Monday, December 12, 2011

When aspiring authors attack

Some writing friends of mine recently alerted me to an aspiring author attacking a published author on Twitter. An author was accused of being a fraud because he was doing a three week tour that only went to major areas. When I read the Twitter feed my jaw nearly hit the floor with the one question…Why?
What would possess an aspiring author to do such a thing? I thought by now most people who want to break into publishing know the following tings about the industry:
  1. It's a small, small world.
  2. Agents/editors may check up on your online presence, and they want someone professional.
So many authors put themselves out in social media and respond to fans when they have no obligation to. They answer questions, support bloggers and give fan insights into their life as a writer (and sometimes their personal life too).

Social media is a great way for people to network, gain valuable industry insight and knowledge and create an online presence that shows agents and editors that you are serious about this journey. Ranting tweets against people in the industry is a good way to burn bridges and expose yourself as someone who is unprofessional. For more on Twitter ettique, check out this post from Angela James.

I'm not going to get into the ins and outs of the argument, but I will say that the published author handled himself like a true professional with logical responses. He impressed me so much I'm going to buy one of his books.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Coliloquy & creating buzz

Anticipation is such a great social media strategy. Create the buzz, get people salivating before you've even launched is the ultimate sign of success.

Peguin did it with the "Sekerit" project, aka Book Country. And now Kindle are doing it with Coliloquy.

We know that they're publishing in a new interactive publishing platform and have given an author a 10-book deal!

We know that agents are excited. We know that authors are excited.

Know I want to know - are you excited?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Finished! Done!

Squee!! Excitement plus. I finished my rewrite. Thanks to the editorial advice I received from Zoe Walton, I rewrote MISHCA, and renamed it SLEEPER. Hopefully now my blogging will resume.

It was a hard thing to take your baby, rip it apart and then put it back together again. The hardest thing was that I actual had to dump the original concept that sparked the whole MS. But never fear, it that concept will work in book two.

So what's next? I've got multiple stories that I will work on, and I'll let myself be guided by the muse. They include:
DESERTER: The sequel to SLEEPER.

KARMA: A Greek Mythology - a novel version of the short story I wrote for the Australian Literary Review's YA short story competition and was the runner up.

GROWTH: A YA Contemporary version of the short story I wrote for THE BASICS OF LIFE anthology.

BOY FROZEN: A YA Science Fiction that looks at twins, epilepsy, aliens and high school.

DIRTY RAINBOW (working title): A YA Dystopian set thousands of years in the future, where men are extinct and cyborgs help the human race live on.

EMERALD: A YA Steampunk/dystopian set in the future after a nuclear fallout and environmentalist rule.

Do many ideas, so little hours in the day.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Kittens help you write!

Not a kitten from the site, but my kitty, Nermal
A wonderful friend of mine shared this link with me and it's too good not to share:

Written Kitten

This fantastic site gives you a new kitten for every 100 words you write.

I think I'm going to be increasing my daily word counts now!

While I've still be posting on YAtopia, Down Under Wonderings has been a bit neglected. I've been throwing myself into a rewrite of Mishca, which is now called Sleeper, based on feedback I received through a pitch session at the CYA Conference in Brisbane (my pitch session was from last year - it scored my a full request and I recently got the feedback and an offer to resubmit - woo hoo). I'm also working on a contemporary YA story and lots of brainstorming.

So now, I'm jumping back into editing and writing. Have fun!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Fantasy Hook Your Book Contest

is hosting a Fantasy Novel Hook for Your Book contest here on my blog which will be judged by my agent, Jeanie Pantelakis of Sullivan Maxx Literary Agency.

Read more about it and enter here. Good luck!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

RIPPLEs of Influence: Mandy Hubbard - Agent, Author Interview

The fantastic author and D4EO agent extraordinaire Mandy Hubbard has dropped by today for a pre-competition interview. As an author and an agent, Mandy has fantastic reach and influence in the publishing industry and may be the perfect person to represent your work. She is hosting a agent pitch competition on YAtopia on September 29. So hone your two sentence pitches over the next two weeks! But right now, if you're IN TOO DEEP, GETTING CAUGHT up in queries and YOU WISH that Mandy Hubbard would represent you, then read on (sorry Mandy, BUT I LOVE HIM and PRADA & PREJUDICE where too hard to fit in =P)

1) Tell us a bit about your journey into writing?
I really began as a reader-- first with books, of course, and later on It's a site for novice writers. After spending several weeks reading stories, I decided to try writing one. Over the next few years, I wrote a half-dozen novels. I had never actually considered myself to BE a writer until much later.
2) RIPPLE is your latest release, would you share with us how you came up with the concept?
I had wanted to do something with more fantasy or paranormal elements, but I wanted it to be grounded in the real world. I decided the main character would be half normal, half otherworldy. It was just a matter of what kind of otherworldly. I used wikipedia to decide on a siren.

3) You cowrote GETTING CAUGHT with Cyn Balog. Would you share with us a bit about the book and the cowriting experience?

Cowriting is such a blast! It combines writing and reading into one experience. I loved it. I wish Cyn could write half of all my novels. :-) The book is about two teens in a prank war that will only end when one of them gets caught. It's contemporary, humorous, with a big focus on friendship.

4) How did agenting become a part of your career?

Back when I was on submission, I had a big involvement in the submission process. I probably drove my agent nuts. One of the first offers I ever received for Prada & Prejudice was from an editor I chose. By the time BUT I LOVE HIM went onto submissions, my agent just let me choose who I wanted it to go to. As time went on, I became involved with a number of writer friend's projects-- helping them through extensive revisions and watching them land agents quickly thereafter. So when an internship opened up, I jumped on it. Interning confirmed my love, and I found an agency to join fairly soon thereafter. It's been a blast! I love the business side as much as the creative side.

5) How do you balance your agenting work with your own writing?
I get up early. I stay up late. I juggle. It's hard to stay creative for more than an hour or two at a time, so it tends to be a back-and-forth thing. I write for an hour until 8AM, and then switch to business mode. Then I write again late at night, after 8:30pm.

6) To give writers an idea of your tastes, what recent releases/authors do you wish were on your client list?
I LOVED Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly. It used history in such a modern way. THE LIARY SOCEITY by Lisa and Laura Roecker is Ah-Maz-Ing. Crush Control by Jennifer Jabaley is a great contemporary story with a big hook. I'd kill for a contemp romance author who mastered the tension and sexiness of Jennifer Echols or Simone Elkeles. Still searching for a mystery or suspense.

7) What are the biggest mistakes you see in queries?
There are a lot of obvious mistakes, and those are easy to fix-- typos, targeting the wrong agents, focusing more on yourself than the book, being too wordy, etc. The hard thing is that probably 50% of queries don't make any obvious mistakes, they just sound boring, hum-drum. You have to work hard to craft a query that sounds intriguing and different. It's truly an artform.

8) What stories are you hanging out to see in the YAtopia pitch competition?
Pitch contests like this are hard for the more literary works, but sometimes people just nail it-- there's beauty in a pitch, even in just a couple of sentences. Those always impress me. I'd love something new and fresh under the fantasy umbrella, whether that's Sci-Fi, Epic, etc. And something girly and MG with a big hook!

9) What is an "ultimate" query to you?
Occasionally one strikes a real chord, and I can't request it fast enough. I saw Beth Revis' ACROSS THE UNIVERSE as an intern, and couldn't send it along fast enough. It blew me away. Queries like that are one in a thousand. But so worth the work to find them!
Find out more about Mandy as an agent and an author at her website: or by following her on Twitter @Mandyhubbard and start following YAtopia if you want a shot at catching her agenting eye.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

A new boutique publisher: A Bit of Grace (Part 2)

Debut author, publisher and the woman who had to leave her agent to follow her dream - Kate Grace.

Part 1 of this interview can be found on YAtopia.

Sharon: So does ABoG have plans for more books coming out anytime soon?

Kate: Yes. There are actually a few additional elements to Burden of the Soul (book one) that will be released through the fall, including the paperback edition and bonus chapters that give the perspective of other characters within the book. We are also hard at work on the second book in the Burden series, set to release in late 2012. Our end goal is to be a fully operational boutique publisher, but on principle we're working out the kinks of the process on my books first. Once we feel ready to take on other authors and fully support them and their work we'll open for submissions.

Sharon: What will be the submission process of ABoG?

Kate: It's difficult to say given that we're still in the early stages of defining ABoG, though I can say we will stay within the realm of children's and teen literature for now with the goal of expanding into literature aimed at female readerships. I'm actually really excited for this, having been an editor myself and being connected to such a wide variety of talented editors and artists. I love the idea of creating teams around a work, tailored to the work itself. When we get there, we'll select manuscripts based on our interest in them and the way they grab us. Then we'll go out and find the perfect team to work with the author to create the best possible literary experience for readers. The structure we're experimenting with right now gives everyone on the team a stake in the project, encouraging active participation in every phase of a work. The test run for Burden of the Soul has worked extremely well, and we're going to test drive it again before we apply it to others' works. But we're hoping to have it fully polished and ready for outside submissions in 2012.

Sharon: What other stories/novels are you working on at the moment?

Right now I'm working on the bonus chapters of Burden of the Soul, which is so much fun. It adds so much to the writing experience to play around in other characters' perspectives. I really believe it adds dimensions and discoveries to the story as a writer, whether they're made public or not. Beyond that we're hard at work on the next book in the Burden series. There are, however, other characters unrelated to Burden living in my imagination right now with their own stories to tell, and occasionally they demand attention. As far as I can tell at this point they're not geared at the YA genre, so when the time comes I'll figure them out, but for now they serve as a great stretch.

Sharon: What are some tricks & tips you use to over come writers block?

Kate: It sounds so simple and so difficult at the same time, but the best way I have found to combat writers block is to keep writing. A block is rarely created by the part of ourselves that wants to write – it's created by that part of ourselves that wants to edit or critique as we go. Don't let that inner voice judge your work in progress! Keep going and write for the sake of silencing that inner voice. Tell it to shut up by writing more. If you need a break from what you're working on, write something else or find another creative outlet to keep that playful sensibility about expression. Show yourself some compassion and grace, and allow yourself to be a beginner. If when sitting down to write the first sentence you're worried about getting an agent, getting a publisher, having good sales, being able to pay off student loans... Oh my world, you'll never get to the end of that sentence! This is playtime, everything else comes after. Push it out of your mind and just allow that creative part of your self to run around a play for a bit without the manufactured risk of failing. There is no failing in writing if you get the words down. If you just write, you've succeeded already!

You can find Burden of the Soul for sale online at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and iTunes. You can find Kate on Twitter, Goodreads, A Bit of Grace Blog and Facebook.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Yes Ma'am! Angela's instructions on 'What to write next'

I often read how the second novel is harder to write then the first one. Five started novel manuscripts later, I understand why. One manuscript I started, and love, will be pretty controversial for some. So I put it on hold. Another was my NaNoWriMo project for last year. My Dad died on 1 November, so I'm sure you can understand why that one was a "fail". Another was an old concept I tried to reignite the passion for, but I just wasn't "feeling" it. Then there was the novel version of a short story that I placed second in for a national YA short story competition. I love the short story, and think it would work as a novel. But couldn't get in the groove.

Then finally there is DESERTER, the sequel to SLEEPER. I had started work on it immediately after I finished the-novel-formerly-known-as-MISHCA, but put it aside. NOT because I wasn't feeling it, but because after all my internet cruising on writing I thought that it was poor form to have finished your second book in a series before being signed with an agent. It was something stupid I'd put together in my head about the agent and editor guiding your novels direction.

Then ny mentor and manuscript cooker, Angela Slatter, put me straight. I'm the writer. I wrote the first story. I set the direction.

A potential agent and editor shouldn't have to hold my hand. They will certainly have a high level of input, but it's still my imagination, my story.

Angela told me that my situation was not the norm. It's not common for agents to provide feedback with an offer to see a revised version (breaking my no blogging about queries rule AGAIN). My wonderful mentor expanded my ego by telling me that means they recognised I have talent. And the next step is to show them that I am professional and strategic with my writing by finishing a draft of the sequel. My day job includes planning and strategy, so I found this appealing.

My "home work" is to undertake a detailed plot of DESERTER. I am such a pantser that this is a big change, but a welcome one. The Plot Whisperer's YouTube series has been helpful in turning a pantser into a plotter. It's a 27 step series and well worth your time.

I guess one of the main I learnt from this advice from Angela is not to pay that much attention to the conflict advice that's floating out there in cyber space. Even if the advice is right for a part of the industry in one country, it's not going to be right for everyone. The best thing to do is to network (there's that word again), take courses with your local writers' centre and go to conferences. If you're really committed, find yourself a mentor and let them guide you through the ins and outs of the publishing world. Don't be a hapless noob, be an informed novice.

Now I'm off to do some more plotting. Mwahahahaha. Oh yeah, not that type of plotting.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Magestic Mentoring with the Awesome Angela Slatter

Angela Slatter (photo by David Pollitt)
This week I scored myself a mentor! The wonderfully talented Angela Slatter, one of Australia's best speculative fiction short story writers is helping me "cook" my manuscript, guide me through the publishing industry's intricacies and mould me into a "real" spec fic writer. I am blogging about it from the mentee's POV and Angela is blogging about her experiences with me and her other writing wards from a mentor's POV. I strongly recommend you follow her blog to pick up on some great industry advice. Today I'm going to talk about how I got to the point of working with Angela.

I had been writing for myself for years and years. When I finally let one of my friends read some stories, she encouraged me to go further with it. I knew navigating the publishing industry was going to be tough, but I had no idea just how tough. From the research I had done, it encouraged writers to seek advice from people in the industry, and if possible, get feedback from an industry professional on work. Great in theory, but how in the world does a publishing industry noob like me do that?!

About a year ago I went into the Queensland Writers Centre to join up membership, hoping that would introduce me to some new opportunities and give me access to some resources that would help me in my journey. But it has also provided me with networking opportunities, which I've learn can be one of the most important things in publishing.

Angela Slatter met me at the counter. We got chatting and hit it off. She took some time out and starting talking to me in depth about the Australian publishing industry, giving me some advice on agents to query. At the time, I was still so green about querying (my queries are not something I normally blog about, but I'm breaking that rule here).

So fast forward to today. I had stayed in touch with Angela. We worked for the same organisation briefly. Then I got to an interesting stage. I had undertaken major revision to my manuscript and was suffering from query fatigue, but I had some agents offer to see a revised version of my manuscript and they each gave me some feedback to work on. This was exciting, but it also meant more revision. Then, when I was part way through the revision, I got an offer of representation. Now it is all over the internet how agents must love your manuscript and feel as though they are as match as author and agent. Well, I feel the same thing goes for the author. And in this instance, I didn't think I was compatible with the agent, something I didn't know when I queried the agent. I made a scary decision to pass on the offer.

This left me with a half-revised manuscript, some waiting agents and a whole lot of doubt. My main concern was I would second guess myself and make my manuscript worse. I had already done this once as the feedback from agents was to take out bits that weren't part of the original version of my manuscript.

I remembered the advice, get someone from the publishing industry to give you feedback. I saw that a former editor had gone freelance and contacted her, but she was focusing on working with publishers. But I was now set on this course of action.  I knew Angela was flat out busy, but I asked her if she could recommend someone who freelanced to me. I couldn't believe it when Angela came back and said she would take me on and be my mentor. Her belief in me and desire to help me move to the next stage with my writer's journey was just the boost I needed.

So what can aspiring writers learn from my experience? Networking is important in the Australian publishing industry. The publishing world in small, but for Australia it's even smaller. Meeting people already established in the industry will open opportunities. It doesn't mean everyone you meet will offer to mentor you, but you might be invited to be a part of a group blog, learn about submissions opening up or funding opportunities.

So where can you find networking opportunities? Writers' centres are a good start and you can attend conferences. I met some great people at the CYA Conference in Brisbane last year. You can even book in for one-on-one sessions with agents and publishers at these events (if you're quick enough and prepared to pay a bit more for the experience - I've done it and found it was worth the money). Writers' groups is another option, as is going to book launches, writing courses and connecting with people in the publishing industry through social media (but don't be a creepy stalker).
Whatever you do, DON'T rock up on agents' doorsteps.

To paraphrase Angela, the Australian publishing industry is so small that if a writer bad mouths someone, chances are it will get back to them. So don't do it!! Be polite and courteous. Remember that writing is about passion for the author, and while agents and publishers are passionate about books and their clients, for them writing is a business. So grab the opportunities when they present themselves, but be professional and polite.

You never know where you might meet someone that opens a new door for you in the publishing world, but if you don't open the first door yourself to get out there and meet these people then you'll just stay locked in your own writing world. So go forth, mingle, tweet, listen and engage with people in the trade.

One final note, you can get a mentor in a couple of ways. Look out for scholarships (where someone else is paying the person to mentor you) and the like, you take the leap and pay for someone else's time yourself. Remember that their time is precious, but if you find the right match, it's worth the investment - because it's really an investment in yourself.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Photo clitch

Ahhh crud! Blogger has had a glitch and wiped most of my pics...except for John Cusick's for some reason.

It'll take me a bit to load them all back up. So sorry for the awful exclamation marks in the interim.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Agent interview with John Cusick

In In-demand YA agent John Cusick from S©ott Treimel NY is visiting YAtopia next week for a MICRO SYNOPSIS contest (you heard it!). But to give you a bit of an idea of the man behind those hip glasses and classy lit tweets, here's 13 questions with John

1) How did you find yourself as both an author and an agent?

I started as an agent’s assistant in October 2007 at Scott Treimel NY, an all-juvenile literary agency. Scott knew I wanted to write, and asked if I’d like to write for young people. I proposed a story about a sixteen-year-old robot, which became GIRL PARTS. After copious edits, Scott represented and Candlewick published in August 2010. The two jobs— agenting and writing— balance me out. One is exothermic, intense, and critical, the other introspective and private. I like having this Jeckel and Hyde life, the introvert writer and the skull-busting agent ;)
2) Scott Treimel NY literary agency has a rather unique submissions process, would you tell us a bit about it and why the agency went that way instead of traditional email submissions?  

We decided to go electronic with the advent of the e-readers, and because we were sick of hauling printed manuscripts around. Scott and I designed our online submission form hoping to streamline the querying process for ourselves and prospective clients. We require a specific rubric when considering an author for representation, including their publishing history, background, where they’ve submitted before, etc. The form asks for this information specifically. So far we’ve had great feedback about our submission process. It’s simple, environmentally friendly, and removes much of the guess-work of query writing.

3) What is the lure of YA for you?
The codes of conduct, the struggles, the newness of everything: adolescence is so intense! Teenagers have a purity of focus. Whatever their struggle, whether finding a date to prom or defeating a dark wizard, they’re stepping into the world for the first time, discovering who they are in relationship to everything else. From the ages of 12 to 18 our brains draw and redraw a map of the universe with a big arrow labeled YOU ARE HERE. Teenagers become themselves. Combine all this with the very adult problems kids often face (drugs, abusive parents, dark wizards), and you have very rich ground for stories. And personally, I’m not sure if I ever really left high school. I still pass notes to girls I like.

4) So we know you specialize in YA, but tell us a bit about the genres that get you salivating and you don't represent?

I love sweeping, heart-breaking literary fiction. My favorites in this category are Vladimir Nabokov, Siri Hustvedt, Claire Messud, A.S. Byatt, and Jeffrey Eugenides. In y.a., I sometimes miss the lush description and interweaving motifs you find in adult literary fiction. In my own writing I have a hard time banishing my internal literature professor. He sneaks in every now and then, cleverly disguised in Converse All Stars. But when he starts to get too boisterous and pretentious, I reach for my red pen and strike him out.

5) It's always a good idea when querying for writers to know a bit about the agent's clients. Would you tell us a bit about some of your clients and what attracted you to their work?

There are too many and their merits too multifarious for me to list them exhaustively, and I hate to leave anyone out. I have an arbitrary stack of client books and manuscripts on my desk right now, so I suppose I’ll limit myself to these:

Michael Kinch, The Blending Time — Gritty realism combined with a vaulting imagination. Mike was my first-ever YA client, and I can’t put down his action-packed stuff.

Gail Giles, Dark Song— Laser focused psychological realism with page-turner tension.
Maribeth Boelts, The P.S. Brothers – Maribeth has such tenderness for her characters. I love them all instantly.

Art Slade, The Hunchback Assignments 3: Empire of Ruins— Art is a bottomless well of original ideas, worlds, and characters. He is also an absolute Gentleman.
Ryan Gebhart, Bear Swear—We just signed Ryan and are working with him on this manuscript. Ryan’s middle-grade narrator grabbed me immediately, a recognizable but fresh character with a true voice. I’m excited to be working with him.

I could go on for pages about these writers, let alone the amazing stable of talent over here.

6) Nailing a YA voice isn't as easy as people think. How did you make sure the voice was authentic in GIRL PARTS?

For Girl Parts I had three main characters: a popular jerk, an unpopular jerk, and a robot. David is modeled on my high school friends (and I): lots of profanity, defensive posturing, and delusions of grandeur. David watches a lot of t.v., and so talks the way t.v. has taught him cool, tough guys speak. His speech also changes depending on his audience. With Rose he’s tender, but a little superior. With his friends he’s more aggressive, funny, and uses more slang. Charlie is a taciturn guy. He adores plants, considers himself a botanist, and so speaks in precise, textbook language. He delivers his thoughts in formal, complete sentences. This is partly because Charlie doesn’t trust others and believes most won’t understand him. Rose was the trickiest. As a robot, she comes preprogrammed with basic language skills, and learns slang and more natural speech patterns over time. It was fun having her ape David, then Charlie, and slowly developing her own tender, curious, sing-song lilt. In each case the character’s voice emerged from his environment, what kinds of media he or she consumed, and how he or she wanted to be perceived.

7) How important is research when writing and what can it add to the process? 
I shy from stories requiring extensive research. I invent my small towns, evil companies, weird technology and celebrities because it’s fun, and also because I’d rather be writing than reading. At times I want to bury particular facts in the text for thematic reasons, and in those moments I use Wikipedia. Character names especially lead to this kind of research: Do roses have natural predators? (Coleo Foridae) How do you say cloud in Spanish? (Nuvola) Bird in German? (Vogel). Developing the mechanisms of Rose’s brain had me brushing up on my Freud, Pavlov and Jung. Really, every waking moment is research, absorbing the world, people, how it all fits together. Research is inspiration fodder.

Rapid Fire Questions

Cats or dogs?
Raised with cats. I’d like a dog now.

Aliens or robots?
Guess. (hmmmm *looks at beautiful GIRL PARTS cover* I wonder)

Spring or Fall?
Fall. I have a weakness for scarves and corduroy blazers.

Halloween or Easter?
Halloween. No bad egg smell.

Plot driven or character driven?
Character. All good stories start with character. I think “plot driven” is slang for “character driven plus sex and guns.” Which, you know, I also like.
Hard copy or e-book?
Hard copy 4EVA!

So that's the buzz! Interested? Then check out YAtopia next Thursday for more details.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Agent Interview with Vickie Motter

Well known for her Navigating the Slush Pile blog, Vickie Motter is actively building her client list and you've got the opportunity next week (13th July) to pitch her on my group blog YAtopia. But before you do, find out a bit more about Vickie and what she's after so you get your pitch just right.
1) Tell us a bit about your journey to becoming an agent.

Out of college I interned with Andrea Hurst, and realized quickly that I wanted to be an agent. I went into training and soon after became an agent. Not a super glamorous tale, or one involving years of lucky breaks, but it's what I love doing and can't see myself doing anything else. I count myself lucky I was able to find such a great agency and mentor in my home state.

2) Who was the first client you signed and what drew you to their MS?
My first client, Julia Darcey, found me through my blog when I was still an agent in training. I don't want to give away what happens (one of the main draws for me) but let's just say it's the right combination of unique, morbid, and death to catch my interest.

3) You have a strong interest in YA, what do you find so attractive about the it?
YA has as many genres as the entire Adult genres put together but, unlike Adult in which people tend to gravitate towards certain genres over and over again, YA sort of combines it all. From SciFi to contemporary to fantasy to humor, the thing all YA has in common are the characters, unique as they all are, all YA readers can connect with them. It's so diverse that there is something there for everyone. And it's constantly changing so you'll never be bored.

4) You're still taking paranormal submissions when other agents are starting to shy away from it. Where do you see the genre heading?
That's the beauty of paranormal! I have no idea where it's heading. I label genres loosely though. While some people think of "paranormal" as vampires and werewolves, I think of it as a genre in which something extraordinary happens. You can combine paranormal with dystopian, steampunk, scifi, even use it in very contemporary settings. I am looking for something unique though, that's what sells time and time again.

5) What is the most common mistake you see in queries?
People try to put too much into queries. Keep it simple: main character (what makes him or her unique?--why should we care?), brief overview of the world if it's one different than ours, one or two other key players (love interest, bad guy), main conflict. 

6) You're hosting a three line pitch contest on YAtopia next week. What tips can you give people interested in entering?

Use quick descriptors for your characters to garner interest without taking up time away from the unique plot you're pitching. Don't use cliches. Don't overcomplicate your sentences. Don't be overly vague (with three sentences I need a sense of the main conflict--what the character is fighting for). But don't be overly detailed either.

Rapid Fire Questions:
Summer or Winter? Summer
Cinema or DVD? DVD
Beach or mountains? Beach
Mermaids or gargoyles? Mermaids. No! Gargoyles! Okay, mermaids but only if they're the evil kind.
Ice-cream or candy? Ice-cream.

Vickie is interested in any genre of YA, and Adult Paranormal and Urban Fantasy (not MG). If you've for a completed and polished MS that is ready for querying that fits Vickie's wish list then head on over to YAtopia next week and be one of the first 50 people to comment.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Wendy's Sweet publishing deal

Wendy Higgins is the latest inkpop sensation to land a coveted contract with HarperCollins through the writers community. She shares with us some insights into her publishing journey so far.

Would you give us an insight into SWEET EVIL and how you came up with the idea?

What if there were teens whose lives literally depended on being bad influences? This is life for sons and daughters of fallen angels in SWEET EVIL.
Anna, a tender-hearted Southern girl, was born with the sixth sense to see and feel emotions of other people. She’s aware of a struggle within herself, an inexplicable pull toward danger, but it isn’t until she turns sixteen and meets the alluring Kaidan Rowe that she discovers her terrifying heritage, and her will-power is put to the test. He’s the boy your daddy warned you about. If only someone had warned Anna.
A cross-country trip forces Anna and Kai to face the reality that hope and love are not options for their kind. When it’s time for Anna to confront her demons, will she choose to embrace her halo or her horns?

This is the hardest question to answer [how she came up with the idea], because it was a ton of little things, and I don’t know where to begin. Basically, once I’d decided I wanted to write for teens I began brainstorming, just for fun. I’d never written fantasy, so I assumed I’d take the realistic route. But then angels and demons popped into my head because of an adult satire I’d read the week prior. I’m fascinated by angels, so it was fun to throw ideas around in my head. It came together very quickly. Within that same day I’d created the main characters, what their powers/specialties would be, and the fact that there’d be a road trip. It came together like a puzzle over time.

Tell us a bit about your experience writing and querying prior to inkpop?

I was impatient, like most writers, and I started querying after my first draft, long before the manuscript was ready. I’d only let my best friend read it at that point. I lost track of how many rejections I received. I deleted the emails and threw away the paper rejections because they were bad for morale, but they were also a reality check. I needed serious critique from fellow writers. I started searching online, and that’s how I came across inkpop.

What was your first impressions of inkpop when you joined up?
I joined during the days when MIC (Morgan Shamy) was the Top Trendsetter. She was the first to pick my book, and then it spent a few days on the top three picks. At the time I didn’t understand exactly what that meant, but I thought it was super cool to see my cover on the home page, haha. J A lot of people gave me free reads, all of which I returned right away. My first impression was that Inkpoppers were very giving and encouraging. It was an awesome experience to feel immediately welcomed into the fold. I’m friends with Morgan to this day.

Describe for us the feelings when you found out you were going to be published by HC?
Shock, disbelief, then joy. When I wasn’t contacted by HarperCollins right after my review, I put the idea of it behind me and moved on. I was absolutely not expecting to ever hear from them, so when I did I was almost confused at first, like there’d been some sort of mistake!

Tell us a bit about the editing experience you've had for SWEET EVIL?
I had about six serious critique partners who read my whole manuscript when it was ANGEL PROPHECY, and again after major revisions. They sifted through a lot of crud and helped me whip it into shape before it got into the hands of my actual editor at HarperCollins, Alyson Day. Alyson’s notes to me mostly consisted of places where the content needed to be clarified, condensed, or expanded. I ended up cutting about 10k words, and adding back 8k in new scenes that she’d advised. Currently the story is with copy editors, so that will be the next and final step.

What's left to come for you in the publishing process and what are you looking forward to the most?
There is a ton of behind-the-scenes stuff, which I’m not always privy to. The folks at HC are putting together a marketing plan now. I’m excited to get the book on Goodreads. But what I’m most looking forward to is seeing what cover art they come up with! I can’t wait! [Neither can I!]

How important do you think social networking is for writers in today's market and what are you doing on that front?
I think it’s important, but I also think it can be a hindrance. There needs to be a good balance. Authors who are accessible online and personable will reap the benefits of building those relationships. But you also don’t want to flog yourself to death and make people sick of you. Right now I’m on twitter, I have my website, Facebook, and group blog, but I’m honestly not very good at social networking because of the time it requires. I hope to be better at it when my kids are in school.

How do you think writers' communities are going to affect the publishing industry?
Trends definitely show their faces in writing communities, and publishers pay attention. Self-publishing and online manuscript sharing are becoming huge right now. Maybe it’ll be the next big thing; you never know.

Rapid fire questions:

Angels or Demons
Angels (What, no Nephilim? *winks*)
Paper or Computer
Computer (although my 1st draft of SE was handwritten because I didn’t have my computer yet, ugh!)
Edward or Jacob
Edward in the books. Jacob in the movies.
Coffee or Hot Chocolate
Snow or Sand

Monday, June 20, 2011

A new type of slush pile

Watch out publishing world, there's a new slush pile in town. Okay, inkpop's not exactly new - it's about a year-and-a-half old. But it's coming of age this year.

The second writer off inkpop to be published by HC has just been announced - my wonderful friend, and fellow YAtopian, Wendy Higgins with her novel Sweet Evil. I've been fortunate enough to read an ARC of the first novel off Inkpop being published Carrier of the Mark by another fantastic writing pal and YAtopian, Leigh Fallon.

I'm hanging out like crazy to see these books hit the shelves as I think it will herald in a new age in publishing as it is putting the readers in the drivers seat.

For those of you who don't know how inkpop works it goes a bit like this:

  1.  Post your YA work (yep it's a YA friendly site).
  2. Members read your work and comment on it. If they really like it they'll "pick it".
  3. The most popular pieces of work at the end of each month make the "top five".
  4. "Top 5" projects are read by a HC editor and they give you feedback.
  5. If the editor falls in love with your story, they'll publish it.
Now there's been more than 50 projects make "Top 5" status and only two projects have been announced so far as getting the publishing tick.

Even work that doesn't make "Top 5" status still benefit from the community. The site was abuzz when it came out that Jeyn Roberts. was being published with Dark Inside. Jeyn only had her project up briefly as it was so good she got snavelled up quickly be an agent and a publisher before it could make the "Top 5". But members know Jeyn from the site and are excited as to read her book. It provides an additional following for members who are getting published.

When my novel Mishca made the "Top 5", it did so out of more than 25,000 pieces of work on the site - a fact I'm pretty proud of. While Mishca wasn't ready for publication at the time, the HC editor review gave me a great start on revisions. It's also the most successful piece of work on the site by an Australian writer. Personally I see that as a great marketing pitch. I know not all agents feel that way, but I wonder if attitudes will start to change once Sweet Evil and Carrier of the Mark rock the YA lit world (and having read the latter, I am sure they will!)

Similar communities are springing up with Figment and Book Country (Penguin). Figment has a specific category for authors to allow them to connect with their fans on the site. It's also great for connecting with other writers and getting feedback. The community created at Book Country is just amazing. I've gotten some of my most constructive feedback from people there. Though it is aimed at genre writers and you must be 18+ to be on the site.

While agents won't necessarily have the time to dredge through these sites looking for a diamond in the rough, I wonder how long it will take before it's universally deemed a positive thing to put inkpop success in a query letter?

I've had a positive response in Australia to my inkpop success so far, and I really hope something more eventuates from it. I think it is a great thing that the readers get the opportunity to have a say on what gets published before it hits the bookshelves. Sites like inkpop are great market research, and when Carrier of the Mark hits the shelves, we'll be able to see just how successful sites like this can be.

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Basics of Life - Book Launch!

Not only did I have my first ever short story published, but I scored the national book launch too!!

I managed not to cry, even though I was talking about why I wrote the story - my dad being diagnosed with terminal cancer. I actually had more sales of the book from other people than the number of copies I bought myself

I remember to thanks the awesome Ian and Karen at Collins Booksellers in Mackay for hosting the event and stocking the book (they rock!).

And I remember the plug:
You can order THE BASICS OF LIFE feature me! and Sophie Masson plus other great authors through Collins Booksellers Mackay (they'll post anywhere - even overseas!). (07) 49532777 or email to order now. It will be in other stores (including online stores) soon. I'll update as I have the details. At $17.99 it's great value.

And finally - if you are an emerging Australian author check out for anthology and competition opportunities as well as author interviews.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Looksie here!

Eeee!!  That's how I think most authors react when they see their cover for the first time. That's how excited I was. Followed by "A real book, my stories getting published in a real book."

It's surreal now. Imagine how I'm going to be in two days time for the book launch!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Win an ARC of one of the most anticipated releases of 2011

I am so hanging out for THE DARK INSIDE. I've been fortunate enough to read the first couple of chapters and I want more!

Haven't been lucky enough to read any of it? Well here's your chance to win a signed ARC.

Scoot on over to and get commenting!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Everything's coming up Sharon

I must confess I'm on a bit of a writing high at the moment. And there's irony in it all.

I suffered really bad writer's block after my dad died. However, I still had some things out there that I was hoping to get good news on. But I didn't. Things just stayed stagnant.

Frustrated, I got mad at Karma for some reason. I felt I was owed some good after all the bad I had been through in the last 18 months (my grandma died too). Pretty silly I know, but that was how I felt at the time.

After telling Karma exactly what I thought of the lack of good things coming my way a light bulb went off in my head. What if Karma was actually a person? Well not just one person, but a whole clan dedicated to keeping the balance in the universe.

I was planning on making it into a novel after I finished the first draft of Dirty Rainbow, but then I saw a competition for YA short stories. So I wrote Karma as a short story. And it's been short-listed. The first story I've written since Dad died and it's a success. And now I'm expanding it into a novel. (EDIT: Karma was runner-up in the competition and I got feedback as my prize from Sara Foster. She gave me great comments on ways to further develop the plot and characters AND she thought the concept should be expanded!)

And this was after I also found out that a story I wrote dealing with a loved-one being diagnosed with terminal cancer, Growth, was being published in The Australian Literary Review's anthology THE BASICS OF LIFE

These achievements are not huge life changing events in some ways. They are rather small achievements in the publishing world. But it's a start. So thank you Karma, as now I feel like everything's coming up Sharon.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Dark InsideDark Inside by Jeyn Roberts

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a Dystopian like no other. I was fortunate enough to read the few chapters while it was on Inkpop and I am hanging out for the rest.

Civilisations crumble from within, humans crumble from within because of the Dark Inside.

Right from the start I had chills.

The opening is not a prologue, but a scene setter. We get to see inside the mind of the evil to come. A taste, a tease.

Conflict, stakes and tortured MC are the great makings of a Dystopian novel. Right from the start we see one of the four MCs, Mason, isolated from his guiding light. When the world is about to implode, it’s the time you need those closest to you to be there to hold you and say everything is alright. Instead Mason faces what would be a teenager’s worst nightmare. When you’re MC is down, kick him some more with bad news, that also serves as great foreshadowing.

The second chapter introduces us to Aries. I could feel myself in her skin at times. I remember the anxiousness of being around weirdo strangers. Keeping the action pace high, we are hit with another seemingly mindless event of horror. No doubt that will fit together with other events once Roberts decides to let us see all the pieces of the puzzle.

What impressed me was the imagery she created. I loved getting inside the characters heads so thoroughly without relying on first person.

I can’t wait to read this all and expand on my review.

View all my reviews

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Firming up your manuscript

Come on writers, work that keyboard, tighten those words, firm up your plot, edit hard or go home!

I'm not a big fan of editing. Give me someone else's work and I can do it - hey that's part of my day job after all. But when I re-read my own work my mind often reads what should be there rather than what is there.

Recently, I wrote a short story for a competition that was capped at 3,000 words. I decided to use a concept I already had for a novel and miniaturize it. That meant take the core concept, creating a couple of scenes to explain the plot (personifying a concept - a bit like Terry Pratchett by darker and less humorous) and tying up the conclusion.

I sent it off to my Beta and got some great notes, made her recommended changes and squeezed in just under 3,000 words. I was over the moon, until a thought hit me. Did she like the ending? She had commented on another short story that it felt like the end of a chapter not the end of a short story.

So I asked and she emailed back exactly that. D'oh! She thought there was more to come. So I called her and we thrashed it out. Of course she won - how can I argue with a former Uni Lit Lecturer? Besides, she was right.

Disappointed that I hadn't gotten it right first time, I wrote more, about another 400 words and sent it back. Yep, my Beta confirmed I now had a workable ending - and 400 words too many. So I called again and was told to cut one of two scenes. But I didn't want to - I loved them both.

So I was determined to cut more than 10% of my story without cutting plot content. I was mercilessly on the look out for superfluous words. And I found them! 400 of them!

I rearranged sentences more economically, I cut as many 'thats' and 'ands' I could, I culled unnecessary sentences - the frill bits.

At the end of it when I got to the word count I felt triumphant, then a bit crappy about how sloppy my writing was. But adhering to a word count helped me firm up my manuscript.

I'm thinking I might impose a culling goal on myself from now on so I can get in and edit with focus.

So how do you get motivated to editor or writing, or is it something that comes naturally to you?

BTW readers - I promise this post was not just an excuse to post shirtless men =P

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I'm excited!

You betcha I'm excited. I just found out my short story Growth is being published in

The irony is the publication date will be around the anniversary of the events in the book. I won't go into details as I don't want to spoil it.

But one last thing:


Friday, March 18, 2011

Super agent Ammi-Joan Paquette pitch competition on YAtopia

Agent Pitch contest on my Group Blog - YAtopia

Don't post here, the comp is at - YAtopia

Agent Pitch Contest!!
Okay, here is the post you've all been waiting for! (or maybe not, but you should be excited!!).

Super agent Ammi-Joan Paquette has so kindly offered to host a pitch contest - our first, but definitely not last - on YAtopia. And seeing as she's currently closed to submissions, this is an opportunity you simply CANNOT miss out on.

It's really quite simple what you have to do. Ready?

1) Be a follower of the blog. Nice and easy.

2) Blog about this contest and include a link with your entry. If you don't have a blog, you may tweet or make a facebook status. But we prefer blog.

3) Create a TWO SENTENCE pitch. And not a massively long run-on sentence either. Two concise sentences that will hook Joan to your book and have her desperate to read more.

4) Include the opening line of your manuscript.

5) Manuscripts that you submit should be completed. I leave it up to you whether you decide to submit a half finished manuscript. You'll have to deal with it SHOULD Joan request you send her the full.

6) This contest will be capped at either 150 entries OR will end midnight on the 24th March.

7) Winners to be announced (along with prizes) on 31st March.

8) Only childrens and young adult categories will be accepted. Sorry!

What you need to post on YAtopia:

Story Name:
Blog/Twitter/Facebook link:
2 Sentence Pitch:
Opening sentence:

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

WriteOnCon and their Fab prizes

Oh My Goodness. The most awesome conference every! Why? Because it's free if you have access to the Internet. Yep - that's it. No travel, no fees.

And there are Prizes!

Right now you can enter to win letter critiques from:

Jill Corcoran with Herman Agency Inc.
Ginger Clark with Curtis Brown LTD
Tina Wexler with ICM
Beth Fleisher with Clear Sailing Creatives
Marietta Zacker with Nancy Gallt Literary
Jennifer Rofe with Andrea Brown Literary
Sarah Davies with Greenhouse Literary

Just go to - for more details!

About WriteOnCon in their on words:

WriteOnCon is an Online Children’s Writers Conference (rated MC-18, for Main Characters under 18 only) created by writers, for writers.

Our first Annual Conference was held: Tuesday – Thursday, August 10 – 12, 2010


Cost: Free!

Who: That’s the best part—it’s for EVERYONE!

Attendees don’t need to take time off work, travel, or spend a truckload of money. They can enjoy the conference from the convenience of their own homes, for free—and the schedule is designed around working hours. (Transcripts are also available of the entire conference, should anyone have to miss part of it.) And everything for the conference takes place within this website, which means everyone with basic Internet access will be able to participate in all aspects of the conference—no additional software or technology required.

During the conference, keynote addresses, agent panels, and lectures are presented as blogs, vlogs, moderated chats, webinars, podcasts, and livestreaming. There is also a critique forum, where participants can post query letters and writing samples to receive helpful feedback and comments from their peers and industry professionals. And, as if that weren’t exciting enough, there are also daily contests, giving random winners everything from books to personalized critiques from agents.

It’s everything great about a writer’s conference, without any of the cost or inconvenience. Check back soon for our 2011 annual conference dates. And don’t miss our Monthly Live Events in the meantime!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Don't be a Twitter Twit

Twitter is a fun playground for many authors, agents and editors. They're a very open and giving community, willing to participate in designated Twitter chats where you can ask questions about the industry, trends and anything else that your heart desires relating to the topic.

This fab group also respond to individual tweets in you may have sent them - as long as it's not a creepy tweet or an unsolicited pitch.

Following agents and editors on Twitter allows you to get a glimpse at their personality and an idea if you match up personality wise, which can be important for the agent/author/editor relationship to work.

However there can be a pitfall here. You, and the hundred of other aspiring authors following them, can come to feel like you know these people and expect that when you query them they will automatically offer you representation because you have exactly what they are looking for (according to their tweets).

So here's some things to remember:

  • It's not cool to pitch via Twitter to an agent or an author unless they are holding a specific contest that requires it.
  • Getting on well with an agent/author on Twitter will not guarantee you'll get a publishing deal.
  • Don't rant on Twitter bagging out an agent/editor for rejecting your work. It'll get back to them and score you a bad rep - hello google alerts!
  • Remember that the writing industry is subjective. A rejection doesn't mean that your work is not good, it just means that they didn't feel strongly enough about the project you're querying on to take you on (a friend of mine is getting published and scored her agent on around the fourth manuscript she'd queried her with - don't give up, keep writing).
  • You can follow these guys on Twitter, but it doesn't mean they want to friend you on Facebook.

Take advantage of what Twitter has to offer writers, but keep it real and be cool about how you engage agents, editors and authors in that space.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Another amazing contest

Aspiring author, Chanelle Gray -  represented by dream agent Victoria Marini & fellow YAtopian - is holding a Twitter pitch contest:

1) The contest is now live!

2) It will be capped at the first 75 entries or, if we don't get 75 entries, it'll cut off at Midnight GMT on the 7th March.

3) You have to be a follower of my blog to enter.

4) You have to blog about this contest and post your link along with the twitter pitch. (If you don't have a blog, then Twitter or Facebook will do. But only if you don't have a blog - not instead).

5) Alongside your 140 twitter pitch (you'll be disqualified if it's longer) you'll be asked to submit the first three sentences of your manuscript - so make sure they're polished and ready to go!

6) Once the contest opens, it'll be first come first serve to enter. Anything after 75 entries won't be counted.

Remember, Michael Carr is looking for any age any genre. And works should be completed if he was to request the full manuscript, but you may take the risk without a finished manuscript if you choose.

Good luck! And don't forget to include a link to your blog post/twitter/facebook with your entry. And I'll allow posts to be made any time before you actually comment here. Including the same day. Please use the format as below:

Your name:


Genre & Age:

Twitter pitch:

3 Sentences:

Blog post:

So what are you waiting for! Get over to Chanelle's post and enter!

Monday, February 7, 2011

My "It was a Dark and Stormy Blogfest Contest" entry

The wonderful Brenda Blake is holding a first line contest where writer's post their first lines in their blog and people critique them. Once the critiquing is done we post them back on her blog:

Here's my entry for my novel Mishca, let me know your thoughts in the comments section by 9th February. Mishca was voted a 'Top Pick' on the YA writer's site Inkpop, like the Carrier of the Mark - the first book to be published off the site.

Name: Sharon Johnston
Title: Mishca
Genre: YA Speculative Fiction

I always knew that I was adopted; it was pretty obvious. 

The prize is a critique on part of a manuscript and query letter with fabulous agent, Weronika Janczuk, so fingers crossed.

So, hit me with your thoughts below.

If you are a participant in the contest as well, please leave a link to your blog in the comment so I can check yours out too.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Leigh's Legacy

If you haven't heard the hype about Leigh Fallon and her debut novel, Carrier of the Mark - where have you been?! Leigh Fallon is the first member of Inkpop to be given a publishing contract by HarperCollins.

For those of you who don't know, Inkpop is a YA writer's site. Members read each others work and vote on their favourites with a 'pick'. Each month the five favourite projects are awarded 'Top Pick' status and their work is read by a HC editor.

Leigh was the first inkie to be offered a contract. Rumour has it there is more to come, but for now we know that Leigh is the first, of hopefully many, in a new way for YA writers to be discovered.

So let's find out about Leigh's journey.

Tell us a bit about your writer’s experience prior to inkpop:

Honestly, I’ve had a short run in. I’ve been quite lucky that things have moved incredibly fast for me. I started writing in March 2009. The Carrier of the Mark was my first manuscript and I had it finished by the end of the summer 2009. As soon as I’d finished, like a complete rookie who hadn’t a clue how the publishing world worked, I sent my manuscript to a few agents in Ireland and two publishers in Ireland who accepted unsolicited manuscripts. I didn’t know what I expected. I didn’t really think I’d be published, I guess I was chancing my arm, hoping that something might come of it. Of course it didn’t. I tried a couple in the UK then the US (just for a laugh), but still no joy. Then I posted my manuscript online on a few writers’ websites, and in December of that 2009 I discovered Inkpop, uploaded The Carrier of the Mark. Four weeks later it was in the top five and got reviewed, and a couple of weeks after that, I had a publishing contract.

How did you get your agent? Did your success on Inkpop contribute to that?

Again for me it was a quick thing and done sort of back to front. I’d half heartedly tried getting an agent before, but I was just getting the usual generic ‘thanks but no thanks’ letters back. HarperCollins offered me the contract and I saw an opportunity to snag an agent of my choice. So I picked my top three agents and typed up an email explaining the situation and sent it out. Within a week I’d made up my mind to go with Tina Wexler of ICM. ICM is huge, an international, and a full service agency, and Tina Wexler is both lovely and talented. We clicked immediately. Having an offer of a published deal obviously helped in my securing Tina, but I like to think that if I didn’t have the HarperCollins deal that she would have eventually found me in her slush pile.

Do you think, if The Carrier of the Mark is a best seller (which I’m sure it will be), that agents and editors will take success on writing sites like inkpop more serious and why?

Oh God, I hope the Carrier of the Mark will be a best seller! Oh could you imagine? *drools*

Actually, this is quite a tough question. I think publishers take the writing web sites more seriously than the agents. Agents can cherry pick. They have thousands of manuscripts being chucked at them every day. It’s easy for them to be dismissive. I don’t blame them, I’d be the same. As far as I can tell, agents really need to click with a manuscript. They need to believe in the work... love it. It’s not enough just to have a manuscript that was loved by loads of people on a website; they need to connect with it. For them, it’s not just a case, oh it will sell. They want be in love with it too. Publishers need to sell a book, and in large numbers in an increasingly difficult market. Writing websites like Inkpop give your book punch, because it’s giving your book potential sales statistics. Unfortunately, to get that book with the super sales statistics to a publisher you need an agent... catch 22.

Tell us a bit about what you’re working on at the moment, apart from ensuring your twins don’t lock you out of the house again?

LOL. Those kids of mine are always plotting against me. I haven’t a hope of staying a few steps ahead of them. I’ve accepted my fate, now I’m waiting for the next twin assault.

On the book front, I’m nearly finished the first draft of the sequel to The Carrier of the Mark. And I have another one or two books in the pipeline for that series. I’m also working on a ghost story called Haunting Jenny. I’ve been working on a book for the adult market; it’s a sarcastic parenting guide. I’m having great fun with that.

What was your reaction when you:

a) Found out that you were going to be published by HC through Inkpop?

Screamed, cried, laughed, and scared a herd of cows out the back of the house while I ran around the garden in hysterics.

b) Landed your agent?

Screamed, laughed, felt ever so smug and self satisfied, and I’m sure I scared the cows again (poor things).

c) Saw your cover for the first time?

I believe I sat at my computer screen in shocked awe... I may even have shed a tear, and I know for certain I didn’t sleep a wink that night.

Have you been practicing your signature? And do you have an exercise program in place to strengthen your hand (I have a feeling you are going to end up with writer’s cramp)?

OMG! I never even thought about practicing my signature, but now you say it; I’ll get right on that. Now will I go for L Fallon or Leigh Fallon or just Leigh ummmm decisions decisions? LOL. And no, I’ve no exercise program in place yet, but I’ve had a couple of personal hand trainers suggested to me. This is a serious business you know.

Rapid Fire questions:

Zombie or Unicorn? Zombie

Night or Day? Day

Cinema or DVD? DVD
Joggers or flip-flops Flip-flops

Fringe or no fringe? No fringe

Batman or Superman? Batman

Thanks so much Leigh! I look forward to reading it.

Here is some links to find out more about Leigh and Inkpop.