Friday, October 24, 2008

The Haunting of Gini

I went up to Jerome last weekend, in order to take part in a Haunted Writer's Retreat.

It was fun and all. Good food. Found some great jewelry. Relaxed -- somewhat. We didn't see any ghosts, of course. Not because we didn't want to. No, we didn't see them...but we did feel their presence.

"Oooh, Gini!" you say. "You felt the icy fingers? Had chills? Felt something walk through you? Heard ghostly howling? Ran into Elvis?"

The ceiling in our room leaked. A lot. From no discernable source.

Before that sounds all exciting, let me quickly say that the hotel determined the source -- a broken pipe that handled bathtub overflow from the rooms in the floor above us -- it just took a while. And the indoor rain about 3 hours. The folks in the room above us had, apparently, run a bath and then forgotten about it, so there was a LOT of water raining (heh) down into our room.

We had plenty to do in those hours, us and the nice kid who was functioning as maintenance. Rearranging the entire room, for starters, since the water was falling on one of the beds. New linens and such. Basically once we were through you could have done some serious break-dancing in the middle of our room. It wasn't conducive to writing, however.

The hotel comped me for the night, of course. But it did make me think -- was it really faulty pipes? Or were the ghosts that supposedly infest this place just playing a prank?

But the one thing I really can't stop thinking about? How do you start running a bath in a hotel room, anywhere, really, and then just forget about it? I really wanted to ask the people above us what they were doing while their bathtub was flooding my room. I have my guesses, of course.

I think they were playing Hide The Haunt. But we'll never know. They disappeared mysteriously the next morning, never to be seen again.

Well, I overstate. They paid their bill and took off before I got up the next day. Though I do hope I don't run into them again -- we've booked the same room for next year's retreat and, really, one wet, haunted ceiling is enough for me.

-- Love, Gini

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Friday, October 17, 2008

Hook Me Up With The Creation Agent

Here's the latest poop and scoop. I've got not one but TWO new things happening and all for YOU. (I'm such a giver, me.)

If you want to get the intimate, hear-it-first, hot-off-the-presses Gini info, then sign up for my 'Hook Me Up!' newsletter. Send an email to with "Hook Me Up!" in the subject line and you'll be added onto my blast email list, so you can be the first to find out what's going on in the World.

Additionally, for my beloved website readers, I'm starting an online, serialized novel, that you'll only find here. The first installment of "The Creation Agent" is up live, so head on over to Expanded Universes and check it out. Feel free to let me know what you think of it via the blog.

Love, Gini

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Thursday, October 9, 2008

Harsh Realities

One of the more interesting bits of information I picked up at the last conference I attended was the way the editorial process works for novels.

At some smaller houses, the editors have free reign -- they choose what they want and, if all goes well, go with it. They like your writing, they like your agent and trust his or her opinion, they think the book can sell, they buy it.

But at most of the bigger houses, it's decided by committee. So, the editor picks your book, likes it enough to champion, and then takes it to the full staff for review. The process varies a bit per house, but your book is going to need a variety of champions in order to make it to the acceptance phase.

There are pros and cons to each, of course. You know at the smaller house that if they like you, they're going for it, which is cool. You know at the bigger house that if they like you, someone fought persuasivly to ensure they ALL like you.

Either way, it helps explain in part why the process takes (to writers) so long. The editor at the smaller house, having full authority, is going to be VERY careful and really consider all the options before saying "it's for us." The editor at the bigger house is going to do that, too, because he or she is going to then have to fight for your book. Careful consideration is being given all along the way.

The positive? When you DO get the contract offer, it's nice to know it means that they like you...they really, really like you!

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Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Conferences ROCK!

Just got back from the Society of Southwestern Author’s Wrangling with Writing conference. Had a BLAST. And, um, well, that’s why I haven’t updated until today.

Not only did I get to hang with my most fabulous agent, but she had me in front of a really smart, savvy editor from a big house, so I could pitch some of my other books…which said editor wants to see. Way cool.

Got to meet other agents, editors and authors and just be with those who ‘get it’, get what the writing life, and the writing business, is like.

But it IS a business, and conferences are part of that business. I’ve had a lot of fellow writers tell me they can’t afford to go to conferences. My response is that you can’t afford not to. Learning how to pitch in person, how to network, how to just relax and be part of the writing group, are all things that successful writers know how to do, and wannabe successful writers need to learn how to do.

In later blogs I’ll parcel out some of the learnings…and some interviews with agents along the way. I’d do it now, but hey! Gotta keep dangling the good stuff to keep the readers coming back for more, right?

Per the conference -- of course right!

Love, Gini

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