So, I have made an executive decision for myself.
Because... you know, that is the only kind you can make on behalf of yourself.

It is #NaNoWriMo and I so badly wanted to participate this year. 
I am 40k into my WIP (remember what this stands for non-writer friends??)
So me and few of my writing gals of Twitter have decided to do #WIPmo or Work In Progress Month.
We are going to check in every week and hold each other accountable. So that we hit our goals on our manuscripts that have been slow in the making. I am trying to reach 65k words by the end of the month. So my goal for November is 25k words + Edits for the entire manuscript. 

I'm actually pretty stoked on it. 

So NaNo'ers and WIPmo's let's do this. 

*throws glitter in the air* 
*does backflip*

(Are you feeling my cheering you on- because I am a fantastic online cheerleader.) 

READY... Set... Go GO GO! 

Good Luck.
Do Work People.

When I write my characters they already have insanely detailed descriptions in my head, before I have even typed one sentence. They come to life as real people for me. 

What characters have come to life, as "real people" to you? Characters that are so vivid in your mind that you are sure they are in the next room. 

In my writing I have learned that world building is important, dialogue is key, but characterization of your people is the thing that will make people fall in love or respectively hate your guts. 
It is hard to find the line between revealing too much about a character and not enough. I want my readers to be urged to read on because they HAVE to know more, but I also want to give them enough to go on to stay satisfied. 

So my question for my blog readers (hi Mom) is:

Who is your favorite character out of ALL of the books you've read? 

Let me know.

buy sunglasses

You might be asking yourself what the hell is NaNoWriMo. 

Well, let me tell you.

It's National Novel Writing Month. People from all over the world participate in the challenge to get 50,000 words of a novel written in one month- that month being November. 

There are a few key terms that you should know. 

Planners: Outline. Character bubble charts. Overall organized perfection prior to writing a novel.

Panster: Aka me. Aka flying by the seat of your pants. I know how to outline, don't get me wrong. It's just that when I write my characters dictate the story. (cue crazy creepy writer music) (she hears voices, she is so weird- I'm okay with it.) 

Then there is the mash up of the two although I don't really know if they have an official title.

So my major debate right now is: I am 36k into my current work in progress (wip for short) and I am to the EXCITING part. The big bang, the climax-if you will. So my question is... do I finish my YA sci-fi thriller or do I start writing book 2 in my Thalassa series? What do you think?? 

I would love to hear from you! 

Are you a panster or a planner? 
Do you write systematically or balls to the wall? 



I recently read an article on Publisher's Weekly that talked about the agent's perspective on YA and what the next trends were going to be. As I read it, I found myself being excited and disappointed. In the one hand I can understand how it would be hard to read the current trends in submission after submission. As a reader I know when I find something I like, I look for similar books. So I can continue immersing myself in the books. So even though editors and agents may be sick of Dystopian and Paranormal, I still like these novels and elements showing up in my books. I like different twists. I read so much, so often that I love practically everything in the YA genre. So it is hard for me, because I think those two types of novels will still sale. Regardless of how many have come across in submissions. 

Maybe this is just hopeful thinking coming from a girl who has a manuscript out on submission that is in the Urban Fantasy genre. That has elements of mermaids and Greek mythology wrapped in the modern world with a nice big red bow on top. I think my novel still has commercial appeal, so seeing an article like the PW one is a kick to my ego. So, my question is: What do you think? Do you still like books with witches, vampires, mermaids, apocalypses, and dystopian societies? Or are you over it? 

Weigh in below.



When I find myself trying to describe my current work in progress to my critique partners, I get fumbled up on the words. With 'Claiming Ataris' my sister and I sat down and brainstormed for an hour just on what the log line should be. The thing that grabs you and makes you want to read. I am writing a YA sci-fi thriller you would think I would have plenty of hooks to go on... and I do. I think that is the problem. Which part is THE part that will make an agent, editor, and ultimately a book buyer want to read this book? 

I will give you an inside peek on my work via hashtags- here is what my story involves, ready?



Did I mention they have super powers? 

Ah okay good.

So now I have to go back to writing my action packed novel. It is different and new and so much fun to write. Wish me, and the characters, luck as we try to save the world. 

Do you think you  might want to read this someday? I hope so




My Mom is a huge support in my life. She always has been. 

Since I have entered into the Writing world, she has been excited and curious. 
Like most Moms are. (I would guess.)
She dutifully calls me once a week (usually more, but) to talk about my writing. She always inevitably asks if I have heard from any agents. 

So we have the conversation of "No, not yet Mom."
When will you hear? "I have no idea? From what I understand the publishing process is a long one, it could be hours it could be months or even a year." (sigh from her) Oh. But I just love your story. (Glad I have my Mom, we all need someone to cheer us on.) "I know Mom, thanks. I guess it will all work out when and how it is supposed to." Yeah that is absolutely right. (cue motivational speech) 

So, for those of you who know I was lucky enough to be sent to New York City by my husband as a birthday gift. There I attended a Writing Conference and got to meet with agents in a Pitch Slam. (Imagine speed dating, but with books. Bells and all) I met with ten agents, had ten people request. Since then I have heard from six of them, being very polite versions of "You are a great writer, I'm afraid I just didn't connect and you want someone to love this who is going to sell it." All of the rejections were right, I do want someone to love it and marry it and produce millions of book babies around the world. :) (you like that?) 

That is where I am. Being patient is definitely a virtue (one that I don't really possess.) I could lie and pretend I am cool as a cucumber any time my inbox dings or that I wasn't manically checking QueryTracker and following the agents I have queried on Twitter. But I do all those things. In the mean time I write and critique other authors works in progress. Always moving forward. 



"I felt a spark, like a fire radiating through my lungs. At the same time it felt like a million tiny razor blades ran just below my earlobe. Water entered my lungs. That was the strangest sensation of all, my body filling with water. I exhaled, realizing I had to let go. This was it, the claiming."

From Chapter Fourteen.

April 2012

I love New York.
I have said it before, but the energy in that city is intoxicating. 
I love the diversity and how you can move from one block in one culture, 
to a completely different culture in the next block! 

The Conference.
It was such an incredible experience. 
The PitchSlam was amazing.
I stood in line to wait to meet with agents and 
felt butterfly's creep their way from my stomach to my throat. 
I was incredibly nervous, but I had practiced my pitch and love my novel.
I was hoping my passion for writing would be portrayed in my pitch.
I met with ten agents.
The night before we had a "how to" for pitching (if you will)
It was something along the lines of
You get 90 seconds.
Sell your book.
Sell Yourself.
Don't read off of anything.
Be concise.
Represent your genre clearly. 
Don't offend anyone. 
You want business cards.
If one or two agents want your manuscript you should be doing back flips.

So I went into the next day with hopes, but didn't want to set unrealistic expectations for myself. 

I sat down with agent one. We really clicked right off the bat.
She was around my age and we talked right up until the bell.
(imagine speed dating with literary agents)
She handed me her card and said, send me your full manuscript. 
*enter nodding, smiling, in shock, Kelli*
I got in line for my next agent on my list.
(see there was agents from EVERY genre, so you had to pick the best ones for you.)
She also wanted a full request. 
*excitement, shock, adrenaline*
Next agent wanted 50 pages.
Next agent wanted 50 pages.
Next agent wanted a Full.
Next agent wanted a Full.
Next agent wanted the first 3 chapters.
Next agent wanted 50 pages.
Next agent wanted 50 pages.
Next agent wanted a Full.

I got 10/10 agents. 
From what I understand...(maybe my ego is inflated?)
That is pretty freaking good. 

*the cheerleader in me wanted to kick and jump and flip*
I was smiling like an idiot and trying to contain my excitement. 

So at this point. I have sent out my manuscript to the agents above. 
Now the waiting game begins.
Keep your fingers crossed.

Chase your dreams.
There is nothing better in the world than seeing something through.
And having the outcome come out better than you hope.

Not to say I didn't receive rejections... 
because I have. In my queries I have received ten rejections via email.

That isn't what it is about though.
If you are passionate about something, 
pursue it to the best of your ability. 
No dream is too big. 
Ground yourself and surround yourself with people who love you. 
Then go for it.
Why the hell not? 

The worst thing anyone can tell you is No.
Their loss, right?