Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Conference Report- Day 2 Continued!!

Okay, Day 2, Part 2: Seducing Your Reader...that was the next session I attended! I had been very interested in this session, since I write romance and often write sexual scenes. I knew this would be a great workshop for me. It was led by Tracy MacNish, a historical romance writer, and she was fantastic!! She had a great way of mixing humor with her lessons and it was really informative!

Here are some of the things I learned:

#1: Get over your inhibitions!

#2: You need to create sexual tension. Nothing gets readers glued to pages better than sexual tension. She mentioned tv shows such at Friends (Ross and Rachel) and The Office (Pam and Jim) and how the back and forth keeps us glued and wanting more. Strive for tension on every page.

#3: Increasing tension. Nothing increases tension more than a character wanting someone they can't have or the feelings are mutual but they can't act on it. Think Romeo and Juliette. Or what if one person doesn't share the feeling but uses it to their advantage?

#4: You lose sexual tension the minute they "do it"...and you need to find some other way to bring the tension back and your readers eyes on the page.

#5: You need to create characters that your reader cares about, someone they want to root for. You need to create characters that your reader will want to see together. And make them real. You don't need the perfect woman or a man with bulging muscles. They need quirks. Readers identify with real characters and want them to fall in love and live happily ever after.

#6: When writing sexual scenes, you need details. Use your senses- show the reader what's going on by giving them smells and sounds. Be aware of the surroundings, even mid-scene. Use dialogue to show emotion between the couple.

#7: Interruptions during a sex scene can be a great tool...increases tension. But be careful. Too many and the reader will become frustrated.

#8: You are literally "screwed" without honesty!! LOL! You cannot lie to the reader. Sex is not perfect, ever, include your character's insecurities. Carry their personality traits into the bedroom.

I left this workshop with lots of things to think about and I felt very inspired!! Gave me lots of ideas and ways to enhance the scenes I've already written!!

Next up was lunch! I was starved and so thankful! I met up with Sarah and Nicole (she writes YA as well, so they spent the majority of the day together!) The conference organizers arranged a fantastic Italian lunch buffet- YUM! Tortellini, ziti, meatballs, bread sticks, Caesar salad! The key note speaker was James Frey and as in his earlier session, he entertained us along with giving solid writing advice. The main point that stayed with me is to never give up. Keep writing and keep submitting. He recommends getting 84 rejections on a piece before throwing it in the drawer.

Stop back for more tomorrow!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Conference Report- Day 2!!!!

Okay, let's pick up where we left off!

Day 2, Part 1: Woke at 5:30 a.m., unable to fall back asleep. It had been an awful night. I never sleep well the first night in a new place, but this was horrible. The heater was sooooooooooooo loud and seemed to click on every 5 minutes with a whoosh so loud that it felt like I woke every single time. The night before, when Sarah and I were on our laptops on our beds, the heater was on my side, and if it was on and she said soemthing to me, I had to ask her to repeat it louder. I could not hear her...and she was only about 5 feet away from me!!!

So we got dressed, primped and preened, then headed to breakfast, after dropping off my entries for the flash contests. I wrote a couple things to enter, fiction and non-fiction, 100 word max. That was incredibly tough!!

Breakfast was typical continental fare- muffins, danishes, bagels, fruit, juice, coffee, tea. But it was tasty! We chatted with some writers while we ate then went our separate ways.

Sarah and I ended up at only two sessions together...we write different genres, so there were sessions that appealed to each of us differently.

At 8:50 was the Agent Panel. It consisted of Kim Lionetti, Michelle Humphrey, Eddie Schneider and Jessica Papin. The moderator led off with some questions and each agent answered, stuff like trends and demystifying the publishing industry. The floor was then opened to the rest of us and there were some great questions. It was quite informative.

Next at 9:50 was The Power of Knowing Your Premise by James Frey. This was quite interesting. He is very entertaining and basically he tells it like it is. I guess I had never really given thought to my premise...I mean, I know what my books are about, but to simplify it into a few words.....seemed impossible. He really seemed to resonate with me when he said "Shit doesn't just happen." Something leads to something that leads to something. Our characters need to be dramatic, extreme of type. They need to have a grueling passion, but it can change. There needs to be a dramatic change in your character, a struggle, high stakes, whether it be love, relationships, honor, money, family.

In the end, I discovered my premise for A Bitch Named Karma is this: Selfishness leads to self discovery and true bliss.

For Spellbound, it's this: Love defeats family loyalty.

I had to miss the last 15 minutes of this session to make it to my pitch appointment on time. It was set for 10:30. I left, arms and legs shaking with fear, and took my place outside the meeting room with a few other writers waiting for their 10:30's with their selected agent. One of the women asked who I was seeing- I told her. She was also seeing the same exact time. Yikes! We were escorted in, informed the moderator of our problem and she approached Kim and told her of the mix-up. She agreed to meet with one of us immediately and the other, right after, even though pitch sessions were over for the morning. The other woman went first, leaving me 10 more minutes to freak out inside. I decided to get my mind off of it for at least a few minutes and went to the table displaying the flash contest entries and made my votes. I headed back and waited, insides churning. I went in and shook Kim's hand, hoping she didn't hear my thundering heart. I introduced myself then fumbled with my bag and yanked out my notebook with the notes I had prepared. I started talking and didn't once glance at my notebook. I did relax after that first sentence and Kim was easy to talk to. I felt like I was jumping around in the book, but it was more of a casual conversation so I didn't think too much of it. Kim asked a few questions, the resolution of course, and also how my MC's mother felt about the events that were transpiring. Then she asked me who's work I compared myself too. I was never so thankful in my life than I had been in that moment for taking a minute to ponder that simple question the night before. I was 100% prepared and that feeling felt GREAT!! I'm hoping my confidence shined then though I did honestly tell her that I had been prepared from the moment she mentioned it in her pitch workshop the night before. I told her I compared my writing to Emily Giffin's and her ability to write characters that the reader can't help but root for and want to know more about. She smiled and seemed pleased with the answer (Kudos for me!!) She asked to see a partial and slid her business card across the table!! I thanked her, said my goodbyes, and tried not to skip out of there.

The rest of the day, I floated through. The weight had been lifted and I felt great. I thought my pitch went decently well and I was pleased with how relaxed I did feel when I went in there and just let it flow from my mouth. I didn't try to organize it and I hope my passion for the story shined through.

I met up with Sarah and another writer we had met, Nicole. There was a short break before the next sessions started. I relayed my experience then parted ways with them to attend Seducing Your Reader!

Check back tomorrow!!!

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Write Stuff Conference Report!!!!

First off, let me just say, the people over at GLVWG are FANTASTIC!!! They put together a really great conference!! Definitely go and check them out!!!!

Day 1: I left my house about 8:30, just after my daughter got on the bus for school. I picked up my writing friend Sarah, aka Sadie Worth (check her out too!!) After a stop at Tim Horton's for bagels and beverages, we were on our way. The weather was beautiful, great day for driving. We had no troubles and the five hour drive seemed to fly by....I'm sure our constant gabbing made that happen!

We checked in at 3 ish and got settled in the room. We had 'til 7, so we took a trip to Target down the street. Came back and started to get ready. I went to the lobby to print up my synopsis to have just in case (there was a community computer and printer there), and in walks Evan Goldfried, a Literary Agent. I had a moment of "OMG" a celebrity had walked into the hotel. Made me wonder if they know that we writers sometimes look at them like that! They hold our future writing careers in their hands!!!

After that, we got ourselves all glammed up and the conference officially began!

We met up in the lobby with Renee and Frank Rocco from Lyrical Press, my publishers for A Bitch Named Karma. This was my first time meeting them outside of cyber space, and let me tell you, they are the sweetest people I have ever met!!!!!! I immediately felt at ease with them, as if I had known them forever, and knew without even the most minuscule smidgen of doubt, that my book had landed in THE BEST hands ever!!! I also met Ann Simko, a fellow Lyrical author. Fantastic lady!! We all chatted for a few minutes, then Renee and Frank had to jet off for a session called Page Cuts, where authors had submitted the first page of their manuscript, anonymously, and it was read to the room and critiqued by a panel.

The first event we attended was the Pitching Dos and Don'ts workshop led by Kim Lionetti from Bookends LLC, who happened to be the agent I had an appointment with the next day. I was super excited for this session...hoping to calm my nerves about actually being face to face....a few feet away from an AGENT! Kim was fantastic and the session showed me that as god-like as they appear to us, agents are actually human and they are real and down to Earth! She gave some fantastic advice and I took notes:

#1: Don't do too much. Keep it short and to the point. Choose the strongest concept of your story and make that the focus, 2-5 sentences. Think of your pitch as the blurb that would be on the back of your book.

#2: Focus on what makes your book different than everything else that's out there.

#3: Know your audience. Publishing is a business, you absolutely must know who will want to read your book. If an agent takes you on, the publishers will need to know where your book would fit in the publishing world.

#4: Don't be nervous. As hard as it is, try to relax. She actually suggested a glass of wine, even at 10 in the morning! LOL!

#5: Don't try to memorize your pitch. Let your story flow. You know your story and agents want to see your enthusiasm, not a paragraph that has been studied and then just spewed out. It's okay to have some index cards as a reminder, but it's best if you can just let it flow!

#6: Do your research. Know what the agent represents, the past books they've sold.

#7: Ask questions! Show enthusiasm!

#8: Know the market and what author your work is similar to. Yes, they want something new and different, but they also need to know what is out there that's similar and where they can place your book. (Take my advice on this one......I am soooooooooooooooooo glad I took a minute to ponder this question...cause guess what..she did ask me!!!! So glad I had an answer ready and not a blank stare and "Ummmmm.")

#8: Concentrate on the book and if there's time at the end, then list your publishing credits.

I learned a lot during the session, including one point that Kim didn't make herself: there is such a thing as too much courage. During the session, a woman raised her hand and asked if she could stand and read her pitch to the room. Kim was respectful and tactful, and of course, gave her the okay. But the rest of us....we thought it was rude. It seemed that this woman had not been lucky enough to snag a pitch appointment with Kim and had taken it upon herself to interrupt the session to make sure Kim heard it. Not sure what this woman expected, but throughout the conference, we experienced this type of behavior with this woman again. Not cool.

The session ended and I walked away with a bit more confidence than I had before, but in all honesty, it didn't curb the nerves too much! I made some notes in a notepad...up until that point I still had no clue what I was going to say. I hoped I would get in there and it would flow freely. Winging it seemed like the best plan for me :)

The Welcome Reception started and we found our way to the cash bar, where Renee and Frank were. They insisted on buying us a drink! We talked for a bit then separated to mingle around the room. I met up with another Lyrical Author, Rebecca Rose and some other writers too. It was so amazing to be in a room COMPLETELY filled with writers!!

We then started walking around, hoping to meet some of the agents. It's kind of an awkward thing. The agents were usually in a group, surrounded by other writers, talking about various things, writing related and other. You just kind joined the circle and waited to be acknowledged or when a lull allowed you the chance to jump in. First we joined the circle around Michelle Humphrey, a agent who represents YA and the agent my friend Sarah had her pitch appointment with. She was very pleasant and asked what we wrote and how we liked the conference so far. Again, it was such a relief to see that agents are real people and easy to talk with! Sarah made most of the conversation with her, as I really didn't have much to say, YA not being my genre and all, but I enjoyed the conversation.

Then we found Kim Lionetti. Hopefully I didn't sound like a complete dweeb when I told her I enjoyed her session and how down to Earth I thought she was. We talked for a bit then gravitated toward Renee and Frank again. I wanted Sarah to get the chance to talk with them more, as she hoped to snag a pitch session with them for her adult novel. So while we're talking, Renee tells me that my debut novel, A Bitch Named Karma, that hasn't even been released as an ebook yet (June 7th), WILL BE RELEASED IN PRINT in January!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! A little birdie had already mentioned it to me but I would not allow myself to really tell anyone...fear of jinxing it!!! But now I have heard it straight from the horse's mouth!!!!! YAY!!!!!!!!!

So needless to say, we had a great time talking with them and also experienced many tears...from laughing so hard!

It was about 10:30 at that point, so we headed back to the room for email checking, showering and an attempt to get as much sleep as possible before a big day of workshops and pitch sessions!!!

Stay tuned for more!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

What makes you want to follow someone???

I've been blogging for a year now and I have a wonderful list of followers- 104, YAY!! I am very excited about my list and I never ever ever thought I would have that many. I like to think that I am somewhat interesting to read about and that people enjoy sharing my journey!!

But then I think about other blogs....and their 300-400 followers. I wonder what I'm doing wrong that my numbers aren't that high too.

So what do followers really look for in a blog to follow???

I see many of the bogs I follow....probably 95% are fellow writers. And so many of them give out writing advice. Some of it is invaluable and I am grateful for these bloggers! Is this something that followers look for in a blog?? Are they looking to learn something, not just read someone's journey??

I tried a few times to give writing advice and what it boils down to is this: I am a nobody. Yes, I have had some small successes in the publishing world and yes, I have been through many many rounds of copy edits for my debut, A Bitch Named Karma. I tried my best to share what I learned along the way...but I'm just getting the hang of all this. I don't feel qualified to give out advice.

On another note, In less than 24 hours, I will be on my way to Allentown, PA for The Write Stuff writers conference and I am so so excited! Am I ready....yeah....not really. But I'll do the best I can!

Monday, March 22, 2010

I so don't need this right now.

Okay...the countdown is on. This time on Friday, I'll be on my way to Allentown, PA for The Write Stuff Writer's Conference. I'll be excited beyond belief, but so so nervous too!

But right now....I have an unbelievable amount of work to do and I'm not sure I can do it all in time.

Yesterday was a lazy Sunday....we laid around all day and I expected to get some decent time to work. Nope. Let's just say a dramatic evening the night before left my brain swirling with far too many other things. I could not concentrate at all. And I tried...I really tried. I got some work done but finally gave up when I realized my brain was somewhere else and being held hostage. I am...with less than 4 days to prepare myself. I will work on editing my novel and perfecting my synopsis. I will try to work on my pitch and all that...but I'm wondering if any of the preparation will really prepare me for that 10 minute pitch session anyway. I'm sure I'll babble and say "um" at least once every ten seconds.

But on a happy note, Dancing with the Stars starts tonight and I am oh so excited! I plan on working as much as possible then tuning in to watch the show!

Friday, March 19, 2010

If you have time and can do this...please critique my synopsis!

I hate these things soooooooooooooooooooooo much. Condensing an entire 372 page novel into one page is pure torture.......seriously...this is hell for writers. If anyone ever needed to get some info out of me...just stick me in a room and make me write synopsises. I won't last long.

Here is my one-pager for Spellbound. I took it to my writers group two weeks ago and they said the first half was good....but the second half fell short on description and it seemed like I was rushing to get the story down. I worked on it today.

It's contemporary romance. Thanks in advance! :)

Spellbound: One-Page Synopsis

RODA MORGAN is constantly surrounded by love. As a wedding florist, she helps brides and grooms plan their weddings, dreaming of the day she will don a white gown herself.

Roda’s toughest client of the year is MRS. VANDEWATER, a wealthy socialite who thinks all things revolve around her and her perfect daughter.

When Roda meets ERIC SPENCER, a groomsman from the Vandewater wedding, she thinks this tall, dark and handsome gentleman is way out of her league. They begin dating and she quickly feels a connection with him. Roda relaxes her guard and tells him about her Wiccan beliefs, something that has proven to be a problem in many of her past relationships with men. But Eric’s open-mindedness makes him different than the others and the two fall in love fast while learning and appreciating the differences they have.

Roda’s world is more perfect than she could ever have imagined, until Eric confesses that his mother is Violetta Vandewater, the woman who tormented her for months. He explains why he kept the truth from her—fear that she would refuse to see him because of who his mother is. After calming her initial anger, Roda understands the trepidation in telling a new love interest about your family.

Roda starts spending time with the Vanderwater family. She wants to become a part of Eric’s world and finds that she likes the wealth and privilege much more than she ever thought. As she lets some of her beliefs and family traditions fall to the wayside, Roda’s mother can see her daughter pulling away from their modest Wiccan lifestyle.

With a magical proposal, Eric asks Roda to marry him and the two begin planning their wedding. When they talk about the ceremony, Roda is uncomfortable with a church service and Eric is unhappy about a God-less ceremony. The two argue, the first time their different backgrounds has become an issue.

Mrs. Vandewater finds out that Roda is Wiccan and forbids her son from marrying a “satan worshipper”. The false accusation from her future mother-in-law devastates Roda, but Eric tells her he loves her and doesn’t care what his mother thinks.

Wedding plans fall apart as one thing after another goes wrong and unbeknown to them, Eric’s mother is the cause of every single one. He tries to console a hysterical Roda, but she can no longer believe his words. They argue about everything and anything—things they both had held inside. Roda removes her engagement ring and walks out.

In the midst of a family tragedy, Roda hides her sorrow about her canceled engagement. She learns that Eric’s mother was behind the wedding disasters, but at that point, it doesn’t even matter. Their problems are too big to overcome. Eric goes to her and tells her he still loves her and still wants to marry her. They can fly away and be married on the beach while the sun sets—no drama, just their love. He will be on the plane and if she wants to marry him, she must meet him there.

After facing a life of loneliness, Roda rushes to the airport and makes it to the gate just as last call is announced. Eric is there, waiting for her with open arms.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Complete honesty????

In the writing world, we want complete honesty. We know, as writers, that we cannot learn and grow without our readers; beta readers, critique partners, writers group members, giving us complete and utter honesty. A smile and "It's so awesome!" does not help. We know what to do when we're feeling down and need a pick me up: Mom. But to help ourselves grow as writers, we need to know what our writing is missing...even if the truth hurts. And sometimes it does sting. Sometimes at first we look at the critique and say "What???" But usually we come to accept the critique and take what we need from it and fix what needs to be fixed.

But what about our personal lives? What about our friends and family? Is complete honesty the absolute best policy, especially when you know your comments will make someone angry.

I've been in the position many times. For most of my life, accept with my writing partners, I stick with the mantra: if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. But what should you do when you see someone, a friend, and they are obviously blind to something going on in their life. Something that could result in someone being hurt. And they just don't see it. But you know, without a doubt, that your saying something will cause them to be angry with you...possibly ending their friendship with you. Do you take the chance and say something anyway...or just let them go on in their bubble?

It's easy to say that if the person is really a friend, they will listen and take your concerns seriously...but we all know that's not how real life always is. People get defensive and feel like they're being judged.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Lack of I'm posting a scene for you!

So sorry...blogging time has been cut down to nothing this much to little time...story of our lives, right?

I will get to drawing the winners for my Chicken Soup for the Soul giveaway...I promise I will! :)

In the meantime, here is a scene from one of my WIPs. It's the opening chapter to something I've titled The Greener Grass.

I'd love some feedback...are you interested in reading more??? Does this opening grab you and make you wonder what happened???

“You can’t marry him, Mia.”

“I can and I will,” she replied and peered into the antique mirror above the vanity in the dressing room of the small chapel. She adjusted her necklace then smoothed a simple ivory satin dress. Mia looked to the clock, fifteen minutes till ceremony time. She then reached for her bouquet, an elegant arrangement of miniature calla lilies.

“He doesn’t love you like I do.” Josh took the flowers and placed them back on the vanity. He brought both her hands to his lips while his sad eyes pleaded with her.

“He’ll never treat you like I did.”

Mia didn’t know what else to say to him. They’d been on this merry-go-round for months. She’d explained her feelings to him over and over again.

“I love him. I’m sorry. We were meant to be together. Why do you keep making me say things that hurt you?”

“He’s an asshole! You’re meant to be with me!”

She sighed and pulled away from him then walked to the mirror and checked the stability of her simple up-do. This was a second wedding for her and her groom, no veil, no poufy gown—just the two of them and about fifty of their closest family members and friends.

“Please don’t do this.”

Mia looked into Josh’s teary eyes once again. He stood there in sneakers and faded jeans. A wrinkled button-down shirt pulled slightly in his mid-section and his dark hair showed bits of gray on the sides. “I think you need to leave now.”

“Daddy!” they heard from behind and Olivia rushed into her father’s arms. Her ivory chiffon flower girl’s dress shimmered in the sunlight that shone in through the window.

“Hey, Peanut! You look gorgeous!” Josh hugged his little girl then put her down and twirled her.

“Mommy,” Olivia said and turned to her mother. “Grandma said you need to come out now.”

“Okay. I’ll be right there. Go get your flower basket and get ready!”

She ran off and Mia took one last glance in the mirror. She was ready to walk down the aisle to her new life. Sean was waiting for her. She didn’t want to make him wait any longer than she had to. They’d spent far too much time apart as it was.

She grabbed her bouquet and walked toward the door.

“Mia, please. Think about what you’re doing.”

“I have,” she said then left the room, leaving Josh there alone.

* * *

Mia stood in the vestibule, the doors leading to the church were closed. She could hear the gentle sounds of harp music from inside. It was two minutes to three. She called Olivia over and fixed the bow that was tied in the back of her dress. She fluffed the soft fabric then gave her a gentle kiss on the nose.

Mia nodded to the church attendants and they opened the doors for her. Olivia glided down the aisle tossing the lavender and white rose petals just as they had practiced at home for weeks.

Mia stood in position, waiting for Olivia to finish her grand walk. She could see Sean, a sexy half-smile on his face—the same one she’d fallen head-over-heels in love with so many years ago. Seeing that smile gave her all the courage she needed to take that first step onto the worn hardwood aisle of St. Mary’s Chapel. She remembered the joy and fun of a teen summer and how alive his kisses had made her feel.

Mia took a few more steps as the harpist played a simple Canon in D. It was those same kisses years later that brought Mia out of the depression of just existing. Sean had awoken every cell of her being and she remembered what it was like to soar and fly and have excitement in her life once again.
She knew what she was walking towards when she stepped forward that afternoon. She was stepping into the life she should have had.

* * *

Josh waited ‘til Mia had started her journey down the aisle before he took a seat in the very last pew. She’d told him to leave but he just couldn’t. How could he walk out and let the woman he loved, his wife, marry another man? But Mia wasn’t his wife any more. She’d made her decision regardless of his promises to change. She told him she didn’t believe he could change and it didn’t matter if he did. She didn’t love him anymore.

Josh watched Mia take her place in the front of the chapel, a glow surrounding her. He looked to the people sitting in the pews in front of him, the people he used to call “family”. These same people gathered in a grand cathedral many years ago for a similar reason. Now, there were fewer decorations and this bride’s dress was much plainer than the one she wore the day of her first wedding, but Mia looked just as beautiful, just as excited.

Mia wanted Sean and Josh couldn’t understand why. More than a decade earlier it was Sean’s indifference that pushed Mia into Josh’s arms. Did she forget what he was like back then—a conceited rich boy who did whatever the hell he wanted? But once again Mia was under his spell. She insisted that he’d become a different person, he’d matured. Josh still saw the same asshole, but this time Sean had mesmerized his daughter as well as his wife.

Josh remembered the smug smile Sean often wore when he and Mia dated for the first time, that look of entitlement. Josh sat in the shadows then, invisible to Mia. Until that one day. One day changed everything and Mia saw the man that Josh was, or at least the man he used to be.

Josh blinked back to reality just in time to hear the pastor say “Speak now or forever hold your peace.” In the few seconds of silence that followed, Josh saw the last thirteen years of his life sit waiting to be erased, Mia’s finger hovering over the delete key. He debated on standing and proclaiming his love for her, begging her to come back to him. But he looked to her face. A smile reached from one side to the other and he realized it had been a long, long time since he had given her a reason to smile like that. Her arms were outstretched, hands resting in Sean’s. His face carried an expression Josh had never seen. Was this a sincere smile? Maybe Mia was right; maybe she was where she was supposed to be. It didn’t matter what he wanted. Her happiness was more important. Josh slowly stood and crept from his seat, exiting the church. The day was sunny and warm—the perfect day for a wedding.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

My very first author interview: Aubrie Dionne!

Aubrie Dionne is an author, flutist, and teacher in the New England Region. She uses visually imagery and fairy tales to teach music and make it come alive for her students. Over the years she has combined her two passions: music and story telling.

Her young adult fantasy novel, Dreams of Beauty, is published by SynergEbooks. Her work will be showcased in the fall issues of Niteblade and Silver Blade magazines, Wyvern Publications Dragontales Anthology, and Nightbird Publishing's Night Bird Singing in the Dead of Night Anthology. She currently teaches flute at Plymouth State University and a local community music school.

Hi Aubrie! Nebula’s Music is your first publication with Lyrical Press? How does it compare to your other publications?

Nebula's Music is my first venture into science fiction! I love writing fantasy, but I also love science fiction and I wanted to branch out and challenge myself as a writer.

I always like a challenge!!

Describe the feeling you had when you first got “the call” or “the email” for your first publication.

It was an email, and I didn't believe it. I had to read it three or four times and then get my husband to read it as well. Then, I thought it was fraud or spam and checked out the company to make sure they were legit! I'm still waiting for that agent call, and I query every book length novel I write for a chance.

LOL! I pretty much did the same thing when I got that email...just stared at it for a while! And I too am still hoping to snag a fab agent one day!

What was your inspiration for writing Nebula’s Music?

The character Data from Star Trek The Next Generation. I watched Star Trek growing up at 7pm and 7:30pm every night. Data was my favorite character (and my crush as well, but we'll get to that later) There was one scene where he plays the violin perfectly and I wondered if his playing would have any emotion in it and also marveled at the fact that he can take up an instrument and play it perfectly in minutes compared to a human that has to spend a lifetime perfecting their skills.

My character, Nebula, is made from human parts, and experiences human memories. She's more human than Data, but still primarily a cyborg.

Very interesting!

Did you always want to be an author? What started the desire?

My day job is teaching flute lessons. I work at a Community Music School and a University. I make up stories to go along with the music to make my students play more emotionally and bring the music to life. A few of my students said I should publish these stories, and here I am today!

Amazing how one little spark can put the idea in your head!

What do you hope to accomplish with your writing?

I'd love to get an agent and get widespread distribution of my books. The next full length novel that I'm writing is another chance at that, and so I'm taking my time trying to make every sentence perfect. It's about space pirates and a colony vessel traveling to a paradise planet three hundred years away. It's by far the most original writing I've ever attempted and if anything breaks into the agent circle, this one will!

What an awesome feeling! I wish you the best of luck!!

What are your thoughts about digital publishing? Do you own a DBR (Digital Book Reader)? Which one? And do you like it?

I love my Sony E reader! When I went on a trip I took it with me on the plane. Plane rides are so boring for me and I get really antsy in my seat. This time I had 300 books at my fingertips, and it flew (excuse my pun!) by in no time. When I got bored reading one book, I scrolled to another. I still like having real books at home, but I love the idea of being able to take them with me where ever I go.

I have a Sony Reader too and I really love it! Haven't used it on a plane yet...but I will be next month!

I will soon be celebrating the release of my first novel-length publication and to me, that calls for a party! Did you do anything special to celebrate your first novel?

I got a website! The whole journey seemed more real to me and I realized that I needed to promote the book on my end. Having a website makes it that much more professional!

Congrats! I checked it out....very very cool!

What is your best advice for aspiring authors?

Keep writing and find some critique partners to look at your work. My writing greatly improved after I had other people pick through it and smooth it over. Also, you may need to write three or four books before you write that "Breakthrough Novel" and that's okay. It took Stephen King multiple tries, and if it took that long for him, it may take even longer for me.

I agree 100% Just keep writing...the more you write, the better you get!

And just for something fun, it is well known that I am a HUGE New Kids on the Block Fan! Did you have any teen celebrity crushes when you were growing up? Spill!

Oh my goodness, I was a hormonal teen. I loved The cabin boy on TNT's Treasure Island, who grew up to be the very handsome Christian Bale. He's my all time crush. I had signed pictures in my room and wrote to his fan club. I must have watched that silly pirate movie thousands of times. And, of course, Data from Star Trek was another strange crush of mine. I also liked Jesse from Full House (John Stamos). And get this: when I was really young I liked Smendrick the magician from The Last Unicorn. He was my first crush ever.

LOL! I so love hearing about celebrity crushes!!

Thank you so much Aubrie...I truly enjoyed this interview!!! Bloggers out there, please take a look at Aubrie's site:, very cool! And check out her blog: authoraubrie. Nebula's Music released last week- buy it at the Lyrical Press website or on Amazon.

And don't forget...only one more day to enter for a chance to win one of three Chicken Soup for the Soul book giveaways!! Click here to enter!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

My brain is being pulled in a zillion directions!

And it just does not know where to focus itself.

First off is this absolute LAST stage of editing for A Bitch Named Karma. I received my galley proof like more than a week ago. Went through that sucker...had it done last Thursday. Sent off my list of minuscule changes and typos I caught, but then wondered if I should go through it one more time....just to be on the safe side. Decided I should but the weekend was crazy busy so it got set aside till this past Monday. Opened the brain hurt to look at it. It needs to sit for at least a few days...maybe even a week.

I have Spellbound edits to do as well. I finished the POV switch like 2 weeks ago but now I have to go through and perfect it. I also need to add in the POV of my hero....his POV passages are short...less than a page at the end of some of the chapters, but still. And I got a timer ticking away on this one......writers conference is last weekend of March.....just over 2 weeks away.....yeah....I'm pitching Spellbound when I go....

And speaking of the writers conference, I need to make business cards, perfect my synopsis....mentally prepare myself for a 10 minute meeting with a literary agent.....

Throw in a volunteer project where I am writing the life story of a woman at a nursing home, critiquing fellow writers work, and trying my damndest to keep up this blog and another.

Is it April yet??? I so need a vacation?????

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Finally found out my release date!!

And it's much earlier than I thought it would be!! Yippee!!!!! The big day will be:

June 7, 2010!!!!

I have a release date!!!! This is so huge for me!! Each step of this process is more exciting than the last and I still find it hard to believe that it is all actually happening to me!!

And make sure you go here and enter my drawing for one of three Chicken Soup for the Soul: Thanks Mom books! Win it before you can buy it!!!!! Winners will be drawn this Friday!!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Awesome contest!!

Suzette and Bethany over at Shooting Stars are giving away some FABU prizes to celebrate their 500 followers!! Go check it out right now!!!! And follow them while you're at it! Great blog!!!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Chicken Soup for the Soul books arrived!!

Things were not going too well for me the other day. But I came home to this and it changed everything!!

Even though I only have a tiny part of this book, it still felt amazing to find a box at my door from Simon and Shuster! A big time publisher had sent ME something!!

I had made mention of the story being published in CSFTS here and on Facebook, but for the most part I kept it kinda quiet. I wanted it to be a surprise for my mom, since the book was all about moms and the story I contributed was about her. I knew the book was due to release on March 23, 2010...I figured it could be a fab Mother's Day gift. I really thought I could actually wait that long after actually having the book in my hands.

I am really excited to have my 10 contributors copies almost a month before release day, so when I went over to my parents' house the other day, I took one of the books with me. I signed it, of course, and wrote a little message to my mom. I gave her the book and told her to turn to page 175. She was quite excited!! She knew the story existed...I'd entered it in an essay contest before and it placed top 10. She has it printed out and in a frame. But she was even more excited now...couldn't wait to take it to work and show her friends!

So...I have all these copies and I need to give some away!!! Anyone want one????? I'm gonna give away three copies- all you have to do is leave a comment on this post. You must be a follower! I'll give it till the end of next week, Friday the 12th, and then I'll draw 3 random names! Please feel free to share the giveaway on twitter, your blog, Facebook...wherever!!!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Even when I know the outcome....

I sometimes can't help but wish for a different ending.

Last night I was exhausted and felt like doing nothing but flipping through channels. My hubby is out of town and so I have taken up the title of single mom. Not fun when you're not used to handling everything completely on your own. But anyway, I came across Titanic. I absolutely love that movie...the drama, the love story.....historical fiction at its finest!

But when it came to the part: "Iceberg! Straight ahead!" and the ship slowly inches toward it and everyone is running around trying to turn the boat, stop the coal burning, reverse the engines.... I am sitting here cringing...hoping that this time, the boat doesn't hit the iceberg.

But I know it does. Nothing will change that....short of the invention of a time machine.

I can't help but image what would have happened had Titanic not struck the iceberg. The ship would have made headlines for it's speed instead. Hundreds of people would not have died. Jack and Rose would have lived happily ever after. Maybe that's my issue. I didn't get my Happily Ever After! I guess no matter how predictable romance stories can be.....I am completely devastated when I don't get what I want.

Don't worry Jack....I'll never let go either.......