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Sunday, July 30, 2006

Contest Promo

From Lauren Barnholdt's Blog

Introducing....THE REALITY CHICK BUZZ THE BOOK contest!

(1) Your choice of either an iPod Shuffle, OR a fifty dollar gift certificate
(2) An autographed copy of REALITY CHICK by Lauren Barnholdt
(3) A copy of the August issue of Teen People, which lists REALITY CHICK as a Can't-Miss Pick for August
(4) Free tuition to a session of Lauren's YA writing classTHE CONTEST:

STEP ONE: Simply copy and paste this whole message (including the info about the contest) into any blog, message board, email list, myspace bulletin, or anywhere a lot of people will see it!

REALITY CHICK by Lauren Barnholdt is NOW IN STORES!

Going away to college means total independence and freedom. Unless of course your freshman year is taped and televised for all the world to watch. On uncensored cable.

Sweet and normal Ally Cavanaugh is one of five freshpeople shacking upon In the House, a reality show filmed on her college campus. (As if school isn't panic-inducing enough!) The cameras stalk her like paparazzi, but they also capture the fun that is new friends, old crushes, and learning to live on your own.

Sure, the camera adds ten pounds, but with the freshman fifteen a given anyway, who cares? Ally's got bigger issues -- like how her long-distance bf can watch herloopy late-night "episode" with a certain housemate...

Freshman year on film.
It's outrageous.
It's juicy.
And like all good reality TV, it's impossible to turn off.


Check out Lauren on the web at or on her myspace at


Email Lauren at lauren (at) and let her know you've posted about the contest and the book, and you'll be entered to win the prize pack! The winner will be picked at random on September 1st. The more places you post, the more entries you get. Have fun and good luck!!!

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Little and Often

I'm not one of those people who can sit for hours at a time writing. In fact, I can't sit for hours at a time doing anything - thanks to my 20 second attention span. Interruptions don't bother me. I can stop writing mid-sentence to answer the phone or chat - it's not unheard of for me to write while msning with friends. Also, I always work with the radio on - silence just kills me.

It's a wonder how I ever get anything done. But I do. And it gets done in a fairly timely manner. Because I adhere to the 'little and often' principle. Which means my current ms is open all day, everyday. And I dip in and out it of as the mood takes me. This principle has worked for me all through my life. When studying I would never save all day Saturday/Sunday to work (I studied a lot while working), I would do some every morning before going to work.

I have never pulled an all-nighter in my life! Not counting clubbing/partying.

How do you work best?

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Crit Partner vs Blogging Buddy

A comment about blogging buddies by Alyssa, on my last blog, got me thinking. Can you ever develop the type of relationship you have with your CPs with a fellow blogger? And I decided... no. At least, not if your relationship is only through blogging.

Interaction in my CP group is private - there are four of us, we have our own yahoo loop and we email and msn daily (or however often we catch each other). We don't live near each other, Christina's in Australia, Amanda and Pat (who really needs to get a blog so I can link to her) are both in different parts of the UK, but it doesn't matter. We don't just talk about writing. In fact much more of our conversation is about us. Writing figures when we're brainstorming, critting, submitting and waiting, but that probably only takes up about 40% of our time online.

Blogging, on the other hand is public. I'm not going to spill anything personal on a blog in the same way as I would with my CPs - who quite frankly deserve to listen to my moans and groans. I mean, they call them selves buddies, but one of them, on the day I started my 3 pages a day before internet regime tried to make me cheat, and another of them wanted me to up my page limit to 5 pages - which I knew would set me on the road to failure...... sorry I digress....

Anyway, what do you reckon?

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Crazy Little Thing Called Blog

Here's the deal. Sometime last year I was coerced into starting a blog, by she who shall remain nameless. I totally couldn't see the point. For a start, I have enough trouble getting my butt in the chair to do my proper writing, so I was hardly going to spend time blogging. Not only that, what on earth would I blog about? Although motel life can produce some amusing anecdotes, there's only so many times you can post about bare butts, towels that slip, and the famous people who stay.

What I failed to realise - so sue me, I'm not that quick on the update - is that blogging isn't just blogging. Blogging is soooooo much more. It means making visits across the globe from one blog to another - following the links, leaving a comment trail, making new buddies...... it's the total experience (and we won't mention time-consuming because I'm dealing with that already, as you know if you read the previous post).

So, come on. What does blogging mean to you???

Sunday, July 23, 2006

My Name is Sara and I'm an Internet Slut

I admit it, I'm addicted...... to blogs, websites, writers loops, msn.... you name it I'm there - lurking, posting, both... at the expense of my writing. And every day before getting out of bed I say to myself: 'Today will be different. Today, in between my other work, I'm going to write my butt off.'

And do I? What do you think?

So, I've decided to announce publicly that, starting tomorrow, I will not do any surfing until I've written three new pages - apart from checking my emails, there could be important stuff in my inbox, like emails from my agent or editor!!

I thought long and hard about how many pages it should be, and because I spend time editing what I did the previous writing session(s) I knew it couldn't be too many, or I'd be setting myself up to fail.

Hopefully this will work - I'll be reporting in.

How do you fight those internet demons? I'd love to hear.

Friday, July 21, 2006

The Long and the Short of It

One of my CPs, Christina, has just finished her manuscript, which we've affectionately named Kill Lil. A huge worry for Christina was that the book would come in at over 100k - she feared it might even reach 110k.

This got me thinking about why some people write 'long' and others (I count myself amongst these) write 'short'. I wondered if there was a correlation between being a pantster or plotter and writing long or short. I'm a plotter - planning features heavily in all aspects of my life. When I start a book I have a full outline, but sometimes that isn't enough, as I've discovered with my new YA - I've had to stop writing and do a scene spreadsheet, so I know exactly what is happening all the time.

The reason I think this encourages me to write short is because there isn't a lot of room for me to deviate from (and maybe extend) my outline - that doesn't mean I'm inflexible, I will change things that are obviously not working.

Any thoughts on this?

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The Eagle Has Landed

Or in this case......... Secret Society Girl by Diana Peterfreund has made it to the launch pad. From miles around people are flocking to get their hands on this book. The reviews have been totally awesome.

Lucky me.... I won a copy in Diana's contest!!!

Check out Diana's blog for links to all the sightings and reviews. It's truly amazing to witness the momentum.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

The Joys of Parenthood...

Remember that saying 'little children, little problems; big children, big problems'? Well, it's right.

Last night my sixteen year old son (I was a child bride) went out with his friends. At 1.30 I hear him call 'Mum, I'm back'. Great. So I could properly go to sleep, rather than just doze.

At 2.45 there was a knock on our window - our balcony window to be precise. We shot out of bed, convinced someone was breaking in!! Dh rushes downstairs and grabs whatever it is he keeps hidden for moments like these (I hide under the covers). A few seconds later I hear him outside talking to someone. So, I get up and peep through a gap in the curtains. It was my son's friend. He'd climbed onto the roof of our car and then lept over the rail onto our balcony. The reason: his car keys were in our house. So I let the boy into our bedroom where he proceeded to go downstairs, find his keys and leave!!!

And could I get back to sleep???? What do you think? Needless to say, today I'm knackered! Just wait til ds gets up!

I did feel a bit better, though, when I found out I'd won a prize, the prize, in Diana's contest. Yay, me!!!!!!

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Check this out...

This is the coolest thing ever...... my agent Sara is a very good friend of Jenny, who is Amanda's agent. And as you know Amanda and I are CPs, good friends and part of the crit group affectionately known as the 'witches'! Look at the comments in Amanda's 11th July post about my sale.

This is surely a sign...........

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


You heard it here first..... actually, probably last because blogger has been down for maintenance and I couldn't get on to post. Anyway, big news........ I've sold my YA, and I know I'm not dreaming because this morning my fabbo, wonderful agent Sara posted it on Publishers Marketplace:

Sara Hantz's debut THE SECOND VIRGINITY OF SUZY GREEN, about a girl who joins a virginity club in her new town to try to make a new start, to Andrew Karre at Flux, by Sara Crowe at Harvey Klinger (world).

Is that cool, or is that cool????

People have been asking for my call story, so here it is. I'll try not to ramble and if you've heard it before then you have my permission to sign off, or drop off (don't worry I'll wake you later):

As some of you know, I've been writing chick-lit and hen-lit for a couple of years. Last November I decided to try a teen-lit becauseYoung Adult is so HOT at the moment. After writing 3 chapters I did what you're not meant to do and started to send it to agents, to test the water. Ooops!!! That'll teach me. The story seemed to hit the right nerve because straight away I was asked for 5 fulls and 6 partials - from some mega agents. I sent the partials and said to those requesting the full that it still needed some tweaking (aka writing) and I'd send when ready. In only a few days one of the agents had read the partial and asked for the full (and she was my dream agent, top of my wish list....).

I managed to finish the full by January and send to all those who requested it..... most of them asked for it by email which was an added bonus..... and 10 days later the agent above (as in, Sara) phoned and offered representation. I said yes pretty much straight away (I know you're meant to wait blah blah but I knew she was right for me. And this after having a bad agent experience - we parted company mid-way through last year, another story). I then let all the other agents know and withdrew the ms. So, by February I'd done some revisions for Sara and she sent it out to lots of publishers. Andrew, the editor from Flux, phoned asking if I'd be prepared to do some revisions. I said yes (obviously!!!) and he sent me a very detailed letter. I did them. He was happy and then asked me to do some more, saying if they were ok he'd take it to the acquisitions committee. And the rest is history..... I'm with with Flux, who have some FAB covers - I can't wait to see mine - and Andrew, who is great to work with.

So, in publishing terms it all happened quickly: November-July (8 months) from starting to write to sale. BUT in many respects it seemed like 8 years - just ask my poor long suffering CPs!!

So much for trying not to ramble, lol.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

WTG Amanda!

This is what dreams are made of....... my writing buddy and very good friend Amanda has made it to Publishers Marketplace:

Fiction: Women's/Romance Amanda Ashby's YOU HAD ME AT HALO, in the vein of All of Me, about a woman who dies with unresolved issues and comes back in the body of her geeky co-worker in order to sort them out, to Anne Bohner at NAL, in a nice deal, by Jenny Bent at Trident Media Group (NA).

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Is there anybody there?

Just in case anyone pops by, which judging by the distinct lack of comments recently is unlikely (not counting Christina!) ........... watch this space!!!!

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