Thursday 1 November 2012

Guest Post by HogWild

Baby, You're as Sweet as 3.14159265
How I Became a Humor Author and got an Agent

by HogWild, author of Baby, You're as Sweet as 3.14159265

First of all, thank you Becky for allowing me to introduce myself to your audience of awesome readers!

This is the story of how I became a humor author for Young Adults and how I secured a book deal with an agent.  This is not the story of how my brother soaked my head in pickle juice and slapped me in the face with a slice of pastrami. I'm not telling THAT embarrassing story again!

If you are an aspiring writer, I would recommend the following steps that have served me very well. If you're fascinated with how and why authors make up these great stories for you, here's why!

Step 1 - Be passionate!

I write because I must. It's something I feel deep inside my gut -- like a craving for chicken wings. Except when I write I'm not licking sauce off my fingers and exclaiming to the Heavens, "Thank you for providing us with this deep-fried and tender succulent bird of the gods!"

Writing is my creative outlet. It's like an electrical outlet because writing can give people power, although it fails miserably at giving power to lamps. That's why people are superior to lamps.

Although I once had a frightening dream that the Lamps rose up from their oppression and turned us into THEIR slaves of illumination.

Normally when I have a nightmare of being at the dentist, I'm sitting in the chair. This time the dentist was a lamp and he grabbed me by my throat and pointed the top of my head into his patient's open mouth.

Apparently, I wasn't bright enough because he turned my nose until it clicked three times.

A lot of writers are perceived as quiet types. Do you know why? Because once you’ve expressed all your emotions verbally, you often stop feeling the need to express them through your writing! The best writing is born from stories that you NEED to tell.

As a humor writer, I want to make people laugh. Ideally, it will be a raucous guffaw. But I'll settle for a smiling chuckle. Although a chortle would be nice.

I want to bring attention to certain subjects in a fun way. For me, I'm super passionate about helping people find love and keeping their relationships strong. I'm also a believer in the power of humor to lift people's spirits to change their perspective to make them healthier emotionally and more productive as they face challenges.

For instance, say you're in a terrible rush to get somewhere very important. It's the hospital. You're bleeding profusely from your ears. And it's awful because you can barely hear your music through your headphones above the sound of all that gushing. You make a solemn oath to yourself to never again stick your pinky nail in there to clean out your potatoes.

You also begin frantically thinking of white lies to tell your mother so she doesn't gloat while shouting, "I told you so! Well, at least you're wearing clean underwear because I will have failed as a mother if you died without on a fresh pair of underpants!"

I forget where I was going with that. Oh. Even though you're frustrated because you need to rush to the doctor but you can't because your coat’s zipper is stuck and you never leave the house without zipping up your zipper (one piece of mom's advice you DO heed) you pause to remember something amusing you once read and think, "Ha ha! That was a funny story about when his brother slapped him with lunch meat! Aw, this ear hole hemorrhage ain't so bad!"

As a kid, I was bullied. I had family drama. I would get depressed. I remember reading a funny book or watching a hilarious TV show and it really helped me realize that life isn't so miserable. It was then that I knew I wanted to do this same service for others.

Like many of you who read Becky's blog, I have been reading and writing stories since a very early age.

Step 2 - If you want to become a published writer, you don't just write.

You refine your writing. You get feedback from people you respect. You do your best to not feel hurt by their criticism but to use it as an instruction for your growth.

Also remember there's a difference between helpful criticism and unhelpful.

Helpful criticism: "I enjoyed the depth of the character but I thought the story was too predictable because it was very obvious that the man would turn into a vampire and the woman would transform into a unicorn and their forbidden love would be condemned by their local community of conservative elves, orcs, and tax attorneys."

Unhelpful feedback: "Dear Author, This stinks! And you're ugly! And this year you're not getting any birthday gifts from your grandma!" Signed, Grandma.

Also, never take only one person's opinion too seriously. Get as much feedback as possible from as many different people as you can. When you start seeing patterns to the feedback, you know this is a main area where you are strong or need to improve.

So even though it's hard at first, you can not be shy about sharing your writing. If you believe you are supposed to be a writer, it is your DUTY to share it! It's your gift! You MUST let people read it!

Step 3 - I am not shy about putting my work out to the public.

And that's how I attracted the attention of an agent and was subsequently professionally published.

I post my funny dating advice on my web site along with videos. An agent had a book idea on this topic and was searching the internet for authors in this area. The agency thought my writing was really funny and they contacted me!

If my writing wasn't public, they couldn't have found me. If my writing wasn't the best it could be, they wouldn't have contacted me. Write the best stories you can and show them to the world.

I've also submitted to magazines and been published. I've entered contests. You need to let people know about your work!

Be confident and write!

Do it now before the Lamps take over the human world!

My book of funny love advice and dating stories is on sale at Amazon here:

You can read my new jokes on Twitter:

You can see my videos and read my humor articles on my web site:

Thanks again, Becky!

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