Monday, November 29, 2010

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Some Great Advice

Writing a Query

tag:Getting an Agent:Writing a Query
published:Aug 9, 2010
views: 977
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     It is my intention to always be honest with those that take an interest in my writing. For the most part, the only thing I believe I am good at in the world of writing is my gift of telling a great story. You might say, "Well that all any good author is, a good story teller." Wrong! If you want to get published. If you want an agent and publisher to take you serious, you have to be many things, things I'm not.
     For example: I am terrible at spelling. In my early years I joked around and would say (paraphrasing Mark Twain) It's a poor, unimaginative mind that can think of but one way to spell a word" In my other life (career) spelling wasn't nearly as important as math so I slacked off in that area.
     When I decided to write, I discovered my new best friend, the "spell checker". Time after time I would make the same mistakes. I would change tense in the sentences. I would make so many mistakes, no one but my wife would want to read my work.
     The query is your "first impression" to any agent you may want. There are rules to follow. Each agent has their own set of rules that you need to learn regarding your submission. The first thing you need to explore is how Agent A  submission requirements differ from Agent B. The information is not difficult to discover, but critical.
     Now, you know the rules and you decide to submit. What's next?
    This is the fun part. I know how much fun it is because I had close to a hundred rejections before I got my first yes. I know the mistakes. I've made them. Please remember this, THEY DON'T CARE ABOUT YOU. That's not me trying to be cute. It's the truth. You are not yet a client and they have way too much to do to worry about hurting your feelings. The odds are, you are going to get rejected. Get over it. The no's don't mean anything. Its the yes you want.
     The story: When you do a query, tell your story in two paragraphs. They want to read something that sizzles. They want to see something that isn't the same old crap they get day after day. Stand out and make what you write something they have to see more of.
     Spelling/Grammar: Whatever you decide to say, say it right. Again...first impression. I have read horror stories from agents who get queries in manners that would make your skin crawl. They are looking for professionals. The want authors who know what it takes to succeed. Even if you don't know what that means, fake it. They don't know that you are writing in your underwear (or worse). They don't need to know any of your bad habits or that you cuss like a drunken sailor. (Apologies to all drunken sailors reading this.) What they need to believe is that when they get your query, they see the Robert Redford or Betty Gable (really big name movie stars for you youngins) of the writing world.
     Ego Check: Here's the really hard part. Keep your ego's in check. Okay, you tell a great story. You have excellent editing skills. You are the greatest thing since sliced bread. For some reason those stupid agents just don't get what you are doing. I know how you feel. When you are good as I am, it's hard to be humble. On the other hand, if they don't like what you are sending them, as stupid as that may be, you need to get someone else's opinion. Get the dang thing checked out by someone else. Someone that won't kiss your butt by the way. If they can't be honest, they are worthless. Find someone that will piss you off if you can find one. That person has to have mad skills in editing and integrity. If they don't like something you've written, fix it, change it, get off you high horse and think about the fact that someone other than you might have a good idea too. Being different doesn't mean being wrong. Their difference may just be the difference between getting rejected and getting to the next step.
     If any of this helps, please let me know,


Getting Into The Christmas Spirit

Getting ready for the holiday...Today, I got my tree up with the help of my husband Dave, and my stepson Dylan. We and spent the day decorating the tree and setting up the Christmas city and nativity scene. We wrapped the tree in ribbons of gold and red and hung deliciously flavored candy canes all over the tree for edible decorations, all while "Frosty The Snowman" played in the background. Icycles drip from the tall green well used tree and scatter to the floor, yea! This year we have some "Gremlins" hanging from our tree in Christmas attire:) My kids favorite ornaments every year are the ones my sister bought years ago, hand crafted with their names on them. We need to add two more to the list this year! Most of all we need to remember the reason for the season. God Bless You All, and have a wonderful Christmas!!!

The Birth Of Jesus (Matthew 1:18-25)
18This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. 19Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.
20But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
22All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23”The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”-- which means, “God with us.”
24When Joseph awoke, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.


Show Us The Beauty Of Your State

I am making a scrapbook collecting postcards from every state in our beautiful country:) If you would like to participate and/or exchange postcards leave me a comment:) I think it would be a great way to get to know one another and see our beautiful country without even leaving our homes!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Great News!!!

Yesterday our local paper, The Charleston Daily Mail and The Gazette published an article with picture, promoting my first romance novel that I recently published in October, "Longing For December." I appreciate the spot and am grateful to the Lord above and to Clinton Thomas who wrote the article. I looking forward to seeing where this new chapter in my life will take me!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I made the paper:)

I'm so excited:) An article in our local paper, The Charleston Daily Mail, about me and  my book came out  today:)

Friday, November 12, 2010

My Hub

wcoffeechick profile image28

wcoffeechick says

I chose to self publish my first novel through After submitting many queries to agents as well as publishers, I have found that writing is far the easier road than publishing. I have aslo found than alot of companies ask for a ridiculous amount of money for publishing as well as for editing. I decided to self publish as a way of getting my name out there and to see my work in print. I am pleased with the job Lulu did on my book and to hold it in my hand and read it like a "real book," is priceless to me. The downside of self -publishing is no advertising and marketing. You are on your own. I have started writing blogs and advertising on my sites, Facebook, Myspace, ect. I am checking into marketing. I have joined writing groups on Cafemom ect. I contacted my local newspaper about my book and they are running on article on me soon:)

My Hub

wcoffeechick profile image28

wcoffeechick says

Write from the heart:) My romance novels are little pieces of me. People that have touched my life and left their fingerprints, people who are a big part of my life, have traces in my books. I write fiction but draw from real life. Sometime using charateristics of those whom I admire. Sometime writing about how I would like things  to be or have been. I have found that a change of scenery inspires a new direction. The trees, the sky, the sunlight, verses your couch corner, TV set, and kids talking. In my stories, I always have some sort of tragedy and then an overcoming of that, to a new found happiness:)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I am wcoffeechick/Shelia Burket

30 Facts About Me...and then some:)

1)  I am a christain, althought I fall short alot of the time, I do love God and I believe he died for my sins, and has fogiven me for them and continues to do so, because I am also human.
2)  I am a mother, my children are grown, so to speak, but they will always be my children and to me preciuos gifts from GOD.
3) I am a grandmother, I have one grandson, who I absolutely adore, and whose smile lights up my life! Another gift from God above.
4) I am a wife. I have a  a wonderful husband that makes me feel loved, special, and beautiful:) and that is clothed, unclothed, make-up on or off! I know that he truley loves me and I completely trust him, which is rare thes days.
5) I have 2 tattoos
6) I have written 3 romance novels, one of which I have published, and a series of children's stories that I hope to publish soon.
7) I am afraid to drive
8) I am afraid to swim
9) I am afraid of heights
10) I am afraid of walking across swing bridges, bridges made of poles, ect. and am uneasy walking on a peer.
11) I love coffee
12) I love Ice Tea, but mainly if I make it.
13)I love to sing!!! I love to karaoke, sing over songs at the house, sing in the car, at church, with the radio
14) I have written songs
15) I pray often , but not as often as I should.
16) I am addicted to Facebook-I love seeing what people are doing, what they have to say and seeing the names of my classmates and people that I haven't seen in years and reconnecting.
17) I hate drama of any type
18) I hate arguing, any type of conflict, I am a peacemaker:)
19) I love my friends, they make me laugh, and it's good for the soul!!! They have been there for me many times:)
20) It bothers me when someone is mad at me or doesn't like me, or when someone perceives me totally different than I see myself.
21) My feelings are hurt easily, I cry easy, I am quick to forgive, but it's hard for me to forget once I have been hurt.
22) I love to cook, because I love to eat!!! I make some killer fried rice:) my x was a Marine and we had lots of filipino neighbors who taught me to cook!!!
23) My ring and shoe size match-size 6!
24) I get my love of writing from my mother.
25) I love the beach:)
26) I love candles:)
27) I love oriental food:P
28) I hate housework:(
29) I love my "alone time" but I hate being alone.
30) I love to draw and paint sometimes
31) I am disorganized:( aren't creative people?
32) I am not really an animal person, I am a people person.
33) I wish I could run:(
34) Ilove to listen to the rain and even to thunderstorms, but I don't like being home alone when it's storming:(
35) I am afraid of the dark-I'M talking PITCH DARK!!!
I ran over!!!
I guess 36-would be that I tend to go overboard!!!!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Writing Quote

There is no better feeling than when you write something you know is a piece of you and that, at some point, is going to communicate with someone else. Alanis Morissette

Shelia's Coffee Corner-Stop by and see me!!!

Shelia's Coffee Corner

leave me a comment!!!

What's new on Shelia's Coffee Corner

Well, alot is new with Miss Shelia. First of all I ordered and recieved the first copy of my romance novel, "Longing For December."
I must say that I am pleased and very excited to see my work in print for the first time! I am happy with the job that Lulu did with my book, and I look forward to working with them again in the near future. In other news, I will be featured in our local newspaper on Nov. 17th The Kanawha Valley Neighbors in reguards to my book.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

reviews-for Longing For December

this was a great read, I had 2and a half hours to find something to do, and read the whole thing. very good. thank you for writing it.
On October 30th 2010
* * * * *
Oct. 30, 2010 By dburket2010
exellent i give 5 stars

My book-Longing For December-

you can find it on as well as on! Please stop by bookrix and give me a review:)

a facebook comment:)
Amanda Mullins Davis writes-I love this book! I could read it over and over again. I read Harlequin and Silhouette romance novels and let me just say that this fits right in the same category, it is a true romance novel and the only thing I hate is that it is not on shelves yet!
On October

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Longing For December

After many queries to agents and publishers, I have decided to do a trial run at self publishing for my first novella, "Longing For December." Please check out the link-

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Some Positive Feedback

Shelia, ive been reading your book LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT!!!! The only thing that could make it better would be to hold the book in my hands and read it, instead of on the computer screen.

Hi, Shelia. I looked through your early pages and I think you have a lovely natural feel for the cadence of language ... and a heart for romance!

wow I am addicted ...cant wait to read next chapter. Your story is simple yet complex which makes it a great read. Keep writing!
This prose is terrific, and unforgettably impressive.......

Sometimes an angel will unexpectedly touch your life and you'll never be the same. Our life on earth is a breif stay. If we waste it bitter with a hardened heart what a shame it will be when we take our last breath, and leave this world with regrets and pain. Forgiveness is freeing, love is unconditional and with it comes peace. All we have is the love in our hearts and our families and our friends...all we have is each other...

This chapter was very delightful but it was a little too long -shortening your chapters will make for a better and more precise critque/read.

Great Job!!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

On My Journey To Follow My Dream-email from author Danielle Steel

Dear Shelia,

Thank you so very much for your lovely letter about my books.  I was very
touched to hear how long you have been reading them and what they have meant
to you.  It's a real honor to hear that you find the stories to be so full
of courage and growth, especially after the ups and downs in your own life. 
I write them with caring, heart, and a lot of hard work, and I like to think
that my readers read them and enjoy them in the same spirit.  I admire your
strength and your spirit of rebuilding a great deal.

However, the question you ask is not easy to answer.  I think that the
first thing a writer needs to do is to read voraciously!

It is very difficult to summarize the craft of writing.  Try to be totally
honest  with yourself as you write, and write in your own words and your own
voice, not one you think you should adopt.  Be sure to give attention to
the details of each and the character's lives.  When writing your first draft,
don't worry too much about how it sounds or about spelling or leaving a few
gaps in the story, just get the main story down on paper.  Then when you go
back to rewrite you can put your critical-editor hat on and give it a good,
rigorous rewrite.

Much of it is about persistence.  It's about finding characters you care
about and putting them into story situations, and then asking yourself how
they feel and what's going and persisting in working on that until you find
something that seems true to the characters and the situation. It's good if you
can write every day on a disciplined schedule, even if for just a short
time. Even if you end up throwing out most of what you write, it is vital to
get into this habit.  Perseverance and discipline, along with the ability to
empathize with others, are probably the most important attributes a writer
can have.  Success is a long slow road, and you have to be deeply committed to
writing. Most writers have other jobs for many years before they can make
enough at writing to give up their other jobs.

You might also want to enroll in one of the many writing workshops or
classes available in order to get some sense of how people may react to your

Once your manuscript is ready to send out, all I can advise is to do what
every writer does -- submit it to all the likely agents or publishers you can
find, and hope for the best.  Often agents are more receptive to new
writers than publishers are.  Sourcebooks such as Literary Market Place or
Writer's Market Yearbook, which are available in libraries and bookstores, will
tell you what kind of work an agent or publisher is looking for and give
procedures for submission.  Many agents and publishers also have web sites now
that will tell you about their policy on submitting manuscripts.  The web sites and can help you in finding an agent.

Thank you again for sharing your good words with me.  I appreciate hearing
from a reader and mother like you, and I was honored to hear about your
daughter's middle name.  I send you all my warmest wishes.

With best wishes,

Danielle Steel

A Day IN The Life...

Tues. Oct. 19, 2010

Every day starts the same. I wake up, squint at the clock and stumble to the coffee pot, (after a trip to the bathroom, of coarse). I put on a pot of coffee, sign on and check my mail. Somewhere in there taking my blood pressure meds. which I hope my turning over a new leaf and joining Curves will relieve me of that.

 I usually start with facebook, which I am hopelessly addicted. It's where I can catch up with what my kids and friends are into, & see the familiar names that I heard back in school, and in a way feel like I am there again. I ususally don't have "mail "there, unless I send someone mail, asking a question, ect. or if it's cancer awareness week and I get a requests that I post a bra color, for the confusing of all men.

Then I usually start opening tabs. I check my AOL, looking for emails from literary agents, and publishers. I go to WEbook, where I do my online writing and some editing. I have a completed romance novel, "Faith Can Move Mountains," I am also working on a book that I wrote several years ago, which I am working on editing, "Ghost From The Past," you can aslo find chapters of that on WEbook. I have started another book which is a mystery/romance, "Shades Of Deception." It is aslo on WEbook. I have a completed romance novel called. "Longing For December," which I am searching for a literary agent to represent or a publisher to accept.

I also have a line of children's books that I am currently working on, "The Magical Adventures Of Sissy Stringbean," in dedication to my former sister-n-law, Denise Ann Bailes, who passed away from colon cancer in 05. The stories are light hearted stories about a little country gal and her barnyard friends.With Sissy's imagination, she travels to far away places and makes many friends along the way. I, along with my son Justin "Cole" Woodrum and Amanda Rose, will aslo be illustrating. In futute stories, my necie Kierstyn Shaffer will be assisting on illustrations.

I have learned through talking to other writer/moms on one of my favorite sites, "Cafemom," that there are a few sites available to help new authors.

 Predators and Editors

Query Shark

Webook-where you can write online and get feedback from other writers, as well as give it.