Friday, April 29, 2011

DEAR WRITERS (Especially those of you on sub) (And most especially those of you who’ve gotten rejections):

I just want you to know you’re not alone.

I know, I might sound like one of those kittens on a poster saying “Hang in there!” But trust me, I get it. I swear I feel your pain. I was once there too. Or maybe even twice…or even twenty times.

I remember obsessively refreshing my emails, and double and triple-checking my phone to make sure I hadn’t missed “the call”. I know what it’s like to swing between those manic highs (This is the day...I can smell an auction coming!) and those despondent lows (No one will want my book. It’s garbage. I might as well give up and become a bag lady.). I, too, wondered how time could have possibly slowed down to the point that I could actually HEAR the sun dragging across the sky…this phenomenon is known as “Submission Time” and it’s a whole new twist to the space-time continuum.

And the rejections. My god, the rejections! If only there was some consistency to them…am I right? If only they offered some tiny tidbit of information you could cling to, something useful you might be able to use so you could start thinking of revisions if, and when, this torturous round of submissions comes crashing to an untimely end. (Okay, people on submission are also prone to bouts of melodrama…just FYI.)

But they don’t. Your rejections are as varied as snowflakes, and sometimes just as cold.

One editor says “I just didn’t connect with voice,” which in your mind clearly translates to: “I hate you and wish you were dead.” The next explains that “I didn’t connect with the plot,” which obviously means: “I love crushing your hopes and dreams.”

And another just thanks your agent for the submission, saying “I loved it, but just didn’t love it enough” (Hello!!! Any chance a few revisions might change your mind????)

To show you what I mean, I’ve bravely dug out some of my rejections for THE BODY FINDER. (Remember when your parents told you this is gonna hurt me more than it’ll hurt you? Well, this might sting a little, and I’m not talking about you guys.)

Rejection #1:

Thanks so much for thinking of me for THE BODY FINDER. The premise is fantastic; I was excited to have a chance to review.

While I understand the appeal of this, I must admit I was disappointed by the character development. I wished the motivations and relationships were more compellingly drawn. For this reason, I feel I must pass.

Thanks again for sharing this with me, and best of luck finding the right home for it.

(Didn’t care for the characters and relationships. Check!)

Rejection #2:

I read this over the weekend -- it's such a great concept, but I'm afraid I'm going to pass. The prose didn't sparkle for me, and more than that, I was waiting for a huge plot twist I hoped the author was building up to -- and found that, for me, it never came.

I'm not much of a CSI person, and it could be I just don't have the right eye for this kind of thing. I so appreciate the opportunity to consider it, though, and wish you the best of luck! I'll be curious to see where it lands.

(Didn’t care for plot. Got it.)

Rejection #3:

I took THE BODY FINDER home over the weekend and can definitely see the potential here. Kimberly has a great concept and her protagonist is the kind of girl a reader can really get behind and connect with. Unfortunately, I have to be honest and say that I wasn’t as charmed by her writing. One of my pet peeves is repeated words and phrases throughout a manuscript, and on the first page alone she used the word “sound” eight times. It’s just one of those things that jumps out at me as a red flag.

Thanks for thinking of me with this, though.

(Ahahahaha! I counted, there were six “sounds,” not eight, in the first draft. But touché, dear editor. Touché! And check it out, she liked the character…remember Rejection #1?)

Okay, so you get my (painfully delivered) point, right? You see how subjective this business is? How different all the rejections were? Do you understand that it’s all about finding the right editor with the right manuscript at the right time???

I’m telling you, my fellow writers, don’t be discouraged, and don’t give up. Just…don’t!

And if you need an example of true perseverance, check out this post about author Kate DiCamillo. 397 rejections! Dude.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Things I’ve Learned From My Copyeditor (or why I’m too stupid to write without one)

I finished First Pass Pages for THE PLEDGE yesterday and they’re off to my editor in that faraway, magical land of New York City, the place where enchanted publishing things happen. It’s also the place where copyeditors dwell. Copyeditors, as I see it, are these mystical creatures who live solely to remind authors that they are smarter, better educated, and generally have a greater grasp of the English language than we do. Or maybe it’s not all authors…maybe it’s just me. Either way, I’ve learned a thing or two about myself from my copyeditors:

1) I’m, a, comma, whore. Apparently, I throw them around like confetti. Or glitter. The title of my next book: WHY COMMAS RULE THE WORLD, AND STUFF.

2) When I’m writing, I don’t stop to look up the meaning of those pesky words I don't know. Dictionary-schmictionary! If it sounds right, I’ll just use it and forge ahead. The result: A list of words that seem like they should fit, but don’t—in fact—mean what I thought they did.

Words I’ve recently misused (and the accompanying notes from my copyeditor):

“Graphitize” means convert to graphite. Seems unlikely that this is what you meant here. Could you have wanted “graffitied” instead? (Note: Yes. Yes, I did.)

“Stringent” means constricted, rigorous, strict, severe (like stringent rules). What’s a better word you can use to describe the burn of liquor? (Note: I think I meant “astringent”, but ultimately used neither. Although I love the patronizing tone, don’t you?)

“Envoy” is an individual. Changed to “group of soldiers.” (Note: Thanks, copyeditor!)

Seriously, I should start a list. Or not. Maybe it would be too embarrassing to know how long it really is.

3) Continuity may not be my strong suit. Sometimes things just…happen, like my characters will just magically change positions, moving from one place to another with no explanation. It’s like teleportation or something. But the copyeditor calls me on these strange, inexplicable inconsistencies with notes like: How can it be snowing in the middle of July?

Okay, so THAT never actually happened, but you get the gist. She’s smart, and I’m…well, less smart. (Is it just me, or does it feel like these sentences need a few more commas???)

But there are things I have to remind myself sometimes.

1) Copyeditors are incredibly, and I mean incredibly literal.

Exhibit A: Eyes cannot be swollen, only the skin around the eyes can be swollen.

Exhibit B:
You can’t claim that one individual is the most intimidating person in the entire world (how could you possibly know that?).

You see what I mean? L-I-T-E-R-A-L.

2) This is my book. If I want fragmented sentences, I can have them. If I want it to be blazing hot at the end of spring, I can do that. If I feel like intentionally misspelling the name of a character (to make it something, say, less than traditional), I can. My world, my rules!

Ultimately, though, you guys should be as grateful to my copyeditors as I am. They’ve saved you from reading my comma-riddled, continuity addled messes!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Sharing and a Teaser...

I got my First Pass Pages this week for THE PLEDGE, and in the midst of petting and adoring them (See? How gorgeous are they?!) I almost forgot that you might want to take a peek too!

Look at that font...

Basically, FPPs are my last chance to go through and make any last minute tweaks and corrections. Or as I like to call it, another chance to read THE PLEDGE! It's made me excited about this book all over again...I totally can't wait to share it with you guys. In fact, I've decided to share a little teaser with you today.

I'm not gonna bother setting it up, other than to say, breaking the law in Charlie's world does NOT get you a slap on the hand!

He took a step closer, and my ribs crushed my heart, threatening to stop it from beating. I wanted it to be fear, and that’s what I told myself it was, I felt threatened by Max. But I knew better, I knew it was something more. And then he surprised me by softly asking, “Why did you leave so early that night?”

I was afraid to speak, but he just stood there, waiting. I tilted my head back, so I could meet his stare. I wavered, trying to decide how to answer him, and then I simply said, “I wasn’t feeling well.”

He gazed down at me, and I had the strangest feeling he knew I was lying. But he only sighed, a reluctant smile pulling at the corners of his mouth. “Will you walk with me?” he asked at last.

It would have been easier to answer if I could breathe, and if my pulse would stop fluttering so wildly. I shook my head, unable to stop staring. “No.” I finally trusted my voice. “I need to get inside. I have work to do.”

“What are you so afraid of?” He said it so tenderly, so gently, that I almost didn’t realize he hadn’t spoken in Englaise. Yet it wasn’t Parshon, either, which was the only other language I could have responded to.

I’d heard those sounds—that dialect—only one other time, that night at the club, when his friends had spoken about Brooklynn.

And the law was clear.

I blinked once, keeping his dark gaze in view for an instant too long, and then I dropped my head. This time my heart crashed within my chest for entirely the right reasons: fear, terror, dread.

“I don’t understand what you’re saying.”

I prayed that he believed me. He reached across, inching my chin up so he could look at me.

There was a scowl on his face, or was it something else? I wished that I could decipher his expressions as easily as I’d translated his words.

Friday, April 15, 2011

FRIDAY FIVE (The Everything’s Rosy Edition)

1) OMG, you guys, The Body Finder 3 is finished!!! Can I just say halle-freakin-lujah?!?! When my husband finished reading it, he came into my office and high-fived me. I’m taking that as a good sign.

2) It’s also not called “The Body Finder 3” any longer. It has a name. A real, honest to goodness, official title. And, no, I’m not sharing that title yet.

3) I went to RT (Romantic Times) last week where I ate and drank and visited with some of my favorite people in the whole wide world. I also got a bunch of books and all of my baggage was overweight. I totally paid for it too…both in overage fees and sore shoulders. SO worth it!

Why, yes, that is Graveminder. And Sophie Jordan, Merrie Destefano, and Tara Lynn Childs.

(I sorta loved the giant sign!!!)

4) I also got to meet my longtime author crush Cassandra Clare. I somehow managed NOT to physically assault her with my kisses and hugs and puppy-like enthusiasm. But I thought about it. A lot.

5) And the best part of the trip??? The way-too-cool (how is she ALWAYS so put-together?!) Melissa de la Cruz hosted a fabtabulous author party at her house…AND since it was my birthday, she got me a cake. I totally thought about kissing and hugging her too. A lot. Thanks, Mel, you totally rock!!!!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Day Four: LAST iClue!

Have you been gathering your clues? Keeping up with the mystery featuring Violet from THE BODY FINDER? If not, start here to read the first clue, here to read the second one, and here to read the third.

This is your final clue! After this, you’ll have all the info you need to solve this week’s mystery and enter for a grand prize of an iPod Touch! To read the conclusion to the mystery, get the final clue, and outwit your friends, just click here!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Day Three: iClue!

Are you keeping up with the mystery featuring Violet from THE BODY FINDER? If not, click here to start and get Day Two’s clues here.

And to find the next clue, click here.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Day Two: iClue!

Did you read the opening to the mystery featuring Violet from THE BODY FINDER yet? If not, click here.

I know, I left you hanging, but that’s kinda the point. Don’t worry, the next bit of the story—and a very juicy clue—is ready for you today! Just head over to The Undercover Book Lover to find out what happens next (and to gather your next clue)…

Monday, April 11, 2011

iClue Mystery One: Violet’s Mystery

Hi guys! So this is the second week of the iClue Extravaganza! If you don’t know what I’m talking about, click here for more info, but basically all this week, I’ll be posting a mystery with characters from THE BODY FINDER. If you solve the mystery, you’ll get a password that will enter you for a grand prize of an iPod Touch! I hope you enjoy this week’s mystery—and the mysteries from the other awesome authors throughout the month!

To read the story and get started on the mystery, visit the official iClue site, then click on my name (hint: it’s Kimberly Derting) to get started. Check back each day this week for links to the clues so you can solve the mystery and enter for the grand prize of an iPod Touch!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Best Weekend Ever!!!

1. Since I’m flying out to LA (FOR RT!!!!) on my birthday, we decided to celebrate this weekend. Fortunately, my husband picked up on my not-so-subtle hints that I wanted a Keurig coffee maker, and can I just say: I LOVE IT!!!!!! And since getting it, I may be drinking quadruple my usual coffee intake. (Hence the exclamation marks!)

2. Also, because I was Tweeting about how much I wanted said Keurig, I got this awesome package (filled with K-cups for my new coffee maker!) from the ladies at The Body Finder Novels site.

Apparently, they were planning it all behind my back with my husband. Very sneaky!!! (BTW, I’m a sucker for a tiara, and I may have worn it for longer than just the photo op!)

3. AND…because they totally rock, they did this too! They designed this awesome…did I mention AWESOME…brand new The Pledge Fansite and Twitter page!!!!!!!!! (Go ahead, check it out…follow them…whatever. I’ll wait…) It’s gorgeous, right??? BEST! PRESENT! EVER!!!!!

4. Just so you know, this weekend was also uber-productive. You know that book I’ve been working on? The one without a title??? Yes, the third Body Finder book! Well, it officially has a title! And, no, I won’t tell you what it is yet. But I’m so happy it won’t actually be called TBF3, which is what I’VE been calling it.

5. Have I mentioned I’ll be in LA this week??? I’m wrapping up that newly titled book today, packing all day tomorrow, and flying out Wednesday for a weekend of panels, meeting, signings, and an epic TEEN DAY event at RT! Seriously, you should totally be there!!!!

First Day Of iClue...

This is it! Now you can start collecting your iClues by reading Beth Revis' first iClue mystery here, then you'll be on your way to winning some fab prizes including an iPod Touch!!!!

So what are you waiting for? Let the iClueing commence!

Friday, April 1, 2011


Do You iClue?

  • 6 Authors

  • 6 Mysteries

  • 6 Chances to Win an iTouch

Six authors were talking one day and realized that even though their books ran the gamut from sci fi to romance, contemporary to ghostly, they all had one thing in common: a really good mystery. These authors--Lisa & Laura Roecker, Mandy Hubbard, Adele Griffin, Kimberly Derting, Lee Nichols & Beth Revis decided they wanted to give their readers a little more mystery...and if they solved that mystery, there needs to be a great prize, no?

The authors are working with The Reading Room (a book review site) and a slew of amazing book bloggers to bring you an exciting new contest that will be running over the next 6 weeks. For each mystery you solve, you get another entry into the contest. The grand prize is an iTouch loaded with 6 AMAZING eBooks from the participating authors.

Here's how it works:

  • Starting on April 4th a new author will be featured on the iClue Site each week.

  • The author will post their mystery on the site on Monday.

  • On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday we will post links to The Reading Room and two book bloggers who will be posting a special clue to help you solve the mystery.

  • Once you've solved the mystery you send us the correct solution using a form on the website.

  • If you enter the correct solution you get one entry into the contest.

  • Solve all 6 mysteries you get 6 entries to win the iTouch.

iClue launches next week (April 4th) with my mystery, featuring some of the characters from ACROSS THE UNIVERSE. Solve the mystery, get the password, and you'll get an entry to win an iPod Touch! So make sure you check back next week for this!

Meanwhile...we want to make sure to get the word out on this exciting month-long event! And that's where you come, and six autographed books...

Help us spread the word, and you'll be entered for a prize to win six autographed books, one from each of us! There are lots of ways to enter!

You can tweet!

You can blog!
(If you past the html code under the banner into your blog, it will automatically show up, all linked directly to the contest. If you put it into the post, be sure you're on the "edit html" tab of Blogger.)


You can spread the word however you like! And for every way you spread the word, we're going to enter you in a contest for a grand prize pack of all six of our books, signed! And don't forget to come back to the actual event for your chance to solve fun mysteries and win an iPod Touch!! (And yes--before you ask, the contest IS open internationally--both prizes!)