Updates – 11/29/12

Updates!!!!

  1. eXpose – my college fashion org’s student run fashion show has been postponed until next semester which means I have all of Winter break to work on my designs!!!
  2. At 4pm EST today 12/3/12 look for a review of the YA Dystopia Sovereign by E.R. Arroyo, check out her interview with moi 🙂
  3. Tomorrow On 12/4/2012 I will announce a book giveaway of Sovereign (ebook or paperback) so look for that then
  4. Tomorrow On 12/4/2012 I will also post a list of MUST follow industry blogs for writes, they are my favorite writing blogs above and beyond the rest
  5. And last but certainly not least congratulations to Stephanie Diaz, who I interviewed for Whimsically Yours‘ Teens Can Write TOO Week (she’s now 20), for selling her YA novel EXTRACTION to St. Martin’s Press for publication in 2014!!!!! 🙂  Check out her website to learn more 🙂

Also there are a couple pits contests coming up/going on that if you have a completed & polished manuscript you should definitely look out for and enter:

  • Pitch Wars You have until December 5th to enter – it’s a contest where agented authors, industry interns, and editors team up with aspiring writers to shine up their manuscripts and pitches to present to some awesome agents.

 

 

 

  • Pitch Mas – Tuesday 12/4: 11pm-2am EST is the first submission window  with Thursday 12/6 being an all day Twitter pitch fest!

 

 

 

And for the record my life is in a much better state, haha, minus the fact that I still have tons of papers, finals coming up, and internships to apply for (aka the usual).  A little stress never hurt anyone I suppose…

Best of luck to those of you NaNoWriMoing (1-2 more day(s)!!!)

Whimsically Yours,

PnC

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Interview with YA Author E.R. Arroyo

Hello Beautiful People, 

Today I want to bring you my interview with E.R. Arroyo, a writer I befriended and met via the Twittersphere.  The thing I like so much about E.R., aside from her amazing book (review to come soon), is she is the embodiment of never giving up.  

After writing a beautiful novel, that happened to be a dystopian, and facing rejection from agents because “dystopian genre is dead”, she decided to take a very brave step and self-publish Sovereign.

So without further ado, I present E.R. Arroyo…drumroll please 🙂

E.R. Arroyo

Hi! Thanks for having me.  I’m E.R. Arroyo and my book Sovereign is out now.  It’s a Young Adult Dystopia set in post-apocalyptic America.  It follows a seventeen-year-old with a rebellious streak fighting for her freedom.  Cori, the story’s heroine, is a tough chick, but the book also features a sweet love story.

What is your favorite place to write?

Honestly, these days I mostly write on my living room sofa or in bed.  Oh, and at work, I take my laptop and write in between clients.

What is the first story you remember writing?

The first story I remember writing was about a female FBI agent with amnesia.  It was…extravagantly naïve.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

When I was ten or eleven, I wrote a poem and read it aloud to my older brother, who remarked that it was dark (for a kid my age, I think he meant).  In eighth grade English, we did a unit on poetry and I was finally able to share my writing with my teacher and a few peers.  Their (my teacher and two classmates) affirmation of my work is probably what built my confidence enough to believe, “Hey, I’m good at this.”  That was the beginning, I think.

How do you overcome “writer’s block” ? 

I don’t really believe in writer’s block in the traditional sense.  I believe if I’m stuck it’s because there’s a problem with my plot so I need to go back to my pre-writing/outlining to fix something.  Maybe I’ve gone the wrong direction or gotten off course.   But if I know where I’m going, I should know what to write to get there.  If I just can’t seem to get my head in ‘write’ mode, I just don’t write.  If I stay a funk too long, I might try to work on something else or get back to my prewriting, like I said.  Try to fix whatever problem is keeping me from progressing.

Are you a full time writer?

I am not a full time writer.  While I am always a writer, I make a living as a hairstylist.  Perhaps one day my writing could support me financially, but right now it doesn’t, and I’m totally okay with that.  I will always write regardless of the paycheck (or lack of one).  (By the way, salon chatter is great source material.)

Coffee or tea?

Tea, but only if it’s sweet.  Like southern style, syrupy sweet.  Though, I’m a soda drinker more than anything (horrible I know).  I forgive myself the soda as long as I get lots of water, too.

What’s a fun Fact about yourself most people don’t know?

This is random, but it’s what came to me.  I’m right-handed but I do left-handed cartwheels and even tried to bat lefty at a softball game once.  It didn’t go over in the game as well as in practice, but nothing ever did.  Performance anxiety, lol.

What was the publishing process like for you?

It was a huge learning process and I wanted to rip my hair out many, many times.  I’m thankful I had my friend and writing partner, Maria, to guide me, allowing me to learn from her experience.

–Why did you decide to self-publish Sovereign

I decided to self-publish Sovereign because I felt there was still a market for YA dystopia despite the fact that agents weren’t picking up the genre any more.  They’re calling it a “dead genre,” in other words, publishers aren’t buying it anymore.  It has run its course in traditional publishing.  You have to keep in mind, traditional publishing has to predict what will be popular once the book hits the shelves, which is a year and a half to two years after a book deal occurs.  So if I got an agent today, I might not sell the book for six months to a publisher.  Then you wouldn’t be able to buy it for potentially another two years after that.  Self-publishing is instant, so it hits the market now.  And as of now, people are still reading the genre.  So, I self-published!

As a fellow writer I know we don’t exactly choose what we write about, sometimes it just comes to us, but why, knowing how hard the industry is against Dystopian novels did you decide to write Sovereign and how did you keep yourself motivated to keep going when you knew the industry was against you?

Honestly, I didn’t know until after I’d written it.  I wasn’t looking at the market at all, I just had this book I was writing, and people were responding to it.  I was still very much a fan of the genre, and had no clue it was on the way out.  Like you said, it just comes to us and that’s what I was writing whether I wanted it to be a dystopia or not, it just is one.  Once I’d started getting queries ready for agents, I learned about the “dead genre” thing and I was disheartened, but like I said in the last question, I think there’s still a market for it right now.  Maybe not in two years, but today people still read dystopia.

What is some advice you would impart to writers who wish to be published?

Re-write.  Re-write a lot and get critique partners and beta readers who’ll give you the honest truth, good or bad.  Don’t publish too soon, make sure it’s ready.  Edit, edit, edit.  Proofread a lot.  And proofing shouldn’t only be done by you, get other people on it, even if you have to pay a professional proofreader.  Typos are the biggest thing hurting the self-published novels out there, in my opinion.  And I promise you, no matter how good you are at grammar, spelling, or anything else, no writer can catch all of his or her own mistakes.  I guarantee it.

If you could have breakfast with anyone dead or alive, who would it be and what would you eat?

I want to eat pancakes with Jesus.  That sounds like a book title.  “Pancakes with Jesus.”  Hmmm…

What is your favorite movie(s)?

Elizabethtown, Zombieland, Life as a House, to name a few.  I can’t pick one favorite anything.  And I love a TON of movies.

What is your favorite childhood book and/or author?

I remember really loving Tarzan when I was a kid for some reason.  I really wasn’t much of a reader when I was younger.  I was a horribly slow reader, so I only read when it was assigned.  I would get too frustrated and it made my head hurt.  My appreciation for reading came much later in life when I was several years into my twenties.

What is the next book you want to write?

I’m working on a sequel for Sovereign at the moment.  After that will be a book called “A Girl Named Jude.”  It’s contemporary YA that deals with much deeper issues and emotions than the Sovereign series.  I’m excited about it, but it’ll be more of a challenge, I think.

Thank you so much for having me!  I’m so glad you enjoyed the book and I hope fans of your blog will enjoy it as well.  If you want to learn more about where to find the book for sale or links to my Sovereign Pinterest boards and social networking, check out my website at www.erarroyo.com.  Feel free to follow me on Twitter and make sure to say hello!

Thanks for stopping by E.R.!  Someone…maybe you…needs to write Pancakes with Jesus, haha and for those of you who haven’t had Southern sweet tea, it should be on you bucket list 🙂  

What are you thoughts on dystopian novels and other “dead genres”???  Do readers still want them, should writers keep writing them/write for the market???

Whimsically Yours,

PnC

What happens when you’re a newly agented writer??? Read this to find out more 🙂

The Blabbermouth Blog

Guest post by my new client M-E Girard:

You’ve written a stellar manuscript and polished it like crazy. Then, you do your agent-related homework: You compose an eye-catching query letter; you spend hours researching agents you think would be a great fit; then you stalk them until you find some good stuff to insert in your query. All that can become a full-time job. You’re told that finding an agent who will even request a partial is hard, and that you will be rejected. But you must get there so you get lost in the chase.

But here’s the thing: What happens after an agent requests your full, offers to represent you, and then receives your signed contract?

My name is M-E Girard and although I’m a nobody, in my little world, I have arrived, people. I have signed with a literary agent (which is why I’ve been…

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…On Another Note

Moving on from the randomnessI recently acquired (bought lol) some new cake decorating tools/supplies as well as some fabric for my  fashionista project! 

This is is a pretty basic set but I needed it since I lost most of my tips & other tools and have no icing colors for the fondant (got 40% off this one!!!)

Fondant…finally – am I ready to take this step in my cake decorating (idk) but I’m gonna 🙂

Beautiful fabric, I don’t know if you can see it but it’s black suede fabric (with a cool “crackle-finger nail polish-esque” pattern).  I plan on using it to make a dress.  If you want to see my inspiration board/what I’m thinking of doing/styling for my designs check out my Pinterest board for the show!

Now if only I could get out of the randomness to actually do something with this stuff…I’m thinking baking my first fondant cake on Sunday/Monday for my five-year-old sister’s sixth birthday & hopefully sewing the beginning of the dress on Monday (since the fashion show is Dec. 8!!!).

*Finger crossed & wishing for my fairy godmother (because boy do I need your help)*

What are new things you recently acquired (hopefully through legal means…don’t tell me otherwise) or new projects you’ve started/goals you have?

Whimsically Yours,

PnC

Randomness…

As I sit on my bed looking around the room of my childhood I realize this room while comforting no longer holds the same importance (for lack of a better word) it once did.  Then I realize I’ve grown up, maybe not entirely, but I have matured.  This doesn’t mean I’m not still creative or don’t have childlike qualities but I don’t need this space as much as I once did.  It’s a very bittersweet feeling.

These last few days at home have felt very strange, I can only liken it to visiting a favorite place and realizing while you’re at the same location the place itself has changed so much it’s not the same.

Tomorrow I go to Alabama to visit my sick/recovering great-grandmother and as happy as I am to see her, for the first time in 6-7 years & for what could possibly be the last time, I clearly remember how boring Montgomery,  Alabama is.  It’s not where I would want to spend my Thanksgiving break and I say that in the bluntest, most honest way possible.  But I think when it’s all said and done, I will be glad I went.  Also sometimes we have to do things not because they are “super fun” but because they are necessary 🙂

What else…hmm..my life is very stressful right now, but more because I am letting things pile up thus am creating more dark corners where the stress monsters can hide out.  It seems like everything from relationships, to schoolwork, to family, to an old, plain & simple fear of change and not needing old things anymore is colliding.

Currently I’m having more than writer’s block, something I’m usually able to cure by simply writing, I’m having writer’s depression (does that exist or did I make that up?).  It’s not that I cannot write rather all the things in my life are preventing me from sitting down and writing because every time I do, I get distracted/my thoughts run off in other directions.

The Solution = I need to get my personal life in order, usually I’m able to separate the personal from the professional or at least turn the personal issues into fuel for the professional but this time that’s not happening.

Or maybe it’s as simple as stopping trying and doing.  Again, it’s not that I can’t write (haha, I’m doing that now), it’s just that I can’t write about what I want to write about.  Also I’m restless, writing is the one thing I have done all my life (with some minor/major long breaks during some rough patches in my past).  But writing has been the solution to all of my problems…what happens when THE solution or the cure no longer works???

Or maybe I’m thinking too much, my dad has said before that I like to think I’m deeper than I really am, he has been right in the past, he probably is now…

…Okay well I’m giving myself until December 1st…that’s the night of my literary society’s (like sororities with more of an academic focus) formal.  Now off to doing…wish me luck 🙂

How do you solve your personal/professional problems???

Whimsically Yours,

PnC