IT’S HERE!

IT’S HERE!

BRICKS is here. Click the BRICKS link above for details!

Read More

Bricks Trailer

Bricks Trailer

The trailer for Bricks is here!

Read More

BRICKS is almost here. Yea! (Yikes!)

BRICKS is almost here. Yea! (Yikes!)

My debut YA, BRICKS, is just weeks from publication (Feb. 3 from Anaiah Press). The final galleys have been submitted, the blog tour will begin soon, and the book trailer is waiting to be revealed. I am excited–and terrified. I can’t speak for all authors (or even some), but from what I can glean from things they say on social and traditional media, the fear of a book failing never strays far from thought. I have this same fear, but maybe not for the same reasons. Growing up, I was very active in sports. I loved testing my abilities against the clock, the stats, or others. My two favorite sports were baseball and football, and after I stopped playing baseball in college, I learned another reason why I loved those sports. In those sports, I never needed anyone to tell me how good I was. If I made the tackle or scored the touchdown that was reward in itself. Getting a base hit, knocking in a run, making the out, or a diving grab–they were all the same. The job was black or white–I did or I didn’t. On those plays where exceptional effort was required, my internal critic stepped in with an extra pat on the back. Don’t be me wrong, I had great coaches and supportive parents, but I didn’t need their approval. The sport and my performance provided measurable, immediate feedback–both good and bad. Do good? Congrats. Fail? Work harder. Easy. I was always a creative kid, and I remember my endeavors in that stretch to be far different. I would draw something and need to show it to someone or write something and hand it off to be read. I had no standard against which to measure it. And now, with only days before my first book is released, I’m petrified by the very word that works to both publish writers and prevent them from being published: Subjective–also known as “taste”. In sports, there is no “taste”. You either get the job done or you don’t. Subjectivity is a brand new standard of measurement for me, one that I’m having a hard time adjusting to–but one I know I’m going to have to get used to as I plan to make sure this first book is not my...

Read More

Blog Hop

Blog Hop

The wonderful Linda Fry asked me to participate in a blog hop discussing writing process, so here it is. Please visit her blog as well at  http://authorlmfry.wordpress.com/. 1. What am I working on right now? Right now, I’m working on edits for a YA contemp that will be published by Anaiah Press in Feb of 2015, I’m otherwise working on falling in love with my next project. I just finished revision version 9,000 on a YA sci-fi, and I’m awaiting feedback for edit 9,001. I have about 3 MG ideas floating around in my skull, a sequel to the aforementioned sci-fi, and several YA tales of various genres I’m eager to explore. 2. How does my work differ from others in the genre? Well, I think I’m still figuring that out. I think I’m pretty flexible–able to write male main character viewpoint as well as female viewpoint. I read an article recently that said a reader should be able to pick up your book and know instantly that you wrote it. I don’t know about that. I write first person narratives, so I want each story to be unique to the character’s voice. If my female contemp character sounds like my male dark sci-fi character–Houston, we have a problem. 3. Why do I write what I do? Effects of extended puberty maybe. I’m very drawn to MG and YA type characters. The events in their lives are so raw and real that any and every situation has the potential to be amplified. Most situations, extravagant or mundane, are unique to them and first time experiences. I love exploring ways that these characters in these age groups deal with things for the first time. Ironic, my first and only contemp book is being published, but what I write mostly is sci-fi and fantasy of some sort. 4. How does my writing process work? Most things start with an idea, like a seed. A what if…? I let the thought germinate, occasionally watering it with further thought. Most times I will write a chapter and another until the idea takes hold of me or until I lose interest. If I lose interest, I know the reader will too, unless I can fertilize it with a fresh passion. Then when I’m writing I follow the Marty McFly school of editing, but that’s an idea for another post. Right now, I have about fifteen books that...

Read More

Deciphering the Matrix

Deciphering the Matrix

Writing a book that’s a cross between Inception and The Matrix has me thinking about that scene where Neo first sees the Matrix as it really is.         Neo: Is that… Cypher: The Matrix? Yeah. Neo: Do you always look at it encoded? Cypher: Well you have to. The image translators work for the construct program. But there’s way too much information to decode the Matrix. You get used to it. I…I don’t even see the code. All I see is blonde, brunette, red-head…. What an almost perfect metaphor for writing. Most people (ie. people that don’t write) think writing is easy, and it is–as long as you only want someone who occupies a branch on the family tree to approve of it. When the ultimate goal is publication–to earn the trust of an agent or editor, a stranger to you with no bias but for the writing itself, the writing has to pass a level of scrutiny relatives rarely offer. At that point, your writing transcends art and becomes business. Though you wrote it, breathed life into it, and co-habitated with it for months on end, your writing eventually must leave the nest and stand on its own if you wish to pass from writer to author. Enter the matrix metaphor. Fresh out of the Matrix, Neo is incapable of seeing what Cypher and the other inhabitants of Zion see–a three dimensional, dynamic program capable of incorporating complex settings with robust realistic characters. What he sees on the two dimensional monitors is a stream of green numbers, letters, and symbols–nothing but code. Once a writer gets serious about mastering their craft, he or she must strive to make sense out of that code.  The code in the case of a writer, means nailing the opening–from the first sentence, starting in the right place, maintaining conflict, revealing information as it’s necessary and not before, creating connections to characters, establishing voice, and promoting a pace that propels the reader forward. Failure to do any of these within the first five pages or even the initial 250 words, could result in a rejection that begins, “Dear Author”. I’m not there yet. I often wonder if I’ll ever get there. Sometimes I’m content to live with the fact that I know I don’t know. That’s something, right? The ability to recognize that you just aren’t sure? I’m trying to convince myself it is, because at least then I can recognize that my...

Read More

#BLOGPITCH Contest

#BLOGPITCH Contest

How cool is this! My #BLOGPITCH was one of ten chosen by the wonderful Authoress at Miss Snark’s Blogspot. Please visit her site for the other winning selections (Miss Snark’s Site.) For each critique you leave on the respective winning blogs, you are entered into a drawing for a 15 page line edit from the acclaimed Authoress herself. So, here we go: ..   (YA SciFi) Logline: A kill away from reaching the sandman discharge quota, a teenage dream assassin learns the outlaws he killed aren’t who he was told. And neither is he. First 250:  Four folders fan before me. Each contains a face. Each face is worth points. And after tonight’s shift, I’ll have enough points to purchase what I’ve wanted since I got here. Two quick raps at the door steal my attention. Recognizing the knock, I rub my eyes before blinking a few times. I don’t know how long I’ve been staring at the folders. “Door open,” I say. The voice-activated panel doesn’t have a chance to retreat before Z bounds into my room. A wonky grin stretches like a hammock between his ears as he slides to a seat on the edge of my desk, ruffling the folders as he scoots. “So… this is it.” He pumps his eyebrows. I offer a thin-lipped grin and nod while reorganizing the folders. Cycling through the images once more, I study the faces of tonight’s targets. “Come on, Ro. This is it! Tonight’s the night. Everything you worked for. Get excited!” “Will you stop calling me Ro?” I say. “My name is Midnight.” “For now it is.” He buries his crazy-long fingers beneath his rear and leans forward while swinging his feet. “What do you think it’ll be when you get out?” I shrug. Once I’m out of the Sandman Corps, they can call me whatever they want. “Think about it,” Z continues. “After tonight, you’ll roam Somnium Six a free man.” Out… Free… Words I’ve used a thousand times since the corps enlisted me. Now that they’re so close to being real, they sound more like a dream. .∇.∇.∇. Click here to visit and comment on other selections. The more you comment, the more chances you have to win a 15 page critique from...

Read More