Monday, April 23, 2012

The MiGs Interview Their Agents

Next week is a big week over at the MiG Writer's blog. All week long we are interviewing our fabulous agents. Don't miss out!

Here's the line-up for next week:

Mon. April 30: Mini-bios about each agent.

Tues. May 1st: Susan's agent: Andrea Cascardi of the Transatlantic Literary Agency.

Wed. May 2nd: Debbie's agent: Ginger Knowlton of Curtis Brown Ltd.

Thu. May 3rd: Carmella's agent: Marie Lamba of the Jennifer DeChiara Literary Agency.

Fri. May 4th: Christina's agent: Jeff Ourvan of the Jennifer Lyons Literary Agency, LLC.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Winners and Lucky 7

I am so excited to announce my two winners for the author interview and book contests I've held.

The winner for KISS OF THE MORNING STAR is Viven!

The winner for TROUBLE WITH A HALF A MOON is Carmella Condon Van Vleet!

I will be emailing you asking for your addresses.

And now for Lucky 7. I was tagged Kim Kasch and by Jessica Khoury. Ironically, Jessica worked at the bookstore my mother-in-law managed and we both attended Toccoa Falls College. Small world!

So the Lucky 7 goes like this:
1. Go to the seventh or 77th page of the WIP or latest book
2. Count down seven lines.
3. Copy the 7 sentences that follow and post them.
4. Tag 7 other authors.

So here are my 7 lines from page 77 of GILDED (my YA mythological based paranormal):

“Haemosu’s power is greatest in the day,” she says and then grunts to whip out a roundhouse. I’m ready and side step around her, quick and light. “That is the time he will attack.”

She turns to face me again. I see the attack and land a front kick, planting it directly at her chin. She stumbles backwards slightly, her eyes widening. “Not bad,” she admits. “The best I have seen in a long time.”

But then she does a move I’ve never seen. It’s like watching a movie. And I’m definitely not the star. She leaps up, spins and double kicks, one foot after the other knocking at my shoulder and nose. Pain shoots through my face and blood spurts through the air.

So none of that probably makes sense to you, but there you go. As far as tagging, I'm going to let you tag yourself if you would like to participate!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Exotic Destinations- France with Love

In honor of starting work on a middle grade set in France, I thought I would mention my favorite places I visited in France. My sister and I did a trip together and it was simply amazing. I love France. The whole country smells like flowers and fresh baked bread. Is there anything better?

Well, chocolate I suppose. But have you ever had their chocolate croissants? *Faint* We found a little bakery that would open its doors and sell steaming chocolate croissants. We'd grab one with a cafe ole and off we'd go sightseeing!

My Highlights:
1. Eiffel Tower- You really need to hike this. Don't wait for the elevator because the line is atrocious. And go early so you don't have to fight the line. The view is amazing and it's a great way to start your visit in Paris because you can see the whole city spanning out before you.

Loire Valley
The Loire valley was adorably quaint. We stayed in Tours at a restored bed and breakfast. The food was fabulous in Old Town.

2. The Chateaus- We went on a castle tour (highly recommend this!) and both came away with a favorite- Ch√Ęteau de Chenonceau. It's completely magical with its Gothic and Renaissance architecture. The gardens are lovely as well. I could wander through them all day. 

It was seized by Henry II and offered it to his mistress, Diane de Poitiers. Over the years, it's had many owners, but in 1914, the Menier family (they own the Menier Chocolate Factory) bought it and still own it today.

Make sure you come early because it's the most visited castle other than Versailles (and much better than Versailles if you ask me). As you can see from the pictures, it's definitely a place that brings inspiration.

Normandy's Coast
3. Mont Saint Michel- I could totally imagine this place back in the middle ages, monks toiling away the hours transcribing scriptures or valued passages. It has a sense of wonder and sacredness to the hallways. Legend says the archangel, Michael, appeared to the Bishop in 708 and told him to create a monument to Saint Michael and build a church on the site. Personally, I doubt angels care anything for monuments, but I do love legends.

I think that deep within the foundations of the monastery still lives an ancient dragon whose spirit draws the tides in and out each day to protect the island that the monastery rests upon.

Of course, there is so much more than this in France. I just highlighted a few destinations. Have you ever been to France? What were your favorite places? If not, where would you want to go?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Congratulations to My Agent!

One of the things I love about my agent, Jeff Ourvan, is he not only rocks at his job as my agent by placing my book into the right editor's hands, communicating quickly, and calming my worries, but he understands me as a writer. I think a lot of this stems from him being a writer himself.

So a big congratulations to Jeff for the release of his book, HOW TO COACH YOUTH BASEBALL SO EVERY KID WINS, published by Skyhorse Publishing.

It opens with a very cool foreword by Baseball Hall of Famer Orlando Cepeda and includes 100 color photos featuring a few kids from his past Little Leagues.

You can link to the Amazon or B&N listings right from his newly launched website:  Or just access it here on Amazon's or B&N's websites.  The book can also be found at your local bookstore May 1st.

I've already ordered my copy of the book. I've got two sport fanatics at home who are ready to learn all they can on baseball.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Danette Shares Her Inspiration

Please welcome Danette Vigilante, author of The Trouble with Half a Moon, published by G.P. Putnam & Sons.

From Amazon:

Thirteen year old Dellie lives with the guilt that her little brother's death was her fault. Her mother cries all the time and because she wants Dellie to stay safe, she keeps her inside as much as she can. It doesn't matter that Dellie longs to go outside to be like other girls or that there's a boy she likes and he likes her too. All that matters to her mother is that she's safe at home. So, Dellie has no choice but to watch the world of her housing project through her second story window.

Things start to change soon after new neighbors move in on the first floor. Trouble like this has never happened in Dellie's building before. Now there are men fighting on the stoop, gunshots echoing through the night and Corey, a hungry and abused five year old boy knocking on her door looking for something to eat. Corey reminds Dellie of her brother and even though their friendship is dangerous, she wonders if this time, she'll be able to do what needs to be done. Will she be able to save Corey? Show Mo

I love the premise of The Trouble with Half a Moon because it takes a look at the ripple effect of what we do with the good and bad in our lives. What inspired you to write this book?

I grew up in a housing project where a little boy would go from apartment to apartment asking for food. As you can imagine, it was heartbreaking. That little boy stayed with me and patiently waited until I was ready to give  him what every child should have: safety, love, food and friendship.

Who in your life inspires you and why?

I’m a greedy inspirational seeker so I find it everywhere from my two girls and my husband for not being afraid to step out of their comfort zones to everyday stories I read about people doing good for other’s.

Which book character do you find inspirational and if he/she were to talk to you, what might they say?

At the moment it would be, Deza, the main character in Christopher Paul Curtis’ newest book, The Mighty Miss Malone. If she were to talk to me she might actually giggle then ask, “You’re not going to let THAT get in your way, are you?” Then she’d adjust her family’s motto for me: “You’re on a journey to a place called Wonderful, so keep it moving!”

What is it that you are hoping to inspire into your reader’s lives?

That even the smallest good deed is powerful enough to change a life for the better. Maybe even your own.

And here are some quickies:

1. Favorite type of chocolate:

Believe it or not, I’m a relatively new chocolate lover and pretty much like it all with the exception of dark chocolate. Can I just say that I’m currently addicted to chocolate covered raisins from Costco. They blow Raisinets away!

2 #1 country you’d like to visit:

Without hesitation, that would be Italy. For its beauty of course, but I’m a serious pizza lover so …

3. Favorite mode of transportation:

My feet! I love to walk.

4. Preferred writing method: (i.e.) computer, pen, pencil:

Definitely computer. I couldn’t survive without cut and paste.

Her website:

On Goodreads

Thank you so much Danette! Fill in the Raffelcopter form to win a copy of The Trouble with Half a Moon.

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Thursday, April 5, 2012

Orlando Literati

Last Friday night, I attended the first Orlando Literati event located at downtown Orlando. The venue was at Urban ReThink surrounded by great restaurants and within walking distance to Lake Eola.

Sarah Fisk from YA Rebels organized the event and did a great job at gathering together nearly 100 writers from the area!

They had raffle prizes offered, and even though I didn't win anything, Larissa Hardesty won the 25 page critique from agent Lucienne Diver from the Knight Agency!

Jessica Souders brought postcards and business card swag for the SWAG table and guess who was the lucky person to get Jessica's first autograph EVER? Um, yeah, that would be ME. !!!!!!

We are all looking forward to more great events like this one. I have a feeling that there will also be some group writers events such as signings and readings at the Urban ReThink in the future.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Elissa Janine Hoole- Interview and Giveaway

Today I’m thrilled to have Elissa Janine Hoole on my blog! Her upcoming YA, KISS THE MORNING STAR, is to be released this May by Marshall Cavendish.

Here’s the blurb from Amazon:
When Anna sets out on a post high school road trip toward an unknown destination with best friend Kat, she thinks she's prepared for everything. Clipboard in hand, she checks off her lists: Set up tent. Study maps. Avoid bears. Feelings are not on any list. For the past year - ever since her mother's sudden death - Anna has shut down her emotions and shut out the people who love her most.

1. Tell us a little about the process of starting the idea for KISS THE MORNING STAR to publication.

I started the story in September of 2008, and I took about a year to write and revise and get what I thought was a polished, query-ready draft of my book, which was then called The Dharma Bum Business.  I queried it during the summer of 2009 and had a few agent requests including a few very kind agents who gave me a lot of feedback, and two who told me that the voice might benefit if I tried changing the point of view of the story from third to first.  I admit, I thought it wouldn’t work—it would be little more than an exasperating exercise in pronoun replacement.  Instead, I found Anna’s voice emerging, the story becoming more immediate.  I sent it out again that fall, and this time I had multiple requests for the full manuscript, and eventually, some offers.  The greatest moment was when my awesome agent, Sarah Davies of Greenhouse Literary Agency, called me from London right before Christmas.  I had no idea she was going to call, and the shock of it, the excitement of her telling me that she had read my book and was really intrigued by it, was the best thing that had happened in all my years writing and trying to get published.  Her immediate enthusiasm was impressive, and that phone call remains one of the most exciting moments of my writing career.  I revised again for Sarah, and we sold to my editor, Melanie Kroupa, at Marshall Cavendish books, in June of 2010.  I’ve enjoyed working with Melanie tremendously; she has a brilliant knack for drawing out the story I have in my mind and helping me to translate that story onto the page.

2. I think it’s so neat how your traveling adventures inspired KISS THE MORNING STAR. Was there are particular event that had a big impact on the story?

I think, rather than a particular event, the biggest impact on the story was more the spirit of the travel—the idea of road-tripping without an itinerary, without even a destination.  I learned so much about myself and about my love, and about what I wanted out of life.
3. What is the most rewarding part of writing for you?

Sometimes I say that the most rewarding part is being finished—having a scene or a sentence or even an entire massive revision turn out just the right way, a way that makes me proud.  And that’s true, it’s probably the most rewarding part, but along the path to being finished, the parts that I love best are when something slides into place so that writing, for even the briefest of times, comes easy.  The flow, the surprises, the images that rise up to the surface without digging for them—these moments are the highs of the writing experience for me, the parts that get me through all the slogging parts or the parts where I have to keep slapping words one in front of the other just hoping for them to make something worth revising later.

4. Share with us the one piece of writing advice you wished you had when you first started writing.

I’m never good at following advice.  In fact, something about advice, no matter how sound, makes me sort of bristle and want to do the opposite.  But I think the best advice I can hope to try to follow is the advice to get out into the world and live life if you want to write about it. 

And here are some quickies:

1.    Favorite type of chocolate: The darker the better, but chocolate is not my weakness when it comes to candy.

2.    #1 country you’d like to visit:  I want to visit most of the Scandinavian countries, so I’ll start with Norway.

3.    Favorite mode of transportation: The passenger seat of a car with my feet on the dash and a book in my lap, with my husband driving all the back roads to anywhere.

4.    Preferred writing method: (i.e.) computer, pen, pencil:  The computer for everything except poetry I can write with a funky pen in a special journal (or sometimes on looseleaf paper while I’m teaching my class!)

Check her out on her website
Follow Elissa on Twitter

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