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 – 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,


Friday Morning FYI – 8/19/2016

Welcome to your Friday Morning FYI (holy-crap-how-is-it-Tuesday-already? edition) – my chance to share observations/wisdom/rants in short, easily consumed form.

Now I’m really pushing how late I can post something labeled with a day of the week from which we’re four days removed. *shrug*

This morning, I noticed the lady standing to my left on the Path was reading a printed manuscript. How do I know it was a manuscript? As someone who’s taken the time to learn proper formatting for submissions, I know MS formatting, and recognized the upper-right header (book title, page number, author name). Curious, I pointed to the page and asked if it was hers? She smiled, answered ‘no’, and said she worked for a publisher. I then told her I write, and asked if the MS was any good. “It’s high fantasy, which isn’t my thing, but it’s very well written.” I apologized for bothering her, to which she replied ‘No problem,’ and we went back to doing our own things. That thirty second exchange leads us to this week’s FYI:

To seize opportunities, preparedness is key. The more you know, the better equipped you’ll be to talk to someone, provide advice or answers, etc. Knowing how to format a manuscript is important when submitting your work to agents and publishers,  but it also allowed me to recognize someone working in an industry I’m trying to break into. Nothing came of it because I’m not a pushy lout, and she and I will most-likely never see each other again, but what if after I’d told her I write she’d asked what genre and the conversation continued? Stuff like that is rare, but anything can happen.

Learning how your industry works is the best way to be ready when important moments arise. At the very least, you’ll know you’re doing everything right.


Thanks for reading,


PS – No, I’m not saying writers should ride the trains all day looking for anyone holding a printed page and attempt to land a publishing contract. Normal human decency always applies.

Observations and Thoughts on #WDC16

This past weekend, I attended the Writer’s Digest Annual Conference in New York City. It was my third WDC in a row, and I’ve enjoyed them all. I plan on attending next year as well, as I’ve learned something from each one. You can read my impressions of the previous two here and here.

I think I’ll start with a review of the three sessions I loved (yes, there are sessions you attend and don’t like for one reason or another, but I’m not going to hammer anyone (even though a few deserve it)), and then wrap up with some general observations. Long post ahead, so get comfy (or scroll to the bottom for the tl;dnr version).

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Thoughts on #WDC15 (Writer’s Digest Conference 2015)

WDC2014 was the first writer’s conference I’d ever attended. I learned so much, including how not-ready my first book was for shopping (me shopping it to agents, not the book going out to buy shoes, or something), met some of the most creative/dedicated/fun people, and left feeling like a member of a supportive community. So to say I was looking forward to WDC2015 is a whale of an understatement. I couldn’t wait to get there, and spent the previous week daydreaming about experiencing the same incredible vibe I’d gotten the year before.

But after an hour at WDC2015, I knew that wouldn’t be the case.

Dramatic Cat

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