Category Archives: General

Writer to writer, some of my favorite advice from great authors on art and craft.

Hey Guys!

Some of the best writing advice I’ve ever heard has come from authors, given for the sole purpose of encouraging others who write. That’s me, and if you put your thoughts to paper—whether you’re published or not—it’s you, too. But I think the advice can be applied outside that arena.

Below are a few quotes as part of series I’m starting on encouraging myself and other artists NOT. TO. QUIT. in pursuing our collective, creative dreams. For me, its writing. For you, it might be dancing or singing, or acting, or fine art, or maybe even mathematically proving the ABC Conjecture theory, (don’t ask) because that would be beautiful, too.

The writers (below) aren’t necessarily in my top twenty favorite author pile, though some are. The point is that those of us who create are family. And those in your family can sometimes say things that inspire, motivate, aid and comfort you.  Yeah, that’s me pretending that Stephen King cares if I finish my book or not. Whatever. Maybe he does—or maybe only as long as I lay off adverb-packed sentences …

I guess what I’m saying is that like-minded people bond over the all the intricacies of a shared passion. I respect the authors on this page. They love the written word, as do I, and have expressed similar feelings about writing. How do I know? Because their words resonate with me and many like me. Us. The family.

I thought I’d share some writerly wisdom that I’ve found particularly helpful or inspiring in my own endeavors.

I hope you enjoy!

 

 

“The trouble with a lot of people who try to write is they intellectualize about it. That comes after. The intellect is given to us by God to test things once they’re done, not to worry about things ahead of time. What can we writers learn from lizards, from birds? In quickness is truth. The faster you blurt, the more swiftly you write, the more honest you are. In hesitation is thought. In delay comes the effort for a style, instead of leaping upon truth which is the only style worth dead-falling or tiger-trapping.” ~ Ray Bradberry

Now, I don’t know about you, but I can definitely spend too much time over-thinking a first draft. This quote gives me permission to write quickly and not worry about how much is drivel. If I get my entire book written, I can go back and edit later, ad nauseaum. But the book will be written instead of this partially formed, half-done thing wasting away in it’s Word-doc-test tube. You know?

                                                                ♦♦♦♦♦

 

“I’m convinced that fear is at the root of most bad writing. Dumbo got airborne with the help of a magic feather; you may feel the urge to grasp a passive verb or one of those nasty adverbs for the same reason. Just remember before you do that Dumbo didn’t need the feather; the magic was in him.” ~ Stephen King

 

I love this quote. I don’t typically think of myself as a fearful person, but when I step back for an objective look, I’m a kitten in a room full of big dogs when it comes to writing. Some days, I write a chapter or two and then lean back, arms folded over my chest, and decide the room is no longer big enough to hold my genius. Then, the next morning, I sit down at my computer and re-read those pages only to lift my head and scream at the ceiling, “I suck! Eat worms and die, crappy author!” Eloquent, I know. The beauty of King’s quote it to admit we’re all afraid of something. So? So, get over it. You can do it, and so can I. We are, all of us, magic.

                                                              ♦♦♦♦♦

“Even if it isn’t the piece of work that finds an audience, it will teach you things you could have learned no other way.
And just because it didn’t find an audience, that doesn’t mean it’s bad work. Writers should find joy in the fact that they’ve even finished a story. The discipline involved in finishing a piece of creative work is something on which you can truly pride yourself. You’ll have turned yourself from somebody who’s ‘thinking of’, who ‘might’, who’s ‘trying’, into someone who DID.” ~ J.K. Rowling

 

Thanks, J.K. Thank you for reminding us that failure is often viewed as unacceptable, because it is wrongly associated with a final, permanent outcome. The truth is that most of us rarely have one shot at our goal. So what if it takes three tries or a hundred? It doesn’t matter if it takes us one year or ten. Did you hear me? It doesn’t matter.  Failure has it’s own kind of beauty. We grow and improve with every attempt. Failure means we had the courage to try. Failure is learning, and most importantly, failing at something doesn’t make us failures as human beings. In fact, the opposite is true. We tend to admire and respect any person who pursues their dream, despite the obstacles, and does not quit. Why does it take us so long to learn that?

                                                               ♦♦♦♦♦

 

 

“Anybody can have ideas–the difficulty is to express them without squandering a quire of paper on an idea that ought to be reduced to one glittering paragraph.” ~ Mark Twain

 

Be comfortable with yourself. *Sigh* To accept yourself as you are and for who you truly are can be a long and difficult road. There’s so much freedom in understanding your true identity, not the one the world gave you when you were a kid. You know, the day your teacher told you that you were smart or dumb, when the kid standing in the lunch line behind you said you were pretty or ugly, or when your soccer coach said that you were athletic or should take up knitting—and you wore that label for the rest of your life. Reject the lie, my friends. And if you thought the kids that were told they were pretty or athletic had it easier than the ones who were told they were ugly or needed to knit, (and what’s so bad about knitting anyway?) you’d be wrong. Not if ‘pretty’ is the only value you think you have. Not if  ‘smart’ is a life long pressure to live up to. And if those labels prove false or fleeting, what is a person left with then? Listen to me, none of us are ONE thing, humans are wonderful in their differences. Too complex to be boxed. Find out who you are, be brave enough to like yourself,  and then bless the world by being you! 

                                                            ♦♦♦♦♦

 

“Some day, there will be a story you will want to tell for no better reason than because it matters to you more than any other. You’ll give up this business of delivering what everybody tells you to do. You’ll stop looking over your shoulder to make sure you’re keeping everybody happy, and you’ll simply write what’s real and true. Honest writing always makes people nervous, and they’ll think of all kinds of ways to make your life hell. One day a long time from now you’ll cease to care anymore whom you please or what anybody has to say about you. That’s when you’ll finally produce the work you’re capable of.” ~ J.D. Salinger

 

 

I stinking love J.D. for the quotes he left us!!! < Why yes, there is a shocking overuse of exclamation points here. Your art is a gift to you, that you in turn, may choose to share with others. It’s the best type of re-gifting, unlike the elf-covered flannel pajamas you got from that new girl at work’s white elephant Christmas party. I’m not saying that creating something new is a laugh a minute. I am saying that if you find yourself more blue and slightly unhappy than not, there’s something else going on. Dig around inside that head of yours and figure out what. Creating can be acutely frustrating, but should also bring you amazing joy and satisfaction. If  it doesn’t, why do it?

The other thing J.D. says to me, is basically, don’t be a pansy. Write (or dance or play your music …) with honesty. Don’t apologize. Don’t worry about trends, what “works”, sells, is marketable, or popular. Don’t try to please others, not that you’ll purposely try to shock or offend anyone either, seriously. I just mean be truthful about your art. People can always choose not to read, watch, or listen to what you create … that’s the beauty of freedom and making decisions for yourself, isn’t it? But if what comes out of you has never been done before, if it’s shocking or different, so be it. Don’t compromise. Your work will suffer.

To me, the advice means dare to write the books I’m meant to write. The ones I could talk myself out of writing if I worry too much about overreaching, pleasing everybody (which can’t be done), conveying a message beyond my ability to express, being too ambitious.

These writers invite us to ditch our fears and try. Fail. Succeed. What do those words even mean? You’ll have to decide that for yourself. Then take the plunge and create. I’m going to make something new.

I invite you to do the same.

Julie

 

 

 


Cover reveal: FRAGMENTS OF DARKNESS

Hey guys!

I’m thrilled to help reveal the cover for the brand new anthology FRAGMENT OF DARKNESS coming this fall!

 

 

Fragments of Darkness: An Anthology of Thrilling Stories

Release date: September 13, 2017

 

Blurb:

From between the cracks of imagination, among the splinters of the unknown, and upon the winds of mystery, lurk the Fragments of Darkness.

With legends of killer mermaids to tales of Civil War era ghosts, ten passionate story-tellers come together to bring you yarns of fantasy, paranormal, and chills and thrills that will entertain, intrigue, and enchant young adult and new adult readers.

 

Sounds amazing, right?

There are so many amazing authors included in this book.

Take a look …

 

 

Goodreads link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34103708-fragments-of-darkness

Contributors

Lisa M. Basso — Heart and Bone

C.L. Campbell — Reckoner

Dorothy Dreyer — Under the Surface

Pat Esden — Black as a Dark Moon, Scarlet as Sumac

E.M. Fitch — Between Shadows

R.A. Gates — The Collector

Jessica Gunn — The Ghost

Debra Jess — Blood & Armor

Melanie McFarlane — The Transgressions of Faithe Eileen

Daphne René — Story of the Unknown Soldier

 

 

 


Excited! Blog Tour: OF THE TREES by @ErinMFitch #YAlit @Month9Books

 

of-the-trees

 

Welcome in! I’m so excited to be a part of this blog tour for the amazing E.M. Fitch and her new book! I’ve got more tour stop dates, an excerpt and special giveaway here, so don’t forget to scroll down and enter the contest near the bottom of the post!

 

Now to get on with it. Have you seen this cool and freaky cover yet?

I love the vibe!

of-the-trees-cover

Title: OF THE TREES

Author: E.M. Fitch

Pub. Date: February 28, 2017

Publisher: Month9Books

Format: Paperback, eBook

Pages: 345

Where to get it:

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | TBD | iBooks | Kobo | Google Play Books | Indiebound

 

Watch the author’s  video about her book here:

Blurb:

Cassie and Laney fancy themselves amateur ghost hunters. When a carnival comes to town, Cassie embraces the chance to try something new.

Carnival workers watch the girls with a collective gaze that ignites in Laney a dark and dangerous fascination, leaving Cassie unnerved.

It’s not just their age or the unsettling way they stare. There is something in the shifting of their skin and the way their features seem to change in the shadows.

Cassie can’s shake this sickening feeling that there’s more to the carnival than meets the eye.

When townspeople suddenly start dying and bloody warnings appear around town, Cassie is lured into a nightmare where trees whisper and strange, shape-shifting men haunt the backwoods she once hunted for ghosts with her best friend.

Then Laney goes missing, and only Cassie can get her back. But the creatures of the trees aren’t simply going to hand Laney over to Cassie without getting something in return.

 

Here’s more about the author … 

erin-fitch

E.M. Fitch is an author who loves scary stories, chocolate, and tall trees. When not dreaming up new ways to torture characters, she is usually corralling her four children or thinking of ways to tire them out so she can get an hour of peace at night. She lives in Connecticut, surrounded by chaos, which she manages (somewhat successfully) with her husband, Marc.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Giveaway!

1 winner will receive a $25 Fandango Gift Card, US Only.

Rafflecopter:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/ZTIzODliYTI4ZTEzMGVjODBhNzA2MmFmMTU3YWM3OjU1MQ==/?

Excerpt:

Cassie’s boots crunched on the gravel, the grating noise cutting through the faint undertone of laughter and squeals that were just up ahead. Her imagination always went into overdrive during these isolated, dark moments. She knew it, and sometimes the little movements everyone saw out of the corner of their eyes took on a life of their own. So she ignored it, not wanting to give life to the fear.

Laney was different. She’d run into the shadows and flush out the monsters, which would, of course, invariably turn out to be a rabbit, or bird, or the errant flash of light cast from someone’s wristwatch. It was always explainable. Even knowing that, Cassie wasn’t one to tempt fate. She preferred to let sleeping monsters lie.

“Have a light?”

Cassie jumped, not really expecting a voice from the dark. From between two cars, a shadow solidified. A boy stepped forward, his jeans smeared with grease and his dark hood up over his head and hanging down past his brow. She could just make out the sandy hair that hovered over the piercing, blue eyes. He stared at her as he stepped closer, his gaze sharp in the darkness.

Or was it a man? Now that he drew nearer, the lines of boyhood seemed to melt. His face was older, drawn. There were creases in the folds of his skin that she hadn’t noticed at first. Somehow, it seemed like he was wearing a cheap Halloween mask, something rubber made to emulate human skin, and suddenly she was terrified, a feeling of danger rising up from her core.

“No, sorry,” she stammered, stepping back.

He stepped with her.

She jumped again when a car horn blared and turned to see her father still parked there, his outline peering at her through the dark. A chuckle echoed from the shadows, and Cassie shivered, even in the unseasonable warmth.

“Got to go, sorry,” she said. The man stared, his head tilting slightly as he regarded her. He didn’t speak, and yet Cassie got the strange impression he was trying to communicate with her anyway.

Wings black

Creepy right? The sort of creepy that’s right up my YA thriller/horror alley. I can’t wait to start reading this one, ya’ll.

Hope you enjoy and thanks so much for stopping by! 

 

Fotolia_18178337_XS

By the way … if you want to follow more of the tour, all the dates are listed below!

Week One:

2/27/2017- Lisa’s Loves(Books of Course)– Interview

2/27/2017- Never Too Many To Read– Review

2/27/2017- Julie Reece– Excerpt

 

2/28/2017- Tales of the Ravenous Reader– Guest Post

2/28/2017- Book Review Becca– Review

 

3/1/2017- Two Chicks on Books– Interview

3/1/2017- Omg Books and More Books– Review

 

3/2/2017- Always & Forever Fangirling– Excerpt

3/2/2017- Bookaholic Banter– Review

 

3/3/2017- Rockin’ Book Reviews– Guest Post

3/3/2017- Quantum– Review

 

Week Two:

3/6/2017- LILbooKlovers– Interview

3/6/2017- Don’t Judge, Read– Review

 

3/7/2017- The Book Adventures of Annelise Lestrange– Excerpt

3/7/2017- Book Lovers Life– Review

 

3/8/2017- Hidden Worlds Books– Guest Post

3/8/2017- Book-Keeping– Review

 

3/9/2017- Bibliobibuli YA– Interview

3/9/2017- StephanieCassidyBlog– Review

 

3/10/2017- So Few Books– Interview

3/10/2017- I am not a bookworm!– Review

 

 

 


Teen writer? Can’t wait to meet you at Teen Author Boot Camp. Early-bird pricing ends 1/31 #yalit #YAwriters

TABC_Banner-2

Teen Author Boot Camp is a day-long teen writers conference held every spring at the Utah Valley Convention Center in Provo, Utah.

Nearly a thousand aspiring teen writers come together with bestselling authors to amp up their skills.

The next conference will be held on March 25, 2017.

Registration includes lunch, an afternoon snack, a TABC drawstring backpack, a TABC t-shirt, and a conference program. Teens are also encouraged to enter the First Chapter Contest where their work is judged by industry professionals for the chance to win a commemorative plaque as well as a cash prize.

 

Note: Early-bird pricing ends January 31st.
This is the last day to save big on registration for Teen Author Boot Camp.

Prices jump $20 on February 1st at 12:00 am.

REGISTER NOW!

View our most up-to-date conference schedule: 

http://teenauthorbootcamp.com/1385-2/

Learn more about the amazing authors coming as Drill Sergeants to this year’s conference:

http://teenauthorbootcamp.com/drillsergeants/
And don’t forget to enter the First Chapter Contest! Deadline for submissions is February 25th. (You must be registered to enter.)

http://teenauthorbootcamp.com/contest/?mc_cid=cb73f60ab9&mc_eid=c37ad0c95c

Hey teachers: 

http://teenauthorbootcamp.com/teachers/

FAQ

http://teenauthorbootcamp.com/frequently-asked-questions/

 

Hope to see you there!

 


Cyber Monday and Fiery YA Romance for a dollar. What could be better? @SwoonRomance #onesummerwithautumn #yalit

Woot!

Lookie what you can get for just one dollar!!!!

 

one-summer-with-autumn1

Blurb:

Seventeen-year-old Autumn Teslow arrives at her father’s job fair knowing she’ll never measure up to the perfect image of daddy’s little girl—her twin sister.

Wearing anger management issues like a second skin won’t help Autumn win her dad’s approval for the big trip she’s been planning—or meet his condition that she successfully complete a summer internship for college.

Autumn’s cool unravels when her sister lectures against disappointing the family again. And when a young, bearded guy steps through the crowd to settle the growing argument between siblings, Autumn lashes out, dubbing him a “Duck Dynasty wannabe.”

At Nineteen, Caden Behr is clueless as to why his man parts are threatened by the fearsome girl before him. He’d only come to find an intern for his recreational equipment company, not break up a girl-fight between two sisters.

Unfortunately, the only candidate left is the girl who just told him off. Without her, he’ll never prove to his CEO mother that he’s ready for more responsibility.

Autumn and Caden agree that if they can keep from killing one another, they can use one another to get what they want and then never have to see each other again. Which is what they want.

Until it isn’t.

Because despite her best efforts to scare him off, and his fading desire to push her into the lake, they’re beginning to enjoy the time they spend together. But pride is a hard habit to break. And if neither will admit their changing feelings, they could lose a whole lot more than one summer.

Amazon Link:

https://www.amazon.com/One-Summer-Autumn-Julie-Reece-ebook/dp/B01LWA5TLQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1480356416&sr=1-1&keywords=One+Summer+with+Autumn

 

Swoon Romance has lots of other great titles on sale today ….

 

image1

 ♥ Happy Reading!!!


Cover Reveal with Giveaway: Secrets of a Reluctant Princess by Casey Griffin @chapterxchapter @entangledteen @caseygriffinauthor

EntangledTeenComingSoon

 

Welcome to the Cover Reveal for

Secrets of a Reluctant Princess by Casey Griffin

presented by Entangled Teen!

Be on the lookout for this upcoming title,
and be sure to enter the giveaway at the end of the post!

 

Life-Action Role Playing gamers, this one’s for you!

 

Author, Casey Griffin’s thoughts on the cover:

 

Talk about punch! The colors immediately grab my eye and the font is so fun and unruly. I feel like the combination of those two things makes the cover of Secrets of a Reluctant Princess striking. With the simple yet powerful design, I think it will scream out from the bookshelf “pick me!” Or maybe that’s just because I love pink. And glitter? What’s not to love? I’m so happy with the results.

 

soarp-1600x2400

 

At Beverly Hills High, you have to be ruthless to survive…

Adrianna Bottom always wanted to be liked. But this wasn’t exactly what she had in mind. Now, she’s in the spotlight…and out of her geeky comfort zone. She’ll do whatever it takes to turn the rumor mill in her favor—even if it means keeping secrets. So far, it’s working.

Wear the right clothes. Say the right things. Be seen with the right people.

Kevin, the adorable sketch artist who shares her love of all things nerd, isn’t exactly the right people. But that doesn’t stop Adrianna from crushing on him. The only way she can spend time with him is in disguise, as Princess Andy, the masked girl he’s been LARPing with. If he found out who she really was, though, he’d hate her.

The rules have been set. The teams have their players. Game on.

add to goodreads

Secrets of a Reluctant Princess
by Casey Griffin
Publication Date: March 7, 2016
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Genre: Contemporary, YA

Amazon.com | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | Amazon.UK | Amazon.ca | Indies

 

About-the-Author2

casey-griffin

 

Casey Griffin can often be found at comic conventions on her days off from her day job, driving 400 ton dump trucks in Northern Alberta, Canada. As a jack of all trades with a resume boasting registered nurse, English teacher, and photographer, books are her true passion. Casey is a 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel finalist, and is currently busy writing every moment she can.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

 

giveaway2

Complete the Rafflecopter below for an chance to win!

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

 

Chapter-by-Chapter-blog-tour-button

 


Cover Reveal and Giveaway: The Breakup Support Group by Cheyanne Young @chapterxchapter @NormalChey @SwoonRomance

SR-Cover-Reveal-BannerNEW

 

Hello Readers! Welcome to the Cover Reveal for

The Breakup Support Group by Cheyanne Young

presented by Swoon Romance!

Be on the lookout for this upcoming title!

Make sure you enter the giveaway found at the end of the post.

 

tbusg-ebook

 

After four years of first love bliss, Isla Rush just got dumped.

Any hope she has of winning her ex-boyfriend back is shattered when the town rezones her neighborhood, forcing her to spend senior year at a wealthy high school in the next town over.

With a broken heart consuming her soul, Isla can’t focus on anything, except maybe Emory Underwood—a ridiculously hot guy who dates a new girl almost every day. She can’t help but crush on him, even though it’s wrong.

When memories of her ex make her cry in second period, the school counselor sends Isla to a club that meets during lunch. The Break-Up Support Group is a collection of broken-hearted misfits who are all helping each other heal.

Just when Isla’s heart is finally on the mend, Emory shows up, forced to atone for all the broken hearts he’s caused over the years. While hiding her massive crush, she helps him understand the seriousness of breaking a heart.

In turn, Emory offers to help Isla get back on the dating scene by agreeing to be her fake date for the homecoming dance. Isla gladly accepts the ruse, because if anyone can make her into a desirable girlfriend, Emory can! There’s just one small problem.

Isla’s little crush on Emory might be exactly full blown. And a homecoming fake date with him could push her over the edge to possibly uttering the “L Word!”

Isla can’t afford another heartbreak so soon after the last one. She will have to resist his charms, refuse to look into those dreamy eyes, and above all else, not make the mistake of letting him kiss her.

If only she hadn’t let her guard down at the end of the night, under the light of her porch in a toe-curling kiss moment of weakness. And now, after months of Break-Up Support Group therapy, and with a heart fully on the mend, Isla has just handed it over to a guy who knows full well just how to break it.

add to goodreadsThe Breakup Support Group by Cheyanne Young
Publication Date: November 22, 2016
Publisher: Swoon Romance

Available for Pre-order:
AMAZON

 

About-the-Author2

cheyanne-young

 

Cheyanne Young is a native Texan with a fear of cold weather and a coffee addiction that probably needs an intervention. She loves books, sarcasm, and collecting nail polish. After nearly a decade of working in engineering, Cheyanne now writes books for young adults and is the author of the City of Legends Series with Alloy Entertainment and the forthcoming Breakup Support Group with Swoon Romance. She doesn’t miss a cubicle one bit.

Cheyanne lives near the beach with her daughter and husband, one spoiled rotten puppy, and a cat that is most likely plotting to take over the world.

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

 

giveaway2

Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Chapter-by-Chapter-blog-tour-button