An Offer I Can't Refuse!

This is a cross-post from my main blog at wordpress:

Last Monday night, my husband purchased a drink for a newly agented author at a bar near our house. Furthermore, Mr. Kiddoc informed me this author was "a cute redhead."

But I am not the least bit jealous.

Because I am that newly agented author.

I am delighted to announce that I've accepted an offer of representation from Katie Boyle at Veritas Literary.

H. L. Dyer: Now With Agency Contract!

I'm so excited to be working with Katie, and can't wait to get The Edge of Memory out on submission!

I'll be working hard to make that happen, so if I seem uncharacteristically quiet on Trying to Do the Write Thing, you'll know why.

Empathyfail: A doctor-writer's perspective on Agentfail

This entry is a repost from my wordpress blog.

If you’re the sort of person that reads my blog, chances are outrageously high that you have heard all about Queryfail and Agentfail. I’ve read all 260+ comments on the BookEnds post.

And what struck me most about the more angry comments posted there was the lack of understanding. I hate the crickets treatment as much as the next writer, but despite the fact that, indeed, it would take only a few seconds to send a reply, I understand why some agents can’t do that.

It’s true… if an agent reads a query and knows instantly that the project is not for them, it would take only a few seconds to paste a rejection. But if they waffle just a bit, they might not want to reject it instantly. Maybe a day or two later, one of those not-instant-rejections will stick out as something that interests them after all. Keeping track of every yes, no, and maybe can quickly get overwhelming, as any bride can tell you. Since the default response is “no” regardless of the agent’s policy, I can understand why a no-reply-means-no policy is the path of least resistance, given the numbers of queries received. Don’t get me wrong… I greatly prefer to receive a response, and certainly favor agents who take the time to respond, but I understand the ones who don’t.

Perhaps the gripes that hit home the hardest for me were those where people complained about agents tweeting or blogging about things like snack foods and reality TV, arguing that these agents had no right to be behind in responding to queries and manuscripts if they had time for such trivialities.

Yikes. I have been on the other end of this argument too many times. I totally get this. As a physician, I have worked crazy hours for over a decade. I frequently work through meals, go without sleep. On several occasions, when I’ve taken a break to run to the bathroom or down a cup of coffee, I’ve had family members chastise me.

“Glad to see you’ve got your coffee, Doc, while we’ve been waiting here for an hour.”

And I get it. I get that they’re frustrated, cuz they’ve entrusted their kids to my care and all they want is for someone to give them an answer on what’s going on and what to expect. A cup of coffee seems unbearably trivial when you’re worried about someone you love.

And so I put things like coffee and meals, my own medication when I’m ill, etc. on hold a lot of the time, but I can’t do it always. I know that sometimes I need a few minutes or a graham cracker or something to keep my stamina up, or I won’t be any good at my job in the first place.

A lot of writers love their books like children, so I understand the frustration and the desperation. But, you know… we’re writers. We’re also supposed to be better than the average bear at putting ourselves in someone else’s shoes. Agents need to look after their own needs… which includes indulging on occasion. No one can work every second and be good at what they do.

I’m not saying agents or writers are perfect, cuz heaven knows none of us are, but I do think we deserve to try to understand each other a little better.

Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Quarterfinalist

Cross-posted from my Wordpress blog:

I feel like the father on A Christmas Story: "I've won a major award!"

If you're the sort of folk who reads my blog, you are probably well acquainted with the ABNA contest. For 2009, Amazon accepted up to 10,000 entries of finished novels in February.

They narrowed the entries down to 2,000 on the basis of the Pitch (basically the meat of a query letter). Excerpts of the 2000 novels were then reviewed and scored before the 500 quarterfinalists were announced.

And The Edge of Memory was one of those 500 novels.

At this point, the contest gets a bit American Idolish... the quarterfinalist excerpts are posted on for Amazon customers to review. Based on these reviews and a formal score/review of the full manuscript by Publisher's Weekly, the entries will be cut to 100 semifinalists on April 15th.

So, if you have the time and inclination to read and review my entry, I'd greatly appreciate it. You can download the excerpt here, and then click "Create your own review" to leave your thoughts and star-rating (the button to leave a review is on the right side of the page, just below the "Customer Reviews" heading.

You've Really Got a Hold on Me...

Trying to reach me? Or wanna hang on your social networking site of choice?

Of course, you can find me on my main blog:

If you’d like to contact me, you can email at

HeatherLDyer at

You can also find me:

All in a Day's Quirk

This is a cross-post from my main blog.


So, Friday is here... which would ordinarily mean time for my weekly "In Deep Smit" posting. But it's also my turn to post in our Blog Chain Gang. Photobucket

Luckily, this post can be a two-fer, cuz I'm Deeply Smitten with the current Blog Chain topic, started by Mary Lindsey:

What kind of quirky habits or rituals do you have regarding your writing?

(or regarding anything else, if that is more fun.)

Leah Clifford is the last link before mine, and next up after me is an awesome new Chain Gang member, Jessica Verday. I have loved reading my chain gang's responses to this topic. But now that it's my turn, I am deeply grateful for the parenthetical part.

I am uber-quirky. But not when it comes to writing, I don't think.

I don't write in a scuba mask, or act out my upcoming scenes with sock puppets. I don't tango with my teddy bear when I need inspiration or compose my dialog in pig latin. I don't do my best writing after stuffing myself to the gills with Olive Garden breadsticks*. (*To be fair... I don't actually know this is true, since I've never tried it.)

Pretty much, I just write. Photobucket

BUT... I am plenty quirky, I swear!

Some of My Quirks:

  1. I could have been Weird Al Yankovick if I wasn't all distracted by this doctor-and-novelist stuff

  2. I cook without measuring

  3. Richard Dawson's family feud made a greater impression on me then you might expect

  4. I remember almost anything I hear or read

  5. I have a wide selection of hot beverages available at all times

  6. I have tumbling impulse-control issues

I have lots of other quirks, but let's look at these for the moment.

I could have been Weird Al Yankovick. I compose parodies all the time. Weight loss parodies. Sports team parodies. I planned an entire musical parody of West Side Story about rival health insurance companies. I compose them in the car to whatever's playing on the radio as a means of coping with road rage, such as this one I rattled off a while back:

*cue Beach Boys music*

Wouldn't it be nice if you were driving
like you had a clue on how to steer?
And wouldn't it be nice if I was home now,
'stead of burning gas just sitting here?

Please choose a lane and stop this sudden braking,

there's only so much stupid crap I'm taking.

Wouldn't it be nice if you were not the
self-important bozo that you are?
and wouldn't everybody else be safer
if they simply took away your car?

You probably shouldn't have a license really
everyone driving here can see that clearly...

Maybe iiiiiif you weren't such a stupid, selfish, shagging ass...
Maybe theeeeen you'd pull aside so everybody else could pass.
We could get past ya (we could get past ya)
And traffic'd move faster (and traffic'd move faster)

Wouldn't it be nice?

I cook without measuring. This drives a lot of people nuts, I know. But I can't give you my recipe for fudge. Or garlic shrimp pasta. Or almost anything, really. Cuz I just do what seems like a good idea at the time. A handful of this, a few shakes of that. Saute until it smells right. Yes, this means I can't always exactly recreate a recipe, but that's just one of those things. My mother says it's genetic; apparently her Busia (who was a cook for a Polish count) did the same thing. The only reason we have the recipe for Busia's Bread is because my mother and grandmother teamed up to wrestle each ingredient out of Busia's hands so they could measure what she used.

Richard Dawson's family feud made a greater impression on me then you might expect. This is another stress-saving defense mechanism, not unlike the angry car-composed parodies. When someone is making me angry, and I cannot express that anger, I use visualization. What do I visualize, you ask? The big red "X" graphic from the old Family Feud right over their face. Yes, of course it's accompanied by the imaginary buzzer sound. Trust me, this tactic helps.

I remember almost anything I hear or read. I do. It's a bit freakish, what I remember really. It comes in handy, though, for identifying plot inconsistencies in storylines and also for annoying my husband. :)

I have a wide selection of hot beverages available at all times. This is also freakish. In a really-great-hostess sort of way. If you pop by, you will have your choice of a variety of coffees and flavored syrups for your espresso/cappuccino/latte or whatever. I'm partial to a sugar-free caramel latte myself...


Or you may select any of the 24 varieties of bagged tea in my mahogany velveteen-lined tea box.

Or if you prefer loose tea, I've got that too. And your choice of plain or flavored hot chocolates. Whipped cream and cinammon sticks, too, natch. It's a bit obsessive, sure. But completely delicious.

I have tumbling impulse-control issues. Now perhaps the oddest of my quirks is one entirely confined to my own mind. Whenever I find myself alone in a long empty corridor (as often happens working late nights in a hospital) I get a compelling urge to execute a dazzling front flip/round off/handspring/back handspring sequence. I take a deep breath, and my muscles tense as my body pitches slightly forward in anticipation. The problem is... I don't know how to do any of those things. Like, at all.

So, if you ever read a mysterious case where a pediatrician's battered and broken body is found at the end of a deserted hallway without signs of a struggle, you will know what really happened.

I think that's plenty quirky for me to get in one post. But rest assured, there's lots more where these came from. ;)

I'm a Woman Obsessed...

Editing makes everything better. I like this mock-up trailer even better a minute shorter. Two-and-a-half minutes is a good length, I think. :)

I'm Playing with Book Trailers

More details on my wordpress blog, but here's a mock-up book trailer.

I have a new gadget!

Check it out!

H. L. Dyer's Weblog

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Heather Dyer (H. L. Dyer) is now on Blogger. Sort of.

If you're looking for information about me or my novel, The Edge of Memory, my blog is on wordpress. 

I thought I could use the import feature to move posts over here, but apparently that's a one way transfer at this point.  Maybe someday though. :)