Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Writers' League Chat

Pitches are like a snapshot of your book. It gives your agent/editor the essence of your novel. You should have three pitches: One line, one paragraph and a short synopsis.

The one-line pitch is like a TV Guide blurb. My one-line pitch for SCOOP was, “It’s a southern-fried Janet Evanovich.”

The one-paragraph pitch is like a back cover blurb. My one-paragraph for SCOOP was “Starting over after a truly bad marriage and armed with a freshly minted journalism degree, Cauley is disappointed to find that the only job she can get in her hometown of Austin is as an obituary writer - something that only happens to interns who've been very good, or reporters who've been very bad. Somehow, Cauley's managed to do both. While on the hunt for a story that will get her off the Death Page, Cauley's life takes a turn for the worse when hapless childhood friend, Scott Barnes, threatens suicide and barricades himself in a dilapidated old shed where he phones Cauley for help. Cauley is soon devastated when she discovers Barnes dead at his computer with an empty bottle of bourbon and a computer-generated suicide note. Soon, Cauley is up to her eyelashes in dead bodies and everyone wants to know what Barnes said in the shed - the last time anyone saw him alive.”

Killer Query
A query is similar to a pitch, but it also provides a snapshot of you, who you are, what you’re writing and why you chose this particular agent.

Queries are three paragraphs limited to one page. The first paragraph is about the agent, the second is about the book, the third is about you. That’s it.

For more insider info, email me about the Perfect Pitch, Killer Query wonline workshop beginning June 1. Mention the Texas Writers’ League and get a $5 discount!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Sad news . . .

My goslings are gone. They were getting bigger every day, then one disappeared, then the other.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Back to Writers' League of Texas & Cyndi Hughes

I was horsing around online the other day (which I call Pretend Writing--it feels kind of like writing but is really just goofing off) when I discovered pal Cyndi Hughes (former Texas Book Festival founder) is now the director of Writers' League of Texas!

We went to Threadgill's yesterday (she had veggies and I had a wonderful, heartclogging, inject gravy directly into your veins chicken fried steak) and we talked about the new things going on at the League, including her Build a Book series, that covers everything from sitting your butt down at the computer to getting yourself an agent.

In that vein, I'm going to be on a panel on how to get your self an agent next Thursday, so come on over and meet me there!

Austin Mix & Mingle Happy Hour
5 - 7 PM
Doc's Motorworks Bar & Grill, 1123 S. Congress (two blocks south of the WLT office)
Come get to know fellow members or learn more about the Writers' League. After Happy Hour, join us at the WLT office for our monthly program, "The Big Windup: Prepping Your Pitch, Proposal, and Synopsis."

Saturday, May 9, 2009

How much cuteness can you stand?

So the goslings came up on the island with their mama and daddy, and I just ask you, how much cuteness can you stand???

They didn't even mind R weedeating with that noisy weedeater!

Friday, May 8, 2009

The Geese are Back!

We're out on the property, busting tail and trying to get in the utilities when look who showed up! The Canadian geese are back, and they brought the little ones!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Confessions of a Contest Slut . . .

Nearly a decade ago, I was at bestselling author Julie Ortolon’s house, doing some work for the newspaper we both worked for when I noticed she had rows of framed awards hanging on the walls of her home office.

When I asked what kind of awards they were, she glanced over her shoulder and said, “Oh. They’re awards for romance writing contests.”

I was in awe. I had won writing awards at the newspaper, but the publisher keeps those—you want to look at your own award, you have to actually show up to work, and what fun is that?
But here were these rows and rows of awards bedazzled with glittery gold stars and official seals, proof that she was a writer with a capital “W.”

I knew then and there I had to get me some of those awards for my very ownself.
What I did not know was that contest wins were a ticket to the top of the slush pile, and ultimately how I got both my agent and my first editor.

But contests did something else for me: the judges behind the contests taught me to be a better writer.

Contests can tell you if your story idea and GMC (goal, motivation and conflict) is strong enough to carry an entire book, where to start your story, scene and sequel an proper manuscript format, all things you’re going to have to know before you get The Call.

That day in her office, Ortolon printed out a list of contests she liked based on agent/editor judges and critique value, and bam! I was hooked.

Now I want to help you final in your contest, and how to parlay that win into a contract! Email me at kitfrazier@yahoo.com to sign up!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Family, family . . .

Well, it turned out to be a weekend of family! We were going to work on the house, but it was R's dad's 86th birthday party, and most of the 12 children were in attendance (along with their 40-some odd extended family). . . I made my famous Barracho Beans for Saturday, and we had a ball.

We had so much fun we invited the out-of-towners to the house Sunday, and we got a housefull!
Kittie Boy was his usual surly self, but nobody got bit, everyone got a boat ride, and we all had fish, which put Puss Boy in a considerably better mood. Today, however, I paid for his inconvenience . . .

Barnes & Noble Round Rock Signing

Barnes & Noble Round Rock Signing
My friend Pantera with Tahoe & Me

Tahoe and a new friend at the signing