Word Vomit

It’s about time I updated the blog and I’ve heard good things about WordPress, so I thought I’d make the switch. I’d been busy writing for the Relentless Writer’s blog, but with some of the women giving birth and others trying to focus more on their agenting then personal writing, the blog is being put on hold for now. Which is fine. It gives me an opportunity to get caught up with all of you.

Things have been pretty crazy in my world. I hit a bump in the road with my writing. Don’t get me wrong, I adore Summoner Battles and Briar, but those were my first manuscripts. Most agents will tell you that your first couple of books won’t get published. There is so much that can be learned from those first few attempts. The important thing is that you don’t quit. Keep writing. You’ll notice that your writing has improved.

I tried to branch out with my writing. This year my goal is to get a publishing contract. I may have to put that on the backburner since I’m roughly $8000 in credit card debt and I’m going to have to go back to working full time to pay it off. Husband’s new business isn’t taking off the way we’d hoped. Along with delivering early morning newspapers, I’ll have to find something else to do. I’m not happy about it. I want to be home with my kids, but that’s the price you pay for being foolish with your money. If you’d like to donate to the cause, my paypal email is nikimcluff 😉

The last few weeks I’ve spent working on a middle-grade story that’s been bouncing around in my brain. I love Brandon Mull and I’m obsessed with Harry Potter. I’m hoping it will have the following of both book series. We’ll see. I also managed to finish another YA manuscript, but I don’t know if anything will happen with it. I’m waiting to hear back from my agent.

That’s right. I’m waiting. Again.

Being an author is hard. Most of the stories you hear about are the overnight success stories. People who got a contract after only three or four tries. That’s not how it works. Not really. Most of us have been at it for two or three years without any success. That isn’t to say I haven’t learned anything or gotten anywhere. I’m an intern at Inklings Literary for Margaret Bail. I read her slush queries. That’s right. I get to decide on whether Margaret needs to read something or not. It’s a tough job. There are so many stories that are brilliant, but their queries don’t follow the rules or aren’t as well written as the manuscript may be. Queries are so important. It’s basically your resume. If you don’t do your best on your query, an agent won’t give you a chance to prove your worth. It’s that simple.

In the last couple of years, I have signed with a literary agent. Some days I feel like that’s a good thing and some days I’m sure it wasn’t my best decision. It’s hard to know if the agent you’re working with is the right person for you. It’s a lot of blind faith in a person you hope sees your work and your world the way you do. She recently told me she thought I’d make a great MG writer. I don’t remember the conversation, but I’m giving it a go anyway. Lots of spirit animals and weapons.

I’m sort of in love.


Anyway, I hope to be able to share with you some of the things I’ve learned over the last three years or so working as an intern and my own time in the writing world. There are so many ways to be helpful to other emerging authors, but some don’t always know where to go to find the information. I’m hoping to offer a sort of guide along with some book reviews, guest posts, contests and any other services to help you get on your way.


Got questions? Feel free to leave them in the comments or email me at nikimcluff@gmail.com. I’d love to hear from you!

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