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My novel, In the Way of All Flesh, will be published by Regal Crest Enterprises!

Finally, after eight years, In the Way of All Flesh is going to see the light of day. I have an (still not quite finished) author page with Regal Crest here and it includes a summary of the book.

Gloomy teenager Manee Srikwan wears long sleeves and keeps her hands to herself for a good reason–whenever she touches a person for the first time, she sees a vision of how they will die. Manee’s weird powers cause those around her nothing but misery and she’s long resigned herself to a life of loneliness. But her vivacious classmate, Stephanie Pierce, changes all that. She smashes through every wall Manee puts up and overturns every expectation. Much to Manee’s shock, Stephanie believes her about her powers. What’s more, she insists they can stop the deaths Manee sees from happening. When the two of them are together, it feels like they can do anything.

As the girls grow closer, Manee’s feelings for Stephanie blossom into love. She yearns to be more intimate but is anxious about breaking her all-important “hands-off ” rule. When she finally gives in to temptation, she sees a terrifying future where Stephanie is murdered — and Manee is her killer!  Now Manee has a choice to make— will she fight this fate or let it rule her?

Regal Crest is a respected small press that’s been in business for nearly 20 years- it’s the third largest small press publisher of lesbian literature in the world. I’m super exciting to be working with them. It will be at least a year before this book comes out, but I hope that when it does, you guys will enjoy it. I put a LOT of work into it.

I’m going to be talking about this a lot more as we go forward and hope to give viewers of this site plenty of goodies. Buckle in for a wild ride!

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Notes from AWP

As promised, here are my notes from the AWP conference panels, painstakingly typed up. They’re not GREAT- definitely not very thorough or anything and sometimes I found I had no idea what the context was for what I wrote or even if I heard correctly, but I figure there might be some useful stuff in there for people curious about the industry. In italics, I’ll put some of my notes/impressions.

The biggest problem with AWP is there are too many interesting panels happening at the same time. Since this was my first writing conference and I’ve been stuggling figuring out how to go about getting my book published, I decided to focus on learning more about agents, editors, small presses and how to get published, so that’s the focus you’ll see in the panels I attended. Next time, I’ll be able to attend more panels that interest me on a personal and craft level, I hope.

Without further ado:

The Pleasures and Pains of Small Press publishing- (Thais Miller, Olivia Kate Cerrone, Courtney McDermott, Monica Wendel, Peg Alford Purself)

Small Presses: Brown Paper Press, Autumn House Press, Thrush Press, Black Ocean, Octopus, Four Way Press

Questions to ask a small press: Will you be sending out review copies? Will you be promoting with social media? Contests? What are your strategies for crises? If the company goes under do you have a backup company who can take on your authors? Do you do publicity cards? What are the deadlines? What’s the timeline for my book? What are my responsibilities?

From Thesis to Published Book –Mieke Eerkens, Nicole Walker, Catina Bacote, Amy Butcher (one of these people is from my hometown, so I talked with her after the panel! She seemed very nice.)

Bacote wrote “Chronicles”, has writing residency

Kisha Schlegel- wrote “Fear Icons”(I have no idea what this was relevant to, but I clearly wrote it down for some reason0

Reply to even rejection letters with a thank you to forge connections.

Try the Waste no Time App for limiting internet use.

Lambda literary Survery the future of LBGTQ Writing (Tony Venezuela, William Johnson, Joy Ladin, Amy Scholder, Brandi Spoethe) 

I attended this one but don’t have any real notes. I actually got lost on the way to this one and was late.

Female Friendship in YA (Amy Reed, Macy Beller Paul, Anica Mrose Rissi, Sarah Nicole Smetana, Kit Frick) (As mentioned last post, I adore Amy’s book, The Nowhere Girls- this was a great panel, I got a lot of ideas for the book I’m currently writing.)

YA Book Recs for both positive and toxic female friendships for the authors: Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruits , Winter Girls by Laurie Halse Anderson, Lessons from a Dead Girl, Done Dirt Cheap, You Don’t Know Me But I Know You,The Amazing Color of After, You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone, Born Confused.

Every decision the character makes should lead to the next one- it should be so it’s impossible this character could make another decision than the one they made.

Continue reading “Notes from AWP”

Back from AWP!

Back from the writing conference at last! It was really worthwhile and I met a lot of cool people! I attended several panels and took lots of notes. I actually typed them up, so I’ll share them in a separate post so other prospective writers can benefit.

But I have some fingers crossed on some opportunities. I won’t say what so I won’t jinx myself but SUPER CROSSED.

I also talked about my book to a few small presses and some of them seemed interested! One author referred me to an agent, but it looks like she’s not taking unsolicited submissions right now.

And I ran into a guy from my MFA class! I bought his book, (It’s called Lying for a Living, it’s by Steve McCondichie). He said I critiqued part of it and told him “nobody cares about the technical lawyer stuff” so he cut it out of that part. I don’t remember, but that does sound like something I would say.

I discovered this right before I left for the conference, but there’s a really cool YA author who lives here in town- she wrote a book about teenage girls getting together on a ROGUE MISSION to dismantle the rape culture in their school and expose the crimes of the school’s precious golden boys. It’s called The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed and it’s SUPER well written, and in line with my sensibilities obvs.

(and for anyone on the lookout for certain kinds of characters: for the three main girls one is Latina and a lesbian, one has Aspergers and one is fat, and those aspects of their identities are explored and addressed in interesting ways and how the feminist movement as a whole struggles with intersectionality is addressed. There a brief snapshots of the lives of various girls in the school that feel kind of shut out by the others, including a trans girl. It’s a very thoughtful book overall, YMMV on the specifics obviously).

Other books I read for the conference I liked: The Unintentional Time Traveler by Everett Maroon and Welcome to the Slipstream by Natalka Burian. I also picked up several new books I’ll go over on here while I’m reading.

I went to a mixer for YA authors and actually met Everett Maroon and also talked a lot with Tiff Ferentini, another prospective author! They were both really great.

I definitely enjoyed this conference and feel like I understand a lot more about the industry now. I probably won’t be able to afford to fly to the next AWP conference, but I’ll definitely look into getting in on a smaller conference next year.

Up next: Notes from the panels!

Time for the AWP Conference

Today I went and picked up my registration for the AWP Conference! It starts tomorrow. I’m excited for my first conference and hope I can learn a lot and make a lot of connections. There’s a few authors I admire I hope to meet there, including one whose book I used during my research for In the Way of All Flesh. I also printed quite a few copies of my query letter for my novel that I’ll be taking with me, just in case I meet someone who is interested.

I’ll report on how it all goes next time I post!

I will be attending the AWP 2018 Writing Conference!

Since this IS supposed to be a log of my attempt at a professional writing career, I suppose I should mention I’ve joined The Association of Writers and Writing Projects and will be attending the 2018 conference in Tampa taking place from March 7-10. This is my first writing conference, so I’m not sure what to expect, but I’m hoping I can meet some people in the industry. I’ve been poring over the panels to figure out what I want to attend. I’ll try to keep this blog updated.

As for how my career is going otherwise, I’m making preparations to submit In the Way of All Flesh directly to some publishers. I want someone to proofread it first, so I’m currently trying to select the best service. Right now, I’m waiting to get a sample edit back.

I’m continuing work on my superhero novel and the online writing group I’ve started is going reasonably well. I’m also going to try to be more involved with my local writing community through the local bookstore, Malaprops. I hope to go to a panel being hosted there this Friday and to continue going to events from now on.

As for the other career possibilities, I’m still working as an ESL teacher for 51talk, but I’m also in the process of interviewing/training with a new ESL teaching company. I’m making preparations to apply for a teaching or assistant position at AB Tech community college (ideally for something English-related).

Slowly but surely, things are moving forward. All I can do is try my best.

Welcome!

Hello! Welcome to this website for a writer on the rise. My name is Caitlin Donovan and I’m an aspiring novelist who is starting to get serious about building my brand (TM). So here it is. A WordPress website. I’ve actually been involved with WordPress for quite a while, through companies I’ve worked for and my own shenanigans, but this is definitely my first Official Writing Website.

The reason I finally did this is that I recently self-published a poetry book to fulfill my grandfather’s dying wish (dramatic, but true) and it features poetry by both myself and him. So this will serve as a good way to give some information about that and promote it a bit.

Otherwise, the website will serve to chronicle my journey as I try to get my first novel published. It’s a YA fantasy tale starring two queer teenage girls full of dark twists and turns and I really want everyone to read it.

The website will also collect my other writing, such as my work for entertainment news websites like Epicstream, the Mary Sue, Cracked and so on. So please come on in, explore and learn more about me! I’d love to meet fellow writers and storytelling enthusiasts and form a little community.