Monday, December 6, 2010

Questions from the Question-Maker. Topic, Revisions

Remember a little over a month ago, when I decided to make Mondays official Question-Maker posts? And I was so proud of myself for making a weekly blog feature? And then I did it once, and promptly forgot?

Today is Redemption Day. 

Questions from the Question-Maker

QM: It's good to be back, finally. Of all the authors in all the bars in all the world, why'd I have to end up with this one?

me: Moving on.

QM: Okay, let's have a looksie. Hmmmm. Here we go. Topic is, revision letters. Do you really have your husband read the letter first?

me: Yes. Trust me, it softens the blow. Like jumping off a building and hitting a few branches on the way down to the ground... anything to lessen the impact with the cement. 

QM: Does your editor know you just likened her revision letters to having your bones shattered by diving head first into a slab of cement going at terminal velocity?

me: You're twisting my words.

QM: Hmmm... Do you ever think that your editor's revision letters mean she doesn't love your book?

me: It might be tempting to think that, but my editor sends me these letters because she loves the book. 

QM: Is that what you tell yourself?
me: Yes.

QM: What's the hardest part about this next round of revisions?

me: My editor wants me to up the romance factor, but I'm not very good at showing my character's true feelings. It all goes back to high school, where they guy I crushed on for three years never knew I existed, because the way I showed my feelings was to follow these two rules.

1. Never talk to him.
2. Never be in the same room as him.

You can probably see it wouldn't work in a novel, for the main love interests to never actually interact. Any advice for me?

QM: I've upped my romance factor, so up yours.

me: Hilarious. 

QM: When are your revisions due?
me: December 22nd. 

QM: So, we can expect the quality of your blog posts to... um... hit the crapper.

me: Hey! Watch the language.

QM: Moving on to the other question you've been getting, Brrrrrr... What's that chill in here? Oh yeah. It's your blog. Could it be any more sterile and cold?

me: Yes, it could.

QM: I mean, at the top, you have a big block of - what is that, ice? 

me: No, it's broken glass.

QM: And then the rest of it... tsk tsk. Did you find your decorating ideas in the Hospital Equipment Catalog? Better Homes and O-R's?

me: Look, I'm not a blog designer. My last blog design was making me feel claustrophobic, and slightly allergic, considering all the flowers. I had to get out because it was making me itch. Any advice?

QM: I've upped my meds, so...

me: Bite me.

So, blog readers, do you have any questions for me? I'm going to make a FAQ section of the blog, and contributions would be appreciated! Or, you can just tell me about any holiday shopping deals you've seen. Or, what you did over the weekend. Or anything. Open mic.


  1. Sweet, I'm first!

    Much less sterile now. Or maybe my internet was being wonky the other day (the background was white w/just the header photo)?

    At any rate, I hope your book has much of your humor and wit. My M,W,F is something to look forward to when you post!

  2. Thanks SalGal! Yeah, the white-on-white with black-and-white photo isn't exactly warm and inviting isn't it? Thanks for the tip!

  3. I got to hang out with you a little bit, so that made my weekend totally awesome!

  4. That was a stellar party, wasn't it? So fun to celebrate such a good book! Good to see you too.

  5. I like the tan. It's still very minimalistic, but I like it that way. I often think so many blogs have too much going on and it's refreshing to find one that it simple and elegant.

    As far as upping the romance, that would be difficult. The only thing I can suggest, having never written a scene like that myself, is to read a few scenes from other books with that stuff in it. Maybe, you can glean some ideas and see how other authors do it without plagiarizing. Yeah, I know. I'm a lot of help. ;)

  6. actually, Jenni, that's really good advice. I plan to read several such books, and watch a few episodes of Vampire Diaries for research. (Okay, and for fun too.)

  7. Good, I'm glad! I was hoping it would help. :)

  8. My question to anyone who makes it over the wall into professional writerhood (pretty sure that's not a word)is this: what was your query letter like?

    Because after MANY revisions, I'm pretty sure mine is not bad. But I'm still not getting the answers I want from agents!
    And- are there any revisions your editor requested that you wholeheartedly disagreed with?

  9. Hey, I just discovered the Apocalypsies' blog. Awesome name!! How do you feel about it?

    Oh, and I like the big picture of you on Ally Condie's blog. You look cute and super important.

  10. Was super fun to see you on Saturday! And ha! QM is a riot. I'm thinking, though, that these colors don't really scream BRODI to me. Maybe we should have you take one of those quizzes in Seventeen magazine or whatever that tells you what "season" you are we can go from there? Lol!

  11. I think QM is the most fantastically snarky interviewer ever. Someday, I want him to interview me. ;)

    Great to see you at Ally's launch! Cheers to shawarma!

  12. Gina- Those are very good questions. I'll address the Query stuff in the FAQ section.

    As for the other question, sometimes my editor brings up points that I don't agree with, but it's just to get the conversation going, and not a hard and fast demand. Does that make sense?

    Windy- Okay, it's officially your assignment to figure out my colors. What do you need from me? A lock of my hair and vial of my blood? It's in the mail!

    L.T.- Yes, the QM is available for parties and such. It was good to see you too!

  13. I share your due date. I'm about 3/4 of the way through, but the end needs MAJOR work.

    *bangs head*


  14. Jenilyn- I love being a part of the Apocalypsies. First off, because of the totally awesome name, and secondly, because it's great to be with debut writers who are all in similar positions. (Editing, revising, cover art, selling the next book, etc.)

    Jill- I hate that feeling! But it won't be the first time we go through this, and it certainly won't be the last, right?

  15. I've got a question: as a mom, how do you structure your writing (and writing-related) time? Set hours or the back-and-forth routine?

  16. I'm saving my questions for your interview, so ha! :)

    I agree with WindyA on the colors. Simple is good, but I think they might be edging into bland. You, girl, are NOT bland. I love the heading with the broken glass and the broken text, but the biege background doesn't really match it. What is the color of hell? :)

    If you really like the beige, perhaps a subtle texturing, like dried and cracked earth? Or old stucco? Perhaps a light etching of some Everneath-related picture? Some more blue in the text or background could tie the beige bits to the heading....

  17. Ava- That's a good question. The easier times are when the kids are in school. But during summers, it's a little more difficult to work it all in. I will say, housekeeping, cooking, cleaning, friend lunches, basically anything extracurricular gets put on the backburner.

    Sometimes, during summers, I also use a mother's helper for maybe two afternoons a week.

    Or I write at night.

    It's hard though.

    Robin- Okay. I will try.

  18. You're too funny. Love this! :-)
    Good luck with revisions. Dontcha love doing them during the holiday season?? My line edits are due the 15th...haven't even THOUGHT about shopping yet.

    Hang in there! :-)

  19. Robin- Holiday edits do bite. I've told my kids the Grinch stole Christmas, but we should have it back around the 30th or so.

  20. Yes! I love the question maker! I guess my question for the FAQ would be where do you get the motivation for doing all of this? You wrote a book, got it to an agent, the book didn't get picked up by publishers, so you wrote another book while you were waiting, which agent one didn't like, then looked for a second agent, all without knowing whether or not anything would come of it. How do you find the intrinsic motivation to do all that work? Not to mention you write on your blog on a regular schedule no matter how busy you are. How do you do it?

  21. Lulabell- I'm totally serious when I say I give up household chores and cooking and stuff. As for wading past the constant rejection, and writing another book when the first one didn't sell, I have no idea. Sometimes I look back at what I had to do to make it happen, and I think if I had known what it would take, would I still have done it?

    I have no idea! I like to think so, because I go a little crazy when I'm not writing. I guess it all comes down to that. I'd be writing anyway, whether I was getting published or not, so in that sense, it's not work.

    I mean, it's still work...

    Okay, now I'm totally talking myself into circles. I shall take a nap.

  22. Yay! Blue is much better! Me love.