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This Is My 1000th Post

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 16 February 2015 · 46 views

That's actually a little bit of a lie, it's my 1001st post. But it's only fitting that my 1000th post from yesterday was a Saturday Slash, because this blog is above all things a writers blog, meant to help aspiring writers.<br /><br />I've been up and running since March of 2011. My <a href="[url="http://writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com/2011/03/chapter-one-in-which-i-become-agented.html"]http://writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com/2011/03/chapter-one-in-which-i-become-agented.html[/url]" target="_blank">first post</a> was about the fact that I'd landed an agent, and I'd like to point out that I didn't have a huge social media platform at that point. No Facebook author page, no Twitter account. I definitely didn't have a YouTube channel, and Tumblr didn't exist. Instagram might have been up and running, but I was ignorant of its existence.<br /><br />Now I'm everywhere. You can't get away from me, and if you try I will catch you.<br /><br />Blogging is a large part of my internet presence, but I use this particular platform as a tool that I very much wish would've existed when I was pre-pubbed. Often I have aspiring authors ask me for tips on getting published and while I certainly don't mind being asked, there's a basic misunderstanding at work that I correct as nicely as possible.<br /><br />Asking an writer for tips on how to get published is like asking a teacher, lawyer, veterinarian, or any other professional the same thing. The answer is that you need to educate yourself, and I don't mean that you should enroll in an MFA program. A lot of the aspiring authors that ask me for tips are completely gobsmacked when I follow up their question with questions: Do they want to be traditionally published or are they aiming for self-pub? If traditional are they thinking of targeting mid-level indies or some of the bigger houses, and regardless are they searching for representation or are they going to submit themselves?<br /><br />I never intend to gob smack people or deflate them. I can't give tips of any sort without knowing the answers to these questions, and the vast majority of the time I'm met with blank looks, questions about the difference between self-publishing and traditional publishing, or even complete shock that agents come into the picture at all.<br /><br />And that's fine. A little frustrating, yes, but it's also fine. That's the whole reason this blog and thousands of others like it exist. This is why I do my interview series with published authors, covering everything from the writing process to querying to cover art.<br /><br />I don't expect people to know the publishing industry inside and out. It's a fluid beast, and a complicated one. I'm definitely here to help, and I hope to continue to run this blog far into the future. It brings no money to me, and that's fine. I like having it as a base of operations, and I think of it so much as an act of giving that I sometimes forget to use it as a promotional tool.<br /><br />I've got a lot coming up in 2015, and things planned into 2016.<br /><br />So stay tuned.<br /><br />For both our sakes :)<br /><br /><br />

<a href="[url="http://writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com/2015/02/this-is-my-1000th-post.html"]http://writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com/2015/02/this-is-my-1000th-post.html[/url]" class='bbc_url' rel='nofollow external'>Source</a>


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The Saturday Slash

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 14 February 2015 · 67 views

Meet my Hatchet of Death (or, some other colorful description&nbsp;<a href="[url="http://rclewisbooks.com/"]http://rclewisbooks.com/[/url]" target="_blank">RC Lewis</a>&nbsp;and I come up with at any given moment). This is how I edit myself, it is how I edit others. If you think you want to play with me and my hatchet, shoot us an email.<br /><br /><a [url="href="]href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-oZ52KunZpiM/T_zy5Q521TI/AAAAAAAAArU/EQOi-3pr48Q/s400/NewestSatSlash.jpg"[/url] imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" [url="src="]src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-oZ52KunZpiM/T_zy5Q521TI/AAAAAAAAArU/EQOi-3pr48Q/s320/NewestSatSlash.jpg"[/url] height="320" width="247" /></a>We all know the first line of a query is your "hook." I call the last line the "sinker." You want it to&nbsp;punch them in the face, in a nice, friendly kind of way that makes them unable to forget you after having read the 300 other queries in their inbox.<br /><br />If you're looking for query advice, but are slightly intimidated by my claws, blade, or just my rolling googly-eyes, check out the query critique boards over at&nbsp;<a [url="href="]href="http://www.agentqueryconnect.com/"[/url] target="_blank">AgentQueryConnect</a>. This is where I got my start, with advice from people smarter than me. Don't be afraid to ask for help with the most critical first step of your writing journey - the query. My comments appear in&nbsp;<span style="color: #6aa84f;">green</span>.<br /><br />London, 1867, a city of ghosts, werebeasts, and magic gangs. <span style="color: #6aa84f;">Meh. You need something stronger here. This is your hook. Work location and time in somewhere else, thread it into a sentence.&nbsp;</span>Those without magic are pawns and targets, and Wayward Collins—a man with no magic, money, or power—has built his entire life around staying hidden and neutral. After months of work (some of it legal, some not), he’s almost ready to start a new life far away from the city and its magic. But when an unguarded moment leads to disaster, Wayward’s compulsive need to protect himself has tragic consequences and a young girl is savagely killed. <span style="color: #6aa84f;">This is very vague. We don't know what the&nbsp;actual plot here is,&nbsp;just that something bad happens.</span><br /><br />Enter Lord Cadogan, the wizard who witnessed the event,<span style="color: #6aa84f;">&nbsp;you&nbsp;definitely need to get specific about the event - otherwise motivation remains a question mark</span>&nbsp;and, wanting a safe, non-magical servant, blackmails Wayward into taking the position. Wayward might not have any innate magical talent but he has enough arcane knowledge to be useful, and Cadogan enjoys having a dogsbody valet forced to bow to his every whim. But events take a serious and bloody turn <span style="color: #6aa84f;">weren't they already if someone was savagely killed?</span>&nbsp;when one of Cadogan’s footmen is murdered by magical means and&nbsp;<span style="color: #6aa84f;">your sentence construction uses a lot of <i>and</i> throughout. Either pare down the sentences or rephrase - an agent will&nbsp;think that the novel will have the same issues&nbsp;</span>, affronted at the threat to his household, Cadogan drags Wayward into his hunt for satisfaction.<br /><br />Haunted by his previous mistake and loathing every second of his enforced servitude, Wayward is determined to remain uncooperative. But each step of the investigation stirs up further trouble; the dead footman had his own secrets, a demon attack hints that other magical factions might be interested, and one police inspector just won’t leave the matter alone. <span style="color: #6aa84f;">Suddenly there's a lot of elements being thrown in here.</span>&nbsp;Even Cadogan might not be the arrogant braggart that Wayward initially expected. As matters come to a head, Wayward is forced to reconsider his plans for the future. <span style="color: #6aa84f;">Why? What plans?&nbsp;Back to the get out of town plans?&nbsp;</span>Before, all he wanted was to leave the city far behind. But Wayward’s one mistake has changed everything, and now the city isn’t willing to let him go.<br /><br /><span style="color: #6aa84f;">Vagueness is a lot of what&nbsp;isn't working here. We know that bad things happen, and that people&nbsp;have secrets, etc., but we have no&nbsp;idea&nbsp;what those things are or how they tie together. An agent can't get any idea of motivations, or if there's a compelling plot at work within the novel&nbsp;because the query is full of allusions only.</span>

<a href="[url="http://writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com/2015/02/the-saturday-slash_14.html"]http://writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com/2015/02/the-saturday-slash_14.html[/url]" class='bbc_url' rel='nofollow external'>Source</a>


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Book Talk: MY HEART & OTHER BLACK HOLES by Jasmine Warga

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 13 February 2015 · 36 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://d.gr-assets.com/books/1415056175l/18336965.jpg"]https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1415056175l/18336965.jpg[/url]" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="320" [url="src="]src="https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1415056175l/18336965.jpg"[/url] width="211" /></a></div>Sixteen year old Aysel is ready to die. Her mother can't stand the sight of her, and the echoes of her father's violent crime still reverberate through her small hometown. Without any support in her life, she's ready to get it over with already. Ironically, she finds out that the best way to do that is with a friend - something she definitely doesn't have.<br /><br />When she discovers a website that pairs up suicide partners, it's the first time Aysel is making connections with people who think like her, feel like her, and maybe even understand her. Ready to take the next step of meeting her partner in real life, she connects with Roman. With a family tragedy in his past that he can't deal with, Roman is looking for someone to make sure he achieves his goal.<br /><br />Just when Aysel is ready to give up on life, she finds that Roman is filling in the dark holes she thought she couldn't deal with. But if she backs out on him now, she'll be letting down the only friend she has, betraying what brought them together in the first place.

<a href="[url="http://writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com/2015/02/book-talk-my-heart-other-black-holes-by.html"]http://writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com/2015/02/book-talk-my-heart-other-black-holes-by.html[/url]" class='bbc_url' rel='nofollow external'>Source</a>


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Debut Author Moriah McStay On The "What - If's"

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 10 February 2015 · 64 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 is <a href="[url="http://moriahmcstay.com/"]http://moriahmcstay.com/[/url]" target="_blank">Moriah McStay</a>, fellow Katherine Tegen author of <a [url="href="]href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21795576-everything-that-makes-you?from_search=true"[/url] target="_blank">EVERYTHING THAT MAKES YOU</a>, releasing March 17th. Moriah grew up in Memphis, TN, where she acquired a come-and-go drawl and a lifelong love of cowboy boots and fried pickles. She attended Northwestern University and the University of Chicago. Two graduate degrees and seven jobs later, she finally figured out what she wants to be when she grows up.<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?</b><br /><br /><i>I was in an accident at age one that left me blind in one eye. You can’t tell now, but you could when I was younger. My eyes were different colors, and I had to wear big protective glasses. I couldn’t play contact sports, went to tons of doctors, had school pics taken in profile rather than face on. Looking back, it doesn’t feel that big a deal, but at the time, it was.&nbsp;</i><br /><br /><i>Often, I wondered how much of me was determined by that single, freak accident. And what about my brother and sister? My parents? How did the accident shape their lives? What about everyone else’s individual experiences? What about my friend whose father died when she was young? Or the classmate with cancer? How did those events shape them?</i><br /><br /><i>There are so many “what ifs”--we all have them. It’s an interesting question to explore, I think.</i><br /><br /><b>Once the original concept existed, how did you build a plot around it?</b><br /><br /><i>For the longest time, I did NOTHING. I started thinking about writing a book around this idea--exploring how we each come to be the person we are--when I was in college. In fact, I had this idea for SO LONG that when I saw the Sliding Doors trailer, I said to my then-boyfriend (now-husband), “That’s my book.” I didn’t see the movie for years, scared it would affect how I’d tell the story. (I finally watched it while I was revising my first draft, looking for tips on how to deal with certain elements.)&nbsp;</i><br /><br /><i>I’d say there was a good fifteen years between the original idea and the final draft.</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>Uh, yes! My original plan was to follow lots of events, because seemingly insignificant things can create enormous impacts. It was impossible to follow, though.&nbsp;</i><br /><br /><i>Later, I focused on Fiona (the girl with the burn) thinking it was her story--Fi’s purpose was as a counterpoint. But Fi ended up flat and uninteresting, and I had to create more of an independent story line for her.&nbsp;</i><br /><br /><i>Lessons learned from ETMY (and my next novel) are why I don’t outline anymore—it takes forever, and I abandon it in days. Now I keep a general direction in mind, but otherwise try to get out of the way of the story. My first drafts are a mess because of it, but the end result is better, I think. &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 have a list of ideas that I’ll never get through, even if I live a hundred more years and write 18 hours straight a day.&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>I ask this question: On the off-chance I’m run over by a bus the moment I finish the next WIP, what do I want to have written the most?</i><br /><br /><b>If dinosaurs were real and had you to marry one, which would make the best spouse?</b><br /><br /><i>I’m going to say Pterodactyl, because I could ride on his back, which would almost be like flying.&nbsp;</i><br /><div><br /></div>

<a href="[url="http://writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com/2015/02/debut-author-moriah-mcstay-on-what-ifs.html"]http://writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com/2015/02/debut-author-moriah-mcstay-on-what-ifs.html[/url]" class='bbc_url' rel='nofollow external'>Source</a>


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Warning: CONTAINS IMMATURE CONTENT

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 09 February 2015 · 46 views

As a school librarian I have many, many days when a patron will walk in and announce that they hate books, or that reading is stupid. And that's fine. They're probably into something that I think is incredibly stupid, and I usually tell them that and we agree to disagree. Then I go about attempting to change their mind, because that's kind of my job. Sometimes I succeed, sometimes I fail. And to be fair, sometimes they change my mind too. *cough* Dark Souls *cough*<br /><div><br /></div><div>I find myself in the position of defending books very often, and occasionally it's hard to know whether I'm doing it as a writer, reader, or librarian. Lately a lot of people have been talking about the amount of adults reading YA. I've seen figures as high as <a href="[url="http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/ya-literature-buzzing-just-young-adults/"]http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/ya-literature-buzzing-just-young-adults/[/url]" target="_blank">77% of the teen titles sold</a> are being bought by adults. And I think that's awesome.&nbsp;</div><div><br /></div><div>I don't care if 77% of the world is only reading the back of cereal boxes - they're still reading.</div><div><br /></div><div>What does bother me is when readers - of any age - get upset about teen characters being immature. Because I'm a reference geek I went to the dictionary for this one, and the truth is that in most cases the word immature is being used correctly.</div><div><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a [url="href="]href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-7xXHA2dnPwk/VNTKrcq5I4I/AAAAAAAADAE/RGS9UINKAOQ/s1600/immature.png"[/url] imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em; text-align: center;"><img border="0" [url="src="]src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-7xXHA2dnPwk/VNTKrcq5I4I/AAAAAAAADAE/RGS9UINKAOQ/s1600/immature.png"[/url] height="100" width="400" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Yes, most teen characters lack the characteristics of adults. They're supposed to.&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">But teens also retain a sense of wonder that most adults have lost, and I include myself in that some days. The daily grind of going to work, paying bills, worrying about the bottom line, graying hairs, flagging energy... all the elements of real life that in some ways dull us to our own emotions and the awesomeness of just being alive.&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Being alive means having experiences that we learn from - good ones and bad ones. We make a lot of wrong decisions when we're young, which is how we develop into adults who make rational choices. I work with teens forty hours a week. I see decisions being made every day, the conclusions they thought were perfectly logical falling down around their ears.&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">So when characters behave that way in books I'm not surprised or frustrated. It's because they're not finished or perfected, not completely grown or developed.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">And that's why they're interesting.</div>

<a href="[url="http://writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com/2015/02/warning-contains-immature-content.html"]http://writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com/2015/02/warning-contains-immature-content.html[/url]" class='bbc_url' rel='nofollow external'>Source</a>


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Cover Reveal For SPINNING STARLIGHT by R.C. Lewis

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 07 February 2015 · 50 views

I'm very excited to reveal the cover for SPINNING STARLIGHT by R.C. Lewis, which will be releasing from Hyperion on October 6, 2015! You know it's going to look stunning sitting on a bookshelf next to STITCHING SNOW.<br /><br />Don't forget to enter the Rafflecopter below to win a signed copy of both STITCHING SNOW and NOT A DROP TO DRINK from each of us. R.C. and I have been critique partners for five years, so to be sharing a release date in 2015 is an amazing feeling!<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="[url="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-hazQCagKyNQ/VNWKD4ZBvQI/AAAAAAAADA8/ZjUmHZMofVQ/s1600/SpinningStarlight-2.jpg"]http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-hazQCagKyNQ/VNWKD4ZBvQI/AAAAAAAADA8/ZjUmHZMofVQ/s1600/SpinningStarlight-2.jpg[/url]" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" [url="src="]src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-hazQCagKyNQ/VNWKD4ZBvQI/AAAAAAAADA8/ZjUmHZMofVQ/s1600/SpinningStarlight-2.jpg"[/url] height="640" width="422" /></a></div><br /><br /><div style="text-align: center;"><i>Sixteen-year-old heiress and paparazzi darling Liddi Jantzen hates the spotlight. But as the only daughter in the most powerful tech family in the galaxy, it's hard to escape it. So when a group of men show up at her house uninvited, she assumes it's just the usual media-grubs. That is, until shots are fired.</i></div><div style="text-align: center;"><i><br /></i></div><div style="text-align: center;"><i>Liddi escapes, only to be pulled into an interplanetary conspiracy more complex than she ever could have imagined. Her older brothers have been caught as well, trapped in the conduits between the planets. And when their captor implants a device in Liddi's vocal cords to monitor her speech, their lives are in her hands: One word and her brothers are dead.</i></div><div style="text-align: center;"><i><br /></i></div><div style="text-align: center;"><i>Desperate to save her family from a desolate future, Liddi travels to another world, where she meets the one person who might have the skills to help her bring her eight brothers home-a handsome dignitary named Tiav. But without her voice, Liddi must use every bit of her strength and wit to convince Tiav that her mission is true. With the tenuous balance of the planets deeply intertwined with her brothers' survival, just how much is Liddi willing to sacrifice to bring them back?</i></div><div style="text-align: center;"><i><br /></i></div><div style="text-align: center;"><i>Haunting and mesmerizing, this retelling of Hans Christian Andersen's </i>The Wild Swans<i> strings the heart of the classic with a stunning, imaginative world as a star-crossed family fights for survival in this companion to </i>Stitching Snow<i>.</i></div><div style="text-align: center;"><br /></div><br /><a class="rcptr" [url="href="]href="http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/2071810b102/"[/url] rel="nofollow" data-raflid="2071810b102" data-theme="classic" data-template="" id="rcwidget_7izq4srz">a Rafflecopter giveaway</a><br /><script src="//widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js"></script>

<a href="[url="http://writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com/2015/02/cover-reveal-for-spinning-starlight-by.html"]http://writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com/2015/02/cover-reveal-for-spinning-starlight-by.html[/url]" class='bbc_url' rel='nofollow external'>Source</a>


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The Saturday Slash

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 07 February 2015 · 66 views

Meet my Hatchet of Death (or, some other colorful description&nbsp;<a href="[url="http://rclewisbooks.com/"]http://rclewisbooks.com/[/url]" target="_blank">RC Lewis</a>&nbsp;and I come up with at any given moment). This is how I edit myself, it is how I edit others. If you think you want to play with me and my hatchet, shoot us an email.<br /><br /><a [url="href="]href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-oZ52KunZpiM/T_zy5Q521TI/AAAAAAAAArU/EQOi-3pr48Q/s400/NewestSatSlash.jpg"[/url] imageanchor="1" style="clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;"><img border="0" [url="src="]src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-oZ52KunZpiM/T_zy5Q521TI/AAAAAAAAArU/EQOi-3pr48Q/s320/NewestSatSlash.jpg"[/url] height="320" width="247" /></a>We all know the first line of a query is your "hook." I call the last line the "sinker." You want it to&nbsp;punch them in the face, in a nice, friendly kind of way that makes them unable to forget you after having read the 300 other queries in their inbox.<br /><br />If you're looking for query advice, but are slightly intimidated by my claws, blade, or just my rolling googly-eyes, check out the query critique boards over at&nbsp;<a [url="href="]href="http://www.agentqueryconnect.com/"[/url] target="_blank">AgentQueryConnect</a>. This is where I got my start, with advice from people smarter than me. Don't be afraid to ask for help with the most critical first step of your writing journey - the query. My comments appear in&nbsp;<span style="color: #6aa84f;">green</span>.<br /><br />Elena Tarbon never dreamed she would become an Empress at twenty-six winters past, but neither had she imagined committing mass murder. <span style="color: #6aa84f;">Huh,&nbsp;okay I'm listening.</span><br /><br />Fear grips the jeweler’s town as the advent of magic causes mysterious deaths. With nothing but gems crafted by her connecting the events, vengeful villagers blame Elena’s father, the mayor, for their misfortune <span style="color: #6aa84f;">Er.... why? If the gems that <i>she</i>&nbsp;makes are the only connection why&nbsp;isn't she the one in the noose?</span>&nbsp;and hang him. But when Elena discovers that she controls the magic in the gems, she unleashes her own brand of justice, banishing non-magic folk from the town. Standing as a messiah for unwitting nascent magicians <span style="color: #6aa84f;">this is a bit of a mouthful</span> being persecuted throughout the land, she raises a magical city as their safe haven.<br /><br />Her upstart rule draws the ire of nobles <span style="color: #6aa84f;">nobles from&nbsp;where? why do they care if it's not their land?&nbsp;</span>who send armies to crush her city. A war is stalled by the irresponsible prince <span style="color: #6aa84f;">confused. Stalling a war seems the opposite of irresponsible - what's his motive?</span>&nbsp;of the ruling regime, Fabius Throdden. Only he’s also the man who broke her heart ten years ago. However, Elena finds it hard to rebuff the ever-persistent and charming prince’s advances, especially when he claims he had no idea that she was even alive.<br /><br />Accepting Fabius’ offer to run away and abandon their respective rules means getting her soul-mate back at the cost of deserting her people. Yet the only way she can defend them is to draw magic from gems buried so deep, it could literally shatter the land. <span style="color: #6aa84f;">Well... then it doesn't seem that hard of a choice. Deserting her people sounds bad, but if the only way to defend them is to shatter&nbsp;the land anyway... then screw it. Let's go, baby.</span><br /><br />TIDES OF MAGIC is a 104,000 word epic fantasy told from multiple PoVs, tracing the journeys of a wayward prince, a megalomaniac sorceress, a turncoat bandit and an insanely righteous king-in-waiting in the wake of emergence of magic. <span style="color: #6aa84f;">Hmm... except right now the only people I have a clue about are the sorceress and either the king or the prince (not sure which is Fabius). If these characters have equally shared page time, we need&nbsp;to know something about all four of them in the query.</span><br /><span style="color: #6aa84f;"><br /></span><span style="color: #6aa84f;">The&nbsp;hook is good, and you've got a lot of&nbsp;what you need here in terms of motivation, etc., but I feel like the&nbsp;world building could&nbsp;be a little more clear in terms of geography. How far away are these nobles that are attacking? Far? Close? It sounds like Fabius and Elena are totally hanging out all the time, so I'm guessing not far... but again it seems like something that needs clarified. Tiny additions like, "nearby" or "far away Ohio" clear&nbsp;this up easily.</span>

<a href="[url="http://writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com/2015/02/the-saturday-slash.html"]http://writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com/2015/02/the-saturday-slash.html[/url]" class='bbc_url' rel='nofollow external'>Source</a>


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Book Talk & Giveaway: VENGEANCE BOUND by Justina Ireland

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 06 February 2015 · 67 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="http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1346144722l/13643222.jpg"]http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1346144722l/13643222.jpg[/url]" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" [url="src="]src="http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1346144722l/13643222.jpg"[/url] height="320" width="212" /></a></div>Cory loves chocolate, just like most teens. Unlike everyone else, the reason she eats is to keep the Furies under control. The mythological trio bound themselves to her when she was a child in a desperate situation, open to any opportunity to escape. As a teen, she follows their lead when the sins of a passing man seem worth of judgement. The only thing that seems to stem their urge for blood is the occasional dose of chocolate, something Cory has learned through the years.<br /><br />But for the first time, Cory has met someone who doesn't raise their ire. She's the new girl at school, and mysterious Niko seems to be the only guy who they don't want to kill. But as her feelings towards men start to change, Cory finds the Furies harder and harder to control. Their need for blood starts to outstrip the availability of guilty men... but they don't seem to care.<br /><br />Cory's mind becomes a battlefield as she attempts to control them in order to protect the innocent - and herself.<br /><br /><a class="rcptr" data-raflid="2071810b101" data-template="" data-theme="classic" [url="href="]href="http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/2071810b101/"[/url] id="rcwidget_7x5ciz44" rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway</a><br /><script src="//widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js"></script>

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Angelica R. Jackson On A Debut Author's Involvement With Their Cover

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 03 February 2015 · 40 views

I love talking to debut authors. Our experiences are so similar, yet so very different, that every one of us has a new story to share. Everyone says that the moment you get your cover it really hits you - you're an author. The cover is your story - and you - packaged for the world. So the process of the cover reveal can be slightly panic inducing. Does it fit your story? Is it what you hoped? Will it sell? With this in mind I put together the CRAP (Cover Reveal Anxiety Phase) Interview.<br /><br />Today's guest is&nbsp;<a href="[url="http://www.angelicarjackson.com/"]http://www.angelicarjackson.com/[/url]" target="_blank">Angelica R. Jackson</a>, a writer, photographer, and avid naturalist living in the Sierra foothills of California. Her debut novel, <a [url="href="]href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22573426-crow-s-rest?from_search=true"[/url] target="_blank">CROW'S REST</a>, a darkly funny young adult urban fantasy, is coming from Spencer Hill Press in May 2015.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a [url="href="]href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-rBhfki1IaaQ/VND1FcUzGTI/AAAAAAAAC_k/2H94uMFwRkc/s1600/CrowsRest.jpg"[/url] imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" [url="src="]src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-rBhfki1IaaQ/VND1FcUzGTI/AAAAAAAAC_k/2H94uMFwRkc/s1600/CrowsRest.jpg"[/url] height="640" width="426" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><i>Avery Flynn arrives for a visit at her Uncle Tam's, eager to rekindle her summertime romance with her crush-next-door, Daniel.</i></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><i><br /></i></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><i>But Daniel’s not the sweet, neurotic guy she remembers—and she wonders if this is her Daniel at all. Or if someone—some thing—has taken his place.</i></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><i><br /></i></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><i>Her quest to find the real Daniel—and get him back—plunges Avery into a world of Fae and changelings, where creatures swap bodies like humans change their socks, and magic lives much closer to home than she ever imagined.</i></div><br /><b>Did you have any pre-conceived notions about what you wanted your cover to look like?</b><br /><br /><i>It was more like I had notions about what I didn’t want Crow’s Rest’s cover to look like—in the author form that Spencer Hill Press sends, I made sure to mention I didn’t want “Girls in ball gowns or drowning (because neither has anything to do with my story). Would actually prefer not to show main character’s faces, but I know it’s pretty common for YA books so it’s not a dealbreaker.”</i><br /><br /><i>Also, I said the most important thing to me is “to have some tension in the image, and for it to have relevance to the story (whether symbolic or literal)” and I feel like we definitely accomplished that!</i><br /><br /><b>How far in advance from your pub date did you start talking covers with your house?</b><br /><br /><i>I signed in April 2014, and my projected release date of Fall 2015 was almost immediately moved up to May 2015—so I got my author form pretty quickly after signing. I turned it in within a week, since I already had stuff like back copy ready to go, but then didn’t hear anything for a while. (And you know how good we authors are at waiting, lol) Then we got word that we’d need to do a cover reveal in a very short timeframe, and that got the gears moving again.</i><br /><br /><b>Did you have any input on your cover?</b><br /><br /><i>Absolutely—and the fact that SHP gives authors say in the cover was one reason I signed with them. If that hadn’t been the case, I would likely have moved ahead with self-publishing.</i><br /><br /><i>After I got one preliminary cover image (which I liked, but I felt like it didn’t stand out enough from other YA UF covers) we talked some more, and I actually got permission to take a test shoot with some models for a custom cover (I’m also a photographer). So I turned those in and put the Final Jeopardy song on loop.</i><br /><br /><i>While I was waiting, just for fun I started assembling a lightbox on Shutterstock with images for teasers down the line—and in the process, I stumbled across some artwork by Natalia Maroz. It was absolutely perfect for the feel of the story! So I inserted a model and made a mockup cover, and turned that in too. That’s the one that the Editor-in-Chief ended up liking, and I have to admit that I love it so much that the sting of having my test shots rejected was considerably lessened, haha.</i><br /><br /><i>I wanted to do the actual cover design, too, but Photoshop played a nasty trick on me and took away a lot of the tools I had learned for masking and other tasks in the latest version—and at that point we only had ten days before the scheduled release date. So I nominated Kelley York of X-Potions Design to do the design, because she has a fast turnaround and I knew she would do a fantastic job.</i><br /><br /><b>How was your cover revealed to you?</b><br /><br /><i>Since I worked pretty closely with Kelley, there wasn’t really a reveal moment for me—although seeing how Kelley realized my vision was pretty exciting. There was one funny thing, though—when we got the hi-res version of the artwork with the flying bird, it turned out to be a vulture rather than a crow or raven! But Kelley fixed that seamlessly.</i><br /><br /><b>Was there an official "cover reveal" date for your art?</b><br /><br /><i>It was August 18, and my publicist sent out an email blast so bloggers could sign up. The full-cover reveal was a little more casual, and I just posted it in my slot on <a [url="href="]href="http://operationawesome6.blogspot.com/"[/url] target="_blank">Operation Awesome</a> and <a [url="href="]href="https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001046475887"[/url] target="_blank">Facebook</a>, and people shared from there.</i><br /><br /><b>How far in advance of the reveal date were you aware of what your cover would look like?</b><br /><br /><i>I realize my situation is a bit unusual since I was so heavily involved in the design, but I have to say that even knowing what the artwork looks like, it was still love at first sight to see the cover on a real-life, printed book! I wanted to walk around with it in my bra so it would be closer to my heart.</i><br /><br /><b>Was it hard to keep it to yourself before the official release?</b><br /><br /><i>It really was! And I loved the front cover by itself, but once I saw the full cover, I really wanted to, um, crow it to the world. Kelley did such a good job blending the front and back artwork (the back image is also Natalia Maroz), and with the lovely font.</i><br /><br /><b>What surprised you most about the process?</b><br /><br /><i>What surprised me was my reaction to the first, preliminary image from the publisher. I went into it with a genuine curiosity and excitement about how another artist would interpret my story and characters. But when I saw that image, it was pretty much 80% what I’d said I didn’t want (but I did end up with a girl in a dress, lol) and I got very territorial. That may have ended up making me look like a diva at times, but it also made me define what I did want.</i><br /><br /><b>Any advice to other debut authors about how to handle cover art anxiety?</b><br /><br /><i>Try to hold onto that “genuine curiosity and excitement about how another artist would interpret (your) story and characters” as long as you can, lol. But failing that, if you truly don’t like your cover, you’re better off offering some alternatives. I sent stock images of models that I thought would fit better than the one they used, stock images of landscapes that fit the story, etc, in that first email response. Offering to arrange a custom model shoot at a reasonable price also went over well (and those photos weren’t wasted, since I later used them in my book trailer). But backing up your reasons for why you think that cover doesn’t fit with hard data or alternatives will get you further than sobbing into the phone.</i><br /><br /><i>That said, you may still not have any say at all, and if you’re unhappy—keep it off the internet! Cry on your agent’s shoulder, make your dog’s fur soggy with tears, but don’t bash an artist or publisher online! Keep things professional, and it will pay off in the long run.</i><br /><div><br /></div>

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A MADNESS SO DISCREET Cover Reveal & ARC Giveaway!

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 02 February 2015 · 60 views

Finally!<br /><br />I'm so very pleased to share with you the cover for my newest release, <a href="[url="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24376529-a-madness-so-discreet"]https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24376529-a-madness-so-discreet[/url]" target="_blank">A MADNESS SO DISCREET</a>, which will be coming on October 6, 2015 from Katherine Tegen Books.<br /><br />MADNESS marks a departure from my previous books. <a [url="href="]href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13112869-not-a-drop-to-drink"[/url] target="_blank">NOT A DROP TO DRINK</a> and <a [url="href="]href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20359647-in-a-handful-of-dust"[/url] target="_blank">IN A HANDFUL OF DUST</a> were both post-apocalyptic survival stories, and I had a great time writing them. MADNESS is a new creature, a Gothic historical thriller set in an insane asylum. Will you judge me if I tell you that I also had a great time writing it?<br /><br />You can see the cover below, but if you want a chance at wining an advance copy you need to head over to <a [url="href="]href="http://www.yabookscentral.com/blog/it-s-live-cover-reveal-a-madness-so-discreet-by-mindy-mcginnis-giveaway-us-canada"[/url] target="_blank">YABC and enter the giveaway there</a>!<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a [url="href="]href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-U1l5-lD0DSA/VM6EHqvmUzI/AAAAAAAAC_Q/Jwkc_dh8jKs/s1600/MadnessSoDiscreetCOVERUSE.jpg"[/url] imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" [url="src="]src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-U1l5-lD0DSA/VM6EHqvmUzI/AAAAAAAAC_Q/Jwkc_dh8jKs/s1600/MadnessSoDiscreetCOVERUSE.jpg"[/url] height="640" width="422" /></a></div><br /><br /><div style="text-align: center;"><i>Grace Mae knows madness. She keeps it locked away, along with her voice, trapped deep inside a brilliant mind that cannot forget horrific family secrets. Those secrets, along with the bulge in her belly, land her in a Boston insane asylum.</i></div><div style="text-align: center;"><i><br /></i></div><div style="text-align: center;"><i>When her voice returns in a burst of violence, Grace is banished to the dark cellars where her mind is discovered by a visiting doctor who dabbles in the new study of criminal psychology. With her keen eyes and sharp memory, Grace will make the perfect assistant at crime scenes. Escaping from Boston to the safety of an ethical Ohio asylum, Grace finds friendship and hope, hints of a life she should have had. But gruesome nights bring Grace and the doctor into the circle of a killer who stalks young women. Grace, continuing to operate under the cloak of madness, must hunt a murderer while she confronts the demons in her own past.</i></div><div style="text-align: center;"><i><br /></i></div><div style="text-align: center;"><i>In this beautifully twisted historical thriller, Mindy McGinnis, acclaimed author of Not a Drop to Drink and In a Handful of Dust, explores the fine line between sanity and insanity, good and evil—and the madness that exists in all of us.&nbsp;</i></div><br /><br />

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