I never call summer lazy and mine's kicked off with a bang. I've tumbled out of back problems and a neck brace into the arms of some Herculean yardwork, keeping up with my kids' school activities and homework (yes, even they don't have lazy summers) and putting my writing on the back burner in order to get some good-old-schooling through a madhouse of critiquing sessions with several other writers. It's exhilerating and exhausting at the same time and I learn so much I wouldn't trade the experience for many typical summer traditions. So to take 2-3 hours to read through my ever growing list of great blogs for this week's linkage was something of a sacrifice but I'm happy to say I've got the goods and here they are:
Thinking about using a pen name or wondering what you can do with it right now? Check out this over at A Steampunk Reverie and this over at Jami Gold's blog for some great advice.
Agent Courtney shares some great tips On Professionalism and Communication with agents.
Wahoo! Kristin Nelson shares a hint that Speculative Fiction is in demand! More of an emphasis on science-fiction and horror here.
Alan Rinzler has an encouraging post about how the industry is changing and authors are calling more of the shots. Some good things to think about in this post.
Topics on Writing:
Pop over to Ready.Write. Go. for a post On Dialogue and Characterization (Or Specifically, Slang and Dialect Use).
Rachelle Gardner has a few choice words to say about Exclamation Point usage.
Patricia C. Wrede discusses characters as indivduals.
Eli Ashpence tackles Cliches and Rug-Pulling and shares her take on How to Become a Writer (8 General Steps for Beginners).
Tackling the topic of the beginning of your novel: Stephanie DeVita writes about Diving Right In, Jennifer Laughran points out a huge beginning no-no in YA novels in her post On Bordeom (which as a beta reader I whole-heartedly say amen! to), and Mary Kole has some great points and tips about The All-Important Beginning...
Then over at It's All Fun and Games Until Someone Gets an Agent there's a great post on endings.
For people on the agent prowl:
GLA has a new agent alert for Meredith Barnes of Lowenstein Associates. She's looking for: "a wide range of engaging fiction for all ages, including literary fiction, women’s fiction, thrillers and crime. She is open to science fiction and fantasy that has something new to offer the genres. Ender's Game is her favorite book, so we’ll leave it at that. She does not represent early readers or children’s picture books. For nonfiction, she is extremely interested in health, fitness, and spirituality nonfiction with a strong author platform and online presence. For both nonfiction and fiction, Meredith considers more than just the print possibilities. Projects that lend themselves to apps, enhanced ebooks, and other fresh ways to tell stories are especially appealing."
And they have an agent advice interview with Taylor Martindale of Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency. She's looking for: "She is most interested in acquiring young adult fiction—specifically gritty contemporary and unique paranormal/urban fantasy. She also accepts children's picture books, commercial fiction, women's fiction, and multicultural fiction. She does not want business, political, or science books; cookbooks, or self-help."
Have a great weekend! And to my comrades-in-arms from the Speculative Fiction Group on AQC, thanks for a stellar opening weekend of the 3rd Annual Posting Marathon. It's going to be a great summer.