Yep! You heard it right I'm giving away an autographed copy of Delirium. A second place winner will receive Dance With A Vampire and a bethfred.com bookmark signed by Lauren Oliver. And I will be giving away two other books.
But not until the end of this post! Ha! First you have to read all about my encounter with the lovely Lauren Oliver. But don't worry she's delightful. And I felt she had some good things to say.
What Lauren says for writers: First she emphasized what we all know, that writing is a discipline. It needs to be developed, nurtured, and worked at. It doesn't just happen. But the most important element to writing a good novel, is writing! If you want to write for a career, you need to write every day. Lauren writes 1200 words a day. She doesn't like to go over that much and she doesn't go under that. She writes 1200 words every day. There were gasps in the audience when she said this, but I enjoyed it not because it sounded so huge. But because it didn't sound so huge. I aspire to write 2000 words every day, and some days I can't. On those days I really kick myself. When I first started writing, I didn't have a CP, my blog was a joke, and I didn't edit for anyone and wasn't editing anything of my own. 2000 words a day happened. Every day. With all the changes, lots of days it doesn't and I feel bad. But if Lauren can write Delirium at 1200 words a day, maybe I should look into a better goal for myself.
Lauren used to work in the editorial department of Penguin, so she had some interesting insight from that angle as well. She said that lots of people spend two years writing a book, and then query with a letter not comparative of their work. What's the point in that? You've worked so hard on your book, you need to put the work into the query. She said, "Make it easy for them to say yes." She also pointed out that agents still get 60% of clients from submissions. That was encouraging. And it doesn't always seem like it! But she told the refreshing story of getting her own agent by cornering him at a cocktail party. I love this! It was just so honest.
So in a nutshell her suggestions were to write everyday, put work into your writing, and put work into your querying. She also recommended conferences.
Lauren on her books: She read both from her upcoming book Liesl and Po and the long awaited Pandemonium. I loved them both, and I should point out I haven't read Delirium yet. I loved the way that Liesl and Po seemed to address some pretty ambitious concepts for a MG novel. But I was sold with Pandemonium. I found both the imagery and voice captivating, more than that I loved the way the two books were so different.
I've been to a lot of author signings, and I think this was my favorite. I don't say that after each signing, and I'm not saying it now to say that any of the former signings and/or authors weren't as great. But we had a small group which allowed for Lauren to talk really openly to us and for us to ask questions openly of her. She responded to this enthusiastically. She was eager to answer questions and seemed truly interested in the thoughts of her readers. I've never been to a signing where an author asked about what I was writing and it was so nice. Haha. It made me feel like a real writer! If you get the chance to see her, you should. She's really a great speaker and I think probably a great person.
HOW TO WIN DELIRIUM OR OTHER BOOKS:
1) FOLLOW ME--OLD FOLLOWERS 5 ENTRIES NEW FOLLOWERS 2
2) DEDICATE A BLOG POST TO THIS CONTEST 5 ENTRIES
3) SIDE BAR ME FOR THE DURATION OF THE CONTEST 5 ENTRIES
4) FB/TWEET/BUZZ/ SOCIAL NETWORK TO YOUR HEART'S CONTENT 1 ENTRY PER POST AND YOU MUST LEAVE A LINK IN THE COMMENTS
5) 3 ENTRIES IF SOMEONE FOLLOWS ME AND SAYS YOU SENT THEM IN THE COMMENTS
FOUR NAMES WILL BE DRAWN FROM RANDOM.ORG. THE AWARDS WILL BE ASSIGNED IN THE ORDER OF THE WINNERS, SO FIRST NAME IS FIRST PLACE. CONTEST ENDS MAY 20.
GO FORTH AND NETWORK.