Monday, June 25, 2012


First off, I want to say that the lovely Emily King has me as her Blogging Mentor today! If you want to hear me drone on about myself, go check it out here ;)

Next, I'll be hosting a "WHAT IF?" Blogfest with Leigh, Mark, and Cassie Mae:

Fairytale Madness BlogFest!
         AUGUST 13th – 17th          
Have you noticed that by changing one detail; one event, one character trait, one can completely alter the rest of the story?

For this bloghop we are exploring "What If?"
Not only do we want it to be fun, but it will hopefully be a fun writing exercise and make for some great reading during the hop!

To enter:
Think of your favorite "well known" fairytale and ask "What If…!"
Then, pick one of these four categories: (be sure to mention which category you're joining, during your blog post!)
·       Best Plot Twist
·       Best Love Story
·       Best Tragedy
·       Best Comic Relief

Finally, write a scene(s) illustrating a new detail of the fabled fairy tale that changes our perspective.
To recap,

Is it a plot twist? (Cinderella gets knocked up by the Carriage Driver…)

An unknown romance that comes to light? (Snow White dumps the Prince for Grumpy…)
A tragic loss occurs? (The Three Little Pigs are too late to save their house…)
A little comic relief? (Hansel and Gretel win a trip on Euro Rail, sponsored in part by M&M’s…)

Whatever the change…It's limited only by your imagination – but please keep it PG-13 J
Other Rules:
·       Post your story during the week of August 13 to 17.
·       Flash Fiction – 300 WORD MAX. (You don't have to tell the whole story in three hundred words. Pick what works to illustrate your point.)
JUDGING CATEGORIES and the respective judges:
 ·       Best Plot Twist – Cassie Mae
·       Best Love Story - Morgan Shamy
·       Best Tragedy -  Leigh Covington
·       Best Comic Relief - Mark Koopmans
(Prize will go to the winner of judge's sponsored category. For example, Leigh's prize goes to the winner of Best Tragedy, Mark's prize goes to winner of Best Comic Relief, etc.)
Leigh is offering: A Paperback Copy of "Save The Cat," by Blake Snyder!
Morgan is offering: A full manuscript critique!
Cassie Mae is offering: $25 Amazon Gift Card
Mark is offering: a $25 Hawaiian care package (incl. $5 USPS Priority Shipping) Winner can choose from any number of small items such as candy, trinkets, Kona Coffee, etc.

Now all you have to do is get your name in the linky and throw a button on your blog! (At least, we'd love it if you put a button on your blog!) This is going to be so much fun! Can't wait to read your entry!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Do Stories Choose You? Or Do YOU Choose Your Story?

Right. Now. Is. The. Best.

I’m in full-blown creative mode.

I’ve never had a story come out of me so easily or had one that feels more “right.” You know when that excitement draws you to the page, and you grin like a goof staring at the computer screen because you know all the pieces fit? And you feel this crazy energy itching underneath your skin that makes you jumpy day and night because you know this story is for you?

I didn’t have this with my last book. I’ve mentioned this before, but I wrote Westridge because it was the story that needed to be written. *So* I could write this new one, I believe.

I’ve been immersing myself in plot books, and feel like I’m finally getting a grasp of being on top of the structure of the story, where before that was a big weakness for me. I didn’t realize how much I was pantsing it. It’s nice to finally find a flow, to not only have a grasp of my favorite side of writing, which is words… but to solidify the base, and pacing of it all so the words can shine.

 It’s been since my first book where I’ve been wholly and totally obsessed with getting the words on paper. I think I’ve trained myself to write in short bursts, flipping in and out my story like a switch---necessary with four kids in the summertime, where they’re needing constant attention. But now it’s been SO HARD to tear myself away long enough to write this blog post.

I’m immersed. And it’s such a great place.

The point of this scattered post? (Because really, I didn’t execute it well at all, ironic enough) Is that I do feel my first two books exist *so* I can write this book. I love those moments in life when you can look back, and know why you went through things. You can see the pieces and how they fit together.

I think writing is a long, intricate, fascinating process. Do you feel “destined” to write certain stories? Where you know everything has lined up in your life just so you can create the tale that needs to be told? Or do you think everything is a conscious choice? Where there are no coincidences?

I know, deep questions. If it’s too much, you can just tell me how your WIP is doing. Hope all you June NaNo’s are doing well!

Red. Head. Out. :D

**Oh! And a huge shout out to Elise Fallson for her kind award to me last week ;)

***And you MUST check out Stephen Tremp's site today! His book, BREAKTHROUGH, is FREE on Amazon today and tomorrow! 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Writer Weekend Fun

I have no words to explain this past weekend. Only this picture:

Let me tell you. I’m still exhausted. Leigh Covington and Cassie Mae are two of the most hilarious, entertaining, better-than-caffeine writer/blogger gals on the planet. Sitting between these two for dinner was quite the experience!

For all of my writer friends, let me say this: Pack your bags, load up the car, and move your families here to Utah, because I’m blown away by the talent and supportive group of writers here. It’s mad!

…which eases us into…

A big thank you.

Pleeeeeease forgive me, but I’m about to get all cheesy:

The support I’ve found in this writer/blogger community has been astounding. To copy what Donna King Weaver said in some post that I can’t remember this past week (lol) : “Writing used to be a very solitary hobby, but thanks to technology, it isn’t so much anymore.” ßAnd that isn’t an exact quote, but she said something along those lines. ;)

Yes, there is the bad that comes from the pressure of having an online profile, but the real life support waaaaay outweighs the negative in my opinion. It’s such a neat thing when people band together, lift each other up, spend hours on a beta read, and root each other on—especially when it can be a very competitive business.

One of these days, I’d like to link/list everyone and do one big shout out, just to let all of you know you’re loved, but… yeah.

So for now, I’m going to give a shout out to these fabulous gals that I get to meet in just a few short weeks at the SCBWI LA Conference! Cortney Pearson, Nyrae Dawn, Jolene Perry, Wendy Higgins, and Elizabeth Briggs! I hope I didn’t forget anyone. I even added a count down, LOL -------à

Will you be at the LA conference? Any other conferences coming up? Do you follow the gals above? And do you meet up with other writers in your area? 

Red. Head. Out. :D 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Are You Hot?

There’s all this talk in the writing world about writing to the trends… Do people really do this? I can’t imagine sitting down and putting so much effort into writing something just because it’s what’s hot.

I’d like to say I have faith in my writing ability and could write anything, but the truth is I can only write what’s in my soul at the time. Writing to trends kind of reminds me of Jr. high/high School… with dressing to impress. At first thought, I’d say I never cared, but I have to secretly admit, when I got my first pair of scrubs (which were a big fad in 9th grade) I felt pretty special.

<----Cool, right?

With my first two novels, I had no thought to what was “hot” at all. But the other day when I received input from an agent that said, “For whatever reason, I’ve been struggling with this sort of Urban Fantasy since last year and I’ve got a couple of unsold projects in a similar vein.” It made me realize that trends matter.

I want to write something that will sell.

And what’s funny is that I feel all this pressure to get my new novel done… because I feel like it could be the “next new thing.” I shouldn’t care, all that matters is that I write the story I know needs to be written and to do it well, but when you’re trying to go the traditional publishing route, you do need to be aware of trends. So yeah, I guess I feel a little bit of “peer pressure” just like I did in 9th grade to be sporting the new thing.

But on the other hand, I also think regardless of trends, if the story’s good enough, well, great enough (Because in this market, “good” isn’t good enough anymore), anything will sell.

Do you feel pressure to write what agents/editors are looking for? Have you ever written something for the sake of salability? Or are you totally indifferent to what’s hot or not?

Red. Head. Out. :D

***Oh! And I must give HUGE thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh, Cortney Pearson, Sabrina A. Fish, Andrea Teagan, and L.G. Keltner for their kind shout outs to me this week! And to Inkpageant... I'm soooo lucky to have won the query critique from Weronika Janczuk! 

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