First of all, let me apologize for not responding to comments last week. I usually try to respond to all blog post comments, so I want to say thank you to everyone that commented, and I’ll try to do better this week. For those that don’t know, What’s Up Wednesday is a blog meme created by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk to help writer friends keep up with each other. See their blogs for the linky list of participants, and to find out how to take part yourself.
What I’m Reading
This week I read SOMETHING STRANGE AND DEADLY by Susan Dennard, and what a joy it was to read. Great story, great writing, and wonderfully realized characters–three things I look for in excellent books. This was the first zombie book I’ve read, and it did the genre proud. I highly recommend it, especially for those of you who like your YA on the horror side of things, or those who want a thrill-ride of a story. I’ve also decided that this book’s title is perhaps the best title to use for Maureen Johnson’s “In Your Pants” game.
I also read Stephanie Kuehn’s CHARM & STRANGE, another book that’s a bit out of my genre comfort zone, and probably a bit out of most people’s comfort zones period. But, again, it’s another beautifully written novel. The book is about a disturbed boy who is forced to face his demons. Going inside the head of such a character seems to me about as daunting as writing a novel from the perspective of a female alien, but Stephanie does such a great job showing his times of lucidity and insight, and his times of total irrationality and mental collapse. By no means light reading, but if you’re up for something that will challenge you, it’s a good read.
What I’m Writing
Still throwing ideas around while waiting on agent responses. The holiday weekend and BEA this week conspire to keep agents away from the slush pile, so I have to be patient. As some of you know, I entered the New Leaf Literary & Media Twitter pitch contest last Friday, and my 140-character novel pitch was one of the ones selected. Yay! It seems the main difference between querying New Leaf the regular way and being selected to query via the contest is that contest-winning queries will all get a response within 2 weeks. Regular queries may or may not get a response within 8 weeks. So I think it was worth doing.
What Inspires Me Right Now
The response to my pitch on Friday encourages me that at least the concept behind my novel is attention-grabbing. This gives me hope that agents might be interested enough to read pages.
What Else I’ve Been Up To
Thankfully, everyone has recovered from last week’s bout with the vomit lurgie. Aside from that, nothing really strange. I’ve mentioned before how I enjoy thinking up story ideas, and I enjoy writing, but I have a tendency to drag my heels moving from having ideas to writing a first draft. Well, I came across Maureen Johnson’s blog article from 2007 which includes how she came up with the “In Your Pants” game. In the article Maureen procrastinates over her impending deadline in a way that I totally relate to. If you struggle with this kind of procrastination, read this article. It certainly encourages me to know that even a prolific writer like Ms. Johnson isn’t immune from this.
How has your week been?