About Me

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Well, let's see I am a: Proud parent of one daughter, Proud wife of a wonderful man, Proud American, Proud daughter of a Vietnam Vet, Proud daughter of a very caring woman, Proud sister of two wonderful and Christian men, Proud Christian Woman, Proud teacher, Proud good listener, Proud Twilight Mom and PROUD BUCKEYE FAN!!


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I'm in love!

No, not with my husband. Okay, well, yes with my husband...but that's not the point.

I'm in love with the Query Shark. Most of you have already heard of her, I'm sure, but for those that haven't, QS (aka Janet Reid) is awesome. Her blog is full of great information through the posting of hundreds of query letters. A few are awesome and have gotten it right from the very start; most, however, are not.

Through each letter she gives wonderful advice, telling the author how to fix what's wrong and, more importantly, why it's wrong. She isn't just being a class-A you-know-what. Her only job is to help those of us working on query letters to get stronger. Oh and she's funny while doing it.

Here's a great tip:

There's a simple way to figure out what goes in the first paragraph of a query.

1. What is your main character's name?

2. What problem/choice does the character face? (20 words or fewer)

3. Who wants to foil the main character's plan and why? (20 words or fewer)

These three questions are the blueprint of your query. You don't write the answers and send it as a query any more than a real estate agent posts blueprints instead of photographs of a house for sale.

You USE these questions to guide you on what to include (action/plot) and what not to include (description/character list)

Think of it as a writing exercise. Answer each of these questions. Use as many words as you need, then pare down to 20.

Another point Janet says: do NOT write a QL from the POV of your character. Most agents see this as a gimmick, and they aren't interested in gimmicks. They are interested in your book.

And lastly she say, "The SOLE purpose of the query is to get me to read your book." If you can write a QL that leaves 'em wanting more, you've done it! Plain and simple, right?

Yeah, not so much. :)

Friday, July 15, 2011


Oh my gosh, y'all, I am so excited!

As you know, I've been participating in Deana Barnhart's Gearing Up to Get an Agent blogfest the past couple of weeks. The first week was the post I did title "I Just Gotta Ask". Week two was the super fun Story Chain; the full story can be found here.

Each week, Deana has been able to offer some amazing prizes (as if meeting a bunch of cool authors and new friends wasn't enough, right??). And guess who was the winner for week 2?!?!

That's right baby - ME!!!!

I'm still learning about the details, but basically I've won a double query critique from fellow author Rachael Harrie (her blog is RachWrites). Besides writing YA horror/paranormal, Rachael is the founder of the Writers' Platform-Building Crusade, where she "link(s) aspiring writers, beginner bloggers, industry people, and published authors together with the aim of helping to build our online platforms." Pretty sweet, eh? The 3rd installment is coming up soon; go here for more details.

Okay, time to stop blogging and get to writing that query letter. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Story Chain

Well, here it is; my portion of the story chain. If you'd like to see what was written just prior to me, head over to the lovely Catherine Johnson's blog.

By the time Dio got to the first floor of the house, Uncle Tony was in the driveway. “Hey, wait up,” she called.

“Glad to see you changed your mind,” he said when she hopped in the passenger seat. “I have a feeling today is going to be amazing.”

Dio processed his words as she played with the funny little fuzz balls hanging from the rearview mirror. Nothing in her family was said or done that didn’t have a hidden meaning, so just what was Uncle Tony up to? She guessed his mind-reading abilities had something to do with it.

When they reached Sandy's house and Dio saw the taxi in the driveway she knew something was up. What's going on, she wondered?

Sandy came rushing out of the house. Well, as fast as she could go carrying two very heavy suitcases. "Oh, hey Dio," she called when she looked up. She dropped the luggage off with the driver and hurried over. "Sorry about all this," she gestured around, "but I leave for Europe today. Which reminds me, Tony, have you finalized the adoption papers?"

And for what happens with Dio next, go check out our beautiful and tremedous host, Ms. Deana Barnhart.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Happy Dance!

First of all, have y'all seen how many followers I'm up to?!? Sixteen! Woot woot! I know that 16 isn't exactly an astronomical number or anything, but I had...count 'em...ZERO until about, oh, a month ago. So I'm pretty psyched!

Secondly, I'm happy to announce that tomorrow is going to be a great day! Yup, I already know it for a few reasons:

1 - I have a doctor appt that is going to go smashingly well. He's a wonderful dermatologist at Vanderbilt; such a sweet man and I enjoy my appts with him every 6 months.

2 - As part of Deana Barnhart's Gearing up to Get an Agent blogfest, several of us are doing a story chain. My portion will be up before 8:45 (Eastern time), which is before said doctor appointment. Nothing like getting the creative juices flowing first thing in the morning. ;)

3 - Due to said appointment (and two more un-said ones) Halen is going to a sitter tomorrow. After several days of just her and I at home, I'm *so* ready for a break. I love her, but I was NOT built to be a stay-at-home mom and we need time away from each other to stay sane. Plus, I can't write when she's around which means...hoping to get some writing done.

Okay, so your assignment is to come back here after 8:45 (EASTERN TIME) tomorrow morning and check out my part of the story. See you then!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Just gotta ask...

Now that I'm getting a bit more serious about my writing, I have started doing more research about agents, platforms, editors, etc... One of my friends Deana has recently started a a blogfest. It's called Gearing Up to Get an Agent; you can find her blog and more about the contest here.

Part one of this contest is all about questions. A lot of times aspiring (or sometimes even veteran) writers have questions that seem silly, stupid, or crazy and they never want to ask them for fear of looking silly, stupid, or crazy. You get the idea. Now is my chance to ask one of those quesitons. So here goes.

Since I'm writing about my own life, is it a memoir? Then again it was so long ago that I don't remember every detail, so is it creative nonfiction? My book is definitely YA; can you even have YA nonfiction? I am having a hard time trying to figure out which agents to even approach because I'm not sure what my book is.

If you feel like you need to know more about my book to answer these questions for me, just read below. The first couple of chapters are listed here as previous posts.
Thanks, y'all!