What do Jimmy Kimmel and Amanda Adams Have in Common?

May 2, 2017
Last night, Jimmy Kimmel got serious for a change, and discussed his son’s heart disease and emergency surgery. Jimmy has put a face on the reality that faces many parents – unsung heroes – who have battled their children’s heart disease for many years. Our author, Amanda Rose Adams is one such hero…heart warrior. Her gritty, honest story grabs at the throat and doesn’t let loose – so real is this problem.

Amanda Rose Adams knows first hand what brought America’s funny man Jimmy Kimmel to tears on Monday night. She also has a son named William who had his first open heart surgery as an infant performed by Dr. Vaughn Starnes at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Her book, HEART WARRIORS: A Family Faces Congenital Heart Disease (Behler Publications, 2012) reveals what it is like for families as they wait for their newborn child to survive open heart surgery and then face future surgeries. The Adams family knows what the Kimmel family is facing with Congenital Heart Disease, and they send their love and support. Read HEART WARRIORS to understand the rough road of CHD and the bright hope that leads the way for families of Heart Warriors.

And the rub? The American Heart Association rarely allots funds to pediatric heart disease.
Amanda’s OB/GYN was blunt and suggested an abortion when they discovered Liam had only half a heart. She refused, and Liam has become a bright light in a very long, tough tunnel. Heart disease strikes millions, and many don’t know where to turn…which is why I fell in love with this book. Amanda has written a bible for what every parent, relative, and friend of someone struggling with pediatric heart disease. If you want answers, blunt conversation, and a sense of community, then HEART WARRIORS really needs to be next to your table.

Save

Save


Comp Titles: How to Take the Jam Out of My Jelly Doughnut

April 25, 2017

Is there anything worse than getting a doughnut that doesn’t have enough jelly? It’s one of life’s tragedies, and the struggle is real. If I order a jelly doughnut, then please make sure there’s all sorts of gloppy, oozy jelly in there. So much the better if it dribbles down my chin. Pure. Bliss.

How to take that jam outta my jelly doughtnut? Well…

Tell me that your book has no book comparisons. Continue the blight by insisting you’re breaking “new ground.” Bless your heart. Maybe you are breaking new territory, but I can assure you that someone has done it before you…to some degree…which would be a title comparison.

I don’t ask for title comps for my health. I need them when I’m talking to my sales teams, bookstores, book fairs, basically anyone with a pulse. I. Need. Them. All publishers do, in fact. It’s a part of navigating this nutty biz.

Failure to do your part in providing important info pegs you as a Noob (someone who doesn’t know what they don’t know…and doesn’t care), or plain lazy. It tells me that you aren’t in touch with your competition – and yes, Mrs. Wigglesnort, there is always competition. Worse, is that I won’t take you seriously. If you insist you have zero competition, then I have to wonder about the veracity of your manuscript. It’s a matter of dominoes, and once they start to fall, it’s hard to win the game.

Competition is tough, tough, tough in the lit world, and you’re looking for reasons to engage us, not repel us. Make sure you submit a winning jelly doughnut. Know your competition. Read your competition.

 


Noob Alert

April 24, 2017
Dear Prospective Authors,
Please, please, please refrain from sending me your cover art in your query letters. You need to spend time telling me how amazing your story is, and why I must have it. This kind of thing shows you as being a noob – someone who doesn’t know what they don’t know…and they don’t care.
I avoid noobs.

Happy Launch Day, Kristin Jarvis Adams!

April 4, 2017

Today is the magic day that THE CHICKEN WHO SAVED US is officially launched to the world. Many have actually already read this amazing story and couldn’t put it down. And with good reason. How many stories do we hear about a young man who’s autistic, and instead of adopting the usual puppy or cat, chooses an Araucana chicken to be his best friend?

But it doesn’t stop there. Andrew and Frightful had a bond that surpassed the usual channels of friendship. Frightful was Andrews mouthpiece when he was frightened of a world that was too loud, too fast, too confusing to handle. And when Andrew’s life was hanging by a string, it was Frightful who became the beacon of light for the entire family.

I’ve never laughed and cried and cheered so much during the editing process. I’ve read this manuscript a million times, and I still tear up and giggle like an idiot because, yah, that’s how charming and engaging and visual Kristin’s writing is. This is a story of heroics on so many levels that I found myself wanting to don a cape and paint a red A and F on my forehead.

Here is the press release:

A few words whispered by an autistic boy to a chicken may have ultimately saved his life.

When Kristin Adams heard her eight-year-old son, Andrew, talking to his pet chicken, it was nothing out of the ordinary. Many people with autism have a special ability to relate to animals, and Andrew and the chicken he named Frightful were best friends. But what Andrew said to his chicken one day stunned Adams.

“I think my body is trying to kill me,” he told Frightful.

That confession, from a boy to his chicken, catapulted Andrew’s family and medical community into action: To discover and destroy the unseen monster that was claiming his life—a disease so painful and obscure that his medical team had no idea how to treat it.

 This beautiful, fierce, and refreshingly honest memoir takes readers on a mother’s journey through the complex landscape of modern medicine to discover the healing bond between a boy and Frightful, the chicken who saves them all.

Autism affects 1 in 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls, leaving a staggering number of families to navigate this mysterious inner world. Andrew’s incredible relationship with Frightful highlights the current research that demonstrates how significant the human/animal bond is in aiding children and adults with disabilities. Through the love of a chicken and the heroics of doctors worldwide, Andrew developed the will to live and a desire to fight for a life he had never known: a life without pain.

Huge congrats, Kristin. You rock.


More Publishy Humor…

March 16, 2017

…at the expense of my adorable granddaughter. I’m sure my daughter will send out a hit team to hunt me down. In the meantime, yes, dear author…you need to be edited.

File Mar 16, 4 16 51 PM


Authors Who Rock My Boat: Kristin Jarvis Adams – THE CHICKEN WHO SAVED US

February 23, 2017

front-coverFirst off, I can’t believe I haven’t blogged since November! Where did the time go? Yikes.

Anyhoo, the months have passed by all too quickly, and I’ve been keeping myself off the street by working on this amazing book, THE CHICKEN WHO SAVED US – releases April 4.

I know I’ve mentioned it many times, but being in this business is such an honor because of the many outstanding people I’ve had the luxury of meeting. Kristin Jarvis Adams is just one such person.

I met Kristin at the fabulous Pacific Northwest Writer’s Conference in Seattle. We had been trying to make contact, but her pitch sessions didn’t seem to coincide with mine, so I suggested breakfast. Oh, she was so nervous, and I really wanted to reach out and tell her that I’m the last person anyone should be afraid of. I’m fairly benign. Really. But she gulped and dug in. What came out of her mouth riveted me to my seat.

Her son, Andrew, was autistic. Being a teacher in a prior incarnation, I was well-familiar with the challenges of working with autistic kids, and their tough time with communication. If this challenge wasn’t enough, Andrew grew deathly ill, and he and his family were thrown into a decade-long quest to diagnose and find a cure. The only person (thing?) he would confide in was his pet chicken Frightful. To her, he spoke of his secrets and fears.

The long and short of it is that Kristin’s story is one that truly touched my heart. I’ve probably read the manuscript a dozen times or more throughout the production process, and I laughed hysterically and grabbed for my Kleenex box Every. Damn. Time. Yah, it’s that good.

But the message I hope to put across is how my authors humble me. They’ve had experiences drop into their laps that would destroy the souls of mere mortals. And that is why I hold all of my authors in such high esteem. It’s truly an honor to say, “Yah, I published their book.” Happy sigh.

If you find yourself wanting to read a riveting impossible-to-put-down story about a place where heroes wear capes, chickens talk, and miracles happen, then march thee to the nearest bookstore and pre-order THE CHICKEN WHO SAVED US. And if you live in the Seattle area, then be sure to catch many of Kristin’s upcoming appearances. Knowing Kristin is like a warm hug.


A Little Writerly/Publishy Humor…

November 18, 2016


“Um…er…who are you?”

November 12, 2016

​Here’s some publishy advice: If you spoke to an editor about your story at a conference, please don’t assume we remember what your book is about. We talk to LOTS of writers every day. Always, always, always include a full synopsis in your query letter, while mentioning that we met.

I just had someone email me a few pages of her work and mentioned that I’d asked her to refine her writing when we met at a writer’s conference. I have no idea what I meant by this without further context…which she failed to provide. No synop, either. Wah.

Help a goil out!


Don’t Let the Errorists Win

September 29, 2016

img_0953


Always Act Like a Professional

September 12, 2016

Rejection bites. Everyone knows this. It brings out the the worst in some – and I’ve been privy to those “worst times.” I don’t like having to write rejection letters any more than you like receiving them. But once they’re written, that’s the end of it for me, because, well, I have a ton more queries awaiting my attention.

So it’s irritating to receive an email from someone I rejected, informing me that my analysis and reasons for rejection are all wrong, and that I’m an idiot. And furthermore, the manuscript won TWO awards and many readers said how much they LOVED the story…and oh, there is a publisher who has accepted the work. I’m truly happy it won writing awards and that readers enjoyed reading the manuscript and that the author has a contract offer. If the author has gotten that contract, then why bother fanning it in my nose? This confuses me.

The fact that it didn’t work for me isn’t a declaration of any lack of talent or unworthiness. That ain’t my call. My call is this: Can I sell it? If there are elements that make me feel it would be a tough sell, then I have an obligation to those who work for me to reject it.

And really, what is the benefit of an author sending me (or any other editor) a letter like this? Is it supposed to make me curl up and cry because I missed the boat? Am I supposed to feel chastised because I was too thick-headed to understand the story’s fabulosity? None of these things happen at my end, and this second-grade nyah nyah makes the author look less than professional.

And that’s the crux of this business – any business, really. Always act like a professional. Rejection hurts, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to fire off a “you suck” email after receiving a rejection. In fact, emails like this make me breathe a sigh of relief that I did reject them. Who needs a loose cannon who flips out at rejection? Can you imagine the fireworks over a bad review? Yikes.

Lastly, it’s letters like this that make me want to return to sending out form rejection letters. Many times I do offer reasons as to why something didn’t work for me as a way of offering the author objective insight from someone who’s been selling books for almost 14 years. Perhaps I’ve seen something the author didn’t, and they can look at their writing with fresh eyes. Or…they can get hurt and lash back.

Either way, authors who write out of anger diminish themselves in a way they don’t even understand. This industry is filled with rejection and tough love. If authors don’t learn that one lesson of grace under fire, then their career will be decidedly short and filled with angst.

Pissed off at a rejection? Eat chocolate.


%d bloggers like this: