Sunday, October 31, 2010

First Line Love

I recently finished reading Rick Riordan’s The Lost Hero. Aside from really enjoying the book, I was struck by how many awesome first lines he had. The first line of the book was amazing:

                            Even before he got electrocuted, Jason was having a rotten day.

My inner editor immediately stopped to admire that incredible bit of writing. As first lines go, that is made of total win (at least imo).

But it didn’t stop there. Several times throughout the book, I’d turn the page to start a new chapter and got blown away by that chapter’s first line. Here are a few of my favorites.

1. Leo wished the dragon hadn’t landed on the toilets.
2. As soon as Jason saw the house, he knew he was a dead man.
3. Leo’s tour was going great until he learned about the dragon.
4. After a morning of storm spirits, goat men, and flying boyfriends, Piper should’ve been losing her mind.
5. Jason would have died five times on the way to the front door if not for Leo.
6. When Leo saw how well Piper and Hedge were being treated, he was thoroughly offended.
7. The plan went wrong almost immediately.
8. Leo hadn’t felt this jumpy since he’d offered tofu burgers to the werewolves.

Every one of those first lines hooked me immediately, made me salivate for what was coming. It made me think about the first lines in my own WIPs. I probably spend more time on the first line of my book than all the rest of the lines in the book put together (and I still haven’t come anywhere near the awesome examples on this page). But I don’t think I’ve ever spared a thought for the opening lines in the rest of my chapters.

But it’s definitely something I'm going keep in mind from now on :)

What are your favorite first lines? Do you like the first line of your book? What is it? Post them in the comments if you’d like to share :D

Mine is “Minuette reached for the book, using every ounce of self-control she possessed to keep from snatching the thing from Mr. Thompson.”

Hmmm, I think I’ll keep working on it LOL

Don’t forget to head back here tomorrow for a contest of epic and awesome proportions!!!!! Mystery Agent Contest #2 wooohooo! ;-)

Oh, and Happy Halloween!!!

Saturday, October 30, 2010


Last day for what? 
Tomorrow is the last day for two things.

Thing #1: Last day to vote for our orange owl!  Time is running out. Don't let your favorite name get away. (As long as it is one of the ones I like.) Vote over here ------------->

Thing #2: Last day to enter our Twilight fan fic contest. A seriously awesome prize awaits for you! Check out the information here.

And you only have 2 days left to prepare for our AGENT LED pitch contest. You won't want to miss this. Our last contest resulted in REPRESENTATION!

Have a great, and safe, Halloween weekend.

Friday, October 29, 2010

What Makes Fantasy Awesome: Guest Post By Author Janice Hardy!

First off, a HUGE thanks to everyone who joined our Awesome Query Chat with Elana Johnson last night! Hope you learned a ton about queries! 

Oh, and I apologize for that random guest who started talking about Alexander Skarsgaard... I have NO IDEA who she is... at all...


Anyway! I am beyond excited to welcome author Janice Hardy to the OA blog!! Woot! 

As part of her blog tour for the second book in her HEALING WARS trilogy, a.k.a. BLUE FIRE, Janice is here to talk about fantasy. And more importantly, why the genre is so awesome.

Take it away, Janice!

What Makes Fantasy Awesome. At Least to Me.

I’ve loved fantasy for as long as I can remember. Books, movies, TV shows, games – anything with a fantasy element got my attention. So it was only natural that when I started writing, it was fantasy. Here are my Top Ten Reasons Why Fantasy is Awesome.

1. Magic
Even as an adult I wished I could develop magic powers and be able to do all those cool things the heroes I read about could do. And being able to make up my own magic for my own books makes it doubly fun.

2. Dragons
Granted, not every fantasy book has dragons, but fantasy gave us dragons and I’ve wanted one ever since I got my Fisher Price pink dragon in the castle play set when I was six. I think my love of all things lizard came from my love of dragons.

3. Delicious Villains
Maybe there’s a touch of villain in me, but I love the bad guys, and fantasy has some great bad guys. Monsters, creatures, evil wizards, demons and devils. If you want to be bad, there’s something dark and nasty that is only too happy to help you do it.

4. High Stakes
Nothing in fantasy is ever halfway. If there’s a damsel to be saved, it’s from death. A town in trouble? It’s save it before it’s wiped from the map. And the world is almost always in jeopardy.

5. Funny Sidekicks
With all the drama from so much impending doom, you have to have a little humor to lighten the mood. No fantasy hero worth her stilettos (boots or knives, your pick) goes out without that friend or confidant who always has the best lines when everything is falling apart.

6. Other Worlds
Real life can get boring, but the characters in my fantasy worlds always have something going on. (Usually the end of the world) If by some freak of nature the world isn’t ending, then someone’s personal life is falling apart in an interesting way. Usually involving a pact with something nasty.

7. Pacts With Something Nasty
There’s a lot of fun to be had watching a hero make a deal you know is going to come back and get them in a heap of trouble. Bad guys making pacts is also fun, but not the same because you know they’ll get what’s coming to them. But the hero? Who knows what they’ll do to get out of things.

8. Girls With Weapons
I love tough girls who can handle even the meanest monster on their own, and fantasy is chocked full of them. (monsters and tough girls) Even when they start out helpless wallflowers, by the last page they’ve found their inner Xena and are out there kicking butt with the boys. Or kicking boy’s butts. Both work.

9. Talking Animals
I’ve wished all my life I could know what my pets were thinking, and to have my very own talking cat? That would be beyond awesome.

10. Anything is Possible
The mundane need not apply. If you can dream it, it can happen. That allows storytellers to craft so many amazing tales that cover everything from a silly romp to a serious social issue. There’s so much versatility in fantasy, both in the stories it tells or the worlds they’re set in. 

Fantasy offers dreams and wonder, and who doesn’t need a little wonder in their life?

A huge thanks to Janice for sharing her awesome today! Here's more info about her MG fantasy book, BLUE FIRE (which you should totally pick up after reading, THE SHIFTER!!):

Blue Fire Blurb

Part fugitive, part hero, fifteen-year-old Nya is barely staying ahead of the Duke of Baseer’s trackers. Wanted for a crime she didn’t mean to commit, she risks capture to protect every Taker she can find, determined to prevent the Duke from using them in his fiendish experiments. But resolve isn’t enough to protect any of them, and Nya soon realizes that the only way to keep them all out of the Duke’s clutches is to flee Geveg. Unfortunately, the Duke’s best tracker has other ideas.

Nya finds herself trapped in the last place she ever wanted to be, forced to trust the last people she ever thought she could. More is at stake than just the people of Geveg, and the closer she gets to uncovering the Duke’s plan, the more she discovers how critical she is to his victory. To save Geveg, she just might have to save Baseer—if she doesn’t destroy it first.

Link to Blue Fire Online Retailer

Janice Hardy Bio

A long-time fantasy reader, Janice Hardy always wondered about the darker side of healing. For her fantasy trilogy THE HEALING WARS, she tapped into her own dark side to create a world where healing was dangerous, and those with the best intentions often made the worst choices. Her books include THE SHIFTER, and BLUE FIRE from Balzer+Bray/Harper Collins.  She lives in Georgia with her husband, three cats and one very nervous freshwater eel.

You can find Janice over at her Website:

and over at her blog: The Other Side of the Story Blog

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Awesome Query Chat with the Query Ninja, Elana Johnson!

Join us for an awesome discussion with Elana Johnson. Tonight at 8PM CT/ 9 PM EST

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Get Your Reminder E-mail for Elana's Query Chat!

Thursday, October 28th at 9 PM EST/8 PM CT!  Chat with Elana Johnson on everything query related. Don't let the time slip away from you! Sign up for a reminder.  

A Write/Query Process

I want the chance to dream. To think back to those days where I was innocent about the realities of the literary world. Where we all imagined the process was like this:

We edit. Get feedback. Edit, edit, edit. And sometimes all we want to do this:

But we survive. We've got a shiny manuscript to share with the world. Then comes the query. And all we want to do is this:

And then the day comes when we finish. The query is sent, the email refreshed and we feel like this:

And my point? Writing is hard. It's a cookie eating frustration. But we love it. Every single bit of it.

We set aside time in our day, our lives, to spend time with the people in our imaginations. We nurture them, love them and then want to set them free to make their own way in the world of agents and publishers.

One day we hope readers fall in love with them like we have. Maybe our words will even inspire them to write as well.

So to help get our words out there we have the awesome query chat with Elana Johnson tomorrow. So join us at 9pm EST on the 28th of October.

P.S. No cats or queries were harmed in the making of this post.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

How to Write an Awesome Query Letter

First of all, I want to shout out the "winner" of my face painting challenge. I selected Michelle's suggestion of Phantom of the Opera. Thanks Michelle!!

I also included the Phantom design in a video. After you've watched it, feel free to join us this Thursday, October 28 for some REAL advice on how to write a Query. Elana Johnson will be here to chat with us live. 9 PM (EST)/ 8 PM (CT)

Monday, October 25, 2010

My Writing Stages a la Robert Pattinson's Hair

Before we begin, congrats to our Pleased To Meet You contest winner, Kristi!!

Oh, and don't forget to stop by this Thursday October 28th @ 9pm for our Awesome Query Chat with the fabulous Elana Johnson!!!

Okay. Now for today's post. This was just a little something I wrote over at my blog, but I thought the OA audience might find it... ahem... useful? 

*crosses fingers*

Without further ado, I give you...

My writing stages a la Robert Pattinson's hair

Confession: I've watched the Eclipse trailer way too many times. It seems everywhere I turn, Robert Pattinson is right there. Not that I'm complaining or anything, but it overwhelms me.

That is, until I see his hair.

Okay, okay... Who hasn't seen his hair, right? There are people who even keep tabs on the darned hairstyles and everything. But I saw it in a different light. Those brown locks that make tweens squeal their throats out made me remember something.

The writing stages of my manuscripts.

Here's what I mean:

First draft: Some writers outline, some don't. My first drafts are a no-man's land. I don't outline, don't plan ahead, just sit down and write. No idea gets left behind. Typos run amok. Once I finish the draft, it looks like this:

Second Draft: I read through my manuscript in order to fix plot holes. Maybe a scene should be cut because it's not right for the tone or the pacing. Maybe my main character is a sweetheart and shouldn't stab that pesky villain after all. Overall, I tackle big picture problems. My second version looks a bit like this:

Third draft: Line-editing begins. Grammar issues? Gone. Passive voice? Hasta la vista, baby. I pay careful attention to how well the sentences flow one after the other. If something feels off or forced, I cut it. The end result is similar to this:

Fourth draft: I edit according to critique partner and beta feedback. They take care of telling me if something rocks or sucks. One beta in particular enjoys asking questions. A LOT. That's cool, though--the manuscript turns out to be stronger because of it. It ends up being tighter, shorter, and less of an eye sore. My baby finally grows into a clean-cut version of what started out as an idea:

There you have it, folks. Robert Pattinson's hair reminds me of writing.

Am I nuts or what?

Now tell me: what do your drafts look like?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Pleased to Meet You Contest Winner!!

First off, a big huge THANK YOU and WELCOME to all our wonderful previous and new Operation Awesome followers! I've been having a blast with the OA gals so far :D

We made it to 188 followers, which means we have 35 new followers, which means.......7 BOOKS!!!!

And the winner of those 7 books, picked by the ever handy is *drumroll*................


Shoot me an email at authormichellemclean(at)yahoo(dot)com with your address and I'll get your books sent out to you. :D

Thank you so much to everyone who followed me over to the OA - I'm sure you'll love being there!

Friday, October 22, 2010

When opportunity knocks, be ready with your one-sentence pitch

Remember our Awesome Launch, the agent-judged one line pitch contest? You all sent in your best, most intriguing one-sentence pitches, and literary agent Mandy Hubbard was very generous with her feedback. Man, that was fun! 

Well, we now have an awesome success story to go along with it!

I am so thrilled today to introduce our awesome guest blogger, Nancy Herman. She's written a historical novel about a young girl with a very unique struggle. It's also the kind of book that's really hard to sum up in one sentence. But she did it. Here's her success story, and the advice born out of her experience.

Nancy Herman at Chimney Rock
Read more on her blog, where she chronicles her journey
walking in the footprints of the Donner party.

When opportunity knocks, be ready with your one-sentence pitch

“Give me the TV Guide version of your book,” the many-braided woman said. She was looking at me.

“What?” I was overwhelmed. Not only did I not have a clue what a “TV Guide version” was, I was looking across the table at Anne Lamott, author of Bird by Bird, the book that had encouraged me through the first (and so far, only) chapter of my historical novel, and last minute substitute leader at this Squaw Valley writers’ workshop.  

“It’s a one-sentence pitch,” she explained.

How could I describe such a dramatic story in one sentence? Impossible.

“Um. It’s about a girl in the Donner Party,” I offered.

I knew my pitch had fallen flat as heads bent, papers rattled, and workshop members got to work on my pages. 

That was the first time I realized the importance of developing a compelling one-sentence pitch (also called an elevator pitch or a logline). I spent several more years researching and writing (and rewriting) Letters to Mary, but when meeting agents and editors at conferences, I never came up with a short description more specific than, “A young girl comes of age during the tragic crossing of the Donner Party.”

It was only a couple of months ago that I studied agents’ blogs such as  How to Write a One Sentence Pitch, gritted my teeth, and dug deep into my story to uncover its true essence. After more time than I’m willing to admit, I finally came up with –

“When 13-year-old Virginia Reed's arrogant father makes poor decisions that leave the Donner Party trapped in winter snows, she must find the courage to defy him in order to save the rest of her family.”

--so a few weeks later, when alert critique group member Angelica R. Jackson emailed me about Operation Awesome’s very first Mystery Agent Contest, I was immediately able to post my one-sentence pitch with the other first 49 entries.

My pitch wasn’t the winner, but it did lead to a request for a full query with a five-page sample from Mystery Agent Mandy Hubbard from D4EO (who, it turns out, is pretty awesome herself). One thing led to another quickly, and I’m THRILLED to announce that Mandy is now officially my literary agent! From now on we’ll be working together to get Letters to Mary in the hands of middle-grade readers.

I’m glad to hear that the Operation Awesome team has decided to make this contest an ongoing opportunity for writers to pitch their work. It worked for me, but only because I finally had that very important one-sentence pitch polished and ready for the next opportunity.

Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us, Nancy! We will definitely be keeping an eye out for your future book news!

You can wander through Virginia's footsteps across the American plains at Nancy's unique blog

For more of what Mandy liked, check out the other pitches of note.

And don't wait too long to get your one-line pitches pitch-perfect. As Nancy said, when opportunity knocks...

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The End

I finally got to the end of my draft.

Oddly enough, that sounds like more a milestone to nonwriters to than to writers. Nonwriters think it's a huge milestone. Writers nod, but know it's only an intermediate step. It's an end, but it's the beginning of revision.

This is only the second book I finished, and now, after congratulating myself nonwriter-style, I take a step firmly into the "writer" camp -- into Revisionland.

When a book crashes and burns, whether at the query, submission, or post-publication stage, the standard advice is to keep writing. Write something new. Writers write. Etc.

I didn't know if I could do that. I'm not one of those people with bottomless wells of resilience who keeps going against all odds.

Writing the second one makes me feel that I can really be a writer. Published or not, I don't want to be one of those people who only has one book in her. But more importantly, I decided to write another book after rejection. Maybe I have the stick-to-itiveness I'll need.

Now if I can just stick out the revision...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I Swear, You Swear, Who Swears?

I'm going to let you into a secret, lean close and I'll whisper it. Ready?

Most kids swear!

I said it. I uttered the words no parent/adult/relative of a teenager wants to hear. But they do, and they do it in secret.

I've no doubt that there are some kids who don't. Take my teenage self as an example, I swore.
I knew the words. I tried it. But, for some strange reason, people told me (and still tell me) it doesn't suit me. When I asked my friends why, they told me it's because I look too innocent or something. hehee.

My word choice is now limited to bloody (a great British, non-swear word).

But what about swearing in YA?

The topic has been debated around the web and various blogs about the subject. It isn't something I tackle lightly (and I'd hate to offend) but I've read posts by agent Mary Kole discussing the topic here and here. There is also an author perspective from Gayle Forman.

So I wondered do we, as responsible writers, close our minds (and ears) and pretend that this generation has never uttered a profanity? I heard my Seventeen-year-old cousin let one slip during a heated conversation with my uncle. For a second I thought his pulsating neck vein would explode!

I've also heard some choice phrases from groups of kids in shopping centers. And it creeps me out when I hear really young kids swearing (I'm not kidding, some kids on Supernanny have fruity language!)

I'm not talking about a book littered with F-bombs, although I'm sure it happens. No, I'm talking about the heated moments when a swear word may slip out. Do we, as readers, see a word like this and close the book vowing never to read that author again?

There are the handy alternatives to swear words. The hell, damn it and crap (my new favourites around my toddler goddaughter are what the flip and crud). But some people take offence to these too. And that is their right to do so. This world is a wonderful mix of opinions and choices and I would never try to change that for one second.

I think it comes down to personal choice, one that you make for your character, book and story. I have mild profanity in my completed MS and wip. It's not an f-bomb. In fact, I'm gonna call it an s-bomb.

I tried other words. I didn't shove it in to be topical or controversial. I thought long and hard about including it. But the situation called for it and an OMG wouldn't do.

I'm not advocating a book littered with profanity. But why is it less acceptable in books but not in films? How many films have you seen where they utter the f-bomb/other curse words on a regular basis?

Here is another view on the subject.

Now, I'm curious as to your thoughts on this subject.

P.S. Don't forget to check out Katrina's contest round-up post.

Oh, and we have the frawesome query chat with Elana Johnson coming up on the 28th of October and something special happening on November 1st.

Too. Much. Awesome.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Jacward and Some Face Painting Fun.

Just thought I'd put another plug in for the Twilight contest by posting my Jacward photo.  I mean, seriously! Those are some awesome looking books. It doesn't matter if you already own the whole series. You can get bragging rights to owning the white UK additions. Think about how jealous your friends will be! Aaannnnndd..  You get the opportunity to write some fun fan fiction. Finally, you can end up with the werewolf/vampire of your least in prose. 

The Jacward photo leads me up to my next proposition. I'm taking a detour of writing and going to have some fun with my other creative side. I'm adding another contest, of sorts. Except there isn't a tangible prize. In light of the upcoming Halloween holiday, I'd like to throw in some face painting.

Here is your challenge. In the comments section of this post, give me a book/story character you'd like to see me paint on myself. It can be from old fairy tales to new titles. Villains or Heroes, I don't care. Give me a brief discription in case I'm unfamiliar with the character you've chosen.  (OA buddies, you can play too.)

Next week, I'll pick one that inspires me and do a video transformation and post it on the blog! Challenge me! Let's have some fun!

Monday, October 18, 2010

How do you spell AWESOME? C-O-N-T-E-S-T

The ladies of Operation Awesome have a few things in common.

1) We all love writing.
2) We all love reading.
3) We all love writers.
4) We all love readers.
5) We all love CONTESTS.

There are other things, too, but we have to save something for all those author interviews we'll do when we're rich and famous. *gets glassy-eyed as daydreams take over*

Okay, whoa. Sorry. I'm back. For now, let's focus on the CONTESTS.

There are three going on right now:

1) All White for Twilight fan fiction contest (prime your 200 Twilight-related words and enter before Oct. 31st)

2) Michelle McLean's Pleased to Meet You contest (comment on this post and follow to enter)

3) Okay, this one isn't going on yet.... It's going to be epic, though. And I want you to be ready for it when it posts. So dust off your one-line pitches and get out the polish. You're going to be needing them soon.

For the faint-of-Mondays, here's your to-do list in pictures:

Write a little sumpin-sumpin for the Twilight contest

And get to work polishing your one-line pitch.

I know it's Monday. Sorry bout that. 

This will cheer you up (especially you, Michelle)...

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Pleased to Meet You :) and A Contest!

Since today is my very first post (yay!) I thought I’d throw a little party to celebrate :D Check out the end of the post for details. But first things first….

Hi *waves* My name is Michelle. Nice to meet ya :D

I wanted to be a lot of different things “when I grew up” but looking back on it, being a writer was pretty inevitable. Books are my life and always have been. I’m perfectly happy spending long periods of time as a loner. I have a beyond overactive imagination. I love to get sucked into other worlds. I like to learn. I'm creative. I'm passionate. All of these things have been a part of what makes me ME since the day I was born. I think I've been a writer since the moment I took my first breath and maybe even before :) It's who I am. It's how I see the world. It's how I interact with people and with my environment.

Have you seen Beauty and the Beast (the Disney version)? I am soooo Belle. Seriously, it’s scary. I watched the movie with my daughter yesterday. Every time I watch this film, I’m reminded of the first time I saw it.

My whole family (parents, siblings, cousins, a couple friends) went to the theater. We filled up an entire middle row. I sat at the very end. The lights went down, the movie began, we saw the background story on the Beast….and then Belle wandered onto the screen, basket on her arm, nose in her book.

Every single one of the fifteen or so people in our group, in unison, leaned over and stared at me, laughing their heads off. And continued laughing through Belle’s enthusiastic bookstore visit.

Okay, so yeah, maybe you need a crow bar to get the book out of my hand…and maybe occasionally a trip to the bookstore (or office supply store, come to think of it) will make me go crazier than my five year old on caffeine, but hey, I am who I am. (My husband just did a full on snort at the word “occasionally.” So rude.) ;-)

My whole life I’ve had my nose stuck in a book. My mom used to find me sitting behind the couch with a stack of encyclopedias (which, fyi, are a lot more entertaining to read than one might think). I always, ALWAYS have a book. I never leave home without one :)

That insatiable love of reading turned into diaries filled with bad poetry and half written stories, and one day, several years ago, I typed the words THE END on a fully formed novel. And I was hooked.

What about you? Have you always been a writer, no matter what other professions you may have (or still do) worked in along the way? If not, what started the journey for you?

Contest Deets!

I'd love for all my new friends to meet my old friends, and according to my husband my bookshelves are in serious danger of collapsing, and we have no room for another one, sooooo, here's what I've come up with:

For every 5 new followers we get here at the Operation Awesome Blog, I will give away 1 book. Starting right now (with 153 followers), 7am PST going till 11:59pm on Sat the 24th. If we get more than 50 new followers, (because I don't know if I can bear to give away more than 10 books LOL), I'll throw in a $20 gift certificate to the online book retailer of your choice (B&N/Borders/Amazon).*

To Enter:

1. Be or become a follower at Operation Awesome.
2. Give me a shout out in the comments on this post or my post at my personal blog HERE.

That's it! :)

Winner will be announced next Sunday. Good luck!

*International entries are welcome. If an international contestant wins, I'll add $10 to the gift certificate instead of sending books.

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Geniuses of WriteOnCon: Lisa and Laura Roecker (aka LiLa)

And last, but not least, WriteOnCon's charming dynamic duo... 

Lisa and Laura Roecker


Lisa and Laura Roecker’s debut novel, Liar Society, will be published by Sourcebooks in Spring 2011. An unstoppable duo bent on world—er—publishing domination, you can cyberstalk them on their personal blog, their website, and Twitter.  Lisa and Laura are represented by Catherine Drayton of Inkwell Management.

Katrina Lantz: WriteOnCon was seriously epic, historic, unprecedented! As one of its organizers, did you expect WriteOnCon to garner as much industry support as it did? To what do you owe this? 

Lisa and Laura Roecker: When Elana contacted us and shared Casey's idea, we knew it was a big idea. And yet none of this would have been possible without the expertise of all of the organizers, the contributions of all of the industry professionals, as well as the support of every participant. Honestly though, we weren't surprised. The writing community is one of the most supportive communities we have ever been a part of. Writers and publishing professionals always seem to be "on board" and will do everything in their power to support one another. It's really, really cool. 

Katrina: What were your thoughts on opening morning when thousands flocked to the site to participate in the first free online writer's conference? 

LiLa: Best feeling in the world. As annoying as Error 403 was, we knew the error occured because of overwhelming participation, which is exactly what we'd hoped for! It's these moments that reinforce how positive and supportive the writing community is. We're proud to be apart of it!

Katrina: What was the hardest part about WriteOnCon's organization? 
LiLa: We think the time constraints were a challenge. We planned for the conference in under four months, many juggling jobs, writing, families and life in general. But all of the founders had such incredible ideas that we were able to pull it off. Every member was absolutely essential--smart, smart girls!

Katrina: What was the most important thing you learned this year that will help with future online conferences? 

LiLa: Besides paying to host the event, we think we learned a lot about the dynamics of a group chat. We found that the chats featuring more than one professional moved a bit faster just because there were more people to weigh in on questions! The unique viewpoints were also fascinating!

Katrina: What's next for WriteOnCon? The discussion forums remain active. What role do you see WriteOnCon playing between annual conferences? 

LiLa: We are really excited to offer monthly chats brought to you by WriteOnCon. That way we can keep learning, connecting and socializing up until next year's conference!

Update: October 25th is the next event: a live chat with Sara Megibow of Nelson Literary!

Katrina: Do you know of any success stories (agents and authors who found each other during the conference)?

LiLa: During our feedback chat following the conference, we learned of a few success stories and are encouraging any participants with any successes to email us so we can feature them on the website! This is absolutely the most rewarding part of hosting a conference like this.

Katrina: What makes a writer awesome? 

LiLa: We think open-mindedness makes a writer awesome. It's hard to accept feedback and determine how to integrate critiques. The WriteOnCon forums are the perfect example of writers' willingness to do just this. Writers are constantly seeking advice and feedback and support. And because of this open-mindedness, writers are learning and growing. And this makes for better books!

Katrina: I think I speak for the online writing community when I say THANK YOU! And we want to show our appreciation by spreading the word about WriteOnCon, as well as its organizers. You have a book coming out Spring 2011! We love shiny new books! Could you tell us a bit about it? 

LiLa: THANK YOU! Our book is called THE LIAR SOCIETY and it is the first in a new mystery series following Kate Lowry. Kate receives an email from her dead best friend Grace on the anniversary of her death. When the emails continue, Kate is forced to play detective and prove once and for all that Grace's death was more than just a tragic accident.

Where you'll find them on the web:

Say hi to Laura and Lisa in the comments! 
(I changed the name order just for you, Laura) :-)

And don't forget, awesome peeps, to drum out 200 words for the All White for Twilight fan fiction contest! Deadline, October 31st (otherwise known as Halloween).

You can even count it toward your overall word count for the 1K a day challenge pre-nanowrimo. Are you ready for National Novel Writing Month?