Archive | July 2012

The publication day for my first novel is set!

My novel, Drive Back the Darkness (a YA fantasy) will be published by Etopia Press on September 14th! I can hardly believe it!

The editing process was kind of grueling, but I’m almost done. We went through three rounds of edits and now my book is at copy editing. Once that’s done, I’ll get a chance to review it one more time before it goes to “proofing” (to be honest, I’m not entirely sure what that is!).  And even more exciting, sometime in the next two weeks I’ll be revealing my cover art!

On that note, if anyone wants to do interviews, author and/or book spotlights, etc. please get in touch! I even have a few e-book copies I can give away if you wish to review it (although not an unlimitated amount!). If you think you might be interested in a YA fantasy that’s being described as Cassandra Claire meets Lord of the Rings, and you have a e-book reader, let me know. I’ll see what I can do!

I also will be revealing some important agent-related news sometime this week. 😉 Stay tuned!

Signing contracts and editing up a storm!

Sorry I’ve been MIA these past few days. I had a ton of work to do, but guess what? My YA novel went to copy-editing last night! I finally finished the three rounds of revisions! I’ll get to go over my book one more time before it goes to proofing. Then it’s done!

I should be getting my cover art sometime in the next two weeks. I can hardly wait to unveil it! And the book itself is tentatively scheduled to come out in September, but we’ll see. Make sure you check out The Literary Mom then, because I’ll be having tons of giveaways and contests for the few months after it comes out!           

I know you saw the title and you’re thinking, “She said she was signing contracts! What contracts? Is she seriously not going to talk about it?” Rest assured, I AM going to talk about it!

I signed with a literary agent last week! I’m just waiting to have the hard copy of the contract in my hand before I announce it. I super excited and it’s testing every ounce of my strength not to tell you now who I signed with! I will say that it is truly my dream agency, the one I’ve wanted to work with since I started writing and figured out what a literary agent was.

My agent seems wonderful. We had a very long talk on the phone and it seems like we really click. She has great ideas about my work and wants to help guide and shape my career, which is exactly what I was looking for. I’m so excited!

On an unrelated note, I need some advice guys. I’m thinking of shelling out the money to change the domain name of this blog from The Literary Mom at WordPress to my author name, Amy M. Newman. What do you think? Have any of you done that? Is it worth it? I just can’t decide…

What if your writing might hurt someone?

I’m sure you’ve heard it before, every writer has; “write what you know”. And sure, it’s a good piece of advice. If you write from your own life experiences, your writing is deeper, more authentic, more compelling. But what if you want to write about a bad life experience? One that involved the people in your life? One that might hurt the people in your life?

I write fiction. I can fictionalize certain events, change people’s names, etc. Even if I do those things however, the people who are close to me (or have been in the past) might recognize themselves. Some people might even recognize other people. And what if I’ve cast them in an unflattering role?

I know a lot of writers just don’t care. They figure if it happened to them, it’s fair game. They don’t worry about hurting others. But I do. I can’t help it. Even if some of these people treated me badly, I still worry. But I want to write about these things. And like I said before, if you draw on your own experiences, it makes your writing richer and more compelling.

In the end, I know I will write about some of these things. There is one subject that I might put off writing about for a few years. I think it’s still too fresh, still to hurtful. But everything else, well, I think I’ll have to just not worry so much. And with a little luck, the people who I’m writing about won’t recognize themselves!

I got an offer of representation from a literary agent!

I can hardly believe it! It feels like a dream. My very first offer! I’m so excited! I couldn’t wait to tell you all! More details to come, so stay tuned!

P.S. For all of you who have parts of your novel on your blog, TAKE THEM DOWN! One of the clauses in the contract makes you swear that your fiction is not published anywhere else, including by yourself on a blog!

First round of edits = done!

I did it! My first round of edits is done! Now on to the second round.

I had that nightmare again last night; the one where my book comes out and everyone laughs at it or worse hates it. In my book, there’s a way to remove the human soul. What’s left is a shell that can house another soul. But you always know when the soul has been removed, because the irises and pupils of the eye disappear, leaving behind a white, sightless orb.

In my dream I was sounded by those sightless people. And they were all telling me that I didn’t deserve the title of author. Then they tried to eat me. I didn’t get much sleep.

Do you think it’s going to get any easier? Or am I going to have this nightmare every night until the release? Have any of you dealt with this situation? Do you have any tips for me? I could sure use them. I can’t afford to lose anymore sleep!

How do you make time to write?

My life has been so exhausting lately; I’m usually asleep before my head hits the pillow. I’m pregnant and I have a two-year-and-two-month-old-child. I’ve been applying for mortgages, house hunting, trying to get our current home ready to go on the market, and trying to finish my first round of editing on my novel. On top of that, I have all my other, normal duties, like cooking supper and cleaning. My husband has a demanding, physical job and works long hours, so we don’t get to see much of him. So my question is, when you are crazy-busy (and I know I’m no the only one who is!), how do you fit writing into your life?

I usually write during my son’s nap time, but to be honest, a lot of the first trimester of my pregnancy involved me sleeping during my son’s nap time instead. I’m feeling a little better now, but I still have a problem. I usually end up making a lot of my important calls to the bank and real-estate office during nap time.

Maybe I should have titled this post, “How do you keep a two-year-old from banging on your laptop?” Because really, that’s the problem. I could probably work for a while well he was awake if he wasn’t fascinated by it. Do you guys have any tips for writing with a toddler in the room? I’d love (am desperate?) to hear them!

Do you ever purposely break the rules of grammar?

I’ve been frantically working on my first round of edits with my editor for my novel. I’ve rewritten the beginning and am about 240 pages into my edits. Editing has actually raised a lot of questions for me, especially about my own personal writing style. So my question to you today is; do you ever purposely break the rules of grammar when you’re writing?

I do. The one I break the most is that of using “then” as a conjunction. I know “then” is not a proper conjunction. I know that to be correct you have to use “and then”.

“The woman smiled at her, blood dripping from her eyes, and then lunged.”

But to me, it sounds more fluid, more elegant to remove the “and”.

“The woman smiled at her, blood dripping from her eyes, then lunged.”

Let me tell you, my editor doesn’t like it. So the question is, do you break the rules to make your writing sound the way you want it to? Or do you follow the rules, because they ARE the rules, and you are just a new author? What do you think? I’d love to hear your opinion.