Monday, July 30, 2012

Mention Monday - Awesome Peeps

So, there are some people who deserve a shout out just because. These people comment on my blog all the time-regardless if I can make it to theirs or not, tweet about my blog and retweet my tweets, and they #FollowFriday me quite often. They are awesome peeps who deserve to be mentioned, they deserve recognition.

First up, because I suppose it's possible that someone does not know this awesome guy, Alex J Cavanaugh. Blogger, author of CassaStar and CassaFire, and all around great person.

Next up is an awesome woman who is making a name for herself not only in the parenting world, but the writer world also. Jean Oram is the wonderful woman behind the awesome Kid's Play site, she's got a story coming out in an anthology soon, and she's super mod over at AQC. Jean can be found in so many places so, click here for the links.

E.M. LaBonte is a writer, blogger, and such an awesome chick. She mentions people all the time, does shout outs constantly, and she's just so sweet and too kind.

Jacqueline Gardner is the author of a few awesome books (links: here, here, and here) and she's just released her latest along with a GIVEAWAY-Woot! Go check her out and look her books up, I'm a big fan and I definitely recommend them.

Caterina Torres is a blogger (and she's finally enabled comments on her blog-woot!), author of Zombie Whisperer-a book that puts a bit of a spin on your average zombies and all without the major gore, and she's an overall genuinely sweet and awesome lady.

I want to wrap this up so, I'm going to make a list of a few more awesome peeps, there's just so many...

Kendra (she also gave me an award that I need to post about.)
Utsav - Blog
Brighton - Same as Utsav's and he's also got the kickstarter project happening until August 8.
DL Hammons

(And one more thing I wanted to mention: There is an open submissions going on for an anthology. Check out the details at The Elephant's Bookshelf. Writers, check it out-deadline is Aug 17.)

Okay, I know that's a lot of links, but these people are so worth the mentions. Please check 'em out if you haven't already.

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and that you have a wonderful week. :)
Happy Monday Everyone! :D

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Thursday TAG! - Utsav Mukherjee

(For all of my awesome followers who continue to stop by even though I've been slacking on getting to your blogs to comment: THANK YOU!! I've been trying to get caught up on my writing, revising, and critiquing so I can get back to commenting. It's hectic over here, but I'm getting there-slowly.)

Now on to the TAG! Today is Utsav Mukherjee. He's an awesome guy and writer who I met at...Why yes, of course, AQC! :D You can find him at his blog, Pineapple Lightning (he's lightning, btw) and he's also on Twitter.

1. When did you start writing?
At the age of 11. I started with a rip-off on Secret Seven/Famous Five and then transcended to a fan fiction of the Order of the Phoenix. It had several good plot points, which were quite similar to the actual book (Sirius dying, Fred and George's shop etc.) I had the threads of my current novel when I was 14 and although most of the story has changed since, a few words from that time still remain in my first chapter.

2. What made you want to write?
The joy of reading about a world you can immerse yourself in. I wanted to experience my own world and also, through it spread the joy to others.

3. When did you decide you wanted to write to be published? (As opposed to writing just to write)
I always had that thought in mind. I love writing but more than that, I love having my works read. For that, publishing is essential. I didn't know anything about the publishing process though and I probably still don't.

4. What genre(s) do you write?
Fantasy and Sci-fi. I don't think I am good for writing anything else, yet.

5. Why that(those) genre(s)?
You write what you read. And my favourite genre is High Fantasy, although I have ideas for a thriller.

6. Do you have any particular ritual when you write? (A specific way things are done during the process)
Get a laptop and type! No, not really. Although, I am a slave to my writing moods. I can't get too much done unless I am in one of them.

7. Do you use an outline, or do you just start writing?
A mix of both, I think. Having a vague outline is important, so that you know where you are heading. But then again, ideas keep popping in while you are writing, so I tend to go with the flow.

8. Is there something you MUST have when you're writing? (Aside from the typical writer tools-computer, pen, paper, etc)
Internet. I come up with so many questions while writing, that it is imperative for me to keep researching on topics.

9. Do you write out your story on paper and then transfer to a computer, or straight to the computer?
I used to write on paper when I started off. But college life turned me into one of those desk guys sitting in front of a computer. So now, it's directly on the computer.

10. How many books/short stories have you written? (Published or not, even those you wrote and then thought-what the hell?)
Two books and about ten short stories. None of them have seen the light of day. I may come back to them some day.

11. Is there, or has there been, anyone in your life (real or online) who thought you being a writer is/was just another hobby? Or that you are/were wasting your time as a writer?
Well, surprisingly no. Everybody always thought I had a way with words. But for me, sometimes writing takes a backseat because of the ten-thousand other equally awesome passions I have. Right now, writing tops the charts.

12. Do you do Social Media sites? If so, which ones? If not, why don't you?
I am not much of a social person. Other than Facebook, I have only recently joined twitter.

13. Any advice for writers that makes you cringe every time you hear it? (I know there is some cringe-worthy advice still worth following, so only advice you don't follow.)
I will keep that on hold because I don't have enough experience to comment. One thing I am comfortable with is long sentences, whether reading or writing, but run-ons seem to be a strict no-no.

14. Why do you write YA?
I don't have an age group in mind when I start writing. I selected the genre first, which was Fantasy/Sci-Fi and I guess it became a YA because I was 14 when I had the preliminary idea for Jimmy, so my writing and my story reflects that. I know, it is a norm to know your target audience because it helps the marketing of the book but we as authors want everyone in all age groups to connect to the story. Harry Potter is read by adults and LoTR is read by teens.

15. Are there many writers in India? (Just curious how common it is for people there to pursue writing)(And I mean this question in no offense at all, btw.)
I am not entirely sure, as to how popular writing for getting published is in India yet. But there are several leading novelists from India like Arundhati Roy (God of Small Things), Aravind Adiga (White Tiger), Chetan Bhagat (Five Point Someone) and a new favourite- Amish (Naga Trilogy).

16. Attorney by day/writer by night...Do the two ever mix/interfere with one another?
Sadly, more than mixing, being a lawyer hampers my writing time. Being on the call 24 hours a day makes it tough to continue writing on a regular basis, especially since I am not a legal drama writer like John Grisham. The one thing that has been a positive impact is my drafting skills have improved.

17. What would you do/think if you stumbled upon an invisible ladder?
Do what my MC did. Climb it and pretend to be Superman. Also I could make money getting other people to get pictures clicked like that.

18. Are there similarities between you and your MC in Averagely Extraordinary?
There are similarities and differences. I was decently well-placed academically and sports-wise and some of my friends, who were at that time not so inclined to study, used to get lectures from their parents. I wanted to put my fantasy of going on an extra-ordinary adventure being in the shoes of an average kid. And my story follows the dictum- Sometimes being average at everything is better than being good in one and bad at others. The desire to be special is strong in all of us. Jimmy wants to be special as well. The story is about how he responds when he understands being extraordinary is not always about being the best.

19. What do you do when you aren't writing?
Usually working, playing table tennis, cooking, academic pursuits and the minimum dose of socialising.

20. Any words of wisdom for anyone who is thinking of becoming a writer, or just something you think all writers should know?
Try and write so that you can see the events in your mind like a movie. To me, that is the core of writing.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Mention Monday - Brighton Luke, American Dreamsicle, and a Guest Post

Hey, hey...I've got a special Mention Monday for you. :)

(EDIT: First off, I've got my first guest blog post today over at SC Write - Writing, Publishing, and Harry Potter. I'm not sure the time it will go up, but be sure to check it out. :D )

The awesome Brighton Luke has a Kickstarter thing happening right now. Kickstarter is a website that people use to get donated money that is used toward a project they'd like to complete. For this one, it's a movie Brighton and his crew would like to make happen.

I think the idea behind the film is interesting and I'd donate if possible, unfortunately I'm not able to. That is why I'm making this post. If you could check it out and give if possible, that'd be awesome. If not, then I'm hoping you can at least help spread the word.

This Kickstarter project will be going until August 8. Please check it out.

You can find out more about Brighton on Twitter, Facebook, and his blog.

Thanks for stopping by. 

Happy Mentioning. :)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Thursday TAG! - Stephanie Adele

Stephanie Adele is another awesome person I met on AQC. She blogs, Tweets, Pins and is on Goodreads. Check her out because, well, she's full of awesome. :D

1. When did you start writing?
I can't even remember how long it has been. I think I started writing as soon as I found out that writing down thoughts and stories was an actually thing, and not just something weird that I did. I was published when I was 7, so I would probably put that as the moment when I realized that this writing thing was pretty cool.

2. What made you want to write?
I absolutely suck at expressing myself in person, and writing really gave me the opportunity to unleash what was in my brain without the immediate reactions from another person. Writing helped me cope through a lot of things during high school and other tough times.

3. When did you decide you wanted to write to be published? (As opposed to writing just to write)
I always credit my high school Drama teacher with giving me the push I needed to believe in myself and realize that I could potentially publish my work one day. I was writing the script for the yearly Christmas play in my freshman year and after she read it she turned, looked at me, and said, "If you don't become a published writer, it will be such a waste." After that, there was no looking back.

4. What genre(s) do you write?
I've struggled with this internally for a long time. Do you write what you love or write what you're good at? I chose write what I love, which is suspense/thriller, with a hint of what I'm good at (romance).

5. Why that(those) genre(s)?
I have always loved suspense novels and the journey that they take you on. Not only do you get the POV of the main character, but also everyone else involved when a crime takes place. The victims, the police, the doctors, and most interestingly to me, the suspect.

6. Do you have any particular ritual when you write? (A specific way things are done during the process)
I don't really have a set in stone process for writing. I must have a title before I start, I am completely anal about that. I also like to get feedback during the writing process to make sure I'm on the right track (instant gratification nomnomnom).

7. Do you use an outline, or do you just start writing?
Never used an outline. Never will. I come from writing screenplays, where you have to feel every word that is coming out of you. I tend to write my novels the same way. I am in that moment with my characters, feeling what they feel at that exact second. I feel like if I outlined things, I wouldn't get that experience.

8. Is there something you MUST have when you're writing? (Aside from the typical writer tools-computer, pen, paper, etc)
MUSIC. I cannot write without music. My iTunes is basically filled with nothing but playlists for my different books.

9. Do you write out your story on paper and then transfer to a computer, or straight to the computer?
I'm a bit of both. Usually computer, but if I am somewhere where I need to kill time and all I have is a pen and paper, it will do.

10. How many books/short stories have you written? (Published or not, even those you wrote and then thought-what the hell?)
Probably about 10 finished ones. Another million unfinished.

11. Is there, or has there been, anyone in your life (real or online) who thought you being a writer is/was just another hobby? Or that you are/were wasting your time as a writer?
I have had a supportive group of family and friends when it comes to this subject. They've never...encouraged me, so to speak, but they haven't discouraged me either. Most of the people close in my life know that I do have a talent with words, and I also have an uncle who is a published author, so I've never had to face that line of criticism so far.

12. Do you do Social Media sites? If so, which ones? If not, why don't you?
I'm addicted to Twitter. Every since I got a smartphone, you haven't been able to keep me off it. I also have Facebook and Pinterest. I just started a blog that I have been enjoying so far. I was hesitant to start one, because I know that it is a massive commitment, but I also know that it can have a great payoff. One of the best things about the internet is being able to connect with other people who have the same interests as you, without leaving the comfort of your own home. Which is excellent for a introverted writer like myself.

13. Any advice for writers that makes you cringe every time you hear it? (I know there is some cringe-worthy advice still worth following, so only advice you don't follow.)
Hmm...I can't say I really follow any advice. Part of being a writer is experimentation and learning the ropes on your own. I believe that one piece of advice that would really help one writer, would make another cringe. It is a hard industry to break into, and I think you need to just navigate the waters on your own.

14. Do you have playlists for just your book in general? Or do you have several per book? (Like, one for fight scenes. One for love scenes. Etc)
Specific playlists are definitely a must. I do have some general songs that kind of find their way into a few of my lists, but for the most part I like having individual playlists for each book. I think that each book you write has its own voice and feel to it, and I believe that the music you listen to during the creation of it can really add to the experience. And once I use a song for a certain book it kind of belongs to that book in a way.

15. Who are some of your top thriller/suspense authors? What about books?
My thriller trifecta, as I like to call it, are Kathy Reichs, Patricia Cornwell, and James Patterson. I know that these are all pretty mainstream authors and I realize that and don't really care, lol. They are popular for a reason and that is because they write damn good books! Reichs is my absolute favorite because I love they way she melds hardcore science with believable characters and situations. She is a master at describing and creating atmosphere and characters that feel like they are people you really know in your life. I'll list my favorite book from each author as not to turn this into a dissertation, lol. For Reichs it is Cross Bones, Cornwell it's Book of the Dead, and for Patterson it's 2nd Chance.

16. Published at 7? What's that like? What'd you publish?
I don't quite remember what is was like, to be honest haha. It feels like it was a lifetime ago and at that age I was more interested in practicing my Spice Girls routine in my backyard than being excited over being published.

The way it happened was that we had to write and illustrate a story for my class at school and get it all bound and wallpaper covered like a real novel. I wrote about me and my friends becoming trapped in my television and interacting with the different characters we came across as the channels were surfed and we tried to escape. My teacher loved it so much that she entered it in the yearly Toronto Star writing competition and it just happened to win.

17. How many books/short stories/articles/etc have you published? Just one, or several? Only when you were seven, or other ages as well?
That was it! Sadly. I have never submitted anything else to be published since. I keep telling myself that I will get into the habit of entering a few contests but I never seem to get around to it. I have written a few plays thought that have been put into production, and that was pretty cool.

18. What type of music to you have on your playlist?
Here is my current playlist for Beneath the City of Lights:
1. Leave Me Here - Hem
2. Seven Devils - Florence + The Machine
3. The Weight of Us - Sanders Boehlke
4. The Writer - Ellie Goulding
5. So Soon - Marianas Trench
6. The Light - Sarah Bareilles

I tend to go for songs that I feel encompass the ride of emotions that my MC's go through throughout their journey in the book. All the songs have a similar thread to them and help me get into the minds of my MCs

19. What do you do when you aren't writing?
I watch A LOT of television. I love TV. Netflix is my absolute favorite invention in the entire universe, along with computers and internet. I also like going to the movies, walking my dog, and the Saturday night bar ritual with my friends.

20. Any words of wisdom for anyone who is thinking of becoming a writer, or just something you think all writers should know?
Writing is 95% talent, 5% education. If you are passionate about putting your thoughts on a page, then sit your ass down and do it!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Weigh-In Wednesday - Hangers

So, it's time for some hangers. What? You don't need any? Gah, I always need hangers. Between two girls (one 5 and the other 4), I go through so many. It's ridiculous. I've never needed so many hangers until I had kids. I didn't even know one could need that many. ;)

No, seriously, today is the day to post our hangers. If you missed my hookers, you can find them here. Check out the lovely ladies of Falling For Fiction (they're all full of tons of awesomeness) and make sure to check the blogs on the linky list-some awesome peeps on there. :)

And here are my hangers from the same WIP (Unbind Me) and the same chapters as the hookers:

Chapter 1: Somewhere I never wanted to see again - my cave. (I realize that this is not very hangy out of context, but ah well. :p  )

Chapter 2: He’s going to be able to tell I was with Declan and I’m so screwed.

Chapter 3: He’s probably just assuming his role as my mate. Ugh, that’s going to take a lot of getting used to.

Chapter 4: Amariana O’Byrne, as your King I order you to become a wolf.

Chapter 5: “I’ve come to take you from here so you can see what a mistake you’ve made. And so I can teach you what it means to make that kind of mistake.”

Chapter 6: Of course, when my power doesn’t get an outlet, even Father isn’t strong enough to stop me.

Chapter 7: “You will come home sometime, remember that,” Father bellows from behind me, his voice full of promises I’d rather he not keep.

Okay, so there are my hangers. Hopefully I hung at least one person. :p

Happy Hanging. :D

Monday, July 16, 2012

Mention Monday - Hookers

Oh yeah, that title caught your attention, right? Stopped by to see what I have to say about hookers? Well, that's cool, everyone gets a little, erm, kinky? sometimes. :p

Oh, wait...Before I get into the talk about Hookers, I want to give y'all an awesome Twitter status update. My awesome writer friend tweeted this and it's so perfect. Check it out.

Okay, seriously though. Today is the Hookers and Hangers blogfest hosted by the lovely women over at Falling For Fiction. If you're unaware of this fest or don't know about the awesomeness of the ladies at that blog, check it out. <---That will take you to the linky for all the blogs signed up too, btw. :)

The Hookers (post 1st sentence of X number of chapters) post is today and the Hangers (post last sentence in each chapter) is on Wednesday. I'm using my current WIP, Unbind Me. (That's the working title at least).

So, here are chapters 1-7. :)

Chapter 1: The wind whips through my hair making it blow wildly around my face as I dodge about the elms and cottonwoods.

Chapter 2: Is it sad that I wanted him to be here?

Chapter 3: “Where were you?” Father asks before I’ve made it completely through the door.

Chapter 4: Would Lucas risk coming near our home?

Chapter 5: Rory, I think you should go check on Rourke.

Chapter 6: Lucas’ jaw is set and his chin is lifted a little, the determination evident on his face.

Chapter 7: I step out of the bathroom to see Declan sitting on the edge of my bed in silky blue pajama pants and nothing else.

Yeah, so...There you go. (Lol, that rhymed :D  )

Thanks for stopping by, y'all. Have an awesomely Hooking Monday. :)

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Week Wrap Up - WINNERS!!!!

My week has been fairly dull really. My kids are CRAZY and I'm busy trying to get them in line or writing or revising or critiquing. Nothing exciting. Except this post....

I hosted a giveaway of Ali Cross' books: BECOME and DESOLATE!

And today it's time to announce those winners...


So many awesome people entered my giveaway. So many of you AWESOMELY WONDERFUL people that I couldn't just choose two winners...

For real?!?

Yep, I couldn't pick just two. Couldn't do it. What can I say? Y'all are full of awesome. :D  So, I picked six people...

Say WHAT?!?!

Oh yeah, you read it right...SIX people won these awesomely amazingly fantastically fabulous books.

So, who you say? Here's the list:

Stephanie Adele
EB Black
Kendra Conine
Caterina Torres
Floetic Flo

WOOT!! Congrats WINNERS!!!

Keep an eye out for your email from Ali. It should be soon. :D

Thank you Ali for all of your awesomeness! And thanks to all who entered. Keep an eye out for another giveaway-I love them and I'll come up with one soon. :D

Happy Saturday Everyone! :)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Thursday TAG! - SC

Okay, so this TAG! is a teeny bit unique because it's with my awesome friend, SC. Why is it unique? Because I don't know any more of his name. SC is what he goes by. He prefers to remain anonymous, so I respect his preference. (Even if I find it odd at times. :p ) I met SC on the wonderful, AQC, and we became friends and CPs. (Like all those abbreviations there? :D ). He's a nice guy who is pretty positive and upbeat. SC only recently began blogging and tweeting-I've mentioned that a time or two. ;)  His blog is interesting and he tweets various things, check him out. :) Also, today is his birthday...Happy Birthday, SC! :D

1. When did you start writing? 
OOhhh, um..... a long time :) I've written poetry as a kid (like really young) and I wrote travel journals when I went to other countries. The first 'book' I wrote was really a short story--a fanfic for a writing competition in... 4th grade, I think. It was based off of the animated character Kirby. Hehe. I wrote a much bigger story (still a short story) in 5th grade about magic, and I wrote a short Allen Poe-esq story in 7th grade.

2. What made you want to write? 
JK ROWLING ALL THE WAY! Well, maybe not. I wrote tons (poetry and short stories) before I read JKR, but I think it was due to her that I wrote my current manuscript, VIS DECOR: ALPHI. The book is, well, based off of my own life experiences, and I wanted to find an escape. I found an idea, and I thought, "Why don't I try writing?" because I loved Harry Potter so much.

3. When did you decide you wanted to write to be published? (As opposed to writing just to write) 
My English teacher took me to the side and told me that I should try and get my Edgar Allen Poe short story published. (And me, being a 7th grader, slapped it onto a short story website and called it published.) Years passed, and I wrote my current manuscript. I kind of decided, from the beginning, that I would love to see it in print and published. Now I'm taking a bit of a break from it and beginning to write something else :)

4. What genre(s) do you write?
YA Fantasy :) Actually, it might be high fantasy, because it is set on an underwater, separate world... but I just use YA fantasy. The novel I just started writing is an adult... contemporary? If that's even a genre....

5. Why that(those) genre(s)?
JK Rowling, heheh.  I kind of was like, "I'd love magic in my book." So therein came the fantasy, but the idea for the underwater world was unrelated to anything Harry Potter or JKR. YA age group because the themes and emotions in those books were based off of the events in my teen years. (Score one for teen angst.) The adult genre because I felt REALLY strongly about something that is an issue with only adults. Literally. Health insurance.

6. Do you have any particular ritual when you write? (A specific way things are done during the process)
Here comes my secret. Sigh. Don't tell anyone (and keep in mind, I AM A GUY) but I listen to...... sigh...... Adele before I write crazy emotional scenes. AH! I said it. But I honestly don't think any other singer has as much emotion in her voice or lyrics, and no other singer has moved me as much as she has. (She brings music back to where it came from and where it should go back to: power of voice.)

I listen to the Script and Greenday because the song's emotions should match the scene's emotion. (Adele can't work for everything.) I listen BEFORE I write. During the actual writing, I kind of forget about the music. It just stops playing from the Youtube tab I have up.

7. Do you use an outline, or do you just start writing?
OUTLINE, all the way!! Well, let me take that back. I use sort of an 'organic' outline, where I sit down, and I go, "this happens, so what would happen next? Oh, how about next?" and then (apart from the few, critical, scenes) it is done naturally from the beginning. It's kind of like writing your story with all the surprises, but with a lot less words.

Of course, my original outline (for the MS I completed) was 22 chapters or something, and now that I wrote it, it has ballooned to 36 or something. Don't be too attached to your outline.

8. Is there something you MUST have when you're writing? (Aside from the typical writer tools-computer, pen, paper, etc)
I usually write in bed, and I try getting music before I draft (see question 6). During revisions/editing, I don't have music.

9. Do you write out your story on paper and then transfer to a computer, or straight to the computer?
Every single scene that I felt emotionally strong about I wrote on paper because... well, I don't know, I feel it's more smooth that way. But mostly, I do it straight on the computer. Queries I've learned to write it from scratch for a new draft; it's a lot fresher and better that way.

10. How many books/short stories have you written? (Published or not, even those you wrote and then thought-what the hell?)

Hehehe, um, well, this is my first full-length book, and I wrote three short stories (two of which I thought were books but I now realize are short stories). I'm beginning to write something new. Tons of poetry--two of which have been published.

11. Is there, or has there been, anyone in your life (real or online) who thought you being a writer is/was just another hobby? Or that you are/were wasting your time as a writer?
My family (my core family) is supportive, I guess, but I kind of hide the fact that I'm a writer from everyone else. I don't feel comfortable in divulging that fact. I don't want to get questions like, "Oh, when is it going to be published?" or "So what's your real job?" because I feel like I'd stab myself in the eye. And I like my eyes.

12. Do you do Social Media sites? If so, which ones? If not, why don't you?
I'm trying desperately to get into the media, and I just recently created a blog and a twitter. and @SC_Author. I've begun blogging and Tweeting, and let me tell you, I love it :)

13. Any advice for writers that makes you cringe every time you hear it? (I know there is some cringe-worthy advice still worth following, so only advice you don't follow.)
That there is one way to do stuff. But, honestly, the (good) advisers on the Internet know this fact, so I haven't really heard and horrible advice that is repeated over an over.

However, I did hear of this one writer (very successful) who said that a writer should draft once (no revisions), send it off to a beta, revise once, and send it to agents. NO!! (Well, for me, anyway.) I revised mine upwards of seven times, and it has gotten much better after that. Never fear the revisions :) The writer who said this has published tons of books, and I haven't. I think he might only be talking to the James Patterson type.

14. Where did you come up with the underwater world concept of your book?
I did a painting where a golfer was golfing in outer space (don't ask me where that idea came from). That is (long, long story short) where I got the idea to set my world on a different planet :) Also (this might have been a dream, I'm not sure) I had an idea where there was a Beast, or monster that whirled around in space. I thought, "Hey, what if that monster was the core of the planet?" The Beast is the source of magic. Since I needed magic, I needed to go the nearest I could to the Beast--to the planet's core. I needed to go deep, and that meant in the ocean.

15. Why the name Alphi?
Her species are the Alphas, the supreme species. (For some reason) I just assumed my main character was a girl even though I am a guy, so it just kind of clicked to me that, to make a feminine Alpha, I should use Alphi. I fell in love with the name, and I used it :)

16. What got you interested in physics?
Oohh....  I think I just liked outer space and the planets as a kid, and once I learned more, I grew to enjoy the cosmos. I wanted to find out more about them because they were just so darn awesome. Just Google space. Just do it. And then you'll see why I love it so much :)

17. Why don't you listen to music while you revise/edit?
I REALLY need real, pure emotions when I write the scene originally, and the music helps. But fixing stuff up and doing damage control doesn't really need music. It was just more natural to do it without music and I just sat down and edited. Hehehe, I actually didn't realize that I do this until I read this question :)

18. Where have you traveled? Any specific reason?
I've traveled a loottt. Most of the 50 states (including Hawaii), and also Mexico, Canada, Jamaica, Australia, New Zealand, India, Switzerland, France, and, my FAVORITE place in the world, Italy, and most specifically, Rome. I love to travel because you get to see so many different cultures, people, and landscapes that you can't find in the USA. Here, every state looks the same with McDonald's down every block. It's just the atmosphere of being in different countries, the ancient places and air. Imagining the ancient Romans walking where you walked. It's hard to describe.

I LOVE ROME. I will live there for a few months. I will. I just know I am. I love it, the landscape, the air, and the buildings (I'm iffy on the people, because many were quite rude. That's okay, though. They're Romans. They're allowed to be rude).

19. What do you do when you aren't writing?
I love to oil paint (love love love). From portraits, to Rome, it's just fun. I love learning about (don't kill me) physics too. Actually, my day job is probably going to revolve around physics, once college is done. Sigh. I'm a weird writer.

20. Any words of wisdom for anyone who is thinking of becoming a writer, or just something you think all writers should know?
GET A CRIT PARTNER! Mine are life savers; I've shaved off 45K words because of them. Also:

PASSION. I can preach this over and over, but you need passion in your work. Quite honestly (and some might say differently but I'm willing to debate it out), if you have the passion, your manuscript should NEVER be trunked.

Hear me out.

That passion means that you will throw out your entire manuscript and outline, from scratch, all over again, if your manuscript is really stinking up the place.  And, above all, you will not ever get defensive about your book. You will not make excuses.

But there comes a point (balance, people) where you have to ask yourself if you are just trudging along. That's what happened to my MS, and even though I still LOVE it, it's time to move on. For now. I'm taking a few months to let it sit, write something new, and come back to it. If something is giving you too much pain, take a break and write something new. Keep it on the back burner.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Thoughtful Tuesday - Dream

Dreaming is so important. Whether it's having an actual dream while you're sleeping, day dreaming while you're awake, or having a dream of one day doing something specific (or somethings). I teach my kids to dream, to believe in something. I encourage them daily to imagine things and play and know that dreaming is simply your imagination at work, expanding and preparing for something great.

Being a writer is all about dreaming. It's what we do. We imagine things that are impossible and make them happen in books, chapters, paragraphs...words. We dream of words. Things that are so impossible to a non-writer, but there real for us. And our dreams are so important because we give those non-writer people something to dream about.

I'm not saying that our stories alone give people dreams, but that stories are one of the things that do. We bend reality to our will and lead a reader into the impossible and we do it in a way that makes them believe. That's our job and it's a tough job.

Tough because we have personal dreams that go along with the leading. We must first get our words out there for people to read. And so we dream of the day when that will happen. From ideas, to WIPs, to MSs, and then to published novel. It's a rough journey and one that takes a lot of dreaming. I dream constantly of the day my name will be in print. And yes, I believe in that dream.

It may take many years, lots of stress, hard work, determination, sweat, and tears-but it will happen. Because my dream is to be an author. I'm already a writer. But I want to do more than put some words to paper (well, words to .docs). I want to share my imagination, my dreams, with other people. I want others to get to learn about the dreams that become my completed manuscripts. And therefore, I hold tight to my dream and I work at it...And it's worth it.

I've immersed myself in a world of other writers, other dreamers who share my dream, and I've seen some of their success. It's a wonderful feeling to watch other's dreams come true and it's inspiring.

Now that I've focused on writers, I want to bring it back to dreams in general. No matter the dream, no matter how impossible or hard the journey to achieve that dream-go for it. Whether your dream is to be a doctor or a teacher, go for it. If you're a writer with a dream to be a published author-go for it. Regardless of how unobtainable a dream may seem, you'll never know if you don't try. Embrace your dreams, your kids' dreams, your family and friends'. Encourage them to hold tight to that dream.

I'm holding tight to mine, because as a writer I know anything is possible. Anything...So dream and know that if you want it, work for it, try your hardest-it will happen. Even if you dream a little too big and it doesn't come true, at least you believed in something.

Happy Dreaming :)

Monday, July 9, 2012

Mention Monday - Book Releases and More

I have quite a few mentions for today...

One, for anyone who does not know it yet...The AWESOME Ali Cross just released her second book in the Desolation Series. AND to make this even more awesome? I'm having a GIVEAWAY!!! So, click RIGHT HERE to go enter for a chance to win not only an eBook of DESOLATE, but an eBook of BECOME (book one in the Desolation Series) as well. And then check Ali's website out for all the awesomeness that is her. :D

Next up, a friend of mine from AQC has a book that was just released on Amazon yesterday. THE MAGIC IN THE RECEIVER by Paul Dillon. Paul is an awesome guy and his book sounds intriguing. It will take you on a journey to the beautiful Greek island of Kefalonia.  Check it out. :)

Another announcement of sorts for myself...I've signed up for a blogfest hosted by the awesome ladies over at Falling For Fiction. The fest is called Hookers and Hangers-things like this title is part of what makes that group of ladies so awesome. (The little picture there on the left-perhaps you may need to scroll down a little-will send you to the linky list if you'd like to sign up). On next Monday (July 16) I'll be posting my 'hookers'-The first sentence of each chapter from my MS, CREATED: WITH LOVE. And then, on Wednesday (July 18), I'll post my 'hangers'-The last sentence of each chapter. It's exciting, so come back by next week and check it out. :)

Now I want to mention a few people/blogs/books-some I've mentioned before, but they're awesome enough that I'd like to give them another shout-out...

Lori Sjoberg: I had a Thursday TAG! with her a few weeks back and she didn't have any links yet. Now, she has a Facebook and a website. Check 'em out. Lori is AWESOME!

Kendra Conine: I just did a TAG! with her last Thursday and she's still building her blog following, so check her out if you haven't yet.

SC: He's a writer and also a new Tweep and blogger. I can only give you his initials because that's all I know. (He likes to be anonymous at the moment. :p  ) But he's still awesome, so check him out.

Utsav M and Brighton L: These two witty characters have their blog, Pineapple Lightning. The blog is still new and they're building a following. Plus, they like to do query crits and author interviews.

Jacqueline Gardner: I've not mentioned her in a while. I have a TAG! with her here though, so check that out. Also, she's got a few books out...Mutiny, Thoughtless, Jade, and Crystal. I've got Mutiny and Thoughtless on my TBR, but I can say that her short stories-Jade & Crystal- are great reads.

Jean Oram: This awesome lady has been a topic in a few posts. She's the super mod over at AQC. She's an awesome writer, who also (if I'm remembering correctly) has a short story coming out in an anthology. (I'll post about that anthology when it's out. :)  ). She also did a TAG!-here- and she's got a Facebook page and website all about fun activities to do with the kids in your life. (Her site is for parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and anyone else who has a child in their life in anyway. Plus, some of the activities on her It's All Kids Play site are fun in general. Maybe just some ideas for the kid at hear. ;)  ). So, check her out as well.

That's going to wrap up my mentions for today. I think I've done enough. There are always a ton of people I want to talk about, so if I don't cut myself off I'd go on and on. :D

I hope y'all have an AWESOME Monday!

Happy Mentioning. :)

Thursday, July 5, 2012

An Awesome Announcement (or two) :D

(Before I kick-off this special Friday post, I want to say to please check out my TAG! from yesterday with Kendra C. She's a really awesome writer and friend.)

Now on to the reason for today's post...

The wonderful




Ali Cross has just released book two in the Desolation Series...DESOLATE!!!

I'm so beyond excited that this book is out. I've read book one - BECOME - and reviewed it on my blog, but I'm not linking to my review because there were a couple (minor) *sort of* spoilers and I'm not spoiling this book because it's a must read.

BUT the really exciting part of this post?


TWO people will WIN an eBook of both BECOME and DESOLATE!


Let me give you a little something about each book:

(Book one of the Desolation series)

(Isn't that cover AWESOME!)

It’s never too late to choose.

Sixteen-year old Desolation Black wants nothing more than to stay in Hell where it’s cold and lonely and totally predictable. Instead, she’s sent back to Earth where she must face the evil she despises and the good she always feared. 

When Desi is forced to embrace her inner demon, she assumes her choice has been made—that she has no hope of being anything other than what her father, Lucifer, has created her to be. What she doesn’t count on, is finding a reason to change—something she’s never had before—a friend.

(Book two of the Desolation series)

(Isn't that cover AWESOME too!)

Where darkness lives, all will become desolate.

It’s been two months since sixteen-year-old Desolation Black chose Earth over Hell and her friend Miri over her eternal love, Michael.  

Desi goes through the motions of life: school, training, remaining vigilant against the forces of darkness, but her dreams are full of the choices she wishes she could change. When she’s injured by a strange demon, old temptations arise, and the lines between good and evil blur. Desi discovers those choices aren’t so final after all.

And this time, the power of love—for a friend, for a lover—may not be enough to save her from the darkness that lurks within.

Ali Cross is the sensei of the Ninjas Write Dojo where she holds a black belt in awesome. She lives in Utah with her kickin' husband, two sparring sons, one ninja cat, two sumo dogs and four zen turtles.

So, there are the blurbs and the awesome covers. And here is the entry form via Rafflecopter. Enter and spread the word.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you Ali and thank you everyone for stopping by. :)

Good luck and happy entering. :D

Thursday TAG! - Kendra Conine

This TAG! today features a very good friend of mine which I met through my favorite site. (Agent Query Connect if you're new here and don't know. :D  ). Kendra is fairly new to blogging and could use a few more followers, so check her out (she's such a sweetie). She's in the revision stage on an MS about elemental magic and the concept is awesome. You can find her on her blog, Twitter, and Facebook.

1. When did you start writing? 
I started writing when I was 9 years old, in third grade.

2. What made you want to write? 
I'd just finished the book Kittens in the Kitchen as part of the Animal Ark series. You would not believe how much of a sucker I was for cats. I wondered, "Why can't I make a story of my own?" Thus my journey began.

3. When did you decide you wanted to write to be published? (As opposed to writing just to write) 
I wrote short stories after my little 'revelation' in third grade and garnered quite a bit of attention. I'd say it was around the time I started reading Eragon by Christopher Paolini in late sixth grade that I wondered, "Why don't I do the same [as him]?" I was pretty sure by then that writing was my calling, so I definitely needed to make something of it.

4. What genre(s) do you write? 
I mainly focus on the realm of urban fantasy and regular fantasy, but I've been exploring dystopian and post-apocalyptic settings.

5. Why that(those) genre(s)? 
They're my favorites! It's also being the issue of being a comfort zone I'm reluctant to leave. Anything I read I usually think, "I might write something like that one day." The only genres I've continuously gone back to are fantasy and urban fantasy.

6. Do you have any particular ritual when you write? (A specific way things are done during the process) 
I've been trying to create a new ritual for myself. Currently it works like this: Open Microsoft Word and iTunes, find a song to listen to and open the document, and sit there. Sometimes before I begin I'll recite a prayer I found somewhere. One of the greatest pieces of advice I've gotten (only recently, unfortunately) is to warm up. Writing isn't just to write. It's like art, sports, anything. You have to stretch before you really begin. So I've really been trying to get in the habit of warming up with something else before I begin.

7. Do you use an outline, or do you just start writing? 
I do have outlines. I just think it's so much easier to keep my ideas and thoughts organized with an outline rather than try to keep everything straight in my head—I butchered one of my stories when I tried to go without one.

8. Is there something you MUST have when you're writing? (Aside from the typical writer tools-computer, pen, paper, etc) 
Music. Music is my saving grace, my best friend, my writing partner. Every piece of my book has a musical piece to accompany it in my mind, and therefore I have to have it!

9. Do you write out your story on paper and then transfer to a computer, or straight to the computer? 
I used to write it out before I typed it up, but then a 44,000 word story went to 144,000. So, not really. I do write my outlines out on paper (color-coding for the win!) but I type the entire story up.

10. How many books/short stories have you written? (Published or not, even those you wrote and then thought-what the hell?) 
Unfortunately the amount of books/short stories I've begun and lost/quit is very high, much higher than my completed list. I've completed nine books/short stories, and two and a half of them had "what the hell?" results, haha!

11. Is there, or has there been, anyone in your life (real or online) who thought you being a writer is/was just another hobby? Or that you are/were wasting your time as a writer? 
Some people still do, I believe. Several of my teachers don't understand why I write when they think I have such a great future in politics (But I don't even watch the news!) or science. But the amount of people who have faith in what I do is much greater than those who don't.

12. Do you do Social Media sites? If so, which ones? If not, why don't you? 
I use YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. I used to have MySpace, but it was just a complicated place. I've not really checked out Google+ or Tumblr, anything along those lines. I don't like having too many social media sites, because I tend to forget about them.

13. Any advice for writers that makes you cringe every time you hear it? (I know there is some cringe-worthy advice still worth following, so only advice you don't follow.) 
"Write what you know." I used to follow this advice to a T, but then I realized if I did that, every single story I wrote was going to be stuck in little towns of only 800 people. You can't just write what you know, or you're never going to learn anything! In some instances, you can stick to this advice. For example, if you want to put a story in South Africa or Afghanistan, but you know nothing about the cultures there or the events that have taken place there, that's not the best idea. It isn't that it's bad advice, but it's advice that can mislead you.

14. What's a Flame Dancer? 
A Flame Dancer is something part of a unique 'Mastery Stage' in my book. A 'Dancer' is the first, most inexperienced stage that only signifies vague control over the element. Over time, it would progress to 'Flame Warrior' and, if lucky, the final and most experienced: 'Flame Master'. Since there are other elements with the same stages, it gets diverse—Darkness Warrior, Wind Dancer, Water Master... etc.

15. Would you want to be a Flame Dancer if you could? 
Yeah! I've always been a bit of a pyro-lover (not in a BAD way)—I love to watch fire, to watch it grow and shift and shape itself, how it reduces to the soft glow of coals. To be able to touch them and communicate with them? Sign me up!

16. What is your favorite song for each type of scene you're writing? (IE-action, love, arguing, fighting, etc.) 
This is going to be my favorite question out of the whole interview.
Action/Fighting - For a normal battle it would be Blinded by Light from the Final Fantasy XIII Soundtrack. For a 'boss', it would be Dismiss from Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep.
Love - Fabula Nova Crystallis from Final Fantasy XIII.
Arguing - Those For the Purge from Final Fantasy XIII.
"Doom" moment - Key of Darkness from Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep.
Travelling - Currently, Run~Full Speed Ahead from Final Fantasy XIII-2.

17. What inspires your writing? 
My music more than anything else. Usually I already have the ideas in my head, but music helps me give them shape and set the mood in the writing itself.

18. What's your favorite part about writing? What's your least favorite part? 
My favorite part is the experience of writing something for the first time. You're writing, and you've just gotten to a piece you've had planned forever. It's finally here! Your heart pounds, your mind is going 90 miles a minute, and your hands are sometimes shaking from the intensity of the anticipation. I don't know if it's only me that gets that feeling, but I do. Now, my LEAST favorite part is running into a wall. Your writing is going great, then BAM. Something's wrong, and you don't know what. You sit and try and figure it out for AGES, but nothing comes. Then you have to force yourself away from your work and figure it out from there, and sometimes you end up having to butcher the work and put it back together. I don't feel like my characters appreciate this very much.

19. What do you do when you aren't writing? 
I read books, walk around town, or play Final Fantasy. I'm a bit of a recluse most of the time, so it's rare that I go to hang out with friends—but it does happen. Sometimes. (;

20. Any words of wisdom for anyone who is thinking of becoming a writer, or just something you think all writers should know? 
Follow your dreams and write what you want, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. If you want to write the goriest books, do it. If you want to write the trashiest, do it. Writing is all you and it's no one's place to say otherwise. As for advice, don't be afraid to experiment. Dapple into everything to find what fits for you. Also, don't use adverbs and passive tense! They're a death trap!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Insecurities This Way >>>

It's time for another Insecure Writer's Support Group post. For anyone who doesn't know about it, go here. And make sure you check out Alex's actual blog too-he's AWESOME. :)

So, as I write this, it's Friday, June 22. I'm doing it this early because...I jinxed myself last IWSG post.

If you missed that one, you can read it here.

I posted that my writing things were going good. That I wasn't insecure at all, and everything writerly was good. How did I jinx myself? Every day after that post has sucked. Like, super, major, OMG sucked.

As I sit here right now, I haven't written a single word on my WIP in a week (at least). The last time I actually did write in it, I barely got through two paragraphs. I'm struggling to finish up revisions and critiques. UGH! I used to go through several chapters of crits a day and now I'm forcing myself to get through one. It's sad and I hate it.

I feel like I'm lazy, slacking and failing. I don't like that feeling. No matter how I try to fix it though, I can't. I've been trying and trying and yet nothing happens. It's crap. My friends have said, relax. That it's okay if I take a little time off. For me? It's not okay. I can't relax and be okay with it, not when I have a mile long list of to dos. It just doesn't work right for me.

So, I'm beyond insecure this week. But regardless of anything I said in this post...I'm okay with the insecurities this month, like for real okay. I know I'm not truly lazy or failing, it just irks me that's all. I don't like it and I'm hoping to get back on track ASAP. But I'm okay. This too shall pass, and I will be back where I want to be, before I know it.

How about you? Are you insecure this month? Have you been insecure lately about anything? Writer or not.

Happy Wednesday Everyone :)

Monday, July 2, 2012

Mention Monday - Catching Up

First things first, I realized in all of my busy-ness, I forgot something on Friday...I signed up for a blogfest that I should've posted about on Friday, June 29. EEEP! I can't believe I forgot, omg. Oh well, it has gone and I can't do anything about forgetting it. I can however, tell you about it...

I was on a blog that mentioned a blogfest hosted by author Christine Fonseca. On Friday, Christine revealed the cover of her upcoming book, Transcend. I was supposed to write a post revealing something 'secret' about myself. Want to know a secret?

Somewhere in the last few weeks, I've become unfocused. I can't seem to accomplish much of anything. I'm running around crazy trying to get things done-caught up-yet I can't keep focused on my tasks. I'm usually great with my to do lists. These past few weeks though, I haven' been. I'm not sure what it is. I have been struggling to get to sleep at night, so that's probably part of the problem. I'm getting better, but it's still not quite there. Hopefully this week I'll get it together though.

I know that wasn't some huge secret, but oh well. I missed the fest anyway, so...

Anyway, Christine Fonseca revealed her awesome cover last Friday. Go HERE to check it out. And follow her blog and check her out elsewhere as well.

Another thing I haven't gotten to is a couple blog awards.

I'm cheating because I'm not going to follow all the rules. I got the Versatile Blogger Award from Sarah over at The Writer's Experiment. Thank's Sarah! I also got the Stylish Blogger Award from the awesome Cherie (AKA Precy Larkins) over at Ready, Write, Go. Thanks Cherie! Since I'm still really behind, I'm nominating ANYONE who reads this. I had a list in mind, but I just don't have time to link everyone. (Kendra, SC, Utsav, Brighton, Krysten, and Caterina-if y'all are reading this, you've been nominated for both. Need the details? Just ask. :)  ) (And I was thinking of Alex, DL Hammons, and Donna B McNicol for the Stylish Blogger Award-SO if y'all are reading this post, you're nominated. I'm so sorry for not linking to you. I will try to make it over to your blogs and comment to let you know about the award. Which sounds silly since I'm saying 'your blog' to let 'you know', but if you're reading this then you already know...Ah well.)

Now that I feel like I cheated on those awards...

Last, but definitely NOT least, I want to talk about one of the AWESOMEST people I know...

ALI CROSS! Yes, she's awesome. She's so full of awesome that I sometimes wonder if awesome is even a good enough word to refer to all of her awesomeness. She's so wonderful-GO CHECK HER OUT IF YOU HAVEN'T YET! Not yelling btw, just enthusiastic. :D Anyway, she revealed her FANTASTICALLY AWESOME cover of DESOLATE. If you missed it, go HERE. It's fabulous. I love it. And I CAN'T WAIT for the book to come out. If you've never read her first book, BECOME, you need to check it out. And if you don't know who she is, check her out. She's awesome, if you haven't realized yet. :p

So, that's it for now. I'm getting back on track and hopefully I'll be back to my posting schedule and will have some time to visit people. Thanks for stopping by, please check out those that I've mentioned. :)

Happy Monday, Everyone! :D