Monday, July 20, 2015


A huge congratulations to author, LS Hawker on her debut novel, The Drowning Game. I can't wait until it is released in September!

Ms. Hawker was kind enough to share a little about her experience as a debut author getting the opportunity to be published by HarperCollins. She said:

Getting published by HarperCollins is a dream come true. I remember walking down East 53rd Street in midtown Manhattan in 2002 and stopping across the street from HC and saying, "That's who's going to publish me one day." So when they actually bought The Drowning Game earlier this year, a quote from the film Broadcast News flashed in my head: "What do you do when your real life exceeds your dreams?"

I'm still in shock that this is actually happening--and the team at HarperCollins Witness Impulse has done a fabulous job with the cover art. It perfectly captures the tone of my novel. 

I'm currently writing book two of my three-book deal with HarperCollins, tentatively titled Under a Bridge. It's another thriller, and it's slated to drop on March 22, 2016. 

For anyone who is discouraged about writing and publishing, I say take heart. It is possible. Perseverance is key. You can do this!

Thank you so much for your encouraging words, and without further ado...the cover for LS Hawker's debut novel, The Drowning Game.

The Drowning Game by LS Hawker
Release date 9/22/15
Available for pre-order now

They said she was armed.
They said she was dangerous.
They were right.

Petty Moshen spent eighteen years of her life as a prisoner in her own home, training with military precision for everything, ready for anything. She can disarm, dismember, and kill—and now, for the first time ever, she is free.

Her paranoid father is dead, his extreme dominance and rules a thing of the past, but his influence remains as strong as ever. When his final will reveals a future more terrible than her captive past, Petty knows she must escape—by whatever means necessary.

But when Petty learns the truth behind her father’s madness—and her own family—the reality is worse than anything she could have imagined. On the road and in over her head, the fight for Petty’s life has just begun.

Fans of female-powered thrillers will love debut author LS Hawker and her suspenseful tale of a young woman on the run for her future…and from the nightmares of her past.

Author Biography

LS Hawker grew up in suburban Denver, indulging her worrisome obsession with true-crime books, and writing stories about anthropomorphic fruit and juvenile delinquents. She wrote her first novel at 14.
Armed with a B.S. in journalism from the University of Kansas, she had a radio show called “People Are So Stupid,” edited a trade magazine and worked as a traveling Kmart portrait photographer, but never lost her passion for fiction writing.
She’s got a hilarious, supportive husband, two brilliant daughters and a massive music collection. She lives in Colorado but considers Kansas her spiritual homeland. Visit her website at

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Thursday, May 21, 2015



Living in Salem is dangerous business, especially for a witch.

Seventeen-year-old Elizabeth Winters may be a witch, but she doesn't know the first thing about magic. Her father, a wizard himself, has forbidden the use of her powers for her own protection. But when accusations of witchcraft start flying through the village, Elizabeth wishes she was more prepared.

Despite her lack of magical knowledge, Elizabeth feels compelled to save innocent lives, particularly after her younger sister becomes one of the leading accusers. Unfortunately, wanting to be a heroine and actually doing it are two different things. When Elizabeth is betrayed by Sabastian, the boy she has always fancied, she loses control of her emotions and accidentally curses Salem with the ten plagues of Egypt. Now, Elizabeth must figure out how to break the curse before the morning of the tenth plague. If she fails, Salem will cease to exist.

DEVIL'S PLAYGROUND is YA historical fantasy and is complete at 70,000 words. Using many characters from the original trial proceedings, it brings and new and exciting spin to an age-old story.

Bio:I currently reside in Logan, Utah where I strive to balance my love of writing with raising a husband and two kids. My short story, The Quake, was recently published in the Wells Street Journal, a publication distributed by the University of Westminster.

Thank you for your time and consideration,


Heather Eagar


I shiver as my bare feet hit the wood floor. It’s too early to be awake. It’s always too early. An incessant throbbing behind my eyes tells me I ought to go back to bed.
“Elizabeth, are you ready to go?” Mother calls from the kitchen.
            “Yes, I’ll be right there,” I lie. With a tired shuffle I make my way to the large chest at the foot of my bed and pull out the first dress I see. It doesn’t matter much when my choices are the black dress, the dark black dress, or the other black dress. Shall I wear the one with the hole, the one with two holes, or the one the mouse chewed through?
“Elizabeth! We are going to be late, we need to leave.”
“Just a minute,” I say.
            After exchanging my white nightdress for the dark black dress that the mouse chewed through, I tie a white apron around my waist, attempting to hide the hole. Before walking out the door I realize my cap is missing.      
            With a sigh, I pin my hair back before covering it with the white cap, a symbol of my purity. I now look like every other girl in Salem village, just how it should be. It seems a shame to let my curls go to waste and I can’t help but pull a few forward.
            After double checking everything is in order, I walk out to the front room where Father, Mother, and my younger sister Anna are waiting.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The Anxiety of it All

As I've embarked on the querying process I have come to realize that anxiety seems to become a companion I am too familiar with. A couple weeks ago an editor emailed me saying she wanted to see my full manuscript after having read the first three chapters. Wahoo! But then every single day I checked my email thinking, "It's been a full 24 hours, how long does it take for a busy editor to read an entire novel?" or "Come now, surely she should have been so excited that she couldn't help but read the entire thing in one night." After the first week though I've come to realize she will read it when she reads it, and it's ok. It's been 3 weeks and I haven't heard back yet. And that's ok too. 

Today has been another one of those days. My entry was chosen to be in the Secret Agent contest on the blog, Miss Snarks First Victim. It is also PitMad. I visit the blog, "Only two people have critiqued my entry? Will the agent like it?" Then I jump over to Pitmad. "Only 1 agent has requested material?" But 1 agent requested material. That's awesome.

Of course that would have been better if I had known that pressing CTRL at the same time as Enter will actually send your email. So as I was editing my query letter previously sent to another agent for this particular agent, it got sent. And i'm screaming, "No, come back!" But it didn't. So then I sent the real email, apology included. 

The deal is that I'm 100% confident that my novel will be published. I get a lot of positive feedback. And then when I'm in the midst of everything my anxiety kicks in and I think, "Would they really pick me over all of these other awesome writers and awesome novels?"

So to deal with that anxiety today I have limited how often I check the internet to once an hour by:

Cleaning. A lot.
Reading books to my kids
Writing this blog post
More cleaning
Trying to figure out why my 18 month old is screaming (failed at this one. Still no idea)

What do YOU do to cope with the anxiety of it all?

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Best Rejection Letter EVER

Right now you're confused. Best rejection letter ever? Generally my feelings toward rejection letters mirror the following:

My personal experience is that rejection letters tell you nothing. At all. They would be better off just sending an email that says one word. "No." I have no idea why I am receiving it. Is it a bad query letter? You don't think it will sell? You represent too many in that particular genre already?  Does my writing suck? I'll never know. All I see are vague statements that are useless.
And then I receive a rejection letter like this one from Hocus Pocus & Co. It is a brand new publishing company that requested sample pages off of a twitter contest. I received this email yesterday.

Hi Heather,

Thank you so much for submitting your work to Hocus Pocus & Co. I really enjoyed reading your sample pages and your clear query. It's clear to me that you’re very talented and I can tell that you've spent a lot of time working hard to perfect what you've submitted.

I thought the pacing was excellent and the historical element was done seamlessly. Elizabeth has an excellent voice. I could picture her speaking. I felt like I was there. I really enjoyed the relationship between Anna and Elizabeth. It had me giggling.

With that said, I'm sorry but I'm going to pass on your project. It just wasn't right for me in the sense that my tastes are a bit more horror and a bit less fantastical. Though I absolutely love stories set in Salem. Tastes are subjective and it's no reflection upon your work. With my limited time, I can only take on projects that I'm absolutely in love with.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to read it. When it's on the shelves one day I can't wait to finish the ending. I know this will find the right home.

I hope you'll consider us in the future for your next manuscript!

Best of luck!

Acquisitions Editor 

I didn't feel at all sad when I got this rejection letter. Jolene says she looks for more horror. I don't do horror. But if I ever decide to, I know who I'm going to submit my query to. 
Contrary to my usual reaction, I was elated after receiving this email. I couldn't stop smiling. 

This rejection letter actually gave me hope. It told me that the countless number of form rejections didn't have anything to do with me being a sucky writer. I don't know what it had to do with, but I feel whatever it was was completely out of my control. 

So to any and all agents out there, I know you don't have the time to personalize every single rejection letter. But even one sentence to let that person know why it isn't for you is so helpful as writers everywhere try to maneuver their way through the slush pile and on to publication.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Writing for Me

As you can tell, I have not been an active blogger. I started a writing blog because I felt obligated to come up with genius ideas to inspire others and get a huge amount of followers. Apparently all the 'real' writers, the ones who care about being published, blog.

But the fact of the matter is that I don't have time to blog. I barely have time to write,so if i have the time, that's what I'm going to do. Because I believe 'real' writers do just that--write.

"But you are here...blogging," you may be saying. Yes. I am. But I've decided to blog for me. Not because I'm supposed to and not because I expect to inspire millions of people, although that would be nice. Consider this my writing journal that you are allowed to peek in at to see my inner struggles and victories. This is where I can clear my poor writing brain so it is clear and ready to go to work.

I would love to see comments from people who are going through the same thing or need advice. But I will write once a week, and it will all be in the name of being a better writer. Not because I need more followers. Of course if you like what you see, go ahead and follow. I won't mind.

But now, if you don't mind. I'm going to go get down to it.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Never Give Up!

I didn't realize it had been almost exactly three years since I last wrote on my blog. A lot has happened in that three years, and family takes priority. But here I am again. I have one more child than I did three years ago, changed jobs two times, and my husband is finally going to be done with school...sort of.

My last post I was shelving my WIP about a witch during the salem witch trials. It is no longer shelved. After not working on it for three years I was able to come at it with a fresh eye. I broke through the resistance and the work has become fresh, exciting, and new.

So my short message to you today is: Never Give Up
Things may stagnate and you may need a break. Work on a different idea, take a break from writing, do whatever inspires you. But never give up on something you know will be great.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Be-lated Thanksgiving

View Image
I'm not sure which guy I felt like after realizing
I hated my WIP. Probably the one in black.

Last week I was reading Natalie Bahm's latest post, The Truth. She said that she was shelving her manuscript that she had been working on for over a year to start on something she was actually excited about. Her post punched me right in the nose, and it hurt. I knew that I didn't enjoy my WIP. I had been working on it for about 7 months and I couldn't even get through the rough draft. I kept avoiding finishing it by revising what I had already done.

For those of you don't know, my WIP was (yes, WAS) about a real witch who lives during the Salem Witch Trials. It was an exciting premise. Everyone said how excited they were to read it when I was finished with it. But then I got bored. It wasn't fresh. Oh sure, the story was different and exciting, but it still contained elements that I had heard over and over again. When writing something that is based on events that really happened I realized that I needed to be really close to what actually happened, despite adding in many obviously fictional elements. The same people surrounded my characters, same events, same places. I had to research the trials from various sources. And I hated it. Despite it being a new story it had a feeling of, "I'm re-telling an old story, just in a new way. And I don't even like the Salem Witch Trials!" Not good. 

With Natalie's post I realized that I was holding onto something that I didn't want. And it was time to let go. That hurts. I spent all week not writing and contemplating if I should even keep writing at all. Maybe I should take a long break. But I can't. I need someplace to escape to. I need someplace that I can create and escape the reality of my job, bills, and life challenges. Don't get me wrong, I have a great life. Its just hard.

And so, I begin again. I have an exciting premise in my head and I begin today to start creating my new world. It's fresh. I can do anything I want with it. I'm not restrained by history. I make my own history. I hope to have a polished manuscript in the time it took to almost get through my last rough draft. When you're excited about something you can't stop writing. I hope to not be able to stop writing.

So, I'm offering a be-lated Thanksgiving to all of you who post blogs and take us with you on your journey. I am grateful for writers that help me have the courage to do what needs to be done to be a great writer. So, Thanks.

How do YOU decide when it's time to shelve a manuscript?