research

How to Get Traditionally Published, Part 1

Read Part 2 in this series.

Read Part 3 in this series.

Recently, an email landed in my inbox that asked the basic question of, “How do I get published?”

I get asked this a lot, and every time, I write out an answer. Inefficient much, Sooz? I’d say it’s about time to lay down the basic (and I mean VERY basic) framework for getting published traditionally–so not self-publishing, but with a traditional publishing house.

Now, for those of you who didn’t already know all the steps involved, PLEASE don’t freak out. Getting published isn’t easy; it isn’t simple; and it isn’t quick. But if I can do it, then so can you.

Also, please remember there is no “magic” way to get a book deal or some “perfect premise” that will let you skip all the steps. Most people spend years trying to get published (heck, I spent years writing before I even got the guts to try!), and that’s just the way it is. If you want it badly enough, then a few years shouldn’t bother you. 🙂 (Read more…)

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Travel Diaries: Arctic Adventure 3

I’ve done two Travel Diaries like this before–here and here–and after dreaming of my research last night, I thought I’d pull out my old Arctic journal…

See, back in 2008, I went to the Arctic for my Masters research. I wrote in a journal everyday, and some of the journal entries are…well…surreal for me to look back on.

Like, WHAT? I did WWHHHAAAAT?? I camped out on sea ice and didn’t bathe for…how long? O_O

And I thought after surviving the HELL THAT WAS BOOK 2, I’d share another hardcore life experience with you. 🙂

The Inuit fish through holes in the sea ice. Greenland sharks are a frequent bycatch item, so we would take those accidentally caught sharks and use them as samples. But getting them through the hole in the ice...NOT EASY.

(Read more…)

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I come bearing croissants and macarons…

As you can guess, the trip to Paris involved a great many croissants and macarons–not to mention all the espressos, baguettes, madeleines, and occasional wines. We (the Frenchman and I) rented a tiny, studio apartment in Montmartre that was next to the most AMAZING bakery–the best in Paris, quite literally. This bakery had the distinction of winning some special contest for 2011, so it was declared the Best of the Best, AND as such, it was given the honor of serving Sarkozy (the French president, in case you weren’t aware) his bread for 2011. (Read more…)

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Why yes, that IS a zeppelin

As you might have gathered from the blog title and image, I visited a zeppelin museum over the weekend. But not just any zeppelin museum–THE zeppelin museum.

You see, only a hop, skip, and a jump from where I live in Deutschland is Friedrichshafen, the birthplace of the zeppelin. And, because this monstrous flying machine makes an appearance in Something Strange and Deadly book 2 (which is not titled…yet…but soon! Soon, I say!), the Frenchman and I decided to pay a visit over the weekend.

And we saw some pretty cool stuff. (Read more…)

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Why 1876? And why zombies?!

I said my method for selecting a setting in Something Strange and Deadly was unscientific, remember?

Well, just look at how I wound up choosing Victorian times.

  1. I thought it was cool.
  2. I thought it would add conflict, what with the claustrophobic etiquette and patriarchy.

Yeah. Very inspired, huh? (Read more…)

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Vacation Time!

So, I’ll be away the next week…  The blog will be abandoned like an Old West town…  Or an ancient ruin.

::cue tumbleweed::

I’m going to EGYPT!  With the Frenchman!

It was a totally last minute idea, but I can’t express to you how excited I am.  I’ve always wanted to see Thebes (a.k.a. Luxor), and since book 3 of The Spirit-Hunters is set in Egypt, it only makes sense that I should go VISIT.

I mean…right? (Read more…)

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Road Trip Wednesday: Blast from the 19th Century Past

Thanks to that gals at YA Highway for this blog prompt.

If you could travel back to any historical era for research purposes, which would you choose?

Definitely late 19th century United States — specifically, 1876 Philadelphia.  Boy oh boy do I wanna see the International Centennial Exhibition that’s the back drop for Eleanor’s story. (Read more…)

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Travel Diaries: Arctic Adventure 2

The Wussy Scientist Sees Something Pretty

April 10, 2008

I smell like shark guts.  Oh well.  It’s only 2 more days until I get to shower.  That’ll be nice. (Read more…)

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Travel Diaries: Arctic Adventure

After reading Life As We Knew It, I picked up an old journal of mine.  Some of the experiences in that novel were markedly similar to what I went through in the Arctic doing my MSc field work.  The journal was kind of entertaining to read — at times moving, but mostly just funny — so I thought I’d share an entry. (Read more…)

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Researching your novel (part 4: science)

To continue on in the researching your novel series, I’m going to wrap it all up with an area close to my heart: science.  It’s often poorly researched in stories and film, and it’s often completely mis-portrayed.  I’ll try to keep the rant to a minimum.  Also, keep in mind that I teach an entire workshop on this subject, so this is very condensed.  Moving on…


Understanding Science

Science is broad, so simply labeling your character as a “scientist” is not enough to convince your savvy readers.  Specificity is key. (Read more…)

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