Drawn In, Fun, Uncategorized

A Giveaway!

DRAWN IN cover

I’m doing another giveaway on Goodreads! TODAY November 29-December 10, enter to win a signed paperback copy of my book Drawn In. I’m only giving away ONE copy so cross your fingers and make a wish. Also, if you email or message or comment here and want it personalized, just say the word. And if you’d like a few “behind the scenes” annotations, I’m always happy to write a little in the margins. 🙂

Oh, and if you’re awesome enough to already own a copy, maybe a nice Christmas present for a YA loving friend in your life?

Here’s the link… click here to enter!

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Rennie has a voice!

Ladies and gentlemen, I am so very pleased to announce that the search is officially over. My dear Rennie, main character of Drawn In has a voice!! I’m thrilled to introduce you to the sweet and talented woman who will bring Rennie to life via audio book: Julianne Lawson.

 julianne

The last time I worked with Julianne, I think she was probably twelve. Although I haven’t worked with her since, I invited her to audition for the role and I was absolutely blown away by what she was able to bring to a simple reading. Her voice is sweet and pleasant with just the perfect touch of quirky, she understands the character(s) and really gets the style and the humor written into the text, and her pacing and instincts are just perfect for this. I couldn’t be more pleased with this match.

My top four choices made this an incredibly difficult decision, but in the end I had to go with my gut. And now we start making an audio book! So so SO excited for this project, I can’t even tell you! (Except I just did.)

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Surreal on a Whole New Level

So… this happened.

Dana - Rennie cosplayDana - Rennie cosplay 2Dana - Rennie cosplay with a TARDIS

Yes, that’s a friend of a friend (thank you Dana Yeoman for this!!! And Tom Webster for making this happen!) cosplaying as my main character Rennie. When she tagged me in the first photo, I was like “Hey, that’s cool, she’s reading my book! Probably because she’s also wearing yellow, like Rennie on the cover. So who’s she going as?” And I started looking… yellow sundress, red hair, dagger tied into the sash at her waist… and that’s when I started crying. I was at work, checking my email and facebook feed on my lunch break, sitting at my desk and crying. I was overwhelmed by this. Someone I’ve never even met loves my Rennie. She gets her. She loves her enough to dress as her for an Anime convention in LA, carrying my book around and telling people about it all day long as they asked who she was. How freaking amazing is that?? I never knew that this was on my writer’s bucket list, but seriously… if it’s not on yours, it should be. This is amazing.

I also have to share how she captioned that second picture of her reading in the forest. “In a weird Wibbly-Wobbly, Timey-Wimey way, Paige (aka Rennie) is reading her own autobiography in the forest to figure out how to travel through parallel universes by using the pages of her book.” Not only brilliant, but she includes a Doctor Who reference. Rennie would be so proud.

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The Voices in My Head…

audiobooks

My latest venture is to work on transferring the voices in my head into your head. In other (less creepy) words, I’m figuring out how to make Drawn In into an audiobook. I’m using ACX, a website that is linked to Amazon in the same way that CreateSpace is linked to Amazon. By using them, I will be able to release my book with Audible, iTunes, and Amazon all at once. Exciting right? I’m still a little confused on the process. It all seems too easy, too casual. I’ve read the site so many times, but it just seems too simple. Pick someone to read, approve their first 15 minutes, give some notes, approve the whole thing, put it out there. Done; people can buy it. Shouldn’t there be some angst or drama involved? Maybe there will be some of that in the notes and approval phase. Or maybe it’s just that easy. Here’s hoping, right?

So now is the truly thrilling part… I’m auditioning narrators. This is also the difficult part however. See, I know what Rennie sounds like, she’s been in my head for a very long time now. I think as soon as I hear it, I’ll know it. I have a background in theatre, and I posted on facebook, tagging a bunch of my actor friends to have them audition. I have amaaaaaazingly high hopes for several of them who are interested (can’t wait to hear them ALL!!), and I have particularly high hopes for one in particular who has the potential to BEEEEEEEE Rennie. Seriously. I won’t elaborate, because I am open to all possibilities, all auditions, and I would love to be surprised. I’m just excited at the chance to find The One.

I love audio books. If I didn’t have GPS, I would have completely gotten lost on my trip moving from PA to Missouri while I was listening to The Host. (And say what you will about Stefanie Meyer, but I freakin LOVE that book, and it’s due to the audio version that completely sucked me in.) So anyway, all I really want is a chance to join that world. To have my book available while people are walking their dog or jogging or stuck in traffic… how amazing would that be? What are your feelings about audio books? Do you prefer single voiced narration or multi-actor casts?

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Positive vs Negative, or When Negative Wins

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I have to tell you right off… this isn’t a post about attitude adjustments, or mean people taking over the world. Nope, nothing quite so deep for today. This is about a little pet peeve of mine. Allow me to share a story.

Each night before going to bed, we watch an episode of M*A*S*H. Yeah, the show from the late 70s/early 80s with Hawkeye and Hotlips and the whole gang. (In fact, we do this with such regularity that the dog recognizes the ending credits music as a sign that it’s time to go to bed. But I digress.) One such episode centers around two plot points: one) it’s blazing hot in Korea, and two) they’ve been sent placebos (sugar pills) in place of another needed medicine. Hawkeye and BJ convince Klinger that the sugar pills are an experimental drug to regulate body temperature, and he buys it. They are are sitting there hot, sweaty, miserable and in comes Kilinger fresh as a daisy. BJ’s response is to say, “Look at him. He’s sheveled!” I love this because it’s clever, and grammar jokes make me giggle. But the reason it’s clever is that “sheveled” isn’t a word. It ONLY exists in a negative form: disheveled.

And thus began my quest. I’ve been collecting words for a while now that only have a negative form. How is that possible? How can you say something is “dis-” or “un-” or “-less” without having something that you’re actually “dis-” or “un-” or “-less”? Now I have been pleasantly surprised to discover that some of the words I’ve collected actually DO have positive forms, but they’ve fallen into such disuse I didn’t even know they were words. Interesting that the negative form would survive and the thing it is negating did not. Anyway… without further ado. Here is my small collection of bothersome words.

  • Disgruntled (when was the last time you heard of a gruntled employee?)
  • Ruthless (unless you’re describing a guy who divorced a lady named Ruth, no positive form here.)
  • Unkempt (I found a source that says you CAN use kempt, but nothing to back it up, even within the same source.)
  • Uncouth (“couth” actually is a synonym for “sophisticated,” but when is the last time you heard it used??)
  • Uncanny (nothing to add here. Now that IS uncanny!)
  • Inclement (again, here is one where you can say “clement” weather. But nobody does. Just the negative.)
  • Unfurl (you hardly ever read about a flag being furled.)

So that’s it. My little list of collected negativisms. And what is my point? I don’t really have one. I just like grammar and words and interesting bits. Do you have any to add to the list? Or any strange pet peeves like this? Share! 🙂

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The Time Has Come!

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It’s here it’s here it’s here!!!

What a crazy awesome week this has been! On Sunday night, we had a big family dinner (including family favourites that belong at all celebrations… grilled tri-tip, mom’s homemade potato salad, and dad’s homemade blackberry ice cream. Yum!!). On Monday, I had my very first radio interview! It was a half-hour long and it was on a radio show in my hometown of San Luis Obispo, which also happens to be the setting of Drawn In!

And then today… March 17th… it finally happened. My book is on sale!! People who pre-ordered the Kindle version had it downloaded to their tablets, and the paperback link to buy went live on the CreateSpace site!! (Still unclear why it’s not live on the Amazon site, but I’m told it will take up to three days to activate. So annoying. But I digress.)

So, long story short… this has been an amazing week. And the moral of the story is that you can now buy my book right here!

Woo (and may I add…) hoo!

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What is your STOPPING point?

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In the final throes of editing and proofreading before hitting that “Publish” button, I am once again re-visiting my opening paragraphs. I have two that I like, one that I’m leaning towards, and I’m 90% certain I’m leaving it alone. However, in the past few months, I’ve been hyper aware of how other authors choose to start their novels. It’s fascinating.

I recently began reading a book that had been highly anticipated, and then highly recommended by several blogs that I follow. I’ve found some great books this way in the past, and have rarely been disappointed when a book has this much positive buzz. So I bought it, started it, and at the end of chapter one I thought.. eh. Not really into this yet, I have zero connection with the main character (and first person narrator). But it was so highly talked about, I’ll give it another chapter.

I ended up giving it three more chapters. I still had no connection at all with the main character, didn’t understand a lot of what was going on plot-wise or love-interest-wise, and wasn’t particularly blown away with the writing in general. When the next night came around, I anxiously picked up my Kindle, ready to settle into a great book… and then I remembered. It was that book. My heart sank. And that’s when I knew it was time to give up. I downloaded another book from the top of my TBR pile, and never looked back.

Last fall, I read a whole book that I wasn’t connecting with (mediocre writing, unrealistic character choices, not even edited well grammatically), but this book is a thing. It’s a big popular series–so it can’t be bad, right? I just wasn’t getting it? I still don’t know.

So here’s the thing… how much is too much? Or maybe more appropriately, how little is too little? When do you stop reading a book you’re just not connecting with? Do you give a book a chapter? Two? A single page?

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Cover Reveal!!!!

This is it! Are you ready? (Drum roll, please…)

DRAWN IN cover

Ta-da! I hope it shows up okay so you can see it in all its glory.

This was created by my wonderfully talented friend Leslie Willis. She hasn’t (yet!) created a site for cover art, but you can see some of her work on DeviantArt here and see some of her other artistry on her Etsy page here (it’s a little sparse right now, but she has AMAZING work… you should definitely follow her!).

So yes, this is my cover for Drawn In! Meet Rennie, my MC. I think you’ll like her. The words she’s walking on are actually text from my book (part of a story told to her during a dream), and even blown up an turned upside down, you won’t really be able to read them (by design, of course), but now you’re in the know. I’m not sure how the image will show up on this site, so if you can’t read the tag line above the title, it says, “Who says having all your dreams come true is a good thing?”

So what do you think?? I hope you love it as much as I do.

Please feel free to share, get the word out, spread the loooooove! I’m on track for a release in early March. So exciting!

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Y’all ready for this?

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It’s almost ready!

This Monday… stay tuned for my cover reveal for Drawn In!!!

I’m so excited to share my cover with the world, you don’t even know. It’s in its final stages tonight and it will be ready to share with YOU on Monday! So mark your calendars, spread the word, hold your breath (well, don’t do that. Might be dangerous.) and check back here on Monday January 12th! It’s gorgeous, folks. You don’t want to miss this. 🙂

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Terrible Titles Are Fun!

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Happy 2015 everybody! I skipped over the traditional posts of looking back and looking ahead and all of that. I’ve never been one to make traditional resolutions anyway, so I figured I’d spare you.

But! I did find a super fun idea on the always wonderful blog of Leandra. (Thanks for the tag!!) Here’s how it works. You bring up your current manuscript and scroll through. Stop in eight random locations and wherever your cursor is pointing, those word or phrase are your eight terrible titles.

So here goes!

1.  A Renegade Tear

2.  Wishful Thinking

3.  Maximum Capacity

4.  Right Here, Right Now

5.  Mostly Nice

6.  Liquid Empathy

7.  the Steps of the Mission

8.  A Big Chunk of Bark

So what do you think? Potential for inspiration in any of those? Ha! I think my favourite has to be number five.

I don’t usually tag folks to these things, but this is just too much fun. I’m tagging Beth Ellyn Summer and Karyne Norton (who both have great blogs you should totally check out if you don’t already follow them).

And the end. Now go write something!