Friday, July 29, 2011

Name Revealed

I’ve been working on my novel for a year and a half now. During this whole time, I’ve been apprehensive to officially reveal its name. Perhaps it’s because she’s been such a major part of my life that I haven’t wanted to let her leave home to enter the big, bad world. I figure since I’m querying now, I may as well unlock the door and let her find her way into the capable hands of an agent and publisher.

I know this is cliché, but the idea came from a dream I had. Yet, it goes back farther than that. In July 2009, I treated myself to a trip to Europe as a graduation present to myself. The first stop was Paris, France. I’ve been smitten with that city ever since.

After coming back, I found myself there in my dreams all the time. Talk about a huge let down after waking up. Pft! But one of my Parisian dreams enthralled me; I thought about it for weeks. I told some family members its details with wishy-washy plans to write a story based around it. One sleepless night, I came up with the beginning and the end.

I started tapping away at the computer until I had a very rough draft finished. After many edits and revisions, I now have a complete manuscript. I’m where I’ve wanted to be for over a year. 

Query-dome! Woot Woot!

So without further explanation, I introduce you to my book’s title!

Félicité Found

My little secret is officially out of the bag. Félicité Found says to you:


I hope you like the title, but WHEN it’s published you’ll enjoy its story even more.

To give you a little sneak peek into my book, I share the following pictures. 
They play special roles in my book. Enjoy! 

Pont Neuf Bridge

 Jardin des Tuileries and La Grande Roue (Ferris Wheel)

And of course the Eiffel Tower! Oui Oui!

I hope I've peeked your interest so one day you'll read my book!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

An Editing Blunder

I would have been completely done with another edit last night, but out of a tiny (well, let's say stupid) mistake on my part, I have to go through the the first 22 chapters of my book. Again. Pft. Darn it. But hey it can always make it better. I'm not going to go into the details of my editing blunder, but suffice it to say, it was dumb. 

I was really hoping to be ahead of schedule for querying, however, it's held off till tomorrow. My actual goal was to be hunting for an agent by August 1, so I am still well ahead of  it, only by a few days. 

Needing to go through so many pages of my book again is overwhelming, especially when I thought I was so close. As I finished up some chapters last night, I pretty much wanted to throw my ms out the window and just go to bed. And the thing is I very well could just leave it as is, but I'm too much of a perfectionist to surrender to laziness. I'm going to hunker down and conquer my beautiful beast today. 

It can be done! And I will love it all the more for the extra time spent working through its pages.

PS: I will be sharing a little secret or surprise with you on my Friday blog post. You'll want to stop by. Hint Hint! Nudge Nudge!

Friday, July 22, 2011

A Vast Sea of Genres

Over the past couple years, I’ve found that my primary reading focus has been Young Adult literature. It’s what I enjoy reading the absolute most which is probably why I write YA. But for me to be an author, I feel that I have to feast upon a variety of different literature genres. I rather adore Middle Grade works like Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer or Fablehaven by Brandon Mull. Plus, a whole slew of fiction genres have been a part of my literature study.

Being a lover of YA, it’s somewhat difficult to pull myself away from them for a while to eat up other genres. One genre I try to implement into my joyrides through words are the classics. I don’t do it much, but every once in a while I’ll read one.

Right now I’m reading Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility. It’s rather hilarious just how far apart they are on the spectrum—one steeped in darkness, the other flowered with romance.

I’m reading Dracula out of a traditional book, but listening to Sense and Sensibility on audio book in order to utilize my time in an effective manner. I’m just gonna use the cliché: Hitting two birds with one stone.

I like to call my book a “Horrific Love Story.” These two books are very useful to add a dark aura and romantic touch to my story.

With saying this, the classics and all genres for that matter can help to improve an author’s writing because reading is research for a writer. Technically YA are where I get my stylistic ideas, but other genres aid me to formulate a story. Plus, I’ll be honest, they’re just fun to read.

I love reading. It’s a delight to become absorbed in a story, even if it is outside of my most beloved genreYoung Adult.

What is your favorite genre? Do you have a hard time branching out to read other ones? Or are you able to slide from one to the next with ease?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

All Sorts of Busy

I want to apologize for the brief nature of this post. This week is turning out to be rather busy for me. My day job is crazy--I like it, though! And I've started another edit--the edit that will launch me to query-dome. 

This edit is freaking me out because of the fact that I'm planning on actually querying my manuscript out to agents once I'm done re-evaluating the story I've patiently worked on for so long. 

Have you ever felt like this? 

Gah! What I've wanted to do for so long is now upon me. But I'm going to do my best to make my story as beautiful as I can and hope for the best. Bring on the querying. Bring on the offers. No, really! Bring on the offers. Haha

Thanks for supporting my blog, my lovely followers. I hope you have a great week. I'll be back on Friday with something funner than this to feast your eyes upon.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Winners and Wow-You-Out-Of-Your-Mind Winners

I'm so happy for the great response I got for my 200/1000 followers book giveaway. Thank you all who entered. I wish I could give you all something for entering. But, alas, I am only one poor girl. But I beam you all pretty little rubber duckies. Did you get 'em? No! Darn this beaming technology. It never works for me. Pft! Well, I send you my love instead. :D

Without any further adieu, I will announce the winners in the order in which randompicker selected. They will win either Imaginary Girls by  Nova Ren Suma or Hereafter by Tara Hudson.

Hiba (aka: wovenstrands) & Ashley (aka: Celtic Vampire)

*CLAPS* Congratulations! I will be emailing you both to get some info's from ya!

So, I really like So You Think You Can Dance. I was catching up on some missed episodes yesterday and got WOWED away with a couple of the routines. These particular dances, well, more precisely, the songs for the routines turned out to be a great inspiration to me for writing. Right here on my blog, I'd like to share them with you!

Enjoy and have a marvelous weekend!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Paper, Rocks, Scissors

I’ll admit this post has nothing to do with rocks or scissors; I just thought it would be a cool title. It does have to do with paper, though. More specifically, I’ll be talking about paperback and hardback books.

I was talking to my sister about this subject. Her husband has been reading a series of books. The next book in the series has yet to be released in paperback. He really wants to read the next book but doesn’t like hardbacks. He says they’re too heavy, not easily portable.

Here’s a picture of the book I’m reading (Dracula by Bram Stoker). I absolutely loved the cover when I purchased it, but it was only available in paperback. It’s so prettylicious! Don’t you think? But I haven’t even read a third of the book and pages are already falling out. That totally bugs me.

As I talked with my sister, we decided we like hardback books the most. I take a book with me everywhere to sneak in some reading whenever I can. Without the hardcover it could get really banged up. Plus, they’re less susceptible to pages falling out. Yes, a con to the hardback is it’s heavier. But I’m not too concerned with that issue.

Plus, typically books are released in hardback first, then a year or so later they come out in paperback. I don’t like to wait for a book to come out in paperback. I’m greedy—want it NOW! And I’m sort of OCD about books in a series either being all hardback or all paperback. They look more copasetic as they rest on my bookshelf.

It’s okay to like paperbacks. It’s perfectly fine to like hardbacks or both for that matter. To each their own!

So, are you a paperbacker or a hardbacker? Maybe you’re not partial to either. Possibly, you have a Kindle. What do you like about your preference? Or do you just play Paper, Rocks, Scissors with a bookstore employee to decide which to buy?

Hey, I brought the title into the post. I’m supercool! Uh, not really, though!

PS: Don't forget to enter to win one of these books, Imaginary Girls or Hereafter, on my blog. Follow this link to enter. You have until Thursday afternoon. Winners will be announced on my Friday blog post!

Friday, July 8, 2011

A New Element of Writing for the Writing Jewels

Being an author allows me the chance to wear lots of fluffy, pretty hats. One I’ve recently tried on and took home with me from the store is being a critique partner. I’m blessed to work with Trisha Wolfe and Jamie Corrigan. They’re both amazing writers and critique partners. Trisha was the turning point for my manuscript—she kicked its butt into gear. And not only has Jamie taken on the task of editing my book, but she’s given me some dating advice, too. Now that’s dedication. Uh, TMI. hehe

Being busy with a job, writing/editing my own book, soon-to-be querying, cracking into my next novel, etc., I didn’t think I’d be able to take on editing someone else’s book. But I’ve been able find the time and have fallen in love with the opportunity.

The last couple days, I’ve been reading a super fantastic book that Trisha Wolfe is working on. First of all her book is amazing. Second, I’m able to help her polish her I-can’t-stop-reading-it book. And third, it’s helping me to see ways I can improve my own writing. My eye is becoming more critical, picking out ways to tighten up a scene or even a sentence.

I sort of wish I’d been a critique partner earlier, however, I don’t think I was ready for it up until recently. Having figured out my own writing groove, I’m more confident in managing my time to add such a valuable experience into my schedule. Now I’m able to use my skills to help others polish up their work. That makes me happy, giggly.

My love affair with writing is now stretching to a new and enjoyable sphere. In that I’m able to aid my friends and critique partners to beautify their writing.

What’s your favorite part(s) about being a critique partner?

PS: Enter to win Imaginary Girls or Hereafter on my blog. Follow this link to enter!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Riders vs. Writers

Every July Le Tour de France is a sport I enjoy watching. Not only viewing it on television is fun, but two years ago, I went to France to see the tour ride into Paris. That was amazing! Even as I write this blog post, I’m watching the epic race’s third stage. Yep, I love it enough to follow it for a full three weeks.

One thing that impresses me about cycling is the active teamwork, even when the cyclists are racing with other team’s riders. If they don’t work together then none of them are going to succeed. Circuiting through different riders, they each take a little time at the front of the pack, allowing for all riders to have a break at the back, feeding off of the draft of those ahead.

With all this said, how does it relate to writing?

I’ve only actively been engaged in social-networking since January. That means for a full year I was alone in my writing efforts. Since then I’ve developed many great relationships with authors and avid readers. They’ve been a great support system for me. I know with full confidence that I wouldn’t be where I am as a writer today without this group of people. I rely on them to encourage me through the downs that come with being a writer, and applauding me with my achievements. And I’m eager and absolutely willing to offer them the same support. This is what is so great about the writing industry: there’s an amazing sense of unity between authors. We want each other to succeed.

If there is one thing I’d highly recommend, it is to build relationships with other authors and avid readers. Perhaps this is through critique groups or partners, or someone to talk to about good books. It’s even fun to talk with them about nothing that has to do with writing at all.

So, I say, “Writers are like riders—cyclists: we need each other to succeed. Some days you’ll be the writer at the front of the pack pushing the words forward. Other times, you’ll be at the back being fueled by the encouragement of your peers.”

I love writing, and I love my writing support group! You’re all priceless to me!

PS: Do you want to win a copy of Imaginary Girls or Hereafter? Enter to win them on my blog. Follow this link!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Editing—The Necessary Evil

I’m an author who loves the creative process of writing. What I don’t care much for is editing. Unless you are the god of all writing—a prodigy, without editing, a story will belly-flop. I was going to say “suck.” But. I’m not that rude.

Writers go through countless edits—as I’m realizing more and more everyday—so it should be FUN! Right?

Everyone say this one word like you really mean it: “Yes!”

Here are some ways I think can make this daunting task more exciting:

• Change the font, size, or even color of the type. Doing this tricks the mind that you’re reading something different—not the story you’ve slaved over for countless months.

• Listen to music. I’ve recaptured my writing muse just though the strumming of a guitar or the beat of the drums. Or plug into some ambient music; perhaps, ocean water sloshing to an island’s sandy shore.

• Change your writing environment. Maybe go to the local library or cool hangout like Starbucks. Get out of your office for a while. Write at the kitchen table, outside, or in the bathroom if you have to, not that I have. Uh… Really!

• Print your manuscript. It can help you to catch things you wouldn’t on a computer screen. Plus, it’ll get you away from your computer for a while.

• Save your book by chapter. Right now, my book is saved in a continuous document. It dawned on me to save each chapter by itself, and put them in one folder. This will keep your eyes from drifting to the page count. For example, if I’m only on page 67 out of 248, I could get discouraged. Trick your mind to think you’ve made progress with little chunks of your book, not all of it as a whole.

• Reward yourself with something dang awesome when you finish your edit. Maybe go to a movie with friends, get a massage, a trip to Vegas, eat at your favorite restaurant, or spend a day out in the sun reading a book.

• Do some yoga poses or jumping jacks in between chapters to loosen up those tight muscles. It’ll get the blood flowing. Your creative process moving again.

• Read your manuscript out loud in a foreign accent. Ok, that might not work to your advantage, but it sure sounds fun, huh?

I’m going to open this up to you! What are ways you get through the tedium of editing? Be honest. The quirkier the better!

PS: Don't forget to enter my book giveaway. I'm giving away Imaginary Girls and Hereafter. Go here to enter!