Monday, November 22, 2010

James Frey Wants to do WHAT?

Okay! So, I know I'm supposed to be on hiatus, BUT I saw this post on Robert Paul Weston's blog and just had to jump in here.

The gist is that James Frey wants Creative Writing students to send him one-line pitches and full manuscripts for high-concept paranormal books, which he will buy exclusive rights to for the low-low-price of...


Yeah, I know. It gets better!

Then he'll rewrite it, and market it under a pseudonym, and keep 60% while giving you 40%.


Right. Does this say "turd" to anyone else, or is it just me?

Here's my take. If James Frey wants my ideas so he can write his own stories, fine. He can have them for $250 each, because the ideas are the easy part. But for me to do all the work, and then let him rewrite it and sell it under a pseudonym, and not get any credit whatsoever for my work? Thanks, but - no, actually, not even thanks. Just "no".

Look. This type of assembly-line-style writing is not for me. But even if it is what you want to do, don't do it this way. Go to a publishing house that does this type of thing and at least pays you decent money and puts your name on the cover of your work. Go get hired by James Patterson, who will at least list you as co-author on the cover.

But please, for the love of print, don't sell your work for peanuts to some guy with an inflated ego and a big name so he can rewrite it and pretend it's his. Surely the publishing industry isn't that far gone.

(More on this over at KT Literary's blog, in New York Magazine, and in The Globe and Mail. Enjoy. Or, throw things at your computer. Whatever takes your fancy.)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


I am swamped.

Not only am I way behind on my NaNo goals, but I have critiques to do and an epic outline to complete. Having company over will have this sort of result, methinks.

So, I am going to have to take a two-week-ish blogging hiatus. I'll miss you guys, but I have to take my own advice here and buckle down and prioritize. And I hope you'll understand and come back in December, when I'll be back to my daily blogging schedule.

In the meantime, have a great November, and I'll see you on December 1st!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Friday Favorites: Main Characters

There are so many factors that go into loving a book: the plot, the word choices, the world it is set in. But a huge, huge part of what makes me keep reading is the main character. If your main character annoys me, your book is sunk. GONE WITH THE WIND is a fine example of this - I wanted to slap Scarlett O'Hara, but since I couldn't do this, I just put the book down.

So, let's talk about some of our favorite main characters in books! Some of mine are:

Olivia the pig. I like her spunk, I like her can-do attitude, and I like her energy. And she is JUST like my kid, which helps, too. *grin*

Edward Cullen from TWILIGHT. I can hear you gasping from my chair. I like him, okay? Yes, he was a little controlling, but he had the benefit of a hundred years of life experience that Bella didn't have. I kind of get where he was coming from, and I think he was actually a very very complicated character. I like that what he loved most about Bella - her humanity - was something that he had to lose if he wanted to be with her forever. Talk about high-conflict!

Ramona Quimby, because she got away with doing and saying all the things that I wished I could do and say as a child, but never had the nerve to do or say.

Jamie Fraser from the OUTLANDER series, because he is complicated and at the same time easily understandable. He is loyal and fierce and headstrong but at the same time reasonable. Just read the books.

And I have exceeded my usual three-item limit, so even though there are more, I'll hand the floor over to you.

Who are your favorite Main Characters in books?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wisdom on Wednesdays: Branching Out

I watched a fabulous film last night that gave me the idea for this post.

I know what you're thinking. We're deep into NaNo and PiBo. I have a bunch of projects on the go, on top of those commitments. And I spent two hours watching a movie?

DUMB, I hear you say! But I say, smart. Because this movie was so clever, and the dialogue was so perfect, that it has informed my writing.

So, that's my wisdom. Branch out into something other than writing for a while: watch a (really good and well-written) movie, try a new recipe, surf YouTube and Jango to find songs by artists you've never heard of. Do something new; make your brain think in a new direction. I bet it will make you a better writer.

And if you write for kids, in any age group, get your hands on "Mary and Max" and watch it. Preferably not with your kids in the room, but definitely with your writing in mind.

What new thing have you tried lately?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Sh*t My Husband Says

So, I was explaining the evils of dialogue tags and adverbs to my husband Saturday evening, and especially the evils of adverbial dialogue tags, and he says:

"They sound kind of like skin tags."

Conversations like that are why I married the man.

How was your weekend?

Friday, November 5, 2010

Friday Favorites: Writing Snacks


Yeah. The drive to create has taken over. And who can create without brain food?

So I thought I'd conduct an informal survey amongst my writerly bloggy-friends, and find out what everyone keeps their mouths happy with while their fingers are busy typing away. I'm trying to be healthy while my butt is glued to my desk chair, so I'm switching it up by munching tortilla chips with salsa (YUM!) or guacamole (double YUM!), or snacking on dried fruit and nuts (also YUM!), or chewing gum (makes my jaw hurt after a couple of pages).

(Yes, I just marked time by the number of pages typed.  Oy.)

How about you?  What is your writing snack of choice?

Thursday, November 4, 2010


I hate to tease.

Really, I do.

I should just get to posting the winners of my giveaways now, and not worry about all the buildup, shouldn't I?

It would be the nice thing to do.

*wicked grin*

Okay, okay, I'll do it!

Here we go...

(ha, ha...)

Okay, for real this time!


The winner of a signed copy of RAISED BY WOLVES by Jennifer Lynn Barnes is...

RaShelle Workman!
(YAY!  Applauds, sets off virtual fireworks.)

The winner of a signed copy of WICKED LOVELY by Melissa Marr is...

(YAY!  Applauds, sets off virtual fireworks.)

And - wow, was there a lot of competition for this one, guys, and I wish I could give a copy to everyone who entered - the winner of a signed copy of DUST CITY by Robert Paul Weston is...

Paul Greci!
(YAY!  Applauds, sets off virtual fireworks.)

So check your emails, guys!  And if you don't have an email address linked to your profile, then email me - my addy is up there in the right-hand corner, where it says "Get In Touch".

And thanks for entering!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wisdom on Wednesdays: Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are...

Okay, lets be honest: standing around reading spines in the picture book section with nary a child in sight, reading pink paperbacks with titles like "My Boyfriend, My Cupcake, and Me," and talking in public about the most exciting plot points in your nephew's 4th grade reading assignment are, when you think about it, a little embarrassing.  Or even a lot embarrassing.  But we all do it.  Or at least, we should be.

In public.

I know.

When someone asks you what you do, it's tempting to tell them about your "day job" if you have one, or to tell them that you're a SAHM if you don't.  When you get those weird looks on the subway from grown-ups who catch you reading that book with the bright pink cover, it's tempting to slide it into a brown paper bag.


Just tell them you write for kids.  They might want to talk to you about what their kids are reading; they might want to talk to you about what they wish they could find for their kids to read; they might have a cousin or brother or sister who writes, who will be a valuable connection for you to have; they might want to write a book themselves.

So, come out, all you closeted writers of Kidlit.  The world is a much friendlier place than you think it is.

ALSO: Winners of DUST CITY, WICKED LOVELY, and RAISED BY WOLVES to be announced tomorrow.  I have company over; I'm NaNo-ing; I'm taking a writing class; I'm kinda busy.