Friday, February 26, 2016

The Writer's Voice: Where Is R.C. Hancock Now?

Welcome to the very first installment of a new series I'm calling "Where Are They Now?" It's been almost four years since we launched "The Writer's Voice," so I thought it would be fun to check in on the former members of Team Krista and see what they're up to. First up is R.C. Hancock, author of AN UNCOMMON BLUE (which was the project he entered in TWV 2012). Enjoy!

KV: AN UNCOMMON BLUE has gone on quite a journey since it was featured on TWV 2012. Want to sum it up for us?

RH: I just looked over TWV 2012 on your blog and got all excited again. It was such a fun contest. Although Louise Fury didn't end up taking AN UNCOMMON BLUE, it went through two more R&Rs with two different agents. (One who inspired me to completely rewrite the first half of the book.) After what seemed like years, (okay, it was years) I found an agent and a publisher. Blue was published December 2014 by Cedar Fort. The coolest part of this extended journey was all the friends I've made along the way. Don't roll your eyes. I'm serious. The awesome people I've connected with are much more rewarding that the royalty checks. Trust me. ;)

Big thanks to you, Brenda, and Cupid for helping us reach our dreams. And it's so great to be a part of your success too! Shout out to all my fellow #TeamKrista members!

KV: And don't forget the lovely Mónica Bustamante Wagner! She's been a huge part of the contest's success, too, even if she always tries to steal my favorite entries:)

What are you working on now?

RH: Book 2 in the Colorblind series is written and waiting the publisher's approval. Currently editing my YA sci-fi GROOMED, which is basically THE HUNGER GAMES meets Bachelorette. My WIP is a YA thriller called THE TIME-TRAVELER'S SEWING KIT.

KV: I want to read your YA thriller based on its title alone.

Do you have any favorite memories from the inaugural round of the contest?

RH: Obviously the big win for Team Krista. :) We did win, right? It's been a while. Haha. 

KV: Heck yeah, we won!

RH: I was looking through the comments of my entry and was surprised to see so many of the participants now have books out with big publishers! It's such a cool thing to be friends before fame and fortune take their terrible toll, lol. I'm still waiting for that toll to hit. 

KV: Any last words of advice or encouragement you'd like to share with us?

RH: Read tons of writing craft books.

Don't get stuck on early novels. If you've exhausted every avenue, shelve it. Your next one will be better.

Connect! Got to conferences. Do blog contests! Not only are they a blast, but it's so much easier to make it when you're not #2854 in the slush pile.

And finally, don't turn your nose up at self-publishing. Especially if you've already got a fan base. Amazon is the great equalizer. Just make sure to get a professional editor and cover artist. What? You don't want to have to market yourself? Newsflash: Even with a publisher you're still expected to do a crazy amount of marketing. So might as well get most of the moolah, too. If I told you how much I've made on AN UNCOMMON BLUE, you'd probably laugh. I know I do. Right after the crying. But I can't argue that it's been a blast getting there.

Thanks for dropping by and launching this new series, R.C!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Upcoming Attractions

One of the things I've learned about myself is that I'm a happier writer when I'm a blogging writer, so I'm bringing back some of my favorite features and putting together some new ones.

First up, a brand new interview series called "Where Are They Now?" "The Writer's Voice" has had an amazing run over the last four years, and though the other coaches and I have decided to take a step back from it for a while, I couldn't bring myself to let it go entirely. Team Krista has featured some of the best writers I know, and their paths have taken them in every possible direction. "Where Are They Now?" will highlight those individuals journeys, from their highest peaks to their lowest valleys. The first interview will drop later this week, so keep an eye out for that post. (And if you're a member of Team Krista and haven't heard from me yet, you will! Unless you were a part of TWV 2012. Then you should have already heard from me, so maybe my e-mail got sucked into your spam filter?)

Speaking of interview series, I have a few more installments of "From Submission to Offer" in the works. Being on submission is one of those things we rarely talk about, so my hope is that "From Submission to Offer" will provide an editor's-eye view of this mysterious process.

Finally, "An Agent's Inbox" will return next month with the indomitable Brent Taylor of Triada US Literary Agency. The details will go up on March 11, and the submission window will open on March 14, so if you want to join in, mark those dates on your calendar!

I may or may not have a few other ideas skittering around in the back of my brain, but I also wanted to ask YOU what kinds of things you'd like to see. Is there an old feature you miss, or is there something specific you'd like to learn more about?

Thursday, February 11, 2016

THE SOUND OF LIFE AND EVERYTHING Is an Association of Mormon Letters Awards Finalist!

The title pretty much says it all, but I don't always remember to celebrate the good news, so I wanted to make sure that I mentioned it here. Don't forget to check out the other finalists, including fellow Fearless Fifteeners Christine Hayes (MOTHMAN'S CURSE) and Jen White (SURVIVAL STRATEGIES OF THE ALMOST BRAVE). The YA finalists also include three Fearless Fifteeners--Courtney Alameda (SHUTTER), Valynne E. Maetani (INK AND ASHES), and Becky Wallace (THE STORYSPINNER)--so I think it's safe to say the debuts are representing!