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The 2011 Book Drum Tournament



Hallu, dear readers! It's the beginning of the week again, and why not start it right by getting a chance to win some cash when you join the Book Drum Tournament?


I received the most charming email from the editor of Book Drum -- Hector Macdonald -- informing me about the tournament and the website, so I thought about sharing it with all of you.


Here's a section of the email about Book Drum:


www.bookdrum.com is a community website that aims to be the perfect companion to the books we love, bringing them to life with immersive pictures, videos, maps and music. So far we have assembled comprehensive illustrated profiles of over 100 important books, including several school set texts that are already proving very useful to teachers and students alike. Book Drum’s unique approach has been praised by authors as distinguished as Sarah Waters, John Banville, Khaled Hosseini, Anne Rice, Paulo Coelho and Peter Godwin.


It's actually such an interesting site when I had a look. If you want to know more about Book Drum, you can click HERE.




Now, for the Tournament*


To enter the 2011 Tournament, choose a published book and create a Profile of it, consisting of a Summary, a Review, a Glossary, an illustrated Setting page, a biography of the Author, and a comprehensive set of illustrated Bookmarks. Book Drum's interactive system makes it easy to do, and the chance to research a book in detail is richly rewarding.


If you're new to Book Drum, please take some time to look though the six sections of a sample profile first. For a guide to building a profile, see the Contributor Guidelines.


About the Tournament


A list of Recommended Books is provided, but you can choose a different book if you prefer. It should be published by a mainstream publisher, and must be widely available. Please check your choice with us in case there’s some reason why it might not be suitable: editor@bookdrum.com.


Only one person may profile any given book. Where a profile already exists, or is under construction, the book may not be chosen. Check your choice here: Profiles under construction or already published. Please note that to ensure popular titles are not reserved and left untouched, we may reclaim titles if no significant progress has been made within three weeks.


Profiles of your own books are not eligible in the Tournament. Authors may however create and publish profiles of their own titles as normal while the Tournament is running.


The Tournament is open to anyone over 18 other than the winners of the 2010 Tournament first and second prizes. The five runners-up in the 2010 Tournament are free to enter.


The prizes will be awarded by three independent judges. Results will be announced on 31 May 2011.


Deadline for Entries: 30 April 2011


To know more about the tournament and how to join, you can click HERE.


The prizes are...

First Prize: £1,000 

Second Prize: £500

Third Prize: £250 

5 Runner-Up Prizes: £100

Why not right?


So, if I were you, check out the Book Drum site now to learn more about how to join their tournament. You never know, you might be the next one to win £1,000!





*all information about the tournament was taken from the Book Drum website.

Superstitions Connected with Adder Stones


An adder stone is a perforated or glass-like stone, naturally occurring, that is traditionally believed to have magical powers. Adder stones were venerated by the Druids and are still thought to be particularly efficacious against diseases of the eye and as charms guaranteeing protection against evil. Such small stones, of various colors, have been credited with curing children of whooping cough (particularly in Scotland), with preventing nightmares, with ensuring success in legal cases and with assisting in recovery from adder bites. Superstition has it that such stones, otherwise known as "serpent's egg" or "snake eggs," are created from the hardened saliva of adders massing together at certain times of the year. According to popular belief, adder stones can be tested by throwing them into a flowing stream -- only those that float are the genuine article. The perforations are said to be caused by the tongues of snakes before the stones solidified.

Blogger Interview: Chick Lit Cafe


About the blog:

Chick Lit Café is for book lovers who enjoy escaping into stories filled with paranormal romance, crime-solving fashionistas and tear-jerking dramas. From fast-talking, zany sleuths like Stephanie Plum to hopelessly neurotic shopaholics like Rebecca Bloomwood, my book blogs cover the gamut in fun, fluffy chick lit goodness!

About the blogger:

Jessica is a Texas gal who grew up writing stories about vampires, ghosts, werewolves and the occasional crime-solving cat. Her constant departure from reality worried her family to no end. Of course, now that she’s actually making a living writing magazine stories for the University of Texas at Austin, they no longer contemplate calling the men with the white coats. When not sequestered behind her computer, she can be found in front of the TV watching Ghost Hunters or taking her cat Gizmo for a walk.


Interview:

How long have you been blogging?

Since June 2010. I’m very new to the scene!

Why did you decide to blog?

I have a terrible short-term memory, so I decided to create a blog to document the books I’ve read each year. In a way, revisiting my blogs is like looking through an old photo album. Looking back at an old book blog reminds me of where I was while reading the book, and why I selected that book during that specific time of year.

I also created this blog because I needed more creative freedom. I write research briefs about neuroscience and magazine features about political analysts for a living. Although I’m fortunate to make a living as a writer, I don’t have the freedom to write about things I’m truly interested in. So this blog is really just a fun hobby that allows me to enjoy writing again with no restrictions – and best of all – no editor!

What books do you blog about and why?

To me chick lit books are not just found in the romance section. Although you will find romance books in my blog, you’ll also see that I’m an avid fan of paranormal fiction, cozy mysteries, female-bonding tear-jerkers, and young adult thrillers. Since I was a kid, I’ve always been fascinated by mysteries and thrillers by writers like R.L. Stine and L.J. Smith. Although my obsession for tall, dark and handsome vampires has stayed the same, I’m also interested in slice-of-life dramas like “Where the Heart Is” and stories about female bonding like “The Sweet Potato Queens.”

What memes can be found on your blog?

I currently don’t have any memes on my blog. Should I?

What is your review style like?

As a journalist, I’m programmed to write stories in a standard news feature style by starting off with a flowery lead paragraph, which sets the mood and tone, and then jumping into the meat of the story. I usually add my own thoughts about the book somewhere near the end. I didn’t consciously plan to write my reviews in this format, it just comes natural to me. You can take the girl out of the newsroom, but you can’t take the newsroom out of the girl!

If you can describe your blog in one word, what would it be and why?

Unique. Because I don’t narrow my preferences down to one particular genre, there’s a little something for everyone. I also like to spotlight really great books from unknown authors who are in need of good press.

What advice can you give other bloggers about blogging?

Don’t spam other bloggers with emails and tweets asking them to read your blog. Be patient and comments will pop up! It’s also important to keep your blog fresh. Don’t let it run stagnant for too long or you’ll lose followers.

What kind of promotion techniques do you use to get followers?

Maybe I’ll toy around with the idea of a book giveaway later down the road, but for now I’m focusing on creating quality reviews. As of now I’m slowly, but surely building relationships with other bloggers by posting comments on their sites. That’s a great way to get on their good side, and sometimes they’re kind enough to return the favor.

If there was something you’d want your readers to take away from reading your blog, what would it be?

Many people think chick lit is nothing more than mindless garbage filled with formulaic plotlines. But if you extensively read into the genre, you’ll see that it’s so much more than stories about vapid, Gucci-obsessed women looking for love in Manhattan. To me chick lit is about strong-willed women who find strength through love, friendship and adversity. Stories like “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants,” and “Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café” give me hope, energy and make me laugh. It’s my hope that I can encourage people to pick up a good book and feel that same sense of joy. Oh and ladies – I want you to know that you are never too old to read young adult fiction!

What can readers look forward to from your blog in the future?

Author Q&As. My ultimate goal is to score an interview with the queen of chick lit, Meg Cabot! I’m also interested in creating a series about books that has been made into movies.

Blogger Remarks:

As I am writing this section, I found out that Chick Lit Cafe just won the Stylish Blogger Award. Congratulations, Jessica! And thank you so much for taking the time to be a part of this interview series. I like getting to know new book bloggers and sharing their experiences with fellow bloggers. This allows us to learn from each other. If you want to visit Chick Lit Cafe, dear reader, you can click on this link: http://loonachicklit.wordpress.com/

The Hawk And His Boy Giveaway!

It's a Thursday, and you know what that means. It's giveaway day!


Yesterday, we had the oh so cool C.H. Bunn as our Author of the Week. And like I mentioned, he's willing to giveaway a couple of Kindle copies of his novel. See info below:


The Hawk And His Boy is the first book of the Tormay trilogy. It begins with a young thief named Jute. There's nothing particularly special about him, other than a knack for being quiet and having quick hands. One night, his master in the Thieves Guild instructs him to break into a wizard's house and steal an old wooden box. They have a client for the job who is eager to pay a great deal of gold for the box. It should've been an easy job. Climb down the chimney, find the box, and get out fast. His master tells him, on pain of death, do not open the box. Of course, being a boy, Jute opens the box and sets off a chain of events that soon has him on the run from the wizard, the entire Thieves Guild, and their client, who happens to be the Lord of Darkness himself. On his odyssey of escape, Jute is aided by an odd assortment of friends, including a guilt-ridden assassin, an overly-talkative ghost, and a hawk who just might be able to teach him how to fly. But the Darkness will do anything to find Jute, even if it means plunging the whole land of Tormay into war.

I wouldn't pass up this chance, dear reader. A book is a book, is a book. Now, to enter, in the comments section, give me your:


1. Name


2. Email


The winner will be announced next week, February 3, 2011.


Enter now and don't pass up this chance!

Author Interview: C.H. Bunn


The Hawk And His Boy is the first book of the Tormay trilogy. It begins with a young thief named Jute. There's nothing particularly special about him, other than a knack for being quiet and having quick hands. One night, his master in the Thieves Guild instructs him to break into a wizard's house and steal an old wooden box. They have a client for the job who is eager to pay a great deal of gold for the box. It should've been an easy job. Climb down the chimney, find the box, and get out fast. His master tells him, on pain of death, do not open the box. Of course, being a boy, Jute opens the box and sets off a chain of events that soon has him on the run from the wizard, the entire Thieves Guild, and their client, who happens to be the Lord of Darkness himself. On his odyssey of escape, Jute is aided by an odd assortment of friends, including a guilt-ridden assassin, an overly-talkative ghost, and a hawk who just might be able to teach him how to fly. But the Darkness will do anything to find Jute, even if it means plunging the whole land of Tormay into war.

About the Author:

I was born and raised in central coast California. In my early years, I worked on my family's farm. After high school, I spent some years wandering around the world, working various jobs and also volunteering in missions. I've done construction in the Amazon, relief work for the United Nations in Thailand, and orphanage work in Ethiopia. I've worked on a kibbutz in Israel, done construction in Hawaii, and mission work in Kenya. My wandering during those days took me to around 30 countries. I have a BS in Liberal Studies and a MA in Film/TV Production. After grad school, I spent several years working for a TV production company in Scotland, followed by several years working for an animation company in Chicago. Currently, I'm back in California, where I again work on my family's farm. Funny how life seems to come full-circle.

Interview:

1. When did you decide to start writing?

I've been fiddling around with stories ever since I was a boy in grammar school. I wrote a story in the seventh grade (something to do with aliens, intelligent avocadoes and a blender) that so alarmed my teacher that she sent a note home to my parents recommending I see a therapist. My parents decided against the idea and I guess I turned out mostly all right.

I started writing seriously, however, at the age of 30. I was working in Chicago for a company that made the animated series VeggieTales. The work was good, but the peons (such as myself) weren't allowed to participate in the story portion of the animation process. This frustrated me to no end, and it was this frustration that compelled me to start writing seriously.

2. What is your genre and why did you decide to write a novel in it?

I write in several different genres, but my main love is fantasy. I've been a longtime admirer of J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis for the depth and beauty of their storytelling. Their work has inspired my own efforts in fantasy, including The Hawk And His Boy.

3. Were you worried about the word count of your work?

I wasn't worried about word count when I first started writing because I was clueless about industry standards for acceptable length. When I finally learned there were standards, I got fairly depressed as I had just finished writing The Hawk And His Boy. The book is part of a longer book (The Tormay Trilogy), and the complete work clocked in at 450,000 words. That's about as long as a phone book or one of those IRS tax code manuals. I started pruning at that point with a chainsaw.

4. Do you have any writing quirks and what are they?

I don't have any real quirks, such as needing to wear a bow tie while writing, or that sort of thing. I do have some practices I usually follow, though. I tend to write copious amounts of back-story in order to give myself a firm footing for the actual story. I'll also write the beginning, then the end, and then spend the rest of the time calculating how to get from one to the other.

5. If you can describe your novel in one word, what would it be and why?

If I had to describe The Hawk And His Boy in one word, it would be escape. The three main characters in the book are all trying to escape various things. The thief boy, Jute, is trying to escape a considerable number of different people and interests who are trying to kill him. The assassin, Ronan, is trying to escape his past. Levoreth, the girl from the wilds, is trying to escape the dreadful burden of who she is.

Mind you, the word escape holds true only for the first book of my trilogy. The rest of the books and their larger story are built on themes of redemption, death, sacrifice, love and revenge.

6. How did you decide on the title and what does it mean?

There's a nod in that title to C. S. Lewis. I'm a big fan of his book The Horse And His Boy. My title, The Hawk And His Boy, however, refers to the two characters, the thief boy, Jute, and his mentor, the old hawk. The rest of the characters and story revolves around who those two are and the choices they make.

7. What do you hope your readers will get out of reading your novel?

My hope is fairly simple. I hope that my readers will just have a great time reading my book. My aim with this story was to spin a dream that would hold true from the first word to the last. I'm a firm believer in escapist stories and I think there's nothing more delightful than to be able to plunge into someone else's tale for a couple hours and finally come back to the surface, smiling and all the better for the experience. I hope that The Hawk And His Boy can provide such an escape.

8. Tell us a little about your road to publication.

Initially, I planned on trying the traditional agent route. Query letters, slush piles, excel spreadsheets filled with minute detail about this or that agency, what they had already published, what they were looking for, quirks of their agents, etc. But then I realized that query letters, statistically, could sit molding in inboxes and on desks for months, that manuscripts could sit and gather dust for even longer, that, even if accepted by an agent, the subsequent process of finding an editor and a publishing house could take even longer. It was at that point that decided to go the epublishing route. I have no grand plans of becoming the next Robert Jordan. I'm happy enough to get my book out there into the ether and start selling it, one at a time. I'm content with that, and I have three other books nearly finished that'll soon be joining the first.

9. What advice can you give other aspiring authors out there?

If I can give any advice, it's this: write, and keep on writing. Also, read a lot. And don't just read the genres you're most comfortable with. If you haven't read a biography or a history or a memoir since the force-fed days of high school, go read one. It'll do you good, and it'll do your writing good. Read the classics. There are pretty good reasons why they're classics.

Blogger Remarks:

Thank you so much for taking the time to be a part of my Author Interview series, Christopher. It was a pleasure having you. And, dear readers, Christopher has been gracious enough to giveaway a couple of Kindle copies of his novel The Hawk And His Boy. So, stay tuned. Tomorrow's post will let you know how you can win a copy.

The Art of Critique Partners

When I first committed myself to my writing, I knew less than I knew now. An example of this ignorance is the need for a critique partner. Each writer has his or her own definition of what a critic partner is. For this post, I will concentrate on what I believe a critique partner can be.


The simple way of looking at it is that a critique partner is someone who can help you with your writing. He or she reads your work from another writer’s point of view. This means that not only do you get help in terms of grammar and finding those pesky typos, you also get help when plotting. Critique partners can help you make sure that your story makes sense. Sometimes, we get so close to our work that we fail to see the other possibilities. There are many suggestions a critique partner can give, but what you have to remember is a critique partner can only go so far. You are still the writer. It’s still your story. And in the end, it’s still your call if you want to take the advice or not.


The best critique partners don’t try to change your writing style to suit their tastes. They understand what you’re trying to do and guide you toward your goal. I call this the Wait and See method. The critique partner doesn’t jump the gun in terms of where the story is going. Any critique partner that meddles too much in the way you write your story might not be the best one for you. As writers, we must have our own style. It grows and evolves as we continue to learn. But no one can change our style for us. So, you need to be weary of critique partners that overstep their bounds. Most importantly, be honest with your critique partner. If you feel that they’ve gone too far, say so. There’s nothing wrong with that. Finding someone who’s in sync with your writing is difficult, but not impossible. You just have to be patient. It’s like making friends. Some work out, while others don’t. But don’t stick with someone who just compliments you all the time. We all liked to be praised for what we’re doing, but too much isn’t good for your growth as a writer as well. You need to find that balance of tough love when it comes to critique partners. Not only will he or she look out for what’s best for your work, they will look out for what’s best for you, too.


My first critique partner came from an ad I answered posted on Literary Rambles. I’ll discuss more about this awesome site in another post. But going back to my original thought, my first critique partner put up an ad. As a fluke, not knowing what a critique partner is yet, I answered it. As writers, we tend to be secretive about our work. We keep things close to the chest, so to actually have a stranger look at your work can be nerve wracking, to say the least. When I got over the initial sense of distrust, I began corresponding with my new critique partner. She chose me among others who offered since we both had the same writing aesthetic. I’d since parted ways with her, but we remain friends. She taught me how to separate myself as a writer and as an editor. I also learned from her how to be conscious of the words I used and how to show what is happening instead of just telling the story.


As months passed, I’ve gone through quite a few critique partners. All of them helped me in their own way. Having someone critique your work is always a learning experience. At least, that’s how I want to think about it because I would end up sitting in a corner crying if I let every little criticism affect me as a writer. I think I’ll have to write about the differences between constructive criticism and destructive criticism sometime.


At the moment, I have three critique partners, all of whom I trust implicitly with my freshest stuff. They all bring out the writer in me, and challenge me to always better myself. I think that’s the most important thing about having a critique partner. They see the holes in your work that you previously might not have noticed. They encourage you to keep going. And since they are writers too, they are the best people to commiserate with when writing is getting a little too hard for comfort. I can honestly say that I am friends with all my critique partners. I think that’s what you need to do. Create a rapport with them.


When you have a critique partner, you’ll end up doing some critiquing, too. It’s a two way street, dear reader. The exchange of chapters is mutual. I believe that being a critique partner also helps bring out the editor in you because you get to read the work of others and share what you know about writing with them. It’s essentially information swapping. There’s no point in being greedy. If Barney the purple dinosaur taught us anything, it’s to share.


The best place to find critique partners are writing communities and forums. I’ve mentioned Literary Rambles as one, but another is Agent Query Connect. There are many writers there willing to help out. And the best thing about Agent Query is that you can find writers working in the same genre as you. In that way, the critiquing stays within your realm of comfort. If you have other places that you could recommend when it comes to finding critique partners, don’t hesitate to mention it in the comments section (maybe even add the link), dear readers.


I don’t know if I’d ever gotten an agent if I didn’t have critique partners. I don’t even think I would be the kind of writer I am today if my critique partners didn’t teach me a thing or two. So, I would like to extend a simple show of gratitude to those who have patiently taken the time to read and comment on my work. You help me keep sane in this insane endeavor. You show me possibilities I wouldn’t have considered. You give uplifting and sage advice. And you let me read the wonderful things you write.


So, to all the critique partners out there, keep on critiquing. Know when to kick-butt. Know when to give a virtual hug. Always add good comments and encouragements. Always mention when you find something funny, effective, or just plain awesome. And don’t be afraid to make suggestions. That’s what we’re here for, right? If we can’t help save each other from complicated plot knots, grammatical errors, and the war on typos, then why call ourselves critique partners?

Superstitions Connected with Adder Snakes

An adder is a poisonous snake, which, as the only venomous reptile found in the British Isles, has attracted to itself a host of superstitious beliefs. According to ancient British custom, simply coming across an adder is bad luck, unless the snake is killed immediately (anyone killing the first snake seen in the spring is said to be assured of good luck against enemies in the coming season). Another belief has it that an adder cannot be killed before sunset unless beaten with an ash stick or else rendered helpless by murmuring a special charm (the first two verses of Psalm 68). To trap the snake in the first place, the procedure is to draw a circle around the creature and then make the sign of the cross inside it. The presence of a live adder on the doorstep, moreover, is a sure omen of death in the household, while dreaming of adders is an indication that a person's enemies are plotting against them, according to one ancient Dorset superstition.


Actual adder bites can be treated, according to gipsy lore, by killing the snake and rubbing its body against the site of a wound or else by coating the bite with a paste of fried adder fat (a course of action described by Thomas Hardy in his novel The Return of the Native). An alternative treatment suggested in the seventeenth century was to hold a live pigeon to the wound until it had absorbed all the poison, or else to slaughter a chicken or sheep and place the bitten part of the body against the still warm carcass (which turns black when the poison has been absorbed). Simpler cures include the application of an ointment comprising rosemary and betony mixed with water or the drinking of goosegrass juice and wine. In Whales, the effect of an adder bite can be negated by leaping over water before the snake has disappeared.


More beneficent is the use of dried or cast-off adder skin, which, wrapped around the affected part, is alleged to have the power to cure rheumatism, headaches, or pricks form thorns and, if hung above the hearth, will protect the whole household from fire and ensure good luck. Swallowing a potion containing powdered adder skin will remedy any problems with the spleen or, eaten as a soup with chicken, will cure consumption. Other superstitions concerning adders include the erroneous but commonly held belief that they swallow their young when frightened and the incorrect assumption that they are deaf because they lack visible ears (they detect sound vibrations through the tongue).

Blogger Interview: Deranged Book Lovers


About the Blog:

The Deranged Book Lovers was founded in November 15, 2010. It started off with Mithee and Kay-c talking about a particular book review, which then led to talking about starting up a blog where we can post our book reviews. Mithee came up with "unique" (read: insane, crazy) blog titles. If you think our current blog title is crazy, how about "The Teal Werepenguins," "Orange Felines," "The Reading Evil Monkey Ninjas of Doom" and "The Confessions of Lame Book Bloggers"? Until finally, Mithee came up with an almost better blog title. Almost. A name that can be considered: The Deranged Book Lovers. Well? It's better compared to the previous ones, right? I doubt you can blame us for being choosing the deranged one instead. We really are not deranged though. Maybe...just a bit. Seriously...we're not. :D
The three of us are forum moderators in a well-known website. That said, you may find us a bit strict sometimes. :D

If you'd like to know more about us. You can go and read our intro's
- Kay-c
- Lynossa
- Mithee

Or might as well contact us if you want :D

About the Blogger:

The three of us met as moderators in a forum. The three of us from Southeast Asia: I'm an Indonesian, while Mithee and Kay-c from Phillipines. It turned out we have the same hobby so we're kinda stick together and could spend hours to talk about books. I have the most various preference in reading. I read almost very genre except erotica and hardcore romance, though my favorites are mystery and fantasy. Kay-c and Mithee prefer YA among the other genres. Oh, and the three of us loves animal especially cat!

Interview:

How long have you been blogging?

I’ve been blogging for years but not specific for book reviews, more about my thoughts and contemplation. But then something happened to me throughout 2010 and I don’t feel interested in sharing my thoughts anymore; partially because that blog is linked to some of my real life friends and let’s just say some of my thoughts aren’t popular among the religious community in my country.

Anyway, throughout 2010 I read more manga (Japanese comic) than novels, but toward end of 2010 I return to the love of my life (novel) and decided to create a blog designed for book review; not so long after that I found out Mithee and Kayz talked about that and asked them to join.

Why did you decide to blog?

Well, some of my real life friends always asked for my recommendation when they want to read/buy novels. I think it’ll be nice to post my review so people can read it. After I started blogging, I realize it’s more than that. It’s actually a community and right now I’m having fun with it.

What books do you blog about and why?

My preferences are eclectic; I don’t want to limit myself only to certain genre. But I have favourite genres: Mystery, Fantasy, and Contemporary. However I don’t read erotica romance, or pure romance in general. I like romance as side-story, lovey dovey scenes can make my eyes rolled too much, especially if the girls always act like damsel in distress and they guy somehow an impersonation of Knight in Shinning Whatever.

What memes can be found on your blog?

We’ve got Teaser Tuesday, Follow Friday and Blogger Hop, and In My Mailbox.

What is your review style like?

I don’t know if my review style fits into any category. I tried to write honest review based on what I think about the book, sometimes I can be very details, but other times I can be concise. It all depends on my mood, but I tried not to give too much spoilers.

If you can describe your blog in one word, what would it be and why?

Variety. This is a blog managed by three people with different personalities and backgrounds. We have different preferences in reading, we have different point of view, and those things affect the way we review a book.

What advice can you give other bloggers about blogging?

Well, I’m still new so I don’t think I can give much advice. I just want to say write what you want to write. The blog is yours to handle, stop listening to people who told you that you can’t write this or you should write it ‘this’ way. Take the good advice but don’t let people control you.

What kind of promotion techniques do you use to get followers?

The usual; memes and giveaways. I’m still thinking about other ways but haven’t got any idea yet.

If there was something you’d want your readers to take away from reading your blog, what would it be?

That we offer honest reviews; even though authors asked us to review their books, or publisher sponsored our giveaways, we stay honest no matter what.

What can readers look forward to from your blog in the future?

Beside various reviews, there will be giveaways, features, and probably some more.

Blogger Remarks:

When I first visited Deranged Book Lovers, I was super fascinated by their layout and content. I knew I had to interview them for this series. So, I would like to thank Lynossa for granting the interview. If you want to visit their blog, you can click on their blog button below.



The Coming of Age and 500 Follower Giveaway

It's Thursday Giveaway Day, dear readers! This is why I want to remind you all about my 500 Follower Giveaway, which you can enter HERE. There's still time. The giveaway ends February 11, 2011.

As usual, my good friend Noey, from Her Name is Noelle, is picking out the winners. And as a special treat, she's consented to share with all of you one of the songs she's written called The Coming of Age, which I feel is appropriate since we're celebrating reaching 500 Followers and more. Let us know what you think of the song by leaving a comment.


About the Artist:

My name is Noelle Pico and I write songs. I count among my influences musicians like Vienna Teng, Karen Carpenter and the many Disney soundtracks and musical scores that were a standard while I was growing up. There are others, of course, but given that my trademark line is “I’ll listen to anything once,” I’ll save talking about them for another time.

I named this website Chasing Kites because that’s pretty what my music and the dream surrounding my music is all about. Kites are beautiful things, but to let them soar you need to learn patience and timing or else you’ll never get it off the ground. The patience part I’m working on. As for timing, I’d like to think that anything you really want, you started on yesterday. :)





The Coming of Age
Music & Lyrics: Noelle Pico


take it slow
you're going out there now
and you have only yourself
and the thoughts you carry
you have only your hands

and you will breathe in deeply
you will look for something out there

and you know
that all that's left is faith
and trust will be right here
caught between your fingers
the world's so big

so let them keep their secrets
leave alone what's for tomorrow

these clothes don't fit me anymore
these shoes are too worn down from walking
i'll strip my being down
i'll shed the skin off
the barest of my bones

go on slow
you're really out there now
and you'll want more than yourself
and these dreams you bury
you'll need more than your hands

so curl up your weary fingers
hope your heels can tread on seashells

and say:
these clothes don't fit me anymore
and these shoes are too worn down for walking
so i strip my being down like fruit
and i shed the skin off
the barest of my bones

take it slow
you're going out there now
you're really out there now
just out there

Author Interview: Anna Y. White


This is a story of a teenage girl, Natalya Orlova, who moves to Hungary to get a university degree. Unknown definition of 'cultural shock' becomes central, shortly after she finds herself completely alone in foreign Budapest with no parents, friends and no language. Can she keep up with such a radical change? Can she trust those people around her? What is the price of wanting something badly?

About the Author:

I was born in Belarus, Minsk, on Dec 12 1985. When I was 18 I left to study abroad, to Hungary actually, and earned a BA in INternational Relations and MSc in MArketing Management (all in English). And I have always been writing poems and small stories, since I was 11 I think in Russian, but I never published anything I wrote I don't even know myself why. So The Change is my first book, which I think is rather deep and emotional book, because it speaks about problems all of us go through. I currently resident in Budapest and work on the book's sequel.


Interview:

1. When did you decide to start writing?

I have always been writing something, anything, whether it was poetry or small stories. My dad is a song composer, so I sort of inherited the gift of to be able to write from him. But my emotional experience about being abroad in particular inspired me to write my first big book, because I felt like I have a lot to share with the world.

2. What is your genre and why did you decide to write a novel in it?

I would put 'The Change' under young adult fiction section. I decided to write for young adults because I believe when people are young they have a lot of things going on, they are able to explore themselves and choose what they want. For many that's the period when big changes take place. So I thought that those people, who consider going abroad to study, live, work etc., may learn a lot of things about the process before actually doing it. I want people to see clearer the options on the example of my characters, experience their emotions and learn something useful from the book and the storyline. I really hope people can relate and extract something for themselves and also avoid typical mistakes people make when they are suddenly in a different, unknown environment on their own, with a lot of responsibilities on their shoulders on one hand and a lot of temptations of all new on the other hand.

3. Were you worried about the word count of your work?

No. When I started writing I knew I won't finish in one book, because my characters are detailed and complex. So I felt like they need space and stopped looking at word count after my page number hit 250. I still feel that they need space:) so the sequel of "The Change" is in works, where my characters face different problems and become a bit more mature in other aspects, not just adaptation to everything new.

4. Do you have any writing quirks and what are they?

I'm a very tidy person. So if anything on my desk isn't like I left it, I simply cannot write. I clean first. Another thing: I can't just write anywhere. I need my desk.

5. If you can describe your novel in one word, what would it be and why?

Deep. Because it's all about emotions and feelings, whether it's love or friendship or even adaptation.

6. How did you decide on the title and what does it mean?

Change means change;). Change of moving place, change of heart, appearance, change of points of view, change of personalities - that's all inside the novel. "Change" was the first word I typed when I opened my Word.

7. What do you hope your readers will get out of reading your novel?

Experience, first of all. I hope the novel can help them to go through the change they have in their lives, because sooner or later all of us go through something like that. Support always comes handy and this book can be your friend.

8. Tell us a little about your road to publication.

I'm currently taking that road. I'm doing a lot of research where to publish, with whom and how. I really would like this book to obtain a hard copy looks as well apart from e-format.

9. What advice can you give other aspiring authors out there?

If this is what you love doing-do it. Don't put it on the back burner, because someone says you should be a lawyer, doctor, economist etc.

Blogger Remarks:

It's always great to get to know different authors from around the world. Everyone has a story to tell. So, I would like to take this time to thank you, Anna, for taking the time to be a part of my Author Interview series. It was a pleasure having you. If you want to know more about Anna and her work, dear reader, you can visit:

Sample or purchase The Change: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/32008
Blog: http://annaywhite.blogspot.com/

200th Post

It's one celebration after another here on Reads, Reviews, Recommends. Today marks the 200th post, and I thought one way to celebrate it is to list 200 things about me. I severely underestimated this challenge, dear reader. At first, I thought: easy. But when I reached a hundred, I found less and less things about me that I could share. Not as easy as you think. But with that said, here are 200 Things About Me:


1. I love to write.
2. I love to read.
3. I love to bake cakes.
4. I love eating pasta.
5. Pepperoni is my favorite pizza topping.
6. I only like brownies if they are moist.
7. I love mint chocolate anything.
8. I prefer Romance over Fantasy.
9. I watch anime.
10. I plan to adopt one pure white and one pure black German Shepherd.
11. I love shoes, especially wedges.
12. I’m more comfortable in a skirt than jeans.
13. Noey gave me my very first skinny jean.
14. I listen to JAM 88.3
15. I can’t tell the difference between Alternative and Rock.
16. I’m planning to take my bro to Japan for his graduation gift.
17. I’m a Taurus.
18. In the Chinese calendar, I’m born in the year of the Boar.
19. I love to eat ice cream when it rains.
20. My favorite song is Iris by the Goo Goo Dolls.
21. My favorite band is Bon Jovi.
22. The first CD I ever bought was Crossroads by Bon Jovi.
23. I’m a romantic.
24. If I can’t tell how the movie ends in the first fifteen minutes, I will surely like it.
25. My favorite movie is The American President.
26. I eat a Ranchero Burger from Brothers Burger at least once a month.
27. I want to meet Suzanne Collins one day and worship the ground she walks upon.
28. My favorite author is Lisa Kleypas (whom I also want to meet).
29. My closet is arranged according to outfits.
30. I love the smell of jasmine and lavender.
31. I like eating ice cream in a cone not a cup.
32. I love barbeque fries while watching a movie.
33. I have to watch at least one movie in the theaters once a week.
34. I watched four movies one after the other at the cinemas in one day.
35. Instead of going home from school because of a fever, I went to watch a movie instead.
36. Spaghetti with meat sauce is my pasta of choice.
37. I love cream of corn soup.
38. I can read a book a day if I put my mind to it.
39. I keep a journal chronicling my writing exploits.
40. I’m essentially a typist for the stories of the characters in my head.
41. I prefer cold, sunny days.
42. The OPM band I love is Bamboo.
43. I used to be a swimmer and volleyball player.
44. I used to have a cat named Arla.
45. The first novel I ever read is Daughter of the Empire by Raymond E. Feist and Janny Wurts.
46. I can’t stand rudeness.
47. I grow roses and hydrangeas on my balcony.
48. My laptop is named Fred.
49. My phone is named Joe.
50. I love watching American TV shows.
51. I can’t leave a bookstore without buying a book.
52. I love to drive fast while listening to rock.
53. My drink of choice is iced tea.
54. I’ve never gotten drunk.
55. I don’t like wine.
56. I would rather drink Mint Baileys.
57. Budweiser is my beer of choice.
58. I once took pictures of fireworks, which pissed off my dad.
59. I used to use getting my hair done as a stress reliever.
60. I love hugs and kisses.
61. I’m a very tactile person.
62. I’m not a morning person.
63. Dusk is my favorite time of day.
64. Autumn is my favorite season.
65. I love October.
66. Halloween is my favorite holiday.
67. I love Japanese food.
68. I find conveyor belt sushi places awesome.
69. I once flew in a helicopter over Niagara Falls.
70. I get lost in my own village.
71. I live in a mango grove, but I don’t particularly like mangoes.
72. I don’t have a best friend, per se.
73. I find kissing to be an art form.
74. I love writing letters.
75. I love giving gifts for no reason at all.
76. I like my men really tall.
77. I prefer wearing heels than flats.
78. I like werewolves better than vampires.
79. I used to be a crybaby.
80. I hated high school.
81. I loved, loved college.
82. I have a temper that I’m learning to control.
83. I’m fiercely loyal.
84. I can’t stand children and old people getting hurt.
85. I give food to the poor instead of money.
86. My favorite number is eleven.
87. I dream of walking into a bookstore and seeing my novels on the shelves.
88. I dream of seeing my stories on the silver screen.
89. I easily get embarrassed for others.
90. I’m not the type who screams and shouts when someone famous walks by.
91. I’m terribly shy sometimes.
92. I used to be insecure about the way I look.
93. I’ve learned to embrace forgiveness even when I think it’s unfair.
94. I watched a Sex and the City marathon while writing my college thesis.
95. I’m not a fan of poetry.
96. I normally don’t eat after six in the evening.
97. I used to have a major crush on Adam Scott.
98. I love the color blue.
99. My favorite anime is Evangelion.
100. I have a younger brother who acts older than me.
101. I think my mother is the most beautiful woman in the world.
102. I chew ice after most meals.
103. I believe in ghosts.
104. I’m intrigued by conspiracy theories.
105. I lived alone while in college.
106. I can watch a movie at the cinemas by myself.
107. I love airports.
108. When it comes to reality TV, I love Top Chef and Project Runway.
109. I have a hard time saving money.
110. I love to travel.
111. If I watch three consecutive episodes of a series, I’m committed.
112. I used to be an English Teacher.
113. I passed the first grade without knowing how to read.
114. I’m slightly dyslexic.
115. I’m not bad at math, but I don’t particularly like Algebra.
116. In numerology, my whole name adds up to the number eleven.
117. At first sight, people don’t believe I speak Filipino.
118. Sunday is my favorite day.
119. I used to collect stickers when I was little.
120. There was a time I wanted to live during the medieval era as a princess.
121. I can see Orion’s belt from my balcony.
122. I cried when I graduated high school.
123. I believe that it is better to be underestimated than overestimated.
124. Sometimes, I’m too sensitive for my own good.
125. I have recurring dreams about this guy I don’t know.
126. I used to be obsessed with reading manga.
127. I hide chocolate from my brother, which he finds anyway.
128. I’ve discovered a love for roti and curry.
129. I dream of walking into a store and buying anything I want without worrying about the price.
130. I have motion sickness, but I don’t get seasick.
131. I love to laugh, especially at silly things.
132. If I really like the book, I end up talking to it.
133. My favorite talk show host would have to be Oprah and Craig Fergusson.
134. I hate going to the dentist more than the doctor.
135. I need to read before I go to sleep or else I don’t sleep at all.
136. I’m a believer of think it, say it, do it.
137. Sometimes, I open the fridge without knowing if I want something inside.
138. I cannot look at food all mashed together.
139. There was a time I couldn’t leave the house without wearing make-up.
140. I started wearing heels and make-up in the sixth grade.
141. I’ve never experimented with drugs.
142. I have a tattoo.
143. I love getting pedicures but not manicures.
144. I enjoy watching stage plays and musicals.
145. I used to fantasize about marrying Christopher Paolini.
146. I once watched ninety episodes of Prince of Tennis nonstop to get over a guy.
147. I never take off my lucky necklace.
148. I have really small hands.
149. I could work a VCR at the age of one.
150. I love notebooks—the more elaborate the design the better.
151. I like writing in the third person better than the first.
152. Self-doubt is my worst enemy.
153. I’m freaked out about the fact that time is ticking faster than it used to.
154. I have a girl crush on Angelina Jolie.
155. I never thought of piecing any other part of my body.
156. I prefer actual books to eBooks.
157. I love the smell of old books.
158. I find a guy’s calf the sexist part of the body.
159. I find bags to be the hardest thing to buy in terms of accessories.
160. I love listening to wind chimes.
161. My birthday is May 11th.
162. I prefer being in the city than the beach, but I do like the countryside.
163. I used to be addicted to playing RPGs.
164. I love to sing, especially in the car.
165. My dream car is a ‘69 Shelby GT500.
166. I have a porcelain piggy bank in the shape of a cow in a gypsy costume.
167. I would rather spend money on books than food.
168. I’ve never shoplifted.
169. I purposely deflated a guy’s car tires as a form of revenge.
170. My eyes can change color between blue, green, and gray depending on what I'm wearing or my mood.
171. I find washing plates soothing.
172. My favorite pairs of shoes come from Payless.
173. It is only last year that I’ve completed my Bon Jovi album collection.
174. I couldn’t sleep after watching The Ring.
175. Formula One used to be my favorite sport to watch.
176. My guilty pleasure is watching Gossip Girl and Vampire Diaries.
177. I’m not really as tech savvy as my friends think.
178. Most of the time, the first impression people get of me is intimidating.
179. I can never fall asleep in a car.
180. I take care of my own.
181. I’m stubborn.
182. I’m more spiritual than religious.
183. I look like a cooked lobster when sunburned.
184. I prefer thrift store shopping than paying full price for clothes.
185. I love riding trains.
186. I once watched someone get shot dead.
187. I am a graduate of De La Salle University – Manila.
188. I have a literature degree.
189. I started off in med school in college.
190. I used to be a snob when it came to my reading choices.
191. I can camp out with the best of them.
192. I’ve always wanted to learn to speak Japanese.
193. I love to dance.
194. I enjoy stand up comedy, especially when Robin Williams is on stage.
195. I’ve never been to a rock concert.
196. I think caramel is awesome!
197. I like red Jell-O more than green.
198. I collect recipes from Reader’s Digest.
199. I love the Irish accent.
200. I finally have a Facebook or Twitter account.

Seriously, I thought I would never finish. Wipes sweat off of forehead and goes to continue reading Cry Wolf.

500 Follower Charm Giveaway!

I opened my website today and found that we have reached 500 followers, dear readers! 



You've made my day!




So, as a way to share my happiness, I'd like to hold my first giveaway of the year to mark this milestone. 500 Followers is no joke, and I'd like to give away some lucky charms to FIVE Reads, Reviews, Recommends readers.


Four Leaf Clover


The Heart Key


The Cross


The Silver Cat


The Letter K




To join, just enter in the comments section your:


1. Name


2. Email


3. The charm of your choice


That's all. Keeping it simple, I find from experience, is the best way to do it.


The giveaway is International.


It ends February 11, 2011.


So, join now! You might be the next lucky reader picked by Noey from Her Name is Noelle.

Something New

Hallu, dear readers. I've been working on something new, and I would like to know what you think.



Blogger Interview: My Book Addiction


About the Blog:

My blog is all about books, I write book reviews most of them in the genre Young Adult and fantasy/horror. But that's not all I also write about my favourite genres, authors and books I really want. And of course everything that happens in my booklife, getting new books, waiting for books to come or sometimes the frustration of not finding the right book.

About the Blogger:

My name is Annabel, I'm a 26 year old ducht girl that loves to read . I have a lovely boyfriend that accepts my addiction for books and even supports me sometimes with buying a book for me. We have 4 pets, two rats named Aprella and Contessa, a hamster named Lestat and a bunny named agent B ( we were inspired by Phineas and Ferb ). I'm a huge Disney fan and I try to go to Disneyland Paris at least three times a year. I love the dark side of life the creepy creatures that crawl out at night, Vampires, Werewolves, Ghosts, Demons and even Zombies. When I'm not working with kids ( i work at a daycare center for kids in the age between four and thirteen. ), I love to read of course, but you can also find me at the movies for a good horror movie or Disney of course. Or at a concert, I love music and listen to it a lot! I also love traveling and my favorite city is London.

Interview:

How long have you been blogging?

I've only been blogging for about two months now. So it's not that long.

Why did you decide to blog?

I decided to blog because I wanted a fast way to see wich books I've read and what I thought about them. I already had a Goodreads account but searching for that specific review isn't that easy in my opinion. And I like to share my thoughts about books with the rest of the world!

What books do you blog about and why?

Most of the books I blog about are either Young Adult or Fantasy/Horror. The reason I blog about these books is because that's the genre I really love to read so it makes it easy to blog about them. But I do read other books of course, most of them are history books, not the highschool textbook kind but real stories. Sometimes the stories really happened but most of the time they are just fiction and set in Victorian England or about the Tudors because I think there whole story is very fascinating.

What memes can be found on your blog?

Besides my reviews I also write about authors I love, Books I would really want to read but just haven't because they haven't come out yet, the genres I love to read about and all the other things that happen to me as book addict. From buying books or waiting for them to arrive or me driving my boyfriend crazy with all my books haha.

What is your review style like?

I always start with a goodreads summary so the reader knows what it's about, after that I write my own version of what the sotry is about, that's mostly for the people that already read the story because it contains spoilers most of the time. And after that I write my review, what did I think about the book, what did I like about the book and what did I miss. Do I feel the story, like the characters, ending the review with how many stars I give the book.

If you can describe your blog in one word, what would it be and why?

Fun! because my blog is all about fun, the fun of reading, the fun of meeting an author, the fun of waiting for your books to arrive or to come out. Jus fun because I think reading is all about having fun!

What advice can you give other bloggers about blogging?

Blogging should be fun for yourself, just blog about everything that you want and have fun with it! The followers aren't the most important thing about your blog keep that in mind

What kind of promotion techniques do you use to get followers?

I use Twitter, mostly I post links to my blog in a tweet. I post the link to my review on my Goodreads account. I joined Book blogs a site where you can promote your blog and I try to follow a lot of blogs and read them and post comments there.

If there was something you’d want your readers to take away from reading your blog, what would it be?

I want them to find inspiration for reading books and I just hope they enjoy reading my blog as much as I enjoy writing it.

What can readers look forward to from your blog in the future?

A lot of reviews and funny bookstories and I hope I can get interviews with authors, when I get more followers I'm going to see if I can host a reading challenges and maybe even a giveaway!

Blogger Remarks:

It's always nice to get to know a budding blogger. Everyone has to start somewhere, and I believe that Annabel is off to a good start with her blog. Thank you so much Annabel for taking the time to answer my questions and allowing my readers to get to know you better. To visit Annabel's blog, click on this link: http://mybookaddiction.blogspot.com/

Johnny Opps Giveaway Winner!

Hallu, dear readers!


Today, we announce a winner!


But first, I would like to take this time to thank Arthur Levine for giving away a signed copy of his novel Johnny Oops. It's been a pleasure featuring his work on Reads, Reviews, Recommends.


This week's winner is:

Lynossa

from




Let's give her some love.


And don't worry, dear readers, there are more giveaways to come in the next few weeks, so stay tuned because the next person we congratulate might be you!

Author Interview: S.P. Wish


A school camping trip leads quirky middle schooler Mizu, her twin brother Kaji, her friend Akumu and school newspaper reporter Seiya to a mysterious mansion in Greenfire Forest. In the mansion, Mizu's friend suddenly vanishes only to reappear out of thin air in the middle of the room! Many other unexplained happenings follow until Mizu discovers an old newspaper with information about a centuries old intrigue which has remained hidden till now..........and no person who knows of its existence is allowed to live.......

About the Author:

S.P. Wish is a novel-writing duo made up of identical twins S. Wish and P. Wish (pen names). They published their debut novel Roses of Doom on Smashwords.com where it is avalable for free. Their hobbies include reading, writing, listening to music, playing video games and eating exotic dishes.


Interview:

1. When did you decide to start writing?

We started writing when we were eight. In the beginning, we only wrote short stories and illustrated novels and showed them to our teachers. Our teachers were extremely impressed by it and encouraged us to continue writing. We then started sending articles and short stories to magazines. When they were published, it became a source of inspiration for us to strive for something bigger.

2. What is your genre and why did you decide to write a novel in it?

We like almost all genres (even new age) and plan to work in many genres. In fact, we are planning a high-school comedy novel which will be completed some time in the near future. As for Roses of Doom, it is a horror/thriller/children's novel. It can also appeal to young adults and might also be perceived as sentimental by some because it has a strong message and a happy ending. We decided to write such a novel because we wanted to do something different within the horror genre so we mixed horror and happy endings with optimism and made a crossover novel.

3. Were you worried about the word count of your work?

In the beginning, yes. But as the novel progressed, we realized that its word count was getting better and as it is intended for the age group 10+ so it didn't have to be very long.

4. Do you have any writing quirks and what are they?

We eat a lot while writing, which means that we have to type using one hand. Sometimes, we also listen to music to create a mood while writing.

5. If you can describe your novel in one word, what would it be and why?

If Roses of Doom had to be described in one word it would be 'balanced'. That is because Roses of Doom has scary moments, sad moments, thrilling moments, happy moments and instances when not much seems to happen. We have mixed gloom and happiness in this book, which makes it well-rounded and balanced.

6. How did you decide on the title and what does it mean?

Roses of Doom came to us randomly. The strong use of Roses and the message they convey in the story was also a deciding factor. And it sounded exactly like the kind of title a horror/thriller novel would have without being too gory. It does not mean anything specifically, but it sounds interesting!

7. What do you hope your readers will get out of reading your novel?

An experience. We hope that they will be able to feel all the emotions we have packed into the book and have fun too.

8. Tell us a little about your road to publication.

It was a fairly straightfoward one. We wrote the book and then sent it to Smashwords.com which is an independent publisher of ebooks. Then, it got published.

9. What advice can you give other aspiring authors out there?

Stay true to yourself and never give up. Everything that you love, is worth it in the end. If writing (or for that matter, anything else) is what you want to do, it is the only thing that will give you true happiness. Even a little bit of success will make you feel accomplished and good about yourself, so keep doing your best!

Blogger Remarks:

One of the reasons why I started this author interview series is so that I could meet authors. Being a writer myself, I'm always interested in getting to know how other writers think and their writing process. So, thank you so much S.P. for taking the time to answer my questions. I really appreciate it.

The Wait


One of the hardest parts about being a writer is The Wait. It comes in many forms. Waiting for inspiration to strike. Waiting for a critique partner to return a chapter with his or her thoughts. Waiting for a response to your queries. Waiting for a publishing house to sign you. Wait. Wait. Wait. And when you think the waiting is over and done with, there’s still the wait for your book to launch. The wait involved in seeing if you--by some miracle--made it to the New York Times Best Seller’s List. All of that waiting can drive anyone this side of Nutsville. Even the most patient of persons has his or her limits. Well, maybe not Mother Teresa. 


Are you familiar with the Marshmallow Test? Scientists sit a kid at a table with a marshmallow on a plate. Said scientist tells the kid that if he or she can wait for five minutes without eating the marshmallow then he or she would be given a second marshmallow as a reward for waiting. Most kids end up eating the marshmallow. It’s the pleasure principle. We find ourselves needing to satisfy a need instead of delaying the gratification even if we know we’ll have twice the initial prize in the end.


I find myself playing the part of the kid, staring at that marshmallow. I’m so close to it that I can smell its sugary-air goodness. All I need to do is reach for it. The act would take a matter of seconds and the marshmallow would be mine. But at the back of my mind, a small voice is saying, “Wait for it. Wait for it,” like someone giving the signal to attack. It’s excruciating torture, being in a limbo-like state where you find yourself half certain and half uncertain. You wake up thinking: is this really happening?


How patient do you have to be as a writer? I’d say a hellovalot. I normally think of myself as a patient person, much to the chagrin of those who really know me. Sometimes I think, do I have what it takes to wait some more? Can I actually survive not knowing what I have to do next? Where is this all going? Will I achieve what I set out to do? Should have I stayed in that dead end job? These are some of the debilitating questions that make waiting painful. Like a professional torturer’s knife going in. It slips through just enough to hurt you, but not enough to kill you.


No one prepares you for The Wait. No one says, “Make sure you're patient enough,” when you tell them that you want to be a writer. Not that many writers talk about all those years of writing and getting out there. Sometimes, it’s mentioned in passing. But, really, it’s the hardest part. Look at Jay Asher, author of 13 Reasons Why. He’d been writing for twelve years and was close to giving up before 13 Reasons Why made him an author to remember. Now, his novel is rubbing elbows with the likes of thought provoking texts like Catcher in the Rye and To Kill a Mockingbird and The Giver—you know, the classics that will one day be taught in school, or at least, discussed in length. Today, it’s the success or the story of the book that’s talked about, but what about those twelve years of waiting? Sometimes, when something amazing happens, we forget about all the time we spent waiting for that amazing thing.


I honestly don’t have a clear idea as to where this post is going. I just wanted to share the experience of The Wait with you, dear reader. What keeps me from going off the deep end? Writing the next book. Reading, a lot. Keeping myself busy, thinking of other things besides the fact that what I’m really doing is waiting. It’s crazy, I know. But it’s something that we all go through, especially when you’re a writer.   


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