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.


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.


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?