Monday, September 8, 2014

Remembering Tina Downey





Wednesday, September 3, 2014

IWSG: Cha-cha-cha-CHANGES...
Many people do it... they make change.
No, not breaking a $1 for some quarters... I mean life changes, dang it!!
Sorry. Blood pressure. Remember your blood pressure. (smoothes back hair)
Can you turn it to the 'blow my mind' setting?? 
As I was saying, some fab changes occurred in my world and I'm so thankful for them. Some very personal, some long overdue, and some right here on this blog. See? I'm now a Russian mafia girl in a shabby chic barn. But that's just my disguise in Hollywood, butch.
Some of the changes even caused stress triggers to go away.
Me?? Stress?? Blood pressure!! (sigh)
Just calling in my hourly calm down meds.
My most recent/favorite change happened between my writing bestie, Elizabeth Seckman, and I as we went over a few things for our collaboration. And BAM! it hit. A fresh spin on the plot. It was like Valley Girl OMG!! Best change LIKE EVA! And a change that makes me even more excited about our book.
How is this possible??
Here are 5 pics of CHA-CHA-CHA-CHANGES.
 Which do you think applies most to you lately, and why???
I want DETAILS PEOPLE!! (including your bank account/routing numbers.....)

Monday, August 18, 2014

Queries: When Literary Agent Sarah Davies Called Me...

When I got the email announcing I'd won a 15 minute phone call query critique with literary agent Sarah Davies...I pissed myself. Sarah Davies is literally the only agent I've had my eye on. After changing my outfit, I got prepared. Sarah and I discussed dates, times, and kissing British Guards over several emails. I nervously awaited what she thought of my query for Living RunAway.
(literally redid query before hitting *send*)

 (heart twerk)
"Hello? This is Tammy."
 British accent: "Tammy? This is Sarah Davies!"
"Sarah? THE Sarah??? OH MY GOOOOSH!"
(kidding!! That was just my inner thoughts)
The rest will remain forever embedded. A 15 min win became a 45 min convo, and I would have kept going if she wasn't so busy. (sigh) Luckily, she liked my query as we went line by line discussing where to tighten and emphasize. (her eyes are geniuses!) She hoped to hear from me again, to which I replied "ohhhh, you will!" 

1. FIND AGENTS - gather 10-15 agents. Get to know them, what they represent, what you have to offer them, and especially what they're guidelines are. (always follow the guidelines!!!) If you cut and paste agent names, at least do the correct one! (Sarah's #1 pet peeve) Send it how they want it sent and at the appropriate email.

2. QUERY INTRO - make it an easy, quick read. Include if it's a story, novella, or novel after the genre and title. Do add in a condensed pitch and if able - a comparison. (comparisons should not be best sellers just like average people should not sing Celine or Whitney! Comparisons ex: Gone Girl meets 13 Reasons Why...) Two things to avoid: stalker talk and bragging.

3. QUERY SYNOPSIS MEAT - 2-3 paragraphs in length. Make it have karate moves with quick sentences, punchy, and tightened. (she took three of my sentences and converted it to one with listing events by commas instead - genius!!)

4. QUERY ENDING - talk about you!! That one surprised me, but she wanted to know more personal things! I work full time (nope!). Okay... I'm a site leader working full time (nope!) Oh! I work full time as a site leader with mentally disabled adults providing state mandated care. I'm also a full time mom of 4, and so my writing hits the keyboards mainly at night. (yes!) See? Now she can see if I'm "interesting" to her. (but don't TMI) Next, list anything published and if you're an administrator/co-administrator to a writer's blog group, FB group, etc. Or belong to a writer's group. (If not, don't sweat it. Not everyone is!)

5. BONUS SUGGESTIONS - if you're writing a series, each book has to be able to stand alone. Don't write book 2 if book 1 hasn't been picked up. (you may waste your time) Take your time!! Don't rush and get hurt quick because you turned in your test too early and didn't check your answers. Be certain it's everything you hope represents you! Get on social media! Sarah said I should join Twitter to see what publishing houses or agents are looking for at certain periods. (I signed up that day).

6. INTERESTING OPINION - don't rely on writing to pay the way. Sarah said she's pleased to see when someone has a job. I see what she means. And it's a polite way of saying take care of yourself, what ever that looks like, and don't solely rely on a dream to be published. Be realistic. I know for me, I have to work. It's not an option. I would never quit my job on a whim that I think I'm sitting on a gold mine story. I have a family to care for and until that gold mine story hits movie status (sigh)...I'm gonna keep working. I know everyone will differ on opinions about this, but again, it's what taking care of yourself looks like for you. (thinking starving artist but for the writer. don't starve!!)

I'd like to thank Natalie Aguirre for hosting Jessie Humphries and Sarah Davies on her blog, which in turn allowed me to enter for this contest. Hugs to you ladies!! And especially to Sarah. May our paths cross again!
So...did you learn anything new????

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

IWSG: And I Shall Give You All THE BIRDIE

That's right! I'm giving you the birdie! Sticking it to everyone here.
And what that means now is...I'M ON TWITTER, GANGSTA!!
I'd REALLY like to say who the person was that pushed me over the cliff when I was indecisive on jumping in or not. But that will be my next post.
My hint: it was an amazing agent I talked to via phone. (People still use those things??)
And I can't wait to share the fab info I received about queries!
In the meantime, come and find me by clicking on my link!
Now here are my twitter questions & I'd LOVE any & all feedback:

1) What literary sites do you recommend I follow?
2) What are your top publishing houses/agents that YOU follow?
3) I'm definitely not a shy girl, and will say hi to you...are you afraid?
4) Have you said hi to me on twitter yet? I eagerly await you!!
5) I couldn't do 4 questions, maybe I'm a tad OCD, but you can always tell me twitter tips!

Monday, July 14, 2014

PIMPBOOKMAMA: Cortney vs Crystal - Mud Bath Stand-Off!

PIMPBOOKMAMA here saying...
 when you have too much mud in your backyard from keeping the kiddos find two girls and raise the stakes.
Cortney Pearson and Crystal Collier were definitely up for the mudtastic proposition: reveal their covers, answer questions, & then have a community mud bath with me!
Here's the kicker - they get the same questions.
Let's see how diverse this mud bath is gonna be.
Stand-off time!
1. If you could add any flavor to popcorn, what would it be if it couldn't be...dare I say cheese?
Cortney: Red Cream Soda with one of those energy boost things from Jamba Juice. TOTALLY.
Crystal: I'm a "traditional" popcorn type girl, but I love cotton candy & it's got pretty similar heft to popcorn. Hm. What if we had cotton candy flavored popcorn, with the melting/crackling experience & all. It would be like the 4th of July in your mouth.

2.Make up a word & give me it's meaning.
Cortney: Periphorsnipnikitous. n: The ability to perish and cut paper snowflakes with scissors at the same time. "He astounds me - he was so periphorsnipnikitous right to the end.
Crystal: Bogaheesh (boeg-a-heesh): total Hogswallop, making-it-up-as-you-go kind of non-sensory.

3. At a nudist beach, first think out of your mouth.
Cortney: I probably wouldn't say anything because I'd be like - holy spank me, they're all NAKED. Avert thine eyes! Then I'd be like, *peeks* wow, that's a lot of back hair.
Crystal: ... ... ... Are we lost?

4. Walk in your kitchen & open the drawer to your left. What's in it?
Cortney: Scentsy flavas! *takes a whiff* Along with the sample ones leftover from when I tried and failed to sell it, which I chisel out of the little tub with a knife. No sense in wasting some perfectly good smelly wax.
Crystal: Well, technically it's not my drawer...since we're renting a vacation rental.

5. If you could go drag-queen for one day, what would you look like?
Cortney: Barbara Streisand rockin' sparkly silver knee-high boots with pink fur on the top, too much red lipstick, and dreadlocks dangling to my waist. And a coconut bra & hula skirt, as tribute to Timone from the Lion King (yes, I'm dorky enough to instantly think of his luau dance to lure the hyenas away. *sings "Are ya achin'? For some bacon?*)
Crystal: (see picture)

DOUBLE POINT CHALLENGE...make a story with me!

Cortney: "Dang it, Charlie! I told you not to eat glue!" Lucy smoothed back her blonde locks from her forehead, then shook her finger in his face, again. "Now, eat rubber cement instead. Okay?" It was the last time Lucy wanted to see him squirting the white Elmer's tube into his mouth. If she did, she solemnly swore she would perform the Heimlich maneuver whether he needed it or not. "Oh come on, Amy," Charlie cooed. Lucy's face turned brick red. "Amy? Who's Amy?" Lucy's hair flew over her forehead. Charlie coughed. "No, I said Lucy. I oh screw it. Amy lets me eat glue anytime I want!" Without warning, Charlie felt a rush of relief at having his secret out at last. Lucy walked away, flipping her blonde locks, and chucking his bottle of Elmer's out the window - the last one she'd ever buy for him. Not all blondes are glueless, but now she certainly was. THE END!!

Crystal: "Dang it, Charlie!I told you not to leave the basement door unlocked!" Lucy smoothed back her blonde locks from her forehead, then shook her finger in his face, again. "Now, just because the zombie escaped doesn't mean anyone has to die before we catch him. We have to move quickly. Okay?" It was the last time Lucy wanted to see him handling his mangy rifle like a yellow-bellied noob. If she did, she solemnly swore she would wash his socks in arsenic. "Oh come on, Amy," Charlied cooed. Lucy's face turned green. "Amy? Who's Amy?" Lucy's hair flew over her forehead. Charlie reached for her. "No, I said Lucy. I did, didn't I? I can't remember..." Without warning, Charlie felt a lightning bolt to the forehead. Lucy walked away, flipping her blonde locks, and erasing the image of a dagger through his brow. If she'd been looking closer she'd have noticed the nibble marks on her ear. Not all blondes are observant enough to notice zombie teeth marks, but she was not all blondes. Time to find a new boyfriend - one more responsible - AFTER she hunted down her precious, missing pet zombie. "Hungry? Where are you, Hungry?" THE END!!
Cortney Pearson - PHOBIC
Fifteen-year-old Piper Crenshaw knows her house is strange. It’s never needed repairs since it was built in the 1800s, and the lights flicker in response to things she says. As if those things aren’t creepy enough, it’s also the place where her mother committed murder. To prove she’s not afraid of where she lives, Piper opens a forbidden door, which hides a staircase that leads to the ceiling. That’s when the flashbacks of the original residents from 1875 start, including a love affair between two young servants. Each vision pulls Piper deeper into not only their story, but also her house. Piper confides in her best friend, Todd, whom she's gradually falling for, but even he doesn't believe her. At least, not until her house gets axed during a prank, and the act injures Piper instead, cutting a gash the size of Texas into her stomach. Piper realizes her house isn’t haunted—it’s alive. To sever her link to it, she must unravel the clues in the flashbacks and uncover the truth about her mother’s crime, before she becomes part of her house for good.

Crystal Collier - SOULLESS
Have you met the Soulless and Passionate? In the world of 1770 where supernatural beings mix with humanity, Alexia is playing a deadly game. SOULLESS, Book 2 in the Maiden of Time trilogy Alexia manipulated time to save the man of her dreams, and lost her best friend to red-eyed wraiths. Still grieving, she struggles to reconcile her loss with what was gained: her impending marriage. But when her wedding is destroyed by the Soulless—who then steal the only protection her people have—she's forced to unleash her true power. And risk losing everything.