From Imagination To Publication

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Writing World: Editing...sigh

So who completely spaced their Monday blog posts due to 4-day-weekend awesomeness? ME. Sorry guys...

In writing news, I'm in full blown editing mode with Children of the Gods, Book 2. I forgot how hard this editing thing is...yeeesh. I think I've said in a few interviews that editing is my least favorite/the hardest part in my writing process. It is, however, the most rewarding. Once it's over it feels really really really good, but staring down the editing gauntlet ahead is scary. The second time around it seems harder. This time, I know exactly how much work is involved, and the idea monkey in my brain is kind of being a little punk. He's saying..."oh no no no...I know what's coming. Not falling for it this time, lady."

I don't know. I guess a sense of resistence is expected. It's almost like I'm greiving for the original MS, even though I know it's not perfect, not ready, not complete. It's still the original, my blood, sweat and tears on paper. It hurts a little to deem it not worthy, but of course it isn't. No first draft ever is.

I'll admit I am being slightly melodramatic. My Book 2 manuscript actually got really great feedback. The content edits are minor with hardly any plot changes. It won't be as hard as editing Oppression. But...this process is always emotional for me, no matter how minor the revisions.

Thanks for letting me vent, friends! AND special thanks to my wonderful friends Holly & Shelly for helping through this! What would I do without you?

Any advice on how to get motivated and tackle my edits? How do you handle the editing process?

Friday, May 25, 2012

Writing World: Interviewed by Scripts & Scribes

Happy Friday everyone! I usually post something a little more personal on Fridays, but I've been meaning to post this interview for a long time now. It's actually very exciting for me, so I'm not sure why it's taken me so long. I was a guest on Scripts & Scribes! It was my first "radio-like" interview where I had to think of answers on the spot and talk about my book instead of write about it. Much different, and far more exhilarating. Thanks so much to Kevin and Krista for having me on their show! Below is the link to my Scripts & Scribes author page and to the episode that aired sometime last week.
We talk to Oppression author, Jessica Therrien about writing a young adult series, getting published without an agent, working with a mid-sized publisher, and her typical writing style. 

Scripts & Scribes - Podcast - Episode 14

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Writing World: Jessica Swap!

Hello blogger friends! I'm really excited to introduce to you, Jessica Sorensen. Today we'll be doing a "Jessica Swap." She'll be taking over my blog, and I'll be taking over hers. Fun idea, right? One Jessica for the other. Jessica has been really successful in self-publishing her books, so I thought you'd all be interested in what she had to say. Here is a little more about her and her books:

Jessica Sorensen lives with her husband and three kids in the snowy mountains of Wyoming, where she spends most of her time reading, writing, and hanging out with her family.
She is the author of the Fallen Star Series and the Darkness Falls Series.
For eighteen year-old Gemma, life has never been normal. Up until recently, she has been incapable of feeling emotion. And when she’s around Alex, the gorgeous new guy at school, she can feel electricity that makes her skin buzz. Not to mention the monsters that haunt her nightmares have crossed over into real-life.

But with Alex seeming to hate her and secrets popping up everywhere, Gemma’s life is turning into a chaotic mess. Things that shouldn’t be real suddenly seem to exist. And as her world falls apart, figuring out the secrets of her past becomes a matter of life and death.                        
When the disease spread through the world, people had no choice but to go into hiding. The Colony is hidden deep underground, far away from the vampires—humans that were transformed by the disease. The vampires are hideous, starving, and they will kill any human they come across. Seventeen-year-old Kayla is a Bellator, a warrior that protects The Colony. In order to survive, there are three rules she must follow: Rule #1—Never go out after dark. Rule #2—Always carry a weapon. Rule #3—No matter what, never EVER get bit. But what happens when the rules Kayla has always lived by can no longer apply?                      
The Highers run The Colony and accept nothing less than perfection. One slip up can mean death. Kayla has always worked hard to follow the rules and strive for perfection. But during a moment of weakness, she lets her imperfections show. Her punishment is worse than death. She is chosen for The Gathering and is thrown out into a world full of starving vampires.
No one has ever survived The Gathering, at least that’s what Kayla’s been told. But when she runs into a group who insist they were once part of The Gathering, Kayla discovers the Highers have been keeping secrets. Secrets that could lead to a cure.

Hi everyone! I’m Jessica Sorensen, author of the Fallen Star Series and Darkness Falls. I want to give a quick thanks to Jessica Therrien for having me as a guest!

I was asked to talk about self-publishing, so I’ll start with why I chose the Indie route.

After I finished writing The Fallen Star, I sent out query letters to agents, but it never went anywhere. One day when I was browsing through kindle books on Amazon, I stumbled across a few YA authors who had published books themselves. That’s when I began researching self-publishing. I discovered there were some amazing Indie Authors out there, who are really successful. But I didn’t jump right into it. In fact, my “researching” went on for months, but this was more because I couldn’t make up my mind. Eventually, I had to make a decision. I could either keep sending query letters or publish my novel on my own. In the end, I really wanted to get my story out there. So I went the Indie route. I’ve never regretted my decision. I love being an Indie Author!

I was also asked to talk about how I managed to be so successful.  When I chose to self-publish, I didn’t expect much. I knew it was going to be difficult to get my name out there, since I was doing it on my own. So I went in hoping, but not assuming. But I promised myself I would try my hardest.
It didn’t come right away. The first few weeks I sold a handful of books, but most were bought by family members. That’s when I began emailing review requests to book bloggers. I ended up with 20 to 30 book bloggers who were interested in reviewing The Fallen Star. So I sent copies out and my book slowly started popping up on blogs. This boosted my sales a bit. I owe a BIG THANKS to book bloggers (especially to Natasha and Delephina! You guys rock!). They really help me out by reviewing my books, reposting my teasers and release dates, and holding giveaways.
Here are a few more things that helped my sales:
1. When I first released The Fallen Star, I had it at $2.99. About a month before The Underworld (Fallen Star Series, Book 2) released, I dropped The Fallen Star to 99 cents. This increased my sales.

2. I added my books to Goodreads and listed giveaways.  This helped a tiny bit.

3. I try to release a book every 3-4 months. Yes, it nearly kills me to do it, but I love to write, so the sleepless nights are completely worth it.

4. I’m also involved with my fans. I hold giveaways, post teasers, and keep them updated on release dates and upcoming projects. Fans are truly amazing and they helped spread the word.

So there’s my story (well, the short version of it). I hope it helps. I also want to mention that Jessica is featured on my blog today. She talks about some fun writing tips, so you guys should check it out.

Here's a little extra juicy detail: Regina Wamba from Mae I Design does all Jessica Sorensen's covers. Jessica says she's really talented and great to work with.

So how did you like our Jessica Swap? Was that fun, or what?

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Buzz: Insurgent

After almost a month of waiting, I FINALLY got my hands on Insurgent (the sequel to Divergent) by Veronica Roth. My local Barnes & Noble was continuously sold out, and every time I'd leave empty handed I'd tell myself...they'll have it in a few days. Eventually I just had to order the dang thing, that's how fast it was flying off the shelves. Veronica announced on her blog a few weeks ago that it was the #1 New York Times Bestseller, and STILL is.

So what did I do after I got my hands on this new YA craze-favorite book? I couldn't read it. Okay, I read the first chapter, then I just got really worried about what I would do when it was over, haha! I'm a very very picky reader, and when I find good books that inspire me like Veronica Roth's books do, I savor them, because once it's over, it's over. Then what?!

I've since read chapter one about 3 times, but haven't moved on. I will...I want to, trust me. I just...really want it to last.

So...who has read it? Was it awesome? Better than book 1? Don't you dare say a word of what happens, but I'd love to hear your reactions.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Live.Laugh.Love...I have a fan!

It really is THE BEST when readers email me about how much they liked my book. It makes my day... THANK YOU RUTH! :) I'm so happy you liked Oppression!!

Hi. I don't know if you remember me but I was at the Festival of Books forever ago. Haha probably one face of a thousand right? Well I just wanted to send you those pictures of us, maybe you'll remember me then (or maybe not). Your book was amazing! You've definitely made a fan out of me! I showed my friend your book and told her that she had to read it and she agreed that it was awesome. I definitely can't wait for the next book! I truly enjoyed it and loved the characters. Hope to hear back from you soon. (Unless your writing of course). Happy writing!

            ~ your new fan, 
                Ruth Sarai Saldivar :)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Writing World: Book News!

YAY! I finally get to announce the long awaited book news!


The foreign rights to Oppression (Children of the Gods #1) and _________(mystery title) Children of the Gods #2 have been sold to publishers in France, Canada, and Taiwan!! Hooray!!!

The publishers that bought the books aren't just any publishers either, they are the big ones! I don't think I'm allowed to share those types of details yet, but let's just say that one of them published Divergent by Veronica Roth (the foreign language version, obviously). How cool is that?? I can't believe I'll actually be able to read my own book in Chinese...maybe I should learn French, too....hmmm. I have to give a ton of thanks to ZOVA Books, and of course Whitney Lee of The Fielding Agency, for all of their hard work and support. I'm so excited, I might explode. Wooooohooooo!!

Now on to some other fun news! The winners of my e-book giveaway are:

Gale Adkins Nelson
Emmy Neal
Sarah Marie Violante

CONGRATS! I'll be contacting you soon :)

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Buzz: Snow White & The Huntsman

Okay...who's excited about this movie? MEEEEE! I am SO looking forward to it. Every preview or clip or interview I see on the movie is amazing. It can't come out soon enough. For those of you who don't know about this movie (if you exist) are a couple of previews. Get ready to have your socks blown off...

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Writing World: Write-O-Holic

Wow. I completely spaced my Wednesday post yesterday. I have to admit, I've been a bit scatterbrained lately. Book 2 is in the hands of my publisher, and I'm awaiting content edits. I think I said this last time I went through content edits, but it's a strange feeling. Remember when you graduated high school or college, and for the first time in your WHOLE life you didn't have any homework? It's like that. I feel kind of I should be stressed out, working on frantically piecing together a final draft, but I've got nothing on my plate. Apparently having nothing on my plate means I don't know what to do with myself. You'd think I'd be happy about that, feel free to enjoy the massive amounts of T.V. time I could enjoy, but it's an uneasy feeling... Maybe I'm becoming a write-o-holic...

In other know that secret announcement I can't share anything about yet...yeah. I still can't share it. It's driving me crazy. Why must things move so slowly in publishing? I never thought I was part of that generation who has come to expect information immediately. I liked to think of myself as one of the old-schoolers who grew up without the internet or cell phones, but sadly...I've gone to the dark side. This new world of technology has made me impatient. I don't even want to imagine how long things used to take in publishing back when there was no email or cell phone notifications.

As I wait for content edits, luckily I do have something to look forward to. Tomorrow I'm being interviewed by Scripts & Scribes for their podcast! I'm really excited about it but also nervous because unlike blog interviews, which I get to think about and plan before I tackle, I'll actually have to think of answers on the spot and speak them instead of write them...

What's going on in your writing world lately? Also, isn't that cartoon awesomely funny? HAahaha... (so true)

Monday, May 7, 2012

The Buzz: New Books

Wowzers. I'm finally back. For those of you who've been wondering...if there are such people who wonder about absence began with a trip to see my little nieces in good ol' Chilcoot, CA where my family lives. Apparently the whole town (all 108 of them, including the babies) were sick, because the moment I drove down that mile-long dirt road I was hit with the flu or some other back-country bug. Oh...and did I mention there's no internet in Chilcoot? At least not on the CT Ranch... So all this baby-lovin' getting sick without the internet to nurse me back to health put me behind on my Book 2 read-through...which is officially done and submitted now :) All of that brings me here. YAY! I'm back and very happy to be giving you all The Buzz on some new YA books that I'm excited about. Yes, I realize you may have heard of these books, but give me a break...I'm still catching up ;)

This first one is a book written by Sangu Mandanna. I met her during Rachael Harrie's writers campaign and her debut novel is coming out on August 28th! Congrats Sangu :)

Eva’s life is not her own. She is a creation, an abomination—an echo. Made by the Weavers as a copy of someone else, she is expected to replace a girl named Amarra, her “other”, if she ever died. Eva studies what Amarra does, what she eats, what it’s like to kiss her boyfriend, Ray. So when Amarra is killed in a car crash, Eva should be ready.

But fifteen years of studying never prepared her for this.

Now she must abandon everything she’s ever known—the guardians who raised her, the boy she’s forbidden to love—to move to India and convince the world that Amarra is still alive.

The second is the sequel to Open Minds by Susan Kaye Quinn. It's called Closed Hearts. I'm a big follower of Susan's. She is one of my biggest inspirations. She's an expert at marketing her books. If you're a writer, look her'll learn a lot.

The sequel to Open Minds is coming May 23rd, 2012!

When you control minds, only your heart can be used against you.

Eight months ago, Kira Moore revealed to the mindreading world that mindjackers like herself were hidden in their midst. Now she wonders if telling the truth was the right choice after all. As wild rumors spread, a powerful anti-jacker politician capitalizes on mindreaders’ fears and strips jackers of their rights. While some jackers flee to Jackertown—a slum rife with jackworkers who trade mind control favors for cash—Kira and her family hide from the readers who fear her and jackers who hate her. But when a jacker Clan member makes Kira’s boyfriend Raf collapse in her arms, Kira is forced to save the people she loves by facing the thing she fears most: FBI agent Kestrel and his experimental torture chamber for jackers.

The third is one I CAN'T WAIT to read...and I'm sure neither can you. Unfortunately, the dang B&N near me is SOLD OUT! Grrrr....

One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

New York Times bestselling author Veronica Roth's much-anticipated second book of the dystopian Divergent series is another intoxicating thrill ride of a story, rich with hallmark twists, heartbreaks, romance, and powerful insights about human nature.

 What books are you excited about lately...and if you've read any of these DON'T. SAY. ANYTHING....about what happens :P Feel free to comment on how awesome they are though....