Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Secondary Characters Bloghop!

Hi guys! This is an auto-post because today I am in Italy! Today I'm, along with several other awesome people, are participating in Rachel's Secondary Characters Bloghop! This bloghop is also co-hosted by Theresa Paolo, Kelley Lynn, Jessica Salyer, Jenny Morris and Suzi Retzlaff. Not only have these ladies offered critiques as prizes, but Rachel will be giving away copies of her e-book, Secondary Characters! :D So fun!!


Okay, let me get started by saying...I LOVE secondary characters! EPP!

My first favorites:

Romantic Secondary Characters: Will & Elizabeth: 


Most epic and dramatic wedding scene ever! I just love them, lol.

Comedic Secondary Character: Puck (a.k.a Robin Goodfellow): 

http://www.theironfey.com/TheCharacters.html 

Puck is hilarious--and we can all use comic relief! He's a part of Julie Kagawa's The Iron Fey Series. He's Megan's best friend, and a notorious trickster from A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Action Secondary Character: Inigo Montoya: 


"Hello...my name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die!"

Inconceivable! Secondary Character: Vinzzini: 


Just cause. 

Last but not least, are my personal favorite secondary characters, Cove Rowell and Sara Rosamund! Never heard of them? Well, they're in my books! :D


Sunday, May 12, 2013

What a Crazy Weekend!

Can I just say that this has been an insane weekend?! I'm so happy I got through it. lol. Despite it giving me a ton of anxiety, it was super awesome and I'm so proud of my Aladdin! He graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a Bachelors in Geography and in Linguistics! We attended three graduations and had family here all day Saturday (which was lovely!), and despite the craziness, I even got most of my editing finished!

Here are some pictures from the events!






So, this also marks the end of my first year of graduate school! I have one more and then I am finished. I'm already thinking about comprehensive exams!! Ah!

Aside from that, this summer,  I really need to focus on my books. I just can't decide which one to work on...I'm feeling like I should be working on the second book in my pirates series because some of the characters in my other book don't want to talk to me right now and tell me about themselves.

Also, at the end of this week, we're leaving for ITALY!! I'm so excited! I can't wait to show you all some amazing things!

I'm off to edit!

-Ashley




Monday, May 6, 2013

The Adventures of My First Conference! OWFI!

Hi everyone!


I went to the OWFI conference this weekend. It was my FIRST conference! My FIRST PITCH session, too! I had so much fun! And I met so many awesome people!

I got to meet Aaron from Aaron's Word Tree--pretty sure he was thinking, "OMG, this girl talks WAY too much!" He's such a nice guy!  I met Becca, she blogs over at Rebekah Loper, Writer. Her and her friends Victoria and Jessica were so awesome and sweet. Becca also got a full request from an agent after her pitch session! I also got to see Jennifer McMurrain from afar as she was honored at the Famous Author's banquet!

Oh, and I talked to Patrick Rothfuss. He is hilarious. You all missed an absolutely wonderful adult picture book. haha.

Here's a fuzzy Patrick:



Okay, conference details. 

I'm going to talk about my pitch session first. I was prepared because of the wonderful and amazing Rachel Pudelek who sent me a bunch of info on pitch session. I had chosen to pitch to Sara D'Emic  of Talcott Notch Literary Services. I read that she wanted, "an awesome fantasy, adult or YA...and stories with morally ambiguous, conflicted, or anti-heroic characters." I was like...cool, that's me!

Anyways, the day before the pitch I was feeling glum. Not only was it dead week, but I've had to report fraud all week at my job (and that is intense and draining), and I wasn't prepared (or didn't feel prepared) for my pitch. My friend Emily and I watched a video about positive thinking--you know, the whole 'secret to life thing?' Well, I really believe that, and after that video I felt pumped and motivated.

I chose three things to tell myself the day of my pitch (and I continued after), they were:
I am awesome
I am an awesome writer
I HAVE an agent.

I don't have an agent, but if I tell myself I have one, it's more positive than saying "I will have an agent."

I went to the agent panel before my pitch so I could see all the agents, and get an idea of the type of person Sara was. She was super sweet and tiny. lol. When my pitch time rolled around, I told myself all those motivation things, and did breathing exercises because my anxiety was through the roof. It was still through the roof when I sat down before Sara, and I couldn't speak well. I also couldn't tell if she was interested and I almost gave up half way through the pitch (seriously, I remember wanting to stop talking and just walk away). She asked me a few questions and then goes, "Well, I am definitely interested."

She asked for a parital!!

This was what I had hoped for!! I was so...relieved.

That's a great way to describe it. Relieved.

So, next time, I'd like to be more calm. LOL.

Okay, now for the workshops....

I realized that many people don't actually search the web for information on agents and publishers. Maybe it's just cause I'm 23 and I grew up as 'sort of' a digital native, or that I'm getting a Master's in Library Science and Information Technology, but this surprised me. I went to the Agent Panel, and was so surprised by the questions that were asked like, "What do you represent?" My thought was, "Didn't you look them up online?"

Guess not?

Just a surprise.

The same went for some of the Social Media Panel. As an MLIS student, I was super saddened hearing people's fear of the internet. I had NO idea people were afraid of the internet! It was certainly something that opened my eyes to how other perceive the digital world.

The YA Panel was very interesting, and I enjoyed listening to the authors exchange ideas about books (though, because I had a class on YA this semester, I didn't learn a ton that was new to me). I also took a workshop on Blogging which was very helpful (since I've been struggling with it recently, mostly because of how busy I am, but also because of content).

There were classes I wish I could have taken like YA: what it is, what it isn't how to write it, and how to sell it, but it was during my pitch. :/

Okay, so what are some things I took away?

1. Agents are PEOPLE.
Yeah, and I can tell myself that still, but that was as intimating as ever.

2. Pitching is like speed dating.
I've never done speed dating, but if I had, I imagine it would be like my pitch session.

3. Writers are introverts unless they are at conferences.
Maybe it's cause there's alcohol?

4. I know what a buzz session is now!

5. As a writer, I feel like I am on a new level.
I can explain this one a little further--it hit me today that I am at a new level as a writer. I've moved passed not getting responses, or just a flood of rejections (I mean, I still get both) BUT, now I've gotten REQUESTS. Man, just thinking about that...it's like...so empowering and so awesome. It makes me realize two things: ANYTHING can happen, and I've STILL got a long way to go.

Okay, so tell me: what are your experiences pitching? What's your favorite thing about conferences (if you say alcohol, I'll laugh)? 




Thursday, May 2, 2013

Evertaster: The Buttersmith's Gold

Adam Glendon Sidwell's second book, Buttersmith's Gold will be out today! Isn't this an awesome cover? I just love it!  

   

If you haven't read the first book, Evertaster, you can find it HERE!


Don't forget to enter to win a copy of Evertaster: The Buttersmith's Gold! 



You can also buy a copy!