This month, 4 out of 5 books I’ve read were self-published. I don’t review books, though I rate them on my Goodreads page.
Beautiful Demons by Sara Cannon
Back in the Saddle by Ashlynn Monroe
Anew by Chelsea Fine
Guardian by Rachel Morgan
Descended by Blood by Angeline Kace
Guys, because I’m moving back to the US this Monday (March 26th), I’ll be totally offline for the next three days or so. That means no Twitter, no blogging, no commenting on other blogs, no Facebook, no emails! I wonder how I’ll survive … hehe
And the totally offline period starts right now …
Anyway, I’ll holler when I get internet back ;)
By the way, did you realize next time we talk to each other, I’ll be living in the US again? Yay!
See you soon!
Let me introduce you to Avery Olive and her book A STIFF KISS:
Who knew kissing a corpse would change everything?
Death always hits Xylia Morana too close to home, but she likes it that way. She hangs out with the terminally ill, attends random funerals, and every so often, when the weather is right, she sleeps in open graves.
But after Landon Phoenix, the high school hottie, dies in Xylia’s arms, she sneaks into the morgue to say goodbye. How could she know stealing a kiss from his corpse would wake him up?
With Landon returned to the living and suddenly interested in Xylia, life has new meaning. But what Xylia doesn’t realize is that by kissing Landon back to life, she’s thrown Life and Death off balance. The underworld demands a body, and it might just have to be Xylia’s this time.
Me: When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
Avery: A few years ago I’d broken my leg, I was on bed-rest with instructions not to do ANY walking, unless with the aid of crutches. I was pretty much stuck in Mr. Olive’s lazy boy chair, and I read. A lot. Eventually I realized that what I was writing was good, and thought maybe I could create my own novel. It’d be cheaper to write a book of my own, than continue to buy books to read. Quickly, I realized I enjoyed it.
Me: What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
Avery: I don’t really have a schedule, so to speak. I’m a stay at home mom, so I write when I can. I do find that I stay up way to late, because that’s when I can get some peace and quiet. I try to write a bit every night, though.
Me: What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Avery: Oh, wow, this is a tough one. I always write start to finish. I know some writers can skip ahead, or start in the middle, work their way to the end and move to the beginning, or start at the end and work backwards, filling in the blanks. I have to write in order, and if I get stuck, I’m stuck until I can figure out how to move forward, whereas most would just skip the hard part and come back to it later. And I can’t work on more than one thing at one. I write a novel start to finish, or if I get too stuck I have to trunk it. But I can’t flip back and forth between novels. I can’t even do that when reading books. I guess I have a once track mind J
Me: When did you write your first book and how old were you?
Avery: I wrote my first novel in 2009 and I was 24 years old.
Me: What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Avery: I love to decorate cakes. I do it on the side for friends and family for a little extra cash. I also read about a book a week (if not more) and in the summer I like to camp and travel a bit.
Me: Are you a plotter or a pantster?
Avery: It might just be my worst writing quality, I’m a pantser. This makes for an interesting story, since I usually only have a few things to work with in my head, and I let the characters do the rest. It’s also why I get stuck. Since I haven’t put a lot of thought into the storyline itself, when I get to a hard part, since I don’t have anything plotted out, I’m stuck until I can come up with direction.
I do, once I get the first initial idea, work out character descriptions and traits, that’s it. And mostly because that needs to be sorted out right away. I can’t very well be half way through a novel and forget what colour eyes my MC has, or what their trademark style is.
Me: How many trunked books (if any) did you have before Publishing A Stiff Kiss?
Avery: I have two completed novels in my trunk, the first one I ever wrote, which I still love, but it needs a bit of an overhaul. And the second I got the first draft done, sent it to my critique buddy. Once I got it back I realized there was way too many things wrong with it, way too many things that needed to be fixed. I set it aside and moved on. One day I might have to pull it out, and work through edits. I’m sure there is a great story underneath that just needs to be pulled forward.
I then have three other novels that are all stuck around the 25K mark. That’s 25K is my problem area. If I can make it past I can finish the novel, but it seems, that’s where I tend to have the most problem, so a few novels never made it passed that mark. One of them I think about often, always trying to figure out how to move forward, and what should happen next.
I only allow myself a certain amount of stuck time. If I can’t manage to push through after about a month, it needs to get set aside and something new needs to be started. I’ve got a million idea’s and they all need a chance to be written.
Me: What’s something you learned from the publishing process that surprised you?
Avery: How little I actually new. I had polished my novel to the best of my ability, sent it to several beta’s and critique partners and continued to polish it with their help. I thought the novel was in pretty good shape, and it was. My editor was impressed with how smooth the novel flowed, that there wasn’t any gaping plot holes, but, BUT my grammar was atrocious. It still is, and I continue to learn ever day and am getting better.
Time, is the other thing. There’s a lot that goes into a novel to get it into publication and each steps takes time. I thought having gone with a small company it would be a lightning fast process (and in retrospect it was) but each step needs to be taken seriously, worked through, and you can’t rush it. A novel is ready when it’s ready.
Me: How long does it typically take you to write a novel, start to finish?
Avery: 3 months is about my average. And that’s including stuck breaks. If I got over my aversion to plotting, and wrote as if it were my nine to five job (if that was even a possibility) I could probably have a novel finished in a month (first draft). It then takes me about 3 months to edit. Which in part is my taking things slow, and waiting on other people J Beta’s and Critique partners are awesome, however they are helping out of the goodness of their heart and it takes time to read and worth through someone else’s work. And I tend to worry. I never think it’s ready, and will continue to pick at it until finally I get to the point where enough is enough.
Me: How did you come up with the idea for A Stiff Kiss?
Avery: This is a tough one. A few things came into play with A Stiff Kiss. I didn’t even think of it as a reverse sleeping beauty until someone had mentioned it to me, but I’m sure in the back of my mind that was part of the thinking.
Someone told me a story, which gave me idea for one of the characters, and I know how cliché, but a dream filled in the blanks.
Me: What are you working on now?
Avery: Now this is super top secret information, if I tell you I’d have to kill you… Oh wait, that’s a lie. I’m actually working on two things (I know a bit of a contradiction to what I said above) I completed a manuscript a few months back, and I’m working on the sequel while I continue to polish the first. When I went to start something new, the sequel and the characters were what came begging me to continue their story, so I caved and thought, what the hell! Maybe I can sell both scripts at the same time J
Me: Do you have any suggestions for aspiring writers?
Avery: Read. I think reading really helps with writing. You can learn a few tricks, and seeing how a sentence is laid out, really helps when learning how to structure your own sentences.
I also think a good community of other aspiring writers, and published ones help. I’m a huge fan of the Absolute Write Forums. I went there to learn as much as I could about the industry, found my very first beta’s and critique partners (who, some of them are still with me today) and made a few, what I am sure, without a doubt will be lifelong friendships. There are others out there learning as you are, so why not banned together and help each other out.
Lastly figure out what you want, and what you want to come of your writing. These days there are so many ways to get published, and some will work for you as a writer better than others. I don’t think there is a right and wrong way to get your book into the hands of readers. I think it’s all personal preference.
More about the author: Avery Olive is proudly Canadian. She is married and has one child. When she’s not helping raise her very energetic and inquisitive son, she can be found working on her latest novel–where she devilishly adds U’s into every word she can. When she is looking for a break Avery enjoys cake decorating, losing herself in a good book, or heading out to the lake to go camping.
The release of Avery’s first novel proves to her it won’t be the last. As long as her family continues to be supportive, she can find the time, and people want to read, Avery vows to keep on writing.
Check out her next blog tour stops:
Sunday March 18th – Dan Wright , Monday March 19th – Mindy, Tuesday March 20th – Hildie McQueen, Wednesday March 21st – Jenn Nixon, Thursday March 22nd – here, Friday March 23rd – Avery’s Book Nook, Saturday March 24th – Clare Marshall, Sunday March 25th – Read 2 Review , Monday March 26th – Megan, Tuesday March 27th – Zahida, Wednesday March 28th – Tawania, Thursday March 29th – Jaime-Kristal , Friday March 30th – Cindy Young-Turner and Saturday March 31th – Steven Whibley
Now, it’s your turn to share A STIFF KISS: post a funny/sad/gritty/dark story about a stiff kiss you experienced to have a chance on winning A Stiff Kiss Coaster (pictured) and a signed bookmark and a collector card.
And don’t forget about the A Stiff Kiss Ultimate Prize Package that will run for the duration of the tour. For more details, click here.
Hope you enjoyed it!
Perhaps you didn’t notice I’ve been MIA because I try to show up on twitter every now and then, but I do feel like I’m missing out on everything lately.
Most of you know I’m Brazilian, that I lived in the US from 2004 to 2009, came back to Brazil, and now I’m moving back to the US.
And that’s all I’ve been doing lately. Packing and organizing everything for our move in one week!.
If you guys ever moved before, you know how much work it involves. But now imagine moving to a different country!
Oh, God, I can’t even start listing all the things I’ve been doing … selling cars, looking for new temporary apartment, packing bags that will go with us on the flight, packing things that will go later through cargo, trying to sell the things we don’t want to take with us, visiting all kinds of doctors and our dentists (who knows how long it’ll take till we find a nice doctor we trust, or someone recommends), visiting family and close friends who live in other cities, planning on how to keep our Brazilian house closed but clean while we are away (we plan on selling it only after we have our greencards in hand), looking for school for our daughter, coming up with a plan of action for the first week (example: look/find new apartment, enroll kid on school, buy new cars, buy the stuff a house needs to function right away—plates, glasses, sofa, bed, TV, garbage can, cleaning supply, food, etc), get my EAD then my SSN …
And much, much more …
The worst part: I’m not writing. For over 30 days now, I’m not writing.
I’ve tried writing a few nights when things are calmer, but it’s useless. The writers out there know that, after a vacation, it’s hard to get back to writing and the first days are not that productive … well, these calmer nights weren’t productive at all.
I didn’t stop writing down the stuff that my mind brings to me, as plot twists and ideas for new novels, but there is no way I can just sit down and type for hours. No way. And it saddens me. It frustrates me. I feel like a part of me is missing. I think I’m even crankier than usual since I stopped writing.
But I need to just let it go, since I know I won’t be writing for the next 20-30 days … that’s a fact and the faster I accept it, the better I’ll live with it.
Anyway, my flight to the US is scheduled for March 26th (in one week!). Hopefully, by April 15th everything will be settled down and I’ll be writing again. Hopefully.
And then, oh my, I’ll be writing. Non-stop.
My goal for this year is to write at least 4 novels (and revise them). Even with the 2-month-break I’m taking because of the move, I’ll do everything I can to meet that goal.
Now you know why I’ve been quiet on the blogsphere and on the twitterverse. Sorry.
I’ll see you guys soon ;)
Here is what the tagged has to do:
1) Go to page 77 of your current MS
2) Go to line 7
3) Copy down the next 7 lines as they’re written–no cheating
4) Tag 7 other writers
5) Let them know
Well, honestly I’m working on many WIPs at the moment, tweaking here and there when I can …
It’s called DESTINY GIFT, and here it is:
Once it was done, he pulled his hands back and placed them inside his pockets. “Thanks.”
And he walked away. Just like that.
My legs gave out, and I found a stool to sit down before I fainted from breathing the toxic substance I’d been working with. Or because of my response to Victor—who was Victor but not, in so many ways.
Oh my God! I was just an object to him. A thing that he could use whenever he wasn’t feeling well. I felt like a recyclable soda can that he could use up and then throw away.
Ha! Now I leave you wondering what that was about =P
Passing along the tag:
1) Jani Grey at Life Debatable
2) Tracy at Scarlets Sanctum
3) Ladonna Watkins at The Writer in Me
4) Jenny Kaczorowski at In Somnis Veritas
5) Melissa Hurst at Chasing the Dream
6) Heather L. Reid at I’d Rather Be Writing
7) Elodie at Commuting Girl
Coming September 11th 2012 from Entangled Publishing:
On the precipice of her sixteenth birthday, the last thing lone wolf Cat Crawford wants is an extravagant gala thrown by her bubbly stepmother and well-meaning father. So even though Cat knows the family’s trip to Florence, Italy, is a peace offering, she embraces the magical city and all it offers. But when her curiosity leads her to an unusual gypsy tent, she exits . . . right into Renaissance Firenze.
Thrust into the sixteenth century armed with only a backpack full of contraband future items, Cat joins up with her ancestors, the sweet Alessandra and protective Cipriano, and soon falls for the gorgeous aspiring artist Lorenzo. But when the much-older Niccolo starts sniffing around, Cat realizes that an unwanted birthday party is nothing compared to an unwanted suitor full of creeptastic amore.
Can she find her way back to modern times before her Italian adventure turns into an Italian forever?
Alessandra jerks back like I just suggested she prance around the square naked or something. “No! I believe I understand your meaning, and Lorenzo is certainly not my suitor. He is like a brother to me—the three of us grew up together.”
She resumes walking and I fall in step beside her, understanding there has to be more to the story. And as we near the end of the row, I finally ask, “If you’re not into the guy, then what’s the problem?”
At that same moment, a rich, deep chuckle hits my ears. My stomach involuntarily clenches and my gaze sharpens on the back of this mysterious Lorenzo.
Alessandra sighs. “That is the problem.” She places her hand on my arm and solemnly looks me in the eyes. “You must be careful. Lorenzo is beautiful, and it is not uncommon for a girl to walk away from meeting him with a piece of her heart left behind. But he is just eighteen, and not yet ready for marriage.”
I roll my eyes and laugh, then realize she’s serious. “Yeah, I assure you, there’s no danger on my end. I’m not exactly looking for marriage myself.” Because that would be crazy-town.
Alessandra wrinkles her nose as if she doesn’t believe me, but she removes her hand. We close the distance and Cipriano flashes me an open, honest to goodness, lighthearted smile.
“Lorenzo, this is the cousin I was telling you about.”
Slowly the guy turns and I fall head first into the richest chocolate-brown eyes I’ve ever seen. He blinks and long, luscious lashes feather across his bronzed cheeks. I can feel myself gawking, but I physically can’t drag my eyes away. Lorenzo doesn’t smirk or act all conceited, either. He simply stares back, his eyes casually skimming over me, causing my skin to warm and break out in a whole body tingle.
Time seems to stop, and the sounds of the market mute. Alessandra was right. This boy is beautiful.
And he’s looking at me.
Isn’t that exciting?
I almost forgot it!
Today is the first anniversary of my blog!
My blog started very, very slow. Actually, I started a blogger blog on January 2011, but soon after (March/10) I switched over to wordpress.
But today—128 posts, 1100 comments and almost 15,000 pageviews later—I can’t imagine not coming here and “talking” to you, guys … thanks for being here and reading all my craziness ;) I really appreciate it!
Here’s to another year! And many others after that!
Because every writer dreams of not only seeing their books on the shelves everywhere, but also as a movie on every screen around the globe. Isn’t it true? It sure is.
Here is what Kyra says: “Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to post a photo of the actors or actresses you would like to play the characters in your WiP if it were to be made into a movie. It can be just one character, or the entire cast! Secondly, we want you to soundtrack your movie! Head over to YouTube, and post a song that best describes one of your characters, or your story as a whole. Again, you can pick one song, or several, it’s entirely up to you!”
My first challenge was to choose between my WIPs.
But it wasn’t a challenge really. I’m super excited about my new idea, my totally pantsed new idea, one that doesn’t have a title yet (I’ll probably come up with one after the first draft is finished), but I know the name of my characters and I love it.
NAYELI — means “I Love You” in Native American
She is 19 and a shaman—shy but powerful.
The first actress who popped on my mind was Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen from Game of Thrones with her blonde-white hair and leather attire. But, oh well, that image was taken, and I thought of another one: Avril Lavigne.
Despite her messy life, Avril is beautiful and talented. Look at that face. I even played on photoshop and gave her a whitish hair (under 30 secs, guys, don’t look for quality). I guess it doesn’t look that bad. Perhaps a little less white later ;) Or, hum, I could blame the background for not helping too lol
Imagine Nayeli as a regular girl, with jeans and flats, then, during rituals and missions, she wears suede pants and vest and leather boots.
She lives under the shadow of her extroverted and eloquent sister, until *something* happens and she is forced to take action. Ha! Quite a tease, right? *wink, wink*
ALEC — means “Defender of People”
He is 20 and a bounty hunter—loner and quiet.
First, I thought of Jared Leto, Shane West and/or Taylor Kitsch, but they are too old (hot old, yes) to play my character. Then I remember another younger actor but equally handsome: Nathan Keyes.
I found out about Nathan when watching Ben 10 the movie—recognize the car on the pic above? Yes, I’m a 28yo girl who is a fan of Ben 10, especially of Kevin and Gwen (and their “relationship”). Since then, I follow him on Facebook (btw, he links youtube videos of his next series where he appears shirtless!!).
As a great actor, I think we can expect many great things of Nathan in the future.
Anyway, he would be a perfect Alec. Mysterious, with that killer stare and the hint of a smile. Yum!
Aren’t they a GORGEOUS couple? I think they are!
As for the soundtrack. Well, that wasn’t easy. I wanted to find a song with lyrics and by someone famous, but the truth is, I like to dream and write about this wip and let my mind wander through it when I’m listening to songs by Two Step From Hell.
Here are a couple of examples:
Did you like it? Would you watch my movie? lol
How about your WIP’s cast and song?
UPDATE: On Twitter, I told Nathan Keyes that I had chosen him for this bloghop and he RT’d to his followers! Look here! *fans self*