Thursday, February 27, 2014

Take a Workshop & Maybe Win a Book

There are exciting developments in our current adoption process (Yay!) that I can't detail just yet but will be able to discuss online soon. In the meantime, we are suddenly in the position of needing to quickly raise an orphanage fee and some travel money.

Which means I'd love to really bump up the registration numbers in my upcoming workshops. And what better way to do that than to do a fun giveaway?

*From today until Monday, March 3 I will put everyone who registers for one of my workshops into a drawing to win your choice of a signed copy of Defiance, Deception, or a Deliverance ARC.

* There will be THREE winners.

*You will get an entry for each workshop you register for. Already registered? Tell a friend!

*If you refer a friend (have them use your name in the Notes to Seller section of the Paypal registration form.), you will get an extra entry!

Why should you take a workshop from me? 

*Because I have eighteen years of teaching experience, the last five of which have been devoted to teaching query writing, synopsis writing, book promotion, and the craft of writing a novel that sells.

*Because I keep my workshops as affordable as possible.

*Because my content is applicable to brand new writers as well as to those who've been doing this for years.

*Because I travel to present workshops at conferences and writing seminars, but in my online workshops I'm able to give you one-on-one assistance.

*Because if you've been on the fence about taking a workshop, now you get the satisfaction of knowing your fee helped bring my daughter home.

*Because if you're stuck, I can help you.

*Because my workshops help my writers get results.

I'm offering my popular Query Writing 101 workshop (including an in-depth critique), my How to Write a Killer Synopsis, and my intense Writer's Boot Camp. For workshop descriptions, pricing, and registration please visit this site.

Anyone who registers or refers a friend between now and 8 pm CST March 3rd will go into the drawing. The drawing is open internationally. Workshops must be taken during the specified time period.

Thank you in advance for helping me publicize this and for registering, if you choose to do so. You rock!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Writing Update - February 2014

Wow, it's been a really long time since I wrote one of these! Most of that can be chalked up to mental exhaustion. Writing a trilogy (especially one set in a post-apocalyptic fantasy world where the plot refuses to happen for less than 120k words) is an excellent recipe for creative fatigue. I'm not sure I'm completely recovered yet, and a lot of that has to do with how much rewriting I did for both DECEPTION and DELIVERANCE.

Sometimes when I tell people I rewrote DECEPTION five and a half times in six months and that I rewrote Logan's half of DELIVERANCE three times, they look at me with something like shock and dismay. I think there's an assumption that if you're good enough to be published then you're good enough to churn out near perfect drafts the first or second time around. This is not the case. Not for me and not for any of my published friends. Rewriting is a necessary part of my craft. If drafting is me pulling all the ingredients out of the pantry and laying them all over the kitchen counter, then rewriting is refining the measurements, figuring out in which order the ingredients need to be used, and doing a few taste tests with my editor before figuring out exactly what seasoning I'm still missing.

All the rewriting, the touring, the personal upheaval in my non-publishing life ... all of that combined to make me feel like I was scraping the nearly-bare walls of my creative well at the end of working on DELIVERANCE, but I'm really proud of the book. I'm excited to put it in my readers' hands. I think I did Logan and Rachel justice. I think I did the Commander, Quinn, Willow, Frankie, Ian, and others justice too. I hope my faithful readers feel satisfied and well-filled once they finish reading.

And yes, I've heard your requests for a sneak peek at DELIVERANCE, and that is coming soon-ish. Those of you who subscribe to my newsletter have already read chapter one ... :)

So now that I've put the trilogy to bed, it's time to update you on the other projects I'm currently working on. Here's what is currently in the works:

1. OUTCAST: I'm finishing edits on Quinn's prequel story this week. I love this small glimpse into Quinn and Willow's world before everything they knew fell apart.

2. Mystery Project #1 (aka TSQ): I'm in the midst of drafting a dark, epic fantasy adventure complete with a wicked queen, a thief of a princess adept at parkour, a courageous guardsman with an agenda that could be his death sentence, and a prince trapped by a contract that will destroy him even while it saves the country he loves. This project is YA.

3. Mystery Project #2 (aka CS. Also aka Something Hinky on the Mountain, but my agent won't let me keep that title.): I'm working on revising an adult urban fantasy series that will actually be aged down to new adult (college age). Think Supernatural meets I Love Lucy set in a small mountain town in eastern Tennessee.

I have a couple of other projects that are in various stages of development but aren't ready to be drafted yet. It's always fun to be building playlists, working on synopses, and letting characters play around in my head without the commitment of needing to turn it into a full blown story yet.

Which project are you most looking forward to reading?

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Ira Glass's Advice

If you're new to creating, or if you've been at it for a while and you're discouraged, take two minutes to watch this. It might be exactly what you need.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Spring Online Writing Workshop Schedule

I'm excited to offer three of my most popular workshops this spring!

*Query Writing 101: Everything you need to know to write a stellar query letter and find the right literary agent for you. Includes one in-depth critique of your query.

*How to Write a Killer Synopsis: Dread synopsis writing? Not anymore. Learn the basics, what to include and what to leave out, how to format, and how to make your synopsis sound too interesting to resist.

*Writer's Boot Camp: A two week intensive course designed to immerse you in the craft of writing a compelling story. Includes lessons on pacing, subplots, backstory, plot structure, how to escalate conflict, and how to write a rough draft in seven weeks.

Go to my workshop site for info and pricing. All writers are welcome, regardless of genre, age, or where you are in your publishing journey!

YA Scavenger Hunt - Red Team

Welcome to YA Scavenger Hunt! This bi-annual event was first organized by author  Colleen Houck  as a way to give readers a c...