The Magic Telescope!

Exciting news 🙂 After turning down the offer to have The Magic Telescope published, Tate Publishing did work out a deal for me.  I did some more research, talked it over with my hubby, read every bit of the contract, and checked them out on the better business bureau’s website (they have an a+ rating) and I decided to take the risk. I REALLY want to see my book in print! So far everyone that I’ve spoken with has been very professional and friendly.  I’m working on reformatting my manuscript right now.  I just want to thank my hubby and all my family and friends who have been so supportive and encouraging to me. Love y’all! I’ve removed The Magic Telescope from smashwords.com.  I’m still working on a few different projects, too. I really want my next one to be accepted by Harper Collins 🙂

 

UPDATE:

Got my production date and it is in January of the coming year. That works out good, since I’ve got a few other projects I need to focus on over the next few months.  I’ll keep you updated and I’ll be writing a new post soon. Have a great day!

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Good news or bad news first?

I’ll start with the good news, since the bad news overrides it. Tate Publishing accepted The Magic Telescope for publishing! Yay 😀

Bad news: I have to turn them down.  For one thing, I don’t have $3990 for a publicist.  They did say the would work with me somehow on that, but an author friend brought these websites to my attention:  

http://accrispin.blogspot.com/2007/02/happy-valentines-day-from-writer-beware.html

http://www.thelostogle.com/2012/06/05/10-things-ive-learned-about-tate-publishing-ceo-ryan-tate/

http://chuckpalahniuk.net/forum/1000026/what-do-we-know-about-tate-publishing

http://www.writers.net/forum/showthread.php?111452-Recent-experience-with-Tate-Publishing-company-out-of-Oklahoma

http://www.consumeraffairs.com/misc/tate_publishing.html

So now I have mixed feelings. I mean on the one hand, I know an author who was published by them and loves the company. I’ve seen her book and heard her positive experiences so far.  But she hasn’t sold enough books to get the refundable retainer for their publisher back yet.  I hadn’t really expected them to accept my story, since it’s the first publisher I’d sent it to, so I hadn’t delved too deep and researched them yet.  I was looking forward to what they had to say. I guess I was expecting something a little more detailed about what they liked and if they felt anything needed work, etc., but all I got was a generic letter of acceptance.  But hey, I’m new to this, so I really don’t know what to expect.  Maybe if I accepted, that letter would come later. Nearly $4000 is a lot of money to just hand over to someone, especially when you have a family and other responsibilities to consider.  I’d definitely need to do some more research and quiz them on some things.  But since I don’t feel comfortable even working on some kind of plan for the retainer, I’m just gonna pass for now. So I’m happy/sad about the whole thing.  As much as I don’t want to, I think I’ll end up getting a literary agent, if I can find one who is willing to represent me. Back to the beginning. Sigh…  

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Fingers Crossed!

Ok, so I met a super nice lady at Chick-Fil-A, I think I mentioned her in my last post, Ms. April Dobson.  She is the newly published author of Adventures of Tally the Turtle: Tally Moves Away  , former military, and a fellow Mississippian. Y’all should check out her book, my son loves it. I have to read it three times every time we read it :). I had already checked into her publishers and she was nice enough to take the time to talk with me about them.  I’ve been corresponding with one of their acquisitions editors and submitted one of my stories to them yesterday. Wish me luck!!! I’m a little nervous about it.  Even if they aren’t interested in my work, I look forward to hearing any comments/criticism they may have. I will keep you posted on that.

Another thing I want to share with you this morning is a new, brilliant, super awesome e-magazine, The Paperbook Collective.  It’s a “creative collaboration of work from around the world” and available in pdf or online through ISSUU. You can read it online or print it to read later.  I admit I skipped around some and haven’t read it in its entirety, but what I did read was just, well, awesome and put together very well.  I especially liked:

When Reading Turns Deadly by Hadas Nahshon, pg. 8

The World Darkly by John W. Howell, pg. 15

A Stair Case by John Arthur Robinson, pg. 26

Elephant by Jade Ashe, pg 45

The magazine includes author biographies and a submissions form on pg. 48 if you’d like to submit your own work.  I plan to do that soon.  You can find out more about it at The Paperbook Blog, which I also am fond of reading.

I’ve been making a special effort to make time for writing everyday.  Not so easy with gorgeous weather that beckons you to drop all responsibilities and soak in the sunshine and scents of summer before winter reaches out with it’s frozen, spindly fingers and withers it all away. Fall is almost nonexistent here :/ Maybe this year will be different. Anyways, it can be done and so I’ll do it! And I want to encourage you to keep writing, too. Y’all have a great day!

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Yay!

I’m super excited! In a few days I’ll get to meet a published Children’s book author from my home state 🙂 Maybe she’ll agree to an interview.  I’m even more excited that I looked into her publishing company and I will soon be submitting one of my manuscripts (fingers crossed!). I’m not getting my hopes up too high, but just doing something, working towards one of my ultimate goals, makes me really happy. I got some positive feed back from a self publishing company that I admire, so that lifted my spirits a little, too.  I will go into more detail in a future blog.

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July 31, 2013 · 5:42 am

book vs. movie

I have a rule about books that are turned into to movies. When at all possible, I like to read the book first. I then savagely nit pick the movie.  It bugs me when the movie strays too far from the book and I wonder why the screen writer didn’t just write his own movie, instead of butchering some poor defenseless (yet probably very rich) author’s work. Take for instance Nicholas Spark’s novel, The Lucky One.  The movie isn’t really that much like the book. My husband probably wishes I didn’t read the book first because I point out every little change that’s in the movie.

I can honestly say that I haven’t found a book yet that I didn’t enjoy more than the movie, but some movies do live up to the awesomeness of the book.  I didn’t really know what The Hunger Games was about and didn’t think I cared, so I watched the movie thinking I’d never read the book anyway, but it really made me want to read the book and now I’ve read all three. Of course I then had to re-watch the movie. Can’t wait until the next movie comes out this November 🙂 The only thing I wish they would have done differently in the first movie is make Pita as charming as he is in the book.

I did the same thing with Beautiful Creatures. I watched the movie, but I didn’t know that there was a book.  I’m thinking about reading that series next, but haven’t started yet.  Have any suggestions on books turned into movies that are worth reading? Do you like to read the book or watch the movie first?

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Happy Birthday, little man!

Today is a very special day! Three years ago today I gave birth to the sweetest little boy on the planet.  It seems like just yesterday that I looked into his beautiful blue eyes and saw his tiny little feet for the first time.  So I’ve spent the day remembering his firsts–the first time he smiled, the first time he giggled, rolled over, crawled under our coffee table, ate solid food, held onto mommy as she held him, said his nite nite prayers all by himself… I could go on, but I’m getting super teary eyed and that isn’t good when you’re trying to write.  He’s been such a blessing to our family. He is a very happy little man and he loves to play and learn. He loves his family and friends and our dog, Bo-Bo.  He loves to make us laugh almost as much as we love hearing his precious little laugh.  He’s such a bright baby and we’re very proud of him.  I suppose that’s enough bragging for now 🙂  I just found out that he shares his birthday with two famous authors: Barbara Cartland (a romance novelist), and Dean Koontz, as well as a whole bunch of other famous people.  Maybe he’ll become a famous author one day himself. He’s very good at making things up, that’s for sure! I’m amazed every day at how big of an imagination that little boy has.  He’s had a very good day today filled with lots of birthday wishes, cards, phone calls, and presents.  Thanks to everyone for making his day special and making him feel how loved he is. Thanks to everyone for reading my blog. I’ll be writing more on writing soon, so be sure to check back 🙂 

 

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Scary Stories

campfire

Everyone loves a good scary story. Or at least, I know I do. I think it started when I was really little. My Daddy used to tell us stories about Bloody Bones and a local legend about Shorty’s Hollow (pronounced “holler” if you’re from the South 😉 ) where a man was hanged many years ago. I’d tell them to you now if I remembered them.

Before I could read (and even later when I could), my sister would read stories from The Scariest Stories You’ve Ever Heard before bed time.  I could hear some of those stories a million times and still get that same feeling every time I heard them.  You know the feeling–your eyes widen, the hair on the back of your neck stands on end, a chill runs up your spine and your heart beat grows faster with every suspenseful moment as you wait with terrified anticipation of what will happen next.  I went on to read every Goosbumps and Fear Street book I could get my hands on (imagine my excitement just now as I found out R.L. Stine is now writing books for adults!!!*) and each story I read of Edgar Alan Poe’s  “Thrilled me — filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before”.

As I got older I read some of my mama’s old gothic novels and romances (Jane and Emily by Patricia Clapp being one of my favorites) and my love for the creepy and supernatural just kept growing.  I knew I wanted to write like that one day. I ain’t entirely achieved that goal, I’m a little sad to say. I’ve begun writing many terrifying tales and even have a few endings for some in my head, I just haven’t taken the time to fit them together. I do have three scary short stories that are finished. One was written together with my sister, called The Dare. You can find it in the book  416, a compilation of scary stories written entirely by authors on authonomy.com (you can also download it for free on smashwords) and edited by one as well. The other two, I’d posted in a book of all my short stories on authonomy, but haven’t done anything with them since. I’ve actually leaned more towards fantasy and adventure in my writings. But every year as Halloween nears, I usually end up with an itch to write something new and horrific.

I just found out about this opportunity to have your scary stories published in The Gallery of Worlds All Hallow’s Eve 2013 Edition  (here’s how to submit) and so started my itch again. I think I may submit some of my work. So if you’ll excuse me now, I’m going to turn on some creepy music or maybe watch one of my favorite horror films to get my brain in gear.  I’ll let you know how it goes 🙂 In the mean time, here’s something for you to do. A story starter. Post your version of the ending in the comments. Happy writing!

You’re on a camping trip deep in the woods with three of  your best friends.  Although millions of tiny diamonds bejewel the night sky, they do little to illuminate the darkness;  you can barely see a foot in front of you. You huddle around a small campfire for warmth and light. The flames cast eerie shadows on the tents nearby and you gaze at the swirling patterns as they dance and twirl hypnotically.  A twig snaps somewhere behind you and you jump, startled. Feeling a little silly, you look around to see if anyone noticed. But no one has. Your friends are gone.

Gone? You couldn’t have been that absorbed in your thoughts. Where’d they go? You lean over and glance into tents. Still empty. You peer into the shadows around the campsite, but can’t make out much. “Hey, where’d y’all go?” you say into the darkness. No answer.  “Hello?” 

You reach into your bag for a flashlight and shine it into the dense thicket of underbrush circling the camp, then stop as the beam  reveals a pair of brown boots  barely visible beneath a tall bush. You quickly turn out the light. Your heart begins to pound loudly in your chest.  Those aren’t your friends’ boots.   

*R.L. Stine’s Red Rain, now in bookstores!

P.S.

If you’re into scary stories like me, here’s a scary trilogy you may want to check out (all available on Amazon), My Friends Are Dead People by Tony Oritz

 

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