Sunday, February 27, 2011

What Scares You?

My novel, Don't Play With Fire, has a cast of unique characters. One of my favorites is Anna.(Don't tell the others. I don't want anyone getting jealous.) Anna immigrated to New Jersey in 1840 and she has a problem. She needs to steal seven human souls in order to open the gates of hell and she doesn't have enough. To get the ones she does have she placed a curse on the portraits she painted.

Curses are malevolent spells purposely done to inflict harm on another. Pretty scary stuff, right?
Who knows, maybe right now one of you is thinking about someone you'd like to place a curse on. Stop that! That's not nice.

I started thinking: what kind of stuff scares you? Here's a list of things that make my blood turn to ice water:

  • Curses
  • The dark. Anyone or anything can lurk in the dark shadows. Isn't that where serial killers hide? The boogeyman? Your crazy boss?
  • Getting lost in the dark. You could've stumbled onto the killers turf by accident!
  • Getting lost, alone, in the dark. This one should be at the top of the list.
  • Linda Blair in the Exorcist
  • Hannibal Lector
  • Unexplained happenings in your home. Think lights going on and off. Footsteps.
  • Unexplained voices in your home. Think "Get out," said in a low, hissing whisper and there is no one in the house except you!
  • The movie The Ring. "Seven days."
  • Most Stephen King books which I say with complete love and affection because he is the master story teller and I love the way he can make me scream at the character on the pages, "Don't do it!!!!!"

So, tell us. What scares you? Talk to you later...

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Road to Publication

It's been awhile since I've posted and I apologize for that. I've had my head buried in my manuscript and I haven't devoted the time to much else. Now I'm back! Glad to have you with me. I hope you stick around and ask a few friends to join us.

The road to publication is filled with pot holes, obstructions, and detour signs. I love writing, but sometimes I wonder why I'm even on the path at all. It's not easy to get someone in the field to believe in your work. Every well known published author has a story about how many rejections they received before they got the big "yes!" It looks like my story won't be any different.

I had queried an agent back in July after attending Thrillerfest, but I never heard back and that means a "no." I was fine with that. The truth was the manuscript needed serious help and I began rewriting it. This past December one of those agents emailed me and asked to see 75 pages. That's a big request and I was thrilled. Maybe me time had come.

She requested I not send my material until after January 20th. Not sure why, but okay I'll play along. I waited and on January 23rd I hit the send button. About two weeks later I get her response. REJECTED!

Do you know what she said? Of course you don't. I'll tell you. My voice wasn't distinct enough or strong enough to impress an editor. OUCH! Clocked right between the eyes. I actually saw stars.

Why do agents who expect professionalism from authors but don't show the same respect in return? Is it necessary to be so mean? Even if I do suck, which I don't, you don't have to tell me quite like that. This isn't American Idol. Nobody's watching!

My favorite part? Where she says: "Sorry not to be so keen. Another agent may well disagree, do keep trying." You know what I can't wait for? The day I'm on a best sellers list, standing before a group of aspiring writers and I tell them the story of the hurtful rejection and how I made it anyway!

I also can't wait to be on that best sellers list and bump into agent "meany." I'll plaster a big smile on my face, introduce myself, (she'll never remember that rejection letter) and walk away knowing she wishes I was her client.

The real test? Believing in yourself! Talk to you later...