Sunday, September 16, 2012

Genre Favorites Blogfest

It’s time for another blog hop! Thanks so much to Alex J. Cavanaugh for hosting the Genre Favorites Blogfest, where those of us participating get to discuss our favorite genre of books, movies, music, and as an added bonus, our favorite guilty pleasure genre for one of the three.

Here goes nothing . . .

I must admit, I have very wide and eclectic taste when it comes to music. I enjoy everything from classical to bluegrass (a love inherited from my Appalachian-grown mother). However, if I had to narrow it down to just one favorite, it would probably be Classic Rock. Rolling Stones, ACDC, Queen, Guns n’ Roses, Dire Straits, The Police, Def Leppard – the best. I listen to it when I force myself to go running, when I’m writing a particularly bad-ass fight scene, when I’m jamming in my car, and anytime in between. FYI, Eye of the Tiger . . . best song ever.

When it comes to movies, I have a clear genre favorite – Science Fiction. As the daughter of sci-fi enthusiasts, I was raised on The Terminator, Aliens and Star Wars. If it’s about time travel, clones, aliens or automatons, I’m there.

As both a former Literature major and novelist, books are pretty much my life. Thus, of the three categories, I found picking a preferred genre of books the most challenging. On the one hand, I love Middle Grade Fantasy. Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, Chronicles of Narnia . . . all personal favorites. My own manuscripts all happen to fall into this very group. However, if I really have to narrow it down to just ONE category, I’d have to go with classical literature. Ridiculous as this may seem, I love reading novels from the literary cannon. Authors like Mary Shelley, Oscar Wilde, Charlotte Bronte and James Joyce are among my favorites. If a novel would make it onto the dreaded “summer reading list” for high school students, chances are it’s one of the books I love most. That doesn’t mean I don’t like a good mystery novel, and I go through science fiction books like potato chips. But at the heart of it, I’m a classicist.

Guilty Pleasure:
And now for the best genre – guilty pleasures. For this one, I decided to go with the “movie” category. I believe I’ve already mentioned that I’m a sci-fi fan; however, what you may not know is that I not only love well-respected films like Blade Runner and The Matrix, but I also secretly adore the really terrible made-for-TV movies produced by the SyFy channel. And I don’t mean enjoy them in ironic sort of way. I genuinely love them. Anyone seen Hammerhead: Shark Frenzie? A classic. Revenge of the Swamp Thing – phenomenal. And if you’ve never seen Lake Placid 2, you’re seriously missing out. Mock all you want, but it’s cinematic gold.

So, those are all my genre favorites. If you’re interested in sharing your own, hop on over to Alex J. Cavanaugh’s blog and sign up!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Insecure Writer's Support Group

It’s the first Wednesday of the month, and time for another Insecure Writer’s Support Group post. Thanks again to Alex J. Cavanaugh for hosting this outlet for writers every month! So here’s my insecurity for September . . .

I’ve been trying lately to be more positive about manuscript rejections. When you’ve gotten as many as I have, you have to stop taking them so personally. And my wonderful agent has assured me many times that if I just hang in there a little longer, we’ll find the right fit. And after all the self-indulgent moping I've done, I figured enough is enough. 

However, while I’ve done my best to prepare for editors that just don’t get my “vision” (to their everlasting regret someday, you know, when I’m a bestseller and making my publisher rich). But what I haven’t yet mastered is the art of brushing off a rejection from an editor that loved my work. 

Yesterday my agent forwarded a rejection in which the editor said they loved my “whiz-kid” protagonist, emphasis on self-made heroes, and revisionist historical elements, as well as likening my novel to Michael Chabon’s The Amazing Adventures of Kalavier and Clay – one of my favorite books. And while I found these comments terribly flattering – and will perhaps later think of them as a balm for my scorched soul – it only made it that much more painful when said editor rejected my manuscript because they were already representing a novel about superheroes and thus didn’t have an opening in their literary lineup.

Talk about heartbreak.

I fear that in light of yesterday’s rejection, I’m not able to muster up any words of encouragement for other insecure writers this month. But if there’s anyone out there going through what I’m going through, just know that you’re in good company. I’ll be sure to lift a glass for you at my pity party. Cheers!