31 March 2014

Meet the Star of New Sight

When I first scripted New Sight, I knew I needed a teenage girl protagonist/main character.

I’m not going to lie, I don’t feel like I was a very normal teenage girl—I hardly ever squealed, and I never pined for more than about thirty minutes. Plus, I was extraordinarily boring. My friends were cool, but also not terribly exciting. So I was a little nervous to write an entire novel from inside the head of a California girl who grew up rich, went shopping for fun and loves to take pictures and draw.

First problem, a name. Right before I got married, my fiancé came over to help me pack. I put him on the book shelves—hello, big strong and manly—and at one point he stops and says, “Uh, Jo, why do you have this?”

I turned around and saw him holding up a baby name book that I’d bought not long before starting New Sight. I laughed and told him it was for finding good character names. Because if I have to pick them, everyone will be called Jennifer, Brad and Bernice. Or worse.

If I remember correctly, I flipped open the book and thought, “what letter should her name start with?” The “M” section came into view. Nothing jumped out, so I flipped back to the end of the “L” section and found Lysandra.

Thus Lys (like bliss, NOT lice) was born. Ish. A week later, after writing a few chapters of New Sight, I decided I had to have a last name and a face to go with the Lys. The last name Blake popped into my mind—easy. The face, not so much. I looked up and at my DVD shelf, spotted the movie Easy A, and decided that Emma Stone with dark brown hair (less red than in the picture) is what Lys looked like. Mostly.

Her personality came out in the script after that.

At the beginning of New Sight, Lys finds herself strapped down in a psych ward with little to no hope in her life. Horrible things have happened to her—thus the psych ward—and she has no reason to carry on.

But she does.

Because giving up isn’t her style. She doesn’t flaunt it like a pair of 6” glittery red high heels, but she quietly sorts through her circumstances, grits her teeth and moves forward. Even if that means leaving her family and going off with a sketchy fellow named Jeremiah Mason who leaders her into even more trouble than she had originally stirred up.

Lys is like so many of the girls and women I know. She is awesome in her very own way.  A way that no one else can pull off. Lys can steer a motley crew of confused and traumatized teenagers she’s barely met out of danger and back on track.

Well, she has help. We’ll meet the rest of the crew next time!

24 March 2014

The 21 Month Pregnancy

For those of you who only read the Pregnancy part of the title, don’t get excited. I’m talking about a book. Sheesh, nosy people.

Most traditionally published authors can lament a long pregnancy before their first book comes out. It’s the nature of the beast—you write a manuscript (like 18 drafts of said manuscript), revise it, revise it again, query it, get polite rejections, revise it again, more queries, toss said manuscript into the “I don’t want to think about you ever again” pile, finally get an acceptance letter, pee your pants (optional, a huge squee can be substituted), try to maintain a cool demeanor as you send your acceptance speech (er, e-mail), and then you wait.

The publisher will taunt you with things like links to secret Facebook pages for the publishing house, info for other authors, contracts, informative phone calls, and—if you’ve been a very good author—a release book for your baby!

Er, book.

A release date that may, or may not, be subject to change. Oh joy.

And so you wait. And wish. And envision just how much your book is going to revolutionize the world!

Because it is. It has too. You’ve poured time, effort, tears, pains, missed social gatherings, most of the sleep you could have gotten and your soul into this book.

I don’t have kids, but it sounds pretty similar to me.

Like a good friend, your publisher will distract you with things like edits. Those will get your heart pumping. The e-mail might say, “Hey, just a few things to look at. We need this back in two weeks.”

A small heart attack will surly ensue, and if you’re brave you’ll click on the attachment. If bravery isn’t your forte, then you’ll wait until you’ve drown yourself in either alcohol or chocolate before you open it.

Because the mental image that comes to you is that of a really big “X” through most of your manuscript with notes saying, “This doesn’t work,” or, “You lost your momentum on page 3,” or, “You should consider taking this character out or turn him into the bad guy.”

Thus the numbing agents beforehand.

Those two weeks meld into one big writing fest. Your loved ones shoo the rest of the world away and simply throws food and caffeine into the office through a small hole in the wall.

I won’t go into the gruesome details, but you get the gist.

The poor author once again has to pour life, limb and soul into the manuscript, somehow making it better than it was in it’s already perfected state, and then they send it back to the editors.

And wait.

Editors are notorious for silence when you really want them to speak, and too much information when you just want to curl up and cry.

Love them. Really.

At this point, as an author, you’ll probably feel like those adorable ladies who are 8 ½ months pregnant with twins—barely waddling about and with little interest in anything but “Get it out!”

Or so I’ve heard.

Then, for various industry reasons (which are out of everyone’s control, but you’ll still want to kicks someone in the face) you’re due date will move.

This generally provokes a mental break down or two. Lots of tears, and the loved ones backing away slowly.

Once you’ve recovered, and the publisher isn’t afraid to call you  anymore, a cover reveal comes along. You’ll print out copies and cover one wall of your office with them. Much like a baby shower, you get oohs and ahhs from all sorts of people, but nothing to do with them yet.

Finally, if you’ll allow me, your water breaks, and the Advance Reader Copies (ARCs) arrive.

Oh the joy! It’s like a book—YOUR book—but not quite. It’s real, you can smell it, stroke it, love it, drool on it, sleep with it as a pillow and randomly open it to see if each and every sentence is as stellar as you remember, but it’s still not quite the real thing.

So close, but so far away.

And then, like every expectant mother will tell you, the time comes.

It’s here.

Holy cow, how did that happen? Don’t I still have months and months to put together a blog tour, clever Facebook campaigns, funny Tweets that are sure to draw every single reader of your genre in the world?

The nursery isn’t even ready!

Oh, sorry, I mean I don’t have a fancy pen for signing. Or an outfit for the launch party. And I don’t even want to think about my hair.

Can’t someone else handle all of this while I work on book 2?

My 21 month pregnancy is almost over. My first YA novel, New Sight, comes out in less than a month!

I can’t wait.

And I’m not ready!

But here we go. Hold on folks, because this is going to be awesome!

Check back later this week for some character bios.

08 March 2014

Daddy Doin' Work

Here's another great cover from Jolly Fish Press.

Meet Doyin Richards and his soon to be published book, Daddy Doin' Work

So I'm not terribly into non-fiction, BUT, I just got married, and if we have kids this might really come in handy. For those of you who have kids and such, look forward to the release of this one!

Doyin Richards’s Daddy Doin’ Work: Empowering Mothers to Evolve
Fatherhood answers questions about fatherhood that many women
want to know, and does so in a no-nonsense and entertaining style that
ladies will enjoy. Similar to how Steve Harvey’s best-selling title Act Like
a Lady, Think Like a Man empowers women to make smart relationship
decisions by entering the minds of men, Daddy Doin’ Work empowers
new mothers to enter the minds of new dads to change the perception
of what should be expected from a modern father.

Readers will be exposed to the manipulative secrets of deadbeat dads,
moms will learn practical tips to help hard working dads understand that
being a father encompasses more than paying the bills, and women in
relationships with amazing dads will learn methods to ensure their men
stay on-track while inspiring more fathers to be just like them. Most
importantly, women will be forced to take a long look in the mirror to
determine if they are part of the solution or part of the problem in
shaping the behavior of modern fathers.

Check out...er see Doyin below.

DOYIN (pronounced “doe-ween”) RICHARDS is a father, husband,
writer, Daddy Consultant, and public speaker inspiring new mothers and
fathers to think, laugh, and learn while evolving as parents and couples.
He authors the popular and well-respected parenting blog Daddy Doin'
Work, and since creating the blog in June 2012, it has rapidly grown in
readership with no signs of slowing down. Doyin has appeared on
national and international television several times, and is a regular
contributor to Huffington Post. He currently resides in Los Angeles with
his wife and two young daughters.

03 March 2014

As if Green Wasn't Scary Enough Already

Today's cover is brought to you by The Brothers Washburn
Check out the cover for Mojave Green
By: Berk and Andy Washburn
The second book in the Dimensions of Death series

Camm and Cal thought they had killed the unearthly creature that preyed upon the people in their isolated mining town deep in the Mojave Desert. Off at college, they feel safe, until they hear news that Trona’s children are still disappearing. Caught in that nightmare since childhood, Camm feels responsible for the town’s children. As her life-long best friend, Cal feels responsible for Camm. With unsuspecting friends in tow, they return to warn the town’s innocent people, but things have changed.

Death comes in a new form. The dimensional balance is altered. Crossovers multiply. The situation spirals out of control, and Cal is pulled into another world where his chances of survival are slim. Without Cal, Camm seeks help where she can, even from the dead. Soon, she is on the run from relentless federal agents, who are hiding secrets and pursuing their own agenda. The mysterious depths of the Searles Mansion may yet contain a key to stopping alien predators, if it is not already too late.

Meet the creators:

A. L. Washburn and B. W. Washburn are licensed lawyers and full time writers,residing in Colorado and southern Utah. They grew up in a large family in Trona,California, a small mining community not far from Death Valley, and spent many happy days in their youth roaming the wastelands of the Mojave Desert. After living in Argentina at different times, each came back to finish school and start separate careers. Living thousands of miles apart, they worked in different areas of the law,while raising their own large families.

Each has authored legal materials and professional articles, but after years of wandering in the wastelands of the law, their lifelong love of fiction, especially fantasy, science fiction and horror, brought them back together to write a new young adult horror series, beginning with Pitch Green and Mojave Green. They have found there yet remain many untold wonders to be discovered in the unbounded realms of the imagination, especially as those realms unfold in the perilous wastelands of the Dimensions in Death.

Stalk these gentlemen here:

Goodreads: Berk Washburn or Andy Washburn

Just keep the lights on at night!

02 March 2014

Black Moon Cover Reveal

Check out the cover for Black Moon
By: Teri Harman
The second book in The Moonlight Trilogy

Enter to win a signed copy of book 1, Blood Moon, here!

Simon Howard accidentally killed three people. Four months later, the nightmares won’t stop. Willa Fairfield, his girlfriend, his soul mate, wants nothing more than to help him move on. But guilt isn’t the only thing getting in Simon’s way. 

When unexplained earthquakes hit the small town of Twelve Acres, and dozens of people go missing, the Light witches discover their most feared enemy, Archard, is still alive. Employing the twisted, dynamic magic of a legendary witch known as Bartholomew the Dark, Archard plans to exact his revenge and take control of the Powers of the Earth on the night of the black moon, a rare lunar event infamous for Dark magic. 

As the Light Covenant fumbles to defend against Archard’s sadistic intentions, Simon’s magic grows inexplicably more powerful, even dangerous. Willa throws all her efforts into solving the mystery of Simon’s transformation, but when the events of the past storm into the present, the couple’s future changes forever.

Follow Teri on Twitter!

01 March 2014

Judge this Book by the Cover

Check out the cover for Splinters!
By: F.J.R. Titchenell and Matt Carter
The first book of the series The Prospero Chronicles
Tentative publication date set for Fall 2014
Add this to your "To Read" list on Goodreads and you'll be automatically entered for a giveaway!

Under ordinary circumstances, Ben and Mina would never have had reason to speak to each other; he's an easy-going people person with a healthy skepticism about the paranormal, and she's a dangerously obsessive monster-hunter with a crippling fear of betrayal. But the small town of Prospero, California, has no ordinary circumstances to offer. In order to uncover a plot set by the seemingly innocent but definitely shapeshifting monsters-that-look-like-friends-family-and-neighbors, the two stark opposites must both find ways to put aside their differences and learn to trust each other.

Meet the creators:

F.J.R. Titchenell and Matt Carter met and fell in love in a musical theatre class at Pasadena City College and have been inseparable ever since. Though they have both dreamed of being writers since a very young age, they both truly hit their stride after they met, bouncing ideas off of one another, forcing each other to strive to be better writers, and mingling Matt's lifelong love of monsters with Fiona's equally disturbing inability to forget the tumult of high school. They were married in 2011 in a ceremony that involved kilts, Star Wars music, and a cake topped by figurines of them fighting a zombified wedding party.

F.J.R. Titchenell is also the author of Confessionsof the Very First Zombie Slayer (That I Know of), to be released May 6th, 2014 

Feel free to stalk these lovely people here:

F.J.R. Titchenell’s blog: http://fjrtitchenell.weebly.com/

F.J.R. Titchenell’s Facebook: www.facebook.com/FjrTitchenell