Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Tony Tizzle's Snowy World

Yes, I know, I know. I can picture your glares and smirks as I'm posting right now. No, I have not become a prisoner of procrastination. I have become a prisoner of my own dreams. This sounds crazy, I know. But it's true.

I've been slaving over some new picture book manuscripts and have been buried in major, major, major grammar and proofreading edits with Age of Eden. Which is no excuse to ignore my social media obligations, but seriously, I've been very productive ignoring this blog and neglecting my facebook. But, don't worry. I'll be jumping back on my social media bandwagon soon to please all of you followers.

Now, the real reason I'm posting is to tell all of you about my new bread and butter, picture book. It's called Tony Tizzle's Snowy World.


Here is the summary:
Tony Tizzle is trapped in a winter wonderland, and as much as he wishes that it could last forever, all great things must come to an end.
Tony Tizzle awakens to a snowy world, prepared with his favorite red mittens, blue Eskimo suit, and sunshades on-- he takes off into the piles of icy cold fluffs of awesomeness to experience all of his favorite snowy adventures: skiing, ice skating, sledding, snow ball fights, building snow men, eating snow cones, and drinking hot chocolate.
It doesn’t take long for the snow to grow to heights taller than Tony Tizzle forcing him to end his fun filled day. Sadly, the sun comes out, and as Tony Tizzle watches, spring threatens to melt his winter wonderland away, and Tony Tizzle knows that it will be back again someday.
TONY TIZZLE’S SNOWY WORLD is a picture book, complete at 640 words. It is the first in a series of seasonal picture books (spring, summer, and fall).
I've happily finished this and the spring book and now I'm working on the summer and fall. For more updates on my literary masterpieces visit my website: http//:staceyhaysbooks.weebly.com

Monday, November 28, 2011

A Day in the Life of a Want-To-Be-Author

Days like today--cold, rainy, mucky, make me want to shrivel up and hide under the largest fleece blanket I can find and watch all the re-runs from the Hallmark channel. It's comfort food, for me at least.

But, I can't. I'm forced to rise at the break of dawn to start my day, stumbling around in this depressing fog I call work. And then, if I'm lucky, I get to take a sneak peek at one of my majorly neglected manuscripts which is a constant reminder of my procrastination.

And it's Cyber Monday and as fitting as it is, I find myself checking out the online deals (Wal-mart, Sears, and Old Navy) mostly, wishing that I was in a winter wonderland rather than working. Or better--on the shop at home network selecting some awesome christmas gifts for my co-writers.

Then there is NaNoWriMo which was not a success, but Jennifer and I are almost completely finished gutting our existing manuscript of Age of Eden--which was progress. And now, we have to fill in all the holes to get the transitions right in the book. And though it is the holidays, one year ago from Thanksgiving, Jenna and I had our first "working" manuscript. And we are still miles away from completing the rewrite.

Gah, if only I could quit work and write. But I can't. So, the slow progress is all we have and is better then nothing. I need to quit dragging, pick up my feet, and put on my thinking cap. So, I can start writing on my other manuscripts. Someone, please send me some motivation for christmas. It would be very much appreciated.

Okay, back to the droning. Hope everyone has a great week.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy NaNoWriMo---I'm screwed!

It has come to my attention that maybe I shouldn't have signed up for NaNoWriMo. After months of anticipation, I really don't think that I am going to have the time to dedicate towards writing a new novel, plus editing my existing one, helping my sister and brother-in-law open a new bar and grill, helping my other sister-in-law lay hardwood every Saturday and between holidays, birthdays, and my regular job...I am pretty sure that even I have my limits. (Shhhhhh....don't tell anyone I said that).

The effort it takes to writing 50,000 words in a month is amiable, but to throw a million types of projects and other things on top of it...makes me really think if I want to write...do I want to write...just to write crap as long as it is writing or should I just pace myself...get done what I can finish and say to hell with it at the end of the day regardless if it gets done or not?

I'm a result oriented type of person, so nothing is ever good enough. I think I am going to play it by ear. I'm going to start my Nano project and try to do everything as well as I can and at the end of the month, at least I can say I tried.

To the inspired and decicated Wrimo's, Good luck to you. I hope that you achieve your goal in finishing your novel and that at the end of the day, you can feel accomplished.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Edits/Nano/#hash tags

It is official…I will have technically 27 days to write 50,000 words in November. Which averages out to be 1852 words per day—the good part is Jennifer, Tina, and I are going to do a few all day/all night write-on-thons in order to meet our word count.
But, before that … Jennifer and I have to somehow edit Age of Eden before November 1st. Our original goal was November 7th, but we have done some MASSIVE re-writes on the first six chapters that took a little longer than expected. So now, I’m finally on chapter seven so that means only eighteen more to go! Which averages to at least 3 chapters a day…either way, we are going to try our hardest to get it completed so during NaNoWriMo it can be distributed to our beta readers.
Cross your fingers and wish us luck. We are going to need it.
P.S. I have recently learned about the ‘hash tag (#)’ on twitter…funny thing is everything I say is important so does that mean I should start using a hash tag for everything? For instance “#Had a great night! #Drank many beverages! #Had a blast! Or do you consider that abusing the hash tag? LOL. I’m so philosophical, I scare myself sometimes.

Monday, October 24, 2011

New NaNoWriMo Book Banner

This will be my NaNoWriMo Project.

Missy King is a ten year old ball of fire and is the only witness to a crime that could ruin the city she was born and raised in-- Progress, Kentucky. A highway is being built around Progress and is threatening the livelyhood of the city business owners and a few of the townspeople take actions into their own hands to stop the construction.

Her father George King is the local dairy mart owner and after the citizen's of Progress find out that Missy is the key witness to the trial, local business owners and suppliers start to retaliate against Missy by not doing business with Mr. King.

During the trial, Missy identifies the criminals and justice prevails but Missy’s father loses his business. Missy learns a valuable lesson that sometimes doing the right thing offers no reward but integrity.

Post-NaNoWriMo Publishing Information

Yesterday, at our first regional NaNoWriMo meeting, I discussed a few writers’ conferences, websites and blogs at that I followed that would help everyone Post-Nano to get published. And so far this is what I have learned ‘that works’ to get someone published. Mind you, this is an abbreviated version of what I have learned in two years.
Attending Writer’s Conferences:
These are very beneficial, you get to meet other authors, aspiring writers and they offer lectures on procrastination, how to write in a certain genres and how to get published.
Kentucky has a FREE writer’s conference right here in Bowling Green; the next one is April 20, 2012. Here is a link to learn more about what the writer’s conference offers: http://www.sokybookfest.org/KYWritersConf
WriteOnCon is a FREE online forum where you can post your own manuscript and query letter to get critiqued by fellow writers.  It holds an annual online LIVE forum with numerous genre agents and well known authors that give their best kept secrets and advice on writing. They have the 2011 conference topics in the archives on the website—but mark your calendar for August 2012 so you can be a live participant and a chance to win prizes such as getting your manuscript critiqued by an agent. You can learn more here: http://writeoncon.com/
SCBWI-Society of Children’s Book Writer’s and Illustrations-It is NOT free. It is a paid membership, enrollment is $85.00. You also have to pay for the regional writer’s conference fees which usually range from $50.00 to $200.00 depending on what you participate in. But SCBWI is about networking yourself. Getting to know other writers who are interested in your craft. And their writer’s conferences usually include at least one literary agent in which you can provide a live “pitch” session to. So, there are many benefits in joining. You can learn more here: www.scbwi.org/
Beneficial Websites:
If you haven’t already started combining a list of agents that you are interested in querying, I would recommend joining Query Tracker. A FREE online database and search engine that allows you to find the agents who represent your genre and it tracks the requests you get for your manuscript. You can also join the Query Tracker forum where you can post your own manuscript and query letter to get critiqued by fellow writers. You can learn more at: http://querytracker.net/
Starting your own Blog:
This is a great place to start your SOCIAL NETWORKING PLATFORM. As I discussed in our meeting, most agents won’t even consider representing someone who doesn’t have an active writer’s platform. You don’t have to write every day, that’s the benefit of blogging. Just try to be consistent and write what you feel. You can learn more about starting your own blog at: www.blogger.com/
Blogs to follow:
Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino: http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/guide-to-literary-agents
Making your own Website:
There are numerous places you can go online to make your own pre-fabricated website that doesn’t take a genius to figure out. My own personal website was FREE and I started it from Weebly. You can learn more at: www.weebly.com
Twitter, Facebook and Google+
If you haven’t already, you should become a member of at least one of these…the more, the better. You can actually create one that is your “mainframe” and will repost it on the other social networking websites so you don’t have to manually post on each individual one.
Business Cards:
If you are serious about becoming a published author then you might try investing in business cards. Going to writer’s conferences and other group meetings like NANO, allows you to put your name out there. What better way to do that with your own personalized business card? You can get 200 business cards for less the $10.00 online at www.vistaprint.com/
I can’t even begin to express how important a Writer’s platform is—social networking and putting your identity out there for other people is the best way to get published. And start following authors and agents on twitter and facebook. Keep connected and informed about what is current in your genre. And from one writer to another, never stop writing.
Happy NaNoWriMo! I can’t wait for November 1st and Good luck to everyone!


Sunday, October 23, 2011

First Regional NANOWRIMO Meeting

Today, Stacey and I had the pleasure of meeting fellow writers for the first regional NANOWRIMO meeting of 2011. As Stacey posted in the earlier post, November is National Novel Writing Month, and we have made it our goal to write 50,000 words in our novels during the month of November. With our colleagues today, we shared techniques of success to NANOWRIMO, and ways that we could achieve our 50,000 words. A few of these include the following:
1. Be consistent in your writing. Don't put off writing today only to give yourself more work tomorrow.
2. Set a goal. Set a goal for how many words you want to accomplish in one day i.e 5000 words or one more chapter.
3. Find your motivation. To have success in writing, what is your motivation?
4. Lean on a support group. There are tons of support groups that are there to offer words of encouragement and outsiders views. Utilize these groups to help achieve your goals.
5. Let it flow. The concept of NANOWRIMO is to write as much as you can doing the best you can.

These are only a few suggestions that we discussed. We also did a writing exercise which allowed are thoughts to flow, and allowed the creative juices to be shared in our group. All in all, meeting fellow writers, discussing our genres, and sharing our ideas of what we plan on doing for NANOWRIMO was a great experience. It is nice to know that next month when we are pushing ourselves to the limit, there are going to be others out there working just as hard.



We are planning for future meetings during this upcoming month, so stay tuned for future NANOWRIMO meetings.

Monday, October 17, 2011

NaNoWriMo

National Novel Writing Month is in November.

Write a novel in a month! Is it possible? In 2008, nearly 120,000 writers around the world thought so; 22,000 of them did so. National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) happens every November. The challenge is to write an entire draft of a 50,000 word novel over the 30 days of November. With the support of other writer's via forums and local get together's that help motivate writers to finish their novels.

The first regional meeting has been set for Sunday, October 23rd at Barnes and Noble on Campbell Lane here in Bowling Green. For those of you who are new to the literary world, come on out and join us!

Main Character Relationships

For the last two weeks I have suffered from this analogy called Stacey’s block. I was getting in my own way of writing. But now, that I have conquered Stacey’s block I am surging forward to bigger and brighter things such as a complete rewrite of Age of Eden—again, for the fiftieth time. But that’s okay, that’s not what my topic is about today.

During this tragic rewrite I have realized how beneficial using first person point of view is. I am literally inside of my main characters head and speaking through her as fast as my fingers will type.

As some of you know, Tina is writing on two different novels. One is an adult Nicholas Sparks type of genre and the other is a YA paranormal genre. And as Tina eagerly typed out the first five pages of her SNN (slutty new novel—see the YA muse Blog for further reference) Jennifer and I ended up diving into a writing session about how Tina needs to sit down and have a chat with her MC. We told her to make a list of questions about your MC’s past, passions, hobbies, etc and find out what she is like. Tina learned a lot about her MC.

And slowly as I hobble back down this long and dreadful subjective road, I have found myself more content and happy with my MC than ever. So, what I’m really trying to say is, I have multiple personalities and one of them happens to be the MC for Age of Eden, lol.

I hope everyone has a great week—write on and stay tuned for some great writer inklings, author reviews and book bios from Jennifer and Tina.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Book Review: Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

Yep, it’s me again with another book review and believe me when I tell you there are a lot of reviews yet to come. So, lets get started.
Okay, right off the bat, this is one of the best books I’ve read in a really long time. I get that it’s one of the many “angel” books that’s trending right now, but the concept is truly unique. Plus, to go along with my love of the supernatural, I have to admit that angels hold a special place in my heart. Probably because they are such a big part of the Age of Eden plotline, but Cynthia Hand has taken angels to a place I never would have thought of. Truly inspired.

Unearthly:
When Clara begins having visions of a boy standing in the midst of a forest on fire, she realizes she’s found her purpose.  It’s a purpose she’s been expecting and one her mother has been preparing her for, ever since it was revealed that she is part angel. It’s also why her mother packs up Clara and her brother and moves them from the big city in California, to a small town in Wyoming.
Her first task? To find the boy in her visions.
But, finding him is the least of her problems as he appears right in front of her the moment she enters her new school. Quickly learning his name is Christian, Clara finds herself ready to face her task. Now all she has to do is figure out when the fire happens, save Christian’s life, and her purpose will be fulfilled.
The trouble is, Christian isn’t the only boy that catches Clare’s attention. A distraction is placed in her way when she meets Tucker and he appeals to a side of her that is less angelic and more human, which forces her to make a choice. Does she follow her destiny and accept the responsibility of her purpose or does she follow her heart and choose the boy that appeals to the human side of her soul?     
*****
Like I said, I absolutely loved this book and I’m telling you right now my summary doesn’t do it justice. I loved the interaction between Clara and Tucker, seeing her learn about her angel side, and really coming into her own as she accepts certain things about herself and about her family. This book is 100% emotionally driven and the characters are vibrant and, even given the supernatural element, they are relatable as well.
If you haven’t read it yet, do so now. It’s available wherever books are sold, online and on a bookshelf near you. (Sorry, I had to embrace the cliche lol)
To read more about Unearthly and the book's equally interesting author Cynthia Hand, please visit http://cynthiahandbooks.com/ . I'm sure she'll be glad to see you. ;)

Friday, October 7, 2011

Book Review: Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

First off, I would just like to say that this book was right up my alley. Something that I’m sure is rather obvious based off some of the previous blog posts that have been published on here, is that I am a huge fan of anything paranormal or supernatural whether in book, television, or movie form. So, when I go to the library and step into the YA (I’m also a sucker for YA novels) section, the first books that catch my attention have some form of supernatural entities in them and I’m not entirely picky. I like zombies, fairies, vampires, werewolves, witches, you name the supernatural creature and I’m a fan. Which is why I absolutely fell in love with Paranormalcy. Ms. White had all the creatures listed above and then some.
So, without further ado…

Evie looks like a normal girl, talks like a normal girl, and dreams of being a normal girl. She likes to shop, she is obsessed with the characters of her favorite television show Easton Heights, and, even though her best friend is a mermaid, she can gossip with the best of them. There’s just one problem. Evie isn’t normal.  She’s not even sure she’s human.
Taken from the foster system at a young age, Evie was raised within the structured walls of IPCA (International Paranormal Containment Agency). Evie is special, you see. She sees the world differently than anyone else because she can see supernatural creatures as they really are and not just how they wish to be seen. Because of this gift, she has been trained to capture and retrieve countless creatures all in the name of peace, or so she thinks.
But the agency is rocked as countless creatures are found dead throughout the world and the numbers of attacks is growing by the day. Now, Evie must find out who is doing the killing, figure out how to stop it, and understand why she feels such a strong connection to the being.
Can she stop the murder from killing again? Or will she become the next victim? Only one thing is certain, time is running out and someone’s death is right around the corner.
 ____

The Sequel Supernaturally is all ready available to read as well and the third in the series Eternally will be out early 2012.
Both of these books are going to be on my tbr (to be read) pile, as there are a couple of other books that I plan on reviewing which are a bit higher on the list at the moment. I would definitely recommend that you pick up a copy of Paranormalcy though because it is well worth the read.

You can find more information about Kiersten White and her books at http://kierstenwhite.com/ . She's definitely an author to watch out for.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

We're back in business!

As you all can probably tell, some things have changed since Stacey and I went on our writer’s retreat this weekend. Well, one thing in particular. We now have a new addition to our blog, Stacey’s twin and my other sister from another mother, Tina. I can’t even begin to tell you how excited we are to welcome her into the craziness that is the writing world. Welcome aboard, Tina! Love ya, chica!
(The view from our balcony)
Now with the new welcome crossed of the list, I feel it is my duty to say that nature (and laughter) is the cure all for pretty much any ailment. After three days of sitting by the lake, communing with nature, and giving over to the most natural inspiration known to man, we all walked away feeling relaxed, refreshed, and rejuvenated. Better yet, inspiration ran amuck with us and ideas were overflowing by the time we packed up our bags to head back home.


(The partners in crime!Okay...so we look like a trio of Charlie's Angel's rejects, but you get the idea)

Over the next few weeks, I really hope everything we accomplished this past weekend will be reflected in our post. We have some big plans coming up for the blog. A new posting schedule, new and intriguing topics, plus a regular posting of reviews that will be examing some of the most current books and authors on the literary scene today. Tell your friends, tell fellow writers, the trio is going to be breaking it down and we're always excited to see new followers.



Saturday, October 1, 2011

I'm part of an adopted family.


I will go ahead and tell everyone how sorry I am ahead of time. Stacey and Jennifer have officially adopted me as their third in command a.k.a. end of the food chain a.k.a. lowest ranking a.k.a. NEW THIRD AUTHOR. I am so excited they have adopted me and given me this new found responsibility. They have been successful writers, and I hope to learn, cooperate, and join forces with them to hopefully achieve our writing goals. I have started on an adult fiction story, which after a few "edits" (which Stacey says "slash this, and cut that, nip it here, and sew it up") and I will then have the first chapter posted. Needless to say, the beginning of a long process. This is my OFFICIAL first post, of hopefully many to come.

Us girls-Day 2

Chilling on the docks with the girls.















Hard at work.

Writer's Retreat-First Day

Road TRIP!!!! This is Jennifer and I in the back seat of the car on the way to our retreat!













Here is Aunt Sharon (Jenni's mom) and my twin Tina-who were our partners in crime on this retreat, lol!













We arrived before check in so we decided to ride around and go sight seeing and stop at a few of the local musuems. This picture was one of the first few that we took it is a picture of Jennifer, my twin Tina, and me sitting next to Lake Barkley.













We went to the local Nature Reserve.













And then we went to the Elk and Bison reserve---the funny thing is we didn't see one elk or bison lol. But, today we are going to focus on writing. So adieu and I'll post more pics later!











Thursday, September 29, 2011

Writer's Retreat Agenda

Writer’s Retreat Agenda- Lake Barkley Resort 2011

Friday, September 30, 2011
8:00 am to 11:30 am Tina leave house 20m>pick up Stacey 1h>pick up Jennifer 30m>Walmart 30m>Lunch in Hopkinsville (20m lunch) 45m>Lake Barkley Lodge
11:30 am to 3:45 pm We can drive around LBL, find a place that inspires us to write---and WRITE
4 pm Check In- Lake Barkley State Resort Park
5 pm Dinner
5:30 pm Hike Blue Springs Trail (1.3 m)
7:00 pm to whenever Drink wine, swim in indoor pool, critique each other’s work

Saturday, October 1, 2011
8:00 am to 8:30 am Breakfast
8:30 am to 11:30 pm Find a place to write---and WRITE
11:30 am to 12:00 pm Lunch
12:00 pm to 2:00 pm Lena Madesin Phillips trail (.6 m) take to Cedar Grove Trail (1.7 m)
2:00 pm to 5:00 pm Find a place to write---and WRITE
5:00 pm to 5:30 pm Dinner
5:30 pm to 7:00 pm Find a place to write---and WRITE
7:00 pm to whenever Drink wine, swim in indoor pool, critique each other’s work

Sunday, October 2, 2011
5:30 am Get up-hike to meet the sunrise
6:46 am Sunrise
8:00 am to 8:30 pm Breakfast
8:30 am to 11:30 pm Find a place to write---and WRITE
12:00 pm to 3:00 pm Check Out-45m>Lunch in Hopkinsville 30m>Drop of Jennifer 1h>Drop of Stacey 20m>Tina drive home

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Inspiraton, HA!

This is a real conversation between Jennifer and me:

“Jennifer, I need inspiration. Give me inspiration.”

“Dude, I can't inspire you when I don't have any inspiration of my own. You need to have a talk with your Muse.”

“I would but she isn’t answering my phone calls.”

“She probably needs a vacation too.”

Every day for the last week, I have been pounding my head against this imaginary concrete wall called writer’s block. Jennifer’s solution was to send me a bunch of links to blogs talking about writers block and what did it teach me? Writer’s block is when you are having issues writing a scene or writing around a storyline….writer’s block is not emptiness. And that’s what I have. No ideas, no grand theories or storylines floating around in my noggin. A matter of fact, all I hear is crickets.

And then these blogs listed solutions to my so called ‘emptiness’ and that’s what I am going to do to get inspired…this road trip is not just a writer’s retreat. It’s a dream haven of excellent ideas. I hope the lake is as full with fish as my brain will be with ideas when I return on Sunday. I want to be overflowing with words instead of this emptiness that has filled my body. I’m going to drink down plenty of inspirations and wine—in the hopes of making huge leaps and bounds in my books and maybe, just maybe will I be successful in my attempt to finish my YA paranormal novel. If not, I have all next week to work on it because I’m on vacation. Thank God.

Is there a right way to write?

Since Stacey and I have been trying to organize our writer’s retreat for next weekend, it’s brought to mind a couple of topics that I don’t think I’ve addressed before. Or, if I (or Stacey) have, I don’t remember it. If the later is true, please pretend this is the first time you’ve read about it lol.
I’ve particularly been thinking about writing styles. Is there a specific method of writing that is better than another? For example, I am a very detail oriented writer. I take my time, I plan my scenes in detail with an outline, and it takes me a lot longer to produce a certain amount of words or pages because I am so picky about how my sentences sound as I write them. For Stacey, she is for the most part a “write-by-the-seat-of-your-pants” kind of writer. When she sits down to write the next chapter of a book, she gets it done. She writes whatever comes to mind as it comes and goes back to do a thorough edit later. In the mean time, she can double, sometimes triple, my word count for the day because while she’s working on her third of fourth chapter, I’m still on my first.
So, is there a right way to write?
I’m thinking the answer that question is no and I’ll tell you why. At the end of it all, Stacey and I end up near the same place in our writing because by the time she’s finished writing and then editing, I’ve caught up with her and the writing I’ve done is all ready edited (and when I say edited for both of us, I mean pretty much a quick run through that deals with very generalized issues) and we end up being on near equal footing again.
With our unique methods of writing in mind, I find myself wondering now how our writers retreat is going to go. We’ve all ready started creating a tentative agenda full of writing blocks, critique sessions, and communing with nature—which I’m oddly looking forward to lol. But with our separate methods of writing, it’s going to be interesting to see just how much we can get accomplished. Positive thinking is key! This retreat is going to charge up the internal batteries that have been drained by real life, it’s going to vamp up our inspiration meters, and it’s going to give us the opportunity to take a deep breath and reassess where our writing is going. I can’t wait. It’s going to be awesome and there will be pictures upon our return. Wish us luck!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Writer's Retreat!

As promised, I wanted to share with you all the first glance of the location of our Writer’s Retreat planned for this weekend.



FUN FACTS ABOUT LAKE BARKLEY, KENTUCKY
• Lake Barkley was impounded by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1966
• The water temperature average is 45 to 65 during winter months and 70 to 80 during the summer months
• Lake Barkley is 134 miles long with 1,004 miles of shoreline
• The lake covers 57,900 acres at summer pool, elevation 359 mean sea level (the sea level halfway between the mean levels of high and low water)
• The Barkley lock was opened to navigation in July of 1964 and has clear chamber dimensions of 800’ x 110’ x 57’. The gravity fill and empty system, exchanges 37,500,000 gallons of water per lockage.
• The project was first identified as the Lower Cumberland Project, but was later referred to as Barkley Lock and Dam and Lake Barkley in honor of the late Alben W. Barkley, the 35th vice president of the United States and late senator and a Paducah, Kentucky native.
• Each of Barkley’s four generators is capable of producing 32,500-kilowatt hours.



We are so excited about spending the weekend away. Surely, we will be inspired to write!!! All of that nature, we are bound to either be either successful or distracted…hopefully will be productive either way, he he.

Works Cited: http://www.lakebarkley.org/

Thursday, September 22, 2011

I'm Alive!!!!!

After almost a week and half without internet—and yes, I can’t believe I lived without it for that long—I am back and ready to go!
I’m so lucky to have a co-writer that has my back all the time. Seriously? If Stacey wasn’t on the ball all the time this blog would never get updated. Major fail on my part, but major kudos to my partner in crime.  Honestly, I don’t know how she does it. She balances working over sixty hours a week with writing on her WIP and working with me to edit AoE, not to mention doing an awesome job of building up our media platform. The girl is a superhero, seriously, and she’s been super patient with me which I appreciate more than I can say.
Like she mentioned in her earlier post, we’re going to be going on a writer’s retreat next weekend and I am so excited to just get away from everything. We need a weekend without the distractions of family drama, attention diverting TV shows, and anything else that wreaks havoc on a writer’s attention span…especially those writers who suffer from the dreaded disease of chronic procrastination. I swear, someday there will be a cure and I will be first on the list to get it.
With that said, I’m sure both Stacey and I will have plenty to blog about when we return and I have high hopes that it’ll be just the thing we need to jump start our creativity again and maybe I can get some work done on my new WIP.  I think Stacey and I both have the potential to really make something of ourselves in the literary world, we just need to keep our heads in the game and our eyes on the prize and I truly believe we will be successful. In the mean time, I hope you all keep following and tell your friends about us! We love meeting new people and, heck, we struggling artists have to keep together, right?
So, goodnight all! I’ll see you on the flip side!

I got a Golden Ticket!

As depressed as I am, nothing can perk me up like a last minute WRITER’S RETREAT, with none other than Jennifer and a few other book lovers. After being down in the dumps for a few weeks, it was just announced that GM Bowling Green will be down the week of October 3rd. So what does that mean for me? That I will be off of work from September 30th through October 9th!!!!

Some people will be depressed about the announcement but let’s face it, I need a break. I am burnt out and I am EXTREMLY exhausted. I need to be inspired by nature, hell—by other people that aren’t coworkers or spouses. I need an OUT and I need one NOW. So, next weekend, Jennifer and I have arranged a little road trip to Lake Barkley Lodge in western Kentucky. We will have pics posted on October 3rd of our trip and the things we’ve learned, what our goals were, and if we met our own expectations at the writer’s retreat. Either way, we will give you guys the scoop.

So I bet you are wondering, where in the hell did you get an idea for a writer’s retreat…none other than a group of fellow writer’s: The YA Muses. Jennifer and I have been pounding our manuscripts and we came to halt in production and I think it’s because we just ran out of ideas, storylines, whatever it may be…procrastination included, we are hoping that this road trip will be the first of many successes in our writing career. Until next week, when I will post pics of the place we’re staying in—adieu.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I'm as Cold as Ice

Many of you have noticed that my blog has come to a halt. All I can say is after opening and closing every day at work for almost two weeks straight, I barely have enough energy to shower and brush my teeth. And Jennifer hasn’t written this week because she hasn’t had internet so needless to say, our blog isn’t exactly the ‘happening place’ right now.

I haven’t wrote in any of my books in over a week and it is depressing me…Kelly Hansen from Foreigner said it best last week when I attended the Journey, Foreigner, and Night Ranger concert in Nashville, Tennessee. He said that, ‘Any artist, singer, dancer, and writer have to make new material and keep making it or they will shrivel up and die.’ And I am starting to believe him; my eyes are sinking in as we speak.

It’s been a difficult month for me. I have literally cut myself off from my family, writing partners and just the whole world in general. I’m aggravated and disappointed with everyone and everything and I feel like I could actually move to the other side of the United States and it wouldn’t bother me emotionally. Is that crazy or what? The people who are reading this who actually know me, must be thinking that I have lost my marbles because they know how family oriented I am. But seriously, after my Twin’s wedding, I’ve just been getting the shaft from everyone so I cut myself off and haven’t communicated with anyone.

Sort of gone into a depression, not to mention that the YA muses have had our Age of Eden manuscript for over three weeks and they still aren’t finished critiquing it. Really? I mean, I am glad after all, that I won the critique but dang, they are killing me. Okay, I’m done. I’m getting off here and getting back to life. Have a good one.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Lessons in Writing!

Once a marine, always a marine--after serving six years and a two year tour overseas, my twin sister still carries herself with the marine mentality that was engraved in her since she was seventeen. And as warped as some of the military ideas were, they are still beneficial to everyone. So…I’ve accumulated a list of ideas—ways of thinking, which can help a writer, strive to achieve their goal….PUBLICATION.

1) Adapt and Overcome- Most literary agents have difficulties with authors after suggesting that they make changes to their manuscript to make it more appealing to publishers. For one—if you get a request for a full or partial manuscript that’s AWESOME. That means that you have something that interests a literary agency. So, if they send you a 15-page rewrite letter don’t take offense to it. Everyone, sooner or later has the same thing happen to them. It’s not like the agent HATES your novel. If they did they wouldn’t have prepared such a lengthy edit letter. They are trying to make your book marketable…make it better. So, suck it up. Adapt and overcome. Do the suggested edits and move on. The sooner you do, the sooner you will complete the goal of every writer. Being PUBLISHED.

2) Success Doesn’t Happen Over Night- Yes, you might get the occasional, “I had a pitch session with a BIG NYC LITERARY GURU and they requested a full manuscript and then I had my book published in a year.” Yes, those stories are out there. But realistically, we all want success and we want it now but 9/10 times it doesn’t happen that way. You start writing a book…and then in eight months you start the query process only to get rejected 50 times. So you decide to do a re-write and then you start querying again and then you receive 50 more rejections. And then after what seems like the tenth round of massive edits and changing your book title, you finally get one hit. And that’s all it takes, which could take YEARS. Don’t be discouraged. There is someone out there looking for your book, they just don’t know it yet. So keep writing, no matter what.

3) It’s Okay to Fail-Everyone has heard the saying, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” After writing for over a year, I have to say that it is tough work and even if we work on a project and put our heart and soul into something, it doesn’t mean that it will get published. There are thousands of authors who have unpublished manuscripts piled up beside their desktops. Works of art that they put their sweat and tears into that will never be seen in print. But that doesn’t make you any less of a writer. The publishing industry is so competitive and subjective. What’s popular today won’t be popular tomorrow. And as a writer it’s your job to not give up after one failure but to write through the gunk that is holding you back onto bigger and better things.

I hope that what I have written encourages some of you. Because even when life gets you down, you have to keep your head up and keep writing.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Writing Partners and the Three T’s

Writing with a partner can be aggravating and at other times it can be awesome. I say this because Jennifer and I have been writing partners for over a year and at times she has made me want to pull out my hair and the rest of the time we’re giving each other pats on the back with encouragement. So I thought I would break down the Three T’s of choosing a writing partner and how to make it a successful literary journey.

Trust: For one, you have to trust that your partner is fully committed to the completion of your “goals.” As writer’s you should have independent goals and goals for the project that you’re working on—I’ll wait another time to discuss goals but for now, TRUST. I would never put trust into a writing partner who I couldn’t rely on. Who wasn’t honest, trustworthy, or even remotely devoted or consistent in their production of work.

Time:: You need to ensure that your partner is committed to the same, if not more, time to your project than you are. The last thing you want is to have a deadline and you are left waiting on your partner for the last edits—come to find out they have no time, no resources, and no motivation to ensure that your project gets completed.

Talent: Everyone has weaknesses and downfalls in writing. What’s important is to recognize those pitfalls and ensure that your partner doesn’t have the same downfalls as yourself. You should complement each other’s talent, not make them worse. It’s like a marriage, one divine partnership where you can rely on each other to give you comfort when you’re down and give you praise on your achievements.

You can find writing partners anywhere—forums, writer critique groups, or just people interested in the same project as yourself. But do not wholly devote yourself to a project that you know in your heart won’t be successful because in the end, you will be wasting your time and efforts on a half-hearted project.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

V.C. Andrews--Author Review

Is it too early to do another author review? I hope not because yesterday I went home and watched Flowers in the Attic which prompted me to do a bio on an awesome older and deceased writer V.C. Andrews, also known as Cleo Virginia Andrews.


SPOILER: When I was in high school, my mother let me watch a terrifying movie of a family who lost their father. Their mother, Corrine, was financially burdened after his death and felt she had no choice but to take her four children to Foxworth Hall--the home she grew up in, the home she had ran away from seventeen years before. Upon arrival to Foxworth Hall, her children: Christopher, Catherine, Cory and twin sister Carrie are locked away in an attic in an attempt to hide any trace of their existence.

Corrine sways her children to stay locked away in the attic by telling them that all she has to do is win back the approval of her father in order to be written into his will and upon his death she would gain Foxworth Hall and its contents. What she fails to tell them is that Olivia Foxworth, her mother, is a religious selfrighteous condemning bit** who taunts them and poisons them with quotes from the bible. Olivia tells them that they are abominations and unholy because of the marriage between their parents was incestuous and unwholesome.

During this time, Corrine stops seeing her children and Olivia goes days without feeding them all together. No sunlight, poor dieting, and a mixture of other components lead one of the children to their death.

After years of promises and Corrine’s lack of commitment to her children, Christopher and Catherine turn to each other for love and support because they are all each other have. They plan an attempt to escape the attic and find out that their grandfather has been deceased for months and that their mother is to be remarried. The will specifically states that if any children are found from Corrine’s previous marriage that she will lose everything. And they realize that their mother never had planned to let them escape from that attic.

Catherine, Chris and Carrie escape Foxworth Hall and find a doctor who willingly takes them in, nursing them all back to health.

I might have gone completely overboard with the description of the book, FLOWERS IN THE ATTIC but it is one of my favorite books in the whole Dollanganger series and after reading them all, I can tell you that V.C. Andrews never disappoints and Foxworth Hall holds more secrets that Monica Lewinsky’s closet.

Now about V.C. Andrews, she was born and raised in Virginia. After a tragic teenage accident she was forced to spend the rest of her life on crutches or in a wheelchair. In 1972, she completed her first manuscript and gothic romance and published them under a pen name. As for the Dollanganger series: “Promise gleamed over the horizon for Virginia when she submitted a 290,000-word novel, The Obsessed, to a publishing company. She was told that the story had potential, but needed to be trimmed and spiced up a bit. She drafted a new outline in a single night and added "unspeakable things my mother didn't want me to write about." The ninety-eight-page revision was re-titled Flowers in the Attic and she pitched the new novel to Anita Diamant, a literary agent with The Writer's Workshop, on January 13, 1978. Just three days later, Anita requested the entire manuscript. Virginia sold the novel and was paid a $7,500 advance. Her new-generation Gothic novel reached the best-seller lists a mere two weeks after its 1979 paperback publication by Pocket Books.

Petals on the Wind, her sequel to Flowers, was published the next year, earning Virginia a $35,000 advance. The second book remained on the New York Times best-seller list for an unbelievable nineteen weeks (Flowers also returned to the list). These first two novels alone sold over seven million copies in only two years. The third novel of the Dollanganger series, If There Be Thorns, was released in 1981, bringing Virginia a $75,000 advance. It reached No. 2 on many best-seller lists within its first two weeks.”

V.C. Andrews is and was an amazing author and upon her death in December 1986, she was amongst one of the best gothic romance novels of her time. I would suggest any of her series to read and hope that this enticing review will send you hopping on your ereader and downloading her series.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

It’s such a struggle to blog when you have a full time job and a family. Since I’ve graduated I have been so scatter brained and haven’t felt like I have accomplished anything. With that said, I’m still trying to do weekly book reviews on the blog but I would also like to start doing some weekly author reviews, starting with some of my favorite authors.

This week we’re featuring one of the paranormal fantasy romance genre authors (if there is such a genre.)

Mrs. Laurell K. Hamilton the brilliant writer of the Anita Blake Series, the Meredith Gentry Series, Nightseer, Star Trek's Nightshade, and Ravenloft's Death of a Darkloard. I have already done a book review on her most recent book Hitlist, but I still feel that is important to give her the credit she deserves. She is my FAVORITE author…those are some very steep words and shouldn’t be used lightly, but it’s true. She is my absolute most favorite author, which is subject to change, of course.

Since the very first few paragraphs I read of Guilty Pleasures, the first of her twenty novel series, I was sucked into the St. Louis drama with none other than her lover Jean Claude. I have been addicted to the Anita Blake series and am one of those die-hard fans that are patiently awaiting the date for her next release.

And for aspiring writers, this is her own writing publication Experience,” I sat down and began to write a novel in Anita’s world. I had about 70 pages done when I went to Archon a St. Louis convention. There I would read those few pages to a packed room. Why a packed room for an unknown writer? They thought I was Melissa Snodgrass who was doing scripts for Star Trek: Next Generation. She’d had to cancel at the last minute, but her name was still on the door of the room. Since they didn’t know what she looked like, and didn’t know me, they sat down for her, but stayed for me reading what would eventually be GUILTY PLEASURES, the first Anita Blake novel. I read them those pages because I needed to know I wasn’t wasting my time. When I finished reading the room was dead silent, and my heart fell to my feet. I thought they hate it. Then out of that silence came gasps, applause and cries of, “When will it be published?” I had no idea. “Read us more!” I couldn’t, because I’d read them all I had, but it gave me hope and I went home and finished it.

GUILTY PLEASURES would take at least two years to sale. Everyone liked it, but no one wanted to buy it. It was the same problem that I’d had with the short story. It would finally sale to Penguin Putnam, as an Ace original. I got a three book contract out of it, and I was ecstatic. After my first series dying with only one book out, I knew there’d be at least three Anita Blake novels.”

So even if you have the best novel in the world, sometimes its years before you receive recognition. I hope you all enjoyed my personal joy of her books and if you would like to find out more information about her visit her website: http://www.laurellkhamilton.org/

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Bloodlines Book Review

I loved the Vampire Academy books and was so disappointed when they ended. When I found out that Richelle Mead was doing a spinoff series I almost had a heart attack. I recorded it on my outlook calendar and every day, for months I would double check the date counting down the days for the release. When August 23rd rolled around I couldn’t be more excited. I devoured Bloodlines in a few hours.

I forgot how slow Richelle starts out her books and I don’t know what I was thinking but I figured she would have picked up the romance pace like she did in Last Sacrifice. But no, there was no underage fornication and I found myself disappointed.

Other than my obsession with Laurell K. Hamilton style books, Bloodlines was a solid book. *SPOILER ALERT* Sydney is required to play sister to a royal moroi (Jill) to keep her safe from being assassinated from the vampire world. Eddie—our favorite rebel damphir is assigned to protect Jill and keep her safe at all cost. What he doesn’t realize is he also has to play big brother when it comes to Jill and dating. There are two boys who seem interested in Jill, Lee a moroi and Micah a human. Now that Jill is shadowkissed and linked to Adrian, he can no longer go on drinking or women binges. Adrian is realizing that maybe he can be something more than a spoiled royal alcoholic. So Sydney helps him interview for jobs and he finally agrees to work with the alchemist to help find out why someone strigoi is healed by the spirit element cannot return to a strigoi again. Sydney starts to realize that she possibly has feelings for the moroi Adrian which is completely against alchemist beliefs and that there is something in her blood that is revolting to strigoi. What could it be? Dum, dum, dum.

I loved the way the series ended…give me, give me, give me more Demetri.

So stars….I give it a 3.5 out of 5. A little too slow for my taste but an all in all great start to a fantastic series.

But on a better note, #2 of the series- The Golden Lily is coming May 2012.




Monday, August 29, 2011

Winning***


WriteOnCon was awesome! Come to find out I won a 15-page critique from the YA Muses!!!! So needless to say, Age of Eden has been getting a facelift. Not minor nip and tucks but a complete transfiguration. We are taking our manuscript from third person to first person. Bangs head. It is a huge headache. This week Jennifer and I are going to focus on getting the remainder of the manuscript into shape and hopefully before the end of the week, we will be able to send it off. Cross your fingers for good reviews.

On another note—we have yielded our query process for AOE so we can make these changes. I’m hoping that with enough lipstick we can make this thing awesome. It was definitely lacking something before and I think it was the MC’s voice. Ava—even though she is the main character—no one could ever get a feel for her and in the end it will only make the book stronger.

Not to mention, we realized how beneficial it was to read the manuscript out loud. Sounds funny and hard but we really did….we found all kinds of wordy sentences and grammar errors by doing so. That is definitely something I would recommend to writers…note to self—always read manuscript out loud lol.

Other than that, I’ll hopefully be posting tomorrow with a book review for Richelle Mead’s new Vampire Academy spinoff series, Bloodlines. Have a happy Monday!

P.S. Is it too early to be decorating for Halloween? I hope not.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Website Pictures

Continuing the platform discussion, it very important to be yourself but show professionalism. During WriteOnCon the subject came up about posting personal pictures on websites. It is important that the agents are able to visualize the writers and also readers should be able to look you up and find out more about you via an informative biography.

So, this past weekend, Jennifer and I got dolled up and took pictures that we thought reflected us as individuals and as a team. Check them out. For more information or to find out more, log onto our websites.
















Tuesday, August 23, 2011

R.E.J.E.C.T.I.O.N.

Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, William Faulkner, John Grisham, E.E. Cummings, Judy Bloom, Margaret Mitchell, Dr. Seuss…do these names look familiar? I’d hope so, they are only some of the most well known and established authors of all time. Do you know why else they look familiar? Because each of these authors were rejected whenever they sent their manuscripts to literary agents.

Looking at this list of successful writers, who I couldn’t hold a candle in the dark to, I’m amazed. Who in their right mind would have passed up Carrie, Harry Potter or Gone with the Wind? Exactly.

We have successfully queried 35 agents. We received one request for a partial, twenty-four form rejections/No replies and we are waiting on ten agents to reply. And looking down at that number, 35, it doesn’t sound so bad whenever I compare it to legends.

I knew going into writing that it is very subjective. Not everyone will like what I write but I’m waiting for my time to come and it will. That time when I will blow the socks off of the New York Best Seller’s List and reap the benefits of being a dedicated writer. Until then, I’ll leave the un-published writer’s a bit of advice. Don’t give up because the authors I listed above, didn’t and look where they are now.

Monday, August 22, 2011

A Writer's Platform

Last week’s WriteOnCon convention was very eye opening for me. Sometimes, as I writer, I think that my only responsibility is to write an awesome novel. But it is more than that. It is my job to have a platform.

During a live forum during WriteOnCon, Sara Megibow, a top literary agent confessed, if someone did not have a website or social networking site, regardless if she loved the novel, she would not represent them unless they had a platform. It takes too much time to invest into a new client to create a platform.

Therefore, Jennifer and I set out on a new goal. Horrifying to those who aren’t technologically savvy we geared our thoughts towards creating our own individual websites. We both already have twitter and facebook but they aren’t linked to the literary world. So, I started researching website hosts and finally found a place where I could create a free website called www.weebly.com .

As difficult as I thought it might be, it was a breath of fresh air to have templates and step by step instructions that created a custom website. After a few hours of designing it, I published my first individual website: http://staceyhaysbooks.weebly.com/ and Jennifer’s website is http://writingfortherighttowrite.weebly.com/ . Feel free to view our pages.

For more information on platforms, what they are and what’s their importance go to these following links:

http://www.writersdigest.com/qp7-migration-books/get-known-excerpt

http://writeabetternovel.net/a-writer%E2%80%99s-platform-want-to-publish-start-building-yours/

http://theadventurouswriter.com/blogwriting/how-to-build-your-writers-platform-tips-for-writers/

http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2011/01/05/drop-the-pen-grab-a-hammer-building-the-writers-platform/



Tuesday, August 16, 2011

WriteOnCon!!!!

WriteOnCon has OFFICIALLY kicked off the WriteOnCon 2011 online writer’s convention.

For those who aren’t aware of what WriteOnCon is, it’s a forum geared towards authors of all genres. It has open forums where you can post your query letter, synopsis, first 250-words, and your first five pages for critiquing. The down fall-if you want to consider this a down fall, you have to critique five others in the same forum.

Enough about that, there are NINJA agents – REAL World literary agents that are going forum to forum and critiquing other peoples work. If you follow twitter, then you should follow the @WriteOnCon twitter feed and when it says, “A ninja agent is in the forum,” that means an agent is in that forum critiquing and that you should post your work then onto the forum.


Other Great Opportunities at WriteOnCon

Twitter pitch (pitch in 140 characters or less) and first 100 words for critique/comment. Entries are capped at 75. The forum opens today at 10am CST.

250-Word Pitch Critique event. Entries capped at 50. The forum opens tomorrow, August 17, 2011 at 9am CST.

YA Query Critique—Entries capped at 50. The forums open tomorrow, August 17, 2011 at 4pm CST.


Live Forums
To see if your pitches and queries were chosen for review, follow these live forums for your chance for critiquing.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011 at 10:00am CST-Live Twitter pitch event with literary agents Carlie Webber and Christina Hogrebe.

Thursday, August 18, 2011 at 9:00am CST-Live 250-Word Pitch Critique event with literary agent Alyssa Eisner Henkin

Thursday, August 18, 2011 at 4:00pm CST-Live YA query letter event with literary agent Roseanne Wells


There are tons of opportunities for live forums. So jump over to http://writeoncon.com/

And join the forums for your chance to get critiqued!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Patience is a Virtue?

Sometimes I am afraid that my age is going to suck me up and then I am going to wither up and die. Too dramatic? I’d think not. I am unfortunately, the most impatient person on the face of the planet, yes; I was including five-year-old kids tantalizing their parents, “Are we there yet?” I want success and I want success now. Of course, everyone knows that unless you are willing to self publish or have the patience of a ninety-year-old woman, writing and getting published are the two most untimely fashioned subjects in the world.

For one, I never know who, what, when, and where my characters are going to go or if they even feel like coming out to play. Thank God, I have more than one project going on or I would sit in front of my laptop and explode into smithereens waiting for something great to cross my brain. Secondly, I get distracted. Sons of Anarchy, Glee, Dexter, True blood, damn YOU! Even if it means watching two or three hours of television a week, that is still time that I am taking away from my success.

Also, I’ve become a cyber stalker. Yes, my index finger has a permanent blister from where I am pressing the refresh browser in my Gmail inbox in the hopes that we will receive one request for our manuscript. Not to mention, that Query Tracker---you should have an addiction class called “Query Tracker Anonymous.” You have possessed me and I have become this research freak and a constant forum reader. I’m pretty sure that if I don’t get a contract soon, my marriage is going to fall into the large crack in the earth called the Grand Canyon. Even though Age of Eden is already finished we keep going back and changing the first few chapters, in the hopes that it will catch an agent’s eye.

I am a true believer in the phrase, “Good things come to those who wait.” But seriously man, I’m becoming a combustible crazy chanting old lady who will be known as the next cat lady---and I don’t even have a cat.

Sorry to vent but I have had one exhausting weekend, completed by helping my sister-in-law paint the rooms in her new house and ripping up linoleum floors. This now makes me thankful that I have hardwood flooring. But has made me inconsiderably irritable and ready to bite the head off of the mental world that I have rotating around in my brain.

I hope everyone has a good week and hopefully the next time I blog my blood pressure won’t be sky high and I won’t be so aggravated at the publishing world. *Shakes Fist

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Never Ending Learning Curve

I know, I know. It’s been a long time since my words have graced the screen of our blog and really there is no excuse other than the fact that I’ve been having a mad love affair with procrastination. It’s a horrendous thing. Seriously.
That doesn’t mean that my thoughts haven’t been on writing my new book or continuing to polish up AoE with Stacey. It does mean that I haven’t felt as reflective in recent days as I have in the past. That, I hope, will change. I’ll hold my muse hostage if I have to, but I certainly hope I won’t have to lower myself to such drastic measures.
Stacey and I have been focused on our publishing dreams for going on a year now (okay, longer than that separately, but you get my meaning) and I have to say I feel like we have both grown tremendously in that amount of time. I learn something about writing and about myself as a writer every single day, which is something that I am proud of. I hope it never stops. That’s how writing should be. A learning experience…constantly. Whether it be learning how to listen to the voices inside our heads, allowing the characters to take on a life of their own, or just recognizing the uniqueness of our writing styles, there is always something to take note of and pay attention to when writing.
I think back to some of my favorite authors like J.K. Rowling, Nora Roberts, Richelle Mead, Stephen King, etc., and I realize that you can tell a lot about writers when you read through their works from their first novels to their most recent. The talent is always there, but the polish and technical skills show a vast amount of growth. For the authors mentioned above, it is a testament to the gift of storytelling that they possess and to the amount of work they’ve put into honing their craft. This tells me that even for those writers who have been serving up books for over twenty years are still, even now, continuing to learn about themselves and evolving into whatever comes next.
Of course there are those choice few authors on my list who are on the opposite side of the spectrum. Those who, instead of learning and growing, become stagnant and irrelevant because they are more interested in earning the mighty dollar. They produce mediocre work on a regular bases to fulfill their contract requirements and show no growth in talent or understanding of themselves or the characters and stories they create. This is not who I want to be.
I want to be writing 20 years from now and be proud of what I’ve accomplished. I want to look back without regret and know that I didn’t lose sight of why I became a writer in the first place.
And do you know why I am a writer?
I am a writer because not writing would be like living life without taking a single breath of fresh air. Because I love the worlds my characters live in. I want to live there too and I get to live there every time I sit at my computer and put words to page. I share joy and sorrow, pain and laughter, and love and loss with my characters. They are a part of me just as much as I am a part of them and I can’t imagine having it any other way.
Now I’m not going to say that I am completely faithful to my writing. God knows I allow myself to get distracted often enough, but it is always at the forefront of my mind screaming at me to get my ass in gear and do what I was born to do. But, again, I’m still learning and every day I learn more about the writer I am and the writer I will be someday. For me, writing is life. And it’s a life I fully intend to live to the fullest.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wednesday's Book Review- Hit List

Wednesday’s Book Review
Hit List (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #20)
By: Laurell K. Hamilton



A serial killer is hunting the Pacific Northwest, murdering victims in a gruesome and spectacular way. The local police suspect “monsters” are involved, and have called in Anita Blake and Edward, US Marshals who really know their monsters, to catch the killer.

But some monsters are very real. The Harlequin have been the bogeymen of the vampire world for more than a thousand years; they are a secret so dark that even to speak their name can earn you a death sentence. Now they are here in America, hunting weretigers…and human police.

The Harlequin serve the Mother of All Darkness, the first vampire. She was supposed to be dead, but only her body was destroyed. Now she needs a new one, and she’s decided that Anita Blake’s is the body she wants. Edward thinks the serial killings are a trap to lure Anita closer to the most dangerous vampire they’ve ever hunted. The vampires call Edward “Death,” and Anita the “Executioner,” but Mommy Darkest is coming to kill one and possess the other, and she doesn’t care how many others have to die along the way.

Personal Review

I am rarely satisfied with a book nowadays, but Laurell K. Hamilton did not disappoint her fans. Of course if you are a Richard, Jean Claude, Micah, or Nathaniel fan then you are out of luck because this book is completely based outside of St. Louis. And as for the promiscuity and feeding the ardeur, there isn’t a ton of that in this book….which to some fans was a disappointment.
In a way I like Anita and Edward getting back to their police investigations with Psycho Olaf and Bernardo but I sure did miss her live in hunnies. Other than that, I give it a 4/5 stars. Definitely lived up to the hype, I’m just waiting for the ardeur to rise one time and for Anita and Edward to get freaky dickey. This might sound completely disgusting but would definitely be intriguing to the readers.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Life, Writing, New Books, etc.

The last three weeks have been super hectic! My twin sister got married this past weekend and I was the maid of honor. Needless to say, my toast to the bride and groom was epic. I had a lot of guests come in from out of town for the occasion and I spent most of my time entertaining them and running around trying to help my sister.

On writing: I’ve been working on a few other projects besides AOE and The First 22…I have started writing a grade school project. It’s a book filled with scary stories and I am happy to say that I am 5/6 of the way finished with it. So, a few more hours of writing and it should be complete. I’m going to try to finish that up before the end of the week so I can start querying next week.

After that, I plan on finishing the First 22 and at some point Jennifer and I are going to do a mass re-edit of Age of Eden. We’ve decided to cut the entire prologue and to use the first chapter as the introductory chapter. And then we are going to cut, cut, cut anything that doesn’t add to the story line. No, I am not looking forward to it but it has to be done.

Wednesday is my 26th birthday. That means I am on the downward slope to 30, blah. I am very very depressed about the situation. I know that 40 is the new 30 and 30 is the new 20 but what I really want to know is do people who are 40 still have as much fun as they did at 26? Because if they did, then maybe the age thing wouldn’t be bothering me so much, I hope so.

This year’s season of True Blood got off to a rocky start for me but it is getting better and better by the week. Charlaine Harris was a genius in the first 5-6 books of her Sookie Stackhouse series but since they bought the television rights to her series and she has became rich, rich, rich; she no longer cares about the plot of the series. It has become OUTRAGEOUS and horribly uninteresting. And I have felt cheated the last 2-3 times her books have been released because I am obligated to go and buy them just to see if the next one lives up to my expectations and I am horribly disappointed every time. It must be nice to become so rich that you quit caring about the craft that made you what you are. Eventually, her readers will get fet up with her books and rebel but what’s even worse is now that Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer are married, the director seems to be twisting their characters so they end up together but everyone who is a fan of the series knows that Sookie is suppose to end up with Eric, not “King” Bill.

On a happier note, I couldn’t be happier that Bloodlines is coming out by Richelle Mead. Her writing style is very ideal and I love, love, love me some Adrian. I can’t wait. I hope everyone has a good week and until we meet again, Adieu.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Bitter Taste of Rejection

After receiving three rejections and two automatic rejection responses, I’d say were on a roll lol. We started our querying around the 20th of June and here it is a month later and we are still swallowing small bits of rejection. Why can’t literary agents respond in a timely fashion? Because you know, that they hold all of their clients accountable and on a schedule.

I understand that everyone believes that they are the next J.K. Rowling, but realistically, even though we are sending in unsolicited query letters it could be the next big thing.

My reapers book is coming along well, I’ve made a vigorous goal to complete 4-8 pages daily until I finish the 90,000 masterpiece. Surprisingly, it has taken a lot of mythological turns that I hadn’t expected.

Jennifer has become a crutch in my writing motivation. She has read my books and has given me the motivation I need to keep going. That’s why I love her (shhhhh, don’t tell her I said that).

Not to mention, she has started writing her own novel and if I might say, it’s one of the best works I have ever read. Every time she posts a new chapter, I run to it and eagerly read through it…wishing I had more. Damn her for making me wait for another chapter.

As I have continued on this writing journey, I have truly come to respect well published authors…but of course it is probably a little easier for them to write because they don’t work a full time fifty hour a week job and on top of that load, I spent the first six months of the year in college and I am just now coming up for air to write. But no worries, I will be a full time writer one day and people will travel miles to come see me in person. I can’t wait.

Also, now that I am thinking about it, I am going to start posting my writing playlist, so if anyone ever wants to get motivated you can listen to my mix of works. For now it consists of: Christina Perry, Journey, ACDC, CCR, O.A.R., John Mayer, Bryan Adams, the Cars, Kansas, Joan Jett, Ray LaMontagne, Lady Antebellum, Black Eyed Peas, Rihanna, Nsync, Otis Redding, Adele, Ace of Base, M&M, Young Jeezy, and Snoop Dog. And of course you have to add in classical, Beethoven and Mozart. Their fantastic!

On a happier note, Richelle Mead’s new book Bloodlines comes out on August 23rd. I can’t wait to get more Sydney, Jill and Adrian. I can’t wait.

Until next time, adieu and merry writing.


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Networking and Querying

Today we received our first query rejection. Which is a little disappointing because he reps one of the well known authors that we read. Dangit. Oh well.

I’ve been fighting with my muse lately. Of course I got hurt at work so I have been distracted with doctors appointments and prescription medications. But luckily Jennifer has pushed me and motivated me. And I think I finally know what I need to do in my Reapers book: The first 22.

We have queried a total of 14 of the top agents on our list. Hopefully we won’t have to wait long for one to grasp us up. But if all fails, we have hundreds of other agents who can publish us…but I don’t think that Jennifer or I would feel comfortable with settling on a mediocre Agent. We want the top notch agent with access to the top notch publishing houses. We want six figure book contracts and a large advance would be nice as well.

In my dreams, right? I hope not.

And one more thing, I would like to add my own little batch to Jennifer’s most recent blog about blog sites. NETWORKING is the key to success. You have to sale yourself and put yourself out there for everyone to see. Twitters, Facebook, Live Journal…all of these are fantastic, legit things that you need to have in order to be successful in the literary world. And now that I think of it, having your own webpage isn’t such a bad idea either.

Next week I am going on vacation to Michigan to see my best friend Rebecca. Until then, I will try to keep you guys updated on our Manuscript requests and rejections. Have a happy independence day!