Hello there! Tobin and Teagan here.
First, a few words from Tobin:
I have been uncommonly busy these past few weeks with new friends in my life. I am finding living with a greater role in human society quite invigorating. In some ways, my life has greatly improved. I have become much more comfortable being in the company of humans, even strangers whom I have never before met. This certainly helps when I find myself in a room full of humans whom I do not know. In other ways, I find I miss the silences from my life before. There were times before my involvement with Teagan that I would sit and think for hours on end. I was very comfortable being alone and I rarely felt the need for companionship. Now, I find myself feeling what humans call "loneliness". Whenever I am alone, I crave companionship. I see things or hear things or even experience things I wish to share with someone I know.
Were it not for my newest companion, I believe I might have gone quite mad because of this loneliness. She has shown me a lifestyle I rather like and I feel my time here on this planet has greatly improved because of her. Teagan has informed me she plans to continue with this blog and with the process of finishing writing and publishing the story she and I have worked on so long. As for me, however, I feel I must devote a bit more time to this new relationship. I would not wish to lose such an opportunity to experience what can be thought of as a privilege for every living soul in the Universe. Therefore, I shall not be contributing as much to the blog as I have in the past. I shall continue communicating with Teagan when I can, but I do not wish to tie myself to the blog as she and I have done in the past. For those of you who wish to know more, please send any questions or concerns regarding me or the things I have written herein to Teagan through the comments section of this blog. She will get your communiques to me and I shall respond in kind.
Thank you for the time you have given me over this last year. Until next time, Tobin.
Well, that's sad! But I'm happy for Tobin. It took me a while to come around to seeing the job he's bound to do here as something good. But I've seen it for what it is and I accept that. Again, I'm glad he's found a new life with his new friend and I wish them both the greatest happiness.
Now, on to more important matters. I've just come off a long, long editing stint and in the process of fixing the issues my editor suggested needed fixing, I have discovered a few invaluable websites and bits of information that I believe would help any struggling authors out there. Believe me when I say that editors have a very lucrative business. After all, judging from the paperwork that comes home with my kid from school all the time, grammar is no longer taught in this country.
That is, of course, a sweeping statement, which is surely exaggerated. Yes, it is. For there are many authors out there who are well-versed in the rules of grammar for the English language. However, every author needs a second or third pair of eyes to read over their work for any mistakes, omissions, or other issues and editing is one way of getting that done. But finding a good editor is not always an easy task and, with what editors charge these days, you'd best do your research before hiring one! I would suggest you contact your local reputable and legitimate writer's league or other writer's group for information on editing services their members recommend.
Some may even be able to get by without paying for editing services and one site I would encourage authors to review is the Pitch Wars site. It's under www.brenda-drake.com. They're prepping for the next Pitch Wars competition, which opens the first week of August, and there are several sample edits contained therein. Read through each one of the edits! This is invaluable instruction for authors. I don't care how good you are, the words of advice out there will help any author see his or her work through new eyes.
Next website is www.queryshark.com. Go there and read through the entire archive section. If you are a fiction writer, this is a must! Some other things you can look into are Query Tracker, Publisher's Marketplace and Preditors & Editors. Just google them and you'll be able to get what you need. You don't have to subscribe to these, but you might not get as much out of Publisher's Marketplace if you don't. Also, the AAR (Association of Authors' Representatives, Inc. - www.aaronline.org) is a great place to do research on literary agents. Finally, if that's not enough to keep you busy for the next bajillion years, you should visit the #MSWL (Manuscript Wish List). This will inform you of what types of manuscripts Literary Agents and Editors are currently seeking.
All of this is available online for anyone who has internet access and YOU SHOULD USE IT! I, myself, am a big believer in going to writers' conferences, as I'm older and I prefer the face-to-face pitch process. They're great options for classes and informational booths for everything literary. I'll be attending the Agents & Editors Conference later this month in Austin and I can't wait! My manuscript is complete and freshly edited and I can't wait for my shot at impressing those agents. I'll definitely keep the blog updated so my fellow authors can share in either my complete elation or my abject misery (don't want to even go there). Who knows? I may even see some of you there. Hope so!
Well, that's it for today. I hope I've managed to impart some useful information to you and that you are able to move ahead with your manuscript a bit more easily because of it.
Until next time, I hope your today is wonderful and that your tomorrow is your best day ever!
Teagan Brody is author of Sci-fi/Fantasy novels. Her writing helps guide the people of Earth toward a better future. Her most common expression is, "What would Thomas Shelby do?"