Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Pre-Op Investigations

UPDATE!
If you do not see a * by your name, this means you have not filled out the preview #2 post. Also, some names have no genre selections. Please do so before the sign up closes.

Here is what I have so far. IF you do not see your name here, or if you haven't not sent in your genre, PLEASE let me know! Also, if your  name is here, but is only listed as a Category (YA, MG, etc.)  please let me know the genre you are most interested. If you are undecided until you see the WISH LISTS, just let me know that! Thanks! I'm so excited you all have joined. I hope we meet, and exceed, your expectations!


Nonfiction Inspirational
Debra Elliot*

Inspirational Romance
ChristinaLi*

Women's Fiction
Julie Luek*
Lanette*
Sara Cate* (Commercial)

Literary Fiction
Brianna Shrum*

Adult Urban Fantasy
Laura Hughes (w/crime thriller elements)*
Aldrea Alien*
T.J.*
Jennifer Shih*

Adult Urban Thriller
krysp*
Usman* (Supernatural)

NA (or ADULT) Fantasy
Gloria Sigountos*
Ellie Heller*

NA
Katie Teller*

YA
Beth*

YA Speculative Fiction
Natasha Hawkins*

YA Inspirational Fantasy
Katrina DeLallo*

YA and MG Inspirational
Audrey
Lynn Anne Bemis*

YA Contemporary
Joy Moore*
Rhiann Wynn-Nolet*

YA Historical (maybe adult-ish?)
Carrie-Anne*

YA Historical Fantasy
Debbie Maxwell Allen*

YA Historical Mystery
Connie Dowell*

YA Paranormal
Ellen Wrin*
Kimber Krochmal* (with romance elements)
Cristina*

YA Supernatural
Alys*

YA Dystopian
Brittney Woodson*

YA Sci-fi
Vikki*

YA Sci-fi/Fantasy
Lora*

YA Fantasy (Urban, too)
T. Drecker*
Prerna Pickett*
Mara Rae*
EndlessDestiny*
Annette Tremblay*
Heather Bryant*
Kathleen*
atleighbennet*
M. R. Buttars* (fantasy/paranormal)

Amanda Foody* (Gothic Fantasy and a Steampunk Fantasy)

MG Fantasy
Taurean Watkins*
Shauna* (action-adventure)
Kate* (Urban)

Robin Alexander
Charlie Eve Ryan
rose29
Ella
Ingrid
Mikki

*********************************************************************************

Workshops roster:

Beginners with ideas: 12

Middlers : 15

Editing: 38

Mentor: 26,  7?

Inspiration: 34

Query Synopsis and First Ten Pages


Operation Agent Ink Classes

Hey lovely gals and guys! Are you ready for Operation Agent Ink??

It's tomorrow!!

Okay, so firstly, let me say, if you are participating in NaNo this year, can you let me know? I signed up! YIKES!!! and I have no idea what Ia m doing. I got lost over there, so that's what I 'll be doing this afternoon. Trying to figure ever thing out!

Now, for the classes!

Here is how everything is going down. Classes will be sent out on Thursday's. Check-in will be on Monday. Check in's will be for asking questions or help with the assignment.

Now, assignments will not be like school work. They will be suggestions to improve your writing or to check you work for mistakes or gaps in character, plot or storyline.

Then, there will be help for editing.

Many have asked about mentoring and what all it involves. Mentoring will be done once a week in the form of a private email. You can ask questions, send pieces of your writing (up to two pages) or ask for help on something you are stuck on with your writing. This will not be a permanent situation. It's only for the workshop. If you have a great CP, feel free to ask them for help.

Classes that will be offered:

An Authors Voice and How to Find It

Point of View: Which Way are you Pointing?

Please Tell Me How to Show: Showing vs. Telling

Active Advice For Passive Writing

Characters That Are Alive

Setting and Description that are Vivid

Creating a World: World Building

Storytelling With Your Muse

Climbing Over the Wall: Writers Block Inspiration

Writing Your Novel in 30 Days

Editing for a Polished Manuscript

Your Submission Package

*****************

Each of the these classes will be distributed evenly throughout the next weeks.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

You can comment below with the classes you are most interested in joining. Because a couple of my helpers are no longer helping, it will help me organize the classes more, as I'll be taking on more lessons!

Looking forward to the month of November. I have 3 project going on this month!



Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Classes

Hey dolls!! And guys!!

I just wanted to let everyone know I've had a couple of teachers and agents opt out and one agent with a maybe confirmation.

I have some wish list items to post too!!

I'm sorry I didn't get the classes posted today, but the last minute drop outs left me scrabbling to revise and re-arrange. I'll post the new schedule in the morning along with the new wish lists. I've got some great ones for you!!

Book Tour with Bonnie: Nether Triology

Today, I have a special interview from Self Published author Bonnie Rae. She talks about her first two books and gives us her favorite writing tips.

Enjoy!!

1. What made you decide to self-publish?

With the Nether Trilogy I really wanted to learn the industry and be able to have my own say over the books. Also, so many publishers are moving towards digital publishing that it just made perfect sense to me. We are in a digital age and if I can share my stories with the world for a cheap price, and they enjoy them - I have succeeded.

2. Tell us about the road to self publishing!
It wasn't easy. Sure, anybody can slap a novel up on digital book sites now a days, but to do it right and be known as a credited author, that is a whole different ball game. I think the major thing is to approach the entire situation and process as professionally as possible. I hired a professional editor, professional cover artist, and had (and still do) all of my own self promoting. There is a lot of research involved in all of that. The road wasn't always easy, but in the end the product that turned into my novel was great.

3. If you had to do it over again, what would you do differently? Would you publish traditionally?
I would research my editing service personnel a lot better, and also read all of the fine print. I thought I was getting one thing and it turned out, I got something completely different. The first editor wasn't bad, but because I assumed I'd read everything, I didn't get what I initially wanted and the book suffered for that. Live and learn, but try not to make the mistake I did. Read the fine print. Know what you are getting for the price you are paying.

As far as traditionally publishing, I don't know. I am not completely turned off  by it. I mean it is every writer's dream to see their book published and on bookstore shelves. So, to say I would never attempt it would be a lie. I think it would depend on the story. With the Nether Trilogy, I knew right away I wanted to self-publish it. I wanted to learn the industry and get my name out there. If a story came a long and I was approached for representation I might consider it.

4. Can you tell us about your first book?
Nether Bound introduces us to Ava. She's living the teenage dream. Captain of the Cheerleader Squad, desired by every boy in her school, and basically on top of the social food chain. But underneath she is so broken and so vulnerable. Her family life is a mess. It paints the perfect picture of: Things aren't always as perfect as they seem. And after a tragic accident leaves her questioning everything she's ever known in life, her world literally spirals out of control. She is powerless to stop the forces that constantly tear her down. And when she does finally find the power to take a stand for herself and her family, it might be to late.

5. Okay, now, what about book two? Is it a stand alone, or should readers buy book 1 first?
It can be a stand alone, but I would highly recommend reading book one if you want the full story of who these characters were and why they are the way they are now.

6. Last, what is your favorite part of Nether Soul? You favorite character? Your favorite scene?
My favorite part of Nether Soul is the ending. I know that sounds funny, but I love how I ended it and really set it up for the third and final book. My favorite character is, and will always be, Ava. My favorite scene is during the masked ball Ava attends in the Nether Realm. She receives a very intriguing gift and I loved writing that scene.


Please write a little bit about you absolute best writing advice as it pertains to two things: 1. Writing a series and 2. Developing great characters.
When writing a series, if you know it is a series from the beginning of the idea I suggest story boarding out all three books. The story boards don't have to be in great detail at the start, but knowing the major events that take place in each book early on can help drastically. Of course, stories can change and that is okay, but at least you have some type of path to get you started.

Developing great characters. This might sound funny, but spending as much time with them as possible. In the beginning I do character sheets. It helps me sort of introduce them to me and it is a great reference to be able to look back on throughout the course of one book or several. My character sheets for series usually grow with the character in each new book. And by the end of any book I am so close to my characters, I'd almost swear they were real people. I just simply spend time with them. I listen when they talk (yes, I have voices in my head every day all day) and sometimes I even have conversations with them. Anyone who isn't my husband, family member, close friend, or other writer would think I needed to be locked up in the loony house. Take the time to get to know  your characters. You are, after all, going to be spending a lot of time with them. The better you get to know them, the easier they tend to develop throughout the story.

Thank you so much for having me today!

Bonnie Rae

Monday, October 29, 2012

Are you knocking on the right door?

When one door closes, open another.
When that door refuses to open, knock on another.
When that door is locked, you just have the wrong key.

There are 1000's of doors and there is one waiting to open FOR YOU:)

Opertion Agent Ink Going Live in THREE days:)

It's almost here, guys and dolls, and I can feel the excitement in the air!

Class roster will go up on the tomorrow!!

More agent wish lists have arrived and I'll be updating soon:)

Please, make sure you fill out the questionnaire on this post link: click here- PREVIEW #2. If you do not fill this out, then it will be assumed you have decided not to take part in the workshop.

Also, check to make sure your name is list here on this Pre-Op Investigation post. I know there have been some new sign ups and I have not updated the list since before the weekend. Just double check for me because I do not want to leave anyone out.

Thanks, it's going to be a wonderful season!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Spooktober Festival Blog Hop!

Cobwebs draped the darkened porch
Jack-o-lanterns glowed with a tiny torch
Ghosts danced merrily from stakes in the yard
Stew bubbled in the cauldron with vegetables they had charred
Razors glittered in the moonlight
While the barber prepared his chair for the evening shaving fight.


Okay, so I don't do horror very well.
                                                                                   

Reminder for OAI Pre-Ops

Hey everyone! I hope your Saturday is going well and your weekend is awesome!

Just reminding everyone, if you haven't filled in the PREVIEW #2 Questionnaire Post, please do so. We are scheduling classes and need the info. Also, I need your category and genre.

Check out this post, PRE-OP Investigation to see if your name and genre on already on the list!

Also, our slots are filling up fastert han anticiapted and the sign ups may need to end early. So be sure and grab a spot if yu are interested.

For those who are planning to take part in the Pitch Opportunity in February, you must partcipate fully in the workshop.

I WILL BE POSTING THE WISH LIST TONIGHT!


Friday, October 26, 2012

OAI Supplies (for fun:)

My writing supplies (part of them...)

I have index cards, markers, pencils and pens, paper clips, folders and books.

Of course, my lovely MacBook Pro.

And books. Did I mention my books?

I've got:
Plot Whisper
Book in a Month
Let's Make A Scene
One Way To Write A Novel
Riveting Your Reader With Deep Point Of View
Plot and Structure
The Fire in Fiction

And so much more...

Did you download the worksheets from Writers Digest?

So gather up your supplies, and lets get ready to write!
What have you got for the workshop? Anything ultra cool?



EVER and Frankie (get out of the way, Toby!)

My name's Frankie. And I'm just a regular guy. 
Well, except for the whole ghost thing, I guess.
I've been a bystander for far too long, trapped in this ghostly shell for the past two years. I've decided it’s time to make myself known and set some things into motion.

Evil lurks in the shadows.  

And not just any evil. 

It’s disguised as that slick talking, good-looking Toby James ... the new kid next door.


Guys,(and girls!) today is my day to host EVER's blog tour for Jessa!

So, I must confess, technical difficulties beyonf my control, are preventing my creative endeavors from showing off here on my blog:(

I will keep trying through out the day to right the wrongs of this crazy, high-tech wonders we call computers, but sometimes, they get the better of me and THERE IS NOTHING I CAN DO ABOUT IT:(

Just for the record, in case I can not figure things out:

I'M A HUGE FRANKIE FAN! 

We've read A Christmas Carol together!

We've watched Ghost together!

And our favorite song is Wherever I Go

Buy EVER today!!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Wish Lists Are Arriving

Hey everyone! I'm so excited!

Wish lists are starting to fill my inbox!

AND, TWO more agents confirmed for the pitch opportunity in February! So the line up is looking pretty impressive! I can't wait to reveal who these magnificent agents are!!!

If you have signed up but haven't filled out the mini questionnaire (the post below this one) please do so. We are making the schedule and tailoring it to YOUR needs, so if you don't answers the questions, we can't know how to schedule.

Once again, INSPIRATIONAL WRITERS are going to benefit!

MG WRITERS, sign up!

YA WRITERS, sign up!

ADULT WRITERS, we've got agents for you!

NONFICTION WRITERS, sign up!!

Still waiting to hear beck from the children's PB agent. Keep your fingers crossed for a positive response!

Spread the word! Grab a button:) You've Been Inked!





Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Preview #2 for OAI

If you are visiting to sign up for Operation Agent Ink, visit

THIS post: Sign Up

For those already signed up, Please comment below and let me know:

1. Are you starting the workshop with only an idea?

2. Is your manuscript already started and needs finishing? If yes, how far along are you?

3. Are you signing up for the editing and revision process?

4. Would like a weekly mentor/CP just for the workshop?

5. Will you only be using the workshop for the daily tips, suggestions and the creative inspirational help?

The workshop is open to anyone who is interested in the writing process. You may sign up for the workshop without joining the pitch opportunity! BUT in order to take part in the pitches, you MUST take the workshop.

Warning!!!

The workshop will consist of several posts each day. Feel free to visit once a day and grab all the info at one time if needed. As soon as sign ups are over, I will be setting up a schedule according to what the readers want.

They will be labeled:

Novel Writing From the Beginning
Novel Writing: Wading Through the Middle
Creative Inspiration
Revisions and Edits
The Submission Process
Agent Interviews and Thoughts


















Under investigation by Freedigitalphotos.net


First creative assignment:

The theme of the workshop is OPERATION- think not only detective style work, but also, someone call the doctor, my novel needs help!

Come up with the most creative names for the schedule, and we'll use your ideas!

Workshop Preview

One tip to get you started:

It would be great if you had your own set of worksheets to use as you begin an awesome novel, right?

Go here to Writers Digest and download these for free. They are from Writers Digest and you can use them during our workshop. They are also included in the book Your Novel in 30 Days.

If you prefer not to use these worksheets, grab you a notebook. You'll need something to keep track of all your notes, edits and ideas during the workshop.

If you are a compter writer only, set up a folder just for Operation Agent Ink and our workshop. This way, you'll have all you stuff together.

I strongly suggest you get a notebook, though. Some of the Creative Inspirational ideas may not work on the computer. But however you decide to work through the workshop, keep it all together.

Getting excited! I hope to hear back from all the other agent soon, so I can post them.

I will tell you this...The agents so far, represent...

Hartline Literary Agency

The Seymour Agency

Curiosity Quills


FinePrint Literary Management

Kimberley Cameron & Associates

Sign Up OAI Workshop

UPDATE!!
Please fill out the questionnaire in this link after you have signed up: click here: PREVIEW #2

Operation Agent Ink Sign up in the comments of

THIS POST (or the announcement post below) if you want to participate in the workshop and pitch opportunity.

Please let me know what the category and genre of your manuscript (or what you think you idea will fit into. If you don't know, just say so!)

That's all for now:)

I've already shortened the the workshop title because my email was flooded with spam. Go figure?

Operation Agent Ink

UPDATE:
PLEASE FILL OUT THIS QUESTIONNAIRE AFTER YOU SIGN UP.

Have you ever wondered what agents were dying to find in their inbox/slush pile? There have been many times I entered a contest and not even received a comment, not even from one of the agents. Or maybe the agent was kind enough to leave a comment that simply said, "Sorry, this just isn't what I'm looking for, but I love the premise and your voice."

I always walk away feeling unsatisfied. If I had known exactly what the agent wanted beyond, "YA" or "Fantasy" I might not have even entered a contest I knew I wouldn't win! Even more, I wasted a very busy agents time!

Well, your time of guessing is up!

OPERATION AGENT INK to the rescue!



That's right! This workshop will help aspiring authors get on the list of an agent's WISH LIST! When the workshop is over, your manuscript will be ready to view by a group of AMAZING agents who are dying to see what you've written because it's exactly what they wanted to read. In content anyway!

The workshop will consist of agent interviews describing in detail what they would like to see.
There will be daily tips, advice, mentoring and even writing exercises for those who may need them.
Target dates will be set for those who need the motivation.
Schedules will be made to help you get your novel finished and ready for an agent to view.
There will be writing assignments to help manage your WIP.

There will be tons of examples!!

You will learn how to write your book in 30 or 60 days. And that will be followed by the editing process, with advice and suggestions for your edits.

The workshop is open to those who have begun a manuscript, but are still working to finish.

You can sign up if your manuscript is completed, but needs editing or minor work and repairs.

You can sign up even if all you have is an idea for a manuscript, but don't know where to start or how to get it outlined.

Once the manuscript is written, the edits will begin, until you masterpiece shines!

There will be "classes" on how to prepare your submissions, from query, to synopsis, to first 10 pages.

I don't think you want to miss this! This is huge, but it's small, too, because there will be a limited number of slots available.

If you are Nano-ing, you can use the workshop to encourage and guide you in your writing process.

We will have an inside peek at what the agents really want to represent, and then we'll take your manuscript and WIP it into shape for the agents.

The workshop is open for sign ups now and will remain open until the 7th of November.

The agent pitch is scheduled for February 8th and 9th, just in time for some awesome valentines to land in your email from the perfect agent looking for a manuscript they are crazy in love with:)

Only those who sign up for the workshop will be eligible for the Pitch Opportunity. There will be a limited amount of spots available. This will be determined by how many agents sign up.

The agents and their wish lists will be posted before sign ups close. I am still waiting on confirmation from a couple of agents before I post the completed list.
If you know an agent who might be interested in participating, please send them to the blog. I have an AWESOME group signed up so far, but there is plenty room for others.

There will be at least one agent, maybe THREE, who wants Inspirational fiction and nonfiction.
I have agents who rep YA and adult.
I am waiting on confirmation from an agent who reps MG and other children's lit. (Including picture books and chapter books..
Also, all kinds of nonfiction.

There will be no erotica or other adult content.

If you are interested, or have any questions, please comment below. I'll do my best to answer any concerns.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

More clues...

Do you write Inspirational Fiction?

Do you write nonfiction?

Do you write picture books or other middle grade children's books?

What about young adult?

And don't forget Adult!

Come back tomorrow for all the details of a Free Writers Workshop and a Pitch Opportunity!

Something is brewing....

Monday, October 22, 2012

A Surprise Is Coming!!!!!!

Oh! Let me just say, it involves.........

AGENTS! Agents who want you to pitch to them!

It involves a.........

3 month long FREE Workshop!!!!

Anyone interested in details?????

Look for them Thursday:)

Letting Go

What if you can't let go? How do you let go, even when you want to because it's necessary?

As a little girl of eight,my grandmother died in a car accident. She had just dropped me and my sister off at home, after Sunday School.

They didn't even see the truck coming that slammed into the side of the car, snapping my precious Grandma's neck and killing her instantly.

Cruel death, that takes a loved one without permission.

Less than a year later, my Grandfather took a shower and sat down to watch the nightly news. He died, holding my Grandma's picture in his arms. The doctors say he died of a broken heart. Literally.

Letting go is hard to do. Sometimes, you never let go. Sometimes, it's a slow slipping away. Sometimes, it never happens.

I had planned to write a nice piece on letting go, but as I sat down to write, I realized I couldn't. I haven't let go.

Here is a link to the others who are participating.


Write Here, Write Now

Revised and Edited Haunted Writing Clinic Mawhahahahah

Hey all! As you know, I am participating in the writing clinic hosted by Sharon Bayliss and Curiosity Quills. Today, we are to post a revised query and first page in order to scare the Super Villains in hopes they will pick ME to mentor.

I'm leaving lots of candy and cookies for enticement!

Okay, here are my revisions.

Query:

-->
Ashton Driver wants nothing more than to succeed with his new mission and rescue the damsel in distress.

Ashton Driver is every girl’s dream with his mood ring eyes and glowing tattoos that change with every new military command. He is a skilled warrior just like his father, and he’s not afraid of anything, not even death. New orders arrive, but in spite of his bravery, his heart melts. He’s instructed to find the missing princess. Oh, she’s beautiful all right, and smart, too. The catch? She’s one hundred years old.

To prepare for his mission, Ashton must attend the Shadow Academy. He learns the head mistress is tough and fearless, and her mystical powers have more influence over him than he wants to admit. The mistress’ gorgeous daughter wants Ashton all to herself, but he pushes her aside. The mission must come first. Ashton learns the princess resides inside of a hidden castle that is tumbling in time. Even worse, he learns the Shadowy One protects the castle. Mission almost impossible says hello.


Leaving the possibility of love behind, he hunts for the princess with an unsure heart. His path crosses another on a quest, Rive Morgan, who Ashton finds mysterious, yet irresistible. When Ashton finds the princess, she refuses to be rescued, unaware Ashton will die if he doesn’t return with his new bride. Still worse, River is behind it all and Ashton must figure out why before they all end up as nothing more than a memory. 


 First Page:


--> River tore a piece of material from the hem of her petticoat and wrapped it around her hand, clenching the cloth between her teeth. The white linen turned red before she finished tying the knot. Her stomach tightened and for a moment she thought she would be sick. Taking in a long breath stopped the shakes in her hands. An image laced with pink swirled through her mind, yet River didn’t recognize it.

How did they find me? What am I going to do?

Staggering to her feet, River leaned against the side of the wagon. She listened for any noise, any movement. Nothing. She had to hurry, before they came back for her. No time to think, no time to waste. They would return once they knew their assassin had failed. She stared past the dried up, yellowing plants of the garden towards her house.

The shanty door swung back and forth, creaking a sad, singsong melody as if to say goodbye. Someone had been inside her makeshift home. Panic clamped down as she thought of the Memory Book.

Every muscle in River’s body throbbed, but she forced her legs to move forward. Her entire life hinged upon keeping the Memory Book safe, away from prying eyes. No one knew it existed, except the Thief Takers. They had chased her for months lusting after the powers held within its pages.














Saturday, October 20, 2012

Would you vote for something for me?

Hey guys! I'm so sorry I keep asking you guys to do something for *me* so much in the last few weeks. It's the only way I have to spread the word about my writing adventures, so please forgive me if I ask to much for myself.

I have just been informed that I can enter a little contest hosted by Mommy Authors. It is supposed to be for their Facebook Page, but since I don't have a Facebook account, they have graciously agreed to let me post on their blog!! All you need to do is go to their blog (I've linked it below) and simply comment with the word like.

Thank you (in advance)
Smooches all:)

Click below!

Mommy Authors

Spooktacular Excitiment!

Sorry guys. I had to change backgrounds. Certain technical difficulties interrupted my viewing experiences. What were the difficulties?

I didn't like it!

I love this one, so I switched back. Now, be prepared in a couple of days for another change. I found a template entitled, "If the shoe fits" and I may change tot hat one because I'm hoping the shoe will fit during Trick or Treat Pitch.....

Yes, I changed by blog background in honor of Spooktacular Extravaganza Excitement:)

You see, I'm prepared to scream if I get rotten eggs thrown at me or if I am encased with toilet paper.

But, I'll also be screaming (with joy) if I get treated with candy!

Just remember, you can't really scare me because I have kids...see? >>>>>>>>>>>


Friday, October 19, 2012

Seekerville: The Nature of Deep Point of View with Guest Jill Elizabeth Nelson

Seekerville: The Nature of Deep Point of View with Guest Jill Elizabeth Nelson

I love this book so much. I couldn't resist adding this link for all me readers to visit. And tomorrow and Sunday, the book will be free on Amazon.

I highly recommend this book. It changed my writing life. It really did!

Blog and Giveaway

Check out this great new Blog I just found. She's having a giveway, too, and I think you might like to enter. After all, who doesn't enjoy grabbing a new book about CHRISTMAS!!

Words of the Worlds
Alexandra Lanc

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Give Your Character Something To Do

Okay, lovely readers. Here's part 2 for finding unique situations for your characters. Resurrected from back in May...Mawhahaha!!!!

Great books have great characters and these characters need situations to work through. There are times I simply lay on my couch and just think of the most fascinating characters I cannot wait to write a story about them. Sometimes I can think of the best character with lovely descriptions and perfect settings, but that's all. My characters find themselves doing nothing, and my great character dies prematurely. Here's what I do to to bring her back to life.

1. Find Something New.

Have you ever wondered how film was developed? (Really? Film? Sure, not all stories take place today, right? Sometimes I enjoy writing historical books:) What a librarian did all day? Or what happens when Wal Mart gets a new shipment in? How does Wal Mart find new clients? What process does the police department take when booking a new criminal? What goes in to making a movie? Casting a movie? Writing a script? Learning new things and the way things work is a great way to discover new situations for your characters to work through.

2. Ask Weird Questions


Ask people what their greatest fear is and then ask them why they have that fear. Ask your neighbor what their favorite type of movie is and then ask them why. Do you run into the same person every time you visit the beach? ask them why they come so often. When ask someone to explain why, they may give you a reason you have never thought of before. This reason could spark a great idea for your great character. You never know until you ask.

3. Do Something Different

Do you always grab a cup of coffee at Starbucks? Try Dunkin Donuts today. Always shop at K Mart? Shop at Target today. Do you always take the stairs? You know, for the extra exercise. Take the elevator today. When you turn your normal into not normal, you are creating a different world and will see things you normally wouldn't.

Ideas can come from the strangest places at the oddest times. Has an unusual event given you a great idea for your great character?

Teen Read Week!!! Blog Tour

So, for this blog tour, I am to tell you a little bit about myself, a little about my blog and then give you a little info about a great teen book!

For me, I am a mother of six beautiful children.
We all love books, What more needs to be said?
I have passed on my love for writing to 2 of my daughters. One is an contributor and editor for an online magazine and the other is a brilliant, creative and awesome story writer (uh, story writer?)

I am a writer. Yes, I said it!!!

I'm a writer!!! YAY!! I hope to be published one day very soon:)

My blog was created to encourage other writers, to instill creativity and inspiration to all who read and hopefully offer a few smiles to everyone who passes through my blogoshere.

My book review for Teen Week is not really a book review, but I would like to encourage teen readers to be careful when choosing what you check out from the library. The teen years are very impressible times. For those who are serious about reading, you can become what you read. Therefore, I highly recommend to choose your favorite books based on good characters, moral values and books that inspire to you to be the best you can be.

This may not be something you came here to read, but I hope you take my advice and ponder what I am saying.

As for those who write YA books, remember, you can have a huge impact on the readers of your book. What kind of message will they take away from YOUR writing?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Finding Unique Situations For Your Characters

I will admit: this is a resurrected post. Mawhahahaha! I have been re-posting a few of my earlier articles. Back when  I first started this blog and had no followers or visitors. But I liked many of my earlier posts and thought they deserved a chance to be read. so ENJOY!!!





When developing your character you need situations for your character to work through. Plot development and character situations really mean about the same thing and without plot to move your character forward, you have no story. So how do you develop unique, intriguing problems for your character to work through? Here's a list to get your creative inspiration moving in the right direction.

1. Role Play
As a child, we did this all the time. We were firemen, princesses, doctors, soldiers, detectives, and spies. We could be anything we wanted and it was the best fun as a child. Remember? An easy way to add to the plot is to become someone else. Build a spaceship and fly into outer space. Battle the aliens. Escape capture or rescue your buddy. Spend an afternoon shooting hoops, baking cakes and cookies, trying on dress after dress. Pretend you are part of a group of gypsies. Become your character for the day and watch the ideas explode. It works. I have tried it!

2. Read. Read. Read.
A really good source of inspiration comes from newspapers and magazine articles. Some of the most bizarre things happen in real life. Use those weird stories! After looking through an advertisement for the local clothing store, I came up with a clever way to jolt my character Shae awake from her loss of memory.

3. Talk to People

Especially people you do not know. Really. They have fascinating stories to tell that will never make the newspaper. The woman with the strange hair style. The homeless person sitting on the bench. The family at the airport, or sitting in the pew in front of you at church! Don't let that opportunity slip by without saying hi, how are you, my name is Sue. What's yours? They may only say one thing: their name. But I have created characters just because I fell in love with an unusual name.

Ideas are all around you if you open your eyes, ears and even your nose. Have you ever smelled something so different, so gross, so beautiful it inspired an entire scene in your book?

Have You Noticed This Book?

An amazing story written by an amazing author. If you haven't read it yet, YOU SHOULD. Go on and buy it now. You'll be so glad you did! It's a blog hop and here's the link to find the others participating: DINYB hop

See the book here:

Kelly Walker BlogSpot

Cornerstone by KELLY WALKER

READ ABOUT IT AND THEN BUY IT HERE!!!!!!!

GOODREADS


Hmmm...

Favorite Quote For the Day...

"Nothing is a waste of time if it adds to the person you are." (Love Comes Softly Movie)

I started this week in a very depressing way. I wanted to quit. I really did.

BUT!

This quote kept me going. If I do something and fail my achievement, I want to say, "Well that was a waste of time."

But hold on a minute!

IF I gained help, understanding, progress, enlightenment, wisdom, or anything that made me a better person, it was

NOT A WASTE OF TIME!

Don't quit. Keep going. Keep writing. Keep trying. Keep knocking. Keep working.

Add to the person you are. Become a better person.

Become a better writer.

Go on. You CAN do it.

Monday, October 15, 2012

HWCAC First Page Sample

Pitch Live is HERE!!! Click to go directly to the video on my blog!


Be still my beating heart. My page is open for slaughter...

_________________________


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Ashton traced the outline glowing in his palm while he waited for his mission assignment to be completed. His amethyst eyes squinted at the fireball about to unleash a new day.   
Watching the girl from a safe distance, he wondered what she had to do with his mission. He read his palm again. Yes, he had found the right person. She looked as though she was about to fly the coop, leaving behind a dead body crumpled on the ground.  
********
River tore a piece of material from the hem of her petticoat and wrapped it around her hand, clenching the cloth between her teeth. The white linen turned red before she finished tying the knot. Her stomach tightened and for a moment she thought she would be sick. Taking in a long breath calmed her enough to stop the shakes in her hands. An image laced with pink swirled through her mind, yet River didn’t recognize it.
            She shook her head as if to erase the memory. “How did they find me?  Oh God! I have to get out of here. But where can I go?”
            Staggering to her feet, River leaned against the side of the wagon. She strained her ears for any noise, any movement. Nothing. She had to hurry, before they came back for her. No time to think, no time to waste. They would return once they knew their assassin had failed. She stared past the dried up, yellowing plants of the garden towards her house.
            The shanty door swung back and forth, creaking a sad, singsong melody as if to say goodbye. Someone had been inside her makeshift home. Panic clamped down as she thought of the Memory Book.
            Every muscle in River’s body throbbed, but she forced her legs to move forward. Her entire life hinged upon keeping the Memory Book safe, away from prying eyes. No one knew it existed. Except the Thief Takers. They had chased her for months lusting after the powers held within its pages.    
            Trembling fingers brushed a stray piece of yellow hair from her eyes as she silenced the fear echoing inside her head. She limped toward the waving door but the closer she got the more courage she found. She pulled her shoulders back and barged through the flimsy shanty door. To her relief, the room stood empty of unwanted visitors. Her grandmother’s antique mirror teetered from a loose nail in the wall. One harsh movement could send it crashing to the floor. Tiptoeing over, River reached to steady the swaying glass.

Pitch live

Title: Shadow Castle
Genre: Historical Fantasy
Word count 70,000
 

Give me a miute...

If you have ever had a "BLAH" day, then you know what I am going through. I have ran non-stop for the past seven week, and this week, I have not time to rest, but I do need to post a million things, including my

PITCH LIVE video.

My blog hop, and awards and tags!

Give me a "minute" and I'll get my creativity back up to par. For now, I'm just BLAH.

It will pass soon and I'll be back on my feet in no time...

Thanks for your patience.

Friday, October 12, 2012

When I read a book with riveting characters and the sequel finally hits the market, reading book two often feels like I am meeting a group of old friends again after a long interlude.


People want to read about characters and many readers fall in love or hate with the characters inside the pages of a book. I have often read books that lacked a good plot but I finished the book anyway. Why? Because the characters were interesting. I became mentally involved with the characters as if they were real. These characters drew me into the book and I could not stop caring for them. I was not satisfied until I made it to the end of the book and learned how my characters turned out from beginning to end.

Here is a tip I use:


When developing my characters, I write about them like I know them. In other words, I imagine the people in my book have been long time friends, or enemies, and I know them well enough to help my readers know them.

How can you write about a character if you have never met them? It's time for you to meet your characters! Interview them. Talk to them. Ask them questions. Talk to their friends and family. Ask their co-workers and boss questions. Get to know your character so your readers can know them too.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Haunted Writing Clinic Revise #3

My revision is posted here.  

Please take a look and give me your opinions. It's completely different.

Do You Smell Something good?

Revise #1 fr the Haunted Writing Clinic is HERE

How many memories do you have wrapped up in a smell? Favorite cookies from Grandma? Perfume sprays from that special night?

The other day, I was cooking dinner and I had chicken broth in one pan and vanilla extract in another. The two combinations together reminded me of Thanksgiving and I suddenly got a familiar yearning for family.


Scents have a way of moving on our emotions the same way sights can draw us into another world or time. Don't overlook the power of scent to spur your imagination while writing. If a certain smell -perfume- elicits feelings of romance, and the character in your story is in love, spritz our favorite fragrance while you write. Are you writing a home scene where everyone is happy, comfy, and cozy? Bake some chocolate chip cookies and let the scent circulate around you. At best, light a candle you love. Your home will smell wonderful and your creative nose will inspire your pen.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Do You Hear Something?

How do you engage audio learners in your story? Many readers are visual people. They like to see things, and thus enjoy reading. (Which, by the way, I am a visual!) Audio people enjoy books on tape, music, and all things connected to the ears!

In order to draw your reader into the world you created on the written page, it is most imperative you entice them with their senses. Engagement of your readers happens with sound words. This is otherwise none as onomatopoeia: words that sound like are written. Please include words with flavor, resonance, texture, aromas, and pictures in the mind. Your readers will come back again and again when they know they can step into your world and feel as though they are actually living in the pages of your book.

Call out to your readers in a way they can relate!

Here is a wonderful list of sound words for inspiration:

clink, clang, clatter
boom, burst, explode
crunch, crackle, crinkle
gurgle, garbled, groan
murmur, cooed, whispered
plunk, splash, dripped
sizzle, splatter, splat
rumble, rick-a-shay, echoed
rattle, bang, creaked
whiz, whee!, whoa
thud, ker-plunk, drizzle
zing, zip, zoomed

Do you struggle with sound words? Or do you have some favorite sound words you'd like to share?

Research for your novel

Sometimes research can be the best part about writing a book. Then again, sometimes, it can be boring and overwhelming. For me, though, research time is my most creative and inspirational time in my writing process. It's like a light comes on, and I'm off writing in no time!

For instance, in my manuscript I submitted for the GUTGAA Small Press contest, a comment was made by one of the very beautiful, lovely, wise, and perfect judge (hehe. Maybe I'm partial because she voted for me. Maybe.) The comment involved the naming of my MC, Mercedes Albright. Was her name actually a historical name? And while I do agree it sounds modern, it did not become popular until modern times, it is not a modern name.

I researched the name and found the Queen consort of Spain name was Mercedes. She was born in 1860.

But in researching the name, it led me some interesting information, which I was more than happy to include in my story.

The creativity light flickered bright during my research, which led to a nice ,long inspirational streak in my writing.

What about you? Have found anything amazing while doing research?

Monday, October 8, 2012

THe Haunted Writing Clinic

Hopefully, this will be the last one! #5 woo hoo! according to word document, passive voice is gone....:) Another option for title, coming from Ashtons's POV: Shadow Castle
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Ashton Driver wants nothing more than to succeed with his new mission and rescue the damsel in distress.

Ashton Driver is every girl’s dream with his mood ring eyes and glowing tattoos that change with every new military command. He is a skilled warrior just like his father, and he’s not afraid of anything, not even death. New orders arrive, but in spite of his bravery, his heart melts. He’s instructed to find the missing princess. Oh, she’s beautiful all right, and smart, too. The catch? She’s one hundred years old.

To prepare for his mission, Ashton must attend the Shadow Academy. He learns the head mistress is tough and fearless, and her mystical powers have more influence over him than he wants to admit. The mistress’ gorgeous daughter wants Ashton all to herself, but he pushes her aside. The mission must come first. Ashton learns the princess resides inside of a hidden castle that is tumbling in time. Even worse, he learns the Shadowy One protects the castle. Mission almost impossible says hello.

Leaving the possibility of love behind, he hunts for the princess with an unsure heart. She's easier to find than expected. Rewarded by his efforts, Ashton finds a much awaited surprise. Years of beauty sleep turned the princess into an exquisite masterpiece. If Ashton chooses love, he will reign as the most powerful prince of the land. But first, he must defeat the mistress in a duel of death.


***********

REVISE #3 (now 4, after fixing. Again) 
Okay, I have totally rewrote my query. It's told from the POV of the male MC. What do you think?
*******
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Ashton Driver wants nothing more than to succeed his new mission. If he wins, he gets the girl he’s sent to rescue.

He’s every girl's dream, with mood ring eyes and glowing tattoos on his palm that changes with every new military command. Ashton is a skilled warrior, just like his father, but when orders arrive with instructions to find the missing princess, his heart melts. She’s beautiful. She’s smart. She’s one hundred years old. Even worse, she’s lost somewhere in time in a hidden castle. A castle that’s protected by the Shadowy One. Mission impossible says hello. 

To prepare for his destiny, he’s sent to the Shadow Academy. The head mistress, Skye, is tough and fearless. And her gorgeous daughter falls in love with him. Skye's mystical powers have more influence over him then Ashton wants to admit. He thinks he is in love, but knows his mission must come first. Ashton sets off to hunt for the princess unsure of where his heart stands.

The princess is easier to find then Ashton thought. His efforts are rewarded with a surprise. One hundred years of beauty sleep did the princess good. If Ashton chooses her, he reigns as a prince. But he’ll have to defeat Skye in a dual to death before he can marry.

*******


It's today! It starts today and I'm so excited. I hope this will be absolutely the best, the most amazing writing clinic EVER! Why? Because, this week we are to post our query letter and will be visited by some amazing pros in the writing the business:) They will be leaving comments and suggestions on how to improve your query.

PLUS, the other members of the clinic will also be leaving comments and suggestions! YAY!!

REVISE!!
So, what do you think? I was planning to scrap this query and start over, but I thought I would try the "tightening up" thing first. I'm not for sure if I like this one or not...

On her sixteenth birthday, River Morgan’s grandfather presented her with the gift of erasing memories. He gave her an animated Memory Book, a jewel-studded quill, and taught her how to rid others of their tormented past. The memories are stored in her diary for safe keeping. When the Book is stolen and her grandfather mysteriously disappears, River can no longer tell the difference between her memories and those she’s wiped away.

River finds it in the hands of Shae Conniers, who thought she’d swiped a cool looking journal. River can tell Shae is intrigued with the living pages, but when sinister nightmares begin to swirl through Shae’s mind, she turns to River for help. Their personalities clash. Big time. But if they want to fight the powers of the Book and take back their true memories, they’ll have to work together.

Someone else is after the Memory Book and they will stop at nothing to get it. When River learns they’re looking for Shae, too, it’s up to River to protect Shae and find out who is after Shae and why they want her. She knows some memories you want to live over and over again, but others are best forgotten. If she doesn’t work fast, her identity will be lost forever.
 ******************

So much help and advice this week, there's no way I will end this week in a negative vibe!

Many of you have already read this query, so I am sorry if you have. I plan to post every day about all the wonderful information I learn this week, so keep coming back every day for the updates and info.

One last thing. I have again considered the name of my manuscript, MEMORIES OF ME, and the thought of the title change. While reading through it and double checking for typos, the thought occurred to me that another title may be a better fit. So I am asking you, my dear readers, for your advice:

MEMORIES OF ME

or

THE MEMORY KEEPER


Query:

-->
On her sixteenth birthday, River Morgan’s grandfather presented her with the gift of erasing memories. He gave her an animated Memory Book, a jewel-studded feather quill, and taught her how to rid others of their tormented past. The memories come alive through River and the only way to control them is by writing them in the Book. When the Book is stolen and her grandfather mysteriously disappears in a cloud of memory dust, River can no longer tell the difference between her memories and those she’s wiped away.

River finds the Book in the hands of Shae Conniers, who thought she’d swiped a cool looking journal. River can tell Shae is intrigued with the Book, but when sinister nightmares begin to swirl through Shae’s mind, she turns to River for help. Their personalities clash. Big time. But if they want to fight the powers of the Book and take back their true memories, they’ll have to work together.

Someone else is after the Memory Book and they will stop at nothing to get it. When River learns they’re looking for Shae, too, it’s up to River to protect Shae while struggling to find her own memories. She knows some memories you want to live over and over again, but others are best forgotten. If she doesn’t work fast, her identity will be lost forever.

Memories Of Me is a YA Historical Fantasy mash-up of Sleeping Beauty and the Celtic Myth, The Shadowy One, and is complete at 70,000 words. 

Visit Sharon's Blog for a list of Super Villains who have agreed to help us minions!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Ready For A New Week?

Wow! It's been a busy and exhausting week! I have bruised my fingers. Just kidding! But I have been busy. There's so much going on this month and so much to prepare for: contest. workshops, pitches, and blog hops!

So exciting!!

I plan to get back to my 200 follower celebration. So be on the look out for more Reader appreciation awards (a.k.a. You've Been Inked!)

First, my entry will posted over at Deana Barnhart and GUTGAA Small Press Contest! I'll let you know what my entry number is as soon as I find out!


Oh, and I am preparing for my first NaNoWriMo, which is coming up SUPER FAST!

This week starts Curiosity Quills Haunted Writing, hosted by Sharon Bayliss. By the way, Sharon has an amazing new blog template!Now, this contest is going to be unique in that Pros, known as Super Villains, will be choosing new aspiring authors to mentor and help prepare a submission package for editors. It's like having a personal writing coach!

And don't worry! I plan to keep everyone informed about all the wonderful information I am learning about crafting a great submission package, so don't miss a day of posting! I plan to jam pack this week with the best of the best!

Also, the Super Villains will be picking teams and the teams will work together, coaching and encouraging each other to be the best!

Keep your eye out for my posting that will include the linky, writing logo, and information for the first post.

I can't wait to find out who will be on my team! It's going to be a GREAT month!


What about you? Do you have plans for this month? Writing anything new?

October Challenge: Age 7

On River's seventh birthday, she remembers an extravagant celebration. She didn't understand why this birthday was so special, she just remembered her mother said it would be the grandest affair ever.

There were seven flavors of cake and seven gifts. Her favorite gift was an elaborate set of writing tools. There were pens, and ink, and special ingrediants so that she could create her own ink. And a lovely book for practicing special writing in with her new ink. Her Grandfather told her to take special care of the book and learn to write with beautiful handwriting.

Another favorite gift was a fancy fan with a lovely twisted silk rope and tassel attached. Her Grandfather had painted a beautiful picture with the special ink. He promised to explain the meaning of the picture when the time was right for her to understand.

But the memory is vague and she lost the book and fan sometime ago.




Visit the others in this blog hop:

Jane Ann McLachlan
Swagger Writers
Charli Armstrong
Alexandra Campbell
Susan Tilghman Hawthorn
T.J.
Lara Britt
Talynn Lynn
Dr. Margaret Aranda
Kristina Perez
Stephanie Ingram
Richard P. Hughes
Meghan
Joy Weese Moll
Neil
Kay
Gerry Wilson
Veronica Roth
Mrs. Darcy
Morgan Katz
Anthony Dutson
Jessica Becker
Anna Priemaza
Todd R. Moody
Carrie-Anne
Jessica Lerma
Satia Renee