Wednesday, April 7, 2010

More than I can chew and 'The Mark' by M.R. Bunderson

I think I've over-reached. My goals this week keep getting loftier.

1. Finish hard copy line edits on ENTIRE manuscript- I'm about half way done.

2. Rewrite query and prepare to send it to editor for comments on ways to improve it by next week.

3. Write five three crits (two done!)

"Where's the fire?" you ask.

I have my first pitch with an agent on May 15th at the Atlanta Writer's Conference! I hope to have my first 50 pages polished to a high sheen, my outline, my query, and be able to quickly share what my book is about. I will be posting once a week until these goals are met, on Tuesdays.

I could have gotten through another 50 pages of line edits yesterday, but I picked up a copy of 'The Mark' by M.R. Bunderson from my local LDS bookstore and read all afternoon. It was a very intriguing YA mystery/light romance/fantasy and is available on Amazon. I paid for this book out of pocket and have no relationship with the author. I just liked it.

Isn't this a great cover? It matches the book perfectly.

Seventeen year old Tori discovers that a small mole isn't really a mole- it's a symbol, perhaps from an unknown language. A few other people that enter her life- seemingly by chance- also have the same mark and even stranger, Tori can sense their emotions with her touch. From the first time they meet, Tori and Eric share an especially deep connection. Their relationship is difficult because Eric's touch threatens to overwhelm her emotions, making it dangerous to even hold hands. As Tori and her new friends discover their similarities, they begin to wonder if they really belong in this world and what it will cost them to uncover the secrets of their origins.

It is the closest I've come to a comparable novel to my book, although my book has a much sharper edge. Don't laugh, those who've read my stuff. I know I don't write 'dark' fantasy, but I do use some medium bad words (like that really hot place you don't want to end up in and the action word for getting sent there) and my characters kiss (french, not peck!), and some people die 'on-screen'.

Bunderson's MC has an ability to read the emotions of the few people who are from the same mythical land she's been stolen from, and the author had to deal with some of the same things I do. It was very interesting to read how she handles the same issues with emotional powers- that you still can misunderstand what people mean, that motivations are different than emotions, etc. This was not a religious book, simply a clean book, and I really enjoyed it. Sometimes I've read specialized audience books and don't get the impression that the writing is quite there, but 'The Mark' was well done. I'm glad I bought it, but no more reading until after May 15th! (Except for 'Writing the Breakout Novel' by Donald Maass. I had to triple check the spelling of his name. Is it just me?)

Have a great week!


  1. Kelly, That's great about the conference! Best of luck. I'm hoping to get my new novel in shape before I go (hopefully) to the SCBWI conference this summer (my first conference!). YIKES! No, but honestly, I love having something like that to work towards. It makes me get to work. :)

  2. I just might have to check that one out, too, Kelly. (Just got my copy of JONATHAN STRANGE AND MR. NORREL from the library. It's a behemoth:) ) And good luck with your goals, and that conference!

    On another note, I'm organizing a LDS writer-blogger extravaganza for the end of this month and was wondering if you wanted to participate. E-mail me at for more details.

  3. Thanks guys. This will be my first conference, too. I'm a bit nervous, I can tell you.