Sep 10, 2010

Friendly Friday - Amie Borst

Amie Borst
Hello all!  *Waves* I’m so excited to visit you here!  And of course, many, many thanks to my friend Christine for the invitation to guest post today!
A little about me:
I’m a writer.  My first love is urban fantasy but I also really enjoy incorporating humor into my stories, whether they’re for YA or MG.  Not only am I a guest author for Bellaonline, but I’m also a contributing member of “From the Mixed-Up Files.”  If you haven’t heard of that website, all I’ll say is where the heck have you been? In my other life, I’m a classically trained musician.  Although I’ve been known to sing some opera, I mostly perform classical and Broadway show tunes.  I’ve also been playing the piano since I was four.  My daughters are pretty much the center of my universe and my husband (aka Ben Affleck) is my best friend.  
Just so you know, I’ve written this post about half a dozen times.  No matter what I wrote, it just wasn’t what I really wanted to say.  Initially I wrote about my writing rituals.  Bo-ring!  Then I wrote about how much I love the color pink.  Um yeah – don’t ask.  My third try was about my writing style.  Seriously – I just won’t go there.  The fourth and fifth tries included a combination of the three.    Why, I beg of you, WHY? 
So then I started thinking.  Really thinking.  And yes, if you’re wondering what that smell is, it’s burning metal from my gears grinding.  Again, don’t ask. 
And what I thought of was all the things I wish I knew about writing.  Because, honestly, when I first started writing I knew NOTHING about the craft other than how to structure a sentence: a subject, a predicate and a complete thought.  That’s all I needed to write a successful story, right?  Well, that and a good plot. 
It took lots of internet surfing and plenty of head banging, but I finally found tons of information about writing.  Like get a crit group.  Show, don’t tell.  Get a crit group.  Develop a crazy, elusive thing called voice (say wha?).  Get a crit group.  Attend conferences.  Get a crit group.  Build a website or blog.  Get a crit group.
Ok – so I hope you’re getting my point here.  Get a crit group.  
So the next part is easy.  You already wrote the book, now all you’ve got to do is get an agent and score a book deal.  WA-HOO!  You’re golden! 
Yeah, that process, well let’s just say it’s not exactly easy.  So, I’m not going to pretend I have sage advice or prophetic words of wisdom.  Because, really, all it comes down to is the 3 P’s:  Patience, Persistence and Perseverance.   (Just an FYI – I’m pretty sure I stole that from someone – I’m not that clever.)
Now your book is published.  You’ve got tons of money to blow on big houses and fancy cars.  You never have to work again and the publisher will take care of all the advertising and publicity for you.
The reality is that you are going to have to market the crap out of that book.  You thought querying was bad?  Alright, I know what you’re thinking.  It couldn’t possibly be as bad as querying – at least the book is in print and on bookstore shelves.  Sorry to inform you, but marketing, networking and developing your author brand are just as challenging. 
But….the good news?  It’s all worth it because – wait for it – you’re a WRITER!
Alright, so many of you are in the early stages still and don’t have a published book yet.  So here’s the deal.  I host contests on my blog a lot.  A lot.  And since I just reached 100 followers and since I repeatedly stressed the importance of getting a crit group, I’m offering a contest!  There will be a query critique for the first 10 people to go to my blog.  All you have to do is visit my site ( and post your query letter in the comments!  The first 10 query letters to be posted will receive a critique!  That’s it! 
And last but not least – BIG NEWS:
The Mixed-Up Files blog is opening its doors!  We’re looking for 5 more contributors!  So, after you visit my blog, hop on over to the mixed-up files (, take a look around and maybe even submit an application… ‘cause you just never know!

***(from Christine) Amie, you're funny. I absolutely love this post, and not just because you're talented, humorous, generous and giving stuff away. It's because you like pink. LOL  I love pink too. Growing up I had to have everything in pink: pink birthday cake with pink frosting, pink fuzzy slippers, pink robe, pink bedspread and even a pink coat. And to make it worse, I collected everything "heart." Sick, eh?
Thanks again for being my guest today. And good luck to all you followers out there. Go get that free query review.


  1. Hi Amie and Christine!! Seriously, there isn't going to be gobs and gobs of cash? Ugh, so bummed. LOL. Thanks for your sage advice. I belive you mentioned get a crit group. Check. =D

  2. christine - thanks again! it was great to be here! rashelle - thanks for stopping by. i'm going to check out your blog now!

  3. Great post, Amie! I've already checked out your blog and am looking at the mixed-up-files one right now. =] Best wishes for your success!

  4. Your experience sounds a lot like mine--I started writing a book before I knew what the heck I was doing. Yay for the online writing community! Thanks for the post, Amie! I need to go get a crit group now :)

  5. Love your blog and the timing was perfect. Can't wait to check out mixed up files. :)

  6. So, are you saying every writer should get a crit group? ;)-

    Great post, Amie!!!! :D

  7. thanks to everyone for all your great queries! you're a talented bunch!

  8. What a fun post! It was great to meet you, Amie. Happy Writing!

  9. Thanks everyone for your wonderful comments and for making Amie feel welcome. And a special thanks to Amie for her generous crit work on all those queries and for being my guest. It's been great getting to know you better.