May 27, 2011

BEA

I just completed my first BEA — Book Expo America– and it was just as overwhelming as I expected. For weeks I received links to panels and events and autograph signing schedules and I was completely blown away by it all. I had no idea what to plan or how to plan so I decided that I would just get there and figure it out. Three days later, I think I can say I did. Maybe. First, the exhibit floor was massive with rows and rows and rows of exhibitors. I’ll be honest and say I didn’t even see them all. I was too busy standing in line. Yep, you heard me right. BEA is all about standing in line. No we didn’t have to stand in line to see Olivia. She was just wandering the aisles. This photo doesn’t  give a good picture of the number of lines and the lengths of some of those lines. This was taken on the last morning so the conference had thinned out quite a bit. There were twenty-some-odd lines to get autographs from a vast array of authors.  This photo was taken in the autographing section of the hall, but some authors […]
May 23, 2011

My Big News

After a year and a half of writing non-stop (I’m currently working on my SIXTH manuscript) I am THRILLED to announce that one of my books will be available to the masses! I’m self-publishing my quirky southern mystery, TWENTY-EIGHT AND A HALF WISHES. And my release date is July 12. *yikes!* TWENTY-EIGHT AND A HALF WISHES will be available as a soft cover book and as an eBook at Amazon (Kindle), Barnes and Noble (Nook) and Smashwords (Sony, and other formats.) This wasn’t an easy decision. Many people in the writing world look down on self-publishing (or indie printing) and with justifiable reasons. There’s a lot of junk out there. Lots of people think they can just write a book, slap on an image for a “cover”, and put it up for sale. The truth is a lot of people don’t spend much time on their book editing and revising after writing a first draft and it shows. There’s a reason why those people couldn’t get published in the traditional publishing world. But sometimes, a book comes along that agents or editors aren’t sure what to do with. Traditional publishing likes neat genre packages and TWENTY-EIGHT AND A HALF WISHES […]
May 21, 2011

Just Because I’m Mean…

I have an exciting announcement on Monday! I can’t wait to share!
May 3, 2011

Teaser Tuesday

I never post excerpts from my work in progress on my blog, but I started a new project yesterday and honestly, it’s turning out to be WAY more fun than I thought it would be, so I thought why not? Below is the first lines of my new project, which  for now is stuck with the sucky title of Zach and the Golden Chalice. ***** Chapter One The Griffin   I stared into the eyes of The Griffin, a lump of terror lodged in my throat. He snarled, spittle gathering at the corners of his mouth. His massive foot had me pinned to the ground, flat on my back. I squirmed, but he pressed harder. “Going somewhere, Martin?” I would have answered if I had the breath to say the words. The Griffin had squeezed all the air out of my lungs. “Get off of him, Griffin,” a girl called out. Recognizing the soft-spoken monotone, I scrunched my eyes closed and prayed I’d imagined it in my oxygen deprivation. I hadn’t seen her in the group of kids walking home from school. He chuckled, which coming from The Griffin sounded more like a chain saw caught on a tree trunk. […]
April 23, 2011

Characters for TORN

After months, and months, I think I’ve got photos for the important characters in TORN, my young adult science fiction. The problem is I get an image in my head and its really, really, REALLY hard to find photos that come close enough. Evan Whittaker This is pretty close for Evan, the boy who suddenly becomes obsessed with Julia, the main character.   Reece Collins Reece is part of a love triangle that Julia has trouble understanding.   Monica Julia’s best friend that was killed in a car accident six months before.   Julia Phillips This is the photo I had the hardest time with. The story is told by Julia in first person and I realized part of the problem is I rarely “saw” her. I was living the story in her head, looking through her eyes. She’s not a vain character so she didn’t spend much time looking in a mirror.  The Julia in my head has thicker hair and her face is a little fuller, but this will work.
April 22, 2011

My New Manuscript Has a Cast

Last night I read through my manuscript of TORN one last time after my latest revisions. (I sent it off to a couple of people to read.) I consider it done unless something major comes up, which means it’s time to move on to a new project. No rest for the wicked, I always say. My next project is a middle grade novel that has lived in my head for a year. As strange as it might sound, this project has intimidated me. It’s involved a lot of  research. Researching doesn’t intimidate me, but the sources have been difficult to come by and difficult to sort out. It’s not as simple as a few clicks of my mouse. I’ve had to order and read actual books. O.O I’ll also admit that the lower word count associated with middle grades is intimidating. I know before I even start it’ll be longer than 30-40K.  But in my head, this WIP has more of a Percy Jackson or Harry Potter feel in plot and length. (First books for both are 87 and 77K, respectively) It was a rainy day today and I was in my usual post-manuscript depression. I needed something to cheer […]
April 21, 2011

Your Mother Always Said to Dress in Layers

{Note: I’ve completed five full length manuscripts, but I still feel like a poser when I write about writing.} Your mother always said to dress in layers and it’s good advice for your manuscript. I tend to underwrite. You’ll rarely see purple prose from me and when you do, I’ve tried too hard and end up having to scoop all the crap out of it later. So I write a first draft and know it will grow in edits. The only way it won’t is if I cut out a whole butt load of words at the same time. After I finish first round of edits and revisions, I send the MS to crit partners. And I add more things. More deep POV, more description (I take the minimalist approach) more character development, and the list goes on. When I’m done with that next stop is the betas. (Golly, didn’t I just blog about this not too long ago? Deja vu anyone?)  The thing about betas is they don’t all fall in love with my MS, they often bring up great points. That need to be fixed. So I have to rewrite confusing passages or add more intrigue. (My thirteen year old […]
April 12, 2011

Open Wound

I make no secret of the fact I’m a widow, which in itself seems weird. Widows are old and grey haired. I am neither of those things, although my children might disagree with the former.  I’ve found the farther in time I’m removed from the accident, the more difficult it is to tell people. It’s an old memory.  The stabbing pain I felt explaining my situation has faded. Five years later, it’s become a statistic.  A box to be checked. Widow. Still, every so often, I’m caught off guard. Today, I accompanied my daughter on a field trip to our local airport. The last time I was at a small airport was on the first anniversary of Darrell’s accident. I visited the sight of his plane crash, several hundred feet off the runway of Murfreesboro, Tennessee air strip.  Four years ago, I stood outside the chain link fence and stared at the bare spot of grass that was slowly regrowing after his plane exploded.  Four years ago, that airport was closure.  Today, the airport picked off a scab. I pulled up to the hanger with an involuntary gasp, a familiar oozing pain that catch me off guard. It’s been five […]
April 5, 2011

The Lost Art of Manners

I grew up in the Midwest were people are generally pleasant and say please and thank you. I thought this was the way things were in the world. And then I moved to the South. If manners in the Midwest are a condiment, they’re a heaping side dish in the South chock full of syrupy pleasantries. I loved it. I loved the not just “thank you” but “thank you, darlin’ aren’t you so sweet?” I loved the way children were raised to say “”yes, ma’am” and “yes, sir” when asked a question. I loved the way people would willingly let you in traffic and with a friendly hand wave to accompany the gesture. The South is full of over the top goodness. I moved back the Midwest, but I’ve tried hard to instill Southern manners in my younger children. Some days I’m successful, others not so much. It’s a work in progress yet it’s an important part of parenting, teaching our children to appreciate when someone does something for them. This has been on my mind in regards to the writing world.  When we write our babies, we need people to review our work. We need critique and beta readers […]
April 4, 2011

Interview by Regan Leigh

I forgot to post last week that I was interviewed by the awesome Regan Leigh as part of her Writer Love series.  You get to see a picture of my view from my office chair, the name I wish I had, and what costume I want to wear at Halloween.
April 4, 2011

Blog Party Winners!

Announcing the winners of the Blog Party giveaway! 1) Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins Winner:  Sara McClung 2) Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton Winner: Lexie@BookBug 3)Hex Hall and Demonglass by Rachel Hawkins Winner:  Joy Congrats to the winners and once again, congrats to Carol!!!
April 1, 2011

Twitter Pitch Contest

Shelley Watters is sponsoring a Twitter pitch contest.  Particiapants are required to post a one sentence, 140 character or less pitch. Easy peasy, right? Yeah… okay… So why put myself through the agony? (Other than the fact it’s really good to have a one sentence pitch?)  The winner gets a FULL REQUEST from Suzie Townsend of Fine Print Literary. Title: TORN Genre: YA Science Fiction Word count: 84,ooo One sentence pitch: UPDATED PITCH BELOW Guilt ridden Julia falls for boy who says her friend’s alive- in a universe where 2 boys who loved Julia’s alt self help J run for her life One character to spare! So, what do you think? I have until Monday to perfect it. Suggestions and comments greatly appreciated! UPDATED PITCH Julia lives with the guilt of killing her best friend, until she falls for a boy who says her friend is still alive – in another universe. Elizabeth Briggs gets complete and full credit for the updated one!