Don't worry! Canterwood Crest is FAR from over!
E-novellas to come with stories from Sasha & LT!

Monday, March 31, 2008

Go Carrie Jones!




This week is going to be busy! I’ve got lots of editing to do and I’m working away.

I reallllly wanted to do ScriptFrenzy (it starts April 1), but I just do not have time this year. I’ll have to make my own ScriptFrenzy month later. Is anyone participating? Lots of people on the blue boards are excited. :)

Tomorrow, a new video will be posted, so check back for that. And no, it’s not a video clue for the super-secret surprise. But it’s coming. Soon.

Yesterday, I played with Blog Talk Radio (it’s really supposed to be used as a radio call-in show, but I use it for podcasting) and made my first entry. I talked over my introductory beginning (oops!) and in the intro that I taped weeks ago, I said the podcasts would start later in the summer than what I said in the live bit that I taped yesterday. So, please excuse my mistakes and I’ll be sure to make the next one better! :)

On Friday, Class of 2k8 member and fellow Floridian Debbie Reed Fischer will be here.

Today’s my mom’s birthday. Happy birthday, Mom! I love you!

Finally, GO CARRIE JONES! Carrie’s making a run for office—how inspiring and cool is that? Find out all about it: http://www.voteforcarriejones.com. You go, Carrie! :)

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Teaser for your weekend

Okay...I've got some fun, exciting, suuuuper cool news book-related news! But I can't share it yet. As soon as I'm sure everything is a one hundred percent go, I'll post. Let's just say this...I'm going to document this trip with video blogs. It's something I've never done and I bet most of you haven't either. That's all I'll say. :) For now.

It's gonna be good. Keep your eyes peeled for a video coming soon with the first clue.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Workin' on edits

I'm excited! I'm days away (maybe 3 days) from finishing up a huge set of edits. Y-A-Y! That's the best feeling, isn't it? To be this close to giving up the manuscript and passing it along to an agent, editor or critique partner to read. I've been working super-extra-crazy hours to make this draft as best I can and even though I go all out on all my drafts--this one got an extra oopmf from somewhere.

Also...I can't say much at this point, but work on the cover for Take the Reins has commenced!! :) As I get details that I can share from Editor K, I'll pass them along. It's so, so exciting to dream up a cover and think about the jumble of pages and words becoming an actual book. That people will read. And hopefully like. :)

As you noticed, there's no guest this Friday. On April 4, however, the fun and fabulous Debbie Reed Fischer is stopping by. Don't miss that.

Finally, I'm working on plotting a 3-video set just for aspiring freelancers. If you've e-mailed me before about how to get into freelancing, these videos are for you. They'll take you from choosing a market, to formatting and writing a query to fulfilling the assignment. Watch for those in April or early May. If you've got freelancing questions you want answered, e-mail me within the next couple of weeks and I'll be sure to try and tackle your questions.

Back to work! TGIF!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

I Heart Dot Kitten

Have you guys seen this? This little kitten born in Sacramento has "I Heart Dot" on his side. It's truly interesting because his mother's name is Dottie! :) Read the news story here.

He's. So. Cute. :)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Books and TV Randomness

Book Bit

Last weekend, I started reading The Other Boleyn Girl since I thought the movie trailers looked so good. The film hasn't done incredibly well at the box office, but I like the actors. I haven't seen the film yet, but the book... W-O-W.

For the past year, I've been reading mostly YA with some MG thrown in. I haven't read many adult novels and if I did, I read that and a YA at the same time. I hadn't read an adult novel that gripped me recently. Until TOBG.

I also haven't read many historicals. But I should. Especially if there are other historicals as sizzling as this.

TV Time

Anyone else watching Dancing with the Stars? If so, you probably correctly predicted, as did I, that Penn and Monica would leave. No big shocker there! Penn's attitude bugged me. A lot. But Monica really tried hard! I thought Adam Corolla had a shot at leaving last night, but he's sticking around.

On the guys, I love Steve G. for purely sentimental reasons. I watched him a lot as a kid.

Marissa Jaret Winokur makes me smile for the girls as does Kristy Y. If the winner was solely declared on dance talent, Kristy could win right now.

What are you watching and/or reading?

* Thanks to everyone who commented on my new movie! I appreciate it! :)

Monday, March 24, 2008

Diary of a Debut Author Promo Video



The winner of the Shana Norris giveaway is…Miss Erin! Yay! Erin, you’ve got 48 hours to e-mail me your name and address at jessica [at] jessicaburkhart [dot] com. Congrats!

Today’s my day to post at Teen Fiction Café, so I wanted to cross-post my entry. Check out the video! I shot it at a lake near my house and had to dodge killer bumblebees, a rambunctious yellow lab puppy and an angry goose. You can’t see, but behind me minnows and two painted turtles were watching. :)

The next blog video will go up on April 1 and check back soon for an exciting update on TAKE THE REINS!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Easter Egg Pictures


Every year, my family and I still dye Easter eggs for fun. The eggs on top are hardboiled and the eggs in the second picture are blown out eggs we made 10 years ago and have managed to keep from breaking that long. That's quite a feat if you knew my family moved often.

I watched Martha Stewart for a bit on Friday to see if I could replicate any of her Easter egg tricks. But no. She made lace Easter eggs. No spare lace in my house. :)

So, if you celebrate it, Happy Easter!

Scroll down for a giveaway with Shana Norris.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Author Visit: Shana Noris



Please welcome author Shana Norris!

Tell us why you decided to write SOMETHING TO BLOG ABOUT?

I first created the characters of Libby and her friends twelve years ago as a teen and had written stories off and on throughout the years about them. But I could never find a story that I really liked, although I loved the characters. I put them away for a few years and decided to focus on writing fantasy. So I wrote this big fantasy trilogy and tried to get an agent for it, but I had no luck at all. So while taking a break from the fantasy one day in early 2005, I remembered those old characters I’d written about and decided to try them out in a new story. I was inspired to do a blog story because I’ve kept an online journal/blog for over ten years now and during college my own secret blog was discovered by some of my classmates. I didn’t have all of things that happen to Libby occur because of being found out, but it was still a little embarrassing. So I started with just the very basic idea of a girl who writes a secret blog being found out, and let the story unfold from there as I wrote it! I had a lot of fun with this story.


I love the title! Did you come up with it?

Thanks! I love the title too, but I can’t claim it as my idea. The original title of the book was LIBBY FAWCETT’S SECRET BLOG, but my publisher felt that was too similar to another YA blog book’s title so we all tried to think of a new one. One of the suggestions from the team at Amulet was SOMETHING TO BLOG ABOUT. I loved it and it was much better than anything I was able to think of, so we went with it!


How long have you been writing with the goal of publication?

I’ve been seriously focusing on writing and trying to get published for about six years. It’s been a long, frustrating road, but it’s been worth it!


Can you give us the gist of one of your favorite scenes in SOMETHING TO BLOG ABOUT?

One of my favorite scenes is a fight scene about halfway through the book. I have never been in a fight at school, so I had to really stretch my imagination and figure out what it might be like. But this isn’t just a fight, it’s also funny, so I had to imagine what it’s like to be in a fight and also give a humorous look at it. The fight is one scene that has always been in the book, from the very first draft, and it was actually really fun to write just because it’s something that I could never imagine myself getting in the middle of.

Tell us a bit about your first book signing. What was that like?

It was so much fun! I was really nervous all day leading up to it and during the ride there (it was a two hour drive) I kept telling my husband that I was sure I was going to completely blank out when it came time to talk or pass out from nervousness or something. But when it came time to speak, I surprisingly found myself a lot more calm and relaxed than I expected I would be. It was great being in front of a group of people who were interested in hearing about my book and my experiences in writing and getting published. They asked a lot of great questions and the staff at the store were so nice and supportive. Also, I got to meet the girl who wrote me my very first fan letter in January (she got an advanced copy of the book from her mom, who runs the bookstore where I was speaking). So that was really exciting and something I’ll remember forever!


You keep an active LiveJournal. Do you think it’s important for authors to try and make that sort of connection with readers and other writers?

I do, especially if you’re writing for teens. Teens today are all over the internet and blogs are really popular, so it makes sense for authors to have a web presence to connect with their readers. As a reader, I visit the websites of authors I like because I want to learn more about them. Blogs provide a great way for readers to get to know their favorite authors better and also provide a means of feedback, if the author allows comments on their blog.


What did you read as a kid?

My favorite thing to do as a kid was visit the library. My mom would always take us on weekends and I’d come home with a huge stack of books that I’d have read within a couple days. I loved the Baby-Sitters Club and Sweet Valley Twins series (still do!)


Was there one book, movie, etc. that inspired you to become a writer?

I don’t know if there was any one thing that inspired me to become a writer, because I’ve known since I was about ten years old that I wanted to be an author and I don’t remember being affected by one thing in particular. It was really just my general love of books that made me want to write. But the movie 10 Things I Hate About You did inspire me to become a YA author instead of the fantasy author I thought I would be. I love the fun storyline and the look at teen life and every time I watch it, it makes me want to write fun teen stories just like it.


What are you working on now?

Right now I’m working on my second book, which my editor and I are kind of keeping under wraps at the moment, until it’s done. We’re really excited about it! I can tell you that it’s a modern day retelling of a story from Greek mythology. So I’ve been immersing myself in research lately and loving it!


Would you give readers a writing tip?

Have fun with your writing. The first draft is meant to be messy, it’s just a starting off point for the good stuff that comes out during revisions. So don’t stress too much about getting it all right the first time through. Just get the foundation in place, enjoy your characters and the basic story, and then build up the rest later.

About Shana:

Shana Norris is a Web designer by day and a writer at night. She lives
with her husband in Kinston, North Carolina, where she actively posts
on her own blog. She decided to become a writer after realizing that
her dreams of being a ballerina-architect weren't going to come true
because she couldn't dance and didn't like getting dirty.

My book on Amazon:

All right! Shana is generously giving away one signed copy of SOMETHING TO BLOG ABOUT. To enter, leave a comment on BlogSpot, LiveJournal or in both places. You have until Sunday, 9pm EST to enter. Winners will be announced on Monday morning and you have 48 hours to claim your prize (directions on Monday) or I'll draw another winner. Good luck!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Tomorrow's guest: Shana Norris

Just a quick note--tomorrow, I've got author of SOMETHING TO BLOG ABOUT Shana Norris! Shana is generously giving away one signed copy of SOMETHING to a lucky commenter. So, come back tomorrow and leave a note to be entered in the drawing.

I'm swamped right now with edits and creating a new video. :) They're so much fun. I had been wanting to do videos for months, but I finally did one last week. It has just over 600 views, so that's exciting. A new video will go up on Monday, so check back for that!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Rock the Drop!



Linda Gerber brought this to my attention:

Operation Teen Book Drop.

YALSA and readergirlz are asking YA authors to donate a copy of their book to a local library, teen center, school or other place where the book will be passed around.

This is an effort to raise awareness for April 17, 2008—Support Teen Literature Day. YALSA and readergirlz have already coordinated 10,000 publisher-donated books to be given to top pediatric hospitals across the country. That’s amazing, guys!

I’m putting out the call to YA authors and people with books to donate. Give! Go the Website, print out the bookplate and donate away—whether it’s a book with your name on it or not.

I’ve got my mailing address on my Website and if you’d like to get your book into the hand of a Florida teen through the library, put your bookplate inside and send me a copy.

As I’ve mentioned before, Florida’s library budgets were just DRASTICALLY cut and my library which serves hundreds of thousands of patrons is now only open five days a week and hours have been slashed. They are also on a budget for purchasing new items and if you’re a YA author or someone with a large bookshelf, consider donating. I’ve got some of the loveliest librarians around and I know they’d appreciate it.

For more information, visit here for the details. http://www.readergirlz.com/tbd.html

Rock the drop!!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

6 random things

I was tagged by Book~Adorer to do six unimportant things about myself. So, here we go.

1. If you're watching TV with me, I have to hold the remote. This is non-negotiable. :)

2. I've never been to Starbucks. Gasp, I know! I just cannot pay that much for a coffee!

3. I'm addicted to my blog and Website StatCounter. I check them every day.

4. I failed my first college essay. Miserably, I might add.

5. My math skills suck. They're embarrassingly bad!

6. I think I'm getting addicted to video blogging. :)

Anyone else who wants to play is tagged!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Cherry Cheva Giveaway Winner- Micolz!

The winner of the Cherry Cheva giveaway is...Micolz! Congratulations! You've got 48 hours to e-mail me (jessica [@] jessicaburkhart [dot] com with your name and address so I can pass it on to Cherry.

If you didn't win, check back this Friday for a new prize.

(In case you guys are curious, here's what I use to determine the winner: http://www.random.org/integers/.)

Also, look for a new video blog next week. :)

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Blog Video #1




Check the post below for a giveaway with Cherry Cheva! :)

Friday, March 14, 2008

Author Visit: Cherry Cheva





Please welcome author of SHE'S SO MONEY--Cherry Cheva!

Book summary:

What happens when a good girl teams up with a total player and creates the biggest scandal their school has ever seen? Popular guy Camden convinces Maya that the only way to save her family’s Thai restaurant is to do other kids’ homework for cash, and she soon finds out that everything has a price. Especially falling in love.


How long did it take you to write SHE’S SO MONEY?

Hmmm, probably about eight or nine months? Something like that—including revisions and the fact that I was writing it mostly on nights and weekends.

Did you have an agent submit SHE’S SO MONEY, or did you do it on your own?

I was lucky to have an agent already, from working in TV, so my agent handled it.

What’s one of your favorite scenes in SHE’S SO MONEY?

Anything where Maya and Camden are just snarking at each other, like the early scene where they’re hanging out in his basement, and whenever they’re driving around in his car. Scenes with just the two of them interacting were so much fun to write.

You write for FAMILY GUY. That’s so cool! How long have you been writing for the show?

Eeek, I think it’s cool too! :) It’ll be four years this summer.

What does writing TV teach you about novel writing and vice versa?

Well, dialogue goes in both things, so having a background in TV was great for that when writing the book, and obviously in both you always want to have a good strong story. But in TV and especially on “Family Guy,” you tend to want to do things fast and keep everything moving along, because you only have 22 minutes to get everything done, whereas in novels there’s a more leisurely pace and room for details. TV writing is also very collaborative—you write drafts by yourself but then you rewrite them with everybody else, so I was totally used to working with other people by the time it came to working with a book editor.

How do you juggle writing for TV and writing novels?

Um, badly? :) Truthfully, it kind of sucks. I’m at work all day, sometimes until two in the morning, and then I have to come home and write more? Yuck. So I actually tend to be kind of a weekend warrior, at least until there’s a deadline staring me in the face, and I try my best to take advantage of any vacation time we have from the show.

How has the writers’ strike affected you?

It was a bummer—a necessary bummer, but a bummer. Obviously it was all for a good cause, but picketing was not particularly fun (I’m not an outdoorsy girl, so instead of welcoming the hours in the sunshine, I was cowering under a big hat the whole time), and it totally sucked to see a lot of people, like assistants and artists and other crew, get laid off through completely no fault of their own. I’m glad it’s over!

In your opinion, is active self-promotion important for middle grade and young adult authors?

Oh, absolutely. You could leave it to your publisher’s publicity department if you wanted to, I guess, but hell, the more publicity the better! Plus it’s been totally fun getting to do this stuff I’ve never done before—blog interviews and myspace and whatnot. I’ve done a bit of promotional stuff for “Family Guy” before—Comic-Con and some radio interviews—and it’s always fun to interact with fans, so all of this has just been super cool so far.

What are your current projects?

Family Guy as usual, and I’m in the beginning stages of my next book. And by “beginning” I mean mostly “thinking about it but not really writing anything yet unless it’s on a post-it note that I subsequently lose track of.” :)

About Cherry:

Cherry Chevapravatdumrong ("Cherry Cheva") is originally from Ann Arbor, MI. She currently lives in Los Angeles and writes for the hit Fox TV show "Family Guy." She's So Money is her first novel.

Website:

www.myspace.com/cherrycheva

Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Shes-So-Money-Cherry-Cheva/dp/0061288551/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1203715238&sr=8-1

Cherry is giving away an awesome prize! ONE lucky person will win a signed copy of SHE'S SO MONEY and a Family Guy t-shirt. Leave a comment here or on LiveJournal to win. You may enter both places, if you like. Winners will be announced Monday morning and you'll have 48 hours to claim your prize, or I'll draw another winner.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Last Harry Potter Film Cut in Half

Well, I was going to blog about something going on with my library today, but I read this from Variety and had to post about it instead.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the film, is going to be released in TWO parts. The first half comes out in November 2010 (can we think that far ahead?!) and the second part will drop May 2011. Whoa. I'm very, very excited about that since I was already sad that HPDH would be the last film. Even thought they're really "one" it still feels like two.

What do you think about this? I'm guessing people will go see both films in crazy numbers and this will introduce a whole new generation of kids to the Potter books. Whatever gets kids to read--go for it.:)

Read the full article here:
http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117982303.html?categoryid=10&cs=1

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Second winner in SA Harazin contest

I had to randomly draw a new winner in the S.A. Harazin giveaway, so...FRECKLESANDDEB, you've won! Please e-mail me your name and address to claim your prize. Send that to jessica [at] jessicaburkhart [dot] com. You've got 48 hours to e-mail that to me or we're drawing one final time.

Thanks! :)

It was great to hear about what everyone was reading. It's quite an eclectic mix and I added some books to my must-read pile.

Back to work!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Whatcha reading now?

Just a reminder--Kat, I need your name and address by tomorrow morning for the SA Harazin giveaway! E-mail it to me. Thanks!

What is everyone reading right now? I just finished FRENEMIES (ARC) by Alexa Young. Such a fun, good book! Before that, I read Sara Zarr's SWEETHEARTS. If Sara published a book a month, I'd get each one. :)

I'm getting ready to read THE FICTION CLASS, an adult novel, and then I have to see what's next in my pile.

Share your current read!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Winners and misc



gray kitty

We’ve got 2 winners of BLOOD BROTHERS! Kat and

lilrongal, you’ve both won a signed copy of BLOOD BROTHERS! You’ve got 48 hours to e-mail me your name and address or I’ll have to pick other winners. Thank you to S.A. Harazin for stopping by and if you didn’t win a copy, go get one!

So, yesterday, I decided to take a bit of a break before I dive into a new set of edits. It’s been almost three months since I lost my cat and I finally feel as if I can like another cat again. The sweet girl in the above pictures hangs out in my fenced in back yard sometimes. I always offer her cat food and treats, but she’s often too full to eat. Yep, she lives at a neighbor’s house down the street, but she wanders over for attention. Yesterday, I brought out the secret weapon guaranteed to make any cat fall in love with she who possesses said weapon. C-a-t-n-i-p. It doesn’t work on some cats, or kittens, but man, did little gray girl (we’re calling her “GG.”) love it! There was rolling, purring, yowling and even playful nipping. I forgot that she wasn’t “my” cat, forgot about my loss and enjoyed petting and playing with her. She’s a sweetie.

Enough about cats, right? I know, I know. Another one of those cat crazy clichéd writers. (But I’ve never had a one-eyed cat like Meg Cabot…)

This week is going to be busy. Red Hills (yes, I’ll shut up about it after this weekend) starts on Friday, but we’re expected to get a monster storm. Yeah, my town actually made it on World News Tonight on ABC on Saturday because we had tornadoes. Multiple ones. A house a few streets down was destroyed and a couple of people died. It happened around 7:30am and the sky was that awful, eerie yellow color. My family and I got REALLY lucky because the worst devastation was only 10 minutes away.

Anyway, before Red Hills, I’ve got tons of editing to do. Red Hills will be a nice treat at the end of the week. Look for video blogging from RH. (Stay away storms! Grr.)

On Friday, before I leave for the horse trials, I’ll be posting an interview with Cherry Cheva. She’s giving away a signed copy of SHE’S SO MONEY and a Family Guy t-shirt.

Winners, e-mail me at jessica [@] jessicaburkhart [dot] come with your name and address so S.A. can ship your prize.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Author Visit: S.A. Harazin

Please welcome author S.A. Harazin! Her novel, BLOOD BROTHERS, has been nominated for an Edgar. It's also an ALA Quick Pick.

Summary:

Without his job at the hospital, Clay would be lost. The hard work, the struggles of the patients, the drama in the ER—they make his days seem worth something and give focus to his dream of someday becoming a doctor. Clay can’t afford to go away to college like the rest of his class, but what other seventeen-year old has delivered a baby or helped to save a life?

Still, Clay wishes his life could be more like his best friend’s. Joey has it all—a great family, a good college waiting for him at the end of the summer, money, a car. Clay has to bike everywhere, and the miles are starting to wear him down.

But Joey’s bright future shatters one day when he overdoses at a party. Now he’s clinging to life at the hospital where Clay works—and Clay may be blamed for his condition. Clay will do whatever he can to find out what happened at the party, and to help Joey recover. But to survive this ordeal, Clay must draw on a strength he never knew he had.

Here we go:

What was the moment when you KNEW you had to write this story?

I am not sure there was one moment. Many years ago I took care of a kid in the intensive care unit, and during that time I was thinking, this is something I won’t ever forget. Over time, a story grew from that incident, and then one day I decided to write it. I first wrote Blood Brothers as a short story from the viewpoint of a nurse. This story was published in a literary journal. Later I decided I had to write the story from the viewpoint of someone who was not merely an observer.

Are you a disciplined writer or do you write when you feel like it?

I am a little of both, I think. I goof off a lot.

What’s your favorite thing about being a young adult author?

I love getting mail from teens and listening to them. I have never met a teen who is not interesting.

Share a couple of your non-writing hobbies.

I like to sew and play video games. Role playing games are my favorites.

You were a member of the Class of 2k7. How did you like being part of the Class?

I love being a part of 2K7. We’ve helped each other and provided support and advice.

If someone came up to you and said, “I’ve tried a thousand times to get an agent, but I can’t!” what advice would you give him/her?

Have someone who is good at queries read your query. Get your manuscript critiqued or have a professional critique. Join SCBWI. Read the posts on Verla Kay’s message board. It isn’t easy for most people. Don’t be afraid of rewriting or starting over. Keep trying.

What are some of your favorite young adult novels?

There are too many to list. I’ve recently read “The Adoration of Jenna Fox” by Mary Pearson and “Night Road” by A.M. Jenkins and both were terrific.

What are your current projects?

I only work on one project at a time.

I am working on a young adult novel about a teen with a genetic defect. He learns about life from a dog, a girl, and a killer. I plan to rewrite another wip in the near future. It is about a boy and his doctor. I don’t usually say a lot about my wip—I tend to loose steam if I talk about something too much. It’s a little like letting the air out of a balloon.

Bio:

S. A. Harazin lives in Georgia with her husband. She has two kids attending college and one about to start. She worked in a hospital as a teen and became a registered nurse. Much of Blood Brothers is loosely based on real life experience.

Website: www.saharazin.com

BLOOD BROTHERS on Amazon.

Ms. Harazin is generously giving away two signed copies of BLOOD BROTHERS. To enter, leave a comment (on one or as many of the 3 blogs as you like) on Blogger, LiveJournal or Homeschool Blogger to enter. You have until Sunday at 9pm EST to get your entry in. Two winners will be drawn at random. Good luck!


Thursday, March 6, 2008

The winner of VIOLET BY DESIGN

All right! We've got a winner in Melissa Walker's Violet contest. The winner...is... WindyCindy! Congratulations! Please send an e-mail to jessica [@] jessicaburkhart [dot] com with your name and address so Melissa can mail your book.

Tomorrow, I've got author S.A. Harazin right here with a new contest, so don't despair if you didn't win.

I hope you're all enjoying the different guests on my blog and I'm pretty everyone agrees that prizes are fantastic. :)

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Author Melissa Walker and a giveaway!


Please welcome author Melissa Walker!


What’s the message you hope readers gain from reading either VIOLET BY DESIGN or VIOLET ON THE RUNWAY?


I don’t know if there’s a message, necessarily, but I do know that I want the books to be about more than stacked heels and It bags (although those are always fun to throw in the mix). The fashion world has serious sides—the weight issue, the competition among girls, the sometimes over-the-top party scene—and I hope that watching Violet struggle with navigating those things will resonate with readers.


What’s your writing process like?


When I’m really working on a book with a deadline, I eat breakfast, then write. I don’t allow myself to have lunch until I have 1000 words on the page. They don’t have to be good words, but they have to be there. I do that five days a week; afternoons are spent working on magazine stories. Of course, I let myself enjoy the perks of being freelance sometimes! But in general, I am pretty consistent with the 1000-word rule.



Do you have a favorite part of the writing process?

I like the part when I’m done. Seriously. The other parts are hard.



Does your background in teen magazines help you write novels?

Definitely! I honestly think it was the ELLEgirl audience who inspired me—they were such smart, funny girls and I got to the point where I wanted to write more for them.


What’s your must have fashion item?

It’s not very exciting, but I have seven little black dresses. Is that overkill? I even went swimming in one after a friend’s wedding—and then I wore it to a book party! So I guess that one’s my favorite. It’s a Luella Bartley dress from the very first Target designer series, and it’s resilient.



What’s next for you?

I’m finishing up VIOLET IN PRIVATE, the third book in the series, and I’ll hopefully start working on a new idea soon… um, when I think of one. I’m open to suggestions!

Here's Melissa in her little black dress!

Thanks for stopping by! Melissa is generously giving away ONE signed copy of Violet by Design. If you want to enter, leave a comment here or on LiveJournal within the next 24 hours. So, you've got until 10:15am on Thursday (3-6). Good luck!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

So the weather outside...

is awful. We're under ANOTHER (!) tornado watch, it's pouring buckets, it's freakishly windy and we've got a huge tree limb down in the back yard. This is a pain on busy days because I keep unplugging my desktop computer and wireless router so it doesn't get struck by lightning even though it has a surge protector. That cuts my poor laptop off from wireless. But...if I were doing what I was *supposed* to be doing, I wouldn't even be online right now! So, yeah, maybe the whole lightning thing is telling me something.

What's your weather today? I saw Ohio and Texas got snow in places and that's really going to affect today's voting. I'll be glued to the TV tonight for the results.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Red Hills Horse Trials press pass

(Borrowing this image from the Red Hills Horse Trails Website! Thanks!)

On Saturday, I got a special package in the mail...my press kit and parking pass from Red Hills Horse Trails. I'm so excited! I applied for a media pass in early February and thought it was a no since I hadn't heard anything. I e-mailed a follow up and Lisa (an event administrator) said she'd just mailed it.

It's going to be such a great event! There's a media tent for journalists and everyone gets a workstation. I'll be taking my camera and if it's allowed, I'll be video blogging from Red Hills with pictures and videos of the main events.

Happy Monday!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Special mid-week guest--Melissa Walker

Just a quick announcement: On Wednesday, March 5, we've got a special guest stopping by! Melissa Walker is going to be chatting it up about her newest book, Violet by Design, and offering a giveaway. Melissa's giving one lucky person a signed copy of Violet by Design. To enter, check back here on Wednesday and get the details.

 
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