April 29, 2010

Waiting to Exhale

Filed under: Backstory — jenny @ 8:37 pm

With one single novel, Terry McMillan came up with a metaphor that rocketed home and has stayed with me ever since.

We all know the feeling of wanting something so badly that we can’t breathe–not deeply at least–until we have it. For some it’s true love. Or a baby.

For others it’s a book deal.

After I signed with my first agent, I thought it was time to exhale.

The very use of the word “first” tells you that it wasn’t.

I have nothing but good things to say of my agent. She was experienced, wise, supportive, and went the extra mileS, including having me and an editor interested in my work to lunch at her very own apartment because the writing biz is small and people would wonder why this editor was out with me when no deal had yet been announced.

My agent has made many deals for many good authors over the years.

The only problem is, she wasn’t able to make one for me.

This is how it began. You might remember that I had two completed novels at the time that I signed with my agent. She had offered representation based on my second novel. After much (more) revising, that was the one she submitted.

I still remember that it was May, and she said, “We have time for one good submission [before the summer slowdown].”

Ahhh (eeek) was I ever going to learn the monstrosity that is the summer slowdown in publishing…but that’s getting ahead of myself.

(And yes, of course, I understand that all those hard-working and mostly underpaid editors and publishers deserve their time off. It’s just a little teensy bit hard on the writers, that’s all I’m saying, to have to constrict time in this already geologically slow business by two months or so…)

Anyway, we went out on our first round, got several passes, including one that said “the pace flagged a bit in the middle.” In editor-ese (they tend to be kind, perhaps because it’s important to preserve the agent/editor relationship–after all, they’re saying no to something the agent believes in–or perhaps because they’re genuinely nice people and know that passing on a novel is like removing the writer’s heart with a spoon and stomping on it) this means: I was bored silly by the time I got through the first page.

So I revised that manuscript, turning to my various trusty readers, including TBEITW (The Best Editor in the World). When I’d finished, I felt by turns stricken that we had sent something so flawed out into the world–the publishing world, no less–and grateful for all the offers this new, improved version would surely receive.

And in September, when the Hamptons grew chilly and publishing began to crank up again, we went out on a new round.

Stay turned for what happened next.

April 27, 2010

Made It Moment: Douglas Corleone

Filed under: Made It Moments — jenny @ 7:19 am

One Man's Paradise

I didn’t know about Douglas Corleone’s prize-winning debut until I was contacted by his wife. Now that its release day has come, I am planning a stop by my local independent today to buy a copy. Another voice in the legal thriller genre! I can’t wait. Once you read this Moment, you might be pretty psyched yourself.

Douglas Corleone

My “Made It” moment occurred when John Grisham accepted my Friendship Request on Facebook.

Sure, John probably accepts every Friendship Request he receives. We are, after all, his fans. And John doesn’t share anything on his Facebook page about himself or his career that you can’t quickly discover yourself by running a simple Google or Wikipedia search. But still. I like to think John sat at his computer one evening, heard my name calling out to him from his Inbox, and said, “Yes, I would very much like Douglas Corleone to be my Facebook Friend.”

Seriously though, there are all kinds of “Made It” moments on the road to publication, and each one seems shorter than the last. There was the brief thrill of finishing the first draft of the novel that would come to be known as ONE MAN’S PARADISE. That brief thrill was followed by another, even briefer thrill, when I thought the novel was actually completed. Then came the thrill of signing with a reputable New York agent, of having copies of my manuscript sent out to some of the most celebrated editors in Manhattan. Of having those editors actually praise my work. I made it!

Until the first rejections started rolling in. Oh, each of them were kind in their own way, admitting “a unique voice,” even conceding “an extraordinary talent.” But each, of course, ended with some variation of the words, “We’ll have to pass.”

Then, one day, well after I’d already begun to hate my protagonist Kevin Corvelli for failing me, an email arrived. The Executive Editor at St. Martin’s Minotaur wanted to speak to me regarding my submission to the Minotaur Books/Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel competition. I had since moved from Florida back to Hawaii, and so they didn’t have my current telephone number or mailing address.

I returned the email immediately but it was well past 7 p.m. in New York and I didn’t expect to hear back from her that night. So, wondering what this was all about, I started drinking. A few beers, then a few more. Then my cell phone rang.

A month later I was back in New York City, where I’d practiced law for several years, to attend the Edgar Awards. There I received from the Publisher a small Lucite trophy with my name engraved on it, and more importantly, a promise that my novel would be published approximately a year from that day. I made it!

Well, not quite. As I write this I am but a week away from the release of my debut novel. It’s received some great reviews. Library Journal, in fact, states that “Fans of John Grisham…will enjoy [ONE MAN'S PARADISE] for the sheer pleasure of seeing a master defense attorney at work in the courtroom.” I can now, whenever I want to, hold my very own book in my hand. But I don’t feel as though I made it.

No, maybe someday I’ll be able to look back and define my “Made It” moment, but I hope that’s decades and dozens of books away. Because what comes after you’ve made it? Can you make it again? Or is it more like your first weeks in college, where now all you can do is look back upon them with fondness and wish you could live those days over and over and over again. I prefer to look forward. So as soon as I make it, you’ll be the first to know. After I Instant Message John Grisham, of course.

Douglas Corleone’s debut novel ONE MAN’S PARADISE is the winner of the 2009 Minotaur Books/Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel Award. A former New York City criminal defense attorney, Corleone now resides in the Hawaiian Islands where he is at work on his next novel. Visit the author online at douglascorleone.com.

April 26, 2010

Writers Police Academy Part II

Filed under: The Writing Life — jenny @ 8:44 am

This is the second in emerging mystery writer Karyne Corum’s series on learning what it’s like to be a cop…from the inside. If you thought her first post presented certain challenges, this one sounds positively death defying.

All in good fun, of course. If, that is, you’re a fan of suspense.

A writer, a pharmacist and a secretary go into a bar one night…

Sounds like a good joke eh? Well, it turned out not to be. In fact, what we thought would be the punchline to our run of investigating, a crime scene investigation, turned out to be something more like a real punch.

In this case, the scene was staged, but by now none of us needed prompting to play it for real. We were broken up into our regular groups, in which we’d all formed commonality alliances. Once again, the secretary, the pharmacist and me (the woman now known as the “writer”) geared up with our dense plastic mock weapons, hand-cuffs and flashlights.

If I had thought the last class, with a tension fraught building search and two felony car stops complete with a blazing gun battle were heart pounding, well, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

We rolled up to the building prepared for anything. We were used to the trickery and fast tracking plays that the Captain loved to throw at us. Sensory overload, he told us, was something only a cop can understand, but for these few brief hours, he would make it a part of our world, too.

We hustled out of the squad car and got a quick briefing from the officer on the scene. The building was, for our purpose that night, a nightclub, and there had been shots fired. Our job was to go in, secure the scene, check for survivors and get the evidence. I had been elected by my teammates to the position of Sergeant. I didn’t mind the job, I knew I could be mouthy when I had to be and leading others isn’t a task for those who are timid or afraid of taking flak when something goes wrong. I could handle it. Or I thought I could.

The building was dark except for the distant flicker of lights from somewhere deep within. Pulsing from inside came the steady, filling-rattling beat of some dark toned acid rock that growled a welcome as we stepped inside, weapons clenched in rapidly sweating hands. Despite knowing that this was only a simulation, we all felt the moment as keenly as if it were real. From somewhere within the depths of the building came the sharp crackling pops of a weapon fired and instinctively I raised my weapon in front of me. I edged carefully down the hallway, giving commands in a harsh urgent tone to my squad, trying not to sound as rattled as I felt.

Then they came, out of the darkness.

The wounded, shuffling like zombies, blood oozing from a variety of injuries. It was truly like something out of a horror movie and I remembered what the Captain had told us earlier: no matter how bad off the injured might appear, your first job, your most important job, is to secure the scene and get the shooter(s). Every time you hear a shot fired, it could be one more person dead. As hard as it might seem, you have to leave the wounded to fend for themselves till the threat has been locked down. It was, he assured us, one of the hardest things a police officer would ever have to do, especially when the wounded might be children, as in the case of Columbine.

I stared as one man weaved unevenly up to me, his entire stomach a mass of blood, his expression one of dazed pain. I felt a tremendous amount of sympathy in that single second for a cop who would have to leave this man to possibly bleed out and die because the most pressing issue at that moment was the person responsible for the injury.

I urged them to get behind us even as my heart tried to knock an opening through my chest.

I was scared and I am not ashamed to admit it. Part of my fear was just of the unknown, what (or who) might lie ahead? Would I get shot before I’d had a chance to go another twenty feet? Also, a part of me was just plain nervous. You can’t help but feel that you want to do well, not look like a fool, and even kick some serious butt.

The layout of the building was in something of a t-shape with the shorter part being furthest away from the doors. Once we had cleared the wounded, we crept forward, the pharmacist on my right, the secretary just behind. We came to the end of the hallway and on our right and left were doors to the men’s and women’s rooms. My whole stomach lurched at the thought that we had to search those bathrooms even with the wide open meeting room still ahead of us, swathed in total darkness.

Dim shapes appeared, and I had to strain to make out if they were armed or not.

Karyne Corum is the married mother of one preschooler. She lives in Central New Jersey, and has been telling stories since she was a little girl–only now they get her into a lot more trouble. Fortunately, she can write her way out of most of it. Her many jobs prior to accepting the inevitable include actor, security guard, executive assistant and massage therapist. She is currently at work on her first full length novel, which keeps her up at night almost as much as her four-year old son does.

April 20, 2010

Hello Baseball Fans, Readers & Writers

Filed under: Great Reads,The Writing Life — jenny @ 7:22 pm

A good friend and mentor of mine, Charles Salzberg, sent along the following about two books of his. I invite any reader to check out this author’s work. His range is outstanding, and whether it’s an easy-to-read and even-easier-to-assimilate book on craft that delivers nearly two full years of study between its humble covers or either of the below, I practically guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

It’s deja vu all over again.

Eons ago, George Robinson and I wrote a touching, funny, nostalgic, wonderful, fascinating, life-changing (all George’s words, not mine) book called On a Clear Day They Could See Seventh Place, Baseball’s Worst Teams. It was published by Dell, got wonderful reviews, and fell into the wide crack otherwise known as the publishing promotion abyss, and disappeared from the face of the earth. Now, in their wisdom, Bison Books (the University of Nebraska Press) has decided to reissue the book with a brand new Foreword. The teams stay the same, all your favorites, the New York Mets, Toronto Blue Jays, Baltimore Orioles, Pittsburgh Pirates, as do the unlikely baseball players on those bad, bad teams, like Babe Ruth (about whom it was said when he pressed his wish to manage his beloved Yankees–“how could he manage the Yankees when he can’t even manage himself,”) and Ralph Kiner (who when he asked the owner of the Pirates for a raise, was refused with the unassailable wisdom, “we finished in last place with him, we can finish in last place without him.”)

The book is still pretty much on the down-low, seeing as Bison Books has the publicity budget somewhere south of the average family weekly food allowance, but the book is for sale at your local bookstore (if you have a local bookstore) or you can get it online here.

Also, if you haven’t picked up a copy of Swann’s Last Song (another “loser,” since it didn’t win that Shamus Award for Best First PI Novel, for which it was nominated,) it’s now available in paperback, with the original last chapter added,at Greenpointpress.org

And you might even want to pick up another one of their terrific titles, since all of them are on sale.

Both make wonderful gifts. I know that’s what I’m giving my mother for her birthday. And I might even autograph it for her.

April 19, 2010

Choosing a literary agent

Filed under: Backstory — jenny @ 7:25 pm

Let’s start with the mega caveat that having a choice when it comes to literary agents puts me in the very, very, very lucky camp.

I can still remember…me with broken foot…hobbling around my parents’ house, which was easier to navigate on crutches than my own…and talking to Agent #1 on the phone.

A real agent! Talking to me on the phone!

She loved my book, had asked me for an exclusive on it (which I wasn’t able to give, but just being asked for such a thing is excitement incarnate), and even given me her number at her country house to get in touch. I’m telling you–excitement incarnate.

But…she wanted changes.

In the book, that is.

This was my first brush with this truism: There is no such thing as a flawless ms. Not to anyone in the industry anyway. Assuming a certain basic level of craft, you could have twelve readers, and get thirteen different takes on what needs to be done with your ms.

The trick is in finding the agent or editor whose take deeply resonates with your own and with where you have the potential to go as a writer.

This doesn’t mean you will like all suggestions for revision, or that you will instantly perk up, and say, Yes, yes! Oh no. On the contrary–some feedback will make you stare blackly at the drone who dares to challenge your vision, or inject such a problem into an ABSOLUTELY PERFECT WORK–for a little while. And then the awareness will dawn that that suggestion was very wise indeed. That there really is such a problem. And in that dawning awareness, you will realize that this person truly gets your work, and you will want to revise and revise and revise, until s/he says it’s done.

I liked Agent #1’s ideas for revision, and so I revised. I liked Agent #2’s ideas (this was on a different novel, remember) and I revised that one as well. I can still remember talking to Agent #1 after she’d read my new draft.

“I would definitely take this on, Jenny,” she said.

Oh, how I danced around, broken foot and all.

I had that other offer, too, though. Agent #2–newer, greener–had taken me on even before I completed the revisions she wanted.

How did I decide? I did it based on the new, green thing. I decided to go with the more experienced agent, the one with the more prestigious agency, who had a roster of clients that put stars in my eyes.

Was this the right decision? There’s no way to know. Everything we do as a writer sets us on a path where one stepping stone will lead to another, each one unforeseeable in advance, and all we can hope for is that the road ends in publication. In getting attention for our work.

Right or not–if there is such a thing, and I suspect there is not–I’d made my decision.

Next I’ll tell you what came of it.

April 15, 2010

Made It Moment: Gerrie Finger

Filed under: Made It Moments — jenny @ 10:13 am

The End Game Although I have not yet had the opportunity to read Gerrie’s work, her literary mystery is high on my TBR pile. (Well, it’s pre-ordered anyway. Call it my cyber TBR pile.) I am excited enough about it that I figured I’d post this today and perhaps re-post it on release day. Below read about the many moments that led to Gerrie’s Moment. Gerrie Finger

I’ve had a few “Made it Moments” in my writing life.

When my middle school English teacher told me I was going to be a writer. When I went to work for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and beheld my first byline and got a column with my name at the head of it.

After twenty years, I retired to write novels. I could have written true crime books given my background, but real-life good guys don’t always win. Like my heroine, Dru in The End Game, I want justice for the good and the evil. It would be my love of crime fiction that dictated my genre.

My first effort was a romance with some mystery, the genre called romantic suspense. Like all writers, I had my eye on a New York publisher, but that didn’t happen right away. Not even with an agent. Instead, I signed with an e-book company for four books in the romance series. I felt I’d kind of made it.

I wanted to do a who-done-it mystery with a thriller aspect, so I created Moriah Dru, a former cop turned child finder. Already in love with a detective, Dru wouldn’t be drifting into romance. My agent didn’t like the Dru series and we parted ways. I sent the first book out to large independent publishers, got requests for the “full” manuscript, but no offers.

I entered The End Game into the Malice Domestic/St. Martin’s Minotaur competition for Best First Traditional Mystery novel and started another mystery series. I’d forgotten about the Minotaur contest. Who wins contests anyway? Then my contest reader called to tell me she’d sent the novel on to St. Martin’s.

A couple months went by, and I “got the call” from Ruth Cavin. I was working on a straight romance and almost let the phone ring. Instead, I said “Hello”. While my heart raced, Ruth gave me my biggest Made It Moment.

In 2009, Gerrie won The Malice Domestic/St. Martin’s Minotaur Best First Traditional Novel Competition for THE END GAME, to be released by St. Martin’s Minotaur on April 27, 2010.

April 14, 2010

Citizen’s Police Academy

Filed under: The Writing Life — jenny @ 6:15 am

Karyne Corum is an emerging mystery writer who is in the midst of learning what it’s like to be a cop–from the inside. Whether it’s patting down drivers or halting someone at gunpoint, Karyne is going to describe the experience, sweaty palms, palpating heart, sense of power and all. This series of posts will run over the next several months, and by the time Karyne is finished, if we don’t quite know how it feels to flick off the safety, our scenes concerning police business will certainly ring just a little truer.

Citizen’s Police Academy– Where Citizens Go to Get Blue

It was something like traffic court, the first night of the township’s citizen police academy.  That was my thought when I glanced around the room.  I was there, along with my fellow students, for a schooling in the experience “cop”.  Since this concept is still new to most people, let me break it down for you, officially and unofficially.

The official version goes something like this: a twelve week program for local township residents to learn more about what a police officer’s job entails, to help them appreciate and respect local law enforcement.

Here’s how it goes, according to me: one staged crime scene, a dollop of hands-on experience, along with felony car stops and motor vehicle accident investigation, plus a building search.  All leading up to an “active shooter” demonstration, complete with weapons that fire actual projectiles, aka, plastic pellets.

The Captain running the show, one of the nicest and most engaging speakers I’ve ever had the chance to listen to, made it clear right from the start.  This was about learning, yes, and also widening the scope of understanding in the community, but he had no intention of it being a dry, stay-in-your-seat lecture series. Oh no, he gleefully warned us, we would get more than our fair share of field exposure.  It was going to be fun, a lot of laughs and hopefully, something we would remember for a long time to come.

Like any first day of school there were introductions. Among the twelve of us, there was a pharmacist, a secretary, the head of an Entertainment Company, several police department interns, two college students and a former security specialist from the World Trade Center.  As far as I could tell most people’s reason for being here was relatively simple. Curiosity, or for some, a preview of a career path not yet chosen.

My reason for being here was research. I needed to know more about the life of a police officer since the protagonist in my first full length novel is one.

The Captain outlined what we could expect for the next twelve weeks, from a host of speakers to a staged crime scene that would make every use of our fledgling investigative skills.  And no, he told us, it wasn’t CSI, not even close.  (I wanted to say, Grissom always makes it look so good, but I kept that to myself.)

It got even better when he said we’d do an “active shooter” demo (active shooter means there is a suspect with a gun, or shots have been fired in a populated area) where we’d be up against “bad guys” firing plastic pellets from training weapons.  They sting, he warned, but there was no other way to show us what a police officer might feel when facing a real life situation.  The Captain seemed more than excited at the prospect and I shared his enthusiasm.  But as I sneaked a look around the room, I seemed to be the only one.  Most of the people in the room looked uneasy.

So I’m weird. What writer wouldn’t be thrilled at the idea of being able to walk in her character’s shoes, even if it’s only a simulation?

Our first speaker, a training sergeant from one of the top police academies in the state, was gruff and humorless.  His long, lanky frame didn’t seem all that imposing until he opened his mouth.

“I’m here to yell, it’s what I’m good at. Believe me; if I don’t get to yell at least once a day, I get depressed.”

I could attest to the fact that I wouldn’t want him in my face for twelve seconds let alone twelve weeks.  Especially when he showed us a documentary that was made about his academy and we got to see him in action.  It was hard not to laugh at some of the ridiculous things the recruits did, like the one who saluted with his left hand. Ouch.  Sure I can laugh, I’m watching, not participating.  I’ll just write about it, thank you.

It became clear that if a recruit can’t learn to function under the relatively controlled stress of the academy, how would he or she be able to handle an out of control drunk screaming at them in a potentially life threatening situation.  No one could argue that point.

We see police in movies, books, even on reality shows, but those are edited, revised, and in their own way, scripted.  Here in class the attitude of all involved was one of informality, a genuine desire to share the truth, because, in fact, the academy is not for writers or media but for the public.  To help the citizens of the town know exactly who guards their town.

Next week, Happy Meals and Happy Trails

Karyne Corum is the married mother of one preschooler. She lives in Central New Jersey, and has been telling stories since she was a little girl–only now they get her into a lot more trouble. Fortunately, she can write her way out of most of it.  Her many jobs prior to accepting the inevitable include actor, security guard, executive assistant and massage therapist.  She is currently at work on her first full length novel, which keeps her up at night almost as much as her four-year old son does.

April 12, 2010

Now where were we?

Filed under: Backstory,The Writing Life — jenny @ 5:18 pm

In my back story, that is.

Because I realized, hey, I’m about go on sub again–ack–and you guys don’t even know about the very first time I was on sub.

But before I go back down the tunnel of years (violin chords now, for this is a tale of some melodrama, at least it feels that way) I have to ask a question. How many people know what it means to be on sub?

I had occasion to ask this question at a terrific writers conference the other day and found that many writers–even those submerged in the process of querying agents–don’t actually know.

Quick digression. The good people at New York Writers Workshop have allowed me for the third time to present a short unit at the start of their Pitch & Shop.

I attended the Pitch & Shop a little over a year and a half ago, and for my money it’s the best conference out there for those who are focused on getting published (as opposed to on honing craft–the other excellent purpose of a writers conference). It led directly to my signing with my agent.

Which is exactly what I talk about at the conference, in addition to how best to navigate the pitch sessions.

You can attend the NYWW version of the Pitch & Shop or the Algonkian version and they each have a slightly different feel to them and different approaches to instruction, but both boast the genius that allows students to bypass the querying process–for a time–and meet actual acquisition editors.

Plus you get a great pitch out of the whole deal, and I believe that is the true gold in this experience.

Anyway…long digression…I’m going to write the steps to being on sub here seeing as they really are pretty esoteric unless you’ve actually been through the process yourself.

Caveat: the following applies to having your ms submitted to the major New York publishing houses (and a handful of independents who prefer to work with agents).

1) Sign with agent

2) Agent sends pitch letter to editors

3) Agent sends ms to editors

4) Editors put your ms in a queue to read

5) Editors read

6) Editors read (sorry, this part takes a while)

Now it could go in one of three directions. It’s like a Choose Your Own Adventure.

Hint: Choose #7

7) Editor(s) like ms

8 ) Editor(s) have suggestions for revision

9) Editor(s) pass on ms

If it’s 7) this is what has to happen next…

Exception–if your ms has been subbed to the publisher of an imprint s/he can bypass at least 10)

10) Editor(s) give ms to colleagues at house and get everyone to agree it’s worth acquiring

11) Marketing and other departments also agree

12) Publisher agrees

And 13) Offer is made

Lucky 13.

I think we can agree that this is a lot of steps. Writer Joshilyn Jackson says that being on sub is “a special kind of hell” and she’s right.

When it works, it can be heaven, I’m thinking, in that amnesiac, I-truly-can’t-remember-the-pain-now-that-my-baby-is-born sort of way.

Well, I’ve gone on a little too long to get into back story tonight.

More soon…

April 11, 2010

Letter to a Young Blogger

Filed under: The Writing Life — jenny @ 1:26 pm

With thanks to Rilke (Ranier Maria, that is) for the title.

The other person I must thank is the author of the post itself, Sunny Frazier, who writes the Christy Bristol Astrological mystery series. If you like strong, star gazing women with your mysteries, check out these books.

Sunny was asked her thoughts on the importance of blogging and answered with the below. I thought both the perspective on new media and the concrete suggestions for people still hesitant to wade into the blogging waters well worth passing on to suspenseyourdisbelief readers.

It’s a kind of boot camp approach to the need to get your name out there!

As always, dear readers, feel free to comment and weigh in with your own perspectives. The only thing I profess to be true about marketing today is that your mileage may vary. Recently I had a conversation with some writer friends about how the introvert/extrovert personality distinction effects marketing efforts. So what works for some may not work as well for you. If it doesn’t, I’d love to hear why!

And now without further ado, Sunny’s thoughts…

Dear [insert emerging writer's name here]:

This is the first time your name has come through my radar. So, I’d say your name recognition is low. What does your Google Alerts say about your profile? How many sites are you on when you Google your name (for the record, I’m up to 240). How do you expect to get book sales when nobody has heard of you?

And why would you ignore any opportunity to build your platform? Right now I’m vetting manuscripts for my publisher and the first thing I do is see if the author is active on the Internet. That’s my litmus test. I’d rather have a strong marketer who is making contacts BEFORE publication than one who sits around and waits until they have a book to promote.

Blogging is not as hard as people make it. First, you are a writer. Writing is what you do. Second, you have opinions. Opinions and attitude are what blogs are good for. Third, you want people to hear your “voice.” Your writing style. Make them want to see it translated into your fiction. Make them WANT more!

So, how do you fit all this into a busy schedule? You take one day, one afternoon. Make a list of five ideas, take them from MMA posts or wherever (we say pretty interesting things on this site). Write 500 words on each idea. Sparkle. Be witty. Check your spelling.

Now, go to all the sites you are on. I’m on 35+. You can post all the blogs and date them to come up once a month or once every two months. There. Done. Forget about them.

OR, take it a step further. Notify friends to come over and check out the clever things you say. Tease them. Ask a provocative question. Invite them to comment.

Be someone they want to read.

I guess the question is, how serious are you about your writing career? How much effort are you willing to put out given your time restraints?

Look, everyone seems to think all this Internet activity is a waste of serious writing time. I remember when there wasn’t anything like this available and the most you could hope for was an article in the local paper. Small press authors had limited money for big promotion. All these sites that have popped up in the last two years are a Godsend to struggling authors. They represent OPPORTUNITY. People like Jeffrey Marks stepped up to the plate and created Murder Must Advertise so people like you and I could connect and communicate. We both know he’s a busy guy, but he did it and the whole mystery community was better for his efforts.

These are just suggestions. You can choose to remain fairly anonymous and wonder why your books don’t sell. You can choose to ignore opportunity and continue to tell yourself you’re too busy. Every day that goes by, someone like me is filling that empty slot.

Okay, I’m stepping down from my soapbox. All of this “wasted” time responding to your post has just given me my next blog! How easy was that?

April 6, 2010

One of the things I love

Filed under: The Writing Life — jenny @ 9:28 am

about the net is that it has introduced me to as many new writers as the bookstores and libraries I frequent.  Recently I got to know author KD Easley and she was kind enough to invite me to guest on her blog.

Please drop by and meet Kadi and read a few more of my thoughts about this twisty, hair-raising journey we call publishing!

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