Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Next Big Thing

The ever awesome Patsy Collins tagged me in The Next Big Thing. Which is basically an excuse for me to tell you about what I'm working on. :) Thank you Patsy! (If you don't already follow Patsy, click on her name above and go check her out. You won't regret it!)

Right now I am working on revising a short YA novella. I recently got some very helpful feedback on it (thanks Cassie!) and am really enjoying revising it. I'm hoping to have it ready to send out in the next month or so.

What is the working title of your book?Secondary Characters

Where did the idea come from for the book?
I heard a song from a musical called (you guessed it) Secondary Characters. In the musical, two characters with smaller parts find themselves alone on stage and take the opportunity to have a little duet without the main characters. I just really liked the idea of telling a story from the POV of two people who think they're 'secondary characters.'

What genre does your book fall under?
It's a YA contemporary romance.

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
Oh geez, I have no idea. . . Okay, a quick google search has led me to:

Nicole Peltz as Mabel

Alex Ferris as Lance

They're not perfect, but they're good enough. (Although I'll admit I have no idea who either one of them are.)

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
Mabel is used to being in Amber's shadow, until she falls for Lance and decides she wants to be the heroine of her own love story. (Okay, that's not very good, but it's the best I could come up with right now.)

Will your book be self published or represented by an agency?
Hopefully I can get it published with a small publisher.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Hmm, not long. Maybe a week or two. Keep in mind though that it's a short novella, not a novel!

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I have no idea. I stink at that.

Who or what inspired you to write the book?
Hmm, didn't I kind of already answer that?

What else about your book might pique the readers interest?
Well, I really like the characters. :) They're fun and a bit different, with good senses of humor. Hopefully other people will like them, too.
That's pretty much it. Have a happy Halloween everyone! I will be posting pictures of my kids in their costumes at some point soon. I made my eight-year-old daughter's costume and I'm pretty proud of it. Not because it's awesome, but simply because I am not an overly crafty person and I'm proud of myself for doing it. :) She was worried I wouldn't be able to give it enough 'pizzazz' (her word.) I accepted the challenge and I think it turned out pretty cool. She's very happy with it. :)

Okay, so I'm an idiot who forgot to tag people! Whoops! Here they are now:
Nicole from Write me a World
Elizabeth Seckman
Annalisa Crawford

Friday, October 26, 2012

Friday Inspiration

I have a song and a book I want to share today for a little inspiration. The song is about musicians, but I think the main point applies to writers, too. "Keep on dreaming even if it breaks your heart." I love that line. Because we all go through rejection and heart break in this business, but it's those who keep on dreaming, (and working their butts off), that end up succeeding.

(I am not going to admit how long it took me to figure out how to get a video on here, but I'm happy I finally got it!)

The book is a fun picture book with a lovely message.

Product Details It's about a little pup who is so happy one day he starts to float, and flies to school. Of course, when he tells his friends no one believes him. When they ask him to prove it he can't, he's lost his happy feeling. In the end, after a talk with his father, he finds it again. The last lines are: "Do dogs fly? Is it true? Some dogs don't, but some dogs do."

For some reason it totally gets to me. I love teaching kids that they can do anything if they really believe they can. If you have little kids I highly recommend this book!

Have fun weekend everyone and keep dreaming big dreams! :)

Friday, October 19, 2012

In Need of Book Suggestions, and some Friday Inspiration

I have always been a pantser, but I think I may need to change my ways, at least for this next one. I have an idea that I love, but I want to do more planning to make sure I get it where I want it in the end. But I need help!

Have you read any books about plotting that you've found helpful? Or do you have any tips for me in general? Any thing would be appreciated! Thanks!

And for some Friday inspiration I'm sharing some FB statuses of some very fun teens. As a YA writer the teens I work with always inspire me. Hopefully you guys will think these are fun, too. :)

"I'm so glad I got out of the drama scene. The most drama I ever have is wondering who ate my cookies, and 95% of the time it's me who ate them."

"Dropping out, and buying plane tickets. Leaving tomorrow? (:"

"Imperfect is my middle name."

"You know you haven't been on facebook for a while when you get confused looking for the retweet button......."
"Whenever I'm crabby I take a bath and pretend I'm a mermaid. And today it's bad enough where the barbies are coming with me."
And one that's not funny, but is brave and makes me proud to know this boy.
Dear 16-year-old boys that threw eggs at me and yelled "Go kill yourself, faggot" while I was running tonight,
I am not mad at you. Actually, I feel sorry at you. I feel sorry that you actually believe that throwing eggs and calling me a faggot is going to magically turn me straight or make me feel ashamed for being who I am. I'm sorry that you haven't opened your eyes yet to a changing world, a m
You won't bring me down.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

I Noticed: Losing Beauty

Today is the "Did I Notice Your Book' blogfest, hosted by the Amazing Alex and the Awesome Ciara. It is such a wonderful idea and I am excited to participate in it!

I have been wanting to read this book ever since I first came upon Johanna's blog. I love Greek myths and this sounds like such a fun re-imagining of a great story. I also LOVE Johanna's blog, she is so much fun and so inspiring. Alex and Ciara's blogfest today has finally gotten me to do what I've been meaning to do for a while: Buy Johanna's book. I can't wait to read it!

About the book:

Available in print and e-version on AmazonPersey is all alone.

Experience has taught her that solitude is best. At any rate, it’s better than hearing everyone’s worst secrets.

Daniel Hartnett is a lawyer who has it all. But no one really has it all. Daniel’s never experienced surprise, anticipation or what it feels like to fall in love. When Daniel meets Persey he discovers the first girl who is immune to his special talent. The only problem is someone else discovered Persey first and is hell-bent on claiming her as his own.

Haden is the king of the Underworld with a plan to make Persey his immortal queen. What Haden doesn’t plan on is Persey’s ability to compel secrets and how far the people who love Persey will go to protect her from the darkness that threatens to destroy her soul.

Doesn't that sound good? It's available on Amazon.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Cover Reveal: The Crimson Hunt

I am proud to be part of Victoria Smith's cover reveal today! Victoria is a lot of fun and a very talented writer. Her novel, The Crimson Hunt, will be released this November 12th. I know I, for one, am excited to read it!
Isn't that gorgeous? Congratulations Victoria! You can find Victoria on her blog. She has the first chapter up there, so go check it out! You can also add The Crimson Hunt to you TBR list on goodreads.
About the book:

College junior Ariel Richmond is working on year three of Project Normalcy.

Her house reeks of keggers past and her bestie is just a slight bit vulgar. But the thing is—they both aid in making life refreshingly uneventful.

So much for hard-earned mediocrity when Luca Grinaldi appears on the scene.

Luca’s sudden presence on campus is hard to ignore. Those bright eyes act like a beacon to unsuspecting females, and with features like his, he’s got to be moonlighting for GQ. Luca hopelessly captivates Ariel with his confidence and charisma, but the mysteries surrounding him make him nearly untouchable. And just when Ariel grows close enough to unlock his secrets, a tragic event sends her life in a downward spiral.

That steady life is no longer an option and allies quickly become scarce. The mysterious Luca seems to be the only one willing to help her—but with that trust comes the burden of his secrets. He has a dark mission of otherworldly proportions, and is willing to sacrifice as many lives as it takes to see it completed.

Gone are the days of simply maintaining normalcy, and if Ariel isn’t cautious with her trust, so soon may be her future.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Winners and Awards!

Thank you to everyone who entered and shared in my excitement. :) My copy of Foreign Affairs came in yesterday and it was pretty cool. Honestly, it was kind of surreal to see something I'd written in an actual book. I don't know if it's totally sunk in yet.

And the winner is Tara Tyler! Tara, send me an email, (rachelmarybean(at) with your mailing address and I will send it out to you. :) And Patsy, who was not eligible for the print book due to the fact that I can't ship that stuff to the UK, has won an ebook of Foreign Affairs. If you could email me, too, Patsy, that would be great. Thanks!

I also received this lovely award from the talented and always charming Patsy Collins. Thanks Patsy!
The award comes with some questions. Here they are:

1. Cookies or cake?
I love both, but I'll go with cake. Rainbow chip cake with rainbow chip frosting. :)

2. Chocolate or vanilla?


3. What is your favourite sweet treat?

This is tough, I'm a major sweet tooth.One dessert I can't resist if I end up some place that has it is tiramisu.

4. When do you crave sweet things most?

When I'm happy or celebrating. Or when I'm sad. Or stressed. Or after dinner.

5. If you had a sweet nickname what would it be?

I had a young speech student once who tried to call me Mrs. Schieffelbein, (all the other kids just call me Rachel.) So I told him to call me Rachel. He then called me Miss Rachel. I thought it was very sweet. :) He called me that right up until he graduated, too.

I can pass this on to up to a baker's dozen, so I'll be passing it on to:

Annalisa Crawford
Angela Cothran
Angeline Trevena
Ashley Nixon
Cassie Mae
Elizabeth Seckman
Hope Roberson
Jaybird (Jaybird is just four followers away from 100, by the way! So go check her out!)
Kelley Lynn
Priscilla Burris

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Another Foreign Affairs Giveaway! (Here this time)

I am very excited that Foreign Affairs is now available in print! I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of my copy. I also want to give a copy to, well, like everyone I know. Okay, maybe not, but I am going to give a copy to one of you! It will also come with a box of English breakfast tea, because the hero in my story is British, and some chocolate. (The chocolate is not English or anything, but who doesn't like chocolate?)

All you have to do to enter is comment, easy enough. :) But since this is an anthology all about foreign men and foreign lands, I want you to tell me where you'd go if you could take a dream vacation anywhere in the world. (Or out of it. Heck, why not? The moon. Neverland. Wherever. We're talking dreams here, right?)

I'm afraid I will have to keep this limited to people in the US because of  shipping. However, I could also give an e-book version away if I have non-American people  who want to enter the contest, too. So if that's the case just let me know!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Foreign Affairs Giveaway!

Foreign Affairs is now available in print! Yay! I'm very excited to get my copy. I also plan to do a giveaway later this week, but one of the other authors is doing a giveaway right now!

Michelle Garren Flye is giving away a signed copy on her blog. So go check it out! And come back on Wednesday for another chance to win a copy here on my blog.

You can also find it on Amazon and on the TMP website.

Happy Monday everyone!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Interview with Patsy Collins

It's Friday, which is when I said I was going to post about people who inspire me. Today I actually got to interview one of those people. Patsy Collins is one of the first people I 'met' when I started blogging. She is sweet and enthusiastic and made a nobody like me feel totally welcome in this wonderful writing community. So I am thrilled to have her on my blog today talking about her latest novel Paint Me a Picture.

Patsy can be found on her blog.

What made you decide to self-publish Paint Me a Picture?

I couldn't find anyone willing to pay me a six figure advance and do it for me! Actually I didn't ask that many people. I soon realised the high word count (103,000) and lack of obvious genre meant it would be difficult to get it published the traditional way.

This is a book I believe in though. I love the characters and had great feedback from writing friends so was convinced there'd be readers who'd enjoy it. So far those who've commented agree with me.

Was it more nerve wracking to put this one out than Escape to the Country, or about the same? (If it was me, I'd be so nervous about all the formatting and such things that you have to do to self-pub, but then, I'm not good with computers.)

I wasn't nervous up until I had to click that final button and send it out there. I hesitated. I'm normally a leap in without thinking it through type of person so that was unusual for me. The computer stuff wasn't the issue - not that I'm good with technology, it's just that I knew I could keep tweaking until I was happy. It also helped that Helen Baggott who proofread it for me, did so after I'd done the formatting so it was double checked.

Maybe the nerves were because this book is all my own work - I can't blame the publisher for anything that's not right. (Not that I'm blaming my publisher for anything in Escape to the Country) Or maybe it's because I feel a little protective of Mavis. I want people to like her. The characters in my other stories are usually quite capable of looking after themselves.

Your very talented husband designed your cover, which is beautiful by the way! Did you know right away what you wanted it to look like or did the two of you do a lot of brainstorming?

I knew I wanted the Round Tower on the cover and to have purple text. I got those! As for the rest, I made suggestions and Gary tried them just to show me how wrong I was and then did it his way, which looked much better. We then tried it on screen at the size it's shown on Amazon and Gary made a final tweak so the text showed up more clearly.

You've said you worked on this book for ten years, it must be very near and dear to you. Is this the first novel you wrote? What was it about this one that made you know you couldn't give up on it?

It is the first one I started. I've written lots of other stuff during those ten years, but kept going back to Paint Me a Picture.
Once it started to take shape, it was the characters who kept drawing me back. Also I found writing it to be absorbing. I hoped that a story that could keep me interested for ten years would keep a reader interested for the time it would take them to read it.

What will be your plans for your next novel?

I've written the first draft of another romance. This one is about a photographer (where does she get her ideas from? you must be wondering). It wasn't working, but I now know why, so I 'just' have to fix it. Oh and write a new ending and then there's that pesky rewriting and editing and stuff.

Is there anything else you want to share?

No and how did you know I had chocolate?

What? Oh, I see ... Yes! 'Not a Drop to Drink' is a collection of my short stories that will be epublished soon under the Smiling Dog imprint. It'll be available as a free download and have another beautiful cover designed by Gary.

I look forward to seeing it, Patsy! Thanks for joining us here today!

The Amazon link for Paint Me a Picture is here.
And the link for Patsy's debut novel Escape for the Country can be found here.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Interview with Angeline Trevena

Okay, so I've been a very bad blogger, but I have a good excuse! (Kind of.) My computer is broken. Seriously broken. There are pictures at the end of the post. (I put them at the end instead of here because I didn't want that to be the pic to show up in Blogger instead of this awesome cover!)

I'm back today because Fear: Volume Two is released today! Yay! And it has a short story in it by Angeline Trevena.

Angeline Trevena is one awesome writer, artist, and blogger and I am thrilled to have her on my blog today. She has an amazing short story coming out in an anthology from Crooked Cat Publishing called Fear. Her story is called Charmpeak House. It's about a couple that inherits an old house, and gets more than they expected. (Ps. It's really totally awesome.)

What do you enjoy about reading/writing horror?
I've always been a big horror movie fan for as long as I can remember, but I only really got into reading and writing horror in the last few years - in fact, I only read my first Stephen King novel two years ago! The whole idea of human fear fascinates me; how some people are terrified by certain things that don't bother other people at all. I love seeing how other writers play with people's fears, and I've really enjoyed playing with them myself. Horror is a genre that pulls on so many emotions, plus it's great fun to write!

Do you ever scare yourself?
Yes - I guess that's the inevitable byproduct of having such a vivid imagination! When I was writing Charmpeak House I found myself turning all the lights on in my house!

Do you have to get into the mood to write scary things like this? (I'm picturing you in front of a glowing computer in the dark of night, rubbing your hands together and laughing an evil laugh.) ;)
Actually some of Charmpeak house was written during a thunderstorm! Like with whatever I'm writing, I only need to read back a little to get back into it. But I think it's more about getting into the characters again rather than getting in the mood for any particular genre. Plus, I think I'm sort of always in the mood for something scary!

I know you are a cat lover and cats definitely make an appearance in this story. Do cats often have candids in your writing?
Cats are always turning up in my writing. I find cats fascinating creatures and they have such great personalities. Plus, they can be pretty creepy animals so they lend themselves to horror well. I often find my cat, Neko, staring at me and I can't help but wonder what she's plotting!

Because I think writers are always curious about this, where did you hear about the call for submissions for this anthology?
Actually I think someone else in my writing group stumbled across this one. But I do hear about a lot of calls for submissions on Twitter, and also on other writers' blogs that I follow. I've always got one ear to the ground!

You have quite a few short stories published, how is writing short stories different from writing novels? What do you enjoy about writing short stories?
Again, short stories are quite a new thing for me. Through writing them I've learned about all the differences between short stories and novels - they have to be very plot driven, very focused and rely heavily on your reader filling in the gaps. They need to be clear and concise because you simply don't have the spare words to describe or explain things in detail. Telling a story in a few thousand words is a challenge, and it's a challenge I've really grown to love.

Where did the inspiration for this story come from?
I'd actually spent the best part of a month writing a totally different story for this submission, but it totally stalled and it wasn't going anywhere. So in the last week before the deadline I decided to start over. I'm currently reading Bram Stoker's Dracula and decided to move away from the fantasy horror I had been working on and go with a classic Gothic horror instead. You can't beat a big scary mansion full of creepy cats!

The link to buy the book is here.

I know I'm excited to read the rest of the stories in it.

(Oh, and here is my computer. Because of those loose & unattached wires the Internet only works about 35% of the time.)