Monday, September 3, 2012

Gearing Up to get an Agent: Meet and Greet

Deana Barnhart

Good morning bloggers! Happy Labor Day to everyone in the U.S. Hopefully you're all sleeping in and getting in a final cookout before summer ends.

September kicks of Gearing Up to get an Agent (GUTGAA) over on Deana Barnhart's blog, a blog hop and contest opportunity for those of us trying to get our work published. Today starts with a meet and greet for the participating bloggers. You can see a brief bio to the right. My current work is Young Adult historical set in the 1960s, and future projects are all YA Contemporary, where my heart lies. 

Meet and Greet!

Where do you write?
On the couch with my laptop and usually a kitty or my husband nearby. Sometimes I send myself lines in an email or a text depending on where I am and what I'm doing.

Quick. Go to your writing space, sit down and look to your left. What is the first thing you see?
My cat: Mitch
A kitty or a space on the couch full of fur where the kitty sits. 

Favorite time to write?
I love it when I can block off a whole Saturday, but if I can get some work done early Saturday I feel like I've accomplished something.


Drink of choice while writing?
Usually just water, or else herbal tea.

When writing , do you listen to music or do you need complete silence?
I accomplish much more with silence. Sometimes I don't realize I've been sitting in silence until an hour goes by. I've been known to queue up Netflix while I work; I watched the entire Felicity and Gilmore Girls series primarily while writing.

What was your inspiration for your latest manuscript and where did you find it?
Image: Wikimedia Commons
My story THE ASTRONAUT'S DAUGHTER is YA set during the space race era of the 1960s. Last year when the space shuttle program ended, I was amazed to hear serious discussion about privatizing space travel. Just 50-60 years ago rockets were volatile death traps! I started thinking about the early astronauts and what that must of been like for the families. Setting my story in 1963 meant I could show the fame and fortune the astronaut families experienced, along with the contrasting civil rights movement, and of course, the Kennedy assassination. What would it have been like for the daughter of an astronaut to go through all of this -- sudden popularity, changing worldviews and threats to her father's safety? 

What's your most valuable writing tip?
READ. Know the genre you're writing in as well as you can, but still take time to read outside of it. Ninety percent of my reading over the past two years has been YA because my story is, but I make sure I read books outside of YA.

See below for the other blogs involved:

78 comments:

  1. Your novel sounds really interesting, great period to have set it in.

    Love Gilmore Girls!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ooooh! Love the writing tip. I heard long ago that the best writers come from the best readers, so I use that as an excuse to glut myself on fiction. :D

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm impressed you can write and watch television at the same time. I'd be way too distracted.

    Your novel sounds great!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, I'm often distracted. I get more done with the TV off, but sometimes I need the filler.

      Delete
  4. I can totally relate to piles of kitty fur everywhere lol!

    Nice to meet you! :D

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi there! I think I remember seeing your title in the query pages at WriteOnCon, right? It sounds great, and anything set in the '60's has to be good!

    Best of luck with GUTGAA! See you on twitter!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, yes! WriteonCon was super helpful, although my head was spinning after all the feedback.

      Delete
  6. Cats are the best writing buddies! Your book sounds intriguing. Best wishes with #GUTGAA

    ReplyDelete
  7. Love your WIP concept, very intriguing. Best wishes. I have a cat helper, too. ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  8. My writing is YA, and I admit that my reading material, like yours, is about 90% YA because it is what I write. :) Your book sounds great!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I totally agree about reading. I try to read a book a week to stay on top of things.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Wow. Now there's a book idea that makes you think!

    Very nice to meet you!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Love the kitty pic ;) My 5 year old wants to know his/her name. She loves kitties! Also your novel sounds fascinating! I would love to read it! :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hi Stephanie! Nice to meet you. I'm also a Saturday writer. Also, I feel that I've been reading tons of YA for a couple of years and have to make myself read outside the genre sometimes.

    ReplyDelete
  13. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hi Stephanie,

    I really like your tip-READ. It's so crucial, luckily I have a book blog so I make it a priority to read & review YA. I think it is so neat to see how the genre has changed in the past 5 years.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog!

    Patrice

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thanks everyone! I love reading how everyone's inspiration came about for their novels.

    Also, I removed a duplicate comment above :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. Wow, your novel sounds great! I love astronaut-themed books/movies. And I'm impressed that you can write with TV on--I always end up paying too much attention. But I love music on and I know some people can't do that either, so it would seem to be a very individual thing.

    My M&G post is here, if you want to check it out: http://thinkingtoinking.blogspot.com.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hi Stephanie! Your MS sounds fascinating. I would read that in a heartbeat. Totally agree with your tip. I adore YA, of course, but I have to remind myself to read out of it every now and again. :)

    ReplyDelete
  18. Reading? Yeppers, that’s something I do tons of. Wathing TV while writing? I can’t even imagine it. I would not be able to focus one little, ittiy bit! =)

    ReplyDelete
  19. I'd love to read your book after it's published. I always like finding other writers of contemporary historical.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hi Stephanie! Your book sounds good. Cute cat!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Great advice! ANd your story sounds awesome. I wish I could've lived in the 60s.. or at leas time travel and hang out at Woodstock or something. ;)
    Great to meet you!

    ReplyDelete
  22. The "read" tip is a good one, and I'll add to it-sometimes you can deduct all those books you bought as "research" on your tax returns. My BF is a musician, and he lists all of our concert tickets as "research" on his tax return.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I write with the TV on too! Right now it's some ridiculous SyFy vampire movie. :-) Nice to meet you!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Cute kitty cat! Mitch looks like an adorable and sweet cat to have!

    Nice to meet you! :)

    ReplyDelete
  25. Oh, your novel sounds so cool. I'm still toying with the idea of setting my YA contemporary (not what I'm working on now)in the early 70s.

    And yes to reading!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Your cat looks eerily like mine. If not for the fact that we don't share a continent, I'd say we were sharing him.. Odd.
    Anyway, lovely to meet you. And your story sounds very interesting. Read you around!

    ReplyDelete
  27. I need to find a really good herbal tea. Something that doesn't make me fall asleep. I'm your newest follower! *waves* Very nice to meet you!

    AA
    http://anallegedauthor.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  28. Yes! Read. Such great advice. I try and find as much time as I can to do this, but alas, writing is more fun for me than reading.

    But we can't be writers unless we read.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Happy Labor Day to you too Stephanie...I wish I could multitask by watching TV and working/writing at the same time- that sounds like a super power right there. Enjoy GUTGAA!

    ReplyDelete
  30. My favorite advice - to READ. Something I cannot wait to do every day.
    Nice to meet you!

    ReplyDelete
  31. A Girl and Her Diary - I love this! I've kept diaries since I was a girl and, while I've been slacking lately, I really enjoy it. I have a whole shelf full of them. I also have a poor memory, so they're great for researching parts of my life I can't quite remember. (Believe it or not, I've actually used them for that purpose...and I'm only 28!)

    ReplyDelete
  32. Not at all about writing but I seriously love your background!!

    I WiLL be hosting some of GUTGAA's find a beta reader stuff on my blog, so stop by tomorrow!

    ReplyDelete
  33. Your story sounds fascinating. I'd definitely read about an astronaut's daughter! Plus, your cat looks an awful lot like mine. Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  34. Hello! Adding my voice to the rest loving the sound of your novel. I'm not a big reader of YA (blame Twilight) but the premise really catches my attention :D

    ReplyDelete
  35. Nice to meet you! I also think that reading is the best way to learn:

    ReplyDelete
  36. I have a hard time reading books that aren't YA these days, although I do try! And often when I read (non YA), I get inspired, so it's totally worth it.

    Your book sounds awesome - a perfect storm of historic events that will provide lots of tension & conflict! Best of luck in the contest!

    ReplyDelete
  37. Thanks for visiting my blog (Custard and Clues), Stephanie! I've long been a space-travel fan, and remember watching the first Moon walk with the whole family--we actually moved the TV from the den into the living room for the big event. So I'm looking forward to The Astronaut's Daughter.

    Since hot lava is one of the most amazing things I've ever seen (the aurora borealis is another), I thought it would make a good premise for a mystery novel--body is seen being covered up by hot lava and never seen again.

    This Meet and Greet is terrific, eh?

    cheers,
    Leslie

    ReplyDelete
  38. Great advice! I love YA, but I still step out of it once in a while to liven things up. Nice to meet you, and totally unrelated to writing: I love the color scheme of your blog. :) Good luck with GUTGAA!

    ReplyDelete
  39. I love your take on the astronaut's daughter. I can't write with the TV on - but I do watch a lot of children's channel stuff so I know to keep up with TV as well as books. I can write without music on although it often helps to keep the flavour of the writing right. My big me-only thing is that I plan at major sporting events.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Oh my gosh, I'm completely in love with your story idea. What a brilliant idea, and an ambitious project. Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I only hope I execute it well. I have to hold back on historical detail sometimes and keep in mind a contemporary vibe.

      Delete
  41. With the sad passing of Neil Armstrong, your book could hardly be more timely. Like Leslie, I remember that moonwalk, and I even remember my grandmother having us sit in front of her TV to watch John Glenn's orbiting the earth.

    And after the moon landing I even sent off from the comic papers (!) for a little bit of lunar real estate. Sadly, I probably still don't have the deed to my one square foot. But you never know...

    Good luck getting this agented!

    ReplyDelete
  42. Yay! I was your 200th follower! Nice to meet you! I love your writing tip. I am a writer only because I was a reader first. Thanks for putting the linky-list on your post, too. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I may need to do a giveaway this month! I have a few great books too, one is signed. :)

      Delete
  43. Ah ha, my twitter GUTGAAN. I have finally reached you, lol. And I'm so glad I didn't skip ahead. I love the premise of your story. What a great time in our history to focus on. Good luck with GUTGAA. Stop by and say hello if you get the chance. http://anjeasandro.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  44. Good advice about reading. It seems like lately I only read MG or textbooks!

    ReplyDelete
  45. I went to Scobee Elementary, and our mascot was the Challenger! Talk about a grim symbol. Nice to meet you!

    ReplyDelete
  46. Your reading tip is a great reminder. It's always good to be familiar with the genre you're writing in and reading makes that happen.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Love the idea for your manuscript! Historical fiction has always intimidated me, because I've always been afraid I'd get something wrong. I give MAD PROPS to everyone who can pull it off, and it sounds like your novel has done it!

    ReplyDelete
  48. I try to read whenever I can. Unfortunately though, sometimes I get so engrossed in a book, mine suffers.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Your book sounds fantastic! I love that era. I've been toying around with getting in on this GUTGAA thing. Wow, there are a lot of people participating! Almost makes my head spin a little! Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  50. Bebopping over from GUTGAA to say Hi! Your story idea sounds like a great idea :) Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  51. i love your story inspiration! didnt know about that & what a great idea! nice to meet you!

    ReplyDelete
  52. I was SO set on being an astronaut as a kid. Your novel sounds great! Also, Netflix is an excellent companion. I like having a little Michael Scott as I write.

    Following your blog now. :) Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  53. Wow! What an idea for a MS! I am super impressed. I don't know that I could do the amount of research it takes for historical fiction. I really hope your book gets picked up to be published though! And it's lovely that your heart lies with contemporary YA...so does mine:) Thanks for stopping by my blog!
    -Jenna (obvious abuser of the exclamation point)

    ReplyDelete
  54. Hi Stephanie,

    It's so nice to meet you!

    Your WIP sounds so awesome. I love history and I am dying to read it. I've seen it around in the contests and have been intrigued. Good luck with it.

    And good luck with GUTGAA.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I've reworked my first lines a lot but I'm still not happy with them. At least some of the contest feedback (a different one that GUTGAA) confirmed what I need to work on. I love reading first pages where writers really nail it. It's tough.

      Delete
  55. Love the idea for your WIP! And be glad there is a cat space beside you while writing. Mine tends to think that when I am writing, this is the best time to get laps and pets. :) Good luck with GUTGAA!

    ReplyDelete
  56. texting yourself lines - that's a great tip in and of itself :)See you around GUTGAA!

    ReplyDelete
  57. I like Mitch's picture. I have a writing cat too. His name is Tesla.

    http://otherworlddiner.blogspot.com/2012/09/deana-barnharts-gearing-up-to-get-agent.html

    ReplyDelete
  58. Aww, yay for kitties who help you write :) Your story sounds really interesting - good luck in GUTGAA!

    And I'm glad you liked the ponies ^_^

    ReplyDelete
  59. I've got my own kitty at my left side. I've sstrategically placed a blanket under her to catch the fur. Neat idea for a book!

    ReplyDelete
  60. I agree with you, it's so important to be a good reader if you want to be a good writer. What better way to learn the craft than seeing what the masters are doing?

    Enjoy GUTGAA!

    ReplyDelete
  61. Hey there! I think I recognize your story from Write On Con last month. nice to see you again!

    ReplyDelete
  62. Your novel sounds really interesting, and especially poignant given Neil Armstrong's recent death.

    ReplyDelete
  63. Wow, a ton of comments here! Thanks for stopping by my blog. I'm enjoying GUTGAA. It's going to be a lot of fun.

    ReplyDelete
  64. Great advice!
    Nice to meet you!

    Trish
    GUTGAA

    ReplyDelete
  65. I can't remember if I already commented or not....so..

    hi! I love when you can block of those big time slots for writing, but lately my blocks have been filled with reading. It's much easier to sit and read then it is to think!

    ReplyDelete
  66. Thank you for commenting on my blog. I'm a little behind with the GUTGAA meets due to the upheaval of getting my middle daughter ready for middle school. It was such a big step for her. Still, here I am, and I must say, your advice about reading is dead on. A writer can't write something (s)he doesn't understand (aka genre) but also needs to widen the mind with reading outside the genre.

    ReplyDelete
  67. Aww, your kitty is adorable. Excellent advice on reading lots of books.

    ReplyDelete
  68. Wow, what an ambitious story you wrote! I'm super impressed. And I can't believe you can write and watch TV at the same time. I am the worst multitasker alive, so I can't even imagine. :-) Nice to get to know you more, Stephanie.

    ReplyDelete
  69. Fascinating period and story line! I hadn't thought about what a short time it really is, in terms of history, between the initial space race and now talking about privatization. I wonder how sci-fi writers of the 60's would feel about it. Would they be surprised or would they feel like they predicted it? Thanks for stopping by!

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse, visiting my fellow GUTGAA participants!

    ReplyDelete
  70. What an awesome story line. Would love to read it. :) Good luck in GUTGAA and thanks for stopping by Beyond The Hourglass Bridge. :)
    Kat

    ReplyDelete
  71. I love Apollo 13 because they did include a little about the lives of the astronauts outside of space travel. Your book sounds so fascinating, pulling all those huge historical issues together. On a totally different note - I love your kitty pics!

    ReplyDelete

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.