Thursday, December 29, 2005

Another blurb!

A couple months ago, I'd written to author Piers Anthony to ask if he'd be willing to read my novel and, if he likes it, write a short blurb for the cover. He responded that he was too busy with his WIP, trying to meet a deadline, to do it right then, but if early December would work, he could do it then.

So, I wrote him about the middle of the month and asked if it was a good time. He replied that yes, he could read it now. Now my heart really began to race. Oh boy! But... what if he hates it? What if he thinks it's dumb? But I couldn't back out now, so I sent him the PDF galley (mistakes and all), and held my breath.

He replied on Christmas eve with a very nice letter pointing out a few errors and made some positive comments about the story. Apparently, he liked it! I forwarded his email to my publisher, who exerpted the quote for my book's web page. The letter started off with:

"The Kinshield Legacy is a rousing good fantasy tale, with nice characterization and some ferocious action. These days I read primarily for business rather than pleasure, but I found myself eager to return to this novel."

Woot! Woot! Woot!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

It's official!

My novel was officially published today. A free sample (the first six chapters) is available at

The eBook is available for purchase now at

The hardcover will be available for purchse on Dec 30, 2005 from at a 25% discount, and on 1/20/06 from and (at full retail). It will appear in the book distributors' catalogs at the end of the year for order by bookstores. You can request it from your local bookseller by the ISBN number: 1-59507-116-4

It's a dreamy, surrealistic feeling to know I'm actually a published novelist now. I can't wait until I hold in my hands my bound, printed book with real pages and words inside. And a cover! Something I wrote and someone else believed in enough to spend his company's hard-earned money to edit, format, bind, print and advertise.

I think I'm swooning.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Done. Now I wait.

I finished proofing my galleys and sent the list of changes off to my editor. He returns from vacation on Tuesday, at which time he'll implement my changes and send the corrected document off to the format-person for the final "book-block."

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

My book's cover

I got the first draft of my book's cover from the publisher today. Because I don't much care for most of the cover art on their books, I opened the PDF file with great trepidation, certain I wouldn't like it.
But I do!
The colors, the artwork, the layout -- it just appeals to me! They did a fantastic job, IMO, and I'm really happy with it. Yippeeeeeeeeeeee!
He also asked for my author's bio, so I sent the paragraph I'd prepared a while back. Basic stuff about where I came from, where I am now, what I do, etc. And my dogs, of course. Can't forget the dogs.
I'm on page 205 of my book, as far as proofing goes. I won't get it done before my editor goes out of town, but that just means I'll have time this weekend to go through it once more to catch anything I didn't catch the first time through. Doesn't mean it'll be error free, of course. :)

Monday, December 12, 2005

Galleys Out!

The galleys are here! On Saturday afternoon, I received the PDF file from my publisher/editor, Bob, formatted like it will appear in print. I'd provided him a basic JPG map of The Kingdom of Thendylath, which he "transformed into a vision of beauty and antiquity." Seriously, it's quite nice, and even has runes around the edges! I like what he did with it.

So my job is to proofread it and return a corrections list to him, preferably by Wednesday. Seeing as how today is Monday and our company Christmas party is tonight, and I've only done about 110 pages out of 389, I don't think I'm going to make it. He's going out of town, which is why he'd like to get it before he leaves. Will the world end if it takes another week? Probably not. We've already missed Christmas, so another week won't matter.

I must say, I'm pleased and a little surprised at how few changes he suggested in my story. So far, the changes are good, and I've only one minor disagreement. He said he thought the manuscript was exceptionally clean. Actually, he said a lot of very nice things, but since it would seem like bragging or tooting my own horn to quote them, I won't. I'll just summarize by saying he REALLY liked the novel, and made a comment I've heard again and again: he didn't want it to end. That bright glow to the west? That's me beaming. :)

Monday, October 31, 2005

In Editing

My novel has officially entered the Editing Phase! You may have noticed that today's date is 10/31, so probably my book won't make its target publication date of "October 2005." :) Well, things happen. In this case, it was a category three thing called Wilma. If you've ever been through a storm with hurricane-force winds, you probably understand why my editor didn't get to editing my book on time. Seeing as how he lives in the Wilma's path, he was probably too busy boarding up his windows, stocking up on water and canned goods, and so forth to worry about whether the first sentence of the second paragraph on page 152 should have a period or a semicolon.
But now Wilma's gone, and life is going on. And my manuscript is being edited by a professional editor at a publishing house.
And my publisher and I talked about my pseudonym. Actually, we emailed each other about it, but whatever. I'm using K.C. May. K is for Karen, C is for Collins, my grandma's maiden name. My two grannies are among the women who've inspired me most, so I wanted to pay tribute.
Of course, the title, 'She Whom I Most Admire' goes to my dearest mom. She's awesome!

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Day 5 & The Journey Home

Friday came too soon. After an intense but enjoyable week, I'm not sure any of us were really ready to leave. We started the day with a lecture by Steve on Writers' Mental Health, and the ways we need to take care of ourselves. Too often, writers and other creative people get lured by drugs and/or alcohol, or even cigarettes & caffeine to help tap into their "muse" or inner beast, then find they can't create without them. The trick is to never start.

The other way we need to take care of ourselves is by refusing to let the negative reviews get to us. Sometimes even seeing how prolific other writers are can dampen a writer's enthusiasm because, frankly, sometimes the words don't come as freely as at other times. And sometimes they don't come at all. One piece of advice all the instructors gave repeatedly on this subject: Never EVER respond to a negative review. Even if all you want to do is to correct an error of fact ("there were no cats in my story"), it can come off as snarky. Let your fans correct the error for you. ;o)

Next, Patrick gave a lecture on the state of the industry -- really interesting. He started with a history of the genre and mass-market paperbacks, and wrapped up with a few encouraging tidbits about book-buying in general: the national literacy rate is higher than ever, people buy more books than ever despite the higher cost and the fact that about 30% of the population does not go to bookstores), and the genre is alive and well.

After dinner, we talked and said our goodbyes and ambled off to prepare for our departure.

Saturday morning, we settled our hotel bill and I got some pics of my two roommies, Pat and Kate. Pat and I said our goodbyes to Kate and got a ride to the airport from one of the "not staff." We caught the same plane to Providence in the little 10-seat (including the pilot) plane. The weather was pretty nasty, and so our landing was quite rough. Pat and I had a 2-hour layover before our next flights, so we had lunch and talked for a while, then said our goodbyes. I went on to Dulles airport, and after a short layover and a long wait inside the plane, we took off for Phoenix. The movie was Batman Begins. Despite leaving about an hour late, we were almost on-time at the arrival gate, only my luggage went to LAX instead of Phoenix. Grrr.

I'm tired through to my bones! Sunday will be spent reading, relaxing, doing laundry and relaxing. And reminiscing about one of the best weeks I've spent in a long time.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Day 4

We had the last of the crit groups today, thank goodness! The stories were all so great, but trying to read them all by 9am was hard, plus we had to get our writing assignments done. I went to bed around 1am the night before, so I was starting to feel the tiredness catching up to me. After critique group session, Debra gave a lecture on research, which was really helpful. Writers must do research, whether they’re writing about a real world or one they make up, because even the made up stuff has to be plausible and grounded in reality. We have to understand culture, religion, monetary systems, textile industry (clothing, weaving, etc), and so forth. Debra gave us the method she learned in grad school when starting to research subjects we have absolutely no knowledge of. The biggest tip: start with children’s nonfiction to get a high-level discussion with pictures.

After lunch, we broke into small groups to read aloud the stories we were assigned to write on Monday. Mine was a humorous tale based on the assignment "A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Iceberg," which, of course, was an assignment to write a funny story about the Titanic. Afterward, we regrouped for the colloquium, which was an open discussion about all aspects of writing – whatever students wanted to know. The one thing that all of the instructors emphasized was that if you write a good story, it will get published. In fact, they could not emphasize that enough. Another thing they said more than once was that every student in the room would be in the top 5% of the slush pile.

Writers learn about the slush pile – that huge stack of manuscripts waiting to be read, which came "over the transom" (unsolicited). Interns are often hired to read them and weed out the "slush" from the good writing. The two editors, Teresa and Patrick, said you cannot believe the kind of stuff that people send – and most of these writers have some chemical imbalance or altered mental state of some kind. Good writers do stand out. Unfortunately, very little writing from the slush pile ever gets published, but if you’re in the top 1-2%, your chances are excellent of at least getting read by an editor.

We had supper, then played a few rounds of Thing and Mafia. Those two games are so enjoyable, and they give the group a chance to bond and friendships to form. We laugh, we tease, the ice breaks, and it’s just plain fun.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Day 3

The crit groups started the day, like the others, after which Teresa Nielsen Hayden gave a lecture on exposition. A most wonderful lecture, I might add. I’ll type up a few tidbits from that when I have more time. Again, we broke for lunch, then I met with Laura for an hour one-on-one, and she gave me her thoughts on my story as well. Unlike everyone else, she loved the story, including the [tragic] ending, but she would also like to see me implement Steve’s suggestion.

After that, I was free for the rest of the day/evening, but I still had my short story to write, plus critique two stories for tomorrow morning. And I have one more left, so I’d better get to it!

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Day 2

There’s so much going on, it’s been impossible to find time to write it down. We had critique groups in the morning for an hour and a half (and that time really flies), followed by a lecture. Today’s lecture was from author Laura J. Mixon. Not only is she a great teacher, she’s one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. She talked about the feeding and caring of the inner beast – the wordless entity that resides in all of us which helps us express ourselves. Some people call it the muse, but the beast may be a better term for it because it can be a bit wild.

After lunch, we got together for a colloquium, where something happened, but I forgot what. Then we had one-on-one sessions with an instructor for an hour. My hour was with author Steve Gould. He took a good portion of that time critiquing my story, telling me what worked and why, and what didn’t work and why, and some thoughts on how to fix it. We discussed some of the other ideas brought up in my group critique, and talked about writing in general. The most significant piece of advice he gave me on my story was about the ending, and not letting the bad guy get off scott free.

I had a couple hours after that to read for Wednesday’s critique session, check email and such, before supper, after which I did some critiquing and went to bed just before midnight.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Day 1

We met Monday morning at 9am and broke into critique groups. I met with six other students and two of the instructors, Jim Macdonald and Teresa Nielsen Hayden. The students went first, giving me their feedback on the story I wrote, Sole Sacrifice. As the critiquee I was not permitted to say anything, just to listen (and take copious notes). A few students thought the pacing was too slow, some thought it was just right and they ripped through the story. Some thought the story was too long for what went on, but the psychological aspects of the character’s transformation were important. Then, Teresa had her say, and she had a lot to say! She started out by saying she didn’t hate it. I guess that’s a good thing! When she was done, Jim added his comments, many seconding what Teresa said, but adding some other observations, too. He was the only one who commented on who the real villain of the story is and why. He also, in a round about way, pointed out that the coolest parts of the story (the woman captain and the sea snakes) could have been cut.

What struck me about the instructors’ feedback was how deep it was. Teresa went into detail about the social and religious foundations of my story and what didn’t work and why. She pointed out so many plot and structure (societal) holes, I was astounded. In a good way – if I had this kind of feedback about all my writing, I’d be in heaven!

Next, I sat and listened to everyone critique a fellow student’s story. I’d misunderstood the instructions and so I didn’t read it, so I needed to read later and get with her to give her my comments. Jim and Teresa, again, gave a ton of detailed, deep comments about the story’s weaknesses and holes. Jim’s an EMT in his community, and told us some interesting things, such as that the skin stretches a lot after death. For instance, a man who dies in his easy chair and is found a month later will have his jaw in his lap, and his fingers stretched so far that his fingertips reach the floor. Anyway, comments like that showed how some scenes wouldn’t work because of the physics or what have you. All in all, I thought the feedback was immeasurably helpful, and I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

We all met again in the main meeting room for a lecture by Jim on plotting. He used the chess metaphor, which I dearly love, but I’m still not 100% certain how to translate it into writing a story. I get the gist of it, the point about dominating the center squares and putting your main pieces into motion early in the game, but what threw me was that the minor characters are the pawns, and the major characters are the back rank pieces.

After lunch, we met for some fun writing exercises, and got our first real assignment: a 5000 word short story due Thursday. Some students met for one-on-ones with an instructor. Mine will be Tuesday and Wednesday with Laura Mixon and Steve Gould.

After dinner (turkey and dressing), I have two stories to read and critique for Tuesday, plus start on my short story.

Day 0

Sunday, I went with Bill to pick up one of my fellow students, and we stopped at the grocery store on the way back to the hotel room. I picked up eggs, sausage, cheese and butter for breakfast burritos (I brought large tortillas with me), milk, sweetener for tea, and the shower cap I’d forgotten to bring with me. Back at the hotel, I was eating my sloppily made burrito when my roommate Kate arrived. She’s a very nice lady, who had just graduated from college, making me wish I’d done something like this workshop back then. What a head start she’s getting on her writing! A bit later, our other roomie, Pat, arrived. Pat’s a clinical psychologist from Alabama, who happened to know of my dad’s work in the field of Social Work. Woot! Anyway, the three of us get along just great, and at 4:30 we bravely descended to the meeting rooms where our first workshop event would be held. Unfortunately, the event didn’t start until 6pm, so we had to come back later.

We formally met all the instructors and ate supper of burgers and salad and the best potato salad I’d ever had. YUM!! Then we played two rounds of a game called Mafia. The first round, I was the commendant. If you don’t know how to play, it goes like this… OK, never mind. I'll find a link to it online. That’s easier. :o)

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Off to Paradise

Today's the day!

The airport shuttle picked me up just shy of 4:00am Saturday and I was through security and at the gate by 4:45 for a 6am flight. The obvious thing to do while I wait is read… or write. I brought along The Island of Doctor Moreau by H.G. Wells to read. Somehow, I couldn’t relax enough; I’m going to my first writer’s workshop! First in-person workshop, that is.

I lucked into a first-class upgrade on the longest leg of the journey (Phx to Pittsburgh) for a mere $150, and I was glad I did. It was nice. Really nice. I connected in Pitts to Providence, RI, where I ate lunch and waited 3 hours for my flight to the island. There were only seven passengers and one captain in a tiny propeller plane that seated ten. I really enjoyed that part – but we were only in the air for 20 minutes. One of the VP staffers, Carol met me at the airport, and she and her husband, Bill, drove me to the Island Inn. It was already starting to get dark, so I didn’t get to see a lot, so I look forward to doing a little exploring tomorrow.

It turns out that one of the students had to cancel because her son had a terrible weight-lifting accident that tore his femoral artery! So her roommate, Kate, was without a roommate, and seeing as how my two roommates were both men, Carol asked if I’d be interested in rooming with Kate and perhaps another lady, Pat, who would like to share if someone needed a roomie. So the three of us are piling into a townhouse unit. It took a while to get ahold of Dick and Leo to find out if they were cool with splitting the condo two ways rather than 3, but it all works out great.

The rooms are charming. The townhouse has a bedroom upstairs with a king-sized bed, and a bedroom downstairs with two twin beds, plus a queen sofa sleeper. I don’t mind sharing a bedroom, and neither does Pat, so Kate will probably get the upstairs bedroom. My knees don’t like those stairs. No siree.

Kate – a different Kate, of VP Staff fame – kindly invited me to join the instructors and staff for a meal in the staff room, seeing as how I arrived early and didn’t get a chance to get to the store for food. I, being shy when outnumbered by strangers, was happy to observe from the shadows and get a feel for the incredibly quick minds and creativity of the people I’ll be spending the next week with. Jim Macdonald, aka Yog, is as friendly as he is helpful, with a nice, firm handshake. Teresa Nielsen Hayden is an amazing person, so witty and sharp, and with a personality you can’t help but like. I’m sure I’ll have more to say about everyone as I get to know them, but so far, I’m overwhelmed and excited and deeply thrilled to be here.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Web site is up!

I bought the domain name so I could promote my book, The Kinshield Legacy. This was my first Flash MX project, so it's not fancy or anything, but take a look and tell me what you think. Once the book's cover is designed, I'll see about pulling in some images from that.

Oh and one more thing: only 1 week and 2 days until I leave for Viable Paradise! Woo HOOOOO!!

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Turned in the manuscript

Late last night, I emailed the most up-do-date version of my manuscript to my editor, along with the dreaded, uh, I mean requested author's photo. From the production schedule, it looks like there are three books ahead of me to be edited, but I'm sure he'll get to mine fairly quickly.

Now comes the exciting part (as if the stuff up to now hasn't been exciting!): going through the editing phase! I guess it can be scary too, really; the book is my baby. I've worked hard to get it to where it is now, and I know the editor is going to want changes. But what kind of changes? Will he want me to remove whole subplots? We don't have time for me to rewrite the whole thing :) but I'm not going to try to fool myself into thinking it's perfect as is. I already know it's not.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Calling Dick Tracy

You know how it is when you have all these stories in your head and not enough time to write them all down? So you decide which one is calling to you the loudest and concentrate on that one. Then, when that's done, you can check your list and decide on the next novel to write.

Once I finished The Kinshield Legacy, I started on the sequel, The Wayfarer King. I realized that TKL might not make it, in which case writing the sequel would be pointless (except for practice and my own satisfaction). Seeing as I'm writing for publication, I developed a strategy: set TWK aside until TKL sold, and work on something else in the mean time. So I started on two novels, one a fantasy and one a science fiction. I'd even started workshopping them through the private critique group to which I belong, The Prose Nest, and on the OWW (

Hold everything!

Now that TKL has sold, do I pick up where I left off on TWK? Or do I come back to it later? For the answer, I turn to my publishing contract and read the option clause. My publisher has first right of publication on my next completed novel. Hmmm. It would make more sense to present the sequel to the book they're actually publishing, right? And if they decide not to publish it, I get back to the two others while I try to sell TWK elsewhere.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Artwork Schmartwork

Well, I knew I'd hit a snag sooner or later. Things can't go perfectly all the time, can they? It looks like I'll have to use the in-house artwork after all. The publisher needs the finished piece by the end of September and wants to retain copyright on the finished art, and it doesn't make sense from the artist's standpoint to take a measely few hundred bucks to do a painting he/she cannot sell prints of or otherwise display for his/her own promotion purposes. An artist willing to relinquish copyright is going to want a heckuvalot more money for it than what I can afford.

I can't say I'm not disappointed. The artist I'd chosen is very talented. Take a look at her online gallery at and I'm sure you'll agree. Maybe my next book.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Signed, sealed and on its way

Agent Jeff hammered out the details on a couple minor issues on the publication contract with my publisher, and we received the updated contract. Last night, I signed a copy for ArcheBooks and a copy for Jeff, and dropped them in today's mail. Woot!

Next step: find an artist for my cover work. I have someone in mind, so it's now just a matter of convincing her to do it :o). True, the publisher is normally responsible for this, but I'm being anal about it, and ArcheBooks has agreed to give serious consideration to any artwork I submit.

And... guess what! My Writer's Digest School instructor, mystery novelist Carol Davis Luce, has graciously agreed to write a cover blurb for my book! Yipeeeee! I'm absolutely thrilled about that.

Everything is coming together so well, I'm almost afraid to write blog updates. Knock on wood...

Friday, August 26, 2005

It's Over

My search, that is. After querying a few agents, the one at the top of my list wrote back and set up a date & time we could talk by phone. We exchanged information (rather, I gave him info about my situation -- I'd already done my homework and knew enough about him to know I'd love to have him on my team), and he offered to represent me! Yay! I now have an agent.

Next step: Jeff will review the publishing contract and make sure it's fair and equitable to both parties. It's a well-established fact that (in general) publishing contracts are written to benefit the publisher. He'll let me know what changes he'd like to suggest, and with my thumbs up, he'll contact the publisher directly.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

The search for an agent continues

Now I really need an agent! Having never had one before, I only know from my reading what they do for writers, but one of the most important things, apparently, is to help with the publishing contract. There may be a few things the author would like to have happen (or not happen) which the agent can help negotiate. But without an agent to tell me what those things are, how would I know?

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Breathe. In, out, steady now...

Now that I've caught my breath, I can start thinking about my next steps. The publisher, ArcheBooks Publishing Co., has emailed me a PDF version of my contract. I've skimmed it (to find out the scoop on royalty payments!), but haven't thoroughly read it yet.

At this point, probably the best move I can make is to get an agent. Of the ones who haven't rejected me on the basis of my query letter, I'll write (again) to ask for representation on the basis of an offered contract. Granted, the agent won't have to shop the novel around, but I suspect that's one of the funnest parts of their job -- getting that Yes from a publisher. Still, I'd like to have someone in-the-know sitting in my court, whispering advice into my ear on all the mysterious details of getting a book to press.

It's all so overwhelming. I can't describe the incredible feeling of elation and stark terror I'm feeling. Elation because, gosh -- my book is going to be published by a real publisher (in hardcover, no less)! Those three years of work are paying off. Terror because the first novel is so important to the future of my writing career. (If this one bombs, it's not likely another publisher will give me the time of day when I'm done with the next book.)

Stay tuned as I continue to share my experiences and adventures in publishing. Oh, and you'd better believe I have more novels in progress.

It happened!

The contest winners were announced this morning, and my novel was one of the three winners!


I'm still on cloud nine, unable to fully grasp that I'm not dreaming. More later. I just can't sit still long enough to type out what's going to happen next.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Contest, Part II

My stomach has been in knots for the last two weeks, waiting for the moment I would find out whether my novel was among the finalists in the ArcheBooks Publishing 2005 Novel Contest. I was sitting on the couch, reading A Game of Thrones (George R. R. Martin) when my computer informed me, "Karen, you have new mail." Somehow I knew. It was the publisher, emailing the notice of finalists. Did I want to get up and find out? I tried to read to the end of the chapter, but my eyes kept flicking back to the computer screen. With a sigh, I thought I'd better get this over with. The time had come.

I moved the mouse to turn off the screensaver, and there in my inbox was a letter from the publisher. I took a deep breath and clicked.

Congratulations to all of our 2005 Novel Writing Contest Finalists! Your novel has been chosen as one of the best three submitted in our three competing categories this year. Over the next three weeks your novel will be read in its entirety and scored by the judging committees at My Writer Buddy online writers' group and the Editorial Staff of ArcheBooks Publishing. On the 22nd of August, the individual winners of each category will be publicly announced, along with a formal Press Release.

Good Luck to all the remaining contestants. Only three more weeks to wait!

OH. MY. GOD! I made it! I made the finals! Now, if I thought these last two weeks were hard, I can only imagine the next three. Even if I don't win (and I hope I do! I hope I hope I hope hope hope), the fact that I made the finalists is a huge boost to my confidence.

I feel very fortunate and very, very thankful!

Friday, July 15, 2005

Closer Than Ever Before

At the end of June, I submitted my novel, The Kinshield Legacy, to the 2005 ArcheBooks Novel Contest for the Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror category. The contest was open to a maximum of 500 entrants divided across three categories (SFH, Mystery/Suspense and Women's Fiction). Interestingly, this year most of the entries were for SFH and MS.

Anyway... I am very pleased (pleased? PLEASED?! How about ecstatic?!) to say that my novel has made it to the semi-finals! It currently has a 1 in 10 chance of winning the cash prize and hardcover publishing contract.

The next phase of judging has begun, and on July 30, they will announce the three finalists for each category. On Aug 22, one winning novel from each category will be selected from the finalists.

This is going to be a long next few weeks. Stay tuned!

Monday, June 20, 2005

I'm In, Blog - Neato!

After a long, painful wait, I finally received word from Kate at Viable Paradise: I've been accepted! Hoooraaaaay! This workshop is just what I need.

With my application, I sent part of a novelette called Sole Sacrifice. It's the story of how and why one of the villains in my novel, Sithral Tyr, became evil. My plan is to work on the story until mid-August, then turn in what I consider to be the best job I can do on it as my workshop piece. I'm eager to take it from 'the best I can do' to 'good enough to publish.'

It's true that publication options for novelettes aren't many, but I plan to submit it to the Writers of the Future contest. Of all the contests in the writing world, this one probably has the greatest impact on the career of a new writer. Perhaps with a placement (or win) in that contest, I'll get an agent or editor to read my novel, The Kinshield Legacy.

That's the plan, anyway.

And I'm happy to say, I've started submitting a couple of my short stories to magazines -- and I've received my first rejection! Hooray! Those who write with an eye toward publication know why I say that. For those who don't: 'tis better to have tried and failed than never to have tried at all.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Viable Alternatives

For some reason, I have this notion in my mind that if I throw enough money at my novel, I'll get the Magic Key which will unlock all the knowledge I need to become a successful writer. A couple months ago I paid a book doctor to review my manuscript to tell me whether I was even close or if I had a long way to go. He told me the book was probably saleable as is, and that I didn't really need his editorial services. Then I flip through the folder containing all the rejections I've gotten so far and say to myself, "Argh!"

Anyway, this time, I've applied to Viable Paradise. It looks like exactly the workshop I need, and the instructors obviously know what they're talking about. Not everyone who applies will get in. I suppose they take people who have promise, who are far enough along in honing their skills and not rank beginners. I could be wrong, of course, but that's the impression I get. It'll be a good 4 weeks before I get a thumbs up or down, and until then, I'll submit some short fiction to the SF/Fantasy online workshop, and finish up my Writer's Digest novel course. If I don't get in this year, I'll apply again next year. But I prefer to think positively: I don't totally suck, and I will get in. :)

Friday, April 15, 2005

Query woes

So far, I've queried a bunch of agents about my novel, The Kinshield Legacy. No takers yet. Not even a nibble. In fact, nobody has seen my manuscript. Must be something wrong with my query letter. Too boring? Too business-like? Hmmmm...

I signed up for a Writer's Digest course on writing query letters. Without going into too much detail, let me just say, for the record, that I wish I hadn't. The course was not worth the money I paid, and the textbook is pretty lousy. I can't recommend this course to anyone, unfortunately. (Now, the Advanced Novel course is another story. I happened to get a really good instructor, and I'm very happy with that course.)

Guess it's time to send out the revamped query.

Saturday, February 12, 2005


I'm K.C. May - writer, programmer, martial artist, motorcycle enthusiast. Welcome to my blog. (K.C. May is a pen name, in case you were wondering. My real name is often mispronounced and doesn't have much of a ring to it.)
This is the continuing saga of one writer's journey to fame and fortune. Hahahahahaha! Well, I can dream, can't I? I'm an unknown writer. As of today, I've never had any fiction published (though I co-authored a computer book published in 1999). Hopefully, over the coming months (and years!) that will change. This is where I will record my attempts, both failures and successes, as they come.
Here we go... wish me luck!