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Welcome to the Not A Drop To Drink Blog Tour. I have been reading rave reviews of Not A Drop To Drink by Mindy McGinnis. I am chomping at the bit to read my copy. I hope you enjoy the awesome guest post below in which Mindy talks about the five things every writer should know. And don’t forget to enter the giveaway below.
Title: NOT A DROP TO DRINK
Author: Mindy McGinnis
Pub. Date: September 24, 2013
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
SummaryRegret was for people with nothing to defend, people who had no water.
Lynn knows every threat to her pond: drought, a snowless winter, coyotes, and, most importantly, people looking for a drink. She makes sure anyone who comes near the pond leaves thirsty, or doesn’t leave at all.
Confident in her own abilities, Lynn has no use for the world beyond the nearby fields and forest. Having a life means dedicating it to survival, and the constant work of gathering wood and water. Having a pond requires the fortitude to protect it, something Mother taught her well during their quiet hours on the rooftop, rifles in hand.
But wisps of smoke on the horizon mean one thing: strangers. The mysterious footprints by the pond, nighttime threats, and gunshots make it all too clear Lynn has exactly what they want, and they won’t stop until they get it….
With evocative, spare language and incredible drama, danger, and romance, debut author Mindy McGinnis depicts one girl’s journey in a barren world not so different than our own.
Five Things Every Writer Should Knowby Mindy McGinnis
NOT A DROP TO DRINK is my debut novel, but it’s not the first book I wrote… by a long shot. I had been writing – and failing – for ten years before landing my agent, Adriann Ranta, with the query for DRINK. Yes, that says ten years. My journey to publication may have a fairy tale ending, but the beginning and the middle are more like what would’ve happened if Sleeping Beauty OD’d on Ambien or if Rapunzel had split ends. A lot of people ask me for writing advice, and I’m happy to give it. They just have to be prepared that I might say something they don’t want to hear.
1) Find a career that you love… other than writing. I’m a YA librarian and I love it. I don’t just mean being surrounded by books, either (although that’s awesome). I like organizing things, I like straightening spines on shelves, I like pitching books to kids and I like then having to run them down and make them give it back (or renew! Don’t forget renewing!) two weeks later. Pretty much everyone I know dislikes their job and lives for the weekend. If I had a job I didn’t like I would feel the same, and then I’d spend the weekend kicking back and relaxing because – let’s face it – writing is work. Find a 40/wk that you can come home from without being a mental and emotional wreck so that you still have room for writing.
2) Be prepared to give up… approximately 12,000 times. The novel that I wrote before DRINK received over 130 form rejections. Yep. I remember the first rejection I ever received, nearly a decade earlier. This was back when querying was strictly a printed letter and SASE endeavor, and getting an envelope in the mail addressed to you in your own handwriting made your heart sink into your intestine. I cried when I got my first rejection. By the time I was querying DRINK I was gleefully drag and dropping my form rejections to the bulging email folder designed specifically to make me feel inadequate. I have cried, I have thrown things, I have stomped my feet and yelled. I have quit, more than once. Then I realized that even if I ceased writing them down the stories in my head didn’t stop. So why not write them? If nothing else it’s an investment in carpal tunnel.
3) You are not unique… and neither am I. Pretty much everyone has written a book, and chances are someone out there has written a book very similar to yours. In fact, it might already be published. But your baby is in your voice, it has your name on it. Find the thing that makes it special and make other people give a $*#! about that.
4) You are not an island… in fact you really need to be part of a bustling metropolis. The days of sitting on your porch with a typewriter and sipping mint juleps while remaining completely removed from anything other than the writing are over. You are the best proponent of your own book whether you are self-pub, indie pub, or big trad pub. Expect to have a social media presence, expect to blog, expect to have a site, expect to smile and shake hands and kiss babies and give away kittens and locks of your own hair. Like I said, everyone has written a book. It’s partly your job to make people want to buy yours after you’ve written it, whether you want to or not.
5) You are not a genius… and neither am I. If I’d realized that a lot sooner it might not have taken me a decade to be published. When I finally decided that YES I was going to do this thing, I did it with the assumption that the clouds would crack and rays of light would fall onto my computer after I typed THE END, that my door would be kicked down by someone important who needed my novel RIGHT NOW because clearly I was AMAZING and would soon be FAMOUS AND WEALTHY. Keep in mind I was in college, a beautiful place where people make food for you and reality has no bearing.
Yeah, none of those things actually happened. And the reason why is because I really sucked. And part of the reason why I sucked was because I was so wrapped up in the legend of my own genius that I didn’t think I needed a critique partner. I did. I really did. So do you.
Those are five things I think every writer should know, realistic things that might feel like a pinprick in your big shiny balloon of hope. But I feel like there’s enough feel-good optimist stuff out there that a little applicable practicality might come in useful J
Author BioMindy McGinnis is an assistant YA librarian who lives in Ohio and cans her own food. She graduated from Otterbein University magna cum laude with a BA in English Literature and Religion. Mindy has a pond in her back yard but has never shot anyone, as her morals tend to cloud her vision. Blog
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