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NEWS

As I’m sure all of you have heard by now, recently Clean Teen Publishing (of all places) chose a short story I wrote for publication in their Wonderstruck anthology, which is being released this coming Friday, May 31st. They provided 5 pictures, and asked authors to pick one and submit a story based on the photo. Amazingly, they selected mine. I am excited and honored to be a part of it; this is my first publishing credit. *flails*

There are a whole bunch of people that made this possible. Everybody who ever gave me an encouraging word after reading some of the atrocious crap that spews forth from my brain onto the page played a part. The constant love and encouragement and general good times offered by the crazy folks who take part in #writeclub each and every week.

There is one person in particular, however, that without whom I am certain I would never submitted anything anywhere. She’s a young lady from the Boston area, Julie Hutchings — who recently got a book deal herself; there isn’t anyone who deserves one more.

Earlier this year, we met on Twitter. She and her writing partner and friend Kristen Strassell run a blog together, and for the month of February they were hosting an event on their blog where they asked people to submit a romantic/erotic short story to them, which they would post for the world to see. Julie and I had not known each other for very long at all when she asked me if I would take part. I’m pretty sure she hadn’t even actually read any of my writing at the time. I came really really close to telling her no because it scared the crap out of me. I don’t write erotica (ain’t nobody got time for that), so went a sweet romantic route with my story.

Let’s talk about where I was with my writing then for a second. I thought I sucked. Pretty much every writer thinks that, I’m pretty sure, but at this point I was absolutely sure writing would absolutely not lead anywhere ever. I had a few manuscripts I had gotten excited about but couldn’t really claim to be still working on. Feeling like I owed it to her to submit the absolute best story I could, I put about 1800 words of horrible crap on paper. I tried to cut it and revise it to get down to the 1000 word limit, and couldn’t. Got it down to about 1150. Rewrote it from scratch. 980 words…and I loved it, despite the wonderfully ridiculous “she raised her eyes skyward, to the sky” line. I sent to some folks for feedback and they all loved it, too. I made a few changes, then sent it to the lovely Carey Torgesen asking her to rip it to shreds.

She did. The end product was so much better though. I remember when I sent it to Julie, I literally shed tears over it. I knew I was sending her the absolute best I could do.

It was at that point I knew that maybe I could actually do this writing thing a little bit.

At Julie’s behest and encouragement, I ended up submitting that story to Fireside Mag. They rejected it. Since, I’ve submitted it to The Opening Line…where it will appear in their inaugural July issue…alongside of something Julie submitted, as well.

I just wanted to take a minute and say thank you to a very dear friend. I know that I would not have anything being published today without a random twitter DM from her in January. Thank you Julie. You know I love you. 🙂

You can check out her twitter, here.

Check out her blog, here.

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If you’ve ever read anything on this blog, you know that I fancy myself a writer. Whether I am any good or not is a matter of debate (I have had people call the same short story both “stupid” and “brilliant” with the the “stupid” comment coming from one of my closest friends), but through it I have become friends with some amazing people, who have more talent than I will ever have.

One of these people is a sweet Kentucky redhead, Megan Whitmer. She’s definitely one of those people that are far more talented than I am. Her book, Between, which will absolutely be on my shelf on release date, will absolutely BLOW YOUR MIND. I literally shed tears in public when she announced her book deal.

Anyway, this is how she changed my life. She is at least partly responsible for my new found belief in my writing. This is because she is the brain child of a weekly Twitter event known as #writeclub.

Write Club? What’s that?

Megan does a marvelous job of explaining things in a post on her blog here., but basically it is a group of writing sprints that last 30 minutes at a time with 15 minute breaks in between. She tweets the start and stop times from the @FriNiteWrites account on twitter, using the #writeclub hashtag. At the end of 30 minutes, several people will tweet the number of words they managed in the sprint, which because I’m a numbers dork, I track. It is so amazing to see so many people from around the world loving and encouraging each other. It has grown seemingly exponentially, with now at least 6 different people helping to run sprints when real life gets in the way. Its even branched out internationally, with it going on in the UK literally right now as i write this. I’m honored to be a small part of it.

How Did This Change Your Life?

A couple of ways. I don’t feel like such an awkwardly antisocial nerd when I choose to stay home and write on a Friday night instead of going out. There’s an average of 50 or so people doing the exact same thing I’m doing.

When I’m having a bad day, there is always SOMEONE having similar writing struggles where we can encourage each other. See, these sprints aren’t competitive in nature. They’re meant to encourage and build each other up, and inspire us to do more.

That’s why I love write club. It’s why I don’t even WANT to go out on Fridays anymore. Literally, right now I’m counting down the minutes until we start it up tonight.

Join us, why don’t ya? We start at 8et and will likely go to around 2am. We’d all love to have you.

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So, apparently the lovely and awesome Carey Torgersen tagged me in a bloghop sort of thing, and I am now required by the Geneva Convention to answer 10 questions about my WIP. Oh. Boy.

What is the working title of your book?

It doesn’t have one. I suck at titling, first off. In the event it gets published the company will change it anyway. I’ll come up with one if I ever finish a first draft. (Yes, that means if you hear me talking about insert title here I have completed it).

Where did the idea come from for your book?

This idea originally hit me around halfway through NaNoWriMo 2011, I tinkered with it and shelved it away to deal with it later. I continued to tinker with it over the last few months or so and put the first word on paper a couple of months ago. It’s slow going.

What genre does your book fall under?

Contemporary YA. There are no sparkly vampires or paranormal overtones. There’s also not a heavy use of superfluous adverbs, so I know the book has 0 chance of selling. Ever.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Zac Efron, clearly, because OMG THE LADIES LOVE HIM AND OMG SQUEEEEEEE for the dude, though he’s arguably too old for the role. (Ladies, you DO still love Zac Efron, AMIRITE?)

I have no idea which Hollywood starlet would play either the love interest or the antagonist. Pick two no-older-than-early-to-mid-20s-hotties and you have winners. One of them must be tall. Dakota Fanning because she’s marvelous for the love interest maybe? Does that make me look like a sicko for implying she’s a hottie? She IS almost 19, and as an aside that is proof I’m getting old.

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

Get ready for heavy em-dash and semicolon usage in an effort to make this sentence close to grammatically correct:

Two high school “friends” are going to prom together when an accident puts him in a coma; is her love for him enough to bring him back, will it even matter if his parents decide to DNR him, and could he really love her, too?

Arguably a little cliche, I know.

Will your book be self published or represented by an agency?

Though I see absolutely nothing wrong with all those that have elected to go the self-publishing route, for me I want the stress of deadlines and the knowledge that an agent read it and liked it so much he or she thought they could sell it and a publishing company read it and liked it so much they thought it would sell. Also, I just want to say I have an agent. I totally hope it’s the Scott Boras of literary agents, too.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

So far, a couple of months. It may be an infinite amount of time, as it is not complete. I occasionally play around with short story ideas, and tinker with the beginnings of another possible book idea, so it is rather slow going.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I honestly have no idea. All the recently released YA has paranormal overtones, it seems like. Yes, you can consider this an unashamed admission that I read YA.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?

In all honesty, all the writerly types on Twitter that are struggling to write (or have finished!) their own works inspire me. Whenever one of them allows me the privilege of reading something they’ve written, I will often complain that I wonder why I write when there are obviously so much better writers out there; in the end this inspires me to be better. Their constant words of encouragement, and beautifully eloquent works are necessary, and I love them very much for it.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Did I mention the LACK OF SPARKLY VAMPIRES? Also, despite that lack, this started as Twilight fanfic. Isn’t that a requirement to get a book published now? (It did not really start as Twilight fanfic.)

Now you know a little bit of what I’ve been working on.

I’m supposed to tag 5 others to do this, but I’m way too lazy to look up links, make sure they have not already done this, and copy/paste them into this using the WordPress iPhone app and Safari. If you read this, haven’t been tagged, and want to participate, CONSIDER YOURSELF TAGGED.

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