Lovin' the Language Blogfest =)

I decided to join my first blogfest.

~Lovin' the Language Blogfest~

The rules:

Pick any 5 lines or any 5 SHORT excerpts from one of your WIPs.
If you're feeling shy and don't want to share form your own work, share from something you LOVE.

So here I go...if I mess it up, leave something out, or add too much, remember it's my first time--be gentle. ;o)

Excerpts from Solitary Sky:
  • Live music was typical for a Saturday night, but something about this singer's voice made me stop to listen. His words filled the room with a low, sweet tone that found its way through me like it knew where it was going.
  • The cluster of trees surrounding us stood watch in the ghostly light of the rising moon. Fear returned to me like a ocean tide as I pictured Val's crumpled body lying on the ground.
  • Guilt became a poison building in my blood and streaming through my veins until I wished I could throw up to purge the pain.
  • "Don't cry, Tehya...I'll still take pleasure in tasting every bite of your fragile human flesh." (Tohlos)
  • I forced each breath in and out of my lungs as anguish burned through me like wildfire--leaving nothing in its wake but cold, lifeless black.

There they are! My first blogfest experience has been interesting, but I enjoyed it...hope you did, too! ;o)



Solitary Sky ~ First Page

Title: Solitary Sky
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Wordcount: 77,700

I peeked through the back door window and saw Claire sitting at the kitchen table still wearing her dress and apron from work. She held a cup of coffee and cigarette in one hand while going through mail with the other. I tossed my purse and book bag to the side of the porch and sat down on the grass hoping to wait her out. The last thing I wanted today was a conversation with my mother.

She got up fifteen minutes later, but it was only to refill her cup. I sighed and slung my bags over my shoulder, lifting myself off the grass.

“You’re home,” Claire said as I rushed through the door past her. “Hey, get back here, Lilah. What’s wrong with you?”
“Nothing,” I said, avoiding her overly made-up eyes.
“Well you look like crap. Have you been crying?” She pursed her lips and blew the steam rising from her cup, waiting for me to answer.

"No, I'm just tired."

She pulled out a chair from the table and patted her hand on the seat. This was her "mother-who-cares" act, but I wasn't buying it. Did she really expect me to sit and talk with her about my life over piles of old mail and the breakfast dishes she'd left for me to clean up? I shifted my bags to my other shoulder and stood with my arms folded on my chest.

"Fine." She shoved the chair back under the table. "I'm not gonna beg you to talk to me."

A Contest!

I will be posting the first 250 words of my book for an awesome contest which could result in the full manuscript being read by Victoria Marini, literary agent from Gelfman Scneider Literary Agency! =)

Details at shelleywatters.blogspot.com:


"To celebrate my birthday, I'm having another agent-judged first page contest! Rather than celebrate me getting a year older, I thought I'd pay it forward and give you guys another chance to get your work in front of an amazing agent.And who, might you ask, is the judge?

I am torn because I have a sort of prologue that will take up most of the 250 words, and not leave much of chapter 1. I really like the prologue, but I'd probably rather have 250 words from the 1st chapter. WTH do I do?? =/

Guess we'll find out in my next post...happy Saturday, everyone! ;o)



Back Flap

I wrote a "back flap" summary for Solitary Sky...feel free to comment, but keep in mind I was on heavy pain meds when I wrote it! ;o)

Leaving home wasn't a hard decision for Lilah. She could spend her senior year in Gentian with her grandma who talked to dogs, or stay home with her mom who preferred dating them. Soon after shacking up with Gram, Lilah meets Hunter, the literal guy of her dreams. She can't stop herself from being attracted to him, even after she finds out he and his brothers are shapeshifting wolves. But a darker secret remains to be uncovered--one that threatens to destroy her newfound happiness...and her life.



Indie Writer & the Trade Publishing of Doom

As I'm doing the final edits on my MS, and facing the dread of writing a query letter, I'm starting to wonder what's in store for me after that? I can't know for sure--no one can, I'm aware of this...but in the best of/worst of situations what should I expect for the future of these 77,000+ words that have so much of my heart & soul--my life poured into them?

In the best of scenarios I would get snapped up immediately by a wonderful agent who is totally excited about my MS. S/he would get my book straight into the hands of a major publishing house and ink me a 7-figure deal.

In the worst of scenarios--or at least one of the endless worst-case outcomes--I would be stuck in a steady cycle of submitting my query letters and only getting form rejections as feedback.

I am not naive enough to assume either scenario will apply to me, although I accept they are at least within the realm of possibility. But even somewhere in between those points on the spectrum--maybe a series of queries that eventually attracts an agent who sells my book for a respectable figure--still leaves me feeling a little left out in the cold.

I have no way of knowing how long I'll be waiting to see if my dream of having my book in print and being able to share it with others will ever happen. I've heard the horror & success stories and neither were helpful. My biggest sticking point has been that once I achieve the miracle of getting a book deal (if ever), how much am I giving up in the process? How much control over something I worked so hard on for so long do I retain? This led me to look into self-publishing.

I hate to admit until recently I was one of those people who bought into the stereotypes about self-publishing. Anyone who did that was either tired of being rejected by agents & editors, or too impatient to wait for a book deal. I never viewed it in a negative light, I was just 100% convinced it was not for me.

Now I'm not so sure.

I researched POD's, including Lightning Source & Createspace. I bought some books on indie publishing and read several blog posts. 2 things stood out for me:

---It doesn't take as much $$$ to get started as I'd thought, but it does take a major amount of hard work.

---Writers are very polarized on this issue.

Some people are not only hooked into the negative stereotyping, but they cling tightly to it--as if the thought of self-pubbing is scary to them. It blew my mind reading comments saying that self-publishers were "taking the easy way" or just another victim of the vanity presses.

I am still wobbling back and forth on the fence right now on whether I want to forge ahead with the querying and hope for a agent and book deal, with possibly some self-pubbed titles in my future...or whether I want to take charge and get my book out there myself without having ever licked the seal or pressed the send button on a query letter.
Who knows?
If I did publish myself and got a great response, it could be considered a trial run and may attract the attention of an agent or editor. But if it wasn't successful, it would be close to impossible to ever get it into the hands of an agent without extreme rework-age--if not a complete overhaul.
But that just leads me back to being confused, because if my book fails after being self-pubbed, then it's highly likely to have been rejected by agents...putting me in the exact same position! =P

So what do I do? The most important thing to me--the entire reason why I write is for the enjoyment of the process, but also to get my story out to others in hopes that they will enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it. =)

One thing is for sure, no matter which side of the indie/trade publishing fence you fall on--self publishing is growing in popularity and declining in stigma. Not sure how long it will take, but I believe POD's & e-books will become a staple in the publishing industry.