Ha. It's been a bit longer since I last wrote than I realised. Sorry about that.
November was a pretty full on month!
Two hospital visits, 2 essays, a weekend in Wales and a friend from Australia visiting (Yay!) and another round of edits on my manuscript as well as starting edits on another and all of a sudden November was gone. Done and dusted.
And now it's December. And Christmas is most definitely here, in England. It is Christmas EVERYWHERE.
But that's not what I was wanting to discuss today.
I realised since my agent Jill Corcoran and I both (electronically) signed on the dotted line over 6 months ago, I haven't actually talked about how that's going. What it's like going from no representation, to representation.
Well let me tell ya, it's great. I most definitely recommend going the agent route, over submitting straight to a publisher.
Firstly, I love Jill because she's always on my side. She says I'm a talented writer and she love love love's my book which is OH so helpful in those moments that you doubt yourself. She's in the publishing industry. She is swamped with query letters and manuscripts and she reads a lot of childrens and YA books. She has middle grade age and teenage children. She knows the market, what's selling and what is popular with the kids. And she loves me as a writer.
That encouragement from someone other than your parents who love you anyway is worth every penny. Not that there are pennies involved as yet.
Secondly, she has a gazillion contacts! When trying to submit to publishers without an agent, so many doors are closed to you because they just don't accept unsolicited manuscripts. Well let me tell ya, those doors are WIDE open to me now.
Jill is an extremely hands on agent as well, and as much as editing and editing my book and editing it some more can make me want to tear my hair out - I know every suggestion she makes has been thought about, and I agree with the majority of them. Each round of edits we go through is making what I already thought was a good, solid book, into an even BETTER book.
She looks at the big things and the little things.
For instance, we were recently exchanging emails about boys and giggling.
JILL: "Boys don't giggle, they laugh. You should use the word laugh"
ME: "True, boys don't usually giggle. But these are 13 year old boys looking up porn on the computers at school. In this instance, they are probably giggling." (That's totally not a spoiler)
By doing all of this we are making sure editors are seeing the best possible book. Which they will have changes for, but still -we're making it the best WE think it can be. An editor will have more ideas on how to make it better AGAIN!
And something else I love about her is that she is super fast at replying to emails. Getting back to me about questions, regardless of how little and stupid they are. Though I try to limit myself on those ones.
So yeah, it's great having Jill on my team. I don't have to worry about submitting, perfecting my query letter any more. I just have to worry about the writing. And the rewriting. And the rewriting some more.
I've been a crazy lady and bought lots of books while traveling. And now that the end is nigh (okay so it's still 2 months away, but I know it's going
to go fast) I am starting to worry about just how heavy paper in the form of books can be. Becaus
e I have some pretty stringent weight limits for my luggage.
Eep. But what have I been buying while away?
I love love love Paper Towns and Wimpy Kid. I haven't read 13 Reasons Why or the Graveyard Book as yet though. Why? Because I've been getting into some TV shows and the like that I totally wasn't aware of in Australia.
I mean, I knew about Degrassi: The Next Generation, but I wasn't into it. I am now. I'm kinda hooked. They really don't shy away from the tough subjects on that show. For instance, in the very first episode, a 12 year old character decides to meet a boy she met on the internet, and she meets him at a hotel, but it's not a boy, it's a 30-something pedophile. Tough subjects.
And onto something lighter, I'm a big Jane Austen fan. Well, I'm a big Jane Austen MOVIE fan. I tried to read Pride & Prejudice as part of my high school coursework and never actually finished it. And I haven't tried her other ones yet. But I love the movies they've been making of her books.
Lost in Austen is a GREAT take on the whole thing. Where a modern girl swaps places with Elizabeth Bennett in Pride & Prejudice (her family think Liz is staying at Amanda's house in Hammersmith, and Amanda is staying with the Bennetts) and just by her mere presence, everything "goes tits up". People marry the wrong people, run away with the wrong people, are better/worse than they seem in the book... I was giggling like a school girl watching this mini-series. So. Much. Fun.
But back to books: What did I buy today? Cos I was walking past Borders in Leeds and it was having a big CLOSING DOWN SALE. Argh! What am I supposed to do, NOT buy books in a closing down sale?
Today I bought:
Wow, blogger doesn't seem to want me to put up any more pictures.
I also bought Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld, Hooked by Les Edgerton and The Writer's Journey by Christopher Vogler. The last two are writing craft books, and I have to say, I love reading these and have a bunch at home, but none with me whilst out in THE WORLD. I always take away at least ONE thing from reading a book on writing, and it helps me become a better writer. It's like homework. But homework I enjoy.
Speaking of which, I have 900 more words to write on my essay before I get to start the one about Harry Potter. Yay! 900 ESSAY words are so much harder than 900 fictitious words. Sigh.
Okay, I think that's a long enough post for now. What show/movie/book are you hooked on at the moment? Have you heard/read any writing advice that just stuck with you forever more? I wanna hear all about it!
Ciao for now,