Saturday, 28 July 2012

02. 17 Seconds

That’s it! 17 seconds is all you have to convince a publisher or agent to keep reading. 17 seconds to decide whether your novel lands on an editor’s desk or the dreaded slush pile. 17 seconds to prove that your manuscript is the page turner they can’t afford to miss. And to break into the highly competitive world of publishing, we have to make every second count.

Last weekend my hometown played host to several esteemed authors and illustrators for four days of workshops, talks and exhibitions. I had the privilege of attending Jackie French’s workshop. In my opinion, the workshop was over much too quickly, but that’s because of the old adage, ‘time flies when you’re having fun.’

Ms French is a national and internationally acclaimed author of children’s, adult and young adult novels. She is also a down-to-earth, friendly, approachable woman who knows what she’s talking about when it comes to writing.

Her insight regarding the other side of writing – the business of publishing, her willingness to answer questions and her matter-of-fact approach were invaluable snippets to all who attended. The 17 second chance to impress was one of the many gems Ms French shared.

With that reality in mind, I know it will be some time before my manuscripts are ready for submission. I’m still learning my craft,  making mistakes and building my confidence. It’s a reality check that I respect and appreciate.

On a side (ego building) note, Ms French was kind enough to take a 17 second look at one of my manuscripts. Was my manuscript strong enough to get past that first 17 seconds? Well no, not really. I still have some polishing to do. But the compliment that followed her critique had my smile firmly fixed in place for the rest of the day. :)

Baby steps they may be, but at least I feel I’m headed in the right direction.

To find out more about Ms French, please click on the link provided.

Monday, 9 July 2012

01. Hello and Welcome!

New to the writing world, I am learning to navigate that amazing (and somewhat nail biting) universe of drafts, manuscripts, queries, synopses and pitches on my way to completing my dream goal - the first of what I hope are many must-read novels.

My love for the paranormal and the supernatural has been a constant part of my life. I can't recall a time where I wasn't fascinated by mythology, ghosts, monsters, witches and ‘things that go bump in the night’. Never mind that I slept with a hand over my neck, (because that somehow warded off vampires in my childish mind.) Or that I refused to walk down the hall until one of my parents turned on every light from the kitchen to my bedroom. My selective bravery didn’t stop me from sneaking outside during the full moon to see if there really were faeries (or fairies if you prefer) partying at the bottom of the garden. Somehow they managed to disappear just before I got there, but I was always close, I was sure of it.

It wasn’t until I reached my teens and discovered romance novels that I came to realise boys weren’t as gross as I believed. (Well, not all of them.) I had two collections of stories then. Stephen King, Dean Koontz and James Herbert ruled one pile, and any number of Mills and Boon authors reigned in the other, but there wasn’t anything available that combined the two. Skip a decade or so of real life and one of my dearest wishes had been granted – a diverse new genre combining the things I loved most. Now my reading list bulges with the delights of Charlaine Harris, Allison Brennan and many more.

My current scope of work is a paranormal romance trilogy aimed at the new adult market. My reading tastes range from adult to young adult fiction in the romance, paranormal, suspense, horror, fantasy and science fiction genres.

While I am in no way qualified to give writing advice, (or adept at blogging for that matter) I am happy to share with you the things I learn in the same way that other experienced authors have so generously imparted. With that information at hand, you are free to utilise or discard as you see fit.

Thank you for visiting. :)