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.


***

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