So Many Great Twitter Contests...

There are a great deal of Twitter Pitch Contests coming up. 

 #Pit2Pub *  #PitMatch * #SonofaPitch

And so MANY others - for a full listing, I recommend you check out Carissa Taylor's Blog - she's totally on top of the contests dates and times. :) These were a few I'm interested in. 

For me, I'm so torn. 

My newest MS is done, tweaking the tiny little details that make it better, stronger. Just waiting on a couple betas who are reading it through for flow-ability. 

Having published two novels already, I am still trying to get out of the red on those. Editor costs and book designer costs are substantial, especially for a self-pubber like me, who does not have the publisher absorb those costs. 

So with my MS ready, I could turn it over to an editor, and start the process of getting it ready for a self-publication date for early summer. I could start looking for a new book cover designer, and figure out what I want for a cover. 

Or I could enter these contests and hope for the best. You never know I could get lucky - but most likely I'll meet numerous rejections. Which is okay - because they usually come with *something* - why they passed, what they didn't like. However with those rejections, it does mean setting back a release date on self-pubbing. 

If I were to be "liked" on a pitch, and if I were to send in the requested materials, depending on the agent/publisher, it could be up to twelve weeks before hearing a rejection (or a request for more) That means with a Feb 1 contest date, a rejection could arrive as late as May 1. 

Well, there goes my plan for a May 24th self-publication date. See my dilemma? So do I enter the contests, hope for the best., but still turn my MS over to an editor and start the self-pubbing journey that I will likely end up on?

What would you do?

Critique Partners and Beta Readers

Let's talk about Critique Partners (CPs) and Beta Readers (BRs).

Do you have them? If so, how many?

I have a few of each. And I adore them. Each brings something totally different to the game as they have different skill sets. My BR basically read the story and highlight anything they find inconsistent within the story or about the characters. My CPs are nit-picky to the core, highlighting every error (which at first is daunting), things a character would NEVER say/do, inconsistencies (like truly tiny little things an average reader would completely miss), and help find any grammar/spelling/punctuation errors and more. They are THOROUGH. And I love reading their comments and thoughts, as their opinions matter to me. I trust their opinions. They believe in me, my writing and my characters. They're not out to make me feel inferior, and because I've used themsince Run Away Charlotte, they could be harsh if they wanted to but they're not, as their comments come from a place of love.

I have one particular CP (and she knows who she is) who really needs to become an editor - she's fantastic. We chat more over a couple of days than I did in total with one of my editors that I gave a lot of hard earned money to. She pulls things out of me, questions everything, and makes my story stronger. Then I'll make changes and adjustments, and she wants to read those! Yeah, she rocks. Totally. And if she decides to become an editor, I'll be promoting the hell out of her. She's just that good, and I feel I pale in comparison as her CP.


So as we're working through the chapters of Duly Noted, my newest MS, we've discussed who would play our leads in a movie, because you know one day it will happen. LMAO. ;) Anyways... she emails me one night and says THIS IS NATE. (and I hope you'll totally swoon over him when you read the novel)

Having only watched Divergent less than a week before, I really didn't know who this chap was. But I do now. ;) And I totally blame my CP because now that she's suggested it, he is NATE. In every way, shape and form. My mental image of Nate has been overwritten with Theo James. 

And that's the power of a great CP. She makes you think about your MS and characters ALL. THE. TIME. In all sorts of ways you never imagined. Even when folding laundry, or cleaning the house... 

But I love her anyway! :) 

I'm curious - do you have a movie star/celebrity you'd love to play your MC? Who would it be?

I have an Addiction

Yep... drove past a store this morning on my way to run some errands. Finishing up the important errands, I treated myself. LOL.
Like a moth to a flame, I went in. And piled book after book into my basket.

But they're not all for me, so it's all good right?
Twenty-Five books purchased to be divided up as follows:

  • 9 for my kid's school library (I'm familiar with what the kids read, and like)
  • 10 for my kid's teacher personal classroom library
  • 6 for my kids
So, only 25% are for me. It's nice that with 75% of today's purchases, I'm spreading the love of reading.
And my children's TBR list is growing. :) Thank goodness, they get time every single day to unwind and read. A habit I hope they continue for a lifetime.

The Year Ahead...

I see so many people planning for the future, people reflecting on the past year and living in the moment.

So I'm going to do the same.

Things I am grateful for over the past year (in no particular order)

  • New Friends - it was a year when the door slammed shut on a 10 year friendship. However, with that bridge burnt (on her end), many new ones suddenly appeared and for that, I am very grateful. The world is a better place with friends. 
  • My Job - it's been one of those years, because of contracts and budget restrictions, where I had a job, and then I didn't, but I really did because the funds came from elsewhere. Then back to having it but losing it temporarily, to back on, to official with a pay raise - and most of that within the last 4 months! I truly hope 2016 is the year where stability reigns supreme. I love my job, have awesome supportive staff to work with and look forward to going. Every. Single. Day. :) 
  • My Family - it goes without saying I'm happy with them. My kids keep me entertained and there is NEVER a dull day with two busy boys. When it gets quiet, I worry. A lot. My hubs is wicked awesome and if it wasn't for his cooking skills (all of which I lack), we'd be relegated to cereal and sandwiches all the time. 
  • My Books - It's a place where my imagination can run wild and I have total control over what my characters say and do. Oh, who am I kidding. They control me and beg me to get their stories down. LOL. It's fun, I love doing it and maybe some day, I'll actually make money doing it. 
  • Twitter - I've loved being part of all the writing contests on twitter, all the new "friends" I've made and chat with constantly. I've learned lots, thanks to the agents/authors/publishers/editors etc who post wonderful tidbits of information. 
Things I look forward to accomplishing in 2016 (in no particular order)
  • Publishing one book (unless it's picked up by an agent/publishing group) by spring and hopefully having another ready by the end of the year. No idea at this point if they'll be connected. We'll see where my imagination goes. :) Although... I did have some thoughts on Andrew & Charlotte's story... 
  • Going to learn how to properly add GIFs to my website and blogger. Like really, how hard can it be? Apparently it's light years ahead of my skill level though so I have some work ahead of me. Haha! 
  • Read more books (I'll aim for at least 1 a month), and rate and review them - especially if they are NOT major authors. We all need the ratings/reviews to help push sales a bit. So here's your friendly reminder - if you've read either of my books, would you mind leaving a rating/review? 
  • To have people over more often. I love entertaining, and when the kids are around, they can play/visit or go to bed without a worry. 
  • To laugh more, to love harder and to take each day as it comes. 
What about you? What are you thankful for? What is a goal you hope to achieve over the year?

Happy New Year! (pic taken by my husband)