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Posts Tagged ‘About Me’

  1. School rivalries

    October 12, 2014 by Suzi

    This last week two of my friends released their first collaboration together. Cassie Mae and Jessica Salyer. Secret Catch is a fun ya contemporary about a school rivalry and a girl and boy caught in between it.
     
    The boy is a football player and the girl goes to his rival school, and has a cousin who is very hateful towards anybody from the boy’s school. You’ll love both Tyler and Sam. They have a terrific chemistry and I’m sure you’ll be rooting for them being together like I did.
     
    Their whole story got me thinking about school rivalry things. I grew up in a town with two high schools. I didn’t know hardly anyone from the other school, and I wasn’t an athlete. Whenever we played them in hockey, football or basketball, the games were always big, but the rivalry was more in fun.
     
    Whereas in Secret Catch, the rivalry is serious stuff.
     

    In our town, we had three junior high schools. Two of the junior highs were funneled straight to each of the high schools. But the third school got split. Half went to one high school and half went to the other. So maybe that made a difference too because some athletes played against kids who had once been their teammates a few years before.
     

    Since I wasn’t an athlete, I have a different perspective, but I’m curious for those who were athletes. Does it make those rivalries seem more intense when you have a personal stake in that game? You’re involved, whereas I was just a spectator.
     
    Or maybe school rivalries weren’t as important to me because I’m not a super competitive person. That’s entirely possible too.
     
    And maybe there were so kids who were super serious about the rivalry, and I just didn’t know it.

     
    So I’m curious how it was for you. Were you an athlete in high school? Did you have any intense high school rivalries? Have you read Secret Catch?
     

    If you haven’t, go here to find it on Amazon.
     

    Secret Catch by Jessica Salyer and Cassie Mae
     
    Tyler Koontz is Trojan gold all the way. There’s nowhere he loves to be more than on the football field.
     

    Sam Nolan is Skyhawk red born and raised. With her mom’s depression problem and her dad’s recent death, she lives for her little brother who is a big football fanatic.
     

    There’s one rule in this town…
     

    Trojans and Skyhawks don’t date. EVER.
     

    So when Tyler and Sam fall fast and hard for each other, what are they to do? Keep it a secret of course.
     

    The problem is in a town this small, secrets don’t stay secret for long.


  2. Awknowledge this…

    September 28, 2014 by Suzi

     
    I just picked up a new book from the library, and I did what I usually do: Skim the first page and then turn to the acknowledgements. I like to see if an agent is listed, especially when it’s a writer in the same genre/category as me. And it’s interesting to see how some write their acknowledgements. Fun, with voice. Boring. Long. Short.
     
    The book I got is we were liars by e. lockhart. And no, that’s not my mistake. Neither the title nor her name is capitalized on the cover. For anybody that doesn’t know, e. lockhart is a successful (mostly) contemporary YA writer. I’ve read a few of her books and have heard a lot good about this one.
     
    So anyway, I was reading the acknowledgements and I’m like whoa. Holy name dropping. She sends thank yous to other successful writers including: Justine Larbalestier, Lauren Myracle, Scott Westerfield, Sara Zarr, Libba Bray, Gayle Forman and many many more. (Those were the ones I’m most familiar with.)
     
    And it got me thinking. Were most of these authors ones she met after becomming a well known writer? Or were some of them (I’ll assume not all, of course) her CPs that have been there during a lot of her publishing journey.
     
    It makes me wonder too if a lot of these authors who make the bestsellers list associate together. If they’re friend, or if they just have professional working relationships.
     
    Maybe in ten years, somebody will read my acknowledgement page and say, wow—she knows all those awesome writers? And I’ll be able to say, yeah—I’ve known them for years because they were my friends when I started out. They helped me become the writer I am today. (And well, maybe I helped them too. :) )
     
    Wouldn’t that be cool? (No need to answer, of course it would.)
     
    Do you usually read the acknowledgements page before starting a book?


  3. 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?


  4. 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?


  5. My Writing Process

    April 20, 2014 by Suzi

    I’m sure you’ve been seeing all the other writers doing The Writing Process blog post lately, and I was nominated by my friend Chloe Banks, who did her post last week. So now you will know all about my writing process.
     
    What I’m working on: I have so many manuscripts that need work. I did a lot of writing before I knew how to do it. So these manuscripts will need a ton of work, and eventually I’ll get to them. But right now I’m working on a contemporary YA about two foster kids. I just gave it to two more betas and hope to start querying maybe by summer time.
     
    How my work differs from others in its genre: I usually go for stories that are about the struggles of teens, whether it’s by their doing or someone else’s. A lot of time in these kinds of stories, the parents are not ‘good’ parents—which of course leads to those problems, or they’re blind to what’s going on with their teens. With my current story and some others, even though I have those bad parents, I also have ‘good’ parents who have a big impact on the main character’s life.
     

    Why I write what I do: I just love to see how my characters grow. Their struggles are real, and they often make bad choices at the beginning, but usually… by the end, the new choices change their lives in a positive way.

     
    How my writing works: I’m more of a pantser. I start off with a basic premise and write. More often now, I start thinking about character traits at the beginning, but I don’t necessarily have it all plotted out. Sometimes I’ll have the turning points, but other times I don’t know until after I start writing. Sometimes I won’t have the ending planned out yet.
     
    It’s different for all the stories, and since I write fast, I end up spending 10x the amount of time editing.
     
    So that’s about it. How about you?


  6. Morning or Night?

    February 23, 2014 by Suzi

    I recently read a post by a friend who admitted she was an insomniac. Since she was talking about getting her novel finished, I assumed she was saying she did a lot of writing at night. And this got me thinking about myself and others.

    Image courtesy of Gualberto107 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


    I’ve seen some people say they write better in the early morning, and others in the evening.
     
    I’ve done both. Written at 6:00 am and stayed up until 2:00 am.
     
    For me, it doesn’t really matter the time of day. What matters more is that it’s uninterrupted time AND if the story is flowing well out of my head. That may be in the early morning, afternoon, or later at night.
     
    So I’m curious how it is for others. If they write better a certain time of day, or if they’re more like me where the time doesn’t matter.
     
    (I apologize if there are a lot of mistakes in this post, because although I really like getting my sleep at night, right now I am wide awake and it’s 5:00 am.)


  7. That’s so cool

    February 17, 2014 by Suzi

    So last week was the release day for a fun new book by two of my friends. Theresa Paolo (writing as Tessa Marie) and Cassie Mae (writing as Becca Ann). I love both of the ladies and even got to meet them for real—not just online!
     
    And I also get to read lots of their stories. Ones that have been published and ones that will be published.
     
    Their first collaboration—King Sized Beds and Happy Trails (that title alone has to peak your interest, and you can read the story blurb below) got me thinking about how lucky I am.
     
    I started this blog in September 2011, and I’ll admit it was kind of lame. (Blogging definitely has a learning curve.) I’d read in other blogs about writers who had these great critique partners and lots of writer friends.
     
    But I had none. And I was kinda jealous of that. But it’s not like I was going to run out there and say, will you be my friend? (Even if that would’ve worked, I probably wouldn’t have done it.)
     
    Then I met this writer in early winter 2011 and we beta’ed each other’s stories. Then I met more writers. And I met Cassie Mae at the beginning of 2012. Then Theresa a few months later. And then they let me start reading their work.
     
    Now a few years later, I know a ton of writers. Some who are like me and haven’t been published yet. But so many more who have published with traditional houses (or are on their way there.) And many who’ve successfully self-published.
     
    It’s so cool to know all these awesome authors. They’ve helped me grow as a writer, and I get to read all these terrific stories, like King Sized Beds and Happy Trails. And eventually, when I am published, I’ll have some terrific resources who’ll help me get through the whole process. :)
     
    So I hope you all have those supportive writer friends too. And if you don’t yet, have patience because it doesn’t happen overnight.
     
    King Sized Beds and Happy Trails by Becca Ann and Tessa Marie
     
    Lexie Boggs needs out of her house… away from her alcoholic mother and far away from the “white trash” label that’s been smacked across her chest. She’s saved every penny from her multiple jobs so she can dart out of there as soon as she graduates. But there’s something else she wants so badly she’s willing to spend every dime she has. Her senior class trip and the chance to seduce the senior hottie, Sean Dixon.
     

    Ryan Parker knows how much college means to his best friend, Lexie. He also knows Sean is a player on a search for how many girls he can get in his bed. So instead of letting Lexie drain out her piggy bank, he forks out the dough to get her on the senior ski trip. Not only because she’s his best friend, but because he’s face-planted in love with her.

     
    When Ryan and Lexie get jammed in the same cabin, with one king-sized bed and a whole lot of history, Ryan fights to keep his feelings hidden, while Lexie discovers some of hers


  8. Xanadu anyone?

    February 9, 2014 by Suzi

    You know what’s coming up? The A to Z Blogging Challenge. And yes, it’s not until April, but I need to plan. No way can I pull it together last minute. Too much stress.

    Boy, isn’t this pretty. I love the color.

     
    I’ve actually known for a while what I’m doing. It has to do with music, and it’ll take a lot of pre-planning, but luckily, I got the idea a long time ago—like not long after last year’s challenge. So I’ve gathered lots of songs. Had to keep a notebook in the car, cause I’d hear one on the radio and go, ahh, that’s perfect for A to Z.
     
    But now I was thinking, maybe I should so something different. Not totally different. Just the way I organize it. Originally, the theme was going to be “Songs that…” then the letter will be whatever. Like songs that remind me of high school, or songs that I wanted for my wedding, etc.
     
    The problem is I have to get very liberal with matching the theme to the letter. Like Q is a toughie. And so I came up: Songs that never quit, but I still love. (i.e. long songs) So obviously, the Q is quit, but it’s buried halfway into the line. Or Songs that make me tear up—for the letter T.
     
    They’re not all like that, but there’s a few.
     
    I’ve got a good list of songs, but I want to re-think this. Will maybe have to play with that list. See if I can use the band’s names or the titles of songs instead.
     
    So for instance, I have 3 songs that make me cry. If one of the titles starts with a G, then use that. And then I can say, this song makes me cry, and here’s two others (that don’t start with G).
     
    Or I can do the same thing with the band name. G is for Guns and Roses, and they have a song that was a remake, and I like the original better. Then have 2 other songs that are remakes.
     
    So I don’t know what to do. I need to work with my song list and see what works best I guess.
     
    Oh wow. I was just thinking how it might be hard to find a song for X. But seriously, one popped in my head right then. Maybe that’s a sign I should go with the first idea. Just in case you’re wondering, the song is Xanadu—and we had it on a record when I was a kid. I can still hear the tune in my head.
     
    Anyway, I guess I have some work to do.
     
    Anyone else doing A to Z this year?
     
    And does anyone else remember Xanadu? (If you weren’t a child of the late 70s and early 80s, you probably wouldn’t.) It’s a great song, especially if you’re an Olivia Newton John fan.


  9. What not to do when having a blog tour

    January 26, 2014 by Suzi

    Just recently I was reading a post by a Kyra Lennon: Blog Tours and Cover Reveals—Are They Still Effective? And I’d already started writing the draft to this post, so I thought I’d do a post today on MY suggestions for what and what not to do on your blog tour.
     
    I’ve followed along blog tours for friends’ books. I do that because they have fun and original posts at each blog. If it was just a blurb/cover reveal, I wouldn’t do that. So for blog tours, these things discourage me from following along.
     
    Some of these suggestions you might think, oh quit being so lazy, but most bloggers know how hard it is to keep up with all the blogs we like to read. So if it takes a lot of work to get to that post, I’m less likely to do it.
     
    Disclaimer: This post is based off my observations as a blog reader. I have no marketing experience, so some of my points might go against what a professional would say, but this is my opinion on what I like and don’t like when I see blog tours.
     
    1. Don’t have the same posts at several stops of your blog tour. If I keep seeing this, I won’t follow your tour. You should have something new at each site. This affects the host blogger too, because if I read your full post, I’m more likely to stick around and check out the host’s site, rather than leave right away.
     
    2. Give the host links in the post that work. Don’t put the whole web address out there, http://website.comebuymybook.com. It looks like crap, especially when there’s a bunch of sites listed, Amazon, GR, B&N… And you can’t click on them because it’s not a link.
     
    3. Have your guest post/whatever first. (I’d maybe make an exception for reviews, because people who are seeing your book the first time probably need that info before the review.) Don’t make us wade through the whole blurb and author info thing. If that stuff is upfront, I’m more likely to skim, especially the author info, then when I get down to the meat of the post, I’m still in skimming mode—which means I’m more likely to skim through the post. (Anybody disagree with this one?)
     
    4. Check the blog you’ll be on (before you ask them to host a stop) and make sure we won’t have to click tabs to find the post. So what I mean by this is when the author has on her blog a link to a host site. And you go to that host site, but it’s not there on the home page. You need to go to their tabs at the top and click on one, maybe the reviews tab, and see if it’s there. If a post is too hard to find, I’m likely not to look for it.
     
    5. This might be a tough one if you want to be on a specific blog, but don’t have a stop on a blog that has 3-4 postings per day, which is usually a blog devoted to only reviews and book information. I’ve often clicked on a blog and then have to wade down 3-4 posts to get to the one I’m looking for, and I’m more likely to leave then do all the scrolling.
     
    6. When you have the links to the host site posted on your blog, have the link go to the post page, not their home page. This coincides with the above suggestion. Of course, you can’t do this right away because that host has not posted yet. But once that host posts, you should go in and update the link on YOUR site. If I go to the author’s site and see a bunch of tour stops I’ve missed, and if I then click on the link to go to the host site and have to scroll through five of their other posts to get down to yours, I’m likely not to do it. (Sorry for the super long sentence there.)
     
    7. Use blogs that are in the same genre/category of your story. If you have a YA novel, don’t go to a site where the reader has to click on the I-understand-this-is-an-adult-blog-and-wish-to-continue button. If you’re contemporary, don’t go to a high fantasy website. Maybe some would say that exposure to people who are not your audience is better than no exposure, but if you want the best bang for your buck, I would stick to your genre.
     
    8. Your own blog should not be a stop on the blog tour. To me a tour is visiting other places. Sure you’ll have stuff on your own blog, maybe directing others to the host blogs, but don’t have a link that brings you to a post on your own blog.
     
    9. On your blog, have the links to the blog tour prominently displayed. If I have to scroll down through a ton of your other posts to get to the one with your blog tour schedule, I’m less likely to do that.
     
    So does anybody else have suggestions for blog tours? Or do you disagree with any I’ve listed?


  10. What do you do?

    January 19, 2014 by Suzi

    I have a bad habit of waiting until the last minute to write my blog posts. I’ve got several ideas that I haven’t written up yet, and I really should be doing those, but something else seems to come up. And it’s usually Saturday when I write my post, or sometimes even Sunday, the day I post.
     
    What I need to do is sit down and write up a bunch and have them ready.
     

    Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

    Most of the time I don’t really know what I’ll post until the week of. If it’s a friend’s book/cover reveal, then I know ahead of time about that, but usually I just write whatever I feel like. A lot of the time, it’s a last minute idea.
     
    Like this one. :)
     
    So I’m curious about what other bloggers do when preparing blog posts. Do you procrastinate and get it up last minute? Or do you get them scheduled ahead of time?
     
    Also, do you have a lot of post ideas waiting to be written or do you just pull them out of the air last minute?
     
    So really, what I’m asking is if you’re really organized or more like me?