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Sunday, September 2, 2012

Gearing Up to Get an Agent Meet & Greet

 Hello everyone! I am part of the 2012 Gearing Up to Get an Agent blogfest. Click the badge over there if you want to sign up to get in on the fun too. 

Our first event is a meet & greet so here's the lowdown on me. 


 I am an SCBWI member and the author of Pajama Girl, a digital picture book published by MeeGenius. The sequel, Pajama Girl Meets Blanket Boy will be released Sept. 14, 2012. An alphabet book is tentatively scheduled to release by the end of the year. 

But I write more than picture books. I'm currently submitting my YA novel, Dream Girl, and hoping to land an agent or editor for that. 

In my non-writing life, I am a wife, mother of two young children and I work outside the home part time as a Social Media Librarian. I also do freelance publicity for things that truly inspire me and I believe in. Among them, Spoken Word Greetings from England
and the debut MG novel Easter Ann Peters: Operation Cool.  I'm very excited about both of those ventures so I hope you'll check them out too. 

Our lovely blogfest host, Deana Barnhart has started us out with some get to know you questions so I'll get to those now.


Where do you write?
My life has been insanely busy lately and I find that I'm in the car a lot, between my half hour commute to work and the 20 minute commute to take my daughter to school, I consider the car as my thinking space. I try to think about my characters and stories while I'm driving so when I do get the time to sit down and write, I know exactly where I'm going and what I want to say.  



When writing , do you listen to music or do you need complete silence?
I need music. Music helps me to access the specific mood and emotion I'm looking for in my work. I compile a playlist for my WIPs and listen to them in the car to help me get into the right mindset. 

What was your inspiration for your latest manuscript and where did you find it?
My YA novel started its life when I had a bizarre dream in 2003.  I jotted down the most interesting parts of the dream knowing they'd be great for a novel someday. 'Someday' came in 2005 when I read a novel by Michael Lawrence. I closed the book and thought, "Oh my gosh, that dream of mine, it needs to be a YA novel!" Until that point, I figured I'd write for adults. Everything snapped into place once I realized the book should be YA. Now I just need someone to publish it. 

And that's all I'll bore you with for now. If you're here from GUTGAA, please leave a comment with your blog link so I can be sure to stop over and meet you too. This is going to be fun! (And if you're not from GUTGAA, I'm glad you're here too!)


68 comments:

  1. Hi, Sarah! #138 here. I answered your question on my blog. Thank you for visiting. I like your idea to use driving time/car space as your thinking space. Turning any available space into a place you can plan/plot is a great way to juggle having children/family/a life while also writing. Congratulations on your books!

    Warm regards, Don

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    1. Thanks for visiting, Don.
      Living in the London area and restoring a haunted priory? Heck yeah, you need to write about that! That's a book I would read for sure. :)

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  2. Lovely to meet you! I don't drive, but if I did, I would definitely use car time as thinking time! :D

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  3. I spend two hours in the car everyday (commute to work). It is a good place for a thinking space. :) Nice to meet you, Sarah. Good luck!

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    1. Glad to meet a fellow car thinker. It helps doesn't it?

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  4. Hi, Sarah! I like the car for thinking time, too. Though I'm not in it nearly as much as you, it does offer a great opportunity to plot things out. Getting an idea back in 2003, that's awesome. Hope it gets published!

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    1. Thanks Janeal! I hope it gets published too. :) Nice to see another car thinker here too.

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  5. Another car thinker here! It is where I have almost every single one of my wip epiphanies! ;)

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    1. I've had some amazing epiphanies in the car too. The only trouble is keeping them, perfectly intact, in the brain until I can scribble them down somewhere.
      Who knew there were so many car thinking writers?

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  6. Hi! I had a similar experience "Ah-ha" experience about writing YA, with two previous adult novels "under the bed." Nice to meet you!

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    1. Hi Laurie! Maybe writing YA is something that needs to sneak up on a person? Anyway, it works for us, right?

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  7. Nice to meet you, Sarah! I'm yet another car writer. Good to know there are so many others out there. Most of my co-workers think I'm a little off. Best of luck with your manuscript!

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    1. Maybe we should start a support group for car writing? There are more of us than I'd have imagined! Thanks for commenting.

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  8. I should start using my commuting time for thinking up parts to my novels as well. Better use of time than scream-singing songs at the top of my lungs. :) I'm your newest follower. Very nice to meet you!

    AA
    http://anallegedauthor.blogspot.com/

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    1. Well, I'm guilty of belting out tunes at the top of my lungs in the car too. It's also my only opportunity to be kid-free and listen to whatever I want. But I do the thinking on top of that. Sometimes. :)

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  9. Thanks so much for visiting my blog, and good luck with GUTGAA! I have a huge commute myself (40 miles one way), so I do lots of car thinking, too. I also get most of my best ideas when I'm sleeping, too!

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    1. Hi LisaAnn! Same here about sleeping. I love to "sleep on it" and have the answer in the morning. I don't know why, but for writing, it works a lot of the time.
      Nice to meet you!

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  10. Hi Sarah
    thanks for visiting my blog ( no 152 when i grow up i wanna write a kids book)
    Firstly, your book Pajama girl looks wonderful, I will have to download that for my little girl. Second, best of luck with your query, I hope you get an agent soon.
    Thirdly, yes Australia is wonderful, so one day you will have to come on a book tour, lol, great to meet you, cheers Julie

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    1. Julie, if you do download Pajama Girl, I hope you love it! That's so sweet of you.
      I'd love to do a book tour in Australia. Positive thinking is all it takes, right? ;)

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  11. I need music when I write too! I totally gets me in the right mind set :)

    So nice to meet you!

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    1. Hi Kelley! Thanks for stopping by. What did writers do before phonographs? Write at the orchestra hall?

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  12. Greetings fellow GUTGAA-ler! I just joined your blog. Pajama Girl and Blanket Boy - so cute! Good luck with your pitch. Come check out my blog too. http://rhiannwynnnolet.blogspot.com/ I just started it two weeks ago, let me know what you think so far.

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    1. Hi Rhiann! I think your blog looks great. Nice to meet you and good luck with GUTGAA!

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  13. Hey, Sarah! You posted on my blog about living in Michigan--that's so awesome! :) I've lived my whole life in the metro Detroit area, so I'm really excited to get to explore Ann Arbor, finally.

    It's nice to meet you, and good luck finding an agent!

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    1. I think you'll love Ann Arbor. It's a beautiful city and a great downtown. Good luck with classes AND landing an agent. :)

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  14. Nice to meet you. I also have a long commute and spend much of my time outlining my stories. Good luck with GUTGAA.

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    1. Hi Angie! Thanks for stopping by and for being part of the car writer group. :)

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  15. Nice to meet you Sarah!

    What a great idea to use car time as thinking time! Starting tomorrow, I'll be doing the half-hour school commute to drop off my kids again. Looks like a good time to do something thinking about my characters and plots! Thanks! :)

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    1. Hi Rachel! Glad I could help out. It's better than thinking about what to cook for dinner, that's for sure! :)

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  16. Hi Sarah! OMG, it just so happens that I am reading Phantom by Susan Kay right now. I'm at the Phantom/Christine part. Oh, it's so agonizing. Poor Phantom never gets a break.

    I wish I could write/brainstorm while in the car. But I guess I'm too busy singing. So nice meeting you! P.S. Have you seen Love Never Dies? Get the DVD now!

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    1. I did get the Love Never Dies DVD. That thing with Meg at the end? Yeah, that's totally from my novel in 8th grade. Well, not the bitter conclusion but her feelings. That was pretty awesome.
      I think we must be Phantom BFFs now. Deal?

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    2. Deal! We are now Phantom BFFs and if I ever meet you in real life, I will SING FOR YOU! You sound really cool. Where are you on your writing/publishing journey? What's your book about?

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    3. You sound pretty cool yourself. And have fascinating premises for novels.
      I'm submitting my YA right now and the rejections are coming in, slowly but surely. It is the story of Christine (wonder where I came up with that name), Gabriel (yeah...he's the chorus master in the Leroux original.) and a mysterious and dangerous dream world.
      Good times, if I do say so myself.
      How about you? Submitting? Self-publishing? Small press?

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  17. I think about my story during car rides, too. It's a great way to make what seems like wasted time into productive.

    Have fun during GUTGAA!

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    1. Another car thinker! Nice to meet you, Laura.

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  18. I love your inspiration (epiphanies are great!). I'm fairly certain I am Pajama Girl (my husband calls me the PajAmazon) I get out of my PJs early, I just like to get into them early! I never thought of brainstorming in the car, but I like the idea -- and listening to your playlist to get in the mood is smart.

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    1. Welcome, PajAmazon! What an awesome nickname. You could write a book about that. PJs are the best.
      Thanks for stopping by.

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  19. I'm so glad I have no commute to worry about, but that amount of free time just for thinking sounds sublime. Glad to hear you take advantage of it. See you around GUTGAA!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Jeannette! And, yes, you are lucky to be without a commute. This is the only way I can make it bearable.

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  20. I do a lot of "car writing" too! Nice to *meet* you as part of GUTGAA.

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    1. Thanks for visiting, Nicole. I can't believe the number of people here who use driving time for writing time. Pretty cool. :)

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  21. Nice to meet you fellow Marian Librarian! It sounds like you, much like myself, are a planner. I have a long commute where I think out tricky spots as well, definitely to music.

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    1. I love to plan things. It's stressful but good fun all at the same time. And it's always better with a soundtrack. Thanks for commenting!

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  22. It never ceases to amaze me how a couple of seemingly unlinked ideas can come together an create one outstanding idea. I wish you luck with all of your writing projects. You have a beautiful blog.

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    1. Thanks so much, Jess. Nice to 'meet' you!

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  23. Nice to meet you! The cover for Pajama Girl is absolutely adorable! Good luck with GUTGAA.

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    1. Thank you, Jessica. I think my illustrator did a fantastic job with Pajama Girl. He's a cool guy. (but no, we haven't met in person).
      Enjoy GUTGAA!

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  24. Writing in your car...wow! Thanks for visiting my blog, it is so nice to meet fellow writers:) Good luck with GUTGAA and your latest YA project!

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    1. Thank you! Good luck with your work as well. We have some great people participating in GUTGAA. I'm so glad I joined up.

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  25. You at you, you publishing world superstar!

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    1. Jody. You are amazing. Up a little too late, methinks, but amazing. ;)

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  26. Hi Sarah — just want to say that I really admire your ability to write during those "in-between" moments before and after hectic moments. Still not a skill I've mastered... I usually need lots of time to "zone in" before I can even start!

    Good luck with all of your manuscripts. A novel is never dead, you either need to make it spectacular or let it simmer until it gets its chance with someone who connects with it.

    Have a great GUTGAA!!!

    John

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    1. Thanks for visiting. Sometimes, I feel like those "in-between" times are all I get so I decided it was better to make use of them. Otherwise I'd explode.

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  27. Hi Sarah,
    Of all the things I do in my car, I'd have to say writing isn't one I've tried yet. Nice to meet you happy GUTGAA. Hope to chat with you soon
    Paula
    http://authorscornerpaulakouman.blogspot.com/

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    1. Hi Paula! Thanks for taking the time to comment. Nice to meet you too.

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  28. It's amazing you could turn your dream into a novel. :)

    http://otherworlddiner.blogspot.com/2012/09/deana-barnharts-gearing-up-to-get-agent.html

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    1. Hi Mia. Thanks for coming by and saying hello!

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  29. Hi from GUTGAA! I do the same thing with driving. I put on my playlist for my WIP and just think. I've missed turns doing this. :)
    http://maravalderran.blogspot.com

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    1. Hi Mara, it is easy to get lost in thought listening to those WIP soundtracks, isn't it? Nice to meet you!

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  30. Hey. Thanks for checking out my blog! I get a lot of my ideas from dreams too... It's one of my favorite things to do... and alone time in the car is perfect thinking time. Good luck!

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    1. Thanks Heather. Thank goodness dreams can be useful for something, right? Makes our work a lot easier. :)

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  31. Driving is definitely a great place to let those writing thoughts stew. I listen to a lot of audio books, and sometimes I need to turn off the book so I can think some more on my own writing. Hearing other fiction read outloud is very inspirational for me. It also tends to highlight writing cliches and overused words more so than reading on a printed page. I'm very aware of word repetition after listening to so many audio books.

    Good luck with GUTGAA! Here's my GUTGAA Meet and Greet Post

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    1. You know, I haven't really gotten into audio books. I can't concentrate on them as well as if I have the book in my hand. I don't know what it is. Maybe I'm a visual learner, but it is great to listen to a fantastic reader work their magic with beautiful language. I get lost in the sound and the feeling rather than paying attention.
      Thanks for commenting!

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  32. "Pajama Girl Meets Blanket Boy” Sounds very interesting, Sarah! And I’m part of the GUTGAA bloghop (or whatever they’re calling it!), too. So much fun. Following your blog now, too, by the way. =) ~Aidyl aidylewoh.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks for following, Aidyl! I really appreciate it. Hope you'll stop by for the Pajama Girl Meets Blanket Boy virtual launch party. There are prizes. Everyone loves prizes. :)

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  33. I used to spend a lot of time in the car too (over an hour commute to work, ick) and really got into listening to audiobooks. It was great because I didn't have time to read when I got home. I'm glad the time works well for you- it is good time to think!

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    1. Work commutes are rotten, aren't they? Gotta find some way to make them worthwhile.
      Thanks for stopping by!

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