Thursday, April 28, 2011

If your character can deal with it, you can

The crazy part about rejections is that when you read those dreaded words in the letter, you feel very alone.  Even though we know there are other writers --thousands of writers, for all we know--going through the exact same process.  Our family, friends, and loved ones do not know how to react when they hear the news.  I mean, if you were them what would you think to say?  "I'm sorry", "You'll get accepted soon.", "Don't give up." The hardest thing is grasping that they might never understand what it feels like, but we have to appreciate what they do say.
The way I look at it is this, we put our characters through Hell --some of them lose people close to them, others die in fights, a few of them even keep dangerous secrets that only continue to hurt them both mentally and physically.  If we as writers can kill off a character in one chapter or separate two lovers without a second thought, then we can also accept each rejection letter.  And every time I feel bad about the rejection letter I've read, I think about my book and the nightmares I've forced Celestria to deal with.  If she had to live without knowing how her sister died, can't I live with another rejection?
The real reason I'm telling you all of this is not to bore you, but to rather allow you and I to come closer.  Through rejections, I feel like only us writers can help one another.  And sure I've been talking about rejections for several days now on this blog --and you probably hate me for it--but this is the only place I can go and truly express my feelings about this long and brutal process.

For now I'll let that all sink in and get back to writing.  Either that or just sit back and read Fallen.

Be there for the magic:

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Rejection letters, heartbreak, and moving on

Out of the seven response I've received so far from agents, seven of them have been rejection letters.  A lot of my friends --and my family, boyfriend, etc.--can't truly understand what a rejection letter is.  It isn't simply a letter where an agent states they won't represent your book.  If it was that simple I would not be frustrated when I read responses.  A rejection letter... It's like a break up.  It's that moment when the guy decides to break up with you, but you're still entirely in love with him.  He keeps it short and to the point, and there you are staring at him with your jaw hanging open and your eyes watery as ever.  That is what a rejection letter is.  You've been dumped within much explanation, and no matter how badly you want to fix it there is nothing you can do.
I remember my first rejection letter.  I had completed The Magic of Light at the time, and back then I was too young to realize that my 50 page "book" simply was not close to being published material.  Even so, I sent it to agents and publishers, and then those horrid letters came.  Yeah, you know...  
"Dear (your name),
We're sorry to say, but after reviewing your letter we have determined we cannot represent your manuscript at this time.  We wish you the best..."

And so forth.  The first time I read a letter similar to that I thought I was going to cry.  I'm not even sure if I read the entire thing.  It was like they had taken a knife into my back and were slowly pulling it out.  How could they reject my book?  My book?  My baby?  It blew my mind.

Fast forward five years, and look at where I am.  I'm still talking about those nasty rejection letters, I'm writing, and the editing is driving me crazy.  Sometimes people will ask me why I keep trying, especially after considering the multiple times I've heard that an agent isn't interested in my book.  What I've learned is that the people who ask you that question will never understand.  They can't understand that for you, this isn't about getting published.  This about living out your dream, writing because it is your passion, and finally giving birth to what you created.  
Every time I've read a rejection letter I have winced at every single word.  When someone else is next to me, reading along with me, I will try to hide the fact that inside I feel broken, empty, and scared.  The truth is, there are probably thousands of others who feel this same way.  Sure, I can cry over every time I have failed miserably in pursuing this dream, but at the same time there is no point.  Today I read three rejection letters.  It wasn't until I read through all three that I came to an email that finally said an agent wanted to read more of my work.  Think about every time you have been rejected.  Isn't it worth it when someone finally shows interest?  You have to think of a rejection as a bad date; he's not coming back to you.  You have to wait and be patient to find the one who's for you, and when he shows that he is interested you can slowly pull him in toward you.  There's a chance he'll find out he is not that interested, but then one day there is the guy who is not only curious but is certain he wants you.  He wants you?  There you go --you're accepted.
For every rejection, you have to find more music to download onto your iPod and a whole lot of free time to revise what you already edited 100 times the day before.  

Read the first book in the Magicians series...

Cursed with Power
Power, love, heartbreak...
Violence, screaming, blood...
His eyes rolled back into his head.  I had done this.
Read the book on inkpop: here

Be there for the magic:

Have you been rejected?

If you've been rejected by a literary agent or published before, you know what it's like.  Some of us may be at the point where emailing agents is like walking through Hell.  Agents will reply to you, and in one sentence they can break your heart, saying "Not for us, thanks."  And if you're nodding your head, then we both are going through the same experience.  

Today I read a very uplifting article by Kathryn Stockett, who is now the published author of The Help.  I wanted to mention Kathryn's article because she is probably the only person who is keeping me going right now.  She went through 61 rejections to get her book published.  If you haven't read her story yet, I suggest you read it here because it is by far the most touching piece I have ever read.  At the end, I was near tears because like Kathryn, I understand all too well that literary agents can be blunt and heartbreaking.

That's why I decided for the time being I need to relate my posts to rejections.  Let's face it, we're all going through it, about to go through it, or are already past it.  Either way, I feel like by doing this we all will be able to connect.  And who knows, maybe we'll have each other's shoulders to lean on.

Be there for the magic:

Thursday, April 21, 2011

17 agents in one day *gasp*

17 agents.  *GASP* While all my friends are busy playing golf, hanging out at Borders, or just relaxing over spring break, I have spent my entire Thursday querying agents.  Where do I even begin?
Probably a difficult thing to accept when querying is that every time you tell somebody you know "Oh, I'm querying agents" their response is almost always "Uhh I have no idea what you're talking about."  One would think I would eventually realize this, but somehow I never remember.  I can't tell you how many times I had to explain what I was doing to the people I spoke with.  Even after explaining, I don't think they truly understood what I was doing and the importance of it for my book's future --and my own as well.
Nonetheless, after countless hours of searching, checking, writing, editing, and emailing I have queried 17 different agents.  So that leaves me with how many tomorrow...?  For those of you who haven't started querying, have taken a break from querying, or are in the middle of the madness right now... here's how I get through it all:

  • Turn up the music (hello Kenny Chesney & Seether.  Come on, you have to have different kind of music so you don't bore yourself)
  • Starbucks? :)  If you can go out to Starbucks and buy coffee, why wouldn't you?  It'll keep you awake through it all
  • Journal & pen at the ready!
Other than that, it's just being fully focused and keeping your cat *cough cough* off of your journal.
No one said this road was going to be easy, so all we can do is take it one step at a time.  And all the while we need to keep our fingers crossed because who knows, maybe that will help.
All I know for certain is I'm calling it a day with querying.  For the remainder of my day I think I will be editing Cursed with Power.
Happy querying all! *falls over*
Cursed with Power
Power, love, hearbreak...
Violence, screaming, blood...
His eyes rolled back into his head.  I had done this.
You don't have to go anywhere to read the book.  Read it here. 

Coming up next...
New Life
Follow the Magicians series blog to read about the details, release date, character quotes, and excerpts from the book.

Be there for the magic:
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Monday, April 18, 2011

Though I haven't been on blogger for a few several days, I was blown away when I came on today.  It seems like everybody is getting published, has found an agent, or already has hard copies of their book.  Wow!  Who would have imagined that, right?
To be honest, I don't even know where to begin besides just saying that yes I will admit I feel somewhat left out.  I feel like everybody is getting somewhere, and I'm still in the same place I was about six years ago --unpublished, unrepresented, and nowhere close to getting either.  It's not to say I've given up trying or that I will give up trying, but I'm just trying to explain to you how I see it from where I stand.

Every time I look back at this book, I laugh a little at myself and think, "Did I really write this with hopes that it could be published?"  At the same time, though, The Magic of Light was what got me to where I am today --wherever that may be.  If it wasn't for the risk I took in writing this book --despite how young I was at the time-- I may never have really considered writing as a career I could indulge myself into.  Now it is something I cannot imagine living without.
Maybe it does seem I'm behind everyone else because I spent five years with the same book, even though every publisher who was interested was involved in a scandal of some sort.  Or maybe, because like my sister says, I don't write horror like Steven King.  The way I look at is if Mr. King got his work published, then I sure as heck can.  (The man may be a master at writing, but what he writes is just... Oh, where would I even begin?)  
Many of my writing friends are finally finding a way to get their story out to the public.  Leigh Fallon already has hard cover copies of her book and we're all eagerly waiting for the release; Julie Musil found an agent to represent her book; Laura and Evie might not have something published yet, but they got in top five on inkpop numerous times.  And I tell each and every one of them congratulations for the amazing work.  The way I see it is I'll have to keep on trying and who knows, maybe I'll be querying agents for five years with Cursed with Power.  Maybe I'll be querying for the next ten years of my life.  Nobody knows, but what I do know is I'm willing to take a fall so long as I can stand up and try again.
Looking back at comments I've received, my boyfriend is right... I'm too hard on myself.
The cover... is one of the best I've seen here. The look on here face is reallllly intriguing. It's kind of a mix between fear, amazement, seeing something beautiful, and a gazillion more.

I hope to come back and read more. :)

The characters are believable, the "universe" is interesting, and the imagery is great. Good work!

I love this already. I only read the prologue and the first chapter. I loved the beginning of the first chapter. How the reader would have no clue that it was a dream until she realized she was looking at herself. I love the black ash part. That seriously made me want to read more. And so I did. I like how this is written. Such a change from all the realistic fiction I read.

Your writing is beautiful.  This is a well-crafted story with awesome characterization and a storyline that promises adventure.

Characters and Dialogue: they are so realistic! you did a wonderful job with them! they are really believable. I also love the way they talk. You did an absolutely amazing job with the dialogue. That was very realistic as well. dialogue can be a tough spot in some stories but you really nailed it! 

Well now, this is rather interesting. I truly have enjoyed what I’ve read of this so far, and intend to keep reading. The idea of all these dark magicians is intriguing. Celestria has a great voice as the narrator; she tells the story well. It flows nicely, doesn’t move too slow or too fast, and doesn’t leave me confused at all. I like the idea of a Romanian setting. That’s a neat choice. 

After looking back at the comments readers have left me, I do feel somewhat better about the whole situation.  Nonetheless, I'm going to be querying agents nonstop for the next however many months... or years... Wish me luck, as I will wish you if you have not had any success yet.
Read the first book in the Magicians series:
Cursed with Power
Power, love, hearbreak...
Violence, screaming, blood...
His eyes rolled back into his head.  I had done this.
Read the book: link

Be there for the magic:
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Monday, April 4, 2011

New Life **official summary**

This post is coming a bit later than I intended, but don't think I forgot about this.
If you follow the Magicians series, the official summary for this book will be nothing new for you.  For those of you who do not, I want to share this with you because even though the two blogs contain different information I want you to remember about the books I'm writing my heart into.  (Or at least that's what I am aiming toward.)  Enough about that already.  Let me share the OFFICIAL SUMMARY with you. 

Official summary: 

Léal had changed his looks because he wanted to; he was forced to change his life because he had to.
"I could hardly believe it myself—I probably wouldn’t have if it was not everywhere. I can see it in people’s eyes now... Nothing is going to be as it was in the past."
Léal had changed everything about his looks: the way he dressed, the length and color of his hair, and the way he walked. He had done it all because he could and because he wanted to. 

After meeting another Dark magician named Celestria, Léal comes to realize that he must change his life while he has the chance. He also discovers that he has feelings for her but she seems un-attracted to him, and he certainly does not expect to ever see her again after she sends him away.
Then in the darkest of times he finds that he can reach out to Celestria. They join together again with the help of a third Dark magician, Alaire Sencler. Now, though he is in good company of people he knows and trusts, what happens next is almost certain. Léal must change his life. It is either adjust or suffer, and he is not sure which is worst.

As always I am curious and interested in hearing your thoughts on the summary.  Whether you like it or not, this is the summary so far for New Life.  Knowing me, I'll probably revise the summary 20 times because let's face it I killed CWP's summary before I decided on what I was comfortable with to represent the book.  I'm excited about starting the sequel, but I am being completely honest when I say it will probably be a while before I even know where to begin with the book. There's still so much that I need to attend to for Cursed with Power.  
I'll keep you updated with how matters move along.
Remember to take a look at....
Need I say more?  Read it here: link
Be there for the magic:

It's Monday, and I'm not dreading the week

Hello all, I know I’ve been MIA these last couple of days so I thought I’d drop in real quick and explain why.
As you probably already know by now, ScriptFrenzy (made by the creators of NaNoWriMo) has begun and will be going on for this entire month.  100 pages in 30 days?  Oh sure, that’s possible if you can manage.  Between that, school, work, and work I’ve been doing for Cursed with Power you could definitely agree with me that this month is crazy.  And crazy doesn’t even begin to cover it.
My older brother, Justin, will be going to Afghanistan on April 16th.  Even though he will not be in the warzone, there is no way to be certain how safe he will be over there.  The only thing that I keep reminding myself that is somewhat comforting is that he came back from Iraq alive.  Please keep him in your prayers.
Besides whatever madness is going on in the world, it’s been a pretty good day for me.  The weather outside is warm, my boyfriend is back from Boston (It’s about time!), and I’m listening to Nickelback and a variety of other bands while preparing to edit Cursed with Power.  And in case I forgot to tell you, I’m on my fourth journal for the book.  My friends blame it mostly on the fact that my handwriting is big, but I think it’s mostly because I write everything in those journals.  I actually keep them all; they’re stacked up on my desk in my room because you never know when they can come in handy.  It also brings me a sense of accomplishment.  11 months and counting, blogging friendsJ  It’s been a long time with CWP, but it’s far from over.  (Don’t we all know it?)
I hope your Monday goes well, and hopefully you’re not too overwhelmed with it being such a beautiful day.  Today would be a great day to sit outside on your porch and write (or type) to your heart’s content.  Actually, I might do that myself :D  
Happy Monday!  And hey, take a look at CWP, won’t you?
In your spare time, read the first book in the Magicians series:
Cursed with Power
Power, love, heartbreak...
Violence, screaming, blood...
His eyes rolled back into his head. I had done this.
And to find out more about the sequel, visit the Magicians blog, the official blog for any and all information relating to the series.  Character posts, Q & A with the author and readers, reviews, extras (including personality quizzes), and descriptive updates.
New Life

Be there for the magic: