Some Rumors Confirmed

It seems like I always include fantastical things in my books, so these three things seemed–I don’t know…interesting.

Dolphins Talk  — In Dolphin Girl, Jane speaks with the dolphins. I don’t know if you saw this piece on the TODAY Show about the beluga whale named NOC (pronounced No Sea), who learned how to vocalize in a lower octaves, which sound remarkably human. Here’s a link to YouTube where you can listen to the whale’s conversation.  I wonder what he’s saying?  Any guesses?

Guardian Angels Exist — In Winging It!, Grace is an Angel-in-Training who is skipping school to try to earn her wings while serving as an apprentice. In yet another clip from the TODAY Show, here’s a real-life guardian angel. In fact, I’m writing a new story for Grace where she spends a bit of time in the hospital with her Assignment.  Look for Gifted! soon.

Wishes Granted —  In My Wishful Thinking, Logan and her best friend Emily share a genie, who grants anything they desire. Sorry but I don’t have a clip from TODAY (yet). But I did have a few wishes granted.  Namely that the proof of the paperback arrived today and it’s ready to go and the ebook is already for sale at Amazon. And! My Wishful Thinking is a POTW (Pick of the Week) by Orangeberry. All in all, some nice wishes granted.


October 24, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Music Monday — Katy Perry Firework

In my last post, I mentioned that Lo, the  main character from My Wishful Thinking looked like Katy Perry, and probably this song is why.

The story is set during the summer before Lo’s senior year of high school and a critical scene happens on July 4th. Plus, there are a bunch  of ways the genie, Eugene, resembles a firework.  This song is upbeat and inspirational, so why do I always tear up when listening?

Maybe I’m thinking about Lo.

If you’re interested, there’s a giveaway over at Goodreads for MWT.  Just head here to enter. 

October 15, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

The Next Big Thing

I’m pretty enthusiastic about this blog hop and thankful that Kai Strand asked me to participate. Not because I think one of my books will be The Next Big Thing, but rather, because this hop is about a lot of authors getting together to share their readers and to help them to find other great authors to read. That is very, very  exciting!  And, who knows? Maybe one of the authors will be the next big thing, and I’ll have had a hand in helping them.

If you’re just joining the hop, the dealio is that each author is supposed to anser ten questions about one of their works, either a book or work in progress. I decided to focus on My Wishful Thinking, which is set to release later this month.

So, without further delays, here we go —

What is the working title of your book?

The title of my upcoming book is My Wishful Thinking. It’s the story two best friends who must share a lovable, but nerdy, genie.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

I’ve suspected for a while that a lot of the ideas for my books come from T.V. shows I watched  as a kid.  Somehow pieces of those shows are buried deep in my subconscious, and I end up twisting them into something new, and, hopefully, more contemporary.  I guess that means this book came from the show “I Dream of Jeannie.”

What genre does your book fall under?

It’s definitely a lighthearted teen/YA book set in our world with magical elements.  Is that urban fantasy? Magical realism? I don’t know for sure, but it’s a little like “I Dream of Jeannie.”  😀

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Can I pick someone other than actors?  Because the images in my mind are personalities or celebrities but not necessarily actors.  Lo, the MC needs to look like Katy Perry, but act more like Pink.  She’s a little hard on the outside, but pretty gooshy when you get beyond her exterior.  For Eugene, I’d pick a young Prince Harry.  He’s respectable with a little mischief lurking.  And, I’ve always thought of Em as Erin Sanders, who played Quinn on Zoey 101.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

This is cliché, but – Be careful what you wish for.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Self–published, although I prefer the term indie-published because I do contract out the cover, the editing, the formatting, etc.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Ha! Depends on how you look at it.

If you count from when I first had the idea, and started outlining and wrote the opening scenes, then it’s two years.

But the truth is I didn’t work on this for a solid two years.  After I did all that getting-it-started stuff, I put it on the back burner and worked on other things.  While any project is on the backburner, it stays on a very low simmer. Actually, I do this with all my books, and I probably have about twenty things simmering right now.  That can seem overwhelming at times, but at least I won’t run out of ideas.

For this one, I might have gotten an idea about one of the wishes the girls made, or a little revealed to me about who an antagonist might be.

Then, from the point I took it off the backburner and decided to cook it up, it was five to six months of regular writing to finish the first draft.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

It’s similar in tone to my novel Winging It!  It’s also a little like Sarah Mylanowski’s Gimme A Call in that they main character is trying to re-shape their life for the better.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?

Uh, probably that TV Show, again – “I Dream of Jeannie” — but seriously, I really enjoy writing books that are light, include some heart, and if I can include something a little bit magical. Besides, who wouldn’t love to have a personal genie?

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

There is a more serious thread about Lo’s parents’ divorce and her single mom who is struggling to do a good job at parenting.  My parents split up when I was in college and while nothing in my life was as messy as Lo’s (both my parents are great!), I remember wishing then that they’d get back together.  I think that’s normal, and actually common, so for anyone who has been through that, maybe they’ll see some of themselves in Lo.

Before you go, I hope you’ll stop by Kai’s blog to read her post from last week.  And next week please check out these five fabulous  authors/writers: 

Tonya Kappes

Kristina Miranda

Shana Norris

Mike Purfield

Adriana Ryan

All great in no particular order, or ….actually in alphabetical order by last name 😉

October 10, 2012. Uncategorized. 6 comments.

12 Ways Books are like Babies

Dolphin Girl turns one today.

It seems absolutely amazing to say this, given that I thought it was doomed to be a dusty drawer book.  While it’s been awhile since I was a new parent, I can’t help but think how much all the ups and downs of this past year are like having a new baby. So, here are some of the similarities I’ve noticed.

1. Sleepless nights.

Coming up with scenes for the next book? Remembering something you forgot to do? A Kindle Select free run, anyone? Are these the things that woke you up or kept you up?  They were for me.

2. Checking to make sure the baby is alive.

The book equivalent of tiptoeing into the nursery is signing into KDP to check your sales. If you hit refresh-refresh-refresh, you probably were the type of parent that would wake your baby just to make sure.

3. Less social life and free time.

You receive an invitation to hang with friends, but you’re involved in something else for the book. It could be a blog tour, or promotion, or interview or, or, or…

So you decline and watch over your book instead.  If only there were book babysitters, then you could still go out and phone home ten times to see how things are going.

4. You must fight the urge to over share.

When you do finally go out, you must fight this with all your will power.  You know those parents that have hundreds of pictures and want to tell you about diaper changes. Don’t be that person. No one cares that you need one more review before ENT will feature your book.  No one.

Well, maybe  other authors at KB, but that’s it.

5. The weight you put on is worth it.

The biggest, most disappointing difference is that you don’t immediately lose weight when you release a book. But really, who cares about buying new clothes? You wear a lot of sweat pants when you write, anyway.

Take heart. It will come off, but it requires a determination that you never needed bb (before book or before baby, whichever you prefer).

6. You never realized how much stuff it would require.

Babies need strollers, binkies, bottles, and lots and lots of clothes. Books need covers, a web site, editing, social media, and blog posts with adorable pictures like this one.

7. The support you get from others (and who gives it) surprises you.

You think grandma will be the biggest fan of your baby (and maybe your book, too).  But it doesn’t always happen that way.  In fact, a lot of your support comes from those who are going through the same trials at the same time.

8. Nothing is just yours any longer.

With babies, you are required to share more. With writing, the book is what you share. And sharing your book is waaay scarier than sharing your stuff, because now you’re out there for everyone to see. Don’t fret. It’ll be okay and you’ll even get used to it.

9. You let go of perfection.

Your house is not as clean, because there are so many book-ish things that need your attention first. When you find the time to clean, you’d rather write. Not only are you forced to handle house stuff differently, but also somewhere in that first year, you realize your child – the book – is not perfect either.

Oh, well. Nothing is.

10. The second child doesn’t get as much attention.

You fully intend to not fall into the trap of not giving as much to your second book (or your second child), but it happens the all the same.  Because you still love your first book and you can’t just drop it like a hot potato, so now your love is spread around, perhaps a bit thinner.  It’s not that you love it any less, but it can never be the one and only.

11. You believe once again in the things you believed as a child.

You begin to believe in magic and luck. Perhaps you’ll be visited by the book version of the tooth fairy–the Amazon fairy, who deposits sales into your KDP account late at night while you sleep.

12. It doesn’t really change you.

With a baby you’re now A MOM.  With your book you can call yourself AN AUTHOR (if you want). But those titles don’t change who you are at your core.  Your values are still the same. And as much as we all would like the event to magically transform us, and make us better than we were before, it doesn’t.

So, here are my top twelve.  There are others and maybe you even have a favorite.

Each book only gets one first birthday, and to celebrate this one for Dolphin Girl, I’ve lowered the price to 99 cents.  You can find it here at Amazon  

October 3, 2012. Tags: , , , . Uncategorized. 7 comments.

Dolphins are like junior high school girls?

A super quick post today.  At the beginning of August the LA Times ran this story ,which asserts dolphins are like  junior high school girls because they hang out in cliques based on certain social behaviors.

I thought the article was really cool, especially since I used pods in Dolphin Girl as a metaphor for cliques, but I think the LA Times got one thing wrong. Cliques don’t just exist for junior high school girls. They exist in high school and adulthood, boys and girls, men and women. I consider political parties, religions, special interests or any way that someone might label themselves as the definition of an elite social group.

It seems we don’t outgrow it when we turn fourteen. Or fifteen. Or even sixteen.

My cliques are: wife, mom, mom of teenager (because this is a special badge of honor), sports mom (this badge requires an even greater commitment), Catholic, writer, reader, storyteller, indie-pubbed, daughter, aunt, sister, dog lover, dolphin lover, music lover, cookie baker, dieter, art appreciator, …etc.

What cliques are you a member of?

August 13, 2012. Tags: , , , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

A Super Secret Special Mission

Hi Everyone,

Grace was called away on a SPECIAL mission.  She’ll be back on Monday with a new author interview.

May 11, 2012. Tags: , , , , . author interviews, Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Music (the day after) Monday — With a Little Help From My Friends

One of the things I struggle with is a perfectionism.

Is this the right word?  The right way to phrase this?  Is my grammar flawless?  How ’bout punctuation?

It’s O.K.  Or, on second thought —  is it okay?

The lyrics in this song, What would you do if I sang out of tune?  Would you stand up and walk out on me? express this fear…well, perfectly.   Joe Cocker is not Pavarotti, but I’m okay with that.  I’m also, for the record, O.K. with that.

When it comes to my writing, the thing is, I know I’m not perfect and I’m pretty sure I never will be.  In fact, look at the title of this post.  It should have been posted yesterday.  It’s not Music Tuesday, right?  Not to belabor the point or anything.

So if a part of my writing is out of tune, will readers stop reading?  Some will.  But my friends will hear the heart beneath that sour note.  Today, I was given an incredible reminder of why it’s O.K. (okay) to sing your own song, your own way.  Cassie Deaton posted a review of Dolphin Girl over at her Shadow Kisses blog.  She gets me, warts and all.  It reminds me that like Joe Cocker, I need to say, Lend me your ear and I’ll sing you a song and I’ll try not to sing out of key.

Now, let’s listen to Joe rasp and growl together, cause the guy’s got a ton of heart and soul.

January 31, 2012. Tags: , , , , , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Music Monday — Reel Big Fish

Ironically, I first heard of this band on the day that I swam with dolphins as research for DOLPHIN GIRL.  After the swim, we stopped by to visit one of our friends who lives in the Florida Keys.  At dinner, the conversation turned to new bands we’d discovered and he recommended Reel Big Fish.

Fast forward a couple years and my oldest son made a mix CD with this song on it.  As I chauffeured him somewhere he told me, “I think you’ll like this,” and then he turned up the car stereo.  Ever since then, it’s been a favorite.

It seems especially timely for authors given all that’s happening in publishing these days.  None of us need to be Fry Boy.  Hope you enjoy the video for Sell Out.

January 23, 2012. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Music Monday — Charlie Brown

There are a couple Christmas songs that evoke clear memories from my childhood.  Wayne Newton’s “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus”  and Burl Ives “Holly Jolly Christmas” — you know the version from Rudolph.  But none are as palpable as this one.

My parents loved this TV special.  They made sure to sit down and watch it with us, and I did the same with my children so we’re in the third generation of love for this music.  In fact, to make sure we can do the dance on any given day, I purchased The Vince Guaraldi’s Trio Charlie Brown Christmas on CD.  That way, I don’t have to wait for the special to come on TV.  Or buy the DVD and wait for this scene to play.  I can listen, and bake cookies, and dance like the twin girls whenever I want. 🙂  I might even do a little of that today.

It’ll make me feel like a child again, which is nice when you write for them.  So, what reminds you of Christmas as a child? Is it music?  Or a decoration? A tradition?  Or a scent?  Let me know.


December 12, 2011. Tags: , , , , . Uncategorized. 2 comments.

The last leg of the tour

I’ve just about wrapped up the blog tour.  This is how I’m feeling.

Thank God for coffee.

Okay, so back on November 4th, I posted about my first three stops.  This feels like it was a year ago.

Then on November 21st, I posted about stops #5, 6, 7 and 8.  That was, y’know, a couple months ago.

So, here’s a confession:  I missed #4, which was when the lovely Kai Strand hosted me for a Three Times A Charm post where I blab about some favorite books, favorite fun things to do, and, um, music.  (sorry Kai)

Fast forward to today:

This week, #9 I’m at Marie Symeou’s blog as part of a series of author interviews she’s running.  Coming up are stops #10 through #15. Or maybe #16, I’m not sure which.   I’ve also lost track of the exact dates for some, but here are the links and I’ll update this post as the details come.

Heidi Hall, aka WriterGurl1, is running a flirty, fun, fantastic series of author interviews where we all answer important questions, especially one about sunglasses.  Please look for my interview and be sure to check out the others, too.  Especially if you like chick-lit!

Kate Ellison is running an incredible promotion from December 12th – December 20th at her Southern Scrawl blog where she’s giving away books and more books.  I’ve donated an e-book and paperback of Dolphin Girl and will be revealing my favorite secondary character.  (Hint:  it’s not who you think.)

On December 13th,  My indie, my tea and me is posting a review of Dolphin Girl. I have no idea what they’re going to say.  LOL.  So, it might seem like I’m taking a huge risk to post the link to their review and, well honestly, I am.  But I’ve said to everyone that it’s an honor for someone to invest their time to read my book.  I’m also grateful for bloggers who think critically about their reviews and this blog does.  So, that’s why the link, before the rating.  Besides, deciding to indie pub was a much scarier risk, so you already know I’m a little like five-year-old Jane — either really brave or really stupid.

The Indie Book Collective is running  a Blowout for the Twelve Days of Christmas (December 12-24).  I’m one of the featured books on December 15th.  There’s no interview or post with this stop, but if you visit their site any time during the promo you can enter to win a  gift cards, gift baskets and a Kindle!  PLUS, you’ll find lots of e-books on sale.

Home.  On December 3oth.  I’m doing a Five in Five  interview with Whatcha’ Reading Now? which was a lot of fun because I got to answer silly, random questions! Plus as a bonus I got to hang with writer-pal Kerry Cerra. Plus, I’m giving away a signed book to someone who is randomly drawn from Kerry’s magic coffee mug.

Then after the first of the year — January 10-15 to be precise — I’ll be at the Great Minds Read Aloud Literary community, which is sorta like a book club, sorta like a review blog, has a forum and is pretty cool.  But wait!  That’s 2012 and I’ll post again before then.  Also, I’m pretty sure (but not completely sure) that there will be another stop or two mixed in there, but I’ll catch you up on those later.

Next week, I promise to post on something random.  In fact, it’ll be so random that I still have no idea what it’ll be about. 🙂

December 7, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

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