Saturday, March 28, 2009
On the bright side, I get to spend the week with my very best friend and mentor and compadre in various nefarious crimes. (As she is some 45 years older than I am, I try to spend as much time as possible with her since Time is not on our side. Neither is the distance factor. But friendship IS, which is what counts, you know.)
Write on, friends. I'll be checking in with you all when I get back.
Friday, March 27, 2009
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Aching to ask a question about faeries who have lost their powers? Wondering how your work can stand on its own, speaking a powerful message, without getting all preachy? Just wanna say, "hello and I wish you luck," because you're that kind of person? Well, here's your chance. If you have a thought or a comment for RJ Anderson or you just want to give her well wishes (or you just wanna rub the blarney stone, so to speak) give a shout out. Rumor has it that she just might stop by one day this week ;)
C.S. Lewis is one of your favorite authors. How do you feel he's influenced your writing? Your world view?
Hugely. As a child my father read the Narnia books out loud to me, and that sparked my lifelong love of fantasy. Reading Lewis's essays on writing, particularly "Sometimes Fairy Stories May Say Best What's To Be Said" and "On Three Ways of Writing for Children", helped me to understand something very important about writing for any audience – that you always have to let the story, the ideas and mental pictures that fire your imagination, come before anything else. You can't start with a message or a moral or even a "point" because if you do, the story will become glib and superficial; as Lewis wrote, "the only moral that is of any value is that which arises inevitably from the whole cast of the author's mind." So when I write stories, I always start with the characters and their situation, and if anything of spiritual or philosophical significance develops naturally out of that, fine; but if it doesn't, well, I'm not going to force it in. Fiction and particularly fantasy can be wonderful for stimulating the imagination and getting the reader to think about the world in a new way, but it is a terrible medium for preaching sermons.
What advice do you have for authors seeking representation?
Saturday, March 21, 2009
The Connection: A Certain Slant of Light perched on the chair next to my computer desk for a month or so before I happened to read on KatW's blog that she too was reading it. How funny that both of us picked up a book, published in 2005, and read it at the same time. I just love connections like that.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Although not released until April 28th, you can pre-order now from Amazon. (Don't forget: if you pre-order, you save money!)
(And friends in Britain, Australia, and New Zealand, you can purchase now under the title Knife, though it has a different cover.)***
Still clutching Paul's shirt, she gave one last kick--and felt herself shoot upward, shattering the pond's surface. She flung her head back and gulped air, then scissored her legs, propelling herself and the limp body in her grip toward the shore.
Her feet touched bottom almost at once. She stood up and dragged Paul through the shallows to the edge of the pool. His face was spattered with mud, eyes closed and mouth hanging open. Pulling him as far as she could up the shore, she wrenched him onto his side and began to pound his back. He lay motionless as she thumped him, and she feared that she had reached him too late. Then suddenly he coughed, and water gushed from his mouth.
She waited until he had stopped coughing before rolling him over again. His eyes remained closed, but when she laid a hand on his chest she could feel his breathing, ragged at first, but growing deeper. She slapped his cheeks. "Paul. Paul! Can you hear me?"
He did not respond. With her smallest finger she wiped the slime from his lashes, looking for some glimmer of consciousness beneath those lids. "Paul, please--"
His cheeks puffed out in a last, weak cough; he stirred, and opened his eyes.
Alarmed, Knife let go of him and leaped back. Only then did she realize what had made him cry out, and she stared at her filth-spattered hands in disbelief.
"You," croaked Paul. "You're--"
"I'm big," said Knife blankly.
EXCERPT from pgs. 138-139 of FAERY REBELS: SPELL HUNTER (c) R.J. Anderson 2009
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Monday, March 9, 2009
I'm re-posting it for your reading pleasure. Please tell me what you're currently going through, agent-wise, or what has worked for you in the past.
August 15, 2008
OK: I'm guilty of it myself. I've toiled hours over my query letter. I've perfected it. I've tweaked it. I've buffed it. In fact, my query letter is a work of art, right up there with coffee ice cream.
And then I've sat on it. For six months.
Next step? GUILT. If I'm not out there beating the bushes for an agent, then how will Ceilyn see the light of day? I'm certainly not going to be hit over the head and dragged off by the hair to some publishing cave. So I decide to send out the query letter.
Retrieving the somewhat squished and wrinkled pages is the easy part. Determining the agent is pretty simple, too. Head held high, I mail off my one query letter. I'm still awaiting the results.
So -- if you were wondering -- this is the wrong way to do it. If you've taken even one class in statistics, you'll know why. Elizabeth Lyon, author of The Sell Your Novel Toolkit, pleads with us writers to do it the right way, the kinder, gentler, smarter way, the Lyon way.
The Lyon Way:
1. After you've perfected your query letter, send it out to ten agents.
2. Keep track of how many agents request your manuscript. A successful query letter nets 30%, or three out of ten requests.
3. If "successful," send out individualized letters to scores more agents. Increase your odds.
4a. If your query nets you zero, then your query letter is a failure.
4b. This is the good news: you haven't been rejected; just your query letter.
5. Re-write your query letter. Repeat steps 1-5.
If you have successful query letter stories or even "don't do what I did" stories, please share them! Are there better methods out there? Must-read books on the subject?
Saturday, March 7, 2009
I am, however, totally blaming him for the Red Hot Chili Peppers' song tumbling through my head right now. over and over. and again.
Friday, March 6, 2009
Exhibit #2: Anthony Pacheco, Hack Writer, the one of the sly wit and diabolical humor who deftly amuses and informs the blogosphere, is also a classy gentleman. Case in point: He writes, and I quote, "You will not find any negative (non-recommendation) book reviews here. That would, as unpublished writer, be a mistake and also a bit arrogant on my part, eh?" (This is, of course, not a snarky comment regarding my Hated Book Give-Away project whatsoever.) Pacheco seems to make it standard procedure to uplift and promote others whom he admires. There is no jealousy, no angst, no toddler temper tantrums from the Hack. Just happy kudos. And, that is an admirable practice.
Exhibit #3: On Wednesday, Pacheco blogs in his usual punchy manner about running across Gary Corby, fellow writer who has a book coming out next fall. Then he tweets about it, sending me and others to flood his blog post and Corby's website, in that order. Corby has an phenomonal landing-an-agent story that you simpy cannot miss. I laughed my way through it, then read the entire thing over again to the hubby. It was that good. You've got to read it for yourself. (And, congrats to Corby on all accounts! I'm looking forward to the book's release!)
Exhibit #4: Friday morning eases in, snow blanketing the world once more, and I'm still thinking about Gary Corby. I go back to his site, read his latest post about Aristophanes, and enjoy that as well. Then I start thinking about the connections -- fine, dewy spiderwebs spun of thought and word -- that invisibly touch our lives, then spring out into the world, brushing past others, looping us all together in a delicate and sometimes fragile cadre of writerly folk. And that makes me smile, which in turn makes me a happy writer.
Exhibit #5: You. What are the connections you've experienced? How do you know you're connected -- and what do you do to maintain or improve your connections? Or is it all in my head, something I've created in order to prolong my faith in humanity? You tell me :)
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Monday, March 2, 2009
It all started when I decided to throw joy out into the universe with no expectation of anything in return. I had read three decidedly crappy novels, felt my feathers ruffled with the precious time spent between those pages, and decided to make the entire farce into a game. I held a contest, mailed those books out to the (un)lucky winners, and started searching for three new replacement authors to grace my shelves, to introduce to my blog readers, to take into my classroom.
What I found was Cindy Pon. And new blog friends. And the synergy crafted from the writerly electrons tossed into the blogosphere by all you who entered. What a magical weekend -- and I'm still visiting your blogs and still getting to know all of you -- and I'm thoroughly enjoying the experience.
Thank you for celebrating Cindy Pon (her up-coming book, the Silver Phoenix, and all of her adventures in Chinese paint brush, feasting, and travels) with me and for giving her such a warm welcome.
And finally, the part you've all been waiting for, the part where the winner of Pon's ARC is announced. Well, actually, Cindy already announced it. I'm just re-announcing here because it's so much fun! Choosing at random, Cindy drew the name out of the proverbial hat this morning. Without further ado, I present you Llehn.
Llehn: please contact me so that I can send you your book!
Oh, and about that magic? Try your hand at tossing joy into the universe. It has a way of splashing the hand that tosses it.