Author Interview – Mary Kubica – “The Good Girl”

Okay. So many of you have wondered about the querying process. I started querying a few short weeks ago, and already I’ve had some people ask, “J.R., do you have a book deal yet?”

“Um. No.”

For some, from query to publication can take years.

I came across this interview with Mary Kubica. She’s the author of the best seller, “The Good Girl”. I think her story really illustrates how long the process can be (never mind frustrating and discouraging).

“The Good Girl” almost didn’t make it to publication. Today, it’s a best seller. If you haven’t already read “The Good Girl”, I highly recommend it.

C.H. Armstrong Books & Blog

Back in February I started the query process for a literary agent to represent my efforts to have one or both of my novels published.  As a newbie to this process, I had no idea what to expect.  What I’ve experienced, though has been a roller coaster of good and bad…though mostly good.  Not good enough to land an agent yet, but good overall.

Through this process, I’ve wondered about the query process of several published authors.  I’m blessed to count a few of them as friends (or at least friendly acquaintances), so I started asking questions.  One of them told me that she studied literary agents and elected to query only two.  The first responded quickly with a definite no and her second query came back positive.  She’s now a bestselling author of her first novel, and working on her second.

Another author-aquaintance queried countless agents without a single positive response.  Not one…

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“Bricks” by John Davidson

In an effort to support other writers, I am happy to host a Book Blitz organized by YA Bound Book Tours. Below is an excerpt from “Bricks” by John Davidson and at the bottom of the post there is a Rafflecopter Giveaway. Thanks for checking it out.


by John Davidson

Release Date: 02/03/15

Anaiah Press

Bricks 1600x2400

Summary from Goodreads:

Sixteen-year old Cori Reigns learns that not all tornadoes take you to magical places. Some take your house, your school, and life as you knew it. Struggling to put the pieces of her life back together, Cori learns to rebuild what the storm destroyed by trusting family she didn’t know she had and helping friends she never appreciated.


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I honed my lines to a sharp point. What I would say, how she would respond, from as many different angles as I could think of. I was prepared—no matter what the script threw at me. What I didn’t count on was the toxic mix of a bubbling stomach and four cups of French Roast because everything went south when they walked in thirty minutes later.

“Stop protecting me!” I shouted, covering my mouth as I blew my first line. Mom froze. Dad sighed and pushed past her to close the door.

She manufactured a smile and cocked her head to one side. “We were only doing what we thought was best. You’ve been through a lot. I just didn’t want you to be force fed a lot of scary images.”

I cleared my throat. “Sorry. I didn’t mean to shout I just need you to understand that I—” She held up both hands and motioned for me to slow down. I took a couple of deep breaths. “I know you think you’re helping me, but my whole world is out of whack right now. Cutting me off from my friends and any news isn’t helping. I can’t act like it never happened. Our house isn’t fine. My car isn’t okay. My school and my friends are—I don’t even know how they are because I’ve been sequestered away like someone in the witness protection program.” I clenched my fists to combat the effects of the caffeine. “I want to go home. Tomorrow. I want to see Slim and Leo. If we can’t be home, I want to be closer than an hour away.”

In the background, I heard Dad sigh again as he pushed his hair from his eyes. “She has the right to know, Emily.”

“Henri!” Mom shouted with his words still hanging in the air. “This isn’t the time. We talked about this.”

“No, you talked and made me listen. But this isn’t about me. She deserves to know.”

The room was dimly lit, but Mom’s eyes burned like lasers on my dad’s forehead. I’m surprised his head didn’t explode or melt. Even more surprising, he matched her glare and one-upped her. “If you don’t tell her, I will.”

About the Author

John D author

Married to my bride for twenty-four years, I have an amazing son and a wonderful daughter.

Born and raised in central Oklahoma, I work in education, first as a teacher now in technology curriculum. I write. I read. And in the summer I make snow cones.

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Book Blitz Organized by:

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A Tribute to Cpl. Nathan Cirillo

Sad Christmas Tree
Alone at Christmas

In light of the recent shootings in Canada, Australia, and Pakistan, I am left feeling solemn this Holiday Season.

Many of us are busy preparing to receive friends and family over the Holidays. We shop, we bake, we clean, we tie fancy ribbons upon dozens of boxes, filled with things that we are told to want. Our children dream of shiny toys and stockings filled with surprises.

Unfortunately, for some, the greatest surprise this year is the unexpected loss of a loved one. The seat of a father, mother, or child, left empty at the table. The whiff of a person’s life, floating on the remnants of their cologne, still clinging to the fabric of their families lives. There is little solace when a loved one is stolen. There is no justification.


Cpl. Nathan Cirillo on sentry duty at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier


Cpl. Nathan Cirillo was slain while guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Ottawa on October 22, 2014. He was shot twice in the back while holding an unloaded firearm. An extreme act of cowardice by a lone gunman.

I am an eleventh-generation Canadian. Prior to Michael Zehaf-Bibeau‘s assault on Parliament Hill, I definitely took the security and peace that Canada offers for granted. I naïvely felt that no one would ever attack us ­– after all, we’re Canadian, eh? The United States’ meek and unobtrusive cousin. We tow the line, mostly unnoticed in our politics. I mean, we’re talking about a country whose citizens are known for apologizing when bumped or pushed. There’s no reason to attack us. How horribly wrong I was. Wrong, that we are exempt from terrorism. Wrong, that there is no reason to attack us. Hate will always find a ‘reason’ to propagate – no matter how deranged. This is tragically exemplified in the nonsensical acts that took place in Sydney (the routine act of having a quiet morning coffee, shattered with violence) and in Pakistan (the unfathomable massacre of over 130 innocent children).

Zehaf-Bibeau had his ‘reasons’ and acted on them. He found a reason to terrorize the innocent, to murder a father, a son, a brother; a Canadian soldier who guards the memory of the Unknown Soldier, and now we will protect his.

Marcus Cirillo
Nathan Cirillo’s son, Marcus, at his father’s funeral.


I am not a poet, but I offer this tribute to Cpl. Cirillo, whose birthday is on December 23rd. He would have been 25.


The Tomb of the Known Soldier


I am a boy who became a man

I guard the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier


I am a man who fathered a son

I guard the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier


I sacrifice my life for my child, to guide him as he grows

I guard the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier


I sacrifice my life for my country, to keep it strong and free

I guard the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier


I protect the memory of the fallen

I guard the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier


I represent peace and am attacked by hate

I guard the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier


I lose my life for my sacrifice

I lay upon the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier


I have become the Soldier That Is Known

Editorial Cartoon depicting war memorial soldier reaching a hand out in aid of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo
Editorial Cartoon by Bruce Mackinnon


Nathan Cirillo with his dog
Cpl. Nathan Cirillo


Wishing everyone a safe and happy holiday season filled with peace, love, and joy. May you find yourselves with those you hold dear.