It’s a Teen Invasion


It’s that time of year for me to take a hiatus from my blog to write, edit, and write some more. In the past, I just went silent but this summer, at least for a month, I am turning my blog over to two teens, David and Charlotte, from my soon to be released novel, IN THE SHADOW OF THE DRAGON KING.

I have to tell you up front I have no idea what will spring forth from their fingers. I can tell you that David is quite nervous about it. He’s not one to voice his opinion. Charlotte, on the other hand, is quite vocal, but she promised me she would be nice, right Charlotte?

girl with thumbs up

They also said they would answer questions, too, and take ideas as they have no idea what to talk about.

Go figure … teens with nothing to talk about. Hmm. Is that even possible?  We shall see.

With that said, I will be here through the end of the week and beginning Monday, David Heiland will be on board to start off your week with whatever 16-year-old boys talk about. I hope you tune in now and then. It will be interesting.

M9B Friday Reveal: Author Spotlight with Amy McNulty with Giveaway, and other news


Hi all!!

#Month9Books is featuring another of their new authors today. Her name is Amy McNulty and she’s written a pretty cool book titled, NOBODY’S GODDESS. you can read all about it and participate in the Giveaway over on my website page under News & Events.

On the home front, I’m working on my Chronicles of Fallhollow blog site that will only be available to my street team and peeps that have signed up for my Newsletter. I’m still trying to navigate through the world of Mailchimp and learning about campaigns, but I am certain I will have everything up and running by the end of the month. Well, I’m hoping I’ll have it together by then because I’m going to do the A-Z challenge where every letter will be centered around the trilogy, and more importantly, my debut novel and first in the series, IN THE SHADOW OF THE DRAGON KING.

As the time draws closer to publication date, there will be all kinds of sneak peaks, giveaways, early reveals, and never seen before goodies on my CoF blog.  I hope you will join in when the newsletter goes live.  I know I can’t wait to start sharing my novel with the world and with you.

Last, you know how you get some songs stuck in your head and no matter what you do, you can’t get them out?  Here’s the one that’s been rolling around in my noggin for the past few days, ever since #Mockingjay Part 1 came out.  There’s just something about the line:

But I got my fingers laced together and I made a little prison
And I’m locking up everyone who ever laid a finger on me
I’m done with it (ooh)

Despite their digital prowess, teens still prefer print over ebooks


With my own YA novel coming out in 2016, I’ve been doing some research into what format teens prefer to read books.  Overwhelmingly, the surveys and the polls show teens still prefer to read print books over their digital counterparts by nearly 73%.  That’s  a huge number.

Voxburner recently conducted research for The Bookseller surveying 900 young people in the UK on their prefered method of reading. Overwhelmingly, nearly three-quarters of the young people surveyed said they prefer the print form. This is not the first survey to show these results.

Despite their digital prowess, the research continues to show time and time again that people in the 16 – 24 year old age group prefer the feel of a real book. They want to touch it, hold it, see the creases in the spine. It’s holistic. It’s real.

There are also two other determining factors:

  • Price; and
  • Ownership

Most young people do not have tablets or ereaders. They still get the majority of their reading material in paper from either schools, bookstores or libraries. They don’t have a lot of cash for the most part, and when they do, they aren’t going to fork out their money on a digital book that costs almost as much as their paper counterparts. They’d prefer to plunk down their cash for something they can share, and let’s face it, you can’t share an e-book unless you have a compatible device and a license that says you can do so. Paperbooks make their rounds. Trust me. As a teen, my friends and I swapped books all the time. It was great!

Ownership is huge with teens. They like to feel what they have is theirs. Even teens know that when you purchase the digital variant of a book, you are merely licensing the title and it is not actually yours to keep. The printed version, however, can be yours forever, for relatively the same price, so why not own instead of lease?

I spoke with a few YA authors over the weekend to get their feelings on this newest survey. Some have their books only releasing in eb0ok while others have the best of both worlds with ebook and print.  Four of the authors I spoke to weren’t aware of the surveys and are a little worried that their books will not reach their target audience. Two of those four said they might have signed too soon with their publishers who only print in digital format. Two other authors aren’t worried at all. Their books are getting published by a real publisher so it doesn’t matter what format it’s in.

Personally, I want to see my YA novels in print. Always have. Always will. The feeling is seeded way down deep in my gut. But whether print or digital, there is still a lot of hard work that goes into promoting a book, and unfortunately, authors are having to bear the majority of the marketing.

This also terrifies me. I’m not a marketing guru. The thought of what to do and how to do it paralyzes me.  I need to reach my market, which might be kind of hard to do seeing my trilogy is YA epic fantasy with the romance factor being about almost nil of the storyline. Girls like the romance, but I didn’t want to write another teen romance. I wanted to give them something different. Something epic. Something that wasn’t filled with page after page of sappy.  I think I have succeeded in that. In fact, I think I’ve written something teen boys can sink their teeth into. Think Narnia meets Harry Potter meets Lord of the Rings.  Sort of. I can only hope that I can create the buzz early with my novels so they will reach their intended audience no matter what format kids read. I really do think they’ll enjoy the adventure.  After all, it has dragons, and who doesn’t like reading about dragons, right?

 

 

 

My novel, In the Shadow of the Dragon King, picked up by film maker


Yep, in my dream last night, my novel, In the Shadow of the Dragon King, was picked up by none other than Peter Jackson himself. See, he likes dragons and destroying things and when he read my novel, he knew he had to put it on the big screen.

Needless to say,  I was overjoyed, as was my publisher.

Of course the film was a HUGE success and was up for 9 Academy Awards.  All of the authors from Month9Books and its imprints were there at the theater.  We were all dressed to kill and we made such a lovely bunch of giddy authors. My daughter, Heather Jessup, who is a real-life costume designer, did all the costumes for the film (I told Peter I wouldn’t allow the film to be made without my daughter as the CD. Let me tell you, she was stoked beyond stoked.)  Heather won an Academy Award for her role in the film. The film won a couple of other awards for musical score and set design, but I woke up before I found out if it won Best Picture.

Dreams. Ya gotta love them. And until my dying breath, this will be the next major dream I will see come true. Don’t believe me?  Just watch and wait.  Peter Jackson, if you’re out there … I’ve got my eye on you.  🙂

So, tell me. What is your BIG dream?

Something wicked is coming ~ and I couldn’t be happier


I’m not usually one to toot my own horn but I really have to in this case because I’m so flipping happy I can’t think straight. My debut Young Adult fantasy novel, IN THE SHADOW OF THE DRAGON KING, has been picked up by Month9Books and will be published in the Summer/2016.

I gotta tell you, it’s been a crazy ride and one that has happened really fast. On May 31, I took a chance and submitted my query to one of my dream publishers ~ Month9Books.  I was so nervous and if it hadn’t been for an awesome friend and writer buddy, I may have never done so. She worked with me for days to help me tighten my query, and then gave me the shove I needed to take the chance. On June 8, I received an email that said:

this sounds delightful1 My heart just about leapt out of my chest!  I couldn’t believe it. But then I got another shock.  I had one week to submit the full. I scurried to complete a final edit, looking for any misspelled words, grammar issues, punctuation, formatting. I completely drove myself bonkers but I got it done, and on June 14, I hit that submit button.

And then I waited.  And waited.  I checked the Twitter feeds.  Day after day I noticed tweets from Georgia McBride that said “Ugh, sending lots of rejections today.” “Ugh. 7 rejections sent today.”  Of course, that sent me skittering to my inbox to see if I was one of them, but my inbox remained quiet. Then, July 5, I got the most wonderful e-mail ever from Georgia McBride: “I enjoyed the story and characters immensely, and feel it would fit well on my 2016 list at Month9Books.”
seriously1

I cried. Then I hugged my husband, called my daughters, called my friend who helped me with my query, and then I cried some more.  In between all that, I kept going back to the e-mail to re-read it, just to make sure I didn’t read it wrong. But the words remained in black and white. My novel, my “child” that I gave birth to and nurtured and shaped and molded for more years than I want to admit, was going to see the light of day.  I cannot even begin to express how excited, honored and blessed I am.

What happens from here?  Right now, I wait.  As the time draws closer to publication date, I’m sure there will be lots of edits, lots of back and forths on promotions, book covers, marketing, and I’m sure it’s going to make my head spin, but it will all be worth it.  A life-long dream has come true.  My novel will be out there for all the world to read, and if one person cherishes it, I will be elated. Of course I’ll be even happier if I get a movie deal out of it, but that’s another post.  Another dream.  Until then, I’m going to bask in this awesomeness.

I just wish Summer 2016 wasn’t so far away.

 

 

Hurry up and wait


So, I submitted a query to a “dream” publisher on May 30.  I received a request for my full manuscript on June 8.  I had one week to submit.

So, I got 5 sets of eyes on the manuscript.  I edited…read again…edited…read again…rinse and repeat until I couldn’t do anymore.  Around 2 PM on June 14, I held my breath, closed my eyes and hit the ‘send’ button.

Of course, after I submitted, I found mistakes.  It was driving me  nuts.  Several of my lovely writer buddies told me to put it away. It was gone. Nothing I could do about it. Still, I wanted it polished. I wanted perfection.  One side of my brain said there is no such thing. The other side of my brain said yes there is.  I’m conflicted, can you tell?

It’s been 4 days.  I haven’t received a confirmation e-mail that the publisher received the MS, and the website says don’t ask.

So now after all the hurry, I sit and wait.  My nerves are frayed. I may eat a finger or two, maybe a hand, before I hear anything. Pray for me.   My fingernails are already disappearing.

ahhh
Copyright: robodread / 123RF Stock Photo

B – Bainesworth von Stuegler


Happy April 2 and welcome to day two of the A-Z Challenge.  Today, I bring to you from my YA novel, The Eye of Kedge, the one, the only, Bainesworth von Stuegler

Bainesworth is an arrogant, devious knight and commander, serving the kingdom of Faucher, an ally kingdom to the kingdom of Hirth. His allegiance, however, doesn’t lie with Faucher’s ailing king, but with himself.  He’s also made himself the arch enemy of Sir Trogsdill Domnall, a revered knight of Hirth.  Trust me, there is no love lost there.

***

Trog tore the shirt from Eric’s hand, slipped it over his head and stormed through the doors.  The murmurs hushed, the room fell silent except for the click of boots across the tiles.

“Well, well, well.  Sir Trogsdill.” Bainesworth’s voice echoed in the hall.  “How nice of you to join us.  Are you well?  You seem ill.”

Trog set his gaze on Bainesworth and grunted.  “You have no idea how sick I feel at this moment.” He scratched his chair across the floor and sat down.

“Yes, well, as usual, you’ve kept us waiting for quite some time.  Then again, that doesn’t surprise me.  You’ve always been a bit ostentatious when an audience is involved.”  He paused for a moment, as if waiting for a rebuttal.  Bainesworth continued, a snide grin pinned to his square face.  “Funny thing is, despite your grand entrance, I’m short of feeling honored by your disheveled presence.  You know how I hate to wait – especially on the likes of you.”

As if I give a damn about what you hate,” Trog said, his expression contemptuous.

“You should.  You top my list.”

“I’m honored, considering I don’t give you a second thought.”

Bainesworth’s lip twitched at the corner.  “I’d watch your arrogance, Sir Trogsdill.  You never know where I’ll be lurking.”

“Lurk all you want.  It makes no difference to me since your fate waits for you on the tip of my sword.  Of this I swear to you.”

Bainesworth chuckled.  “I look forward to your feeble attempt.”

***

Nice guy, huh?

Want to see my vision of what Bainesworth looks like?  Click this little guyDon’t forget to hop around to the other bloggers who are participating in the A-Z challenge.  You can find the list here

The Next Big Thing


In the last two weeks or so I’ve been tagged by two authors – Julie and Kathils – to participate in the new blog hop sensation: The Next Big Thing!  The purpose:  discuss my current Work in Progress.  Seeing as I was tagged by not one, but two authors, I figured I should indulge all of you with some little tidbits about my  novel.

What is the working title of your book? In the Shadow of the Dragon King.

Where did the idea come from for the book?  The idea has been swirling in my head since I was young.  I’m an army brat with a love for fantasy – the kind of fantasy that involves knights and dragons and sorcerers.  My Army dad was always a hero to me, as are our servicemen and women.  One Saturday morning while sitting in an IHOP, nine servicemen dressed in uniform, came in and took a table by the window.  Watching them, listening to them, the idea for my novel began to play out in my head and it wouldn’t stop.  I’ve been working on the trilogy ever since.

What genre does your book fall under?  a cross between urban and high fantasy.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? Kidnapped for his own safety, a seventeen-year old boy is thrust into a magical world hovering on the brink of war, and forced into finding a hidden ally before his arc enemies – a sorcerer and a dragon – can kill him.   (Still working on it but it’s what I have for now.)

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?  Wow, my list is long (yes, I’ve thought about this a lot :-))  Are you ready?  Nicholas Haut, Vanessa Hudgins, Megan Fox, Cameron Bright, Jeremy Sumpter, Craig Parker, Roselyn Sanchez, David Wenham and Paul Rudd to name a few. 

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?  I would love to have my book repped by an agency, but I’ll probably end up going with a small press.  There are several out there I’m looking at who have a great reputation and same publishing model I’m looking for.  All options are open at this time.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? Years.  I worked on it part-time to begin with only to realize I needed to do some research into medieval weapons, castles, locations, etc.  This put the actual writing on hold for a while.  Then I started writing again but I didn’t like the way it started, so I ditched it and started over.  I was also working full-time and trying to raise four kids, so time was limited.  Then I was laid off in 2010 from my job and, unable to find a job, dove into my manuscript with vigor.  I completed it in 2011, sent it off to a publisher who liked it but needed changes.  I’ve been working on those changes ever since, along with the other two novels in the trilogy.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? I’ve been told my story has elements of Tolkien, Rowling, C.S. Lewis, Cassandra Clare and Anne McCaffrey mixed with my own flare, but as far as actual books?  I don’t think it’s been compared to any books.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? There are mysterious tattoos, fight scenes to appeal to the YA male reader, a hint of love interest for the gals, a bit of sarcastic wit for the adults and some bad a$$ characters to love and hate.  There’s a good dragon as well as a very, very bad one, a couple of kick-butt fae, and an army of shape-shifting teens any kid would want on his/her side in an epic battle.  It’s a story of love, sacrifice and believing in one’s self.

And now, for my nominations, in no particular order:

Amy M. Newman

Kourtney Heintz

Tristan Berry

Jamie Ayres

Carrie Ruben

Layla

And anyone else who wants to play along.