Gearing Up to Get an Agent: Meet and Greet!

All righty. This post is all about the blog hopping. If you’re checking out the Rubber Duck Brigade because of the GUTGAA, leave a comment, and I’ll be sure to stop by!
Who am I?
Howdy! My name’s Amanda, and I live in Seattle with the world’s most awesome boyfriend and my adorable and neurotic cat. I started writing about two and a half years ago, and I’ve had difficulty stepping away from the keyboard for any length of time since.
I write contemporary romance and urban fantasy with super strong romantic elements. I think it stems from my confusion when I first started reading the genre. I’d go looking for the newest Richelle Mead or Chloe Neill book, and I’d automatically head for the romance section, and I’d find them in the sci-fi/fantasy section. I’m a cubicle ninja by day, so I make time to write when I’m not at work (and sometimes when I am. Oops.) I have trouble with weak female characters-give me a strong woman who can kick a man’s ass any day. And it doesn’t have to be physically. One of my favorites is Reese Gilmore, the heroine of Nora Robert’s Angel Falls. Reese may be damaged from a horrifically traumatic attack, but she’s still standing and moving forward.
Where do you write?
On my couch. My cat, Demeter, aka The Noisy Shadow, is very needy. Whenever I sat on our old couch, her favorite spot used to be right next to my left arm. The new couch doesn’t allow for this. She’s since migrated to sitting on my legs.
Quick. Go to your writing space, sit down and look to your left. What is the first thing you see?
The dining room table and the boxes full of books I have yet to unpack (still no bookshelves!)
Favorite time to write?
Sunday mornings, as soon as I get up. I can’t sleep in, and the BF will usually sleep for a few more hours, so I can get a lot more done.
Drink of choice while writing?
Ghiradelli’s Hot Cocoa in Double Chocolate. Or if the BF is helping, wine. Preferably a malbec.
When writing , do you listen to music or do you need complete silence?
Usually, I can’t write while listening to music. I love music and it’s incredibly influential, but anything with lyrics is too distracting. Sometimes I can do it, if it’s mellow (like the Civil Wars) or classical (Arvo Part).
What was your inspiration for your latest manuscript and where did you find it?
I’d given a friend of mine a copy of Not About Love to read, just for fun. Once she finished it, she asked if I was planning to write “the hipster’s story” (she was referring to two of the tertiary characters who kinda sorta get together at the very end). I hadn’t actually intended to write anything more using this cast I’d created, but I figured I’d give it a shot. Nice Guys Finish Last is actually about two of the other characters from Love. What happens when the girl who goes after the bad boys lands a nice guy? Will she keep him? (And yes, the title is taken from the Green Day song of the same name.)
What’s your most valuable writing tip?
Everyone always says write, write, and write some more. Yes. Do this. But more importantly, attend a class. Or a workshop. Or a conference. Something where you have to meet other writers in person. I attended the Write on the Sound writer’s conference last October and met two amazing writers, Liv Rancourt and Shannon O’Brien. These two ladies have been wonderful. We beta read for each other, pass on information about contests and pitch opportunities, and give each other that shot in the arm when everything looks like it’s about to tank. So go. Meet other writers. Learn from them, and learn with them.

42 thoughts on “Gearing Up to Get an Agent: Meet and Greet!

  1. So excited when I saw you were from Seattle! I grew up there and now live east of the mountains. I too love strong characters and Nora Roberts is a guilty pleasure of mine. Although I do not have a cat, I have a new puppy that seems to believe she is one. Great to meet you!

    1. Nora Roberts was the first romance I picked up…haven’t been able to stop reading her since, even though some of her more recent ones aren’t as good as they could be. PUPPIES! The BF wants one. I keep telling him when he has time to take care of it he can get one 🙂

  2. Like you, attending a writing conference really helped me. I felt like I’d leveled up from Newbie Writer after attending workshops and pulling out as much industry detail as I could. The blogging community helps too; so much info about writing and publishing can be found online for free. It’s pretty amazing.

    I already follow you on twitter. Good luck with GUTGAA! Here’s my GUTGAA Meet & Greet: A Girl and Her Diary

    1. I swear I wouldn’t have found nearly as much of the information I have now if I hadn’t gone to that conference first. I’m attending my first “big” conference next month (Emerald City Writers Conference) and I’m looking forward to learning a ton more.

  3. LOL I agree. Writing is one of those things (like teaching) that people assume is easy–but really isn’t. That’s why I take study very seriously.

  4. Oooh, do you happen to listen to Ashokan’s Farewell from the Ken Burns Civil War soundtrack? Cuz…I do! And if you do too, we must be friends! I am also a fan of kick-ass heroines, no damsels-in-distress for me.

  5. Nice to meet you! I get a lot of work done on weekend mornings too… letting hubby sleep in and the kids watch a couple of cartoons. Then the chaos starts. See you around GUTGAA!

  6. That’s so cool that you live in Seattle! I’ve always wanted to live there! We even moved there for a month last year, but my dad decided his new job wasn’t going to work out so we moved back to Ohio 😦

    Great answers! And I love how your cat’s name is Demeter!

  7. The pacific northwest rocks! The PNWA literary conferences are great if you haven’t tried them. Nice to meet you from GUTGAA!

  8. Dear Amanda,

    Nice to meet you. I enjoyed your answers to the GUTGAA questions. Ghiardelli is the shizz. My wife makes the fudge iced brownies and subs coffee instead of water. Gives it an even richer flavor. We call them “ooey gooey brownies.” Betcha want one now, huh? ;P It’s cool when you’ve got a book populated with characters so well developed you can write another whole book on a “what if the story continued…” Happy writing!

    Warm regards,

    Don #138

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