July 28, 2014

Goodbye To You Book Blast & Giveaway

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Bars, Beaches, & Boys Who Stay: My Playlist for Goodbye To You


Give me music or give me death.

That’s how the old saying goes, right? No? Oh, well, for my writing time, this variation works for me. Some people need silence or white noise. I needs mah tunes. If I have an idea, I have a playlist started.

My playlists are comprised of a mix of old and new songs, popular ones and deep cuts from albums long forgotten by the general population. They may be songs that my characters listen to, or songs that remind me of the characters or set a mood for a scene. The full playlist for GOODBYE TO YOU clocks in at three hours and thirty minutes. It’s fifty-six songs of fun and flirting and heartbreak and triumph. While I’d love to list each song, and explain why I chose it, that would make for one unwieldy post. So let’s take a look at fifteen representative tracks, and then you can listen for yourself.

July 21, 2014

10 Blog Post Ideas

I came across a post on the Positive Writer about the "best" blog post ideas, and I've decided to start with the first: "steal 'em." Of course, what we really mean is "use them while giving credit where credit is due," so the infographic below includes a link to the original post.

I also love the idea of the final suggestion: answering readers' questions. I've written posts answering questions in the past, and I find them to be some of my best. So now I'm asking, what would you like to read about? What questions do you have about the publishing process, the world of an author, or really anything that relates to writing? Ask in the comments!

Courtesy of Bryan Hutchinson of the Positive Writer

July 18, 2014

A Flashy Friday

Difficult as it is to believe, the day has arrived when the fate of entries Flash! Friday rests in my hands.  This week marks my first time judging, which is rather intimidating, but we'll see what happens! I hope to read some amazing stories (so submit yours here!), though I make no guarantees as to my judging abilities..

In other news, my brand new short story (not flash in this case) will be part of Wyrd Romance's I <3 Geeks anthology, scheduled to release next March! The anthology will bring together contemporary romance stories, up to 20,000 words, focusing on love blossoming between nerds / geeks of any kinds. There are almost two months left to submit, which is plenty of time. Just remember, if I can do it, you definitely can. 

And as if that wasn't enough, July 13th a story idea caught me so adamantly that I wrote the first words that very night. Though this story is entirely out of my element, in setting, style, and even perspective — it demands to be written in 1st person present, which I never thought I would do — it has become my current WIP. So, last-minute or really late as this is, I decided to attempt this month's Camp NaNoWriMo, though of course with a modified word count goal. 


How's your summer shaping up?

July 14, 2014

Gag Orders in Publishing: What We're Not Allowed to Say

Believe it or not, despite the wealth of articles, blog posts, inside scoops, and the like, there are many things those of us in publishing aren't allowed to discuss in detail or disclose at all.  Contract details and internal documents or strategies, for instance, are kept under wraps, especially in traditional publishing, but that is true for any business, and pretty much any job.

Regardless of the route an author takes, however, we as a group are repeatedly, vehemently warned against discussing any topic* that can be seen as polarizing or political.
*Unless a book is specifically about a polarizing topic, and then that one topic is considered acceptable for that one author. 
It is as though our convictions are expected to disappear unless they further our publicity attempts. For those who may not be aware, this is because we are desperately afraid of alienating readers.

This makes a certain kind of sense, on the surface. We as authors are our own business. We are not just the manufacturing department (writing), or the quality assurance department (editing), or the marketing department. We are also the public face of our company, the president and CEO, and readers, like other consumers, may want to "vote" with their dollars.  When Nabisco came out in support of the gay community with their rainbow Oreo image, there was enormous backlash from those who disagreed. When Chick-Fil-A's COO came out against gay marriage, many vowed never to purchase their product again. Understandably, authors whose books have nothing to do with political or polarizing issues would want to avoid that kind of backlash. We have a difficult enough time selling books!

Should that mean, though, that we no longer stand for anything other than our books? 

July 8, 2014

Dog Days of Summer Contest

I'm not quite sure how my posting schedule got pushed to Tuesdays, but as Rebekah kept all of the information about this contest tightly under wraps until today, I simply couldn't post any earlier. Next week should see a return to Mondays.

But what you really want to know about is the Dog Days of Summer contest!  This is a special flash fiction contest, spanning multiple weeks, with genuine cash prizes! The details:

  • Deadline: July 22, 11:59PM Eastern Time
  • Word Count: 800-1000, exclusive of title and byline
  • How: Post your entry, based on the photo prompt below, in the comments at the link above. Make sure to follow the content guidelines.
  • Inspiration: Tom Sawyer, (childhood summer mischief: “real” or imagined)
  • Judging: Rebekah will choose the top 10, and then voting will commence on July 24th for the top 3
  • Prizes: Amazon giftcard or Paypal — $25 for 1st place, $15 for 2nd, $10 for 3rd
And of course, the prompt: 


Good luck, and I hope to see your stories among the submissions! 
(Or not, since then I'll have a better chance of making the top 10, hehe.)

July 4, 2014

Friday without the Flash

Well, it's official! The third-quarter of Flash! Friday has begun, placing me on the judges' panel and of course making any stories I may write ineligible. All hope is not lost, however, as I am sure to write some stories despite their lack of eligibility, and there is also the "Dog Day" contest coming up next Tuesday.

If you're really jonesing for a story, check out Day By Day, posted earlier this week on Flash Fiction Magazine!

I'm am also considering compiling some flash stories into a collection, and I'd love to get any thoughts on that idea. I would likely include previous Flash! Friday contest submissions, as well as some new stories.

And of course, not to be ignored, hope all of you in the USA are having an absolutely delicious and fun-filled day commemorating our country's independence!  


July 1, 2014