Category Archives: Higley Browne

Contests Con’s and Traps

What happens when you enter a contest? Well, today, most are electronic which cuts down on shipping costs. Still, a good portion require mailing.  Postage adds up.

Then, there are the contest fees themselves. Too many, and they can add up so fast it’ll make your head spin.

This is one reason I advise checking out contests carefully. Make sure you’re getting something, a lot of something, for your money. Get feedback from multiple judges. Final round feedback from agents/editors.

And if you’re rich, ignore me.

The second pitfall which commonly occurs with contest entrants is the readiness of the manuscript. There are people, contest groupies, who focus on their first three chapters. They’re polished, shiny and awesome.

Then the final round call comes and they need to send in the rest of the manuscript.

Uh oh.

The rest isn’t polished because it took so much time to get those first chapters into shape, and the rest of the story didn’t seem quite as important.

Most contests require the entire story be complete before entering the first pages. But, there’s no requirement the whole thing must be polished.

So, if you’re going to enter your first pages, don’t forget to edit and polish the rest of the story. It’s important too.

Another, much less common, pitfall I’ve seen is with the feedback.

On occasion, you’ll get a judge who is flat out spiteful. Maybe they were having a bad day (or a bad year). Maybe their spouse just left them. The agent rejected them. Maybe they woke up on the wrong side of the bed.

This can happen with both the first round, and the final round judges. Agent and editors are not immune to having a bad day.

Again, this is not very common, but it’s something to keep in mind.

With writing being so subjective, maybe the judge doesn’t like your character because he/she reminds them of the high school bully.

Your character is awesome, but this judge is never going to like your story.

So you miss out on the final round, because of the judge’s issues.

Fair? No. But it can be reality.

Luckily, the odds of you getting one is rare. Two? Astronomical. But it is possible.

You’re stuck out the money, poor feedback, and no win.

Still, I think contests are one of the great ways for writers to improve. The feedback you get is honest because they don’t know you, and thoughtful because they care.

Judges are volunteers with nothing to gain by doing this. They just want to help others succeed.

And on that note, I recommend that even if you get the judge with PMS, send a polite thank you for their time and feedback. It’s just a nice thing to do.

Superman and Grooves

As I sit down to begin Dragos 3: Blazed, I can’t wait to hit the keyboard. Book 1 went fast (like superman fast). Book 3 has caught me, I can’t wait to write the characters. I know the plot.

Book 2, on the other hand, was a pit of mud mixed with quick sand. It took me forever to get the first part down.

Now, I’ve written enough to know every book is different. But I still don’t have that connection to Scorched that I would like. The funny thing is, everyone tells me it’s wonderful, better than book 1. But I’m just not feeling it like I did Burned, or like I’m feeling Blazed.

Go figure.

I guess we’ll see what my editor thinks when she gets back to me, right? 🙂

Anyway, I’m off to start pounding the keyboard with my newest tale…

~mumbles bye, head already in the clouds of Blazed.

Blogging overload

With all this new workload between being published and school and everything else, I’ve been slacking on blogs.

I’ve decided a course of action.

My two group blogs, Plot Mamas and the 7 Evil Dwarves, I only have to post once a week.

Between Higley Browne and Amber Kallyn, I can’t possibly blog every day on both. I’m not quite that creative. Nor do I have the time.

I thought about letting my Higley Browne blog go on hiatus.

Maybe I still will.

But for now, I’m going to try this:

I’ll blog on Amber Kallyn M-W-F.

Higley Browne on Tu-Th.

We’ll see if this works out.

But, just so you know, blogs won’t be going up every day on both.

Q4U: How do you find time to blog? What type of schedule works for you?

This is how we do it

I know there’s a song with that line. But, since I primarily listen to country, that’s about the only bit I know.

If you talk to twenty writers, and ask them about their road to publication, you’ll get twenty different answers. So, I can only comment on me.

Like most, I’ve always been in love with the written word. I’m a voracious reader, devouring a novel a day (speed reader). About five years ago, after being a stay at home mama for a couple of years, I sat down one day and announced to my husband, I’m going to write a book.

He looked at me with a smile and said, “Go for it. You’ll be great.”

Little did either of us know how long and arduous the journey would be. I started a book, hated everything about it, and soon lost interest.

About a year later, the voices in my head demanded attention and refused to shut up. It took me a while to get a good portion down on the page. I still hated it, and tried to revise and revise those first three chapters. Finally, I found out about critique groups.

Those first experiences were horrible.

But with time and patience and great people, I began to find my way.

To date, I have completed 2 Urban Fantasy novels, 1 Paranormal Erotic Romance Novel, 1 Novella, and 1 final draft of a YA Fantasy. I have others in different stages of completion, I’ll get back to them eventually.

For about 9 months, I’ve been querying my UF novel. Sometimes there is good news, other times not so good. I have to take it as it is.

And now, I’m going to be published in Paranormal Erotic Romance. They’re even interested in buying more of my novellas, the continuation of the Burned series, and others that I have “In The Works”

Whoda thunk?

Ah, Spicy…

The wonderful world of Erotic Romance. Could there be anything better?

Oh, yeah. Add in the paranormal 🙂

That would be me. I write Paranormal Erotic Romances. Hopefully, I’ll soon be able to update my links with links to my books.

Stay tuned…

And for more about me, check out my alter-ego, Higley Browne.

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