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Hi, I'm Jamie. I'm a writer, reader, and huge TV junkie. I just might post about all three here on this blog. Have a look around. And if you want, drop me an email and tell me what you think. Thanks for visiting!

Monday, September 14, 2015

#PitchWars editing Round 1: What I've Learned

As promised, I plan to share (what I can) with you all the things I learn as I navigate through the tumultuous but exhilarating trip that is being a #PitchWars mentee. I hope that even the tiniest bit of something sticks with you and in some way helps you better your craft and/or MS. 

That's the ultimate goal in all this, to become better at what we all love to do. Having a mentor, someone who has expertise in the craft and world of publishing, means nothing if we don't glean from them what we can. So stick with me as we go on this journey. Read what an insider recommends. Take it if it works for you, and use it to improve, improve, improve!

For my first edit assignment, I was tasked with reworking Ch. 1 of my MS, OUT OF THE ASHES. Here is what was recommended to have a first chapter that grips your reader:

*The first chapter is crucial to hooking the reader. They need to either want to be your MC or empathize with them.
Not really the "hook" I'm talking about, but who cares, right? *swoon*

*Establish world-building. Flesh out the world, make it believable so that a reader will buy into it. If they have to stop to question something, it's yanking them out of the story.

*The relationship development needs to be the core of the book. Everything should stem from the relationship, the connection between your characters. (tip: take your own relationships, how you feel when you meet a cute guy/girl, and use that as a base for how your characters act/react.)

*Give your story depth, right from the start. Create three-dimensional characters and worlds that are believable and draw your readers in.

Those are the main highlights of my first round of edits. Some wonderful, wonderful advice in there. Things we can all apply. 

Round One down, more to come. So stay tuned, and Happy Writing!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

#PitchWars 2015!

As you can clearly see, I don't update this blog as often as I should (bad Me; bad, bad Me), but I hope to rectify that as I embark on a two-month journey as a 2015 #PitchWars mentee!

No clue what #PitchWars is? I have two recommendations for you. First, move out from under that rock and into an apartment or house already. Then go check out this post on the amazing Brenda Drake's site. She's the creator of this wonderful event, and can explain it much better than I ever could.

As I said, I hope to update more often as I progress toward the Agent Round of #PitchWars, which happens in November. And for my first post I thought I'd share with you what my edits from my fantastic mentor Lady Lioness have been like thus far.

First, I received THE EMAIL from LL stating she had chosen me as one of her two mentees and I was all

After calming down, I responded, saying how excited/freaked out/terrified I was, and how much I was looking forward to turning OUT OF THE ASHES into what I know it can be.

Next up was my first assignment. I had to rework Ch 1, flesh out the two MCs and tone down the, ahem, steamy stuff. ;) It was a challenge I was ready to face (and one I knew the book needed).

Not really steamy; I just wanted to toss some Christian Gray at ya. You're welcome.

I submitted my changes and got some spot-on feedback on what worked/what didn't. Another pass, and we both feel the beginning is much stronger, the MC Alex is more relatable and the writing is snappier. Win!

Now I await what comes next. How great would it be to only have to work on a chapter at a time, right? Of course, the entire editing process has to be done by November. Of 2015, not 2020. So that pipe dream just exploded in my face.

But that's okay, because I'm ready for this. I'm ready for the expertise #PitchWars brings. I'm ready to dig in and make a book I already love that much greater. And I'm ready to soak up all the knowledge and wisdom from someone as stellar as my mentor that I can. Hopefully you'll tag along on this journey with me. I promise nothing (except some okay gifs and semi-coherent text. You've been warned).

Check out this post on the lovely Rebecca McLaughlin's blog for other 2015 #PitchWars mentees who are blogging about their journey, too!

Also, visit my #PitchWars #TeamPride co-mentee Lisa Marie--she rocks!

Bring on the edits!!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Cover Reveal AND a Giveaway!

The wonderful Elana Johnson has a new novel coming out! 

Check out the awesome cover!

High school senior Olivia Winging gave up her love of photography when she gave up her boyfriend, Trevor Youngblood, a year and a half ago. She broke things off with Trevor because her mom married his dad, and dating your step-brother? Creepy.

Livvy hasn’t been on good terms with her mother since, and one of her stipulations for staying at the Youngblood’s every other weekend is that Trevor can’t be there. When she gets nominated for the Junior Photography in Excellence award, Trevor insists she enter. She agrees—only if every photo in the portfolio can be of him. Knowing that Livvy can capture a person’s deepest secrets through her lens, Trevor hesitates before accepting the deal.

As Livvy gets behind the lens of her camera again, her love of photography is rekindled. Unfortunately, the time she spends with Trevor also re-ignites the old flame for him she’s kept smothered for so long.

In order for Livvy to finish her portfolio, she’ll have to face her feelings for Trevor as well as deal with the animosity between her and her mother. Livvy’s always been able to capture a person’s soul from behind the camera—but she’s not sure she likes it when the lens is suddenly focused on her. If she can’t find a way to forgive her mother and admit how she feels about Trevor, Livvy may end up losing more than just the photography contest. She could lose her heart.

Buy Links:

Special Promo: Elevated, Elana’s first verse novel, will be FREE for five days in September as SOMETHING ABOUT LOVE releases! So get your copy of Elevated for free from Monday, September, 15 – Friday, September 19. (Elevated buy link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IGINRFI

Elana Johnson’s work, including Possession, Surrender, Abandon, and Regret, published by Simon Pulse (Simon & Schuster), is available now everywhere books are sold. Her popular ebook, From the Query to the Call, is also available for free download, as well as a Possession short story, Resist

Her self-published novels include two YA contemporary novels-in-verse, Elevated and Something About Love, as well as a YA/NA futuristic fantasy series, which includes Elemental Rush, Elemental Hunger, and Elemental Release.

School teacher by day, Query Ninja by night, you can find her online at her personal blog or Twitter. She also co-founded the Query Tracker blog, and contributes to the League of Extraordinary Writers.

Social Media Links:
League of Extraordinary Writers: http://leaguewriters.blogspot.com/

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, August 7, 2014

The 3 Rs: Readin' (w)Ritin' and...Rest!

As my last post shows, I've been uber busy lately (hey, I know, lemme enroll in school an hour away while working and trying to write. fun times) and am just now seeing the calm in the storm (geez, I hope it's not the eye of the storm. ugh). Which means my brain can once again focus on doing what I love: reading and writing!

I'm, oh, about four MSs (sorry Kelley, Kelley, Mandie and Jess!) and so-many-I've-lost-count books behind schedule, but I'm getting back in the game so to speak, and I'm excited! Plus, the creative juices have been let out of their cage and are rip roarin' ready to get me to THE END. Yay!

So this is short, yes, because, duh, reading. ;-)

But I'll be back, and hopefully with a writing update (on, say, Monday? you know, since that's the whole Ready Set Write! thing. Yeah.)!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Now that things have slowed down a bit...

It's high time I get my rear in gear with both blogging and writing. I was recently in school (yes, again) and working a full-time J.O.B., so something had to be set aside for a while. Well, since the job pays the bills and school wasn't free, blogging and writing took the hit. But now, I'm done with school, so I'm ready to dive back in to what I truly enjoy: writing and living in the world of Blogger and Twitter and the like. Aah, sweet victory.

I don't have much to say other than that. Well, except maybe I can do a giveaway or something? I have a couple extra copies of some really great books (Abbi Glines or Amanda Hocking, anyone?) that need good homes, so maybe I'll set something up really soon.

So stay tuned...