Seasonal Book Giveaway: Winter Edition 2018

Happy New Year and welcome to the first Seasonal Book Giveaway (SBG)! This contest will run from January 1-31, 2018. Three (3) winners will be announced via Twitter and Instagram on Feb. 1, 2018. Winners will contacted via DM.

Enter my Rafflecopter below for a chance to win one (1) book of choice from the winter selection posted here.

ENTER HERE—>Winter 2018 SBG Rafflecopter

 

For details on my giveaway, please visit the Seasonal Book Giveaway post.

Announcing my Seasonal Book Giveaway (SBG)!

The writing community continues to be an incredible source of encouragement and inspiration for my writing journey. Having participated and won some giveaways in the past, I decided to do one of my own. You can never have enough books right?

Welcome to my Seasonal Book Giveaway (SBG)!

When: Every season: Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall, I will host a giveaway for books! The Rafflecopter link will be posted via Twitter, Instagram, and my blog on the first day of the giveaway month and your chance to enter will end on the last day of the month.

How: Enter my Rafflecopter and you have 3 ways to earn entries:

  1. Follow @jacysellers on Twitter
  2. Follow or subscribe to my blog
  3. Follow @jacysellers on Instagram

What: Winners will each receive one (1) hardback book of choice from the seasonal selection list posted in the giveaway post. The winners will be announced on my social media outlets and contacted via DM or email for mailing addresses. It’s that simple! And yes, international is included for these giveaways if your country is listed for the free shipping on the Book Depository! I may also use Amazon too.

Books: I have a selection list for the giveaway, but if there’s a specific book that the winner really wants AND it’s available, I’ll try to make it happen!

Why: Why not? Books are treasures and I believe that we all need beautiful treasures in our lives.

Good luck and happy reading!

Pitch Wars 2017 #PimpMyBio YA Fantasy

Is it Pitch Wars time? Yay! So excited to meet new friends and learn about your awesome stories. Before we go any further, give yourself a hand, a pat on the back, a thumbs up…you wrote a book! GOOD JOB!

Check out more details about Pitch Wars, an awesome contest from Brenda Drake on her website. This is an excellent time of year to improve your writing craft, learn about agents and publishers, and connect with other writers, mentors, and freelance editors. If you’d like to see other #PimpMyBio posts, visit Lana Pattinson’s blog.

Cheers! My name is Jacy and I’m entering Pitch Wars with a YA fantasy for the…third time!

I have learned a major component of writing is to never give up!

I love everything fantasy and sci-fi, having grown up in the 80s and 90s among the Labyrinth, The Dark Crystal, Legend, The Princess Bride, and Return to Oz.

Some of my favorite shows from that time included Sailor Moon, X-Men, and Gargoyles. I best relate to Sailor Mercury – sweet, practical, and a little shy – until I get to know you. Authors that I love include Anne McCaffrey, Stephen King, J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and J.K. Rowling.  A few of my favorite books include Shadowshaper, The Grisha Trilogy, One Hundred Years of Solitude, The Help, and Eragon.

Recently, I learned I’m a Xennial, a micro-generation of people born between 1977 and 1983 who survived the analog-digital transition. To round off this generation identification, I possess both cynicism and optimism, which describes me fairly well on most days. I also enjoy beer, bacon, and books – sometimes at the same time!

During college, I joined the student newspaper and really had a chance to flex my writing muscles. My journey to writing led to editorials, news stories, satirical newspaper editions, and meeting my future husband too. Totally worth it!

I earned a bachelor of arts degree in English and a minor in journalism. Eventually, I went on to earn a master’s in environmental policy and management. I’m proud to be a certified recycling professional – yes, it’s a thing. I took an exam and everything!

ABOUT MY MANUSCRIPT

Since I grew up in the 80s and 90s, most of my inspiration comes from such influences. I consider my story a crossover event of X-Men and The Neverending Story.

 

My story, A FEATHER’S FORCE, is a YA arcanepunk fantasy about a 16-year-old track star who discovers she inherited her super speed ability from another realm. This story is for readers who loved GRACELING’s fiercely independent heroine and INKHEART’s lush, whimsical portal fantasy world.

Here’s some #novelaesthetics of my story:

I’ve been working on this story for three years with a major overhaul in January 2017, thanks to an incredible editor, Lyla Lawless. She helped me discover the potential in my story and gave me valuable advice to improve my craft and make my story stronger. Seriously, look her up! I also have a dedicated CP/editor, Nicole D’Arcangelo, who has been by my side for the past several months.

I won a first page critique from the awesome Heather Cashman during the Pitch Wars workshop, which you can find here. Her feedback was super helpful and I’ve already revised my first chapter. I’m so excited about it!

Now, I’m ready to emerge from the revision cave and share this story!

#PitchWars is over, but my journey continues

There is nothing like diving right into something you are passionate about head first, but I was completely naked with flailing arms.
Like other writers before me, I had a story in my head that needed to be released onto paper. My story (about a girl who finds a portal in the basement of a coffee house that leads to a mystical realm) soon evolved into a novel of thousands of words and eventually into a planned trilogy with an epilogue. I felt so proud of myself! I wrote a book. I found beta readers and an editor. I was overly confident that I was on the right path.

Of course, I am an infant in this world of writing, but I started where anyone else would in a new industry; social media. I was on my own, floating on this raft of writing in a vast ocean of publishing. I slowly built my online presence, a website and a Twitter account. I interacted and discovered other writers and such. Basically, it was like trudging through molasses.

Then, I got this wild hair and sent out some query letters. I was elated about taking this next step or, at least, until I got my first form rejection within a week, which said, “Unfortunately, after carefully reviewing your query, we’ve determined that this particular project isn’t the right fit for our agency at this time.” And the last sentence read, “…we wish you all the best in your publishing endeavors.”

I was crushed. So, what did I do? Of course, I tweeted sarcastically about it, using a trending hashtag, #PitchWars. Then the weirdest thing happened. I had 9 favorites about my rejection tweet. At the time, I honestly didn’t realize it was part of a major social media contest by Brenda Drake. I entered and found myself among more than 1,500 hopeful mentees. If selected, you would work with a mentor to get your MS into shape for an agent round. Awesome!

So, I entered with too much expectation and hope. Then there were two weeks of painful waiting, tweeting, Google hangouts with ‘amazeballs’ new writer friends, sleepless nights, eating and drinking nights, stalking, inside jokes, gifs, and mentor teasers that we tried to interpret. I’m not going to downplay the fact that #PitchWars was excruciating.

At some point it hit me and I knew I wasn’t going to get selected by a mentor. I had zero requests for my partial or full MS. That part was tough. I asked the ‘amazeballs’ and got tremendous feedback that was super constructive. Writing is only supposed to get better. So after accepting this, I did what any hopeful would (and should) do, I cheered on my friends, whom I realized were further along in their writing journey. I barely made it to middle school and they were entering college or graduating. My two weeks of waiting ended up being a crash course in writing and publishing. I wouldn’t change that for the world.

But I never believed I lost. I never believed that my MS wasn’t good enough. I only believed that I have a different journey of writing.

Through this entire #PitchWars experience, I learned that the true writer’s community is about encouragement, celebration and reflection. It is also close-knit. Writing may seem like an individual journey, but you will cross paths with so many opportunities for collaboration. These opportunities can come in the form of other writers, CPs (thank you Claribel Ortega!), mentors, agents, story ideas, revising, friends and more. I suppose that’s why the acknowledgements may be the hardest part to write for your book.

Another important lesson from #PitchWars is that there is a certain way to handle rejection. Basically, don’t let social media be your warpath or show that you are having a bitter party of one. You will only end up hurting yourself.

Don’t let any amount of rejection block your path. Take a moment to sit on that log of rejection and reflect. Then, after a quiet pity party and a good, hard cry, get up off your ass, grab some friends and burn that damn log to continue your journey.
Here is my game plan:

  • Snuggle up with my CP
  • Revise the heck out of my MS
  • Beta read for others
  • Really use The Emotion Thesaurus to show, not tell
  • Seek other contests and critique opportunities through Twitter
  • Connect to more writer friends on Twitter
  • Buy/read books to support the community I met from #PitchWars
  • Stalk Writer’s Digest and other such resources
  • Use Query Tracker for potential agents
  • and finally…never give up!