Fantasy Contest Closed & Other Stuff

Thanks to everyone who participated in our Fantasy Novel Hook for Your Book Contest! The contest is officially closed. I am forwarding all entries (here and on my website) to Jeanie for her consideration. As you know, she will choose three finalists. Those finalists will send her a synopsis of their novel as well as the complete manuscript. After careful consideration, Jeanie will choose one winner. That winner will get a full read and possibly a contract with Sullivan Maxx.

Jeanie is extremely busy and we have not ironed out an official announcement date yet so please stay tuned. I will announce the finalists as soon as I know who they are. I will email the finalists as well.

Remember we're running a Hook for Your Book contest for Romance from December 12th through the 19th and one for Historical Fiction from February 13th through the 20th, 2012. Spread the word and polish up your pitches!

In other news . . . remember our Casting Call Bloghop which is being hosted by Melodie Wright at Forever Rewrighting and Carrie Butler at So You're a Writer. You can sign up for it on Carrie's blog. It runs from October 24 through October 28. Can't wait to meet everyone's characters! Melodie put up a sample post here and also a book trailer here.

I would also like to thank the lovely and brilliant Nancy Thompson and Laila Knight for mentioning me on the Pay It Forward Bloghop. Unfortunately I had no idea it was going on but I certainly appreciate these wonderful ladies sending some bloghoppers my way! To my new followers: welcome, I hope you find something useful over here!

WIP Update: I am a half scene away from finishing the first draft of my WIP. Then the real work begins . . .

Finally, I would like to apologize to my fellow bloggers. I haven't been making the rounds and commenting as often as I would like or have in the past. It's not because I'm not interested, I've just been extremely busy with work obligations, sick family members (stupid Fall illnesses!) and critiquing. I'm critiquing for four amazing writers right now. The problem with all that is that they are such fabulous writers (and you know who you are) that whenever any one of them sends me something, I cannot keep my nose out of their pages. So I'm hungrily reading away and enjoying the hell out of it whilst shirking my blogging duties! I am actually feeling kind of inadequate because sometimes it is very difficult for me to find any fault with their work. Have you guys ever had that problem? What kinds of things do you look for when you critique? Have any critiquing horror stories?


  1. Anyone who manages to snag you for critiquing is damn lucky! You were more thirough & taught me more & pulled more out of me than all my other CPs combined. You were definitely my best CP experience.

    My worst? Well my very first CP was a young law clerk who was so nasty & mean with his comments, he actually made me cry for 3 days! (His book was boring, btw, & he quit after I suggested he find a less juvenile word for "poo.") Then I pulled myself together, fixed the problem, and found another CP, who was delightful. After her, came you & my life changed forever!

  2. I meant thorough! (Ugh, I shouldn't use my iPhone for commenting.)

  3. Nancy: Thanks! That is so nice of you to say all that. I appreciate it! I'm sorry you had such a negative experience with that guy. I don't know why people have to be so mean. I think there is a way to be brutally honest without being hurtful and that way is usually way more constructive!

    One of my bad ones was a woman who asked me to rush through her manuscript (which I did) and then she read mine and all she did was put in commas. She made no comments whatsoever. Then I emailed her and said could you comment on it--did it work? Were there things you didn't understand? Could you follow it? Things you liked? Things you didn't like? Anything you'd suggest changing? She never responded and I never heard from her again!

  4. I tend to feel vastly unqualified for critiquing others. Part of why I'm not comfortable doing book reviews on my own blog--I think, 'who the hell am I to be saying anything?'

    Congratulations on being so close to finished. I look forward to hearing more!

  5. I think your contests are wonderful, and a great way of paying it forward. I hope someone gets the break they are looking for. :)

    I've been busy critiquing this week too. I always learn so much from reading other people's work. It's made me a better writer I think. If something isn't working it really is beneficial to have to sit down and figure out why not and then put it into words that are constructive rather than hurtful for the other person (at least I hope that's how my remarks get interpreted).

  6. First of all, you're welcome. And you are an awesome critiquer. I won't tell you horror stories about my previous processes because I don't want to make myself mad. :) I've gotten pretty good at catching adverbs and cutting down on my wordiness...I hope. I think my greatest concern is with transition and shifting point of views. You catch on to those pretty fast. I also already signed up for Casting Call and looking forward to it. :) It does suck to get sick. I'm pretty sure I blow my nose for the entire year.

  7. Congrats on the WiP progress! Don't worry about missing the rounds on all of the blogs you follow :). I'm missing a bunch of blogs these days, too.

  8. Congrats on almost being done with the draft! Just finished my first draft and have set it aside for a bit. It felt great and I'm dying to get back to it, but I'm working on some shorter stuff to take my mind off it. Any advice for finding a good critique partner? My partner now only writes shorter works and doesn't want to get published.

    JeffO - I couldn't agree more about reviewing other people's work. But I've found that just speaking up on rambling paragraphs or tough to follow plots helps your partner immensely. I know I appreciate it.

    And Lisa, I think you've done a great job commenting despite adversity!

  9. I am kind of nit-picky when I edit, so I usually find something to change. I also try to be really nice though. Rarely is an MS perfect, right?

  10. I'm sure the people you crit for (whomever they may be) really appreciate your help... :)

    Whew! Almost done with the first draft? That's fantastic! Let me know if you ever need a reader. :)

  11. JeffO: I know sometimes it is weird "critiquing" someone else's work but if you read a lot of books, I think that qualifies you. Ultimately, as a writer, you want to reach readers and you want them to like what you've written. Anyone can be a reader, you don't need any special qualifications for that!

    L.G.: I agree, reading and critiquing and working with other writers so makes me a better writer. I learn so much from other writers.

    Laila: Thanks! Yes, we are moving on from colds to GI bugs now. Yuck!

    Prosecutor: That is awesome that you finished your first draft! In terms of finding CPs, I try to use forums or blogs, like on Nathan Bransford's site and I've also found a few on the blog "The Kill Zone" by putting it out there in the comments section. I am always available too! I love long work.

    Bethany: You're right, no MS is perfect. Sometimes I don't necessarily find anything line by line but when I look at how the MS holds together as a whole, sometimes there are issues. I really enjoy hashing things out with other writers.

    Carrie: Thanks. I will definitely take you up on that when my second draft is ready!

  12. Hey there Lisa! No need for apologies. Life gets hectic and there are commitments, vacations, illnesses, and opportunities. Blogging is great, but life is better. :)

  13. Hope your family is feeling better, Lisa. Things get away from us. It can't be helped. I agree with the fabulous, Libby, life is better.

    Laila and Nancy are fabulous, too.

  14. That's awesome you're so close! I'm so happy for you! Here's to hoping that your family gets past all of their illnesses quickly so you can take a minute to revel in being finished before you dive into revisions.

  15. Hi Lisa! I've given you an award over on my blog. :)

  16. I have a manuscript with Mrs. Pentelakis right now. I wish I knew about your blog sooner. I've been working on another novel while I wait for a response on my first one. I'm your newest follower!

  17. Hi - I vote for Chris Pine and Michelle Mog... the one I can't spell! This sounds like an amazing book - please let me know when it's out there to get hold of!
    LAura x


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