Jumping on the YA Highway’s Blog Carnival this week in honor of Valentine’s Day tomorrow.
This week’s topic: What do you love most about writing (and/or reading)?
I’m going to pick reading because I will forever be a reader before a writer. Why do I love it so? For me, reading fantasy and paranormal, which are my all time favorites, is like walking into another world–into someone else’s shoes–and living there for a while.
It’s the ability to transport somewhere else–somewhere you never even dreamed of. It’s magic.
How about you? Why do you love reading and/or writing so much?
February 13, 2013 | Categories: BLOG HOPS, Blog Tours, Reading, Writing | Tags: Arts, Author, blog hop, bloggers, laney mcmann, Reading, Writing, ya fantasy author, YA Fiction, YA Highway, YA paranormal romance author, young adult books | 7 Comments
I was nominated for the Liebster Award! Thank you so much to Jaime Guerard for nominating me for this very unexpected award. 😉 Jaime is a fellow YA fan as well as YA Paranormal Romance Thriller writer and author. Go check her blog out!
The award works like this:
– I list 11 random facts about myself.
– I will answer the 11 questions asked of me by the person who nominated me.
– I will then nominate my 11 picks for the award along with my 11 questions for them to answer when they post a response.
– If you’re nominated, your name/link will appear at the bottom of this post along with your questions. Follow the same format; paste the award badge to your blog, give us 11 random facts about yourself, answer my 11 questions, and choose your nominees…but you cannot nominate the blog who nominated you.
Here are 11 random facts: (Hmm … I’ve gotta think about this.)
1. I’m a Tea fanatic. Yes, really. Hot tea, iced tea, black tea, flavored tea. I could hang out in Teavana.
2. I’ve been dancing since I was a little. Love it. Miss it. Quit after too many injuries. Now I run. (Like that’s better or something … )
3. I’m a chef.
4. I read obsessively. Even when I should be writing and editing my own books. ;P
5. I’m a Tolkien fan to extremes. Love, Love, Love his books. Movies too. I could watch LOR from start to finish without a hitch. All 9 hours.
6. Same goes for Harry Potter. I can recite the books.
7. I have 3 dogs, and if I had more space, I would own way more than that.
8. I love Summertime.
9. I’m an introvert, but a few of my friends would probably argue with me over that.
10. I’m of Irish decent.
Here are my questions from Jaime Guerard:
1. Who is your favorite author?
I have so many, so I’ll name the big ones. Anne Rice, J.K. Rowling, George R. R. Martin, and J. R. R. Tolkien. Oh, and I really enjoy Michael Scott.
2. What is your favorite quote?
“You can’t win or lose if you don’t run the race.” ~ The Psychedelic Furs
3. What type of genre do you like to read? Why?
Fantasy. High fantasy. Paranormal. Mythology and some Sci-Fi. Both YA and Adult. I write what I read. Why? Because these genres are transporting and magical.
4. Where do you hope to be in 5 years?
I hope to still be writing stories from my heart. The ones that inspire me and speak to me.
5. How long have you been writing?
I started writing poems are a young age. 7 maybe. They were a kind of expression that just flooded out. I still write poetry. Short stories followed, and in my early twenties I tried a few strike out swings at novels. I think my writing has grown considerably since then.
6. Who has inspired you throughout your life?
7. What is one word to describe your personality?
Hmm … Sarcastic? Hahaha. Probably depends on which friend you asked.
8. What is your favorite book and why?
That’s almost impossible to answer. Although all of my favorite authors have things in common, their writing styles are vastly different, yet equally brilliant. I could name series’ of books. The Witching Hour series by Anne Rice. The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice. The Lord of The Rings/The Hobbit by Tolkien. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling.
9. Life’s too short for …
Regretting the chances you were afraid to take. Better to have tried/spoke your mind/put yourself out there, and failed, than never to have tried at all.
10. What is your desert island food (you only get one choice)?
11. If you could have one celebrity on your speed dial, who would it be and why?
One celebrity? Geesh … idk. Probably Anne Rice. I could bounce some pretty amazing ideas off of her, I think. She’s the queen of dark fantasy.
And … my nominees are:
Short Story Diary http://shortstoriesdiary.wordpress.com/
My Story To You http://dragoneystory.wordpress.com/
Gin and Lemonade http://ginlemonade.wordpress.com/
Lee Rawn http://www.leerawn.com/
Rich Weatherly http://richweatherly.wordpress.com/
AK Taylor http://www.backwoodsauthor.com/
Alison DeLuca http://alisondeluca.blogspot.com/
Ido Lanuel http://idolanuel.com/
Leigh Gembus http://submeg.com/
Whitney Moore http://writeinlife.wordpress.com/
Nominees, here are your 11 questions:
- What books are you reading?
- Who are your favorite authors?
- What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
- Where do you see your writing taking you?
- How do stories come to you? (or blog posts, poetry, etc …)
- Plotter or Pantster?
- What is your favorite genre?
- If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
- Introvert or Extrovert?
- Who inspires you?
- What inspires you to keep moving forward in your writing?
Go check out all these great blogs! And Congrats to the nominees!
January 1, 2013 | Categories: Blogging, Writing | Tags: Authors, Awards, bloggers, blogs, determination, goal accomplishment, Inspiration, Novels, poetry, Short Stories, writers, Writers Resources, Writers supporting writers | 6 Comments
Like many writers, I have spent the last few years trying to ‘do it all.’ Whether I’m drafting another blog post, tinkering with Twitter, shouting out to writers on Triberr, checking my Facebook profile, posting on my Facebook author page, pinning on Pinterest, reading the dozens of emails I receive daily, or finishing my novel revisions, everyday is filled to the rim. In my mind, the most important of these is my novel. It’s the reason for everything else. Yet everything else seems to overwhelm it most of the time.
I read all day long, in one form or another. In order to write well, you must read. A lot. Preferably in your genre, although reading in general is the point. I try to stay current with the latest books, all the advice on book marketing, social media reach, blog hits, and on and on. It’s endless.
Yesterday I read an article that stated people aren’t reading less in the digital age, instead people are actually reading more. Wanting more. More to download. More, more, more. Readers want books NOW. How are they reading them all? Who knows.
What it means for writers is what concerns me. Many authors are now attempting to hammer out three….four, five books a year to stay in the game.
The industry standard has forever been…one book per year.
But with the introduction, and popularity, of ereaders the standard is changing. Rapidly.
For me, and many others, that’s an issue. Besides the fact that I write at turtle speed, and revise at snail, I’ve worked myself to near exhaustion trying to do everything, and be everywhere. How are we supposed to do it all? We can’t. And we shouldn’t try to either.
Balance is the key.
I’ve talked about balance a lot in prior posts, but I didn’t know how to attain it. I’ve had to force myself to step back, and breathe. Step back and realize that NO ONE can do it all, and do it well. Not going to happen. Not for long anyway. I still believe that through all the chatter and advice, all the constant information flying everywhere, that our main goal as writers should be creating good content.
We can market until we are blue in the face and crawling. Put our names out everywhere and brand until everyone knows it. But none of that will matter if our books suck. Writing is hard enough without trying to master social media.
I know we as writers are a helpful and supportive group. We want to help each other succeed. We want to feel like someone else gets it, and we aren’t wandering around alone searching for answers in the dark. So we read everything, follow a hundred blogs, and basically overwhelm ourselves with information. Not the best mindset to have when we are trying to write an 80,000 word novel.
Slow down. Really.
I don’t have this thing figured out either, but it occurs to me that a few things are obvious.
**Write your books and write them well. No good book—no reason for social media.
**Write your blog posts, tweet your shout outs, engage. But put a time limit on it.
**Back to writing.
Remember the reason why you are doing all of this. Is it to write stories? To get lost in those worlds? Yeah? Go get lost then, and create the best worlds you can.
The other stuff at the end of the day is secondary. Important, yes, but still secondary.
So tell me, what part of this industry have you found the most difficult?
**first posted in May 2012 before I landed the book contract, so let’s add that once thrown into the mix, things got busier. The difference? Now, I feel like everything else finally matters. 😉
November 26, 2012 | Categories: Author, Blogging, Editing, Inspiration, Publishing, Social Media, Writer, Writing | Tags: Arts, Blog, bloggers, Book, book marketing, E-book, editing, exhaustion, Facebook, goal accomplishment, laney mcmann, Pinterest, Reading, Revisions, Social media, Triberr, Twitter, Writer, Writers Resources, Writing, Writing process, Writing Tips | 12 Comments
I invest a ludicrous amount of time reading. Whether I read novels, blogs, craft books or research material, I always try to find useful or inspiring bits of information each week. And then I save them. Publishing is the topic of conversation this week. Here are the must reads:
J.A. Konrath has an insightful MUST READ post up on his blog, A Newbies Guide To Self-Publishing. His post: Amazon Will Destroy You
Kristen Lamb’s post over on her blog, Warrior Writers, talks about The Future of Big Publishing in the New Paradigm–Bracing For Impact
And how could I leave out Chuck Wendig? Check out his take on whether or not FREE is truly FREE in the world of E-books. Is Free A Price We Can Pay? On his blog, Terrible Minds. And be sure to read the plethora of comments that follow.
Good Day Writers 😉
February 17, 2012 | Categories: Author, Blogging, Publishing, Self Publishing, Writer, Writing | Tags: Amazon, Author, bloggers, E-Books, laney mcmann, Publishing, Self-publishing, Writer Resources, Writing Advice, Writing Tips, ya fantasy author, YA paranormal romance author | Leave a comment
….well maybe not everything, but social media–for writers, yeah.
During the first six months or so of writing my WIP I only had me, my music, my laptop, the thoughts in my head and everyone around me looking at me like I’d lost my mind. I was running to keep my head from exploding (I still do this) and having no other real outlet for the thoughts and ideas in my head. My family is very supportive. Still. But they don’t really get it. When you say you’re a writer, not everyone really gets what you’re doing or why you’re doing it. Or worse they think you’re just wasting time because in the grand scheme of things, it could go nowhere (I’m speaking of the up and coming authors here). We are counting on and trusting in some kind of blind faith.
I started my blog with trepidation. I’m not the most social person in the world so what would I possibly say? And who would care that I was even saying it? Twitter was worse. But I have found these outlets to be incredibly useful. (Well maybe not Twitter. Yet. That’s a lot of talking!)
Writing is hard. IT IS. And it’s harder if you are alone in your own head all the time. Connecting with other writers in the same or similar boats is invaluable. If I can’t think, blogging can loosen my brain. If I’m overwhelmed, commenting and receiving helpful replies on other sites helps me refocus. If I’m staring out the window and my Twitter alert sounds, it brings me out of my reverie.
These little devices are helpful in forward momentum. In moderation they compliment each other. They help with encouragement, insight and advice that otherwise we may never find in our own heads.
You’ve established your blog, it’s purpose, your purpose…now what?
We are all in the writing game here. Pouring our hearts, souls and minds into our craft, hoping at some point that we connect with other writers and readers in some way. Some of us are happy telling our stories or poems through our blogs. Some are rants or advice and some are simply day to day rambles. All writers having something to say. All worthy of this craft.
What about those of us who are blogging with the intention of creating a platform as an up and coming author? Those who are trying to create a following. How much should we say to our readers, followers, fans, fellow bloggers/writers, etc…. about our WIP?
We want to create interest right? That’s the aim at a certain point. When the novel is complete, that’s the next step. Create the interest. But how do we do that really without giving everything away? Without allowing our ideas to be taken from us? Until our books are actually produced, (traditionally or self published) how much information can we safely feel comfortable giving?
If I gave ten writers the same idea for a story, what would be produced? Ten completely different stories, with different voices and different angles. The way I write will never be the way you write. And thank god for that or we would all sound the same.
Now I’m not saying I think it’s a good idea to post all your ideas and excerpts on your blog. But I am saying that creating interest about your book, is at least part, if not the main reason we start these blogs. Yes, we want the support of other writers (god knows I do) and yes, we need that occasional kick in the ass to stay on course. But at the end of the day, I think, at least for us novel writers out there, we are also looking for a fan base to jump from. A place where we can connect with other writers as well as readers who know the language we are speaking and hopefully want to take the journey we are telling through our books.
So in that light, we need to give tastes of what we are writing about. I’m not talking plot and the first three chapters. I’m talking basics. Interest builders. Genres, fiction or non fiction. Basics. So when all the moaning and complaining (mine) is over and we are staring at the blood, sweat and tears of our finished book, loving every second of it and being washed over with relief…someone else out there will actually want to read it:)
May 17, 2011 | Categories: Books, Publishing, Writing | Tags: Blog, bloggers, goal accomplishment, Inspiration, Literary genre, novel writing, Publishing, Readers, WIP, Writer, Writer Resources, Writing, YA Fiction | 10 Comments
(Image by: Sandman 6210 via Photobucket)
What to write about today?? Hm….
With the publishing industry now practically insisting that writers have their own blogs and writing formats amassing readers and fans, what choice do we have but to attempt to oblige? And how much time should we commit to these social media outlets? And furthermore, what about the ones of us who aren’t all that–well,….social?
We find ourselves writing about relatively the same topics as others writers because we are all (most of us), trying to reach the same goal. And in that challenge, we need the same information, the same motivations and the understanding that we provide one another.
Some days an article will hit a chord, others maybe it’s an inspirational quote and others still, maybe just a simple shout out of how our novel is moving along–good or bad, when we need a pep talk or a push from our readers. Granted, I’m speaking of course about those of us who are still on this new and steep hill. Other more seasoned writers and published authors seem to have the art of blogging down to a science and help to inspire the rest of us.
So how much time is too much time dedicated to your blog? We are trying to complete our novels, short stories, etc.. How much time should be taken away from that ultimate goal? And what about the social aspect? What draws the interest to amass these ‘fans’ we are hoping for? The fans who, hopefully, are interested in reading our books. When did the “Hey, look at me, look at me!” mentality get all mixed up with the creation of actually writing?
With the enormity of technology, along with E-readers, both publishing companies and self-publishing need help with marketing. Marketing yourself is something you have to do on your own if you choose the self publishing route. Marketing yourself is also apparently (at least in beginning) something you need to do with a traditional publishing company as well.
Personally, I enjoy my blog. I enjoy talking to and hearing from other writers. I appreciate the feedback and certainly the advice and kind words. Having my blog has helped me to keep moving and that in and of itself is a huge benefit to having it. So I guess we need to view our blogs as aides. Helpful tools to move us toward our goals. But not something to get so caught up in that we forget our aim.
The social stuff, if it bothers you, generally falls into place after a while and if the goal is accomplished and your writing does take off, you’ll need to get used to being at least some what social;) In the meantime, I think checking your blog everyday, posting when you have an idea, or an extra few minutes, and keeping up with your favorite bloggers here and there for motivation and occasional advice, is a good thing. In an industry that is largely solitary, blogging is probably, on the whole, a good way to break free from the isolating shell and breathe a little with the other world. Now…what will I write about…? Hmmm.