Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Characters, Playlists, and Bolero

Recently, a crit partner was reading my revisions when she emailed me. "I was reading some Shaedes and Ravel's "Bolero" fits Xander, musically speaking. It's just so full of itself and even, perfect rhythm."

Now for those of you who don't know--which is everyone :)--Xander is an over the top, full of himself character in my novel Shaedes of Gray. I reflected on my friend's comment and thought, Wow. That piece of music is TOTALLY him. She sent me a link to the piece and as I listened, eyes closed, I couldn't help but smile. "Regal and seductive," she said. Oh ya. That was Xander to a tee.

I've posted before about music and inspiration. For a writer the two go hand in hand. Playlists are a norm in YA right now, and as an adult writer, I envy YA writers that they get the extra attention of showcasing the music that inspires them. My crit partner Sarah has corresponding playlists with her novel and my other partner, Suzanne (who writes adult as well as dabbles in YA) has incorporated the music of the 80's (Zepplin and The Runaways just to name a couple) into hers. And though I don't have a particular song or piece of music to correspond to each chapter, I did include a link to playlists on my website. The songs I listened to while writing helped me channel the emotions I needed to set up a scene or had lyrics that spoke to me. Like I've said before, I'm a sucker for 90's alternative. Give me an angsty, gravelly-voiced guy with greasing-looking hair and I'm gone! But classical music as well, has fueled my creativity in a way that no other music can. The emotions conveyed in classical pieces (Vivaldi, Brahms, Mozart, just to name some of my favs) have no rival. I could write all day with the right crescendo to guide me.

What do you listen to for inspiration? Do you include your playlists on your blog/website? Are you a YA author bent on discovering the next big thing in music? Or are you an adult writer like me, wishing your playlists had their own page at the back of your book?

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Blog Chain - For Love or Market

This round's blog chain, started by the fabulous Michelle is eerily relevant to me right now. She asks:

Do you write for the market or for yourself? Why? Are there times you do both? Or times when you've written something specifically because it was "hot" at the moment? If so, how did it turn out?

When I started my new WIP last spring, I ran with a single idea. A sentence, really. I didn't write it for the market, or the reader, or even with an agent in mind. This story was for me. I set out to produce something unique, an urban fantasy that broke out of the typical character line-up. The words flowed, the story unfolded and when I'd finished, I was beyond proud of the book.

When I started querying, I received mixed reviews. It was a love/hate situation in that some of the agents rejected me at the speed of light while others requested with enthusiasm. And the submissions went pretty much the same. One agent even told me that the novel was just too fantastical to be sold as an urban fantasy. But thanks to my friends and crit partners I persisted and continued to query. And after 6 months and many rejections, I finally found an agent who just 'clicked'. And I'm happy to say that I signed with her right away!

But again, market vs. passion came in to play. One thing that drew my agent to the story was the unique concept. But this got me to thinking... If it had been this hard to find the right agent, how much harder would it be to find the right publisher? Especially with the economy and market trends being what they are. In a waning industry, editors might not be willing to take a chance on a new concept. But then again... sometimes people need 'new and fresh' right?

In the end, I wouldn't have it any other way. Market trends or not, I write what I write. Period. Because if it doesn't come from my heart, it won't be believable. And no one's going to buy a book with no heart. I wouldn't.

Check out the equally fabulous Kate's post before mine and Sandra's tomorrow to find out who or what they write for!

Friday, April 2, 2010

A Big Announcement!!

I've been given the green light to let everyone know that I've signed with an agent!

I'm now officially represented by Natanya Wheeler of the Nancy Yost Literary Agency. Natanya is absolutely amazing and I can't wait to start working on polishing my urban fantasy so we can get it out there in the world! This has been a totally surreal experience and I can safely say that I wouldn't be in this position right now if not for my writerly friends and most of all my critique partners! Thanks you guys!!! You're awesome! :D