Monday, May 24, 2010

Step Two - Get an Agent

How do you become a career author?

And I don't mean just a published author...I mean a CAREER Author...cause getting one book published isn't what a writer wants...we want to do it for a living!

I feel there are 4 steps to this. For those of you that don't know how this works, I shall explain these 4 steps:

#1. Write the book (I include both writing and editing in this catagory)
#2. Get an Agent (I include researching agent names & contact info, writing the query letter & sending it out PLUS signing with an agent in this catagory)
#3. Sell Book to Publishing House (this is your Agent's job but still a step)
#4. Book sells well so that the Publisher wants you to write more.

So, which of the four would you consider the most difficult? Any answer is fine, I'm just curious which one you would think is the hardest.

My actor friends would probably answer with the same answer I do, number two: GET AN AGENT! To be honest, I've been dreading #2 since the day I said to myself, "Get off your ass and finish the damn book so you can try to sell it!"

Back in November and December I sent out approximately 40 query letters to different agents that I found represent Science Fiction/Fantasy Authors. I have sent none since because I was getting a lot of turn downs and figured my query letter was not right. I met a wonderful lady who has since become my editor and she helped me get that letter into the right format. Then I paid her to edit my novel to help slim it down in length.

I currently am working on this edit. I'm 1/3rd of the way done. I have a ways to go until I finish and we begin to hit agents with letters again. I tell you this so you can understand the level of my shock and excitment when I found what I found in my email.

I open up my pen name email account on Friday to find not one, but TWO emails from agents. One is asking for my full manuscript and the other is asking for my first 50 pages.

Why yes, I did scream out "Oh my god!" at my desk to which my co-workers were like, "WTF?"

The lady asking for my 50 pages has written to say her co-worker (who I'd submitted my query letter to) isn't accepting any new clients at the moment but that SHE would like to read my first 50 pages. I'm sending those to her today. YAY!

As for the one asking for my full manuscript. I couldn't figure out why she wanted the full book. So I go through my email (gmail rocks for this task btw). I see that THIS particular agency I submitted to online with my letter, outline and either my 1st few chapters or 1st 50 pgs, I don't remember which. THIS is the exciting part. Why? Cause she's already read my first 50 pages and wants more! That explains why the wording of her email states if I get another request for representation to check with her first. She's VERY interested! **insert internal squeal of joy** I previously stated. I'm only 1/3rd of the way through the edit. I requested if she could give me 2 weeks to finish up my revision and she has said that is fine! *whew*

I tell you all this because, well, I'm going to be burried in editing for the next two weeks...and I may not be blogging until its over. Wish me luck. It all has to be perfect!

Now, don't get me wrong. Either of these ladies could read the stuff and say "no" to representing me. Good news is if they do that, I'll get constructive critisism as to why so as to improve for the next batch of agents I go after. So...its a win/win scenerio. Obviously we're hoping for the "win" that equals representation...but alas...I trust God knows what He's doing the right time it will happen.

Is that time now?

Maybe. Maybe not.

But I'm excited to find out!

I very well may visit you before the 2 weeks is up but if I don't...hang in there...I'm sure I'll have MUCH to talk about when I return.

Tamsin :)

My 1st Death Dream

Have you ever had a Death Dream? My ex-roommate Lauren use to tell me about the ones she'd have and I thought it odd I'd never had one. Never.

Well ladies and gentlemen...that has changed.

I had one.

It was not fun.

I don't recomend them.

What kind of death was it?

Well, let me tell you the whole dream.

But before I do, let me say that I wasn't watching me...I was me.

I was getting onto the subway here in NYC with someone...I think it was my co-worker Michelle, but I'm not sure. It was one of those new uber clean blue seated ones. Super cold inside too.

We sat down and there was this Latino couple making out near us. They were on the floor, rolling around, making out. They were driving everyone crazy...making us all uncomfortable.

The couple rolled to me and my friends legs, making us lift our legs for them. Now, being who I am, I make a comment about getting off the public floor and getting a room.

They do finally get up and are to my left. I can't see them as my head is turned to my right talking to my friend.

I suddenly feel a hand on my shoulder so as to get my attention. It's a woman's hand. She pinches that bone at the top of my shoulder between what feels like her thumb and forefinger. I start to turn my head...

She says something that is obviously ominus (though I can't remember it anymore but it did have a sound of "finality" to it) and I feel the cold touch of an old gun barrel (think Lone Ranger gun but copper in color) and before I can think she pulls the trigger and shoots me in the head.

I feel my body keel over to the right, onto my friend's knees, and as I ask God's forgiveness for my sins all goes black and I wonder if I'm drifting slowly because that's how it is when you die OR is it a wound I'll survive from.

Everything then goes black. And I know deep down that I've died. This isn't a "flesh wound".

I wake up in my bed with a quick, deep breath of air and realize its a dream.

Not fun. I personally never want another one of those.

One might say, "What does that dream mean?"

I'm pretty sure it's the stress I'm about to be under with concern to my writing (see next post) but I looked up the meaning's what I found on Yahoo:

"To dream of your own death, indicates a transitional phase in your life. You are becoming more enlightened or spiritual. Alternatively, you are trying desperately to escape the demands of your daily life."


"To dream that you have been killed, suggests that your actions are disconnected from your emotions and conscience. Alternatively, the dream refers to drastic changes that are happening in your life. There is a characteristic that you want to get rid of or a habit that you want to end within yourself. Killing represents the killing off of old parts of yourself and old habits. "

Interesting thoughts.

What do you think? Let me know!

Tamsin :)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Thank You

Normally I talk about my book or I talk about the stupid things people do...but today is going to be different. I'm going to talk about the love people show. Why? Because I was blown away by it this two parts...

On Saturday afternoon I took my dog to the vet. I'd found a hard round bump on his tail and wanted to have it looked at. $365 later I walked out of the office in tears; my dog looking at me like, "Why are you upset? I'm the one they stuck with needles and we won't even talk about where that man's hand went!".

Let me preceede what I'm going to say with this; Keziah isn't a neutered pet. He eppileptic and I'd been warned against putting him under and so he still is ALL male. His prostate was checked in July and he was fine. I asked the vet then if I should have him fixed as he was getting older (Today actually is his 11th Bday!) and the vet said, "If its not broke, don't fix it."'s broke.

Keziah's prostate is very inflamed and the bump on his tail is one of two things; a sign he has some disease with a long name I don't remember right now or he just has an infection in his prostate and the medication he's on at the moment should get rid of it. I was told I was lucky...finding the bump on his SUPER fluffy tail was sort of a slim chance. PLUS, if it IS the super long named disease aformentioned the bump being on the tail is good as its removable from that location. I asked what would happen w/o the surgery. As delicately as he could put it, he said my dog would grow sicker and sicker and pass away. So I asked how much for the surgery to remove the cyst and have him fixed. I was informed $700. Needless to say, I about choked. $700 to save his life...but I don't have $700 extra bucks in the bank.

I held it together and left the office. I made it about ten steps and I was crying. I proceded to keep it under control for the 6 block walk home where I collapsed into heavy sobs and I stayed that way for the rest of the day. I posted a vague description of the issue on Facebook (under my real name, not my pen name) and in moments I had all kinds of messages with *hugs* and nice words to encourage me...voices of sympathy/empathy. It was wonderful.

I then open an email from my cousin. She saves her change every year to donate to their local shelter (she's very active with vets and dogs in general) and this email blew me away. She said if I wanted her to talk to her vet friends to see if the surgery is really needed she would. She also said that instead of donating her change to the shelter this year, she'd gladly give it to Keziah for his surgery. I was shocked.

I then get another email from a friend in my theatre circle and she says to me that there is no way that Keziah will go w/o the surgery if he needs it, she'll send me a check for the money. If I was shocked before I was blown away now.

I have NO idea what I did to deserve this but I was thanking God over and over for these two amazing women.

Now, we're going to back up our story a Friday night. Why? Cause it leads us nicely into part two of my "story"...

I took my pal Celine dancing with me on Friday night and while we were out my friend Sheri says to me, "Did you go see A-ha?" For those of you NOT from the 80's let me explain that the music group A-ha were quite popular when I was in high school. I had a huge ol' crush on either the guitar player or the lead singer...depending on the day...and I'd never seen them live. Well, Sheri says it's their Farewell Tour and Saturday night is their last show...and its sold out. Well, damn.

Anyhoo, she texts me while I'm in my non-stop-sobbing mode and says I should try to see if anyone is selling tickets outside. Well, I'm thinking, "I may have to pay for a dog surgery...there's no way I can go." But at 7:30pm a wave of something washes over me that tells me to stop crying, get off my ass and get out of the house. Before I know it I'm up, dressed, attempting to put contacts into puffy eyes and throwing make-up on as best as I can to hide how badly swollen my face is....and I'm out the door. I'm on the 1 train by 8:05pm and heading downtown to the Nokia Theater thinking, "What the fuck am I doing?"

I get off at 42nd Street, push through the hordes of tourists to the theater, which is on 44th and 7th. The minute I get to the corner I see two big black guys looking to buy tickets. They are asking everyone that is going by. They ask this nice man and he says he has two and I step in and say to the girl behind him (who is his cousin), "How many tickets do you have extra?" Turns out, they had 3. So I follow along and he sells me a ticket for $50 (only a $5 mark up from normal price). I literally have $53 in my wallet. I give him the $50 and I go in with them. I get talking to the lovely lady who is with the two men and we all end up chatting down by the bar. Mark, the one who had bought the tickets, asks me if I'd like a drink. If there was ever a day I needed one this was the day!!!! I say "sure, that'd be great."

To make a long story short; I used my last $3 at the coat check, Mark bought everyone two rounds at the bar, & the four of us talked and drank (for 45 min during the opening band). At one point I had to laugh, getting into this sold out concert was like a gift. Without thinking I said to myself "after the day I've had, I really needed this". Blake (the really nice young lady of the group) asked about my day and I told them...but with VERY little detail, no tears and a positive outlook (I WAS an actor at one time ya know).

As we are about to head in to see the band Mark hands me my $50 back. He says, "for your dog if he needs the surgery". I about begin to cry in the lobby of the theatre. SO not cool. I try to give it back to him...he refuses. I thank him and we all head into the theater together. The place is packed and we're in the back and it's hard for a shorty like me to see. Blake says to me I should see how close I can get since I'm here by myself. I hand her my card and tell her to contact me about business stuff we'd talked about and I head into the packed crowd. By the end of the concert I end up about 10 to 15 feet from the stage. And for 2 hours I didn't cry or think about my day...I just enjoy the miracle that sometimes is my life.

So thank you to Mark, Matt and Blake. You three saved my day. Being as that I gave my pen name card...maybe you'll search for info on me and find this blog posting and know how much meeting you three that night meant to me.

So you wasn't just my amazing friends that showed me "the love" this was total strangers too. Sheri said, "there still are good people out there". And she's right. Mind you, most of them are my friends...but well, some are strangers from Jersey.

Much love and thanks to my friends and to the strangers who touched my heart,

P.S. To my friend Vince...your phone call meant so very much...thank you! xo

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A new month.
A new week.
A new day.
The same fucking eye twitch.

I've slept. I've tried just keeping the eye closed. I've purposefully NOT been on the computer at do I need to do to stop this eye from twitching?! Grrr...

But I shouldn't talk about my'll think it's important and keep twitching just to piss me off...

Last time I wrote here was April...yes, we are now in May and May hath brought 80 degree days to NYC. Yep...80! And because of that lovely weather I obviously spent it...


I know, your'e mad at me (so is my dog, trust me). But wait...listen to why and you can forgive me. I did a lot this past weekend so...listen up...

#1. I spent part of my indoor time READING. See, the newest book in the House of Night Series came out, entitled "Burned". When last we saw our heroine she was busy dying. Yep. Dying. Her soul was shattered after witnessing the death of someone she loved and in this new book she is in the Otherworld while her friends (and her body) are in the real world trying to figure out how to get her out of there in one piece, since its never been done before. I lay in bed all afternoon on Saturday finishing this fun book.

The website for this series is rather...uh...what's a good word? Childish? No...Teenagish? (not that that's a real word know what I mean...overdramatic) The books on the other hand are quite brilliant YA work. Written by P.C. Cast and her daughter Kristen. It's such a fantastic concept for a series...imagine: Vampire Finishing School. Yep! You get "marked" and then you have to attend the House of Night for school with other "marked" kids and if you survive the change, you become an immortal vampire. The Cast's have created vampires that are vampires who worship the goddess Nyx (who the Catholics see as Mary) and live the life of witches, being able to wield the elements and fight evil.

Anyhoo...the book is fun and ends well (which is important to me cause I'm a sucker for happy endings) and hence I couldn't put it down to walk in the park. Sorry puppy.

#2. I spent the other portion of my indoor time SHOPPING. Yep...I have been lucky enough to find a friend who is interested in joining me to go dancing and THAT thrills me WAAAY above what I could possibly explain in words. I took her to Gothic Reniassance and Vampire Freaks to find stuff to wear dancing with me. Celine bought her first corset and choker! Yay Celine! I bought a fun tiny black duffle bag that has a dead stuffed white bunny on it (dead = X's for eyes). He is detatchable with a zipper tummy and you can make him the purse if you want. So fun. I also snagged a black umbrella with sculls and a red patten leather choker to go with my waist cincher. It was a good time!

By the by...the reason it's great that Celine is going to join me dancing in my "scene" is that none of my other close friends will go and I usually have to go alone. Alone = not so fun. have someone to go with me (other than when my pal Matt is in town) brings me quite a bit of joy! get to share my love of this scene with a friend? Priceless. :)

#3. More indoor time was spent EATING! Yum! I went to eat at my FAVORITE restaurant in the city; Casellula. It's a wine/cheese place. Celine and I ate like queens and had a really fun time. If you live in NYC...check the place out...its on 9th Ave. and 52nd Street. :)

And all that, was just Saturday.

Sunday I was indoors because....I was WORKING ON MY BOOK! Again one might hope you could forgive me for indoor time as I was starting the review of my editor's edits. Boy is THAT fuckin' time consuming, slow going, and slightly boring. RIGHT CLICK-CLICK ACCEPT CHANGE repeat and repeat and repeat. *sigh* This is pass #1. Anything she wanted to "cut" that I wanted to really think about I left it for pass #2. Other than that I watched BOONDOCK SAINTS TWO. Bloody brilliant film!!!!! If you've never seen the first one it's a travesty...go rent the fucker or get it on Netflix dude! THEN...see the 2nd one. I laughed so hard at one point it hurt and I had to pause the film.

What a GREAT weekend...even though I was indoors. :) eye stopped twitching! Praise God! Maybe it was just telling me to go blog? ;) Ha ha!

Have a great week folks! I'm picking up Holly Black's new book, White Cat, this weekend but this time...I shall consider laying out in the sun to read. Shall tell you about this new series call The Curse Workers next week.

Tamsin :)

P.S. I've met Holly Black. Fun lady! Would you believe she wore black leather pants on a balmy summer day for a signing of Cassandra Clare's work last summer in Bryant Park? I'd have sweat to death but she seemed fine. Holly was acting as Cassandra's MC for the BP event as they are friends. Cassandra Clare is my fave author AND she recommends Holly's book...I shall read it.