Friday, January 18, 2013

My Awesome Agent is Seeking Clients

My agent of awesome, Jessica Regel, stopped by Writer's Digest to talk with Chuck Sambuchino and discuss what she's looking for in submissions. She also mentioned my book (BURN OUT)! Swing by and see if you might be a good fit for her, because in case I haven't mentioned it...she's awesome!

Monday, January 14, 2013

5 Tips for Your Author Photo Shoot

Let me start by saying that I don't love having my picture taken, but sometimes we have to suck it up and do things we dislike (have I mentioned laundry here before?). Also, I was embarrassed that the photo my publisher had to send to the Frankfurt book festival a few months back was a quick pic taken in my dining room. I knew I'd have to get an acceptable photo taken sooner or later, so here is my new author photo...

                                               (Photo by MaryLynn Gillaspie Photography)

...and here are a few lessons I learned from the experience.

  1. Have it done by a professional. I know this costs money, but this will part of your "brand" that you present to the world via social media, book jackets, etc. If you have a photographer friend who will do it for free or at a discount, all the better.
  2. Do your research. Get referrals from friends or other writer's whose pictures you admire. Check out the photographer's website and look at their portfolio. Do you like their style and does it match what you're looking for?
  3. It takes a village. Okay, it did for me anyway. I'd never had my make-up done before, even on my wedding day, arguing that I wanted to "look like me." As my make-up person pointed out the day of my shoot, he did make me look like me, just "a more polished version." I also had my hair done because my idea of doing my hair is brushing it, and I'm hopeless with a flat iron. Plus, I can deduct the shoot, make-up application, and hair styling on my taxes. (NOTE: Please contact your own tax person before taking deductions, because telling the IRS you heard it from me won't fly with them.)
  4. Make sure the photo reflects YOUR personality. Wear clothing you are comfortable in and that shows your style. Sure, follow all the photographer guidelines as far as sticking with solid colors, etc. but this is not the time to try out a new "look." Also, have your expression match your personality. For instance, I'm considered a pretty upbeat person and am usually smiling. A Victoria Beckham-type pout would look ridiculous on me. I've seen serious looking author photos, which is fine if you are a serious person (or have written a book about scurvy), but just make sure you are being you.
  5. Have fun. Stressing about what to wear or how to pose for your official author photo is a pretty lucky problem to have. I'd actually choose it over doing laundry any day.
What were your experiences with your author photo? Any other tips to share?

Monday, January 7, 2013

2012 Revisited and 2013 Writing Goals

HAPPY 2013!! Is it just me or does each year seem to fly by a little faster? I hope everyone had a wonderful and relaxing holiday, and is ready for great things to happen in the new year.

So, this time last year, I was basking in the happiness of finding the perfect agent for me. As you can see in the post, I'd written my big goal of finding my dream agent in ALL CAPS (you know, so the universe would know I was serious). You can also see in that next sentence that my goal for 2012 was to HAVE THE PERFECT PUBLISHER BUY MY BOOK (again, in ALL CAPS). In 2012, I had the perfect publisher buy not one, but two of my books, which clearly means that ALL CAPS possesses a strange magic--use it wisely.

Anyway, since my first book doesn't come out until next year (Fall 2014), I've struggled to come up with an all-caps goal for this year. Instead, my goals will be more task-oriented, so here are my main goals for 2013:
  1. Finish revising Book 1 of BURN OUT series (this is easy because I'm under contract and I do really well with external deadlines) 
  2. Write Book 2 of BURN OUT series (again, the contract thing, so no problem).
  3. Finish writing and revising new urban fantasy YA and send to agent. (I am on track to finish this in the next month or so)
  4. Start writing final BURN OUT book. 
  5. Get my a$$ back online, as I've sorely neglected  Twitter, FB, etc. for the past few months. 
  6. Read more books!!!!
I'm keeping my goals short and sweet for this year, because I work best that way. What about you? What are your writing or reading goals for 2013? Has anyone else found ALL CAPS magical?