One More Thing…

I was about to sign off for the night (it’s 11:00 pm right now) but something was itching at me, so I’m back online and posting this now.

Today was one of those days where there is just not enough hours in the day to do everything. I got up really early this morning to blog and then worked all day. I came home, spent time with the kids before starting on edits on Lost. I was thinking (just a few moments ago) how much I admire writers. The writers who work full time/ part time, have families and after everyone is asleep get on the computer to write until the wee hours in the night/morning. The authors who don’t sleep and only live on caffeine to get them through the day…you all are the ones I look up too!

So many times I feel like giving up because it’s so much work. But then I think…I’d be giving up my passion, my dreams and goals. I’d be giving up on these characters that are stuck in my head and want to have their story told. I’d be letting everyone down and letting myself down.

It’s so easy to say, “I’ll work on it tomorrow.” Or “I’ll just watch this movie and then start on it.” But that never happens. Now, don’t get me wrong…I’ll NEVER quit writing. This is what I’m meant to do! I love it and it’s what makes me happy.

I love the quotes:

“Never give up on something you really want. It’s difficult to wait, but more difficult to regret.”

“I’m not telling you it is going to be easy, I’m telling you it’s going to be worth it.”

“Never give up on something you can’t go a day without thinking about.”

So again, authors near and far, authors who I know and others that I’ve never met…you all are amazing and all the work that you do is inspiring! Keep it up and never give up on your dreams!

Good night everyone!

Ralph Waldo Emerson Quote

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I WAS NOMINATED FOR AN AWARD!

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I was nominated for an award!! A BIG thank you to L.E. Pate for the nomination! This nomination was completely unexpected but very much appreciated and I feel honored to have been recognized! L.E. Pate is also an aspiring writer and I would encourage you to take a look at her blog.

HERE’S HOW THIS AWARD WORKS:

– I list 11 random facts about myself.
– I will answer the 11 questions asked of me by the person who nominated me.
– I will then nominate my 11 picks for the award along with my 11 questions for them to answer when they post a response.
– If you’re nominated, your name/link will appear at the bottom of this post along with your questions. Follow the same format; paste the award badge to your blog, give us 11 random facts about yourself, answer my 11 questions, and choose your nominees…but you cannot nominate the blog who nominated you.

11 RANDOM FACTS ABOUT ME:

  1. My passion is dance. I’ve been dancing since age 4
  2. I love to sing
  3. I’m a mother of three young boys
  4. COFFEE, COFFEE, COFFEE!
  5. I am 5′ 2″ and my husband is 6′ 4″ lol
  6. I love EVERYTHING Chocolate
  7. My favorite color is purple
  8. My favorite holiday is Christmas; family, friends & giving
  9. One of my idiosyncrasies: No matter how bad a book is, I have to finish it
  10. My favorite number is 7
  11. One of my favorite quotes, “The longer you wait for something, the more you’ll appreciate it when you get it. Cause anything worth having, is worth waiting for.”

L.E. PATE QUESTIONS FOR ME:

1.  What is your favorite thing to rant about? After reading the most incredible, spectacular, off- the- charts amazing novel and then you watch the movie, only to find out that they have changed some important aspects of the story… that’s when I have to rant.

2.  What is your favorite aspect of writing? When I finish my manuscript (not the completed, edited, I’m-ready-to-publish version), the un-edited completely messy version. When I first completed my current manuscript a few years ago I think I cried a little. It was bitter-sweet to finally have my story (that I’ve worked so hard for and had countless hours of no-sleep) out on a page.  It felt AMAZING!

3.  What makes you feel the best that you have ever felt? When I sent my novel out to my beta readers and hearing how excited they were about it, and how they are eagerly awaiting my next book! I can’t put it into words!

4.  How structured are you with your writing? I’m structured but also not lol… if that makes any sense. I’m structured in the sense that I work on my novel daily but not so much where I have set hours. It’s kind of hard having a “day job” and setting hours for yourself but I work on it when I can.

5.  What has been the best book you have read in the last year? That answer will have to be Divergent by Veronica Roth. I couldn’t put the book down!

6.  What is your favorite genre of books to write? To read? That one’s easy YA fiction! For reading…I like all types of genre’s but for right now my reading list is 85% YA fiction.

7.  What or who inspires you to write? I love to get lost in a storyline. I have a lot of novels in my head and if I don’t get them out and onto a page I will go crazy! I want my readers to not only fall in love with my stories but also take something away with them. In my debut novel (coming 2013) not only is it a fictional story but it also has hidden “life situations” that I hope could help someone with their own situation in their “real” life.

8.  How do you picture your writing career developing? I currently have two novel series and two individual novels that I want to write. My goal is that I will become a full time author within a few years time. In three years, I hope to have my current novel series out and on the New York Times best sellers list! Dreams can come true…right?

9.  Who is your favorite classic author?  Why? Margaret Mitchell who wrote Gone with the Wind. That novel has to be one of my all time favorite stories and consequently my favorite classic author.

10.  Do you enjoy writing true to life events or creating your own world? Both! I love writing true- to- life but adding in the fictional aspect to it. I think it makes it more interesting and fun!

11.  What is your favorite short story you have ever written? That would have to be the short story I wrote in High School (although at this point in time I can’t for the life of me remember what I called it). It was set in the 40’s about a girl in the country who was sent to live with an older couple because her parents died unexpectedly.

This particular short story is better sweet for me because it was the first time that my writing actually was noticed and got amazing reviews from my teacher. I believe that’s when my love for writing began.

HERE ARE MY NOMINATIONS. PLEASE CLICK ON THEIR LINKS BELOW AND TAKE A LOOK AT THERE WEBSITES.

  1. Danielle Sibarium – http://daniellesibarium.com
  2. Megan Hand – http://meganhandwrites.com
  3. Laura Howard – http://laurahoward78.blogspot.com
  4. David James – http://djamesauthor.blogspot.com
  5. Megan Whitmer – http://meganwhitmer.blogspot.com
  6. Jessica Freeburg – http://jessicafreeburg.com
  7. Jake Bonsignore – http://jakebonsignore.com
  8. Kendra Ayers – http://kendraayers.com
  9. Kelly Anne Blount – http://kellyblount.com
  10. Andrea Lynn Ford – http://andralynnford.com
  11. Laney McMann – http://laneymcmann.com

NOMINEES…HERE ARE YOUR 11 QUESTIONS:

  1. Who is your favorite author?
  2. What is your favorite quote?
  3. What type of genre do you like to read? Why?
  4. Where do you hope to be in 5 years?
  5. How long have you been writing?
  6. Who has inspired you throughout your life?
  7. What is one word to describe your personality?
  8. What is your favorite book? Why?
  9. Life’s to short for… (you fill in the blank)
  10. What is your desert island food (you only get one choice)?
  11. If you could have one celebrity on your speed dial, who would it be and why?

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL OF YOU!

The Next Step…

Here’s another exciting post that I get to write. I’ve been waiting patiently to get to this point, and now, It’s finally here!

Group of people readingThe next step is sending my MS out to a beta testing group. For those of you who don’t know what a beta group means, it’s where you send out your manuscript to a group of people (like pilot-test of a product/novel) and those people will read the novel, make comments, suggestions, give you insight as what they did or didn’t like and of course rate your novel.

This is both exciting and terrifying all at the same time. Exciting because I get to experience how others react to what I’ve kept so close to me for so long but terrifying because “putting yourself out there” is a scary thing.

I have randomly chosen a lucky group of people who will get to have the “first look” (beta test) into my novel! If you are chosen I will send you an email within a week. So check your emails often.

DISCLAIMER: The group for my beta test is a random pick and am not accepting submissions at this time. In no way are any of these beta testing individuals compensated in anyway and are doing so at there own will.

I will be posting a testimonial section on my blog after I receive back all submissions. This process will take a little bit of time so please be patient and I will update you all once those testimonials are up.

HOWEVER…I have had the first round of beta testers (6 different individuals) read my earlier writings of my novel (some have read the whole novel, others partial & some only sent out the synopsis & mockup cover design). I will release those reviews soon. So 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.

Pick A Name…Any Name

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So it’s Saturday morning and I have only had about three hours of sleep. Why do you ask did I only get three hours of sleep? Well…the simple answer is, my mind just wouldn’t shut off! Remember the post titled Get In My Head? Don’t worry, it’s nothing like that post. It’s just that as I near the final days of the big “waiting game” the pressures of it all begin to pile on and my mind begins to fill up with everything I still need to accomplish.

The big hurdle that I’m facing right now is the name. About two years ago I came up with the perfect name. I was dead set on it until recently. While I was searching B&N, I discover a book (that was just released) with the same name I was going to name my MS. For all you authors out there who have had a similar experience like this one, you know what I’m talking about when I say that my heart sank. I literally sat at he computer for a good half-n-hour with my mouth hanging open as I silently screamed NOOOOOOOO! You see, I’ve been working on this current MS for four years and it took me two of those four years to settle on a name in the first place.

Since that decision to put that name to rest and re-name my book it’s been a very tiresome process. Every time I think of something else and google it I find many books with the same name. It would be okay if the book was years old or not in my genre but all the names I come up with are taken.

So here begs the question…do I give up?

No, silly! 

Of course I wont give up, but what I do need is a little help. Perhaps, some of you creative thinkers out there might have some great words that you could through my way. My last post I gave a small sneak peek into my book. You can see that here. Read it and if you think of anything that might help me out please send me an email. You can email me in the contact me page here.

BIG NEWS! To anyone who suggest a name and I actually pick it, I will give them an advanced copy of my book! So again just send me a message in the contact me page or send me a personal message on my facebook.

Sneak Peek!

Deep within Southern Oregon, right in the center of Medford and Grants Pass, lies a small town in which most people would take one glance and move on. No reason to stop. This town of Rogue River has many aspects to it that on the surface you could say, is just another town. However, that’s where you’re deceived. Hidden behind it’s beautiful landscape, thick trees and tall mountains, lies a secret that only one knows about and can’t escape from. For this secret is hidden deep within, and the forest that surrounds hides dangers that will terrify you.

To everyone who is eagerly awaiting my debut novel to be released, here is a little sneak peek into the depths of where I have plotted out my story. Let me give you a little insight as to why I have chosen this particular place and why it is perfect for my book.

First, I want to center my story in a place that I knew very well. For a brief time, back in 2004, I lived in Rogue River Oregon and when I got the concept for this story line, I knew right away that Rogue River was the place. It had all the aspects that I needed, small town, simple way of life and a thick forest that provided the best atmosphere for many of the scenes.

Another reason why it was perfect was the surrounding communities. Right next to Rogue River is Medford, Grants Pass, Ashland and Wimmer. All of which, gave amazing depth to the story. So much imagination came from specific places within those towns, that helped grow the story into something amazing! Most of the streets and details about the town are exactly how it is, with only a few variations. I wanted to describe the town in a realistic true-to-life-way.

Subscribe to my blog for future sneak peeks, giveaways and release information! If you would like to see what my beta readers thought about my novel click HERE.

Taking The Advice Of Others

Today I’ve done a lot of research on ‘How To Write A Query Letter’ from a few authors who have been very successful in the industry. I mainly focus on the same type of authors who write in the particular genre that I do, Young Adult Fiction. What I’ve discovered today (big over-dramatic sigh) is that my query letter is terrible! Well, maybe not terrible but not what the agents will want to see. However, I am very glad to say that I thankfully (with the helpful direction from the best selling author Veronica Roth) found a great blog from a lady who knows what she’s talking about, Elana Johnson. Although, she doesn’t claim to “know it all” she can certainly write a mean query letter.

So for me I will be scrapping the old one and beginning the new one.

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Busy Day Today

Today a lot is happening in my world. I sent my work off to my second editor who will be going over my manuscript with a fine tooth comb. Most authors have their work looked at by a few different people before it’s marked as “complete” and finally published. I just got the first few chapters back and will be going through it line by line taking things out, putting things in and generally sitting for hours trying to figure out if I like the end result or not (its a very time consuming ordeal).

I will also be finalizing my overview that has been keeping me up all night. So I can almost guarantee that by the end of the day I will either be completely loony frolicking down the street in 30 degree weather or totally exhausted staring at a blank wall for hours. Either way I will be a step closer to the end result!

So for now, I bid you farewell!

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My book printed out. 28 Chapters!