Saturday, August 25, 2012


Yesterday, I finished a book I had been looking forward to reading ever since I first heard about it.  The concept was intriguing, the book cover was eye-catching, and the author seemed cool - at least from the posts she wrote on a writing blog.

Then I read the book.

And I was... disappointed.

I didn't hate the book, like I have hated YA books in the past.  I'm just... indifferent to it.  I just don't care.  I'll probably read the rest of the trilogy, but I won't be engaged with the story.

And that's the difference.  At least with the series that I've hated - whether it's the writing, the characters, the plot - at least it's gotten a reaction out of me.  (I threw a book across the living room because how frustrated I was with a character, no joke.)

This book, on the other hand, was just so bland.  At the beginning of it, I was really annoyed with the character.  One of the things I can't stand is when people feel sorry for themselves publicly.  I get that everyone goes through pain and handles it differently, but when a character feels sorry for themselves in front of a guy who's supposed to be her romantic interest, I want to slap her.  But the character is so dry that I don't even care, despite my annoyance.

I cared about none of the characters.  Even the hero was boring.  I didn't love him and didn't understand how she loved him, and he, her.  She was overly defensive and he was infinitely patient.

To me, that equals boring, and that equals utter disappointment.

Now, I realize not everyone is going to like my books.  They might hate the characters or the plot, or even the writing.  But I hope I don't disappoint you.  That's even worse than inflicting uncontrollable rage where you throw your Kindle across your living room (which I'm not responsible for, by the way).

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Stranger's cover reveal

Well, everybody, the day is finally here!  My first cover reveal.

I'm actually so excited to share this with you, and if your curiosity is insatiable, I don't blame you if you choose to forego the story of how I came up with the design in order to look at it.  However, since there may be some of you who are interested in self-publishing and might someday have to create your own book cover, I want to tell you what I went through.

At first, I had an incredibly complex cover in my mind.  I talked about it with my step-mom - a graphic artist who helped me with the cover design - and she pointed out that it just wasn't possible with our resources.  Instead, I took a few weeks to think about it and then went to some stock photo websites to look through some pictures in order to find ideas.

And then I found the picture that would be my cover.  It uses one element of my original idea, which I love.  It's simple but poignant, and illustrates what the book is about without throwing different elements at the reader.  I sent it to my step-mom and she loved it.  We both worked on toying with the font and the placement of the title and author, and managed to finish the entire cover in a few hours.  I sent it to my beta, Leighann, and she loved it too.

All it cost me was $19 for the photo.  Now, if by some miracle, my book sells 200,000 copies, I'll have to repurchase the more expensive photo because of distribution restrictions.  It's more expensive, but I figure if I can sell 200,000 copies of my novel, I can spend a couple hundred bucks on a book cover.  Luckily, I have someone who's good with Photoshop and can help me put covers together.  If you don't, I would ask for recommendations from people who self-published their own books.  Make sure you get your money's worth and get as much information as you can about a graphic designer so you don't get ripped off in the end.

If you have any questions about the self-publication process or specific questions about book covers, feel free to ask me in the comments or shoot me and email at  Just make sure you put something in the subject line relating to writing so I don't think you're spam.

Now, enough with talking.  Here is the cover for Stranger:

I'd love to know what you think of it.  If you have time, drop me a comment, and have a wonderful Sunday!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Music Monday: Overexposed Edition

I recently bought Maroon 5's new album, Overexposed.  I know the critics are mixed, but I actually really love it.  I love Adam Levine's voice and the lyrics can be both sweet, clever, and endearing with a hint of sexy thrown in just to mix it up.  Not all songs on the album are great, but the majority of them are.  Below, I've listed my top three as well as some honorable mentions.

1.        Wipe Your Eyes  It's one of the sappy songs, but it's catchy and I adore the line: At night before you fall asleep I run my thumb across your cheek...

2.       One More Night  Another catchy one, but more uptempo than the first one.  Definitely something that stays stuck in your head and makes you want to dance, even without the song actually playing.

3.       Love Somebody  I like the meaning of the song - everyone just wants to love somebody.  And I definitely relate to the line: If I fall for you, I'll never recover.  If I fall for you, I'll never be the same.  It manages to capture the feeling of stepping off a cliff but before the actual fall. 

Honorable Mentions:  Payphone, Daylight, Fortune Teller

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Writing and work

When writing is a hobby, it's fun.  It's fueled by passion and inspiration and excitement.  When it's a job, it's fueled by the same thing, but instead of being able to put aside a current WIP in favor of a new idea or taking an impromptu two week break or just deciding to set a WIP aside, you can't.  Because it's your job.

One of the biggest fears I have is that when I start the second book for the three trilogies I'm writing, I'll lose that spark that made me love it in the first place.  Kind of like getting over the honeymoon phase in a romantic relationship.

Even as I write this third book in my third trilogy, sometimes I just want to stop.  Not because I don't think it'll be a good book (how many YA pirate novels are there?) but because I don't want to get up early to write.  Because I'd rather be reading.  Or sleeping.  Or watching television.  Or going to a movie.  Or Tumblr.  Or doing anything except writing.

It can get tedious to write every.  Single.  Day. 

As a Sagittarius, I get over routine really fast.  But it's that routine that triggers my creativity.  It's a muscle you have to work constantly so muscle memory builds and when I sit down, ready to write, the ideas come because I've built up that muscle memory over time.

When I write, I'm excited but there are times when it feels like work.  But when I type up my manuscript, I reread my words and I realize they're good.  I might not realize it when I write, but when I read it, it reminds me that this is what I was born to do.  And I'll continue to do it, especially when it feels like work.