I've been chosen to receive the Liebster Reward.
Man. I haven't gotten one of those since I started my blog. Feels like forever ago...
I met a friendly YA writer on Twitter and we've been chatting since. She listed me as #1 to receive this award, so I am grateful. If you want to visit this friendly YA writer, her name is Amber and her blog is here. :)
Here's the 11 questions Amber's given me to answer:
1) Describe your current manuscript in three sentences.
That still, small voice isn't your conscience, it's your Watcher. By Watching seventeen-year-old April's life sphere, Lucas knows the outcome of every decision before she makes it. But when he sees a deadly consequence coming April's way, he skips the small voice part and goes straight for rule-breaking, leaving her life sphere shattered and his Watcher status ruined.
2) What is the most important thing you try to achieve in your writing?
Assuming we've already included the necessities like character arc, conflict, voice, plot points, and all that, I'd say I try to focus on pacing. That's a huge deal to me. I want to open my ms at any point in the story, and immediately get sucked in. I want my books to be unputdownable. :)
3) What has been your biggest writing high?
The writer's conference I attended in October. Before that, I'd entered Dark Waters in blog contests and not done so well. I had started to think maybe my story wasn't as unique as I had thought. But at the conference, published/seasoned authors taught me the correct way to pitch. And I learned it wasn't my story that had issues, it was the way I introduced it. And the excited feedback I received from agents and authors once I started pitching my story correctly was super encouraging. Dark Waters also won 2nd place in a writing contest during the conference so it was a weekend of writing highs.
4) What are your three favorite books?
I can tell you my three favorite series, if that's okay. Right now I'm addicted to J.R. Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood series. I absolutely loved the Twilight series; it made me bawl my eyes out, guys. And I couldn't put down Julie Kagawa's The Immortal Rules.
5) What's the primary focus of your blog?
When I started it three years ago, my focus was to share the well-traveled road to publishing. Since then I've realized posting query and request stats is unprofessional unless you're telling your "how I got my agent" story. So now I try to share anything I've learned about writing, make connections, and talk about books. Oh, and dogs. I always want to talk about dogs. :)
6) Name three interesting bloggers/Tweeters you'd like to get to know better.
Can't do it. In one way or another, I want to get to know as many writers as I can. We can all learn from each other and encourage one another.
7) What is the single best piece of writing advice you have ever heard/read?
When I first started writing, I bought "how to" books and searched the internet for tips. I quickly learned writing is an art, and everyone approaches it with a different set of brushes. So I went straight to the canvas to study the colors. I bought bestsellers in my genres and read them. If I loved them, I read them again...with a highlighter and a pen, making notes on pacing, character growth, dialog, and plot points. If I didn't love them, I asked myself why. So the best piece of advice is to read in your genre. A ton.
8) How would you sum up your writing experience?
I'm not sure how to answer this. I've written since I can remember. In elementary school I won first place in my school district for best novel. In high school I took every journalism and creative writing class I could, and when I was a senior and had completed my English credits early, I spent my 4th period class time at the local community college taking their English class. But I had babies and traveled and didn't start writing fiction again until the summer of 2009.
9) What's your plan for publication?
I'm currently seeking agent representation. :)
10) What's been your biggest challenge as a writer?
That's easy. Confidence in my work.
11) What keeps you going?
My CPs who guarantee me my stories will one day be in print. Plus, I adore making stuff up and telling love stories, so I can't not write.