Monday, February 27, 2012

Crazy Responses To Your Writing

I don't know about you, but when I choose to reveal my love of writing and my dream of one day becoming a published author, I get mixed responses. I have some writer friends who refuse to let others in on this little (big) side of themselves. They've been laughed at, ridiculed, or just plain not taken seriously.

And then you have those people who want you to write their stories. No, no. I don't mean biography-type stories, but the alien abducting Bible-times people stories. What? That sentence didn't make any sense?

Yeah, I know.

Someone recently found out about my personal and professional aspirations and proceeded to explain their idea for a story. When I encouraged them to pursue it--just write it out and see where it takes them--they shook their head. No. They didn't want to write the story themselves. They would however, allow me to write it and share in the awesome glory that would no doubt come as a reaction to their story being shared with the masses.

If you're a writer, you're laughing. Because as writers, we have so many stories fighting to be released, that the thought of taking someone else's seems crazy and exhausting. Would you agree?

So have you ever had this happen?

Generally what type of responses do you receive when telling others you're a writer?

I can just imagine he's saying, "Dang it! You stole my book idea!"

*And I am in no way saying that alien people in the biblical days is a bad idea. I think if the plot is right and the characters are deep, you can make almost any time period and creature into a great story.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Tangled Tides by Karen Amanda Hooper Book Review

For Christmas I received a particular book that happened to be at the top of my "I Want" list. See, there's plenty of great looking mermaid books coming out (see list), but at Christmas time, Tangled Tides sat at the top as the book I had to have.

Did I wait this long to read it? Heck no! I plunged right into that mass of goodness the moment I tore the snowman paper from its binding. But...for some reason, I DID wait this long to review it. Well, at least on my blog. So lets get to it shall we?

From Amazon:
Yara Jones doesn't believe in sea monsters-until she becomes one. When a hurricane hits her island home and she wakes up with fins, Yara finds herself tangled up in an underwater world of mysterious merfolk and secretive selkies. Both sides believe Yara can save them by fulfilling a broken promise and opening the sealed gateway to their realm, but they are battling over how it should be done. The selkies want to take  her life. The merfolk want something far more precious.

Tregan, the story-eyed merman who tuned Yara mer, will stop at nothing and sacrifice everything to protect his people-until he falls for Yara. The tides turn as Yara fights to save herself, hundreds of sea creatures, and the merman who has her heart. She could lose her soul in the process-or she might open the gateway to a love that's deeper than the oceans.

My thoughts:
This story is fantastic and very imaginative to say the least. It goes beyond happy, glittery mermaids swimming around, or girls shocked to have fins and wondering how they'll change that fact. No, there is a ton of story here about mermaids, sirens, selkies, etc. and I love the author's mythology of these creatures. Her world building is beautiful as well. I had a hard time putting this book down because the story just doesn't stop. Action, drama...they just keep coming at you!

I wouldn't say this is completely young adult though. As I read it, I thought maybe this was more for an adult or new adult audience. And on a nit-picky side note, there were a few things that could have been taken out for a tighter story and more fluid flow.

All-in-all though, I gave this book high scores and am glad I own it. I was curious what others thought, so before I sat down to write this review, I checked out the reviews. On Goodreads, Tangled Tides received an average of 4.28 stars out of 5 by 225 ratings and 84 reviews. Yeah. So then I went to Amazon, and you know what? Basically the same thing. It had an average of 5 stars from 29 customer reviews. The numbers don't lie.

Check It Out:
If you want to buy your own copy, go here. And if you want to check out Amanda's blog go here. And if you're a serious mermaid nut like myself, scan your eyes over to the right side of this blog and look for the mermaid label where you will find more posts about mermaids. :) And if YOU'RE REALLY into mermaids...check out my writing tab and read what my mermaid-type book is all about. :)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Writing Advice From Author Charles De Lint

Recently my best friend and I donned our faerie wings and drove to Seattle to take part in the first ever FaerieCon West. Wait. Did I say drove? No...we flew. You know, faerie wings and all.

The highlight of our Saturday was meeting author Charles De Lint. And I have to say, I just love him. Have I ever read any of his books? Nope. My best friend has and just raves about his work. But his presence, his personality, was amazingly genuine. He happily sat and chatted with my friend and I. Even showed us a picture of his dog!

When he signed the "few" books my friend brought of his, she told him that we were aspiring authors and asked him to add his top piece of advice to one of the books he signed. Good idea huh?

You want to know what it was?

To read a lot and write often.

Yes, the man who has been credited to pioneering the contemporary fantasy genre says if we want to be successful we need to read a lot and write often. And I believe him. My own writing has blossomed considerably since making time daily to read great novels.

So while erasing as many adverbs in your manuscript as possible is important. And cutting down on the was' and showing not telling and creating that hook, and everything else has their place...reading and writing (the basics) are what's most important. Love it. Don't you? Because at the heart of every writer is a deep yearning to read.

Here's him and I.


Here's my best friend Rayna, Charles, and myself.

And here's the panel of authors he sat with answering questions about writing and story building.

And I forgot to tell you: when he learned we were aspiring authors, he took down Rayna's email address and offered to send her the notes from the classes on writing he teaches at conferences! And the next day he actually sent them. 

Needless to say, I now own a book of his...with his signature. And I hope one day if I ever get to have a book published and do book signings, that I will be as genuine and friendly as Charles De Lint.

How about you? Ever meet an amazing author who just blew you away?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Painfully Passionate Kissing Scene

It's the big V Day and that means blog hopping. And whether the posts are full of romance or anti-romance, it's a fun way to spend the hours. Writing With Hope is hosting her own blog hop by linking to those of us who post a favorite kissing scene of 250 words or less from their WIP. 

I've picked a particularly strong kissing scene from my manuscript not for the romance of the whole situation, but for the...passion? And when I say passion, I'm thinking hungry, aching, man-eating desire type of passion.


Acidic flooded my mouth and everything I saw appeared to be covered in a haze of crimson satin.

Oh no!

I started to take a step back, away from David, but as I moved my eager tooth pricked my tongue and the delicious taste of blood mingled with the acid in my saliva. Shock pulsated through my muscles, freezing me into place.

My hands ached and my stomach growled.  

Before I could stop myself, I lunged forward; in one fluid movement, my arms snatched up his shoulders and shoved them into the trunk of a tree, heaving my chest against his. David’s breath wheezed from his lungs. The ringing in my ears grew deafening as my neck jerked toward him and my lips parted.

Without warning, my body gave one last shove, driving my mouth to go in for the kill. He gasped as his fingers laced around my waist and squeezed at my hips. His hands worked their way up my back, clawing as they moved. I lost my focus and pulled my lips away from him. My feet staggered backward until they tripped on a dead branch and I tumbled to the ground, my rear thudding into the moist dirt floor.

“Wow,” David said with a heavy breath. He propelled himself from the tree and reached his hand out to me.

“What did I just do?” I asked, knowing full well I’d just kissed the guy I’d thought for sure would be my meal.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Agent Query Tips

I am 67 pages away from my latest round of revisions on Dark Waters, and so obviously I'm thinking queries. Well, lets be honest. I've been thinking queries since I finished my first rough draft on my very first manuscript a couple years ago. And I've written some queries too. I don't even know how many. But this time I'm REALLY thinking queries. After this round of revisions (I think it's my 4th or 5th round), I have to go back and do a search for "was" and "ly" words to kill them. And then one more read through to make sure the story sparkles. That means I'm really close to ready.

With that in mind, I saw this and wanted to share it with blog-world friends. Why? Because she says something about query writing that I've never heard or read before. I'll give you a hint. It has to do with your first 30 pages. Okay, see for yourself.


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Ice Storm

I just got home from busyness and I need to throw myself back into revisions, but seeing as I just came back from filing my taxes and checked that box off, I am now staring at the next line down on my list of "Things To Do In Order". Yes, they have to be done in order. What's next on my list you ask? 

Buying a home. 

I know, I know. Pretty big box to check. That would be why I stared and then ran to my laptop to show you pictures of our recent ice storm. :)

Look. They're so pretty...

I have many more pictures (much more beautiful than these) on my camera and as soon as I can find the thingy to download them, I'll post those too. As you can assume, we were without power for four days and the roads were hideous. But man was it gorgeous! The days and nights were blanketed by a pristine silence and as the branches broke from the forest of trees behind my house, cracking noises echoed through the woods. Definitely an experience to remember. 

Okay, time to go tackle that box. I'm off to find a Realtor! 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Waiting On Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine. It's our chance to scream to the world how excited we are to get our hands on an upcoming book.

Now, this book I'm about to show you is one that I am literally jumping up and down for. I have had to stop myself on numerous occasions from emailing the author and gushing over how much I love her for writing this book. And I haven't even read it yet! It just sounds SO GOOD! Check it out:

It's expected to hit the shelves June 12, 2012

Good Reads Summery:

Calder White lives in the cold, clear waters of Lake Superior, the only brother in a family of murderous mermaids. To survive, Calder and his sisters prey on humans, killing them to absorb their energy. But this summer the underwater clan targets Jason Hancock out of pure revenge. They blame Hancock for their mother's death and have been waiting a long time for him to return to his family's homestead on the lake. Hancock has a fear of water, so to lure him in, Calder sets out to seduce Hancock's daughter, Lily. Easy enough—especially as Calder has lots of practice using his irresistable good looks and charm on ususpecting girls. Only this time Calder screws everything up: he falls for Lily—just as Lily starts to suspect that there's more to the monsters-in-the-lake legends than she ever imagined. And just as his sisters are losing patience with him.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Non-Crappy Writing Groups

No, I'm not blogging about writing groups, but I'm telling you about a guy who did. In fact, he created a funny video blog about writers groups using stuffed animals. Yup. You'll have to see it to believe it. Just a forewarning though, there are two "cuss words" toward the end. So if that sort of thing offends you, then...

Go here to see animals reenact different types of writers groups. :)