I’m so pleased to have S. M. Johnston guest post today as part of her blog tour. It’s great to have her share her thoughts on love and tease you with a bit of her new novel, SLEEPER.
There was a party. An eighteen-year-old girl looked across the room and spotted a guy with red hair. The moment she saw him, she knew: “That’s the guy I’m going to marry.” It was love at first sight. They were soul mates and it was a love that lasted until he died, forty years later.
That is the story of my parents.
They never had a fight and they loved each other dearly every day of their lives.
I know a lot of people scoff that love at first sight, or insta love. But it can happen.
In SLEEPER, the main character, Mishca Richardson, gets a bad case of love at first sight when she sees her university professor, Collin Read. But this is no fairytale love story like my parents, and the reasoning behind this attraction has much more to it than girl meets boy.
It was this moment that was the catalyst for the whole story. The notion of these two people meeting, the “what if” factor is what drove me to write the manuscript. From this initial idea I had to come up with how these two characters would meet, the events that lead up to that point and the fall out afterwards.
To complicate things, Mishca already has a boyfriend, Ryder (bad Mishca! – no seriously, it’s beyond her control). I remember how mad one of my beta editors were when she came to this part, not realizing that when I first came up with this story, Ryder didn’t exist. He appeared as I fleshed out the plot.
Even though Mishca had no control over falling in love with Colin, she does have control over the guy she ends up with – the reluctant hot university professor or the tattooed beau who is already smitten with her. Who would you choose?
Blurb: A new heart should mean new life, not a living nightmare.
Mishca Richardson’s life is at an all-time high after her heart transplant. With new boyfriend, Ryder, the two of them have the perfect summer romance. Even the nightmares that have been plaguing her sleep since her operation can’t dull the high she’s on.
Things start to unravel as Mishca develops superhuman abilities. She does her best to hide them so as not to end up a science experiment in a lab. But she can’t ignore the instant attraction she experiences when she meets her university professor, Colin Reed.
Torn between the blossoming love and the obsession, Mishca must decide if she wants Ryder or Colin. But the organization responsible for her changes and her connection to Colin, is moving to secure Mishca for himself so that she can be the weapon he always intended her to be. If Mishca can’t resist her programming she’ll have a lot more to worry about than romance.
It’s been a really fun year posting for There And Draft Again, the fantasy blog I’ve been a part of. I’ve enjoyed reading fellow contributers posts very much as we’ve explored books, movies, television, old classics, new stories and all sorts of plot and theme concepts inbetween. Much like I must break from my own blog, I must break from the TADA blog Although I will no longer be posting regularly to the fantasy blog, just as I will post interesting blogs here to stay connected with all you wonderful writerly people, I will post to TADA as well if there’s a topic I simply must share.
With that said, check out the latest and last (for now) post by yours truly for TADA about diversity in fantasy and how it is time to move forward.
Hope all my fellow Americans had a wonderful Thanksgiving and the rest of you awesome people are looking forward to a great weekend! I’ve been so lucky to have such loyal and friendly readers of this blog over the past three years. It has been such a pleasure enjoying the writing community with you all
This summer I wrote a new young adult story that I am currently editing and having beta’s weigh in on. It’s a male pov (lukewarm) scifi and I am enjoying the process very much! I’m also working on an R&R for my former wip, a YA Alt History. On top of that, I’m brainstorming a brand new wip idea that’s sort of a fairytale retelling smashed together with a revenge western lol Writing spec fic allows for a great variety of stories, as you can tell!
Outside of the writing world, I have had a very exciting and busy year at work. As of the new year, I’ll be adding more hours and working full-time! I couldn’t be more thrilled! While this is great news for my marketing career and my wallet, it’s not so great news for my blog. The free time that I have now primarily goes to my stories, but since I’ve had Friday’s off, I’ve been able to continue to blog and stay involved with this platform. However, in the new year, I must devote all my free time to writing and as such, my blog will not be updated as frequently.
As I said before, I have been delighted to share my thoughts on writing whenever I can with you all. I’ve also loved hearing your responses and opinions about the writing process, self-publishing, agents, querying, having mental breakdowns– the whole bunch has been much fun. And I’ll continue post when I have a thought or review I must share. So fear not, I won’t disappear completely. Stick with me and I’ll read you around
If you’re entering a new MS in PitchWars, I have a special guest blogger today to share her wisdom from last year with you. Thanks so much for Sharon Johnston for stopping by. Here’s her wonderful advice:
Last year I was fortunate enough to be a mentor on Pitch Wars. There were so many amazing entries, so here’s some advice to help you stand out in the slush to the Pitch Wars mentees:
1) Be professional: Your email should mimic what you would send to an agent. While the mentors are not agents, they are going to be presenting your work to agents. Agents what writers who behave professionally, so the mentors will be looking for that.
2) Make your email personal: You’re only able to pitch to four (4) mentors. Mentors want to see that you have researched them to make sure your manuscript is a match for them. Adding a personal touch will show them you’ve done more than just read the Pitch Wars wish list post when considering your top three.
3) Abide by the rules and requirements of the competition: There are hundreds of entries that come through Pitch Wars and mentors can receive in excess of 50 emails directly to them. An easy way to cull is to dismiss the entries that haven’t supplied the correct information.
4) Get it right the first time (Pertains to above): With so many entries coming in, rework for the mentors comes across as unprofessional.
5) Workshop your entry: There’s lots of critique forums out there. Hone your entry to make sure it pops. You need it to be perfect.
6) Use comparisons: I described my mentee’s manuscript as Jane Eyre meets Supernatural and Crystal received a truckload of agent requests.
7) Make sure your work is ready: Don’t enter a first draft. Don’t enter a second draft. You should have gone through your manuscript multiple times with beta editors/critique partners. If there’s a mistake in your sample work, it won’t bode well for you.
8) Make sure your manuscript is REALLY ready: So many manuscripts are passed over in pitch contests because the word count doesn’t match the category/genre. If you have a YA contemporary with a word count in excess of 100K then the mentors may baulk, and I, personally, would question if you’ve edited your manuscript properly. Look at your manuscript and see how it compares to industry expectations. There will always be some that break the rules, but pitch contests are usually not the best place to test that.
So there’s some helpful (hopefully) information to help you with the upcoming pitch wars.
Sharon Johnston is a writer, publish relations executive and former publishing marketing director. She is also blogs with YAtopia and Aussie Owned & Read, as well as a regular host for the international agent query contest Pitch Madness. Her debut novel, SLEEPER, is out in December. Other women regularly stalk Sharon for her great taste in shoes.