Wednesday, September 30, 2015

My awesome agent is giving away a query critique!

My fabulous agent, Lauren MacLeod, was getting excited that my book Frosh: First Blush will release soon! And then she said she’d be happy to give away a query critique to celebrate this. It's a Rafflecopter giveaway, and it ends when my book releases, on Oct 20, 2015. 
Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

P.S.: and don't forget that my publisher,  The Studio/Paper Lantern lit is also having a giveaway! Details HERE.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Frosh: First Blush NEWS and a CONTEST!, guys! So like you see on the picture, my publisher is organizing a pre-order contest, and you can win up to TWELVE books! 

Then, there's other news! Frosh First: Blush is available for request on NetGalley!

AND I got my first blurb and I'm so excited: 

"Fresh, authentic, and smart. This is a feel good book, but think twice about reading it in public. Some parts will make you feel really good!" -Tamara Mataya, New York Times/USA Today bestselling author. 

Amazon | Goodreads | B&N | iBooks

Friday, September 4, 2015

Excercise/ Tip to Finding Your Writing VOICE (in fiction)

Aaaah! Voice. We’ve all got those "voice" rejections, haven’t we? Even if some were form-y, but still--sometimes they HURT! There was this manuscript I went out on sub with a few years ago, and I got a few “voice” rejections. So just reading the word “voice” right then was enough to make me CRINGE. And sure, there was that pesky word: “subjectivity.”

Still, I tried. And I thought I got it. I went to Amazon to browse sample chapters of a lot of NYT bestselling books. And guess what? I didn’t love the voice of all of them. In fact, I just loved the voice of like 60% of those bestselling books. Okay, so “subjectivity” was a real thing! But still, right then, I hadn’t sold any book, and I thought my voice could still improve. But HOW THE HELL could I make it better?

I didn’t know. Honestly. Still, I kept writing, switched agents, revised, etc. And still, a big, fat nothing.

Then, on a whim, I applied to book packagers. Many of them. Alloy, Working Partners, Cake Literary, etc. And, even though I got a few rejections, I also got a few “We loved your sample chapter! Do you want to audition?” And I did. And these packagers gave me characters to write about. Characters with flaws, interests, different streaks in their personalities, etc. So now I had to craft a voice for them, for many characters I hadn’t even created myself?? Talk about hard! But you know what? That was the BEST writing exercise ever. I was forced to get out of my comfort zone and explore different personalities that I wouldn’t normally write about.

Now THAT helped me with the voice thingy. I got into these many different characters’ minds. Trying to really get their goals, what made them tick. I got into the exact moment of their scenes, the conflicts in their heads. And slowly, things started to click together for me. Because I had learned to feel the characters. 

I think voice is about that. When you are writing with your heart, with your guts, when you FEEL THROUGH your character.

So, this is my tip if you want to work on your voice. It’s an exercise: go to Netflix or whatever, and pick 4-6 characters from a movie/series that you know well BUT wouldn’t normally write about. And write a scene—like fan fiction, but WAY OUT of your comfort zone. And don’t stop until you truly feel those characters. Explore the words they like to use and see why, and zoom in their minds--and create, too. And when there's even a sentence in your writing that reads without a voice, ask yourself, why?

It worked for me, at least. I started to get compliments on my voice. I got a three-book deal—with FOUR different voices. And most of all, I can finally say, I am happy with my own voice. And, if in the future I get voice rejections, I’ll be like, whatevs.

Tell me, did you find your voice? How?