Friday, May 20, 2011

FFW: Writing That Query Letter

For Fantastic Friday Writers, the topic is Query Letters.  I'm hardly the expert on this subject, but I'll share what I know. : )

You should always check the agent’s or publisher’s guidelines before sending out a query.  A lot of them will let you know what they’re looking for.  If they’re vague, these tips might help. : )

Keep a query to one page.  They should include the title, genre, word count, a brief description of your work and any experience/credentials you may have.

Keep it professional.  Though your writing personality may show, remember this is a business venture.  Don’t begin with, “Hey there, I just finished my first book and since you represent cool stuff, I wondered if you’d publish mine too.”  *wink* 

Address the query to a specific individual, not “To whom it may concern”, or “Dear Agent”.  Do some research.  Some companies have several agents/editors that work with specific genres.  Address your query to the right person to decrease the chances it will get lost in the slush pile.

Just an example...

Dear Mr./Ms. NAME,

George didn’t come to Chicago to exchange body fluids … well, maybe he did but not like this! (HOOK) He thought vampires were fantasies stuck in places like crypts, B-movies and corporate America, but when he is made into one, the hunters turned out to be just as real too and they want him dead. (CONFLICT) Life might suck, yet undeath bites as George discovers in his search for a cure that doesn’t involve stakes, sunlight or super powered ninja-nuns. (RESOLUTION)

SPURNED AND TURNED is an 80,000-word humorous novel. It is similar to Moore’s Bloodsucking Fiends and takes place over a period of one week. I wrote this as a deliberate mockumentary towards all the recent vampire/supernatural romances that have flooded the market as of late.

I am member of the Chicago Writer’s Guild of North America and an active journalist for the Chicago Sun Times. I am the recipient of the Chicago Star for creative writing and one of my short stories was awarded second place in the Humorous Tales Competition of Illinois in 2006.

Thank you for your time and attention.


I found this example at Writing Hood and wanted to share it.  Personally, I’d put the title and word count in the first paragraph, and let them know I’d be happy to send them a copy of my manuscript upon request.

Good luck in your query writing! 

Check out the other Fantastic Friday Writers’ blogs!

Remember To Breathe

In the past week, I've found Me running into Myself and I around every turn.  Along with demands of family life, I've been working to finish up Cornerston Deep Echoes to send in to my publisher next month, am trying to put together posts for blogs that I contribute to, and my own Highlighted Author blog has seen an explosion in requests from authors to be spotlighted.  I'm now booked into May 2012.
My brother, supporter that he is, simply says, "Remember to breathe, Char."

Okay, so here I go...breathing.  *hyperventilates*  Lol.

If you'd like to check out some of the other blogs on my list, drop on by and say "hi".  I'd love to hear from you. : )  Oh, and be sure to follow!

Highlighted Author is dedicated to spotlighting authors and their works.
The Character Cafe is taken over by six authors' characters.  So fun!
Fantastic Friday Writers was originally a blog hop that recently grew to add posts with daily topics.  The hop continues, but even more great articles can be found there now.


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Who Me? A Guest On BlogTalkRadio?

That's right.  Me in all my stumble-over-my-tongue glory was asked to be a guest on Gelati's Scoop, BlogTalkRadio.  It happened this morning.  Early.  And in case you didn't know, I'm really not a morning person.  But with my schedule the way it is, it was the best time to make sure I wouldn't be interrupted for this LIVE show. 

I'd done one internet radio show before, for The Author Show back in November.  I was a nervous wreck for a month prior to the interview, sick for another week afterward because I had done so badly, and hid under my pillow when I finally mustered the guts to listen to it.  Lucky for me it was pre-recorded and they did a wonderful job of editing.  Because I really messed that thing up. Lol. 

This show was four times longer, live, and in the morning.  Honestly, what was I thinking?  But, Giovanni was wonderful to work with.  He had me laughing by the end. 

So, I'm sharing it here with you.  Just keep in mind what a poor speaker I am...give me a pen and paper any day, but ask me questions with a microphone in front of me and...well, you'll see.  It was like I didn't even know what my own book was about. Lol.  But you're welcome to listen in, have a good laugh, and know I'm laughing with you. ; )

Listen to internet radio with GelatisScoop on Blog Talk Radio


Monday, May 9, 2011

Congratulations J.D. Brown

I have exciting news to share!  My good friend and beta partner, J.D. Brown has had her debut novel Dark Heirloom accepted for publication! 

If you'll remember, I missed the N post in the A-Z Blog Challenge because I was beta reading a novel for a critique partner before she submitted.  That was the one!  It was fantastic and I knew the publisher wouldn't be able to turn it down. The other novel I beta read that weekend was Cleanse Fire by Anastasia V. Pergakis and I have no doubt it will be accepted too. : )

But for now... 

Congratulations, Jen!

Dark Heirloom

Ema Marx’s heritage means nothing more than a natural tan her friends envy until she becomes a vampire and her Romani blood gives other vampires reason to fear her. Vampires are not supposed to exist; yet here they are, holding twenty-three-year-old Ema hostage and interrogating her. As if she had any clue how she became one of them without being bitten.

In her struggle to control her newfound powers, Ema accidentally releases an ancient vampire king whose only desire is to turn the human race into cattle and gain dominion over his kind. King Apollyon finds Ema’s strength and powers fascinating. He is positive her gypsy blood is responsible for her range of abilities and wants to use it to create a new generation of vampires.

Ema is determined to send the egotistical pseudo king back to Hell, but first she must discover who, or what, is responsible for her transformation. And she must do so quickly, before Apollyon figures it out first.

I have to admit that I'm not a big fan of vampire books.  But we were both members of Writing.Com's Fantasy Keep Novel Workshop and would offer critiques of the chapters at a time.  When I first read Dark Heirloom--before I every really knew Jen--I was glued to the pages.  (or the computer screen *wink*)  I started my critique but my reviewer's hat fell off and I didn't stop reading until I was done.  Yeah, my eyes were burning and dry because I went without sleep that night. LOL.

I became a rediculous fan and emailed her about book two.  Poor Jen.  But it began our amazing friendship.  It's such a treat to see Dark Heirloom with a release date and can't wait to get a copy of my own.


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Celebrity Cast For Characters

Books to movies.  It’s happened…a lot.  Alcott's Little Women, Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, and Rowling’s Harry Potter are only a few.  Have you ever envisioned who might be in your own book’s movie cast?

When I made my character sketches, I scanned the internet for pictures of celebrities to pose as inspiration.  I thought I’d share their pics with you today.  Do you recognize these faces?

                    Cole Shilo                              James Shilo                           Vincent Shilo
                 Main Character                  Second eldest brother             Youngest Brother
            Head of the Shilo family.     Peace keeper in Shilo family.                  "Kid"

Anna Sinclair
Main Female Character.
Cole's soulmate and Lord Dressen's obsession.

Lord Dressen
Grand Marshal of Cornerstone Deep

Yeah, I can dream. :)