A few new ramblings

This adventure so far:

So far, this writing and publishing roller coaster has been one hell of a ride. I start writing my first novel in November of 2013 and somewhat finished it around May of 2014. I know that’s longer than some people’s advice that a novel should be able to be written in 3 months. That’s great and all, but that doesn’t necessarily work for this guy. There’s a lot of great advice out there about writing and I greatly appreciate; however, on the flip-side, it sometimes panicked me when I wasn’t “going by the book” of how to write a novel. I quickly (more or less) learned to shrug those feelings off and write and be creative at my own pace. After all, this is my baby, my blood, sweat and tears.

The next hill of the roller coaster comes when trying to find an agent or publisher. For me, this was/is definitely not the fun part of the writing/publishing process. Again, you’re putting you baby out there for others to judge, many of whom don’t take the time to truly read what you submit to them. Many have programs which search for key words and quickly generate form rejection letters if it doesn’t match with what they are looking for. My advice, try not to take it personally (basically impossible) and keep pushing forward. Tweak your query, if need be, and continue sending your query letter out. You do not need an agent to publish a book, which is true for me. I sent my query letter, synopsis, etc to several publishers and got a positive response and now my book is going to be published. Some publishers let you have a lot of control in the publishing and designing process, like mine. It’s awesome if you have a type A personality like me, but it’s not necessary. Go with your heart and gut; 9 times out of 10 they will lead you in the right direction.

And most importantly, as Winston Churchill said, “Never, never, never give up.”

Coming soon is a post about “The struggle with the sequel”. Yikes!

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My book is going to be published!

Let the backflips, screaming and (a few) cocktails commence! My book has been picked up by Mascot Books, which is a hybrid publishing company (aka not self and not fully traditional). I could not be happier working with a group of people who feel as strongly about my story and book as I do. 2015 is off to an amazing start and I can’t wait to see where it goes from here.

I started looking for agents and publishers in early December and as many a writer can tell you, it’s a tough and crappy task. I received 9 rejections in total before getting my contract with Mascot Books. Many of my ER (emailed rejections) were form letters, which in some cases is understandable, but not all. It was clear in some of them, where I had sent the first 3 chapters as requested, the agent had not even bothered to read any of them. Some of the things they said they were looking for, but didn’t see in my chapters, where the exact things covered in my first 3 chapters. So, you can see how looking for an agent is a frustrating business.

But everything happens for a reason they say and I believe this 100%. I kept pushing forward and contacting other agents and publishers and behold, I got picked up by Mascot. As writers, we have to fight for our stories, after all, they are like our children and we want everyone else to love them as much as we do because we know we have damn good and interesting stories to share.

It has been so great to see the support poured out on my Twitter and Facebook accounts and on Twitter in general. It’s nice to know all of us writers are going through the same things either at the same time or different times in our writing careers. I have a full time job as a teacher, so writing is something I do every chance I get because I freaking love doing it. What better way to express yourself emotionally, than putting pen to paper or fingers to keyboard?

All of you writers out there who are busting your asses to create new worlds, new characters and new ways of crafting a story, keep up the good work! You are inspirations to all of us and I look forward to seeing what you have to offer to the rest of the world.

Writers and writing RULE!

I have been a bad rambling writer

Ok, so I haven’t posted to this blog since May 6, 2014. Why, you may ask? I don’t really know. Maybe life (work, work & work) got in the way of it. But at this moment, I decree “no longer will life stop me from posting here.”

A few updates for this short entry:
1. I have finished my first novel, “The Blood Rock Prophecy: Awakening” (Yippee!!!). It does need a few tweaks here and there, but who and what doesn’t.
2. Now that I’ve finished, I am looking for an agent or publisher to share my story to the world at large. All my fingers and toes are crossed. I’ve sent out over 20 query letters and gotten 5 rejections so far, but I won’t give up that easily, despite the major suck factor of getting “rejected”.
3. I’ve already started on the sequel to my first novel, titled “The Blood Rock Prophecy: Origins”.
4. Again, I promise to post much more frequently here!

Happy Holidays to everyone! Enjoy this time with your friends and family ūüôā

Writing: The new therapy (at least in my humble opinion)

So, I’ll admit it. ¬†I’ve been to therapy.

Actually for a while I was going every week after my mom passed away very suddenly in September 2012. ¬†Lately, I’ve curtailed my appointments and only go once every two weeks or so. ¬†As much as we love to talk about therapy in a culture nowadays and splash it about all over the TV¬†and radio, many people still find it taboo and think there’s something mentally wrong with you if you go.

I’m calling BS on that one.

I tried to handle things on my own after my mom’s death, but I got to the point where my world was beginning to spiral out of focus. ¬†So I took the advice of my partner and a friend and started therapy. ¬†I haven’t regretted it for one second. ¬†It has changed me as a friend, teacher, listener, writer and as a person. ¬†So why all this talk about being “shrunk”? ¬†Well, for me and I assume many¬†writers, my writing reflects my life, my feelings, my thoughts about life and the world around me, i.e. the good, the bad and the ugly. ¬†We are all human after all is said and done. Putting my words down on paper provides me with a cathartic experience I didn’t know existed.

I’ve been¬†writing since I was in middle school; not for the therapeutic value¬†of it, but simply for the joy of expressing myself and sharing my perspective with others. ¬†My desire to write became more serious at the end of my masters in Spanish. ¬†I started writing poetry in Spanish and I really haven’t stopped. ¬†I published my first book of poetry in Spanish in November on Amazon. ¬†Now the print version¬†can be found on Barnes & Noble. ¬†I didn’t write my poems to make money, I wrote them to get my personality and feelings about things to others who might understand and sympathize with my life experiences.

Currently, I’m editing my very first YA novel, The Blood Rock Prophecy: ¬†Awakening. ¬†First of all, I can’t believe I’ve written an entire book. ¬†Everything about writing prose compared with poetry has been a learning experience, which I have loved. ¬†I am self-proclaimed dork and proud of it. ¬†The editing process is going well and I’m lucky to have several friends helping me.

My life and its experiences are fluid throughout my characters and story.  Several of the characters touch on very personal moments in my life, both the good and bad.  This is what writing should be.  Lessons in how life may throw you obstacles from time to time, but you do not have to give into them.  Fight and persevere.  You deserve to be happy and proud of who you are.  If you have self-confidence in yourself and you can do anything.

Find your personal therapy, whether it be writing, photography or any other way to healthily express yourself. ¬†There’s only one you and this one life.

Live it.  Love it.  Conquer it.

So let’s get started!

Hello public!

My name is Jason and I am French and Spanish teacher living in Atlanta, GA with my partner, our dog and two crazy cats. ¬†I also¬†love to write. ¬†I’ve been writing for as long as I remember, whether it be poetry or prose. ¬†I revel in creativity; however, that¬†didn’t always help me in my AP English course in high school (you kind of have to read stuff [most of the time] in order to write a good critical paper.)

I recently published my first work, a book of poetry in Spanish on Amazon. ¬†I started writing those poems when I finished my MA in Spanish in 2005. ¬†I’ve always “gone with my gut” and that’s when I tend to write my best work. ¬†I’ve learned to listen to what I’m feeling when I write; something I think is always important – don’t force it.

For several years, I have had the idea of writing a Young Adult book bouncing around in my head. ¬†I’ve always been interested in witches and Salem since I read “The Witch of Blackbird Pond” in the 7th grade. ¬†I’ve also always found¬†the Native American¬†culture fascinating both because of my family connections and the connections my best friend has to the Native people of the West. ¬†So, having all of that brewing in my mind, I decided to write a book, which incorporated both aspects.

Flash forward to the present . . .¬†I’m currently working on my first YA¬†novel, “The Blood Rock Prophecy: ¬†Awakening”, which centers around several characters dealing with realizing and understanding¬†their supernatural¬†powers, both Wiccan and Native American. ¬†But as always, who will use their powers for good and who will use them for something darker? ¬†“Awakening” is the first in The Blood Rock Trilogy I am planning.

I’d love for you¬†to check out my Facebook page: ¬†www.facebook.com/jasonnsmithauthor and¬†my Twitter: ¬†@jasonsmithwritr.

I know this is a short first blog post, but check back soon for much more ūüôā

Thanks!

¬ę Le doute est un √©tat mental d√©sagr√©able,¬†mais la certitude est ridicule. ¬Ľ -Voltaire