Thursday, October 30, 2008

Interview (and giveaway!) with AJ Menden, author of PHENOMENAL GIRL 5

The Mostly Debut Author interview series is back! Today's guest is AJ Menden, whose exciting debut novel, Phenomenal Girl 5, came out this Tuesday from Dorchester's innovative new Shomi line. AJ has generously agreed to give away one signed copy of her new book to one lucky commenter!

ParaNormal Romance reviews called PG5 "A phenomenal superhero romance, a brilliant debut!" and Romantic Times gave it 4.5 stars (which in RT-speak, is the best rating, because they don't do 5-star reviews anymore, for some obscure reason) and said, "This action romance gives readers an independent and very witty heroine who's sure to please -- not to mention one unique love triangle."

Read an excerpt here.

Q: I won't ask which superpower you'd most like to have (though feel free to tell us). What I want to know is: which superpower do you *already* possess? For instance, one of my friends has Parking Karma--she always finds a great parking space quickly wherever she goes. I have--well, it doesn't have a name yet, but it's the ability to judge the weight of supermarket produce without using the scale (>90% of the time). So what's your amazing secret superpower?

AJ: I would want the powers I gave Lainey - flight and strength. What superpower do I already have? The ability to stress about practically everything. LOL.

I read in your interview with Saundra Mitchell that you both share my belief that clowns are "completely evil." Have you personally had a traumatic clown experience, or is it more of a visceral/philosophical abstract truth (kind of like we don't need to actually experience nuclear war to know it's a bad thing)? Would you consider writing some cathartic clown snuff fiction? Maybe with me?

Apparently my clown fear started at a young age. My mom remembers me freaking out at the sight of a mime. So they've always terrified me.

Of course I have to ask about the playlist for PG5 on your website. Which songs, in your mind, correspond to which characters? If PG5 were a movie, which tune would play over the closing credits?

"Heroes" by David Bowie would play over the closing credits. And I think a good song for Lainey is "Be Careful" by Patty Griffin and Robert is "Doesn't Remind Me" by Audioslave.

You're a reporter by day, but be honest: are you really mild-mannered?

I have a temper as much as the next person, but I'd say I drive people crazy by stressing out all the time.

What's been the biggest surprise and biggest thrill about being a debut author?

I think the biggest surprise has been learning about the process of how books are published and the many steps there are between acceptance and when the book hits the shelves. The biggest thrill was definitely holding the first copy of my book in my hands!

If you could inhabit the life of any of your characters, enter their world and deal with it as that person, which one would you choose?

Probably Lainey, Phenomenal Girl 5. Even though she's got big problems, like an apocalypse, to deal with, she's got the superpowers I'd want.

Conversely, which of your characters would you most like to bring to life in our world (as a friend or a little bit more ;-)?

Any of my guy characters, LOL. I give them all different aspects that I'm attracted to. (;

Same two questions, but use examples from another author's work (including television/movies/theatre)?

If I could be any character, I'd be Buffy, because she has cool superpowers, kicks ass, and isn't scared of anything. And if I could bring any character to life in our world, I'd bring Spike to life so he could be my boyfriend. I hope my husband would understand. (; He's on my list! LOL.

Which author, living or dead, would you most love to collaborate with?

Joss Whedon, definitely. I'm such a big fan of his. He writes great female characters and has a quirky sense of humor and can go from straight-out comedy to a tearjerker in an instant. Another one is going to sound strange, but Grace Livingston Hill. She wrote romance books back in the early 1900s through the 1940s, and my great-grandmother passed down her books to my grandma, my mom, and then me. I have to read her book "Marcia Schuyler" at least once a year.

What's the weirdest tidbit of research you've ever incorporated into a book?

I get to mostly make stuff up, so I don't know! The sections in Italian, maybe?

What's your earliest memory?

My earliest memory has to do with me reading a book. I started reading at a young age. I grew up in a house full of books and my mom and grandma own a bookstore. Books are my life.

Do you have any phobias?

I hate clowns and zombies. A real phobia is crowds, which I'm trying to overcome.

Let's say there's a TV show, movie, or recording artist that has a cult of you. Which is it? (i.e., what do you like that no one else you know likes)?

In television, I like Kitchen Nightmares and Hell's Kitchen with Chef Gordon Ramsey. Don't ask me why I'm attracted to swearing British men, LOL. And my favorite cult movie is Xanadu. I absurdly fell in love with it as a kid and have never stopped. A movie that I love that no one's heard of is "Happy Accidents" with Vincent D'Onofrio and Marisa Tomei. It is a time-travel romance.

If you had a free day with no responsibilities and your only mission was to enjoy yourself, what would you do?

Probably hang out with my husband and kids. My most enjoyable times have been vacations with them.

If you could ask your favorite author one question and they had to answer honestly, what would it be?

Joss, did Buffy really mean it when she told Spike she loved him, or was she just saying it because he was going to die?

If you could write in a totally different genre than your current one, which would you choose?

I have some ideas for a contemporary romance, and also for a YA series. I would love to play with either one!

What are you working on now, and what new releases can we expect to see from you down the road?

Tekgrrl comes out in June 2009. I'm hoping to get to explore with some more of the Elite Hands of Justice team members in the future.

If you could tell a stranger just one thing about PHENOMENAL GIRL 5 (other than what it's about--no cheating by quoting synopses or back cover blurbs), what would it be?

It has a very strange love triangle. (;

Thanks Jeri!!!

***

Leave a comment or question for AJ, or tell us which superpower you either already possess or would like to have, down there in the comments. One name will be drawn at random at 11:59pm eastern time on Wednesday, November 5 and announced here on Thursday. US entries only, please.

***I recommend against putting your e-mail in the comments, since that brings on spam (not from me, from the Bad Guys). HOWEVER, if you don't leave a way for me to find you, you must stay subscribed to the comments or come back to the blog to see if you won.***

Good luck!

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Wicked Game wins the Golden Leaf!

Wicked Game won the New Jersey Romance Writers 2008 Golden Leaf Award for Best Paranormal! Snoopy Dance Ahoy!

The awards were given out at at last weekend's Put Your Heart in a Book conference, which I sadly could not attend. But now I get to watch my mail for an actual trophy. I'll post a picture here once I receive it and the certificate for Voice of Crow's PRISM award.

Congrats to all the Golden Leaf winners. I don't know who you are yet, but I'm sure the results will be posted soon. And a big way-to-go to all the finalists, the list of which can be found on the Golden Leaf page.

Now I need to get back to making sure Wicked Game isn't completely embarrassed by its sequel.

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

First signing for THE REAWAKENED


Popping my head up yet again like the proverbial Whack-a-Mole (though I can't think of any proverbs involving one) to let you know I'll be signing copies of all of my books at the Borders Express in Lancaster, PA, this Saturday, 1-3pm. It's a Halloween-themed event featuring several fantasy and horror writers from the area.

It also means there'll probably be candy. So yay.

Of course the featured book at the signing will be The Reawakened, which officially releases today!! Happy Birthday to my fifth published novel!

I'll be celebrating today by finishing my sixth published novel. That's the life, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

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Monday, October 27, 2008

Win a signed ASPECT OF CROW trilogy (and much more!) at the Haunted Bloggy Carnival

Popping my head up out of the Deadline Cave to let you know I've contributed a prize for Bitten By Books Haunted Bloggy Carnival Spooktacular event! Besides the autographed Aspect of Crow trilogy (the third installment of which, The Reawakened, is now shipping), there are gift certificates, services, and books, Books, BOOKS! A total of more than $3700 in prizes.

Rachel asked the contributors to post the information in its entirety, which I've done below, except for the enormous list of prizes, because it's so freaking huge you could get carpal tunnel syndrome trying to scroll through it, and I don't want that happening on my blog (insurance reasons). Mine is pretty far down the list (they're in order of being received, not alphabetical).

So here it is. Go forth and enter and win!

>>>>>

Welcome to the Bitten by Books Haunted Bloggy Carnival Spooktacular event! The carnival starts at 8:00 am Central time October 27th ALL WEEK and ends on November 2nd at 11:59 pm Pacific time. Comments will be enabled at that time so you won’t be able to post until then. ;)

The winners will be contacted and announced sometime the week of the 3rd. You will have to give us some time to sort through all of the hundreds of entries. Thanks for your patience on this.

Hang on to your seats and keyboards because we have a line up of prize contributions like we have never seen before. Right now we have over $3700.00 in prizes up for grabs!! AND another $2330.00 in prizes at our sister site Weird Stuff In My Desk! Check those prizes out here: http://weirdstuffinmydesk.com/?p=176. If we don’t have enough prizes for your blood, remember to visit all of the other participating blogs at the main Bloggy Carnival page here.

Keep checking back here, because the list will GROW eerily larger as more companies join in on the Haunted Blog Carnival fun! If you would like to contribute a prize and promote your books or business, please email us through our CONTACT FORM.

Now I bet you are wondering just how you can win some of this spectacular loot! There are a TON of ways to win. Do to different states laws you MUST be 18 to enter. You do NOT have to have a blog to participate.

OH!! and if you like FREE STUFF, be sure to stop by our Freeibies Page!

****************************************************

CONTEST INFO

Readers, here’s how to enter the contest. You can do ONE OR ALL of these things, and each one will give an additional entry and thus MORE chances to win. Check next to each contributors page to see if there are MORE ways you can get chances win.

1. Join the NEW Bitten By Books Community and start a page to talk about all things paranormal fiction! Meet authors, join in on upcoming contests an more! You can have your own blog where you can post about THIS contest (and that gets you an entry). You can start groups and chat in our forums as well as participate in live chat. Best of all it is FREE. Paranormal authors come and start fan page for yourself! Here’s the link! Sign up and join in the fun!
http://bittenbybooks.ning.com/
You get 10 additional entries for joining our community!

2. SUBSCRIBE to our newsletter here on the right hand side of the site. You MUST verify your subscription via the email the site will send you. Unverified subscribers will not be entered into the contest. This option is for new subscribers only.

3. Post this blog post in it’s entirety with a link to our contest on your blog, groups, forums or websites and you will be given FIVE additional entries to win for EACH place you post. You MUST post the links where you have shared the info in one response here in this thread. The more places you post the event, the more entries you get, so spread the word! NOTE: Don’t worry if your post doesn’t show up right away or you get an error message, the spam filter on the site will catch it if there are too many links. I will approve your posts so no need to worry, if this happens please don’t post your list multiple times. Check back later in the week to see if it is up.

4. Make a purchase between 10/27-11/2 from ANY or all of the retailers / book sellers participating on our page (see list below) and send us a copy of the receipt for your purchase to: racoo.smith @ gmail.com (no spaces) for an additional FIVE entries. You get entries for every purchase you make. Be SURE to put BBB Contest Entry in the subject line so it doesn’t get lost in our spam filter. NOT valid on past purchases.

5. Check every contributor’s prize listing below for a way to gain additional entries. This is an easy way to get more chances and really increase your chances to WIN!

6. Add us as your friend on Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/bittenbybooks

7. Add us as your friend on Facebook: http://www.new.facebook.com/profile.php?id=614064436

8. Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/BittenbyBooks

Be sure to mention that you are friending us for this contest so we know to enter you! ;)

9. Stumble, Digg or share the post with any social networking sites. There is a button right at the end of this post that says “Share” that you can use. :)

10. Twitter the URL for this event throughout the week: http://bittenbybooks.com/?p=1526

11. Add Bitten by Books to your blog roll or links page: http://bittenbybooks.com if you leave our link up permanently you will always be entered into our contests automatically. Just be sure to stop by each contest we hold and leave the link to where it is.

12. Invite ALL of your friends! If your fiends come and post here and say you sent them, they get TWO entries and you get TWO entries! They have to tell us who you are so we know who to give the entries to. You can invite as many people as you want and get all the extra entries!

13. Read through the Bitten by Books blog and find your favorite review and come back here and post the LINK to it. One favorite review per contestant please.

Be sure you leave a valid email and your name AND COUNTRY when posting here so we can contact you if you are the winner. We will contact the winners and request your first/last name and a valid email which we will give to the retailer whose prize you have one. It is up to the individual retailers to award your prizes. If we do not hear back from winners within one week of contacting you, you prize will be forfeited and an alternate winner will be chosen. We reserve the right to delete any inappropriate or inflammatory remarks or comments. Bitten by Books is NOT liable for prizes that are not delivered, awarded or lost in the mail. It is the sole responsibility of each contributor to honor their prize obligation.

And last but certainly not least A BIG thank you to our fabulous contributors!!

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Saturday, October 25, 2008

Reawakened now shipping!

If you're in a bookstore this weekend, look for The Reawakened! Official release date is Tuesday, but some stores put them out early. Or just order from Mysterious Galaxy, Barnes & Noble, or Amazon.com.

If you want to know what's happening with me, come follow me on Twitter. No time to blog due to deadline on Tuesday, but I have moments here and there when I can spit out a sentence or two. This morning I've been answering questions on how I can write 176K words on a ~100K novel, and yesterday I discussed my little girl Meadow's recent medical adventures.

There may come a day when I give up regular blogging in favor of the less time-consuming Twitter. It suits my need to spit out random thoughts and connect with others without having to develop a full-blown essay.

Enjoy your weekends!

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Capclave Cancellation

Due to circumstances beyond my control (by definition, if I could control them, I would do it, and thus become God), I won't be attending Capclave this weekend.

Insert giant sad face.

You should still go, if you're in the DC area, because it's a truly awesome convention. Say hi to everyone for me, and I'll see 'em next year.

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Sunday, October 12, 2008

Deep Caving (and the blues cures all)

I'm drowning in deadline, and nursing a very sick dog and a mildly sick cat this weekend (they're feeling better now) set things even more in arrears. So don't expect me back until, well, until I'm back.

Today’s voter registration nag video has nothing to do with voter registration. I just really like Guy Davis (I wrote about him a few years ago in this post), and this song makes me happy, despite the fact that it's about economic woes. It's a song called "Things About Coming My Way," and it describes the moment when you think things might just might turn around. At least, that's what it means to me.

Here's your semi-daily update of the dwindling list of states that are still registering voters. The blinky states are closing their voter registration rolls this Monday through Wednesday.

As always, visit VotersUnite! for rules and regs pertaining to your own personal state.

Alabama
California
Connecticut
Iowa
Kansas
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts

Minnesota
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
North Dakota
Oregon
South Dakota
Vermont
West Virginia
Wisconsin



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Now playing: Volcano - Beck
via FoxyTunes

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Friday, October 10, 2008

Voice of Crow takes the bronze in the PRISM!

Following in the footsteps of its predecessor, Voice of Crow (Luna Books, Oct 2007) just won Third Place in the Fantasy category of the PRISM Award!

The PRISM Award is given out by the Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal (FF&P) chapter of the Romance Writers of America.

Here's the list of the award-winners in all the categories. Congrats to everyone!

Light Paranormal
1. Dead Girls are Easy by Terri Garey
2. More Than Fiends by Maureen Child
3. Highland Guardian by Melissa Mayhue

Time Travel
1. Wired by Liz Maverick
2. Thirty Nights with a Highland Husband by Melissa Mayhue
3. Forgiveness by JL Wilson.

Erotica
1. Mona Lisa Blossoming by Sunny
2. Pleasures of the Night by Sylvia Day
3. Double Dating with the Dead by Karen Kelly

Futuristic
1. My Favorite Earthling by Susan Grant
2. How to Lose an Extraterrestrial in 10 days by Susan Grant
3. Insufficient Mating Material by Rowena Cherry

Novella
1. Over the Moon by Sunny
2. Street Corners and Halos by Catherine Spangler
3. Wild Hearts in Atlantis by Alyssa Day

Dark Paranormal
1. Immortals: The Awakening by Joy Nash
2. Betrayed: A House of Night Novel by PC Cast
3. Touched by Darkness by catherine Spangler

Fantasy
1. The Eternal Rose by Gail Dayton
2. Lucinda, Darkly by Sunny
3. Voice of Crow by Jeri Smith-Ready

Best of the Best
Wired by Liz Maverick

Best First Book
1. Grave Illusions by Lina Gardiner
2. She Wolf by Teresa D'Amario
3. Thirty Nights with a Highland Husband by Melissa Mayhue

A special congrats to my friend Gail Dayton, whose Rose book beat my Crow book for the second year running. But hey, her trilogy is over and mine isn't, so maybe The Reawakened will have a chance next year!


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Now playing: Wrong Impression - Natalie Imbruglia
via FoxyTunes

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Thursday, October 09, 2008

Novel Chopper, Beyond Her Book blurb (and John & Abigail play on our conscience)

Making this quick, as I’m heading into the Abject Panic phase of this Bad to the Bone rewrite. This always happens, because to make the book better, I have to dismantle and rebuild it. Right now it’s like an engine that’s been taken apart, and all the little pieces are lying around on the garage floor. If this were American Chopper, Big Paul would be screaming his head off and throwing wrenches at the head of his son Paulie and that other guy, the one I always liked (I looked it up, it's Mikey). There’d be a lot of bleeped words.

Anyway, yesterday Joyce Ann McLaughlin blurbed THE REAWAKENED for Publisher’s Weekly’s Beyond Her Book blog, saying,

The Reawakened concludes the Aspect of Crow trilogy, and fulfills the expectations raised in Eyes of Crow and Voice of Crow. I read and enjoy a lot of books, and series of books, and when I'm done, I can move along. Sometimes, though, there are stories that are special enough to touch me, and I will go back to them again and again. This is one of those. Aspect of Crow is more than just enjoyable; it is memorable.
Another Aspect of Crow fan who doesn’t want to kill me—yay!

Thanks to everyone who participated in Margie Lawson's guest blog appearance this week, and congrats to the winners of the lecture packets!

Today’s Voter Registration nag video (see below) was sent to me by fellow author Alex Bledsoe, who writes science fiction and horror for Tor Books. I had the privilege of giving a cover quote for his first vampire novel BLOOD GROOVE, which comes out April 1. Scary and funny stuff.

(Also, I forgot to give a hat tip to author Victoria Dahl for yesterday’s BotherVoting.org e-card site.)

Usual spiel: below are the states where voter registration is still open, and the blinking states close tomorrow, Friday October 10, Brett Favre’s 39th birthday,through Sunday, October 12, which is probably the next time you'll hear from me.


As always, visit VotersUnite! for rules and regs pertaining to your state of mind.

Alabama
California
Connecticut
Delaware
Idaho
Iowa
Kansas
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Minnesota
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New York
North Carolina

North Dakota
Oklahoma
Oregon
South Dakota
Vermont
West Virginia
Wisconsin

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Wednesday, October 08, 2008

A whole lotta lotta going on (and cards to show you sort of care)

Bunches of news, all of it good. (Nothing huge, and most of it can be doled out in small pieces over the next few days, so don't sit on the edge of your seat waiting for some big announcement. Yeah, I wish.)

Zero-eth, I turned in "Storm Reaper" yesterday, four whole minutes before the deadline. Thank you, thank you. The first chapter will be posted on my publisher's site on Monday, November 17, and another chapter will appear each Monday through January 19, 2009. This will be, as far as I know, the last hurrah of the Aspect of Crow world (after the "colorful" (Publisher's Weekly) and "powerful" (Romantic Times) conclusion of the trilogy with The Reawakened).

First, you have the rest of today to enter to win a lecture packet from writing instructor extraordinaire Margie Lawson. Go to yesterday's post, take the cognitive style quiz (i.e., are you left-, right-, or whole-brained?), and leave a comment. Not only will she pick one winner from every 25 commenters, but she'll also answer your questions and generally interact with you in a positive manner, which is more than you can expect from me most days.

Second, Amberkatze's Book Blog is going to interview me about the Aspect of Crow series over Halloween weekend. Amber's looking for reader input on the interview, so please go to this post and leave a question you've been burning to ask me. Make it look like people care about my books. Pretty please? (Just don't sign your name "Jeri's Mom.")

Third, I have a really Really REALLY cool WVMP-related contest coming up this month. I will ask you to be as creative and devious and outrageous as you can. The prize will be the very first ARC of Bad to the Bone, which will probably be available in January.) Stay tuned for details.

And now...back to our regularly scheduled Voter Registration Nag-athon. Below is the list of states in which you can still register to vote. You'll notice that none of them are blinking; that's because no states have a deadline of tomorrow, October 9. You'll also notice that I took Virgin Islands off the list. They sort of never should've been there in the first place. They don't get to help pick a President, but they do get to live in the Virgin Islands, so it all balances out.

As always, visit VotersUnite! for rules and regs pertaining to your neck of the electoral woods.

Alabama
California
Connecticut
Delaware
Idaho
Iowa
Kansas
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Minnesota
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Oklahoma
Oregon
South Dakota
Vermont
West Virginia
Wisconsin


Visit Bother Voting for swell e-cards like this one:



and this one:



The ones I really like I can't show on a family blog. Just go check 'em out.

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Monday, October 06, 2008

Guest blogger Margie Lawson on Cognitive Style and the Editing Process

Hey everyone, today's guest is the amazing Margie Lawson, whose classes have helped me immeasurably with my craft. I've used her Deep Edits system and Empowering Character Emotions lessons at the final stage of my last three books, and I can't begin to express how great they are (the lessons, not the books--though if you think the books are great, Margie's system had a lot to do with it).

I'm seriously tempted to take this new course she's offering next week. I'm coming up on a deadline, but on the other hand, it's an edit/rewrite deadline, so the timing is perfect. Hmmm....

Today Margie helps us figure out whether we're right-, left, or whole-brained and how that affects our creative process. I took the quiz and scored a 9--whole-brained but leaning slightly to the left, which explains why I enjoy the rewrite stage more than the first draft "vomit" (my term, not Margie's).

Anyway, Margie is giving away free lecture packets (a $20 value!) to commenters on this blog. See the end of the post for details.

Hold Your Editing Horses! Cognitive Style and the Editing Process

Are you riding the editing horse with a saddle, or bareback?

By Margie Lawson

Writers – Humor me. Go with that image!

Readers – Humor me. Read along and learn how writers stretch the hemispheres of their brains to make their writing stellar.

Picture yourself riding a horse. Sitting comfortably on that saddle. Holding the reins. Galloping. In control. Enjoying your ride.

Now ---- picture riding a horse with no saddle. You’re leaning forward, riding bareback, moving with the horse, enjoying your wild ride.

Both riders love the rhythm. Love the exhilaration. Love their visceral responses.

HELLO Jeri’s blog readers who know me! You know I’m all about visceral responses. You know I love rhetorical devices too. Did you notice ANAPHORA in those last three sentences?

We could use those two images as metaphors for deep editing. You’re either Left-Brained, in charge of editing . . . or Right-Brained, and editing is horsing around with you, running you in circles, riding you ragged, or scaring you to death.

Multi-Cliché-Alert!

Does anyone want to rewrite that cliché-loaded sentence and WRITE IT FRESH?

If you take the challenge, post it for all of us to applaud your talent. ;-)))

I get Margie-points for backloading the cliché-riddled sentence with DEATH. In that sentence, DEATH is definitely the strongest word, the word that carries the most POWER.

I also backloaded with the power words FRESH and TALENT.

BACK TO DEEP EDITING:

Left-Brained writers usually love editing. Right-Brained writers usually have an aversion to editing. They’d rather head to the barn, grab a shovel, and muck out stalls that are knee-deep in horse poop.

I had to work to end the sentence above with POOP. Always go for power!

It would have been easier to write: They’d rather muck out horse stalls.

I wanted to use MUCK OUT – it’s scene-themed and evocative. Plus, the word MUCK sounds like the word it describes. Using onomatopoeia elicits an unconscious association to uckiness.

BUT – ending with STALLS, seemed weak. Hence, my rewrite, resulting in a longer sentence, anchored with setting details, ending with POOP.

Some of you know I go deeper with editing. The Deep Editing that I teach is editing to increase psychological power. Editing to hook the reader viscerally. Editing to create a page-turner.

You can add Deep Editing power in a gazillion ways. Once learned, it doesn’t take long before you’re writing to deep editing, adding power while writing your first draft or in an early quick-fix pass. You automatically think about power-builders like backloading, cadence, balance, motivation reaction units, visceral responses, nonverbals, writing fresh, and endless possibilities for rhetorical power.

Okay – it may take a few weeks to get to the automatic response level. :-))) BUT – it will happen.

Right-brained writers love the creative freedom of writing new scenes. They’re happy, happy, happy in THE ZONE. It seems like the happier they are in the fresh writing zone, the more they struggle and get mired in the editing process.

Left-brained writers may work harder at getting a new scene on paper. However, they’re nestled in their happy place when they edit and edit and edit, reworking the same passage for eons.

OKAY – Not eons. But it was a good place to slip in another rhetorical device. Hyperbole. ;-)))

Whole-Brained writers may have preferences for writing fresh or editing, but they have strengths in both hemispheres of the brain.

Are you wondering if you’re RIGHT-BRAINED, LEFT-BRAINED, OR WHOLE-BRAINED?

Take this COGNITIVE STYLE QUIZ – and you’ll soon know!

COGNITIVE STYLE QUIZ: Choose the one sentence that is more true.

  1. 1
    1. A. It's fun to take risks.
    2. B. I have fun without taking risks.
  2. 2
    1. A. I look for new ways to do old jobs.
    2. B. When one way works well, I don't change it.
  3. 3
    1. A. I begin many jobs that I never finish.
    2. B. I finish a job before starting a new one.
  4. 4
    1. A. I'm not very imaginative in my work.
    2. B. I use my imagination in everything I do.
  5. 5
    1. A. I can analyze what is going to happen next.
    2. B. I can sense what is going to happen next.
  6. 6
    1. A. I try to find the one best way to solve a problem.
    2. B. I try to find different answers to problems.
  7. 7
    1. A. My thinking is like pictures going through my head.
    2. B. My thinking is like words going through my head.
  8. 8
    1. A. I agree with new ideas before other people do.
    2. B. I question new ideas more than other people do.
  9. 9
    1. A. Other people don't understand how I organize things.
    2. B. Other people think I organize well.
  10. 10
    1. A. I have good self-discipline.
    2. B. I usually act on my feelings.
  11. 11.
    1. A. I plan time for doing my work.
    2. B. I don't think about the time when I work.
  12. 12
    1. A. With a hard decision, I choose what I know is right.
    2. B. With a hard decision, I choose what I feel is right.
  13. 13
    1. A. I do easy things first, important things later.
    2. B. I do important things first, easy things later.
  14. 14
    1. A. Sometimes in a new situation, I have too many ideas.
    2. B. Sometimes in a new situation, I don't have any ideas.
  15. 15
    1. A. I have to have a lot of change and variety in my life.
    2. B. I have to have an orderly and well-planned life.
  16. 16
    1. A. I know I'm right, because I have good reasons.
    2. B. I know I'm right, even without good reasons.
  17. 17
    1. A. I spread my work evenly over the time I have.
    2. B. I prefer to do my work at the last minute.
  18. 18
    1. A. I keep everything in a particular place.
    2. B. Where I keep things depends on what I'm doing.
  19. 19
    1. A. I have to make my own plans.
    2. B. I can follow anyone's plans.
  20. 20
    1. A. I am a very flexible and unpredictable person.
    2. B. I am a consistent and stable person.
  21. 21
    1. A. With a new task, I want to find my own way to do it.
    2. B. With a new task, I want to be told the best way.

To Score: One point for each time you answered "A" for questions: 1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 13, 14, 15, 19, 20, 21

One point for each time you answered "B" for questions: 4 ,5, 6, 10, 11, 12, 16, 17, 18

Add all points:

  • 0-4 strong left brain
  • 5-8 moderate left brain
  • 9-13 whole brain
  • 14-16 moderate right brain
  • 17-21 strong right brain
I’m curious. HOW DO YOU EDIT? DOES YOUR COGNITIVE STYLE MATCH YOUR EDITING PREFERENCE?

What’s your process?

Do you procrastinate?

Do you edit in layers? Follow a plan?

What’s fun for you?

How do you know when you’re finished editing so you can send your work on to a contest, an agent, or editor?

Do you usually feel successful at editing? Do you typically edit some sections of your book more heavily (first third, turning points, last few chapters), or are you an equal-opportunity, deep-edit-all-chapters person?

I look forward to your input. And – you could win a Lecture Packet!

YOUR OPPORTUNITY TO WIN A LECTURE PACKET:

Anyone who posts a comment has a chance to WIN one of my LECTURE PACKETS (a $20 value). I’ll draw one name from every 25 people who post a comment.

Winners select one of the following Lecture Packets:

  1. Digging Deep into the EDITS System - offered on-line OCTOBER 13th, 2008
  2. Empowering Characters' Emotions - offered on-line in March
  3. Deep Editing: The EDITS System, Rhetorical Devices, and More - offered on-line in May
  4. Defeat Self-Defeating Behaviors - offered on-line in May

LECTURE PACKETS for each course are available any time. They can be ordered through Paypal from my web site.

Please visit my web site, www.MargieLawson.com , and click on Lecture Packets, to read the course descriptions.

I will respond to comments as time allows during my work day. I’ll be on-line this evening (Mountain Time).

Thank you for visiting Jeri’s blog!

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Sunday, October 05, 2008

The Great 2008 Cave-In Part Two (and freedom to Devo!)

I'm getting to that pre-deadline place (story due tomorrow, novel rewrite due three weeks later) where I'm generally cranky about dealing with the internet at all, so forgive my lack of interesting/important news. I'm sure there's something really cool I forgot to tell you about.

Here are the best Urban Dictionary Words of the Day from last week:

September 29: Blackberry Jam

A people traffic jam that occurrs in subway tunnels and bus stations. Caused by inconsiderate workaholics walking too slow while their noses are glued to their Blackberry device.

I was late for work because there was a Blackberry Jam getting out of the A train.

October 04: manicorn

a mythical male creature who is successful (read: pursuing his passion and can pay his electric bills/rent), funny, chivalrous, masculine (read: not chauvinistic), adventurous, artistic (read: not suicidal).

See any John Cusack film (or Chuck Klosterman's witty commentary on Fake Love in Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Pops), any romantic comedy where the flawed guy comes through in the end...

"Where is my manicorn? I keep going out with all these losers!"

"Too bad I settled when I got married, I just met my manicorn."



And now your list of states whose voter registration rolls are still open. The blinking ones will close either Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday (i.e., before my next blog post--guest blogger coming tomorrow, then deadline Tuesday). Most of them end on Monday! As always, check with VotersUnite! to see the specific rules and regs for your state. Don't get Left Behind!



Alabama
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
District of Columbia
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii

Idaho
Illinois
Indiana

Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Missouri
Montana

Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas

Vermont
Virginia
Virgin Islands
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming



Wow, that is nauseatingly blink-tastic. Let that be a lesson to you, or something.

And now, for a video suggested by fellow author Yasmine Galenorn, Devo's "Freedom of Choice."





Now I know what my next nightmare will look like.

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Friday, October 03, 2008

Wicked Game finals in Golden Leaf (and know your rights!)

In its first contest entered, the New Jersey Romance Writers Golden Leaf Awards, Wicked Game has made the finals in the Paranormal category! The finalists aren't listed on the website yet, but since the awards will be given out on October 24, I figured I better mention it now before I lose.

Once again, your daily voter registration nag. Below is the list of states where voter registration is still open. And at the bottom, a new video, this time a concert video of The Clash's "Know Your Rights."

I picked this video because of a story coming out of Philadelphia yesterday on voter suppression, where once again, inner city folks are being told, falsely, that voting will result in their arrest for outstanding parking tickets. (The headline, I confess, at first made me wonder why a hockey team would be involved. Maybe because of their mom running for vice president?)

Mississippi was voted off the voter registration island, since their last day to register is today, or tomorrow at noon if the clerk's office is open on Saturdays.

The blinky states close their registration roles tomorrow, so Washingtonians and Rhode Islandianianers, get your butts in gear! After you watch a nice video.

Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
District of Columbia
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Virgin Islands
Washington - that's Washington State, folks
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming

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Thursday, October 02, 2008

I'm all a-Twitter! (and how not to be a moron)

We interrupt the social studies class for a moment to announce that I finally joined Twitter, where you can check out my random thoughts during the day. Since I'll have less and less time to blog this month, Twitter is a good place to go to keep up with All Things Jeri. Why anyone would want to do that is beyond me, but whatever. I rarely answer the question posed, "What are you doing?" because frankly, WHO CARES???

Anyway, you don't have to join Twitter to follow me. Just lurk and listen, then shake your head in bewilderment at this exercise in self-importance.

Now...as promised yesterday, the list of states where voter registration is still open. I'll employ the world's most obnoxious HTML code--the dreaded blink tag--to denote states where voter registration closes tomorrow. And at the bottom, a new video, featuring a hysterical rant by late night talk show host Craig Ferguson! He's from Scotland, which means anything he says is funny.

Please check out VotersUnite! for any special rules or concerns regarding the voter registration process in your state. In a few states they make you reregister if you didn't vote in 2006, or show a photo ID at the polls, or or eat fried lizard tails (which taste like chicken, but only when wrapped in chicken), just to see if you're serious about voting.

Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
District of Columbia
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi (or until noon on 10/4 if clerk's office is open Saturdays)
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Virgin Islands
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming

And now, your reward for scrolling through the list of great states:


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Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Don't vote

I pledge to do my civic duty this election season, not by proselytizing on who you should vote for (Seriously, is anyone still undecided at this point? What are you waiting for, a neon sign from God?).

No, I'll do my duty by being a big fat noodge every day until the last state passes its voter registration deadline. I'll list the states every day (except today, because it's still open everywhere) whose registration is still open and highlighting those whose deadline comes the following day.

This will require meticulous record-keeping on my part, not to mention creativity to come up with new ways to bug the pants off you about registering to vote. I hope you appreciate my sacrifice, and show that appreciation by purchasing my upcoming novel The Reawakened, which is chock full of hot political issues like torture, military occupations, and pyrokinetics (setting stuff on fire with one's mind is the big sleeper wedge issue of '08--just wait and see).

Don't worry--it won't be painful. It'll be video-riffic, starting with today's entry, "Five Friends (Uncensored)." Enjoy!

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Is WICKED GAME a romance?

Help! I'm preparing to register Wicked Game for the Rita Award, which is the major annual award given by the Romance Writers of America (RWA). Eyes of Crow was nominated for two Ritas in 2006: Best First Novel and Best Novel with Strong Romantic Elements.

The problem is, I'm having trouble deciding which category to enter Wicked Game.

Below are the descriptions of two categories and their judging guidelines:

Novel with Strong Romantic Elements
A work of fiction in which a romance plays a significant part in the story, but other themes or elements take the plot beyond the traditional romance boundaries.
Judging guidelines: Novels of any tone or style, set in any place or time are eligible for this category. A romance must be an integral part of the plot or subplot, and the resolution of the romance is emotionally satisfying and optimistic.

Paranormal Romance
Romance novels in which the future, a fantasy world or paranormal happenings are an integral part of the plot.
Judging guidelines:
In this category, a futuristic, fantasy, or paranormal element is blended with the love story, which is the main focus of the novel, and the end of the book is emotionally satisfying and optimistic.

I think it fits in both categories, but I can only enter one. Looking strictly at these descriptions, which one do you think fits Wicked Game better?

The Key Question: is the romance the main focus of the novel or is it a subplot?

Much thanks!


----------------
Now playing: Here She Comes Now - Nirvana
via FoxyTunes

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NEW RELEASE!

This Side of Salvation

This Side of Salvation, Jeri's new contemporary YA novel!

Now available in hardcover and ebook.

“A smart, well-rounded, and unpredictable tale...bringing to light issues of belief versus free will, spirit versus body, and family versus self.” —Booklist, **Starred Review**

More about THIS SIDE OF SALVATION

Order from Indie Bound, Barnes & Noble, or Amazon.com.

NOW AVAILABLE!

Shattered

"Shattered," a Shade novella!

Available here on this website as a free download in all major ebook formats, as well as a printable PDF (now with photos!).

More about "Shattered"

About the author

Jeri Smith-Ready

Jeri Smith-Ready is a Maryland author of books for teens and adults.

Learn more about Jeri...

Photo © Geoffrey C. Baker

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