Thursday, June 14, 2012

One, two, three

I am currently working on my third manuscript.  No, it's not the sequel to STRANGER or the sequel to AWAKEN.  It's a completely new manuscript that will be the first of it's own trilogy, completely unlike the previous two stories I've written.  I promise I'll tell you more about it a little bit later.  Right now, I just wanted to give you a quick update of what's going on as of right now.

I am editing STRANGER for the fifth and last time while simultaneously formatting it for Amazon's ebook program.  It's not as tricky as I expected it to be, especially since Amazon lays it out really well and it's easy to understand.  My step-mom, a graphic artist, is working on the cover as we speak so expect the reveal some time over the summer. 

I edited AWAKEN and sent it to my amazing beta, Leighann, and expect it back some time in the next couple of months.  I'll be posting a summary and release date later this year.

I can't believe the amount of support I've received from each and every one of you.  Thank you so much.  You make me excited to write and excited to share with you.

I hope everyone is having an amazing summer!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Because it's the Cup

If you've been following my blog for a while, you're probably aware that I'm an avid hockey fan and an even more avid Anaheim Ducks fan.  If you've been paying attention at all to what's been going on with the Stanley Cup playoffs, you're also probably aware that the Los Angeles Kings, the Ducks biggest rival (I'd say the Kings surpass the Sharks now) won the Cup yesterday against New Jersey in Game 6.

I'm not going to bash the Kings.

I'm not going to say anything, really, except congratulations to real Los Angeles fans.  We had our time and now it's your time.  Revel in it.  Please don't riot (although I'm sure people already have.)  Winning the Cup is a huge accomplishment.  Bandwagoners, we'll see where you are next season.  This is a HUGE win for hockey in California and the West.

Just remember that the Ducks did it first and we did it in 14 years, not 45.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Huge Announcement!

Hello everyone!

I have an announcement I am so excited to share with you.  I will be self-publishing my first novel STRANGER through Amazon September 22, 2012.  The summary is below.

Seventeen year old Sophie Harper is different.  Not just different, peculiar.  Though her petite frame reveals nothing, she has superhuman strength that allows her to lift up cars like they were pillows, throw people twice her size across a room, and even kill a man with her bare hands.  She’s accepted to the Academy for Peculiars, an isolated school on Catalina Island for other teenagers like her.  As she settles into her new home, she makes friends with her dorm mates, stresses out about catching up with schoolwork, and starts dating one of the most popular guys at the academy.  But as normal as Sophie wants to be, she can’t change the fact that she her strength is rare, even among peculiars.  She starts falling for her trainer, a rugged shifter named Will, who frustrates her to no end, and finds out there is someone else who shares her ability, a man everyone refuses to talk about.  The more she learns about him, the more she realizes that just because her mysterious counterpart is probably the only person in the world who understands her isolation, doesn’t mean he isn’t a threat.

Jane Cabot’s life turns upside down when she moves a book with her mind.  Her ability is reading thoughts, not telekinesis.  In fact, she didn’t know a peculiar with two simultaneous abilities existed.  Now, instead of focusing on maintaining her 4.0 GPA and getting into shape in preparation for soccer, she is forced to take private lessons with her least favorite professor, Nikolai Depogare, who also happens to possess the same talent as she does.  He emphasizes the importance of keeping her new self a secret, even from her friends, leaving her isolated from all that she knows.  If other peculiars found out about her, they wouldn’t hesitate to run experiments on her and force her to do their bidding.  The only person who seems to understand her predicament is Depogare.  Trying to ignore her conflicting feelings for the man, Jane puts herself and her friends unknowingly in danger, and in order to save them, she must reveal what she really is.

As I have stated, it will be self-published.  I have been querying agents on and off for the past four years.  After getting a pile of rejection letters for STRANGER, I decided that instead of setting the manuscript aside and starting a new one like I normally would, I wanted to find a different way to publish it.

I love this story.  I love the characters and the plot and just because agents weren't interested in it didn't mean I was going to give up on it.  I want to share it with you all.  Whether it makes a lot of money or not doesn't matter.  I want to write.  I hope more than anything you enjoy this story.  That is my main concern.

I am new to the whole self-publishing industry but I'm learning.  I plan to document my experience here at this blog.  I was inspired by S. R. Johannes and her story, which you can read here.  Please be sure to check it out because it's incredibly informative.

But I do need your help.  S. R. Johannes did this for her ebook UNTRACEABLE and I liked the idea so I'm doing it here: If you are interested in reading an advanced copy of STRANGER, I would be happy to send you one.  All I ask in return is that you write your review somewhere - your blog, Amazon, wherever.  I'm not going to check so we'll be going on the honor's system.  Please write whatever you think.  You don't have to say you like it if you didn't.  If you're interested, please email me at and put STRANGER Advanced Copy in the subject line.

Check back here for updates and news.  I'll be posting the cover and the first chapter in the upcoming months, blogging about my experience with the self-publishing industry and, of course, my upcoming time in England, Scotland, and possibly France.  Again, I can't wait to share this story with you.  I hope you enjoy it!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Snow White and chemistry

I saw the midnight showing of Snow White and the Huntsman.  It was much better than I thought it would be, actually.  There was a portion of the movie that interested me as a writer, and I thought I would share my personal thoughts on the subject.  Just to be safe, I'm going to say there are spoilers for the movie so if you don't want to be spoiled, come back when you've seen the movie.


Okay, ready?

There's a love triangle in the movie.  Let me give you a moment to get over your shock.


Are we good?  Okay.

I liked all three characters - Snow White, The Huntsman, and William - and didn't have too much of a preference who she ended up with.  Both men liked her, but interestingly enough, it was never clear who she preferred.  At one point, she initiates a quick kiss with William but it's the Huntsman's kiss that awakens her after taking a bite of that poison apple. 

I'm not sure about you, but if there's a love-triangle in a book, I hate when the heroine has two great, different guys but she's confused about which one to choose.

I hate it even more when the readers aren't sure who the heroine is interested in in the first place.  The heroine is who the reader connects with.  If your main character is going to end up with someone at the end of the book or the end of the trilogy, the readers need to be given clues about who that is.  We also need to believe it.

There's a reason why there's a huge debate in The Hunger Game fandom about whether or not Katniss truly loved Peeta at the end of Mockingjay or if she was just settling because she felt she owed that much to him.

I'm not saying be obvious about it.  Chemistry is tricky, especially in writing.  But it's little things.  Chemistry is subtle but it's the most important thing - in my mind - between two characters.  As cliche as it is, I love when the hero looks at the heroine in a way she can't decipher.  I also like when she notices things about the hero before the MC realizes she likes him (or her).  For example, his collarbone or his long fingers or the way his Adam's apple bobs up and down when he swallows.

My favorite tactic?  I love flaws.  To me, it makes a face look lived in, experienced.  So I make my heroine notice his flaws and notice them as flaws but still be attracted to them.  Maybe it's a mole on his face or a thick brow, maybe it's thin lips or a long face, maybe it's a broken nose or a scar.  It doesn't matter but it makes them who they are, makes them more well-rounded, and, to me, more attractive.

That's why chemistry is so important.  I want to believe the heroine likes him.  There are too many books where the hero is so hot and the heroine is immediately attracted and/or in love with him based solely on that.



Where's the chemistry?  Where's the depth?

I still like the characters in Snow White.  Maybe if I knew who she had feelings for, her character would have been more interesting to me.  Then again, if she wasn't interested in either of them, that should have been more obvious too.