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Author Archives: Chuck Sambuchino

7 Things I’ve Learned So Far, by Steven Raichlen

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This is a recurring column I’m calling “7 Things I’ve Learned So Far,” where writers at any stage of their career can talk about seven things they’ve learned along their writing journey that they wish they knew at the beginning. This installment is from writer Steve Raichlen.

GIVEAWAY: Steven is excited to give away a free copy of his novel to a random commenter. Comment within 2 weeks; winners must live in Canada/US to receive the book by mail. You can win a blog contest even if you’ve won before. (Update: Carol won.) Read more

My Adventures in … Lexington, KY (2012)

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I just returned from the (brand new) Books-in-Progress Writers Conference at the Carnegie Literacy Center in Lexington, KY. This was the third time I have been fortunate enough to present at the center (it’s not far from my home in Cincinnati), and it was a great experience. The Carnegie Center seems to be an incredible resource of writers and artists in the area. When you walk in the doors, the first two things you notice is 1) the beauty and ambiance of the building, and 2) that they encourage you to take a free book every time you stop by! Read more

How I Got My Agent: Jennifer Bosworth

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“How I Got My Agent” is a recurring feature on the GLA blog. Some tales are of long roads and many setbacks, while others are of good luck and quick signings.

GIVEAWAY: Jennifer is excited to give away a free copy of her novel to a random commenter. Comment within 2 weeks; winners must live in Canada/US to receive the book by mail. You can win a blog contest even if you’ve won before. (Barbara won.) Read more

Notes to the First-Time Novelist

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When I started writing THE GREEN SHORE, I didn’t call it a novel. It was a “project,” or “this thing I’m working on,” or maybe even a novella, but a “novel” it wasn’t—at least I didn’t admit as much. At first it felt wild and free, like a new crush, undefined and full of possibility. Soon, though, after I had produced about eighty pages of something that began to resemble a novel-in-progress, I experienced those moments—as Charles Baxter defines them—when “the fraud police” come knocking at the door. You probably know the feeling. You probably understand what it means to abandon your desk far too early in the afternoon, finding yourself at happy hour, talking with other writer friends about how none of you are writing.

GIVEAWAY: Natalie is excited to give away a free copy of her novel to a random commenter. Comment within 2 weeks; winners must live in Canada/US to receive the book by mail. You can win a blog contest even if you’ve won before. Read more

Literary Agent Interview: Jill Marsal of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency

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“Agent Advice” (more than 170 interviews so far!) is a series of quick interviews with literary and script agents who talk with Guide to Literary Agents about their thoughts on writing, publishing, and just about anything else.

This installment features Jill Marsal of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency. Jill Marsal is a founding partner of the Marsal Lyon Literary Agency and has been in the publishing industry for over 15 years. Jill also has a strong legal background and holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School. She practiced as an attorney with Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati for five years. Read more

How to Create Your Own Book — The New Options of Abbott Press

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My Guide to Literary Agents Blog is all about — naturally — trying to get an agent. But not every book’s path lies on the same route. While I encourage you to try to and get an agent for your work (and I can speak from a positive experience in the matter), some books may be a better fit for self-publishing. If you’ve got a novel in the drawer that agents said no to and you’ve forgotten about, perhaps that can be a great project to self-publish so some eyes could see it. If you’re thinking about self-publishing, learn more about Abbott Press. Read more

Your Novel’s Missing Ingredient? It Could Be You

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I know BB King when I hear him. I may not have heard the song before, but a few bittersweet notes from his Gibson guitar is all it takes to make a positive identification. His sound is unique, an expression of his singular personality. Like a song, a novel is many things. It’s a collection of characters and storylines, dialog and descriptions. But a book is also an expression of the author. When I write a book, I want people to know I wrote it. I want my finished product to be an extension of my personality. Something nobody else could’ve written. BB King sounds like BB King. And I want to sound like me.

GIVEAWAY: Warren is excited to give away a free copy of his novel to a random commenter. Comment within two weeks; winners must live in Canada/US to receive the book by mail. You can win a blog contest even if you’ve won before. (Flute71 won.) Read more

4 Reasons For Making Time to Read

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2. Reading Builds Confidence – As a beginning writer, I lacked confidence in my work. When I received feedback on my writing, I would start changing things to meet one person’s criticism only to have another reader suggest the opposite, and I had no idea how to evaluate their comments. These people were my teachers, after all—even if I disagreed with them, they knew what was best for my story, right?

GIVEAWAY: Dayna is excited to give away a free copy of her novel to a random commenter. Comment within 2 weeks; winners must live in Canada/US to receive the book by mail. You can win a blog contest even if you’ve won before. (Update: Colossians323 won.) Read more

Writers’ Conference Spotlight: Midwest Writers Workshop (July 26-28, 2012)

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I am pumped to be presenting at the 2012 Midwest Writers Workshop in Muncie, IN, July 26-28, 2012. This is widely regarded as being one of the Midwest’s premiere events, and I’m … Read more

7 Things I’ve Learned So Far, by Olivia Newport

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This is a recurring column I’m calling “7 Things I’ve Learned So Far,” where writers at any stage of their career can talk about seven things they’ve learned along their writing journey that they wish they knew at the beginning. This installment is from writer Olivia Newport.

GIVEAWAY: Olivia is excited to give away a free copy of her novel to a random commenter. Comment within 2 weeks; winners must live in Canada/US to receive the book by mail. You can win a blog contest even if you’ve won before. (Update: Kaylyn won.) Read more

How I Got My Agent: Regina Jennings

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“How I Got My Agent” is a recurring feature on the GLA blog. Some tales are of long roads and many setbacks, while others are of good luck and quick signings. If you have a literary agent and would be interested in writing a short guest column for this GLA blog, e-mail me at literaryagent@fwmedia.com and we’ll talk specifics.

GIVEAWAY: Guest columnist Regina Jennings is excited to give away a free copy of her novel to a random commenter. Comment within one week; winners must live in Canada/US to receive the book by mail. You can win a blog contest even if you’ve won before. (Update: Barbara won.) Read more

New Literary Agent Alert: Rachel Ekstrom of the Irene Goodman Literary Agency

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About Rachel: She was most recently publicity manager at St. Martin’s Press. Rachel Ekstrom’s decade of experience working in the publicity departments at St. Martin’s, Minotaur Books, and Penguin’s Dutton and Gotham imprints has given her an insider’s view of the publishing industry. With a knack for book promotion, she’s honed her skills building the careers of debut authors and #1 New York Times bestsellers.

She is seeking: women’s fiction, YA (contemporary and paranormal), thrillers, mysteries, romance, historical fiction and the occasional quirky work of nonfiction. She’s looking for books that will make her heart beat faster than it does when she’s biking through Manhattan traffic. Read more

10th “Dear Lucky Agent” Contest — Winners Announced

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Concerning the most recent “Dear Lucky Agent” Contest (upmarket fiction), guest judge literary agent Lauren Ruth has chosen her three winners! Here they are:

1. Mandi Harris for LITTLE GOSPEL
2. Sarah Salmon for THE CHILI IS NOT THE WHOLE CURRY
3. Annamaria Elsden for ALMOST WINTER Read more

“How I Got Published” — Jim Kraus, Author of THE DOG THAT TALKED TO GOD

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My latest interview with a writer of a dog-related book is Jim Kraus, author of THE DOG THAT TALKED TO GOD (Abingdon Press, 2012).

Jim is a longtime writer and editor who has authored or co-authored more than 20 books, both fiction and nonfiction. His best-selling humor book, Bloopers, Blunders, Jokes, Quips, and Quotes, was published by Tyndale House Publishers, sold more than 40,000 copies and inspired several spin-off books. Jim, and his wife, novelist Terri Kraus, and one son, live in the Chicago area. Read more

7 Things I’ve Learned So Far, by Melanie Gideon

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1. Don’t Google yourself. It can only lead to heartbreak. If you simply must know what’s being said about you and your work in the blogosphere, get a friend or spouse or sibling to do periodic Google searches for you. But, and this is very important, insist they curate. Suggest they say things like “Gosh, I don’t see anything but five star reviews. Okay, maybe a few four stars sprinkled in.” Suggest they don’t say things like “Why does @gogirlcrunchy hate you so much?” Tip: don’t be in the same room when said loved one is doing Google searches. And if you are in the same room, do not, I repeat do not look at the expression on their face as they scan the results.

GIVEAWAY: Melanie is excited to give away a free copy of her novel to a random commenter. Comment within 2 weeks; winners must live in Canada/US to receive the book by mail. You can win a blog contest even if you’ve won before. (Update: Heather won.) Read more

6 Reasons Editors Will Reject You

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Before I wrote my first novel, The Expats, I spent nearly two decades at various arms of publishing houses such as Random House, Workman, and HarperCollins, mostly as an acquisitions editor. But a more accurate title for that job might be rejection editor: while I acquired maybe a dozen projects per year, I’d reject hundreds upon hundreds. And while it may not be possible to pinpoint what exactly makes for a great manuscript or submission, it’s pretty easy to identify some of the avoidable mistakes that can virtually guarantee your project will get relegated to the circular file.

GIVEAWAY: Chris is excited to give away a free copy of his novel to a random commenter. Comment within 2 weeks; winners must live in Canada/US to receive the book by mail. You can win a blog contest even if you’ve won before. (Update: Lynn33 won.) Read more

Literary Agent Interview: Melissa Flashman of Trident Media Group, LLC

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“Agent Advice” (more than 150 interviews so far!) is a series of quick interviews with literary and script agents who talk with Guide to Literary Agents about their thoughts on writing, publishing, and just about anything else.

This installment features Melissa Flashman of Trident Media Group, LLC. Melissa grew up in Kentucky, graduated from Wesleyan University, and studied in the Ph.D. program in English at Johns Hopkins. She worked as an assistant at International Creative Management (ICM) before joining Trident Media Group. You can find Melissa on Twitter here. Read more

10 Writing Myths

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I read every “how to write” book I found, every writing magazine, every article on authors I could find. I loved hearing about how they did what they did. And still, I didn’t have a clue about how things worked in this business. Here are 10 myths about being a writer that I discovered once I became published:

GIVEAWAY: Lori is excited to give away a free copy of her book to a random commenter. Comment within 2 weeks; winners must live in Canada/US to receive the book by mail. You can win a blog contest even if you’ve won before. (Update: jdmstudios won.) Read more

How I Got My Agent: Cassie Alexander

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“How I Got My Agent” is a recurring feature on the GLA blog. Some tales are of long roads and many setbacks, while others are of good luck and quick signings. If you have a literary agent and would be interested in writing a short guest column for this GLA blog, e-mail me at literaryagent@fwmedia.com and we’ll talk specifics.

GIVEAWAY: Cassie is excited to give away a free copy of her novel to a random commenter. Comment within 2 weeks; winners must live in Canada/US to receive the book by mail. You can win a blog contest even if you’ve won before. (Update: ukjb053 won.) Read more

Rules for Writing and Revising Your Novel

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When you revise, you must go back and fine-tune your work—add, delete—what needs to go in, be taken out. Repair the characters. Do it when your mind is still fresh with the scenes and the characters of that chapter. However, you must be unbiased (which is hard toward what you’ve just written), detached (which is harder from what you’ve just built), so you can see your own creative flaws.

GIVEAWAY: Khanh is excited to give away a free copy of his novel to a random commenter. Comment within 2 weeks; winners must live in Canada/US to receive the book by mail. You can win a blog contest even if you’ve won before. (Update: Bop won.) Read more

New Literary Agent Alert: Jennifer Azantian of the Jennifer Azantian Literary Agency

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About Jennifer: Jennifer Azantian assists Sandra Dijkstra and Elise Capron, and manages incoming submissions for SDLA. At the University of California, San Diego, she studied clinical and developmental child psychology, and graduated cum laude in 2010. After graduation, she spent a wonderful summer interning at the Dijkstra Agency before joining full-time in fall of 2011.

She is seeking: Jennifer is only interested in: young adult science fiction and fantasy (including all of their subgenres). Read more

7 Things I’ve Learned So Far, by Nina Benneton

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This is a recurring column I’m calling “7 Things I’ve Learned So Far,” where writers at any stage of their career can talk about seven things they’ve learned along their writing journey that they wish they knew at the beginning. This installment is from novelist Nina Benneton.

GIVEAWAY: Nina is excited to give away a free copy of her novel to a random commenter. Comment within 2 weeks; winners must live in Canada/US to receive the book by mail. You can win a blog contest even if you’ve won before. (Update: Jami G. won.) Read more

My Cursed Adventure to See Van Halen in Concert…

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One of my favorite bands of all time is Van Halen. I love all their music, and probably know more about the history of the band than anybody would care to discuss with me.

That’s why it absolutely BLOWS that my quest to see them in concert has been such a tragedy. This sad story has three acts… Read more

The Short Happy Lives of Short Story Collections

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Short story collections are the weird sister of the publishing world. Though you can see anthologies of shorts in bookstores (i.e., 2012’s Greatest Stories About the Kardashian Sisters), you rarely see collections by individual authors. Sometimes the poor things are teetering on the tippy-top shelf of a general fiction section, because it’s a rare store that sets aside shelf space for collections, unless your name is Alice Munro or Annie Proulx.

GIVEAWAY: Tom is excited to give away a free copy of his collection to a random commenter. Comment within 2 weeks; winners must live in Canada/US to receive the book by mail. You can win a blog contest even if you’ve won before. (Update: DocAnnieD won.) Read more

“How I Got Published” — Mary Nethery and Kirby Larson, Authors of NUBS: THE TRUE STORY OF A MUTT, A MARINE, AND A MIRACLE

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This installment is with Mary Nethery and Kirby Larson, authors of the New York Times best-selling book NUBS: THE TRUE STORY OF A MUTT, A MARINE, AND A MIRACLE (Little Brown, 2009), a story about marine Brian Dennis and a feral dog in Iraq that found a home in America.

GIVEAWAY: Mary and Kirby are excited to give away 2 free copies of their book to a random commenter. Comment within 2 weeks; winners must live in Canada/US to receive the book by mail. You can win a blog contest even if you’ve won before. (Update: Lina and T.Rob won.) Read more

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