Monday, February 27, 2012

Posie & Mosey Monday

On Mondays, I share word posies with my readers. Comments are disabled so you can enjoy this gift of poetry then mosey on along to your list of daily do's.*

*Hungry for more in-depth Monday posts? Visit any of the entertaining and insightful blogs on my sidebar.
~Willa Cather (1873-1947)

THROUGH halls of vanished pleasure,
And hold of vanished power,
And crypt of faith forgotten,
A came to Ludlow tower.
A-top of arch and stairway,
Of crypt and donjan cell,
Of council hall, and chamber,
Of wall, and ditch, and well,
High over grated turrets
Where clinging ivies run,
A thousand scarlet poppies
Enticed the rising sun,
Upon the topmost turret,
With death and damp below,--
Three hundred years of spoilage,--
The crimson poppies grow.
This hall it was that bred him,
These hills that knew him brave,
The gentlest English singer
That fills an English grave.
How have they heart to blossom
So cruel and gay and red,
When beauty so hath perished
And valour so hath sped?
When knights so fair are rotten,
And captains true asleep,
And singing lips are dust-stopped
Six English earth-feet deep?
When ages old remind me
How much hath gone for naught,
What wretched ghost remaineth
Of all that flesh hath wrought;
Of love and song and warring,
Of adventure and play,
Of art and comely building,
Of faith and form and fray--
I'll mind the flowers of pleasure,
Of short-lived youth and sleep,
That drunk the sunny weather
A-top of Ludlow keep.

Reprinted from April Twilights. Willa Cather. Boston: The Gorham Press, 1903.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A Peek at my Editing Timeline, and a Mega Giveaway of EPIC Proportions!!!

Sorry I've been MIA in the blogasphere and twitter for awhile.

Here's why:

Ever since my publisher bumped up my launch from Spring 2013 to Fall 2012, it’s been pretty much non-stop editing with only 2 - 4 weeks between stints. Want a peek at my schedule over the past few months?

11/1/2011 - Received Content Edit letter w/ six week deadline
12/12/2011 - Turned in content edits
12/23/2011 - Received Line Edits w/ two week deadline
1/5/2012 - Turned in line edits
2/8/2012 - Received Copyedits w/ two week deadline
2/21/2012 - Turned in copyedits

For the record, during those in between stints, I was either holidaying w/friends and family, doing the mommy/wife gig, or writing out three book proposals for my editor to choose from for book 2 of my contract .

FYI, once I finally get done w/all the edits and hit the printing presses, I plan to have a post about the evolution of a MS, from the publisher's offer being accepted to the making of a real book, complete with my own personal timeline and a more in-depth description of the editing phases (I might even include visual aids...hee). So be watching for it!

Now, onto the contest part of today's post: There's an amazing giveaway including signed ARCs, books, and tons of swag up for grabs, taking place over at YA Books Central!

Our own authors over at ADR3NALIN3 donated this EPIC prize package to the giveaway...

The ADR3 pack includes:

 - Jordan Dane: ON A DARK WING autographed paperback and a snack pack inspired by her main character.

- Ilsa J. Bick: DROWNING INSTINCT and ASHES autographed hardbacks

- Wendy Corsi Staub: LILY DALE: AWAKENING autographed hardback

- Jennifer Archer: THROUGH HER EYES authographed hardback

- Chris Grabenstein: CURIOSITY CAT autographed paperback and assorted bookmarks

- Dan Haring: OLDSOUL autographed ARC

- Carol M. Tanzman: DANCERGIRL autographed paperback

- Brett Battles: HERE COMES MR. TROUBLE autographed paperback

- A.G. Howard: A creepy Alice in Wonderland themed journal, ribbon bookmark, and a signed bookplate, in homage to SPLINTERED, her upcoming YA Alice in Wonderland spinoff

For a shot at winning this pack -- OR t-shirts, lanyards, temporary tattoos, SIGNED books, SIGNED bookmarks and bookplates, magnets, felt coffee sleeves, shuriken hair clips, a USB flash drive, bracelets, pens, notepads, keychains, and more -- hop over to YA Books Central and get the deets!

Good luck! Thanks for stopping by, and see you next week. :)

Monday, February 20, 2012

Posie & Mosey Monday

On Mondays, I share word posies with my readers. Comments are disabled so you can enjoy this gift of poetry then mosey on along to your list of daily do's.*

*Hungry for more in-depth Monday posts? Visit any of the entertaining and insightful blogs on my sidebar.

~Isabella Holt

HE is gone with his blue eyes,
Whom I love most,--
Gone among the cliffs and fog
On a far coast,--
He who scatters wit and pride
From his keen tongue,
He who finds himself so deep
And is so young;--
He whose joy is in sweet words
And kindliness,--
Whom old men love, and little boys
No whit the less. . . .
Rooms are silent that were glad
Seven days ago.
I can feel across my heart
The great tides flow.
Love, the blind importunate,
Craves touch and sight;
Briefly parting, feels and fears
Eternal night.
Fear is sweeping on the wind
Like acrid foam.
I have said farewell to peace
Till he comes home.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Speed Dating ... Lit Style.

Today I'm posting about how characterization is like speed dating over at ADR3NALIN3. I actually cheated a little and used a prior post from this blog (just polished it up a bit). If you're curious which post it was, hope over and have a look-see.

I also want to give a shout out to my pal David Kazzie, who did an interview here a while back about going Indie with his book Jackpot, even though he has an agent. It really paid off for him because his book took off recently -- going from dead to the Top 100 and actually getting to #34 in the Paid store overall last week.

Want to know his secret to success? Hop over to this post and find out how he did it..

Have a great rest of the week, and hope to see you next week for a few writing tips and some Splintered updates!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Posie & Mosey Mondays

On Mondays, I share word posies with my readers. Comments are disabled so you can enjoy this gift of poetry then mosey on along to your list of daily do's.*

*Hungry for more in-depth Monday posts? Visit any of the entertaining and insightful blogs on my sidebar.

A Song
~Leon Gellert (1892 - 1977)

The night has come, I feel the desert dew,
I lie in Africa's sands
And breath the night, for night like these are few
In other lands;
But where are you?

May sleep come soon. I see old shadows creep
Along the sleep stream,
The darkness 'mid the talking palms is deep.
I can but dream
Are you asleep?

Friday, February 3, 2012

Query Trackers Making Tracks, #16

Today is installment number sixteen of my "First Friday of the Month" series on successful authors from QueryTracker. Some of my guests have agents, others have found success in less conventional ways. But one thing they all have in common is the utilization of the QueryTracker website to help make their tracks in the publishing world.

I met today’s guest,
Darke Counteur, through QT and blogging, and she's every bit as intriguing as her lovely name. I've been watching her career with interest as she's ventured out into the Indie waters. E-readers have opened up a whole new world for authors. In fact, self-publishing writers are being coined by some as the new mid-list authors. So it's a great time to be an Indie author, and a great time to get some insights from someone on the inside!

Welcome Darke. Let's get the interview started...

AGH: What gave you the idea for your first book?

DC: To be honest, most of my stories start off as fanfics. I see something on television or at the movies and I think- "Hey, what if this happened or that happened?", then I spend a huge amount of time trying to make it NOT read like a fanfic. Sometimes I merge two or more ideas into one novel. THE WATCHTOWER and the other books that will come after, are a combination of the television shows ANGEL and SUPERNATURAL. I have a scifi series that is a combination of XMEN and STAR WARS, but that won't be out for a while. 

AGH: How do you come up with titles? 

DC: I'm not sure, they just come to me. I try to make them reflect the content of the book as much as possible, to give the reader a good idea of what they can expect from the story. Sometimes the working title ends up being what I use.

AGH: Did you try to query conventionally before you went Indie?

DC: Oh yes, but I soon realized that what I was writing was not what the agents were looking for. I don't write YA, or romance, or even high fantasy. So many paranormal and urban fantasy novels that I've read have young characters with older ones more for background noise or a place to get needed information. Characters in my novels are over the age of 25, and a few have children. Maybe because I'm older is the reason my characters are too. I just find them more interesting to write about. They have more life experience than younger characters, more fodder for the stories. 

AGH: How long did you query and what were your stats?

DC: I used Query Tracker and found a good list of agents that rep'ed fantasy and/or urban fantasy. I queried for about four months (March to June), sending out three to four queries per day from Monday to Friday. I think I sent out around 60 or so query letters, and out of that, less than half replied. I got one partial.

The biggest drawback for me was that I don't write YA. When you see that an agent reps fantasy, that's what they want. The replies I did get back said it was good, but not right for them. We all know what that means.    

AGH: How many books do you now have available to the reading public?

DC: I have two, THE WATCHTOWER and my newest book UNDER THE COVER OF WICCA, which is the second book in the series. I want to release two more books this year, one in summer and another in late fall/winter.

AGH: Are you doing anything special to promote yourself online or otherwise?

DC: I started a pretend 'website' – The Paranormal Pit-Stop located on my Wordpress blog. The idea is, that the paranormal world has the internet as well (the Ethereal-net), and every now and then the administrator is allowed to 'cross over' and be a guest in the human world. So far, I only have blog interviews with characters from my book, but I would like to add other authors, so if you're a writer of paranormal and would like me to interview you, drop me a line!

Like other writers, I'm on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and I have a blog. I also have a newsletter. I use it to send out excerpt and coupons, but that's about the extent of it. I've only sent out a few, just because I don't want to spam people. I hate that crap too.    

AGH: How did you find QueryTracker, and how did it help you in your effort to get inside the publishing doors?

DC: I found Query Tracker through friends. It has to be one of the best tools I've seen for keeping track of who you've queried. It keeps you organized in a meticulous way, and that's a good habit to get into if you're going to do this on your own.

AGH: What advice on the business side of publishing would you give to up and coming writers … something you wish you’d known when you first started?

DC: I consider myself lucky and learned from other's mistakes. One thing I did learn the hard way, don't skimp when it comes to editing. Especially proofing. I would have saved myself a lot of time, energy and money had I used a proof editor on my first book. Finding typo's is normal, but too many can really hurt your reputation in the eyes of the reader. You only get one chance to make a good impression, people may argue with me on that, but if a reader sees a book full of errors--even small ones, they're remember and may not purchase any other books by that author.

AGH: Do you have any current news to announce?  

DC: Only that my new novel, UNDER THE COVER OF WICCA is now online! I'm hoping to have the third book, OF COVENS AND PACKS online by summer 2012.

***Five for fun***

1) How many hats do you have in your home?

I'm Canadian. We don't have hats, we have toques. :P

2) Are you Team Dog or Team Cat?

Right now, Team Cat, but I'd love to get another dog, just to keep CatPack on their toes.

3) What video games do you play?

Right now, Sithboy (my son) and I are right into the Zombie game on Modern Warfare 2, but other than that, I'm a massive Sims 3 fan. I even download game content from the website. I can't get enough new clothing for my Sims!  

4) When would you go to if you had a time machine, and why?

I would travel back to ancient Greece and watch Vesuvius erupt. That, or Krakatoa or Mount Pelee.  So much destruction, but I think it would be beautiful to see. It really puts things into perspective when nature unleashes Her fury. 

5) If you were tight with one of the Greek gods, which one would it be and what favor would you ask of them?

I think it would be Mnemosyne, the goddess of memory, and the inventiveness of words and language. Being a writer, I think she could help me create brilliant stories. 


Thanks for the interview, Darke. Those book covers are gorgeous! And I gotta say, judging by your amazingly creative story premises, the ones already out and the ones you have planned, I think maybe you have met Mnemosyne. Could be you just forgot... (◕‿-)

Congratulations on forging out into self-publishing, and may it be a successful, fun, and rewarding venture for you! And readers, please be sure to cheer Darke on in the comments. I know she would love to hear from you. Have a good weekend!

Places to find Darke online:

Facebook Author Page