Awards and Travel and Querying, Oh My!

It Started With YA…

It’s been an age since I actually updated this blog with anything related to my writing path. The last year has been…a journey. I think from last summer to this summer could be called the year of the pivot. This time last year I had just begun querying a YA Fantasy manuscript I called COBWEBS AND SILVER and prepping to enter it into Pitch Wars.

Long story short, none of that panned out. I made any number of query mistakes. Somehow still garnered a fair number of requests, which lead to rejections. Made a last ditch effort to revise it as Adult Fantasy Romance (because the manuscript had always been on the line), got two more requests and…that’s where everything stalls. I never heard from those last two (at least not yet) and I’ve effectively shelved C&S.

Then Came Love…

Then in November of last year for NaNoWriMo (also known as the only time of year I seem to be able to accomplish things) I drafted a Contemporary Romance. I fell really in love with this story and the characters right away. Saying it felt different seems cliche, but I felt different writing it. I’ve been more of a Romance reader than Fantasy my entire life so writing it felt comfortable and like I could express my voice in a way I hadn’t been.

I revised what I now call RIGHT ON CUE for Camp NaNoWriMo in April (including adding 20k more words or so). Then got beta feedback which was…good. Really good I think. People seemed to respond to the way I was pitching it.

So I took that a bit farther and pitch it to a publisher and got a request for a proposal which turned into a request for a full I’m still working to turn in.

I entered the first chapter and a half into the Cleveland Rocks Romance contest, from the Northeast Ohio chapter of RWA, and was totally floored to be announced a  finalist. I don’t even need to win, I’m already completely honored. I wanted to enter every contest I could find and see if my luck would hold up.

Next Comes a Membership…

I joined the Romance Writer’s of America (RWA) sometime early this year when I decided I was getting serious about RIGHT ON CUE and I wanted their learning opportunities. It’s hard to say what my membership fee has gotten me exactly, and I have yet to attend a local chapter meeting like I planned (I work weekends so it’s tough), but it’s doing one thing for me- I’m traveling this year.

This September I’m registered to attend a romance writer’s conference with a chapter in Houston where the amazing author Elizabeth Hoyt will be speaking. Then in October I hope to attend my online Contemporary Romance Writer’s chapter retreat in upstate New York. I’ve never flown alone, and I would be flying, taking a shuttle, and a train, and then a taxi to get there by myself. I’m completely intimidated but super excited for the opportunity. It’s not booked yet but fingers crossed it works out.

Now I’m Back Where I Started…

Just over a year from when I began querying my first manuscript, I’m putting the finishing touches on RIGHT ON CUE, and getting ready to take it into the world. I’m also planning to enter it into Pitch Wars this month.

It feels so much like the same place I was a year ago and yet as a writer I’ve changed completely and my focus is entirely different. I’m made so many friends in the last year who write, I have people I can go to with questions or for feedback, and I feel like I’ll be going into querying with 1000x’s the confidence I had in 2017. I don’t know if that will be the magic formula that gets RIGHT ON CUE onto shelves, but I’m doing what I can.

In the meantime, I’m planning who I would be as a romance writer, already plotting my next romance for NaNoWriMo, and realizing I have no clue what the next year will bring.

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Pitch Wars #BoostMyBio

Hi! I’m Haley Kral!

I’m a children’s librarian at a public library, which means I spend my day reading picture books, doing storytime, helping people use the computers, and any number of random things that come up. People think being a librarian means sitting somewhere very quiet and maybe reading but that is not the case! My job is often noisy and stressful but I love what I do. In a given week I help people apply for jobs, teach STEAM programs to children, give reading suggestions, and clean up messes.

For fun I read, watch TV, go to live shows when I can, eat with friends, do pub trivia, spin yarn or knit, and my boyfriend and I are building a witchy dollhouse.

Me:

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  1. I love Alice in Wonderland and collect tea pots.
  2. I’m currently obsessed with miniatures and just want to troll the internet for tiny things.
  3. I now own 6 spinning wheels.
  4. My house is also occupied by two black cats and one tortie, a large dog, and two guinea pigs.
  5. I grew up on a small farm and I’ve lived in Texas my entire life.
  6. You will never hear me expound about good writing habits. I write in fits and starts.
  7. I met my boyfriend on the internet.
  8. I speak French well but not fluently.
  9. If you’re around me in real life, I swear. A lot.
  10. I love all things witchy.

The Book:

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  1. Titled RIGHT ON CUE
  2. Set in a theater
  3. Plus-sized heroine with confidence
  4. Enemies to lovers romance
  5. Grumpy actor hero with a bad reputation
  6. References to showtunes
  7. Speaks ill of Les Mis (sorry!)
  8. Cast of secondary characters I love with all my heart
  9. Partially inspired by my time as a middle and high school theater kid
  10. Maybe funny? Definitely sexy.

 

#YABkLove Day 31: What’s Next for YA?

#YABkLove Day 31

Today isn’t so much about sharing books as it is about sharing thoughts. What do you think is coming in the future of the YA genre? What changes do you think will happen or should happen? Do you think different types of books will be published? What things would you like to see? This is an open forum to whatever you want to see happen for YA in the next, let’s say, 5 years.

 

Also, thank you to everyone who has participated in #YABkLove this month!

#YABkLove Day 30: Coming in 2018

#YABkLove Day 30

It is only halfway through 2017, but are there any releases for 2018 that you are already anticipating? Perhaps it is a sequel to something you’ve read or a debut you’ve been hearing buzz about. Share what 2018 releases you know about so everyone can start looking forward to them as well!

If you don’t know any for 2018, you can also share releases for the end of 2017.

 

#YABkLove Day 27: Older Titles #TBT

#YABkLove Day 27

For today, I’d like to see titles that you read more than 5 years ago, maybe more than 7 years ago, that are still worth attention. In the library world, teen books start being considered obsolete after 5 years unless they are actively circulating, so what books would be past that time but still worth a read? You can go even older than that if you can think of some.

For some of this, that won’t be hard because 5-7 years ago doesn’t feel that long. For perspective, I read Twilight 10 years ago.

For me, one of the oldest YA series I remember reading was the Sweep series by Cate Tiernan. Were they good? I don’t even recall. I just know in high school I loved all things witches and I read them all, and they were super short.

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Also towards the end of high school I read the House of Night series by P.C. Cast. I still see these check out at the library.

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What are your throw back titles?