I'm still in Singapore. I hope I'm having fun! Considering I'm posting this in my past, sitting on my couch in my family room, anything could be happening right now. Anyway, you guys had more questions, so here are your answers.
Maidenveil asks: Will the Personal Demons tease continue or stop at chapter one?
Was I teasing you? I'm so sorry! *maniacal chuckle* I promised you all eight weeks of excerpt. So far, all of chapter one is up and select snippets of other chapters. Tomorrow is number seven and next Tuesday will be the final teaser.
pirate penguin asks: I am dying for a copy of Personal Demons! Is it too soon to know if it's going to be translated into other languages?
One of the most fun parts of this whole publishing experience has been foreign rights sales. All the foreign sales so far are posted in the sidebar to the right, under "Where Personal Demons Will Be Published." We are currently in negotiations in two countries that aren’t yet listed there, and on submission in many more, so I will update the list as I'm able. (In a second questions she asks specifically about Spanish. PD sold in Spain, so yes.)
The Howell Family asks…actually, I doubt it’s the WHOLE Howell family, but, anyway…SOMEONE in the Howell Family asks: If you could go back and give your unpublished self advice, knowing what you know now, what would it be?
First, I guess would be that if you're truly writing the story you were meant to tell, it shouldn't feel hard. I'm not saying writing isn't hard work—it is. I just mean that the story itself should flow easily for the most part. Also, I'd say trust your gut and your voice. When you're writing "your story" don't try to imitate others. Keep it real and keep it yours. There were a few scenes in Personal Demons where I had forced things a little trying to introduce more conflict because I thought that's what I was supposed to do. In other words, I wrote those scenes for someone else. I shouldn't have been surprised when those were the scenes both my agent and editor asked me to change. (read “cut”) They were things that hadn't felt authentic while I was writing them.
I guess the theme of all of that is, write for the love of writing. Not for agents or editors. The road to publication can be rough, but it's rougher if you're not loving what you're doing. I wrote for my daughter and myself. That was it.
A few other things:
1) Find a writing group/partner that you trust and who will be brutally honest with you in a positive way. When I’ve doubted myself, my awesome critique partner (Andrea Cremer, Nightshade, Oct. 2010) has always encouraged me and told me what I need to hear to get back on track.
2) Research agents well before you query. It’s more than just going to their agency profile. Find out what they already rep and/or have sold. Be sure they’re a good fit for you.