We have our 10 finalists!! It was another HARD decision. I had 7 judges this time and we still had a huge tie so I had to call in the big dogs themselves for the tie breaker. Kathleen and Monica picked the final three. Thanks to everyone who entered, it has been an absolute blast blogfesting with you all! Please come back Friday and see who the winners are and wait no longer...
See all the finalists and their submissions after Kathleen's interview below!
We have had another list of AMAZING entries for the 200 Word Limit Novel Contest. Seriously! Even with 6 judges we still had some intense ties that have to be figured our. So while we are waiting on some finalizing of the votes for the week 4 blogfest novel contest, I am going to share with you the second part of Kathleen Rushall's interview. Kathleen is an agent with Marsal Lyon Literary Agency and will also be picking a winner, along with agented writer Monica B.W., out of today's finalists.
She is open for submissions, so read about her, and if she sounds like a good fit for you, check out her submission guidelines over at Marsal Lyon.
If you'd like to read part 1 go here.
And now I give you part 2...
DB: Fiction writers, it sounds like your call on the platform. I think I'll stick with it since its so much fun:)
It can definitely help to have these, but no, I don’t think it’s a necessity. I do think it’s key for fiction authors to join an organization or community like Society of Children’s Book Writers (SCBWI), Romance Writers of America (RWA), AbsoluteWrite, or a writing or critique group of some kind. I look at this as your education in publishing, and it’s more important than any degree. Seeing that an author is a member of a group like this tells me that he/she is serious and knowledgeable, not just about writing, but also the market, expectations, and the process of getting published.
DB: SCBWI, check. I love that group!
This is one of the things I find so interesting about this job. A good agent can provide excellent representation from anywhere in the country (provided that we have the internet and boatloads of coffee, of course). Yes, it’s key to travel to NYC occasionally and to have frequent, quality contact with editors (phone, travel, email), wherever they’re located. The location of the agent shouldn’t be one of the most important factors in the agent quest. Plus, a bonus to having a southern California agent is that many of us have good connections with film agents in L.A. not to mention that if you come visit, I can take you out to authentic Mexican food. :D
DB: I'm all about both of those!
After signing a writer how is your work relationship? Do you consider yourself an editorial type agent?
Yes! Each manuscript is different, and requires different levels of edits, but there are always revisions. One of my favorite parts of my job is brainstorming with my authors. Honestly, I think the days when fiction agents didn’t need to be editorial have passed. Editors are looking for a project to be polished and sparkly by the time it reaches their desk, now more than ever.
DB: I think all the authors wanting agents are falling in love Kathleen:)
This question is geared toward those readers who love blog writing contests…
Absolutely. Especially with so many authors on Twitter, many people are used to whipping up short but enticing quips, and have mastered the 200 word pitch. It’s an ADD age and I think people are living up to that challenge! I’m really looking forward to seeing what’s out there.
DB: There are some good ones in this blogfest for sure!
I would love to pick your brain some more but since we have met the ten question limit for my blog I’d like to put the ball in your court. Are there any parting words of advice you would like to leave with writers trying to break out in the industry?
Well, the four P’s of publishing are important: practice, perseverance, patience, and perspiration. But don’t forget about the missing ‘P’ – play! Writing should be fun: don’t lose sight of why you chose this, why you love this. This will shine through in your manuscript and your pitch…and enthusiasm is catching.
DB: Kathleen you are awesome! Thanks so much for doing this interview and helping out in this blogfest.
I: The Farm
“What are you waiting for, Kai? Tighten up on her, or she’s gonna bolt.” My father’s warning booms from a nearby research vessel as I struggle for footing in the tea-stained waters of Tampa Bay. “Do it quick; she’s baiting you.”
The concern in his voice sends a fresh wave of anxiety grinding through me, and I wrinkle my nose in protest as I realize the truth of his words. Growing up watching him perform countless catch-and-release medical exams just like this one, I know researchers only have four, maybe five seconds to restrain a bottlenose dolphin before it fights back and escapes capture.
Wrapped around this animal’s tail, I should follow protocol by pulling her flukes into my chest and bracing myself for her inevitable thrashing in the shallows. Instead, I find myself lost in her plaintive, lucid eye contact. Her pupils, shrunk into tiny circles in the sunlight, roll back and forth as she cranes her head, and a shallow scar splits the silvery bulge of her forehead.
A snake of ash-brown hair had come loose from her braid. It tickled the back of her neck and she fought the urge to scratch. Soon now. Melissa Carter was doing far better than Ava had expected or even hoped. True, she didn't think her foster sister would need ninja stealth skills as a rule. But just in case . . . Just in case Ava wasn’t there someday . . .
You can do this, Mel. She held her breath and heard nothing but a dull wind gust against loose shingles. Her muscles tightened. Then she slinked like a shadow through the stale gloom.
With roof and walls but no electricity, the abandoned house was dark even at late afternoon. She slowed near one of the far windows that was only partially boarded up by plywood. Here. Treacherously, her fingers leapt for the switchblade she usually kept in her back pocket.
Genre: YA urban fantasy
Brina knew better than to go out in public looking less than her questionable best.
She knew it, but figured hurrying home for her mother’s birthday party deserved a special endowment of luck. She didn’t even grow to human size first. Instead, she left her purse and car keys with her best friend Moira and launched herself out the palace window into the sweltering air of San Antonio, Texas.
The first flash came from her left and, like an idiot, she twisted toward it. Which is how the photographer’s zoom lens caught her: eyes opened wide, long braid slicked back from her face with her own sweat, and limbs sticking out at startled angles from her workout tank and short-shorts. All of it glowing softly brown in the dusk.
As a special bonus, the magazine’s cover photo had captured the moment her four bright white wings froze in shock, sending her plummeting a few feet downward. The resulting portrait could have been entitled “Freak, Falling” but instead the headline proclaimed: “Human-Pixie Hybrids: The Last American Taboo.” That worked, too.
Naturally, the cover was taped to her locker first thing Tuesday morning. It hadn’t been torn carefully, and a jagged gash ripped halfway through Brina’s right wing.