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November passed in a blur of caffeine and nicotine. Thirty days of relentless writing to meet the 50k goal was quite the endeavor. I would love to brag and say…”Ah, it was no sweat.” But that would not be the case, despite my longing to brag until I’m breathless. Be as that may, I did achieve my goal with flying colors, and now I have a project on the shelf that I will return to in good time. I am not going to disclose any info in regards to this project, but I will give you one hint…E L V E S. And no…not the kind that are molested by the fat man in the red suit. Sorry…that was so wrong. Oh, but I digress. The point of this article is simple. If I can do it, anyone can. I have written prior articles in regards to the use of discipline when it comes to writing. It’s a muscle that requires constant flexing. 50k words in one month is extreme. You can be just as productive at 1/3 of that level and still produce a piece of work in a timely manner. The key word being “produce.” Sit down and write that novel. Your muse is waiting.

Now…Back to my Dragon Rising Series.     

  

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Hello Everyone!

A little over a month has passed since the release of Shadows of Kings, and I have regrettably fallen behind giving my thanks to the bloggers who have attributed to the Blog tour.

So here are some more fantastic sites:

 A big thanks to Jamie for having me on The Fantasy Book Chick! Article Link: http://fantasybookchick.blogspot.com/2012/06/shadows-of-kings-blog-tour-author.html

On June 21st, I had the pleasure of participating on a LIVE CHAT on GATHER.COM – Hosted by Connie C.

Transcript: http://www.gather.com/viewArticle.action?articleId=281474981418948

And below are all the wonderful sites that contributed to the Betwitching Book Tour Blitz that took place on June 22nd. These sites either interviewed me or offered me a spotlight. Some even did both. These are fantastic sites that deserve a peek.

http://www.booksbooksthemagicalfruit.blogspot.com

http://www.thebookhoard.com

http://read2review.com

http://dream-reader-dreamer2229.blogspot.com/

Http://mamaknowsbooks.blogspot.com

http://www.fang-tasticbooks.blogspot.com

http://www.creativelygreen.blogspot.com

http://www.lisasworldofbooks.net

http://www.wolfmajick.blogspot.com/

http://marysbooksblogger.blogspot.com/

http://thebooknympho.blogspot.com
Can’t say enough about these awesome sites. Please visit them.

Thanks to all those who have contributed to the Shadows of Kings blog tour.

Oceans of Love,

Jack

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I received the Versatile Blogger Award (VBA) from author and blogger, Lada Ray!

versatileblogger11Here is the link to Lada’s post: http://ladaray.wordpress.com/2012/05/22/i-received-the-versatile-blogger-award-vba/

According to Lada, here is what VBA is all about:

Versatile Blogger Award (VBA)

What is it?

As far as I can tell — details are rather sketchy and only the creator knows for sure — this lofty-sounding award is basically a mutual admiration society where bloggers recognize their peers for writing quality blogs that touched them in some way. The VBAs honor the blogger rather than specific posts. It’s a chance for bloggers to pat themselves on the back like the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences does with the Oscars. Until someone starts giving out Blogscars, the VBAs will have to suffice.

What are the criteria?

If you are nominated, you’ve been awarded the Versatile Blogger Award. My selection was not only based on website content, but also the support given on Twitter. So, if you’re nominated…you’re not only an excellent author, but an awesome Tweeter.

I nominated 15 outstanding bloggers below. Congratulations!

What do you do?

1) Thank the person who gave you this award. That’s common courtesy.

So…Thank you, Lada! This is a very cool honor

2)  As a courtesy, include a link to their blog.

Lada’s blog: http://ladaray.wordpress.com

3) Next, select 15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly. (I would add, pick blogs or bloggers that are excellent!) — you might include a link to this site.

Here are my nominees for the Versatile Blogger Award

The envelope please…

1. Aneeta Sundararaj  – http://www.howtotellagreatstory.com

2. Jessica Frellathon/Jess Resides Here – http://frellathon.com/

3. Robin Lovejoy Tolkien – http://sathra-bansheeinthewell.blogspot.com/

4. Patti Roberts – http://theangelsarehere.wordpress.com/

5. Lenore Wolf  – http://authorlenorewolfe.blogspot.com/

6. Jo VonBargen – http://twobitbard.weebly.com/

7. Elise Stokes – http://www.cassidyjonesadventures.com/

8. Wodke Hawkinson – http://wodke-hawkinson.com/

9. Christopher Petersen – http://christopherdavidpetersen.wordpress.com/

10. Philip Catshill – http://www.philipcatshill.co.uk/

11. Martha Bourke – http://www.marthabourke.blogspot.com/

12. Virginia Lee – https://dagonsblood.wordpress.com/

13. Robert Hatting – http://blair-pacificpublishing.blogspot.com/

14. Jayde Scott – http://jayde-scott.blogspot.com/

15. Wyatt Davenport – http://www.lunaraseries.com/

Congratulations, winners!

(4) Finally, 7 things about yourself.

1. I was born in Fremont, California, but have lived in Oregon since the 1980’s.

2. I have 5 sisters and 2 brothers.

3. My favorite author of all-time is J R. R.Tolkien, but our writing styles are completely different.

4. The smell and mere sight of sauerkraut makes me gag.

5. Once I was published, the hardest element of writing was balancing the time between writing, promotion, and social networking. I still consider myself a novice at all three.

6. I’m a creature from the 1980’s. My favorite bands: 1) Kiss 2) Motley Crue, 3) Bon Jovi 4) Ratt

7. Angolina Jolie would make a terrific Rizela.

Congrats to the new VBA winners, and thanks again to my friend, Lada Ray!

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It’s the document that torments the minds of all aspiring authors. The blank piece of paper tasks you, daring you to minimize a ninety thousand word document into one hundred words. For countless hours you have labored over your manuscript, and now its future is reduced to a single page with an introduction and synopsis.

What is a Query Letter? For those who are completing their first manuscript and have not reached this point in the publishing process – it’s a quick snapshot of your work and a brief introduction of yourself. The Query Letter is the first document a publishing editor or agent will see before he/she is committed to seeing the rest of your work. I must note: Some publishers and agents see manuscripts upfront, but in general, it’s the Query Letter that’s seen first.

Good News: It’s only one bloody page.

Bad News: It’s only one bloody page.

How do I explain my story in one page that took me hundreds to write? First of all…you’re asking the wrong question. You shouldn’t be explaining anything. You’re now a salesman, so give them the pitch.

Disclosure: The methods I’m going to share do transcend genres, but I must confess, there is a fiction emphasis. Duh…I’m a fantasy author. And though I spent considerable time researching the process and suffering from trial and error, I also obtained the help from a friend and author, Michael Totten – author of The Road to Fatima Gate. His insights were a strong contribution toward my method – so for that reason it would be poor form to not give him credit.

The Query Letter

Introduction:

This is just as it sounds. Here you write a brief introduction, providing the name and word count of your novel. You should also give a quick comparison to a notable author, such as  – Those who like (names of other titles) will also enjoy (the name of your book).

Brief Marketing pitch:

This is a good spot for a brief, one or two sentence selling point that relates your work with something popular. For instance – say you have a book about a superhero. You would write something quick like: Superhero stories will be popular this summer with the upcoming movie release of Avengers.  (Name of your work) embodies the superhero genre – capturing the elements of the Hero and Villain dynamic – or something of the like.

The Synopsis:

This is the most important part. The synopsis is what separates a publisher’s genuine interest and the wastepaper basket. So, to really emphasize this point, we are going to do a little role-playing. Forget about selling to an agent or publisher. Instead, imagine that I’m a pretentious Movie producer – I mean really pretentious. Now try to sell me.

 The DON’TS

  • Don’t tell me the damn plot – I really don’t care.
  • Don’t try to entwine me with some intricate, multilayered theme . I have a hooker in the next room waiting for me to snort a line of coke off her ass. STOP WASTING MY TIME.
  • Don’t bore me with extraneous detail. My feet are falling asleep.
  • Don’t tell me how everyone that has read your book loved it. They’re nobody like you, so bugger off.

 The Movie Voice

Write your synopsis like a movie trailer. Imagine the deep voice you hear when watching a movie preview. In a world…blah, blah, blah.

Create your synopsis in that fashion – even test it out by reading it in a mock-movie voice. In that one hundred-fifty word pitch, try to capture the visual and emotional energy of your work. Remember, you’re pretending to sell an obnoxious producer who has the attention span of a gerbil. Make it quick with an impact. Some genres, especially non-fiction, will require you to appeal to the mind rather than emotion, but the way you pitch it should be the same.

Okay…time to stop role-playing. So now you know the secret to writing a brief synopsis. And I don’t mean to cast publishers and agents in a negative light, but I must emphasize the importance of the pitch. They are not as cruel as my role-playing, but they are inundated daily with hundreds of manuscripts flying across their desk. You need to capture their attention quickly before they toss your work in the pile with the others – an act that has become instinctive to them by now.

The Ending:

If you are writing a series, this a good spot to mention the other titles. If you have already started other books, by all means, mention them here. Also disclose any published works, but only if they were paid gigs.

Special note:

Remember to be mindful of what a publisher/agent is looking for and closely follow their submission guidelines. Don’t be afraid of the Query letter. Be excited, and allow it to be an extension of both your soul and your work.

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Greetings everyone!

As I promised earlier in the week, it’s time for a contest! This contest will focus around my Year in Review.

It was a wonderful 2011. I’ve enjoyed filling this blog with various subjects – reading your comments and sharing my insights. I offer a heartfelt hug to everyone who has taken the time to peruse my articles as well as visit my official website and online store. But this contest is dedicated to the individuals who are either new or have followed this blog since its early inception. In short…this contest is for my subscribers. But first, let’s take a  quick look at 2011 as it relates to the contest.

Attractions in 2011

These are the posts that got the most views in 2011.

So what’s the contest about?

The ranking above was calculated by total views from anyone visiting the site. However, I would like to know what articles my subscribers liked the best. So…here comes the contest. What do you get?

Winner receives any single item at my SECRET THRONE store.  You choose!

CONTEST RULES

  • You must be subcribed to this blog
  • All you have to do is mention which article you liked the best, either on this post (comment section) or you can email me at info@jackwhitsel.com
  • Contest will last from February 10th thru March 26th
  • Only 1 submission allowed for the contest
  • All submission names shall be placed in a bowl, and one will be randomly drawn by one of my sons.

See…that was painless. More contests and goodies to come.

Good luck!

Look forward to hearing from you.

Jack

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Since this is my last post of the year, I promise to keep it brief. After all, there are festivities to partake in. However, I would be consumed with guilt, if I did not take a moment to extend my gratitude to everyone who have been a part of this blog. The year of 2011 marked my introduction to many of you. The next year will unveil my actual work. With Shadows of Kings to be released this Summer, the upcoming year promises to be an exciting, scary, and thrilling adventure. I want to thank everyone for their support. A big hug to my subscribers, my casual viewers, fan page visitors, tweeters, friends and family. Without all of you, the journey would not be as enjoyable. I can’t wait to begin to share the Dragon Rising Series with you. I hope all of you are excited for the upcoming year as I am. If you are being festive tonight…please be safe. We shall speak again. You are in my thoughts…

Oceans of Love,

Jack

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Nearly three weeks ago, I had the pleasure of being the Keynote Speaker at the Beaverton Rotary. Now, despite the pictures you see, I was completely sober. Really…not a single drink. I’ve always said, I have a mug made for radio, but these photos made me appear as if I was making my debut appearance at Alcoholics Anonymous. But all jokes aside, my visit at the Rotary was fantastic.

After a fulfilling lunch and a splendid introduction, I approached  the podium to talk about writing. I kept my bio brief, as well as my writing process in order to answer as many questions as the audience was willing to ask. Though I did find opportunities to plug Shadows of Kings, my speech was designed to be as informative as possible, while also incorporating a little wit. When it came time for the Q&A portion, I was pleasantly surprised to receive many questions – quite different from the fears I was harboring. (I thought no one would ask anything, forcing me to resort to my Andrew Dice Clay jokes.) “Poems…I got Poems”

My audience asked questions ranging from creative inspiration to industry insights. I could have stood at the podium all day and allowed them to rifle questions at me, but all good things come to an end. In short, my afternoon at the Rotary was wonderful. I feel it’s important for writers to connect with the public beyond the usual workshops and book signings. Sometimes individuals just want to pick your mind without having to dance around formalities or be forced to elbow through the masses to get an autograph.

I was informed a few days later that the Rotary enjoyed my appearance. But I can honestly tell you that the pleasure was all mine.

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