In the ninth episode of This Podcast Needs a Title, Peter and Erica talk with 2020 Book Pipeline Unpublished finalist Ciara Duggan about the release of her debut novel, TV watching habits, and the importance of self-care. Come from the insights on writing and editing, and stay for the debate on the glories (real meaning: disgustingness) of caffeinated pink Crystal Light.
Hey everyone, welcome to this podcast needs a title. I'm Erica Davis and I am Peter Malone Elliot. There is real talk about writing, publishing and everything in between. Just a few minutes here we're going to be talking to our awesome possum guest Kira Duggan. That's right, I said awesome possum, who is an author, screenwriter and an editor. But first, the hard hitting question, Erica. Yes, Peter. How are you doing? I'm doing okay, I am in this weird liminal space right now of feeling both guilty and relieved that grocery home delivery exists right now. Please tell, I feel. I don't love grocery shopping, I have. Sure. What is it called like plantar fasciitis and my foot. So anything that takes longer than 1015 minutes on my feet. It's just shooting pain in my side. I'm sorry. That makes me not like cooking because cooking means I have to go to the grocery store. And grocery grocery store means foot pain. It's this whole thing. I'm sure there's some driving anxiety in there as well. And but our grocery store is like an a minute and a half away from us. So we just got groceries delivered. And it's just such a nice feeling. And I have to remember like, somebody with instacart is actually doing their job. So I'm contributing points to me. Yeah, I just I'm I'm so so grateful for that service. Um, if I don't mind, I love cooking. I really do. I love cooking. I love baking. I just want to live on my own farm though. And have you know, slaughter my own meat is so much to just take out the cows out back and just shoot them dead. I by beslis. chop them up, Bessie. Okay. That's fine. She had a good one. She did. How about your Hi, john. I'm good. I'm good. Um, I am in the swing of things here with book pipeline because the final submission deadline for unpublished the unpublished contest is September 10. It's coming up here. So it's coming up if you guys have got your unpublished book ready to go submit submit submit forecloses. How much of the book? Do I need to submit? Is that the whole thing? Or is it No, it's agency verse 5000 words and then a one to three page. Full synopsis. If you're submitting a nonfiction project, you can also submit a proposal. Okay. Yeah. Good to know. Yeah. It's it's the it's basically the exact same submission criteria as the workshop, essentially. Oh, that's right. Oh, I work at the workshop. Oh, the more I know. Nice. You know what time it is Erica. Oh, accountability, goal checking. Check in but not the official one for later to know. I know. We should have it. We should have two different theme songs then we should maybe we should call up john. JOHN, second one for checking. record something on your iPhone in New Zealand and send it to us, please. I'm expecting something really, really complicated and with at least six strings. Peter, you're just showing six strings. A six sick I'm sorry. Sick piece orchestra. Sick piece. I'm running this joke into the ground. It's great. You run every joke in the grass. One of my favorite things about our show. So hey, Erica. Yeah, bunny. I checked in with Mara. And if you remember from last time, her accountability goal was to finish her outline in the first chapter of a world building book. Alright, how did she do? She said that she finished her outline and started her first chapter so about 50% so she says she said.dot.so kind of laughing emoji face. Very good squinty you laughing emoji wavy, Lana knows. Mara. That's great. Congratulations. Yeah, Mara. What about you? How did you do on your goal from episode eight? Yes, I exceeded it. Actually, my goal if memory serves was to finish editing the chapter was working on it started a new chapter. I both edited the old chapter and finished the new chapter. So I actually I did better than I thought I did was going above and beyond buddy above and beyond Erica. I went above and a tiny bit beyond but not much. So I did it. I'm very happy. My I if I'm not mistaken. The goal was a two parter. One to just organize my digital desktop. It was just papers everywhere. And to actually plot out my revision schedule for Confessions of a PhD didn't get to net Kimber, my agent to practice saying that it's just Oh, Matt. I can't even I'm signed out. Okay, love you. We love you yet. And but what I'm really excited about, I'm proud of myself. That's great. I'm actually really excited to talk to Kira. Yes. And I want to tell you guys a little bit about her. Kira Dugan is an author, screenwriter and editor. She was a finalist in the why a category of the 2020 book pipeline. unpublished contests and her debut YA fantasy novel awakened was just released by Parliament House Press on September 7. Not only does she write her own stories, but she loves to help other writers translate their ideas onto the page. Let's bring her in here Kira. Welcome to the podcast. Thanks for coming on. Yeah. Thanks for having me. So happy to be here. And for our listeners, this is doubly cool because Kira has a book coming out. But she's also an editor for the book pipeline workshop. So double double the trouble double the fund. Kira. So happy book birth week. This is amazing. So your book came out on September 7, and it's tell us a little bit about it. It's amazing. Congratulations. Yeah. Thank you. Yeah, I'm excited. It is my first book being published. So that is definitely exciting. Yeah, um, it's called awakened. And it's a young adult paranormal romance about a girl named Hannah, who accidently awakens a handsome witch from a hidden cave on her college campus. He recognizes her as the love of his life from the 1600s. And by awakening him she has unknowingly awakened all magic, including the devil. Devil Yeah. And then, you know, self discovery of romance, paranormal creatures and magic ensue. My little blurb for you. That's amazing. That blurb is pretty incredible. And my first question for you is, how did that idea come to you? Um, well, I lot of my story ideas, just kind of like, pop out of nowhere. And I guess I was sort of just playing with the idea of maybe doing like an alternative origin story of the devil. I don't know why that came into my head. But it's stuck there. And, you know, I tried to flip it on its head a bit and be like, well, what if the devil was a woman? And then that sort of got me thinking like, well, how could that be? And for some reason that been related to well, what if the devil was originally a witch? And that's sort of how it came to be, my gosh. And so the story sort of just spiraled from there. That's something that Erica and I and you were talking about in our little pre interview was for you as an author. I mean, this is something obviously, that you wrote a long while ago. I mean, it takes a long time to publish a book and get it out there. So how is it for you looking at something that you wrote, you know, two or three years ago, and but it's something that's brand new to us? What is that like for you? It's, it's a bit bizarre, because, you know, I'm so excited to have a story being published. And I feel incredibly grateful for that. And I remember writing the story, and I remember loving it. And being in love with the characters being in love with the story. It's, it's bizarre, it's been weird, kind of going back through it and editing it, because like you said, I wrote that two years ago. And since then, I feel like, I've grown so much as a writer, I have developed a lot more in my craft. And so it's, it's strange, because looking back on it, I'm sort of like, this isn't my best work. And I know, probably not not the best thing to say, on a podcast about your book when you're promoting it. But, you know, I, I guess I have this innate fear that people are going to read this book and be like, like, what that's, that's, that's terrible. And I don't think that's gonna happen, like, I will enjoy it. It's just a weird sense for me where I feel like I've grown. And I've since written other things that I feel really proud of, and I feel like are a bit more developed than this book is. But it's still such a strange feeling, because I still sometimes feel like I'm back when I was writing it and loving it and love the characters. Yeah. And even when I was editing it, especially first editing, it really reminded me I'm like, Oh, I'm so happy to revisit this. And, you know, I got to do some spell writing, which is pretty cool. And I generally just love kind of magic and the paranormal. So yeah, I mean, I love it. It's a book for my heart. And I just really hope everyone loves it, even though it feels weird, but I wrote it. So it is, I mean, I, I haven't had a book come out, obviously. But my movie that's coming out later. I mean, I wrote that in 2018. We shot it in 2019. So I can kind of feel where you're coming from. It does feel weird. I've seen the movie a bazillion times, obviously. And I'm proud of it. I'm really happy with how it came out. But there are moments like, I would have done that differently now, you know, yeah, it's you. You grow as a writer and you develop and it's I think there was a quote by a famous author, I'm blanking on who it was that says, you know, you are your harshest critic, always in the future. No one will ever be as hard as on you as you will be on yourself. I'm butchering it. But yeah, I think the advantage that you You have Kira is and Peter with your movie is that you're in the exact same boat as everybody else publishing is a slog, yes. And it, nobody if you if someone's publishing really quickly, something's wrong. There's never going to be anything but that time gap. And it's like it is like sort of like a personal time capsule. Like I can see that happening. Like I remember finding something I wrote seven years ago. And I'm like, Oh, you garbage person. And I heard you and Peter talking that you published with a smaller press. Is that correct? Yes. So it's an independent publisher, called Parliament House Press night, and they focus on kind of, like the dark and paranormal, and, you know, just darker fantasy stories in general. So I guess my book was really good fit. And I really liked what they have to say about it. And yeah, it's just sort of felt like a match made in heaven. That's amazing. For the people that are listening that haven't published a book before. How can you kind of like walk us through the broad strokes of like, how long it took mean? Like, how long was the editing process? What was the developing the marketing with them like? So for an independent publisher, I, I've obviously never been traditionally published by one of the bigger publishing companies, sure, but from what I know, you know, they have their in house editors that they use for their authors. And you're sort of with the same editor throughout the editing process until you get to maybe like, just like copy edits, and stuff like that might go to a different editor. Sure. But because it's a smaller independent publishing company, they often will contract out their editors. And they won't have that in house, they might have one or two that are strictly for them. But other than that, like they, since they're so small, they don't have enough people to cover the amount of authors they're bringing in, therefore, they contract out some editors. And so my experience was a bit of a weird one, because my first editor was not a great experience. And I remember going through and it was my first edit of this book. And I just remember thinking, like, Am I crazy? Or is this editor like a complete amateur, and I don't want to come off as sounding like a snob or anything like that. But the notes just kind of didn't seem right. To me, a lot of the things I didn't agree with a lot of the things were, like notes, you might hear in like, a first year English course type thing. And, and, and, and also, it was very apparent that she wasn't reading the book closely. She would comment that like, Oh, this doesn't make sense. This doesn't make sense. And I'd have to show her parts that came beforehand that like, I started to set it up. And she was like, Oh, just missed it. But to be fair to proliant house, I, first of all, it forced me to kind of advocate for myself and my work in a way that I haven't had to before. So I was kind of impressed with myself to be like, Listen, like, this editor, I don't think is working out. And I gave reasons why. And I showed kind of pointed to examples. And they were so open and almost apologetic, being like, you know, that you're right. That's not the standard we hold our editors to. We will like, thank you so much for telling us this, we're gonna give you a different editor, all this stuff. And the next editor they gave me was fantastic and wonderful, and understood the book and understood what I wanted to do with it and kind of my writing style. And so that was amazing. And that was like, basically, I think, because I went through this, it extended my editing process a bit because I essentially, was acting as if this second editor was my first editor for developers. Definitely, yeah. So then once that was complete, I moved on to another editor who did the line edits, and I did two rounds with her. And again, she was wonderful. She pulled a lot out of me more on just like a language level, which Wow, I hadn't really experienced before. And I hadn't really anyone pushed me that way before. And I was like, Oh my gosh, at first, I was very resistant. I was like, What are you talking about? This is my style. Do you think you're wrong? I'm right. You know, I always make myself take a step back and actually be like, don't get defensive, you know, take in the criticism, look at it objectively, and will this actually help the book and help move it forward? And for the most part, it was like Yeah, she's Write, this will make it so much better. So I did two rounds with her. And it was amazing. And then the last editor was just copy edits, just last little grammatical things and all that stuff. And yeah, so I basically had 1234 editor editors total five rounds of edits, which is a lot, that is a lot. And I didn't know going in that I would have kind of that many editors working with this book. And I guess my fear with that is that, you know, everyone has their own take their own kind of ideas about the story. And so it's really, it was basically a masterclass in learning what to take from others and what to keep for yourself and stay true to your own voice. I was just about to ask about that. Because it just seems like so many for lack of a better phrase, a lot of cooks in the kitchen. I mean, how do you make sure that your voice and subject matter that you want to explore doesn't get watered down, but also being able to work with them and take their notes? Yeah, I mean, it wasn't an easy process. Yeah, it was, I think a lot of the time, it was me taking a step back, and just thinking about the story and the characters and what they deserved and what the story demanded. And I know that better than anyone, because I wrote it, right? Um, so I feel like when it came to certain things, it was like, there were some non negotiables like, no, this has to happen because of this. And, you know, all that kind of things. And when I would, I would always make sure I was expressing that to the editor, if there were things I was married to in a draft. And if they came back, and they were like, Oh, I totally see where you're coming from, I felt a bit validated. If they came back, and they were like, I still think you should take a second look at that. I'd be like, all right, maybe I really need to relook at this and sort of see if there's a different way to approach it. And if this editor is on to something, right. And for the most part, if the editor really pushed back, then I could kind of see where they were coming from, I feel like my editors would were good at sort of also compromising. So if I felt like they were compromising on a lot of things. And then there were things that they were really passionate about, that they must have been passionate about it for a reason. So I think it's sort of just Yeah, I don't know, I think it's just a balance of you knowing the story and wanting to knowing certain aspects that you know, best, but also not getting defensive and knowing that you Yeah, especially when it's hard to be so objective with your own work, that if someone else fresh eyes and all come in, and absolutely, you know, it's helpful. On that note, I want to disagree, I would welcome as many different editors as possible, because as an editor, I know I only have a developmental editing proficiency. I in copy edits in line edits are very, very different skill sets. Sure, sure. For me, there are people amazing people out there who can do it all or combo of it. I was really comforted to hear that Parliament House had that those cooks all for you. Is there anything else you wish you had known about the publishing process before going into it? Um, I don't think there's anything that like, I wish I was informed of, of like, I wouldn't have done this if I hadn't known because I was brand new to publishing one way or another. So whether it was with an indie house, or a big traditional publisher, it would have all felt so brand new to me. I know one big difference with an indie house is you know, they they bust their butts doing what they can for you marketing wise. But a lot of it does fall onto the author. Just because you know, it's a small independent press, it doesn't have as many resources as a larger traditional publishing company would have. So I didn't know going in really how much promo would go into your own book, you know, you don't, at least when I first started writing, that wasn't something a lot of authors spoke about that I followed at least, or listened to. And so it was just interesting to sort of when I look back on the past year or so, how much kind of promotional work I've I've gotten very good at designing things on Canva which is you know, if I don't have to do my own promo work, I wouldn't have developed that skill set. What is Canva it's like, easy design software and you can get like a free version or like a like Adobe. Yeah, but like, like dumbed down. I think God I'm sorry. Like you can you can like design newsletters and Instagram posts. All you're paying me to do that much. Wow. Yeah, that's pretty cool. It's a lifesaver. Check it out. sponsor me. This was Captain Kira, I think something else that would be really interesting for our listeners to hear is that you signed this publishing deal without any representation. I mean, you did it all by yourself a Wow, good for you. And B, can you speak to a little bit about that? And how and why that all happened? Yeah, so I actually had an agent for about a year. And I had I started writing the story. Well, I was represented by her and the, the working relationship didn't work out. Basically, our communication styles didn't really match up. And when I was waiting on edits for this new book, that I had just written a week and kind of our her editing style didn't jive Well, with me and professionally, we just decided to go different ways. And so, you know, I was still in the process of trying to find an agent with this new book I'd written. I think it was pit dark. So it was, you know, it was kind of like pit mat, but for darker stories. Yeah. And I pitched and Parliament House liked it. And I was like, oh, like they're an actual publisher, and usually do these pitch events to find representation or see if an agent will like it. But an actual publishing company did. And I was like, Oh, that's interesting. And I looked them up. And they had great reviews. And I talked to some of the authors who had published through them. And they only have nice things to say. And so I was like, all right, so I submitted. And I think it was like, a month later, or something, another pitch event came up, and I think it was hit mad, and I hadn't heard from Parliament House. And so I pitch it again. And it was that day, I think they must have seen that I pitched it again on Twitter. It was that day that they reached out to me, and we're like, Hey, we want to publish your book. Wow. So yeah, it was it all happened pretty quickly, actually. So that was pretty exciting. And it was a bit daunting doing it without an agent, you know, not having someone to look at the contracts and all that stuff. You're sure. But I looked through it. And I asked tons of questions before I agreed and put anything in writing. And they were very open and answered all my questions, whether it was about, you know, marketing, or how it will be rolled out, or you know, even the money behind all of it, they were very open to answering my questions. And that made me feel very comfortable. And I recommend it to anyone who, even if you do have an agent, you know, ask all the questions you have. And you know, if they're not willing to answer and be transparent, then maybe that's a red flag. But for me, yeah, for me, they were completely transparent. They were totally open, they really encouraged me to feel comfortable signing anything they gave me. And so for me, it was a really positive experience. And I would do it again. Awesome. Yeah. Well, on that note, then, how does being an editor influence your writing and vice versa? And do you think that helped you with the publishing process, just an add on? I would like to think that it helped me. Um, but to be honest, I feel like it's very difficult for me to be objective with my own work. Like, I'm so entrenched in it. I'm usually working on it for a few months before anyone sees it. And so then for me to then be like, Alright, now put your editor hat on with your own work is just like, like, I'll do a park pass and I'll do my best, but it's really like, yeah, it's very difficult. If I if I could, that would be incredible. That'd be like a superpower. I think I am much better at editing other people's works because I'm not so close to it. I liken this to I would never perform my own appendectomy. Yeah. Amazing, amazing. Do in an emergency situation. I know I could do it like Paul Bettany, his character and master Commander farsight of the world removed his own bullet wound that is six hours It was a deep cut and he had to get it out and like that's the one situation it might happen but it's I'm babbling carry on. Well, I mean it's similar my my brother is actually a doctor and will will no offense you know, but will constantly be like, oh, like, what's wrong with me here what's happening here like and we're my whole family goes down for Something's like guys, I'm not gonna treat you I'm not ever going to diagnose write you scripts or not cuz I'm not objective. And if I ever did something incorrectly, like how could I live with myself? Right? wash my hands of it. So it's the same thing. It's like with my own work. I'm like, No, I can't see it clearly. But with, you know, other people's work, I have my checklist of things I look for. I feel like it's nearly formulaic at this point of looking at work and, you know, being able to identify what needs work, what does work, what, you know, different paths that could go down and stuff like that. But yeah, if I could, I wish I could edit my write on work as well as I edit other people see bajillion as we do. As well as we do other people's out the middleman, cut off a woman, gosh, then we'd all be out of jobs if everybody threw each other in more terrible idea. Terrible idea, Peter. Okay, I'll take I'll take a lap, buddy. Here's something else I want to know about you, you do about approximately 6000 things. I know this because I talk to you pretty regularly being a pipeline editor. How do you balance your writing with your nine to five day job doing freelance editing, doing pipeline stuff? I mean, I how do you do you sleep ever? Like sleep is the key to it. Yeah, I'm like, so I think it a lot of it has to do with just kind of knowing yourself and knowing like when you work best in the day and how to accommodate that. And I used to this is like only the past maybe three or four years I've gotten on this like, really strict sleep schedule I have for myself. I know I work really well first thing in the morning. And so I need as many like morning hours in the day as I can get. So I'd like go I don't go to sleep at 8pm but I'm like getting ready to go to bed at 8pm I'm getting off the couch. I'm going to go brush my teeth wash my face get into PJ's get into bed. I'm asleep by like 839. Like, and I am up at 435 one day lately, it's been like 536 but we run on a good run. It's like fiving listeners if you could see Eric his face, it's just a look of abject disgust. I just No, well, yeah, I just kindergarten to 12th I had to beup at like 4:
30am to catch my bus to the city to get to school. And I just I swore never never to wake up before like eight o'clock ever again. So that was cruel for a child. I think that's, that's all there's just like wide awake. My alarm goes off. And I have since developed the discipline to like not snooze. Just make myself sit up. I don't drink coffee, which I know is like a sin to some people. So but I drink this really. Some people think it's disgusting. It's like the caffeinated Crystal Light packet. Oh my god, you're breaking up. I think we're having a bad connection. Thanks for being on the show. Delicious pink drink. It's like a strawberry flavored. It's just like juice basically. And I have that first thing in the morning and whether I don't actually think it has that much caffeine in it. I think it's now just like the habit, the ritual of having that pink drink. Oh my god, and I have like the taste buds of a baby. I don't take real vitamins I take like the gummy Ollie vitamins. It tastes delicious. And they're like the Flintstones gummies. Pretty much. So yeah, so that's kind of my ritual in the morning. And, you know, I'll take the dog for a walk or I'll go for a run or something to just get that blood pumping shower. And then I sit at the desk and prior to do some writing or editing or something that's not my day job that I need to get in out of the way whether Yeah, whether it's my own writing, whether I'm doing some pipeline emails, um, you know, that's usually when that stuff gets done. And then I get up early because my day job starts at 8am. So Oh, okay, so we're talking about probably makes more sense. No, that's okay. It's, I mean, it's still ungodly early. I mean, to be fair, you know, and I probably shouldn't say this either. But, you know, if I have a slow day, my day job, I can hopefully work on some of my other work, whether it's my own writing work or like freelance work as well. But I do have to basically like day job stuff during, you know, my hours for my day job, everything else has to stop and I have to do that work, otherwise I'd be fired. So but it just yeah, it just kind of becomes a habit. And you know, I don't know just kind of a bit of a workaholic. I guess. Oh, that's where we differ. No for me, like pajama couch reading TV time is priority number one for me. I do that every night though. Like I do have to watch at least one TV show before I wind down for bed. Nice. I want to be clear. I know my privilege is absolutely showing but I want to let everybody know why I'm why I do make a choice to prioritize calm downtime and relaxation is because I watched my parents drive themselves into the ground making ends meet and working for us. And that killed my creativity as a kid like i just i was i was just always trying to help them out to help them. We're getting off tangent here. I'm sorry. Debbie. I know I like 100% relate to that. And it's actually been my resolution like every year to carve out time for relaxation and like rejuvenation. It's hard to it's really hard. And I'm also one of those like extroverted introverts, where like, when I'm with people, I give away all my energy and then like you die, and then they leave or I am and then I'm like, oh my god. The last six years. Yeah, so takes me ages to recover. Yeah, yeah. As extrovert introverts you you burn bright, and then you need time to regenerate. And the older I get, the longer it takes. I'm like, I can't even drink anymore. Let's be real. This is a safe space. I'm just gonna start knitting and like hope all goes well. Speaking of knitting and other freelance things that you do, can you tell us a little bit about the freelance work that you're doing outside of Pipeline? Yeah, so I actually it was just the summer I like officially put my big girl pants on and launched my own business, LLC life. So it's an editorial. Basically, I just, and it's all on my website. I do, basically just storytelling services. Because I don't work strictly with someone who's like writing a book. I'll also work with people who are writing screenplays, or if they want help with a short story. It's basically just if you have a story to tell, I am here to help. And yeah, and I try to offer services for you know, any stage of the writing process, whether you're just brainstorming or outlining, or you have half a manuscript, full manuscript, a short screenplay, like whatever you have, right. And even into submissions, whether you need help with query letters, or synopsis or treatment, logline, pitch, whatever. Yeah, so that's basically doing that. Cure cure is not not, she's undercutting yourself a little bit. She's a phenomenal screenwriter. And I've read her screenplays. So use her for screenwriting services, too, because you'll get your money's worth. And then some notice, oh, shucks, I have all the skill sets that you've got all those offerings that you have, which one is your favorite to tackle? I think we kind of touched on this in the editorial videos, too, that we just made for book pipeline workshop, what's your favorite part to help other writers with? Um, I think I really, this is kind of specific, but I really like it when they have like the first few chapters. And they still have like the rest of the book to play with, because I feel like it's like they have this idea in their head, what they want the book to be, and they have some pages or some chapters, even if it's like half the book or whatever, to give you an idea of kind of what they're going for and how they're executing it. Because I feel like then there's still time to fix it if there's anything majorly wrong with it. Right. And, and at that point, too, I find writers are still so excited about it, and so ready to take advice and tackle any challenges and really, like, it comes to the point where the discussion really focuses on those core story questions like What is your story about what do you want the reader to take away from it after they're done reading it? And really getting into the nitty gritty of like, who your character is, what, what do they want and what are they willing to do to get it and upping the stakes. I find that a lot of times, especially with like first drafts. Yeah, the stakes. Yeah, always be elevated. And I think that's always a good shout out, Matt. Let's see. What was I saying? I'm sorry. Thanks a lot, Peter. You're great. I love that back and forth of like, oh, what if this happens? Oh, what if this happens, like, Oh, I love that look like you know, that just kind of ping pong ping of ideas. And, you know, and then I love seeing authors sort of getting that second wind in them and they're like, Okay, I'm gonna go run with that. And, yeah, it's just it's really fun. And then I really like where query letters to because I feel like what? I don't like writing, I like working on them with other people. Thank you. God, no, I hate writing them for myself. But I just feel like it's at a stage where an author is like, my book is at that stage where it's ready to go out. Here's a query. And it's sort of like, there's like this tension hanging in the air while you're working, right? You're like, oh, what could be like, I don't know. It's exciting. So I enjoyed that. I want to throw in here I'm vaguely remembering one of my writing buddies. It's either synopsis, or a query letter that he writes before, like after outline before like, while the chapters are getting done, to check in like, almost like to show him where he thinks he's going. He but he breaks the query letter ahead of time, way, one sheet, almost like a one. On one sheet. Yeah. Makes a lot of stuff. I tried it. And I'm like, fine, I hate query. But the pressure was gone. Because I knew in that moment, no agent was ever going to have to see this, I wouldn't even have to shut us down into my writing buddies. Just for me, like, just dear Erica, here's the book I want you to write for me, blah, blah. It helped people, it also just kind of I feel like it makes it makes sure that your hook of your story is very clear. And you can go back to it throughout your writing process and be like, what was my original hook? Like? What was the idea for this? Because sometimes it can be so difficult to stay focused while writing something and it can kind of bring you back to Okay, this was initially what I wanted this to be. Yeah, is it still that shows need to go in a different direction. And so I just feel like that makes a lot of sense. And I might do that in the future. It's kind of like I mean, writing a logline before you write a script, right? I mean, like it helps distill the absolute essence of what you're trying to convey, as someone who dabbles in not dabbles, who does both Novel Writing and screenwriting? Do you think that being proficient in both areas helps you like? Does being a great screenwriter help you be a better novelist and vice versa? And do you think there's any lessons from the medium of screenwriting that you can apply to writing a novel or vice versa? Yeah, question. I mean, I was a screenwriter before I was a novelist. And so I think that can speak more to my experience, I think, me having gone to film school, and studying screenwriting helped make me a better, you know, book writer. I think because screenwriting is so you kind of there's a lot of rules you have to follow. And you kind of have to, you know, get to this point in the story by this page. And, you know, it's a lot more structured, I felt like applying that structure than to writing a book really helped me stay focused and keep the story moving. Yeah. Whereas if it were the other way around, if I wrote books first and then went into screenwriting, I feel like that would be a more difficult transition, because you have so much more freedom with writing a novel, you, you know, obviously, there's those basics you have to hit. But there's so much more time to play and different things you can do, you're not so limited in space, or pages or word count or anything like that. So then going from that over to screenwriting, where it can be a lot more structured, and there's a lot more rules you have to follow. I feel like it would be a lot more difficult to put things back in the box, then take them out. Do you know what I mean? Yeah, yeah, it's it's almost like screenwriting is designing a 500 square foot apartment. Whereas writing a novel is building a log cabin from scratch in the middle of the mountains. Yeah, and it can be like, for the most part as big as you want. Exactly. Yeah, there's there's literally no limit to how big it can be. So it's just two very different hats to put on. At this point. I would typically ask our listeners Do you snack while he writes hard hitting questions? I don't even think I want to ask this question anymore. And I kind of already know your answer Kira. But I don't know Peter. Should I just do one more for the road and then let it go after this one more for the road? Why not? And I'm more for the road crew. Cheers again. You snack while you work? I do not. Well, I work okay. But But my it's it's not because of like, how I write it's how I eat so very weird. So I feel like I'm so busy. And I love watching TV. Like I love all the different TV shows all the movies obviously went into like screenwriting. So this is like this is what my favorite pastime is. And oftentimes, I feel like I don't have time with all my work to just sort of sit down and watch something. So I always designate and this is probably not like a good thing to teach other people because but like whenever I'm eating, I'm allowed to watch something. So if I'm like, Oh, I'm going to have a snack like I will take a break from writing I won't snack while I'm writing unless like time absolutely demands it. I will go turn on a TV show or something easy and have my snack or have my lunch or have my dinner and even if I'm not like really paying attention, like that's kind of my rule. I don't like my break. It's like my breaks are eating and watching something. That's really interesting. Awesome. What do you are you watching anything? Cool at the moment? I just started watching what's it called nine perfect strangers. Oh yeah, it's weird things are happening and I'm into it. I'm also watching love island which is just reality trash. That is a guilty pleasure. So don't judge me not to be confused with below decks starring one Kira Dugan was not me. I actually do love below deck as well. It is a great I have a reality TV show problem. Yes, but I do watch below deck and there is another Kira Dugan who is on belowdecks sailing I think and I only know this because I was like tagged in a tweet that was saying terrible things about this person and I was like I never did such a thing. I have to and I had to like tell Twitter and be like hey, I'm being tagged and like these horrendous things. untag me or like getting reported something Yeah, I had to report it because it wasn't me and people like I don't want my name associated with like these mean people and I haven't seen below deck sailing. So I don't know if Kira Dugan is like a hero or a villain or whatever is reality TV. So she's just a person like she's human. We're all human. But like these people saying terrible things about her whether she did bad things or not like lay off the wrong here login and Don't tag me in it. Yeah. All right, Peter. No time it is. I think I do I know what time it is. A cow. Yes, and let's do a drum roll. Oh, that's that's not a creepy at all. Sounding drum roll. I don't think I think that's completely normal. You've got a lot of nerve calling other people creepy on their voice stuff. Hi, everybody at the end of it now. So Erica, yeah, but what's your accountability goal for this week? I have to have a newly revised draft that first revision is that is on NATS desk. Awesome morning of September 15. Alright, and that if you're listening, we got a hold Erica accountable? Oh, me, what about you? PME PME. I feel like you should get that tattooed on my back. So my accountability goal for the next two weeks is to finish chapter 16 of my novel. This is a very pivotal chapter in the sense that there is a political rally that I have to write in this chapter and who is at the rally and kind of the the people behind the curtain, so to speak, are going to be revealed in this chapter. Wow. That's really good insight. This is Chapter 16. You said yes, Greg. I'm gonna make a note for when I read this, and oh, this was the pivotal champion, talking about the thing that's I feel like I feel weird talking about my own work in a podcast, but what the hell because it's a psychological suspense. Pretty much every single chapter has not has to be like should have some sort of cliffhanger. Right? And I've been having a lot of fun doing that. And it's, it's very challenging, but also rewarding at the same time to try and come up with compelling cliffhangers that aren't repetitive in terms of their structure. I know exactly what it does. I know chapter 16 cliffhanger should be there should be a political party balloons. Okay. And then all sudden the kids gone and the balloons are floating everywhere and we don't know where you went, like full on David Lynch. With that, that's right. I've ever seen a David Lynch. That's right. She did a puppet show. Well, David. Anyway, Kira. Kira, what's your accountability? Oh, gosh, I'm okay. So I'm at this point where I've like, semi not outline, but like brainstorm these two different story ideas for new books. And I, like had started one and then was like, I do like it but I need to like, I don't know, I need to figure it out before I continue more, unless been crazy. So I haven't been good at my writing for the moment. But that aside, my accountability goal is going to be in the next how many weeks? Two weeks? Two weeks? Yeah. Okay. In two weeks, I am going to decide which story route to go and check with nice and pursue and that is the one I will fully outline and fully draft and turn into a real life book. Hey, Can Can I ask? I want to ask you to say what the ideas are, but like are they both similar genres? Well, they're both young adult, but one is like young adult high concept fantasy. And one is young adult, like high school thriller. suspense. Yeah, I'm actually leaning towards it. Now my accountability is over if it's decided, well, because it would be a bit different for me I've written I'm primarily write like, fantasy paranormal. I did write like an adult thriller. But I haven't done a young adult thriller and I kind of am getting that like, itch. I think I can do my creepy drumroll again. Oh, God. Thank you. I have one more for you. How can our listeners follow you? Oh, um, I am most active on Instagram. My handle is at sea Dugan books. It's the same for Facebook and Twitter and then I have recently joined tik tok. And I'm at curate Duggan books on there. For those listening to the podcast, you want to buy your book where can they get it? Oh, you can get the paperback hardcover and the E book off Amazon. You can also purchase directly from garlin House Press Kobo and Barnes and Noble. Hey. Yeah. Congratulations again. Thank you. It was a lot of fun here. Thanks for having me. And that does it for episode nine. Night. Good. God, what a good guest. She was Kira. Thanks. Awesome. Up next in Episode 10. It's just me and Peter Malone. Elliot. Hey. And that does it for episode nine. Here is awesome. She's the best. It is really awesome. How we get to talk to so many cool people as part of our job. I think that's pretty neat. I don't know about you, Erica. I think I would have to agree and honestly knock on wood. I still feel like it's kind of a bit of a dream that I this part of my job? Yeah, I'm just I'm thrilled and thanks for listening everybody. And most exciting part is set up next in Episode 10. It's just me and Peter Malone Elliot. Until then, if you have any questions, brands or raves about writing or you want to learn more about us for pipeline, please visit Pipeline Artists calm. And follow us on Twitter at the podcast title and on Instagram and Facebook at this podcast needs a title and don't forget to follow us. Follow Erica at the Davis girl and follow me. Your resident grandpa at PME writer. Alright, bye everyone.