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Sunny Frazier's Blog (39)

WHY YOU GOT THAT REJECTION LETTER

You've worked hard on your query. You followed all the “rules” you read in writing magazines. You've sweated blood to create a great opening, to get the synopsis down to a page. I'm the acquisitions editor who received this carefully constructed letter.

To be honest, before I read your synopsis, I googled your…

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Added by Sunny Frazier on October 20, 2015 at 6:30pm — No Comments

CATEGORICALLY SPEAKING

So, I got these two kittens a few months back. Ragamuffin is a torty; Rusty is orange and fluffy. They were rescued from a stray cat's litter.

I'm trying hard not to be an over-protective mother. When Rusty, the clueless male, climbed up to the top of the tree, I had the crazy idea to send his much more sensible sister to fetch him down. She obeyed and went to the rescue like a St. Bernard.

Which left me to wonder: when did I…

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Added by Sunny Frazier on October 20, 2015 at 6:30pm — No Comments

YOU CAN'T PROMOTE WHAT DOESN'T EXIST

The world of publishing is very much like playing craps in Vegas. No matter how hard a writer evaluates a publishing house or tries to predict its future success before signing on the dotted line, the industry itself is as consistent as a roll of the dice.

There are calculations you can make based on factors such as the length of time the house has been in business, the size of its stable of authors, the number of titles and presence on the Internet. But, getting information…

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Added by Sunny Frazier on September 20, 2015 at 6:30pm — No Comments

THE HISTORY OF PUBLISHING: PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE

Why bother learning the industry you want to be part of? Why go to medical school before you do surgery?

Yeah, it makes that much sense.…

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Added by Sunny Frazier on August 20, 2015 at 6:30pm — 1 Comment

ACQUISITIONS: THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY

If you love to read, then the job of acquisitions editor for a small press is a dream come true. If you hate to dash dreams, are easily swayed or thin-skinned, find another occupation.

I am the gatekeeper who stands between you and the publisher. The publisher concentrates on production and relies on me to take queries and make decisions based on the needs of the publishing house. We share a vision and it's my job is to find manuscripts for that vision.

So, read the guidelines…

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Added by Sunny Frazier on July 20, 2015 at 5:00am — No Comments

WHAT'S YOUR GENRE?

Although I do astrology, I no longer ask people “What's your sign?” As an acquisitions editor for Oak Tree Press, I now ask authors, “What's your genre?”

The worst thing a writer can do is give me a blank stare. “Genre” is an essential part of the lingo in publishing lexicon. It's how we classify a book and decide if it fits our line.

Labeling books has practical reasons. Bookstores (when they existed) found it useful to put books…

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Added by Sunny Frazier on June 20, 2015 at 3:30am — No Comments

LOOKING TO THE PAST

What happens when something you love becomes WORK?

Yes, that's my current dilemma. I love to read (who doesn't?) and mystery has been my favorite genre until I became acquisitions editor for Oak Tree Press. The manuscripts came fast and furious, box loads via snail mail, cyber submissions filled my e-mail. All of a sudden I was forced to speed read the first 30 pages, make decisions like a Roman…

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Added by Sunny Frazier on May 20, 2015 at 3:30am — No Comments

TELL ME A STORY

Remember when the day ended with a bedtime story?

I remember my mother reading a picture book I already knew by heart. When he was home from sea duty, my father would spin stories of his childhood in the South. Sometimes he'd recite scenes from “Gone With the Wind,” changing his voice to fit each character. Okay, that may have been a little over the top. Does an eight-year-old really need to go to sleep with Scarlett's “As God is my witness”…

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Added by Sunny Frazier on April 13, 2015 at 11:30pm — No Comments

YEA SAYERS AND NAY SAYERS

To cyber-socialize or not to cyber-socialize? That is the question.

My New Year's resolution for '09 was to finally, seriously and extensively take a look at all the social sites I kept hearing about. My Space. Face Book. Crime Space. Twitter. Blogs. No more letting the info slide by, no more shaking my head and saying, “Who's got time for all this bulls__t?” I would do an investigation, just like my sleuth Christy Bristol. I would finally find…

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Added by Sunny Frazier on March 13, 2015 at 11:30pm — No Comments

I HEAR VOICES

I wrote a column in my local newspaper about a former English teacher who passed away. The article generated emails from other former students with their own stories to share. But one reader, a woman in my graduating class (1969), wrote to tell me that she not only enjoyed the article, but liked my writing enough to buy my mystery novel, FOOLS RUSH IN.

Compliment accepted (as well as the check).

What this reader responded to is…

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Added by Sunny Frazier on February 13, 2015 at 11:30pm — No Comments

READING BETWEEN THE LINES

I heard a quote the other day stating that fiction is more “real” than non-fiction because, in writing fiction, it's easier to tell the truth.

Think about it. If you're writing non-fiction, you have to stick to the facts. There's no way a writer can go inside the mind of the subject and detail how decisions are made. Only actions and consequences are recorded. One can surmise, conjecture, and deliberate, but will never really know the…

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Added by Sunny Frazier on January 13, 2015 at 11:30pm — No Comments

CONFESSIONS OF A CONTEST JUNKIE

I love writing contests. When I hear of one or come across a contest on the Internet, my heart starts racing and ideas flood my mind. My competitive spirit kicks into high gear. I may never run a marathon or win a ballroom dance competition, but give me a theme and a deadline and I'm up for the challenge.

Short stories are a terrific way to start a career in writing. Just ask Stephen King. It hones writing skills and forces writers out of their…

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Added by Sunny Frazier on December 13, 2014 at 11:30pm — No Comments

YOUNG AT ART

You've heard the phrase “If I only knew then what I know now.” This doesn't apply in the writing world. Everything I thought I knew about writing has changed in the last 20 years. Oh, not the basic rules of grammar and punctuation, that's still in place even if sometimes ignored. But how I write, and more importantly, how I publish has come out of the dark ages.

I knew I wanted to be a writer from age 13. I had good teachers, learned what I needed…

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Added by Sunny Frazier on November 13, 2014 at 11:30pm — No Comments

WHY I'M NOT WRITING

I'm very adamant on the Internet and elsewhere that I don't believe in the notorious “writers block.” Most former journalists and newspaper people will agree with me. We couldn't couldn't look up at the editor in despair and whine, “I don't know, sir. The words just aren't coming to me right now.” That doesn't fly when there are column inches to fill and lay-out people impatiently tapping their toes. Writers block = pink…

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Added by Sunny Frazier on October 13, 2014 at 11:30pm — No Comments

UNCONVENTIONAL CONVENTIONS

Mystery conventions have to be some of the wackiest, most creative and high energy get-togethers around, Comic Con not withstanding (if you can stand a hundred Darth Vadersroaming around).

Years ago,…

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Added by Sunny Frazier on September 13, 2014 at 11:30pm — No Comments

SIZE DOESN'T MATTER

I'll be blunt.

The Central Valley is considered an agricultural giant. However, many consider this area a cultural wasteland. Some of those people with negative impressions don't live in Los Angeles or San Francisco. They live right here.

For a writer who believes there is a wealth of possibilities to write about in this region, the misconception hurts. William Saroyan renamed Fresno “Ithaca” for “The Human Comedy.” He brought…

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Added by Sunny Frazier on August 13, 2014 at 11:30pm — No Comments

THE TRUTH OF FICTION

When I worked for the Sheriff's Department in Fresno, I created a saying and put it on a rolling banner as a screen saver: “A Writer Reinvents the Truth.”

This was never more accurate than when I wrote my first book, FOOLS RUSH IN. I took the first case I worked as a secretary for an…

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Added by Sunny Frazier on July 13, 2014 at 11:30pm — No Comments

SPEEDING DOWN THE INFORMATION HIGHWAY

When does promotion start?

The minute you take yourself seriously as a writer.

When my first book, FOOLS RUSH IN, came out in 2006, I was a novice at promotion. I did pretty well, but the…

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Added by Sunny Frazier on June 13, 2014 at 11:30pm — 1 Comment

SLOGGING THROUGH BLOGS

I was late to the blogging game. The first blogs I read seemed to be a waste of time. Personal info on what other people are doing doesn't interest me. I wondered why writers spent time with this format and who the heck has time to read it?

A tool is only as good as the person wielding it. A blog every day is not only tiresome, but it drains the writers. I decided that instead of hosting my own blog, I would…

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Added by Sunny Frazier on May 13, 2014 at 11:30pm — 1 Comment

AM I A WRITER?

Last week at my writing group, one of the aspiring authors had a bit of a breakdown. She suffered from what all writers eventually go through. Her faith in her abilities was shaken, the struggle to get her story on paper seemed overwhelming, and the awful question loomed: Am I really a writer?

This rite of passage is crucial. Writing a book initially seems like fun. The potential novelist thinks, “Oh, I have stories to tell, I have a great imagination, I…

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Added by Sunny Frazier on April 13, 2014 at 11:30pm — No Comments

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