Saturday, August 22, 2009

Book promo tips from a pro

I found a great link on agent Nathan Bransford's "This Week in Publishing" post - an interview with Molly O'Neill on the Market My Words blog. Molly is currently an assistant editor at Katherine Tegen books (HarperCollins), but has extensive marketing background, and her interview has lots of great advice for writers who want to build an online presence.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Service with a Smile...and a Link

Talk about service! I just got an e-mail from Chuck Sambuchino who's the brains behind the Guide to Literary Agents website. He saw my post from earlier today and was kind enough to send me a direct link:

Please check out his blog ( You don't get service like this everywhere.

Not-so-Secret Agents

I just got back from a cruise last Saturday, and am now in the thick of the back-to-school craziness, which is making it even more difficult to catch up with my blogging! Before I left, though, I got word that my experience getting an agent would be posted on the Guide to Literary Agents blog. Check it out! (although you'll have to scroll down to find me...),category,How%20I%20Got%20My%20Agent%20Columns.aspx

In addition to personal experience blogs, this site offers lots of good information and links to other resources. You can subscribe to an e-newsletter as well - that's how I found out they were accepting columns for this blog.

Happy reading!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Award Winners

I was thrilled to get a wonderful review this week for "Summer Storms," my story in the YA anthology Summer Lovin'. Then when I found out it was up for Book of the Week at LASR, I emailed everyone I know to vote for it on 8/15 & 8/16 at:

Exciting, right?? But when I looked more closely, I discovered that not only was my book up for the award, but it looks as if my fellow Susquehanna Writer Cate Masters also has a book up for the same honor. And would you believe two other friends are in the running? I guess I hang around with stellar authors. So now what do I do? Do I vote for my book & support my fellow authors? Or should I show my support for my good friend Cate? Or for one of my other friends? What would you do if it were you?

Bet you already know the answer. Cate gets my vote.

Oh, and about that review for "Summer Storms," here are a few quotes. You can check out the rest at:

Review of Summer Storms by Laurie J. Edwards

I’ve never read anything by Ms. Edwards, but I have to say after reading this story that I plan to read some more from this talented author. Summer Storms was my favorite of the anthology.

A heart touching story...There is some great writing going on in this story. I could feel the urgency and emotions of these characters caught in a possibly deadly situation. Outstanding.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Giving Them Wings

This Sunday, I will deliver my third and youngest son to his first year of college. He's the mature independent sort and handles stress with an ease I envy. I'll know he'll be fine, but it's still difficult to send another child out on his own. I've done what I can for him. Hopefully he'll remember his manners, his responsibilities and shine all on his own.

I can't help but compare this to the day I have planned for next week. My publisher, Medallion Press, sent me an entire stack of cover flats. One day next week, I'm going on the road to all my local bookstores. I'm going to introduce myself and hand them a cover flat with all the information on for retailers to order my January release, The Keepers of Sulbreth. I'm also going to send cover flats to some independent book stores I know of that are out of driving range.

I remember being nervous sending out that first manuscript. It was very much like watching my oldest son walk in the school door on his first day of kindergarten. There was so much insecurity. Was my son ready? Was my book ready? Turns out my son was but the book needed a lot more work. LOL

Now I'm trying for the next step. Now I have to sell myself in person to those booksellers and convince them to take a chance with their precious shelf space. Hopefully a few will even take a chance on a book signing in January. I'm more nervous about this then sending my eighteen year old to a college many hours from home. I'm sure he's ready. Now I need a little of that confidence myself.

Are there other suggestions out there of places to drop my cover flats? Have any of you talked to bookstores in preparation of your book's release? Does a personal visit convince them to order your book? How much say do local managers have in what fiction books end up in their store? I guess I'll find out.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

What sort of music inspires you?

by Cate Masters
Leave me a comment on my blog this weekend, and you could win a copy of my latest release, Picture This! Available now from Eternal Press and soon in print from Amazon and Barnes and Noble!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Ancora Imparo

by Cate Masters
Translated from Italian, Ancora Imparo means I am still learning. Michelangelo was said to have spoken these words at age 87. An indication, perhaps, that humility is as much a part of the creative process as drive and an openness to new things.
Writing is perhaps more of a challenge than painting in that authors must construct words in a way that will evoke a reaction in a reader. Not merely detailed descriptions to build a vivid story world, but we must make readers invest themselves in the story enough that they care about the outcome, share the emotions of the characters and keep reading.
No small task. And I find each new story presents a new challenge. As a writer, I want to reach beyond what I’ve already done, always striving for that next level. Never do I want to feel completely satisfied with my work.
So I have a wish list. A writer’s bucket list, if you will. At some point, I want to further my writing education with these workshops.

Robert McKee’s Story Seminar. Not just for screenwriters, McKee’s seminar is geared toward every aspect of storytelling. Novelists find themselves sitting next to playwrights, filmmakers, producers, journalists and actors, sometimes very famous ones who recognize the importance of continuing to learn their craft. Since I can’t get there in person, for now I settle for YouTube snippets like the one below.

Zoetrope’s Short Story Workshop in Belize. Held at Francis Ford Coppola’s Blancaneaux Lodge, the editors of Zoetrope All-Story will lead the 2010 workshop, limited to 25 participants to allow for greater individual attention.

Hawaii Writers Conference. Honestly, this strikes me as less of an intensive writing workshop than a get-together with other writers, complete with concert this year by Norah Jones. But hey, it’s Hawaii, and I’ve always wanted to go. Research I conducted for Going with Gravity, my current release with The Wild Rose Press, revealed the complexities of the Hawaiian language. The meaning of the word Hawaii itself is such a gorgeous example – ‘Ha’ means ‘the breath of life’ and ‘wai’ means ‘fresh or living waters’ plus ‘i’ refers to ‘the divine in each of us.’ No wonder it’s such a beautiful inspiration! And inspiration is another essential component to writing. And I still have much to learn.

Cate Masters’ novels, novellas, short stories and flash fiction appear at epublishers The Wild Rose Press, Eternal Press, Wild Child Publishing/ Freya’s Bower and Shadowfire Press. Her flash and short stories appear at such web zines as Cezanne’s Carrot, The Battered Suitcase, A Long Story Short, Dark Sky Magazine, and The Harrow. Visit her online at, or follow her on Facebook or on Twitter.