Happy Spring!

Warmer weather and lovely flora has made its appearance here in Massachusetts. I hope spring has come to your neck of the woods, too.
I'm celebrating Spring 2018, for many reasons, some of which you'll be reading about later, with the offical launch of my newsletter.

Because I was hosting the Author Exchange Blog when I published my first book (February 2009 to March 2014), I never adopted the use of a marketing newsletter. Not only did I keep my readers updated about my own writing on the blog, I also introduced them to other writers and some great writing tips and inforamtion. 

In this newsletter, I continue the tradition in a different format. If you look back at the archives on Author Exchange Blog, you may see what some of your favorite authors were doing way back when!

Happy reading!

Pitching to an Agent/Editor

If you've read my blog recently, you know the outcome of the agent and editor pitches I made at a recent writer's conference both had excellent outcomes. Meaning both the agent and editor asked to see my work. I'm waiting to receive their responses, which will be fodder for future newsletters!

Anyway, if you're interested in the subject, I posted recently to share my determination of the
3 Elements of the Successful Pitch

My most important takeaway from the process was reinforcement of what I already learned and knew to be true from my career in sales:
  1. You can never make any type of presentation successfully unless you practice, practice, practice. And yes, blabbering away in the car or to the dogs and cat DOES count!
  2. Although you have to conduct extensive research, always listen to your instincts. Important note: Your instincts are NOT the clamoring voices in your head telling you what you want to do; they're the objectives voices in your head that come from your brain, unfettered by ego and emotion.
If you have a completed project, I can't urge you strongly enough to take advantage of the opportunity to pitch it at the next writer's conference you can get to. Just make sure you do so professionally and only after you've researched the individual you're pitching to thoroughly.

If you have any advice or tales to tell about the subject, email me and I'll be happy to share in the next issue.

The Importance of Networking

Regardless of whether you're published, joining a writer's organization is not only crucial for your professional well-being as a writer, it's also an important component of your emotional well being.

During an 7-year period, I moved cross-country, twice, and found myself networking with other writers far less often than I had done previously. As a result, I spent more time publishing nonfiction and in the insurance industry than I did fiction. Obviously, because that paid the bills it was necessary. But the part of me that HAS to write wasn't truly satisfied.

You know how when you step up to the ice cream counter and you really, really want pistachio ... but they ran out? And you have to settle for maple walnut, strawberry, or coconut almond delight? All of which are delicious and flavors you've often chosen on previous visits to the ice cream counter, but that just don't satisfy your craving NOW. Well, that's how I felt without the cameradrie and input of my writer friends and associates.

Funny thing about being a writer, all writers are your friends--even if they're not people you'd connect with in another setting. Because all writers have experiences in common, insights they can share, and their own way of approaching the creative process. Whenever I walk away from a conversation with ANY other writer, I do so in possession of a valuable nugget I didn't have before.

You can duplicate this mutual support role with any creative person if you don't know  local writers. Musicians, artists, and even the guy who designs lawn ornaments in his spare time, all seem to possess that same something that sets us apart from the majority of people we know. It's like we all can see or hear something just beyond the boundary of everyone else's sight or hearing.
Here are URLs to 2 online articles that provide lists of writer's organizations: FYI, I've been a member of Mystery Writers of America and Romance Writers of America (both the national organizations and local chapters) since the late 1980s. I joined Sister's in Crime about 5 years ago. I've also had a subscription to Writers Digest for at least 1,000 years (yes, you can get an online subscription).

Author Spotlight

Michael J. Malone

I don't know how I missed interviewing Michael on the Author Exchange Blog all those years ago--we were introducted by a mutual friend who appeared often. I'm rectifying that oversight now by introducting you to a guy who writes the most gripping novels. He's also published a book of poetry and some nonfiction books--10 books in the last 6 years!

Michael's crime series about Glasgow's detective DI Ray McBain is wonderful and the third book in the series will knock your socks off. The spin-off series about criminal Kenny O'Neill is just as mesmerizing.

Then there are his standalones... A Suitable Lie is a psychological thriller that steals your breath. If I even tried to describe it, I'd spoil some of the surprises. His latest thriller, House of Spines, was released last month and has been described as "vivid, visceral, and compulsive." I just bought it, so can't spoil anything by telling tales. 

Check out Michael's brilliance on Amazon:

Linda's Latest News

I attended a writer's conference last month and was lucky enough to have the opportunity to pitch one of my current projects to an agent AND an editor. Agent asked to see the first 3 chapters and the editor referred me to an associate who asked for the entire book!

The first draft of the second book in that series is about 2/3 of the way complete. I'll keep you posted...
Between all this, working at my insurance writing, and dancing the I'm-SO-Happy-It's-Spring-Dance, I'm a very busy girl. Stay tuned...

Did you know...

Last year, my short story Mama placed 15th of the top 25 entries in the Writer's Digest's 17th Annual Short, Short Story Competition? More than 4,000 entries were submitted.

You can read all the winners' stories in The 17th Annual Writer's Digest Short Short Story Competition Collection
Copyright © 2018 Linda McHenry, All rights reserved.

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