Friday, March 23, 2007

Now that's a good blog friend!

I just wanted to start off the day by giving a quick shout out to one of the friends on my MySpace list, Nicole DeNardo. Nicole happened to be at a writer's workshop recently, where she met an editor for a children's/young adult publishing house and shared a table with her. The editor apparently mentioned several times the shortage of good "boy books", and how all she gets is fiction geared toward girls. Nicole gave me the tip, the editor's name and the name of the publishing house. To make long story slightly less long, my agent queried, received positive response, pitched my first book, and the editor liked what she saw and requested the full manuscript. Thanks, Nicole!

That's the kind of thing I'm trying to build here with this blog, with only moderate levels of success. I want a community of friends, fellow writers and aspiring writers, and even fans, who can communicate back and forth and share ideas, tips, and inspiration. Networking and making friends with others in the industry. So, to everyone out there, leave me comments! Send me messages! Leave comments for the other folks who blog around here! Don't leave us hanging.

Now, on to blogging about writing. My agent's comments about my first edit: I meant to say second novel were not as disheartening as one might think. She basically just said there were a few plot leaps in the very beginning that didn't work for her, and that I didn't develop the two introductory characters enough in the first chapter before jumping into a confusing fight scene. I can definitely work with what she had to say, and nothing she said changes the fact that I still think the second book is stronger than the first. Her only complaint was with my opening, and she didn't want to read further until I had addressed those issues, lest they get lost in the shuffle.

Speaking of being lost in the shuffle, my short story work has taken a back seat to revisions on book 2. I'm not likely to make the deadline for a first quarter entry into the Writers of the Future contest at this point. I may be taking too much on… I'm working on book 2, jotting notes for future reference about book 3, trying to write two very different short stories, working on a script for the Comic Book Challenge (speaking of which, any illustrators out there interested in collaborating?), and occasionally outlining/making notes for a new book in a different continuity. Plus, I'm still looking for work and starting to get a bit worried about the financial situation.

So there, in a large nutshell, is where I stand. One last thank you to Nicole, and a request to everyone else to leave comments, send messages, and generally correspond!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Sites of Interest, and a little news

Here are a few sites that might be of interest to those who read my blog:

Write A First Novel
The World According to Boring John
Deep Genre
The Web's Most Humongous Collection of Writing Quotes

There are quite a few more sites I could post here, and I'll probably do so in the future. These are just ones that I look at regularly.

On a side note, I've received my first two rejections, from Little, Brown and Company, and from Harcourt. Both rejections are due to "too many familiar elements" in the story, as was my very first rejection from Sourcebooks. Basically, there are a couple of series out there already that have a youthful hero traveling to alternate universes. It's frustrating, because the reason there are similar stories out there is because it's POPULAR! And never mind the fact that my novel has far more UNIQUE story elements than it has similarities. What my story shares with theirs is the basic premise of alternate universes accessible from our own, and a young hero. That's it! The meat of my story is about a single father's journey to become closer to his troubled son, and help the boy turn his life around.

I'm not too concerned about it. That makes a grand total of three publishers who've seen my first novel, and three who have rejected it. There are several hundred more to choose from... one of them will get behind it!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Comic Book Challenge 2007

So, are any of my readers out there aspiring comic writers or artists? If so, you've probably already heard about this!!

Comic Book Challenge 2007 is on! Platinum Studios has announced that they are accepting submissions for their second annual comic book contest. Think "Who Wants To Be A Superhero" minus the goofy costumes, bad acting, and reality show aspects. Basically, aspiring creators come up with their best comic book pitch and submit it. Fifty semi-finalists will be chosen to go to San Diego in July and give their pitch on live TV to a celebrity panel of industry judges. Three pitches are then chosen to be voted on by the public in an online voting process. The top creator or creative team will then be paid to write and/or illustrate their comic, which will be published as a comic or graphic novel in 2008.

I don't have any details on the submission process right now, but they should be available soon at .

I've got about a hundred ideas for submission to the contest. I just need to choose which one to submit! I've also got the small problem of being just about the worst artist in the history of the genre. I can copy fairly well, but I can't do original work. So unless I can find an illustrator who is inspired by my story ideas, I'll be submitting just a story script... which I think will probably lessen my chances.

So, any aspiring comic authors and illustrators out there, there's your shot! Check out the contest, and get your pitch ready! And, as a personal aside, if there are any artists or illustrators out there who'd be interested in collaborating with me on a pitch, get back with me... quick! The fifty semi-finalists will be going to San Diego in late July, so time is running short!