Meet My Character – Lily In The Shadows

Hello gentle reader,

I’ve been tagged by the wonderful Katie Bucklein to participate in the Meet My Character blog hop. The idea is to answer 7 questions about my manuscript’s main character, then tag other writers. I’ve decided to take part with the main character of LILY IN THE SHADOWS, the manuscript which helped me sign with my agent.

M.LIN Lights
1) What is the name of your character? Is she a fictional person or a historic person?

Her name is Lily Scott and she’s a fictional person. I write YA Historical Fantasy, and it’s my way of bringing to life “regular people” who would never have made it in our History books.

2) When and where is the story set?

LILY IN THE SHADOWS is set in 1862 London. London is a city I know very well and love very much, and doing research for this manuscript was a lot of fun. The Victorian era is also an incredibly inspiring time period. I just added a bit of magic to it…

sweeney-s-london-sweeney-todd-2296405-1024-576

3) What should we know about your character?

Lily is a flower girl – the kind who sold flowers on the streets of Victorian London for a living. She’s sixteen, strong-headed, sassy and independent. She lives in Whitechapel and because she’s been an orphan for a long time, she’s used to taking care of herself – and others.

Augustus Edwin Mulready - A street flower seller
4) What is the main conflict? What messes up her life?

One day, all the flowers in London die.

That was my premise, the idea that popped into my head two years ago and didn’t let go. What if my MC was a flower girl, and suddenly all the flowers died? Faced with the sudden disappearance of her livelihood, what would she do? In Lily’s case, she doesn’t leave it up to some British Museum scientists in top hats to solve the mystery of the dead flowers: she investigates herself, and gets into trouble…

5) What is the personal goal of the character?

As I said in my previous answer, Lily wants to find out what happened to the flowers, in order to get her livelihhod back. Selling flowers is pretty much the only thing she knows, so she’s determined to get to the bottom of it all before she finds herself starving on the streets.

6) Is there a working title for this novel, and can we read more about it?

Well, the working title is and has always been LILY IN THE SHADOWS. I participated in a couple of contests while querying this MS, which means the query and first 500 words can still be found online here. You can also read two interviews I gave about my manuscript here and here.

7) When can we expect the book to be published?

One day soon, I hope!

And now I tag the fab Sarah Glenn Marsh  and Jessica Rubinkowski who are both working hard on their new Work In Progress, which I can’t wait to read!

The Great Critique Partner Connection

tgnaCP

Hello gentle reader,

Are you a writer looking for a critique partner? If you are, you may want to check out the announcement we posted yesterday on The Great Noveling Adventure blog. Starting on 1st November, we’ll be hosting the Great Critique Partner Connection on our forums. If you want to take part, all you have to do is register on the forums and post about your manuscript under your category & genre.

Interested? Take a look!

Book of the Week – The London Scene by Virginia Woolf

Hello gentle reader,

last weekend I went to the National Portrait Gallery to visit the temporary exhibition about the Life, Art and Vision of Virginia Woolf. It’s an amazing exhibition and I really recommend it if you find yourself in London before 26 October 2014. I find there’s nothing quite as inspiring as seeing a great writer’s personal notes, letters and photographs. It gives us a ‘behind the scenes’ look at their life, struggles and inspiration.

VirginiaWoolf

Following my visit to the National Portrait Gallery, I decided to read one of Virginia Woolf’s works. I chose The London Scene, and again, I recommend it if you’re interested in London and beautiful writing.

The London Scene

From Goodreads:

Virginia Woolf was already an accomplished novelist and critic when she was commissioned by the British edition of Good Housekeeping to write a series entitled “Six Articles on London Life.” Originally published bimonthly, beginning in December 1931, five of the essays were eventually collected and published in 1981. The sixth essay, “Portrait of a Londoner,” had been missing from Woolf’s oeuvre until it was rediscovered at the University of Sussex in 2004.

A walking tour of Woolf’s beloved hometown, The London Scene begins at the London Docks and follows Woolf as she visits several iconic sites throughout the city, including the Oxford Street shopping strip, John Keats’s house on Hampstead Heath, Thomas Carlyle’s house in Chelsea, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, and the Houses of Parliament.

These six essential essays capture Woolf at her best, exploring modern consciousness through the prism of 1930s London while simultaneously painting an intimate, touching portrait of this sprawling metropolis and its fascinating inhabitants.

It’s a very short read (about 100 pages), yet incredibly powerful. Virginia Woolf managed to capture the essence of London in these essays, showing both what the city was like in the 1930s and what makes it utterly timeless. If you love London as I do, or if you dream of going there one day, then I strongly suggest you read The London Scene. You won’t regret it.

What have you been reading this week? Have you read any of Virginia Woolf’s books? Feel free to leave me a comment below!

How to Write a Successful Twitter Pitch

NB: this was originally posted on There And Draft Again in July 2013, but I have tweaked it slightly to share with you again today.

Hello gentle reader,

#PitMad is tomorrow! Organised by Brenda Drake (@brendadrake), it’s a great opportunity to “pitch” agents and editors on Twitter, with a 140-character tweet presenting your manuscript. You may know my agent found me thanks to a Twitter Pitch Party like this, so I can only encourage you to participate if you have a completed manuscript ready to query.

However, I know summing up a 80k novel in 140 characters is very hard. So here is my recipe for a successful Twitter pitch. Ready?

1 – Inciting Incident

2 – Main Character

3 – Plot

4 – Stakes

If you can fit it in:

5 – Category and Genre (ie: YA F for Young Adult Fantasy)

6 – Voice

Here are two examples of the pitches I used during the last Twitter Pitch Party I participated in:

1862: When dark magic throws London into chaos, a 16yo flower girl must sleuth through Whitechapel to save her job & city YA F

A flower girl in Victorian London tries to save the city from dark magic. SOMETHING STRANGE & DEADLY meets THE INFERNAL DEVICES YA F

It’s best to have at least 3 different pitches and to vary them throughout the day. It’s also advised to tweet only one pitch per half hour. Make sure to always include the hashtag in your tweet.

If an agent or editor likes your pitch and wants to request it, they’ll favorite it. As a result, don’t favorite pitches you like: you’ll give false hope to a fellow writer! Instead, show your support by retweeting their pitch.

Best of luck if you’re taking part in #PitMad tomorrow!

I’ll be around most of the day to support you, so don’t hesitate to ask for help with your pitches if need be!

The Great Noveling Adventure: Back and Better Than Ever

Hello gentle reader,

I’m thrilled to announce I’ve been invited by the ladies of The Great Noveling Adventure to join their group blog! It’s a blog about writing, publishing, and eveything book-related.

tgnahead

The blogging schedule will be as follows from 1st September 2014:

  • Media Mondays: a brand-new content feature to share downloads, printables, playlists, and more!
  • Travel Tuesdays: the ever-popular “Your Adventure” posts, link roundups, and guest posts.
  • Writing Wednesdays: Craft posts.
  • Things I’ve Read Thursdays: Book reviews!
  • Top Five Fridays: Lists of five favourite…whatever!

You can suscribe to the blog here and find us on Pinterest here. TGNA is also on Twitter here and on Facebook here.

And as if this wasn’t exciting enough, we’re having a HUGE giveaway to celebrate the relaunch of the blog!

Starting this Saturday and running until 7PM Sunday, we’ll be giving away prizes on our twitter account. Simply follow and retweet to win! These prizes include critiques, books, and more!

We also have several awesome prize packs that we’re giving away on the blog:

  • Two mystery book packages – Two lucky winners will each get a set of 3 books chosen by Serena, Kit, Isabelle, and Megan.
  • Character Sketch — one lucky winner will receive a character sketch from the super-talented Laura Hollingsworth, thanks to Alyssa.
  • Outlander Audiobook — one lucky winner will snag an audio copy of OUTLANDER by Diana Gabaldon, courtesy of Lauren.
  • Ultimate Submission Package — one lucky winner will receive a Query Critique from Danielle Ellison, the author of SALT and FOLLOW ME THROUGH DARKNESS, and Senior Editor at Spencer Hill Press; a Pitch + Synopsis Critique (with up to three revisions!) from Sarah; and a 30-Page Critique from Valerie.

You have until 12AM (Midnight) EST Sunday to enter the rafflecopter giveaway on the blog! Don’t miss your chance!

A Writer in the Spotlight – April G. Tucholke

A Writer In The Spotlight Logo

Hello gentle reader,

I’m delighted to share with you another interview with a YA author! This week it’s April Tucholke, whose debut BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA is a great Gothic Mystery/Thriller/Romance. The sequel BETWEEN THE SPARK AND THE BURN is out now!

April Tucholke

Author: April G. Tucholke

Genre: Young Adult, Gothic, Fantasy

Website: http://apriltucholke.com/

Books: BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA (published 15th August 2013 by Dia)

BETWEEN THE SPARK AND THE BURN (published 14th August 2014 by Dial)

Biography:

April Genevieve Tucholke loves classic horror movies and coffee. She has lived in many places, including Scotland, and currently resides in Oregon with her husband Nate Pedersen. (Author Photo by Sung Park)

 

My interview (21st August 2014)

Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?

Oh, I thought about it as a kid, but mainly because I was a big reader. I got a degree in creative writing when I was in my early twenties…but I don’t think I ever believed I’d actually finish writing a novel. And yet, here I am.

What do you say to writers who want to be published one day?

A. Read. Read everything. Every genre, the new books and the classics.
B. Give up watching TV for a year. Spend the time writing instead.
C. Pick up ten of your least favorite books…and then write down 5 things that each book did very well. This is an enlightening experience. Trust me. Figuring out what’s bad about a book you didn’t like? Easy. Figuring out what’s good about a book you didn’t like? Far more valuable.

Between the devil and the deep blue sea

To write BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA, where did you get your inspiration from?

A. From this true story out of Glasgow, Scotland: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/scotland/8574484.stm
B. From all the places I’ve lived, and all the gothic books I’ve read.

What are you working on now?

I organized a YA horror anthology that will be published by Penguin in fall, 2015 called Slasher Girls & Monster Boys.

I’m also working on a dark, twisting, voice-driven YA mystery that will be published by Penguin in early 2016.

Between the spark and the burn

Which authors inspire you now? Any books you’d recommend?

Susanna Clarke. I’ve read Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell three times. I’m in awe of authors who can write long books with epic world building. This is something I’ll never be able to do. George R.R. Martin, Scott Lynch, Diane Gabaldon, Connie Willis…

I’m drawn to dark, odd, beautifully written YA—books by Nova Ren Suma, Chris Howard, Laini Taylor, Melina Marchetta…

I’m inspired by the beautiful language in Zane Grey’s westerns. Truly. It—and I never use this word—transports me, into a world without the internet, and cell phones, and car alarms, and blasting music… Zane is marvelous.

Laura Ingalls Wilder. I’m the descendent of pioneers, and this is my history. I reread the series every year or so. The writing style is very simple and direct, but the stories aren’t. Laura and her family are often in serious danger, from wolves, from illness, from hunger…and yet the feeling I’m left with after reading is one of…peace.

Thanks for the interview, April!

Writers, are you ready for WriteOnCon 2014?

Hello gentle reader,

WriteOnCon is just around the corner, so I’m asking you today: are you ready for this awesome online conference? All the information below is available on the WriteOnCon website.

write-on-con-logo

What is WriteOnCon?

WriteOnCon is an Online Children’s Writers Conference. If you write Picture Books, Middle Grade, Young Adult or New Adult fiction, this is for you! But “WriteOnCon is also not exclusive to kidlit writers. Much of the information provided applies to all writers, and many of the publishing professionals who participate cross over.”

When is WriteOnCon?

WriteOnCon will take place on Tuesday 26 August and Wednesday 27 August 2014.

Where does it take place?

Online!

How much does it cost?

It’s FREE!

“ALL of the features of the conference are completely free, including posting in the critique forums. You don’t need to install special software on your computer to attend the conference. You don’t need to have a webcam to participate in the live events. There are no hidden fees or extra features that cost money.”

(Although the organisers accept donations)

Write On Con

Who can take part?

Everyone!

“The Conference is designed to give attendees many of the features of a live writer’s conference, but in an online environment. Thanks to technologies like blogging, vlogging, livestreaming, and chats, WriteOnCon connects writers with both industry professionals and fellow peers from the convenience of their own homes. Critique forums allow writers to receive feedback and exposure for their work, and the entire program is designed to be both informative and entertaining.”

“The schedule features more static elements during working hours, and most live events are saved for the evenings. Transcripts/replays for live sessions are also available for those unable to attend and all of the conference content is archived on the website.”

How does it work?

“During the conference, keynote addresses, agent panels, and lectures are presented as blogs, vlogs, moderated chats, webinars, podcasts, and livestreaming. There is also a critique forum, where participants can post query letters and writing samples to receive helpful feedback and comments from their peers and industry professionals. And there are also daily contests, giving random winners everything from books to personalized critiques from agents.”

All you need to do to participate is register at http://www.writeoncon.com/forums.

Then you’ll be able to use the critique forums, either to help out other writers with their queries/first pages or to post your own.

To attend the live events you’ll need to go to http://writeoncon.com/chat/ at the time of the event. “Should you like to participate with a comment or question, you will be able to do so using the field at the bottom of the chat window.”

To find a critique partner, you can check out the Crit Partner Match Up.

Have a look at the FAQ if you have any more questions.

Where are the full program and schedule for this conference?

They should be available on the WriteOnCon website very soon 🙂

Please note that the conference schedule uses Eastern Standard Time but international attendees are obviously very welcome to attend.

Is it worth my precious time?

Yes, yes, yes!

I took part both in 2012 and 2013 and I learned so much! I definitely recommend it, because everyone can find something of interest to them, whether they’re writing a first draft, revising or querying.

So don’t hesitate and join the fun! Here is my profile if you want to say hi (please do!). I’ll be happy to help with your query or first pages if need be, just ask!

And see you there…