I Can Haz Book Deal... Part Deux!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

59 Chiming In
So, I've been absent for a while on the blog, but I have a good reason!

From Publisher's Marketplace:

Young Adult

Josin McQuein's PREMEDITATED, about the lengths one girl will go in order to get revenge on the boy who ruined her cousin's life, to Krista Vitola at Delacorte, at auction, for publication in Fall 2013, by Suzie Townsend at Nancy Coffey Literary & Media Representation.
January 30, 2012 at 11:06 p.m. Eastern


A year ago, this was entry #192 on Query Shark. The book went out on submission earlier this month, and then to auction last Wednesday.

A Random Teaser Tuesday

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

4 Chiming In
I wanted to post today, as I have done an excerpt post in a while, but I did it a little different. I put the page counts for 2 books into the random number generator and received page numbers. So, I'm going to post a snip from those pages.


Premeditated - - Page 125

“I need someone to dial it,” Brooks said. “Maybe it’s close enough to hear the ring - or someone could find it.”

“Can’t call without a phone,” Dex said. He turned a bit red, crossed his arms and looked at his feet as he ground the toes into the floor.

“I’ve got mine,” I said, quick-scrolling through my very short contact list to find the number Brooks had put into it after Cavanaugh’s class. I pressed the button and prayed my mad-genius of a best friend was either out of range or had thought to turn the ringer off.

I was also praying neither Brooks nor Dex could tell I was holding my breath until I was sure there wouldn’t be a ring.

“Where’d you get that?” Dex asked, while I pretended to search the food court for a hint of sound.

“Uncle Paul,” I said with a shrug, then hung up. “He wanted to make sure any news got through, so he gave me a new phone.”

“Who are you related to? Seriously?”

“Just Uncle Paul,” I said, turning to Brooks to add: “No answer, sorry.”

Dex was practically salivating. My phone wasn’t the usual pre-paid-from-the-drugstore piece of trash I was used to. It was a gift from one of the companies with a buy-in on Uncle Paul’s game – a beta version of a model that wouldn’t hit stores for another three months. They were hoping he’d give them special consideration on an app or something to increase their audience base. (I’m sure the company suits would have passed out if they knew Uncle Paul had handed their next-big-thing to his teenage niece, who then dragged it around the city on her quest to skirt the line between misdemeanor and felony.)

I slipped the phone back in my pocket, and for once I was fairly sure hormones had nothing to do with why Dex was staring at my backside. He looked like a starving man forced to sit at a banquet with his hands tied. At Lowry, he had a well-polished suit of social armor in place – no different than making sure his tie sat straight – but in the wild, when he didn’t have to conform to a set way of acting, the want for things he couldn’t have showed through. It made the moment uncomfortable enough that I was happy to join in on a physical, if pointless, search that meant we all had to split up to cover more ground.

Sing Down the Stars - - Page 176

"You’ve seen this before – I only want to know who made it. It saved us. There’s no mark on it, but if I didn’t know better, I’d think it was something of my father’s."

Squint ran his calloused thumbs over the medallion, and gave a heavy, resigned sigh.

“It’s Magnus’ work all right. Early stuff, though. Way before The Show – before your mother, too. He’s always had the gift.”

“But how would Sister Mary Alban have gotten something of my father’s?”

“That may be the name she uses now, but I’d bet it’s not the one she was born with. Did she look familiar at all?”

“As familiar as a mirror.”

Squint nodded along, as though he had suspected as much.

“Renata. That’s the only one she could be.”

“Who’s Renata?”

It wasn’t a common name, and certainly one I’d never heard before.

“Your father’s youngest sister. His twin.”

“My father had brothers and sisters?”

I had aunts and uncles? No one had ever mentioned them.

“Only sisters,” Squint clarified.

“Where are they? Why aren’t they here? Why weren’t they with us on the train?” It seemed that every time I got an answer, three new questions came to take its place.

“He had only sisters, Penny Dreadful, in the same way you have only sisters. Renata was the fifth… like you. They were like you and the girls, where do you think they went?”

To “no one knows,” that’s where. No one knew where the Estabulary kept their Hounds, or how many there actually were.

It's the End of the World as we know it...

Friday, January 6, 2012

12 Chiming In
Bad song lyrics aside, there is something earth shattering going on this year, and it has nothing to do with a long-dead carver running out of space on a Mayan calendar.

If you've been pretty much anywhere in the vicinity of writerdom since New Year's Eve, you've been watching Goodreads trainwrecks and blog pile-ons and likely rubbernecking the carnage like the rest of us.


Professional writers are starting to sound like whiny pre-teens on a fanfiction site who bemoan how mean their commenters are and declare all dissenters to be haters and flamers. And what's worse, the reviewers who are caught in the middle are starting to think all YA writers have slipped a few cogs in their craniums. (Can you tell I've been writing Steampunk? I think you can.)

I would like to point out a few things that should be obvious.

1 - if you are published, then YOU'RE PUBLISHED. Your book is out there, in the open, being seen and being read. THIS IS THE GOAL OF THE PROFESSIONAL WRITER. If you want compliments, head to Kinko's and print copies for your family and friends. Personally, I'd rather sell books to people I've never met and have them maybe tell others they should buy them, too.

2 - You're a professional. ACT LIKE IT. The best analogy I've seen is comparing the review explosion to getting a performance review. Before you comment or blog, try and imagine saying what you want to say to your boss while standing in the middle of cubicle-land and while screaming at the top of your lungs. You'd be fired before you could take your next breath.

3 - readers DO NOT owe you a good review. You put out a product. They paid money. They are the consumer, and it's the consumer's privilege to decide if their money was well spent or wasted. All they owe you is the cost of your book in whatever format they choose to acquire it. That's it.

4 - Criticizing a book DOES NOT MAKE A REVIEWER MEAN. It doesn't mean they hate you. It means they didn't connect with your book... like all of those "not for me" rejections that come along while querying. You know how you shouldn't respond to those rejections with venom and vitriol, but rather file them away in the circular cabinet with the rest of the things you toss out? APPLY THE SAME LOGIC TO BAD REVIEWS. Maybe your book hit a nerve, maybe it brought up something uncomfortable for the reviewer, maybe it utilized faulty logic that 98% of people wouldn't notice, and the reviewer is one of the 2% that did. It doesn't matter. The book "wasn't for" that particular reviewer, and if they go into detail as to why, then be grateful they paid attention. For all you know, what they found distasteful, someone else will love.

5 - REVIEWS ARE NOT FOR THE WRITER. They're for the reader. They are not the same as getting a bad mark on a lit paper in school. They are not telling you how to improve, as the book is in a fixed state. Look away. Keep your distance. ABSOLUTELY DO NOT TOUCH.

6 - a bad review WILL NOT sink your career, but alienating those who do the leg work passing on recommendations can. Book bloggers blog books because they love them. Others read their blogs for the same reasons, and if you alienate the loudest voices advocating for you and your contemporaries, then you've just headed out into the desert with a canteen YOU poked holes in, and a compass YOU removed the needle from.

7 - ranting embarrasses you, your agent, your editor, and your publisher. It makes readers give you weird looks. It makes people not want to touch your books because they're afraid of what will happen if you find out they didn't love them.

Remember, you chose this career. It may feel like your blood and your soul is fused to every copy of your words out there, but it's ink and paper and ideas. Ideas can't stay exactly as you create them. They move; they expand as others interpret them. That's how it's supposed to work.

Reviews go away. They may stay on the site where they're posted, but people forget about them. But, if you dig in your heels, pitch a tent on a review site and start making a fuss, then it's going to spread. It's going to hit Twitter and Facebook, and maybe even media outlets. Then an exponential number of new people are going to go in search of that one, bad review. Nothing else. They will focus solely on that as the definition of you and your work, and it will be YOUR fault because you did the same thing by ignoring the positive reviews in favor of that one bad one that rubbed you the wrong way.

Take a breath. Walk away.

/a less ranty rant.

Go Ahead and Judge

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

4 Chiming In
Yes, this is another cover post.

We're told you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, yet that's exactly what readers do. It's not the sole component of choosing what to read/ pick-up / buy, but it's a big one. The cover is what usually catches a reader's attention, which is why "facing out" is such a good thing in a book store. No one notices spines; they notice cover design.

So, I was wondering exactly how much you can tell about a book by its cover. To that end, I propose a challenge. I'm going to post a set of covers that I've made for existing, trunked, or contemplated projects. See if you can figure anything about the plot out from those covers. Can you tell YA from MG from anything else by just the image and tagline?

I'll even make it easy and post a couple you've seen before.

Don't worry about hurting my feelings if you think these are terrible (I'm well aware that one looks like it belongs on a poster from a 90's Scanners movie), this is just for fun and information.

This one should be easy:

** covers removed since I have a real one **