Thursday, March 31, 2011

Come learn about Susan Fields here!

This is Susan Fields.

My Photo

And when you visit her blog (after the interview) you'll find this greeting.

I am a wife, mother, writer, avid coffee drinker, and insomniac. I like to read, study the bible, cook, run, walk the dog, play tennis, ski, nap, and get up in the middle of the night for some quiet writing time while the rest of the house is asleep. I tend towards YA but have written some middle grade. Fantasy is my favorite, but I also write action adventure and mystery, and I almost always include romance in the mix, whatever the genre.

Isn't that awesome that she writes both YA and MG? I think so. I wouldn't even even know where to start with MG. And look at all the cool hobbies she has to keep her busy! 

Let's get to the interview so we can learn more about her writing hobby :)

Susan, how long have you been writing?

All my life. I wrote my first book in 2nd grade for a school assignment. I've been writing seriously in hopes of publication for the past few years.

(Wow! A whole book in 2nd grade? That's amazing!)

So, what made you want to write?

It's just something I've always loved to do. I just love making stuff up, I guess. :)

Do you have any pet peeves while writing?

My annoying habit of checking email way too much.

(I'm guilty of the same thing.)

What are your favorite genres to write?

Fantasy. If it can't happen in real life, then I'm interested! And a few years ago I discovered a love of romance, so now all my books have an element of romance as well.

(I love fantasy too. And romance is a must! I'm convinced that it makes any story that much better.)

Quick, you only have five minutes to check one or two writing blogs, which ones would you go to? 

I love these blogs because they're fun, they brighten my day, and I feel a conection with the people behind them. They feel like old friends, even though the only one I know in real life is Sharon.

(Thanks for sharing! I can't wait to visit them.)

If you could pick the setting of one book to live in, which would it be?


What's your favorite:

Book-  The Hunger Games

Author- Suzanne Collins

Character- Katniss Everdeen

Thing about writing- writing a scene I'm in love with

Time of the day- early, early morning when everyone else is asleep and it's just me, my laptop, and a pot of coffee

And last, but not least, do you prefer fruity candy or chocolate? 


Sounds yummy! Thanks so much Susan for being on my blog today. And thanks to those who stopped by! Be sure to visit Susan's blog next :) 

Have a great weekend! 

Interview and Award.

Chantele Sedgwick is interviewing me on her blog today! Please go take a look-see. She's awesome and her blog is well worth your time.

Also, thank you to Ciara Knight who recently gave me this award.

I'm passing it on to these five lovely bloggers.

#1. Amanda Milner.
#2. Christine Bryant.
#3. Regina.
#4. Sari Webb.
#5. Susan Fields.

Go check out their blogs and have a great day!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Links to some awesome people.

I wasn't planning on a post today, but there were just a few things that needed to be mentioned.

Like these two awesome contest with fun book giveaways.

Chantele Sedgwick is getting ready to celebrate 200 followers.

David Powers King is celebrating 100.

Did you participate in Natalie Fischer's 500 follower's contest?  If you didn't get to take part in the hilariousness, you can still get a kick out of the comments by reading the revised version of the story here!

Have a great day!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Mixed-Up Monday.

Here's how to play.  I'll post five numbers below.  The first three are page numbers.  The fourth is the line down and the fifth is the word in that line.  Take the three words and write a sentence that describes the book you're currently reading.  Please don't give away major spoilers.  

Oh, and to make things better for those Kindle user's and their percentages, I'm only using the first hundred pages.  So, instead of going to the page number, you'll go to that percentage in your book.  Then you can go ahead with the line down and word in.  I hope it works!

Confused yet?  I'll go first.

The lucky page numbers (or percentages) today are:  90, 20, and 3.

Go down to line 6 and use the 3rd word in.

Here's mine, taken from Revisions & Self-Editing by James Scott Bell.

Once you've started the beginning of your novel, make sure you have a hook that will lead the reader on.

Sound like something you'd like to read?  I've only done a quick skim through so far.  With revision books, I like to find the parts that will help me the most at the time.  So far, I like it.

So, what are you reading?  Even if you don't want to play the game, I'd love to know which book has your attention.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Do you know Ciara Knight?

 If you don't know her, today's your lucky day!  I'm happy to say that I met Ciara through the Writer's Crusade. We got put in the same group and have been blogging friends ever since. You can find this picture of Ciara on her website along with this blurb from her 'about me' page.

I’m happily married to my husband, Chris. We have three amazing boys aged 4, 6, and 13. Life is never boring with three sons.
I write Paranormal and Fantasy fiction for Adult, Young Adult, and Middle Grade. I’m actively involved in Romance Writers of America (RWA), my local chapter Georgia Romance Writers (GRW), and a specialty group of RWA, Futuristic, Fantasy, & Paranormal (FF&P).
Wow! So involved. That's awesome. And a mother of three boys. She's a busy woman :)

So, Ciara, how long have you been writing?

I started seriously writing October of 2008, but I’ve been writing for fun since childhood.

And what made you want to write?

I don’t remember a time when I didn’t want to write. Yet, there was a defining moment in my life. My father almost died after a surgery. I remember sitting by his bedside feeling alone. No one at school understood what I was going through and how scared I was. I wanted to be brave for my mother, so I wrote what I was feeling into characters in a story. It was therapeutic. Once he was well enough to sit up in bed I realized he couldn’t do much but listen to stories or watch TV. That’s when I knew I wanted to entertain people. Yes, I had a short lived desire to be an actress, but that’s another story.

(Wow, what an awful experience.  I'm sorry you had to go through that but I'm glad that it sprouted a new hobby. Way to think positive. Writing is a great therapy tool.)

If you could sit down and reread any book, which would it be?

The Outsiders or Harry Potter. The Outsiders because it was the first book I ever fell in love with. I cried while reading it.  Harry Potter, because I think I’d notice something new every time.

Do you have any pet peeves while writing?

By biggest pet peeve would be people in quiet corners of book stores yapping loudly on their cell phone. Okay, seriously, I don’t want to know someone’s personal business, although sometimes these people make great characters. 

(Agreed on both accounts. Obnoxious but lots of fun for the muse.)
If you only had five minutes to visit a few writing blogs, which ones would you choose? 

Oh, no. You are going to get me in trouble. I have soooo many amazing blogging friends. Just five? Really? Lynn Rush, Laura Diamond, Julia Rachel BarrettDanica Avet, and Rachel Firasek

(Thanks for sharing. It's always fun to meet new bloggers! Sorry I couldn't find all the links.)

What book are you reading right now and which one do you have lined up to read next?

A Brush of Darkness by Allison Pang. I’ll be reading Cassastar by Alex Cavanaugh next.

If you could meet any author, dead or alive, who would it be? 

Edgar Allen Poe.

(Great choice. He seems to be a popular one!)

Say a beginner writer approaches you and asks for some writing advice.  What's the first thing you'd say to them? 

Write. Honestly, that is the best advice. Find your voice, read craft books, submit and give critics, edit, then edit some more. 

(That's awesome advice. You said it well.)

And last, but not least, do you prefer fruity candy or chocolate? 

Chocolate, the darker the better. Heck, I’d just eat straight coco beans. 

(Shutter. Uh, sorry for the negative reaction.  I'm not much of a chocolate girl and the darker it gets, the worse it is for me.  But that leaves more coco for you and more sour gummies for me :))

Thanks Ciara for taking time to let me interview you! It was fun. Be sure to head over to Ciara's website now.

I hope you all have a great weekend!

Just to let you know...

If you don't know about the auction going on at Write Hope, you really are missing out.  What better way to join the other writer's in the world to make a difference?  Please stop by and at least see what it's all about :)

Also, a while back a fellow Crusader spotlighted me on her website.  For the life of me, I couldn't find it at the time.  But thanks to Susan Fields interview of the awesome crusader, J.C. Martin, I found the long lost website.  Her shout out to me from February 25th can be found here, but for good measure please go to her website and read more than just that.

I also just got this award
from Brooke R Busse.  Isn't it just lovely?  Thanks Brooke.

Even better, it's not required for me to list a single pointless fact about myself.  I know, a relief right?  I just need to pay it forward to other bloggers.  Okay, technically 15 other bloggers, but for some reason I have a hard time following the award rules.

So for now, I want to give it to these awesome bloggie friends.

#1. Shari
#2. Leigh T. Moore
#3. Carol Riggs
#4. Ali Cross
#5. Michael Di Gesu

But I want to say thank you to everyone who is helping me perfect the craft of writing!  I learn so much from each of you.  

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Major Decisions!

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1)

Let's face it, if Katniss never volunteered to take her sister's place in the Hunger Games, the story would'v been totally different...and probably not as exciting.  

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1)

What would Harry Potter's life been like if he'd decided not to go to Hogwart's?  

Twilight (Twilight, #1)

What if Bella didn't move to Forks to live with her dad?

It all comes down to this.  Major decisions lead to exciting adventures which then lead to great characters and an even greater story.

What decisions are your character's making?  And maybe even more important is when are they making them?  

Major character decisions need to come somewhere near the beginning of the story.  If not, the reader will most likely get bored.  Also, your MC needs to make the decision for themselves.  Don't let other character's take that away from them.  Every time someone else makes a decision for your MC, it can weaken them.

If, by chance, another character does make the decision, what choices does that give your MC?  This is the only time other character's should make decisions...if it leads to worse choices and a better adventure. 

Make your character take the hard road.  Put them through the worst and then do it again.  

No matter what they go through, though, make sure they can make it back out.  Realistically.  And make sure your MC leads the way.  If they aren't leading, kill off those above them or at least make those above them fail miserably.  Then the MC can choose to take charge.  

Kind of sad, but that will make a great story!

Do you have any advice to add for making great character's through major decisions?

For those who are wondering about the twist in my flash fiction, the boy releases the fish to get his real body back.  So technically, no, the fish doesn't become the man.  The boy becomes the man, but he couldn't have done it without the fish...and he's been searching forever to find that fish.  When the boy makes the bowl teeter and fall, he wears a sly grin because Gran isn't in the shop.  And she's the only one who knows his secret.  

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Second Crusader Challenge-His Golden Eyes...

And no, I don't mean Edward Cullen's golden eyes.

I've decided to postpone my Mixed-Up Monday post this week for two reasons:  I'm not currently reading anything to mix-up and I really want to post my crusade challenge. I know, gasp, not reading anything?  What can I say, the end of my WiP is in sight and I am determined to finish it by the end of this month.  It will happen.

Don't worry too much.  I'm always reading something on a blog or email or facebook.   

Anyway, for the Second Crusader Challenge we are to:

"Write a flash fiction story (in any format) in 100 words or less, excluding the title. Begin the story with the words, “The goldfish bowl teetered.” 

So, in exactly 100 words, I give you His Golden Eyes.

The goldfish bowl teetered off the shelf and I froze in place. A small boy stood next to the bookcase, a sly grin on his lips. How did he get in? The store hadn't opened.

The sound of shattering glass reminded me of one thing. Gran's warning. I dropped to my knees and searched for the missing fish.   

Two seconds later, I glanced up to find a guy standing above me. His long lashes reached past golden eyes. 

"Thanks," he said, then stepped toward the door. The bell rang on his way out. 

My cell phone buzzed. It was Gran.

If you've never written a piece of flash fiction, you should. It was a great challenge and having an unusual beginning made it even better. Rach makes up the best stuff for us Crusader's!