I know I'm not a book blogger or anything but I loved so much Pretty Amy, a contemporary YA novel, I wanted to participate at this cover reveal. Moreovere, the cover is just gorgeous!
Maybe you didn't read Pretty Amy but if you want a young-adult novel where the characters sound true, where the mistakes and flaws are not smoothed and you just want to discover an author I'm sure you'll want to read her next novels, give it a shot. I don't think you'll be disappointed.
That being said, I've got an awesome news for you if you want to be published. Yes, you read right PUBLISHED!
Lisa is hosting an EPIC CONTEST to celebrate DEAR CASSIE’ s cover reveal. Lisa wants you guys to share diary entries of your favorite fictional characters with me. That’s right, choose ANY character from books, TV, movies, a cereal box and write a 500-750 length diary entry from their point of view.
We will choose the top 5 and then let the masses vote on their favorite. The favorite will be published in the final version of DEAR CASSIE. You read that right, published with the author’s name! The additional four will win $20 book buying gift cards.
Lisa Burstein is a tea seller by day and a writer by night. She received her MFA in Fiction from the Inland Northwest Center for Writers at Eastern Washington University. She lives in Portland, OR, with her very patient husband, a neurotic dog and two cats. Dear Cassie is her second novel.
DEAR CASSIE official Blurb:
What if the last place you should fall in love is the first place that you do?
You’d think getting sent to Turning Pines Wilderness Camp for a month-long rehabilitation “retreat” and being forced to re-live it in this journal would be the worst thing that’s ever happened to me.
You’d be wrong.
There’s the reason I was sent to Turning Pines in the first place: I got arrested. On prom night. With my two best friends, who I haven’t talked to since and probably never will again. And then there’s the real reason I was sent here. The thing I can’t talk about with the guy I can’t even think about.
What if the moment you’ve closed yourself off is the moment you start to break open?
But there’s this guy here. Ben. And the more I swear he won’t—he can’t—the deeper under my skin he’s getting. After the thing that happened, I promised I’d never fall for another boy’s lies.
And yet I can’t help but wonder…what if?
DEAR CASSIE excerpt:
We kept walking on the lake trail, the bullfrogs croaking. There was also a humming in my ears from the nicotine.
It could only be from the nicotine. It had nothing to do with being outside, at night, alone with Ben. It had nothing to do with Ben coming to the cabin and taking me instead of Nez and it definitely had nothing to do with the stars above us shining like they were the sky’s tiara.
I stopped on the trail and looked up, taking them in, when all of a sudden bright colored lights exploded in the sky—fireworks, one after another, on top of each other, huge kaleidoscopes of light, like sparkling rainbow spiders.
“How did you know?” I asked, my voice going softer, like if I talked too loudly they would stop. It was so beautiful, after weeks of so much ugly.
Ben turned to look at me, the colored lights in the sky turning his skin pink, blue, green. “I’m magic.” He shrugged.
I geared up to tell him to fuck off, because that was some corny-ass shit, but then I realized that he really kind of was. In that moment he was able to actually make me forget being me.
“I would try to kiss you,” he said, “but I’m afraid you’d kick me in the balls.”
“I probably would.” I laughed, the sky filling with noisy color like paint launching from a giant popcorn popper. “But like I said, it wouldn’t be about you.”
“I guess I’ll have to figure out how to make it about me,” he said, taking off his boots and socks and standing. “Come on.”
“There is no way I am getting near that water again,” I said.
“I’ll make sure nothing happens to you,” he said, holding his hand out to help me up.
I looked at his palm, open, waiting, just wanting to hold mine. For once, I didn’t think about anything except that there was a cute, sweet, smart-ass boy standing in front of me with his hand out.
I pulled off my boots and socks and took it.
We stood at the lakeshore, our hands still clasped, the water licking our feet, fireworks decorating the sky.
I turned to him. He was looking up, his mouth open in wonder like he was trying to swallow the moment.
The first novel I wrote last year entitled By My Side will be published by Anchor Group Publishing!!!
Yeah, I know, I'm quite excited because it's a dream I had and never thought it'd be possible.
It's way too soon to have a release date but I can already tell you it should be out in 2013. ;)
I won't tell you much about it right now because I love to keep some mysteries for later, but By My Side is a Young-Adult Contemporary Romance where the main characters have some issues to deal with. I can't help it, I love to write some drama. ;)
Writing 50 000 words in a month seems impossible, but with the NaNoWriMo nothing is impossible!
I had a consuming idea for a New-Adult contemporary romance and I wanted to boost my word count and finish the first draft before December. I needed this story to have a break from my series The Players after I wrote the first installment.
So, here I am with a little over 35k words written in November and I'm really delighted. First of all, I'm deeply in love with my main characters and I can't think about anything else. They move me and it's a pleasure to write their story. Second of all, I really hate the "bad guy" in this story which means that I'm not doing a crappy job writing scenes with this guy.
I'll have tons of work to do on this first draft that'll count between 70k and 85k, but I'm delighted to know that I can write fast a story about a tough issue.
And you, are you a participant of the NaNoWriMo? Let me know how it's going on for you.
You can find me on the NaNoWriMo website, so if you want to add me to your buddies list, feel free!
You know this moment when your novel is written, you did the first round of edits and then you look at all those pages and can't find what to do more by yourself?
It's what I feel right now. I'm French and even if I know my english is not that bad, I don't have the american slang that could make the difference. I need to improve my novel, my writing style and see if there are plot holes in my novel. But now, I can't do it all by myself.
So here I am, looking everywhere for beta readers and/or crit partners for Mixed Up Feelings.
If you have some experience in beta reading or as a crit partner it's even better but I'd be delighted to talk with you a little no matter what if you are interested to help me with my novel.
You can contact me by email stephanie.witter.author (at) gmail (dot) com
I don't know how it works for you, but I need some music when I write. It always helps me to be in the good mood, to have some rhythm for a scene and to just feel what I'm writing. I can't function without music.
So, I don't know if you want to know a part of my playlist - not all because there're 138 songs in it - for when I wrote Mixed Up Feelings but I want to share it with you.
* Crash by Sum 41
* Never Let You Go by Third Eye Blind
* Longest Night by Howie Day
* Collide by Howie Day
* Best Of You by Foo Fighters
* Boys Don't Cry by The Cure
* Should I Stay Or Should I Go by The Clash
* The Truth by Good Charlotte
* I Saw by Matt Nathanson
* By Your Side by Tenth Avenue North
* We Are Young by Fun.
* SING by My Chemical Romance
* Cancer by My Chemical Romance
* Just The Way I'm Not by All Time Low
* Sick Little Games by All Time Low
* I Hate Everything About You by Three Days Grace
* Last Kiss Goodbye by Hinder
That's all for now. Otherwise, there're also some Jeff Buckley's songs, Civil Wars' songs, Saving Abel's Green Day's, Muse's and so on. According to deezer, my playlist is 8 hours and 49 minutes long.
I'd love to know what you're listenning when you're writing.
Today, I'm about to write the last chapter of Mixed Up Feelings. It's exhilirating and also a little frightening. I'm about to finish the first draft which is a big step, but now I've got to edit several times my novel before anybody can read it. And I'm sure I'm going to want to kill my characters in revenge just because I'm aware of the huge amount of work there is awaiting me.
Don't get me wrong, it's wonderful to be at this step, but it's also stressful. I'm afraid to be disappointed by this first draft, I'm afraid to not recognize the story that was only in my head. So, to put it in a few words, I'm a nervous wreck even when I should only celebrate this big step.
On my schedule, I'm going to write this last chapter and then read the first chapter of the novel because I never read it after I wrote it. I already know that I have to rewrite several parts of this one but it's something I was planning from the begining. After that, I think I'll wait a little, have a little break for my come back at work and begin to seriously torture my first draft.
And you, have you so mixed up feelings when you're about to finish a first draft? Are you also relentless and yet a little sad to put an end to your characters' story?
You must be wondering where this comes from but it's something I was wondering earlier today when I had to write a really difficult scene that takes place in a hospital and somehow, I began to cry in front of my computer's screen! Just like that.
At least, it means that I'm really involved in my story but seriously, isn't a little too much?
And now that I'm about to finish this chapter - the fourteenth - I'm all delighted by the drama that's quite more important than I previously planned. I'm all smile and I even laughed when I finished to write this difficult scene and read it to be sure it's working.
So, I'm a freak or we're all losing it when we write. Just kidding.
Fortunately, nobody witness my mood swings but it's even hard for me to follow sometimes, so imagine for somebody else.
In fact, I think I tend to open up for all kind of emotions and feelings when I write just to be able to put it in my writing for it to sound ''real'' or at the least for it to not suck too much.
On another note, I'm almost at 70k words! Right now I love all my characters, I'm proud of my writing day that's not too bad for once and I can't wait to finish this first draft. Then I'll be able to really tell you what it's all about and even post a couple of teasers for you to meet Alexane, Zack and Az for starter.
Today, I listened to Saving Abel to help me to focus on my writing and it helped. I'll post soon my playlist for Mixed Up Feelings.
I don't know if you often read advices from published authors (indie authors and traditional authors) but there's often one thing that comes back each and every time. READ.
Before I didn't understand this. I mean, I'm an eager reader and can't stay away from a novel even if my life was at stake, but I couldn't see how it could help somebody in the crazy adventure of writing a book. But now I understand.
Granted, I'm not sure to ever be able to publish anything, but I do write and I'm facing hard times like everybody who wants to write. One days, words are flowing and it's just AWESOME. Other days, not so much.
Let's take yesterday. I painfully wrote 500 words. 500 words! It's ridiculous and it was really hard just to write one simple sentence. I was angry at myself and decided to just pick a book and read to change my mind. And today, just like that, after I read a heartbreaking and bittersweet novel I wrote 1000 words in no time.
In fact, reading helps me to remember why I want so much to write and why I need it. It's a roller coaster and that's probably why I like it so much. Reading makes me dream, makes me want to share stories with other people.
But reading is also a tool to understand what works and doesn't work in a novel. How can we expect to write something just like that without research on the genre you decide to write or the age you're targetting? I don't think it's possible.
So, yes sometimes it's good to take a step away from your computer and just read a good book. Then, this urge to ''see'' your characters is there once again and you won't budge from your screen.
If you're having a hard time with your writing, share it with me. We can probably bitch together. ;)
Writing is difficult. I know, it's not the discovery of the century but it is a fact that I begin to understand more and more.
Writing about feelings is so difficult that I always doubt myself. You can show how your characters are suffering all you want but if your readers - yeah, in fact I think about potential readers in the future if I'm being lucky - don't feel or identify themselves to your characters, it means that your story is just a succession of words. That's the most difficult part for me.
While I find descriptions quite easy and fun to write, true feelings like angryness, sadness, hurt, happyness, excitement, lust or doubt are hard to show in words. It's like it's often too much or too little while in fact, I don't know yet if it's any good or not. Being the only judge is a nightmare sometimes.
But don't get me wrong, I love to write. Yesterday I was so lost in my chapter twelve that I didn't see the time flowing by. I wanted to feel what my main characters' doubts feel like. But was it a success?
I don't know because I never go back to read what I just wrote. I want to wait the finishing point of the first draft to go back and read all the novel and begin to see how awful it really is. It prevents me of any procrastination. I'm eager to read the novel in its complete form and it boosts me quite well.
And you, what is the most difficult thing for you when you write a novel or a short story? Tell me everything!
Good news for me. I'm finished with the eleventh chapter of my novel! I thought this day would never come.
This chapter is not the longgest one, but is some sort of turning point. Now my main character is facing some things she'd rather ignore. It's not that easy for her!
So now, I have to keep the same intensity for the chapter twelve. I'm not afraid for the first quarter of the chapter, but later I wonder if things won't be a little too... too much considering the light tone of the story. Fortunately, first drafts are made to make mistakes. Nothing is permanent.