Thursday, September 30, 2010

Banned Books Week

In honor of Banned Books Week, Taherah has organized a celebration over on her blog, Grab A Pen, to shed light on this event. Each participant is to blog about a book they love that managed to make its way on the list of banned/challenged books. To see the list in its entirety visit the ABFEE website.

So...what is banned books week?

From the ABFEE Website:
The American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE) is a sponsor of Banned Books Week, the only national celebration of the freedom to read. Banned Books Week is held each year during the last week of September. The American Library Association, the Association of American Publishers, the American Society of Journalists and Authors and the National Association of College Stores also sponsor the event. Banned Books Week is also endorsed by the Center for the Book of the Library of Congress.

The first thing I did before writing my review was refer to the ALA website for a current list of banned/challenged books.

Did you happen to notice what was number one on the list?
Harry Potter. And not just one Harry Potter book, the entire series. My initial reaction was...what? I know I shouldn't have been surprised...but I was.

The Harry Potter series has exploded onto the book scene, causing readers everywhere to beg for more from this young wizard who is trying to find his way in a world he never even knew existed. The series has been challenged for having violence, lack of family, religious viewpoints and even Satanism.

Goodreads Description:
Harry Potter has never been the star of a Quidditch team, scoring points while riding a broom far above the ground. He knows no spells, has never helped to hatch a dragon, and has never worn a cloak of invisibility.

All he knows is a miserable life with the Dursleys, his horrible aunt and uncle, and their abominable son, Dudley--a great big swollen spoiled bully. Harry's room is a tiny closet at the foot of the stairs, and he hasn't had a birthday party in eleven years.

But all of that is about to change when a mysterious letter arrives by owl messenger: a letter with an invitation to an incredible place that Harry--and anyone who reads about him--will find unforgettable.

For it's there that he finds not only friends, aerial sports, and magic in everything from classes to meals, but a great destiny that's been waiting for him...if Harry can survive the encounter.

How can you not be intrigued as a reader? For me Harry Potter has been a great tool in getting excited about reading. There's adventure and magic. Watching the trials and tribulations that Harry must face over the years. I just love this series. And I know I'm not alone.

So look over the banned/challenged book list and see if your favorites are there. You might be surprised like I was.

To see the other reviews, visit the link on Taherah's blog here.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Contest Is Now Closed

The contest is now officially closed. I sincerely hope that everyone who intended to enter was able to make the deadline.

Thanks to all of you for participating. What a great response! And a tremendous thank you to Joanna for volunteering her time to judge and offer some invaluable advice in her interview.

All of your pitches were amazing! Joanna truly has a tough decision to make.

Good luck to all of you. Joanna should have the winners chosen by early next week and I will announce them here!

Have a great day!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

You're It!

Word has it that a certain game of Internet tag has been making its way around the blogosphere. The blogger is to answer eight questions, and then tag eight people to answer the same. Well, the fabulous agents over at Coffee. Tea. And Literary were wicked clever and tagged everyone that read their post. So...I'm following their lead and doing the same. Yes, I am just that sneaky!!

So...if you are reading this post, consider yourself tagged!

1. If you could have a superpower, what would you have? Why?
I would love to be able to freeze time. (For everyone but me that is.) That way I could get my work done!

2. Who is your style icon?
Kim Kardashian. I'm not saying I could pull it off, but the girl knows how to dress!

3. What is your favorite quote?
"It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends." Spoken by Albus Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.

4. What is the best compliment you've ever received?
The best compliment anyone can give me is something about my kids. They are pretty much the reason I do everything I do. Hearing good things about them just makes my day!

5. What playlist/cd is on your ipod/cd player right now?
Right now I have the playlist for my current WIP which has a lot of Evanescense, Daughtry and Muse.

6. Are you a night owl or a morning person?
I've become sort of both! I do not get enough sleep. I wake up early in the morning to blog and stay up super late writing. If I had to choose one, I'd say a night owl, because I enjoy staying up late and hate waking up early!

7. Do you prefer dogs or cats?
Dogs. I love the way my dogs get excited when I get home and my lab is a great walking partner. Can't do that with a cat.

8. What is the meaning behind your blog name?
I named my blog The Siren's Song in honor of my MC Amber in Fatal Beauties.

Can't wait to see what you guys come up with!

And don't forget, the agent pitch contest with Joanna Volpe ends tonight at midnight. (Central Time) So get those pitches ready and enter!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Interview And Pitch Contest With Agent Joanna Volpe

Good Morning fellow writers! Normally Mondays are the bane of my existence...but today I have a very special guest that has me over the moon with excitement. As promised Joanna Volpe is here not only with a stunning interview, but a contest that is going to have all of you jumping for joy that you got out of bed this morning.

So now the moment you've all been waiting for...Joanna Volpe herself!

Hi Joanna, tell us about yourself and how you got into agenting?

The old-fashioned steps and lots of mentoring. I took editorial and publishing course classes, I interned, I was an assistant (multiple times), then finally became a full time agent January 2008.

What do you feel sets you apart from other agents?

Well, I'm not sure what does--most of the agents I know are equally as hardworking, passionate and dedicated. I guess when it comes down to working with a new client, it's a connection that we make, and that sets me apart individually, at that specific time.

When it comes to queries, what kinds of things are instant rejections?

When it's clear that someone hasn't don't their research, or all they query about is themselves then attach a synopsis of the story. That's not a query!

What are your top 3 books of all time? And why?

I don't know...I hate questions like these! I'm afraid readers will think those 3 books will define me completely. Plus I always list them, then the next morning or a week like I'm like "Crap! I forgot to include ___." I guess if I HAVE to answer: The Giving Tree, Great Expectations and Salem's Lot.

Tell us something about yourself that might surprise us.

I've never read PRIDE & PREJUDICE...(cue the gasps!). I've read other Jane Austen books, but not that one. But I know the story so well thanks to movies, fan fic, rewrites and mashups. A client recently gave me a copy as a gift. I really MUST sit down and just read it. I know!

::hides in shame::

What are you looking for and how can authors submit to you?

You can check out what I'm officially accepting queries for on our website, but to be more specific to right now, I'm currently on the lookout for a unique, hi-fantasy for teens, and I'm still looking for a dark read for teen boys (Catcher in the Rye meets Stand By Me meets Lord of the Flies for today's contemporary reader) in the same vein as Charles Benoit's YOU (fantastic read, btw). On the adult side, I'd love to find a big, spectacular gothic or an upmarket women's fiction.

From an agent’s perspective, what is the biggest mistake a writer (agented or unagented) can make?

Giving up because one story didn't hit.

Is there any other advice that you would give to aspiring authors at any stage of the process?

I always say this, but I truly mean it--don't be afraid to trunk a manuscript and move on. You learn from each and every piece you write and each is important, but that doesn't mean that everything you write is publishable. And that's OK.

Thanks again Joanna for stopping by and answering my endless stream of questions!

Now as promised, it's time for the pitch contest! Joanna is ready to peruse your pitches and pick her favorites! So if you're ready to enter read on...

Here are the rules:
1. You must be a follower of my blog.
2. You must follow her agencies blog, Coffee. Tea. And Literary. (Which is just a bonus reference for you!)
3. You can only enter one pitch - be sure it is something she is looking for.
Your pitch can only be 1-3 sentences long. (not long run on sentences!) Leave your pitches in the comment section of this post. It's that simple!

3rd place winner will get a query critique
2nd place winner gets a 10 page critique
1st place winner gets a 10 page critique and a 5-minute phone conversation with Joanna to discuss their project and/or publishing.

How fantastic is that! Five minutes of Q&A with a real live agent is priceless! I was so excited when Joanna offered this! Okay, I've talked long enough. The pitch contest starts good luck!

Any questions, please let me know! The contest will run until tomorrow night at midnight Central Time.

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Great Blogging Experiment

Today is the day! Elana Johnson, Jen Daiker and Alex Cavanaugh have teamed up and are going to be conducting a little experiment. The Great Blogging Experiment to be exact. All we have to do is post on their assigned topic.How easy is that?

What exactly is the method to their madness? They want to see just how different every post is. They want to see what each individual blogger brings to the topic. I for one can't wait to see what everyone else has come up with! So without further ado I give you The Experiment...

The topic: Writing Compelling Characters.

Compelling is defined as having a powerful and irresistible effect; requiring acute admiration, attention, or respect.

Characters are the individuals that grace the pages of our stories and become a significant part of the tales we weave.

Forging a happy union between the two is key to writing a novel that readers will want to lose themselves in and keep turning page after page until they reach the very end.

Characters need to be not only believable, but effective and necessary in the story. I like to create characters that compliment each other as well as create drama and tension. It's also no secret that I love to torment my characters. There's nothing more satisfying than taking a character to the brink of their sanity and watch how they deal with it. I always ask myself, what's the worst possible thing that could happen to this character? How will they handle it?

Seeing character struggles, triumphs and everyday mishaps and how they react are what urge readers to keep going through the ups and downs of a story. So dig deep...peel back the layers of your characters and ask yourself those burning questions.

Will readers love this character...we can only hope.
Will readers love to hate this character...even better.
Will this character make or break my story...only time will tell.

Well, I'm off to check other the other posts! To read them for yourself...visit Elana's blog here. I hope everyone has a fantastic Friday and a great weekend and be sure to check back here on Monday for an awesome contest with the one and only Joanna Volpe! See you then!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Take A Break

So you've set aside some time to write. Or in my case, it's 11:00 at night and the kids are finally settled and the house is quiet. Now it's time to write. You have everything you could possibly need. Laptop, quiet place, MP3 player and most important of all caffeine.

You are now ready to rack up a massive word count my friend.

Only...nothing happens. The cursor keeps on blinking as though tapping its proverbial foot impatiently. In any event you are blocked...your flow of ideas has been temporarily cut off.

So what now? Do you sit there gaping at the screen, pondering what deity in the universe is laughing heartily at your expense. Not quite. What you do is really quite simple.

Take a break. It's okay, trust me. Procrastination is one thing. It's a whole other post if you want to get down to it. But accepting the fact that you may need a break is something entirely different. There's no shame in admitting that your mind needs a rest. Is it hard? Absolutely.

The most difficult thing for me to do is entertain the notion that I need a break. But when I'm just sitting in front of the computer screen with nothing happening. Why waste my time? Instead I have a few other options that have proven effective when my brain gets all stubborn on me.

Take a walk- You'd be surprised how effective even a short walk can be. No I don't take them late at night, but I do like to walk right after work and I've found that the ideas tend to come more readily. I've even run straight into the house to jot some down.

Watch a little TV- TV always relaxes me and allows my mind to wander. Usually I keep my trusty little notepad with me and if ideas come, I can write them down during the commercials. An example of an awesome form of relaxation for me would be watching my Vampire Diaries which happily enough airs tonight. Gotta love Thursdays!

Read a good book- Reading a good book always gets me in the mood to write. I love getting inspired by the words of other writers, seeing what they have achieved. It also reminds me why I do what I do.

Shopping- Retail therapy is always a great motivator for me...oops, its research, that's the party line that I feed my husband. Research for current trends is my reasoning for spending hours at the mall. I know this sounds like a crazy way to get inspiration, but I never claimed that my methods made sense.

Starbucks- When all else fails make a Starbucks run. Or sit and stay a while. Something about sitting and working in those places gets the creativity going for me. Okay so we all knew I would throw in Starbucks. It's pretty much a given for me.

Bottom line...when your mind gets all tangled in the web of craziness that we as writers all like to weave, relieve a bit of the pressure by doing something for yourself to relax. The ideas will return.

Okay, now it's your turn. When your thoughts go by the wayside, how do you get them fired up and sparking again?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Have You Been Haunted?

The Haunted is the second installment in The Hollow Trilogy by the wicked talented Jessica Verday. Of course the first book in The Hollow trilogy left me hanging and desperate for more. The Haunted did not disappoint. The story picks up where Abbey returns from a summer away from Sleepy Hollow and more importantly Caspian. No sooner does she return when their story continues. I won't give away the rest of the book, but I must say that it was a beautiful read and I can't wait until the conclusion to this trilogy...The Horror is released next year.
Goodreads Description:
After a summer spent reclaiming her sanity and trying to forget the boy she fell in love with by the bridge where her best friend drowned - the boy who must not exist, cannot exist, because she knows that he is dead - Abbey returns to Sleepy Hollow, determined to leave the ghosts of her past behind. She throws herself into schoolwork, perfume-making and her friendship with Ben, her cute and funny lab partner, who just might be able to help her get over Caspian once and for all. But Abbey is never going to truly be able to move on from Caspian and Caspian has no choice but to return to her side: for Caspian is a Shade and Abbey is his destiny. The two are tied not only to each other, but also to the town of Sleepy Hollow and the famous legend that binds their fates - a legend whose true ending and dark truths they are only just beginning to guess...

But don't take my word for it. Check out this beautifully written series for yourselves. Have a great day everyone!

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Top Ten TV Show Blogfest

Today is the day for Alex J. Cavanaugh's Top Ten TV Shows Blogfest. All you have to do is list your top ten television shows, old or new. That's it. What a perfect day to kick back and share our favorite shows. I couldn't resist. Now I can't tell you what my favorite shows say about me, but oh well. You can't help what you love!

So without further's my list:

10. Charmed
9. The Real Housewives of New Jersey
8. Merlin
7. The Big Bang Theory
6. CSI New York
5. Criminal Minds
4. Buffy The Vampire Slayer
3. Friends
2. Project Runway

1. The Vampire Diaries

So there you have it! What's your favorite show? To visit the rest of the entries visit Alex's blog here. Have a great day everyone!

Friday, September 17, 2010

On My Wishlist

On My Wishlist is a fun weekly event hosted by Book Chick City. It's where you can list all the books you desperately want but haven't actually bought yet. They can be old, new or forthcoming. Mr Linky is always at the ready for you to link your own 'On My Wishlist' post. If you want to know more click here.

So this week on my wishlist is a soon to be released book that I have been pining away for...Torment (Fallen #2) by Lauren Kate releases the 28th of this month and it is certain to be worth the wait. I mean just look at this gorgeous cover!

Goodreads Description:
How many lives do you need to live before you find someone worth dying for? In the aftermath of what happened at Sword & Cross, Luce has been hidden away by her cursed angelic boyfriend, Daniel, in a new school filled with Nephilim, the offspring of fallen angels and humans. Daniel promises she will be safe here, protected from those who would kill her. At the school Luce discovers what the Shadows that have followed her all her life mean - and how to manipulate them to see into her other lives. Yet the more Luce learns about herself, the more she realizes that the past is her only key to unlocking her future...and that Daniel hasn't told her everything. What if his version of the past isn't actually the way things happened...what if Luce was really meant to be with someone else?

The next book on my list is... Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers
There has been so much exciting buzz about this book that I couldn't help but add it to my list.

Goodreads Description:
Frannie Cavanaugh is a good Catholic girl with a bit of a wicked streak. She's spent years keeping everyone at a distance—even her closest friends—and it seems her senior year will be more of the same...until Luc Cain enrolls in her class. No one knows where he came from, but Frannie can't seem to stay away from him. What she doesn't know is that Luc works in Acquisitions—for Hell—and she possesses a unique skill set that has the King of Hell tingling with anticipation. All Luc has to do is get her to sin, and he’s as tempting as they come. Frannie doesn’t stand a chance.

Unfortunately for Luc, Heaven has other plans, and the angel, Gabe, is going to do whatever it takes to make sure that Luc doesn’t get what he came for. And it isn't long before they find themselves fighting for more than just her soul.

But if Luc fails, there will be Hell to pay…for all of them.

That's it for my least for today. So you know the drill, what books are you just pining away for? I'm always looking for more great books to add to the pile!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Have You Heard About This?

There is so much awesomeness going around the blogosphere this week that I feel like my head is going to explode with excitement. But just in case some of you have been unplugged this week or living under a rock, (that's where I like to hide when writing) here's a quick little recap. If I miss some other fantastic bit of news please let me know!

To kick things off we'll be starting with the fabulous girls over at WriteOnCon. Check out this exciting announcement they released on Monday.

For all other details be sure to visit the WriteOnCon website!

Next, the lovely Jen at Unedited is giving away a signed copy of Firelight by Sophie Jordan...yes you heard me right! A signed copy of Firelight. It's no secret that I am in love with this story. I mean what's not to love? Dragons...cute, lovable boy...beautiful writing...sold. To enter visit Jen here and good luck!

Then we have the amazing Hannah Kincade. She is launching a fabulous writing contest on her blog Musings of a Palindrome. To see the list of phenomenal prizes and all the details visit her blog here.

And last but certainly not least...Lisa and Laura aka LiLa are giving you a chance to win an arc of their debut novel Liar Society. All you have to do is read the first chapter of Liar Society (Yay!) and name two of their characters. How much fun is that? For all the details on how to enter visit Lisa and Laura Write.

Well that's all I have for today and I really should go put my face on so I don't scare any of my co-workers today. Have a happy Thursday!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

What's Next?

I don't have to tell all of you what a wonderful feeling it is when you complete a manuscript. You have all of the edits completed, do your final read through...line edits and have your baby polished to a super-high shine. The feeling is indescribable!

Well after months of know what I mean, blood, sweat and tears...I have managed to get my current manuscript Radiant Fury to that point! (Thank-you Lindsay for all the help and your awesome comments!)

Now, I'm certain I'll go back to tweak and add a few things, but for now it's done. My plan was to take a much needed break and put a nice dent in my TBR pile. The problem?

The story is not quite as complete as I had hoped. It keeps going. Scenes keep unfolding in my mind. Character dialogue keeps screaming in my head. It won't stop. But that's a good thing right? So my solution has been to first sit down and write down every little detail as it pops into my head. I thought I'd just come back to my notes whenever I felt ready.

Well, my little list of notes has turned into more than a few pages, so I finally sat down and wrote out an outline! Me...notorious pantser here. I wrote out an outline! I'm waiting for some sort of freak weather to hit due to this stunning revelation. As of yet, all is well. Now whether or not this new twist in my writing habits will be a friend or a foe remains to be seen. But for now, I'm going with it and putting my little break on hold and working on book 2!

Have a great day everyone!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tuesday Tips For Writers

We all have a love of writing...otherwise we wouldn't be here. But sometimes life takes off and time gets away from us. When this happens here are some tips to keep your head in the writing game.

1. Take yourself seriously:
Make writing a priority even if it's not something you actually get paid to do. The blogs I visit each day are a kaleidoscope of individuals, each at a different stage of the process. But each one has a common denominator...they take their writing very seriously. They practice their craft, help each other out and seek the advice of their peers.

2. Act like a professional:
When interacting with agents and/or editors, act as you would at any job interview. Be polite and courteous. When sending query letters, be sure to address the particular agent you are interested in and check for any typos once finished. You query letter should be polished to a high shine before you even attempt to contact and agent.

3. Format your manuscript:
Use standard margins and double space. Do not use fancy fonts, I know I have a few that I would love to use that are just so pretty. Don't do it. Stick with a basic font in a 12 point. And don't design your own cover. A title page is all that's needed. When your manuscript has been edited and polished to a shine much like your query letter. Read it one more time. What can it hurt? It's far better to take a little more time than to miss something little.

4. Write your passion:
When there are trends that are climbing to the top of the bestseller lists and flying off of the bookshelves its tempting to jump on the bandwagon. But its important for writers to be passionate about what they write. Your love and excitement for the story bleeds into your writing and gives you the drive to keep pushing through the long process. That's what writers need. That's what brings your unique voice. A writer's passion for their story ultimately shines through and conveys itself to the reader.

5. Love the process:
Whether or not you are a beginning writer or a published one, if you plan to make a career out of writing you will have to go through the process again and again. From sitting down and typing out that very first chapter to editing your final draft, the process will remain. Get used to it. Embrace it. It is hard work and takes perseverance, but the end result makes all the hours of uncertainty and frustration worth it.

6. Read—a lot:
Familiarize yourself with what's out there. What's been done. What's being done. I read tons of books, usually when I am in between manuscripts. I can't say exactly what it is, but whenever I read a good book or even watch a good movie, it motivates me to write. It gets me excited to work on my own manuscript.

7. Stick to a schedule:
Most writers I know have separate jobs that they go to everyday in addition to writing. This can make it difficult to finish what they start. By making a set schedule or giving themselves a deadline it ensures they do in fact finish that manuscript.

When I first begin a brand new MS, I give myself a certain amount of pages that I must write each day. I do the same thing when editing. Sometimes I go over my goal and sometimes life happens and I fall short. But giving myself some sort of guide helps me stay on track.

8. Develop a thick skin:
I think it goes without saying that every writer is going to face rejection no matter stage of the game they are in. I'm currently attached at the hip to my inbox, hoping each day to hear good news from my agent. Querying is the same, though it only takes one agent/editor to fall in love with your work we still have to weed through the ones that aren't as excited and reject us. It's part of the process. A not so fun part, but one we must all go through.

When its all said and done, the important thing is to write what you love and persevere. Ignore those doubts that lurk in the shadows of your mind and keep writing.
Have a fabulous Tuesday everyone!

Monday, September 13, 2010

In My Mailbox...

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren. Anyone can participate in IMM and you are not limited to only sharing books that arrive via your mailbox. You can also share books that you've bought or books that you've gotten at the library. You can find more information on how to participate in the In My Mailbox meme by visiting The Story Siren.

This week was yet another exciting week for my mailbox.

First up is Firelight by Sophie Jordan.
I spent my afternoon yesterday flying through this one and it is fantastic! What an awesome new concept. If you haven't checked it out yet, you simply must! I'm already pining away for the next insallment!
Goodreads Descripion:
With her rare ability to breathe fire, Jacinda is special even among the draki—the descendants of dragons who can shift between human and dragon forms. But when Jacinda’s rebelliousness leads her family to flee into the human world, she struggles to adapt, even as her draki spirit fades. The one thing that revives it is Will, whose family hunts her kind. Jacinda can’t resist getting closer to him, even though she knows she’s risking not only her life but the draki’s most closely guarded secret.

Next, in my mailbox is of course The Duff by Kody Keplinger. This little number is next in my reading pile and I can't wait!

Goodreads Description:
Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn't think she's the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She's also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her "Duffy," she throws her Coke in his face.

But things aren't so great at home right now. Desperate for a distraction, Bianca ends up kissing Wesley. And likes it. Eager for escape, she throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with Wesley.

Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out that Wesley isn't such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she's falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.

So that's that for my mailbox this week. But fear not, I can't stay away from the bookstore so there's more to come next week!
What about all of you? What's in your mailbox?

Friday, September 10, 2010

Spreading Some Fabulous!

I think it goes without saying that I am over the moon with happiness that it is Friday. Today is going to be a fabulous end to what has been a long and treacherous week. But I won't bore you with the details of my being sick and my lovely work schedule.

That being said, I am still sporting my sexy frog voice, but my head does not feel like it's going to explode anymore. Yay! So today I thought I would spread the fabulous on a couple of posts I stumbled across.

For an awesome list of "Books to Pine For," and let me tell you these are some droolworthy books people...visit The Story Siren.

Then Elana Johnson has an awesome post highlighting what she blogs about. This was sooo helpful for me since I stress out majorly about my blog posts! You can also sign up for The Great Blogging Experiment that she is conducting on the 24th of this month along with Jen Daiker and Alex J. Cavanaugh. Jen and Alex have also teamed up with Elana and posted their own blogging ideas as well. I highly recommend checking them out. You won't be sorry.

And last but not least, you might have heard of a little book called Paranormalcy that released last week by debut author Kiersten White. Well this delightful little number made its appearance at number seven on the New York Times Children's list this week. Now I don't know about all of you but I think I could just die happy if that were me. Congrats Kiersten! You can read her post and share in her excitement here.

Well I'm off to finish watching the season premiere of The Vampire Diaries. I tried watching it while posting this...and well let's just say it wasn't working out so well.
Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Tormenting Characters

Do I torture my characters? Do I ask myself...'What's the worst possible thing that could happen to this person?' Unfortunately the answer is a big fat yes!

Why would I do such a thing you ask? Why would someone want to inflict pain and heartache onto someone in which they spend so much precious time with? The answer is really quite simple. Or at least that's what I told my sister when I added a slight issue with her very favorite character. I didn't even tell her what I had done, simply added a little don't hate me when you read this...

So my reasoning was simple...I needed to breath new life into the pages. I have a soft spot for this particular's actually my very first manuscript, but it was in no way ready for human eyes (my sister doesn't count). It was missing something. There was a missing element to this character that my sister had already fallen in love with. So...I took the plunge and am thrilled with how the story is now unfolding.

Of course I have opened up a whole can of worms and created an over abundance of work for myself. But isn't that what we do? It's like overcoming some sort of hurdle for me. Pulling the ms that I had once shoved under the bed, thinking it was hidden away forever and turning it into something even better. Will it ever be ready for public consumption? Who knows? But that's what I love about writing...creating things in my mind and twisting and molding it's contents the way I envision them. The way I want events to unfold.

Of course now I'm waiting for the wrath of my sister and that phone call from my mother asking me what I did to her this time. But hey, it's all worth it in the end right? Anything for a great story.

So tell me, am I the only twisted person out there that torments their characters all in the name of writing? How do you add that little something extra when you hit a wall? Or am I the only one who has this problem?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

In My Mailbox...

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren. Anyone can participate in IMM and you are not limited to only sharing books that arrive via your mailbox. You can also share books that you've bought or books that you've gotten at the library. You can find more information on how to participate in the In My Mailbox meme by visiting The Story Siren.

Of course there are those books that were pretty much a given to be in my mailbox this week, like...
Paranormalcy and
Clockwork Angel.
Both fantastic!
Both well worth the wait!
Then another book caught my eye that I'm so excited to read...

Goodreads Description:
From Lisi Harrison, the New York Times bestselling author of The Clique and Alphas, comes a new series with a fresh twist on high school, romance, and the horrors of trying to fit in.

They prefer to call themselves RADs, but some call them monsters. So far, the "monster" community has kept a low profile in Salem, Oregon, but this year two new girls enroll at Merston High School, and the town will never be the same.

Created just fifteen days ago, Frankie Stein is psyched to trade her father's lonely formaldehyde-smelling basement lab for parties and friends. But with a student body totally freaked out by rumors of monsters stalking the halls, Frankie finds that life in the "normi" world can be rough for a chic freak like her.

She thinks she finds a friend in fellow new student Melody Carver--but can a normi be trusted with her big secret?

Along with this fantastic new book, there is a line of clothing and even sweeter, Mattel has launched a new line of dolls that are literally to die for. There’s my personal favorite...Draculaura, daughter of Dracula, her best friend is Clawdeen Wolf, whose father is obviously a Werewolf, and classmate Frankie Stein, daughter of Frankenstein of course. The rest of the gang includes, Cleo De Nile,Deuce Gorgon and last but not least, Lagoona Blue.

My daughter received these dolls for her birthday and they are fantastic! I'm tempted to go and and buy myself a set to display with my Barbies...yes I collect Barbies and these lovelies would be a delicious edition and who doesn't love monsters?

So now that I have totally over shared for the day...tell me what's in your mailbox this week? I Hope everyone had a great Labor Day weekend!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Today Is Already Better!

The weather is cool, my hair is placed securely in a pony-tail and it is Friday!!!!! And to make this Friday even better I don't have to go to work on Monday double Yay!

But yesterday got me writers we need some sort of emergency care kit for times when life seems dismal. When you want nothing more than to curl up in a corner with your thoughts and a laptop. When you have a day like I did so many of us have, there has to be some kind of outlet. I don't like to burden my fellow writers with such negative without further ado, here is my emergency care kit...

#1 Chocolate is a must! Chocolate makes everything go away!
I don't know what exactly it is they put in this stuff, but it works.
So I suggest keeping a modest stash like the one pictured.

#2 Pretty gel pens...I have to have something
pretty to write with.
Okay so that's so totally girl of me,
but what an I say? You use whatever works.

#3 Fancy Journals...again with the pretty I know. But when in a writing funk, I love to just scribble away in one of my journals. It might be additional ideas for my current WIP or ideas for something new and differant.

#4 Run don't walk to your nearest Starbucks for a much needed caffeine fix! As an added bonus they have free WiFi! Which leads me to the final ingredient in my kit...

#5 An Ipod touch! I bought my son one of these little gems for his B-day and had no idea what could be accomplished on them! I so want one of these!

So there you have it, my emergency kit to makes it through whatever life may throw my way! Did I miss anything? What would you put in your emergency kit?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

My Turn...

So today has gotten off to a catastrophic start! We're talking bad mood, bad hair, bad Internet connection. And now I'm at work with no air conditioning and if you have never been to Kansas, the humidity is not your friend. Especially with stick straight hair like mine!

All right...before I get off on a never ending tangent, I would like to avert your attention to another blog so you can have a laugh at my expense and of course leave here today on a high note. Kate Grace, a fellow client of Bree's is conducting a series of interviews to introduce each of the clients that Bree represents. Today is my turn. So if you would like to read some embarrassing moments about yours truly then hop on over to A Bit of Grace and check it out!

Hope everyone is having a fabulous day and staying cool!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Have You Ever Wondered?

Have you ever wondered what it would feel like to walk in someone else’s shoes? You know the gorgeous chocolate brown knee-high boots with skinny jeans shoes that you would scratch someone’s eyes out for at a shoe sale? Yes, you know the ones. Everyone has them…that elusive pair of shoes that they must someday walk in.

Well yesterday, as I made a mad dash into the mall after school, I had this very thought. I speed walked my way through Dillards without even taking a glance at the shoe department. (That’s like asking me to stop breathing!) But I digress…I entered the main area of the mall and made my way to the bookstore. One of the workers greeted me without looking and was about to ask if I needed any help then smiled when she saw that it was me. I never need any help. I threw her a smile and a wave, went straight to the YA section and breathed a collective sigh of relief when I saw that they had two copies of Paranormalcy left. I snatched up the second to the last copy and handed over my rewards card, coupon and debit card and was on my way. Four minutes...fastest shopping trip ever!

This leads me to my little shoe epiphany…as I made my way back through Dillards, still studiously ignoring the shoes, I had to fight the tiniest of smiles that threatened to spread across my face. I was so excited to get home and crack open my new book that I could hardly stand it. Halfway out of the store I thought...this is what I want. That feeling. If the day ever comes that one of my books makes its way into bookstores, I hope that at least one person is as excited to read it as I was to read my new book.

That’s what this whole crazy ride is about for me. Writing has been such a wonderful outlet and if I could invoke that kind of excitement in just one person, then every rejection…the attachment to my inbox…the checking my phone for missed calls, would have all been worth it. So I guess when all is said and done, I strive to walk in my own shoes…just better ones!
Now what about you guys? What drives you to stick with the madness of writing? What do you strive to achieve at the end of this never-ending roller coaster of emotions? Hope everyone has a fabulous day!