Friday, April 30, 2010

Five for Friday


Geez...Friday is over in an hour already and I haven't posted Five for Friday. So, here we go.

Five websites (mostly for writers, but non-writers may enjoy, too):

  1. http://www.behindthename.com/ - Don't just get meanings for names, but get names for meanings.
  2. http://surnames.behindthename.com/ - Same as above, but for surnames
  3. http://absolutewrite.com/ - Great community!
  4. http://bittenbybooks.ning.com/ - Supernatural, paranormal, urban fantasy, dark fantasy...you name it.
  5. http://howpublishingreallyworks.blogspot.com/ - Get the real scoop.
Tomorrow brings a bonus post: BLOGFEST!!! Woohoo! I love blogfests. They're a lot of fun and there's much to learn and gain from them. So come back and check out the Last Lines Blogfest, hosted by Lilah Pierce at The Good Grief Writer. Go here to see everyone else's great Last Lines.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Teaser Tuesday

Excerpts won’t go up on the Promise website for a while. For now, here’s another little bit from it:

The store felt empty and ominous when I first arrived, but I came early to have a little extra time before opening. Mom kept a small office in the back room and I thought she might be more likely to hide something there than at home, where I might find it. I tugged on all the drawers of her desk and filing cabinet, but, of course, they didn’t budge, locked against intruders…and snoopers like me. There were no loose papers on her desk and only one large, flat envelope in her inbox. She was annoyingly organized.

I glanced at the single piece of mail and my eye caught on the corner where the return address should be. Instead of an address, though, there was a strange, yet vaguely familiar symbol and the word “Amadis” embossed into the paper. I picked the envelope up and studied it closer, holding it to the light, but I couldn’t read anything inside. I briefly debated whether I could get away with opening it and resealing it, but eventually just dropped it back into the tray. It was probably from a publisher and I had seen the symbol on a book’s spine. Or, for all I knew, it was just junk mail, not worth the risk.

I hope you enjoyed it. If you're looking forward to Promise or any other book coming out by a new author, check out this blog post by Rebecca over at Diary of a Virgin Novelist. Great ideas to support your favorite authors, especially debut writers.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Teaser Tuesday

Have you entered the 50 to 100 Giveaway? Name your prize and enter here.

Now Playing: Lost Cause by Beck

As promised, I've been scheming and planning ways to improve my blog. This primarily requires actually blogging, since I'm lacking in that area [I totally suck]. But I'm not a lost cause. ;-) Anyway, many writers do a Teaser Tuesday and I loved the idea. So I'm stealing it sharing in the fun. So here's the first one, a snippet from PROMISE, my upcoming novel.

The two-bedroom cottage, four blocks from the Cape’s downtown area and two blocks from the beach, was quiet and usually comforting. It was one of the few places we lived that actually felt like home. Usually, our moves required leaving everything behind except the bare necessities. Since we actually brought our belongings this time, they were at least familiar, if not nostalgic. Mom decorated in browns and beiges, but with leather and wood furniture and chenille and silk throw pillows, the variety of textures kept it from being boring. Rather, it was cozy and calming, like “Mom’s place” should be. And I was scared to death to be here alone.

I paced the cottage several times, mentally going through self-defense moves Mom taught me many years ago. They hadn’t done me any good against those people last time, but I thought if I was ready for them now….

I whirled on a whispered sound, my heart hammering. It stopped when I did.

That's it for today. Don't forget to join in the giveaway fun and that commenting here earns you an entry, as long as you're a follower.

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Big 50!!!

(And if you dare ask if that’s my birthday coming up, I’ll reach right through your screen and slap you.)

This is a time for celebration! I’ve reached 50 Followers!!!!! Woohoo!!!!!

(Apparently, this calls for lots of !!!!s. All celebrations do, right?)

Thank you all for thinking I have something interesting to say. When I first started, I really thought this blog would be a big flop, but it’s actually been a lot of fun. I’ve been scheming in the background, too, and have even more fun and interesting things planned. I’m really excited for its future.

But first…what this milestone really calls for is a GIVEAWAY!

This is going to be an epic contest because I’m combining the 50 and 100 milestones. In other words, I’m going to bribe my lovely followers (and I really do love you!) to help me reach 100.

Before I get to the details, I have a special announcement (and this is relevant to the contest):

PROMISE, my upcoming novel, has its own website!

Okay, I won’t delay you any longer. Here’s how the giveaway will work. It took about three months to get 50 suckers followers and I know how these things snowball, so I’ll give it six weeks to get to 100. So the contest will run from right now until May 31 or until the blog reaches 100 followers, whichever comes first. If it doesn’t reach 100 followers by May 31, someone still wins. If it does reach 100 followers by then, the grand prize will be good. If it reaches 100 before May 31, it will be even better! I PROMISE!

The prizes? I haven’t exactly decided, but I’ll keep you posted when I do. My thoughts include a grand prize of a gift basket including 2-4 good books and books or gift cards for second and third prizes. There are some great books releasing this summer, including two I absolutely cannot wait for: PROMISE (of course) and MOCKINGJAY. So they will both definitely be included (with PROMISE being a signed ARC and MOCKINGJAY a pre-order for its August 24 release).

So how do you enter? I’m going to give you all kinds of opportunities. But to win, you have to be a blog follower. So following gives you one automatic entry. To thank my first 50 followers, you automatically get two entries. If you comment below and tell me what you would like for a prize (specific books, gift cards, etc., within reason – I’m not a multimillionaire bestseller…yet!), you get another entry. If you become a follower of the Promise site, you get another entry. If you post a link back to here or the Promise site on Facebook, Twitter or your website, you get another entry for each post (please post here a separate comment with the link for each one). Then…for each comment made on future blog posts from now until the end of the contest, there will be an entry. Confusing? I’ll break it down:

+2 entries if you were among the first 50 followers
+1 entry for becoming a new follower
+1 entry for following www.IHavePromise.com
+1 entry for commenting below on what kind of prize you’d like to win
+1 entry for each time you post a link on Facebook, Twitter, your own blog or website – just be sure to post a comment below for each one with the link
+1 entry for each comment on future blog posts between now and the contest end date

I’ll keep you updated on how we’re doing over the next six weeks.

So…let’s go! This will be fun!!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Five For Friday

Five favorite things about this week

5. Seeing tears in the eyes of The Man while he read Catching Fire

4. The Herd of Teenagers sense of humor

3. Excellent progress on the path to publication

2. Lots of A’s on the Herd’s progress reports

1. Getting to see the outline sketch of Promise’s cover. I can’t wait for the final!!

I hope you had a good week, too. What were your favorite things?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Rebels With a Cause

When talking to some other authors recently – in person, not online – one of their first questions when I told them my book releases this summer was, “So who’s your publisher?” Not what it was about or where it takes place or even genre (though those all eventually came out, but not first). Is this common? Do published authors discuss their publishers, editors and agents as soon as they meet each other? Because, honestly, I took the tone as someone who recently moved to LA is asked “What’s your zip code?” You know, with the unasked question of do you matter.

Maybe I’m a little on the defensive because I know there’s a stigma out there that independently published authors “just aren’t good enough.” At one point not too long ago, many indie authors went indie mostly because they received rejections from every agent and publisher out there. However, times are changing and many of us now see going indie as a great opportunity, not a last resort.

In fact, for me, it was considered as one of my first resorts, but I told myself I was just being an impatient control freak and needed to at least try the traditional route. Guess what? I am an impatient control freak. I am also an entrepreneur at heart and know when I have a great team who can accomplish awesome things. There are too many people I want to involve in my journey and I just couldn’t see how I could when handing everything over to a publisher. Going indie just feels too natural to me. And the other way – not at all.

So, I never even queried PROMISE, never even tried taking it the traditional route. Yes, it’s the beginning of what was once PURPOSE, which I did query, but the blurbs and synopsis I provided were too convoluted to say that it’s just a title change. I may have had more success querying after the split. Then again, I may not. Because the most common feedback I received from partials was the marketability.

See, my main character starts off at 18 years old, starting her first year of college. This is a no-man’s-land age when it comes to fiction. Supposedly, nobody wants to read about 18-22-year-olds. It’s not Young Adult and, I guess, it’s not quite Adult. There is a push for a new category called New Adult, which may eventually happen. I’m not waiting around for it to succeed. Because, honestly, it annoys me that a book is automatically labeled “not marketable” because of the MC’s age – because they don’t know how to categorize it.

I do. PROMISE is an adult novel. Trust me – the content is at least rated R. And PURPOSE picks up over seven years later, when the MC is 27. She continues to age (sort of) throughout the series. Just because she starts off at 18, doesn’t mean it’s YA or even New Adult. Just like The Lovely Bones isn’t YA, though the MC is 14.

So, basically, I’m bucking the system all over the place. Just call us rebels with a cause. We’ll see how it pans out. But I’m up for the challenge and so is my team. It’s a fun, exciting journey and I can’t wait for the sites and experiences along the way. I don’t feel badly about it at all. And I’m not going to let others make me feel inferior because I know the real story.

And by the way, if you really want to know who my publisher is, it’s called Ang’dora Productions. Keep your eye on it. It’s going places. ;-)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

This is it!!!

Big news. Big, BiG, BIG news! I’ve been holding back on posting this. The decisions were made a couple weeks ago, but then I had a panic attack. How would we get it all done? Are we sure we can do this? Am I freakin’ crazy?!? Then I calmed down and knew yes, my team can do this. Because we rock like that.

Then I had stage fright. Do I really want to announce this to the whole world???? That makes it so real. A commitment. A we’re-going-to-do-this-if-it-kills-us kind of thing.

But at some point I just have to say it, otherwise, no one will ever know, right? And if no one knows…yeah, that’s just not good marketing.

So here it is.

The. Big. Announcement.

What: PROMISE
When: July 30, 2010
Who: Me, You & the Whole World (I’m aiming high!)

WOOHOO!! Yes, this is it. My first book, PROMISE, will be published on July 30, 2010!

You might be confused by the title, because the original book had been PURPOSE, then when I split it, the working title of the first book was PATIENCE. But after some discussion of various ideas, PROMISE nailed the book perfectly. And it was funny, because that one little word changed my feelings about the split. Yes, I still wish it could be read all together like it was meant to be. But now that I have a title that pulls together the Big Idea of the book, I feel so much better about it being on its own.

Thank you to all of my readers and commenters for helping us pinpoint a date. Your replies to this post made a difference. We figure a month after Eclipse’s release, the excitement will have died down and fans will be looking for something new to latch onto. Hopefully, it will be PROMISE.

For those who know me personally, the date has meaning. But it’s also a very special one for my characters. I took a page from J.K. Rowling and gave significance to this date. And secretly, I’m hoping the book launch will take the spotlight off of the personal meaning of the day, which I wish would stop coming around so dang quickly every year.

So, what is PROMISE? Here’s the (nearly) final blurb:
When Alexis Ames is attacked by creatures that can’t be real, she decides it’s time she learns who she really is, with or without the help of her mother, who guards their family’s secrets closely. After meeting the inhumanly attractive, multi-talented Tristan Knight, however, Alexis retreats behind her fa├žade of normalcy…until she discovers he’s not exactly normal either. Then their secrets begin to unravel.

Their union brings hope and promise to her family’s secret society, the Angels’ army, and to the future of mankind. But it also incites a dangerous pursuit by the enemy – Satan’s minions and Tristan’s creators. After all, Alexis and Tristan are a match made in Heaven and in Hell.
What do you think? Does it grab your attention? Does it spark your interest? Does it say enough? And the big question: Does it make you want to read it?