Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Writing and Publishing, A Writer's Quest

Hello!


How are you, bonitos?


First of all, thank you everyone for helping us out with Leebre.org. We're currently 79% funded, with 5 days left to continue fund-raising. It's a little nerve-wracking that we still haven't reached our goal, but we have faith in the project and in all of you. I'm personally impressed with all these messages on Twitter and Facebook, with people's willingness to continue spreading the word about us, and with all these awesome articles that people are publishing to help us out. Here are some of them:


Leebre Bringing Social Publishing to Indie Novelists, by TechZwn.com


Leebre: la piattaforma social per scrittori indipendenti, by Libriebit.com


Guest Post: Leebre.org -- Liberate fiction with free social publishing, by Rebecca Carvalho, published by Simplistik.org

Thank you! Michael is working really hard to make Leebre.org happen and he is really thankful that you guys are so supportive. Let's continue, though, posting more tweets, blog entries and whatnot about our Kickstarter page, because the deadline is approaching fast (*nervous sigh*)!

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Secondly, I must tell you the most recent news about my publishing quest: Cupid's Literary Connection's Love Triangle writing contest. And, no, it isn't a writing contest about love triangles. If it was, though, I could always find inspiration in Machado de Assis' Dom Casmurro. I doubt, however, any writer will ever be able to compete with Assis.

Cupid's Literary Connection is a blog interested in "matching up" writers with agents, and this month they are hosting a contest to expose 25 YA novels to two literary agents. My latest novel, Daphne's Book, was selected to be one of entries. Here's my query and the first 250 words:

Title: Daphne's Book
Genre: Bildungsroman within the YA genre
Word Count: 100,000

Query:

Daphne's Book is the story of Daphne Chase, a melancholy 18-year-old girl obsessed with writing her first novel. Against her father's will, she moves to the town of Middleton to study creative writing at McAdams College. Abelard Chase, an established author of Byronic nature, doesn't believe that studying writing will help his gifted daughter become the writer she wants to be. Although leaving her house means stepping out of her comfort zone and exposing herself to others, she decides to fight her social anxiety in order to find a writing environment away from her father's alcoholism and stubbornness. Adjusting to life in Middleton and managing to develop the plot of her book, however, proves to be harder than she had expected. Daphne drifts from innocent reverie to dangerous delusion as she stumbles upon a series of misfortunes that range from being ostracized by those who mock her social awkwardness to the death of someone dear to her.

An introvert suffocated by a world that demanded from her an open, vibrant behavior, Daphne finds herself clashing with other students and her neighbors at the Franks' Inn, where she lives. On an attempt to survive and find inspiration, she is gradually more inclined to long walks in the woods where Esther, The Witch, hides. Her only friend and companion is the Masked Man, a mysterious young man who silently follows her wherever she goes.

As life becomes more difficult after disappointments and one frustrated attempt at falling in love, Daphne fully withdraws from society and immerses herself in writing. She is constantly visited by her characters and other creatures that inhabit her imagination. Daphne soon realizes, then, that a complete downfall to madness seems to be the only way she could ever be able to finish her novel. But, letting her mind wander away to accomplish her only ambition in life also meant risking losing herself forever. 

My name is Rebecca Carvalho and I'm a 23-year-old Brazilian author with work published both in Brazil and in the U.S. I have a B.A in English from Lawrence University, and I currently live in Madison, WI, where I work as a freelance journalist and writer. My most recent published piece was a contribution to the war memory anthology Operation Legacy, edited by the NGO Old Glory Honor Flight, and currently available on Amazon.com. My work often covers the boundaries -- or, rather, lack of boundaries -- of creativity and what happens when one can't separate delusion and reality. I'm also devoted to everything that has to do with what I'd call "the voice of youth." I keep a blog where I regularly discuss writing, and where I also interview teenagers and young adults about their frustrations with today's society, their goals and ideas on how to be more active in the present. 

First 250:

A man was standing behind the oak tree on the other side of the river. He had been doing that for nearly a year now, tirelessly watching the Chase family's house, without food or water, without rest.

He was no more than a vulture -- His face anonymous, his intentions hidden. But Daphne knew he wasn't someone to be feared. At least not yet. Being the daughter of Abelard Chase had taught her that even shadows, when properly tamed, could be helpful and surprisingly friendly.

Daphne craned her neck from behind a curtain and peeked at him like she did every morning right after getting up. She sighed. It was almost comforting to find him there every day guarding their grounds.

He always stood straight like a good soldier, but this time he leaned on the tree trunk. Daphne instinctively knew there was something wrong with him, and wondered whether he knew she was leaving later that day. Was it possible he knew she planned on never coming back home?

She walked away from the window and stood by her desk, where her notebook still laid open from her previous attempt at writing. She lazily stretched and tried to adjust her thoughts before breakfast. That was an important day for her, and she was nervous. It was still very early, and she thought of meditating. But, instead of hearing the ticking noise of her alarm clock, she heard music. Her heart skipped a beat. It was Heitor Villa-Lobos' Fifth Bachiana.

I am really excited that I'm getting a chance to expose my work. Unfortunately, so far any of the agents showed interest in reading more chapters. I was glad to see, though, support from people who believe in my writing. Maybe one day I'll make them proud of me.

Daphne is a dear character, and she's taught me a lot. Since the first day I had the idea for her story, I knew she was special. In fact, she feels very concrete. She's like a real person, a real friend. She's part of me -- though not like a daughter. She's my conscience. I'll continue fighting to see her published.

Thank you, and continue enjoying the first month of 2012! 

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