Wendy's favorite quotes

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind."— Dr. Seuss

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Pop Quiz, How Well Do You Know Me?

Hello, Awesome Bloggers,

A good Tweep of mine, Dorothy Dreyer interviewed me. Read it here for a glimse at Unlocked, my writer's journey, and woolly mammoths.

I  want you know how much I appreciate your support and friendship. Give yourself a cyber squeeze from me, and have a cookie. (When sharing with friends, calories don't count.)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

My Author Website

We learned at Storymakers that we should have a website to make it easy for agents to find information about us!

Right now the site is just a bio with my links, but at least it's there. Tada!

Check it out and let me know what you think.

Here's mine:


Saturday, May 7, 2011

COLORLESS Won 3rd...

Just a quick note to say that my alternate history WIP, COLORLESS, won 3rd place at the Storymakers first chapter contest. Yep, having a pretty good day...

I shall now go do the happy dance.

Friday, May 6, 2011

My Successful Pitch

Hello awesome cyber-buddies! I'm thrilled to report that I got a request for a partial this weekend for COYOTE DREAMS! Yay! Would you like to hear my pitch? This is how it went...

After she smiled and shook my hand, she said, "so tell me about your story."
My pitch:

It's a coming of age story about sixteen-year-old Jenna who lives on the Sho-Ban reservation near Pocatello, Idaho. After her father has a near fatal accident, she has to run the family farm alone. But the dog that caused the accident is still harassing and killing her animals. This is no ordinary dog, but the fabled Coyote spirit.

Two neighbor boys, a farm boy and an Indian, offer to help, but their interest develops into something more than friendship. Jenna finds their attention both exciting and unsettling at the same time.

As the problems on the farm and the Coyote's attacks increase, she learns that accepting help is not weakness or failure. But when the Coyote goes after her little brother, she has to overcome her fears to save both their lives.

Coyote Dreams is 74,000 words and is similar to HATTIE BIG SKY, but with native mysticism and modern day characters.

Do you have any questions about my story?
The first thing she said was, "wow, that's a really good pitch. It sounded like the back of a book." Then she asked some questions and it ended with a partial request.
The reason why I'm posting this is because everywhere I turn people are saying shorter! Shorter! make it a one liner! Last year I did what they said and hacked at my poor query until it was something like this:
"After Jenna's father has a near-fatal accident, she must run the farm alone, but the dog which caused the accident is around and killing her animals. But this is not ordinary dog, it's the fabled Coyote."
The editor said, "so it's a horror then?" 
Um, no. Not even close.
I was so worried about getting it short, I'd lost the feel of what my story was about. This year I trusted my gut, listened to Elana Johnson on how to write an awesome query, and then followed the advice at Pitch University. And this time, I feel that regardless of what comes of this, I gave her a true look at what my story was really about.

***Update! I learned that your one liner/elevator pitch doesn't have to sum up the story, it can be a simple comparison to give the reader a feel for your story. For instance, my one liner for COYOTE DREAMS could be, "It's a contemporary coming of age story with Toni Hillerman aspects." Tada! Now you know it has some Native feel aspects but you also know it is a coming of age. I love learning new things!
Would you like to hear one more cool moment from this weekend? My boot camp instructor, Sheralyn Pratt said, "your writing is like the Mississippi; it's smooth and deep. It flows and takes you on this journey."
I'm going to write that one down in my journal. I'm still thankful that she said that about my story.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Practicing Your Pitch

I'm very excited to go to Storymakers this weekend and meet all the wonderful writers, authors, editors, and agents! Last year I got several books signed by James Dashner, Jessica Day George, and David Farland.  This year I'm bringing two great YA novels (The Hourglass Door, and The Golden Spiral) in the hopes that Lisa Mangum will sign them!

I learned so much last year that I decided to be brave this year and sign up for a pitch with an editor there.

In a valiant effort to NOT look like an idiot during the pitch, I've been researching everything I can find on what to do. My favorite website help for struggling would-be authors is Pitch University. I love, love, LOVE the lesson that says "don't memorize it" because my memorized speech was flat and mechanical.

So, if you are as crazy as I am and have signed up for a pitch, I wish you the best of luck.

I promise to take good notes to share with all of you again this year.

Cross your fingers for me!

P.S. Don't forget that you have a couple days left to put your name in to win DEPTH OF DECEIT by Betty Briggs. Just leave a comment HERE to enter. Giveaway ends May 10th.