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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Another Blog Hop!!

I love blog hops. It brings all sorts of fun new people over to the blog. For this hop I'm giving away My Favorite Read-so far this year. :) Since I'm all sorts of obsessed with Sarah M. Eden this year, would it be any surprise that I've chosen to give away her latest, "Friends & Foes"? It shouldn't be. If it is, you should stick around for a while and get to know me.


It's almost here. That's right. My first published work. (Well, unless you count that article I wrote in college that got published in the online history journal.) HAVEN and all the other stories of IT'S A LOVE THING will be released TOMORROW!

I got my copy a couple days ago. With all the stuff going on in this joint, I've only had time to proof my story. I'm looking forward to cuddling up with the rest of them. I haven't organized a give-away here yet, but there may be one in the works over at the Mommy Authors blog. (IT'S A LOVE THING's launch happens to coincide with some fantastic, new things happening over there. You should drop by in the next month to check everything out!)

So, TOMORROW IT'S A LOVE THING will be available at SO many different outlets you will have absolutely no excuse not to pick one up.

At Amazon:

At Smashwords

At Barnes & Noble

We'll definitely do some fun things here. A give-away of course. Keep an eye out, I'll let you know. And if you want to review it for your book-blog, shoot me an email. I'll hook you up. ;)

Check out the IT'S A LOVE THING book-blog and my really cool publishers, Prose By Design. AND there's already a contest going on. :)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Pub Panel: Part 6, Wrapping It Up

Read all posts in the Pub Panel series here.

Finally, we talked about what each author felt were the strengths of their chosen publication path . . .

Ranee`: Okay and finally just to wrap things up: What do you feel are the strengths of your chosen path(s) to publication?
Jennifer Griffith: Okay. Well, I like finding a small publisher because, like I said, I like to have those personal relationships that come with being part of a small publishing house. I like to know the executive editor by name and become friends and have that tie. It’s very nice. For me, most likely, writing is never going to be a career per se. It will always have to be a hobby. I’m a stay at home mom and that takes up the vast majority of my time. Therefore, my goal is to find a way to make my hobby be the most pleasant and happy experience it can be. I don’t want my hobby to turn into a stressor. It’s got to be fun and positive or else I’ll have to take up embroidery again. And nobody wants that. I also love that the timeline has been so quick. Nine months might not seem fast to someone outside publishing, but I’ve talked to people who are on the docket for 2015 already. This is fast! I love that sorta immediate gratification. The people have been so fun and cool and I’m really feeling happy I’ve found them. I hope my book makes them some money and doesn’t end up breaking their bank!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Pub Panel: Part 5, Marketing

Read the first four parts here.

The panel discusses what's clearly a favorite topic . . . Marketing!

Ranee`: Okay, Marketing!
Jolene Perry: Ugh. Marketing.
Krista: Do we have to?
Jolene Perry: It's like looking for a job over and over and over and over
Ranee`: Hahahaha. When I talk about different pub methods with people, this is the topic that comes up most often.
What tactics were used to put word out before your publication, both by you and then by your publisher?

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Pub Panel: Part 4, All About Editing

Read Parts 1-3 here.

Ranee`: Now I want to talk about editing processes. We've already delved into it, but I'd like get into details. First off, describe sort of the step by step process of editing with the editor at the publishing house.
Jennifer Griffith: If we're on edits now, JFP gave me three passes of full editorial treatment. They didn't ask for an overhaul, but they did for another of their authors (change the plot, etc.). Mine was "fix this little plot hole" and word choice stuff. They gave it good eyes.
Sherry Gammon: Editing is LONG! But I enjoy it. Anything is better than staring at a blank page. I had to cut a lot of scenes out. My original story was 150,000. I edited it down to 115,000ish. I also joined a group of writers and we share our work for critiquing. I also found this to be invaluable. And I hired you [Ranee`]. . . ;]

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Pub Panel: Part 3, Publishing Timelines

If you missed Part 1 and Part 2, see them here

I asked each of the participates about the timeline of publishing their books . . . 

Ranee`: What was the timeline between when you submitted and your acceptance?
Sherry Gammon: 48 hours! Not really a question for me . . . just trying to be funny!
Jolene Perry: Most big pub houses will take at least 8 weeks. At LEAST. I have a book that's been on sub for almost a year . . .
Jennifer Griffith: That's a long time, Jolene. I guess the pins and needles would subside a bit after that long.
Jolene Perry: They totally do. And you stop getting excited when you hear from an editor who LOVES your work. It opens doors for later, but still a bummer when you think - I'M THERE!! Time for my national contract was about 8 weeks, but they already knew me, so that helped. It'll be over a year before it’s on shelves at B and N and I'm lucky it's not two

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Pub Panel: Part 2, Agents and Publishing

If you missed Part 1, read it here.

Next, I asked Jolene about finding representation with her agent Lauren Hammond of ADA Management. Then the others discussed how they chose their different routes to publishing . . . 

Ranee`: So the next questions will be mostly for Jo, unless someone else wants to chime in, about finding her agent, Lauren Hammond. You said you queried from Feb to June when you signed with her?
Jolene Perry: I found my agent on Twitter, lol.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Review: MATCHED by Ally Condie

Had I not come across this book on display at my local library, I probably would have never discovered it. And if you haven't discovered it, you should.

From Amazon: "Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows he is her ideal mate . . . until she sees Ky Markham's face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. The Society tells her it's a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she's destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can't stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society's infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she's known and a path that no one else has dared to follow."  

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Pub Panel: Part 1, Introduction

Last Friday I had the awesome opportunity to chat with four amazing ladies who all have experience in some of the many facets of publishing. Let me introduce you one more time:

Jennifer Griffith: Author of the upcoming novel, BIG IN JAPAN, published the independent small publishing company, Jolly Fish Press.

Jolene Perry: Author of THE NEXT DOOR BOYS, published in October 2011 by small, niche press Ceder Fort; NIGHT SKY and KNEE DEEP, published by YA ebook publisher Tribute Books; co-author of MY HEART FOR YOURS, self-published with Stephanie Campbell. Jolene is repped by agent Lauren Hammond.

Krista Lynne Jensen: Author of OF GRACE AND CHOCOLATE, and the upcoming release THE ORCHARD, published by niche press, Covenant.

Sherry Gammon: Self-published author of UNLOVABLE; Author of PETE & TINK, a short-story featured in the anthology IT'S A LOVE THING, published by indpended press Prose by Design. (Hmmm...that sounds familiar. :]) 

Anyway, I asked them all a bunch of questions, and first off, for them to introduce their (latest, in some cases) book, and how that book came into the world. So, without further adieu . . .

Friday, May 18, 2012

I Am Eve

I don't know how many of you read the blog-book "Garbage" that I wrote last summer with my brother, but at the outset I admitted to being scared of writing the character of Eve. This is why: she is far too much like me for comfort. She is bossy. She is comfortable when she probably shouldn't be. She is careful. She is not the hero of dystopia novel, and yet there she is.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Review: LEGEND by Marie Lu

The first time I picked this book up I was browsing the YA books at Walmart. I read the first few pages and was instantly interested, but didn't do anything about it until I saw the book again while browsing the YA books in my library. Right off, I'm a sucker for a well-written dystopian. One that doesn't make me feel too depressed. One that doesn't have me asking too many questions. LEGEND certainly measured up.

From Amazon: "What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic's wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic's highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country's most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.
From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths--until the day June's brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family's survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias's death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets."

Friday, May 11, 2012

Cover Reveal!

I promised I'd tell you more as I knew it, right? Remember how I told you my short story HAVEN would be published in the Prose by Design anthology IT'S A LOVE THING? Well, today I get to show you the IT'S A LOVE THING cover!

Awesome, right? The book will be released June 1st, and I am super excited about it. (Of course.) 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Review: "Variant" by Robison Wells

A month or so ago, one of my Young Women left the library copy of Variant in my car after an activity. I've heard tons and tons about it and follow Robison Wells on twitter (which, if you don't, you really should. Very entertaining) so I snagged it and started it that night. Alas, she figured out pretty early on where she'd left it and sent her mom after it. And then a bunch of stuff in life happened, like being asked to read other books for review, taking on editing projects, not to mention writing stuff of my own, as well as two kids and a house that seems like its always messy. So finally, after far too long, I checked Variant out for myself. I started it (again) last night. I finished it this afternoon.

There Might Be Something Wrong With Me

If you haven't read this post and this over on Michelle Wolfson's lit agent blog, you should. They're super enlightening. Those two posts made me realize something: I think I'm rare among writers, and I'm not quite sure if it's in a good way.

In the first post, Ms. Wolfson talks about the number of people who don't send in pages after getting requests from agents. (I've heard Sara Megibow talk about this same thing on her twitter feed too, so it's not just one agent this happens too.) When I first heard that there were authors who didn't send in requested pages it really did shock me. Perhaps because I have some misconceptions about my fellow writers? That when you're querying/pitching you're very serious about publishing at that point? That it's such an honor to have an agent think enough of your query letter or first chapter to want to read more so why wouldn't you send in the requested pages?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Coming Soon: The Pub Panel

There are a million things out there I don't know about publishing, both the traditional sort and the self sort. I'm sure there are a million writers out there that feel the same way. And as I've had conversations with various individuals over the last few weeks, it came to me that a good way to help myself and other writers figure out in this mysterious world would be to ask a few people who know. So that's what I (and you!) are going to do. I've asked some talented writers I know who have experience in some of the different platforms there are out there for publishing to take part in a panel. I'll be hosting the chat next Friday and then posting it (probably in parts) here on the blog.

Let me introduce the players:

Jennifer Griffith, author of the upcoming novel BIG IN JAPAN

Jolene Perry, author of THE NEXT DOOR BOYS, NIGHT SKY, the recently released KNEE DEEP, the soon-to-be released AFTER ALL, and co-author of MY HEART FOR YOURS.

Krista Lynne Jensen, author of OF GRACE AND CHOCOLATE and the upcoming novel THE ORCHARD.

Sherry Gammon, author of UNLOVABLE.

So, the question is, what do YOU want to know about publishing. It can be anything about getting agent representation, to how things work with small presses, to the ins and outs of self-publishing. Leave a comment on this post, use the Contact Me page above, message me on Facebook, or send a message via Twitter (@RaneeSClark) to ask your question. Ask your questions by Tuesday, May 15 in order to participate.

*If you would like your question to be anonymous, please indicate so in any message sent to me.

Then, stay tuned to hear the answer. This should be a blast!

Review: "The Dragonfly Pool" by Eva Ibbotson

"The Dragonfly Pool" is classic Ibbotson: very descriptive. She's good at working it beautifully into the plot, but it can still get dull at times. I picked up "The Dragonfly Pool" because it's centered around World War II, which I'm always interested in. The one odd thing about this book is that it didn't seem to have a climax, though the story still flowed well. I especially enjoyed the epilogue, because I adore it when authors tie up my characters lives for me. It's not one of my favorite of Ibbotson's--I rank "The Morning Gift" and "A Countess Below Stairs" above this one. I will grant the book this: it's a middle-grade novel, which I rarely like better than a YA. Still, worth the read.

Monday, May 7, 2012

National Children's Book Week

In honor of National Children's Book week, I'm rounding up a list of some of my favorite children's literature from picture books to chapter books. I suppose I wouldn't be a writer/mother worth my salt if my kids didn't have books. Don't worry. They have plenty. They have four, over-flowing shelves full of books. Granted, not many are those award-winning, deeper-meaning books. Most come from Walmart, or from my sister, a second grade teacher. But we still have a few we love to read over and over.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Random Review: "The Help" by Kathryn Stockett

You know me. I love to have new features on my blog. I figured all the books crowding my shelves needed to be put to some use, and thus was born my new Random Review feature. I listed out my books in a fun program called "The Hat," and--hopefully--each week, I'll pull one out to give a short review. This weeks winner is "The Help" by Kathryn Stockett.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Author Interview: Luisa Perkins, "Dispirited"

Another author interview! I'm so excited about this one because Luisa gave me lots of fun details and advice. Read on!

Me: I loved the details about Holly House the the history of Kashkawan. It got me to wondering all about the town, what's real and what you made up, and how you chose it in the first place.
Luisa:Kashkawan is based on the town in which I live in New York's Hudson Highlands. A lot of the details--Route 403, Cat Rock Hill, the lake--are real. The way I've put the town together is different from reality, though, and a few key things aren't located in my town at all. Cathy's new house is based on a friend's house in another town, and Holly House itself is based on a house in Ireland.

About Me!

I've been writing since I was old enough to grasp a crayon--my grandma even has an early copy of a "book" I made her. I have a bachelor's degree in history from the University of Wyoming and will (hopefully) soon be starting a graduate program in English. When I'm not breaking up impromptu UFC fights in the living room or losing miserably to my boys at Uno, I'm ... well, writing or editing, of course! I'm married to my best friend, and we have three rambunctious but simply amazing little boys.


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