Thursday, November 29, 2012

The IE Welcomes New Member

We're excited to welcome author Angela Brown to the Indie Elite. Angela was born and raised in Little Rock, AR, and now calls Central Texas home. Reading and writing have been lifelong passions of hers.

As a YA fantasy/sci-fi reader and author, she favors the magical, mysterious, the darker side of life...even harbors a secret fright for things that go bump in the night.

Neverlove, her debut novel, is a special project spawned from a blog-challenge-turned-blog-opera, the Abby and Basil affair. It is the first in the Shadow Jumpers series. Here's a bit more about Neverlove:

For seventeen-year-old Abigail, one rash decision leads to an unexpected chance for redemption. At V'Salicus Academy, a unique institute where she trains to become an agent of heaven, she struggles with the pain of her past, the changes of the present and accepts a loveless future until her path – and heart – crosses with Basil’s.

Basil's off-chance slip of the tongue binds him to a life of servitude to the Devourer, the master of hell. His existence has no upside until a chance meeting with Abigail brings new perspective.

Keeping the truth of their present lives from each other brings disaster when secrets are brought to light and the life of Abigail’s mentor is put on the line.

Can Abigail and Basil save her mentor and salvage their love amid the chaos? Or will they lose it all, destined forever to NEVERLOVE?

You can find Neverlove at the following links: paperback

Pitch Perfect

This week I had a moment of extreme bravery (or insanity) and pitched in public. Talk about walk out the house with your skirt tucked into your knickers!

But that’s exactly what I did when I joined YA LitChat’s “An Agent for the Holidays” pitch event.

Luckily for me, I’ve had a few nibbles, so it was definitely worth doing. (It’s running until December 12, by the way, so get on to it!). But wow, was it nerve wracking!

Later, as the pages of pitches mounted up and curiosity got the better of me, I started reading through all the pitches from dozens of writers. Some stories really appealed to me, others weren’t my kind of thing.

Reading the pitches gave me an insight into how an agent might feel when they open their emails. Some stories are going to give them a thrill of delight and they’ll want more, others will have them shaking their heads, trying to make sense of it.

I can tell you, after reading a few pages of pitches, I started skimming the ones that didn’t grab me right away. Isn’t that horrible of me to admit that? Yep. But, guess what? I’m human. After a while, there’s only so much I can take in. I bet this happens to agents as well. (Plus, I noticed someone else had a similar idea to mine, which is always going to happen because there’s no such thing as a new idea, just a different way of telling an old story.

Six sentences can’t possibly do your novel justice, but it is enough in some cases to give an agent the flavor of your book. Plus, even if you’re not looking for an agent, putting the essence of your novel into six sentences is a terrific way to keep the focus.

BUT - if you’ve never written a pitch, and you’ve never read what other writers do, where the heck do you even start?

Read through the pages on An Agent for the Holidays and take note of the pitches appeal to you. Break down what they've done. Have they explained everything? Most likely not. Instead, they've explained enough to give you the general idea.

Plus, what appeals to you (mysteries, suspense, revenge) will not appeal to everyone. There will be pitches there that make you wonder why an agent hasn't asked for more, while others are getting lots of attention. Ultimately this comes down to personal taste, and as we all know, publishing is so subjective.

Also, find agents who blog, and read their archives. They will often post examples of pitches that have piqued their interest.

Kristin Nelson at is a prime example. Scroll down the side bar of her blog and you’ll see a whole swag of queries that worked for her.

The more examples you read of successful pitches, the more tuned in you will become. You’ll start to see a pattern developing. The inciting incident, for example (sometimes called the ‘plot catalyst’ for without that moment, the rest of the story cannot happen). The basic needs and goals of the main character. What’s stopping them or what's in their way?

So, now you know how to get started, what’s stopping you?

~Ebony McKenna author of the Ondine series. The Ondine books are a sparkling combination of romance and magic – perfect for teen girls. Written with genuine humour and unique eccentricity, the series is an obvious choice for fans of The Princess Bride and Ella Enchanted.

Friday, November 16, 2012

What I Can Do~Hurricane Sandy

My younger kids' elementary school recently raised over $600 selling baked goods and movie-night concessions to support Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. Not too shabby, eh? But it got me to thinking about what I, personally, could do in the way of fundraising. As a one-income family, we don't have much left over after all the bills are paid. And I'm not talking about not having enough to eat out as much as we want to or buying only one cute shirt instead of two or choosing the less expensive manicure. I'm talking about not having much left over for basic necessities such as food (yeah, food) and winter coats for the kids. We're pinching pennies like a lot of people and it hurts. Boy, does it hurt. But I'll tell you one thing: It doesn't hurt more than someone who's lost everything.

I'm a writer. It's what I do. And if I can't, or am not willing, to help someone by doing what I love more than anything in this world (friends and family excluded) then maybe I should reevaluate my priorities. I can sit here and feel sorry for myself that we're eating canned soup for the second night in a row, but at least we have a home of our own to cook it in. We have heat and electricity and gas and water. My children aren't shivering. They aren't hungry. They're not wondering where their next meal is going to come from or if they'll get to go to school tomorrow or if they'll ever have a place to call home again. As a parent I'm not looking at my kids' scared little faces and silently worrying what the hell am I gonna do now?

But this is what I can do: write and sell books. 

For every Kindle copy of TURNING POINT, THE SPIRIT KEEPER, and BLOOD TYPE that I sell during the month of November, I will donate $1 to the American Red Cross. For every print copy I sell of those same three books, I will donate $2. That might not sound like a lot, but it's about 50% of what I make in royalties from each copy sold. It's the least I can do, but I hope in some small way it helps.

~Melissa Luznicky Garrett

Monday, November 12, 2012

INDIE-giving Blogfest

American Thanksgiving is coming soon. Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving in October so I've been thankful for a whole month already! :)

Actually, being thankful is a good posture to assume year round. I'm thankful for my health and all the opportunities afforded me in this life. I'm thankful for my family and that I don't have any broken relationships. I'm thankful that I can write and am always learning so much about the craft and business. This past year has been full of blessing, and 2013 promises to be even better.

I'm thankful to be an INDIE Author, with all the ups and downs that come with it.

That's why, in this spirit of thankfulness and giving,
the Indelibles bring you INDIE-giving!

This blogfest will run from November 18-25 (the Sunday-to-Sunday surrounding Thanksgiving).

During this week, each participating blogger will reflect on his or her blessings and share something with visitors.  Some may choose to give away a book.  Some may choose to share the best piece of advice they wished they'd known before they published.  The choice of what to share will be as unique as the individual blogger.  The only requirement is that you open your heart in the spirit of thankfulness and giving.

Although this is something we could do individually, banding together to share our blessings seemed like the right thing to do.  If you'd like to join us, add your name to the linky list and get your post ready for November 18th.  Whether you're an Indie author or just love reading Indie books, we hope you'll join us.  We can't wait to see what blessings have been bestowed upon you this year!

~Elle Strauss

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Welcome New Member Halli Lilburn

The Indie Elite welcomes it's newest member, author Halli Lilburn. Born in Edmonton, AB, Halli Dee Lilburn was a writer from the beginning, but didn’t take notice until her journals overflowed her shelves. She now resides in southern Alberta with her husband, three children, two cats and a German shepherd. She works at the local library.

She has works published in Canada’s History, Canadian Stories, Poetry Quarterly, Seeding the Snow, Grey Sparrow Journal and SPIRITED ghost stories anthology by Leap Books. Her novel SHIFTERS is published through Imajin Books.

She is a gardener, artist, photographer, seamstress, poet, genealogist, and singer. She can pick up spiders, handle the sight of blood, subdue aggressive dogs, and make a mean grilled cheese. She can also keep her sanity. Most of the time. You can find Halli at the following links:

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Surviving word at a time

Okay, let me start by saying that Judith and I did NOT plan out our posts. But, as it is November...and we are both doing NaNoWriMo, I guess it is no surprise that we both decided to post on the same topic.

This post, however, is a 5-point survival guide:
  • Stock the fridge with leftovers so the kids and spouse can survive without you! Then make certain everyone knows you are writing a novel...yes, and entire November.
  • Outline if you want; but only, No one cares if this draft is a train wreck of epic proportions. That's for December and beyond. You need to only care about wordage!
  • ABSOLUTELY NO EDITING. Just saying. Oh! And certainly NO DELETING. Seriously!!!
  • Find writerly buds. This is so much more fun with friends!
  • Set daily goals. If you miss then, adjust. And keep adjusting to stay on track
There you are, my tricks for finishing. The only thing left is to sign up. And if you do, I'm ChristineF. Buddy me.

PS - I am actually NOT starting NaNo until this weekend. Right now I am knee deep in edits. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

I'm a NANO addict and YOU should be too!

“Thirty days and nights of literary abandon!”

I first heard about NANO via one of my very cool critique partners, Tami Klockau, who had been an active participant for several years. When she gave me the low down, I thought she was out of her mind.

Writers devote themselves to a fresh project and during NANA they strive to:

-          Complete the first draft of a NOVEL in ONE month
-          To do so, their expected daily word count sits around 1600 words
-          Miss a day, or two, and you have to power out the extra pages to catch up and get back on track

Like I said, crazy, right? But the next year I gave NANO a shot and while I didn’t cross the 50k finish line, I had substantially increased my word count that month. By about 30k.

Nothing to sneeze at. Plus, the supportive (possibly distracting) forums,  the pep talks from bestselling authors, and the community spirit is uplifting. Writing is usually a solitary art – but during NANO writers seek each other out. Host write-ins, come together with their notebooks, laptops, coffee, and / or stronger beverages to WRITE.

It’s pretty nifty.

And so every year since I have either participated on the sly (without actually registering) or have gone full out and signed up to share my experience with other keen NANO souls.

Have I ever made the 50k? Nope. Not once. But each November my word counts soar – on new or current projects.  That’s gold in my books. If you’re one of the doubting sorts, how about the success story of like that of young adult fiction author, Denise Jaden: - a fellow Canadian author I was lucky enough to meet during our debut publishing year with the Class of 2k10:

Denise is a loyal NANO participant (aka, aWrimo) and several of her published novels were NANO efforts. She crosses the finish line – as do many other writers – published or otherwise.

Whether you use NANO as a motivational tool to increase your general word count, or you’re focused on the first draft end game – I encourage writers to give NANO a shot.
WARNING: You may become just a smidge addicted.

I’m registered as JudithG – if you’re a Wrimo – let’s cheer each other on!

ASIDE: I have to give Tami a shameless plug. If you’re into spinning yarns, and not the literary sort – I’m talking crochet or knitting – Tami has the most AMAZING online shop: Candy Skein:


Judith Graves is the author of the Skinned series, paranormal fiction with a bite.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Free Book From an Indie Elite Member

Today is the final day in Heather McCorkle's Rise of a Rector tour and she is celebrating it's release with a great giveaway to thank all of you. Today and tomorrow her historical fantasy, To Ride A Puca, will be free on Amazon for Kindle.

But there's more!

If To Ride A Puca is downloaded by at least 1,000 people over the two days, then Heather is going to giveaway $10 in eBooks (winner's choice)! Download your copy, tell all your friends to download their's, then enter this contest below to win even more books!

a Rafflecopter giveaway