Wednesday, January 30, 2013

SCBWI Springmingle

At the end of February Southern Breeze (the SCBWI chapter of the south) is holding a conference in Atlanta, Georgia. I'm looking forward to attending my second year in a row. Last year I made some great friends at the Springmingle that I'm still in touch with and I had the opportunity to learn more about the craft and industry.

There's going to be a great line up this year for the conference. Dori Kleber has organized a conference blog tour and I wanted to share some of the links with you so you can get to know some of the faculty:
Enjoy! Happy Writing! And it's not too late to sign up if you want to go!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Next Big Thing

It's time for the Next Big Thing Blog chain! I was tagged by Laura Golden, the extremely sweet and talented author of EVERY DAY AFTER, published by Delacorte/Random House and to be released on June 11, 2013.

It took me awhile to figure out which novel I wanted to talk about, but I think I'm going to answer these questions about latest work in progress.

1. What is the working title of your current book? SNAP

2. Where did you get the idea for that book? 
When I tore my ACL in 2010 I spent a lot of time in physical therapy. While in rehab I saw a lot of young athletes who's worlds were upended because they could no longer compete in their sport. 

3. What is the genre of the book? YA Contemporary

4. If you could pick actors to play the lead characters in your story, who would you pick? 
Natalie Portman from like ten years ago would be excellent for the main character.

5. How would you describe you book in one sentence?
Seventeen-year-old Kate Reddy has sacrificed everything from family to a social life to be an internationally competitive figure skater, but when Brice, a Canadian hockey player, moves to town, he not only wrecks her career but her heart.

6. How will your book be published--submitted through the traditional route to a traditional publisher, or will you be handling it yourself through indie publishing methods?
I plan to go the traditional route, try to acquire an agent, and go from there.

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of this book?
I'm embarrassed to admit that I'm not done with the first draft and I think I started last May or June. I have a really nasty habit of writing 80 to 100 pages and then going back to edit and revise, and then going forward with next chunk of 80 or so pages. I don't know why it's always around 80 pages that I decide to back track. I'm trying to break the habit and learn to write a draft straight through. The only benefit to my madness is that when I do complete the "first draft" it's really more like a second or third draft.

8. What other books within your genre are similar to yours?
I don't know if I've actually read a novel that focuses around athletic injuries, but I strive to be as fantastic as contemporary authors like John Green and Sarah Dessen--both are amazing!

9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Myself. LOL. Seriously, a lot of my inspiration comes from being a figure skater for twenty-two years and my own personal experience of dealing with ACL reconstruction.

10. What about your book will pique the reader's interest?
I hope this is a book that teens and adults can relate to, even if you haven't suffered a serious orthopedic injury. In the United States there are almost 200,000 ACL tears a year, with the largest number occurring in girls between the ages of fourteen to eighteen. When an athlete suffers this type of injury it’s not just a rupturing of a ligament that is so devastating, but the shattering of one’s identity. Most athletes after nine months to almost two years of rehabilitation will return to their sport, but many never return.

Thanks for stopping by! Make sure you visit my good friend Elizabeth Arroyo's blog next week where she'll keep The Next Big Thing blog chain going.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Gossip Time...The Second Sign

My good friend and critique partner Elizabeth Arroyo wrote THE SECOND SIGN, published by Sapphire Star Publishing. And I can't believe that I'm actually getting to talk to you about her book!  

THE SECOND SIGN is fast paced, dark, and heart wrenching. Here's a brief description:

Bred to believe in the war between angels and demons, Gabby has come to the conclusion that love is responsible for war, jealousy, and all the other deadly sins she can think of. So when she’s exiled to the middle of nowhere for getting kicked out of her fifth school for fighting, she doesn't expect to meet Jake. Much less fall in love. But Jake is quickly drawn to the eerie beauty of her violet eyes while Gabby is unsettled by their undeniable connection.

When a demon guardian comes to collect her soul, she refuses to give it up. She’s not a demon. She can’t be. Her father and twin brother are angels. The demon gives Gabby twenty-four hours to decide her allegiance, and then starts killing her short list of friends, leaving a message behind: She is the Second Sign.

As Gabby and Jake begin to unravel the mystery behind the Second Sign, she learns Jake may be the key to saving her soul. But it means a sacrifice has to be made that will change their lives forever.

  • The story is written in the alternating point of views of Gabby and Jake and I instantly fell in love with them both. I found myself rooting for them, hoping they would end up together because they just seemed like the missing half to the other person's soul.
  • Suspense. Lots of it. This is the kind of read where you heart pounds in your throat.
  • Excellent world building.
  • (This might actually be a pro for some people) Blood. A lot of people die. 
  • (This might actually be a pro for some people). Scary. Some serious evil demonic forces come for Gabby and Jake.
  • There were a few times where I just couldn't stomach what was happening and I had to close the book for a few minutes so my brain and heart could process the unfair things that were happening to Gabby and Jake. But the reading break would only last a few minutes because then I'd take a deep breath and plunge right back into the story again.
If you'd like to stalk Elizabeth (I mean get to learn about her more) check out her:

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Celebratory Harry Potter Movie Marathon

Today is my 33rd birthday! I've read several surveys and studies that say the 33rd year of life is supposed to be one of the best. And if I must say 2013 has been pretty awesome.

I like to find new and unique ways to celebrate occasions such as birthdays. So I thought about the list of things that I've always wanted to do but never had time to (no, not a bucket list, not old enough for a bucket list) and watching all the Harry Potter movies, all the Star War movies, and all the Lord of the Ring movies chronologically (yes, I'm a nerd) has always been up there.

So I went on Amazon and ordered the 8-disc Harry Potter set, for quite a reasonable price I might add, and we started the festivities last night. The goal was to watch HP1 and HP2 last night, but I had forgotten how long the Sorcerer's Stone really was and we never made it to the second movie. Wish me luck for tackling HP2, HP3, and possibly HP4 today. I hope to finish all 8 by Monday evening, but if it takes a little longer, I'm ok with that too. It's not about how fast you can watch them, but about being immersed in the world of Harry Potter from the beginning to the end.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Landed First Double Loop Since Surgery

The double loop has always been my nemesis jump, even before I tore my ACL. I tried working on it early March 2012 but it just hurt. The double loop is a jump where you take off on your right backward outside edge and land on your right backward outside edge so there's a good bit of torque on the knee.

I started working on it again a few weeks ago and today I finally had success. It only took 2 years 9 months and 21 days to land after surgery, but I finally did it!

Also, please note that my butt really isn't that big--I'm wearing crash pads.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

On Writing

I'm so happy to be rejoining the cyber writing community again. For awhile I was so busy that I didn't have time to blog, read, or write. But it's been so much fun this past week working on my new WIP, reading and writing blogs, and reading INSURGENT by Veronica Roth (such a good book!).

I've really enjoyed visiting other people's blogs after such a long hiatus. It's fun to see who has recently gotten an agent, the cover reveals, and of course the book releases. I think while I was querying ANOMALY in the summer and fall, the whole process left me feeling dried out and sour. I didn't really want to hear about anyone else's good news because I was getting so tired of hearing "I think this is good writing but I jut can't sell it" or "I'm going to pass at this time but I'm sure someone else might like it" or "the market is just flooded with super hero stories right now." It was difficult because I had lived and breathed this novel for so many years.

I recently was given the opportunity to revise and resubmit, which I did most happily. But, I think for now it's time to move on from ANOMALY. I've got more novels in me that want to be written and read, so I'm going to focus on that for now. But as Beth Revis said in one of her blog posts last year, for me, ANOMALY will always be the novel of my heart. But unfortunately novels of your heart don't always get published. 

And I think I'm finally ok with that :-).

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

I'm back! (and why I've been gone)

2012 finished off with a bang and 2013 started off with total awesome-sauce!

There was the show:

I was featured in B-Metro Magazine:

I moderated an epic Dirty Santa game:

I got engaged:

We had an engagement party:

I went skiing with some of my best friends:

We found out Sarcastically Delicious (aka fiance) has been accepted to dental school:

I get to skate a bit for NBC 13 Daytime Alabama that aired on January 8. And I may be on this afternoon as well! Stay tuned! I'm so thankful for so much that has happened this past month!