Self-Editing Tips!

While I’m waiting for notes on my WIP from my Scribe Sisters, I’ve been doing some research on things, including agents, revisions, candle making, how to properly skin an animal (don’t ask), and I’ve come across some gems. 
Mostly on the revision thing.

Cheryl Klein, an editor at Scholastic, has this fantastic recap of a talk she did for an SCBWI conference on revising and self-editing. The full speech is also there for your reading pleasure.
Literary agent Natalie Fischer (Bradford Lit) recently posted a great recap of her talk at an SCBWI event on the revision process.
YA author Holly Cupala (Tell Me a Secret) has compiled a huge list of posts from various authors, illustrators and industry pros on revision!

Hopefully you find these links as useful as I have. Happy revising!

In other news, if you haven't seen the amazing book trailer for Carrie Harris's debut BAD TASTE IN BOYS, go do that immediately! My critique partner Valerie Kemp created it!

It's Friday, Friday

Into each life some rain must fall.

And fall it has. Literally. We've had rain showers for three days straight, but it lightened up some today. Long enough for me to get six lavender plants in the ground, sweep up a giant pile of maple seed helicopters (I don't know what they're supposed to be called, but they spin like helicopter blades when you drop them), and take M for a bike ride.

I should probably be working on something while my crit partners are reading GREYSKIN, but I'm taking the time to enjoy the warm weather and the outdoors. Nature puts me back in touch with Charlie, my MC. She's quite the nature girl herself. Which makes me wonder, writers, do you find yourself doing things your MC would normally do, or does your MC enjoy some of the things that you enjoy? I think Charlie is a bit of both for me. I put a lot of myself in to her, and she's put a lot of herself in to me.

But she's still way cooler than me.

All Good Things...

The contest at Sisters in Scribe was a huge success! And tons of fun! Sara Megibow is fantastic. We closed entries at 11:59pm on Saturday, and by Tuesday she had picked her top three winners. Stop by the blog to see who won!

This week NYC has seen some fantastic weather! Sunny and 70 degrees. FINALLY! I got my climbing rose bush and my clematis transplanted, I planted a bunch of herbs, including one of my favorite smells--lavender, my lilac trees are in full bloom, and I got a few hours out in the sun with a book. And now it's cold and rainy for the next four days. *sigh*

I've read two awesome books this week: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman and Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready. Both are fantastic! I'm trying to get into a contemporary right now and I'm finding I have to force myself on this one. But I've heard so many great reviews, I am willing to give it a chance. You read anything good lately?

So why all this free time, you ask? Shouldn't she be revising?

I should! But I think an important part of revising is distancing yourself from your manuscript. I've busted my hump over rewriting the entire last half of my WIP (again) and now it's time for some space. I've sent him home with Krist and Valerie for the time being. I trust he is in good hands. This is not the first time my crit partners have read this manuscript, but this is the first time I've actually missed it when I'm not working on it. I'm taking this as a very good sign.

Agent Pitch Contest at Sisters in Scribe!

Today is the big day! At Sisters in Scribe, we have opened the entry window for our140 character pitch contest! Entries will be judged by the fabulous Sara Megibow of Nelson Literary. Sara has offered a 30 page manuscript review to the winner!

Stop on by and please read the full contest details before entering!

Charlaine Harris in NYC

Tuesday night I hopped on the Harley (on the back--I'm not that cool) and rode into Manhattan with my husband for the release and book signing of DEAD RECKONING, book 11 in the Southern Vampire Mysteries (True Blood) by Charlaine Harris. I will admit, I was a little bit starstruck. Most of the pictures that my husband took, I'm making crazy faces, or squealing like the fangirl that I am. So I'll just share these ones with you.

I took my smaller camera, which takes kind of crappy pictures, because I went on the bike and my big camera is...big.

That is me on the right in the tan sweater.

Charlaine Harris was the author who got me back in to reading. The minute I picked up DEAD UNTIL DARK, I was hooked in the world she'd created, and totally in love with her characters. Because of this, I started writing. I even named my protagonist in my current WIP after Charlaine. Her books are for adults, and I write YA, but I didn't chose YA. It chose me, I suppose (in fact this is the ONLY adult series I read, ha!). There are so many great YA authors who have inspired me, but when I look back, Charlaine and Sookie were what made me realize I was a writer. My favorite quote from this signing was from Harris: "Writer's are born, not made." She didn't mean that you're born a great writer, you do have to write and learn how to write well. 

Charlaine answered questions for about thirty minutes and then for the next two hours or so she signed books. She is a signing machine. By the time she got to me, about an hour into signing, her signature was still perfect. During the Q & A fans asked the general questions about her writing process, which now consists of a lot of the business side and not as much writing as she'd like to do, how much coffee she drinks (three cups in the morning), and how she feels about the differences Alan Ball made between the books and the show (she thinks he's fantastic, and she wishes she had thought of Jessica).

The thing I found most interesting was that, despite the fact she'd written mysteries for years before she wrote the first Sookie Stackhouse novel, it took two years for her agent to sell it. Mainly because nobody knew where to put it on a shelf. When she wrote the book, she thought it would be fun to have a mystery series that involved the supernatural, melding mystery and urban fantasy together. Then she thought if she threw in a juicy sex scene for Sookie, she could get the romance readers too. And when the question "Where do we shelve this?" came up, Harris said "everywhere". A logical answer, for sure!

It was an amazing opportunity for me to be able to meet her. Her Sookie novels have inspired me in so many ways. I do believe it is important for writers to read and gather inspiration from "the masters" of literature, especially in your chosen genre, and not only the current super hits (Sookie, Twilight, Harry Potter, etc), but the thing that inspires me most about Charlaine Harris's Sookie novels, is just how much I love them. How immersed in that world I become when I sit down to read. That is what I want to do to readers. That is what is so inspiring. And that is how I knew I was a writer.

 Have you had the chance to meet some of your favorite authors? Who inspires you?

Tomorrow is the big day at! We open up for entries into our first ever agent participant contest! So perfect those twitter pitches, and we'll see you there tomorrow!

Get Those Pitches Ready!

To say thanks to all 500+ awesome followers at we've decided to have a contest! This one is for writers! Stop by the blog to get the details. Contest officially opens FRIDAY MAY 6th! so perfect those pitches! We've got a special guest judge who has offered up quite an amazing prize to her favorite entry.

In other news, I'm sure we've all heard about the devastation in the south due to wildfires and tornadoes. The writing community is at it again, taking donations for yet another fabulous benefit auction. If you've got something to donate (books, swag, critiques, etc) stop on by and sign up! And be sure to keep checking back for the auctions.
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