Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Little Break...

Yes, I've been slacking a bit on the blog...at least in terms of new posts. I've still been checking up on it every day and keeping up with my favorite blogs of mine to see what everyone's got churning. :)

These crazy holidays provide ample time to do many, many things--one of which, I'm happy to say, is writing. Unfortunately, that ample time--the rest that isn't being consumed by my writing--equals tons of oppurtunity to do those trillions of other things the holidays so effortlessly shove into our lives. Which is why this will probably be my last post for a week or two, or at least until 2011 (CAN'T believe I'm saying that already...didn't we just celebrate 2010???).

I just wanted to pop back in and let you know I didn't abandon you all. :) Trust me, that won't be happening.

With that, I end this post; I believe I'm now ready to head into the tumultuous world of the holidays (as if I haven't already!) and gear up for a perfect holiday with everyone I love while preparing for an awesome new year.

Good luck with all your writings, and a very happy holidays to each and every one of you! :)

Monday, November 29, 2010

What Inspires YOU?

I got to thinking today...what inspires me? What catapults me to the computer, flings my fingers across the keys, and dazzles my own mind with (hopefully) a fantastic story?

Ah, the wonders of inspiration...

For me, one major thing that inspires me is simply reading success stories. Sure, they're not all Stephenie Meyer success stories, but they're successes nonetheless; oftentimes the ones that resonate with me the most are actually the little ones. Those are the ones that make ME want to jump up and down with the author and celebrate their success.

Additionally, I have a little obsession with watching book signing videos all over, whether it be on author websites, YouTube, or other blogs. Seeing an author out there, signing their book(s), meeting new faces/fans (hopefully the latter), and just being happy naturally makes me happy, and makes me want to make it to that point of being a known writer. All in all, it makes me happy to watch the author be happy that something they created is out there in the world, and people can sit down and truly enjoy it.

That's what inspires me.

Now, what about YOU? I'd love to hear your responses! :)

With that, I sign off. Write on!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

WOW.

There's no other word to describe what I just recently saw. WOW.

I've taken a few weeks off from the blog, and I sincerely apologize. Time flies too fast, and suddenly what feels like a just-posted post is ages old. But I'm back, and for good reason, because I just saw HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS: PART 1!!! :D (Cue applause.)

So, yeah, that's why I felt the title of this post could be aptly summed up in that one single syllable word that so completely wraps up how I felt about this movie. WOW.

It. Was. Fantastic. Arggghhh! I just wish part 2 would be out already! I'm a Potter fanatic, so I was clenching my fists in anger (yet complete happiness, because the movie was truly spectacular) when it ended. They left us hanging, I tell you. Left us all hanging... (unless you've read the books, but even still...)

Any of you Potter fans? I'd hope so. I still find myself constantly awestruck at how Ms. Rowling could come up with such a beautiful world we "muggles" can immerse ourselves in for periods of time. It's simply stunning.

Alas, I didn't get to see it last night at midnight, but still, I got to see it in its first 24 hours of release. I think I may even see it again...

With that, I say goodnight (I'm tired, yet energized from the movie; does that make any sense?). Definitely go check it out and here's to hoping it completely and utterly shatters records! :)

I'd also like to take this moment and welcome my new followers to An Author's Quest. Thanks for following!

With that, I end this simple, terribly amazing blog post, and as always... Write on!

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Hunger Games Post!

The Hunger Games. Many of us have heard about it (I say many and not all because, to my astonishment, I was talking to a friend who had never, EVER heard of The Hunger Games only a few weeks ago), many of us have read it, and many of us have loved it.

I'm here to discuss it's utter mind-blowingness (new word???) =) and why, from what I've read and gathered, it's so dang popular. Though I honestly wouldn't have it any other way. ;) (Sidenote: every time I use the word check, I'm virtually placing a check mark next to reasons why, I believe, the trilogy is so successful.)

For those of you out there who've yet to discover anything Hunger Games (go buy a copy NOW) I'll brief you on the trilogy's premise: in a ruined, no-longer-exists America's future lies a harsh capitol that controls twelve districts. Because the districts (at that time there were thirteen) once rebelled against the capitol causing a war (yeah, the districts lost), the captiol conjured up a maniacal form of punishment to remind the disctricts of who's in charge every year. That form of punishment, my friends, is The Hunger Games. The Hunger Games is a televised fight to the death, where two young citizens of each district (a boy and a girl, between the ages of twelve and eighteen, respectively) are sent and, well, shoved in a being-filmed arena where they all have to kill each other until there's one person left--a winner. (Check! The plot is just awesome, yet so simple. Very easy to understand with quite a wow-that-sounds-like-a-great-book hook.)

That's one colossal reason I feel this trilogy's seen the success it's seen, and arguably the biggest one of all. The plot.

It's gruesome, yes. (Check! Who doesn't like a little terror/gore (toned down gore, mind you) every once in a while?) And suspenseful. (Check! Suspense is delicious.) And young adult, my favorite genre EVER. (Check! This is just my opinion; I'm certainly biased, thinking young adult is amazing and all.) And, to top it all off, it has downright memorable characters who've truly jumped into my heart and stayed there, even though I've long ago turned the last page in the third novel. (Check! Perfectly created characters are essential when writing.)

It's written by Suzanne Collins, a woman whom I've come to respect because of the truly imaginative world she's created in the trilogy. Here's a fun piece of trivia for those of you who didnt know: I was watching her talk in a YouTube video (watch it here) where she talks about how she got the idea for the whole story. She explains that one night while watching television, she found herself flipping back and forth between reality TV and footage of the Iraq war. The two shows ended up swirling together, and thus, The Hunger Games was born! (Cue applause and confetti!)

If you didn't notice already, I said that the story of The Hunger Games is a trilogy, with the second novel being titled Catching Fire and the third and final novel being titled Mockingjay. I highly recommend this series not only because of its snappy, raw writing and its to die for plot, but because, as you'll see in the videos following the video I've linked to above, Suzanne explains that the whole idea of how far we humans are taking entertainment is the basis for the series. Quite simply, when we watch horror and thriller movies and see people getting slashed, chopped, and murdered in the most brutal ways imaginable, when or where do we draw the line? (Check! This just stuns me, the whole "story behind the story." It's very interesting.) At times, I feel, that line never really exists. It's a thought-provoking subject to ponder, one I've pondered for quite some time myself. Overall, it's simply a brilliant backstory to main character Katniss Everdeen's adventure, one you'll see is filled with surprises, cliffhangers, and of course, romance. (Check! Romance isn't essential, but it certainly spices up any story!)

So let's review. These are the reasons why I feel The Hunger Games has been such a success:
  1. The plot. It's utterly amazing.
  2. It's raw goriness; Suzanne never "writes down" to her young adult audience, and I respect her for that.
  3. The suspense! This trilogy's oozing with suspense.
  4. The fact that it's young adult, which therefore, in my opinion, attracts readers of all genres
  5. The "story behind the story," or whole how far are we taking entertainment? idea.
  6. Lastly, the romance. Gale and Peeta. Peeta and Gale. Katniss torn between the two. Throw in this love triangle on top of all that's mentioned above, and you've got yourself a darn good story.

I just love this trilogy. It tops my list of best novels EVER, residing rightfully next to Harry Potter and Pendragon. It's amazing. It's brutal. It's suspenseful. It's romantic. It has lovable characters, memorable characters, truly great characters, and even some ugh-please-get-away characters--but isn't that what makes stories so great?

It's The Hunger Games.

5 out of 5 stars, for sure. All three books were a thrill ride that had my heart pounding until the final page. Plus, the cliffhangers peppered throughout it were downright fantastic.

By the way, the movie's coming in the next few years, so look for it! (Suzanne's writing the screenplay, so I'm certain it'll be AMAZING.) So excited!

With that, I end what I believe is my longest post ever. But it's for The Hunger Games, so I'm completely fine with it. :) Until next time, write on!

Oh, and by the way, I'm team Peeta.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

50 Followers!

Yes, I know I stated my next post would be all about The Hunger Games. And it's still coming (stay tuned!). But, I just had to post this new post, because, after posting the blog award post a few days ago, I was lucky enough to have hit 50 followers! You guys honestly astound me, and so, since I can't give you any dandy gifts, I decided to write you all a poem...

I call it 50 Followers...

Dear followers, both new and old
Please know you have a heart of gold

Since summer break you’ve joined me here
And been so utterly sincere

Your words have helped me, made me beam
You’ve pushed me toward my single dream

You’re all so great, don’t go away
You make me smile every day

I hope your many dreams come true
And bring the writer out in you

Thanks Ellie Great, you’re pretty nifty
In fact you’re lucky number fifty

To all of you, I wish the best
Let’s move on with this author’s quest!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Blog Awards and Winners!

Hey everyone! Guess what? I have some totally, undeniably AMAZING news!

I have been awarded not one but TWO blog awards! They are The Versatile Blogger and One Lovely Blog Award! I was SHOCKED, to say the least, when I found out. (See above picture.)

The wonderful Tessa Quin awarded me both of these awards, and I'm here to personally thank her. :) Thank you, Tessa. You made my day.

Tessa made a good point on her blog (which you should definitely check out!) which I'd like to bring up. Us new bloggers really are, well, new. We're just starting out. Tessa, me, and loads and loads and loads of others, whether they be travelers, sailors, gymnasts, authors (not that I'm biased or anything), and tons more. What connects us is that we're all bloggers, and what connects us even more is that we're all just starting, just starting to swim deeper and deeper into this colossal, crazy (in a good way, of course) pool of blogs.

That's why I'm thrilled to have gotten these two awards when my blog is only a youngster. =)

Now to the good stuff.


I'm going to be giving these glorious awards out to other deserving bloggers as well. Because, truly, who wouldn't like to get a blog award? :)

If you do get an award, you can pass it on to others as well. Rules regarding the awards follow right here:

Rules for The Versatile Blogger:
  1. Thank and link back to the person that gave you the award.
  2. Share seven things about yourself.
  3. Pass the award to fifteen bloggers that you think deserve it.
  4. Lastly, contact all of the bloggers that you've picked for the award.

Rules for One Lovely Blog Award:

  1. Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award and his or her blog link.
  2. Pass the award to fifteen other blogs that you've newly discovered.
  3. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

Now, here are the seven things about myself:

  1. If I could choose any superpower, it'd probably be the ability to create a force field. That, or the power of invisibility.
  2. My favorite color is blue...and silver. I can't choose, and probably won't ever be able to.
  3. My favorite movie is White Chicks (then again, my favorite movie changes every day or so).
  4. I've developed a small obsession with the band Maroon 5. I like, really like their music.
  5. I used to have a terrible fear of roller coasters, but now I can't get enough of them.
  6. I really wanted to be an astrounaut as a child (I've heard the odds, however, are pretty much not in anyone's favor), but quickly realized this wasn't practical.
  7. Favorite book series? Harry Potter!

So, that's it about me. :)

Now for the fifteen bloggers that I've chosen! Congrats guys! (Even if you've already been awarded, I'm still awarding you!) =]

Nicole MacDonald

KLM

VampireGirl94

StoryLuver101

srjohannes

Rachael Harrie

Sara B. Larson

Erica and Christy

K.M. Walton

Jennifer Walkup

Cynthia Hand

Kody Keplinger

Charissa Weaks

Kimberly Derting

Lola Sharp

So, that's it! Again, congrats to the winners! You all truly deserved the awards, and I honestly love reading your blogs! (Remember, you don't have to pass it on if you don't want to.)

Stay tuned, because my next post is going to be all about The Hunger Games and its utter coolness. :)

Write on!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A Habit I Don't Want to Break

Bonjour! :) So, today, I thought I'd talk a little about an interesting habit I've developed ever since I started writing, which was years, years, and even more years ago. It's a habit I'm sure many of us are guilty of...

...and it's a habit I never want to break.

Basically, I've been writing some novels over the past few years, and obviously, once done, I've been sending out queries and such for them. Consequentially, I find myself more hooked and more curious about blogs from agents/published authors/aspiring writers such as myself out there, which leads to my habit of discovering a soon-to-be-on-shelves book, already out book, or agent-just-picked-up-an-amazing-client-with-an-amazing-book book. So, in essence, nearly every day I'm discovering more and more books through the web, and seemingly every week I'm at Borders (my favorite book store out there) =) picking up said books.

And it's impacting my room. I've now, because of this, started to nurture and grow my own mini library. :)

When I'll get around to all these can't-wait-to-read books, I don't know. But I will find time. It's just a matter of finishing the other zillion books I have lined up. :)

Oh, and I'd just like to say thanks to everyone who commented on my Crusader challenge mechanical liger post. It was a lot of fun to write, and basically shows that my head is a mysterious place even I sometimes fear entering. So, thank you. :)

With that, I leave you with this question: are any of you guilty of this rather inevitable habit? I'd love to hear your responses!

Write on!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

I sat down to write the other day and...

So, before I truly start my post, I'd just like to do a little introduction concerning what you are about to read. First and foremost, it's a response to fellow blogger Rachel Harrie's first Crusader challenge. :) (If you're totally lost, check out this here post. It'll give you the rundown on the Crusade, who we Crusaders are, and why you should definitely jump on board!)

Now, for this challenge. We as Crusaders simply had to start a post with "I sat down to write the other day and..." and finish it. Below is my response.

And right here is my warning that this is quite possibly the most bizarre/random response to it out of all the entries. But then again, you never quite know... :)

Enjoy!

I sat down to write the other day and...

...instead, got pelted in the head by a blunt object.

"What the...?"

I turned around and saw nothing, so, being the aspiring writer/cool blogger/elephant tamer that I am, I quickly returned to writing my latest blog post about me and my trip to Mars a few short weeks ago (you should totally go; who knew aliens were fans of roller coasters, Dippin' Dots ice cream, and quidditch?).

And that's when I was once more struck in the head...by seemingly the exact same blunt object.

"Who threw that?" I sourly shrieked, whirling about in my chair to discover...nobody. Whoops. Forgot that everyone had left a good while ago for the day.

And that's when I saw it. A large, mechanical beast that resembled a liger. A colossal, steel liger, that is!

I shot up from my chair and backed toward the wall. I looked to the floor and saw that the liger had been throwing gloriously red apples at my head. Yum...

No, wait. I'm supposed to be scared. Supposed to be confused. Should I talk to it? Ask what it's doing here? Or, maybe more importantly, ask how the heck it got into my house?

"Miles," the liger stated, "I'm bored."

So? What in the world should I do?

"Liger, I'm writing a new post for my blog," I responded, looking at the floor, at my feet. At the apples. Anything but those insanely captivating, mechanically created eyes.

The liger frowned, then clunked out of the room. I watched it meander toward the kitchen, knock over the fridge, eat the fridge (ugh, I had some Taco Bell saved in there), then cantankerously shoot up and out of the chimney...after practically destroying the entire house in the process, of course.

I stood there, curious as to how I didn't notice its entrance (the gaping hole in the wall across from where I had been sitting may have been a good indication, I've now realized). And then, feeling that inevitable twang of guilt, I scooped up two apples and quickly made my way toward the (not really there anymore) chimney.

"Liger?" I called. "Liger?"

The mechanical liger descended back down the chimney, licking its steel lips. I threw it the apple and plopped down on the ground. Liger followed suit.

Chewing on the delicious, crisp apple, I decided to ask it, "So, have a blog?"

Liger looked at me, then shook its head. "Nope." It took a small nibble from the apple.

I didn't know where to take the conversation. And then, it hit me. "You know, Ruby, my dog, is extremely lonely nowadays, what with the whole house being gone constantly and all." I knew in my heart this wasn't true, but I felt so bad for the thing.

Liger eyed me, swallowing the final remnants of its apple.

"You know, you could...stay here. As another pet of mine," I then stated. Gulping. Scared. What was I doing?

Liger leaped upward and came crashing back down to the floor. I swear, the whole house lifted into the air! And that's why I now have a pet liger (Ruby's got some tough competition!)

Now just imagine this in mechanical form. :)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Who Knew #25 Was So Lucky???

Whoa. I just have to breathe for a second.

Breathing.

Breathing.

Breathing.

And now, I'm going to jump up and down and freak out because I was the lucky 25th follower on fellow bloggers Erica and Christy's blog.

And your point is, Miles???

Well, I was the 25th follower on their blog, so they had a sort of celebration, and did a post. And not just any post. It was a special post...ALL. ABOUT. ME.

I seriously couldn't believe it when I read it. It was a mix between shock, thinking I was dreaming, and feeling on top of the world. The funny thing is, Erica and Christy, you guys were the 25th follower on my blog here, too! :) Funny how things work out, isn't it?

Here's the post. Go check it out, and definitely follow Erica and Christy's blog. Who knows? If they continue to do this, you may be lucky number X and end up in a post completely and utterly dedicated to you!

Oh, and there were two prizes involved. :) Erica and Christy granted me (drumroll...) TWO, yes, not one, but TWO virtual flowers, in addition to the One Lovely Blog Award. They have been convienently placed below for your viewing pleasure.

I'm so honored to have been given both the flowers AND the award! All I can say to you, Erica and Christy, is thank you! :) You both truly made my day. (I'm adding the flowers to the blog!)

So, that about wraps up this post. I'm still so astonished that out of all of their followers, I was that follower who followed at just the right moment.

Remember to check out and follow their amazing blog as they, like me, journey toward publication. I'm rooting for both of you, too! :)

Write on! :)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

In The Next Three Seconds...

  1. Your heart will beat nearly three times.
  2. The human population will increase by nine.
  3. Americans will eat 6,000 eggs.
  4. Three teddy bears will be given as gifts.
  5. The place where you are now on Earth will revolve 0.87 mile eastward.
  6. Rodents will eat enough to feed 19 starving people.
  7. Enough tourists to fill a bus will arrive somewhere.
  8. 18 years' worth of television will be watched by people around the world.
  9. Irish people will drink 200 potfuls of tea.
  10. 93 trees will be cut down to make the liners for disposable diapers.

Whew! That's A LOT to think about.

I got these ten facts straight from a short book titled (you guessed it) In The Next Three Seconds... It's by Rowland Morgan, and illustrated by Rod and Kira Josey. A family member rented it from a libary, and, well, one thing led to another...and suddenly I found my hands on it, unable to put it down. It's simply fascinating to think that these ten things (and trust me, there are quite a few more), have already happened since I began writing this post, and are happening right now, and will be happening three seconds after the previous three seconds ends...if that makes any sense at all.

Just felt like sharing, because some of these things seriously blew my mind.

Ever heard of this book? You have? Great! You haven't, well, check it out! :) You'll be stunned, to say the least. (It goes all the way up to "In the next three million years...".)

I'd like to know, did you find any of these facts interesting? I find numbers six, eight, and ten insanely interesting...with six being quite disturbing.

Well, that ends my post for today. Thanks for reading, and, as always, write on! :)

Friday, September 24, 2010

You're It!

So, I was just tagged in some random internet tagging thing that's been quickly spreading about the blogging world. It's simple. You answer eight questions, and whoever's reading said post is automatically tagged.

So, yep. Consider yourself tagged. (This is totally optional, so please don't feel obligated to make a post for yourself. It's all simply for fun.) =)

So, here are the eight questions. I hope to be reading the answers some of you guys provide! ;)

1.) If you could have a superpower, what would you have? Why?

Invisibility, without a doubt. It'd be insanely cool to pop in at random places and be able to just...be there. :) (And, c'mon, who doesn't want to listen in on certain conversations???) Plus, the mere thought of being able to turn invisible is utterly mind-blowing.

2.) Who is your style icon?

Um, don't have one? (Hopefully I can answer that.) I wear whatever I feel like wearing when I feel like it--though I do have a small obsession with hoodies and sweat pants.

3.) What is your favorite quote?

"You have brains in your heads. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose." -Dr. Seuss

4.) What is the best compliment you've ever received?

Someone once told me they wouldn't be surprised if I ended up on the bestseller list someday. :)

5.) What playlist/cd is on your iPod/cd player right now?

Maroon 5!

6.) Are you a night owl or a morning person?

Easily a night owl. I hate hate HATE the mornings. Always have, always will.

7.) Do you prefer dogs or cats?

Dogs, of course (since I have one). ;)

8.) What is the meaning behind your blog name?

No meaning. Just my name. :)

So, that's it! Those are the eight questions you'll use if you so choose to participate in this incredibly random little tag!

Until next time, write on!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Rach Writes Inaugural Writers' Platform-Building Crusade!

Okay. So, this is, in short, an amazing new thing that was just started by fellow blogger Rachael Harrie not too long ago. It's exactly what the title says--an inaugural writers' platform-building crusade!

It goes a little something like this...

We all want followers/need followers (we can't let our astounding blogs go unread, now can we?), but so many of us, including but not limited to (that sounds so professional, does it not?) aspiring writers, published writers, people in the writing business, beginner bloggers, etc. It's a sad thing to know that many of these blogs do go unread for weeks, months, possibly even years.

Because of that, Rachael began the Crusade. :) And, already because of it, I've gained four followers in less than a day (thanks to all you who journeyed here to my blog!). So if that doesn't convince you to become a fellow Crusader, I don't know what will. :)

Here's the post about it, straight from Rachael's blog. Check it out!

Before I go, please note that there are a few conditions (good ones, of course) to becoming a Crusader:

  1. Write about the Crusade on your blog and link back to Rachael's post.
  2. Encourage your followers to come to Rachael's blog (and follow!).
  3. Just generally spread the word about it (Facebook, Twitter, etc.).
  4. Have fun gaining/meeting new bloggers out there!

So, that's it. Definitely go head on over to Rachael's blog and discover more about the Crusade, and be sure to return here as well and/or follow if you're interested in hearing about my journey to publication and moreover simply what I have to say. :)

Write on!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Outlining vs. Jumping Right In

Hey everyone. :) Today's post is going to be about the ways of writing your novel, with focus on outlines and simply leaping right in.

So, I'll simply start if off with this: I hate outlines. Always have, probably always will. Why? Well...to be honest, I'm not too sure. But I hate them. Sometimes I feel like they pressure me into creating a story I truly don't want to write; why would I plot a whole story out if I know I'm already limiting my creative juices, in a sense? This is not at all to offend anyone in favor of outlines; trust me, I've tried them and have heard a handful of reasons why authors should use them, such as:
  1. They help you stay on task.
  2. You already know the beginning, middle, and end, so you know where your story's going.

And, yeah. That's all I've got. Don't get me wrong--these reasons are certainly valid. But, being an outline-opposer, I can't see many reasons why you should, in fact, use them. But hey, we're all different. And I did say that I probably will always hate them. So, maybe you guys can sway me in the comments if you feel I'm totally idiotic concerning my writing ways. =]

Now, how I write. Well, guys and gals...

I wing it.

Seriously. I sit down, idea in head, fingers on keys, and start typing. I see where the story goes, where my characters lead me, what roads I'll take with my adventure. It's more fun to me when I have nothing to already base my story off of; simply diving right in gives me, at least, more freedom.

This post is definitely biased; not denying it in the least. Yes, there's definitely some little moments where I have to sit down for a while and figure out how certain situations are going to pan out, why certain things have happened, how characters became who they are... But still, I'm a jump-right-in-and-just-start-writing kind of guy.

So, those are two particular ways of writing. How about you guys? Agree? Disagree? I'm totally for constructive responses, so give me what you've got!

Until then, write on! (I had to yank that little ending for posts from a friend of mine, whose blog, All Writing Allowed, is a great little writing blog for anyone in need of some advice, opinions, and fun!)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Bran Hambric: The Specter Key TRAILER!

video

BRAN HAMBRIC: THE SPECTER KEY // Buy or read a preview at http://bit.ly/BUYBHTSK

In an earlier post, I blogged about the sequel to a book series that I'm REALLY excited about. The book series is the Bran Hambric series, and is written by blogger/YouTube phenom Kaleb Nation. You may know him as the guy behind twilightguy.com, the hilarious website in which Kaleb himself reads and blogs about his journey of reading the entire Twilight saga. It's quite hilarious, to say the least.

Now, onto Bran Hambric. The first novel, BRAN HAMBRIC: THE FARFIELD CURSE, takes place in an alternate world and, more specifically, in a city named Dunce, where magic is outlawed. Our main character is fourteen-year-old Bran, who was taken in by a bizarre family named the Wilomases after he was discovered in a locked bank vault at age six. He soon discovers he possesses magical abilities, and that his mother's former masters are after him, attempting to get him to finish the job his mother started. It's a wild adventure, with some interesting characters and some truly funny moments! All in all, a great read that anyone of any age would find entertaining!

Now, for the randomness (well, not that random)...

Do you think it's possible for your first story to be your first? I mean it in this sense: J.K. Rowling got the idea for Harry Potter on a train ride, and it just stuck with her. Stephenie Meyer had a dream about Edward and Bella for TWILIGHT, and it stuck with her. Christopher Paolini loves fantasies, and one day started to plot out/write a novel titled ERAGON. Kaleb Nation randomly imagined a boy and a banker on a roof, waiting for a burglar to come, one March night...

So, my point is, is there a such thing as a story that must be written? Because, honestly, sometimes I find myself questioning the very story that slammed into my head, wondering if it's simply a pipe dream story, so-to-speak, or if I was truly meant to have this random idea plow into my brain.

I tend to overthink things, so honestly, I don't know. But I do know that I'll keep querying, and querying, and querying...

But, if I find myself seventy-years-old and still querying this story of mine seemingly zillions of years from now, I'll then put it away.

It'll probably be then, however, that an agent scoops me up. :)

Leave your thoughts below (and remember to check out Bran Hambric!)!

Until next time, happy writing!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Me, The Slacker

Yes, I admit, I've been slacking with the blog. And I apologize.

It's been quite some time since my last blog post, the one about "voice" in writing (which was met with quite a few amazingly nice comments; you guys all made me smile!). And now I find myself sitting here, realizing I should be updating my blog a little more than I have been since I began blogging seemingly yesterday.

Today, my post is going to be about my dog. :) I felt the need to introduce you all to her...

Her name's Ruby, and she's literally the best dog on the planet (well, maybe I'm a little biased; I'm pretty sure everyone says that about their respective pets)! :) She's a Bichon Frise and is five years old, being an October-born dog! She's SO cute, and is occasionally garbed in scarves (the picture may be a pretty good giveaway) and little bandanas.

Hmmm. What else? Well, for one, she thinks she's a human. Like, literally. She lays her head on the pillows of the couch and the bed when she sleeps (again, the picture is a pretty good reference) =D and always wants to go for a ride in the car. (Well, doesn't every dog like to do that???) ;)

Also, I've found that some dogs go terribly crazy during thunderstorms; not Ruby. She just trots around, totally oblivious to the fact that crazy, electric bolts of...um...craziness (my vocabulary's left my brain for some unexplainable reason; it's temporary, I'm certain) are shooting around in the sky. It's actually pretty funny. :)

So, I think that about wraps up the little section about Ruby. No, wait. One more thing (if you've gotten this far in this insanely pointless post)...

She's OBSESSED with her dog treats. Like, every-five-seconds-you-look-and-she's-back-again-begging-for-another obsessed. The vets have said she's a little overweight and to cut down on the treats, too. That's how obsessed she is. (How can I resist her dog face, though? You're right. I can't.) =]

What else, what else...

Oh, yeah. On srjohannes's blog Market My Words (one of my absolute favorite blogs EVER), srjohanness herself (aka Shelli), is hosting an agent contest with the fantastic Sarah LaPolla from Curtis Brown, Ltd. The contest won't be held until tomorrow at 9amEST, but you should still definitely check it out. (Hint hint: the contest involves a paragraph pitch of no more than four sentences.)

In short, an amazing oppurtunity that shouldn't, by any means, be missed! I'm entering, too! :) And don't worry if Sarah doesn't represent the book you're writing; Shelli constantly hosts agent contests with various agents, so you just need to keep checking to see which agent is up and, if you're lucky, it may be the agent for you!

So, I suppose that ends my slacking/apology/dog/writing post. Certainly more to come (I'm not leaving you guys when you constantly make my day)! =)

Until then, happy writing!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Voice, Voice, Voice...

Voice. For any writers out there (which I believe I can safely assume is everyone reading this), this word probably haunts you. In your sleep. On your computer. In your head.

So, what is voice??? Well, it's the fancy little noise that comes out of our mouth when you and I talk...duh!

Well, yeah. But, to agents, editors, and everyone else in the book business, it's SO much more than that.

I've been reading A LOT about voice lately, and I've come to find it's not really something you can just master. It's something you yourself have to grow and develop, blossom and create. And while it might not always be easy, it certainly pays off in the end.

A good way to tell if particular authors have good voice in their work is by simply reading something random and attempting to figure out who the author is. If you can guess the author right off the bat, chances are it's because you're familiar with the voice they use in their work. If you can't tell who the author is, (granted, this experiment only works if you've read multiple novels by a single author, so you come to know their voice), chances are the voice of their character, of their manuscript, of them as an author, didn't come through.

There's no need to worry, though. If you're just starting, have been writing for years and years, or are even in the middle, it's okay if your voice doesn't come through right away.

You're probably asking yourself, "Well, how in the world do I know if the voice in my manuscript is coming through?" While there's not really a hard and fast answer to this question, you can most definitely find out by joining critique groups, sending out queries (if your work is done, of course), and perhaps venturing to writers' conferences and meeting agents and editors. If you're able to pitch your work to them, they may give you advice on your voice.

So, that's my little lesson for today, though I'm sure all of you already knew all about voice. :) Now, onto the random stuff............

I started reading MOCKINGJAY!!! It's fantastic, and barreling toward what I'm sure will be a spectacular finale to THE HUNGER GAMES! (I'll do a post about the entire trilogy once I finish it. And, because I'm opposed to spoilers, it'll be a completely SPOILER-FREE post.) =]

Hmmm. What else? Ah, yes. I'm still reading THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO (though MOCKINGJAY kinda shoved it aside for a little bit). And it's still totally captivating, and amazing, and stunning, and glorious...

And yep, still querying. Still researching agents, still reading blogs, still doing what I love to do, which of course is WRITE! :)

So, that ends my post for today. Let me think of a clever question to end with (I love reading all of the answers and responses from you guys!)...

Oh, I got it. (Warning: this question has NOTHING to do with writing.) Are any of you guys tired with this whole "3D era" we're going through? Honestly, it seems like EVERY. SINGLE. MOVIE that's come out in the past or is coming out has been in 3D.

Leave your thoughts below!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

PageToFame, Girl With Dragon Tattoo, and More TV

Hey guys. :)

So, I admit, I haven't really had anything to blog about, which is most definitely why I haven't posted since, well...my last post. But thankfully, that's changed. At least for today.

First and foremost, I wanted to bring up a fantastic website I've blogged about just once (I think): WEbook! And, on WEbook, is PageToFame, something I've utilized four times now, and something that I really think will help me (and possibly you, too!) with my novel.

WEbook, if you're wondering, is a website where writers, readers, or anyone else, really, can post work, receive feedback on said work, give feedback on others' work, participate in writing competitions, obtain help (like what to do when you have writer's block), and much more. It's home to the PageToFame competition, where you post your first page of either a "Short" (short story, poem, etc.), or a novel. For me, I'm a full-length novel writer, so I've posted the first page of my main story in addition to another story that's in development (your whole book doesn't have to be done to do this). From there, others with accounts on the site can rate your first pages on a scale from 1 to 5, 1 obviously being the lowest (lousy) and 5 being the highest (heavenly). There are 3 rounds, and if you receive good enough ratings, your 1st page is elevated to round 2, where you post your first 5 pages, and lastly, round 3, where you post the first 50 pages. Best part is, participating literary agents read your work each time you're elevated!

Phew. That was a big block of words. :)

Anyway, here's the link: http://http//www.webook.com/

So, that's that. Now, onto something veeeeeery interesting...

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, by Stieg Larsson!

I just started this one today, and must say I'm completely sucked in! I've heard amazing things about this thriller, and have learned the U.S. is coming out with the theatrical version in the next year or so (already insanely excited)! In fact, a huge character in the novel, Lisbeth Salander, has been chosen to be played by Rooney Mara. (The Swedish films had Salander played by Noomi Rapace.) So, I simply wanted to say I started it (anyone already read it?). I'll definitely be checking out the movie when it flies into theaters!

Movies relate to TV, and for my last little discussion, I wanted to talk about a very favorite show of mine... (Nice transitional sentence, right?)

Saturday Night Live!

This show... What can be said??? It's amazing, hilarious, has a mind-blowing cast... Did I mention hilarious? I did? Oh well. Hilarious, hilarious, hilarious...

I'm pretty sure you've all seen and/or heard of this show, but still... I just wanted to bring it up because I just watched a reran episode a few days ago, and I was completely laughing out loud!

Ah, the joys of television... =D

Well, I'd say that's it for now. Nothing new with the novel. Oh wait, there is some news, actually. I got another rejection from a query I sent over a month ago. It was sad, but I'm totally fine with it. :) Rejection #30, I believe...

So, that's it for now!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Thoughts on TV =)

So, I got to thinking today... Why is it that so many people are attracted to shows like The Real World and Jersey Shore on MTV? Yeah, I admit, I really, really enjoy watching The Real World, but honestly, why? It's almost like a waste of time, watching strangers live in a house together, with tons of drama, alcohol, violence, cops, etc... But even I can't stop watching it.

I simply decided to blog a little about what's swirling around in my head, for no particular reason. Do any of you guys have favorite shows on TV? I wouldn't really say The Real World is a favorite of mine; I only felt like blogging about it because I watched the newest episode a few nights ago. :)

Hmmm. And, as the TV's flipped on right now as I type this, The Hills is on. MTV seems to be popular. ;)

In book news, I've been mulling over the first few chapters of my novel, just wondering if they're, for lack of a better word, good enough. So, I've been testing myself by writing some fake little first chapters, just to see what could possibly work should I receive a critique or just feel that the first chapter or two needs a rewrite. It's actually easier than I thought, because, as any writers out there know, writing is definitely NOT an easy thing to do, by any means.

Hopefully I soon receive a partial request from an agent. Thankfully, I had my query critiqued, and I think it's totally amazing right now. So, we'll see...

So, favorite shows??? For me, it's all over the place. I LOVE Discovery Channel (especially Shark Week, which is sadly coming to an end tomorrow), Travel Channel (Samantha Brown, anyone?), and Full House. C'mon, who doesn't like Full House?

Well, that's it for now. I think I'll watch the final days of Shark Week :( and maybe do a little more test rewrites. :D

Friday, July 30, 2010

SO Excited (Plus Another Rejection)!

Excited because I just bought two novels I'm insanely excited about. These are: ROCK PAPER TIGER by Lisa Brackmann (how could I resist the cover?) and SISTERS RED by Jackson Pearce (again, this cover is so incredible I just HAD to get my hands on it!).

And yep, got another rejection. Number 28. It made me a little sad, I'll admit, but doesn't every rejection? :) I was really, really hoping this agent would say yes, too... But don't we all want every agent to say yes? Even just a partial request? Perhaps, if we're immensely lucky (does this even happen?), a full request?

Ah, well. It's not too bad. I'm having my query critiqued, and I'm revising my first pages just to make sure they're enticing enough, and enthralling enough, and amazing enough, and fantastic enough...

Um, maybe that's a little too much to mash and shove into the first roughly ten pages. But hey, I want to make sure I have the absolute BEST manuscript possible so when (hopefully) an agent gets his or her hands on it, they totally, undeniably ADORE it...and instantly call me up
and offer representation five seconds after receiving said manuscript.

Okay, I can dream. =)

So, yep, that's pretty much it. Two new books. One new rejection. A head filled with thoughts of how to revise, edit, query, blah blah blah... Anyway, if you'd like to purchase ROCK PAPER TIGER and/or SISTERS RED (which you most definitely should; aren't those covers immensely captivating?), I've posted the links to Amazon, Borders, Barnes & Noble, and Books-A-Million below (just because I'm in a helpful mood!):




Until we meet again, happy writing! (You can see my photography skills are maddeni
ngly amazing in those two pictures. That wooden table really shows my artistic ability.) ;)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Rejection #...

27. :) Up to number 27.

It's not too bad, these rejections. Though I'm sure many are simply form rejections, I have gotten a few that tell me another agent will surely feel differently about my work, or, my absolute favorite rejection I've gotten, that while my story is interesting (that makes me very happy), they just don't think they can successfully represent it. Which is totally fine by me. As long as they're being honest.

So, nothing else new. It's amazingly sunny outside, so I think I may head out and suck up as much Vitamin D as my body will allow before it forces me to gulp down gallons and gallons of water.

Um, other than that, not too much.

Actually, now that I think about it, I'd like to pose this question: Any upcoming book releases you're excited about? Me? Hmmm. Here's a little list.

  1. Mockingjay (Hunger Games 3) - Release Date: August 24th, 2010
  2. Bran Hambric: The Specter Key (Bran Hambric 2) - Release Date: Fall 2010
  3. Paranormalcy - Release Date: August 31st, 2010
  4. The DUFF (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) - Release Date: September 7th, 2010

What about YOU?

Monday, July 19, 2010

New Book, New Title, New Query

Hey all. :)

So, I have to admit I haven't updated the blog for roughly four or five days (I'm too lazy to count). But, the truth is, there's been absolutely no reason to.

So, to further prove this point, I've compiled some reasons as to why I don't really update daily...

Number one: I'm blogging about my journey in seeking publication, and that whole "seeking" bit is an extremely slow process. So, as with all slow things, you can guess it's been going pretty, what's the word?, slow. :D So basically there's nothing to ever update about, unless of course I start to freak out and hyperventilate when something (hopefully soon) AMAZING happens regarding my novel.

Annoying, yes. But that's the book business.

Number two: I don't want to pile useless information about my day onto this blog...unless I so choose. I may contradict myself in later posts, but, uh, yeah. For now, I don't want to.

Hmmm. I can't really think of a number three, which is good, I'd reckon. (I don't hear the word reckon often, so I thought I'd use it!)

There are two things to talk about, though...

First, I received another rejection today. Number twenty-four, if you're that curious. (I'm keeping count; it'll be interesting and fun to look at past rejections once I'm hopefully a published author.) But trust me, it's not angering. It's more frustrating than anything. So, yep, not too big a deal. Just need to keep submitting, keep submitting, keep submitting...

Secondly, I'm about to start a new book! Recently, I just finished the first novel in the Ranger's Apprentice series by John Flanagan, titled The Ruins of Gorlan. IT. WAS. FANTASTIC. Seriously. It was a fast-paced, enjoyable fantasy that flows very well and has a hold-your-interest plot that kept me buried within the pages. I'd wholly recommend picking this novel up if you have the chance. In fact, I've already started the sequel, titled The Burning Bridge.

Now, back to the book that I was talking about. The one I'm about to start.

The Light by D.J. MacHale! =] It's the first novel in the Morpheus Road trilogy, and ever since I picked it up over a month ago it's been idly sitting around, just waiting to be read. So, yes, though I'm already reading the second Ranger's Apprentice (and another book; I'm one of those people who doesn't mind reading multiple books at a time), I just couldn't resist staring at it longingly anymore. So, I'm about to start it!

Well, that's it for today! I've submitted more queries, attempting to craft them various ways and such just to see what the effect would be. On one of them, I even changed the title just to do a little "experiment" so-to-speak, and see what the response would be!

Wish me luck with the queries! And now, I leave you with these questions that you're more than welcome to leave the answers to in the comment box below: do you like to read multiple books at a time?, what are your favorite books?, and, lastly, what are your favorite covers?

Until then, happy reading and writing! ;)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Whoa!

Wow. I just had an amazing book idea pop into my head. Out. Of. Nowhere. And yeah, it's pretty amazing if I do say so myself. ;)

Yep. Just felt like blogging about it. We'll see where it goes... I think I'm going to plot it out, mull things about it over (like voice, characters, ending, blah blah blah), mull things over some more...

Then. Then I'll start writing.

Wow.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

A Good Feeling

So, let's see... I sent out a query on the eighth of July, I believe (I'm pretty sure it was on the eighth, but my e-mail seems to disagree with me). A query that I truly believe was my best yet. But I didn't just pull it out of my head. I'm not sure I could write a masterful query like that so quickly. I had help, of course. Help from the very agent I sent to. Because thankfully, she posted (on her amazingly helpful blog) the query letter from one of her current clients, and wrote a little below it as to why it worked so well.

So, I used that query to structure my query, and I honestly feel it came out almost perfectly; I'm stressing almost because I know there will probably never be a perfect query letter, and just because I think it's perfect doesn't mean it actually is.

Nonetheless, I simply think my query rocked.

Therefore, I have a really good feeling about where this little agent relationship may go. Then again, I can't get too overzealous about it. It may swing back and whack me in the face. Which, obviously, wouldn't be good.

But yeah, I have a really good feeling about my query, and where it may take me. Just cross your fingers for me. :)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Playing the Waiting Game

It's extremely tough to wait. Especially when what you're waiting to receive is a response to your nurtured, perfected little book you've sent out into the world with hopes that rise high into the sky.

It's even tougher when you're attempting to break into the book business, a business that (I've come to learn) is full of waiting.

How I handle it? By simply kicking back, smiling, and telling myself I've done all that I can do. I wrote the book I had a vision for (over a year ago, in fact), edited it until my eyes fell out (eh, a little dramatic, but you get the point), and wrote what I truly hope was a really, really well-written and intriguing query letter.

End of story.

So, yes, it's definitely hard to wait for a response. Especially when you keep receiving rejection after rejection. But hey, didn't all the most amazing authors have their fair share of rejections? The answer is a wholehearted yes.

Just remember that every "no" you receive is taking you one step closer to the "yes" that I'm sure we'll all (hopefully soon) receive. And no matter what, keep going.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Submissions, Submissions, and More Submissions...

Um, yeah. I think you can guess what I've been doing. :)

Submitting my book to literary agents is definitely a nail-biter kind of thing to do, because honestly, it's very difficult to wait for a response; you really are left with yourself and all your questions, many including: "Did I do everything right?", "Is my query good?", and, perhaps one of the biggest, "Will they like my sample pages?"

Trust me, you're not at all alone when you ask yourself these questions. But just remember that every rejection is a step closer to the YES we all really want to receive. ;)

Now, I'll let you in on how I go about my submissions, besides the typical "e-query" that I'm pretty sure many, many aspiring authors out there utilize.

Don't get me wrong, the e-mail query is definitely simple and quick, but, when I kept receiving more and more rejections, I kept asking myself what else I could do in terms of submissions.

And that, oddly enough, is when I discovered a website: WEbook! :)

I discovered it around Christmas, and, in fact, got an account on Christmas day!

Now, before I post the link, I'll tell you a bit about this website. In short, it's basically a website that allows writers in all stages to post their work, receive feedback, give feedback, submit work, and do many other things. It's home to PageToFame, which is an interesting competition-like tool that allows you to post a first page of whatever it is that you are writing (novels, they prefer) and watch that very first page get rated by others on the site (you can rate other pages as well on a scale of 1 to 5). There are four rounds, and if your first page receives high enough ratings and the site's algorithm predicts it will move on, it ascends to round two! And (this is the good part) once your page passes on to round two, participating literary agents look at your page and rate it! They can also "follow" your page if they'd like.

In addition, as you progress through the rounds, you add more and more pages until you're up to round four (the final round) and your entire manuscript is available for literary agents to check out!

I've used this twice now, and it really is great. :) So, I'd recommend checking it out.

Lastly, before this post gets too long, I'll tell you about WEbook's other amazing tool they have in place that I've been using for my submissions.

It's called AgentInbox.

It's a little difficult to explain, but basically it's a way to reach out to literary agents that have an account on WEbook by submitting a query, sample pages (if they ask for it), a short synopsis, and an author bio. Best part is, you can track which agents have opened your submission, and you're notified immediately when an agent makes his or her decision.

I'd recommend checking both PageToFame and AgentInbox out! (You'll need an account on the website to use these.)

Well, here's the link: http://www.webook.com/

That's it for now!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Oh Yes! (In Other Words, I'm Done!)

The feeling of finishing a book is great. :) Because yeah, as you guessed, I just finished my book. Completely. And now, tomorrow and the next few days, I'll be reading through it a few more times just to tweak little things and make sure everything flows and all of that.

So, yeah, I'm sure you guys have written books yourselves, or even short stories, or pretty much anything. And if so, I'm sure you can agree with me that the feeling of typing that last words is just perfect. =]

If you haven't written anything, go for it! :)

Well, that's it for today. I'm exactly an hour late as I write this, but whatever...happy Fourth of July!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

So...

I believe it's time to discuss my novel...even if just slightly. I mean, you're following my blog to watch me head into the world of writing and publishing novels, right? My novels. So, it would only be fair if you knew a little about my book.

So, uh, I'll start by telling you it's fiction. :) And, because it's all I read and I think it's amazing, it's young adult. I'd categorize it as an action/adventure novel. It has fantastic good guys and maniacal bad guys. I'm planning it to be the first in a series. And the title? Well, it's up in the air right now, though I do think I've got one that should stick.

The reason I'm being so vague is simply because I like to keep my projects under wraps until it's truly allowed to be seen/read/whatever. But be positive about it and know that it'll amp up the surprise-factor. ;)

Well, that's it for today. Not much is happening. Just relaxing. Editing my book. A typical day for me. :)

Oh yeah, I slightly changed the look of the blog. Like it?

Friday, July 2, 2010

Queries and Toy Story 3!

Hey guys. :)

So yeah, today I'm going to be discussing the art of writing queries, as well as Toy Story 3 (because I just saw it and I have to blab about how AMAZING it was!).

But, in the homework-before-play fashion, I'll discuss queries first. =]

Ah, queries. Some of us love them. Some of us absolutely despise them. Some of us are indifferent. Me? Well, honestly, it varies from day to day.

So, let's begin. First and foremost, what the heck is a query? Well, a query is...(straight from Google)"...a formal letter sent to magazine editors, literary agents and sometimes publishing houses or companies. Writers write query letters to propose writing ideas."

So, yep. A query letter, in essence, is a short letter you send to pitch your idea.

Typically, it goes like this: introduction, pitch, credentials, conclusion. Now, let's break those down a bit...

Introduction. Who are you? Why are you contacting said agent/editor/publishing house? Make this short and to the point. Equally important, make this personal. Don't be robotic and send twenty identical queries to different agents with the same introduction. They may get a bad taste in their mouth if they read a query introduction that isn't personalized. And obviously, you don't want that. :)

Pitch. Not much to say here. Just sum whatever you're pitching up. And you'll definitely want to squeeze and squash this down into one paragraph. You can do it. =D

Credentials. Pretty self-explanatory. And make sure they're relevant to writing, of course...

Lastly, the conclusion. Formality is key.

So, that's a query letter. Hope it helps. ;)

Now to the good stuff (no offense to queries or anything). :)

Toy Story 3 was without a doubt THE BEST MOVIE OF 2010. And I'm nearly certain nothing will surpass it.

In my opinion, it had everything: TONS of laughs, suspense (yeah, even a Toy Story movie can have suspense), surprises, and heartfelt moments. Definitely, definitely go see it if you've not already. Even if you haven't seen Toy Story or Toy Story 2 (which, obviously, I HIGHLY recommend doing) you should definitely go see it. In 3D even, if you can find a theater (which, just so you know, the 3D was fantastic).

So, that's it for now. Thanks again for following!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

My First Post EVER!

Why, hello. :)

Welcome to An Author's Quest. My name is Miles, and, as I'm sure you've guessed, I'm an author on a whirlwind journey. A quest, so-to-speak. A quest to get my first novel on bookshelves around the world and into the hands of readers. A quest to be a published author.

Yeah, that might take a little while...

Which is why I've started up this blog. So you can watch me journey into the world of publishers, agents, queries, manuscripts, edits, submissions, waiting, excitement, publication, and all that fun stuff on the comfort of your computer.

Yep.

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you return and perhaps "follow" me on my journey! :)