Monday, March 25, 2013

Things That Are Overdone

As you probably know, Martina Boone and I run something called the First Five Pages Workshop every month where a guest author joins us and we go through several critiques and revisions with the first five people to submit their work. 

We've been doing this for a while now and I've learned a lot from it myself. One thing that comes up over and over are cliche openings. If I see certain elements within those pages, I send up a red flag that agents or editors may quit at that point. What are these elements? Glad you asked!!

  1. Starting with waking up with or without a dream. 
  2. Parent has died and child is in new living situation. 
  3. Teen discovers powers she never knew she had.
  4. Mysterious or drop dead gorgeous guy appears conveniently poised to become the love interest. 
  5. "Best friend" boy likes MC but she doesn't realize it.
  6. Perky best friend has it all and MC is shy and awkward.
  7. MC finds it necessary to describe herself by looking in the mirror or thinking about her blonde hair and blue eyes (because you know, I walk around thinking, 'I have red hair and green eyes'). 
Please note that there are exceptions to every rule! For instance, I just had one that started with waking up and I enjoyed it immensely. Will an agent? I don't know! I can only speak for myself. 

What have I missed? Can you add anything to the list? 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Library Jumpers Cover and Birthday Wishes!

I don't usually post on Friday, but this is a special day! The wonderful Brenda Drake has a birthday today and is celebrating by revealing the fabulous cover to her book!!! So I'm bringing you guys a glimpse of the awesomeness. Check it out!

I have to tell you I am really excited about this. And here's some more info that I just got a hold of! 
Library Jumpers releases early 2014 from Month9Books! Doesn't it sound awesome? Go like her new author page on FB!


Monday, March 18, 2013

I'm sitting here going... Oh no! I have to write a new blog post when all I want to do is bask in the glory of my beautiful cover. He he he. But seriously folks, that brings up an important writing question: 

How do you focus when you're distracted? 

We face all sorts of those nasty little distractions (okay some aren't nasty like my baby for example). From work, to personal lives, to rejections, to acceptances! All of those things can take much needed focus from our actual writing. Even blogging! *faints*

Here are some simple tips to keep that butt of yours in the chair!

  1. Plan ahead. Meaning, carve out that time to work before the day even starts. Actually writing it on your calendar can give it the importance it deserves. 
  2. Turn off all the distractions. Some we can't - like babies - but some we can! Like the internet. Or the telephone. 
  3. Write down your goals and check them off as you go. Seriously. Studies show that if you write it, you're more likely to accomplish it. Also the more specific the better, so break it down into parts and if you check them off you feel like you're really getting somewhere!
  4. Make yourself accountable. If you tell others you'll feel a lot worse about not doing it. My writing buddies (Leslie Rose and Julie Musil) and I have a policy where we share our monthly writing goals with each other. I love those guys!
  5. Recognize how important it is to you. I'm not complete if I don't write. I know that about myself. So if I don't make time, I'm not the only one that suffers. My family doesn't get the complete me if that makes any sense. Also, don't forget that blogging and all are AWESOME but they don't take the place of actual writing. ;D
Got any other tips to add? Share! Oh and did you get my little pic? He he. If not watch the movie UP!!!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Cover Reveal for THE BINDING STONE!


Thanks to the AH MAY ZING cover artist and fellow writer, Lisa Amowitz, I bring you the GORGEOUS cover of the first book in the DJINN series, THE BINDING STONE.

From Goodreads: 
Tricked into slavery by the man she loved, the Djinni Leela has an eternity to regret her choices.

Awakened in the prison of her adolescent body, she finds a new master in possession of the opal that binds her. But seventeen-year-old Jered is unlike any she’s seen. His kindness makes Leela yearn to trust again, to allow herself a glimmer of hope.

Could Jered be strong enough to free her from the curse of the Binding Stone?

May the oohing and ahhhing commence.

Monday, March 4, 2013

My Epic Fairy Tale Fail

Anna Staniszewski's sequel to My Very Unfairy Tale Life is now out! And after reading My Epic Fairy Tale Fail I can tell you it does anything BUT Fail. Grab it. Read it. Pass it to a little girl out there to read. I plan on giving a copy to my own daughter because it's the kind of book I would have lived in when I was her age. 

But don't take my word for it. Here's a review from Sleeping Beauty:


Me: *AHEM*

SB: Huh? Oh sorry. *eyes droop*

Me: Before you fall back asleep, can you tell us what you thought of the book? *pokes in the ribs*

SB: Ouch! I loved it. It's very realistic. I mean that's exactly what it's like where I'm from. *yawn*

Me: *yawn* those are contagious. 

SB: Sorry. *slips down in chair and closes eyes*

Me: *pokes again* Anything else to say about the book?

SB: It kept me awake until I finished.

Well there can't be a better recommendation than that.