Thursday, September 1, 2011

And the winner is...

according to random number generator,

Entry #2! Kimberly Ripley!

Congrats Kim, and I'll be in touch to get your mailing address!

To everyone who entered, thank you, and check back again for future awesome giveaways!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Celebrating Characters; A USA Network Giveaway!!

Well-developed, believable characters are key to any good story, whether in a novel or a TV show. After all, if viewers can't sympathize with a character and believe in their story, why would they read the book? Or tune in to a TV show?

The USA Network has long prided themselves on interesting and often fun characters. To celebrate the end of the summer season, they're offering up a bag of goodies (valued at $590!!)

(For a list of the USA Network shows wrapping up their seasons over the next month, click here).

USA Summer Essentials Bag 2011 contents:
* Zipbuds with Custom USA Pull
* Powerstick w/2G Memory
* Edith A. Miller Nautical Shirt for Women
* J. Crew Navy Polo Shirt for Men
* Bobbi Brown Beach Body Lotion & Scrub
* Surfrider Bobble Water Bottle
* Jogo Head Hammock in Green
* Jogo Head Hammock in Blue
* Haagen Daz $25 Gift Card
* Customized Ice Cream Scoop
* Plush Navy Beach Towel w/USA Summer Logo
* Entertainment Weekly Summer Guide
* The New Yorker Talk of the Town Special Issue
* Ray Ban Unisex Aviator Sunglasses

So how do you enter you ask? One, you have to have a U.S. mailing address. And second, tell me who is your favorite USA Network character and why in the comments below. (S/he doesn't have to be the lead. Because come on, Auggie on Covert Affairs is really awesome, and not just because he has mad tech skills. He's sweet, loyal, and an all-around good guy).

If you want to win, be sure to include your email address in the comments too!

Contest ends August 31st at Midnight Central Time.

Good luck!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

When you read a novel similar to yours...

Tomorrow, I'm meeting my writing/critique partner for a Write-Your-A$$-Off Day! Okay, so it's not a full glorious day of clicking away at the keyboard on our novels, but my writing and critique partner and I are meeting up tomorrow night for the first time in awhile, and we fully intend to write and edit for a few hours. In fact, it was just about a year ago that we did our first write-your-a$$-off day, to much success.

These sorts of days are becoming more and more valuable to me. Rarely do I get long hours in one sitting to just work on my novel. (You learn to do a page here, a page there).

But that's beside the point. Rather, I've been thinking about how I think about my novel when I'm not really working on my novel. The characters follow me wherever I go. I see a girl on the el that embodies Anne-Marie much more than I ever even pictured. An article I stumble across mentions Charlotte Corday. Or I read a book that makes me think about my own... which recently happened. I'd been told that my novel is similar to Jennifer Donnelly's best-seller Revolution. In ways this worried me. What if it was too similar? What if my novel is seen as a copy-cat, even though this story has been bouncing around my head and my computer for years?

I laid all those fears to rest when I read it. There's definitely a lot of similar elements. Both lead characters get sent to Paris. Both girls have some demons in their life. Both struggle to find common ground with their dad. Both suddenly find themselves immersed in a diary and the French Revolution. Both time travel.

Okay, okay, that's a lot a like one another, but content wise? Not so much. Revolution is this wonderful tribute to the power of music and the unraveling of a French Revolution mystery. Through Charlotte's Eyes is about destiny, connections through time, and whether one murderous act can change the future. My novel is, in large part, about Charlotte Corday, but it's just as much about how Charlotte's actions affected the world--and one particular girl--years later.

It's in the differences as well as the similarities between the two novels that I learn a bit about where I want to see my close-to-final draft go from here. There's scenes where I need more French Revolution details. There's interactions between the past and the present that can be better fleshed out, like they are in Revolution.

But does this mean Revolution informs the way I write my own novel? Not necessarily. But it's inspiring to read something that takes a similar elements and goes in an entirely different direction.

And when it comes down to it? It's all about the story you have to tell. That's what I'll be working on tomorrow at Starbucks, making that story hit the perfect pitch by getting all of the details just right. It's my story to tell--but then again, it also belongs to Charlotte Corday. And that, my friends, is something Revolution knows nothing about.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Will all 5 Breathless Books (from Beth Revis)

You all know how much I love books, especially good YA ones. Here's the chance to win five of them! I'm soo excited for all of these, and while I'd like them all to myself, I wanted to spread the word! Hop on over to Beth's blog for more details.