Pictures of the two main guys in In Gray as I see them in my head. I hope you enjoy them. Let me know what you think in the comments.
As a traditionally published author, people often ask me how I went about getting published. I decided to write a brief guide to help guide aspiring authors in the right direction.
There are a lot of things to know about the publishing industry. The first of these things is to know that there are a lot of vanity presses out there. One way you can tell is if they constantly advertise that they are not a vanity press. Another is if they ever charge you ANY kind of fee. Writers get paid to write. Period. There are also a lot that APPEAR to be a good, legitimate presses but are not. A few of those are, Strategic Book Publishers, Publish America, Book Surge press Tate Publishing and many others. If you want to submit to a publisher it is always best to first have an agent. Most publishers will not take unsolicited manuscripts anyway, meaning you need an agent. If you find an independent or small press publisher who does not require you to have an agent, it is fine to submit to them. TALK TO ME and do your research before signing ANYTHING! I can help you. If you want to know how to write a query letter to submit, there are many things online. Google it or email me. There are also many lists of agents and publishers online. Be sure to submit only to the companies that publish your genre.
Step 1. You need to write what is called a query letter. It's a ONE page cover letter describing you and your book. You can easily look up some examples on google to help you out.
Step 2. Google literary agents. If you google it, you will most likely get a list of agents with their addresses. ONLY send your query letter to the agents who publish YOUR genre. Do not ever send your book to anyone unless they specifically ask for it, they will throw it away without even looking at it. Sometimes they want the query and synopsis, or 3 sample chapters. Just send what they ask for. No more, no less.
Step 3. BE PATIENT. It usually will take months to get a response. You have to wait.
There are also independent publishers you can submit to that may not require you to have an agent. For a new writer, that would be easiest. If they accept email AND snail mail ALWAYS go with snail mail. It is more professional. Some only accept email submissions so feel free to email the ones who ask for it.
It takes years...many of them. You can't give up!
Here is how to write a killer query letter.
A query letter is a single page cover letter, introducing you and your book. That’s it. Nothing more, nothing less. It’s not a resume. It’s not rambling saga of your life as an aspiring writer. And for the love of god, it is NOT more than one-page. Trust me on this.
A query letter has three concise paragraphs: the hook, the mini-synopsis, and your writer’s biography. Don’t stray from this format. You won’t catch an agent’s attention by inventing a creative new query format. You’ll just alienate your chances of being taken seriously as a professional writer. A query letter is meant to elicit an invitation to send sample chapters or even the whole manuscript to the agent. It’s not meant to show off how cute and snazzy you can be by breaking formatting rules and going against the grain. Keep it simple. Stick to three paragraphs. The goal is to get the agent to read your book, not to blow you off because you screwed up the introduction.
Paragraph One—The Hook: A hook is a concise, one-sentence tagline for your book. It’s meant to hook your reader’s interest, and wind them in.
Paragraph Two—Mini-synopsis: This is where you get to distill your entire 300 page novel into one paragraph
Paragraph Three—Writer’s bio: This should be the easiest part of your query. After all, it’s about you, the writer. Okay, so it’s a bit daunting, especially if you’ve never been published, never won any awards, hold no degrees from MFA writing schools, and possess no credentials to write your book. No problem. The less you have to say, the more space you have for your mini-synopsis. Always a plus.
If you do choose to construct a writer’s bio (and you should), keep it short and related to writing. Agents don’t care what your day job is unless it directly relates to your book. Got a main character who’s a firefighter, and that’s your day job? Be sure to say that. Otherwise, scrap it. Education is helpful because it sounds good, but it’s only really important if you’re offering a nonfiction book about A.D.D. children and you hold a PhD in pediatric behavioral science. If you’ve published a few stories in your local newspaper, or a short story in a few literary magazines, or won any writing awards or contests, now’s the time to list the details. Don’t go hog wild, but don’t be too modest either.
Your Closing: As a formal closing, be sure to do two things. First, thank the agent for her time and consideration. Second, alert the agent that the full manuscript is available upon request. And in case you still don’t believe us, we want to reiterate: don’t query agents until you’ve finished your full fiction manuscript. Agents will want to read the whole novel before they offer representation to you and your book.
I hope this helps.
Upon reading "The Lowest Animal" by Mark Twain, it really got me thinking. I am not usually a pessimistic person and I actually have a lot of love in my heart. However, this came to me after reading the essay.
It is interesting how I can look upon this world with both awe and disgust, how I can love and hate people at the same time. Humans are such contradictory creatures. They pretend as if they possess a full understanding of the decaying world around them. They are merely servants of time, drifting endlessly about until the sand stops falling in their pathetic hour glasses. These creatures do not deserve the world of light that they mockingly receive. They are indeed "God's" favorites. Them...with their weaknesses, their flaws, and their sins. Perhaps that is why this world confuses me, because I fail to grasp to contradictory ideals of man. We are told to live life as loving, sympathetic beings, and yet we are the only creatures who would skin our enemies and sprinkle salt on their backs, we are the only creatures who believe that we are the "better" or "more important" species, and in our uprising of arrogance we fail to see the truths behind the facades and the ignorant outlooks on life. And I--unlike most feel banished from the rest of mankind; feel as though my life is meaningless because my views are not so clouded and paradoxical.
As we are told to love and to accept one another we are as well, the only creatures who slaughter and murder each other over religious and/or spiritual debates and sexual orientation. So to quote Mark Twain--"who is truly the lowest animal?"
"If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you; that is the principal difference between a dog and a man." -Mark Twain
A few years ago, my lovely sister presented me with a small, silver pendant. I has an image of Saint Paul and a heartfelt engraving on the back. When I am struggling for words or my prose come out forced, I simply put on the necklace and take a few deep breaths. Suddenly my inspiration returns and the story flows through me with ease.
I understand this may just be a simple mind over matter situation but regardless, this helps me immensely. A simple talisman that reminds me of my sister and takes my heart into my writing is a pretty amazing thing.
Feel free to share your thoughts and experiences with your own jewels, charms and gadgets that help you.
Yes it says 2008. It has been a few years since I have attended this event but it was still something that I consider very important to have experienced. It is an event where many many authors show up to talk about and sign their books. They often have special guest appearances by famous writers from around the country. When I attended in 2008 I had the absolute privilege of meeting the legendary Ray Bradbury.
It was an amazing experience to talk with other writers and learn their techniques and hear about their journeys to success. I would love to attend again. My dear friend, Jeff Sherrat who told me about the festival sadly passed away only months before Bradbury himself. I plan to promote the works of both of them in memory and to express my utmost gratitude to two amazing men who inspired me to never give up!
Many people ask where I get my characters from. The funny thing is, I do not base them on real people or create them as people who would make a story interesting. What happens is, they come into my head already fully developed. This actually tends to make things very difficult because if I want a character to do or say a certain thing, I cannot always write them saying or doing it unless it is what they would actually do. I have to remain faithful to who they really are. Although they are fictitious they are still a reflection of me, as it is with all writers. This being said, I do not mean to say I never create characters. Small characters or supporting characters I sometimes create and sometimes barrow names from my friends. I think it is necessary to not base characters too much on real people. the reason is because nobody really knows anybody 100%. If you create your own unique characters then you know them better than anyone else.
Happy reading. I love my fans.