Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

While we realize that not all of our friends are Christian, for those of you who are, we wholeheartedly say, "MERRY CHRISTMAS!"

Art borrowed from DeviantArt

We hope that your day is filled with the blessings that matter - not gifts under the tree or a turkey on your table, but hugs from your kids, time spent with family, and laughing until you cry.  May all these blessings and more be yours this Christmas and throughout the coming year!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Mid Winter's Eve Blog Hop

Courtesy of I Am A Reader - Not A Writer, we've joined in the Mid-Winter's Blog Hop. And to celebrate (as well as to make your holiday season joyful) I'm giving away two signed copies of my YA urban fantasy thriller POLTERGEEKS! (This giveaway is US and Canada only.)

The rest of us at the Oasis will also be giving one winner the YA book of their choice from The Book Depository up to $14.  (This giveaway is open Internationally, just make sure they ship to your country!) 

Want in on it? All you need to do is comment on this post (feel free to wish everyone a joyous holiday season) and you're in. Easy-peezy! I'll be using Rafflecopter to select the winner. So are you in? GO! (And Happy Christmas!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Writer Wednesday: Advice

Lately, I've been juggling writing my next book and working on blog posts to promote Broken's release in January. (It's coming up so fast!!) Lately, the blg posts are winning... I've had a few tough questions that really made me think--those are my favorite interviews. A couple guest posts are about music, one is about food--those were really fun. When doing intervies, a common question has been, "Do you have any advice for beginning/unpblished writers?"

Honestly, I feel like I'm still learning. It's odd for me to tell others what they should do. But, while it's on my mind, I figured I would leave my bits of advice here for you. I would love it if y'all would share your ideas too!
  • Let your characters speak. Don't get in the way of their story. But, don't let them railroad you into a corner, either. They are a charater, YOU are the author.
  • Find a good group of peers, betas, critique partners, a writing community you feel comfortable in sharing with, and helping each other. These are the people who lift you up when you're struggling, they are the people who celebrate your achievements.
  • Always strive to do better, to be a better writer. Hone your craft.
  • Prioritize. Make writing a priority, be serious about it. But don't let it be your main priorty. Love your family, talk with your friends, scratch your pets ears. The spark for myriad ideas exists outside ourselves.
  • Finish what you start. If you don't finish a story, you have nothing to share, nothing to revise, nothing to submit.
  • Surround yourself with positive people who understand and accept the writer in you.
  • Practice your ABCs. Apply Butt to Chair. However, don't let your hiney become part of your typing chair. Get some excerise, go for a walk. It increases oxygen in your blood and feeds your brain.
  • Eat good food. Yes, coffee and chocolate are to writers what catnip is to kitties. Like oxygen, good food feeds your body and thereby feeds your brain.
  • "Write what you know." My other told me this once. Sure it helps. Don't be afraid to be a rebel and write what your writer's soul knows. Not every paranormal author has met a vampire, faery, werewolf or Frankenstein-type monster *shameless plug*
  • Love what you do, do what you love, and no one will be able to pierce thourhg the tough skin you have to have in this industry.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Whoseywhatsit Thursday: Winter Writing Prompt

It's time for another Whoseywhatsit writing prompt, from yours truly. This week's topic ...


It's winter season and the holidays are upon us - time for spending times with loved ones, warming up by the fire, and watching the snow fall outside your window (well, at least for some of us).

You have up to 250 words to get your character in a winter state of mind - develop a flashback, write a poem, try something new, whatever you want. Post those words below and then comment on at least one other person's writing. (You don't need to necessarily critique it, this isn't polished writing people!)

Ready. Set. Go!

(And here's mine ...)

I leaned my forehead against the cool glass window, trying to hold my breath so it wouldn't cloud the view. The lake had frozen over. A group of children, the servants' obviously, toddled across the ice, their arms spread out to either side to help maintain their balance. Their faces were covered, scarves wrapped around necks and across mouths. Hats pulled down over ears and foreheads. I couldn't tell who was who.

But it didn't matter. I would never be able to join them. I was stuck in this tower. Sure, it was comfortable. Ostentatious really, what with the roaring fire, the bear skin rug, the down comforter spread across the ornate bed.

I was a spoiled prisoner, but a prisoner all the same.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Writer Wednesday: Passing the Buck

I'm getting this in just under the wire--sorry about that. It's a busy time of year (like whoa).

That being said, I am not only posting late, but passing the buck on my post. But it's for a good reason, I promise.

Revisions and rewrites have kicked many a writer's behind.  We've even had more than one post on them here at the Oasis.

But I recently read a post on revising and rewriting that blew me away. If you haven't read Kristen Cashore's post on the writing and rewriting of BITTERBLUE, you need to go now: http://kristincashore.blogspot.com/2012/12/pictures-of-book-being-made.html

Have you ever done such an extensive revision? How did you approach it? How do you feel about revision?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


If the only way to save the world was to destroy what you loved most, would you do it?

The clock is ticking. Everyone must choose.

Passion. Power. Secrets. Enchantment.

Danger closes in around the Shadowhunters in the final installment of the bestselling Infernal Devices trilogy.

141697590X (ISBN13: 9781416975908)
edition language
original title
Clockwork Princess

The Infernal Devices is by far my favorite Shadowhunter Series. I love the world Cassandra Clare built, and I am very excited for this final installment. This is one series that kept me up into the wee hours of the night, because I just had to keep reading to find out what was going to happen next.

March just won't get here fast enough!

Information Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6131164-clockwork-princess

Thursday, December 06, 2012

TAGLINE Critique ... now!

It's the first Thursday of December and we've decided to offer up some tagline - a/k/a log line - critiques.  Do you have yours all polished and ready?  'Cause we're ready to help your tag lines really soar.
Photo by ismellsheep in WANA Commons

Leave your one-sentence tag line in the comments and we'll drop in through the day to leave you some feedback.  We can't wait to see what you've got for us!

Need more examples?  Here are a few:

Just before the outbreak of World War II, an adventuring archaeologist named Indiana Jones races around the globe to single-handedly prevent the Nazis from turning the greatest archaeological relic of all time into a weapon of world conquest.                                                                                                                                (Raiders of the Lost Ark)

A young man and woman from different social classes fall in love aboard an ill-fated voyage at sea. (Titanic)

Having been recently dumped for the nineteenth time by a girl named Katherine, recent high school graduate and former child prodigy Colin sets off on a road trip with his best friend to try to find some new direction in his life.
(An Abundance of Katherines)

Alright, now share yours!  Go!

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Finding Balance Between Writing & Life

I have a day job.

I don’t know any published authors who've managed to completely break free from the job that pays their bills yet – I know they’re out there of course. Lots of them. But most who've either published a novel or those still trying to reach their dream of becoming published must find a balance between their day job and their passion. And make no mistake: while I love my day job, my passion is for writing books.

I suspect that most authors are a little bit crazy to try and carve out a method by which they balance the hat in each hand. Depending on how old you are can have an impact on your passion as well because if you’re younger than me (I’m 45) then you’ve probably got young children running around so there’s school and preparing lunches and parenting in general that has to be done. So now you’ve got three jobs: one that pays the bills, one that keeps your family running and one that is your dream.

How we manage to find this balance is a source of wonder to me because most people are dead dog tired by the time they get home from work each day. How someone can muster their reserves long enough to sit at their computer for a few hours each day and actually create something from absolutely nothing is an incredible feat. Why? Because writing a book is bloody hard work.

For me at least, I think what keeps me going is likely the same thing that keeps most writers going: the dream of being able to make enough money from your published works that you might somehow manage to write full time. I have an idea what it looks like in my head, but I’m not there yet.
And still I write. Still, we all write.

My day generally begins at around three in the morning. I get up, have a shower and shave. I grab a coffee and head into my office to pump out a thousand or so words before heading off to work. I do eight to ten hours at the office and then I’m back home for 5:00 PM. I have supper with my better half and then I retire downstairs to the family room to watch TV and do something mindless before heading off to bed at around 8:00 PM. I read for a good half an hour (or until I get tired of the book falling out of my hands because I’m nodding off) and then it’s up at 3:00 AM the next morning and the cycle repeats itself.

I’ve been doing this for years. Sometimes I want to just give it all up and resume a non-writerly life, but I simply can’t. I need to sit down and work on a novel – I’m compelled to do it, actually. I’m not special, there are jillions of others like me who are trying to find that balance. But it does wear away at you over time – sometimes I feel like a living shadow, if that makes any sense. I’m just going through the motions each day because my energy is at a ridiculously low level.  Then I draw on my rocket fuel: I close my eyes and try to visualize what my life will look like if I somehow manage to do this full time. It’s sort of the author equivalent to daydreaming about winning the lottery.

Along the way you have ups and downs. The downs are particularly severe, I think, when you’re unpublished and you’re trying to find an agent or you’re submitting to a publisher that doesn’t require agents. The reason for this is that you have to somehow manage being rejected and still find the courage to keep pressing on. I say courage because it takes courage to want to become published. You’re taking something you’ve poured your heart and soul into and throwing it out to the universe to be parsed, critiqued and more often than not, rejected.

This is a craft, folks, make no mistake. And those rejections can be absolutely brutal, particularly when your energy level is critically low. The good news, though, is that when you find an agent or you manage to get published, it’s instant affirmation that you might possibly make a go of this. That you have a measure of talent. That all those early morning or late night hours weren’t wasted away. And of course once you have reached this level, the very act of getting an email from your agent simply saying “hi, how are you holding up?” can do wonders to sustain you on those low days.

I’m unbelievably lucky to have already been published four times, to have found an agent who thinks I’m awesome and to have had that same agent land a book deal with a respectable publisher. I’m now making a little bit of money for the first time. The future looks brighter than it did yesterday. I have someone in my corner cheering me on and I’ve got an editor who challenges me to make that book even better. I’m still not in a position to write full time, but that dream no longer looks like a pipe dream.

So that’s a bit of my journey. I’m no better than any other author who struggles to find their balance between life and writing. In 2011, I managed to write two books which are now in my agent’s hands and finished revisions on my now published novel POLTERGEEKS. This year I wrote the sequel, completed revisions on a project my agent has just started sending to publishers and now I'm revising the great Canadian YA zombie novel. That’s an accomplishment that I’m immensely proud of. It’s sort of one of those benchmarks for my life because I've not been that productive in a twelve month period before.

I’m revising THE NORTH right now. I’m still plugging away at the day job and I’m dreaming big. I’m no longer afraid to dream big.

My advice to other writers who are still trying to find their balance? Just do it, you know? Just allow yourself to dream big because when you are feeling the lowest of the low, those dreams are often the only thing standing between you becoming published or giving it all up.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

TBR Tuesday: Shades of Earth, by Beth Revis

 The final book in the  New York Times bestselling trilogy, perfect for fans of Battlestar Galactica and Prometheus!

Amy and Elder have finally left the oppressive walls of the spaceship Godspeed behind. They're ready to start life afresh--to build a home--on Centauri-Earth, the planet that Amy has traveled 25 trillion miles across the universe to experience.

But this new Earth isn't the paradise Amy had been hoping for. There are giant pterodactyl-like birds, purple flowers with mind-numbing toxins, and mysterious, unexplained ruins that hold more secrets than their stone walls first let on. The biggest secret of all? Godspeed's former passengers aren't alone on this planet. And if they're going to stay, they'll have to fight.

Amy and Elder must race to discover who--or what--else is out there if they are to have any hope of saving their struggling colony and building a future together. They will have to look inward to the very core of what makes them human on this, their most harrowing journey yet. Because if the colony collapses? Then everything they have sacrificed--friends, family, life on Earth--will have been for nothing.


I inhaled the first book, Across the Universe, reached The End and turned right back to page one. The layers and comlexity of the contained world Revis created vice-gripped my imagination. Her storytelling kept me up late nights. I LOVED Across the Universe. The sequel, A Million Suns is possibly the best sequel I've read to date. My God, I even felt betrayed by one of the characters. Simpy put, Revis makes me want to be a better autor. I've been dying for Shades of Earth since I finsined AMS.

Info from Shades of Earth Goodread's page:

Hardcover, 369 pages
Expected publication: January 15th 2013 by Razorbill
1595143998 (ISBN13: 9781595143990)
edition language

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