10 September 2012

Pitch Polish Blog Hop - #GUTGAA

In case you forgot, GUTGAA stands for Gearing Up to Get an Agent. In preparation for the agent and small press pitch contests, I'm participating in the pitch polish blog hop. 100 anonymous pitch polish entries will be posted on Deana Barnhart's blog, and the rest of us who'd like help with our pitches are posting them on our own blogs. Let me know what you think about my pitch, and be sure to head over to Deana's blog to help out with some other pitches, too. For the purposes of GUTGAA, the pitch consists of the "meat" of our query letter and the first 150 words of our manuscript. So, without further ado, here's mine!

TITLE: Sorry's Not Enough
GENRE: Commercial New Adult
WORD COUNT: 97,000


If emotional wall-building were an art form, Charlotte would be a grand master. After being betrayed at a young age by the one man she should've been able to trust, she builds an impenetrable fortress of solitude. At least she thinks it's impenetrable, until a summer writing workshop brings Steven into her life. With his obnoxious ego and stupid good looks, he's somehow immune to her Stay the Hell Away from Me pheromones. Even more bizarre is that for the first time, Charlotte can't quite bring herself to really push him away. 

The unexpected romance screeches to a halt when Charlotte and Steven walk into the same classroom at the start of the school year and find themselves on opposite sides of the desk. Steven's quick with the apologies, but sorry doesn't seem to cut it when you've just found yourself cast as a modern day Lolita, you know?

Obviously the universe is telling Charlotte that keeping Steven at arm's length is the only way to avoid getting hurt. Resisting the warmth of his embrace is easier said than done, though, especially when it's evident Steven has no intention of letting her go. 

And so the cycle of their relationship begins. Over the course of several years they share moments as passionate lovers, periods of warm friendship, and months of barely-civil tension. How can she hope to create a healthy relationship with Steven when she's never confronted the relationship that destroyed her ability to trust in the first place? And by the time she finds the courage to do so, will sorry be enough for Steven?

FIRST 150:

Sanguinolent sunset. There's a word you don't see every day. Charlotte circled it with her red pen and drew a smiley at the end of the line, below where she'd called out a different phrase for being trite. She continued making notes in the margin as the others took turns giving feedback. By the time she was done marking up the poem, the paper was also sanguinolent.

She looked up when the group grew quiet. Her turn. She looked down at the poem again and hoped its author wouldn't be offended. What was his name? Steven.

“It's a little confused,” she said. There was a pause and a shuffle of papers.

“What don't you understand?”

She snapped her chin up and was taken aback by the force of his gaze. No adjective could adequately describe the shade of green staring back at her.

“I'm not confused. Your poem is.”

03 September 2012

#GUTGAA Meet and Greet!

If you've found me through GUTGAA, welcome!

If you think I've contracted some sort of terrible intestinal ailment, let me explain. GUTGAA stands for Gearing Up to Get an Agent. It's a bloghop/pitchfest/contest/fun time happening during the month of September. For the main sign up page, click HERE. For a schedule of events, see HERE.

Now, on to the meet and greet questions!

To learn a bit more about me: the person, as opposed to me: the writer, check out this fun little list I did for Scintilla in March.

Several of the meet and greet questions had to do with the when/where/how of your writing space and time. There aren't any clear cut answers there, for me, because of one factor: I still do all of my writing longhand. That's right. Pen and paper, baby. Editing and stuff I do on screen, but first drafts are always (with the occasional exception - usually short fiction) on paper.

So I write whenever my notebook is nearby and an idea strikes. Quite often it's sitting on the couch, but it has been in parks, on airplanes, in the car (not while driving, I assure you :-P) and in other people's houses. There isn't any particular time or place when I always write, or a usual process I have to go through. I just need paper and a pen. THAT is something that I am particular about. It has to be a pen, preferably black ink, very preferably NOT blue ink, but any other color is good.

-When writing , do you listen to music or do you need complete silence?
I usually do like some background noise while I write, whether it's the TV, music, or outdoor noises. I don't like it to be too quiet.
-What was your inspiration for your latest manuscript and where did you find it?
I can't remember where the inspiration for my current WIP came from because it's been incubating in my brain for a few years ago. I'm not a plotter, so I don't do outlines. I wrote down very little as far as ideas, but I kept all the good little nuggets in my head as I thought of them over the years, until I got to a point where I felt I was ready to write.

I knew I wanted to write an erotic novel. (All of my erotica so far has been short stories.) And I had some character traits and plot aspects that I knew I wanted. Bi-racial, young, fashionista; elements of non-monogamy; safer sex and sex positive ideas; emotional depth, but a still a lot of FUN. And from there, my WIP was born.

-What's your most valuable writing tip?
Don't take writing tips to serious extremes.

So that's me, in a nutshell. Looking forward to meeting other GUTGAA participants and reading blogs!