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Yes, it's that time....CONTEST TIME! TRAILER LAUNCH CONTEST: The SKIN OF MY TEETH trailer has clawed it's way into this world! Share the trailer on your Facebook page, blog, website, or just tweet about it, and I'll enter you in a draw for
a wicked triple threat - an ebook copy of UNDER MY SKIN, SECOND SKIN, and the SPIRITED anthology to one lucky winner.
You gotta message me or comment on this status update so I know you've entered and are helping to spread the word. Multiple entries allowed. Contest ends: October 1st at midnight EST. Trailer link: http://youtu.be/-V2ea80qFHU
Today, the Wolfy Chicks are pleased to be a blog post stop for young adult author, Heather McCorkle and her latest release:
Hi Judith and friends, thanks for having me over. Today I’m dropping by to celebrate the release of my young adult historical fantasy about the last of the druids in ancient Ireland, To Ride A Puca. Though parts of it were heartbreaking to write, this one was a labor of love that will always hold a special place in my heart. I have an excerpt for you but first, here is a bit about the novel:
Invaders are coming to take what isn't theirs, again. Neala wants to stand and fight for her homeland, but as one of the last druids, she may be standing alone. Persecuted, hunted down, forced to live in obscurity, the druids have all but given up. Can the determination of a girl who has barely come into her power bring them together? Or, just when she finally finds her place among her kind, will they end up losing a homeland their very magic is tied to?
To celebrate my novel Freaksville going on Kindle, I am offering a Free (yep, Free kindle ebook copy of my novel. All you have do do is comment on the blog to win. Easy as pie. I will draw the lucky winner at the end of April and email a link to you to pick up your copy. Please spread the word. And be sure to check out my short story Death Becomes Her in the Spirited Anthology. It came out in paperback in March and is also on Kindle as an ebook.
Second Skin is now available online via Amazon and will be hitting Chapters stores across Canada very, very soon. I'm rallying the troops and hope to set off on a blog tour filled with excerpts, reviews, SWAG and signed copy giveaways. The schedule will be posted shortly. If you're a blogger and would like to participate in the tour, email me: judithgraves at ymail dot com
In the meantime, here's the Second Skin trailer for your enjoyment. Whoot! It's a book birthday!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Leap Books digs the importance of literacy – and they’ve unearthed 13 haunting tales to help spread the word. After all, there’s no rest for the wicked.
More than a dozen young adult paranormal fiction authors are contributing to Spirited, a collection of steampunk, cyberpunk and downright spooky stories guaranteed to get your heart racing. Proceeds from the anthology will be donated to National 826, a literacy-based charity.
“Leap Books tends to lean towards the eccentric and snarky, so when we found an organization that’s a little off-the-wall and dovetails with our goals – reading and writing – we couldn’t resist,” says Spirited editor, Kat O’Shea. “One of our goals is to get teens excited about books. What better way to do that than to offer stories by some of their favorite authors?”
The anthology features supernatural tales by bestselling writers such as Maria V. Snyder, Candace Havens, Shannon Delany, Linda Joy Singleton, Heather Kenealy and more.
“I was amazed at how many well-known authors were willing to carve time out of their hectic schedules to benefit charity,” says O’Shea.
For bestselling author and leading entertainment journalist Candace Havens, Charmed & Dangerous (Berkley), the chance to be a part of Spirited was a no-brainer. Trying her hand at a ghost story was something she’s wanted to do for a long time, and as the emcee for several literacy charity events, she hears amazing stories of literacy inspiration all the time.
Kitty and I are thrilled to be participating in the second annual Crossroads Blog Tour, which brings 15 YA paranormal authors together in one freak-a-thon of Halloween-inspired goodness. Don't miss out on chances to win SWAG, signed ARCs, learn more about NY Times Best-selling and debut paranormal authors, as well as freaking CHAT with them....LIVE!
If that's not enough to get us SCREAMING...both Kitty and I have stories published in Leap Books' anthology, SPIRITED: 13 Haunting Tales along with some big names in YA fiction - Maria V. Snyder, Candace Havens, Shannon Delany, Linda Joy Singleton, Jill Williamson, Dawn Dalton and more!
SPIRITED has its heart on its sleeve - Leap Books is donating proceeds of their sales to 826 National, a literacy-based charity.
There's a contest going on all month - follow SPIRITED on Twitter: @Spirited13 for details.
Talk about one hell of an October. Here's the SPIRITED trailer:
When I first heard the words scene and sequel…I cringed. Because I didn’t write that way. I didn’t plot. I just sat down at the computer and typed. That was many years ago. Ahem…I have binders full of unfinished manuscripts.
I’m Kitty and I’m a Pantser. I write by the seat of my pants. Yep, I said it. I confessed. Now what? Is there a twelve step program to join? Support groups? Do I get a shinny pin? Nope. Darn!
The good news is Pantsers can plot and still keep their edge. Really?
I’ve learned what background information I needed to have ahead of time. I will never sit down and write out a forty page outline or twelve pages of notes on each character. It’s not me. And I’m not knocking those that do. I admire them, truly.
So here’s one take on plotting from a die-hard Pantser. (As I am a Pantser, any major amount of planning causes adverse affects. I promise to keep this short. And yes, I’m sort of winging it.)
Back to those two words SCENE and SEQUEL. (See in bold type they seem ominous don’t they? Wahhhaaaaa. They’re not once you have the tools to slay the beast.)
Let’s start with SCENE:
What’s a scene? What should it contain? (Okay, tiny beads of sweat are forming at my forehead as I write this. Must continue… gripping mouse harder. BREATHE. EXHALE, INHALE)
The best book I ever found that described scenes was written by the late Jack M. Bickhman. He wrote, “What is a scene? It’s a segment of the story action, written moment-by-moment, without summary, presented onstage in the story “now.” It is not something that goes on inside the character’s head; it is physical. It could be put on the theatre stage and acted out.” SCENE AND STRUCTURE, ISBN 0-89879-906-6, Chapter 4, page 26.
Wow that’s pretty easy, right? Clear. Scenes are action. They are not summary. They happen in the story now. There are three things all scenes should have and this dare I say, this is where the plotting comes in. Big Gulp.
GOAL,CONFLICT, DISASTER (OMG! I’m so want to head for the hills right about now. Someone hold my hand. Spoiler alert! Big scary words ahead.)
First big scary word…Goal.
All characters must have a goal. Something they want. Ray Bradbury wrote, “First find out what your hero wants; then just follow him.” The goal is why the story is. Your hero wants something.
Second big scary word…Conflict.
This is actually my favorite. Conflict drives your story. Conflict makes it interesting. Without conflict your story would be about as exciting as a grocery list. Conflict can be from the hero himself, from nature, or from another character…the villain. Everyone boo and hiss. The more conflict you have the more interesting. But, conflict needs to have a purpose. It needs to drive the story forward. Random acts of conflict is just that, random.
The third big scary word…Disaster.
Dunt dunt dunt dunt….shark! Disaster is the failure of the character meeting his goal. It’s what makes us turn the page and read the next chapter with the next scene.
Okay so that’s pretty easy right? Just think of each scene as cause and effect. Cover the five W’s… who, what, when, why, and where. Have your dialogue crisp, natural and have a point. And the scene should have a reason. Yep. That about covers it. Not really. But it’s a start. And remember I’m a Pantser. Too much information will make my head explode. I try to keep all of this organized in my thoughts. Mostly though, I think of the major three, Goal, Conflict, Disaster.
Okay cringe, big scary word, again… Sequel.
I thought a sequel was something after the first Lord of the Rings movie, the second movie, part two. In a way, I was right. A sequel follows a scene. WARNING. Doctrine alert! This is where people differ on opinion. I’m going to share what works for me.
When Judith and I started Wolfy Chicks nearly three years ago we were new at everything. Being published authors blogging the works. One of the most joyous things about this journey has been our followers and supporters. Awhile back we had the pleasure of featuring Shannon Delany, who was one of our first Wolfy Chick Followers. She is now a sensational YA author with her 13 to Life werewolf series. We have yet another opportunity to share another talented author that has been very supportive of our journey. Heather McCorkle debut novel just came out this month. Please give her a Wolfy Chicks howl and welcome her!
What projects are you working on / have published? My debut novel, a young adult urban fantasy titled The Secret of Spruce Knoll, just released this August (it feels totally surreal to say that :). I'm currently working on editing the sequel which is due out next spring.
What's your "road to publication" story? It has been a rocky road for me, as with many people in this changing industry. I've had two agents and two different manuscripts that failed in the editorial submission rounds. This last one felt it was all about timing and the tumultuous state of the market though. We parted ways because he was downsizing like so many others lately. I never stopped writing and improving though, and I started submitting to editors of publishing houses myself. A few interested houses later I finally found my path to success.
Why YA? I took my adult fantasy novel to a writer's retreat where I met YA authors Aprilynne Pike and Sarah Rees Brennan. They showed me that YA wasn't what I thought it was. It was fun, quirky, daring, and very cutting edge. I realized it was what I was meant to write.
Best writing advice you've heard?Keep writing even when you've landed an agent and you're manuscript is on editor submission. That advice is why I'm published today.
What inspires you? Life! LOL, I know that's a bit vague. I'm an active outdoor person and my surroundings are very inspiring to me. So are people, animals, movies, great books, art.
Did you write stories as a teen? If yes what has/hasn’t changed? Definitely! I've been writing novel length work since I was twelve. My writing is better but still carries a lot of the same tone and atmosphere it had when I was a teen writer. I think that helps make it something they can relate to.
Describe your office/workspace/writer’s cave. I don't have an office yet, but I hope to soon! In the meantime my work space is the kitchen table, the end next to the bookshelf with all my necessities on it. ;)
Who is your favorite character in your work? Why? Oh no, you're making me choose favorites! Well alright, but only if you don't tell the others. That is so hard, I love them all so much. I would have to say Aiden though since he had such a challenging childhood it made him very interesting and deep to write. I love characters that push m
I've joined my husband (a high school social studies teacher), 22 grade 10-12 students, 1 parent and 4 teacher supervisors for a Commemorating Canada tour of France/Belgium/Germany. We've visited key WWI and WWII sites in which Canadian soldiers played a prominent role. While I enjoyed the military history aspects of the tour, my focus had been scouring each country for folklore references, the supernatural, or the fantastical.
Take Belgium for instance. When we first arrived in Ypres, my heart was captured by the amazing medieval / gothic architecture. As I began to take photos I noticed sculptures of cats crawling up buildings, cat shaped chocolates in shop windows, as well as cat sculptures guarding store windows. I asked our lovely tour guide, Christine, why all the cats?
Of course, there was a supernatural element to her explanation that I quickly recorded for future investigation and this is what I discovered. The town and surrounding Flanders area is home to many WWI memorials and also hosts a rather unusual festival every three years. The next one will be held on May 13, 2012.
The Cat Festival has been celebrated for over 40 years. Townspeople dress in cat costumes and there’s a parade with medieval and modern representations of cats (Garfield is the highlight) and even throw toy cats from the church. Witches are also featured, a mock burning is held in the town square. The festival pays tribute to the burning times of the 18th century and the legend that cats were seen as witches familiars and thus tossed from the church’s bell tower.
From these macabre origins, today the people of Ypres embrace all that is feline.
My husband is a high school social studies teacher and his love of military history knows no bounds - it's been a dream of his to go to major WWI and WWII sites in which Canadian soldiers fought and died.
A dream of mine has been to go to Europe - because, hello, it's EUROPE. ;) Plus, I've always been fascinated with the story of the Beast of Gevaudan, the legend behind the film, Brotherhood of the Wolf. In the 1700s, the French countryside was terrorized by man-eating wolves. Not familiar with the lore? Go here:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beast_of_Gévaudan
In a week (that's right, a mere 7 days from now) both of us will get to dive headlong into our dreams. My husband has organized a class tour - Commemorating Canada: WWI and WWII Sites. We're travelling to France, Belgium and Germany on a tour with grades 10-12 students, as well as a few parents, and teachers as supervisors.
Not only will we be exposed to the architecture, arts, cafes, folklore, Belgium chocolates! - we'll be getting one hell of an education / appreciation for the men who fell... so we could prevail. The trip is a blend of a beast that may not exist, and the beast we call war. I'll be blogging about our experiences on my website (www.judithgraves.com), as well as here at Wolfy Chicks - whenever wifi is accessible.
Until next week, hopefully from our first stop, Paris.
I didn’t have HBO last year so I missed my one of my guilty pleasures, TRUEBLOOD. I was excited to see it out on DVD and quickly snatched it up. I finished watching the last episode yesterday. I’m torn. I absolutely adore the Sookie Stackhouse books by Charlaine Harris. I enjoyed the first two seasons and I liked the third but, I felt it deviated a bit farther from the original books. The third season was well written and chocked full of the witty retorts, blood and vampy drama. It focused more on Eric the hunky Viking whom I absolutely adore. So I haven’t been able to put my finger on what was missing for me. Perhaps it’s because I devour her books and the plot thread moved into darker waters for one of my favorite character, Sam Merlotte.Spoiler Alert*** if you don’t want to know skip this part***I didn’t really like the fact that Sam who has always been a hero was shown doing some very un-hero-like things like robbery and gulp… even murder.End of spoiler***This brings me to my own work. I’ve made some changes to a character who was the hero in FREAKSVILLE. He will be showing more anti-hero qualities in book two, FURRY & FREAKED. I am trusting my gut, that I’ve built up enough motivations and reasons for this change that the readers will follow me through his character arc.I suppose what bothers me so much about TRUEBLLOD’s Sam, was the way it just seemed to happen overnight, with no hint it was heading that way. Perhaps, if they built it up more slowly? Or perhaps it’s my admiration for Sam that has me feeling betrayed. I’m not giving up on the series though, I’m eagerly awaiting season four. Maybe Sam will redeem himself. I hope so.The thought for the day is can readers adapt and forgive plot changes? I supposed I will find out this fall.Kitty
A few months ago I got on a classic 80s horror flick kick and purchased as many DVDs or iTunes movie downloads as I could find. Creapshow, The Craft...and I downloaded one of my favs, Fright Night onto my ipod and watched the film in a few chunks while walking (that's a whole other kind of chunky...lol...). Nothing like a few scream queen films to keep your pace up on the treadmill from hell.
I'm still on the lookout for the House films - anyone remember those?
Anyway, I recently discovered (thanks to The Steampunk Scholar) they're doing a remake of Fright Night. Looks a bit darker, but hopefully it will have the humour / camp that I loved. With Colin Farrell as the vampire, Jerry, and David Tennant (Doctor Who) as the TV slayer Peter Vincent, we're sure to be mildly entertained at the very least.
Okay so I’ve done something really crazy. I moved to Indiana. That’s not the crazy part, maybe to some people it is. (I do say this last week had some pretty freaky high winds and tornados…it had me wondering if I made the right decision. I think I have.) Nope, I just bought a historic building (1840’s) that needs a little work. Er, okay a bit of an understatement. It needs A LOT of work. It’s basically four walls and a roof. It needs HVAC, electric, drywall, plumbing…floors in some parts. Yep, floors. I am truly crazy. I can see the building true potential, its beauty in the ruins. I used to do this for a living before I was published I was an interior designer. (Kasey’s mom in Freaksville is an Interior Designer, but that’s where the similarity stops. I’m not anal, really.) But here’s where it gets even zanier. I plan to open an Independent Bookstore and coffeehouse. A real brick and mortar store! There's alot of contruction that needs to be done, so I think it will be open in the Fall of 2011 or at least that's my plans. Little happy dance. I have an architect. I have a plan. I’m just crossing my fingers and toes and this point. I’m scared to death. But in life if we don’t take chances, we truly aren’t living at all. I took a leap, the first step on this journey. And it was hard, scary and a lot of fun. But, if you want to share this crazy journey of mine you can follow my blog, discoversomethingwondefrul.blogspot.com I plan on posting construction updates and other tidbits along the way.
I’m still writing. I just turned in a heavy batch of edits on Furry & Freaked. It’s so different from Freaksville. I love it! I am excited about Kasey’s arc and how much she has grown. I can’t wait until I can share it with all of you. It’s a bit darker than Freaksville. I didn’t use as much humor as I did in Freaksville.
Well, what a productive month April has been....and I've still got a few days to produce Second Skin. I feel like the little writer who thought she could....I think I can...I think I can - No, I KNOW I can. With the aide of chocolate, of course.
Anyway, one of my focuses for April was co-writing a script for ScriptFrenzy. The challenge is put on by the creators of NANO. You have to complete a 100 page script in 30 days, 100 pages being the standard length of a feature film.
While we didn't make the 100 pages, and we ended up writing a completely different script than the one we had intended to start on (simply tabled for the moment, we'll get to it asap) - my writing partner, fellow Alberta based author, Dawn Ius and I did produce a complete script for television - usually about 60 pages - ours was 70. So I consider us winners despite not meeting the ScriptFrenzy official page count.
We had a blast writing the script. We plotted and outlined the whole thing on Google Docs and then Dawn crashed at my place for three glorious days of binge writing. We wrote from 5:30 am to 10:00pm. Many pots of coffee and chocolate Easter eggs later - we had ourselves a brand spanking new baby script.
Someday, I hope you'll hear it roar. :)
If you've been thinking of branching into scripts - I highly recommend giving ScriptFrenzy a try next year. The forums and cameos from screenwriters provided wonderful advice / tips and tricks on plotting scripts, formatting them, etc.
I'd also recommend investing in Blake Snyder's Save the Cat! The Last Book on Screenwriting You'll Ever Need and related titles. Invaluable. His website rocks as well: http://www.blakesnyder.com/
I know we at Wolfy Chicks tend to lend on the side of paranormal...but every now and then, something that has nothing do to with the supernatural, but is still extremely well, supernatural comes along. We have the great pleasure to introduce to you YA author, Bettina Restrepo. She part of the Class of 2k11 with her debut novel Illegal. (Check out her page here: www.classof2k11.com)
Hi, Bettina Thanks for joining us!
1. What projects are you working on/have published?
My next novel is called Telenovela. A telenovela is a Latin flavored soap opera. Usually it’s over dramatic, a bit sexy, and lasts about 180 episodes. This YA novel follows Mercedes, a Colombian foreign exchange student, as she come to Texas. The novel has a an actual telenovela script set within the novel.
2. What's your road to publication story?
9 years with my butt-in-chair writing. A ton of rejections. Endless writing conferences and about a bazillion drafts.
3. Why YA?
My voice always turns back to myself at 15. I think I tortured myself a lot during those years.
4. Best writing advice you've heard?
Don’t publish fast. Publish well. – Cynthia Leitch Smith told me this over Chinese food in 2003.
5. What inspires you?
Life and people. A crack in the sidewalk, a funny expression, a mournful glance, stirring gray clouds.
6. Did you write stories as a teen? If yes, what has/hasn't changed?
No, but I told a lot of lies – which is great practice for writing. An effective liar should be a writer – if that doesn’t work out, the liar can become a lawyer or a contractor.
7. Describe your office/workspace/writer's cave.
I like order. I have labeled files. I prefer to scan in what I think I’ll keep, and I throw away a lot. But, I write everywhere – while driving, while standing in line, while watching TV.
8. Who is your favorite character in your work and why?
Nora. Because she has been with me the longest and I’ve watched her change the most. Originally, when ILLEGAL was a picture book about a girl who lost a library book and was afraid she would be kicked out of school. She was 9 when I started and fourteen when I ended. I was afraid if I didn’t get published soon, Nora would end up in menopause.
Here's a blurb about Bettina's debut novel...
Harper Collins- Katherine Tegen Books, March 11, 2011
Nora is on a desperate journey far from home. When her father leaves their beloved Mexico in search of work, Nora fights to make sense of her loss while waiting for her father’s return and a better day. When the letters and the money from her father stop coming, Nora decides she and her mother must look for him in Texas. After a harrowing experience crossing the border, the two are all alone in a strange place called Houston. Now, Nora figures out how to survive while still aching for small comforts: friends, a new school and a quinceaña to mark her fifteenth birthday.
We are all immigrants.
Bettina Restrepo’s powerful and deeply hopeful debut novel captures the challenges of one girl’s unique yet universal immigrant experience.
For more information on Illegal and to get to know Bettina please check out her website. www.bettinarestrepo.com
Greg Fishbone, the founder of the Class of 2k program (of which I was a member of Class of 2k10), an author collective specifically to promote debut YA and MG authors, has once again banded authors together. This time in fundraising efforts to aid victims of the 2011 Sendai earthquake and tsunami.
kidlit4japan consists of children’s authors and illustrators auctioning up copies of their books, critiques, Skype visits, etc…”For three weeks, beginning on March 21st, Kidlit4Japan will feature a children’s and YA literature auction to benefit the victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. A Daily Auction Preview will appear each weekday morning at 8AM EDT. New items will appear at least hourly from 9AM to 4PM. Items include signed books, advance reader copies, artwork, critiquing services, book-related swag, author visits, or the chance to name a character in an upcoming book.
New year, new directions. I’ve be looking back on the last year as a debut novelist and all the challenges, road blocks and rewards… and gearing myself up for another year of much of the same. When I stopped myself and thought, I should dream bigger and try to out do what I did last year. Not just in my professional life but, my personal life as well. I found this quote by W.B. Yates about dreams.
“I have spread my dreams beneath your feet. Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.” W.B. Yeats
It got me thinking, which I admit is a tad bit dangerous. We often let other’s actions direct our dreams. In truth, we should move forward and not let the negative hold us back. I know it’s easier said than done, I, for one, struggle with this myself. But seeing another quote by Henry David Thoreau, breathed new life into my personal mission. To be the very best I can be, to stretch myself and discover something new daily. “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.” Henry David Thoreau I needed a little pep talk this year and I thought I’d pay it forward and spread the pep. So for 2011 set some goals go ahead and dream and do your very best to make them happen. Feel like sharing? What are your dreams and goals?
I'm a huge horror film buff - an obsession my main character, Eryn McCain, shares (she didn't have much choice...lol...). But I'm particular about my scares. I'm not a gore fiend and don't watch many hillbilly-dudes-gone-freaky-looking-for-brides/grooms or Saw-esque flicks.
Not that I'm squeamish. Not at all.
I just can't stomach the gruesome, twisted monsters known as my fellowman. I much prefer to be scared senseless by creatures whose existence is debatable - vamps, ghosts, demons, werewolves - rather than by the very real possibility of a serial killer living next door. (Not that I think my neighbours are serial killers...lol...)
Therefore, I enjoy more horror films that contain elements of suspense, paranormal, supernatural, sci-fi - you get the idea. These can be hit or miss. Take "Season of the Witch" for example. The film stars Nicholas Cage (who I've adored since Valley Girl), is set in medieval l times and has "witch" in the title - I was so looking forward to this film. While it did have some interesting twists and witchy action, it could have been so much more. The feminist in me was also concerned that the film took a tragic period in history - with truly horrific treatment of women (in the majority) - and made it look justified.
Another film I'll be going to is "Red Riding Hood". Kitty actually informed me about this one - emailing the trailer. A bookstore visit later, I had a copy of the book based on the film and written by Sarah Blakley-Cartwright. The movie is directed by Catherine Hardwicke, director of Twilight, and I guess after she was involved with that franchise and saw the power a loyal readership - she decided to take a shot at marketing in a similar vein. So, we have Red Riding Hood, the book, coming out before Red Riding Hood, the movie - and there's even going to be a final chapter made available on the book's website after the release of the film.
Wow - now there's a package deal. I should be jaded about the whole thing, however, I did enjoy the book. I might even end up liking it better than the movie. Go figure. The cover is wonderful. I love the image of Red with a hatchet - I could even see it worked into a graphic novel.
I'll leave you with the trailer for another film I'm keen to see...PRIEST.
Someone's been a very bad zombie... With such an funny tagline, I have to confess, I'm dying to read this book. BAD TASTE IN BOYS. Carrie Harris stepped up as the Class of 2k11 President, and Judith and I can tell you, that job is a ton of work, but totally worth every hour spent. I've enjoyed my time with the Class of 2k10 and being a mentor for the Class of 2k11 has it's perks...meeting creative and talented debut authors. Carrie's novel Bad Taste in Boys comes out from Delacorte, in July 12, 2011. She took a moment to escape the zombies and chat with the Wolfy Chicks.
1. What projects are you working on/have published?Well, my first book is called BAD TASTE IN BOYS, and it comes out in July 2011. It’s about a science geek who learns that her high school football team has been dosed with steroids…or maybe not. Whatever’s in those vials is turning hot gridiron hunks into mindless, flesh-eating zombies. Which is bad. But if she doesn’t find a way to cure them, it’ll be even worse. Dum dum DUM. I’ve also just sold two more books, which means that I’m constantly bouncing around and going, “EEEEEEEEE!” all the time. My second book is a sequel called BAD HAIR DAY, and it’s about werewolves and nanotechnology and shaved bears in lab coats and blueberry flavored astronauts and bath mats made out of human hair. Which all goes to prove one simple point—I am an ideal candidate for psychotherapy.
Kitty: Wowza...bath mats and made out of human hair and blueberries...that musta been one crazy night. 2. What's your road to publication story? Well, the road to publication was very long for me. Like *cough* fifteen years. *cough* This was mostly because I had no idea what I wanted to write. I dabbled in poetry, screenplays, stage plays, short stories, and depressing adult books before finally finding my way to YA, which is where I belong! When The Email finally came, I ran around the house screaming and then left a voice mail for my husband that said: “OhmygodcallmecallmeCALLMERIGHTNOW!” And then I put Thriller on and did the dance, because that’s obviously the best way to celebrate selling a zombie book. About an hour later, I realized I should probably email my agent back. I went to my computer and found another email from her asking if the shock had killed me and did she need to call an ambulance.
Kitty: OMG! I loved that you brought the Thriller. I just walked around with a goofy toothy grin when I sold, I was still in shock. 3. Why YA? I spent a long time trying to be a “serious” writer, because I thought that would get me respect. Which is ridiculous, because first of all, I’m not a serious person. I’ll devour a good drama, sure, but most of the time you can find me reading books that are chock full of paranormal beasties or laugh-out-loud moments. And really, what’s more worthy of respect than writing books that get teens interested in reading, even if they are full of sparkly vampires or glow-in-the-dark merpires or whatever?
4. Best writing advice you've heard? I actually met Gwendolyn Brooks once, and after I got done quaking in my boots and actually got up the nerve to approach her, I said, “I think I might want to be a writer.” And she said, “Be what you are,” which made me gape a lot and nod like I knew what she meant even though I had no freaking clue. But after spending years trying to write like other people I admired, I think I’ve figured it out. Now I embrace the fact that I’m a m
I just found out that Full Moon Farm, a wolf and wolf dog sanctuary is in the running for the Pepsi Refresh Project. Full Moon Farms has been a guest on Wolfy Chicks and that's as far as our affiliations goes. They are nice people caring for animals, 'nuff said. They have the opportunity to receive a $25,000 grant which is desperately needed for vet bills, food and care for the wolves living in the sanctuary. All it takes is a simple vote. The deadline is Jan 31 at 11:59. Please follow this link and vote, it's simple and doesn't cost a dime and you will help save these beautiful animals. Please twitter, blog,FB, etc and pass this information along. Thank you, Kitty
Monday, February 7, 2011 Success for Freaksville Leap Books is proud to announce that author Kitty Keswick's young adult novel Freaksville has been named by P & E as a 2010 Top Ten Novel for YAs. Teens enjoy the humor and the light paranormal mystery. Here's what one teen reader had to say on Bearamy's Book Club, where Keswick's book was spotlighted for January, "Kitty Keswick is a great writer over all!!"
In addition to kudos for her books, Kitty was chosen as the featured author for the Children's Book Council's January/February column in the American Library Association's publication, Knowledge Quest, a magazine for school librarians. Kitty's article, "D is for Dragons," tells the poignant story of the struggles she overcame to become a novelist.
What's next for this award-winning author? She's hard at work on book two in the Freaksville series. Fans are eagerly awaiting the release of Furry and Freaked. See the great cover design below. Looks fabulous, doesn't it?
If you haven't read Freaksville, check out the story of four teens trapped in a haunted theater on the night of the full moon. Battling hungry werewolves and angry ghosts, sixteen-year-old Kasey and her friends uncover buried secrets to solve a decades-old mystery.
Whereas Freaksville is told with a lighter touch, readers who prefer their paranormals a bit darker will gravitate to Furry and Freaked, where Kasey's in for some hair-raising challenges.
Both books feature art by the award-winning Canadian graphic artist, Val Cox.
This February I had a blast as one of the instructors at a teen writing camp in the foothills of Bragg Creek, Alberta. With the mountains in the distance and creativity blanketing the air - it was a weekend to DIE for. Not only was I wowed by the talent and dedication of the WordsWorth supervisors and fellow instructor, poet/professor at the University of Calgary, Owen Percy....the kids were freaking amazing. Funny, shy, exhuberant, quirky, and oh soooooooo keen on the craft of writing.
I wish every kid with a hankering for writing could attend such a camp and that every YA or children's author could have this kind of opportunity. It really was mindblowing. If ever there was a perfect example of why never to write down to kids - it's a camp like this. The quality of the work they produced in 30 minute blocks of writing, their use of lanugage....just....wow. From the snowsculptures to the open mic night. I loved every second.
Below this first video you'll find a little vlog I created with my new Flip Ultra (love it, BTW), documenting Winter WordsWorth, however, feast your eyes on this wonderful promo created by filmmaker, Cynthia Robertson, on behalf of the Young Alberta Book Society (who ran the camp):
Hard to believe that this time last year I was wigging out, going crazy-nutso with preparations for the Under My Skin online and live launch parties. Wow. Talk about a lifetime ago. I was (and continue to be) so thankful to my fellow Class of 2k10 authors and my 2k mentor from the Class of 2k9, the talented, Joy Preble. Joy is the author of Dreaming Anastasia and Haunted (Sourcebooks Fire). If you enjoy folklore, Russian history and romance - be sure to scoop up these bewitching reads. Joy not only mentored me, but Kitty as well, and still proves to be a source of inspiration for both of us.
Today, I'm thrilled to introduce my Class of 2k11 mentee, Kiki Hamilton, author of The Faerie Ring, (Teen/Macmillan) to be released October 1st! I can't wait to get my greedy paws on this title and will be giving away a few copies during launch festivities for Second Skin (also in October). So...let's get to know her, shall we?
Kiki kindly answered my questions below:
1. How has your experience with 2k11 and The Elevensies helped with all the demands of promoting a debut novel?
Both groups have been a wonderful support network and resource for the millions of questions that come up along the way to publication. It’s nice to have someone (or many someones!) going through the same process as you are, and it’s especially nice to be able to share the path with someone who understands. It takes so long to get published (usually 18-24 months from the time you sell your book) that your family and friends sort of get a glazed over look after a while. They couldn’t possibly know or care about the many day-to-day details of being an author.
2. You're also a founding member of the blog, The Enchanted Inkpot - can you tell us about it?
The Enchanted Inkpot was started two years ago from a conversation over on the blueboards at VerlaKay.com about the need for a site that was dedicated strictly to fantasy novels. A group of us banded together and worked very hard to get the site up and going and it continues to grow. There are fantasy related posts twice a week on a wide variety of topics and then news relating to the members on Saturdays. It’s a fun site! Check it out at this link: The Enchanted Inkpot.
3. What's the premise of The Faerie Ring?
London, December 1871
Orphaned and picking pockets in London’s Charing Cross station to support not only herself, but her ‘family’ of orphans, sixteen year-old Tiki steals the Queen’s ring and thinks she’s solved their problems. That is, until Rieker, a pickpocket from the North End, suspects her in the theft and tells her that the ring is really a reservoir that holds a truce between the British and Faerie courts.
When he warns her that the fey will do anything - including murder - to recover the ri