Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Backspace Lesson #5: Bringing it all Home

I've spent the month of June walking you through pieces of my conference experience. By now, you know I had a great time (hello, understatement), but now it's time to wrap it up.

At the end of the May 2011 Backspace Conference, I hugged a lot of great, new friends, exchanged tons of cards, and promised to stay in touch. But beyond that, I promised myself to bring it all home. The lessons, the tips, the tricks, the details, the BOOKS, just everything, and apply it to my writing.

So, what did I do?

I pulled out my much-loved MS and a blank Word doc and started a rewrite. At about 25,000 words, here are the biggest changes.

1. Destroy the backstory/flashbacks. (SO tough!)
2. Start the story where the story begins.
3. Tone down the description. Be concise.
4. Make my MS more likeable. Snarky's great until it steps over the line to annoying/depressing.
5. Cut some of the extra characters. As Mr. King writes, kill your darlings.
6. Tension on every page (thank you, Mr. Maass)

I'm enjoying the first draft process and learning that, yes, I'll be able to do it again after this first book. That's an encouraging feeling and something I was really wondering about before the conference.

If you've felt the conferencing itch, there's a condensed Backspace Conference in November. All agents. 100 writers. Two query workshops and two first pages workshops with panel discussions sprinkled in. I'm still on the fence, but the early bird rate runs until the end of August.

Thanks for letting me share some of my conference fun. I'd love to hear your stories too!


Monday, June 27, 2011

100 Words for Bad Teacher, and Praise for The Lion King!

Welcome to Monday, everyone! This week's going to be fabulous. I just know it. :)

And it all starts with a quick review of Bad Teacher.

Oh, Cameron Diaz, you’re lovely. Really. Except when you’re a drinking, drugging, cheating, gold digging teacher who thinks her breasts aren’t perfect enough.
I don’t walk into a rated R comedy expecting the perfection of Inception (LOVE that movie), so I ignored the critics. Diaz plays her Miss Halsey too well. Timberlake and Lucy Punch made me cringe-laugh with their tooth rotting sweetness, and Jason Segel? Well, I rooted for and against him the entire time.
There’s zero to like about Diaz’s character, but if you’re looking for a laugh, check this movie out when it comes to DVD.

As you probably gathered, Bad Teacher wasn't the highlight of my weekend. I had the pleasure of seeing The Lion King performed on stage here in Dayton, Ohio.

Holy hot dog!

Amazing. Inspiring. The sun rose on Elton John and Tim Rice's Circle of Life, and my heart sped up. It was emotion like I haven't felt in ages. If you get the chance to see this, you won't regret it. Your kids will enjoy it. Your parents will too. The Pridelands come to life with giraffes, cheetahs, lions, and a farting warthog I want to cuddle, Elmyra Duff style.

We're in the final stretch of June 2011. For all of you teachers out there, think of me between the hours of seven and four each weekday while you relax into your summer break. :)


Friday, June 24, 2011

Going Green! Jealousy isn't always a Bad Thing

So, I'm jealous.

Guess why by checking out this post on Suzie Townsend's blog and this post at Janet Reid's blog which, by the way, is all about Suzie Townsend. If somehow Ms. Townsend is reading this, let the warm and fuzzies fill you up, ma'am, because I'm as green as the foliage (yes, I said foliage) in your lovely pics of New Zealand. What can I say? I love me some cheetahs!

How about another one?

I'm super jealous of the amazing storytelling in this post by the always entertaining Rejectionist. Though I'm only a lurker on her blog due to my lack of Clever (hey, honesty's the best policy), I wait anxiously for her posts on all things Life.


Hmm...well, someone at the May Backspace conference signed with an agent. I don't know who it was, but I'm crazy jealous. That person is fantastic, and if it's anyone following the Cheetah, TELL US so we can let our green-eyed monsters shine like the Vegas strip. :)

Jealousy gets a bit of a bad rap, I think. Sarcasm too. But both can be used for Good instead of Evil. Being jealous is another way to tell someone they're awesome. Sounds weird? Maybe, but hear me out. That now-agented author worked his/her butt off to write the best book imaginable, and I want nothing more than to, well, work my butt off to write the best book imaginable! I can congratulate someone else and encourage myself at the same time.

We're all in it together, people! Tell someone they're amazing. Go on. I'll wait.

Now that you're back, check out Crits for Water as it winds down. Katharine's raised over $6,400 (!!!!) for her charity. That's spectacular. No, it's BEYOND spectacular! But there's still time for more. ;)

What are your thoughts on Jealousy? How often does it come up in your writing? I'd love to hear from you!


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Backspace Lesson #4: Read, read, read. Then read some more!

The query letter workshop was an eye opener. Not so much from the 'what the heck's wrong with my query' perspective, but more from seeing the agent's reactions to the twelve queries in our YA group. Some were met with nods or head tilts or questions, others with requests for pages and one 'wow, this is hot.'

Go Koreen! ;)

We had the pleasure of sitting in a group with Kathleen Ortiz and Roseanne Wells, who were both amazing and so wonderfully honest. And I noticed that with each query, they recommended similar-sounding books for the author to read. They wanted to see a couple comparison books in the body of the query. And there were so many excellent examples from The Hunger Games of what to definitely do that I lost count. Ahh, I love me some Peeta.


My point (yes, I have one!) is that agents are reading, editors are reading, published authors are reading. Everyone is reading all the time, and it would be ludicrous for aspiring authors to get in a mode where we cut out our own reading. Read in the genre you write. Read outside the genre you write. Read books that sound so-not-for-you, and read the ones for which you're counting down the seconds (I'm looking at you, Original Sin). I try to get in a few chapters during my lunch hour, and when the book gets amazing, I'll bring it home and read a few more before I fall asleep.

By the way, this is the craziest thing in the world to do, because you don't want to stop. So, of course, you keep reading, and then it's midnight, and you say to yourself 'just one more chapter.' Yeah, how often do you read six or, you know, just finish the book? That's not just me, right? :)

Write like you're possessed, but read the same way. Set goals. Stick to them. And give every book three chapters before you give up. That's only fair, right?

Happy reading!


Monday, June 20, 2011

Green Lantern. Praising the narrator and tighty whities in 100 words!

The movie opens with back story explaining the existence of three thousand (plus) alien races and their Green Lanterns, super beings who wield the power of Will.
Which is green.
Ryan Reynolds plays Hal Jordan, a womanizing pilot with leftover trauma from his father’s death and who looks amazing in white boxer briefs. Jordan becomes a Green Lantern, bad things happen, and he’s forced to save Earth in a shining, skintight suit.
Which is green.
Geoffrey Rush’s narration lulls us into extraterrestrial dreamland, and I’m not a jewelry girl, but I’d accept one of those rings.
Which is…you know. ;)

That's it! We're in the countdown to summer, everyone, at least in my neck of the woods. Temperatures are scorching, but the rain's hanging around. Get ready for July. It's right around the corner!

Oh, and Crits for Water goes to the end of this month. Check it out for some last minute author and agent critiques and to give clean water to those who need it!


Friday, June 17, 2011

Fangirling isn't bad!

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (part 2) tickets are now available through Fandango.

Yes, I am a fangirl. I'm proud of my fangirlness. :) I also enjoying making up words!

Who else is a complete fangirl/fanboy? Show of hands. Anyone going to the midnight showing? *raises hand, then the other, waves them like a wacky, wavy inflatable arm thing*


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Backspace Lesson #3: Listen to Donald Maass

The final day of the Backspace conference was an optional workshop with Donald Maass called Writing the Breakout Novel. He spoke for eight hours with a few water breaks and a lunch. In that time, I took about thirty pages of notes. No joke.

Don talked about character development, what actually sells books (word of mouth!), and an ocean of other things in a room full of people scribbling/typing every word like our lives depended on it. But the most eye-opening parts of his workshop revolved around enhancing conflict and creating tension.

Grab a pen and paper. This will take less than five minutes, I promise.

1. What does your MG want the most?
2. What is the complete opposite?

3. Now, can the MG want both of those things?

Then show that.

Here's an example. Say your story begins with your MG getting out of prison. That's all he's wanted for the two years he was in there. To get out, get back to his wife and son, and get on with his life. Once he's out, though, Life kicks into high gear. He discovers that his wife has cheated on him and his son is mixed up with the drug dealer who landed dear, old dad in prison in the first place. There are times when all your MG wants is to go back to the shelter of prison where someone else had things under control. And it wouldn't take much. There's still a bag of cocaine in his sock drawer...

Now, that's a weak example, but think about the possibilities. All the opportunities for conflict.

Some of the other questions Donald Maass asked, and what you can do with the answer in your manuscript were:

Who is your MG's greatest ally? Take that person away.
What's one thing your MG would never do? Make him/her do it.
What is the worst thing that could possibly happen to keep your MG from his/her goal?

Guess what? MAKE IT HAPPEN!

We're storytellers. We can do whatever we want! But no one will read it if we flatten out the roller coaster. So, run your character through the mud. Give your villain the advantage. Bring on the bad. And once your character is beyond all hope, has lost everything, can't possibly solve the looming issue, take thirty pages to fix it.

I would highly recommend everyone to go through this workshop. At the very least, buy the book and the workbook, because your fiction will look completely different when you're finished. My precious manuscript has the same umbrella plot and characters, but I'm changing everything else. :) Too dramatic? Trust me, it's not. You know those books that you literally can't put down, where the author makes every, single word urge you to turn the page, where you take personal days off work because you stayed up all night finishing Catching Fire and Mockingjay? Umm, not like I've ever done that or anything. Well, I want my book to hold you in the same way. I want you to scream in frustration, smile a secret smile along with my MG, gasp at the end of some chapters. I want my readers desperate for more.

Don't you? ;) Then Donald Maass's book is a great investment.


Monday, June 13, 2011

X-Men: First Class - 100 Words Just Aren't Enough!

But I'll give it a try.

Professor X and Magneto? Is the beginning all that exciting?
Umm, yesYesYES!
McAvoy’s smooth-talking Charles caught my eye, but Michael Fassbender stole my heart (and the show). From the childhood anger and pain to the grown-up glimmer of hope, Magneto shows us he’s more than a little complicated. He wants to believe the past is the past, but everything he’s ever learned has built the man to be an avenging angel. Sad and beautiful.
Kevin Bacon’s shiver-worthy, the training montage is playful and endearing, and the Cuban Missile Crisis tie-in is believable.
Go. See. This. Movie.
Then see it again!!!!

I started reading X-Men titles while still in my single digits and have three, ginormous boxes of comic books in the closet of my spare bedroom. Uncanny, Excalibur, Generation X. You name it, I probably have at least one (or seventy), but in my mid-teens, not too long after the Age of Apocalypse, I stopped collecting. That said, the movies mean a lot to me. Do I know all the characters? Nope. But I love to see the stills from those treasured pages come to life. And this one is, hands down, my favorite. Well, so far... ;)

If you're still on the fence about this movie, please remember that A) you can scope out Jennifer Lawrence a bit to make your final decision on Katniss casting, B) Hugh Jackson has a well-done cameo, and C) do I need to sing Fassbender's praises again? Seriously.

No. Seriously. He even pulls off the cape. Thank you, Google Images, for the yummy pic.

And for you gentlemen out there, January Jones does a nice job as the sassy and sexy White Queen.

If I lost you amongst my comic book memories, sorry! For those still with me, the amazing Zan Marie at In the Shade of the Cherry Tree tagged me. Check out my tag post here. Thanks, Zan!!!!!

And Crits for Water ends this month. If you haven't checked out Kat Brauer's awesome charity, follow the link. She's surpassed her goal. Yay! But there's still time for more.


Friday, June 10, 2011

A New Goal! Time to Join the Challenge!

Ahh, peer pressure. Not so awesome when you're a teenager, but it seems to be an effective tool when it comes to my writing. Hmm...nope, that doesn't make a bit of sense to me either. Let me explain.

Distractions are everywhere. That's not exactly new information, so other than locking yourself in closet, putting on those 'ocean sounds' headphones that make you look a bit like the Great Gazoo, and pulling the plug on your internet connection, how do you fight back?

My answer? Great writer-friends and a CHALLENGE! So, here is your mission if you choose to accept it.

By July 31, 2011, you will have a completed manuscript ready for a read-through (with feedback) by at least one of your writer-friends.

That gives every one of us fifty one days of good, old-fashioned LIFE to writeWriteWRITE or editEditEDIT, and guess what? It's possible! Let's boil it down to numbers (hello, accountant!). If you're shooting for 60,000 words, you're looking at 1,177 per day, rounded. That's, give or take, five pages assuming a bit of dialogue.

This exercise is a lot like, well, exercise. :) Put it on your schedule like it's an appointment or a job, because, let's be honest, it is a job. We're writers. We write. Someday, there will be money involved. But back to my example. I roll out of bed (literally) around 4:30 in the morning, sleepwalk to my 'workout room' by 5:00am, and pop in a TurboFire DVD. Six days a week. It's as much a part of my day as brushing my teeth, flossing, driving to work, or any of the other hundred things I do without thinking (well, I think a little when I drive to work). Why is writing any different? By 6:00pm, I need to be in front of my laptop with at least two hours ahead of me.

Discipline, drive, dedication, desire. And the results? Well, that's up to you.

Will you take the challenge? Talk to your writer-friends, get a group together, set your goal, and go write! You will NOT regret it! :)


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Backspace Lesson #2: Be Positive!

The Key Note speaker at the Backspace Conference was none other than Jonathan Maberry, author of PATIENT ZERO and ROT AND RUIN and a slew of other books. I ran into him in the elevator after his talk and chatted for sixteen floors with him and his wife about absolutely nothing author-related. It was great! Published authors seem intimidating at first glance, but at one time (long, long ago), they were in my shoes, so imagine all the tidbits of wisdom they can share?

But I'm getting sidetracked...

Jonathan Maberry's message focused on The Power of Positivity. He emphasized that the world, especially the internet, is being crushed by a kind of gloomy despair, and at the end of the day, no one needs that. You don't need it. I don't need it. That girl in the third row wearing a pinstriped hat and glasses? Nope, she doesn't need it either. Bad things happen, true, and I'm not the kind of person who glosses over that fact, but for the things we can control (our tweets, our blogging, our actions), wouldn't we all be better off if we took a positive spin on as many things as possible? Definitely!

So, in the spirit of Positivity, I'm making a goal, right here right now, to bite my tongue on nagging complaints. 'It's hot.' 'I'm tired.' 'That celebrity's hair is stupid.' Blahblahblah, you get the idea. Will I catch them all? *shakes head* But I'll try my hardest. How about you? Any plans to be more positive? It's not going to completely alter who you are, but it might make your day a little more colorful. :)

To wrap up, let's (briefly) discuss a certain opinion piece from the Wall Street Journal. I won't link to it, because A) you've probably already seen it and B) well, I'll just bite me tongue on B). Anyway, a quick-and-dirty of the article is that YA is too dark, too pushing-the-envelope, and kids shouldn't be exposed to it. As a non-parent, I won't say that parents just don't understand (come on, Will Smith? DJ Jazzy Jeff? Yeah). But I had two parents who tried their best to give me a fantastic childhood free of the bigger and badder things in life, and I believe they succeeded, but not everyone grows up in Sciotoville, Ohio, and graduates in a class of 37 kids.

The world has teeth, and doesn't it pay to give kids/tweens/teens/young adults as much information as possible? Again, I'm no parent, but sex and drugs and rape and oppression and so many other things live in our great, big world. Education is our first line of defense. Read with your kids, and try not to judge a book by its cover. The marketing team that designed it may or may not have read the book. But, seriously, did I mention I'm not a parent? This is my own opinion and should be taken as such.

Any thoughts? I'd love to hear them!


Monday, June 6, 2011

One Night in Bangkok. The Hangover 2 in 100 Words!

I watched The Hangover, Part II on Saturday and wanted to share a quick, 100 word review.

The Hangover 2 (and really, the original Hangover) is the R-rated, 21st Century Three Stooges. The formula is the same as the first: three guys, somehow drugged, wake up with no memories, so many cans of wriggling, festering worms, and one missing person. But this time, they’re not in the states, and the first clues they find to their night of debauchery are a bloody finger, a drug-dealing monkey, and Mr. Chow. Ed Helms shines, half of the cast show us everything their momma’s gave them (not Bradley Cooper, sorry), and we get a, umm, happy ending.

Now, you'd think I'd learn not to blush at movies after watching Johnny Knoxville's latest in excruciating 3-D, but what can I say? There are just some things that, wow, this small town gal doesn't see coming.
In other news, the fabulous Andrew Leon tagged me on his blog. I'll go through the questions. Please feel free to not participate if I tag you. This is all in good fun!
What do you think of when you the hear the word tag?
Elementary school recess where the held-back-for-football jocks slapped us nerds (and proud of it!) so hard between the shoulder blades, we thought our lungs would forever live in our feet.

Do you think you're hot?
Well, that's certainly a loaded question...

Upload a picture or wallpaper that you're using at the moment.

Remember this one from my trip to the Olympic Peninsula (FORKS!). Take that, Mr. Elusive Rainbow, from the window of the speeding SUV!

When was the last time you ate chicken?
Before April 2011, but not sure of an exact date.

The song(s) you listened to recently.
Anything by My Chemical Romance. Love them! And I recently downloaded Songs for Japan. Heard Womanizer by Britney Spears at the Troy, Ohio Strawberry Festival yesterday. Seriously, it was playing over the main speakers. Yep. And I hope I don't lose any followers over this, but I LOVE that song!

What were you thinking as you were doing this?
Would GRAY WORLD, LAVENDER LOVE be a good title for my Kat Wake story?

Do you have nicknames? What are they?
Umm, I was Ohio at Backspace, but only because I was nicknaming people left and right, Zombieland style. What can I say? I'm terrible with names. I did learn everyone's actual names by the end of the conference.

Tag 8 3 blogger friends:
Yes, I changed the rules. Sorry! How about some Backspace people!
My lovely support group for Day 2 of the conference. I love you all!
Who's listed as No. 1?
The incredible Laura! This girl could bottle Confidence and sell it at the Estee Lauder counter. We were in the same agent-author workshop (with Tonya and Eliza and a bunch of other incredible authors). Check out her query for her DARK YA, Girl in the Mirror. It sounds incredible. Can't wait to read it!
How did you get to know No. 3?
Eliza's YA Fantasy features a reptilian prince as the villain. Maybe I'm weird, but he sounds like a definite hottie to me. ;) That's about the size of my introduction when our workshop ended. The rest is...I'm not going to say history, but you know what I mean.
Leave a lovey dovey message for No. 2.

Dear Nebraska, You're a wonderful writer with a sassy, sexy story idea (Haute Mess!). Good luck submitting to all the agents you charmed, especially Scott Hoffman!

That's it! Thanks for sticking with me to the end. I'll be posting on Wednesday about the Backspace Key Note Speaker, Jonathan Maberry, and how his message relates to a certain Wall Street Journal article making its way around the writing community.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Backspace Lesson #1 - MINGLE!

We all have those Social Butterfly moments, but if you're anything like me, they come on the heels of dreaded Cold Feet Syndrome. Clammy hands, dry mouth, knocking knees, nervous (and extremely loud and high-pitched) laughter. It's easier to make a beeline for the nearest restroom stall than calm down and introduce yourself.

Backspace gave me the opportunity to mingle with published and unpublished authors, agents, and other professionals in publishing. Tons of opportunities to mingle. The trick? A smidgen of confidence and diving right in.

Yes I flubbed up my pitch.

Of course I asked crazy questions.

No doubt I laughed way too loud and probably scared people away.

But those things happen to everyone. Especially the laughing thing. Please tell me someone else does that. Umm, seriously, does anyone do that? *crickets chirping* Yikes.

Anyway! It was the exceptional unpublished authors who boosted my confidence. People in my situation who weren't afraid to march up to the agent panel, introduce themselves, and see what happened. If Day One of the conference was finding my footing, Day Two was about standing taller, smiling more, and trying super duper hard to dim my hyena laugh. I give myself a 70% success rate on that. ;)

Thank you to Laura, Nebraska, Eliza, Koreen, and so many others for being brave, teaching me to mingle, and encouraging (and, at times, lovingly peer pressuring) me to take the plunge. It was beyond worth it!

How do you pump yourself up at conferences? Are you immune to Cold Feet? What's your trick? And I'm still waiting to hear about that laugh!


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

May Books and Backspace Teasers!

June is here, darlings, and the heat is ON! :)

May was a great month for books!

5/11/11 - Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks
I'm a YA girl. That's not a huge surprise, I know. And I usually gravitate toward the supernatural, but a friend at work loaned me Safe Haven. An emotionally damaged woman runs from her abusive husband and falls for a good man in a tiny, North Carolina Town. But her livid husband is on his way. I enjoyed this book once the husband/villain entered the story. Now, I'm not opposed to a romance. I'll swoon as quickly as the next gal, but the yummy conflict of Unconcerned Love versus He's Coming (with Jaws music) kept me reading. A sweet book with a happy ending for the good guys. hehe. See how I qualified that statement? Yeah.

5/15/11 - Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin
The movie previews snagged me with their adorable main character and clean-cut love interest. I did feel there was something, I don't know, more to the story, though, so I bought the book. There was more! And, oddly enough, less. Rachel and Darcy (aka. Doormat and On-A-Pedestal) are life-long best friends. Then on Doormat's thirtieth birthday, she sleeps with Dex, On-A-Pedestal's fiance. Normally, I wouldn't root for the cheaters, but Darcy isn't what my mother would call a 'nice girl.' It's a good read as you wait for Rachel and Dex to get caught or for Darcy to acknowledge her flaws, but I doubt I'll pick up the sequel. I would certainly recommend the movie, though, if you need a no-thinking-required romantic comedy. :)

5/25/11 - Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris
The new Sookie!!!!! I can't say this was one of my favorites (I'm looking at you Eric-loses-his-memory-and-runs-naked-through-the-woods-YUM), but definitely not bad. The fae play a big role, Alcide makes an appearance, Mr. Sulky Intenserson (Bill) saunters back into Sookie's life, and there's hell-or-high-water drama with Eric. Charlaine Harris shows, once again, how well she makes her readers want to throw the book across the room. Then pick it back up and keep reading. :) And that, darlings, is how to tell a story!

5/25/11 - Gemini Bites by Patrick Ryan
That date's not a typo. Flights are great ways to fly (no pun intended) through books. It helps that Patrick Ryan wrote a fantastic story. Twins Kyle and Judy like to compete. Well, Judy just likes to win. So when Garret, a maybe vamp with a dark aura, a talent with charcoal drawings, and a sexy 'way' about him, comes to live with the twin's family, the game is on. I loved Kyle! An out sixteen-year-old not ashamed of his feelings and completely comfortable with his body, he wants to find love. The readers want him to find love. With Garret. AND we want to know if Garret's really a vampire. Read this book. It's so worth it!

5/29/11 - When the Stars Go Blue by Caridad Ferrer
Please go read this book. Seriously. The journey...amaaazing. This YA spin on Carmen is intense, sultry, beautiful, and I guarantee you won't want to put it down. Solidad Reyes loves to dance. It's her life, so she surprises even herself when she turns down an enormous opportunity to instead spend the summer performing with a competitive, all-male drum and bugle corps (don't scoff, just check one out). She falls for two, very different guys, and OH MAMA, you have to read it. Twists, turns, and conflictconflictconflict. It's delicious. I had the opportunity to meet the author at Backspace, and between her being incredibly nice, the gorgeousness of that cover, and the lure of the dance, I bought it almost immediately. No regrets!

Plans for June:

My new author-friend Laura, who is amazing and will land an agent very soon, I just know it, ordered me to read City of Bones by Cassandra Clare, so I sent it to my Kindle on Monday. I met A.S. King at the conferece, but her book was sold out by the time I gave the bookseller all my money I made it to the table. From King's descriptions, I need (not just want, need) to read Please Ignore Vera Dietz. I bought five other books though and have a couple on my Kindle AND there are tons in my office staring up at me with Puss in Boots eyes. 'I know!,' I tell them. So, any one of those can round out my three for June.

But my main goal is to dive back into my Kat Wake story. I learned from describing and pitching at Backspace that the uniqueness of my story doesn't lie in the bargain Kat makes with the afterlife's gatekeeper, but in the romance. Why didn't this hit me before? Because I was so bogged down in sharpening my query and relaying 'the message' that I couldn't see the conflict. Conflict is what makes me and you and that dude in the back turn the page. As a risk-averse human being (hello, accountant!), I'm programmed to avoid conflict, and no one would want to read about my boring life. That's why I/we/readers escape into fiction. For the mess, the conflict, the disaster. For the thrills and the roller coaster. We love it. I love it, and I want to make my story stand out, so that you can fall in love with it as much as I have.

I want to make you turn the page.

What are your big reading/writing/arithmetic (umm, yeah, forget that last one) plans for June? Start with When the Stars Go Blue. Seriously.