Fun at the Willamette Writers Conference 2016!

posted Aug 15, 2016, 11:17 AM by Jared Agard   [ updated Aug 15, 2016, 11:55 AM ]

Wow! 

It's almost like a crazy dream now that it's all over. The Willamette Writers Conference was such a blast this year! I went to some classes that really were helpful. I am especially excited to rework my action scenes after the incredible advice of Fonda Lee, author of Zero Boxer, on how to infuse action scenes with emotion to avoid the play-by-play feel.

I also pitched to two really wonderful agents who made the pitching process feel like a pleasant conversation about my projects. Thanks Jennifer Azantian and Emily Keyes! You were both fantastic!

And, of course, there was the thrill of being able to teach my own class. The Building a Middle-Grade Villain Workshop was so fun to teach. The attendees were excited and ready to engage, even right after lunch when the body's energies are usually less focused on processing thought and most focused on digestion. Ain't nobody got time fo dat! Time flew by and, before I knew it, time ran out. 

I still want to see your villainous creations! Post them in the comment section of my brand new blog. Click Here!

Thanks again to all of my attendees, the agents, and the incredible teachers. 

New Project

posted Jun 14, 2016, 12:21 AM by Jared Agard

My newest book is in the works and it's been super-fun to write so far. A kid who is just about to start middle school finds an alien with a superiority complex in his backpack. As if his life isn't going to be awkward enough. The alien tells him that he's being tested. If he fails the tests, KA-BOOM! Say goodbye to the whole earth and life as we know it.

I've got chapter 1 completed and have started work on chapter 2 as well as done some sketches for characters. I should be able to get it done this summer. Let me know if you'd like to be a beta-reader.

Like a Junkyard Dawg!

posted May 9, 2016, 7:44 PM by Jared Agard

A while back, I was teaching a class about music. I had built a recording studio in my classroom to give students a chance to share their musical abilities or to improve upon their lack of natural talent :). The students were nervous, far too nervous to go record something, or, in most cases, even put pen to paper to write their own songs. Not much a a musician myself, I set out show them how to be fearless about their songwriting by creating the only kind of song I felt capable of creating: A rap song. 
Yup, I got funky fresh with my lyrics. I dropped a dope beat and spit rhymes, yo. 
Okay, so I don't really aspire to be all that gangsta, but the lyrics I wrote, mostly kind of goofy, ended up helping me recently as i faced the inevitable issues that come along with being a writer. I'll post my YouTube video of the song for your listening enjoyment:

So, it worked. My students heard this, immediately cracked up, asked me questions like "How could you play that to us without wanting to jump off a bridge during and afterwards?" I told them its because I was jumping' da fence of insecurity, like a junkyard dawg.

Funny thing is, I recorded this song around four years ago and I still have students ask me to play it. New students hear about it from old students. Some just see that I have a YouTube channel and wonder what their weird art teacher is up to on there. Let's just say that, when life gets challenging, I've had many students tell me that they're gonna jump dat fence like a junkyard dawg.

In March, I had my own experience with feeling that the fence of life was a bit too high. After all the experience that had swirled around getting an agent, I started to feel like mine wasn't really excited about my work anymore. When I asked her about it, she admitted that it was indeed the case. That hurt a bit, but I thought, that's okay. I'll start looking for another agent, and, with a published novel under my belt, the other agents will know that I'm serious.

Then came the second round of news. Spencer Hill Press was cancelling all of their middle grade novels, including mine, Living Bones.

Phew. It's definitely one of those moments where you wonder, do I have any business writing stories? Is this just a waste of time? Was the first agent and the first agreement of publication just a fluke that both my agent and my publishing company immediately regretted? Lots of self-doubt. Maybe it was time to give up on ridiculous dreams and live in reality.

But that's just not me, is it? Funny how the lyrics to my own goofy rap song popped into my head, just when I was giving up hope. I realized that I wasn't just giving up hope in the dream of becoming a writer, I was giving up hope in myself. Not okay.

And that's not how we succeed, either. We jump. Maybe we hit the fence. We slap to the ground, embarrassed as the fence rattles triumphantly. Then, we get up and do it again. We don't give up, and that's how we get to success.

So, I'm starting over. For those fans that preceded Living Bones, thanks so much for your support. Believe me when I say that the book will one day rise from the dead and be back on the market. I'm back in the market for an agent and we'll see how it all goes. Good or bad, I'll just keep jumping that fence...
wait for it...
...that's right... like a junkyard dawg!

New Web Site!

posted Jun 30, 2015, 12:45 AM by Jared Agard

 
I hope you all love the new site. I made a cover for Rust 42 just for it. I'm working on a cover for Scourge of Happenstance now as well, but I'm not happy with it so far. :(
Thanks for checking in with me. I'll actually put together an article or two about writing soon. Check back. We'll have some fun!



The Story Behind the Story- Living Bones

posted Jun 30, 2015, 12:39 AM by Jared Agard

Spencer Hill Press just did published an article on their website by yours truly. They asked me to tell all about how I came up with the ideas for Living Bones. Give it a read. You might like it!
Click here to read it.

Cover Reveal!!! Living Bones!!!!

posted Apr 10, 2015, 3:23 PM by Jared Agard

Here's the cover art for my first book!! Living Bones will be released November 3rd, 2015! It's already available for preorder on Amazon.com!!!

Latest Book Projects!

posted Jul 28, 2014, 6:19 PM by Jared Agard   [ updated Jul 28, 2014, 6:23 PM ]

Hi All,
Right now I'm working on two new projects. The first is a revamp of a book I wrote a while ago called The Scourge of Happenstance. It's a modern fantasy novel where a very average fourteen year old named Jeremy Hart gets dumped by his girlfriend. After that, he goes on a field trip to Alcatraz. After that, he finds an old man disintegrating into dust. The man sends Jeremy, his best friend Roger, Jeremy's ex-girlfriend, Olivia, her new butt-head boyfriend Dan, and Carolynn Santori, the snottiest girl in school, on a trip to a hidden kingdom full of humans and creatures with abnormal abilities. 

I'm going to need alpha and beta readers, so let me know if you're interested.

Project 2 is a book called Rust-42. It's about a 12 year old boy and his bot. Ian McCall wants desperately to get into Robotics Academy to avenge his brother's death at the hand of renegade bots, but his dad can't afford the base model that he needs to get in. Ian's Dad gives him an antique bot, an RST-42, which Ian knows is only enough to get him into the academy. If he wants to stay in, he will need to repair the bot to be able to compete with the other students at the school. When Ian heads into the forbidden zone in search of bot parts, he finds a bot component that will change his life forever.                              
                          
                                                                                                                 I'm having lots of fun in these new worlds. I love summer!             

Big News!

posted Nov 2, 2013, 10:06 PM by Jared Agard   [ updated Jul 28, 2014, 8:55 PM ]

Living Bones is going to be published by Spencer Hill Press in August of 2015. It is so exciting to see a childhood dream becoming a reality. Thanks so much to everyone who has helped and supported me on this road.
 
Now that one is being published, time to work on getting these others out into the world.

Announcements/ Contact Me

posted Jul 29, 2013, 11:26 PM by Jared Agard   [ updated Jul 30, 2013, 10:18 AM ]

 

 Contact Me:                                                      

 I'd love to hear from you. My email address is pointyhair1@gmail.com Drop me a line anytime!
 

 Announcements:

 I'll be at the Willamette Writer's Conference this Friday (August 2nd, 2013). Excited to learn more and pitch to an editor. Wish me luck!

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