Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Anthology Contest Open, September Movie Preview, Where in the World, and Ninja News

It’s time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and sign up. We post the first Wednesday of every month. I encourage everyone to visit at least a dozen new blogs and leave a comment. Your words might be the encouragement someone needs.

The awesome co-hosts for the September 5 posting of the IWSG are Toi Thomas, T. Powell Coltrin, M.J. Fifield, and Tara Tyler!

September 5 question - What publishing path are you considering/did you take, and why?

I never even considered pursuing an agent. I knew I wasn’t that good.
So I queried publishers instead.
Best decision ever!
Four books and a short story later, I’ve experienced more success than I could’ve ever imagined.
Thank you to my publisher and all of my fans!

The 2018 Annual IWSG Anthology Contest is now open for submissions!

Guidelines and rules:

Word count: 3500-6000

Genre: Young Adult Romance

A Masquerade can be a false show or pretense, someone pretending to be someone they aren't. It can be a ball, a fancy dress party, it can be a mask. Open to interpretation.

Submissions accepted: September 5 - November 4, 2018

How to enter: Send your polished, formatted (Double spaced, no page numbers), previously unpublished story to admin @ before the deadline passes. Please include your contact details, your social links, and if you are part of the Blogging, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter IWSG group.

Judging: The IWSG admins will create a shortlist of the best stories. The shortlist will then be sent to our official judges. This year, we are honored to have seven incredible judges:
Elizabeth S. Craig, author
Elana Johnson, author
S.A. Larsen,author
DL Hammons, Write Club founder
Gwen Gardner, author and previous IWSG anthology winner
Kelly Van Sant, agent at Red Sofa Literary Agency
Kristin Smith, author

Prizes: The winning stories will be edited and published by Freedom Fox Press next year in the IWSG anthology. Authors will receive royalties on books sold, both print and eBook. The top story will have the honor of giving the anthology its title.

Our previous IWSG anthologies:
Tick Tock: A Stitch in Crime
Hero Lost: The Mysteries of Death and Life
Parallels: Felix Was Here

Where in the World Bloghop

In celebration of her upcoming release, Bubba and Squirt’s Big Dig to China, Sherry Ellis is hosting a blogfest September 4 -7, 2018.
Prompt: If you could go through the Earth and end up in another country, where would you go?

Easy! I’d dig a hole to New Zealand. (Certainly beats flying.) Then I could explore such a stunningly beautiful country.
I’d also explore the Lord of the Rings sites of course!
And visit blogger buddy Rhonda Albom. She’d know the best places to visit.

Where would you go?

Find Sherry’s book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Itunes, and Books a Million

Ninja News

Are you following the IWSG on Instagram?
Here are the prompts for September:

New release!
Fearless (The Deception Game Book 3) by Kristin Smith
When you can't escape, you hide.
Find it on Amazon

September Movie Preview

Here are the upcoming theatrical releases for September! As always, descriptions courtesy of the IMDB. Snark provided by me.

14 –

The Predator
When a young boy accidentally triggers the universe's most lethal hunters' return to Earth, only a ragtag crew of ex-soldiers and a disgruntled science teacher can prevent the end of the human race.
Director: Shane Black
Stars: Yvonne Strahovski, Olivia Munn, Jacob Tremblay, Boyd Holbrook
Science teacher versus Predator? Break out the papier-mâché volcano.

21 –

The House with a Clock in Its Walls
A young orphan named Lewis Barnavelt aids his magical uncle in locating a clock with the power to bring about the end of the world.
Director: Eli Roth
Stars: Cate Blanchett, Jack Black, Lorenza Izzo, Kyle MacLachlan
Is this the sequel to Eli Roth’s The Hostel with a Corpse in the Wall?

28 –

A Yeti is convinced that the elusive creatures known as "humans" really do exist.
Directors: Karey Kirkpatrick | Jason Reisig
Stars: Zendaya, Channing Tatum, James Corden, Gina Rodriguez
What is the Yeti trying to say about people with small feet?

What publishing path is your choice? Are you submitting to the IWSG Anthology Contest? Where would you dig a hole to? And what movies catch your eye for September?


Elephant's Child said...

Another anthology? Yay. I can see reading treats in store.
If I was to dig through the earth to another country I would want to be able to time travel too. I would love to see Ancient China (and dragons).

Kalpana said...

I thoroughly enjoyed Tick Tock. I think I'll try my hand at Masquerade. I love how you began your post - that you queried publishers directly and have been very successful doing that.

Sarah Foster said...

I'd love to get an agent but I'm not sure if it's likely to happen.
Good luck to everyone submitting to the anthology!

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

Your publishing path was the best one to take. Congrats again on your success

kaykuala said...

An IWSG anthology coming up! It should be fun to be made aware of such wonderful tips for writers. Young Adults Romance can appeal and motivate the oldies as well for they went through it many times before!


Pat Hatt said...

Success is always a win indeed. Never even heard of the last one, bit of a twist there. Better watch who you say has small feet haha

Shady Del Knight said...

Hi, Alex!

I love the concept, title and cover art of Sherry's compelling new book.

I have admired actress Yvonne Strahovski since her starring role in the TV series Chuck. She was also great in The Astronaut Wives Club. Olivia Munn dazzled me in The Newsroom. I am eager to see them both in The Predator. Notice how many movies and TV series revolve around the adventures of a "ragtag crew" of heroes and legends?

Thanks for the reviews, good buddy Alex!

Mason Canyon said...

Always a good thing when IWSG does an anthology. Sherry's book is delightful and I love the idea of digging your way to another country.

nashvillecats2 said...

Great informative post as always Alex. Your writing has gone from strength to strength over the years, you should be proud.


Erika Beebe said...

I'm not sure yet what my publishing path will be this year. I do know I have a great editor who have some feedback for me soon. I'd love to get an agent some day, but we'll see. I love all the movie previews and if I could dig a hole, I agree! New Zealand could be fun :)

Cathy Keaton said...

Hey, I might actually be interested in entering this anthology contest! I will see if any good ideas for the theme come to mind.

Liza said...

How smart you are to do what works for you!

Lynn La Vita said...

Going the publishing path has proven to be a smart move, young man. Interesting to learn how you turned self-doubt into huge win for you, your readers, and ultimately fellow writers.

Jennifer Hawes said...

My publishing path has led me to seek an agent. I wasn't satisfied with the level of professionalism in my first experience with a publisher four years ago. I'm excited about my new prospects in my writing career!! The house with the clock in the wall is an excellent MG mystery series. Read most of them:)

Pat Garcia said...

That's interesting to know Alex. I too have been thinking heavily about querying publishers and your experience is encouraging.
By the way, I keep looking at the upcoming anthology contest, but I don't think I will enter it. I'm not a young adult writer and that's the main reason.

Shalom aleichem,
Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Elephant's Chile, as long as I don't get fried when meeting those dragons.

Kalpanna, please do enter!

Shady, Olivia Munn dazzled me way back when she hosted geek gaming shows!

Cathy, please do!

Jennifer, that's why it surprises me they picked Roth as the director. He does hard R rated horror movies.

Angela Wooldridge said...

Thanks for sharing your publishing path, Alex - interesting to hear what has worked for people

Jan Morrison said...

Like hearing about your path. You are always so encouraging!
I think if l could dig a hole stop somewhere it would be to the kingdom of Shambhala, which may or may not be in Nepal. Or I'd find my way to the Lost Lending Library. Google it, you'll be so happy you did! Or maybe Narnia. Yes, that'd be good.

Joanne said...

My publishing path landed in self-publishing. I never did market well, but I'm happy with comments I've received from my books. And hey- I did do - I worked hard and put my work out there. Too many folks talk about it but never attempt their book.
Congrats to Sherry. I'm happy to be a part of her fest. I'd go back to Australia. And yes - all of New Zealand looks like Lord of the Rings land. No CGI was involved.
Happy Fall!

Nilanjana Bose said...

Yay for another antho!

There are so many countries I want to get to that I'd have to do a whole maze of tunnels I think, the first one would be Ethiopia...All the best to the author for the new book.

Chemist Ken said...

What kind of response did you receive from the publishers you submitted to? Did they mostly want agented submissions?

I was thinking of entering the anthology contest this year, but that was before I learned the theme was romance. Whoa! Talk about being out of my wheelhouse.

New Zealand sounds great to me. I'm leery of long distance flying, so tunneling would probably be the only way I'd ever make it there.

Tonja Drecker said...

New Zealand would be neat! I'd probably dig to Scotland first, though. Glad your path was the right one for you on the writing end! (And it obviously was :) )

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Jan, I'd dig to Narnia!

Joanne, that's good to know.

Ken, no - I only queried those who took direct submissions.

Christine Rains said...

You definitely made the right choice. :) It would be wonderful to explore New Zealand. I might have to skip movies for September, but Venom for October! Have a great week, Alex.

Truedessa said...

Good Morning

I think you took the right path and I believe a bit of synchronicity was in play, so glad you were able to get your books out there. Maybe, someday I will find a way to get my poetry out there.

Where would I dig to? So many great places to see. Hmm Somewhere with castles, maybe Ireland. Or perhaps Bora and bring some friends :)

Have a great week!

Meka James said...

I'm not sure about The Predator. I've watched all the ones in the franchise but this might be a wait til DVD option. My youngest wants to see both of the other movies. We may have to compromise and see only one because neither appeal to me. But we did make it through The Meg for him.

Jemi Fraser said...

I would love to visit New Zealand as well!
And Tokyo and maybe a photo safari in Africa :)

T. Powell Coltrin said...

New Zealand is a great choice!

I guess I thought you had gone the agent route.

Good movies coming up. I still need to take my third (little guy) grandson on his birthday date with me. So I'll need to find a non scary movie for him.

Raimey Gallant said...

That's an important part of this whole process that I haven't read a lot about: figuring out for ourselves which size publishing house is best for us, or if self-publishing is the best fit. Great post, Alex!

Carol Kilgore said...

Looking forward to reading the upcoming anthology. Congrats to Sherry Ellis and others with new books out this month.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Au contraire, dear sir. You most definitely ARE "that good" to merit an agent. But it seems you don't need one. (Their loss.)

If I dug a hole through the earth, I'd crawl out in Australia. Such a beautiful country with such amazing wildlife and flowers. (Not to mention a boatload of terrific blogging pals.)

Birgit said...

Amazing how fast a year goes by and I applaud all the authors out there who write for this anthology. I might want to see the second movie starring Cate Blanchett. The film might be better than it sounds. As for Yeti....I can’t help but think they stumbled upon Yentyl and the poor guy can’t stop sings, “Papa did you know?l

Yolanda Renée said...

Through the earth, hmm, Paris, then Alaska, detours are allowed right?

Summer vacation is over, back to the real world, well, maybe not. We are writers after all! :)

Happy almost Fall, Alex!

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

September looks to be a busy month. Congratulations on the new books out. That's always exciting. And it's great that you made the right decision for your writing career.

Sandra Hoover said...

Looking forward to another Anthology! Great job, Alex, on choosing a path to publication and pursuing it. It awesome that it worked out for you! As always, thanks for all you do for other writers. You're greatly appreciated!

Liz A. said...

New Zealand would be nice. I'm sure this will be a popular choice.

Lisa said...

I'm still thinking about trying out for the anthology... Not sure about movies this month. Nothing really calls out to me except "Won't You Be My Neighbor" and that's not really one you'd put on this blog! LOL. Thanks for all you do!

Stacy McKitrick said...

Dig? How would digging be better than flying? That would be sooooo much work! Now, if I got someone to dig for me... Yeah, New Zealand would be great. One of these days I'll make it to that part of the world. But probably not by digging. Or flying. I want to take a cruise there. :)

cleemckenzie said...

I think there are going to be a lot entries for this anthology. The theme is enticing and people like YA with romance.

Sadira Stone said...

I'm grateful there are so many paths to publication these days. I'm still going to query my cozy mysteries with trad pub and agents--for a while, at least--but am open to an indie-pub path for those. I'll have to pass on this anthology. After years of teaching high school, I'm still slightly allergic to that age group, even in fiction.
Happy writing in September, Alex!
P.S. I've been on the IWSG roll as Late Blooming Rose for a few years. Now that old blog is linked to my new one at Sadira Stone Romance Author. Is there a way to switch the listing on the IWSG blog hop page without losing my place on the list? Thanks mucho.

Cherie Reich said...

You lucked out in finding a pretty awesome publisher, Alex! A big congrats to Sherry!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Alex - you've done so well with your approach ... while helping others along the way. The blogging path has helped so many - and this is one where you've realised that helping others helps yourself ... and why we enjoy being in your sphere. Also we get all the tips and tricks on films etc ... and I agree all the best to Sherry and her Bubba and Squirt visit to China book ... looks like we could fix a picnic for our blogging friends in NZ - I'm sure Rhonda would organise that really well - cheers Hilary

C.D. Gallant-King said...

If I could dig a hole to any country it would be to the US. It would save me from having to go through your crazy customs office. Seriously, do the officials at the border HAVE to be a-hole? Is it part of the job description?

I loved the original 2 Predator movies. Shane Black is an amazing choice for the new one, I'm looking forward to it!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

You're welcome.

Thank you for featuring Sherry's book. New Zealand sounds fun.

Loni Townsend said...

You know, I never really thought about going straight to the publisher with my book. Good to have options!

Mary Aalgaard said...

When we were kids, we used to say we were digging to China, and dig in the garden, or something. I'd go there! Fulfill that fantasy. I'd love to see the Great Wall and all the people and things in the market.

Tamara Narayan said...

I love the theme for this year's IWSG anthology, but my head is not is not in the right place for short story creation right now. I want to get back into the novel I started last year and if I'm really feeling brave, get back on the query train for a completed novel.

My daughter has an interest in seeing the Slenderman movie, but I think we'll probably end up Redboxing it.

David Powers King said...

Lately my publishing path is in line with working with my agent to find a traditional home and self publish if the project can't find one. Either way, it gets published. That House movie sounds awesome. Thanks for visiting me! :)

The Cynical Sailor said...

Congrats to everyone on their new releases! I like Sherry's idea of digging a hole to New Zealand. Certainly would be more interesting way of traveling there than taking a long-haul flight. Looking forward to this year's anthology - it's a great theme :-)

Tyrean Martinson said...

I would dig a hole to New Zealand as well - I had friends who lived there for five years and it sounds like an amazing place, plus there's the LOtR sites!
I want to see the House with the Clock in its Walls, despite the title.

Arlee Bird said...

The other day I saw a billboard advertising Predator. Actually, it wasn't exactly a billboard--it was an entire large building advertising the movie. Kind of amazing what they can do these days.

Arlee Bird
Tossing It Out

Bish Denham said...

I actually have a story idea for the anthology. Now, if I can get myself motivated to begin writing...

Roland D. Yeomans said...

I really am interested in what direction Shane Black takes with the predator franchise since he was in the first one. Since I do not have a smart phone, Instagram is out for me. :-( I'm submitting to the Anthology, and I wish all my fellow dreamers the best of luck. Of course, with Cate Blanchett in it, The House with the Clock in Its Walls is a movie I want to see.

Anonymous said...

Good luck to everyone who enters!

I'd dig a hole to New Zealand, too. Japan is another one.

Karen Baldwin said...

I saw the preview for The House With The Clock in The Wall and it looks great. Will definitely see that. I will definitely not see the Nun. I saw the preview to that and I jumped out of my skin. Peppermint sounds like a winner to me.

Jennifer Lane said...

Hi, Alex! I'm happy for you that you found your publisher. I am thinking of submitting to the IWSG anthology contest--love the theme.

Anonymous said...

Sorry if I'm posting twice, but the internet ate my comment.

Again, nice to know that going straight to the publisher worked out. I haven't actually considered that and it's good to have another option in the toolbox.

I don't go out to movies much, but I am intrigued by The House with the Clock in its Walls

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Christine, can't miss Venom!

Meka, good luck.

Teresa, considering what the director normally does, not sure the House with the Clock would be a good choice...

Susan, thanks!

Birgit - funny!

Yolanda, be sure to take a left at Albuquerque.

Sandra, thanks!

Lisa, please do!

Stacy, now that's the best choice.

Rhonda, you bet - I'll take care of that today.

Loni, it is an option!

David, glad to have you back.

Lee, that's wild.

Bish, please do!

Roland, excellent!

Jennifer, I hope you do.

Lee, sorry about that. And it is an option.

The Happy Whisk said...

Going with the publishers these days is the better, it seems. More and more folks are taking the work on themselves and not needing agents. That’s cool. Lots of options for writers these days, small press, big press, medium press and home-press. Why not? Pretty cool stuff.
Excited to see SMALLFOOT.

Rachna Chhabria said...

Hi Alex, I don't think self publishing is for me.. too much work. I'm glad I went the traditional route. I do hope to start querying agents again soon.

Heather Erickson said...

Your story is very inspiring!

Mary Kirkland said...

I've loved all of the Predator movies. Alien vs Predator was good too. said...

New Zealand is a good pick - that's near the top of my list.
I like the title, alone, of Smallfoot.
Be well, Alex.

Suzanne Furness said...

I would love to secure an agent and I am querying again at the moment. There doesn't seem to be many UK children's publishers that still accept unsolicited manuscripts.

Liesbet said...

I've always wondered about the benefits of querying an agent versus a publisher. I was under the impression one always needed an agent first to be represented in the search of a publisher. But, you show me that's not necessary. Of course, I should do some research before I have these assumptions...

If I could dig a hole through the earth to avoid flying, I'd make a tunnel to South Africa, a country that has been on my mental list for a while. As far as New Zealand goes, my second visit there was less appealing than the first one 15 years prior. Since that first time, I've been to similar (and less crowded) places. British Columbia is a good contestant and easier to get to, if you haven't been, Alex.

No movies for me in September, or ever, really, since we rarely spend time in cities and don't have enough electricity or to stream. :-)

Chrys Fey said...

New Zealand is on my list, too. Right behind Ireland. I also want to see all of the Lord of the Rings sites. lol

J E Oneil said...

If you could dig a hole through the earth, why would you want to pop out on the other side? There are so many interesting, unexplored things down there. But yeah, it would definitely beat flying.

Anonymous said...

What a whirlwind ride it's been for you, huh Alex? I'm so grateful it worked out the way it did for you. You deserve it, Alex. Truly. You do so much for others. As for me, I'm too afraid of rejection and criticism. I'm a porcupine. Tough on the outside, gushy on the inside. haha


Andrew Leon said...

You don't have to be any particular level of good to get an agent.

Sandra Cox said...

As far as not being good enough to pursue an agent....sales have proved you wrong;)

Juneta key said...

Happy IWSG Day

Nick Wilford said...

That publisher knew talent when it saw it!

It will be another great anthology. Very interesting theme.

New Zealand is an amazing country, I was only there two weeks but experienced a big range of climates. It's almost the Antarctic at the bottom. I climbed a glacier!

Crystal Collier said...

Congrats to Kristin!

So having read over many of the answers today, I'm convinced more than ever it's a question of genre. If you write for a small niche, you're better off going Indie. If you have a large genre audience that publishers usually box, that might be the best route. If you write for children, physical books are the only way to go.

Cathrina Constantine said...

Alex, you do have a great publisher!!!

I'm looking forward to seeing a Clock in The Wall. It looks cute.

mshatch said...

I must admit I'm intrigued by the antology's theme...

I am still pursuing the traditional path though I have not ruled out the other paths.

diedre Knight said...

Hi Captain!
Gosh, I seldom think of agents. I'd say you're a perfect example as to why that is ;-) Good for you!
The House with a Clock sounds interesting.
Tunnel through the earth and pop up anywhere? Ireland. Specifically, in the middle of an oak forest in a castle called Charleville where Lord Byron entertained (extensively, I hear) and the ghost of young Harriet haunts the halls (and staircase) to this day.
Have a terrific week!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Ivy! Good to hear from you.

Robyn, bet you could have fun with that title...

Suzanne, that's sad.

Liesbet, I've been there! And I know a lot of authors who have publishers but no agent.

Elsie, thanks.

Sandra, thanks.

Marcy, you should try it.

Diedre, you're after the haunted sites!

Empty Nest Insider said...

You were wise to go directly to the publishers. The new IWSG Anthology sounds wonderful! I'm impressed that you and your team are always coming up with creative projects. Thanks for hosting another great IWSG!


dolorah said...

"That path is still before (me)." I guess I'll get there eventually. New Zealand would be a fantastic place to visit.

Natalie Aguirre said...

New Zealand is a popular destination and it sounds so beautiful. Finding your publisher sounds like a great fit for you.

Shannon Lawrence said...

I'm looking forward to Predator. They put out a new trailer, and it looks so good! Congrats to Sherry!

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

When I was a kid, I tried digging a hole to China a few times. Didn't get too far in the red clay of the soil...

Masquerade is such a great theme!

Amy Keeley said...

Self-publishing was my choice, though I do submit short stories to magazines on occasion. If I do submit a novel again, it'll be direct to the publishers as well.

Not sure about submitting to the anthology. I'd like to but I'm not sure if I'd have a story ready in time for it.

I'd dig a hole to Centralia, Pennsylvania.

No movies have caught my eye this month. Would like to see Black Panther, though. Still haven't seen it and it looks awesome! Plus, I've heard it has Martin Freeman. Love his acting.

Sandra Ulbrich Almazan said...

I hadn't heard of Smallfoot before, but the premise sounds interesting!

Sherry Ellis said...

I think you'd be good enough to get an agent. But it takes forever! I had one, but it didn't amount to anything. Going directly with the publisher worked so much better.

Thank you for participating in the Where in the World Blog Fest. You and I both chose New Zealand. Great minds think alike! :)

Gwen Gardner said...

Big Dig sounds like such a fun read! Many congrats to Sherry.

New Zealand would be fun. I’m thinking Bavaria or Brittany:D

Thanks for hosting, Alex!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I didn't know about the new Predator movie. Sounds interesting. The contest looks interesting but I've been too busy with other projects to work on short stories. said...

I turned over my blog over to boosting the anthology contest this month. What a great opportunity!

Olga Godim said...

Have to think about the new anthology. I love the theme of Masquerade, but YA romance is not my natural milieu. Perhaps, I'll try anyway, despite the challenge of the genre.

Melissa said...

I'm glad you had a good experience with your publisher. So many authors don't.

I'm all indie, and I couldn't imagine it any other way.

Jo said...

Well of course you have a very nice publisher Alex. I met her once when we were dahn sahth.

I wouldn't mind going to NZ either. I was recently watching Coast New Zealand and it really does look beautiful Not sure about LOTR sites though. I did visit the site in the Dominican where they filmed a scene from Jurassic Park.

Botanist said...

I would love to visit Hobbiton, but only if the larder at Bag End was stocked fit for a hobbit! Thinking about it, though, I would dig a hole to come up in the courtyard of the Turf Tavern in Oxford. Many student brain cells died a happy death there in my youth :)

Mel Chesley said...

Holy cow!!! Your page looks so different. I'm impressed! I've missed coming around and reading up on everyone's news. I have never tried traditional publishing, but maybe someday I will give it a shot. Right now, I've learned a lot about self publishing. It's going to come in handy for my new project! Good to see you Alex, and thanks so much for continuing to comment when I did post. :D

J Lenni Dorner said...

I'm excited for Predator.
And yup, thinking about the contest.
Indie all the way here.

Lidy said...

Happy IWSG Day!
Going straight to the publisher was a good idea. Glad it worked out for you. Yet I can also see the other side of how an agent will be a good option for writers too. An agent, one who believes in you and fights for you, is like how the sun is for Superman.
I didn’t know there was a new Predator movie coming out. Guess it’s another one of those movies Hollywood would always keep on making.
And I’d dig a hole to Japan. Then make a left turn at Albuquerque to get to Egypt. ;-D

John Wiswell said...

I hope The Predator is decent. I don't have high hopes based on the trailers, but it's such a neat creature.

Unknown said...

Oh, Alex! YA Romance? Masquerade theme? I've got ideas, friend. I have got ideas. But I'm also exhausted. I feel like a MacDonald's milkshake poured out on the pavement of an Arizona parking lot these days. I'm a school teacher, so... this is the time of year when my brain and body are in shock as I transition from summer to school year. Yikes. Let's hope I get my energy back soon, because I might like to actually give this Anthology contest a try.

I'd love to hear more about your decision to query directly to publishers. Thank you for the post, and happy writing to you. :)

Diane Burton said...

How wonderful that you found a publisher that works for you. This is a great topic. Kudos to whoever thought of it. In response to Shelly's question, I agree with your answer, New Zealand, for many of the same reasons. Then, I could visit Australia without that horrendously long plane ride.

Donna K. Weaver said...

We saw the preview for the Predator movie and weren't sure who the Predators are fighting.

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hey, Alex,

Great that going directly to the publisher worked for you. I just may have to try that. Querying agents certainly left me with no other option since I have gotten no where with them in all these years.

Sherry has a fun bloghop! Haven't seen one of those in a long while. The IWSG is so much more, so I don't consider it a bloghop... ALL the best, Sherry!

Masquerade certainly does intrigue me. Perhaps I will be able to submit this time. I really need to KEEP ON WRITING... LOL

Elizabeth Seckman said...

Not good enough? Bologna! Here I thought you had the Debbie MacComber attitude. I once read in an interview where she said new writers needed editors and publishers as their main goal.

Dancing Lemur is a great publisher to work with. You chose wisely.

I have a story outlined in my head for the anthology. Hopefully, it works on paper.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Amy, hope you have a story ready. But you do need to take time to watch Black Panther.

Sherry, yes they do!

Kim, and I appreciate that!

Olga, go for it.

Jo, that's cool.

Ian - funny!

Lidy, very funny!

John, obviously since they keep making movies.

Diane, I think Diane Wolfe came up with the question this month.

Thanks, Elizabeth.

Roland Clarke said...

Any room on your earth-moving trip to the Lord of the Rings sites? Middle Earth has to be one of my dream destinations. Oops, that was a diversion. I like your publishing approach of missing out the agent. Can I steal that, please?

J.Q. Rose said...

Glad the publisher has worked out for you. Probably because your books are good reads!!
If I have to dig a hole, I guarantee you I would not be going far away. Ewwww...digging in the dirt or clay or sand just sounds like too much work for me. hee hee
JQ Rose

G. B. Miller said...

I'm doing the self-publishing thing, as I don't like to spend an inordinate amount of time waiting to have something published (one year is my limit, but I'm slowly chipping away at that time frame0.

If I had to dig a hole, I'm not sure where I would want to pop up at. Everything is so disappointing these days due to the influx of politics. Once was in my childhood is now not as an adult.

Lynda Dietz said...

I think your plan of going right to a publisher has worked out well for you. I'm happy for the success you've had and am looking forward to your next book, whatever it may be.

I clicked on Sherry's link to read the "look inside" on Amazon and was so entertained that I'm trying to think of any middle-schoolers I know who need a gift. I need an excuse to find out what happened to Bubba and Squirt after they went down that hole!

By the way, I didn't receive your email (and it wasn't in my spam folder), so feel free to try again. lyndadietz4 at

Toi Thomas said...

Hey, I finally made it.
I've had such a good time co-hosting, I almost forgot to stop by.
Thanks for this awesome hop, Alex.
Submitting to a small press does seem to have been the perfect path for you. I love your work.
New Zealand is supposed to be famed for its landscapes.
Predator looks funny, but I don't think it's supposed to.
While I love self-publishing, I'm not opposed to trad publishing; plus, I'll be submitting to the anthology this time.

Melanie Rickmann said...

Good to know an agent isn't required to get published.
One of these years I'll have to try submitting to the Anthology Contest. Sounds like fun!

Juneta key said...

Happy belated IWSG Day.

Magic Love Crow said...

So happy for Sherry! Congrats!!
Good for you Alex, in your decision about how to publish your books!
Smallfoot looks cute!
Take Care Alex!

JEN Garrett said...

Wow, I spend a long drawn out post explaining my choice, and you get right to the point - short and sweet! I wish I could decide so firmly between publisher or agent; it might make my querying easier.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Roland, yes on both accounts!

JQ, I can't argue with that. Dirty!

Lynda, glad we did finally connect.

Toi, that made me chuckle! Glad you had a good time.

Melanie, please do!

Jen, I'm a decisive man of few words...

M Pax said...

Best of luck to all who enter the anthology.

We saw The Meg over Labor Day. I say, meh. They should have consulted me before releasing that movie.

Rhonda Albom said...

I do hope you make it down under to New Zealand but a plane may be a bit quicker than digging a hole. Then again, the folks in Middle Earth might like an extra tunnel (perhaps convert it into Hobbit holes). If you do make it here, you won't be bored and I'd keep you busy showing you the sites. Thanks for the mention, Alex.

Shadow said...

Where would I dig a hole to? Never-Neverland of course *grin* Have a fabulous Sunday, Alex

Fundy Blue said...

Hi, Alex! I’m so glad you found a publisher! I, for one, really enjoyed your books. I’d dig into a wormhole and try to land somewhere different and hopefully safe. The anthology contest looks like fun. Maybe I’ll get inspired by Venice which is where I’ll be come Wednesday. Hope all’s is well with you! Thanks for all you do!

mail4rosey said...

I'm not sure I'd be able to go through a hole under the Earth, I'd be worried about cave-ins, leaks, etc. How about a 'poof' kind of time travel instead that had no ill effects on a person? :) Then I'd go to Venice (Italy) because I've been really, really wanting to see that city.

Also, I'm supposing since you have the success you do, that you def. could have gotten an agent and they would have loved it if you had. Turns out there was a different plan for you that was even better. :)

Mina Burrows said...

I love your path, although I think you are absolutely good enough.

I adore the IWSG Anthology theme. It sounds awesome. It gives me some amazing ideas.

Next month I will post for both Sept and Oct.

J.H. Moncrieff said...

I don't think publishing with an agent means you're better than authors who went directly to the publisher--it's more a question of what your goals are and how you prefer to work.

There are terrible authors who have agents, and amazing authors who've gone without. There are also lots of bad agents out there, and before you have a strong publishing history, it's difficult to land a great one. You can--people have--but you're more apt to end up with someone green than an experienced pro. Sometimes that works out, but a lot of the time, it doesn't.