Friday, December 28, 2012

Aloha Writers Conference--Come to Hawaii with Me!

Are you sick and tired of winter? Honestly, I'm enjoying the snow, but I'm enjoying my upcoming trip to Maui even more!

Bunches of writers and agents--including me, Bill Bernhardt, Elizabeth Evans, and Melissa Flashman--are going to be speaking at the Aloha Writers Conference this January.

Authors will speak on craft. Agents will take pitches and talk about publishing. And I'll be the social media expert, willing and ready to answer as many questions as I can about online networking and marketing.

If you're worried about finances, there's even a holiday discount!

Aside from the conference itself, you can sign up for the retreat, which extends the trip by a week. You can enter the contests to win fabulous cash prizes. And you can enjoy the beauty of Hawaii from the Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua.

Sold yet? I sure hope so. Go to this link to find out more and register for the perfect working vacation.


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Next Big Thing Blog Hop

 Did you have a merry Christmas? Or you are celebrating one of the other fantastic holidays this season? If so, I hope you receive everything you wished for this year. 

As 2012 draws to a close, I had one last neat thing happen to me. My friend and fellow blogger, Sabrina Fish (visit her blog here), nominated me for "The Next Big Thing" Blog Hop.

I'm supposed to answer 10 questions about the book I'm working on, then tag another author. So here we go!

What is the working title of your book?  
My book is called DEAD DOLL and is the first in a trilogy about zombies, Hell, and world destruction. 

Where did the idea come from for the book? 
I had a dream about a girl in a boat on a lake with no one else around. The scene was tranquil until I realized the girl had tied her foot to a huge rock. Then she threw herself overboard. And drowned. But she didn't exactly die, she came back as a ghost who realized that as much as she hated that body, she needed it

What genre does your book fall under? 
YA. From there, I've called DEAD DOLL both paranormal and horror. I'm leaning more toward paranormal now.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Actually, I never have. I can see my characters clearly, but can't see anyone filling their shoes. So I'll let a casting director decide. :) 

But here are a couple of pics from DeviantArt artists that inspire me.




What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Doll Draper is sixteen years old, dead, damned, and she needs to do three things: 1) Find her body 2) Stop the devil from taking over Earth 3) Seek redemption for herself and for those that she loves.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I'm about to start querying. Just reading the ms one more time for glaring errors.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
That's really hard to say...I was finished my degree when I started it, so it sat on the back burner for over a year. Since I've started it again, I think it's taken around 6-8 months.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
That's my problem. I haven't come across a YA book like mine--and I read a TON of YA. I like to say it has HUNGER GAMES stakes and TWILIGHT romance.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?
My parents. They've always encouraged my daydreams.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Doesn't everyone want to know the truth about what happens after death? I've written it. Now we just have to get it published. We all need to prepare for the darkness that's coming.

Who would you nominate for The Next Big Thing? 
I'm nominating my friend and fellow writer, Tamara Grantham. She's written not ONE but at least FOUR huge and amazing titles. But I'll let her tell you all about them. 

Monday, December 24, 2012

Raffle of PRODIGY is today! Happy Holidays!


It's Christmas Eve, so you know what that means! Time for the raffle of PRODIGY. Watch the video to find out who the lucky winner was.

Keep following my blog because in 2013, I'll be raffling off an ARC of a YA book EVERY MONTH. That's right. EVERY MONTH! So tell your friends to join in on the fun.

Thanks again for your support. I hope this holiday, you get everything you wished for.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Reflections on Saturday's Social Media Workshop

This past Saturday (12/8/12), Sabrina A Fish (visit her blog here) and I presented a workshop at Oklahoma City University for authors who want to learn more about social media. We scheduled the workshop to run from 9-12, neither of us thinking that we'd actually go on that long.

But we did!

And the workshop was wonderful. We had two large tables full of eager authors. Even though the AV people from the university didn't set the projector up like we'd requested, we made it work. Sabrina and I each took a table and coached people through the basics of Facebook (profiles and pages), blogs (Google's own Blogger), and Twitter.

We were also lucky enough to have an emerging star in the social media world, Melanie Sokol (visit her blog here), there to help us out.



The overall point of the workshop was this:

1) If you're an author, you MUST be on social media.
2) The sites you HAVE TO be on:
     a. Twitter
     b. Facebook
     c. A blog site
3) You also need a PERSONAL WEBSITE
4)You must post CONSISTENTLY

and 5) Never, never, EVER give up. We're all in this together!

Happy social media-ing, people. Do you have any social media stories you'd like to share?We'd love to read them.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

NaNoWriMo Update #4: The Wrap-up

We're into the first week of December 2012, and you know what that means. NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is over for another year.

*Sigh*

Now I'll be counting the days until NaNoWriMo 2013 starts up.

Every year, or at least since I started doing NaNo, I get so excited about the month of November. I gear up to work on whatever current project I'm stewing over, attempt to clear my schedule, aaaand...I do really well for the first week or two. Then something seems to happen.

I have to work more. I have an unexpected school project to work on over Thanksgiving break. I find out I'm traveling. I get food poisoning. I (I feel so guilty saying this) get a new game or discover a new TV show.

Suddenly, it's the second to last or last week in November, and I'm only about a third of the way through whatever I'm writing!

That doesn't necessarily mean that I'm behind on my work count because I try to do double duty word count in those early days, but I'm certainly feeling behind in the story or surrounded by a bunch of fluff words.

So, yes, that happened this year, too. But I don't regret anything about NaNo 2012.

I meant to start an entirely new novel, but that didn't happen. So I turned my attention to a third MAJOR edit of my paranormal horror novel, DEAD DOLL. And the edit went amazing.

A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.

I've never been so proud of the way a novel turned out. I think that this one might even be THE ONE. You know, the one that the big six finally pays attention to. I already have an interested editor at Tor and at least two interested agents at major literary firms in YA.

So this December, when I'm not holiday-ing (and blogging), I'll be perfecting my query letter, tightening my synopsis, and sending out my novel to the list of agents I've started compiling. Wish me luck as I embark on this process!

How did NaNo 2012 go for you? Did you finish a novel? Or did you meet a personal word goal?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

NaNoWriMo 2012 Update #3

So what can I say? This month has been a NaNoWriMo train wreck on the one hand and a huge blessing on the other.



I'm getting close to finishing the first major edit of my novel, DEAD DOLL. And I LOVE the way it's shaping up. I look forward to working on it every day, which I take to be a good sign. If I like working on it, then hopefully, people will also like reading it.

My plan now is to be done with the edit maybe by the end of this week? *This is me being optimistic* Then I can send off the first fifty pages to my graduate school of choice, to editors, and to agents. Yay!

The train wreck is the fact that I meant to be done with DEAD DOLL a month ago. I wanted to start an entirely new project, THE LAST FRONTIER, a sci-fi YA novel that I'm dying to get started. But next year, that'll be my big project. At least the outline is done; it's all loaded in Scrivner, and waiting for me to get to it. Patiently.

So what have I done this year for NaNoWriMo? Well, I haven't written 50K words, but I HAVE edited that many, and more. Much of that is completely new stuff that I'm very proud of. So all in all, I'm giving this NaNoWriMo attempt a thumbs up. Maybe two if I finish my edit this week.

Until next time!

Ducks in a Row

The new year's right around the corner. Can you believe it? I'm certainly shocked at how rapidly this wonderful year has progressed. Since it's still November and the month in which we give thanks, I'd like to reflect on some of the things I'm thankful for and talk about the things I hope to accomplish next year.

I'm thankful for:
1) Time to write. I've never felt better about the quality of my writing or the topics I've chosen to write about.
2) Friends and family, here in OK, KC, and all over the world. I only wish we could have more time together.
3) An abundance of jobs. I know many people are struggling with job loss or are unable to find work. I'm lucky to have wonderful employers in this hard time.
4) My recovering health. This year was a rough one for me, but I seem to be back on track with my life. No illnesses are going to keep me down.
5) A promising future. I feel like I'm on the path that I'm supposed to be, and that's a wonderful feeling.

And on that note of the promising future...

Next year's accomplishments:
1) I hope to have an agent, if not an editor and publisher, for my DEAD DOLL trilogy.
2) I hope to receive a graduate assistantship at OU that will cover the majority of my tuition.
3) I hope to do more with my social media, both speaking on social media for authors and networking and interacting more on the web.
4) This isn't something I really want to accomplish, but I'm hoping that I'll stop spreading myself so thin, so I can focus in on the projects that are most important to me.
5) I hope to continue to get healthier by working out more, watching what I eat, and keeping up with my doctors and PT.

As this year comes to a close, what do you hope for and what are you thankful for?

Monday, November 26, 2012

Review of Marie Lu's PRODIGY

Because I work at Full Circle Bookstore in OKC and because I met a wonderful YA (young adult) salesperson from Penguin Books there, I've come into many advanced reader's copies of books. I was lucky enough to receive a copy of PRODIGY, the second book in Marie Lu's dystopian series, Legend.

Here's a quick synopsis of PRODIGY, which will come out in January 2013:




June and Day arrive in Vegas just as the unthinkable happens: the Elector Primo dies, and his son Anden takes his place. With the Republic edging closer to chaos, the two join a group of Patriot rebels eager to help Day rescue his brother and offer passage to the Colonies. They have only one request—-June and Day must assassinate the new Elector.

It’s their chance to change the nation, to give voice to a people silenced for too long.

But as June realizes this Elector is nothing like his father, she’s haunted by the choice ahead. What if Anden is a new beginning? What if revolution must be more than loss and vengence, anger and blood—what if the Patriots are wrong?


If you go to Marie Lu's WEBSITE, you can read the first chapter of the book there. If you follow my blog from now until the end of December, you will be entered in a raffle for this advanced reader's copy. But if I don't have twenty followers by then, the raffle will be canceled. So be sure to tell all your friends to stop by!

As for my thoughts on PRODIGY, I just finished reading it this morning, and it left me in tears. Bittersweet, heart-wrenching tears. Marie Lu's writing has improved drastically from her first volume to this one. Her story-telling skills are much better as well.

She tells the story once more from both Day's and June's points of views. And there are several twists in the story that I certainly didn't see coming. The love tangle gets far more tangled, as does the fight for loyalty and the Republic/the Colonies.

I felt Lu developed this futuristic world much more fully in this story. We learn more about the plague, more about the world at large (not just the fragmented United States), and we delve deep into the corrupt governments and those who are trying to fight it.

You will not be disappointed in this second volume. It's a terrifying, exhilerating, thrilling second volume. I can't wait for the third volume to come out. Really, I'm going to go nuts between now and the third one. I hope Lu's writing lots over this holiday season!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

NaNoWriMo Update #2

I updated last Wednesday with my progress on this year's NaNoWriMo 50k novel challenge. I figured I'd make that a tradition.

So how's it going, knee-deep in week two? Well...not nearly as well as it was last week. It seems that between several jobs, volunteer commitments, and life, my novel's gotten bunted to the back burner. And I hate that.

I have gotten a little bit of writing in, and I am halfway through editing my book, so that's a definite plus. But today's a day when I get off work at the college at 3 pm, so I'm definitely hoping to get several pages edited today.

In other news, I'm REALLY enjoying PRODIGY, much more so than LEGEND. Lu's storytelling craft has greatly improved as has her characterization. If I reach twenty-five followers this December for the raffle, the lucky winner is going to be very pleased.

Rose State College and Full Circle Bookstore both have their holiday parties coming up, and we've been gift wrapping and gift chatting up a storm. It's so fun knowing the holidays are so close. I'm happy to report I've pretty much finished my Christmas shopping already! I'm just waiting on one more package to arrive for my dad.

I'm heading home to KC (yeah, I still call KC home) next Tuesday to spend Thanksgiving with my folks. I'm super excited to see them and many of the friends I've left behind. So wish me good luck, safe travels, and mucho writing time.

How's your novel writing coming? Are you right on track? Or are you finding the onslaught of holidays as time-consuming as I am?

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Review of LEGEND by Marie Lu

Wow.

Last night I finished a truly fantastic book: LEGEND by Marie Lu. LEGEND is the first book in a dsytopian trilogy for YA readers. And can I just say...I've found a new series to obsess over.

The book is told from alternating viewpoints. First from a criminal's perspective. Then from a high-ranking military woman's perspective. Both points of view have genius IQs, lightning fast reflexes, and plenty of tragedy in their backgrounds.

Here's a quick summary of the plot:

 What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic's wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic's highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country's most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths - until the day June's brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family's survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias's death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.









I enjoyed LEGEND so much because, frankly, the story's impossible. The things some of the characters do are impossible. But that's what makes it so great. These two teenagers take on odds even more staked against them than what Katniss faces in the HUNGER GAMES. I liked that because it was refreshing. Lu makes you believe in the impossible.

Her writing and storyline struck me as a mesh between the dsytopian YA books that are all the rage now and Japanese manga or anime.

The only flaw I saw with the first book was that at times I didn't believe Day--the criminal--was actually a male. He read much more like a female to me, but I'm looking forward to starting PRODIGY, the second book in the trilogy, to see how Lu's writing has matured.

Don't forget to tell all your friends to join my nightmare army (my followers)! We still need to recruit about ten more people in order to make the raffle for an advanced reader's copy of PRODIGY happen in December.  

Have you read LEGEND? What did you think about it? Did it inspire you?


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

NaNoWriMo Update #1

So it's the first Wednesday after the start of NaNoWriMo 2012. And thus far, I've been managing to write every day--or edit, really. My plan was to start an entirely new novel for this year's NaNo, but instead, I'm finishing up the edits on DEAD DOLL (and I'm getting near the end). I'm hoping to have all of those edits done by the first half of this month. And the second half, I'll be able to spend on my new sci-fi novel, THE LAST FRONTIER, for YA readers.

What's going on in the NaNo world, you ask? Well, my first response is that it's not too late to join in on the fun. Go create an account at nanowrimo.org and start counting your words today. There's plenty of time for you to make up on that lost word count, I promise.

People are haunting the forums day or night. You can find character and plot synopses, meet-up groups, plot ideas, and even romance. You name it; they've got it. The NaNo forums are truly a writer's paradise.

Writers' word counts are filling up quickly. They're donating money to the NaNo cause, and they're tweeting, texting, Facebooking, and emailing about their novel projects all over the web. You can't hardly jump on a site without running into somebody who's doing it.

Several of my friends are working hard on their novels. The events coordinator at Full Circle Bookstore and I are trying to come up with meet-up dates and an all-nighter event, and one of my new co-workers is also joining in on the fun.

Join us in the NaNo world. It doesn't matter if you can't reach 50k words by the end. If you've written something, and you've written every day, then you're already miles ahead of most people out there.

So are you writing like crazy this month? What are your killer ideas? How many words are you up to?

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Book Review of FAIRY TALES from the BROTHERS GRIMM--by Philip Pullman

Since I can remember, I've loved fairy tales--the Grimm kind and the Disney kind. If you recognize that line, it's straight from my bio. So you can imagine how excited I was to receive an advanced reader's copy of FAIRY TALES from the BROTHERS GRIMM, which was compiled and rewritten by Philip Pullman for the 200th anniversary of the Grimms' stories.

Yes, the author of the beloved His Dark Materials books has a new book coming out on November 12th. Should you run out and buy it for the holiday season? My vote is yes. And here's why:

Pullman must have spent countless hours reading and researching for FAIRY TALES. He's written an expansive introduction that explains much of his research, and after each of the fairy tales (he includes 50), he writes a note comparing the many versions of each tale to one another and writes why he chose to coalesce elements from many versions into the one he's written.

As for the fairy tales, themselves, they're fun, morbid, but many have happy endings. I remember the Grimms' tales from my childhood, but I remember them being much darker--dark enough to give me nightmares. But Pullman's versions generally have happy endings, but grotesque middles. A nice compromise, I think, between Grimm and Disney.

Some of my favorite tales from the 400+ page volume include "The Girl with No Hands," "Thousandfurs," and "The Shoes that Were Danced to Pieces." And never fear, Disney lovers, Pullman also includes tales such as "Cinderella," "Rumpelstiltskin," "Rapunzel," "Hansel and Gretel," "Little Red Riding Hood," and a great deal of other old favorites.

"The Girl with No Hands" reminded me why the Grimms' tales gave me nightmares. A father cuts off his own daughters' hands! And she is forced to wander through the world without them. In Pullman's version, her hands are first replaced with silver and then they eventually regenerate through the grace of God.

I read a version of "Thousandfurs" long ago, and I remember wishing for a nut with three beautiful dresses in it and for the golden ring, spindle, and bobbin. But in the version I read as a child, the father didn't want to marry his daughter, not even close. Thankfully.

And finally, I also had a beautifully illustrated volume of "The Shoes that Were Danced to Pieces." I danced with the princesses and their princes in my dreams and wished I could be the youngest who trailed after her sisters, a little more hesitantly than all the rest. I, however, didn't have any interest in marrying the soldier. Maybe, like those princesses, I wanted to stay a child, living out my childhood fancies for the rest of my life.

For those of you who have always loved the tales from Grimm, you'll find Pullman's version refreshing and fun. These stories--many of them at least--would be great fun to share with your little ones. So if you're looking for a present this holiday season that would delight the entire family, I recommend FAIRY TALES from the BROTHERS GRIMM by Philip Pullman.


Monday, October 29, 2012

Win an Advanced Reader's Copy of PRODIGY by Marie Lu

video

Would love to have you follow my blog! Would love it even more if YOU won Marie Lu's newest novel.

By the way, have you read LEGEND? What did you think of it?

Monstrous Monday--A Plethora of Beasties

Witches, ghouls, and monsters...oh my! I want to shout out to Tim Brannon and say thank you for hosting MONSTROUS MONDAY, a Halloweenie bloghop. Since Halloween is one of my very favorite seasons, you can imagine how excited I am to be a part of this blogfest.

So check out Tim's blog: The Other Side, sign up to join the bloghop, and start posting about your own monsters.

Oh, and be sure to grab one of the cool graphics below...









And now, I'd like to introduce you to some of the monsters in my book:

1) Kharon: Yes, the ferryman from Greek mythology. In my horror novel, Kharon is the taxi driver from Hell, literally. He's also a Daimon, which means his once human soul has been corrupted beyond salvation. His soul is now a black hole of endless hunger. He feeds off memories. And once he takes them from you, they're gone forever.

2) Dr. Purgatory: This doctor was once Kronos...you know, the titan who wanted to eat his own son, but legend has it all wrong. Kronos was a starving Greek, and in fact, his wife fed him his children, so the two of them could stay alive. But as punishment, Lucifer made him the doctor of, you guessed it, Purgatory. But he isn't the kind of doctor who heals you. Like Kharon, his human soul has been corrupted. He's now a Daimon and hungers for flesh. However, at times, you see a glimpse of the frail, starving man he once was.

3) Dark Angels: The unfortunate angels who followed Lucifer, straight to Hell. Now, their tattered bloody souls cling to an unshifting plane, but Lucifer is determined to bring Hell to Earth. And he sends them ahead to make way. The dark angels need host bodies to keep their souls from destruction. Which means they come after you. They crush your own soul, take over your body, and ruin your life. And they kill you when they decide to move onto a new host.

4) Flesh Phantoms: Lucifer's favorite pets, but your worst nightmare. They came to Earth through Hell's "piping." The Flesh Phantoms look like crocodiles on growth steroids (think size of two Mini Coopers stuck together) with scales that look flayed. Since they look like they're missing all their own skin, they've decided they'll eat your insides, then wear your skin. Or at least roll around in it.

5) The Beast: Remember 666? I bet you didn't know that symbolic set of numbers represents the three blond curls on what once was a Greek virgin's forehead. Now this oracle has been transformed and set in chains by the Golden One, the dark one, Lucifer. He uses the oracle to predict how his take-over of Earth will be successful. And he brings her--or sadly, should we say it now?--it with him. And then she wrecks havoc. Will anyone be able to stop her?

I hope you've enjoyed these monstrosities from my novel, DEAD DOLL. I've sure enjoyed sharing them with you. What kind of monsters are in your book or favorite video game? What are you dressing up as for Halloween?

Friday, October 26, 2012

Need Inspiration? Check out DeviantArt

This week on A Feast of Fantasy, we're posting links to our favorite websites. Websites that inspire us, websites that guide us through the writing or world-building process, websites we think other sci-fi/fantasy/horror writers (or really any writers) should be aware of.

Whenever I'm first starting a story, I love to find characters and settings that remind me of what I'm writing. DeviantArt hasn't failed me yet, and I doubt it ever will. Plus, people on the site also often post stories of their own. So if you’re needing inspiration, check out DeviantArt!

If you’d like to find my profile (I warn you, I’m not terribly active), look up EYWriterEditor, and my profile will pop up.



This post was originally on A Feast of Fantasy. Come join our Tumblr blog.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Gearing Up for NaNoWriMo

Guess what time of year it is?!

Time for Halloween, you say? Time for Thanksgiving and Christmas with turkey, ham, and yams? Close, but not quite.

It's almost time for NaNoWriMo! For those of you who don't know, NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month. So you can guess what I'll be doing for the next thirty-odd days.

If you're interested in joining in the fun (and believe me, it is TONS of fun), then visit the official NaNoWriMo website. Once you've seen what it's all about, create a profile. You can tell the world a bit about you, the author, and your novel project. You can search for friends, browse the forums, and join a meet-up group. In a week, plus one day, all the coolest people in the world will be converging on this one site and uploading their word count for the day.

How many words do you write for the month of November? 50,000. So, depending on your genre, you might not actually finish your project, but you can sure get a headstart. Think 50K sounds like too much? Then write 5K or 10K. The point of NaNoWriMo isn't to drive you crazy. It's to get your writing every day and establishing writing as a part of your daily routine.

If you go on my NaNoWriMo profile (access the link here), you can see I've been doing NaNoWriMo since '06, though I missed last year. And I've won every year! Meaning, I got to print of a certificate, order a t-shirt, and brag to the world that I'd written 50,000 words in a single month. This year, I already have my author profile revised and a bit about the new project I'll be working on: THE LAST FRONTIER.

For those of you who're sad to see DEAD DOLL fade into the background, have no fear. My plan is to have the third draft completed by the end of this month, and I'll go back to it in December. But for November, I wanted to work on a completely new project. For those of you who love DEAD DOLL, you may be in for a treat. The people who've had a sneak preview of the pre-writing I've done on THE LAST FRONTIER love it even more.

So stay turned for my NaNoWriMo updates! I'll try to do a weekly blogpost on those, as well as my book reviews.

Are you doing NaNoWriMo? If so, let's connect!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Review of SPEED OF LIGHT--Fenestra series #3

Hi Everyone!

Thanks for stopping by my blog for the review of Amber Kizer's third volume of the Fenestra series: SPEED OF LIGHT. For those of you who don't know, I receive advanced reader's copies of books through the independent bookstore, Full Circle, at which I work, and I ALWAYS post reviews on the books I take home. I do one a month.

If you have requests for reviews, please leave a comment! I'll do my best to get that book, and I'll let you know when you can expect to see the review.

This month, I'm reviewing SPEED OF LIGHT because it debuts in hardcover next month! I'm sure those of you who've read the previous Fenestra books will be very glad indeed to see this volume come out at last. If you have any more questions about the book's release, visit Amber Kizer's website at this link. Or you can always ask me. I'm happy to answer.

I admit I didn't read the previous two volumes, MERIDIAN and WILDCAT FIRELIES, and to be honest, I probably won't. Here's why.

SPEED OF LIGHT is over 500 pages long, but it doesn't need to be. I love fast-paced, high stakes, and action-packed stories. While this has the potential to be that, the heavy prose weighs the plot down. I felt that what most authors would say in a page, Kizer says in multiple chapters. If you like that kind of endless introspection, then this book is for you.

At times, I found the switch between Juliet and Meridian's points of view to be too abrupt, and if Meridian's chapters had been labeled with the subtitle of her name, the infusion I experienced would have become nearly nonexistent. On this same note, I found the climax itself to be confusing. I found myself rereading the chapters trying to understand exactly how the Fenestra save the day--but I won't spill the details of the climax, itself.

I have family in Indiana, so the mention of Lebanon (a small town in Indiana) touched my heart. However, I couldn't help but wonder how thrilled young readers--who often come from small towns--would be about this all-important third book in the series centering around the Indy 500 in rural Indiana. Not my idea of the best place to stage the novel, but also not my choice.

But the plot and subplots are intricate. The characters are well-rounded and well developed. I enjoyed the way Juliet compared the world to food. Gus and Faye's story culminates beautifully, and the final chapters made me smile. For those who fell in love with Kizer's prose style and characters, I do believe this volume will not disappoint. After all, who doesn't love rainbows and happy endings?

Do you have thoughts/comments on Kizer's newest novel? If so, be sure to share! And let me know if you purchase a copy of SPEED OF LIGHT. I'm anxious to hear your thoughts.

Until next time!



Wednesday, October 17, 2012

DEAD DOLL--An Update on the Edit

As of today, I'm fifteen pages from the end of the first edit of my YA horror novel, DEAD DOLL, the first in a trilogy.

I'm drawing to a close, which has caused me to reflect on many aspects of the book. Here are some of the things I'm mulling over...

1) Is my novel truly horror? If most of the main characters are already dead, how can that be horrific? What's worse than death in people's eyes? So I'm thinking about changing the genre to paranormal.

2) Should I use loss of memory as a device throughout the story? At first, I liked the concept of weaving memories into the framework of the novel. Now that I've actually done it, I've decided I hate it. So I've massively changed the way I'm using memory loss.

3) How the heck do you write romance? I have a romantic subplot between my main character and two guys, so guess what I'm doing. I'm rereading TWILIGHT. Yes, Stephanie Meyer's book that so many of my friends hate so adamantly, to try and learn how to write romance.

4) Where is the true climax of my novel? I suppose this one wasn't as hard to figure out as some of my other questions, but I'm significantly changing plot point 2 and the last few chapters (and adding in a scene) to fit my new take on what, plot-wise, must be revealed in book 1.

and 5) How do I work in more material? My book is a little over 75,000 words, which means that it's of an adequate length. But I want more. And if I want more, I think readers will, too.

So wish me luck on these last few pages. Then wish me even more luck as I dig into this massive rewrite.

What do you like to see most in novels? What's your favorite YA paranormal novel, and why? And if you're writing a book, like me, how's it going?

Until next time!

Friday, October 12, 2012

FIRE by Kristin Cashore

For this post, I thought I’d review not Kristin Cashore’s latest fantasy novel, BITTERBLUE, but my very favorite of her three books: FIRE.





I adored this novel. In fact, it made my top 25 favorite fantasy novel lists pretty soon after I cracked it open (it may be even higher on the list now). Cashore weaves a brilliant, beautiful, and tragic storyline. I think this story affected me so deeply because of the levels of conflict the main character struggles with. She has internal, personal, and external conflict wearing on her from all sides in this novel. It’s also a companion to her first novel, GRACELING, so it was fun to see how the books tied together.

Do I want another book about Lady Fire? Yes! Please!!

If you haven’t read the book, here’s a quick synopsis:

It is not a peaceful time in the Dells. In King City, the young King Nash is clinging to the throne, while rebel lords in the north and south build armies to unseat him. War is coming. And the mountains and forest are filled with spies and thieves. This is where Fire lives, a girl whose beauty is impossibly irresistible and who can control the minds of everyone around her. Exquisitely romantic, this companion to the highly praised Graceling has an entirely new cast of characters, save for one person who plays a pivotal role in both books. You don’t need to have read Graceling to love Fire. But if you have, you’ll be dying to read it next.



And if you haven’t read it, mark it on your reading to-do list. I promise it’s worth it. I’m waiting now for the movie to come out…

Let meknow if you hear any news about movie rights being bought. And let me know what you think about Cashore’s second novel, FIRE!

Until next time!

(You can find my original review of FIRE at this link.)

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Review of MYSTIC CITY--Plus the Book Trailer

Thanks for Full Circle Books, I got an advanced reader's copy for Theo Lawrence's debut novel, MYSTIC CITY. I started the book two days ago and finished it while on the elliptical tonight.

Wow. What a read. My own main character struggles from memory loss, as Lawrence's does, which immediately brought it close to my heart. A second sign that this is an excellent first novel is the fact that I read it in two days. Two tiny days! While I'm working three jobs, writing my own book, etc. on the side. Long story short, I really couldn't put it down.

Here's the skinny on the plot (thanks Goodreads):

For fans of Matched, The Hunger Games, X-Men, and Blade Runner comes a tale of a magical city divided, a political rebellion ignited, and a love that was meant to last forever. Book One of the Mystic City Novels.

Aria Rose, youngest scion of one of Mystic City's two ruling rival families, finds herself betrothed to Thomas Foster, the son of her parents' sworn enemies. The union of the two will end the generations-long political feud—and unite all those living in the Aeries, the privileged upper reaches of the city, against the banished mystics who dwell below in the Depths. But Aria doesn't remember falling in love with Thomas; in fact, she wakes one day with huge gaps in her memory. And she can't conceive why her parents would have agreed to unite with the Fosters in the first place. Only when Aria meets Hunter, a gorgeous rebel mystic from the Depths, does she start to have glimmers of recollection—and to understand that he holds the key to unlocking her past. The choices she makes can save or doom the city—including herself.


Sounds good, doesn't it? And it is. Lawrence writes a fast-paced love story, full of twists and turns. Though the love story is somewhat predictable, and the bad guys are obvious, the main character is, herself, so engaging, that the books' few flaws really don't matter. 

Plus, the cover is awesome! It looks like a hologram. So buy the print copy of the book. The effect's worth it, and it'll look cool on your bookshelf. 

MYSTIC CITY comes out on October 9th of this year, so be sure to pre-order a copy or head to your favorite bookstore early. I'm pretty sure this book will sell out FAST.


Also, enjoy this book trailer from Random Books!


Saturday, October 6, 2012

Meeting a Penguin Books Sales Rep

I've been raving about my job at Full Circle to everyone I meet. In addition to being surrounded by and getting to sell the product of the gods (books), I also get to borrow them from the store, take home advanced readers' copies and blog about them, and now, I'm getting to meet fabulous people from the publishing industry.

A sales rep from Penguin books, specifically from Razorbill (the YA imprint) stopped by our store yesterday. She and I spent over a half hour walking through the YA section. She pointed out great titles that I MUST read, and she promised to send me some titles that I could review on here.

And boy...is she ever good at her job. It's a good thing this week wasn't pay week because I would have snapped up all the titles she pointed out to me. I did make a long list on my iPad though. I'll be good and work through them one at a time (probably).

I also got to talk to her some about my own YA trilogy. She seemed super excited about the idea. When my book is out on the shelves, I'll have to return the favor she's done for me and send her a copy. I sure hope that I'll have someone as fabulous as she was out there promoting my book alongside me. It's great to meet a cheerleader who spurs you on toward your goal.

Speaking of which, I need to go edit.

What are you doing this crisp fall weekend? Curling up with a good book and an electric blanket? Plugging in that movie marathon you've been looking forward to? Taking naps? I plan on doing all of the above.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

William Bernhardt Releases 12 E-Book Titles--Plus something extra...

Today was a big day for New York Times Bestselling author, William Bernhardt. Mysterious Press released his back list--the early Ben Kincaid novels and several other titles--as e-books. I know I'd been waiting for those early titles to be released. I'm sure many of you out there who've been searching for those books will be overjoyed. You can find a link to those books here.

If you haven't read a William Bernhardt novel before, you're in for a gigantic treat. His writing is excellent; his plots are filled with twists and turned. He's called the "king of the courtroom drama" for a reason.

Keep an eye out on this Mysterious Press author page of Bill's because they'll also be releasing a film--you can see Bill in his every day life, doing the things that he does best--writing, teaching, practicing law, and...are you ready for it? Playing the piano. (He's Oklahoma's Renaissance Man, according to OSU.)

This is a big week for this New York Times bestselling author. He's ALSO the featured poet in Conclave--A Journal of Character. Bill is an inspiration to all of us aspiring writers. He proves that you can be literary and commercial. And it doesn't get better than that.

Which of Bill's titles are your favorite? I'm a huge fan of DARK EYE, which features a woman named Susan Pulaski. I'm waiting for a third book about her...


Sunday, September 30, 2012

Deja Voodoo

Today was my first day off this week, and I didn't have to go ANYWHERE. I bet you can imagine how excited I was to have a day devoted to editing my novel (for those of you who don't already know, I finished the first draft of my YA horror novel a week and a half ago).

So after I worked out, I got right down to it. I managed to get through forty pages, and after I post this, I think I'll try and do some more. I noticed in my first draft, my characters held conversations; they did things; they went places, but I didn't have the emotional weight behind everything yet. I've been focusing a lot of that, as well as developing my setting. Sometimes I forget, people can't peek inside my brain and see my world exactly how I see it.

Anyhow, as I was rewriting, I kept having these crazy feelings that I'd done this all before. In my dreams? In my daydreams? I'm not sure, but as I rewrote each sentence, that same feeling kept creeping up on me. And when you're working on horror, it's creepy indeed. 

My goal is to get through the first hundred pages by the end of this weekend. I'm fourteen pages away from my goal. So wish me luck!

In other news, I'm also about halfway through MYSTIC CITY. It's a pretty quick read, and I'm looking forward to October ninth when it releases. So far, I think it's definitely worth reading. Keep your eyes peeled for it.

Also, tomorrow it Monstrous Monday! I'll be posting about the monsters in my novel. Check out my blog tomorrow. It should be an exciting one.

I hope you're enjoying your weekend as much as I am. What have you been up to? Writing? Reading? A TV marathon (that's my plan for this evening)?






Keep me updated on what's going on in your life. I'll be sure to do the same.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Book Reviews

Back in high school, my amazing friend and fellow blogger, Amanda Doty, got me a gig doing book reviews for The Kansas City Star--that's KC's biggest newspaper.  Unfortunately, that section of the paper was one of the ones shut down when they had to make budget cuts.

That meant the flow of advanced reader's copies for YA novels got cut off. I've been waiting for the newest novels by my favorite authors to come out just like everybody else ever since then. But now that I'm working at Full Circle Books, I'll have access to advanced reader's copies once more!

Needless to say, I'm thrilled.

I picked out three titles the last time I worked: Every Day by David Levithan, which actually came out last month, Speed of Light by Amber Kizer, which comes out this November, and Mystic City by Theo Lawrence, which comes out this October (a.k.a. tomorrow).

I'll be reading Mystic City as quickly as I can (which means I really need to finish R. L. Stine's Temptation) and post a review shortly there-after. I'll do the same with Speed of Light.

I plan on reviewing Every Day last, since it's already hit the shelves.

My goal is to do one book review for a book debuting in the next month from now on. If you have any requests, let me know! I can't predict which advanced reader's copies Full Circle will get, but if I do see a title you're interested in, I'll be sure to grab it.

So what books are you interested in seeing a review for?


There's the cover of Every Day. Pretty cool, no?


Friday, September 28, 2012

Have you seen Misfits?



Erin York Reviews Misfits, a British sci-fi comedy/drama

Great news for fans of The Fades and Doctor Who!

Misfits,a dark comedy about delinquent teens with superpowers will not only start its fourth season in Britain, but will also come to America.

So what’s Misfits all about? In season one, we’re introduced to a group of six teenagers who are given community service for various criminal activities. On their first day, they’re caught in a strange storm—one that gives them superpowers. This group of teens bands together to protect those they love and to cover up those that they accidentally murder.

Seasons two and three introduce new characters and new plot twists. They find they’re able to trade their powers for new ones. They battle zombies and this strange boy whose power allows him to manipulate the milk in people’s bodies (strangling them with the string cheese they ate for a snack basically). We also say goodbye to one of the most beloved characters—the protagonist in season one, if you will—but the show is STILL worth watching.

I can’t wait to see Britain’s fourth season, and I’m looking forward to the American version as well. If you’re interested, you can find the series on Hulu or you can buy the DVD. Catch up on the eps, so you’ll be ready for the new seasons with me!

If you’ve already seen Misfits, what were your thoughts? All of us at FoF would love to hear them!

See the original post by me on A Feast of Fantasy Blog. And check out my co-bloggers' past posts.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Hump Day

I am so blessed to be working three different jobs. Rose State hired me to work in the tutoring center and the testing center. Full Circle hired me to sell the project of the gods--books. I love all the new people I've met. My bosses are kind, understanding, and confident in their knowledge. My co-workers are helpful and super sweet. One at Full Circle even gave me a hug on my first day there. Another at Rose State shares a  lifeline strangely smiliar to mine. These are jobs I hope to hold as I live in Oklahoma this year and through my grad school program.

Thanks to these people and my wonderful friends here--especially Sabrina Fish and Angela Archer--OKC is turning into home.

Thanks for hanging in there with me, everyone! And encouraging me to do what I love most.

Now, back to that novel I'm writing...How's everyone else's writing going? Have you made progress this first week of fall?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Hi, Health. How are you?

It'd been three months since I last visited my doctor. For those of you who knew I got sick last year--like reeeeallly sick--that's a miracle in-and-of-itself. And even better, everything checked out. The physical therapy I'm receiving seems to be helping my body learn how to turn its muscles "off."

I've been waiting for about a year and a half to hear this kind of news. The progress is slow, but good. That's more than I could ask for.

Add this to settling into Oklahoma City with two jobs, two great writers groups (with officer positions), mornings to work on my book, and friends that feel like family, and you've got one happy Erin.

Oh, and if you read yesterday's blogpost, I'd like to update my progress on R. L. Stine's Temptation. I got to a zombie. So I'm changing my verdict. Dead people = much better than vampires.

How is everyone in the blog world doing, health-wise? And reading wise? Have any of you read Gone Girl? I'm planning on seeing if Full Circle Books has an extra copy I can check out this Friday...

Monday, September 24, 2012

What is Horror Anymore?

I'm reading R. L. Stine's new YA horror novel, Temptation. Frankly, I'm finding it less than horrific. The general plot line is ancient vampires (who sound more like depressed teenagers) make a bet to turn two humans into vampires by summer's end. Whoever completes the task first, wins. The vampires call blood "nectar," which made me laugh out loud. The book seems to lack elements of suspense, and I can't seem to stop myself from editing wordy sentences.

Don't get me wrong. I LOVE Stine's writing. Goosebumps comprised about a fourth of my childhood reading time--I couldn't get enough of those creepy, chill-raising books. And I can't WAIT to read Red Rain, his first adult horror novel. So...is it just me? Am I growing up? Is writing horror myself alerting me to the tricks the genre and spoiling the suspense? Or are vampires just so totally overdone at this point that any book concerning them makes me roll my eyes.

I'm about halfway through Temptation. I've blown past the first death and hardly blinked at it. But I'll save my final verdict on the novel for the last page.

Have you read R. L. Stine's new horror novel? What were your thoughts on it? And what are your thoughts on the horror genre in general?


Saturday, September 22, 2012

My Life is Words

Since I could hold a crayon and write my ABC's, I've been telling stories. Now I'm planning on going to the University of Oklahoma's graduate school of professional writing for my MPW. I feel so fancy saying I'm about to become a graduate student. And I feel even fancier saying that I won't be defending a moderate length thesis at the end of my two-year program, I'll be arguing the merits of an entire novel I have written.

OU's school of PW has an amazing reputation. They have faculty who've published hundreds of books in combination, including Mel Odom, who, himself, has published over 150 novels. They have students like Jim Butcher who've gone on to have stunningly successful writing careers--AND 100 percent of their PhD students have found employment either before graduating or just after graduating.

Am I excited? You bet. I wish I didn't have to wait until next fall to apply (next fall, they're awarding full graduate tuition waivers ]through assistance-ships], and I'm definitely applying for those). The building is beautiful. Everyone was friendly. And I think my work will be a perfect match for the subjects they center around most.

Undergrad was fun. But this, this MPW program at OU...It's where I belong.

Wish me luck as I work on piecing together my application. Do you have any graduate program stories you'd like to share? Any advice? I'd love to hear it.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Monstrous Monday--by Tim Brannan

Thank you, Tim Brannan, for introducing me to the world of Blogfests and Bloghops. Thanks also for having such an impressive blog. You inspire me.

Now, for all you fantasy writers out there. Tim is doing something extra special this year for Halloween. Check out the info below and become a part of MONSTROUS MONDAY.

The rules are simple.

  1. Sign up below
  2. Grab a button and link back to Tim's site and mine
  3. Post your Monster on Monday October 29th 2012
 What kind of Monster?  Well I'm going to be posting about monsters in my YA novel. But you can do whatever you want. For example, Tim's doing monster stats.
 
Here are some buttons/banners. They're really beautiful, aren't they?







Right-click on the picture you want and re-size as needed.
Please link back to http://timbrannan.blogspot.com/ (and you can link to me, too, if you'd like. http://erinyorkauthor.blogspot.com/.

You can sign up here now.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Genre Favorites Blogfest, September 17, 2012 (Yes, I'm late)

 

Alex J. Cavanaugh (You can access his blog here), also known as Ninja Captain Alex hosted a super cool blogfest this past Monday. In my defense, I missed the actual date because it was my 23rd birthday, and I was starting two new jobs. 

Here's a little bit of info on the blog challenge itself: 

Genre Favorites Blogfest, September 17, 2012
One blogfest, four favorites!
List your favorite genre of:
Movie
Music
Books
And a guilty pleasure genre from any of the three categories!
My favorite genre of movie: Fantasy, without a doubt. Here are my top five fav. fantasy movies: 1) Merlin (yes, the Hallmark version) 2) All the Shrek movies 3) The first LOR movie 4) The Mists of Avalon 5) A Knight's Tale. And I could have listed so many more.
My favorite genre of Music: Post-Rock! I love God is an Astronaut. In my opinion, one of the absolute best bands out there.
My favorite genre of Books: YA, mostly fantasy. I'm reading Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore right now. And my own book falls under the YA urban fantasy/horror umbrella.
My guilty pleasure genre for books: Ann Rice's Sleeping Beauty trilogy. Yes, it's erotica (blush), but it's extremely well-written, if not extremely realistic. I definitely recommend it.

Upcoming Blogfests:

    Showcase your favorite monster facts or the monster from your novel during this blogfest.

Monday, September 10, 2012

For Those of You Who Didn't Know...

This coming weekend is the weekend of the Rose State College Writing Short Course. Whoo-hoo! Conference time!

And at this one, I not only get to attend, I also get to present (along with my fabulous friends and fellow writers Sabrina Fish and Tom Barczak) on my second favorite topic: Social Media for Authors.

Rose State has an INCREDIBLE line up of best-selling authors (like William Bernhardt and Phillip Margolin), agents (like Melissa Flashman from Trident Media), and more. Whether you're a poet, a screenplay writer, or novelist, or nonfiction writer, they've got it covered.

I feel honored to be presenting with such esteemed faculty and look forward to attending all the sessions that I can. If you haven't signed up, but want to come to the best new conference in the Midwest, there's still time. Visit the Rose State College website. I've made it easy for you. The link I posted will whisk you to the Short Course page.

Join us--It's only 99 bucks. We'd love to have you.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Interview with Angie Fox

For those of you who follow my posts on collaborative blog, A Feast of Fantasy, you've already seen my interview with best-selling author Angie Fox. For everyone else, I thought I'd post it again on my own blog.

***

Hey, Everybody! I got lucky enough that a favorite author of mine agreed to be interviewed for this week’s FoF post. Welcome Angie Fox, New York Times Bestselling author of The Accidental Demon Slayer series. Angie’s also got a hot new title coming out in 2013 called Immortally Embraced. If you click on the photo above, you’ll be whisked to a sneak preview of chapter one.

Thanks so much, Angie, for answering my questions. I hope you all enjoy the interview as much as I did.

Can you tell me a little bit about the books you’ve published (and have forthcoming, like Immortally Yours)? Sure. I write the Accidental Demon Slayer series, about a preschool teacher who finds out she’s a demon slayer. She has to run off with her grandma’s gang of biker witches in order to learn the ropes, so to speak. As you can guess, there is a lot of humor that series.
I’m also getting ready to launch a brand new series about a group of paranormal MASH surgeons. Think of the TV show M*A*S*H, only with a paranormal twist. The heroine is a thoracic surgeon. She has a hidden ability that she uses to save lives, but it also gets her in a lot of trouble. The first book, Immortally Yours, comes out from St. Martin’s Press this month.
What messages do you strive to send your readers?  That obstacles can be overcome, life is mean to be lived, and sometimes it takes a good old fashioned demon invasion to remind you what is truly important.
What is your writing process like?I wish it were classy, but here goes: pour a Diet Coke with lots of ice. Open manuscript. Decide I need Triscuits and Laughing Cow cheese in order to be creative. Read and tweak work from the day before. Get more Diet Coke and perhaps a few more Triscuits – who needs to count calories when the fate of the world is at stake? Write like a mad woman for about two or three hours.
I’m not one of those writers who can just turn it on and off. I have to ease into the story and get a feel for what needs to happen next. I know I’m on the right track when things start happening that surprise even me – like when dogs start talking, my demon slayer is attacked by Frozen Underwear spells or when her sexy griffin boyfriend decides to take things into his own hands. I really like it when that happens.
Have you ever disliked a piece of your writing?All the time. It’s a normal process of honing those early drafts. It’s funny because I always forget about that part until I’m going through it. I’ll call up my critique partner and start telling her how whatever I’m working on at that moment doesn’t compare to my other published work. She’ll gently remind me that it is a draft and that you can’t expect and early draft to look like a finished, polished book. I know that. I do. But it is so easy to forget while trying to get words onto the page. And for the record, when my critique partner calls me with the same issue, I get to say it back. We’re both multi-published and it never changes.
What is your best piece of advice for aspiring writers?Make the story big. I had an agent tell me that if I wanted to sell, my characters had to take bigger chances, have more to risk and lose. It’s easy to say, but a hard thing for a writer to do. It’s a vulnerable, risky place to be. I knew The Accidental Demon Slayer was big enough when instead of ending my writing sessions thinking, “I hope that’s good enough to impress an editor.” I ended them thinking, “No. I didn’t not just write that. I did not just make my character defend herself with a toilet brush and a can of Purple Prairie Clover air freshener.”
How did you know you were meant to be a writer? I don’t know if there was ever one moment when I thought I was meant to be a writer. I’ve just always loved books. As a reader, I can go through three to five books a week. Somewhere along the line, I decided I wanted to try writing one of my own. Seven years (and a lot of unpublished manuscripts) later, I made my first sale.
How do you deal with bad reviews?I keep in mind something I heard long ago at a writer’s conference, before I was even published: Books are like ice cream. Not everybody is going to like the same flavor. You may make the best Rocky Road out there, but if someone doesn’t like that flavor, you’re not going to please them. That’s okay. You don’t need to please everyone. The people who like what you do and love how you do it will appreciate your work.
And if a bad review still bugs me, I’ll go onto Amazon.com and check out reviews for some of my favorite books – books that gripped me and amazed me. Books I loved. Then I read the one-star reviews from people who hated those books. And I figure if writers I admire, writers I’d like to be, people like Anne Rice, Agatha Christie and Charlaine Harris can’t please everyone all the time, why should I expect it?
Can you give me some of your favorite book titles? And why are those your favorites?  I’m one of those people who always has a book on hand. Right now, I’m addicted to the Southern Vampires series by Charlaine Harris. I like Jim Butcher’s Dresden series about a modern-day wizard. I’d also recommend the Amelia Peabody mystery series by Elizabeth Peters. It follows a family of British Egyptologists in the late 1800’s. The excavations are as interesting as the mysteries. I also enjoy single title books by authors like Philippa Gregory (loved The Virgin’s Lover especially), Barbara Michaels (a favorite is Greygallows) and Agatha Christie (my favorite is They Came to Baghdad). And I skipped class for an entire week in college to read Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire series straight through.
Can you share an exclusive sneak-peek of Immortally Yours with our readers here on A Feast of Fantasy? Sure. You can check out the first chapter of the new book at my website: www.angiefox.com.
***

Angie Fox is the New York Times bestselling author of several books about vampires, werewolves and things that go bump in the night. She is best known for her Accidental Demon Slayer urban fantasy series. She is also writing a series about a group of paranormal M*A*S*H surgeons. The first book in the Monster MASH trilogy, titled Immortally Yours, is due out from St. Martin’s Press this month. Angie has also contributed to several short story collections and will be releasing the fifth book in the Accidental Demon Slayer series in January of 2013.

Hey, Everybody! I got lucky enough that a favorite author of mine agreed to be interviewed for this week’s FoF post. Welcome Angie Fox, New York Times Bestselling author of The Accidental Demon Slayer series. Angie’s also got a hot new title coming out in 2013 called Immortally Embraced. If you click on the photo above, you’ll be whisked to a sneak preview of chapter one.
Thanks so much, Angie, for answering my questions. I hope you all enjoy the interview as much as I did.

Can you tell me a little bit about the books you’ve published (and have forthcoming, like Immortally Yours)? Sure. I write the Accidental Demon Slayer series, about a preschool teacher who finds out she’s a demon slayer. She has to run off with her grandma’s gang of biker witches in order to learn the ropes, so to speak. As you can guess, there is a lot of humor that series.
I’m also getting ready to launch a brand new series about a group of paranormal MASH surgeons. Think of the TV show M*A*S*H, only with a paranormal twist. The heroine is a thoracic surgeon. She has a hidden ability that she uses to save lives, but it also gets her in a lot of trouble. The first book, Immortally Yours, comes out from St. Martin’s Press this month.

What messages do you strive to send your readers?  That obstacles can be overcome, life is mean to be lived, and sometimes it takes a good old fashioned demon invasion to remind you what is truly important.

What is your writing process like?I wish it were classy, but here goes: pour a Diet Coke with lots of ice. Open manuscript. Decide I need Triscuits and Laughing Cow cheese in order to be creative. Read and tweak work from the day before. Get more Diet Coke and perhaps a few more Triscuits – who needs to count calories when the fate of the world is at stake? Write like a mad woman for about two or three hours.
I’m not one of those writers who can just turn it on and off. I have to ease into the story and get a feel for what needs to happen next. I know I’m on the right track when things start happening that surprise even me – like when dogs start talking, my demon slayer is attacked by Frozen Underwear spells or when her sexy griffin boyfriend decides to take things into his own hands. I really like it when that happens.

Have you ever disliked a piece of your writing?All the time. It’s a normal process of honing those early drafts. It’s funny because I always forget about that part until I’m going through it. I’ll call up my critique partner and start telling her how whatever I’m working on at that moment doesn’t compare to my other published work. She’ll gently remind me that it is a draft and that you can’t expect and early draft to look like a finished, polished book. I know that. I do. But it is so easy to forget while trying to get words onto the page. And for the record, when my critique partner calls me with the same issue, I get to say it back. We’re both multi-published and it never changes.

What is your best piece of advice for aspiring writers?Make the story big. I had an agent tell me that if I wanted to sell, my characters had to take bigger chances, have more to risk and lose. It’s easy to say, but a hard thing for a writer to do. It’s a vulnerable, risky place to be. I knew The Accidental Demon Slayer was big enough when instead of ending my writing sessions thinking, “I hope that’s good enough to impress an editor.” I ended them thinking, “No. I didn’t not just write that. I did not just make my character defend herself with a toilet brush and a can of Purple Prairie Clover air freshener.”

How did you know you were meant to be a writer? I don’t know if there was ever one moment when I thought I was meant to be a writer. I’ve just always loved books. As a reader, I can go through three to five books a week. Somewhere along the line, I decided I wanted to try writing one of my own. Seven years (and a lot of unpublished manuscripts) later, I made my first sale.

How do you deal with bad reviews?I keep in mind something I heard long ago at a writer’s conference, before I was even published: Books are like ice cream. Not everybody is going to like the same flavor. You may make the best Rocky Road out there, but if someone doesn’t like that flavor, you’re not going to please them. That’s okay. You don’t need to please everyone. The people who like what you do and love how you do it will appreciate your work.
And if a bad review still bugs me, I’ll go onto Amazon.com and check out reviews for some of my favorite books – books that gripped me and amazed me. Books I loved. Then I read the one-star reviews from people who hated those books. And I figure if writers I admire, writers I’d like to be, people like Anne Rice, Agatha Christie and Charlaine Harris can’t please everyone all the time, why should I expect it?

Can you give me some of your favorite book titles? And why are those your favorites?  I’m one of those people who always has a book on hand. Right now, I’m addicted to the Southern Vampires series by Charlaine Harris. I like Jim Butcher’s Dresden series about a modern-day wizard. I’d also recommend the Amelia Peabody mystery series by Elizabeth Peters. It follows a family of British Egyptologists in the late 1800’s. The excavations are as interesting as the mysteries. I also enjoy single title books by authors like Philippa Gregory (loved The Virgin’s Lover especially), Barbara Michaels (a favorite is Greygallows) and Agatha Christie (my favorite is They Came to Baghdad). And I skipped class for an entire week in college to read Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire series straight through.

Can you share an exclusive sneak-peek of Immortally Yours with our readers here? Sure. You can check out the first chapter of the new book at my website: www.angiefox.com.


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I hoped you enjoyed her answers as much as I did! See you next time.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

I may not be brilliant today, but I'm writing anyway

I'm in a haze of good vibes. Today I visited Rose State College in Midwest City. I spoke with the Learning Center coordinator there and with the head of testing. I'd sent in an application to work in that department less than a week ago, and--I Got the Job!

Since I moved to OKC, I've been sending out job applications. And finally I hooked one, or rather, they hooked me. The position, at this point, is for part time. But with the work I do online and with my own writing, that's perfectly fine with me. Besides, it should make juggling graduate school and work easier next fall.

I also woke up to two wonderful nominations from fellow bloggers. Dianna Graveman and Camille Subramanium--both excellent writers and friends--gave me the Reader Appreciation Award. This award is cycling around the blog community right now. I'm proud to be a part of it.

I'm not as into the blogging community as I WANT to be, but this award gives me the opportunity to give back to those friends that I am lucky enough to have. The following is a list of ten blogs that I think are more than worth reading, that are worth the Reader Appreciation Award.


1) Camille Subramanium--A Day in My Life
2) Dianna Graveman--Write in the Midwest
3) Sabrina A Fish--Sabrina's Writing Reflections
4) Angela Archer--Author Angela Christina Archer
5) Amanda Doty--Pens Like Fire, Needles Like Wind
6) Steve Murphy--Murphy's Pondering Tree
7) Lela Davidson--After the Bubbly
8) Jere Ellison--Jere Ellison (I'm actually linking you to his Facebook, where he uses Notes like a blog)
9) Linda Apple--Linda C. Apple (Note: She's moving this blog to WordPress very soon.)
10) Patty Stith--Claire Croxton Romance Author


These ten people have stuck by me as I've moved through my own writing career. And they've inspired and enthralled me with their own achievements and writing.

Please, please, please spread the good karma around and take a look at these fantastic blogs. And buy all their books. And tell all your friends about them.

Can you tell I'm in a lovey-dovey mood today?

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Checking Off the To-Do List

I've had on my to-do list "revamp blog" for about forever and a day. But I always seemed to have better, more important things on the list as well. Today it's been rainy and cold (for an Oklahoma summer anyway), so I sat my butt in my chair, took a deep breath, and dove in.

ERIN YORK: Author and Editor may not be perfect. May never reach a state of perfection. But it's better than it was yesterday when weird flames were eating my profile picture's face. Don't ask me how THAT happened.

I got my freaky background image from a free blogger template provider called Jelly Pages. They are absolutely amazing, so be sure to click on the link. They provide all kinds of templates, so even if you aren't a wannabe evil genius like me, you're still sure to find something.

In other news, the illustrious Carolyn Wall spoke to my writing group, OCWI, today about forming critique groups. Her talk made me anxious for my own critique group's meeting, which will be coming up on August 28th. I've already sent out my twenty pages like a good girl. But have I started reading everyone else's work? Nooo...

While I've been working on the blog today, I've been listening to The Album Leaf, one of my favorite music groups. Check them out when you're bored of Coldplay. I've also had the company of green tea and a buzzing cell phone (one of my bud's got a new number), so whoever says writing and all the things that go with it makes for lonesome work--well, they lied.

I'm reading Kristin Cashore's second novel, FIRE, and I'm loving it. It's provided worlds of inspiration for my own book, which is going amazingly well (now that it has a sense of direction--thank you, Inciting Incident revision). If I keep zooming through, twenty-five pages a day, I'll be done by the end of the month.

But my goal for being done with my YA horror novel, DEAD DOLL, (the first in a morbid series) is September 15, two days before my birthday. And, yes, it will be done by then. No ifs, ands, or buts. I'll take your well-wishes though because I'll be pitching it to an agent at Trident Media.

More news to come. Thanks for stopping by and be sure to say hi.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Write War #4

Today, I plunked my butt down at my desk and said, "Okay, Self, this is the day where you work on your submissions to the 2012 OWFI contest. For real."

Yes, I've been putting it off. There's something appealing and dangerous about re-reading pieces you wrote months ago. At times, I surprise myself at the eloquence. Other times...not so much.

But the OWFI contest deadline is February first, and I really can't put the task off any longer. Not with the semester, work, and writerly duties restarting. I've decided to enter four categories this year. Two aren't a problem. I know exactly what I'm entering and exactly how much little effort I'll be putting into rewrites.

As for the poetry entries, that decision is always far harder. I have to wade through hundreds of documents. Most that deserve to be deleted (but a mother doesn't do that to her babies). The process often turns into something that makes me wish I had a split personality--the other being a sensible, objective, and patient reader who would scan each perspective poem and come up with the perfect possibilities.

But I'm not that lucky.

While I searched through documents, I recalled a phone conversation I'd recently had with a good friend and fellow writer, Sabrina Fish. Some time ago, Sabrina nailed down her entries. She paid her dues. She generally acted like a responsible, self-motivated writer who sets her own schedule and sticks to it.

And she suddenly became my inspiration.

I didn't make new year's resolutions for 2012. Mostly because I forgot about drumming up a list. But being better at my job has become one.

Writers are lucky. Nobody hovers over your desk, demanding you have some document on his/her desk by five pm. But you have to set your own deadlines. And you have to stick to them.

Preferably, you should make your personal deadlines for an earlier date than others might expect. That's what I'm now doing with my OWFI contest entries. I'm sending them (and my belated dues) out this weekend. I promise.

Then, I can move onto doing what this job's actually all about. Writing.

Thanks, Sabrina! You're the best.
Erin

P.S. The poems I chose were two I wrote last night. So much for doc. hunting!