Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Letters to Elise

Letters to Elise is a novella. For those of you, like my roommate, that don't know what a novella is - it's a fictional prose between 17,500 and 40,000 words. While Letters to Elise is still going through edits, it stands at roughly 22,000 words. In comparison, all my other novels range between 70,000 and 100,000 words.

Because of the way L to E is written - mostly in the form of letters and a few journal entries - I didn't think it would work as a full length novel. It has a story, but it's not standard narrative. I was very limited in what I could tell, what could Peter could know and do. I tried out a couple different ways of writing it, including juxtaposing Peter's letters with a third person narrative about him. But in the end, I decided the letters alone were the best way to work it.

The main purpose of this is to give more insight into Peter, and to give Peter fans a chance to spend a bit more time with him. It also helps tie in some ideas that will come into play in the final book in the My Blood Approves series.

Since it's shorter, I want to add some other bonus content. So, what kinds of stuff would you the reader like to see as bonus content to go along with Letters to Elise?

If you haven't heard about Letters to Elise yet, here's the trailer:

Monday, November 29, 2010

some things and River Phoenix

I'm watching Sneakers right now. If you haven't seen it, I don't recommend it. Real Genius and Hackers are of the some vein, and they're both very enjoyable. Also, Val Kilmer and Jonny Lee Miller are fun to look at - respectively. But Sneakers has one thing the other movies don't have, the reason I have watched it 30 times - River Phoenix.

I actually just ordered a River Phoenix poster. Because he's just too much fun to look at.

And that's why you shouldn't do drugs, kids. Because you'll end up dead outside of a night club when you're only twenty-three, and I'll be pissed off about it for the next seventeen years. And then some, because I'll probably still be pissed off about it next year, and the year after.

Also, I finished a boxset tonight. It looks pretty good. I think. I'd take pictures of it, if I knew where my camera is. But I don't.

Watching Sneakers makes me wish we were fight with the Soviets again. Remember Red Dawn? I heard they're remaking that with Josh Peck. That sounds stupid. But I love Russian accents and the language. So they shold make more movies with us fighting Russians or something.

Anyway - Switched is going crazy lately. At the time of this writing, it's #77 in all of Kindle on Amazon. Barnes & Noble says its #126 there, but that number hasn't moved in weeks, and I'm selling twice as many copies at B&N than I am at Amazon, so I don't trust the B&N rankings.

I'll be honest with you guys, because we're all friends here - I don't really understand the level of interest in it now. But I appreciate it. So thank you all. Very much.

People are asking for dates when books will be released. I'm not good at specifics, so here's the general idea: Honalee should be out by December 20th, and Letters to Elise should be out by December 24th. Although, Letters to Elise is closer to release right now, but it's easier since it's shorter.

So... those are things.

And if you wanna look at River Phoenix, I'd reccommend My Own Private Idaho or Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. 

Friday, November 26, 2010

It's Christmas Time, Again.

I got a good chunk of my Christmas shopping today. On the internet. I'm not gave enough to fight the crowds at actual shopping centers. I wanted to do all my Christmas shopping from the comfort of my home, but some things just aren't available on the internet.

Anyway - I've begun working on the boxsets. I looked at several different options for boxes, and I tried to come up with what I thought would be the best bets and most affordable options.

So here's the ideas I have so far:

10 "Boxsets" of the first 4 books in the My Blood Approves series, but they won't really be boxsets. They'll be tied together with a ribbon, and they'll come with mini bookmarks and be autographed. They'll be priced at $30 (plus shipping).

For 5 Special Edition Box Sets with handmade boxes, bookmarks, stickers, and autographs on all 4 books. I'll even do a personal message, if you want. These box sets will be priced at $50 (plus shipping). I wanted to do them for less, but the boxes really make that not cost effective.

If this goes well, I will do more of the boxsets. I probably will on occassion do Special Edition box sets.

Also, over the holidays, I'm going to try to get up individual copies of MBA, Switched, and Hollowland that I'll sign and sell from this site.

Oh, and Hollowland will be getting a makeover for the holidays, so watch out for that. 

I'll have more info on that in about a week.

December is going to be REALLY busy for me. But I think I can get it all done. Because I'm magic.

Monday, November 22, 2010

the root of the root

If you could say that an entire novella could be based on a single scene that lasts less than a minute in a single movie, then that scene would be the one that follows, and that book would be Letters to Elise.

That film is Candy starring the late great Heath Ledger. The poem is "i carry your heart" by e e cummings (read his poems, if you haven't).

Here's the poem in it's entirety (capitalization and format is his):

  i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

My heart belongs to Dexter Morgan

I am in love with Dexter Morgan. He's basically Batman, but better because Dexter kills people, which seems like the smart thing since Arkham Asylum has a revolving door.

Isn't that what everyone is looking for? A sociopath with a heart of a gold? Or maybe it's just me?

Anyway - I'm watching The Big Chill and it's distracting me from whatever important meaningful thing I was going to say about Dexter, so just pretend I did say something while I feel nostaligic for an era that was an embryo through.

And as for the box set thing - I'd still enjoy it if you contributed your thoughts. So contribute them.

I love Kevin Kline. And Jeff Goldbloom. And Dexter Morgan.

Oh! You know what would be awesome? A movie like The Big Chill, but set now. Is that what Grownups was supposed to be? Because that doesn't seem nearly as awesome as The Big Chill. Or Gross Pointe Blank. Or...

I don't know. I'm rambling. The point is - I like TV.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


I've had a couple people ask about boxsets for the My Blood Approves series, and with the holidays approaching, I was wondering if there would really be an interest in such a thing. I'd have to get them set up myself, so they'd be limited in number.

This is all very preliminary, mind you, but I'm feeling out to see if it would be worth the time and effort. I'm not sure exactly how much such a thing would cost. I think it would probably have to be $25 -30 for four paperbacks, plus shipping and handling. And I would probably add a few things, like bookmarks.

I'm not sure what I would do for a box yet, but I'm sure I would think of something fun. Like maybe a collage. So each box would be one of a kind. That'd be fun, right? Maybe. But then I'd definitely have to limit the numbers. So I don't know.

Also, I don't know if any of you would care. So I'm not sure if I will do anything. It all depends on your level of interest. If I think people will be into it, I'll do it. And then I also need to guage about how many people I think will be into it.

So let me know what you think.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Behind the Curtain

Yesterday, I just checked some numbers. I just released a book, and for the first few days after it comes out, I track to see how well it was doing. While I was at it, I added up all the copies I had sold. Just through Kindle, without including my paperback or B&N or any other sales, I've sold over 30,000 books. In 214 days.

I literally have no idea what to make of this number.

Most of the time when things happen, I've stopped reacting. I don't think I can really fathom what's happening anymore. I keep expecting to wake up and have this all be fake.

When you envision something your whole life, and then it actually starts to happen, it's somewhat confusing. When dreams become a reality, it's hard decipher what's real.

I think what it makes the most confusing is that I still don't feel like an author. I've started referring to myself as one, but every time I say it, it feels like when I refer to myself as graceful right after I've tripped or smart after I've misspelled a word. It all feels sarcastic.

I feel so much like the Wizard of Oz. That I've somehow got people fooled, but you're all going to pull back the curtain and see a cowardly old man sitting there. "Why, she's no author at all! She's an old fool, and she's only been pretending!"

I guess I'd always just assumed that when I became an author, like a real author, it would be an Event. Like getting engaged or married. It would be a big deal where I could announce to the world that I'd arrived. And then I would feel different. I would be different. There would be some kind of transformation that changed from Regular me to Author me - this special person with special abilities and an impenetrable shell.

But that's what so bizarre about this. There was no Event. Author me is Regular me. I write as often as I ever did. I sleep as often as I ever did. And I put off doing the dishes as often as I ever did.

So there it is. I'm really just a man behind a curtain.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

and now for something that actually matters

I'm taking a break from plugging my wares to talk about something actually matters. I just read this article (click: here) about two cougars that were rescued as part of the Big Cat Rescue. It's asking for donations, which I encourage you to do, but that's not the moral.

Exotic animals are not pets. Lions, tigers, bears, monkeys, crocodiles... these are not pets. These are wild animals that do not live well in cages with people.

The article I posted explains how that a lion that lived with the cougars ended up biting his owner in the leg, causing him to bleed out and die, and then the lion himself was killed.

That's how these stories always end. It ends very badly for these animals. Look at Travis the monkey, who was raised as a child and went on to rip off that poor woman's face in Connecticut before the police killed him.

I've always wanted a big cat. I thought it would be fabulous to own a tiger, until I really started researching it and realized what it means for these animals. They are not domestic. They don't belong in cages. They don't know how to live with people.

When researching about lions for Hollowland, I read tons and tons of articles about lion ownership gone wrong. Big cats being mistreated, abused, and neglected. Owners, their families, and their neighbors being seriously injured or killed by animals that shouldn't be there in the first place.

This says nothing for the animal trafficking industry and the abuses that animals suffer through at the hands of smugglers.

This isn't a condemnation of zoos or animal rescue organizations who have trained professionals that care for animals that have been rendered unable to survive in the world or work on breeding efforts for endangered species.

But please, please, please do not get an exotic animal. It will not end well for you or the animal.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Guest Post from Imogen Rose

A note from Arizona Darley

Once upon a time–well, a year ago now!–I suddenly woke up as Arizona Darley, a blonde California cheerleader, which, of course, I’m not. I am actually Arizona Stevens, a varsity ice hockey player from New Jersey. It was confusing to the say the least–I mean really? A blonde Barbie doll... sheesh, not! It turns out that my mom’s time travel  portal was somehow responsible. Anyhow... it’s now a year later and the portal is now active again, which means that I can go home to my real dad....


Book Description

A whole year has passed. It’s October again… or is it?

As California teen, Arizona Darley, contemplates traveling back through the portal to seek out her dad, her life is plunged into a whirlwind ride through the unknown.

But this time, she doesn't disappear through the portal.

Has Arizona been kidnapped–again? Is Raj Sen to blame? Could Dillard have taken her?

As Kellan, David and her parents launch a frantic search with the help of the Wanderers, it becomes apparent that things are much more complex than they seem – for all of them. While investigating her daughter's latest disappearance, Olivia faces shocking revelations about the Wanderers and her life with Rupert.

In the meantime, what's happening in New Jersey? Are both of Arizona's worlds about to collide?

Quantum is the third book in the Portal Chronicles. Catch the start of Arizona’s adventures in Portal and Equilibrium.

You can check out Quantum at Amazon: here.

For more info about Imogen Rose and the Portal Chronicles, please visit her site: www.imogenrose.com/

Monday, November 15, 2010

Torn is For Sale!!!!!

EDIT: Torn is now available at Barnes & Noble now, also for $2.99.

Torn is now available at Amazon for the Kindle for $2.99 and in paperback at Createspace for $8.99. Barnes & Noble hasn't gone through yet, but I'll let you know as soon as it is.

To get Torn at Amazon, click: here. To get Torn at Barnes & Noble, click: here. To get Torn in paperback, click: here.

A reminder: Switched is still 30% off through Createspace if you enter the code PUFRUS43. To buy Switched in paperback, click: here.  

Also, I think I'm going to keep Switched on sale for $.99 for a few more days, but it will be going back to it's regular price by the end of the week. 

And, in case you didn't know, new books are really lonely without any reviews. So if you enjoyed Torn (or even if you didn't) please leave a review, so other people know that Torn isn't alone.

Also, because I've gotten trailer happy, I made a trailer for Torn. (I'm currently working on one for Ascend as well.) 

I don't like the Torn trailer as much as the Switched one, but I think, so far, I like the Ascend one the most of the three of them. Maybe. But let me know what you think of the Torn trailer.

If you missed the other blog: I have a blog with the trailers for Switched and Honalee posted: here. Also, the trailers are posted are under the tabs at the top - Switched with the Trylle Trilogy, and Honalee with the Witches of Honalee.

The giveaways for the books are now over, too, and I'll be contacting the winners later today, and posting them on the blog this week. Thanks to everybody who participated!

So please check out Torn, let me know what you think, and tell all your friends. ;)

Sunday, November 14, 2010


So, today, I've made a couple book trailers. I'm not sure how good they are, since I've never made a book trailer before, but I enjoy them. And that's part of what counts.

Here's the first trailer for Switched:

Here's the second trailer, for Honalee:

So.... what do you think?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

What's in a Name?

The giveaway to win paperbacks of Switched, Torn, and My Blood Approves ends TOMORROW, so enter while you can: enter here.

Switched will be on sale for $.99 for a few more days, at both Amazon and Barnes & Noble. For a limited time, get 30% of Switched when you enter the code PUFRUS43at Createspace.

Naming characters is important and hard. With the Trylle Trilogy, I took special care in naming the characters in certain ways.

A lot of the names and words in the trilogy are Scandinavian influenced. Because of the basis of the story is based on Scandinavian folklore, I thought that made sense. I can't find the exact article I read, but it was about "vitterfolk" and talked of trolls as being beautiful and ill-tempered and cunning. The article then went on to talk about changelings, and that's the start of the trilogy. 

"Wendy" is named after Peter Pan, the way she is in the book. (As is Peter in My Blood Approves. Also, Wendy's name had she been a boy would have been "Michael" - who is Wendy's brother in Peter Pan.)

Finn's name almost got changed because I finished writing Switched a week before Glee came on the air, and I thought I should change it because I didn't want people to associate him with Glee's Finn. But I really liked the name, so I kept it.

Some names are more literal. Tove Kroner, for example. The name "Tove" comes from Tove Jansson, a Finnish author who wrote a series of books about trolls. Tove Janssoon is a woman, but when I looked up the name, they said it was unisex, and to me, it sounded more like a boy's name. His last name "Kroner" literally translates to the word "crown." So that might mean something....

I purposely named characters with similar names if I wanted you to associate them with each other. "Matt" and "Maggie" are the only names that start with an "M," except for "Michael Conrad Everly." It's weird because the word "mansklig" also starts with an "M." 

"Aurora" and "Elora" are very similar, and so are their dispositions. "Oren," I think, is a masculine counterpoint to that sound. They're all "aura" sounding names. 

If I wanted characters to stand out from the rest, I made of point of having names that didn't sound like anyone else's. So if a name is different, there's probably a reason for it.

Introduced in Torn are several new characteres. "Duncan" is a name I've wanted to use for a really long time, but never have. It's geeky yet endearing, and that is what I was going for with Duncan.

And there's "Loki." If you know anything about Loki in Norse mythology, that might give you a hint to what he brings to the table.

Names definitely mean something in the Trylle Trilogy. So that's something to keep your eye on, if you're looking for hints.

Friday, November 12, 2010

life, the universe, and everything

Reminders at the top: The giveaway to win paperbacks of Switched, Torn, and My Blood Approves ends in a few days, so enter while you can: enter here.

Also, Switched will be on sale for $.99 for a few more days, at both Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

On the subject of Barnes & Noble, I have a favor to ask you. I have been slow at B&N, and I suspect it's partially because of lack of reviews. So I'm asking if any of you want to, and have a spare a minute or two, would you please leave reviews for any of my books at Barnes & Noble? If you left a review at Amazon or Goodreads, just copy and pasting would be great.

I feel sorta slimy for asking (I don't know why exactly) but I'm only asking for honest reviews. And only if it's not too much trouble.

I guess probably the reason I feel so bad because you readers have already been so good to me that I feel bad for asking for anything more. But I had to ask. And you can say no.

Alright - enough of that. I'm no longer on my deathbed, and I've been working on stuff again. This is probably more exciting for me than you, but it is exciting.

What else is exciting is that I just bought a book about unicorns for my Kindle. I'm very excited to read it. First I have to finish up Stephen King's newest book, then I'm reading HP Mallory's To Kill a Warlock, then it's all unicorns, baby. I also need to finish reading Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. I don't know what my problem with that is. I love that book.

In fact, if I'm being honest, Hitchiker's Guide is probably the book I quote most often. During the junior and senior years of high school, my answer to most questions were "Life, the universe, and everything" and "42." Really. 42 is always the right answer to any question.

It is only a few days until Torn's release, and tomorrow I'm going to post some inside scoops and little known facts about the Trylle Trilogy.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Plague and Reviews

I don't think I would fare well in a zombie apocalypse. Although I am constantly thinking about how I should get guns and provisions (ala Michael Gross and Reba McEntire in Tremors), I don't think it would matter. I've been suffering from a stomach virus (henceforth to be known as "the plague") for the last few days, and I can barely get anything done. An form of actual antagonist would certainly do away with me without much effort on their part.

Anyway - I'm not blogging to talk about my imminent demise.

Here are few early reviews of Torn:
    "In Torn, Wendy is once again being pursued by the Vittra – a rival Kingdom. The story reveals why she is so sought after, what her true capabilities are, and the choice she is forced to make – between love and her duties as Princess to the Trylle. With a new love interest, a better understanding of her position in Trylle society, and a firmer grasp on her powers of persuasion, seventeen-year-old Wendy Everly has some difficult decisions to make – does she follow her heart, does she accept her responsibilities, or does she choose her own safety?" Read the rest of the review here, at Fiktshun
    "Torn is the stunning follow up to Switched. With the fast paced plot and romantic tension fans of this series will be far from disappointed. Their are gasping moments as Ms. Hocking throws readers some twist and turns that makes Torn intriguing and genuine."  Read the rest of the review here, at Nocturne Romance Reads. Brandi at Nocturne Romance Reads also reviewed Switched, which you can read: here.

The giveaway to win paperbacks of Switched, Torn, and My Blood Approves ends in a few days, so enter while you can: enter here.

Also, Switched will be on sale for $.99 for a few more days, at both Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Guest Post from Kait Nolan

Keeping The Faith

When Amanda approached me about guest blogging, I was mired in the depths of a deep, black pool of suck.  My words sucked.  My story sucked.  My job sucked.   My life sucked.  This is, of course, an exaggeration, but it felt really true at the time.  And you know, sometimes, when life has you down, you come across the right message at the right time.  In the midst of all the suck, I stumbled across a guest post at Adventures in Children’s Publishing written by Myra McEntire called Why You Gotta Believe.  I read it.  I cried.  Then I read it again.  Then I pulled myself, hand over hand, out of the mire of the suck because she reminded me of why it’s so, so important to keep the faith.

Writing is a tough business.  We all start out as starry-eyed dreamers with stories in our hearts that we simply have to share.   We scribble in secret, staying up nights, losing sleep, slaving over our opus.  And if we manage to stick it out all the way to The End—a feat many don’t survive—we finally get up the guts to show it to someone we care about, whose opinion we respect.  If we’re lucky we receive encouragement.  If we’re not we get a, “That’s a nice story, dear, now why don’t you see about getting a real job.”  One way or the other, if our passion prevails we move on to the next step.

And as we go along we learn that passion isn’t everything, that we’ve gotta devote time to honing our craft.  So we do that, bleeding a little as we carve up our little darlings, but ultimately joyful because it is in the best service of the story.  Then, as we step out there, clutching Our Precious to our metaphoric chest, we meet other writers, some who’ve been in the game longer, some who’re even greener than we are.  We start following agents and editors and other writers.  And pretty soon our starry-eyed dreams are starting to smoke a bit because they’re taking fire from all sides.

We hear story after story about the impossible odds of getting published.  Slush piles are taller than Everest.  Queries are written, rewritten, burned, written again.  Rejections keep coming in waves.  Everything’s derivative, nothing’s original, and everybody’s in search of the next Big Thing.  Even already published authors are being told by the powers that be, “Don’t quit your day job.”  Add to that the massive changes in the publishing structure that mean that the big houses are taking risks on fewer and fewer new authors, instead being more likely to pour resources into guaranteed payouts like Stephen King, Nora Roberts, and Stephanie Meyer. 
There are a million and one reasons to lose our faith along the publishing journey.  I started out this year with a bang, self-publishing my first novella, Forsaken By Shadow. Then my husband broke his leg and things began going downhill from there.  Everything I started, I fumbled through with fits and starts and massive life interruptions.  I was exhausted and overworked.  My focus was shot.  My outlines were crap.  My production was down.  Months rolled by and here I was in the last quarter of the year with only a bunch of failed and unfinished WIPs to show for it.  I had completely lost my confidence in the story I was writing, convinced that every word was manure.  To make matters worse, I took my eye off the ball and started obsessing about other indie authors, envying their successes and their lack of multiple jobs (I work two on top of family responsibilities and writing).  It left me bitter and frustrated and angry.

So when I stumbled across Myra’s post, it was exactly what I needed.  She reminded me of three very important lessons:

1.  My publishing journey is mine alone.  So there are other authors out there who are only working one job.  Still more who are fortunate enough to be able to do nothing but write.  Bully for them.  That’s not my path and the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.  I need to keep my eyes on my own goal, my own plan, and keep putting one foot in front of the other.  Maybe I’m the tortoise, but everybody knows who won that race.

2.  Have faith in the story.  The entire point of writing is to share the stories that move us, that speak to us.  If you don’t love your story, how can you expect anybody else to?  If you’ve fallen out of love with your WIP, go back to the beginning, take it on a date, apologize and see if you can’t figure out what went wrong.  Maybe you should take your WIP to your crit partner and have some WIP counseling.  Revisions are a beautiful and powerful thing.  Don’t be afraid of them.

3.  Have faith in yourself.  This is the most important one of all.  You have to believe that your path to publication—be it indie or traditional—is not just a possibility; you have to believe it will be a reality.  If you don’t believe in your dream, nobody else will either.
I gave myself an attitude adjustment, found my mojo.  And five days after being inspired by that post, I just wrote “The End” on my next release, Devil’s Eye.  It still needs some surgery, but I’ve got faith that you’ll be seeing it in December.

*          *          *

Kait Nolan is a writer of action-packed paranormal romance that features a fresh and inventive mythology.  No sparklay vamps here!  She can be found at her website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, MySpace, and Pots and Plots (her cooking blog). 

Her debut paranormal romance, Forsaken By Shadow, is available on  Amazon, Barnes and Noble,, Smashwords, Sony, Scribd, Amazon UK, Kobo, BooksOnBoard, Diesel, and SpringBrook Digital. It is available in audio from Crossroad Press, and SpringBrook Digital.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

So Many Things, So Little Time...

First off - don't forget to enter the big giveaway I have going on now. Enter: here.

Second - if you're interested in beta or ARCs for Torn, read: this.

Third - Switched is currently on sale for $.99 at both Amazon and Barnes & Noble for the next week. Also, the paperback is discounted 30% at Createspace if you use this code:  PUFRUS43

Fourth - I have a new tab of Witches of Honalee at the top. You might ask yourself, what is this? It's for my new series, and the first book Honalee comes out next month. Also, the cover is super sexy (from Phat Puppy Art.) So check that out.

Fifth - I love my readers. I really, really, really, really love you guys. You make everything possible. You're all awesome. I think I'm going to run some Reader's Appreciation thing early 2011. I don't know what yet. But rest assured, I'll try to make it as awesome as you guys are.

Sorry the blog is brief. I haven't slept yet, and my sleepiness is kicking in.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Torn - ARCs

With Torn's release imminent, I'm looking for people interested in advanced copies. Readers open to checking for mistakes, both grammatical and plot-wise, are encouraged to do so, but it's not necessary.

Are you interested in getting an ARC? Answer me these questions three-
  • Have you read and enjoyed Switched?
  • Do you read ecopies of books (either PDF, .doc, or some other electronic way)?
  • Do you have a review blog?
If you answered yes to those three questions, then I'd probably like to send you an ARC. If you're interested in a paperback ARC of Torn, I will be getting some out, but not for a few weeks.

So, if you're interested, let me know. Either leave you're my email or email me at: hocking_amanda@hotmail.com.

If you haven't read Switched, but you answered yes to the other two questions, let me know, and I'd probably enjoy if you reviewed an ARC of Switched.

I say "let me know" a lot. I hope you like me anyway.

Thanks in advance!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Kids Today

My friend had a baby in June, and she asked me to the godparent. I accepted, because I like her, and because there a lot of grandparents actively involved in said baby's life, so the odds of me having to raise the child ala Kate Hudson in Rasing Helen, or Ted Danson, Steve Guttenberg, and Tom Sellick in Three Men and a Baby, seemed unlikely.

Anyway, this will be Kaycee's first Christmas. (Kaycee is the baby). I've been trying to think of what to get her, and Kaycee's mom has frequently said that she didn't watch the normal kids movies when she was little. She hasn't seen most Disney movies, for example. And only vaguely knows what a Muppet is. And Kaycee really enjoys watching TV. She cries when the credits come up at the end of her Baby Einstein video.

So I decided to compile a list of my favorite movies from when I was a kid and get her them. Because of Disney's stupid vault where the only release certain movies at certain times, I won't be able to get her everything I'd like to. But at least Beauty and the Beast is out now.

So here's a list of my favorite non-Disney vault movies from my childhood:
-Dark Crystal
-Neverending Story
-Neverending Story 2
-Ewok: Caravan of Courage and Battle of Endor 
-Muppets Take Manhatten
-The Muppet Movie
-The Yellow Submarine

I was basically raised by Jim Henson.

Anyway - I was born in the 80's, and I picked my favorite movies that I watched when I was under the age of five. But I'm wondering if these are films for kids today. I'm sliding down on the cool scale and started to turn into that old guy has no idea what's hip anymore. (Do people say things are "hip" anymore?)

What I'm asking is for people who have children or know children, what do your kids watch? Would they like classic films like Labyrinth? Are there films I'm leaving off my list?

I watched an awful lot of fantasy as a kid. Is that normal? I also really liked dinosaurs. Maybe I'm not the best choice at picking at movies for a little girl.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Excerpt & Teaser

Don't forget to check out the big giveaway for paperbacks of Switched and Torn. - enter here. Also, Stacey Wallace Benefiel's giveaway is only going on until Friday, and she has a lot of great prizes there, so be sure to enter her giveaway!

Yesterday, I posted the new covers for the Trylle Trilogy. Thanks to your feedback, I made some changes to the font color to make it pop more. Hopefully it worked.

I also put an excerpt for Torn. You can read it: here. I decided to go with the second chapter because the first chapter kinda works as a bridge between the two books. I think the first chapter is necessary to the overall story, but there's more action in the second one. So there you have it.

Also, I posted a teaser two months ago from Torn. You can read that: here. I think I've changed some things grammatically from the teaser in the past two months, but it's otherwise intact.

What you don't know is that I had a character named "Ian" in Torn. In the first outline, he had.... a different role. Smaller. Then the character became larger, and I started thinking about how much I didn't like the name Ian. At least not in the context. It just felt too small and whiny.

But I didn't want to slow down working on the book, so I kept the name Ian and finished the book. I edited and thought about something different to call him, but I didn't find anything that was right.

Then today, when I have hardly any time left to fix and tweak things, it came to me. And I found the perfect name. Bells chimed. Angels sung. A halo glowed over the computer.

And now I'm content.

This always happens to me in crunch time. I changed the ending to Wisdom like two weeks before it came out. I reworked a chapter in Hollowland right before it came out, adding a whole new scene. Inspirition only hits when the a deadline looms.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

New Cover Art!

I'm having a big giveaway for the upcoming release of Torn. Be sure to check to check out the giveaway: here.

So as you may or may not know, I've had issues with my cover art for the Trylle Trilogy. For the first cover, I used my friend Jenna Petersen, who is a part time model and ultra hottie. That's the original cover for Switched. I like her. She's pretty. But the cover didn't feel magical enough.

I went on to talk to different cover artists. The first one did really amazing fantasy work, and while I totally loved her stuff, it didn't feel right for my books. 

The second cover artist I actually hired and paid for. His name is Ronnell Porter, and he does really fantastic covers. I actually don't have complaints about his work. He had a girl on the cover, and it ended up opening debates about Wendy looked like it.

So I finally decided to just make my own covers without a person on them. I purposely kept them similar to the My Blood Approves series, because I like themes. But I did a few things differently, and I tried to keep the Trylle Trilogy unique from the MBA books.

So... without further rambling.... here are the new covers:

Switched - Book #1

Torn - Book #2

Ascend - Book #3 (release date - early 2011)

So, what do you all think?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Trylle Trilogy & Giveaway

The second book in the Trylle Trilogy  - Torn - will be out in about two weeks*

(*I can't control when Amazon will finally publish the book to the site, so I'm not setting an exact release date. Torn will be available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and in paperback)

Tomorrow, I'm going to unveil the new covers for the entire trilogy, as well as start dropping some info and fun facts about Torn and the trilogy as a whole.

Today, I'm going to start a giveaway to help churn excitement for the release of Torn.

Starting today and ending November 14th at Midnight, I'm going to have a giveaway with three level of prizes.

Third place winner 
Signed paperback of Switched

Second place winner
Signed paperbacks of Switched and Torn

Grandprize winner
Signed paperbacks of Switched, Torn, and My Blood Approves

Here are the rules for the giveaway: 

1. To enter to win, comment on this blog. Be sure to leave your email address or a way to contact you if you win. To earn bonus entries:
  • +1 entry - follow this blog
  • +2 entry - if you're already following this blog
  • +1 entry - Tweet about it (provide link in comment)
  • +1 entry - Facebook it (provide link in comment

2. The giveaway runs from today on November 14th at Midnight. On November 15th, winners will be chosen by random.org and contacted. They have 72 hours to reply before the prize defaults to the runner-up.

3. This contest is open to both U.S. and international residents.