come to those who wait.” 
“I always thought that was ‘Good things come to those who do the wave,'” said Simon. “No wonder I’ve been so confused all my life.” — Cassandra Clare

Happy Wednesday <3333’s!

WANTED: Guest Bloggers

Photo credit members.memlane.com

As you may know from my previous tweet, I’m on the hunt for some guest bloggers. I’ve gotten some great feedback from it so far, and I’m almost through all the DM’s. (Thank you all, BTW for being as excited as I am about this.)

I have gotten a few questions about exactly what I’m looking for, so I hope this post helps to answer all of your guest blogging worries.

Basically I’m looking for anything having to do with writing. If you’ve come across a quote or poem that has inspired you that works too. If you’ve been published and want to share your story, if you’ve just gotten your 1,000,000th form rejection (okay maybe not a million) and you want to share how you keep yourself optimistic then that’s what I want to hear.

If it has to do with the road to publication, how you juggle life and writing, your writing journey, (writing journey can be getting an agent, revisions, rewrites, etc.) then it’ll be perfect. Heck if you’ve got a kick-ass recipe you’d like to share with some pictures of your finished cooking adventure, then I’d LOVE it! (Aside from writing, I’m a huge foodie. But you probably already knew that.)

If you’ve carved the Martha Stewart of all pumpkins (jack-o-lanterns) and you want to share the picture, then… you guessed it, that works too.

The sky is the limit. However, I’d like to keep it positive. So if you’ve received your ba-jillionth rejection and you are fed up with the world of publishing and you’re looking for a place to bash it, then this probably won’t be the best platform.

I’ve already selected one guest blogger, @EileenAndrews, so be sure to check out her website and follow her on Twitter! Oh and lastly, if you are interested in being a guest blogger, you can leave a comment here, DM me on Twitter or @reply me and I’ll be in touch. I can’t wait to see what you come up with!