Tuesday, 17 July 2012

B- to A++

Good Afternoon kittens...

So I've had an up and down week so far, and it's only Tuesday!

Last week ended on a high note since I MADE IT INTO #XMASINJULY !!!!!!!!

So that was an excellent way to start the weekend.

Then, on Sunday, i'm popping around the interweb when it hits me. Yesterday was MY day on Dear Authors First Page Saturday!!!

Sometimes the entries get a few hits, sometimes they don't.

I log on and there are 48 comments. Four. Eight.

I instantly get nauseous. My palms are sweaty. I'm dizzy.

I start to read them, so far so good. It seems most of the issues are whether Melia would call her doctor Rick, or if she'd eat candy in his office etc. A few quibbles about grammar. Nothing I can't handle.

Then there is a doozy. The words "extraordinarily vile" are used. I couldn't help myself. I laughed. I was shocked.

I know not everyone has to like it, I don't expect everyone too. I think the word vile just caught me off guard.

So I apologized, because I don't ever want anyone to think I'm making light of teen suicide...I've lost more than my fair share of friends that way.

A few more people say they like it because it's not paranormal, a few people don't like it because she's not a mermaid, it's all good.

Still, I wallow in self pity. How pathetic am I? It was one...freaking...page...

My husband took me out for eggs Benedict and tea...which made me feel better....we grocery shopped etc. then I came home to check it out again.

A few more comments about how they're confused whether they like it or not, I'm still a little wounded....so in order to clear up some confusion I post my query letter.

Then I turned ignored my e-mail and cleaned a bit, walked the dogs etc.

Monday rolls around and I'm just drinking some tea, checking my e-mail when BAM. E-mail from DA's Jane.

"Jenna, Did you notice the comment from Nephele Tempest?"

I did a victory lap of my living room. I jumped up and down. I twitter stalked.

Then I found her. My literary guardian angel.

Be still my beating heart.

(Susanna linked to my First Page post)

I've since thanked her, and will continue thanking her...well...forever.

Even if nothing comes of it, and even if I never find an agent, this woman has changed my life by doing something extraordinarily kind for a complete stranger.

I'm now off to figure out how to mail Susanna a box full of puppies, or kittens if she prefers, along with crates of wine, boxes of chocolates, and the freshest of roses.


Thursday, 12 July 2012

Too young for high blood pressure

As any querying author knows, contests are a GREAT way to get your query/material in front of agents.

We also know they are incredibly stressful. Like setting-your-alarm-at-5am-to-see-if-you-made-it-in-stressful. Overly-hyphenating-stressful.

But oh so fun.

And as hard as it is to wait to see if you made it in, imagine how hard it is to be choosing 10% of the entries. If i were in TB or England, I'd be delivering wine by the crate.

So far I've held off from begging/tweeting to choose my entry. I hope my work stands for itself, and if it doesn't, I know I have some tweaking to do.

In the mean time, I've been doing random things to keep myself occupied such as:

Outlining new projects
Trying new teas
Editing a previous MS
Drinking more
Playing jet pack warrior
Spooning my dogs
Hassling my husband
Drinking some more.

Anyhoo: Here is a funny little story from the other week.

A giant Oil show rolled through our city last month. Thousands of booths filled our big fair/hockey/rodeo grounds filled with big rigs, suits, and free stuff.

I knew a few people at one booth, so my co-workers and I went to visit. There was a cute guy all decked out in a suit, arranging some free material. He had air fresheners, handy iphone screen cleaners, and condoms. Yes. Condoms.

I took took a few cleaners, and an air freshener, and asked the gentleman about the condoms. 

I love making people laugh...or in this case...feel incredible awkward.

Jenna: I was just wondering if you had any condoms in larger sizes?
Suit: Uhhhh....I think condoms are a one size fits all...
Jenna: Oh, maybe for you....My husband requires something a little larger...

He stands there, mouth open, staring at me.

Suit: These are the only ones we have, I'm sorry.

He immediately turns red and walks away.

I was just trying to lighten the mood, and be funny. Every one else was laughing.

Turns out he is a very strict, formal Mormon man....

Just my luck.

I apologize profusely to his co-workers, who are giggling.....I then hang my head, grab a handful of condoms, and leave.

Seriously? The one freaking person in the entire oil show who wouldn't laugh at a condom joke, I manage to find. 

Anyways. Best of luck to all of you who are entered in #XmasInJuly

Michelle and Ruth, I'm so thankful for you ladies and your hard work. 

I'm excited to read your books!

peas out kittens.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Query Hell

If you are a writer, there are few things more daunting then a query letter/synopsis. They are so stinking hard to write it makes me want to pull out my hair. Which is ridiculous. I wrote the book, I should be able to summarize it in one page and make you wanna read it. Right....right??


So, I'm going to put it below...and you tell me if this makes you want to read it....then I'll tell you a funny story later about a condom and a very pleasant Mormon man.

Dear Dream Agent,

Seventeen-year-old Melia Dawson has been in and out of the Royal Alexander Center for Mental Health since she was six years olds. Convinced she can breathe underwater, Melia has spent the majority of her young life waiting to complete her transformation into a mermaid. What her parents think are multiple suicide attempts are actually Melia’s way of trying to begin her life, not end it. When her most recent stunt at the local pool lands her back in the Center, she meets fellow patient Kass Mercer. To Melia, It seems like the stars have finally aligned; not only does Kass believe that she can breathe underwater, Kass thinks he can fly.  Somewhere between broken curfews and lame horror movies, Kass and Melia fall in love. Together they explore the boundaries of their supernatural abilities through skydiving lessons and late night swims, all while appeasing their therapist, Rick.

When a fellow patient dies unexpectedly, Melia begins to question whether she and Kass are special, or just sick.  Worried for her safety, Rick sends her on a surprise trip to the ocean, where she can finally complete her transformation. When the experiment doesn’t go as planned, Melia sinks into depression, dragging Kass down with her. Together they teeter between reality and delusion as they struggle to accept themselves for who they truly are, before one of them pushes their limits too far.

Washed Up is a contemporary young adult novel, complete at 57,000 words.
My name is Jenna Lehne and I live in Calgary, Alberta with my husband and 2.5 dogs. My debut novel, Second Hand Lace, is due for release April of 2013 by Turquoise Morning Press.

Thank you for your time,

Jenna etc.

Well there it is folks.....I'm off to find a patio and a slushy drink.

I'll be back.