Interview: Melissa de la Cruz

Melissa de la Cruz

Melissa de la Cruz is the New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of many critically acclaimed and award-winning novels for teens including The Au Pairs series, the Blue Bloods series, the Ashleys series, the Angels on Sunset Boulevard series and the semi-autobiographical novel Fresh off the Boat.

Her books for adults include the novel Cat’s Meow, the anthology Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys and the tongue-in-chic handbooks How to Become Famous in Two Weeks or Less and The Fashionista Files: Adventures in Four-inch heels and Faux-Pas.

She has worked as a fashion and beauty editor and has written for many publications including The New York Times, Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Allure, The San Francisco Chronicle, McSweeney’s, Teen Vogue, CosmoGirl! and Seventeen. She has also appeared as an expert on fashion, trends and fame for CNN, E! and FoxNews.

Melissa grew up in Manila and moved to San Francisco with her family, where she graduated high school salutatorian from The Convent of the Sacred Heart. She majored in art history and English at Columbia University (and minored in nightclubs and shopping!).

She now divides her time between New York and Los Angeles, where she lives in the Hollywood Hills with her husband and daughter.

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What one thing do you need to have when you write?

Fear. Sometimes rage. I find that to truly focus I need to feel panic, and then suddenly everything in my manuscript becomes clear. I work best under duress, which is something my editors have learned and they’re quite good at instilling fear in me. J I appreciate that! I also work well with many distractions, I think it’s because I had a day job for nine years and had to write my books in the middle of doing my real work.

 

Describe your book in 5 words

Post-apocalyptic. Zombie. Dragon. Pirate. Fantasy.

 

What is the hardest line to write- the first or the last?

The first, definitely.

 

Best writing tip you ever received?

To introduce the love interest in the first 30 pages, not that specifically but learning that there was CRAFTING involved in writing a novel, not just voice.

What one young adult novel you wish you had when you were a teen? Why?

Harry Potter. Because! I don’t think I have to explain.

 

Tell us 5 random facts about yourself.

1. I was a child model.

2. My favorite One Direction guy was Harry, but now it is Louis.

3. I have a Maltese named Mimi. She is not named for Mimi Force, our kid named her.

4. I learned to drive at 34.

5. I like savory treats better than sweet.

 

Where’s your favorite place to write?

In a cubicle, surrounded by softly ringing phones and people murmuring. Sadly this is no longer possible for me.

 

What are you working on now?

My new series THE RING AND THE CROWN coming next spring from Disney-Hyperion.

 

What is your favorite genre to write in? To Read?

YA Fantasy and Paranormal. My favorite genre to read is “literary” fiction, but I would have to say I really enjoy bestsellers just as much, I like popular fiction, no matter what genre, I like to read what a lot of people are reading and take the pulse of the culture. But for my own taste, I love smart angry women writers like Lionel Shriver and Kate Christensen. Also cookbook memoirs.

 

At what point in the development of an idea do you know that it will become a full-length novel?

When we’ve sold it!

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Interview: Kami Garcia

Kami Garcia

Kami Garcia is the #1 New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, Wall Street Journal & international bestselling co-author of the Beautiful Creatures Novels (Beautiful Creatures, Beautiful Darkness, Beautiful Chaos & Beautiful Redemption). Beautiful Creatures has been published in 50 countries and translated in 39 languages. The Beautiful Creatures movie released in theaters on February 14, 2013.

Kami is also the author of Unbreakable, the first book her paranormal solo series, THE LEGION (coming October 1, 2013.

Kami grew up outside of Washington DC, wore lots of black, and spent hours writing poetry in spiral notebooks. As a girl with Southern roots, she has always been fascinated by the paranormal and believes in lots of things “normal” people don’t. She’s very superstitious and would never sleep in a room with the number “13″ on the door. When she is not writing, Kami can usually be found watching disaster movies, listening to Soundgarden, or drinking Diet Coke.

Kami has an MA in education, and taught in the Washington DC area until she moved to Los Angeles, where she was a teacher & Reading Specialist for 14 years. In addition to teaching, Kami was a professional artist and led fantasy book groups for children and teens. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, son, daughter, and their dogs Spike and Oz (named after characters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer).

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What one thing do you need to have when you write?

I need three things: my laptop, my headphones, and Diet Coke.

Describe your book in 5 words

Paranormal. Ghost-hunting. Intense. Romance. Secret Societies.

Tell us 5 random facts about yourself.

1. I don’t know how to ride a bike. 2. I used to be an artist (a painter). 3. I won’t fly without my huge charm necklace that I believe will keep the plane from crashing. 4. I believe in ghosts. 5. Every time I write a book, I worry that everyone will hate it.

What are you working on now?

I am working on the second book in the Legion Series, the sequel to Unbreakable. Like Unbreakable, the sequel is very intense and has plenty of paranormal elements. But I think it’s even more romantic and surprising than the first book.

What is your favorite genre to write in? To Read?

My favorite genre to write is definitely urban fantasy/paranormal romance. I love to read paranormal, but I am also a huge fan of horror, crime fiction, high fantasy, and science fiction.

Interview: Veronica Rossi

Veronica Rossi

Veronica Rossi graduated from UCLA and studied fi ne art at California College of the Arts in San Francisco. She began writing fiction for teens and received first-place awards in the Pacific Northwest Writers Association and SouthWest Writers annual contests before completing Under the Never Sky , the first book in her Under the Never Sky…

 

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What is the hardest line to write- the first or the last?

Yeah, those. And all the ones in between!

Best writing tip you ever received?

$5. Just kidding. Um… tip… I think it’s probably to allow yourself to suck when writing early drafts. It takes away a lot of the fear of generating good material. It’s not easy to be creative when you’re judging your work.

Tell us 5 random facts about yourself.

1. In the past year, I discovered a deep love of Brussel sprouts

2. I talk to myself. Heck. Sometimes I argue with myself.

3. I’m arguing with myself about including that last point at this very moment.

4. My favorite animals are elephants.

5. Dresses with pockets make me happy.

Where’s your favorite place to write?

I usually work in my home office, but I love working in hotel rooms. No distractions!

What are you working on now?

Something I’m very excited about! Can’t divulge any details yet, but it’s an idea I’ve been mulling over for years.

Interview: Ransom Riggs

Ransom Riggs

I grew up in Florida, went to Kenyon College in Ohio, then film school at USC in LA, where I still live. I write books and screenplays, blog daily for mentalfloss.com, and make short films.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is my first novel. I’m really excited about it — it was challenging and rewarding and I hope people like it. If you read that and like the found photographs in it, you might be interested in a book comprised entirely of found photographs that I have coming out January 2012 from HarperCollins. It’s called Talking Pictures. You can find sneak peeks by doing a search for “mental floss talking pictures” (I included a number of images in blogs there) and I made a kinda-sorta book trailer for it, which is on my youtube page: youtube.com/ransriggs.

Also, watch out for a Miss Peregrine book trailer, which I’m working on right now! I get to go to Belgium and film inside creepy abandoned chateaus, which I’m *really* looking forward to.

 

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What one thing do you need to have when you write?

Silence. My noise-cancelling headphones have become almost essential.

What is the hardest line to write- the first or the last?

The first. I rewrite and rewrite it a million times. The last comes easy.

Tell us 5 random facts about yourself.

I’m six foot four. I lived on a working farm until I was five. I used to know how to cook Indian food but now I’ve forgotten. I love documentaries. One day I will conquer the moon.

What are you working on now?

A novel for Little, Brown the plot of which is SECRET! (Sort of, for now. But I’m really excited about it.)

What is your favorite genre to write in? To Read?

Oh, definitely YA to write in. I read everything, lots of YA, lots of adult, nonfiction of all sorts. I even read poetry when I’m feeling ambitious. I think it’s crucial to have lots of different influences. If you only read in the genre you write in, your writing will sound like everything else that’s already out there.

Interview: Rainbow Rowell

Rainbow Rowell writes books.

Sometimes she writes about adults (Attachments and Landline).

Sometimes she writes about teenagers (Eleanor & Park and Fangirl).

But she always writes about people who talk a lot. And people who feel like they’re screwing up. And people who fall in love.

When she’s not writing, Rainbow is reading comic books, planning Disney World trips and arguing about things that don’t really matter in the big scheme of things.

She lives in Nebraska with her husband and two sons.

 

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What one thing do you need to have when you write?

Lip balm.

Describe your book in 5 words.

FANGIRL

Earnest, snowy, swoony, minty, bookish.

What is the hardest line to write- the first or the last?

THE FIRST! The whole first page is a nightmare. I want people to just skip it. And I always end u rewriting it.

Best writing tip you ever received?

“Just finish your book.”

What one young adult novel do you wish you had when you were a teen? Why?

Homecoming by Cynthia Voigt. I think it would have made me feel less alone.

Where’s your favorite place to write?

At coffeeshops. In giant overstuffed chairs.

What are you working on now?

I’m revising my adult novel, Landline, which comes out in spring 2014, and playing with a romantic/political/tragicomic fantasy.

What is your favorite genre to write in? To Read?

I write mostly contemporary. I read mostly fantasy.

At what point in the development of an idea do you know that it will become a full-length novel?

All of my ideas are full-length novels. I have a hard time narrowing my scope.

New Year’s Eve Giveaway HOP – Interview with author Emily White

 http://iamareadernotawriter.blogspot.com

Interview with author…Emily White!

1) If the genre of your novel was changed to Sci-fi, what changes would we see?
Well, actually the genre is Sci-Fi, so there probably wouldn’t be many changes. 🙂 But if I were to change it from Space Opera to let’s say, hard sci-fi, I’d probably include a bit more on the different technology of each civilization Ella encounters. I do touch upon a few of the more interesting techs, but I’d probably make them stand out more in hard sci-fi. 
2) Do you have a certiain routine you have found that helps you write better or do you just wing it and let the inspiration flow?
I am a stickler for routine. I must write at the same times each day (10am-noon and 6:30pm-8:00pm) and I must sit on the same side of the couch. Okay, this little bit of information will probably make people think I am weird, but when writing a first draft, I have to sit on my couch and when revising, I have to sit on the loveseat. I know I sound crazy, but if I don’t do this, I just can’t write! As far as the routine you were probably referring to (now that I’ve reread the question and thought about it), I do write out my plot points and pinch points so I know where I’m going with the story. I can never really just “wing” it. I always have to know where my characters are going and how the story will end.

3) Since Christmas is just around the corner, what does it mean to you?

Christmas is my second favorite Holiday, preceded only by Easter. It’s a very solemn time, but also very happy. I love being reminded of my need for Christ, but also His love for me.

4) How did you get the idea for the novel?

I actually got the idea when I was in high school. I wanted to take my favorite paranormal creature and put it into a sci-fi with grandiose civilizations and new sci-fi specific abilities. I didn’t start writing the story until a few years ago, though. The main character lived alone in my brain for a long time (and actually changed quite a bit) before I fleshed out her world and her motivations.

5) If your book were to be turned into a movie, would your dream cast be? 

Oh, this is such a hard one! It’s not like I haven’t thought about it before (believe me, I have!), but I’ve never found the perfect cast. I’ve found people who are similar, though, so I’ll let just go with those for now. 
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Ella

Close-up of a handsome young man looking away Royalty Free Stock Photo

Cailen

Malik

Meir

Ranen

Elemental

Elemental

Just because Ella can burn someone to the ground with her mind doesn’t mean she should. But she wants to. 

For ten years—ever since she was a small child—Ella has been held prisoner. Now that she has escaped, she needs answers. 

Who is she? Why was she taken? And who is the boy with the beautiful green eyes who haunts her memories? 

Is Ella the prophesied Destructor… or will she be the one who’s destroyed? 

Coming in May 2012.

Emily  White

Emily White lives in NY, wedged between two of the Great Lakes and a few feet of snow and ice. She’s spent most of her life running away from the cold, and even spent a year in Iraq, but now contents herself with writing her characters into warm, exotic places in faraway galaxies. When not tapping away at her computer keys, she can be found reading, reading, and reading some more. And when she’s not doing that, she’s usually playing video games with her husband, peek-a-boo with her kids, or walking through her garden, wondering why the bugs insist on eating all her vegetables. Emily’s debut YA Sci-fi novel, ELEMENTAL, will be published by Spencer Hill Press in 2012. 

Giveaway!

A bookmark signed by Emily White. This is international. Then Emily has offered to send 3 beautiful Elemental T-Shirts to 3 lucky winners in the US. Fill out the form below to enter! Goodluck!


Vampire Bites Blog Tour

 

If you could have dinner with one of your characters who would it be?

 

The problem with having dinner with vampires is the odd chance that you would be the one on the menu. Since the majority of my characters are vampires, I might have to decline any dinner requests. Unless of course, they were willing to bring me over to their side. =) Then, if that were the case, I’d have dinner with Connor, the hot stud vampire from the House of Immortal Pleasures.

Since becoming a writer, what’s the most exciting thing to ever happen to you?

 

It might sound silly, but it means a whole lot to me. The most exciting thing was an email from a reader who really loved my work. I can’t tell you how much it makes my day (and I bet other authors feel the same) to know that readers really enjoy the work we put into creating stories. And knowing this pushes me to continue to create more.

What scene in the book are you most proud of and why?

One of my favorite scenes comes out of House of Immortal Pleasures. It’s where Connor is trying to seduce Daphne. At first he uses the cheesy lines and she laughs right in his face, then he takes a slower, more sensual approach and, I really think it was the best lead in to a sex scene I’ve written. But, that of course is just me saying this. I would love to hear from readers what scenes they thought were good, and why.

 

Do you listen to music while you write? If yes, what do you like to listen to?

 

I do. I listen to music all the time. I use it to set the mood of what I am working on. Sometimes it is Incubus, sometimes Elysian Fields, sometimes Pink, etc… The only really odd thing about the music I listen to when writing, is it has to be older. We’re not talking oldies here. But it does have to be a song I know by heart. I’m a little OCD and ADD and if I listen to something new, I find myself distracted and need to know all the words to the song. It will prevent me from writing. So, whatever I listen to has to be a song I know by heart. Sounds weird but when I listen to a song I know, I can feel the mood and it helps me get into the writing zone.

What do you do in your spare time when you’re not writing?

Since it would be cliché to say I read in my spare time, I’ll go with hiking. I love to get out to Red Rock and hike. It’s just too bad my family isn’t onboard with it. I’ve been trying to get my 7 year old daughter into it but she’s just not enthusiastic about “walking” as I am. Maybe someday.

Vampires or werewolves??

 

I’m a vampire girl through and through. Though I do enjoy a good werewolf story, vampires will always be my favorite.

What authors or writings have influenced you?

 

I think everything we read and watch influences us in some way. So with that thought then all of the wonderful paranormal writers, and trust me there are a lot (more and more every day as I discover new books), are my influences. But it really started with the first book I read, Interview with a Vampire. I was hooked, plain and simple.

What was your journey in becoming a writer?

Hmm, let’s see, background on me. I was never very good at just talking about myself. I’m a complete introvert, which I guess helps with writing. I’m much more comfortable with my notebook and pen, writing down stories than I am in public speaking about things. So, really, my life is not hugely exciting. I grew up in a small town inTexasand at the age of 14 moved toSinCity,Las Vegas,Nevada.  Being an introvert, I spent a lot of time people watching, which I think also helps when it comes to creating characters. You learn a lot by observation.

I spent a lot of my teenage years reading books and writing down my own silly stories. I never expected it to become a career. It was always just a fun hobby. As I got older, I really wanted to share them with others. That’s when I started seriously considering publishing.

If you’d like to check out my latest work, Karma & Melodies stop by www.katiesalidas.com and read a sample or two. If you like what you see, all of my novels and novellas are available in every ebook format!

Search for me on any of your favorite ebook retailer’s website.

Amazon.com

Amazon UK

Barnes & Noble

Smashwords

About the Author

Katie Salidas is a Super Woman! Endowed with special powers and abilities, beyond those of mortal women, She can get the munchkin off to gymnastics, cheerleading, Girl Scouts, and swim lessons.  She can put hot food on the table for dinner while assisting with homework, baths, and bedtime… And, She still finds the time to keep the hubby happy (nudge nudge wink wink). She can do all of this and still have time to write.

And if you can believe all of those lies, there is some beautiful swamp land inFloridafor sale…

Katie Salidas resides inLas Vegas,Nevada. Mother, wife, and author, she does try to do it all, often causing sleep deprivation and many nights passed out at the computer. Writing books is her passion, and she hopes that her passion will bring you hours of entertainment.
http://www.katiesalidas.com/

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KATIE SALIDAS

Katie Salidas is a Super Woman! Endowed with special powers and abilities, beyond those of mortal women, She can get the munchkin off to gymnastics, cheerleading, Girl Scouts, and swim lessons.  She can put hot food on the table for dinner while assisting with homework, baths, and bedtime… And, She still finds the time to keep the hubby happy (nudge nudge wink wink). She can do all of this and still have time to write.

And if you can believe all of those lies, there is some beautiful swamp land inFloridafor sale…

Katie Salidas resides inLas Vegas,Nevada. Mother, wife, and author, she does try to do it all, often causing sleep deprivation and many nights passed out at the computer. Writing books is her passion, and she hopes that her passion will bring you hours of entertainment.

 

Enjoy three novella-length stories of love, lust, and vampire bites. 

House of Immortal Pleasures: 
Blindfolded, and kidnapped by her friends, Daphne is whisked away to the famed, House of Immortal Pleasures, a Vampire-run Brothel in Pahrump, Nevada. 

Sometimes the only way to mend a broken heart is to get back in the saddle. At least that is how Daphne’s friends see it. And since Daphne isn’t showing any signs of letting that happen, they take it into their own hands. With a few shots of liquid courage, a pat on the ass, and a donated gold card, Daphne is unwillingly sent to meet her creature of the night, Connor. 

Karma & Melodies: 
Ten years after she was stolen from the mortal world, Kendra runs into the man she had always loved. But she’s not longer a human and he’s a popular musician on tour with his band. Can they find a way to make love work? 

Halloween Fantasies: 
Touted as the sexiest party of the year, the annual Halloween Fantasy Ball is the one place a girl can let loose and succumb to her wildest fantasies. Disguised as a sexy vampire huntress, Sasha captures the attention of Dante, a real life creature of the night. And this sexy vampire has a few fantasies to share. 

 

 

One lucky person who comments, gets the Vampire Bites e-Book!

Cover Love with Jennifer Echols!

 

Love Story

 
1. Did you pick out the cover yourself? Why these two? Not that i’m complaining!
No, authors usually have nothing to do with picking out the cover. The publisher did show it to me and I said it was okay. If I had said it was not okay, I’m not sure that would have changed anything, LOL! But I do love it because Erin looks exactly the way she should, and she is happy.
 
 
2. Why is half the guy’s face missing on the cover? We want to see the rest of him!
I think it is the cover fashion nowadays to cut people’s heads off. Or maybe they cut it off because in the original photo he is wearing a clown wig. We will never know.
 
 
3. I feel like her eyes hold some kind of secret. Is there one? If there is, can you reveal something about it, but at the same time not be spoilery?
Erin’s secret is that she’s had a crush on Hunter since they met six years before, but she has a terrible time expressing her feelings.
 
 
4. What do you say those out there who say YA romance is a silly genre that’s not worth while?
Oh boy. That’s what this book is all about. Erin wants to be a romance writer. When she turns in a romantic story for her creative writing class, the other students make fun of her, and she has some choice words for them. You can read the book to see what I think of people who say romance is silly.
 
 
5. Where do you see the YA genre going in terms of fads in the future? Will you be jumping onto that bandwagon?

Lately YA has gotten very dark, with the vampires, and then the other creatures standing in for vampires because everybody was sick of vampires, and now the end of the world. I have been waiting five years for this dark phase to pass and my light books to come back into fashion. It looks like I will have to wait a little longer.

Thank you so much for inviting me to your blog!

 I don’t know, theres always been something about Jennifer’s books that always seem to reel me in without me having actually tough much less read the book. Yup, you caught me! I haven’t read any of her books but i am proud to call myself a fan, or a semi-fan (considering i haven’t been near any of her books). Sad? I thing, YES!
Thanks Jennifer for giving us an insight into that awesome cover of Love Story!
 

Cover Love with Sarah Beth Durst!

Enchanted Ivy

 

 

I’m pretty sure there are many of us (like me!) who want to attend an Ivy League school. Some of you might actually be attending one this very moment (lucky you!) and some could have graduated from one. Enchanted Ivy by Sarah Beth Durst follows the story of a girl who too wants to attend an Ivy League school – Princeton. Sarah too attended Princeton, so i asked her a few questions pertaining to her novel’s cover.  

1. The title on the cover, is illustrated with thrones (i presume, they look like that to me). What the symbolic aspect of that?

I believe the idea was to have the word “Enchanted” look magical and for the word “Ivy” to look collegiate so that simply by looking at the title, you’d have the premise of the entire book: magic at Princeton.

2. The gargoyle is very freaky looking and seems to be trying to grab a hold of the protagonist Lily. Are there really these type of gargoyles in Princeton? I’m guessing it was an inspiration from Princeton?

 

The gargoyle on the cover isn’t in the book, though I think he’s AWESOME and that the artist (Sam Weber) did a fabulous job of capturing the mood of the book with him.

All of the gargoyles in the book are real.  In fact, the Chained Dragon was my inspiration.  He’s this tiny stone dragon hidden in an arch of other stone animals and vines, and he is looking out on the library plaza with the saddest eyes imaginable.  As soon as I saw him, I thought, “I have to know his story!”

3. This is non-cover related — i’ve just always been curious about the Ivy League schools because it’s always been a dream to attend them myself. Umm…were there really any secret societies at Princeton? Where did your idea for the story formulate from?

 

Ahh, good question.  Secret societies at Princeton… umm… well… *looks around and hides*

The central idea for ENCHANTED IVY was inspired by a campus legend: if you walk out the main gate of Princeton, you won’t graduate.  I started thinking, What if there’s another reason you shouldn’t walk out the gate?  What if walking out the gate transports you to an alternate, magical Princeton?

 

4. What does the dove on the cover represent?

 

The dove has just been startled into flight because his stone perch suddenly came to life…  ENCHANTED IVY has a lot of talking gargoyles.  And were-tigers.  And dragons. 

As you might have guessed, it is a completely autobiographical account of the college application process.  Okay, it isn’t at all autobiographical.  But it is about a girl who wants to get into Princeton.  And about a hot guy who may or may not turn into a tiger…

Thanks so much for interviewing me!

 Enchanted Ivy

Enchanted Ivy

What Lily Carter wants most in the world is to attend Princeton University just like her grandfather. When she finally visits the campus, Grandpa surprises her: She has been selected to take the top-secret Legacy Test. Passing means automatic acceptance to Princeton. Sweet! Lily’s test is to find the Ivy Key. But what is she looking for? Where does she start? As she searches, Lily is joined by Tye, a cute college boy with orange and black hair who says he’s her guard. That’s weird. But things get seriously strange when a gargoyle talks to her. He tells her that there are two Princetons—the ordinary one and a magical one—and the Key opens the gate between them. But there are more secrets that surround Lily. Worse secrets.

When Lily enters the magical Princeton, she uncovers old betrayals and new dangers, and a chance at her dream becomes a fight for her life. Soon Lily is caught in a power struggle between two worlds, with her family at its center. In a place where Knights slay monsters, boys are were-tigers, and dragons might be out for blood, Lily will need all of her ingenuity and courage—and a little magic—to unite the worlds and unlock the secrets of her past and her future.

Guest Post by T.R. Mousner + Giveaway!


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Time Management Matters

 
Regardless of whether you’re a self-published or a traditionally published author, time management holds one of the biggest keys to your success.  Every week there are new markets and publishing trends to study, contacts to manage, social media channels to build and grow, bloggers to recruit and follow up with, books to read, books to sell and new projects to write. 
 
Sound overwhelming?  The sole task of marketing yourself and your work through social media channels is a full-time job that involves doing interviews, writing guest blog posts (like this one) building twitter and Facebook followings, maintaining one’s own blog, etcetera.  So when do you have time to write while managing the above tasks? You don’t! That’s why time management is critical to your success.
 
Here are some tips to help you succeed:
1)    Delegate.  Ask for help.  Have you heard that expression, no one is an island? Sure your significant other works all day, is tired when they get home and likely cranky from withdrawal since your time together is limited, but it never hurts to ask. The worst that can happen is they say no, but if they’ve seen you grinding away day after day and love you as much as you know they do, then chances are they’ll help. 
 
2)    Schedule everything. It may sound tedious, but scheduling tasks not only ensures everything gets done, but it also prevents details from falling through the cracks. In addition, this practice also heightens your awareness of time.  Whether you purchase a fancy calendar or use a notebook, whatever system you devise will prove indispensable.  Unless you’ve been blessed with a perfect memory, schedule, schedule, schedule. 
 
3)    Make every moment count. Use the bits of time when you’re waiting at the curb to pick your kids up from school or sitting in the doctor’s office to jot down ideas, write posts, answer email or just read a bit. You’ll be surprised how quickly these extra minutes add up to hours of increased productivity.  
 
4)    Avoid procrastination like the plague.  It is your worst enemy.  Despite how well you plan, things will come up and if you procrastinate, your tasks will pile up so don’t do it!
 
5)    Multitask.  Use down time to attend to the peripheral tasks involved with writing. For example, while you’re watching television, catch up on email, study markets or research agents. 
 
6)    Adjust your expectations.  Even if you’re a psycho control freak perfectionist like me (and I sincerely hope you’re not, particularly because it’s a tortuous and time-consuming endeavor) not everything has to be done perfectly all the time.  The sun will still rise and the night will still fall if you don’t make the bed every day or keep phone calls short instead of chatting away for hours.  Be aware of your time and spend yours wisely.  
 
Remember: the past has already happened, the future is at least one day away and this moment is a gift.  That’s why it’s called the present.  Wishing you only the best!!
 
Thanks Tamara for sharing this piece of information with us. I hope this is helpfull to many of you and hopefully to me to because i am back in my writing phase people! WOOT! WOOT!
 Being
Giveaway!
One lucky person who comments below will have the chance to win an e-copy of Tamara’s novel Being! There is nothing more to it, just leave a comment below and you’re entered. Subscribing is not important for this one, but will be greatly appreaciated if you do. Plus feel free to spread the news about this giveaway, and let me know how you spread the word because that way then you are entitled to a +1!
 
Plus my review for Being is due soon as well! Be on the look out for that! 🙂

Author Jen Nadol Reveals Her Cover Story


The Mark (The Mark, #1)

The Mark (The Mark #1)

Cassandra Renfield has always seen the mark—a glow around certain people reminiscent of candlelight. But the one time she mentioned it, it was dismissed as a trick of the light. Until the day she watches a man awash in the mark die. After searching her memories, Cassie realizes she can see a person’s imminent death. Not how or where, only when: today.

Armed with a vague understanding of the light, Cassie begins to explore her “gift,” seeking those marked for death and probing the line between decision and destiny. Though she’s careful to hide her secret—even from her new philosophy-obsessed boyfriend—with each impending death comes the temptation to test fate. But so many questions remain. How does the mark work? Why is she the only one who sees it? And finally, the most important of all: If you know today is someone’s last, should you tell them?

How much effort do you think is put into perfecting the cover of a novel? Why do you think so much effort is made? Jen Nadol tells us all about the covers of her books.

1. Let me start by saying that the cover is beyond beautiful. Really pretty and definitely an eye-catcher. Did you have this cover in mind from the start? Or was it something else?

 Thank you!  But I have to preface all my answers here by saying I had nothing to do with the creation of the cover.  As is usually the case, the publisher designed it and though they showed it to me along the way, I wasn’t part of the creative process at all.  Which is probably a good thing since I had no idea what the cover should look like!  My best guess would have been something like the Twilight or Wake series covers, with a single object against a dark background…but I had no clue what kind of object would be fitting.

2. Describe your cover in 4 words. The first four words that pop into your head when you see this cover. 

Glow, purple, flower, wish

3. Okay, so i’m guessing thats Cassandra on the cover blowing the dandelions. Why dandelions? Any special meaning behind it.

  I think the dandelions work on a few levels.  There are many times in the story that Cassie would like to wish away her ability so I think the photo and tagline “If you had the power to see death, would you wish it away?” speak to that, but also the deeper question of whether you’d wish the actual death away.  Would you change the course of events if you could?  Another question Cassie faces in the story.  I also think of the blowing seeds as the consequences of the choices we make – each seed lands somewhere, starting a new chain of events. 

4. Truthfully, i mean it, what was your first reaction when they placed your finished copy of the book (cover and all) in your hand? I know i would pretty much be in heaven and jumping with joy.

  It was definitely thrilling…and scary!  It becomes very real at that moment that this book is going to be on shelves and people might actually read it.  It took me a LONG time – almost a year and a half – to read the finished copy.  Of course, I’d gone through the story many, many times during edits and copy edits, but when you have the final, finished book, there is truly no going back.  I was afraid to read and find mistakes or things I wish I’d done differently, but was vastly relieved when I finally did re-read, to find that I was still really happy with the story!

5. If you could, in anyway, change your book cover what would you do with it?

  This is a funny question because my book cover has actually changed a few times already.  The first version had to be changed because another YA book coming out two weeks before mine used the same stock photo.  So, they re-did it and came up with the one currently out.  However, it’s changing again for the August paperback release to match the cover for the sequel, The Vision which comes out in September.  So, honestly?  I’m still kind of spinning with all of these versions so much that I can’t really imagine ANOTHER change!

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6. Finally, this is a non-cover related question. What can readers expect from your book?

Even thoughThe Mark is categorized as a paranormal book, it’s really more of a contemporary/coming-of-age story.  There’s a little romance, a little philosophy, Cassie’s extraordinary ability, but it’s all in the context of Cassie trying to figure out herself and her purpose, something we all go through, regardless of what kind of abilities we have or don’t.   It’s a better fit for people who like Lisa McMann’s or Stephen King’s early books – contemporary with a paranormal element – than fans of heavy fantasy/world-building/paranormal creatures.

“Waiting On” Wednesday and June Celebration Begins!

June celebration begins today! *the crowd goes wild* I thought i would keep these posts together because they are definitely connected. This is the second week that i’m going to include Incarnate for my WoW and also include the author interview that i promised everyone. Enjoy!

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

This week’s pre-publication “can’t-wait-to-read” selection is:

Incarnate (Newsoul Trilogy #1)

Incarnate (Newsoul #1)

by Jodi Meadows

About the only girl who is new in a world where everyone is perpetually reincarnated, and her quest to discover why she was born, and what happened to the person she replaced. (old description – has been updated recently)

Expected publication: 2012 byKatherine Tegen Books

 

 

 

1) Let’s talk about your main character. How did you think her up and is there any of you in her?

My characters tend to appear in my head fully formed. Like ideas, I don’t always know where they come from. Of course, just because they’re fully formed when they appear doesn’t mean I know them well enough to write them. It can take time to learn their darkest secrets, get their voice right, and figure out what they’d do in any given situation. Ana is no exception.

She’s both a product of her unusual situation (being new in a world where everyone is perpetually reincarnated), and the type of character who’d be most useful and fun to read about in this story. I like to think she has sass and a strong proactive-ness bone.

We do share a few traits: both of us love music, like to do things right, and have a tendency to put our feet in our mouths. (I’m trying to overcome that one. I hope Ana never does.)

2) Since becoming a writer, what’s the most exciting thing to ever happen to you?

Every step along the way has been thrilling! I’ve loved every part of this, from getting my first peek at the cover comp, to seeing the font they chose for my book, to copyediting. Yes, I even loved copyediting!

3) Have you read the WSJ article on YA books? If so what is your opinion of it?

I did read it, but my opinion is pretty complicated. I don’t think, as a whole, YA is dark. There are dark books. There are fluffy fun books, too. And there’s everything in between. The great thing about the YA category is that there are so many options. Like paranormal romance but not all the angst and brooding? There’s a book for that! Like contemporary novels but want something grittier? There’s a book for that! Want books without kissing? Got it! With lots of kissing? We have that, too!

YA is a diverse category. Sweeping generalizations can’t cover it.

I do, however, think it’s good for parents to be aware of what their children are reading, even if they don’t have time to read it themselves. There are review sites aimed toward helping parents get a better idea if a book has a lot of swearing, sex, or violence.

One of the best book-related things my mom did for me was to be interested in my reading habits. She only occasionally asked me to wait a year or so on reading a book, and if a book had content she wasn’t certain of but I’d already read it, we discussed it. She made a point to read several of my books, even if they weren’t her preferred genre. It was important for her to know what kind of stories I was into, and we had lots of great talks about characters, parts of the story we thought were good or bad, and what we hoped to see happen next.

4) Which came first, the title or the novel?

Definitely the novel. The title came about halfway through the first draft. And then got cut to just INCARNATE after HarperCollins picked it up.

5) The concept of incarnations often lead to many controversial debates. Were you hesitant at first of your book becoming victim to such debates?

Nope! Perhaps this is shortsighted of me, but I like to think people will remember that my book is fiction. I set out to write a fun story based on a premise that intrigued me. It happened to be about reincarnation. I try to deal with potentially sensitive topics in the most respectful and thoughtful ways possible. That, and write the book to the best of my ability, is all I can do.

6) What authors or writings have influenced you?

Everything is an influence, which is why it’s so important to read widely and experience as many things as possible.

There are lots of books I love, but we’d be here all day if I tried to list them all. Some of my earliest influences were Robin McKinley’s Damar books, Tamora Pierce’s Tortall books, and Mary Downing Hahn’s ghost stories. I also devoured K.A. Applegate’s Animorphes series in my early teens. Oh, the thrill of discovering universes where magic and aliens were real!

7) What kind of research did you do for the book?

Some you’d expect from the story, like music. While I did a lot of music research on my own, and I played the flute for years and years, that certainly wasn’t enough to cover what I needed for the book; two serious musicians read the manuscript and did everything they could to keep me from making a fool of myself.

I also spent a lot of time researching Yellowstone National Park, which is the area Range is based on. I talked to people who’d vacationed there, read blog entries, looked at hundreds of photos, squinted at maps, and took lots of notes on what animals and plants hung out there.

Other areas of research are not so apparent, but just as important: I studied wedding ceremonies from dozens of cultures, the best way to keep from dying when jumping from a height, how to treat second-degree burns. One of the biggest favors an author can do for herself is to question everything. Just because you think you know something about the root systems of trees doesn’t mean you know enough. Or the right things. Always double check.

8) The cover for Incarnate is absolutely gorgeous! Tell us a little about it.

Thank you! I’m very pleased with it. (And don’t feel weird about saying that since I had absolutely nothing to do with it.)

I actually did an interview about the cover with Jen Bigheart  here , and answered a few more questions about it on my blog here. The cover is absolutely amazing, and I couldn’t imagine anything more perfect for my book. I’m incredibly happy about the positive response it’s gotten so far!

9) If your real life adolescence was a YA book…What would you, the main character, be like?

I don’t think I’d be a very good main character. Adventure? Saving the world? Are you kidding? I could be reading instead.

10) What is your number #1 source of angst?

Oh, there are lots of things. But a big one is disappointing people. I think most authors feel like they have a lot of expectations to live up to — their agent’s, editor’s, potential readers’ — and one thing I really don’t want to do is disappoint people who’ve put time and effort into getting my book out there. I want to make them proud.

11) Finally, tell us a little something about the book. The Goodreads description does no good!

I’ve updated the Goodreads description with the official flap copy! I don’t want to say anything else this early, so this is all anyone is getting for the time being:

NEWSOUL

Ana is new. For thousands of years in Range, a million souls have been reincarnated over and over, keeping their memories and experiences from previous lifetimes. When Ana was born, another soul vanished, and no one knows why.

NOSOUL

Even Ana’s own mother thinks she’s a nosoul, an omen of worse things to come, and has kept her away from society. To escape her seclusion and learn whether she’ll be reincarnated, Ana travels to the city of Heart, but its citizens are suspicious and afraid of what her presence means. When dragons and sylph attack the city, is Ana to blame?

HEART

Sam believes Ana’s new soul is good and worthwhile. When he stands up for her, their relationship blooms. But can he love someone who may live only once, and will Ana’s enemies—human and creature alike—let them be together? Ana needs to uncover the mistake that gave her someone else’s life, but will her quest threaten the peace of Heart and destroy the promise of reincarnation for all?

Jodi Meadows expertly weaves soul-deep romance, fantasy, and danger into an extraordinary tale of new life.

Author of the Month for June – Markelle Grabo

“Author of the Month” focuses on one author for the whole month. I have either guest posts or interviews by said author and a giveaway as well which lasts for the whole month.

Markelle Grabo, though only 17 at the moment aspired to be a writer since the 5th grade. Who knew that she would achieve her dream so early in life?

Thank you, Markelle for being a part of my blog for the whole month this June. Its been a blast getting to know you!

First of all, tell us a little about yourself. I mean you’re new in the literary world and we’d all love to know you!

I’ve always been an avid lover of both mystery and fantasy, and after years of losing myself in books, I was inspired to create my own tales. I dabbled in short stories here and there in middle school, but I was never serious about writing until my freshmen year of high school, when I sat down to write my first novel on Easter morning. With countless cups of coffee and the perfect music to motivate me, I wrote the first draft of The Elf Girl in two months. Once I started, I couldn’t stop. Writing became my passion, how I was defined by others. I wrote the second and third in the series over summer, the fourth was finished the following spring, and I recently ended the fifth this past Easter. I am currently working on the sixth, and hope to have it finished by fall.

What kind of research did you have to do to bring this story to life on the page?

For Journey into the Realm: The Elf Girl, I didn’t have to do a lot of research, because most of it I made up. It is fantasy, after all. The main character’s hometown also resides in Wisconsin, where I currently live, so that didn’t take research either. However, I did do a lot of research on names and their meanings. I frequently visited Babynames.com to look up meanings and origins. I also researched some fairy folklore, just so I could decide what spelling I would use in reference to winged creatures (as in: fae, fey, fairies, faeries, etc). The last bit of research I did was on Atlantis, because I refer to the legend in a section of the novel.

Describe The Elf Girl in 3 words.

Mysterious. Adventurous. Suspenseful.

Tell us a little about your book, you know why we should read it and what we can look forward to. Actually, just pour your heart out to us!

ourney into the Realm: The Elf Girl is about a fifteen-year-old girl’s journey to self-discovery. Ramsey Wilder is taunted constantly for her unique looks, which include pale skin, white-blonde hair, striking emerald green eyes, and pointy ears. She is finally given change she desires when she meets a beautiful pair of strangers who look just like her, and Ramsey learns that she is far more different than she once realized. She is an elf. Whisked away to a magical Realm with unique beings like her, Ramsey finds herself placed with the duty of finding her long lost sister. Kidnapped by fairies in the middle of a dangerous war between fae and the elf kind, her sister is the key to a secret surrounding Ramsey’s past that could potentially affect the outcome of the war. Without her, Ramsey will never know why her parents sent her to live with the humans in the first place, or why threats far deadlier than the war itself seem to be waiting in the wings. With mystery, adventure, and even a little bit of romance, Ramsey sets out to save her sister, unveil her past, and discover herself.

Let’s talk about your main character,Ramsey. How did you think her up and is there any of you in her?

When I first started writing The Elf Girl, I wanted Ramsey to be as understanding and compassionate as she was strong and straightforward. But it took me until the book was finished for me to realize how similar we were. My friends and family actually noticed before I did. When we discuss the characters, they will say, for example, “and then you do this” instead of “and then Ramsey does this.” I never intended to make us the same, and there are a few differences, but I’m pleased with the result.

If your main character, Ramsey, could give one piece of advice to teenage girls/boys, what would it be?

Never shy away from who you are. It’s normal to want to change things about yourself sometimes, but those feelings should never outweigh the importance of embracing whatever makes you unique. And if you’re happy with who you are, no one else matters.

 Finally, i want you to answer this question truthfully. What is it like to finally become a published author? Is life the same? And what do you think the future has in store for you?

Being an author is all I ever wanted, but it’s still very new to me, and very surreal. Because I am also a full-time high school student, I have to focus the majority of my time for my studies. Every now and then I will be walking down the hall and I’ll think to myself, “That’s right. I’m an author.” And a big smile will spread across my face because I still can’t believe this is all happening. Life has changed, though. Before my book was published I wasn’t making appearances, signing books, or giving interviews. It’s all so exciting and I love every minute of it. As for my future, I plan to be writing books for the rest of my life. I will never run out of ideas. This is my life now and it will be my life forever.

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Journey into the Realm: The Elf Girl

With her pale skin, emerald eyes, and pointy ears, Ramsey’s life has never been normal. When she learns that she is an elf, things take a turn for the strange and perilous. Ramsey must rescue the sister she never knew in order to unlock the secrets of her past, secrets that could determine the outcome of a dangerous war between fairies and elves. And in order to discover herself, Ramsey must accept her magical destiny.
Markelle Grabo

At an early age she took to reading, spending countless hours devouring book after book. In fifth grade, she decided that she wanted to be like the authors she favored. She wanted to tell her own stories. An avid lover of fantasy, she typed out idea after idea, however, nothing was substantial enough to call a novel. On Easter morning of her freshman year in high school, she looked back on an old idea for a story about a girl who didn’t know she was an elf and had to travel to a magical world in order to learn her destiny. She took those few pages of writing and reworked them, continuing thereafter until it became her first full-length manuscript. A year later, when she was satisfied with her work, she sent it to an editor. After rereading and editing it so many times she lost count, Journey into the Realm: The Elf Girl (the first in a six-book series) was ready for publication. 

When Markelle isn’t writing or reading, she enjoys singing, musical theatre, acting, running, tennis, watching epic movies, drinking coffee, dancing for no apparent reason, shopping for more books, laughing at pretty much anything, spending time with friends and family, taking care of her pets, organizing stuff, listening to music that inspires her writing, talking to God, and most of all, thinking about ideas for her writing. 

She lives in her hometown of New Berlin, Wisconsin with her amazing parents, Maryanne and Scott, her two cats (Sylvester and Pogo), and her four rabbits (Josie, Moose, Bailey, and Coraline). Her friends mean the world to her, and along with all of the adventures and support they’ve shared, they have also adorned her with a string of nicknames, the favorite being Marcel (It’s a long story…). 

And yes, she definitely believes in fairies. 

Giveaway:
Markelle has offered a signed paper-back copy of her book The Elf Girl. The rules for this giveaway are below.
 Rules:
  1. By commenting on this post you earn yourself an entry, but in order for this entry to count you have to subscribe to my blog and let me know in the comment.
  2. +1 for every time you spread the word, just let me know in your comment
  3. You must be 13 years or older.

Interview with Elizabeth Scott! (and Giveaway!)

Okay, so I know this is a bit overdue but Elizabeth was going through a tough time and I thought since she had agreed to do an interview she wouldn’t leave me hanging and she didn’t. So i have agreed to leave her as the author of two months, which actually means that she will remain ‘author of the month for April’ as well.

Now you’ll be wondering why I am showing such favouritism and concern for someone I don’t know. I’ll just answer that then let you boggle your minds about it. The reason why i care so much is because even though i know next to nothing about being an author i can imagine what it would be like to live such a busy life and still love to keep their fans happy. Even though i have not read any of her books i have come to see myself as her fan.

So, lets get on with it. Today I have Elizabeth Scott who has given me a few minutes to interview her and even if they are only a few minutes i love her for that 😀

Elizabeth Scott

Q. Which do you prefer, ebooks or traditional books? Why?

A. Regular books! I love the smell of paper, and deckle edges–ooooh!

Q. Who is your all-time favourite author?

A. I don’t have one–I have too many too list!

Q. Is music necessary for you when writing?

A. Nope 🙂

Q. Which character from your book can you most relate to?

A. None of them–they’re all fictional!

Q. What is the common message, if any, in all your books?

A. I owe a reader for this one! One person commented on a video I did about my books that all of them deal with loss in one way or another and I think that’s totally true.

Q. Did you from the beginning wish to pursue a career in writing? Also if you weren’t an author, what would you have been doing?

A. I never wanted to be a writer–I didn’t even like writing fiction in school! I started writing by accident while I was in a meeting when I was twenty-seven. (!). If I wasn’t an author, I’d probably be a secretary or something.

Q. Can you reveal a funny or inspiring incident from your high school days or college days that helped you develop as a person and a writer?

A. I never wanted to be a writer, so I can’t think of anything that inspired me to do it–other than being bored in that meeting!

Q. Finally, tell us something about your book The Unwritten Rule and reveal something about it that nobody knows.

A. Well, since The Unwritten Rule has been out for almost a year, there’s no much that’s secret about it anymore, but the original draft was about 30% longer than the final version–and I cut, cut, cut so the story would be smooth and lean!

Okay, so there you have it. Short and sweet 🙂 Now for the extra fun part >>>

Elizabeth has decided to let one lucky commenter have a copy of her book the The Unwritten Rule. “woot woot”

Rules:

  1. Comment below with anything that you would like to say, if its a question or a praise…just make sure that its not spam “smiles sweetly”
  2. Subscribe to my blog for +1
  3. Leave your email address in the comment so that i contact you if you’re the winner
  4. +1 informing others of this giveaway…through tweets or blog posts or sharing (just leave the links in the comment)
  5. This giveaway is US only (sorry International readers)
about this author

Hey there, I’m Elizabeth. I write young adult novels. I live just outside Washington DC with my husband and dog, and am unable to pass a bookstore without stopping and going inside.

All right, and I can’t leave without buying at least one book.

Usually two. (Or more!)

My website and blog are at elizabethwrites.com, and I’m also on facebook and twitter.

The Unwritten Rule

The Unwritten Rule

He’s looking at me like—        well, like he wants to look at    me.
Like he likes what he sees, and  he’s smiling and his eyes are so  blue, even in the faint flow of the  porch light they shine, and I nod  dumbly, blindly, and then grope  for the door handle, telling  myself to look away and yet not  able to do it.

“Sara,” he says, softly, almost  hesitantly, and my heart slam-  bangs,  beating hard, and this is  what it’s like to  want someone you can’t have. To want someone you shouldn’t even be looking at.