Monday, May 27, 2013

May 2013 #writemotivation Wrap Up

So last week I didn't have a #writemotivation post. Instead I had a cover reveal and another post were I talked about fighting my Muse.

Here is the last post for May with my goals for June's writemotivation

  1. Submit HJ to at least 10 agents Put on hold for the time being.
  2. Do Revisions to HJ for something awesome (details later) Finished and off to my Mentor Agent. And now I wait for her to get back to me.
  3. Attend RT2013 DONE!!! HAD AN AMAZING TIME!!!!
  4. Do more world building and write a couple chapters on new shiny MS Did not happen, see this post.
  5. Blog at least once a week. Yes. Although last week I didn't have a writemotivation update
  6. Cheer on my #writemotivation buds! Kind of a fail this month. I'll try to do better next month.

And now for June's goals (going from memory as KT hasn't posted the new goal list:
  1. Write a chapter a week on new new MS, titled Snapshot.
  2. Blog at least once a week.
  3. Cheer on my #writemotivation buds!

That's all I've got so far. Hope you all have an awesome week.

And now for a cute gif of a baby hamster eating some broccoli. Because reasons.

'Till Next Time

Friday, May 24, 2013

Thursday's Children: Inspired by Twitter...again...

I should call this post "Revenge of the Plot Bunnies" or "Why Andrew Shouldn't Pay Attention To Other People's Conversations on Twitter".

Unfortunately, I'm a slow learner because that's exactly what happened. And now, like Hate Jacket before it, I have a GINORMOUS plot bunny sitting on my head.

I would love to blame Trisha Leigh, author of The Last Year series, and Jennifer Iacopalli, author of Game Set Match. Because it was their conversation that I jumped into. It started with Trisha asking if the app SnapChat was designed for sexting. I'm guessing she had heard about it on the news or the internet and was asking. I had heard about it on a local radio station a few months ago. Anyway, Jennifer responded with yes and then one of them made the comment that the owners of the app will probably post all the pictures somewhere (conspiracy theory!).

It was then that the fateful words were spoken. "There's a YA story in this somewhere..." At which point, my overly active imagination latched onto it and the plot bunny landed on my head.

I'm supposed to be working on my NA Paranormal story. Julius' story (and any spin-offs/sequels) was supposed be my only foray into the world of YA Contemporary stories. I am supposed to be a SciFi/Horror/Paranormal/Thriller/Fantasy type writer. Hell, just look at my bookshelves. 99% of the books on there are SciFi, Fantasy, or Paranormal. My kindle is the same way.

So why?! Why is my brain wanting to write this story?!

I would blame Jennifer and Trisha, but they are both really sweet and nice people. I'll blame the universe. It's to blame for everything.

I'm actually a little frustrated by this story idea. Not because it isn't good or that I can't pull it off, it just isn't what I imagined myself writing.

This isn't the first time my preferences were trumped by what I was creating.

When I was in college, I studied music. Specifically, music theory. At one point I was taking composition classes. I had grand ideas (as are all college students). I loved the classic masters (Bach, Beethoven, Wagner, Mozart, Mendelssohn, etc.). I wanted to write in that style. It was the music I loved to listen to (and still do). Unfortunately the one piece of music I wrote that actually sounded good, did not mimic these masters' styles. In fact, it sounded like Aaron Coplan.

I'm not a big fan of Aaron Coplan. It's not that I don't like his music, it just isn't what I reach for when I'm in the mood for some classical music. It sounds too American. Cowboys and Beef commercials (his song Rodeo was used in commercials for several years).

My piano piece, River Fanfare, is a fun piece. It's fast, sounds awesome, but it also doesn't sound like Beethoven. A part of me hated it. Not the music, but the fact that I couldn't write the music I wanted. It's probably part of the reason I have a degree in Music Theory and not Composition.

This new YA story is the same thing. It isn't what I envision myself writing. There's a part of me that hates the idea of it. Rails against the concept, even.

However, I also know that I can't force myself to write something. I have to let it exist. I can't become bitter and angry about what is coming out of my head. Writing this story doesn't mean I've failed, it just means that's what is coming out. So yes, I will write this story. I don't know if it will trump the NA or what, but I do have a lot of ideas for it. Names, places, events, actions, consequences, mistakes, redemption.

Yeah, it's a loud one.

'Till Next Time.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Cover Reveal: Romancing the Bookworm by Kate Evangelista

Today I am honored to be joined by the amazing Kate Evangelista to reveal the cover to her newest book Romancing the Bookworm. I'm always a huge fan of the covers that she gets and this one is no exception. I hope you enjoy it too.

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Title: Romancing the Bookworm
Author: Kate Evangelista
Publisher: Omnific Publishing
Genre: Romance
Age Group: New Adult
Expected release date: July 9, 2013
Cover reveal organized by: AToMR Tours

Sometimes, even the best-laid plans can unravel.

It's spring break, and Tamara Winters would rather stay on campus and read romance novels than flaunt her size-fourteen body on a beach. But her best friend, Ronni, has other ideas. Against her wishes, Tamara is whisked away to picturesque Maverick Bay, where she's wrangled into waiting tables with Ronni at the Shore Shack for its busy week leading to Maverick's Surf Invitational. There she meets fellow schoolmate Xavier Solomon, the Invitational's organizer and campus womanizer by reputation. From the moment Tamara sees him emerging from the waves like a hero in of one of her romance novels, all she wants to do is run away from the feelings he inspires in her.

Little does she know Xavier has been watching her for weeks now. In fact, after failed attempts at asking her out on campus, he's concocted a crazy plan: fabricating romantic situations straight out of her favorite books. Xavier quickly realizes that if Tamara gets a whiff of his designs, he might as well spell CREEPER across his forehead. Yet as they grow closer, he's convinced it's a risk worth taking. What he hasn't planned on, of course, is his drug-addicted, alcoholic stepbrother, who decides to join the fun and put a wrench in Xavier’s scheme.

Spring break is proving hotter than Tamara expected. Will her romance novels be able to compete?

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About the Author

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When Kate Evangelista was told she had a knack for writing stories, she did the next best thing: entered medical school. After realizing she wasn't going to be the next Doogie Howser, M.D., Kate wandered into the Literature department of her university and never looked back. Today, she is in possession of a piece of paper that says to the world she owns a Literature degree. To make matters worse, she took Master's courses in creative writing. In the end, she realized to be a writer, none of what she had mattered. What really mattered? Writing. Plain and simple, honest to God, sitting in front of her computer, writing. Today, she has four completed Young Adult novels.

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Thursday, May 16, 2013

RT Recap Pt. 2: American Writer Idol Competition

Originally this was going to be a guest post, but the universe conspired against me and the hosting blog, so it is here. I'm disappointed, but it may happen another time...universe willing.

I've been hinting and teasing that something awesome happened. Now that I have a moment, I'll tell you about it.

For those of you following my escapades, I attended the 2013 RT Convention and got to hang with Louis Fury for part of it. I also mentioned that I got to read entries at a competition. The competition in question was the American Idol Writing Competition. It started Thursday and ended on Friday.

But it gets better.

I was also an entrant. Now before you freak out. None of the slush-pile readers, nor the judges, knew anybody's name. Also, I wasn't a slush-pile reader. I read at the finals on Friday, out loud, to a room full of hopeful authors and a panel of judges.

To say it was an amazing experience is putting it lightly.

Let's rewind to Thursday. Thursday was the announcement of the twenty finalists (out of 80 entries). I assumed I didn't have a prayer. I was at a writing convention and I submitted the beginning of my novel. And there were 80 other people in the competition. Some of them were self-pubbed. Still, I sate with a couple good friends and tried not to have a heart attack as they read Title and Genre. (no author names...anonymous...remember?) of each of the 20 finalists. They tried to represent each genre present. YA, MG, Historical, Erotica, etc. Each one got a number. Then it happened.

"Hate Jacket, YA4"

I was stunned. Seriously. Stunned. I'd entered competitions before and never been selected. I couldn't believe it.

I was all

I went home that night, printed off ten copies of my novel to be read live at the finals. I tried to sleep. It didn't happen. The day was a blur. I tried to distract myself with various activities. I attended an award ceremony and ran into Gretchen McNeil while wearing my 3:59 t-shirt.

I attended a panel on fighting techniques for heroines, taught by a 4th degree black belt and her husband (also a 4th degree black belt). It was awesome. I attended Pitch-a-palooza and pitched (or attempted to pitch) to a couple people. I also cheered on a couple of my friends.

Anyway...Friday...5 pm. We all gather in a room. At the front we had the judges:
Alicia Condon, Kensington
Louise Fury, L. Perkins Agency
Sue Grimshaw, Ballantine/Loveswept
Leah Hultenschmidt, Sourcebooks
Liz Pelletier, Entangled
Lori Perkins, Riverdale Ave Books
Nicole Resciniti, The Seymour Agency
Whitney Ross, Tor
Tessa Woodward, Avon

The entries were read out loud (by me and others) one at a time and the judges commented verbally and scored each one. Sometimes one of the panelists would speak up and say "I want this".

There were some seriously awesome entries. I knew I didn't have a prayer of winning. I just hopped that one of the editors would want to read it. It took longer than anyone thought, reading all 20 entries, but eventually it would get done.

When mine was read (not by me, thankfully). Two of the judges surprised me by saying, "I want this." <insert Joey shocked face>

We took a short break and the scores were tallied...

I didn't win. That honor goes to a story titled "What the Fae". I wasn't upset. It was an awesome story. The judges and spectators loved it. Keep your eye out because that book will get published. I can feel it.

However, even though I didn't win, I did come in as a runner up (and yes, I was wearing my 3:59 t-shirt in the photos. If I ever get them, I'll post them).

So, here is what I "won". I won a mentorship with one of the amazing agents there (the winner got a mentorship with both!). I also walked away with three requests for my novel. I haven't sent it too the requesting editors yet because my mentor now has Hate Jacket and will hopefully love it as much as my betas and my CP have. And maybe, just maybe, I'll get published. We'll see. I'm in an amazing place right now and I couldn't be happier coming in as runner-up.

I'd also like to make a shout-out to my friend Karen Bynum. Her novel "Becoming" came in as the other runner-up. She got several requests and the other agent. There was another winner, but I can't remember the title. Hell, I can barely remember the evening.

So thank you to Louise and Nicole for setting up this wonderful opportunity and thank you to the judges who took time out of their schedule to sit and listen and critique.

'Till Next Time

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Doubts, a Poem

It's been a while since I've written poetry, but sometimes it is easier to express things in that medium. It's a different medium for the words in my head.


Slithering fingers
Piercing my fragile brain
Worming past concrete barriers
Walls of hope and light
Offending digits
Leaving trails of disgust
Loathing and worry
I hack them off
Leaving bloody stumps
Wiggling obscenely
Reforming flesh and sinew
Flaying my soul anew.

No matter how hard we try to avoid it, there will be doubts. We doubt because we lay bare our souls for the world to judge. I paint with words as an artist does with colors. We both will doubt and fear that someone will find us wanting.

Despite that, I can't stop. The words won't let me. I stop, I cease to be. At least that part of me that revels in the flow of words. In the creating and shaping of worlds, lives, and stories. I've been there for too long. Years of my life wasted by being a slave to my doubts and fears.

Years ago, I met a man named Ed Brunt, police officer, Tae Kwon Do master, poet. He came to my Junior High and spoke to us. He told me something that has stayed with me for years.
All of you could gang up and beat me physically. But only I can defeat myself mentally.
At the time, I didn't understand what he was saying.

I do now.

Only I can stop me from succeeding. I am my doubts, my fears, my own worst enemy. If I chose, I can succumb to those feelings and stagnate or I can rise above it. I accept that I have doubt. I accept that I have fear. I accept that a part of me will think I am nothing.

But these things are only a part of me and not the whole of me. By accepting it, I make it less. By owning it, I make it my slave. By moving forward, I make it smaller.

'Till Next Time

Cover Reveal: Once Upon a Darkness by Aria Kane

Once Upon a Darkness by Aria Kane will be available from Entranced Publishing June 17!

Gretchen and her twin brother, Hank, were abandoned to a zombie horde when they were five years old. Intended to be a sacrifice by their zealot parents, they were instead rescued by The Company. Raised to become soldiers in the war against zombies, they now provide safe passage through danger zones, one contract at a time.

Clint's only skill is war, but he's weary of killing other men. When his contract with the Marines runs out, he takes a job on Gretchen's team, hoping that the search-and-rescue life will suit him better.

On Clint's second day, their four-man team is attacked, drugged, and taken to a prison full of frightened civilians. The only way in or out is by helicopter and, here, their enemies are human. One by one, the captives are culled from the holding area. Rumors say the facility director uses the prisoners as experimental subjects for the testing of a zombie cure.

When Hank is taken, Clint and Gretchen must put aside their personal feelings and find a way out of the prison, surrounded by thousands of starving zombies, before Hank becomes just one more disposable guinea pig in the hands of a twisted mad woman.

Add Once Upon a Darkness on Goodreads!

About the Author

Aria Kane is a recovering mechanical engineer and romance writer. She lives in sunny Florida with a 60 lb mutt who thinks he's a Chihuahua. You can learn more about her at or on Twitter @aria_kane.


To celebrate the Once Upon a Darkness cover reveal, Aria is giving away a $20 giftcard and an ecopy of an Entranced book of the winner’s choice.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, May 13, 2013

May 2013 #writemotivation Update Part 2

Just a quick update. I have more RT Con posts planned. And one of them will be a guest post on a another blog. Yeah me! Anyway, more details on that later...and yes, I'm a tease!
  1. Submit HJ to at least 10 agents Put on hold for the time being.
  2. Do Revisions to HJ for something awesome (details later) Almost done!!!
  3. Attend RT2013 DONE!!! HAD AN AMAZING TIME!!!!
  4. Do more world building and write a couple chapters on new shiny MS Not done
  5. Blog at least once a week. So far so good!
  6. Cheer on my #writemotivation buds! Now that RT is done, I can focus more on this.

As you can see, I've added a teaser to what is going on. My guest post will have a semi-full disclosure.

Random Pic...
Cats are liquids...
'Till Next Time

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Cover Reveal: Obsession by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Today we have the honor of hosting the New York Times and USA Today #1 best-selling author, Jennifer L. Armentrout and the cover to her newest novel, Obsession. And this cover is smoking hot. Seriously, I think my computer caught on fire...

But now, without further ado (and blabbering on my part). I give you the beautiful and awesomely talented, Jennifer L. Armentrout.

Jennifer L. Armentrout
# 1 NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY Bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell, Loki.
Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen.

She also writes adult and New Adult romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.


And now...the cover...


Did I mention it was hot?

He’s arrogant, domineering, and… To. Die. For.
Hunter is a ruthless killer. And the Department of Defense has him firmly in their grasp, which usually doesn’t chafe too badly because he gets to kill bad guys. Most of the time he enjoys his job. That is, until he’s saddled with something he’s never had to do before: protect a human from his mortal enemy.

Serena Cross didn’t believe her best friend when she claimed to have seen the son of a powerful senator turn into something…unnatural. Who would? But then she witnesses her friend’s murder at the hands of what can only be an alien, thrusting her into a world that will kill to protect their secret.

Hunter stirs Serena’s temper and her lust despite their differences. Soon he’s doing the unthinkable—breaking the rules he’s lived by, going against the government to keep Serena safe. But are the aliens and the government the biggest threats to Serena’s life…or is it Hunter?


'Till Next Time.

Monday, May 6, 2013

May 2013 #writemotivation Update Part 1

Last week was a blur. If you saw this post, you'll get an idea.

Anyway, switching gears a second to talk about #writemotivation. I haven't been as active as I have been in the past (I realize this may all be in my head), but I hope to be there to cheer more this month. I've made some progress on my goals, but this may change based on what happened at the RT convention. I'll talk about that in more detail in another post, but suffice it to say, I am putting a hold on submitting HJ to agents at the moment.
  1. Submit HJ to at least 10 agents Put on hold for the time being.
  2. Attend RT2013 DONE!!! HAD AN AMAZING TIME!!!!
  3. Do more world building and write a couple chapters on new shiny MS Not done
  4. Blog at least once a week. So far so good!
  5. Cheer on my #writemotivation buds! Now that RT is done, I can focus more on this.

Really, that's all I have at the moment. I have several posts talking about my experience at RT planned, so be on the lookout for those.

Here's a cute bunny picture for you...
'Till Next Time

Saturday, May 4, 2013

RT Recap Pt. 1: Hanging with Louise Fury

The RT Convention was such an amazing, and overwhelming experience, that I am going to have to break it down into smaller chunks. So here is the first part (of several).


Louise Fury, Super-powered agent of awesome
I was lucky enough to gain Minion status for a couple days at RT with the amazing Louise Fury. It was an opportunity of a lifetime and I was glad to offer whatever services she required. If you ever get a chance to hang out with an agent of her caliber, do it.

Anyway, I hung out with her, off and on, for three days. Not only did I get to listen to pitches, I also got to see the inner workings of how an agent navigates through a convention the size of RT. I also helped her print a spreadsheet, carry things to her room, and even bring some mini-cupcakes to a contest on Friday. I also got to read, out loud, some of the entries in said contest but that is another post.

Simply put, my time with Louise was fascinating and educational.

I spent a couple hours with her listening to pitches. I don't think she heard a pitch she didn't like. Some got full requests, the others were partials. She was honest with the authors about her process and how she would progress in the off chance they were selected.

Here are some of the things I learned:
  1. Don't try to tell the agent what you think they want to hear. Unless they are a greenhorn, they have seen and heard it all. Tell them about your story and ask questions.
  2. Don't bring full color mock ups of what you think the cover should look like. This won't help and to be honest, I was slightly put off by it when it happened. The pitch is to pitch your novel not to show off your cover creation skills.
  3. If an agent asks why you fired your previous agent, be upfront. Tell them why. This isn't a job interview where you have to pretend that the other agent did a good job if they didn't.
  4. Avoid 4 different first person POVs in a novel. It's going to be a hard sell and may not work....unless you are amazing.
  5. Even if you have pitched the agent and they want revisions, don't hesitate to make contact at a convention and talk to them. Face time is so important.
  6. In any romance, you should have at least three tropes...TV Tropes has an immense listing of them for all genres. Mix and match as you see fit. A unique twist on a classic idea will give an agent chills (and you a full request)...I saw it happen. Also, I want to read that novel if it is any good....Louise knows which one I'm talking about.
I'm sure there are other things I've learned, but at the moment, I feel like this:
I will say that Louise is amazing. If you end up as her client, you will be in very capable hands (no I'm not sucking up!). She knows a LOT about publishing and how it all works. She will also do her best to make sure you get the best representation possible. She also talks faster than I do sometimes, and has the most lovely South African accent I have ever heard.

Thank you, Louise for giving me the opportunity to learn from you. You have given me more than I can ever repay you.

'Till next time.