Sunday, July 29, 2007

Tallahassee Democrat Interview

Well, my first big interview with the Tallahassee Democrat is published in today's weekend edition! Check it out here! Big thank yous to Kathleen Laufenberg, Joetta Wharton, Ned Stuckey-French and Celeste Perrino-Walker.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Lamar University: Writing for Teen Magazines

All right! My class info and an interview for Lamar University is online! If you're interested in my online class, check it out here. And for a quick interview about me, check here and scroll down.

If you want to enroll, it's a 6 week online class from September 10-October 15. I'm only taking 20 students and several people have expressed interest, so sign up soon if you want to try it. Remember, you don't have to be a Texas resident to take the course.

It'll be six weeks of reading, writing and feedback from queries to non-fiction articles. You'll leave the class with a polished article and a matching query.

Okay, end of sales pitch. :)

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Review: How to Become a Famous Writer Before You're Dead

On a rarity, I picked up How to Become a Famous Writer Before You're Dead: Your Words in Print and Your Name in Lights by Ariel Gore. I say "rarity" because I chose this writing guide based on the oh-so-catchy title.

The book is a decent guide for beginning writers. It covers pitching, agents, self-publishing, promotion and many other topics. The only issue with that is each topic is covered so fast, there's not much depth about one single issue. Gore does several interviews with authors, which are entertaining but not overwhelmingly helpful.

The book did have a good section on promotion and it had suggestions for a press kit that I hadn't read before.

If you're new to the biz, this book may be helpful, but if not I'd recommend another guide book.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Short post...obviously

Today's post is short, but if you're looking for a great Q&A with a successful author, head over to Diana's blog and ask a question.

A shout out to Jen on her new book deal! Drop by her LJ and congratulate her! :)

Updates on the progress of High Jumps will come soon. I'm doing editing now and it's going great so far! :)

I'm also typing up the lectures for my writing class with Lamar and can't wait until more info become available.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Happy Birthday!

Happy birthday, Daniel Radcliffe! He turns 18 today! :) Regular blogging will begin later this week. I'm swamped with projects and will blog about something other than HP soon. Promise.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

The End.

*NO SPOILERS! Don't worry!* (If you comment a spoiler, I'm deleting!)

I got my hands on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows around 11am yesterday and finished it around midnight. I don't want to spoil it for those who haven't read, so I'll wait a few days before talking directly about the book. Now, I must start back at book one to fill my Potter needs!

Since I spent all day yesterday reading, today is catch up day on writing and class of 2k8 duties. I joined the apperance and speaking committee so I'm covering a territory (the NE) and am looking for places for authors to speak.

Sven was sweating alone yesterday, so it's back to work!

Check in, if you're not too busy reading HP. How many words or pages did you log this week? I hit about 6k. Share your stats!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Class of 2k8!

So, I found out last night that I was accepted into the Class of 2k8! If you're not familiar with the Class of 2k7, check out their Website. I was lucky to get a spot since it fills up fast and I've been on the waiting list with fingers crossed. Thanks to 2k7 for blazing the trail for us in 2k8 and I'm excited to participate! :)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Urban Muse Interview

Sorry for the double post today, but I got an e-mail from the lovely Susan Johnston at The Urban Muse blog that my interview with her is up and running. Check it out and enjoy her blog! :)

Life or death for Harry Potter?

Chances are that by now your town has been swept away in Harry Potter mania. At my local Books-a-Million, the store is gearing for a massive Friday night party complete with costume contest, readings, door prizes and more. I've never been to a HP party, but since this is the last one, I might go.

I'm cautiously reading blogs and Websites in case the rumors are true that the ending has been leaked. I read somewhere that 1200 copies of the book were shipped this week and the shipping company is being sued. If that's true, I don't want to know! There will be no spoilers here until everyone has gotten a chance to read the book.

However, we can at least ponder the ending. So, today's question: Do you think Harry will live or die? (Sorry, Em, I know this isn't your fav topic!)

I think he'll live. Share your HP theory! (I'm looking at you, Ella!) :)

Monday, July 16, 2007

Review: On Writing by Stephen King

A couple of days ago, I finished reading On Writing by Stephen King. It's not a brand new book, since it came out in 2000, but it certainly is a relevant book. The only other King book I've ever read is Misery and that's all I could take! I'm too affected by his work to not be scared to death when I read it. After I read Misery, I couldn't sleep for days as I was haunted by vivid scenes from the book. That's good writing. Don't you think?

I loved this book because it walked you through King's life as a writer and damn he went through rough patches. I loved learning how this successful author navigated magazine writing and then turned to novels. For King, he had no connections in NYC, yet he got an agent and started selling his work. See? So many people think there's a big secret about getting an agent and that you must have connections to do so. I'm the first to step up and say that's not true at all. That's coming from someone with zero connections, parents who aren't famous and no White House internship.

If you haven't read On Writing, I'd suggest you pick it up.

The next craft book I'm reading? How to Read a Novel. I want to try and review craft books as I read them because I've gotten a dozen e-mails (thank you!) from people asking what writing books I'd recommend. I may go back and review some of the recent writing books, if you all like the book reviews.

Congrats to everyone who sweated last week! If you haven't posted your stats, there's still time! :)

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Sunday Check in!

Tomorrow is check in day! You can do it right here and share your current word count or new page total for Alison Kent's challenge. I'll update my stats tomorrow. I hope you're still sweating with Sven and having fun! :)

So, share your stats!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Project Greenlight Season 2

I was at my library today and I stumbled upon Project Greenlight 2. I snatched up the DVD set and have watched 4 episodes today. I LOVE, LOVE the show. The season I'm watching now is from 2003 and for those who aren't familiar with the show, it follows a screenwriter and a director from contest winner to finished film. The winning screenwriter has his/her film directed by the winning director.

My favorite part so far was watching the screenwriters pitch their films. Things I learned when pitching? 1. Don't talk too fast. 2. Be prepared. 3. Have a backbone. 4. Prove yourself. Ben Affleck and Matt Damon are co-producers of the show and I learned a lot from them as I listened to them dissect pitches. When the winning screenwriter was announced, she then was given notes to edit her film (like I'm doing with my novel) and I found the processes very similar.

It made my inner screenwriter perk up. :)

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Still sweating?

All right, we're at mid-week and Sven is still commanding us to type and sweat! How can you say no to that face? How's everyone doing? Let's hear it! :)

So far, I've meet the 4-6 pages a day and am juggling edits with typing my YA draft. If I don't type enough in one project, I make sure I do it in the other one.

I also took a magazine assignment to write an article about starting a garage band as a teen. If you know someone who has done this, please let me know. I'm interested in all types of bands. This is the first magazine assignment I've done in a while as I've stopped searching for assignments and have been letting editors assign them at will instead.

Thanks for all of your congrats about my teaching news and I'll keep posting details as I get them.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Instructor Burkhart ;)

Okay, so I talked last week about an announcement regarding writing (sort of) and now I can finally share the details. For six weeks during the fall, yours truly will be teaching an online writing class for Lamar University in Texas. I'm teaching "Writing for Teen Magazines" for the adult and distance learning department of the university. I wrote and submitted a syllabus and blurb for the course. The info will pop up on Lamar's Website over the next couple of weeks and when it does, I'll post the link here. The university's Professional Writing Center boasts great classes and I'm thrilled to be involved. I'm capping enrollment at 20 students because I'll be writing and editing during that time, but I welcome the chance to try something new and any way to connect with aspiring and professional writers sounds good to me.

So, that's the news for today. :) A big thanks to Jessy for orchestrating everything!

Monday, July 9, 2007

Sweaty days and more

Looks like we've got a great response going in the check in session for Alison's challenge. If you still want to check in or sign up, I believe Alison gave everyone until July 13. :) It's gonna be fun! Be sure to come by next Sun to share your word count.

On other topics, I wandered over to Novelists, Inc. and found their Website to be a great source of information and a group I plan to join in the future. But I found something better. This. The Ninc 2008 conference in NYC. I've read dozens of conference brochures, but this one has everything I'm looking for. Lectures about daytime and primetime writing (from Jill Hurst, a writer of The Guiding Light), YA writing, film and playwriting. P-E-R-F-E-C-T. The conference schedule isn't up yet, but I'm going to be checking back often. The conference is in March and I can't wait to get more information.

Is anyone a member of Ninc or attended one of their conferences? Or, what other writing conferences have you attended?

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Sunday check in!

Okay, so if you've signed up for Alison Kent's challenge (see previous post) this is where we can check in each Sunday. For today's post, include the following:

1. Current manuscript word count
2. Goal word count for 70 days
3. Genre
4. Title
5. Your main character's names

Next Sunday, check back here when we'll tally up our week's word count! :) Let's get this off to a strong start and here's to finish novels in 70 sweaty days!

Saturday, July 7, 2007

In today's post, Diana Peterfreund brought up a fab challenge by author Alison Kent. Check out Alison's Seventy Days of Sweat-- The Writing Challenge. The goal? Write your book in 70 days!

I signed up and the challenge starts tomorrow! :) I have a new YA that needs about 10k to be finished and I want to start a new MG. I'm still doing heavy editing, but when I'm taking a break on that I figured this would be a good way to keep my other projects moving.

If you sign up, let me know here and let's do it together! We can keep each other on pace and crank up the motivation.

I'll post my stats tomorrow and let's do a weekly check in (maybe each Sunday) right here.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Something new...

Well, I've been working on a little project over the past couple of days because of an offer I received and I should be able to share it with everyone next week! :) It's related to writing, in a way, but doesn't have anything to do with my books. Curious? Check back next week for the announcement!

I'm knee-deep in editing and the blog may be a little quieter than usual, but it will still be updated at least 4 times a week.

Share your post-holiday plans for this weekend!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Happy 4th!

* Happy Fourth of July! *

I'm taking the day away from the computer (okay, with a little editing to be done) and am watching fireworks with the fam and am grilling tonight.

If you're reading this blog today, share your holiday plans! :)

Monday, July 2, 2007

Amazon Reviews

I've been reading lots of books and articles about promotion and apparently reviews can break or make lots of authors. If a book has few to no reviews that can sway a potential book buyer as can a book with dozens of great reviews.

So, I decided to review books as I finish them that I would highly recommend. I started with Niki Burnham's Goddess Games on Amazon and am going to look over my recent reading list to see if I want to five-star other books. I've done a few but still have several to review. Authors probably don't get as much fan mail as rock stars (except for Meg Cabot, perhaps!) so I like giving good reviews when they're due.

How about you? Do you post reviews?

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Tallahassee Democrat Photo Gallery

Until the article runs, the newspaper posted some of my photos from my photo shoot last week online. Check here

if you'd like to see them. You may be prompted to register, but that only takes a second. :)

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