Tuesday, January 31, 2012

And The Winner Of THE FAULT IN OUR STARS Is...

The John Green's The Fault in Our Stars giveaway is now closed. Thank you to everyone who participated! I really love having giveaways, and hopefully I can have an international one soon.

But now it is time to announce the winner.

Drumroll, please...





And the winner of the signed (and Hanklerfished!) copy of The Fault in Our Stars by John Green is...

Kate Weber!!

She won with her "Spread The Word" entry. The winning entry was picked with random.org.

Congrats, Kate! I will be contacting you shortly to get your shipping info.

Everybody else, thanks so much for entering. I'm sorry I don't have more copies to give away!

Monday, January 30, 2012

How Some People Think Books Are Written

I swear, I spend more time changing stuff and doing stuff over than anything else combined... but I guess before I can write the book, sometimes I have to figure out what it's not.

PS ~ If you haven't entered to win a SIGNED copy of The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, you can do so here! Giveaway ends Tuesday, January 31st!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Win a FREE SIGNED COPY of The Fault in Our Stars by John Green!!

Their tour bus!

~NOTE: If you don't want to read my ramblings about meeting John Green in person, you can simply skip down to the end and enter to win a free signed (and Hanklerfished!) copy of John Green's newest book, The Fault in Our Stars. The entry widget is at the bottom of the post!~


So about two weeks ago, I had the enormous privilege of meeting John and Hank Green when they came to Atlanta on their Tour de Nerdfighting.

John Green reading a chapter of his new book.
About John Green:

John Green is an award-winning YA author and YouTube celebrity (and hilariously, he was an author before he was an internet celebrity although usually it's the other way around). He has been called the JD Salinger of this generation--a totally deserved designation, in my opinion--and his books have won honors like the prestigious Printz and Edgar Allen Poe awards. In addition to penning incredible works of literary fiction for young adults, John and his musician brother Hank have an incredibly successful YouTube channel called the Vlogbrothers, which has over 600,000 subscribers and which is #36 Most Subscribed of All Time channel on YouTube. His brother, Hank Green, is a musician and the co-founder of DFTBA records, among many other awesome jobs like running Ecogeek.org.

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Weird Parts of YouTube

Of course I am ALWAYS a diligent, dedicated author and I always work very hard and never procrastinate.


But SOMETIMES I like to waste time on YouTube. And then this happens...

Or, Faces You Make While Watching YouTube
A Musical
(not really)

I am bored. I think I'll browse cute videos on YouTube.


Aw, a cute kitty doing something cute.

Double the kitties! Double the cute!!

Can't... handle... the... cute!! MOAR, I say, MOAR CUTE!

I've been *RICKROLLED* ? ...Very funny, internet.

Back to the cuteness... Oh, what is this a video of?


That was not cute. That was... painful looking... What is this "weirdest thing ever" video?

Is that Photoshopped? Please tell me that is Photoshopped...


Congrats, YouTube. You have broken my brain.

Has anybody else every gotten lost in the weird part of YouTube?

It is scaaaaarry...

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

SOPA and the Internet Blackout

In case you weren't aware, today numerous websites like Wikipedia, Reddit, ICanHazCheezburger, etc are participating in a blackout to protest SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act).

I don't exactly have enough regular content to participate in a "blackout," since I don't post every day, but I would like to use my blog to raise awareness and point people in the direction of more information.

I am against piracy, yes, but I think this bill is a very bad idea, and I am very concerned about the impact it would have on the internet and the expression of ideas. Instead of solving the problem, I think this bill will create a myriad of new ones.

Read the information and decide for yourself.

What Is SOPA?

More About SOPA and PIPPA

Sign The Petition

Please take a few moments to educate yourself about this issue today!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Some of My Favorite Quotes About Writing

"I want to write books that unlock the traffic jam in everybody's head." ~John Updike

"It should be noted that there are two blissful things about writing novels: making them up and seeing them finished." ~ Ann Patchett

found here
“Every secret of a writer's soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind is written large in his works.” Virginia Woolf

"There are only two or three human stories, and they go on repeating themselves as fiercely as if they never happened." ~ Willa Cather

"It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, or who had ever been alive." ~ James Baldwin 

“The beautiful part of writing is that you don't have to get it right the 1st time unlike, say, brain surgery.” R. Cormier

found here
"Storytelling reveals meaning without committing the error of defining it." ~Hannah Arendt

"If there's a book you really want to read but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it." ~Toni Morrison

"Writing books is the closest men will ever come to child bearing." - Norman Maile

"If I don't write to empty my mind, I go mad." ~Lord Byron

You and me both, Lord Byron. You and me both.

What's your favorite quote about writing?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Worst Enemy to Creativity

"The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt." ~ Sylvia Plath.

Hi, guys.

I read this inspiring post Sunday and wanted to share. It's called What If Your Biggest Naysayer Is Yourself?

This is a huge struggle for me personally. Internally, I am always dealing with these kinds of thoughts while I'm writing or editing a book. They're the kind that say what I write will never be good enough... The kind that kind that tell me I'm going to fail... The kind that tell me to quit now while I'm ahead.

They are insidious and hurtful and they kill my creativity, like Ms. Plath points out above. That quote of hers has always resonated with me deeply... maybe I should frame it and stick in on the wall above my desk.

Self-doubt. Fear. Sense of worthlessness.

In 2012, I'm not going to let those thoughts stop me from writing.

Does anybody else have an inner critic like mine?

Monday, January 9, 2012

Author Spotlight: Daniel Koch's DESCENDANT

Hi, everybody!

Today as part of my ongoing Author Spotlight series, I'd like to feature author Daniel Koch and his book Descendant: The Protector.

You may remember Daniel already from my Big Awesome YA Giveaway back in December, where he generously donated a print copy to one of the prize packages (and I am hoping to have another one of those pretty soon!).

So without further ado...

*cues music*


Kate: Welcome, Daniel! Tell me a little more about Descendant: The Protector. What's the setting? Who's the main character?

Daniel: The world is in the midst of an apocalyptic event. It's been in the making for thousands of years, but everything is falling into place and it seems that sometime very soon all humans will be wiped out. Jason Hook is just a normal person trying to survive in this world, until the very creatures that threaten to destroy it come directly for him. As the story progresses, he begins to realize he may not be as normal as he once imagined.

Kate: Apocalyptic event? Monstrous creatures? I love it! How would you describe Jason, your main character?

Daniel: Strong-willed, but foolish and stubborn.

Kate: Foolish and stubborn? That sounds a little ominous, at least for for him... Now tell me more about these creatures taking over the world. I was so intrigued that I read a few of the reviews on Amazon looking for more information about them. Are they vampires? They sounded like vampires.

Daniel: The monsters are vampiric in nature, but some are more powerful than others...

Kate: Oooh, sounds interesting. 

What inspired you to write Descendant--was it a particular scene, or character, or theme?

Daniel: One day I sat down at my computer and wrote a name: Jason Hook. I had been interested in the vampire and apocalypse genres for a while before, and so I decided to center my character in a world very similar to ours, but broken and plagued by monsters.

Kate: Who in the book (besides your protagonist) is your favorite character?

Daniel: Actually, my protagonist isn't my favorite character. He's a close second, but my favorite character is actually Falko, the villain. Of course, this only really occured while I was writing the second book, where Falko's character becomes much more fleshed out. But ever since then his tragic story has made him my favorite.

Kate: I can understand that. I always end up totally adoring my villains if they are in ANY way sympathetic. I'm such a sucker for a anti-hero.

Do you have any particular writing tricks or habits you'd like to share?

Daniel: I write at night, or really the early morning. I tend to sleep late (very late, actually) and can sometimes stay up writing until the sun rises. For some reason I have trouble writing during the day, even if no one else is home and everything is quiet. There's just something about being up in the dead of night that gets my creative juices flowing and my best work comes out.

Kate: I'm the same way. My most optimal writing time is between midnight and 2 AM, which means I am up late a LOT.

Now when it comes to writing, are you a plotter (planning out the story beforehand) or a pantser (making it up as you go along)?

Daniel: For my first book, I was a pantser. Everything I did was spur of the moment. Once I finished it, though, I realized it would be very difficult to write an entire series like that. Too many things were going on and I couldn't keep it all together in my head, so for the next three books I plotted every little detail. Plotting has now become the norm for me. Although I'm still working on The Descendant Series, I have a few other books that already have character lists and major plot details written down.

Kate: I was the same way. I wrote my first several books completely spur-the-moment, but I find it completely impossible to sustain a series with that style of writing (I also find it faster to plot first). Now I have a notebook full of charts and scribbles.

Are you writing anything else at the moment?

Daniel: I have a few things in the works. I'm nearly complete with book 3 of The Descendant Series, with only one more to go once that is finished. After that, I have a stand alone fantasy story idea that I've been wanting to write for awhile now.

Kate: Sounds great. Good luck with your new projects! Thanks so much for stopping by, Daniel!


You can find out more about Daniel Koch and his vampire-apocalyptic YA series here:

Website: www.TheDescendantSeries.com

Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/DanielWKoch
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Descendant-Series/135779306448383

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Versatile Blogger Award!

Back in December, Matthew Cook from The Illiterate Scribe blog gave me the Versatile Blogger award!! Thanks, Matthew!!

I was so flattered and pleased, but I was craaaaaazy swamped with Christmas stuff and the Big Awesome YA Giveaway and the smaller Curse Girl-related giveaways I was doing on my blog and on Goodreads. So I neglected to do a follow-up post.

I'm supposed to share seven random bits of information about myself and then share a few blogs I love.

1. I would rather drink food (like smoothies, milkshakes, etc) than eat food (like a steak).

2. I took horseback riding lessons as a child.

3. Despite the purple bow, my favorite color is actually turquoise, and half my closet is probably some shade of it (although I do love purple too).

4. I come from a family of creative people. My oldest brother is an amazing photographer who used to travel the world for his job, and my younger sister is a very talented artist who paints and makes jewelry.

5. I love dark chocolate. I rarely like milk chocolate (hershey bars? I won't even eat them).

6. My appendix ruptured when I was 19, resulting in numerous complication for me physically.

7. When I was a kid, I read mostly "adult" books. Now that I'm an adult, I read mostly MG or YA books... funny how that worked out.

Some of the Blogs I Enjoy Reading:

WordPlay ~ This is a GREAT blog for writers, filled with tips and information. KM Weiland has authored several books about writing and craft in addition to her fiction titles.

Emily White: Young Adult Author ~ Author of the upcoming (ELEMENTAL). She posts all kinds of interesting things about authors and book trailers and so forth on her blog, and she's a really kind person as well.

Taherah Mafi's Grab a Pen ~ Taherah Mafi (author of the newly-released SHATTER ME) is funny, insightful, and oh-so honest. Love her blog.

The Chocolate Chip Waffle ~ A poetry blog. Although she hasn't updated it in a loooong time, the archives are incredible. Such inspiration to me every time I visit.

Hairnets and Hopes ~ I met Vic sometime last year, and she is one of the sweetest and most encouraging writers I know! She's also an incredible artist... you should check out her deviantART page.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The 5 Minutes A Day Rule

Happy New Year!

Well, the dust from all the various holidays and associated craziness--parties, families, cooking, travelling, et cetera--has finally begun to settle, and I'm trying to get back into the groove. Back to reading and tweeting and somewhat-regular blog posting. Back to writing.

But first, I made a few goals and resolutions for the shiny new year!

I wrote a long and detailed list of new year's resolutions with my husband this year, because we're total nerds like that. We write out lists separately and then read and discussed them with each other.

(Note: I think resolutions are one of those things that, if they work for you, awesome! And if they don't... don't worry about them. But I personally LOVE them. Having goals helps me a lot, and I get such a rush when I look back and see that I've met them.)

Most of my resolutions are personal, like giving more to charity this year, and the rest are mostly places I'd like to see myself professionally in a year rather than actual resolutions (although I know what I have to do to get there). But I do have two goals for the year that I thought I'd share.

They're easy to remember because they both have to do with the number 5.

I got the idea for the first one from Alexandra Sokoloff's blog, and it is so simple but so smart that I am totally incorporating it into my goals for the year.

It's this simple:

Write at least 5 minutes a day. 

Now, for me, the hardest part about writing is actually sitting down and starting to do it. I can find any excuse in the world to not sit down and type at my computer, especially if I feel stuck in a rut or uncertain about where the story is supposed to go. So with this goal, I can promise myself that I only have to do 5 minutes. But HOPEFULLY I'll get sucked in, as often happens, and do much, much more writing that day. But even if I don't, 5 minutes is something, and something is better than nothing.

My second goal is also pretty simple:

Read at least 5 writing books this year.

I made (and met!) this goal last year as well, and it was tremendously helpful to me. I'm trying to always be growing and learning when it comes to my craft, and this is one great way to do it.

Do you guys have any big goals or resolutions for the new year?


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