Monday, April 30, 2012

The YAmazing Race & ARC Giveaway!

Welcome to my stop on the YAmazing Race with MGnificent prizes, a blog hop featuring over 50 debut authors, and prize packs that include ARCs, gift certificates, swag, and more! Click here for the complete rules!
Synopsis of GLITCH:

In the Community, there is no more pain or war. Implanted computer chips have wiped humanity clean of destructive emotions, and thoughts are replaced by a feed from the Link network.

When Zoe starts to malfunction (or "glitch"), she suddenly begins having her own thoughts, feelings, and identity. Any anomalies must be immediately reported and repaired, but Zoe has a secret so dark it will mean certain deactivation if she is caught: her glitches have given her uncontrollable telekinetic powers.

As Zoe struggles to control her abilities and stay hidden, she meets other glitchers including Max, who can disguise his appearance, and Adrien, who has visions of the future. Together, this growing band of glitchers must find a way to free themselves from the controlling hands of the Community before they’re caught and deactivated, or worse.

In addition to the ARC I'll be giving away on the race, I'm also hosting an ARC giveaway here! To enter, just leave your name and email address in the comments (+1 for entering). For bonus entries (just make a note of them in your comment):

+1 for Following this blog
+1 for Following me on Twitter
+1 for Liking my page on Facebook
Contest is open internationally, and ends on May 15th.
And last but not least,

Thursday, April 26, 2012

What it feels like a year and a half after the book deal

Just watched the pilot of this new CW show The L.A. Complex, and found that I had a huge affinity for the characters trying to break into the biz (okay, maybe without the glamorous semi-naked pool party part. Being a writer is more about pajamas, not bikinis). I've become addicted to Smash for the same reason. The thing is, being a debut author is a pretty rollercoaster journey. There are moments of amazing highs (the trilogy sold! foreign deals too!) and difficult lows (wait, you mean I have to write another book? and under tight deadlines? and then I have to write it again because it didn't come out good the first time?)

Suffice it to say, when I watch stories about artists struggling to make it, just on the teetering edge of hitting it big time or failing completely, I feel sympathetic. Part of it is, when you get the book deal, you're like a little baby fawn, all excited and stumbling around. You've made it through the rejections, the endless waiting, the shelved novels. And finally, years in the making, a book deal happens. Success!

But what I'm learning a year and a half after the deal, and wish I'd realized from the beginning, is that success is not a one time thing. It's a daily struggle, a life-long struggle really. Look at any actor or actress--there are periods when they seem to be in every other big movie to hit the screen, and then they disappear for five years. Maybe they have a comeback, maybe they don't. The thing about working as an actor or a writer is that you are only as good as your next project. It doesn't matter what you've done in the past. It matters what will next hit the silver screen (or the bookshelf in my case).

Because I want longevity as a writer. I don't want to be a one-hit-wonder. I want this trilogy I'm working on now to be the first in a long career. I see now just how exhausting and exhilarating that might be. It's like any job in some ways--every day you have to wake up and go to work. But before I was going to be published, it was all shrouded in a glittering mystique. Get a book deal and you have MADE IT! Now I see the work involved. The struggle. Most of the time I'm not too daunted by this. I remind myself that I'm lucky to be where I'm at in the publishing game, and I'll fight to stay.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Book Two By The Numbers

I have been hermited away writing incessantly for most of the Spring, but I finally turned in a new draft of book 2 in the Glitch trilogy!!!! Here's the rewrite by the numbers:

- How long it took to rewrite 75% of the book: 6 1/2 weeks
- Word count of new draft: 76,375
- Pages of deleted material for this draft alone, including first failed rewrite idea: 98
- Pages of deleted material overall for all drafts of book 2 thus far: over 300
- Number of times I left the house in the past month: 7
- Inches of roots grown out since I last dyed my hair: 2
- Amount of times I wanted to pull out all of the aforementioned hair because the draft was driving me crazy: too numerous to count

Conclusion: Writing book two is a beast. Most writers will say it, but I didn't quite believe them until I experienced it myself. I have never had so much difficulty or faced so many misteps before. However! While I'm sure there's still lots to tackle and smooth out in edits, I feel like I've gotten out a good, solid draft.

Now it's time to take care of all the things that fell by the wayside over the past few weeks. Like all those unanswered emails. And the mountain of laundry. And working on book 3, which is also due soon.

Then again, maybe I'll just take the rest of the afternoon off and catch up on The Vampire Diaries ;)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Book 2 Rewrites & ARCs Going Out

I'm finishing up a new draft of Book 2 and am learning so much about myself as a writer and what my strengths and weaknesses are. Yeah, with an emphasis on the WEAKNESSES part!

Especially when I reread my first draft of book 2 and cringe. There were parts where I tried to encapsulate these really esoteric ideas without grounding it in the physical world. Like that bad poetry we all wrote as angsty teenagers, like Your love is like the wind blowing across the solar energy of my soul!* It felt very meaningful as you were writing it, but your reader is just left saying, "HUH?"

So there has been a lot of learning and a lot of rewriting. Meanwhile, advanced reader copies of GLITCH have gone out and are in people's hands. I thought I would be cool as a cucumber during this stage. I mean, I've watched other author friends go through this, I've heard about all the hubub with reviews, I've read book blogger sites for years. I thought: okay, well, all authors know that reviews will be a mixed bag--some people will like it, others will hate it.

But I didn't anticipate the complete and total stomach-dropping-out moment of realizing, OH MY GOD PEOPLE ARE FINALLY READING MY BOOK. I almost threw up. For serious.

And then I opened up my draft of book 2 and tried to work on it some more.

And then I slammed the laptop lid closed and decided I needed to take a Save Heather's Mental Health Evening and read a good book.

*to be clear, this is an example of the kind of poetry I wrote as a teenager, not actually part of my first draft!