I hope you are all having lovely Fridays ;o) As some of you may know, I started out writing poetry years ago. It was my first love when it came to words. So once in a while, I get the itch to write it, and sometimes it’s at the worst times, like Wednesdays at 3 in the morning. But when I get those word build-up moments, I have to do it. I never know what’s going to come out. It’s like opening a fortune cookie. Or biting into a mystery piece of chocolate from a box. This is what I wrote on Wednesday.
I call it – Poem at 3:00 AM (original, I know)
Some days I hate that my world is wrapped up in writing. In finding that next idea. In making sure that sentence is correct as if weeping while waiting does any good, especially without tears.
The long nights and even longer days. Waiting for forever to come, not knowing if forever exists.
The dichotomy. The emotion and words, the validation of life’s pursuits. Of life’s dreams. The crush of refusal, the agony of losing again, of missing the elusive, the luck diminishing as the stories grow, the waves of torture that bind my fingers to the keys.
But I go on loving this devil, this terror, this dream breaker because nothing good ever came from something easy.
Do you ever get word build-up moments? Any of you poets in a different writer life?
Today the lovely Tonya Kuper and Entangled Teen are revealing the cover for Tonya’s new novel ANOMALY, releasing in November 4, 2014 and I’m helping! I’m SO excited to be part of this cover reveal. I’m so thankful to have met Tonya at the RT convention last year. She’s an amazing writer and friend and I’m honored to be helping with the reveal today! Make sure to check out the awesome cover and enter to win an eARC!
DON’T YOU LOVE IT!!
About the Book
Title: ANOMALY (Schrodinger’s Consortium #1)
Author: Tonya Kuper
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Pub. Date: November 4, 2014
if the world isn’t what we think?
if reality is only an illusion?
if you were one of the few who could control it?
Yeah, Josie Harper didn’t believe it, either, until… strange things started happening. And when this hot guy tried to kidnap her, shouting about ultimate observers and pushing and consortiums hell-bent on controlling the world… Well, that’s when things got real. Now Josie’s got it bad for a boy who weakens her every time he’s near and a world of enemies on her tail who want to control her gift, so yeah, she’s going to need more than just her wits if she hopes to survive much longer.
Einstein never saw this coming…
YA scifi author of ANOMALY, out 11/14, Entangled Teen. Represented by Nicole Resciniti. Contributor at yastands.blogspot.com & allthewritenotes.com. Music freak. Chocolate addict.
1 eARC of ANOMALY International
What are you waiting for? Go on and enter!
Thanks, rock stars!
Hi Everyone! Hope your Sunday is going well ;o) So, lately I’ve been revising and wanted to do a post on what it feels like. The ups and downs, turns, that kind of thing (original huh? LOL). BUT I thought I would tell it through Disney GIF’s instead since it’s more fun and I’ve always been a visual person and I love GIFs. Here we go!
My revision journey told through Disney GIFs.
I start out thinking there are SO many possibilities!
I’m so EXCITED! This is going to be the best MS I’ve revised EVER!
Then the real work begins and it seems like an endless climb…
Each step seems never-ending.
I quickly arrive at the stage where I think everything is total crap.
I start to change things I NEVER thought I would which makes me feel like I’m completely messing everything up.
Every morning I look like death.
I think I’m starting to catch a stride then something derails me.
I feel like nothing makes sense in the story anymore.
I try to add backstory and I either add too much or too little.
So I decide to start from the beginning and see what works and what doesn’t. I end up deleting some of my favorite scenes.
Then I feel like this.
I start getting pulled into different plot holes and internal monologue traps.
After putting the pieces back together and getting everything in its spot.
I regroup. Because I can’t stay in Wonderland forever.
I start climbing to the top of that wall.
And make my MS just as beautiful as the first version, but better.
I fall, but there’s always someone to catch me.
And even though I feel like this…
And I realize how hard it is to say goodbye to a different version of my story…
I believe in this book and I want it to be the best.
It WILL be the best!
Anyone else feel like this? How do you get through it?
Have a great week!
Gifs found at http://animated-disney-gifs.tumblr.com/
I hope you’re all having a good week so far and you’re staying warm!
So, I’ve been writing for a while now and I’ve learned a bit about publishing from being a writer/editor/agent intern. I’ve seen a lot of different sides to this crazy industry and I’m going to share the top 10 things I’ve learned with you ;o) You may already know them, but thought I’d share anyway!
1. Subjectivity is real. It’s not just what an agent/editor says to reject your work. Folks, I’ve seen this in action, both as a writer and an editor. Tastes differ. Sometimes I’ll read something then read it again and think… this isn’t as good as I thought. An agent/editor is going to read your story several times before it gets published, they need to love it.
2. Patience is a virtue. I’ve seen writers shoot themselves in the foot so often I wonder why they can’t just wait. I know it’s hard. Believe me. But what’s the rush? Take your time and get an agent and editor who loves your work. To do this does take time and it will seem like light years for them to get back to you. It’s okay. That’s not about you. Most likely, that’s about them and their time and what they have prioritized in front of your work, more often than not, their own clients’ work.
3. Helping your fellow writers is a great thing for your soul, but it takes a lot of time too. I try to help writers as much as I can. I know what it’s like to be in the query trenches. I try to get involved in contests like Brenda Drake’s pitch madness and pitch wars, and I was recently a judge for the Georgia Romance Writers Conference: The Maggie Awards For Excellence for the unpublished YA category. I love helping writers and I encourage everyone to do it, but it does take extra time. If you commit to contests and judging, be aware of the time commitment. I make sure I balance it and make sure I have the time before saying yes. Please feel free to ask me questions, and I’ll do my best to answer.
4. Agents are business associates. Publishing is a business, so your correspondence with agents should be professional, confident and straight-forward. If they have a policy on “nudging” follow it, don’t be afraid to follow their guidelines, in fact, if they have guidelines, follow them. If they ask you to attach the first 25k to the email, or some other strange thing, then do it. That’s what they want. I’ve read about writers waiting for months and months to nudge because they are afraid to bother agents. I hate seeing this. If they have a posted policy, that’s what they expect. You are only doing yourself a disservice by not following it. On the same hand. Wait until that posted time to nudge. Don’t follow-up a week after you query.
5. Queries/Pitches are still hard to write. Yep. No matter how many times I try to write one it isn’t easy on the first try. And don’t get me started on Synopses. Hoo Boy. Those are a practice in will power. I envy those who can write them easily, I am not one. I can edit queries and pitches with the best, but writing them on the first try is still a struggle. I will say it has gotten easier each time I do, so hopefully one day they will be like second nature to me. It has made it easier now that I know what the structure looks like: Intriguing tag line. What’s the issue? Obstacles? What does the MC stand to lose if goal isn’t met. Also, add in the voice. At least that’s what works for me.
6. Someone somewhere is probably writing a book about the same subject you are. It’s okay. It happens. There are only so many stories to be told. Ideas are limited. There are roughly 7 billion people on earth, chances of you being the ONLY one to think of your idea is… unlikely. However, you are the only YOU. Your voice is what makes your book special, so therefore don’t get discouraged when you hear someone else have the same cool idea. Make your story uniquely YOU.
7. Read, read, read. It’s so important, you guys. When I hear of writers only writing it makes me sad. One can not write in a genre they have not read in. I mean… they can, but I doubt it would be as good as a writer who read in that genre. I know it’s hard to make time, but as writers we have to know what’s out there. I read in binges usually, 3-5 books at a time, then I revise or write, then I do it all over again. It doesn’t matter how you do it, just do it. Trust me. You’ll be a better writer.
8. Learn social media and learn it well. Don’t spam. I’m amazed to still see this being done. Don’t follow others JUST to get them to follow back. It’s a conversation. And don’t be offended if others don’t follow you back. I doubt it’s personal. Sometimes I just haven’t gone through my list to follow others. It takes time. If you talk to me often though, chances are I’ll follow you. If you write a blog post, try to share it sparingly. Let others pass along the info for you. I try to link blog posts twice and call it good. My beloved friends on twitter typically RT me, which I’m so grateful for. In the same sense, I RT them and other info I think writers will find interesting and of course, cute animals, cause HELLO, cute animals. I wrote a blog post on the basics of social media, you can find it here, if you want to read it. We were all new once too. I just recently looked at my first few tweets and they were pretty generic. We all have to start somewhere, but take your time to get to know people on a real level, not just try to get them to follow you. Reach out and speak to other writers/authors. Chances are they’ll talk back ;o)
9. Readers don’t really care where you publish your book. Think about it. Before you were a writer, did you even know the names of most of the imprints? I think I knew Penguin and HarperCollins and that’s about it. Readers want to read a GREAT BOOK. That’s it. So if you want to self-publish, go with a smaller pub, Big 5, whatever, it’s cool. Readers probably won’t know the difference and in the end, that’s who we’re writing books for ;o)
10. The writing community is the best. I’ve seen writers over the years volunteer their time, money, expertise; they mentor other writers, send emails to their fans, let their fans into their little worlds by sharing more than we thought we wanted to know about a series, they answer questions. They RT your blog posts, ask how you’re doing, console you when you’re sad, lift you up when you are excited, empathize with you and hold your hand. I could not think of a better group to be a part of. Thank you to all of you!
So. What do you think? Got anything to add?
Have a wonderful rest of the week and KEEP WARM and BE SAFE!
I’m so EXCITED for many reasons. First, I have this snazzy new website thanks to the incredibly patient and awesome Andrew Heacock (quikchaos on twitter)! I couldn’t have asked for a better web dude than Drew. He was a delight ;o)
I’m ALSO excited because we have a guest today!! The amazing and sweet author of DEFY Sara B. Larson! This was a fun interview, you guys. I’ve always adored Sara since we connected about a year ago. She’s one of the kindest people I’ve met in the writing world. So I’m seriously honored for hers to be the first post on my new website! Sara’s book, DEFY is everything I’ve been looking for in a YA fantasy, and I just know readers are going to love it! It’s definitely become one of my favorite YA fantasies! So, let’s get to it, shall we?
Welcome to the mosh pit, Sara! We’re a good group of rock stars, so grab a drink, relax and enjoy!
*grabs a Shirley Temple* (Yes, I really am a fourteen-year-old in disguise.) Thanks for having me!
1. Okay, first. We have to talk about Alexa. LOVE HER. She’s brave and strong and someone I want on my side. Where did you get the inspiration for her character from? Other characters? Real life people?
Alexa is a very complex, fascinating character, and I absolutely loved writing her story. She is a very tough, strong, and determined young woman. But she also has this vulnerable side that she tries to hide—a softness, deep down inside that’s trying to work its way out, that reminds you she’s still a teenage girl. She’s incredibly talented at fighting—and she’s worked extremely hard to reach that level of skill. Alexa has dealt with some horrible losses and situations in her life, but she’s always done what she had to do to protect herself and keep moving forward. Alexa came to me exactly how she is; I didn’t have to think up her character. Sometimes I do draw on people in my life to help shape characters, but not too often.
DEFY came from a very difficult period in my life, when I lost someone I loved. I was so upset by his death that I couldn’t write anything, but a friend of mine told me to stop trying to write a book and just write what I was feeling. So that’s exactly what I did. I sat down and wrote a scene, not intending for it to go anywhere…but then I got curious about the characters. This whole fascinating world unraveled itself and I realized Alexa had a very intriguing, difficult, but ultimately amazing story that needed to be told. I threw myself into that writing and from there the story took on its own life. It became a story of survival and moving forward, a story of what true courage and strength is, and a story about the many different kinds of love, and hope (even in the most desperate of situations) and risking everything for the chance of a better future.
3. What draws you to writing fantasy? Have you written any other genre before?
Oh man, I guess the easiest answer is because I just love magic and making the impossible seem possible. I love escaping our actual world and immersing myself in something completely different and new, but with enough similarities to still feel familiar. Plus I love being able to make up my own rules. I get so stressed about getting every little detail and fact right when I write anything set in our world/society. (Which I have also done.) I have written other genres, and I probably will in the future. But most of the time, I usually end up having some sort of magic or fantastical element in my stories.
4. What did you do first when you learned your book was going to be published?
I cried. No, literally. When my agent called and told me “Guess what? You’re going to be a published author!” All I could say was, “I am?” and then commenced trying very hard to not break down into sobs. They were tears of happiness, tears of relief, and tears of disbelief. It was such a long road to get to that moment, and it’s been my lifelong dream, and I almost couldn’t believe it had really happened. Eventually I did stop crying and started jumping up and down and screaming in joy. Then the celebrating commenced!
5. How many drafts of DEFY did you write? Was this a story that came easily to you?
When I first started writing Defy, I hit a sort of block about 8k words in and put it aside for quite a while. But the characters wouldn’t leave me alone and when I came back to it, I realized one of them was keeping a VERY big secret from me. As soon as I figured out that one integral secret, the book took a totally different direction —in a totally awesome way. The rest of the plot clicked into place after that and I finished the first draft two weeks later. I revised it for two months, and got my first agent offer two days after I started querying (twelve hours after I sent that particular agent my query). It was an amazing whirlwind that I still can’t quite believe happened after everything else I’ve been through to get here!
6. What do you hope readers will get out of DEFY?
I hope that they will come to love these characters as I do, with all of their strengths and flaws. I hope that as they learn about all of the struggles and tragedies that many of them have endured or deal with in the book, and that they will be able to see their strength and courage and be inspired by them. I think that ultimately, DEFY is a story about hope, about never giving up no matter how bad things seem. And it’s a story about love, in all its many forms, and the power for good it can have.
Okay, now the fun ones! (Haha, I’m actually the worst at these because I am SO indecisive. Just ask my husband!)
Favorite movie(s) – See? I’m already struggling. How to pick? I love so many and they’re all so different. Growing up I’d say THE PRINCESS BRIDE and WILD HEARTS CAN’T BE BROKEN were my faves. Now some of my faves are the extended versions of LOTR, THE ULTIMATE GIFT, I know it might be clichéd but I really loved THE NOTEBOOK and recently I really loved AUSTENLAND and CATCHING FIRE. And THOR. Who doesn’t love Chris Hemsworth? And Loki, of course. Man, I could keep going so I better just stop.
Favorite book(s) and why – This list is so huge, I don’t even know where to start. But I think if I HAD to pick just one book (or series) that I could read for the rest of my life, it would be Harry Potter.
Favorite line you wrote – Hmmm, that might be too spoilery. But here’s a snippet that I love that I think is okay: “True beauty is what lies inside of us, not what the world sees. A beautiful shell that houses a vile soul becomes sullied over time. But an outer shell, imperfect as it may be, that houses a beautiful soul shines with that beauty, radiating it for all who have eyes to see.”
Favorite hot beverage (since it’s winter and all) – Hot chocolate, hands down. I LOVE hot chocolate with whipped cream. (And ironically my kids are watching The Polar Express right now and Tom Hanks is singing about hot chocolate as I type this!)
Thanks so much for visiting! Thank you so much for having me! This was fun!
Until next time.