THESE GIVEAWAYS HAVE ENDED.
I have TWO Giveaways going on this month.
First one is happening over on Goodreads from today through the 29th (yeah, soon) for TWO Signed paperbacks of TIED.
Here’s the link to enter: Goodreads
(Goodreads runs this giveaway)
Second up, Reading Teen is hosting me on their blog and as thanks I’m having a giveaway over there. ONE signed paperback. Easy entry:
What’s your ideal boyfriend? Bad boy? Good guy with an edge? Best friend turned boyfriend? Leave a comment on Reading Teen on my TIED Spotlight post to win, and check out everyone else’s dream guy. 😉
Here’s the link to enter: Reading Teen
(the winner of this giveaway will be chosen randomly)
Good Luck and Happy November!
November 23, 2013 | Categories: A Fire Born Novel, Fire Born Updates, Giveaways, J Taylor Publishing, New Releases, TIED, Young Adult Novels | Tags: Arts, Author, Book Giveaways, Facebook, Fiction, Giveaway, Goodreads, J. Taylor Publishing, laney mcmann, Layla and Max, Paperback, Reading, Reading Teen, Teen books, teen fiction, The Fire Born Novels, TIED, TIED by Laney McMann, Twitter, young adult book releases 2013, young adult urban fantasy | Leave a comment
This Giveaway has ended.
In honor of TIED’s debut, I am doing a big group giveaway.
Here’s what’s up for grabs:
TWO SIGNED PAPERBACKS OF TIED
TWO EBOOK COPIES OF TIED (ONLY the electronic copies—not the e-reader)
AND FIVE SIGNED BOOKMARKS
How do you win? You enter the RAFFLECOPTER 😉
The contest starts today, September 9, 2013, and will run through October 15th, 2013 at 11:59 PM at which time Rafflecopter will select the winners.
GOOD LUCK and Thanks for entering!
September 9, 2013 | Categories: A Fire Born Novel, Blog Tours, Fire Born Updates, Giveaways, J Taylor Publishing, New Releases, TIED, Young Adult Novels | Tags: E-book, Fiction, Giveaway, J. Taylor Publishing, laney mcmann, Layla and Max, Rafflecopter, Reading, The Fire Born Novels, TIED, Twitter, WIN, young adult book releases 2013, young adult paranormal romance, young adult urban fantasy | 1 Comment
The blog tour for TIED is just around the corner, and I want to say Thank You to all the bloggers/reviewers who have signed up for the tour, as well as give readers (and writers) the schedule to follow if you want to check it out. 😉
We start on September 9th. The day TIED releases onto the masses. 😉
J. Taylor Publishing
If you are a blogger or a reviewer and you’d like to be a part of the TIED blog tour,
I still have a few spots available.
You can sign up here: J Taylor Publishing
Thanks again for everyone who is participating!!
July 31, 2013 | Categories: A Fire Born Novel, Blog Tours, Fire Born Updates, J Taylor Publishing, New Releases, TIED, Upcoming Releases, Young Adult Novels | Tags: Arts, Author, Bibliophilia, Blog, Book Launch, J. Taylor Publishing, laney mcmann, Readers, Reading, September 9, The Fire Born Novels, TIED A Fire Born Novel, TIED Blog Tour, TIED by Laney McMann, Writer, YA Books, YA Fiction, YA New releases, young adult book releases 2013, young adult paranormal romance, young adult urban fantasy | Leave a comment
This week I’ll be moving backward in Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunter world, starting with Clockwork Angel—the first book in the Infernal Devices trilogy.
Magic is dangerous—but love is more dangerous still.
When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London’s Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos.
Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, members of a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What’s more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa’s power for his own.
Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by—and torn between—two best friends: James, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and blue-eyed Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arm’s length . . . everyone, that is, but Tessa. As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world. . . . and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.
April 12, 2013 | Categories: Author, Current Reads, Reading, Young Adult Novels | Tags: books, Cassandra Clare, Clockwork Angel, current reads, Infernal Devices, laney mcmann, Mortal Instruments, Reading, Shadowhunter, young adult novels, young adult urban fantasy | 2 Comments
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
After finishing The Hunger Games in an almost obsessed sort of sprint to the end, I’m on to another YA series, The 19th Year. When I wrap my head around the Hunger Games and formulate my words for a review, I’ll post them over on goodreads.
Now: AFTER DARK, book one of The 19th Year, by Emi Gayle
What eighteen year old Mac Thorne doesn’t know will probably kill her.
In exactly eight months, five days, three hours and thirteen minutes, Mac has to choose what she’ll be for the rest of her life.
She has no choice but to pick. As a Changeling, it’s her birthright. To Mac, it’s a birthchore. Like going to school with humans, interacting with humans, and pretending to be human during the pesky daylight hours.
Once darkness descends, Mac can change into any supernatural form that exists — which makes her as happy as she can be. That is, until Winn Thomas, the biggest geek in her senior class, figures out there’s more to what hides in the dark than most are willing to acknowledge.
In this first of the 19th Year Trilogy, Winn might know more about Mac than even she does, and that knowledge could end their lives, unless Mac ensures the powers-that-be have no choice but to keep him around.
LINK: J. Taylor Publishing
Can’t wait! 😉
February 6, 2013 | Categories: Books, Current Reads, J Taylor Publishing, Reading | Tags: 19th Year Trilogy, After Dark, Emi Gayle, Hunger Games, laney mcmann, Mac, Mac Thorne, Reading, Teen books, teens, Winn, Winn Thomas, YA Fiction, YA paranormal romance author, Young Adult, young adult books, young adult novels | 5 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
Which one are you?
I’m the latter. Definitely.
Although I’ve always written, my love of the written word began before my sentence structure did. My imagination of worlds far and beyond sparked at a very young age. Writing the stories I imagined in my own head, came later.
I realized recently, after having a conversation with a fellow writer, just how different the above breeds of writers can be. When I began my novel and truly delved into learning craft, I found reading for my usual enjoyment difficult, and suddenly lacking. Instead of the story I saw sentence structure, grammar use. I would hear myself questioning the decisions the author made and wondering what I would have done differently. I couldn’t see the stories anymore. I’d lost the magical quality that had originally turned me on to writing. I’d lost what I craved most. The story.
Writers who are readers pick stories apart. Readers who are writers, read. For the sheer enjoyment of it. To be transported. To live in someone else’s shoes.
I learned that when you are only looking for errors, they are all you will ever see. And when you are editing your book as a writer, they are all you should see. But when all of that is done–you should see your story.
Now, I have to shut off the writer brain (as hard as that is sometimes) and turn on the reader one. If I don’t, I find myself reading as I would a text book. But if I do… I remember why I love to read. Why I love to write, too. I have worlds I want to share. Characters and plots. I have to stories to share. That’s the aim, right? To share good stories? And at the end of the day, after all the edits are done and proofreads have been finished, I want to be able to read my book through the eyes of a reader. If I can’t do that — if I can’t still feel the emotion that sat me in front of the laptop for months on end — if I can’t see and feel what I need the reader to see and feel — well, what exactly have I been doing? Remember that readers read because they want to be carried away. You need to see your book not only through your eyes as a writer, but more importantly, through the eyes of your readers. They are the ones who matter. They are the ones who will make or break you as an author. Every single time. And readers, the vast majority of them, are story cravers, not editors, not writers, just readers.
Write the best book you can. Get the best editor you can. Nit pick the crap out every tiny detail in your novel. Then go back and read it. And remember why you wrote it in the first place. The best grammar in the world will not save a crappy story. But…an awesome story will trump a few overlooked grammatical errors. Check out some book on the best sellers list. Readers aren’t looking for perfect. They aren’t looking for the same things writers are. They’re looking for that one story that digs into their soul. The one story they can’t stop thinking about. The one they read over and over again. That’s the book we as writers should be writing.
WRITE ON, WRITERS! And tell your stories.
November 19, 2012 | Categories: Author, Publishing, Writer, Writing, Writing Tips | Tags: Advice on writing a novel, art, Author, Fiction, Grammar, laney mcmann, Online Writing, Reading, Reading (process), Short story, The Reader, Writer, Writer Resources, Writers Resources, Writing, Writing Tips, ya fantasy author, YA Fiction, YA paranormal romance author | 9 Comments
“You look like you just rolled out of bed.”
….leaving a lake-like gleam across the surface of the ocean.
“She doesn’t like you.”
“It felt like….”
Apparently, I really like the word, LIKE.
Like is a weak word writers use as a crutch. A crutch to tell rather than show readers what our characters are seeing, feeling, experiencing. It’s a lazy word. I was shocked to discover how many times I’d used it in my MS. Shocked.
Beta readers see what we, in a flurry of writing excitement (or drudgery), sometimes miss.
** I also like (see, I did it again!) the word AS. Oh, and felt. Yeah, felt. The worst!
SHOW DON’T TELL.;)
July 30, 2012 | Categories: Author, Editing, Publishing, Writer, Writing, Writing Tips | Tags: art, Arts, Beta, betareader, Chats and Forums, editing, Editing and Proofreading, Feedback, laney mcmann, Manuscript, Organizations, Reading, Writer, Writers Resources, Writing Tips, ya fantasy author, YA paranormal romance author | Leave a comment
It took about four months before I mustered up the courage to let anyone read the first chapters of my current novel. That was back in August of 2010. I’d been writing since April of that year, and my book was nowhere–and I mean nowhere–near ready for viewing. Even if that viewer was my mom. Now, I realize that everyone says they let their mom read their book first because, of course, our mothers will go easy on us if it sucks. Not my mom. I’m not saying she flat-out told me it was awful, but she didn’t tell me what I was hoping to hear either.
I wanted my mom to read it first because I needed real feedback from an avid reader. My mom also happens to do a lot of editing. The first reviews weren’t good. Looking back, she was 100% correct. The book was a fledgling written by a poet and short story dabbler, not a seasoned novelist.
I tucked my tail between my legs, swallowed my pride, and listened to everything she had to say. And then I used it all. I studied and researched and let the ideas in my head germinate and flow. I wrote and I wrote until I was sick of it. Until I almost gave up.
It has been a year and a half since that time and my novel has gone through at least eight drafts. Easily. After I’d tweaked, edited, hated it, and loved it, I put it back in my moms possession. And cringed a little.
I have three beta readers now, all doing slightly different things, all slightly different viewpoints, coming from different genre preferences and widely different age groups. I think the wide scope is necessary for a real perspective. I was terrified to let my words, my characters–my world, go. Everything in those pages is me. Everything in all our books as writers, is us. Our imagination, our thoughts—our creation. What if my betas hated my story? What would that say about me? I let it go, despite my trepidation, and faced the fear.
If they did hate the story, if my characters were whack and my voice was worse–I kind of needed to know.
What’s in a Beta Reader? If you’re lucky, a trusted reader who will give it to you straight.
I waited a long time after the initial beta read back in 2010 to release my chapters again. I was afraid to hear the critiques–to hear I wasn’t any good after close to two years of sweat and tears. But how would I ever know, if I was too afraid to let go? And if I was awful at writing novels, well…there was only one way to change that— keep writing, keep learning, and keep putting myself out there.
What’s in a Beta Reader? Your audience. Who without, you have no readership. So ask yourself, who are you writing for? I can say with all my heart, I write for myself. But when you decide to go live, and publish your work, that changes a bit. I write because I love it. And somewhere along the way I decided I wanted to do more than write stories to myself. So, I would be lying through my teeth if I said I wasn’t also writing for my readers. And they, as well as I, deserve the best book I can put out. That’s where the Betas come in 😉
February 9, 2012 | Categories: Author, Books, Reading, Writing | Tags: Beta reader, critique, editing, Editing and Proofreading, laney mcmann, proofreading, Reading, Revisions, Writer Resources, Writers Resources, Writing, Writing Advice, Writing Tips, ya fantasy author, YA paranormal romance author | 9 Comments
“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.”
~Charles William Eliot
Here it is, my latest vice. It has wrapped itself around me in a strangle hold.
George R. R. Martin. A Storm Of Swords:
I simply cannot put this series of books down. A must read for any fantasy fan (BEFORE you watch the TV series mind you). I’m not a fan of spoiler reviews so I won’t go into length here other than to say, these stories pull you in and refuse to let go. Highly addicting and time well spent.
Game Of Thrones (#1)
A Clash Of Kings (#2)
A Storm Of Swords (#3)
A Feast For Crows (#4)
And the long-awaited A Dance With Dragons (#5) released July 2011
There are said to be 7 planned novels in this series, A Song Of Ice And Fire.
I tried not to squawk or burst out laughing or stare. But as I sat quietly, my head shot up and I did stare. And I’m almost sure I shook my head, rolled my eyes and in some other way, incriminated myself, as I gawked in total disbelief at two women having conversation in the local hair salon.
I fidgeted in my chair and attempted to look normal, crossing and un-crossing my legs, wanting desperately to stand up and say: “What do you mean, you don’t read? Are you INSANE?” But I didn’t do that. No, I did what any other respectable writer would do, I yanked out my iPhone and began filling my notes app with their conversation.
“Oh gosh no, I just can’t concentrate for that long. I mean some books are 500 pages! Who has time for that?” She went on. “Really though, even if I did have the time, why would I want to read a book that long? I’ve got better things to do.”
Even if I wasn’t a writer and a voracious reader, I still would have been speechless. Seriously? Reading is a waste of time??
It got me thinking.
The perception of reading is a varied one. One that is generally learned from childhood. If you are introduced to reading in a positive way as a child, you are more likely to love reading as an adult. If not..well, you’re missing out on a truly incredible part of life.
One of the main reasons, if not the main reason I read so much, is because of my mom who ALWAYS reads. She recommends books, passes them down to me and had me reading novels at a very young age. I was taught to love books by example. And what an important example it was and continues to be. I wouldn’t be a writer if I didn’t have a genuine love for books.
So although it has been said before, I have to say it again, hats off to JK Rowling and Stephanie Meyer for gaining an enormous wealth of young readers. Regardless of whether you are or aren’t a Harry Potter or Twilight fan, these authors both did something very special.
They got millions of kids to read. Millions. And they changed the view of reading from something kids thought was a boring waste, to something they thought was cool and important and fun.
They changed the way generations of kids view books.
And thank goodness for that because as writers we need as many readers as we can possibly get.
It seems the more I write, the more I read. And the more I inadvertently watch character development. I’ve been reading a ridiculous amount recently, it helps immensely to widen the scope in my own writing and I’ve seen more and more how imperative it is to show the reader what you see as the author.
I can sit here at my laptop and edit or add text or work on a different book. I can choose any of my WIP‘s and vividly see my landscapes, my worlds, my characters and the intimate ways they all culminate. I can flip from novel to novel, brand new or a year old and see them all as though I were watching a movie. But my goal is to make the reader see what I see. That is also, I believe one of the biggest challenges for a lot of writers. All those minute details that are needed to bring words off the page and to life.
I was recently reading one of the books on my ‘Currently Reading’ list and felt that familair tug of wanting more. More detail, more…life. It seemed at the end of the day (or book) I still wouldn’t feel connected to a certain character. I didn’t feel the pull that I am sure the author intended, that I am sure the author felt as it was being written.
My point being just because you, as the author, feel it and see it and know it doesn’t mean you are conveying it to the reader. I think we (me too!) have a tendency to get so caught up in our story, so excited or touched or moved by everything we are creating, that we sometimes forget the reader can’t see inside our heads. It’s our job to transport them into our imagination and hope they feel nice and comfortable and choose to stay a while.
So read your dialogue out loud and see how it sounds when it isn’t only in your own head. Hear how it sounds to someone who isn’t already in love with the main character because he only just got introduced.
February 25, 2011 | Categories: Publishing, Writing | Tags: Advice on writing a novel, Author, Book Writing, Editing and Proofreading, Fiction, Inspiration, Literature, novel description, novel writing, Protagonist, Reading, WIP, Writer, Writing, Writing and Editing, Writing process | 5 Comments