See Gretchen Jones' post (her link is in the right column under blogs I follow) for a good deal of what Deb Werksman had to say to the MARA group on Saturday, but I'll add a few things.
While my work wasn't for her, the editor who spoke was fabulous, very friendly, very approachable, savvy, and if I DID have something they might use, I'd definitely query her.
Werksman said that her chief concerns were an unusual premise and a strong romantic hook. She emphasized this over and over. Blow her away with what makes your book stand out amongst the others, but (a personal aside) I wouldn't compare your work to someone else's. In other words, don't say "If you like So & So..." or "I write like So & So"...
She said she receives between 200-250 submissions a month and reads them on her Kindle and that she prefers email submissions with query, synopsis, and completed manuscript, because if she liked your submission, it'd pretty much piss her off if she was reading and then had to send your query to the back of her queue while she waited for you to submit the complete if she wanted it. If she didn't like it, she'd of course simply stop reading and let you know. **She also said that rejections were her least favorite part of her job and that if she COULD and had a name in mind, she'd happily refer you to an editor who probably WOULD want what you'd submitted.** In other words, if it's not for Sourcebooks and it's strong, she'll try to help you even if she's not the buyer. Ya gotta respect that, folks.
Include in your query, if you're published and if you can do so, your publishing history, sales history, and pertinent info that shows her you are the one to write that particular book. She also appreciates the author's info on every page, as in the header, either TITLE - SYNOPSIS - YOUR NAME or TITLE - QUERY - YOUR NAME, something consistent so that when her Kindle searches for you, that title is foremost, followed by either the query, the synopsis, or the manuscript itself and always your name last.
Reasons she doesn't buy are #1 launch platform--they simply don't publish what you submitted; #2 it doesn't have a hook (and these are one-liners, no more than 2 or 3 lines, that will help her sell you to their sales department and subquently to book buyers); #3 you lack a career arc - Sourcebooks wants to build authors, not publish one-hit wonders; #4 the author indicates they'd be difficult to work with. (That might make an interesting article or blog post some day.)
For you writers, romantic comedies are on an upswing again; romantic suspense has pretty well evened out but is still being sought if it's good; paranormal is still big; and erotic romance is something Sourcebooks is looking into but hasn't launched. Young Adult - ditto - and they do have an editor who is looking (I searched for his name on their website but didn't see it - it's something like Eric Erinhaft or Ernhaft - maybe you'll have better luck searching).
Best of luck if you query them - I was really impressed with Deb Werksman.
Tiramisu Sans Panties & Cell Phone
I truly believe that sometimes The Universe just thumps us on the head to see which way we’ll spin or whether or not we’ll pick ourselves up if the thump is hard enough. Last week was a bitch enough. Son in hospital, me freaking out, him going in for one thing and discovering he has one or two other problems we didn’t know existed. Now that’s being worked out, and we have revamped the refrigerator and pantry – so all is well. Sort of. But I’m one of those people who has residual stress, leftovers from when they didn’t break down the week or month or whatever before. So while Son and Daughter-In-Law are pretty well over their scare and are handling new lifestyle changes, I had a couple days of meltdown.
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Weekend comes up, and there’s a writers’ program I wish to attend. Love mah fellow local writers anyway, and haven’t missed a meeting since I joined last year. So Gretchen picks me up, I have a queasy stomach and barf. No big deal. I realize I’m not wearing any underwear – meh – who cares, right? But it made me self-conscious. How does one forget something like that? Well, you don’t, unless you’re used to running around in your barely there cotton jammies most days, puttering in your kitchen or yard, doing laundry, your greatest conversations with the dogs or the radio. (Make note to self: GET OUT MORE.)
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Then it happens. I can’t find my cell phone. Shit. This one actually belongs to my son, who works for phone company, who is working on all sorts of secret projects and…well, shit. Phone has GPS monitoring, so I know it’ll eventually turn up. But what I fear is that it’s an ID-10-T problem. I have a habit of just stuffing my cell phone into whatever is handy and have placed it in another woman’s purse more than once. So I have to disrupt the meeting to ask everyone with a black bag to please check for my phone. Someone calls my #, but the phone is on vibrate, so here we are, about 30 of us playing Stevie Wonder, searching for a noise we can’t see. BINGO.
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That solved, we go for Italian food at Cinzetti’s, and I’m supposed to be counting carbs? You gotta be shitting me. I opt for low-carb food for the most part, but dessert time comes around, and I have not only tiramisu but espresso ice-crème. Low enough on the carbs but hell on fats. Who gives a damn? I have my phone, a writers’ meeting under my belt (they’re like AA for authors) and the underwear is at home. It’s nice to be me once again.
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egregious nut flash
I just wanted a post with that title. Sorry. This one is actually about diabetes (am posting a new recipe to Lyn's Licks & Laughs Recipe blog - on the sidebar) and rain and brainstorming and being "good" - bleh. And cell phones. My new BlackBerry, to be precise. And swearing. I'm just in a mood, so if you don't like swearing, move on. If you don't mind rambling and gnashing of teeth and tossing out verbiage beneath an educated person's standards, keep reading.
We have a new diabetic in the family, so now I'm learning all sorts of new recipes and the ins & outs of a disease I've only had oh...15 years or so? Shit. I fucking hate pricking my damn fingers, and I'm too old for the bloodwork to be precise anywhere else. ShitShitShitShitShit. Okay, that's out of the way.
I'm also learning how to manage my new cell phone. The phone is awesome. The owner sucks ass when it comes to learning new things and remembering them. And I have a few gripes about having to transfer my damned address book into a new phone manually. Jeeezus Tapdancing Christ, you'd think SOMEBODY would find a way in this technologically superior world to make transferring data easier.
What really sucks is when there's a number and I don't know whose it is, because my notes at the time were taken when I was either tipsy or woozy or in a hurry or just plain ole stupid.
The 'new diabetic' is one for ripping ass, even on a good day, and he has lit into me I don't know how many times for cheating on my diet, with the smoking, with whatever. I mean, I'm beginning to wish I was Catholic so I can just do a mutherfucking pennance and be done with it. We're not Jewish, but you'd think we were, what with all the damned guilt this kid is ladeling upon me.
I've just signed a couple of contracts for male/male, and I need to get back into the writing, but the past week has been horrid, so the writing (as well as my house) has gone to hell.
It's been raining, and I love the rain, but now I have to keep dogs' feet dry, keep the house maintained, while cooking up new recipes, monitoring my own bullshit and blood sugars, and getting rid of ashtrays and junk that has accumulated.
My neighbors finally buried their cat - long story short, the young man has a problem with aliens picking his brain, but he's sweet as pie, and he just couldn't bring himself to bury this old cat, so he had her hanging in the storage barn for a bit. A long bit. Another neighbor, scuzz-bucket that she is, is calling the cops on a new girl who moved in for one thing after another - her dog barking or her trash not being taken to the curb, but we all know it's because the young white woman has a black boyfriend, and I'm ready to just beat the shit out of the old woman myself and force her to watch "Mississippee Burning" about 10 times in a row then lock her in her basement for a month with nothing but Obama pics to view and zeideco music to listen to for the entire 31 days.
Rant over. My glucose was 80 this morning. Color my tired old ass happy.
Have a great day...
Nitty Gritty Neuroses
So my son has a bit of obsessive compulsive disorder, and it’s throwing him that the new buzz phrase amongst the yuppie business folk is now “I have to take a bio break”. My boy loves the precise, concise, on-the-mark words that don’t need further explanation, and the fact that somebody is taking a bio break really screws with him. He wonders not if they’re taking a piss, grabbing a soda, or having a smoke (not that THAT is kosher among the bio boys and girls), but if they’re molting or if they’re alien and laying eggs into someone’s brain or if they’re just lying to get out of the meeting early. I imagine he’ll blog about it soon, just to relieve the pressure building up in his brain’s personal bio file. I’m assuming ‘bio break’ includes whatever deals with biological functions, but I’m not sure and don’t know any yuppies to ask other than the one who hates the phrase.
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Neighbor Dee Dee’s cat was old but wonderful, and somebody hit her the other day with their car. Dee Dee is my friend who ran out into her yard naked a year or so ago hollering for one of the cats and got busted by our cute backyard neighbor. “Trouble! Trouble! Goddamnit, Trouble!” And, of course, our neighbor might not have dropped his coffee cup onto his cement patio if he’d heard “Fire, fire!” or “Rape! Somebody help me!” – he’d have just responded. But a naked Dee Dee crying “Trouble” fucked him up, and all he could do was stare for several minutes until she realized her boo-boo and got her bum-bum back inside.
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Anyhoo. Dee Dee’s son is a sweetheart, but he’s a tad schizophrenic, and he was afraid their dog would dig up the cat, and he didn’t want to bury her just yet anyway, so he hung her in a bag in their storage shed. For days. I have no idea if the cat is still hanging or if she’s been buried. I’m afraid to ask.
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We’re talking sweet, sweet kid. He just thinks differently. He mows the lawn wearing a motorcycle helmet to keep aliens from picking his brain.
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Other neighbor Kelly Jo had to chase her new puppy down the street this morning, because Fido probably heard some squirrel’s heart beating from 1000 yards away and ripped from her arms to find out where the critter was hiding. Bit exciting seeing her in her flip-flops dashing madly towards the UPS man, chasing the little bugger. The dog, not the man. - I felt for her, though. Had to give my own pets their flea & tick meds this morning, and this is not something they enjoy. My own neuroses, I suppose. I feel like a mean mama when I adminster stuff they don't like and a bad one if I don't.
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And this is how my morning started. People often ask where I get my ideas. All I can do is shake my head and tell them that I simply tone down the truth. If I embellished, nobody would believe me even a little bit.
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The pic, by the way, is one Jackie sent of our adorable friend Gretchen. Doesn't she have the coolest eyes? And that expression makes you wonder what she's up to. I think she was holding a tommy gun at the shooting range at the FBI Academy.
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Have a great day, everybody.
~ Sunny Lyn
This 'N That
- A dime has 118 ridges around the edge.
- A snail can sleep for three years.
- A "jiffy" is an actual unit of time for 1/100th of a second.
- Al Capone's business card said he was a used furniture dealer.
- Almonds are members of the peach family.
- An ostrich's eye is bigger than it's brain.
- "Dreamt" is the only English word that ends in the letters "mt".
- Leonardo Da Vinci invented the scissors.
- The microwave was invented after a researcher walked by a radar tube and a chocolate bar melted in his pocket.
- There are 293 ways to make change for a dollar.
- There are only four words in the English language which end in "-dous": tremendous, horrendous, stupendous and hazardous.
- Your stomach has to produce a new layer of mucus every two weeks; otherwise it will digest itself.
- There are more chickens than people in the world.
- Bill Gates' first business was Traff-O-Data, a company that created machines which recorded the number of cars passing a given point on a road.
- Rubber bands last longer when refrigerated.
- Tigers have striped skin, not just striped fur.
- The name for Oz in the "Wizard of Oz" was thought up when the creator, Frank Baum, looked at his filing cabinet and saw A-N, and O-Z, hence "Oz."
And just in case you have a pressing need to call Antartica:
- The international telephone dialing code for Antarctica is 672
I just signed my first contract with Resplendence Publishing last week, a m/m book written with the fabulous Carol Lynne. The title is "Saving Noah", and it should debut sometime in September.
Received another m/m contract, this time from Loose Id, for "Christmas In Killarney", which I am assuming (but you never know) will debut in December. Gotta finish the paperwork and get it off to them, though.
Still working on a romantic suspense. Also trying to work my mind around how to market a chick lit which is no longer a chick lit, according to Publisher's Weekly Daily, but fiction about women who have complex lives and occasionally there are guys involved, ok, featuring profiles of Amy Sohn, Paula Froelich and Gigi Levangie Grazer.
GIVE ME A FLIPPIN' BREAK.
Hope life is well in your corners of the world...
~ Sunny Lyn