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Thursday Thoughts

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 27 April 2017 · 31 views

<div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;">Thoughts lately center on my child-thoughts:</div><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="[url="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-KKV5v0NCGvM/ToHnNpUTcUI/AAAAAAAAAOQ/2uo-nDQrI2g/s1600/133547.jpg"]http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-KKV5v0NCGvM/ToHnNpUTcUI/AAAAAAAAAOQ/2uo-nDQrI2g/s1600/133547.jpg[/url]" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="200" [url="src="]src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-KKV5v0NCGvM/ToHnNpUTcUI/AAAAAAAAAOQ/2uo-nDQrI2g/s200/133547.jpg"[/url] width="175" /></a></div>1) When I was just a kitten I didn't understand the connection between eating and going to the bathroom. I thought we spent our lives chewing up our food and depositing it inside ourselves, and that death occurred when we were finally full. I thought if I chewed up my food really well, I could extend my life. Too bad I didn't have the book <a [url="href="]href="http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/133547.Everyone_Poops">EVERYONE[/url] POOPS</a> to clear that up for me. Someone explained the error in my beliefs at some point and so I came up with the new death theory -<br /><br />2) Quite a few of the elderly ladies in my church had osteoporosis. Since food couldn't kill you I figured out that once you hit a certain age you started shrinking, and eventually faded off into nothing.<br /><br />3) When I was little bathing, eating and sleeping were three things that took up way too much of my time and pulled me out of whatever I was doing. Think about it - when you were kid, and super involved with your playtime you inevitably heard: "Bathtime! Dinner! Bedtime!" As an adult, bathtime, dinner and bedtime are like the most awesome points of the day.</div>

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Wednesday WOLF

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 26 April 2017 · 37 views

<div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;">I'm a nerd. I'm in fact such a big nerd that I tend to look up word origins in my spare time because I'm fascinated by our language. The odder the origin, the better. I've got a collection of random information in my brain that makes me an awesome Trivial Pursuit partner, but is completely useless when it comes to real world application. Like say, job applications.</div><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><br /></div><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;">In any case, I thought I'd share some of this random crap with you in the form of the new acronym-ific series. I give you - Word Origins from Left Field - that's right, the WOLF. Er... ignore the fact that the "from" doesn't fit.<br /><br />Today we're going to talk about horses. I learned a lot about horses as I worked on <a href="[url="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20359647-in-a-handful-of-dust"]https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20359647-in-a-handful-of-dust[/url]" target="_blank">IN A HANDFUL OF DUST</a>. I've not been in many saddles, but I'm told I "sit a horse well," which makes me feel accomplished.<br /><br />So you've probably heard the phrase "form the horse's mouth," meant to indicate that the information being shared is definitely true. This saying came about because a horse's age can be accurately judged by looking at its teeth. If you were buying a horse you'd go straight to the horse's mouth to determine it's age, rather than rely on the honesty of the seller.<br /><br />Now you know! However, I do not advise this approach on humans. It is both misleading and socially unacceptable.</div>

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Emily R. King On Splitting Time Between Two Projects & THE HUNDREDTH QUEEN Giveaway!

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 25 April 2017 · 43 views

Welcome to the SNOB - Second Novel Ominipresent Blues. Whether you’re under contract or trying to snag another deal, you’re a professional now, with the pressures of a published novelist compounded with the still-present nagging self-doubt of the noobie. How to deal?<br /><br />Today's guest for the SNOB is Emily R. King debut author of <a href="[url="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30811001-the-hundredth-queen"]https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30811001-the-hundredth-queen[/url]" target="_blank">THE HUNDREDTH QUEEN</a> a reader of everything and a writer of fantasy. Born in Canada and raised in the USA, she has perfected the use of “eh” and “y’all” and uses both interchangeably. Shark advocate, consumer of gummy bears, and islander at heart, Emily’s greatest interests are her four children. She lives in Northern Utah with her family and their cantankerous cat.<br /><br /><b>Is it hard to leave behind the first novel and focus on the second?</b><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a [url="href="]href="https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1484285199l/30811001.jpg"[/url] imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="320" [url="src="]src="https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1484285199l/30811001.jpg"[/url] width="213" /></a></div><i>My second published novel is actually the next installment of The Hundredth Queen Series, so I can’t actually leave book one behind. Second books in series are hard. The author has to meet the reader’s expectations established in the first book and then take everything up a level. The romance, suspense, twists, action, world-building—everything has to ring familiar to the reader yet also be elevated. The most difficult part of the experience is that for the first time I am competing with myself in an open arena. Where before I tried to improve upon each manuscript I wrote, the outcome was mostly private, limited to my critique partners and beta readers. But now that book one will be out for everyone to read, I am striving to retain my readership by one-upping the first book. Tough doings!</i><br /><br /><b>At what point do you start diverting your energies from promoting your debut and writing / polishing / editing your second?</b><br /><i><br /></i> <i>Working on two projects at once has its challenges. Becoming an author means wearing a lot of different hats. I set aside certain tasks until after I landed a book deal that I wish I had done before. Some ways to help ease the madness of editing book one while drafting and revising book two would be: establish your social media presence where you will interact with book bloggers and other industry professionals; establish your website with your contact information, news/events, and blog; talk to authors about their pre-publishing process and use their advice when you are in the trenches with book two.</i><br /><br /><b>Your first book landed an agent and an editor, and hopefully some fans. Who are you writing the second one for? Them, or yourself?</b><br /><br /><i>The second book for is for my publisher, which is weird, because for the first time I am writing a book that WILL be published. But I love the world and characters in The Hundredth Queen Series and am happy to spend more time there.</i><br /><i><br /></i> <i>That being said, between book one and two is the time when an author really has to dig deep and understand why they write. Do they do it for fun? Is it enough to be published? Was that their goal? If so, what is their new goal? What keeps them motivated? I had to really think about and understand why I write, so in the end, whether I am jazzed about my newest story or sick to death of it, fundamentally, every book should in some way fulfill me.</i><br /><br /><b>Is there a new balance of time management to address once you’re a professional author?</b><br /><br /><i>I am more aware of how much time I spend on social media. When I am on deadline, I delete the social media apps on my phone and turn the Internet connection off on my laptop. This prevents notifications, etc. from interfering with my work. I am also more protective of my writing time. I turn my phone to silent when I am writing, and I write or read every single day.</i><br /><br /><b>What did you do differently the second time around, with the perspective of a published author?</b><br /><br /><i>I understand my emotions better, so when I hate my book with a fiery passion I know it will pass. I can survive hard editorial critique and finish the suggested edits by deadline. I have more confidence in what I do correctly in my writing, and I am more aware of what I need to improve upon. The emotional highs and lows continue to astound me, but they can be mitigated by shortening the amount of time I am on social media and by keeping my eyes on my own paper. No two publishing journeys are alike. No debut author can look at a successful author’s career and be guaranteed theirs will be the same. But because we are all unique, that leaves ample room for unexpected achievements.</i><br /><br />Want to help me with all the mailing costs? I do giveaways at least once week, sometimes more. It can add up. If you feel so inclined as to donate a little to defray my mailing costs, it would be much appreciated! 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On Character Movement: I Don't Care If They Have An Itchy Nose

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 24 April 2017 · 41 views

About a year ago I started offering <a href="[url="http://writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com/p/editorial-services.html"]http://writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com/p/editorial-services.html[/url]" target="_blank">manuscript critique services</a> for aspiring authors. I give the kind of feedback that I want from my own critique partners - a heavy dose of tough love along with a touch of praise. The tough love is what makes all writers (including myself) improve. The touch of praise is there because creating is a difficult job, and even the act of putting words to the page deserves recognition.&nbsp;<div><br /></div><div>What doesn't deserve recognition is every footfall, head turn, eyebrow rise, nose scratch, and finger twitch of any character.&nbsp;</div><div><br /></div><div>This is a hangup of mine, and I freely admit that I often go too far in the other direction and have one (or more) of my trusted critique partners let me know that my characters went from talking in the library to riding in a car without a transition. And no, that's not acceptable.&nbsp;</div><div><br /></div><div>What is acceptable?</div><div><br /></div><div>Movement pertinent to plot and setting.</div><div><br /></div><div>Is your character shading their eyes from the hot California sun? Bingo - that matters because you just found a way to get setting in there without saying, "I live in California."</div><div><br /></div><div>Is your character scratching their nose because they're allergic to cats and that fact plays into the meet-cute you've got planned with the manager of the local Humane Society? Okay, cool.</div><div><br /></div><div>This is the kind of movement that matters because it's relevant. Too much character movement can kill a scene. So if you've got dialogue that reads like this:</div><div><div><br /></div><div><i>"I don't understand," Samantha said, her eyebrows coming together.</i></div><div><br /></div><div>It doesn't work, in my opinion. The eyebrows coming together are to illustrate confusion. But the confusion is already there in the words she said. What's happening here (and I was completely guilty of this when I started) is that you're trying too hard to control the picture. You want your reader to see what you see, and that means you're overwriting. The nose scratch shows confusion, or nervousness - but good dialogue will show that on its own. Let your reader fill in the body language.&nbsp;</div><div><br /></div><div>A bigger issue with character movement is getting characters from one point to another.&nbsp;</div><div><br /></div><div>For one thing, if it's not all that important, throw in a scene break. If they're in school for a scene, and then the next thing that happens relevant to the story is over dinner, scene break. You don't need to fill in with meaningless stuff just to make time pass - your book isn't delivered in real time. We assume stuff happened in between first period and dinner, but that it doesn't matter to the story. You don't narrate every time your character, eats, drinks, bathes, or goes to the bathroom. We assume they do those things.</div><div><br /></div><div>Getting them from one place to another within a scene can be trickier. You don't want a scene break every time the setting changes or you'll have a bunch of two paragraph chapters. If you start with your character waking up and next thing is them eating breakfast, you don't have to narrate that they went downstairs. We figure that out on our own.</div></div><div><br /></div><div>Everything I say above is subjective. This is me speaking about what I prefer to read, and how I like to write. That being said, I do think that shaving down character movement gives your reader more freedom to visually interpret scenes in their own way, pulling them deeper into the book through that very interaction.</div><div><br /></div><div>And that's where you want them.</div>

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Book Talk & ARC Giveaway: HOW DARE THE SUN RISE: MEMOIRS OF A WAR CHILD by Sandra Uwiringiyimana

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 21 April 2017 · 70 views

My book talks are coming at you from a librarian, not a reviewer. You won't find me talking about style or craft, why I think this could've been better or what worked or didn't work. I only do book talks on books I liked and want other people to know about. So if it's here I probably think it won't injure your brain if you read it.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="[url="https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1482824651l/31706524.jpg"]https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1482824651l/31706524.jpg[/url]" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="320" [url="src="]src="https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1482824651l/31706524.jpg"[/url] width="212" /></a></div>Sandra Uwiringiyimana was ten years old when she watched her mother and six year old sister be gunned down in front her. A member of a displaced tribe in Africa, Sandra had never found a place to fit in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where other children thought she was Rwandan and taunted her for it.<br /><br />When many of her family members are killed inside the refugee camp, Sandra and what's left of her relations have no money and nowhere to turn. Eventually through a United Nations refugee program, Sandra finds herself in New York as a middle schooler - still unable to find a place to fit in.<br /><br />In this memoir, Sandra tells the story of her survival, of finding her place in a new country, of her hope for the future, and how she found a way to give voice to her people.<br /><br />Want to help me with all the mailing costs? I do giveaways at least once week, sometimes more. It can add up. If you feel so inclined as to donate a little to defray my mailing costs, it would be much appreciated! Donating has no impact on your chances of winning.<br /><br /><form [url="action="]action="https://www.paypal.com/fk/cgi-bin/webscr"[/url] method="post" name="_xclick"><input name="business" type="hidden" value="bigblackcat97@gmail.com" /><br /><div style="text-align: center;"><input name="item_name" type="hidden" value="Mindy's Mailing Costs" />*********************************************************************************</div><input name="currency_code" type="hidden" value="USD" /><br /><input name="amount" type="hidden" value="00.00" /><br /><input alt="Make payments with PayPal - it's fast, free and secure!" border="0" name="submit" [url="src="]src="http://www.paypal.com/en_US/i/btn/x-click-butcc-donate.gif"[/url] type="image" /><br /></form><br /><a class="rcptr" data-raflid="2071810b243" data-template="" data-theme="classic" [url="href="]href="http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/2071810b243/"[/url] id="rcwidget_w3j5rd6o" rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway</a><br /><script [url="src="]src="https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js"></script><br[/url] /><br /><br />

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Wednesday WOLF

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 19 April 2017 · 48 views

<div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;">I'm a nerd. I'm in fact such a big nerd that I tend to look up word origins in my spare time because I'm fascinated by our language. The odder the origin, the better. I've got a collection of random information in my brain that makes me an awesome Trivial Pursuit partner, but is completely useless when it comes to real world application. Like say, job applications.</div></div><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><br /></div></div></div></div><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;">In any case, I thought I'd share some of this random crap with you in the form of the new acronym-ific series. I give you - Word Origins from Left Field - that's right, the WOLF. Er... ignore the fact that the "from" doesn't fit.</div><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><br /></div><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;">So the other day I referred to someone as my <i>chum</i>. Yeah, it's not a word that gets tossed out there a lot, but I enjoy my oddness and kind of revel in my vocabulary. After that had slipped out, my random brain said, "Hey, wait a minute - isn't that also what you call...."</div><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><br /></div><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;">And yes, it is.&nbsp;So here my friends are two standard definitions of <i>chum</i>:</div><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><br /></div><div style="margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 0px;">1. A close friend</div>2.&nbsp;Chopped fish, fish fluids, and other material thrown overboard as angling bait<br /><br />Assuming that you would never substitute one for the other, I did a little digging.<br /><br />The word <i>chum</i> as used in the first instance popped up in the 17th century, as slang for a roommate. It's a clipped form of "chamber mate."<br /><br />The origin of the second instance (use of dead small fish and fish parts to attract larger fish) is most likely from the use of a specific type of Pacific Northwest salmon called chum Salmon.<br /><br />But the two are not related at all, alas. I was so hoping for some great story about someone chopping up their roommate and making them sleep with the fishes.<br /><br /><b>How about it? Got something you want to know more about? Ask me!</b></div></div></div>

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MG Non-Fiction Author Nancy Roe Pimm On Finding Inspirational Subjects

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 18 April 2017 · 101 views

Inspiration is a funny thing. It can come to us like a lightning bolt, through the lyrics of a song, or in the fog of a dream. Ask any writer where their stories come from and you’ll get a myriad of answers, and in that vein I created the WHAT (What the Hell Are you Thinking?) interview. Always including in the WHAT is one random question to really dig down into the interviewees mind, and probably supply some illumination into my own as well.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="[url="https://library.ohio.gov/wp-content/uploads/PIMM-CTRO-READ-download1-260x400.jpg"]https://library.ohio.gov/wp-content/uploads/PIMM-CTRO-READ-download1-260x400.jpg[/url]" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="320" [url="src="]src="https://library.ohio.gov/wp-content/uploads/PIMM-CTRO-READ-download1-260x400.jpg"[/url] width="208" /></a></div>Today's guest for the WHAT is Nancy Roe Pimm, a MG narrative non-fiction writer who has been published in <i>Highlights for Children, Hopscotch, Boy’s Quest, The Horseman’s Corral, Guideposts for Kids</i> and <i>Chicken Soup for the Soul books</i>. Her published books include: The Indy 500-The Inside Track (Junior Libray Guild Selection), <i>The Daytona 500- The Thrill and Thunder of the Great American Race</i> (JLG Selection), <i>The Heart of the Beast-Eight Great Gorilla Stories </i>(JLG Selection). Endorsed by Jack Hanna, <i>Colo’s Story—The Life of One Grand Gorilla</i> (JLG Selection), &nbsp;<i>Flying Solo—The Jerrie Mock Story,&nbsp;</i>and her latest book,&nbsp;<i>Bonded by Battle: The Powerful Friendships of Military Dogs and Soldiers.</i><br /><br /><b>Ideas for our books can come from just about anywhere, and sometimes even we can’t pinpoint exactly how or why. Did you have a specific origin point for your book?&nbsp;</b><br /><br /><i>Well I write nonfiction, so I’m always looking for stories that seem unbelievable, or I look for the “WOW” factor--something takes my breath away or keeps nagging at me in the middle of the night. Then it’s research time. &nbsp;I chase it down. For instance, while watching the news one evening in my kitchen I learned that the first woman to fly around the world was a housewife from Newark, Ohio. The newscaster said that the big event had happened fifty years ago. I wondered why I had never heard of this woman and why the first person who came to my mind while thinking of around the world flights was Amelia Earhart—but she disappeared. I had to learn more about this little known lady who circumnavigated the world, solo, in a little plane five decades ago. The more I learned about Jerrie Mock, the more I needed to know. After speaking with Jerrie on the phone, I packed my bags and set out from my Ohio home to Florida, to meet and interview eighty-eight- year-old Jerrie Mock.&nbsp;</i><br /><br /><b>Once the original concept existed, how did you build a plot around it?&nbsp;</b><br /><br /><i>My niche is narrative nonfiction. For me the plot already happened, I need to find an engaging way to tell the story. Once I’ve been hooked on the subject, I dig deep. It’s like a treasure hunt and I won’t stop digging until I’ve uncovered some gold. I try to find little known, or quirky and interesting facts on the subject. While researching my Daytona 500 book I went to the race track as a writer instead of as a driver’s wife. I learned things I never knew, even though I worked in the pits for many years. In the past I hung out in the motor home or the car trailer, waiting for driver introductions. As a “reporter” I watched for the first time as the pit box was sprayed with cans of soda pop in preparation for the big race. The crew member explained how the sticky surface kept the pit crew from slipping and sliding while they changed four tires, made any necessary adjustments, and refueled in about 11 seconds. While digging around in the Jerrie Mock biography I learned she had eloped. She never shared that with me or with her own family. No one in her family knew her wedding anniversary date. I also discovered her flight around the world became a race against another lady pilot, a fact that made the plot even more intriguing.</i><br /><br /><b>Have you ever had the plot firmly in place, only to find it changing as the story moved from your mind to paper?&nbsp;</b><br /><br /><i>When I write fiction I am a total pantser. I love being surprised by the characters or by a turn of events. In nonfiction I have to find the format that best serves the story. But when I wrote about military war dogs, the history of them and how they were trained, I found a better story inside of the story. Time and time again, I discovered the most amazing thing about military war dogs is the bond of friendship and trust they developed with the soldiers they served. So BONDED BY BATTLE made a complete turn around and focused on the soldier/dog relationships. COLO'S STORY also surprised me. I never expected the first gorilla born in captivity to have so much personality and such attitude. She gave me a lot to write about, which is a good thing because interviewing gorillas can be quite challenging.</i><br /><br /><b>Do story ideas come to you often, or is fresh material hard to come by?&nbsp;</b><br /><i><br /></i><i>Fortunately or unfortunately story ideas come at me fast and furious. I find it hard to sleep at night! There are so many stories I want to write, both fiction and nonfiction, from picture book to young adult novel. I write what I am the most passionate about at the time. After all, I know I’ll be spending days and nights researching and writing so I need to love the topic.</i><br /><b><br /></b><b>How do you choose which story to write next, if you’ve got more than one percolating?&nbsp;</b><br /><br /><i>Right now I am working on the biography of a World War II veteran. I met the soldier while I was writing my latest book, BONDED BY BATTLE. So, one book birthed another so to speak. &nbsp;Bill sent me an e-mail and said, “Nancy, if you are serious about writing my biography, let’s get started. I’m 94 years-old!” So Bill’s story went straight to the top of the pile. Bill Wynne was a photo reconnaissance soldier who fought for two years with a Yorkshire Terrier by his side. The Yorkie became a war dog hero and is credited with being the first therapy dog. Once I have the biography complete I am anxious to revise my young adult novel and a nonfiction picture book.</i><br /><br /><b>2016 was not an easy year. Do you draw any inspiration from the world around you, or do you use writing as pure escapism?</b><br /><i><br /></i><i>I draw all of my inspiration from the world around me. Even though I am not a race car driver, (some of my friends will argue that I am a racer, just not a professional!) I found living from racetrack to racetrack something to write about. I worked at the Columbus Zoo and wrote a couple of gorilla books. I love animals and will happily write about any of them. Manatees and whooping cranes are on my radar right now. Learning about World War II from a man who lived through it has been fascinating, and I think it’s important to have a good account of what our soldiers went through fighting for our freedom. And I loved writing about a lady who followed her childhood dream and I hope Jerrie Mock’s life story will inspire others, old and young, not only to have a dream, but to believe in them, and most important, to follow them. So I’ll keep writing as long as I keep breathing. There is so much to write about—inspiration is all around us!</i><br /><div><br /></div>

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What I'm Up To This Week & Giveaway Roundup!

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 17 April 2017 · 159 views

For those of you following <a href="[url="https://podbean.com/site/userCenter"]https://podbean.com/site/userCenter[/url]" target="_blank">the podcast</a> there won't be a new episode this week, as I've been busy drafting <a [url="href="]href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34604348-north-country"[/url] target="_blank">NORTH COUNTRY</a>, and of course had the release of <a [url="href="]href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25314447-given-to-the-sea"[/url] target="_blank">GIVEN TO THE SEA</a> last week.<br /><br />If you <a [url="href="]href="https://www.patreon.com/MindyMcGinnis"[/url] target="_blank">follow me on Patreon</a>, I'll be getting your short stories, cat pics, and monthly update video posted this week!<br /><br />I have updated my Appearances page on the blog after adding a bunch of signings recently. If you're wondering if I'll be near you anytime soon, <a [url="href="]href="http://mindymcginnis.com/news.html"[/url] target="_blank">check it out.</a><br /><br />This weekend I will be at <a [url="href="]href="https://sokybookfest.org/"[/url] target="_blank">SOKY - Southern Kentucky Book Fest!</a><br /><br />I've also had quite a few giveaways posting last week, so am re-sharing them here!<br /><br />Want to help me with all the mailing costs? I do giveaways at least once week, sometimes more. It can add up. If you feel so inclined as to donate a little to defray my mailing costs, it would be much appreciated! Donating has no impact on your chances of winning.<br /><br /><form [url="action="]action="https://www.paypal.com/fk/cgi-bin/webscr"[/url] method="post" name="_xclick"><input name="business" type="hidden" value="bigblackcat97@gmail.com" /><br /><div style="text-align: center;"><input name="item_name" type="hidden" value="Mindy's Mailing Costs" />*********************************************************************************</div><input name="currency_code" type="hidden" value="USD" /><br /><input name="amount" type="hidden" value="00.00" /><br /><input alt="Make payments with PayPal - it's fast, free and secure!" border="0" name="submit" [url="src="]src="http://www.paypal.com/en_US/i/btn/x-click-butcc-donate.gif"[/url] type="image" /><br /></form><br /><a class="rcptr" data-raflid="2071810b242" data-template="" data-theme="classic" [url="href="]href="http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/2071810b242/"[/url] id="rcwidget_v3qmjr7q" rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway</a><br /><br /><a class="rcptr" data-raflid="2071810b240" data-template="" data-theme="classic" [url="href="]href="http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/2071810b240/"[/url] id="rcwidget_fhuy55sy" rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway</a><br /><br /><a class="rcptr" data-raflid="2071810b241" data-template="" data-theme="classic" [url="href="]href="http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/2071810b241/"[/url] id="rcwidget_wiiqgkx4" rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway</a><br /><script [url="src="]src="https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js"></script><br[/url] /><br />

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Book Talk & Giveaway: YORK by Laura Ruby

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 14 April 2017 · 136 views

My book talks are coming at you from a librarian, not a reviewer. You won't find me talking about style or craft, why I think this could've been better or what worked or didn't work. I only do book talks on books I liked and want other people to know about. So if it's here I probably think it won't injure your brain if you read it.<br /><br /><a href="[url="https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1476282858l/18806245.jpg"]https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1476282858l/18806245.jpg[/url]" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="320" [url="src="]src="https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1476282858l/18806245.jpg"[/url] width="211" /></a>Tess, Theo and Jaime live in - and love - their city of York. With the mysterious technology of the genius Morningstarr twins powering it since 1798, the city boasts towering glass buildings, flying cars, twisting rail lines that run both above and below ground. Somewhere it also holds the key to the Old York Cipher, an enigmatic riddle that the Morningstarr twins left to the citizens of York before they disappeared in the 1850s, promising that whoever could solve it would find unimaginable treasure.<br /><br />Tess &amp; Theo are descended from the Morningstarrs, but that's never helped them get any further in the cipher than anyone else. They live in one of the last five original Morningstarr buildings, but a real estate developer is buying them up, and the twins - along with Jaime - decide if there was ever a time to solve the cipher, it's now.<br /><br />Want to help me with all the mailing costs? I do giveaways at least once week, sometimes more. It can add up. If you feel so inclined as to donate a little to defray my mailing costs, it would be much appreciated! Donating has no impact on your chances of winning.<br /><br /><form [url="action="]action="https://www.paypal.com/fk/cgi-bin/webscr"[/url] method="post" name="_xclick"><input name="business" type="hidden" value="bigblackcat97@gmail.com" /><br /><div style="text-align: center;"><input name="item_name" type="hidden" value="Mindy's Mailing Costs" />*********************************************************************************</div><input name="currency_code" type="hidden" value="USD" /><br /><input name="amount" type="hidden" value="00.00" /><br /><input alt="Make payments with PayPal - it's fast, free and secure!" border="0" name="submit" [url="src="]src="http://www.paypal.com/en_US/i/btn/x-click-butcc-donate.gif"[/url] type="image" /><br /></form><br /><a class="rcptr" data-raflid="2071810b242" data-template="" data-theme="classic" [url="href="]href="http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/2071810b242/"[/url] id="rcwidget_v3qmjr7q" rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway</a><br /><script [url="src="]src="https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js"></script>[/url]

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Debut Author Joanne O'Sullivan On Finding Inspiration

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 12 April 2017 · 72 views

Inspiration is a funny thing. It can come to us like a lightning bolt, through the lyrics of a song, or in the fog of a dream. Ask any writer where their stories come from and you’ll get a myriad of answers, and in that vein I created the WHAT (What the Hell Are you Thinking?) interview. Always including in the WHAT is one random question to really dig down into the interviewees mind, and probably supply some illumination into my own as well.<br /><br />Today's guest for the WHAT is Joanne O'Sullivan author of BETWEEN TWO SKIES. Joanne is a journalist for the <i>Asheville Citizen-Times</i>. She lived in New Orleans for several years and returns to southern Louisiana frequently. Between Two Skies is her debut novel. She lives in Asheville, North Carolina, with her husband and children.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="[url="https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1478105208l/27426036.jpg"]https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1478105208l/27426036.jpg[/url]" imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" height="320" [url="src="]src="https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1478105208l/27426036.jpg"[/url] width="212" /></a></div><b>Ideas for our books can come from just about anywhere, and sometimes even we can’t pinpoint exactly how or why. Did you have a specific origin point for your book?</b><br /><i><br /></i><i>I tend to pick up threads for several places and weave them together. When Hurricane Katrina hit, I tried to understand the full impact it had had on the people in an area I love. I started to draw a parallel between the people displaced by Katrina and the characters in one of Louisiana’s most iconic stories “Evangeline:” an epic poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Longfellow’s “Evangeline” starts in Acadia (what’s now Nova Scotia) at the time when the French-speaking population is being driven out by the British, becoming refugees and eventually settling in Louisiana. It struck me that there was a new exodus of people leaving Louisiana. They were called “Katrina refugees” and like the Acadians (the original Cajuns), many ended up far from home. My mom is an Irish immigrant, and I grew up listening to old Irish ballads filled with heartache and longing for a home you could never return to. I think those songs subconsciously supplied a melody for my story in a way, while “Evangeline” supplied a bit of the lyrics.&nbsp;</i><br /><br /><b>Once the original concept existed, how did you build a plot around it?</b><br /><br /><i>Because I had Longfellow’s “Evangeline” as a very loose inspiration, I had the idea of a painful separation in a young love. That led me to envision a new Evangeline and a love interest for her. The plot around that had two obvious poles: coming together and separating, but everything else in between took some work! The family story was interesting: I knew that there would be tension; that everyone in the family would want something different in the face of the disaster. That turned into some interesting opportunities for character development.&nbsp;</i><br /><br /><b>Have you ever had the plot firmly in place, only to find it changing as the story moved from your mind to paper?</b><br /><br /><i>Oh, absolutely! In fact, when I met my wonderful agent Claire Anderson-Wheeler, she suggested a major plot change from the original story I showed her. When you’ve been working with one idea for a long time, it can be hard to see a story any other way. But once I let myself imagine something different for these characters, I realized she was right: it was what was needed to keep the story moving forward.&nbsp;</i><br /><br /><b>Do story ideas come to you often, or is fresh material hard to come by?</b><br /><br /><i>I get loads of ideas, but a lot of them are fleeting. I feel like I would never have enough time to write all the stories I’ve come up with.&nbsp;</i><br /><br /><b>How do you choose which story to write next, if you’ve got more than one percolating?</b><br /><br /><i>That’s a great question. I give it time. Whichever idea sustains my interest over the long term is the one I pursue. Because I know I’m going to be spending a lot of time with it, I’ve got to be really invested.&nbsp;</i><br /><br /><b>I recently got stitches in my arm and was taking mental notes the entire time about how I felt before, during, and after the process of being badly injured. Do you have any major life events that you chronicled mentally to mine for possible writing purposes later?</b><br /><br /><i>I try to be in the moment during major life events, so I’m not great at being meticulous about my observations. I’m better at remembering the details of smaller moments and everyday interactions: the snatch of conversation I overhear in line at the coffee shop or a look exchanged between two people. The major life events I remember more in impressions and feelings, but that can actually be really helpful in guiding a narrative, too.&nbsp;</i><br /><div><br /></div>

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