Saturday, July 30, 2011

There's a lot of working going on here


Before I say anything, I'll tell you right now that I have become a fan of "The Office."  (Thank my boyfriend)  Despite the fact that I usually hate Steve Carrell in other shows and movies, I actually have found this show to be entertaining.  Nothing like "The Office" to motivate you, right?

Here the blog I guess it's getting a bit dull here, eh who knows.  Like you, I'm waiting.  I'm still waiting to hear back from the publisher.  I swear every time I hear the notification noise for a new email I hope it's from them.  (And then it's not.)  The atmosphere here is just exactly that... Hope, patience, waiting, eagerness, nervousness.  All of it.  (all right here.  lucky you.)
I've been reading through Cursed with Power all day.  You know that point where you tell yourself "Oh I won't add anymore because I don't want to take away what's in the story" so instead you go through spellcheck and then you just keep reading through all the pages to see where words were forgotten.. Yeah, you know the deal.
On another note, I'll stay on the brightside of matters.  My best friend just came back from Mrytle Beach and we're getting together soon, I've actually connected with my boyfriend's friends (as in they like hanging with me and my sweetheart), and at the end of the day I'm still writing.  (Wait... I'm writing?!  When did this happen?)

Later on this week I'm encouraging you to join me as I talk about the worst rejection letter I ever received.  (I think it'd be a nice way to connect if we all talked about our story.)  I'll be doing some other posts as well.  Kind of just trying to bring everybody back together here, so if you have ideas about what I should post about feel free to suggest it to me.
Also, I'll be talking about the Magicians series.  Whether you've read Cursed with Power or not, I promise there won't be any spoilers.  This is simply to tell you about the process to make a series and so forth.  (And whatever else I think of; at this point I'm making it up off the top of my head.)

Lastly, THANK YOU to everyone who's been keeping their fingers crossed and sending the words of encouragement and support.  I love you all dearly for it!
Be there for the magic: www.themagiciansseries.blogspot.com

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Getting Published?

First.... Breathe.

So it looks like Cursed with Power might be getting a publishing deal.  How exciting would that be?!  I don't know all of the details yet so unfortunately I have to remain very brief.
What I will tell you is I should be hearing news by the first or second week in August.  Hopefully *fingers crossed* Cursed with Power will receive the deal, and then... Well I can't even begin to imagine!

I'll keep you guys posted.  You've all been a wonderful with keeping me motivated, inspired, and giving me lots of (needed) support.

If you wanted to be on an email notification list about it leave me a comment and I'll add you to the list.  Some of you I already have added.  Also, if you've read Cursed with Power let me know.  I would love for readers to be able to get the chance to know exactly when something is happening with this book.

In the mean time, what can you do?  Well, if you haven't already follow the Magicians series blog.  I've always posted updates and so forth about Cursed with Power on there first; fans, friends, everyone is welcome.  Ask any questions you have :)  I don't care if it's what color shirt I was wearing when I wrote Cursed with Power [I don't know the answer to that, by the way], how everything came together, or how I'm remaining calm [in my head I'm freaking out].  Ask away; I promise to answer everything.

Check back in soon!
Be there for the magic: www.themagiciansseries.blogspot.com

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Goodreads

Goodreads: Book reviews, recommendations, and discussion
Well, I've joined the community of Goodreads.  I'm hoping for this to be another outlet for readers to find me and become more interested in Cursed with Power.  If you're a part of the community, add me and I'll add you back.   This ought to be fun!

Be there for the magic: www.themagiciansseries.blogspot.com

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Love


Admit it.  Sometimes you're afraid to write about it.  When we write we tend to create characteristics that separate our main character from us.  Of course this seems sensible, correct?  However, our MC needs to have that spark in his/her eyes, they need to have that moment where them and the reader can connect.  Even if you're afraid of it, I'll wager that love is what can bind us to our characters.  It connects us as the writers to them and it draws our readers closer to them.
For those of you who are afraid of romance entering into your story, I'll tell you now that no, not every story needs love.  Even so, keep in mind that at some time in our life we have felt loved --whether it was in our family, among friends, or in a relationship.  While romance can add new dilemmas in your plot, what's there to lose?  You can write an entire novel and have your MC be alone --in a manner of speaking--but in the end you'll most likely find that no one can have hope for a person who has no one they care for, no one they trust, and no one they tell their darkest secrets to.
So if you've come to the decision that you want to try adding in a new element, or perhaps you're bold enough to write in the genre of romance, there are simple rules to remember:

  • Love needs to feel and sound real --Of course there have been relationships that have (in some way or another) been "fake," but when it comes to love you'll only captivate your reader if you show them that what is between your two characters is real.  Love should not be forced.
  •  The love triangles?  Be careful -- You and I both have seen the shows and read the books where love triangles either drive the fans crazy or completely drive away the fans.  If you want the love triangle to work in your book make sure it's unique and it stands out.  Give your readers a reason to care.
  • Before love comes friendship --It's not to say that you'll fall in love with your best friend, but if your MC is in love there's no doubt that before that they were bonding closer to each other through friendship.  If nothing else, think about relationships of your own; chances are they started out as a friendship.
  • Show us the special moments --What better way to pull in your readers?  We've all had those moments in our novels where (in a manner of speaking) we "struck gold."  That moment where everything clicks into place and you, the reader, and the characters connect to each other.  You don't necessarily need to make it special enough for your readers to be crying, but think about what has an affect.  Whether it's death, kissing, embracing, sorrow, marriage, a moment of untold secrets... You have control over that.
Skyhe Monchief, romance author of Swordsong, reminds writers of all genres to:
Keep submitting and writing. They say that those who never get published gave up… I didn’t give up. But I’m stubborn.
With that, I'll leave you to think about what you've been afraid to put in your book and why.  I know this is a change up from what I usually blog about.  I'm really trying to connect more with you guys, so if there's something you're dying for me to post about let me know.

Be there for the magic: www.themagiciansseries.blogspot.com

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Do you remember....?

Do you remember the first draft of your book?  I'm certain you have a copy of it somewhere in your house, whether it's in a folder, binder, on your computer, saved to a USB, hidden away in a locked desk drawer.  It's somewhere, and having just looked at mine I'll tell you that a lot can change from the first draft of your book to the final edition.

While I was wondering what to do next with my books, I opened up the first draft of Cursed with Power.  I thought I'd share with you what I discovered that I had forgotten until just now.  This was chapter 8 in the original:

I looked at my hand, which had been severely burned earlier. It was now bandaged and did not hurt. I felt under the collar of my dress and could feel another bandage covering most of my left shoulder and some of my neck. I turned my body so that I was facing the Healer and my legs hung over the table. I cleared my throat so she would realize I was awake. “Oh, you’re up! I was worried about you, you know?” She stood up, holding a book in her hands. “Your injuries were much worse than I had thought, but it looks like now you’ll be all right.”

In the final edition Celestria does not arrive at Roana's [the woman in the scene quoted above] until chapter 9.  However, here's where I noticed a major change that affected the entire book.

Then, I noticed there was a man sitting on a chair beside me. He covered his face with his hands, and when I saw his dark hair I thought for a moment he was Léal. Observing him in more detail, I saw his hair was not black but a dark brown. All the same, he looked just as well groomed as Léal hence I had to wonder who this man was. I straightened my position and then coughed. Both the woman and the man glanced up at the same time.
“Ah, you are awake,” she said as walked over with a book in her hand.

When I realized that Alaire [the man referred to in the scene above] does not appear whatsoever in the first draft of Cursed with Power I was horrified.  Now that I know the story well with Alaire being significant to Celestria's quest, I can't believe that originally he was never there.
The reality of it was in the first draft Celestria was alone.  She had no one to save her, no one to fall in love with, no one to share her secrets with.
To be honest, I'm glad that I changed the first draft significantly.  There is no way I would want to be querying this book and asking people to read it if Alaire was not in the story.

Take the time to look back at the first draft of your book and I guarantee you you'll be surprised.  What did you find that was or wasn't there in the final edition of your book now?  Are you satisfied with the changes that have occurred over time?
Be there for the magic: www.themagiciansseries.blogspot.com

Comfort Zone


For some of us it's writer's block, and for others it's simply that one moment where you feel there is nothing left to do.  Maybe you've finished your novel, maybe you're in the middle of revisions, maybe you're refreshing your email for responses, or perhaps you spent the day wondering where you would begin again.

I've been faced with one of those days where I'm refreshing my email and wondering what to do.  Revisions?  Maybe.  The sequel?  Possibly.  Something different?  Uh... sounds scary.
And that tends to be the problem.  We can hit rock bottom, and even if every ounce of our body is begging us to go out of our comfort zone and begin something fresh, do something extraordinary we aren't quite sure what that may be.  I came across this problem myself yesterday when I was discussing publication with my boyfriend and with some of my friends.

So I'll tell you, whether you care to listen or not, what the problem is for me.  (Mind you this may not be your problem at all.)  When I get to working on the sequel of my book all I can think of in the back of my mind is about agents, publishers... and, of course, the first book.  Here you are telling yourself "Oh this will be good for me.  This ought to be a blast!" Yet what you don't dare tell anybody is you can't get the first story out of your head.  The characters, the storyline, the action, each individual scene... Doesn't it sometimes feel like a movie playing over and over again in your head?
If you're scared to move on from the first book then do whatever it'll take.  Read it, revise it, query agents about it, stare at it.  Anything.  The fact of the matter is if you know you can't stop writing then you shouldn't let anything hold you back.  I'm telling you this to help you... and because this is what I've been convincing myself of all day.
Be there for the magic: www.themagiciansseries.blogspot.com

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Blogger Award


First I would like to thank Riv Re for awarding me with this, and also thank her support in my work.

Next, I'd like to pass the award onto 15 bloggers who I admire their personality, efforts, and blogging for.
1. Julie Musil at Julie Musil --For helping out a friend and having faith
2. Kelly Breakey at Blog like you mean it --For always offering to listen
3. Roland D. Yomans at Writing in the Crosshairs --For his passion and advice
4. Summer Ross at My Inner Fairy --For her support and wisdom
5. Sheron Paris at Sheron Paris --For staying strong through rough times
6. Leigh Fallon at Leigh Fallon --For never giving up and giving us all someone to admire and support
7. The ladies over at Project Mayhem --For the never ending advice and tips
8. Evie J at Peace, Love, Books --For the book suggestions and passion she has for her work
9. Dain at DAiNGER --For getting us all through marriage counseling with our books
10. Char Marie at The Stories of Dreams --For her amazing cover-making talent

Ah, well 10 seems to be the lucky number.  There you go ladies and gentlemen!  With this award, all you have to do is link back to this post, award it to 15 of your closest blogging friends (and of course let them know), and share 7 facts about yourself.

Seven facts about me:

  • I prefer to write in peaceful environments
  • Ever since I began writing five years ago, I just can't get away from it!
  • As we all must admit... I was that girl who adored Nsync and Backstreet Boys.
  • I am easily scared.
  • Despite my attempts at other genres, I have always returned to fantasy --the genre I know, continue reading, and can always add twists into.
  • My favorites series: Harry Potter ; my favorite novel: General Winston's Daughter

Be there for the magic: www.themagiciansseries.blogspot.com

Another contest over at YAtopia

YAtopia has two contests going on currently, giving you the chance to be noticed by agents Vickie Motter or Bree Ogden.  Though the contest with Bree Ogden ends tonight at midnight, this new contest with Vickie Motter is lasting until July 20th.
In the new contest you have a chance to sell your book submitting only a three line pitch (and of course following the submission guidelines).  For any of you who are currently seeking an agent to represent your book, this is a great chance you won't want to miss.

Enter the contest: here

Best of luck!

Be there for the magic: www.themagiciansseries.blogspot.com

Friday, July 8, 2011

Wrap up of the week

This week is finally coming to an end, and I thought it was about time I wrap up what's happened this week.

Despite its ranking on Inkpop, Cursed with Power has been on quite the journey since April.  Between querying agents and publishers, I've entered CWP into the YAtopia contest.  In the time between all of that I have also been working on New Life, the sequel in the series.  It has been coming along, to say the least, and motivation from the people around me has definitely helped.

This week has been long, but hopefully in the weeks to come there will be more exciting news to speak of.  To be honest I am eager to hear word from an agent interested in reading more of Cursed with Power.  Several writers I know have agents representing them now or are in the process of having their first book published.  I would like to congratulate Roland Yeomans, Leigh Fallon, and Julie Musil for their accomplishments in the writing business.

*fingers crossed* I'm working toward it.  Fortunately, I have not been taking the journey alone and I feel like through all of this I have grown more attached to the characters and Cursed with Power itself.
Be there for the magic: www.themagiciansseries.blogspot.com

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Pitch to Bree Ogden for an incredible opportunity


That's right, an incredible contest is going on in which the first winner will have their complete manuscript read by Bree Ogden.  All writers with a query and complete manuscript (as well following contest guidelines) are able to submit in an elevator pitch with the chance of Bree Ogden choosing them as the winner of the contest.  Second and third place winners also are given the invitation to submit to Bree Ogden with the first 50 pages of their manuscript.

For all the details head over to YAtopia to read the guidelines and submit.

Best of luck to everyone!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A voice of your own

Maybe she can't see every grain of sand or look past each beam of sunlight.  She might be looking for inspiration, she might be looking for her loses, or maybe she's simply trying to find herself.  Whether she's sitting out in a field, cuddled up under the covers in her bedroom, or breathing the midnight air, she wants to find herself out there.  She wants to discover who she is, what she can become, and what she has been all along.
If you saw her you'd think of her no differently than anyone else.  She knows she isn't perfect, she might have flaws, she's made mistakes in her life... But what she does know is that she isn't afraid to find herself today.  She isn't afraid of the mistakes she's made, and she accepts the loses she has experienced.  Somewhere out there somebody might be hoping she finds everything she is looking forward, but what matters is not the air she breathes, the dirt on the ground, the times she's fallen... What matters is someone believes in her, and that alone gives her enough to believe that she can make it and it'll be worth it to keep trying.
Writing in a journal, typing on her laptop, talking to the person she's closest to... You never know, you could be her.  You might be looking just like she is for herself.  For... more importantly, something of her own.  Something that belongs to her and no one else.

She is looking for her voice... A voice of her own.
Be there for the magic: www.themagiciansseries.blogspot.com

Sunday, July 3, 2011

New Life Prologue


Prologue
It took awhile for me to get here, but I've finally typed up the prologue to New Life and I'm moving along in the book.  (Trust me, though, it's not something I'm going to be finished with quickly.)

At the breaking of dawn someone breaks into Esmour's house.  At first he does not know who they are, what they want, and why they have come for him.  Then, all too soon he finds out enough to know that his life will never be the same.
A few miles away in the town of Celvont, Léal is asleep and safe in his home.  When he wakes up there is not a worry in the world; all he has to do is simply dress for service and be on his way.  However, what would have been an ordinary day soon turns upside down.  Though he does not know it, there is a woman waking up at the same time as him.  While he walks out of the house, she is in a world of misery and fear.  She screams but no one hears her --not even him.  Her long red hair goes over her shoulders, her jaded eyes tell of the heartbreak she feels, and a lonely house reminds everyone of the tragic past she continues reliving.  


Fate may bring two people together in time to come, but the world has changed.  Magic roams the street, good people are involved in wicked doings, and life is no longer given but rather taken away.  In such a world, one wonders how to survive when everything is against them.  What hope is there?
"There is a woman you will meet.  Without her you are nothing, but if your paths should happen to cross and you do meet then know she is the key to everything.  The strongest of bonds will be formed between you and she, and given time there will be no amount of distance or suffering that will separate either of you."





New Life hasn't been uploaded on inkpop yet because I have not reached the 10k requirement.  However, I'm hoping that these updates will keep your curiosity.  If you haven't read Cursed with Power this book might not be where you want to start in the series.  Even so, I will say that it's exciting to be working with Léal.  There are secrets and mysteries of his own past he has yet to reveal, but he's definitely grown since his role in Cursed with Power.  (I don't literally mean "grown", but more has been added onto his character, personality, and etc.)
Be there for the magic: www.themagiciansseries.blogspot.com