The Writer's Voice 2014!


“The Writer’s Voice” is a multi-blog, multi-agent contest hosted by Brenda Drake, Mónica Bustamante Wagner, Kimberly P. Chase, and Elizabeth Briggs.* We’re basing it on NBC’s singing reality show The Voice, so the four of us will serve as coaches and select projects for our teams based on their queries and first pages.

*Krista Van Dolzer has asked me to take her place as coach this year, due to time constraints. However, she WILL be my guest coach, and will still be helping me out with my team!

Here’s the timeline:

May 1
May 2
Everybody enters the Rafflecopter lottery
The lottery winners sign up on the widget
May 2-10
We select our team members from “The Writer’s Voice” Blogfest
May 10-19
We coach our team members, helping them polish their entries
May 19
We post our team members’ entries on our blogs
May 22
Agents vote for their favorites

Submissions

To enter, your manuscript must meet two conditions: First, it must be COMPLETE, POLISHED, AND READY TO QUERY, and second, it must be in one of the following genres*:

Adult Historical
Adult Fantasy
Adult Science Fiction
Adult Romance
YA fiction (all genres)
MG fiction (all genres)

To determine who gets to participate in the blogfest, we’ll hold a single-entry Rafflecopter lottery on Thursday, May 1. The lottery will remain open for 12 hours, from 9:00 a.m. EDT to 9:00 p.m. EDT, at which point the Rafflecopter will select 150 random winners. Those winners will then sign up for the blogfest on one of Mister Linky’s Magical Widgets the next day, May 2. Once you sign up on the widget, you’ll post YOUR QUERY and THE FIRST 250 WORDS of your manuscript on your blog.

In summary, you must follow these three steps to enter:

1. Enter the Rafflecopter lottery on May 1 during the submission window listed above.
2. Sign up on the widget on May 2 if you win the lottery.
3. Post your query and the first 250 words of your manuscript on your blog.

Selections

We’re building our teams via “The Writer’s Voice” Blogfest, so YOU MUST HAVE A BLOG TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS CONTEST. We don’t care if you’ve had it for five years or five minutes; we just want to be able to fight over you in public:)

We coaches will review the entries and leave a comment on your post that says something like, “I want you!” If more than one of us wants you on her team, you’ll have to pick which coach you want to work with.

Coaching

We’ll select our 8 team members by May 10, then spend the next week and a half helping them put a final polish on their entries. You won’t have to take all of our suggestions, of course; we just want to help you make your entry the best that it can be before the agents get a look at it.

Voting

On May 19, we’ll post our team members’ queries and first pages on our blogs so that the agents can review them. Here are the awesome agents who’ll be voting on your entries:

Mollie Glick of Foundry Literary + Media

The agents will vote for their favorites on May 22. Each vote will count as a partial or full request depending on how many votes the entry receives. If an entry receives 1 or 2 votes, those votes will count as partial requests. If an entry receives 3 or more votes, those votes will count as full requests.

Voting will stay open until 9:00 a.m. EDT on May 23, at which point we’ll determine which coach’s team received the most votes. That coach will win bragging rights for time immemorial, and everyone who received requests will be able to submit their materials to all the agents who voted for them. These votes represent serious interest in your project, so PLEASE DON’T ACCEPT AN OFFER OF REPRESENTATION BEFORE GIVING “THE WRITER’S VOICE” AGENTS AN OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE A COMPETING OFFER.

So get those queries and first pages polished up, then meet us back here on Thursday, May 1, between 9:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. EDT. We can’t wait to read your entries! (And of course, if you have any questions, feel free to ask them in the comments below.)


*As you probably noticed, we’re not including any new adult genres. We have to base the genres on the agents’ interests, and most of the agents participating this year aren’t looking for NA at the moment.

Announcing my book: MORE THAN MUSIC!


I'm thrilled to announce that my New Adult contemporary novel MORE THAN MUSIC will be published on June 17th! Here's the blurb:

Music major Maddie Taylor seems to have her life all figured out. She’s just finished her junior year of college, has a summer internship lined up with the LA Philharmonic, and plans to go to grad school to write movie scores. Only her roommates know she practices guitar every night and secretly dreams of a louder life. But geeky girls like her don't get to be rock stars.

Tattooed singer Jared Cross has a new girl every week, but when he catches Maddie playing one of his songs, she attracts his attention in an unexpected way. His band needs a fourth member for The Sound, a reality TV show competition—and he wants her. Though Maddie refuses to be another notch on Jared’s bedpost, she agrees to risk everything for the chance to be a rock star.

Once on the show, Maddie discovers there’s more to Jared behind his flirty smile, and with each performance their attraction becomes impossible to ignore. When the show pressures Jared to flaunt his player image, they’re forced to keep their relationship secret, but Maddie can’t help but want something real.

As the competition heats up, Jared will do whatever it takes for his band to win, and Maddie must decide if following her dream is worth losing her heart.

MORE THAN MUSIC was the book I was terrified to write because in my head I was a science fiction & fantasy author, but this idea would NOT go away. Even though it was out of my comfort zone I decided to go for it, and completely fell in love with writing romance and NA.

This book is light and fun and sexy, and very different from my YA sci-fi novels, but it's also more "me" than anything else I've ever written. It combines some of my favorite things like rock music, movie scores, comic books, and hot guys with tattoos, along with lots of geeky references from Star Wars to Batman to Sherlock. The book is completely stand-alone, but I plan to write companion novels and novellas about some of the other characters next.

I'm self publishing the book, and my agent is completely on board with it. If people are curious about why I decided to go this route, or how my agent is going to be involved, I can do a separate post on that later.

I'm planning to have a cover reveal on Thursday May 8 (sign up here!), but for now you can add MORE THAN MUSIC to Goodreads!

You can also check out my Pinterest inspiration board, and if you'd like to keep up to date on things like cover reveals, giveaways, and upcoming books in the series, feel free to sign up for my newsletter too.

Thank you to everyone who has been supportive of this book! I love it so hard, and I'm really excited to share it with the world!


Spring Writing Bootcamp - End Of March


Hard to believe we're already at the last day of March... which means the end of my revisions too!

Okay, not quite. My plan was to be done with revisions on my NA book MORE THAN MUSIC by today, but I'm a tiny bit behind. I realized I had to rip out a huge chunk of the ending and completely redo it, so I have about 5-10k to completely rewrite now.

Then I watched this documentary called ARTIFACT about the music industry, and it inspired me to change a few things in my book. Most of the changes will be adding things to existing scenes, but I also want to add a new scene or two in the middle. Unfortunately, this means my revisions won't be done today, but I do think these changes will make the book even stronger when it's all done. I'd rather take my time and get the book as good as I can, instead of rush it and not be happy with it.

By the way, if you're interested in the music industry and how it's changed over the last few years, ARTIFACT is a great documentary (bonus: it's directed by, and features Jared Leto). I think it's especially informative to watch as an author and think about how the publishing industry is going through a very similar upheaval right now with ebooks. One point that was made is that more people are listening to music than ever before, but at the same time, the artists and the record labels are making less money, and they have to change their business model to accommodate this. I think the same might be true with the publishing industry, and it's something to think about as an author.

Anyway, my goal for this week is to FINISH! I'm SO close, and once I add these new scenes and the ending, I'll be done. Then I can send it off to my CPs and see what they think (and pray they don't have too many changes for me).

So here are my writing goals for this month:

APRIL
-Finish up MORE THAN MUSIC
-Outline the two related novellas I have planned.
-If there's time, start drafting the first novella.

I'll check back at the end of April with how I did and with my goals for May. Now, back to the revision cave!


Spring Writing Bootcamp!



I've joined the YA Buccaneers Spring Writing Bootcamp to make sure I stick to my goals for the next few months! It sounds like a great way to cheer others on, and to have people hold me accountable too. You can sign up here too, and even win prizes! Here is my plan for this month:

MARCH
- Finish revising my New Adult novel, MORE THAN MUSIC.
- Plot the next book in the series.

I'm not sure about my April or May goals yet. but that's my tentative plan for the rest of the month. I'm at 35k right now in my revisions, which is about halfway or so. You can follow along at My Write Club, which is an awesome way to track your goals and cheer your friends on. I'm over there as lizwrites.

Are you signed up too? Let me know!

New Look!

My website and social media have all been redesigned by Icey Designs! Isn't the layout gorgeous? Hafsah was great to work with, and gave me exactly what I wanted. I'm SO in love with it!

I also have a new author photo to go with it, yay!


Lots of things are happening behind the scenes here. For one thing, I'm writing New Adult now, along with Young Adult. More info to come soon!