As many of you know, the Mayan Calendar ends sometime this year. This has lead to some people speculating that THE WORLD WILL END the moment the Mayan Calendar ends.
I'm not sure if I want to believe this one, but I DO think it would make a GREAT CONTEST for a post-apocalyptic book!
Here's how you can win one of five ebook copies of Wormwood....
To enter the contest, simply tell me the exact date that the Mayan Calendar ends.
Click here to enter your response.
For extra entries, tweet about the contest with the hashtag #WormwoodContest (it's important that you use the hashtag so that I can track your tweets - a necessary step if I'm to give you extra entries... so don't forget!) You must enter the contest first in order to be eligible for the extra tweet entries.
Contest closes at 11:59 pm on August 31st, 2012. Good luck!
Wings of the fallen, Garrette
On September 1st, five winners will be selected using Random.org.
Once again, each of these winners will receive a free ebook copy of Wormwood!
Here's a blurb about the book: (or check out the trailer on the right)
Against a devastated landscape, a legion of one hundred fierce half-angels is hell bent on purging the Earth of all humans. But one of them, the tormented Tiamat Wormwood, struggles against his mission, and when he rescues a beautiful woman named Kali, he finds the attraction as troubling as it is miraculous. Can Kali trust the one creature who could be responsible for her ultimate demise? Beautifully written and excitingly told, Wormwood creates a world that is as strange as it is compelling. Filled with brilliantly executed twists and turns on every page that are guaranteed to keep you guessing, Wormwood is one of the most exciting debuts of the year.
I read A Dance with Dragons, and it was painful. Once again, I wonder why I continue to read A Song of Ice and Fire series by George RR Martin. It could be that I’m a glutton for punishment. After all, this isn’t the first time I’ve threatened to stop reading his books. Or it could be that although his books undoubtedly frustrate me, there’s no denying that his stories continue to draw me in. That’s why, despite my anger, and despite a number of serious flaws in the series over all, I keep on reading. It’s also why I’ve never rated his books below 3 stars.
There are a number of reasons for this. But before I get into them, I feel I have to deal with my anger first. This bit is tough to do without spoiling anything, but I believe that anyone that’s read the first four books will likely be able to guess what Mr. Martin could have done to make his readers so upset. Again. Yes, folks, there’s another big upset in A Dance with Dragons, right near the end. I can’t tell you what it is, but I am still fuming over it. I feel like I did when I read about ‘The Red Wedding’: betrayed. Unfortunately, that just doesn’t work for me.
Now on to other things about A Dance with Dragons. The rich world Mr. Martin has created is also his curse. There are so many characters and so many plots, following them all turns his books from stories into never ending soap operas. On one hand, this intricacy is what makes his world so rich and fascinating. Yet on the other, Mr. Martin is forced to jump from one plot to another, spreading them so thin that a reader is forced to wait through multiple chapters (and sometimes more than one book) to continue on with some of these characters. That alone is frustrating. It also changes the book from a story into something else. A main plot is completely absent from each book in the series. There is no climax, and there isn’t even a semblance of a conclusion. Hence the soap opera comparison. It just goes and on and on and on.
Still, what makes it bad also makes it good. The incredible depth within his world and the unbelievably realistic characters that people it have completely sucked me in. I want to keep reading to see what happens with them. I want to stick with them so that I can ‘be there’ when they finally prevail. That is, if Mr. Martin lets them prevail. It’s why I read his books the way one views a train wreck: with hope and dread at the same time. However in the case with A Dance with Dragons, I almost wish I didn’t look.
Shortly after completing my manuscript for Wormwood, I had a rude awakening. Being an author, I realized, involved so much more work than simply crafting a story—that is, if said author intends to sell any books. As I slowly started to scrounge up a minor internet presence, I saw myself shift through a variety of emotions. Time that I would have spent writing, revising or sleeping was now being consumed by my work on the internet. And because much of my time was spent learning the ropes, I made very little progress at first. In those first few months, as so many things in my life sat neglected, I began to resent the need to market my book. I even—I hate to admit it—considered shelving my manuscript permanently, just so I could walk away from it all.
Then, slowly, things began to change. There was a growing number of people that showed an honest appreciation for Wormwood, and my “Publish Wormwood” Facebook group eventually grew to over 700 members. I started to get followers on Twitter, too. But one of the biggest benefits of this time spent on the internet became clear to me a few months ago. The greatest advantage, I noticed, is that social media has connected me to people that I never would have met otherwise—wonderful, interesting human beings that frequently bring a smile to my face, teach me, mentor me and humble me. From the beautiful music of Dreaming in Waves to the wisdom shared by Les Floyd, I count myself fortunate to have connected with so many incredible, talented people. When measured against the people with whom I’ve connected, none of my time on the internet has been in vain.
Recently, I had the privilege of connecting with a very gifted author. Kelly R. Martin, of Myth/Logic Press, has granted me the great honour of reading a section of his latest book, THOMAS THE POISONER. I took him up on his offer and I’m not sorry I did so. I enjoyed it so much; it prompted the writing of this post.
To quickly sum up what I’ve read (and not do it justice at all, I’m afraid), this creative fantasy is complete with elves, dwarves and spirit-spawned beasts, delivered in a style that makes the reader feel like they’re listening to a storyteller share an old tale. Mr. Martin’s confident writing style immediately drew me into his vivid, fantastical world. His characters are not only well-rounded and likeable, they are also believable. For those reading this post, I highly recommend you check out his website or Barnes & Noble listing, if Thomas the Poisoner sounds like your kind of book.
As for other people I’ve been lucky enough to connect to, I wanted to say this: if you are a Twitter follower, member of my Facebook group or an internet friend of any type, I wish to thank you. You have been the silver lining that I’ve previously failed to see. Thank you for sharing your friendship, your artistic gifts, your knowledge and your wisdom with me.
I haven’t been focusing on editors. In fact, I haven’t sent query letters to any editors at all. The way I figured it, if I focused my energy on securing a decent, well-known agent, then, TA-DAA! Job done. My newly acquired super-agent could approach some of the bigger publishing houses on my behalf. I wouldn’t need to query a single editor. It seemed like a decent plan, and was one I had been sticking to.
So imagine my surprise when I recently opened my email account, and there, staring back at me, was an email from an editor asking to see WORMWOOD’s first 100 pages. Wow. I read it calmly. Finished it. Stood up, walked to the kitchen. Stopped. I turned and strolled to the back deck, closed the door behind me and whooped for joy.
I met this editor at the NY Writer’s Pitch Perfect Conference (http://newyorkwritersworkshop.com/) nearly a full year ago. I had pitched my book to her there, even though WORMWOOD was incomplete at the time, and she had shown some interest. I was thrilled that she had asked to see the first three chapters (approximately 30 pages), which I sent to her in eager haste. Now, this was way back in the spring of last year, and in all that time, I had heard nothing back from her. Not a peep. So naturally, I assumed she wasn’t interested, and continued on with my life.
Without looking back, I finished the manuscript for WORMWOOD, created a website, started the PUBLISH WORMWOOD FACEBOOK GROUP (link on sidebar to your left), revised and re-worked the manuscript, started a blog, and even queried a few agents too. I worked hard to get the word out about my story and establish myself through social media, and almost forgot all about that key editor. After all, why dwell on something over which I have no control?
And that’s when it happened. It wasn’t long after I received that rejection from a rather important and established agent (in fact, I had just finished blogging about the rejection) when I heard from that elusive editor. What incredible timing! Now, she’s not even asking to see the full manuscript, so I’m staying cautiously optimistic about this whole thing, and trying to remain grounded. But really, what a surprise! Even if her answer is ‘no’, I still believe this bodes well for WORMWOOD. I’ll take it as a sign of things to come!
I heard back from that big agent in New York, and unfortunately, he passed. But to be completely honest, this ‘rejection’ didn’t bother me. Of course, it would have been absolutely amazing if he wanted to represent me, but he was such a big-time agent that my chances were incredibly slim to begin with. I went for it, though, and I’m still smiling at the fact that he chose to give up his valuable time to read Wormwood’s entire manuscript. What an incredible compliment!
And it gets better. Although he told me that all in all, the book wasn’t really for him, he had nothing but nice things to say about the story and my writing. And I’ll always remember that he called me “an energetic and creative writer.”
So should I call this a ‘rejection’? Alright, it still is. But honestly, I really think I could do a whole lot worse.
And by the way, I’m only getting started here, so don’t think that one nice rejection will set me back in the slightest. Agents, prepare to meet Wormwood!
This is it... the launch of my new website, and I am so excited!
Over the past few months, I have discovered (to my dismay!) that the road to getting a book published is a long, bumpy one, indeed! Picture a road that you thought you could traverse in no time at all... then imagine yourself on that same road, months later, only to discover that not only is it very poorly marked, your directions were ambiguous, your car keeps breaking down, and you've only managed to travel the first short section of it. Then you find out that if you wish to keep going, you'll have to continue construction on the road yourself. And so now I'm wondering: Is my road--the one I've struggled to lay down over the past number of months--even headed in the correct direction?
If anyone has a great road map to share with me, please let me know!
So, this site is one of many steps that I'm taking in order to try to increase the scope of both my name as an author, and interest in my book, Wormwood. I'll try to keep you updated on my adventures with the publishing world through this blog.
As for myself, I'm a relatively new author, who previously spent most of my time either reading or teaching the writing process to my students. After years of encouraging them to write, I thought it was time that I followed my own advice.