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!