Adam Heine's Blog, page 26

January 16, 2012

Let me chat up my brother for a bit. The guy plays piano, bass, and guitar at a professional level. The San Diego Union Tribune once described his singing: "like if Jack Johnson weren't so dang annoying." He makes art and sells it for actual money. He does graphic design, marketing, and was a founding member of San Diego's art collective, Sezio.

Also, he's a college-educated engineer and (thanks to Iraq) a war veteran. So yeah, talented.

For years, I was in awe of what he could do. I'm s...
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Published on January 16, 2012 04:56 • 8 views

January 13, 2012

I'm going to start with a little formal logic here, but don't be scared. Logic is AWESOME.

So we all know the following is true:

If you screw up a query letter, then you will get a rejection.

 However, we often tend to assume this means the following:

I got a rejection.
Therefore I screwed up my query letter.

THIS IS NOT NECESSARILY TRUE. Not only is it a logical fallacy, but believing this will cause you to obsess over your query letter when the problem may lie elsewhere.

Even i...
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Published on January 13, 2012 04:49 • 5 views

January 11, 2012

They say -- quite rightly -- that the most effective kind of publicity is word of mouth. But in my experience, word of mouth has two kinds.

There's the natural kind, where someone reads a book (or sees a movie, or whatever), loves it, and tells their friends about it because they want to share the love. Natural word of mouth is extremely effective, because it's honest and it comes from people you trust.

Then there's the artificial kind, which is harder to define. It might be tweeting abo...
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Published on January 11, 2012 05:04 • 6 views

January 9, 2012

You may recall that, before I got an agent, I had a referral to another agent. A lot of writers believe you have to know someone to get an agent -- that the industry is exclusive and likes to stay that way. It's an understandable belief what with all the rejections we all get, and there's even a teeny tiny bit of truth to it (e.g. we read things more favorably if we know the person).

This leads to the further belief that a referral is gold: just get someone to like your work, and you're in. ...
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Published on January 09, 2012 04:32 • 5 views

January 6, 2012

Many of you have been asking to see my query letter. Well, today's the day. To see the Air Pirates query, along with comments from myself and Matt MacNish, go visit Matt's blog. (If you'd like to read the query without comments, I've pasted it below).

But wait, there's more! To read more about Air Pirates, how it came to be and why my agent likes it, head over to Krista V's blog (wherein also my agent makes MY NEW FAVORITEST COMPARISON EVER).

What are you still doing here? Get thee to Matt ...
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Published on January 06, 2012 07:27 • 13 views

January 4, 2012

In the last post, I talked about misdirection as one of the ways you can hide a secret and fool a reader until that critical reveal. But how do you do that? I think one important aspect of misdirection is to believe your own lie.

For example, say you want the reader to believe, just for a moment, that a major character is dead. This is really hard to do because major characters almost never die (George R R Martin, notwithstanding), so the reader will always be looking for the trick. For exam...
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Published on January 04, 2012 04:13 • 9 views

January 2, 2012

I can't think of a story with no mystery at all, whether it's a revelation of secret paternity, a mentor back from the dead, or a social worker with government connections. So as a writer, you have to figure out how to hide your secret long enough to surprise the reader.

Unfortunately, readers will be trying to figure out your secrets the whole time and, as we've said before, they are super geniuses. Their reaction is directly related to the amount of time between when they figure out your m...
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Published on January 02, 2012 04:30 • 6 views

December 23, 2011

Cross-posted from Anthdrawlogy's Holidays week. The floating lanterns are stolen from Thailand's Loi Kratong festival, but the scene is actually from Air Pirates (the lanterns are also in Tangled, apparently, but I swear I stole the idea first!).

I don't expect many of you to stick around next week, what with our Earthly holidays and all. And anyway, I thought you'd appreciate a break from the only thing I seem capable of talking about anymore. Have fun. Eat much. Sleep well.

Me? I'll b...
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Published on December 23, 2011 04:30 • 9 views

December 21, 2011

If all the posts about getting an agent didn't drive you off, then you know I got another offer before Tricia called. I turned it down because it felt sketchy, for a number of reasons I'll go into here. Though I won't name anybody; for all I know, the agency and the offer was totally legit and it was just the way it was handled that scared me off.

When the Agent still had my full, I did some research on them (I do that sometimes; part of the Crazy) and discovered two things. (1) The agency w...
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Published on December 21, 2011 04:30 • 12 views

December 19, 2011

(I've been using my temporary insanity tag a lot lately. That's what querying will do to you, I guess.)

So here are statistics on three rounds of querying, including some highlights and A Chart. Let's jump right in!


("Queried From" counts from the months in which I sent out queries; it doesn't count when I got responses. "Rejections" are of the query itself. Consequently, "No Response" are also rejections.)


Queried From: May 2008 - Jan 2009 (8 months)

Queries Se...
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Published on December 19, 2011 04:30 • 24 views