Tuesday, November 29, 2011

What is a Blog Tour?

You've heard of book tours, concert tours and the like but perhaps you are unfamiliar with a "blog tour"? I know I certainly was up until last year when my friend, Lani Woodland (author of Intrinsical and Indelible and two short stories in Transcendent: Tales of the Paranormal) told me about how she was doing one, along with a YA Treasure Hunt (more on that later). She appeared on numerous book reviewers/writers/authors websites as an interviewee. I was told by my publisher that we will be doing the same thing in early 2012. The other authors in my book will be interviewed on my site, but I am also  excited that I will be doing my first book review (and a blog interview) in January with Elizabeth Mueller, authoress of Darkspell.

Once I get a firm release date for Transcendent: Tales of the Paranormal I will let everyone know.

Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Teaser Time!

Guess what appeared in my inbox on Thanksgiving evening? A PDF file of Transcendent: Tales of the Paranormal! The authors have been so on top of the edits, 90% of the book is typeset! The publisher is waiting on one author bio and a blurb from a well-known author to help promote the book. I was told that the e-book *may* be available by Christmas. There will be printed copies available and some will be handed out in contests (stay tuned to my blog to win one!), a few will be handed out to other authors to read and review on their blog and others will be available for purchase through the usual sites online. I will definitely keep you updated!

Teasers. We've all seen them either for the movie we are anticipating the most (can anyone say Hunger Games?) or a word from a widely famous book (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows). I was given permission to put a teaser up from my story on this blog! It took me awhile to find something suspenseful, yet not too revealing about what is going on in Shadows of Promise...

      The undulating light grew stronger and brighter with each passing moment. Dawn's hand slipped off the cursor, wondering how anything so beautiful could be threatening. Within seconds, the light became an almost discernible shape.
     "Oh, come on!" Todd scrambled to his feet, his arm waving in the direction of the lights. "This is so freaking fake. You all can't believe this li—" The wind lifted him off his feet, spun him around in the air like a top, and then tossed him to the floor with a thud like someone dropping a suitcase.
      Stunned silence followed. As Todd groaned and rolled over to get up, everyone except Lauren, Dawn and Sean ran screaming from the circle, shoving one another to get out of the room.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

We are on Goodreads!

Transcendent: Tales of the Paranormal is now on Goodreads, which you can access here. You can mark it "to read" and read the blurb, learn about the other authors and all that fun stuff.

Just in case you don't have an account and don't particularly want one, here is the blurb:

Discover the secrets of a siren, fly with a hawk girl over the mountains of Montana, and flee supernatural party-crashers as the d├ęcor comes to life in this magical journey through paranormal stories. 

Along the way, watch for ghosts in a haunted house, or ride through the moonlight with a stranger. Save a comatose boy who has lost his soul, and don’t forget to bring your garlic and wolfsbane—you never know when the shadows will snag you. 

Transcendent includes eight stories of magic, love, death, and choice by some of the newest names in young adult fiction.

Kids Say the Darndest Things

I always said I should write a book based upon comments I hear children say either to each other or in response to a direction question. However, that's been done (the title above was a book that Rosie O'Donnell wrote many years ago) but I thought I'd share a few that I've heard in my classroom, or from their parents:

4 year old girl playing with a TRex and a Triceratops: "Hello, Triceratops, how are you?" "I'm fine, T-Rex, how are you?" "I'm fi--ROOOOOAAARRRR!" and she takes the TRex and pounces on the Triceratops as it pretends to eat the polite dinosaur.

3 year old girl at snack time: "I want more lemonade!" Me: "What is the magic word?" Girl: "Abracadabra!"

3 year old girl in circle time, in the middle of October. "What is the month?" Silence. "It has Halloween in it..." Silence then a little girl shouts, "Hollowember!"

3 year old girl doing the helper chart, "I want to be the windy helper today!" (weather helper)

3 year old girl telling me what she is thankful for in a letter to her parents, "I am thankful for my pants."

3 year old girl comes up to me upset with another 3 year old girl trailing behind her.
"Mrs. McCubbin! She's mean!" points to the girl behind her.
"She is saying I am silly!" hands on her hips, she looks angry.
"Well, [insert her name] are you silly?" I ask.
"Okay then." I respond, wanting to see what she does next.
Girl who complains turns to the one behind her. "Okay. I'm silly. You win." They run off and play tag.

I'm sure I'll have more as they come to me, or as I hear the stories in class. Stay tuned!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Once Upon A Time...

...no, not the TV show (which is one of my favorites) but in writing--making it perhaps one of the most popular concoction of four words ever.

Once Upon A Time, I was a teenager. I wrote romance stories and hid them in my file cabinet. I have no idea if my parents ever saw them or not, but they always ended when the boy kissed the girl. I never wrote beyond that part. I would write it out, pen and paper back in the 80s, on the back of the scrap paper my father would bring home from work. I spent days working my way up to the pivotal moment of the kiss. Right after it happened, the papers would be tucked into a file folder until I left for college. Before I left home,  I threw them away. I wish I hadn't because I'd love to try and draw parallels to what I wrote and what was going on in my life at the time...I sure wasn't getting kissed by any boys which is probably why I lived vicariously through my female character!

Fast forward through college, marriage, jobs, children, Harry Potter...when HP hit the stage, a friend introduced me to "fanfiction". She guided me in the direction of some great stories and encouraged me to write some for myself. One such story had Draco becoming such his own character, so far away from JK's representation of the beloved Slytherin, that she suggested making him a character into my own story. Years later, I have a polished manuscript of a YA Romance (what else) with a Draco-like character. I received some interest when peddling it around to agents, but it ended there. That was fine with me as my first attempt (two years earlier) at submitting it was meant with all NO's.

Putting my YA book on the back burner, I concentrated on my new job as a teacher. My lack of writing lasted about four months until I heard through a fellow author about someone wanting to put together a paranormal short story collection and would I want to write something? Of course I did, even though paranormal isn't my first choice of genre to write. I worked on "Shadows of Promise" (titles always come when the book/story is completed for me) for two weeks, submitted it and months later a new and up coming publishing agency said they liked it! One round of edits later--the second one is coming, don't worry--numerous emails, a contract, an online introduction to the other authors and now I can finally say I will be a published author.

Transcendent: Tales of the Paranormal will be published in the spring of 2012. My name is on the front cover, my story is inside and in "Shadows of Promise"...well, I'm not telling you if the girl gets kissed or not. You'll have to read the book to find out!