Friday, October 20, 2017

MARKED BEAUTY Tour Stop by S.A. Larsen


Of course when your blogging buddy from years ago has a book release, you jump on board and you dig deep. You find out what got her from one book idea to the next. Especially for Sheri's newest novel - MARKED BEAUTY

1. Sheri, how did the concept for the story begin? Was it inspired by something?
It started out with the notion of a tumultuous romance between two young adult characters. I am a major sap for the push and pull of a good romance. But I didn't want it to be merely he-saw-her/she-saw-him and the chase. I wanted to show more resistance from both characters, internal ponderings that left room for each to grow. To accomplish that I needed a tumulus that would force the couple to snub each other, yet draw them together at the same time. That's how the story gave birth to ancient Rifters and the Lynceus people, and put Ana on the opposite because of her empath abilities. I guess you could say the star-crossed attraction between Ana and Viktor partially was inspired by the feelings I always get from reading Pride and Prejudice.

2. I really liked the opposition, the almost resilience to give into the attraction. You really root for them to fall in love. What did you find most difficult to write when creating Anastasia and Viktor?
Expanding on my answer to your first question, I'd say it was in establishing the balance of tension and conflict between Ana and Viktor without isolating one or the other, or irritating the reader too much. A character can only complain or resist for so long before they become annoying. But I had to push those boundaries to force both characters to take a risk they normally wouldn't.

3. I thought it was well-done! It always hard to please both the writer and reader. So, what was the easiest thing for you to write in this story?
Ooh, this is a give and take question. I have an equal affection for developing characters and for world building. With all the Celtic and druid research I did, creating the story world was a blast. But I think the easiest ingredient of the story to write was Viktor. He has a similar heart to Mr. Darcy of Pride and Prejudice. The deeper into the story I wrote him the more comfortable I became with him.

4. You wrote him with a natural affection. And I like the comparison to Mr. Darcy! For those who've never read MARKED BEAUTY, tell them some things to expect.
a. Mystery & danger
b. Dark romance
c. Friendship & family
d. Conflict from an eerie character or two
e. Amped up tension
f. Intriguing elements from Celtic mythology and astrology
g. Bits of humor

5. Yes! All of that! What comparison titles would you give MARKED BEAUTY?
It's been likened to Holly Black's Tithe series and Amy Plum's Die for Me trilogy. I also think fans of L.J. Smith's Dark Visions would enjoy Marked Beauty because it has a similar dark quality about it. And even though I'm playing more on Celtic mythology, astrology, and the history of the Druids, Meg Cabot's Abandon has a parallel feel with its mythological edge.

Thank you so much to Sheri AKA S.A Larsen for stopping by and sharing her newest YA release - MARKED BEAUTY - and letting us pick that beautiful brain of hers!! I read the book in less than a few days. It left you wanting to see what would happen between two unlikely love interests, and yet, take the world by storm. When they were together, I had a little Bella/Edward feeling - which I love! Five stars!
**BE SURE TO ENTER THE RAFFLES BELOW!!**
 
Title: Marked Beauty
Author: S.A. Larsen
Publisher: Ellysian Press
Release Date: October 2017

Uncovering hidden secrets can sometimes kill you . . . or worse, steal your soul.
Anastasia Tate has a secret. She can feel the emotions of others through their life energy auras. Not a welcome gift for a teenager. Especially when a sinister presence begins stalking her.
Viktor Castle also has a secret. He’s tasked with protecting humanity yet cursed by an ancient evil to destroy it.
After Viktor saves Ana’s life, her abilities grow stronger. Drawn together, she senses Viktor has answers to lifelong questions. Only he shuns her at every turn, knowing he has saved her only to put her in more danger.
As Ana struggles with her attraction to Viktor, he tries everything to bury his unexpected feelings for her. But they must find a middle ground. For only together can they combat the dark forces threatening both their lives . . . and their souls.

Chapters | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks                  

S.A. LARSEN is the author of the award-winning novel Motley Education, the first book in a fantasy-adventure series for middle grade readers. Her work has appeared in numerous local publications and young adult anthologies Gears of Brass and Under A Brass Moon by Curiosity Quills Press. Marked Beauty is her debut young adult novel. Find her in the land of snowy winters and the occasional Eh’ya with her husband of over twenty-five years, four children, a playful pooch, and three kittens. Visit her cyber home anytime at www.salarsenbooks.com.

Blog Tour Giveaway:
One (1) winner will receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card (INT)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Release Party Giveaway:
What better way to celebrate a book birthday then by a giveaway! There are many ways to enter, which you'll find below. You can win an iTunes, Amazon, or Starbucks gift card, an authentic Vera Bradley Little Crossbody in Cobalt Tile, an assortment of bookish swag, and even a KINDLE Fire HD 7"! The giveaway runs from release day, October 17, 2017 to December 5, 2017. Winners will be announced via social media December 7, 2017.
*No purchase necessary to win*
However, if you have read Marked Beauty or purchase it and read you can earn extra entries by posting a review on any major online retail bookstore and Goodreads! All the information you'll need is in the form below.
BUT there's more...FOR WRITERS! Writers who enter can WIN a first five pages critique!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Love your guts,

-Tammy-

Monday, September 11, 2017

Time Doesn't Heal All Wounds

Last month, I did a very public thing. I know a lot of people who would steer clear of public endeavors because, quite honestly, they're so...public. I did Pitch Wars. If you haven't heard of it, click here. It's an annual writing contest and a great way to meet new writer friends.

Anyways, so, I did this public twitter thing, and well, even though I had several requests from mentors I submitted to wanting my full manuscript, I sadly didn't make it in. There are some facts to this that make it less of a blow. The amount of submissions was crazy. I can't remember, nor find the tweet, but I think it was over 3k. The good thing is I don't have to wait 2 months while I edit with a mentor to submit to agents. There are some highs and lows. Pros and Cons.

After I found out I wasn't selected, I melted (while at work) internally but kept my brave face on (because I was working). When I got home, I was a water falling down into the sewer. However, by the next day, I made my agent wishlist, researching the crap out of them for a good match, and then the following day queried a small group of them.

I was hopeful. I had this "if the mentors liked me enough to see my work, maybe these agents will too!" attitude. But then, crickets. Ok, I will admit it has only been like a week, but still. Crickets. And ok, I admit some warned it can take up to 2 months to hear back from them, but still...crickets. Yet, I DID receive a request for a full the next day...that was NOT a cricket.

Surely I would get that phone call or email or something the next day, right? Surely! Who doesn't like surely?? I didn't. I still haven't. I'm waiting. Time is passing. I got one rejection (albeit from a very high end agent) with a personal email and not electronic which was nice.

Now, I sit and wonder many things to myself. Is my book worth the heartache? (yes) Is it worthy to be published? (yes) Was it divinely inspired? (yes)  Is this waiting reflecting on my self-worth? (yes) Am I looking at published authors with green envious eyes? (oh, yes) Am I internally kicking to do events like my published friends? (hell, yes) Did I arrogantly believe so much in my book I wanted to sing about it from the rooftops, but didn't get into Pitch Wars, and got only one agent request from Pitch Mad, and have not heard from agents queried other than 2, and now I feel like God mailed me some humble pie? (yes...)

Does time heal all wounds? (no)

In fact, as time goes on when you're querying, and you're not seeing your hardwork be fruitful like you believe it so can be, it's a little crushing. Ok, A LOT of crushing. It makes you wonder and ponder and doubt this whole writer stuff. But, like I've heard a million times over, the real writers are the ones that DON'T GIVE UP.

Will I give up? (no) Will I continue on? (yes) Am I writing another book? (yes) Have I even started plotting book2 of my Viking book? (yes) Am I praying every night to hear from the agent with my full manuscript? (hell to the yes!) Did the humble pie taste good? (no) But did I learn that forced humble pie isn't fun? (yes...)

Good luck out there everyone! No one said it would be easy - only worth it! What has the waiting room of querying looked like for you?

** A SPECIAL thank you to all our men and women serving our country, be it firemen, police officers to our military **

Love your guts,

-Tammy-

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Crystal Liechty: A Comic Strip is Born

As a mom of four kids under the age of 13, I'm super excited to show off Crystal Liechty's newest endeavor - a comic strip called PLEASE DON'T CALL CHILD SERVICES. If you've seen her on Facebook posting all the funnies about her kiddos, you'll be ecstatic too see it in print!! Here's a little about Crystal, her family, and what started her new career!



Hey Crystal! Tell me a little about your family:

I imported my husband, Scott from Washington. We're going on 15 years of marriage. Then I've got three kids: Griffin, 10; AJ (short for Allison Jane), 7; and Hazel, 4.
Fun facts about each of us:
Scott almost went pro as a golfer. He played in college but ended up quitting because of a non-supportive girlfriend who didn't think it was a real career. Lucky for me, though, because I probably wouldn't have met him if he'd gone that route.
Griff is the youngest member of the Utah Parkour Intermediate team. The next youngest is 13 so it's quite a feat. In his words, "Parkour is life." He also
breakdances and plays the saxophone. I call AJ my "sunshine" and I mean it. The girl is a breath of fresh air - always giggling and smiling. She's been in dance for over a year and loves to choreograph her own dances and make up her own songs. And she can eat any of us under the table. Hazel is my wild child but deep down, she really is a sweetheart. She reminds me a lot of Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables. She doesn't mean to cause as much trouble as she does; she's so fierce but her tiny body doesn't know how to handle it. Just today, she got in trouble for kicking Griffin and she said to me, so forlornly, "AJ and Griff are good at being nice but I'm not. I'm made different from them. I don't know how to be good." I cuddled her and told her a little secret -- that when AJ and Griff were her age, they hit and kicked, too. But then they learned that was not okay and stopped doing it and she would, too. She didn't look convinced.

Your kids and hubs sound like fun! Tell me who you think has the most laughable comments: 

You know what? I actually think my 7 year old daughter, AJ is the funniest. I mean, she nonstop cracks me up! But she’s in the comic the least so far because it’s not what she says as much as how she says it and I haven’t figured out how to translate that to writing yet. Hazel gets a lot of play because what she says is just so outlandish for a four year old. And she’s been like that since day one. She started talking early and she’s such an imp that I can pretty much pick any moment of the day and find some sort of fodder for the comic.

Too cute! Who do you think is the wisest?

Me. Just kidding. Of the kids, it’d have to be Griff, hands down. Part of that comes from him being so self-aware and so eager to make sense of the world around him. He's the kind of kid where you teach him one thing, and he figures out a hundred. Then you get situations where we’re arguing using logical fallacies like here:


A fast learner! So, tell me how the comic strip idea transpired and got rolling.

For awhile, I'd been getting great feedback from my Facebook posts about the kids. People loved the posts and would often share them and say things like I should have my own reality show or I should write a book, etc. So I'd been considering for awhile how I could translate these funny stories into an art form that's more solid than a simple Facebook post. Then I happened to be chatting with a longtime friend, Steven Heumann about creative endeavors and such. He'd worked for me when I was a managing editor for a newspaper. He did a monthly comic strip. That's when it hit me -- the kids could be a comic! I threw the idea at Steven, half-joking and he loved it. So I gathered up some my favorite past posts on the kids and sent them to him. I have to give him credit -- he's brilliant and totally gets my sense of humor so I don't have to do much other than give him the details. From there, he knows exactly how to execute it. It's been less than two months since I first suggested the idea. I can't believe how fast it's all come together!

It has been fast! Tell me how your kids feel about it.

They love it. They’re all a bunch of hams. Seriously, anyone who’s been to my house can tell you they spend the whole time competing with each other to see who can show off the most. Griffin got a few sample comics from Steven last week and he's been carrying them around with him everywhere, reading them over and over again. AJ's only complaint is that she's not in there more. Hazel already thinks she's famous.

I'm so glad! Where can the viewers see more of your hilarious comics?

We will update the comic every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/unexceptionalmom/) or on my blog (http://unexceptionalmom.blogspot.com/).
 
COMIC BLURB:

Please Don't Call Child Services is an autobiographical comic that details my true adventures homeschooling three precocious and slightly profane children. Every strip is based on real things they've said or done (because if I didn’t laugh about it, I’d have to cry).

 
BIO:

Crystal Liechty is the mastermind behind the Please Don’t Call Child Services webtoon, which details the always funny and often inappropriate hijinx involved in homeschooling three mischievous children. If you’ve been to college lately, you might have seen one of her essays in the Elements of Arguments textbook (Macmillan Press). When not homeschooling or torturing college students with argumentative essays, Crystal can be found watching Korean dramas, teaching herself Kpop dances or in general working as an unofficial ambassador for South Korean culture.




Love your guts,

-Tammy-

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Kristin Smith Book Release: FORGOTTEN


Welcome back, Kristin!! Kristin's book FORGOTTEN released yesterday!! WOOT WOOT and major congrats!! It's definitely not easy to write a book, and to have it published is an even bigger feat in itself! Plus, it's currently marked down with the 1st book in the series, CATALYST! And, there's a giveaway at the bottom of the blog post. too! What a steal!

So, dare we ask what FORGOTTEN is all about?? Let's find out...




Forgotten
Kristin Smith
(The Deception Game #2)
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: April 18th 2017
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
The epic tale of Sienna Preston continues in this second installment of the exhilarating Deception Game series.
 Seventeen-year-old Sienna is no stranger to heartache and loss. But this time, it’s different; someone―or something―has tampered with a loved one’s memories, and she’s determined to get answers.
The trail leads her to the glittering skyscrapers and modern luxuries of Rubex, the Capital of Pacifica, where she infiltrates the government’s Agency for Intelligence and Genetics. But answers are not always easy to come by, especially when her own memories may have been altered. Luckily, Zane Ryder is there to help her put the pieces back together, his devotion and concern muddying the waters between friendship and something more.
 When Sienna gets too close to uncovering dark Agency secrets, she’s framed for the murder of a prominent government official, sending her on the run. Sienna’s heart may be torn about who she loves, but none of that really matters anymore―because the only thing that awaits her now is a death sentence.

Grab book 1 for only 99¢!
Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

EXCERPT:

Zane parks his Aria on the lake side of the dam, and we both climb out.

“Bring back memories?” Zane asks with a wry grin.

“How you thought I was trying to kill myself? Again?” I laugh. “I don’t know why you thought I was so suicidal.”

Zane shrugs. “Maybe I didn’t. Maybe I just wanted an excuse to rescue you.”

My heart trips over itself. “Zane,” I say softly, “you can’t keep saying things like that.”

He moves around the side of the car. “Why not?” When he takes my hand in his, the warmth of his fingers heats up my whole body.

“This isn’t a good idea,” I mutter, but I make no move to extract my hand from his.

He looks down at me, then at our entwined fingers. “But what if it is? What if it’s the best idea in the whole damn world?”

“Because—because you’re engaged. To someone else.”

“But I don’t want to be,” he says, his voice low. He takes a step closer until he’s so close that I could wrap my arm around his back if I wanted to.

“Zane,” I warn, but the warning gets caught in my throat. He’s giving me that look. The same one he gave me before he kissed me that first time on the couch in his house.

“What?” he whispers.

“Please, don’t—” But he’s already leaning down, his eyes focused on my mouth. My breath comes out shaky as his fingers slip from mine and his hands touch my waist, gently bringing me closer. Before I can stop myself, our lips meet, and a thousand nerve endings converge to a single spot. His lips are fire and warmth and need. And that single spark ignites an already-smoldering flame.




Author Bio: 
Kristin Smith writes young adult contemporary and science fiction novels. When she’s not writing, you can find her dreaming about the beach, beating her boys at Just Dance, or belting out karaoke (from the comfort of her own home). Kristin currently resides in the middle-of-nowhere North Carolina with her husband and five incredibly loud but extremely cute boys. To read more about her obsession with YA novels or her addiction to chocolate, you can visit her at kristinsmithbooks.com.



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Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Guest Post by Kristin Smith: Love Triangles - Do They Work?


The LOVELY and BODACIOUS Kristin Smith has stopped by to give a little 4-1-1 on Love Triangles. The big question is - DO THEY WORK??? Let's find out what she has to say about all the love triangles in the literary world!

~~~~~~~~~~

I know there's quite a bit of controversy about "The Love Triangle", a trope that is often seen in YA books. So the question I pose for you is, do love triangles in YA books work?


Let's first take a look at some bestselling YA books that have a love triangle.


1) Twilight by Stephenie Meyer: Bella with Edward and Jacob

I know there are many naysayers who didn't like the whole Twilight saga, but I'm sorry, this love triangle was EPIC! Fans of the book were divided on their love for Edward versus their love for Jacob. And some people were downright MAD when Bella chose Edward. (I was NOT one of those, by the way.) Did this love triangle get people invested in the book? Did people want to know who Bella would choose? Absolutely! In my opinion, this love triangle was a huge success!

2) Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins: Catniss with Gale and Peeta

I think this love triangle was a little more subtle. The book starts out with Catniss having "hidden" feelings for Gale, but she spends the rest of the book with Peeta either preparing for the games or in the throes of the game. As a reader, it was hard for me to connect with the idea of Catniss and Gale being together because I hardly saw them together during the book. I know there were some Gale fans out there, but in my mind, it was Peeta. It was always going to be Peeta, even though Catniss spent 80% of the books only "pretending" to be in love with him.

Did this love triangle work? I would say yes. It created just enough tension that left the readers wanting more.


The Selection by Kiera Cass: America with Aspen and Maxon

Okay, so this one was a little frustrating for me. I didn't see anything good that would come from America ending up with Aspen. At the beginning of the book, she claims he's her one true love, but then she falls so quickly for Maxon. And, hello, Maxon is a PRINCE! And with America by his side, they could better their country together. Every time America snuck off to do something romantic with Aspen, I felt a little uneasy. I wanted to shout at her, "Get back to your room! You don't want Maxon to catch you kissing Aspen!"

Did this love triangle work? Well, I devoured the entire series in the space of 3 days, so even though I didn't AGREE with some of America's decisions, I would give a half-hearted yes. I loved the series; now whether or not the love triangle added to that love, I really can't say.

Now, I've shared with you a few of my favorite book series, and they ALL have a love triangle. The last one is from my own book (and you'll have to be the one to decide whether or not this love triangle works). :)

Catalyst by Kristin Smith: Sienna with Trey and Zane



Basically, amidst all the craziness in her life, Sienna develops feelings for a genetically modified poster boy (who is completely off-limits because he's been engaged since birth to his perfect genetic match). But when she joins the extremist group, the Fringe, their young leader (who's too hot to be bad) takes an interest in her. There's tension, conflicted feelings, and some pretty awesome kissing scenes. But you'll have to be the judge of whether this love triangle "works".



So to sum it up, if we're deciding whether or not a love triangle works based on the success of the book, then I say with a resounding YES that love triangles WORK! Our main goal as an author is to entice readers to want to read our books. And if a love triangle is executed well, I think it can add tension and dynamics to the story. I personally don't mind a good love triangle, and I will gladly read a book that has one.

What are YOUR thoughts? Do love triangles work?



About the Author:

Kristin Smith is the author of the young adult novel Catalyst and its sequel, Forgotten. When she’s not writing, you can find her dreaming about the beach, beating her boys at Just Dance, or belting out karaoke (from the comfort of her own home). Kristin currently resides in the middle-of-nowhere North Carolina with her husband and five sons. To read more about her obsession with YA novels or her addiction to chocolate, you can visit her at kristinsmithbooks.com.









Thanks so much for stopping by, Kristin!! Don't forget to buy your copy of CATALYST and see for yourself how you like her version of a love triangle! *click here to redirect to Amazon!* Next week, come back to see Kristin talk about her new release, FORGOTTEN!! 
 
Love your guts,

-Tammy-

Monday, April 3, 2017

Wimpy Protagonists No More

Have you ever read back lines from your main character, your protagonist, and thought: Wow, he/she is kinda...wimpy. For shame! But they can't be wimpy! Well, mine can't be wimpy. NOOOooooooo... (deep breaths).

I had this same experience happen with the oldest sister in my YA fantasy. She was supposed to (wo)man up, but after reading her back, she wussied up. And that is NOT cool. In fact, her younger sister was more brute than she. What the what?? Nah. Some changes had to be made!

The good thing is, the fix was easy. Truly. And fixing your wimpy character into a more (wo)manly character is easy, too. Here are some quick tricks to get your character to re-establish their role of cajones holder.

1. Paralanguage - stop making them timid, make them have a "straight spine". Look for descriptive words with their paralanguage and tweak them to say more profound/regal things.

2. Language - simply put, try not to make them "ask" so much as "demand". The character should tell people what to do, rather then ask if they're willing to do it. I made this change in one line, and the difference was astounding. (caution: not everything is a demand because that's just...rude. 😉 )

3. Move with a Purpose - make sure you're character is creating some of the problems rather than all the problems happening around them and they just seem to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. If their creating some of the problems then they're showing their unwilling to settle for mediocrity.

4. React with Purpose - BUT if there is going to be problems happening, because there always needs to be, then make sure they react headstrong and not cower. The old phrase "move with a purpose" is very relevant here.

5. Think and React - sometimes strong characters need a moment to show vulnerability before they react strong. This shows a very human side we all have, and the reader relates to. Once that second-guessing part happens, return to react with a purpose. That will show a super strength of going beyond our own doubts and striving to prove even our own selves wrong.

BOOM. There you have it!! Do you feel like you can get your protagonist's cajones back in place now? Good! The best part of revisiting some of the wimpy stuff and revising back to headstrong, was that I didn't keep reverting back to those wimpier lines. And don't think your character needs to be gun-ho every single second. Make sure to dash and sprinkle plenty of those "I am human" moments where weakness creeps in every so often. Well, good luck out there, and keep on writing!!

~~LIST OF THE WEEK~~

READ: Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes (murder creates havoc amongst 3 kingdoms), Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerill (girl on risky adventure to figure out her father's murderer), Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman (camp fire tales of Norse gods/goddesses lives)
STILL READING: A Face Like Glass by Frances Hardinge (ARC), and Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
MOVIES: Trolls (cute but not that cute) and Beauty and the Beast (Great but not as brilliant as everyone built it up to be)
WORD COUNT ON YA BOOK: 59,403 (that non-round number is murder!!)
WHAT IS DRIVING ME CRAZY: new book idea I can't start
WHY NOT START: because I know I won't stop, and I need to finish this one first!

QUESTIONS TO THE READER:
1. What is a wimpy characteristic you find yourself accidentally giving your protagonist?
2. What is one "wimpy" trait of your own?
3. Am I wimpy??

Love your guts,

-Tammy-

Monday, March 13, 2017

My Book Aesthetics

Last week, I told you how I was currently working on a YA Viking fantasy. I also said I would make a collage of book aesthetics to show you more about the world I've created. I would LOVE to show you only one, but there is so many little things going on, it's so hard to narrow it!

I'm currently near, if not on, the half way point. I'm breaking my book into three parts, and have started the 2nd part. Just when I think I know where I am going, I sit back and stare off and BAM...new idea hits. And it always happens when I brain fart how to get from point A to B. Suddenly there is some weird Z thrown in the middle making it all the more interesting. Those moments are the best!

Enough of my blabbing. Without further adieu...here are some of my book aesthetics. For more, you can go to my pinterest page! The link is on the left side bar.


this story is big on sisterhood and family, some pics are "backstory"


these blow my mind. omg. I want someone to make them for me.


each of the kingdoms are very specific in structure


these are just teasers...

**LIST FOR THE WEEK**

Read: COURT OF FIVES by Kate Elliot (a sister's love for the Fives game is put off to save family) and THREE DARK CROWNS by Kandare Blake (triplets raised separately and groomed to kill one another for the crown)
Reading: FALLING KINGDOMS by Morgan Rhodes, A FACE LIKE GLASS (Arc copy) by Frances Hardinge, THRONE OF GLASS by Sarah J. Maas
Movies: For International Women's Day I watched LITTLE WOMEN, and even though I've seen it years ago...I don't remember choking up this much!
Newest Buy: A Simply Fit Board, and a 3/4 motorcycle helmet from Harley Davidson!
What I'm anxious for: Getting back on my Harley and riding in the wind!!

Questions for the Reader:
1. Can you tell my book has some dark tones to it?
2. Reading any good books lately?
3. Ever seen Little Women the movie?

Love your guts,

-Tammy-

Monday, March 6, 2017

March Madness Understatement

My gosh how time has flown by! I realized I hadn't posted since January. January! But I have very valid reasons. Very valid. Here they are:

1. I've been writing for hours on end. (Ok, that's not true, but it sure feels like it!)
2. Reading frenzy - I started reading more YA books to gear my arsenal (WHY??? Just wait...I'm getting there later! Calm yourself!)
3. Tomorrow my mental break ends - what does THAT look like? Well...NOT writing for hours on end and adjusting back to being an "adult". (Ew...I know.)
4. My first Writers Conference!!

I've worked hard on my new YA Viking fantasy draft scoring a word count so far of 41k since I started it on Jan 19th. And everything God said He would help me with, He has and beyond. When inspiration hits, and you go google said inspiration to find that what you're thinking about is actual fact (flowers, names, etc) it's like AHHHHHHH...(*cue angels singing*) Needless to say, I did have to go back through the 9 chapters written and do a tense change and create more detail/world building. (Thank you to Shallee McArthur - she is amazing for pointing it out early!) NEXT WEEK - I promise to make a book collage of some very dark and interesting inspirations!

Which brings me to #2! I wanted to be further inspired with amazing fantasy worlds so I didn't miss a beat. And that's pretty much summing up #2.

#3 - This just means I won't have my mornings anymore to sleep in (did I say that?), and work on my book at my leisure. I'll be back to my old title: NIGHT WRITER. I think I need like theme music for that.

While on my #1, I found out through FB there was a writer's conference for SCBWI in Seattle! I looked over the itinerary and the sessions weren't what I was looking for. But then, another thing came up: Seattle Writer's Workshop! Basically a 1-day conference and the session choices were AMAZING and PERFECT to what I'm looking for!! I signed and am awaiting May!! 

Usually I close with a list of things, but I'm in a rush to get back to my WIP. Here is a QUICK list of books/movies/things I have done since last time!
Read: Jennie Bennett's SNOWFLAKES AND KISSES, Bernard Cornwells THE LAST KINGDOM, Elizabeth LaBan's THE RESTAURANT CRITIC'S WIFE, Carrie Butler's AS WE KNOW IT (Awesome books!)
Reading: Sarah J. Maas THRONE OF GLASS, Kate Elliott COURT OF FIVES, Kendare Blake THREE DARK CROWNS
Movies: Labyrinth (David Bowe's tight-crotch pants were distracting, even my oldest was saying how he was tired of seeing "it"), Stork (cute!)
Things: hikes to cold beaches, parents vs. kids volleyball at elementary (I'm super competitive and rolled my eyes at timid mom's barely hitting the ball. HIT IT, DANG YOU!), cleaned out never-will-read books, and never-will-wear purses (you're welcome thrift stores)

Love your guts,

-Tammy-