Thursday, June 21, 2012

An Awe Strikingly Awesome Opportunity!

Calling all teen writers everywhere!  This August  marks the second annual NextGen writers conference!  This is a free online writing conference for teen writers.  It's put on by published authors to encourage the next generation of writers!  I attended the conference last year and it was fanterrificabulous!  (fantastic/terrific/fabulous)  Did I mention it's free and all you need to attend is internet service?  I didn't?  Well, guess what, it's free and all you need to attend is internet service.
If you're wondering whether or not to go, answer these Qs.

Are you 18 or under?
Are you a writer?
Do you want to get to know other teen writers?
Do you want to experience two days of  fanterrificabulousness?
Do you want to learn more about fiction writing and publishing?

If you answered yes to at least three of those questions, you should head over to to right now, or go right to the registration page.

And after you do that, you should write up a post similar to this one (or copy and paste this one, I give you permission just this once as long as you link back to me)  and post it on all blogs that you have access to.  Now.

Am I excited for this?  Yes!  You. Should. Be. To!!

Also, I'm going on a mission trip and then to camp with my youth group, so you could pray for me.  I most likely won't post again  until July.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Teens Can Write Too Blog Chain!

I know this post is later in the day then normal, but what with church and Father's day, I couldn't do it any earlier.  Anyway, here is my Teens Can Write Too June blog chain post.  This is my second month with this blog chain and so far I really like it!
The topic this month is: (And I quote)
Let’s face it; we all judge books by their covers. What kind of covers grab you? Why?
So, covers.  I like them.  There is nothing better then finding a book with a cover that makes it impossible to ignore.
First, I don't particularly like having the characters on covers.  Parts of a character is okay, like the profile or hands or an eye, but I don't like the face in full detail.  That's just me.  (I don't mind if the characters are sketched, I just don't like pictures of models.)

Anyway, here is one of my all time favorite covers.  It's from one of my all time favorite books.  You should go read this book.  Right now.  Yes, that means you.

I like covers that make me ask questions.  Covers that automatically scream "You DO want to read me."  Here are a few examples:

Can you see why I would like these?

And then, because I'm a girl, I like pretty covers. 

Yeah, like I said, I'm a girl.
And there is one more type of cover that I love.  The kind that just plain promises adventure.

So yeah.  Those are the kind of covers that intrigue me.  What about you?

And, if you want to see what covers intrest other teen writers, cheek out the rest of the blog chain.

*June 8––hazelwrites*

*June 9––A Farewell To Sanity*

*June 10––This Page Intentionally Left Blank*

*June 11––The Zebra Clan*

*June 12––Life, Among Other Things

*June 13––Dragons, Unicorns, and Other Random Things*

*June 14––Comfy Sweaters, Writing, and Fish*

*June 15––Kirsten Writes!*

*June 16––Lily’s Notes in the Margins*

*June 17––Inklined*

*June 18––Reality Is Imaginary*

*June 19––Tangential Bemusings*

*June 20––Musings From Neville’s Navel*

*June 21––All I Need Is A Keyboard*

***June 22––The Incessant Droning Of A Bored Writer*

*June 23––Teens Can Write Too! (We will be announcing the topic for next month’s chain)*

Have a great fathers day!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Authors Day Thursday, Sarah Prineas

Okay I'm super excited to have Sarah Prineas here today.  For those of you who don't know about her, she is the author of  the Magic Thief books.  You can visit her website here.  Mrs. Prineas is one of the authors who made me want to write middle grade fantasy.  Please enjoy the interview!  (Cause otherwise I'll be sad.)

When did you start writing?
I came to writing pretty late--not until my 30's when I had a new baby and was living in Germany and was lonely and bored.  Writing was an escape from that, and to my astonishment it was something I loved doing. 

When did you know you wanted to be an author?

After a few years of what I call my writing "apprenticeship," I wrote The Magic Thief and realized that this was my Thing. I had a whole 'nother career going at that point, but once The Magic Thief was published I realized that writing was the career I was meant to have. 

How much did you write before you were published?
I got hugely lucky--the first story I ever wrote was requested by an editor and then published.  After that I spent a few more years writing and publishing more stories before attempting a novel.  

What is your favorite part of writing?
Writing is my favorite part of writing!  :D  What I mean by that is the joy of being immersed in a story so that the world falls away and the plot and characters feel present and real.  Then that next idea comes along and it's incredibly exciting and fun. 

What's you least favorite part?
Because I'm a "pantser" who often doesn't know what happens next in my books until I write them, I sometimes hit a plot snarl that takes a while to untangle.  Then I have to go back and figure out where I went wrong and set everything right before I can continue.  

 Can you describe your debut book for us?
Sure!  The Magic Thief is a fantasy adventure story about a gutterboy-thief named Conn who steals a wizard's magical stone and sets off on his own journey toward becoming a wizard--and saving his city from a terrible evil.  More info is on my publisher's book website: or on my website,

What does your writing process look like?
Like traffic on an L.A. highway--stop and go!  I tend to write a lot and then let it sit, and then get inspired and zoom along again.   

How did you come up with the idea for you amazing setting in The Magic Thief?
Wellmet is inspired partly by the winding streets of Victorian-era London, especially as portrayed in the novels of Charles Dickens.  The river running through Wellmet is like the Thames in London--it's also a little like the Iowa River, which runs through Iowa City, where I live

. If you could go back and re-write The Magic Thief Series, what would you change?
I think it meanders a bit at the beginning, so I'd tighten it up a bit and get the plot moving sooner.  Mostly I'm happy with the way it turned out. 

How did you get published?
The traditional way!  I got an agent who shopped The Magic Thief to 10 editors in NYC, and HarperCollins jumped on it pretty quickly and made an offer we couldn't refuse.  After that it was a whirl! 

Do you have any advice for writers looking to get published?
Yes, its advice that one of my best writing buddies, MG author Greg van Eekhout gave me, which is to Never Surrender.  Writing is hard, there are lots of setbacks, but you can't let that stuff hold you back--keep going.

Anything else you want to say?
Thanks for putting together such great questions!  Be sure to check out my new book, Winterling.  Here's a book trailer to whet your interest!

Happy reading!! 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

What I'm reading Wednesday

Yeah!  It's Wednesday and long past time for me to do another post.  I've been skimping so far this summer, but I think I'm just about set on a new schedule.  Anyway, along with skimping on my blog posting, I've been skimping on my reading.  Like I said, summers tend to do that to me.

So here are the pitifully few books I've read in the past three weeks.

First, I re-read Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen.   I think I've mentioned this before, but THIS IS MY FAVORITE Sarah Dessen book.  It's good.  Like. A. Lot!  You should.  Beaches and bowling and boys.  Not that hard of a book to fall in love with.

Then I picked up Infamous by Sherrilyn Kenyon.  It was just while writing this that I figured out that this is the third book in the series and not the second like I thought the whole time I was reading it.  Honestly if I  when I become the author of a best selling series I will be sure to put the number  in the series in large print on the cover, spine and inside the front page.  But other then that, the book was good and I really couldn't tell I'd skipped a whole 300 pages of the series.

And then I read (okay, listened to) Animal Farm by George Orwell.  yes.  Yes.  YES!  This book was a required reading that I understood.  I'm not saying this book is a fast paced page turner or a book that will make you burn the midnight oil.  I'm just saying this is a book that deserves to be read by every high school kid in the history of America and probably a lot of other countries too.  This book deals with important issues and shows just how easy it is to be corrupted and then to corrupt.  If you haven't read it.  Do it now.

And then I listened to the full 17 hours that is Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince audio book.  (I'm guessing you already know who the author is.)  This book, the 6th, is and I think always will be my favorite.  It's good.  Like deserves seventeen hours of my time any day of the week good!  I know Harry Potter can be a touchy spot for some people, but I personally don't think the idea of magic in and of itself is sinful.  Maybe I'll post about it sometime.

And then, most recently, I finished the The Catastrophic History of You and Me by Jess Rothenberg.  My favorite part of this book was the cover.  That's not a good thing.  I think the idea of a of a dead YA protagonist was good.  About 12 Young Adult books ago.  But right now, not so much.  I didn't really enjoy this book and almost didn't finish it.  There are much better YA books about dead characters and how others react to their death.  Such as Wherever You Go.  Also, I try very hard not to read books with homosexual characters.

So, that wraps up my books for this week.  I'm away from a computer until Friday and this post and the next one are a result of Blogger Scheduling.  And just so you know, we're having and author interview tomorrow with one of my favorite MG fantasy writers.  Don't miss it!