Archive for the ‘Cover Art’ Category

Mar

31

2016

THE SWEET SPOT Blog Tour!!!!!

Filed under: Book Auntie Braggery, Book Reviews, Check-it-out, Contests, Cover Art, Middle Grade, Publishing, Reading, SCBWI, Stuff I Love

Today I get to be a part of THE SWEET SPOT Blog Tour!!! What is that, you ask?

It’s me getting to celebrate a fabulous book and it’s new publisher…

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Here’s a little bit about THE SWEET SPOT…

When thirteen-year-old Sam Barrette’s baseball coach tells her that her attitude’s holding her back, she wants to hit him in the head with a line drive. Why shouldn’t she have an attitude? As the only girl playing in the 13U league, she’s had to listen to boys and people in the stands screaming things like “Go play softball,” all season, just because she’s a girl. Her coach barely lets her play, even though she’s one of the best hitters on the team.

All stakes now rest on Sam’s performance at baseball training camp. But the moment she arrives, miscommunication sets the week up for potential disaster. Placed at the bottom with the weaker players, she will have to work her way up to A league, not just to show Coach that she can be the best team player possible, but to prove to herself that she can hold a bat with the All-Star boys.

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My review of THE SWEET SPOT…

This is an important book for girls and boys. In a world where two former female West Point graduates can kick butt in Ranger School, there is NO REASON why a girl who loves baseball and plays as well (or possibly better than the boys) shouldn’t be allowed–EXPECTED– to play. In Mozer’s novel, the sweet spot is that place on the baseball bat that’s just right–allowing the batter to hit it out of the park. But there’s also a sweet spot in life and it’s when EVERY PERSON is in the place where they get to be the best version of themselves. Mozer’s book isn’t an easy fix. It’s hard to figure out who and what you’re supposed to be with other people throwing around ignorant labels, sterotypes and abusive behavior. The Sweet Spot reminds us that even though it isn’t easy, one of the best ways to attack adversity is with determination and a positive attitude. I’m so delighted to know there are authors like Mozer out there making sure that all kids are represented on the shelves. I can’t wait to see what she writes next.

As part of THE SWEET SPOT Blog Tour, I was luck enough to interview the fabulous author with questions about her wonderful book and her new publisher, Spellbound River Press.

Check it out…

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Author Bio:

Stacy Barnett Mozer is a third grade teacher and a mom. She started writing books when a class of students told her that there was no way that a real author who wrote real books could possibly revise their work as much as she asked them to revise. She’s been revising her own work ever since.

1. How was The Sweet Spot reinvented by Spellbound River Press? Banner_cl The book has a snazzy new cover designed by illustrator Lois Bradley and the paperback has a fun new interior look (the boring chapter titles have been replaced by baseballs). I was also able to update the content since the Mets surprised us all and ended up in the World Series last year and former Mets player Mike Piazza, who is mentioned in the book, is now in The Baseball Hall of Fame. The only thing the Mets can do now to make the content outdated is to win the World Series – and that would be fine with me!

2. Tell us a little about this brand new press and how you were discovered by them.

Spellbound River Press is a new press for middle grade books. For their first list they sought out authors who had books that were either self-published and getting some attention or series that had been traditionally published but the next books in the series were not picked up. My book fell into that first category. I knew one of the authors whose book was picked up through the SCBWI. He suggested I submit my story. The press loved everything (except for the cover).

3. I’ve read The Sweet Spot and loved it – but for your up and coming readers, tell us a bit about the book.

The book is about a 13 yo girl named Sam who has always played baseball with the boys, but has now found that she is no longer accepted by everyone. Her coach feels she has an attitude about this and tells her that the only way he will recommend her for All Stars is to get a good report from baseball camp, but when she arrives they hadn’t been expecting a girl and it all goes downhill from there.

4. One of my writer friends was recently doing a school visit and she was using a football comparison to make her point to the students. On a whim my author friend used the pronoun SHE when talking about the football player. Eyes widened. Questions were asked. Several boys wanted to know WHO IS THIS FOOTBALL PLAYER WHO IS A GIRL??? I know you are actively involved with Sporty Girl Books. Can you tel us a little bit about why you write for sporty girls and what you are aiming to accomplish by writing non-traditonal books?

I will tell you that it was never my intention to write a book that was non-traditional. Sam is a baseball player because I was writing a story about a girl who goes camping and in one of the scenes I decided to have her surprise some boys by showing off her wicked baseball skills. As a lover of baseball (huge Mets fan), I thought it would be fun to have her be good at the sport. That one scene turned out to be everyone’s favorite and I developed a new plot line around it. When I was first proposing the change, my husband asked me whether or not it would even be an issue, for a girl to play baseball, in this day and age. So I researched it and found out that it is, indeed, a big issue. I also found out that there were very few books written about the topic. That lead me to talk to others about other sports that weren’t getting attention in books (football definitely being one of them) and that’s what lead me to start the blog. I am still surprised how difficult it is for girls to play male dominated sports. I’m also surprised how little media attention women’s sports receive. But that also doesn’t mean that I think all men think this way. Every now and then a reviewer calls me a bad person because my book suggests that all boys think girls should not play baseball. If they read my book, they would see that Sam has way more male supporters than those who stand in her way. I think that is true in the real world as well. I have been very happy to see that The Sweet Spot has had a wide range of supportive readers. Boys and girls. Those who love sports and those who have no interest in playing. The heart of the book isn’t about baseball, it’s about never letting anyone stop you from following your dreams. From finding your own personal sweet spot. I think everyone can relate to that.

5. Tell us a little bit about your book launch and the best way to get The Sweet Spot.

This is one of the last stops on The Sweet Spot blog tour. But you have a chance to win THE SWEET SPOT in a Goodreads giveaway. The book is also available on Amazon and you can request it at your favorite Indie bookstore. You can also buy it directly from www.SpellboundRiver.com. And don’t forget to like it on Goodreads, rate it, and write an honest review once you’ve read it!

Social Media Links:

www.StacyMozer.com www.SpellboundRiver.com

www.facebook.com/StacyMozerAuthor

www.twitter.com/SMozer

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29474468-the-sweet-spot

 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Sweet Spot by Stacy Barnett Mozer

The Sweet Spot

by Stacy Barnett Mozer

Giveaway ends April 30, 2016. See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
 

Enter Giveaway

 

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Jun

3

2014

Cover Reveal: The Nogiku series by SJ Pajonas

Filed under: Check-it-out, Cover Art, Reading

Today is the cover reveal for the Nogiku series by SJ Pajonas. As most of you know, I haven’t delved too deeply into the NA world, but this fabulous author is a personal friend of mine and I started reading because I love her, but I keep reading because her stories, characters and world building are SO GOOD! Plus, she recently nailed me with a spectacular cliff hanger in RELEASED. Today I get to help Lola launch the exciting new covers for this series. Revealed: Part One (Nogiku series #0.1), Removed (Nogiku series #1), Released (Nogiku series #2) and Reunited (Nogiku series #3). This cover reveal is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours.
all 4 covers

 

I wasn’t able to read and review this one before the cover release, but it has jumped to the top of my TBR pile!!!!

 

Revealed

 

Revealed: Part One: New Year’s Eve with Jiro and Mark (Nogiku series #0.1)
by SJ Pajonas

Genre: Science Fiction Romance, Post-apocalyptic
Age category: Young Adult, Adult
Release Date: June 1, 2014

Get immersed in the Nogiku world with Jiro Itō as he gets ready for a boring and annoying New Year’s Eve out in Nishikyō. At least, that’s what he expects his night to be like. Jiro would rather drink with the geisha all evening, and avoid taking anyone home, but he has family business to attend to instead. When the family business leads to an unfamiliar restaurant, Jiro spies Sanaa Griffin smiling at him from across the room, and his night turns around.

But Mark Sakai, his uncle, is not pleased with Jiro’s flirtations. Mark has worked hard for over a decade to get Sanaa into position for her new life, and he can’t have Jiro interfering. Will a stern warning be enough to keep them apart?

PART ONE of REVEALED is a companion short story to REMOVED, Book ONE of the Nogiku Series. The first chapter of REMOVED is included at the end of PART ONE. Read REVEALED first or read it later, but don’t miss this look into the other side of Sanaa’s story.

Approximately 10,000 words.

You can find Revealed: Part One: New Year’s Eve with Jiro and Mark on Goodreads

You can buy Revealed here:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Kobo
iBooks

 

You can find my review of REMOVED here.

RemovedRemoved (Nogiku series #1)by SJ Pajonas

 

Genre: Science Fiction Romance, Post-apocalyptic
Age category: Young Adult, Adult
Release Date: September 11, 2013

Duty knows no family. Love has no price. Secrets can cost you everything.

Twenty-year-old Sanaa Griffin is about to get more than she bargained for when she wishes for love, happiness, and excitement on New Year’s Eve. Ripped from the job she always loved, she is reassigned to work for mysterious Mark Sakai and spy on the corrupt leaders of her city. War looms on the horizon, and Sanaa must help Sakai determine the key players and their weak spots before it’s too late.

Mark Sakai has many plans for Sanaa that will take her into a web of lies and danger, and her only protection is to learn to defend herself. But defense training under the watchful eye of Jiro, a strong and enigmatic young man she has a crush on, was not what she expected. Between falling in love with Jiro and the information she is gathering, Sanaa realizes Sakai is holding back secrets about her family and her deceased parents, secrets as to why she was chosen for this job, and learning the truth puts all of humanity in jeopardy.

REMOVED is the first book in a captivating post-apocalyptic series that harnesses the cultures and traditions of Japan and sweeps them into the future between Earth and a faraway land.

You can find Removed on Goodreads
Want to view some inspirational images for Removed, visit the Removed inspirational Pinterest board

You can buy Removed here:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
iBooks
Kobo

 

RELEASED was even better than REMOVED and I rave about it here.

Released

 

Released (Nogiku series #2)

by SJ Pajonas
Genre: Science Fiction Romance, Post-apocalyptic
Age category: Young Adult, Adult
Release Date: December 17, 2013

Left in the desert to recuperate from her injuries, Sanaa Itami paces the floors and contemplates her mistakes. She trusted too easily, and now people she loved are dead, killed at the hands of men coming to assassinate her. Sanaa feels beaten, but life awaits her at home. While her city recovers from the devastating earthquake, negotiations for Sanaa’s future continue. New allies must be made, new friendships brokered, new skills acquired — at all costs.

Life at the top of the chain is complicated and lonely, though. With all her friendships rocky and uncertain, Sanaa must learn to trust others again more than she’s willing. Who is left holding a grudge? And will the new family Sanaa has found with Jiro support or betray her?

RELEASED, Book TWO of the Nogiku Series, is the second book in a captivating post-apocalyptic romance series that harnesses the cultures and traditions of Japan and sweeps them into the future between Earth and a faraway land.

You can find Released on Goodreads

You can buy Released here:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Kobo
iBooks

 

I’m dying to find out what’s on the other side of that fabulous cliff hanger I mentioned. I can’t wait for August!!!!

Reunited

 

Reunited (Nogiku series #3)

by SJ Pajonas
Genre: Science Fiction Romance, Post-apocalyptic
Age category: Young Adult, Adult
Release Date: August 14, 2014

Yūsei has surprises for Sanaa Itami. The long trip across the stars ends with Mark Sakai delivering bad news from orbit over their new home, and there’s no turning back or moving on. Despite all their misgivings, this is where they will have to stay.

Sanaa, Jiro, and the rest of Earth’s settlers move into a coastal town and stick to their plans to live the colonization life they dreamed of. But Sanaa’s existence won’t be kept secret from her enemies for long. Kazuo promised he would see her in another life, on another world, and he aims to keep his word. Now she will face those who want their revenge and make new enemies while dispensing with old ones on her journey across the fascinating and unfamiliar landscape of Yūsei.

REUNITED, Book THREE of the Nogiku Series, is the third book in a captivating post-apocalyptic romance series that harnesses the cultures and traditions of Japan and sweeps them into the future between Earth and a faraway land.

You can find Reunited on Goodreads

 

And I have some fabulous news for you… You can read Revealed: Part One for free! And the price for Removed has been permanently dropped to 0.99$. Haven’t started this series yet? Pick up your copy today!
sale image free

 

 

sj pajonasAbout the Author:
S. J. Pajonas loves all things Asian and has been in love with Japan and the East for as long as she can remember. Writing about Asia and Japan came naturally after studying the culture and language for over fifteen years. She studied film and screenwriting first and eventually segued into fiction once she was no longer working a full-time job.

Face Time is the first novel in the Love in the Digital Age series, and Pajonas’s first foray into Korean culture and families. Along with Removed and Released in the Nogiku Series, she continues to take the cultures of Asia and weave them into stories that appeal to people from around the world. Her writing is described as unique and unpredictable. Expect the unexpected.

Stephanie lives with her husband and two children just outside of New York City. She loves reading, writing, film, J- and K-dramas, knitting, and astrology. Her favorite author is Haruki Murakami and favorite book is The Wind-up Bird Chronicle.

You can find and contact her here:
Website
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads
Pinterest
Flickr
Instagram
Tumblr

And there’s a cover reveal wide giveaway! You can win a 10$ gift card for Itunes of Starbucks or one of the 3 e-copies of Released!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Lola's Blog Tours

 

How do you like the fabulous new covers? Have you read any books in the Nogiku series yet? If you haven’t, get reading because I really want to talk about these books with you.

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Oct

22

2013

Cover Reveal for RELEASED, Book TWO of the Nogiku Series by S. J. Pajonas

Filed under: Check-it-out, Community, Cover Art

Woo Hoo!!!! I know I’ve already said you must read REMOVED by my friend S. J. Pajonas. But really–you have to because Book Two, RELEASED will be available in December. If you read it than I’ll have people to whine and complain with while I wait for Book Two to come out. LOL!  Seriously, I need to know what happens next!!!!

But since I do have to wait, at least I can stare at something gorgeous while I’m pouting.

Today is the fabulous cover reveal for RELEASED!!!!

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**Contains spoilers for those who have not read REMOVED!

Left in the desert to recuperate from her injuries, Sanaa Itami paces the floors and contemplates her mistakes. She trusted too easily, and now people she loved are dead, killed at the hands of men coming to assassinate her. Sanaa feels beaten, but life awaits her at home. While Nishikyō recovers from the earthquake, negotiations for Sanaa’s eventual rule on Yūsei continue. New allies must be made, new friendships brokered, new skills acquired — at all costs.
Life at the top of the chain is complicated and lonely, though. With relations in Sakai clan rocky and uncertain, Sanaa must learn to trust others again more than she’s willing. Who amongst the clans is left holding a grudge? And will the new family Sanaa has found with Jiro support or betray her?

From Nishikyō to Yūsei, RELEASED, Book TWO of the Nogiku Series, is the second book in a captivating New Adult post-apocalyptic romance series that harnesses the cultures and traditions of Japan and sweeps them in the future.

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About the Author
 

S. J. Pajonas loves all things Asian but has especially been in love with Japan for as long as she can remember. Writing about Asia and Japan came naturally after studying the culture and language for over 15 years. She studied film and screenwriting first at Michigan State University and eventually segued into fiction once she was no longer working a full-time job as a website programmer for HBO.com

REMOVED is S. J. Pajonas’s debut work, book one of four in the Nogiku Series. She also writes Women’s Fiction and her upcoming Love in the Digital Age series will be published in 2014.

Stephanie lives with her husband and two children just outside of New York City. She loves reading, writing, film, J- and K-dramas, knitting, and astrology. Her favorite author is Haruki Murakami and favorite book is The Wind-up Bird Chronicles.

Queue RELEASED on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18674866-released

Visit http://www.spajonas.com for more information.

Read the first book in The Nogiku Series, REMOVED:

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Amazon (Paperback): http://amzn.com/1940599032

Amazon (Kindle): http://amzn.com/B00F4IE978

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/2940148646532

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/removed

Want to know more about Book #1? Check out my Bookanistas review of REMOVED

Rafflecopter Giveaway:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

or get the code here:
http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/NzIzOGFjZTUzNDI0NzNhNTZhNTlhODI4ZDg5NDZhOjI=/

Since we are talking covers today–let’s talk about covers. What’s capturing your interest lately? See any new trends? What turns you off? What’s your favorite book cover evah? Oh, that’s a hard question–I’m going to have to think on that one LOL!

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Mar

29

2013

Kai Strand–Cover Reveal for BEWARE OF THE WHITE

Filed under: Check-it-out, Cover Art

My friend Kai Strand has a cover reveal today! You can check it out HERE!!!!! Congrats on BEWARE OF THE WHITE!!!!

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Feb

27

2013

Almost Wordless Wednesday–The Beginning of a Cover

Filed under: Check-it-out, Cover Art, Touching the Surface, YA Books, Young Adult (YA)

iStock_000012657505Small

 

 

 

I’ve been busy working on the tail end of my OPPOSITE OF GRAVITY revisions all day, so I thought I’d do a little Wordless Wednesday–but with some words–because that’s how I roll. LOL! Thought you might be interested in seeing the original picture where the TOUCHING THE SURFACE cover started. I found this on iStock Photo, looking for a photo to use as a cover holder for Goodreads and in an unusual turn of events, it also inspired the creatives at Simon Pulse. Any thoughts?

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Jun

11

2012

What’s Your Favorite Book Cover?

Filed under: Cover Art, Pondering, YA Books, Young Adult (YA)

I did an interview yesterday and one of the questions was…what’s your favorite cover?

I was a little stumped. I clearly know how covers effect me. People say we shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover, but I’m aware of the impact the “right” cover can have on me. It plays a huge role in what I gravitate towards. Now, having said that, there isn’t a crappy cover out there that would stop me from reading a highly recommended book. But what if the concept is reversed and we judge a book solely on it’s cover? What happens if we take out the pages–erase the story–and just stare at that cover as if it was a piece of art? Which covers would be your favorites

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. RowlingThe Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsTwilight by Stephenie MeyerThe Giver by Lois LowryThe Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

*cover montage taken from Goodreads

As I pondered the interview question, I really struggled with picking one. I eventually decided on THE GIVER by Lois Lowry–which is also my favorite book. I thought about how I felt about the book when my high school teacher handed out our copies in class. I was intrigued by the uniqueness of it–by the emotion and mystery on the elderly man’s face. It was something I hadn’t seen before and something about it felt important compared to the other types of books I’d been reading. But would I still be saying that now if I hadn’t read the copy flap? If I hadn’t fallen in love with the book? I’m not sure.

What I do know is that I’m still thinking about it–pondering what I find to be visually stunning–apart from the words that are attached to it. My mind is still turning and I have a couple more in mind, but I was wondering what is your favorite cover and why? Can you separate the visual from the words? Or are they in inexplicably linked for you? Have you ever adored a cover and NOT read the book? I’m curious–bring on the cover love.

 

 

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Feb

22

2012

Gretchen McNeil’s TEN Cover Reveal Scavenger Hunt

Filed under: Apocalypsies, Contests, Cover Art

My fellow Apocalypsie, lovely friend and debut author of POSSESS–Gretchen McNeil–has her second book in the pipeline and asked me to be a part of the TEN Cover Reveal and Scavenger Hunt!  Of course I said YES!!!!

Have you met Gretchen?

Gretchen McNeil is an opera singer, writer and clown. Her YA horror/paranormal POSSESS debuted with Balzer + Bray for HarperCollins in 2011. Her second novel, TEN – YA horror/suspense about ten teens trapped on a remote island with a serial killer – will be released September 18, 2012. Gretchen is a former coloratura soprano, the voice of Mary on G4’s “Code Monkeys” and she currently sings with the LA-based circus troupe Cirque Berzerk. Gretchen is also a founding member of the vlog group YARebelswhere she can be seen as “Monday.”

Now that you know Gretchen, let’s get busy because we have a lot to cover. First things first–let me tell you a little bit about TEN.

TEN by Gretchen McNeil

And their doom comes swiftly.

It was supposed to be the weekend of their lives – three days on Henry Island at an exclusive house party. Best friends Meg and Minnie each have their own reasons for wanting to be there, both of which involve Kamiak High’s most eligible bachelor, T.J. Fletcher. But what starts out as a fun-filled weekend turns dark and twisted after the discovery of a DVD with a sinister message: Vengeance is mine.

Suddenly, people are dying and the teens are cut off from the outside world. No electricity, no phones, no internet, and a ferry that isn’t scheduled to return for two days. As the deaths become more violent and the teens turn on each other, can Meg find the killer before more people die? Or is the killer closer to her than she could ever imagine?

Jeepers Crepers!

NOW…ON TO THE CONTEST!!!

Q: What is the prize???

A: You are entering to win a signed and annotated copy of the unbound galley of TEN.  A one of a kind prize, out before the ARCs.  How awesome is that?

Q: How do I enter the contest???

A: You must start the hunt from the beginning and you can do this on Gretchen’s blog –  http://gretchenmcneil.blogspot.com/ – From there, you’ll need to collect all ten clues for a chance to enter the contest on the day of the cover reveal (which is Friday, February 24.)

Q: What is my clue and where do I go next on the scavenger hunt???

A: Your clue is LORI and your next stop on the hunt is… Kimberly Derting – http://kimberlyderting.blogspot.com/ (and she’ll be posting on Thursday, February 23)

There you go! You have everything you need to take you to the next leg of the race.  Good luck!  If you have the time leave a comment, I’d love to hear about the scariest book you’ve ever read. I’m going to say Silence of the Lambs. *shiver* But I’m thinking that Gretchen is planning on giving me nightmares too!

 

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Dec

21

2011

BIG Cover Reveal for IF I LIE by Corrine Jackson!!!!

Filed under: Apocalypsies, Cover Art, The Class of 2k12, Touching the Surface, YA Books

I am so excited to be a part of this!!!!  Corrine Jackson is a fellow Apocalypsie, a fellow Class of 2k12 member, a Simon Pulse sistah and one of the nicest people I know, so it gives me great pleasure to be involved in the cover reveal for her YA novel IF I LIE.  I am DYING to read this book!!!!  Before I show you the cover, let me tell you why you’re going to want to read it too…

IF I LIE
A powerful debut novel about the gray space between truth and perception.

Quinn’s done the unthinkable: she kissed a guy who is not Carey, her boyfriend. And she got caught. Being branded a cheater would be bad enough, but Quinn is deemed a traitor, and shunned by all of her friends. Because Carey’s not just any guy—he’s serving in Afghanistan and revered by everyone in their small, military town.

Quinn could clear her name, but that would mean revealing secrets that she’s vowed to keep—secrets that aren’t hers to share. And when Carey goes MIA, Quinn must decide how far she’ll go to protect her boyfriend…and her promise.

*SQUEE*  Didn’t I tell you this is going to be awesome????







Okay…so you want to see the cover???







I know you do!!!!!








Okay…I can’t make you wait any longer.








Here it is….







I think it’s absolutely perfect!!!!  
You should stop by and check out Corrine’s cover reveal on her website.  You can also find out more about Corrine Jackson and IF I LIE here…

Goodreads

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Dec

16

2011

Freaky Friday Interview – Lindsay Cummings

Filed under: Cover Art, Freaky Friday, SCBWI, Touching the Surface, YA Books

If you’ve seen the movie Freaky Friday, you know that its premise is about change and growth through role reversal. For my Friday Blog entry I thought it would be interesting to interview aspiring authors–writers who spend lots of time reading the interviews of published authors and dreaming of the day when they might get their book on the shelves..



Some days you just get lucky.  I did when an awesome new friend just shows up in my inbox.  Lindsay Cummings emailed me, struck up a conversation and we just hit it off.  Since then, we’ve chatted back and forth, talking about our our books and other fun stuff.  One day she emailed me something that made me yelp out loud in the ladies room stall of a Bed, Bath and Beyond.  It was awkward–the public yelping, I mean.  And yes, sometimes I check my email in weird places.  I see a future blog post here.  And although I love you dear reader–no, I’m not going to tell you about the thing that made me yelp.  Think of it as an imagination developing writing prompt.  Anyway…  Shortly after the yelp (So, my new favorite word today) I realized I needed to do a kick-ass cover reveal.  Ya know–so other people could yelp with me.  There was only one person I thought about asking…

You guessed it–Lindsay Cummings.  If you hadn’t guessed it, I would have been a little embarrassed for you.  (((hugs)))  Anyway–the cover reveal–It was awesome.  Lindsay was awesome.  It was one of those days that I’ll always remember.  (The big reveal for TOUCHING THE SURFACE.)  But Lindsay isn’t just wonderful because she was my book cover fairy-godmother.  Seriously, she’s just someone that you’re gonna want to get to know.  So let me introduce you.  

Can you tell us a little bit about how you got the writing bug and where you are on your journey to being a published author?

I always love this question, because I get to gush about how awesome of a writer my dad is. He got me hooked when I was younger. I always saw him, holed up in his room at his writing desk, typing away. I wanted to be like him, and when I started reading adventure stories like Gary Paulsen’s HATCHET, I thought, “okay. I can do this!”
Right now, I have an agent, Louise Fury, at the L. Perkins Agency, who I totally dig. She’s awesome and young and has the most amazing enthusiasm for my work! I have this theory that we both have some seriously twisted minds. Violence is in all my books, and I always feel like somehow we end up adding more. Lol. We have been on submission with my second novel, THE MURDER COMPLEX, for about 5 months now. Crossing fingers for that book deal! (you should, too. Maybe the gods of writing will take that into account!)
I’ve already got my fingers and my toes crossed for you!!!  That is so cool and sweet about your dad.  You just gave me goosebumps.  You are also an awesome book blogger.  *does a little dance remembering how you helped me with my big cover reveal*  How did you start book blogging and is it hard to be a writer and a blogger?  And can I have a key to your hidden time machine that allows you to get all of this done?  :o)
When I had my first novel about halfway done, a writing friend took me out to Starbucks and sat me down. She asked me about my plan for getting published…which I hadn’t really thought about before. I had no idea there were agents, or all these individual publishing houses, or conferences where a bunch of people got together to hone their writing skills. I knew NOTHING. She told me I needed to get a blog, and I didn’t want to, but she set one up for me anyways, and then it just sort of grew from there. It opened me up to this HUGE world of book nerds and other writers, tons of supportive people that are now my friends, and I really think it has helped my writing life so much! It’s so great, because I get to interact with marketing teams at publishing houses, and that sort of helps me have an edge, because now I know how much WORK goes into marketing a book. Months and months before it comes out! Blogging is a blast. It’s my reward for gettting my writing done each day, and also…free ARCs to review. That always helps 🙂
I love your reviews-so I’m so glad you did.  So, I have to ask, because I ask every writer/blogger who will put up with me–is it hard to write honest reviews and be an aspiring author at the same time.  I’ll be honest.  I only review books that resonate with me because I don’t think I could navigate those waters very successfully.  How do you do it?
Haha, I do this exactly the same way you do! If I request a book from the publisher, it’s one that I already know I am going to love! If I just receive a random one in the mail, I look at it from a writer’s perspective, someone who just loves a well-told story. I know how much work a book takes, and because of that…most always I find something to get excited about! If I don’t like a book, I just don’t review it on my blog. I will never put another author’s finished product down. Authors rock. They’re my friends 🙂

That sounds like a smart, practical and loving plan of action.  Can you tell us a little bit more about THE MURDER COMPLEX or your WIP–besides the fact that you write dystopians that have a little violence? :o)  
My book on sub is THE MURDER COMPLEX. That one is a very dark YA about teens who must struggle to survive in a world surrounded by constant daily murders. I can tell you this small snippet: You cannot see us. You cannot hear us. But we are here. And we control your every move.

I love that. 🙂 lol. The next novel, the one I have been working on for a bit, is a retelling of a famous short story from the 1900’s…with my own special twist, of course! That is all I can say, but it is deliciously chilling, full of action, and maybe even a little bit of romance. I love this one, and I already have a GREAT feeling about it!
Such a tease!!!!  Both sound awesome-can’t wait to read them.  You recently had a wonderful DEAR TEEN ME blog post and I was tickled to see that you played on a guys hockey team when you were in high school.  What do you think YA writers need to know when they are writing for kids who do the unpredictable?  Are we reaching and connecting with everyone we should be?

I’m only 20, so I think this question is great for me to answer! People that write for teens should keep in mind that when you are a teen…everything is a HUGE deal. If something goes wrong, it’s the end of the world. If they start to get a crush, they are positive they are falling in love. And that’s okay! I love that teens can experience the world with such passion!! It’s the most exciting time in a person’s life, in my opinion, because everything is confusing and new and such a big deal!

I love that too!  Okay–I need your top 5 books…

Top 5 books. Goodness. I have a lot of recent favorites…but as a writer, here’s the top 5 that have influenced me the most in my writing life!

1- Lord of the Flies
2- Catcher in the Rye
3- Hatchet 
4- Delirium
5- Uglies series

Seriously, I love all of them.  I should have asked you what you thought of Gary Paulsen at the SCBWI LA Conference–and btw I can’t believe we didn’t meet there…Oh, wait…this is still your interview.  Never mind–I’ll email later.  If you want Lindsay Cummings for a best bud–and I’m here to tell you that you do–check out her blog or her website.  Lindsay is also on FacebookTwitter and an author at Teen Shiver.

Go ahead…ask her a question.  Or you can just tell me what makes you yelp.  :o)

  

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Dec

2

2011

Time to Thank the Haters

Filed under: Apocalypsies, Cover Art, The Class of 2k12, Touching the Surface, YA Books

I went running this morning. (Thursday)  I needed to be connected to the earth again after yesterday’s overwhelming cover reveal.  I spent Wednesday glued to my seat, in front of my lap top, amazed at the outpouring of love and support.  I smiled non-stop for over twelve straight hours and I shall cherish the wrinkles that I earned from that experience.

As I pounded the pavement, I felt sure that I would be writing a post today that would thank everyone who was so kind.  But I can’t.  One foot after the other, this post started to take shape in my head–my footfalls like my fingers on the keys.  And like most of my writing–I start in one place and then let go–allowing my inner compass to take me home.

But before I write that post, I still need to say a quick thank you to Anica Rissi and everyone at Simon Pulse, to Michelle Wolfson, to the Class of 2k12, to the Apocalypsies, to all my writer buds and most of all…to the local friends in my life.  I know, that for me, the term local has changed and expanded as I’ve traveled.  But no matter where you are, you all have stayed in my heart.  I consider you part of my home–the place I love most.  To all of you…

I need you to know that I was moved by your generosity and support.  You make me want to write better books and be a better person.

*   *   *

So, today’s blog post IS about thanking people, but it’s about giving a shout out to the people in my life who have hurt me.  I’m not going to name names.  *cackles and rubs hands together*  Yeah, it might be a little fun, but seriously it doesn’t matter.  What matters, is that while I was running, I was thinking about what comes next after the cover reveal.  After the love and support.  After the fan fair and joyous celebration.

Next….

Comes the smack down!!!!!! *dum, dum, dum, dum*

Sure–I’m still expecting lots and lots of good things to happen with TOUCHING THE SURFACE.  Sheesh, I’ve spent years of my life working on this book, pouring my heart and soul into it and I think it will be good.  I know it will make a difference in someones life.  I believe it will matter.  But, just like in my own life (the freaky place where not everyone likes me) there will be people who are vocal about not liking my book and perhaps…even it’s author.  *gasp*   I won’t lie, the thought of that made my steps falter while I was running.  It made my stomach clench.   But then I remembered–I have good training for this.

I can handle being wounded because people in my life have hurt me.

I don’t get over it easily.  Usually it takes me at least a novel and one or two blog posts to work through a problem in a semi-satisfactory manner.  And even then, there are no guarantees.  But I survive.  And more important, I suck the freaking essence from the haters’ mean asses and use it to become a better person.

(There might be a little residual anger involved, but I’m working on that.)

What I’m trying to say is that I believe our life prepares us for our life.  If someone had handed me a newborn, without allowing me to carry the little critter in utero for nine months, I never would have made it.  I slowly built up to the level of sleep deprivation, poor grooming skills and weeping that I needed in order to be a successful mother.  Without the inability to touch my toes for weeks at a time, I never would have had the proper perspective that I needed for when the baby came along.  The universe has a built in training program to help us survive.  It’s the equivalent of a GOOD parent guiding a teenager.  The teenager CAN NOT see the forrest through the trees.  Later they understand.   In life…we are that teenager.  More often than not…oblivious.

Okay…it’s only a theory and the next person to hurt me will make all of these larger than life thoughts fly right out of my head.  I’ll curl up in a little ball and lick my wounds until I can start the healing process.  You know how it goes… two steps forward–one step back.  But I’m a big-picture girl at heart.   And it’s good to know that at the end of each bump in my road, I can always get to that spot where I believe that the people who hurt me the most–give me the greatest gift off all–strength.

Nanny, nanny, boo, boo.

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