It’s been a while since I posted something here other than a cartoon, but I had a few thoughts I wanted to share about writing–by way of talking about cake.
Have you ever baked a cake? It’s more challenging than you might think. Many bakers will tell you that “cooking is an art, but baking is a science.” Getting the right flavor, shape, and texture means carefully balancing ingredients (chemistry actually comes into this, because a lot baking is about balancing pH), methods of mixing and combining ingredients, baking time, and sometimes advanced tricks like freezing layers between baking. Continue Reading
Let’s begin with the reason there’s a mentee blog hop at all: If you’re looking to enter the publishing industry, you need to have an online presence. There is some disagreement as to what exactly that presence should be (in particular, whether actively blogging is worth a writer’s time) but nearly everyone agrees you need some presence to help market yourself and your work, and that you shouldn’t wait until after you are published to start.
It seems like that message got around, because it’s been less than 48 hours since we opened the #PimpMyBio blog hop and we’ve already got over 100 listings. As I went through and stalked mentees, I got curious about how people were making use of the web, and so I thought I’d take a survey and quantify some trends. The following is based on a review of our first 107 applicants; I will update this data periodically as the list grows. Continue Reading
Hi there, fellow writers! I’m delighted to announce the third annual PitchWars mentee blog hop, affectionately known on Twitter by the hashtag #PimpMyBio. Dannie Morin, 2015 mentor and host in our first two years, asked me to take over this year, and I couldn’t be more excited.
First and foremost, one point must be made explicit:
** This is not an official Pitchwars event and is in no way required. **
This is something fun, a way for contestants to show some personality, get to know one another, and cheer each other on. As it happens, I know some mentors take the time to read contestant bios, but you do not have to write a bio to compete in PitchWars.
Is that all clear? Good, then let’s proceed. Continue Reading
This is a bit unusual for me, folks, but Michelle Hauck is hosting a critique blog hop at her site. It’s a neat idea (thanks, Michelle!) and I’ve decided to participate–so here’s the first page of the book I’m pitching, Tsar Bomb, an adult paranormal thriller.
If you’ve happened here from somewhere other than the blog hop, please feel free to post your review in the comments!
Preston reached for his toes and tried to ignore the pain in his back. He stood and pulled his right foot up toward his bottom, squeezing his white running shoe in one hand. The bulge of his belly peeked out beneath his tee-shirt, and Preston looked to make sure he was alone. He stretched the other leg, shook them both, and then bounced on his feet.
The day was going to be a scorcher, just like yesterday and the day before. The morning air still smelled like rain, though the sun had burned away the clouds and now pressed his skin like a hot iron. The street was a fresh asphalt ribbon. Preston lurched forward into a run.
His back flared immediately. Ignore it, he thought. The doctors said you can do this. His stomach was next to complain, and it was more persuasive, sending up a warning shot of morning coffee and stale beer. He’d run through hangovers. Once upon a time, he’d run through anything. But that was before.
He told himself to stop thinking, that it hadn’t been that long ago. A stitch settled in his left side like a dagger. His calves were tight as fists. He hadn’t made it three blocks yet.
Then again, how could anyone tell? There weren’t actual blocks in Florida, just street and trees and grass—and the canal, of course. Preston wondered if there were alligators that morning, and whether an alligator would eat a jogger.
Visiting my old bedroom for the July 4 holiday, I decided to share some relics of my childhood and adolescence. Mostly it’s artwork and nerdy stuff, especially STUFFY CTHULU DOLL.
Sad news this week as the Philadelphia Gay News reports that Giovanni’s Room, the oldest LGBT bookstore in the country, will close for good in May.
Owner Ed Hermance, who has operated the store since the dark early days of the gay-rights movement in the 1970s, tried to find a buyer for the store so he could retire, but an apparent deal fell through. According to the PGN, Hermance blames Amazon and similar retailers for making business difficult for indie booksellers, and says he’s lost between $10,000 and $15,000 keeping Giovanni’s Room open so far in 2014.
I’ve shopped at Giovanni’s Room many times in the last twelve years or so, and lived for two years at Juniper and Pine Streets, less than two blocks away. It’s always been a dream to one day see a book I’d written on their shelves, one of those fantasies young writers have about how we know when we’ve “made it.” Giovanni’s Room was a terrific, welcoming space where the shelves were always well-stocked and well-maintained. It felt like a place where people loved books. Continue Reading
At this point I’m aiming for more like 85,000, but it looks like I’ll hit my goal of finishing this first draft before the end of the month. Then a quick polish, six weeks in a drawer, and I begin the second draft. My aim is to have a polished final ready to start querying around September, which would mean turning around a novel in less than one year for the first time. My first one took about seven years, and the second took nearly three.
Oh, and I know it says “Working Title” up there, but I’m increasingly thinking that title may stick around. At least until someone tells me to change it.
It’s pretty awesome having a hand in creating something that finds a life of its own. That’s kind of the ultimate aspiration for most creative-types (well, and finding a way to earn a living from that creativity) and I feel like I’ve had more than my share this year.
I’m participating in this year’s Pitch Wars, a writing contest hosted by the fabulous and kind Brenda Drake, and last week I put together my own “Mentee Bio,” inspired by the various participating mentors. A couple other authors (specifically, Phil Stamper and Keely Hutton) did the same, and today the concept took off, with nearly 50 writers participating at last count. There’s even a Twitter hashtag: #PimpMyBio. Continue Reading
**Quick Update: #PimpMyBio is now officially “That thing where would-be-mentees post their own Pitch Wars bios,” which is awesome, and Dannie Morin has taken on compiling the full directory–up to almost 50 at last count! If you’re an aspiring mentee, why not add your own?**
That’s right, it’s PITCH WARS 2013, and I am sending around a query and five sample pages to four would-be mentors in hope of a partnership that yields fame, fortune, and world domination. Next year, it will be me licking a sledgehammer nude on MTV! Or, you know, just a book deal would be nice.
After the hours I’ve spent reading mentor bios, it occurred to me that a would-be mentor might appreciate a similar opportunity to learn a few things about me. So I put together a little list of my own.
First, an introduction: As you can probably tell from the header, my name is Christopher Keelty. My Pitch Wars project is a 95,000-word science fiction novel (for adults) featuring superheroes and LGBT themes in a future setting. I write adult speculative fiction, usually science fiction or fantasy but sometimes tip-toeing into horror or paranormal. With that background, I present….
The Top Eight Reasons I Should Be Your Pitch Wars Mentee
8. I’m easy to collaborate with. Over thirteen years of collaborative writing in a business environment, you have to get there. I’m entirely capable of hearing criticism of my work, even if it’s sometimes harsh, without throwing a temper tantrum or declaring that YOU ARE A GATEKEEPER AND I SHALL NOW SELF-PUBLISH MY PERFECT MASTERPIECE.