Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Another round of Elevensies book giveaway

I'm joining a blog hop for the Splash into Summer book giveaway. Hosted by I am a Reader, Not a Writer. There are almost 300 blogs participating, so click on some linkage.

This contest will be posted for one week. SIX Winners announced on June 1, 2011

Now, onto the BOOKS!! All books by my fabulous debut author group THE ELEVENSIES. Go check us out. Great reads for everyone.

My Mini Reviews:

OyMG by Amy Dominy
One of my favourite reads of the year. LOVED these characters, especially Ellie. What a fantastic role model. Amy Fellner Dominy is a master of naturally flowing dialogue. Made me want to stand up and fist pump. Now I have a sudden urge to make matzo ball soup. Oy.

Moonglass by Jessi Kirby
GORGEOUS! Not only is the cover stunningly beautiful, but the writing is as well. Almost every page I found myself saying, "isn't that true!" I had to keep reading to see what Anna would do next. Smart and quiet in all the right places.

Clarity by Kim Harrington
Loved the setting! Loved the main character's witty thoughts. Loved the mystery, suspense, romance, ALL of it!

Memento Nora by Angie Smibert
A fascinating and scary look at the future. Slick and fast paced dystopian. Confession: I have a slight crush on Micah.

Zachary Ruthless by Allan Woodrow
hilariously creative ways to be evil - Zachary Ruthless and his henchman are super fun.

The Lipstick Laws by Amy Holder
A light and fun read. The voice of the protagonist grabbed me right away. HILARIOUS!


1. Fill out the form HERE. And tell me which book you most desire.
2. I would love it if you clicked my follow button, but not required.
3. I would love it if you checked out my own book DOGSLED DREAMS, but not required.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Best of the SCBWI conference Canada East

I'm still in mourning that the conference is OVER. What a weekend! With only 45 seats available, there was a casual, intimate vibe that I just loved! The whole thing ran smoothly thanks to the super-human efforts of the organizer Jackie Paynaert. This woman is vivacious, hilarity and you should go check out her blog right now!

Only thing I regret - why, WHY do I always forget to take PHOTOS at these events? Sorry, I got nothing. But I feel strongly blog posts must have photos so here is a random shot of my man on our expedition last year.

So, here's the Cole's notes version of some of the brillance that resonated with me at the conference:

Terri Farley - author of the Stallion series
on why we write
  • "we can help kids feel lke they have a part in the world"
  • "families aren't perfect. Books show kids that's normal"
  • Mine your own childhood for horror - "crawl back into the skin of the child that you were - there are plenty of lessons there"
  • our job as story tellers is to "hold back the darkness for kids."
Veronica Rossi - author of the upcoming series the Never Sky
on high concept
  • write the back flap of the book first. This keeps you focused on what the heart of the story is.
  • make a list of ten things that could happen to your character. Avoid the first three. The last two ideas are probably the best
  • high concept = a short log line
template for log line

After (inciting incident) a (character description) must (primary action) or risk (stakes) in order to (end goal)

Sydney Salter - author of My Big Nose and Other Natural Disasters
on writing believable characters
  • "take time to let the characters reflect after a dramatic event before going to the next plot point. It will add weight to the story. A pause alerts the reader that they've changed."
  • "Let the character return to a place where something important happened and reflect how they see things differently now."     LOVE THIS
  • TIPS - read Teen magazines: answer the quiz as your character to get to know her. Study the body language in the sections "is he into you?". Read the excerpts of most embarrasing moments - can make interesting back story for your secondary characters.

edit: stole this photo from Sydney's facebook post.

Faculty, left to right - Veronica Rossi, Terri Farley, Hillary Vandusen, Josh Adams, Sydney Salter, Fran Cannon Slayton

ALSO, here's my signed loot I brought home!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Off to the conference!

I'll be back next week with the goods on the SCBWI Canada East writing conference in Niagra Falls. I'm SOOO excited to be meeting and talking to real live writers!

A whole weekend surrounded by people who understand:
  •  the amount of brownies required when one goes out on submission
  •  the obsessive compulsion to check emails 59 times per day
  •  the need to write down that brilliant epiphany at 2:30 am for the scene you've been struggling with
  •  the surreptitious use of a notebook while driving your teenager and her friends to a party
Yay for writing conferences!

Okay, and I simply must post this hilarious bit of talking dog.