Monday, August 30, 2010

No Monday Book Madness Today. Just Awesomeness.

Forgive my absence this past week. My Internet connection flipped me the middle finger, as well as my laptop's battery cord. But whatever. I'm back now :)

In honor of my total delight at being back in the blogosphere, I thought I'd change things up a bit. Today is supposed to be Monday Book Madness, and I'm supposed to gush about a book (upcoming or published).

Not today.

Today, it's all about awesome. Operation Awesome, that is.

What's Operation Awesome, you ask? Oh, no big deal. Just a group of writers (and critique partners) hell-bent on giving back to the writing community. You know, a group that will feature interviews with literary agents, authors, and awesome bloggers. And... I think they'll throw the occasional contest and stuff...

Oh, yeah... And I'm in it :)

Here's what you do: go to the OA blog and follow us to participate in September's Mystery Agent One-Line Pitch Contest! If you already have an agent, or if your manuscript isn't ready to make the agent rounds yet, I promise you'll still have a good time over at the OA blog. Pinky swear.

Our official launch date is this Wednesday, September 1st, but we already have some posts up, as well as our bios (please don't read mine... I'm begging you...). 

Can't wait to see you all there later this week!

Tell me, buddies: What did you do while I was gone? Get any writing done? Read anything? 

Monday, August 23, 2010

Monday Book Madness: Suzanne Freakin' Collins!!

My assignment of the day is to remind you of Suzanne Freakin' Collins's awesomeness. If you haven't experienced this awesomeness yet, shame on you. Your life means nothing. Nothing!

Okay. Enough with the dramatics. Time for some book gushing.

Here's one reason why I'm a better person:

I read this book about two months ago for the first time. I totally did this on purpose, since I knew the final book would come out this August and I'm way too impatient to wait.

Here are the first things I will pick up as soon as I walk into a nearby Borders:

Book 2

Book 3

I haven't been this excited for a final book in a series since forever, so this means a ton. I know I won't be disappointed. (in case of doubt, see above description of Suzanne Freakin' Collins's awesomeness).

All I have is one simple request, blogging buddies: no spoilers!!

I. Hate. Spoilers.

Keep in mind I haven't read the second book yet, so I'm way behind (just dandy...). I'm stopping by your blogs later today, so if you're reading Mockingjay or plan to soon, please write as cryptically as possible. I'd appreciate it :)

Happy Suzanne Freakin' Collins week, everybody!!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Fess Up Friday: My Fairy Lady

Thanks to all who commented on yesterday's Shocking-Or-Not post. I think the photo is uh-may-zing, but I'm biased, so my vote doesn't count :)

Anyway, it's time for another edition of Fess Up Friday! Woot!

This week's trend question: are you a fan of fairies?

In case you haven't experienced the fairy phenomenon, here are a couple suggestions that have gotten some great buzz from readers:

I've only read WICKED LOVELY and TITHE (shame on me...), but the other two are on my to-read pile. Overall, I dig fairies. Especially if the mythology is twisted into something darker, less Tinkerbell-ish (like TITHE, in particular). Oh, and some swooning romance never hurts.

How about you? Fan of the fey?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Writers, Embrace The Power Of Suck

I know writing isn't just about writing. It's about editing. Over and over and over and over. Oh, and one more time after that... 

But this is not a post about polishing that draft to a blinding shine of awesome. This is a post about the pile of crap you call your first draft. This is also a post about taking that crappy first draft and embracing it.


Because the power of suck changes lives.

Think about it: do you give your best when things are great? When the odds are in your favor? Is that when you whip out the blood, sweat and tears (and chocolate)? No. 

And if you do, come a little closer to the screen. I'm going to give you a cyber slap in the face.

A friend of mine is going through a tough time right now. Her little brother is sick (leukemia) and she's lost all hope of recovery. The power of suck has taken over, but in a bad way. She's not embracing it in order to let it teach her something, whether about herself or about life. My job is to remind her it's not over yet. It won't be until it is. There's always something good hidden behind the messy bad, and it'll teach us a heck of a lot more than we expect. 

So instead of thinking ahead and saying 'Oh, I need to fix this and that to make it better' or 'Things will only get worse if I don't do something RIGHT THIS SECOND', stop and smell the pile of crap for a while. There's only one Superman and one Wonder Woman. Guess what? It's not you. And there's nothing wrong with that.

Embrace the power of ordinary. Suck out loud with all your might. 

Then hit Delete and start over. 

What do you say? Join me in my suckfest? 

Monday, August 16, 2010

Monday Book Madness: PARANORMALCY By Kiersten White

Book gushing time!! 

I've been reading great reviews about this week's book for a couple months. Goodreads, in particular, is flooding with praise. That should be reason enough for you to run out and pick this baby up, but just in case you need some extra convincing, I'm here to help:

Blurb of awesomeness below:

Sixteen-year-old Evie's job is bagging and tagging paranormals. Possessing the strange ability to see through their glamours, she works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency. But when someone--or something--starts taking out the vamps, werewolves, and other odd beasties she's worked hard to help become productive members of society, she's got to figure it out before they all disappear and the world becomes utterly normal. 

Normal is so overrated.

Mixing all those burned out paranormal creatures into a fresh, super cool world? Count me in. 

Oh, and I've read Evie has a hot pink taser. Yes, I said 'hot' and 'pink' in the same sentence. 

If you're just as excited as I am, go make the world a better place and buy your copy on August 31st. You won't regret it. Pinky swear.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Fess Up Friday: It Takes Two

First of all, I'd like to give a round of applause to the awesome ladies who organized WriteOnCon!!! I've learned so much in three days, it's insane. Count on my return for next year. Word.

Okay. Now on to this week's trend question: do you like stories with more than one narrator?

Personally, I love them when the authors keep it simple. Translation: no more than four points of view, please. I love getting into a character's head, then seeing the same thing through another person's eyes. Sometimes it can get a little distracting, sure, but I love a challenge.

Here are two of my favorite dual narrator books:

If you're thinking about writing a story with more than one POV, check these babies out.

Now tell me: are you digging the 'it takes two' approach? Or can you live without it?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Breaking News: I Finished My First Draft!!

It sucks. It's a mess. The last two chapters don't make any sense whatsoever. But I don't care.


Because I finished the first draft of my third novel!!!

*screams until throat is raw*

This is the first manuscript I've written in two months! TWO! Me? Seriously?! FTW!

Started: June 25th. Ended: August 11th. Holy bananas, Batman!

This YA urban fantasy clocked in at 65,481 words. I hope to cut, add and fix in the next few weeks!! Woot!

Okay, okay. There. I vented.

Now back to your regularly scheduled programming a. .k. a. WriteOnCon.

Hope you're learning as much as I am!!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

WriteOnCon, Baby!!

What are you doing here?? Get your cyber butt over to the super awesome WriteOnCon website! Now!

What's WriteOnCon, you ask? Oh, no big deal. Just a FREE online conference for writers. They have stuff like essays from established authors, workshops with literary agents, query critiques, and live chats with industry professionals.

It kicks off today, and the schedule is uh-may-zing. So head on over there and absorb as much as possible. Here's the link:

Happy writing, everybody!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Monday Book Madness: CLOCKWORK ANGEL By Cassandra Clare

Okay. So I'm a huge fan of Cassandra Clare. Can't deny it even if you paid me.

Her Mortal Instruments series changed my life. For reals. If you're a fan of gritty, dark urban fantasy, read her books. You won't regret it.

A while ago, Cassandra decided to write a trilogy of prequels to her NYT Bestselling series. The first book in that trilogy is this baby right here:

Here's the blurb:

Magic is dangerous—but love is more dangerous still.
When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London's Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos.

Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, members of a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What's more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa's power for his own.

Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by—and torn between—two best friends: James, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and blue-eyed Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arm's length . . . everyone, that is, but Tessa. As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world. . . . and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.

The cool part? You can pick up this book without having read the Mortal Instruments series, since CLOCKWORK ANGEL is where it all starts.
If you want a taste of awesomeness, you can pick up this baby on August 31st.
Now tell me: any Cassandra fans out there? Or did I just convert you? :)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

New Agent Interview Alert: Weronika Janczuk!!

My friend (and kick-butt critique partner) Katrina Lantz posted an awesome interview with a brand new literary agent, Weronika Janczuk!!!

Yes, she's a new lit agent, but she's been in publishing for a while. Intern, freelance editor--you name it, she's done it. Run over to Katrina's blog to check out the interview.

Oh, and if you're ready to ready to query an adult project, Weronika's your girl.

Your welcome, buddies :)

Monday, August 2, 2010

Introducing Monday Book Madness: NIGHTSHADE by Andrea Cremer

Okay. So I have my Fess Up Friday feature every week, but I wanted to add another one that allowed me to proclaim my undying love for upcoming books. Monday Book Madness will do just that.

Each week, I'll post the cover and blurb of a book I CANNOT WAIT to get my skinny little hands on. That way, I'll be both venting and recommending at the same time. Double win.

To kick off Monday Book Madness, we have:

NIGHTSHADE by Andrea Cremer.

Here's the blurb:
Calla Tor has always known her destiny: After graduating from the Mountain School, she’ll be the mate of sexy alpha wolf Ren Laroche and fight with him, side by side, ruling their pack and guarding sacred sites for the Keepers. But when she violates her masters’ laws by saving a beautiful human boy out for a hike, Calla begins to question her fate, her existence, and the very essence of the world she has known. By following her heart, she might lose everything - including her own life. Is forbidden love worth the ultimate sacrifice?

NIGHTSHADE comes out October 19th, so mark your calendars!!

Now tell me: did you know about this YA debut before?