Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Thursday, June 23, 2011

It's a Bird! It's a Plane! It's a Book Trailer!

Hi, Guys!

I have two things I need to tell you.


This will be my LAST POST - HERE. I will be moving to my NEW HOME and you're invited to the housewarming party! Do you have a pen so I can give you my new address? No? Not to worry. I've left a trail of bread crumbs (or maybe in this case, egg shells) to show you the way.


To find me, you will need to take a slight detour to ODE TO EGGS.

This is the LINK. You will find the VIDEO TEASER to the book there as well as the next link that will take you to the FULL BOOK TRAILER and my new home.

Have fun and see you there!!!


Monday, June 20, 2011

Game of Thrones and Other Blogging Lessons

I confess. I was a bad blogger last week. I wish I could say that I had a great excuse for missing the Friday Field Trip, but the truth of the matter is…I was weak. I cheated on the blog with movies. A lot of movies. And tv shows. Between Ryan Reynolds in twinkly green spandex and a marathon session of Game of Thrones, I really didn’t stand much of a chance. I checked Amazon to buy more hours in a day but they were all out. This week, however, is a new week. I’ve dug myself out of my tub of popcorn and have learned my lesson. In fact, I’ve learned five.

Top Five Blogging Lessons I’ve Learned (While Playing Hooky)

1.) “Mutant and proud” – Amy, X-Men First Class
Know what your mutant power is and own it, baby. Don’t be afraid to be different.  Speak your mind and use your own unique voice. Black and yellow jumpsuits are optional.

2.) “Production value!”  - Charles, Super Eight  
Charles knew that production value was going to spell the difference for his little Super 8 Zombie movie at the film competition. The same principle holds true for blogs. Words are great, but posting them on a spruced up page is even better. It’s no different from tidying up the living room when you have visitors. Offer cupcakes and I’ll love you forever.

3.) “Individually, we are vulnerable. Together, we are unstoppable!” – Sinestro, Green Lantern
Blogging is about connecting with people and being in a community. Half of what makes a blog a joy to read is the interaction that takes place. Comments, blog hops, guest posts – they keep the virtual cobwebs away.

4.) “This is a real tattoo!” – Stu, The Hangover II
“Drunk” posting is never a good idea. While it’s great to speak your mind, it’s also worthwhile to take time to think about your posts /comments and make sure that you aren’t immortalizing something you’ll regret the second after you click “publish.” You don’t lose anything by taking time to step back and think about what you want to say and how you want to say it.

5.)  “Winter is coming.” – Ned Stark, Game of Thrones
Um, okay…I don’t really have a lesson for this quote, but hey, isn’t it Just.So.Cool? If you think of one, let me know! :D

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Other First Lines

“All children, except one, grow up.”
Peter Pan, J.M. Barrie
“It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.”
1984, George Orwell
"It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife."
Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen

Brilliant. Grabbing. Memorable. These opening lines have it all. I could name a few more of my favorites, but I won’t. This post isn’t about those first lines. It’s about the other ones – the first lines we read in the book, though the last the author writes. I’m talking about dedications.  
I am fascinated by dedications. It is the last glimpse I have of the author before I go on the journey he or she has set before me and make it my own.  They range from the poignant to the hilarious, but they share one thing in common: they are the truth beneath the author’s wings that allowed imagination to take flight.
I’ve put together a small collection of dedications that I thought you might enjoy:

“To Vic Lovell for telling me that dragons don't exist, and then leading me to their lair.”
Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

“My Dear Lucy,
I wrote this story for you, but when I began it I had not realized that girls grow quicker than books. As a result you are already too old for fairy tales, and by the time it is printed and bound you will be older still. But some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again. You can then take it down from some upper shelf, dust it, and tell me what you think of it. I shall probably be too deaf to hear, and too old to understand, a word you say, but I shall still be your affectionate Godfather, C. S. Lewis”
C.S. Lewis, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe

“The dedication of this book is split seven ways: to Neil, to Jessica, to David, to Kenzie, to Di, to Anne, and to you, if you have stuck with Harry until the very end.
J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows

Here are dedications from a series:
Book 1: City of Golden Shadow
“This Book is dedicated to my father Joseph Hill Evans with love.
Actually Dad doesn’t read fiction, so if someone doesn’t tell him about this, he’ll never know.”
Book 2: River of Blue Fire
“This Book is dedicated to my father Joseph Hill Evans with love.
As I said before, Dad doesn’t read fiction. He still hasn’t noticed that this thing is dedicated to him. This is Volume Two – let’s see how many more until he catches on.”
Book 3: Mountain of Black Glass
“This is still dedicated to you-know-who, even if he doesn’t.
Maybe we can keep this a secret all the way to the final volume.”
Book 4: Sea of Silver Light
“My father still hasn’t actually cracked any of the books – so, no, he still hasn’t noticed. I think I’m just going to have to tell him. Maybe I should break it to him gently.
‘Everyone here who hasn’t had a book dedicated to them, take three steps forward. Whoops, Dad, hang on there for a second...' “
Tad Williams, Otherland series

“You know how it is. You pick up a book, flip to the dedication, and find that, once again, the author has dedicated a book to someone else and not to you.
Not This Time.
Because we haven't yet met/have only a glancing acquaintance/are just crazy about each other/haven't seen each other in much too long/are in some way related/will never meet, but will, I trust, despite that, always think fondly of each other...
This one's for you.
With you know what, and you probably know why. “
Neil Gaiman, Anansi Boys

I’ve saved my all time favorite for last…
For Colin Firth--You're a really great guy, but I'm married, so I think we should just be friends.
Shannon Hale, Austenland
Do you have any favorite dedications in mind? Or better yet, what dedication would you write? 

Friday, June 10, 2011

I'm Back!!!

Clipart from Clipartheaven.com.

What did I miss? What did I miss? Well, of course I missed YOU, silly! :-)

The quest was a success. I found my three wizards. Are you ready to meet them?

Wizard 1

I found the first wizard over here.

Allow me to introduce you to my incredible agent, Stephanie Kip Rostan. Don't let the lack of a wand fool you. It was her magic that rescued me from the slush pile. The person standing next to her is no less a wizard. There would be no “Levine” in the Levine Greenberg Literary Agency without the awesome Jim Levine.

I also had a chance to meet the other wonderful members of the agency...
....including Jim’s puppet alter-ego.

Wizard 2

For the record, walking through the Random House lobby, surrounded by their first edition archive was one of the most surreal moments of my LIFE. (Up until the point the security guard told us we weren't supposed to take pictures there. Oops.)

Finally “meeting” my editor, Kate Kennedy after TWO years of exchanging emails with her was another such moment. If you don’t believe in magic, all you have to do is look at the first draft of Before Ever After and compare it to the final book to know what a wizard this woman is.
Wondering what we're all happy about? 

I know. Book jackets are great, but what does the REAL book look like? Your wish is my command...

What? Too small? Oh. Okay. No worries. I can fix that. Read on while I get my wand…

Wizard 3

What magical trip would be complete without a pilgrimage to Hogwarts?

Or Hogsmeade?

And while I was there, I got you some presents...

Chocolate Frogs, anyone?
Or do you prefer Butter Beer?
Oh, I know! Wands for everyone!
Well, that's all for now...Huh? What? Oh, right! I almost forgot. (Too much Butter Beer. Sorry.) I was supposed to get my wand and show you the hardcover mock-up of Before Ever After.

Hmmm. Okay...now how do you use this thing? I suggest you stand back...
Let me try changing this paperback ARC into...

...a hardcover copy!

Phew! For a second there I thought I was going to blow up this  blog. So do you think Professor Dumbledore will let me keep my robe?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

I'm Off to See THREE Wizards!

Hey, gang! I'll be travelling for about a month, so I may not be able to join the fun in the blogosphere while I'm out. It's always a tough call choosing between paying for Hotel Wi-Fi and eating.

I'll try to drop you guys some postcards during my quest to meet three amazing "wizards." Who are they? I wouldn't be me if I told you who they were, right? Don't worry. I'll leave you some clues. I'm  not that evil. Well, okay. Maybe just a little ;-)

photo credit

Wizard Two - "So much of life life, it seems to me, is determined by pure randomness." - Sydney Poitier

Does this house look familiar?

Wizard Three - I'm all out of Floo Powder, so I might just have to catch a train to see him.

photo credit

See you soon!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Friday Field Trip: Scavenger Hunt Down Under

Aqua Duck - Gold Coast
Hey, campers! Glad you’re here for the second part our Adventure Down Under Field. One thing I love about traveling is how it can make the ordinary seem new again when viewed in a different environment or context. It’s the same thing I appreciate about my favorite authors. They can make the mundane feel special, the big appear small and keep the spectacular hidden in plain sight. They are experts at the art of illusion and blindsiding.

On today’s field trip, we’re going on an Australian scavenger hunt for little seeds of storytelling inspiration that you might like to plant in your organic idea garden. You'll be harvesting fresh plot twists before you know it.  

Are you ready? Stay sharp and don’t forget to look in the corners. Ready…get set…go!

Perspectivus Zoomous Inus
When fully grown, this tree bears the "A-ha!" fruit which allows main characters to see things from a different angle.

An earless pig or is it a...

And how about this?
Is it a marshmallow with Kim Kardashian's eyelashes or is it....

Dinosaurus Restroomus 
The leaves of this plant must be steeped in boiling water to make tea. Readers must drink this tea from floral cups until they feel so calm that they...

...can hear the waves,
....feel the breeze in their hair,
...and feel the warmth of the sun on their skin.

And then, at the peak of bliss, at the point where they think that they cannot possibly feel more relaxed....

...send a dinosaur to get them in the ladies room.
*Burp* Who's next?

Evilus Koala-us 
Choose the cutest, cuddliest and sweetest characters. Let them chew a mouthful of this herb to turn them from this... 

....into this. 

Dreamus Sequencus 

Grind up the roots of this plant and slip into a main character's drink to induce a deep sleep. 

*Cue psychedelic dream sequence*

Then wake them up with an attack of mutant insects.

I hope you enjoyed our little scavenger hunt, campers! Don't forget to take care of your plants and water them everyday.