Monday, December 31, 2012

Agents for EVERYONE! And a New Year...

What a year 2012 has been! Finished my MS, queried it, met my critique partners for the first time(!!) and three of us went to an agent conference to pitch our books (eeek!), and ALL THREE of us signed with agents this fall!!

I signed with Marietta Zacker of the Nancy Gallt Literary Agency, Kristi signed with Bree Ogden of D4EO Literary, and KM signed with Emily Keyes of the L. Perkins Literary Agency! And another of my crit partners, Amy L. Sonnichsen, signed with Kate Testerman of KT Literary! I am so so so thankful for these ladies. We are proof that a solid group of critique partners really does make you a stronger writer. We want each other to be the best that we can be, and I hope that your crit group feels the same!

Of course, I'm hoping 2013 will be the year of book deals for everyone haha! Unfortunately, there's not much I can do about that besides live in a constant state of mild panic at the thought that real editors have my MS. A nice problem to have though, I'm aware. I'm very thankful my agent took a chance on me, and I look forward to see what this new year has in store. And if you're querying or soon to be, I hope 2013 will be YOUR YEAR! (I'm looking at you Sarah, Abby and Colene ;)


Friday, December 28, 2012


I hope everyone has had a lovely holiday season!! 

Thank you for helping me celebrate Kristi's amazing agent news! 

Here are our Spread the Good Cheer Giveaway winners!!!

Jessica Capelle ~ Bree Ogden Query Critique and Peek at the first 5 pages

Shila. A ~ $25 Amazon Giftcard

Julie Dao ~ Jennifer Echols Prize Pack
(Forget You, Going Too Far, Love Story, and ARC of Such a Rush)

Shelly Hammond ~ Signed copy of Blessed by Cynthia Leitich Smith

Sarah Ahiers ~ ARC of Struck by Jennifer Bosworth


Kristi and I will be emailing each of the winners this week and will get your goodies out as soon as we can!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Spread the Good Cheer Giveaway!

We're celebrating the AMAZING AGENT NEWS of my good friend and critique partner,

Kristi Chestnutt!

If you missed the news, you can read about it HERE or HERE.

We have some SWEET stuff up for grabs! There will be FIVE winners!!


query and first five pages critique from Kristi's agent, 
Bree Ogden of D4EO Literary!!


Also up for grabs:

$25 Amazon Gift Card
SIGNED copy of Blessed by Cynthia Leitich Smith
ARC of Struck by Jennifer Bosworth
Jennifer Echols pack: Forget You, Going Too Far, Love Story, and an ARC of Such a Rush

*US only, sorry
*Contest runs December 12-24th at midnight when Santa draws YOUR name!
*Winners will be notified sometime the next week and will be given time to get back to us--we understand it's a busy season!

Fill out the form below to enter! Good luck to all and to all GOOD CHEER!


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Losing Your Eye

Recently I've gone back to some of the portraits I took in 2010 when I first started my little photography biz, and I noticed a few things. It was clear I knew nothing about Photoshop back then, because my editing skills were terrible. But I was actually a better photographer than I am now. The angles I chose to capture my subjects were creative. It was more interesting than the average portrait. I even remember that a client had chosen me because of that.

But somewhere along the line, as I was studying other photographers' work and learning the more technical aspects of this craft that I loved, I lost it. All of it. The style that made me stand out, the interesting angles, the creativity--my eye. I fell out of love with it. At some point, it became a job. Just a job. Always a potential problem when you transform a hobby into a business....

In our writing, of course we have to get a handle on the technical stuff. The structure, the grammar, motivations, story arcs, etc. But we have to hold on to what we love about writing. Our creativity and what makes our storytelling unique shouldn't be sacrificed during our quest to become stronger writers, especially if we want to make it a career. How tragic for writing to turn into "just a job."

I learned more about photography so I could grow as a photographer, but I wasn't careful enough about holding on to the part of ME that made it... me. This next year, I'm going to work on getting back to the heart of my photography. Falling in love with it again. And I'm going to stay ahead of the game and make sure my writing doesn't suffer the same breakup.

Hold on to your eye!