Sunday, January 31, 2010

Contest Winner!

I'm pleased to announce the random-draw-from-a-hat winner of my mega book give-away is Natalie Bahm She also has a fabulous writerly blog. I'll be sending out this enormous package in the mail as soon as I get your address Natalie.
This was so much FUN reading all your comments and title suggestions! Thank you everyone for joining in. And welcome to my new followers:
I'll be hosting more of these contests in the future (I buy waaay too many books) so please come back!
After much deliberation over all the awesome title suggestions, I am giving my work in progress the working title of ICE DOGS. You are all so totally creative with your suggestions.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I have an illustrator!

I've been lurking on your blogs this week, but sadly had little time to stay long. I'm neck-deep in revisions on DOGSLED DREAMS with my marvelous editor. Just a quick announcement today that I have an illustrator for my book - Willow Raven
Here is one of her fantastic book covers recently released by my publisher 4RV.

I am so thrilled - I think this is an awesome book cover! I'm also strangely nervous now. I can't wait to see what she'll create.
I'll be announcing the winner of my mega-book giveaway contest on January 31 and the working title of my latest WIP. A few more days to enter.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Featured at Edited to Within an Inch of My Life

Please join me in the conversation over at Heather Kelly's blog, Edited to within an inch of my life. She's asked me great interview questions and done an amazing job with all the links. I'm very lucky to be the Friday Feature.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Agent update

The agent that asked to see the full manuscript of my current young adult adventure, has responded. (my current is my second novel - my first being published in 2011.)

No, I do not have an agent...yet. But I will be venturing forth into a rewrite with an impressive list of things to fix. This is my first rewrite request so I'm slightly pumped about it.

I'm also pumped about some of these fabulous words of wisdom and thought I'd share:

  • Agent compared my ms. to some amazing books like - ISLAND OF THE BLUE DOLPHINS! (which was my favorite childhood book and I almost choked on my own tongue when I read that)

  • Agent said a certain plot twist was "sort of lame". How cool is an agent that will say "sort of lame" ? Awesome.

  • Agent says the setting in a book should be like another character. I have previously been light on description in favour of more action. Another lesson learned!
Between this rewrite and working on revisions with my fabulous editor, I'll be missing a few planned snowshoeing adventures in the near future. What sacrifices do you make for writing?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Indie-debut group interviewed - Write About Now

My uber-awesome group, Indie-debut, has been spotlighted on the fabulous, Sherrie Petersen's blog - Write About Now! She's managed to interview us all, with insightful questions that writers want to know. And she's somehow put it all together in a format that flows. What an honor to be on her blog.

To read what debut authors have to say about small presses - the benefits and the process, go check it out.

Part one here.

Part two here.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Dog Writers Association of America

To continue with my series of spotlights on the associations I'm involved in - today I'll discuss the Dog Writers Association of America.
The DWAA has an impressive membership list of dog writers, canine behavior specialists, veterinarians, trainers and dog lovers from across Canada and the States.
Benefits include:
  • a monthly newsletter (this is December's)
  • a forum where members can discuss doggy things and pass on tips for writing markets
  • a yearly conference
  • and their main event - the dog writing awards held each June. The categories include dog books, magazine articles, newspaper features and blogs or websites

Friday, January 15, 2010

Author Jo Ramsey

Fellow author Jo Ramsey ,from the rockin' Indie-debut group I belong to, is celebrating her debut book launch today! Connection is available as an e-book today and in print form on January 29. She will be on Book Bites for Kids Blogtalk Radio Friday January 15 at 2pm Central time.

I'm so excited for Jo! And here she is as my guest in my first author interview.

1. What's your book about?

Connection is about Shanna Bailey, a girl who's had a rough life. Her mother is abusive, her father mostly ignores her, and the kids at school constantly harass her. She's terrified of starting high school, but on her first day she meets Jonah Leighton, a junior who is also teased a lot. Despite that, Jonah's confident and friendly, and Shanna quickly discovers that he knows things that alter her entire perception of reality. It's the first of a 10-book series called Reality Shift.

2. Where can we buy it?

It's available from the publisher, Jupiter Gardens Press, at It's also available from, and can be ordered through any bookstore. We're working on having it stocked in bookstores in at least the Northeast, where I live.

3. What are you working on now?

I have a double life as a writer, so right now I'm working on something as my romance author alter ego. I'm also making sure the second Reality Shift book is ready to submit.

4. Any advice for writers trying to sell their manuscripts?

Take time to learn your craft before you consider submitting. Make sure you have a firm grasp on spelling, grammar, etc. Publishers have editors, but it's still the author's job to make sure their manuscript is the most polished it can be before it's sent off. Find a beta reader or critique partner, too; sometimes as authors we miss mistakes because we've looked at the thing way too many times. Another set of eyes is good.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Editing letter

My life as a poem.

I've started working on Dogsled Dreams with my awesome editor! Yeah!
Apparently I use "was" and "were" too much. Boo.

I sent a revised chapter today and already have it marked and returned! Yeah!
It is once again covered in little red marks. Boo.

I received a full manuscript request for book two from an agent! Yeah!
She wants me to add another 15,000 words. Boo.

Since I do have a day job - I'm envisioning long nights in my future. But I'm living my dream!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Deer thugs

Glorious skate skiing on the lake today. The dog and I had lots of company. Didn't bring the camera, but here's a few photos from last spring. That's the look of a deer demanding more apples be tossed out the window. Specifically apples, not those dried up carrots again either or "someone's gonna get a hurt real bad." ('scuse the shameless Russell Peters impression)

Tanzer decides to stay inside for a little while.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

100 reading challenge list

This is the post where I'll list my books as I read them.

1. hush, hush by Becca Fitzpatrick (YA)
2. Tilly's Tale by Harry Porter (MG)
3. Lemur Troops and Critter Groups by Rena Jones (PB)
4. Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry (MG)
5. The Marshal Plan for Novel Writing by Evan Marshall (NF)
6. Dynamic Characters by Nancy Kress (NF)
7. Need by Carrie Jones (YA)
8. Are You There God, It's Me Margaret by Judy Blume (MG)
9. Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney (MG)
10. Graceling by Kristin Cashore (YA)
11. Stone Fox by John Reynolds Gardiner (YA)
12. Fire by Kristin Cashore (YA)
13. Captivate by Carrie Jones (YA)
14. Puppies, Dogs, and Blue Northers by Gary Paulsen (NF)
15. The Iron King by Julie Kagawa (YA)
16. Percy Jackson & the Olympians, The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan (MG)
17. Writing for Children and Young Adults by Marion Crook (NF)
18. The Maze Runner by James Dashner (YA)
19. Hatchet by Gary Paulsen (MG)
20. Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass (NF)
21. The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan (YA)
22. Brian's Winter by Gary Paulsen (MG)
23. Percy Jackson, The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan (MG)
24. The Earth, My Butt, and other Big Round Things by Carolyn Mackler (YA)
25. Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore (YA)
26. Unwind by Neal Shusterman (YA)
27. The Island by Gary Paulsen (MG)
28. Shifter by Janice Hardy (MG)
29. Eternal by Cynthia Leitich Smith (YA)
30. Around the Rock, a Newfoundland Sea Kayak Journey by Ken Campbell (NF)
31. Uglies by Scott Westerfeld (YA)
32. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (listened on CD)
33. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster (MG)
34. I Am The Messenger by Markus Zusak (YA)
35. Pretties by Scott Westerfeld (YA)
36. The Dust of 100 Dogs by A.S. King (YA)
37. Take Joy by Jane Yolen (NF)
38. The Emerald Tablet by PJ Hoover (MG)
39. Specials by Scott Westerfeld (YA)
40. The Boy Who Spoke Dog by Clay Morgan (MG)
41. The Elephant Keeper by Christopher Nicholson (F)
42. Rampant by Diana Peterfreund (YA)
43. Linger by Maggie Stiefvater (YA)
44. The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa (YA)
45. My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George (MG)
46. Save the Cat! by Blake Snyder (NF)
47. Crafting Stories for Children by Nancy Lamb (NF)
48. The Fire in Fiction by Donald Maass (NF)
49. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (YA)
50. Listen by Stephanie S. Tolan (MG)
51. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (YA)
52. Lost and Found by Jacqueline Sheehan (F)
53. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher (YA)
54. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver (YA)
55. Buck Fever by Cynthia Chapman Willis (MG)
56. The Scorch Trials by James Dashner (YA)
57. Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick (YA)
58. Blue Fire by Janice Hardy (MG)
59. Enchanted Ivy by Sarah Beth Durst (YA)
60. Izzy and Lenore by Jon Katz (NF)
61. The Soul of a Dog by Jon Katz (NF)
62. Dog Gone by Cynthia Chapman Willis (MG)
63. Sea Change by Aimee Friedman (YA)
64. The Voyage of the Frog by Gary Paulsen (MG)
65. Virals by Kathy Reichs (YA)
66. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen (F)
67. Plain Kate by Erin Bow (YA)
68. Real Mermaids Don't Wear Toe Rings by Helene Boudreau (YA)
69. Ingo by Helen Dunmore (MG)
70. Nightshade by Andrea Cremer (YA)
71. Forgive my Fins by Tera Lynn Childs (YA)
72. A True and Faithful Narrative by Katherine Sturtevant (MG)
73. Sugar and Ice by Kate Messner (MG)
74. Novel Metamorphosis by Darcy Pattison (NF)
75. A Dog's Purpose by Bruce Cameron (F)
76. Matched by Ally Condie (YA)

Monday, January 4, 2010

Contests and awards

At shooting stars blog you can win one of three great prizes. Query critique, first five pages critique or a signed copy of Dark Devine! Go check it out.

Also, if you haven't yet, click on my January Book Giveaway contest icon on the sidebar to enter to win SIX books!

And finally, my Publisher 4RV has been nominated for several awards at the Preditors and Editors site. Small Presses need your support. Go vote!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Kidlit contest!

If you have a YA manuscript ready to go, check out this awesome contest over at Mary's kidlit blog where you could win a free critique.

Also, I felt the need to include this random photo of the toe sock convention that happened here on Christmas morning.