Friday, June 19, 2009


The purpose of this post is threefold:

1. To contemplate the possibility of being bipolar.
2. To post my attempt at a query for critique and suggestions.
3. To beg/bargain/bribe willing victims, er, volunteers to see if they would be interested in beta reading for me.

Let us start at the beginning.

1. I love my novel. Today. Tomorrow I'll probably hate it, but right now I'm completely head over heels. I read through it and giggle like a little girl, I scroll to the next page quickly just to see what happens (um, yeah. As if I don't know what happens.) and I even fan myself with my hands whenever I read the intense sexy moments between my MCs. (Not too sexy, of course, because they can't physically touch- but that just makes it hotter!) But I really do like my story, and my characters and my world- and I hope you guys will too!

2. My attempt at a query letter. Mmhmm. First off, I just had it posted at TPQS where I received a couple good suggestions. So here is my slightly tweaked version, let me know what you think!

* * *

Dear Agent,

Diagnosed as terminal, teenager Gwendolyn Hayes prepared herself for death. What she never expected was Death to arrive in the form of model-turned-reaper Glory. When Gwen fights for a second chance at life, Glory promises one- in exchange for Gwen acting as a death angel. Gwen's task seems easy: touch and collect three souls, and life will be hers.

And perhaps her task would have been easy, if Gwen's former best friend and childhood crush James Connolly hadn't made an appearance on her 'to kill' list. Now touching James is the only thing standing between her and her second chance, but can she really take his life to jump start her own? The decision is only complicated when old feelings resurface, and Gwen and James realize they're falling in love. Their relationship is a dangerous one, accompanied by the knowledge that an accidental touch or even a single forbidden kiss will end life, start life, and separate them for good.

[Personalization & Bio]

Untouched is a YA contemporary fantasy complete at 75,000 words. The entire manuscript is available upon request. Thank you for your time and consideration.

* * *

What do ya think? Good, bad, ugly? Comments, suggestions and exuberant praise welcome in the comments.

By the way, I got a lot of comments about genre: "It doesn't seem YA" "It should be paranormal romance, not fantasy" etc. And yes, I probably could pass it off as paranormal romance, or urban fantasy, or romantic fantasy (is that a genre? Or am I confusing genre with daydreaming about Orlando Bloom?) Either way, I'll leave it up to the readers to determine what genre this falls in, which brings us to...

3. BETAS! Does the above story sound like something you would be interested in reading? I'm looking for a couple readers who think they can suffer through 75K words and give me some good feedback. But I don't really know who, or how to oversee this. Preferably my betas would be familiar with the YA genre and interested with the premise. Oh and nice, too. I'm scared of mean people. I'm only looking for a couple, basically I just want someone else to read my work and let me know if it is coherent.

Also, I don't know what to ask of my betas. Detailed critiques following each chapter? A single sentence summary? (i.e. "This ms blows, I'd suggest sticking to Youtube videos, but you suck at that too" or "OMG I'm going to spend the weekend setting up a fan website for this book!")

And how long should I give my betas? A week? More? I'm thinking it will take about a day, because you know, they'll be so enthralled they'll forgo sleep, food and regular showers to finish reading, then excitedly type their praising response to me at 4 A.M. (And yes, I will be awake, staring at my empty in box and hitting the refresh key every two and half minutes.)

So, yes. This is a long blog. But let me know what's what. If you're interested in being a beta reader, leave me a comment with your email. I'm gonna do one last read through, then I'll mail them out Sunday or Monday depending on how many responses I get.

Ok, bye guys! Hope you all have a great weekend, and I hope to hear from you soon!

<3 Kat

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Let's Go Back

I started reading/revising Untouched today. I have the next two days off of work, I plan to drown myself in this manuscript. The thing is, I'm a better writer now than I was six months ago, when I started Untouched. So the manuscript does need quite a bit of work. The first chapters more so than the last, but by the time I make it through the whole ms, the cycle will have reversed itself.

As writers we are constantly growing, learning, honing our skill. I'm sure it's a large factor in the whole "never completely satisfied with your work" thing. Sure, we think it's good, but it could be great.

No matter how polished your ms is, you still see little things you could tweak, tiny word changes that probably don't matter, but to you make all the difference. I've heard that many authors flip through their published bestseller novels and cringe at certain passages or clunky words, wishing they could nitpick and correct and make it perfect.

Because that's what we want, ultimately. Perfection. We want to read something we've written and we want to be completely and totally satisfied- no, more than just "satisfied". WE WANT PERFECTION.

Will we ever get it?

Ha. Probably not.

But like that's gonna stop me from trying?

* * * * * * *

Here's the first page or so of Untouched. I've re-written my opening paragraph, oh, about twenty times. I still don't think it's perfect. But I'm still working on it.


I had no idea who she was when she walked into my room. I had no idea she brought death in with her, either. Not at first. All I knew was that she was interrupting my quiet escape from this life that held me captive. I was staring at the ceiling, cursing the life that had cursed me in return, when I heard an unusual sound. Footsteps.

Soft, clicking footsteps. The kind that clattered against the hard linoleum floor and echoed off the walls in an otherwise silent hallway. Not typically unusual, but amongst the hum of the medical equipment I was so used to, it stood out. Someone was walking toward my isolated room in my nearly forgotten corner.

I tilted my head slightly so I could see the display of the clock beside me. I strained my eyes against the darkness, the glaring red numbers bled through the night and revealed that it was just past three. I couldn't imagine why anyone would come to my room at this hour. There wasn't a reason to. The doctors had made it perfectly clear that there was nothing more they could do for me.

For a moment I let my hopes get the best of me, and whispered into the darkness. “Momma?”

With my last bit of reason I knew it couldn't be my mother. She had left my side two hours ago, retiring home to get five hours of sleep before coming back to the hospital at dawn break. For nearly a decade she'd spent the majority of her time at my side, talking me through my sickness. Comforting me, despite the fact that my death was nearly killing her.

She didn't want to leave my side. She was prepared to sleep in the chair beside my bed, propped up at an awkward angle just in case I awoke in the middle of the night, scared, and needed my mother. I was scared. But my death would do more than enough damage to her heart, she didn't need to watch it too. I was strong, and I would do this alone, for her.

Before she left I promised her I would be okay without her; promised her I would live through the night. I lied.

But now, alone and terrified, a moment of weakness overtook me, and the only thing I wanted in the whole wide world was for my mother to hold my hand and tell me beautiful lies about how everything would be all right.

The footsteps became louder, closer, then stopped outside my room. I kept my eyes on the door as it swung open.


What do you guys think? Hooked? Or not?

How do you refrain from nitpicking every little detail whenever you open up your ms?

Do you think perfection is possible after all?

Monday, June 8, 2009


I went to Wal-Mart yesterday with a specific product in mind: a video camera.

First of all, I detest Wal-mart. Second of all, I used to work at Radioshack, so I know my electronics, especially cameras.

The employee at Wal-mart did not.

So after picking out a camera, (and politely listening and nodding as the man explained the features of said camera that I already knew and was sold on) I was well on my way.

Isn't it cute? The color was what initially caught my eye- who doesn't want a tiny little orange video camera?

Having a camera is going to be fun.

Commence the Public Displays of Humiliation.

(Hey, Kat, don't you have a manuscript you should be editing?)

Hmm, erm, um.

Why yes, yes I do.

Thursday, June 4, 2009


5 deaths.

3 almost-deaths.

1 second chance.

8 angels.

2 cute boys.

1 world shaking kiss.

6 months.

15 chapters.

261 double spaced standard manuscript pages.

Untouched is complete at 75,142 words!

(Please excuse me while I run through the streets squealing then promptly pass out and sleep for two weeks.)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Anger Management

Untouched is at 70K!!


I have one more scene to write, probably about 1K words or so, and then all I have left is the final chapter. The final chapter is the denouement, and takes place several weeks after the climax and falling action. So I'm looking at about 5K words... then Untouched is DONE.

Wow. Intense. I have the next two days off- I will finish it. I will.

And then the fun starts, right?


Anyway, here's a little snippet for your reading enjoyment. :P

* * * * * * * * * * * *

“Gwen?” he asked. “Is that really you?”

I nodded.

He dropped what he was holding- a couch pillow that fell softly to the ground- and ran toward me.

My brain, as always, started working at the last minute.

“No!” I held up my hands as I took a step back. James stopped a few feet in front of me and registered what my reaction meant. I said it aloud anyway. “You can't touch me.”

He was silent for a moment, studying me as though he didn't believe I was truly there. “You're back? ...Are you back? What happened?”

I took a breath and prepared to recap what I remembered of the Council, but stopped when I noticed the mess. “What happened here?”

A tornado had ripped through his apartment, leaving nothing but destruction in its wake. The kitchen table was missing a leg, bookshelves were tipped over and knocked across the room, and the lamp was tilted at an odd angle, casting a spotlight at the fist shaped hole in the wall.

“Did Dante do this?” I demanded, trying to focus on his soul so I wouldn't have to waste any time tracking him down.

“No, no,” James said quickly. “Dante didn't do anything. This all happened after we... I mean, after the Council sent me back. I was a little upset.”

“Yeah, I can see that.”

“I was handling it.”

I looked into the living room to see the flat screen TV broken in half and smashed over the coffee table. Neither had survived.