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Jul. 18th, 2012

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Be Inspired Meme

I'm still, technically, on hiatus. Unpacking is going frightfully slow, but that's happens. Still, I'm taking the time to post after being tagged by the awesome Natasha Hanova! I'm supposed to answer the following questions, so let's get this show on the road!

What is the name of your book?
COVETED

Where did the idea for your book come from?
When I was little, I read the book of Revelations and was absolutely fascinated. I didn't understand what was going on, but loved the imagery. Beasts, dragons, armies, angels, etc. As I grew up, and learned more about the meaning behind what was written, I couldn't stop thinking about what it might look like when all of this went down, or how cool it would be if people had the power to stop some bad guy from trying to get things started early. Strange as that sounds, I was a child imagining Armageddon. Yeah, I know. Scary.

In what genre would you classify your book?
Young adult urban fantasy.

If you had to pick actors to play your characters in a movie rendition, who would you choose?
I never really took the time to select actual actors, though I do have photos I've selected from the net randomly over the years. I don't think they're copy written or anything, but I don't claim to own them or have any connection to their origin, and am not using them for monetary gain.

This here is Martin, our resident playboy and comic relief best friend.
\/


Then there's Caleb, our protagonist.
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This lovely lady is L'Dawn, the third member of our trio of heroes.
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/\ And lastly, we have Scarlet, the wild card.

Give us a one-sentence synopsis of your book.
17-year-old Caleb discovers he can raise the dead, and winds up at the top of the Seven Deadly Sins' most wanted list.

How long did it take you to write your book?
It'll be about three years this fall, from start to current edit.

What other books within your genre would you compare it to, or readers of which books would enjoy yours?I can't think of a book that's too similar to COVETED, but I could compare it to Supernatural, the television show. Mmmm, love me some Dean. But folks who read The Mortal Instruments, Embraced, Paranormalcy, along those lines, might like it.

Which authors inspired you to write this book?
Uhm...no one in particular. I just like reading good stories, and wanted to write them as well. So, any book that I like was an inspiration I suppose. Vague answer is vague.

Tell us anything that might pique our interest in your book.
The tone of the book is dark, but playful. An interesting take on the end of the world. Did I mention the impending apocalypse? No? Hnm.

Now tag five others: BUWAHAHAHAHAHA! I mean... You're it!

Summer Heacock

Jess Collins

Brenda Drake

Jamie Corrigan

Nicole McLaughlin

Jun. 17th, 2012

Happy

The Day of the Dad

I missed posting on Mother's Day, mostly because I spent that weekend running all over town, shopping like a crazy person, and just hanging out with one of my best friends in life, that is to say, my mom. She knows I love her lots, and lacking a blog post isn't going to change that.

I hope.

But on to today's main event. I just wanted to take a moment to say Happy Father's Day to all of the fabulous fathers out there who know what it means to do more than simply procreate.

My father has always been one of my biggest supporters. All of my life, he's been in my corner, backing my play, and when I made a choice he didn't exactly approve of, he loved me in spite of. He's always asking about my book, eager to hear news about agent and publisher requests, and demanding that he be the first to get a copy signed when it goes to print.

He taught me to ride a bike, helped me light my first big firework--I mean those huge suckers that sound like a bomb went off somewhere down the block--tutored me through a 4.0 all of my school days, coached me in sports, and so much more. We've had our rough patches, but I've grown to realize that these 'disputes' were a result of his love. If he didn't care, he wouldn't fight with me to put up a fight for me.

So here's to you, dad, for always loving me, protecting me, teaching me, guiding me, and kicking me out of the den during my favorite cartoons whenever Law and Order came on. I love you, with all my heart and soul, and I thank God for you every day, but today I get to shout it to the world.

Happy Father's Day,

One extremely blessed daughter

Jun. 13th, 2012

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Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight!

So, I signed up to be a part of Dani Bertrand's First Fight/First Kiss blogfest. To check out the details, head on over to her blog and give it a gander. The gist of the entire thing is to post a fight scene from one of your stories on June 12 (yes, I know that was yesterday, so I'm a little late!), then post a kissing scene on the 14th. My fight scene isn't the first fight in my story, chronologically, but it was the first one I wrote. It's from HERITAGE BLADE, AWAKENING, where a young man is raised and trained as a Slayer, but he hasn't sworn the Oath that allows him to act as one of their emissaries. So when he accidentally assassinates a vampire prince, he's branded a murderer, a price is placed on his head, and everything that goes bump in the night arrives to collect. Enjoy!

He felt the vampires before he saw them, their presence like needles against his skin. The creeps were in his house now? Ugh!

They leapt down from the second floor banister and landed between him and the hall to the kitchen, effectively cutting off his path to the brawl in the back yard. There were three of them, two women and a guy who looked like he’d been on a steady diet of Slurpies and pizza before turning.

“You’re ours, Slayer,” one of the females snarled, the thin, supermodel type.

“Not likely.” Jay slapped the nearest doorjamb and smirked, waiting for the fireworks.

Nothing.

The vampires exchanged confused and then amused glances, their lips curling around fanged smiles.

Crap, he’d forgotten the protection wards had been removed.

Laughing, the Bloods pounced. His dagger lodged itself between the model’s eyes with a wet crunch. The runes along the blade flared red and she exploded in a spray of cinders, her shriek fading.

Jay held his breath to avoid inhaling the toxic fumes, gripping one of the Baneswords with both hands. He danced back as the other woman came at him, howling with rage, her glowing eyes impossibly wide.

“You killed Charlene!” Her lips pulled back from around those long, thin teeth, leaving the lower half of her face deformed. She swiped at him with nails lengthened into talons, charging in a rush of animalistic strength and speed.

He barely managed to keep from being sliced into Slayer strips, bringing the sword up to block and parry her strikes. Metal sang each time her nails raked against the blade. Every now and then the fat Blood would duck in to try and get a swing at him. The guy was fast, despite his size, and in the confined space of the hall, the two of them would have him on the ropes if he didn’t think of something quick.

Blinded by rage, the woman lashed out with abandon. He positioned himself between the two of them and jerked aside just as she lunged in a low sweep that would have spilled his insides across the floor. Instead, her nails tore into the other vampire. It recoiled with a yowl, clutching at grayed entrails peeking through jagged tears in fabric and flesh.

“Edward!” The woman snatched her hand away in shock, gawking at the other vampire as he tried to keep his insides inside.

“That was your fault.” Jay brought the sword around, the runes blazing, sweeping through ancient flesh and bone.

Edward’s head tumbled from his shoulders, his face frozen in a grotesque scream. It ashed before it hit the floor, along with the rest of him.

“You can blame that one on me. Two down.” Jay held the sword between himself and the sobbing vampire. Red ran down her cheeks, streaming against pasty skin.

She dropped to her knees and clawed at the still glowing pile of soot and embers. She gathered up handfuls and smeared them against her face, caking it with a foul mud. It’s what vampires did to mourn. Some small part of her was still human, and wept at the loss of whatever those things were to her. A dull pang of pity moved through Jay, and he showed her the only kindness a Blood deserved.

The end of his sword slipped between her shoulder blades. He wasn’t sure, but he thought he heard her whisper “thank you” before the whole of her fissured like crystal and she crumbled at his feet.

Jun. 4th, 2012

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The Kreativ Blogger!

ImageYay for awards. I want to take Natasha Hanova, one of the girls in my Novel Clique crew, for bestowing me with this cool badge of blogging honor. Tasha posts informative, creative and fun news about craft and the industry over on her blog, Writes By Moonlight, you should definitely check it out. You should also follow her on twitter.

On to the main even! Along with the award, there are a few regulations for the recipient to comply with in order to receive said accolade.

The Rules:

1) Thank and link back to the awarding blog.

2) Answer the following 7 questions.

3) Provide 10 random factoids about yourself.

4) Pass this on to 7 deserving others

1. What's your favorite song? Kiss from a Rose, by Seal. I saw the video on MTV (Back when they actually showed music videos, fancy that) when Batman Forever came out. It lead to my first actor crush on Val Kilmer. Don't judge me!

2. What's your favorite dessert? Teremisu. Hands down.

3. What do you do when you're upset? Find a quiet corner and Woosa. Or goosfraba.

4. Which is your favorite pet? I can't choose between my kids! I have a cockatiel named Obie, a dog named Pepper, and a cat named Buccaneer, for she is the pirate of socks.

5. Which do you prefer? Black or White. Black. Far more slimming.
Black, it's my go-to color.

6. What is your biggest fear? Disappointing God. And failure. Sort of the same thing, I guess...

7. What is your attitude mostly? I'm pretty laid back, and incredibly positive. I have faith that everything will work out and be all right in the in, so no need to sweat the small stuff, as they say.

10 Random Factoids:
1) I LOVE Spiderman.

2) I cosplay. Don't know what that is? Give it a click.

3) I played the cello for 15 years. Need to get back into it.

4) I still enjoy watching cartoons. Only a few new ones, most of the stuff on these days is crap. I'm talking Teen Titans, Powerpuff Girls, Dexter's lab, the good stuff!

5) Even though the vampire/werewolf trend is on the way out (or is it gone now) I still LOVE them. (Stole this one from Tasha, as it is so true for me too. I often say I liked vampires before it was cool! Mmmm, Lestat...)

6) I can roll my tongue. Apparently, you have to be genetically inclined to do so. I didn't know that.

7) I am the Mario Kart queen. Do not dispute this unless it's a whoopin you're a'wantin.

8) I was secretly a Power Rangers fan clear through college. Again, don't judge me!

9) I don't like ketchup on my fries. Ew.

10) Don't smoke. Never have. Never tried it.

I'd like to pass this award to:

1- Brenda Drake
2- Tina Moss
3- The gals over at Operation Awesome
4- Rebecca Enzor
5- Chris K
6- Anne-Mhairi Simpson
7- Wanita Jump

Drop by those blogs to check out the awesome!

May. 24th, 2012

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Ta-da!

Here it is, my very first guest post! I am over the moon, if you'll pardon the cliche, about the entire thing. Once again, I want to thank Dave and Brion over at The Roundtable Podcast for honoring me with the request to write a blog post for their site. And again, if you haven't taken a listen to the awesomeness they're putting out over there, go right now! And sign up to take part in it, you won't regret it.

So, without further adieu, Frankenstein Ideas, my take on how to successfully work several plots at once.

May. 15th, 2012

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Holy Scrambling Schedules, Batman!

Just saw Avengers last night so I had to throw in a superhero reference. Yes, I know Batman is DC and Avengers is Marvel, but I can't think of anyone who used to sidekick it up like Robin, so there we have it.

Moving on, I have been super busy lately, thus no recent post. My apologies, I'll do better in the future. As a result, here's one of my famous catch-up entries. Firstly, I want to show some love to my Novel Clique girls. All of us pitched to agents at OWFI and earned requests for our work, two or three times over! I am thrilled about my requests from Louise Fury of the L. Perkins Agency, Jessica Sinsheimer of the Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency, and Melissa Frain of Tor Books We are currently giving our work a quick look over and all submissions will be...well, submitted by the weekend. Stay turned for a post on in-person pitching and everything I learned in a session taught by the incomparable Chuck Sambuchino.

Secondly, The Writer's Voice kicked off this past week and...I GOT IN! I don't know if I screamed loud enough last time. I was selected by the amazing, the wonderful, the glamorous Brenda Drake. And might I mention a bit of good news for my fabulous coach? Take a gander:

"Brenda Drake's debut LIBRARY JUMPERS, in which a sixteen-year-old finds that a simple flip of the page can transport her to the library of her choosing, thus thrusting her into a Mystik world hidden amongst the pages of library books, where evil abounds, secrets unfold, and mortals are running out of time, to Georgia McBride at Month9Books, in a nice deal, at auction, in a three-book deal, for publication in February 2014, by Lauren Hammond of ADA Management Group (World)."

What did I tell you? Ah-mazing. Go Team Brenda!

She gave me some incredible feedback on COVETED and I, along with the rest of my great team, are anxiously awaiting the next round of the competition where we will OBLITERATE ALL OPPOSITION--...I mean, we will rise to victory.

Thirdly, the ladies behind The Writer's Voice have set up an opportunity for all writers to pitch to two, not one but two, agents via Twitter. John M. Cusick of Scott Treimel NY , and Vickie Motter of Andrea Hurst Literary Management, will be reading pitches including the hashtag #WVTP on May 24 from 12PM until 6PM EDT. For more details you can find ze rules on Brenda's blog here.

That's all I got, at least for now. Just wanted to prove I hadn't fallen off the face of the Earth or anything like that. Time to go bury my nose in my work. These submissions aren't going to prepare themselves.

Any good news to share so I can cheer for you, too?

May. 8th, 2012

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Guest Blog Alert!

Or rather, guest post alert. My guest post that is! I'm thrilled that the fellas over at The Roundtable Podcast have asked me to do a guest post on TRP's blog. I'm going to take a moment to squeal like a little girl.

YAY!

Okay, big girl pants back on. The past week has been crazy. Between attending a writers conference, and preparing submission packages as a result of successful pitches to agents/editors (omg I'll have to squeal all over again in another post), my poor blog has gone neglected. At least for a few days. I plan on relaying the conference fun after the post announcing my entry over yonder on the TRP website.

Till then, I've got my nose to the grindstone. In the meantime, I'm curious about everyone else's guest blog post thingy experiences.

Have you ever been a guest on another's blog? You enjoy yourself?


Apr. 30th, 2012

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Conference Craziness Reloaded -- In the Trenches

Apologies ahead of time, this post is a lil'on the long side, but there's lots to cover and I want to give everyone as much helpful info as possible.

As May 3rd swiftly approaches, my family, friends and coworkers find themselves faced with a delimma: Do they say something about how giddy I'm acting, or do they simply leave it be, knowing it will soon pass. Well, for passerby, or those curious as to why I'm super excited all the time, it's because OWFI is right around the corner! In less than 72 hours, I will be in Oklahoma with my Novel Clique gals for this year's conference. I seriously cannot stop smiling, thinking about all of the fun we had last year, and everything we learned. There was so much information to digest, sessions to attend, notes to take, on and on. That's what this post is all about, the goings on during a writer's conference, or at least what we as writers need to be doing to make the most of these thrilling experience.

To find out what to do before a conference, from deciding if a certain conference is right for you to preparing a pitch for an agent session, head on over to the fabulous Natasha Hanova's blog. In fact, I recommend reading hers before continuing with this one. Really, go ahead, I'll wait.

Do dee doooo.

Finished? Great information, right? Okay, now to pick up where she started off. Once you've decided you're attending, you've packed, you've traveled, you've arrived! Now the fun really begins. With all of your clothing unpacked (if you're like me you've prepared a special pitch outfit, I know, it's crazy, I'm okay with that), and you've settled in with the goodie bag from the welcome and registration desk, the first thing you'll want to do is take a look at the classes/sessions that will be hosted throughout the conference. If you are attending alone, you'll need to choose which sessions will benefit your the most. If you're a beginning writer, aim to attending sessions that will cover the basics and answer those questions to help you get started. For those further along in developing their craft, something a little more specific might be what you're after, and try to avoid sessions that might not be a benefit at all. For example: If you've got a degree in English Lit, and you're something of a Grammar Elitist, you don't need to attend Sentence Structure 101, but the session on Voice might be right up your alley. It's instances like choosing a class that make me glad I attend conferences with a group, with four to six of us there at a time, we can divide and conquer.

Once you've decided which sessions you'll be attending, it's time to get busy. Wake bright and early so you have time to dress for success, business casual for those who are serious about being taken serious in his industry, then get down to breakfast for some needed fuel and networking. As Tasha mentioned in her post, you'll know this if you've read it, take plenty of business cards to hand out to those you meet, and keep them on your person throughout the day since you're going to MAKE IT A POINT to introduce yourself to your fellow writers and the industry professionals whenever the time calls for it. After mingling, and gaining a blogging buddy or two, the sessions begin. Be sure to arrive early to take advantage of the perfect seat. We like to get close without being in the presenter's face, this makes for optimal recording if allowed, as well as being able to see the visual aids if there are any. Make sure you take your laptop with you, if you have one, and definitely paper and something to write with. I highly recommend both. At OWFI, there are tables set up to bust out the computer, but that is not always the case, so a pen and pad work wonders.

Notes! A throwback to schooldays. I wasn't a fabulous notetaker then, and things haven't really changed, that's why I record whenever possible. Some speakers mind, some don't, listen for the rules of engagement before a session begins, or be sure to ask if things aren't clear. We don't want to offend anyone. If you know shorthand, and can pretty much type or write out every word the speaker says without falling behind, I am impressed. I cannot do this, so I save my notes for main bullet points during the lesson, or AHA! moments that I want to take back to my craft specifically. When you pause to take notes, you're momentarily distracted from whatever is said immediately following, so make sure missing it is worth the trouble. And I love it when the speaker passes around handouts. If you are so fortunate, sit back and enjoy while letting the handout do the work. Rinse and repeat from session to session.

Now that we've touched on the basic workings of conference attendance, there is one area I want to emphasize the importance of; etiquette. Remember when you did or said something growing up that earned you the side-eye from your mom and a snappy "this is why I don't take you out in public"? No? Just me? Well, let's avoid that here. This industry is so tightly knit that one small uh-oh can result in consequences on a massive scale, so we need to be on our best behavior. Spill your tea at dinner? You'll live. Accidentally pronounce an agents name wrong? Might not be the end of the world, even if you feel like it. Overheard badmouthing someone or their work? That one will definitely come back to bite you. We're all in this together, and we need to respect one another as colleagues at the very least. While we can really cut loose and be ourselves around likeminded individuals, let's not say or do something we probably wouldn't back home.

And that's what to do and expect while attending a writers conference, in a very broad, very big nutshell. I know, I didn't touch on pitch sessions, because those can very from person to person. Research whomever you're going to be pitching to, and tailor your pitch to that person. Some professionals might actually have blogged about how they'd like pitch sessions to go, and reading what they want will be of greater benefit than reading what I think they want. What I can say is this, maintain good posture and eye contact, speak TO the agent/editor not AT them, practice your pitch at least two-dozen times beforehand, and don't forget to say thank you when you're done. They didn't have to give any of us the time of day, but they're awesome like that.

For what to do after a conference, check out Dawn Allen's post. It gives a rundown on what to do what all you've acquired during your excursion.

And for Twitter updates during this fast approaching conference, follow my feed here along the right side of the page (@Tangynt), watching for the #OWFI tag.  You can also catch the action via the Novel Clique feed at @NovelClique. I wish everyone the best of luck in their conference endeavors!

Apr. 21st, 2012

Happy

Conference Craziness

For the past few weeks, though honestly much longer than that, my writer's group and I have been preparing ourselves, and our work, for the Oklahoma Writer's Federation Inc. conference in Oklahoma city. I'm so excited! We've polished our pitches for agent appointments, purchased new duds for an awards banquette, and hoarded a slew of neat pens for taking notes during sessions. (You're not really a writer until you've developed an "unhealthy" loves of unique pens)

I'm proud of my girls, and myself. We've all worked hard to get to where we are, and we've pushed each other even harder. We know we're ready, we're eager, and we're confident the experience will be well worth it. It helps we've already been once or twice. Love it, can't wait to go again, man I'm pumped. During all of this preparation, we've decided to put together something special to help other writers who are considering, curious about or eager to attend writers conferences: a series of posts that offer advice on deciding if a conference is right for you and your work, tips for getting the both of you ready, and what to expect while in attendance. It'll be informative and fun!

So, stay tuned for updates on the updates!

Have I mentioned how excited I am about all of this? Because I am.

Apr. 12th, 2012

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The Difference Between Published and Unpublished

Other than the obvious "books on a shelf" response, the answer would be determination, perseverance, drive, etc. Rejection is part of the game. In those rejections--at least the ones I have received--one statement crops up repeatedly. "Publishing is a very subjective industry". I won't go into that, as I'm sure many of us know what it means, and while we accept it, are still incredibly frustrated by it. I like to look at it is, what hasn't worked for a few dozen agents, only has to work for one.

My agent is out there, I just have to find him or her, and I'll only do that if I keep querying. I file the No's away in a folder, I don't delete them, on my way to the Yes. I swallow the sting, I pull up another agent I've researched and I prepare another submission. I use the revolving door method, when one rejection comes in, I get another packet together to send out. I'm not going to land an agent if I don't try, and that's another statement my rejections have in common; a push to keep at it. It can seem hard, but no one promised us it wouldn't be. The difference between published and unpublished, in the end, is never giving up.

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