POINT OF NO RETURN

Create, Pitch, Sell

Happy New Year

Year End Review

January: I found Blogger. Closed my website. Sent out numerous query letters to literary agents. Came down the flu; missed three days of work.
February: Sent several queries to literary agents and small press publishers. Received a couple of rejections for last month's batch.
March: Fell off a ladder in the stockroom at work and hurt my right knee; missed one day of work. Submitted a short story to several magazines. Sent queries to literary agents, small press publishers, and editors.
April: A literary agent's assistant requested the full manuscript of my mystery novel, Smoke on the Water. Two weeks later, she emailed a form rejection stating she couldn't connect with the voice. The same voice I used in the query and a 5-page sample? That voice?
May: Some things in life are a crapshoot, but you can't have great rewards without taking risks, and you can't move forward if you remain caught up in the old ways of doing business. You have to take control of your own destiny. So…after twelve years of trying to find representation for my work, the time had come for me to stop wasting my time, paper, ink, envelopes, and postage querying everyone under the sun. I stopped sending out email queries, as well. Thought a lot about the pros and cons of epublishing. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
June: I fed twelve years worth of rejection letters to a paper shredder [over 700]. I had saved every single letter in the hope that one day, after signing with an agent, I'd have a huge bonfire and make smores to celebrate. [http://www.ehow.com/how_2000849_make-smores.html] I deleted all emailed correspondence. Shredded nine spiral notebooks containing the names and contact information of agents, publishers, and editors. Shredded every version of my query letters and synopses. Deleted all blog links for agents, publishers, and everything else writing-related. What an exhilarating experience to witness the end of a long and tiring journey through Query Hell. [See Feb. post My Journey To Publication]
July: Began the first draft of Serial Quiller. Unknowingly handled poison oak in the backyard; missed a full week of work. Sheesh.
August: Took a nice break from book stuff.
September: Worked on Serial Quiller. Day in and day out, until it was done. Researched a new location for Serial Quiller 2.
October: Finished the final draft of Serial Quiller. Designed and created the cover art. Put the story on Amazon around Halloween.
November: Rewrote Smoke on the Water. Made the cover. Put the story on Amazon.
December: Never heard back from any of the magazines where I submitted the short story. Never received any good news from agents, publishers or editors, either. I worked on the second books in the Point Jove and Bad Mojo series. Worked on a standalone mystery novel, titled Notch, which I'm also adapting to a screenplay.

January 2011: For the first time in twelve years, I'll wake up on January 1 with the knowledge that I don't have to prepare a new batch of queries to send out on January 2. I'll begin New Year's Day with two books available to a wide audience in the US and the UK.

I am very happy to see 2010 come to an end…because…2011 is going to be amazing.

Cheers

Persevere

Interesting Blogs

International Noir Fiction
http://internationalnoir.blogspot.com/
Murder Is Everywhere
http://murderiseverywhere.blogspot.com/
Crimespree Cinema
http://www.crimespreecinema.com/index.html
Criminal Brief http://criminalbrief.com/
Day Labor http://cfdaylabor.blogspot.com/
Euro Crime http://eurocrime.blogspot.com/
Crime Watch http://kiwicrime.blogspot.com/
AustCrimeFiction http://www.austcrimefiction.org/
Mystery Fanfare http://mysteryreadersinc.blogspot.com/
The Graveyard Shift http://www.leelofland.com/wordpress/
Detectives Beyond Borders http://detectivesbeyondborders.blogspot.com/
In Reference To Murder http://inreferencetomurder.typepad.com/my_weblog/

Merry Christmas

Screenwriting Resources

Screenwriters Guild
http://www.nndb.com/org/766/000091493/
Screenwriters Guild of America, East
http://www.wgaeast.org/
Screenwriters Guild of America, West
http://wga.org/
Screenwriters Federation of America
http://screenwritersfederation.org/index.asp
Screenwriting Information
http://www.screenwriting.info/
John August: Useful Information About Screenwriting
http://johnaugust.com/


Just Effing Entertain Me http://www.justeffing.com/
The Crafty TV and Screenwriting Blog http://complicationsensue.blogspot.com/
How to Write a Screenplay http://www.guerilla-filmmaker.com/screenplay.html
Not Another Screenwriting Blog! http://www.notanotherscreenwritingblog.blogspot.com/
Creative Screenwriting Magazine http://creativescreenwritingmagazine.blogspot.com/
Unique Screenwriting http://www.unique-screenwriting.com/Unique-Screenwriting-blog.html
Tentative Glossary http://complicationsensue.blogspot.com/2005/08/tentative-glossary.html
Screen Writing: A Movie Blog by Marty Langford http://blog.masslive.com/screenwriting/index.html
Screenwriting Goldmine Blog http://www.screenwritinggoldmine.com/blog/

New Hardcover Mysteries for December 2010

THE SHERLOCKIAN by Graham Moore
http://www.amazon.com/Graham-Moore/e/B003DAV0U8/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0
HAITI NOIR: A short story collection by Edwidge Danticat
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3525.Edwidge_Danticat
THE FOUR STAGES OF CRUELTY by Keith Hollihan
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/398597.Keith_Hollihan
CAVEAT EMPTOR by Ruth Downie http://rsdownie.co.uk/
DEAD LIFT by Rachel Brady http://www.rachelbrady.net/
RED STATION by Adrian Magson http://adrianmagson.com/
THE LION OF CAIRO by Scott Oden http://scottoden.com/
SOUTH PHOENIX RULES by Jon Talton http://jontalton.com/
THREATS AT THREE by Ann Purser http://www.annpurser.com/
DEATH DANCE by Geraldine Evans http://geraldineevans.com/
SECRETS TO THE GRAVE by Tami Hoag http://www.tamihoag.com/
THE CRUEL EVER AFTER by Ellen Hart http://www.ellenhart.com/
BUTTONS AND BONES by Monica Ferris http://monica-ferris.com/
WHAT THE NIGHT KNOWS by Dean Koontz http://www.deankoontz.com/
NO ONE TO HEAR YOU SCREAM by K.J. Dahlen http://www.kjdahlen.com/
BITTER LEGACY by H. Terrell Griffin http://www.hterrellgriffin.com/
CITY OF DREADFUL NIGHT by Peter Guttridge http://peterguttridge.com/
DEAD OR ALIVE by Tom Clancy and Grant Blackwood http://tomclancy.com/
THE LEFT-HANDED DOLLAR by Loren D. Estleman http://lorenestleman.com/
UNDER CURRENT CONDITIONS by Kyle Darcy https://kyledarcy.com/Home.html
REAPERS by Frederick Ramsay http://www.frederickramsay.com/ramsaybooks/
KILLER ON A HOT TIN ROOF by Livia J. Washburn http://liviawashburn.com/
CIRCLE OF LIES by Douglas Alan http://us.macmillan.com/author/douglasalan
MUSIC OF THE DISTANT STARS by Alys Clare http://www.alysclare.com/home.htm
THE FINAL RECKONING by Sam Bourne http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/b/sam-bourne/
THE RECKONING by Howard Owen http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/54725.Howard_Owen
MR. HOOLIGAN by Ian Vasquez http://www.ianvasquez.net/www.ianvasquez.net/author.html
NIGHTS OF THE RED MOON by Milton T. Burton http://us.macmillan.com/author/miltontburton
DEAD ZERO by Stephen Hunter http://authors.simonandschuster.com/Stephen-Hunter/1485163
THE OUTLAWS by W.E.B. Griffin and William E. Butterworth IV http://www.webgriffin.com/home.html
NAKED CRUELTY by Colleen McCullough http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/m/colleen-mccullough/
THE WAXMAN MURDERS by P.C. Doherty http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/d/p-c-doherty/waxman-murders.htm
THE CURIOUS DEATH OF PETER ARTEDI by Theodore W. Pietsch http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/p/theodore-w-pietsch/

Special Introductory Offer

My novels are available on Amazon Kindle for only 99 cents each until Spring 2011.

If you enjoy mysteries with a lot of suspense and a little romance, I hope you'll check out SMOKE ON THE WATER.

If you prefer psychological thrillers with female villains, then I hope you'll check out SERIAL QUILLER.

Thank you

Coffee Break

November-- I'm currently juggling three projects, which I hope to have completed by the first of January.

I put two novels on Amazon Kindle last month. I had a lot of fun designing and creating the cover art.

SERIAL QUILLER: I bought a feather, quill tip, and fake blood from an arts and crafts store. I already had the antique silver and blue bottle. I stood the bottle and feather in front of a black cloth attached to the cabinet door handles above my kitchen counter, took a couple of pictures with a digital camera, then uploaded the photos to a graphics program on my computer. I forgot to apply the blood before I took the pictures, so I had to use the paintbrush on the toolbar.

SMOKE ON THE WATER: This cover was a lot easier to make. Seven pictures were taken at a local marina on a cloudy day. I chose the one you see, uploaded it to the graphics program, and sprayed it with 'fog' to create the smoky look.

Uploading the books to Amazon went a lot smoother than I thought it would. Since then, I've enjoyed visiting the Kindle Boards where I have met a lot of nice people.

Happy Thanksgiving

Photo (C)Flickr from Yahoo

Serial Quiller

Moved by the success of her debut novel, twenty-six-year-old BJ Donovan of New Orleans, Louisiana, can't handle the thoughts of being a one-hit wonder and never feeling special ever again. Using her position as the executive chef and owner of a popular restaurant in the French Quarter to blend in with the community, she embarks on a killing spree, with the aid of voodoo magic, and uses details of the murders to help sustain her best-seller status with a planned thriller series.

While the body count rises—from her brother's girlfriend, found mutilated at an abandoned farmhouse, to an undercover cop murdered in a dark alley on the riverside—BJ tries to remain above suspicion as she continues to write the wrongs in her world.

Excerpt from Chapter One—

Virgil awoke late at night to find his wife gone. He kicked off cold and clammy bedcovers, box springs screeched when he got up. A steady breeze, weighed down with humidity, carried the vanilla-like fragrance of Joe-Pye weed and the barely audible sound of laughter through an open window.

He stood behind fluttering white sheers and watched Marie trot across the back yard, her long black curls bouncing with each footfall. The opaque security light above the barn doors cast an eerie pallor through the limbs of an old elm draped with Spanish moss. He noticed her belly, in the narrow space between her shirt and shorts, seemed rounder than normal. He lazily scratched his ass, wondered what the hell she's doing.

A man stepped out of the shadows, and drew her into an embrace. They kissed for a moment, then entered the barn.

Marie came back out. She turned her head side to side, looked up.

Virgil leaned back without thinking.

The man clasped her hand. "C'mere, baby." He brought a shiny metal flask to his lips and took a long swig.

She giggled again. "Gimme some."

"Sh! Not now." He pulled her into the barn, loosely swung one door shut, the other already latched at the top.

* * *

Virgil slipped through the half closed door. Stood beneath the loft and listened to the rough'n ready sounds of raw lust. Glossy photos in his dog-eared girlie magazines flashed through his mind. He hiked the leather rifle strap onto his shoulder, gripped the sides of the wooden ladder. Slowly mounted the rungs; aware one always squeaked.

(C)2010 Sharon Austin All Rights Reserved

Smoke On The Water

The gruesome discovery of a woman’s corpse in the small tourist resort of Point Jove, Missouri draws Sheriff Josh Wolfe, a widower who enjoys tinkering with his award winning hot rod, into the most perilous case of his career. Hounded by the townsfolk and media, Wolfe exhausts every conventional method for solving the crime. The investigation comes to a standstill. Then, four more residents disappear. Everyone is convinced Rhone County is harboring a serial kidnapper who chooses his victims by chance. Wolfe believes the people are not only related to one another but are somehow tied to the last surviving member of the county’s namesake. Time is not only running out for Sheriff Wolfe but for his lover, dissatisfied wife of a homebuilder, held against her will at the Rhone family's abandoned sawmill where spilled gasoline awaits a lighted match.

Excerpt from Chapter One—

It was her uncanny likeness to Adele, his adoptive sister, that made him stare at her. She sat to one side of a barstool with an arm propped on the padded edge, nice legs crossed beneath a short denim skirt. She sipped a margarita; checked out the Saturday night crowd in the intimate saloon setting. Smiled and waved at anyone she knew.

Jim took a seat at the end of the bar. He slid a pack of Morilos out of his shirt pocket. One by one, the single men honed in on her only to get shot down. He lit a cigarette to curb a satisfied smile. The slow moving couples on the dance floor reminded him of his brief stint as a deckhand on a cargo ship and the way the vessel rocked side to side on the rolling sea in advance of a storm. He loved it, even when he was almost swept overboard by a crashing wave.

When a barman with ERIC on his nametag approached, he ordered a shot of off-brand bourbon. A rock glass was plunked down in front of him. Jim paid for the drink with cash. He flicked ashes into an empty peanut bowl. Downed the cheap whiskey that displeased his palate.

Tilting a hat back on his head, he cast a furtive glance in her direction. The lights winked at her auburn hair when she tossed her head back to knock long strands from her shoulder. She looked at him, her eyes twinkling with carefree interest. Glossy red lips beckoned him with a playful smile.

He stood. An older man staggered toward her. Jim realized the effort to go unnoticed so he could keep coming back was about to end.

(C)2010 Sharon Austin All Rights Reserved

New Book Releases For November

HOLLYWOOD HILLS by Joseph Wambaugh
http://josephwambaugh.net/

HELL'S CORNER by David Baldacci
http://davidbaldacci.com/

THIRD DEGREE by Maggie Barbieri
http://maggiebarbieri.com/

FULL DARK, NO STARS by Stephen King
http://www.stephenking.com/index.html

MY NAME IS RED by Orhan Pamuk http://www.orhanpamuk.net/

MY READING LIFE by Pat Conroy http://www.patconroy.com/

DEAD MAN'S CHEST by Kerry Greenwood http://phrynefisher.com/books.html

MOONLIGHT MILE by Dennis Lehane http://www.dennislehanebooks.com/

EDGE: A Novel by Jeffery Deaver http://jefferydeaver.com/

PORT MORTUARY by Patricia Cornwell http://www.patriciacornwell.com/

SUNSET PARK by Paul Auster http://www.stuartpilkington.co.uk/paulauster/body.htm

CRIMINAL INNOCENCE by Jeffrey Ashford http://www.chessvalleybooks.co.uk/index.html

CRESENT DAWN by Clive Cussler & Dirk Cussler http://www.cusslermen.com/CrescentDawn.htm

Photo (C)Flickr from Yahoo!

Point Jove Series Book Two

I have started the second draft of FIRE. This story will [eventually] be available on Amazon Kindle along with SMOKE ON THE WATER.

FIRE [working title]
A reporter furthers his budding career as a crime scene photographer by filming new construction being set ablaze by his older brother, who has a dark secret of his own.

Photo (C)Flickr from Yahoo!

New Project Underway

I am adapting my novel, NOTCH, to a movie script.

Inspired by a true crime, this standalone mystery is set in Wichita, Kansas, and is told from 'Kevin's' point of view.

NOTCH [working title]
Blackmailed for murder, unable to prove his innocence, a man involves a county sheriff in his plan for revenge.

Excerpt—

"Now, tell me about the girl," said Sheriff Morgan.

God, here we go again. The words were at the back of Kevin's mind, but he was terrified to bring them forward. This is the part they'd all been waiting to hear. The part where they would decide exactly what his role in all of this had been. Like dogs in heat they all want a piece of me. His throat closed. He counted three dead flies on the narrow windowsill. A fourth lay on its back fitfully flailing its legs in some sort of macabre death dance.

Morgan leaned closer. "Talk to me, Kevin."

Kevin fixed his gaze on the drab gray wall farthest away from the door of the interrogation room. "She was lying on her left side...." There ain't no stoppin' us now, girlie, he recalled Jasper telling the redhead the night the three of them went to the abandoned meat packing plant to have a little fun. He scratched his forehead, hiding his expression. Or was it the blonde he'd said that to?

Copyright 2010 Sharon Austin All Rights Reserved
Photo Copyright Flickr from Yahoo!

* * *

Obviously, I can't show thoughts, so any scenes that do won't be in the script. The first draft of the novel is complete. I'm working on both projects at the same time.

And, so far, I'm having fun.

Cheers

More Interesting Screenwriting Blogs

The Thinking Writer
http://thinkingwriter.com/

Indelible Freckles
http://dfmamea.com/blog/

Mystery Man on Film
http://mysterymanonfilm.blogspot.com/

Scriptwriting in the UK
http://dannystack.blogspot.com/

Living the Romantic Comedy http://livingromcom.typepad.com/my_weblog/

Clarkblog http://clarkblog.typepad.com/clarkblog/

MovieBytes: Screenwriting Contests http://www.moviebytes.com/

Source: http://thedailyreviewer.com/top/screenwriting/1
Photo Copyright Flickr from Yahoo!

Smoke On The Water Now Available

It's official! SMOKE ON THE WATER has gone live on Amazon Kindle. [linked in right column]

* * *

The gruesome discovery of a woman’s corpse in the small tourist resort of Point Jove, Missouri draws Sheriff Josh Wolfe, a widower who enjoys tinkering with his award winning hot rod, into the most perilous case of his career. Hounded by the townsfolk and media, Wolfe exhausts every conventional method for solving the crime. The investigation comes to a standstill. Then, four more residents disappear. Everyone is convinced Rhone County is harboring a serial kidnapper who chooses his victims by chance. Wolfe believes the people are not only related to one another but are somehow tied to the last surviving member of the county’s namesake. Time is not only running out for Sheriff Wolfe but for his lover, dissatisfied wife of a homebuilder, held against her will at the Rhone family's abandoned sawmill where spilled gasoline awaits a lighted match.

This standalone novel is the first in the Point Jove mystery series.

Copyright 2010 Sharon Austin All Rights Reserved

First Review For Serial Quiller

"The title caught my attention, it was a good match to the storyline. The pace was good and held my interest, along with nice suspenseful moments. I liked the ending, it worked well for the story." --driver

Driver, thank you for your nice review.

From: http://www.amazon.com/Serial-Quiller-ebook/dp/B0046H9Z4K/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&s=digital-text&qid=1286891354&sr=1-1

Coffee Break

October-- I'm preparing to put my second novel on Amazon. It should be available in a couple of days. The story, a standalone mystery, is the first in a series.

The first draft of Book 2 is complete.

Photo Copyright Flickr from Yahoo!

New Book Releases For October

CRAVE: A Novel of the Fallen Angels by J.R. Ward
http://jrward.com/

THE REVERSAL by Michael Connelly
http://www.michaelconnelly.com/

AMERICAN VAMPIRE Vol. 1 by Scott Snyder, Stephen King, and Rafael Albuquereque [illustrator] http://www.daemonsbooks.com/2010

GREAT HOUSE by Nicole Krauss
http://www.randomhouse.com/author/results.pperl?authorid=16245

THE UNIDENTIFIED by Rae Mariz
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3126853.Rae_Mariz

BEAUTIFUL DARKNESS by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
http://beautifulcreaturesthebook.com/

THE LOST HERO: The Heroes of Olympus, Book One by Rick Riordan
http://www.rickriordan.com/

THE SCORCH TRIALS [Maze Runner Trilogy] by James Dashner
http://www.jamesdashner.com/

THE TEMPLAR SALVATION by Raymond Khoury
http://www.raymondkhoury.com/home/index.asp

CRESCENDO by Becca Fitzpatrick
http://beccafitzpatrick.com/

THE CONFESSION by John Grisham
http://www.jgrisham.com/

LIFE by Keith Richards and James Fox
http://www.daemonsbooks.com/2010/

From: http://www.daemonsbooks.com/2010/10/04/new-book-releases-october-2010/
Photo Copyright Flickr from Yahoo!

Serial Quiller Now Available

It's official! My novel, SERIAL QUILLER, a psychological thriller, has gone live on Amazon Kindle. [linked in right column]

* * *

Moved by the success of her debut novel, twenty-six-year-old BJ Donovan of New Orleans, Louisiana, can't handle the thoughts of being a one-hit wonder and never feeling special ever again. Using her position as the executive chef and owner of a popular restaurant in the French Quarter to blend in with the community, she embarks on a killing spree, with the aid of voodoo magic, and uses details of the murders to help sustain her best-seller status with a planned thriller series.

While the body count rises—from her brother's girlfriend, found mutilated at an abandoned farmhouse, to an undercover cop murdered in a dark alley on the riverside—BJ tries to remain above suspicion as she continues to write the wrongs in her world.

SERIAL QUILLER is the first in the Bad Mojo series.

Copyright 2010 Sharon Austin All Rights Reserved

Halloween Favorites

[1920] The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
[1932] The Old Dark House
[1943] The Seventh Victim
[1953] War of the Worlds
[1960] Psycho
[1973] The Exorcist
[1974] Texas Chainsaw Massacre
[1975] Jaws
[1978] Halloween // Dawn of the Dead
[1979] Alien // The Brood // Salem's Lot
[1980] Gates of Hell // The Changeling
[1982] The Thing

[1984] Nightmare on Elm Street
[1989] Pet Sematary
[1991] The Silence of the Lambs
[2000] Ju-on
[2001] Session 9
[2002] Mothman Prophecies // 28 Days Later // The Ring
[2003] Janghwa, Hongryeon (A Tale of Two Sisters)
[2004] Saw
[2005] The Descent // Wolf Creek
[2006] Hostel // Pan's Labyrinth
[2007] Rec
[2008] Shutter // The Eye
[2009] Book of Blood // The Grudge 3 // Trick 'r Treat
[2010] Let Me In // My Soul To Take

Photos Copyright Flickr from Yahoo!

Scary Good

IT by Stephen King
KOKO by Peter Straub
GHOSTS by Noel Hynd
THE RATS by James Herbert
DARK GODS by T.E.D. Klein
GHOST STORY by Peter Straub
THE TRICKSTER by Muriel Gray
SONG OF KALI by Dan Simmons
HELL HOUSE by Richard Matheson
BLACK ANGEL by Graham Masterton
BY REASON OF INSANITY by Shane Stevens

THE NIGHT OF THE RIPPER by Robert Bloch
THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE by Shirley Jackson
THE WOMAN IN BLACK: A Ghost Story by Susan Hill

Photo Copyright Flickr from Yahoo!

Interesting Screenwriting Blogs

The Artful Writer http://artfulwriter.com/

Johnaugust.Com http://johnaugust.com/

By Ken Levine http://kenlevine.blogspot.com/

Running With My Eyes Closed http://www.jillgolick.com/

Writing For Performance http://robinkellyuk.blogspot.com/

BBC Writersroom http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/writersroom/

Cyber Screenwriter http://cyberscreenwriter.blogspot.com/

The Screenwrightist http://www.screenwrightist.com/

Suite101: Writing For Stage/Screen http://www.suite101.com/writingforstagescreen

From: http://thedailyreviewer.com/top/screenwriting/1
Photo Copyright Flickr from Yahoo!

Time For A Change

This is my favorite time of the year. Autumn leaves are much more colorful than spring flowers. Gone are the heat, haze and humidity of a long, hot summer. The days are fair and fresh, and I can see clearly, now.

The ordinary life is not for me. Knowing I am about to embark on another adventure makes me very happy.

Ebooks have provided an opportunity for new writers to get their own books in the marketplace without depending on someone else to do it for them.

In the next few days, I'll have a book on Amazon Kindle. I can keep my title and my rights. Have full control of the cover art. And, I don't have to wait an additional year and a half for the book to become available.

I need to replace my photo in the right column. After a lifetime of blonde hair, I changed it to auburn [reddish-brown]. I really like the new 'fall' look.

Wallander has arrived. PBS Masterpiece Mystery - http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/wallander/index.html

Photo Copyright Flickr from Yahoo!

My Journey To Publication Part 2

Watching the final episode of America's Got Talent I listened to Michael Grimm's long and arduous journey to that stage. Seeing the expression on his face when he won, I realized I, too, had made the right decision to go out and find my audience.

I've decided to use WENTZEL FARM for my debut novel instead of NOTCH.

I am thoroughly enjoying designing and creating the cover art.

I visited the online Kindle Community. There are hundreds of readers and authors in there. I haven't introduced myself yet.

I've read all about Smashwords and CreateSpace. Learned the step-by-step process for uploading a story for Amazon Kindle. My manuscript is currently being read and prepped for submission.

Photo Copyright Flickr from Yahoo!

Coffee Break

September-- On my last Coffee Break I said I had good news. Not anymore. A literary agent's assistant requested the full manuscript of one of my novels, then, not long after, emailed a form rejection stating she couldn't connect with the voice. The same voice I used in the query and a 5-page sample? That voice?

Another hit'n miss puts me in mind of an Elton John song. "What have I got to do to be heard?" This is one of the many reasons why I decided to go digital. Remember, I've been doing the submission/rejection routine for twelve years. It may've been an overnight decision, but I started thinking about epublishing a long time ago.

Now, which novel? I believe all of them have mass appeal.

WENTZEL FARM [psychological thriller] is the first in a proposed series but can stand alone, as well.

The Blaze trilogy [mystery] is one story divided into three equal parts [see LORD OF THE RINGS]. SMOKE is done. The first draft of FIRE is also done. Book 3, ASHES, only has a basic synopsis.

NOTCH, a stand-alone mystery [see excerpt below], is the only logical choice for my first ebook. The first draft is done, but I still have a lot of work to do before I can submit it to Amazon.

I'm very excited about the real possibility of getting my story in the hands of readers. I've sacrificed and struggled most of my life. I'm ready for this. Other writers have found great success in ebooks. Who's to say I can't?

Photo Copyright Flickr from Yahoo!

New Book Releases For September

APE HOUSE
by Sara Gruen -- http://saragruen.com/

BY NIGHTFALL
by Michael Cunningham -- http://www.michaelcunninghamwriter.com/

FALL OF GIANTS [The Century Trilogy Book 1]
by Ken Follett -- http://www.ken-follett.com/home/index.html

HALF EMPTY
by David Rakoff -- http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5855.David_Rakoff

HOW TO LIVE SAFELY IN A SCIENCE FICTIONAL UNIVERSE
by Charles Yu -- http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/221608.Charles_Yu

OUR TRAGIC UNIVERSE
by Scarlett Thomas -- http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/53597.Scarlett_Thomas

ROOM
by Emma Donoghue -- http://www.emmadonoghue.com/

SAFE HAVEN
by Nicholas Sparks -- http://nicholassparks.com/

SQUIRREL SEEKS CHIPMUNK: A MODEST BESTIARY
by David Sedaris -- http://literati.net/Sedaris/

THE ELEPHANT'S JOURNEY
by Jose Saramago, Margaret Jull Costa [translator] -- http://articles.latimes.com/2010/sep/05/entertainment/la-ca-jose-saramago-20100905

ZERO HISTORY
by William Gibson -- http://www.williamgibsonbooks.com/

BEFORE YOU SUFFOCATE YOUR OWN FOOL SELF
by Danielle Evans -- http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3412933.Danielle_Evans

MADAME BOVARY
by Gustave Flaubert -- http://booksellers.dk.com/nf/Book/BookDisplay/0,,9780670022076,00.html

From: http://contemporarylit.about.com/od/newreleases/tp/september-2010-books.01.htm
Photo Copyright Flickr from Yahoo!

Nothing Ventured....

Some things in life are a crapshoot, but you can't have great rewards without taking risks, and you can't move forward if you remain caught up in the old ways of doing business. You have to take control of your own destiny. [see Gone Fishin']

I may not be the best writer in the world but I am a damn good storyteller. Therefore, after hearing what authors Seth Godin, J.A. Konrath, and many others have said about epublishing, I've decided to submit one of my completed novels to Amazon Kindle.

Photo Copyright Flickr from Yahoo!

Gone Fishin'

I've worked very hard this year. Numerous queries for two manuscripts were sent out. The first drafts of two new novels have been completed. Three short stories are on submission to magazines. And, research for Book 2 of WENTZEL FARM is done. The time has come for me to take a real break from writing.

I do my best thinking on the water.

What I have to think about is this: Do I want to continue down the same old dreary path toward publication where, after twelve years, there's still no end in sight? [see Feb. post titled My Journey] Or is it time to take a brighter and shorter route?

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Remembering September 11, 2001


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Notch

Twenty years, two trials and numerous secrets ensue after a teenaged girl is murdered.

Excerpt--

"Now, tell me about the girl," said Sheriff Morgan.

God, here we go again. The words were at the back of Kevin's mind, but he was terrified to bring them forward. This was the part they'd all been waiting to hear. The part where they would decide exactly what his role in all of this had been. Like dogs in heat they all want a piece of me. His throat closed. He counted three dead flies on the narrow windowsill. A fourth lay on its back fitfully flailing its legs in some sort of macabre death dance.

Morgan leaned closer. "Talk to me, Kevin."

Kevin fixed his gaze on the drab gray wall farthest away from the door of the interrogation room. "She was lying on her left side...." There ain't no stoppin' us now, girlie, he recalled Jasper telling the redhead the night the three of them went to the abandoned meat packing plant to have a little fun. He scratched his forehead, hiding his expression. Or was it the blonde he'd said that to?

NOTCH - Mystery Novel - First Draft Completed
Copyright 2010 Sharon Austin All Rights Reserved
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Bizarro World













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Coffee Break

August-- More queries for WENTZEL FARM went out this month. Four of the emails bounced. I couldn't find updated addresses.

Yesterday, I emailed six queries for SMOKE.

Haven't heard anything about my two short stories.

There is some good news...

First let me say, I'm superstitious about certain things. I don't have a problem with ladders and black cats, but I do have a problem posting actual titles of unpublished work on this blog. I stay with the 'working title'.

Announcing good news is another problem. Every time I receive a request for sample pages or the full manuscript I tell everyone I know, then, sure enough, the story gets rejected.

So, all I can tell you about my good news is...

Wait and see.

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Happy Birthday To Me

Famous Virgos [Aug. 23 - Sept. 22] who are writers:

Friedrich Hegal, Theodore Dreiser, Johann V. Goethe, Mary Godwin Shelley, William Saroyan, William Rice Burroughs, Antinon Artaud, Craig Claiborne, Edith Sitwell, Taylor Caldwell, Grace Metalious, O. Henry, D.H. Lawrence, Henry L. Menken, George Fenimore Cooper, Agatha Christie, Upton Sinclare, H.G. Wells, Stephen King

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New Book Releases For August

I CURSE THE RIVER OF TIME
by Per Petterson -- http://perpetterson.com/

MENTOR
by Tom Grimes -- http://www.tomgrimes.org/

MOCKINGJAY
by Suzanne Collins -- http://www.suzannecollinsbooks.com/

PACKING FOR MARS
by Mary Roach -- http://www.maryroach.net/books.html

BROKEN
by Karin Fossum -- http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/163027.Karin_Fossum

FREEDOM
by Jonathan Franzen -- http://us.macmillan.com/author/jonathanfranzen

THE RED QUEEN
by Philippa Gregory -- http://www.philippagregory.com/

YOU LOST ME THERE
by Rosencrans Bladwin -- http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/22/books/review/Thompson-t.html

SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL
by Stephen King, Michael Chabon, Kelly Link, more -- http://www.nightshadebooks.com/

From: http://contemporarylit.about.com/od/newreleases/tp/august-2010-books.htm

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Update On The Blaze Trilogy

I've started the second draft of Book 2, FIRE [working title].

Book 3 will be written after I finish FALSE FACE.

Several months ago I submitted a full manuscript of Book 1 to a small press publisher. I've never heard back from them. Today I found out the company has gone completely digital, they're not accepting any submissions at this time, and the editor I sent the full to no longer works for them.


It just wasn't meant to be.

Next week I'll send out a new batch of queries.

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Interesting Blogs

SlushPile Hell -- http://slushpilehell.tumblr.com/

Storyfix.com -- http://storyfix.com/

Writer Beware -- http://accrispin.blogspot.com/

Flogging the Quill -- http://www.ftqpress.com/

Dear Author -- http://dearauthor.com/wordpress/

Booksquare -- http://booksquare.com/

NY Times' Paper Cuts -- http://papercuts.blogs.nytimes.com/

Hollywood Entertainment -- http://www.deadline.com/hollywood/

Confessions of an Idiosyncratic Mind -- http://www.sarahweinman.com/

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New Photo For New Novel

I don't know why, but no sooner had I written the first paragraph of my new story [FALSE FACE] than my mind was off and running in a whole new direction.

Forget the photo below [Plotting A Murder] and pay close attention to this one. It is a very old room somewhere in St. Augustine, Florida.

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Coffee Break

July-- Instead of the usual Monthly Progress Report header I've decided to go with Coffee Break. I think it's warm and inviting whereas the old title seems cold and impersonal.

From the time when I completed my new novel the synopsis has been rewritten for the umpteenth time and another batch of queries were sent out.

Quite a bit of research has gone into my upcoming psychological thriller. I've chosen St. Augustine, Florida for the setting and FALSE FACE for the working title.

The photo below (Plotting A Murder) goes with this story. That's all I'm saying. For now.

I'll start writing the first of August -- since August is the first part of Augustine and because my birthday is in August.

Why yes, my mind really works this way. :-)

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Plotting A Murder

I have an idea for a new story.

This photo is a clue.

No, it is not a historical romance.

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New Book Releases For July

THE ISLAND
by Elin Hilderbrand -- http://elinhilderbrand.net/

THE SEARCH
by Nora Roberts -- http://www.noraroberts.com/

FLY AWAY HOME
by Jennifer Weiner -- http://www.jenniferweiner.com/

STAR ISLAND
by Carl Hiaasen -- http://www.carlhiaasen.com/index.shtml

FAITHFUL PLACE
by Tana French -- http://www.tanafrench.com/

LINGER
by Maggie Stiefvater -- http://www.maggiestiefvater.com/

THE REMBRANDT AFFAIR
by Daniel Silva -- http://www.danielsilvabooks.com/content/index.asp

From: http://bestsellers.about.com/od/newupcomingreleases/ig/July-2010-Book-Releases/
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Relax And Recharge

Two completed novels.

Queries written and mailed.

Time to relax and recharge before I begin a new project.

I can't go to a tropical island right now, but there's no reason I can't pretend. :-)

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Having My Own Celebration

While the rest of America celebrates Independence Day this weekend, I'll be celebrating The End of my new novel about Wentzel Farm.

The query and a list of names are done and ready to go.

I slept very little in June.

Not even fireworks will keep me awake tonight.

Cheers, Everyone

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June Progress Report

I am thrilled to announce I am on page 247 [of 338] of the final draft of WENTZEL FARM. This is still a working title [used to be WOODALL FARM]. The real title, which I've managed to keep secret, will be on my queries.

I love this story every bit as much as SMOKE.

Haven't heard anything on SMOKE. Can't even remember the last time I received a rejection letter. Either my queries have all fallen through a crack in the universe, or they've been set aside for consideration, or...?

I've lost a lot of sleep over WENTZEL FARM. For the past three weeks, I've gotten up in the middle of the night, every night, and worked on it for several hours. I also worked on it for an hour or so before going to work. Another couple of hours after returning home.

If everything goes according to plan, queries will be sent out this weekend.

Cheers

New Book Releases For June

From Daemons Books: http://www.daemonsbooks.com/2010/05/28/new-book-releases-june-2010/ ~ and ~ About.com: http://bestsellers.about.com/od/newupcomingreleases/ig/June-2010-Book-Releases/

SO COLD THE RIVER
By Michael Koryta -- http://www.michaelkoryta.com/

LOWCOUNTRY SUMMER
By Dorothea Benton Frank -- http://www.dotfrank.com/

THE PASSAGE
By Justin Cronin -- http://enterthepassage.com/author/

BULLET (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series)
By Laurell K. Hamilton -- http://blog.laurellkhamilton.org/

THE PARTICULAR SADNESS OF LEMON CAKE
By Aimee Bender -- http://www.flammableskirt.com/home.html

THE LION
By Nelson Demille -- http://www.nelsondemille.net/content/index.asp

FRANKENSTEIN: LOST SOULS
By Dean Koontz -- http://www.deankoontz.com/

SIZZLING SIXTEEN
By Janet Evanovich -- http://www.evanovich.com/

FAMILY TIES
By Danielle Steel -- http://www.randomhouse.com/features/steel/

PRIVATE
By James Patterson and Maxine Paetro -- http://www.jamespatterson.com/

Update On 'Wentzel Farm'

I deleted the excerpt on this post because the story has been completed and is being submitted.

New Book Releases For May

From Daemons Books: http://www.daemonsbooks.com/2010/04/30/new-book-releases-may-2010/

DEAD IN THE FAMILY: A Sookie Stackhouse Novel
By Charlaine Harris --- http://www.charlaineharris.com/

THE RED PYRAMID (The Kane Chronicles, Book 1)
By Rick Riordan --- http://www.rickriordan.com/

TELL-ALL
By Chuck Palahniuk --- http://chuckpalahniuk.net/

INNOCENT
By Scott Turow --- http://www.scottturow.com/

THE GOOD MAN JESUS AND THE SCOUNDREL CHRIST
By Philip Pullman --- http://www.philip-pullman.com/

HEART OF THE MATTER
By Emily Giffin --- http://www.emilygiffin.com/

FEVER DREAM
By Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child --- http://www.prestonchild.com/

61 HOURS
By Lee Child --- http://www.leechild.com/

THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNET'S NEST
By Stieg Larsson --- http://www.stieglarsson.com/

THEODORE BOONE: KID LAWYER
By John Grisham --- http://www.jgrishman.com/

May Progress Report

This month I spent more time writing and less time online (reading blogs, visiting writers forums). Other than poking fun at my favorite TV chef, Gordon Ramsay (Kitchen Nightmare), I didn't have anything new to blog about anyway. :)

I finished the first draft of a new novel. Started the second draft of another novel. My short story about a lazy farmhand--who dreams of becoming a notorious gangster like Clyde Barrow--is making the rounds. I don't know if the manuscript for my novel SMOKE is being read. In the four months since I emailed it, I haven't heard from the publisher. The request didn't come from a query, it came from the guidelines posted on his website.

I'm still sending out queries.

I learned how to make my stories better: Go to the heart of the story, cut it out and paste it up front. We'll see if it works. I'm ready to take a step forward instead of always taking two steps backward (see February post titled My Journey To Publication).

Kitchen Nightmare













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New Book Releases For April

From the New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/15/books/15newly.html

THIS IS JUST EXACTLY LIKE YOU
By Drew Perry --- http://www.drewperry.net/

IMPERFECT BIRDS
By Anne Lamott --- http://www.randomhouse.com/author/results.pperl?authorid=16582

INFAMOUS
By Ace Atkins --- http://www.aceatkins.com/

THE INHERITANCE
By Simon Tolkien --- http://www.simontolkien.com/

THE SEASON OF SECOND CHANCES
By Diane Meier --- http://www.dianemeier.com/

PARROT & OLIVIER IN AMERICA
By Peter Carey --- http://petercareybooks.com/

Interesting Blogs

Authorlink News Alert: All About Writing and Publishing
http://authorlink.blogspot.com/
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Fiction Matters: News, Tips, and Tools for Writers
http://www.fictionmatters.com/
-------------
Buzz, Balls and Hype: A Book Review Site
http://mjroseblog.typepad.com/buzz_balls_hype/
-------------
Mystery Scene: For Readers of Crime, Mystery and Suspense
http://www.mysteryscenemag.com/msblog/
-------------
Mystery File: Devoted to Mystery and Detective Fiction
http://mysteryfile.com/blog/
-------------
Confessions of an Idiosyncratic Mind: Crime Fiction, and More
http://www.sarahweinman.com/confessions/

Amazon Kindle

Not only do I want this, I want to read one of my books on it. Someday.


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The Slush Pile?


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Pet Peeves

* Pulpless Orange Juice - Fake Cheese - Powdered Milk

* Artificial Sweeteners - Artificial Flavors

* "Easy Open" Packaging (got scissors?)

* Snow before and after Christmas

* Rainy Days - Stormy Nights (power outages - stub toe while looking for flashlight)

* Non-handicapped parking in Handicap Parking

* Politicians who use Scare Tactics to gain support - Their Scary Supporters

* Daylight Savings Time (until I get used to it)

* In Movies -- Drivers who look over their shoulder, or at a passenger, while speeding down the highway or around curvy back roads - Guns loaded with an endless supply of bullets - Shooters who can't hit a target two feet away - Women who think the bad guy (nearby) is dead so they sit on the floor/ground and cry instead of running for their life - People who fall down for no reason while running for their life - People who run upstairs instead of out the back door while running....

The Blaze Trilogy

WHISPERS [Dean Koontz] meets BACKDRAFT [Kirk Mitchell] meets JIGSAW [Ed McBain]

* * *

SMOKE: A small town sheriff tracks a psychopath targeting members of a retired mariner's family. (on submission)

Excerpt:
It was her uncanny likeness to Adele, his adoptive sister, that made him stare at her. She sat to one side of a barstool with an arm propped on the padded edge. Nice-looking legs were crossed beneath a short denim skirt. She sipped a margarita. Checked out the Saturday night crowd in the intimate saloon setting, smiled and waved at anyone she knew.

He sat at the bar. The slow moving couples on the dance floor reminded him of his brief stint as a deckhand on a cargo ship and the way the vessel rocked side to side on the rolling sea in advance of a storm. He loved it, even when he was almost swept overboard by a crashing wave.

Jim retrieved the pack of Morillos in his shirt pocket. One by one, the single men honed in on her only to get shot down. He lit a cigarette to curb a satisfied smile.

------------------------------------------------------------------

FIRE (working title): A reporter furthers his budding career as a crime scene photographer by filming new construction being set ablaze by his older brother who has a dark secret of his own. (second draft in progress)

Excerpt:
Flames reached the height of the nearby trees and glowed magnificently against the night sky. A thick layer of fog shrouded the mountain and mingled with a great wave of black smoke as it rapidly devoured the lower half of a full moon. Frightened deer were driven deeper into the wood to find relief from the intense heat.

He breathed deep. Smiled about the sights and sounds being recorded on his camera. Watching the house burn to the ground was exciting. Hearing the terrified screams of the people trapped inside aroused him.

He didn't know the newlyweds had already moved in. Damn place is still under construction.

------------------------------------------------------------------

ASHES (working title): In a deadly game of Scavenger Hunt, clues to the whereabouts of a kidnapped woman lead authorities to the charred remains of a farmhouse. (plotted)

[Each story is a standalone.]

Copyright 2010 Sharon Austin All Rights Reserved

New Setting For Work-In-Progress

I deleted the excerpt on this post because the story has been completed and is being submitted.

Hercule?















LoLcats - http://icanhascheezburger.com/page/1/