Thursday, September 27, 2012

Thursday things I don't like

A little stray from the usual

People who once were like "YOLO" and now are like "don't say YOLO that's so done"
Maroon 5 -  I will say I used to like them until radio (and their new songs) ruined them
Walking uphill
Form letters
Fruit flies
Laundry on the floor, clean or dirty
Losing things you've won at the fair
Spinning rides
Things that scurry

I had more, but I'm going to save them for next week. Maybe this will be a regular installation.

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Next Big Thing Blog Hop

Last week, talented and funny author Allison Dixon talked about her work in progress, Strings, as part of a little "blog hop" tour. She then tagged five other authors. Yours truly being one of them, to do the same.

The Rules:

Answer these ten questions about your current WIP (Work In Progress) on your blog

Tag five other writers/bloggers and add their links so we can hop over and meet them.

Okay, I'm going with Helen Landalf, who I met through the Elevensies, my fellow 2k12er,  J. Anderson Coats, my co-prezzie for the Class of 2k12 Caroline Starr Rose, a friend I met a few years ago through the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest Hart Johnson
and, about another fellow 2k12er who was just recently release, Kimberly Sabatini. Okay ladies. Bring it.

Ten Interview Questions for The Next Big Thing:

What is the working title of your book?
I wasn't sure which one to talk about because you know, I have about a million manuscripts started, but I decided to go ahead and talk about the Revelations: Book One of The Divinity Chronicles.

Where did the idea come from for the book?
It's a combination of things. I'm actually take the first books I wrote, A superhero series, and morphing them into this dystopian series. So, it's kind of the same story but not. The characters are the same, but the story has become older and darker.

What genre does your book fall under?
Young adult dystopian fantasy.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
This is hard, something I've not really thought of for this book. Hmmm,

Danica: India Eisley

Mary: Jennifer Lawrence

Rachel: Chloe Moretz

Oliver: Garen Boyajian

Ian: William Mosely

Hazzard: Kodi Smi-McPhee

The Protector: Jeffrey Dean Morgan

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Oh good lord, I mentioned this was going to be a trilogy, right? Hmmm

After a bloody civil war between Paranormals and humans leaves her country in turmoil, one girl, living toward the bottom of the new caste system, finds she may be the key to bringing the Paranormals to their knees and peace back to her iniquitous nation.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I'd love to have this book published traditionally, but I'm not afraid to go the self published route if necessary.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Work In Progress means Still In Progress. The original manuscript took about 6 months I think. This one will take more I'm sure. It's on the back burner until I finish a revisions of an other book, but I'm definitely getting back to it soon.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Hmmm, not really sure. I've not really seen one like it. There are aspects of it I didn't give away in the summary. Not sure it's comparable, at least not to something I've seen before.
Who or What inspired you to write this book?
Originally it was my girls. I wanted to write a story with them as a couple of the characters. I've kept them in this version. They were friends in the original, I've made them sisters in this one, more to real life. I've changed their personalities to fit who they've become rather than to who they were when I first wrote the book, which was when they were very little. It's going to be very fun to write.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
It's kind of a superhero book. There's also a bit of a take on combing church and state, though in a very fantastical way. There will be adventure, intrigue, romance, everything. :)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Wednesday Writing

This is from the novel I have out on submission, Dissection. It's when my main character, Syd first gets to the teen psyche ward. I'm going to explain one thing. The sound effect SNAP! Sometimes counselors will give cutters a rubberband, the thick kind that go around produce, to wear around their wrists, and instead of cutting, they snap the band.

So here is an excerpt from Dissection. Tell me what you think.

   As Astrid showed me to my room, I asked, “How long do I have to be here, anyway?”
   “Seventy-two hours minimum. The rest depends on you. When you can be trusted not to hurt yourself, and are weaned off of your rubber band bracelet,” she gestured to my wrist, “you should be able to leave.”
   I walked into the room and recognized a bag sitting on the bed—my purple duffel bag from home. I tore through it just to look at familiar things. None of my newer clothes were there, the ones I’d purchased when I wanted to be “new Syd”, which was fine with me because I hated “new Syd”.  I began unpacking my stuff and putting it into the closet and chest of drawers in my room. When I reached the bottom, I found a package of gummy worms. Someone had taken the time to pick only the red ones out and pack them up for me. Someone knew me well. I wondered who it was.
   “We have a hair dryer, flat iron, curling iron, and shavers, but they’re locked up and may only be used under supervision. So if you need them, let the staff know. I’m going to leave you to get settled,” Astrid said. “I’ll come to check on you in a little while.”
   A “little while” meant exactly fifteen minutes. As a cutter, I was on what they called “Extra Vigilance” observation. This meant that someone was checking up on me every fifteen minutes, like clockwork, which annoyed the hell out of me. It also meant I could go outside, but only if a staff member went with me.
   I surveyed the room. My parents had brought things to make it feel more like home. There were family photos taped to the wall, my favorite astrology book. On the bed sat a stuffed dog I’d never seen before. There was a card next to it. I opened it up and it said, I didn’t want you to miss Chewy too much. Love, Bryce. Stupid, sweet brother. I wondered if he was still dating that backstabbing bitch, Haley. I wonder if she helped him pick out the stupid dog. It made me want to rip its head off. Instead, SNAP!
   On the dresser sat a package of plastic glow-in-the-dark stars, another card sat beside it. This one said, Wasn’t sure if you’d be able to see the sky from your room~Zach. P.S. Hope you like the gummies. Wow. The gummies and the stars. It made me smile, then made me feel horrible for how I’d treated him the last few months.
   Astrid popped in, scaring the hell out of me. I nearly jumped out of my shoes. “How we doing in here?”
   “Fine.” I continued to put my things away.
   “Take a few minutes. I’ll come back in a little bit and grab you for lunch.” Fab.
   I lay on my bed and stared at the stark white ceiling, regretting every decision I’d made the last few months, David, Lacy, Zach. The E, the pot, the cutting. Being friends with Grim. I felt like I’d been sucked into a vacuous void, floating in darkness, like Cassiopeia, not in control of my limbs—just spinning deeper and deeper into the vortex.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Talking to myself

Okay, more and more I find myself doing this. I don't remember doing this when I was younger. Is it an old people thing? I do it at work. I do it while I'm writing. While I'm networking. While I'm marketing. While I'm getting ready for work or other occasions.

The only time I think I don't do it is when I'm exercising, but only because I'm talking in my head.

What do I talk about. I have no idea sometimes. I can't remember. When I'm writing I'm usually formulating the story out loud, what happens next, or trying to remember what a character looks like or their name.  When I'm getting ready for something I tell myself I look hot. No, just kidding, okay maybe not, you know, it's that positive affirmation shit.

When I talk in my head it's usually a clarity thing. Clearing my head of all the toxic, thoughts that course through it throughout the day.

Do you every find that you're talking to yourself? If so, what do you talk about?

Friday, September 14, 2012

F³A: 2nd Rejection

This is the kind of rejection I can take. A nice one. One that gives feedback.

She didn't like my main character. She was too...bitchy.

The scene in the teen psyche ward was too heavy.

She did say I'm a talented writer. So there's that. I think I'll try a few more agents while I'm working on revisions of An Unbalanced Line and if I get no bites I'll work on another revision.

What are you working on right now? Get any good rejections you want to share?

Okay, Friday Scribbles
Next Pandora Song (the one on right now I hate, I'll need to "thumbs down it"):
Muse Uprising
Book of the Week: The Belly Fat Diet By John Chatham. I read it for a job interview. I liked it. I'm trying it.

Movie of the Week: Snow White and the Huntsman. I've not seen it, but I'm wanting to and it just came out on DVD.

Quote of the Week: A rejection is nothing more than a necessary step in the pursuit of success.  ~ "Bo Bennett"

Happy Friday!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

I feel good! *cue James Brown*

I really do. I've let REJECTION #1 roll right off. I'm ready for REJECTION #2 (or miracle of all miracles representation). I'm pretty sure I've got a part time gig reviewing books lined up for some extra cash. Not much, but it will help.

I feel awesome, walking, playing soccer. My kids are amazing, getting their homework done, playing some awesome soccer, making some music (the latter only Thing One, she's going to a meeting for the school musical today, Grease, I'm going to live vicariously through her if she makes it).

I'm getting through the revisions. Slowly, but getting there.

I'm thinking of the positive things in life. Trying to ignore the negative. This is kind of a first for me. I've been treating myself good for four days in a row now. I know that sounds crazy, but if you knew me in real life, you'd understand. I'm telling myself I'm worth it. I'm worth the hard work, the will power, that second book deal, that healthy body, that happiness.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Full frontal

I'm using it as a metaphor (is that the right word? I can never keep them straight.) for the unveiling of  truth about what I've been feeling lately. It will seem like this all has nothing to do with writing, but in the end it does.

Call it whining, call it self pity, whatever, but I've had all these feelings bottled up and I'm tired of feeling them.

Day job. It's hard. I've taken on more than I was ever supposed to. There is really no title or job description for what I do. I should be making the kind of money a professional makes, but I don't. However, I do enjoy it, so there's that.

Relationships. Me and the BF broke up. I did the breaking up though I liked him a lot. I had my reasons. I thought we could be friends, then I saw him, and I realized it was too soon because it's still very raw with me in fact I'm tearing up right now as I'm writing this because I really didn't want to let the relationship go, but knew for my happiness I had to.

Health. I've been exercising. I've been riding bike, playing soccer (I did pull a muscle, but getting back into it slowly, been stuck playing goalie), and walking a lot. I've found that I dislike running greatly (trying to stay away from the "H" word). I may try it again, but truly I can't stand it. I eat well. Pretty well. I like pizza every once in a while. I like to go to wing night, but I eat salads every week day for lunch, fruit, yogurt for breakfast. I never eat chips or other crap, I don't drink pop.

Money, let's just say ugh. Looking for more work or that second book deal.

I have been a little self destructive lately. I won't elaborate, but every so often I get in a funk, and I stay there until I feel like my own life is out of my control. And it doesn't matter if I'm trying to do good things for myself, as well, the bad always wins out. Because of this, my writing suffers.

I've tried to work on my revisions every day, I hate not seeing the stars on my calendar, and I've done okay, but I'm not very motivated and I've not done enough. I've been so tired. Sometimes I feel like the writing world is leaving me behind.

I started fresh Sunday though. I upped my game. I'm being good to myself, going to take time for just me (and my kids, can't ignore them I guess, right :)). I'm walking longer, (not riding bike right now because of a faulty tube, which I need to take back but haven't had time and can't afford to buy new tubes right now). I'm going to look at the positive in the things I do and try to ignore the negative.

And I'm going to finish these damn revisions and get it submitted. I'm going to get this second book deal.

*breathes deep, does Tadasana pose*

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


So I heard from the first agent on Dissection. It was a rejection. It's okay, I'm used to rejection. And published authors get treated no different than unpublished authors. No feedback, and it was a form letter. The agent even forgot to change the book title in the body of the letter. So there's that.

I still have two more queries out there. Hopefully I hear from them soon. And I have a first round list of agents to send to, so I'll probably send a few out this afternoon.

Wish me luck.

Friday, September 7, 2012

F³A: Thank you my readers across the country

I was checking out my sales on Amazon today. They're not astounding of course, but I am appreciative of those who have purchased and read my book.

So I'm here to thank the State of Washington, which of course is where I've sold the most books.

I'd also like to thank Virginia who also sports one of the top sales areas of Never Eighteen, crazily enough.

Then there's New York, which I'm sure my friend, Gae Polisner had a hand in.

New England has supported me a lot, I'm sure with help from fellow 2k12er Gina Rosati and her amazing librarian friend, Laura.

I'd also like to thank parts of Michigan, Florida, Kansas, California and Mobile, Alabama.

I'd also like to thank those who have purchased or taken my book overseas. I know it's roaming around in the U.K. China, Croatia, and Australia

And thank you everyone else who has purchased the book, borrowed it from the library, read an ARC, however you got your hands, I thank you for taking the time to read it. I especially thank you if you liked it. :)

If you haven't read it, well, you better hurry and get on Amazon, they only have three left in stock!!! lol. But know. :)

Now for the Friday Scribbles. Right after I make a tuna sandwich. BRB.

Next Random Pandora  Song: Yellow, Coldplay (From Blue October channel)

Book of the Week: For the first time in probably my life I'm reading two books at a time. One is Catching Fire, the 2nd in the Hunger Games Series, the other is a so far, very good middle grade book called the Mapmaker and the Ghost, by Sarv Tash.

Movie of the Week: Definitely Hunger Games. LOVE!! Almost as good as the book.

Quote of the Week: "Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone."  ~G.B. Stern

Have a great weekend. See you next week.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Liking What You Write

Doesn't it make you feel good? I took a couple days away from my novel after finishing, and now I'm at the point where I'm reading it aloud, and I must say, I like it.

I did a lot of research, which a lot of people would probably say I'm crazy, but I  like to get even the littlest details accurate. Of course this one took me on a google road trip from Jackson, MS to Abilene, TX, trying to find pit stops on the way. It was no easy task.

I also did a lot of football research. I mean, I know a lot about football, which is why I wrote a football story in the first place, but I didn't know names of passes, or anything about Powder Puff, or what a college coach does in the off season.

I like my characters voice, she's southern, but I don't use too much dialect to distract from the story. She's a bit feisty, she has kind of an attitude, which I hope doesn't make her unlikeable to others, but we'll see.

I already know there are things I have to add and cut, I figured many of those things out while rewriting the story. So I'm going to do my read, to revisions, then send it out to beta readers.

But really, so far I like it. It's always scary writing a book and wondering, is it good or is it crap.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Interview With Author Ian Thomas Healy

Ian and I have been friends since 2007 when we both found ourselves vying for the top prize in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest (ABNA). Our books, both about superheroes, brought us together. While I've scrapped mine, Ian has pushed forward. I read the first Just Cause book and liked it a lot. Now the second book is out and Ian is once again in the house telling us all about it.

Ian Thomas Healy Talks Candidly About The Archmage

Tell us about your latest book.

The Archmage is a sequel to the novel Just Cause, starring the super-speedy Mustang Sally along with the rest of the Just Cause superhero team. In it, I explore the use of magic in a superhero setting. In this case, a character named Wolfgang Frasier has been slaughtering other mages around the world and taking their power for himself. He’s gotten so powerful that there is only one other mage remaining besides him, the hero Stratocaster, who is a member of the Lucky Seven hero team that Sally trained with at the beginning of Just Cause. If Frasier manages to kill Stratocaster, his power becomes absolute and he could plunge the entire world into darkness, becoming its total ruler. This is, of course, his goal. Sally and the other heroes have no choice but to try to stop him, even though his power is so great that he can call armies of the dead out of the ground and turn anyone captured to his side. There’s a nifty bit of time travel thanks to magic going awry that sends the team back to the 1870s, and of course some great intrigue and epic, cinematic battles. At the same time, Sally’s relationship with Jason is growing much more complex and suffering growing pains all its own.

What is Local Hero Press?

LHP is an imprint I created specifically for the release of my novel-length work and collections. I didn’t want to simply release them under my own name as the publisher because with such a wide variety of genres under my belt, I wanted something to tie them all together. This way, if someone buys The Archmage, likes it, and looks to see what else LHP has to offer, they might discover Blood on the Ice or Pariah’s Moon or Troubleshooters.

You do write in a variety of genres. Tell us about some of them.

I don’t like to be pigeonholed, so I don’t force myself to stay in one genre if I’m interested in writing in a different one. This goes against common wisdom of building a brand, from what I’ve seen on the internet, so I’m forming my own uncommon wisdom instead. That again ties back to the LHP imprint by creating a common thread beyond just my name. I follow my muse, so I’ve gone from superheroes (Just Cause, The Archmage) to funny science fiction (The Milkman), to cyberpunk (Troubleshooters), to fantasy/Western (Pariah’s Moon), to urban fantasy sports (Blood on the Ice), to religious symbolism (Hope and Undead Elvis) and even more. And if my agent sells The Guitarist, I can add “Mainstream Young Adult” to my genres.

You have an agent? But I thought you were self-published.

I do have an agent, Carly Watters of PS Literary Agency in Toronto. She represents my Young Adult work only, and when we discussed the possibility of her representing me, we both agreed that she could still effectively represent a portion of my work and I could still effectively release my speculative and adult fiction without interfering with one another. I am, in fact, searching for a second literary agent to represent The Oilman’s Daughter, the epic steampunk/space opera that I coauthored with my dear friend Allison M. Dickson.

What’s it like working with another writer so closely on a project?

I’m not sure I have anything better to compare it to than a successful marriage. We worked very closely together on the project (two time zones separating us notwithstanding!). We had complete trust with each other, and were able to discuss what should have been extremely divisive and difficult issues not only with calm heads, but with a sense of joy that only two opposing viewpoints between dear friends can bring. The best thing about working with someone like that is going back through the manuscript and not being able to tell exactly who wrote which parts. That’s just awesome.

The Archmage, book 2 of the Just Cause Universe series, launches from all online retailers on September 1, 2012. Exclusive signed editions can be purchased directly from Local Hero Press (

Find Ian on Twitter as @ianthealy, and follow Local Hero Press as @LocalHeroPress.
Author website:

My Dad. He's awesome.

John Messina, Personal Injury Attorney

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