Sunday, January 29, 2012

Word Up!

Happy New Year, friends!

Have you ever chosen a word for your year? A word to serve as touchstone, ballast, gateway to meditation or the like? A few years ago, some of my writer pals started the practice. That year, I coopted a word that a lot of folks selected – fearless. As in: be fearless in writing that shitty first draft. Be fearless in entering the Golden Heart. Be fearless in your queries and your pitches and the pursuit of your dreams. It helped me to frame my questions: am I doing xx or not doing xx out of fear? Knowing the answer to that didn’t always have an impact on my actions, but it sure provided a keen understanding of how I moved through the world.

Fearless was a good word.

The next year, my boss announced his retirement and the word I landed upon was change. I had a bead with the word hanging from my cell – word of the year as phone bling! When one friend caught sight of the bead, she asked me why I thought I needed to change. For me, for that span of time (in this case, I kept the word for a couple of years), my WOTY helped me remember simply that change is inevitable. Change happens. Change in and of itself is neither positive nor negative. It just is. But how I react to change? That’s on me.

Last fall, I laid out a few scenarios of what the months from September through December could look like as we said goodbye to the old boss and welcomed the new. I didn’t like the one where I used pizza and adult beverages as stress relief. That nightmare vision helped me make a change of my own – and to date, I’ve lost around sixty-five pounds.

Yay for change!

When this year rolled around, I knew it was time for a new word. I have a tendency to hibernate from the world. I think a little of that is okay – gotta recharge the old batteries, right? But the more I hibernate, the harder it is for me to snap out of stasis.
So after a lot of deliberation, I chose engaged. Engaged in writing. Engaged in healthy living. Engaged in the warp and weft of my life and the lives of my friends and family. Now I can ask myself: does xx keep me engaged with my dreams/goals/hopes/life? The answer may not always be yes. But the answer will always inform my next decision.

Engaged in self-awareness!

All words are on the table. I think the only rule is: choose a word that resonates with you. My mom picked kind, because she’d like to be kinder to herself this year. One writing friend opted for simplify. My runner-up word this year was dance.

So what’s your word of the year?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Entangled Publishing Requests . . .

Editors at Entangled Publishing have made their choices based on your amazing pitches on Sunday!

Thank you, Rockville 8, for hosting us. We really appreciate the opportunity to take pitches here. There were some really great offerings, and we unfortunately had to arm wrestle over a couple of these. If we haven’t requested your manuscript, and you believe we’ve made a mistake, feel free to submit it to Entangled via the usual channels. You can find our submissions info here:

All requests are for full manuscripts. Please send them as RTF attachments, and mention this pitch in the cover letter (please type this in the e-mail – don’t attach a separate cover letter). The subject should include “Requested Submission” and the title of your work.

Adrien-Luc Sanders requested (adrien-luc at entangledpublishing dot com):
Jacqueline Corcoran – Heroine with the mechanical hand
Melisse Aires – Clinical trial...of DOOM
Pam Champagne – PTSD
Sutton Fox – Ice and Ash
Engchik – Chasing the Marathon Man
Sherilee – Geek Ever After
Jaycee DeLorenzo – Christmas wedding Flirt

Josh Vogt requested (josh at entangledpublishing dot com):
Evie Owens – I see dead people

Lewis Pollack requested (lewis at entangledpublishing dot com):
Kat Maguire – Playboy Prince

Kerry Vail requested (Kerry at entangledpublishing dot com)
Candy Lyons – Guardian angel gets her sexy on:
Dawn Montgomery – Undead starlets Flirt

Kerri-Leigh Grady requested (kerri-leigh at entangledpublishing dot com):
Jenna Rutland – Adopted baby
Jillian Hallowell – Marriage of convenience on accident
Robin Blythe – Cinderella Ever After
Ally Broadfield – Regency Flirt

Thanks to everyone for participating, and thank you, Rockville 8!

Thanks again to Entangled Publishing and all the wonderful writers for participating in this event! It was a blast.

Best of luck with your writing this winter and stop by and visit us again soon.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Check Back Tomorrow Night for Entangled Publishing Requests!

Time is ticking. And our Entangled Publishing editors have already had one arm wrestling match to work out their differences over the fabulous pitches you gave them on Sunday. They've identified several manuscripts they'd like to see and hope to select a few more within the next 24 hours. They're just working out the details among themselves. Let's hope there's no mud involved in the next round!

Check back tomorrow evening (Wednesday, January 25th) for a list of manuscripts they'd like to read. The Eight can hardly wait to see who they've chosen.

Good luck! See you tomorrow night!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Entangled Publishing Pitch Event Closed!

Thank you to all the excellent writers who posted a pitch at yesterday's Entangled Publishing Pitch Event (and thanks for your patience with Blogger). We received 36 pitches. What a fun event. The creativity and talent was amazing to see. Thank you for participating.

The event is now closed to pitches.

What's Next? Check back later this week, on Tuesday or Wednesday, to see a status update. We'll post which manuscripts the editors have requested to see. Good luck!

And a big thank you to Entangled Publishing for allowing Rockville8 to host this event today. It was lots of fun.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Entangled Pitch Event Today

Give us your best pitch! Welcome to Rockville8’s one-day Entangled Publishing Pitch Event. Today's the big day when six Entangled editors will take blog pitches for the following lines:

Flirt (10k-15k words)
Ever After (20k-40k words)
Lori Wilde's...Indulgence (50k-60k words)

Okay, here's how it's going to work today. Post your two-line pitch and the first 100 words of your story as a comment. Be sure to read the line descriptions linked above. Any level of heat works as long as a romance is central to the story, and the plot is intimately entwined with the building romance. Stories must end HFN or HEA. The event will close at midnight PST tonight.

Editors will then fight over the pitches that have been posted and we will post their submission requests a day or two after the event. So be sure to check back on Tuesday and Wednesday for status updates. Now, let's give them something to fight over! Go for it! Give us your best pitch. We want to see lots of homeruns.

For more details about the publisher or specific Editor's attending, see below.

About The Publisher: Entangled is a boutique publisher of romance fiction. They pride themselves on quality stories and commercial covers, and their innovative business model offers their authors the best of indie and traditional publishing. To find out more, see their website. And don't forget to look through their current open submission calls.

Entangled Editors Attending (See last week's post for their wish lists):
Adrien-Luc Sanders, Senior Editor
Libby Murphy, Associate Editor
Kerry Vail, Associate Editor
Kerri-Leigh Grady, Associate Editor
Josh Vogt, Associate Editor
Lewis Pollack, Associate Editor

So give 'em your best pitch. Good luck! Enjoy the event. It should be fun.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Rockville8 Entangled Publishing Pitch Event - January 22, 2012

Sharpen those pitches and bring them to Rockville8’s Entangled Publishing Pitch Event next week. Rockville8 will host a one-day pitch event next Sunday, January 22, 2012.

Six Entangled editors will take blog pitches for the following lines:
Flirt (10k-15k words)
Ever After (20k-40k words)

About The Publisher: Entangled is a boutique publisher of romance fiction. They pride themselves on quality stories and commercial covers, and their innovative business model offers their authors the best of indie and traditional publishing. To find out more, see their website. And don't forget to look through their current open submission calls.Instructions: Pitches will be accepted in the comments section of this blog on Sunday, January 22, 2012, when the blog post goes live at 7:00 am EST until midnight PST. Posts after midnight will not be considered.

Editors will fight over the pitches that have been posted and post their submission requests after the weekend.

To participate, have a two-line pitch and the first 100 words of your story ready to post as a comment. Be sure to read the line descriptions linked above. Any level of heat works as long as a romance is central to the story, and the plot is intimately entwined with the building romance. Stories must end HFN or HEA.

Entangled Editors Attending & Their Wish Lists:

Adrien-Luc Sanders, Senior Editor
His current interests run towards sci-fi, contemporary, and urban fantasy—the darker, the better—with a love for gritty dystopian, cyberpunk, steampunk, supernatural, and that rare cross-genre gem. He likes stories falling into that gray area of the battle between good and evil, with strong antiheros and believable villains, or heroes who face temptation and corruption and don’t always get away unscathed, though he can also be won over by quirkiness, sweetness, and humor, with a love of oddball characters and whimsy. He’s also interested in stories that portray people of color and LGBT people as mainstream characters whose cultural, ethnic, sexual, and gender diversity are enhancements to their character rather than the primary focus of the story. Adrien-Luc was interviewed here recently.

Libby Murphy, Associate Editor
Libby would like to see submissions for adults and young adults written with a killer voice, and she especially loves quirky characters and plots. She loves sci-fi with aliens, robots, and high tech; urban fantasy and time travel; contemporary romance; women’s fiction with a strong romantic element; and suspense and mysteries. She craves humor, anti-heroes, and underdogs, and strong, capable heroines are a must. For Indulgences, she's looking specificaly for the following: Best friends, best friend’s younger sister, millionaire playboy, athletes, relationship because of a bet, arranged marriages, bad boys, revenge plots, reunions, adventure (Indiana Jones meets Bridget Jones!), romantic comedy, forbidden love, geeks (hero or heroine), and military heroes. I’m not likely to request sheiks or royalty, but if the royalty is the heroine, that’s definitely more likely. I’m a huge sucker for snarky heroines, funny heroes, and heroes who are the strong, silent type. Libby was interviewed here recently. Libby is especially interested in Flirts and Ever Afters that fit the following:
  • Scientists or inventor-types who walk the line between good and bad (like Batman)
  • Paranormals with a villain hero/heroine who is redeemed by the end
  • Disaster or apocalyptic events in which people find love, despite everything falling apart around them (can be sci-fi, fantasy, or contemporary featuring a natural disaster, for example)
  • Quirky contemporaries or paranormals—humor is a must!
  • Sci-fi, especially if it has a Tron, I, Robot, or a Terminator type setting
  • Thrillers set in a small town
  • Zombie hunters :)
  • Romantic Comedy (would love to see a trilogy about a group of girlfriends finding love)

Kerry Vail, Associate Editor
Kerry loves the whole spectrum of speculative fiction, from hard scifi to space opera to sociological. She loves dystopian futures and alternate histories, especially when combined with a compelling voice and an unusual twist. She also enjoys urban fantasy, high fantasy, and paranormal thrillers, and gravitates toward strong female leads who are intelligent and can save themselves and fall in love. She is open to stories of love in any of its many forms and any heat level.

Kerri-Leigh Grady, Associate Editor
She loves paranormal romance and UF worlds that aren’t complicated by numerous mythical beasties, smart romantic comedy, dark comedy, romantic thrillers/suspense/horror, dystopian romance including steampunk, reunions, BFFs falling in love, marriage of convenience, [strong] woman in jeopardy, man in jeopardy, supernatural elements, clever monster elements, multi-cultural characters, alpha nerds, high stakes adventure, and general hilarity. She’s open to F/M, F/F, and M/M pairings in all heat levels. For Indulgences, she's looking specifically for the following: reunions, BFFs, marriage of convenience, ugly duckling, [strong] woman in jeopardy, man in jeopardy, road trip, alpha nerds, high stakes adventure and suspense, forbidden love, fish out of water, and smart romantic comedy. I’d love to find a military hero where the romantic conflict rings true and is related to the challenges of being a mil-girlfriend or milspouse.

Josh Vogt, Associate Editor
He has a passion for reading and writing speculative fiction. He’s seen all sides of the publishing industry, and works as a freelance copywriter and editor as well as a writer. He brings to the team his love for books, plus a desire to help aspiring authors in their quest for publication success. Find him on Twitter at @JRVogt. Josh is interested in all types of fantasy and science fiction, from urban fantasy to steampunk to space opera to epic and YA fantasy. He loves stories that suck him in without warning and compel him to keep reading thanks to fascinating characters, great dialogue, twisting plots, and powerful worldbuilding.

Lewis Pollack, Associate Editor
A student of philosophy, psychology, and the sciences, Lewis Pollak has an appreciation for both characters with complex motivations and stories that are thought-provoking. Find him on Twitter at @LewisPollak. Lewis loves books that take readers to new worlds, whether they are alien landscapes, alternate histories, or contemporaries with a twist. He also enjoys books that strike a balance between serious and humorous moments. While partial to all sorts of speculative fiction from high fantasy and urban fantasy (but not Keith Urban fantasies) to science fiction and paranormal, interesting characters with genuine emotions and snappy retorts usually win him over regardless of genre.

So be sure to stop by next Sunday, January 22, 2012, between 7:00 a. m. EST and 12:00 midnight PST, to pitch your project. It should be a fun event!

Come on, you know you want to . . . If you have questions, please post them this week. So we'll have a clean pitch session next week in the comments section. Thanks!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

A New Year

The New Year brings about thoughts of new beginnings. As I watched fireworks over the harbor bring in 2012, I thought about what things in my life I would like to change. The one thing that immediately came to mind is that I would like to have more time to write.

But in order to have time to write, something else has to be either put on the back burner or eliminated from my life. I am full up on obligations that I won’t bother to list here. The point is that I am at my limit and looking for a way to change my situation.

A couple of days later I noticed something in my inbox. I am on financial guru Dave Ramsey’s bulk email list. In a recent installment, he describes a method to get what you want out of life.

First, he advises you to look at your values and passions. Forgetting about money, what would you do if you could do anything in the world? For me, it would be to live on the water, with a desk in front of a water-view window, while I write during the day.

Next, Dave says look at your skills and abilities. What do you enjoy? What kind of activities and jobs get you excited? Likely, these things fall within your skills and abilities set. Concentrating on what you do well will help you plan your next step. When you love what you do, the odds are that others will love the outcome. I love to write. I can feel my pulse slow and the tension drain away as I write. Work-wise, it is the one thing that I do that while I am doing it, I don’t feel like I should be doing something else.

Now, use these things to create your goals. Well-written goals should have a time limit, be measurable and be specific. The example Dave uses is “By December 31, 2010, I will lose 40 lbs. by working out three days a week and limiting myself to 2000 calories a day.” This one I’m still working on for myself.

Lastly, your goals should be used to compose a mission statement. Dave says, “This says in concrete terms who you are, what’s important to you and what you want to accomplish in life in 100 words or less.” Dave Ramsey’s description of composing a mission statement sounds remarkably like advice I’ve heard about writing a story pitch. I figure if I can write a pitch for my story, I can write a mission statement about another story I know—my own life.

My own life. That’s the part I sometimes forget—this is my life and not everyone else’s. Though I often feel trapped by too many obligations, how I compose the story of my life is largely my decision.

How successful are you at prioritizing your goals? Do you have any hints regarding what worked and what didn't?

Dave Ramsey has published several books and conducts a radio show on financial advice.