Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Laugh or Die!

Sometimes we just need something to make us laugh. It's easy to stress when life gets in the way, when obligations and responsibilities trample passions, and all you feel like you did was get through another day. Those days happen...and sometimes they seem too frequent. When you stress it's easy to shut down creatively. I know all too well. What's the best medicine...what has the doctor always prescribed?


I've been feeling too serious lately and needed a good laugh, and here are a few videos that have given me a good dose of the chuckles (should not be taken with alcohol). Enjoy. :)  

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

YA Book Adaptations I'm Excited About!

There are a lot of young adult books in the pipeline to be converted into the next big blockbusters. I loved The Hunger Games and am looking forward to Catching Fire, with a scheduled release for November. But there are two new YA trilogies coming to the big screen in 2014 that I'm excited about:

The Maze Runner, written by James Dashner

 The Maze Runner Concept Art via EW
The Maze Runner is an exciting dystopian adventure/mystery where a group of teenage boys with no memory of their former lives live on a self-sufficient compound (nicknamed "the Glade"), surrounded by a colossal maze, which houses unspeakable horrors. Then a girl is brought into the compound, which (as to be expected) changes everything... The maze, which used to close at night, now remains open. The Grievers can come into the Glade. Alby and Teresa have a telepathic connection, and a mysterious previous relationship. All the rules of the Glade are changing, and power is shifting. The runners must run for their lives to save the group. The Maze Runner has dynamic characters, its own slang, plenty of action, and an ending that will blow you away. It's a great story and I sure hope Hollywood doesn't screw it up. February, 2014

Divergent, written by Veronica Roth

Divergent is another dystopian novel set in post-apocalyptic Chicago, where the society is split into five factions, each representing a different value. Everyone is supposed to fit neatly into one faction, but Beatrice Prior is one of the dreaded anomalies--she is divergent (but of course!). It's not long before she discovers secret plots between factions that are certain to tear her seemingly Utopian society apart, promising to destroy everything and everyone she loves. This trilogy is being hailed as the next Hunger Games, and I believe and hope that it is. I found myself more engrossed in the characters and thought the story was more original than The Hunger Games. What I found even more impressive was Divergent was written by a debut author of 22. I have my fingers crossed that this will be a good adaptation. March, 2014

What movie adaptations are you looking forward to?

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Indie Life: SUSY Asylum Blog Tour

Indie Life is hosted by the indie authors of the Indelibles as a 2nd Wednesday of the month feature. It is a great way to discover and reach out to other indie authors--authors working hard and turning their dreams into reality. Share your thoughts and experiences with being an indie author, and speak with like-minded souls by visiting the author links below. Click HERE to sign up for Indie Life.

The blog tour for my second book, SUSY Asylum, is shaping up nicely, and only a short two months away. It may seem a long way off, but the months have been flying by, so I know October 14th will arrive in a flash. I have booked my tour through Candace at CBB Book Promotions, and she's putting together a great list of blogs, a good number of which participated in my first tour. I'm excited that a majority of the bloggers who read and reviewed Provex City enjoyed it enough to want to continue in the series. Click on the banner below if you'd like to visit the SUSY Asylum Blog Tour page.

It's a lot of work getting the guest posts and interviews finished, not to mention mailing all the review copies. The other big thing I NEED to get finished before the start of the tour is setting up my quarterly newsletter and the free gift short story for those who are gracious enough to sign up. The tour will act as a great kick start for newsletter signups to help me develop an email list of readers. So my goal is to have everything related to the newsletter done by October 1st.

What new indie insights are you willing to share? What goals have you set for the next month? As always, thanks for reading!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

IWSG Wednesday: SCBWI Summer Conference

Happy Insecure Writer's Support Group Wednesday. Thank you again to Alex J. Cavanaugh, the creator of the group. The first Wednesday of every month is dedicated to this group of supportive writers. If it's something you're not familiar with, then please click on Alex's link above for more information and to sign up!

This past weekend was the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators Summer Conference at the beautiful Hyatt Regency on the edge of Beverly Hills. There were about 1300 attendees from (I believe) 46 states and 14 countries. And with all those people swarming the hotel, I found fellow blogger, Morgan Shamy, within ten minutes of arriving! It was great to meet her and discuss all the joys and woes of writing with her and her blogging friend, Ryan Dalton. So for the first time in three years, I didn't have to walk into the ballroom and find a seat alone.

There is always an amazing lineup of keynote speakers, but my favorites this year were Laurie Halse Anderson, Jon Scieszka, and Matt de la Pina. I loved Laurie's speech so much I attended one of her breakout sessions that extended halfway into lunch, though no one seemed to mind. She's also a children's book writer with the voice and potty mouth of a Drill Sergeant--quite entertaining. One big takeaway I got from her was the commitment to write at least 15 minutes every day to build discipline and momentum. There are so many days with huge time constraints and prior commitments, but you can always find 15 minutes (if you're committed). I needed to hear that.

The other new experience I had at this conference was receiving a professional consultation from a literary agent. I had the pleasure of meeting with Jennifer Azantian, from Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency. She gave me feedback on the first chapter of my new story, Project Winter. Overall, she seemed to enjoy it and expressed that the story had a unique and marketable concept. I have to admit that I've been procrastinating on this project, anxious of what comments would come from my consultation. It was a great experience and I'm excited to continue writing. Thanks, Jennifer!

And if you read Morgan's recap of the SCBWI conference earlier this week, you may remember her mentioning a "table war" with Arthur A. Levine. was less of a war and more of an immediate surrender. Sorry, Morgan...haha. We were hungrily searching for a table to eat our lunch at a nearby food court. There were blood-thirsty lunch lurkers everywhere diving for tables at just the hint of someone about to stand up. And then as fate would have it after a fortnight of searching, we found an empty portion of a table. Just as we were about to sit down, Morgan looked over at two men approaching and stepped away from the table saying, "I can't steal a seat from you." [may not be an actual quote...but it's close] The men were hesitant, but eventually graciously took our seats. I was like, what just happened? As we walked away to find another elusively empty table, Morgan told me that one of the men was Arthur A. Levine (the guy who published the American editions of Harry Potter). Oh... Now I understood. We should have gotten autographs--or left a manuscript on the table.

Well, my August is off to a great start. How about yours?
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