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Friday, November 20, 2009

What's new?

Well! It's been a whirlwind couple months for me in which I've made some important decisions regarding my publishing prospects. So here's what's new:
-I decided to self-publish my book on Amazon with
-I successfully completed said task and now have a book for sale!
-I have sold 22 copies of my book in 3 days and am looking forward to the prospect of many more sales to come!
-I have been working hard at promoting my book and have a large book-signing party planned for December 10th.
-I have many more prospects in the works for the further promotion of my book, including (hopefully) some interviews in various media outlets in the Birmingham area.
-I will continue to search for representation by a literary agent and I hope that I will someday soon see myself signed by a publishing house!

Whew! I think that's enough to be getting on with for now. If you would like to purchase The Gateway Chronicles: The Six, you can get it on or you can also purchase it at


Saturday, July 25, 2009

Good Fantasy

I've long had some thoughts about what makes for really good fantasy, and I've come to the conclusion that that there are a few elements that must be present. One of the most important things that must be in any good fantasy novel is, I think, comedy. Now, I don't mean roll on the floor with laughter comedy, but there must be at least something that makes you feel good when you're reading; something that makes you smile. The Lord of the Rings certainly has this. Who can resist a grin when Tolkien describes hobbits and their oddities? Or when Gandalf says "Fool of a Took!" The Chronicles of Narnia also has plenty to make one smile. I particularly like the dufflepuds. And Harry Potter has comedy in spades in the antics of Gred and Feorge (Oh, I'm sorry, Fred and George) and all the little ways that Rowling so perfectly captures adolescent nuances. In my own book I have also attempted to capture the adolescent ways in such a manner as to make people smile and say reminiscently "I knew somebody like that!" or "That was so me in junior high!" I also have a humorous character or two, but I will have to talk more about that later . . .

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Teacher by day...

I've fallen behind on my writing goals... way behind. This has only served, however, to show me how hard I have to work to balance everything in my life. I'm a teacher, you see, and even though it is the middle of summer, I still have lots of teacher-related things to get done. I fell behind because I had teacher training last week and had to put my other activities on hold for a little while. When the school year officially starts, I'm going to have to schedule in time to work on my writing endeavors so that I do not just grind to a halt, like I did this past week. I'm going to have to master being a teacher by day and a writer by night (and a wife and mother all the time).

Today I accomplished getting three more pages of synopsis written, and it feels good to be back to work on it, despite the fact that I have no idea if I am doing it properly. I have never seen an example of the sort of synopsis that one sends in to agents and publishers, and my searches online have yielded no satisfactory results. I guess I will just have to plod along and hope that I am doing it properly. With only one chance to impress the people I am querying, I would hate to do it wrong!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Anything worth doing...

As I work my way through the goals that I set for myself this week, I've had to conclude that my expectations are unrealistic. Although I worked far ahead on my assigned readings, as I began to research agents to query this afternoon, the impossibility of having 20 queries out within a week assailed me . . . and that's okay. It really is true that anything worth doing should be challenging. I researched for a solid hour this afternoon (solely in my Writer's Market) and didn't even make it out of the B's. I really want to do this right, however, so I believe that it was time well spent. Right now I am just reading over the agent entries and selecting agencies that accept the following: New, unpublished authors, YA literature, and Fantasy literature. Once I have compiled a list of possibilities, I will have to research each one on the internet and check submission guidelines. Then it will be a matter of writing a good, strong query letter that I can tailor to each individual agency, and putting together a profession book proposal (for those that will accept it). All things considered, it's a long process. I'm going to sit down this evening and rewrite my query goals for the week.

With all of these things to occupy my mind, I think I'm entitled to a little recreation as well, wouldn't you agree? Unfortunately the object of my summer movie-going is still a couple weeks off, and I'm hoping that my anticipation of the movie will not eclipse the movie itself. I'm speaking, of course, of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. I understand as well as anyone that film-makers need to make changes from book to script, but I've failed to understand (in the last three movies) the addition of story elements in lieu of tried and true elements from the books. Do the film-makers not realize that what makes Harry Potter beloved to the fans is . . . Harry Potter? I, for one, certainly do not go into a Harry Potter film desiring to see something new and cutting edge; I want to see the stories that I love come to life. With any luck, this most recent installment will not disappoint.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


I came to the conclusion today that the only real way for me to get anything done is to make lists. List making is the equivalent of goal setting for me, and it is was the impetus for me to achieve my novel writing last summer. If I set myself a number of tasks to do each day (writing tasks) and make a list of them so that I can check them off when completed, I am that much more likely to actually achieve them. This is an entirely psychological approach for me, but it tends to work, and it is not the action of a control-minded A-type personality, but rather an impulsive B-typer who recognizes the need to reign in her randomness. There is also something infinitely fulfilling about checking something off a list. It's like giving myself a pat on the back, and even better is when I can work ahead on my list, achieving two days goals in one. (Last summer, for instance, I set myself to writing 3.5 pages a day, but I felt like a failure if I did not at least manage 7).

So . . . a list I have made, detailing specific readings and writings to do regarding the publishing process for the next ten days (culminating in at least 30 queries sent to agents and publishers). My readings for today are already complete, and very soon I will have finished this blog, making my goal for the day achieved. Smiles all around. I'll keep you abreast of my progress.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


I thought perhaps that now would be a good time for a more thorough introduction of what I intend to discuss on this blog. It's in my nature, I guess, to introduce my subject matter rather than to just plunge in, even as my mind drifts to a plethora of random fantasy related topics that I am itching to write about. But it will all be for naught, I believe, if my readers have no idea of where I come from. And so I resist the urge to digress. . .

One of the chief aims of this blog is for me to chronicle my journey toward publication. No, I have not signed a deal, gotten an agent, or even started querying yet, but these are all things that I hope to see come to fruition sometime in the near future. And so, dear blogger, I invite you to journey with me. Along the way I intend to share my thoughts on aspects of the writings of the great masters in whose footsteps I tenuously tread: C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, and J. K. Rowling. Ranging from the light and humorous to the deep, spiritual and mesmerizing, I will pontificate on it all.

As one might be able to guess, I write fantasy fiction. Last summer I set a goal to start and finish the first novel in a six book series for teens, complete with planning for the remaining five installments. I completed my goal and churned out a 374 page novel, plot synopses of all six books, and pages upon pages of notes in just two and half months. So the question of can I do it has, I think, already been answered, but another question remains: Is it any good? That is the crucial point. I have the drive, I have the passion, and I believe I have the talent, but other people have to believe all those things, too, before I can achieve publication.

As to why anybody should be interested in what I have to say in this blog. . . well I defer to the example of C. S. Lewis when he entered into a correspondence and a friendship with a boy named Arthur Greeves. Lewis said that it was the greatest joy to discover that another boy existed who shared his love of Norse Mythology, and they entered into some of the greatest dialogues Lewis ever experienced in his lifetime. "You mean that you like [this] too?" Is one of the happiest things that a person can say to another person, in my opinion, and I hope that my musings will spark that light of interest and recognition in others. Thanks for reading, and happy blogging!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Watch out for the Night Narks

Welcome to "On Dufflepuds, Muggles, and Hobbits!" Here I will be discussing all things fantastical, fruitful, and fastidious.

I hope you enjoy my musings and join my discussion!