Chasing my crazy dream in the writing world…

Writer Flu April 30, 2012

So I think I have what they call the “writer flu” – a bad case of nausea, headaches and just plain, old irritability.  You may ask is this a virus I can get or something you can take antibiotics for? I wish the answer was yes, but sadly this type of sickness comes from numerous agent rejections.

What makes it an especially bitter pill to swallow is that all my other writer friends (who are in all honestly, simply brilliant writers) are getting requests left and right.

Thus, I am left asking myself what to do next? Trash my entire query and approach from another angle? Keep pushing along because I think the current query is pretty good as is? Or simply let it go for a while and work on my next manuscript that is begging to be written. The characters are jumping around in my head literally screaming to be heard.  And no I haven’t lost it – other writers will tell you their characters do the same thing.

Help me out here writing brethren.  What do you do when you are feeling low about your writing? Have any tips to get me motivated and out of the dumps?

I’d so appreciate any words of wisdom you could pass along.



Underground Book Reviews April 24, 2012

I met this wonderful friend at a writers conference in New York this past December.  She has become part of my online critique group and is an amazing writer in her own right.

She and a couple of other writers have an amazing website called Underground Book Reviews.  It’s a great site where they profile new and emerging authors in a variety of genres.

I was recently fortunate enough to be selected for their “Emerging Author Series”. The amazing thing about this series is that if  people read your article and like what they see, they can vote to see your first chapter.  A truly amazing opportunity.

So if you are interested in books, whether they be fiction or non-fiction, I suggest you check it out.

Do you have other book sites or writer blogs that you follow?  I’d love to hear about them.  I am always up for following someone new.



Confessions of a YA Junkie

Ok, so I’ll fess up…I am Amy and I am a Young Adult junkie.  Yes, I’ll freely admit it I like YA books.  Give me fantasy, paranormal, paranormal romance, dystopia – you name it,  I’ll probably like it as long as it is well written. I also consider it part of my job as an aspiring YA writer to know what is going on in the marketplace – so of course I have to read everything I can get my hands on.

Why as an over 30 woman do I like these “teenager” books – as my husband snidely calls them.  It’s simple – in many ways I still see myself as a teenager. No, I don’t dress or act like one (which my 11 year-old appreciates) but I love the music, the angst, and the memories of first love as I’m sure most YA readers do.

That why I think, in my humble opinion, this genre is exploding because many women feel this way.  Look at any successful YA book out there – it’s most likely penned by an older woman – Suzanne Collins, Stephenie Meyer, Holly Black & Cassandra Clare just to name a few. And, I know as a member of a book club and several woman’s groups that this is the genre most women are turning to now for a good read.  Forget upscale literary fiction or romance, a lot of women between the ages of 21 – 35 are now found lurking in the YA section of most bookstores.

So for those of you who aren’t afraid of outing themselves like me – I am going to begin a once a week look at YA fiction (past and present) and discuss what I see, as purely a reader, are some good trends, some really bad ones, and premises that I hope are here to stay.

So come follow me.  I am sure there will be some picks you agree with and some you will not.  I’d love to hear all your feedback.



Platform? Not just for train stations anymore… April 20, 2012

Filed under: Blog,Publishing,Writers Resources,writing — chasingthecrazies @ 4:40 pm
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At my first writing conference the word “platform” was thrown around so much I wondered  if I was at a seminar or a shoe sale.

Then as I quickly learned, the state of publishing, as it is with the internet, is unfurling into a whole new world where you as an author or “aspiring author” are encouraged to shout about your work from as many virtual rooftops as possible.  These “platforms” include everything from blogging, guest blogging, tweeting, having a Facebook page and of course your own website.

At first I questioned the methodology.  I wondered why I just couldn’t spend my time on actually writing, editing and fine-tuning my own novel, rather than blogging and tweeting.  But as soon as I snapped out of it, I realized, as someone who has worked extensively in the marketing world,  there is no better way to promote yourself than via the internet.

So as you can see, as this blog is proof, I have jumped on the platform bandwagon.  I am now trying to figure out how to build my readership and connect to others who might enjoy hearing about my escapades in the world of publishing.  I may also use this site from time to time to publish some other pieces I am working on.

Suddenly this platform thing is really starting to make sense and honestly the agents and editors were right – who better to promote your own work then you?  So this is me shouting from the rooftops – hope you are listening.

I’d also like other writers to weigh in on how they use varying platforms to improve and promote their work.  I am always looking for new ideas and opportunities to learn about this ever-evolving world of writing and publishing.



One small step… April 18, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized,writing — chasingthecrazies @ 11:15 pm

As I have mentioned in previous posts, I am new to the world of writing (about 2 years) and one of the most challenging things is getting your foot in the door with agents – many of whom receive as many as 200 queries a day.  Pretty amazing that there are so many writing brethren out there!

I am on manuscript number two now and am still working on finding an agent.  When I asked a local writing professor, who is also a published author, what the key was to getting an agent he said two things:

1) Go to conferences and make contacts

2) Try to establish some writing credits

So with that in mind, I entered my first contest for flash fiction at WOW!  Women on Writing website.  I just received notice that my entry has made the first cut and the competition is now down to 70 entries.  As this was my first foray into the world of writing competitions, I am very excited.  Just making the cut seems like a victory to me.

If I don’t make it beyond this cut, I’ll post the story here.  It was very emotional to write and has special meaning to me which I will elaborate on more if I do indeed post it.

So fellow writers how do you get noticed in the publishing world?  What is your platform?  I’d love to hear about it as I am always looking for new ways to learn and get the word out about my writing.



Life Imitating Art April 16, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — chasingthecrazies @ 11:39 pm

So today I saw a disturbing piece on the news about brides-to-be who are actually using feeding tubes to lose weight before their weddings. These women who want to “lose up to twenty pounds” before their wedding day are actually paying $1500 to some physician so they can go ten days without eating. There was even an actual demonstration of the doctor inserting the tube (not something you want to see while you’re having your morning breakfast).

Now if I can tell you something small about my life, I have a nephew who is four and is battling childhood leukemia.  He was small to begin with but last week he only weighed 30 pounds after having a terrible stomach reaction to the chemotherapy drug he is taking.  He was so sick, they put a feeding tube in him to give him essential nutrients as well as to balance his electrolytes and give him basic nutrition. In my opinion, this is someone who requires a feeding tube, not some twenty-something who wants to fit into a size 4 instead of a size 6 dress.

Now you may be wondering what any of this has to do with writing? Well, this whole idea of losing weight through a feeding tube struck me as something that was so outrageous it would be a perfect plot point for a novel and then I remembered Scott Westerfeld’s The Uglies where people are willing to do anything to be beautifully perfect. Scary how in this case life imitates art.



How Do You Deal With Rejection? April 14, 2012

Filed under: writing — chasingthecrazies @ 10:49 pm

Part of my painful introduction to this new world of literary publishing is of course the dreaded rejection. To be honest, I thought I’d be used to it by now after my first manuscript went down in spectacular flames. But now here I am with manuscript number two and again the dreaded “thank you but no thank you” has returned.

So I wonder how do other writers deal with rejection and continue to push on through? Do they take each “no” personally and continue to polish and perfect or do they step away from it all for a while to get some perspective?

I have a wonderful friend I met through a writer’s conference who is an immensely talented writer but keeps getting rejected as well. It makes me wonder if this all isn’t about luck and timing.  You can have the most brilliant concept, amazing storytelling, and killer characters but they come at a time when the genre is flooded with similar ideas or the agents are just tired of red-headed heroines (yes, I heard that once at a conference).

For me, I’m dealing with all the rejection in one simple way – I’m just writing something new.  I feel like even if I never get published I never want to stop writing. If all my manuscripts only become great bedtime stories for my kids well then I guess that’s okay because hopefully it will be something they will never forget.

And one last nugget of hope that keeps me hanging on…I just read a blog from a newly published author who had to write six manuscripts before she got a “yes.” That says a lot for perseverance and dedication to the craft.



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