Friday, April 8, 2011

Questions from the Question-Maker, and your chance to BE the Question-Maker

It's that time of the month again... when we travel to the void between the mountain and the rainbow and wake that sleeping giant known as the Question-Maker.

Questions from the Question-Maker

QM: *Yawn... stretch* Hey y'all. It's great to be back. Let's get down to business. *cracks knuckles* So, B-Dawg, how are your copyedits going?

I'm glad you asked! They're going great. In fact, I turned them in yesterday. 

QM: I know you thought your book was perfect before... did the copyeditor find any problems? Or did she just fill the pages with smiley-faces and praises of your work?

Well, I didn't think it was perfect, but there was this one thing she caught that was sort of embarrassing. About halfway through the book, the main character has a dream, and then about four chapters later, she had the same dream. Exact same dream. Word for word.

I felt like a dork. I mean, I've read the thing 485 times.

QM: Hmmm... Lately your low self-esteem seems to be good common sense. 

Hey! At least my pljues never dribbied.

QM: Moving on. What happens now? 

I work on Book 2, and wait for ARCs to be printed.

QM: For those of us not fluent in publishing-speak, what are ARCs? 

They are Advanced Release Copies, also known as Bound Galleys or just Galleys. It's where the publisher prints the book in paperback form, cover and all, and then sends it out to reviewers and book bloggers and such. 

QM: Who is "such"?

It's a colloquialism weak writers use as a crutch. 

QM: How very telling. When are these so-called ARC's due to hit the universe?

In a month or two. *does a little freak-out dance that's sort of a mix between the Rumba and Mexican Hat Dance*

QM: So, in a month, your life's creative work will available for people to praise... or trash?

Um... yes *Mexican Hat Dance turns into the Sink-to-the-floor-and-Shiver Tango*
But it's okay, because I have my rebuttal planned for any reviewer who fails to see my genius.

QM: Erm... see, that's probably not the smartest way to respond to negative reviews-

Oh yeah, Question-Maker? You can stick your smart where the sun don't shine, and then blow it out your pie-hole! (See? Awesome example of a reasonable rebuttal. How can it go wrong?)

QM: You're right. It can't go wrong. Rebut away.

I'll rebut your butt off.

QM: How eloquent. I'm audi 5000. See y'all next month!

So, dear blog readers, would you like a chance to be the question maker for a day? Have I got an opportunity for you! 

I am getting together with two other awesome authors (Bree Despain and Emily Wing Smith) for some vlog action. We will be filming short videocasts (?) (I'm not quite down with the lingo yet) where we answer questions about publishing! 

You can ask about anything: 
Querying, getting agents, submission, writing, anything!

So, do you have a question? You can leave it in the comments. Please ask a question. Pretty please? Otherwise, we will resort to filming a vlog about the best way to extract belly-button lint. (Don't worry, we'll film this no matter what).

If you don't have a question, you can just tell me what you're up to this weekend. But I will like you better if you have a question. 


  1. I hope you'll give away some ARCs! I actually just read the ARC of Meg Cabot's Abandon, which is based on the myth of Persephone, too. The ruler of her Underworld is named John- I got a chuckle out of that.

    I have a question- how do you push aside the self-doubt brought on by rejection?

  2. Gina- Excellent question! I'll add it to the list. Also, how did you like Abandon?

  3. I liked the story a lot, though I admit there was something about the main character that grated on my nerves. My sales rep at Scholastic sent me the ARC to read, and my first thought was Oh No, Meg and Brodi had the same idea! But I'm anxious to read yours and see how they differ.

  4. Picking up on a theme from earlier in the week...

    Is The Happening the worst movie of all time, OR is it brilliant art-become-life in that it inspires its viewers to actually want to take their own lives?

  5. Gina- I've come to realize there are no new ideas!

    David- Um... A. :)

  6. I can't wait to see me on the cover of your ARCs...great move by HarperCollins to increase sales of it.

  7. Yay for ARCs!

    Here's my question: Why do some books get ARCs and some books don't? For example, Deathly Hallows didn't get any and neither did Cassandra Clare's new book or Eclipse or Breaking Dawn. Is it because at that point, everyone in the entire world knew about those books so marketing was no longer important? Was it at the authors request or the agent's or publisher's request?

  8. Sam- They are pretty brilliant.

    Jenni- Yeah, that's pretty much the case. From what I know, ARCs are to drum up publicity, but when there's no need for more publicity... For instance, they had ARCs for the first two Hunger Games, but not the third, because at that point, there was no need. ARCs are also more expensive than people think.

    We'll definitely have a vlog talking about ARCs!

  9. I have tons of questions. Like: will you write my query for me? I've read yours and it was awesome. Mine is...not. (If I describe it more, Kid B will have to delete my comment again. :))

    As far as serious questions, what does it mean when an agent gives you personalized advice and says things like "I know other agents will want to see this?"

    Also, when do you know when to give up on an idea/story?

  10. Jenilyn- Those are excellent questions, especially the last one, which I have definitely had some experience with. Thanks!

  11. I have questions!

    1. Am I "and such?" Please say I'm "and such!"

    2. Is it Advance Release Copies or Advance Reader Copies? I always thought it was the second--and the ARC on my bookshelf says "advance reading copy." Do different publishers call it different things? Does it matter so long as it's an ARC?

    3. Can I moderate your vlogs? You don't mind coming to me, right?

    4. What sorts of things do you do for self-promotion (besides vlogs)? What would you recommend to other budding writers? When should self-promotion start? What should you avoid doing? Can you do a vlog demonstrating all the things we shouldn't do? :)

    This weekend I'm getting my first (and probably last) mani-pedi. Sounds kinda boring, frankly, but my SIL wants everyone there....

  12. Robin- I knew I could count on months' worth of questions from you! As for what exactly ARC's stand for, I have no idea. For all I know, it could be Archery Rocks the Casbah.

  13. So excited for you! It's getting close I can't wait to read it!! And of course if you need someone to take an arc off your hands I can always help:)

    Question: is it normal to just want throw your whole WIP in the trash and rewrite the whole thing? How do find inspiration for those days?

    Can't wait for the vlog!

  14. I have a couple questions.

    Do you outline? If so, how detailed do you make your outlines? Do you outline in lists, write out full paragraphs or use some other method?

    Do you feel more comfortable writing from the male or female POV, and why?


  15. Andrea- Short answer: totally normal. Long answer I'll save for the vlog! Thanks!

    LC- Those are great questions! I will add them to the bunch. :) Thanks!

    p.s. were you really awake at 4:24 a.m.?

  16. What are the best ways you've found to develop yourself as a writer?

    Say that a person had several ideas tumbling around in her head, but didn't feel like a good enough writer to do them justice--would you recommend this person wait until she had more writing experience, or would you tell her to write those ideas and then edit the crap out of them? Or do you have another suggestion altogether?

    Ditto the outline question.

  17. Heather- Great question! The short answer is: The best way to learn how to write is to write. I'll tackle the long answer in the vlog. Thanks!

  18. Brodi- You Bet! 4am every day. But I really should have been writing. :-) Thank you for accepting my questions.

    Another one for you if you're interested.
    What's the difference between writing romatic elements in a genre story and writing a romance story?
    I've found lots of info out there on writing romance, but not so much on putting romantic story elements in my non-romance story.
    Are they the same, just miniturized for the romantic elements or is there a whole separate process to follow when writing a story with a romance subplot.

  19. My main questions are: When can I expect my ARC to arrive and do you still have my address? ;^)

    I think I want to write, but it hurts my head! Is that normal? I love writing my blog, but a book is SO much more work! How do you make the words come out? I know they are in there!!!

  20. I have another question. If an agent requests a full and a month or so later you realize you need to change something in the story, should you change it? And should you let the agent know that you have a revision?

  21. LC- Thanks for the additional question! And bonus points for making it a difficult one. You win the golden star. :)

    Sally- ha ha! If only I had control over who received ARCs. Everyone would get one! Thanks for the question. I don't know if I have an answer, but I'll do my best!

    Jenilyn- Excellent question! I will add it to the show. Short answer is: It depends. :)