How Writers Made It BIG: A series


Ladies and Gents, I am more than thrilled to introduce to you the series: How Writer's Made It Big.
Within these series, you can read the stories on how a few of America's favorite author's hit the best selling list like Stephen King, Nicholas Sparks, John Green, ect.

I look forward to sharing their stories with you, and the first story I'll be telling is the one of the beloved Stephenie Meyer.
Like her or not, this woman is a genius.






It started with a dream. A literal one. One about a lion falling in love with a lamb, a vampire falling in love with a human.

"Though I had a million things to do, I stayed in bed, thinking about the dream. Unwillingly, I eventually got up and did the immediate necessities, and then put everything that I possibly could on the back burner and sat down at the computer to write—something I hadn't done in so long that I wondered why I was bothering,” Meyer said.


Quickly after, Meyer developed a plot for this dream she had, and three months later, she finished the novel we know as Twilight.

Like most of us, Meyer was quite naive about the publishing process. She thought, and I quote, "I thought it worked like this: you printed a copy of your novel, wrapped it up in brown paper, and sent it off to a publishing house."

But knowing what we know now, the publishing process doesn't quite work that way. Eventually, Meyer subscribed to Writer's Market and found a few literary agencies and publishing houses that she liked. She then sent out a total of FIFTEEN query letters, receiving a few rejections along the way, and then getting picked up by literary agent, Jodi Reamer, a month later.

Together, Reamer and Meyer worked on Twilight for two weeks before sending it to Megan Tingley (of Megan Tingley Books, of Little, Brown and Company ) and then, well, the rest is all history--no, seriously.
In six months, Meyer dreamt, wrote, and published Twilight.
Within one month it was number five on the New York Time's Bestseller list, and within a year, Twilight was named one of Publisher Weekly's best children books of '05.
In the next three years, she completed and published the series, becoming the best selling book of 2008 and 2009.

Today, her books have been translated into 37 different languages.

It's crazy when you consider the time line of things. It's hard for me to even wrap my head around the idea of becoming a best selling author in one year. What the heck?!




Rejections: 

I'm not sure how many total rejections Meyer received for Twilight, other than the two she mentioned on her web page. According to the good ol' wiki, she got rejected 14 times. Which means that all of her agents, except for one lucky one, wanted to take on her project.

Why Twilight worked for Meyer:

Twilight worked because it was the purple cow of the industry. I mean, hello: vampires who sparkle in the sunlight instead of die, and a teenage girl who devotes her life to someone who wants to kill her. That's pretty strange if I say so myself, but people want strange--better than that, they want strange romances!

Where are they now: 

As of October of this year, Meyer is on a new project: The Storytellers--New creative voices of the Twilight series. Meyer is teaming up with filmmakers and producing short films on a broad number of characters from the Twilight saga.

She is also wanting to know which characters we want to see in film! So hit her up on her social media:
Twitter
FickleFish
Facebook

How can we learn from Meyer?

Well, how can we not? If you have a dream--one that you are so completely in love with--don't run from it, run with it.
Because within a year, you could write and publish that dream novel.



Till next time blog world,

Stay tuned for more from this series!

Throwing The Manuscript Away

Not literally. I didn't have it printed yet.
But virtually, yes . . . yes I did.

Below, I've inserted a clear visual of what sort of happened . . . .








Now, allow me to let you in on a few things that led to the fall...

1.) That one book I told ya'll I was working on (you know the one that was going to be a series?) I probably haven't worked on that since April.

2.)  I managed to get two new jobs.

3.) I fell in love . . . ha, just kidding.

4.) I've been watching a lot of TV shows on Netflix. (Supernatural, Scandal...)

5.) And also, I have two nephews. That's enough to make me quit just about anything.

I'd like to believe that it was a mixture of these things that made me realize that what I was writing wasn't appealing to me.

In fact, I kept asking myself, "What if no one likes this? Who am I trying to portray...and really, Britney, do you think that's a good idea?"

I know I can be hard on myself--I am truly my own worst enemy--but if I'm psyched about a book idea, I take it and run until it's finished.

So this summer when I began a new manuscript for a different story, I was pumped . . . at first. It happened slowly, and then all at once, like a rush of water. Then I wasn't excited about it anymore.

I couldn't write.

Naturally, I thought it was writer's block. But after a few months of letting it sit, I quickly realized that it wasn't that. This manuscript was more like a diary, so it was easier to write. I wrote about 30,000 words total--20,000 shy from a novella.

I had a game plan--I wanted to get it finished--but, I wasn't in love with it.

There was no spark.

The characters made me smile, but the story-line was saddening.

So I deleted it. Crazy, right?

Okay, okay. I didn't actually "delete" the story, I still have the rough outline. But, from that outline, I found a story within a story, still allowing me to use the characters I love.

Basically, what I'm getting at here is that there are benefits from starting over. Obviously, starting over from scratch is a bit drastic, but if it works, it works--and it worked for me.

Maybe you could benefit from deleting your manuscript, too? As Hemingway once said, "The first draft of anything is...." fill in the blank.

(Hint: a four letter word that rhymes with kick...)

I hope all is well.

Ha, till next time blog world!

Over and out.





Querying Jenny Bent


AKA, the mystery woman behind my personalized rejection letter....


                                       (Photo from: http://www.thebentagency.com/agent_jenny_bent.php)


So here's the need-to-know about Jenny Bent!

She is a literary agent and the founder of the Bent Agency. She represents commercial adult fiction, YA, middle grade, memoirs, and selective narrative non fiction. Jenny specifically wants a novel that will speak to the heart--we're talking raw emotion, ya'll. Ideally, she wants a book that will make her laugh and cry, or do both at the same time.


Have you queried Jenny Bent? How did it work out?

I have queried The Bent Agency. I actually sent Jenny a query on September 14th of this year! Unfortunately, it did not work out for me, but that is okay. I still believe in this agency, and the agent profiles seem to be quite legit! I suggest everyone checking them out! (Here's the link!)




What was the response time?

The response time was incredibly fast! I sent my query on September 14th, and she responded five days later, on September 19th. I was actually in the middle of my Marketing class when I got the notification on my phone. Honestly, I thought the response was a good one until I got to the end of it, but I was so in shock I didn't have any room left to be upset. Haha, thank you, Jenny!



Would you ever query her again?

If I write a novel that is to her liking, I would be more than willing to query her again. She's on the top of my list, and I'm kind of curious to know if this was a personalized rejection or not.

How can I query Jenny Bent?

You can contact Jenny by emailing her at queries@thebentagency.com
However, I highly suggest that you check out the submission guidelines first.

Bonus:

Follow Jenny on twitter and check out her blog. There's some neat stuff on there.

Also, if you're curious to know what that rejection letter looked like, follow this link to an old blog post! Click Here!

Well, that's all for this blog post. As always, let me know what your experiences are with these agents! Good luck with the queries!

Till next time blog world!

Cough Medicine, Writer's Block, and A Silver Lining


So, it's one am my time, I'm doped up on cough medicine, and I can't sleep.

My Current State of Confusion...


I can't stop thinking about writing.

I guess I've never questioned myself this much before.

The theme for my new manuscript keeps changing, and I can't figure out who my characters are anymore, or who they're supposed to be. It's like questioning my own identity.

Where do I go from here? Do I just pick up the pieces and move on, am I experiencing writer's block or side effects from this cough medicine?

And should I be querying my other manuscript while I'm writing? What do I do at a time like this besides wait?

I feel like I'm always waiting--waiting on words, waiting on feedback, waiting on agents, waiting for this commercial to end....

And I can't stop thinking about that movie I just watched (for like the millionth time,) A Silver Lining's Playbook. If you like crazy people, love stories, football, and writing, this movie is for you, hands down.

Well anyway, one of the main characters, Tiffany, goes off on one of her crazy moments...inserts gif...


And sometimes I feel that way after I write, like somehow my own words are betraying me by not giving me anything else to say . . . like they're judging me. It seems irreversible.

It's like, how the heck am I supposed to finish this chapter if my brain doesn't work the way I want it to?

Why are my main characters so complicated, and why is the word excelsior still stuck in my head?

And now, I'm going wayy too deep. I think that night time medicine is setting in.

On a more serious note, does anyone have any advice about writer's block? Is this normal, the way I feel?
And seriously, check out this movie, or even the book, it's my favorite.

Till next time, ya'll!

Happy Writing Days!

#PitMad What?!?!

So, it appears I've started looking for agents again . . .  This time, I had luck! Friends, did you just hear that?! Seven ...