Daughter of Destiny is in the Top 10 of the Launchpad Manuscript Contest

Y’all I am shaking right now! Daughter of Destiny made the Top 10 of the Launchpad Manuscript book to movie Contest! I’ve been visualizing it for weeks, but I still can’t believe it. It has NOT sunk in yet.

This means that “you and your project will be showcased individually to agents, managers, executives, and producers who are looking for new clients, projects, and writers.” This is HUGE you guys!!!

According to the email they sent, all of the judges will now read all of the books to determine the winners. The final announcement of the three winners (and other prizes) will take place July 16. I consider this a propitious day because it is not only my grandpa’s birthday, but the feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. (I wanted to become a Carmelite nun for a long time and still consider myself a Carmelite at heart.)

So please keep those prayers and good vibes coming! We’re really getting close to this being optioned!!! “Next Game of Thrones” is still my mantra and I plan to win this thing!

PS – What do you think of my new branding? I hadn’t planned to change it, but I found the picture and the rest just happened!

The Big Announcement: I Have A Literary Agent!

Amy Collins

So I’ve known this was going to happen for a few weeks now, but…I have an agent! I signed with Amy Collins of Talcott Notch Literary last week! She is immediately representing the two books I’m working on now (the Minor biography and a historical fiction I’m not ready to talk about yet). Here’s the official announcement.

I’ve known Amy for a few years. We first met when she presented on marketing to the Saturday Writers chapter of the Missouri Writer’s Guild. We really hit it off during the presentation (I’m Hermionie Granger, so teachers and presenters usually love me because they know I am engaged) and through conversation at lunch afterwards. We stayed in touch online and I saw her present again maybe a year or two later at the St. Louis Publisher’s Association. Amy also hosted a lot of online workshops that I attended so were were in contact that way as well as on social media, and became friends.

I knew she was a huge fan and champion of my books, but what I didn’t know was that she was also an international rights agent. When she became a full U.S. agent earlier this month, she called me and asked if I was considering traditional publishing and if I would think about becoming her client. Why, yes, I was! We talked, I asked questions, and sent her what I have been working on. She loved it and needless to say, I said yes! (Never underestimate the power of networking…not that I could have ever predicted this.)

I really, really like Amy and she has a great reputation in the industry and in marketing, so I’m really looking forward to working with her. We’re a great personality fit and what she represents is right in my wheelhouse, so I am predicting a long and fruitful relationship with many, many book sales!

I’m going to go pop some champagne and enjoy being on Cloud 9 for a while!

Big News! Daughter of Destiny is in the Top 25 of the Book-to-Movie Competition

You guys, this has been a crazy good day in terms of news! I can’t talk about some of it yet…maybe tomorrow or hopefully by Monday for the BIG stuff. But I can tell you Daughter of Destiny has made it into the Top 25 of the Launchpad Manuscript Contest, which as you know by now, is a book to movie contest.

At this point, the exposure the book is getting is better and better. For this round:

  • You and your project will be featured in both our individual launch Pad Competition Booklet, as well as our Annual Launch Pad Alum Booklet, both of which are shared with our industry network and beyond, including agents, managers, producers, executives and other creatives seeking new material and clients.
  • Your project will be featured in a special Launch Pad section of our annual Hit List, Young & Hungry List, and Spec Book.

The next round is the Top 10, which will be announced on June 30. Please join me in the positive visualization because that is when you get individual pitches to Hollywood people.

As I’ve said before, I’m aiming to be named one of the three winners on July 16, so your support and good vibes are much appreciated. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Daughter of Destiny (and the rest of the Guinevere’s Tale series) IS the next Game of Thrones!

Daughter of Destiny in Top 50 of Book-to-Movie Competition

Things are getting serious, folks! Daughter of Destiny has made the Top 50 of the 2020 Launchpad Manuscript Competition. I am so happy!

This is a contest to find the books that will make great movies. They have some pretty heavy-hitting partners in Romark Entertainment (producers), Energy Entertainment (literary management and production) and Inkshares (publisher).

The next announcement is the Top 25 on June 18. Cross your fingers that someone sees the potential in DoD to become the next Game of Thrones!

Daughter of Destiny in Top 75 of Book-to-Movie Competition

Four years after publication, Daughter of Destiny  just keeps going strong! My baby, my debut, has made the Top 75 of the 2020 Launchpad Manuscript Competition. I am so happy right now I could cry.

This is a contest to find the books that will make great movies. They have some pretty heavy-hitting partners in Romark Entertainment (producers), Energy Entertainment (literary management and production) and Inkshares (publisher).

The next two months will be filled with additional announcements as they make their way down to the final winner. (Top 50 is June 4.) Cross your fingers that someone sees the potential in DoD to become the next Game of Thrones!

Daughter of Destiny in Top 100 of Book-to-Movie Competition

I am so proud to announce that Daughter of Destiny has made the Top 100 of the 2020 Launchpad Manuscript Competition. This is a contest to find the books that will make great movies. They have some pretty heavy-hitting partners in Romark Entertainment (producers), Energy Entertainment (literary management and production) and Inkshares (publisher).

The next two months will be filled with additional announcements as they make their way down to the final winner. (Top 75 is May 21.) But it sounds like all of the Top 100 will be presented before their Hollywood partners, so cross your fingers that someone sees the potential in DoD to become the next Game of Thrones!


And I realize it has been forever since I’ve blogged. My day job went went crazy when COVID-19 happened. (I’ll post about that some other time.) Outside of that, I’ve been working in the Minor biography. I’m about halfway done!

Your Vote Can Help Make Madame Presidentess Into a Movie!

Remember how Madame Presidentess was optioned for TV/film about a year ago? Well, that didn’t work out and I have the rights back again so Taleflick and I are working hard to get more producers interested. And you can help!

Madame Presidentess is part of a special TaleFlick Discovery contest celebrating International Women’s Day. That means it gets an extra chance to be made into a film or TV show. But only if you vote!

 

 

To vote, once you click the button above, find my book and click the Vote button that looks like an up arrow on the right.

Opens: Wed, March 11 at 1 p.m. ET/noon CT/10 a.m. PT

Ends: Fri. March 13 at 7 p.m. ET/6 p.m. CT/4 p.m. PT

Officially, you can only vote once. But you can always try again on a different device…Not that I’m advising you to or anything.

If you get a message that you’ve already voted, it means someone on the same IP address has already voted. This happens in workplaces a lot. You will need to vote from home if that occurs. If you’re still getting that message, please don’t give up! Contact Taleflick support ASAP.

Winning books need thousands of votes, so please share with all your friends. Here are some graphics you can use.

Thank you!

Vive La Bibliographie!

(While I’m busy working on two books I’m finding it difficult to find time to blog, so I’m going to repost some of my favorite posts from Spellbound Scribes, the group blog I contribute to once a month. Warning: I am SUPER opinionated. This one was written less than a week ago.)

For years now, nay decades, historians and historical fiction authors have had a tenuous relationship. Well, from my perspective, it’s the historians who have their noses out of joint; most historical fiction authors, myself included, just want to write our books.

You see, some (not all, mind you) historians see us fiction writers as encroaching on their territory and doing it a disservice. I think with the word “fiction” in our genre and “a novel” written on most of our book covers, that is just silliness. I also think the reader has to take some responsibility for understanding the difference, but perhaps I am giving people too much credit. Tudor historian John Guy found that after Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall series was published many of his current and prospective students took what they read as fact. His complaint? “The writing was so good that some people think it is true.”*

Because we are writing a (hopefully entertaining) story in addition to providing historical facts, historical novelists sometimes have to or choose to bend those facts or go outside of the historical record. One thing many of us do to make up for this is include an Author’s Note at the end of our books. In this section, which for some is only a few paragraphs, but for others can be quite lengthy and detailed, *cough*me*cough,* we explain what is true and what is not and why we changed things when we did. Other authors provide additional historical information on their websites or in their blogs. Some even include a bibliography or a brief list of sources at the back.

Ironically, it is Hilary Mantel herself, a historical fiction author who is NOT a historian, who rails loudest against this practice. She’s fine with including an Author’s Note (which she does in her own books), but draws the line at a bibliography. At the Oxford Literary Festival in 2017 she accused historical novelists of “try[ing] to burnish their credentials by affixing a bibliography.”**

[cue eye roll]

No, Dame Mantel, that is not what we are trying to do. We are trying to show that we’ve done our due diligence in making our books as historically accurate as we can. We’re trying to raise the respectability of our genre, which, not that long ago was conflated with period costume bodice-rippers that were rightfully called mere escapism. (Remind me to write a post on the history of historical fiction sometime.) But since that time, the genre has come a long way in building credibility with readers and critics and today’s authors are much more concerned with portraying time periods and places correctly, as our source lists show.

In addition, we’re providing a list of sources for those who wish to learn more or want to fact-check the book. As a reader, I LOVE the Author’s Note and am sorely disappointed if there isn’t one or little effort was put into it. As a writer, I have looked at the bibliographies of other historical fiction writers in my time period to get a sense if I am going in the right direction in my own research. These pages at the end of books serve very important purposes that cannot and should not be dismissed out of hand.

We are in no way pretending to be what we are not. Most historical novelists will freely admit to not having a PhD if that is the case. And there are a few who do have one (such as Alison Weir and Anne Fortier), so does that give them the right to include a bibliography in their books while the rest of us can’t? If that is the case, that is elitism, pure and simple. Many of us are self-taught researchers or may have been trained through courses of study besides history (English or law, perhaps) but that doesn’t mean our research is automatically of lower quality and undeserving of being documented.

It would be far worse if historical novelists a) didn’t bother to do proper research and/or b) left readers to their own devices to figure out what is true. Then you really would have historical confusion.

I could be completely wrong, but it feels like opinions like this stem from two things: an old-world us vs. them snobbery in which we novelists are seen as on a far lower plane than professors of history, and a feeling of being threatened because the average reader is more likely to read a historical fiction novel than an academic work of history.

As an author who has written both and plans to eventually get her PhD in history, I will say there is no reason for historians to feel threatened. They do what they do and we do what we do. Each has our own audience and when there is crossover, it benefits us both. But we cannot shoulder the responsibility for how our readers interpret our work alone. If they want to believe it is true all we can do is warn them it’s not and direct them to books by historians to find out what really happened–that is exactly what the bibliographies found in our books do!

I think the idea that historians somehow sit on a loftier pedestal than historical authors is a function of the insular nature of academia and will hopefully (eventually) burn itself out. It is this misguided attitude that makes it somehow okay for someone who started out as a historian to later go into historical fiction, but not for a historical novelist who lacks a PhD to ask to be taken seriously. Unless historical novelists start claiming that their books are the truth–rather than influenced by the truth–(as best that historians can interpret it; it can be argued that all of history is fiction as it is written by the victors and is often revised by memory, time and author prejudice) there is no need for us vs. them. We are both working toward the same purpose: educating a public that increasingly doesn’t give a fig about history. We just go about it in different ways.

And as for me, you can pry my bibliography (fiction or non-fiction) out of my cold, dead hands.

*Quoted in McQuin, Kristen “The Truth Is Better Than Fiction: Accuracy In Historical Fiction.“ Bookriot. March 19l 2018. https://bookriot.com/2018/03/19/accuracy-in-historical-fiction/

**Furness, Hannah. “Hilary Mantel: Women writers must stop falsely empowering female characters in history” The Telegraph. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/05/31/hilary-mantel-women-writers-must-stop-falsely-empowering-female/

Contest is Now Live!

Mistress of Legend is part of the TaleFlick Discovery contest. That means you can vote on which book you want to see adapted into TV/film. (Mine, of course!)

 

 

 

Opens: Wed, Jan 8 at 1 p.m. ET/noon CT/10 a.m. PT

Ends: Fri. Jan 10 at 7 p.m. ET/6 p.m. CT/4 p.m. PT

You can only vote once. Hurry! Contest ends Friday!

Thank you!