Monthly Archives: September 2012

Tag! I’m it (GUTGAA style)!

Hello all! 😀 I have officially been tagged by my new friend Rhiann! And I now have some questions to answer…

What is the working title of your book?
TERRA INCOGNITA

Where did the idea come from for the book?
A dream… a lot of my ideas come to me that way. I dreamed of being in a building (like an old school) with a group of people, and we were being chased/hunted by someone/thing. Somehow, we made it to a safe place where she could see us but not get to us… and she touched a large, rusty piece of chain, bringing it to life as a snake… it slithered over to me. Everyone else was scared, no one came to my aid… but I reached out to touch it (I don’t know why – it was a dream!) and it turned back to its true form. Everyone was amazed and the one who originally turned it ran away. And that was the start of TERRA INCOGNITA.

What genre does your book fall under?
This took me a while to figure out… 🙂 But I have settled on YA post-apocalyptic paranormal with romantic elements… a mouthful, I know.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
That’s a tough one… but something I have considered, I’ll admit, because I like to work with images. I’m a very visual person and like to see my characters. Based a lot on looks (ages might be an issue) I would choose either Chloe Moretz or Rachel Hurd-Wood to play Haylee and (this one is tough for me) maybe someone like Taylor Kitsch (a little younger probably) to play Derik.

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
When Haylee wakes to a post-apocalyptic future, she discovers the Pale Ones – creatures that can kill with a single touch – have propelled her through time to claim a power she didn’t know she had.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Agent, please?! Pretty, pretty please….?

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Well… I started writing it in the summer of 2005 but stopped for a while. I pulled it back out in 2009, wrote during college classes (yes, I know, for shame… but I couldn’t stop!) and finished it in time to submit it to Amazon’s Breakthrough Novel Award Contest in early 2011… needless to say, that didn’t pan out… it was a first draft after all. So, there were a lot of starts and stops by that point… Unfortunately, that’s how I wrote up until recently… now I have several unfinished stories and, when I feel I’m burnt out on one, I can move to another.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Other than my uber-cool Pale Ones (the basis of all supernatural creature legends, especially the vampire)? Well, because these creatures reign in the future, humans have developed some incredible abilities (almost everybody has a superpower) in order to survive. Haylee arrives there going from average teenager to feeling less than inadequate amongst all that power… But the Pale Ones want her for a reason, right….?

And Tag! You’re It!

All right… now it’s my turn to tag someone!

I have chosen some of my new GUTGAA friends:
Liz
Cynthia
Diana

All right, girls! Have fun and happy tagging!

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Pitch Polish

Below is my REVISED query and first 150 words… Thanks to everyone who commented!

TITLE: TERRA INCOGNITA
GENRE: YA Post-apocalyptic Paranormal
WORD COUNT: 98,000

Query:

Dear Fantabulous Super-agent:

During an attack by a wraithlike creature, seventeen-year old Haylee Wells falls through a portal into a post-apocalyptic future. Taking refuge with a group of humans, she learns this creature is one of the Pale Ones, who have propelled her through time to claim a power she didn’t even know she had.

She must survive in a world where the Pale Ones reign and can kill with a single touch.  A world where the supernatural is common: inanimate objects become poisonous organisms, humans survive – and fight back – with powers of their own, and Seers discern what secrets lie within the confines of your mind and heart.

Haylee’s own abilities become evident. The gardens flourish with a touch of her hand, her wounds heal more quickly than natural, and she can see the auras of those around her. She and her companions wonder why the supposedly immortal creatures see her – an inexperienced Seer with a knack for healing – as a threat.

She knows she should return home. But the journey to the portal will be dangerous, and her growing affections for her new friends, particularly the duty-bound protector of the group, leave her unsure in which time home resides. If she doesn’t leave, the Pale Ones will decide her fate. They will either kill or enslave her.

TERRA INCOGNITA (98,000 words) is a YA Post-apocalyptic paranormal.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

First 150 words:

As with most of life’s extraordinary problems, I felt ill equipped to handle the beast hurtling toward me. The monster’s yellow eyes focused upon me. Its tongue, dripping saliva, lolled from its mouth.
My eyes flicked left and right, looking for cover. A door to slip through. Anything. But could find no escape.

In a matter of seconds, it lunged for me.

I hit the ground, the air forced from my lungs. And, before I could take a breath, my face was plastered with my dog’s kisses. Laughter bubbled up in my throat, and I tried to shove the more than one hundred pound wolf-hybrid away to no avail. So, arms shaking, I managed to hold him several inches from my body, draw my knees up, and roll us both to the side. I made it to my feet and brushed strands of dark blonde hair away from my mouth.

– – – –

Original is below…

Hello all! I have decided to participate in the GUTGAA Pitch Polish blog hop! Yay! I’ve made so many changes to my query over the last (many) months, sometimes I don’t know up from down… seriously. So, I thought I’d see what you all thought. Any feedback would be appreciated! Thanks!

All right *deep breath* here goes…

TITLE OF MANUSCRIPT: TERRA INCOGNITA
GENRE: YA Post-apocalyptic Paranormal
WORD COUNT: 100,000

Query:
Dear Uber-Agent:

Seventeen-year old Haylee Wells thinks she lives in an ordinary world. Her biggest concern has been convincing her mother she may not want to attend college. Ever. But just out of sight something not so ordinary lurks. Hidden in the shadows of city streets and forests – just like the one in her backyard – the Pale Ones plan their coming out.

In the future, the cities are gone and the land barren. Mankind, fearing the deadly touch of the Pale Ones, knows better than to venture into dark places. Haylee awakens to this world, where the supernatural is common: inanimate objects become poisonous organisms, humans survive – and fight back – with powers of their own, and Seers discern what secrets lie within the confines of your mind and heart.

Taking refuge with a group of humans, she becomes fast friends with Glenna, who has a calming presence – literally – and is drawn to Derik, the duty-bound protector, despite his condescending-jerk quotient and creepy insider knowledge of the Pale Ones. He can sense when they are near, and his description of them leaves her thinking they may be the monsters on which many supernatural creature legends are based.

The Pale Ones know great power dwells within Haylee and have propelled her through time to claim it. When her abilities become evident, she wonders what the supposedly immortal creatures want with an inexperienced Seer with a knack for healing. She knows she should return home. But her growing affections for her new friends, particularly Derik, leave her unsure in which time home resides.

TERRA INCOGNITA (100,000 words) is a YA post-apocalyptic paranormal with romantic elements.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

First 150 words:

As with most of life’s extraordinary problems, I felt ill equipped to handle the beast hurtling toward me. The monster’s yellow eyes focused upon me. Its tongue, dripping saliva, lolled from its mouth. I flicked my eyes left and right, looking for cover. A door to slip through. Anything. But could find no escape. In a matter of seconds, it lunged for me. I hit the ground, the air forced from my lungs. And, before I could take a breath, my face was plastered with the dog’s kisses. Laughter bubbled up in my throat, and I tried to shove the more than one hundred pound wolf-hybrid away to no avail. So, arms shaking, I managed to hold the dog several inches from my body, draw my knees up, and roll us both to the side. I made it to my feet, but the dog remained with his tummy in the air, smiling at me.

Meet and Greet…

Well… hello, all!

So, I just came across something very awesome – GUTGAA (Gearing Up to Get an Agent) hosted by Deana Barnhart.  I was pretty nervous to sign up (which I just did yesterday) but thought, “Hm.  Well, I do want an agent… And I do want to meet other writers like me… So, what do I have to lose?”  So, I signed up!

I’m so glad (excited and nervous still) to participate in the bloghop.  Go here to see everyone who is participating.  This is going to be so much fun! 🙂

So, a little about me…

I am 29-years old (often mistaken for 18) and the mother of a fearless (except for bees), acrobatic 2-year old girl. I write fantasy (mostly YA paranormal romance) and am currently querying my novel TERRA INCOGNITA to agents… not going so well yet.  I studied art (with a mix of art history and creative writing) in college and love drawing scenes and characters from my own stories.  I’m a progressively worsening klutz and always hurting myself… and I like baking, storms, rainbows, and photography.

 

And now, to answer the “Meet and Greet” questions:

Where do you write?  Wherever I can… I always carry a notebook (various sizes) with me.  At home, I have two main places.  If I really need quiet and solitude to focus, I lock myself in the little office I have set up in my bedroom.  But, mostly, I sit in the living room, on the couch, while my 2-year old watches Nick, Jr.

Quick. Go to your writing space, sit down and look to your left. What is the first thing you see?  There is a cat on my kitchen table.  A very large, sleeping cat.  If he gets any larger, he will have to diet. I know, very unsanitary… but it beats the times when there are two cats sleeping on said table.

Favorite time to write? First thing in the morning (because it’s often the first thing I think about) after feeding my daughter, my animal friends, and myself… OR late at night, when I feel more creative.

Drink of choice while writing? Definitely water… which, most of the time, I forget is even there.  If it’s cold out, I might drink hot cocoa or tea… Mmm… I’m ready for cold weather.

When writing , do you listen to music or do you need complete silence?  I do better with silence when writing (can only listen to music when working on visual art) though I am getting much better at writing with Nick, Jr. on the TV.  🙂  Music, however, is a must for inspiration before I write.

What was your inspiration for your latest manuscript and where did you find it?  My dreams are most often my inspiration, as with my first manuscript… but music has recently been inspiring my work… My latest idea (I’m only just beginning the research phase) was partially inspired by a song called “I Believe in You” by Don Williams, specifically by the line “I believe in magic.”  It made me think of romance, magic, and cowboys (since the song is an older country song)… and the rest is top secret, for now.  🙂

What’s your most valuable writing tip?  Well, there are so many great writing tips out there… so I’ll stick with the most basic.  Make time to write when/wherever you can.  Keep pen and paper with you at all times.  That way you’re always ready.  When inspiration (or boredom) strikes, write!  Eh, it’s obvious but valuable… I think.

There you have it!  Now hop on over to another blog on the list!
Thanks for stopping by!