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Blogs by Author All the article wrote by Susan

Feb 16

Susan Shiney

Your Queries on Querying - Answered! by M.L. Davis

Writing a novel isn’t easy, and once you’re done, you find yourself up against another challenge; querying. The act of sending your manuscript to an agent or publisher in the hope of representation is far from simple. However, there is a lot of information out there that can help, including these common query queries answered below.

Which agent is right for me?

Reaching the monumental moment when you feel ready to send your manuscript to a literary agent is huge! Likely, it’s taken you a great deal of time, determination and emotion to reach this point. As such, it can be tempting to fire your work out to as many agents as you can, but truth is, you need to take some time to research agents first. While most literary agents have a very eclectic taste in books, they usually have a more refined idea of the types of story they want to sell. There is no use sending a thriller to an agent only looking to publish romance.

Feb 11

Susan Shiney

5 Ways to Write a Marketable Book

I wanted to write about what makes a book marketable this week as a direct result of realizing recently that I had written an unmarketable book and am going into action to make sure the same thing doesn't happen with my next writing project.

In last week's blog post I wrote about When to Give Up on a Manuscript and how I knew it was time to start again from scratch. This time I have been reflecting on all the small missteps I made along the way in understanding the whole traditional publishing game.

My aha moment came when I started working on my query letter and synopsis for my former novel when I was trying to find a mentor through Author Mentor Match. I still say that application process taught me so much and I loved doing a mini-query experience as I was at the finishing stages of my novel. I wrote 10 Reasons to Apply to Author Mentor Match in case you are interested in trying the experience out.

Feb 04

Susan Shiney

When to Give Up on a Manuscript

I wanted to write this blog about when to give up on a manuscript after making the difficult decision myself last month. I was working hard on applying to Author Mentor Match (AMM), which was an amazing experience that I got a lot out of, even though I ultimately decided not to apply.

Here is my blog post on the 10 Reasons to Apply to Author Mentor Match. It is a mini-querying experience where you are inundated with market information and critique partners to give each other feedback and help each other out with their applications. I was planning on being about six months away from totally finishing my book after years of working on it and ready to query it to literary agents.

Jan 28

Susan Shiney

Flash Fiction : Flower Girl

Up close she could see the lily innocence of her skin. She was still a girl, really. The strange girl turned her body to face Claudia head-on and said, "You're a flower girl too, you know." 

She had carnations and daisies patterned pants, an orchid printed shirt, and a cardigan with knit roses dangling all over. Lavender barrettes held her strawberry blonde hair up, daffodil earrings sparkling in the sun, fuchsia petunia tattoos along her wrists, a violet design painted on her half-shaved head. Claudia took a step back as blood rushed to her face and she covered her mouth stuffing back the what on earth are you getting at.  

Jan 19

Susan Shiney

Q & A with French Author Jade Corbeau

Tell us a little about yourself.  

Like a cake, I am made of several ingredients, including chocolate and stories. On one hand, chocolate is a delicious and comforting ingredient, and on the other hand, it’s a raw, beautiful and artistic material. All these features inspire me in many ways. Regarding stories, I’m fond of both reading and writing. I love to discover fictional words and their fascinating characters, as well as creating my own ones.

Jan 14

Susan Shiney

How Graphic Novels Help my Writing

I have been on a big graphic novel kick lately. I think it is in part because I have been making more use of my public library in France, and graphic novels and comic books are popular here. If you are interested in reading more about the French and their reading habits, you can check out this article, In France, Comic Books are Serious Business.

Jan 06

Susan Shiney

10 Reasons to Apply to Author Mentor Match

What is Author Mentor Match?

If you have ever wondered about how to find a mentor for your writing, look no further. Author Mentor Match was created by authors Alexa Donne and Heather Kacynski. Each year the program matches mentor authors that are more experienced in traditional publishing with aspiring authors just about to start querying. Authors that are looking for a mentor submit a query letter, synopsis, and the first fifty pages of their manuscript. It is even free.

Dec 29

Susan Shiney

Flash Fiction : As I Lay Bare - A Young Tree Accepts Winter


Lush green leaves sprout and spread on my twigs.

¨My leaves are growing Momma, they're growing!" I say shaking for her attention.

¨I see it my little one, I see it," she says as she looks toward the sun breathing in the rays, her branches stretching back to life.

"When will the birds come to play with us? When, when, when?" I wobble around splaying myself out to capture each ray I can.

¨Any day now, if you listen you can hear the faint flapping of their wings in the distance.¨

I try to stop sucking in the water from my roots to hear better, but it is too hard. "I can't hear anything."

¨One day you will, you will,¨ Momma says.

Dec 22

Susan Shiney

Interview with Ness Mercieca of Verse Atlas: The Map Zine

What is Verse Atlas?

Verse Atlas is a digital zine in the form of a map that showcases poetry and art from around the world. The only criteria is that the work must be about a physical place, and is then pinned to that location on the map. The connection to place that can be fairly loose. It could be a place you miss. It could be a place where you were just inspired by the landscape. It could be a place you hated. Whenever I have had an intense experience related to place, I have often wondered what other people have had an strong reaction to that place, and thought it would be really interesting to see those responses along-side each other. I have had the idea of a map that is devoted specifically to art and to poetry for a long time and the only reason it doesn’t include other art forms is because poetry and art traditionally have a connection with landscape, and are more succinct; they can really wrap up that feeling a bit more tightly than prose or video.

Dec 16

Susan Shiney

Owlcrate November 2020 Subscription Box Spoilers

This is my first ever subscription book box! I researched a couple of them for months and have been interested in checking it out as I go deeper into the reader community and the lives of avid readers.

What is Owlcrate?

I chose Owlcrate to start off with. I signed up for a six-month subscription. Each box is 29.99 (shipping is not included) and if you sign up for six months you get twelve dollars off. Owlcrate sends boxes with a special edition signed young adult book along with a mixture of bookish merchandise related to other popular book fandoms.