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Showing posts from September, 2011

A Llama/Squirrel Alliance?

Today's blog is brought to you by Shawna Thomas. Her book, ALTERED DESTINY, was just released from Carina Press.





Writing a blog hurts my brain. No, it really does. I'm not one of those naturally outgoing,effervescent people who can talk to anyone about anything. Writing a blog post, especially a guest blog post, is like hosting a party. Now I love to bake, organize and decorate. I'll even serve with a happy heart, but getting the conversations going?


So not me.

So guest blogging on CJ's blog is like hosting a party for Ivana Trump's friends. You know, they're kinda used to the best. So, just now, I sat down to write this post and I told myself. Okay, Shawna. Be clever. Be witty. Be charming.

And my brain started to hurt.

My life is kinda boring: Work, kids, write, husband, kids, clean, cook, repeat. Sometimes I even sleep.

So what do I write about? Hum dee dee...There was this squirrel war I witnessed while walking home from school the other day.





That was int…

Taking Risks

I've been thinking a lot lately about risks. Being an artist comes with risk, whether you're a writer or your art takes a different form. You risk rejection. You risk displeasure. You risk success. You risk missing the heart of your vision. You risk hitting the heart of your vision, and then having to send it out to others who don't look at things through your eyes.

Risk is a terrifying thing.

It's also the heartblood of great art.

Is it risky to sit down and put words to a page? Put brush to canvas? Put yourself into the next role you play on stage? Yes. But riskier still, and far more rewarding, is pushing yourself beyond the conventions of your art. Leaving behind the steady lines you've been coloring inside because that's what others are doing, so that must be your path too. Looking that huge, awesome, completely terrifying idea straight in the face and saying "Bring it."

Those are the risks that blaze paths.

Those are the moments that lead to g…

An Illustration

This is my brain.





This is my brain on cookies.







Any questions?

Writing Projects Galore!

It's been a long time since I posted any sort of writing project update. Mostly because I've been super busy writing. =D But there's a lot going on, so here's the scoop:

1. DEFIANCE: I've finished 3 rounds of edits and would happily make out with the manuscript in public given half the chance. I'm very proud of it. It is truly the best I'm capable of doing. I have copy edits next, and then page proofs, and then *cue stomach flip* ARCs go out to reviewers. Oh, and I'll be getting my cover fairly soon, though I don't know how soon they'll let me share it.

2. Synopsis Workshop Handouts: I've revamped my synopsis workshop handouts so that they will effectively answer all pressing questions and break down the entire process into small, manageable steps. It's like having a pro guide you carefully through the process, helping you keep your sanity and turn out an amazing synopsis at the same time. The handout packet is now for sale on my worksh…

PWNED!

1. I laughed so hard at the above pic, I nearly compromised my ability to fully control my bladder.

2. Sometimes, I think I'm the weirdest person I know.

3. But someone else always comes along and disabuses me of that notion.

4. Not YOU, of course. Never you.

5. But probably the person sitting on your right.

6. At this point, I should probably make a graceful transition like "Speaking of sitting on your right" to segue into my next bit, but ... that isn't going to happen.

7. In my ongoing quest to become the Girl Who Has Snorted The Worst Collection Of Unlikely Items (Heck, YES, there's an award for that. Isn't there? NO?? Well, someone better get right ON that situation because I am earning this.), I've abused my sinuses with chunks of bread pudding (note: raisins burn), chicken nugget (just say no to clucky), diet Coke (the new sinus douche), and most recently cinnamon gum (feeeeeel the burn) and water from an over-achiever of a dental hygienist's h…

Winner of CLAIRE DE LUNE and NOCTURNE

Thank you to all who entered the giveaway for a signed set of Christine Johnson's books! (And thank you Christine for such a fun guest blog post!) As always, I used random.org to choose the winner. And the lucky winner is:

Amanda
Congratulations, Amanda! You will receive a confirmation email from me shortly. Happy reading!


Winner of THE GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS

Thank you to all who entered to win Rae Carson's THE GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS. As always, I used random.org to choose the winner. And the lucky winner is

grlinthestacks
Congratulations! You will receive a confirmation email from me shortly. Enjoy reading your new book!

Winner of POSSESS!

Thank you to all who entered the giveaway for Gretchen McNeil's POSSESS! As always, I used random.org to pick the winner. And the lucky winner is

 Jessi Knite
Congratulations, Jessi! You will receive a confirmation email from me shortly. Enjoy your book!

Zombie Body Parts For The Win!

1. As you can see from the pic above, Johanna is pretty territorial about her milk.

2. Either that, or she's demanding cookies.

3. It's been a while since I did a list.

4. Mostly because I had some awesome giveaways to post last week! Today is the last day to enter the giveaway for Rae Carson's GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS and Gretchen McNeil's POSSESS so don't miss out on a chance to win these fabulous books!

5. Starshine has decided to write a book. He asked me what he needed to do before starting, and we discussed building characters and thinking through major plot points.

6. He now has a notepad and is filling it with facts about his main characters. It's fun to see his eyes light up as he comes to tell me "Hey, Mom. I just figured out this character is afraid of rodents!" or "This character was in foster care." because I understand completely how the little pieces that make up a character slowly find their way into your brain and become a f…

Idea Mosquitos

Today's post is brought to you by the lovely and talented Christine Johnson. Be sure to read through to the end to find out a) how Christine comes up with her amazing ideas and b) how you can win a set of signed books!



One of the questions I get asked most often is “Where do you get your ideas?” or “Where did you get the idea for CLAIRE DE LUNE/NOCTURNE/THE GATHERING DARK/INSERT NEW IDEA HERE.” I usually come up with some sort of answer, but here’s the real one. Finally. And then I may not answer this question ever again.


I DON’T FREAKING KNOW. I don’t *know* where the ideas come from. This is just the way I am. It’s the way my brain works. There are a thousand ideas in my head all the time. And it’s not like being in a floaty beautiful cloud of butterflies that turn the grey, bleak world into a living stained glass window. It’s much more like living with a constant halo of mosquitos who are so distracting and annoying that I miss my exit on the Interstate or forget to buy apple ju…

Interview with Rae Carson

I met Rae last year when she signed with Holly. I have a soft spot in my heart for all of my agent-mates, but when I heard about Rae's book, I couldn't wait to get my hands on it--for reasons that had nothing to do with our agent and everything to do with how amazing GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS really is. From the vivid, compelling world, to the captivating story of one girl's struggle to rise to the greatness everyone expects from her, this is a book you don't want to miss! Here's a peek:

Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness.



Elisa is the chosen one.


But she is also the younger of two princesses, the one who has never done anything remarkable. She can’t see how she ever will.


Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king—a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs the chosen one, not a failure of a princess.


And he’s not the only one who seeks her. Savage enemies seething with dark magic are huntin…

Interview with Gretchen McNeil

I met Gretchen McNeil after I signed with Harper Collins because she and I share an editor. (Shout out to the amazing, insightful, hilarious Kristin Daly Rens!) Kristin sent me a "Welcome to Balzer + Bray" box of books. Included in that box was an ARC of Gretchen's POSSESS. I read the synopsis for the book and immediately snatched it up to read! POSSESS is intense and atmospheric. It's set in San Francisco, and I appreciated how vivid and real it felt. Also, I don't mind telling you there is a scene in this book that disturbed me so much, I have no idea how I'll ever face going into a doll shop again. Here's a look at POSSESS:



See what I mean? When I asked Gretchen if she'd like to come on the blog, she immediately decided to take on the Spork of Doom. (I guess when you write about freaky demons and nasty conspiracies, a megalomaniac eating utensil doesn't seem quite so scary.) Let's meet today's guests.






Now that you know who's who, i…

Winner of the Lisa Mantchev Giveaway!

Thank you to all who entered the giveaway for a signed copy of Lisa Mantchev's EYES LIKE STARS and PERCHANCE TO DREAM plus some fun book swag! As always, I used random.org to choose the winner. And the lucky winner is:

Lesli Lytle
Congratulations, Lesli! You will receive a confirmation email from me shortly. Enjoy your books!
If you didn't win this time, don't worry. I have three amazing authors lined up for September with plenty of chances to win awesome books!