Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Next Big Thing Blog Hop

I have been tagged to answer ten questions about my WIP (work in progress) by my good friend, Cindy Christiansen. Here's the link to her blog so you can check out her Next Big Thing: Cindy A. Christiansen

This challenge is through the Jane Austin Fan Fiction group and is called The Next Big Thing Blog Hop. The whole purpose is to share with all of you, the next big thing that I'm working on. 

Ten Interview questions for The Next Big Thing:

Question #1: What is the working title for your book?
Broomsticks and Whiskers



Question #2: Where did the idea come from?
It was originally an idea for a short Halloween story contest sponsored by our local library. My oldest daughter, who was twelve at the time, helped me brainstorm the idea.

Question #3: What genre does your book fall under?
Middle-grade fantasy

Question #4: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie?
To be honest, I’m not familiar enough with current actors to answer this question but one of them would have to be a cat.

Question #5: What is the one-sentence synopsis for your book?
The witching world has fallen into disarray and it’s up to Gregory, a neurotic feline to restore order while trying to keep his young and untrained witch from getting herself killed.

Question #6: Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I’m going to try to find an agent, but I’m not opposed to self-publishing. The industry is changing so fast it makes your head spin!

Question #7: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
A couple of years, I think. It’s been so long I can’t remember for sure.

Question #8: What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Maybe Fablehaven, by Brandon Mull, but only because this story would appeal to a similar audience with its quirky characters and high fantasy theme.

Question #9: Who or what inspired you to write this book?
My daughter

Question #10: What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
The story is mainly told through a cat’s point of view.

The author's I tagged:

Jennifer Mcfadden

Please hop on over and take a look at their Next Big Thing.

Excerpt from chapter one:
Gregory awoke with a sudden start, the events of the previous night rushing back to him while light streamed into his eyes. He cursed the day’s audacity for dawning with such brightness, yawned, licked both paws, and gave his face a quick wash. Despite everything that had happened, his stomach growled its demands. With his tail twitching behind him, he padded to the kitchen in search of a saucer of milk.
            Even though he hadn’t encountered any of the humans yet, their sorrow hung heavy in the air.
            In the entryway, Gregory dodged the wheels of the gurney carrying Celeste’s lifeless body. He lifted his eyes to peer at the gray-haired coroner, his skin as shriveled as the corpses in his care.
            He hissed his warning at the ugly man.
            “Shoo, you stupid cat.”
            Gregory darted into the shadows, trying to rid himself of the image of Celeste’s purple-toned skin and stiff limbs lying at the foot of the stairs just hours before. That was where he had moved her—using a hover spell of course—so the humans would suspect she had fallen during the night. He arched his back and dug his claws into the carpeting, remembering how her bones cracked and abrasions appeared on her cheek when he cast the second spell. Her injuries needed to be consistent with a fall.
                      

Monday, September 10, 2012

Remembering the Bittersweet

My emotions are very close to the surface on this eve of 9/11. I bet everyone reading this post can tell me where they were and what they were doing the moment they first heard.
            My kids had missed the bus, so I drove them to school. The news report pummeled into me from the radio just as my kindergartener closed the door on my minivan.  Denial was my mindset as I drove home, listening. There had to be a mistake. The reporter must have gotten confused. Tragedies like these didn’t happen on American soil—they just didn’t.
            Every day teachers follow a curriculum, doing the best they can to educate our children. We trust them and place a large amount of faith in their efforts. One high school history teacher and fellow marathon runner, Paula Hamilton, takes this trust very seriously. Her words, written in a post on Facebook, encompass the theme of my blog so perfectly, I had to share (with her permission, of course.) Here is her post, exactly as she wrote it:

“It's time for me to prepare myself to teach 9/11 again - a difficult and horrible task which I must force myself to do every year! Why? Because hardly anyone else is doing it! It closed the stock market longer than any event since the GD, it stopped TV coverage longer than even the Kennedy Assassination, yet it is the least taught history in our schools! My 11th graders know NOTHING about it. It's not a mandate in my curriculum. It comes in the last chapter of my text, which few teachers ever get to. Why don't they care about it? Don't they know history repeats itself? The other teachers will be starting a unit on Industrialization on Tuesday! I will stop and painfully and compassionately share the sad facts and truths about 9/11, as I will on the anniversaries on the JFK and Pearl Harbor, while others are faithfully following the state curriculum. But at least MY students will know what made my parents and grandparents and me stop in our tracks and cry for days on end!”

            Eleven years ago as I watched the happenings of those horrific events unfold, I had no idea how the days following 9/11 would play out or the myriad of emotions I’d experience. But from the ashes of this great tragedy, America woke up and discovered she was still good, brave, and strong. This is the sweet I took away from the bittersweet events of 9/11. The sweet I never want to forget—the sweet I need to teach my children.
            Thanks, Paula, for being an extraordinary teacher and inspirational runner. She is a English/History teacher for Jurupa Unified School District. To date, she has completed 27 marathons and has many more on her calendar.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

My New Blog Unveiled

In an era where marketing has become the sole responsibility of the budding author, the time is never too soon to begin building a platform.
            So…here I am, answering that call.
            There are multiple reasons I’ve resisted joining the wide world of blogging, the foremost being my preference to hide behind the fa├žade of fiction writing. The irony in this situation is that you'll find more of the true me splashed across the pages of my young adult novels than I care to admit.
            Considering all the soul baring I’ve done in my stories, blogging should be easy—right?
            Yeah, right.
            My biggest problem is that I tend to over think tasks which involve writing. One of the first steps to hit the ground running with your blog is figuring out what you want to write about. Answering this simple question bogged me down for the better part of a year. No blog. No platform building. No moving this crazy dream forward.   
            Why not just blog about writing, you ask? Seems simple enough.
            Because there are already too many writers blogging about writing. Only writers really care about writing and, believe me, the audience is small. Especially when you consider the time restraints placed on most authors. The more minutes sucked up by social media, the less time spent writing. It’s a simple equation.
            I wanted to provide content that’s fresh and will appeal to everyone.
            After attending a workshop on blogging presented by Ali Cross, I finally figured out a theme. Ali made blogging personal when she explained branding. She took me to a dark place in my life, my biggest fear, the reason why I write books, run marathons, do all the crazy stuff I do. My fear of being ordinary. If I run far enough, fast enough, or if I complete NaNoWriMo one more time, I can keep the ordinariness away for another day or two.
            Here we are…at the birth of my blog. My wish is to take the ordinary happenings in life and turn them into the extraordinary, here for your reading pleasure.
            Let’s see how I do.