Dawn Colclasure's Blog

Author and poet Dawn Colclasure

Monday, June 30, 2008

Author sites: Are pictures important?

I am putting together an author site for my books. This site will be completely different from the dmcwriter site. The dmcwriter site will be more of a "writer's" site, and this one will just be about my books.

I was thinking of putting my pic on the homepage. Nothing glamorous, mind you. Just a pic of what I look like! I think people are curious about what authors look like. (I know I am!) And it's nice to have a face to go with the name.

However, my husband is against me posting my pic on that site. Which is something I don't understand, really. I said, "I won't wear my glasses for the pic." I won't show my whole face! Heck, I'll even wear a baseball cap and shades! Not good enough.

Still, I think a pic should be on there. Somewhere or another.

My pic's on my MySpace, on my deviantART page and even on the dmcwriter site. It's not like people don't already know what I look like! I'm not exactly proud of how my face looks. I don't really think I have a beautiful face that should be plastered EVERYWHERE. But it is my face. It's what I look like. So why not have a pic on my site? I think people appreciate something like that. Adds a "human" feel to the site, ya know?

But if not on the homepage, at least somewhere on the site.

We'll see what happens, I suppose.

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Changing my pitch

I am going to switch gears on what novel to pitch to agents. Instead of the paranormal series, I'm going to pitch the fantasy novel instead. I WOULD try pitching the chick lit, but to be honest, it's not "ready" to go out into the world yet.

I'm kinda down about having to put the paranormal series on a backburner, but since I am an unagented writer with only one (unpopular) novel to my name so far, it's the best thing to do. I read at the following blog post that pitching a series when it comes to being an unagented, unknown author is BAD, BAD, BAD:

Nevertheless, agent or no agent, I am STILL going to keep writing the paranormal series. I HAVE to stick with it. If I go too long between books, I'll forget too much. It'll be too hard to get back into that world. I'll probably move on to writing OTHER books, instead. And that's NOT gonna happen! I'm gonna finish writing the WHOLE series. At least I have the luxury of time to whip them into shape. *rolls eyes*

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

What would Hemingway write?

This morning, I was working on the edits for the haunted houses book. The part I am editing is not so scary for me to work on anymore. Actually, I've started feeling curious about what OTHER stories there are out there about haunted houses in the U.S.

I am currently working on the haunted houses located in Florida (and I'll be finishing that part up today). I came across the report of hauntings going on at the Ernest Hemingway house, located in Key West. Not surprisingly, it is haunted by Hemingway's ghost. (A shudder ran down my spine as I read about people seeing his ghost waving from a window. Could you imagine even SEEING that??) I once joked about how Hemingway's ghost might come back to edit any material a writer could be working on should any writers live in his house, but it seems the old man has his OWN work going on. Apparently, people have heard the sound of a typewriter going after the house has closed for the day. (It's a tourist attraction.)

Now that gave me pause. "I wonder what he's writing?" I wondered aloud. Then I laughed and said, once again out loud, "Seriously! I have to know!"

Now I'm tempted to jump on a plane, fly out there and sneak a sheet of paper into the typewariter! LOL

I'm really curious about just WHAT exactly Hemingway would be writing, should he be writing today. And to write while in the afterlife!! What things he must have to write about....

Later, I kept thinking about why I even said something like that out loud. Why didn't I just think it instead? Well, maybe I'm hoping a ghost will drop me a note or two somehow or another to let me know. Or maybe I'm sending out an invitation for Hemingway's ghost to pay me a visit and share some of his WIP!

Yeah, yeah. I KNOW we writers don't like sharing our stuff until it's ready to be shared. Still, what I would give if I could just have one peek.

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Monday, June 16, 2008

"If J.K. Rowling did it, why can't I?"

I read a lot of things that young writers are saying about writing and being a writer/aspiring novelist on the Internet. Wanna know what's really starting to be a thorn in my side? That whole J.K. Rowling idea of success.

So help me, if I read one more writer say something like "well, J.K. Rowling did this with her books" or "but it worked that way for J.K. Rowling," I am literally going to bang my head against the desk. AAH!!

I have a tip for aspring novelists, fantasy writers and series writers: Do not, I repeat, DO NOT try to be like J.K. Rowling with your work. Write YOUR OWN stories. Create your own worlds, your own characters (not some Harry Potter clone) and YOUR OWN success.

Yes, we know all about how J.K. Rowling earned more money than the Queen with her Harry Potter books. We know all about how she signed with a major publisher with her first book. But there's MORE to that than meets the eye. And, her success is not the norm! She was lucky but not every single aspiring author or wannabe novelist out there will score that same level of success if they do a Harry Potter knockoff. (Though many have tried.)

Write your own stories. Please. I know imitation is the greatest form of flattery, but if you REALLY want to make strides in the book world with your own book and your own series, don't try to imitate a successful author like J.K. Rowling. Try to create YOUR OWN stories, your own characters and your own success.

Don't try to write like J.K. Rowling, Stephen King, Anne Rice, Robert Ludlum, Tom Clancy, Dan Brown, Tami Hoag, Lisa Jackson or Mary Higgins Clark. Write like yourself. Write the way that YOU write, not the way that somebody else writes. Be aware of other bestselling authors out there and what's up with their books, but don't even think the same thing will happen for you if you try to be like them or do what they do. Write YOUR stories and create YOUR success. Be the next bestselling author who created their own kind of success and not from living in someone else's shadow or following in someone else's footsteps. Otherwise, it will end up being THEIR success, and not yours.

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Friday, June 13, 2008

In honor of Friday the 13th

I recently saw a horror movie which I thought must be pretty good. I thought this because there was a sequel. After watching the movie, I learned an important lesson: Just because a movie has a sequel, it doesn't mean that it's good.

Yes, this movie was bad. Not just "meh bad" but "VERY BAD!" Stupid bad. Too unrealistic bad. I'm not going to out this movie, but I will say I won't be watching its sequel.

On the other hand, this isn't to say that all movies with sequels suck. (Indiana Jones, anyone??) One sequeled movie I like are the Friday the 13th movies. Granted, some of the sequels DID suck, but, for the most part, it was good.

The thing I like best about Friday the 13th, though, is that it carries a story so well. This is why I didn't like the movie I saw. I complained about it to my husband, saying that I just couldn't suspend my belief anymore because the writer chose to use something VERY STUPID in the movie. (I'll give you a hint: A ghost can possess you if you bleed.) He agreed and said that it doesn't matter if a story is fiction or just made up, it STILL has to have some degree of believability for readers and viewers to accept it. The things used in a story have to make sense or be possibly realistic.

Now I know that Jason doesn't REALLY exist. That there's not a REAL Camp Crystal Lake (although there IS a real Crystal Lake!). But the Friday the 13th movies have really done well in keeping viewers hooked. It doesn't matter that the villain isn't someone real or someone who COULD be real. Most of the stories in the series are played out well enough to keep viewers scared out of their wits, because the story is real enough for them to believe.

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Monday, June 02, 2008

Funny comment on AWWC

I was on the site agentquery.com, looking for more lit agents to, um, query. I was checking out one lit agency and saw that someone posted a question about it over on the Bewares and Background Check at the Absolute Write Water Cooler. Now THIS is the place to go and check out agencies. So I was reading the posts and everything sounded fine until someone mentioned they got a contract from them BUT....had concerns when getting to the clause where the client would reimburse the agent for fees, postage, etc., etc. Normally, that's the thing to steer clear of, but I was shaking my head and mumbling, "Dude, negotiate." Because you CAN negotiate things in a contract! Besides, that clause gave an either/or option.

Here is the link:

I was reading posters comments on how that kinda thing is standard in contracts these days. Someone even quoted SFWA's comments about that clause.

One writer said his/her agent has that in the contract, and that he "keeps it in there just in case a client does something that really gets his goat."

That made me REALLY laugh! HAHA! I was laughing so hard, I had tears in my eyes. HILARIOUS!!! I could just see that now. The agent getting angry at a client and going, "You big turkey! Here's a bill for $100!"

In other news, I have exhausted agents found on agentquery.com to E-query. Now I'm hitting up the other sites and some books to look for more!

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