Monday, December 31, 2012

I Dreamed a Dream


I went to see Les Miserables yesterday. My aunt had come up from Alabama to visit and several of us ladies (my sisters, my mom, my aunt, and myself) decided to plan a girl's night out. Luckily, we found out just in time that the old fashioned theater in our town built in 1929 (balcony, murals, chandeliers, etc.) would be showing Les Mis. 

I'd decided to dress up a little because, well, I'm a stay-at-home mom with two kids and if I ever get a chance to dress up, I'm doing it! I wore a dress! Argyle tights! It was wonderful. And I showed up alone, which for some reason triggered one of those moments that makes me feel really grown up and fashionable. I don't know why certain moments do this, but I love them! Getting my first newspaper on the front porch did this as well. 

I know, I'm a goober. :P And really, you'd think for someone who's just a couple weeks away from turning 30, I'd have come to solid terms with my "grown-up-ness."

Anyway...(yes, I know I get lost on tangents! :P )...

The acting was, of course, phenomenal. I think we all knew that when the trailer came out, though. But I'd never really known the story of Les Miserables. I got the gist of it, but I'd never read the book and the one movie I'd seen quite a few years ago had never really held my interest enough for me to pay attention.

I'm going to read the book now because wow. Just wow.

There are certain things in the world that are so wonderful and so beautiful and captivate the soul. Les Miserables is one of those. It captured the heart of first love, misery, grace, mercy, God's love, and even humor.

It had meaning. It's worth something beyond just a form of entertainment.

I don't know what people dream, but I know what I dream. I dream of writing something that captivates the soul the way Les Mis and other works have captivated mine. I want to write something that has meaning and heart beyond just a form of entertainment.

I don't know if I ever will. I don't know if it's in my ability to portray the innermost stirrings of the soul, but I hope that I can some day.

Forget money, forget large adoring audiences. I think most of us writers get that that's not the end goal. I think that if I can get one person to say, "Wow, Emily White really gets me," then my dream will have been reached.

What do you dream? And have you seen Les Miserables yet? What did you think?



Friday, December 28, 2012

Goodbye, 2012. Hello, 2013--A year in review

Much to the dismay of many, we are still here despite the Mayans' grave warnings (or maybe not so grave). So I thought I might do something a little different this December. I've never done a year in review, but this was a particularly spectacular year, so why not? :)

You may or may not remember that my debut novel came out this year through Spencer Hill Press. I think like most of you out there, this was a major dream of mine since the day I learned you could bind pieces of paper together and put words on them. To find out I wasn't a freak because I had hidden conversations with characters I'd created?? Pretty amazing.

Which is another milestone I'd like to recognize...

You guys. I've gained a lot of followers over the year and I know most of you are book bloggers and aspiring authors. You have no idea the amount of warm and fuzzies I get knowing you guys are out there experiencing the same frustrations and wonders that I am. I love knowing I can go to you, that I can speak my mind, and that you get it.

I kind of feel like this...


And because of all your support, I worked up the courage to publish my very own book

Two books in one year. I never dreamed something like this would ever happen to me. So thank you, Mayans, for not really predicting the end of the world. ;)

And all of that is great, but the best thing to happen to me this year was the wonder of Doctor Who. I'd heard plenty about him (especially on Vive le Nerd), but I never really had the desire to take the plunge until a few months ago.


I know. Trust me, I know.

Holy freakin' cow! I'm kind of obsessed now, really. To the point where I'm naming everything Weeping Angel or Tardis. O.O

Just ask vic caswell. She laughs and all, but I think she's getting a little annoyed. :P

So that was my year--books and Doctor Who. A pretty great year, if I do say so myself!

But now I have to look towards 2013 and as great as 2012 was, there were some things that left me feeling a little...off.

My entire blogging career consisted of me striving for publication and once that happened, I felt a little lost. You might have noticed I haven't been blogging that much since July. Well, it's because I didn't really know what to do anymore. I didn't know who I was, really.

And last night, I had a bit of an epiphany (which is ironic). I wrote a post a month or so ago about how I thought it wasn't entirely appropriate to bring up politics or beliefs on a professional platform.

I was wrong. And I'm sorry.

You see, I realized I've been showing a veneer of myself to the world. And I've been growing more and more uncomfortable because of that. There was a time when I was new to the whole online thing where things went badly. I went to the wrong places, putting myself out there and people told me to f'ing kill myself.

So I've been a little timid. But I don't think I need to be timid around you guys. And I now realize that it's important to portray ourselves exactly as we are in this industry.

2013 will see a more realistic me. It's a lot like the me you already know, but deeper. 

It's going to be another great year and I can't wait to share it with all of you!!!


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

What kind of writer are you?

This is a post I've been thinking about for a long time. Like, for almost a year. I've been avoiding it, though, because I tend to avoid talking about the big stuff. Mainly it's because I start writing and then I think, "Hey! Who do you think you are? No one cares what you think!"

Well, that may be true, but I'm going to write it anyway.

I think we focus a lot on what kind of writers we are or what we should be, but lately I've been thinking about what I'm not.

I'm not a romance writer. Period.

I like romance. I like reading it and I like having elements of romance in my works, but I don't write what a lot of people expect romance to be nowadays.

For example, if a reader picks up one of my books hoping to have tingly groin sensations, it's not going to happen and he/she is going to be disappointed. (sorry for that visual)

I like relationships. Real relationships. Between fathers and daughters, mothers and sons, friends, boyfriends and girlfriends. They're not always pretty or perfect because life isn't.

I'm not long-winded and I don't beat a reader over the head with revelations. In fact, one of my absolute favorite things to do is read books that have subtle clues I have to figure out to get to the end. And I love writing that. I love injecting little hints that readers have to be careful enough to find. One of my VERY favorite things is reading a book a second time and seeing all those hints pop out at me that I might have missed the first time. I guess because I love it so much, I want to write that way to give my readers that kind of excitement.

I'm not always serious, but I'm not always funny, either. And I don't always write to entertain. I know that's probably my big mistake. I should write good mainstream fiction, but that's not me. Or at least, it's not always me. Sometimes I like writing pure entertainment (To love or Die is a perfect example), but other times I want to write something that has meaning. Something that conveys emotion, that thrusts a reader into the shoes of my protagonist so deeply that they feel his/her every frustration or joy. Do I accomplish it? I really don't know. I hope I do. And I hope I get better at it as time goes on.

Will I be a successful writer? I guess time will tell. But for now, I'm going to be the kind of writer who stays true to herself. I won't be what I'm not just because it might be more popular.

I applaud those writers who write what is popular and I am so happy for them that what they write has seen such success. I hope they're success continues and I'll always be in the background cheering them on.

And like them, I'll always write what I love and continue to hope that someone else loves it, too.




Monday, December 17, 2012

To Love or Die in a Steamy-Reamy World Release Day and a Word about Connecticut.

I mentioned last Friday my short story collection would be releasing today (five days earlier than expected!). And today is the day! And I'll share all the lovely links at the bottom of this post.

But first, I want to talk about something else for a moment. I'd made my announcement on Friday long before I heard anything about the devastating tragedy that happened in Connecticut. And I kind of feel like a jerk for being happy about something when we should all be in mourning.

But more than that, I've literally been weeping deep down into my soul since I heard that awful news. And I need to address it because I feel like I'm going to burst.

Every time I look at my kids, I cry for the poor mothers who lost their's. And I cry for the policemen and medical workers who had to find those broken little bodies. It makes me physically sick to think of it all.

And that's just it. We weep as a nation because we've all been pierced by this wound. And it's usually our first inclination to blame something other than the sicko who's responsible. We need to find an answer and a solution. But there is no solution we can come up with. This was evil. Pure evil. And we can come up with a million and one new laws to safeguard ourselves from something like this again, but evil always finds a way. Evil doesn't care about laws. It wants to hurt as much and as deeply as possible.

The only thing we can do right now is mourn and comfort those who mourn with us. Those parents, policemen, medical workers, heck, that whole town, need us to be there for them in any way possible.

I'm mourning today and I needed to share that with you. For all of you who are mourning as well, please know that I am here for you just as I'm sure you're here for me.

Thank you for listening to me.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Now because I'd already promised to share the news about the release of my newest book, I want to give the links to you.

10 Tales of Steampunk Silliness and Spookery.

In the cozy seaside village of Steamville, New Hampshire, an unfaithful zombie, out of control werebots, succubi in corsets, and more wreak havoc in this short story collection.



Now available at Amazon

and

Barnes & Noble for only $.99!

Please help me spread the word today! It's a great gift for all your friends!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Big News about My Latest Book

Happy Friday, everyone.

I've got some pretty great news to share. My newest book, To Love or Die in a Steamy-Reamy World has a new cover:


AND

It's ready before schedule! Which means I'll be publishing it on Monday the 17th instead of waiting until the 22nd. I'll be posting the links here, on FB, and twitter, so be sure to check it out.

If you love steampunk (or know someone who does--Christmas is a-comin'!), pirates, zombies, ghosts, and random AC/DC references, I think you'll really love this. It will be available for your Nook or Kindle and only $.99!

Please spread the news today or Monday to all your steampunk-loving friends!

Monday, November 26, 2012

To Love Or Die Sneak Peek


See that up there? Isn't it perty? I do love it so and I am soooo excited about next month! Why??? Because that little beauty is going to be published on December 22nd! 

And for those who weren't around when I had my big cover reveal day, he's the summary:

10 Tales of Steampunk Silliness and Spookery.

In the cozy seaside village of Steamville, New Hampshire, an unfaithful zombie, out of control werebots, succubi in corsets, and more wreak havoc in this short story collection.

Intrigued yet? I certainly hope so because I had so much fun writing this! The characters are a little crazy and their stories even crazier. 

And today I'm sharing a little sneak peek from one of the stories! Though each of the flash fiction pieces are all stand-alone, they center around one particular town and group of people. Some are written in First Person, Third, and even Omniscient. 

I hope you enjoy!

From War of the Living Dead--A Gentlemen's Duel:



               There was only one thing I loved more in this world than the sweet, gooey flesh of brains and that was my Violet. And as I sat alone in the parlor, growing cold from the blood of some red district girl, I knew I'd finally lost her forever.
                To Bob. The pool boy.
                Well, such things could not stand. I was a southern gentleman, born, raised, killed, and raised again in the heart of Georgia long before I ever met my dearest Violet. And where I came from, gentlemen did not steal another man's lady without severe repercussions.
                His brains would taste mighty fine between my teeth.
                And so I rose from the cold, sticky floor and sought out a piece of fine, thick paper and pen from Violet's desk and sat down to write a most scathing challenge.
                Dear Sir,
                No doubt, by this time you have heard of my and Violet's separation. And no doubt you are also aware of a particular intelligence passed to me by Violet before she stormed from our home. Let it be understood, sir, that I will not just creep away from this matter. Therefore, I challenge you two nights from hence under the light of the full moon outside Duwitt Park.
                If you are a true gentleman, you will accept this challenge. If you are not, if you prove yourself to be nothing but a blood-sucking dog, I will hunt you down and redeem myself from the shame that you have put upon me and my household.
Yours, etc.
Eric Hatley

Friday, November 23, 2012

A Rose By Any Other Name

Or in this case...anonymous.

Sorry, folks, but I'm disabling all anonymous comments. There have been just way too many spammers leaving comments lately. If you are a legitimate anonymous commenter, I'm really sorry. I hope you'll stay and keep reading any future posts. And I'll certainly still appreciate your presence even though I won't technically know you're there. :)

I hope all my American followers had a great Thanksgiving! And I hope all my international followers had a great day, too. I'm thankful for all of you!!!


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

No More Tears, by Dr. Margaret Aranda Review

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving for me and all my American followers. It is honestly one of my favorite holidays because, despite the media's and stores' valiant attempts to make us focus on Black Friday instead of celebrating a day of thanks, it's still pretty free of commercial corruption. It's a day we spend with family and friends and focus on blessings instead of all the bad stuff we have to deal with every other day of the year.

I am very blessed and very thankful for many things. And I am OF COURSE thankful for great books and new authors!!

So let me introduce Dr. Margaret Aranda and her book, No More Tears to you:


Dr. Margaret Aranda, M.D., has written scientific articles on neurosurgery, anesthesiology, critical care, and radiology. She has received several awards for medical education in Oklahoma, California, and South Korea. She lives in Los Angeles, California.







There was a day that her life got stumped. First she was a Stanford doctor, then she became a trauma patient due to a car accident. Now, she could not stand up or else she would faint. The doctor-turned-patient had an invisible disease and the doctors were stumped too. What did she have? Why must she live on IV fluid? In No More Tears Dr. Margaret Aranda takes you on a ride to the door of Heaven as she describes her near-death experience after a car accident. She was unable to walk and unable to talk, and for over three years, she lived on IV fluid. No More Tears will inspire you to persevere, to speak up, to be that rare bird that underdog who wins despite the odds.




I have to first say that this type of book is not one I usually pick up. That's not to say I don't like deep, thought-provoking books. I really do. But had I happened upon this one in a store, I probably wouldn't have purchased it.

This is why I am VERY glad the author asked me to read and review it! I love finding little gems like these because it just goes to show me that my predetermined list of things I'll like is way too narrow.

The writing is so beautiful and descriptive and the story will work at your heart and play with your emotions. I am so glad I read this. I am so glad I got to experience this woman's story.

Here's a taste:

"Persevere. Fight. Don't take no for an answer. Realize that you can hide nothing from God and that he sees your actions and he knows your heart. Hum drum, drip, drop. Believe that God is guiding your steps. If I can do it, you can do it. Your attitude? If no one else can do it, you can do it. Hum drum, drip, drop. You have to know that your choices make you who you are.

"I got out of my bed when no one thought I could walk. I started walking without my walker when nobody thought I'd be able to accomplish this, and I walk with a cane instead. I still need the can but in a different, safer way. Hum drum, drip, drop. I'm glad to be alive in any alive form. Just let me be a mother."

If you'd like to find out more and pre-order a copy, visit Dr. Aranda's blog! Or like her facebook page!

Enjoy!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Pod People Episode 21--Classically Cultish

You may not know this, but I actually do a podcast every Friday with the amazing Vic Caswell. So I've decided I'll share the post with you! You can check out the post below or at the official Pod People blog.

Enjoy!

DOWNLOAD HERE

in this episode we talk about cult films and why we think they hold such draw.


News Links:
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colleen hoover SLAMMED marketing graph
baby sitter's club e-books
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scholastic sandy relief
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the dudes of YA
the art of riyahd cassiem

Monday, November 12, 2012

This Man Rocked My World

And I know this post is coming right after my last one that talked about maybe not mentioning personal things on a public platform, but like all things, there are exceptions (and people who break their own rules :) ).

Seven years ago today my life forked down a road that has left me with nothing but blessings.

Eight years ago I saw the man of my dreams and within a month, I made him mine.

I'm a different person because of him and I'm not afraid to say it. I'm a much happier, mature, well-rounded human being because the man of my dreams became my husband.

He's helped me achieve my goals of becoming a published author and cheered me on when I thought I couldn't make it. He's carried me through rejections and been with me on some of the best writerly days of my life.

This man rocked my world. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Moving On With Our Lives

Election season is over.


Now let's move on. 

Well, actually, I do want to address one issue and get your opinion.

It's been my policy to avoid politics on my blog, fb, and twitter. As someone who has gone into social media with the goal of attracting readers and fans of my work, I've always felt that personal issues should be approached very carefully. I've talked about my family, my past, my faith, and other personal stuff very rarely (and only when I thought it was pertinent to my work or might entertain).

I've developed friendships with many of you and would never want to harm that no matter what. 

So I avoid politics.

It has very little to do with my work and I'm not so silly as to assume that people I respect and love must naturally agree with me on all topics.

But not everyone in this industry has the same policy as me. And I certainly don't want to jump to the conclusion that I am right and they are wrong. But I have to admit that I do wish some of the people I love and respect had seen eye to eye with me and my policy just a tad bit more.

And I wanted your opinion on this. I certainly don't expect all of you to agree with me. I think opinions are wonderful things and I absolutely love dialogue. In fact, I'm a very opinionated person and love to debate on many topics. I certainly share my thoughts with people in my personal life. 

But I think a professional life should be treated differently. And I think that no matter what your stance is, it should be approached with respect towards others. 

A lot of insults have been flying around lately. And I have to admit some of them hurt me personally and I know they came from people who would never want to hurt me intentionally. I'm not alone, either. I've heard from several people who have been hurt or dismayed due the rhetoric on social media.

We have to remember that not everyone agrees with us and that's okay. And we have to remember that there's a time and place for heated opinions. I don't think your professional platform is it. 

Let me clarify, though, because as I'm reading over this I see there might be some confusion. I DO believe all positive opinions should be given freely without fear of offending. My issue is when someone uses a professional platform to insult or push an opinion in a very negative manner.

And I want your opinion. Did you tire of this political season? Especially all my readers from around the world! You must certainly have been tired of the non-stop talk. Or maybe not. Maybe I'm alone in my opinion.



Wednesday, October 31, 2012

To Love or Die in a Steamy-Reamy World Cover Reveal!!

That's right! That's my big news!!! I've written another book. :D

Actually, it's more than a book. ;)

It's this:




10 Tales of Steampunk Silliness and Spookery.

In the cozy seaside village of Steamville, New Hampshire, an unfaithful zombie, out of control werebots, succubi in corsets, and more wreak havoc in this short story collection.

Publication Date: December 22, 2012 on all major online retailers. $.99 (ebook) and $2.99 (paperback)

Put it on your Goodreads list!





Please help me spread the word. Tweet it. Share it on FB. Anything! Just think, it would make a great Christmas present for your steampunk-loving friends. :D 

And tell me what you think! 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Hiding in My Cave

Well, not really. I don't have a cave. But I am getting ready for Sandy and really hoping and praying that if my tree does decide to come down, it will fall somewhere worthwhile. Like, not on my house.

Anyone else on the east coast? Here's something amusing to help get you through the day. :)



Okay, I have to add another one! Here's to hoping your day rains down marshmallows.


And this, because Dwight is always prepared for disaster:




Stay safe, everyone! And stop back on Halloween for a super special cover reveal!!

Friday, October 26, 2012

It's a You Pick the Cover Day!!

Hey, everyone!

The very cool, very sweet Keshia Swaim (one of my SHP sister authors) is revealing her cover today!!! I may just happen to know the designer. ;)

And because Keshia is so very cool and so very sweet, this amazing designer came up with TWO possible covers! And you get to choose your favorite!!

Isn't that exciting?

First, let's take a looksie at all the lovely bits:


Blood Bound

   Starting college a year early is hard. Starting fae college and learning to protect the world from the Unseelie is harder.

   Brielle Reed has always been an over-achiever, but this time she may have bitten off more than she can chew. Between her crash course in fae politics, struggles to control her new mind-reading ability, training sessions with the demanding Dr. Schwartz, and discoveries about the father who is still a mystery to her, Brielle finds herself longing for a chance at a normal life.

   But she may not get that chance. Or chance at a life at all, for that matter.


Title: Blood Bound
Author: Keshia Swaim
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press (www.spencerhillpress.comPlease feel free to use any images, text, links, etc. from our website.
ISBN: 978-1-937053-45-1
Release Date: September 10, 2013
Formats: Paper, e-book

And now, here are the covers!























Thanks for voting!!

Monday, October 22, 2012

I Survived the B&N Signing of 2012!

That should be a shirt. And on the back it can say, "Because it was awesome!"

There was a great turnout on Saturday and my pile of lovely Elemental books dwindled down to practically nothing. And now the extras are gracing some very lucky shelf in the B&N in Clarence, NY.

I wish I had pictures to share. :( Unfortunately, I woke up the day of realizing my battery needed charging and I didn't have enough time to do it. And in the picture someone posted on FB, I look really bad. Let's play a guessing game! How many chins can one person have?? :P

So I won't be sharing it here, but if you were really curious, I'm sure you could find it on my facebook page (while you're there, be sure to friend me if you haven't already).

If you were unable to make it out here last Saturday because you live waaaaay too far away, you could always make a request at your local bookstore. I would DEFINITELY be willing to make the drive. :D

What did you guys do this weekend? Anything fun?

Oh! And if you'd like to help me spread my AMAZING news, please email me at emilywhite_1112(at)yahoo(dot)com. I need all the help I can get. :o

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

BIG Things Happening

I am NOT ignoring the blog...

Oh no.

I am doing BIG things.

Huge, enormous, SPLENDIFEROUS things are in the works!!!!

And you will find out soon...

Mwahahahaha!!!



Edit: Also! If anyone would like to help me announce my big, big news on Halloween, please email me at emilywhite_1112(at)yahoo(dot)com.

Thanks!!

Friday, October 5, 2012

BEA Book Review--Wake, by Amanda Hocking

Fall under the spell of Wake—the first book in an achingly beautiful new series by celebrated author Amanda Hocking—and lose yourself to the Watersong.

Gorgeous. Fearless. Dangerous. They're the kind of girls you envy; the kind of girls you want to hate. Strangers in town for the summer, Penn, Lexi and Thea have caught everyone's attention—but it’s Gemma who’s attracted theirs. She’s the one they’ve chosen to be part of their group.

Gemma seems to have it all—she’s carefree, pretty, and falling in love with Alex, the boy next door. He’s always been just a friend, but this summer they’ve taken their relationship to the next level, and now there’s no going back. Then one night, Gemma’s ordinary life changes forever. She’s taking a late night swim under the stars when she finds Penn, Lexi and Thea partying on the cove. They invite her to join them, and the next morning she wakes up on the beach feeling groggy and sick, knowing something is different.

Suddenly Gemma is stronger, faster, and more beautiful than ever. But her new powers come with a terrifying price. And as she uncovers the truth, she’s is forced to choose between staying with those she loves—or entering a new world brimming with dark hungers and unimaginable secrets.

Find it on Goodreads, Amazon, and B&N.

While walking around at the Javitz in NYC for BEA, my eyes caught sight of this GORGEOUS cover--a book I absolutely had to have. So I picked it up and added it to my overflowing bags of gloriousness.

I was really excited about reading it, too, once I realized it had been written by Amanda Hocking. I'd purchased a few of her self-published books, but just never connected. I really couldn't wait to change that.

However, I'm afraid I have to admit I couldn't finish this book. 

And here's the thing: I've heard lots of highly intelligent, compelling arguments concerning published authors not giving bad reviews. But I don't agree with them. I think it's possible to give your honest opinion without breaking someone (or their work) down.

Some of my favorite reviews (given by other people) have been bad. In fact, I've purchased at least a dozen books because of particularly inflamed negative opinions.

I'm not going to give you one of those (the highly inflamed kind), though, because despite how much I may have liked bad reviews, some of the comments I've seen concerning them really bothered me. This one especially: "Thanks for this review! I'm definitely not buying this book now."

Ugh. Just ugh.

Reviews should never be meant to discourage readers from purchasing books. They're only opinions. And despite how well thought out they may be, they really only give you definitive proof of the reviewer's tastes.

I didn't like Wake, it's true. But this is just a matter of the reader and author not clicking. It happens. Reading is like a relationship. You're letting someone else into your head to work with your imagination. I gave this book away on this blog a while ago fully confident that the winner would love it. 

I couldn't connect with Amanda Hocking's characters and I've never been able to connect with her writing style. This makes me sad, but I'm glad she's reached out to so many others.

I do suggest you check this one out! The author has gathered quite a following and there's usually a good reason for that.

Enjoy!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Good Morning, World!!

I'm going to pretend that people around the world are actually aware of this blog. Technically it's true, right? There are some people from Canada, England, and Australia who stop by from time to time! And let me tell you, I love you guys. Especially the ones who still celebrate tea time. *jealous*

I have good news for everyone today! Lots of good news.

First, my whiny session is over. I no longer feel like total crap and therefore no longer delude myself into thinking I need to make you all aware of it in a pity party.

Yay for you!

Sorry about that, by the way. O.o

And second!! (this will be shown in picture form)


!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You are all invited!! Of course. 

And I now see I've forgotten to include the date. *head smack* The day of the signing is October 20th.

I hope some of you can make it. I know that many of you live very far away, but I promise to make it worth it. There will be some very cool swag available (new and unseen swag) and anyone who comes from out of town will definitely have to hang out with me beforehand. I realize this may seem more like a punishment than an incentive to come, but I promise I'll be on my best behavior. :D

That's my news! Okay, so there's not a lot of it, but it's amazing!! 

Have a great Monday, everyone!!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Holy Freaking Cow, Batman

I do NOT know what is up with me, but I have been sick like you wouldn't believe lately. Actually, I do think I know the problem.

The first week was a cold, but I've actually been feeling pretty crappy for a while. I think my computer screen has finally done me in.

I think I need glasses.

I can't stand looking at the computer for more than a few minutes at a time now before getting a huge headache.

Sigh.

I swear old age is for the birds. It really is. My body is falling apart.

I miss young, spry Emily. She could eat food like a champ and spend hours on the computer with ne'er a problem.

Those days are gone and I think I want to cry. :(

BUT! I am feeling better enough to actually post something with substance on Monday! Not today. Sorry. Eloquent...er...things...

Yeah. It's not happening.

So have a great weekend, everyone! And if you can suggest a good place to get glasses with style, that would be greatly appreciated. :)

Oh, and thank you so much to everyone who gave me well wishes!! They really made my day. :D

Monday, September 17, 2012

Guest Post with Liesel Hill!

Today I am super excited to have Liesel K. Hill here to talk about nailing down your audience!! Seriously, I'm super excited about this because Liesel has a book coming out and I am ALWAYS trying to help authors spread the word about their books.

Before we get to her post, take a look at this:

In a world where collective hives are enslaving the population and individuals have been hunted to the verge of extinction, Maggie Harper, and independent 21st Century woman, must find the strength to preserve the freedom of the future, but without the aid of her memories.

After experiencing a traumatic time loss, Maggie is plagued by a barrage of images she can't explain. When she's attacked by a creep with a spider's web tattoo, she is saved by Marcus, a man she's never met, but somehow remembers. He tells her that both he and her creepy attacker are from a future in which individuals are being murdered by collectives, and Marcus is part of the rebellion. The collectives have acquired time travel and they plan to enslave the human race throughout all of history. The flashes Maggie has been seeing are echoes of lost memories, and the information buried deep within them is instrumental in defeating the collective hives.

In order to preserve the individuality of mankind, Maggie must try to re-discover stolen memories, re-kindle friendships she has no recollection of, and wade through her feelings for the mysterious Marcus, all while dodging the tattooed assassins the collectives keep sending her way.

If Maggie can't fill the holes in her memory and find the answers to stop the collectives, the world both in her time and in all ages past and future will be doomed to enslavement in the grey, mediocre collectives. As the danger swirls around her and the collectives close in, Maggie realizes she must make a choice: stand out or fade away...

*New Adult futuristic dystopian fantasy


Sounds pretty amazing doesn't it? Check it out on goodreads.

And now, on to the post!!


Nailing Down Your Audience

Specificity

Do you ever notice how things are getting more specific and specialized these days? With the growth of technology and the advent of the internet, people are smarter than they’ve ever been.

I can remember watching an episode of Star Trek: TNG back in the day, and there was a young boy—probably twelve—who was complaining to his dad that he didn’t want to take calculus. His father told him it was mandatory and he had to take it. I remember thinking, Yeah right. No one takes calculus at that age! After all, I took one semester of pre-calc in high school, and let’s just say it cured me of any mathematical aspirations.

Yet, now…I think Calculus-at-twelve may happen. Most of our grandparents survived just fine as young married people, as long as they had high school diplomas. Their parents didn’t even need that. In our lifetimes we’ve seen that change to needing college, then to needing graduate school, and now it’s all about marketing to the global community. Specifics and specialization are the ticket to the future.

Defining Your Audience

In the industry of writing, just like any other, specifics and specialization are going to be your ticket.

When I wrote my first book (a historical fiction that won’t be out until late 2013), I tried to be specific about my audience, but I was a greenie and couldn’t figure it out. All writers want to be read by everyone. Of course we do! It’s only natural, but it’s not particularly realistic either.

If you want to succeed as a writer, find your niche, identify your audience, and cater to them. The elusive “others” will trickle toward you naturally if you excel at impressing your niche audience.

Genres and audiences are becoming more and more specific. It’s important to find a balancing point between audience-specific and so-specific-it’s-confusing. In other words, DO specify your book as an adult historical romance. DON’T try to sell it as an adult historical fantasy with elements of steampunk, erotica, and dystopia.

See the difference? You need simple, but specific. (Not at all confusing, is it?)

My debut novel, Persistence of Vision, which will be out later this year (concrete release date still pending) is a futuristic dystopian fantasy. When I originally queried for it, I actually classified it as a scifi. My publisher had no problem with that, but as time went on, I realized that classification was incorrect. Hard-core scifi readers would be horrified. So I started calling it a fantasy (which it is) and not until I started blogging did I realize it was truly a dystopia.

My point is that your book can be classified in many different ways, but you don’t always need to hit on every single one. As long as you know what your book is about and who (audience-wise) would be interested in it, you’ll be successful!

New Adult Classification

One thing I don’t think the industry defines well enough is audience vs. genre. You need both to classify your book but, in my mind, they are two distinct things. Audience is usually age and gender. Genre is the shelf it would be under on Goodreads.

So, Audience = Male or Female, Adult, New Adult, Young Adult, Middle Grade, Children’s, Baby’s.

(You can also be specific in your audience’s demographics, though that usually applies more to non-fiction than fiction, which is our primary subject here.)

Genre = Historical, Scifi/Fantasy, Paranormal, Crime Drama, (there are hundreds so you can fill in your genre of choice, here) etc.

I’m classifying Persistence of Vision as a New Adult dystopian. New Adult is a relatively new classification and is a direct result of the rise in popularity of YA literature. Traditionally, Adult novels have a lot of ‘adult’ (a.k.a. R-rated) content in them. As YA lit has risen, many people gravitate toward it because it’s clean, but they would like to see the same clean reads with older characters.

I am one such individual.

Though I greatly adore many YA novels, as a genre, it’s just not usually my thing.  I get annoyed with teenaged drama VERY quickly. I like to see adults dealing with adult problems. (Welcome to the world!) I think that’s why books like Pushing the Limits (awesome read!) are so popular. It’s about teens, but the teens aren’t dealing with high school drama for the most part. They’re dealing with very adult, real-world problems, and that makes it compelling.

So, basically, New Adult means it reads like a YA (PG-13 or lower) but has adult characters rather than teenaged ones.

Everyone get all that? Clear as mud? Awesome! Remember: God is great, reading is good…and people are crazy! (Which is what makes writing fiction so fun!) :D

 Happy Monday!

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Wow, what a great post! Thank you, Liesel! 

For your stalking* convenience, here's where you can find her:

Liesel's Blog

*Please don't stalk in a literal sense. That would just be creepy.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Justine Dell is One of the Most Awesome Gals in the World!!!!

And in all her awesomeness, she wrote a book.

*pause for everyone to dance--I suggest the use of thumbs*

In case you've never heard of Justine Dell, I will rectify that situation. But seriously, shame on you. :P

Justine lives in the Midwest, happily catering to her family, which consists of a horse-obsessed teenage daughter and four crazy dogs. She’s never moved from her hometown, but hopes to grow old in a much warmer climate.

During the day she works a normal job with college students who try their best to keep her young. They’ve done a good job thus far.  At night, said teenage daughter and her horse require mounds of love and attention. The weekends belong solely to her and her writing. That’s when she morphs into a sticky bug, unable to leave the confines of her computer chair.
She started writing three years ago after seeing a movie that set off a chain reaction she couldn’t have stopped if she’d wanted. It’s not a hobby for her; it’s an obsession. One she loves and one she loves to share.

Her book:

Ten years, the Atlantic Ocean, and several rungs in society have kept Xavier Cain from having Sophia Montel. Now twenty-seven, he’s spent his entire adult life building a fashion empire that could finally prove his worth to her family. When fate reunites him with Sophia at London’s premiere fashion show, one problem lodges in Xavier’s path: Sophia doesn’t remember him.

The only obstacle that has kept Sophia from Xavier is a horrific car crash that erased her memory at seventeen. She’s spent the last ten years fighting to reclaim a sliver of her past that her mother refuses to help her remember. When Sophia meets Xavier at the London show, however, all her fantasies come to life in one night of passion. Discovering he is the missing link, she is determined to find all the pieces to their love story and her memory.

Xavier wants forever. Sophia wants her memory. If they take this chance, they’ll have to start over. How far are they willing to go get what they want? And when the past catches up to them, can they handle the truths it has hidden?


A taste of the book:

"Xavier had thought he was in paradise before. He’d been wrong. Sophia was more than paradise. She was the very reason he breathed." 

Some info for your pleasure:

Contact Justine by email: dell.justine@gmail.com

Recaptured Dreams on Goodreads.
Recaptured Dreams on Facebook.
Friend Justine on Facebook
Check out her Blog.
Find her on Twitter.
Find Recaptured Dreams on Goodreads .
Buy the book

And don't forget to check out Omnific Publishing. Romance ... without the rules.

The trailer:


And guess what?? There's a giveaway!!! Just comment below for a chance to win an e-copy of Recaptured Dreams!!

And please spread the word. Sharing the news on Facebook and Twitter is SO important. Let's help make Justine's debut the best ever. :D

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

BEA Book Review #2--The Raven Boys, by Maggie Stiefvater

It's Wednesday! Wow, week, where did you go?

Well, as promised, this month is all about reviews (and, of course, that amazing GUTGAA event going on, courtesy of Deana Barnhart). And today, I picked a good one. Oooooh, I'm so excited to share this one with you. *shivers in anticipation*

“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

From Maggie Stiefvater, the bestselling and acclaimed author of the Shiver trilogy and The Scorpio Races, comes a spellbinding new series where the inevitability of death and the nature of love lead us to a place we’ve never been before.

*Sigh* What do I say? First off, I'll let you know I waited a long time before picking up this book. It sat there on my bookshelf out of fear. Fear because I loved Shiver and I really didn't want to risk reading a book I might not like by an author I loved. 

And the summary didn't do it for me. At all.

As wonderfully written as all these YA books coming out are, I'm getting a little bored with romance. Not that I don't like romance, it's just things have felt...similar. And I was afraid that a really cool story would eventually morph into chapters upon chapters of two people falling in love instead of two people working together to get through the obstacles the story has presented.

But a fellow SHP author posted about her love for the book on Facebook and I really liked what she had to say, so I decided I needed to give it a go.

Oh.

My.

Goodness.

Brilliance! So much brilliance.

This is NOT just about two teens finding love and the ensuing chapters of kissy-kissy. Not that many chapters of kissy-kissy is bad, it's just been done and I wanted something new.

In typical Maggie Stiefvater fashion, the story has a very contemporary feel. It's both dark and vivid. And though I'm not usually into stories about mediums/clairvoyants, I really loved Blue's story and her family. Every character came to life and each one was brilliant in a different way.

And is also typical of Stiefvater, each character was so detailed, so fleshed out, any one of them could have been the MC. But Blue is the heroine here and she is amazing. First off, I love the name. And I love how she's kind of the opposite of special. Surrounded by very talented women, she's pretty normal. And she does not want to be normal.

If you love kick-butt female MCs (who show you rather than tell you how kick-butt they are), very real, very sympathetic characters, and unique story lines, you'll like this book.

Though there aren't long, drawn-out kissy-kissy bits, there are very sweet, wonderful moments that should please any romance lover.

Preorder now! Do it. *waves jedi hand*