Saturday, December 29, 2012

In Too Deep is SIGNED! purple ink, of course!
I am so thrilled to announce that I just signed with SAPPHIRE STAR PUBLISHING!

My New Adult novel, IN TOO DEEP, will be released June 6, 2013!!!! 2013!!!!! 2013!!!!!

Are you feeling me?? In like SIX FREAKING MONTHS!!!! So, I am working my arse off to create some hype!

I would be thrilled if you started following me… and of course, I will be sending a $100 gift card to everyone who funnels new fans to that page. (That’s a complete lie…but it got your attention, didn’t it?)

Friday, December 21, 2012

Why do you write?

When someone asks me this question there is immediately a tornado of thoughts and images that swirl around in my mind. I can see images of scenes I have read from my own list of favorite books...scenes that I am still in love with and could almost recite verbatim. I can reach out and touch the character I've created in my  mind as I console a broken heart or help her up after she's been knocked down.

I feel the tragedies I write.

If they stay inside me, they will eat me alive. If I keep them in, I would be cheating someone out of living that story as they turn the pages of one of my novels. Sometimes living someone else's story for a moment can bring enlightenment to your own life that  you wouldn't have gathered anywhere else.

I wasn't an avid reader until I was an adult. I was a gifted student and did well in school and I am sad to say, I got by with Cliff's Notes and movies. Maybe no one challenged me as much as they should have. I hated reading when someone ELSE was choosing what I would bury my nose in. So, I read the mini-version, watched the movie, wrote the paper or took the test and then filed it away in "things I will never need to revisit."

I have always been a storyteller. I have lived my whole life with people begging me to "tell that story again!" And with each re-telling, I add more and more glitz and glam...which is why no one ever gets tired of hearing that same's not always exactly the same. I love to hold people's attention while at the same time I don't enjoy being the center of attention. My stories allow me to entertain while drawing attention to something other than myself. The attention goes to the characters within the stories I am telling.

When I write, things I've lived through, longed for, loved and hated make their way into my books. Call it cheap therapy, but sometimes when I hand my own experiences to the characters in my books I can translate them in a way I could not if I was simply looking at them from my own point of view. Looking at the same heartache and pain through someone else's eyes brings a world of different insights and I love that.

In addition to that, I can change the outcome as I see fit. In my latest novel that's making its rounds, IN TOO DEEP, there is a scene that I would give my left arm to go back in time and have play out in real life. Since I have not yet discovered time travel, I watched it play out moment by moment as I wrote it and now I can revisit it over and over and over as many times as I want to see that fist meet that jaw!

So, why do I write?
I write for the same reason people do fills a void in my soul!

So, peace out writer peeps! It's time for me to go fill a void!


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The waiting game...

This week, in my own little world, I am hosting The Waiting Game... this wait is my own and I HATE to wait.

Before I was finished writing my NA manuscript, IN TOO DEEP, I had an agent waiting in the wings to read the FULL.

Two weeks ago during #PitchMas, I had three requests for queries and partials of my MS. Last week I got an email requesting a FULL! I did 1,000 hours (slight exaggeration) over the weekend primping and polishing and making sure my characters were on their best (or worst) possible behavior so they would stun the publisher and her staff and have them giddy to make me an offer!

So, while I wait for a response from them, I sent the FULL to the waiting agent and then did a little research and found three agents who seem to be a perfect fit for my manuscript. I carefully read their submission guidelines and sent off exactly what they were looking for.

Monday, December 10, 2012

My Revision Plan...

I have multiple WIPs at any given moment - it's the curse of an uber creative person.

When I used to revise, it was an overwhelming task because I would change something which would mean something prior to that part in the story would need changed as well...then I would spend an hour trying to find that one specific part I was looking for.

Now I draw myself a map, chapter by chapter. I make a long list or sometimes a grid and as I revise and rewrite I fill in the list or grid with details that are in specific chapters.

Chapter 1
• skips school, p 5
• finds note from boy, p 12
• remembers dream, p 16
• tells off teacher, p 18
• backstory abt step dad, p 21

As I revise each chapter, I keep a detailed list. This way, when I need to change something about her relationship with her step dad I know that, in order to change backstory to make it match, I need to go to p. 21.

Now, of course, you can't have EVERYTHING on the list but hopefully you will jot down enough of the big details that it will still be helpful in going back to find earlier parts.

I also keep notes in the margin of upcoming parts I will need to adjust based on something I rewrite in earlier chapters.

I hope this inspires you to create your own revision solution. Be sure to share your secret to keeping everything straight in the comments below.

Happy revisions!


Thursday, December 6, 2012

If I were an agent...

TheYA MISFITS posed a question this week... If you were an agent, what would you want in your submissions?
I took this question seriously. As a writer hoping to land a contract in this lifetime, it's easy to use my writer's imagination and take out my frustrations on all of the "No Thank You" agents (I don't really do that) and not look at the rejection from their perspective.

But, if the tables were turned, how would I make the decisions that could make or stymie a writer's career? I would be concerned what the "rejecteds" were imagining my untimely demise.
(I don't do this, just other authors I know do)

Attention authors I know: Shhhhhhh I wouldn't want any agents to know that if they reject me I will be smiling as I dream of replacing their carpet and toilet seats with sharpened Lego blocks. (muaaaaah haaa haaa)

If I were an agent for a day, I would:

• drink as much Starbucks as I wanted because I'd be getting a paycheck
• read MSs with my feet up on my desk
• gossip at the water cooler
...oh, wait! You wanted to know what I would do with the submissions on my desk...under my feet and my empty Starbucks cups...

OK, let me put my imaginary agent hat on!

I would be looking for:
• neat/clean presentation
• a query that is brief but clear and leaves me wanting more
• a well-developed idea
• a timely topic that is fresh or has a fresh twist
• an author who is willing to work hard to get his/her MS to its most impressive state
• an author with a passion for their topic/theme
• a MS that sells me on that passion
• ...and a freaking SNOT LOAD of Starbucks gift cards should accompany each submission

I don't think these expectations are too high. Do you?
Peace out!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Writers love winter...

I'm actually NOT a fan of winter. I hate to be cold. I hate to be wet. I don't like wind. I can't stand to play in the snow. Why? Have you not been paying attention?

Playing in the snow = cold, wet, wind = Grumpy Writer

But, what I do like about winter is being forced to stay inside during blizzards and snow squalls. A fire in the fireplace makes everything a little cozier. My favorite fleece blanket from my BFF and a cup of something hot makes a winter day complete perfection!

Christmas is 22 days away and the thermometer is climbing past 65 as I type. I love sunny, warm days but something in me wishes it was gray and snowy outside so I could sit curled up with my Hot Toddy and my laptop. Inspiration is induced when I am ridiculously comfortable.

Comfort for me is the sum of soft sweats, no bra (sorry if that's TMI), cozy slippers, warm fuzzy blanket, steaming cup of yumminess and my current WIP. I had this beauty last week during the big Nor'easter  that came to the East coast. I have about six chapters to finish tweaking and polishing and the sun is making me feel guilty for copping a squat on the couch. But I tell myself, this is my equivalent to a desk job...just without the dress code, boring meetings and a boss. Not a bad set up.

My current yet-to-be-requested novel is a New Adult novel: In Too Deep

I am in love with this story. Gracie and Noah couldn't be more opposite but when they cross paths the summer between their freshman and sophomore year of college there are fireworks...literally. Noah puts aside his bad boy ways when he unexpectedly falls for Gracie who is beautiful and sweet but probably way too naive to date Noah and stay that way. But their picture perfect love that stuns Noah's friends and scares Gracie's, is headed for turmoil. When Noah is initiated to Sigma Chi, the hottest fraternity on the campus of The University of Tennessee, something within Noah rears its ugly head and he becomes emotionally abusive and Gracie takes it blow by blow waiting for "her Noah" to come back.

As Gracie's sanity is threatened, Jake, Noah's former roommate and Gracie's best friend, can no longer sit on the sidelines and watch. But will Jake's devotion to his best friend show a broken Gracie that she is worth so much more or will his devotion turn into unexpected love? A love triangle like you have never known with the gore of violent heartbreak and the beauty of a fairy tale all in one book.

Emotional abuse leaves wounds no one sees, but true love will walk beside you as you heal.

I hope you will fall in love with this story as it is very close to my own heart.
So, put the shades down, pretend it's snowing (even if you hate winter like I do), find your best snuggly blanket and follow a journey that will bring Gracie, Noah, Jake and their collegiate friends to life.

I am currently participating in PitchWars and am  looking forward to December 12th when the announcement of which of over 30 published authors and PitchWars mentors choose the one author they want to help adjust and polish their finished manuscripts and ready them for awaiting agents. I am so excited to even be participating but am obviously crossing my fingers and toes (and I am double jointed so I can cross each twice - well, almost) that one of my three chosen mentors believes in Gracie and her survival as much as I do.
I want to publicly thank Summer Heacock, Elizabeth Prats and Shelley Watters for taking time out of their own writing to be coaches for all of the many entrants and for being awesome enough to be chosen by moi.

Stay tuned, there are more contests coming up the pike and I am revved and ready to go with another manuscript, my YA WIP. I will fill you in on a dark soul named M, yes...just M, in another post. She's a very complicated soul that needs her own post. She'd never share space with a goody two shoes, virgin geek like Gracie.

Stick around. I'd love to meet you so introduce yourself.
Find me on Twitter @flowermonkeyz

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Portfolio Samples...

I am approaching some ART REPS today and choosing my favorites...finished and decide WHAT about their design makes them my favorite, but...

...that's like choosing a favorite offspring... especially when each of these characters have a story that comes with them. Stories that children are waiting to hear.

...I have files and files of more children who want a chance to SHINE!