Writing & Publishing

No Stress (Pitch) Wars

It’s finally here! The window is open for Pitch Wars! What is Pitch Wars? It’s the chance to be picked by a mentor to help you polish your novel to submit to an agent. You must have a finished novel. You must have already polished your novel as much as possible before submitting. Each author has 4 entries, so 4 possible mentors they can submit to, and each one of them picks ONE person/novel to mentor.

To enter, you send in a query letter and first chapter. Then you sit and wait until someone asks you for a full manuscript. On the 25th of this month, the mentors will announce their picks.

As I watch the feed on Twitter, I’m surprised by how many people are FREAKING out about this. There are people just sitting on their computer, stalking the feeds!! I had to close out of Twitter because it made me wonder if I missed something! I want to be picked more than you know! I also don’t want to stress about the whole thing. I would be so honored to be picked and I would work harder than anyone to make my book as perfect as possible, but at this point, my hands are tied.

I already sent in my submission. There is literally nothing I can do now. The only hang up is my mom has my novel. She was going through and doing a final proofread, and then my grandmother had to be rushed to the hospital. Thankfully, the emergency surgery she had seems to be working! She had 3 kidney stones on one side and it apparently shut down her entire kidney! My mom keeps getting upset because she wasn’t working on the novel, but the few chapters she did go through, she said she didn’t find a whole lot. If I have to send a full manuscript with some errors, it just has to be that way. I would much rather my mom take care of my grandmother, since Bill and I can’t go home. So with this said, the situation is what is is, and now we wait!


(Talia with my grandmother.)

In the meantime, I started another project. I had the idea for a children’s book I really want to write, and last night I got it down on paper. I crafted the query letter (the letter I send to agents) and now I will work on the bio and marketing plan.

Hopefully this will keep me busy in addition to continuing to send out the proposal for Literary Crazy. I also have been working on my new blog: Little BookWorm Blog. If you have children, I hope you will check it out!

Lastly, I’m reading a new book for book club and will hopefully have that for you Monday, so be sure to check back……if you hit the “Follow” button on the right, you will be notified when it comes out! You don’t want to miss this book!

Life · Writing & Publishing

Busy BookWorms!

So you may have noticed there was no Monday Book Club yesterday. If you did notice, I apologize. I have been reading less and writing more this week. (Don’t worry, Talia is still read to every day. Sometimes we get to read the same book 50 times in one day!)

First, I’m working diligently to get my novel, “Seeking Sita,” edited and polished and then off to the proofreader (aka my mom) before I submit to Pitch Wars. What is Pitch Wars? It’s the chance to be chosen by a mentor who is usually a literary agent, to help you perfect your manuscript for submission to literary agents. The odds of getting picked are slim, but I am still hopefully for the opportunity, and even if I do not get picked, I’m that much closer to getting my work edited professionally and off to the right agent.

This said, I met up with an acquisitions editor this week (I love these kinds of Monday morning emails) who is interested in my idea for a non-fiction piece on Elizabeth Thorn. Ms. Thorn was six months pregnant and left to care for Evergreen Cemetery during the Civil War. When the Battle of Gettysburg was over, she returned home to find she had hundreds of bodies, already decomposing, in the July heat, to bury. She did this and carried her baby to term.

The story is interesting to me, though as I talked to the current caretaker of Evergreen Cemetery earlier today, we may have a problem with the book. It seems another book, backed by the Evergreen Cemetery board, is already being published. The caretaker doubts the board will give me reprint rights on photographs. Now I have to craft an email to the acquisitions editor (who already seems like a dream to work with!) and explain this to her.

Finally, another reason I am not up to date on my  reading is spending time with family.

Saturday we took Talia and Tremor to Lost Dog Cafe on Folly Beach. It’s a dog themed, dog friendly breakfast and lunch spot. Tremor had a blast and enjoyed his bagel and eggs.

Bill had the dish on the left, and wouldn’t even wait for me to take a picture before he started to eat…this place is THAT good!

Then Monday, Bill started his “Learn to Play” classes at the local ice skating rink.

He hasn’t played in years, and it has taken a toll on his body each time he gets on the ice, but he really loves it!

Talia loves watching Daddy (and Doritos). She is CERTAIN Daddy is a “Stingray” (our local hockey team……for the record, at 18 months, every hockey player is a Stingray!

After the initial shock of daddy in hockey gear wore off, she was excited to watch him practice.


This also happened this weekend. Why she decided to climb off the bed into the laundry basket, I don’t know, but at least it was clean!

On top of all this, I have started another blog to focus on children’s books. It’s live, but does not have much content loaded (yet)! Be sure to bookmark www.LittleBookWormBlog.com if you have little ones!

How was your weekend? Anything exciting this week?

Military Spouse Life

Writing Through Sadness

Again with the tragedy in my family. On Monday my cousin Brian lost his wife, Angie. She was 35. I don’t have the details of what happened, but it really made me sad this week. I did not go to GA (I’m in SC) for the funeral because of the pregnancy. Traveling is extremely uncomfortable for me.

Instead, I’ve been working diligently on my novel, Seeking Sita. This morning I spent over an hour on the phone with my mother, going over chapters 1-3 and fixing grammar. I feel really great about the start to this book, so on my writing website (www.TinaRussoKinney.com) I am going to post the first chapter. Hopefully the right agent will see it and want more!

In the meantime, Literary Crazy is still with my professor, whom I would like an opinion from before I continue to send to agents. I sent the two agents who requested the proposal from #PitMad their copies, and received rejection from one already. My mom felt bad (I think) and was quick to remind me James Patterson received something crazy like 39 rejection before he got his first book deal.

When I’m not writing, I’m reading to Talia who is LOVING books. She really enjoys being read to and helping turn the pages. We went to story time last Saturday and hopefully we will go again tomorrow and make it our Saturday mom and daughter date. It helps that Barnes and Noble has cheesecake to share after story time!

I encourage you to head over to my website this week and check out Chapter 1 of Seeking Sita. I would love some feedback! Also, feel free to share here what you’re working on!