Wednesday, August 28, 2013

This Is Not Me

I'm currently writing a book from a male point of view. It's not my first time, but I still worry. I mean, what business do I have writing from the viewpoint of a gender not my own?

Then again, I'm not an ancient Hawaiian chief. Or a 14-year-old fisherman. My parents weren't murdered when I was a child. I'm not a redhead. I don't have a southern accent. Yet I've written stories from the views of all of the above.

But I guess that's the beauty of being a writer, isn't it? You can be anyone you want to be, go anywhere you want to go. Still, it's intimidating sometimes. I don't want to mess it up.

Have you ever written about an ethnicity, gender, age, species other than your own? How do you prepare for it? Do you ever worry about offending others?

Friday, August 23, 2013

No Regrets Allowed

I posted about my publishing journey over on Throwing Up Words earlier this week. Click on over to check it out if you have a minute!

I used to be quite crafty. Sewed my kids clothes, decorated my house, cooked elaborate meals. And then writing fell into my life. Can you say time suck? These days I count having clean underwear and not tripping over toys in the entryway a win. It doesn't mean I don't appreciate a magazine-ready home or fine dining, I just don't have as much time these days to do it all myself.

Have you ever been into a Restoration Hardware store? We went a few weeks ago. I've always crushed on the catalogs but actually being in the store, I'm all, TAKE MY MONEY right now. Okay not really, but we did have their interior designer lady come to our house and talk to us and draw up decorating plans and everything. I know, right? I mean, who hires an interior designer?

Apparently we do. It makes sense since I'm a super rich writer now. *SARCASM* But as much as I love RH and am excited for all the pretty things to come (we plan to go slowly, room by room, because I am not a super rich writer *un-sarcasm*) I'm even more excited that someone else is doing it all.

It's kind of like reading a really good book as opposed to writing one. Sometimes it's nice to just enjoy a story that someone else put in all the blood, sweat and tears into making so wonderful. And that's okay. No regrets. Because tomorrow you will be putting in the hard work on another project, and one day someone will kick back and enjoy what you made in all its pretty and purposely put together glory. :)

Monday, August 19, 2013

Patiently Waiting

A couple of weeks ago my family went on a last minute mini vacation close to home. It was fun to just get away, relax and be together. We went canoeing, shopping, sight-seeing, adventure sporting and Mama loved not having to cook the whole time. ;)

Fifi with her pony face finishing off an ice-cream...summer bliss.
We spent one day at a large amusement park in the area. Since it was a weekday and somewhat late in the season, the park was fairly empty. We didn't have to stand in any lines and rode our favorite rides over and over. It was one of my best days ever.

Bear and Gigio getting ready for the pirate ship ride, buccaneer whiskers and all.
The next day we went to a mountain resort with a three-mile coaster, two-mile slide, and an extreme zip line. It was a blast, but there were HUGE lines reminiscent of Disney at peak season and cost us way more than the amusement park did. Our assessment? It was not worth the wait and we would have rather gone to the amusement park again.

Writing, and especially traditional publishing, is composed of a whole lot of waiting. Waiting for critiques, query responses, contract offers, edit notes, release days, etc. For the average writer it takes years and years before getting published. This industry is not for the faint of heart, that's for sure. It requires patience, patience, and more patience.

The question is, is it worth it? I think the answer is different for everyone. I'm sure there were people in that ultimate coaster line who'd say yes, it was definitely worth the wait. I'm just not one of them. Luckily for me, the waiting I've had to endure on the road to publishing hasn't been easy, but it's definitely been worth it so far.

What kind of waiting have you had to do in the world of writing? Do you think it's worth the wait?

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Playing Coy

We're going to ignore the fact that my first book had a ten page prologue with terribly passive writing--boy have I come a long way. ;) The biggest problem with my story was that I was being too coy with the reader. I deliberately held information back in an attempt to be suspenseful when really it was just plain annoying.

Tell the reader what they need to know. It will help them trust you and not feel cheated out of valuable information. I think it's common for beginning writers to think being secretive builds suspense, but readers don't want to be tricked.

I say tell the reader everything, cut open those characters for the world to see, and be honest about what's going on. It's okay to reveal things at the proper times, just don't hold everything back until this grandiose moment in the end when everything is revealed and you pat yourself on the shoulder congratulating your own cleverness. Instead let the reader look back on the story and realize yes, this is exactly what should have happened because it was in front of me the whole time. Surprising but inevitable. Not coy.

I love twists and still find myself falling into the coy trap sometimes as a writer. Have you ever done this in your writing? Read books that do this?

Monday, August 12, 2013

Switched Cover Reveal

I'm handing over the blog to Cassie Mae today. She's back for another cover reveal...

Yay! Tis time for another cover from yours truly.

Covers are the best part. Not gonna lie. So... time for the booty shake!

Are you reading still? I'm wondering how many of you have scrolled down to the hot guy down there. (Because, I admit, I do this) Hmm... testing... tell me your favorite color in the comments if you read this part! LOL.

Here's my stuff, and the book blurb and all that:

Cassie Mae is a nerd to the core from Utah, who likes to write about other nerds who find love. She’s the author of the Amazon Bestseller REASONS I FELL FOR THE FUNNY FAT FRIEND, and is the debut author for the Random House FLIRT line with her New Adult novels FRIDAY NIGHT ALIBI and SWITCHED. She also has a three book deal with Swoon Romance Publishing, including her book HOW TO DATE A NERD. She spends time with her angel children and perfect husband who fan her and feed her grapes while she clacks away on the keyboard. Then she wakes up from that dream world and manages to get a few words on the computer while the house explodes around her. When she’s not writing, she’s spending time with the youth in her community as a volleyball and basketball coach, or searching the house desperately for chocolate.


Cassie Mae redefines the New Adult genre with a novel that answers the eternal question: What do you do when you’re head-over-heels for your best friend’s guy?

Ever since high school, Kayla has been crazy for gorgeous football player Talon. But before she could muster the courage to tell him, he became a hot item with her beautiful BFF, Reagan. The only person who knows Kayla’s secret is Wesley, Talon’s best bud—and he’s got it bad for Reagan. Now they’re all in college together, hanging out 24/7. For Kayla, seeing the two lovebirds together is absolutely unbearable. So Kayla and Wesley hatch a plot to drive them apart. But time is ticking and they must act now, before Talon gives Reagan the Christmas gift she’s been waiting for.

Sure enough, the once-happy couple is fighting, Reagan suddenly can’t get enough of Wesley’s goofy sense of humor, and Talon seems to be paying more attention to Kayla than a guy who’s “just a friend” ever should. But something just isn’t right. Then Kayla and Wesley accidentally spend a night together, and discover a hitch they never considered: that switching partners may not lead to a perfect ending after all.

And now... the reveal

*dramatic drumroll!*

Okay, I love all my covers. But that guy, I can't stop looking at him. The girl is a perfect replica of Kayla too. So this makes me a happy pappy author :D

Spell for the day:


Friday, August 9, 2013

Hopeless Wanderer

If you're a regular reader of my blog, you know how much I love music and that I tend to add music videos to my posts quite often. Well, one music video released earlier this week (and is already up to several million views) that I think might be my Favoritest. Video. Ever. So that's what I'm sharing for my Friday Fanatic post today. It's Hopeless Wanderer by Mumford and Sons. Awesome song performed by an awesome band...or is it? You have to watch it to find least until 1:30. ;) Laughs are on me today. Have a great weekend!

Disclaimer: It starts to get a little crude at around 3:30. Up until then it's family friendly. Fair warning.


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

I.W.S.G. Growing a Writer

Meet the rest of the IWSG
3 1/2 years ago, just for fun, I decided to write a book. I took it to my first writers conference where it received a critique for the first time. Not only did I learn it was crap, but there was A LOT of stuff I didn't know about writing like grammar rules, formatting, show vs. tell, passive language, tenses, point of view, etc. I was WAY behind the game and felt completely overwhelmed. Even when others explained things to me and I corrected it on my first page, ten other things surfaced that needed fixing. I think I cried. No, really. I thought I would NEVER be able to remember everything I needed to. It was too hard.

But I didn't give up because writing made me happy. Giddy, really. So I joined a critique group, attended more conferences, devoured books on writing craft, read blogs on writing tips, and most of all kept writing. And when someone critiqued my writing, I didn't curse them and overdose on chocolate. Okay, so maybe I did, BUT THEN I listened to their advice and worked and worked to fix my writing. I learned from my mistakes and kept trying. And my writing got better. Slowly but surely.

It improved enough to land me an agent. And later, a publisher. I still remember the day I sat in my publisher's office and they told me how much they loved my writing and that it was one of the cleanest submissions they've ever received. Um...what? I teared up that day because I realized how far I'd come from the girl who didn't even know what a dialogue tag was to now having a book deal.

I still have a lot to learn about writing, but I know I will learn it. That's the beauty of never giving up. So don't be too stubborn or proud to listen to advice and critique. Accept it and learn from it. Make every word, paragraph, chapter, novel better than the last. And you'll get there eventually. You're growing a writer...and that's a beautiful thing.

Monday, August 5, 2013

(Never) Again Cover Reveal

Today is the day! The official cover reveal for (Never)Again to be published by (Berkley) Penguin on October 15th, 2013.

Just when she had finally moved on…
…He moved back.

When college freshman Liz Wagner hears her ex's voice for the first time since he moved clear across the freaking country, she does what any respectable girl would do: Dive into the girls' bathroom.

Zach Roberts—the Zach Roberts—is back. And he’s everywhere Liz looks—infiltrating her friend group, buddy-buddy with her brother. It’s enough to ruin college altogether. But what choice does she have but to put on a happy face and pretend he didn't leave her vulnerable and alone in a pile of emotional wreckage?

Pretending works, until tragedy strikes and the only person available for comfort is the one person she wants to stay away from. When Zach turns out not to be the jerk she convinced herself he was, but the boy she used to love, Liz needs to decide whether to open her heart again to the boy who tore it out.

 Cover time: 

Available for preorder on Barnes and Noble and Amazon
Add it to your TBR list on Goodreads.

Theresa Paolo lives in the same town she grew up in on Long Island, NY with her boyfriend and Milton, their big eyed goldfish. She has a hard time accepting the fact she’s nearing thirty which is why she writes New Adult and Young Adult books, reliving the best and worst years of her life through her characters. She put her love of writing on hold while she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from Dowling College. On November 11th 2011 at 11:11 she made a wish. Two hours later she was laid off. Jobless for the first time since she was sixteen she was determined to make her wish come true. Writing became her life again and after many nights of ignoring her boyfriend to spend time with her characters, she finally received the call that all her hard work, finger crossing and eye crossing paid off. She signed with Berkley (Penguin) and her debut novel, (NEVER) AGAIN, a NA romance, will be out in Fall 2013.  When she’s not writing, she’s behind a camera or can be found in the blogosphere or on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook.

Friday, August 2, 2013

The Boy Who Lived

My two oldest children have been in a race to finish rereading the entire Harry Potter series before the end of the summer. One of them is even keeping a log of every character introduced in the books and has pages and pages of names. When I mentioned she could probably find a list of all the characters somewhere online she said, "But where's the fun in that?"

Child #2 and #4 getting their read on. 

Okay my nerdy children, this mom is not complaining. Struggling to get my kids to put down their books and clean the dang house is a good problem to have. But I do have a confession...I've never read the Harry Potter series. I read the first one when it came out and thought it was great, but when #2 was released I guess I just never got around to it. And then after the movies, I thought--what's the point? I already know the story. *ducks tomatoes*

Do I feel bad? A little bit. It's kind of a rite of passage in the book world, isn't it? But I thrive on the discovery of reading a shiny new story and will 1) rarely re-read books, 2) put the book down if I guess the ending, and 3) try to read it before seeing the movie otherwise I'm never reading it. Sadly HP falls into category #3.

BUT, I really love the stories, and when the Harry Potter marathon came on TV last weekend I was sucked in along with the rest of my family and endured their comments about how the books have so much more detail and depth (mostly from the hubs ;). Can I be a fan even though I haven't 'earned' my HP reader badge? I hope so.

Do you have any I Haven't Read That confessions? Are you a fan of Harry Potter? Can you read a book after you've seen the movie?