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  1. The Big Reveal

    August 7, 2014 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.
     

    Where do you usually write?

     

     

    Jessica Sayler
    I usually write in my living room in my chair with earbuds and music playing. I can usually write anywhere as long as I have my music to just tune everything else out. As for the dream place to write a cafe in Paris would be awesome. Lol.

     
    Madeline Mora-Summonte
    I am a creature of habit. I write best in my home office, a cup of hot coffee or an iced coffee from Dunkin Donuts at my side. I prefer quiet but sometimes noisy neighbors or rambunctious tortoises get in the way. :)

     

    Rebecca Barrow
    I write all over the place—mostly in my kitchen during the day or at my desk at night. I used to write with music but now I find it better to work in silence. My ideal location would be next to a beautiful pool with plenty of comfy cushions and a steady stream of tropical drinks. That way I can reward every 100 words with a dip in the pool! Might not get much writing done, though…

     
    Chad Morris
    I write on the bus ride home from work, in my office at home, at the kitchen table, on the couch, at the park while my kids are playing (and then I get sucked in and play with them). …etc. I can’t listen to music when I write, or I’ll start singing along and lose focus. I love a bowl of cereal while I’m proofreading. And as far as dream settings go, I like Mark Twain’s octagon gazebo at Quarry farm (It’s at Elmira College now).

     

    Shelly Brown
    I am trying to train myself to write with music in the background but alas I still prefer silence.

    I have an office desk and a rolling chair so I am hooked up for ultimate writing comfort. Really comfort and silence are all I need. Oh and a tall glass of ice water. Yeah, I dream big.

     
    Crystal Collier
    Give me a desk, a keyboard, mouse and window behind my setup with a scenic view. Beyond that, I don’t need anything. Truth, I can write anywhere and in any circumstances, but it takes a little priming in a new setting. Often I’ll write to music, but just as often I won’t. Guess it depends on my mood or if I like the soundtrack currently playing through my head.
     
    Where do you usually write?


  2. A happier reader

    August 3, 2014 by Suzi

    Last week I talked about getting novels, collaborations specifically, signed by both authors and how hard that can be. Rebecca Barrow had said this in her comment: I see your problem with author collabs, but I think the solution is easy–win the lottery and fly wherever you want to get them signed! Simple, right?
     
    And that got me thinking. I’d love to win the lottery, of course, but would it affect reading habits much?
     
    Yes, of course. I would love to buy a huge house and have the perfect library. You know, wall to wall shelves, a fireplace, and several comfy seating options. Fill it with hundreds of books. Thousands, maybe.
     
    But…
     
    Would I be a happier reader?
     
    Right now I have 308 books on my to read list on Goodreads. And I know I’m missing many more I’d like to read. And granted, I’d have a little more time to read if I won the lottery, but not that significant of an increase. And then my stress leves would increase.
     
    I’d have all these books on my shelf and no way of ever reading them. Not enough time. And I’d keep buying more books I’d probably never get to read.
     
    Wouldn’t that suck? Standing in front of your thousands of books knowing you’ll never get to enjoy them all. Even though they’re right there in front of you.
     
    I guess if I were super rich, I could hire an awesome therapist who would help me get through it. But still, every day I’d have too look at all those books I’d never read.
     
    Then again, I could share my special books with others, and that would make me feel better.
     
    Yes, that’s what I’ll do if I ever win the lottery. And hopefully the happiness of sharing will outweigh the depression of not getting to read all those books.
     
    So if you won the lottery and got to build your own personal library, would it stress you out to know you’d never have enough time to read all those books?


  3. The Big Reveal

    August 1, 2014 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 have any trunked novels?

     

     

    Shelly Brown
    By trunked do you mean thrown in the trash? ;) I have the three novels that are on draft #TooManyToCount and still have a shot at making it out of the rubbish receptacle one day.

     
    Crystal Collier
    I don’t trunk novels. I do set them aside and reboot them later. Currently I have about 30 projects waiting in various stages of completion. Oh that I could freeze time and just write. =)

     

    Jessica Sayler
    I have two trucked or shelved novels. They both have about twenty thousand words so far and I do plan on finishing both of them when I have more time and when the characters speak to me again.

     
    Madeline Mora-Summonte
    Ha! I recently cleaned out my office closet and went through boxes of trunked novels, along with tons of rejection letters. I finally tossed the form letters but I did keep a chunk of the personalized ones. Some of those trunked novels will never see the light of the day, but I was pleasantly surprised to find a few that definitely have promise.

     

    Rebecca Barrow
    I have a few trunked novels that really never, ever need to see the light of day. One of those features characters that I’d like to write again, but if I ever do it will be a completely new draft of a completely different story.

     

    Chad Morris
    Yep! My first novel had a really fun premise, but I couldn’t quite make it work. I’d love to reinvent it sometime

     

    Do you have any shelved novels? Permanent or temporary?
     


  4. The downside of collaborations

    July 27, 2014 by Suzi

    The downside of collaborations… from a reader’s perspective.
     
    When two writers get together and write an amazing story, they forget about one thing.
     
    How difficult it is for us readers to get an autographed book. I mean, it’s hard enough getting an author’s signature, but two? It’s not like they usually live in the same city. Or even state.
     
    So a few years back I got a signed copy of My Heart for Yours (MYFY) from Steph Campbell. Her co-author was Jolene Perry. And my book felt so lonely sitting on the shelf with only one autograph. And then one day, the book got packed up into a suitcase, boarded an airplane, and landed in Salt Lake City. All to accompany me to the Storymakers Conference.
     
    MHFY was overjoyed when I, the lowly owner, presented the book to Jolene Perry and asked her if she could sign it. And she did, cause she’s cool like that. I mean, I didn’t even have to beg or anything. :)
     
    And now my book is happy.
     
    But then… while there, the generous Cassie Mae gave me a copy of her collabs with Theresa Paulo, King Sized Beds & Happy Trails and Beach Side Beds & Sandy Paths. And of course she signed them too.
     
    Now those two books are unhappy because they do not have Theresa’s autograph. And now I’m going to have to hunt down her down to get her to sign it because I don’t want those books to be unhappy.
     
    Unfortunately Theresa lives half a country away, but fortunately, she offered that if I ever came to New York, I could stay with her for a week or two. And she’s feed me and clothe me and show me all the sites of NYC. Right, Theresa?
     
    Um, Theresa?
     
    :)
     
    So I’m hoping I don’t have to wait too long before I can get her to sign it. But by then, they’ll have the third story out, Lonesome Beds & Bumpy Roads, and I’ll just bring that one along too. But then it won’t have Cassie Mae’s autograph and then I’ll have to go to Utah again. And they’ll probably write more books together.
     
    And this will never end. See, you collaborating authors, what problems you cause for us readers?
     
    I guess I should stop complaining because I actually have those autographs, huh?
     
    Do you have books that are collaborations, and you got it signed by one or both of the authors?


  5. The Big Reveal

    July 24, 2014 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?

     

     
    Crystal Collier
    I do both. I’ve read on the computer, kindle, and tablet. I prefer computer reading for editing, but for pleasure reading, it’s most comfortable to kick back with my kindle. Still, I LOVE the feel of paper. My reading is sometimes 50/50, and sometimes as high as 70/30 in favor of digital media.

     

    Jessica Sayler
    If you would have asked me this question a few years ago I would’ve been adamant that I would always love my paperback, but now that I’ve been using an e-reader I’ve found I love it. I have a Kindle and use it at home and I also have the Kindle app on my iPhone. I love the convenience of it. I always have a book with me and they sync to each other and keep my page. I love that I can read at night and not bother my husband cause it lights up just enough for me to read. I still do read some paperbacks, but for the most part I read everything on my phone or Kindle.

     
    Madeline Mora-Summonte
    I still prefer physical books but I do read ebooks occasionally, and I plan on reading more of them when I get my iPad mini. :)

     

    Rebecca Barrow
    Old fashioned book. I have read a couple of books on my iPad but I just can’t get into it. (I still buy actual albums instead of downloading, so maybe this is just a thing I have.)

     
    Chad Morris
    Both. In general, I prefer paper, but I love having books on my all on the time on my Kindle app. I also love audiobooks.

     

    Shelly Brown
    Paper books all the way but I read a lot on ereaders. They are more convenient for carrying in my purse so I have them on me all the time. I read on my phone on apps most of the time even though I own a kindle.

    Do you prefer ‘real’ books or e-books?
     


  6. The Big Reveal

    July 19, 2014 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 or editing?

     

    Shelly Brown
    Writing. I’m still trying to like editing.

     
    Crystal Collier
    Yes? Until about a year ago I really preferred editing, but this magic moment smacked me over the head and suddenly I understood the love of first drafts—probably because I adopted an in-depth outline and cut out much of the guess work. But editing? I could do that all day, every day.

     

    Jessica Sayler
    I prefer writing because I can let my imagination go crazy. I don’t have to worry so much about all the technical stuff, I can just have fun with my story.

     
    Madeline Mora-Summonte
    I don’t have a preference – I like them both for different reasons. Writing is wild and limitless, pure imagination and crazy creativity. Editing is taking all of that and taming it, pruning it, so it takes a shape that can be easily understood/read.

     

    Rebecca Barrow
    Editing. Drafting is really difficult for me—it takes me so much time and I have to force myself to spend the time doing it when I don’t want to. Editing is when I can finds ways to make the words say what I actually want them to, and seeing a story go from that first draft to a more polished product is always a great feeling.

     
    Chad Morris
    Writing. I love the creation of it. I don’t mind the initial rounds of editing because I can feel my work getting crisper, stronger, better. But after that, it gets harder and harder to go through my manuscripts.

    Do you like writing or editing better?
     


  7. Sidelined

    July 13, 2014 by Suzi

    I’ve got Kyra Lennon here today to talk about series writing. She is releasing the third book in her Game On Series and you must check them out.
     
    Welcome, Kyra and congratulations on your newest release. So I was wondering. Did you start writing the first, Game On, knowing it’d be a series?

     
    Nope, it was supposed to be one book, one story, but it got a little out of hand! One of my CPs suggested making it into a series shortly after the book was released, and early reviews told me that people were interested in the secondary characters as well as the main characters so I went with it – and here we are at Book 3!
     
    Are there any more planned?
     
    It will be a five book series. After that, no more lol!
     
    You have your novella, but have you written any other stand alone stories/novels?
     
    I have one standalone written, about a rock band, although there is potential for a companion novel. I also have two standalones half written, but I’m not really sure how they’re going to work out just yet. I will definitely be easing off on writing anymore book series for a while once Game On is finished!
     
    How did you pick which characters to do the stories about?
     
    Originally, the plan was for a four book series, focusing on Leah Walker (the MC from Game On) and her two best friends, Bree and Freya, with the final book going back to Leah. But Jesse Shaw was such a popular character in Game On, I decided it was worth giving him his own book. I have also had some suggestions that there should be a book dedicated to the Westberg Warriors beefcake, Bryce Warren, but I think adding any more books to the mix at this point would be a mistake.
     
    Bryce gets a lot of page time in the last two books, so I think people will be satisfied.

     
    Since your series has different main characters, how to do you keep track of all their personality traits and such. Are you organized with it all in a notebook(s)? Or on the computer?

     
    Haha, I am not organised at all! I think I do have anotebook around somewhere that has very, very basic notes in, but for the most part, the information lives inside my head, and just stays there until I’m ready to let it out!

     
    Thanks so much for interviewing me, Suzi! This was fun!

     
    Thanks for sharing with us, Kyra.
     

    At the age of twenty-one, Bree Collinson has more than she ever dreamed of. A handsome husband, a fancy house, and more shoes than Carrie Bradshaw and Imelda Marcos combined. But having everything handed to her isn’t the way Bree wants to live the rest of her life.

    When an idea to better herself pops into her head, she doesn’t expect her husband to question her, and keep her tied by her apron strings to the kitchen.

    Isolated and unsure who to turn to, Bree finds herself falling back into a dangerous friendship, and developing feelings for the only person who really listens to her. Torn between her loyalty to her husband and her attraction to a man who has the perfect family she always wanted, she has some tough choices to make.

    While Bree tries to figure out what she wants, a tragedy rocks the Westberg Warriors, triggering some dark memories, and pushing her to take a look at what’s really important.

    About the Author:

    Kyra is a self-confessed book-a-holic, and has been since she first learned to read. When she’s not reading, you’ll usually find her hanging out in coffee shops with her trusty laptop and/or her friends, or girling it up at the nearest shopping mall.

    Kyra grew up on the South Coast of England and refuses to move away from the seaside which provides massive inspiration for her novels.
    Her debut novel, Game On (New Adult Contemporary Romance), was released in July 2012, and she scored her first Amazon Top 20 listing with her New Adult novella, If I Let You Go.

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Category Books | Tags: , , | 9 Comments


  • The Big Reveal

    July 10, 2014 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?

     

     
    Chad Morris
    I like the imaginary stuff. Two of my recent reads had very intriguing settings: Coraline by Neil Gaiman, and I broke out of my genre and read Steelheart, by Brandon Sanderson. Of course, I pretty much love Cragbridge Hall. I usually only prefer real settings, when the story is true.

     

    Shelly Brown
    I’m a little bit obsessed with fictional settings in my writing. As a child I struggled with contemporary novels and that probably sways my feelings. Except for Nancy Drew. I could read those all day long. Nowadays I can read either just fine.
    As far as a book with a fabulous setting there’s always Harry Potter. Setting was a HUGE character in those books. From bright fragrant candy shops to dank, snake-infested basements. From velvet-draped castle dorm rooms to the wind-whipped Quittich field. I could go on and on but it is clear that J.K. Rowling went through some trouble to make her locations memorable.

     
    Crystal Collier
    I love ANYTHING that takes me away. A time period, a foreign country, a new culture? I’m a sucker—as long as it doesn’t make me cry. I mostly read YA to stay up with my genre, branching occasionally into romance and thriller.

     

    Jessica Sayler
    I like to write both. With imaginary you can make up anything you want and anything goes, but with real you already know what’s there so that can be nice too. I also like to read both. Kelley Lynn’s Fraction series has beautiful imagery. It’s fantasy so the world she builds is fabulous and she does an amazing job of putting you right there with the characters.

     
    Madeline Mora-Summonte
    Most of my work takes place in “the real world” but I usually create the setting – making up the name of the town, etc. In my reading, I love when the setting is so strong it becomes a character in its own right, but I also enjoy when the setting is so recognizable that it fades into the background and I can focus on the story itself.

     

    Rebecca Barrow
    I would say that I do a mix of the two—I write contemporary, so my stories are set in the real world, but I often make up the actual towns or cities that I set them in. I find it easier that way, because no-one will be able to tell me that I got a specific detail of somewhere wrong. I mostly read contemp so I’m usually reading real settings, but a really good fantasy world will draw me in too. One of my absolute favourite worlds is Lyra’s Oxford in NORTHERN LIGHTS (and all the other worlds that appear in the rest of the series, too).

    Do you prefer writing with real or imaginary settings?
     

    Category The Big Reveal | Tags: , , | 3 Comments


  • The Lucky Seven

    July 6, 2014 by Suzi

    Thank you to Rachel Schieffelbein for tagging me for the Lucky Seven. What you do is turn to page 7 or 77 of your current work in progress, count down to the 7th line, and print the next 7 lines.
     
    The WIP I’m revising right now is called Varying Degrees of Blame. A contemporary young adult in dual POV. It’s about two foster kids, an unrelated boy and girl who are thrown together in the same foster family.
     
    The part you’re seeing is 16 year-old Kylie, right after Kylie witnesses her mother getting beaten by her boyfriend.
     

    “You okay?” I asked, crouching down in front of her. Most people thought we were sisters because she was so young, and I hated explaining the truth.


    “Kylie honey,” she croaked, “can you get me a glass of ice water please?”


    “Sure.” I grabbed the water pitcher and an ice tray from the harvest gold fridge.


    Mom held the sweating glass to a dark bump. “Do you want an ice pack?” I asked. She shook her head and removed the glass from her forehead. I reached over to touch the ugly bruise, and she shrunk back. “Maybe I can drive you to the hospital.”

     
    This story is finished, but right now I’m using my fantastic CPs’ critiques to make it even better. And hopefully I’ll be able to start querying by fall sometime.
     
    Thanks, Rachel. And go here to see her posting from her contemporary young adult, Girl In Trouble.

    Category Memes | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments


  • Looking back

    June 29, 2014 by Suzi

     
    So I’ve been working on revisions for my current WIP, Varying Degrees of Blame, a young adult contemporary novel. I have a notebook for each story I write where I keep notes and ideas. I’m not a big plotter, but I do a little of it. Or character sketches. Or whatever.
     
    On the first page of the notebook for my current story are two names. Zander and Kylie. Originally, Zander had been my boy mc, and some of my beginning notes use that name. I don’t remember why, but I ended up using Christian instead. And now when I look back, I’m like, Zander—that is so totally not right. It doesn’t seem to fit him at all.
     
    Which is funny because I can’t really tell you what Zander looks like. It’s just not the boy in my story.
     
    Most of the time, once I’ve chosen a name for my mc, I stick with it. Secondary characters names may change, but rarely a main one. And I wish I could remember why I changed Zander’s name to Christian.
     
    But now I’m curious if others do this. Have you ever gone back into your old notes and seen where you’ve changed the name of your mc, and does that original name just seem foreign now? So much that you wonder what you were thinking almost using that name?
     
    Or is it just me?

    Category Writing | Tags: , , , | 5 Comments


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