Friday, July 12, 2013

Madonna Stuck In My Head

I hereby interrupt this blog hiatus with a bit of fun related to a contest I'm entering. It's called the "Like a Virgin" pitch contest - and if the song's not already stuck in your head, YouTube it and get it there, because this post just won't be the same otherwise.

The "Like a Virgin" contest is named such because it's only open to manuscripts that have never been--ahem--involved with any other contests. And though that doesn't mean the competition will be any less (trust me, I've seen the competition, and they are James Bond amazing), it does mean I might have a chance to squeak into the consideration round, since entries are taken on a first-come-first-served basis. So keep your fingers crossed. I was up at 4 AM to email my entry.

At any rate, one of the things that really drew me to this contest (besides the knock-out agent list) was the blog hop! It involves a list of questions about "firsts." It gets a little personal but I love things like this.

How do you remember your first kiss?
My first kiss was actually my husband. Um, yes, before we were married, not like ... at the wedding. Anyway, I remember being surprised. Yes. Surprised. (Love you, hubs)

What was your first favorite love song?
It would have to be "Iris" by the Goo Goo Dolls.

What’s the first thing you do when you begin writing for the day?
Coffee. With chocolate in it.

Who’s the first writer who truly inspired you to become a writer?
Patrick Ness. I admire a lot of writers, but the way I click with his voice and the way he tells his stories is something surreal. I was writing before I found Ness, but the way I approached my work radically changed after I finished his brilliant novel A Monster Calls.

Did the final revision of your first book have the same first chapter it started with?
Nope. In fact, it went through four completely different beginnings before I found the right place.

For your first book, which came first: major characters, plot or setting?
Plot. So did my second book, though for that one I knew exactly who my main characters were before I started writing. Setting just kind of happens on the way (I'm definitely a write-by-the-seat-of-my-pantser).

What’s the first word you want to roll off the tip of someone’s tongue when they think of your writing?
Hmm, that's tricky. Honestly I'd be happy they're thinking of it at all! But if I had to pick something ... original. I would want them to feel like they've experienced something new.

And that's it for the questions! Looking forward to reading the other entrants' answers. Good luck everyone!

Update: I managed to win third overall in this contest, nabbing an awesome chapter critique from agent Sarah LaPolla. So grateful to the contest organizers, author judges, and agent judges who volunteered their time to give feedback and dole out cherries. Congrats to the other winners as well!

23 comments:

  1. Happy to have you vogueing along with us, lol. Hope you're now taking a well-deserved nap :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yup, just woke up! It's worth it though, if only for the blog hop!

      Delete
  2. Patrick Ness. I will NEVER forgive him for killing Manchee. I was completely WRECKED for days. But damn, to nail a dog's voice like that. Great inspiration.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OMG MANCHEE. I have never cried so many actual tears down my face over a fictional death. And it was a dog! But just goes to show how powerful good writing can be. Pleased to meet someone else equally as traumatized by his work :)

      Delete
  3. Oh snap! "Original" is a great word and a tough one to earn :) Good luck with the contest and nice to meet you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very tough! Good luck to you as well!

      Delete
  4. Boy, did I ever get through some rough times with "Iris."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Still one of my all-time favorite songs. I love the Goo Goo Dolls <3

      Delete
  5. You are a woman with fine taste;) Coffee with chocolate is the best!

    Good luck with the contest.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why thank you! I cannot imagine one without the other :)

      Delete
  6. "Iris" will forever be linked with the summer of 98 in my mind and a certain boyfriend. I went to see the Goo Goo Dolls play in London pretty much just for that song ;-) Good luck in the contest! Kristina

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awesome! Oh I envy all your world-travelledness. Would love escape the US someday!

      Delete
  7. Iris is a great song. I don't drink coffee but I imagine if I did I would have chocolate with mine as well...chocolate makes everything better. Good luck with the contest!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I highly support that last statement regarding chocolate :) Good luck to you as well!

      Delete
  8. I want to get on board with the whole "coffee with chocolate" thing. I've tried it several times. But I just can't. I love coffee (beyond all reason) and I love hot chocolate/cocoa, but the two together ... it's some sort of unholy communion. :p

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha! Maybe you'll have to try just a shot of coffee in your hot chocolate, or a shot of hot chocolate in your coffee? There is an art to mixing them, for sure :)

      Delete
  9. My husband was also my first kiss :) When A Monster Calls had me in tears, such an achingly sad, wonderful book. Goo Goo Dolls! Brings back so many memories, I was obsessed with Iris for a while.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wasn't Monster Calls beautiful! Achingly sad is the perfect way to describe it. The end makes me cry every time, but he somehow still leaves you with this sense that everything's going to be okay ... ahh, so perfect. Good luck to you in the contest!

      Delete
  10. Good luck, Nat. This is a great contest and I am excited to read all the great entries!

    Cindy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Good luck to you as well!

      Delete
  11. Cannot. Get. Madonna. OUT. At least I'm not the only one :)

    I too had a husband-first-kiss, and I was also surprised, mostly by his timing, which was both too slow and faster than I expected :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's so funny to read how many of us had husband-first-kisses! Haha can I ask? How could it be both too slow and faster than expected? You thought he'd wait another couple weeks?

      Delete

 

Popular Posts