Month: April 2013

Thursday’s Children: 04.11.2013


Did I ever tell you I get my novel ideas from dreams?

No joke.

I have yet to start a project that hasn’t arisen directly from a dream. Like a real, nighttime, sleeping dream. I dreamed of Lord Caden and that’s why I wrote SHADOW. I also dreamed really dark scene that eventually evolved into the genderqueer romance/thriller that is SOME KIND OF QUEER. And a couple weeks ago, I dreamed up a new world, new character (named Elinux!) that I’m going to turn into another novel. Eventually.

So. On a different subject. I’ve been thinking about something lately and analyzing an idea that is a crux of SHADOW’s sequel. Then I drove past a billboard for the Marines and it really, really, hit me. The way we exalt and recruit for the military belongs in a dystopian novel. Think about it.

Commericials, billboards, web ads; there’s no getting away from it, and it’s made out to be so positve. No one talks about what really happens in a war zone, or what being part of the military really means. Kids are recruited through college funding and promises of heroism. But’s not like that. Think about the word “military.” Just, seriously, think about it.

Hey, before you get all judgy, I come from a military family. My dad is a Vietnam vet and my brother just got back from Afghanistan okay? They’re not haters, either. I just want everyone to take a step back from national pride and realize how sick American society would make you if it wasn’t “American society.” Like, if it was just a nameless society using every form of propaganda available to recruit the best and brightest youth into a contract of eight years (yes, eight) service in which they would be stripped of individuality, programmed to follow orders, and trained to kill.

Also, the apathy in this country is a nightmare. No one cares. It freaks me out. But I think many people don’t care because they don’t see it. It’s so “normal” it has become part of the background noise.

It’s like the beginning of the Hunger Games movie when they play the video intro about the war and Panem’s history, and Effie’s all “I just love that!” Yeah. *shudder*

I’m not going to go on a longer rant about this, because, well, because I’m writing a novel about it so there’s no need. But it scares me.

Now. Back to the dream thing. I had a dream last night that I was running for political office, and I was trying to make people understand what I’m trying to make you understand. It wasn’t working well, but it was so important.  I woke up in a cold sweat. Sometimes I think my dreams are smacking me in the face with something to which I need to pay close attention. I was already writing a novel about it, but I was a bit overwhelmed by the ambitiousness of the concept (there’s a lot that goes on in this novel). Now I’m not doubting. Now I know I have to write it.

*sigh* Have at it. #controversialblogpost

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Thursday’s Children: 04.04.2013


So, I don’t think any of you will be surprised when I say this is going to be my “How I got my agent” post. Because my agent inspires me.

For those of you who don’t know, I’m officially represented by Eric Ruben, Esq. YAY!!!!!!!

Well, I’m in love with him. Seriously. He and I have the EXACT same vision for my ms. Plus, our personalities mesh and we have the same mindset and yes. Good things.

So. Eric and I started talking on Twitter. (Follow him. Trust me. @RubenAgency) Some of you pointed this out when I signed with him. You were not surprised. We talked a LOT, and about total random BS, not even stuff related to publishing or my novel or literary-ness. But we got along SO well, eventually he asked me when he was going to get to read some of my work. To which I responded, “Whenever you like, Mr. Ruben. :D”

So he requested some pages. Then he requested the full the next day. Then he asked me if I wanted to talk about revisions. And I was like, “YES I WANT TO TALK ABOUT REVISIONS AHHHH!!!!!” So he called me and like I said, our visions match perfectly. Also, he LOVES my voice as a writer, and that’s extremely important to me. Best of all, he gave me ideas of which I didn’t even think, ideas that will enhance my story and showcase my talents and make my manuscript brilliant.

So we’re talking and he goes, “Would you feel more motivated to do these revisions if you knew you were getting this ready to go on submission? How would you feel about being one of my clients?” And literally, the first words out of my mouth are,

“Are you fucking kidding me?”

Well, luckily, he knows me pretty well by this point so he just laughs and tells me he’s serious. We talk about a contract and other businessy things, but that, my darlings, is not the point.

The point is to remember that agents are people. Now, I’m definitely not an expert on agents or publishing. But I want to share my experience and try to make this process a little less terrifying for everyone, and I wouldn’t have signed with my fabulous agent at all if I hadn’t accidentally figured this out. You want to know a secret? Eric actually rejected me. Yes, yes he did. I queried him several months back and received a form letter. And yes, for the same manuscript.

However. Agents represent people, not projects. My project needs a lot of work. It’s not even close to ready. (Like, really.) But my personality is something my agent said he’d hate to see someone else represent. I know it sucks to be on the other side of this like, “Thanks, Jessie, what does that mean to me?” But here’s what I’m telling you: agents aren’t scary gatekeepers of some mythical land where book deals are signed and dreams come true. They’re people. Granted, people with skills and connections you want and need, who can certainly help you make your dreams come true. But people nonetheless. And like any person with whom you want to have a relationship, they have to get to know you. You have to get to know them. I know it’s intimidating, especially when the advice out there is like, “Don’t say one wrong thing or you will be killed by agent firing squad.” But it’s not like that. It’s really not. I promise. You trust me, right? Many agents are really approachable on Twitter and as long as you aren’t creepy or stalkerish or annoying, it’s a great way to connect. And hey, even if you don’t get an offer of rep out of it, you’ll meet some fantastic people who you’d be afraid to talk to otherwise.

Alright. I’m getting off my soapbox. I love you guys. I’m really happy with Eric and I’m extremely excited about the future, and I know you will continue to be with me every step of the way. 😀 ❤ Thursday’s Children FTW.

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