Hunter College Writing Conference + Editorial Revisions + Title Change +New Agent Search+Author Photo Poll

Hunter College Writing Conference

I was on one of the first panel’s of the day, the Children’s panel, with Dan Greenburg, Judith Greenburg, Richard Peck, and Chris Grabenstein.

Great group of authors and very friendly to a newbie. Each one of them had published dozens of books already.


I got to attend the rest of the panels, which were filled with amazing authors.


The Fiction I panel was awesome. I met Meg Wolitzer and g0t her to sign my book. She raised a great point about how writers need to find the overlap between ideas outside yourself and what is inside yourself. What preoccupies you.



In the Fiction II panel, Warren Adler stressed that the most important trait for him and his friends as authors was that they treat it as work. Write 5 pages, 7 days a week. Before you go to sleep figure out what your characters will do tomorrow. And the secret to writing is rewriting and rewriting.


We had a lovely lunch and James McBride was our keynote speaker. This was the view from our luncheon.

I also made a few new writing friends (Hi Mike and Megan!) and sold two books. For me, it was a day well spent!


Editorial Revisionsย 

I sent off my first 100 pages on Reckonings to my editor last week. Before I got back from New York, I had comments from her. She really liked how I incorporated her suggestions. And said these pages were:

“…Just terrific. Much more dynamic and gripping.”

That took some pressure off because that was the section with the most revisions. And I was so worried about whether I was getting it right. Some of my revisions even gave her shivers. ๐Ÿ™‚

She noted a few minor concerns that I need to work on and caught a plot loophole too. I am so lucky to have her on my team.

Yesterday, I sent off the next 100 pages to her. The middle was the easiest stretch of the book. For some reason, I really hit my groove there. Now, I’m heading into the end which has to be just as awesome as the rest of it. Even better actually. Gulp.


Title Changeย 

The team at Harlequin has decided on the new title for Reckonings. They picked one of my suggestions which is really cool. From now on Reckonings will be called:


The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts



New Agent Search


So unfortunately, Victoria did not like my next book, DM. She will continue to act as representation for The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts, but for future books I will have to start the agent search all over again. ย I am split so thin between revisions and promoting that I can’t start querying right now.ย I’m back burnering that until August.

After 7 years in the query wars, I have a short and long list of agents I’d love to work with. We’ll see if things go better this go round.


Author Photo Poll

So I’ve narrowed it down to 6 possible choices for my author photo for the YA gothic mystery novel, The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts. This will go on all the promo materials and the book jacket. I’d really appreciate some help in deciding. So let the voting begin. I can blur the background so don’t worry too much about that. The focus is on the best face.

Photo A:


Photo B:



Photo C:



Photo D:



Photo E:ย 


Photo F:


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28 Responses to Hunter College Writing Conference + Editorial Revisions + Title Change +New Agent Search+Author Photo Poll

  1. lindacovella says:

    Sounds like the conference went well and that you’re on a roll writing your story. I voted for the 2nd picture–hands down that one was the most engaging. ๐Ÿ™‚ Good luck with your agent search!

  2. Ally Bean says:

    So much going on in you life right now. I’m worn out just reading this. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Very much like this idea about writing: “What preoccupies you.” Food for thought for me, that one. Thanks for sharing it.

    • Just when I decide to cut back to one blog a week, things start picking up. ๐Ÿ˜‰ LOL.

      Me too. I love hearing writers talk about writing because there is so much to learn.

  3. Carrie Rubin says:

    Glad to hear the edits were well received, but sorry to hear you’re back to the query. I never even considered the possibility of getting an agent for one book but not having him or her interested in the next. Great. One more thing to stress about. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Thanks! I was really biting my nails over them. Yeah, it stinks. But agencies can sign you as an author or by individual works. And even if they sign on to rep you as an author, they may not think the next thing you write is sellable. I have a friend whose agent has turned down her last 3 book ideas. You never know how things will pan out. It’s an endless array of hurdles. Every time I overcome one, a new one appears. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. I like photo F the best and made sure to vote ๐Ÿ™‚ I like the new title for the book too – wishing you all the best, K!!

  5. Very nice comment from your editor, Kourtney. That has to alleviate a little pressure. Good job!
    Of course all of your photos are lovely, I was drawn to the first one. There’s something about the tilt of your head…like you’re peeking around the tree.
    I did vote also.

  6. Holy cow, so much good stuff in this post! What a week. Meg Wolitzer?! Are you kidding me? You lucky dog. I loved the Adler point of writing 5 pages, 7 days/wk. Breaking it down like that makes it seem so much more manageable. Sooo excited to read the editor’s comments! You were really stressed about those revisions. I know you’ll keep your audience informed on what happens with the end. But bummed that your agent did not care for DM. Really sucks that you have to start the agent search again for that one. Great photo choices, I had a hard time deciding which I liked best. In the end I chose C, but D is a close second. Let us know which you end up choosing. ๐Ÿ™‚ Great post this week!

    • Gwen, my summer seems to be my busy time! LOL. Here’s the really cool part–on Amazon her book is linked to mine as something my readers also buy!!! She’s so cool. I’d love to take a class with her someday. I thought that was a great point too. Best editor email ever. I was so sweating the new beginning. I just sent her the middle which had the least changes needed. Started on the ending today. Will let you know know how things go. Me too. I really felt like DM is the best thing I’ve written. My crit partner also thought I knocked it out of the park. Yeah, I took a week to process it and then I was like okay this is just how the business is. I really respect Victoria and I’m sad she wasn’t clicking with DM, but someone else will hopefully. Aw thank you. I hate having my picture taken. I always look awkward and uncomfortable. Unless my friend takes them. He gets me to relax. Thanks so much for voting. I’m going to give it a week to let everyone weigh in. Then I’ll post the final choice. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  7. Lori D says:

    Hey there, Sounds like you’ve been busy. I’m thinking that your first go-round with the editor is like my first go-round with my writer’s group. I’ve gotten very similar comments from the wonderful authors in my group, as you said your editor mentioned the first time. So glad she’s finding it much more dynamic. You’re on a roll now. BTW, I voted for B. I love your smile in that one. Itโ€™s very welcoming and warm. Good luck, Miss Kourtney.

    • Very busy. ๐Ÿ™‚ And yet my income would suggest I’ve been playing video games all day. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      I’m so glad Harlequin assigned Jessica to work with me. She’s really helped me get to the heart of my story and also make it more marketable. She’s awesome. Hope so. Thanks for voting. LOL. It’s funny a lot of people like B. I’m surprised because I thought I had crazy eyes in it. It really is hard to pick your best photo.


  8. Lots going on for you as usual Kourtney! Great that you’re doing so well with The girl who ignored ghosts. Can’t believe you need to find another agent for your other book – here’s me thinking once I’ve got an agent part of the hard part is over!

    • Yeah, I think things may slow down a bit in August. LOL. Hope so anyways. Making headway there. The ending is killing me, but I’ve got some time to work it all out. Yeah, it’s a bummer. Some people find an agent and it’s a lifelong partnership. Luck of the draw I guess. Though I am hearing more about people finding the lifelong partner in their second or third agent. So I’ll just keep at it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. diannegray says:

    I Love the new title, Kourtney – very intriguing indeed ๐Ÿ˜€

  10. K. Lyn Wurth says:

    What a great week! I’m especially happy for you about the editor’s response to your revisions. That’s wonderful. As for the pics, they’re all great and make me want to know you better (Aside: you really do have beautiful skin and eyes). I like B, but there’s something about E that I like better. You look as if you have something funny or intriguing to say, which may be good for YA and for an author photo. It appears at the poll that I am in the thin minority, though, picking that one! Ah, well, nothing new there… Congrats! Write on.

    • Thanks! Me too! Aw thanks. I am very lucky in the skin department. I was an odd child who shunned the sun–it’s been a blessing as I age. ๐Ÿ˜‰ That’s cool. One of my favs is doing well and one isn’t. It’s always so interesting to see what others think. I’ll definitely post the final choice. Though I am considering using other ones for promo stuff for other books. ๐Ÿ™‚ Hugs!

  11. EllaDee says:

    Loved the ideas that came form the wrietrs panel. Would have been very interesting to be there. I voted (C) and then checked… yes… it’s ahead. I thought so ๐Ÿ™‚ I like the new title, it’s catchy. And it’s a bugger about your next book and the agent but smart to put the issue on the backburner… sometimes solutions just need time to make themselves known.

    • It was really awesome to be with so many amazing authors. LOL. Thanks for voting! Me too. I tried to brainstorm every angle with the new titles and I like this one. ๐Ÿ™‚ Yes, I had to sit with that news for a week. Wrap my mind around it and find a way to be okay with it. It stinks, but it’s just part of this business. Finding an agent is like finding the right life partner. It takes luck and timing and that connection. Hopefully, the second time will last longer. ๐Ÿ™‚ Exactly, FIFO–first in first out is how I’m dealing with issues and projects. ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Chris Edgar says:

    Wow, you’ve definitely been doing the speaking circuit, huh? It sounds like you’re having fun with it — has it become more enjoyable over time? As for the photos, I personally like the last one with the lamp post in the background — I like the bright and spacious quality of the environment and the lighting.

    • I try my best to get out there for the book! ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s gotten easier as I go. I always overprepare and that helps me feel more comfortable and confident. I liked that one a lot too. ๐Ÿ™‚ Seems like B&C are leading the pack though.

  13. Aquileana says:

    Hi Kourt… I like you most in C but prefer the background in F…
    I love these two photos, pretty writer…
    Hugs, Aquileana. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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