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Jan. 2nd, 2012

Book Chick City's 100 Books in 2012 Challenge

Hi y'all! I looks like I am going to make 2 posts today. The first is this:

I have decided to join Book Chick City's 100 Books in 2012 Reading Challenge. It's as simple as it sounds: read 100 books this year. Last year I read almost 80 books and i wasn't even aware of the challenge so squeezing in another 20 or so shouldn't be that hard. Right? ;)

If you are interested or want to check it out, go here:
http://www.bookchickcity.com/2011/12/sign-up-100-books-in-year-reading.html

Happy Reading, everyone!

EM

Dec. 13th, 2011

Writer's Block: B.Y.O.B. Holidays

a tablet of some kind, whether it's an iPad or something else. a Kindle. books. Those are the main things on my wish list this year. :)
What is on your holiday wish list this year? One random answer will win a $50 Amazon gift card. [Details here]

Dec. 5th, 2011

I'm back!

Hello everyone! I hope you haven't missed me too much! I've decided to use this blog as my official blog. It was the first one I started almost a year ago when i made the decision to take my writing seriously, so I figure it is the only one I should use now. I do have a blog on my website (http://erindanzer.webs.com) where you can view entries before the middle of November this year.

I have a lot coming up this holiday season. I am working on several projects, including a guest blog post for my dear friend Brea Essex on the 23rd.

I'm already lining things up for next year as well, with a character interview on February 14 with Selene and Damien from Beth Ann Masarik's debut novel, The World Among Us: Prince of Darkness. Her book released on August 19 this year and has been getting some rave reviews. I highly recommend you check it out on the Otherworld Publications website, Amazon or Barnes and Nobles. The hard and soft copy texts have illustrations at each chapter heading, something missing from the ebook and definitely worth the price to own.

I hope everyone has an awesome, safe holiday season this year! I look forward to posting more as we head into 2012.

Happy Writing!

EM :)

Jun. 2nd, 2011

Excerpt from INTO THE SPIRAL

  Below is one of my favorite scenes to write. I hope you all enjoy it! Feel free to comment with thoughts and suggestions! :)
* * * * *

   Ronnie and Andi looked at each other and giggled as they ran down the hall, getting jostled by everyone else also trying to get to their Homeroom classes. Ronnie swore when one of the chopsticks fell out of her hair, clattering to the linoleum as her hair tumbled down her back. She swept up the chopstick, pulled the second one from her hair, and managed to shove them both into her bag as she reached her classroom. Andi’s homeroom was three doors down on the other side of the hallway. She looked down there and gave a little wave before turning to walk into her room only to find her way blocked by another guy. This school seemed to be crawling with hotties! This one was only a few inches taller than her, kind of short for a guy, with straight black hair and dark slightly slanted eyes. He wore black cargo pants, a black t-shirt that did nothing to hide his six-pack abs, and black combat boots. He looked her up and down and arched an eyebrow as he stepped aside.
    “After you, Princess,” he said, making a sweeping gesture with his arm as he slightly bowed. Ronnie didn’t know whether to be appalled or to laugh at him and didn’t have time to make up her mind as their Homeroom teacher asked if they would be joining them today. Cheeks flushed, Ronnie walked into the room and sat in the first available seat, which ended up being one of two left. The guy in the doorway sat at the desk behind her and gave a small smirk that she pretended to ignore. Who the hell did this guy think he was? She looked across the room and smiled when she saw Shawn sitting in the back corner. He smiled and nodded when he saw her and her heart fluttered.
    “Boyfriend or someone you wish was?” the boy behind her whispered and Ronnie rolled her eyes. Her shoulders tightened as she tried to ignore him but he wasn’t going to be dissuaded so easily.
    “Huh, well, if you’re not going to answer, then I’m going to have to guess,” he continued lowly. “My guess would be that he’s not your boyfriend but you would like him to be. Since you didn’t walk in with him, it makes me wonder if he’s even interested in you. What is he, an oblivious friend? Or does he not even know you exist? Is that what this outfit is for; so he will finally see you?”
    Ronnie’s ears reddened and it took the last of her willpower to keep from turning around and telling him to shut up. She clenched her hands together on top of her desk, praying the teacher would call on either one of them just so he would stop talking. A million comebacks flashed through her mind but she ground her teeth, knowing she would never say any of them. Despite her promise to herself to become her own person, she really didn’t know how to go about doing that. She thought it would be easy once she got the tattoo, but she knew she was failing. Even showing it off this morning, the little bit that she was able to, had taken more courage than she normally possessed – and she hadn't even had the satisfaction of Shawn seeing it. She had to make sure he saw it soon; she wanted to know what he thought of it.
    Thinking about Shawn took her mind off the jerk behind her and she managed to tune into what the teacher was saying. Unfortunately, it wasn’t that interesting (all about locker assignments and hall passing times) so she tuned out as quickly as she tuned in, her mind wandering back to Shawn. She snuck another peek at him and was thrilled to find him watching her – or at least that’s what it looked like at first. He was actually looking at something behind her. She moved her head to get a better look at what he was looking at and felt a tug on her hair.
    “Stop moving; I’m almost done,” the guy behind her muttered and Ronnie spun around.
    “What the hell do you think you’re doing?” she shrieked, unable to pretend ignorance anymore. She ran a hand over her hair and found a thin lock that he had apparently been braiding. Her eyes narrowed as the rest of the class waited for his reaction. Even the teacher had stopped talking.
    “I was bored,” he muttered. “And your hair is really pretty.”

Apr. 9th, 2011

My Writing Idols & Why I Want to be Like Them

Hi Everyone!
I recently read a few posts on a blogchain about why other authors write and I feel the need to put in my two cents. That will happen in a few minutes.

First, my writing idols:

J.K. Rowling - I know, who doesn't want to be the next billionaire author, right? Right. But I've idolized her since I first read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, long before she became a billionaire (I think she was only worth millions then). I love the multi-level world she's created in and out of Hogwarts. I want to do that. I want to write something that appeals and resonates with people of all ages, from six to 106. I love opening those books and living the magical, sometimes hard life of Harry as he grows up, falls in love and ultimately saves the magical world from evil. I want to write something that epic.

Richelle Mead - Yes, the Queen of Vampire literature (at least that how I think of her). Vampires have always been a love of mine, ever since going to the theatre and drooling over Stephen Dorff in BLADE (yeah, I know!). But honestly, it took me three tries to get into Vampire Academy. I don't know why I didn't turn to page 2 those first two times, but once I did, I could have sat down in the store and gobbled up the book in a couple of hours. I shared the book with everyone I know - even if they really weren't into vampires, they had to read these books! I love growing up with Rose, going through the trials of being seventeen, on the run, and then forced back into the world she tried to escape from. Again, it's her multi-dimensional world. There are so many layers to everything that happens, the things Rose and Lissa learn, the trials they go through... and it all leads to a happy ending. Who doesn't love that? And the fact that she brings vampires to life in a way I can't get enough of definitely helps.

Cassandra Clare - another goddess in the YA genre. The Mortal Instruments are action packed, romantic novels. You can't help but turn the page to find out what happens next - it's a physical need. The characters she's created are endearing, snarky, romantic... human and nonhuman alike, they are REAL. I just finished City of Fallen Angels, in which I laughed, cried and cheered while reading. And when I got to the back cover, I flipped the page looking for more. I feel like I'm not writing enough about how wonderful her writing is, how riveting the books are and how I love reading interviews by her becaues of how normal she is. She is an amazing author, one that I have aspired to be like since picking up City of Bones less than a year ago.

James Patterson - the one thing I idolize about him is his diversity. He writes a little bit of everything, from crime drama, to women's crime drama (yes, I think there's a difference), to suspense/supernatural, to kids literature. I fell in love with Women's Murder Club and Maximum Ride years ago. I read them almost religously (when I'm not absorbed in the authors above). He can write just about anything and it would be a best seller within weeks, if not days. Plus, he heads up an organization that helps kids read. Not to say other authors don't do this, but I love that he does that. It's one more thing I want to do when I grow up.

Beth Ann Masarik - Who? You ask. She's not famous, though I'm sure she's well known. Beth and "met" through our love of Richelle Mead back in November (I think). After becoming friends, I was telling everyone I know about her, about everything she was doing and the friends she was making and the stories she was writing. She has started two online writer communities and headed up a very promising only writing e-zine in the six months I've known her. Her ambition and friendship is one of the main reasons I made my decision to pursue a career in writing. I wanted to be like Beth when I grow up - I still do. By the time I met her, she had already found a publicist and a publisher. Her book, The World Among Us: Prince of Darkness comes out August 19. She has been a great cheerleader and has given me valuable information on my short journey so far. I know that won't end any time soon.

So, having said all of this, why do I write?

When I was 16, my dad briefly joined Amway and I went to a lot of the conferences they held. I learned how to dream and realized my dream was to see a book with my name across the bottom on a shelf in a book store. That's still my dream. In fact, you can bet I'm going to make my hubby take a picture of me standing next to that book once it's on the shelf. And then I'll post in here.

I'm still waiting for that moment, and to find my dream house on a hill overlooking a pond with mountains in the background, and even have the ability to stay home instead of working. And all of those reasons are fine and dandy, but it comes down to just one thing:

Because nobody else is going to read my mind and write what's in my head for me. It's seriously that simple. I have to do it.
So I'm going to keep doing it. Even if New York tells me my really awesome novel about a young girl who has to save the universe doesn't have a niche in thieir world, I know that I have other options to publish. And if I make the right connections, I will still be able to take that picture of me and my book on the shelf.

Happy Writing, everyone!
EM

PS: I also hope that some day some young girl/woman - someone will write everything about me that I've written about the people I admire. I hope I can give them hope and if I know them or am forunate enough to have them befriend me, give them a friendly kick in butt with a hearty "I know you can do this!" the same as I've received it. Because not only do we write because we have to, we write to inspire others to follow our lead.

Apr. 1st, 2011

500 words a day

Okay, so here's the challenge. It's simple really.

Just write 500 words every day.

I can do that. I've done it a million times before. I have hundreds of books that are proof that I know how to do that.

So why does 500 words feel like so many?

I really don't know. Maybe because I'm at a place right now in my head where I don't even know if writing is what I want to do with the rest of my life. ---

OKAY, STOP RIGHT THERE!

Writing IS what I want to do. It's what I've wanted since I got the bug at 10 years old. Why am I doubting myself? Because every writer goes through this, at least once but more than likely a million times. I'm watching all my new friends have books come out, pick up publishing contracts - people who have awesome blogs, write great articles and have other people reviewing their books and interviewing them. All of this just makes me realize how amateur I really am.

But they say you don't know if you can do something unless you try to do it. So this is me, trying to write 500 words a day. I have the second book in the Spiral Defenders series that I need to get back to (Ronnie's tired of crying on Gavin's shoulder and is ready to move out of the courtyard - yes, I left them in the middle of a scene. I know, what was I thinking?!)

I CAN DO IT!!

EM


Mar. 31st, 2011

Freak out over now. Time to get back to business!

 (Imported from the blog on my website)

So this morning I was reading some things on Book Ends, LLC blog about writing a synopsis, what agents look for and why some agents reject manuscripts. It was a great hour of reading all the things I should be doing.

So I completely freaked out.

Thanks to my great new friend, Kendall, she talked me off the proverbial ledge and helped me get my head on straight again. Freak out over. Then talking with Lindsay at work, she suggested I make a list of the things I have yet to do. What a great idea! So coming soon will be my list of things to do concerning INTO THE SPIRAL.

The ultimate goal is as it has been since I got bitten by the writing bug at 10yo: To go into a book store and take a pitcure of my book on a shelf.

I lost track of that while seeing where the industry is going, but I have it back. And until NY tells me otherwise, I'm going to keep trying it that way. If a year from now, I have a hefty stack of rejection letters and nothing in the hands of an editor/publishing house, I'll find a new way of doing things.

Keep on writing!
EM

Mar. 25th, 2011

TURNED AT DARK, a short story by C.C. Hunter

TURNED AT DARK follows 16-year-old Della Tsang on a life changing journey - literally. After seeing what she thinks in the ghost of her cousin Chan, she leaves the security of her house and follows him into a darkened alley, where she comes upon what she thinks in a gang war. It turns out to be so much more. What's more is that is was her cousin Chan that she saw! Because of a cut on Della's hand and Chan's existence as a vampire, Della finds herself going through the change and becoming what she never knew existed.

This short story was a great opener for BORN AT MIDNIGHT, the novel by C.C. Hunter coming on March 29th. What Della goes through and C.C.'s take on vampirism is fresh and moving. By the end of the story, all I could think was "Wow" and "I have to buy that book". This is C.C.'s debut as a young adult author (she also writes Adult Romances as Christie Craig) and I think it will be a huge success! check out the short story and read more about the novel here: http://www.cchunterbooks.com/news.html

(How funny is it that I had to add "vampirism" to my dictionary? lol)
 

Anyway, this story for me also opened my eyes to the possibility of a short story to introduce my upcoming novel, INTO THE SPIRAL. I got the idea at the beginning of the week but when I planned it out, I didn't think enough would happen to make it interesting enough to make the reader want to buy the book. Besides that I'm horrible with small word count limitations (this has a 6k limit), I wasn't sure I knew Gavin enough to write a story focused on him. But Gavin has assured me we'll get through it - and I'll probably learn a thing or two about him by the end. :) So once I'm done editing THE VIOLTE LINE, a novel coming soon from BILINDA SHEEHAN (check her out here: http://bilindanisiodacain.blogspot.com
 
Okay, enough from me today. Have to get back to editing, get the husband off to work, and get a couple things done around the house before work. Must be Friday!!

EM

Mar. 23rd, 2011

What I'm Reading

Two days ago, I finally started reading SHIVER by Maggie Stiefvater. I say finally because I've picked it up probably half a dozen times in the last six months and every time I'd read the first page, wrinkle my nose and put it back on the shelf. It just wasn't the book for me at the time. Then Monday, I picked it up and didn't want to put it down. I read the first two chapters that night before bed (thankfully short because of how early I have to get up every day). Last night I read another chapter and now I'm so hooked I don't want to stop until I reach the back cover. So far it's a very engaging story... though I guess you have to be in the right mood to pick it up (or at least I had to be).

So far, and I'm only 21 pages into it, I give the book 5 STARS!

EM

Mar. 21st, 2011

Rant about the Give Up Pants

I've been a little miffed about this since Christmas. Every time I go to leave the house in sweatpants, I remember my cousin calling them Give Up Pants. At first, I could see his point. Yes, it is a lot easier to pull on a pair of sweats than it is to slip/slide/paint myself into a pair of jeans and button the top button. Sp I guess I can see why they would be called Give Up Pants.

But I'm going to say today that I have NOT given up! I went out this morning in sweatpants because it was a lot easier than changing into jeans. I was just running to the store and they're clean and matched my sweatshirt so it's not like it would have been embarrassing if I'd run into anyone I know. I know a lot of writers (some beginners, some somewhere in between and some at the top) who write in their sweats. We want to be comfortable when our characters take us on the journey that is our book. Or at least I do. And if I need to run to the store for milk, eggs or sugary goodness, I will leave the house in my sweats to do so. Most of the time my brain is so cluttered with what will happen next that I don't notice what's on my body or even if my coat is buttoned right. And if I don't care, nobody else should either.

I'm just saying...

EM

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