BBOOOOOOOOOOOOOOKKK TRAAAAAAAAAIIIIIILLLLEEEEERRRRRRRRRR XXXXDDDDDD
1 Month to go ’til release!!
My adventures in Audiobooking, as well as the FIRST TIME I GOT TO SEE MY BOOKS IN PERSON, and to top it all off, I had an AMAZINGLY eventful time at Bookcon as well. Basically everything I could have ever asked for.
At long last… we have a cover.
OMG I LOVED THIS BOOOOK!!! XD
I’m going to rate things a bit differently from now on…
My review of THRONE OF GLASS
The second trailer for STAR WARS: EP 7777777 dropped!! XD
My second book haul evaaaaaa!!!
My friend, Bangady, made a tag!
So how the hell am I printing this book then!?
Oh, and I also reveal the tittle here for those of you Booktubers that don’t know it yet. XP
My review of Eleanor and Park! 😀
Haven’t made a vid in a while, busy, busy editing. So here! Have this! lol
I just hit 300 subscribers on YouTube! XD
Thank you so much everyone! I love you all! <3
2014 - Post Enlightenment
Looking back on this year I can gladly say it’s been one of the best, most crucial, and self-reflective years of my life. Starting off with completely re-writing my childhood novel to emulate the adulthood I’ve grown into. To really push that process, my parents also moved out of my childhood home. The place I was born and raised for 25 years. The home that inspired my book to begin with. I also lost my childhood dog, and with his passing, the final remnants of the young boy I used to be faded into memory.
I cut old ties that were only holding me back, and made new bonds that could propel me forward, as far and as high as I can possibly imagine. I feel freed now that the future of my book is in my hands, and if it fails or succeeds, it will be satisfying to know that all of that responsibility will rest with me.
Lastly I’d like to thank all of my new Booktube friends. You’ve all made me feel very at home, and welcome among you.
I can’t wait to see what next year has in store for us.
It came, it came! It’s finally here! XD
It’s almost Christmas! The holiday tags are a plenty!
I was tagged to do a poetry challenge, haha. I’m really not a fan of modern poetry, so I went old school. 😛
Mmm.. This book sucks too… -_-
My mom and I react to the Star Wars 7 teaser! XP
GUYS!! I reviewed KISS KILL VANISH AND THE AUTHOR ACTUALLY RETWEETED IT!! XD
Everything I’ve learned so far and my game plan for the future!
Wow, this book sucks…
I just passed 100 subscribers on YouTuuuuube!! XD
A few tips I learned along the way that got me as far as I could go.
My first book haul! XD
My Booktube Reader Confessions Tag! SPOILERS: I’m a slow reader 😛
So with my recent plunge into YouTube, I discovered this amazing community called Booktube! It’s a small, but growing collection of book-lovers on YouTube that all talk, and review, and hype on BOOKS!!
Sign me up please! XD
I’ve always loved making videos. And now that I’m taking things into my own hands, it’s time I really focus on making more. I’m going to tell my story, to help people in the same situation as me. I’m gunna boldly go where only few have gone, and document the whole thing so people can see what it really takes to make your dreams come true.
I’ve found a new editor
Her name is Nomi, and she’s fantastic! We had a very nice phone call yesterday to get a feel for each other, and it feels like a very good match. I can hear the emotion in her voice. The passion. But also wisdom, been doing this just about as long as that other guy. I feel good about this one. Great, actually.
I told her all about what happened with my previous editor, and how it’s almost scarred me off of traditional publishing all together. Rejection after rejection, then finding ONE person who decides to lend a hand, just to go and treat me like that? Then Nomi said the rest of the business was just as cold.
I had planned to take the traditional rout: editor, agent, publisher, then use all the money I’d get from the publisher to put toward extra advertising. But Nomi said there probably wouldn’t be much advertising to begin with (if any), and the advance would likely be chump change for a first time author today. Maybe less than 10 grand. Nowhere near enough to live off off for a year until my next one comes out.
So if that was really the reality of the situation, why did I even want to do traditional publishing in the first place? A process that strips almost all my control away from my art and compensates me with nothing more than table scraps? Why would I want that? Why would any sane person want that? For the prestige? The title of a “big 5″ published author? Or is it laziness maybe? Not wanting to oversee every facet of the publishing process yourself? Well that’s certainly not me. The title would be nice, but lazy? No freaking way. Not about this. I want total control, with only input and suggestions from other people. Not zero control, and only contributing suggestions… Looking at it like that, there’s literally nothing enticing about traditional publishing except the title that comest with it. And I’m okay with letting that go. Because you know what’s better? Making a tittle for yourself instead.
Luckily the market is not the same as it was ten years ago. Now self published books are on the rise, in quality and competition with traditional pub. And, if done right, they can be just as good, if not better.
I was considering it before, but speaking with Nomi has settled it for me. I’m going to become an independent publisher. I’m going to do it all myself. And it’s going to be one hell of a ride.
2014 - Pre Enlightenment
For some reason I can’t understand, this “editor” refuses to read my book. Literally refusing me service. After all that.
He said he’d worked with me for twice as long as any other project in the program and I was still spinning my tires.
What an asshole.
I was under the impression that this program and Author Salon always ended in representation. Wasn’t that the point??
To that he said, “At this date and stage I cannot recommend your whole ms to any specific agent I know because I have not read the entire ms.” Further clarifying by quoting from Author Salon’s website, “Keep in mind, that the goal of program faculty is to not only assist you with editorial advice on the facets of your novel, but also to carefully examine it for possible representation to commercial publishers. Recommendations to literary agents outside of Author Salon are also a potential, depending on the nature of the project, and assisting our writers with the creation of query letters and pitches will take place if the writer and faculty editors agree this is the right course.” Which is basically a fancy way of saying, “If I don’t think it’s good enough, too bad for you. You’re a lost cause that’s shit outa luck.”
So much for believing in me so much he gave me the damn program for free.
I knew shit was getting weird when he gave me HIS book to read… Man. Grammatically, stellar. But it was just as cold and confusing and disjointed as he was. And I told him that, straight to his face… well, straight through an email… Since he asked my opinion, I felt bad just saying it was confusing, so I rewrote his first chapter, as I would have written it… I don’t think he liked that… He said I “rewrote him a new asshole.” … So that felt good at least. But if he knew I was so good, why would he just throw his hands up and walk away like that?
I guess I’ll never know.
Just another name to add to the list of people I can’t wait to prove wrong.
Things are starting to derail a bit with this editor… and by a bit, I mean completely. I rewrote my entire goddam story in the hopes that he would read it and see how improved, and impressive, and realistic the story’s become, but he still can’t get past the first few paragraphs. Which makes me feel like a complete idiot. And I’m sure he thinks that too.
And he keeps telling me I’m moving too fast. Like that’s the reason I keep missing the things he sees, when really I just CAN’T see it, these “mistakes.” Because I haven’t been doing this my entire life and only have a few months and a few email’s worth of experience to understand how to see things through his critical, editorial lens. Plus, the first few chapters are a horrible place to judge a novice author’s writing! I can’t tell if it’s the actual writing, or the fact that I’m starting the story in the wrong place that’s making my writing awkward and forced. He needs to read the WHOLE thing to get some reference and let me know if I’m just starting in the wrong place all together. And I work fast not because I’m rushing, but because I still love this, goddamit! It’s what pulls me out of bed every morning and gets me going INSTEAD of coffee! And luckily now I’m in a situation where this novel is the ONLY thing I need to focus on. I don’t have a “day job” like I’m sure everyone else he’s used to working with does. I literally spend 12 hours a day, 6–sometimes 7–days a week on this, and this alone.
He needs to understand that. He needs to read my whole damn book so that we can both be on the same page.
I’ve finished!! XD
Progeny of Gods: Vertuém Destiny has been completely re-envisioned as a New Adult novel! And it’s amazing guys! XD
However, raising the reading level, also rose the word count… From 100k words to 130k. :O
This is going to be my biggest issue going forward… YA fantasy should be around 115k. And publishers really don’t like longer books from new authors.
So many things are changing! Letting go of the old ideas and the middle-grade mentality has really allowed myself to open up and write the book I want to see NOW, as opposed to the book the 11-year-old me wanted to see. Only like the first 50 pages of the plot are the same! The rest is a complete rewrite! Exciting stuff! XD
So working with this editor has been great! He’s giving such in depth detail of the problems with my writing, in a language I can understand and respect. Even though he hasn’t read more than the first chapter, lol. But that’s what it takes I guess, re-doing the first chapter over and over gain until it’s perfect. And until that’s perfect, I guess there’s no need to read the rest. He knows the plot and story structure are good, due to his program, and he knows it’s a high concept idea, and he knows I can actually write, thanks to all the homework assignments. It’s the writing in my manuscript that’s the problem. That’s what needs to be focussed on.
This is where starting to write my story at 11 years old is really starting to bite me in the ass. He said the vast majority of it sounds very “middle grade,” and has to be completely eviscerated to raise the reading level… So basically back to square one. But at least this time I know where I’m going.
It’s tough to see my childhood beaten up like this, but… It almost seems like a different book now, which makes it much easier to let go and listen to his advice. For instance, he was not in love with the Kingdom of “Grælund.” And he didn’t like my main character’s names of Tucker and James either. Said they sounded too familiar and… english.
Thus all traces of the old kingdom of Greenlend, and Tucker’s adventures within have passed into the histories. Still very much alive within my heart. And always will be… But for this story, their spirits shall be reincarnated as the slightly more exotic sounding Greyson and Taymes, within the new Kingdom of Viæden.
It’s very important to me that the names are not as crazy as he wanted. I still would like people to be able to pronounce them. But I think this is an agreeable compromise.
Welp, never heard from that agent again. Or anyone at the Maass Agency. Have no idea what that was about. Apparently there’s something horribly wrong with me… or more likely something still horribly wrong with my book.
Safe to say, I had no idea where to turn now. I thought for sure that was it.
So I called up the guy who orchestrated the New York Pitch I had such good luck at. He’s an editor at AEI Entertainment, and also runs Author Salon. If there’s anyone that can help me now, it’s him. So I gave him a call, and he didn’t know who I was, but he remembered my story right away. “Oh yeah, giant trees. That’s cool, man. You’ve got something there.” A very “high concept” idea, as he put it (which Author Salon focusses on cultivating). So it seemed my story is interesting enough to get everyone’s attention, but there was still something off with the writing.
So since he liked my story so much, and was glad I came to him after trudging through Author Salon, Backspace, and the Maass incident, he decided to put me in a special class at Author Salon, which would rebuild my novel from the ground up, if need be. It is basically the equivalent of a fine arts degree, with assigned reading, and homework, and everything. A novel bootcamp, if you will. Which normally costs quite a bit of money, but since he believed in me so much (and believed he could make some money off of me) he gave it to me for free.
So that’s quite flattering.
So she hadn’t actually read the manuscript yet, haha. But we still had an amazing time and she said it was the very next thing on her busy schedule! XD
GUYS!!! I’M GOING TO NEW YORK TO “HAVE DRINKS” WITH A MAASS AGENT!! AAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!
After rewriting Tucker to be 19, and pumping up his internal arch, my manuscript is finally ready to be sent to the Maass Literary Agency! XD
Soooo, went to New York for another writer’s conference called Backspace, and a lot of shit went down. I got a full request from the Donald Maass Literary Agency and got to meet with Donald himself, letting him know what an inspiration he’s been to me, and he single-handedly told me how to improve the cloudiest and MOST IMPORTANT part of any novel: the protagonist’s internal ark. He’s a goddam sage. The only thing that isn’t going to work about my story is my protag’s age (23), and for a true YA crowd I have to lower it to 19. I understand completely, and while it will sting, and may seem unbelievable a 19yo can accomplish such feats… I have to remember that this is fantasy. But he’ll always be 23 to me.
Writing is an art, publishing is a business. You gotta do what sells, but that doesn’t make you a sellout.
After being in the trenches for a few months, I’ve discovered there’s a very wide range of talent at Author Salon. And likewise, a very wide range of advice. Some good, some stupid. I’m finding a lot of writers just want to impose their own voice onto those they are critiquing… The first few months were very useful, ironing out all the kinks and catching up to speed with everyone, but now… since (as I said before) we’re all in the same boat, it’s kind of like the blind leading the blind.
Don’t get me wrong, I think this is something every “new” writer needs to go through, but… I feel like I’ve learned all I can from these people, and need to seek the advice from a higher level. From people who are actually in the business and know what’s selling.
One casualty from the process. I discovered the name of the kingdom being Greenlend was causing a lot of issues. And I’ve finally accepted that my childhood name has to go. Or at least be altered to Grælund. But I’m not exactly happy with the way that sounds either. :/
After 3 months of waiting just to get a flood of rejection letters back, I’ve accepted there must be something seriously wrong with my writing that I just cant see. This is kind of an eye-opener, and made me grow up a little bit. I obviously can’t sent my book to Harper Collins if there’s something wrong with it, so I’ve decided to join a writer’s group. Hopefully its members can tell me what’s up.
The writer’s group is called Author Salon, and I found out about it at the NY Pitch, so pretty much everyone in it is in the same boat I am. But the best part about it is that agents and editors work with Author Salon, and comb it for new talent! XD
Wahoo! Brendan Deneen of St. Martin’s Press and Lyssa Keusch of HarperCollins loved my pitch and BOTH want to read what I’ve got! I’ve waited TWELVE years for this day! Unbelievable.
Now I’ve got to edit the shit out of my manuscript with everything I learned at the NY Pitch to get it in shape for them. But since they are acquisition editors, it would still be professional of me to get an agent beforehand… And hopefully with the interest of these publishers I’ll snag an agent right quick! Haha, fingers crossed. 😛
So this is a little awkward, but… my title of Greenlend has to go. The same name the book (and also the world in which it takes place) has had since I was nine is not going to fly with the editors/agents/publishers. So it’s got to go
I thought Greenlend was a perfect title because the book is about so much more than just one person’s sorry, or even a group, or even a kingdom. It’s the story of an entire world from start to finish. But after thinking long and hard, I’ve decided that an equally epic title could be Progeny of Gods. Because in my world all of creation is considered the progeny of gods. It will be missed, but I think this new title will grow on me.
Just got accepted to the New York Pitch Writer’s Conference! I’ll be headed to NYC in September for the conference which lasts from the 20th to the 23rd (my lucky numbers), and during which I’ll be pitching Greenlend to editors FACE-TO-FACE, which is really the only way to properly pitch. This could be it for me!
It’s been a long time coming, but GreenlendOnline is officially launched!
Learning how to code! My baby website <3