Wednesday, December 30, 2009

THIS IS IT!!!!

It's WINNER time!

I've *finally* tallied all the entries (and there were nearly 700 of 'em). Using a random number generator, I came up with the top five winners (yep, you heard right, I decided to choose ONE Grand Prize and FOUR swag pack winners). My contest, my rules, people!

So here we go:

GRAND PRIZE WINNER, who gets the signed ARC, a $25 gift card to the online bookseller of their choosing, and the swag pack is...


******Kapri******

YAY! *confetti* *streamers* *balloons*

Congratulations, Kapri!

Next up, we have the winners of the swag packs, which are pretty darn cool, if I do say so myself! (And I totally do)...


******Aik******
******Stacey (of Page Turners)******
******Jill of the OWL******
******Bethany******


Congratulations, all, I'm emailing you now!

And thanks to everyone who entered, I had so much fun with this contest...so much fun, in fact, that I'm definitely doing it again!!!!

Stay tuned, because in the next few weeks, there will be a new announcement, new ways to earn points, another ARC up for grabs, swag, and a whole lotta fun!

Can you feel the fun???

Saturday, December 26, 2009

CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED!

Okay, so the contest deadline was yesterday...thank you all SO MUCH for entering!!!!

We had 153 entrants (and I don't even know how many actual entries), but over the next couple of days I will get them all tallied and entered into the random number generator, and will post winners just as soon as possible.

I'm overwhelmed by the response, you guys really are the best!!!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas Gone Mad!!!

You know how there's always that one neighborhood that goes *overboard* with the Christmas lights?

Well, yeah, that's *my* neighborhood. It's kind of like watching that scene in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (the one with Chevy Chase) where he finally gets his Christmas lights on and it blinds the neighbors. It's like daylight 24/7 around here.

You can guess, traffic gets a little backed up sometimes...there are times I have to wait in line just to get in my own driveway.

I thought I'd give you a glimpse of just *one side* of the street we live on. It's impossible to give you the *full* effect (I wish I could have gotten both sides in the shot!), but it's really kind of spectacular considering that everyone participates.

Disclaimer
: Not responsible for motion sickness caused by my incredibly professional camera work.



Oh, and one of our neighbors has a sign that tells you what radio station to tune to and his lights flash to the music (try to ignore my daughter's chattering from the backseat!):



Happy Holidays!!!

Friday, December 11, 2009

IT'S AGENT DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What? You’ve never heard of Agent Day??? That’s because it’s made up and brand new, the brainchild of fellow Tenner, and 18 year old wunderkind, Kody Keplinger. (To see the entire list of who’s participating in Agent Day, check out this kickass list over at Lisa and Laura’s place!)

Okay, so here’s the deal…

Writers need agents. I’ve talked about this before, you know how I feel. And Kody has decided there should be a day in which we thank those agents who tirelessly represent us.

And today is that day!!!

But instead of going on and on about all the cool things my agent has done for me (which she totally has!), I’m gonna tell you about something else she’s done.

First, meet my agent:


Laura Rennert of the Andrea Brown Literary Agency (aka. Super Agent)

And this is Laura’s book:


Buying, Training, and Caring for Your Dinosaur by Laura Rennert (aka. Super Agent)

That’s right! Not only is she an agent, she’s an author as well! And not only is Buying, Training, and Caring for Your Dinosaur a really great picture book…it’s a really great Christmas present for those kids on your Christmas list!

So, let’s take another look at that:

Super Agent = Author = Great Book! = Christmas shopping done = More time with your family!!!

Wow, see how that happened? My agent can pretty much *save* your holidays!

Oh, and check out her dog, Lola:


How could I NOT end a post with a dog in a dino costume?

Happy Agent Day, Laura!!!



Sunday, December 6, 2009

Counting Down (And How You Can Win Some Cool Prizes!!)

The countdown is on.

Nope, not till Christmas! We are now only ONE HUNDRED DAYS until The Body Finder hits shelves, and guess what??? I’ve got a widget (check out my sidebar)!

Not only do I have a widget, but in honor of the big countdown, I’ve decided to hold my very first official contest!!!!

And there are prizes…look at all the pretty prizes…

Oooh…aahh…

That’s right, you too can have your very own signed copy of The Body Finder, along with this lovely limited edition tote bag, and an assortment of bookmarks and stickers. All that, and…a $25 gift certificate to the online bookseller of your choice! But it doesn’t end there, check out this sweet Body Finder poster (because you get that too!):

Second and third place winners will get all the swag (minus the ARC and the gift certificate)!!!

I kid you not!


And it’s easy to enter. But there are many ways to earn bonus points, so check it out:

1) Earn one point just for being a follower and commenting in this post. Easy, right?!? (New followers welcome!!!!)

2) Earn one extra point for Re-Tweeting/Facebooking (or any other status updating) the contest (but, again, you have to let me know here, so I know to count your point!).

3) Earn one point for posting about the contest in your sidebar, and yet another for an entire post *about* the contest. That’s two extra points if you play your cards right! (And let me repeat…you must let me know that you’ve done these things, otherwise I won’t know to add your extra entries. That’s just how I roll.)

And that’s not all…because if you act now, there’s one more way to earn bonus entries!!! This is the exciting part! Can you *feel* the excitement???

4) You can earn five extra points just for posting The Body Finder widget on your blog/website/My Space/Facebook/whatever! Five. Extra. Points!!! (And not to beat a dead horse, because I’d *never* do that…but please, for the love of everything that is good and holy, let me know so I can count those points too!) Note: Simply click the "share" button on the widget in my sidebar to copy the code...if you have trouble, email me and I'll send you the code!!!

It’s just that easy. Contest runs through December 25th, so get your entries together and spread the word. And the widget!

Oh, and leave me your email so I can get in touch if you win…that’s kind of important…

And get excited, people!


NOTE:
I was just asked the question, so I thought I'd post my response here so everyone knows...Yes, international entries are welcome!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I LOVE THESE LADIES!!!!

A great big HUGE congrats to Kami Garcia and Margie Stohl today! Not only did BEAUTIFUL CREATURES make its debut, but this awesome duo just announced that the first of their FIVE-BOOK-SERIES will soon be hitting the big screen as well. (Check out this killer article in Variety!)

And look at that cover…truly one of the year’s best…













Oh, and don't forget that trailer (as mentioned in the Variety article):



Maybe, just maybe, the director of the Beautiful Creatures trailer has a little something planned for The Body Finder.

I'm just sayin'...

Meet Kristina Springer: THE ESPRESSOLOGIST

Every time I read the synopsis for Kristina Springer’s THE ESPRESSOLOGIST I want to just curl up with a hot drink by the fire.

See what I mean?

What’s your drink of choice? Is it a small pumpkin spice latte? Then you’re lots of fun and a bit sassy. Or a medium americano? You prefer simplicity in life. Or perhaps it’s a small decaf soy sugar-free hazelnut caffe latte? Some might call you a yuppie. Seventeen-year-old barista Jane Turner has this theory that you can tell a lot about a person by their regular coffee drink. She scribbles it all down in a notebook and calls it Espressology. So it’s not a totally crazy idea when Jane starts hooking up some of her friends based on their coffee orders. Like her best friend, Em, a medium hot chocolate, and Cam, a toffee nut latte. But when her boss, Derek, gets wind of Jane’s Espressology, he makes it an in-store holiday promotion, promising customers their perfect matches for the price of their favorite coffee. Things are going better than Derek could ever have hoped, so why is Jane so freaked out? Does it have anything to do with Em dating Cam? She’s the one who set them up! She should be happy for them, right?

Today, we have Kristina here to answer some questions and tell us about herself.

And, go:

1) Would you rather be the Bestselling Rockstar Author or an Acclaimed Literary Award Winner?

Bestselling Rockstar Author

2) Make people laugh, cry, or hide under the covers?

Laugh

3) Retire early or just keep writing from your beach house(s)?

Write from beach house.

4) FaceBook or MySpace?

Facebook

5) After a period, one space or two?

One

And your bonus question: What ONE WORD of advice would give to any aspiring writer?

Persevere

Kristina Springer has a Bachelor of Arts in English Education from Illinois State University and a Master of Arts in Writing from DePaul University. Her first novel, THE ESPRESSOLOGIST, was published by Farrar, Straus, and Giroux on October 27, 2009. Her second novel, MY FAKE BOYFRIEND IS BETTER THAN YOURS, also from FSG, will be published in the fall of 2010. She lives in a suburb of Chicago, IL with her husband Athens and their four small children Teegan, Maya, London, and Gavin.

To find out more about Kristina and her books, check out her website at www.kristinaspringer.com!

Monday, November 30, 2009

OFFER ENDS SOON...ACT NOW!!!!!!

I was cleaning out my daughter’s backpack this morning because (HURRAY!) she’s the school district’s problem again, when I came across these beauties:



Just take a moment to admire the detail…

So all this time I’ve been pouring over proofs of posters and stickers, when all I really needed to do was consult my 8-year-old…apparently she had it all figured out. A pencil and some yellow sticky notes. Sheer. Marketing. Genius!

Who cares that third graders aren’t my target demographic. Let’s just say she’s thinking outside the box, right?

Although, I have to wonder…if these are what was left of her inventory, how many do you think she passed out at school? How many members of THE BODY FINDER CLUB are there???

By the way, check out the back…sticky notes might not have been the best choice for “Club Cards”. Unless their dual purpose was to pick up all those pesky cookie crumbs from the bottom of your backpack. If so, then, mission accomplished, Abigail!

And as far as I can tell, these are the last two, so if you’re serious about joining you’d better act fast!!! I’m not sure what the member benefits are (aside from these sweet card/crumb magnets, of course), but it probably comes with some sort of secret handshake. Or maybe even a free vaccine against the cooties.

I’ll have to ask when she gets home.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

A THANKSGIVING TO REMEMBER...

I’m grateful for finding these in my drawer today after my husband folded laundry this week:


How could I *not* be thankful for a husband who thinks I can fit into a little girl’s size 6???

Happy Thanksgiving to you, too, honey!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

THE WHISPERING EYE


The Forest of Hands and Teeth
Wicked Lovely
The Shining
Shiver
Water For Elephants
The Hunger Games
The Time Travelers Wife
Hush, Hush
Beautiful Creatures


Sometimes even before the cover image, the title is the first impression we have of a book. And whether we want to admit it or not, they’re important. HUGELY important. And you know what? I kinda suck at titles.

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my title. Love, love it, and maybe even want to marry it. But it was an accidental title, a placeholder title that ([insert sarcasm font here] with my vast knowledge of the publishing industry) I was sure the publisher was going to change anyway. THE BODY FINDER…it was what my main character could do, not a well thought out title of a YA novel. I even had a short list (a VERY sort list) of alternates, just in case I was consulted in the matter. But that’s the weird thing…I wasn’t consulted. Because my publisher—the editorial staff and Sales and Marketing—they loved the title too. Thus, THE BODY FINDER it was.

And I was left standing there going: “What the hell just happened…?”

For book two I was more careful. Thoughtful. I spent a lot of time thinking about what meaning I wanted to convey. I weighed the feel of the book and the path that my main character took. And I came up with the perfect title. My agent loved it, and my editor too. Close your eyes and imagine it: *waves hand dramatically*

THE BEAUTIFUL DEAD

It had everything, it was evocative and dark and a little mysterious…

Umm, yeah, well apparently it was the perfect title. For a series of books in the UK. And it was way too close to Francesca Lia Block’s book (also by HarperCollins) titled PRETTY DEAD. (I wish someone would have told me before I bought http://www.thebeautifuldead.net/. Yeah, it works…)

So it was back to the drawing board. And then one day I was going through my edits and I came across a line that stood out to me: “…the desires of the dead.” And that was it, my title: DESIRES OF THE DEAD. Another accidental title. But, again, I love it. And again, a possible impending nuptial. (What can I say? I’m fickle like that!)

My current project doesn’t really have a title yet. And I’m struggling to come up with the one. S-T-R-U-G-G-L-I-N-G! I’ll know it when I find it. But I haven’t yet.

One morning after watching the movie Role Models, I woke up and my husband had renamed my manuscript “THE WHISPERING EYE” as a joke. If you’ve seen the movie you’ll get the reference. If you haven’t, then you’re on your own to figure it out. But I wonder what my editor would think if I sent it in like that. I can just imagine the Sales and Marketing meeting for that one. I’m guessing it would be fairly controversial…

So, I want to know what titles you love and why. And if you’re a writer, I wanna know how you’ve come up with your titles.

Because this title thing, it daunts me. Because, like I said, I sort of suck at it…

Sunday, November 22, 2009

STRUTS AND FRETS: Meet 2009 Deb Jon Skovron

You know how I get cover envy? How I talk about loving this cover or that? Petting, lusting, coveting?

Yeah, well this is one of those. It has that Juno-esque feel about it. The lined paper, the doodle-style font. Plus a man with a guitar…what’s not to love? Okay, so maybe he’s more of a boy. Ish. Whatever. Let’s not play word games. Let’s just stare at the cover and admire...

Plus, the book itself, STRUTS AND FRETS, check it:

More than anything, Sammy wants to play guitar in a famous indie rock band. The problem is that his front man is a jerk who can't sing, his bassist is a burn-out who can't remember the songs, and his drummer is just out to lunch. But Sammy needs this band because it's the only good thing he's got going. His father skipped out before he was born, his mother is an overworked therapist with a drinking problem, his grandfather is slowly losing his mind to Alzheimer's, and the girl of his dreams is dating his jerk lead singer.

Now that jerk lead singer has entered them in a Battle of the Bands contest to win free studio time and guaranteed radio play. Sammy has two weeks to get them to sound like a real band, or face public humiliation in front of the entire local indie music scene.

See? More awesome.

Somewhere along the way, I’ve stopped thinking of the author as Jon Skovron and replaced him with Jonny Skov, mostly because I think it’s a much more kickass indie rocker name. So for the rest of this interview, that’s what we’re going with.

You ready, Jonny? All you have to do is answer five simple questions and a ONE-WORD bonus question.

And…GO!

1) Would you rather be the Bestselling Rockstar Author or an Acclaimed Literary Award Winner?

Bestselling Rockstar author for sure. To paraphrase Garp, I want readers, not acclaim.

2) Make people laugh, cry, or hide under the covers?

All three, preferably at once if possible. That's my favorite place to be.

3) Retire early or just keep writing from your beach house(s)?

I may reach a stage where I choose to stop publishing, but I will always write.

4) FaceBook or MySpace?

Twitter.

5) After a period, one space or two?

I used to be a two spacer, but broke myself of the habit when I started tech writing.

And your bonus question: What ONE WORD of advice would give to any aspiring writer?

Persist!

To find out more about Jonny Skov and his books, check out his website at www.jonskovron.com (or www.jonnyskov.com also works…I checked!).

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Someone Spilled The Beans...

So, today I was browsing around on HarperTeen’s Facebook site and I saw that they were already announcing their Supernatural Summer Tour lineup for next summer. And guess what…????

OMG...YES! I am on it!!!!

*jumps up and down* *screams like a little girl* *throws up in mouth (just a little)*

Did I know Harper was sending me on tour? Yes!

Did I think it was a secret that I had to keep to myself? Why, yes. Yes, I did.

Did I have any idea that HarperTeen was going to publicly announce the tour on their Facebook page??? Umm...no, I did not. (And is it terrible to admit that I kinda wanted to say it first???)

But you know what HarperTeen didn’t have on their site??? Pictures that show how exciting it’s gonna be…

Like this one:




Or this:

Or even this:


So if anyone asks, just tell ‘em you heard it here first. And that my announcement party was way cooler than theirs…

Monday, November 16, 2009

NATURE vs. NURTURE

I pretty much knew I wanted to write by the seventh grade. Of course, in my version of “writing” I wanted to be a Journalist traipsing through jungles and war-torn regions trying to scoop some story that would land me on the cover of Time magazine, possibly win me a Pulitzer. And maybe it would be in the midst of gunfire? Maybe in an insect-infested rain forest with snakes and feral predators and giant spiders? Maybe, even, without a shower?

Can you picture me there? No, not so much? Right…me either. Plus, there’s all that fact gathering and truth-telling. I found it much simpler and far more satisfying to just make stuff up. And to shower daily.

But what was it that made me think I could write? What made me want it? Is writing something you are just born to do, some innate ability you either have or you don’t? Or is it something taught, some skill that must be honed and mastered?

Honestly, I believe it’s both.

But, just like everything else, what I don’t believe is that there is only one “right way” to get there.

I didn’t go the MFA in Writing route (which probably would have been a much smarter and much less potholed route). In fact, when I was in college, I was a Biology major. Um, yeah, not so much to do with the writing. More to do with Anatomy & Physiology, Chemistry, Physics, and a whole lotta math. But I could write a kick-ass paper on cellular mitosis or Newton’s Law. Because all along the way, even though I was studying Biology, I was also "studying" the craft of writing. Whether I was writing mid-term projects and essay problems, or writing and re-writing (and re-writing) my first novel, or just reading everything I could get my hands on, I was always learning about sentence structure and vocabulary and how to best use words for impact. Even if it wasn’t a highly formalized masters program.

Because here’s the thing: while I think I would have learned a TON from a writing program, I also don’t believe that a degree means you will be a great writer*. I think you can be taught all of those things I mentioned above…and a lot, LOT more! I think you can spend hours studying linguistics and dialogue and pouring over the words of every author who’s ever lived and died by the pen, but that does not, and let me just repeat that: That DOES NOT a great writer make! And it certainly does not guarantee a career in writing. Because what can’t necessarily be taught is a *feel* for good storylines or a keen sense of timing or the life experiences that are necessary to understand the way your characters should (or should not) relate to one another.

For me, I think that, yes, I was going to find a way to be a writer (one way or another) and it was called: PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE. Did I have something there to begin with? Hell yes, I did! It’s called drive, desire, and ambition. And I’m not sure where that comes from exactly. Maybe growing up without made me work harder. I’m almost certain it did. But I would never discount the determination of those who were raised with more. There are probably just as many authors who have come from means as those who came from nothing.

Because here’s the deal, if you’ve got that fire then nothing can stop you. I truly believe that writers are as often born as they are created.


* I am not, in fact, referring to myself as a "great writer"...just making a reference to writers in general. Please do not send hate mail!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Hang In There, Baby!

I wonder sometimes about the people who “make it” in this business. Sure, I think there are those who stumble into it ass-backwards and make a killing. They write a manuscript (and maybe their first draft is super stellar), they find an agent on their first try, the book goes out on submission and editors everywhere want it. An auction ensues. Instant overnight success ala Stephenie Meyer, right?

But that’s not the real world. And I have a hard time believing that even those rare “overnight successes” didn’t have their own stumbling blocks along the way.

And what about the rest of us? Most of us?

It certainly didn’t happen that way for me. Sure, The Body Finder sold quickly, but it also wasn’t my first book. Or my second. And I had (ehem…have) stacks of rejection letters to prove it.

I had my first agent when I was twenty. Yeah, you heard me, twenty. And I thought, that’s it, I’ve made it! Now, I can sit back and wait for the bags-o-money to roll in.

Umm, yeah…

Still waiting…

My book didn’t actually sell. My dreams of lighting my cigars (that’s right, I probably would have started smoking cigars) with hundred dollar bills went up in smoke (pardon the pun!).

But I didn’t give up. I rewrote my book, and found yet another agent. And this time I was in my mid-twenties…much older, and much wiser. *cough*yeahright*coughcough*

And, again, my book didn’t sell. So this time I tucked my manuscript away in a drawer. And every few years I would pull it out, dust it off, rewrite it, and resubmit it to agents. The technology got better. I moved from a typewriter to a word processer to a computer. Searching for agents got easier, The Writers Market moved from doorstopper-sized hardcopy to an online version. But, alas, my poor little manuscript just didn’t have what it took to find a publishing home. It had something, just not quite the right thing.

Unfortunately, I was stuck. I’d gotten just enough positive feedback to keep me clinging to it like it was my last, great hope. Hell, I’d had two agents. I even had a two page, single-spaced critique letter from an editor at William Morrow who was kind enough to read my entire manuscript despite the fact that I’d blindly sent it to her without knowing I needed an agent first. I had just the right amount of encouragement to keep me from letting it go.

And then one day I made a decision. One more revision, I decided. The last one, and then I was done with it. Then I was moving on. If I was going to be a writer, then by god I was going to write. New stuff. Even if it never found a publishing home. Even if I was only writing it for me. I was tired of the old book. I wanted to write!

It was very freeing, that moment.

And I did it; I revised the old manuscript, sent out a few more queries, gathered a few more rejections, and moved on. I wrote a second book, and sent out new queries. Got some nibbles, requests for fulls, definitely a lot more positive this time. Could it be that my writing had improved?

Again, I didn’t waste any time, and I started on a new project: The Body Finder. It came together quickly. I was working two jobs, I have three kids, and a busy household. And somehow I would squeeze in a couple of hours every day. My husband did the dishes and got the kids ready for bed. I got up early and stayed up late.

I finished it, and had a feeling that this was something. I was supposed to pitch my second novel at a writer’s conference just weeks away, and instead decided to pitch this new project.

It was like the stars had finally aligned.

But you know what? That wasn’t it at all. There was no fate or kismet involved. It was a lot of hard work. It was dedication and sticking with it, even knowing it was quite possibly a pipe dream. It was believing in myself.

The people that make it—and I believe this about almost any industry that’s difficult to break into—aren’t really the ones who accidentally stumble onto the scene and make a splash (yes, there are those rare exceptions). Instead, they are the ones who bust their asses! The ones who find the time, who never give up, who look past the rejections and keep on working, learning, growing.

I might be the Paula Abdul of writing, but never let the Simons get you down. Not if you really want it!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

THIS IS NOT A DRILL!!! (Run, Don't Walk...)

Okay, so remember that I mentioned how much I love Melissa Marr? And remember that she gave The Body Finder a beautiful blurb? And then remember that I actually got to *meet* her when she was in Seattle back in May???

Well, guess what?!?! I think I actually love her more now. AND SO SHOULD YOU!!!!

Melissa is giving away six (yes, SIX) autographed (by me!) copies of The Body Finder on her website during November and December!!!

Did I mention that there are six copies?

And that I love her...?

So what are you still doing here? Get on over there and win you some books!!!

Oh, Almost Forgot...

Head on over to Lisa and Laura's place to win...wait for it...

A shiny new KINDLE!!!!


That's right, friends, they're giving away the good stuff! But hurry! You don't want to miss out, and the contest ends November 13th!!!

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Not-So-Secret Agent Stuff


Another question I get asked a lot is:How did you get published?"

There are several variations of this question:
Did you send your book to a lot of publishers? How did you know where to send it? And my personal favorite: Did you pay a lot to get it published?

The obvious answer is: I got an agent. And she sold my book.

This is a subject I am much more comfortable talking about/giving advice on. In fact, this is where you and I become BFFs. I will give you websites (Agent Query; Predators & Editors*, The Writer’s Market) where you can search databases of agents, and I'll even tell you a little about query letters (although I’ll neither write it for you nor critique it). Boundaries, people. Boundaries.

And why am I so accommodating when it comes to discussions of agents? Because this is not only a topic I feel I can be useful on (I’ve done a little research, you know?), but something I feel rather strongly about.

There are plenty of people out there (and I know at least one personally) who have decided to go the less-traditional, non-agented route. And I think that’s great for them. Really, I do. They have their reasons. Some feel they have exhausted their resources trying to find an agent to represent them, others have just gotten fed up with waiting for an agent to notice them, and some of them have gotten lucky and found a publishing house to represent them all on their own. And I am first to applaud their decision! I’m a big fan of the no-right-way-to-get-things-done school of thought.

Me, personally, however? There are some really good reasons I want an agent standing behind me.

First of all, most (and I do mean MOST) publishers won’t even look at a manuscript from an unagented author. Especially first-time authors. And even if their website says they will (sure, go ahead and send your manuscript to this generic address!), an agent will get your manuscript out of the slushpile and onto an editor’s desk. The right editor. And trust me when I say, your agent does his/her research before they ever send out a manuscript. They’re not sending your Vegan Cajun Cookbook to an editor who acquires only MG adventures for boys.

Secondly, besides negotiating a better monetary amount for the sale of your book, you want to have an agent for the down-and-dirty contract negotiations. These are sticky and messy. Even with my agent, the first contract that HarperCollins offered was not the contract I ended up with. There are lots of things to consider: who will hold foreign rights, e-books, merchandising, film/TV rights, how long/for how many books are you under contract? The list is endless. These are not things the average person should ever navigate on their own.

And then there are all of the things your agent does for you after the sale. Your agent will be your go-to person for pretty much everything. Don’t like your new cover? Call your agent. You and your editor disagree about edits? Call your agent. You want to throw a hissy fit about…well, anything? Please, do not call your editor…call your agent! She’ll talk you down and figure it all out. She’s willing to put on her black hat and be the bad guy so you don’t have to.

If she holds your foreign rights, she’ll sell those. She’ll sell audio. She’ll find your film agent, handle merchandising, and don’t even get me started on video games! Seriously, please don’t…I have no idea about them. Zip, zilch, nada…

My point is, there are good reasons to pay out the 10-20%** for an agent, she’s worth the money! So polish your query letters*** and start-a-pitchin’. You’ll be glad you did!

* Please-oh-please-oh-please, never sign with an agent that wants you to pay them money up front. These are scam artists, people! SCAM ARTISTS!

** Industry standard seems to be 15%.

*** Query Shark – A blog about query letters. You can see examples!


Aside from the links I’ve already given, here are some blogs and websites that I think are useful:

http://www.aaronline.org/ (The Association of Author’s Representatives)

http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/ (Absolute Write – Online Forums for discussing writing)

http://www.guidetoliteraryagents.com/blog/CategoryView,category,Nonfiction.aspx (This is generally a non-fiction site, but has great general information!)

http://bookendslitagency.blogspot.com/2009/09/my-favorite-books.html (A great literary agency site!)

http://misssnark.blogspot.com/ (Miss Snark…enough said!)

http://editorialass.blogspot.com/ (An editor’s perspective.)

http://blog.nathanbransford.com/ (Don’t pretend you’re not already stalking, er, I mean following him!)

Now get out there...I fully expect to see more posts like this, and this, and this!!!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Awkward Conversations...

Yesterday Kiersten White did a really great post about something that happens to me all the time. (I loved her post because she managed to formulate everything I’d been thinking and somehow put it to words. On paper! It’s like she’s a professional writer or something!)

Anyway, it’s always amazing to me how a conversation can go from “You’re a writer?” to “My second grade teacher said I should be a writer” in about 2.4 seconds. Flat.

And it’s all good. Great, in fact. I’m happy for you, really I am. I’m not all that comfortable talking about myself in the first place. Especially when that same conversation starts to steer into what I like to call “awkward territory”. And, no, I’m not even talking about the ballsy “So, how much was your advance?” conversation, I’m talking about the other…”How ‘bout I send you some of my stuff and you can tell me what you think?”

Umm, no.

Okay, I didn't mean for that to sound bitchy, let me try again…umm, no.

How about this? Umm, no!

No? Still not any better?

Yeah, well, that’s because I’m probably not gonna read it. For several reasons.

Besides the obvious legal ramifications (you know that pesky being-accused-of-plagiarism thing), I’m busy. Really busy. Really, REEAAALLLY BUSY! I think there’s this misnomer that a writer sits in his or her office (or in a really comfy “reading chair”) and writes a book, and then they just send it in to their editor, who edits it, and voila! A book is born!

Not so.

Here’s what really goes down: Said editor sends said writer editorial notes, with which said writer busts their freaking hump in an effort to satisfy said editor’s needs, wants, and innermost desires for that first draft. Oh yeah, you heard me: First. Draft. Because, yes, there will probably be a second, and possibly a third, round of revisions.

You: And then the writer gets to just kick back and collect royalty checks, right?

Me: Umm, yeah, not so much.

Then you do your copyedits. You learn phrases like “Stet” and you decide how many “whom”s a YA novel can withstand, grammatically correct or not, before it sounds like a throwback to Jane Austen. You pour over each and every single line until your eyes feel like they're hemorrhaging.
You: And then you’re done…?

Me: You’re getting closer now, but not quite. Next your lovely little manuscript is sent off to the typesetter, and you receive these gorgeously crafted pages as they will (eventually) appear in the bound books. Beautiful fonts, pretty little art designs created just for the pages of your book, your Acknowledgements in all their glory. Every single page of it!

But, wait! You see mistakes on those pages! That’s right, these are just your First Pass Pages. And yet again, you get to go through character-by-character seeking out every little error in need of correction. You send those in, and depending on your publisher, you will receive Second Pass Pages as well, another opportunity to work until your eyes bleed.

In the meantime, you’ve been working on your next book, or maybe that one’s already done and you've reached the revision stage. In the meantime, you’re also working on another book.

What I’m saying is that it’s never finished. I’m always working. On something. Ask my husband. Or my kids. Look at my house…the proof is in the laundry. (Or the poorly stocked kitchen).

And if that isn’t enough to deter you from trying to pass me the poem you scribbled on the back of your Denny’s napkin, here’s another: I’m not very good at it. There’s a reason I never joined a Crit Group. I’m like your mom, I’ll try to frame it and hang it on my fridge. I want to see the good in everything you do (especially if I like you), which isn’t at all useful to someone who is serious about getting published. I am the Paula Abdul of writing.

So, save yourself (and me) a lot of grief. For the love of god, ask me about my advance. Just don’t ask me to read your manuscript!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

A Winding Road

This latest re-run post is scheduled to be a post on the incredible roller-coaster journey that is publishing.

But before we get started, I have news (and I LOVE NEWS!):

The fabulous duo that we call LiLa, has just announced that they will see their book, THE HAUNTING OF PEMBERLY BROWN, on bookstore shelves in Spring 2011. YAY, LiLa! You girls rock!!!!!!

So in honor of publishing news, here's a look back at my journey (so far):

1) How I Found My Agent...

2) I'm Getting Published!!! (One of my favorite moments was *finally* being able to make this announcement...three months after the sale!)

3) Getting "The Call"

4) My Road To Publication (Notice that it lists the OLD release date since I wrote this post back in February...so many things have happened since then, but this is a great timeline of the process from sale through edits.)

5) My Sad News, With A Silver Lining... (The day I learned my release date was pushed back six months.)

6) Some really Cool Stuff...

7) In My Husband's World (What my Acknowledgment's Page would look like if my husband had written them.)

But here's the thing: you always expect it to get easier. If only I could get an agent...If only I got published...If only they sold foreign/audio/film...

The "What-ifs" are endless. There's always another hurdle, another goal. Like I said, it's a roller coaster. A thrill ride. And sometimes, when I least expect it, I get one of those calls or emails that take me plunging down the tracks with my arms raised and a scream lodged in the back of my throat.

And, really, what more could I want?

More About Writing...

Okay, yes, it's another "clip-show," but like I said before: I'm in re-run mode. And this time the focus is less about poking fun at my poor, unsuspecting family and more on digging through past posts about writing. Or as a more serious writer might say (*and I think you should picture me with a distinguished-looking pipe in my mouth*) "The Craft".

Aw, c'mon! Don't look at me like that. These were good posts. Consider them...recycled. And recycling's a good thing, right? Sure it is!!!

(Oh, and the picture...no, I do not think any monkey can pound away at a keyboard. Okay, yes...yes, I do. But can they put together an entire manuscript? Of course not. Is it funny to imagine? I'd be lying if I said it wasn't!)

So, here are my prized (or maybe not-so-prized) writing posts from the past:

1) What Kind Of Writer Are You?

2) Edits, Edits, and More Edits...

3) Is "Sell-Out" My Middle Name?

4) And a newer one that some of you may recognize: The Six Stages of Revision Hell...

5) And this one, less about writing and more about my addiction to all thing internet: Hi. My Name is Kim, and I'm a Blog-O-Holic...

See? Didn't I tell ya, recycled material isn't all bad. Plus, it can't last forever. Eventually it'll be Sweeps Week again and I'll have to bring out the big guns, the whole sparkly dog-and-pony-show, and then it's GAME ON!!! You guys won't know what hit you!

Or, you know, there'll just be some new posts and stuff...

Friday, October 30, 2009

It's Like A Clip Show...

You know when TV shows get too lazy to put together something new so they piece together old episodes into a clip show? Yeah, well, this is kind of like that...

I've gone back...way, WAY back...digging into the archives to put together a list of some of my favorite posts about my family. Most of these posts were from before before I could officially announce my book deal, so all I had to talk about were my husband and kids. Thankfully, they provide plenty of comic material:

1) TOO FUNNY NOT TO SHARE...(not for those with a weak stomach): My daughter's attempt to humiliate me into seeing things *her* way!

2) Comb-Over, Depends, and Other Cool Grown-Up Things: Yet another gem by my daughter, in which she reminds me I'm no spring chicken anymore.

3) Out Of The Mouths Of Teens: I realize my son is seriously lacking some real-world skills.

4) Mr. Fix-It: Husbands try, don't they???

5) Overheard At My House: In which we all pretty much take one for the team.

6) FAKING IT: This time it's just me...and the joys of motherhood.

This post may be my "Jumping the Shark" moment, but frankly, I'm in re-run mode right now. Besides, I kinda liked my little trip down memory lane...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Coolest Pumpkin On The Block!


Yet another reason I have the sweetest husband ever:

He carved this for me and even got a blister on his finger (which, of course, he totally had to show me). Unfortunately, he has the least sympathetic wife ever, so all together now: “Aww, poor baby!”





But seriously, honey, thanks for the kick-ass pumpkin!







Monday, October 26, 2009

Meet LK Madigan, Author of FLASH BURNOUT...

First of all, I had the amazing opportunity to meet LK Madigan this summer at the SCBWI in LA, and let me just say: She. Was. Awesome! So much so that even if I didn’t think her book sounded amazing (which it does), and even if I didn’t think you should read it (which I totally do!), I would *still* post this interview!

Her debut novel, FLASH BURNOUT, is about fifteen-year-old Blake, who has a girlfriend and a friend who's a girl. One of them loves him, the other one needs him.

When he snapped a picture of a street person for his photography homework, Blake never dreamed that the woman in the photo was his friend Marissa's long-lost meth addicted mom.

In a tangle of life, death, and love, Blake will emerge with a more sharply defined snapshot of loyalty.

Okay, LK, here we go:

1) Would you rather be the Bestselling Rockstar Author or an Acclaimed Literary Award Winner?

Dang, I know that everyone wants to answer this, “Literary Award Winning Bestseller,” and I’m no different … but if pressed, I would choose LITERARY!

2) Make people laugh, cry, or hide under the covers?

Laugh, then cry, then laugh again.

3) Retire early or just keep writing from your beach house(s)?

I don’t think I can stop, so I guess I’ll keep writing forever.

4) FaceBook or MySpace?

Twitter.

5) After a period, one space or two?

It was hard to give up that second space, but I managed, eventually. ONE!

And your bonus question: What ONE WORD of advice would give to any aspiring writer?

Persist.

Plus, check out her BIO:

L.K. Madigan is a writer living in Portland, Oregon, who finds it odd to speak in the third person. Therefore:

Hi. I am married with one son, two big black dogs, hundreds of books, and a couple of beaters, I mean vintage cars.

For more about LK and her book, check out her website at www.lkmadigan.com!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JD!!!

In honor of my husband's birthday, I've put together a TOP FIVE LIST of why he's the best husband ever:

1) After 17 years together he still puts up with me. No small feat, trust me.

2) He cracks me the hell up! Everyday. And all the time. He’s the reason I tell my kids they need to look for more than just the “butterflies” (which definitely have their place!), but that they need to be with their best friend. Best friends last forever.

3) Besides being a great husband, he’s an amazing father. He’s the dad who coached Little League and basketball, and played peek-a-boo for hours, and who the kids go to first when they want a “yes” because he’s a total softie. (P.S. for the record, that makes me the hard-ass!)

4) The little things: Carrying my groceries in when it’s raining and warming up my car when it’s cold out. Little love notes in my purse, my luggage, my inbox. Doing the dishes after dinner every night.

5) The big things: He’s the one who told me to “go for it,” helping the kids with their homework and getting them ready for bed so I could write. When I couldn’t convince myself to spend the money to go to LA for the BEA to pitch to agents, he was the one who encouraged me, pushing me until I finally booked the trip. (The one where I met my agent.) He’s my biggest fan, and he’s always believed in me.

Happy Birthday, Josh. Don’t worry, I won’t get all sappy on you again…next year, it’ll be a full-on Roast! You’re welcome.








Friday, October 23, 2009

THE DAY I TURNED 90...

Last weekend, my husband and I went in search of the perfect chair for my office. Not the desk kind that swivels and has the up and down lever, but the other kind…the one that sits in the corner, that you snuggle down into with a blanket so you can read on a cold winter day. It’s plush and it has cushions. It has a matching ottoman and needs its own end table that you can set your laptop and your cup of tea on. You know, that chair.

We scoured the furniture store in search of the perfect one. I tried them all out—in both reading and laptop positions—testing to see which would be the most comfortable. I eyeballed them to see which was the prettiest.

And then we passed it, and my husband said, “Just try it.”

“No way!”

“C’mon. What’ll it hurt to just sit in it?”

I shook my head, staring at it. I would never be that person.

“Just do it,” he practically dared.

I sighed. “Fine. Whatever.” I rolled my eyes and sat down.

And then I pulled the lever, and my feet were propped up at the perfect height, my shoulders supported to exactly the right degree. I glared at my husband. “I hate you.”

I jumped up, refusing to acknowledge that it was, indeed, the perfect chair: The recliner.

It couldn’t be. Recliners are for old people. They’re for lazy people. For unshaven men with beer bellies who scream at their TVs on Sunday.

They aren’t for writers who need back support while they balance their laptops on their knees. Right???

I tried—and re-tried—every single “real” chair in the store, before finally admitting the truth. I had already found the perfect chair.

I grudgingly paid for my chair, refusing to call it what it really was, and forcing my husband to call it a “reading chair” instead. But we all know the truth: I am now a recliner girl.

I have turned 90. I will grow a pot belly and learn to scream obscenities at televised sports. I may even buy a mini-fridge instead of an end table so I no longer have to make that long trek downstairs for…what goes in a mini-fridge anyway? Beer? ‘Lil smokies? Cheese in a can?

But you know what? My back has never felt so supported and my shoulders are loving me!

Besides, it’s not a recliner. It’s a reading chair.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

An Interview With Pam Bachorz (in which I try to hypnotize you!)

Meet Pam Bachorz: Novelist, 2009 Deb, and resident creepster (and I mean that in the nicest possible way...I love to be creeped out!).

*everyone at once* “Hello, Pam.”

Pam Bachorz grew up in a small town in the Adirondack foothills, where she participated in every possible performance group and assiduously avoided any threat of athletic activity. Pam attended college in Boston and finally decided she was finished after earning four degrees. Her mother is not happy that Pam’s degrees are stored under her bed.

Pam lives just outside Washington, DC with her husband and their son. She likes to read books not aimed at her age group, go to museums and theater performances, and watch far too much television. She even goes jogging. Reluctantly.

As far as she knows, Pam has never been brainwashed. Or maybe that’s just what she’s supposed to say.

And her debut novel CANDOR, seriously, this just sounds amazing:

Oscar Banks has everything under control. In a town where his father brainwashes everyone, he’s found a way to secretly fight the subliminal Messages. He’s got them all fooled: Oscar’s the top student and the best-behaved teen in town. Nobody knows he’s made his own Messages to deprogram his brain. But then Nia Silva moves to Candor, and Oscar falls in love. He must choose whether to let Nia be lost to brainwashing—or to sacrifice himself.

Okay, are you ready, Pam?

1) Would you rather be the Bestselling Rockstar Author or an Acclaimed Literary Award Winner?

I refuse to pick! What I want is to be a storyteller who grabs their audience and doesn't let go until the end.

2) Make people laugh, cry, or hide under the covers?

Hide under the covers, for sure. If my story can break through into the reader's world and make the hair on the back of their neck stand up, job done.

3) Retire early or just keep writing from your beach house(s)?

I expect to be writing until the day I die!

4) FaceBook or MySpace?

I am a FaceBook addict but I don't inhabit MySpace as much, even though I've got an account there. I play a game of WordTwist on FB before settling in to write, every day.

5) After a period, one space or two?

My college journalism training insists on one space. And while we're at it, can we discuss the misspelling of its and it's? Um, hello, anywhere still there? Drat, they always disappear when I start ranting about grammar...

And your bonus question: What ONE WORD of advice would give to any aspiring writer?

HUMBLE.


Now, for the Grand Finale:

*waves watch in front of your faces* You are getting sleepy...

Repeat after me: I will buy CANDOR…I will buy CANDOR…I will buy CANDOR...

(I know, I know. But just because I'm lame, don't hold it against her!)

To find out more about Pam and her books, check out her website at http://www.pambachorz.com/.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Some Kind Of Normal

My friend Heidi Willis just posted her brand new book trailer, and I just had to share because it's...FABULOUS!

Her debut novel will be released later this year by NorLights Press, and it's definitely on my watch list. (It really looks amazing!!!)

Check it out:

All that stands between her daughter’s life and death is a tenth grade education, a zealous group of Baptist ladies, and 1.8 million Google hits.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

My Very First Vlog (Or: Why I shouldn't Be Allowed In Front Of A Camera)...


In honor of Vania's Birthday, I hosted a virtual birthday party for her...you can catch all the action here!

I absolutely stand by my statement on the guest post: I AM A DORK! I'm cool with that.

Oh, and Vania, Connor was a little bent that you didn't "thank" him too. HAHA!!!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Cutting The Cord With Your Manuscript...

The day I sent in my first round of revisions on Desires of the Dead, I received a UPS package on my doorstep…Second Pass Page Proofs for The Body Finder had arrived. Basically, these were my very, VERY last chance to find any errors that have been missed by the numerous editors or typesetters along the way.

I am happy to announce that after a week of pouring over the pages, line-by-freaking-line, I. Am. Finished! They are probably being delivered to HarperCollins as we speak! HUZZAH!

What I will say is that no matter how many times I look at that text, no matter how many times I’ve revised, edited, and proofed those words, I can always find something else to tweak, something I want to change, or delete, or just rip apart and start over again. It’s disheartening. When is enough enough? As a writer, can you ever say “it’s perfect” and just walk away?

Or will I be reading my own (secretly revised) version at bookstores while readers scan the pages of the books they’ve purchased and complain “that’s not what mine says”???

Friday, October 2, 2009

Contest For THE BODY FINDER and DEADLY LITTLE LIES!

First Novels Club is holding a contest for copies of THE BODY FINDER and DEADLY LITTLE LIES.

Here’s what they say:

In honor of one of our favorite months and holidays, Halloween, the FNC has decided to hold a contest and give away not one, but TWO exciting arcs. And because it's Halloween, we wanted these arcs to be scary. Really scary.

But there is a problem.

Vampires are now sparkly. Therefore not scary.

Werewolves are now sexy. Therefore not scary.

Zombies are now prom dates. Therefore not scary.

And with half of the YA literary sphere dating creatures of the night, well, we were running out of things to really scare us. But then we realized the two things that will always, always scare the crap out of us!

STALKERS!!!!

and...

SERIAL KILLERS!!!!




Aren’t they awesome???

To enter, head on over to their site and tell them what scares you . . . but do it before October 31st!!!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

REVISION MOUTH

Revisions are rotting my brain. No joke. My capacity for human speech has been compromised. Not the kind on paper…clearly. But just try to carry on a conversation with me right now. It’s not pretty. I can barely form full sentences, and if I do they come out sounding like a garbled mess. I stutter and stammer. I have word salad.

My family laughs. They’ve even named it: Revision Mouth.

In fact, I do blame revisions. They’ve hijacked whatever part of my brain is responsible for verbal communication, focusing all of my energy on the written word instead.

So, if you happen to see me in the grocery store and I say something like: “Whkshldfkdshf,” don’t take offense. In all likelihood I’ve just complimented you. Not my fault it wasn’t coherent, it was the Revision Mouth speaking.

Just pretend you didn’t notice, and, like the penguins say, smile and wave. Just smile and wave…

By the way, those jeans really do look good on you.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

MY INVENTED LIFE: The Lauren Bjorkman Interview!

Aside from the fact that Lauren Bjorkman’s MY INVENTED LIFE is just out TODAY (*confetti and streamers all around*), it’s also the kind of book I love. The kind that comes with a dash of controversy! (I’m sure you can figure out which part has *some people* up in arms).

Me? MY INVENTED LIFE just moved to the top of my TBR pile!!!

Roz and Eva are sisters, close friends, and fierce rivals. Roz fantasizes about snagging the lead in the school play and sexy skate god Bryan as her boyfriend. Sadly a few obstacles stand between her and her dreams. For one, Eva is the more talented actress. And Bryan happens to be Eva’s boyfriend. But is Eva having a secret love affair with a girl? Enquiring minds need to know.

Roz prides herself on random acts of insanity. In one such act, she invents a girlfriend of her own to encourage Eva to open up. The plan backfires, and Roz finds herself neck deep in her invented life. When Roz meets a mercurial boy with a big problem, she begins to understand the complex feelings beneath the labels. And she gets a second chance to earn Eva’s trust.

My Invented Life is set in a small California high school during rehearsals for a Shakespeare comedy.


On top of her debut release, Lauren Bjorkman also hosts a teen advice column called ASK MY SISTER, based on (you guessed it!) Roz and Eva from MY INVENTED LIFE. How clever is that???

To celebrate, Lauren has stopped by to answer a few questions:

1) Would you rather be the Bestselling Rockstar Author or an Acclaimed Literary Award Winner?

Can I be both? No? OK, if I must choose, I'll be literary. Fame and fortune have a few down sides (I hate it when my dinner out is interrupted by adoring fans demanding my autograph). Well, and literary books inspired me to write in the first place.

2) Make people laugh, cry, or hide under the covers?

I love books that make me cry, but when I started writing my own books, and they came out funny, I went with it.

3) Retire early or just keep writing from your beach house(s)?

Keep writing. One beach house will suffice.

4) FaceBook or MySpace?

FB all the way. MySpace is fun, but the flash shuts down my wifi.

5) After a period, one space or two?

LOL! I used to use two, but switched over to one about four years ago.

And your bonus question: What ONE WORD of advice would give to any aspiring writer:

Dig.

Thanks for having me, Kimberly!

For more about Lauren or her books, check out her website at http://www.laurenbjorkman.com/. For advice from Roz or Eva, send letters to lauren@laurenbjorkman.com!

Congrats Lauren! And HAPPY RELEASE DAY!!!!!!!!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Only Three More Days in the Big SUMMERLAND Contest!!!

Summer might officially be over, but summer reads are still HOT! In case you haven't already heard, the big SUMMERLAND Contest prize pack is still up for grabs.
Check it out before it's too late!!!

Summerland Books

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Serious Health Warning: MALE PATTERN BLINDNESS!

So something’s been happening around my house lately. Or rather, to my son.

I mean, I knew he was a boy. The doctor told me so on the day he was born. And I was thrilled. Ecstatic. A boy! My boy. And, boy, how this boy would be different. A sensitive, sweet boy. The kind who would listen to what women had to say, who would talk…actually *talk* when asked questions, engaging in, get this, conversation. He wouldn’t respond to questions with just one-word answers or, worse, grunts.

And he was. For years, my little angel told me precious things, like that he wanted to marry me and live with me forever. Okay, maybe not for years, maybe just when he was four, but it was still the sweetest thing ever. And when he hugged, it was different than when the girls did it. His hugs were softer, cuddlier. He melted into me. I wanted to eat him up.

And then it started, a few years ago…the change.

At first it was just the no-more-hand-holding in public. Okay, fine, he doesn’t want to be a sissy, I could live with that. I kept my own hands stuffed carefully inside my pockets, lest I forget the rule.

Then it was the transition into the one-word conversation.

Me: “How was your day?”
Him: “Fine.”
Me: “What’d you do?”
Him: “Nothin’.”
Me: “Really? Nothing?”
And, usually, I could coax him back into the world of multi-word dialogue.

But lately, it’s other things, too. Man things.

I honestly believed that this most recent affliction was restricted only to my husband, but as I’ve asked around, it seems that it’s more of a male species sort of thing.

MALE PATTERN BLINDNESS.

So how can you spot the warning signs of Male Pattern Blindness? Well, the answer is simple, conversations between you and the male in question will go a little something like this:

Potentially infected male: “Have you seen my [insert any item here: remote control/car keys/Coca Cola]?”

You: “Where have you looked?”

Him: “Everywhere.” (Note the one-word response)

You: “Did you look in the [insert most obvious location here: couch/pockets/fridge]?”

Him: “Uh-huh.” (This is very nearly a grunt)

You: *sigh* “Fine. Let me look.” You check and find said item in the *exact* location you just discussed. Sitting in plain sight. Or in the case of the remote, possibly wedged slightly between two cushions, which as you can imagine *would* be somewhat confusing.

Ladies, I’m begging you, this is serious! This is neither a joke nor a drill. We need to act quickly before our sons and brothers are poisoned by whatever is ailing or husbands and fathers.

I’m worried that I might already be too late for my sweet little boy, that hormones have already clouded his vision so badly that he can no longer see that bright red can of Coke staring at him from the shelf on the fridge.

Let’s not let it happen to your sons too.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

GIVE UP THE GHOST: Megan Crewe Interview

I love me a good ghost story, real or made up. In fact, I’ve lost sleep over some freaky tales that friends have relayed or late-night viewings of Ghost Hunters. Yeah, I’m that person...

So you can see why GIVE UP THE GHOST, Megan Crewe’s debut novel, piques my interest.

In a recent review, Teens Read Too says of GIVE UP THE GHOST:

“If there's one sentence that could sum up Cass McKenna's life, it would probably be that infamous line from the movie The Sixth Sense: ‘I see dead people.’”

Okay, yeah, I LOVE that line! Gets me every time.

Cass McKenna much prefers the company of ghosts over "breathers." Ghosts are uncomplicated and dependable, and they know the dirt on everybody... and Cass loves dirt. She's on a mission to expose the dirty secrets of the poseurs in her school.

But when the vice president of the student council discovers *her* secret, Cass's whole scheme hangs in the balance. Tim wants her to help him contact his recently deceased mother, and Cass reluctantly agrees.

As Cass becomes increasingly entwined in Tim's life, she's surprised to realize he's not so bad--and he needs help more desperately than anyone else suspects. Maybe it's time to give the living another chance...

Today, we welcome awesome 2009 Deb Megan Crewe, author of GIVE UP THE GHOST, to answer a few familiar questions.

Here we go:

1) Megan, would you rather be the Bestselling Rockstar Author or an Acclaimed Literary Award Winner?

Hard one! I think I'd have to go with Bestselling Rockstar Author just because ultimately it's more important to me that readers enjoy my book than critics.

2) Make people laugh, cry, or hide under the covers?

Cry, but laughter would be great, too. I'm not generally trying to scare people. :)

3) Retire early or just keep writing from your beach house(s)?

I am going to be writing as long as I'm able. From a beach house sounds nice!

4) FaceBook or MySpace?

I don't love either, but I find Facebook easier to follow.

5) After a period, one space or two?

Two! It's how I was taught, and habits are hard to break.

And your bonus question: What ONE WORD of advice would give to any aspiring writer?

Persevere. (Great answer!)

To find out more about Megan and her books, check out her website at www.megancrewe.com. And to order GIVE UP THE GHOST (and you totally should), click here!!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I'm Practically Virginal...

Okay, so that felt a little weird.

Maybe “virginal” was the wrong word. Maybe I should have said “chaste”, “pure as the driven snow”, or even tried for “angelic.”

Nope, still not working.

So, check it out: THIS. IS. HILARIOUS!

Click on the Ratings Code below and you can find out what your blog is rated. As you can see, I got a “G” rating. Like I said, virginal. *cue halo and angel harps*

OnePlusYou Quizzes and Widgets


How did I get that rating? Apparently my blog contains the word “hell” one time and “dead” twice. I seem to be incapable of using profanity. Saintly? Who me???

Don’t look at me like that…it’s totally true! *polishes shiny new halo* Who am I to argue with the rating system?

I’m going to ignore the fact that I used the term “naughty spanking” in this post. Or that I posted about how much I love the swears in this one.

Now, here’s the deal....it's your turn. I want to hear what you’re rated.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Vania Is A Genius!!!

This is it! After months of hiring models, shooting original stills, storyboarding, editing, and everything else that goes into a first-class book trailer, Vania from Reverie Book Reviews has finally finished her masterpiece.

Without further ado, I give you the BEAUTIFUL CREATURES book trailer:


AS YOU WISH: The Jackson Pearce Interview

Jackson Pearce is hilarious. Seriously…I’m not just saying that. If you haven’t already seen one of Jackson’s video reviews floating around the web, you have to check them out. They are clever and off-the-wall and nothing that you’d expect in a book review. In this one for The Forest of Hands and Teeth she even does the Thriller dance. Who does that?

Jackson Pearce does!

(Oh yeah, and cute as a button, isn’t she???)

And, even better, her debut novel AS YOU WISH is getting amazing reviews of its own.

Seven months ago, Viola's boyfriend told her he was gay—moments before she was going to lose her virginity to him. Heartbroken, Viola has resigned herself to near invisibility, until she inadvertently summons a young jinn out of his world, Caliban, and into her own. Here he will remain until she makes three wishes.

Jinn is anxious to get back to Caliban, but Viola is terrified of wishing, afraid her wishes will be manipulated into curses. Jinn knows that should she wait too long, the Ifrit, guardians of earthbound jinn, will press her to wish by hurting those around her.As they spend time together, Jinn can't deny that he's slowly falling in love with Viola, blurring the lines between master and servant. It's only after Viola makes her first wish—for a popular boy to love her—that she realizes the feelings are mutual.

With every wish Jinn's time with her diminishes, but the longer she waits to wish the greater danger she's in from the Ifrit. Together, Viola, Jinn, and Viola's ex-boyfriend try to outwit the Ifrit while dealing with their own romantic complexities and the alcohol-laced high school social scene.

But, wait! There’s more??? That’s right, it’s the Jackson Pearce Interview:

1) Okay, Jackson, would you rather be the Bestselling Rockstar Author or an Acclaimed Literary Award Winner?

I'm kinda ashamed to say, Bestselling Rockstar. Because it fulfills my woes over not being an ACTUAL rockstar. Also, I'm not very literary anyhow.

2) Make people laugh, cry, or hide under the covers?

Laugh, any day. Then cry. Then I steal their covers.

3) Retire early or just keep writing from your beach house(s)?

Just keep writing from my beach houses while the manservant makes martinis.

4) FaceBook or MySpace?

Facebook. Myspace has too many flashy ads. It makes me feel nauseous.

5) After a period, one space or two?

ONE. ONE people, ONE.

And your bonus question: What ONE WORD of advice would give to any aspiring writer?

Try

Besides her fabulous debut and video hilarity, Jackson also has a series of books coming out, starting in June 2010, with SISTERS RED, a modern retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, but with butt-kicking sisters and romance! For more about Jackson (and her amazing books!), check out her website at www.jacksonpearce.com!