Archive | October, 2009

Hey Everyone!

30 Oct

Hi everyone!

I’m Sarah J. Maas, or S. J. Maas (creative, I know), if you want to go by my FictionPress name. First of all, let me just say how EXCITED I am to get Let the Words Flow off the ground! This site has been in the works for some time now, and I’m absolutely thrilled to be writing my very first post to you all!

Since I removed Queen of Glass from FictionPress, I’ve been super busy writing all sorts of new projects. But I’m getting ahead of myself. I took QoG off FictionPress in December of 2008, after six years of posting its (very) rough draft for an audience of thousands. Prior to that, I’d spent a year and a half rewriting and polishing the QoG series in anticipation of querying agents. After many rounds of revisions and countless hours of worrying, I researched agents, wrote my query letter (which itself was a huge ordeal), and queried sixteen agents in December of 2008.

Of the sixteen agents I queried, I received a lot of requests for partials and fulls. Even though agents were interested, just one agent offered representation. To my delight, she was one of my top choices! I practically hit the ceiling when she called to offer representation! I signed with her in January of 2009, but for the complete story of what happened next, check out my bio on the “Contributors” page!

Since completing Queen of Glass, I’ve written several other series. A Faraway Land, a novel that retells the legends surrounding the Fairy Godmother figure, started off as my senior thesis in college, and I continued (and completed) it after graduation (Side note, I queried AFL before QoG and received a lot of requests for the full—but no offers).

After AFL, I wrote Hades, a YA fantasy duology set in an alternate, ancient Graeco-Roman world. From October of 2008 to March of 2009, I wrote the two books that make up the Hades series. It was my first attempt at writing in first person, and remains one of my favorite projects. For more information, check out the synopsis I posted on my blog.

Once I finished Hades, I jumped into writing A Court of Thorns and Roses, a YA fantasy trilogy that retells and combines the legends of “Beauty and the Beast,” “Tam-Lin,” and “East of the Sun, West of the Moon.” I wrote the entire trilogy from April 2009 to September 2009—and plan to begin revising it sometime in the near future.

To keep the anxiety of submissions off my mind, three weeks ago, I began writing my current WIP. Info about it is top-secret right now, but I’m 39k words into the novel, and loving it so far! I look forward to sharing more updates with you all!

So, that’s about it—I try to write at least 1,000 words every day (Monday-Friday, that is!), and when I’m not writing, I’m usually swapping manuscripts with my incredible critique partners. Though I grew up in NYC, I currently live with my fiance in Los Angeles, California, where I take full advantage of the perfect weather and awesome beaches.

Great to meet you guys!

Sarah J. Maas

Currently Reading: The Forgotten Beasts of Eld by Patricia A. McKillip



30 Oct

Hi, my name is Lynn, but I’m probably better known to FictionPress and readers as “poohba”.

My biggest project lately has been working on a master’s degree in library and information science, but previous career incarnations have included stints as a graphics production assistant, a legal secretary, and a newspaper reporter.  I now work for my hometown library system, where I occasionally get to spend other people’s money buying books — which is always fun.

Like many of you, I don’t ever remember a time when I didn’t want to have a book of my own on the shelves.  I’m not there yet, but I think I’m closer than I ever have been.  I’ve spent the better part of six years polishing Thorn of the Kingdom, a manuscript of a novel that had its origins on and I’m about to enter the scary world of querying agents to try and get it published.

I feel a bit like Santa Claus; I keep making lists of literary agents and checking them twice.  The whole querying process has me feeling kind of intimidated.  I get hung up on Publisher’s Weekly articles about the health of the industry.  I dither over my book’s commercial appeal and what genre to submit it under since Thorn of the Kingdom doesn’t fit into any neat, little categories.  I keep wondering if the growing popularity of e-book readers means the death of my lifelong dream of seeing my words between two shiny covers.

Some of these worries start to sound ridiculous when I write them out like this.  I know I need to get over them, and I intend to.  Classes are keeping me busy right now, but I expect to graduate in December.  My current writing goal is to send out my first round of queries before the end of the year.

I’m sure I’m not the first would-be author to get cold feet at this stage and I probably won’t be the last.  That’s what Let the Words Flow is all about: sharing the journey to publication together.  If we can encourage, if we can inspire, if we can even say “Hey, I’ve been there,” then this blog is worth it.  So, welcome, and thanks for joining us on the ride.

Lynn Heitkamp

Currently Reading: Wicked Weaves: A Renaissance Faire Mystery by Joyce and Jim Lavene

Hey guys (so good to be back!)

29 Oct

Hey everyone,

My username on Fictionpress was svonnah-la-fay, but my real name is Savannah J. Foley. I began writing Woman’s World, now known as Antebellum, at the age of 14 and finished it one year later. The other two in the series, Apostasy and Insurrection came along shortly after, and were my only novels ever to be posted to completion on Fictionpress.

I wrote Antebellum when I was living in Washington State, but in my junior year of high school my family moved to a suburb outside of Chicago in Illinois. I kept to myself, read two books from the school library a day, and focused on my writing. In November 2006 I was published in TeenInk for an article about my experience living in a Stepford-like suburbia for the first time in my life. This was a rather critical article, and when it came out my parents were so proud, but really couldn’t tell anyone about it because I kind of insulted everyone in my neighborhood. Personally, I had to go around school and collect every single edition of that month’s TeenInk so no one could read it and link the story back to me. I’ve learned my lesson though; never publish something you don’t want your neighbors to read.

A year after that my family moved to Huntsville, AL, where I am living now. I wrote my fifth novel, Go Look There, which is my favorite so far, during that first summer, but I haven’t had a real novel cooking since then (though I’ve had several of those frustrating good beginnings that peter off into nothings).

In April of 2008 I was working as a cashier at a truly beautiful garden nursery named The Enchanted Forest when a young man named Chris walked in looking for a quick summer job. Readers, I swear he was shining. We’ve been more or less together since that day, which is neat because I can honestly say that I met my fiancé in an Enchanted Forest.

A few days after we met we pretty much decided we would be married eventually, and in light of this decided we needed to upgrade our jobs. I got a position as an Administrative Assistant for a company in the Healthcare industry, where I continue to work now. I love my job; I both get to fetch coffee and, because of my writing skills, write policy and press releases and other awesome stuff like that.

Growing into adulthood and taking responsibility for my future and the future of another person led me to finally get over my fears and procrastination and actually start the process of getting an agent. Agent Query was immensely helpful at this stage, and I recommend it to anyone who is starting the agent-hunting process.

I began submitting Antebellum, and signed with the Bradford Literary Agency in December 2008. All this year my agent, Laura Bradford, and I have been trading Antebellum back and forth getting it ready to go out on submissions, and it’s finally out! It would just make my life to get it sold before the end of the year, but publication is mostly a waiting game. Laura has helped to make Antebellum so much better than I could alone, and I’m truly proud to call it my first novel. Mostly I look forward to being able to share with the fans that the story they’ve followed for so long is FINALLY going to be published.

Earlier this year I was asked by my company’s leadership counselor to help him write, edit, and publish his self-help book that he’s been wanting to write for 15 years. After I took on that project, I realized the need for this type of service must be wide-spread throughout the Huntsville community (we are a city of engineers… brilliant, but no writing skills to speak of), so just after turning 20 I founded my own freelance writing company, SJF Writing. It’s not a huge money-maker, but it’s exciting to take on different projects and get paid for what I love to do!

I recently bought my first house, and moving out and living on my own is fulfilling the dream I had ever since I was in fourth grade: to live alone and be a writer. Of course, Chris is in the picture now, but he only makes things better. My writing life has been kind of on hold all the rest of this year as I balanced work, online school, my own company, and edits for Antebellum. Now I’ve decided to take a semester off school, Antebellum’s future is out of my hands, and I’m ready to start a relationship with a new story.

I look forward to documenting this new life with you, and I’m so excited to be a part of this blog project. The other contributors are amazing, and I’m so glad to be able to interact with the Fictionpress community once more without having to post stories (getting an agent kind of puts a damper on what you can and can’t post anymore if you want to sell it eventually).

I missed you guys a lot, and it’s great to be back. Come back and check out an article I wrote titled “On Inspiration and Trusting Your Instinct, Or, Writing as a Mental Disorder”, scheduled to be posted on November 9th!

-Savannah J. Foley

Currently Reading: The Urban Homestead: Your Guide to Self-Sufficient Living in the Heart of the City


29 Oct

Happy almost Halloween, everyone! 🙂

My name is Rachel Simon and as for as long as I can remember, I’ve been making up stories. I usually attribute this to the fact I am an only child and was never allowed any pets. I had to make up for it! 😉

I’m a second-year college student, who is majoring in English and Creative Writing. I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was seven years old, but I stopped wanting to write when I realized writers actually have to WRITE to be considered writers! Instead, I’ve floundered around, wondering what I could do that didn’t involve writing, but still involved writers. I may be going to school to get a degree in Creative Writing, but my career goal is to work in a major publishing house (particularly for children’s, middle grade and young adult literature). I don’t know what exactly I want to do in publishing; every day, I change what position I want (editor? sales and marketing? design?).

Currently, I’m fixing up my resume and writing cover letters for the major publishing houses. I’m hoping to get an internship this summer with one of them (crossing fingers) and figure out if its REALLY what I want to do.

I’m also writing my first serious story (or, as lots of people like to call it, my first novel), a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. It takes place in a country where women are equal to men…or something like that. I’m still figuring it out myself. It is a first draft; I’m still “walking around in the dark” so to speak.

In my spare time, I nominate people for the Emerging Leaders program I was in last year, write with the NaNoWriMo participants that I am friends with (although I, myself, am not participating), and I am also in the process of planning my study abroad to Australia for spring 2011. I also do the normal college student things, like complain about homework, actually do said homework, study, go out with my friends and sigh about the lack of guys at my school.

I can’t wait to share everything I learn with all of you and I am really interested to see how my fellow LTWF buddies do throughout the upcoming year. Best of luck with everything!

– Rachel Simon

Currently Reading: Mutant Message Down Under by Marlo Morgan


28 Oct

My Dearest, Ever-Adored Readers,

(This is my way of saying HELLO!)

My name is June, though most of my Fictionpress readers know me as J.E.Wyatt—and don’t ask me what the “E” in that pseudonym stands for. I don’t know either. But I do know that it makes my pen name look more professional. As you might have noticed through my introduction, I am a very cheerful person, but strangely enough I only write Regency Noire (a term coined by Stephanie Laurens for darker historical romances).

I’m a student at the University of Toronto who lives with her sister, cousin, and a German Shepherd named after Mr. Rochester’s dog, Pilot, in Jane Eyre. Study, study, study, study is  what I do most of my time. But in between—like during subway rides, or during the early hours of the morning—I work on my current project titled THE RUNAWAY COURTESAN. I spent two years working on it, and that isn’t too long (considering it took Goethe 60 years to write Faust!). A year was spent on the first draft and another year was spent revising it. I think I put it through ten to thirteen revisions.

I planned to hold onto this manuscript for another year or two or three until I could perfect it. But I’ve reached a point where I just need to let go of this story. I’ll always think it can get better. So I decided to start QUERYING! I have about 50 agents I plan on querying to on November 20th. The list is bound to grow longer. Anyway, keep your fingers crossed for me! Whatever I go through in this next step, I’ll be sure to share it with everyone here on LTWF.

June Hur

Currently Reading: Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

Hi Everyone!

26 Oct

Hello all! I’m Mandy. Sometimes Amanda, depending on who you ask. Or, as soon will be the case, which one of my books you’re reading. I write light-hearted romantic comedies under Mandy Hubbard (For Razorbill, which is a division of Penguin) and I also write darker, literary work under Amanda Grace (For Flux, a division of Llewellyn Worlwide).

I live near Seattle , Washington , with my hubby and two year old daughter. I’m a food-addict, a sucker for romantic movies and books, and I could spend all day watching it rain.

My first book, PRADA & PREJUDICE, came out in June, and is available in stores nationwide ( USA ) and in Canada . It’s been really amazing to finally, finally have a book available and to talk to readers about it! Fictionpress members have been amazingly supportive and I’ve received a lot of emails and PM’s from Fpers. Thank you so much for supporting me! I’m super excited to get to know you guys through this blog, and hopefully more FP folks will be making the jump to publication.

As for what I’m doing now, well, I recently turned in revisions for my novella, DRIVEN, which is a romance for Harlequin. For twenty-five minutes, I was gloriously free of deadlines. Then I received a revision letter from Razorbill for YOU WISH, my August 2010 release for young adults.

Here’s the status of my projects under contract:

DRIVEN–NASCAR-Harlequin romance novella written as Mandy Hubbard (pubs: June 2010): Revised draft turned in.

YOU WISH, a romantic comedy for Young Adults written as Mandy Hubbarde (pubs: August 2010): Received revision letter—revised manuscript due November 19th!

SHATTERED, a darker literary book about a girl in an abusive relationship written as Amanda Grace (pubs: 2011): Recently contracted—no revision letter yet!

TBD, YA written as Amanda Grace (Pubs: 2012). Not even written yet!

Aside from the projects under contract, I have a number of projects in various stages. I can’t wait to get to writing them, and the second I’m deadline free I’ll be fast-drafting something new!

Anyway, thanks for letting me share what I’m up to. Really excited to get this blog going!

Mandy Hubbard/Amanda Grace

Currently ReadingHush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick


7 Oct

Welcome to Let the Words Flow! We’re a community of former FictionPress authors who have made (or are making) the leap to professional publication. We created this site to reach out to our FictionPress readers, and provide resources and information for FictionPress writers also seeking to move into the World of Publishing. Have a look around, and feel free to comment!