008 - Sexy Spreadsheets, Querying Agents and How to Find Time to Write with fellow writer Andrea Green Burton
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The Writer's Retreat
The Writer's Retreat

Episode 8 · 2 years ago

008 - Sexy Spreadsheets, Querying Agents and How to Find Time to Write with fellow writer Andrea Green Burton

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Joined with guest writer Andrea Green Burton, Leslie and Lia discuss everything from planning your writing project to querying your finished manuscript. Oh, and just in case you have a job, a family, many, many responsibilities and are busy with life, how to FIND THE TIME to write.

To learn more about our guest writer, visit www.AndreaGreenBurton.com 

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Hello and welcome to a podcast all about writing with writers Leah Mac Wesley Roots. This is the writer's retreat. Welcome back to the writer's retreat. Remember, you can find all of our show notes at the writer's retreat podcastcom and you can also follow us on Instagram, twitter and facebook plus. Now you can join our new writing group on Patroon for writers just like you, and be sure to listen to the end of our show today so you can find out what we're reading in our book club. Do you want to tell our listeners where you are right now? I'm in my minivan and the Ark and because I'm in the car, I am not drinking for was like last time she was boring drinking water. Now she's in the car, not drinking anything. Nothing. You know what, I'm lame this time I brought water. Not that water is lame, but I totally I don't know. I was so worried and consumed with the banana upbread I was making that I didn't think I'm missing out on Banana upbread tonight. Yeah, yeah, so, Leslie, here we are at the writer's retreat. We're supposed to be doing some writing. Have you gotten any progress done? Lately. Actually, I did. Like I mentioned before, I'm finally out of Chapter Seven, whoop, whoops, and today I kind of got our Mojo back this morning at five am, so I was able to get into chapter eight and start working on that. So that was a huge leap. So I'm excited about it. And what about Yulia? Any progress? Yeah, for whatever, and saying reason. Yeah, Leslie and I were up at five am this morning chatting away and getting to our writing. So anyone, any listeners out there, how many of you are up at five am? You can chat with us. But yeah, I worked on I'M NOT gonna lie, and my children called me a cheater, but I started my Nano Ramo writing a little early. I I can't be told to wait till Monday. I didn't confess that. You're so much better. I will. I was there with you. I am the worst liar there is, so I'm old enough to know. Just be honest. Whatever, but I got I don't know how much, how many words, I got. I didn't, you know, calculate. It was more like me. How many of us, our listeners, are planners? I used to be a panstor and just right from the semi pants and whatever came out came out and I, you know, rewrite it later. But this time around, because of the sequel I'm working on, I'm only planning it. I've learned to do half and half, and so I I'm I put together a sexy spreadsheet. You did it at my five a am. It was sexy and for any listeners out there, if you like to plan or you want to get, you know, set up and just kind of, you know, put together your own sexy spreadsheet, what I do is I put the acts at the top and there's all sorts of different, you know, ways that people organizer novels. It could be the three acts x x xx, you know. So how what, however you're organizing? I'm not going to say which one is the best. I use the acts, but it's just the way I like to have it all spread out. And then on down on the left hand corner I have all my characters, which you know, I went to bead last night thinking I only have two characters for this book and when I was done with my sexy spreadsheet I had twenty one. I know I was. I was. I saw that list after when you send it to me, and I was like, wow, that was, it's going to be impressively complicated and I did it to myself. But that's okay, Nano Rame, it was coming. So I'm excited to take this planning that I did this morning and start writing on Monday. I'm excited for you. I wrote seven hundred and some words. Whoom, kind of the intro hand of the villain deal, and then after that I did my own ks. Not As sexy as yours. MMM, no, you bet. My was not sexy, but you need to get some Lajoie going. How I just went for it. So it was like the theme, the floating issue, is going to go happen that I've got going on. Even a props line I had on there. Now, because you're a very visual you like to kind of think of it like a movie. Yes, I have to see everything as a movie. So I put in put an up to I think, three acts, and then I did my web. It was like a mind map. Yeah, I might did a mind map. So I put the theme in the center. Shooting out of the middle is a bubbles of each of the characters I have and what their thoughts of are the theme. That's really rich way to go about setting up...

...or you know your novel. Yeah, character hasn't has an opinion about in about the theme, and of course the villain is always going to have the complete opposite of the theme. But it's all the characters and what they think about the theme. And of course I did not invent that. That's all because of our awesome writing coach who taught me that. Thank you. And Yeah, so I was pretty impressed I got that much done at five am. MMM MMM. But it's all for Nano Raymo, the Nano Raymo gods, and I got some stuff done for Wolfer ver. So it was really productive five am. Speaking of being productive, I think this is a good segue into our next segment. Yep, we have a special guest on this show today, and Lee, I think you should do the honors. Okay. So well, as our listeners know, we love to talk with fellow writers because we're at the right as a treat so today we are talking with a writer based in the hills of southern Virginia and she's currently submitting a completed novel that she started in Nano Raymo two thousand and eighteen. Please welcome fellow writer Andrea Greenburton. Hello, thank you so much for having me. Heay. Welcome, Andrea. It's so nice to meet you. So what are you currently working on? Um, well, I'm currently querying a novel that I've finished. Well, finished just kind of a fluid word sometimes when we're talking about our manuscripts. So, but I had started it during Nano Ramo two thousand and eighteen. It took me a little over a year to finish that. I actually kind of started Nano Raymo two thousand and nineteen just to kick myself into gear to actually finish the rough draft, and then I, you know, let it set, took some time, did some revisions, had some Beta readers and then went back and did my own revisions and then in the end of August is when I started querying. That's amazing. That is amazing. How long have you been writing? I've been writing since I was nine years old. So when I was in fourth grade, are my teacher, she had like a weekly creative writing time for us and that's when I really started to understand that I liked I was always a big reader, but that's when I started to understand that I liked to create stories of my own and it was a pretty big deal because that this writing time was at the same hour as glee club and I also really love to sing, but that was like decision moments, like I like writing better than I like singing, and so I quickly club so that I could have my writing time and my fourth grade class, and really that was the moment that I was I knew that that's what I wanted to do, that that was my my goal, kind of my overarching goal in life. No matter what else I did, I was going to be published. So that's makes years old. You knew that, you know I did. Yeah, and I haven't changed my mind and I've had a very circuitous route, but I think that's probably pretty normal. So but yeah, it's always been it's always been there. It's kind of like that thing that's like, if my life ends and I haven't done this, then I have failed. I mean, I know not really, but you know that kind of that's kind of my mindset. Definitely, and I actually I was telling Leslie I have have this organic candle and it has this quote on it and I think it sums up what you just said very nicely. It says it is the soul's duty to be loyal to its own desires. It must abandon itself to his master passion. Perfect. That is Rebecca West. I don't know who she is, but I've been burning this candle all day thinking this is a perfect thing to be thinking about right now. Is just just to give ourselves over to our, like you said, overarching goals in our life. I really like how you put that, because we're all writers with full time jobs and kids, so we all have other things going on. Yeah, well, yeah, and what's powerful about what you said is, no matter what, writing is always going to be a party, and I think that that's saying that separates you from others who are just like, do it, then this is and this no, this is my passion, this is what I'm dedicated to, and whatever happens in my life, writing's got to be involved in there. You know, it's like somebody really awesome and smart close to me said, you know, you surround yourself with one word and you revolve your real life around that. Leah, that was me, but I can't take credit for that. That was I found that on pinterest back and back in the day Pinterest was like the thing that you just devoured all day long. In this image came by and it was like yeah, center your find what what brings you peace and build your life around that. So for us, I would suspect, and people...

...listening, writing brings us a lot of peace and love, joy. And Andrea, what like you said that you you've been writing since you're nine years old. Of Look, what do you like to write? Fiction is, you know, the main thing that I like to write, but I really kind of settled into historical fiction and that was really kind of always my goal. You know, when I was in high school and college and I wanted to be a writer, people really didn't know what to do with me, like when I'm talking to counselors and advisors and, you know, career coaches or whatever. And then I decided that I wanted to major in history in college because I thought that would give me a really nice kind of baseline foundation of American history and, you know, the research skills that I needed, which it did, but I would I specifically remember sitting in my advisor's office and him asking me, like I said, you know, I wanted to be a writer, and he was you know, he asked me, but what do you want to do? And and I understand. You know that. You know, writing is a lot different. I mean I think it is evolved and there's you know, there's not a lot of writers anymore that, you know, are really just living solely off of their writing. I had always, you know, kind of dreamed that that would be the case, but, you know, I there was always you know, oh so well, what about you know, why don't you become a teacher and then you can write in the summers? And you know, I did kind of go down that path a couple different times, but I had a teacher in high school who wanted to be a writer and and is a writer, but he had said that being a teacher didn't leave him enough time to really focus on it the way that he wanted to, and so that was definitely my kind of red flag there that, you know, maybe teaching wasn't the right path, you know, if I really wanted to spend a lot of time on it. I've learned since then that having four kids is also something that will really suck up a lot of your time. You don't, can't. I Love Them. They are the joys of my life. Yeah, that's US loose hiding in the car. Yeah, so and you know, obviously I have never trade them for anything, but you know, there's you know, they I'm sure you've heard people say that. You know, you make time for what's important and you know I'm working full time, I have four kids. I you know, try to stay active. You know I try to walk, you know, every day. Of Ay, am not like a super you're not Super Olympic walking. No, who know? Nobody there. There are a lot of hills here. So it's more than just like a nice little a nice little walk. But so it's like, okay, you make time for what's important, but what do you do when everything is important? You know, like I have to work, I have to bring in money, I have to take care of my kids. I want to spend time with them and develop relationships with them. I want to stay healthy so that I am around for a long time with my kids and feel, you know, feel confident and positive, you know, about myself and could and writing is really important too. And you know sometimes there are just literally not enough hours in the day. And so you know, there does come that time or you do have to pick and choose, which is why it took me two years to complete a manuscript. You know they say it takes five to ten years to to finish start, to finish a manuscript and get it published. So you're you're still I mean you're above the current. That's that's huge. You know, I just I sit down and I get to it whenever I can. And so what advice would you give to other mothers who are doing this, that act? Well, you know you were talking earlier about, you know, kind of that quote you read from the candle about how you have to be true to your soul's passion, and I really learned that the hard way because, you know, when I got married and started having it all these kids, a few you know, I really set aside my writing for quite a long time in about, Gosh, it was probably about eight years later than it finally caught up to me. I was working at I was working at a library, and so, like my job was just books, books, books, books, you know, I ordered books, I shelved books, I read books, because I hosted two different book groups as from part of my job and I was actually also facilitating a writers group for Library Patrons and in our book group we read on writing by Stephen King and it was just like this. I've been ignoring what is inside my heart for so long. So once I started doing it again, like I still always quote that one quote from the book, was kind of I'm...

...probably going to totally mess it up, but it's just like, you know, basically, it's just like you just have to start. And once I did that, like my whole like my whole consciousness like reopened and it was just like I felt myself again. You know, I had I had taken on all these new roles of, you know, being a wife and being a mom and, you know, being a library and which was never even a thought in terms of career. Those were all good things, but when I started writing again, it was like yeah, this is me, this is who I am, and like I haven't been able to let go of that. So, you know, for people who are busy and who struggle to fit it into any time that they have, it doesn't matter if it's once a week or once a month or maybe a few minutes every day, like just connecting to that part of yourself in any capacity that you can. Like I became a better wife, I became a better mom because I was reconnected with, you know, who I truly was before all those other things happened to me and like that is, you know, that's the best thing that I can say about it. Is just be you and grab hold of that and and don't let the other things push it away. I know things kind of, you know, will all like they'll kind of fluctuate in terms of importance and urgency, but, you know, just staying true and I holding onto that at least a little bit, a little stock. That was powerful. Andrea, thank you. That was very motivational. That was amazing. So did Nano Rymo, when you did that, that that help also set into that utine make it it like a dedication process, you know, like a ritual when you see. Yeah, absolutely, like I've never really been the you know, I'm going to sit down and write every day kind of writer, just because this literally not always possible, but Nano Raymo is it, you know. I mean, as you know, it is a super intense pace. It's one thousand six hundred and sixty seven words a day for thirty days. And and yes, it forced, you know, it forces you to make it a habit, at least for a finite amount of time. I could not sustain that pace like year round, like I can do it for a month and it's just okay, okay, I can wear you can take a break, you know. But so I actually did Nana Ramo first in two thousand and fifteen, and I learned about Nano Raymo while I was working at the library. I didn't know anything about it before that. And I in two thousand and fifteen I took an idea that I had had like twenty years ago, like I was in junior high, and you know, it's just one of those ideas that just dogged me for, you know, every day, you know, in those twenty years basically. And I said, you know, I'm just going to I'm just going to do Nano Ramo, I'm going to sit down, I'm going to write. Actually did start a little early that year because the month before was when we read the Stephen King Memoir and I was just like okay, I'm just I'm going to do this and so and I did and it was it was amazing. And the novel is terrible, like it's really bad and I didn't even really know how to go about editing it. But I kind of like feel like it was my dress rehearsal or my you know, that just just get this out. That's been on your mind for twenty years and it was really rewarding to finally see that story play out from beginning to end. And so, yes, and it really is. It really is a lifestyle. You know, it's it's a choice and it's you know, you have to just invest in it in whatever capacity you can, as I said, even if it's not every day, but and you just have to, you know, continue moving forward in that lifestyle. So yes, Nana Raymo is was, you know, really big deal for me to kind of understand that. Yeah, and for any listeners out there if you don't know what Nana Raymo is it's not national novel writing month. It is the month of November and it is the yes, raise the roof. Is the best month of the year. Even if you don't participate, everyone is just you can just feel the collective energy of all the writers around the world killing themselves to get this fiftyzero words in a month in Andrew is like, yeah, out of yourself and Leslie and I are doing it this year. And is it Sunday or Monday? Doesn't start? What's the first day of November? Every eight because it's my birthday. First Day is my birthday. Happy Birthday. Oh yes, then you can from a whole month giving yourself a gift exactly. I love how you put that, Andrea. It's perfect, because I like how you said...

...you know, you came back to yourself when you started writing again, and you're became a better version of yourself because you're giving yourself over to what's inside of you. I really that's huge. And so that right there tells you that it is a priority and that you have to make it a priority. Even, like you said, a few minutes a day or just the month of November every year you set aside and say I'm going to join the collective force and I'm going to try to write a novel, and it might turn into crap, but it's it's flexing the muscle, it's working that routine. And your dress rehearsal. I mean, how many things have we written over the course of our lives and you just write that one thing. That's just beautiful. You know, all those things are your dress rehearsal. And we were talking about we had oh leslie last last episode. You said that your daughter's art teacher. Yeah, that thing about practice every day. You can't. Yeah, in order to be an artist, you can't call yourself an artist unless you dedicate yourself to the process every day in some shape or form. was basically the fit. I think at am not quoting him right, but yeah, it makes sense. You have to work on your art every day. Okay. So do you have any tips for any listeners about who are going to start their not a rhymer journey this month? Andrea, you know, I did the biggest thing for me, and you know I mentioned it, fifteen hundred and fifty seven word of the day. And you know, for me that's that's my daily goal. Like I don't say, oh well, if I only get three hundred words today, I know I can catch up on the weekend, because there's no guarantee that there's ever time to catch up. And so, you know, for me, it's keeping that pace and it's making sure that I get those sixteen hundred and sixty seven words down. And if I am on a roll and I have time, I do not stop and you know, I just I keep going and you know I can get real obsessive sometimes where I I kind of just get lost in my own world and and then it's just like, don't you know? I see all these memes all the time about you know, it'll have somebody giving giving the camera dirty look and it says, you know, my face when someone interrupts me while I'm reading. It's like that's how I am sometimes that I'm writing and it's let's just like, you know, the kid will knock at the door and it's just like what, what, what? What's going on, like, who is this intruding? Like I like I'm just so kind of, kind of zoned out, and so like if I'm if I'm on a roll, I just keep going and then, you know, if I have then that does give me some flexibility later if a busy day comes up and I can hold cannily get those three hundred words in. But never, never use it as an excuse. So that's probably my biggest piece of advice, is to just stay on pace or ahead of pace whenever humanly possible and, you know, find the right time of day that works for you. I know in two thousand and fifteen, when I did Nano Rymo, it was in the morning. You know, it was at thirty in the morning, but then my kids started school and so by time I was doing it in two thousand and eighteen. Like to get my sixteen hundred words in the morning, I would have had to probably get up at four and that's just not feasible. So, you know, so then I did it at night. And, you know, make sure it's also really important to have people who are supporting your venture because, like if I had and have, you know, if my husband didn't say I've got the kids, go up and get your words done, you know, there's there's days that I maybe wouldn't have and so having people around you that will support what you're doing is really really important. Absolutely I like that. And definitely having other writers, writer buddies that you can commiserate with and cheer lead on and, you know, like are up at thirty in the morning with you and saying hey, you know, that accountability factor really does help to and with words, like sometimes it's just words like just right. In fact, last Saturday or Sunday, I think it was, I sat down and I had a goal for writing. This is on my finished, finished I put that in air quotes manuscript that I'm kind of doing some reworking right now, and I woke up and I was just kind of at a loss and I was like, I know that, I just need to sit down and start writing. So you might put out one six hundred words and one thus fourteen hundred of them are garbage, but you're still writing and just push through and get through. Actually, that same teacher I was talking about in high school who said that you know that about teaching, you know being too busy, he also said that you have to write a lot of crap to get something good, and so that's kind of you know, a guiding principle is that you know in in...

...any given manuscript, you know it, every word that you write for that manuscript is not going to end up in the final form and the important thing is just to get words down and you'll get there. You'll get to the right words eventually. You're not going to get to the right words if you don't write any words. So just get the words down. Absolutely. And what was it like to Finish Your manuscript? Gosh, so the first one it was just like I had never I mean I had had, you know, this idea and I had never finished a novel before, and this one finished in at about I mentioned that I started a little bit early. So when I finished it, it was that about seventy fivezero words and I went out and I bought myself a blizzard at dery queen and I posted a picture on facebook and said I'm a novelist now, like Oh, it has been tacked, has been done, and so, you know, that was that was pretty amazing because you know, that was twenty five years in the making right there. Well, yeah, probably about twenty five years in the making, and so it was really amazing to kind of just feel that, you know, accomplishment of finally getting there and then you know it. The second one was actually a little bit different because I didn't really have a plan per se of how I was going to end it and I was just writing one day and I was I just kind of came to a stopping point, you know, and I you I was getting towards the end, but I didn't have like this you know, awesome like final line in mind or anything. So it's just writing and I got to a stopping point. I just kind of step back and it's just like kind of taken a little breather and I looked back and I was like I just wrote the last line. That was it. Wow, I just did and so that was pretty cool too. That's fine. So, yeah, just snuck up on you. It did, it did. It's a phenomenal feeling, I'm sure, and I'm sure it won't happen like that ever again, but I will take it the one time it happened and I will embrace it and love it and be thankful for it. Well, every novel, every manuscript that you write has its own life, and so that was that was its final breath right there. And even though you are quote once say it's finished, I mean any writer out there knows your writing is never done. Even after you publish the book and it's on the shelf, you're like, if I could just fix that one thing or add this. Yeah, so our writing is never done, and that's a whole nother episode. But to be able to write the end, or however you you know, just the last sentence, it's Nice to you finished the manuscript that you started, Nana, by about two thousand and eighteen. Is it like a standalone book or you working on a sequel? Well, it is a standalone book, but I do have a pretty fully formed idea for a sequel. The sequel takes place like fifteen years fifteen like, yeah, fifteen years after the first one ends. So, like if it happens in real time and I don't write the sequel for another fifteen years as it's okay, okay, not putting a lot of pressure on myself. So yeah, but I mean it could be a standalone knovel. I mean it is a standalone novel. I I don't like reading series, so I'm I'm probably never going to write them. So I'm I just like I can't make that kind of commitment to, you know, getting so engrossed into a series and then being so desperate every time like the next book is going to come out because like, yeah, I just I just don't have that kind of time to invest. So it's okay, though. I know a lot of people really like series and that is fantastic, not just not me. Well, you never know, you might get a publisher that says, if your readers want it, then you trade it. Hence, I'm writing a sequel right now. And then you sit there for two years and your obstinate and you say no, I'm not going to but then you do it anyway. So so now that the book is completed and you're quiring right, correct hum yes, how's that going? So, you know, there's it's obviously a learning process. So, you know, there's some things that I wished I would have known kind of straight off the bat. One of them is actually some advice that Leah gave me that I shout. Probably should have talked to her and asked her about this a little. I mean we did talk about it, just this specific topic never came up. was to send out like the first half dozen and then wait to see what kind of response you get. Now I haven't sent out a ton, I've sent out about fifteen. So you know that's not, you know, like a ton, because I...

...have like probably eighty on my list. But you know, I kind of was going full speed ahead and and so when I got to fifteen, I had gotten, I'd gone a couple response as like a couple rejections that seemed a little more personal that. I had gotten a lot of form rejections. And then I did get one request for the full so that was like who screen, screaming my head off, like running around the house yelling for the first person I could find. So and then after like about a few days after that, I'd send another one. I had I had well, I'd written it all up at night and then I had scheduled it to send in the mornings. I did read somewhere that it was really good to send your query. He's like first thing in the morning. So I schedule them to go out of my inbox at like somewhere between eight and nine o'clock in the morning. I had one scheduled to go out it like zero thirty in the morning and by thirty I had a rejection from it and it was just like, oh my gosh, like it was just kind of it was kind of a little bit like more devastating than the other ones, because it was like I felt like maybe they didn't even read it or it was just so bad they just were like get this out of my index right now. And so at that point I just I stopped and I took a step back and I said, you know, Leah said that one thing about waiting for helpful feedback. So so I did. I think helpful you did, and so so I kind of stopped there and I that was in the middle of October and I haven't said any since then. And in the meantime I got a response from the agent who had requested the full manuscript and it was not. It was not good news and it's it's a lot more like, it's a lot more harrowing to have a rejection of your full manuscript then just your query and your synopsis in your sample chapters, because it's like, oh, they read the whole thing and still didn't like it. So that was a little tougher. But she responded with a lot of really helpful feedback and some of it, like her main thing that she talked about, was kind of mirrored kind of a growing concern that I was already having with with the book, with the manuscript, and so it was kind of like a green light to revisit and to go back and say, because I was concerned that my first chapter wasn't grabby enough, and so and and it does, you know, you know, maybe I don't know if it's historical fiction as a genre, but you know, you have books that have slow starts, you have books that have that dump you right into the action to start and and I know it's a matter of personal taste in a lot of ways, but because I was already concerned that had a slow start and that I wasn't like really catching the attention of any of agents. I had queried already. I said, you know, I think she's probably right. So Hence my finished manuscript not being finished. You know, she had said that the first hundred pages the pacing didn't really Gell, and so so I've been going back and taking a closer look at the first one hundred pages and which is about one third of the manuscript. So it was really nice that she didn't have shit, at least in her emails. She didn't make any comments about the second two thirds. So I guess maybe she thought that was good. So so, yeah, so that's what I'm doing now and then once I have that kind of reworked, I think I've got I think I've got it down how I want to get the action kicked off a little sooner and ways that I can kind of keep that first chapter, those first few chapters, really moving forward, because they are really nice times to get to know, at least like one of my characters. But you know, it was just a little, I guess, a little too much, because it is told from three different perspectives. So it was kind of a matter of we maybe we focus too much on one of them for the during the first hundred pages and then so it feel it fell off when there was less of that character in the second two hundred pages. I guess. Does that make sense? So, yeah, absolutely. Yeah, I want to reach back to what you had said. You said that you know her. Yeah, she rejected your query, but she came back with some instrumental advice and how to benefit and honestly, that's the kind of response that you definitely want. It hurts the first hundred times it...

...happens, but, like Stephen King says in his book on writing, I mean he could wallpaper bathroom after bathroom after bathroom with all his rejections, you just need that one. Yes, yeah, it's just one. It's there's this quote from little women that I always say it's like a girl in that don't need scores of suitors, she only needs one if he's the right one. And that's a me from little women says that and totally applies to writing. And you just need that one person to fall in love with your book. So your book, Baby. Yes, yes, and it is. It's like it's like all these thing. Even I was just thinking how queering agents is kind of like it's kind of like conceiving a baby because, like, you got to get all these kind of factors lined up just right, and so, like you have to find an agent who just loves the subject matter of your story and you have to find an agent who thinks they can sell your story, and you have to hit your agent at just the right time, because maybe that one that I got the rejection back two hours later, maybe her inbox is just really, really full and she just couldn't you know, she was still open and open to queries for something that might really grab her and you know, maybe if I had sent it at a different time she would have spent more time. I don't know, I really don't know, but it's just like all these little other factors that have to come together and then the magic happens. Yes, however, like you had said before, and Leslie reiterated, this is what's inside of you. This is not something that we take lightly. I mean there are writers who just, you know, Journal every day and it's just something that they do cathartically and it's they have no intention of publishing. But for those of us who come to a writer's retreat when the intent, with the intention of learning as much as we can about the publishing process and how to keep that stand them up. I mean it doesn't matter how many rejections that you get, that you keep going because it's inside of you. Yeah, because that's kind of where I'm landing right now. is like I was feeling real bad for myself the last couple weeks, or maybe I guess it was it was a week ago that I got the rejection of the full manuscript, and so it was just like I've been feeling really kind of down about it and, you know, like entertaining. You know, okay, well, it is. It is actually possible that I won't get an agent for this novel and like Yeah, you have to accept that, but at the same time it was just like I want this so much and I'm not going to just say, oh well, after fifteen rejections, I'm just done, because honestly, every time I look for agents online I find more like they crawl out of the woodwork, like they're everywhere, and so, you know, you you need to start sending more. Once I get, once I get these first hundred pages reworked, I definitely will be I want to read them, I want to see what you're what you're cooking with those first one hundred pages. All right. Yeah, yes, I'm curious because but you know, here's the thing, and like I said this earlier, is that your drive is what's going to get you where you want to go, and that fire that I hear that comes out of you is what's gonna get you the agent you want get your book where you want it to go. That dedication that I mean, you hear it in your voice, it's in your soul. I can I sense it. I mean it's like coming out of you. I mean the energy that without there is just like I want this more than nothything else, you know, and this time I'm gonna even though it hurts, because rejection hurts no matter what, because we all are humans and we all have feelings. It's look like that. I have the huge thing about learning. We learn from our mistakes. There's not even mistake. was just gotta go back and reward it or rewrite it or, you know, dig deeper edit it. How about if I try this? How about if I try that? It's just like yeah, keep going and it may not be the first draft, it may not be the second time. I and, but the drive that you have within yourself, that I hear it's going to get you where you need to be, and so I'm super excited for you. I'm super excited for this book for you. Think you read it. I want to he read those first under pages too. I was I was going to say about your blog, because I really liked your blog and I loved your latest boat that you did about the six famous people that you'd have dinner with. My favorite one on the list was Dr Ted for Forgia. I'm probably saying yes, yes, I loved I was like yes, I want to have dinner with him. So out of that list and everybody should go to her blog to check out the list so you can talk about find out who I'm talking about. Who my favorite one was, but I've all six of them. Which one would be the number one if you had to choose to have dinner...

...with one of them that you chose? And also, where is your blog for any readers out listeners out there that want to read it? So my blog is just Andrea Green Burtoncom and that's green spelled like the color. I mean, I would probably have to pick Dr Fre Jida right now actually, because my Nano Rimo project is about Tornado that he came and study the aftermath of so I feel like that would be the most valuable dinner that I could have with somebody right now. Yes, I'm obsessed with hurricane. So when I saw him on that list and I was like same thing. But yes, I love the sixth thing that you have. Ye, so that was my if you want to talk about habit, like in like writing habits, I decided to do this Saturday sixth theme because I was like this will force me to post on my blog at least once a week, and if I get another one in, that's great, but at least I know on Saturdays I'm going to post this list. So that was kind of my my attempt at being more active on my blog. I really loved it. I really love that you going on. I really grabbed me. I was like, Oh, this is great idea. Yeah, now I'm going to have to go look at it. I'm yeah, I didn't do my homework, it's a little probably busy. Oh well, man, anyway, see the Leslie. This is why, this is why this is good Leslie. And I started this podcast for fun, but it has proven to be a value more so than fun, because it's public speaking and we're writers. And I was thinking about this today at work. They had an opportunity to join the toastmasters and I was reading through like you know, tips and tricks, and so I was like, oh my gosh, it's what we do on the podcast. But that's like being an author. At some point in time you're going to have to talk in front of, like you were saying, Andrea, book clubs. You know, we're on this podcast. You might be a guest on a blog, you might be a guess on someone else's Podcast, you might go on a book to or you. I mean I've been on writers panels at conventions. I've spoken in front of a parade in Baltimore, the Monument Quilt Parade. I've spoken in front of you, six thousand people at Awesome con about my book. I mean you have to learn how to not only be a writer, this is all about communication, but the marketing aspect of being a writer. Like this is why this podcast is so good, not only, I'm being selfish, for me but like for other writers also, because I lose my train of thoughts so many times. I'm like, but this is good, this is good. I just had to put it out there. So we all have our thing. Like social media is my like anxiety pocket it. I can talk, I can talk in front of people, and that's fine. Social Media. We'll see, then social media is just not going to work out for you for marketing, then no, no, I'm you're trying. You're fantastic on twitter, and so is Andrea. Yeah, Andrea, you're good at twitter. I'm trying that. I'm brand new, like I've only been on a couple weeks and you know, it does feel like, it does feel like kind of like an isolated social media platform that I can really focus on my writing, you know, and like I'm not posting stuff on there about my kids, my family, like it's just for writing. And so, I mean I have a facebook page like for my like an author page on facebook that I really do very little with. But yeah, it's and it's nice to so. Like, you know, all I really do on twitter is I follow authors, like fellow agents, I follow literary groups, you know, all that sort of stuff, and so I do like it for that, I do enjoy it for that. You make an excellent point, because I think that that's why I like twitter so much more than any other social media outlet because it is just about the writing and there it's not about anything else. I'm not sharing a picture about my life. It is no one because I'm such a private person. It's like one hundred percent dedicated to just writing. So it's super focused on one thing and I find it easier to meet other authors writers because they has sex awesome. So yeah, you're right, it's just your focus. That's it. Absolutely. I had written off twitter for years because just got a little overwhelming the environment of it. But coming back to with the...

...writers or tree and you know, watching Leslie manage our twitter account, this is where all the writers hang out. It is. It totally is. Yeah, they don't hang out anywhere else but twit. I mean they do, they have instagram pages, but most of the action is on twitter and I love watching other authors interact. Like I saw a bunch of posts today. We're like one author posted a picture that like, some other author sent them a care package with one of their books in it, and like, I love the support that they're getting from one another. Like, I mean they're, you know, a lot of some of them are, you know, big name published authors, but it's still fun to see them in community with one another and it's still it's so like rejuvenating to see like them struggling and you know that, you know it's not just because you have a book or two or ten or thirty published, like it doesn't necessarily make the process any easier, like the process of getting the words on page. I'm sorry, I'm not, I'm not trying to be discouraging, but that, you know, it's just like you know, making art always will always have its challenges. And I think it's really funny too, because a lot of people think of writers is being like super duper introverted, and I don't really think that's true because I see so much communities support between writers, especially now that I'm on twitter. I mean we taught, I made writers groups are a thing, retreats our thing, Beta readers and like even just the process of getting to know your characters. Like that's not being introverted. That's like delving as deep as you can into like someone's psyche and like you might have twenty one characters that you need to delve into and so like, you know, like it's just the business of being around people all the time and they might be real and they might not be real and so. So, yeah, I have our imaginary right. So, like that's that's what I really appreciated seeing on twitter too, is just like the super amazing support between writers. It's been really, really nice to see. So what's what's your handle on twitter, if anyone wanted to follow you? So my twitter handle is ALG author. That is I like it. Yeah, but that I have that, that like a LG author. That was my email address on Yahoo that I made in one thousand nine hundred and ninety eight, and it is like now my it's just like my social media identifier. So, like you know, it's just what I what I what I use for everything. So and I like how you put the word author in there. It's like manifesting your what your vision. It's like universe, this is what the end result will be. So, you know, just put it out there, just grabbing that exactly, and it's you know, it's not. I think Lee, I think you said this to me one time. To See you're telling me all these smart things. Leah said to me at one time. She's like, it doesn't matter if you're published, you're still a writer, you're still an author. Damn, I said you did. So you know. You say that's me, man, she does a smart thing. I don't. I don't remember the smart thing that wasn't like. Well, I don't here to remind you. So my kids call me a cheater and you call me smart. Who should I listened to? Just don't like ride the line in the middle. Yeah, definitely. And for anyone listening in struggling with their writing, with their craft, like Andrea and Leslie and I, you know, we lament about it. You're a writer, writers right, period, and all the WHO cares about all the naysayers, especially non writers, will and if you tell someone I'm a writer, they oh, would you write? Well, you write all the time. No, would you publish? That's that's a published author. That's totally different. It's same thing. But if you're writing, you're actively writing, especially if you're participating in Nano rymow national novel writing month. That's I mean you're part of this huge community and evidently they're all on twitter. Little did I know. But yes, writers right. So, Andrea, I gotta say it was really awesome having you here at the writer's retreat. I learned so much. You are so fall spoken and I can't wait for your novel to come out and go on book tours and talk about it. Yes, rooting for you during your queering process. I know it. I've been there before. It took me over a year to find my agent and publisher and everything. So just keep going at...

...it. Thank you so much for joining us. Thank you for having me. Thank you for having me, thank you for giving me the chance to kind of like, you know, revisit why I'm doing this. Oh, Andrea, I wish you the best of luck and you're going to do awesome and I'm so excited for you. It was such an honor to have you on here. You really have so much good advice and it's so good to hear from another mother of for that we can do this, because we can do it. We can do it because that that's probably the hardest part for me. It's just like squeeze and her. Yes, and our kids will thank us, you know. They'll thank us for for being in the best that we can be and doing what we're supposed to do and demonstrating to them that it's important and that it's important to them. Is what they should go after too. Yeah, or your teenagers will look at you in the eye and say just because your writer doesn't mean I'm going to be a writer. My teenager said that's me, but still ignore it. But they're good writers. My daughter, she wrote something the other she's like, mom, this is like my second draft and I don't need to touch it again. Is Perfect. I'm like, well, what Kinda say? You got the gift. She's like Duh, so and here before you get up. What are you reading anything right now? Do you have anything on your night hand? Any good? Um, I well, not yet. I actually just finished something and I'm really glad you asked me this because I absolutely loved the book that I just finished. It was called the spell book of Katrina Van Tassel by Alissa Palumbo, and it was it's a historical fiction, like reimagining of the legend of sleepy hollow. It's a story that I have loved since, I mean as long as I can remember. I remember writing a retelling of it back when I was in sixth grade, and so it was very satisfying in terms of, like, you know, it's just a short story. The original this was, you know, a four hundred page novel and it really filled out a lot of what I had kind of always suspected and it was just a listen to the audiobook because I went on a long road trip and I'm not usually an audiobook listener, but the narrator on this audio book was amazing and it was just so engrossing and like atmospheric and perfect read for October. So yeah, that was my last read and I haven't started anything new yet, but I'm kind of just it's kind of like maybe one of those book hangovers where you're just like you ready to start the next one yet, because I just loved that one so much I just want to swim in it. You just want to like yes, dude, move back from people. Exactly. Okay, and say the name of the Book One more time. It's the spell book of Katrina Van Tassel. That sounds very up Leslie's alley. Yeah, and here's the author, Alyssa Palumbo. So, yeah, she's got another one out right now to and I can't remember the title of it, so don't. Don't put them and you're alive. The embarrassing. But so yeah, and I've actually interacted with her a little bit on twitter too, just like kind of telling her how much I was enjoying the book. Because I was listening to it and hopefully not annoying her. No, that's nothing. That's awesome. I remember when, you know, social media came about and like you're able to, you know, bump into your favorite authors and, yeah, when they're responding, I mean they know, like they know who the writers are. They they they connect with you because they've been there, you know, and it reinspires you to keep going with what you've got going on. Yeah, okay, so this is a great segue intern next segment, the Writers Retreat Book Club. So I just started reading searching for Sylvie Lee by gene. I'm probably might be saying that wrong. I think it was part of the Jena Book Club. Have you guys run anything from the Gena Book Club? Never, no, I haven't. Book you supposed to be really good. They got really good reviews and stuff, so I'm excited to dive deep into this one. So that's what I'm currently reading. Okay, well, Ma ree thing. Yes, I this morning I woke up at the five am alarm my husband crankily, if that's a word. So what the hell are you doing? Did my writing and then I read for an hour the bear town. I am still yes, yes, yes, yes, so good. Am I gonna love it? It might, because it's just it's about it's about hockey, you know. Oh, I'm not wearing my heart. Yeah, yeah, bear town. I'm really enjoying it, but every so often I'm because he opened up in...

...the prolog the way he did, like it propels you through the whole story because you think everyone is the person that he described in the prolog. And I'm not going to give any anything away and don't want to say you know just because someone's listening and they haven't read it yet. But like that, that trick that he did in the prolog, it propels the reader, like you can put the book down. You're like, but is it this person, or is at this person? I got to read, and then there's more characters and more characters and more characters. I first of all I want to know where bear town is, but the author is from Sweden. Yeah, that's wait and right. And so is is it in Canada? Or it's not in Canada's a MON and sweeten. Now it's in Sweden. So they are in Sweden. Yes, yes, Oh, well then I can't go okay yet yet. It is our of that was a five. That was a five star book for me. So keeping I love. I loved that book. I thought it was well written in I loved how he did that. I love that that he did. I love that he made me think that everybody did it, because it's just like good writing, right exactly. I was telling my husband. I'm like I really am. I mad at him because I'm like I can't decipher who. Like I thought it was going to be blatant, but it's turning out to be like I'm halfway through the book and I still have no idea, which I'm like maybe I should. I mean US writers were always just like any art you you beg borrow and steal, you know, like I'm going to write kind of like a horror type, not horror, but like paranormal book for my Nana Rymom, like maybe I should leave a little dangling something in the beginning, and I don't. I don't know. It's really great technique. I really liked it. That's why he got an agent, because he like really sucked a men with the prolog right. HMM. Now when you queried and they want your first three chapters, do you include the prolog? Is that part? Yeah, villain. I mean usually it's like the first or I mean first twenty five pages, which would include the prolog. So right, right, right. Yeah, yeah, for any listeners out there, when you start queering, every single agent is different, every single one. They all are every single one, and I love the ones who spell it out a b CD exactly what they want. Like at first I was like, Oh wow, they're so particular, but then that's like now I know I'm sending them exactly the right thing. It's really helpful. You Thought Writing The manuscript was hard, try queering twenty two hundre under it a literary agents. Yep, awesome. Well, follow along with us on twitter and if you're reading any of the books that we just are, you know, just discussed, let us know what you think or what books you're reading. What is it? HASHTAG writers retreat, a club. Yeah, and and the links to the books that were discussed will be on the show notes to thank you. Yeah. So any last notes? Leah, yes, if you have not joined or checked us out on Patreon, I know Leslie and I you know in all of our episodes on the podcast we talked about being part of a writing group. We started a new writing group just for the writer's retreat podcast and you can be in there. Is just like any writers group, where we get together and talk about writing, just like we do here on the writer's retreat. And but the really awesome thing about it, once a month you can submit up to ten pages of anything that you want for critique. So if you join us on Patreon, our writing group is there and I leave a whole bunch of special offers and exclusive content just for our patreon writers. And that yeah, so thank you so much for joining us again. If you have any questions for Leslie and I, just visit our website and maybe, maybe we'll have you on as a guest. We love to talk to other writers. Yep, and until next time. That's a wrap.

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