Tuesday, July 31, 2012


I know I said I wouldn't be posting for a couple of weeks but I can't hold in my good news any longer. I've signed with literary agent Jennifer Skutelsky of Veritas Literary. Yay! I am so excited.

I made a new year's resolution in January of 2010 to write a novel. I finished it 6 months later. It was just for fun, something I could share with family and friends. But once finished, I was hooked, and knew I could never stop writing. I started another book and began researching how to get published.

In June 2011, I attended my first writers conference and learned I had no idea what I was doing. I joined a critique group, read and studied writing craft books, stalked the blogosphere for everything writing related, attended more conferences, and most importantly--kept on writing.

I finished that second book, then wrote my third as part of NaNoWriMo 2011. I revised and queried my first book at the start of this year with a modest amount of requests but no offers.

I had planned to revise my other two novels at that point, but for a few months another story had been rattling in my head and I couldn't keep it in any longer. So I started drafting REMAKE in March and finished it in less than four weeks. It involved many late nights until three in the morning because I couldn't sleep. I cried and laughed with my characters like never before. This book was the one, I just knew it.

I started querying REMAKE in May. At the end of May, Literary Rambles did a spotlight on Veritas Literary, and based on the information about the agency and what they were looking for, I decided to query them. A month later, Jennifer Skutelsky asked to see my full manuscript. A month after that, she emailed me with an offer of representation!

I was able to talk to Jennifer and Katherine Boyle (founder of the agency) during a conference call. They were so enthusiastic about REMAKE, I felt they loved it as much as I did. I was thrilled about their plans for revisions and submission, but more than anything, it just felt so right. So, after a week of talking with other agents who had my manuscript and another official offer, I decided to sign with Veritas with absolutely no reservations. Yipee!

A big thanks to my husband, family, CP's, friends, Veritas Literary, and all of you blog readers for being so supportive. You rock!

Also, I want to wish my husband, child #2, and Harry Potter a very happy birthday today!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Title Slump

I don't get those people who choose a name for their baby after he is born. Like they wait to see who he really is, read some semblance of personality in him, or expect a divine impression about the matter. I'm not against it, I just don't get it. Maybe it's the OCD in me, but I have four kids and we had all of their names picked out long before they were born. We didn't know what the sex of the first would be, but we at least had a boy and girl name at the ready.

I'm the same way with my books. I had a title ready for each early on in my drafting. This meant I could call it something besides That YA Kinda Fantasy Book But Historical And Romance Too as I was writing it or explaining it to someone. I know titles are liable to change once sold for marketing reasons, and I'm not against that. I just don't know how it's possible to not have a name for my baby as she's growing up on that computer. Which is why I'm completely stumped in my current WIP because it doesn't have a title and it's driving me crazy.  It's not vital to the process of writing the story, so why does it disturb me so much?

Solution? Give that baby a name. And maybe you can help. Here are the titles of my books thus far and how/why I chose them.

A SINGLE FEATHER: I've got a chief who wears a feather cape and can transform into a rare bird, and there's also a sketchy bird catcher in the book--lots of feather symbolism in the novel.

UNFOLD ME: This one's about a girl with a tragic past that unfolds as the story goes. So, obviously.

KOA'S PASSAGE: Koa goes on a moon-goddess finding mission, so I basically thought of words for journey, quest, adventure, etc. I thought passage sounded good with his name.

REMAKE: Although I've heard the one word title thing is sooo last year, I still think this one works for a girl who plans to be Remade into what ever she chooses, including a new gender.

WHO KNEW THE BRITS COULD KISS: Okay, not really. But this is the one I'm struggling with. I. Have. Nothing. Thanks to Robin for her witty suggestion, though. :) It's a love story between a British sailor and daughter of a chief in Hawaii in the 1770's (and is part autobiographical...it's about my 4th great grandparents). There's also war and navigation themes in the story.

Tell me, how do you title your books? Before, during, or after it's written? Do you choose lines from your book? Do you like a title specific to your story or prefer something catchy/beautiful whether it's directly related to your novel or not?

I'd also love to know the titles of your books--maybe I'll be inspired. And bonus points if you can title my book for me too. :)

**I'll be on a two-week blogging break...I'm off to the beach in sunny Florida. Be jealous, I'll allow it. But I'll be back tanned, refreshed, and ready for more blogging brilliance. I will have internet access while I'm gone so I'll be tuning in to everyone else's brilliance despite my absence.**

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Hookers and Hangers Blogfest Day 2

Thanks for all the comments on my hookers! Today I get to share a few "hangers" with you...the last lines of a chapter that make it impossible for a reader to put down your book. 

Here are a few last lines from Remake. I'm afraid they aren't much better than the hookers of a couple days ago, even though you guys were too kind and said a lot of nice things anyway. Thanks for stopping by and don't forget to see who else is participating here.

1. I know I'll never forget the spine-chilling sound of that woman's scream.

2. "Those aren't clouds," he says, standing up to adjust the sails of the canoe. "It's smoke."

3. I drop the fabric from my ear, screaming--and the blunt end of Bron's gun flies to my face.

Today I want to know if you have ever thrown a book across the room after reading The End. For me, I can think of two: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare (which is in no way a reflection of the awesomeness of that series, just my frustrations with the ending of that first book) and The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray (which not only is over 800 pages long but the last book of a series and is definitely an indication of my frustrations with a sucktastic ending to a very long time investment).

Monday, July 16, 2012

Hookers and Hangers Blogfest Day 1

Today I'm participating in Falling For Fiction's Hookers and Hangers Blogfest. I get to share a few "hookers" with you...the first lines of a chapter that make it impossible for a reader to put down your book. 

Prepping this post has made me realized I suck at this. Really bad. But I'll share a few (from Remake) anyway and you can laugh at me in secret and feel better about yourself at the same time. Le sigh.

1. Whenever my name comes out of Kai's mouth, it sounds like he's trying to spit out poison.

2. The next day, I begin to bleed in my underwear.

3. When I wake, I hear the distinct breathing pattern of someone not me.

I know, I know. I don't know what I was thinking signing up for this blogfest, but I can't wait to read everyone else's opening lines. You can too by clicking here.

So tell me, what is the best first line of a book you've ever read? My current favorite is from The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman: There was a hand in the darkness, and it held a knife.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Magic 8 Ball Meme

I've been tagged by Jaybird to participate in the Magic 8 Ball Meme.

In short, here are the rules:

1. Post the button and link to http://blog.jayceedelorenzo.com (following would be nice, but not required).

2.  Share an excerpt from your current WIP, perhaps something you're struggling with, are stuck on, or just can't "get right."
3.  Ask a question about your excerpt.  It can be something easy such as "What do you think?" or something more in-depth, such as "Can you suggest a better way to word such-and-such," or "How can I make the emotions in this scene more realistic?"
4.  Tag 8 people. 

I've been thinking about revising my MG fantasy adventure, KOA'S PASSAGE (it's my 2011 Nano). We all know how important the start of a manuscript is. We have to hook the reader (and agent!) and establish setting, conflict, a character to care about, and voice in such a short amount of time. So I've decided to post my first 500 words and ask you, my amazing blog readers, what do you think? I'm open to any suggestions on how I can shiny up this start as I embark on  getting this one ready to query.

Here's a quick blurb to give you an idea of what it's about: 
Death Marchers have taken his grandfather, and it’s all Koa’s fault. He must find Hina, goddess of the moon, and make her tell him the Marchers' deadly secret, because without it, his grandfather will be gone—this time, forever.

Here it is, the first 500 words of KOA'S PASSAGE:

I leaned over the edge of the canoe, dipping my hand in the sea, tempting the balance of life and death. A white trail of water followed my fingers as we glided along the surface of the Pacific. Mists of vapor rose to my face. I closed my eyes and stuck out my tongue, tasting the warm and salty sea air. It was as though I was ruler of the sea, master of all that stirred beneath. Follow my lead, my dragging hand demanded. Follow my path and I will lead you to victory!

“Make haste, young Koa,” Pueo’s grating bird voice interrupted my stolen moment. “Take caution on the sea. The rise and set of sun bring sharks aloft.”

Sharks fed closer to the surface of the ocean at sunrise and sunset. Hmmm. Perhaps that was why we were out here, on the ocean, at sunset—shark hunting. Sometimes I wasn’t sure if Pueo the owl thought I was an idiot that he had to explain such childish things to me over and over, or if he was an idiot…the most forgetful family protector on the island. He had been around since my great-great-grandfather’s time.

I looked to Grandfather Huali at the front of the canoe. He relayed baiting instructions to Akamu and Kaleo, my older cousins. Kaleo flung a dead fish at Akamu when Grandfather’s back was turned. It missed and landed on Grandfather’s head. A trail of intestines lined his face as the bait slid down his cheek and into the floor of the canoe.

Grandfather had told me I should listen to Pueo more often, that his old age meant he had great wisdom. Grandfather thought Akamu and Kaleo were ready to bait the shark themselves on this hunt. My cousins might be bigger idiots than the owl was, which makes my age old grandfather not so wise. Maybe his wisdom left along with his dark hair, leaving behind an empty white tangle of old.

What did age have to do with wisdom anyway?

Pueo ruffled his gray feathers and flew from the aft of the vessel to the middle of the canoe where I knelt. “If death you seek then death you’ll surely find. Perhaps a hand, perhaps a boy to feast upon—the lure of flesh tempts kings of sharks.”

So not only will a shark eat me tonight, but maybe the king of sharks too? I rolled my eyes but pulled my hand in anyway, deliberately splashing water on Pueo as I did.

Pueo grunted disapproval and returned to his original perch at the back of the boat.

If he didn’t like to get wet, then a double-hulled canoe in the middle of the ocean was exactly where he should be. I rolled my eyes again then looked to the island in the distance. We floated just past the edge of the reef, and I could see the flame from our fire pit on the sand. I sighed. We were too close to shore and not heading anywhere really fast. It was going to be a long night. 

Thanks ahead for your input. I'm gonna cheat and say whoever leaves a comment on my post is tagged. Let me know if you decide to play so I can read your Magic 8 Ball post too!

Monday, July 9, 2012

My First Interview

I've been sick sick sick all weekend. Fever, chills, the whole works. BUT, to counteract all that misery, I am happy to share one of the coolest things that has ever happened to me. I've been interviewed by Emily R. King as part of her Blogging Mentor Mondays. So head on over there for a dose of a bit more stable and sober me.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


So I'm in that weird limbo stage again. I'm querying another book, pretty much just strumming my fingers and thinking...what now? Well, write another book of course.

Here's the thing: the last book I wrote completely encompassed me. Whenever I write a novel, I eat, breathe, and sleep with that book. It is all I can think about. But this last book brought it to a whole new level. I spent nights up until four in the morning, crying over my characters. Going without food, showers, a reasonable social life, just because I HAD to get that story on the page.

And when it was over, I wondered...how will I ever be able to write something else? Everything will pale in comparison with the passion I had for that book.

So I moped and read and critiqued and waddled. And sure, being able to shower on a regular basis benefited more than just me, but I missed the love of writing that one book.

Until a couple of weeks ago at WIFYR, someone in my class (*waves to Andrew*) said this summer he was going to start a slew of different projects with the sole intention of throwing them away. Wha??? You can do that? Just write something, like, for fun? And not plan on publishing it? Really? And I thought, THIS is what I need right now.

So I said screw outlining (a very big deal for anal me), I'm just gonna start writing something for fun, and who cares if anything comes of it. And that's what I did. I started writing something, and though I have no idea how it will end (oh, the humanity!), I am having a blast falling in love with my characters and telling their story as they tell it to me, literally in time with my hands on that keyboard. And guess what? It is soooo fun. Isn't that why I started writing in the first place? Because it's fun.

Well...I'm 6K into this new WIP (my 5th book!) and I'm loving it so much. Who knew?

More fun: this morning I found an image online of my love interest. I mean my MC's love interest, of course that's what I meant. Really.

*picture removed*

What do you think? Can you picture Eddie Redmayne rockin' a 1770's blue frocked British navy sailor uniform under the sail of James Cook exploring the Pacific?