Monday, April 29, 2013


The lovely Brenda Drake is doing another awesome contest. The Writer's Voice is an amazing opportunity to learn from folks who know their stuff, and to make some good connections with other writerly types.
Also, agents. They'll be involved as well.

So that's happening starting Monday. And you need a query and 250 words. So I thought, I'd open the comments today to queries OR 250 words. Post yours and I'll comment back, letting you know what I think. Hopefully the feedback is helpful and gets you a little closer to the agent round. So go, post. I shall comment back. Feel free to tell your friends! :)


Monday, April 22, 2013

Beating The Block

Writers block sucks rhinoceros piss. It’s literally a royal pain in my boney ass. In case anyone hasn’t figured it out yet, I’ve been suffering from this evil blight upon my creative mind for quite some time.  
            Here are some of the suggestions I’ve tried to break the block.
  1. Read a good book.
  2. Look at inspirational pictures.
  3. Watch a thought-provoking movie.
  4. Try writing a short story.
Some of these I found online. Others were suggestions from friends and CP’s. None of them had worked for me.
      Thankfully I have wonderful CP’s that continued to nag at me. It took a bit of that to make me realize something—my block was so bad that I think I kind of gave up on getting past it a long time ago. I only know this cause I hadn’t tried anything new to get anything written in ages. I just sat there, going over the same thing every time I tried to write. It felt like the beginning of a Pinky and The Brain cartoon when Pinky asked what they were going to do tonight. (if you get the reference, great. If not, go look it up).
I had to make a decision right there. Do I continue? If I do, I have to consider this to be my job and just sit down and get something written.
So you obviously know I chose to continue. But did this take care of my creative gremlin that kept snatching all my great ideas? Nah. Just got me working harder on it.
Here’s what worked for me. Every time I’m about to sit down and write I take a few mins and remember my other stories. Those have never been out of reach. Once I was able to immerse myself into those worlds, the new one kind of bled through.
            Sounds simple doesn’t it. Just wish I could have figured this out a while ago. It would have saved me a whole lot of frustrated nights.
Now that you know what has worked for me, tell me about you guys. Have you ever had the vile block, and if so, how did you work past it?


Friday, April 19, 2013

Giving It Back

I want to talk about something that's been in the back of my mind for a while.
I want to talk about giving back.
So, I've been writing for years. I have been in and out of several critique groups, been through lots of critique partners. I've had a lot of people, over the years, saying 'here, your doing it wrong. Let me show you a better way.'
And some of those people were wrong. But most of them? Were right. Most of them pushed me gently toward a better way, an improved craft, a better grasp of the market and what I want for my own career.
And now I'm here. I'm planning my second release, and I have two manuscripts getting lots of interest from agents and editors. I have a team of people around me who help me and keep me pushing forward.
I offer my help when and where I can. Because if there is anything I have learned? This is a tiny community, and everyone knows each other. And everyone--seriously, EVERYONE-wants the best for each other.
Look, I've been at it for a while. I have a critique partner who landed an agent insanely fast. I could be bitter--I mean, dude. INSANELY fast. But honestly? I'm so freakin' excited about her success and getting that damn books on shelves.
And I don't have time for bitter. I'd rather spend my time reading and reviewing, critiquing and answering questions.
Why? Because even after all these years in the writing community, I'm still getting help. A quiet nudge on a cover before it's final, friends willing to let me invade their blog and showcase my book. Friends offering their freelance services because they believe in my book. Critique partners who read my manuscripts 4,5, 6 times. Because they believe in it and me.
This community is an amazing one. The generosity in it--the people willing to offer advice and friendship and just cheer you on--because, God, in this industry, we all need those people--amazes me.
All of them give back. So today--I want you to think about it. What have you done recently? To return a gesture of friendship and help. Have you passed it on? Have you offered it to someone who needs it, for no other reason than THEY NEED IT, and someone gave it to you once?
Let's give back, today. Because this community is amazing, and we can make it better.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Of Conferences and Thing I Learned.

I went to SCBWI Houston's annual conference this past weekend. I'll be super honest: they were amazing and sweet and I had no freakin' clue it was so geared to picture book writers. But despite the fact that little of it was relevant to me, I did come away with five important things:

1. I met Chantee. And proved to her husband I am in fact real.

2. I got a weekend away from my kids. It's my first in almost seven years and was overdue. I enjoyed it greatly.

3. New respect for picture book writers. I'm probably never going to write a picture book, and I will certainly never illustrate one. But after listening to the passion and work that Peter Brown pours into his art? I can totally respect that.

4. I'm doing it right. My critique from an agent at the conference wasn't all sunshine and roses--but the good definitely outweighed the bad points and I can fix those. I'm on the right track.

5. I'M DOING IT RIGHT. Self-publishing isn't for everyone. It's not for every book. But the major thing I walked away from this conference with is reassurance in what I'm doing. Because for me? For these two books? This IS the right decision. I'm less inclinded to doubt myself and more eager to throw myself head-long into my work.

I didn't learn traditional info. And you know what? That's okay. I'm not traditional. :)

Cheers, my lovelies!!


(oh! There's a teaser on my personal blog of my June release.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Getting The Job

           Last week N talked about the fine line between business and art when it comes to writing novels. I thought it was bloody brilliant and it got me thinking. Most aspiring writers tend to ignore all the business aspects of writing, thinking they’ll worry about that once they get published. Repeat after me fellow rejects: This is a fatal mistake.

Before anyone gets all Hulk-Angry….Hulk-Smash on me for saying this, let me explain. In any job, one must work like they already have the promotion in order to receive one. It’s no different for a writer. After all, getting published means that being an author is our profession.

Does this mean that if we’re unpublished we still have to worry about advertising budget, deadlines, or even making that ever so hard decision not to write a sequel if the origin novel barely saw the light of day? Frak no! It only means that for those of us that haven’t seen out beloved works of art printed to sell, we need to get ourselves in the right frame of mind. And to be absolutely honest with everyone, this is something I’m only now realizing.

So I guess this means that I actually have 2 jobs now. I work in the morning with technology, which I did just get promoted to creating and maintaining websites, and then I come home to my 2nd job. Now I just gotta paid.


Oh, and since I'm starting to write my new novel, I'll be tweeting on my progress. Feel free to follow me @AuzyOsborne

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

What Is Your Writing Strategy?

Hey guys!

Today I wanted to open up the floor to our lovely readers and find out about YOUR writing strategies. Me (Liz!) and our resident dude, Auzy, are currently adapting into our writing lives again and would love to know what works for you. For some it's setting a daily word count, or a weekly count. While for others they find the write better when they Word War or time themselves, especially with Write or Die (love that site!) 

Do you tend to write and rewrite the previous chapter as you draft? Or do you get that sucker down and don't look back until it's all done? Do you write in order? Out of order? Are you a crazy outliner or a smooth-sailing-see-where-it-goes kinda writer?

Let us know! We'd love to learn about the different processes we all use, and who knows you may even find one you'd like to try out too!



Friday, April 5, 2013

Review of Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles

Goodreads Synopsis:

A fresh, urban twist on the classic tale of star-crossed lovers.

When Brittany Ellis walks into chemistry class on the first day of senior year, she has no clue that her carefully created 'perfect' life is about to unravel before her eyes. She's forced to be lab partners with Alex Fuentes, a gang member from the other side of town, and he is about to threaten everything she's worked so hard for: her flawless reputation, her relationship with her boyfriend, and the secret that her home life is anything but perfect. 

Alex is a bad boy and he knows it. So when he makes a bet with his friends to lure Brittany into his life, he thinks nothing of it. But soon Alex realizes Brittany is a real person with real problems, and suddenly the bet he made in arrogance turns into something much more.

In a passionate story about looking beneath the surface, Simone Elkeles breaks through the stereotypes and barriers that threaten to keep Brittany and Alex apart.

My Take:

Overall, I enjoyed the story. It enthralled me enough to keep reading. Alex is oh-so-sexy and the sexual tension between the two is everything we could hope for. Occasionally Brittany's "I must be perfect" attitude came across a tad too strong for my taste, but the romance was so well done it didn't affect the story for me too much. Really, this is just a cute romance with some high stakes issues--a total star-crossed lovers story. Great and sexy read. 


4 out of 5 stars


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Art of Business

We're all writers. We're all artists--creative artsy folk prone to daydreaming. Largely content to stay in our nooks and talk to the voices--characters--in our heads.

But, we're also all--for the most part--hoping to get published. And at some point, the artsy dreamer has to meet the wanna-be-business major.

Here's the truth, lovelies: Publishing is a business. It might be a big house, it might be a small press, hell, it might be just you and the dog. Whoever it is, there is a budget. There is a dude with a calculator measuring the costs against the advance versus the  numbers you need to sell through. Same is true for self-publishing: there are lots of things to spend money on. There is a budget to set down and a sale point and magic number where you start making profits.

If you want to be successful in this business? Understanding this is probably a good thing. We all want to tell the story inside. It's super special and only YOU can tell it.

But writing a six book series while you haven't sold the first one? Bad business decision.

Be smart. Be aware that we are artists, and we are also in a pretty competitive INDUSTRY.

Dream big, lovelies. But be a little realistic. And tell me your opinions of this in the comments! :)