Things that frighten me… by Nikola Vukoja #TalkFear #MentalHealthAwareness

As mentioned, here is my post for the #TalkFear Series

When I was first asked to participate, I considered what frightened me.

My brain works like a kaleidoscope and I saw a swirl of colours (I recently discovered I have synesthesia – for instance I see vowels as the colour red and I hear a sound and I see a colour – you can go here if you’re interested in knowing more. Many artists have it.

So I saw (in my head) all these colours swirling together representing tangible and intangible fears.


I thought I’d start with tangible fears first.

I’m afraid of rats (and mice to a lesser degree) but rats… seriously, I have to say it boarders on paranoia! Don’t believe me? Try this for a fun fact. Some time ago I owned and lived on a farm. I had cattle, a few goats, ducks, chickens, geese, guinea fowl, even pheasants.

In the winter time, I would have…

View original post 1,325 more words

11 Ways Not To Start Your Novel – No. 11

There’s a great post by Agents Darley & Adnerson on their newsletter blog well worth reading if you’re in the submission stages of your writing career (and by the way they are awesome agents )

The Darley Anderson Blog

At the Wrong Time

At the Darley Anderson Agency we ask that any writers who wish to submit their work to us should provide the first three chapters of their novel as a sample of their writing. This is, as I understand it, standard practice in the industry.

However, at least once a week I hear from someone who takes issue with this.

Here are a few examples of the submission queries that we who work in literary agencies hear all the time:

  • “The first three chapters don’t really give an impression of what the whole novel is about. Could I send more?”
  • “My plot doesn’t really get going until about Chapter 14. I’ll send you Chapter 14 instead.”
  • “Those first chapters aren’t my best. I’m including Chapters Eight, 26 and 31 in their place. Those are the chapters I’m really proud of.”

Putting aside the fact that I really…

View original post 568 more words

How to Get a Book Review – or the Art of Launching without becoming a Nuisance!

Thought this had some great reviewer links & overall useful information

Lost Lynx Publishing & Media Blog

imagesReviews – Getting what you want!

I have a confession to make. I’m a bit of an internet snoop. I troll, stalk, errh check-out dozens of author blog sites, and when I say AUTHOR I mean that in very context, traditionally published fiction & non-fiction author’s, self-published, aspiring, New York Times and Major Prize Winning author’s and the little guys.. In other words, I’m interested in everyone from traditional to hybrid, to self-published to as-yet-unpublished.

All of these sub-groups of authors have numerous things in common, especially “getting-word-out” marketing needs. And lately I’ve been seeing a lot of“How do I get my book reviewed” tweets, questions on LinkedIn and on Blogs. And it’s a fair enough question. If you don’t have an agent, and/or a medium to larger publisher, you’ll need to do a lot of marketing yourself.

Let me repeat that. Even with a publisher behind…

View original post 2,068 more words

Agenting explained, part one: An overview

Hell all,
Knowing what an agent does is often helpful in knowing how best to approach them, this reblog (I feel) is very useful – plus Carlie’s a pretty awesome agent to boot 🙂

CK Webber Associates

Today is #AgentsDay on Twitter. In honor of the occasion (and in honor of the fact that a lot of writers have asked me this question lately), I wanted to write my What I Do All Day post.

When I tell people I’m a literary agent, the ones who know what I do immediately start telling me about the novel they’re working on. The ones who don’t ask me what I do all day, and here’s how I explain it: I work in book futures. Agents are not salaried; we live on money paid out from the 15% our agencies take from our clients’ earnings. When we sign a client, we do so because we believe that we will make a return (money) on our initial investment (time and energy and phone calls to editors) in their property (their book). We believe that our investment will pay off because…

View original post 353 more words

35-word Pitch Clinic is now Open for Business

Hello all, 

Those of you following @nestpitch and/or this blog will know that today we’ll be posting a small selection of 35-word pitches for feedback, critique as part of our Post-It-Forward concept, to help each other perfect a winning 35-word pitch.

pop up kittens


Sadly, we ended up with not a single MG or NA pitch (MG & NA author’s where art thou?) but we have a PB (on this blog) several YA, a few Adult.  While every story is different, a winning pitch, though hard to define, is so easy to see.  There’s all those “catch-phrase-words” like voice, flow, stakes, intrigue and so on, yet try to define it – tough hey?

The idea here is not only will the pitches below and on Rhiann’s blog get direct feedback, they will offer insight into that mystical and totally subjective creature known by the common name “the prefect pitch.”

Sometimes, seeing or reading something makes magic happen for the reader also, a light-bulb or Eureka moment.  If anyone gets such a moment, please feel free to share.

Nothing is more contagious than enthusiastic joy; it’s one of the few things where, the more you spread, the more you have.

samuel-l-jackson-catSo how will it work? 

Read the pitches either here or on Rhiann’s blog:

Pick one, pick all pitches, read, comment and wait for your comments to be posted.  Sorry, the comments will be monitored and approved.  We want feedback and constructive not destructive critique.  We want helpful not hurtful.

Below you’ll see all the pitches for this blog, listed as N-1, N-2 etc.hello kitty cat

Read the pitches, and write the comments as per examples below.  Please post a new comment for each Pitch Number, it’ll make it easier for the author to locate the feedback.  If in doubt, you’ll find my comments are below also.

N- (Number) I liked the premise but I thought…

N- (Number) it’s a great idea but can you put the MC’s name in there somewhere?

N-1 Genre: Adult Cozy mystery

Bulldog posts leaked classified files on his whistleblower blog like they’re weather reports, while Carol responds to one of those steamy emails in her inbox.  It’s all fun and games until someone gets murdered.

N-2 Genre: YA Magical Realism

To carry out her brother’s dying wish and save her own life, seventeen-year-old Mallory Post follows cryptic clues he left behind to uncover the last drop of the Fountain of Youth.

N-3 Genre: YA Fantasy

A vengeful, soul stealing sorcerer named Suvius will stop at nothing to locate his original body. But his two obstacles—Chris and Matt—could pose a serious threat to his ultimate objective.

N-4 Genre: YA Fantasy
Seventeen-year-old Alice falls off a cliff and awakens on a medieval battlefield in another world. Disguised as a man, she sets out to find home–even if it means killing people.

N-5 Picture Book 

Nobody wants to miss out on wearing Missy’s nail polish. Will Missy find out who wore her polish or will it remain a secret?

Now it’s up to you, we’ll have these posts open for comments from March 22nd March 29ththief kitty

And don’t forget #nestpitch submission window will be open 1st April and #LV14 on April 4th

Do your bit for post-it-forward and catch some of that contagious enthusiastic joy 🙂

Nest Blogger’s Revealed – oh & Magic Bunyip’s explained


 Hello all. Well, it’s time for the Nest Bloggers Revealcute bunnie kitten 1

– is it just me or does anyone else hear


– OK, it’s just me I guess, never mind.

But just before we introduce the Bloggers, I also wanted to take a moment to talk about Magic BunyipsOK, you understand how this works and just to be sure, you’ve had a quick look at the previous posts;

yep you’re OK with this; except you still don’t know what a Magic Bunyip is.


Magic Bunyips:

Bunyips are Australian mythological creature that lives near or by a billabong (pond) and kind of lurk in the bushes.  They are a bit shy and a little scary but really, they are nice, most of the time.

In #nestpitch, the Magic Bunyips are Literary Agents who want to play but can’t be a Secret Agent Bunny.  So, rather than miss out all together, they are going to lurk around the nest-sites and, if they see anything they like, then they will leave their own ‘treat’ – it’ll be different to the Secret Agent Bunny Treat, but it’ll still be YUMMY!

HOWEVER; unlike Secret Agent Bunnies, Magic Bunyips will need to pay a price for their lurking, and the price is: CRITIQUE! Yep, that’s right; if a Magic Bunyip leaves a treat s/he must offer someone else a critique.

Here’s how it works: If a Magic Bunyip finds a nest they admire, they can also leave you a treat.

*1 caramel swirl Bunyip* = Full

*1 dark chocolate Bunyip* = Query + 100 pages

*1 milk chocolate Bunyip * = Query + 50 pages

*1 white chocolate Bunyip * = Query + 25 pages 

For each Request the Magic Bunyip must offer:    baby bunyip

*1 caramel swirl Bunyip* = first 1500-words of MS feedback/critique

*1 dark chocolate Bunyip* = first 750-words of MS feedback/critique

*1 milk chocolate Bunyip * = offer 1-page Synopsis critique

*1 white chocolate Bunyip = Offer a query letter critique 

So, if a Magic Bunyip puts a Milk Chocolate Bunyip in a nest, they must offer 1-page synopsis critique per below:

Easter Basket 2

Bunyip’s agree to offer the above, via their website/blog or any other media option (FB/Twitter etc.) within 60-days of #NestPitch ending (in other words by mid June-2014).  Any or all of the above can be offered in conjunction with other offers/promotions but must be open to everyone and offered within two calendar months of #NestPitch ending.

<if you’re a AGENT & want to know more about NESTPITCH, SECRECT BUNNY AGENTS or MAGIC BUNYIPS, please contact me via Twitter or email: > 

Please note: until the submission window is open, unless you are an agent, I would prefer potential participants to leave a comment or contact us via Twitter with any questions rather than use the email address. 

And now for the first of the fun.

Each Nest Bloggers Blog link is attached, do I need to say more? 

Oh… & there are nine… that really needs to be repeated N.I.N.E

here we go…

(i) Brooke Powell Brooke Powell pic

When not writing, Brooke’s a professional cake decorator. She loves her cakes so must that she shared this, “For my first novel, I thought it would be fun to write a recipe for my MC to make as her ‘signature dessert’ and put it on my own menu. It wasn’t. When I tested the recipe it took over five hours to make, and I cut it from the book and quit selling it after the first order.”

Brooke’s Blog: Book Bites —

Brooke’s Agent/Agency:

Melissa Sarver-White of Folio Literary;

Novels: Her debut is The Minor Fall. & she just completed her second title, All Good Things.

Like everyone on this list, Brooke ahs been through the Query Letter Trenches, the fears and the tears and knows what it’s like to want an agent or publisher offer.

Location: Port Reading, New Jersey

(ii) Kimberly P. Chase  kim pic 2

holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Aeronautical Science from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, which basically means she’s kind of a geek and loves flying airplanes. Her debut novel, THE APOLLO ACADEMY, released in August 2013 and is now an Amazon Science Fiction Romance best seller and a Writer’s Digest eBook Honorable Mention Award recipient.

Additionally, Kimberly is the creator of Trick or Treat with Agents, a Halloween themed pitch contest held every October.

Like so many author’s Kimberly is always willing to help aspiring writers.

You can find Kimberly’s Blog here:

Her Website here: And her début novel on Amazon, Barnes & Noble etc.

Book 2 in the Apollo Academy Series. 2014 release, date TBD. Cover Reveal in March 2014!

(iii) Jeffe KennedyJeffe Kennedy pic

is an award-winning author with a writing career that spans decades. Her works include non-fiction, poetry, short fiction, and novels. She has been a Ucross Foundation Fellow, received the Wyoming Arts Council Fellowship for Poetry, and was awarded a Frank Nelson Doubleday Memorial Award. Her essays have appeared in many publications, including Redbook.

Her most recent works include a number of fiction series: the fantasy romance novels of A Covenant of Thorns;  the contemporary BDSM novellas of the Facets of Passion, including the newest, Five Golden Rings, which came out as part of the erotic holiday anthology, Season of Seduction, in late November; and a  contemporary serial novel, Master of the Opera, which released beginning January 2, 2014. A fourth series, the fantasy trilogy The Twelve Kingdoms, will hit the shelves starting in May 2014. A spin-off story from this series, Negotiation, appears in the recently-released Thunder on the Battlefield anthology.

Jeffe can be found online at her website: every Sunday at the popular Word Whores blog, on Facebook, and pretty much constantly on Twitter @jeffekennedy.

She is represented by Pam van Hylckama Vlieg of Foreword Literary.

You can also find Jeffe :

Or look up her books at:

Kensington Publishing

Carina Press

Recent: Five Golden Rings Current: Master of the Opera Future: The Mark of the Tala

iv) Tina MossTina Moss picbigger

is an author of urban fantasy, paranormal romance, romantic suspense, and New Adult novels.  She lives in NYC with a supportive husband and alpha corgi, though both males hog the bed and refuse to share the covers. When not writing, she enjoys reading, watching cheesy horror flicks, travelling, and karate. As a 5’1″ Shotokan black belt, she firmly believes that fierce things come in small packages.

Tina is often helping with various online opportunities for aspiring writers, most recently as  one of the Mentors on Brenda Drake’s #PitchWars.

Tina’s website 

AGENCY: Literary Counsel

BOOK: A Touch of Darkness    LOCATION: NYC

(v) Amanda FoodyAmanda Foody pic

is a young adult writer represented by Molly Jaffa of Folio Literary Management, Apart from working on her YA fantasy novel SHADOWBOUND, she is a college student in Williamsburg, VA. Having gone through the query trenches before she and Molly joined forces, Amanda was very willing to raise her hand in paying-it-forward help.

She can be found on twitter or on her Blog: and enjoys tea and spinny chairs.

(vi) Dannie Morin

Dannie Morin pic

is an addictions therapist with a writing problem. By day, she’s a counsellor for teens and learned her trade working with young people with cystic fibrosis. By night, she writes, edits, and critiques like a boss.

She’s a hyperactive participant in the Carolinas Region of SCBWI, a vociferous member of the Scribophile online writing community, and a freelance editor. She is a contributing blogger at YA Stands and pens young adult and new adult contemporary and urban Fantasy with a grittier-than-average bent.

Dannie is very active in the writing community and is one of the #PitchWars Mentors, so knows what it takes to get a pitch right!  She’s represented by Thao Le of Sandra Dijkstra Literary;

She can be found at:    Her Twitter handle is: @Dannie_Morin

Dannie lives in Charlotte, North Carolina with her husband, Bruce, and their daughter, Calliope, who is so full of magic and eagerly anticipates her Hogwarts owl post in ten years.  She’s also a fan of all things Boston & an official unofficial Disney princess.

(vii) Sharon M JohnstonSharon Johnston picbigger

Sharon is a writer from Mackay in Queensland, Australia who has short stories published in anthologies and was also runner-up in the Australian Literary Review’s Young Adult short story contest with KARMA. By day she is a public relations executive and by night she writes weird fiction and soulful contemporaries while her husband, two sons are fast asleep.

As a Mentor in last year’s #PitchMadness & most recently #SunvsSnow; and a regular contributor on Twitter and several blog sites, Sharon is familiar with the process of ‘pitching’ from both sides of the coin.  A strong believer in supporting writers no matter where they live or what stage of the writing process they are at, Sharon jumped at the chance to again be part of another #pitch contest.

Sharon’s début YA-Science Fiction Romance SLEEPER was released in Dec -2013.  SLEEPER is the first in the Toy Soldiers Series. You can find Sharon at:

SLEEPER can be found at:

or through her Publishers; Entranced Publishing –

(viii) Sharon Bayliss Sharon Bayliss pic

is a science fiction and fantasy author. Her début novel, The Charge, was released on 3/2/13 by Curiosity Quills Press  When she’s not writing, she enjoys living in her happily-ever-after with her husband and two young sons. She can be found eating Tex-Mex on patios, wearing flip-flops, and playing in the mud (which she calls gardening).

As a child, Sharon enjoyed playing in mud, collecting frogs, and was so certain that there was a ghost in her closet that her mother admits that she half-expected to really find one there. She began writing her first novel at the age of fifteen (handwritten in a spiral marked ‘private’).  It’s hardly surprising she’d end up in this industry!

Sharon’s also very active on Twitter and can be found posting all sorts of stuff on her Blog:

(ix) Stacey NashStacey Nash pic

is YA speculative fiction author who eats way too many sweets while she’s writing.

She is from New South Wales, Australia. When she isn’t reading, writing, or working on her stories, she’s a mother to three kids and three kitties. It’s a full house!

Her début novel, a YA sci-fi called FORGET ME NOT comes out with Entranced Publishing on February 17, with the sequel, REMEMBER ME releasing August 11.

You can find Stacey on Twitter or on her Blog:

She’s also a contributor on Aussie Owned & Read:

Phew DONE!Easter sign

How Awesome is THAT LIST

But wait there’s more…. Actually you’ll have to wait

>>> see you next time, when we reveal the SLUSH BILBIES Drafy Nest Pich Logo last stage

( and then, not long after, the AWESOME AGENT REVEALS) <<<

until nest time 🙂  cuddle bunnie kitten 1