This week was the release of my newest book, Blood Soaked Ashes. It’s book two of The Eramane Saga, and I can’t wait to share this segment of the story with my readers. Publishing this second book has been an amazing experience. I owe much thanks to the lovely ladies that worked closely with me on this. My editors are amazing and my cover artist is a genius. Enough about that. Go get the book! Ok, now that you’ve gone and supported my habit, we can move forward. I am a few days away from finishing up a project that I will be submitting to agents. This manuscript has been on my desktop for a year and a half, and I’m excited about its potential. But what I’m totally stoked about is that I actually have a solid query for it. What does that mean, solid? As opposed to what? Haven’t you been sending outstanding queries, Frankie? Well, I thought I had. I thought I had the best queries that had ever been written and “Why the hell weren’t the agents biting?!” I mean, I had researched what other authors posted as their queries on their websites, and I had read countless articles on ALL.THE.SITES., and I had several rejection emails that offered some friendly advice on what did and didn’t work. I was the master query writer. So “Why the hell weren’t the agents biting?!” I had no answer as to why my queries were being rejected. For almost two years I battled back and forth with this question. But then I decided to seek expert advice. I reached out to my small network of author acquaintances and humbly asked for help. And I got it. And it kept coming and doors kept opening and finally after re-working my query I ended up with a “fantastic” one. (Yeah, that’s an air-quote.) And once I read the final, kick ass version, it was like a light bulb (like one of those coiled hazmat ones) exploded above my head. Der! How simple. How extremely f-ing simple you nerf-hearding ding dong. Yes, I can be hard on myself. But that’s what we authors do. We have to. If we don’t push ourselves and force our perspective in the right direction, no one else will. So, to celebrate my enlightenment, and the release of Blood Soaked Ashes, I would like to offer free query critiques to the first TWO WRITERS OF YOUNG ADULT FICTION that respond. I want to help you find your light bulb. SERIOUS ENTRIES ONLY. PLEASE READ!! PREFERENCES AND STIPULATIONS: Queries for young-adult fiction only please. All genres welcome. Your manuscript should be completed so that you can build a thorough query and essentially a synopsis, which is often required by agents. But before you submit what you think is a good start, check out this website for a well-rounded structure as to what a query should look like. Check out this website for a good example. If yours is already formatted like this, then go ahead and request a critique in the comment area. Make sure you offer the genre and word count and briefly describe the plot. If your query fits my simple and limited requirements, I’ll reply with how you can submit your query to me, and how the process will work. Keep in mind that this is a free critique. It is not in any way an edit, nor will I re-write the query. It’s free author advice, and I’m glad to help.
Manuscripts need to be polished. You know what else can be polished? A TURD! Watch it on MythBusters.
The crap that makes up the first draft of a novel should never be published for your readers. Unless you are some magical wielder of words who makes no mistakes in which case, CONGRATS BRO!
I’m a firm believer that the first draft should be well tended just as the final draft should be. Passion and focus are important in all stages of writing. But we all know that the first draft has tons of awful bits we don’t want our readers laying their precious eye holes on. This is why an experienced editor should have their way with the MS before its published.
I’m neck deep in edits right now. I have had my MS critiqued and edited for content (which is the stage I’m working on now) and once that is complete, my precious will be sent to a copy editor for finishing touches, you know, punctuation and grammar type things.
Why two editors, Frankie?
Editors come in all shapes and sizes (because they are human after all) and it’s a lot of work to pluck out all the horrific blunders an author makes whilst typing in the wee hours, eyes propped open with toothpicks like Tom’s when he stalking that clever little Jerry. I am working with two who each specialize in different scopes of the editing field. I’m not saying that one editor doesn’t have the capacity to hook your MS up proper, of course there are talented editors out there that can do that. But having more than one also puts more eyes on your MS. That is never a bad thing, yeah?
As I said, I’m in the editing process now with the second book of The Eramane Saga. My content editor ripped me a new b-hole, in a good way. This has opened me up to ideas that have enhanced my work, and forced me to rewrite nearly three chapters. Complete rewrites people! Three Chapters! Ugh! It sucked!
But I did it. And I’m so glad I did, because Blood Soaked Ashes is melding into the story I didn’t know it could be. That’s what good editors do. Your baby, that precious doc of 80k? 90k? 120k words, deserves to be dissected and picked apart and polished. But, unlike a turd, the finished MS should not smell. Unless you handled it after you polished and actual turd.
In a nutshell, before you publish, make sure it’s edited! Professionally! By someone who isn’t you!
Okay, I’ll stop exclaiming.
ASIDE RANT. I don’t want to leave anyone hangin’. Editors don’t work for free. And it’s difficult to find editors that take unsolicited submissions. I get that. If you’re not in the spot to work with professional editors at the moment, try finding online critique partner/s/groups. Participate in the NaNoWriMo and join forums that can hook you up with others willing to dish their opinion on your writing skillz. There is a plethora of resources out there for finding other writers who would love to critique your work. FYI, you are probably going to have to critique theirs too. Even tradesies. (That’s my non-word of the day.) And here is an article that describes types of critique partners/groups to avoid. Here is just another helpful link.
Shout out to SubItClub. You have lots o resources for writers! That’s awesome!
This post is a few days behind. Let me explain why.
One the morning of the cover reveal for Blood Soaked Ashes (which was Halloween BTW!) I awoke to the strangest of sounds. A thudding noise from the other side of my bedroom wall stirred me from my dreams of lollipop fields and orange juice sunshine. I sat up and listened more closely.
WTF is that? I asked myself, because I was alone, and because my cats can only talk on Tuesdays.
I threw on my housecoat and slid on my slippers and cautiously opened my front door (unfortunately for me the side of my bedroom wall I heard the noises was outside!), so outside I went.
I walked around to the side of my house where my bedroom was and to my astonishment…the vinyl siding was flapping in the wind! So I popped it back into to place and went back to bed.
I understand that this story does not explain anything…but I’ve been chillin’ with a toddler since Thursday which has reminded me that explanations needn’t make sense at all.
So here it is…BLOOD SOAKED ASHES!!!!
Here it is!! The title for book two of The Eramane Saga!
Blood Soaked Ashes was so much fun writing, and I can’t wait for you guys to read it. Dur.
This image has zero squats to do with the actual cover that was designed by Hafsah from IceyDesigns. That will be revealed on Halloween and yes! there will be a giveaway with awesomes and such.
Okay, if you are finished laughing at my very visually anticlimactic title reveal, (cause the title is bad-ass) you may proceed on with it (IT being whatever IT was that you were doing before I snatched you from…
Wait for it…
With the nearing release of Book Two of the Eramane Saga, Giveaways are in order! I have five SIGNED eBook codes for Eramane, book one and have posted a giveaway on my fan page here. The giveaway begins tonight at midnight and runs for seven days. There will be several more after this one, a cover reveal, and the actual release, so if you miss out on this one it’s ok…there’s more to come. The rules are pretty simple, share the giveaway with your pals.
Toiling away I have been. (Yoda talk is weird when you see it typed out.) Writing more than on WIP is tough, chaotic, tiresome, you know. But the Force is strong in this one (ME!) and it is a must that I work in this way. I don’t know about you guys but having all sorts of ideas sitting upstairs for too long is no fun. I’d rather be cursing at myself during the hours most people sleep than to have stories just waiting around making cobwebs in my skully region.
But we is all different.
Book two (the last book) to the Eramane saga will be heading to my editor soon and its release will be a catharsis for me. I’ve been working on this story for a long time and I’m ready for my fans to know what happens to her and her comrades. So excited!
The title reveal is fast approaching (Oct 13) and the cover reveal will come shortly after. It’s still in its design phase. I have all my focus on getting this book out in time for Black Friday, so that I can get my YA Sci-Fi project out in January 2015 and hopefully get a combined edition of both Eramane books available in February.
Well, the rain just stopped, so I have to go walk my dog.
I’ve been debating on using this software, until I came across this post on Fantasy Faction. I’m going to give it a try. I’ll report back if there are survivors.
Review of Scrivener, the word processor for writers.