Tuesday, February 16, 2010

On Eerie Coincidences

First, Happy Birthday to my big brother! He's turning the big 3-9 (again) in lovely Key West, Fla.! Woo! Hooray for Gregg~

Second, Happy Mardi Gras! You give a nickel and I'll give a dime--it's carnival time! The Order of Mystic Magnolias ball last night was lovely, our first Fairhope ball. Loved the Preservation Hall jazz band that greeted us at the door, the most excellent sushi being served under the big tent, and the oyster shooters... I dreamed about them all night. And I just had no idea the lead singer for Ratt had moved to the Gulf Coast to head up a party band! Those were some hot pink pants he was wearing, and he sure made 'em work...

Fun stuff.

Here's a LOL comment I read on another blog: "I used to be a night person and now I'm not. But I'm still not a morning person. I seem to have drifted somewhere to the middle."

Now, bring on the eerie coincidences!

I've already shared that last fall I got the simply outrageous notion that I would sit down and write a story, a book if you will. I went with YA because at this point in the game, I'm not looking to express my deep cynicism about the state of human affairs, I can't fathom coming up with something like the Baroque Cycle, and I'm Marian the Librarian when it comes to sexy-sexy writing. YA can deal with serious subjects and real human emotion, but it can also be light and fun. And I just had a story in my head I wanted to tell.

So I wrote these YA novels, a series, and I set out to break into the field. Quite literally. Kind of like a bull in a china closet. But I'm attempting to mend my ways, and one aspect of that is by reading YA novels published since I was a tenth-grade English teacher. (Like 15 years ago.)

I made it over to the local bookstore (OK, B&N, sorry, Martin), and I perused the juvenile section. Lots of vampires and werewolves. (FYI, my books are not supernatural in any way. Except supernaturally GOOD!) I kept looking and finally found the section of books that looked like my little tome might fall into and pulled out three to purchase: Bloom by Elizabeth Scott, The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen, and Little Miss Red by Robin Palmer.

I was thinking I'd read them and then decide if the agents for these books might be interested in representing mine. Well, for starters, Robin Palmer was an agent before becoming a writer, and Sarah Dessen's agent is her husband. No help there. As for Elizabeth Scott, sigh. Writers House. Sigh...

So back to Eerie. The eerie part came when I started reading Bloom. First I was wigged to read the book's heroine is dating Mr. Perfect but is strongly attracted to the dark-haired, dark-eyed punk-rocker type who knows her so well and who sits by her in history class. (Yikes!) Hallelujah, it turns out Mr. Perfect is a cold fish. But punk rocker was the son of her... wait for it... real estate developer dad's former girlfriend. Her mother, who is no longer in the picture, ... aspired to attend Yale University! (Whoa, whoa, whoa! Holy similarities, Batman!)

Richard says fughitaboutit. It's a completely different story. He's right. The plot of my book is completely different, and I gotta say. I found Bloom to be a bit repetitive and draggy at times (says the girl with no publishing contract). It comes together at the end... but my point is it was a weird read.

Richard further says it's a good sign: "Means there are people out there looking for the type of thing you've written." It's a great point, and I guess I am always the one going on about how there's nothing new under the sun...

Still. I felt like Foghorn Leghorn when that little nerd chick dug him out of the ground. FL walked over to the woodbox where he had originally hidden, but he paused and decided not to open the lid.

"No, I'd better not look. I just might be in there."

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