Monday, August 31, 2009

Create your own . . .

YA debut cover. I found this fun meme on Maggie's blog. I know I shouldn't have wasted precious writing time to do this, but it was fun. *grin*

Here's what you do:


1 – Go to “Fake Name Generator” or click
The name that appears is your author name.

2 – Go to “Random Word Generator” or click
The word listed under “Random Verb” is your title.

3 – Go to “FlickrCC” or click
Type your title into the search box. The first photo that contains a person is your cover.

4 – Use Photoshop,

Picnik, or similar to put it all together. Be sure to crop and/or zoom in.
5 – Post it to your site along with this text.

And this is my new YA debut cover:


I doubt I'll ever write this novel, but hey, I have a cover for it if I ever do.

Write on.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

What a character!

Before I get into my character post, let's get the whole school thing out of the way.

I started classes last night. Things went well and I even saw some people I know (which is always nice). The class promises to be interesting, not too tough, but not easy either. We have a research paper to write, 10 hours of class time to observe (to make notes on teaching style and classroom management skills), and a chapter to teach (each student in the class has to teach one of the chapters in the textbook . . . I chose chapter 10).

Anyway, I'm looking forward to it and yet am a bit nervous (especially about the teaching a chapter part). I'm currently taking two courses, but am thinking of adding a third.

Here's why:

The instructor of last night's class also teaches a children's literature class. I had debated taking the course from the beginning. It looked like an interesting class, but it's not required for my degree (and I'm not sure it would even count for anything). After talking with the instructor last night (she teaches at my kids' school and taught my oldest son when he was in third grade so we know each other pretty well), she thinks it would be beneficial to have someone in the class who is familiar with the author side of children's literature. Right now, the class focuses on the different genre's of children's literature and each student will choose a book in the discussed genre to read and then discuss with the class.

My first thought was, "Wow, I could promote some of my blogger friends' books" . . . it's awful of me to think that, right? Well, if you're one of my blogger friends, you may think that's a great thought. ;-) So, I'm once again considering the class as an option.

Okay, so that's school life . . . On to the character aspect of this post.

As I caught up on blogs this morning, I came across one in particular that got me thinking. annastan posed the question, "How unique should a character be?" You can go here to read her thoughts on the subject (and I think you should).

Characterization is one of my many weaknesses (at least I think so). I'm great at plotting and action scenes (that's what I've been told), but I've always had a difficult time transferring my characters onto the page.

I've wondered why. It's not that I don't care about them, I do. Still, I tend to concentrate on plotting and action (a bit too much perhaps) in my first revisions. Maybe I should concentrate more on the characters first and then worry about plotting.?!

I usually have a vague idea of the characters (what they want, why they want it), but mostly it's the plot (what if this happened to someone in this situation) that comes to me first. The characters are fleshed out as the plot comes along.At least it seems that way to me.  Maybe I only think I do it this way. Maybe the characters are more in my mind from the beginning than I think they are. For example, with my current WIP (Wolfsbane at Midnight), the character and plot came to my mind at the same time . . . in a way.

Here's what happened (as Mr. Monk would say):

One morning last year while driving my oldest and some of his friends to school, we were talking about fairy tales. I can't remember the conversation exactly, but I vaguely recall getting on the subject of bedtime stories and fairy tales. I think someone must have mentioned warping fairy tales and then one of son's friends--we'll call her Mary to protect her identity--mentioned Little Red Riding Hood. I thought, "Now there would be a fun story to change up." and the what if's began.

What if the big bad wolf were a werewolf? What if Little Red fell in love with the one who killed her grandmother (not knowing he was a werewolf, of course).

And when I got home, I came up with Scarlet for Little Red's name, researched names for the other characters, and had more what if questions (What if Little Red came from a long line of witches but didn't have any powers herself? What if being a werewolf were a curse with a cure? Etc.). Then I did a basic chapter by chapter outline. I researched herbs and witches, etc. and when November came, I used NaNoWriMo to write. And WOLFSBANE AT MIDNIGHT was born.

So maybe my characters do come in some form at first, but I still have trouble getting my characters transferred from my mind to the page.

Anyway, I wondered how others do it. You've probably been asked before (and maybe even by me), but what comes first for you, character or plot?


Write on.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Magical ARC Contest

I know you've all been waiting for this moment (I have). The time has come. Fabulousfrock is having a contest for an ARC of MAGIC UNDER GLASS (and other fab prizes).

Have you seen the cover? It's so amazing!

Anyway, be sure to enter the contest. Best of luck to everyone, but if you win and I don't, I may have to hunt you down (I'm mostly kidding).  ;-)

Here's some info about the amazing book and the contest:

Coming 12/22/09 from Bloomsbury...

Nimira is a music-hall girl used to dancing for pennies. So when wealthy sorcerer Hollin Parry hires her to sing accompaniment to a mysterious piano-playing automaton, Nimira believes it will be the start of a better life. In Parry's world, long-buried secrets are about to stir. Unsettling rumors begin to swirl about ghosts, a madwoman roaming the halls, and Parry’s involvement in a group of corrupt sorcerers for whom the rules of the living and dead are meant to be broken for greater power. When Nimira discovers the spirit of a dashing fairy gentleman is trapped within the automaton, she is determined to break the curse. But even as the two fall into a love that seems hopeless, breaking the curse becomes a perilous race against time. Because it's not just the future of these star-crossed lovers that's at stake, but the fate of the entire magical world.

Want to win an ARC with original sketches from the author inside? See for details!

Write on!

Monday, August 17, 2009

All (good?) things . . .

It's official. I went to work for the last time today. I got my last paycheck. I thought about shedding a tear of regret, but the joy of being finished overwhelmed me and I couldn't muster a tear of sorrow. Maybe later. *grin*

I enjoyed the time I spent on the project and here is what Archiving taught me:

1. Reading other people's letters is fascinating and fun

2. Taking notes on other people's letters is not so much fun

3. Seeing history through another person's eyes is way better than reading about it in a history book

4. Seeing personal history through another person's eyes can be too much of a good thing

5. Professional archivists hired to teach us what to do may not know what they're talking about

6. With a bit of research and the wonderful world wide web, someone who knows nothing about archiving can access some of the best references in the world  and teach themselves what to do

7. Deciding on doing a project one way and going forward can pay off in the end when the decision is made to scrap the old way and start new

8. Scrapping the old way and starting over pays well but is frustrating

9. Archiving is an adventure

10. Adventure isn't all it's cracked up to be


Seriously though there were many good things from this project and I'm very blessed to have been a part of it. I'll miss it in a way, but I'm still relieved to be finished.

And now for another good thing. A trailer for BALLAD! Even if you found the rest of this post boring, you're being rewarded for enduring because now you get to see this:


Write on!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

I am finished . . .

. . . for the most part.

After two long years, my job is coming to a close. I finished the last major project in my job on Friday. *insert cheering, weeping for joy, and insane laughter here*

I will likely go in to work on Monday to tie up a few random loose ends, but that's all, my friends. That is all!

While I know I shouldn't be excited about this in such a troubled economy, I'm happy to be finished. It was a long two years of work on this project and while I will miss it in a way, I'm relieved.

Initially, my plan was to have more writing time once my job was done. This plan is not a complete failure as I DO believe I will have more writing time. However, some of this writing time may be taken up with homework.

Yes, my friends, I'm going back to school. Years ago just after my oldest son was born I began taking college classes and working toward an AAS in Medical Transcription. I was close to being finished when I dropped out to work at the local video store (I was a single parent and wanted to have a job with steady income to provide for my child).

However, things have changed over the years, and I no longer have a desire to go into medical transcription. Thankfully, some of my credits will transfer and count toward my new goal. I have decided to get a degree in Elementary Education and become a Reading Specialist. What better way to combine my love of learning and reading?

So a chapter of my life has ended and a new chapter has begun. I'm not sure what kind of chapter it will be (adventure, comedy, drama), but hopefully it will be well worth the writing in the end. ;-)

HOWEVER, with the exception of one, my classes are in the evening this semester. Therefore, I will still have the daytime for my writing and I'm hoping I can spend most of it working on my novels as opposed to homework. =D


Write on.