Kreative Blogger Award!

I normally don’t post two blogs in one day, but I had to post this one.

The wonderful and lovely Amy at The Literary Mom gave me a Kreative Blog Award today. Whoo Hoo!!  *throws confetti*  Thank you, Amy!  I’m honored that you presented me with this award.  I’m all giddy now.

As part of receiving this award, I have to (1):  Share 10 things about myself that readers might find interesting, and (2) nominate 6 others for the blog award.  So, here goes:

Ten things about me:

1.  I was born in Neu Ulm, Germany, adopted by a US Army couple and grew up moving and traveling everywhere.

2.  I’ve been writing stories ever since I could hold a crayon (or so it seems).

3.  My short story, The Passing of Millie Hudson, was my first published short story.

4.  I’ve worked as a retail clerk, data entry clerk, an administrative assistant, and most recently a paralegal.

5.  I am the biggest animal lover in the world. I’d adopt every stray and every homeless four-legged creature if I could.

6.  I was hugged and kissed on the neck by the oh-so-awesome Kevin Richardson of the Backstreet Boys on December 1, 1999 in Orlando, FL at a fan conference.  I still have the newspaper article from the Orlando paper.  






7.  I can never eat enough lobster tail, king crab legs, shrimp and cheese cake.  I’m addicted to vanilla and or chocolate flavored coffee (Godiva is to die for) and International Delight vanilla creamer.  I love Martini and Rossi Asti Spumanti and Arizona Green Tea (but not together).

8.  I love to travel.  There are so many places on my bucket list to see.  The Grand Canyon, Seattle, Washington and Vermont in the fall top the list.

9.  My favorite book of all time is Great Expectations.

10.  I hate any kind of creepy, crawly bug like roaches or crickets.  I freak out and simply can’t kill them.  The crunch they make sends shivers up my spine.

2.  The lucky six bloggers to receive the award are:

1.  Jennifer Eaton’s blog.  She is an amazing author and I love her posts.  This aspiring author has an amazing future ahead of her.

2.  Kana Tyler.  She’s a freelance writer, she’s funny and has some really insightful things to say.

3.  Talin.  Her blog is beautiful, and inspirational. She’s a writer who also loves to cook.  She posts recipes all the time, all of them really, really good.

4.  I cannot sing enough praises for this Commuting Girl’s writer’s site.  Great posts and she’s as addicted to YA novels as I am.

5.  Lori Freeland at  Lori is amazing and I’ve gotten a lot of great ideas from her site.  She’s an author, inspirational writer, wife, and mother, among many other things.  You can’t go wrong with her blog.

6.  Brenda Drake.   Brenda is always  hosting contests and blogfests with agents, professional editors, etc.  She has a huge following and her blog is fun and dynamic.

Honorable Mention:

Emi Gayle:  fantastic author and I love her book reviews.

Do I do it for me or my audience?

There seems to be a great divide among authors whether they write for themselves or to an audience.  I’ve spoken to many authors who claim they will never write for an audience.  They write because they love to write and it doesn’t matter who or if anyone wants to read it.  Over the years I’ve found that, as a rule, these authors are not in the business to make money.  They don’t long to be on the top of the best-seller lists.  They don’t care if there are action figures made of their characters.  In fact, I’ve found that an overwhelming majority of these intellectual authors find it disgusting that other writers would even consider selling out their craft to become commercialized.  Many authors feel this need to please a target audience has lowered the bar for what should be, first and foremost, fantastic writing.  In essence, many of them believe commercial fiction writers are hugely responsible for the ‘dumbing down’ of our society.

On the other hand, commercialized writers have a completely different look on the  matter.  They are marketers, whether they want to agree with that or not.  They study their audience, they know what their audience likes, and they write accordingly.  They see and study other authors in their genre, reading everything they can to see what formulas work.  I have found from talking to these types of authors that many of them long for the action figures (they make money).   They live for the idea that someone may want to make  a video game or movie from their book and they keep that in mind as they develop and unravel scenes, create characters and define tension and plot.  They don’t see their writing as ‘dumbing down’ anything, but rather giving the audience what they want and crave.  Does this for make bad writing?  Sometimes, but  not always.

If you ask me, it’s all subjective.  I’ve read books that I thought were horrible and didn’t know how the author found anyone to publish the thing.  However, someone else I knew read the book and found it to be the most fantastic piece of literature they ever laid their eyes on. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is one such example.  I hated it.  I couldn’t get anywhere near to the middle to ‘wait for the exciting stuff to happen’.  I was so bored and just couldn’t muddle through.  Other people loved it, and now it is a movie.  Was Stiegg Larsson thinking movie deal when he wrote it?  I’m not sure.  I doubt it, but many will now lump him into the commercialized author category because it is now a movie.

My advice to any aspiring author…write from your heart.  If your heart leads you down the path where you just want to write and you don’t care if anyone reads it, then go for it.  If all you can think about is writing a best-selling book with eventual movie rights, go for it.

I personally fall in between the two.  I write because I love it.  Writing is as important to me as breathing.  To go more than a few hours without writing something is torture to my soul.  It’s insane.  My main dream is to be published.  Period.  Just knowing I have a published novel out there in the universe where other people can read it would just make me feel all gooey inside.  But don’t get me wrong.  I would LOVE it if a big movie studio came to me and said, “We want to make a film out of your novel, and by the way, we’ll need to make video games and action figures to be released 3 months before the movie.”  Can someone say SWEET!

Would accepting such a deal make me a sellout?  *shakes head*  I think it would make me a savvy businesswoman.  I mean, come on.  Let’s face it.  I don’t care what anyone thinks about Stephenie Meyer.  She wrote a series of books from her heart that gripped the hearts of young girls all over the world.  The Twilight series may not have been intellectual or exquisitely written, but they did touch the pulse of the world.  She wrote something she was passionate about, and that passion came through in the books.  She knew her audience, she knew herself, and wrote accordingly.  Pretty dang smart if you ask me.  Does that make her a commercialized writer?  I don’t think so.  She had a passion, got off her bum and wrote her heart out. She got lucky, filled a void, and became a very wealthy woman because of it.  The same can be said for J.K. Rowling.  The Harry Potter series is the most lucrative set of books, EVER.  Heck, there’s even a theme park devoted to the stories.  No one else in the world can claim that.

So, I’ll continue to write from my heart and pray and believe I will be one of the .005 percent of authors who break into the top 100.  I truly believe In the Shadow of the Dragon King is a great novel and would be purely spectacular as a film.  And just between you and me, I would really love to have Trog and Einar action figures. That would make me squeal with delight.  🙂

As Yoda said, “Do or do not.  There is no try.”  I plan to ‘do’ and I strongly suggest you do the same.  Follow your dreams, no matter what they are.  Let others think as they will.  You only have one person to please in the end, and that’s you.  Make it count.

So what kind of writer are you?