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Take Our Advice... Please!

posted by Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy

Ahoy Land Lubbers! Aunty isn't really here today, I'm cruising the high seas somewhere off the west coast of Mexico. But I didn't want to miss my turn on the blog, and I definitely didn't want you all to miss ME. So I'm writing this right before I leave and will try to check in whenever we are on land. Yes, the ship has internet but it is pricey and reception is spotty, whereas I know this place in Puerto Vallarta that gives you internet access AND a couple of Coronas. ARRIBA!

Back in August, our lovely editor, Deb Werksman posted a blog about writers having a 'career arc.' She wisely advised writers who submitted to her to have a plan about their chosen sub-genre and their books' places within it.

This got Aunty to thinking (always a dangerous proposition)... What kind of advice had I or any of the other CasaBabes received back in the days when we were newbie-writers? What pearls would we pass along now to others?

So I asked! And here are some of the things the CasaBabes would like you to know:

Loucinda McGary: (of course I asked myself, since I LOVE to give advice... Take it, not so much.) Since I'm in Mexico, the most obvious advice that pops into my mind is "Don't drink the water!" Oh wait, this is supposed to be writing advice. In that case... Don't try to write to the market, but do pay attention to it. In other words, if you simply must write that Civil War historical romance, realize that you will have a much more difficult time selling your finished manuscript than if you set your story in a different time period. Getting your book published is difficult enough, don't make it extra difficult on yourself.

Robin Kaye: I wish someone had given me juggling lessons. I'm always stuck promoting one book while on deadline for another. This is the third time in 4 books. As Good as He Gets is due December 15th and the blog tour for Breakfast in Bed runs from November 15 - December 15. I'm so not good at changing gears except when I'm driving an automobile. When I write, I need to keep my head in one book, not two.

Cheryl Brooks: my advice to newbies is to go to your local RWA chapter meetings and get the lowdown from some published authors. Don't go into writing and publishing with stars in your eyes because you're bound to run into a wall!

Terry Spear: In my very first book, I had everyone's point of view, even the dog's!! I didn't even realize there were "rules" about how you were supposed to write in someone's point of view. Later, I was told, three paragraphs, minimum or you're head hopping. And it should be in the person's point of view that has the most to lose or gain from the scene.

Judi Fennell: My advice for newbie writers:
Go take a hike.
Or a swim.
Or a short walk around the block, but get up and move. The temptation is to sit in that chair and hit your word count, but, seriously, you need to get those creative juices flowing and work your muscles. You'll come back to the WIP refreshed and the blood flow has to be good for creativity.

Ashlyn Chase: The best advice I got was: As soon as you write a book, submit it and write another. When that one's finished, submit it and write another. Keep doing this until something gets published. Then you'll have a back-list and will have improved with experience.

Linda Wisdom: What I wish I knew back then was more about the business end of publishing and agents. My first agent was a disaster. I was sucked into a 5 year cotract that I had to later buy my way out of. I had no idea about agents and that was a nightmare.

Mary Margret Daughtridge: Write the book you would love to read. Given the number of times you'll have to read it, you had better love it.

GREAT ADVICE EVERYONE! Hope this has been both instructional and inspirational for all of our blog readers. If you have any questions for any of the CasaBabes, please ask away! Or if you have any good tidbits of advice to pass along, PLEASE DO! And seriously, don't drink the water!


  1. Hope you're having a terrifically fun time on your cruise, Cindy!!! :) Wish I could be along for the ride!!!

  2. A cruise sounds fabulous! Hope you're having fun!

    I wish I'd heard about the 3 paragraphs or it's head-hopping thing. Would've saved me a lot of rewriting....

  3. Have a great time Auntie! And what's the name of the place with internet and coronas? Just in case I'm ever in Puerto Vallarta, you understand. (hmm, Hubs? I know what I want for Christmas...)

  4. Wish I were cruising with ya, Cindy!

    I wish I had know about a hundred things before I went into this crazy business. But then again, if I had known ahead of time I probably would have run for the hills! So ignorance can be a little bit blissful.

  5. Aunty Cindy, you have a wonderful time and if you think about it take lots of pictures.

    And to the Casababes, thanks for all the advice. Some of them I've heard before, but it helps to be reminded. Y'all rock!

  6. I hope you are having a fantastic time I want to see lots of photos when you get back.

    Great advice and I gotta say I have loved everyone of the source books that I have read and there are still a few on the TBR pile and some on my must get list.

    Love your work Ladies congrats to you all

    Have Fun

  7. Hola from Cabo San Lucas!

    I´m a day late but wanted to let you all know I´m having a great time and thinking of all of you.

    I can´t recommend cruising highly enough! You should all try it at least once.



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