Thursday, September 29, 2011
And it's also time for the Omnific Blog Bounce. Authors and readers, join in! Read instructions HERE.
Monday, September 26, 2011
To give you a little teaser I went to wurdle.net and entered the text of the manuscript to produce this beautiful word salad. Wurdle is a really cool site allowing you to see the most prevalent words you use as an author.
Obviously the romantic leads--Grant and Sophie--are my most used words. Being in love, their EYES are often ogling each other, touching hands or getting to "know" each other better.
If you look closely you'll see the return of several secondary characters (Ben, Kirsten, Anthony "Tank", Roger, and Lucas). On Best Behavior will also introduce some new characters like Andrick, Vladimir, and Ricker. Any guesses where these men were born, given their names?
It's always exciting when I learn something new on the computer, and wurdle taught me how to "select all" on my word document then use the "screen capture" function and the "Paint" program. Kewl!
Now it's time for Meet an Author Monday Blog Hop. Bop on over to Lisa Sanchez's BLOG for instructions, and please join us!
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Authors, if you choose to torture your characters with addictions, how do you write those behaviors authentically? Readers, how do you explain why your favorite characters continue to engage in behaviors that clearly hurt them? I want to share one simple model of addiction to help answer these questions.
1. This model starts with feeling negative emotion, like anger, hurt, fear, stress, shame. We don't like feeling this way so we try to change the feeling.
2. Sometimes we turn to addictive behaviors to change the feeling. For example, I'm feeling really anxious about people liking my novel so I start drinking.
3. Many drinks later I'm not worrying about much of anything. I'm comfortably numb. I feel temporary relief. It's very reinforcing!
4. Alas, the relief is short-lived, because when I wake up tomorrow, the worry about people liking my novel is still there. I'll probably have even more worry now because I also have a hangover and I'm late to work. I'm angry and disappointed with myself for getting drunk. I feel like a loser. I'm back to experiencing negative emotion.
And here we go again!
Sound plausible? One reason we get stuck in addictive behavior is that temporary relief we feel. We seek the high or the numbness which prevents us from feeling the pain momentarily.
How therapy can help break this cycle is by teaching more effective coping skills for dealing with negative emotion. When I worry about people liking my book I can practice "nonjudgmentally" by listing the facts instead of spewing judgments. Here are some facts about the situation:
1. I feel nervous about reception to my novel.
2. I don't have control over how readers view my novel.
3. Writing the novel was very enjoyable to me.
4. I have dealt with anxiety before without getting drunk.
5. I feel better at work after a good night's rest.
Recently I finished reading Muscle: Confessions of an Unlikely Bodybuilder. (See my review HERE). Muscle is an autobiography by Sam Fussell, who became addicted to bodybuilding, including countless hours at the gym, bizarre diets, and steroids. Sam disclosed how much he disliked himself. He was ashamed of his fear, and he hid behind a wall of muscle so others wouldn't see who he really was. Every time he felt the pain of lifting enormous weights, he forgot about his fear and felt invincible. It was a perfect description of the cycle of addiction.
And now it's time for the Author Author Blog Bounce! Go to the Omnific Publishing BLOG for instructions.
Monday, September 19, 2011
Congratulations, ladies. You win your choice of With Good Behavior, Bad Behavior, or Summer Breeze.
If you didn't win, there's one day left on the giveaway at Megan's BLOG.
I just finished reading the autobiography Muscle: Confessions of an Unlikely Bodybuilder, exploring the disturbing world of bodybuilding and steroids. It got me thinking about addictions and I'll post soon about the cycle of addiction (alcohol and other drugs, gambling, hoarding, shopping, sex, eating disorders, body image disorders) to help authors portray addiction accurately in their stories.
A rainy day AND a Monday? Humph. Meet an Author Monday Blog Hop will have to brighten my spirits! Visit Lisa Sanchez's blog for details of how to join.
Thursday, September 15, 2011
As we pounce and flounce on Thursday's Blog Bounce, it's time to alert you to a few events:
*TWO chances to win my books! I'm giving away With Good Behavior or Bad Behavior at:
1) Scroll down to the next post for the 500 Follower Giveaway or click HERE
2) Visit Megan's BLOG Reading Away the Days to enter. (Both giveaways end 9/20/11)
* Readers, have you ever penned a thoroughly detailed book review, taking your valuable time to write a careful and thoughtful analysis of plot and characters? If so, I love you! As an author, I would LOVE to receive a review like my friend Belinda Kroll received for her novel Haunting Miss Trentwood. Check it out HERE. Reviewer Lazaraspate from the Dear Author BLOG wrote a fantastic review that is every author's dream, especially if that author wants to improve her writing.
And now time for the bounce! Head over to Omnific Publishing's Blog to become part of the Blog Bounce.
Monday, September 12, 2011
Old and new followers can enter the giveaway simply by leaving a comment with your email address.
Up for grabs is a print copy of your choice of three books I've authored or co-authored:
*With Good Behavior (The Conduct Series #1)
*Bad Behavior (The Conduct Series #2)
*Summer Lovin Anthology: Summer Breeze (including my YA short story Swim Recruit)
Check out my Goodreads author page to learn more about each title!
If this blog reaches 500 followers, I'll add a second prize to the giveaway--an e-book of the winner's choice of the same selection above. The giveaway ends Sunday, September 18th at midnight EST.
I'm writing book three of The Conduct Series (On Best Behavior) and am excited to announce Omnific accepted my first Young Adult novel, Against the Tide. Look for both in 2012!
Now it's time for the Meet an Author Monday Blog Hop, hosted by author and friend Lisa Sanchez.
Saturday, September 10, 2011
Writing YA is a bit different from writing adult novels. Please visit Megan's blog Reading Away the Days where I discuss those differences. We're giving away an e-book from The Conduct Series!
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Since the main character in my novel Three Daves is named Jen, I thought it would be fun to have three Jens host a guest post for each of the Daves. Lucky for me, I know three lovely Jens who readily agreed, including the darling Jennifer Lane. :) This Jen read Three Daves and posted a marvelous review a few months ago (you’ll note that I’ve gotten a rockin’ new book cover since then. :)). Thanks, Jen!
The first Dave we meet in the story is David, our sensitive loner. He’s Mr. Alternative and endears himself to Jen with mix tapes featuring bands such as The Cure, Echo and the Bunnymen, and The Replacements. He’s the one who rescued her from Top 100 bands like Hall & Oates and Wham (not that there’s anything wrong with that), and he’s the one she knew as a friend before they became something more.
As far as looks go, he’s your average looking dude on first glance. But the attraction grows the more you get to know him. Since Three Daves takes place on a 1980s college campus, I’m casting an imaginary movie with 1980s actors. From the bits and pieces I’ve told you of David, who do you think could’ve portrayed him best on the silver screen?
Thanks for stopping by! :)
You can meet Dave (#2) at Jen Daiker’s Unedited blog on Monday, Sept. 12 and Big D (#3) at Jennifer DeLucy’s blog on Wednesday, Sept. 14.
Time for the Omnific Blog Bounce. Go HERE for instructions.
Monday, September 5, 2011
Today I’m interviewing author Jessica Subject. I met her through her great blog Mark of the Stars and really enjoyed her short story Celestial Seduction (see my review HERE.) The story reminded me a little of the Jeff Bridges movie Starman.
Simply leave a comment on this blog to enter the giveaway for your own copy of Celestial Seduction! The giveaway ends Friday 9/9/11.
Jennifer Lane (JL): Welcome to the blog, Jessica! I'm intrigued by your journey to publication. How did you become a writer?
Jessica Subject (JS): Thank you for having me, Jennifer! :) I was on maternity leave with my second child with my first child in school. My oldest was learning how to read, but struggling and fighting with us every day. I thought if I could write a book about something she was interested in, it might give her more encouragement to read. The story I started for her turned into something more geared for adults, so I ended up writing a different book for her about her stuffed unicorn. I also continued with the other story and haven't stopped writing since then. Through twitter, facebook and following author and agent blogs, I've learned so much, including the importance of a critique group. And now that I'm published, I continue to learn, but my group of teachers has expanded to include more authors, my editor and publisher.
JL: What a great story about starting your writing career. I read in your bio that aliens formerly scared you but writing about them has endeared you to all things extraterrestrial. Tell us more!
JS: I wasn't always afraid of aliens, but a couple movies (The Arrival and Signs) had me paranoid that aliens were hiding in the dark recesses of the farmhouse I used to live at. But I realized not all alien movies included alien out to abduct humans, including my favorite superhero, Superman. I got over it and made the aliens in my fiction fun. I mean, no matter how hard we speculate what life on other planets is like and why they would visit Earth, we truly don't know.
JL: Oo, Signs was indeed creepy. What's your favorite book about aliens? Favorite movie?
JS: My favorite alien series would have to be that by Gini Koch. Of the three published so far, I think they're all great and can't say I like one over the other. Even in alien movies, I have so many favorites, including Star Trek (2009), Avatar, Men In Black and Independence Day.
JL: Celestial Seduction features a "one-night-stand" dating service. I know you're married with kids--what's been your experience with internet dating? (Perhaps laughing at your single friends' experiences?)
JS: Honestly, I've never used the internet for anything more than flirting with people I already knew when I was still single. The internet and dating services have come a long was since then. I don't plan on being in the position to date again, but I'd still be reluctant to arrange a date over the internet. I've heard good and bad stories. I have made some great friends though and hope to meet them in the future.
JL: How would friends describe your personality?
JS: Busy. Most people ask me how I do everything that I do, including find time to write, but it has to be this way for me or else I'll go crazy or maybe I'm already there. After all, I do have voices in my head. I call them characters. :)
JL: Celestial Seduction is a short story. How did you choose the length of the story? What do you like about short stories?
JS: I wrote this story with the intentions of submitting it to Decadent Publishing for their 1 Night Stand series. According to their detail sheet, submissions must be 7-12K words. It was a challenge for me to write a short story though as everything I'd written before had been at least 50K. I learned a lot along the way and continue to write short novellas.
JL: What's next for you on the writing horizon?
JS: I have another 1 Night Stand story coming soon from Decadent Publishing called Beneath the Starry Sky. There is a common character in both stories, but they are separate stories. I also have several other projects on the go.
JL: Thanks for visiting, Jessica.
JS: Thanks for having me, Jennifer! I appreciate your support.
Readers, go out and get your copy of this fantastic story! Jessica is helping you by giving away an e-book of Celestial Seduction for commenting on this post through 9/9/11.
Thursday, September 1, 2011
Speaking of happy endings, I definitely prefer them in novels. I don't need everything tidied up in neat perfection, but I do want to feel some sense of hope at the end, especially if the author has tortured the characters (as I like to do).
Recently I finished the popular novel Little Bee by Chris Cleave. The story covered some painful territory, including death and torture in Nigeria, and I was hoping for some kind of meaningful, hopeful ending. Unfortunately my hopes were dashed. It was a very well-written novel but the less than satisfying ending made me view the story less positively. See my review HERE.
How about you? What kind of endings do you prefer?
Today Omnific Publishing is hosting a new blog hop, celebrating several events, including the release of Patricia Leever's Cat O' Nine Tails, the Back-to-School $.99 sale, and the new cover of Nicki Elson's Three Daves. Hooray! Please join in.