Category: Novels

My Pitch Wars Interview

A couple of months ago, I was chosen to be a mentee in the 2016 Pitch Wars Contest, hosted by Brenda Drake. Approximately 2,000 hopeful novelists submitted their manuscripts, and about 125 were chosen. I’ve been busily working with my awesome mentor, Dan Malossi, for the past two months to make my manuscript, #FeedWar, ready to submit to agents. I’m nearing the end–the agent showcase is coming up next week, so I’ll post the info for that later. But my Pitch Wars interview is up, and I thought I’d share. There’s info about my book and my mentor, so I hope you enjoy!

My Pitch Wars Interview for #FeedWar:

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(Photo Credit: Brenda-Drake.com)

I’m excited to be part of Pitch Wars 2016, and hope to bring you some great news soon about my book! Fingers crossed!!

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Summer Writing Update

With summer nearly here, it seems like time for a writing update. (I know, I’m terrible at those!) My WIP novel is nearly finished and ready to begin submitting to agents. I got another request from an agent at a recent conference to send it his way when I’m done, so that’s really exciting. I’m hoping to be ready to submit later this summer.

In the meantime, I’m thrilled to say I’ve got a story coming out soon on StarShipSofa. I’ll let you guys know when it comes out. The awesome people at StarShipSofa do a podcast, so my story, On Trial, will be turned into an audio version. Pretty cool!

I also found out my Writers of the Future short story first quarter entry won Honorable Mention. 🙂

And later this summer, I’ve got a short story coming out in a new anthology. So more details to come there as well.

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Writers of the Future Finalist!!

5953918Back in March of this year, I submitted a short story to the Writers of the Future Contest. It was my second time to enter–the first was a pretty swift rejection, which I expected. Kind of the story of  a writer’s life, right? I kept waiting for the bad news to come, but my inbox was largely silent other than the email updates about other contest quarter info or events going on. I finally received an email in June that my story had yet to be judged, but should be soon…

Another couple of months passed, and no word. Now I’m not the kind of person that enjoys suspense in my own life, although I write those kind of stories. I can rarely keep Christmas or birthday presents secret (my family teases me all the time about that!). And I hate it when my husband tells me he knows what he’s going to get me three months ahead of time (I think he does that just to mess with me sometimes).

So I tried to forget about it, and just assume the contest was running slow, and my rejection was in the queue.

At the beginning of August, I got an call from Unknown that went to voicemail. I didn’t hear my phone ring, but heard the beep about an hour later. It was a message from Joni Labaqui from Writers of the Future asking me to give her a call back. Wow, I was stunned! I called her back, and she gave me the good news–I was a finalist for the second quarter!! After many happy jumps, I sent a few excited emails to family and friends. Then more waiting as my story was being passed up to the next round of judges.

Waiting.

More waiting.

This is worse than Christmas waiting.

All the waiting stuff I’m awful at. But, really the wait wasn’t that long (though it seemed that way as I was dying to know results). About a week later, the second Unknown call came. Alas, I was not a winner this time, but at least I knew my fate. (Breath normal again.) And now I can say, I’m a Writers of the Future Finalist! How cool is that? And I’m still entering new stories and trying again. 🙂 So fingers crossed!

The Q2 announcement is up on the WOTF blog now, so I thought I’d share my journey thus far. Thousands enter each year. My short story was in the top eight for the quarter. Of course, I wish all the winners congrats!! And hopefully, I’ll be able to find this story a good home so I can share it with you all soon!

Photo Courtesy Writers of the Future

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Post DFW Writers Conference

I love going to writers conferences. Every time, I feel motivated and encouraged to keep writing the best stories I can. This past weekend, I was blessed to have my closest writing friends with me at the DFW Writers Conference. And, I was fortunate to make many new friends as well.

This year’s speaker line-up was fabulous–hearing from writing giants like Steven James, Kevin J. Anderson, Shilo Harris, and Charlaine Harris among others. Where else can you meet such cool authors all in one place? Amazing and inspiring.

“Always give the readers what they want or something better as you’re shaping your stories.” ~ Steven James

So, I’ve got new ideas brewing in my head, and of course, I can’t wait to finish this revision of my WIP novel and get it out there! Here goes!

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My Summer Reading List

With so many great books out there to read, picking a summer list has been a challenge (yet fun!). I think I’ve got a pretty good list here. Hopefully, I’ll get through them all and then have time for bonus books.

  • The Dragon Factory by Jonathan Maberry
  • The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
  • The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer
  • Everything to Lose by Andrew Gross
  • Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline
  • The House Girl by Tara Conklin
  • Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult

Plus a thousand more board books with my little toddler! She loves reading, too. Maybe a future writer? Who knows!

How about you guys? What are you reading this summer?

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Pikes Peak Writers Conference, 2015

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This year’s Pikes Peak Writers Conference was a great experience for me. Not only did I meet a group of amazing, dedicated writers, but I got to visit one of the most beautiful places in the world. With top notch teachers, authors, editors, and agents, the conference was A+. The keynote speakers were all inspiring, especially R.L. Stine. (I thought he might be a scary person since his books are scary, but he was the complete opposite. One of the funniest keynotes I’ve heard! Loved it and was so inspired.)

I always try to share something I’ve learned from these events. The theme was Choose Your Writing Adventure. To me, that captures the essence of writing, and how you can share your adventure with your readers. As a writer, I’m on a journey to share my stories and my experiences, while I’m still living them and figuring out how to get them on paper. This theme was exactly what I needed to hear and think about for my writing journey.

“Sometimes what you’re most afraid of is the very thing that will set you free.” ~Anonymous

“Always do what you are afraid to do.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson (or write what you’re afraid to write!)

My work in progress, #FeedWar, definitely fits those quotes. I’m a pretty normal person with an ordinary life, so writing an adult thriller about futuristic cyber crime syndicates has definitely stretched me as a writer. From riveting readers, page after page, to expressing my character’s deepest thoughts and emotions…writing this has been a challenge. The revised draft is done, and now I start a final round before sending it out on submission. Sure, it’s scary sending those pages out but exciting at the same time. Hopefully, it won’t be long before you guys get to read this story.

#FeedWar won best Mystery/Suspense/Thriller Novel in the Zebulon Contest this year. I was honored to accept the award at the Conference.

Thanks to everybody at the Conference. I look forward to going again! I’m inspired and ready to revise!

 

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Accepting the award from PPW President, J.T. Evans

Photo by Jared Hagan

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2015 Zebulon Mystery/Thriller/Suspense Winner

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I’ve had some more exciting news on the writing front. Earlier this week that my new book, #FeedWar (in revision mode right now) won the Zebulon Writing Contest for Mystery/Thriller/Suspense!

That means I get to go to the Pikes Peak Writers Conference this April in Colorado Springs. Yay! I’m super excited! I still have a lot to do on this novel (it didn’t have to be completely finished to enter the contest). So hopefully, this one will get some interest from agents/editors. 🙂 Maybe a little closer to getting out for you guys to read. I can’t wait!

If you’re interested in #FeedWar, here’s the short blurb.

#FeedWar

Reef Gibson’s life sucks, what with her mother dying in the hospital and having no money to pay the bills. Not to mention she lives the secret life of hacker and Eraser for the Feeders, America’s most deadly cyber-crime syndicate. Feeders use data intimidation to grow their empire and to control their victims. With a few strokes of the keyboard, Reef can change anyone’s identity to whatever her boss wants: murderer, rapist, serial killer. Erasing them from their normal existence.

When Reef learns there’s an experimental cancer drug that can save her mother, she seeks a seller. Only trouble is, the seller turns out to be Thorn Davis, her former lover turned rival gang member. His Digger boss’s price is steep—hack into the most secure database around, Feed Tower. After Reef accepts the job, she discovers a deadly secret. The data contained inside the impenetrable fortress is enough to control—or destroy—millions of people. And both gang leaders want it. If Reef doesn’t succeed, her mother will die…but if she does, countless others will instead. Either way, time is running out, and Reef must decide before it’s too late.

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Coming Soon…

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I’ve been working on updating the website these past few weeks. I’ve moved servers, so I’m in the process of moving my old blog to the new one. Most of the old posts are not up yet, but I’ll be working on that this month.

In the mean time…only five days until “Chicken Soup: Find Your Inner Strength” hits the shelves! I got my early copies a few days ago. It was really cool to find the box waiting on my porch. 🙂

Can’t wait to hear what you all think of the story!

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