Guest Post

HAVE A BOOK TO PROMOTE? Lyrical Pens welcomes guest posts. Answer a questionnaire or create your own post. FYI, up front: This site is a definite PG-13. For details, contact cj

Friday, November 30, 2012

The Contract Process

cz sez my contract deal with Crimson Roman continues to be a smooth process. Jennifer, the CR editor I work with, has been very responsive to my every eMail. The contract has yet to be countersigned, however, so I continue to hold the idea that everything is still written in pencil (subject to be erased). Sigh.

CR sent me a really neat author packet, chock full of things I can do to help the marketing, things they will be doing (and they will do some marketing), and what I can expect when. One of the things that kind of surprised me was a page that invited me to give them my idea of what the cover might look like. Granted, they have final say-so, but that they asked was kind of special I thought.  I had always heard that authors have no input on cover art. I'm getting anxious to see what they come up with, and you will be some of the first people to see it.

They also asked for my photo jpeg. I guess I could use the one I have here on Lyrical Pens, but I think I'll try for an updated version. That will be a BIG deal because I don't, as my photographer says, have enough "planes/angles" in my face to be interesting. Ha. (Little does he know how interesting I can be when I want to  be.)

I'm waiting for the publisher's edits to come my way. I think that might be sooner than later, since DEADLY STAR is slotted for release in February 2013.  Yay, wow, etc.

On another note, I am covering the last few weeks of Mahala's writing class on Wednesday nights, and that's a kick. These teenagers are fun to be around, and they really want to learn about crafting a story. Hopefully, I can keep ahead of them.

Talk to you again soon.

You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I'll try to do the same.

cj  (note: no capitals, no periods, and no spaces between cj -- that's what I needed to tell the publisher.)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Blatant Self Promotion

I just wanted to celebrate with you . . . I submitted a manuscript, "Deadly Star," to Crimson Romance, in October and signed a contract with them yesterday. Yay!

The eBook version is presently scheduled for release Feb 18, 2013 (check Amazon, B& and the POD version comes later.

And for me, serious developmental editing and verifying is coming down the road.

"Deadly Star" did not start out as a romance, but then I decided to change the ending to a happily-ever-after. Obviously, there was enough of a relationship between the characters in the rest of the chapters to make the change work.

My eQuery pitch went this way:

A small-town scientist's world is turned upside down when she accidentally spots a top-secret satellite and a psychopath sends an assassin to silence her. When her CIA ex-husband, whom she still loves, gets involved, things get even more complicated for her. 

In Deadly Star, malevolent serendipity spins Dr. Mirabel Campbell's quiet life into a toxic mélange that makes her the target of a madman. Mirabel, a botanist at the top of her field, is burned out and plans to make a career change after one last project. She's also an amateur stargazer in pursuit of a mysterious point of light. What she finds is that the elusive night sky twinkle intersects her scientific speciality in a way that marks her for death. 

The experience with Crimson Romance has been smooth so far. My editor contact has been friendly and helpful. Still, if I've learned one thing from listening to other authors, it's never sign a contract until you've had time to digest it, have someone else look at it, and make changes if you need to. I did, I did, and I did. 

Crimson Romance is a new imprint of Adams Media which is a division of F & W Media, Inc. Sounds complicated, but these are the folks who published the "Cup of Comfort" series (no longer in print) and "Writers Digest."

If you write in the romance genre, here's where you can find their submission guidelines:

They're looking for "lots of talented authors with fresh voices and engaging stories; we seek smart, heartwarming romances for sophisticated readers."

So I say, you're talented. Go for it!    

You all guys keep on keeping on, and I'll try to do the same. 


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Things that go bump in the night

   That was the topic for the Halloween-themed short story contest when the Baldwin Writers Group kicked off their 2012-2013 year of writing. The BWG convened October 20 at the Daphne (AL) public library where the staff graciously (fearfully?) turned a blind eye to the costumed members and guests that arrived for the meeting. 
BWG President
Nolan White
   Nolan White, president of the BWG, empaneled five published local authors of stories in different genres to field questions from the members about the challenges to writing and publishing all those marvelous and important words that are swimming around in writers’ heads. Writing, whether it's non-fiction or fiction, ghostly even, is a messy (you should see my office) and solitary (necessarily so) process. Carving out time and a place can be more than a little difficult, and we all have different problems to resolve. The meeting, I think, offered encouragement to the members that the work can get done. It just takes some patience, planning, and persistence. 
   I joined an author panel comprised of . . . 

L-R: Margaret, Elizabeth, Sheila
* Margaret P. Cunningham, the author of three romantic comedies. One of her favorite characters, Aunt Maisy, appears in all three of her books.
* Elizabeth Parker, author of true ghost stories (that’s right, true). She also writes short fiction and maintains a blog about paranormal happenings in the Mobile Bay area.
* Sheila Booth-Alberstadt, author of three children’s books. Sheila also has her own publishing company. Her Maggie McNair series features a wonderful impish child and is aimed at helping children in difficult situations. 
* And my Lyrical Pens partner, Mahala Church, who is the published author of short stories, personal essays, is a professional editor (including editor of four published anthologies), and the Azalea City Center’s in-residence creative writing instructor for students that range in age from the fifth grade to adult.
   It seemed to go well, lots of Q&A after the meeting plus I managed to chow down a good bit of the frightfully good finger food and wicked witch’s brew.
   That’s all for now. You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I'll try to do the same. 


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Contest Winner: October

Pamela Hill sent in the winning entry for the month of October and won Ralph Fletcher's book, What a Writer Needs.  Congratulations to Pamela and her story which many single parents will relate to. If you don't smile at the end, I'd like to know.


Single Mom

By Pamela Hill

Another Halloween conquered. Ghostly Jared and Stevie were sitting at the dinner table, drinking red punch and eating fish sticks while their mother, Sandy, studied for a physics exam. Birds in the cage across the room were squawking. Sandy looked up from her book and watched the birds, forgetting about three-dimensional particle dynamics. The mother parakeet seemed agitated as her chicks fluttered around her in the cage.

Jared and Stevie squealed and giggled. Red punch spewed from Jared’s mouth into his salad and macaroni and cheese.

“Bedtime.” Sandy jumped out of her chair. She gave the boys a bath then read Good Night Moon.

“Bathroom,” Jared said.

Sandy sighed, smoothed his sheets and fluffed his pillow while she waited for him. She thought about the physics exam she wasn’t prepared for and yawned. She had to study or she’d never pass that test. She’d have her degree soon.

Jared ran back into the bedroom and jumped on the bed. “I’m thirsty.”

Sandy heard sirens outside and shuddered. "Ask not for whom the bell tolls."

“Mommy, I’m thirsty.”

“I’m going,” she said.

Jared jumped off the bed and followed her to the kitchen. The birds were still squawking. She gave Jared a glass of water and rushed him back to bed.

Stevie started crying and threw up on his blankets. “My stomach hurts.”

Sandy cried too and cleaned up the mess. Stevie felt warm, so Sandy found the thermometer in the medicine cabinet and took his temperature. He had a slight fever. She tucked him under the cover and held a cool cloth on his forehead until he fell asleep.

She then cleaned the grubby kitchen, made a cup of instant coffee and picked up her physics book. The birds were squawking again. Sandy took the mother bird out of the cage. “You need a break.”

She picked up her physics book and reread the same paragraph. The birds were still squawking, and Sandy looked at the mother bird perched on the curtain and wondered.

She opened the front door, and the mother bird flew away.