Monday, September 27, 2010

Sweat and Tears

I am almost 3 1/2 years into writing this book and I think the biggest lesson I've learned is that it's a lot harder than I thought it would be. I think in the beginning I had this unrealistic belief that all I had to do was write a book and viola! here comes the money and fame! In reality, writing the book was only the very first small step (and that took 2 years!).

Now I have to rewrite the book because I've found out that I actually didn't know how to write when I started. I cut the prologue and some of the characters, and I've rewritten the first 10 chapters entirely. Of course, it's a lot easier now than it was in the beginning.

This is another reason I am against banning books. It's not easy to write a book in the first place, let alone get published, and then if it's banned that's fewer readers exposed to the masterpiece (or piece of crap, depending on the book). It's hard enough to get a buzz going for a debut author; we don't want to make it harder.

Besides, I need as many people as possible to read my book. The best advertising is word of mouth, and I want to reach as many mouths as possible!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Banned Book Week

There is nothing more repulsive to me than censorship. If you don't want to watch/read/listen/play something, then don't. I promise not to make you do something you don't want to do if you will promise not to deny me the privilege of making that decision for myself.

I think that everyone should read widely and experience as much as possible. It's only through experiences that we can truely learn about ourselves and the world around us. Knowledge is power, and the more knowlege I can obtain the better.

I also think that children have the right to think for themselves. If they are old enough to read, they are old enough to choose what they want to read. Books will censor themselves just based on content - 6 year olds aren't going to understand or enjoy reading A Time to Kill, by John Grisham. The language is too complex, as are the ideas.

Movies, music and video games are a little different from books because there isn't really a learning curve involved. Anyone that can see and hear can watch a TV. Some discretion on the part of the parents is required for those mediums. But books? Come on.

Instead of banning books we should be encouraging children to read more! In fact, we should encourage the whole country to read more. That's why I'm joining T.H. Mafi and The Rejectionist by reviewing a banned book on September 30, 2010. I haven't reviewed a book since I was in school, so this should be interesting!


Sunday, March 21, 2010

The land of editing hell

After the first round of rejections, we are working on making our query stand out. I (Natalie) have read tons of blogs and forums on the horror that is writing a query. Had I known when I started writing my book that getting published was so hard, I probably would have started on the query first! Next time, I'm going to write the query, and base the novel on that.

We are also editing our novel again. Our word count was too high, according to the internet, so we are cutting and cutting as much as we think we can in order to get the word count down. I've also pondered getting rid of the prologue, but I don't know yet. I'm going to have to discuss it with Rick and see what he thinks.

I have a friend that is reading and giving me advice and editing tips, which has helped a LOT. There is no substitute for a fresh pair of eyes.

So, back to the grindstone for us. Hopefully our manuscript and query will be shining like polished gold soon.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The search for the perfect query

After a number of rejections (I don't want to admit how many, but it's quite a few), we have decided to overhaul our query letter because OBVIOUSLY it's not working. So we have a new version, with the help of the wonderful people over at The Public Query Slushpile. I have to say that if you're having problems with your query, head over there. They are wonderful people!

So, here is the new query:

When Earth gets caught in the middle of a battle for the universe between the Mages and the dark fey, two teens are forced to work together and use their elemental powers to save everyone.

Jack and Katie were chosen before birth to be the saviors of the universe. The Mages imbued elemental powers into their embryos. Katie would be able to control the weather and water while Jack would have power over earth and fire. The plan was to raise the chosen ones together and train them to work as a team from birth. But that was before the dark fey found a way to Earth.

Fearing for their lives, Jack’s parents take him into hiding. When a car crash kills them two years later, Jack is left orphaned without any idea of his destiny. When he finally discovers his destiny, he is elated and fully embraces his powers.

Katie is taken home with her parents where they raise her as a normal "human" child. Until the fey find her and attempt to kill her and her family. Katie's mage protector teleports her to a distant planet to hide her from the fey and finally tells her the truth. Unlike Jack, Katie doesn't want to be different and she doesn't want to fight the fey. Her intelligence works against her as she doesn't want to believe these illogical tales are true. She reluctantly agrees to train with the Mages, but secretly plans an escape back to Earth. Then she discovers dragons are alive and thriving there, but need her help to save their hatchlings.

Now the Mages have to find Jack before the dark fey do and reunite the chosen ones in time to train them to save the universe from annihilation. Unfortunately, Katie and Jack have other plans in mind.

The Chosen Ones and the Dragon War is an 80,000-word work of fantasy intended for young adults. This is our first novel. Please find enclosed the first five pages, pursuant to your submission guidelines.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Chosen Ones - by Natalie and Rick Nuttall

When fifteen-year-old Katie discovers she’s an alien experiment, her first instinct is to run and hide. Finding out that she’s not the only one and there’s another just like her only makes it worse. She doesn’t care that she was chosen to battle the dark fey, who are intent on universal domination. She just wants to be normal. That is, until she discovers that she can teleport across galaxies using her mind and alter the weather on a whim. She reluctantly makes a deal with her creators to battle the dark fey in exchange for training her to use her powers.

Her resolve falters when she meets Jack, the other chosen one. He’s arrogant and sarcastic, and he refuses to listen to her. He loves the fact that he’s part alien because he never wanted to be normal. To him, special abilities are just perks. Jack is the opposite of Katie in almost every way and his easy going style grates on her nerves.

Now Katie and Jack must put aside their differences and learn to work together. They have agreed to help a pride of dragons battle against their rivals who are intent on civil war. Only it’s not just dragons they will be fighting, but an enemy far more destructive.