The Secret Life of Writers

In case you haven't heard about it yet, despite my rather annoying-excited-numerous tweets, I thought I'd better blog about this, well, blog. 

From the first post:

The Secret Life of Writers came together when the five of us realized what a big, daunting place publishing can be - even once you've "got your foot in the door" - and that it might be a little easier for us if we tackled it together.

Better still, we're hoping to make it a little easier for you by sharing all of our behind-the-scenes experiences, as much as possible, and shedding a little light on the road from fledgling writer to published author. We'll be focusing a lot on not just writing, but what happens after the slushpile, as we feel like that's an area that's still shrouded in too much mystery. There are a lot of blogs out there to help you shine up your query, with researching agents, and to prepare you for The Call... but then what? The anxiety of edit letters, of cover reveals, of first book events, of being the newbie whose book suddenly has to stand out among all the experienced brilliance that's already out there - all that and more is what we're all about. We're all agented, and/or we have books on their way to the shelves, but we're still all figuring this out as we go along, too.

Sounds like fun, right? Right. So be sure to follow us!

Just in case you kind of have no idea who we are, here are the bios of the four other writers that are a part of this project:

Heather Marie is a YA writer represented by Michelle Witte from Mansion Street Literary. She enjoys writing horror/supernatural stories that make you question that feeling of someone watching over your shoulder. Heather spends most of her days reading and writing and plotting her next idea. When she's not in her writing cave, she enjoys watching creepy TV shows with her husband and picking apart plot holes in movies.

Andrea Hannah is a YA writer represented by Victoria Marini of Gelfman Schneider. She writes stories about criminals, crazy people, and creatures that may or may not exist. When she's not writing, Andrea teaches special education, runs, spends time with her family, and tries to figure out a way to prevent her pug from opening the refrigerator (still unsuccessful). Oh, and she tweets a bajillion times a day, mostly about inappropriate things. 

Born and raised in northern Louisiana, Leah Rae Miller still lives there on a windy hill with her husband and kids. She loves comic books, lava lamps, fuzzy socks, and Cherry Coke. She spends most of her days reading things she likes and writing things she hopes other people will like. Her YA novel, THE SUMMER I BECAME A NERD, releases Summer 2013 from Entangled Teen. 

Stefanie Gaither wrote her first "novel" at the age of nine, about a whale named Billy. It may or may not have been a total ripoff of a certain whale from a certain movie that rhymes with bee dilly. These days, she mostly writes YA novels about killer clones and spaceships, with the occasional romp with dragons and magic-users thrown in for good measure. Said writing is generally fueled by an obscene amount of coffee and chocolate, as well as the occasional tennis and/or soccer break. She's represented by Sara Megibow of Nelson Literary. 

Today is my turn for an introduction. I share some things about myself that no one knows yet, and there's also a chance to win a ten-page - along with your query - critique!

Being Professional

I'm pretty new to the blogging community. In the past few months I've really enjoyed getting to know other writers and readers. I've experienced more support and encouragement here than anywhere else. However, there have been a couple instances where I was a little surprised. There have been times when blogs and Twitter explode with indignation and mud-slinging because of... what's the word, scandal? Disagreements?

Not everyone takes part of these, of course. Like me, there are people that avoid these situations like a plague. And then there have been a few posts that addressed the dispute with a polite opinion. Nothing wrong with that. I understand that even our fun community is part of the real world, full of real people, and there are going to be some debates and disagreements. But where my surprise comes in is when I see a comment or a post or a Tweet that is downright rude. I have to refrain myself from asking that person, What are you doing? When you send something out into the net, it's there forever, even if you delete it later. Bloggers aren't the only people that can see this. Agents and editors lurk this community, too, and some are part of it.

I've read that being rude won't ruin your chances of getting published or agented... but I do believe it can certainly hurt those chances. Beth definitely Googled me when we started working together. She probably wouldn't have wanted to send me the contract if she'd seen me throwing around insults or thoughtless comments on the forums. Even before I signed, I was always hyper-aware of what I was putting on this blog and on facebook and on Twitter. I'd share things about my day or my mood, sure, but I didn't make it obvious if I was experiencing some big problems. If we're serious about writing, then we need to be serious about our networking, too. It's a huge part of whatever career we're going to have, and first impressions are hard to change.