Saturday, June 30, 2007

A side note

RIP Joel Siegel. The 63-year-old ABC movie critic died yesterday of cancer. He left behind a nine-year-old son, Dylan. Joel was one of my favorite movie critics and I'll miss his insight and wisdom.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Photogs, Libraries and HP

This week has been an insane blur! I swear that today could be Sunday, but nope, calendars tell me it is indeed only Thursday.

Yesterday, I did a photo shoot with my local newspaper. We shot at my favorite branch of the local library and then headed over to my house. While at the library, a couple of girls (perhaps 8 or 9 years old) were so intrigued by the guy with all of the camera equipment that they kept walking around him when he was trying to take a shot. We took pictures in the YA section, the children's section and then a few at my workspace at home. He was an excellent photographer and made me feel so, so comfortable.

I'm glad he agreed to do photos at the library because my local system is facing significant cut backs. As someone who visits the library 3-4 times a week, that saddens me. The hours are changing, they'll be closed for two days instead of one and funding is certainly going down. I'll probably turn up at the board meeting to discuss library funding.

Today, I'm taking a timeout to catch up on e-mails, organize my massive pile of "to be filed " papers and return phone calls. You know, anything I can do to keep busy until the HP movie releases. :)

What's your library like? How often do you visit?

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Happy Release Day!

Diana Peterfreund's second novel, Under the Rose, hits stores today so if you haven't pre-ordered go and get a copy! Under the Rose picks up where Secret Society Girl left off and it's sure to be a must-read for the summer.

Congratulations, D, on your new release and many, many happy sales! :) Yay!!

Off to the bookstore!

Monday, June 25, 2007

The Romance Galleria

I blogged about this months ago but couldn't find the link at the time. I think the site was down for a while.Now, the Romance Galleria's Website is up and running with a new look and new features. The Romance Galleria is like a virtual writing conference. There's advertising, chats, book trailers, visiting authors and much more. Download the program and try it out. I've started visiting more and heard talk of authors of other genres (YA and MG) hoping to get one for their area of lit.

Anyone already have it? Anyone else going to try it? Let me know. :)

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Gilmore Girls & Cleaning

Ah. Saturday. I've been working on my Website (check out the new links page). I'll be updating the link list on and off over the next couple of weeks. If you're someone I've surely forgotten to link, it'll appear soon! Feel free to send me a gentle reminder. :)

I'm busy writing and am watching Gilmore Girls season 2 on DVD. Yes, I've seen every episode not less than two to three times, but it's a fab choice of TV program to watch while writing.

I've also been prepping my room for the big newspaper photo shoot next week. Nervous? Of course. Super-freaky cleaning? Oh, yes. That's why I made the collage. I'll take a pic of my room when it's completely finished and will post it here. Look for that next week.

I've also been digging out all of my old photos and newspaper clipping from my most active Humane Society days. They're inspirational so to speak. I'll try to post the best clipping here over the next week. It's nostalgic for sure. :)

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 21, 2007


I felt crafy today, so in the spirit of my horse-themed novel, I made a collage of sorts of some of my favorite pictures of my friends and horses.
The blogging may be a bit light over the next week because I'm going to be doing heavy writing. Keep checking back for updates, though. :)
Anyone else into crafts? If so, what's your craft of choice?

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Tricks of the Trade

Lately, I've been innundated with e-mails from people asking "how the heck can I publish a book?" or "how do I write a magazine article?" While I'm thrilled to receive your e-mails, sadly I don't have all (or most!) of the answers. Big surprise, huh? ;)

Here are a few good recommendations to everyone:

Read magazines such as The Writer and Writer's Digest.

Get guidelines for magazines you want to target.

Get a Writer's Market.

Visit your local library or buy books on freelancing and novel writing. Check out Amazon for a killer selection.

Check out writer boards such as Absolute Write and Verla Kay for a community of writers of all levels.

Try these tips and if you still have questions, post 'em here! :)

Monday, June 18, 2007

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Book Trailers

Thanks to Kelly Parra for blogging about book trailers. I headed over to Simon & Schuster's and found a cool list of trailers and interviewers with S&S authors. It's a great site and I signed up for their weekly video e-mail. Check it out! :)

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The interview....

Today was my interview with my local paper and I think it went great! :) I have to meet with the paper next week for a photo shoot and when the article runs, you'll find the link here. The interviewer was so nice and friendly, so I wasn't nervous once we got started.

I get to play interviewer tomorrow and interview Brock Gill, an illusionist and motorcross competitor.Role reversal was great, but I'm ready to write my interview questions and dig for info! :)

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The press is coming! :)

Tomorrow, a local newspaper (I'll tell you which one after the interview) is coming to my house tomorrow to interview me. They got wind of the S&S news and are interested in running a story. :) I was nervous at first, but I'm excited now. I've conducted dozens of interviews and that's helping me to anticipate the questions and not be so nervous. I'm used to being the interviewer however, instead of the interviewee.

In the mean time, I've got a lot of typing to do and am trying to get 2k down on paper today. Wish me luck.

Anyone ever been interviewed before? Have any tips to share?

Monday, June 11, 2007

Harry Potter = no $$?

Anyone read this on Yahoo yet? Harry Potter magic spells losses for booksellers

I think it's interesting that a book I assumed would make huge profits for booksellers is in fact a loss due to price slashing. I have noticed that several independent booksellers around town have closed their doors because they can't offer the discounts big chain booksellers can offer.

I'm off to do some serious typing and am starting to add articles and clippings to a big binder I have on book promotion. I read an author should start thinking about promotion 2 years in advance and I may as well get started now! :)

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Rags to Riches wins!

Score for the girls! I've been in horse heaven today. First, the gorgeous filly Rags to Riches won the Belmont Stakes. For the non-horsey folks, she's the first filly to win the Belmont since 1905. 1905! I've been watching her for a while and had my eye trained on her jockey's number seven silks through the two and a half minute race. Every year, no matter what horse is in the lead, my throat catches at the final pole. It's a stunning sport, that's for sure.

If that wasn't enough, ABC is showing Ruffian, a racing movie, tonight about a famous filly. I'll definitely be watching.

How is your weekend going so far?

Friday, June 8, 2007

USA Today book buzz

I can't believe it's Friday already! The week seemed to whiz by, but I'm glad the weekend is almost here.

Today I'm finally going to get back to my YA draft that hasn't been opened in 3-4 days. Poor thing. I'm used to spending 6-8 hours a day writing, but I must have spent half that time answering e-mails yesterday! If you e-mailed me and I haven't responded, sorry and it's coming! :)

Anyone see the USA Today book buzz section from yesterday? There was a sidebar on the lovely Sara Gruen, whom I absolutely adore, and the range and variety of her fiction amazes me. Horses, apes, the circus--oh my!

TGIF and share your weekend plans!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Busy busy!

I've been buzzing about since my PM news was announced! :) One of my greatest FSU lit professors (you know who you are!) has been helping me spread the news around school and I cannot thank him enough!

I'm doing an interview with The Florida Virtual School today. FLVS is a virtual school free of charge to Florida residents that allows students of both homeschool and public school to take classes via the Internet. I took a course from FLVS and when I shared my news with them, they were interested in an interview. :) Wish me luck!

I'll be working on my Website over the weekend and hope to have newer content by Monday.

I'm also working with the amazing PR folks at Shriners Hospital for Children on a story of my journey from a spinal patient at Shriners to where I am today.

Life just got busier! ;)

Wednesday, June 6, 2007


Thank you ALL so, so much from Blogger, to LiveJournal to Facebook for your messages of congrats! I'm in a bit of a daze right now. I've known for a few days about the sale, but that doesn't compare to the feeling of sharing my news with family and friends.

A special thanks goes out to the Florida State University English department! They got my news online already and I appreciate it! Check it out here!

I started a new MySpace page for High Jumps at Collins Academy. It's MySpace Music, so I can upload a chapter reading in the future. Check it out here!

I'll have more updates as they come and thank you again! :)

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

It's a DEAL!!

Jessica Burkhart's HIGH JUMPS AT COLLINS ACADEMY series, pitched as Saddle Club meets Mean Girls, about a small-town girl who attends a boarding school and must learn to compete with the equestrian elite, to Molly McGuire at Aladdin, in a four-book deal, in a very nice deal, by Alyssa Eisner Henkin at Trident Media Group (NA).

New York Times article

I was reading this article The Greatest Mystery: Making a Best Seller (sign up for a free account to read) in the NYT and was so, so interested in the thought process that goes into making an author an advance and what numbers are crunched to try to determine an accurate idea of book sales. I liked that the article likened the publishing business to a casino and that there were so many books people thought wouldn't be hits (like Prep) that sold quite well. I guess everything depends on the market, the timing, the economy and millions of other factors that determine how a book will sell. Obviously, an author's job doesn't stop when "the end" is written. :) But we all knew that, didn't we?

Monday, June 4, 2007

Carpal tunnel

I spent much of today typing on novel #2 and managed to squeeze out about 2500 words. There's more to come IF, and that's a big if, I can get my carpal tunnel in my right hand under control.

I developed the pesky (and painful) little annoyance last November when I did NaNoWriMo and haven't been able to get rid of it since. Most days, I take Aleve or another NSAID and that does the trick, but other days (like today) it flares up and I either type left handed or don't type at all. I tried a voice to text program but found it to be too slow and quite clumsy.

So, anyone have CT and have any tips to ease the pain? I've tried heating and cooling pads and haven't had much relief. I did hear about steriod shots, but since I have an insanely intense fear of needles--that's not for me.


Sunday, June 3, 2007

Shout out to tech wizards

I've got a little question. Okay, see the blue-green graphic above? Yes? So, I made that with Publisher and I'd like to insert clickable links into that graphic. Whenever I do that, I end up making the links inactive when I load it into Blogger. I know it's doable, but I'm not sure how. I don't have PhotoShop, which I read is the key to do it.

Anyone know how to make that happen with Publisher or another standard program?

Thanks! :)

Friday, June 1, 2007

Harry Potter theme park

I cannot wait for late 2009. Why? Because Orlando, Florida is opening a Harry Potter theme park! :) J.K. Rowling is actively involved in park design and details, so I'm sure the park won't be anything less than extraordinary. I wish I could get tickets now. :) Anyone else interested?

Also, Book Expo America is in NYC this weekend and it would be amazing to go and see the vendors and authors. Has anyone ever been?


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