Monday, January 31, 2011

Howl at the Moon


So I finally figured out a name for my new MG novel. It's a detective series (The Liarus Detective Agency Novels) based on two seventh grade boys (Ben (MC) and Jake) that are in need of a side job to raise money for a trip they want to take. Each novel will have a new assignment for them, but this first one is to find a missing heirloom that is the size of a coin, with the engraving of a full moon and a wolf head in the middle - howling at the moon.

As you might guess - the family they are working for (incognito - of course, they're only 13) are a bunch of werewolves. The youngest member of the family (a ninth grade boy) has lost or misplaced his emblem, which he needs back desperately before the full moon. It contains the power to hold him in his human form, not allowing the pull of the moon to force him to change into a man eating werewolf.

Ben and Jake are unaware of all of that juicy information though - they just think they're looking for some old lady's missing necklace (Daniel's grandmother, Old lady Smitz, has hired the boys.) Through the adventures of looking for this and discovering there are supernatural creatures in their neighborhood, the boys grow together, start liking girls and get into load of humorous trouble.

It's a blast to write. I am about 1/4 of the way through it - got through six chapters this past weekend. Anyway - just thought I would share.. What projects are you working on right now??

Talk to me!!

PS: Lairus comes from "Lairs R Us" - a joke you'll get if you read the first novel.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Squeeze me into a mold -

No - I don't wish I were bright, red jello today. (Even though my new-years resolution is to lose some of the jiggly things... TMI?) BUT - I wanted to throw something out there..

When I started writing The Soul Keeper, I wrote it for me. When I finished it, I realized that I wanted to share it. That being said - if you know from the beginning, or figure out along the way, that you want to be a published author - maybe its okay to fit into a mold - to some degree.

Meaning - I love creating new characters, throwing in my sarcasm and humor. Characters are my favorite part of writing. Am I limited by NEEDING to write just YA paranormal? Well, no - some of you might be limited to what your interest are. Me? Not so much - I will read or write just about anything..

That being said, I started researching what's hot right now - what's the public looking to consume, because I need to get my foot in the door - THAT's all... just get my foot in - and then I can work with an agent on some projects that are more in line with my interests. BUT - in creating what someone else (the public) is looking for - it is still my story... my characters... my love for life bleeding through the pages...

So what's hot, you ask? Besides me? (Seriously JK)

1. Middle Grade (especially for boys)
2. Steam punk* is crazy hot right now. (A sub-genre of science fiction, alternate history, and speculative fiction. Specifically, steam punk involves an era or world where steam power is still widely used—usually the 19th century—that incorporates prominent elements of either science fiction or fantasy.)
3. Horror (Mr. King must be getting ready to lay down the pen... they're looking for the next great horror writer...)
4. Dystopia Novels * (Its Greek for bad or ill place... an often futuristic society that has degraded into a repressive and controlled state, often under the guise of being Utopian. Dystopian literature has underlying cautionary tones, warning society that if we continue to live how we do, this will be the consequence.

So - you want to get published? Sure its important to stay true to who you are and write what ignites a fire in your soul - but like any business - supply and demand will always dictate what sells and what doesn't. So the real question is:

"Did you write your book for you? Or for me??"

** These definitions are from Wikipedia!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I NOV my life...

No - I didn't misspell LOVE... haha -

This past fall, (November to be exact) my five year old, Clayton, came into my room and wanted to share a funny story from school. He said that his teacher kept writing the word "Nov" on the board, and wasn't that just so funny?

I explained to him that "Nov" really was a shortened version of November, the month we were in. He rolled his eyes and sighed...

Here is the rest of the conversation:

Clayton: I know that Nov means November, mom. But just say it out loud, here, repeat after me... Nooooovvvvvv.

Me: Okay, baby. Nooooooooovvvvvvvvvvvvv... (I chuckle) - that does sound kind of funny.

Clayton: Okay, so let's use it in a sentence. You first.

(I roll my eyes here.. really kid?)

Me: Okaaaaaaaaaaay... Today is the 4th of Noooovvvvvvvvember... (I smile and give him the 'see its a shortened version of the name of the month we're in.')

(Now he rolls his eyes and huffs again - obviously at my lack of creativity with this brilliant new word.)

Clayton: Okay, mom. My turn. How about... "I Nooooovvvvv You!" (He throws his hands in the air in a TADAAAAAAAAAAAAAA stance...)

And I - I laugh until my sides hurt. Not only is my son brilliant... but I sure do NOV my life!!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A Risky Life...

If you can dream it - you can do it.

I know, I know - that sounds way to Polly Positive, BUT it's so very true. The number one road block in your way of making a different future (or a different today) for yourself is... (drum roll please) ... YOU!!

I've always heard people say that you can do anything you dream you can - and they're right. It might take some changes to your environment, some character developing, some training and possibly LOTS of sacrificing on your part - but you can do it. In the end - to live a 'dream' would be worth every drop of blood, sweat and tears.

I mean - come on. We only live once, so why not push it to the limit? Why not go all out and do and be ALL that we can? To fall into our beds exhausted at night, because we gave all we had and pushed towards the realization of a dream?

It's risky you say... Yep, sure is - but with any great risk - if you can persevere - the rewards are great as well.

Besides - what life are you living if you refuse to jump out in faith and take a few risks?

Not the one I want to be living. Come on guys... crawl out to the edge with me, stand up, take a deep breath and let's fling ourselves into the unknown - full of confidence that we have the ability to DO anything we can dream up.

What's your dream?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Stumbling in the Dark

WOW - that's how I feel about this whole - write a book, edit the hell out of it - rewrite the book - put together a query - rewrite that 2 million times - get 1.99999999999999M rejections - and start all over again.

I might sound bitter - but truly, I'm in good spirits. I entered the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest last night at midnight - tells you what a dork I am for waiting up. HAHAHA!!

And - I've started a new novel. Something for the upper middle grade. Something fun and funny. Spunky you might say! On this one, I am stepping out on a ledge and trying out first person for the first time. (See, for those of you who might not know, well - I'm not a 13 year old boy, but my MC is...)

Okay - that's me stumbling in the dark tonight!! Just need to find the light switch and this will all make sense - doubtful!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

And the search is on.................

So I have officially entered into the search for a literary agent. Now, while I am quite impatient by nature, I am business savvy. Meaning, I am more interested in finding the right agent or business partner, than I am rushing into a relationship. I guess it’s a lot like looking at the possible relationship as a one-night stand vs. a long term commitment... Tacky, I know - but I digress.

So, I have a list of agents that I have sent the query out to and about 20% of them have returned with a rejection letter, but one has asked for the full manuscript. I only hope that in writing my query letter, I didn't emphasize the paranormal elements to the point of truly missing the big picture of the story - the decisions, relationships, and the love triangle of seemingly normal teenagers...

In deciding which route to take in the creation and back story of my novel, I created something with a supernatural twist, based on Greek mythology. Honestly though, I mostly focused on the strong teenage characters and their ability to build the foundation of who they will become through the choices they make. Of course that’s baked into the novel, changing the unaware reader for the better without conscious acknowledgment. A lot like carrot cake – never knew I was eating a bunch of shredded carrots because of the thick layer of cream cheese frosting.

We shall see right? Perseverance and patience - something I have learned in my short thirty-three years to never, ever pray for ------- because God will be happy to deliver a situation that will help you to learn both....over and over and over and over......

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Happy New Years!!

I'm so glad 2010 is over!! With three deaths in my family, changing jobs and my dad having a massive heart attack two weeks before Christmas, I'm STOKED to get into another year and leave this one behind.

That being said, I'm extremely excited about my goals for this coming year. I do have the usual weight and financial goals, God forbid we leave those out, right??

The goals I'm most excited about are the following:

1. Work my rear off to get Soul Keeper picked up by the right agent.
2. Write Soul Keeper II
3. Write 3 new songs for my singing trio (
4. Learn to play the guitar - why not, right??

Let's look at this new year as a fantastical opportunity to be better than we were, to stretch as far as we can and to make a difference.

Whew - I feel like I just gave the Miss America speech on world peace. I need a nap!

Happy, Happy New Years -