Quick (yeah, sure) thoughts on round 1 of #QueryKombat 2017

I’m participating in #QueryKombat this year. If you’re not familiar, Query Kombat is an annual competition run by this writer and this writer and this writer, where you submit your query and the first 250 words of your novel. For the first round, 64 selected Kombatants are paired off to go one-on-one (shout out to O.C. Shaw, who is a friendly and gracious writer whose book I want in my life). Judges read your entries, offer constructive criticism, and declare a victor. Get enough votes and you move on to the Agent Round where literary agents review your entry and decide if they want to ask for more pages, and then round 2. Entries can be updated before the agents get to see it.
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Friday Morning FYI – 3/17/2017

Welcome to your Friday Morning FYI (prob never gonna get one of these done on a Friday again edition) – my chance to share observations/wisdom/rants in short, easily consumed form.

This week, I sat down with my final beta reader (lucky #6) for my latest novel. We had a few drinks, some pizza, a few more drinks, and talked/laughed/debated about/over my book for around two hours. It was a fun time, and I got some good feedback, as always. That brings us to this week’s FYI:

Writers, you’ve seen me write this before, but I’m going to beat the drum again: Beta readers are important. You’re too close to your story, even if it’s been locked in a drawer for a while. Fresh eyes always see things you don’t/can’t, providing perspective you don’t have. Before you query, give your book to people whose opinions you trust (yes, even people you suspect might not like it) and ask them for their brutally-honest opinion. Once they ‘ve provided that, honor the commitment they made to you by spending time considering their feedback. They won’t always be right, but they don’t need to be. Just getting you to look at something the way they saw it can expose problems you never recognized.


Thanks for reading,


Friday Morning FYI – 1/27/2017

Welcome to your Friday Morning FYI (oh we’re gonna start being late on this again, huh? edition) – my chance to share observations/wisdom/rants in short, easily consumed form.

Writers love to talk about rejection. That’s because we all experience it at one level or another (or all of them), so it’s nice to know you’re not the only one hitting bumps in the road. Bumps stink, but the fun thing about them is every now and then you hit one that’s kind of fun. I had one of those this week, when I received a query rejection that was complimentary and referred me to a half dozen agents who might be interested in my book. Some might see that as just another rejection, but I thought it was great, understanding most agents don’t have the time or energy to do that. Let’s make that this week’s FYI:

Ever drive over a bump just a little too fast? It doesn’t wreck your car, and gives you that little tickle in your tummy that makes you smile. You might not have even seen the bump until you were a few feet from it, so you get that heart-popping adrenaline boost, too. After the initial surprise of it, how do you react? Do you laugh it off or do you curse whoever put that bump there? Do you let the event roll off your shoulders or do you swear to never drive down that street again? Whichever you choose, understand that bumps don’t stop you, only you can do that.


Thanks for reading,