Wednesday, October 17, 2012

PitchLive! Agent Round - It's ON!!!!

Welcome to the agent round of Pitch Live!!!!!!
(And welcome, illustrious agents, to my blog - here you will find the scrappy, hilarious, skivvy-slinging, passionate, and many-accented members of #TeamLA. Hope you're ready to read lots of subs!)

Thank you so much, Brenda, for asking me to host - it's been So MUCH FUN!!!!

 The following entries have made it through the first round and are in the ten posts after this one.

 Please no comments other than those from agents.

 If you want to comment on the entries please go to this post here and click on each participants' link. From today, October 17 - Friday, October 19 the agents will hop around and request pages from their favorite pitches. Check out all the agents viewing the pitches on this post here. 

 Submissions: Should you get a request from one of the agents, go to their websites and follow their submission guidelines.
 In your submission, make sure to put this in the subject line: Pitch Live Requested Material: TITLE OF YOUR NOVEL.
 Unless, of course, the agent puts specific instructions in the comments of your posts.

 There are  a total of 30 videos and I'm hosting 10 of them here on my blog. So make sure to visit Brenda and Erica's blogs for the other entries... We had a vote going for the best video during the blogfest part of the contest, so we'll announce the winners now.

 The runners up from the blogfest vote for best video, each receiving a $10 gift card from Amazon are ...Sarah Blair and John Krissilas!!!!

    And the top dog, Grand Poombah of video pitches, panty slinger, elevator riding champ, and the winner of a $25 gift card from Amazon is ... Lauren McKellar!!!!

(No coincidence that two of those winners are on #TeamLA, NBD.)

Winners please send an email to to claim your prize. Keep scrolling for the video pitches...

Pitch Live! - L-1 - IT'S COOP NOT CUPID

Title: IT'S COOP NOT CUPID Genre: YA Myth Retelling Word Count: 60,000


Title: THE SHIFTING DARKNESS Genre: Adult Urban Fantasy/Thriller Word Count: 67K

Pitch Live! - L-3 - KISSING FROGS

Title: KISSING FROGS Genre: YA Contemporary Word Count: 61,000


Pitch Live: Against the Falling Moons, YA light Sci-Fi romance, word count: 95,000

Pitch Live! - L-5 - FORGET-ME-NOT

Title: Forget-me-not Genre: YA Science Fiction Word Count: 77,000

Pitch Live! - L-6 - VEILED

Title: VEILED Genre: YA Science Fiction Word Count: 87,000

Pitch Live! - L-7 - LOSING IT

Title: LOSING IT Genre: YA Contemporary Word Count: 58,000

Pitch Live - L-8 - ACE OF SHADES

Title: ACE OF SHADES Genre: YA Steampunk Fantasy Word Count: 80,000

Pitch Live! L-9 - Title: JENNIFER STRANGE

Title: JENNIFER STRANGE Genre: YA Paranormal Horror Word Count: 55,000

Pitch Live! L-10 - RIP HER TO SHREDS

Title: RIP HER TO SHREDS Genre: YA contemporary Word count: 80,000

Monday, October 15, 2012

Pitch Liiiiiive!!!!

The sign up part of Pitch Live is now closed. Today starts the blogfest part of the contest. Hop around and view each others videos, comment, and meet new friends. You never know what agents will be lurking around the blogs. On October 17 at 8AM EDT the top 30 videos will be on the host blogs for the agents. Check out our agent line uphere.

The judges/hosts will cruise the blogs and pick their favorite videos. In the comments of the entry posts the judges will let you know if they've chosen your pitch for their blog. 

Make sure to put this heading above your videos... 
Genre: The Genre of your manuscript 
Word Count: The word count of your manuscript (round up or down to the nearest thousandth)

And here's your hosts...

Leigh Ann Kopans         erica m.
 Leigh Ann Kopans                         Erica M. Chapman             Brenda Drake

Go check out the live pitches and come back and vote for your favorite in the comment of this post. We'll give away some prizes (to be announced) for the top ones. 
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Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Next Big Thinggggg

Hey, sweet readers!

My brilliant co-redux-slinging CP, Cait Peterson, is the Next Big Thing, so she tagged me in this meme. (?) (I think that's how it works?)

Anyway, now that I've turned in Solving for Ex, my contemporary YA retelling of Mansfield Park, to Tricia, my awesome agent, I'm diving head first into my next project, which is what this meme is all about. I think you've all heard all of this already, but eh, what the heck?

What is the working title of your book?

Where did the idea for the book come from?
Well, I'm a sucker for theme in a story, as well as conflicted characters.  I spent like five years studying the Bible in grad school and I knew the story of the Exodus from Egypt had both out the wazoo. I thought it would be awesome to retell it for a young adult audience in a completely different setting. (Though there still is a bit of sand.)

What genre does your book fall under?
YA Science Fiction, baby!

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Uhhhhh I don't have any actors, but I have pictures! Beautiful ones.

Here's Havah:
Google Image Result for
(model Carolina Thaler)

And her sister Sarra:
choppy pixie cut

And here's Havah's S.O., Orev:
Alex Cruz – Greg Vaughan – Dailymalemodels 03
(model Alex Cruz. Yum.)

What is the one-sentence synopsis for your book?
Chrome is a futuristic science fiction retelling of the Biblical story of the Exodus from Egypt with robots instead of taskmasters and plagues of mechanical spiders, twisted circuitry, and leaking battery acid. 

Will your book be self-published, or represented by an agency?
My work is represented by Tricia Lawrence at EMLA, who is a ROCK STAR. 

How long did it take you to write a first draft of your manuscript? May we see an intro?
I'm only about 40% of the way through, but all told it'll probably take me about three months.

What other books would you compare this story to within the genre?
Probably CINDER. *grins* A retelling of a classic story with robots. Wheeeee!

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
The complete and total badassedness of Moses and the whole freaking story. Seriously. Go back and read Exodus 1-15. EPIC.

What else about the book might pique the reader's interest?
At the heart of the story is two relationships: a deep and complicated one between sisters, and a devoted, sexy romance. Also: a murderous queen and BATTERY ACID.

Thanks for reading! I hate tagging people in these things, but by all means, if you want to play, consider yourself tagged and link up. 

Everyone wish me happy drafting! Thanks! <3 font="font">

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Banned Books Week! Plus, GIVEAWAYS!

 Hey, sweet readers.

So I know I've been MIA for awhile - going back to work at the busiest time of the year after a new baby while revising a manuscript will do that to you - but this week I have pretty much the best excuse ever to kick my butt back into regular blogging....


I love banned books.

First, I should say I don't believe in banning or in any way censoring books for children. Or anyone, really, but especially for children. (Yes, I'm a mother. Of both boys and girls.) I've blogged about that before here and I'm also talking about it over on my dear friend Andrea's blog today.

Today, I want to tell you a little bit about some books that have shaped me as a reader and a writer. They've all been banned in one library or another.

1984 by Orson Wells and The Giver by Lois Lowry - I read them both in sixth grade, have been a dystopian junkie ever since. Equal parts terrifying and thrilling because LOOK WHAT THE HUMAN SPIRIT CAN ACCOMPLISH, you know?

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee - I read this as part of English glass in seventh grade, and I'll never forget Scout and her courage, and the teacher who helped my young brain unpack and analyze its deep themes of racial inequality and fighting for justice.

Forever by Judy Blume - Raise your hand if this book taught you things about sex your parents couldn't stomach telling you. Go ahead. No one can see you.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury - Taught me that ideas are the most powerful weapons possible.

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle - This book was so important to ten-year-old, pudgy, glasses-wearing, geekiest-kid-in-English-class, so far from the popular-kids'-table-it-could-have-been-a-mirage me. Meg Murry was awkward and misunderstood and angry and brilliant and not only did her brains save the day, but got the boy too. (Calvin - *swoon*)

(Only she could pull off that first line. *sigh*)

Sweet readers, these books are such a huge part of what made me who I am that it actually makes me tear up to think about what my childhood and teen years would have been like without them.

And some of the books that have been banned in libraries, schools, and programs across America since then? I don't want to think about my kids growing up without Harry Potter and The Hunger Games to read.

So. Instead of thinking about that, I decided to do the thing that makes me happiest on Banned Books Week - give away banned books!

I'm so grateful to have a couple good friends helping me out with that:

John Hansen over at Teens Can Write Too has a great list of contemporary banned books AND is hosting a giveaway  of The Perks of Being a Wallflower sponsored by me and my friends the YA Misfits.

Andrea Hannah is interviewing me about my thoughts and feelings on banning books, and hosting a giveaway of Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler.

Please run over to their blogs and comment and enter to win! And read a banned book in honor of Banned Books Week! 

And, of course, I want to know - What is your favorite banned book? (A decent list here.)

Pitch On! Pitch Entry - GLOWING SHADOW by Anabel Gonzalez

Hey, sweet readers! Look, another pitch!

I'm so pleased to be a host for Pitch On! It's an opportunity for writers across the internet to pitch an editor. The hosts are critiquing individual pitches on their blogs, and in a couple weeks they'll all go up on Down Under Wonderings or YATopia to be perused by Marisa Pintado of Hardie Grant Edgmont!

Exciting, no?

Time for my brave writer to get her Pitch On!*

Name: Anabel Gonzalez
Country of residence: Mexico
Title: Glowing Shadow
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Word count: 81,000

Pitch: A genius girl with the curse of being an emphat and broadcasting her feelings to everyone finds a bigger curse in Madrid. There she needs to fight along a glowing shadow to rescue her brother and stay alive from the shadows that hunt her, while she convinces him that he deserves to love.

Welcome, Anabel! So glad you landed on my blog. 

 I LOVE the concept of empaths - one of my CPs wrote a whole book about them! Good stuff. 

I would LOVE to know some basic info about your main character - especially her name, since that helps us identify with her right off the bat. 

I'd also love to see a punchier first line. Something like, "Sixteen year old empath Anabel thinks broadcasting her feelings to everyone is the biggest curs possible - untili she gets to Madrid."

I'd also love to get the information that her brother has been abducted/is in danger right up front, since that would give us a sense of conflict and mission right away. 

Also, why are shadows hunting her? Have they always been doing so? Are they only after her now that she wants to rescue her brother? If so, why is he so special? 

I'm also confused as to why her brother's deserving to love is part of the conflict. If you can tie up all those answers in the allotted space, great - otherwise, consider what info you REALLY need to communicate in a pitch to sell the book's concept without being dishonest.

This sounds like such a cool concept! Best of luck!

*Please leave your critiques, comments, and encouragement below! Thanks!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Pitch On! Pitch Critique - MAD AS A HATTER

I'm so pleased to be a host for Pitch On! It's an opportunity for writers across the internet to post an editor. The hosts are critiquing individual pitches on their blogs, and in a couple weeks they'll all go up on Down Under Wonderings or YATopia to be perused by Marisa Pintado of Hardie Grant Edgmont!

Exciting, no?

Time for my brave writer to get her Pitch On!*

 Name: Alexandra Hayman 
 Genre: YA Supernatural Thriller 
 Word Count: 51,000 

 Pitch: For fourteen-year-old Emil Aleric, the series of ‘Wonderland Murders’ ravaging London mean only one thing: his former abductor, the Hatter, is back. Seven years ago, the man took Emil to a place called Wonderland, murdered Emil’s sister, and barely missed Emil himself. Emil knows he won’t be able to hide forever—until his best friend is taken by the madman, and Emil’s not sure he wants to. 

 Hey darling!
 I've seen this MS running around the contest circuit, and this writer running around Twitter, and am seriously impressed with both. So excited you landed on my little old blog, dear writer!

 So, this is a compelling pitch. There are just a few things that were unclear or I felt could be cut.
(Re: pitches - In my experience, clarity and economy of words can't be underestimated.)

  First sentence:
I'd love to know what differentiates the Wonderland Murders from any other crime. Give me a sense of the horror.

  Second Sentence:
I think you can cut "a place called Wonderland" in the second sentence, and just tell us that he abducted Emil. That means you can take "his former abductor" out of that first sentence, too! :D

How did the Hatter "barely miss" Emil? Did Emil escape? If he did, that tells us something cool about Emil in a few words - he has tenacity and wit. See if you can replace that "barely missed" with more specific words that also tell us something about story or character.

  Third Sentence: 
I understand what your last sentence is trying to say, but I think we might be able to streamline it with some artful rewording. What about, "Emil knows it's only a matter of time until the Hatter catches him, too - until he decides that he's going to be the one to catch the Hatter?" Just a suggestion. :D

  Lastly: I'd love to see a little extra bit of voice in here - just a little phrase or a word here or there would do. What's something that Emil says when he's mad or frustrated? That might be a great way to squeeze a little voice in there. :D

*Please feel free to comment and critique for Alexandra and her lovely pitch as well!  When you're done, the other hosts and I would love it if you'd run around to their blogs and critique over there, as well! Thanks, sweet readers!