Thursday, August 30, 2012

Whoseywhatsit Thursday: Thankful Thursday

It's been awhile since we did a thankful Thursday and since I find myself feeling extremely grateful for a bunch of things, I've decided it's time to trot it back out. At least for the day. ; )

Most of you know that I celebrated the German launch for Renegade last week. And while I was extremely stressed out about it and the reviews it would get and worried that no one would buy it, I'm pleased to say that I worried for naught. It's still early yet, but the reviews that are coming in have all been fantastic.  And my editor over there has been extremely enthusiastic about it, which in turn has made me even more enthusiastic.

So, this Thankful Thursday is brought to you by the letter G. :P 

I'm so thankful for my wonderful German publishing house, IVI (Piper) and my editor, Beatrice, for all their enthusiasm, the gorgeous cover they gave me and not to mention the rest of the books packaging (I haven't seen it yet, but I've heard it's absolutely awesome). The gorgeous shimmery purple hard cover (the one under the dustjacket cover, the pink ribbon bookmark, and the styling inside the book. The special gray font and the water droplet Chapter numbers. Plus everything else they've done behind the scenes that have made Renegade's launch awesome.

Thank you to all the bloggers and readers (German and US) who've bought, read, reviewed and generally shown their love and enthusiasm for Renegade and for all the passion you've shown for Evelyn and Gavin and the next chapter of their story. I can't wait to share it with you. Thanks for being so awesome.

Thanks to my family and friends for putting up with all my ever-swinging moods and for loving me anyway. :)  The story would never have been written without all of you, so I owe you the most! Especially my crit partners and cheering squads. LOL.

And, of course, thank you to both my agents, Natalie and Taryn. Here's to us and many more launches (foreign and domestic)!

I really could go on and on and on, but I think I'll end it here. Thanks [;)] for putting up with my sentimentality. :)

So...what are you thankful for this Thursday?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Writer Wednesday: HELP!

I think this month has been the worst month ever for writing. One chapter written. ONE. *hangs head in shame* And its not from lack of want, or the need to write, because it's totally there.

Life has thrown me so many curves in the past month it's hard to keep my head straight. There's been family ups, downs, and sidewayses--I mean, I'm on hold with the high school, RIGHT NOW, trying to get my daughter's schedule figured out. Then there's been a couple developments in the writerly stuff too. Crazy developments that came ot of left field and smacked me upside the head. Jury's out on whether I love or hate this moth yet.

I'm starting to feel like the owl in the publishing world process meme thingy going round:

What do you do when your real life is cutting in on your writing time to the point where there just isn't any left? How do you carve time out to be creative when you're dodging curve balls coming at you?


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

TBR Tuesday: An AToMR Tours Special!

Our regular TBR Tuesday has a little extra spice added in today. 

The Oasis Sisters are proud to be part of the cover reveal for the YA novel, VENGEANCE BOUND, by Justina Ireland and Simon and Schuster, with an expected release date of April 2, 2013. This tour is hosted by AToMR Tours.

Description: The Goddess Test meets Dexter in an edgy, compelling debut about one teen’s quest for revenge…no matter how far it takes her.

Cory Graff is not alone in her head. Bound to a deal of desperation made when she was a child, Cory’s mind houses the Furies—the hawk and the serpent—lingering always, waiting for her to satisfy their bloodlust. After escaping the asylum where she was trapped for years, Cory knows how to keep the Furies quiet. By day, she lives a normal life, but by night, she tracks down targets the Furies send her way. And she brings down Justice upon them.

Cory’s perfected her system of survival, but when she meets a mysterious boy named Niko at her new school, she can’t figure out how she feels about him. For the first time, the Furies are quiet in her head around a guy. But does this mean that Cory’s finally found someone who she can trust, or are there greater factors at work? 

As Cory’s mind becomes a battlefield, with the Furies fighting for control, Cory will have to put everything on the line to hold on to what she’s worked so hard to build.

Be on the lookout for this one!! I love the purity of the cover, yet the dirt and evil that lies beneath. Just look at those snakes!

Here's where you can find more about this book: GoodreadsAmazonBN: Not up yet, & Indiebound.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Whoseywhatsit Thursday: WANA Commons

pentax k100d 250
 Image by Rebecca Barray from WANA Commons

I don't know about you, but the whole "a blogger got sued for use of a pic" thing really freaked me out.  So I was SUPER excited recently when the wonderful Kristen Lamb blogged about starting a Flickr account for her WANA group.

A Flickr account FULL of free images.


So, go check out the amazing images available, and make sure to stop by Kristen's blog or twitter to thank her.

Image by Rebecca Barray from WANA Commons

Where do you go to find images for your blog?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Insta-Love in YA

I have some thoughts on insta-love in YA, and it's probably contrary to the popular opinion right now that doesn't like it.  So I thought this might be a good place to have a discussion on insta-love and weigh the pros and cons.
(Please ignore that the couple isn't really of YA age)

First, let's definite Insta-Love.  In my mind, insta-love is when characters meet each other and are swapping "I love you"s (or intending to spend the rest of their lives together) just a few pages later.  It's when you don't see much in the way of a building relationship and the characters are suddenly just inseparable.

There's a lot of this in YA and it's starting to get a backlash.  Readers and bloggers seem to be looking for more relationship development.  Something more than an instant connection that the author then tells us is love.  I admit, I was in that camp for quite awhile.  Until I started reminiscing about my own YA days.  And here's what I remembered...

When I was a freshman, I started dating a junior guy.  If you read my diary from back then, you'd see I selected him over the sophomore I was considering because I thought it would be cool to go to prom.  (My memory has erased this shallow decision, but I supposed the diary doesn't lie.)  Anyway, he asked me out by way of a carefully-folded note, and three days later told me he loved me.

I almost broke up with him right then.  I'll be honest, it freaked me out.  Three days?  But I took some advice from another not-so-worldly freshman who told me I should be flattered.  So what did I do?  I told him I loved him back.  And pretty soon, it was true, whether I was sure of it at in the beginning or not.

So what does this have to do with my opinion on insta-love?  It made me reflect on the teen psyche.  How strongly I felt back then - sure that we would defy the odds and be high school sweethearts forever.  And how quickly emotions come over teens (girls in particular, perhaps) because of all the hormones raging through their systems.  I mean, think of a rock concert and all the girls lining the stage screaming "I LOVE YOU" to the musicians at the top of their lungs.  They don't even know those guys, but they'd pledge their love in a heartbeat if they could.  And I know there's more than one actor who I've felt a connection to through a movie/TV screen.

So while many ADULT relationships are based on an organic friendship first, no rushing into using the L-word type pattern, why are we critical when books for TEENS do this?  Teens are different. They don't operate on the same dating level as adults (by and large -- there are exceptions to everything, of course).  Every day feels like an eternity when you're young; waiting is not in teen DNA.

And this thought, in turn, makes me wonder if it's just the adults reading YA that are sick of insta-love, or if teens are over it too?  I'd be really curious to know the answer to some of these questions.  So please, start discussing!!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Whoseywhatsit Thursday: Torturing your characters

Well, par for the course, I sat here this morning wondering what to blog about. There's some serious, surreal kinda Crazy going on here and it's hard to focus on regular stuff. Thankfully a friend called, and suggested I talk about torturing your heroes. "You're good at that," she says.

That reminded me of a tweet by author Chuck Wendig that my editor RTed specifically for me to see. Pardon the bad word, but I'm going to copy it in it's brilliant, biting glorious entirety:

Sometimes you have to fuck up your protagonists so bad even YOU don't know how they're going to get right with the world. 

I totally agree with Chuck. I find it kind of funny that the sentiment was mirrored back at me from two such different sources in a short period of time, and figured it was worth discussing.

How do you feel about tortured heroes and heroines? How do you torture yours? Have you found a line you won't cross?

I'm still looking for that point where enough pain is ENOUGH. The things I did to Emma and Alex were heart wrenching. The things I have planned in this next book? Possibly more evil on an emotional level for the main character.

But it's the suffering, the dealing with adversity and growing from it that makes a character worth reading. At least for me. I can't do happy, fluffy-bunny stories. Or stories where the character is perfectly perfect. My characters usually come to my fairly well developed. What takes me the longest is figuring how to twist them, how to hurt them to show the mettle they're really made of.

Call me sadistic, but I like to torture the hell out of my characters. And apparently, people already know it.

So how about you? Do you like the tortured hero? Do you like to torture your hero??

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

TBR Tuesday: The Diviners

Yet again, I'm cheating. I've read this ARC too but I loved it absolutely too much not too promote. Check out my full review and definitely add it to your TBR list if you haven't already!

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: Sept 18, 2012

Goodreads Synopsis:
Evie O’Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City–and she is pos-i-toot-ly thrilled. New York is the city of speakeasies, shopping, and movie palaces! Soon enough, Evie is running with glamorous Ziegfield girls and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is Evie has to live with her Uncle Will, curator of The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult–also known as “The Museum of the Creepy Crawlies.”

When a rash of occult-based murders comes to light, Evie and her uncle are right in the thick of the investigation. And through it all, Evie has a secret: a mysterious power that could help catch the killer–if he doesn’t catch her first.

Check out the trailer:

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Whoseewhatsit Thursday - Work/Life/Writing Balance

Photo by Marie Loughin
Ever feel your life is like the rocks in this picture, balanced precariously on top of all we have to do, and piling one more thing on top will cause it all to come crashing down?

Well, on Tuesday night's #indiechat, the group was discussing work/life/writing balance.  In particular, how authors who also work outside the home (and maybe even have kiddos), make/find the time to write.  In case you happened to miss the chat, I thought I'd share some of the tips with you so that perhaps you can add a little balanced harmony to your life.

*  Make a schedule and/or calendar in your writing time.  It's just as important as any other appointment you may have.
*  Set a daily word count goal and stick to it.
*  Get up 30 minutes early to do social media so that it doesn't deplete your writing time later in the day.
*  Accept the fact that you're going to bed late and write until midnight.  Every night.
*  Tote your laptop or iPad with you to appointments or kids' practices to sneak in some writing time.
*  Use that travel time on road trips for writing.  (Assuming your hubby doesn't care, of course!)
*  Makes notes while you're driving by using a dictation device on your phone.
*  Set a deadline for when you want to complete/release your book or even a deadline for getting it to your critique partner or editor.
*  Write with a co-author for added accountability.
*  Write during your lunch break.  You may not be able to break free from the dreary office, but at least you can escape in your own mind.
*  Make time to read too -- it helps your own creative process.
*  Plot when you exercise, when you're in the car, the shower, or anywhere else (just don't be afraid to talk to yourself out loud). Plotting over a lunch with a friend is also a nice way to kill two birds with one stone.

But most importantly, remember that if you miss any of your deadlines or fall behind in your goals, that's okay too!  Don't put so much pressure on yourself that writing isn't fun anymore.

Do you have any other tips to share?  Any of these that you think you might try?

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Young Adult Giveaway Hop!!

So glad to see you today! Here on Oasis, we're always trying to give you a comfortable sanctuary to contemplate the art of writing. And today is one of those special days that we offer you a little more than the average chance to relax.

How does a YA book of your choice sound to round out your summer vacation?

Well, thanks to Kathy over on I Am A Reader, Not A Writer & the fabulous folks at Reading Teen we are able to do just that. And at last check, there were 226 sites participating in this hop. Make sure to check them out HERE.

All we're requiring is that you follow Oasis for YA to keep up to date with our YA world and allow us to keep providing a calm oasis for you to break from your regular writing habits. Of course, we've added a few extras that you may do for more entries, but those aren't required.

Just fill out the rafflecopter below for your chance to win your choice of any YA book from Book Depository of up to $18!! The winner will be announced on August 15th. Best of luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

TBR Tuesday: Clockwork Princess

Cover curtesy of Goodreads

Isn't that cover GORGEOUS? The composition, the elegance, the colors... that dress! *sigh* 

I love The Infernal Devices books by Cassandra Clare so hard that I feel like the redheaded stepchild of the Shadowhunter world. I loveloveLOVE TID and am just not that fond of TMI--the brother/sister thing in The Mortal Instruments first three books totally ooged me, and still does. The Infernal Devices has none of that ooge factor and all of the Shadowhunter awesomeness PLUS steampunk! I don't want to ruin anything for those of you that haven't read Clockwork Angel or Clockwork Prince, but I can tell you I'm antsy to get Clockwork Princess!

Sadly, for all my early morning rooting around on the Internet, I couldn't find a longer summary for CP. This is all I could scrounge up:

In Clockwork Princess, Tessa and her companions travel all over the world as they race to stop the clockwork army before it’s too late. As Jem’s health worsens alarmingly and his friends search desperately for a cure, can Tessa choose between the two boys she loves—even if it means never seeing the other one again?

You can join the discussion on GOODREADS where  you will find the usual links, and such. Go check it out, add it to your TBRs, maybe pre-order it. I think this series is being overshadowed by the The Mortal Instruments, with the movie buzz and all. Clockwork Shadowhunters need love, too!

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Whoseywhatsit Thursday~Inspiration

Welcome to Whoseywhatsit Thursday with a little EXTRA!

Yeah, so, this summer has spun both my writing career and personal life into a tailspin. No worries, though. All is good. Actually, better than good, which I'll explain in September. HOWever...I mention this because I totally forgot to post my TBR Tuesday pick last week. 

What I've decided to do is explore my past TBRs, now read, and how they've inspired me as reader and writer. 

In my younger days, Charlotte's Web was a favorite of mine, probably because of the friendship E.B. White developed between such odd main characters. Then there were my middle grade years, where I fell in love with Judy Blume. Period. Her presentation of the angst of junior high was masterful. I remember relating perfectly to her developed settings, world, and story lines.

Because Of Winn Dixie was a favorite of my children. There was a rawness to the story and characters, yet an over-arching sense of purity and honesty. 

As an adult and aspiring Young Adult writer, I've sought out YA books that moved me in a personal way but also challenged me as adult and writer. Abandon gave a sense of the ancient and the need to include humanities past in our stories - no matter what level. Beautiful Chaos forced me to challenge my characters even when it hurt. Ink Exchange taught me that it's okay to push the extreme to make readers meditate on life. 

Lastly, Dancing on My Grave is an adult book but explores the journey of a young dancer's life and death. I read this in high school. I can't tell you how much it affected me. The story was a biography in itself. But there was more. The structure reeled me in and never let me go. 

Today, try to remember books that inspired you to become a writer and/or avid reader. Use those in your work today.

What are they?

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Wednesday Giveaway!

Is it August already? How did that happen? 

I went into the summer dreading it, thinking it would spread on forever with three kids - but it has gone faster than ever imaginable. Now I'm gearing up with sports schedules, auditions, back to school supplies, and more.

Of course I'm also looking forward to the time when they're behind desks and I get to write again. And blog again. Because this summer has been dismal in both those areas.

Since I don't really have any writerly advice this week - I thought I'd do a giveaway of one of my ALA ARCs!

To enter, just leave a comment below (make sure to leave a valid email) by midnight EST on August 6th. I'll choose a winner and contact him/her via email. Good luck!

Up for grabs: Your choice of Lost Girls by Ann Kelley or Fire in the Streets by Kekla Magoon.

Lost Girls:
No parents. No rules. No way home. 

Fourteen-year-old Bonnie MacDonald couldn't be more excited for a camping trip on an island off the coast of Thailand with her fellow Amelia Earhart Cadets-the daughters of the men and women stationed there during the Vietnam War. But when a strong current deposits the girls on what their boatman calls the "forbidden island," things take a turn for the worse: A powerful storm comes to destroy their campsite, the smallest of the junior cadets is found dead, and their boatman never returns. What once seemed like a vacation in paradise has become a battle against the elements.

Peppered with short, frantic entries from Bonnie's journal,

Lost Girls is a page-turning, heart-pounding adventure story about a group of teen girls fighting for their lives.
Fire in the Streets
What means more, shared values or shared blood? Maxie's choice changes everything in this acclaimed companion to "The Rock and the River."Bad things happen in the heat, they say.

"Maxie knows all about how fire can erupt at a moment's notice, especially now, in the sweltering Chicago summer of 1968. She is a Black Panther--or at least she wants to be one. Maxie believes in the movement. She wants to belong. She wants to join the struggle. But everyone keeps telling her she's too young. At fourteen, she's allowed to help out in the office, but she certainly can't help patrol the streets. Then Maxie realizes that there is a traitor in their midst, and if she can figure out who it is, it may be her ticket to becoming a real Panther. But when she learns the truth, the knowledge threatens to destroy her world. Maxie must decide: Is becoming a Panther worth paying the ultimate price?
Related Posts with Thumbnails