Friday, July 27, 2012

Being Spontaneous

One of the things that's really cool about reading and writing is you get to experience things you normally wouldn't. You do things you normally wouldn't. Honestly, I'm a rather boring person. LOL. I don't do many spontaneous things, even small things. It's something I'd like to work on doing more of.

In my latest book, FREEING CARTER, Kira is this wild, fun, spontanteous girl. I LOVED writing her for that. She wasn't wild in a bad way, but she liked to do silly, fun things and she helped Carter bring those things out in himself.

Whether it was something huge or something little, Kira changed him and made Carter look at things differently. It was really cool to experience with them.

Here's a snippet from FREEING CARTER.

"Let's do something crazy!" She says in reply, turning in her seat to face me.

"Huh?" I totally just missed something.

"You need to relax. I can see it. You're too tense. Let's do something fun! Let's be wild!"

This is what I love about spending time with this girl. She never says or does what I expect. It's so different being with her than anyone else, because even though I have no clue what she means by 'something wild,' I want to do it. With her. Actually, I'm pretty sure I need to.

"Okay. Like what?"

"I don't know. Let me think." She looks around, out the windows like something is going to jump right out at her. I have no doubt it will. Any time I can spare having my eyes off the road, they're on her. Taking in her hair. Seeing her in a jersey with my name. Wishing I could touch her the way the shirt does.

"Oh! Right there!" She points off to the side of the road. "Pull over."

I look, but all I see is a small senior apartment complex. "Where?"

"Coach!" She grabs the wheel like she's going to pull off the road for me. I slow down more, batting her hands away and pulling in.

"Okay, okay. I'm going. Don't make us wreck."

The place is totally dark, I'm assuming because old people live here, and they go to bed early, right? There are a couple big, brown buildings that I'm assuming are packed with...well, senior citizens. "I give up. Why are we here?"

"Do you have a pencil or a pen in here? Oh, and what do you have in your bag for clothes?" Kira opens my glove-box and pulls out a pen. I can't help but stare while she pulls her hair up. Does some crazy, twisty, turny, girl thing and suddenly her hair is held up in a ponytail with a pen. I'm man enough to admit I want to ask how she did it, but I don't.

"Clothes? Um, I have a pair of basketball shorts and t-shirt that I use for practice. There's also shorts in the cab that I keep there just in case." She looks at me funny and I shrug. "Never know when I might want to stop somewhere and play ball."

She smiles widely, and for the first time, I notice a slight gap between her two front teeth. Nothing big, obviously since it took me this long to notice it, but for some reason, it's so her.

"Grab the clothes and be quiet. It's time for a little breaking and entering."

Yeah, definitely not what I expected her to say. I'm jumping out of my truck and behind her in about two seconds flat. "What? Where are we breaking and entering? Grandma's house?"

"Shh." She slips her arm through mine, hugging herself close to me as we walk. I can't believe it, but it almost makes me stumble. That little touch sends all sorts of firecrackers exploding through my body. I like touching her. I want to touch more of her. "Let's not announce to everyone we're here. Do you like hot tubs?" Kira whispers.

"Yeah, who doesn't?"

"Well, most of the time apartments have them. The gates usually close at night, but I bet we can sneak in and we'll have the whole thing to ourselves. You in?"

Hot tub. Gorgeous girl. Totally don't have to ask me twice. It's worth a B&E charge. "I'm in."

I LOVED writing that whole scene. It was so much fun.

Are you spontaneous? What's something silly and fun you've done?

Check out FREEING CARTER on Goodreads
Barnes and Noble

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Twitter Chats for Writers

When I first started getting serious about both publishing and twitter, I learned a lot about the industry and the market through twitter chats. (I will forever owe a debt to Colleen Lindsay and her #askagent sessions.) I also met some of my earliest writer friends this way.

Twitter chats these days are much more frequent, numerous, and organized. I highly recommend them for aspiring authors who want to learn more about the industry/market and meet new friends. Here are a few regular chats I know of. Let me know in the comments if you know any more:
  • #yalitchat - Every Wednesday from 9 pm to 10:15 pm EST. Focuses on Young Adult topics. Three weeks out of each month there are guided discussions. The remaining week is always an open discussion.
  • #indiechat - Every Tuesday at 9pm EST. Focuses on self-published topics. Hosted by The Indelibiles.
  • #nalitchat - Every Thursday at 9pm EST. Starts this week! Will focus on New Adult topics.
  • #kidlitchat - Every Tuesday at 9pm EST. For YA and MG writers.
  • #mglitchat - Every Thursday at 9pm EST.
  • #scifichat - I think this is every Friday at 2pm EST.


The best way to follow these chats is to log in to with your Twitter account and enter in the hashtag you want to follow. The website will show only tweets including that hashtag, whether or not you follow the tweeter. The stream auto updates, but you can pause it and change the refresh rate. Additionally, every tweet you write from that window will automatically have the hashtag at the end so you don't have to worry about remembering it. Additionally, you can choose to feature a person (such as the moderator or featured guest) and block people (like spammers or trolls).

Tweetchat is not the only way to follow a chat. You can also use your desktop/mobile twitter client (like Tweetdeck or Hootsuite) or go old school and simply use

I hope to see some of you around #yalitchat and #nalitchat this week! (Say hi if you see me on there!) Let me know if you have any questions about writerly Twitter chats.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sylvie Frank Interview and Contest Announcement

I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Sylvie Frank, Associate Editor at Holiday House, at the SCBWI FL summer workshop and she's agreed to judge a Middle Grade pitch contest here at YAtopia on August 3rd. Sylvie doesn't blog or tweet, so this is a rare opportunity to interact with her! I can assure you that she is definitely someone you're going to love working with and I'm totally jealous of all of her authors!

Check the bottom of this post for details about the contest.

Sylvie's Bio:

Sylvie Frank is the associate editor at Holiday House, where she has worked for three years. She has edited books for all ages and worked with esteemed authors and illustrators, including Russell Freedman, Marion Dane Bauer, and Emily Arnold McCully. Sylvie is always looking for original voices, relatable characters, and strong plots. As a child, her favorite books were Roald Dahl’s Matilda and William Steig’s Brave Irene.

What are you looking to acquire?

I am looking for middle-grade novels with strong, relatable protagonists; original premises; and plenty of heart. I love a book that makes me laugh and makes me cry. Most often I am drawn to contemporary, realistic fiction. I am not generally interested in high fantasy or sci fi.

What are some of your favorite books, both those you've worked on and those you haven't?

Gary Schmidt’s Okay for Now is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. As for books I’ve edited, I love Brianna on the Brink by Nicole McInnes (YA). It’s about Brianna, a popular cheerleader whose one-night-stand changes her life forever and makes her re-evaluate her priorities. Look for it in Spring 2013!

Can you tell us about any books you've worked on that are recently out or coming out soon?

In addition to Brianna on the Brink, I’m also excited about these books:

Fame, Fortune, and the Bran Muffins of Doom by Marty Kelley is a hilarious illustrated chapter book about a geeky fourth grader named Simon who is determined to win the school talent show by forming a boy band. Unfortunately, he has no talent, and his elderly neighbor is bent on taking down his band. It’s coming out in Fall 2012.

Whistle in the Dark by Susan Long Hill is a beautifully written novel about Clem, a boy who lives in a small Midwestern town in the 1920s. His twelfth birthday marks the day he must enter the mines for the first time, becoming part of his family’s long line of miners. This coming-of-age novel is about Clem reconciling his hatred of the mine with family responsibility. Look for it in Fall 2013.

Contest Details

The contest page will go live at midnight on August 3rd and remain open until 11:59 that night (as always, all times are EST). Post your pitches as comments on that post, not this one! Only the first 30 pitches will be accepted. We will try to close comments as soon as that happens, but there might be a delay. One entry per person.

This contest is for Middle Grade ages only! Your manuscript must be complete, polished, and ready for an editor to read!

Include the following in your pitch:
  • Title
  • Your name
  • Your email
  • Word count
  • Genre
  • 35-word pitch. (don't go over or you risk the chance of being disqualified!)
Sylvie will choose at least one winner to submit his/her full manuscript to her for consideration.

Please let us know if you have any questions in the comments of this post!

Note: If you have an agent, you can still participate, but please communicate with him/her before pitching.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Character's vs author's world view

Recently I had the pleasure of listening to Paul Griffin’s keynote speech at the Whitsunday Voices Youth Literature Festival. He read an excerpt from his book STAY WITH ME that was deep and dark. I won’t spoil it just in case any of you get the chance to hear him speak about it, but what was obvious when he spoke about the reading afterwards was that he didn’t condone his character’s actions at all.

 He reads this excerpt at schools and to teenagers at risk, and there are various reactions to his words. This guides how he structures his conversation with the teens as some of them recognise the MCs actions were wrong, while other relate strongly to the character. 

It made me think about author motivation and reader interpretation of stories. Authors are storytellers and their characters are instruments in the process.

In some instances it can be quite clear that the character’s traits and views are not a reflection of author’s views. Other time it’s more subtle and it’s not so clear.  

If a character displays prejudice (whether it be sexism or racism or any other ism), this may be simply part of the storytelling process. Characters need to be flawed. Characters need to be reflective of the variety of views in society and it’s okay for a main character to have a view that’s politically incorrect or deemed as ‘wrong’ in society.  

But at the same time, authors should look to avoid stereotyping, especially with antagonists, and delve further into characters to give them depth.

To finish up I want to say if ever you get the chance to listen to Paul Griffin speak, take that opportunity as he is amazing to listen to.

Disclaimer: This post is not in response to any online drama, but quite simply my thoughts from listening to Paul at the dinner.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Teentopia: Kingsley & Milo

Teentopia is a monthly feature here on YAtopia where we ask real teens questions about what they like to read and how they choose the books they read. For more information and more Teentopia posts, click here.

This week, we're interviewing two students, Kingsley and Milo both between the age of 12-15.

Kingsley in blue.

Milo in red.

What are some of your favorite recently-read books?

In Cold Blood


Wolf Brother

How do you find out about and choose books that aren't assigned in school?

Go on book websites and read book reviews to see if it is good.

My parents give it to me if they said it's good.

On a related note, do you read reviews before you decide to read a book? Where?

Yes, I read reviews on book websites.


Do you read author's blogs/facebooks/twitters? If yes: before you read their book or after - and what kind of content do you like to see?



What kind of covers draw your attention?

Adventure and mystery.


Scary, horror ones.

Do you feel like YA books accurately represent teen culture? How so?

No, because they use a lot of stereotypes such as in Face, they show that youths steal, burn things and are uncontrollable. 


Is there anything (themes, character types, genres, time periods, etc) you'd like to see more of in YA books?



Anything you want to see less of?



How do you read books? (paper, e-reader, phone, audio, etc)

Books, phone (blackberry).

Paper books.

What do you think about all the YA books that have recently been made into movies?

They are good.

They are all quite similar.

What book have you read that you think deserves more attention?


Wolf Brother.

What novel are you most looking forward to in 2012?

Percy Jackson.

I'm not sure.

Do you use any book-specific sites to keep track of what you've read?


What's the most important element to you: characters, plot, writing style?



Have you ever seen a book trailer? If so, did it make you want to read the book? What do you think about them?



Thank you both for answering these questions! 

Monday, July 16, 2012



We've reached 1000 followers!

Do you know how exciting this is? I remember when YAtopia was just a discussion. Was just a thought one person had and decided to make a reality. And now we have 1000 followers.

On behalf of everyone who blogs with YAtopia, I'd like to thank each and every follower we have for sticking with us over the last year and a half and participating in our events, and commenting on our posts. It means a lot to us.

Thank you.

Also, stay tuned for more information coming soon about exactly how thankful we are *wink wink*

Friday, July 13, 2012

Can I have your attention please?

I am thrilled to announce that YAtopian Nyrae Dawn and co-writer (and long-term citizen of YAtopia) Jolene Perry have sold their book Misplaced to Entangled Publishing!!

Check out Nyrae's post for full details.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

New Adult Pitch Contest Winners

First, some huge "thank you"s are in order.

The biggest thanks goes to our judges, Heather Howland and Sara Megibow, for not only agreeing to judge the contest but getting their choices back to me within twelve hours! They are amazing and their authors are some of the most fortunate people on the planet!

Secondly, thanks so much to the ladies at NA Alley for hosting a pre-pitch critique session and helping to spread the word about the contest. If you are interested in NA, you should definitley go follow them.

Last, but certainly not least: many, many thanks to everyone who entered. I know it's not easy to put yourself out there for "judgment" like this, especially in a category that a lot of people are telling you not to bother writing. I wish those of you submitting pages to Heather and Sara the very best of luck. (Let us know how it turns out!) And if you weren't picked this time around? Keep on keeping on! Please don't see this as a failure, but simply another step on your path. A successful writer is nothing if not a persistent writer.

If you feel like a full query might do your story more justice than a 35-word pitch, you are free to query Sara and Heather via the standard submissions process (click on their names right there for submission guidelines).

Now for the moment you've all been waiting for! (or scrolling past my thank yous for) :-) I will email all of the requested authors with details on how to submit your manuscript today.

Heather's Winners Are:
  • Helen Kiaya Pemberton - Pigeons, Love, Rock & Roll
  • Mason T. Matchak - Skyborne
  • Diana Gallagher - MEXICO
  • A. K. Fotinos-Hoyer - DAUGHTER OF THE MOON
  • Jaycee DeLorenzo - The Truths about Dating and Mating
  • Angi Black - Love in Real Life
  • Wendy Clark - Love and Warcraft
  • Danielle Jensen - Troll
  • Christina Ferko - VERITAS
Sara's Winners Are:
  • A. K. Fotinos-Hoyer - DAUGHTER OF THE MOON
  • Derek J. Chivers - STEALING THE SUN
  • Diana Gallagher - MEXICO
  • Erika Enigk Grotto - Deadline Day
  • Jaycee DeLorenzo - The Truths about Dating and Mating
  • Johanna Garth - Orchard Girl
  • Kelly Allan - Fade Into You
  • Kristina Perez - WRAITH
  • Lauren Harris - THE MARK OF FLIGHT
  • Lisa Medaglia (pseudonym Eden Dalia) - CANDYFLIP
  • Monica S. - On the Outside
  • Rachel Lynn Solomon  - The Almost Adults
  • Syl DeLeon - Coffee, Tea, or Me?
  • Wendy Clark - Love and Warcraft
As you can see, the quality of the pitches were so excellent and our judges requested A LOT of material! Thanks for making us look good. ;-) If you'd like to see the pitches, you can check them out on the original pitch post.

Good luck to everyone submitting! Let me know if you have any questions in the comments!

Lastly, If you write MG or know someone who does, keep an eye out here for an announcement in about two weeks about a really rare pitch opportunity.

UPDATE: Silly me! I forgot to draw the winner of the query critique. Thanks to everyone who helped spread the word! There were so many RTs yesterday I couldn't keep track of them all!! The winner of the query critique is...

Leslie Hauser

Congrats Leslie! I'll email you :-)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

New Adult Pitch Contest

If you don't know what this is all about, please go read the announcement here! There is much more information (especially about Sara, Heather, and the query critique giveaway) on that page!

Your manuscript must be complete, polished, and fall into the New Adult category (any genre) to participate in this pitch contest. Submissions will be open until 23:59 on July 10th, 2012 OR if 100 pitches are received, whichever comes first.

TO ENTER: Enter the following information in a single comment on this post. If you mess up, delete your comment and enter it again.

  • Your name
  • Your email address
  • Title
  • Genre
  • Word-count
  • 35 word pitch (This is a hard and fast rule. Pitches with 36 or more words will be immediately disqualified)
  • If you spread the word about the contest, include a link (details below)
That is it. There are no other qualifications to enter - but you may want to follow our blog and twitter to stay updated on future contests!

WINNERS of the pitch contest will be chosen by Heather Howland of Entangled Publishing and literary agent Sara Megibow. The prizes are an undetermined number of full (maybe partial) requests.

Random Rules/FAQs:
  • If you already have an agent, you can still participate, but you should discuss it with your agent before hand and be sure to indicate your agented status so Sara will know not to request from you.
  • One entry/pitch per person.
  • Sarah Nicolas (YAtopian and intern at Entangled Publishing) is giving away a query critique to one random person who has helped spread the word about this contest. Check the contest announcement for full details.
PLEASE DO NOT ASK QUESTIONS ON THIS POST. Or post anything but a pitch. (To make it as easy as possible for our lovely judges, who have already agreed to read up to 100 pitches, which is more than we should ask from any human.) If you have questions, tweet @sarah_nicolas or email her.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Beta Readers: Who, When, Where, and Why?

I notice a trend of writers who don't have beta readers, but plan on getting published someday. Many of them fall into one of two categories: 1.) They don't feel they need a beta, because their writing is strong enough on its own. Or 2.) They have absolutely no idea where to go and how to find a legitimate, helpful, honest reader, or they're too shy to reach out and ask for one.

If you're in the first category, my suggestion to you is to realize everyone needs a good beta. Unless you already have an editor at a publishing house who is willing to look at projects you do right off the bat, you better make sure that story of yours is polished to a shine. To do this, we need help.

If you're in the second category...this blog post is for you.

What Makes a Good Beta
- Above all, honesty. You do not want a beta who has nothing but positive things to say. Find someone who has a nice mix of pointing out what they loved, and what didn't work for them.

- Figure out what kind of beta-work you're wanting. Do you need someone to look for plot holes, spelling, grammar, voice, character development, all of the above? Do you want overall notes? Or do you want someone who will give you line-by-line notes, right in the document itself?

- Keep in mind, many betas might ask you to return the favor.

Where to Go to Find a Beta or Become a Beta
- Keep an eye out on blogs who sometimes feature critique partner match-ups. Bloggers (sometimes agents, even!) will host a small event where they match you up with someone who seems to be about your level, and writes a genre you would enjoy reading.

- Absolute Write, or similar writing forums. AW has a sub-forum specifically geared toward beta readers.

Etiquette on Writing Forums
Unfortunately, it isn't as easy as signing up and posting to the beta reader forum and waiting for magic to happen. Display some courtesy to your fellow writers.

- Watch the share your work forums. Comment. Learn. Put yourself out there and offer advice. This not only lets others see you're serious about the time you're investing, but that you're willing to give back. In fact, AW now requires a x-number of posts on the site before you can post your own work in SYW to avoid new members coming in and asking for help, then taking off.

- Look through the beta forum. If you find someone who fits what you're looking for, email them, ask a bit about what kind of beta reading they want, if they're willing to beta in return, etc. Figure out if you think they'd be a good match. If you give it a go and you aren't compatible, it's not the end of the world. You'll find someone who is.

- Make your own post. In it, include your genre, word count, and your blurb. Gain someone's attention with it. Offer to read in return, if you want.

Having a solid critique partner or two is an invaluable part of being a writer these days. Agents and editors want our work already polished when they get it so they have to do as little work as necessary, and to show we're really serious about our craft.

What are your beta stories? How did you meet your critique partners? Or, if you don't have one, why not? 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Twitter Twaddle

Recently, there has been a glut of 'How To' posts on increasing your twitter followers. I've been reading these with great interest. Not that I'm actively trying to increase my Twitter followers, but I'm always curious about how people who have sent only a couple of hundred tweets containing information of little value have managed to amass hundreds of thousands of followers.

These blog posts are full of instructions on how you use loop holes in the Twitter follow rules, to follow as many people as possible in any given day, and then unfollow anyone who doesn't follow you back, while being careful to not trigger the Twitter Spammer net that gets your account blocked for following too many people. Or they coach you on ways in which you can purchase your Twitter followers. Yes...purchase!

In the comments of these blog posts you see people thank the bloggers for this valuable information and they are going off to do the exact same thing.  And now in Twitter profiles people are putting in warnings that they will unfollow you if you don't follow them. And this is where I get confused.

What is Twitter for? What do you want to get out of it?  For me, Twitter is a tool that enables me talk to readers, fans, bloggers, and industry professionals that I wouldn't necessary ever get a chance to converse with.  It's also a great tool for meeting like minded people, interesting people, people with exceptional view points that trigger controversy/conversation/deeper thought.  I follow people who I like, who challenge me to question myself and my beliefs, people who make me laugh. So why on earth would I unfollow any of these people just because they didn't follow me back? By unfollowing someone of interest just because of a lack of return follow, I'd be only denying myself potential knowledge or laughs.

I do follow a lot of people who follow me, especially those who tweet with me regularly. They're interesting, and I'm invested in what they're up to in their lives, but if they tweet in a language I don't understand, or don't tweet at all, or perhaps are the biggest Snooki fans in the the world and only post beach pictures of Snooki's bum, the chances are I won't return the follow.  It's not because I don't appreciate them following me, but I'd rather not have my twitter feed full of Snooki's butt and the like, if you know what I mean.

When it comes to writers, readers, bloggers, and anyone else in publishing world, I think the quality of your followers far outweighs quantity.  What's the point in having millions of followers if nobody reads your tweets? You're just sending your 140 characters into a dark void. I just don't understand the current obsession over who has the most followers. It means absolutely nothing. And I'm pretty sure high follower numbers does not equal better book sales.

Anyway, that's my twopence worth on what's occupying my mind on this stunningly beautiful summers day. I really should stop perusing twitter and reading all these blog posts and instead, head off to the beach or something. I strongly encourage you to do the same, but if the weather sucks where you are, or if you can't tear yourself away from your computer, I'd love to hear your thoughts on the importance of follower numbers. Or if you have have any statistics that contradict my thoughts, I'd LOVE that too.

Have a wonderful day.
All the very best and talk soon.


Friday, July 6, 2012

Agentopia: Jennifer Azantian


Jennifer Azantian assists Sandra Dijkstra and Elise Capron, and manages incoming submissions for SDLA. At the University of California, San Diego, she studied clinical and developmental child psychology, and graduated cum laude in 2010. After graduation, she spent a wonderful summer interning at the Dijkstra agency before joining full-time in the fall of 2011. Beyond university, Azantian is a published author of several short stories and brings to the agency her passion for literature born of a writer's heart. Her personal tastes run toward all flavors of the fantastic. She believes that it is against the backdrop of fantasy and science fiction that basic human truths can be best examined, magnified, and delighted in. She has just begun to acquire projects and welcomes all submissions that match her interests.

Twitter: @jenazantian


I’d love to see some YA science fiction with a kick-butt heroine. I’m also still interested in dystopians, but ones without plagues, viruses, atomic warfare, or zombies are preferred (haha, is there anything left?!). The best way to get my attention for a dystopian is to create a unique and bleak future-world where hope still blooms within the characters’ hearts. I’m also interested in fast-paced, high-concept stories that whisk me away to exotic locales. Additionally, I’m a fan of relatable characters who have interesting qualities that remain consistent, even as they grow and change throughout the story.

How To Query

Please send a query letter, a 1-page synopsis, a brief bio (including a description of your publishing history), and the first 10-15 pages of your manuscript to jen at dijkstraagency dot com. Please send all items in the body of the email, not as an attachment.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Change, Change, Change. Ugh.

First of all, to all those who celebrate it, happy fourth of July! Hope you all enjoy your cook-outs, fireworks, and time spent with family and friends. :-)

Now onto the post...

Change is something I think many of us have a hard time accepting. Yet, sometimes, it's the only thing people can really count on because of how constant it is. Everything and everyone ultimately changes, hopefully for the better. As a writer, I've developed certain habits and processes, but as time floats on, I'm finding my writing process changing. Every day, every word, every project it's changing. And I'm not sure how to feel about it.

I used to be a pantser. Outlines? Psht. I didn't need those. Writing on the fly was fun and exciting. I loved being surprised by the twists and turns my stories would take, and never had any interest in outlining. Well, it's safe to say that I am now an outliner. To an extent, at least. Outlining has proved to be extremely helpful in anticipating road blocks and I'm starting to wonder why I never outlined before.

I'm also finding that I have a harder time writing in my room, which is where I've always done my work because it's my space, you know? I'm becoming more and more distracted by the books I want to read, my piano, my TV...everything. So I might start going places to write, but this might be hard since I still write best at night. I don't think I should be wandering around in the middle of the night looking for a place to write, haha.

Most of all, though, I'm just finding it hard to focus in general. It's as if writing is no longer a joy. I'm in one of my infamous ruts, only this time it feels different. I'm putting way too much pressure on myself and I struggle to open Word and work on my new project. Where did the passion and joy go? If you find it, tell it to come back.

Have any of you experienced changes in your process and outlook?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

New Adult Pitch Critiques

If you're planning on participating in the New Adult Pitch contest next week (more info here), you should head over to NA Alley today where you can get your pitch critiqued by the members of YAtopia, the girls of NA Alley and special guest Lynn Rush!

Juliana Haygert (of NA Alley) also posted yesterday with a little help on putting your 35 word pitch together.

Lynn is offering up some FANTASTIC advice so don't miss this opportunity to make your pitch shine!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Summer Writing

Happy summer everyone!

I have to admit that as much as I love summer, it's my most stressful time of year. "Time" being the key word. I lose all of my time to write in the summer. The days are packed with keeping the kids busy. As a mom, it's exhilarating to make all these special memories. As a homemaker it's exhausting to see the extra amount of housework summer brings. As a writer...forget about it. It's nearly impossible to make time. Throughout the year, nights are when I get most of my writing done, but by the time my sun-soaked kiddos crash, I'm ready to pass out with them!

That is...except for the one week of the summer when we go to the beach. We showed up at the beach house today, and I already sense stirrings inside that warm, soft part of my mind where ideas form and grow. It's a feeling--an energy--and despite how active I am while here, something about the beach makes me want to write with the full passion that the atmosphere begs from me. I flippin' love that feeling. And I love that I can pet my laptop and give my husband puppy dog eyes, and he'll take the kids out to the sand while I have some story time with the sound of the surf right outside my window.

This is where I envisioned my entire trilogy (when it was still a single, stand-alone story under consideration with the publisher). This is where I reconnect with the muse that's forced into hiding during the summer. This is where I recharge my imagination batteries. Thank God for the beach. <3

Nags Head, NC beach house (belongs to a friend, not us, lol)

Do you have a special place you escape to write when things get busy?

Hugs, Wendy