Turning passion into profession.

Friday, July 13, 2012

In Which I Rant About Fictional Female Law Enforcement

I have a bit of a bone to pick today that centers around the genre of crime/thriller/suspense and the way women are portrayed in the law enforcement field.

Now, before I begin, let me give you a bit of a background on me. I have always been interested in being a part of law enforcement. Ever since I was a little kid I dreamed of donning the blue and brass. When we played cops and robbers, I always had to be the cop. While the other girls were playing with Barbies and dressing up like princesses, I had my walkie-talkie and a hair dryer, standing at the side of the road giving out traffic citations. Seriously, this is what I did for fun! As I grew older, I realized that maybe being a police officer wasn't exactly the right route for me, mainly because I could be outrun by a five-year old and would never pass a police fitness test in my life. But I did my research and I held onto my dream, and that is what lead me to the field of Social Work and Criminology.

Here are another few facts about me:

1. I've never been sexually abused, raped, or molested.
2. I've never witnessed a murder.
3. I've never traumatically lost a family member or witnessed one being tortured, tormented, abused, etc.
4. There are absolutely zero cops in my family.
5. I do not have a military background nor a parental figure I have to impress.

And after all these facts, I still have an interest in law enforcement that just blossomed out of my own want and need. According to the television world, THIS IS WRONG!

Let me explain more about what I mean. In the world of television a female cop, nine times out of ten, HAS to have a reason for becoming a cop. Usually this stems from a traumatic event in their childhood or a need to impress an overbearing, over-accomplished law enforcement parental figure. They can't just have wanted to be a cop. There must be some serious reason that a woman would want to be involved in that career. And all this happens while their male counterparts need no explanation as to why they are who they are.

Here are some examples:

Olivia Benson, SVU: Her motivation for becoming a cop, or more specifically a detective in the SVU, is because she is a child of rape. Her counterpart, Elliot Stabler, is just there cause he's there.

Kate Beckett, Castle: Her mother was brutally murdered when she was in college, forcing her to change her major and become a detective after building an obsession with finding her mother's killer. Her counterparts, Ryan and Esposito, never have had their intentions explained.

Olivia Dunham, Fringe: The only reason she works for the FBI is because she had been conditioned to be a soldier since she was a child, leaving her really no choice. The male agents Charlie and Lt.Broyles have never warranted explanation.

Debra Morgan, Dexter: Grew up craving her father's attention so she decided to follow in his footsteps and become a detective for the Miami PD. None of the other males in the squad have had a similar explanation to why they are cops.

Sara Sidle, CSI: Another foster care case. Abusive father, mother who killed him in front of her. Stokes, Grissom, and Brown have never had their pasts explained.

Catherine Willows, CSI: Saved from her life of exotic dancing by a man, of course, who happened to be a detective and sent her on the path of law enforcement.

And these are only a few examples that I could think of off-hand. Now some may say 'oh, well it's just character development!', and they would be right. It is. But my point is why do females need to have their past that led them to law enforcement exposed when their male counterparts don't? I really do believe passionately in this and see it as a problem in the entertainment industry. Writers need to bash it over our heads that 'she's a cop, but she is still a WOMAN! Look, she's crying! Aw, she has a traumatic past. Her femininity is just spilling all over the place so you can feel comfortable watching a woman portray a person in command.' And this thought process makes me sick.

I still do admire and love many of the woman I've talked about above, but at the same time I can't help but cringe sometimes at the way they are portrayed. They are still strong, independent, smart ladies of the law, and I just wish they were there because it was their dream, not because their past led them there.

Is there anything that gets your blood boiling about the way certain people are portrayed?

Monday, July 9, 2012

Reasons For My Absence, A Few Facts, and A Blog Award, OH MY!

Hello bloggies!

Firstly, let me apologize for being a little MIA for the past week and a bit. I have had a few personal and professional things happen to me that forced me to put the blog on the back-burner for a little while. My grandma, who I live with, had her knee replaced two weeks ago so I've been busy helping out and looking after the house. Also late one night I had an epiphany about my MS (hurrah, woo-hoo, and other sarcastic celebration noises) that has had me basically re-working almost the entire thing from third-person to first-person, which has been both a rewarding and taxing experience for me. But alas I have returned and The Write Thrill shall return to its regular unscheduledness!

Now, on to more pressing matters. I was given the...

Yay! The lovely SC_Author bestowed this wonderful award upon me, and I am very grateful. Here are the rules:

1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you the award.
2. List the rules.
3. List seven random facts about yourself.
4. Nominate ten people for the award. And notify them that you've given them an award.

Since I've already done steps one and two, on to step three!

Seven random facts about yours truly:

one. I've been the the midnight showing of every single Twilight movie and I'm totally not ashamed.

two. I am obsessed with nail polish. I have a legitimate problem. It is scary. I just bought a bottle of nail polish today that cost $10. TEN DOLLARS. For color you put on the dead, harden cells protruding from your fingers! Obviously still in denial over this problem.

three. My uncle is a published author. * gratuitous pimp slot* He writes the Jake Morgan mystery series, and his first book Raw Deal can be found on Amazon here!

four. I love television. Yes, I know, that really isn't an unknown fact about me, but the extent to which I love television probably is. I realllyyyyy love television. Like, I spend more money on dvd boxsets than I do on food kind of love. 

five. Related to number four, the television shows that I worship at the alter of are as follows: The X-Files, Lost, Battlestar Galactica, Doctor Who, and Fringe.

six. I collect shot glasses. Whenever I travel anywhere, I always have to buy a shot glass and bring it home for my collection. Currently I have ones from Las Vegas, Cuba, Dominican Republic, New York City, Tortuga, Bahamas, St. Thomas, and Myrtle Beach.

seven. I am a master in the art of hair braiding.

eight. If I was a superhero, my name would be Captain Impulsive. I honestly have to be the most impulsive person in the entire world. Example: I have changed my idea on what I want to do with my life about 776504 times, the latest idea being becoming a Top Chef, which led me to getting and quitting a job in a kitchen within a month.

nine. I have a version of mysophobia, which causes me to have an extreme fear of other peoples' dirty utensils and dishes. 

ten. I am addicted to coke. The pop, not the drug silly!

And there you have it! Ten things that you never really needed/wanted to know about me. Now for the nominating!

I don't have very many blog friends *sob*, so most of these people I'll be re-nominating, but they deserve it cause they are awesome :).

Utsav & Brighton, E.B. Black, Kendra, Kela McClelland , Roni Loren, Caterina Torres, Krysten Hill, and I think that is all I can think of right now, ah! Please check out all these wonderful people and their blogs, you will not regret it!   

Monday, July 2, 2012

Music Monday

Music is one of the most important things in my life. You could bring up any moment, trip, hardship, or achievement and I could tell you the pieces of music that I associate with it. Music has helped me get through a lot of tough times in my life and also helped me celebrate all the happy ones.

Music is also amazing for reading and writing books. It can really help enhance the emotional highs and lows of what you are either reading or trying to write yourself. One of the times I always think of is when I was reading Kathy Reichs' Spider Bones. I was really into Bon Iver at the time and was listening to their cd non-stop on my iPod during my read and magically the songs just fit so well with what was going on. It really mad me feel like I was there with her, experiencing all of these things that her MC was. Now, every time I listen to Bon Iver, I'm taken back on a journey to Hawaii (the setting of the book) and feeling all those great things I felt while reading the book for the first time.

I also absolutely have to listen to music while writing. Whether it be during planning, plot brainstorming, character profiles, writing a chapter, or editing and revising, I need music to be there with me. It lets me concentrate on what I'm doing, keeps me in check with my emotions, and helps me take a journey to the land I'm creating, just like it did with Spider Bones. I'm gonna leave talking about my relationship with music and writing on a later Music Monday post, because I want the first one to be all about fun.

Summer. It's hot. It's shiny. It's fun. And you need a damn good soundtrack to help you enjoy the summer the way it should be. Every summer I always have about four or five songs that live through the season with me. They come to the beach, on long road trips with friends, and then follow us back to the bar at night. They are catchy little ditties that have you winding down your windows and singing at the top of your lungs. This summer I have five songs that have taken residency in my awesome summer playlist. And I'd like to share them with you! If you click on the song title, it will bring you to a special website where the music fairy will let you take the song and put it on your computer to listen to. (AKA: Don't want the file sharing police after a lowly, little aspiring author like me.)

Here is my Songs of Summer 2012!

Stranger - My Name is Kay
Sister Christian/Just Like Paradise/Nothin' But a Good Time - Rock of Ages OST
Some Nights - fun.
Out on the Town - fun.
Lies - Marina and the Diamonds

If you take a listen, be sure to let me know what you think! And do you have to have a soundtrack to go along with the seasons of your life?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Writer Wednesday: Contests

I love contests! Who doesn't love contests?! Especially contests that give you a chance to have your work reach an editor/agent/publishing house that normally wouldn't see your stuff.

I feel like there are so many contests going on right now that my head is spinning. It is the summer of the writer apparently, cause we are getting so many excellent chances to have our work see the light of day. Since there seem to be a cagillion (real numeric estimation) contests popping up all over, I thought I would make a little list of links here of some of the ones I plan on entering, or ones I think are just super cool. So read forth and enter like crazy!

Phew, that is a lot of awesome contests! Thanks a lot to the hosts and participants for creating these contests and giving us writers many awesome opportunities! Did I forget any current or upcoming contests that I should add to my list? Do you have any contest success stories? Let me know in the comments!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

5 Reasons Why Twitter Is Great For Writers

Ever since I got my iPhone, I have become absolutely addicted to Twitter. I love it. I check in on it when I wake up like its the morning paper. It lets me keep tabs on my favorite celebrities, chefs, media outlets, and friends. And with just a few little clicks, they can be updated on what's going on with me too. I know many of you share my addiction to the little blue bird, but a lot of us may just use Twitter as a way to pass time, when really it holds much more potential, especially for those trying to make a name for themselves in the publishing world. With that said, here are my top 5 reasons why Twitter is great for writers!

1. IT'S FREE! Yes, you read that right. Free. You have to have a computer or smartphone to access it, but the application itself doesn't cost you a thing. This makes it accessible to the over 200-million people that use it. Being a struggling writer and also a university student, money is tight for me, and I know it is for a lot of other aspiring authors out there. The fact that we can access Twitter anytime we want, as much as we want, is a big help in getting ourselves out into the social media world.

2. Community. The population of writers, both published and not, is astounding on Twitter. Ever since I started following and interacting with other writers, I feel almost like I'm part of a little exclusive club, or family. If you are in a writing rut and need a pick me up, someone is always there saying encouraging words. If you are stuck on a problem in your newest chapter, in seconds you can have a fellow writers opinion on your dilemma. If you need a quick edit on something, just give a shout-out and someone will be there. When it comes to published and celebrity authors, many of them will tweet you back or retweet something you've said. It makes their vast knowledge of the industry instantly accessible, and their tips and tricks shared on Twitter are extremely valuable.

3. It makes you a better writer. The majority of us have a few major problems when it comes to writing, and one of them is being concise. How do we take all we want to say and put it into a concise chapter? Twitter is excellent at helping writers hone in on this skill. 140 characters. That is all you have. No matter how hard you try, the character limit will not increase. So you have to learn how to take something important and bring it down to just a few words. This helps you cut out everything that is unnecessary and leave only the words that get your point across, and this is a great exercise in writing.

4. Hashtags. These little things are awesome. They help you group your thoughts into one or a few searchable terms, and also let you discover other writers by searching through them. There are many hashtags out there, but there are a few that every aspiring writer on Twitter must know and use frequently. These include: #amwriting/#amediting, #writetip/#writingtip, #askagent/#askauthor/#askeditor, and #writingprompt. Using hashtags are not only a great way to find others who are interested in the same things as you, but also a way of getting yourself recognized.

5. Promotion/Marketing. This is the big one, folks. Unless you happen to write a book that becomes an overnight sensation, you are going to need to do a lot of work yourself to get people to buy it. The road to this marketing begins with promotion, which usually starts before you even have a book deal. Do you have a blog? A short story you want read? A contest you are participating in? Link to it on Twitter. Using Twitter to spread the word about your online presence is the fastest, easiest, and most effective way. You post something so all your followers can see it, some of your followers may retweet it which will then make it reach a larger audience and so on and so forth. Having an online following of writers, readers, and fans alike will make a critical difference when you release a book.

And there you have it! Those are my top 5 reasons why I think Twitter is awesome for writers. Do you agree or have any others to add? I'd love to hear them!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Writer Wednesdays: Flashbacks.

I love me some good flashbacks. Mainly because I love learning more about my favorite characters and about the moments in their past that helped shape them into who they are today. Hearing about their first kiss, first day on the job, first case, and first heartbreak always makes me feel like I'm getting closer to the characters I enjoy reading about.

On the same subject though, I'm iffy about the use of flashbacks in books. Sometimes it works wonderfully and other times it just clogs up what would be an otherwise decent novel.

In my case, I love my MC in my current WIP, Dr. Stella Lennon. She is a forensic archaeologist who works for the FBI and local police to help solve homicides. I think in order to make a character great, every author has to have an extensive backstory for them, either in their head or planned out on paper. And unfortunately, the majority of this never makes the cut for the final story. Now, I have SO much in my head about Stella and my problem is I want to get it out, but I don't want to put it in my book. She has a past love affair with my other MC, Xavier Martin, and many other interesting tidbits from her past that I want to share with you and with my future readers. So, here's my question:

How would you feel about me posting a little short story every Wednesday, giving you some insight into who my two MCs are? Do you think this would intrigue you and make you want to read my book more, or would it turn you off of my book because you would think you knew everything about them now? Please let me know in the comments cause I think this could be a really fun experiment!

Monday, June 18, 2012

That Dreaded 'R' Word.

There is one thing I dread more than anything while working on a WIP, and this is...RESEARCH.

I hate researching stuff for a book. Absolutely loathe it. But I insist on doing it to the point of wanting to pull my hair out. I read every article and interview I can get my hands on, watch every documentary on YouTube, and even go to the lengths of buying a text book on the subject I'm trying to learn about. By the end of my process I could probably earn a Doctorate in whatever thing it is I'm studying.

Currently that subject would be forensic archaeology. One of the MC's in my book is a forensic archaeologist. She breaks up her time doing many different jobs including being a professor, sitting on a committee, and assisting with ancient dig sites. But mainly she spends her time with the police and FBI, helping them to solve homicides.

Before you ask, yes this is a real job. Law enforcement, especially those is large cities with the budget to do so, often receive the help of those trained in the forensic sciences; which includes anthropology, psychology, entomology, pathology, odontology, toxicology, serology, and of course archaeology. Whew, that was a mouth full :).

I chose forensic archaeology because it is one, if not the least common of them all. A forensic archaeologist will typically be called in to survey a burial site and assist the police on removing the body and all other important evidence at the scene that only a trained eye like theirs would find critical. Here is the dictionary definition to make it a little clearer:

Forensic archaeology, a forensic science, is the application of archaeological principles, techniques and methodologies in a legal context.
An expanding branch of archaeological investigation in which the methods and approaches of archaeology are applied to legal problems and in connection with the work of courts of law.
Most commonly this involves the reconstruction of a chronology and sequence of events from the deposits found within and around graves and burial sites for homicide cases and investigations into the violation of human rights.
-Oxford Dictonary

Now, where I'm trying to get at with all of this is it takes years to be an expert in this field. Countless hours in school, the lab, and out doing field work to become the type of scholar that my MC is. This is where the research comes in. And I want to ask you, where do you draw the line with research? Should your character be as close to real life as possible, or is it okay to take some creative liberties with their job?

In my opinion, I model myself after authors like Kathy Reichs and Patricia Cornwell (who happen to be experts in their forensic fields), so I believe that if it takes two pages to explain a technical forensic procedure, then you take two pages to do so. I enjoy reading those things in their books and hope people will enjoy reading it in mine.    

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day!

My Dad hates Father's Day. He also hates his birthday, and sometimes Christmas. Case in point, my father hates days where the attention is on him. In my family, we celebrate EVERYTHING. Every birthday, Christmas, Easter, anniversary, graduation, when someone hits puberty, if you sneeze etc, etc. They love celebrating and being together and having family bitch fests. I am like my father. We are introverted, prefer being alone, and drink heavily during family functions. So today I say, thanks Dad, for letting me inherit your genes and being the only other sane one in this family! I love you!

I thought it would also be fun to talk about a few of my favorite fictional fathers today as well. I am a person who tends to appreciate the strong matriarch more than the patriarch, but there are a few papa's out there that I do enjoy.

Charlie Swan from Twilight. I know, I know. Twilight. Ugh. But seriously, Charlie is the most real, down to earth, relate-able character in the books and movies for me. The casting was absolutely spot on for the movies. He gives such a funny take on the story and he says and thinks the things we, as readers, think while hearing the story.

Tywin Lannister from Game of Thrones. Ok, I don't wish he was my dad. The people on this list aren't exactly candidates for Father of the Year, lol, but Tywin is a bad ass.

Al Bundy for Married...With Children. The most nonchalant, flippant, sarcastic, unsophisticated Dad ever on TV. And I love him.

And here we have the opposite of Al Bundy. Phil Dunphy from Modern Family. Phil is absolutely the picture perfect portrayal of my generations batch of Dads. By believing in the mantra of, 'the only way to be close to my kids is to be their friend', he represents every modern Dad out there trying to make his way in the time of internet and smart phones.

ETA: I forgot one of my favorite Dad's! Richard Castle.

Richard Castle is a Dad who acts more like a kid. Who does wacky science experiments, plays laser tag, comes home dressed like a zombie, and writes bestselling crime novels? Castle does and he is awesome.

And there you have my batch of favorite fictional Dads. What are some of your favorites?

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Separation Anxiety

This is my dog, Ben.

Cute, isn't he? You don't have to answer that. We know he's cute. He won 1st place in Most Handsome at the local dog show, so that solidifies his social status. Ben has a few odd habits, including barking when someone cracks an egg, answering the phone when it rings (and by answering I mean running and nudging it off the receiver with his nose), and refusing to get up when we put his muzzle on.

Exhibit A:

Ben also has very bad separation anxiety. My family and I have concluded that this stems from being taken away from his mother by the breeder when he was still too young. He was also last of his litter left and spent his days alone in the breeders basement, wondering why all of his friends had gone. 

Now, you are probably asking yourself, how do I know a dog has separation anxiety? And no, we didn't take him to the doggy shrink or anything. He just has all the tell-tale signs of someone who doesn't like to be left alone. When we leave the house, he howls in pain like someone has just stabbed him. When he thinks he is alone he does the same thing. Worst of all, when one or more of my family leaves the house and doesn't come home for a night or a few days, he really goes crazy. This especially applies to my grandparents, who he has attached himself to the most.

What does this have to do with anything? Well, my family is currently gone to Niagara Falls for a few days, leaving me and Ben alone at home. PARTY! Not really. More like Stephanie not being able to sleep because Ben refuses to give up the idea that Mommy and Daddy are gonna walk through the door any minute and he can't sleep otherwise he might miss their homecoming. Last night he alternated between laying on my floor, to the middle step of our flight of stairs (where he can see outside the front window), to the front door, to the hardwood floor in front of the front door, to my grandparents room, and repeat that for about three hours. Also include barking at every little noise that might be them returning and squeaking incessantly. Finally he let up around 3:00am and I could actually fall asleep. I doubt he fell asleep though because this has been his state of existence all day:

Exhibit B:

That would be Ben sleeping on my bed like a human (another weird habit). It's hard to be mad at him because I know that none of it is his fault, but I am still hoping I might get to bed earlier than 3am tonight.

Do you have any stories about your pets? Or just cute pictures. I'll take cute pictures.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Writer Wednesdays

Happy middle of the week, bloggies!

Today on Writer Wednesday, I've decided to link to a few of my favorite blogs and some specific blog posts that I have found helpful. These are mostly either author blogs or writing-focused blogs, and they are all super awesome so you must check them out! I will also being throwing in some links to contests, as well.

Monday, June 11, 2012

My Favorite...

I've been wracking my brain trying to think of a fun, upbeat type of post to start off the week with, and possibly every week with. It finally came to me in the middle of the night, and I shall call it My Favorite...Monday. Not the greatest title, I'll admit, but I think it will be fun to talk about a few of my favorite things every time Monday rolls around and I decide to write a blog post.

Since this is an author-focused blog, I figured where better to start off then with My Favorite...Books! Without further adieu, here are some of the books that I hold most dear to my heart. Clicking on the cover art will bring you to the Amazon page so you can read the synopsis', or if you fancy reading some of the stuff I find awesome.

I first read The Handmaid's Tale in my Grade 11 English class. Clearly I thought it would be awful, since anything you are forced to read, quickly becomes the worst book ever. Luckily for me though, this one turned out to not only become one of my favorites, but one of the most influential books in my writing career. Firstly, Margaret Atwood is a bad ass Canadian female author, and I want to be a bad ass Canadian female author, so we hit it off right away. Secondly, I could not put this book down, and that was a first-time experience for me. I had read other books by this point in my life, but this was the first that truly took me breath away, and also sunk the hooks of the dystopian genre into my skin. I felt this book for days after I read it. The story is so gripping and moving, it creeps its way right into your bones. I would absolutely suggest this book to anyone, especially those who enjoy novels like 1984 and The Hunger Games.

This was another book I had to read for school. SHOCK. AWE! I know, it is crazy, right? This time around it was for senior year European History. Now, those of you that know me know that I have an unhealthy obsession with Florence, Italy. Especially circa the era of the Medici's and the Renaissance. This is my absolute favorite time in history. From the extravagant lifestyles of the royals to the birth of art as we know it, everything about this time period is perfection. The Birth of Venus is a story set in the beginning of the Renaissance, right in the heart of Florence. It is a story about marriage and love, and how sometimes those can be two very different things. Dunant writes like she is painting a picture on the page, her main character just as vivid and vibrant as the image she paints of Florence itself. It is a beautiful marriage between life and art, just like taking a trip to Italy. But way cheaper!

I feel like I don't have too much to say about this one, or more like there is so much I want to say but I can't even put it into words. I love Anne Rice. I idolize Anne Rice. Anybody who enjoys reading and has never read any of the masterpieces from The Vampire Chronicles, I pity. She is a master of weaving together magic with realism, and in Merrick, Rice is at her finest hour. Let's put it this way, if you like witches, vampires (and I mean real vampires, not sparkly ones), voodoo, and epic adventures, you have come to the right place. Throw that all together in the sexy, swanky setting of magical New Orleans and that is how you describe Merrick.

Wanna know what else I love in novels? Challenging biblical history. If you liked the Da Vinci Code, or if you hated the Da Vinci Code, you should read Cross Bones. It does follow the same sort of basic premise. Two thousand year old bones are found, could they be the bones of Jesus Christ himself? That is what bad ass (yes, I like books about bad ass females, written by bad ass females) forensic anthropologist Tempe Brennan has to find out. Reichs is a master at creating intrigue and suspense, and this book is no let down. I was on the edge of my seat through almost the entire thing. It is full of heart pounding, breath holding action. Reichs is another literary hero of mine and has been my most recent author inspiration. I salivate waiting for her next book to be released and devour through it in no time. Those who watch Bones and either love it or hate it, please disregard it. The characters in the book are nothing like the show. They are as diverse as they could possibly be, and in a good way. Reichs' characters are layered, tortured souls and the way she brings them to life on the page is absolutely fascinating.

And last but not least, the piece de resistance! Macbeth, by the great William Shakespeare. Everyone knows the age old story: power = corruption, my favorite trope of all. I don't really have to describe this book much, because I'm sure almost everyone has probably either read or seen the story of Macbeth. All I'll say is, I will fight anyone who says that this isn't Shakespeare's greatest or most influential piece of work.

And there we have it! Those are a few of my favorite books. If you check out any of them, I'd love to hear about it. Were any of your favorites on the list? If not, what are some of the books that inspired you?

Happy Monday!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Joys of Feedback

Hello everyone!

Sorry I have been a little MIA the past week since I started this thing. I realized that creating myself a 5-day a week blog schedule kinda freaked me out a little bit! I wasn't getting inspired to write, and that is something I definitely need to have with my wacky work hours. So I've decided to just go with the flow for awhile! Scary thought, I know. I plan on keeping up the blog a few days a week still, but I can't quite pinpoint exactly which days that will be, so I hope you will keep checking in with me!

On this lovely, humid Sunday, I have decided to talk about feedback. What is feedback? More importantly, how can you tell when the line between feedback and personal opinion has been crossed?

I came upon this topic after getting what could possibly be the strangest comment from an agent I have ever received. Firstly, let me explain the circumstances.

A blog that I follow (I will not be naming any specific names as to stay professional about the whole thing) was holding a special event where you could post your synopsis for your book as a comment and an agent from a new publishing house would give you her feedback, and if you were lucky, request a manuscript. Now, I went in not expecting a request because you were allowed to post about a WIP, which is what I did since I haven't put that one out there as much as my current work. I informed in my post that it was not finished yet, as did many others, and looked forward to getting some constructive criticism that I could work with. Now, I need to sidebar again and just quickly explain the premise of my WIP. It is about a widow who lost her husband years ago, and as their 10th anniversary approaches, the loss gets more and more painful. Her family decides to trick her into vacationing at a retreat for people who have experienced great loss. During her time there she develops feelings for her grief counselor, who also happens to own the retreat. That is the gist of it anyways.

So back the to the story, I log on eagerly the other day when I got the notice that someone had commented on my entry, and to my surprise, this is what the feedback was:

"Medical professionals cannot be involved with their patients. It is not ethical. We do not publish things that are unethical."

Now, that isn't word for word, but that is basically what it said. No comments on my synopsis. No feedback on what they liked or didn't like about my pitch. No suggestions on how to improve for next time. Just that my book is unethical. Seriously? SERIOUSLY!? I literally just stared at the computer screen, mouth agape, for a good five minutes. A fly could have flown in and had a nice nap on my tongue and I would not have noticed. I just could not get over that comment. Of all the topics of all the books ever written in the world, mine is unethical? A 500-year old vampire falling in love with a 17-year old is cool. Murder and rape and torture is cool. Women falling for their professors or zombies or warlocks or whatever else is totally cool, but my book is so unethical that you can't even comment on anything else!?

Am I over-reacting over this? I still left a thank you comment for her, being as professional and awesome as I am, but really? I honestly woke up in the middle of the night thinking, 'did that really happen?'. Have you ever had an experience like this? What is your opinion on the situation? What is the weirdest comment you've ever gotten from an agent?

Sound off in the comments, I really want to hear your thoughts on this one!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Welcome to The Write Thrill!

Hello bloggies!

Firstly I would like to say thanks for taking the time and visiting my blog! I am thrilled to have you here and I hope that I will see you here many times again. :)

For my first blog I thought I would give you a bit of an insight into who I am and what my blog will be about. I am a 23-year old student from a small town in Ontario, Canada. Right now I am on summer vacation, but in September I will be studying for my MSW - Masters of Social Work. I am concentrating my studies on criminology and hope to work in the field of victim rehabilitation and grief counseling.

As you can probably see, I have an interest in crime in all facets. From why someone committed a crime, what led them to that place in their life, to what the aftermath of a crime is like for all those involved including victims, victims families, police officers, etc. I think that world is completely fascinating and that is probably what led me to choosing murder mysteries as my genre of choice. You can tell from my favourite authors list, which includes Patricia Cornwell, Kathy Reichs, and James Patterson to name a few, that I also enjoy reading that genre. I believe everybody interprets crime differently, and it is fascinating to see how different people bring it to life on the page. I hope one day that I will be able to have my thoughts published for all to read!

Now that you know a bit more about me and about my genre, it's time to know a bit more about the blog itself. I decided to start this blog because I know it is a great networking tool for up-and-coming authors. I enjoy reading many author blogs, and have loved seeing them go from unpublished dreamers to best-selling authors. Watching the journey take place for someone is such a thrilling ride. I would love to connect with fellow authors and share my own journey, wherever it leads me, with you.

I was going to go with a structured blog schedule, but I have realized that those are a little hard to follow right out of the gate. For the beginning I have decided I will just blog when I can, about whatever is in my head at the time. Obviously it will have a focus on writing but will also have some fun stuff too.

And there you have it. Phew. I know, that was long-winded, but if you stuck through it, thanks! I am excited to start this new chapter of my life and cannot wait to meet tons of new writer and reader friends through this experience!

Sincerely Stephanie.

Pages - Menu

© The Write Thrill, AllRightsReserved.

Designed by ScreenWritersArena