Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The Pitch Wars Post In Which I Tell You I'm Co-Mentoring With Mary Ann Marlowe and Casually Mention We Won The Last Pitch Wars We Teamed Up On

Yes, it's that time of yeAr! I'm so excited to be a part of Pitch Wars again, and I can't wait to dive in and co-mentor with the VERY talented Mary Ann Marlowe (whom I *cough* mentored to victory *cough* in 2014)!

What do I like in a novel? Well, I write New Adult/Adult (WAITING FOR APRIL, and the upcoming FALLING FROM GRACE), and anything with a well-written romantic element will have me hooked! What Mary Ann and I are looking for is a hot contemporary Adult or New Adult romance!

It'd probably help if I included a list of my favourite novels (YA and other genres included) so you can see how varied my interests are:

Diana Gabaldon's OUTLANDER series. Because who doesn't love these books? (Crazy people, that's who.)
Laini Taylor's DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE trilogy
Lauren Oliver's DELIRIUM series
Stephenie Meyer's THE HOST
Kaki Warner's PIECES OF SKY (the Blood Rose series)
Christina Lee's ALL OF YOU (the Between Breaths series)
Jennifer Echols' LOVE STORY
Sarah Fine's SANCTUM (the Guards of the Shadowlands series) and OF METAL AND WISHES (releases August 5th!)
Mila Ferrera's SPIRAL / ONLY BETWEEN US / EVERYTHING BETWEEN US
Lori M. Lee's GATES OF THREAD AND STONE (also releases August 5th!!!)
Kendare Blake's ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD (the Anna series)
Jennifer Rush's ALTERED series

In every one of these novels, there's a love story, or a lust story, or both! Honestly, the hotter the better. The more tension, the better. If you're worried about tension, and that's something you want to focus on fixing in your ms, then I'M YOUR GIRL. Apparently. I mean, my CPs do usually send their mss to me with one note: "Hey, Sexual Tension Lady! Help!" So I guess that means I have an eye for it.

As for my taste in movies/TV shows (in terms of pacing, perfectly timed humour, and plot), my favourites include:

MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING (thank you, Shakespeare)
NAPOLEON DYNAMITE
DEFINITELY, MAYBE
HOT FUZZ
SHAUN OF THE DEAD
WEDDING CRASHERS
LET'S BE COPS
STEP BROTHERS
KICK-ASS
THIS IS THE END
THE HEAT
PITCH PERFECT
THE WEDDING SINGER
50 FIRST DATES
GAME OF THRONES
BUFFY
SUPERNATURAL
And pretty much anything where the world is about to end.

Is your MS funny? SEND IT TO US. Is it steamy? SEND IT TO US. Is it frustrating? SEND IT TO US. Basically, just send EVERYTHING TO US.

So, if you're still with me, I guess you want to hear about me, yes? WELL. I'm an Aussie, I swear like a sailor, and I'm an insomniac. I have a medical science degree, as well as a masters in teaching. I've been a photographer, a lab technician, a mortuary technician, and a cardiac technician, so I have quite a bit of life experience. And some experience with death, too. THEREFORE, you cannot shock me. Seriously. I dare you to try.

So, finalise those mss and SEND THEM TO USSSSSSSSSS. *prepares grabby hands* Mary Ann and I are prepared to KICK SOME ARSE!!!

And now, to introduce you to the other fabulous mentors!



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Tuesday, April 5, 2016

The One Where Jaime Freaks Out A Lot



You know that announcement I had planned to make a few weeks ago? Yeah. Well, it took a bit longer than I'd expected. I'm so sorry! Thank you all for being so patient!

As many of you have noticed, I've been very quiet on the book front. There are a few good reasons for this.

One: my publisher, Momentum, is closing its doors.

This came as a shock, so it took a bit of time to wrap my brain around it...




I'm going to miss my editors. A lot. I'm so grateful for everything they have done for me. They've been very supportive of this series, and I'm very sad to be moving on without them.

What does this mean for the Waiting for April series? That brings us to reason number...

Two: I've been busy trying to figure out what my next step is...



After much deliberation and advice-seeking, I've come to a decision: I'm not going to search for another publisher for this series.



You read that right, George. I was lucky to sell it in the past to a big publisher, because it is a very difficult series to sell; it's not quite young adult, but not completely adult, either. It falls into new adult, but that is still a grey area for a lot of publishers. I don't want to go through the process of waiting again--not when I have readers already waiting for more novels.

And the readers are the ones who matter to me. You've all been SO enthusiastic about this series. I've been overwhelmed by emails from readers who've loved Waiting for April, and that has made all the obstacles I've faced with this series more than worth it. It means so, SO much to me, and I'll never be able to thank you enough.

Really, there's only one way I can think of that shows just how much I appreciate all of you, and that's why...

Three: I'm going to make this series available in e-book and print--paperback and hardcover--and I'll be throwing some novellas in there to expand on other characters' stories, too. 








EXCITING, RIGHT?!!!

I'm still sorting out all the details, and while I appreciate your patience, I have to warn you that book two might take a little longer now due to a new editorial schedule. Hopefully it will be out in around June (instead of May). I'll keep you updated on this.

For those of you who've had your pre-orders cancelled, I'll have Falling from Grace back up again for pre-order ASAP. Keep an eye on my Twitter feed for more details in the near future!

So there you have it! Thank you once again to all the readers out there who love Waiting for April as much as I do!  I do hope you'll continue to follow my characters on their journeys!









Monday, January 19, 2015

Cover and Giveaway: WAITING FOR APRIL


I'm so excited to be able to finally do this!


MY



COVER



IS



HERE!!!!!!!


And I couldn't be happier with it. It's PERFECT. And OH SO PRETTY.


But first, the blurb:


April Fletcher has died nineteen times... but she doesn't know it.


As far as April is concerned, she's just a normal seventeen-year-old, looking forward to spending spring break with her friends and going to college in the fall. April doesn't know she has never lived past her eighteenth birthday, nor does she realize that Scott Parker, her best friend, is actually her childhood sweetheart and fiancé from her very first life.


For nineteen-year-old Scott Parker, spending quality time with his soul mate has proved difficult ever since her tragic death in 1729. Since then he has lost her an additional eighteen times—each of her deaths more devastating than the last, and each of her births wiping the slate of her memory clean. Unable to save her but unwilling to give up, Scott has to hide the fact he's immortal—and will be until April confesses her love again.


But this time, things have changed. April has denied her feelings for him, is dating someone else, and with her eighteenth birthday fast approaching, their friendship is falling to pieces. Fearing their souls are irrevocably drifting apart, Scott must race against the clock to win her heart and save her life.


Or risk losing her forever.


And now for the cover ...








AAAAARRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHH!

Pretty, yes???

*hugs cover tight*


WAITING FOR APRIL releases February 12th with Momentum Books! You can buy it through these online stores (preorder available now!):

Amazon Australia

Amazon U.S.

Amazon U.K.

iBooks


If you'd like a chance to win a copy, enter the rafflecopter below!


I can't wait for you to read it!!!

WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! *twirls*


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, August 1, 2014

PITCH WARS, BITCHES!!!

Ahoy hoy!

So. Here we are. Mentor bio time! I'll try my best to keep this clean ...

First of all, I should probably fill you in on what I'm looking for. I write New Adult, so I'm going to focus on that, but I also read Adult, so I'm open to that, too. I'm not going to specify genres, because I think all are interesting and wonderfully different!

The one thing your manuscript absolutely MUST HAVE is a strong romantic element. If there's no love interest, you'll lose my interest. Even if the writing is fantastic--even if the story is smart and makes me laugh--I will struggle with a plot that doesn't involve romance. It doesn't have to be all lovey-dovey. I'd actually prefer if it wasn't. To give you an example of what I love in this vein, here's a list of my favourite novels (YA included):

Diana Gabaldon's OUTLANDER series. Because who doesn't love these books? (Crazy people, that's who.)
Laini Taylor's DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE trilogy
Lauren Oliver's DELIRIUM series
Stephenie Meyer's THE HOST
Kaki Warner's PIECES OF SKY (the Blood Rose series)
Christina Lee's ALL OF YOU (the Between Breaths series)
Jennifer Echols' LOVE STORY
Sarah Fine's SANCTUM (the Guards of the Shadowlands series) and OF METAL AND WISHES (releases August 5th!)
Mila Ferrera's SPIRAL / ONLY BETWEEN US / EVERYTHING BETWEEN US
Lori M. Lee's GATES OF THREAD AND STONE (also releases August 5th!!!)
Kendare Blake's ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD (the Anna series)
Jennifer Rush's ALTERED series

In every one of these novels, there's a love story, or a lust story, or both! Honestly, the hotter the better. The more tension, the better. If you're worried about tension, and that's something you want to focus on fixing in your ms, then I'M YOUR GIRL. Apparently. I mean, my CPs do usually send their mss to me with one note: "Hey, Sexual Tension Lady! Help!" So I guess that means I have an eye for it.

What I DON'T want to see are novels about werewolves or vampires. Yes, my favourite show in the whole wide world is Buffy, but no one--NO ONE--will be able to write vampires as well as Joss in that vein (ooooh, punny!). I just can't get into anyone else's vampires. Sorry. (#TeamAngel)

As for my taste in movies (in terms of pacing, perfectly timed humour, and plot), my favourites include:

MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING (thank you, Shakespeare)
NAPOLEON DYNAMITE
DEFINITELY, MAYBE
HOT FUZZ
SHAUN OF THE DEAD
WEDDING CRASHERS
KICK-ASS
THIS IS THE END
THE HEAT
PITCH PERFECT
THE WEDDING SINGER
50 FIRST DATES
And pretty much anything where the world is about to end.

So, if you're still with me, I guess you want to hear about me, yes? WELL. I'm an Aussie, I swear like a sailor, and I'm an insomniac. I have a medical science degree, as well as a masters in teaching, but right now, I spend my days writing and painting and taking care of my two children.

I've been a photographer, a lab technician, a mortuary technician, a cardiac technician ... a technician technician ... hehe ... he ... *shifty eyes* ... So I have quite a bit of life experience. And some experience with death, too. THEREFORE, you cannot shock me. Seriously. I dare you to try.

So, put those finishing touches on your mss, then COME AT ME. I look forward to seeing your submissions!

*double-chest-pound-peace sign*

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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Interview with Heather L. Reid, author of PRETTY DARK NOTHING


Today I'm lucky enough to be able to bring you Heather L. Reid, author of PRETTY DARK NOTHING!




Overview
Quinn is a normal teenager, but for 23 days she has not slept for more than a few minutes at a time. Demons have invaded her dreams, stalking her and whispering of her death. The lack of sleep and crippling fear are ruining her life, and energy drinks and caffeine pills don't help. Then Quinn dozes off in the school hallway, and Aaron, an amnesiac with psychic ability, accidentally enters her nightmare. Aaron has a secret locked away in his memory that the demons are determined to keep him from discovering. Together, Quinn and Aaron can banish the darkness back to the underworld for good, but the demons will stop at nothing to drive the two apart.
                                                                                                                                --Barnes and Noble



So, Heather, how did you get into writing?

My love of words started like most writers I know. It started with a story. In this case, the stories came from the imagination of my great-aunt, Delia. She weaved magical tales to send me to sleep. She wasn’t a writer, she never wrote any of her stories on paper, and she read to me too, but I loved her stories best. Neither of us knew she was giving me the greatest gift of all, the love of storytelling.
At the age of four I started dictating stories to my mother who would illustrate them for me. By the age of nine, I was writing plays for friends and binding my own picture books with cardboard and string.  At eleven I tried my hand at a first novel. (No, you can’t read it. It’s buried in a deep dark hole somewhere in the Tasmanian Outback and guarded by a three-headed dingo.) It was then I told my parents I wanted to be published by the age of sixteen. I also told them I wanted to be Wonder Woman, a Dallas Cowboy cheerleader, a Broadway star, and an archaeologist. Those dreams faded. I never did get that invisible jet, and I would be a lot older than sixteen before I got a publishing deal, but the dream of being a writer stayed with me. After college I decided to stop dreaming and start getting serious. I joined the Society of Children’s book Writers and Illustrators, joined a writer’s group, read books on writing, went to conferences, workshops, and most importantly, I started writing every day. Some of it was crap. Ok, at first, a lot of it was crap, but writing takes work. After over twelve years of studying and writing, my first young adult novel, Pretty Dark Nothing, sold in a two book deal to Month9Books. It’s been an amazing journey and I’m still learning. I write because I have to. It’s a part of what makes me, me.

What inspired you to write PRETTY DARK NOTHING?

I think the spark of inspiration for Pretty Dark Nothing has been brewing my whole life. As a child, I suffered from night terrors and sleep walking. Although I eventually grew out of the sleep walking, the nightmares never went away. I would dream of faceless entities and demons on a reoccurring basis. I spent my pre-teen years trying to rationalize my fear while I spent my nights huddled under my covers with a book and a flash light afraid to fall asleep for fear of what would greet me in my dreams. I kept this a secret from my friends and afraid of what they would think. The dark torture of my imagination lasted through three years of middle school and finally faded. I still don’t think my mother knows how terrified I was of falling asleep and I have no idea why the nightmares stopped, maybe they were my way of coping with the stress of adolescence. I don’t know. When I reached college, I went through a particularly bad time in my life, suffered from depression, illness and the nightmares returned. I wasn’t frightened like I was when I was young; I recognized them for what they were. We all have inner demons we battle, those voices that tell us we’re not good enough, taunt us, paralyze us with fear. That’s when the idea for a novel started to form. I asked myself what would happen if those negative voices, inner demons weren’t imagined. What would happen if they were real and they started to manifest outside the dream world? What if they influenced things around us and what if you were the only one that could see them? That’s when Quinn and the idea for Pretty Dark Nothing was born. Quinn and I battled the demons that tortured her together and in the process, she taught me how to battle my own.


Can you describe you main protagonist Quinn in less than 140 Characters?

Pretty Dark Nothing is told from duel POV. Both Quinn and Aaron’s perspectives are told in close 3rd.

Quinn: Damaged but not defeated. Stubborn, self-reliant, sometimes selfish. Bit of a perfectionist. Trust issues, especially trusting herself.

Aaron: Loyal. Loves deeply. Keeps his secrets close to his heart. Would do anything for his friends. Guilt issues. Amnesiac with Physic abilities.

Why should we pick up Pretty Dark Nothing?

Pretty Dark Nothing is full of demons, and I don’t mean the hot fallen angel, bad boy types. These demons are the evil, hairy, sulphurous kind, bent on manipulating and destroying Quinn’s life. Throw in some romantic sparks with a psychic amnesic, an ex-boyfriend she can’t quite get over, and suspension from the cheerleading squad for failing grades, all while the demons are pushing her to the brink of madness, and I hope it’s a recipe for something darkly paranormal and not quite typical.

What is your favourite 2012 read and why?

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers. When I read the opening line, I KNEW I had to read this book and I wasn’t disappointed. A historical fantasy about a covenant of female Assassins who serve the God of Death? Heck yeah! Dark gods, court intrigue, murder, assassinations and romance, this book hooked me and didn’t let go until the very end. Can’t wait for the sequel, Dark Triumph.

Pretty Dark Nothing is out now! You can find information on these sites:

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6448958.Heather_L_Reid
http://www.heatherlreid.com/
http://hugs-and-chocolate.com/
http://www.month9books.com/

And it is available for purchase from Barnes and Noble and Amazon.

Thank you so much for stopping by, Heather! This novel is DEFINITELY going on my TBR pile!!!

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Revision Decision


So I’m in this fantastic situation of revising my manuscript for a couple of unbelievably great agents who loved it, but who want me to turn it into a YA novel because they feel teenagers and adults will eat it up*.

At first I thought this would be really easy. “Sure,” I said. “I’ll get to work on that right away!” After cracking my knuckles, I sat down and opened my manuscript. And then I came down with a case of Complete Brain Spaz, otherwise known as CBS. (What?! It’s not just a network—it’s a thing, I promise!)

See, when I envisioned doing these revisions, I thought I’d just go by the synopsis I’d prepared for a YA version. Easy as pie (which, when you think about it, doesn’t really make sense. Who said pie was easy? Honestly, I’ve never been able to bake a really good … *sigh* Okay, okay, I’ll get back on track.)

My question is, how much of a risk should you take when doing revisions? Changing a novel from adult to YA changes a lot of things, including the dynamics of the characters’ relationships. I could rewrite the start, which would be like writing the prequel and merging it with the current story—but then there’s the chance I’ll be shredding what the agents loved about the novel in the first place! Argh! 

I know you guys can’t answer this for me. There is no simple solution. Part of me is hoping that by putting this post out in the world, the right answer will come and smack me upside the head.

But for those of you who’ve been where I am, how much of a risk did you take?

*Caution: eating novels may cause indigestion.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Novel Spotlight - THE LITTLE WOODS, by McCormick Templeman

July is in full swing! Huzzah! Americans are sunbaking, Australians are hibernating, and because I have so many wonderful writer friends—many of whom have novels coming out in the near future—I’ve decided to add a section to my blog which will be aptly named … 

*drum roll*

NOVEL SPOTLIGHT


*cue The Price is Right-like music*

The first spotlight will be cast on a YA novel by McCormick Templeman! *dances* I cannot tell you how long I’ve been waiting to read her debut, THE LITTLE WOODS. What I can tell you is that McCormick is a delight to know. I would sell my left kidney to meet her in person because she is … honestly … that ... awesome. You can check out her website here, and follow her on Twitter here.

About McCormick (from her website)
McCormick Templeman is descended from musicians and criminals. She holds a BA in English Literature from Reed College and an MFA in Writing and Poetics from Naropa University. She lives in California with some people and some stuff.

About the book:



Unexplained disappearances. Suspicious deaths. There's something wrong with the woods behind St. Bede's Academy.

When Cally Wood starts at St. Bede's halfway through her junior year, she's suddenly thrust into a world of privilege and prestige, and in no time flat, she learns to navigate the complex social world of the upper echelon. But amid the illicit romances and weekend-long parties, Cally discovers that a brilliant but troubled girl named Iris disappeared from St. Bede's just a few months ago. Most people assume she ran away, but the police still haven't found her. And Iris wouldn't be the first girl to go missing from the school. Ten years ago, Cally's sister was visiting a friend from camp at St. Bede's when both girls vanished from their beds.

As Cally tries to unravel the mystery surrounding Iris--one she can't help but link to her own sister's disappearance--she discovers that beneath the surface of this elite school and its perfect students lies a web of secrets where rumors are indistinguishable from truths and it seems everyone has something to hide. 

Me: What I love about this premise is the possibilities surrounding why these girls are disappearing. Supernatural? Maybe. Serial killer? Could be. Alien abductions? I DON’T KNOW, BUT I WANNA. What inspired you to write THE LITTLE WOODS?


McCormick: I can’t say much about the specifics of the inspiration for the book without giving too much away, but I was goofing around in the New York Public Library reading case studies by a medical examiner from the early 1900s, when I stumbled across something that completely freaked me out. Suddenly this story popped into my head and I had to write it. THE LITTLE WOODS is very different from that initial conception (originally it was a historical mystery with an adult narrator), but its roots are the same, and that spark guided me through from start to finish.


Me: So it's NOT a memoir? ;)

McCormick: It is absolutely not a memoir. I think there is a little bit of me in every character I write, but I've never written anything that is really about me or my life. I like to make up friends and invent lives for them because why not? It's fun. But I did go to boarding school and I used the campus layout and tried to recapture that feeling of being trapped that I felt a lot during boarding school. But no, definitely not a memoir. 

Me: Phew! Glad to hear your boarding school experiences weren’t shrouded in murder mysteries. ;) What led you to those case studies in the public library?

McCormick: I had a day of classes that went from 8:30am to 10pm, and this one day a class was cancelled in the middle of the day. I couldn't stomach studying or doing something responsible, so I decided to walk up to the public library to goof around for a few hours. I went to the reading room and got a big stack of weird books just for fun, and that was one of them. When I finally went back to class, I was so obsessed with the novel idea that seemed to have just fallen in my lap, that I couldn't concentrate for the rest of the day. I started writing the book that very night.

Me: Talk about being in the right place at the right time! Who said goofing around never did anyone any good?! With the inspiration coming from a century-old medical examiner’s book, and the setting so eerily elite, if you could describe your novel as [TV show/movie/novel] meets [TV show/movie/novel], what would it be?

McCormick: Jay Kristoff, author of the insanely genius Stormdancer (out fall 2012) described The Little Woods thusly: “A slow motion collision between Twin Peaks and Gossip Girl set to a Bikini Kill soundtrack.” Since he's such a brilliant writer, I'll just let his words stand.

Me: I agree—Jay is made of awesome (readers, his website can be found here, and you can follow him on Twitter here). So, McCormick, some of my readers are un-agented writers, like myself. Was this the novel that landed you your agent, Kate Garrick, of DeFiore and Company? What was it like to get the call/email from her when she finished THE LITTLE WOODS?

McCormick: THE LITTLE WOODS actually wasn't the book that landed me my agent. The infamous agent email was for an adult book I wrote as my MFA thesis. I still love that book, and will probably re-work it someday. That email was totally shocking because I was not expecting her to actually be interested, and had only queried her on a lark. When I got the email, I didn't believe it. Sometimes I still don't believe it. I just sat there staring at the screen reading it over and over again, searching for the part where she revealed it all to be a massive joke. Then I kind of floated around for days consumed with blissful disbelief. For THE LITTLE WOODS, it was much less eventful. I just emailed her and was like, you want to read this? And she was like yeah. It was much less dramatic.

Me: *giggles* I just imagined a Napoleon Dynamite-style conversation between you and Ms. Garrick. I imagine the conversation was a little livelier when you were told Schwartz & Wade Books / Random House had made an offer?

McCormick: Honestly, no. Part of me really is a little bit like Napoleon Dynamite. I had a strong feeling that I was going to get the call on the day that I did, and I was so nervous about it that I just didn't answer. I hope Kate doesn't read this because I think I drive her kind of crazy with my phone phobia. She only had my home number, and when the phone rang, and I knew what it was, I just got in my car and drove away. I know that was a crazy thing to do, but sometimes good news and bad news feel the same inside my body. It's kind of like stage fright. I was just too freaked out to hear the news. I finally called her back three hours later, and when she told me, I was like, "Mm hmm. That's good." She was like, "yeah... that's really good." I am the worst client in terms of the excited phone call. I can't verbally express that I'm excited. I have a suspicious "yeah, what's the catch?" thing going on.

Me: Haha—me too! Thankfully in your case the ‘too good to be true’ saying didn’t apply! So how will you be celebrating its release this week?

McCormick: Cheap champagne and good sushi!

Me: Sounds good to me! Thank you so much, McCormick, for allowing me to interview you. It’s been a true pleasure!

Readers, THE LITTLE WOODS is coming out today, July 10, 2012 from Schwartz & Wade Books / Random House.

You can buy THE LITTLE WOODS on Amazon here, from Barnes & Noble, Indie Bound, and Powell's Books.

For my Aussie readers, you can buy it at Angus and Robertson, Dymocks, and on Kindle.

Happy reading!