Friday, November 21, 2008

Friday Fricassee

Well, we're heading into the final stretch of November, so I thought this would be a good time give you a little teaser of what lies in the near future.

We're not going to do a Secret Agent contest in December. Instead, we'll have our first First Page critique. We'll also do some in-house crits and holiday fun stuff. Because, yanno, it can't be Christmastime without Christmas fun. Right?

Our next Secret Agent contest will be in January. So for those of you who have been tidying up your manuscripts and polishing up those first chapters, you've got a little less than two months to get it all together!

And that's about as detailed as it's going to get.

As for today...well, here's some fodder for the comment box; have at it:

1. We've got readers on this blog from all over the world -- literally. If you're not from the USA, what are your writerly career plans? Are you intent upon pursuing publication in the USA? What is the literary climate in your country?

2. I've gotten the impression that you are all at different stages in your pursuit for publication -- everywhere from "I've got an agent" to "I'm not finished with my first draft yet." What point are you at? How has this blog impacted your journey?

3. And for the Yanks: What are you having for Thanksgiving Dinner?

Mr. Authoress and I are usually nontraditional. One year it was gourmet pizza. One year it was Cornish game hens. One year it was a restaurant. But this year we're having family in, so we're going traditional. That is, a big fat turkey and Things In Dishes.

And many pies.

So. Chatter away. My comment box thanks you.


  1. 2. At this point, I'm about halfway through revising my first draft of my first novel.

    3. We're having the traditional turkey, stuffing, etc. for Thanksgiving. Plus lots of casseroles. I live in the South, and we don't have many get-togethers where there aren't lots of casseroles ;)

  2. 2. I have finished my first draft of The Breakaway about 4 times now. Will work on the 5th time come December. The beginning needs a major overhaul, but the rest is good to go, I believe. At least that's what all my readers keep telling me.

    *struggling not to edit it right now*

    Have to finish NaNo first.

    3. Going traditional this year. Frog eye salad and everything. If you're wondering what the heck that is, go see my blog. ;)

  3. 1)Hey, wait! We have Thanksgiving in the south and we ain't Yanks!

    *looks a little confused*

    Silly Authoress.

    2) I have several finished manuscripts. Some partially polished. But nothing ready to send out. This blog has given me a few more agents to add to my query list and made me very jittery. I want to query already!

    3) Turkey stuffed with garlic, onion, and lemon. Stuffing on the side. Horid Green bean Casserole (that's the proper name), swwet squash possible stuffed with oranges and cream, cookies by the dozen and in every kind, pies and crisps, creme brulee is a possibility, mashed potatoes with gravy is a must. Cider, eggnog, and punch will all be served.

    I'm down south but anyone in the Atlanta area needing a place to do dinner is welcome if they can find me :o) I honestly don't know how many people to expect. Worse case scenario, we fire up the grill and trhwo some steaks on to supplement the meal.

  4. 2. Working on the first draft of my second novel for Nanowrimo. I also have a novella and many short stories under my belt, one of which has even been published.

    3. I don't know. Traditional, I think, though with a Japanese couple from my church.

  5. I'm doing NaNoWriMo right now and have several other unfinished manuscripts. Your blog makes me want to get one finished and edited so I can have a go at the fun and games here.


  6. 2. Revising... a bunch of things. Second or third drafts mostly. Two novels are a pinch away from final draft, except I need to do another editing sweep. [sighs]

    3. Basic Traditional Turkey dinner at my house. That'd be turkey, yams, mashed potatoes, stuffing (cooked inside the turkey - ew!), jazzed up green beans, cranberry sauce, full salad (lots of junk mixed in), and buns. Then afterward, we have spiked nog and homemade apple and pumpkin pies.

    *** YAY for the in-house stuff next month. Looking forward to joining in. And if I'm as good as I hope next month, I might have something for the next SA contest.

  7. I'm in the UK, my first book (An Ungodly Child) is up for pre-order on Amazon but I've not yet got an agent.

  8. Just_Me -- "Yanks" refers to Americans. Which is not to be confused with "Yankies" vs. "Rebels," as in Civil War. :D

  9. I have two finished novels and am working on a few others. I'm agent-ing the first and fixin to start the second.

    I love this blog. It keeps me working. My fav blog out there!

    I'm from the south but live out west now. We'll have smoked turkey, ham, chicken and dressing (no stuffing), pecan pie, pumpkin pie, chocolate pie, mashed potatoes, (Horrid) green bean casserole, and lots of gravy. :)

  10. 2. My first e-book is in the editing process with my publisher and I'm hoping for a release date sometime in the next few months. I've got two other market ready manuscripts I'm submitting, one to agents and one to print publishers, as I'm interested in being in print as well. I'm also polishing up a third for Random House's MG novel contest next year... I believe in the eggs in several baskets theory. O:)

    3. I'm vegetarian and we have a modified "traditional" menu: vegetarian stuffing, green bean casserole with onion rings on top, yams (sometimes with vegetarian gravy), cranberry sauce, whole wheat rolls, and pumpkin pie. Who needs the meat with all that other tasty stuff? Someday when I'm rich I might splurge for a Tofurky, but not this year... the budget is accumulating a deficit, just like the rest of the country. :P

  11. 1. Revising/Polishing first draft of novel, writing first draft of second novel.

    2. I will be working on Thanksgiving, like always. We are having a potluck. Boss is bringing in honey-baked ham.

  12. I hail from across the pond! England rules!

    (Okay, I'm falling asleep here. It explains the craziness for now).

    I'm hoping to starting lobbing my work at agents next year. I have

    1 draft which needs major rework

    1 draft which is in the process of being edited. It was originally for a competition ending january, but I'm pulling out of that (various reasons) and am aiming for agents!

    5 other wips in their first draft status. Yes, 5. :D Termion is taking priority at the moment. Until my muse changes her mind.

    I'd love to make it in America, but I'm starting out small by trying to get published this side of the big, blue (and murky) water first. My wips span 3 genres, fantasy, sci-fi, and religious (which comes under the bizarre cateogry of literary novels). And YA, if that's a genre (but that's where the fantasy is going).

    Erk I'm rambling. Apologies. Needing sleep does that to me. Night!

  13. I'm almost through my book. It will need revision, but I'm not sure if it's a first draft, since many chapters have been critiqued online several times.

    As a new reader, I keep wondering what genres you enjoy, and how this will effect someone who posts the first page of a science fiction novel.

  14. 2. I'm still working on my first draft. I'm probably 75% done.

    3. We go traditional. Turkey, stuffing, potatoes & gravy. My mother makes a baked corn dish. And we have pumpkin pie, of course.

  15. Cornish game hen pizza? You could always put a pizza inside the turkey instead of traditional stuffing. Everything is better when it's filled with cheese.

    Sex Mahoney for President

  16. I have completed one of my chapter books for children aged seven plus. It's a 13,000 word chapter book in a series of ten that I'm working on. I have nearly finished two more and am half way through the rest. They're all about the same MC and other characters. A publisher requested the full manuscript of the completed one. They've had it for nine weeks. Fingers crossed. I'll be submitting more chapter books after Christmas.

    My stories are set in Australia and I've submitted to an Australian publisher, but I would also submit to an American publisher if they requested a manuscript.

    I learned to write on two American web sites. This is my third. So why wouldn't I submit to American publishers. Thank you Americans (You rock!) and all the other nationalities that have helped me. Although I'm Australian, I was born in England.

    Here in Australia it is usually quite hot on Christmas day, but I still cook the traditional turkey dinner that I was brought up as a child in England. We have Christmas pudding too. And I always cook a Scot’s dumpling. My hubby is Scottish.

  17. 1) I'm Dutch. It's not a very poetic language, and since I read all my fantasy in English, I write in (US) English. I'll pursue to sell my work in either the US or the UK. Only recently, I read some fantasy in Dutch by a Dutch writer. Now I'm toying with writing in Dutch. One day i will. I don't know what the literary climate is. Books are popular here, but the market is so small.

    2) I've one novel finished, unedited. I'm at the opening chapter of my 2nd novel. Going slow.

  18. 1. I'm from the US, so I'll skip to number 2.
    2. I'm almost finished with my first draft of DRAWN TO YOU, my nano for this year. I look forward to finishing it, polishing it, and submitting excerpts for your contests in the future! Whee!
    3. Pies! Glorious pies! Pumpkin, banana cream, and french silk! Mmmmmm. And stuffing. Maybe some turkey, but that's peripheral.

  19. This comment has been removed by the author.

  20. I actually just met with my agent last weekend. She told me she loved the edits I made on Morretain Prince, and pushing for it to go through the channels at her agency, so here's hoping!!!!

    In the mean time, she tapped me to write a short for a new epublishing venture she's started, so I've been working on both that, and my NaNo novel this week. It's kinda fun working on something besides Dragonseeker (which I've spent the last 4 months straight working on).

    I'm with you, Authoress--an untraditional Thanksgiving all the way! I've done lasagna, chinese stir fry, and matzo ball soup on T-day in the past. I'm actually going to a traditional T-day dinner tonight with my writing group, so we'll see if I cna be on my best behavior.

    Though, with these folks, "best behavior" isn't required. At all. :D

    Hope everyone out there has a happy (and safe) holiday season surrounded by family, friends, and fun!

  21. Well I'm in Greece and I only know of two Greek publishers. As I'm from the UK, I'm searching for an agent from there. But I think living in Greece gives me a black mark.
    Unfortunately, I live in a village on a Greek island, that has no library, English book shop etc... so no author appearances or book signings here.

    But that hasn't stopped me.

    I have three published titles. A international mailing list of readers. A new title due for release this December and started two new novels this summer.

    I've almost given up trying to find an agent. As long as I continue to sell my books, and my readers enjoy them, then I'll keep on writing.

  22. Hi Authoress,

    Greetings from the land down under, where unfortunately we don't all look like Hugh Jackman or Nicole Kidman (in my case more like a beaten favourite at Belmont in the 'get out' stakes).

    I'm on my fourth work - a novel that examines depression, 3 previously self-published works with good success.

    I never had much faith in the time spent/return on investment ratio of approaching an agent. I found them to be a secret society, veiled by smoke and mirrors, with their own language and covenants only accessible by those who posessed the 'secret handshake'.

    You have restored my faith with your proactivity in discovering talent and facilitating technical growth and information access for aspiring writers. In fact, you're in danger of blazing a trail for other agents in the use of modern technology as an effective tool for reaching a talent pool (I sincerely hope other agents do it for the right reasons and not for fame).

    Anyhoo, our national bodies supporting artists in Australia are constantly involved in a scrap over funding which I believe limits their effectiveness. So it's really refreshing to see a professional who works at the coalface getting off her butt and actually proving that she is in the business of harnessing talent.

    After downloading your ebook, I have a new perspective on what an agent can and can't do, and I'll certainly be approaching one for help in moving my current 'beastie in progress' to the market.

    In the meantime, both you and your current blog, and of course its famous predecessor are a breath of fresh air and a godsend for aspiring writers from all over the world who more than anything, are starved for community and information.

    Kind regards,
    Joe Novella (yep that really is my surname)

  23. I have two novels done, one, an MG boy novel, I've gone over several times and sent out--the complete manuscript was passed around at one house before they turned it down-- I envision them passing it around and laughing about it =0) but they sent a nice rejection letter.

    It got nice rejections all over the place. =0) (My normal friends give me odd looks when I get all excited because I've gotten good rejections, ha ha.)

    My second novel, a YA fairy tale romance, is done in rough draft form. It needs some spit polish and I'm working on it madly trying to get it ready to go out. It got first place in ACFW's Genesis contest for the fantasy category in 2007 and I got a WIP grant from SCBWI in 2008 with it also. I have had one agent request it, but haven't sent it to anyone yet.

    Your blog hasn't really had time to affect my journey yet since I just found you last week. But it looks like a great bunch of writers here and I think you're doing us all a great service, Authoress!

    For dinner we are traditional all the way. We love our turkey and dressing and potatoes and pies. And deviled eggs!

    Oh, and I'm in Atlanta, also.

  24. 2. Had an agent who went belly-up this past summer. (Y'all might have heard the screams from nearly 30 throats.) Seeking a new agent now. This blog is helping me in the search. Thank you, Authoress! I have 2 completed books and am in final edits on the 3rd; almost ready to send it to betas.

    3. Driving 150 miles to give the greandparents a grandkid fix for T-day. Very traditional dinner, lots of catching up to do. Driving home the same day. Thank God we both work at places that give us the day after T-day off!

  25. 1. I'm American, but live in China. I hope to publish Stateside, both because it's where I'm from, and because the market for English novels is so much bigger there. Plus, speaking and writing with simplified English for classes gets old. I don't want to have to do the same in my novels.

    2. I have one completed YA fantasy novel that I've sent to one round of agents--with some favorable results (a number of requests for partials and two requests for fulls, some nice rejections) but in the end no takers. After looking at the rejections that had some advice, I decided to do another significant revision before sending it out again. I'm just now finishing that up, and hope to get the book out to agents again early next year. I've got two other novels that I'm actively working on--one that I'm winding up the first draft on, and one that I'm just starting. Oh--and a picture book, but that's just a Christmas thing for my daughter--not something I mean to publish. Not unless it turns out much better than I expect.

    3. We'll be celebrating Thanksgiving sort of pot-luck fashion next weekend with a bunch of (mostly) American expats. It will be mostly traditional, though we might have chicken rather than turkey as the latter is hard to get here. And I suspect there will be some Chinese dishes thrown into the mix. It should be fun.

  26. 2. I'm in the querying phrase on my first manuscript. I've received only rejections so far, but I am motivated when I see the writer community and support here, and see stories about other writers getting picked up by an agent. It reminds me that I'm not alone in this struggle.

  27. 1. Australia :) We have a strong fantasy market here, but upon the advice of some agents, I plan to market my work in the US. Aus may have a strong market - but the US is stronger.

    And you have a lot more agents to choose from - as in, like, more than 20. \:| Also, you get to write query letters, rather that cold calling, which is what we're supposed to do here. *shudders* *would rather write a million query letters before having to cold call to sell a book*

    2. I've completed a novel (I won nano last year with it) and have two major wips at the moment: one in rewrites and one in first draft (for nano). I aim to begin querying by the middle of '09.

  28. Oh, and I'm also doing the short story rounds, and may hopefully *fingers crossed* have something published by the year's end.