Friday, July 29, 2011

Someone Got CRUSHED: Book Review

Here is my first official review for Crushed.  It was on a blog called I Heart YA Books.  You should check it out.  Also, this is an interesting blog so you might want to stick around and look more over than just my book.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Lining Up Book Reviews For CRUSHED

When I sent out emails about Vampires Rule and asked for reviews, I only got twelve people wanting to do it.  This time, however, I have 37 and I don't think the replies are done coming in yet.  It must be because Vampires Rule has vampires in the title and people are sick of hearing about vampires.  Crushed is a very different sort of book.  It will be interesting to see how all of these book reviews effect sales.  I will keep you up to date on the situation as it unfolds.  :)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Book Signing in Joplin, MO

I just wanted to take a moment to post about my upcoming book signing for Crushed.  Yesterday I added the event to several online sites with this blog as a place for them to look up the details.  If you or someone you know lives in or close to Joplin, please come to the signing or let your friends nearby know about it.  Here are the details:

Place:  Vintage Stock at Northpark Mall
Time:  from noon till 4
Date:  Saturday, October 29th

There will be a drawing for prizes every fifteen minutes with a drawing for a free print copy of Vampires Rule as the last drawing.  My friend Kim is dressing up as a witch, and she will be in charge of the drawings.  I also have Kerry and Kelly helping.  Wow, that's a lot of K names, huh?

I will give a coupon code to Smashwords for a free digital copy of Vampires Rule to everyone who comes up to the table and talks to me.  No purchase necessary.  Hope to see you there.  :)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Thank You For Participating in the Crushed Giveaway

The winners have been chosen.  Thank you all for paricipating.  I hope you enjoy your books.  Please spread the word about Crushed.  I appreciate it.  :)

Friday, July 15, 2011

CRUSHED: Available Now

Here is the Amazon link for Crushed:

Here is the Smashwords link for Crushed:

It will be available in print in a couple of weeks, and I will put that link up then.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

This is Blanca, my cat

Look to your right.  See the Grab My Button sign?  That is Blanca, my sweet little baby.  Isn't she adorable?  Grab My Button and you can have your cute little face on your site too.  lol

BTW, I finally finished editing Crushed.  It is now available at Smashwords with Amazon next on my list.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Creating Sympathetic Characters

Nathan Bransford just put a post up a few days ago on sympathetic characters, and it got me to thinking.  It is ultra-important to have a character people can relate to, care for, and root for.  When I first wrote Crushed, I was told by more than one agent that the protagonist was not sympathetic, so I had to pick apart the character to figure out why.  Personally, I liked Kristen from the beginning.  She can come off as a bit of a b*tch, but she's also strong, competitive, and you never know what she's going to do next.  How could I make other people see her the way that I did?

I went back to the proverbial drawing board and dismantled popular characters from other books and from movies to see what made them so sympathetic.  Here is what I came up with:

1.  The Underdog:  People love to see a character rise from defeat to beat the stronger opponent.  Think about Rocky, David and Goliath, etc.  It doesn't matter if the protagonist is against a bigger person or a huge company, but it's important to have them outmatched in every way. 

2.  Character in Jeopardy:  Unless the person is truly horrible, we don't generally want to see them get hurt.  Putting the protagonist in danger from the beginning makes the story interesting and can give your character the sympathetic factor they need. 

3.  Hardship:  A protagonist with problems like ours helps us to relate to them.  For instance, maybe they are about to lose their house to foreclosure, or they just lost their job.  The trick here is to keep the character strong, persevering throughout.  If they whine, you will annoy the reader and make them want to see your character drown.  Think about Scarlett O'hara.  When she lost everything, she shook her fist at the sky and vowed she'd never go hungry again.  Even though she was a bit of a b*tch, we loved her determination and spunk.  Scarlett didn't whine when she didn't have a dress to wear.  She ripped the drapes off the window and made a dress.  You go, girl!

4.  The Protective Factor:  What if someone they care about is in danger?  A spouse?  A child?  We all know what it's like to worry for someone you love.  This helps make for a good, sympathetic character. 

5.  The Vulnerable Character:  There are some characters that you know can be easily hurt or squashed even.  We worry for them because they are too young to understand what they're getting into or too sweet and naive for their own good.  When I think about this category, I picture a child or a pregnant woman.  You automatically worry for them.

In the end, I decided to soften Kristen when it came to her sisters.  She would do anything for them.  When something bad happens to Cyndi at the beginning of the story, Kristen goes into protective mode.  I've had several people read Crushed and they agree that she is a better character.  Hopefully the public at large will also agree.  Happy writing!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Here is the Cover for CRUSHED

Well, I was going to put Werewolves Rule out next, but I have more rewriting to do, but Crushed just needed some light editing.  Crushed will be released soon.  Here is the cover:

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Reflective Writing

I was answering emails and it got me to thinking about how I respond to different people.  I do what I call 'reflective writing.'  This method can be used with agents, editors, etc.  Some people want to keep it strictly professional.  They want you to use their title with last name and others are okay with you calling them by their first name, so I let the other person set the restrictions on our correspondence. 

I always send a professional business query the first time, starting with Dear Mr. (insert name here) or Ms. (insert name).  My queries end with Sincerely and my full name.  Then I reflect back to them whatever style they choose to use.  For instance, I have had some emails that start with Hey, K.C. and end with Thanks or Best Wishes.  When I respond, I use their first name and end with the same closing.  Get it?

My agent at Trident was an extremely excited individual.  She used lost of exclamation points like Have a great day! or I loved the book!  So when I wrote to her, I would put stuff like Have a great weekend!

I feel kind of silly doing this, but it seems to work.  I've never had any complaints anyway.  One time I sat in on a business seminar, and the guy running things told us to do this in person with people.  If they are all business, you are all business.  If they call you by your first name and joke around with you, then it's okay to do it back (as long as they aren't your boss).  So I figured this would also work when writing to professionals.  Anyway, thought I'd share that with you.  Happy writing!