Gearing Up to Get An Agent Blog Hop

This is for the blog hop through Deana Barnhart’s Gearing Up to Get an Agent contest. For those of you who have no clue what I’m talking about, you can find details on the contest here. If you’re querying or getting ready to query agents, this contest is for YOU.

Hi! I’m Beth, and I’m one of the 1st round judges for the agent contest. I live in northern California with my husband (code name: Homes), two kids (daughter Z, age 4, and son Maverick, age 4 months), and cat. I write YA and am represented by Brandi Bowles of Foundry Literary + Media. I like to draw silly pictures with Paint, like the one below. (Okay, I was just looking for an excuse to reuse this drawing. I love it so. The goats!)

Where do you write?
Everywhere. I’ve got a little baby, so usually on the couch. Before he came along, I’d work in the Love Shack, part of our garage that we converted into a guest room/writing studio.
Quick. Go to your writing space, sit down and look to your left. What is the first thing you see?
First thing to the left in the Love Shack is the windowed door, looking out to the back yard.
Favorite time to write?
Mornings, afternoons, night…anytime I can find. Ideally I’d do all drafting in the mornings after a quiet half-hour for morning pages, then revise in the afternoons. But in addition to the baby, I have a four-year-old. So that hasn’t happened in about…four years.
Drink of choice while writing?
Water, if anything. Tea when it’s cold outside. But then I get distracted, wanting to drink the tea before it gets tepid, which totally grosses me out, and then I’m worried more about my tea than the crazy-making plot holes.

The tall iced decaf caramel macchiato I was sipping while I checked my email on that fateful day.

When writing , do you listen to music or do you need complete silence?
Complete silence! I’m talking to YOU, YAPPY DOGS NEXT DOOR.
What was your inspiration for your latestย manuscriptย and where did you find it?
The one going out on submission soon was inspired by a dream. The last one I wrote was inspired by Karen Russell’s wacky premises in St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves. It was meant to be a short story (like hers) but kept going.
What’s your most valuable writing tip?
If you love it, never stop. Forget about publication. Seriously. Forget about it. Just write, and love it, love it even when you’re tearing your hair out because that plot hole just won’t fill.

Click here to join in, and find other participants on the linky list at Deana Barnhart’s blog.


  1. Robbie MacNiven · September 3, 2012

    A great big HELLO, doing the blogrounds for GUTGAA. I see you’re a judge, I promise I won’t stand and stare. Empathising deeply with the yappy dog situation, back home I’m the same. Thankfully I’m only there half the year!

    • Beth Hull · September 3, 2012

      Hi Robbie! Thanks for stopping by. Sorry about your neighbor’s dogs…I’ve been thinking of purchasing one of those devices that emits high-pitched dog-annoyer sounds every time they bark. Or I could just, you know, talk to my neighbors about it.

      • Robbie MacNiven · September 3, 2012

        We’re writers, we ain’t got no time to talk! Could maybe send them an eloquently worded letter/email though…

  2. Brinda Berry (@Brinda_Berry) · September 3, 2012

    Hi Beth. I love The Love Shack and the AWESOME goats. Yeah…and the stylish boots. My meet and greet is at .

    • Beth Hull · September 3, 2012

      Thanks Brinda! I’ll head over to your meet & greet soon!

  3. PB Rippey · September 3, 2012

    The Love Shack looks like a nice cheerful, quiet place to write (yes I’m being totally serious). Love the star. Am reminded I need some stylish boots like Beth The Goat-Herder’s!

    • Beth Hull · September 3, 2012

      I finally bought those boots, PB! (On sale at Macy’s.) Of course, the rest of me is so unstylish I have very little occasion to wear them. What, they don’t go with yoga pants?

  4. Robin Weeks · September 3, 2012

    What a lovely writing shack!

  5. Michelle4Laughs · September 3, 2012

    Your Love Shack has a real beach inspired feel to it. It makes me want to head for Florida. Sigh! Great looking goats, but donkeys are my favorites.

    Good luck with your submission process.

    • Beth Hull · September 3, 2012

      Thanks, Michelle! Donkeys, huh? ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. J. Lea Lopez · September 3, 2012

    I absolutely LOVE your writing tip! Nice to meet you and I’m looking forward to all the GUTGAA fun.

    • Beth Hull · September 3, 2012

      Nice to meet you too, J. Lea! Good luck in the contest!

  7. Cynthia · September 3, 2012

    Checking in from GUTGAA–Beth, we have some things in common. My baby is turning four months at the end of this week and I have a toddler. I also live in NorCal (I’m a Bay Area native) and I went to UCD in my past life…I hope to read more from you.

    • Beth Hull · September 3, 2012

      Oh, so fun, Cynthia! We do have a lot in common. Congratulations on the little baby, and good luck in the contest!

  8. verajohana · September 3, 2012

    Hi! Lovely to meet you! My neighbours have annoying dogs, too. I totally get the feeling.
    Well, read you aroung. Make sure to stop by and say hi!
    johanalvera (dot) blogspot (dot) com ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Beth Hull · September 3, 2012

      I’ll definitely stop by and say hi, verojohana! On my way.

  9. halibaumstein · September 3, 2012

    Oh my goodness, I LOVE Karen Russell – seriously, her short story collection is one of my favorite books ever. So cool that she inspired you! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Beth Hull · September 3, 2012

      That story collection is one of my all-time favorites, too! Have you read Swamplandia!? A couple aspects of that one really disturbed me. Still beautiful writing, though!

  10. Kelley Lynn · September 3, 2012

    Great advice. No matter what. Don’t stop. So true.

    • Beth Hull · September 3, 2012

      I’ve been loving the advice on everyone’s blog posts today! Thanks for stopping by!

  11. Angela Brown · September 3, 2012

    It’s been wonderful getting to know the different writers participating in GUTGAA. The advice portion has been wonderful. The various takes people have leaves you inspired.

  12. Donna L Martin · September 3, 2012


    I’m hopping over from GUTGAA and trying to visit some blogs before the fun begins! Nice to meet you…you have a lovely blog…good luck with GUTGAA!

    Donna L Martin

    • Beth Hull · September 3, 2012

      Thanks, Donna! I’ll hop over to your blog soon!

  13. Alice · September 4, 2012

    Those are some groovy goats. =)

    • Beth Hull · September 4, 2012

      They are pretty groovy, huh? Heading over to your blog soon, Alice!

  14. stephscottil · September 4, 2012

    Loving the Love Shack! Does the song ever get stuck in your head? (It’s in mine — thanks a lot B52s for being so ridiculously catchy). I love it when other books inspire stories. My next one was inspired by a book which made me think of a related experience I had that had story potential.

    Here’s my GUTGAA Meet & Greet post: A Girl and her Diary

    • Beth Hull · September 4, 2012

      Yes, Steph, I do get the song stuck in my head! We thought of rigging a speaker to the door so the song would play every time someone opened it. I’m relieved we never figured it out, because I’m sure it would drive me mad. Can’t wait to learn more about your book!

  15. AG (@agwickedspirits) · September 4, 2012

    Ok, the pictures you have on here have me dying laughing! ๐Ÿ™‚ You’re awesome.

    • Beth Hull · September 4, 2012

      You’re pretty awesome, yourself! Let’s bask together in our SuperAwesomeness capes.

  16. Suzi · September 4, 2012

    I’m glad I don’t live next to yappy dogs, because it’s nice to sit ouside and write sometimes. At least now. Come February, we’ll be holed up inside the house.

    • Beth Hull · September 4, 2012

      Ugh, February. Don’t get me wrong. I like it a lot. More than January. But the cold! Blech.

  17. Angie Cothran · September 4, 2012

    Send those yappy dogs to my house. I will let the alligator in my lake eat them…accidentally of course ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Beth Hull · September 4, 2012

      On my grumpy days (i.e. OFTEN) I dream up “accidents” for the dogs. Never alligators before this, but you’ve given me great dream fodder!

  18. folioroad · September 4, 2012

    So jealous of your love shack. I would love to have a place like that, with a DOOR no less. ๐Ÿ™‚ Good luck with GUTGAA!

    • Beth Hull · September 4, 2012

      The door is nice! Away from the house is even better. I hope you get your own love shack sometime, and good luck to you, too!

  19. Dr Margaret Aranda · September 6, 2012

    So nice to meet you on GUTGAA! Great fun with the Love Shack! Wishing you The Best!

    Dr Margaret Aranda, Author

    • Beth Hull · September 6, 2012

      Thanks Dr Margaret! Best of luck to you in the contest!

  20. angiesandro · September 6, 2012

    Waving hello to my fellow first round judge. Loving your love shack.

    • Beth Hull · September 6, 2012

      Hello to you, too! Maybe we’ll be in the same judge-group…I’m dying to know who I’ll be working with. ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. Janeal Falor · September 20, 2012

    I’m loving Beth the Goat-Herder, in very Stylish Boots. Not only is it a fun picture ๐Ÿ™‚ but it makes me excited that boot wearing season is starting, well, now. Yay! And great writing advice. Just have to remember it during those hair pulling times…

    • Beth Hull · September 20, 2012

      Yay! Boot-wearing season! I’m so excited. Although I did rock that pair a few weeks ago with a dress – I wait for no season. ๐Ÿ™‚

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