This is a space where we collaborate on all things writing, reading and publishing. Our hope is that our posts will both inspire and enlighten you on your own journey.
Now it’s time to meet the team!
Hey! I’m Tania! A.K.A. The Independent Variable. You may refer to me as the former rather than later. I enjoy everything vintage and not of my time: Old Hollywood, the Golden Age of piracy, and Parisian fashion from the 1950s. When I’m not drooling over one of the three, I’m usually found with a nose in a book. I’ll try to read anything, but usually choose fiction and thrillers.
What are you currently reading? The American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin
you could be a fictional character who would you be? If I were a fictional character, I would be Mazikeen Smith. A devilish character with a soft side? Not much of a change for me!
Morgan is a lover of fashion, beauty and fitness with a keen interest in fantasy and fictional realism. You may find her watching YouTube, a show that mirrors that of the Vampire Diaries or going outside to explore nature.
What are you currently reading:Ms. Kopp Just Won’t Quit by Amy Stewart
If you could be a fictional character who would you be? If she were to be any fictional character, it would be Chris Traeger from Parks and Recreation.
Sophia is a movie loving, Disney fanatic who loves to share random facts and eat late night snacks. I love to write in my journal on my own time just in case I have a Notebook moment and need to remember what I have done. My favorite books to read are historical fiction with an edgy romance and anything World War II.
What are you currently reading? The FieryCross by Diana Gabaldon
If you could be a fictional character who would you be? Alice from Alice in Wonderland. I am constantly seeking adventure and can be stuck in my own imagination. I often daydream about the future and create stories in my head.
Come back every Monday, Wednesday and Friday to keep the fun going!
We’ve talked about multiple POVs and the importance of treating them with love; each character is a distinct person who has a unique personality worth sharing with the world. We’ve talked about havingtoo many characters and working on who to cut from the cast; we know so many authors who have created beautiful narratives with more than two characters as their MCs…but sometimes it’s not done well.
Taking things in a different direction but still referring to multiple POVs, characters, and consistency…let’s talk about your choice in writing style (if you’re taking the route we are going to be starting a conversation for.)
Being a head hopper is fun! As the writer, you get to explore different minds and see your plot unfold in your tale through the lens of diverse brains. Sometimes, you explore a single mind for one chapter, then switch to a new persona in the next. You can even write from a completely unbiased point of view…
Okay, you already know what we’re seguing into:your narrator.
It’s crucial to keep your narrating style consistent. Flopping between third omniscient to subjective/limited to objective to first person…all because it makes sense in the moment of the scene? No. Our brains hurt simply thinking about that. It’s a heavy example but it’s worth mentioning the most extreme of cases to get your editing eye trained on your work and howyou’re choosing to narrate.
The question then becomes: Am I doing this?
If you are, you should further ask yourself which POV/narrator comes off the strongest of all. Whichever one it is: choose it. Stick with it. Rewrites are a pain but the goal, if this pertains to you, is to get the work recognized as worth for publication, so it’s worth the extra time…and love!
Not only are we a super-cool blog on the internet, talking about the ins-and-outs of publishing and writing, but we’re a literary agency, first and foremost!
Some things you may wonder about us (or agencies in general) may be misguided by other postings on the internet. It’s best to ask the source directly to find out if the match is real! This doesn’t go for us, it goes for anyone you manage to get in touch with!
Ask the individual you’ve made contact with how they got to where they are (in life, not your inbox.) Knowing our background helps give you perspective on our passions and how they may or may not coincide with yours.
A great follow-up is asking how long we’ve been in the biz. Passion and credentials.
Sales are really important in this part of the business. Don’t shy away from asking. We won’t give you the nitty-gritty details but we will tell you bout some of our accomplishments as of late!
Before you query, ask us if we’re looking! And if we are, what are we looking for! Each agency has criteria (and posts it on their website most likely) which must be met. Realistically speaking, “The Great American Novel” is not one of them.
Our expertise is important to note as well. Each agency covers every aspect of publishing, but sometimes – sometimes – you’ll come across an agency that’s REALLY good at something. What is it?
Communication is so important to both agency and client. Get it done as soon as possible: how would you like to touch base with your agency? Establish it! Most situations now involve email, but who knows, we can set up calls, video chats, dinner and a movie (no book adaptations, thank you)…(totally joking!)
The most important thing to remember is every agency is different and the people within differ from the others you may have spoken to. It’s always good to keep an open mind to whoever you come across, inside the publishing world and out!
You can scroll through the blogs, the forums, the advice columns…but always remember, you’re different than the person posting online. Your creative experience and beyond is your experience alone. Two people will not share the exact process…similarities, sure, but not replicated.
So, take any writing or publishing experience stories as a grain of salt in the big pot of publishing stew!
What lesson do you think kids (we’re talking teens, tweens, and drama machines) these days need subconsciously taught to them? Is it something you remember neglecting when you were a little one yourself and regret wholeheartedly? Or maybe it’s something you were never taught! Writing a YA novel can open a door in a young adult’s mind which will start them on the road to success or down a path of self discovery.
One thing to remember in writing a story for a younger audience is you want to tap into their emotions. This is a time in one’s life where they’re channeling all sorts of feelings: some old, some new. They’re trying to sort things out and maybe, just maybe, your book can assist them along the way.
You know what else teenagers are trying to sort through? The latest trends. You don’t have to be a genius to know this one. You were a teen once, right? Remember how you wanted to go and grab the most popular pair of shoes or learn every word to the number one hit on the radio so you could scream along with your friends and not feel like an outcast? Utilize teen culture to cultivate your world, your characters, and your readers. Don’t rely on trends too heavily though – it’ll make for a bad YA novel. Mainly because you’ll hear in the back of your head, “Mooooooooom!/Daaaaaad!” in a whiny tone to stop trying to be cool. You want to be able to speak to your audience, eye-to-eye, and connect with them.
Speaking of an audience, know who you’re targeting! You should that for any book before you start writing but it’s easy to write a book about young adults rather thanforyoung adults – catch my drift? For example, Stephen King’s ITis about young adults, tweens, whatever…but it’s written for an adult audience. Don’t aim for adults: know how your audience talks (don’t go crazy with slang either, it’s not that important), what they like, what issues they may encounter. You want to be able to relate, not have your reader feel like you’re talking about them to another adult right in front of them.
Oh, and stereotypes. Tropes. Get rid of them. Or if you’re going to use them, please make the idea original. Please. The future leaders of the world are begging you to.
We know, we know…it’s not our lastpost of the year, but it’s close to it! We figured it would be good for anyone looking into getting published to get the heads up: the results are in, publishing trends are here.
Before we get started though, we want to direct you to the source in which the general info comes from. Opinions and advice are ours! But check out this blog/publishing service.
Let’s get right into it!
First and foremost, is the decline in reading going to push writers away from publishing their work?
We vote a big fat NO. Reason being, we see the decline in reading as a way to push writers to treat their work with care (and to get into e-Pubbing, but we’ll discuss in a second.) Getting all the pre-publication shenanigans out of the way is something so many people don’t truly pay attention to – so maybe, it’s time we give our precious work some TLC and hire a few people to take a look at what we’ve got.
Print books remain #1. What does this mean for you?While everyone (or maybe it was just me) believes that eBooks are the only way to read now, we come here to confirm: this is not true. Print books remain the champion of reading (even if less people do the act of reading.) Now, before you comment and say, “getting my book printed will cost so much money” or “I can’t seal the deal with PRH or Tor or any of those big publishers!” Don’t forget about print-on-demand: the most efficient way for a self-published author to get their book in physical format! So you can still make your way into the print market without a major publishing deal (sorry, big guys.)
Audiobooks are still on the rise!
We love audiobooks here at HRM. We talk about them enough to say we’re not surprised they’ll continue to rise come the new year.
We’ve talked about it once, we’ll talk about it again: hybrid/collaborative publishing is important and will continue to rise in popularity in 2019. Why should it be important to you?Hybrid publishing and collaborative publishing are important mediums to self-published authors (or writers looking into self-publishing.) We want the quality of a major publisher (you know, the big tough editors and the fantastic printing jobs) but since deals from them are far and few between, we need an alternative. An alternative where we have creative flexibility and control over the work in question. These mediums are just that. They provide the quality care to your work as well as giving you the power over it – with consideration, of course. Major publishing houses ensure a bigger paycheck, but why not get your foot in the door to start?
Marketing is your best friend.
We talk about marketing a lot on this blog. It’s an important part of being a writer/author who wants exposure. If you’re interested in keeping up with a variety of marketing tactics, just use the search bar for this blog and we guarantee you’ll come across something.
Our office has been celebrating the upcoming release by our author, Mike Omer, published by Thomas & Mercer. A release that has been top of the charts for the last couple of weeks! A Killer’s Mindwill be available for purchase on August 1st, 2018. Pre-order it today!
Three Chicago women have been found strangled, embalmed, and posed as if still alive. Doubting the findings of the local PD’s profiler, The FBI calls on forensic psychologist Zoe Bentley to investigate.
Zoe quickly gets off on the wrong foot with her new partner, Special Agent Tatum Gray. Zoe’s a hunter, intense and focused; Tatum’s a smug maverick with little respect for the rules. Together, they must descend into a serial killer’s psyche and untangle his twisted fantasies, or more women will die. But when the contents of three inconspicuous envelopes reveal a chilling connection to gruesome murders from Zoe’s childhood, suddenly the hunter becomes the hunted.