CURRENT GIVEAWAY CONTESTS
Here are my current Giveaway Contests
THE TRAGICALLY TRUE ADVENTURES OF KIT DONOVAN through April 16th
THE PRINCESS AND THE PAGE through April 22nd
Natalie Lakosil Query Critique and THE STAR THIEF through April 22nd
Happy Easter Giveaway Hop through April 30th
Tracy Marchini Query Critique through April 29th
Upcoming Agent Spotlights and Query Critique Giveaways
Laura Spieller on 4/26/2017
Loren Oberweger on 5/10/2017
Alyssa Jennette on 5/24/2017
Bibi Lewis on 6/12/2017
Kelly Van Sant on 6/21/2017
STEPHANIE GARBER GUEST POST
Here's a blurb from Goodreads:
Welcome, welcome to Caraval―Stephanie Garber’s sweeping tale of two sisters who escape their ruthless father when they enter the dangerous intrigue of a legendary game.
Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the far-away, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.
But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.
Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nevertheless becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever.
Now here's Stephanie!
How I Signed With My Agent: Third Time Isn’t Always the Charm
When I first queried, finding an agent seemed as impossible as catching a unicorn. I queried about 100 agents, ended up with zero requests, and cried countless tears. Thankfully, I knew my writing could be better. So I tried again.
The second book I queried garnered around twelve requests. After not having received any interest in the first book, I thought this was it! I believed I’d get an agent and a book deal for sure.
Instead I received detailed rejections, along with an offer to revise and resubmit. I was tempted to
When I queried this third manuscript my request ratio was fifty percent. I thought this surely had to be it! Sadly, every agent who requested quickly passed. Something was still wrong.
Then a writing contest called Pitch Wars happened. I was chosen by a mentor; she helped me see exactly what was wrong with my work, and finally I signed with an agent.
But, while my writing had finally gained the attention of an agent, my story still wasn’t strong enough for a publisher. After that I spent a year doing everything I could to improve my craft. I read every book, attended conferences and book signings, and when I wrote I poured all I had into every sentence.
On the last day of December 2014 I finished writing my sixth book, Caraval (for those of you keeping track, I wrote two books which I didn’t query). Then, a week after pouring everything into this draft of Caraval, my agent informed me she was leaving the business.
It was a crushing time. I’m pretty sure most people thought I was delusional, because I kept writing books no one in publishing wanted to read. But I was determined to give querying one final shot. Only this time, my mentality was that I didn’t just want an agent, I wanted to query a book that was good enough to sell to an editor. So, I rewrote my query about 100 times (yes, really, I did), I had multiple people critique my manuscript, and I sent my first fifty pages to a freelance editor, just to make sure I was doing everything I could.
My request ratio was over fifty percent this time. But although people were requesting no one seemed to be reading. I won’t share how long I waited—I think it feels like forever, no matter how long the wait. Then, after an imaginary eternity, an email asking for a phone call came. An agent had read my book, loved it and wanted to represent it. I was thrilled, so I could hardly believe it when a second agent offered, followed by a third, a fourth, a fifth, a sixth, a seventh, and an eighth.
My current agent, Jenny Bent, was among the agents who offered. I’d heard her speak at an SCBWI conference years before. At the time she was way out of my league; she was the unicorn I never thought I could catch. But I now believe catching unicorns isn’t as impossible as I’d once thought, it just requires a great deal more work than I realized.
When I was querying, I was a faithful reader of Literary Rambles. So I imagine a lot of you might currently be in those same query trenches. Since I spent a lot of time there, I’ve been trying to think of the best advice I can give.
When I wrote my first five books I just wanted to be published. I wrote them fast as I could, revised them as fast as I could, and I queried them with the same intensity. But when it came to book six, rather than trying to write as quickly as possible, I tried to write the best I could, and then I tried to do better than that. I had a freelance editor look over my first fifty pages, I signed up for SCBWI critiques, I shared my query with my all my friends and listened to their advice. And when I revised with my agent, rather than just trying to do what she said, I tried to take everything she said a little further. I read books on craft every day and pushed myself to do more than I felt I was capable of.
So my advice is, don’t worry about how long things are taking or try to rush your writing. Instead, do the best you can, and then push yourself to do a little better than that. When I’m not writing I teach creative writing, and I can tell the difference between the students who just do their homework, and those who put a little more into it. More often than not that little extra polish makes all the difference.
I’m rooting for all you! Thanks so much for having me here on Literary Rambles.
Thanks for sharing your advice, Stephanie! You can find Stephanie at www.stephaniegarberauthor.com/
Here's what's coming up:
Wednesday March 1st I have an IWSG post and an interview with Caroline Starr Rose and a giveaway of her new MG historical adventure JASPER AND THE RIDDLE OF RILEY'S MINE
Monday March 6th I have a guest post by debut author Michael Miller and a giveaway of his YA science fiction SHADOW RUN
Monday March 13th I have an interview with debut author and follower Rosalyn Eves and a giveaway of her YA historical fantasy Rose Blood Rebellion
Tuesday March 14th I'm participating in the Lucky Leprechaun Giveaway Hop
Monday March 20th I have a guest post by debut author Alyson Gerber and her agent Kate McKean with a giveaway of her MG contemporary BRACED and a query critique giveaway by Kate McKean
Wednesday March 22nd I have an agent spotlight with Kristy Hunter and a query critique giveaway
Hope to see you on Wednesday!
Posted by Natalie Aguirre on Monday, February 27, 2017