Friday, December 30

Favourite Books of 2011

Note: These books weren't necessarily published this year, but I read them in 2011. As well, they are listed in no particular order. If you want to see the full list of books I read in 2011, click on the link at the top of the page.

This year I read 118 books! Woohoo!  I also read the first 50 pages of 31 books, but I ended up putting them down. They are not included in my 118 count--I kept them on a separate list.

Young Adult:
  • Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols
  • Forget You by Jennifer Echols
  • Shut Out by Kody Keplinger
  • The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
  • Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally 
Georgian, Regency, and Victorian  Romance:

  • Waking Up With the Duke by Lorraine Heath
  • Passions of a Wicked Earl by Lorraine Heath
  • Notorious Pleasures by Elizabeth Hoyt
  • Scandalous Desires by Elizabeth Hoyt
  • Just Like Heaven by Julia Quinn
Medieval Romance:
  • The Hawk by Monica McCarty
  • The Ranger by Monica McCarty
  • The Viper by Monica McCarty
Paranormal Romance:
  • Dreams of a Dark Warrior by Kresley Cole
Romantic Suspense:
  • When You Dare by Lori Foster 
  • Trace of Fever by Lori Foster
  • Savor the Danger by Lori Foster
  • Beg for Mercy by Jami Alden
  • Hide from Evil by Jami Alden

Wednesday, December 28

Happy Birthday, Love!


Happy Birthday to my wonderful fiance!
I love you and I hope you have an amazing day =)
xoxoxoxoxoxo

Wednesday, December 21

My Birthday =)


Yep, today's my birthday! I am now 22 years old =)
So everyone grab a cupcake and celebrate with me!

Thursday, December 15

I'M DONE UNIVERSITY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

*runs around screaming*
I have now earned my B.A. in English with a minor in history!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 14

University Favourites

So now that I'm almost done school (eeks!) I thought I would post a list of my favourite professors and classes in my main areas of study. However, first I did some overall "basics" of my education. A lot of this is for me, but I thought I'd post it on here ;)

English: 19 classes
History: 11 classes
Anthropology: 4 classes
GNED (one science and one philosophy): 2 classes
Humanities: 1 class
Language (French): 1 class
Romantic Studies (studying: France, Spain, Lebanon, Morocco, Italy): 1 class
Philosophy: 1 class

Semesters Total: 9
Roommates Total: 12 roommates (plus their friends). I normally say 16, because 4 other girls practically lived at our place.

Favourite Professors:

English:

·         Kelly Hewson
·         Kenna Olsen
·         Jane Drover

History:

·         Jeffery Wigelsworth
·         Shawn England
·         Thomas Brown

Anthropology:

·         Roman Harrison
·         Christine Giancarlo

Favourite Classes

English:

·         Post-colonial Literature 1 & 2
·         Literature in the Age of Chaucer
·         Romantic Literature I (1760-1815)

History:

·         Early Modern Europe, 1453-1789
·         Religion, War, and Society in Europe, 1558-1714
·         History of Indigenous People in Latin America
·         Ancient Greece

Anthropology:

·         Ancient Civilizations

So there you have it! Even as stressful as it is, I'm really going to miss this place, especially my professors and my friends. Looking back at the last four and a half years, I've grown so much as a person. I've learned a lot about myself and who I want to be. I've gained a lot of self confidence. My entire university education tested me in ways I never expected.  I'm glad it's done now, but I'm going to really miss it.

Tuesday, December 6

I'M FINISHED MY UNDERGRADUATE CLASSES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!! * runs around screaming* I am done my undergraduate classes! I have 8 days left until I am done my final exams, then I will have earned my undergraduate degree! I'm so excited. However, it still doesn't feel real... 

Thursday, December 1

December Releases


  1. Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally-- December 1st
  2. Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare--December 6th
  3. The One I Want (ebook) by Jennifer Echols--December 6th
  4. The Price of Temptation by Lecia Cornwall-- December 27th
  5. Trouble at the Wedding by Laura Lee Guhrke-- December 27th
  6. Can't Help Falling in Love (ebook) by Bella Andre-- December 2011
Do you guys have any other books on your December list??

Wednesday, November 30

Oscar Wilde on Art

So I was reading Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray for my English class when I came across a wonderful quote. I think it’s quite pertinent and every artist should read it, so I thought I would post it here =) Enjoy!

Preface from Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray

"The artist is the creator of beautiful things.
To reveal art and conceal the artist is art’s aim.

The critic is he who can translate into another manner or a new material his impression of beautiful things.

The highest as the lowest form of criticism is a mode of autobiography.

Those who find ugly meanings in beautiful things are corrupt without being charming. This is a fault.
Those who find beautiful meanings in beautiful things are the cultivated. For these there is hope.
They are the elect to whom beautiful things mean only Beauty.

There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all.

The nineteenth century dislike of Realism is the rage of Caliban seeing his own face in a glass.
The nineteenth century dislike of Romanticism is the rage of Caliban not seeing his own face in a glass.

The moral life of man forms part of the subject-matter of the artist, but the morality of art consists in the perfect use of an imperfect medium.

No artist desires to prove anything. Even things that are true can be proved.

No artist has ethical sympathies. An ethical sympathy in an artist is an unpardonable mannerism of style.

No artist is ever morbid. The artist can express everything.

Thought and language are to the artist instruments of an art.

Vice and virtue are to the artist materials for an art.

From the point of view of form, the type of all the arts is the art of the musician. From the point of view of feeling, the actor’s craft is the type.

All art is at once surface and symbol.

Those who go beneath the surface do so at their peril.

Those who read the symbol do so at their peril.

It is the spectator, and not life, that art really mirrors.

Diversity of opinion about a work of art shows that the work is new, complex, and vital.

When critics disagree the artist is in accord with himself.

We can forgive a man for making a useful thing as long as he does not admire it. The only excuse for making a useless thing is that one admires it intensely.

All art is quite useless."

I hope you enjoyed! My two favourite parts are:
  • "There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all."--- Damn straight! As a romance writer, I've heard it all. For some reason there's still a common misconception that romance books are trashy books. This is 100% inaccurate--and ignorant!

  • "We can forgive a man for making a useful thing as long as he does not admire it. The only excuse for making a useless thing is that one admires it intensely. All art is quite useless."--- I love this. As an artist you must love your work. You have to put yourself into it. Otherwise, why would you bother? And more importantly, why would anyone else bother with your work?

I've just noticed that the spacing is a bit off here, but you get the general idea. Anyway, if you enjoyed this little snippet, I highly recommend you read the entire novel.

Wednesday, November 23

University Humour

Alright, time for another installment of University Humour....

Incident One:
So the other day I was sitting in my Ancient Peoples and Places class when the oddest thing started to happen… I began to sink. I was leaning on the table when I noticed that I was tilting to one side. When I realized what was happening, I sat up and looked around—I had feared I was falling asleep. Unfortunately, that is a sad occurrence that has happened more than once in this class (my professor likes to make us watch really boring, uneventful movies). But anyway, when I realized I was wide awake and was, in fact, sinking, I glanced down. Lo and behold, I noticed that the table was disappearing into the floor! Yes! Disappearing into the floor! I was sitting by the window and at the base of the wall, several holes had appeared. The table was actually sinking into those holes! I immediately told my friend and tablemate, Stephanie, and we proceeded to pull and tug until the table popped back up onto solid ground.  Well, as you can imagine, I spent the rest of the class eyeing the holes warily. When class finally ended, I decided to crawl around on the floor and check to see how deep the holes were (yes, I know, wise move). Get this, I could put my entire hand inside, but couldn’t touch anything! So yes, the floor tried to eat me. My friend and I told the professor, but it hasn’t been fixed yet. It looks as if the maintenance guys just pulled the carpet up to "hide" the holes...

Incident Two:

Alright, so yesterday I was sitting by the payphone when these two girls walked over. Now, it’s quite unusual to see anyone near the payphone, since most people have cell phones. However, these two girls walked over and started to fiddle with the phone. After watching them for a moment, I realized they didn’t know how to use said phone! The one was listening into the receiver while the other was pressing buttons.  They didn’t seem to realize that you had to put MONEY into the payphone to get it to work. They literally spent several minutes standing there before they actually gave up and left! I couldn’t stop laughing. It made my whole day!


Sorry it’s a short post this week. I’ve been sick the past few days, so I’m running low on energy.

Friday, November 18

University Humour

Time for another university humour post!!!

Incident One: A conversation I heard while in the university library...
  • Blonde Barbie-Like Girl: *walks into the library with a group of other girls* “Oh my God, there are so many books here! I didn’t realize this place was so big!”
  • Other Girl: *rolls her eyes* “Yeah, it’s called a library, genius. There are books in a library.”
  • Blonde Barbie: “Oh. Do they have dictionaries here? I need to look up a word.”
  • Me: *thinking to myself as they walk away: Was the word “library” to big for you? I'm surprised you know what a dictionary is. Dumb ass.*
Incident Two: In my History of Western Sexualities Class...
  • Professor: “Okay, so for your book review you need to use Chicago style.”
  •  Random Student: “What’s Chicago style?”
  • Professor: “It’s a form of citation, specifically for history.”
  • Random Student: “Citation?”
  • Professor: “Yeah, you know, like MLA or APA....”
  • Random Student: *looks puzzled* “MLA, like… our… MLA?”
  • Professor: *snorts* “Do you mean like our Member of the Legislative Assembly?”
  • Random Student: “Yeah! That!”
  • Professor: “Uh, no. I mean MLA citation for English classes.”
  • Random Student: *blank look*
  • Professor: “Perhaps you should see me after class…”
Note: MLA stands for the Modern Language Association (of America).

Incident Three: Pop machine fiasco...
  • Alright, so I have to preface this incident by telling you a story of my own first.  After my class a few days ago, I was really thirsty so I decided to buy myself a bottle of water. I made my way to the pop machine with my toonie and quarter ($2.25 for you Americans), and put the money in and picked out a water. However, when I pushed the button it said, "Option unavailable. Pick again."  Well, okay then. So I picked another.  And I got the same message. So I picked once again and got the same message. So I gave up and asked for my money back. Now, I put in two coins. What did I get back? Twenty two dimes and 1 nickle. -_-  Are you freaking serious? I had to stand there as it went, "cachunk, cachunk, cachunk, cachunk, etc etc..." spitting out my money.  Well, after that massive failure, I dumped my large pile of coins into my wallet.

  • Now, the next day I was sitting by the pop machine when this guy walked up to buy a drink. I didn't really think about what had happened to me until I noticed that he hadn't moved in several moments. So I turned and watched him as he picked option after option, obviously getting the same message I did.  Well, after a while, he asked for his money back (and got a small pile of coins, just like me). Now, I thought that was the end of it. I was wrong. Instead of walking away and trying a different machine, he put ALL of his money back in and picks a different number. It doesn't work.  So he pushes a different button.  When this doesn't work, he asks for his money back. And then he does the whole thing all over again!  He went through this process a total of three times! THREE!  He probably would've kept going except for a girl sitting across from me decided to say something. I know I should have said something, but I was laughing too hard into my hoodie to get the words out.
So there you have it. Check in next week for another session of university humour ;)

Wednesday, November 16

Funny Comic & An Update

Update on School: What I have left...
  • 7 days of classes left
  • 29 total days left until I am 100% done my last semester of undergrad
History 2237 (Intellectual European History): 1 final exam
Anthropology 2270 (Ancient Egypt): 2 in class discussions; 1 term paper; 1 final exam
English 4440 (Pre-Raphaelite): 1 journal entry; read 1 novel; 1 term paper; 1 final exam
Anthropology 1105 (Ancient Peoples & Places): 1 term paper; 1 final exam
History 2207 (History of Western Sexualities): 1 quiz; 1 final exam

Personal Update:
  • For those who don't have Facebook or Twitter... I found my wedding dress!!! Eeee!!! No, I wont post pictures of it yet. However, I'll post some in August after Chris & I are married ;)

Wednesday, November 9

8 Days of Classes Left!!!!!!

Hello all!

It's been a while since I've done an update, so I thought I'd do one today!  Okay, so I looked at my calendar, and yes, I only have 8 days of undergraduate classes left! OMG! My last day of classes is December 8th.  I can't believe it's almost here! I've been so busy this semester that I didn't realize how quickly everything was flying by! I will probably sob like a baby on that last day, LOL.

Anyway, I also have my final exam schedule. I have one exam December 12th, two on December 13th, one on December 14th, and my last on December 15th. Yep, 5 exams in 4 days. I'm going to be a bit stressed that week, I think ;)

Alright, so below are my classes and the assignments/exams I have left in them!

WHAT I HAVE LEFT:

·         History 2237 (Intellectual European History):

o   1  book review

o   1 final exam

·         Anthropology 2270 (Ancient Egypt):

o   2 in class discussions

o   1 summary

o   1 term paper

o   1 final exam

·         English 4440 (Pre-Raphaelite):

o   3 journal entries

o   1 novel (read)

o   1 term paper

o   1 final exam

·         Anthropology 1105 (Ancient Peoples & Places):

o   1 term paper

o   1 final exam

·         History 2207 (History of Western Sexualities):

o   1 novel (read)

o   1 book review

o   1 test

o   1 final

So there you have it! I still have a few odd readings here and there, but I didn't put those down. This is just the big stuff I have left to do.  Eeeee! I can't believe I'm nearly done!

Friday, November 4

University Humour

Okay, so if you follow me on Facebook you're probably aware of my recent "university humour" posts. This is where I post funny things I overheard that day, or weird thoughts of mine during school. Well, they've been quite popular on Facebook, so I've decided to make them a weekly blog post. What do you think?

Alright, so some of you guys might be familiar with a few of these, but I thought I'd post them on here anyway.  Next week, I'll have a new post of university mishaps.

Incident One: Signs I've Been In Class Too Long...
  • "The girl sitting beside me has the hiccups. I’m extremely tempted to whip around and scream at her to see if it’ll get rid of them. I’m sure it’ll scare her, but it’ll probably scare quite a few other people too. My professor might not appreciate it either. He might think his lecture was so bad I broke down and lost my mind. This could very well be true, but the poor man doesn’t need to know that." -- Me
Incident Two: A conversation I overheard in my Ancient Peoples and Places class...
  • Girl in Purple: "So I was reading my book and I came across this place, Mesopotamia. God, I wish those barbarians used actual words, rather than coming up with gibberish."
  • Girl in Black: "Well, it wasn't gibberish to them. It's their language, I guess.
  • Girl in Purple: "Who cares? English is the only language that's important, even thousands of years ago."
  • Me: *trying not to laugh*
Incident Three: A conversation that took place in my Ancient Egypt class....
  • Professor: “Does anyone know when Jesus was born?”
  • Random Student: “October 12th, 34 BC”
  • Entire class: *silence...*
  • Professor: *clears throat* "Well.... That was oddly specific. Incorrect, but specific."
  • Random Student: "Um, it's not incorrect. The Bible says Jesus was 34 years old. You should know that, being an archaeology professor."
  • Professor: "Annnnd we're going to move on now."

Random Student: "Um, it's not incorrect. The Bible says Jesus was 34 years old. You should know that, being an archaeology professor."
Professor: "Annnnd we're going to move on now."Professor: *clears throat* “Well…. That was oddly specific. Incorrect, but specific.”
Random Student: "Um, it's not incorrect. The Bible says Jesus was 34 years old. You should know that, being an archaeology professor."
Professor: "Annnnd we're going to move on now."
Incident Four: Again in my Ancient Egypt class...
  • Professor: "Does anyone know what language was spoken during the Old Kingdom?"
  • Girl Student: "Old English."
  • Professor:  *trying not to laugh* “Did you just say Old English?”
  • Girl Student: “Yeah?”
  • Professor: *choking on laughter* “Are you sure you mean English?”
  • Girl Student: *obviously getting frustrated* “Yes! They spoke Old English in the Old Kingdom.”
  • Professor: “I think you mean Old Egyptian.”
  • Girl Student: “No, I don’t? Old Egyptian isn’t a language. Chaucer wrote in Old English and the Middle Kingdom was just a few decades later."
  • Professor: “Um, okay. Moving on...”
*Note: I mean, seriously? What’s wrong with this girl? Not only does Old English not exist during the Old Kingdom, but Chaucer wrote in Middle English, not Old English. And it was a little bit more than a few decades. Try 4000 years.*

So there you have it! My first installment of university humour. I hope you enjoyed ;)

Tuesday, November 1

November Releases



  1. Hide from Evil by Jami Alden-- November 1st
  2. Crossed by Ally Condie-- November 1st
  3. The Pledge by Kimberly Derting-- November 15th
As you can see, it's a pretty slow month for books I want, which is probably a good thing. I have enough homework without adding wonderful books to the mix *winks*

Friday, October 28

Funny Email

A few weeks ago, my mum sent me this hilarious email so I thought I'd share it with you guys! I don't know who originally wrote it, but I'd love to meet her (I'm assuming the author is a woman).


THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: 
I don't want to brag or make anyone jealous or anything, but I can still fit into the earrings I wore in high school...

It is Good to Be a Woman:  

1. We got off the Titanic first.

2. We can scare male bosses with mysterious gynecological disorder excuses.

3. Taxis stop for us.

4. We don 't look like a frog in a blender when dancing.

5. No fashion faux pas we make could ever rival the Speedo.

6. We don't have to pass gas to amuse ourselves.

7. If we forget to shave, no one has to know.

8. We can congratulate our teammate without ever touching her rear end.

9. We never have to reach down every so often to make sure our privates are still there.

10. We have the ability to dress ourselves.

11. We can talk to the opposite sex without having to picture them naked.

12. If we marry someone 20 years younger, we are aware that we will look like an idiot.

13. We will never regret piercing our ears.

14. There are times when chocolate really can solve all your problems.

15. We can make comments about how silly men are in their presence because they aren't listening anyway. 

I hope you enjoyed!!!

What was your favourite? I loved 4, 5, 8, and 9.

Thursday, October 27

Heck Yes! Rick Mercer Tells it Straight

For those Americans out there who might not know who Rick Mercer is, he's a Canadian icon. He's a comedian, television personality, and political satirist. Normally, he's a pretty easygoing guy. My family and I love to watch his shows and hear his rants. He's actually on my list of 10 famous people I want to have dinner with. He also happens to be gay. And this week, his rant was a personal one against bullying. I think this video is something everyone needs to watch--and take seriously. Bullying is preventable.



Wednesday, October 19

WIP Wednesday


So once again I've gotten lots done, but not so much with my story. Oh well, I've accepted that I'm super busy with school. There's no point in beating myself up about it. Anyway, below are some of the things I've been up to in the past few weeks.

School: wrote 9256 words in the last week
  • 1 presentaion
  • 2 Book Reviews
  • 1 Identificaiton Assignment
  • 4 Journal Entries
  • 2 Essays
Writing:
  • A fellow CaRWA member asked me to read the first 30 pages of her new YA story. I haven't critiqued stuff in so long--it was nice to get back to it!
  • I attended the CaRWA monthly meeting last night. It was tons of fun =)
So there you have it. What have you guys been up to recently? Any progress on your stories?

Friday, October 14

5 Ways to Ignore Your Inner Editor

As I dive back into writing the first draft of A Highlander's Ransom, I am once again faced with the dreaded inner editor. You all know what/who I'm talking about. That little voice in the back of your mind that makes scathing comments at every word choice, plot point, and sentence structure you make.

Yeah, that little b*tch. I forgot how awful she can be; sometimes I just want to kick her ass. I don't think there's an easy way to deal with her, but there are a few things you can do to ignore her.
  1. Invest in a pair of good headphones: I can't tell you how beneficial this has been for my own writing. I don't know why, but music can help me block out my inner editor. It doesn't always work, but it certainly helps.
  2. Have a good alpha reader: An alpha reader is someone who reads your story while you're still writing it. Their job is to provide quick feedback and to address the larger elements of the story, such as pacing, tension, and character arcs. Not everyone uses an alpha reader, but I love mine. Sometimes, I just need to find out whether or not I'm going in the right direction. With the inner editor screaming obscenities at me, it's always nice to find out what others think of the story.
  3. Take a break: It can be difficult to step back and take a break, but sometimes it's the best choice. Go read a book, watch a movie, or hang out with your friends/family. When you're feeling a bit better, you can step back into the ring. Your inner editor might still be there, but it'll be easier to deal with her.
  4. Just keep writing.... I know, I know. This is easier said than done, but it's true. The only way to get through a slump is to keep writing. It seems impossible at first, but it can be done. Eventually, your inner editor will get the hint and shut up until revision time. Don't worry about what's on the page. Just write. Everything can be edited later.
  5. Keep sweets nearby:  If all else fails, indulge in your favourite treat. Mine happens to be ice cream. It doesn't help get rid of your inner editor, but it's one tasty way to cope with her.
So there you go, 5 easy ways to dealing with your inner editor. Like I said, we're all afflicted with one, but that doesn't mean we should let them rule our lives.

Have you found anything else that works for you?

Friday, October 7

Fall Workshop with Emily Ohanjanians

Hello everyone! So today I’m going to be talking about what Emily Ohanjanians said at the CaRWA Fall Workshop. Although I loved getting to hear Deidre Knight talk, I was absolutely fascinated by the editorial process Emily described.  As pre-published writers, we don’t tend to hear about what happens after you get that elusive book deal, so it was very interesting to see behind the scenes.

First, some background on Emily.  She's a single title editor with HQN, which means she only takes manuscripts of about 100,000 words. They accept all subgenres of romance, as well as fantasy and chick-lit (though these last two are not as prominent).

The Editorial Process
  1. First Read / Editor Revisions:  This is where the editor focuses on the major or broad aspects of the story.
  2. Author Revision
  3. Editor’s Line Edits: After the initial revision, the editor then goes back with her red pen and comments on everything.
  4. Author Reviews Line Edits & Makes Changes. This process can go back and forth between editor and author a few times before it’s completed.
  5. Once the editor and author agree on all of the changes, the manuscript is sent to the Copy Editor, who looks at the extremely technical and nitpicky side of the story.
  6. The copy editor then sends the story back to the writer, who makes the changes. Again, this can go back and forth a few times before it’s completed.
  7. Finally, a PDF version of the story is sent to the author. This is the author’s last chance to make any changes to the story.
  8. Once the author approves, the story is sent to production!!
What Emily is looking for:
  • A well thought-out concept: Is your concept new? Is it fresh? An editor has to be concerned with whether or not the book will sell. If your idea isn’t different enough—or is too different—from what’s out there, they won’t be able to sell it. It’s a fine line writers tread.
  • Tight plot: Although every story will need some tweaking, the basic plot should be quite concrete before an editor ever sees it. An editor is buying the idea to the story—everything else can be revised.
  • Clean writing/polished manuscript: Although Emily said she will overlook some errors (we’re all human, after all), it worries her if a manuscript is riddled with mistakes. It makes her wonder whether you’ve bothered with the editing process, and since she has to work with you, this could mean a lot of extra work for her.
  • Quality of writing: Once again, it all comes down to writing/voice. If an editor loves your voice, they are more willing to overlook other issues.
So there you have it! I hope you enjoyed =)

Wednesday, October 5

WIP Wednesday


Alright, so I don't have much progress to report this week. I've been neck deep in homework (and it doesn't look like it's going to get better anytime soon). October is my busiest month this semester, so you might not see much of me in the coming days.

Regardless, I still wrote 2000 words for AHR this weekend, so I'm happy. On top of that, my school word count is now at 4155 for last week. So... in total I wrote 6155 words. I wish that was all for my story, but school has to comes first.

So how are you guys doing this week? Have you made any progress on your story?

Friday, September 30

October Releases


Okay, so here is a list of the books I want in October. I've also included a late September release, since I haven't been able to pick it up yet.
  1. Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins--September 29th (yesterday, in fact!)
  2. Home Sweet Home by Bella Andre writing as Bella Riley--October 1st
  3. Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick-- October 4th
  4. The Viper by Monica McCarty-- October 18th
  5. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater-- October 18th
  6. Scandalous Desires by Elizabeth Hoyt-- October 18th
Are any of these books on your list? Do you have any other recommendations?

Thursday, September 29

Fall Workshop with Deidre Knight

Alright, so I'm going to divide the information I gathered at the CaRWA Fall Workshop into two posts. Today I'm going to talk about agent and author, Deidre Knight. Next Friday I'll do a post about what HQN editor Emily Ohanjanians had to say.

Okay, so for those who haven't heard of her, Deidre Knight founded the Knight Agency in 1996. Since there are multiple agents at TKA, they represent almost everything. Deidre is personally very interested in historical romance right now (mostly Regency and Victorian), as well as contemporary romance.  She kept repeating that she’s “really looking,” so if you want to send her a query, now is the time to do it! Just be sure to check out the agency website for preferences and guidelines before you submit.

 Now, on to the good stuff!

Deidre gave a PowerPoint presentation (her first ever!), about what sort of agent she was and what she thinks makes a good agent. To begin with, she classified herself as a “full career” agent, meaning she wants to work with you throughout all stages of your writing career. Now, if you’ve already been published with a traditional publisher, or even self-published, that’s fine. This just means that she expects to represent you, rather than just your book. 

She then went on to say that a good agent should be like a midwife, and that the relationship between agent and writer is like a marriage. And like all good relationships, communication is key! She wants to know if you’re having a down week, or if you don’t agree with one of her suggestions. Since she’s a hands on agent during the writing process (meaning she’ll help you plot, brainstorm, and even help you come up with a title), you have to feel comfortable with each other. Like communication, respect is a must.

Now, TKA is based out of Georgia, so Deidre relies heavily on the internet for communication. If that’s not your cup of tea, then this agency might not be the best choice for you. However, if you prefer using the internet, then definitely check her out!

Alright, so for those hoping to pitch or query Deidre in the future, she gave six points sure to impress her:
      
1. Voice! Almost every agent lists this at their top, and Deidre is no different. Writing is all about voice, and if she likes your voice, she’s more willing to overlook other errors. However, that doesn't mean that you should skip the editing process. She still wants to see a good manuscript.

2. Be authentic!  Don’t try to write to the market. Write what you love to write--it'll come through in your story.

3. High concept! I think that’s pretty self-explanatory.

4. Clean manuscript!  This one is also pretty self-explanatory. Don’t send in a submission with spelling errors all over the place. It gives the impression that you can’t be bothered to edit, and if you can't be bothered to edit, why would she want to sign you on as a client?

5. Be nice! This goes without saying, but Deidre says a lot of writers don’t think they need to be polite to an agent. However, this is a business. You have to be polite and respectful of your colleagues, whether they be agents, editors, or fellow writers.

6. Last but not least... To truly impress her, your story has to sweep her away.  She wants to forget she’s reading a submission. In other words, she has to be sucked into the story.

So there you have it! From the conversation I had with Deidre, she was funny, nice, and very laid back.  I think she’d make the publishing process very comfortable for a writer, which is a good thing since it can be so stressful!

Any comments or questions? I didn't post everything she talked about, since it would make the post too long, but if you have any questions, feel free to ask and I'll see if I can answer them!
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