Wednesday, December 29, 2010

THE END OF A YEAR PART 2: Does your novel pass the checklist?

   An Illustration
"Please, Aslan! Am I not to know?" 

"To know what would have happened, child?" said Aslan. "No, Nobody is ever told that." 

"Oh dear," said Lucy.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The END OF A YEAR- THE DEATH OF A NOVEL PART 1: Or Learning How to Listen

Medieval illustration of a Christian scribe wr...Image via Wikipedia
Since I started this blog around August 2010, I haven't posted much about the novel I am working on.  There's good reason for that... It's complicated.

"Oh, you mean there are fabulous plot twists, backstories that come back to haunt characters at the most inopportune moments, and stakes that soar into the stratosphere?" 

No. Not that kind of complicated.... Well, I mean sort of.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

ACROSS THE UNIVERSE Epic Contest of Epic! Giveaways, Swag, AND MORE!

Oh my gosh!!!!!   I am completely fangirling over the amazingly talented Beth Revis and her EPIC CONTEST OF EPIC!!!!!  Here are the facts:

1. Beth Revis is a 2011 debut author.  Her book, ACROSS THE UNIVERSE promises nothing less than hours of AWESOMESAUCE reading pleasure.

2. She is having an EPIC CONTEST OF EPIC during the month of December featuring 100 PRIZES!!!

3. Go to her website to find out all the details!

4. In order to qualify for the "BIG HUGE AMAZING GRAND PRIZE" you have to fan the facebook page, blog about the book, or pre-order ACROSS THE UNIVERSE from any online book sellers, or your favorite indy book store.

5.  You should DO THIS NOW, because  this book is as good as the hype!  (I have it from very trusted sources).  Plus, Kiersten White, author of super spunky PARANORMALCY blurbed AtU, so you know... it's gonna be great.

6. The competitive side of me really doesn't want anyone else to enter this contest so I can win, but since it is the Season of Giving, I am being generous in telling you about this contest!

So, there you go! Have fun, and enjoy all the exclamation points I used in this post.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

FREE BOOKS?? Could it GET any more magical?

Bookstore cat at Ophelias BooksImage by brewbooks via Flickr
Hey guys, so check out my bud Caitlin Darrell over at her blog Caitlin Darrell: A (Sort-of) Life.  She is having a contest that ends NOVEMBER 30TH where the winners get vouchers for FREE BOOKS OF YOUR CHOICE from the Book Depository. All you have to do to enter is follow her blog, tweet about it, blog about it, or any combination therein.  It's awesome, as is she!  So what are you waiting for?
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2011 Debut Author Challenge

Want to get geared up for some AWESOME books dropping in 2011?  Then join me in The Story Siren's 2011 Debut Author Challenge!   All you have to do is pick from her groovy list of books that are coming out in 2011, and commit to reading at least 12 in one year.  That's a book a month people. Easy!  Especially if you're like me and inhale books!

So, what's on my list?  Check it out!


Covers unavailable: 
1. Lisa and Laura Roecker: LIAR SOCIETY       
2. Myra McEntire: HOURGLASS

What's on your list?      

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

AUTHOR SKYPE SUCCESS: Or how Dianne Salerni rocked our socks

"In mid-nineteenth century America, mysterious knocking noises haunt Maggie and Kate Fox, two teenage girls who become famous for their apparent ability to communicate with the dead.
Do the sisters have a supernatural gift -- or is it a hoax?"

On Tuesday,  author Dianne Salerni, who wrote the CAPTIVATING novel WE HEAR THE DEAD, skyped with my high school creative writing classes.  It was a RESOUNDING SUCCESS!   Check out her blog about the experience here.

I met Dianne through a fabulous, free online writing conference this past August: WriteOnCon.  (I have blogged about it's awesomeness before).  This marks the first time that our school has ever skyped with an author- and now that we know how easy it is to set up, I can't wait to book more!

Dianne talked about how she got interested in the Fox sisters' story- how she researched, the primary sources she used while writing (Hooray Primary Sources!), and her journey through self publishing and then on to publishing with Sourcebooks.  She also tempted us with eerie facts about her newest manuscript CAGED GRAVES about... what else? Caged graves!!  Totally spooky right?

My students had wonderful questions for her ranging from how she stays focused while balancing a full time job/family life, to dealing with writer's block, to naming characters and finding a favorite writing spot.  Her best advice? "Never give up.  Never stop writing, and never throw anything away."  Well said Mrs. Salerni, well said.

So everyone- GO READ THIS BOOK NOW!  It is a riveting read about how two young girls inadvertently started the Spiritualism movement in America.  I didn't realize the historical scope of this novel until I came across social reformer Frederick Douglass, abolitionist and suffragette Amy Post, and New York Tribune editor Horace Greeley, all people who interacted with the Fox sisters in real life! Of course, no story would be complete without a love interest.  Find out if the dashing Elisha Kane of Arctic Exploration fame gets the girl!  Salerni's storytelling doesn't disappoint.

ALSO: if you are a teacher, I HIGHLY recommend skyping with Dianne.  The students had a blast, and it was really very easy!  Email her, I know she'd love to hear from you!

*I had cool pictures, but then I realized that they were all of my students, and for privacy reasons I couldn't post them on my personal blog.  So- just imagine 2 classes of teenagers sitting in a media center- watching Dianne Salerni on the big screen projector- and using a Britney Spears microphone to ask her questions.

** yes, the students had a little too much fun trying to actually wear the microphone rather than just hold it while they were talking to her.  It was entertaining.
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I HAVE A PITCH- to be revised...

Yes, I know that I originally posted the pitch to my current work in progress, ELEMENTALS, here- but I am revising it.  I attended a webinar with the lovely agent Kristen Nelson of Nelson Literary Agency and she had quite a few FABULOUS comments about my pitch.

I promise that when I finish revising my pitch- I will repost the original, the one I sent to Kristen (including her comments) and the NEW pitch so everyone can hopefully learn as much from this experience as I did!