A Rock Star Idea!

Writing Song of the Day: Party like a Rock Star (Remix) by Da Shop Boyz feat. Lil’ Wayne, Jim Jones, and Chamillionare (check it out on our PLAYLIST)

Hey, aces! Fancy meeting you here- wait, don’t go! You’re not at the wrong blog!!! Yes, this was formally- See Pam Write, See Pam Run- and it is essentially the same blog ( I promise!) so don’t un-follow. However, the blog is getting a makeover because two unstopable writing forces have collided and created….

Y(A)? CUZ WE WRITE!

Me (Quita) and Pam have combined our literary, creative, and total rock star forces in order to bring you a blog that delves into BOTH of our crazy mind. It’s exciting and scary all at the same time. So, due to the mash-up we created an all new line-up to share with and help you, our fellow writers/readers/plain-old-blog-lovers. Like to hear it? Here it goes!
Monday: Music Monday – (we connect our two favorite worlds- writing and music)

Tuesday: Agent Wish List- (highlighting AWESOME agents)
Wednesday: YA Highway Road Trip Wednesday-(we participate in the YA Highway festivities)
Thursday: Road to Publication Series- (we give advice for getting your A+ work published)
Friday: Free/Fun Friday- (we talk about whatever we want relating to life and writing- but refrain from giving you the details of the perfect Lean Cuisine/Smart Ones that we may have eaten for lunch)

Oh, before WE forget!!! We will be hosting a contest for all of you beautiful people. Why? Two reasons 1.) to celebrate the fact that this blog passed 50 followers last week, and 2.) to celebrate the collision of our writerly forces.

We will announce the guidelines sometime this week so stay tuned and have a happy Memorial Day!

Quita

Contest Alert Number 2!

Workout Song of the Day: “Nasty Boys” by Janet Jackson (I was inspired by her American Idol performance)

So yesterday, I let you all know that YA Highway was having an anniversary. And then I teased you all mercilessly with a picture of a huge cupcake. I know, I’m still drooling.

Today, my peeps at YA Highway are having a prize packet for all of us aspiring writers. Prizes include critiques from both agents and soon-to-be-published writers! Can you stand it? Me neither. Go enter NOW!

Side note: There will be BIG changes to this blog starting next week. I’m actually pretty psyched about it–I hope you all will be pleased. 🙂

Contest Alert: YA Highway Style!

Workout Song of the Day: “Bulletproof” by La Roux

We interrupt this blog to announce a very awesome contest. My peeps over at YA Highway just celebrated their one year anniversary. First, a cake:

Mmm, cake…what was I talking about? Oh yeah, the YA Highway contest where you can win a buttload of stuff like books, ARCs, journals, and more! Tomorrow, they’ll have a prize packet for writers, and Friday, something that I’m sure will knock our socks off!

So, what are you waiting for? You MUST enter now!

Super Agents Chit Chat!

Workout Song of the Day: “California Gurls” by Katy Perry ftg. Snoop Dogg

This past Saturday, I got to hang out with super agents Kathleen Ortiz and Suzie Townsend.

Okay, maybe we didn’t actually “hang,” but I did get to talk to them over Skype after winning Ortizzle’s Epic Skype Contest! These ladies were so chill that they allowed me to go over my 12-minute time limit. Just look at how excited I was to speak with them:

So, what did I learn from our fabulous conversation? Here are a few of the highlights:

On Point-of-View (POV):

Suzie feels that 1st person POV is easier to write, especially for YA. This POV allows writers to grab readers almost immediately by establishing a clear voice and gives readers a look inside of a character’s head. She says there are successful YA novels that use 3rd person POV, but she recommends using 1st person if you’re writing your first book.

Kathleen is not a fan of manuscripts that feature more than 2 POVs. She feels that more than 2 POVs makes it more difficult to distinguish voice, and that it’s easier to connect with characters if there are fewer POVS.

On Re-querying:

Kathleen says not to re-query with the same project unless it has undergone a major revision, such as changing POVs. Even then, she recommends waiting about six months to a year before pitching the same project.

Suzie, on the other hand, doesn’t mind if a writer queries her again with the same project. She even joked that if you revised the query and send it to her the next day after a rejection, she may consider it now. However, she recommends not to mention if she has rejected your last query.

On Conference Etiquette:

If you want to meet an agent (and not scheduled for an actual pitch session), Suzie recommends introducing yourself and engage in small-talk–allow the agent to get to know you as a person. Then wait for the agent to ask what you’ve been working on as a writer. If you signed up for a pitch session, she recommends writing it down and admitting if you’re nervous. She shared a pitching experience she had as an 18-year-old writer in which an agent was so mean that she didn’t even want to attend the rest of the conference sessions. However, she says that she does not see this type of behavior now, and to remember that agents are just people.

During a pitch, Kathleen suggests that you be be as concise as possible. Just make sure to mention your main character and his or her goal. Try to leave out as much back story as possible. Agents don’t really care where you received the inspiration for the story; this is something they can find out once they consider offering representation.

On Historical YA:

Suzie and Kathleen both agree that this is a tough field because it’s less commercial; teens care about what’s going on RIGHT NOW. However, Suzie says that successful historical YA novels feature a hot romance, strong identification with the main character, and a commercial gimmick.

On Whether or Not They Google Prospective Clients:

Both Suzie and Kathleen gave me a resounding YES!

Kathleen says she doesn’t Google possible clients as part of a background check. Instead, she just wants to see their online presence and assess their professionalism. For example, if she’s considering signing someone for a picture book and they have nude photos online, that may be a problem!

Suzie says that the author-agent relationship is more than just professional, it’s a commitment. We Google potential dates, so why can’t we Google possible clients/agents? She wants to make sure you’re not crazy, but she says a little crazy is kind of cool. 🙂

On Whether or Not Self-Publishing Affects Offering Representation:

Again, both ladies gave me a very passionate YES! They were quite vocal about this topic.

Kathleen says that editors want numbers. Selling 8,000 copies may be a lot for self-publishing, but looks bad in an editor’s eyes. They don’t want to hear: “Well, it was 8,000 because it was self-published.” All they care about are the figures. Additionally, if you choose to self-publish, YOU are paying for your books and it should be the other way around.

Suzie says that self-publishing tells an agent that you’re impatient because you didn’t wait for the submission process. She feels the two most important qualities you can have as a writer is patience and persistence (cool–that’s what my future tattoo is based on!). She adds that self-publishing may work for non-fiction, but fiction writers should put in the work and consider getting an agent. If the first manuscript doesn’t nab you one, then shelve it and try with the next. She also adds that one of her boss’s client was quite successful with fiction self-publishing, but it took a huge marketing effort. She says that this story is an exception.

As you can see, both ladies were honest and gave me tons of advice. My hand was flying while taking notes so I could make sure I could give you all a full report! If you have a polished manuscript that’s ready to go, I would definitely recommend sending a query to both. Their clients are absolutely lucky!

You Can’t Handle the Truth!

Workout Song of the Week: “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin'” by Michael Jackson

I’m interrupting my weekly Agent Wish List series to answer my six lies and a truth post last week (also known as, the post where I received my second blog award!). Never fear, however! I plan on giving you some juicy agent scoop tomorrow when I share news of my EPIC SKYPE session with Kathleen Ortiz and Suzie Townsend. These ladies are incredible, and I can’t wait to tell you all the tips they gave me (and you, my loyal followers, as I asked some of your questions).

Alas, you have to wait until tomorrow.

So, did you guess which one of my seven confessions were the truth? Here we go:

1. I once stepped on a snail, then cut my hand on porch swing while freaking out from killing said snail. FALSE. This horrendous moment did happen, but I was just a mere witness. The victim here? My fabulous cuz (sorry to share your business!).

2. I came in first place at a talent show for reenacting the whole choreography from N SYNC’s “Bye, Bye, Bye.” FALSE. I did use to enter talent shows for dancing when I was in middle school, but I never performed “Bye, Bye, Bye.” I do, however, know all of the dance steps. Hmm, maybe I’ll post a video of me humiliating myself whenever I score a book deal. 🙂

3. Freddy Krueger scares me. Like seriously. FALSE. Not one bit. Freddy’s my favorite villain–the dude has swagger. But the villain that really freaks me out–Mike Myers. I just got a chill from typing his name!

4. I once saw a cat with its head turned all the way around. TRUTH. As strange as this sounds, I really did see a cat with its head turned all the way around to the sky. It fell from a dumpster truck, and when I went to go check on it, that was the monstrosity that I saw! It was walking around and everything! Needless to say, I have an intense fear of cats…to the point that I may not enter your house if you have one as a pet.

5. If I could marry any celeb, it would have to be Keanu Reeves. FALSE. He was one of my first official crushes, but the celeb I really want to put a ring on it is Leo DiCaprio. *sigh* A girl can dream, can’t she?

6. I fell down the stairs at a Kings of Leon concert. FALSE. Thank God! I did see KOL in concert (they’re one of my favorite bands EVAH), but I didn’t humiliate myself like that. That’ll be saved for my vlog dancing to N SYNC’s “Bye, Bye, Bye.”

7. My favorite snack in the world would have to be my grandma’s banana pudding. FALSE. I’m not sure my grandma even makes banana pudding–it’s been so long since I’ve seen her cook/bake! My aunt is the banana pudding guru in my fam, but that still doesn’t top a batch of warm, chocolate chip cookies–which is my ultimate snack. I can’t wait to sink my teeth into Blue Lipstick Samurai’s recipe. 🙂

So, there you have it. You probably know way too much about me than you wanted to. Don’t worry, I’ll post helpful info tomorrow with notes from my Skype session.

In the meanwhile, hmm, I’m only 5 away from 50 followers. I think I may have mentioned that I’ll hold another contest once I reach 50. I’m just saying…

I Got More Props, Yo!

Workout Song of the Day: “Diamond Eyes” by the Deftones

Have you ever visited the Blue Lipstick Samurai blog? If not, what are you waiting for? Head over there now! And I’m not just saying that because she’s giving away cookies. And I’m also not just saying that because she’s given me an awesome award (which I’m about to talk about). Seriously, homegirl is funny. And insightful. Follow her NOW.

But enough about her–this post is all about ME! The wonderful Samurai has bestowed upon me this fab award:

That’s right, peeps. I’m a good liar, I mean, creative writer. So, in order to officially accept this award, I need to do two things. First, I must pass it along to three other “creative” bloggers, and I’ve selected Racquel Writes, Two Years and Counting, and Moomurs (like rumors, but not). You rawk ladies! Everyone, go check them out!

Second part of accepting this award is that I have to tell six lies and one truth. See if you can figure out which one is true. I’ll post the right answer tomorrow!

1. I once stepped on a snail, then cut my hand on porch swing while freaking out from killing said snail.

2. I came in first place at a talent show for reenacting the whole choreography from N SYNC’s “Bye, Bye, Bye.”

3. Freddy Krueger scares me. Like seriously.

4. I once saw a cat with its head turned all the way around.

5. If I could marry any celeb, it would have to be Keanu Reeves.

6. I fell down the stairs at a Kings of Leon concert.

7. My favorite snack in the world would have to be my grandma’s banana pudding.

So tell me–which one is true???

Ouch! It Hurts So Good!

Workout Song of the Day: “Die by the Drop” by The Dead Weather

They’ve done it again. YA Highway, that is. And by “it,” I mean ask a killer question for Road Trip Wednesday. This week they want to know: “what tattoo would you get to celebrate your book’s success?”

So, I was supposed to get a tattoo years ago. I have this cousin (not this one, but her older sister) who’s like a million times cooler than me, and it seems like she gets a tattoo every other week. Hell, even my mom has about five of them. She even got another one just last month right on her lower back. I know. I shuddered, too.

Thus, in order to not look like the big nerd that I actually am, I vowed that I would get a tattoo like all the hip chicks in my family. Then I chickened out. And I blamed it on money, when really I cry from flu shots–can you imagine what getting a tattoo would do to me?

Yes, that’s me as a blond, curly-haired boy. But I digress.

If I ever FINALLY make it in the publishing biz, I’m going to put my big girl britches on and finally get a tattoo. And this is what it would look like:

This is an image of my zodiac sign, Taurus (yes, my b-day just passed. You may start sending your belated gifts now). Everyone always jokes and says that they knew I was a Taurus because I’m so stubborn. Being that I’m a counselor, I know how to put a positive spin on things. So instead of saying “stubborn,” I’m going to say the Taurus symbol represents persistence.

And when you think about it, don’t you need persistence to make it in the pub industry? I’ve had my fair share of rejections already. Some bring me close to tears; some make me want to punch a hole in the wall. But you know what? I keep going. No matter how puffy my eyes get or how much my knuckles sting. I LOVE writing. And I’ll keep doing it regardless if I get published or not. But that tattoo sure does look pretty. Let’s hope I get good news one day! 🙂