Monday, September 26, 2011

Inspiration and the Many Places We Find It

Firstly, though, all things must die. And my computer decided last week was the time to do it. So, no Ron, that mysterious ticking noise was NOT a pipe bomb. It was my hard drive.

Secondly, I received my latest copy of the scbwi bulletin in the mail last week! For those of you who aren't members of scbwi or aren't familiar with scbwi, it's a great resource for children's book writers and illustrators. Not only are there conferences (local, regional, and national), you get access to grants, a special scbwi forum, and other nice little things to help with your career. I highly suggest you think about joining.

Well, like I said, I received their latest bulletin in the mail last week and as I was reading it while eating my breakfast, I came across a particularly inspiring article. It was titled, "Hunt for Inspiration to Jumpstart Creativity," by Tami Traylor.

Ms. Traylor listed some very good ideas on how to spark your creativity. My favorite was "Go Antiquing." Wow. What an idea! I've heard the suggestion to look at pictures or go visit new places, but go antiquing...that REALLY piques my interest. Can you imagine what unique things you might find and how they could shape a story? Imagine writing a book centered around an old vase or a beautiful dress.

Another suggestion she made was to go on a trip and mentioned how J.K. Rowling came up with Harry Potter by taking a long ride on a train.

She had some more, amazing suggestions, but I was wondering if any of you do anything to inspire you. Do you look at old pictures? How about visiting downtown and watching everyone as they walk by?

Monday, September 19, 2011

You Could Be Famous. Like, Movie Star Famous.

This is how awesome my publishing company is.

Dan Cohen, a fellow author at Spencer Hill Press, has the most amazing opportunity for all of you.  He wants to make you famous.  Like, movie star famous. 

His book, Masters of the Veil, is getting ready to come out in March 2012.  But before that, he needs a book trailer.  And he, along with SHP, came up with just about the neatest idea I have ever seen.

Here it is (from the publisher's website):

Want to be in a book trailer? Now's your chance! 

Here's the deal: Sam Lock, the star player of your beloved Carver (Texas) High School football team, just choked during the crucial play of the championship game.
We want the reactions of the fans, and you are the fans.

First, wear green and gold. Have fun; feel free to use face paint, accessories, etc., like you have a ton of school spirit. Alternatively, go goth with a tiny green and gold "C" on your black nail polish or something. You can dress like a nerd, a cheerleader, a stoner, a jock, a member of the marching band, a seriously over-involved booster parent, or whatever you'd like. Have fun and be creative!

Second, talk into the camera as though you're being interviewed by the local news or by one of your school's video bloggers. You're angry or dismayed or otherwise in shock, since football is practically a religion in your Texas town (don't go overboard on the accent, please!). Read the opening chapter here if you'd like to improvise your own lines. In fact, improvisation is encouraged.

Here are some suggested lines. You can use just one or send us takes of several. We prefer several short clips, rather than one long take.

"He choked!"

"What a loser! He could've gone pro!"

"He'll never live this down."

Or you can just sob hysterically while a friend hugs your shoulder.

You may enter as many times as you like; please have your submissions in by November 30th, 2011. By sending us the clip, you are consenting to allow us to use it for the book trailer, but everyone who appears on camera needs to print and sign a release form (download a PDF here) as well. If you're under eighteen, please have a parent sign, too.

The release forms can then be mailed to:
      MOTV Trailer
      Spencer Hill Press
      PO Box 247
      Contoocook, NH 03229
Or scanned and sent as PDF attachments to:

Digital clips can be sent as attachments to:

Everyone who submits a clip will receive a Masters of the Veil rack card signed by the author. If we use your clip in the trailer, you'll receive an advance reading copy of
Masters of the Veil (shipped to a US mailing address) inscribed to you by author Daniel Cohen. 

Now isn't that coolest thing ever?!  I mean, how could you pass up an opportunity like this?!  Yes, I am excited!  Hence all the exclamation points!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  <---see? 

You really need to do this, my dear readers.  Because 1. being in a movie is way too awesome to pass up and 2.  I need to finally see what each one of you looks like while doing crazy things.  Please don't make me miss out on that. :)

Friday, September 16, 2011

Giveaways Around the Blogosphere!

They are wonderful, aren't they?

Well, the very wonderful Shirley over at Shiirleyy's Bookshelf is giving away some SIGNED Elemental bookmarks today!!  You should go over there and try to win them!!!  Seriously.  Go.  Go NOW!  :P :D

Good luck!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

This is When You Know You're Obsessed

Last night, I was having a nightmare.  I can't remember exactly what it was about, but I think someone was attacking me and I started fighting back.  Well anyway, just when it was getting to its scariest part, the dream shifted to me sitting with a writer friend of mine and discussing how that scary scene did or did not work. 

That's right.  My subconscious mind has now decided to save me from my nightmares by turning them into scenes in a book.

I don't know whether to be glad or a little freaked out.

How do you know when you've become obsessed with writing?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Play Time is Over

So let's say all your dreams have come true.

You finished writing the first draft of your soon-to-be-break-out-bestselling novel.

You adhered to all of your betas' amazing, wonderful, sometimes hard to take but ultimately wise advice and polished your baby until it glistened with such brilliance, astronauts were able to see it from space.

You found someone who loved your book so much they wanted to publish it.

The first round of edits came in from your editor and you were on fire!  Nothing was impossible for you!

And then book two starts tapping you on the shoulder.  You're in love with the ideas!  You want to caress book two and care for it the way you did with book one.

But something's wrong.

Book two is NOT the same as book one.  Book one was a runaway love affair.  You saw him when you felt like it.  Sometimes days, weeks went by before the two of you spoke, but when you finally came back together, it was magical.

Book two is not like that.

Book two wants a commitment.  A DAILY commitment.  He gets ornery when you ignore him and refuses to be there for you when you need him simply because you wanted a few hours for yourself.

He likes to punish you and he is VERY demanding.

Suddenly you find you can't ever just write because you love it.  Now it's work. 

But Book two isn't all bad.  He may want a commitment, but he's just as dedicated to you as you must be for him.  Where Book one got you through the doorway of your dreams, Book two promises to make you master of your own house.  All he needs from you is that commitment and dedication. 

No more spontaneous writing.  No more taking time off to wait to be inspired.

Now you have to be the one to initiate that quality time.  Now you have to be the one to find inspiration.  And if you do, you and Book two will go far.  You might even be rewarded with a little one...known as Book three.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Eight Months and Counting!!

Yesterday was September 1st!!  That means Elemental will be out in eight months!!  And the ARCs will be out in four months or so!!! 

It still seems so far away, but I'm positive the time will go by VERY quickly.

Oh, also, Silence, by Becca Fitzpatrick will be out in a little over two months.  Can I just say how excited I am about that?  I love Stephanie Meyer and all (and love her even more lately because all her fans have been visiting my blog because I wrote one Twilight review over a year ago), but I'm Team Patch when it comes to tallying up all the paranormal stud-muffins. 

I feel like that should be a separate post: what makes these love interests so lovable?  What do you guys think?  Would you be interested in an in-depth look into what makes one YA bad boy more lovable than another?

And yes, I am completely aware this post is so all over the place you're probably getting whiplash, but it's Friday.  Need I say more?  Yes?

Okay, it's Friday and I'm still working on my first draft of Elemental #2.  Is that a better excuse?  :)

Speaking of Elemental (because, yes, I did start this post off with it and should end with it, too), it's on a couple lists on Goodreads that you guys should check out.

List #1: Paranormal Titles for 2012!

     --currently ranked 72nd

List #2: 2012 Debut Authors

     --currently ranked 38th

Please vote for me and Elemental on these lists!!  If I reach #1 on either one of them, I PROMISE to have a super amazing giveaway!!!

Have a great weekend, everyone!  And be sure to tell me who your favorite bad boy is in the comments!  :)