Saturday, April 5, 2014

Pretty New Headshot!

Part of being a Golden Heart Finalist is having a head shot taken.  Some girls are lucky enough to already have a picture that makes them look author-y and they didn't have to stress this item on their to-do list.

I wasn't so lucky.

The day after I finaled (yes, the day after.  Not that day.  I was busy swimming in the pixie dust that day, folks, I'm not gonna lie) I started stressing about what the heck I was going to do for a head shot.  I thought about just taking a selfie or having the hubs do it.  I considered and even talked to a lovely friend about taking some photos.  But, I turned to my sister-in-law who directed me to the lovely Mindy Ingersoll.

If you look over there....  >>>>>
you will see my beautiful new author-y headshot.

Please.  Did you look?  No?  Well, take this moment now.  It's there >>>>

You saw it?  Good.  Because I love it.

Mindy did a great job.  Made me feel super relaxed.  I love all the pics she took but the one on the right
Over there, in case you didn't look yet.
Is my favorite.

Thanks again, Mindy!  And if you're in the Philly, Delaware, South Jersey area and you need a photog, check her out.

Ever had to have your professional picture taken?  How'd it go?

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

I'm a Golden Heart Finalist!

*throws confetti*

My book, ALTERED, is a Golden Heart Finalist in the Young Adult Romance category!!  I couldn't be more excited.  Read below for the list of finalists:

I got my call this morning at a little after 10 AM.  I think Julie Kenner might think I'm crazy because all I could say was, "Oh my God.  Oh my God."

I've been floating all day and now I get to plan a trip to San Antonio.  SQUEE!!!

Congratulations to all my fellow finalists and to all the finalists in the RITA awards.  To see my name on this post with all those talented writers, well, it's really humbling.

I can't wait to meet the other finalists and to celebrate it up at Nationals this year!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Shop Talk Tuesday: When One Door Closes....

It's been a few weeks since I posted. Sorry about that. But I've been over on my group blog, Romance Writer's Revenge a lot more, for our final huzzah.

Over the summer, my blog mates and I decided to dock the ship permanently. September was our last month of blogging and our finale was yesterday.  

It has been an amazing run.

When we started the blog in 2007, we didn't know what we were doing.  Back then, I blogged every Thursday.  Our topics ran the gamut and we rambled on, trailing off on tangents, really getting a feel for ourselves and the other writers/readers that joined in the discussion.  I learned a whole lot about myself as an author because of the women on that blog. And I made some amazing friends.

I'm going to miss being there, checking for posts every day. Hearing each of the pirates' takes on the world.

For your part, you can still find each of the pirates at various spots on the web.  On my side bar, you'll find the links to each of their homepages.  I'll try to stay here and keep you entertained.  

So, from me, a virtual shout out and a huge smooshy hug to all the pirates.  I love you girls.  I wouldn't be who I am--as a writer or a person--if it hadn't been for you folks pushing me these past six years.  XOXO  

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Shop Talk Tuesday: Motivation

I’ll admit: sometimes I procrastinate. Like now. Currently, it’s Monday night and I’m writing this blog. But I’m writing it because I SHOULD be working on the scene I’m almost done with but I just don’t wanna. The scene is hard. It’s required more research than I’ve done during the rest of the book combined.  (Magnetoencephalography. Go ahead and look it up. I’ll wait here…..  See?  Zzzzzzzzzzz)


I have exactly no motivation to read another thing about the electrophysiology of the brain. Or the different lobe functions. Or whatever else. I find parts of it fascinating, don’t get me wrong, but when they start talking about all the research that’s been done on the brain, all the different scientists, limitations of the work, etc. well… my eyes glaze over and MY brain shuts down.


So, I hit the internet. Pinterest, you saucy wench, I’m looking at you. Oh, another recipe for a cream cheese dip? Don’t mind if I do. Then I scan my FB timeline and I start chatting on Twitter.


Let’s face it: if we want to escape from a task, there are no shortage of places to get lost here. In fact, writing this blog is productive, in comparison. At least this is work related.


Where am I going with this? Oh right. Motivation. What keeps me going back for more? Because this sort of stuff is hard. I’ve written other stories that have required research. Sometimes it was awesome. I’d fall down the rabbit hole willingly. Other times, not so much. The night I spent trying to figure out how long it would take to get from point A in England to point B, on horseback, for example.  Ugh. I had to know, but I would have preferred to pass over that and get back to the story. Right now I need to know how the brain functions. At least with passable authority. That has required a bit of research. Into science. For this English major.


I know. Ouch.


But, the story requires it so I need to do it. I will remind myself that it serves a greater purpose: making my story into the best end result I can manage. Then I will focus on that and it will get me going again.  

A great end result. That's the goal. Sometimes I need a reminder. And some weeks I need more reminders than usual. Like weeks that require neurology lessons.

So, tell me… what motivates you?

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Shop Talk Tuesday: Writing the Query

Let's talk about query writing.

If you didn't notice--or look yet--I updated my Books tab above with a blurb about my latest project.  Go check it out, I'll wait here.

*pipes in Jeopardy theme music*

I admit: I really dislike writing these things. I actually don't know anyone who loves to write them.  Some writers like them more than others (ahem, I'm talking about you, Terri Osburn).  But no one loves this part.

I think part of my problem is that I'm not really good at marketing, myself or my books.  I'm getting better, but it's hard. Selling something is a completely different skill set than creating something. These couple of paragraphs have to hook the reader. They need to take the inciting actions in the book and turn them into something that will make someone say, "I need to read this NOW!"  You only get a few sentences.  Actually, some would argue you only get one sentence. If the first sentence is boring, some people will stop reading. Probably many people.

No pressure, right?

I have learned a couple of things, though. The query doesn't have to tell the whole story.  It just has to give enough to be provocative.

It needs to say what starts the action and then hint at how they start to resolve it. This is good news. It means all you have to do is condense about 1/3 or 1/2 of your book into a few sentences.  That's much easier than condensing the entire book into a few sentences.

*eye roll*

I think it's also beneficial to get your voice in there.  A taste of what the reader can expect.

What have you learned about blurb/query writing?  Any pointers are helpful!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Blurb is up!

I didn't get to post anything else this week but I'll be back on Tuesday to talk shop.

In the mean time, feel free to click on the Books tab above and read the blurb for my newest story!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Shop Talk Tuesday: Revisions, Oh My

I finished the first draft of my YA/NA story a few weeks ago. 
Yay!  But Ugh.  Because now begins the hard part: revising. Yes, I think revisions are harder than finishing the book. 

I’ve let it sit as long as I can stand and it’s time to start diving back in.

Some people love revisions. I like it when I’m in the middle of it. Maybe it’s my inner Virgo. Setting things right, setting order to chaos. But, when I’m staring it in the face, it sorta makes me feel like this guy:

(If you didn’t go watch the video, you really should. It’s a ram, attacking a motorbiker. Really.)

Anyway. Revisions. They’re daunting. Like an angry ram in your face.

The only way I can even attempt them is to go at it with a clear plan. (I’m a Virgo, remember?)  I start big. Big picture items. Plot holes. Character inconsistencies. Stuff like that. Then I read to see if the tone is right. If the pacing is right. It’s only after I tackle those things that I can manage the grammar and the smaller word choice issues.

So, I’m in it now. Starting to read and look for big picture items.


How do you go about revising? Do you have a plan of attack? How about that ram? Sorry, but I laughed hysterically.  There’s probably something wrong with me.