Artist Dates and Tag Lines and NYC, Oh My

Greetings from NYC!

I love this town. I love the energy, the creativity, the culture. The food, the architecture, the way it most emphatically does not roll up the sidewalks and close at 9PM.

I especially love the new and wonderful knowledge that I can take a train and be here in four(ish) hours.

The really amazing thing to me is this: NYC is so inspiring that I can write here even in the midst of crazy family issues, of health problems, of financial fright. I don’t know why or how, but coming to Manhattan – for any reason – gives my soul a much-needed shot of creation.

Which brings me to the purpose of this post (see what I did there?).

When is the last time you treated yourself to something you needed?

It can be as simple as going for a walk. Opening a book. Taking the time to bury your face in fresh, clean laundry and enjoying the scent. Listening to good music. Or watching a movie that used to inspire you back in the day. It doesn’t have to cost money.

When is the last time you treated yourself to something you needed?

If you’re anything like me, you often spring right over the line between working-too-hard and oops-I’ve-collapsed. Inspirational speaker/poet/playwrite/etc.  Julia Cameron talks about the importants of “artist dates,” which is a cute way of saying “all work and no play makes creative-human go a little nuts.” So take one today. However you need to do it. Take some time for yourself. Your brain will thank you.

And now, with no segue, here is an excellent article by agent Kate Testerman about taglines. Taglines, you say? Why, yes – the one sentence summary of your book, the kind that usually ends up in publishing trade magazines. Examples from KTLiterary:

Carrie Harris’s debut NO PAIN, NO BRAIN, in which a science nerd must cure a zombie outbreak in her high school before she and her homecoming date join the ranks of the walking dead.

Maureen Johnson’s three-book series starting with a thriller about an American high-school student who enrolls at a London boarding school for her junior year, where a series of murders begins to take place across the city, on the exact dates and in the exact style of Jack the Ripper, and soon her ties to the killer bring her in contact with a secret paranormal branch of the British police.

Julia Karr’s XVI, in which a 15-year-old uncovers the mystery surrounding her mother’s death and her missing father, while dreading the coming of her sixteenth birthday and the government-mandated tattoo that references her sexual status.

Taglines. Your whole book in one sentence. The beauty of it is that reducing your book to one sentence forces you to say what it’s really about. It’s not to say that other issues/characters/conflicts don’t matter. But the core, the heart of the story, that’s what the tagline’s about.

My turn to write some.

Guardian, a modern fantasy in which a boy with wings struggles with his half-human heritage as he comes between a chaos-cult and its prey: the entire Unseelie kingdom.

The Sundered, in which a young man searches for hope in a world filled with broken but powerful beings and black water that kills humans on contact.

Notte, the ten-thousand year tale of the first vampire’s transformation from biological weapon to perfect gentleman.

No Place for Fey, in which a policewoman must crack open a kidnapping case and handle the romantic attention of a child-like fey prince at the same time.

So what about your one-sentence tagline? Feel free to share in the comments! I’d love to read yours.

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