From Imagination To Publication

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Thanks From Me and Pink Robe

Where have I been, you ask? Living in Pink Robe.

That's me looking good in Pink Robe. Right now, I don't look like that. I look pale and pasty and sick. When I'm sick, I go straight for Pink Robe.

She's been pretty good to me over the last week, Pink Robe has, but I'm still a big ol' sickie. Hopefully I'll be better soon...but thank God for Pink Robe.

Though I haven't gotten much of anything done while I've been a sickie, my book has been out gallivanting, strutting her stuff, finding her way to,, Goodreads, and to my surprise, she's been blog hopping!

After I posted the cover reveal for Oppression, I stumbled across several blogs that had shared my excitement and spread the news about my book. It was a little surreal...

My eyebrows squinched (made up word) together and my first thought was, "Wait, someone other than my mom is excited about my book?" Then I was struck with the realization that people actually read my blog and know about my novel. It was a weird moment. A really strange but awesome moment. In any case, back to my point, I wanted to say thank you to those who posted about Oppression or contacted me regarding a review or just to tell me how excited you are about it. I figured the least I could do was link back to your blogs (which would also prove that I'm not making this up...people are really talking about my book).

Lots of love blogger friends. You made my being sick so much better with your posts!! Please check out the posts on Oppression below:

The Daily Harrell, by Jessie Harrell
The Girl Who Reads {A Lot}, by Kayla Lamb
Bending the Spine, by Rebecca
Fragments of Life, by Precious

*If I didn't come across your post on Oppression, let me know. I would love to read it! Thanks again so much!

Anyone else been sick this holiday? If so, what made you smile through the coughing?

Friday, December 23, 2011


I've been waiting for this day FOREVER...My book has a cover! It has a cover that I LOVE.

It just makes it all much more real...proof that I'm not making all of this up. On top of it all, ZOVA got it just right. The girl is exactly how I pictured Elyse. Young but wise. Gentle but cautious.

What I love most is that her eyes are closed and that she seems to be coming into the light. I can't think of a more perfect way to visually express the idea of a girl discovering the truth about herself, especially after spending her whole life in the dark about who and what she is. 

Not to mention the title is Oppression, so the blackness pressing in on her from all sides is appropriate.

I just love it. Thank you ZOVA!

There are others like her. Many of them. 
And they have been waiting for her for a long time.

 OPPRESSION tells the story of a young woman who discovers that she belongs to a secret society of individuals with extraordinarily long life spans and unusual abilities. Fearful of prophecies about their only daughter, her parents kept her hidden from the world – and the society – for as long as they could. But when their own untimely deaths leave her to fend for herself, the truth of her origins and the fateful prophecy find her at last. Joining the ranks of such widely popular works as the Twilight Saga, The Hunger Games, and the Mortal Instruments series, Mrs. Therrien's paranormal romance/adventure promises to be the next fan-favorite in its genre.

*Note: The above blurb is not what will be printed on the back cover. ZOVA is still working on that, but what I've seen of it looks awesome. Can't wait to share that with you when it's ready.

Also, in case you haven't read the little teaser I posted a while back, here is a sneak peek inside the book.

When I left Cearno’s in a state of half sleep, I found the door to my apartment ajar. I grabbed the knob and pushed it open with caution, assuming I had forgotten to close it all the way.
“Hello?” I asked, just in case.
No answer. I shut the door behind me.
It wasn’t until I reached the top of the stairs that I felt something wet on my palm and realized I had blood on my hand. I made my way to the sink, looking for where I’d cut myself when I heard her.
“It’s not your blood,” Kara said from behind me, making me jump a foot in the air.
“What are you doing here, Kara?” I asked, callous and guarded. The last time I’d seen her, she’d stabbed me in the leg.
She was slumped down in the corner, sitting on the floor of my kitchen, a bloody mess.
My face registered with shock. “What happened to you?” 
I waited for an answer, but she only glanced at me briefly, annoyed by the question, and continued staring off into the distance.
“Are you hurt?” 
If she wasn’t going to talk to me I would find out for myself. I knelt down in front of her, looking over her blood stained hands, arms and face. She seemed fine.
“It’s not my blood either,” she said, her eyes finally meeting mine.

Live.Laugh.Love...Christmas Kitty

I'm pretty sure nobody loves Christmas more than this guy...

I accept the fact that no one will love my cat as much as I do, but I just had to share my kitty's love for Christmas.

Meet Romeo. Single. Persian. Loves long naps on the couch and being bad to get attention.

Favorite food - Fancy Feast. 
Favorite toy - Laser. 
Favorite holiday - Christmas.

Not only has he made a fully functioning fort out of the presents, but he has taken to opening them himself (those claws come in handy). At least he helps me re-wrap them...

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Book News - Cover Reveal Tomorrow

ZOVA decided to give me the best Christmas present ever! I'm allowed to share the cover of Oppression. I'm too giddy-crazy-excited to write anything coherent or clever about it. I need to take a breath. 

I'm going to pull myself together, pretend like I'm calm and professional, and come back tomorrow to post it. I know it's sort of mean to be such a tease, but come on...I've got to build a little suspense, right? You only get to reveal the cover of your debut novel to the world once.

Stop by tomorrow to check it out!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

RTW: Where Do You Buy Your Books?

Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question that begs to be answered. In the comments, you can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.

We'd love for you to participate! Just answer the prompt on your own blog and leave a link -- or, if you prefer, you can include your answer in the comments.

This Week's Topic: 
Where do you buy most of your books? No one is judging!

Well...I try to buy most of my books from books stores, but some of them *cough* Barnes & Noble *cough* don't stock the books I want. I'm still a little peeved that I didn't see Blood Red Road on their shelves, but...maybe I'm being too hard on them. There are a lot of books out there, and they can't house them all in stores.

The truth is, I'm really grateful for Barnes & Noble because like many of you book lovers out there, I'm a rebel reader of actual know the ones with paper pages. Oh yeah, those. I'm still not sold on the e-book. I can't bring myself to buy a Kindle or a Nook. I don't really have anything against the e-book lovers. Whatever floats your boat. In fact, Oppression will be out as an e-book as well, but I just love the feel, the smell, the weight, the look of a book. I think I always will. I'll be a squinty old lady trying to read the faded pages of old paperbacks and my kids and grand kids will marvel at the antique..."You don't know what you're missing," I'll gripe at them.

So, my go-to is Barnes & Noble. Next is (for the real deal).

What about you? E-book or Real Book? Book store or online?

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Buzz: Hunger Games Posters

Hey all! Life has been a bit crazy lately (in a good way) so for today's YA Buzz post I'm sticking with something simple. I haven't had time to dig around for the juiciest gossip on The Hunger Games Movie, but there were a few fun posters I came across. Enjoy!

The New Movie Poster

District Logos

Have you heard anything new about the Hunger Games Movie? Do you have any juicy YA book gossip to share?

Friday, December 16, 2011

Live.Laugh.Love...Did I mention Oppression has a cover?!

You know those weeks where everything just keeps getting better and better? This was one of those weeks. The main reason being that I got a first look at the preliminary cover of Oppression! If you follow me anywhere else, you probably already know that. I've been blabbing the news everywhere I can because I'm so dang excited I can't stand it. No matter how many people say, "don't judge a book by its cover," everyone does. The cover is what makes you pick up a book and buy it. It has to be good, and every author's fear is that it won't be, that it won't do their book justice.

Thankfully ZOVA Books isn't like most publishers. They listened to me. They took my suggestions and ideas and worked their magic making it their own. Most authors don't get final say on the cover, some don't get any say. You hold your breath and take what your publisher gives you. Of course you can whine and kick and cry and scream if you hate it, but for me there will be none of that. I absolutely LOVE the cover. I don't think I'll ever forget the feeling I had when I saw that email in my inbox and clicked on the attached photo. For me it was the moment that would make or break all the hard work and love I put into the book, the first impression, the face of the novel that everyone would see and judge. I had no idea what to expect. When the picture came into view, my jaw hit the floor. It was perfect. Brilliant. Better than I could have ever imagined.

I still can't stop staring at it. They NAILED it. I am SO HAPPY!

Stay tuned for the cover reveal! Hopefully that will be soon. I'll keep you posted.

What good things are happening in your life? Whether Christmas related, family related, or writing related, what has brought you happiness this week or month?

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Buzz: Goodreads Choice Awards

Congrats to all of the 2011 GoodReads Choice Award Winners! I'm so happy Divergent won Best Book. It was definitely my favorite read this year. I've posted some of the other books that won, but you can view the full list of winners here. Some of the books I hadn't even heard of, which means I'll be adding them to my to-be-read pile. If anyone has read any of the books that won, please let me know how you liked them in the comments or leave a link to a review. Thanks GoodReads and thanks to everyone who voted!

Also, check out the interview with Divergent author Veronica Roth...

Favorite Book of 2011 & Best YA Fantasy and Science Fiction

Best Fantasy

Best Paranormal Fantasy
Best Young Adult Fiction

Best Fiction

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Road Trip Wednesday: How far would you go to get published?

Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question that begs to be answered. In the comments, you can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.

We'd love for you to participate! Just answer the prompt on your own blog and leave a link -- or, if you prefer, you can include your answer in the comments.

This Week's Topic: 
We writers can form quite an attachment to our characters and stories. But we also know publishing is a business, and sometimes to make it in said business--to really build a career from it--we have to bend a bit. How far would you go to break into the publishing world?

When ZOVA Books signed me, they loved the concept of Oppression and my writing style, but no manuscript is ever perfect. Working directly with my publisher (with no agent) meant that I was coming to them with a manuscript that had not been reviewed or critiqued by an industry professional. The only feedback I’d gotten was from friends and relatives, which meant I knew there would be requested changes.
Now, ZOVA signed me before sitting me down to work through the weak spots in my story, so I wasn’t making crazy changes to please someone who didn’t believe in me. ZOVA has believed in me from the beginning. When they provided their critique, a list of weaknesses and suggested changes, I accepted them, but I’ll admit….I cried. After I cried, I worked really hard and re-crafted the lackluster parts of my story. Looking back, I am so thankful for their advice. Sometimes we fall in love with parts of our stories just because we wrote them, not because they help the plot along. In writing, we’re only supposed to take what we need to survive, right? Don’t be a Princess Vespa. What is it she says in Spaceballs… 


“It’s my industrial strength hairdryer! AND I CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT IT!”

Sometimes we need editors, agents, or publishers to come at us with tough love and give us that reality check.

What I've learned is that people in the industry (or at least the people with ZOVA) are smart. They know what they’re doing and their feedback is honest. Now, that isn’t to say you should completely re-write your story because someone in the industry is telling you to (especially if they aren’t invested in you) but my point is, there is a lot to be learned from that kind of feedback.
ZOVA has not only believed in me along the way, they have been a great teacher, advisor, friend, mirror, critique partner, and genius publisher. They’ve helped me grow as a writer, and for that I am so grateful.

So how far would I go? I'd say I'm willing to be open to new ideas, suggestions, and advice about the details of my novels, as long as in the end, it's still my writing, my work, my creativity, and my story.

What would you do if a publisher, agent, or editor asked you to change your novel? Would you be open to it or say no thank you?

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Buzz: Blood Red Road Sequel & Movie

You all must know by now that my latest book obsession is with Blood Red Road by Moira Young. I’m reading it slowly (like always) taking in every perfect word. I'm sure my husband is a little tired of hearing me announce after every sentence, “I’m telling you! This book is sooo good.”

“Yeah. I know. You’ve mentioned that…” (about 15 million times).

After deciding to get Blood Red Road for everyone I know (with Christmas being a great excuse) I went into B&N expecting it to be all over the shelves. I guess either nobody knows about this book or EVERYONE does, because it wasn’t there! I was shocked…so naturally I ordered a few dozen to the store. Get it together B&N, people need this book.

Much like Divergent, I am hesitant to finish it. Books that make me excited like this are rare. I'm always afraid I won't find anything as satisfying once it's over. In the meantime, I’ve started digging for Blood Red Road news

The sequel, I’ve learned, is titled REBEL HEART and should be out sometime in 2012! According to Ms. Young, who is still fine-tuning, the final draft is to be delivered by the end of the month...Wahoo!

AND...let’s talk movie rights. Ridley Scott’s production company was smart enough to snatch them up while they could. There isn’t much other than that, but IMDB is listing the date as 2014 (sigh). That's too far away in my opinion.

What's the buzz in your book world? Any news, good books, movies you're excited about?

Friday, December 2, 2011

Live.Laugh.Love...Writer Friends

Okay, I'm going to be honest. I'm super blog-lazy right now. Forgive me if this isn't the world's best post. Lazy or not, I have to thank the universe for giving me writer friends. What would we do without them? They're the ones who actual listen when you feel like venting about plot frustrations, talking about character development, or when you have to tell someone about the amazing scene you just wrote. Most people will put up with your writer-ranting for a while, but the writer friends REALLY listen and connect, because they know. They know what it's like to pour your heart and soul out onto the page, how much work it is, how hard yet satisfying it can be when you make progress. And when you say, "Hey Holly, can you read these 30 pages real quick?" She doesn't groan or make a face like, 30 PAGES, do I have to? No. She says, "OF COURSE! Yay, I can't wait!" I mean, lets be honest here. Not many people are willing to do that for you (aside from mommies, sisters, and besties) but writer friends will, because they are a special kind of wonderful. Not only will they read that 30 pages, they'll read it again. AND AGAIN....with honest feedback, and corrections each time.

So, thank you writer friends:

Holly Kammier - author of Could Have Been Holly Wood
Christian LaMonte - author of Talis Springs
Candace Walsh - Ms. Poetic Brilliance
Allison Rogge - The World's Strongest Woman (and brainstorming extraordinaire)
Janet Jackson (no not the singer...but just as bad ass) - My Biggest Fan
...and of course Molly the Magnificent and the rest of the ZOVA magic makers.

Thanks for everything you do! I LOVE YOU WRITER FRIENDS!

What have your writer friends done for you? What makes them so awesome?