Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Lucky 7--Seven Lines from my WIP

I was tagged by the fabulous Abby Niles in this fun little writer game and figured, ha! Why not? I'll play your silly little game (and love it). Unfortunately it's taken me a few days to find the time to do this, but here goes.

Here are the rules:

1. Go to page 77 of your current MS
2. Go to line 7
3. Copy down the next 7 lines – sentences or paragraphs – and post them as they’re written. No cheating.
4. Tag 7 other authors

I'm amazed I am past page 77 on my newest WIP to do this, but my newest story is tentatively titled "Like Cats and Dogs."

Here are the 7 lines for this game, featuring my hero Zachary Collins and one of the furry secondary characters.

The light coming through the curtains stung Zach’s eyes sometime later. There was also an unfamiliar weight on his chest, and when he blinked his vision into focus, a pair of almond-shaped eyes were staring back at him.

Get out.

Zach started, but the action didn’t jostle the cat. It was lying on his chest as if it had been there a while. Watching him sleep.

Are you an idiot? We don’t want you here. Leave.

The cat’s left paw stretched toward Zach’s neck. Its claws flexed and pierced his skin. A slight purr followed the action.

“Aw, look.” Hannah’s voice came from somewhere behind him. “Abbott likes you.”

Now I'm tagging:

1) Veronica Scott
2) Cindy Spencer Pape
3) Cathy Perkins
4) Melinda Leigh
5) Jeffe Kennedy
6) Natasha Hoar
7) Sharon Cullen

Friday, March 16, 2012

Fun Fridays: Q&A with my cat, Dusti

I love animals, especially cats. Since I do most of my writing in the company of my cat, I thought it might be fun to turn the reigns of this blog over to her for the day and get her feline perspective on the writing life. I mean, I've caught her at the computer more than once after I've stepped out of the room for a few. See? I snapped this photo not too long ago. I stepped out for a snack and came back, to find her both literally and figuratively on my laptop. What is she doing, you ask? I'd love to know that myself.

I sat down with my kitty over some Temptations yesterday and invited her to be my Fun Friday Q&A guest today. About 10 treats later, she agreed.

Angela: I want to welcome my cat and furry best friend, Dusti!

Dusti: Meow. Can I have some more treats?

Angela: After we finish this, maybe. And thank you for doing this.

Dusti: Whatever. Just don't forget the treats later.

Angela: You know, if I did, you could stand to loose a little weight.

Dusti: And you couldn't?

Angela: A writer's life can be very sedentary. (Clears throat) So, what's it like to live with a writer?

Dusti: Oh. Is that what you do all the time? I just assumed you were always playing on Facebook. 

Angela: No, I write novels. How can you not know this? I'm always pitching you my story ideas for practice! 

Dusti: Oh yeah. I just thought you were, you know, kinda weird.  

Angela: Nooooo. I'm a writer.

Dusti: Okay. So you're saying you're overweight and you're weird because you're a writer. Does that mean I'm a writer too? Cause you just told me I was fat. 

Angela: I didn't exactly call you fat! And no, you're jumping to too many conclusions! (Sighs) So what are you doing when I come in the room and find you on my computer?

Dusti: Usually updating my dating profile on Catster. Okay, I'll be honest. Sometimes I'm fixing the crap I read that you tried to write. Somebody around here needs to write something that might sell someday. I gotta eat. 

Angela: You're on Catster? 

Dusti: Who isn't? (yawns) 

Angela: And what do you mean, fixing the crap you read that I wrote? 

Dusti: Yeah, I edit the hell out of it. You're far too dramatic and long-winded. And you never have cats in your stories, so I add them.

Angela: Far too dramatic?

Dusti: Not very creative either. I mean, come on. You named me, a gray cat, Dusti. Not funny. It's hell on my dating profile on Catster to have a boy name. No one realizes I'm a girl.

Angela: You're not allowed to date. Besides, Catster isn't a dating site. (Shakes head) I can't believe you said I'm not creative.

Dusti: Yeah, and not funny at all. I inject some humor in your stories. Maybe I go a little over the top sometimes, but it's still good stuff. 

Angela: I can't believe it. You mean you're the reason I can't remember writing half the things in my files? 

Dusti: Duh. (Licks paw) Can I have those treats now?

I want to thank my cat, Dusti, for answering my questions today. In case you're interested, Dusti can be found on Catster. However, she isn't allowed to date, so don't get any ideas.

Monday, March 5, 2012

'Yes, there's sex in my book' - Surviving that awkward revelation

Oh yes, I have now experienced that awkward moment when some of my more oblivious Evil Day Job co-workers have realized what I do on the side.

It started with a co-worker — who happens to be male — trying to rope me into helping with an event for a high-school organization on the weekend. I declined, because that’s all I need — one more obligation to suck away time from my writing.

“Come on,” he said. “Just think of all the high-school students you could sell your book to.”

I shook my head. “I don’t think it would be appropriate to sell them my book.”

Then again, I did start reading Harlequins when I was in high school — but no. I target an adult audience, thank you very much. I don’t need a hoard of angry parents coming after me with pitchforks either.

“What do you mean?” my co-worker said. “Why shouldn’t they read your book?’ Then it seemed to hit him. “My God, do you mean it’s dirty?”

I’m pretty sure I just kind of lifted my eyebrows at that. I mean, it’s not filth, but it ain’t the How to Abstain from Sex Guide for Dummies either. There's a plot. There's a story. And there's some sex scenes sprinkled in here and there. Typical romance novel.

By this point we were back to our cubicles. He continued to say — for all around us to hear — “I want to know. I mean, is it just really violent or does it have sex in it?”

I looked heavenward. I mean, did we have to discuss this so loudly for ALL of our co-workers to hear? I admit it. I was getting a little flustered. I suppose most of my co-workers see me as the quiet, church-going type  — not at all the type to write a sexy novel!

I gestured to a co-worker who had read my book. “Well, ask her. She read it.”

I just could not bring my lips to say, "Yes, my book has sex in it." I needed someone else to say it for me. A coward? Who, me? You betcha!

My friend tilted her head in consideration. She did it on purpose. I know she did, just to see both of us squirm, the little weasel. She stalled for so long, I wanted to stomp my foot and say, “Oh now, come on!”

I finally rolled my eyes and blurted, “It has sex in it! OK?”

Then I realized I might have accidentally yelled it. Or at least said it a lot louder than I should have.

My male co-worker started blushing. Yes, I made a grown man blush.

“Well, now I have to admit I am a little embarrassed I asked,” he said.

He was embarrassed?!? Ye Gods! I will be sneaking past half my co-workers with my head held down for at least a few days after this. Geez.

The moral of this story is, keep your mouth shut if someone at the Evil Day Job asks if your book has sex in it. No good can come of it. Some things are just better left unsaid.

Trust me on this.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Fun Fridays: Q&A with blogger/author Tanya Contois

Even before I became published, I enjoyed visiting book review blogs to find interesting, new reads, and I greatly respect those book addicts who are able to post their honest reviews for the world to see. My guest today, Tanya Contois, is one such person. As the founder of the All Things Book blog and a reviewer for Bee's Knees Reviews, Tanya also recently became a published author herself. Her first book, Wicked Little Lies, has been released as a series, and as a fan of YA/paranormal/romance, I have thoroughly enjoyed reading it so far.
The blurb for Wicked Little Lies:
Jocelyn has just turned 18 but instead of having the big celebration she was looking forward to for so long she finds out that not only is she not fully human but the people who raised her aren’t her real parents. Instead of staying to listen to her parents’ explanation, she takes off and ends up going to live with her biological parents, Jacoby and Adeline. Jocelyn quickly makes new friends and gains a potential boyfriend named Sonny, but things are far from safe when Kane, another Cambion, makes his presence known. Now Jocelyn is left with many questions but few answers. What does the future hold for her, and will she end up with Sonny? Only time will tell.

Angela: Welcome to my blog today, Tanya! You’re the founder of the All Things Book blog, you’ve been reviewing books for years, and you recently started the ParaYourNormal group on Facebook for fans of the paranormal romance and urban fantasy genres. What prompted you to start the blog and post reviews and become so involved in the book community?

Tanya: I created the Facebook page All Things Books first, and a couple weeks later, I created the blog. I started both the fan page and the blog because of my love of books. I wanted to share that with fellow book lovers, and I certainly never imagined it would become such a hugely popular blog and fan page. Everything else I do came later on and I feel honored that I have gotten to know and work with so many wonderful people.

Angela: In your opinion, what makes a book a great read?

In my opinion, a book that is a great read allows the reader to feel the character's every emotion through the author's words. I also think that characters who have flaws and quirks also make a book more enjoyable because it makes the characters easy to relate to.

Angela: Your first book, “Wicked Little Lies,” was recently published through Trestle Press. How does it feel to make the leap from book blogger to author?

Tanya: Honestly, it still hasn't sunk in completely and having so many people know who I am feels a bit surreal. One day, not long ago, I was stuck home sick and bored out of my skull, so I decided to do a Google search of my name. Seeing all those hits really freaked me out because I am not all that interesting. :)

Angela: Not interesting?! I don't believe it! I have to say I have really enjoyed reading the “Wicked Little Lies” series and am eagerly anticipating another volume. Please tell me we can expect it soon – and give us a hint of what we can look forward to.

Tanya: Volume 4 will be released either this week or next week, and a new character is introduced while another's true self is revealed.

Angela: What inspired your story and characters?

Tanya: The inspiration behind the story is simply that I wanted to write about something new and fresh - something that hadn't already had countless books written about it and after doing a bit of research I came up with Cambions. Now I have seen at least 2-3 other books about Cambions, which I think is fantastic. As for the characters, they are 100% fictional except for Jocelyn. I incorporated some of my quirks into her character.

Angela: Please tell us, what are you working on next?

Tanya: I'm nearly finished with a short-story collection titled Cloaked in Darkness, and I have 3 WIPs that I'm working on. They are Adoration, which will be YA Fantasy; Crimson Moon, which will be YA Paranormal; and the third is one I am co-authoring with Mary Duke.

Angela: Let’s get to know Tanya the person with these questions. Are you a member of any TV show/film/book fandoms? (If so, which ones and why?)

Tanya: I'm not officially a member of any fandoms. I have told other authors whose books I enjoy reading that I am a fan of their work. Thankfully, I manage not to squeal like a school girl when talking to my favorite authors (at least not aloud anyways).

Angela: What’s the last book you read?

Tanya: The last books I read were Grave Witch and Grave Dance by Kalayna Price, which I purchased as a Christmas present for myself along with Nightwalker by Jocelynn Drake. If you haven't read Ms. Price's books yet you absolutely should. I was hooked instantly.

Angela: If you could spend one day as any fictional character, which one and why?

Tanya: Oh, umm while there are many fictional characters I love, I don't think there are any I'd want to be. For the first time in a very long time I am perfectly happy and content with the direction my life is going.

Angela: Celebrity crush?

Tanya: This is an easy one - Channing Tatum, Jensen Ackles, and Chris Hemsworth.


Tanya: Hobbies? Writing started out as a hobby, but other than that, I don't have any hobbies. I hope that doesn't make me a dull or boring person.

Angela: Of course not! Thank you, Tanya, for visiting with me today.

If you'd like to learn more about Tanya or her books, you can connect with her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/WriterTanyaContois or on Twitter at @tanyalc28. You can also visit All Things Books at http://speedyreader-allthingsbooks.blogspot.com/.


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