Friday, February 25, 2011

Fun Friday

Here's a quote that all writer's need to keep mind:



What is written without effort is in general read without pleasure. ~ Samuel Johnson

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Phone Interview

Tonight a friend of mine will be doing a phone interview with me for an article in a local magazine. Since, I don't know the questions in advance, I hope I can come up with good answers off the cuff! I have my cell phone charged, so that shouldn't be a problem. We're talking about my new book and she's read it so that shouldn't be a problem either. Yet....

I've been interviewed before for newspaper articles and have always been pleased with the end result, as I'm sure I will be this time, however, I do know other writer's who's printed interview doesn't have correct quotes or information about their book. Now, is it the writer's fault or was the article parred down due to column constraints in the newspaper?

Have any of you ever been interviewed and quoted wrong?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Word Count Wednesday

Well, you all know that I've taking away words this month, paring down a single spaced chapter by chapter synopsis into a six page double spaced synopsis...so my negative word count total is 1600.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Contemporary or Historical

I write contemporary romances as well as children's stories. However, historical romances are a big market and many award winning YA novels are historical.

So readers and writers, I'm wondering what is your favorite? On a whole, I read more contemporary but depending on the era I do read historicals. Yet when I get a book or story idea, they are contemporary in setting.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Proposal Off

I did meet my self-imposed deadline for the proposal packet that the interested agent requested. I mailed it priority on Saturday so hopefully she'll have it tomorrow. But then...how long will it take for her to review and decide? Thirty days? Sixty days? THAT little bit of info is never in the submission instructions.

To pass the time I've decided that I should be polishing up a proposal and three chapters of another book that I have sitting in my computer files that I listed in my cover to show the agent that I have other book ideas in the works. So, in the event that she'd want to see it...I want to have it ready to go! The market I'm targeting for this book, only takes agented submissions, which is one reason I'm looking for agent.

So many writer's on the fence about having an agent. Recently, a writer asked me why I needed an agent because I seem to be doing well on my own. But then I explained that most publishing houses are closed to unsolitcited manuscripts and she could see my point. So that's why this year I'm really focusing on finding an agent.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Fun Friday

Today I'm linking you to a contest a writer is having in honor of her debut romance novel. Although time is running out, I know avid readers and romance fans might still want to get in on this!

http://www.thesullivanranch.com/   and click on contest. Tina Radcliff is really giving away a lovely prize!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Book Signing Aftermath

So, as the week trickles to an end, I'm finding out more good news about my books sale from the book sigining in Sioux Falls. Remember, I only left three signed books for the stores stock. Well I know that someone called on Monday to order one (or possibly more) because she asked a friend in common to forward the email on. Then my friend who lives in Sioux Falls tells me that because of her word of mouth promotion, someone she knows went and purchased a book....that wasn't signed! Yep, she saw the book and no signature which means, the store has restocked my books and the signed copies were gone by Tuesday! Yay! Not only is it good for me but the store too!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Word Count Wednesday

Since I'm trying to par down a single spaced chapter by chapter synopsis into a six page double spaced synopsis, my word count is dropping rather than increasing!

So, today I thought I'd share another picture of the book signing. The lovely ladies beside me are Mary Connealy and Erica Vetsch.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Book Signing Success

All writer's have heard horror stories about book signing's gone bad. No one shows up. Everyone avoids making eye contact with you as you sit behind a pile of books, store employees are rude...well not at mine! Mary Connealy, Erica Vetsch, Sue Schmidt and I had an excellant turn out for our combined signing and we all did very well selling books. As a matter of fact, I only had three Lily of the Field books and one Wealth In Biblical Times book left on my table when the signing was finished. True, I had a lot of friends show up and purchase multiple copies but I'd say half of my sales went to new readers or people buying gifts.

What are some lessons learned? Tell people about your book. I know one lady purchased it because it was a romance featuring older characters. Two people bought it for gifts because of the quilting theme. One person purchased it because she was looking for books with settings in South Dakota. At first glance at my book, none of these people would have known those small facts that were very important to them as a buyer.

The bookstore, Crossroads in Sioux Falls, SD, and their staff go out of their way making authors feel special and supported which helps to make book signings at their establish a success.

This week I'll share a few pictures with you of my signing. The first one is my table..the only things I added to this table was the quilt block and the dish of candy. The rest of the items the store assembled for me. You can see why I said they were a pleasure to work with!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Book Signing Reminder

Rose Zediker, Erica Vetsch and Mary Connealy will be doing a signing


February 12th

at

Crossroads Book and Gift

3900 Westport Ave.

Sioux Falls SD

Phone: 605-338-5951

from 1- 3 pm

If you would like a signed book and you can't get to Sioux Falls phone:

Crossroads Book and Gift

605-338-5951

and the lovely people there will be glad to take your money and arrange to have the book signed and shipped

Fun Friday

This is the Lily of the Field quilt block pattern I describe in my book. My aunt made this for me!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Word Count Wednesday

Remember last week when I reported ZILCH...it's worse this week. My word count is actually going negative!

How? I'm paring down a single spaced chapter by chapter synopsis (that the publisher wanted) to a five page double spaced over all synopsis of the story for the agent submission.

Consquently, I'm not keeping track of the word count I'm cutting....

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Novel Retreata for YA/Middle grade authors

I'm interrupting my normal ramblings to post this information for my good writing friend, Nancy Wagner. She puts together great writing retreats and below is the information for the one she's putting together this year. If you are interested contact Nancy at nlsharpwriter at yahoo dot com.

********
Hi, Rose,


I know it has been awhile since you've heard from me regarding the Retreats, and I have no excuse except to say that I have been busy with 1--the planning of my second son's wedding, 2--helping with scholarship applications and college planning for my senior girl and 3--putting the finishing touches on the Retreats for Middle-Grade and YA novelists that will be held in 2011 and 2012.

My focus for this new set of retreats is "Where? Where does my work fit in the literary world and where will it find a home (hopefully sooner rather than later)?" Therefore, in this set of Retreats, there will be a strong emphasis on what is being published in the middle-grade and YA market at the present time and how do we, as writers, select an agent to represent our work to this market.

My hope is that by studying not only today's middle-grade and YA market but the body of work represented by the agents that attend Retreat 3, and by having the opportunity to discuss our writing with not one, but two of those agents, we will all leave with a better understanding of where our own personal writing style fits into today's market and what type of agent we want (or do not want) to guide us in our careers.

I am going to run the retreats in the summer and winter, rather than the fall and spring, so they don't interfere with regional SCBWI conferences (hopefully), or the National SCBWI Conferences. The first retreat will be held from Wednesday, June 22 to Friday, June 24, 2011, and will focus the plotting and writing the first draft of our novels. The second Retreat will be held on Friday, February 17-Sunday, February 19, 2012, and its focus will be revision of our novels. The final retreat will be Wednesday, June 20 - Friday, June 22 and it will focus on marketing our novels to agents.

There will not be any formal speakers for Retreats 1 and 2, although there will be some preparatory work to do before each of those retreats, as there was in the past, to prepare us for our time together. At the actual Retreats, there will be small and large group discussions regarding the work we have done between Retreats, as well as lots of time for actual writing. Retreat 3 will have 2, 3, or 4 agents, depending upon the number of participants who register for the series, and will give you the opportunity to have your submission packet reviewed by two of the agents in attendance.

I will run this series of retreats with a minimum of 8 folks (including me) and a maximum number of 24. The price per retreat is $600, and the last day to register and pay for Retreat #1 is May 1, 2011. But, if you want me to hold you a spot, I will take $300 as a down payment at any time before that, and then you can send me the other $300 by May 1.

This price per retreat includes a private room at each retreat, 6 meals (2 dinners, 2 lunches, and 2 breakfasts) at each retreat, and a critique of your submission packet at Retreat #3 by 2 different agents. All participants must register and plan on attending all 3 Retreats, but folks will pay for each retreat individually, about a month or two before each retreat is to be held.

If I do not get at least 7 other folks to register for the YA and Middle-Grade Novel Writing Series by May 1, then the Series will be canceled and you will get a full refund of the money you have paid. If you have to cancel but the Retreats are not canceled, I will refund you all but $180 of your registration fee (10% of the total $1800).

I hope that you can join us for this "novel" journey. I truly believe that it will be a life-changing event and will help all of us move our writing careers to that next level! And if you know of ANYONE you think might be interested in joining us for this adventure--PLEASE. Spread the word!! The more, the merrier (at least until we hit the magic number of 24!!)

Nancy, aka N. L. Sharp

Monday, February 7, 2011

Agent Query Success!

Early yesterday evening one of the agents I queried in December replied that they'd like to see a full proposal of what I hope is the second book following Lily of the Field! I say that with exclamation because that means my query letter and short paragraph synopsis is effective as well as the writing sample that I sent. Now, I had an agents interest with the first book, but interest is as far as the submission went so I'm hoping with the publication of Lily of the Field, it helps me acquire an agent.

I'm not only telling you this because it's exciting (to me!) but because this is a prime example of how you must be flexible with your writing goals. Preparing a 5-6 page synopsis of Job's Tears wasn't on my list of goals to accomplish this month. Neither was a marketing plan, a bio with the qualifications that I have to write this book or a synopsis of the next book in the series. BUT now, they are my goals.

Thank goodness, I have the first three chapters written and polished!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Writing Ideas

Most writer's will be asked at one time or another where they get their writing ideas. My answer is from the world around me and today that statement couldn't be more true.

A ground blizzard closed I29 between Watertown, SD and the North Dakota border stranding motorist from Wednesday night until rescue workers could get to them today. First, let me say that would be a horrible experience since the temperatures were well below the zero mark with life threatening wind chills but the writer in me is saying...what if....

What if two estranged siblings were traveling to a sick parents house and became stranded...would they settle their differences as they huddled together praying they didn't freeze to death?

What if a mother was traveling alone with her children, was she prepared? Will her children starve?

What lengths will a rescue worker take to save an elderly gentlement?

There are thousands more scenario's.....go ahead and list one that you came up with!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Word Count Wednesday

Zero, nilch, nada.....

Oops...

I missed my Tuesday blog and I have excuses! Want to hear them?

I started a new job and it requires me to leave my house a half hour earlier and I get home a half hour later.

The weather was made getting to that new job a worry (I made it fine).

My Mifi died and by the time it was charged back up...I was getting ready for bed.

Now, those excuses are all true and I'm listing them, not to get me off the hook for not blogging but illustate how easily it is to get off the track even with the best of intentions. I know it sounds like I harp on time management but it is fundamental to a writer who works a day job and something that THIS writer will have to work harder on now her day job hours are different.