Friday, April 24, 2015

Friday Fricassee

It's my (big-deal-ends-in-zero) birthday, so I won't linger.

Just thought I'd take the opportunity to say thank you for being a gift to me.  So many of you have offered thanks to me over the years, but you need to know that the giving works both ways.  This community of writers has given me SO MUCH.  There have been times when I've literally clasped my hand over my mouth as I've read certain words of affirmation or encouragement.  Times when I've been surprised by heartfelt, personal emails sent for the sole purpose of offering me support, advise, or empathy.

Your words go deep into this gal's heart.

So THANK YOU.  I really love my tribe. :)

And now I'm going to kick off my birthday with coffee and a practically perfect muffin from my favorite coffee shop.  Because...sugar.

Have a glorious weekend!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

2nd Winner of a 5-page Critique

And the winner, by random drawing, is SUSSU!

Congratulations, Sussu!  Please email me at authoress.edits(at) for instructions.

Thank you, all critiquers, for your time and effort.  I know the participating authors appreciate it!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Yet Another Success Story

Another indirect success story, in the author's own words:

When I entered my MG manuscript DON'T FALL DOWN into the Baker's Dozen contest in the fall of 2012, I was just coming off the worst year of my life. I survived a really rare pregnancy-related cancer just a year before, and as a result, promised myself I'd keep trying with this writing thing until something finally stuck. So that year, I finished and revised DON'T FALL DOWN, and I queried the heck out of another MG (called EX-DRAMA QUEEN). I had several queries still out on EX-DRAMA QUEEN when I closed my eyes and pressed send on the contest entry for DON'T FALL DOWN. I didn't think I'd get picked. After all, the agent rejections on EX-DRAMA QUEEN were starting to pile up, and I felt a little dejected. Somehow, by all miracles, I made it into the contest!

The entries went up, and I'd managed to convince myself that no one would bid. I hadn't even queried this manuscript yet, and I didn't want to get my hopes up. It turns out I did get bids, but DON'T FALL DOWN definitely wasn't the most popular entry at the Baker's Dozen prom. Still, the bids? Huge ego boost! With writing, sometimes all we need is someone to say, "Hey, that sounds interesting. I'd read 50 pages." That's what happened to me with Baker's Dozen. It boosted my confidence, and I put all my effort behind querying DON'T FALL DOWN and entering it into more contests.

During a Twitter pitch party, not long after Baker's Dozen, an agent asked to see the manuscript. This same agent already had a full on EX-DRAMA QUEEN. So I sent DON'T FALL DOWN and then nibbled off all my fingernails for about a month. And then it happened -- she made me an offer of representation! After an agonizing two weeks of nudges and rejections and requests, I finally got to accept the offer from agent Julia Weber in February 2013 -- just two months after Baker's Dozen.

Fast forward to September 2013 (past revisions and rejections and an R&R on EX-DRAMA QUEEN) and I got The Best Email Ever from Julia -- we had an offer from an editor on DON'T FALL DOWN! I danced and cried and did just about everything you think you'd do when you get this news. Then the waiting started again -- waiting to hear back from other editors, waiting for negotiations, waiting for the all-clear to announce. On Halloween 2013, I got tell the world that DON'T FALL DOWN would be published by Aladdin/Simon and Schuster in 2015!

The title was changed to BREAKING THE ICE, and yup, the book came out in January of this year! I am an official published author! And things are looking pretty good -- my author friend Jen Malone and I have a co-written book, YOU'RE INVITED, coming out with Aladdin this May, with a sequel due next year. Not too long ago, I got to announce that Aladdin will publish my newest MG, called OUT OF TUNE, in the fall of 2016. And EX-DRAMA QUEEN? Is now a YA called EXIT STAGE LEFT, that'll be out through HarperTeen's Impulse line this summer!

I'm forever thankful to Authoress and the Baker's Dozen contest for giving me the boost I needed to push forward and keep putting myself out there. A little encouragement really goes a long way. Thank you!!!

Gail Nall

Friday, April 17, 2015

Friday Fricassee

Hello, Dear Ones.

I love to sit back and watch the energy flow among you as you give and receive critiques.  Thank you for another round of loveliness.  Entrants, I hope you're coming away with some solid gems to help you along your writing/revision path for these projects.

Word of advice that I should probably say more often:  Let the comments marinate for a while before implementing anything.  If you have a printer, print them out and tuck them away for a couple of days.  Or swipe them into a document to read later.  Responding swiftly to a critique may not yield the results you need.

I've got to tell you that I actually gushed about you during my job interview last Friday.  As serendipity would have it, the gal who interviewed me was also a writer.  As in, fiction.  You can imagine the immediate connection that happened.  When I began to explain my revelation about the relationship between "voice" (in novel writing) and copywriting, she nodded her head as I spoke.  She's one of us--she gets it.

So she also understood me when I spoke of the writing community and how it's truly one of the best groups of folks I've ever been a part of--not only here, but in so many varied places across the Internet.  I probably sound like some sort of bloated Mother Hen when I talk about you, but I can't help it.  I'm proud of who you are, and I'm blessed to be among you.

I haven't heard anything this week, interview-wise.  That could mean anything or it could mean nothing, but there you have it.  I'm thinking it might mean that someone else floated to the top.  But this whole process is so outside my daily experience that I really have no idea.  (Anyone care to enlighten me?)  At any rate, the next (final) step would be an interview with the CEO.  Which would make me ten times more nervous than I was last Friday.

One thing I've noticed in my life in the past month or so is that I've been dropping balls.  And I am NOT a ball dropper.  Seriously forgetting things--like needing to bring something important with me, or remembering a scheduled meeting, or making an appointment.  (Well, okay.  I majorly procrastinate appointment-making as a general rule, so that one probably doesn't count.)

I'm hating this.  I'm hating the feeling that I'm dropping things and leaving holes and presenting myself as scattered.  I may be a tad hasty, but I'm not scattered.  Not generally.  Mr. A says it's because I have a lot on my mind.  Well, other than the job thing, I'm not sure what "a lot" means.

There is my birthday a week from today, which is one of the ends-in-zero birthdays that makes you reevaluate your whole stinkin' life.  So there's that.  It's the birthday-I-hoped-to-be-published-before.  And I'm not.  So I've had to deal with that.

Probably I just need a lot more chocolate.  Yeah, that must be it!

But it's all good.  I've decided to celebrate my birthday for the entire weekend, which is a bit out of character for me, too.  Life is such a gift, though, so I've decided to stay in my thankful place and simply rejoice that I'm here.  That I live and breathe and have something to offer, no matter how small.

Also?  Last night I had many several slices of a CARAMEL APPLE DIPPED IN WHITE CHOCOLATE.  Oh. My. Stars.  I'm not ashamed to admit that I licked every morsel of chocolate from the plate, once the slices were gone.  Yes, I really did do that.  Why waste perfectly good white chocolate?

Happy writing, happy weekend, and hugs to you all!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Name That Genre: Critique the Winners!

Here are the 300-word excerpts!  Choose one or two that catch your eye, and offer your critique.  Or grab a cuppa and critique them all!  Whatever you have time for will be greatly appreciated.

Also?  I'm offering another critique prize!  Every critique you leave gets you one entry in another drawing for a 5-page line edit from Authoress Edits.  11 critiques = 11 chances to win.