Monday, November 9, 2009

Things not to do when submitting a manuscript (or proposal) to an editor

**Repost: Originally from
But still authored by me. For whatever that's worth.**
1) Do not misspell the publishing house’s name. This sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised.
2) Do not misspell the editor’s name. (See above). And to take this a step further, make sure that you get the person’s title correct. Do not assume that the person is merely an “editor” when they are the “publisher.” This may result in perpetual silence from the company. Not that I have ever done this, or experienced said silence, of course.
3) Do not forget to actually attach the attachments if sending an email submission. Having to send a follow up email apologizing for your stupidity makes you look, well, stupid. Once again, not that I know this from experience.
4) Do not hesitate to remind the person of your association. If you met at a conference and the editor requested to see your work, be sure to remind him of that in the email. Editors and agents see so many aspiring writers that it’s foolish to believe they will remember you specifically.
5)Do not send in your only copy. In today’s computer-centered society, it’s difficult to imagine that anyone would only have one copy of a manuscript, but what I mean is your only hard copy. Zip your manuscript through a Xerox machine before you mail it. If I had a dime for every flash drive that self-destructed and erased my work because it could no longer stand the honor of housing my brilliance, I’d have about $.75 (I’ve never been good at math). But you get the point. Sometimes I had hard copies to save me . . . and the other times, well, we don’t talk about those.
6) Do not include ringing endorsements in your cover/query letter unless they really matter (For example . . . "Queen Elizabeth II read my story, and she REALLY liked it). If it's not that special, leave it out. While your mother may have called your novel the “next DaVinci Code,” the sad truth is that mothers have to say that kind of stuff…even when it’s untrue. And usually, it is.
7)Do not tell the editor/agent/publisher how much he/she will love your work. For obvious reasons, presumption and arrogance is off-putting to some. Hard to fathom, I know.
8) Do not stalk the editor. Once the submission has been sent, sit back and relax (easy enough to say, I know). Understand that publishing professionals are inundated daily with stuff, and it may take them some time to get to your manuscript. Sending emails every hour on the hour, or calling the office incessantly will probably only get you a restraining order in the mail, not an acceptance letter.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Working, Working, Working

So, after pushing the deadline for revisions on my first book back. And back. And back some more, I'm committing to having it done by the end of the weekend.

And in the mail by the middle of the week.

Am I crazy?

Quite possibly.

I have so much left to do and feel a bit overwhelmed. But I know unless I get this off my back, I'll keep procrastinating and delaying until it's been too long.

So wish me luck! If I survive, I'll be back Monday to post.

If you never hear from me again, it would be safe to assume I've been buried until piles of paper somewhere. And you might want to come and find me.

Here goes nothing. Literally.

Friday, November 6, 2009

My new favorite Christmas time song . . .

Yes, it's before Thanksgiving. And yes, I'm already selecting my Christmas music playlist. While this one is not precisely festive, it is a beautiful song!

Oh yeah, all those pictures are of Paul Byrom from Celtic Thunder. The guy who sings this song. Sorry, it was the only vid of him singing it I could find.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Being a Romance Writer

Add VideoThere truly is something magical about being a romance writer.
We get to create worlds, make people fall in love, make them fall out of love, and generally create the kind of imaginary chaos only fictional emotions can explain.
Yep. It's a great gig.
Most of the time.
But I'm finding lately, the closer I get to seeing these books sitting on the shelf (meaning the more nitpick work like revisions, and chapter word count, etc), the more stressed I become. Which makes for some difficulty fine tuning the points in the book that still need some help.
I don't want to write all lovey-dovey, everybody-is-going-to-live-happily-ever-after-garbage, when my cars acting up, the daughter has a cold, the husband has left his laundry scattered around the house one time too many, and I've got a headache the size of the gallon of ice cream I wish I could eat. Truthfully, if I had my way right about now, all of my characters would die in a horrible, totally unforeseen fire and would never again live to torment my poor, tired mind with their antics.
But nobody wants to buy romances like that. (Except maybe the Nicholas Sparks fans. Ouch. And yes, I did just say that).
So, as a writer, and a romance one in particular, I'm still trying to figure out how to leave worn, grumpy, sleepy Mandy at the door when I come to write.
But if I don't accomplish that, don't be surprised if the heroine dies in chapter 12. I'm just sayin.

A little holiday spirit win!!!

epic fail pictures
see more Epic Fails

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Ahh . . . Lord Byron

I'm such a huge fan of Lord Byron. Okay, let me rephrase. I enjoy his short (emphasize short) poetry. I've never been able to bring myself to read the long rambling works like Don Juan, or whatever else that was.

That being said, I admire Byron for his wit. His sarcasm. His razor-sharp pen. The man could literally shred an opponent with an off-the-cuff barb.


Now, one of my books is set during Byron's era, so I was browsing some of his quotes to get the motivational juices flowing today. Here are just a few:

  • Love will find a way through paths where wolves fear to prey.
  • The heart will break, but broken live on.

And then this one, although I have a sneaking suspicion I shouldn't find it funny, but I do (something about the word pattern/sequence/cadence . . . whatever, it just makes me laugh).

  • A little still she strove, and much repented, and whispering, "I will ne'er consent"--consented.

Knowing Byron, that probably was not a wholesome line. But like I said. It gave me a chuckle.

Not really that hard to do, folks.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A Morning Greeting from Brie

My daughter would like to salute everybody with a "wassup?" this morning.

An Update

So, a few of you know (because I've called and gushed/ranted/talked incessantly about) where I am in this stage of the writing process.

For those that don't but read this blog anyway (so like the two of you), I'll give a brief rundown.

  • I've completed 2 manuscripts
  • I've sent proposals for both manuscripts to a publishing house (the same house for both books)
  • I received requests for the full manuscripts on both books
  • I sent the manuscripts in (after much hair-pulling, wailing, and gnashing of teeth)
  • After waiting. More waiting. And then a bit more waiting, I received a four page letter, detailing all the revisions that needed to be made (to both manuscripts) before they were published.

That's what I'm working on now. I don't have a hard deadline, but the sooner the better. I'm wrapping up the changes to book one, but then I have book two left to do. Ugh.

But anyway, just wanted to bring you guys up to speed, perhaps to explain why I've been out of touch lately (I've been glued to my laptop).

So everyone, keep your fingers crossed in hopes I don't go crazy before this process is done. It's frightening and stressful, but in spite of the headaches, the tears, and frustration, I'm having a blast!

Monday, November 2, 2009

It's NaNoWriMo . . . well, Day 2 of it

So, as per the usual, I'm behind the times. The only reason I even noticed it was NaNoWriMo was because my sister had a Facebook status about it. Thanks Megan.

I'll be doing NaNoWriMo (which for the uneducated is National Novel Writing Month: 50,000 words in 30 days), but in a different way this year.

I've still got 2 manuscripts that are waiting on me to finish prettifying them and send them back to the editor.

So, my goal is to have all the required revisions made by the end of November. It's one book at 75,000 and another at 55,000, so that should count for something in the blood/sweat/tears meter. Right?

Well, enough procrastinating for now. I have some serious, serious work to do.


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Motivational Quote for the Day

Yeah, sometimes I like to shame myself into working harder by reading the inspirational words of other people who apparently never shared my lack of motivation and direction . . .

"Everyone has a talent. What is rare is the courage to nurture it in solitude and to follow the talent to the dark places where it leads."
--Erica Jong

So the last part sounds a bit scary, but I'm kind of ignoring that part.

Yay for courage.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


I won't bother going into the specifics of how this is my seventeenth blog attempt. Or how I doubt I'll really do any better with this than I did with diaries as a child . . . which was shameful. I have beautiful journals everywhere with only one or two entries in them.

The years, apparently, have not changed me much.

But because I think I'll want to look back on this time in my life and reminisce, here I go again--documenting my trials for future reference and reflection. Perhaps some of you will find my struggles to break into the publishing industry interesting, others may find me whiny and impatient.

I like to think I can be whiny, impatient, and yet still interesting all at the same time.

Let me know if you agree.