Saturday, March 22, 2014

What you can do while waiting to hear from the publisher

Hello Followers, I hope everyone is having a great Saturday evening.  Mine is going pretty well.

I am still waiting to hear if the publisher wants my book or not.  So I have been doing other things to keep me physically and mentally busy.  Otherwise I may just go crazy.  So you ask, what have I been doing?  I'll tell you.

This past Thursday night I went to my writing league meeting.  It was quite interesting.  Kim spoke about writing for children.  She spoke about infants all the way up to 16-17 year olds.  The publishing industry has a specific cut off for each age range, although your novel could fall in between two of the age limits.  It all depends on your story.  And where you think it should be.

The question was asked if racial slurs should be used.  Her answer was generally "no", but there are some circumstances when they could be used.  Such as in Historical Fiction.  It would almost be expected to be used.  But she warned that using the N word was very tricky.  A lot of publishers won't accept that word, even in a Historical Fiction novel.  One way to get around that would be to have the character start the word and never finish it because someone else stopped him/her or to have some big noise event happen that would cover up the rest of the word.  That way, it would convey to the reader what was intended without actually using such an awful word.

Another question asked on Thursday night, was about the use of curse words.  Should children be using them?  Should adults in the story be using them?  Kim explained that gratuitous cursing is just wrong.  If the scene called for it, it could be used.  But, a lot of publishers frown upon the use of the F-bomb.  I personally do not read books where any character, an adult or child, uses the F-bomb or takes the Lord's name and uses it as a curse word.  I have not finished books because of it.  There is never a reason that anyone should use those in literature.  I know that a lot of people will disagree with me, but this is my blog.

Kim spoke about picture books, chapter books and what worked well and what didn't.  She gave us some tips that she learned the hard way.  She didn't want us to go through the same pain and monetary problems she did.  She also talked about the difference between a vanity press and indie publishing.

I think it was a really productive way for me to spend my evening.  I learned something new, I was able to ask her questions afterwards regarding a story I have floating through my head, and got to see some old friends

Alara Harpell, Author
 My good friend and fellow author, Alara Harpell, could not be there in person, but she was there in spirit.    She is an author you will want to follow.  Click on her name above and it will take you to her blog.  We miss her in our league meetings.  She has moved from Utah to San Diego.  I was able to see my good friend for a little while when she came to visit family.  It was a good February.

There are plenty of other things I do to keep busy so as not to fuss over why I haven't heard from the publisher yet.  I volunteer.  I participate in retail therapy.  I bake. I start writing a new novel or edit what I've already written on the new novel.  I'm planning a garden.  And occasionally I throw children out of my yard on their way home from school.  Their parents should have taught them not to trespass.

If you have ever wanted to write, but didn't know where to start, I'll tell you.  Find a writing league.  I didn't know anyone the first time I went.  I was so scared that they would think I was too stupid or too dumb or that I asked too many questions.  But that didn't happen.  I was welcomed with open arms and I know have some friends.  And just because you've written a book doesn't mean it's ready for publication.  Join a critique group.  If you get into the right one, it will make a world of difference.  If on the other hand you just like to read, follow my blog, follow Alara's blog and enjoy our journey to be published authors.

Thank you for stopping by today.  If you have any questions or just want to say "HI", don't hesitate to leave a comment.  Thanks.


Friday, March 14, 2014

It's a Waiting Game

How I hate waiting to hear from the publisher.  Oh, I know it's a necessary evil, but that doesn't mean I have to like it.    But it is what I am doing.  I submitted my novel, An English Summer, about 6 weeks ago and now waiting for the publisher to decide if they like it or not.  I certainly hope so.  I think it's a great story.

So, while I wait, I read my favorite authors, watch a lot of TV and write on my next story.  One must remain busy.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

submitted again

Hello everyone.  I have been a little lazy, but did finally resubmit my novel An English Summer to another publisher.  I submitted it to Covenant Books here in Utah.  Wish me well that they like the story and will accept it for publication.

I am still working on Lily's story, but it's taking longer than anticipated.  Lily has been silent lately, and I don't know what she wants me to tell the readers.  She'll wake up soon, I'm sure of it.

Monday, February 3, 2014

3 Star review for Foul Play

Author Betsy Brannon Green
Let me start out by saying that I am a fan of Betsy Brannon Green.  I love her books set in Midway/Haggerty, Georgia.  I love the characters and the setting.  I have read all three books and hoping there will be another.

With that said, I am sure you are wondering why she only got three stars for her book Foul Play.  Well, it just really wasn't worth any more than that.  I was in Segull Books and found her book on CD.  I hadn't listened to a book before, but thought why not.  I'll give it a chance.  It said it was unabridged, which is good.  I would not want to miss anything.

But I felt like I did miss things.  It just felt so shortened and truncated.  A few other things I didn't like was the voice of the woman who read the book.  It was so sugary that I was afraid I may have gotten diabetes just from listening to it.  Also, it was the worse Southern accent I ever heard anyone fake.  Just sad all around.

There was nothing surprising in the story.  No twists or turns that I didn't see coming and just a bit too much LDS.  It was a little preachy.  The good thing was it was a clean read.  Maybe this is one of her first books before the Midway/Haggerty books and her writing has improved and that's why I like the other books better.

You may like the story and writing, but I just don't feel as if it was her best.  There was just too much lacking for my taste.  I will look for other books she has written, but will not worry about this one any more.  I wish her well and look forward to more Kennedy Killingsworth stories.

Friday, December 13, 2013

It is not the end of the world, or is it

Sad news.  Deseret Book did not want my novel.  So, now I have to find some more publishers to send it off to.  While I'm waiting on that, I am still writing on Lily's story.  How disappointing.

Sunday last was 9 weeks so I sent an email to their submissions email account asking if I was going to hear something soon.  I got an answer back today saying they had sent me an answer on December 2, 2013 saying they didn't want my book.  Not a good night now. oh well...

I can't let it get me down.  I just need to keep plugging away.  Thanks for all of your support and please keep it up.  I'm working on a new novel.

Friday, November 29, 2013

4 star review for Murder by the Way by Betsy Brannon Green

This is a really good read.  I enjoy the Kennedy Killingsworth series, but I do have a little trouble with Kennedy.  I don't like weak women, unless that is their character for the story.  And that is not Kennedy.

When her ex-husband's new wife tells her to leave her husband alone, I think Kennedy should have spoken up instead of staying silent and making it look like she was loose.  I don't like that.  Kennedy should have stood up for yourself, but she didn't. Annoying...

The story is well written, but I don't like the way it was wrapped up.  I don't like who turned out to be the bad guy[s] and why.  It's like she couldn't figure what to do with everyone.

I'm glad she married Luke.  Not giving anything way.  It's in the first chapter.  And I can't stand Miss Ida Jean.  Kennedy's momma should have put her in her place a long time ago.  She's obnoxious.

But, the story is worth reading.  I just think you should read from the first book in the series.  I found the second book and read it first.  Then I read this one, which is the third book.  There really isn't any need to read the first book.  Doesn't matter who does what or why.  Usually it doesn't matter if I pick up a book in the middle of the series, but for this series it does.  So start with the first one.  They are worth reading.

You can find Betsy's books here: Betsy Brannon Green's website

I have not read her other series, but I do have another one of her books on CD.  I hope it's as good.

You can find Green's and other great authors' books here: Seagull Book.  So, stop by one of their local stores here in Utah or shop from their website.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Lily's Dilemma

I told you last week that I would post which book I decided to write.  So here it is.

I am writing the mail-order bride story.  My heroine is Lily Jane Bounds.  And of course I cannot tell you who the hero is.  That would not be fair.  I also can't tell you why I choose another flower name, but I did.  I think this picture of the lily below is quite exquisite.

In the last week I have written 7,213 words.  Not bad.  There would be more, but it just didn't happen.

I hope you will follow me along this new journey.  No, I have not heard about the status of my book submissions.  And I don't like it either.  Say a pray the publisher will accept my novel and An English Summer will be published.

Go to my facebook author page and like me.  I appreciate the fan loyalty.  Brenda Birch Gallaher, Author Facebook page

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Writing Again...finally

Hello all, I submitted my manuscript An English Summer three weeks ago today.  So it's a waiting game now.  I'm praying for good results.  In other words, they want to publish my book.  I certainly hope so.  I spent a lot of time and effort on it.

So, I have been not writing for the last three weeks.  I have been thinking of what I should write on.  I have several story lines and had to choose one.  I finally chose one today.  But before I tell you which one I choose, let me tell you my choices.

1.  Young Adult novel about a 17 year old girl who goes to live with her grandfather in a Southern rural town.  Her mother is dead and her father is a CIA agent sent to the Middle East.  She makes three new friends, does her best to avoid the mean girl and her friends and finds out her grandfather's secret.  He has always been an eccentric type of man who would disappear for hour or days at a time, but for Hazel, he literally disappears.  So she and her friends decide to find out why and how.  And they do.  He's a time traveler.

2.  it's 1932 and a 12 year old girl is walking from Myrtle Beach, NC to California to join her father.  While she and her mother wait for her father to send for them, they live with her mother's sister.  She's bitter because the love of her life marries her sister.  Her mother dies, her aunt is outraged the young girl won't call her Mommy so she places her in an orphanage.  The girl runs away and starts walking to California.

She makes it to Colorado where a couple with three boys take her in.  They will contact her father and he can send for her or come and get her.  She's tired and decides to stay.  The older of the three boys don't like her and the boys' female cousin downright hates her.  Will she make it to her father.

3.  It's the 1890s and Lily has traveled from NYC to WY to get married.  She is a mail-order bride.  Her parents are not happy, but cannot stop her as she is 21 years old.  When she arrives by train the warehouse next door is blown up and she is knocked unconscious.

When she wakes up in the reverend's house she learns her fiance has been murdered and he has left everything to her, even if they don't get married before he dies.  She is shocked!  Should she stay and run the sheep ranch, or should she sell and return to NYC?  This is Lily's Delimna.

Please leave a remark below on which one you think I choose to write.  And if your choice is different than what you think mine is, then tell me why you think I should write your choice.

Next Sunday I will tell you which one I have decided to write.

Monday, October 14, 2013

5 Star rating for Garden Plot by Kirsten McKendry

Kristen McKendry is an LDS author from Utah living in Canada.  Her website is:  Kristen McKendry

I was at Seagull Books one day looking for my favorite author when I came upon Garden Plot by McKendry.  I read the blurb on the back and thought it sounded good.  The price was great so I bought it.  I have an hour lunch so thought I would read during work.  That didn't work out too well.  I would sometimes talk or I would get to a spot where I didn't want to stop, but didn't have a choice.  Back to work I had to go.  But I did finally finish the book.  I got a lot of it read while waiting for my two back tires to be fixed last week and I finished it off today while in the ER.  It's a great book.

The opening line of the book is where the heroine finds a faceless dead body in her garden.  Erin, the book's heroine, runs a wellness center and she finds one of her clients dead in the veggie patch.  How horrible?

Erin is a widow with a 13 year old daughter.  Her daughter likes an older boy with lots of piercings and purple hair.  The contractor who's fixing her cottage thinks she has a crush on him, she doesn't.  And two of her guests are father and son, the above mentioned boy with purple hair.  They fight all of the time.  But all of this pales in comparison to Erin finding a dead body in her vegetable garden.

It's a great story.  She meets a good looking police detective with his own demons who never smiles.  She sees a slight uptick of one corner of his mouth.  But no smiling.  He likes her cooking and he gets along with her daughter.  But who killed one of her clients?  To find out, you will need to read the story for yourself.  If you want a book full of filthy language, gratuitous sex and/or violence then this book is NOT for you.  This is a great story told without all of the disgusting trappings of the world.  It is well worth reading and you don't feel like you have wasted your time.  It's entertaining at times and heartbreaking at other times.  She writes with great humor.  So pick up your copy and enjoy.

I give her 5 stars.  She deserves it.  I would love to see a sequel to this story.

Kristen McKendry, Author

Sunday, October 6, 2013

An English Summer - done and submitted

Today, between Conference sessions, I finally finished my novel.  I made some changes to my query letter and summary.  The changes were necessary in order to be more concise and logical.  Then it happened, I submitted to Deseret Books.  Please say a prayer they like my story and want to publish it.  It would mean so much to me.

I started this novel in mid-January  I wrote the first draft, a very rough draft, in four months.  When I finished that first draft I had around 55,000 words.  Now that it is finished and submitted, it has a total of 87,934 words.  What a big difference editing has had on my novel.  I added over 32K words, almost a whole novel worth of words.  The smallest novel is 40,000 words.  Mine is more than double that, but after the first draft it was barely over that amount.  A writer friend of mine said a normal size novel is from 60-90,000 words.  I'm at the top amount.  I'm not sure if that is good or not, but I certainly do hope so.

I want to thank several people for their help throughout this process and journey of mine.  First is author Emily Mah Tippetts.  She would offer words of encouragement when needed and praise when I did something really good.  I appreciate that.  Second is Laura DeLange Bastian, who was kind enough to read my novel and act as editor.  He suggestions for changes and additions was greatly appreciated and acted upon.  It made my story so much better and my writing so much tighter.  Third I want to thank two people who read for me.  The first friend is my long time friend Theresa Lynette Friel Newbury and Philomena Callan.  They both read for me, but did not edit.  The read to tell me if they were interested in the story.  They both liked it.  It kept me going.

Now that the novel as been submitted I can relax.  But just for a little while.  I can relax and enjoy some non-writing time.  I can maybe get a book read now instead of write write write.  I will keep you updated on the progress of my novel as I hear things.

Thank you for following me and being their to support me.

Brenda Birch Gallaher
Author, An English Summer