Sunday, December 19, 2010

Thank You 2010

I would like to take a few moments to reflect upon the year that is nearing its close. 2010 was an unforgettable one and as I look back on it, I cannot help but beam with pride at how incredibly blessed I have been.
Of course the year saw its fair share of hard times that included the loss of two very dear friends. Matt & Valerie are gone from our everyday lives but the blessings of having known them will linger for the rest of my years. Often times when we experience pain and shed tears at the passing of friends & loved ones, we somehow miss the big picture. I am better for having known them and thankful for the time I had with them no matter how brief that time was.

2010 contained a plethora of amazing moments and I would be remiss if I did not make an attempt to acknowledge them and share them with others.

After realizing a lifelong dream of writing a novel, January started off with not only completion of that novel but also with an agent who believed in our work and wanted to represent us. As our agent, Cari Foulk continued to recruit new talent for the Tribe Literary Agency, we were introduced not only to new writers, but to people who would become true supporters and real friends.

Tribe Literary runs in a very unique way and embraces the diversity not only of the individuals it represents but also the genres that each amazing author writes in. Tribe continues to raise the bar and unite its authors which sets it apart from all the rest. The support the Tribe authors show for one another is honestly, a thing of beauty.

As mid year came it saw our novel being shopped to dozens of publishing houses. Though we have seen a couple of rejections, we are extremely hopeful for 2011 and that we will find the perfect publishing fit for the Innocents series.

WebbWeaver review blog celebrated 1 year of providing readers with reviews of the best books, movies & music, while WebbWeaver website had the privilege & honor of interviewing Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl, Michael Palmer, Claude Bouchard (Tribe Author), Luke Romyn (Tribe Author), Robert Crull, Jeremy C. Shipp, Michael Rushnak, Tasha Alexander, Thomas Emson, Lauren Kate, Beth Hoffman and Lara Adrian. As if this list of author interviews wasn't enough to be proud of, next year has a line up of authors that promises to be another one to remember.

During the year, my co-writer and I continued to press forward with the Innocents series and in October, we completed the second book, Collecting Innocents. Once again we were greeted with cheers and excitement from our agent who has become our biggest fan.

2010 also saw us branch out into other forms of media as book reviewers and contributors for Suspense Magazine. The magazine continues to grow & prosper and sales continue to escalate. Suspense Magazine can be found, not only on the shelves of thousands of bookstores across the US, but now in numerous other countries worldwide.

In November I had my very first author interview run live across the Internet and this time I was the one being interviewed.
After years of dreaming and working to see my name in print, that dream finally became a reality. In December, I was interviewed by Suspense Magazine and also had a two page feature run on The History Of Horror. My name in print...sheer heaven!

2011 is sure to be an even better year as more of my articles are set to run monthly through mid year and hopefully beyond. We have enough books to write and to read to keep us busy for a very long time... we have no complaints, only humble thanks.

We will be branching out in 2011 with a three book Urban Paranormal series that we started earlier this year titled The Devil's Playthings and we have plans to complete the third and final book in the Innocents series.

Everyday we continue to be met with tiny gifts along our journey and when hurdles show themselves we simply roll up our sleeves and climb on over them.
Last but certainly not least we have been blessed with and are thankful for every single reader, friend and fan that we have gained in 2010. Thousands of people take the time everyday to follow our reviews, read our posts & interviews or just stop by to say 'Hi' are all a part of what has made 2010 so very special.

What are you thankful for in 2010? What are you hopeful for in 2011?

Dreams have been realized, prayers answered and goals accomplished because each day we choose to show up & do our part. I will show up in 2011, do my part and be thankful for every step that we take on this journey.
Wishing you all the very best for the remainder of 2010 and for the promise of amazing things to come in 2011...

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Dreaming of Innocents

After months and months of toiling over the manuscript, we have finally come to the end of another part of our journey...completion of book 2 in the INNOCENTS series.

Cruelty To Innocents began as a single concept, a single idea that came during a period of lucid sleep. It quickly manifested into an ever evolving story that has taken on a life of its own. As each word has been put down onto paper & then transcribed to computer, we have discovered that the story has gone off in its own direction.

What began as a single concept with a few central characters, has morphed into an enormous creature with layer upon layer of plot & sub-plots, as well as enough extra characters to fill a small town.
Even though we breathed life into it and tried to shape it into what we wanted it to be, The Innocents series has taken a stand and chosen to live life on its own terms. As most parents are often forced to do, we sit back, sometimes reluctantly, and give it the space it needs to grow. We love it as best we can and with all our hearts. When it needs us we are there to cheer it on and to support it but mostly, we sit back proudly as it tells its own tale and we are in awe.

In the beginning I believed Cruelty To Innocents was my creation. How quickly the tables have turned. The Innocents series was NEVER my idea. It had its own unique way of dreaming innocents into my psyche and planting a tiny seed for us. It has allowed us to cultivate and nourish it and become vital tools for the story and its characters. We are a means to an end now, but only the Innocents know where their story will go or how it will end.

I continue to listen for the words to be whispered in my ear or plotted out in my dreams and with pen in hand I am ready for the tale to unfold.

The second book in the INNOCENTS series has been completed and the working title is...COLLECTING INNOCENTS.

Friday, October 8, 2010


Where do you get your ideas?
Where do you find inspiration?

How do you come up with your characters?

These are some of the questions I get on a regular basis from friends, family and acquaintances when they find out I'm a writer. And yet, every time I'm asked, I find myself searching for the answers. You would think by now that I could have come up with some witty and/or profound answer that both entertains and informs, (after all I am a writer) but sadly that is not the case. I just respond as honestly as I can, and hope that it answers the question.

But, it's not the answers that interest me today, it's the questions and the questioners. Why do people ask these questions? What are they hoping to learn from the answers? Presumably, these questions are asked with the hopes of finding some window into the creative mind. To catch some glimmer of what makes a writer write. But to what end?

Is it simply curiosity? Is the questioner hoping to find some technique that will allow them to also become a writer? Are they trying to gauge the writer's level of sanity? Are they asking because it seems like a good question to be heard asking? Is someone keeping track somewhere of all the answers from all of the writers in order to determine a common psychosis?

I don't know, maybe the next time I answer one of these common questions, I will be quick enough to ask them why they asked...but probably not!

But, I would like to know the answer.

Eric B. Thomasma was born and raised in West Mitten USA. He still lives in the area with his wife of 33 years, Therese, and together they raised two sons, Eric Jr. & Nicholas. Eric spent most of his adult life working as an electrician and service technician in the telecommunications industry, with side interests in computers and video production. Eric has written and self published two novels, SEAMS 16: A New Home and SEAMS 16: Arrival, and a children's story Sam And The Dragon. His latest novel, And So It Begins, is currently being considered by literary agents. You can learn more about Eric and his writing at his website and you can follow his daily alliterations on twitter @seams16

Friday, September 17, 2010

AN ASPIRING AUTHOR By: Claude Bouchard

He wakes in the morning and heads directly into the computer room where he fires up the PC. The 23 inch flat-screen comes to life and he waits the moments required for the CPU to crunch through its morning ritual, its own awakening to deal with another day.

The coffee maker starts to burble and he goes down into the kitchen, feeding the cats while the caffeine brew drips into the pot. Minutes go by and he returns upstairs armed with two full cups, one he leaves on his spouse's nightstand, as she will soon rise as well.

Back at the command center, he slips back onto the web, opening tabs which will be required, as usual, for the day ahead. Followers have increased on Twitter again, he notes with satisfaction. The previous day's hits on his website demonstrate continued interest in what he has to offer the world. He sifts through new e-mails, deleting junk and reading those he deems important, though there is no earth-shattering news once again. As he verifies a few sites related to sales, he is disappointed to see that, as is often the case, few or no units were sold the previous day. Determined however, he pursues the routine as he has done for over a year, marketing himself and his products, greeting friends all over the globe, chatting and making the witty remarks for which he has become known, hoping that his efforts are not in vain.
The day goes by like all the others past, with messages sent regularly to assure his presence, all while toiling at the creation of his current work in progress. Through it all, he waits for that call, that sale, that interest that will show him that what he has done, has indeed finally been considered worthwhile.

The day ends as he closes down his command center and turns his attention to another pleasant evening with his spouse and the pursuit of other activities, of the leisure kind, aimed at taking his mind off of the dream he yearns for to become reality.

The evening draws to a close and it becomes night, a time to retire, to rest and build up the energy for a new day to come, a day which will most likely duplicate those of the past. But he remains optimistic, he remains hopeful, he remains an aspiring author.

Claude Bouchard was born in Montreal, Canada where he still resides with his spouse Joanne, as well as the rulers of the household, Krystalle and Midnight, their cats. Claude has written and self-published four novels and has recently completed work on a fifth. When Claude isn't writing or editing his work, he spends his time making noise with his guitars, painting in oil and watercolor, reading, traveling (budget permitting) and planning to work out. Claude Bouchard is represented by Tribe Literary Agency. You can learn more about this fascinating author on his website or on Twitter @ceebee308.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

ON BEING A WRITER By: Gerald Gillis

George Orwell wrote in his 1946 essay, Why I Write: "All writers are vain, selfish and lazy, and at the very bottom of their motives there lies a mystery. Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand."

A lot of effort goes into writing a book; enormous amounts of time and energy. There are times of great excitement and moments of suffocating doubt. There is hope and promise and turn-the-page anticipation, when creating something in the sweet glow of afternoon where nothing existed in the early calm of morning. There's also the opportunity to gage the thickness of one's skin and the stoutness of one's heart, if rejection comes knocking, at once so marginalizing and discouraging that it seems as if the very demon of Orwell's essay is laughing hysterically at the folly of such a subjective undertaking. High highs and low lows are all part of the package. And by no means is the foregoing restricted to the writing profession, but still it's all there, all over the chart, sort of like the Dow Jones nowadays.

I began writing Shall Never See So Much, several years ago while I was still traveling forty six weeks a year as a member of the corporate world. I wrote at home, on airplanes, in hotel rooms and sometimes made notes (mental mind you) while driving rental cars. I chose the year 1968 to provide a setting that I thought would be interesting. I chose a brother and sister through whom I would tell my story.

I also wanted to write a block-buster best seller, become wildly famous, extensively followed, enormously wealthy and then churn out a new smash hit on my June birthday every year for the rest of my days.

And why not? What writer doesn't covet the literary Heavyweight Championship belt? That's not the whole of it, however. So why do it? Why persevere?

Because writers have a story they need to tell and a point they need to make. My story in Shall Never See So Much, involves the bravery of my characters in their times of turmoil; my point is, my belief that the human spirit is essentially, fundamentally, demonstrably heroic. I believe it because I've studied history. I believe because I've seen it in the lives of everyday people like my grandmother and my parents. I still see it in my wife and kids and now I'm starting to see it in my grand kids. They are heroes to me, real heroes, and they inspire me by their example.

That's the story I wanted to tell and the message I wanted to impart. That's why I write. That's where I find the real worth.

That's my purpose.

Gerald Gillis is a native of Atlanta, Georgia. He is married and the father of three grown children. Gerald is a graduate of the University of Tampa (MBA) and the University of Georgia (BBA). After college Gerald served for three years as an artillery officer in the Marine Corps with duty stations in the US and Okinawa/mainland Japan. He then worked as an executive in the medical devices industry where he traveled extensively, both foreign and domestically. Gerald became a full time novelist in 2009. Shall Never See So Much is his second novel. His first novel was published 25 years ago and did reasonably well, but Gerald decided that his business career would better accommodate educating kids and paying the mortgage than a career as a neophyte novelist. Hence, Gerald's writing career has resumed after a bit of a hiatus.

Friday, September 10, 2010

REJECTION IS GOOD! By: David Workman


Every author dreads them but query letters are the lifeline to the publishing world and we have to write it or not. At least, that is, if you plan to go the traditional publishing route, which is what I am currently pursuing. Sure, I could self publish (which I did with one book already) and may yet end up doing so, but for now I am going the old fashioned route and sloshing through the query swamp.

The good news is, creating a query letter isn't as hard as it used to be thanks to many, many free and cheap resources. You can 'Google' query letters and you'll get all sorts of tips on what to say, how to say it, formatting and even warnings about what agents hate. There is software you can buy to help you create the 'perfect' query letter (don't know about that) and all sorts of websites that claim they will teach you the ins and outs of paragraph sequence, catchy openings, plot summaries and the tricks to get an agent's attention. That is all well and good until you get to...

The bad news.... You still have to write the darn thing. But what do you say? How do you take the 300 page book and summarize it adequately so that the agent will get the gist of your characters and plot. Worse still, how do you summarize it in a way that doesn't water your book down so much that it sounds like every other book they have ever seen? What danger is there in describing every detail to the point that you realize you could have written a short story instead? And how many agents do you have to send it to before you get a positive response and find someone who actually wants to lay eyes on what you have spent months, years or a lifetime lovingly creating? ( And how come not everyone is as fond of it as you are? Come on people, it's great writing)
We have all heard the stories about best-selling authors being rejected over and over--Stephen King was rejected over 30 times before the right agent came along and, is now, reaping the rewards from taking a chance on an unknown whom, everyone else said would never amount to much. I bet those agents wish they had that choice to make again! What we are supposed to take away from stories like that are some sort of solace that tells us it is okay if the first agent you solicit says "No". But it is hard. I remember fondly the first rejection letter I received like it was just yesterday. Actually, it was last Tuesday, but you get the point.
I am in the process of finding an agent myself for a novel I began almost a decade ago. The manuscript is finally done and is now collecting dust on my hard drive. No, it really is. I need to clean the vent in the back of the computer...It is filthy!
Over the past week and a half, I have sent out a total of 49 queries to agents from New York to San Diego and I have gotten rejected six times. In the big picture, it is not a bad ratio. It means that I am only 25 queries away from becoming the next Stephen King. (I can dream, right?) But, over the same 10 days, three agents have requested sample chapters and pages which I hurriedly sent off. Am I excited? You betcha! Am I am rushing out to buy my new Mercedes? Uh...No. I think I will wait until I receive my first royalty check.
It really is true that each rejection gets you one agent closer to writing success. That is the attitude we need to have. So, stop staring at the computer screen. The e-mail won't change. The answer is still no, so move on to the next one. The right agent IS out there, you just have to fight your way through the weeds to find them.

David Workman is the author of one self-published non-fiction book, The Bare Bones Guide To Buying & Selling Your Home. After 16 years of writing, marketing & ad copy, David is trying his hand at fiction. He is working hard to publish his new political thriller, Absolute Authority, the traditional way. A native St. Louisan, David now lives in Hickory, North Carolina, with his wife and two children, where he continues his vain attempt to adjust to life in a small town.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Agents & Editors & Publishers... OH MY!

My experiences in writing seem a lot like Dorothy's trip in The Wizard Of Oz. I can easily relate with how she must have felt. The whole writing process is like being swept away by an F-5 tornado and then being dropped smack dab in the middle of a strange land filled with agents & editors & publishers OH MY!

So, you have finished your what? Just do what Dorothy did...Follow The Yellow Brick Road. There are a few things you will need before you get started on the road to Oz. If you haven't guessed what they are already then here is your 'Ah-Ha' moment. You will need a brain, tons of heart and the courage to see yourself through this long journey. Along the way you will encounter some of the most treacherous obstacles on earth. Now, you may not come across flying monkeys or green, evil witches and your chances of stumbling through an enchanted poppy field are slim to none...though that might not be so bad. What you will be faced with is querying your novel for representation, dealing with editing & polishing of your manuscript and finally the dreaded shopping of your novel to publishing houses.
With agents and querying, all you need are BRAINS to help you land the agent of your dreams. It is simple... follow the guidelines set by each agent when querying your manuscript. You are much more likely to be taken seriously if you can first, follow simple directions....I'm just saying.
Editing gets a little trickier because, we as writers are so close to the project. We see our manuscript as our baby and believe it is perfect and beautiful in the way all good parents should, whereas an editor can see our manuscript with different, clearer eyes. When your agent or editor says that you can make your novel better, have the heart to do what is right for the manuscript even if this means sacrificing yourself and your needs. Love that manuscript enough to do the right thing.
Now, as to your last, daunting task I say, "Be brave and courageous, fellow writer". While waiting for a contract or when wading through a stack of rejections, courage is tough to maintain and not something that everyone has. For those of you who are afraid to show the world who you were meant to be, courage may not come. The trick to waiting for a book contract is not only to be courageous but to bring with you all three virtues...Brains, Heart & Courage. Remember to always believe in yourself and you will get there eventually.
Now, you have made it to Oz by finishing your novel, landing the perfect agent, polishing that manuscript to a high shine and finding your novel in the hands of several publishing houses. You have arrived...right? Not so fast.
Sadly, you may find that at the end of your long journey, others will go before you and find their place at publishing houses. It's OK...Relax and take a deep breath. There is a home for you with a publisher somewhere over the rainbow.
So, if you find yourself a little worried & stressed out and all the brains, heart and courage in the world don't feel like enough, just do what Dorothy and I do... Each morning click your heels together 3 times and repeat after me...

"There's no place like home"

"There's no place like home"

"There's no place like home"

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Karma & The Author Interview

My co-writer and I run a website as well as a blog, where we do book reviews and author interviews. Interviewing is a serious business and not something we take lightly. There are certain levels of friendship and trust that must first be established before we will even consider asking an author for an interview. Let's face it, you don't want to friend someone and turn around fifteen minutes later and ask for an interview. It's like meeting someone and calling them the next day to borrow money; it can be done but it is pretty tacky when it is. We never want someone to think that our intentions are selfishly motivated.
It is for this very reason that several of our friends who also happen to be authors have not been interviewed on WebbWeaver. We simply haven't asked them, as the friendship is so much more important than any interview. There are of course, some authors who jump right out there in our 'getting acquainted' stage and ask for an interview. We don't always interview these folks, as we sometimes get that icky feeling of being used and no one likes that. It may sound like a ridiculous, petty thing, but I think there is something to be said for respect. If you take the time to get to know someone as a friend and colleague, then the other stuff just kind of works itself out on a case by case basis.
Having said all this, I have never given too much thought to the stress that can go along with an author interview. Even I sometimes forget that well known writers such as Michael Palmer, Tasha Alexander or even Laren Kate are still just regular people. I have spent the better part of my life being in awe of writers and placing them in that 'elite' status because of what they do. Since I started my writing career, I have gotten an eye opening shot of reality as to the amount of work and time that goes into the craft of novel writing. I see things in a different light than I did and what used to be awe has been replaced with admiration and respect. I love when a little dose of what I put out comes back to bite me in the always helps to keep me grounded. This time my medicine comes in the form of an author interview...not one where I am the interviewer, but rather the one being interviewed! My interviewer followed all my own personal guidelines and established herself as a friend first and then BAM! just like that, she asked and I accepted. This will be my first interview and it will be a live one hour spot on Artists First Radio. I have spent a year doing author interviews and not once did I think it possible for the author to be nervous, I mean it's their book right? What in the world is there for them to be nervous about? Well, here I sit swallowing a bit of what I have so generously handed out...a good dose of my own medicine. So, for those of you who do book reviews or author interviews always remember that it could be you and sometimes the shoe really does end up on the other foot.
CK Webb

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Social Networking and the Writer

Let's all face networking has become HUGE! But with each person, the reason for using social media and how it's used, varies drastically.
There is the 'Magic' social media guy; you know him or her well. They breeze in every few months, type out a line or two, download a hideous photo then, like magic, they are gone just as quickly as they appeared. There are the 'Trendy' social media folks who jump on the bandwagon in short violent bursts, usually when some star makes mention of a site or one of the sites hits the headlines. Then there are the 'Denial' networkers who limit themselves to social media 'only on weekends' or 'only late at night if I'm having trouble sleeping'. There are people who use social media to find lost family, old friends, love, money and fame. Some people even go as far as to create an alternate existence chock full of farm lands, big cities, fake friends, fake pets and alter egos. So, which one are you?
I began testing the social media waters as a means of creating a foundation to introduce myself to the world as a writer. Soon my co-writer & I began to accumulated more and more friends. We then decided to branch out a bit, at first delving into book reviews and author interviews. Today, one year later, we have a review site, web site, multiple Twitter accounts and even a fanpage on Facebook.
So what has been the up side of social networking for me as a writer? Simple... not only have I had the opportunity to meet some amazing people but I have had the chance to really know them as friends and colleagues. We met our agent on Twitter, and several authors were already friends of ours before signing with our literary agency, Tribe Lit. A lot of well known authors have graciously agreed to interview with WebbWeaver because of the rapport we already had with them through social media sites. There are wonderful writer's groups and discussion forums available through social media and a host of advertising possibilities. You can even blog about or showcase your writing on social networking sites. Publishers, editors and agents all can be found on these sites and if you happen to be in the right place at the right time, you can get the opportunity to not only know these folks, but be welcomed into their circle of friends. Now all this may sound great but there is also a down side to social networking.
If you are planning to use these sites to get your name out there, then there are a few things you should try to remember. Social networking means you have to be 'social', even if you aren't normally. It also means that you would do well to be diplomatic in your wording at times when you would like to be rude. You will have to deal with people that you don't necessarily like but who offer up incite or knowledge into the writing world, that is crucial and necessary for your growth as a writer. There will be spammers who will, no doubt, drive you insane by posting penis enlargement advertisements on your blog, Facebook wall or website. You will most assuredly get a first hand look at back-stabbing and cut-throating which is sadly, a part of life as well as the writing industry. On days when you want to string together a series of obscenities so intricately woven that they could fill the hole in the ozone layer, you can't or rather you shouldn't, because now you never know who may be watching or reading your posts!
And the biggest drawback to this social networking conundrum... it is time consuming. Everyday I say my good morning's to a rather large group of individuals, I post on the fan page or write a review or blog post. These things can take you away from the task at hand... writing your novel. In the time it took me to plan & write this blog post, I could have easily written a couple thousand words on a manuscript. In the time it took you to follow the link from Twitter, Facebook or wherever, and then read this post...You could have done the same.

Monday, July 19, 2010


As writer's, we all have to face the dreaded 9-letter word... REJECTION. Sadly, the next step can sometimes be self-doubt. It starts with that nagging voice in the back of your mind that says, "Maybe you aren't good enough". Perhaps the self doubt goes even further and tells you that you chose the wrong dream to chase, give up now and forget about this whole 'writing thing'. I have even once, allowed self doubt to push me right into a slump, or what we writer's lovingly refer to as WRITER'S BLOCK. It took my co-writer & my agent a bit of reverse psychology (using my own 'pep talk' against me) to pry me off my pity pot and get me back in line. Today when the fear of rejection creeps in or self-doubt begins to whisper ever so softly in my ear, I simply remember the following, and I am instantly renewed...

1) William Golding's LORD OF THE FLIES was rejected by 20 publishers and was even called 'an absurd, uninteresting fantasy which was rubbish and dull'.

2) Frank Hubert's DUNE was rejected 20 times before making it's way to print.

3) Stephen King was rejected dozens of times for his novel CARRIE. One publisher even stated, 'we are not interested in science fiction with negative utopias...THEY DO NOT SELL'.

4) Meg Cabot, author of THE PRINCESS DIARIES, was rejected by 17 publishers before landing a deal.

5)Madeline L'Engle's A WRINKLE IN TIME was rejected by 26 publishing houses.

6) Margaret Mitchell's riveting GONE WITH THE WIND, was rejected a whopping 36 times before landing a publisher.

7) John Grisham's A TIME TO KILL was rejected by 16 literary agents AND 12 publishers before marking the beginning of the best seller's career.

8) James Patterson, one of the most prolific and successful writers alive, was rejected more than a dozen times.

And last but certainly not least...

9) J.K. Rowling's (Yes! 'THE' J.K. Rowling) HARRY POTTER AND THE PHILOSOPHER'S STONE (Now, The Sorcerer's Stone) was rejected by over a dozen publishing houses including, Penguin Books and Harper Collins. OUCH!!

Next time you get a rejection or self-doubt begins to poison your thinking, remember... The ugly 9-letter word doesn't mean that you aren't good enough, it just means that someone else will have the grand opportunity to kick themselves later on when the 9-letter word turns into the 3-letter word...YES!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The List

I began this blog as a means of sharing with others the entire process that my co-writer and I went through on the road to publication. I wish I had started it much sooner, like before the novel was completed. Since I got a late start I have decided to bring everyone up to speed as simply as I know how...Welcome to THE LIST!

1) Wicked cool idea rears it's head for the first time.
2)Ran idea past best friend who inevitably becomes co-writer.
3) Began researching and tweaking every aspect of story concept including characters and locales.
4) Putt our butts in chairs and began writing.
5) In our free time, began utilizing various social networking sites in an effort to advertise our new roles as authors.
6) Met a wonderful lady through one of those sites, who happened to be an editor and was interested in our work. She offered to help us and we jumped at the opportunity to work with someone who knew the editing business and believed in us.
7) Continued to write while establishing ourselves as book reviewers and author interviewers with the WebbWeaver sites.
8) Wrote, wrote and wrote some more.
9) Edited, refined, tweaked and, did I mention that we wrote!
10) Got offered a contract for representation from the same wonderful lady we had confided in and trusted as an editor.
11) Established and met a deadline for completion of our debut novel CRUELTY TO INNOCENTS.

Now, before you ask, Yes, we met our agent on a social networking site. And Yes, we did sign our agency contracts before completion of our novel, BUT we were well into the book with only a few chapters remaining and our now agent/editor had every one of those chapters as well as a clear and detailed outline for the remaining ones.
Will you find your agent through social networking? I really can't say. Will you sign a contract for representation before you complete your novel? Most likely no, but that doesn't mean it can't happen. We know that it is not only unusual, but also very rare that our story has unfolded the way that it has, but we also know that it happened this way, not just because our agent/editor believed in us but because we believed in ourselves as well.
It is now 7 months since we signed those contracts, our book is out to several publishing houses and we are working on new projects everyday. We will continue to wait, to write and to believe in ourselves and our work until we can complete the list by adding;

12) Signed book deal.
13) Made 'THE LIST' at The New York Times.

Oh, how I dearly love THE LIST.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Co-Writer, Hand Cramps and Swiss Cake Rolls

I set out over a year ago to pick up a pen and paper and begin the tedious task of writing a novel. It was, after all, the one desire I had that had never faltered in all my years. While in the process of writing it suddenly hit me...A wonderful, devilishly wicked story concept. I had never seen or read anything like it and wondered who I could trust enough to run the idea past. Ah-Ha! My best friend, of course. So, that is exactly what I did, and guess what? Turned out she had a natural ability for story development, we were definitely on the same page and she could type...A partnership was born. Everything did not fall into place overnight but it did eventually fall into place. We each found a unique strength and fit in our shared writing abilities. We did, of course, argue and sometimes fight. Once or twice we even talked of absolving the partnership and throwing in the towel, but never did. We were determined, each for their own personal reasons. The fruit of all that labor and months of growing pains became CRUELTY TO INNOCENTS, our debut novel.
Now, tucked neatly away, are hundreds upon hundreds of hand written pages ( Yes! I hand write all my work). The memory of the amount of Ibuprofen I consumed in an effort to battle the hand cramps that would always accompany my writing process and a few extra pounds gained while indulging in Swiss Cake Rolls (writing fuel) was little price to pay. Notebook, pens and Swiss Cake Rolls, and I am ready to work, and my partner is always ready to type.
Perhaps one day I will learn how to type and the process will change completely, but as I understand it, you don't fix what isn't broken. I think I will just stick with my co-writer, my hand cramps and my Little Debbie Swiss Cake Rolls.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Multiple Personality Disorder and Writing

I often wonder how big the line is between a person who suffers from Multiple Personality Disorder and a writer. To be completely honest, it is a very thin, very blurred line and one that, in my opinion, we must cross daily in order to perfect our craft. You have all heard someone say, "Look at that guy...he's nuts" or "If she writes that stuff she must be crazy" and even "Only a crazy person could come up with that". I believe that writers are nuts. They are crazy. I am not talking about 'multiple medications four times a day' kind of crazy. I am not talking about 'popping Thorazine and shuffling into walls' kind of crazy. I surely don't mean 'burying the bodies in the basement' kind of crazy and I am definitely not referring to 'the world is out to get me kind of crazy' either. No. This kind of crazy is reserved just for us writer types. This kind of crazy is creating other people, other lives and being those people in those lives, as you write that story. It is speaking out loud in a British or Irish accent while that character speaks, even though you aren't British OR Irish. It can even be talking to, not only those characters, but also yourself and being completely OK with that.
Are authors crazy? Yes.
Will they admit to being crazy? Probably not but then, they are nuts...what are you doing listening to them anyway?
WAIT! Maybe you are just as crazy as that writer that you adore. As you are reading this post you may be asking, "Is she crazy?" Maybe. "Does she know she is crazy?" Perhaps. "Is she OK with being crazy?" Absolutely!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

So...You Want To Be A Writer?

So, you want to be a writer, but why? I know, you want the deal of the century from the most prestigious publishing house in all the world. You want the biggest advance ever in the history of the literary world, a 10 book deal and a fan base that rivals the Beatles. You want the best movie house in Hollywood to beg your agent for the rights to your book and then they will have the very best screenwriter in the business convert your novel into the greatest screenplay in cinematic history. Every producer in the business will fight for that screenplay and of course James Cameron, Steven Spielberg and George Lucas will ALL be directing. The cast will be slam full of stars such as Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Gerard Butler, Robert Pattinson with cameo appearances by you, of course. People will line up days in advance just to get a glimpse of you at a book signing or the opportunity to take a picture with you. You will be on every red carpet event and rub shoulders with the richest and most talented stars in the world. You will even have to step over fans and fight the paparazzi everyday just to make it to your mailbox.
Now, do you really want to be a writer?? If you said 'Yes' and your reason for doing so was in ANY of the above sentences...STOP NOW! You DO NOT want to be a writer. You want to be a rockstar or Justin Bieber and I am sorry, but that is on a different blog all together. This blog is about being a writer, you know broke, struggling, working 2 jobs to make ends meet but still determined to entertain with the art of storytelling. I will slowly take you on my journey from struggling writer to, if the stars align, a published author. I will try to do so as gently but honestly as possible and hopefully you and I both will learn a little something along the way. Enjoy the trip but please remember...Pen & Paper are not included!