Tuesday, December 20, 2016

2016 positives & 2017 wishlist (with a prize)!

I don't believe anyone has been immune from the craziness that was 2016. For me personally, there was a lot of good in the craziness, and I thought it would be nice to have a positive discussion when there was so much that sucked this year.

I went to Romantic Times, where I met Brenda Drake and fellow Pitch Wars mentors for the first time (which was also my first trip outside of Australia) and participated in the Pitch Wars Roadshow.

I had SHATTERED published with City Owl Press, which felt like an even bigger milestone for me than having book 1, DIVIDED, published. I became a bonafide published author in my eyes with the sequel entering the world. And it was my first ever in-person book launch for me for a novel.

I edited and published my first ever anthology, WORDS WITH HEART, which is a charity anthology.

I launched Literary Loveliest, a charity auction site with a literary focus. The first auction we did raised money for the victims of the Louisiana floods.

I also ran my first solo Pitch Wars Roadshow at Conflux.

Despite the bad in 2016, positives can be found. And I'm hoping 2017 will be even better. My 2017 wish list includes:

  • Finishing my new WIP
  • Finishing and publishing book 3 in the Open Heart series
  • Getting an agent
  • My Pitch Wars mentee, the amazing Roseanne Rivers, getting an agent
  • Having a fantabulous Pitch Madness Team in 2017 
  • Finding an amazing mentee for Pitch Wars 2017.
What's your 2017 goals? 

All comments go into the draw for eCopies of my books DIVIDED and SHATTERED, as well as a $10 Amazon gift voucher. Entries are open until 1 January. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Guestopia: Rebecca Carpenter

Today, on Guestopia (yes, we've changed the date this month!), we are delighted to welcome author Rebecca Carpenter to YAtopia! Here's a little bit about Rebecca...

Rebecca Carpenter is a native of western Colorado. She is married with two grown children and four awesome grandchildren. She owns and runs a large childcare center where she shares her love for books. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, writing, and exploring the beautiful mountains of Colorado.

And let's commence with the interview!

Is this your first published book?

It’s the first one traditionally published. I self-published a memoir about my teen pregnancy in 2012 called, The Total Deconstruction of Chloe Wilson.

What’s it called?

Butterfly Bones

Which genre?

Contemporary soft science fiction. I use soft because it’s character driven with bits of sci-fi.

Which age group?

Young adult

Is it a series or standalone?

It’s the first in the Metamorphosis Series.

Are you an agented author?

No. I submitted to Lakewater Press, and they don’t require an agent.

Which publisher snapped up your book?

The amazing Lakewater Press.

How involved have you been in the whole publishing process of your book?

I have been involved in every choice made for Butterfly Bones. The team at Lakewater want it to be a positive experience and they do a great job of making the author feel important.

Do you have another job?

I own a run a large childcare center/preschool in Grand Junction, Colorado. A typical work week is at least 60 hours. And I work part time as a copy editor.

Did you receive many, if any, rejections prior?

I had made the mistake of entering contests early on, before the book was ready. So yes, I’ve had a few rejections. But they were right in doing so.

What created/what were you doing or watching when the first idea for this book sneaked up on you?

I was listening to a song called, ‘Caterpillar’ by The Cure. It sparked the initial story ideas, although in my mind it played out as a horror story about a girl becoming a powerful creature and taking revenge on the bullies from school.

How long did you plot/plan until you started writing it?

This project started so long ago, that I don’t’ remember how much time I spent. Generally I take about a couple of days to plot.

Once you started, did the story flow naturally or did you have to step in and wrestle it into submission?

I had to do a lot of wrestling, but it was the other way around. Bethany didn’t want to star in a horror novel. She had other things in mind. Once I listened to her wants and goals, the story flowed beautifully.

How many drafts did you write before you let someone read it? Who was that someone?

My critique group was reading it while I was writing it. I would finish a chapter and bring it to the next meeting.

Did you employ an editor/proofreader or did you have a critique partner/beta readers before you started querying?

I had critique and BETA readers. This was over a couple of years in the making.

Roughly how many drafts did it take before you sent the manuscript off into the real world?

I’m thinking it was four. Mainly the beginning kept changing.

How many drafts until it was published?

Two. Very. Painful. Drafts. But all worth it in the end.

Has the book changed dramatically since the first draft?

It’s the same storyline, but I needed to add more description as well as keep the theme of the story woven throughout each chapter.

Are there any parts you’d like to change even now?

Nothing I’d change. I love it the way it is.

What part of writing do you find the easiest?

Dialogue. It flows naturally for me. And humor.

What part do you find hardest?

Narrative. Keeping the right balance between what needs to be told, in the character’s voice, as well weaving in bits of backstory can be challenging.

Do you push through writing barriers or walk away?

I barrel through them. Don’t have time to let them stop me.

How many projects do you have on the go at the same time?

Too many. Usually three or four books at once, and sometimes a screenplay in there as well.

Do you think you’re born with the talent to write or do you think it can be learned?

Both. Some people have a gift. But anyone can learn the craft if they’re willing.

How many future novels do you have planned?

Two more at the time for the Metamorphosis Series. But many more to come.

Do you write other things, such as short stories, articles, blogs, etc?

I write picture books, middle grade, and screenplays.

What’s the highlight of being published so far?

Just seeing your sweat and blood out there in the world. And the great reviews. Those are awesome.

Give me one writing tip that works for you.

Just sit down and write. Let it flow. Edit later.

And one that doesn't.

I don’t know of anything that doesn’t work except for not writing.

Can you give us a clue or secret about the next book?

It’s told in multi POV.

What question have you always wanted to be asked but never have? What would the answer be?  
Maybe why I chose to write a young adult book. Especially since I work with children and spend my days immersed in picture books. I love all books. For all ages. But young adult has a special place in my heart. Figuring out who we are. First love. First kiss. First heartbreak. Relationships with peers. The whole self-esteem roller coaster that teens go through. Puberty. This time period intrigues me where there is so much inner and outer growth, so many irrational choices, experimentation, and a taste of adulthood. It’s a difficult transitionary time—one in which we all have the privilege of experiencing—good or bad. Or maybe it’s good and bad. And that’s what I want to write about—the crazy, scary, funny, sad, wonderful, horrible experiences of a teenager.

Fabulous! Thank you so much for joining us today, Rebecca. Lakewater Press are currently offering a pretty awesome contest if you purchase a copy of Butterfly Bones in December. Send them proof of purchase and they'll enter you in the draw to win a Kindle! Wow! Here are a few links that might help!

Barnes & Noble

And if you want to follow Rebecca, these links might help too!