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Michelle Brower
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A mix of happy and sad news today, everyone. The sad: I'm leaving Dead Guy :( (more on why in a minute). The happy: Josh Getzler, who is awesome, will be taking my Tuesday spot! To follow up on Dana's... Continue reading
I think this is a fairly inexhaustible topic, especially right now...there are all sorts of advantages and disadvantages to e-pub and self e-pub, and I think those of us in the industry owe it to authors, readers, and the like to not dismiss those methods out of hand immediately but figure out how they can be leveraged into actual, sustainable success AND artistry.
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I'm going to weasel in on the blind baking debate- I think it depends totally on the particular pie. I have one citrus-y apple pie that for some reason tastes so much better when I blind bake the crust, but my regular apple pie tastes best just going in the oven. Key lime pie- ALWAYS bake the crust first. It gives it a nice complementary toasty flavor.
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I'm going to piggyback on Jeff's topic since it seems like every day we are getting news of an author making the leap to e-publishing, or jumping from e-book success over into traditional publishing (and, methinks, we in "traditional" publishing... Continue reading
Hi, Paige Wheeler of Folio here again. What makes a book stick with you, long after the last page? I’ve asked this question to my staff at various times and I’ve heard numerous responses: unique plot, engaging characters, evocative setting. For me, a book sticks with me when I’ve learned something. It could be some incidental fact, such as the effects of a poison, how ballistics analysis works, or even the best time of year to grow asparagus (coming into season now, in case you’re curious). So, what does a reader learn in your story? Now, that isn’t to say that every line has to give deep insight, but when there are a few interesting facts sprinkled throughout the writing, the narrative seems more real. But make sure you get your facts right. If your character is an expert at making pies, for example, don’t say that she rolled out the dough for her apple pie, put it in the pie pan and filled with apples etc. If you don’t mention that she blind bakes the crust, then be sure to mention that the pie is soggy. If you don’t, you’ll lose a bit of trust from the readers who bake. So, make sure you get your facts right to keep the trust of your baking readers, and at the same time your non-bakers will learn about blind baking (the process of “pre-baking” the crust before filling with juicy fillings). Since, I’m not a baker at all, this is something that *I* just learned. Who knew? I asked my staff for a few instances of things seen in published books that make a reader lose trust in an author; here are some examples: “when we read that the police have fished the gun out of the lake and are pulling prints.” Most mystery readers realize that you can’t pull prints on waterlogged items.* Here’s another example: “we read that the engine on a single propeller airplane shut off and the aircraft started to plunge toward the ground.” Planes glide, and a short conversation with an amateur pilot would have kept the author from making that mistake. The end result (needing to have the pilot incapacitated and the hero injured) could still have been achieved without the pilots in the reading audience wanting to throw the book away. So, how do you find out the right facts? Read, read, read. Go to the library and do research. There are organizations for almost everything and they are happy to provide information. Another great source of information? Your friends. They have a variety of interests and knowledge that can be a godsend when you want to add that bit of spice to your story, which can help your readers not only want to keep reading your current story but want to pick your next book and the one after that. Happy researching! *that stated, I found a site which indicated that it IS possible to pull prints from “wet items. Check out this link: http://www.csigizmos.com/products/latentdevelopment/reagent.html Continue reading
Glad it was helpful!
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Hi, Paige Wheeler here. Michelle is out of the country for her next two posts, so she asked me to step in for her. The idea of blogging about mysteries was quite exciting, so I immediately gathered my team together... Continue reading
So, sometimes I get home and I'm still swamped after a full day of work and there are manuscripts unread and I'm feeling guilty for not ever being caught up and there's still so much to do that somehow never... Continue reading
By Michelle Brower My post last week and some recent publishing pal conversations have gotten me thinking about gatekeepers and gatekeeping in general- hence the Monty Python reference. I've given everyone a pretty accurate (and hopefully not too depressing) picture... Continue reading
Update! 3 more queries just in! I am SO not pulling the calculator out again.
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by Michelle Brower Here's a big fat dollop of math for everyone- I usually shy away from numbers unless it's a matter of applying 15% or hearing the phrase high-six-figure advance (and isn't even that better when it's made of... Continue reading
by Michelle Brower It's my favorite holiday of the year: Post-Valentine's Day! It's that magical day when chocolate and themed candies go on sale, there are extra flowers everywhere, and it's ok to be a grump about love again. It's... Continue reading
by Michelle Brower Up until this last weekend, I was a total AWP virgin. What, pray tell, is an AWP? Besides a lot of people with hangovers and and a massive collective crush on Jhumpa Lahiri, it is the mother... Continue reading
By Michelle Brower As a thriller and mystery reader (not to mention horror movie buff), I have to be fairly non-squeamish in order to survive. This is doubly true as a reader of slush, since beginning authors often try to... Continue reading
387 submissions since Jan 1. Not counting yesterday/this morning, so now we are up to about 400. But, even thought the odds are long, I've found most of my debut fiction authors in the slush. And most of those were rejected anywhere from 10-80 times by other agents. It's not really about odds, just finding the right match.
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by Michelle Brower I have a weird brain disorder where it is very difficult for me to edit in Track Changes, and of course I do a lot of editing. For some reason, I just can't get my best editrix... Continue reading
@ Christina- you are totally right, but I really like how it sounds anyway. Forgive me! @Judy- awesome, I dig Lee Marvin. On the Netflix it goes. @Carrie- can you pack one up and send it to Barbara? Make sure to put some air holes in the box.
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Deputy Mrs. Wentworth Miller, it would be an honor to ride with you and Viceroy Gilford! Especially if you sing the high lonesome notes in our duets.
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by Michelle Brower Allow me to explain. I have a dream that someday I will own a pony named Mr. Pickles, and I'll ride him all around the town, enforcing frontier justice in a cute yet iron-fisted way. Even though... Continue reading
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I think I'll just stick with Leo regardless. Roar.
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By Michelle Brower Time to settle the debate. Which is better, a real physical book or an e-reader? Is that even a real question? I feel like it's asking if I prefer chocolate chip cookies or a cupcake. I will... Continue reading
Thanks all! Barbara, you are even better than two Mothras put together.
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by Michelle Brower Well, I feel almost like a bride on my wedding night, if my wedding was about to be crashed by zombies wielding pickaxes. The inimitable Barbara Poelle has left some wonderfully bedazzled shoes to fill, and I... Continue reading
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