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Writer Tip: Abby Wood

“The best tip given to me when I started my writing career is…BE PROFESSIONAL. From your first query letter to your follow-up thank you that you send after receiving a rejection. Publishers, editors, and reviewers will remember how professional you acted. You want them to know that you take your job seriously. Remember: You want to leave doors open. Don’t give them a chance to slam the door with diva-like behavior.”

Visit Abby Wood’s website at www.authorabbywood.com
Purchase Abby’s latest release, Throwing a Kink in the Kidnapping.

Writer Tip: Vivi Andrews

“My advice is to give yourself permission to suck when you’re generating the first draft. You can worry about making it beautiful and flawless in revisions, but the first draft isn’t meant to be perfect. I know if I don’t give myself permission to write dreck, my overachiever tendencies will kick in and I will spend all my time revising and rewriting that first chapter, never getting out of the starting gate. So instead I braindump the entire first draft onto the page, fully expecting it to be unreadable. And strangely enough, when I start revising, I often find it needs much less fixing than I thought it would.”

Visit Vivi Andrews’ website at www.viviandrews.com
Purchase one of Vivi’s releases – Serengeti Storm or Shifting Dreams

Writer Tip: Anna Campbell

“My best advice if you’re starting out is sit down and write a whole book from page one to the end. That will teach you more than anything else, wonderful as the resources available to a writer are. Don’t listen to the siren call of a new idea when you hit the doldrums. Keep plugging on until you finish that manuscript. Then put the book under the bed for six months and write something else. Only then come back to edit the first manuscript – you’ll be amazed what writing a second manuscript has taught you. The other benefit of putting your work aside for an extended period of time is that you can see mistakes more easily once you’re not quite so close to the story.”

Visit Anna Campbell’s website at www.annacampbell.info
Purchase Anna’s upcoming release, My Reckless Surrender (June 2010)

Writer Tip: Shelley Munro

“My advice is to keep hope in the mail ie. always have more than one submission out with editors or agents at a time. If you receive a rejection, this means you’ll still have another submission to pin your hopes on, and it will cushion your disappointment about the rejection.

During my pre-published days I found the hope in the mail method worked well for me. I entered contests. I submitted manuscripts to editors and agents. I worked out a plan for each manuscript, and if I received a rejection, I’d evaluate the feedback and move on to the next part of my plan. Since becoming published, I still adhere to the hope in the mail method as much as possible. Having more than one submission floating around really does help cushion disappointment if you receive a rejection.”

You’re already at Shelley’s website. Why don’t you explore a little while you’re here?
Purchase Shelley’s next release, The Bottom Line.

Writer Tip: Victoria Janssen

“Read everything you can, both inside and outside your genre.”

Visit Victoria Janssen’s website at www.victoriajanssen.com
Purchase Victoria’s latest release, The Moonlight Mistress

Writer Tip: Samantha Kane

“Editing: The most important thing you will ever do. I’m not kidding. First, self-edit. Find your style. Do you like to edit as you write? Do you prefer to finish the first draft and then go back and edit? Fine. The important thing is that you do it. You may scoff, but there are people out there who skip this step altogether. Amazing but true. Cross your t’s, dot your i’s, and edit for grammar and punctuation. Then edit for content: GMC, characterization, plot consistency, romantic conflict, dialogue and dialogue tags. It is not your writing group’s, your critique partner’s or your editor’s job to do this. That’s right, IT IS NOT YOUR EDITOR’S JOB. By the time you send your manuscript to your editor it should be as clean as you can possibly make it. Most editors will tell you that their job is content editing, not line editing. And if you send a submission full of errors to an editor or agent? In most cases they won’t read past the first glaring mistake.

Second, edits from an editor or agent. Do them. Suck it up and drive on. You all three have the same goal: to produce the best, most marketable book possible. If they have to fight you every step of the way, then guess what? You’re not worth their time. Because there are writers out there who will gladly do the edits. And that is the author they would rather work with. The best advice I ever received was from writer Claudia Dain, who said the correct response to an editor’s request for rewrites or edits was, “You want words? I’ve got words. I’m a writer.” I have followed that advice religiously. I do the edits, I don’t argue, I get them done on time, and I hand them in with a thank you. And yes, this does make a difference in how I’m treated. And I also think my books are better for every edit I have made. Remember, editors and agents are your first readers. If something doesn’t work for them, chances are it won’t work for Jane Doe Reader, either.”

Visit Samantha Kane’s website at www.samanthakane.us
Purchase Samantha’s latest release, Love in Exile.

Writer Tip: Jody Wallace aka Ellie Marvel

“Grammar matters. So does punctuation. Seriously, they do, and your future editors don’t exist to fix them for you. Editors reject books that need basic grammatical polishing even if the story’s good.

But here’s the awesome part. The correctness of grammar and mechanics, 95% of the time, isn’t a matter of opinion, unlike so many other aspects of writing. Revel in the security you can at least get that part of your book “right”. Just be careful, and don’t trust Microsoft or anyone who tells you to put a comma where you pause when you read it aloud or that the word “was” means you overused passive voice.”

Visit Jody Wallace’s website at www.jodywallace.com
Purchase Jody’s latest release What She Deserves, now in electrons from Samhain Publishing!

Writer Tip: Gail Carriger

“I believe that to make it as a writer takes a combination of skill, persistence, and luck. William Feather aptly puts it, “Success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go.” There is no way to predict what will be the right pitch at the right time, so my only advise is the kind no one wants to hear. Sit down, write, and finish. Correct it and send it off. Then ignore it and write something completely different. Then send that off. Don’t get attached to your work. Because that’s what it is. Work. Not your art. Not your baby. Just your work. If you can’t disconnect yourself, I don’t think you’ll be emotionally able to survive this industry. ”

Visit Gail Carriger’s website at www.gailcarriger.com
Purcahse one of Gail’s books – Soulless was trust upon the unsuspecting public Oct 1, 2009. Changelessis due in April of 2010, and Blameless September 2010.

Almost the Kitchen Sink…Examining Handbags

I met two girlfriends for coffee this week and the subject of handbags came up. I’ve been thinking about doing a blog post on handbags and their contents for ages so I con…ah, persuaded them to let me photograph what they were carrying in their bags. Note – they both censored their contents a little!

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This is what my friend Tessa Radley had in her handbag.

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This is what my friend, Jo had in her handbag.

I’ve been carrying around my briefcase this week. It contains my alphasmart, wallet (credit cards, driver’s licence etc), house keys, flash drive, camera, Palm PDA (e-reader), small makeup bag, canvas bag (instead of using plastic bags), chewing gum, about five pens, notebook, a library book about Distance Relationships, bus ticket, iPod, tissues, sunglasses, business cards in silver case, and cell phone.

Maybe you should call me Gadget Girl. :grin:

The typical handbag of a typical woman in 1945 contained:

One or two lipsticks
A compact(the won’t close)
1 fresh handkerchief
2/3 crumpled handkerchiefs
A package of letters
The laundry bill
3 tickets from the cleaner
1 nylon stocking to be repaired
1 address book
1 pack of cigarettes
3 packs of matches
1 leather picture folder
All ration books (including expired ones)
Several cards with address of a furrier,
a wholesale place for children’s coats, a beauty parlor, a graphologist, etc.
2 scraps of paper with telephone numbers
and no names
1 hairnet
1 bottle of vitamins
3 samples of slipcovers
1 fountain pen
2 pencils
1 parcel of V-mail letters covering
several months held by a rubber band.

The typical handbag of a typical woman today:

ATM Card
Cell Phone / Blackberry
Change Purse
Checkbook
Crumpled Tissues
Hand Cream
Hair Brush
Keys
Lip Balm
Nail File
Makeup case filled to capacity
Pens
Wallet and credit cards

One bag is not enough
Our contents spill over into our totebags,
where you will find:
Agenda
Bottled Water
Paperback Book/Magazine
Newspaper
Shoes to change at work
Umbrella

I thought the differences were quite interesting.

Source: Accessory Web

Do you carry a handbag, and if so, what do you have in it? (note – if you’d like to send me a photo of your handbag contents I’ll post them next week)