Monday, April 30, 2012

Winner of the Earth Day Giveaway!

Congratulations to Val M., who has won the 2012 "Earth Day Giveaway" contest! Val chose to receive a signed copy of EARTH!



Thank you to everyone who entered the contest. I enjoyed hearing what you have been doing for the environment in your own corner of the world. I hope that you'll keep up those terrific efforts, and encourage family and friends to help take care of our planet's health. Together, we can make a difference!

Keep an eye on this blog for announcements of future prizes and upcoming book signings. I'll list them all here as they come up. Congratulations again to Val M., and Happy Reading!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Workshop Recap: Canastota Public Library

I had a wonderful time yesterday at the Canastota Public Library, giving my workshop titled "Kissing the Frog: A Crash Course in Editing." Special thanks to their PR/Young Adult librarian, Beth Totten, for making it such a warm and welcoming experience. At the end of my presentation, we had a Q&A session on editing and the industry, and the men and women in attendance had some terrific questions for me.

I hope everyone who came got some helpful feedback, and please don't hesitate to drop me a line if you want to know more about anything we covered. It was a great workshop, and I look forward to visiting the Canastota Public Library again!

Happy Earth Day!

Today's the day we set aside to pay special attention to the health of our global home. Take some time (even if it's raining, like it is here) to appreciate the beautiful planet we live on today, and enjoy!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Coffee and Cover Art

Well, it is refreshing to have lost sleep on my own terms, rather than because of worry about my sick kitty. Yesterday, I was tinkering with the mockup cover of THE SERPENT IN THE STONE for my publisher. I do this for each book, to give them an idea what I'm looking for on the cover. My cover designer, Kim Mendoza, has been awesome. I'm hoping I can get her for the covers in The Gifted Series, as she has done such a great job on the first two books in The Elemental Series.

Publishers can't always get you the exact image you're looking for on your book cover, but in my experience, The Wild Rose Press is particularly accommodating with cover art feedback. What they choose in the end is still the final say (which is as it should be, because they do it professionally, and they know how to package a book to its best advantage), but they provide you a form with your contract that lets you tell them all about the people, places, and things in your novel. I'm artistically inclined, so I find it easier to "show" them what I'm looking for, as far as subject, layout and tone. And Kim one-ups me every time. (Kim, you are awesome. I will say it again and again.)

So I am happy with my mockup, but I know I'll be happier still when I see what The Wild Rose Press cooks up for my next cover. But all this searching for images and knocking together the cover mockup really just means I need a good cup of coffee. :)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Workshop: "Kissing the Frog: A Crash Course in Editing"

This Saturday, April 21st at 10:30 AM, spend the morning with me at the Canastota Public Library, where I will host a beginner's workshop on manuscript editing, starting from the nuts and bolts of manuscript mechanics, and including elements of writing style.

Learn how to polish your manuscipt before sending it in to an agent or publisher! Space is limited, so please contact the Canastota Public Library for details on how to register for this workshop. I look forward to seeing you there!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

THE SERPENT IN THE STONE Under Contract!

I sent off my contract this morning to the publisher for "The Serpent in the Stone," Book One in The Gifted Series! Off all the books I've written, this one is my baby, and I'm absurdly proud that it's getting published. Here's a little teaser for you:

Sara Markham is a driven archaeologist with paranormal gifts, and the desperate need to keep them secret. But when she meets Ian Waverly, a wildlife biologist sworn to hate the gifted due to a tragic past, sparks fly. Can she and Ian keep their heads - and hearts - when a deadly ancient ritual forces them together?

Read more about "The Serpent in the Stone" by clicking here! Details and publication date to follow. Have a great day - I know I will!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Titanic Remembered

Today and tomorrow mark the 100th anniversary of the maiden voyage and sinking of the RMS Titanic. In 1912, this was widely held as the largest and grandest ship in the world - a floating luxury hotel, including everything from a swimming ("bathing") pool to a posh French cafe.

Titanic has fired my imagination ever since I read A Night to Remember by Walter Lord in high school. It was one of those stories of catastrophic irony, where everything aligned just so, and concluded in one of the worst maritime disasters in history. It brought out the worst and best in people faced with tragedy.

And that is why I think I am so captivated by this ship. Faced with a tragedy, people can do incredible, noble things that renew my faith in humanity. Consider Mrs. Isidor Straus, who refused to escape Titanic into a lifeboat, and thereby abandon her husband of some 42 years. That's love, people.

Also consider the wealthy American businessman Benjamin Guggenheim who, realizing Titanic was sinking, was overheard to say,

"We've dressed up in our best and are prepared to go down like gentlemen. Tell my wife, if it should happen that my secretary and I both go down, tell her I played the game out straight to the end. No woman shall be left aboard this ship because Ben Guggenheim was a coward."

That's guts I can only aspire to have. Tonight, I'll be remembering those stories of courage, and the millions of others that happen every day to make me believe in the human race again. 'Cause people can be amazing.

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Happy Easter (Weekend)!

Just pausing a moment to wish those of you who celebrate a very Happy Easter! I plan on having lots of good food at Mom's house. Hope you have a good one!