Friday, May 30, 2014

ESSENCE Launch Party Details + Blog Tour Stops!!

ESSENCE Launch Party
Tuesday, June 3rd ... 7:00-9:00pm

Photo Courtesy of Inkwood Books
It's just a few days until ESSENCE's debut, which means... It's time for a Launch Party!!

What are you doing on Tuesday, June 3rd?? If you happen to find yourself in the Tampa Bay area, I would looooove you to join me at Inkwood Books in Hyde Park Village for my official ESSENCE Launch Party!

There will be wine, cheese and all things writerly. I will do a Q&A session and a reading (if I don't chicken out), and there will copies of ESSENCE on-hand for purchase. Inkwood Books also has a wonderful selection of books by all sorts of national and local authors, so please support this local business by joining us.

Here is a link to my Facebook event invitation: ESSENCE Launch Party. I would also appreciate you spreading the word to anyone else you think may be interested in attending. Thanks so much, and I hope to see you there!

Also... Don't forget that today (5/30) is Day Ten of my ESSENCE Blog Tour. Here are today's tour stops:
Special thanks to the amazing bloggers who are hosting me, and thanks in advance for checking out my posts. Have a wonderful day!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Essence Blog Tour, Day Nine!



Strange Chemistry will be releasing my debut novel Essence on June 3rd. (!!!) To celebrate, I will be blog touring from May 19th through June 20th.

Here are my tour stops today (Thursday, May 29th):
Special thanks to the amazing bloggers who are hosting me, and thanks in advance for checking out my posts. Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Essence Blog Tour, Day Eight!


Strange Chemistry will be releasing my debut novel Essence on June 3rd. (!!!) To celebrate, I will be blog touring from May 19th through June 20th.

Here is my tour stop today (Wednesday, May 28th):
Special thanks to the amazing bloggers who are hosting me, and thanks in advance for checking out my post. Have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Essence Blog Tour, Day Seven!



Strange Chemistry will be releasing my debut novel Essence on June 3rd. (!!!) To celebrate, I will be blog touring from May 19th through June 20th.

Here is my tour stop today (Tuesday, May 27th):
Special thanks to the amazing bloggers who are hosting me, and thanks in advance for checking out my post. Have a wonderful day!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Diving Back In

The Path to Publication, Part Eight

Photo Courtesy of Wiki Commons
Thank you for tuning in to the eighth installment of my running series, “The Path to Publication.” (Did you miss my first posts? Scroll to the bottom for links to check them out!) Also, today is a VERY exciting day, because it's Day Six of my ESSENCE release tour! Here are today's tour stops:

When we last left off, I had just turned down a literary contract from my dream agent (Hannah Bowman of Liza Dawson Associates) because I wanted to finish my new project ESSENCE instead of submitting my first project THE MERMAID GENE. This is one of the scariest decisions I had ever made in my entire life, but deep in my gut, I knew it was the right decision.

THE MERMAID GENE was my first book, and although I loved it, I could now see that it had its share of rookie mistakes. The beginning dragged, the tense was wrong, the main characters were too perfect... I had followed a trend and written THE MERMAID GENE for a very specific audience, and that self-consciousness shined through on almost every page.

ESSENCE wasn't like that. ESSENCE was grittier, and it was also more intense. It dealt with serious issues like cult brainwashing and peer pressure, and it starred characters who weren't always right. They made mistakes, and they bumbled through their journeys the way people who have been controlled their whole lives often do. They trusted the wrong people, they made questionable choices, and they sometimes hurt each other.

ESSENCE's main characters scared me, because they weren't like me. At the end of the day, however, I was proud of myself for having the courage to write them, and I ended up loving them more than many of THE MERMAID GENE's characters, because they were real. And they were flawed. And they wanted nothing more than to rise above their circumstances and succeed despite all the odds stacked up against them.

So... I turned down that literary contract from Hannah Bowman, and then I proceeded to hyperventilate for about a month. I panicked and second-guessed myself, and my creativity died entirely.

And then one day... I just got over it. 

I wanted to write ESSENCE because I loved it. I wanted Hannah to love it, too, but I knew I couldn't write it for Hannah, or for my friends and family, or for anyone else. I had to write it for me, and I had to believe in it. Even if no one ever wanted to buy it or read it, I could still look back at that manuscript and say I had given it my all.

So I did. I spent the next few months telling my story, and I abandoned my usual plotting approach in favor of a breathless sort of free-writing I still don't completely understand. And at the end of it--right in the middle of June 2012--I had a book.

I can't express to you how nervous I was when I finally hit "send" on this email:

Hi Hannah, I hope you are doing well. I have just completed my ESSENCE revisions, and I have attached my manuscript for your review. Here is a more fleshed-out version of the novel's pitch:

Neutrality is the key to longevity.

This is the only truth sixteen year-old Autumn [Grace] has ever known. She lives under the control of San Francisco’s cult-like Centrist Movement—a new spirituality that claims emotional experiences lead to Essence drain and early death.

Autumn has learned to suppress her feelings, but her younger brother’s death brings her faith into question. While illegally sprinting through a condemned park, she encounters Ryder [Stone]—a free-spirited Outsider who claims Essence drain is nothing more than a Centrist scare tactic. From his headquarters in the abandoned remains of Yosemite National Park, he says he can prove it.

Joining Ryder’s community means abandoning her family, giving up her identity and forsaking everything she has ever believed in, but Autumn is determined to find the truth—even if she risks losing herself in the process.

The novel is 82,000 words now--about 8,000 less than my first draft. (I know there are some quasi-dystopian elements to the plot, but I have tried hard to distinguish it as a "cult book" instead of a dystopian novel. ESSENCE reminds me more of an adventure novel like Alex Garland's THE BEACH, with a free-spirited clan and the illusion of paradise.)

Thanks again for how supportive and approachable you have been during this whole process. Please let me know if you have any questions, and like I said, if you want ESSENCE, it's yours. I won't even write a query letter.

Have a great morning.
-Lisa


And then... The waiting began.

Tune in next week for the FINAL installment of "The Path to Publication" to see what happened next!

Did you miss my earlier "Path to Publication" posts? Check them out here:

Friday, May 23, 2014

Essence Blog Tour, Day Five!


Strange Chemistry will be releasing my debut novel Essence on June 3rd. (!!!) To celebrate, I will be blog touring from May 19th through June 20th.

Here are my tour stops today (Friday, May 23rd):
Special thanks to the amazing bloggers who are hosting me, and thanks in advance for checking out my posts. Have a wonderful day!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Essence Blog Tour, Day Four!


Strange Chemistry will be releasing my debut novel Essence on June 3rd. (!!!) To celebrate, I will be blog touring from May 19th through June 20th.

Here are my tour stops today (Thursday, May 22nd):
Special thanks to the amazing bloggers who are hosting me, and thanks in advance for checking out my posts. Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Essence Blog Tour, Day Three!



Strange Chemistry will be releasing my debut novel Essence on June 3rd. (!!!) To celebrate, I will be blog touring from May 19th through June 20th.

Here is my tour stop today (Wednesday, May 21st):
Special thanks to the amazing bloggers who are hosting me, and thanks in advance for checking out my post. Have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Essence Blog Tour, Day Two!


Strange Chemistry will be releasing my debut novel Essence on June 3rd. (!!!) To celebrate, I will be blog touring from May 19th through June 20th.

Here are my tour stops today (Tuesday, May 20th):
  • Tez Miller's Tez Says: Guest Post on Plotting
  • A. Lynden Rolland's As of Life: Essence Excerpt
Special thanks to the amazing bloggers who are hosting me, and thanks in advance for checking out my posts. Have a wonderful day!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Believing in Yourself

The Path to Publication, Part Seven

Photo Courtesy of Jennifer
Thank you for tuning in to the seventh installment of my running series, “The Path to Publication.” (Did you miss my first six posts? Scroll to the bottom for links to check them out! Also, today is a VERY exciting day, because it's the first day of my ESSENCE release tour!! Click HERE for today's post, and click HERE for a full list of blog stops!)

In my earlier "Path to Publication" posts, I discussed writing my first novel THE MERMAID GENE, querying that novel, signing with the wrong literary agent and getting dropped as her client within the first four and a half months of our contract. Last week, I recounted my decision to eat a big ol' piece of humble pie and tell the other literary agent whose offer of representation I had declined (in favor of the agent who dropped me) what a huge mistake I had made by going elsewhere.

I don't think I expected to hear back from Hannah Bowman of Liza Dawson Associates. She had graduated into a powerhouse agent in just a few short months, and she already had five clients and two six-figure deals under her belt. She was currently taking the literary world by storm, and I figured I had already ruined any chance I had of ever speaking to her again.

But I emailed her anyway, and I told her she had been the right choice all along. I also told her I was working on a new project, and I would be honored if she would accept another query from me when I finished.

But Hannah surprised me. Not only did she respond to my email, but she asked me what happened to THE MERMAID GENE. We set up a phone call, and after a few conversations back and forth, she told me she still believed in me--and THE MERMAID GENE--enough to send over a contract and try to submit it again. (!!!)

She was realistic about our chances, however. THE MERMAID GENE had already been rejected several times, so she felt like only five or six remaining editors would be willing to look at it. Also, the manuscript would require some work. A lot of work, actually, so I would need to be willing to pour my guts into it and understand that all my work may end up being for nothing.

Or, she said, I could work on my new project ESSENCE. That story seemed to already have a grip on me, and its chances in the marketplace were probably much better, It was brand-new, and its bridges hadn't already been burned like THE MERMAID GENE's had. Also, the cult book market wasn't nearly as crowded as the paranormal market, so if we ended up selling ESSENCE, it would probably have the potential for a much stronger, more impactful debut.

However, Hannah cautioned, the market was shifting away from YA paranormals, so if I wanted to catch the paranormal boat, I needed to do it now. That meant I couldn't choose ESSENCE and then return to THE MERMAID GENE later. I needed to either choose THE MERMAID GENE now or say goodbye to it--probably forever.

Also, she was willing to send me a literary contract for THE MERMAID GENE that day, but she couldn't very well sign me for an unfinished manuscript, so if I chose ESSENCE, I would need to go it alone. And when I finished ESSENCE, she would agree to take a look at it, but she wouldn't promise anything more than that. She may end up hating it, and I may end up without an agent and without the possibility of ever finding a home for THE MERMAID GENE.

So... I took a deep breath and weighed my options, and then I made one of the scariest decisions I have ever made in my entire life: I told her I believed ESSENCE would be a better book, and I wanted to focus my attention on finishing it. If she wanted it when I was done, it was hers. If not, I completely understood her decision to pass.

She respected my answer--admired my bravery, I think--and she told me she looked forward to hearing from me in a few months. I thanked for her time and consideration, and I told her I REALLY hoped we could work together someday.

And then you know what I did? I hung up the phone and proceeded to hyperventilate. And then I went home and stared at my computer screen, and then writer's block seized me and I didn't write another word of ESSENCE for almost a month.

I HAD JUST TURNED DOWN A LITERARY CONTRACT. I had just turned down an honest-to-goodness, real-life literary contract (from my dream agent)--and I had no idea if I was even capable of completing ESSENCE, much less making it into something Hannah (or anyone) would ever want to read. I had just killed THE MERMAID GENE, and I had absolutely no idea if I would ever have anything to show for it.

I was terrified, but I remember being proud of myself, too. I knew the decision to pursue ESSENCE was the right decision, even if it wasn't the easy one. ESSENCE was a better book than THE MERMAID GENE, and it had the potential to be a so-much-stronger debut (if I could pull it off).

At the end of the day, I knew I would respect myself a million times more for having the courage to believe in ESSENCE--instead of just jumping to sign a contract for a project that wasn't quite right.

But... That didn't stop the anxiety nor the crippling panic that made my creativity die on my page. ESSENCE had been progressing beautifully, but now it felt dead in the water. I hadn't anticipated THAT.

So what happened next? Please tune in next Monday, 5/26 at 7am EST time to find out!

Did you miss my earlier "The Path to Publication" posts? Check them out here:
Also... WOOHOOOOO!!!! Today is the first day of my ESSENCE pre-release tour, which will run from 5/19 to 6/6. (My post-release tour will run from 6/9-6/20... More details about that soon!)

Please click HERE for a full list of tour stops, and click HERE to check out today's post on Nina Crisp's blog, "Death, Books and Tea."

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, May 16, 2014

ESSENCE Blog Tour Schedule!!

I can't believe my debut novel ESSENCE will be released in less than a month! This means it's time to PARTY and celebrate with a shiny, exciting, all-around-awesome blog tour!

Photo Courtesy of Careyjamesbalboa
My tour will be broken into two bits: a pre-release tour from May 19th through June 6th, and a post-release tour from June 9th through June 20th. More information about the post-release tour will be available soon.

In the meantime, let's celebrate my pre-release tour with a full list of dates, hosts and topics. We have some FABULOUS bloggers on-board, and I am SO EXCITED to get started!!

WEEK ONE

WEEK TWO

WEEK THREE
A HUGE thank you to all the bloggers who will be hosting me. Let the partying begin!!

(And please don't forget my next "Path to Publication" post next Monday as well! Have a great weekend!)

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Cover Reveal: Eric Devine's PRESS PLAY!!!

Happy Wednesday, everyone! In celebration of the cover reveal for Eric Devine's gritty new YA novel, PRESS PLAY, he has hijacked my blog for the day! (Oh, he also brought presents for you. You're welcome. ;))

Here he is...............


I threw a party and want to give you my gifts.

So I finally got to see the awesome, amazing, and intense cover for my next novel, Press Play. And then the Book Buzz 2014 Young Adult edition released, which has the first two chapters in it. I was so excited that I threw a party to celebrate. Bethany Crandell came with a signed copy of her novel, Summer on the Short Bus, and a swag pack with bookmark and pin.

Shortbus book & swag 


AG Howard brought an awesome 18x24” Unhinged poster, as well as a Splintered series swag pack.

Unhinged posterSplintered.UnhingedSwag


Lisa Ann O’Kane rolled up with an e-copy of her debut, Essence, and some sweet swag pins.

Essence. Book imageESSENCE Pins


A. Lynden Rolland rocked the place with a signed copy of her debut, Of Breakable Things, and her swag pins and bookmark.

 Obt.BookImageOBT button


And then Justin Holley scared us all with his contribution: a signed copy of the horror anthology, Amanda’s Recurring Nightmares, in which his short story, “Wildflower” is featured.

Amanda's Nightmares


We had a blast, and because I’m so thrilled with my cover and the sample chapters, I WANT TO GIVE ALL MY GIFTS AWAY. So let’s reveal my cover and then you will have a chance to win all that you saw above, as well as a signed copy of Press Play. Awesome, right? *Drum roll* And for the teaser...


Press Play cover teaser   








Scroll for the real deal * * * *









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Press Play cover 
  
Holy-in-your-face-what-is-going-on-with-these-kids-in-this-glitchy-video-image? Let me explain:

About Press Play: 

Does the truth really set you free? Pound by sweaty pound, Greg Dunsmore’s plan is working. Greg is steadily losing weight while gaining the material he needs to make the documentary that will get him into film school and away from the constant jeers of “Dun the Ton.” But when Greg captures footage of brutal and bloody hazing by his town’s championship-winning lacrosse team, he knows he has evidence that could damage as much as it could save. And if the harm is to himself and his future, is revealing the truth worth the cost? With unflinching honesty, author Eric Devine explores the debatable truths and consequences of the choices we make to get through each day intact.

You’re pumped now. I can feel it. Well, if you need a fix, here are the first two chapters. But don’t forget to enter, below, to win the prize pack. Thanks for stopping by, and happy winning, and even happier reading :)


The Giveaway
  a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author

Eric Devine is the author of multiple works of Young Adult fiction, most recently Dare Me. He is also a veteran high school English teacher, where he spends as much time teaching as he does completing field research for his novels. His work has been listed by YALSA and Booklist for reluctant readers and for Best in Sports. He and his wife have two wonderful daughters and two not-so-wonderful Labradors. Eric’s next novel, Press Play, will be released 10/28, and he is currently working on two novels. Find out more at his blog, his Facebook fan page, or Twitter: @eric_devine


About the Giveaway Authors

Bethany Crandell writes young adult novels because the feelings that come with life's "first" times are too good not to relive again and again. She lives in San Diego with her husband, two kiddos (one of whom is differently-abled), and a chocolate lab who has no regard for personal space. She believes that avocados are better than chocolate and that Jake Ryan is going to show up at her door any minute now…. twitter: @bethanycrandell website  Facebook

A.G. Howard is the author of the Splintered series, a young adult gothic spinoff of Alice in Wonderland. Here are her online haunts: Goodreads FaceBook Pinterest Twitter Tumblr Website

Lisa Ann O'Kane is a young adult author and former vagabond who once camped out in Yosemite National Park for an entire summer, an experience that inspired her debut novel Essence. Her background is in zookeeping and environmental education, and she has been kicked, cornered, bitten and chased by nearly every animal she has ever loved. She currently resides in Florida, and she is now a huge fan of shooting stars, indoor plumbing and keeping both her feet planted firmly on the trail. Find out more: Website Twitter Facebook Instagram Pinterest

A. Lynden Rolland was born and raised in Annapolis, Maryland. She spent much of her childhood compiling dramatic stories of tragic characters in a notebook she still keeps. As a former English teacher, she enjoys visiting classrooms to discuss reading, writing and publishing. When she isn’t writing or chasing her two young children around town, she moonlights as a writing tutor and gymnastics instructor. Of Breakable Things is her first novel. You can connect with A. Lynden Rolland online through Facebook, Twitter, or Goodreads.

Justin Holley is the author of several scary books and short stories, many of which are published in magazines and anthologies around the world. Outside of writing, Justin likes to spend time with his family, investigate the paranormal, and play volleyball pretty much year round. You can interact with Justin at his website, at Minnesota Ghosts or on Twitter: @Justin_Holley

Monday, May 12, 2014

Eating Some Humble Pie

The Path to Publication, Part Six

Photo Courtesy of Jonathan McIntosh
Thanks so much for tuning in to the sixth installment of my running series, “The Path to Publication.” (Did you miss my first five posts? Scroll to the bottom for links to check them out!)

When we last left off, I had just poured my heart into my first novel THE MERMAID GENE only to sign with the wrong literary agent and find myself dropped as a client within the first four and a half months of our contract.

To say I was devastated would be an understatement. In between tears of frustration and grief, I questioned why I'd ever wanted to do this in the first place.

In that moment, I also realized I had two choices. I could retreat back into my corner and let this setback define me, or I could make the decision to rise above it.

The only problem was, I didn’t have anything to rise above it with.

THE MERMAID GENE was basically dead in the water. More than 20 YA publishers had already theoretically rejected it, and that meant only a handful of potential publishers remained. (I say theoretically because… Well, forget it. That part of the story is beside-the-point.) Suffice it to say, THE MERMAID GENE’s chances did not look good.

I had also started a new project a few months prior, but I was only about two-thirds of the way through with it, so it looked like I was back to Square One again. And needless to say, Square One was a very sad and hopeless-looking place.

But there was this niggling sense of wrongdoing I couldn’t shake. And after much thought, I finally pinpointed it: I had chosen the wrong literary agent. And even if the first agent who offered me a contract for THE MERMAID GENE never responded to my apology, she needed to hear it.

So I sat down and stared at my computer for awhile. And then I finally wrote this email:

Dear Hannah Bowman c/o Liza Dawson Associates:

Hi Hannah, it's Lisa [Ann O’Kane] from last fall. I am writing you today to let you know that I definitely made the wrong choice when I accepted representation for THE MERMAID GENE from the other agency instead of from you. (Turns out that sometimes when something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.)

Things did not work out with the other agency the way I had planned, and I will soon be looking for representation again. I am in the process of writing my next novel (a YA coming-of-age set in Yosemite that hopefully combines Alex Garland's THE BEACH with Maurice Sendak's WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE), and I would be honored if you would consider another query from me when I am finished.

(This is me with my tail between my legs.)

I hope all is well with you, and I hope to be ready to submit again by mid-summer. Thanks again for your enthusiasm about THE MERMAID GENE; I can appreciate now more than ever what an amazing agent you would have been if I had made the correct choice the first time around. Have a great afternoon.

-Lisa


I don’t know what I expected to happen next. I think I thought I would never hear from Hannah again, but she surprised me by responding two days later with this email:

Hi Lisa,

Thanks for getting in touch. I'm sorry to hear the other agency didn't work out for you.

I would definitely love to see your next project whenever it's finished. Is this [references an idea I mentioned to her in the fall], or is it a new project?

Out of curiosity, are you still looking for new representation for THE MERMAID GENE, or has it already been submitted to too many editors?

Best,
Hannah


This is the moment when I wanted to crawl up inside of myself and die. Even after I’d walked away and signed with another agency, Hannah still remembered the dumbass ideas I’d referenced during our first conversation. She also still believed in my damn mermaid book enough to want to consider giving it another chance.

So what happened next?? Please tune in next Monday, 5/19, at 7am EST to find out!

(5/19 is also the kick-off of my ESSENCE blog tour, which will run from 5/19 to 6/20.  Please join me this Friday, 5/16, for a full list of blog stops!)

Monday, May 5, 2014

Picking the Right Literary Agent

The Path to Publication, Part Five
Photo Courtesy of Toby Hudson
When I queried my first novel THE MERMAID GENE, I suffered from a common misconception. I believed almost all literary agents were created equal.

I say 'almost,' because I knew some literary agents were con artists. They asked for fees for their services, and they never really did anything except steal your money--and probably smoke cheap cigars in a dirty office somewhere.

But here's where I went wrong. I figured I could weed out all the unsavory literary agents with a simple search on Preditors & Editors or the AbsoluteWrite Forum. If those searches came back clean, the agent MUST be a reasonable human being, right? Even better, the agent MUST be a powerhouse superhero ready to take on the world and make us both filthy rich in the process, right?

Wrong. Obviously. I shake my head at my naiveté now, but I was so giddy at the thought that a real-life literary agent may someday want to TALK to me that it didn't even occur to me that I needed to interview her, too.

Here's what happened...

After more than eight months of querying THE MERMAID GENE, I finally got an offer of representation from not one, but two (!!) literary agents. My elation was unparalleled, and I immediately sat down and tried to figure out which offer I should accept.

The problem is, I only looked at things that were quantifiable. I didn't pay enough attention to intangible things like the agents' personalities, how well we clicked or how well they 'got' what I was trying to say. I also didn't monitor their enthusiasm for my work or their long-term investment in my career, because I figured EVERY agent wants his or her client to be a lifelong client, right?

Wrong. Obviously.

Before we get into that, let's take a look at both agents, stacked side-by-side:


Photo Courtesy of Marco Bellucci
AGENT A
  • Established agent with lots of clients and sales
  • Came with a "co-agent," which seemed pretty much unprecedented
  • Very established house with lots of sales and a "highly recommended" Preditors & Editors status
  • Smooth talker, with plans of taking THE MERMAID GENE to the Frankfurt Book Fair in just a few short weeks
  • Very well-connected to the literary and film worlds. Spoke of a particular contact at a particular (VERY well-known) film production company who was already interested in considering THE MERMAID GENE for a feature film
  • Didn't see the need to do extensive edits and thought we could get the manuscript out on submission within a couple of weeks


AGENT B
  • Brand-new agent with only one other client and no existing sales
  • Very established house with lots of sales, but no "highly recommended" Preditors & Editors status
  • Wonderful rapport and the feeling that she really "got" me, but no specific plans for editors she would contact quite yet
  • Felt THE MERMAID GENE would require fairly extensive edits, including changing the entire manuscript's tense and shortening/tightening the first 50 pages
  • Didn't want to rush submissions, because she wanted us to take our time with edits and make sure we got them right

Can you guess which agent I picked? And can you speculate which agent I should have picked?

I will spare you the long story, as there is no sense in dwelling on the past. Let's just leave it at this: if something sounds too good to be true, it most likely is too good to be true. 

Fast forward to today. Agent A is no longer agenting, and Agent B has several six-figure deals under her belt (including one for that first client, who would have been in line just in front of me). THE MERMAID GENE has been shelved--partially due to being blasted out before it was ready--and I found myself dropped as Agent A's client within four and a half months.

And you know what? It was my fault, because I listened with my wallet, not with my heart. I heard, "Let's make a ton of money with no work at all," and I chose that over, "Let's do this right. It may take some time, but I really believe in this book." 

Moral of the story: don't take the easy way out. Ever. And listen to your damn gut. If it's screaming for you to not believe everything you hear, please don't turn a blind eye to that.

Also, remember that agents are just people. Some will care about you more than others, and it's up to YOU to determine which one deserves to be trusted with your career. Don't leave a decision that monumental to websites like Preditors & Editors or the AbsoluteWrite Forum. Those websites are important places to start, but ultimately, the decision is in your hands. No matter how starstruck you feel, you need to keep your head on straight. 

Remember that manuscript... the one you just spent the past few months or YEARS of your life writing? Its future--and your future--depend on it.

So... Where did my story leave me? That answer is simple: agentless and broke, with a dead manuscript and no idea what to do next. 

Please tune in next Monday to see what happened next!

Did you miss my earlier "The Path to Publication" posts? Check them out here: