Tuesday, November 6, 2012

EVER by Jessa Russo blog tour and GIVEAWAY!!!

Hey, sweet readers!

This is a super exciting day for me because I get to host the amazing Jessa Russo for an EVER blog tour showcase!!!

There's Jessa! Just as gorgeous as her book.

EVER opens up with the haunting memory of a car crash, and I felt for poor Ever right away. The way Jessa describes Frankie's ghost and his presence in Ever's day-to-day life is, well, haunting.

Jessa's writing is beautiful, and I want one of my lucky readers to have a chance to read EVER too. So I'm giving away a Kindle copy to one lucky commenter this Friday, November 9th!!!

Here's the blurb from Goodreads:

Seventeen-year-old Ever’s love life has been on hold for the past two years. She’s secretly in love with her best friend Frankie, and he’s completely oblivious.

Of course, it doesn't help that he’s dead, and waking up to his ghost every day has made moving on nearly impossible.

Frustrated and desperate for something real, Ever finds herself falling for her hot new neighbor Toby. His relaxed confidence is irresistible, and not just Ever knows it. But falling for Toby comes with a price that throws Ever’s life into a whirlwind of chaos and drama. More than hearts are on the line, and more than Ever will suffer.

Some girls lose their hearts to love.

Some girls lose their minds.

Ever Van Ruysdael could lose her soul.



Have YOU read EVER?  Tell us how much you loved it in the comments, or sign up to WIN an e-copy!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

A Plea to Keep NaNoWriMo Discouragement-Free

It's National Novel Writing Month!!!! Wheeeee!

I'm super bummed that I'm not doing it. I know. I'm a party pooper. But this is the second year in a row it just doesn't fall in the right month - I have 16k to go on my WiP, then I need to do a first pass edit, and then I'm outlining Two. (I KNOW!!!! I can hardly believe it either.) So, not exactly drafting weather over at my writer's desk. Such a bummer. Maybe next year.

That doesn't mean that I haven't seen all the discussion of NaNoWriMo happening on Twitter. For the most part, it's super inspirational - people encouraging one another, inviting others to be 'friends' with them on the NaNo site, being interested in concepts, and all kinds of general writer cheeriness and support. So cool.

As November approached, however, I started to see more and more writers and agents giving "advice" about NaNoWriMo that, in my opinion, only added up to so much discouragement. 

"The words probably won't be any good,"

 "You'll have to cut most of the words you wrote anyway,"

 "Drafts can't be rushed," 

"If you really wanted to write a novel you wouldn't wait till November to do it," 

"You're not an exception to the rule. Most people aren't that lucky or talented or disciplined."

My one overwhelming reaction to all of this? Sadness. And then a little bit of anger. Because, seriously - WTF, you guys?

So I started chatting with a bunch of my writer friends about their experiences with NaNo, since I haven't everdone it - and even if I had, my experience wouldn't be The Experience By Which We Measure All NaNo Experiences, right? Right.

So, here's what they said:

NaNo is a learning experience. It teaches you discipline, the importance of momentum, and that you CAN write a substantial amount every day. Hopefully, it also teaches you what planning you need as a writer in order to crank out a decent first draft. (Whether it's as little as drawing a map of a submarine and naming a rock band, or as extensive as a 20-page outline.) 

NaNo is a motivational experience. There's something incredible about being one huge team of writers who all have the same basic goal. The support and camaraderie is just amazing. Also, meeting that fifty thousand word goal can be encouragement enough for writers to not procrastinate - for some of us, that's gold.

NaNo encourages you to write with abandon. Often, the worry over Doing Things Right hinders the creative process. The goal of getting 1700 words on a page every day makes us forget everything that holds us back so we can let the words pour out. 

Lastly, for everyone reminding us that our NaNo novels need to be edited - that's totally true. And it's also true of any other draft that anyone has ever written, whether it took them a month or a year to get the words down. Some people write faster than others. I know from experience that I can crank out 5-6k on an uninterrupted day, and the majority of those words are merely tweaked in edits - not axed, not drastically changed. There have been weeks at a time that I've done a steady 1.5k a day while working full time and mothering four kids without breaking a sweat. 

So it is possible. Really. REALLY. My CP Andrea Hannah says that she wrote the novel that got her signed with her incredible agent during NaNo, and it only went through one quick revision before she sent it out. Those were good words, legitimate words. 

Just because a novel was written during NaNoWriMo does not mean that it's a load of crap words, she said. It means that the writer buckled down every day and made writing a priority. And that's something incredible. We shouldn't discount that and make assumptions about the quality of the work that comes from that.

And, last, to those of you posting your discouragement: I know you might think it's altruistic. You've experienced it, you have some advice to give, right? 

Well, if you feel the need to "caution" people, can I just ask...why? These writers are excited. They feel ready. They're going to write fifty thousand words this month, or they're going to try their hardest. They're not hurting anyone. 

If they annoy you, unfollow them for the month. If you disagree with their blog post, you don't have to comment. If you are an agent and you don't want to see their query in December, close to queries then. Or make your intern sift through the ones that obviously suck, like you would any other time of year.

You may be right. Their fifty thousand words might be crap.


If they are, the world won't stop. Take a deep breath. Remember a time when you were that excited about writing. Wasn't that magic? How would you have felt if someone had brought their "warnings" to your magic writing parade of excitement? That's what I thought.

 Please, don't ruin it for anyone else. 

And maybe, just maybe, stop to think - What if that novel that is about to spill out of their thoughts and into their word processors *is* good stuff? What if it's the book that gets them signed with an agent (like at least three of my CPs?) What if it's the next Crewel, or The Night Circus, or White Cat, or Losing Faith, or Cinder, or Water for Elephants

Because it just might be. And if I found out that anyone discouraged any of those authors from tackling NaNoWriMo because their words probably would suck? I'd be MIGHTY angry.

So, to all you NaNo discouragers, haters, and party-wreckers, please, for the love of excitement and creativity and Writing Magic everywhere, back off. 

And to each and every one of you potential special snowflakes tackling NaNoWriMo - write on, my sweeties. Good luck writing, good luck editing, good luck on your paths to publication.  Support each other. 

You are brave, and you are awesome. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.