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Posts Tagged ‘YAFF’

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OMG, so this message is a long time coming. But last week my LOVELY LOVELY LOVELY crit partner and fellow YAFFer Penny Randall signed with literary agent Jamie Cowen of The Ampersand Agency 

I can’t even tell you guys how happy I am for Penny. She’s a MAGNIFICIENT writer and storyteller. I can’t wait for everyone to read her stories, she’s absolutely brilliant. I’ve had the pleasure of being one of Pen’s crit partners for over 4 years now and knew this moment was coming. And I tell you all now that she’s a writer you’re going to want to keep on your radar! Her stories are so awesome and you’ll LOVE her characters!

LOVE YOU PENNY!!! And am SO SO SO SO SO proud of you!

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I want to welcome Jennifer Fischetto to my blog today. She was nice enough to let me interview her! You guys HAVE to check out her YA book I Spy Dead People, which just came out this month (December 2013)! It’s SO adorable!!! Here’s my interview with Jenn and the cover of her awesomely FAB book:

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000031_00001]

Tell us a little something about your book and what genre it is?
 I SPY DEAD PEOPLE is a young adult, paranormal mystery, about fifteen-year-old Piper Grimaldi. Her dad is a true crime novelist, and in order to research his novels, they must travel to the different locations where the crimes occurred. So Piper spends every school year in a different town and state. In the beginning of the book, they’ve moved to Hollow Ridge, MA, where Piper finds the dead body of teen soap star, Linzy Quinn. Suddenly Linzy’s ghost is in Piper’s face 24/7, and Piper makes it her mission to figure out who killed Linzy.
 
What character(s) do you like the most and why?
 I adore Piper. She’s smart, cute, determined to get what she wants, and while she can get tunnel vision with her issues, she loves her Dad and friends. Plus, the only thing she’s scared of are axe wielding murderers wearing hockey masks. She’d be awesome to go on an adventure or in a haunted house with.
 
What are your favorite books? And is there any book in particular that made you want to become a writer? 
When I was little, I loved the fairytales, Snow White and Cinderella, and they made me wish to create my own stories, but I was so young that I’m not sure if I really understood what being an author meant. I’m a huge fan of YA books. It’s what I mostly read nowadays. I love contemporaries, horror, mysteries, and anything that can make me laugh.
 
What’s the one thing you can’t live without while writing?
  I can’t say there’s one thing, but I usually have a routine–not always. I like to start writing as soon as I get up, usually with a cup of coffee, and then I work for several hours. I like it quiet. Then around 11 am, I need noise, and I turn on music. It’s as if it’s suddenly too quiet, and I can’t stand it any longer.
 
Reality or Fantasy? 
Reality. I’d love to write a serious, gritty YA–one that deals with deep, emotional issues, but that’s not my voice. So I try to be as realistic as possible. You know, with ghosts and other supernatural tidbits. 😉 
 
Your favorite snack? 
Ice cream. Most flavors. Love it! I like mine with stuff in it, like cookies, brownies, nuts, ripples. The only things I don’t like in it are chocolate chips, because they get too hard, and cookie dough. Not a fan of the raw stuff.
 
Lastly, what’s your favorite season? 
Definitely fall. I live in MA, so the leaves fall and change colors. It’s beautiful. Plus I’m a cooler weather girl. I can’t stand summer, so fall is a treat for me. Back to school (which means it’s quieter), headed toward the holidays (which is my favorite time of year), and comforter nights. I love snuggling. 🙂
 
You can purchase I SPY DEAD PEOPLE at:
 
JF61213
 
 

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OMG, you guys, I’m SO SO SO happy to announce that my crit partner Kit Forbes (Barb Sheridan) has a book deal w/Month9Books!!! SQUEEEE. So happy for her. So stop in and tell Kit  and her agent Emily Keyes congrats and see all the details:  http://kitforbes.wordpress.com/2013/03/06/its-official/

Her book is flipping awesome and I can’t wait for everyone else to read it. And I’m calling dibs on Mark before everyone else (LOL).

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So sometimes this writing gig is kind of tough. There is so much juggling we have to do. For me, I work full time as well and have over an hour commute one way (on good weather days)—almost 2 hrs on bad weather days. I also have VERY active kids who play basketball, soccer, orchestra, band, Odyssey of the Mind, and Honor Society. Which means, most days I’m jetting right from work to whatever event is going on.

This of course leaves me very little time in my day. So I generally use my lunch hours to write and on occasion a few hours on the weekend. There are times when I get home from work and whatever practice/game etc and grab the quickest thing there is to cook—which accounts for the bigger pants size (LOL). I’m always like, hey, I can try to squeeze in exercise time. But then I’m so exhausted, I just imagine what it’d be like to walk on the treadmill or grab that fab work out video that kicks my butt to the point of wanting to fall over.  I imagine what it’d be like to have extra time to go for a walk or jog or do something “active.” But my chair is just too comfortable to leave.

And then you throw in those “publishing” world stresses: deadlines, waiting to hear back on projects, waiting to hear back on contracts, trying to apply crits to one book, while trying to write another. Soon, your head is spinning. You get this “love/hate” relationship with your email. Checking it like every 5 minutes because you just know today will be the day you get your news. Then you’re disappointed when it doesn’t come. Then you start to wonder if someone changed their mind or if maybe the story had major suckage. The doubt creeps in then you grab some chocolate because it’s a cure-all (LOL). You post your deepest fears to your crit group and they talk you back up and you’re excited and then the cycle starts all over again.

So yeah the writing part is the easy part. Getting those words down, creating this wonderful and FABULOUS story. Hard parts? The waiting. The finding time to exercise. The finding time to sleep. The bigger pants size. But it’s totally worth it. You fight for it because you want it so bad. It’s what you’re made to do.

So embrace your bigger pants and forge onward. Because, as I’ve learned all the bumps in the road make the journey that much more awesome when you finally hold your book in hand and say “Wow, this is mine. People are gonna read it. SQUEEEE.”

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Okay, so you guys will totally LOVE these book covers. Seriously. It’s for her Witchbound Series: So pop over and tell her what you think of the new covers and book trailers!!

http://kelbian.blogspot.com/

SO PROUD OF YOU KEL ((HUGS))….

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How is November already halfway over? LOL. Things on the writing front have been WAY slow. I’m ¼ of the way through writing the sequel to The Winter People. It’s still coming along pretty well. Hoping to make some real word count progress during Thanksgiving weekend and during my vacation in December. I’m avoiding all the shiny new ideas that keep trying to distract me—in other words, I’m jotting down a few notes and setting them aside.

This brings me to what I really wanted to discuss today: My LOVELY, FABULOUS, AWESOME, and sometimes CRAZY crit partners. Seriously. I don’t know what I’d do without these ladies. First of all, they see all my first draft stuff (and boy is some of it a hot mess—LOL) and always help me find ways to make it shine. They’re brilliant and honest and really want my stories to be the best they can. These ladies challenge me—make me dig deeper.

They’ve been there through SO much with me. They hung out with me during the querying/rejection stage—they were cheering  me on when I landed my first agent then offered me virtual hugs and support when things didn’t work out. They championed my stories, characters, and writing when I started to lose hope and think I’d never get another agent. My fellow YAFF members (both old/new) shared my excitement when I landed another agent and sold some books. They’ve been such a HUGE support system for me.

As writers we share not only our love of the written word, but we share a piece of ourselves—through writing, through personal communications. When one of us has something personal going on, we know we can vent, or complain, or ask for prayers, or cheer one another up because we’re friends.

My crit group is spread all over the country, continent, and even one separated by oceans and yet it seems like we’re so close. I can’t even tell writers enough how important it is to have a great writing support system like I do. People who “get” you. So to my crit partners THANK YOU LADIES!!!!

One of these days we really will meet up for a writer’s retreat!

((HUGS))…

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HEATHER!!! You’ve won a copy of Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler. I’m giving you this prize on behalf of my crit group and the RAOK Blitz!!

Hope you enjoy.

Thanks to everyone who stopped by and commented. ((HUGS)) My crit group (YAFF) is made up of a bunch of fabulous ladies who I can’t say enough great things about and I’m so glad that I was able to honor them.

 

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A smile. An encouraging word. A thoughtful gesture. Each day people interact with us, help, and make our day a bit brighter and full. This is especially true in the Writing Community. 

Take a second to think about writers you know, like the critique partner who works with you to improve your manuscript. The writing friend who listens, supports and keeps you strong when times are tough. The author who generously offers council, advice and inspiration when asked.

So many people take the time to make us feel special, don’t they? They comment on our blogs, re-tweet our posts, chat with us on forums and wish us Happy Birthday on Facebook.

Kindness ROCKS!

To commemorate the release of their book The Emotion Thesaurus, Becca and Angela at The Bookshelf Muse are hosting a TITANIC Random Act Of Kindness BLITZ. And because I think KINDNESS is contagious, I’m participating too!

I am randomly picking my critique group YA Fiction Fanatics (YAFF), who are absolutely FABULOUS. These ladies are not only supportive, but have helped to shape my writing and stories. I would not be 1/2 the writer I am without them. YAFF members, for my RAOK gift, I’m giving away a copy of Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler on your behalf to 1 lucky commenter.

I really appreciate my fellow YAFF members

 So if you have a minute stop by and tell them how awesome they are!

Do you know someone special that you’d like to randomly acknowledge? Don’t be shy–come join us and celebrate! Send them an email, give them a shout out, or show your appreciation in another way. Kindness makes the world go round. 🙂

Becca and Angela have a special RAOK gift waiting for you as well, so hop on over to The Bookshelf Muse to pick it up.

Have you ever participated in or been the recipient of a Random Act Of Kindness?  Let me know in the comments!

Contest winner to be announced on Friday May 18, 2012.

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OMG! So VERY excited and happy. My AWESOME agents Jennifer Mishler and Frances Black of Literary Counsel said I could announce that my book The Winter People sold in a 3 book deal to Liz Pelletier at Entangled Publishing!

I’m seriously overjoyed and happy and FREAKING OUT! The only things I know right now are that the 1st book The Winter People is slated for late 2013 (likely Fall), the 2nd (untitled) will likely be spring 2014, and not sure about the 3rd one.

I’ll post more details as I get them. So happy to share this with my agents, my friends, and my FABULOUS crit group YA Fiction Fanatics, who without, this SO wouldn’t have been possible.

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Welcome again to YAFF Muse: blog rounds. The ladies of YA Fiction Fanatics have come together for YAFF Muse. To have a little fun, explore different styles of writing and to give you some kick-butt shorts to read. Enjoy!

PHOTO CREDIT JARI from MORGUEFILE.COM

 

“C’mon, Dara. Trust me, you want to see this.” Cal Carruthers rushed ahead of me, the setting sun making his auburn hair look like it was on fire.

He dashed into the shadowy crevices between the trees and boulders. I sighed. The whole day was like a dream come true. I mean, in what world did the hotness that is Cal Carruthers ask a band geek like me on a picnic?

I stepped over a moss covered log, my long hair blowing into my face.

“So how much further is this place?” I called.

Leaves crunched under my feet as I made my way deeper into the woodland. Silence enveloped me. The birds had stopped chirping and I didn’t hear Cal’s footsteps any longer.

“Cal?”

The stench of rotten wood and moist earth assaulted me. I wrinkled my nose. My eyes scanned the thick canopies above me, daylight fading fast.

“We’re almost there.” Cal poked his head out of the brush, nearly causing me a heart attack.

“You scared the crap out of me.” I sucked in a deep breath, trying to get my pulse back to normal.

He reached for my hand, his fingers entwining mine. “Sorry.”

His brilliant smile practically blinded me. “It’s okay.”

Dang straight it was okay. I mean, this was Cal Carruthers. He could do anything to me and it’d be okay. Like kiss me. Or hold me. Or well anything.

He grinned as if hearing my thoughts and tugged me along behind him. After a few more minutes we came to stop in front of a large, stone structure. It was covered with moss and reminded me of a large hive.

“What is this place?” A cold wind picked up my hair, sending chills down my neck. Forest debris blew across the forest floor as if trying to run away.

“Some place special.” Cal’s eyes darkened and a low humming reverberated around us.

I gasped as tiny winged creatures darted from the hive. Fairies. No way. This wasn’t real. I took a step back, but Cal caught hold of me, cementing me in place.

The fairies flickered in and out of the trees like sparkling Christmas lights, their wings beating behind them. They looked so celestial. So beautiful.

One flew closer to me and landed on my arm. It cocked its head to the side then lowered its head.

“Ow! It bit me.” I shrieked, trying to get the creature off me.

“Of course they did. They’re hungry Dara. Hungry for blood. Your blood.”

I staggered backward. “No. This isn’t possible.”

“Come my sweets. Dinner has arrived.” Cal waved his hands in the air. At once, thousands of vampiric fairies were upon me.

Teeth nipped and gnawed at my flesh. The beings swarmed me, covering me like a heavy net until I fell to the ground. Pain erupted in my veins. They pulled at my hair and my skin. Biting and sucking. I wanted to scream, but the fairies covered my face, muffling me.

And Cal stood there. Watching. Waiting for me to die. My dream come true had turned into a nightmare. A nightmare, I’d never escape.

Thanks for coming by. Please be sure to drop by my fellow YAFFers blogs and don’t forget to leave a comment.

Traci Kenworth

Vanessa Barger

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