I’m Back!

deadline-concept_zps73688981Hello everyone, sorry for the break in my posts and “presence” here in the wonderful blogging world. For the past 5 days I have been in California visiting friends and family. Even though it was a wonderful visit, I have now come home to a very full email list & several chapters back from my editor that I have to go through. I’m trying to send my MS out to all my beta test readers within the next few weeks so I will be one busy lady.

So for now it’s off to editing and getting things ready!

P.S. My first round of beta readers are still submitting their reviews back to me (I only have a few left) so when I get those I will post them to my blog. Be on the lookout for that!

The Do’s & Don’ts

For all you writers out there you might want to listen in for a moment. I need to talk to you about something very, very important right now…you ready? Are you sure your listening? Okay, well here it is…don’t fill your pages with a bunch of meaningless, everyday “stuff”. What I mean by this is, don’t in every single chapter, all the way through the entire book, write what your character ate at every single meal…WE DON’T WANT TO KNOW THIS!

Now, the flip side to this is, you do have to make your character believable so you will need to have some meals placed in there occasionally but just make sure you have a point to it. Whatever you put in each chapter make sure that it’s building your storyline and has a purpose.

I know sometimes its really hard to write certain chapters and fill up your book. Nobody wants to read a 250 page book that lacks substance, they want a solid story. So if you’re having trouble coming up with things to say or different scenes perhaps you just need to step away from writing for a few days and come back to it.

Also, the reader wants diversity. Don’t write the same “type” of scene for three chapters. Example, don’t write, in three chapters, your character learning how to play golf (perhaps that’s a bad example but you get the picture). If you have to write it like this make it interesting. Build in emotion or build intensity (if that’s the type of manuscript you are writing). Make the reader want to find out what will happen. Make the reader fall in love with your characters!

I only bring this up because I recently read a book (no I’m not going to tell you which book it was) and almost the entire 500 pages was stuffed full of what type of foods the characters ate, what it smelled like, what it tasted like, etc. There was no back story to justify putting it in there. I felt like the writer didn’t know what to say and so she threw it in there to “fill up the pages” with something. It didn’t grow the story in anyway. So if your characters are eating please give them something interesting to say.

Get In My Head

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I was in bed the other night when my husband turns to me and asks a question that he wishes now he never asked, “What are you thinking about?” Now, for all you men out there who want to know what your women in thinking, let me give you a little insight as to what my husband would say to you…

“STOP! YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU’RE GETTING YOURSELF INTO!”

Normally, I would take offense to this but in that very brief minute, what ran through my head was this:

It all began with me signing (in my head) one of NSYNC songs (don’t judge me). That went straight to (what I refer to as the snowball effect)…Jessica Biel & Justin Timberlake just got married…Jessica had a pink wedding dress…I’m kind of hungry…what should we have for dinner tomorrow…maybe I should read my book…I wonder if I should go make sure that my boys are covered up under their covers…it’s kind of cold in here tonight…I’m getting tired…etc.

There is more but I think I will spare you the rest of the details.

So as you can see, I guess I can’t blame him from stopping himself every time he wants to ask me that question.

So why (do you ask) did I tell you all of this? Well I’ll tell you! When you’re a writer, all day long you think in dialog. You wake up to sentences running through your head, you make breakfast daydreaming about a scene in your manuscript, you sit and listen to a lecture and realize you are trying to pull something out of the speech that could be used in your MS (happens more often to me than not) or you watch a movie and take notes in your head about how a specific idea can be used. That’s what happens to me on a daily basis.

So for today, I’ve been getting the itch to start writing one of my other novel concepts (even though this current manuscript that I’m working on isn’t out yet). I don’t know if other author’s experience the same thing but my mind has a tendency to just not stop creating, working & dreaming up stories. I guess it can be a good thing because I have 16 chapters already done for the second book in my current series I’m on now but it could distract me also. So for now I will put that “itch” aside and keep working hard on this MS.

Perhaps, writing on this blog will sustain my desires to start new projects before I release my current work.

What’cha Reading?

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One of the many suggestions that other authors give young aspiring writers is to READ and read A LOT! Which for me, is something I truly love to do! If I could, I would sit and read all day long if I had the time.  But between working, being a mom, taking care of the house and writing, sometimes it just doesn’t allow for the time. But I try to sneak it in whenever and wherever I can.

Some of you have asked what I’m currently reading and if I have any good suggestions on books. So here you go!

I have been reading a lot of YA (young adult) books. I figured since I’m writing in this genre right now I should be reading up on all the bestsellers. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t have some other thrillers, mysteries and romantic fiction in my “wish list” on my nook.

The book series that I’m on is Matched by Ally Condie:

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Book Info: In the Society, Officials decide. Who you love. Where you work. When you die.

Cassia has always trusted their choices. It’s hardly any price to pay for a long life, the perfect job, the ideal mate. So when her best friend appears on the Matching screen, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is the one… until she sees another face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. Now Cassia is faced with impossible choices: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path no one else has ever dared follow — between perfection and passion.

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So far I’m about half way into the first book and I have to say; I’m not as impressed with it like I had hoped to be. I don’t find myself needing to read it but I will pick it up at night and read another chapter or two. Now, just because it’s not on my “favorites list” doesn’t mean that you wont like it. I mean it is a NY Times Bestsellers for a reason. So if you are into reading what’s popular then give it a try and then tell me what you think. I will continue with the series and finish it.

The book that I’ve really enjoyed and that I’m patiently waiting for the final book to come out is the Divergent series. Now this is a book (like Twilight) that had me hooked and couldn’t put down!

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Book Info:

In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she’s chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she’s kept hidden from everyone because she’s been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

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If you want to read a good book that is well written and a page turner then Divergent is for you!

My books to-read list:

  • Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen
  • Delirium series by Lauren Oliver
  • Easy by Tammara Webber
  • Switched series by Amanda Hocking
  • The Maze Runner series by James Dashner
  • Dear John by Nicholas Sparks
  • My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult
  • Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

That is just the short list of books that I have yet to read. I will be updating you on what books I liked after I finish them. I would love to hear what books you are reading so don’t forget to write a comment or message me in my contacts page to let me know of the books you suggest. So until then happy reading!

Decisions Decisions…

For this past week I thought I would clue you in on a little secret….you ready?

I’ve been STRESSED!

I know I know, a big shocker for all of you who know me…but sadly yes.

Some of you might have seen a few days ago I posted on Facebook that I had some decisions to make and that I needed to go and clean the house and think! (A little nutty right? I mean who actually volunteers to do house work after a long day? NOT THIS GIRL! So you know “this thing” was driving me CRAZY, to do such a spur-of-the-moment thing). But that’s what happened. Because staring at your computer screen and trying to figure it out, sometimes just doesn’t work. So I decided to step away and take a break.

So here’s the deal…

Writing a manuscript and actually finishing it you would think…wow…that’s got to be the hardest part of this whole process. WRONG! The writing was easy, because at first your thought is, I’m writing because I love it, not, I think one day I might actually publish my work. So at first (at least for me) i just wanted to see if I could actually do it. Put everything that was in my head down on paper. Well, a couple of years into my writing I actually did it! I actually completed 27 chapters! To say that the piece was quality was up to interpretation, but none-the-less it was done.

Now comes the part where you might think everything should be a peace-of-cake, right? I mean, all you have to do is re-read your work, change a few things, have your friends read it and that’s it. WRONG AGAIN. That’s not how it works. I think I must have spent more time revising it then writing the dang thing. And I’m still revising it!

But that’s not the part that has me thinking I should take an entire package of Oreo cookies and destroy them one sleeve at a time (I know that sounds a little over-dramatic but you get the picture). No, the part that has me stressing out is coming up with the overview for my book. You know, the part that everyone reads to see if they even want to spend their hard-earned-money on a book that no one has even heard of or go with the safe purchase and buy one of the many books on B&N top 100 best sellers list.

YEP that’s where I’m at.

So for the record I would like to say that if I go off on some random rant about socks at Walmart that are priced $3.99 and I think they should be $2.99 or the driver who is going 34 mph when the speed limit is 35, it’s only due to the stresses of a writer who has been working at this for 4 years.