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Friday, July 19, 2013

Always Something... be thankful for.  Don't you agree?

In my neck of the woods, the heat has been unbearable.  I'm usually fond of warm weather and am miserable when cold, but this week has been brutal.  And I had no opportunities to dive into a pool.  But as I was driving home from grocery shopping (fun stuff, right?) I had my window down and the music playing.  It was a perfect night for a drive.  The sun had set, and a cool breeze was stroking my face.  Such a simple pleasure.  Nights like that I wish I could just keep driving.  But more household chores were beckoning.  Bummer.

Hope everyone is staying cool!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Celebrating My Husband

Welcome to another Celebrate the Small Things post.  Today I am celebrating my husband and his willingness to serve.  He left last weekend with approximately thirty others from our church and went to Joplin, MO to assist in the rebuilding efforts that have continued since an EF5 tornado struck two years ago.  I miss him and can't wait for him to come home, but I am so thankful that he answered God's call to assist in this mission.

I am also thankful for Helping His Hands, a ministry created to assist in disaster torn areas.  This organization is who our church partnered with to make the mission trip possible.  They provided the sleeping quarters, showers, and all the meals.  I am thankful there are people who care enough to do this work.

My husband will be home today, and I'm looking forward to hearing all about this journey God sent him on.

What are you celebrating today?

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Celebrating Fridays

Happy Friday! Today I am celebrating exactly that ~ happy Fridays.  Fridays are when I return to my regular shift at work.  This means I get to see friends who I don't see when working overtime.  This is a huge plus! I also get paid on Fridays, which means I get to see the fruits of all my overtime work.  Woo hoo for that! Today I am also thankful for caffeine, particularly coffee.  I was talking to a friend about what it would take to give up coffee.  Let me tell you, I couldn't do it.  Maybe, just maybe, if my life depended on it.  Otherwise, forget it.  I'm totally addicted and don't mind saying so.

I'm also thankful for the women at my church.  We've begun a women's ministry, and I look forward to being a part of this.  Christian women getting to know each other, to encourage each other, to reach out to others...can't beat that.

No writing celebrations to share.  I've currently been working six nights a week, and with all my household chores that need completing my writing has fallen behind schedule.  I need to correct that.

So all my blogging buddies, what are you thankful for today? Feel free to share below!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Blessings Are No Small Things

So today is another round of Celebrate the Small Things.  And as I was deciding what I was celebrating this week, I was thinking of the blessings that came my way over the past few days.  That being the case, I'm not celebrating small things; I'm celebrating big things.  Because blessings are no small matter.  Some wonderful, unexpected news.  A generous gift from a friend.  The ability to do what's necessary, even when we don't want to do it.  Sometimes life is hard, and I get discouraged.  This week, however, I am reminded that life is never as bad as it seems.

So what are you celebrating?

Friday, April 19, 2013

Thankful Friday

Every time I think of celebrations, I hear the lyrics to a popular song: "Cel-e-brate good times, come on!" It's such a cheerful song.  In honor of that festive spirit, today I am celebrating the following:

1. Good friends.  This week I got to spend some time with a friend I've known since sixth grade.  19 years of friendship! Quite frankly, good friends are hard to find, so this is something worth celebrating.

2. Church family.  My husband and I have developed many awesome relationships through our church, and this cannot be underestimated.

As you can see, there are no writing achievements listed.  I've become quite busy again, but that's okay.  I'll get back to it soon.

So what are you celebrating? Let me know!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

A Celebration...a day late.

It's time for another Celebrate the Small Things post, and I hope you'll forgive me for being a day (or a few weeks, depending on how you look at it) late.  I've been away from my blog for several weeks now.  It was unintentional, yet unavoidable.  I got sick again with walking pneumonia and was couch ridden, except for the days when I had to work.  Rather than convince myself to turn on my computer, I entertained myself with books instead.  And now I'm trying to work a lot of overtime.

So in honor of the celebration, here are a few things I am celebrating:
1. Antibiotics.
2. Books.  I actually read for the second time the Left Behind series along with the three prequels and the one sequel.  I love that series.  That was sixteen books total.
3. Sunshine, flowers, and gardening.  In a few weeks, I am going with my two sister-in-laws to a garden fair.  I can't wait to stock up on flowers.

So what are you celebrating? Share below!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Come on, you know you want to...celebrate!

Happy Celebrate Friday! Last week I was celebrating my birthday, and those celebrations went into this week too.  My dad was in town this past weekend, and my mom and two aunts came to town also and stayed at my house until this past Wednesday.  It was sad to see them go. :(

So what am I celebrating today? Today I am celebrating...the small things.  That's the point isn't it? When life gets hard, sometimes it's necessary to remember it isn't as bad as it seems.  I have a roof over my head, my car gets me where I need to go, I have a good job, and I'm not alone.  Those are all worth celebrating.  Plus spring is almost here.  I'm already daydreaming about the flowers I'll be planting, the vegetable garden that will be growing, and the new chicks we'll be buying to add to our chicken coop.

See, life's not so bad after all. :)

Your turn.  What are you celebrating? And don't forget you can still join the party.  Add yourself to the blog hop or read what others are celebrating.  Enjoy!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Don't Trust the Leprechauns ~ Absolute Write Blog Chain

Here's to March and a new Absolute Write blog chain.  Enjoy!

They thought they were so smart.  Ha.  Greedy little suckers.  Hoarding all that gold, never sharing.  But their time was coming.  Cameron knew this.  He'd been waiting patiently.  Well the waiting was over.  Tonight he would make his move.

Pulling his collar up to cover his neck from the chill, Cameron walked down the dark alley through the misty haze.  The sky rumbled, preparing to release another storm, and Cameron dried his face with his palms. 

A cat hissed as metal clanged against the pavement.  Cameron crouched down with his back to the brick wall.  He didn't see anything other than the filthy tabby running.  He waited a few minutes anyway.  Leprechauns were cruel; he wouldn't take any unnecessary chances tonight.  The curved daggers they carried could rip a man in two before the man could realize what was happening.  Cameron rubbed his belly as an image of his bowels falling out flashed across his mind.  He shook his head.  I'm not alone

It was funny what the idiots of the world believed about Leprechauns.  Their smiling faces were plastered all over stores on St. Patrick's Day, their pots of gold overflowing, inviting.  What a joke.  No rainbows led to those pots of gold.  That was one of the terrifying monsters' tricks.  They hid in plain sight, usually in crowded cities.  And that was where they kept their gold.

For all their strengths, Leprechauns had a weakness.  They were cruel but couldn't tolerate pain.  They could play mind tricks but weren't very intelligent.  They were a race of their own, yet they craved the touch of human flesh.  Cameron chuckled.  Bridgie had been easy to seduce.  In the midst of her pleasure, she'd revealed the location of the old warehouse.  That was just before Cameron had snapped her neck. 

He was too close to turn back.  Cameron jumped from his position and then sprinted the remaining fifteen yards.  Somewhere, one of those rotten beasts was watching him, trying to fill his mind with death.  He wouldn't give in.  He pushed a door open, then stepped in.  His eyes burned at the bright light.  Dozens of piles of gold were scattered across the concrete floor.  The overhead lights shined upon them, and for a moment Cameron felt victorious.  He picked up a few golden coins; their weight was heavy in his hand.  Knowing he didn't have much time, he filled his pockets and the bag he was carrying.

The door slammed behind him.  A shiver ran down his spine as the tip of a blade poked his back.  Hands held up, he slowly turned until he was looking at the leader of the 'Chauns.  "I knew you were out there," he said.

The Leprechaun sneered and tilted his head as if studying a mysterious creature.

Cameron kept his cool.  All he had to do was get the dagger away from the three foot savage.  Shouldn't be difficult.  His blood ran cold as the pressure of two more daggers pressed against the back of his jacket.  A quick turn of his head confirmed there were two more Leprechauns behind him.  "She said you'd be alone," he choked out.

The Leprechaun smiled as his eyes turned black.  "She lied." 

Three daggers sliced into Cameron, and he fell to the floor, stricken with pain, as his blood gushed out.

"Silly human.  Your flesh is not our greatest desire.  The heat of human blood is what we crave.  The gold brings you to us."  He ran his hands through the pool of blood that was accumulating.  "We will enjoy your blood for Bridgie."

Hope you enjoyed.  Now enjoy the following:
writingismypassion (you are here)
more to come...

Friday, March 1, 2013

A Birthday Celebration

The timing worked out great for today's Celebrate the Small Things post.  Today is my birthday! Yay me! I'm not one of those women who gets caught up on age or who wishes to stay 29 forever.  Nope.  Last year I turned thirty and was thrilled.  Today I am thirty-one, and that doesn't bother me at all.

The truth is sometimes I still act like a teenager.  Not in that drama-seeking kind of way but in that goofy kind of way.  I like to be silly sometimes.  And if people find me to be immature, that's their problem, not mine.  Being silly keeps me feeling young, and that's more important than being concerned with my actual age. 

So what am I doing to celebrate? Working.  I know, not exactly exciting.  However, tomorrow I will be spending the day with family, and we will be going out to dinner.  My dad and I share the same birthday (he likes to say I was his birthday present) and we always celebrate together.  Joinging us will be my husband, my mom, several aunts and uncles and cousins.  It'll be a good time.

So what are you celebrating today? Share below!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Friday Celebrations

Oh Friday, how I love thee.  Participating in the Celebrate Small Thing Blog Hop really gives me a better perspective.  Maybe you can relate to the simple truth that sometimes it's easy to focus on negativity or forget how much we have to be thankful for.  I get caught in that trap more often than I should.

Anyway, before I turn today's post into a rant, let me share what I am celebrating today:

1. Revisions are going well.  I wish I was done, but I believe I will get there.
2. One of my best friends and I have gotten back into a walking routine.  Exercise is always a plus!
3. I am settling into a new routine.  Adjusting to my new job took some time (doesn't it always?), but I am feeling much better.  I work weekends, catch up on household chores on Monday, and write the rest of the week.  It's a good schedule.

So what are you celebrating today?

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Blind Date With A Ventriloquist ~ Feb. Blog Chain

Time for the Absolute Write Blog Chain.  This month's theme includes a wonderful variety.  Instead of sticking to one topic, each poster decides the topic for the following poster.  The prompt chosen for me is: Blind Date With A Ventriloquist.  Such a fun topic!

You know the drill.  The links/topics for my fellow AWers are listed at the end.  Check them out for some fun reading.  They'll entertain you, I promise!

Camryn pushed the bangs from her eyes as she walked out to the car waiting for her.  Nerves tingling and heart racing, she opened the door to get in.  The man behind the wheel smiled setting her at ease.  As soon as she was fastened in, he took off.  She smoothed her skirt.

"It was so great of you to agree to this," the man driving said.

Oh shoot! In her nervousness, Camryn had forgotten his name.  What was it? She tapped her finger on her leg.  Marcus! That was it.  "I could say the same for you."

Camryn had been on several blind dates over the past two months, but this one sounded much more promising.  She didn't know Marcus well, but her brother insisted she'd enjoy his...what had he said? Quirks.  That's right.  Marcus had quirks.  Camryn pressed her palms together to hide their shaking.  If quirky was the best she could find, she was doomed already.

"Where are we going?" she asked.

"Tell her guys."

Camryn looked at Marcus, confused.  Who was he talking to? Hearing a voice but not seeing Marcus's mouth move, she turned her head.  "What!" Two pairs of eyes stared back at her.  She hadn't agreed to children.  Wait. They weren't moving.  Weren't even breathing.  Air rattled in her chest.

"Meet Maxine and Buddy.  Friends of mine."

Camryn shook her head, certain she was seeing things.  Then she realized they were puppets.  She suppressed a laugh.  "Are you a ventriloquist?" she asked.

His fingers tapped against the steering wheel. "I don't really like that term.  These two are my oldest friends.  They go everywhere with me.  You won't mind helping one of them into the restaurant, will you?"

He had to be kidding.  "You're taking them inside with us?"

"We can't talk to them if they have to stay in the car."

Quirky? This was eery.  "They're not real."

He jerked the car to the shoulder of the road.  The car skid to a halt. 

"She doesn't like us."

"Who is this chick?"

Marcus faced her.  "You'll have to get out now."

"Excuse me?" Camryn stared at him, then at the stuffed passengers in the back.

"They don't take kindly to prejudiced people.  Buddy carries a knife."

"And I'm always packing!"

Unsure whether she should laugh or be scared, she opened the door and then got out.  Marcus drove off, the tires kicking rocks at her shins.

Some date.  Camryn slid out of her heels, thankful for her skirt.  She could hitch a ride home.

Prompt for the next participant: EVIL CUPID

UPDATE: For another take on this prompt, take a look at  You won't be disappointed.  So funny!

orion_mk3 Yuppies Who Hate the Family Business
ConnieBDowell Unexpected Library Encounter
bmadsen Cupcake Disaster
MsLaylaCakes Unfortunate Sports
HistorySleuth Less Than Fortunate Foods
writingismypassion Blind Date With A Ventriloquist (you are here)
katci13 Evil Cupid
KitCat Hunting With Hounds
Angyl78 A Ghost's Bad Day
randi.lee The Wrong Bar
Lady Cat Visitors
pyrosama What the Leprechaun Said
Ralph Pines Under the Bed
more to come...

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Liebster Award Acceptance Speech

Okay, this really isn't a speech, but it is rather long.  I hope you don't mind! I had intended today's post for last Friday's Celebrate the Small Things Blog Hop, but my internet was not cooperating.  Therefore, I missed all the fun from last week's round of celebrations.  Anyway, I'm excited to announce I've been nominated for the Liebster Award by the wonderful J. A. Ward.  Please check out her blog; it's amazing!

The rules for this award are as follows:
1. Thank the blogger who presented this award and link back to that person's blog.
2. Answer eleven questions posted by the presenter, ask your nominees eleven questions, and list eleven random facts about yourself.
3. Nominate eleven bloggers who you feel deserve this award and have less than 200 followers.
4. Post the award on your blog.

So let's get to it!

Eleven random facts:
1. I don't like my belly button being touched (not sure why that pops into my head first).
2. My need for coffee is strong enough that my husband will insist I drink it.
3. I love my fictional characters almost as much as my friends.
4. I have a list of favorite names that I browse through when creating new characters.
5. I've always wanted to learn to play piano.  I began teaching myself long ago and hope to get back to it.
6. When I first read Gone With the Wind, I cried for days.
7. I believe there's no such thing as too many books.
8. I keep my writing space clean; clutter makes me anxious and is too distracting.
9. I hate roses.  My husband was instructed many years ago not to buy them for me.  Purple or blue flowers I will accept, though.
10. My husband and I are in the process of adopting and hope to have a baby by the end of this year.
11. I love purple.  Even people who hardly know me catch on to this.

Now to answer some questions:
1. Who is your favorite author and why? Wait, I can only pick one? So not fair! :)  I'll say C. S. Lewis.  I love the Chronicles of Narnia.  The characters are great, and the stories are so fun.  Plus, I enjoy the Christian elements added to the books.  Lewis also writes great non-fiction.
2. If you could hang out with a character from a book or from TV for one day, who would it be and why? Marty McFly from the Back To the Future movies.  I like his character, and traveling through time would be exciting, especially going back to the old west.  I love that era!
3. Edward or Jacob? Or neither? Or both? Jacob all the way! Edward is too controlling and cold.  I hate being cold.  Jacob could keep me warm all day long.  Plus, he's a loyal and honest friend.
4. What was your favorite book series you've ever read that wasn't Harry Potter? Since I already mentioned Narnia, my answer for this question will be the North and South trilogy by John Jakes.  The stories revolve around the Civil War, which has always been a fascination of mine.  There are so many characters I love and love to hate.  Additionally, the books tug at all my emotions.  I laugh, cry, fall in love, have my heart broken, mourn.  Great books!
5. Do you have any pets? If so, what do you have? I have a beagle/shepard (I think) mix named Chip.  He was found at a park and was going to be shot.  We took him in with the intent of finding him a good home.  He's still here.  We fell in love with the little, rambunctious guy!
6. What aspect of writing do you find the hardest? Showing more and telling less.
7. If you could live anywhere for a year - all expenses paid- where would you live and why? Scotland.  It's a beautiful country, I'd love to get wrapped up in its history, and I have family that came from there in the early 1900's.
8. Who is your favorite band/singer? One of my all time favorites is Reba.  The first album I ever owned was For My Broken Heart.  It was on tape and given to me as a birthday present when I was in grade school.
9. Name a celebrity crush.  Easton Corbin.  I'm a big Country fan.  I love his music and he's dang good lookin'!
10. If you could go back and change your name at birth, would you do it? Nope.  I love my name and its rarity.  Charity isn't one heard often, although I know there are many others out there.
11. Favorite vice or addiction? Coffee! Lots and lots of coffee!

That was fun.  Here are my nominees:
Nancy LaRonda Johnson
Sandie Docker
Paige Lollie
Randi Lee
Christina Jean Michaels
Diane Carlisle

In case you're wondering, I can count despite the fact that it's after 4am.  The late (or should I say early?) hour is why I am breaking the rules and nominating seven rather than eleven bloggers.  My internet connection has been slow, I've been sitting here for hours, and my eyes are burning.  But it's all good.  :)

Here are the questions for my nominees:

1. What's your favorite day of the week and why?
2. What inspired you to become a writer?
3. Where is your favorite place? Why is it your favorite?
4. If you could have only one story published, what would it be about?
5. Do you listen to music while writing? If so, what?
6. What item can you not live without and why?
7. What is your biggest pet peeve and why?
8. What color describes you most and why?
9. What is your favorite number and why?
10. If you could choose one genre to define your life, what would it be?
11. If you could change one event from your past, what would it be? Why?


Monday, February 4, 2013

Thank you, honest critique partners.

Mondays have become my catch-up days.  Mostly I catch up on sleep, but I try to be productive with other things too.  I began a new job last month, and I'm currently working weekend nights, 12 hour shifts.  This means I'm about worthless on weekends! But I accomplish so much during the week, the new job is worth it.

Anyway, I thought I'd share with you all a response I received from a good writing friend of mine.  He read SHARDS OF GLASS and gave me some good and not so good news.  Isn't that the way it goes sometimes? Hey, truth hurts, but we need to hear it.  And I'm glad he gave me an honest critique. 

So here's the good news.  The emotional element is strong.  Evoking a reader's emotions can be difficult, but that connection is what bonds the reader with the character.  Mission accomplished!

Here's the bad news.  My ending doesn't work. 

Now here's the thing.  Critiques should be reviewed and thoughtfully considered.  However, the writer is the one to make the final decision.  Therefore, I could totally ignore the critique because I love my ending.  I absolutely love it; it makes my romantic heart melt.  But since I respect my writing friend, and since I recently had another critique say the same thing, I've given it a lot of thought.  And I'm afraid they are right.  The ending is almost too good to be true.

Thankfully, there is a silver lining that makes this more bearable.  I can revise the ending to make it more realistic, and the final outcome (for the characters) will eventually be the same.  That outcome just won't be shown in SHARDS. 

So that's my news for today.  Now please excuse me while I catch up on other things....

Friday, February 1, 2013

Celebrate Good Times, Come On!

It's a Friday celebration! I hope everyone has had a wonderful week.  Today I am celebrating more revisions to SHARDS OF GLASS.  I've made some pretty big changes, and I'm totally flying by the seat of my pants, which is fine since I don't usually do a lot of planning.  I'm also celebrating the fact that I've accomplished any writing at all considering I've been sick.  I finally caught that nasty little bug that's been going around, though I don't think I've had it as bad as some. 

So what have you accomplished this week? Share below! And check out what everyone else has done this week. :)

Friday, January 25, 2013

A Friday Celebration ~ Blog Hop

Wow! Friday again already! This week, I'd like to celebrate my new blog layout.  I've been meaning to change it for a while, but I haven't had the time to do it until this week.  I wanted something a bit more professional looking.  I'm still not done, though.  Just like SHARDS OF GLASS, my blog is a work in progress.  But that's okay.  I also completed the revision of a couple scenes in SHARDS, and I feel good about them.

So what did you accomplish this week? Feel free to share below.  And check out my fellow blog hoppers to see what they're celebrating.  Thanks!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Musical Inspiration

Writers being inspired by music is nothing new.  I have music playing more often than not when I'm writing.  It's a useful tool for setting the mood.  So for today's post, I'd like to share with you a few of the songs that inspired me while I was writing SHARDS OF GLASS.  Music is to me what scents are to others.  In other words, my memories aren't really associated with any scents.  However, there are plenty of songs that take me back to a certain time or place.  You'll see what I mean while reviewing some of the songs on this list.

So here we go:

1. Down the Road, by Kenny Chesney 
This is the song that inspired me the most.  The boy and girl living on the same street forming an immediate relationship.  This is Emily and Nicky.

2. Hit 'Em High, by B Real, Busta Rhymes, Coolio, LL Cool J, and Method Man
Every time I hear this song, I'm taken back to high school basketball games.  This song was used by our team to warm up before games, so every time I hear it I find myself sitting in the high school gym, waiting for a game to start.  I used this song for what is now the opening scene of SHARDS OF GLASS.  The first draft had the song itself, but I have since edited it out.  It still plays in my head, though.

3. I'm Still Holding On, by Clint Black & Martina McBride
This is the song that inspired me to write the important prom scene where Emily and Nicky have their first kiss.  During the scene, which takes place during Nicky's senior year, Emily is aware of her time with Nicky running out since he'll be leaving for college. 

4. Here Comes Goodbye, by Rascal Flatts
The first draft originally had three parts.  In part three, Emily began dating a guy named Jason.  This particular song helped me write their break up scene.  All of part three has since been removed from the story along with part one.  Jason may get his own story some day, though.  I really enjoyed his character.

5. It Matters to Me, by Faith Hill; Wrong Again, by Martina McBride; You Were Mine, by Dixie Chicks; Have You Ever, by Brandy
These songs get lumped together because they were used for the same thing.  All of these songs were ones that I listened to in high school while crushing on particular boys.  I used these songs to put me back in that "high school girl giddy excitement over a boy" mentality.  They're not exactly happy songs, though.  Not sure what that says about my high school years. :)

I could list more, but these are the main ones.  If you have any particular songs that you used for your inspiration, feel free to share them in the comments. 

I'll end with part of Down the Road, which if one of my characters were singing, it would be Nicky singing about Emily. 

"When I was a boy

Four houses down from me, was a family with an only child
She was the only girl, in this whole world who could make me smile
Down the road"

Saturday, January 19, 2013

January Blog Chain ~ Thirteen

Time for the first AW Blog Chain for 2013.  And surprise, surprise, this month's prompt is 13.  After taking a look at my short post, check out the links for my fellow AWers.  They have some great stuff to share!



This can't be happening.  Jemma's trembling fingers dialed the number again.  Please, why aren't you answering?



The countdown continued to flash on the news screen.  Sirens blared.  No! She was running out of time!




She slammed the phone down and turned, tripping over her feet in her haste.



There wasn't time; she knew there wasn't.  On any given day, it took ten minutes to get from her office to the outside lot.  The warning came only one minute ago.



What would she tell him? If the missile hadn't been launched at the government building she worked in?


Tanner, I'm sorry.



Hope you enjoyed.  Now take a look at the following:
Ralph Pines
Amanda R
writingismypassion (you are here)

Friday, January 18, 2013

Celebrate the Small Things ~ Blog Hop

Well, folks, it's Friday.  That means it's time to celebrate the small things.  This is a blog hop that I'm excited to take part in.  The goal is to celebrate achievements and to spread the cheer among other participants.  Signing up is still possible.  Click on the above link for details.

So what would I like to celebrate today? The rewriting of a scene, a kissing scene to be exact.  In SHARDS OF GLASS, my MCs Emily and Nicky share a kiss that was, well, more tell than show.  For a first kiss, it was rather dull.  But with a bit of tweaking, it left me breathless just writing it.  *sighs*  I love writing those types of scenes, the ones that make me feel whatever my MC feels. 

So that's my achievement.  If you've signed up for the blog hop, I look forward to coming your way to celebrate with you.  If you haven't signed up but want to share something you've achieved this week, feel free to do so below in the comments section.


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Q&A for my WIP. The Next Big Thing Blog Hop

Today's post comes about from a tag I received from fellow writer/blogger/AWer Alan Ford who was tagged for "The Next Big Thing" blog hop.  Each participant is to answer ten questions about his/her current work in progress.  So without further adieu, here are the questions and my answers. 

1. What is the working title of your current/next book?
SHARDS OF GLASS is the current title I am using.  UNBREAKABLE was the original title, then came SHATTERED INNOCENCE.  I'm still not satisfied...

2. Where did you get the idea for that book?
I wanted to write a story about someone who chose to overcome, someone who made an active decision to not let her life be dictated by her circumstances.  It started out as such, but then it turned into a love story.  Guess I'm a sucker when it comes to romance.

3. What's the genre of the book?
Young Adult

4. If you could pick actors to play the lead characters in your story, who would you pick?
My two main characters are Emily and Nicky.  Emily is average height.  I picture her as 5'5" or 5'6" but her height isn't important to the plot; she just has to have her head at Nicky's chest level.  She has red hair, which is layered and just past her shoulders.  Her eyes are a gray/blue. Molly Quinn, who plays Alexis on the ABC show Castle, would make a wonderful Emily.  Nicky is tall, 6'3" to be exact, has brown hair, dark brown eyes, and has a solid, muscular build.  But he's more on the slim side, not stocky.  A casting call would be needed to find a good actor to play Nicky.  I'm not satisfied with any of the current actors out there.  Or maybe I'm too particular.  That could be.

5. How would you describe your book in one sentence (ten words or less)?
Ha ha, ten words or less? This is not something I am good at. How about: A young girl rises above the tragedies of her past with the help of the boy next door.  Cheesy.  Unoriginal.  Boring.  And more than ten words.  Yet another thing that needs work. :)

6a. How will your book be published, submitted through the traditional route to a traditional publisher or will you be handling it yourself through Indie publishing methods?
My preferred method is to obtain an agent and be published through the traditional route.  That is my current plan.

6b. If you're an Indie author, will you be publishing through your own company or in a collective with other Indie authors?

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of this book?
My first draft was 172,000 words, and it took me three months to write.

8. What other books within your genre are similar to yours?
My list for this question is blank.  There are surely similar stories out there, but I haven't read them.  Don't mistake that for a lack of effort on my part, though.  I live in podunk.  We no longer have a library and the nearest book store, which is forty-five minutes away, has limited choices.  I tried to find similar stories for research purposes (you know, to see how other writers did it) but had no luck. 

9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?
My own circumstances along with those of many people I know.  I'm not saying all of Emily's experiences are my own; that isn't the case.  But I do know what it's like to recognize life for what it is, and to make an active decision to not let that life determine who I am or who I will become. 

10. What about your book will pique the reader's interest?
Amidst the popularity of paranormal and sci-fi books, I hope readers will see their own struggles reflected in Emily's life.  Zombies, vampires, werewolves, aliens, and magical creatures are interesting enough, but they aren't real, so they aren't entirely relateable.  However, Emily is a young girl who is forced to deal with some pretty harsh circumstances and has to overcome them.  The reality is everyone has difficult circumstances to deal with.  That's just life.  And when readers experience Emily's life with her, I hope they will see their own ability to overcome, even if their struggles aren't exactly the same.

Whew.  I hope this Q&A session has been interesting for you.  Please click the link posted above to see Alan's Q&A.  You will also be able to click on links for a few others.  Enjoy!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Blog Hop Fun

I'm excited to announce a new blog hop I will be joining, and it's not too late for you to join in the fun! Fellow writer/blogger VikLit is the creator of the Celebrate Blog Hop.  You can click on her link for details.  Every Friday, you will see the following badge here on my blog as I partake in the celebration. 
The purpose of this blog hop is for writers to celebrate small achievements.  Why? Because too often the small achievements are overlooked.  Getting a few hundred words down, getting a scene just right, breaking a bad writing habit.  Those are all things worth celebrating, but we forget that sometimes.  Our focus is usually on the bigger goals such as signing with an agent and getting published.  But there are several steps to be taken before those goals can be achieved, and we need to focus on them too.

So check out this new blog hop and join the celebration!