Extracurricular: Hence, the name of the series

Debate Terminology.png

I know what you're thinking: that I chose Extracurricular as the name of my novel series because it sets up a delicious double entendre, what with it taking place at a private high school and that lust and is front and center with its protagonists, Audrey and Egan.

Well, you're wrong.

Colleges are very interested in the activities that students engage in during high school. These “extracurriculars” show gauge those students who are fully rounded socially; if they can multi-task, and take on responsibilities.

In other words, are they good citizens?

In the novels, Ashbury Academy's debate team is a sought-after extracurricular activity. However, one must earn one's place on it.

And there in lies the rub. If a student is willing to lie, steal, and cheat to make the team, is s/he a good citizen? Is this a pattern of behavior that will continue throughout his or her life?

As the latest college admissions scandals prove, there are ways to fake one's participation in extracurriculars. Some of the fraud revolves around lies involving participation in sports, clubs, and volunteer organizations.

Some college admission slots are precious and few. My research on how parents (and sometimes, with the students' knowledge) will do and say anything to get their children into one of them.

Believe me, this is a time in which life is stranger than fiction.

Enjoy this excerpt. And be sure to enter my contest for books, gift cards, and other goodies.

—Josie

Extracurricular-KindleExtracurricular / Book 1

Signal Press (Release Date: June 28, 2019)
BOOK 1 of an Episodic Series of 3 Books
Digital ISBN:978-1-970093-00-1
Trade Paperback ISBN: 978-1-970093-02-5

amazon-2-icon AppleBooks unnamed kobo-blue

It's your child's senior year. 
A private high school's reputation is at stake.
A math teacher refuses to grade his final exams on a curve. 
Students have only one more shot at the SAT before college applications are due. 
And a few desperate parents with much more money than brains are willing to do anything to get their children into Ivy League colleges.

And Audrey's dirty little secret will soon be the downfall of everyone and everything she holds dear: love, family, friends, and her private high school alma mater.

In EXTRACURRICULAR, a dark family secret leads to a college admissions cheating scandal at a private school, setting off a crisis of conscience for the parents, teachers, administrator and the students involved—and a catharsis for one couple about their marriage.

New Season, New Contest, and a New Series!

Extra1 Ad TW

EXTRACURRICULAR – BOOK 1 RELEASE DATE: JUNE 28, 2019. PRE-ORDER NOW!

amazon-2-icon imgres copyNook logo kobo-blue

 

 

Happy Almost Summer to You!

Now that San Francisco's monsoon rains have finally let up, Martin and I have been taking long walks every day. It's great to see flowers in bloom again!

The tulip trees were first, then the daffodils, followed by ice plant and calla lilies. Birds of Paradise seem to hang in there pretty much all year long, as do roses—always a pleasure to see.

Only one thing makes me happier than Spring—and that's BOOKS!
My next series, EXTRACURRICULAR, takes place over two generations and three episodic books.

It's a story about love, lust, and parents behaving badly when it comes to cheating on college entrance exams.

It may sound like a plot ripped from the headlines. Ironically, this was a story I began writing eight years ago…

So yeah, it's been on my mind for quite some time.

If you loved Totlandia or Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives, this is definitely the series for you!
The first novel in this series of three books launches on 
Friday, June 28, 2019—
Just in time for the July 4th Weekend.

And of course, to celebrate the heat AND a sizzling new book to read, 
I'm having a launch contest for Extracurricular – Book 1.

You can read about it below. I do hope you'll enter.
In fact, you'll have 6 chances to win.
Enjoy your summer—AND Extracurricular!
—Josie

Prizes

THE PRIZES

5 Contestants Will Win:

:A $10 Gift Card from the bookstore of your choice;

: An autographed copy of my novel, The Baby Planner (trade paperback); and

: A digital eBook of any one of my books (currently published, or a future title).

A 6th Contestant will be drawn as the Grand Prize Winner, and will Receive:

: A $50 Gift Card from the bookstore of your choice;

: A signed trade paperback copy of The Baby Planner;

A signed trade paperback copy of Extracurricular Book 1;

: An signed hardcover copy of The Housewife Assassin's Handbook;

: A digital eBook of one of my books—your choice! (currently published, or a future title);

: A jute tote bag sporting the Housewife Assassin logo—great for the beach or the store! And

: A stoneware ruffled pie dish from Crate + Barrel.

Talk about a fun bunch of prizes!

The contest ends Midnight Pacific Time on Midnight, Sunday, August 4, 2019

Talk about a fun bunch of prizes!

AND YOU CAN EARN BONUS POINTS!

Enter the Contest

Join me at Pitchfest!

Leo and Carey Great Gatsby

Hey, if it happened to F. Scott Fitzgerald, it can happen to you.

One of America's most celebrated authors died penniless, his greatest opus, The Great Gatsby, nearly forgotten…

Except by Hollywood.

Since his death, his book,  has been adapted for the screen an extraordinary five times.

It's also been an opera, a ballet, a musical, a straight play, and get this: two video games.

 Can you increase the odds that your book will find its way onto the silver screen?

Is a novel an alternative route to get your screenplay into the hands of producers?

The answer to both these questions is a resounding yes. To find out how, join me in Los Angeles on Saturday, June 1, 2013, where I'll giving a workshop with the incomparably divine Laurie Scheer at Pitchfest called, "Adapting your Screenplay as a Book" .

Details are below.

It'll be worth it,

— Josie

 

Photo: Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan
in Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby 

Adapting Your Screenplay as a Book
4:30pm – 6:00pm – Academy Five
with Josie Brown & Laurie Scheer
So, you’ve pitched your screenplay and a few agents have said, “I could sell that idea if it were a novel.” Know that you’re not alone. So, what should you do? Josie Brown, best-selling novelist and Laurie Scheer, d-girl extraordinaire and publishing mentor, guide you through a workshop presentation that includes in-class exercises, tangible examples, and an extensive Q&A segment to help you determine how your screenplay will look as a book. With the majority of studio projects being produced from existing properties and franchises (books, comics, games, apps, etc.), adapting your screenplay into book form is an option many screenwriters have found success doing—and many others are considering it. Before you begin the process of writing prose vs. script, there are a few elements you need to know.

 
Click here to register for Pitchfest 

Click below to see a trailer from the movie, THE GREAT GATSBY


Day 3 of NaNoWrMo…

NaNo3
It's NaNoWriMo Month!

(National Novel Writing Month, for the uninitiated…)

For those of you who have begun writing your first book, every day I'll repost my fave creative writing tips here, just for you. 

In fact, here's Tip #3, for Saturday, November 3rd…

The previous day's post can be accessed on this page, too.

Here's to your success as an author,

— Josie Brown

Don’t forget to enter my HOUSEWIFE ASSASSIN’S GUIDE TO GRACIOUS KILLING contest, for a chance to win a $100 gift card to the bookstore of your choice!

 

 


HAH Hanging Man V2Buy THE HOUSEWIFE ASSASSIN'S HANDBOOK Today, on

Olivia Luccardi has been added to the cast of NBC’s Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives

Secret Lives ahb This just in, from The Hollywood Reporter! Another new castmember has been added to the NBC drama, based on my novel, Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives. (I know my son will ask me to set him up with her…Hey, I'm just the writer of the original material. He'll have to go to someone with "producer" in their title…)

Click here to order the book, on Amazon…

–Josie

 

Olivia Luccardi has joined the Jerry Bruckheimer-produced project starring James Tupper and Martin Henderson.

Olivia Luccardi Headshot - P 2012
Olivia Luccardi

NBC's The Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives is welcoming a newcomer to the mix.

The Jerry Bruckheimer-produced drama pilot has added newcomer Olivia Luccardi to the main cast, The Hollywood Reporter has learned exclusively.

Based on the Josie Brown book, the project is described as a thriller/dramatic soap about the lingering aftermath of a murder. Luccardi will play India Deaver, the angry and uncommunicative daughter of Danielle (Perrey Reeves) and Richard Deaver (James Tupper). Martin Hendersonand Jesse L. Martin will co-star.

Husbands and Wives marked Luccardi's first pilot audition ever.

From Warner Bros. Television, Bruckheimer will executive produce alongside Sascha Penn, Jonathan Littman and KristieAnne Reed. Penn will write the pilot.

Luccardi, repped by One Entertainment, will guest star in a season two episode of HBO's Girls when it returns Jan. 13. Her previous credits consist of two short films.

E-mail: Philiana.Ng@thr.com
Twitter: @insidethetube

 

Lauren Allen joins the cast of the NBC TV show based on my novel, SECRET LIVES OF HUSBANDS AND WIVES

Love it! Another actress has been cast in Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives. I loved Lauren Allen in Awake, so I'm sure she'll be great in the show.

Check it out below, from Deadline Hollywood…

— Josie


Laura Allen Joins NBC’s ‘Husbands And Wives’

Laura Allen has been cast as one of the leads in NBC’s pilot The Secret Lives Of Husbands And Wives. The thriller/dramatic soap is from Jerry Bruckheimer TV and writer Sascha Penn and revolves around the lives of several couples. Allen, repped by Gersh and Impression Entertainment, will play Alison Dunn, a grounded and levelheaded mother and wife who happens to be hiding the darkest secret of all. It’s a return to NBC for Allen, who was cast in a supporting role then bumped up to female lead on the network’s Awake.

Nellie Andreeva

REVENGE’s James Tupper is another new cast member in the TV show based on my novel, SECRET LIVES OF HUSBANDS AND WIVES

This just in, from Hollywood Reporter! Love it! — Josie

'Revenge's' James Tupper Joins NBC's 'Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives' Pilot (Exclusive)

6:28 PM PDT 10/10/2012 by Lesley Goldberg

The "Grey's Anatomy" alum will play Richard Deaver, a family man with a secret troubled and dangerous personality.

James Tupper Portrait - P 2011

James Tupper is heading to NBC.

The Revenge and Grey's Anatomy alum has joined the network's Jerry Bruckheimer drama pilot The Secret Lives of Husbands and WivesThe Hollywood Reporter has learned exclusively.

STORY: NBC Pilot 'Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives' Finds Lead in Martin Henderson

Based on the Josie Brown book of the same name, the pilot is described as thriller and dramatic soap about the lingering aftermath of a murder. Off the Map's Martin Hendersonwill star as Kyle Dunn, a former flight surgeon and astronaut who returns from a long absence to find something is different about the life he left behind.  

Tupper will play Richard Deaver, a likable and fun guy who moves to town with his wife and daughter to open a real estate business, but underneath his nice exterior is a troubled and dangerous personality.

STORY: Jerry Bruckheimer Soapy Thriller Gets Pilot Order at NBC

From Warner Bros. Television, Bruckheimer will executive produce alongside Sascha Penn, Jonathan Littman and KristieAnne Reed. Penn will write the pilot.

Entourage's Perry Reeves and Rent'Jesse L. Martin will co-star in the drama.

Repped by ICM Partners, Untitled Entertainment and Jackoway Tyerman, Tupper's credits also include Mercy and Men in Trees.

Email: Lesley.Goldberg@thr.com; Twitter: @Snoodit

 


OUR EDITOR RECOMMENDS

 

SECRET LIVES TV Show — Jesse L. Martin Added to the Cast

I'm so glad to hear Jesse L. Martin has been added to the cast of the TV show based on my novel Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives, since I love him on SMASH. Check it out in Deadline Hollywood.

— Josie

 

Nellie Andreeva Jesse L. Martin To Star In NBC’s ‘Secret Lives Of Husbands & Wives’ Pilot

Law & Order alum Jesse L. Martin is set to star opposite Martin Hendersonin the Jerry Bruckheimer-producedNBC drama pilot The Secret Lives Of Husbands And WivesIt is described as thriller-dramatic soap that centers on a murder and the secrets and lies within a tightly woven group of three suburban couples and their families exposed in its aftermath.

JesseMartin__120914173927Martin will play half of one of the couples, Greg Cooke, a perpetual frat boy and former hedge fund manager whose faltering finances force him into partnering with an unsavory business associate. Also starring in the pilot are Perrey Reeves and Nicole Ari Parker. Martin, repped by ICM Partners and manager Bob McGowan, is recurring on NBC’s Smash this season, and he signed on do the pilot after the schedules for the two NBC projects could be worked out. Helping the matter is the fact that both Smash and Secret Lives are shooting in New York.

Martin Henderson joins the cast of SECRET LIVES OF HUSBANDS AND WIVES

Once again, Deadline Hollywood has it covered!

— Josie


Deadline Hollywood
Martin Henderson To Star In NBC’s ‘Secret Lives Of Husbands & Wives’ Pilot

By NELLIE ANDREEVA | Thursday October 4, 2012 @ 2:00pm PDT 


Martin Henderson (ABC’s Off The Map) has been cast as one of the leads in the Jerry Bruckheimer-produced NBC drama pilot Secret Lives Of Husbands And Wives.

It is described as thriller-dramatic soap that centers on a murder and the secrets and lies within a tightly woven group of three suburban couples and their families exposed in its aftermath. Henderson will play Kyle Dunn, a former flight surgeon and astronaut who returns home — after a prolonged absence — to live with his family and discovers that things are not as they seem.

Henderson, repped by CAA, Management 360 and attorney Warren Dern, joins recently cast Perrey Reeves and Nicole Ari Parker.

Another super fabulous actress has been cast in SECRET LIVES OF HUSBANDS AND WIVES!

Yes, I am BESIDE myself! Last week word went out that another super-fantastic actress will be starring in the NBC television show based on my book, Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives: Nicole Ari Parker has starred on Broadway as well as films and television. Here's the deelio:

Nellie AndreevaNicole Ari Parker Cast In ‘Secret Lives’ NBC Pilot

EXCLUSIVE: Nicole Ari Parker has been cast as one of the leads in the Jerry Bruckheimer-produced NBC drama pilot The Secret Lives Of Husbands And WivesIt is described as thriller-dramatic soap that centers on a murder and the secrets and lies within a tightly woven group of three suburban couples and their families exposed in its aftermath. Parker will play half of one of the three couples, Paula, a tough and strikingly beautiful trophy wife who, after 12 years of a troubled marriage, questions whether to stay with her husband because of love or respect… all while having no idea that he is financially ruined. She joins Perret Reeves, recently cast as another wife. Parker, repped by Gersh and KLWGN, is coming off a full Broadway run of A Streetcar Named Desireopposite Blair Underwood.

 

Fab news! ENTOURAGE’s Perrey Reeves has been cast for SECRET LIVES OF HUSBANDS AND WIVES on NBC!

Nellie AndreevaCheck it out in DEADLINE HOLLYWOOD:

EXCLUSIVE: In her first major series gig since the end of HBO’s Entourage, Perrey Reeves has been cast as one of the leads in the Jerry Bruckheimer-produced NBC’s drama pilot The Secret Lives Of Husbands And Wives. The project written by Sascha Penn, was inspired by Josie Brown’s 2010 novel.

The project, from Warner Bros. TV and Jerry Bruckheimer TV,
is described as thriller-dramatic soap that centers on a murder and the
secrets and lies within a tightly woven group of three suburban couples
and their families exposed in its aftermath. Reeves will play half of
one of the three couples, Danielle Deaver, described as flirty and funny
woman with a tightly wound personality and a dark secret that not even
she knows about. Reeves, repped by Paradigm and Mosaic, is best known
for playing Ari Gold’s (Jeremy Piven) outspoken wife Mrs. Ari on all
eight seasons of the Hollywood comedy.

Secret Lives400   Yes you'll want to read the book, before the show is on the air:

 

From Amazon

From Barnes & Noble

From Books a Million

From Books Inc.

From Borders

From Copperfield's

From Your Local Independent Bookstore

From Powell's

 

NaNoWriMo Tip #11: What It Takes to Write a Novel.

Chapterbook2008I got a very sweet email from a reader once, who asked if I could go to an online post where her sister had written a book, read it, and give her encouragement.

I have a sister. If I weren't already published, I could see her wanting to help me in this way.

I had to decline, for several reasons: I had a pending deadline to meet with my editor, and a book launch. When under deadline, I have to keep my head down, and doing my own plotting and scheming.

In fact, I shouldn't even be writing this post, but it touched me so much that one sister would reach out to a perfect stranger to help another.

There are other reasons published authors decline. For example, if they followed through on every request they got to the same question, they would never be writing at all. Others decline for legal reasons: they never want someone coming back and saying, "She used my plot!"

So did Shakespeare, and he's been dead for four hundred years. Go figure.

If she — or you — are  serious about her writing, that is, if you see writing fiction more as a craft (and possibly a livelihood) than a hobby, you should immediately join (or at least go to a first couple of meetings of) one of the many writers organization that nurture aspiring writers, such as Romance Writers of America or Mystery Writers of America.

Here's the beauty part; you have to write in these genres in order to join.

There are local chapters all over the country (and in RWA, they even have national online chapters for specific genres, such as YA, Paranormal, Regency, etc).

By doing so, you will learn from others the ins and outs of the craft (plotting, dialogue, voice, etc.) as well as the "business" end: how to team up with a lit agent, who will put you in front of an editor who "gets" your voice ; or how to self-publish, if you are anxious to see it out in the world in a shorter time frame. (Going the agent to editor to pub date could take two years or more, on average).

These organizations have guest speakers who are published authors who share with you their own bumps in the road on their journeys to publication. You'll take workshops. You'll listen to literary agents explain their end of the business.

And if they sell what you write, you can give them your elevator pitch. Who knows, it may be a match made in heaven.

This, my friend, is an aspiring writer's life.

(A published author's life is a whole OTHER post. But not for today. Like I said, I've gotta keep my head down. As if.)

Within a writers' group, she'll make friends with other writers, both published and aspiring, who may be looking for "critique partners:"  others who will read it and give advice on where she can strengthen a plot point, or her dialogue.

In other words, an ongoing support group.

Almost every published author I know (including me) has found some success in this route, so I want to pass it forward.

My very own RWA Chapter, in San Francisco, actually put together a book for aspiring writers. Writing Romance: The Ultimate Guide on Craft, Creation and Industry Connections, is filled with insightful essays of life in the trenches. You should check it out. In fact, you'll find an essay or two from me in there.

I've also written a slew of creative writing tips in celebration of last year's National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).

If you don't have time to go this route, perfectly understandable. I wish you luck on your own road  to publication. I'm just hoping to pass along a shortcut in an industry which is changing so rapidly that you need a hovercraft to get to your destination: publishing novels, and being successful at it.

Warp speed, writer!

— Josie

_______________________________________

READ ALL OF MY NaNoWriMo TIPS, IN ORDER, HERE…

__________________________________________

I've got a question for you, and be honest:  Have you psyched yourself out about writing? If so, can you now psyche yourself UUP, and START writing? 

Happy National Novel Writing Month,

— Josie

A Sneak Peek AT THE GREAT GATSBY

  

F. Scott Fitzgerald is one of my all-time favorite authors. His words are prose as poetry, and from that standpoint, The Great Gatsby is considered is best work (albeit I'm partial to the book he was still writing upon his death, The Last Tycoon.

If the film is as good as the trailer, Baz Luhrmann, the director of the cinematic musical Moulin Rouge (talk about a fully encompassing cinematic experience, despite the tongue-in-cheek pop music mashup) may very well consider this his masterwork.

The movie stars Leonardo Di Caprio, Carey Mulligan, Tobey Maguire, and the usually funny Isla Fisher in a very serious role. Oscar nods all around.

Depicting the roaring twenties the way Fitzgerald wrote about it (or, I should say fantasized about it) does the author proud.

 

— Josie

 

  HAH Hanging Man V2

The Housewife Asassin's Handbook

Buy it today on
AmazonKindleButton   

"You've got a book that won't be putdown – so go pick it up now!"  — Cat's Thoughts
"As a housewife myself, this book was a fantastic escape that had me dreaming "if only" the whole way through. The book doesn't take itself too seriously, which makes for the perfect combination of mystery and humor…" –Curled Up with a Good Book and a Cup of Tea

 

Martin Predicts….

Hillary-Clinton

….that Hillary Clinton will run in 2016.

I think he's right.

But that's a long time off.

Until then we have the dredges of the hillary-ious Texts from Hillary, where we can only imagine how wonderful it would be to have a smart, snarky female POTUS.

A girl can only dream….

What's your guess? Will she be the Democratic nominee?

And if so, will she win?

Mock the vote,

–Josie

 

HAH Hanging Man V2
The Housewife Asassin's Handbook

Buy it today on…
Nook-button    AmazonKindleButton    Itunes_01

 

 

Hooray for Hollywood….

TrueHollywood Lies
I love the Southland.

Warm, dry heat. Palm fronds waving lazily in the breeze.

The inevitable celebrity sighting. "Is that….Nah! Can't be! Too  (fill in the blank: tiny/old/young/fat/doesn't look anything like the fantasy I had in mind)…"

I'll be making my way to Los Angeles this weekend, where I'll be hosted by the Los Angeles Romance Authors. Here's the deets, below.

Hey, if want to get into an LA frame of mind, click this link to hear a scat/jazz version of Hooray for Hollywood…

Or if you've got a hankering to talk writerly things, come join us!

 

— Josie

Sun April 15, 2012 / 10am – 12noon
LOS ANGELES, CA
Los Angeles Romance Authors

Sportsmen's Lodge Hotel, 12825 Ventura Blvd, LA CA 91604

Attendance costs $5.00 for members and $10.00 for visitors.
Your first visit is free!

Josie's Workshop: "“Your First Scene, Line, Paragraph: Making a Great First Impression”

If you’re going to sell your novel, capturing the hearts and minds of those who will read it first – your dream agents or editors – is tantamount.

In this workshop, participants will learn:
 

1. 4 Page-Turning Tips Every Story MUST Have
2. The Best Place to Start Your Story, and Why (Believe it or not, it’s may not be where you’ve got it now…)
3. When (and When Not) to Use a Prologue
4. How to Integrate a Backstory without Slowing the Pace of Your Narrative
5. How and When to Balance Dialogue with Narrative

Because these are interactive workshops, prior to the event participants are welcomed to mail Josie the very first scene of a work-in-progress (no more than eight pages, double-spaced) that they feel exemplifies their process.

From what is sent in, she will choose a handful for positive, insightful examples of voice done well.

And the winner is…

Queen-for-a-day

I want to thank all of you who entered THE HOUSEWIFE ASSASSIN'S HANDBOOK's Very Merry Contest, I interrupted what I'm sure was a very healthy (aHEM!) lunch of my author pal, Karin Tabke, do the blind pick for the winning numbers —

So feel free to invite her to your  "Why didn't you pick me?" pity party, and pelt her with banana peels.

Okay, here they are:

Grand Prize Winner:  LizzyMA
$25 Gift card to the bookstore of your choice, plus one of these back- listed books (True Hollywood Lies, Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives, or  The Baby Planner:

Runners Up: Pam W., and June M
You will one of these back- listed books (True Hollywood Lies, Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives, or  The Baby Planner:

Thank you all, for playing!

And thank you, those who wrote me to tell me how much you loved the excerpt for THE HOUSEWIFE ASSASSIN'S HANDBOOK.

— More contests (and new novel releases) to follow,

: )

HAH Hanging Man V2
— Josie Brown

Author,
The Housewife Asassin's Handbook

Buy it today on…
Nook-button    AmazonKindleButton    Itunes_01

What drives authors crazy? Amazon rankings. Here’s why.

Reading-on-the-beach-007We should both be hitting the beach with a good book, just reading…taking it easy…

In other words LIVING — instead of locked up inside, making a living.

To get my mind out of the fantasy of sand and surf, I've been spending my breaks between writing by   gauging my ranking for TRUE HOLLYWOOD LIES on Amazon.com, which thanks to my publisher Diversion Books, has hit the zeitgeist in that online bookstore.

Right now it's at #444 on the category called Amazon Bestsellers/Kindle. But when you consider that there are over 3 million books in Amazon, that ain't too shabby.

What is even more astounding is that in the subcategories, it's ranking is even lower: To wit:

-  #9 in Books > Literature & Fiction > Comic (where I'm bookended by Tina Fey and that guy who wrote "Go the F**K to Sleep")

– #14 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Humor

– #25 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Fiction > Genre Fiction > Romance > Contemporary (Just behind a Nora Roberts book. How sweet is that?)

I feel honored and blessed that so many new readers are discovering it.

I've got to admit, it's a fun read: lots of sex, scandal, and celebrities gone wild. You know, the usual stuff.

If you haven't read it yet, you can read an excerpt here …

Aw hell, for $1.99, just go ahead and buy it, here!

Blatant self promotion,

: )

— Josie

TrueHollywood Lies

"…The tone is confessional, the writing laced with venomous humor…"
–The Wall Street Journal

"Brown captures the humor of working for a megalomaniac…[A] well-paced, entertaining story." –Publishers Weekly

"A fine piece of literary work." –New York Post, Page Six

"Josie Brown does an outstanding job capturing the glitz and glamour of Hollywood living yet illuminating the stark loneliness present beneath the façade.  Filled with good-natured humor and witty repartee…"
–Romance Reader's Connection

Time to spread more cheer! Enter my new contest…

Beautiful-christmas-tree
This year, I've had some blessings I'd like to share:

– THE BABY PLANNER tour was hosted by real baby planners, numerous sponsors, and retail stores all over the country. Thanks to all of you whom I met along the way. You can find a list of them, here…

-  SECRET LIVES OF HUSBANDS AND WIVES will produced by Jerry Bruckheimer as a new ABC TV series.

– Readers are rediscovering my debut novel, TRUE HOLLYWOOD LIES. In fact, it's ranked below 900 on Amazon.com.

This contest is my way to say thank you. Just  read an excerpt of THE HOUSEWIFE ASSASSIN'S HANDBOOK, answer the question at the end correctly for a chance to win a $25 gift card from the any bookstore, with a personally autographed copy of SECRET LIVES. Two runners -up will also received personalized copies.

The deadline is midnight PT January 15, 2012, For details, go to www.HousewifeAssassinsHandbook.com

Wishing you a wonderful holiday, and a healthy and happy 2012,

–Josie

HAH Hanging Man V2
 Read an excerpt of
THE HOUSEWIFE ASSASSIN'S HANDBOOK 
 Today, on

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I miss Trafalgar Square at night…

 Trafalgar Square Night

Filled with crowds who are laughing, smiling, chilled–

And headed to a pub.

Preferably Chandos.

You'll find me upstairs, in the corner hugging a window seat, with a glass of wine in hand…

Listening to the Friday night flirts.

— Josie

HAH Hanging Man V2 Buy 
THE HOUSEWIFE ASSASSIN'S HANDBOOK 
 Today, on

 Nook-button    

AmazonKindleButton 

 Itunes_01

Sometimes it's fun to be a ghost.

NaNoWriMo Tip #26: Yes, you can get an agent. Here’s how.

Stack of manuscripts
When should you start looking for an agent? That answer is simple:

As soon as your novel is ready for the world to see; at least, the world of agents and editors.

Fair warning: the process won’t be easy. If you’re lucky, it will take weeks. But it also may take many long months.

Don't get discouraged! Here’s what you can do to speed this process along:

Research agents who buy what you sell.

Your agent will be your manuscript's biggest cheerleader. But remember this: agents work on commission. That said, they don’t just want to feel comfortable talking up your novel; they want to feel a true sense of excitement about it.

Finding agents who sell what you write (say, mystery; or up-market contemporary female literature; or commercial lit; or romance; or thrillers, or cozies or whatever) will bring you both closer to the essential goal: a successful client/agent relationship.

And yes, you should start researching agents even prior to when your manuscript is ready to go.

Two wonderful online entities to do so are www.AgentQuery.com and www.PublishersMarketplace.com. Although the latter charges a monthly fee, it’s worth the subscription because the site is enhanced with listings of manuscript sales that are made, listing the authors, agents and acquiring editors.

Your final hit list should have at least fifteen – if not twenty – agents on it, all from different literary agencies. More on this later…

Send out a kick-butt query letter.

The query letter is the publishing industry's version of online dating: putting you in front of those agents you believe match up with you. As in dating, there are certain factors that make you desirable. For example:

As previously discussed, you're a good fit with a particular agent because you write what they sell.

(a)   Sell them on your story with a quick “hook.” You should be able to do this in one line, or at the most two, that sums up the story’s key premise.

For example: “In my international thriller entitled The Sleeper, the wife of a professor learns that her husband is in fact a terrorist whose mission is to kill the president of the United States while he visits the campus, and has planted evidence against a campus activist who is her former lover.”

(b)   Include any pertinent information which demonstrates that you know your subject matter. In regard to the sample hook above, I might say: “As a journalist who has covered international stories, my national security sources have lent my novel the sort of true-to-life details that make it stranger than fiction…”

(c)    Follow the directions of the agent as to what s/he wants included with the query letter, be that the first three chapters, or 50 – 100 pages, or the whole manuscript, or to wait to hear back from them as to whether they want to see anything at all.

The query letter itself should be no more than one page.

Make sure that query letter goes to your first five must-have agents.

Most agents know that you’ve submitted to other agents as well.

Yes, there are a few who require that they are the only ones who see your work at any given time. That is for their convenience, not yours. Remember: you are a brand with a product in hand (and, hopefully, more to come). You should not have to sit on the shelf while this one agent takes a month (or two, or three) to decide s/he wants to work with you.

You’ve done your homework as to the quality of agents you’d be willing to work with. At this point focus on quantity: making sure you put your work in as many hands as possible, so that you get more than one agent interested in representing you.

Four weeks later, make sure it goes out to your next five must-have agents.

At the same time your query letter hit the agent’s desk, so did several manuscripts from his/her clients. Guess which ones takes precedent?

You got it: their current clients—because  these clients are proven commodities to that agent. Either s/he has sold their previous novels, or they already have an editor waiting to see their latest manuscript. And since the agent’s job is to read it, too, time is of the essence.

Sorry, that’s just the way it is. And if that agent becomes yours as well, you’ll want that same priority.

In the meantime, start filling your dance card. Better to have two – or three, or more – agents to choose from than just one.

Eight weeks after you sent out the first agent letters, send it to another five must-have agents.

By now you will have gotten a few rejections. Don’t take it personally. Remember: publishing is a business. Agents are looking for manuscripts which fit their comfort zones: those they feel they can sell to the editors they know, and what they know these editors are seeking. 

The worst thing that can happen is for an agent to take you on – and then do nothing to sell you. If they don’t truly believe in your manuscript, it won’t leave their desk. The time wasted is yours—all the more reason you need to broaden your agent search.

Before it goes to any agent, make sure your manuscript is as great as it can possibly be.

While there are exceptions (for example, an encouraging letter that asks to see other manuscripts you’ve written) for the most part you’ll only have one shot to woo any particular agent. More than your query letter, they are judging you on your manuscript.

Remember, don’t take it personally! They reject the majority of submissions, choosing only those writers whose manuscripts they feel they have a chance to sell now, or that this author is one whom they want to work with, over the long run.

All the more reason to heed my previous tips, which have emphasized the need to  join a critique group, so that you have others with whom to work through any plot holes. I’ve also mentioned the importance of doing several reads of your manuscript, to gauge it for flow, to catch typos, and to work through any plot holes you may have missed, and to smooth out any stilted dialogue.

A clean manuscript often leads to more agents interested in representing you. The more agents who are interested, the more choices you have to choose the right agent to sell your manuscript–

Which is the ultimate end game.

(c) 2011 Josie Brown. All rights reserved.

Picture: Back in the day, this was what an agent's desk or credenza looked like. Now most of them read the manuscripts as Word Doc files, on an eReader. It's the way we live now….

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READ YESTERDAY'S TIP HERE  

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I've got a question for you: Have you already tried to get an agent? How did that go?

Let your fingers do the talking during  National Novel Writing Month,

— Josie