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  1. What would you do?

    February 23, 2015 by Suzi

    So recently, I was at the library and saw this really cool book, but I realized it was actually a sequel. Luckily book one was available and looked just as awesome.
     
    But it wasn’t. The characters fell flat, the plot fell below expectations, the writing didn’t grab me, and I was disappointed. Which happens sometimes, but now I have a dilemma.
     
    Originally, I’d grabbed book two and thought it sounded intriguing. And I still think it does. But do I read it or forget it? Because one was a disappointment. And I can assume that the writing and characters will be similar in two. It’s not like it’s a minor complaint with book one; it was characters, writing and plot.
     
    I didn’t hate book one. I was just severely unimpressed.
     
    What would you do? Give book two a chance and hope it’s way better? Or give up and move on to another writer.


  2. The Big Reveal

    February 20, 2015 by Suzi

    Yay! I’m glad to have my blog back. I’m not sure what happened, but for about 2-3 weeks there I couldn’t get into it. Couldn’t view it. And many people told me they couldn’t either.
     
    I don’t know if somebody fixed it or if whatever glitch went away, but it’s back. And now I can return to blogging again.

     
     
    Welcome to the Big Reveal
     

    I enjoy reading author interviews, but often times they don’t ask the kinds
    of questions I wonder about. So I’ve assembled a group of writers at
    all levels, from un-agented to published, and every week I will
    have a new question for them.
     

    Where do you usually write?

     
    Tanya Reimer
    I am a writing addict. I write all the time: in public, in secret, in short exciting doses or even in longer weeklong binges that almost kill me. I even write at the dentist office, and when waiting to pick up the kids. Are the kids fighting? Then it’s a perfect time to work on that fighting scene. I’ll even ask them to pause so I can get the way her hand wraps around his torso just right.
    My dream place to write would be in the actual story I am working on. If I could just get in there and see the world the way I need to, it would really help.

     

    Trisha Leaver
    I’m old-school; I have a writing desk. It was my Grandmothers and now it is mine. I have tried writing at the library or a coffee shop, but I get easily distracted. Plus, I am a chronic people watcher, so ask me to write anywhere in a public setting and I will get nothing done.

     

    Danielle Bertrand
    My writing setting is pretty much whenever the mood strikes me to write. However, my ideal setting would be in some cabin tucked away in the mountains somewhere in Montana in the middle of summer.

     

    Jackie Felger
    I can write with noise or when it’s quiet. I don’t mind either way, just as long as I get words down, that’s all that matters to me.


    The beach would be my dream setting to sit and write, with my tootsies in the warm sand and listening to the waves.

     

    Stephanie Faris
    People think it’s crazy, but I write with the TV on, usually streaming on my computer. I don’t know why, but it helps me focus on what I’m doing. I’d love to write in a house with a good view, perhaps of trees or the mountains, but often a view is too distracting. As for snacks, I love chocolate, but I try to stay away from it. My go-to drink is a bottle of water with Crystal Light in it.

     
    J.A. Bennett
    I like to write at my desk. Even though I have a laptop, I also have a comfy office chair. It’s nice that I can take my computer elsewhere when I need to. I only drink water when I’m writing. If I eat or give myself a treat, I tend to get distracted. So only the essentials.
    Where do you prefer to write?


  3. The Big Reveal

    January 30, 2015 by Suzi

    Welcome to the Big Reveal
     

    I enjoy reading author interviews, but often times they don’t ask the kinds
    of questions I wonder about. So I’ve assembled a group of writers at
    all levels, from un-agented to published, and every week I will
    have a new question for them.
     

    Old fashioned book or E-reader?

     
    Jackie Felger
    I’m not picky. Either way is fine, just as long as I read. I have a kindle that I do like to use, because I can put my own manuscripts on it and read them through a different view.

     

    Stephanie Faris
    I have an Amazon Kindle and I read everything on it. I’m not a fan of having “stuff” around, so my Kindle lets me have hundreds of books without worrying about storing them.

     
    Tanya Reimer
    I love my Kindle as a writing tool. I use it to polish my work. This means, when I try to read other books on it, I am harder on them, editing as I read, judging the plot instead of just kicking back and enjoying a good story. So if I really want to just read for fun, I do have to have a book in my hands. (Plus, I love holding a book.)

     

    Trisha Leaver
    Old fashioned book! I have a kindle, but I very rarely use it. There is something about the feel of a book in my hand, physically holding the words and turning the pages that I love.

     

    Danielle Bertrand
    Old Fashioned Book all the way. I love their weight in my hands, their smell, and the way they make me feel with each turn of the page. Overall though, I adore Audiobooks!

     

    J.A. Bennett
    Old fashioned. I read an article once that said holding a book in your hands allows you to retain a better remembrance of the words. There’s something about the textile action of turning a page that gives your brain a gateway to think more clearly. That being said, I still use my e-reader a lot. It’s really convenient for when I’m stuck somewhere with nothing to do. I have plenty of ebooks to keep me busy.

     

    Do you prefer old fashioned books or E-readers?


  4. Computer issues

    January 26, 2015 by Suzi

    This last week I’ve been having a problem with my computer and it’s a pain in the butt. It’s the keyboard. About half the time I hit delete, the key sticks and suddenly I’ve deleted a bunch of letters, sometimes a full sentence. Then I have to go hit undo, undo, undo…
     
    I’m going to try clean it, see if that makes a difference. But if not, I’ll have to get a new keyboard. This computer is maybe 6 years old, I’m kinda sorta guessing. So the connector for the keyboard to plug in isn’t even a USB, it’s one of those round thingies with the little spikes inside. Same with the mouse.
     

    Okay, it’s not really that old. :)

    Image courtesy of Exsodus / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

    But even if my cleaning helps with the issue, I know eventually not too far down the road, we’ll need to replace the whole thing. (Six year computer, again)
     
    It got me thinking about wireless keyboards and computers. I’m not sure if our next computer should have a tower, or just get one where everything is built into the screen–an all-in-one computer. We have an external DVD drive now, cause the built in one went kaput, and that would be my biggest concern about not having the typical tower computer. I want to use CD/DVDs. But that won’t be an issue since we have the external drive.
     
    For those who still use desktops, do you have any advice? Go for an all-in-one computer or stick with a tower?

    Or does everybody now just use laptops? :) (I have a laptop too, and I’m not keen on getting two. I like having a desktop.)


  5. The Big Reveal

    January 23, 2015 by Suzi

    Welcome to the Big Reveal
     

    I enjoy reading author interviews, but often times they don’t ask the kinds
    of questions I wonder about. So I’ve assembled a group of writers at
    all levels, from un-agented to published, and every week I will
    have a new question for them.
     

    Writing or Editing?

     

    J.A. Bennett
    Editing. I can’t make a sculpture without stone, and I can’t make a complete book without words. Sometimes I feel like the words take forever to come, but I can play around more if I have words already.

     
    Jackie Felger
    I love to write, but I love to edit, too… not to be confused with the editing I do while writing… THAT kind of editing, I loathe at times, because it’s hard to shut off the inner editor. But the second-time-around editing, when the manuscript’s been through its first draft and has set for a bit, that kind of editing, I love, because I’m seeing it through rested eyes, and other ideas pop up when I read through it again.

     

    Stephanie Faris
    Writing! I’m a firm believer that these two skills do not go hand in hand, although I’m surprised how often it is assumed that they do. As a professional freelance writer, I’m often asked to take on editing jobs and I always turn them down. Granted, some writers are talented at both, but I’d prefer to write.

     
    Tanya Reimer
    Writing a first draft is heavenly, pure freedom and the best feeling in the world!!! Rewriting is amazing and when my work really starts to shine. Polishing is never fast enough. I used to hate editing. It’s still not high on my love list, but I do like the way editing shapes my work, so I spend a lot of time on it, rewarding myself with binge writing.

     

    Danielle Bertrand
    Editing. The hard part is getting my inner storyteller to show my story on paper. The easiest thing is to edit the already written story; the hard part is finished by then.

     

     

    Do you prefer writing or editing?


  6. The Kindle Crawl

    January 18, 2015 by Suzi

     
    When you’re reading an ebook, do you pay attention to that little percentage down at the bottom? It’s nice to have it, to see exactly how much of the book is left, but sometimes it’s not a good thing because of the Kindle crawl.
     
    The Kindle crawl: When you’re reading an ebook and you glance down at the percentage and think, I’ve hit the page down button like 10 times and I’m still on 22%? And the whole book seems to go the same way.
     
    That is the Kindle crawl. And I totally made that word up. I googled it and didn’t find any references, so I’m gonna claim it as mine.
     
    Now there’s two reasons for the Kindle crawl.
     
    1.) You’re reading a ridiculously long book. If the book’s 400, 500, 600… pages, it’s explainable.
     
    But the other reason is:
     
    2.) You’re bored. You like the book enough to keep reading it, but it just crawls along, making it feel like you’re barely moving forward.
     
    I thought about this because recently I’ve read some books that seem to drag. But right now I’m reading the opposite. A book that is going fast.
     
    The other night I was reading and I’m like whoa—I jumped ahead from 20% to 30%, and I hadn’t been reading that long.
     
    But maybe it’s a shorter story though.
     
    Luckily, the author is Jolene Perry, and I kinda sorta know her. And the story is The Summer I Found You. So I emailed her to ask about the word count, and she wrote back and told me. Cause she’s nice like that.
     
    The story isn’t short, but it’s not long either. It’s just in the middle, word count wise. But I love the story. The characters are fresh and likeable, their voices are perfect. Which means it’s an easy=fast=good read. So there is no Kindle crawl with The Summer I Found You.
     
    And I like to read books like that. I much prefer to read books like that. Of course, who wouldn’t? :)
     
    Do you ever experience the Kindle crawl? Or better, do you more often read novels like The Summer I Found You, where the book seems to move super fast because it’s a terrific story?


  7. The Big Reveal

    January 15, 2015 by Suzi

    Welcome to the Big Reveal
     

    I enjoy reading author interviews, but often times they don’t ask the kinds
    of questions I wonder about. So I’ve assembled a group of writers at
    all levels, from un-agented to published, and every week I will
    have a new question for them.
     

    Do you prefer writing with real or imaginary settings?

     

    Danielle Bertrand
    My current WIP, Timewalkers is my example of dabbling with both at the same time but I prefer imaginary. It’s easier to manipulate a scene when I can make it be whatever I want. The same goes for reading, I can really get into an imaginary setting. For me, a real setting seems restricting and hinders my imagination too much.

     

    J.A. Bennett
    Semi-real? I like to put it in a mostly real place (my current book is supposedly in Little Falls, NJ, but I’ve made up a lot of stuff about it) I usually pick a general place, Like Colorado or the British countryside, then I try to write around the specifics of where it really is. In my head, that means people won’t look stuff up and tell me everything I wrote wrong. I don’t care about setting so much as long as story is good. I can’t think of single setting that’s stood out to me, unless you count Forks, WA. Hogwarts too.

     
    Jackie Felger
    As for real or imaginary settings, I don’t prefer one over the other. As long as the author can make me feel like I’m really there, then I’m happy.
    Can you think of a book that had a setting you absolutely loved? Harry Potter series, Vampire Academy series, and The Notebook.

     

    Stephanie Faris
    Most of my books are set in middle schools. I don’t really do the imaginary thing. I did love Stephen King’s The Stand, where he imagined a world in which most of the population had been wiped out and a small group of people had to start over. For some reason, things like that intrigue me.

     
    Tanya Reimer
    When reading I love settings in places I’ve never been. I especially enjoy underwater settings (probably because coming from the prairies, the ocean is a big mystery to me). Yes, Jules Vern’s 2000 Leagues Under the Sea was very cool.

    I absolutely love writing about the prairies. This magical place is a character of its own. The wind, the storms, the vastness… it holds magical secrets I just have to share.

     

    Trisha Leaver
    Real settings…or at least as close to reality as I can get. I envy those writers who can build these magnificent worlds with beautiful scenery and magical creatures. I would love to have half their imaginative talent. I however, seem to be firmly planted in the present day.

    A setting that I absolutely loved. There are so, so many; to narrow it down to just one seems cruel. But if I had to pick, I’d go with the Tudor England setting Laura Anderson re-created in the Boleyn Trilogy. The music, the gowns, the dialect, the cold stone floors, the wall tapestries…she just brought that whole period to life for me. More than that, she reignited my passion for historical fiction and now it is my go-to genre when I’m looking to cozy up on the couch with a good book.

     

    What do you prefer, real or imaginary settings?


  8. The Big Reveal

    January 8, 2015 by Suzi

    Welcome to the Big Reveal
     

    I enjoy reading author interviews, but often times they don’t ask the kinds
    of questions I wonder about. So I’ve assembled a group of writers at
    all levels, from un-agented to published, and every week I will
    have a new question for them.
     

    Is writing your ‘real’ job?

    Trisha Leaver
    J I never really saw myself as a writer, more of a chronic dreamer. I dream mostly every night, some pleasant, most nightmares. About six years ago, I decided to put those dreams to paper…to finish what my subconscious had started and so rudely awakened me from. That day, I began sketching out endings to my dreams, adding in threads, and playing with characters that even three days later still plagued my every waking thought. Since then, I haven’t stopped.

    When I am not writing, I am wrangling three kids and on rather irreverent black lab. My kids range in age from 8 to 18 so there is never a dull moment in my house!

     
    Danielle Bertrand
    I wish writing was my paying profession. I am a Specification Specialist for a world leading wire company. What that ridiculous fancy title means in laymen’s terms, I read customer specifications and entry them into a system for future orders. I have always written little stories here and there while growing up but didn’t get serious until almost 6 or 7 years ago when Jackie talked me into getting back to my writing roots.

     

    J.A. Bennett
    Since I haven’t made any money yet, I wouldn’t call it a job. My REAL job is being a mom, haha :) I wish I could find more time to write, but my kids need me a lot. ;) I’ve been seriously writing for almost four years now. I didn’t really write as a kid. I had my first real interest in it as a senior in high school, but I never thought I’d be doing it for real like I am now.

     
    Jackie Felger
    I’m a florist in a family business. Does that sound mobsterish? I’ve been writing for six years.

    I did write as a kid, mostly poetry and short stories. Then, I put it aside for several years, but I’m glad to be writing again!

     

    Stephanie Faris
    I started writing when I was in my mid-20s, so about 20 years. I began doing freelance work on the side in 2011 while working in I.T. for state government. I built up a strong client base and left my day job in the fall of 2013 to be a full-time freelance writer and novelist. I work when I want, although I probably put in more hours than any full-time worker I know! It just doesn’t feel like work.

     
    Tanya Reimer
    I work as a community development officer for a Francophone community in a minority setting. This job allows me to be close to my children, to work in a field I strongly believe in and understand, while using all my skills and testing my limits.

    I’ve always been a storyteller but I wrote my first column for the local newspaper around the age of 15. I wrote my first (and most horrible) murder mystery novel at 18. For the past several years, I write every single day, which improved my confidence.

     
    Is writing your ‘real’ job?


  9. My first

    January 5, 2015 by Suzi

    I’ll be having my first pitch experience this spring when I get to attend (for the 2nd time) the Storymakers Conference in Utah.
     
    I’m not nervous yet, but there’s plenty of time for that. :)
     
    And really, I’m not even sure what story I’ll pitch. I have a number of manuscripts sitting here and May is a long ways off. And I also started thinking, would it be okay to throw a couple pitches out at one session or is that not right? Something to think about.
     
    Anyway, I got very lucky after making a stupid mistake. I’d did my time conversion wrong, Central to Mountain, and I actually registered an hour after registration opened. All pitches were filled at that point. But I got an email in asking to be on the waiting list and I got in that way.
     
    What probably happened is that some people signed up for a pitch session AND a manuscript consultation with their agent of choice, and since they got the ms consult, they didn’t need the pitch too. So they dropped out of the pitch list.
     
    Yay for me!
     
    So what I’m wondering is if you’ve done a pitch, can you tell me about your experience. And any advice would be welcome. :)


  10. The Big Reveal

    January 1, 2015 by Suzi

    Welcome to the Big Reveal
     

    I enjoy reading author interviews, but often times they don’t ask the kinds
    of questions I wonder about. So I’ve assembled a group of writers at
    all levels, from un-agented to published, and every week I will
    have a new question for them.
     

    Did you choose your genre or did your genre choose you??

     
    Tanya Reimer
    I rarely think about genre in a first draft. But! That means in a later draft I have to revise the manuscript for any spots where it slips because a Suspense has different elements than a Mystery, a Paranormal different ways to present the supernatural than a Horror. It is much more satisfying for a reader to get what they came for, so I make sure to deliver in my rewrites.

    I am working on different heat-levelled romance writing. I love to learn and try new genres until I master them to my liking. I have no idea if they’ll ever see print or if the experience will simply serve as a tool in other works. But it’s interesting and fun and really pushes me to work outside my comfort zone.

     

    Trisha Leaver
    Hmm…good questions. I would have to say my genre choose me. When I sketched out my first nightmare *cough* book (aka CREED) I hadn’t really envisioned the age of my character. I was more focused on the setting, how the characters back-story impacted her current struggle, and what forces were contriving against her. Her voice – that of a seventeen-year-old girl – was almost a secondary factor to me.

    My favorite genre to read is Adult Historical Fiction. I think it is because I spend so much time crafting YA stories in the present world that being transported to a different era is like my own personal mind-vacation. As for writing historical fiction…on the YA side, absolutely. I love to write historical re-imaginings, especially those surrounding infamous crimes or local lore. My first foray into the YA Historical genre is a book titled SWEET MADNESS. It is a reimagining of the Borden murders told from the maid’s point of view and is set to release summer of 2015 with Merit Press.

     
    Danielle Bertrand
    It’s hard to say. I’ve always been drawn to Fantasy, Paranormal and Horror, even from a young age. Yes, my writing genres are pretty much the same as my reading genres. And no, I kinda love my genres too much to venture out.

     

    J.A. Bennett
    Um, Romance choose me. I’ve always wanted to be fantasy writer because it’s my favorite thing to read, but I like romance too. It’s kinda fun doing both. I think my experience writing romance is making my fantasy work stronger.

     
    Jackie Felger
    Paranormal, Sci-Fi, romance, and contemporary are my go-to genres for reading and writing. I do like a good horror book, too, and thought it’d be fun to write one, but I think I’d creep myself out.

     

    Stephanie Faris
    My first book ever was a young adult novel but in the 90s, YA wasn’t selling. In the 00s, as the market opened up, I started writing YA again. I was writing it the way YA was in the 80s, when I was growing up (Sweet Valley High, Cheerleaders, etc.). I was immediately told my voice was too young for YA and I should write middle grade and chapter books. I like sweet, happy, fun books. I don’t seem to be able to write the dark stuff, but I admire those who can.

     
    Did you choose your genre or did your genre choose you?