My Writing Process Blog Hop

Hi guys! The fabulous Valerie Cole has tagged me in the My Writing Process blog hop.

1) What am I working on?

A lot! I’m currently in between edits for my April 2015 release, PLAY ON. While waiting for the next round, I’m revising another YA Contemporary.

2) How does my work differ from others in its genre?

This is a toughie. I’d have to say it’s different because, well, they’re my stories. And these stories draw from my experiences and the way I see the world. For example, you’ll find bits and pieces of me scattered throughout PLAY ON. That’s the great thing about the world of books: all authors bring different life experiences to the page!

3) Why do I write what I do?

I write YA because there’s something magical about the teenage years (seriously. Go with me here.). Emotions are heightened, passions are intensified, the voices are louder and more distinct. There’s something about that first kiss, first love, and even that first heartbreak. I adore capturing those moments on the page.

4) How does my writing process work?

Every manuscript’s been different. Heck, each revision has been approached a different way. It’s kind of scary when you realize that a proven “routine” doesn’t work for the next manuscript, but hey, it keeps things interesting. The one thing that remains the same is where it all goes down.



Where the magic happens! The only thing missing is my actual laptop. I’m giving the poor thing a breather for a few days.

Who’s up next?

I’m going against the tagging norm, but a group of awesome ladies are up next–and you can find all their answers in one place! Look for the post next week on the Revision Warriors blog.

Cheryl A. Ham

Hi! I’m Cheryl. I write YA Fantasy and am in love with all things SpecFic. Stories that combine speculative elements with lyrical prose blow my mind. Hello, Maggie Stiefvater, Laini Taylor, and Leigh Bardugo, I’m looking at you.

Random facts: I’m a dog lover and have two fur babies, Zeke and Ollie. Coffee fuels my soul–chocolate soothes it. I hate the cold (read: New England winters), but holy crap do I love ALL THINGS Christmas. I love wine and martinis. I’m an audiobook addict, enthusiastic sleeper, and lover of warm weather, socks, and cozy blankets.

Diane Bohannan

Hi! I’m Diane and I absolutely love to write. I can’t imagine not doing it. In the last two years, I’ve gotten serious about writing, rolled up my sleeves, joined critique groups, and visited conferences to hone my craft. I’m hoping to query my YA fantasy next year! Some of my favorite craft books are Plot versus Character, Revision and Self-Editing for Publication, and The First 50 Pages. Books that make me fall in love with words even more are: Cinder, Shadow and Bone, The Maze Runner, and Divergent.

Marlana Antifit

Hello! I’m Marlana. My non-stop imagination concerned family and friends until I began jotting down my made-up worlds, added some pretend friends and called myself a writer. I read a vast variety of genres but for creating, I lean toward science fiction and fantasy for MG/YA.

I’m a member of the Society of Children Book Writers and Illustrators aka ScaBeeWee. My writing heroes include JK Rowling, Dan Brown, Sidney Sheldon, Robin Cook, Beth Revis, James Patterson, Veronica Roth, Suzanne Collins and Stephen King. I also find inspiration from movies and television. If you look up sci-fi geek, you just might see my picture.

Rina Heisel

Hello! I’m Rina. I write middle grade novels, and more often than not, something furry or fantastical works its way into way into my pages.  I’ve been crazy for middle grade since those early reading years, when books like To Kill a Mockingbird and Julie of the Wolves delivered whole new worlds right to my cozy reading couch. Books like Ender’s Game, Watership Down, and the ghost stories of Mary Downing Hahn and Betty Ren Wright were like rocket fuel to my imagination and made me want to write! I’m currently represented by the amazing Danielle M. Smith of Red Fox Literary and trying to make my publishing dreams a reality. I’m also a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.



Thanksgiving Blog Hop – Day 3

Today, I’m thankful for Twilight.

Yes. Twilight.

During my college years, my interest in reading dropped to a non-existent level. I was just inundated with coursework, as well as job responsibilities. What did it take to rekindle that love for books? Well, first of all, it began with a little newborn who kept me up at all hours of the night. Next, it was a movie that played on Showtime in the wee hours of the morning.

Now, I’d heard about these “sparkly vamp” books, but did I take them seriously? Pfft. Yeah right. But when I saw the movie, all cheese aside, I was drawn into the crazy world of Team Edward vs. Team Jacob. So, I bought the books.

And I devoured them.

Ultimately, the Twilight series is what got me back into reading. And thanks to that, my passion for writing was soon discovered, and I haven’t turned back since. So yes, I owe a heck of a lot to Stephenie Meyer and her sparkly vamps and shirtless wolfpack.

Crazy? Maybe. Do I care?

Thanksgiving Blog Hop – Day 2

With today being Veterans Day here in the States, and a few days post-election, I’m so very thankful for our freedom. Even with its downfalls, I’m proud to live in a country in which our voices are heard. And to those who fight for that freedom, there are no words to describe my appreciation for all that you do.

Thank you.

Thanksgiving Blog Hop – Day One

Hi guys! Today has been rather…tough, to say the least. So, what better day than today to reflect on the MANY things I’m so very grateful for? Brenda Drake has come up with this fantastic idea: for the days leading up to Thanksgiving, post a little something (pictures, snippets, etc) of things that make our lives awesome.

Today, I’m grateful that I’m here in the first place. This year was rough for me, and frankly, I almost didn’t make it through the spring (explanation here). BUT, thanks to God, an amazing family, incredible friends, and modern medicine, I’m still here. Can’t beat that, right? 🙂

If you’d like to participate in the blog hop, head on over to Brenda’s blog and sign up!

Buccaneer Blogfest – A Rec for Ya

Good morning you guys! I’ve had my coffee and Little Einsteins is currently playing in the background. Needless to say, I’m pretty peppy this morning.

Today’s topic: a book recommendation. I love this, because although I usually stick to book recs on Wordy Wednesday, I can’t possibly review all of them. So, today I get an extra chance. Woot!

Err, disregard the creepy thumb.

“A million ways to die. One way to live.”

UNDER THE NEVER SKY introduces us to Aria, a girl that lives in an enclosed city known as Reverie. After being blamed for an incident that nearly destroys their perfect city, Aria is exiled into the outside world, where she’s meant to die. Instead of meeting her death, she runs into an “outsider,” or as Aria sees him, a savage. Naturally, Perry has a story of his own. He’s on a mission to save his young nephew, who has been kidnapped by the very people that cast Aria from the only existence she’s ever known. Aria quickly realizes that her only chance of survival is sticking with a guy that both frightens and disgusts her from the get-go. Of course, there’s always more than what meets the eye.

As strange as it may sound, one thing that marks a good book for me is the quotes I’m able to take away from it. Some books simply tell us a story; other books draw us into a world that keeps us captivated from page-to-page. One of my favorite quotes is found in Perry’s POV:

She looked up. “A world of nevers under a never sky.”
She fit in well then, he thought. A girl who never shut up.

Harsh? Eh…wait until you read the story. You’ll see what he means. LOL That said, I do love Aria. And Perry makes my heart happy. It’s definitely worth the read!

Buccaneer Blogfest – I’m Supposed to Pick a Favorite?!

Today’s topic is “favorite authors.” Well. Do y’all have all day for me to rattle them off?

I have so many authors that I adore and admire, and each for different reasons. Just to name a few: JK Rowling, Maggie Stiefvater, John Green, Stephen King, and, most recently, Josephine Angelini. Here’s a little reasoning behind each of them:

JK Rowling: Harry. Freakin. Potter. Do I need to say more? Yes? Okay, then. Rowling created this utterly amazing world of magic and love and friendship and loyalty and self-discovery. Harry Potter isn’t just a book or movie series. There are so many lessons in each and every book/movie that can be applied to daily life.

Maggie Stiefvater: One word for you: Prose. This woman is a master of perfect prose. I fell in love with Maggie’s writing the first time I read Shiver, and I’ve been a fan of hers ever since.

John Green: His books are written in a way that sort of baffles me, but in a good way. He has this uncanny ability to attach you to his characters before you even realize it. Before long, you’re laughing and crying right along with them. Also? Vlog Brothers. You’re welcome. And don’t forget to be awesome.

Stephen King: The master of the thriller. I was introduced to him as a kid when I watched the movies based on his books. The Shining, IT, Cujo, Carrie, Pet Sematary – all of these gave me an appreciation for a good scare. And yes, I watched them as a child. Once I got older, I fell in love with the books, as well. He’s just a legend. That’s all there is to it.

Josephine Angelini: I just recently discovered her Starcrossed series, and I was hooked from the beginning. I have the utmost admiration for someone that can take something as complex as Greek mythology, and twist it into a modern-day story in which I immediately love the characters. She pairs great writing with an intriguing storyline, swoony boys, and an awesome heroine. What more can you ask for?

Buccaneer Blogfest: Books, Books, Everywhere!

Well, it’s Monday once again. This Monday is already going better than last week’s, so let’s hope it stays that way. Dear Monday: Let’s be friends, ‘kay?

Today’s Buccaneer Blogfest topic is about what I’m currently reading, and what’s on my bookshelf. I wish I could tell you I was reading something, but alas, I’m not. This book is next on my to-read list, though:

From its Goodreads blurb: Courtesy of watching his mom’s relationships, Sebastian Hawkins knows what girls need to do to get a guy. He has what he considers a PHD in hooking up. When he needs extra cash for a car, Sebastian starts up an online venture as The Hook-up Doctor, to anonymously help girls land the guy of their dreams. Of course, his services don’t offer a happily-ever-after guarantee. He’s seen firsthand getting together never means staying together.

And then he falls in love…

With the last girl he would expect…

Totally not in his game plan.

Suddenly, Sebastian finds himself muddled in the game he’s always prided himself on. He can’t even pick up girls at parties anymore! Why would anyone want to be in love when it turns you into a stuttering, screwed-up, mess with really lame stalker tendencies? Stalking? Totally not his gig.

But the Hook-up Doctor won’t let himself go down easily. He’s always known how to give a girl what she wants and now it’s time to figure out what a boy wants… and he definitely plans on getting it.

Now, what’s on my bookshelf, you ask? I’m in the process of rearranging my shelves, thanks to my dear husband who bought me a brand-spankin-new bookshelf for my birthday. He knows the way to this girl’s heart. Here’s a snapshot of how my books are currently arranged:

There’s clearly a lot more work to be done in that department. 🙂 Most of my books are in piles on the floor beside the bookshelf, waiting for their turn to be placed. I’m still trying to come up with an organizational method…suggestions? What works for you guys?