Thursday, September 27, 2012

Interview with Cherie Reich and Blood Fugue Blogfest

I had the opportunity to interview Cherie Reich about her recently released "Gravity: The Complete Trilogy" for my Books column and, as always, it was great to chat with Cherie. I learned about a great opportunity as a result, as Cherie is currently running a giveaway on Goodreads for two print copies of the trilogy. To enter to win this excellent series, visit the Gravity page here. And if you'd like to read the interview, it's available here.

Speaking of giveaways, E.J. Wesley is offering some amazing prizes (including a Nook!) as part of his Bury the Hatchet Blogfest to celebrate the official release of his novelette Blood Fugue.

Jenny, the main character of Blood Fugue, deals with heartache by burying a hatchet in the thing she is struggling with. So in keeping with that spirit, E.J. has asked blogfest participants to share something that angers us and that we'd like to bury a hatchet in, Jenny style.

Since I write regularly about animal rescues and hear way too many horror stories about animals who have been abused and neglected, I'd like to bury my hatchet in those who abuse animals and treat them as disposable objects. It's beyond me how people can be so cruel and heartless and I think they are all deserving of the hatchet treatment.

As far as Blood Fugue and the blogfest details, here's all you need to know, straight from E.J. himself:

Author E.J. Wesley is launching his latest title, BLOOD FUGUE, and wants you to help him celebrate! Check out his blog The Open Vein for details on how to take part, and how to enter for a chance to win some sweet prizes!

What's BLOOD FUGUE about?

Armed only with an ancient family journal, her rifle, and an Apache tomahawk, Jenny must save her grandfather’s life and embrace her dangerous heritage. Or be devoured by it. Blood Fugue, by E.J. Wesley, is the first of the Moonsongs books, a series of paranormal-action novelettes.

BLOOD FUGUE is available now via Smashwords, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble and most other eBook retailers. Check out the author on Goodreads!

Huge congratulations to both Cherie and E.J. on their new releases!!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Wednesday Writer's Workspace

I'm hanging out with Nutschell at The Writing Nut today for her Wednesday Writer's Workspace series. For a hint at my workspace, here's a look at one of my writing companions, the always comfortable Nate. 

Stop by here and say hello! :)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Music Monday: Concerts

I think everyone who loves music can agree there's nothing like going to a great concert. No matter what type of music you enjoy, seeing and hearing it played live is an experience like no other. Most of the time that is a good thing but, as with anything else, there are exceptions. As fun as a great concert can be, a bad concert is a hellish way to spend a few hours.

I was listening to my Ipod while out walking with Clancy over the weekend and started thinking about some of the many concerts I've gone to over the years. It wasn't hard for me to immediately name the best and worst shows I've ever seen.

The Best:

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Born in the USA tour, 1984

I've been a Springsteen fan since I was a little girl and my brother started listening to Greetings from Asbury Park at our house. I saw him live for the first time when I was 15, right at the start of the Born in the USA tour in the summer of 1984. The concert lasted several hours, and I loved every second of it. It was the first concert I ever went to and, after starting with the Boss, it's been hard for anything else to measure up. I've seen Springsteen numerous times since and loved the shows, but there's been nothing to top the magic of that long ago night.

The Worst:

The Spin Doctors, Pocket Full of Kryptonite tour, 1992

If you listened to radio in the early 90s, it's a safe bet that you heard Two Princes by the Spin Doctors. It was a catchy song and my friends and I would walk around singing it all the time. We must have really loved it, because a group of us decided to go see the band when they came to Columbus, Ohio. By the time the concert ended, I never wanted to hear Two Princes or anything else from the Spin Doctors ever again. The whole show was nothing but disjointed noise and I was dying for it to end almost as soon as it started. To my knowledge the band never had another hit album, which was definitely no surprise to me after sitting through that concert.

The One The Got Away:

U2, Zoo TV tour, 1992

I've loved U2 since I was a young teenager in the 80s, but I never saw them in concert until 2005. I had an opportunity to see them in 1992 during their tour to promote Achtung Baby, which I think is their best album, but I didn't take it. I'm glad I finally saw the band live, but I'll always regret not seeing them when they were at their creative peak.

What about you? What's the best concert you've ever seen? Any you'd rather forget? Are there any shows you regret not attending?

Also, I'm really excited to be a guest at The Writing Nut later this week. I'll be hanging out with the wonderful Nutschell on Wednesday for her Wednesday Writer's Workspace series. If you're not already familiar with The Writing Nut, I highly recommend it. Nutschell has a fantastic blog. :)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A Writer's Kit and the Like Me Project

My totally awesome niece Melanie sent me such a fun "writer's kit" to celebrate my new contract that I had to share it. She managed to find an old ink well in a store near where she lives in Brooklyn and also found a totally fun "how to" book on short stories from the 1920s. In addition, she included two cute little pocket notebooks for whenever inspiration strikes. Finally, the Aquinnah coaster is to help inspire me with my WIP called the Ghosts of Aquinnah. Aquinnah is a town on Martha's Vineyard, where my WIP is set.

The ink well is the logo of my publisher, Ink Smith Publishing, so that makes it especially fun.

I was just so touched by this adorable gift I wanted to share it. It was such fun to open all the individual pieces and I know it will serve as great inspiration for both my current and future projects. :)

Also, Carol Kilgore of Under the Tiki Hut started a "Like Me" project before she went on her blog break, and decided to create a page on her blog for writers to leave the links to their various pages around the web. The goal is to give everyone a chance to "like" fellow writers' pages. 

I joined Carol's project, but I'm also jumping at the chance to piggyback onto her idea and do a little shameless begging here on my own blog. :D Now that I actually have a novel coming out next year (squee!) I want to focus on building my social media presence, even though I am the first to admit that I am horrible at keeping up with all the social media options!

I did start a writer's Facebook page and my goal at the moment is to get it to 100 "likes." If you're on Facebook and haven't already liked my page, I would be eternally grateful if you would like it now and help me get to 100! This is the link:

Like I said, I will be forever grateful to anyone who likes me. :D And to those who already have, you have my eternal gratitude already. :)

Thanks to Carol for coming up with this great idea and providing a page on her blog for everyone to share their links.

And thanks again to my niece for being such a sweetheart! 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A contract!

Signing the contract earlier this week

I am so beyond excited to share that I officially have a publishing contract for Polar Night!! In between doing the happy dance all around, I have to keep pinching myself to believe this is real.

I learned about a new publisher called Ink Smith through Hope Clark's Funds For Writers earlier this summer, and sent them a query while I was waiting for word from the other publisher who had requested my full ms. Ashley at Ink Smith replied to me and requested a full ms as well, and last week she got back with me to offer a contract. As of today, it's all official!

Polar Night will be released as both a paperback and an ebook, and my head is already spinning just from getting a message from Ashley about discussing the cover art. Again, time to pinch myself! I'm floored to even have the words "cover art" and my book in the same sentence.

I'm too excited to even think coherently, but I wanted to send out a huge thanks to everyone I have met in the blogosphere. Becoming part of this supportive and fantastic community has been a big help for me to gain the confidence I needed to even attempt to submit anything I wrote for publication.

If someone had told me two years ago at this time that I would have a contract to publish my novel I would have asked them what kind of drugs they were taking. ;) But I've since learned that great things are indeed possible if you just take the leap and try. Becoming part of this community was a big part of finally learning that lesson, so again I am so very grateful to all my blogging buddies!

Now going back to my happy dance! :)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

IWSG and Interview with Susan Oloier

It's time for the September meeting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group, hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh, and as usual I can't believe another month has come and gone.

As I mentioned in a previous post, my "real life" job, meaning the one that pays the bills, has been very hectic the past month so I haven't had much of a chance to focus on blogging and writing. But that may be a blessing in disguise, because I am having a terrible time playing the waiting game with my novel that I submitted to a publisher earlier in the summer.

I was (and still am) thrilled to receive a request for the full ms of Polar Night and, while it's a good problem to have, it sure is hard to wait for an answer. The publisher told me they normally take about three months to respond, but I still can't help checking my e-mail constantly and hoping for a response. Of course, I know that response could be negative, so I also tell myself that waiting is definitely better than being turned down.

Still, patience is not one of my virtues, so it's been hard for me to accept that waiting (and then waiting some more) is an unavoidable part of the writing life. I knew this already from submitting queries to magazine editors, but since I tend to get more insecure with each day that passes, it's a difficult pill for me to swallow.

How do you cope with all the waiting involved in publishing? Is it something you struggle with as well?

Thanks as always to Alex for hosting this wonderful group!

On a side note, I interviewed my friend Susan Oloier, author of the recently released "Superstitions," for my books column and was thrilled to be able to write about her work. If you'd like the check the interview out, the article is available here. Thanks to Susan for chatting with me!