Friday, February 25, 2011

100 followers contest!


I am totally feeling the love! I feel so lucky to have met so many amazing people and to have become a part of such an amazing writing community. And to give some love back in return I’m going to have a little give away! It’s simple really, to enter just leave a comment and tell me what you think about fire or what fire reminds you of. I’ll have the contest open for 10 days and on Monday 3/7 at midnight the polls will close and then I’ll choose one lucky winner to walk away with $15 from amazon! And who doesn’t love free amazon money?

And for a little bit of more fun, to meet some cool people, and for the chance to win a few more super fun prizes be sure to check out the Now Starring Blogfest that I am hosting with the love of my life Lindz from Rapturous Randomocity.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

New adult fiction... the new fronier?

Wow! 96 followers! I feel so loved! Thank you all and welcome! And stay tuned, when I get 100 I’ll have a contest or giveaway or something!  Because free swag is always amazing ^.^ Also welcome fellow crusaders! Especially those from group 7(YA) and 32(New Adult/Crossover) I am very excited to get to know each of you!

And what I want to know today is how you chose the age bracket you write in?  Did it just work out that way? Have you always dreamed of writing the books for children to grow up on? To help teenagers connect? For people like you? Like your children? Like your friends? Family?

For me it was a few things, when I was younger I always dreamed of writing a YA book that would help teens with the issues I dealt with as a teen…well deal with them. That never really panned out, the story never really coming together, but the intention was there. And while I was not working on the next great contemporary YA novel I began to devour YA. And I still read a lot of YA, about 8 of every 10 books I read are YA. And I love YA I really do, but at 25 I find it harder to be able to identify with the main characters of most YA’s. After all, I’m 25, living on my own and engaged and have lived more than the average 14-17 year old MC. My world is not a world of first kisses, parental imprisonment, strict teachers, and so on. She when I sat down to plot out my book I thought about this.

I also thought about the ‘Adult’ or regular fiction I read. I seem to have the same problems with that. I cannot fully connect to a 35 year old woman with kids, a house and not only a steady job but a career. So when I started to write I wanted to fill in the gap, I figured there had to be a market for it but didn’t really think of it more than that.  I just plotted away. It wasn’t till fellow crusader Rebecca Enzor contacted me and gave me a name for my genre, New Adult.

New adult fiction is not, well, new, but it is something until recently I did not have a proper name for. Fictions dealings with 20 something are very rare it would seem, and it seems to be my understanding that most agents are unwilling to venture to new adult section of publishing preferring to choose between targeting the book at teens or adults. After all they know those audiences so well, and know how to make money there, and publishing like anything else is about money. So I can hardly blame them.

But despite that I feel like I have found a home. A genera or writing about transitions, about self-discovery, about changing and reevaluating ideals. And it may not be widely accepted, but if I chose the easy road it would not be me. I need a little bit of a uphill struggle to be contented, I am a Taurus after all. And I think it is a voice that is needed, there is a developing age bracket we are seeing form right before our eyes. A whole group of people who are not teenagers, but do not think of them selves as adults. People who have small apartments filled with furniture from Walmart and Target, who are working towards something greater but still have a road to travel to get there, who have real pasts but not solid futures. I think NA is needed, but it need a voice.

So why not lend mine? 


Be sure to check out the Now Staring...Blogfest I'm hosting with my platonic-life-mate, Lindz. There are a couple of fun prizes, and it should be a lot of fun!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Fear and writing in Colorado

Ok, Colorado doesn’t really have anything to do with this, I’m just being silly.

But seriously, writing scares me. Maybe not so much the writing, but what the writing means. Bearing my soul? That some scary stuff right there! But then it’s the little things too, what if it sucks? What if I write myself into a corner and I cannot get out of it? What if I spend all this time and energy and then I never get published? What if I do get published but everyone hates it? What if I end up hating it?

The original idea for my story is 12 years old, it was an idea a friend of mine and I came up with to write together after I moved from California to Colorado as a creative way for us to keep in touch even if we didn’t have anything to talk about. 2 years ago I decided that the bones of the story where good and I began the process of remolding it, striping it down to bare bones and then re building. It was a long process; there was a LOT of crap in there and stuff that we just ripped off of movies and books that we liked because it was just for us, no one was ever going to see it. And now I have what I feel like is a solid story, with solid characters but I still can’t make myself write. Its fear that stays my pen, that has me questioning myself so entirely. But I think admitting you have a problem is the first step to making it better.

So I am taking this time to take a stand. I will not let this fear rule me. It’s a silly thing to let decide something so important. So I’m not going to take it anymore. I’m going to write my book. And that is that! Sure, I’m still unsure but I will never know unless I try. So I have to try.

How you ever questioned yourself like I have? Ever have doubts? Then I encourage to to take a stand with me, to look fear in the eye and not back down. Because this is your story and it damn well deserves to be told!


Be sure to check out the Now Staring...Blogfest I'm hosting with my platonic-life-mate, Lindz. There are a couple of fun prizes, and it should be a lot of fun!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Bernard Pivot Blogfest

First of all I want to give a shout out to all of my new follows! Hello and Welcome! I am so glad you have come along and chose to join me on this journey!  Now to business.....

Well it’s time for another blogfest! and i know I'm a little early but i wanted to make sure I got it posted beacuse I am not 100% sure I will have time tomorrow. This time it is from Nichole over at One Significant Moment in Time. I could not pass this up; I used to be obsessed with Inside the Actors Studio and used to think about this quiz all the time, so when I saw it up as a blogfest I had to jump at the chance! And here it is! And don’t forget to look at everyone else’s answers here!

What is your favorite word?
This is a hard one! I have like a new word every week!sofor right now I'll say: Myriad

What is your least favorite word?
Douche, I just hate that word.

What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
So many things! But to only pick one, I would have to say: Friends, deep connections. Gathering with friends to eat, drink, talk. Nothing turns me on more than being able to have people in my life that can communicate with on the deepest level.

What turns you off?
Intolerance, especially people who say they are open minded but are not

What is your favorite curse word?
Fuck, or really any variation of it. I’m easy like that.

What sound or noise do you love?
Fire, the crackle of the wood burning, the sizzle of the still wet bits, the pops. Glorious.

What sound or noise do you hate?
The same complaint over and over again by the same person. Complaining a few times is ok, but once it is obvious that it is habit and you are doing nothing to improve the situation you are complaining about I cannot stand it anymore and I want to scream.

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
Well assuming that I finish school and join the career path of my choice(that is owning my own hair salon) I would have to say some sort of museum curator or specialist in Greek history or the Tudor Dynasty.

What profession would you not like to do?
Anything on Dirty Jobs, but especially anything that had to do with the sewage system.

If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
Welcome, I know we have a lot to talk about, but we have time now.

Also, be sure to check out the Now Staring...Blogfest I'm hosting with my platonic-life-mate, Lindz. There are a couple of fun prizes, and it should be a lot of fun!

Monday, February 14, 2011

You are what you read.

Every published author’s blog/journal/website I have ever read usually has an FAQ, and on that FAQ is usually the question “Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?” and I swear on everyone the answer is “read”. Read what you like, read what you don’t like, read in the genre you want to get published in, read stuff completely different from your own, it doesn’t really matter what just read, read, read! and as an avid reader ( as one who reads about 50 books a year, more if I have a lot of free time and don’t want to socialize) and aspiring author I completely agree. I believe books can change lives, but they can also change your writing.

I was not always into reading; actually it was something I kind of avoided. I didn’t used to think books could be that engaging or entertaining. My friends would wax poetic about books we were assigned for class/books they picked up. And I just didn’t care. I found nothing special about ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ or whatever we had to read that month. Sure I had read a read a few things that I liked and I was reading Harry Potter with all of my friends, but that didn’t even click with me till number 4. But I never LOVED a book. But I can pin point the book that changed my life, I know without a doubt that without this one book I would have never become obsessed with writing or reading for that matter. And thinking about that book made me want to write this post. Not to tell you every book I have ever read that changed my life but to pick out the special ones and talk not only about how they changed my life but also how they changed my writing. In order, the 4 most influential books in my life so far.

1: Tithe by Holly Black (2002)
What it did for me:
I can remember the day I found this book so perfectly. My parents were on the cusp of getting a divorce (that happened a year later) I was spending some time with my dad and he took me to the library and told me to pick out two books to read. I was not thrilled about the idea, but I figured worse comes to worse I don’t read them and I return them. Whatever. (I was a surly and jaded 16, perhaps why I liked Kaye so much now that I think about it.)And Tithe was on display, in the new release section or the staff recommendation section, and it glared at me. Actually I hated the cover. I thought it was hideous. And I made a point of not picking it up. Yes I thought the original cover that ugly (the paperback cover was beautiful however, and even the new paperback covers are not horrid). But it kept staring at me. Like it knew something I didn’t.
Finally my time was running out and I had yet to find a second book. So despite myself I picked up Tithe and read the synopsis.  Still not sold I put it down. Wondered around. Came back to it. Left it again. Came back. Finally my dad came and found me and said we had to go, so I grabbed it just to make him happy. I didn’t want him to think his efforts wasted or me ungrateful.
And to make a long story short, I read it eventually and I was in love. A love so deep and powerful my dad literally had to rip the book from my hands so he could return it (ironically, I still have the library copy of the other book I picked up that day, Sirena by  Donna Jo Napoli). Never before had a book spoken to me so deeply, seemed so real. It was not a book that pretended everything was ok, no the world is a messed up place and just because you are the MC does not mean that you are free from pain. Bad things happen to everyone and there is no way to hide from them, but if you are strong you can weather the bad stuff and come out stronger on the other side.  The good are not always good just cuz they are supposed to be and the bad are not always bad; there is a lot of gray in the world. And that is how my life felt right then. I will always love Holly Black for this book and changing my life. She opened a door I had closed, and over the next few years I would need a lot of books to make it through the shit storm that became my life.

What it did for my writing:
The truth hurts, the real world sucks, but you can still find beauty in it. Holly Black taught me that in my own writing I don’t have to pull punches. I can tell the nitty gritty truth and it can be beautiful. Also it taught me that I can set a fantasy book in the real world, that I don’t have to invent someplace magical for magic to happen because it is happening all around me all the time.  Also characters go through the same things that I do, they feel the same things I feel, they can be real people. That they NEED to be real in order to matter.

2: Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling (2002+)
What it did for me:
Ok like most people HP changed my life, I became obsessed, a crazy fan girl, it was something for me and my friends to bond over. Sure I eventually grew disenchanted with the whole thing but I can still respect that HP became a great escape for me and I will be ever grateful for that.

What it did for my writing:
You could ask anyone of my high school friends, I hated Harry Potter the character. I hated him. I loved the adult characters and I loved the world. But for any of the main cast I could care less. I didn’t like their characters, but I loved their world. The world is want drew me in JKR did an amazing job of creating a wonderful world that I could get lost in. and in fact I did. I began to RP in the Harry potter world. Lisa Turpin, Pansy Parkinson, Theodore Nott, I loved exploring characters that did not really make into the books for any extended period of time, I loved being able to create characters that already had a defined world. I met an amazing writing partner through HP RP, and to this day we still write together, though now we write original stuff together. And without HP I would have never have found  my love for writing again.

3: The Songs of the Lioness by Tamora Pierce (2003)
What it did for me: 
ok, just to say that just SotL changed my life would be a little bit of a lie, it was all of her Tortall books that did it for me. But started with SotL, and to this day SotL is still my favorite. I was sort of strong armed into reading this by one of my oldest friends and I am forever grateful. I just loved Alanna, and could relate to her (as a redhead with a short temper who hates bugs and cold, I mean come on!) but what I loved most was he struggle. Nothing was ever given to her and she had to work for her dream. I liked that. It seemed to me that to often MC’s just seemed to be able to do things, born with gifts that they just knew how to wield to win the prize. Even her magic she had to work at. But she also had great friends to support her and I think in a way Tamora taught me to have friends and to be a good friend. 

What it did for my writing:
If there is one thing I think Tamora knows it is Tortall, her world, and her books taught me the importance of knowing your world, knowing the laws and govern the people and the land.  She also taught me the importance of character relationships, and that characters need people they can lean on sometimes or at least people to offer to help even if the MC won’t accept it. She also taught me the importance of names, especially pet/animal names.  And that bad names can break a book. I love you Tamora, I would consider you my favorite author but I cannot stand how you name animals. Your character names are fine, but ever animal seems to have been named by a 5 year old girl and it kind of drives me insane.

4: A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray (2005)
What it did for me:  
 I am sure this book saved my life.  And I do not say that lightly, I was in a very dark place when I read this book.  And there where so many quotes from this book that I could have sworn were written just for me. Something about Victorian girls trapped by society norms but longing for more, longing for magic, longing to be free touched me. But when I was depressed, on the verge of doing something drastic it was Libba words that spoke to me, that stayed my hand.
“But forgiveness... I'll hold on to that fragile slice of hope and keep it close, remembering that in each of us lie good and bad, light and dark, art and pain, choice and regret, cruelty and sacrifice. We're each of us our own chiaroscuro, our own bit of illusion fighting to emerge into something solid, something real. We've got to forgive ourselves that. I must remember to forgive myself. Because there is an awful lot of gray to work with. And no one can live in the light all the time.
The wind shifts, bringing with it the smell of roses, strong and sweet. Across the ravine, I see her in the dry crackle of leaves. A deer. She spies me and bolts through the trees. I run after her, not really giving chase. I'm running because I can, because I must.
Because I want to see how far I can go before I have to stop.”

What it did for my writing:
It taught me that words can be beautiful. That words can change lives and speak to the soul. That you need to take care with your words for they can make or break you.  They can make or break your audience.

And that is not to say that only these 4 books have changed my life or my writing (really I could list about 30 books but that seemed a little long for this post) but these are the 4 that had the deepest impact in both areas.

What books have changed your life?  What books have changed your writing?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Introducing: The Now Starring... Blogfest!

Even though it’s frowned upon to push your WIP as the next big blockbuster film waiting to happen, admit it, you’ve thought about it. Imagine what it’d be like seeing your characters grace the silver screen. I bet you could imagine a couple actors or actresses to fill the shoes of your characters. Well, my friend Lindz and I have some good news for you. Your story has just been adapted for the big screen, and you, humble author, get to cast it! Introducing The Now Starring... Blogfest! Have your cast list ready to share with the Blogiverse by April 25th, 2011. The premise is simple: 

1.       Choose 4-6 of your lead characters.   
2.       Let us know a little bit about what each of your characters looks like.
3.       Then, pick any actor or actress, they’re all at your disposal.
4.       Finally, apart from their appearance, what about this particular performer makes you think they’ll do your baby justice. What’s that special something that makes them perfect for the part? Their attitude? The way the walk? Their voice? Let us know. 

To join all you need to do is comment on this post letting us know your in, and also sign up using the Mr. Linky below. Be sure to spread the word, too! We want everyone's book to get perfectly cast so Blog about it, Tweet it, Facebook it, spread fliers around your neighborhood, or all of the above. Here's a button you can post on your blog to help get the word out.
But wait, there's more. Alexis and I have plumbed the vast depths of King Soloman's treasures and emerged with a couple Fabulous Prizes. Which include a box of Magnetic Poetry for Book Lovers, and a thing you can scribble on in the shower. The winners will be chosen randomly, thanks to (appropriately) But the real prize is by having a little fun while getting to know your fellow bloggers' characters a little better. Now, there's no wrong way to format it, so whatever works best for you is just right, but...

You may want to format your post like this:

 Character's Name:
 Character's Description:
 Why You Cast This Actor:

Now click the LINK to join the fun!