Category Archives: author woes

Book Proposal Question: What is your work like?

What published stories are similar to your unpublished work?

Umm…

I really don’t know.

It’s one of the toughest questions I must have an answer for on that book proposal.

The thing is, with the exception of the NYC romances I write, all of my stories are truly different from what’s out there.

For Love, Darrows/Love, Carter, I could say it’s like Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series. Yes, it does have some Greek myth magical elements and weirdness. It’s not really the same because it deals with LGBTQ themes, has Roman Myth elements and Gods, has a huge contemporary twist to it all. But it’s really too different. I could try to match it to a David Levithan story since he writes a lot of LGBTQ tales, but that’s some big shoes to step into. I’m about halfway through Simon and the Homo Sapien Agenda, and maybe I could compare to that, but at this point, I only see one minor thing that could connect the two stories. And the other stories I’ve read are too adult to compare, really.

This seems to be a thing that crosses from Human Touch to Darrows to Sync to…well, I won’t mention them since I’m not that far into writing them yet. My stories tend to be not like what’s on the shelves. That I’ve read or found anyway.

What I need is help. Or advice. Or both. How do I find similar books on shelves?
How can I compare if I’ve not read them?
Should I read them first before making those all-important comparisons?

I just don’t know. And Google hasn’t been much help.

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all gifs found through giphy.com.

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Filed under author woes, book proposal, Chris Evans, frustrations out the wahzoo, i resolute, LGBTQ, love carter, love darrows, publish it, self-doubt

Working on my writer’s resolutions…

Started the final rewrite on my YA LGBTQ story, Sync or Swim, yesterday. I plan on entering it into a few contests and/or submitting to agents who are actively searching for LGBT stories. Got in touch with my reader and he’s going to comb through it for me. Looking for one more reader to add a new set of critical eyes. I am excited about that one finally being done done.

This morning, I found a publisher who is accepting book proposals for LGBTQ stories. Google will help me learn how to write a proper book proposal. (I hope.) Then I plan on submitting my Love, Darrows/Love, Carter duet for consideration. The gut feeling is still there. Darrows and Carter are meant for something great. And it’s been close a few times. Quite a few times. I’m hopeful that this will be their destiny! *fingers crossed*

In the meantime, Human Touch, my opus of a tale, has been rewritten from beginning to end. I LOVE this version more than the first, more than the last, and DEFINITELY more than that one I will never see again…the one that starts off with a “The Lovely Bones” vibe and feel… It was too dark and dank for a story I wanted to be like a teen soapy romcom with ghosts, angels, demons, and a FBI-type bureau in the afterlife all while being contemporary. I feel good about this version. I had a new lovely reader volunteer to read it–in addition to the two people I trust most with this story–and she has been sending me good notes and some great criticisms so far. Hoping this is the final destination for that part of the overall series.

Been working on book 4 of that series, being in editing/rewrite/second draft. Been working on an off-shoot story about one of the secondary characters in the series, Callum (see gif…he’s very much a Cap inspired character). Because his story is complicated and really compelling. Writing notes on two other stories, compiling images, drawing floorplans…hoping to get busy typing on those soon. After the others are complete.

So far, 2017 has blessed me with the gift of stories. I am VERY THANKFUL for the plethora of tales, especially since the block of 2016 (June-September) sparked major doubts about writing in my mind.

How’s your writing goals coming along so far this year?

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Filed under amwriting, aspirations, author woes, book proposal, Chris Evans, human touch, i resolute, learning lessons, LGBTQ, love carter, love darrows, my opus, publish it, random blathering, sync or swim, thinking out loud, write

The master list.

Once upon a time, I was reading a book written by Stephen King and happened upon a character named “Ace Merrill”. He lived in a little place of yore called Castle Rock, Maine. Well, that name/that location sent a smile to my face and memories into my brain. I knew this guy from that story that other time. Talk about being excited when I remembered little things that I loved about the town or couldn’t stand about Ace…It was like being in on a secret. I had to tell people, “Remember that guy from that place? Well, they’re back. No seriously. You have to read it.”

I blame Stephen King for this thing I have about linking my stories through characters, places, or just little hints. Even if no one else gets it, I know it’s there and am proud.

Lately, though, it feels like nothing is connecting. Not a story, a line, a name, or a title. I have a Tinkerbell journal full of notes for another Rom-Com in NYC I think I want to write for NaNoWriMo.

And if I do start writing on this, I will of course crossover locations or mention a person in passing–The Stephen King Effect. (The New York City thing for RomComs came from movies like The Secret of My Succe$s and What’s Your Number? {okay, so that’s Boston, but big city love story nonetheless} and even Something Borrowed.)

I like the idea of Sean and Gemma almost meeting at the same place that Kurt bought an apology latte…I like that Violet works with Sean while Charlie’s boss is Kurt. I like that this one hotspot is used for breakups and make-ups alike. What I don’t like is fishing through over 1000 pages of combined manuscripts to find that name or that place. That’s where the need for a master list of these tales comes into play.

I could just type a list on the computer. I have a few of those in OneNote and Word docs. But I like a solid journal with pages to flip through. I have images of places in my mind that I drew/draw that I like to reference in addition to photos. I like to keep the descriptions the same from story to story to make it more familiar…a home…like Castle Rock before it met its end.

There are three sections: The Stories which has either a book cover/promotional poster idea with a summary, characters, & locations. (The exact reason label makers were made.)

If Only in Our Dreams

Dreams can hold the best life has to offer. Who says they can’t come true?

Gemma has the worst luck with men. After this last date with the loser of her life, she’s ready to give up men. Her friends beg her for one more weekend–because they can choose a better guy for her–of blind dates. She agrees to one last weekend, though she’s regretting it already. Her friends will never find a guy like the one from her dreams. He’s hot and loving and the sex… Impossible.

Sean has the worst luck with women. After this last date with quite the drama queen, he’s ready to give up women. His friends beg him for one more weekend before doing anything drastic. After all, his friends can pick a woman better than the one from his dreams, right? Maybe not.

Life Imitating Art/Life Imitating Art

Every story has two sides, and Jana’s and Kurt’s are no exception. This duet of novels covers the same events, but are two entirely different tales. What he says is definitely not what she says about their lives from the moment they met.

Life Imitating Art: Jana Hampstead–pen name: JR Toscani–is a best selling romance authors of our time. After meeting her new editor Kurt, she realizes their story mimics the first story she’s ever written–Texas Violets, a fanfiction-turned-bestseller. Much like her characters, there’s ups and downs…and more downs…and he’s her editor, so that’s probably frowned upon around the editing firm. Oh definitely it is. Can Jana and Kurt put aside their differences and finish her new novel before their escapades can become office gossip?

Life Imitating Art: Kurt Werner–aspiring novelist and editor at top firm Eckhart & Bernstien–has been suffering a writer’s block the size of Jupiter. Every word he types ends with a delete. The story isn’t there. Then he meets his new client, JR Toscani–real name, Jana Hampstead. She envokes a rage…a passion within him. Next thing he knows, his job is on the line, but the words are flowing like a river flooding its banks. Can Kurt find a way to balance an editing job, Jana, and a new story that just won’t stop before it all comes crashing to a halt?

Wings

Take my hand. I’ll take yours. Together we’ll do this. Until we find love.

Told through two different points of view.

Charlie Everett plays wingman for his best friend, hoping to pay off an old debt. Violet Granger is trying to show “Daddy” that she can make it on her own. One night of wing services, they meet and their world couldn’t be sweeter. But, like always, real life and exes can break some wings. Can Charlie and Violet spread their wings so love can soar?

There are a few more stories not mentioned here. And I’m trying to decide where to put these stories–here, Wattpad, or e-pub them. Plus, this has been great for my story blocked mind. My hands are busy drawing, coloring, painting. My mind thinks as I do this…to the point of generating a new idea for a story that hasn’t been told in YA or adult books that I’ve been able to find. I’ve got a few opening lines to the story I’ve been wanting to type on. And have expanded my old notes on this NYC Rom-Com series, though I have yet to come up with a title.

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all images are my own.
this post is filed under random blathering and writer’s block.

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Filed under art journal, author woes, book covers, keeping entertained, love story, NaNoWriMo, random blathering, romance can't be antiquated, romcoms are my peeps, screenplays, self publish, thinking out loud, wings, write, writer's block, writer's procrastination, writing wishlist

Reading Theme: September 2016

Long time, no post…

These past few months have been insane with a cross-country move. Between cleaning, packing, cleaning, unpacking, traveling, directing movers on both ends of the spectrum, and organizing, it’s been little to no fun.

And don’t get me started on writer’s block headaches. Reading books/fanfics/stories is suffering as much as writing right now. Total doldrums.

I need to find my way out of this funk. Fast. Get myself back into a schedule. I figure the best way to do that is to assign September a reading theme. But what do I choose?

September 2015’s theme (also about the time I started these posts) was anything RomCom. I could always go for some romance. *happy sigh* A little love. Some laughs. Ever so sweet with enough tension to make you root for the MC’s to get together. And a little happy dance when they finally do. Warms my heart and soul to read those stories.

But, the RomCom theme is now on a Been There, Done That sort of status. I don’t mind doing it again because I loved it so much, but I need to broaden my reading horizons.

I thought about turning this into a “School’s Starting Up” sort of theme, tackling the classic of literature. Story trauma in Lit class keeps me from doing it full throttle, though. So I turn to the class reading lists of high schools today: The Princess Bride, Peter Pan, Will Grayson Will Grayson, The Giver, The Alchemist and others like those. (I’ve seen both the Hunger Games and Divergent series on lists, but I’ve already read those.)

If only I could find my missing box of books, I’d have more to add to this list…

*heavy sigh*

Anyway, I figure it’s a great place to start.

September 2016’s theme: Back to School Reading

Seems boring enough, but I’ve had some of these books on my TBR lists for years. This should be the motivation I need to get them read. I plan to, anyway. Who knows, maybe a romcom will sneak its way into the reading list for this month. Only time will tell.

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thanks for reading! all gifs used here were found on giphy.com. the image is my own.

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Filed under aspirations, author woes, blocked, finding myself, frustrations out the wahzoo, random blathering, read, reading themes

Sorta stressing about Wings.

I mean, I wrote this for fun, because I was desperate for something fun and romantic. I shouldn’t be stressing about it at all. I plan on sharing it even if no one chooses it. Period.

But that’s not why I am stressed. What is killing me is this feeling of being left out. I went through and read a lot of the #PitchMadness tweets to see if I’m missing out on something I need to do.

All those PitchMadness entries…one of the readers is going through their slush piles and tweeting out what she likes. They seem to want a lot of MG (middle grade…think Ramona the Pest types..which I used to write, when I had the readership), a lot of Sci-Fi…which I don’t write, and a lot of fantasy. Bleh. Again, not a genre I’m into as much. Sci-Fi and Fantasy really have to speak to me and most of them just don’t. Nothing to anyone who writes them, it’s not my genre.

The thing that’s eating me is she keeps mentioning how diverse characters are a plus. Love this diversity. More diverse characters… And I feel a little stung right now.

Charlie is Charlie. Let’s not delve too much into him right now. Violet is half Japanese, though you might find a slight mention about her in a picture with her mom. Darshan is Indian from India but from London where his family migrated to. Amala is African-American, kick ass and awesome in her own right. My story, their attributes have mentions few and far between, but to me, it really doesn’t make a difference what color they are. They’re people, living lives and trying to find love…just like everyone else on the planet. This story focuses on the love Charlie and Violet need to find. Period.

But I read things like that, and I think I’m screwed because I don’t flaunt it or constantly point it out. I understand that some people of color feel they deal with things every day. There are some who don’t feel they deal with racial differences every day (according to people’s FB posts on a similar topic).

So should I have mentioned how Darshan is Indian and his parents migrated from India to England because of a job? Should I keep pointing out that Amala is black and the daughter of a musician? Do I need to sit down and type out a detailed chapter of how Violet’s Japanese mom died when she was young, and her father can’t hardly look at her because she looks so much like her mom? Because that’s exactly what it feels like I should be doing to be considered as an author who embraces diverse characters. And I know nothing about any of that is in my first 250 and is barely touched on in the rest of the 68,000.

Too bad the world isn’t color blind. Not that I want all color erased, because THE WORLD WOULD BE SO BLAH without our differences–there is so much to love about our differences. But to feel left out because it seems like a qualifier, when I clearly qualify…

I really don’t want this to be the thing that qualifies me, though.

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no images, though I don’t doubt I’ll come back and add them later.

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Filed under author woes, diversity, frustrations out the wahzoo, learning lessons, Pitch Wars, pitmad, wings