Friday, October 28, 2011

1 - 2 - 3 Bits of Awesome

 1. It's Friday. I like Friday. I think Friday needs a hug, perhaps a high five or shoulder squeeze.

2. My CRACKED launch event invitations arrived in the mail yesterday. I'll admit it, I shed a tear. I will definitely share them here--just not yet.

3. This song and video = AWESOME and funky. Bob your head with me. (disclaimer, there may be one or two curses in there)

Anyone doing anything fun this weekend?? I will be deeeep in the revision cave with torches and a miner's helmet. See me? ; )

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

CRACKED Meets the World in Sixty Nine Days

See the countdown widget on my website?

It tics away the seconds until CRACKED is released. I've had this little voice in my brain saying: When that number is in the 60s it'll be nearly two months away, and two months is no time at all!

Two months away is, like, close.

Now, I know 69 days is two months plus nine days away. But it's still got the "two months" part in the beginning of the time frame. It's the "two months" part that makes my heart pound.

My heart pounds for obvious excitement reasons but, it's also pounding for something else, something unexpected. Actually, something that makes me go, "Uh, Kate, why is this dawning on you with such ferocity when your book is coming out in only 69 days? Wasn't this kind of obvious?"

Here's the something: People I've never met, never even heard their name, never laid eyes upon their face or blog photo, never been to their town--aka, strangers--will read CRACKED. That's crazytown exciting and nerve wracking at the same time. I wonder if I'll ever get used to it because right now, it's a mind-blower.

Speaking of mind-blowing. I've been gearing up for CRACKED's January 7, 2012 launch event at Chester County Book and Music Company at 7 PM. Let's just say Vistaprint and I have become very close personal buddies ; ) I've also ordered beautiful Tags-n-Stones pieces from the talented and lovely Christina Lee. Some pieces are for my launch and some for blog giveaways!

If you've never checked out her beautiful hand stamped jewelry then I insist you do. Right HERE.

What are you looking forward to, blog friends? I'd love to hear!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Third Campaigner Challenge: Show Not Tell

I'm a participant in Rachael Harrie's Third Writer's Platform Building Campaign and I've decided to throw my hat into the ring for her Third Campaigner Challenge!

Here are the requirements for the Third Campaigner Challenge:
Write a blog post in 300 words or less, excluding the title. The post can be in any format, whether flash fiction, non-fiction, humorous blog musings, poem, etc.
The blog post should show:
that it’s morning,
that a man or a woman (or both) is at the beach
that the MC (main character) is bored
that something stinks behind where he/she is sitting
that something surprising happens.
Just for fun, see if you can involve all five senses AND include these random words: "synbatec," "wastopaneer," and "tacise."   (NB. these words are completely made up and are not intended to have any meaning other than the one you give them.)


My official entry follows every guideline above. This was a fun write!! Hope you like it. If you do, it would be awesome if you went and "Liked" it over HERE - since this is a contest and all ; ) I'm entry # 30


The barking dog wakes me up, and I grin with my eyes still closed. I love my dog. My arms and legs shoot straight out in my normal morning stretch, and that’s when I feel the sand.

I am not in my bed.

I instinctively rub my eyes. Bad idea. The tiny, synbatec pieces of sand attack my eyeballs. “Damnit!”

I blink and sit up. And blink and blink and blink and blink. Tears run down my cheeks as I try to see where the hell I am. I pull my sleeve over my hand and use it to dust the sand from my face, more importantly, from my eyes. The smell of dog crap suddenly registers in my nostrils and I wince. My sleeve does double duty. I use it to provide a smell barrier over my nose and mouth. I continue shaking the sand from, well, everywhere. I look behind me.

The steam is still rising from the tacise pile. Lovely, just lovely.

“Hey,” a guy’s voice whispers. I whip my head to the left, sand flying, and it all comes back to me. The party, the dancing, the vodka. The guy—Vance.


Despite my sand-filled eyeballs I can see him. No shirt, jeans, combat boots. Yeah, Vance.

“When can I see you again?” He’s still lying on his back with his forearms crossed underneath his head—his muscled, bare chest slowly rising and falling with slow, even breaths.

I roll my watery eyes. Never. The damp chill of night continues to lift as the sun rises. I wish Vance, his soft lips, warm hands and impossible promises could be lifted back into the heavens where he belongs.

I instinctively reach for my wastopaneer. Vance is on his feet, wings open wide. His sword to my neck.

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Top 5 Misconceptions I've Heard About Traditional Publishing

As the release of CRACKED inches closer, one day at a time--77 days to be exact--I've done some reflecting recently. On my journey. On things.

For nearly two and a half years I pined for, dreamed of and shed tears over THE ALMIGHTY BOOK DEAL.

Know this: it is worth waiting for.

Since the book deal I've heard tons of misconceptions or assumptions about being traditionally published with a Big Six publisher. Some make me smile. Some have me scratching my head.

MISCONCEPTION: That you have to pay a literary agent up front in order for them to take you on as a client.

TRUTH: Legitimate literary agents don't charge up front or pre-publication fees. Ever. They read queries, submissions, client manuscripts and client revisions as part of their job - no money is exchanged. They sell their clients' books and earn* a commission. It's that simple.
*Earn is underlined because a good literary agent does just that, he/she truly earns commission by working tirelessly on behalf of clients and is a true champion of their writing. 

MISCONCEPTION: That I'm either rich now or I'm going to be rich. And famous.

TRUTH: I typically give a little smile and say something to the effect of, "Awe, thank you, but I seriously doubt it." It's not the norm for published authors to become rich and famous. I'm 100% okay with that because that's not why I write.

MISCONCEPTION: All books being published by the Big Six had to follow some formula in order to have gotten the book deal in the first place.

TRUTH: While I can't speak for every book being published by the Big Six publishers, I can speak for mine. There was no mandated formula. I wrote CRACKED before I had an agent and an editor. The story, the characters, the everything was created formula-free. And it still landed me a publishing contract.

MISCONCEPTION: That I had to pay money in order to have my book published.

TRUTH: A wise man on Absolute Write said, "All money flows towards the author." That is absolutely the case with traditional publishing. However, if self-publishing is a better fit for you and your journey towards publication then there has never been a better time to a writer. Your options are wide and varied. But be sure to check the uber-helpful and informative website PREDATORS AND EDITORS to be sure you are making a sound financial investment.

MISCONCEPTION: Wasn't I afraid that agents and editors would steal my book idea?

TRUTH: This one had me scratching my head. First off, I've never heard of this actually happening. Second, I only queried legitimate agents--carefully selected and researched ( and predators & editors and the absolute write forums were my go-to sites while researching who to query). Third, legitimate agents and editors are on the writer's side. Always.

In closing, every writer's dream is different. Unique. To assume all writers dream of traditional publication is about as ludicrous as assuming all high school girls dream of being cheerleaders. I assume neither. And speaking of assuming, a lot of misconceptions are just that - assumptions. Research and take the time to get informed. Shape your dreams based on realities, not misconceptions. Your dreams will thank you.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A Billionaire Parody for Writers

Maybe it's the rain. Maybe it's not. Maybe it's a boring old Wednesday and I wanted to shake things up a bit. Maybe I thought some of you in queryland could appreciate this video I made last summer.

Funny thing is, three weeks after filming this, I got an offer of representation from Sarah LaPolla. Perhaps the Universe paid close attention ; )

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Meet the Characters of CRACKED

If you'd like to meet the main characters from my debut novel CRACKED, all you have to do is click HERE!

It's the Tuesday stop on the Teen Book Scene blog tour.

Click on the tour banner above for the complete tour list.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Kick A** Debut Author Spotlight

Today's Kick A** Debut Author Spotlight was organized by the lovely and talented Christina Lee over at Write Brained.

I have chosen to spotlight MISS PEREGRINE'S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN by Ransom Riggs. Again. Yep, it's that good.

The five reasons you must read MISS PEREGRINE'S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN by Ransom Riggs

5. It's a genius concept. The author, Ransom Riggs, used real vintage photos (real creepy photos) to shape and mold the story of his main character, sixteen-year-old Jacob. And what a story it is.

4. The story. It's well crafted, believable, and, hand-to-heart, it's scary. Not bloody or gory or gross, just scary. I could only read it if my husband was lying next to me. Don't judge.

Here's the back cover copy:
A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. And a strange collection of very curious photographs. It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children who once lived here—one of whom was his own grandfather—were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a desolate island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.

3. The photos. They're real and they're sprinkled throughout the book. My heart would thud in my chest when I knew the next page had a photo. Again, not bloody, not gory, not gross. All about the creepy.

2. The author's name: Ransom Riggs. I've got author-name-envy in a bad way. I can't think of a cooler name and it seems to match this book perfectly.

1. And the number one reason you should read this book: the writing. It's damn good. Let me explain, Mr. Riggs knows how to pace his story because I never wanted to put this book down. He also knows how to deliver authentic dialogue - his dialogue writing kept me IN the story and never took me out. Everything felt real to me: the characters, the situations, the settings, the writing itself.

Read. This. Book.

Below is a list of my fellow bloggers participating in today's Kick A** Debut Author Spotlight. Click around, meet some new people and learn about some truly kick a** books:

Rachele raves about IMAGINARY GIRLS
Susan is featuring RIP TIDE
Matt loves SOLSTICE
Nicole wants to tell you about POSSESSION
Janet tells why she loves LIAR SOCIETY
Sheri admires IRON WITCH
Jen would like to tell you about WITHER
Shannon celebrates DARK PARTIES
Michelle tells you about SHIFTING
Stina gives you a taste of BAD TASTE IN BOYS
Jessie spotlights SPELLBOUND and BIRTHRIGHT
Willow admires DESTINED
Christine raves about POSSESS
Kristin really really likes CLARITY
Anne features READY PLAYER ONE
Meredith wants to shout about DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE
Amy Rose loves THE NEAR WITCH
Theresa talks about DIVERGENT
Kelly focuses in on EARTHLING HERO and A SCARY GOOD BOOK
Christine gears you up for THE LIPSTICK LAWS
Laura is wild about GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS
Patti tells you about HEREAFTER
Ali has plenty to say about POSSESSION
Nisa spotlights ENTWINED
Kelly has a spark for ANGELFIRE
Lindsay is excited about DEPARTMENT 19
Heather gears you up for TWENTY-EIGHT AND A HALF WISHES
Frankie celebrates UNEARTHLY

Friday, October 7, 2011

Campaigner Spotlights round 4

Before I get to the Campaigner Spotlights...It's Day 5 of the CRACKED  Teen Book Scene blog tour!

Anyone in need of a great book? Well, if you visit HERE you can see the list of my top YA and Adult reads of all time. It's quite a varied and long list. You just may stumble upon a book you've never heard of. You never know!


Onto Round 4 of my Campaigner Spotlights in honor of Rachael Harrie's Platform Building Challenge. The purpose of my Spotlights? To introduce my readers to bloggers they may not know. You know, spread the blog love around a bit.

Meet Michael de Gesu
He's a former model and interior decorator turned YA novelist. He admits he's addicted to writing now.

Visit his blog: In Time

Meet Adina West
Adina is a writer who lives in Sydney, Australia (one of the coolest cities on Earth!!). Her novel features lunar astrology. Cool eh?

Visit her blog: Stairways and Landings (She's currently on a blog hiatus in order to focus her time on writing. But you can always stop by later. Go Adina!)

Meet Shannon Lawrence
She has one novel under her belt and is currently working on her second. Her blog focuses on her journey as a writer.

Visit her blog: The Warrior Muse

Meet Katharina Gerlach

She's a published German writer who's an optimist, organizer and overqualified forester. Her blog is as interesting as she is!

Visit her blog HERE.

Meet Brianna
She's a stay at home mom, published writer, aspiring novelist and dissertation editor. Whew. Busy woman!

Visit her blog: pocketful of playdough

I hope you go forth and visit and make new blog friends. Happy, happy Friday to you all.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

My Launch Party is SET!

It's official! My launch event is booked and YOU are invited.

When: Saturday, January 7, 2012 at 7:00 p.m.
Where: Chester County Book and Music Company, West Chester, PA
Why: CRACKED will be released into the wilds and it'll be time to par-tay!

More details will unfold as the event takes shape. I have been crafting and plotting and planning for months now.

**And if you'd like to get inside my character Victor's head, well, you're in luck. Day 4 of the Teen Book Scene tour is HERE. Meet Victor in a This or That post.**

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

My Life in Numbers

Happy Wednesday everyone. Welcome to my recent life in numbers. Share some of your numbers in your comments ; )

The number of blogs featuring CRACKED today on the Teen Book Scene Tour, in which I reveal the ten items the teen me would have at a garage sale (is that a fun topic or what?): 1

Times I've done yoga in my living room in the past two weeks: 4

Times I should've done yoga in my living room in order to negate the amount of "pumpkin things" I've consumed (see below): 12

Shiny new book ideas that came to me as I drove past THIS PLACE (and it's a freaking book store, people): 1

Band-aids worn each day to stop me from getting at my cuticles: 4

Minutes I've spent gazing out my window thinking about my book launch: 154, 781

Books read in September: 3

Rita's Pumpkin Pie Gelatis consumed to date: 2

Starbucks Pumpkin lattes consumed to date: 3

Blue Moon Pumpkin Spice lager consumed: 2

The number of rolls of THIS it took me to get used to it and then experience the most wonderful feeling of green: 1

The number of Facebook fans CRACKED has to date: 54

Days until my husband and I go to Jamaica: 48

The a.m. time of my son's first hockey game this weekend: 6

Days until CRACKED launches: 89 (I need to buy more band-aids!)

Monday, October 3, 2011

Monday Mayhem

Welcome to Monday Mayhem! I've got tons of things to share with you guys today. Are you ready? Here we go....

First off, today kicks off of CRACKED's "round 1" TEEN BOOK SCENE BLOG TOUR. You can follow the tour simply by clicking on the tab above - it'll take you to the fully linked list of blogs, dates & topics. A big thank you to Kari, Kelsey, Connie, Jessica & Bailey!

Second, after reading CRACKED, fellow Apocalypsie, Kristen Simmons (author of Article 5 from Tor Teen) alerted me to Mental Health Awareness Week (October 2 - 8). She knew CRACKED deals with depression, suicide, domestic violence, and drug/alcohol abuse. Kristen explained, "Mental Health Awareness Week is an important time when people will recognize the struggles and honor the resilience of those with mental health symptoms. Because knowledge is power, and awareness fights stigma." You can follow her posts all week right HERE

And on a much lighter note, today starts my kickoff of APOCALYPSIE SPOTLIGHTS, in which I shine the light onto a few fellow debut authors. 

If you click on their name it will take you to their Apocalypsie page. From there you can follow them on Twitter, visit their author websites/blogs/facebook page. If you click on their book title it will take you to the book's Goodreads page.

Without further ado, may I present my first ever APOCALYPSIES SPOTLIGHTS!

Meet Cole Gibson - her debut KATANA releases from Flux in Winter 2012. 

17-year-old Rileigh Martin would love to believe it was adrenaline that enabled her to fend off three muggers, but adrenaline doesn’t explain the fighting skills she suddenly possesses, the strange dreams she’s having of ancient Japan, or the voice she’s hearing in her head. 

As if worrying she’s going crazy weren’t enough to put a serious dent in her summer plans, Rileigh has to deal with Kim, a young martial arts instructor who’s convinced Rileigh is harboring the spirit of a samurai inside of her. Once Rileigh starts receiving threats and fighting off attackers around every corner, she has no choice but to accept that what Kim claims might be true. Unsure about her future, her alleged past, or how to throw a punch without chipping a nail, the only thing Rileigh knows for certain is she’d much rather be breaking hearts than breaking bones.

As the threats mount, the spirit grows stronger, and her feelings for Kim intensify, Rileigh is torn between continuing as the girl she has always been and embracing the warrior inside of her. But will giving in to the samurai way change her forever?

Meet Jill Hathaway - her debut SLIDE releases from Balzer & Bray Winter 2012 

Sylvia Bell's narcolepsy allows her to slide into other people's heads. When she finds herself inside a killer standing over the murdered body of her sister's best friend, she becomes enmeshed in a web of secrets, lies, and danger where the past has returned to haunt the present and where she can no longer trust even the friends and family she thought she knew.

Meet Megan Miranda - her debut FRACTURE releases from Walker/Bloomsbury Winter 2012

Eleven minutes passed before Delaney Maxwell was pulled from the icy waters of a Maine lake by her best friend Decker Phillips. By then her heart had stopped beating. Her brain had stopped working. She was dead. And yet she somehow defied medical precedent to come back seemingly fine

-despite the scans that showed significant brain damage. Everyone wants Delaney to be all right, but she knows she's far from normal. Pulled by strange sensations she can't control or explain, Delaney finds herself drawn to the dying. Is her altered brain now predicting death, or causing it?

Then Delaney meets Troy Varga, who recently emerged from a coma with similar abilities. At first she's reassured to find someone who understands the strangeness of her new existence, but Delaney soon discovers that Troy's motives aren't quite what she thought. Is their gift a miracle, a freak of nature-or something much more frightening?

For fans of best-sellers like Before I Fall and If I Stay, this is a fascinating and heart-rending story about love and friendship and the fine line between life and death.

Meet Jodi Meadows - her debut INCARNATE releases from Katherine Tegan Books/Harper Collins Winter 2012

Ana is new. For thousands of years in Range, a million souls have been reincarnated over and over, keeping their memories and experiences from previous lifetimes. When Ana was born, another soul vanished, and no one knows why. 

Even Ana’s own mother thinks she’s a nosoul, an omen of worse things to come, and has kept her away from society. To escape her seclusion and learn whether she’ll be reincarnated, Ana travels to the city of Heart, but its citizens are suspicious and afraid of what her presence means. When dragons and sylph attack the city, is Ana to blame? 

Sam believes Ana’s new soul is good and worthwhile. When he stands up for her, their relationship blooms. But can he love someone who may live only once, and will Ana’s enemies—human and creature alike—let them be together? Ana needs to uncover the mistake that gave her someone else’s life, but will her quest threaten the peace of Heart and destroy the promise of reincarnation for all?