Welcome to a Fictional Reality

Welcome to a Fictional Reality

Saturday, March 30, 2013

In the Bones - 4-Star Review

"In the Bones" by Renee Miller is a crime/suspense for adults that is extremely well put together.

In a small town where everyone is hiding something, how can you possibly know who is trustworthy.  With a purely evil master-mind leading the town and yet having the town's people carry out all the dirty work, every citizen is scared that they will be punished; if not by the law for their hand in the town's secret, then by the town's leader himself for going against him.

Miller makes this story come alive with a brilliant use of emotions.  She brings the reader so deep into the story that you feel like you could and should just reach over and slap Carroll for all of the stunts that he pulls.  I was a little hesitant at first, because in order for me to like a suspense, it has to feel real to me, and I got that from Miller!


Synopsis


Welcome to Albertsville: Population 400…and falling.

When Ryan Cassidy claims a house left to him by his estranged grandparents, he becomes tangled in the mystery of a town crushed by a deadly secret spanning generations.

The town's power core, which includes the reeve, his council members, and the local police, smother opposition with deceit, brutality and fear. They will stop at nothing to keep the horror they've committed buried. 

A severe winter storm leaves Albertsville snowbound—a trap only the dead can hope to flee—and Ryan becomes a liability that must be silenced at any cost.

The answers to the town’s mystery and its salvation are hidden...In the Bones.



Buy on Amazon
Buy on Smashwords


Excerpt


“I don’t have no intention of being friends with you, Mr. Cassidy. You can save that cocky little grin for another female. One that falls for that sort of thing. I just wanted to say something, so it’s clear and we can go on about our lives without any trouble. You understand what I’m saying, Mr. Cassidy?” She spoke his name as though it tasted foul on her lips.
Well shit.
Audrey kept her face averted, focused on wiping her hands.
Back to the woman Ryan smiled again. “All right. I’m all ears.”
“I know your type and I don’t like it. I don’t like the problems you’re causing already. You think you can come in here and charm everyone with your baby face and that butter-won’t-melt smile, but you’re wrong. What was that bullshit at the meeting? Trouble, that’s what. Some of us have a brain in our head and we remember where you come from. Your mother was a conniving little slut and your father no better than a pedophile. White trash. That’s what you are. Melvin and Rachel used their money to gain respect. Cassidys always did feel they were better than anyone. I don’t care if your great granddaddy helped found this town; none of them were worth shit. Lord knows there was nothing about your parents that’s respectful. Weren’t even married.”
Audrey choked and sputtered. Grabbing her beer she swigged down half the bottle before she set it down. She still didn’t look at Ryan.
He raised an eyebrow at the woman, startled at the outburst. “I’m sorry you feel that way, ma’am. I’m afraid I can’t speak for my father or my grandparents as I didn’t know them and I have to give you the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps they were all jackasses, I don’t know. But I can speak for my mother, and I’ll politely ask that you never let her name pass your lips again. I promise you won’t have to tolerate my cocky smile or charm if you do.”


Author Bio

Renee Miller is a freelance writer living in Tweed, Ontario. Small town life is busy, but she’s managed to sandwich a book or two between the demands of housewifery and hiding from the neighbors.

Bitten by the writing bug at the tender age of nine or ten (she can't recall those years as clearly anymore) Renee has forever had a story building in her head. It wasn't until 2009 that she considered turning her passion into a serious endeavor. She has several completed novels she prefers to call "almost published" and many more awaiting their chance to be polished enough for public consumption. 

Last year she co-founded On Fiction Writing, a website for writers, created by writers. IN THE BONES is her first published novel.

www.authorreneemiller.com AND www.onfictionwriting.com

Friday, March 29, 2013

Of Silver and Beasts -Cover Reveal

Of Silver and Beasts (A Goddess Wars Novel)
Release Date: June 1, 2013
Genre: New Adult Dark Fantasy
Cover Reveal Organized by: YA Bound
Cover Designed by: Steven Novak

Summary from Goodreads:
In the sand-covered queendom of Cavan, the goddess once saved a young Kaliope’s life, preventing the mercury her father attempted to hide in her blood from reaching her heart. Now, a cybernetic clamp filters it, but the silver streaks swirling faintly beneath her skin are a constant reminder that she’s different.

When nineteen-year-old Kaliope is chosen as head of the Nactue Guard, she becomes the sworn protector to her empress. In the midst of an invasion on a neighboring land, Kaliope is placed in charge of guarding Prince Caben, the last heir to his kingdom. But when they’re attacked by the feared Otherworlders, Caben and Kaliope are abducted and taken below to a realm where they must fight for their life in a caged arena. 

Kaliope struggles to protect her princely charge, keeping him and herself alive while battling inhumanly opponents, and trying to save the stolen, sacred relic that will restore her empress’s life force and all of Cavan. And if she can somehow awaken the goddess within her, she may save what’s most important.


***Excerpt***

I open my mouth to say something comforting, but I’m unsure of what. In this moment, I’m reminded that I know little about him. Other than the sarcasm and desire to understand nothing of my queendom, he hasn’t allowed me past the surface. But then, I have my own walls, hiding things I’d never want him or any other to know. And I understand that need to hide them. You can’t trust anyone. “Caben…” I start, but still can’t find the right words. He lowers his hand from his face, never taking his eyes off the glinting water top. “You’re right,” he finally says. “Let’s find the access to Lilly’s section.” A hollow pang hits my chest, and I’m not sure why. Something in his voice sounds lost, broken. I imagine the gears around my heart spinning faster, trying to keep up with my racing heart. When he sidesteps me, I reach out and grab his arm. “Caben, I didn’t mean—” “It’s fine, Kal,” he snaps. “We have work to do.” “No, I’ve said something to offend you.” I drop my hand, but keep close to him, not allowing him to leave my side. Goddess, trying to understand the male brain is harder than anything in protector training. I’ve heard people say that you have to tip-toe around a woman’s emotions, but a man’s ego is every bit as fragile, if not more so. He releases a heavy breath through his nose and walks back to the pool. He sits down along the edge and rolls up his pants, then slips off his boots. “I honestly don’t think Bax or his goons will be returning tonight.” He sinks his bare feet into the water and sighs. Glancing at the back of the cave, I plant my hands on my hips. We don’t have time for indulgencies, but the prince is still my charge. If it were my empress, I’d give her anything she’d ask for. Allow her as much time as she needed to collect herself. I have to watch over his mental state as well as protect him, so I try to push the pending need to find Lilly aside and sit down next to him. “Here,” he says, turning his hand out near my crossed feet. “You have to feel this.” A smile tugs at the corner of my mouth. “I can remove my own—” “Have you never been pampered a day in your life?” he asks, lifting an eyebrow. “I know that the Nactue are fierce and will put a hurt on any man for touching them. But try to relax.” “Is that the rumor in Perinya?” “What?” I bite my lip, suddenly regretting my blurt. “Nothing. Never mind.” From the corner of my eye, I see his lips pucker into a pinched smile, as if he’s trying not to. “Ah,” he says, like he’s made some great universal connection. “Well, there are many whisperings about the Nactue. Some I dare not repeat for fear I’d leave here missing a limb, but that’s one, yes.” He takes my booted foot and begins to unlace it. “I’ve heard that the empress’s protectors are untouchable—forbidden to give themselves to men. And that they’ll snap a man’s neck just for making an advance.” My mouth drops open. Appalled, I counter, “That’s not true.” “All right,” he says, as if he hasn’t just insulted my very existence. “It’s only rumors. Things men jaw about in pubs. The unattainable woman is a fantasy, Kal. Don’t be offended.” “Unattainable?” I grit my teeth, trying to maintain my composure. “Tell me, prince. Do men in your country just go around bedding every woman they can in order to keep them compliant?” I shake my head. “If their fantasy is a woman that would have nothing to do with them, it seems to me it’s their way of feeding their egos after being rejected.” His eyes widen. “No! How does your brain come up with these—” He bites off his words, his lips thin as he presses them together. “Look, it was a joke.” I nod, many times. “Another joke. I’m glad that our hard work and sacrifice is amusing to the men of Perinya.” Caben lets out another sigh and slowly pulls off my boot. His warm fingers skim my calf as he inches up my pant leg. “Just stick your foot in,” he says, then adds lower, “while I stick mine in my mouth.” Unexpectedly, I laugh. “At least it’s now clean,” I say. “Would you like some help getting it to your face?”

***GIVEAWAY***
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Matchmaker's Curse - Promo


The Matchmaker's Curse is book two in the Matchmaker series of lighthearted paranormal romance:

Grant Barclay came to Charleston for a consultation with the Matchmaker, hoping she'd help him identify the magic that will preserve and protect his werewolf pack's territory. What he got was a cursed mark from the Matchmaker and no idea where to find his soulmate.

An English professor, Maeve King believes in the power of fairy tales but prefers a day to day life without the drama. When her best friend becomes a legendary Matchmaker, helping mythical beings find their soulmates, it seems those tales of magic are coming to life all around her... and quite possibly within her.


Regan Black is the award-winning author of paranormal romance and action-packed urban fantasy novels featuring alpha female heroines. In addition to several short stories (and blogs), she’s also authored the non-fiction Adopt A Greyhound Guide and Goal Setting for Writers, a book based on her popular online workshop. Raised in the Midwest and California, she now lives in the South Carolina Lowcountry where the abundance of history and legend fuels her imagination.

Twitter: @ReganBlack

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Innovera Yakov: Journey of a Thousand Eyes

Innovera Yakov: Journey of a Thousand Eyes by Kia Garriques is an interesting Young Adult Fantasy piece.  Like many fantasy stories, it takes you a few pages to get into the groove of this other worldly culture, but once you settle in you don't really want to leave the world of Innovera Yakov.

I really enjoyed watching Ayana (the main character) discover her self-worth.  When we first meet her, she has absolutely no self confidence because of her scars and abilities that are so different from everyone else around her.  But being the only healer, she has a purpose and a destiny, whether she is aware of them or not.  I'm always judge YA books by their message to the audience, and Innovera Yakov has a good one: never loose faith in yourself because your biggest insecurities can be your greatest gift to others.


Buy on Amazon

SYNOPSIS
Innovera Yakov is a beautiful world of crystals that turns under five moons and two brilliant suns that never set. Flitters take care of domestic chores while Starbirds and Starflies soar through the never-ending sunlight of this crystalline world. The Circle of Knowing decides their fate; the forbidden forests of the Dimmer Zone swallow trespassers. And at the very edges of Innovera Yakov there is the terrifying watery darkness of Verheer. 

We meet Ayana, the healer and lonely outcast with her scarred face; Vinton, her protector (or is he her imaginary friend?); Gamma and Blu Tara, the beautiful, fiery twins who can kill with one look. These twins are important characters in the book. They could hardly be more different from each other. Krave, beloved by Gamma, hated by Blu Tara, ‘tall and upright as a polished spear with a beautiful crop of golden hair that cascaded down his back in waves’; his ‘brother’ Skylar, pure trouble with ‘muscles on his arms and legs that stood out in lumps’; Ryder with his crystal spear, forever seeking Ayana’s approval although she, refusing to believe she's worth it, can only wonder, ‘What does he see in me?’ And Ice, mysterious, dangerous, murderous with eyes like bright furnaces who feeds on Innoverans. These young Innoverans are often haunted by a forgotten past recalled only in strange dreams. They form friendships, make enemies and face constant physical and emotional challenges that test them to their limits. They have amazing powers; they can fly, they can communicate through 'thought-words', their minds can travel to other worlds. They harbour secrets.

But life is not easy on Innovera Yakov and the young Beings must live in constant fear of Blu Tara; ‘What I want, I have. What I can’t have, I destroy.’ They find that the great powers they are gifted with are nothing compared to the dangers they face. They must shelter from Solar-storms. To fall in love is dangerous. Lovers long to combine to become stronger, better Beings but it can go terribly wrong and when that happens they perish. Their survival is further threatened by Ice, who consumes Innoverans and holds both Blu Tara and Ayana in his control.

Everyone seeks a partner with whom they can ‘merge.’ This desire to ease the passage through life by joining forces with a true companion, is one of the main themes of the story. Love for Blu Tara, is a terrible thing. She tells her sister, ‘It is a curse. You will scoop out your core and abandon it just to have the Being that you love... You will steal another person’s life force if it makes it easier to get it. You will kill or die for it. And you’ll hate yourself for the weakness that it brings on you.'

They are told that they must embark on 'The Journey', this journey will be more terrifying than any of them could imagine and a strong leader must be elected from their midst. They are shocked to discover who that leader is, none more so than the chosen one herself. Many of them will perish as they make their way through the watery darkness of Verheer while battling the army of underworld warriors bent on destroying and consuming them.

Finally, diminished in strength and numbers, they reach their journey’s end only to learn the final brutal truth.


EXCERPT
Blu Tara stared her sister in the face. ‘Let me tell you what you don't know about love, Gamma. It is a curse. You will scoop out your core and abandon it just to have the Being that you love. You will steal another person's life force if it makes it easier to get it. You will abandon the world you have been cradled in, betray everything and everyone you care for. You’ll give up your name for it.’
Blu Tara's voice went soft and dreamy. ‘You will gladly close your eyes and embrace the world of darkness. You will kill or die for it. And you will hate yourself for the weakness that it brings on you. So don’t talk to me about love.’
Gamma shook her head. ‘You're not making sense,’ Blu Tara. ‘You talk as if... I’m the one who should be upset about all this.’
Blu Tara lifted her hand dismissively. She pointed a hot finger at Gamma. ‘Anyway don’t forget what we are.’
'And what are we?’ Gamma glared at her..
'Different. Strange. Something to be frightened of. Two Beings that can fuse and burn everything to ashes. That's the way they all see us down there. That's what the Stardog wants from you - the powers you possess.
‘I hate them all. With their suspicious, shiny faces and their empty games. I hate that Voice which drones on and on at us in the Learning Dome as soon as we've finished resting.
Innoverans! All those perfect, pretty Beings; they remember nothing — it’s the curse of this shallow, shining world. Tell me, Gamma - what do you remember of the world we come from before your Odors Apeno dumped us here?’
Gamma swung around to face her sister fully. ‘Blu Tara! What's got into you? Where’s all that coming from? I've never heard you speak like that before. This is about Krave and I- not you!’
Krave and you - don't make me laugh. And, oh! Here’s a big difference — between you and I this time, Twin Sister. It’s the answer to your question that you brought me up here to ask.’ Blu Tara mimicked Gamma's soft and musical voice, Why do you want to kill Krave?
Here's the answer, Gamma. I will do whatever I have to do to save myself. I'm the half of you that's not like you. I don't have a weeping heart. Now I'm out of here. I need my Rest.





Author Bio:

Kia Garriques studied writing and English literature at University and has been a published short story writer since 2009. Her first story “The Invisible Alien Watcher” was published by Micro Horror in 2009 and reprinted by Pill Hill Press in 2011. Innovera Yakov: The Journey of a Thousand Eyes – is her first novel in the ‘Worlds’ series and will be out on amazon mid February. visit www.kiagarriques.com/books to read the first chapter.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Frozen Solid - 5-Star Review

"Frozen Solid" by James M. Tabor is an action packed suspense that will satisfy the most intellectual of readers.

So here is my list of loves for this book...

It will challenge you mentally.  It is not a light read, but it is one that you will not want to put down.  There is a lot of biological and technical terminology, not all of which is defined.  If you have taken at least high school biology, or have Wikipedia/a dictionary close at hand you won't get bogged down in it.  Don't get me wrong, the technical lingo in no way distracts from the story, I think it actually enhances and roots it in reality.

Tabor creates a multi-faceted piece of work with Frozen Solid.  He effortlessly takes us on flashbacks in order to show us little pieces of characters' personalities and relationships, while keeping the story from being muddled.  

The characters are amazingly well developed.  We have love, a long-distance relationship, brilliantly complex personalities, loyal friendships, and some really twisted ideals.  No, they are not all in the same character.  This is an adventure, not a look into multiple personality disorder.  Every character that is introduced has a purpose, there are no fluffy characters.  Even if that character's purpose is to die as soon as we meet them, that death pushes the story line forward.  


An international group of scientists known as Triage believes that overpopulation is dooming the planet, causing climate change, water scarcity, famine, pandemics, and more. For civilization to survive, the scientists conclude that the earth’s population must be reduced—drastically and without delay. But killing is not part of their agenda. Instead, they will genetically engineer and disseminate a common virus that is really a carrier for something much more sinister.

After the mysterious death of a colleague, microbiologist Hallie Leland is dispatched to the South Pole to continue her friend’s research. What she uncovers are alarming details of Triage’s plot, which pits her against forces more terrible than she could have imagined. Now, in one of earth’s loneliest and most treacherous places, where high altitude and extreme environmental conditions can play tricks on the mind, Hallie finds that she has only five days to stop the shocking plan from taking hold.


Buy on Amazon
Buy on B&N
Buy on BAM

If you are interested in Frozen Solid, then you may also be interested in reading:

Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Game - Review & Guest Post

"The Game" by Shane Scollins is brilliantly suspenseful!  I love a good psychological thriller that I can loose myself in, and Scollins gave me just that experience with The Game.  Five Stars!!

"She turned to face him.  'He's right, I can't let them die.  And you don't
want me to let Alexis die either.  I have to do this.  I have to see if I can save
them.  Let me at least hear him out and find out what the hell all this is.  If I don't
like it, we can walk away.' She turned to face Angus again. 'I'm in.'
He smiled and folded his hands. 'Well, let the games begin.'"

When I read the synopsis, I expected a certain level of suspense, but didn't really know what to expect. Where so many other books within this genre fall short, The Game shines.  With each murder or kidnaping, Scollins presents them in a twisted, yet tasteful manner.  Because he stays away from grotesque scenes, he draws you in as you try to figure out the twisted mind acting as puppeteer in the story.



No matter where you are, they’ll find you, and put you in “The GAME”. 

Candice Laguna’s life is being systematically dismantled, by an unknown force, for a reason she can’t imagine. But she is about to become the unwilling star of a reality game competition the likes of which has never been broadcast to the world.

Just when things get darkest, a mysterious man snatches her from the grips of doom. He is a man who is not what he appears, and not who he says. He has no name and his motivation to help Candice is not what it seems to be.

THE GAME is a mystery/thriller with an unpredictable paranormal twist. It has action and adventure and plays up the everyday exploitation of reality television obsession gone wrong.


Buy on Amazon



From the Shane Scollins:


AUTHORS THAT HAVE INSPIRED YOU

I was not a good student. I hated school and took the easy road whenever possible. When I was in high school, I took a creative writing class. I did this because I knew it would be easy. Teachers had been telling me I was a good writer since as far back as I can remember. It was not something I learned but something I already had in me, so I used it whenever possible to breeze through assignments and classes. It worked a lot, except in math.

We got the assignment to write something based on a true story. I felt like having fun with my teacher so I wrote something twisted and spooky, far from reality, hoping to freak her out. The reaction was not what I expect. She liked it. In fact, she loved it. She started going over all the details with me and asking me what inspired it, acting like a fan and not a teacher. Then she said something odd, she said I reminded her of a young Dean Koontz. I said, “Who the heck is Dean Koontz?”

The next day she brought in a book by Dean Koontz. She’d just finished it and I thought I’d like it. Now, I must confess, I was not a big reader. I had pretty much scammed my way through book reports my entire school career, making up the details without ever reading a book. Unbelievably I got by.

I had tried to read many book by very famous writers. But I would usually get bored about a quarter of the way through. I found them too bogged with details or hopelessly predictable. I expected this book by Mr. Koontz to be the same. I could not have been more wrong. Right away Koontz had my attention and enough twists and turns that even I could not predict where it was going.

A couple of years after high school, my mother put another Koontz book in my stocking for Christmas. It made me think back to what that teacher said. If there was something in my writing that reminded a creative writing teacher of someone famous, perhaps I was meant to be a writer. I read that book, and then another two Koontz novels, and that touched off a reading frenzy. I kept reading everything I could like a madman. Every author and genre you could imagine. But I always ended up coming back to Koontz.

So although many authors have inspired me along the way, it was without a doubt Dean Koontz that excited me enough to want to be a writer. I wanted to take readers on unexpected and twisted journeys, and that is what I try to do every time.



WHAT INSPIRES YOUR WRITING?

My writing inspiration comes from everywhere. And there are different types of inspiration that come from different places.

It starts with the people in my life. My wife inspires me every day by supporting my writing career. She’s an amazingly strong and beautiful woman who tends to inspire everyone around her. I’m blessed to have her to draw from to create the strong intelligent female characters I choose.

My diverse and thoroughly original group of friends and family inspire me, they are an endless well of character traits that I can mix and match. My friends from social media on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads and Fitocracy all inspire me in different ways. They push me to be a better person and writer.

Working with the amazing people at Limitless Publishing inspires me. From the moment we started working together it’s been inspirational and motivating and they push me to work hard and pour myself into every project.

The world around us inspires me every day. The love, the hate, and amazing gifts of humanity and the horrible things we do to each other. They all inspire me. Our world is a virtual plethora of untapped ideas and inspirations everywhere I look.

We live in amazing times, scary times and spiritual times. I’m inspired as much by the evil of this world as I am by the selflessness we see every day. The wonders of the Universe that science cannot explain inspire me as much as the mundane and common things we take for granted each day.

I’m naturally inquisitive, I have a desire to look into the past and into the future and wonder where we’ve been and where we are going as a society. I’m inspired to examine the human condition and our complex sociological development.

In simple terms, I’m inspired by one word: Why?

The word why, might be the most powerful word in our language. It’s the word that has driven great minds like Tesla and da Vinci and Einstein to push the limits of human understanding and break the barriers that bind us. I try to do that same thing, but with fiction, which makes the possibilities limitless.


WHY BOOK COVERS ARE TO IMPORTANT

Book covers are a vitally important part of your book. They are the first thing readers will see. They are the first impression of your work. And as much as we want to believe in that old saying that you can’t judge a book by its cover, we simply know from a marketing standpoint, that’s not even close to true.  

The craziest part is that in this new publishing landscape book covers are even more important. The cover has never been more critical than it is right now. There are more books available and a greater need to distinguish yours from the pack.

Self-publishing and eReaders have put more choices in front of readers than there has ever been before. And at the same time readers are devouring books at a rate they never have. Setting your book apart from the pack is not easy, and at this stage, at the very least, you need to have a cover that will get that second look. It needs to be clean and professional.

Unless your name is King, Koontz, Patterson, Stewart or Roberts, your story is going to need a great cover. Those few big names can just put their name on the cover, some swirly sky colors next to a tree, and end up selling the lights out. Unfortunately, that won’t work for most of us.

The rest of us need a great cover that evokes the emotion of the shopper. Because lets face it, no matter how great the writing is, if the cover is horrible, no one is going to know it.

I have seen firsthand the difference a great cover can make. My publisher, Limitless Publishing, is putting out some of the best book covers on the market, period. And the cover is the window into your book. If people don’t want to look thorough the window, it won’t matter how cool the view inside is.


HOW TO AVOID REJECTION BLUES

There are two kinds of writers, those who have been rejected, and those who will be rejected.

Everyone knows that being a writer, means being a rejected writer. It’s going to happen, don’t even bother to fool yourself into thinking otherwise. Even the best of the best have been rejected. But the one thing the great writers all have in common is their ability to deal with that rejection and turn it into something positive.

The rejection blues are inevitable, but they are not productive. You will accomplish nothing by feeling sorry for yourself in any aspect of life, and if you want to be a published author, you can’t let the rejection blues get you down or knock you off the path you’re supposed to be on.

Some authors have been rejected countless times by during their careers. My first real foray into the query process resulted in 100-plus agent and publisher rejections. I knew I had a solid story, and a good query. But it just didn’t hook anyone in. I was told over and over that it was just not what anyone was looking for.

It would have been easy to give up. In fact, a lot of writers do give up at that point because the rejection blues are just too hard to deal with. They let the gatekeepers ruin their ambitions because no one likes rejection. No matter what your doing in the arts, rejection is going to pop up like a Jack-in-the-Box and knock the confidence right out of you.

The best thing to do is kept submitting, and writing. Move on to the next book agent and the next book. I think that’s the best way to avoid the rejection blues. Rejection is coming, so we all have to deal with it. If you just go about your job, and keep pushing forward there will be no time to let it get you down.

Take that rejection and spill it into your writing. Whatever emotion that rejection stimulates in your soul, will make for great emotion in your work. Great writers are masters at harnessing emotions and spilling them onto the page. All the times we’ve loved, all the times we’ve hated, everything we’ve felt will someday come out in our work. Those of us that can keep blasting through the roadblocks and shaking off the debris will eventually prevail.


 HOW TO SELL YOUR FIRST NOVEL

I know there are a lot of writers out there looking to make that first sale. I was one of them not that long ago. I sent my very first query out, in 2002. But what I quickly realized was that I was not ready to be published. I was a good writer with a lot of good ideas, but I was not even close to where I needed to be in order to sell that first book.

My writing needed a lot of work, so I got to work. I spent the next several years working as a sports writer and web designer, and on the side wrote four books, they averaged about 70,000 words. I spent time making them the best they could be, and then when I was done…I promptly threw them all into the trash.

I know, I’ve heard the stories, some people write a first draft and send one query and boom, they are a published author. Next thing they know they’ve sold a million copies and end up in negotiations for a Hollywood blockbuster. I’ve seen it happen to people, and for most of us that is a maddening concept. But that’s the way it goes sometimes. Most of us can’t expect that. So hard work and persistence are the only weapons we have.

Once your writing is where it needs to be, and you’ve penned a great novel, you need to learn how to write a query. Writing a query is a science. It’s something even the best writers can struggle with. You need to research how to write a great query, and that can be a fulltime job. There is a ton of advice out there and it can be a convoluted subject to research. But there is a basic form you will need to learn and follow.

After you’ve written that killer query, tailored to that agent or publisher, send it along and move on to the next target. Don’t stop, consistency here is as important as consistency in writing. You have to keep working, keep writing and keep up with the submissions. The key is really just persistence and hard work. Take your writing seriously. Treat it like a career and not just a hobby even if it’s only part time. As they say, if you believe you can achieve. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Gaelen VanDenbergh - New Website and Giveaway


Author Bio:

Gaelen VanDenbergh is a writer, runner, and compulsive list-maker who lives in Philadelphia with her husband and daughter, a cat, several fish, and a one-eyed dog.

Running Against Traffic is her first novel.







I am so happy to announce Gaelen's new website!!!  She is now at www.gaelenvandenbergh.com.  So stop by, follow her blog, read her reviews, and show this awesome author some love!  Read my review of Gaelen's awesome book, Running Against Traffic here.  If you have not read it yet, enter below for a chance to win a copy of it.




a Rafflecopter giveaway
Interview

1)  Where did you come up with the idea for this book?

My now ex-husband spent a lot of time dragging me to remote, miniscule towns to look at dilapidated houses that he wanted to move us into. After a while I started imagining he was scheming to actually leave me in one of these places, and I thought what if that actually happened to someone, and I started writing that story.

2)  What made you write a contemporary fiction?

I write what interests me. People, their relationships to one another, their heartbreak and joy, their mistakes, their motivations, there is so much to explore, in so many situations.

3)  What did you enjoy the most about writing this novel?  The least?

This particular novel is very close to my heart because on certain levels I share so much with Paige and Bryce, their failures, their growth. Not their family backgrounds, though. And I loved their relationship to each other. I think that’s what I love most about writing any novel, is how the characters develop and their relationships grow. I love watching them interact, and I love watching them learn from each other.

I had some trouble finding time to finish the novel, and when I had to set it aside I missed it. I missed my peeps, Paige, Bryce and Al. And I’m sure they didn’t appreciate being silenced for stretches of time.

5)  If your book was a song, what song would it be?

There are three parts to the book, and Paige is in such a different place in her life in each. So, Part I would be Green Day’s She, Part II would be Adele’s Don’t You Remember, and Part III would be Des’ree’s You Gotta Be.

6) What is in your short term future plans?  Long term future plans?

As far as writing goes? Short term, finish this novel’s sequel, Running in Circles, by August. Long term, finish all of my other novels.