Author Blog Hop! (boing, boing, boing)

I love hippity hopping for author blog hops, so imagine my excitement when author and friend L.M. Fry asked me to participate in one. Hooray! Besides, who doesn’t like answering questions about him or herself:) Hope my answers give you some insight into this crazy land known as my writer’s brain! And check out the author springboarding off my post…children’s book author Susan Meyers.

1. What am I working on right now?

I’m in what I call an “editing break.” I recently completed a young adult contemporary that covers hate speech, and I’m gearing up for a science fiction novel with series potential that will include some complex world-building, as well as a contemporary YA thriller collaboration with the aforementioned Fry. So, to relax, I edit older works of mine that haven’t been published yet. Yep. I know. Weird-o.  Oh! Also, I’m working with my exceptionally awesome agent, Kaylee Davis, to edit one of my YA contemporary novels and prepare it for pitching.

2. How does my work differ from others in the genre?

I like to write conversationally. I want my characters to feel like someone you’d meet at a high school, so when the fantastic happens, it’s more believable. My style’s just a bit on the unconventional side, but I really believe in finding your own voice in this biz.

3. Why do I write what I do?

The young adult genre is like a big bag of awesome. Action? Check. Romance? Check. High stakes drama? Check. The need for humor? Check. Check. I may dabble in some adult fiction next year, but I’ll never leave those teen years behind (insert song from Peter Pan about not growing up here). My teen years defined so much of who I am now (I also fell in love with my husband of twelve years–and counting–at age nineteen), so I really enjoy exploring the decisions and situations that influence that time in our lives.

4. How does my writing process work?

Usually, an idea simmers for over a year before I take it on (because I’m writing ideas from the year before!). Then, when I’m on an “editing break,” I outline it–about five to six intense pages of plot and subplot points. Next, I write like a maniac for about eight weeks straight. Then it goes like this for another two months or so: Edit. Work on something else. Edit. Work on something else. Send to my personal editor (my mom, people!–she’s pretty tough) for any stealthy typos or plot holes. Read on my Kindle. Maybe run some pages by my critique group. Revise, revise. It’s never done until I send it to an industry professional and it’s out of my hands.

And you thought novel writing was easy peasy. (Pffft!)

But man, people. This is the life. And next week, hop on over to Susan Meyer’s post, as well as John Davidson’s, who is spring boarding off L.M. Fry’s post.

Cheers:)

Five reasons YOU should be on Goodreads…

Sometimes, I forget that Goodreads isn’t quite Facebook or Twitter yet. I mean, to me, having a social media outlet for my reading (which is, you know, on that list with air and water and food and stuff) couldn’t be more important. Well, if you like reading (anything, really), and you’re always looking for “just the right book,” let me tell you why you should be on Goodreads. And if you don’t like reading, well, you just haven’t found the right genre. And that’s the honest truth.

So, check out Goodreads because…

1. There are a lot of books out there…How in the world do you find a needle in a haystack? Well, on Goodreads, through friends’ and Goodreads recommendations, and by searching for your favorite authors, you can find out what people are saying about a book and get a feel for how you’ll like it before you dive in and commit. Because, let’s face it, we’ve all started a terrible book and just kept going, simply because we’re human and need to know the end!

2. Get this! Some people love/hate something as much as you do! Sometimes I wait to check out the reviews until after I read a book that I know I’m going to read anyway. But when I look at the reviews afterward, the best thing is discovering how many people feel just like I did about it! And, because there’s always diversity of opinion, it’s also nice to know (as an author) that even if there are some haters, others will love your story to death:)

3. Authors are on Goodreads and sometimes give away freebies. Just join a discussion that features your favorite genre, and often authors of that genre will offer giveaways. ‘Nuff said.

4. The ratings feel more personal/real than the ones on Amazon. I’m sure publishers have people who post ratings on both Amazon and Goodreads, but I get a much more personal feel from Goodreads. It’s definitely a community of readers being pretty honest about what they like, and I can also easily find my friends’ reviews, so yeah, I’m liking that!

5. Sheesh, do I even need to say it? Friends make the best recommendations…One of my writing friends recommended What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarity, and I swear that thing’s like a teddy bear to me. I just love to cuddle up and fall asleep with it at night and, you know, get a little drool on the spine. And guess what? I’ve often found my favorite books come from word of mouth recommendations. So, it bears repeating. Friends recommendations is the number one benefit I believe Goodreads offers.

So what are you waiting for?