Category Archives: Author Advice

Anatomy of three very similar rejection letters

Recently, a friend of mine asked for some help after receiving two very similar rejections letters. Up until this point, she had received many stock “No thanks” responces, or the dreaded crickets in the email (as in no response at all.)

Ugh_Back_to_the_drawing_board

Every few months, she edited and sent out a new set of queries. Then, after getting a few manuscript requests, she received something different. Yes, still rejections, but two days in a row she received rejections with FEEDBACK. Score!

Woa!

I looked over the feedback she was sent by three different agents, and realized the reasons for the rejections were very similar.

Without giving her name, or showing the exact rejections, I am going to cut and paste my analysis of those rejections. Even reading this back to myself after I’d written it, gave me ideas to go back and revise things in my own manuscript.

I hope you find this helpful!

***

Hey you! First of all, YES I believe you read into this correctly. Your writing is so polished that a few people decided you were worthwhile enough to tell you why they decided to pass. So, on that point: CONGRATULATIONS!

All three of these emails confirm that you have an awesome, original concept that they all believe has the power to be a hit. This is the first hurdle everyone needs to overcome. Rock on, girlfriend!

Past this point, you need to prove that the structure and voice are good enough for them to RISK countless hours of their own time to try to sell your work. (Because, hey, if they can’t sell it, they don’t get paid)

Read-hold up PKO_0016876So, this is what I see when I read each email…

#1. “I had a hard time connecting…”

#2. “I didn’t connect with the narrative voice.”

#3. “The narrative wasn’t able to keep me as entranced as the plot would suggest.”

These all said pretty much the same thing, which is AWESOME! Now you know what you need to fix.

“Connection” has to do with VOICE and DEEP POV.

VOICE: You need to ask yourself: Is the voice that I am writing in authentic to my main character? If she is 16, does she sound like a 16 year old? (In spoken word, inner thought, and also in the narrative)Point_of_View2

DEEP POV: Does the overall narrative flow without any bumps that will draw my reader out of the story and remind them they are reading a book? (look for “gentle” show verses tell issues. Look for words like WAS, LOOK, SEE. Check for passive tense.)

 

Basically, you want to hook the reader on the first page and draw them so deeply into the POV of your character that they can’t get out. They forget they are reading, and all of the sudden it’s 6 hours later and they flip the last page. [[Not that I am an expert at this, but every draft I do gets me closer]]

Now, on comment number three: “The narrative wasn’t able to keep me as entranced as the plot would suggest.”Huh

This could be one of two things. Because of the first two comments, I would guess that the issue is voice and/or deep point of view. HOWEVER… it is also possible that there is a pacing issue.

PACING: Does the book lag anywhere? Are the slow parts just slow enough to let the reader take a breath, or are they so long that the reader gets bored? Can you concatenate the slower chapters to give the required information quickly so you can get back to the good stuff?

“I had a hard time connecting with the way the mystery unfolds.” This could also be pacing, but also ask yourself if there is a “build” in your mystery as each stone is unturned. Is the reader DYING to know whodunit?

I’d look over the manuscript again, thinking about each of these topics INDIVIDUALLY. I think you should only work on one of them at a time. (At least that’s what I do) It helps to keep focused, and gives you less of a chance of missing the opportunity to make a good paragraph GREAT if you are trying to accomplish too many types of edits at the same time.

This is probably the most exciting edit you will ever do… the one where little bells will go off in your head as you see the manuscript come to life. Have fun!

[BTW – just writing this has me thinking about my own manuscript, and a couple of things that I want to look at again, so THANKS for the push!]


So, there you have it. Rejection isn’t always bad. I remind myself that Fire in the Woods was rejected quite a few times, and I’d revised over and over before I received two rejections with feedback similar to above.

My next edit after that feedback got me a three book deal!

Keep submitting, and don’t be afraid to edit some more.

Happy_Writing!

.


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Ashes and Fire2You can find Fire in the Woods and Ashes in the Sky at all these awesome bookish places!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kobo | Chapters Indigo! | iBooks | IndiBound |


Catch up with me on social media!

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3 reasons why trying to publish a novel feels like trying to win The Voice @MelissaJCrispin

When Melissa approached me with this topic, I couldn’t resist. The publishing business is so subjective, just like singing. Let’s hear what Melissa has to say!


Thank you for having me on your blog today, Jennifer!

0086_scribble2 While I know The Voice has been on for several  seasons, I only started watching it recently. As cheesy as it sounds, it moves  me to watch all the people on this show pursue their dreams. It reminds me so  much of what writers go through on their journey to publication, and here are  three reasons why.


1.       Many of them have walked a long road just to get to the blind auditions. There  are so many stories of singers who struggled and worked tirelessly for years for  the chance to get on that stage. It isn’t so different for us as writers. Several  challenges come up along the way as you work to finish your book, and you need  to push forward and make it happen, no matter how hard it seems sometimes.


2.     0086_scribble1  A  lot of the contestants talk about going on the show to prove to themselves they  can do this. They’re looking to validate their dream, to see that other  people can believe in their talent and potential. Even if they don’t get a chair turn, having a successful artist in the music industry tell them they’re
good and to keep working is a huge encouragement. When a writer first starts
querying agents and publishers, similar thoughts cross their mind. If their
manuscript is rejected, constructive feedback can feel like a win. It lets the
writer know, you are almost there. Don’t give up yet.


3.      If  the contestant gets on the show, it’s only the beginning. They have much to learn and will grow as a result of all they’re exposed to during their time on the show. When your first book finally gets accepted for publication, it’s the
start of the next phase in your career. I’m yet to meet a published author who
said they learned nothing when they published their first book, and I suspect I
never will.

Do you watch The Voice? Can you think of other
reasons why it’s like pursuing publication?


When the balance between Earth, Afterlife, and Heaven are threatened, the fate of the universe falls on a selfish girl who must sacrifice everything to save it.

Kayla has a plan. She’s moving to the city after graduation and Luke’s coming with her. He’ll eventually become a doctor, she’ll be a ballerina—and they’ll live happily ever after. That is, until dark forces, led by a sister she never knew existed, start hunting her down for a power she never knew she had.

When Kayla starts working with a boy named Alec to learn how to defend herself and to stop the evil from eliminating the worlds, she finds herself falling for him. Hard. Torn between two loves and struggling to do what’s right for Earth and Afterlife, Kayla must decide if she’s fighting to keep her life together, or letting it go to save everyone else’s.

Amazon   Barnes & Noble   Evernight Teen   Goodreads


Melissa  J. Crispin lives in Connecticut with her husband, two kids, and an adorable  Siberian Husky. She spends her days in the corporate world, and pursues her passion for writing in the late nights and early mornings.

From micro-fiction to novels, Melissa loves to write stories in varying lengths.  But, no matter the story, it’s almost always about the romance.

Facebook Melissa J. Crispin – Author 

Twitter: @MelissaJCrispin  

Instagram: @MelissaJCrispin

www.melissajcrispin.com

 

 

How to Write Epic Young Adult Characters

Woohoo!  If you’ve been hanging out here long enough, you know I am a perpetually long-lived teenager. Writing a teen voice is natural to be because, well, I kinda still talk like that. Ya know?

But for some who may have given in to the peer pressure of growing up, finding that authentic teenage voice might be a little hard.

Today, I invited author Jennifer DiGiovanni to chat about writing a really believable teenager. Take it away, Jennifer!


Advice for Ex-Teenagers: How to Write Epic Young Adult Characters

Writing for teens means getting into their mindset.

You might call yourself an ex-teen, a teen plus or a former young adult but you still need to be able to empathize with the challenges faced by today’s young generation to write relatable stories.

Here are five tips to consider when you’re writing epic teen characters.

Ask Teens for Input

Have an actual teenager (or 2) read your book. You may be surprised at their reactions. If you have your own teens at home, chances are they’ll be happy to tell you about the overly detailed, boring parts of your manuscript. (My most recent critique: You sure do use a lot of adjectives!). If you don’t have any teens in your family, seek out a young adult reading group at your local library. If you’re willing to pay for their reading time, many teenage book fans will be happy to give you their opinions.

Learn from those who write specifically for teens

When I first started writing, I attended a long string of local writers’ workshops. I met mystery writers and romance writers. But, it wasn’t until I sought feedback from authors who’d devoted their careers to writing for teens that I truly felt their advice start to click. From story ideas to dialogue, kids need to relate to your writing. I‘ve found that I’ve learned the most from authors who are successful at connecting with a younger reading demographic.

Stay up to date on technology

Today’s kids communicate differently. No longer do they share one phone per household which is hanging on the wall in the center of the kitchen. Entire conversations take place via text message and as writers, we need to portray modern technology authentically in a teen novel. Texting, social media posting and Face Time have replaced landlines and even emails. If your novel doesn’t reference any form of modern communication, teens will notice and your book won’t feel relevant to them.

Interact with teens and ask them about their interests

With so many exciting new technologies available in schools today, kids are working with highly advanced robotics and artistic media. Expand your writing by creating characters who have unique interests appealing to today’s young adults. Don’t be shy about interacting with your audience through young writers’ workshops or other community organizations.

But … don’t forget your personal teen experience

Authentic teen fiction connects readers with a highly emotional time in everyone’s life. Teens are all about firsts – first love, taking the first step toward independence, or trying something for the first time which ultimately becomes a life-long hobby or career. When writing, consider your own teen experiences. Recapture the excitement, or challenges, of your teenage years within a unique and modern framework.
Writing for teens as an adult gives you a unique perspective. I know that I never could have written an effective parent-child relationship before I was a parent. Having survived your teen years, you’re able to look back on an important time in your life and write about what impacted you most, which in turn should help today’s teen readers to gain inspiration from your stories.


School days don’t get easier just because you’re a senior! It’s the final semester of senior year, and everyone at Harmony High can’t wait to find out the results of the Senior Superlative votes! But the balloon bursts in Sadie’s face when she discovers she’s been voted “Most Likely to Get Married” to Andy – a boy she’s never dated or ever thought of as a potential boyfriend. Completely and utter mortification sets in. To prove high school means something more than a Senior Superlative award, Sadie and her best friend Jana decide to create their own list of awesome non-academic achievements to be completed before graduation. Yet, the harder Sadie works to show everyone she’s not the least bit attracted to Andy, the more appealing he becomes. Typical for the girl who can’t seem to achieve anything important, even the completion of one lousy college application. When senioritis kicks in and the school year dwindles down to mere weeks, Sadie decides to risk her good girl reputation to prove that an Awesome Achievement means much more than any Senior Superlative vote. By the time Sadie realizes her epic screw-up, she just might have lost her chance at the prom date of her dreams.

Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Releasing in September: My Disastrous Summer Vacation (a novella) – and – My Junior Year of Loathing

How I Learned to be Zen About Book Reviews with @Artzicarol

Today’s featured guest is Carol Riggs, author of the new YA sci-fi release, The Lying Planet. So without further ado, please welcome Carol!

How I Learned to be Zen About Book Reviews

I SAID NO WAY, NEVER. In the summer of 2015, my debut book, The Body Institute, was about to release. I vowed never to read the reviews about my “baby”—I didn’t need to know what people thought, and I knew I’d obsess over the negative reviews instead of the good ones. That would mess up my writing mojo for unfinished novels because doubts would lodge in my brain. Many wise, already-published authors advised against looking at reviews.

I SAID WELL…MAYBE A FEW. But then the ARCs went out for my debut, and advanced reviews started coming in on Goodreads. I had to look. My friends—even strangers—gave me great reviews. I floated on the high. This was fun! And when some negative reviews came in (1-star, 2-star), I dared to take at peek. After all, my “skin” was pretty thick, since I had experience with critique partner feedback as well as a long submission process before I found a publisher, in which one editor would love one thing and dislike another, while another editor loved and disliked exactly the opposite things. Reading reviews was pretty much the same experience, although I did have some anguish when some reviewers condemned the book for a misunderstanding or for some random thing no one else had a problem with. It was puzzling, admittedly agonizing, and yet morbidly fascinating all at the same time.

I SAID OKAY, MAYBE A FEW MORE. It went downhill from there. A cat’s curiosity gripped me. I kept reading the reviews. My writing was described as “delectable” while another reviewer said: “The. Writing. Was. Horrible.”

Gah! Doesn’t that drive you crazy? You want to pull out your hair wondering “Which one is right?”

Answer: It didn’t matter. Authors can’t please everyone. I’d known that in my head, but I began to experience it. It helped to look up the first Harry Potter book on Goodreads and see JK Rowling had more than 64,000 1-star reviews (compared to nearly 2,539,000 5-stars). Whoa!

I SAID BRING IT ON. The reviews for my debut kept rolling in—the good, the bad, and the ugly.

In July 2016, I published Bottled, my YA fantasy. Reading those reviews was a lot easier. When a low rating would pop up, I was like, oh, there’s my first 2-star review. While one person couldn’t bear to finish the book, another raved and wanted a sequel.

In September 2016, The Lying Planet released, and I got an amusing range of reactions there too—is the concept unique and creative, or is it cliché science fiction, derivative of books like Divergent?

I’M ZEN WITH IT. So, after three books, I’ve concluded readers have incredibly different tastes, and the best thing I can do is accept that subjectivity and just go back to my writer cave and write more books, doing the best I possibly can. I treasure the readers who do connect with my writing. In the end, as long as people are reading and enjoying my book; those are the ones I’m writing for. My true fans.


Preach it, Sister! I’ve found exactly the same thing. It is impossible to please everyone. Just do your best to please most people. Good luck with The Lying Planet!


 

THE LYING PLANET
Promise City. That’s the colony I’ve been aiming for all my life on the planet Liberty. The only thing standing in my way? The Machine. On my eighteenth birthday, this mysterious, octopus-like device will scan my brain and Test my deeds. Good thing I’ve been focusing on being Jay Lawton, hard worker and rule follower, my whole life. Freedom is just beyond my fingertips.

Or so I thought. Two weeks before my Testing with the Machine, I’ve stumbled upon a new reality. The truth. In a single sleepless night, everything I thought I knew about the adults in our colony changes. And the only one who’s totally on my side is the clever, beautiful rebel, Peyton. Together we have to convince the others to sabotage their Testings before it’s too late.

Before the ceremonies are over and the hunting begins.

Purchase linksAmazon   |  Barnes  & Noble  |  Kobo   |  iBooks  |


Carol Riggs is an author of young adult fiction who lives in the beautiful green state of Oregon, USA. Her books include her sci-fi debut, The Body Institute, as well as her fantasy, Bottled, and her recently released sci-fi, The Lying Planet. She enjoys reading, drawing and painting, writing conferences, walking with her husband, and enjoying music and dance of all kinds. You will usually find her in her writing cave, surrounded by her dragon collection and the characters in her head.

Connect with CarolWebsite  |  Twitter  |  Facebook  |  Goodreads  |

Did you know that Libraries BUY BOOKS? Find out how to get your books onto librarians’ lists! @kristathegold

You’ve written an amazing novel. You want to share it with the world. But you’re only you.

Thankfully, there are others who can help: Librarians.

At the Library A

What many authors don’t realize is that libraries receive a set amount of monies each summer and they must spend it all in that time frame.  Librarians want your books. Hundreds of Dollars MoneyReaders need your books.  But since they’re about 120,000 libraries in the United States, it isn’t possible for you to contact them all. However, you can contact a few, even out of state, and get your book on a shelf by following some simple etiquette.

Once you’ve decided on which libraries to contact (http://www.publiclibraries.com/ has a comprehensive list of addresses and phone numbers for all states and cities), you want to be sure that your request is effective.  When calling, ask for the Library Director or Branch Manager and let them know that you are requesting a purchase order of your novel to be added to their collection.

Phone InterviewBriefly tell them what kind of book it is (fiction or non-fiction) and its particular audience. Most librarians will ask you to email them links and a synopsis of your book; many of them require you to have reviews, some require professional reviews (Library Journal, Publisher’s Weekly, BookList).  In your email, you may want to consider letting them know that you are willing to also hold public readings of the book, workshops, and other promising events.

Be sure to get their names and to thank them for their time and consideration!


About the Author:

Krista Wagner is a 70’s product of Southern California who lives with her Marine Corp veteran husband, three very entertaining children, and an indispensable faith in Christ.

Catch up with Krista On-line! Twitter | Wix.com | Facebook | Blog

 


THE GOLD

Ten-year-old Amanda is constantly teased and tormented in school. Her home life is less than satisfactory where her widower father, who is often away on business trips, leaves her in the care of her indifferent teenaged sister. Worse, not a day goes by when Amanda doesn’t miss her mom. To escape reality, Amanda creates fantasy stories, but when she discovers a talking golden pebble, her imagined world turns into a new-fangled reality.

Check out THE GOLD on Amazon!


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Ashes and Fire2You can find Fire in the Woods and Ashes in the Sky at all these awesome bookish places!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kobo | Chapters Indigo! | iBooks | IndiBound |


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NYT Best Selling Author Julie Cross: Five things I would tell my unpublished self if I could back in time

Today I’ve invited NYT Best-Selling Author Julie Cross to discuss the five things she would tell her unpublished self if she could go back in time.

Take it away, Julie!


Hello, Jennifer, and thanks for having me. If I could go back in time, this is what I’d tell myself:

1)     Enjoy the freedom and innocence of pre-publication: This is a tough one because publication seemed so glittery and sparkly before I got there. And believe me, it is all of that and more. But it’s also a job. As in time to be professional, have deadlines, get serious…there’s no way around the loss of some of that pure enjoyment that comes before publication. Maybe it isn’t like that for everyone, but for me, I wouldn’t mind telling my pre-published self, “hey, relax a little, take it all in. It’s okay.”

2)     Travel to another country and write about it: I feel like every writer I know has done this except for me. I’m always looking for ways to take my writing to the next level, add depth of understanding. Plus, it would be really fun to say, “I’m in Ireland researching for my novel…” on my out of office email reply.

3)     Use Scrivener now! It took me until January of 2015 (nearly 6 years into my writing journey to pry myself from Microsoft Word. Scrivener is another word processor program like Word but it really works well for me and my brain. I tend to create all kinds of documents with lists, and brainstorming, and casting characters and planning future books in a series and then I save those documents in random places, with random names. Scrivener allows for all my notes, outlining, summaries, etc…to be right there in the document. You can see daily progress. I could go on forever but if I’ve intrigued you, Google it and check it out.

4)     Those amazing chapters you keep writing at 2am? Just don’t. Trust me.

5)     The first draft will always be the easiest part: I had very little idea of what went into getting a novel from draft 1 to bookstore shelves when I got my first book deal. It didn’t seem like there could be so much work left to do after writing THE END. Let’s just say I was a little shell-shocked going through the steps with that first book. And even now, I tend to struggle with all the re-reads. When I finish a project, I’m ready to move on.


Awesome! Thanks so much for stopping by Julie!


Julie’s new book was just released!

Find out more about CHASING TRUTH

At Holden Prep, the rich and powerful rule the school—and they’ll do just about anything to keep their dirty little secrets hidden.

When former con artist Eleanor Ames’s homecoming date commits suicide, she’s positive there’s something more going on. The more questions she asks, though, the more she crosses paths with Miles Beckett. He’s sexy, mysterious, arrogant…and he’s asking all the same questions.

Eleanor might not trust him—she doesn’t even like him—but they can’t keep their hands off of each other. Fighting the infuriating attraction is almost as hard as ignoring the fact that Miles isn’t telling her the truth…and that there’s a good chance he thinks she’s the killer.

Purchase Links:

Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.ca | IndieBound | BAM | TBD  | Goodreads


About Julie Cross:

Julie Cross is a NYT and USA Today bestselling author of New Adult and Young Adult fiction, including the Tempest series, a young adult science fiction trilogy which includes Tempest, Vortex, Timestorm (St. Martin’s Press). She’s also the author of Letters to Nowhere series, Whatever Life Throws at You, Third Degree, Halfway Perfect, and many more to come!

Julie lives in Central Illinois with her husband and three children. She’s a former gymnast, longtime gymnastics fan, coach, and former Gymnastics Program Director with the YMCA. She’s a lover of books, devouring several novels a week, especially in the young adult and new adult genres.

Outside of her reading and writing credibility’s, Julie Cross is a committed–but not talented–long distance runner, creator of imaginary beach vacations, Midwest bipolar weather survivor, expired CPR certification card holder, as well as a ponytail and gym shoe addict.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


Rafflecopter! Click below for a chance to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card + a paperback copy of Whatever Life Throws at You (INT)

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What evokes childlike wonder? And as adults writing for children, how can we recapture that? @DonnaGalanti

Harnessing Your Inner Child by Donna Galanti 

Fairy Wonder AChildlike wonder. What was yours as a kid? I walked along rock walls under the stars at night. Climbed trees to sing songs to the woods. And hid away in rose bush caves with a notepad to write my stories – all the while believing that magic existed.

Regaining a childlike sense of wonder isn’t about returning to a childlike state, it’s about letting yourself be awed by the little things in your grownup life. The mundane every day is what can dull our wonder. And just because those little things happen every day doesn’t mean they aren’t miraculous.

Sled Ride BBut keeping your childlike wonder can be difficult when grownup duties mount. One winter day as I tried to write, I watched two kids sled. Their laughter and joy snapped me out of my trapped trance. I remembered being ten years old and how a whole day of sledding was magical.

 

And I realized now that in order to do my job well as a children’s author, and to find joy in it, I needed to rekindle my kid wonder again. How can we keep that kind of wonder with us?


Caption:

Me with my lion ring.

I found wonder in my hero then, the lion from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis.


My wonder list:

  1. Re-visit pictures of yourselves as a kid. Daydream about what you were doing in those photos. What were you excited about?
  2. Did you write diaries as a child or teen? Go back and read them to inspire that voice of youth in your own writing.
  3. Look at the world from a different perspective. Like the snow. I went out in it and made a snow angel and looked up at the sky. Something I hadn’t done in years.
  4. Create a new bucket list together with your kids or grandkids. What do they dream of doing that you could do with them?
  5. Read stories by your own children, or grandchildren, to see how they view the world in their words.
  6. Revive memories of being the age of your characters. Draw a map of the neighborhood you grew up in. Remember what you saw, what you felt, and how you reacted to events there and write them down.
  7. Act out a scene in your book, or any book, with dramatic flair.
  8. Face a childhood fear (mine was going down in our dark 200-year-old cellar where I had been sure dead bodies were buried in the dark hole in the wall).

Stylish YouthIn doing these things myself, I remembered how awesome it was to be a kid again and lost in the moment. And that every day as a kid was about being swept up in the magical moments. And I could once again be lost in the wonder – and the small things.

How do you harness your childlike wonder in writing for tweens or teens?


Buy Joshua and the Arrow Realm and Joshua and the Lightning Road (book one on sale now for just $.99cents through 9/20) at: http://www.donnagalanti.com/books/


About Donna: Donna Galanti is the author of the Element Trilogy (Imajin Books) and the Joshua and The Lightning Road series (Month9Books). She is a contributing editor for International Thriller Writers the Big Thrill magazine and blogs with other middle grade authors at Project Middle Grade Mayhem. Donna has lived from England as a child, to Hawaii as a U.S. Navy photographer. She now lives in Pennsylvania with her family in an old farmhouse that has lots of nooks and crannies, but sadly no ghosts. You can find her books, resources for writers, and upcoming events at www.elementtrilogy.com. For more information on her writing for tweens and teens visit www.donnagalanti.com.

Connect with Donna:

Website: Facebook: Twitter: Pinterest: GoodReads: Instagram:


 


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Ashes and Fire2You can find Fire in the Woods and Ashes in the Sky at all these awesome bookish places!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kobo | Chapters Indigo! | iBooks | IndiBound |


Catch up with me on social media!

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Feeling the Pressure! AKA: Writing your second novel, after your first won so many awards @JGoochHummer

Woohoo! Today we’re welcoming Jennifer Gooch Hummer to chat about sending her second book into the world, after her first book, GIRL UNMOORED won TWELVE awards!  No pressure or anything! (List of awards is below)

So tell us about it Jennifer. What is GIRL UNMOORED about?

Hi Jennifer! Thank you for having me on your blog.

My first novel, GIRL UNMOORED, is a Young Adult book about a girl named Apron whose outcast life changes when she befriends two young men, both unbeknownst to her, have AIDS. The story takes place in 1985 when the fear of AIDS was rampant.

Clearly this is a much different genre than middle-grade fantasy! So even though I would love to repeat the amazing awards that I was lucky enough to win for GIRL UNMOORED, I can’t even begin to compare my debut to OPERATION TENLEY.

An editor once explained to me they look for two kinds of books: award-winning or commercially successful. My goal for THE FAIR CITY FILES series is to be commercially successful. I hope that does not sound too shallow. I certainly strived to write the best book possible, but it’s the story world in this book that I hope intrigues the most.

Besides, as every writer knows, each story is its own eco-system, completely separate from one another. I wasn’t sure I could love a character more than Apron Bramhall, but Tenley Tylwyth and Holden Wonderbolt have stolen my heart.

I’m writing Book II now and let’s just say… adventurous weather awaits!

Sounds awesome! So what’s Operation Tenley about?

Tenley Tylwyth is an Elemental Teen born with the power to produce weather. Cool? Not really. Elementals who can create weather make Mother Nature angry. It’s time she got rid of them. Only one thing is standing in her way—Fair Ones. These ancestors of fairies keep kids like Tenley safe, but when rookie Fair One, Pennie, fails to do so, she’s forced to travel to Earth—a place where no Fair One wants to go. Now, Pennie has forty-eight hours to convince Tenley to give up her power. It won’t be so easy. Tenley’s got a way with wind. And after falling deep into Mother Nature’s gardens, where trees grow upside down and insects attack on command, a little wind might be just what Tenley needs to survive. Even if it kills her.

Sounds great! Thanks for stopping by Jennifer!

Find out more about Operation Tenley at your favorite bookish places!

Goodreads  | Google Play | BAM | Chapters | Indies | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | TBD | iBooks

Or enter the Rafflecopter [HERE] for the chance to win a copy!


About the author:

Jennifer Gooch Hummer is the award-winning author and screenwriter for her debut novel, Girl Unmoored, which has been optioned for film. Her middle grade fantasy series, Operation Tenley; Book 1 of The Fair City Files, is forthcoming September 2016. Jennifer has worked as a script analyst for various talent agencies and major film studios. Jennifer lives in Los Angeles with her husband and their three daughters.



GIRL UNMOORED has been awarded:
Maine Literary Awards, YA Fiction 2013
Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards 2012, YA Fiction Adult Themes.
Reader Views Kids Award Winner, Best Teen/YA Book of the Year, 2012
Reader Views Winner, Best Teen/YA Fiction 2012
Foreword Book of The Year Finalist, YA Fiction 2012
Indie Excellence Awards 2012, Winner Cross-Genre Fiction
Next Generation Indie Book Awards 2012, Winner YA Fiction
USA Book Awards, Finalist Best New Book 2012
USA Book Awards, Finalist Best Cross-over Fiction, 2012
Paris Book Festival Awards 2012, Winner YA Fiction
San Francisco Book Festival Awards 2012, Winner Teenage Fiction.
Next Generation Indie Book Awards 2012, Finalist Chick Lit Fiction
International Book Awards 2012, Finalist Best New Book
International Book Awards 2012, Finalist YA Fiction
Next Generation Indie Book Awards 2012, Best Cover Art

Please visit her at: http://jennifergoochhummer.com/
And her book blog at: http://allstorygirl.wordpress.com/

 

Write what you love with author @patriciabtighe

Several years ago, when I was having trouble with the plot of the book I was working on, I had a mentor tell me, “Write what you love.” By this she meant to use things that I love, that I’m enthusiastic about, in my story. Not only did it help to fuel plot ideas, but I was more excited about what I was writing.

Since that time, I’ve practiced this advice with every book I’ve written, especially when it comes to my characters. Part of their personalities, interests, and hobbies are things that I enjoy. In my first published book with Swoon Romance, LIFE IN THE NO-DATING ZONE, my main character Claire loves Legos—just like I do. I was able to use details from my own experiences with Legos when I wrote the scenes where she is building. Like me, Claire also loves to go bowling, which some people think is pretty geeky. I used that to create story tension when a guy disses her for it.

 In my second book in the series, LIFE IN THE LUCKY ZONE, my character Berger sees the world in a pretty quirky way. I love finding the humor in life, and he’s been one of my favorite characters to write because I’ve been able to let my goofball flag fly. I never worried about things being too weird. I just let him be as off the wall as he wanted. And it never hurts to laugh while you write. Plus, I’ve heard that my readers enjoy him too.😀

 My third book, LIFE IN THE DANGER ZONE, which is due out in October, has a main character who loves reading mysteries—just like I do. And on it goes. When I incorporate things I love into my books, I’m able to include details that I wouldn’t necessarily know if I didn’t already enjoy the activity. And the details can make a story and characters more real for a reader.


About Patricia B. Tighe:

The mother of two grown sons, Patricia B. Tighe lives in West Texas with her husband and dog. She eats way too much pizza, drinks way too much coffee, and watches way too much NFL football. On the bright side, she also reads and writes teen fiction. She promises to include as much romance, angst, and adventure as possible in her books.

Catch up with the author on Twitter | Instagram | Facebook


About Life in the Lucky Zone (The Zone, Book 2)

Seventeen-year-old Lindsey Taylor lives a charmed life—always the lead in school plays, possessor of a healthy entourage and a hot boyfriend. But then she gets dumped and screws up her audition for the spring play. The Theater teacher picks Trey Berger, a gamer who irritates her by simply opening his mouth, to run lines with her. Could things get any worse?

Trey can barely tolerate Lindsey. It’s bad enough their best friends are dating and he has to see Lindsey outside of school. Rehearse together? Trey would rather chill with his live-in grandmother who has Dementia.

As the semester continues, Trey discovers there’s more to Lindsey than the persona she puts on for everyone else’s benefit. And that Lindsey might be someone he could care about. A lot.

While Lindsey tries to change her luck and heal from the breakup, Trey slowly becomes her best friend. He makes her laugh and holds her when she cries. Could he possibly become something more?

Find out more here!


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Ashes and Fire2You can find Fire in the Woods and Ashes in the Sky at all these awesome bookish places!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kobo | Chapters Indigo! | iBooks | IndiBound |


Catch up with me on social media!

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Pop Goes My Brain! This is My Worst Editing Nightmare! With @carolinetpatti

My worst editing nightmare? That would be the whole process of writing Into the Dark, the book that precedes Into the Light.

Into the Dark began as a story called Seven Days. Very often I write a prologue, which I then don’t include in the book.

Prologues serve as jumping off points for me, but once the book is written, I axe the prologue because it seems unnecessary.

Here is the prologue that got me started writing Seven Days:

Six days ago I died. Only I didn’t cross over or see a white light, or an angel, or any of the stuff you see in movies and read about in books. Instead, I landed in the body of my best friend, Millie. Now I have a choice to make. Stay in her body and live my life as hers, or leave it, and kill us both. I have one day left to decide. What would you do?

Just typing that now makes me shudder.

The writing isn’t very good. And I certainly would never pose a question to a reader. 4th wall break! But that is where I was with my writing at the time. And I can’t exactly fault myself because “everybody’s got to start somewhere.”

I submitted draft after draft of Seven Days to my then agent and she kept telling me how much she loved the story—she called it galvanizing, a word I had to look up—but the writing needed work. This went on for YEARS. But the book never went where my agent wanted it to go. She eventually dropped me. And really, can you blame her?

No._00000She suggested I take a master class, but my ego wasn’t ready to listen. A while later, my ego in check, I reached out to Georgia McBride, who at the time did free lance editing work, and begged her to whip my writing in shape. It still took a long time, but eventually I learned the difference between telling a story and crafting a novel.

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I submitted Into the Dark for publication in 2014. That “final” version was the eighth draft, as in I’d written the novel eight times from beginning to end. I began writing the story in 2008, and by 2014 it was nothing like the original version, barely recognizable except that the premise, or rather the conflict presented in the original prologue, was still the heart of the novel.

Accepted by Month9Books I thought, FINALLY! I’m finally finished writing and revising this novel. And then I opened the email from the editor. Her note:

It would work better in present tense.

Whaaaaat

There was definitely some crying. Maybe a lot of crying. But I rewrote the whole thing, changing each verb, and struggling with how to write flashback scenes, until the whole novel was in present tense. It took me the entire summer of 2014.

That’s my editing nightmare. My Everest, if you will. But I made it. I think. =)


About the Author:

Caroline T. Patti is the author of the Nettie series, which includes: The World Spins Madly On, Too Late to Apologize, A Little Faith and Life After You (Sept. 2015) She also wrote Into the Dark published by Month9Books. Caroline is a former teacher, librarian and coach. She lives in Northern California with her husband and two daughters.

When she’s not writing, she’s probably on Twitter.

Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads


About Into the Light:

Mercy’s family is back together and the threat of danger appears to have passed. But any relief she feels is short lived as she is ripped from her body and thrown in jail. Gage and Nathaniel’s plans to break Mercy out won’t exactly be easy. Stuffed full of a chemical binding agent, Mercy is trapped inside the body of a convict without the ability to breach and set herself free. Unfortunately for Mercy, being trapped in jail becomes the least of her problems when she meets her evil twin, Justice.

Find out more about the book at:

BAM | Chapters | Amazon | B&N | TBD | Goodreads


Giveaway Information: Contest ends August 29, 2016

  • One (1) winner will receive a scrabble tile book cover charm (US ONLY)
  • Five (5) winners will receive a digital copy of Into the Dark and Into the Light by Caroline T. Patti (INT)

 

Sign up for the Rafflecopter HERE!

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