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Friday, February 13, 2015

Post the Pitch and First 250 Words of Your Novel and Receive a Free Critique

Today's the day for a free critique of your novel.
Hurry on over to http://michelle4laughs.blogspot.com/ and enter post haste! Find my pitch and 250 for a novel I'm querying.


If seventeen-year-old Raz Rinaldi  stops lying  and finds the courage to tell the truth, she could get the scholarship she so badly needs and the boy she most desperately wants.

First 250 words:

           Running is my medicine.In the dark, foggy morning, I'm on automatic pilot. Endorphins kick in, surge through my bloodstream, make me believe everything’s going to be okay.

My feet thump across the wet sidewalk. Rain, shine, snow, sleet—I run.
It’s the only thing that makes me feel in control.
A car drives by and splashes water at me, but I speed across the street, out of range.
Before Mom died, my life was laid out: graduate, go to college, break track records. I breath faster, feel the familiar tightening in my leg muscles.
The old Raz, the one I was with Mom, was confident. Now, I’m secretive Raz who never shows anyone what’s deep inside me.
I have to keep my secrets hidden. Especially from my stepmother who thinks running is silly and that I should get a better haircut and wear a skirt and heels to class. I don’t tell her she’s crazy, but that’s what I’m thinking.
My feet take me up a slight incline and I try not to think about Dad. He’s my biggest worry. Without Mom here, he’s my responsibility.
I’m not sure I’m up to it.
The sun comes up two hours later on my first day of senior year. Logan Spenser, the best-looking guy in my class, pulls his convertible alongside Chelsea’s VW Bug in the line of drivers waiting for parking spots in the school lot. I try not to stare, but I can’t stop myself from peering at him.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Why KINDAR'S CURE Deserves a Read: Fresh Insights

Hi Everybody!

Today, I'm interviewing Michelle Hauck,

splendorous author of KINDAR'S CURE, a YA fantasy.

Hi, Michelle, nice to have you here. I just know your answers will provide enticing details about your story. My first question is, how did you get the idea for your book, Kindar's Cure? Did it come like a bolt of lightening or slowly creep up, or in some other way?

MICHELLE: Thanks, it's nice to be here. I must say, most of the plot crept up on me, but the start came with a lingering cold. I was sitting all propped up in bed with a bad cough keeping me awake and wondered what it would be like to write about a sick character. Only instead of a cold, Kindar has a lifetime of fighting for her life against her weakness.
ME: What is the significance of that title?
MICHELLE: I liked the alliteration and the fact that cure could be taken in more than one way. A cure for Kindar’s health crisis and also a cure for the isolation and distrust of her life.
ME: That's really interesting. Who are the main characters and what real life or fantasy creatures did you use to develop them?
MICHELLE: I usually put bits of myself in the characters. But for Kindar’s Cure I also used the real life drama of Henry the VIII. Henry had a very distrustful relationship with his three children. So what would that be like if my world had a matriarchal ruler? I changed Henry and his son to women, put Kindar in Princess Elizabeth’s spot, murdered the older sister representing Princess Mary, and let the suspicion build from there.
ME:  Which one of your characters is your favorite and why?
MICHELLE: Kindar has a nursemaid that has supported her through her health crisis. Lindy is a bit of a character. For one thing she mumbles under her breath exactly what’s on her mind, when she isn’t shouting it out loud for everyone to hear. She wades into a fight like she’s a warrior instead of an old lady in skirts. She’s the loyal dog who always gets her point across and she was just fun to write.
ME: What's the first line of your novel and why did you pick those words to begin your novel?
MICHELLE: “Kindar held herself motionless in the platform bed and willed clenched muscles to contain her ever-present cough.” That line sums up the determination of Kindar. There’s no doubt, she’s been a fighter all her life and isn’t one to quit on anything. She’s a pretty stubborn woman and it’s that quality that gets her through what’s to come.
ME:  What does your first line mean to the rest of your novel?
MICHELLE: It’s certainly a theme about will-power and believing in yourself to conquer the troubles that come your way in life. Stand firm on what you believe to be true.
ME: Why did you pick fantasy as your way to express your ideas?
MICHELLE: Fantasy has always spoken to me. It’s the genre I prefer to read. I guess I seek escapism and something that is different from the world we live in. You have more freedom in fantasy than in contemporary.
ME:  How many years have you been writing?
MICHELLE: Kindar was the second book I’d ever written. So at that point I’d been writing about two years. Now I’ve been writing about five years. I hope to one day get to a sequel for Kindar.
ME:.  About how many rejections did you get before you found an agent?
MICHELLE: I queried four manuscripts before finding an agent. There’s a story of persistence if there ever was one. I guess I’m pretty stubborn too. I placed Kindar’s Cure with a small press without the help of an agent.
ME: Besides persevering, what advice do you have for unpublished writers?
MICHELLE: Find other writers to become your support system. Whether you find them on social media or in a critique group, you’ll need the comradeship only other writers can give.
ME: What’s the easiest and hardest part about being a writer?

MICHELLE: The easiest part is actually writing the book and spending the time editing it into shape. The hardest part for me is putting myself out there to promote the finished product. I think many writers are introverts and marketing is scary for them. In this day and age there’s no escape from it. Even writers with big publishing houses have to learn how to connect with readers and get away from their writing hole and out into the world.

ME: Thanks for all your insights, Michelle.

MICHELLE: Thanks so much for hosting me on your blog, Carolyn. It is much appreciated!

ME: You're so welcome and all best wishes with KINDAR'S CURE and your future books.