Saturday, November 26, 2011

Ze Deadline ... She approaches

    Hey guys! Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!
    What's that? You want to know where the heck I've been?  I know, I know ... I've neglected the blogging over the last two weeks. Sorry :( It's been for a good cause I swear!
view details    I'm prepping Unwilling for beta reads starting December first so I've been wicked busy. Good news is I'm anticipating being done exactly on time. (if not before, which my OCD prefers.)  *cheers, pompoms, and Valium all around! woohoo!
    Seriously, I didn't forget about you guys I swear. Here's a quick run down of what's coming up in December:
December 1st - Those doing beta reads, check your mail boxes the first week of December. Unwilling is coming to you with brand new bells and whistles. I'm really pleased with how it turned out, yet nauseous for being please. Huh, I guess I can't be pleased. Confused yet? Good because I know I am.

December 18th - Interview with John Rakestraw on  @ 10:30 a.m. Now for all those who will be in Sunday services, no worries. Of course it would be ideal to have everyone connect to the show at the same time but it being Sunday I understand completely. If you won't be available at 10:30 a.m. you can always listen to the interview on John's website later in the day. I'll be posting the links multiple times so it shouldn't be hard to find. My goal is to be John's most viewed new writer! I'll appreciate all the help I can get with that goal too :) 
    The publishing industry is changing faster and faster everyday. One of the ways it's changing is that writers are largely responsible for promotion and advertising now. That's where folks who love writers like John Rakestraw come in. His cares about writers and is doing a great job helping them get the word out about their work. So please drop by his program on the 18th and give me a listen. Going for the goal!! MOST VIEWED GUEST!!!!

   My upcoming blog will be "what's on the nightstand". Unwilling has caused my TBR pile to collect a bit of dust but I plan on rectifying that asap. I'd love to hear about what you're reading too so leave a comment. Now it's back to the rock pile so mark your calendars blog buddies! Katie wants to be the MOST VIEWED GUEST! MOST VIEWED GUEST! Shout it out now! MOST VIEWED GUEST!!!
Till then,

P.s. There's also John's interview with my writer bud's Jeannie Holmes and Carolyn Haines from back during the summer if you missed them. Check out his past guest list on the website :)

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Idea Fairy

  Scandinavian troll  “How do you come up with these weird ideas?”  Since I started telling folks about my manuscripts, I get this question a lot. Don’t get me wrong, I totally don’t mind answering it. In fact, I LOVE talking about my own stories and other writers books. But at the same time, it’s a hard question to answer efficiently. The smart-aleck in me wants to say, “How do you NOT have constant ideas? My freaking brain never turns off! And who said my ideas are weird?” *paranoid much* That would be a rude answer and I’m southern so I most likely wouldn’t do that.  Plus, my answers never seem to satisfy the person whose asking the question. So we both end up becoming awkward and uncomfortable before switching the subject to something else. Anyway, I thought I’d take a moment and try to explain how ideas come to me.  
    At the moment, I’m attempting to write this dang post around my husband’s incessant babbling about how his gym session went and what’s on ID TV at the moment. Lord help…  So of course the story idea of a woman who beats her husband in the head with his gym notebook and buries his body under the trampoline is buzzing about my noodle. But I digress. Seeeeee, ideas can come from the simplest things.
    I’ve learned though that the problem with random ideas is most of the time they lack the proper elements for a complete story. More specifically, goal, motivation and conflict which help form a well rounded plot line.  Simply said, the poor haggard wife needs more meat to her story before it can be completely plotted. As writers, our elf needs ogres to fight in search of his prize, our vampire needs more than a beautiful neck to slurp on and our zombies need to eat brains because … well … that’s what zombies do. The folks running from the zombies though, they’re the ones who need to have GMC.  The plight of our homicidal wife, though interesting and poignant, just doesn’t contain the proper elements to fill a plot line. Therefore, her story tromps dejectedly back to the drawing board to await more inspiration. And there you go … a story idea in waiting.
     So the next time you wonder how your favorite authors come up with such out-of-this-world things to write about, just look around you. Ideas are everywhere! From the creepy checkout lady in the grocery story who I’m sure is a goblin in disguise to the monsters in our dreams. We draw inspiration from the world around us and from the inspiration boogie-boo’s lurking in our imaginations.  The difference between a great idea and a completed story is whether or not the writer can take it from shiny new idea to a sparkling yet solid reality.
Got to run, I just got another idea!  And in case you're wondering, that's exactly what my idea fairy looks like. :)  LOL!

Till then,



Tuesday, November 1, 2011

What's on the Nightstand?

    Happy Tuesday everyone! Hope you’ve all recovered from the Halloween festivities. A big welcome to our newest visitors Nigeria and Malaysia, hope you enjoy the blog and please visit again soon! To date, the blog has had visits from 43 different countries. I’m very proud and humbled by this and want to say thank you all so much.
    I’m afraid my writing might come out a bit scattered today so bear with me. You’re wondering why I bet. Well, it’s because there’s entirely too much candy in my house. I’m contemplating how to throw all of it away without my boys freaking out. Every time I walk by the bag, the voice in my head yells, “Don’t you dare touch that!” and sounds like Jillian Michaels.
    Hopefully writing this blog will take my mind off the candy.  It’s been a while since I did a “What’s on the Nightstand” so it’s about time to catch up on that. Since finishing my last draft, I took a few days to smother myself in reading and rest my brain. From August to October 19th I focused so hard on finishing my manuscript I didn’t read much but boy have I made up for that now.
    I’ve discovered come wonderful new authors and stories in these books. Each one has been a needed break from my own work too. Hopefully, you’ll see something among this list that you want to check out. So get to reading folks! And think of me often, now that I’m entering the editing phase, and send me some positive editing vibes. I’m slaving away so that my own work will shine up nice and pretty and I can join these writers sooner rather than later. There are quite a few great titles to talk about so I’ll shut up and get to the candy … I mean …  books.
Till Then,
BEAUTIFUL CREATURES and BEAUTIFUL DARKNESS by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. -  These books were wonderful reads. I love the fact that it’s told from the male point of view too. The setting being based in a southern town, I could identify with the characters and language on a personal level which made it easy to connect with the story. The next book, BEAUTIFUL CHAOS, just hit shelves and is on the top of my TBR pile. If you haven’t already, you can click the link and read how I met one of the author's, Kami Garcia, when her Smart Chicks Tour came to Memphis.
SERPENT’S KISS by Thea Harrison -  This is the third book of Thea’s in the ELDER RACES series. DRAGON BOUND and STORMS HEART are the previous titles. This is a wonderful series! I couldn’t put them down once I started reading. The world Thea has created is expertly crafted and kept me hooked in start to finish.
WINGS by Aprilynne Pike -  A friend and I discussed this book before I started reading. He guessed angels by the title but after finishing, I explained it as more fairies with a smidgen of troll thrown in for good measure. J Aprilynne has created a wonderful setting and some pretty colorful characters with this story. I enjoyed the read and look forward to the next title in this series.
THE NAME OF THE STAR by Maureen Johnson – My mother-in-law gifted me this book for my birthday and oh boy was I anxious to read it! I read it over two days and am happy to report it’s a great read. The story is part of Maureen’s new series and I’m twitchy waiting for the next book it’s so good.
GRAVEMINDER by Melissa Marr – Another member of the Smart Chicks Tour, Melissa writes a great scary story with GRAVEMINDER. This was my chosen Halloween read and it was perfect. Plenty of spooky mixed with mystery. Also by this author:
WICKED LOVELY, INK EXCHANGE and RADIANT SHADOWS - These are all part of the Wicked Lovely series along with the final title Darkest Mercies which is resting comfortably in my TBR pile. I really love this series. Melissa has created a beautiful yet sometimes heart-poundly complex world with these books. I’ve fallen in love with the characters and Melissa’s writing. If you’re looking for a new series to fall into this is a good place to start.
FLATLANDS by Susan Sims Moody – A Jennifer Martin Mystery (set in the area that I actually live in LOL). This was a really fun read, first for the story, and second for all the bits of familiar geography that snuck up and tickled my brain as I read. I have the next Jennifer Martin books requested at the Hernando Library so I’m anxious to see what else she gets into around the Delta.
Speaking of the Delta … DELTA BLUES (an anthology featuring LOTS of my favorite folks) is next. Writer bud Carolyn Haines and friends have put together something really special with this book. Contributors include: Alice Jackson, Carolyn Haines, Charlaine Harris, James Lee Burke, John Grisham, Ace Atkins, Tom Franklin and Beth Ann Fennelly, Suzanne Hudson, Lynne Barrett, Bill Fitzhugh, David Sheffield, Dean James. Nathan Singer, Suzann Ellingsworth, Michael Lister, Toni L.P. Kelner, Daniel Martine, Mary Saums and Les Standiford.  The line up speaks for itself with this book. I loved it!
More from Carolyn Haines, PENUMBRA. – I love her Bones books of course. This stand alone title was one of my favorite ones from Carolyn. It has just enough heat and seedy mystery to hook you in and refuse to let go. Visit Tyrus Books for all of Carolyn’s re-released stand alone titles.
FORGIVE MY FINS and FINS ARE FOREVER by Tera Lynn Childs – These two books have some really great stuff! I laughed out loud at many of Tera’s fishy phrases. “Son of a swordfish” that one still makes me giggle every time I think about it. The characters are fun and the story is inspired. If you’re looking for a fun series to dive into this one is perfect.