Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Check Out My Fancy Cover!

I was lucky enough to work with the astonishingly talented Wilette Youkey on a for-fun cover for my project, The Sorbet Guy. 

Check it out!!

So cute, right?!

Wilette is fabulous to work with, quick and obviously wicked good at what she does.  She asked me questions about what my characters look like, any important symbols in the book, and for examples of book covers that I like.  

What we ended up with was this chalkboard-based motif that tickles me no end.

If you want to see more of Wilette's amazing work, or see about using her services for a cover of your own, please check out her website.  You won't regret it.

I'm gonna go gaze at my cover and smile goofily for a while. 

- Liz

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Author Bios, or One More Annoying Thing To Do Before You Get Published

Yesterday, the lovely C.A. Marshall wrote an excellent blog about author bios.  That's the little blurb about the author at the end of the book.  For those of you who don't know, the authors write those themselves.  It's all part of the package that an agent sends out to editors when you are "out on sub."  (A place I'd dearly like to be.)  

Yeah, that's right, after you've already tied yourself in knots over condensing your magnum opus into a two paragraph tease for your query, after you've suffered the slings and arrows of making a three-hundred page epic into a three-page synopsis that somehow manages to retain all the wit and wonder of your manuscript all while telling the cut-and-dry beginning middle and end of your story, you now have to talk about yourself in the third person.  And be interesting.

Good luck with that, right?

As is so often the case, this is a topic that seems to be swirling around the blogosphere of late.  Literary agent Natalie Fischer inaugurated her blog with a post that had a great tip about writing the dreaded Bio. To whit:


           (name) lives in (state) with her (husband/cat/parrot). An avid writer, she spends her days (job), and
           contributes to (blog/magazine/newspaper). (Title) was a (second/first/third) place winner in the (contest).
           (name) is currently hard at work on her next project, (wip).

Okay, so maybe that doesn't seem so hard.  But some of my favorite author bios have some sparkle.  Who doesn't want sparkle?  (Damn you, Twilight for ruining that word for me.)

Cassandra's blog contains some really excellent examples of bios from books she's enjoyed.  I added one of my favorites in her comments section, so I won't bother you all with rewriting that. 

I figured I would try my hand at this bio business.  You know, better be prepared for the inevitable, right?  (Dig me and my power of positive thinking.)  So here we go.

Simple version:

Liz Czukas lives in Wisconsin with her husband, son and cat.  The Sorbet Guy is her first novel.  An avid writer, she spends her days as a nurse and her nights hard at work on her next project, Chronic.

*THUD*  (That was the sound of me putting myself to sleep and hitting my head on the desk.)

Vampire-free Sparkle Version:

Liz Czukas lives outside Milwaukee, Wisconsin with her husband, son and the world's loudest, fattest cat.  The Sorbet Guy is her first novel.  During the day, she maintains her secret identity as a labor & delivery nurse.  At night, she spends all of her time writing, using the Internet to turn her brain to a well-informed soup and devouring as much pop culture as she can get her hands on.  Liz is hard at work on her next project, Chronic, due out from [fill in publisher here] in 2013.  She loves visitors at www.lizczukas.com, but makes no promises about refreshments.

So which one do you like better?

If any of you writer types want to share your bio in the comments, please do!  Maybe we can all help each other be sparkly sparkle sparks.  *Yurp!*  I think I just made myself throw up in my mouth a little.

- Liz

Monday, August 16, 2010

Testing, Testing...Is this Thing On?

Me for the last month
So how do you account for a near-month absence?  I have no idea.  I've put myself in a kind of suspended animation in late.  There are happenings in my life I could blame, but what it boils down to is the same--I simply haven't been blogging.  I don't know all of the reasons why, and I don't know if I'll be keeping up in the future any better than I have in the past three weeks.

For now, I'll give you all some updates, if you're interested.

1.  Still at work on my new work-in-progress, which is still titled Chronic, much to my dismay.

2.  Still waiting to hear from a whole lotta agents on my most recent batch of queries.

3.  I've been reading like a fiend lately, and I would highly recommend all of these to people:
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson, Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson, and English As A Second Language by Megan Crane.

4.  Next week, Mockingjay comes out, and I'm so excited I might pee a little.

5.  My son started preschool last week (just a two week summer session before the real thing in fall) and it was heartbreaking, and exhilarating.  The handful of hours to myself each week stretch out before me like the most delicious buffet you've ever seen.

I'd love to promise that I'll be around more, but I just can't.  My own laziness knows no bounds.  In the meantime, know that I appreciate every one of you that comes to read, whether or not I know about it.

So what have you all been up to?

- Liz