Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Twins Come Out to Dad

I watched this video the day they uploaded it and was surprised to see that, at the time, it only had a few hits (at my viewing of it, it had less than 1k hits). It was picked up by Upworthy and a few other LGBTQIA websites and it has over 14 million hits today. I love this video for many reasons but the moment that I think resonates with so many is when both twins break down and hide their tears and voice from their father. They're so vulnerable at that moment that you can see them as the children they were and not the young men they are. It's a moment that's very real for all of us when we have to confront the fear of rejection by a parent.

The father's reaction is beautiful and honest without being overly emotional. It's a great video and I know I've already shared it on social media but I had to post about it on my blog too.

Have you ever had a moment that resonated so much with you that you just had to share it with everyone? Tell me in the comments.

Monday, January 12, 2015

My Obsessions

If you know me at all, you know I get obsessed with things quickly and completely immerse myself in these obsessions in a way that may seem unhealthy to my psyche to non-fandom, non-geeky individuals: aka, the straights but is perfectly normal to the rest of us.

In realizing this about myself, I've found that part of our self-identity and, in turn, our self-awareness lies greatly in the things we enjoy. The things we obsess over. I have a very addictive personality so I know to steer clear of things that will suck me in and keep me from accomplishing my goals but once in a while, I throw my addictive personality a bone. These are a few of my current obsessions:

  1. Cooking Shows
    • Chopped I currently have over 80 episodes recorded and just love watching what people can make with the crazy basket ingredients. I don't know what it is about this show but I've got everyone in my family now watching the recorded episodes late at night when we're not playing tabletop games or doing Harry Potter movie marathons.
    • Cutthroat Kitchen Alton Brown being deliciously evil with sabotages worthy of any Slytherin like a Hashtag frying pan or a bunk bed prep station! Beautiful! Anthony and I love the trash talking too.
    • Worst Cooks in America Love Anne Burrelle and while she yells at everyone a lot, she's also the type of encouraging chef that you want teaching you how to be a better chef and a better person in your own life. Plus, I love seeing that there are people out there who are so bad at cooking that my cooking failures pale in comparison.
  2. TV Shows
    • Agent Carter If the writing stays as strong as the series premiere throughout the rest of the season, I'm going to be one happy camper. I love the chemistry between Peggy and Jarvis and the millions of ways the gender stereotypes are addressed and just obliterated by Peggy's bad-ass ways. Beautiful writing and great plot so far. I hope it's better than Agents of Shield whose series I've grown tired of. I didn't like Skye from the beginning and writing the whole series around her, just annoys me.
    • Downton Abbey Talk about great writing! I never thought I'd be such a huge fan of period pieces like this one and now that we're on our 5th season, I've grown to love this series more.
    • Galavant Campy musical in the style of Mel Brooks and Monty Python on network television at a time where we need more music and sarcastic humor on TV? Yes, please.
    • The View I spend my lunch hour watching a recorded episode of The View mainly because I like Whoopi Goldberg and the show's at a time I can squeeze in my day and it's actually kind of mindless watching. I like Nicole Wallace on the panel but her laugh annoys me and I hate it when they all start talking over each other. Nicole likes to just cut into conversations a lot and that irks me most of all but I do like her insight. I think they need to get better at learning to co-host a talk show.
    • Forever This show has sucked me from the first episode and while I'm not keen on the villain storyline yet, I love that Burn Gorman is his nemesis, I hope the villain trope is stronger than they've let on so far. My favorite moments are actually when they show the relationship he has with Abe, his adopted so played by Judd Hirsch. The intricately woven storylines have been beautiful to experience and I really hope they continue for several seasons.
  3. Books
    • Parasite by Mira Grant My niece and I have decided to do the PopSugar Reading Challenge this year and I chose PARASITE as my "Book over 500 pages long" challenge. I'm a huge Mira Grant/Seanan Maguire fan so she's an auto-buy for me and at 510 pages, the book serves the challenge nicely. Her books are also the treats I give myself when I've accomplished a goal. I've had this book in my Kindle for a year and it wasn't until I saw that the second in the series was released recently that I decided, I needed to read this book. See, I know that she has an ability to suck me into her worlds and make me wish her worlds never ended so I could keep revising them with a new installment but, as it is with all good things, they must come to an end. Now, I know the book is pricey both in Kindle and print versions but I assure you, every one of her books is worth the money you spend. If you're a fan of her Feed series, I think you're going to like this one. I'm only 1/4 of the way into it (I'm only able to read about an hour a day so it's going slowly) but I'm sucked into this near-future world where a SymboGen parasite is creating what will likely be the coming apocalypse.
    • Carry the Ocean by Heidi Cullinan I've been talking about this upcoming release by one of my clients for months now with anyone who will listen because I think it's one of the most important books of 2015. Not just because it's about Autism but because it's about a adults dealing with disabilities that have been stigmatized for centuries and portrayed by media as people to pity or just not give a second thought to. As the parent of an autistic adult who will soon need to deal with falling in love, same-sex attraction, living on his own and dealing with adult decisions, one of my biggest fears is thinking he'll be alone late in life because he won't have found his SO. In CTO, Cullinan addresses so many of the issues ASD adults and those diagnosed with severe clinical depression deal with on a daily basis while still managing to give these two men a happily ever after in their romance. She's unapologetic about the portrayal of love among two men who find each other sexually attractive in a world that doesn't always allow them to be self-sufficient adults who can make decisions about their love lives on their own. Yeah, this book's a real obsession of mine as I continue to work to get people to be accepting and understanding of all walks of life, including my gay autistic son.
  4. Music
    • Meghan Trainor's TITLE album Love, love, love this album and the complete album isn't even out until tomorrow but I've already played the five songs released about 50 times each. Dear Future Husband and Title are two of my favorites.
    • American Author's Oh, What A Life album This is my editing/working/walking/reading soundtrack. It's OneRepublic meets Fun. meets Bastille. Love, love, love this album!
And those are my obsessions this week. No seriously, that's just one week's worth of obsessions and it doesn't include my daily obsession with Tumblr, Pinterest and Coffee, of course.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Simple Marketing Ideas

I think authors get hung up on their marketing because they don't devote as much time to learn about the industry and their genre as they do on the craft of writing. For some reason, marketing is relegated to the back burner in such a way that when the book is done, there's a "sitting idle" time.

When I speak at conferences, I often remind authors that when they transition from being writers to authors, they transition from artists to business people. A writer, writes. An author sells her writing and a successful author does both well.

The book is paramount to the success, so make sure it's edited, polished, set aside for a week, then edited again after several beta readers, and critique partners have made it bleed. But once the book is in submission, your marketing platform needs to be strong in order to help your agent, editor sell the book to the publishers they are courting with your manuscript.

The old adage, "It's not what you know but who you know" applies greatly to publishing when authors are looking to market their books (regardless of the publishing route explored). When you're not writing, you need to be cultivating relationships with readers, reviewers, book industry people online and in person. This is where conferences and blog tours come in handy.

Research blog tour companies and talk with published authors in your genre who have recently used a blog tour company to get an idea of their experience and learn what works and what doesn't. If you're represented, reach out to your agent's other clients who write in your genre and introduce yourself. Pick up their books and familiarize yourself with their writing style. Is it similar to yours? Do you think their readers could be part of your target audience? If so, reach out and ask for information. Most authors like to talk about their experiences in the publishing industry (some a little more than others) and many like to help new authors or mentor them in some way. But be authentic in your desire for mentorship and/or help. If they are unwilling or unable to offer more than a recommendation for a blog tour company, for example, say thank you and engage with them via social media about anything BUT your book.

Expect review sites to take MONTHS to get to your book, so make sure to send out ARCs early and to a large number of sites. Cast a wide net. Join Goodreads groups that allow you to connect with readers. Talk to your publisher about reducing the price of your first book so the second gets a chance to pick up new readers. KNOW your genre and the heavy hitters in the genre and get to know what works for them and doesn't. When you're not writing, you need to be promoting. Set time aside each day to do something to promote yourself. Readers want more of you, they buy your books to get that so give them YOU!

Then start thinking outside the box for your marketing. Look for opportunities to talk about your book on social media without panhandling it. Talk about your writing process, your cat, your cat's inevitable desire to thwart your writing process at every turn. Anything that's not just blasting social media with your book every five seconds.

Then sign up to speak at conferences and partner up with other authors in your genre to help expand your reach. Be active in promoting yourself as an expert in your craft because you are! You have expertly written a book, sold it to a publisher and expected to sell it to thousands of readers. What works and doesn't work become part of your expertise. Talk about that at conferences and take these opportunities to also engage your readers one-on-one. Sign up for books signings at conventions. Schedule speaking engagements at our local writing group meetings. Get out there and make your name known!

Friday, October 17, 2014

New Assistant: Caitlin Spivey

Did not ever think that I would get such a huge response to my Help Wanted post but you guys surprised me, yet again!
Among the amazing resumes I received within the first 24 hours of that post was one from Caitlin Spivey whose cover letter was witty and personal. Her resume was even better!

While reading her resume and putting together a list of the candidates I wanted to speak with, I realized I approached the hiring of this intern the same way I approach my potential clients. It's not just about the query or the book. There needs to be a connection between us if a working relationships is going to work.
We share similar outside interests which is crucial to working with me as I tend to geek out over various things while working (multi-tasking brain) and it helps to have someone who can decipher my movie quotes and random Doctor Who and Harry Potter references for every day things without batting an eye.

But her editorial experience is what really won me over. I knew I need someone who could help me tame the inordinately large pile of manuscripts I need to review for clients and potential clients with a critical eye toward marketability as well as content. That's not always easy to find but it looks like, in Cait, I have.
So, please welcome Caitlin Spivey to the Corvisiero Literary Agency and keep an eye out for new opportunities within the agency.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Help Wanted: Interns

As many of you know I'm constantly working and my to-do list grows exponentially on a daily basis. So far, I've been able to manage the bulk of the work with little assistance but I've finally reached that point where I'm clawing at the walls in my attempt to get away from the piles of work that have grown like weeds!

My colleague, Sarah Negovetich posted about her needs for an intern on her blog and it made me realize, I need to put my own Help Wanted sign as well.

So I'm totally copying and pasting from Sarah's Help Wanted post because it's exactly what I'm looking for as well:

Here's what it looks like:
The internship is unpaid for six months, and I cannot make any promises in regard to advancement within the agency. However, if the intern is a student, I am happy to file the appropriate paperwork needed for course credit if your college allows for it. I will also gladly write letters of recommendation (where it's appropriate) for interns looking to get into other areas of publishing. While the intern will be under my direction, they may work on tasks with other agents.

I am mostly looking for someone who can assist me with queries, manuscript evaluation and working on the back end of marketing projects with my clients. But publishing is unpredictable, so I'm sure there will be other fun projects to work on as well. An ideal intern will have experience beta reading and/or editing, though formal training is not needed, and a high level of organization. A borderline obsession with spreadsheets would be helpful.

If this is you, or someone you know, please send a resume (as a word attachment) to Saritza(at)CorvisieroAgency(dot)com and use "Intern" in the subject line. I don't have a deadline for this, but I'd like to get someone in place by the end of the month, so don't dally. I would really appreciate it if you guys could help spread the word for me.

I will also add that the perfect candidate will be comfortable reading erotic romance, erotica and GLBT works. Ideally, they are a fan of the work I represent and like to read all kinds of romance.

ETA: This is a remote position.