Showing posts from August, 2014


Ohemgee guys! I'm sooo excited to be hosting Mary Weber today on my blog! She's talking about her new release Storm Siren . I started reading it a few days ago and let me just tell you -- this is one of those don't-miss-out kind of stories! Unfortunately for me (fortunately for you) I haven't quite finished it yet. If I had, I'd be spilling all the secrets and then you'd be mad, mad, mad! I know, I know. I'm such a tease. To keep you salivating with book envy here's the cover and blurb: STORM SIREN is the story of a seventeen year old slave girl called Nym who was born with a storm-summoning lethal curse. When her power is revealed at a slave auction, Nym is suddenly bought by a royal advisor and given a choice: be trained as the weapon that the kingdom of Faelen can use to win the war…or be killed.   Choosing the former, Nym falls into the bizarre world of politics and parties and prepares to fight a monster rumored to be more lethal than

E is for Edit - Tips for Teens!

E is for E dit ! Editing is a key component of writing. The key is that it has to be done. There's also something to be said for timing. You don't want to waste your time editing while you're still creating and writing your story because....well....because it will be edited later. Often times things you've slaved over--chapters, pages, paragraphs and even sentences--will end up being edited entirely. So instead of worrying about perfecting them now, edit later once the story is complete. When you're in the revision process, whether it's working with a critique group, beta readers, or even an editor, remember two things: 1) As an outsider they see how your story has come together and the ways in which it is presented in its best light. If pacing is off, trust them, they will know. If a character development is lacking, they're going to see right through it. As the author, we tend to be too close to our stories--and know what we've been thinking an

I Hate When the Kids go Back to School

Today is the first day of school in our district. For many this poses mixed emotions. Kids are dragging their feet, wishing for more days of relaxing summer sun while parents are secretly cheering inside, pushing their kids onto the big yellow bus with a grimace of sheer delight. As the parent of three kids, two teens and one still in elementary school, I have a very defining emotion but it's certainly not joy. It's loneliness. I'd be lying if I didn't admit there's a bit of stress mingling there, too.There's also some sadness, tickling the back of my throat like a bitter pill swallowed with too little water. I love the internet, love reading blogs, and love feeling like I'm not alone--that there are other people who share my thoughts, that we connect on some level. But the biggest problem I have with all these blog posts is they're all geared to parents of toddlers. They pull at my heart strings remembering by-gone days of snotty noses, temper tan

Diversity in Books

This past week we spent one glorious week at the beach in a quaint little house which, if it sat any closer, it would have been floating in the water. We anticipated many things from our trip to the beach: lots of time in the ocean, aquatic creature sightings, sun & sand (possibly even sunburn!), along with many, many memories that we could cherish for years to come. What we didn't expect, however, was to make friends with another family. It was only on our second day that we saw this family at various times, walking from their house to the beach. Our interactions started simply with a head nod, which eventually became a hello when we'd both gathered the courage to utter the words. Then the children began watching each other, curiosity piqued, as they played in the sand building castles and moats. Or as my girls boogied on their boards with each friendly wave of the sea. It was my girls who finally invited them to play, inching closer as they worked together to buil

D is for Delete - Tips for Teens!

D is for D elete ! It's okay to use the delete key. I promise. But don't do it right away! Wait until your story is finished (see C- is for Castles for a quick reminder) before you delete anything. Once you're sure your novel is complete, then start using that delete key. Too much exposition? Delete! Too much telling? Delete! Pacing is off? Delete! Don't be afraid to delete anything that prevents your WIP from being the best story it can be. Having a difficult time deleting? Can't do it, you say?  Don't worry. You're not alone. A lot of authors have a hard time saying goodbye to their babies. Every word feels vital. But there's a trick to this special little key. It can act as a transfer. Yup. Just cut and paste those words into another document. Save them for the future. Maybe you'll find another opportunity to use them. Perhaps all it will need is new names for characters. Or a different setting. That's the best part about bei

C is for Castles - Tips for Teens!

C is for C astles! Not long ago I found this wonderful quote from Shannon Hale: "When writing a first draft, I remind myself that I'm simply shoveling sand into a box, so that later I can build castles." I love it because too many times I spend my time perfecting a page, a paragraph, a sentence without first finishing the writing of the novel. Things often change in the process of writing. A character's motivation is altered. The setting is tweaked. A plot element is eliminated. With all those changes, there's not point in building a "castle" until the sand is first put into that sandbox. Don't make the same mistakes that I made early on (and continue to do as a perfectionist). Focus on filling your sandbox first (put the words on the page), then build your castle (perfect your story once it's complete).  You'll thank me for it later. Oh, and Shannon Hale, of course!