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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Next Big Thing-Meme

Jenny S. Morris of Jenny's Imaginary World tagged me for The Next Big Thing and I feel so flattered. She is an awesome writer and blogger. Her book is contemporary with a bit of magic like mine. I would LOVE to BETA it. *crosses fingers* Find her answers here. Taryn Albright, my incredible, I can do All Things, CP, of A Fool's Golden Paradise also tagged me last month. Check out her answers here.

What is the working title of your book? LOVESENSE

Where did the idea come from for the book? My husband claims he can look at a photo of couple and tell if they're going to stay together. It's how he knew his brother-in-law (who he'd never met) was going to marry his sister. That ability was the basis for my 2011 NaNo. I'm a pantser, so all I really knew was that she could read love in photographs. Everything else (such as love literally stinking) came while drafting or through lots and lots of revisions. 

What genre does your book fall under? YA Magical Realism

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in the movie rendition? 
Here's the part where I admit that I don't know actors and I have no idea:) If Lovesense ever gets optioned for a movie I'll let the casting to someone else:)

What is a one sentence synopsis of your book? Love literally stinks for seventeen-year-old Rae, that is, until she smells her match in an unidentified baby picture.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? I recently signed with the lovely Julia A Weber of Literaturagentur GMbH. We're currently revising the manuscript and hope to be on sub before the end of the year.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? May we see the intro? Lovesense was my 2011 NaNo. I can't wait for this year! (If you're doing NaNo, let me know, I'd love to be your writing buddy. I'm registered as Robinwrites.) My first page is below.

I often regret my part-time job as the ice cream/photo counter girl at Alfred’s Drug Store. But in a town as small as Sparrow, a seventeen-year-old doesn’t have a lot of options.

No more reading relationships at work, I remind myself as I tap my cross-trainers in time with the photo processor’s whir, whir, flip. It spews three hundred prints of Mary Brighten and her fiancĂ© but I’m not looking, especially after last week’s debacle with Mom’s friend Barb. Trust me, being the first to know that your mom’s best friend’s husband is leaving her for their pool boy sucks the big one.

Craning my neck I see the “Alfred’s has the Answer” digital clock: forty-seven minutes ‘til the bride waltzes in. The whir is louder than our cheesy elevator music, and my nose, even though I’m telling it no, is taking in bigger and bigger breaths. I pop another Altoid into my already crammed mouth. I don’t want to know! Think about Barb. But I’m like a crack addict needing my next hit. And there isn’t an addiction recovery program to save me.

I pull a photo off the top of the stack. Even with the wonderful aroma of fresh ink, it doesn’t begin to cover the stench of this couple. It’s more than that rotten-egg sulfur smell I made in chem lab yesterday. It’s also rotting meat and moldy, squishy potatoes. A good dinner gone wrong.As I squint at the picture, the formally clad couple separates, not mere millimeters like I usually see, but
to opposite sides of the photo.

What other book(s) would you compare it to within your genre? Mandy Hubbard's You Wish. 

Who or What inspired you to write this book? My muse:) Laughing with my husband about the idea of a girl with his "abilities" inspired me. Also, my hubby and I fell in love in a weight room so it was fun to write those scenes and think of Stan and I falling in love. (Although Rae and Sam are quite different than my husband and me--except for extremely athletic, of course.)

What else about this book might pique your readers interest? I had a great time researching the worst smells in the world, and also deciding what real love would smell like. There are a lot of almost kisses and awkward first love moments, and there's an awful sonnet, written by yours truly, that might just make you giggle.

Now to pass this along. I'm tagging the winners from my giveaway last month. You didn't think you were getting those prizes free, did you?

Ilima T. also won, but I know she already posted The Next Big Thing here.

Saturday, October 13, 2012


Here are the Winners for my 100 Followers Giveaway

1st chapter crit: Kim
Query crit: Stephanie
Query crit: Kelley
Query crit: Britney 
Choice of my favorite reads of 2012: Ilima
Let me know which one you'd like: Icefall, Insurgent, The Fault In Our Stars, or The Scorpio Races

And the Grand Prize Winner: Suzi. Let me know if you'd rather have the 100 page crit or the $20 dollar gift card:)

Thanks to all who entered and esp. all who wrote haikus!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Author Interview: Lana Krumwiede

I met Lana this summer at the Writers and Illustrators for Young Readers Conference. She was super nice, pleasant to chat with, unassuming-even with having an awesome book deal-which she didn't even mention until a long way into our conversation. So take notes authors-chat, be nice, people will like you and then when you mention an upcoming book-we'll think-WOW this super nice person has a book deal, it couldn't happen to a better gal. And then we'll mark the date on our calendars and eagerly await the arrival of your book. I still have the awesome bookmark she gave me that day as we tried to protect our eardrums from the Class Songs and wicked feedback they generated.

First of all, Happy Book Day! I have 3 children born in October, so it seems like a good month to have a book:)

Okay, to the questions:
RH: If you could make your own ice-cream flavor what would it be?

LK: Hmm . . . I'm not sure, but it would definitely involve caramel and chocolate.

RH: You have great taste in ice cream:) When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

 LK: When I was in third grade, I wrote like crazy. Somehow that faded away over the years. About two decades later, I connected with an old elementary school friend, and she asked me if I had published anything. When I answered no, she said she always thought I would be a writer. Until that moment, I had forgotten the joy I had found in writing as a young child. I even dug out my elementary school papers that my Mom had saved, and sure enough, in my awkward grammar-school cursive, I had written that I wanted to be a writer. It was like my 8-year-old self sending a message to my adult self. I eventually turned to writing again, although it took a few more years to figure out how to create that opportunity.

RH: When did you pick up writing agin?

LK: I started writing again in 2001. I started with short pieces--poems and stories for children's magazines. I did that for 7 years and had many publications in Highlights, The Friend, Spider, Babybug and other magazines. It was a great way to learn about writing for children and about the publishing industry.

RH: Have you always written for the middle grade audience?

LK: Middle grade seems to resonate with me. In my own life, this was the time when I fell in love with books and reading. I love picture books, too. I have a picture book under contract with Candlewick as well, and I can't wait to see how it turns out!

RH: What are you working on now?

LK: Right now, I'm working on the sequel to Freakling, which I'm very excited about! Taemon travels outside of Deliverance and discovers the outside world is not what he expected.

RH: What was your inspiration for Freakling and how long did it take to write/come to fruition, from your head to book in your hands.

Thinking about the idea and building Taemon's world = 1 year
Writing the first draft (started over many times) = 2 years
 Beta readers, revisions, writing a query = 6 months
 Finding an agent = 1 month
 Revisions with agent = 6 months
 From contract to release date = 18 months

 Grand total = 5 1/2 years!

RH: I just signed with my agent and my non-writing friends have been asking me when my book is coming out. If they only knew;)

And here is FREAKLING in all its glory!! 
Goodreads Blurb: 
A thrilling, fast-paced dystopian novel about the dangers of unchecked power and the dilemmas facing a boy torn between two ways of life.

In twelve-year-old Taemon’s city, everyone has a power called psi—the ability to move and manipulate objects with their minds. When Taemon loses his psi in a traumatic accident, he must hide his lack of power by any means possible. But a humiliating incident at a sports tournament exposes his disability, and Taemon is exiled to the powerless colony.

The "dud farm" is not what Taemon expected, though: people are kind and open, and they actually seem to enjoy using their hands to work and play and even comfort their children. Taemon adjusts to his new life quickly, making friends and finding unconditional acceptance.

But gradually he discovers that for all its openness, there are mysteries at the colony, too—dangerous secrets that would give unchecked power to psi wielders if discovered.

When Taemon unwittingly leaks one of these secrets, will he have the courage to repair the damage—even if it means returning to the city and facing the very people who exiled him?

I can't wait to read it! I ordered it this morning.

RH: Advise for writers in the query trenches.

LK: I signed with Molly Jaffa, my amazing agent, after sending a cold query, but I think the only reason that worked is because I did a LOT of research up front. I read through agent interviews on blogs and carefully went over agents' websites. I had a list of five things I was looking for in an agent: 1) An editorial agent 2) Likes middle grade 3) Either works for a well-established agency or has plenty of experience in the industry 4) Likes fantasy and science fiction 5) Loves my story. So I guess my advice is know what you're looking for and research carefully. Oh, and you'll need a great manuscript and an equally great query letter. Don't forget that step. :)

These are great questions. Thank you so much, Robin!

RH: Thank you Lana for the interview and your advise! So glad to have you on the blog! 

Lana's amazing debut novel:

Goodreads here
Amazon here
Barnes and Nobles here
Local bookstores everywhere:)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


If you're here for the 100 Followers Giveaway of crits., favorite 2012 reads, or a $20 dollar gift card, click here.

The 1st Wednesday of every month is Insecure Writer's Support Group. Thank you Alex. J. Cavenaugh. From his site: [IWSG is designed to] "share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!"

Today's post is mostly a thank you for last month. I was in a panic, afraid to ever query, to face all the rejection that comes with that long road, but your encouragement gave me the strength to push send. I've now been querying for almost three weeks and it's been okay. I've been rejected, gotten requests, heard nothing, and guess what? I'm okay. 

If I hadn't had wonderful encouragement from the IWSG community, I might still be afraid to send out that first query. Thank you for the cheerleading and the kindness that you sent my way. 

So if you're out there, and you've polished your MS and your query, but you're afraid to take that next step, go ahead and test the waters, and when you're ready, jump in head first.