Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Time to Break Into Song...

Getting to know you, getting to know all about you......
Getting to like you, getting to hope you like me.....

(Absence of cute Siamese children notwithstanding.)

It's time to lay it all out -- in short, the What's This Blog All About post. This is in honor of all our new guests, as well as our oldies-but-goodies who might want all this juicy info at their fingertips.

Who is Miss Snark and where's the victim?

For starters, I am not Miss Snark. I am Authoress. I've pointed this out before, but feel compelled to do so again because of the increasing mentions on other blogs of yours truly as "Miss Snark." I appreciate the linkage -- really, I do! But please don't call me Miss Snark. Miss Snark is HERE. Her wonderfully informative and helpful blog has been retired for a year and a half now, but you can still reap its wisdom from the archives.

And the victim? Well, that would be me. As in, Miss Snark's first crap-ometer victim. Lived to tell the tale, I did.

What are these Secret Agent contests all about?

Once a month, I host a contest to which I have invited a literary agent whose identity remains a mystery until the contest ends. The contest is open to all unpublished authors with completed manuscripts (i.e., a manuscript that you wouldn't be embarrassed to show an agent). Read the details HERE.

What is an "Are You Hooked" round?

"Are You Hooked?" is an in-house crit round that does not include a secret literary agent. The object of submitting your 250 word excerpt is to see whether you can "hook" your readers into wanting to read more. It may or may not be the first page of your novel, depending on what mood I'm in. (The Secret Agent contests, however, are always first-page submissions.)

What is "Drop the Needle"?

"Drop the Needle" is an in-house crit round in which I post a call for submissions of a 250 word excerpt somewhere in the middle of your novel. The term "Drop the Needle" is an old, pre-CD-era term , in which evil, college music professors would "drop the needle" in the middle of an album and expect the students to identify the composer, the piece, and the movement. Drop the Needle rounds focus on specific things, such as "emotion" or "tension".

What is "Talkin' Heads"?

"Talkin' Heads" is an in-house crit round that focuses on dialogue.

What is "First Sentences"?

"First Sentences" is an in-house crit that consists of the first two sentences of your manscript. That's it. It's a fun little exercise to see how much power you can pack into those opening lines.

How do I submit my work to the in-house crit sessions or the Secret Agent contests?

If you're following the blog, you'll always know when submissions open. Once I post a call for submissions, simply follow the submission guidelines and email me your excerpt at facelesswords(at)gmail.com.

Can I subscribe to this blog so I know what's going on?

Well, I wish you would! Check the left sidebar; you can add Miss Snark's First Victim to your RSS feed, or you can subscribe via email, which will get you the day's posting right in your inbox.

What's this blather about getting my entire first chapter critiqued on the blog?

This is a new development, and we're going to test the waters in December. Basically, I've started a private group on RallyStorm for all who are interested in throwing their names into the pot. Whenever I'm getting ready to host a First Chapter Critique, I will randomly choose one member from the RallyStorm group, and that member's chapter will be (anonymously) posted on the blog for open critique. If you are interested in receiving an invitation to our RallyStorm group, please send an email to authoressmail(at)gmail.com with your request. Please include the email address (in the body of your email) to which you'd like me to send the invitation. There is still time to join the group before the December drawing.

So, what else will I find on this blog?

Author interviews, thoughts on writing, and various anecdotal tidbits from the Life of Authoress. Oh, and the occasional group story. Or group poetry. Not that too many folks have jumped at that one. I'm getting the impression that I stand largely alone in my geeky fondness for rhyme and meter.

You'll find cools links, too. I try to keep up with my list of agent and editor blogs, as the offings continue to increase. And many of our faithful readers have shared links to their own blogs. If you're an author, whether published or unpublished, and you've got a cool blog or web site related to your writing, please send the link to facelesswords(at)gmail.com and I will include you on the sidebar. Please be sure to let me know whether you are published or yet-to-be-published.

I hear you've written an e-Book. Where can I get it?

Thanks for asking. AGENT: DEMYSTIFIED -- Lifting the Veil on the Secret World of Literary Agents is now available. Read about it HERE; buy it HERE.

May I send you flowers and presents?

No flowers, thank you, but presents would be good. All loving donations of gourmet chocolate, jumbo cashews, fair trade organic coffee (whole bean, please), and gift certificates for clothing can be emailed at any time.

Or you could just buy my e-Book. Then I can get my own chocolate and cashews.

Anyone who wants to man a donation button for the Get Authoress A Macbook Air drive, let me know.

Are you serious?

Read the blog a little more and you'll know. *grin*

To all my new subscribers: WELCOME! The readership here is a fabulous group of writers with whom it's an honor to interact.

Did I miss anything? Please post your questions in the comment box.


  1. Hi Authoress! Thank you so much for everything you do around here! I've always been curious...do you yourself have an agent? You don't need to spill details or anything (obviously), but I'd love to know that our fearless leader has gotten something back from all the good karma you're getting over here!

  2. Thank you Authoress. I just subscribed last night and just in time I see. Looking forward to participating in your community.

  3. I think the less we know about you, the more mystique you'll exude...just my opinion!

    And besides, I don't want you to shatter my dreams of you being a famous author that we all love and admire...

    :) Terri

  4. Love ya, Authoress! This is a great sum-up of your site, and a little bit about you, too. BUT not too much. *imagines evil laughter coming from Authoress*

    LOVE the E-book by the way. It's going to be a great tool in getting published!

  5. So glad I found you a few months ago, Authoress!

    You might also want to let everyone know that "Drop the Needle" asks for a 250-word excerpt and not a 250-page excerpt. Unless, you know, you *want* us all to bombard your inbox with ginormous e-mails :)

  6. Loved reading your First Victim page. It's great to know that all authors need lots of help in the beginning. Thanks for sharing with us! And I agree with terri, less is more.

  7. AC -- ACK! You put that so graciously. :D I've changed it -- thank you!

  8. WOW! Who knew you were over here in this corner office of the web doing all this stuff? I'm so glad I found you! I loved getting in on the last round of secret agent posts and am looking forward to more fun and educational crits and comments coming from this bunch. I was amazed at how many great first pages there were in that last batch. Yikes, I'm up against a lot of talented writers in my quest for publication.

  9. Your contests intrigue me. Are the prizes fabulous or only so-so?

    Sex Mahoney for President

  10. Authoress - you're telepathic! I wanted a list of all that goes on here, and now here it is!

    (SA contest 1x a month = fantastic!!)

  11. sm for p -- Each Secret Agent comes up with his/her own prizes. They have ranged from a query/first chapter critique to a request for a full. It's your call whether you find them fabulous or so-so.

    The other things aren't contests, they're in-house group crit fests. So the "prize" is valuable feedback from peers. So far, I've gotten some wonderful notes from readers telling me how their writing has improved since they started hanging out here. Which is, of course, what I love to hear. :)