Holiday Guest Post and Giveaway by Pitch Wars Mentor, Laura Brown
Nov29

Holiday Guest Post and Giveaway by Pitch Wars Mentor, Laura Brown

This past year has been filled with lots of wonderful writerly thrills for me, and it’s taken me some time to think back and pick out one of those special moments. From landing my agent and publisher, to the debut of my first New Adult Romance, SIGNS OF ATTRACTION, to helping out with contests, there was so much to choose from. All of the above has made this a year I won’t forget. But there was one other unique moment that happened, and that’s the moment I want to talk about. Actually, there were two. As is the case with most writers, we develop a community with our peers. And some of these peers become critique partners (CPs), those brave souls that read our crappy drafts, let us know where we suck, and send heart eyes when the words shine. Thanks to the Internet, these CPs are usually not local. My closest one is still a plane—or long car—ride away. Yet that hasn’t stopped me from emailing, messaging, or texting them almost daily. And what had started with words being exchanged has grown into true friendships. In June, I learned that a family vacation would bring me not too far from one CP. Months of juggling logistics yielded an airport greeting. A week after my book’s release, I stood on an observation deck, waiting to see a face I had previously only seen through a computer screen. And let me tell you, it’s the weirdest and most magical thing when you recognize this person you’ve grown so close to walking towards you. I was a floor above, so I may have yelled and squealed and then paced in front of the elevator, as only the cool people do. The trip was way too short, but I truly enjoyed the opportunity to hug someone who had held my hand through my crazy year! A month later, I learned another CP would be travelling close to my area of the woods on the way to see family. Since there were four children to consider between the two of us, I planned for the meet up to happen at a playground so the kids could play. Our sons are the same age, and both boys were looking forward to hanging out with their mother’s friend. The kids hit it off, running around and having a blast as if they’d known each other for years (kids are amazing that way!). And I got to hug the person I dedicated my 2016 release to—and realize she’s quite a bit taller than me. This visit was also far too short, but our sons sent video...

Read More
Holiday Guest Post and Giveaway by Pitch Wars Mentor, Karen McManus
Nov29

Holiday Guest Post and Giveaway by Pitch Wars Mentor, Karen McManus

  My mother likes to tell the story of when she thought I learned how to read. I was almost four years old, on her lap while she read me my favorite book. She paused for a minute and I took over, telling the story perfectly through the end. Impressed with this flash of brilliance, Mom handed me a new book and waited for me to repeat my performance. I couldn’t make heads or tails of it. I hadn’t been reading the first book. I’d just memorized it, because she read it to me so much. Today I still have books like that—books I’ve read multiple times, that I slip into like a favorite pair of pajamas whenever I need a dose of comfort. A Little Princess. The Hunger Games. Our Mutual Friend. The Secret History. A Confederacy of Dunces. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. I can’t imagine a better writing compliment than to have someone return to the world you’ve built. The suspense is over, character arcs are complete, the end is known—but still, something pulls people back in. Maybe it’s the setting, the story line, the language, or that you’ve managed to create characters that feel real enough to miss. Either way, it’s magical. Hell, having someone commit enough time to read your book once is pretty incredible. 2016 has been a rough year in many ways, but when it comes to writing, I have nothing but gratitude. Two weeks into the new year this past January, I sent the first query for my 3rd book. I still remember my hand hovering nervously over that “submit” button, because this was a dream agent and what if my book wasn’t ready? That ended up being the best chance I ever took. I’m so thankful to all the people who made my debut possible: my incredible agent team at Stimola Literary Studio, my brilliant editor at Delacorte Press, and all the wonderful CPs and betas who read and offered insight. In six months, ONE OF US IS LYING will hit the shelves—and who knows? Maybe it will become somebody’s favorite. Or something they enjoy enough to recommend. (Or, let’s face it, something they mark did not finish on Goodreads because it just didn’t appeal). Either way, it’s magical.   Twitter | Website Karen McManus writes YA contemporary fiction from her home in Cambridge, Mass. Her debut novel, ONE OF US IS LYING, will be released from Delacorte Press/Random House on May 30, 2017, and published in fourteen countries. For more information, visit www.karenmcmanus.com or @writerkmc on Twitter. Pre-Order: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound Giveaway: Want an ARC of ONE OF US...

Read More