Brain Farts in Queryland

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Yes, I hate that word. The F one above. It sits on the shelf gathering dust right next to ‘fancy’, the other F word I hate. But I had to yank it off the shelf yesterday when I realized my brain had in deed made a mistake. (Don’t tell the hubs, he thinks I’m perfect 🙂

I obsess over following direction when writing my query, like recheck it a gazillion times, ensuring I did everything right, before hitting send.  So how did I mess one up?  The worst part, it isn’t the first time, but EVERY time I feel like an idiot when I do it and spend countless hours praying the agent with  my query doesn’t roll his/her eyes and slam their pointer down on the delete button.

Here’s my running list of mistakes…

Spelled a last name wrong. Shame on me, but in my defense, someone in my high school had the same last name spelled the way I wrote it (I before E except after C, blah blah blah – didn’t apply in this case). So who really spells it wrong?

Forgot to include my pages.  Now that one blew because we all know, agents that want 5, 10 or even first chapter pages rock. Queries stump me so I rely heavily on my pages, hoping they’ll just skip the query all together (wishful thinking, I know) and get right to the story. Had to send a *blushing, I feel stupid* email asking them to take an extra minute out of their Super Agent day to delete my mistake and hope like hell they didn’t just delete both.

Sent a query to someone who already rejected it… but months later.  That was a slip up. I’d had my eye on a certain agency and was so excited to see she’d opened up to queries again that I pushed send before checking my querytracker.com list. So, adding her to it but seeing her already on it…made me feel like the blonde I am but try so hard not to be. Writing that, “oops, you already rejected me” letter was, to say the least, embarrassing. But she was great, emailed me back instantly and said not a problem. So she does read her email!! (That was a bonus for future projects).

Mis-spelled wrods. When the word is on my 2nd grader’s spelling list, I really shouldn’t misspell it.  But, I have, numerous times and no matter how many times I read my queries (and my CP checks for mistakes) some errors slip by. Hopefully they go unnoticed.

And my latest brain-fart…

Sent too much information. The directions said to send a query to someone on their email list. Then it listed the agents and their emails. Self-explanatory right? Yes, that’s what I thought too. Underneath it said if you send a hard copy to send ten pages and a synopsis. So my eyes didn’t see (or didn’t want to see) the ‘hard copy’ directions. Really, truly, why different directions based on how you send it?  Well, this agent in particular got a bonus–my synopsis and  my ten pages. Maybe she’ll skip the query and jump right into the story. Fingers crossed, prayers said.

So, I’ve learned I’m not perfect but I’ll let that tidbit slip on by just like these mistakes did so I can assume I’m still perfect. 🙂

What mistakes have you made?

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Twitter Release Party Tonight for Gilded

Tonight Renita Pizzitola will be having her Twitter Party for the release of Gilded, the 2nd book in her Gossamer series. I’m looking forward to it! Are you?

Join Renita and fellow Lyrical author Joanne Wasdworth as they answer questions, share teasers, bonus scenes and give away prizes!

Join them on September 12th (that’s tonight).

8PM – 9 PM EST

Twitter hashtag: #LyricalYA

Gilded_Teaser

Click photo to enlarge

————- About Renita Pizzitola  ————- 

Renita lives in Texas with her husband and two children. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with an English degree. She writes both fantasy and contemporary romance for Young Adult/New Adult and Adult readers. While splitting between magical worlds and contemporary stories, she promises romance. Lots of it! She writes about swoon-worthy boys and the girls who love them! When not writing, she enjoys reading everything she can get her hands on, drinking copious amounts of coffee and playing referee to her two typically adorable children.

website/twitter/facebook/blog/goodreads/Amazon

————- Click below to enter to win! ————-

A Rafflecopter Giveaway

————- New Release, Gilded (Book 2), Available Here ————- 

Amazon – Barnes and Noble – iTunes – Kobo

————-  Gossamer (Book 1) Available Here ————- 

Amazon – Barnes and Noble – iTunes – Kobo

 

Get to Know the Author…Renita Pizzitola

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Renita Pizzitola  released GILDED, the 2nd book in the Gossamer series last week. I was able to snag some of her not-so-free time and get an interview.

Look for an excerpt in the next few days.

Follow the links below the interview to purchase Gilded and Gossamer and to enter in a contest for some great prizes!

 

————–INTERVIEW————– 

If you had to pick one current hit song to play continuously non-stop, in the background of your everyday life, what song would it be?

Anything by P!NK

If someone’s underwear was showing, would you tell them?

If they are a stranger, probably not. I wouldn’t want to embarrass them. If it’s a friend, I’d tell them.

Any super power, what would it be and why?

Invisibility. Although I could use this power for evil…it’d also come in handy when I just want to disappear.

IF you discovered a new island, what would name it?

The Island of Misfit Boys, then I’d gather all my super hot book boyfriends and rule the island. I don’t, like, have this already planned or anything…ahem. 

At a movie theatre, which armrest is yours?

The one on the right.

What do you think Victoria’s secret is?

That a $60 bra won’t change your life.

If you could be trapped in any book from start to finish, which would you pick?

That’s a hard one. I’d want to skip all the sad/scary stuff and just live in the HEA. That’s why I love to read romance, you know every story will find it’s happily-ever-after 🙂

How do you flush a public toilet?

Can’t they all be autoflush?? If it’s too gross to even flush, I’m not using it!

What do you worry you’ll run out of?

Time

Peppermint or Spearmint?

Spearmint 

Do you crack your knuckles?

Nope, it’s a pet peeve of mine when people do.

What song would pop up on your iphone/ipod first?

My music changes with my mood so it could be anything from current hits to 80’s music. 

Fish or bird?

Fish

If you could have 7 minutes in heaven with any fictional character, who would it be?

I have a list of book boyfriends, how much time do we have? Of course, once I own my island of book boyfriends…

Coffee or Tea?

Coffee, and more coffee. Of course, I’m from Texas so I love tea too.

Best concert you’ve been to?

My favorite concerts are actually the smaller Texas bands. Talk about fun! 

Where are your car keys?

Buried in the bottom of my purse. 

If I started your car, what would be playing?

My fav radio station.

Mac OS or Windows 8?

Mac 🙂 I’m a convert

Don’t google this…How many gas stations in the United States?

Um…A million? There are like ten within 5 miles of me. Seems like they are everywhere, unless, of course, I’m driving on empty.

Just in case you were wondering, there are 121,446 in the US and yearly sales amount up to $249 Billion!  That’s as of June 2012 – of course there’s probably another 100k now…maybe they’ll put one on the moon beside the McDonalds! Thanks, Renita, for letting me pick your brain. Congrats on your book release and can’t wait to read number three in the series.

————-  A Bit More About Renita Pizzitola  ————- 

Renita lives in Texas with her husband and two children. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with an English degree. She writes both fantasy and contemporary romance for Young Adult/New Adult and Adult readers. While splitting between magical worlds and contemporary stories, she promises romance. Lots of it! She writes about swoon-worthy boys and the girls who love them! When not writing, she enjoys reading everything she can get her hands on, drinking copious amounts of coffee and playing referee to her two typically adorable children.

website/twitter/facebook/blog/goodreads/Amazon

————- Click below to enter to win! ————-

A Rafflecopter Giveaway

————- New Release, Gilded (Book 2), Available Here ————- 

Amazon – Barnes and Noble – iTunes – Kobo

————-  Gossamer (Book 1) Available Here ————- 

Amazon – Barnes and Noble – iTunes – Kobo

Author Interview: Renita Pizzitola

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As you’ve seen in a previous post – and if you didn’t already hear the news – Renita Pizzitola just released GILDED, the 2nd book in the Gossamer series.

Renita took a few minutes to answer some very FUN and important questions about her characters and life in general… take a look below!

Check back next week for a second interview on what makes Renita tick.

Follow the links below the interview to purchase Gilded and Gossamer and to enter in a contest for some great prizes!

 

If you could be one of your characters for a day, who would you choose?

Hmm, Probably Emory from Dream On so I could dreamwalk, though I wouldn’t mind being Kylie for a little Grant time 😉

Lost in the woods, what would you eat?

Probably poisonous berries. FML.

Would you want to know if your best friend was half-fae?

Yes!

What flower would sprout if the man of your dreams got you all hot-n-bothered?

Hmm, maybe red poppies.

What’s Lexi’s themes song?

I picture it being something fun like Die Young by Ke$ha to represent her live-life-in-the-moment attitude to something like F**king Perfect by P!NK to represent some of her inner struggles with her own family life.

What’s Kylie and Grant’s theme song?

Safe and Sound by Tonight Alive

Would you rather trudge an ancient ring through war, mysterious lands and fiery pits or be chosen to battle other innocents (like you) in a controlled environment?

I’m going with the ring.

What type of underwear would Prince Liam wear?

He’s a boxer-brief kind of guy.

Would you rather be a half fae or a puka (shifter)?

Fae, shifting seems painful.

To satisfy your evil side, because we all have one, Pick two supernatural enemies from your books, (I recall the scary merrows) which would you rather be for a day?

Well, Alastar is the most evil-being in my series, but I’d never want to be him, so I will go with merrows. Who wouldn’t want to be an evil mermaid with the power to seduce and enchant??

Don’t google this …How many McDonald’s in the universe? Hmm, the universe?

I’m pretty sure I saw plans for one on the moon, so I’d say too many.

Yes, I agree! Too many. There are actually 33,000 in 18 different countries. 14,000 in the United States, but I’m sure that number changes every time I take a breath.

Thanks, Renita!

————-  A Bit About Renita Pizzitola  ————- 

Renita lives in Texas with her husband and two children. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with an English degree. She writes both fantasy and contemporary romance for Young Adult/New Adult and Adult readers. While splitting between magical worlds and contemporary stories, she promises romance. Lots of it! She writes about swoon-worthy boys and the girls who love them! When not writing, she enjoys reading everything she can get her hands on, drinking copious amounts of coffee and playing referee to her two typically adorable children.

website/twitter/facebook/blog/goodreads/Amazon

————- Click below to enter to win! ————-

A Rafflecopter Giveaway

————- New Release, Gilded (Book 2), Available Here ————- 

Amazon – Barnes and Noble – iTunes – Kobo

————-  Gossamer (Book 1) Available Here ————- 

Amazon – Barnes and Noble – iTunes – Kobo

Link

Ready to Win?

It’s Release Week for Gilded by Renita Pizzitola

Enter to win either a copy of Gilded, a copy of Gossamer (the first in the series) or a $10 gift card to Amazon/Barnes & Noble. So many great prizes, so get your entries in between September 1st and September 14th!

Gilded teaser 3 mini excerpt

Click image above to read an excerpt!

Click below to enter to win!

A Rafflecopter Giveaway

————- New Release, Gilded (Book 2), Available Here ————- 

Amazon – Barnes and Noble – iTunes – Kobo

————-  Gossamer (Book 1) Available Here ————- 

Amazon – Barnes and Noble – iTunes – Kobo

————-  Meet the Author ————- 

AuthorPhotoPizzitola2013Renita lives in Texas with her husband and two children. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with an English degree. She writes both fantasy and contemporary romance for Young Adult/New Adult and Adult readers. While splitting between magical worlds and contemporary stories, she promises romance. Lots of it! She writes about swoon-worthy boys and the girls who love them! When not writing, she enjoys reading everything she can get her hands on, drinking copious amounts of coffee and playing referee to her two typically adorable children.

website/twitter/facebook/blog/goodreads/Amazon

Happy Release Day, Gilded!

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I’m happy to announce the release of Renita Pizzitola’s Gilded, the second part of Kyla’s story. Get your copy today and enjoy a great read this holiday weekend! Look for more excerpts, interviews and a raffle giveaway later this week to celebrate the release of Gilded!

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—- True love comes with a price. —-

Kyla Ashbury, half-fae, must learn to wield her Earth magic to protect herself from the king’s guard. Fleeing her betrothal to the prince, she takes refuge among the woodland fae, who are experts at Earth magic. Before she can learn to control her gift, she has to return to the castle to undo some of the damage done when she ran away with Grant. Wielding power she can’t control makes the situation worse.

Grant will do anything for the girl he loves. Even with his power to foresee danger, keeping Kyla safe is a constant challenge. As answers lead to more questions, he wonders if he is endangering her further.

Kyla’s growing talent destines her to a power struggle she doesn’t want. Every choice she makes seems to jeopardize those closest to her. She must learn to control the angry magic coursing through her if she ever hopes to live a normal life with the man she loves.

A Lyrical Press Young Adult Fantasy Romance

————- Mini Excerpt ————- 

 Worried my reluctance to leave would irritate the king, I trudged to my escort but while walking away my skin prickled and back tensed.

I spun around.

Alastar nodded at a guard and in seconds, even more uniformed men surrounded Grant.

Conor was shoved to the side and almost lost his balance. He raked a hand through his hair and shook his head.

My heart sank and I raced back to Grant, slamming into the wall of guards. Clawing at the impenetrable barrier, I tried to find a crack to slip through.

A large guard jerked Grant’s hands behind his back and shackled them, an unnecessary step. He’d put up no resistance.

“What are you doing?” I screamed, not even caring I spoke to royalty. “You promised.”

Alastar stood tall and his voice boomed. “Grant, you are charged and convicted with kidnapping the future princess of Tir na nOg. You shall be taken to a cell at once. Since I am a fair man and promised no harm–” He glanced at me, a smug expression plastered on his face. “You will not be sentenced to death but instead to lifetime imprisonment.”

My world stopped.

————- New Release, Gilded (Book 2), Available Here ————- 

AmazonBarnes and NobleiTunesKobo

————-  Gossamer (Book 1) Available Here ————- 

AmazonBarnes and Noble iTunesKobo

————-  Meet the Author ————- 

AuthorPhotoPizzitola2013Renita lives in Texas with her husband and two children. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with an English degree. She writes both fantasy and contemporary romance for Young Adult/New Adult and Adult readers. While splitting between magical worlds and contemporary stories, she promises romance. Lots of it! She writes about swoon-worthy boys and the girls who love them! When not writing, she enjoys reading everything she can get her hands on, drinking copious amounts of coffee and playing referee to her two typically adorable children.

website/twitter/facebook/blog/goodreads/Amazon

 

 

 

Naming the Nameless Story

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Titles usually appear out of thin air for me…or rather, out of a bunch of letters glued together submerged somewhere between my beginning and end. My titles usually come from a thought or an intense moment between the two main characters–the first scene I ‘see’ before I even start writing. In fact, I already have the title for my next idea, but my current work-in-progress? Noooooo.

I’ve struggled over its title since page one. Nothing, and I do mean nothing, gave me that sensation. If you write, you know the one. The tingly, effervescent overflow of smiles and squeals you try to conceal under your breath. Well, fifty-six thousand words into my WIP and bam! There it is. Right in front of me. It made me smile, feel giddy inside, and run to tell my husband. My cheerleader looked up from the file cabinet he’s organizing to offer a thumbs up.

I’ll take it!

And then there’s that free-fall, I-hate-roller-coasters feeling that sends your highs subterranean. You know that feeling too, I’m sure. The one where you do a search on Amazon, push go and there it is, already taken. That really sucks. The makes-you-want-to-puke kind of suckage.

So I begin again, looking for that right title, waiting for it to appear. It will, I know it, but patience skipped me when I born! *twiddles thumbs, still waiting, ‘come out, come out where ever you are’*

When do you ‘find’ your title: before, during or after your story is finished?

Getting Back in the Groove…Isn’t it Grooooovy!

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After a month away from home, my computer (stupidly I didn’t take it with me–I learned from that), my job and my husband, it’s time to get back into the groove of things.

For starters, I typically used mornings to slave away at my WIPs or editing or what-nots (all those what-nots involve writing in some manner). Now, those same hours are filled with a job – I’m on my fourth week and I quite enjoy it – especially the adult interaction. After being home with the kids for 8+ years, that alone took some getting used to. Baby talk and time-outs are a no-go in an office full of women (and one man who happens to be my brother-in-law).

Now, the kids, who were away for a month as well, are back and I can’t seem to grasp the whole working-mom thing. Trial and error. With camp some days, dad’s ever changing schedule to work around – mind you, at the last minute – I’ve become an almost-expert juggler. Maybe I should add that to my bio!

Writing, like keeping up with my posts, facebook and twitter, fell last month – again, because I forgot to take my computer on vacation and all my passwords were buried under mountains of furniture we’d moved into one room so we could refinish floors before the kids returned.  Needless to say, I found them when I got home, but my house is still in disarray.

So, getting in the groove: I’d forego all the previous mentioned things just to carve out time to write, write, write. That is the groove I most can’t wait to get back into. My fingers are tapping in anticipation, my brain won’t shut off all the new ideas I can’t wait to begin, and then there was pitchMAS!  It really was Christmas in July. With five requests (and no computer) my hubby had to forward whatever he found with my manuscript name on it, and I had the pleasure of trying to figure out which one was the most recent (thank goodness for FaceTime with my at-home desktop!).

So here’s to the tail-end of summer and getting all my ducks in a row (or geese, we have tons of geese) and getting my write back on!

How do you get back into the groove?

Why prior-planning during conference season is important.

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I’ve been to two conferences this year. First was the NECRWA, which took place near Boston. This was a fast-paced weekend full of sessions on craft, marketing and the publishing world.  Being my first ‘major’ conference, it took me almost the entire weekend to get in the groove of things…figure out the flow. And then it was time to leave. I met some great people, even someone from the tiny town I live in. Go figure! She’s since joined the writing group where I’m a member.

The following weekend I attended NESCBWI’s conference with, if I remember correctly, 600+ people. Large compared to the previous conference. I was still reeling from the last event that stepping out of my comfort and into the throngs of people came easily. I volunteered, met people. Attended information sessions…met people. Joined people at dining tables without feeling like an intruder…met people.  So you see, the on-going theme here is you meet a lot of people. Be open to it, embrace it.

I’m very excited about the new friendships I made during these conferences. Meeting other writers, people in you exact position, puts you in good company where MS, MC, protag, query and other words/acronyms are the norm.

This brings me to prior-planning.

Had I looked at all the conference schedules, I would’ve realized the RWA conference in Atlanta was in July. In Atlanta!! Right at the end of my trip down south to pick up my kids. In the same state. Did I mention Atlanta! I’d already rescheduled my flight plan twice, I couldn’t do it again for three people, just so I could attend the conference, which I’ll be missing by two days.

I’ll be a mess that weekend, an hour away from fabulous sessions, writers, publishers and agents. My brain will surely be somewhere else. So this is where I say, “PRIOR PLAN.” If you’re going on a trip to visit family, check the area for conferences before making your flights. If I had, I’d be RWA-Atlanta bound. 

At least there’s next year.  🙂