Paper

IMG_3319

Isn’t it lovely when you find loose sheets of paper with your words written all over it? Words you’ve written a long time ago when your thoughts wandered off, had left reality, and ventured out into an imaginary world. Your words sometimes amaze you, other times intrigue you, maybe even baffle you. But they’re perfect nonetheless. You wrote them down because at that moment in time, you were inspired and driven to express how you felt, what you thought, and it meant something to you. You had to do it, or else you would forget. And so you did, and now that you’ve found them again—days later, weeks later, or years later—you’re glad you had written them down.

Most of the time they are dialogues, or descriptions of places, or people, or feelings. Sometimes all you’ll find is a scribble of a word, or a phrase, or a sentence, or a paragraph. Whatever they may be, they make up an incomplete story. A story that reminds you that this was something you once wanted to write, and said you would write, and possibly will write someday.

If picked up by a stranger, these sheets of paper would mean nothing at all. But to you, they are precious little things.

They are your treasures.

By the way, excuse the chicken scratches on the image above. Thanks to the computer, my penmanship has suffered through the years. 😉

The Next Big Thing Blog Hop

Super cool Pete Denton and super fun Robin Coyle both tagged me for the Next Big Thing Blog Hop. It’s a nice opportunity to post about my latest WIP. This blog hop started on She Writes.

How it works:
If I tag you, use this format for your post
. Include an introduction to your interview post and a link to the person who tagged you for participation. Answer the ten questions about your current WIP (Work In Progress). Include some pictures if possible. Tag five other writers/bloggers by sending them an email and then add their links to the end of your interview post. Their answers should go up the week after. The blog post should be labeled: The Next Big Thing Blog Hop.

Before I continue this post, I should mention that my first novel, HIGH, just got published in December 28, 2012. So technically, it’s no longer a WIP. But because Pete tagged me back in November, when my novel was still a WIP, I will be answering the following questions based on the same book.

Here are my answers:

1. What is the working title of your book?
HIGH

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000031_00001]

2. Where did the idea come from for the book?
Burnt out from weeks of working overtime, the idea of wanting to “escape” came to me during a quick coffee break outside of my old job. I felt the urge to flee, but couldn’t. Instead, I made up Sonja Fines, and wrote HIGH.

3. What genre does your book fall under?
Contemporary Fiction.

4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
I would love for an unknown actress to play Sonja Fines. Ryan Gosling could play Chad Miller.

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Life changes dramatically for uptight, workaholic from Manhattan, Sonja Fines, when she hops in a cab, late for an important presentation—but ends up in Montreal.

6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I originally wanted to get an agent, and I tried to when HIGH was first written as a novella years ago. An agent from L. A. contacted me and read my manuscript, and liked it, but didn’t believe that there was a market for novellas at the time. After putting my book on hold for a while, I went back and turned it into a novel—and I’m so happy I did. HIGH was always meant to be a novel.

After researching on self-publishing and seeing how much it has evolved in the last few years, I thought I’d try it.

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
The first draft was actually a novella. It took me a few months only because I wrote on and off.

8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I can’t think of a book to compare my story to. Well, at least not right now. But there is a movie I can sort of compare it to. The movie is Before Sunrise. Although the stories are quite different, there are certain elements about the movie that seem similar to my book.

9. Who or What inspired you to write this book?
Life, love, stress, coffee, and the thought of “escaping the norm” are what inspired me to write HIGH.

10. What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
It’s a quick read, but the story will stay with you for a long time.

Here are the writers I’m tagging. Check out their blogs!
Lauren Waters
Sara Flowers
Writing Sisters
Dennis Langley
Sarah’s Shore

Thanks Pete and Robin for tagging me. I had a lot of fun.

 

Book Release: HIGH is Now Available

HIGH_book

After a long, but wonderful journey—my first novel, HIGH, is finally published.

The paperback is now available for purchase on createspace.com, and will be available on Amazon.com in the next few days. The eBook version will follow shortly. I’ll keep you posted.

Thank you so much to those who have supported me along the way.

Have a Fabulous New Year!

A Happy Holiday Book Release

I am in the midst of preparing a nice holiday dinner for family tonight. Still have a lot to do, but I thought I’d take a quick break and update you on my novel.

Trying to release a book during the holidays is probably an insane idea, which was why I originally planned on releasing my novel last month. Unfortunately, editing took longer than I expected.

My manuscript sat with my editor for three long weeks. When I got my manuscript back, I was thrilled to find only a few markups, which I immediately worked on. After that, I set up my files then sent them to print. Once the files were approved, I ordered a printed proof. My proof arrived a few days later, and I was excited to read my book in print format. I had no idea I was in for a big surprise. I found mistakes I didn’t catch on screen, but more importantly, I found mistakes my editor completely missed. Most of the mistakes were minor, but there were a few that made me cringe. It was disappointing and very frustrating.

Quick writing tip: Don’t just proof your manuscript on screen. Print it out. You will be amazed at what you can find.

I finished doing my edits last Saturday, and I received the online proof last night. I’m getting ready to review it—hopefully, one last time.

I know that I could easily postpone my release date to next year, but I won’t. I can’t. 2012 has been a productive and good year for me. It just feels right to release HIGH this year.

So after tonight’s celebration, I will make time to review my book one last time. I’m hoping that by Christmas morning, the eBook version of HIGH will be available for everyone to view.

I hope you are enjoying the holidays with good company and good food. I wish you all happiness and success in the coming New Year.

From my family to yours, Happy Holidays!

Introducing: Goodnight World

A month ago, in the midst of getting ready to send my novel out to my editor, I decided to pursue a goal I’ve had for a while—creating my own children’s books. After many long nights, I finally did it.

Introducing my first children’s book from Samantha’s Books, Goodnight World. It is now available for purchase in eBook format. The printed format will follow shortly.

GoodnightCoverBlog

Goodnight World is a bedtime book that also teaches little children their first words.

I am extremely excited to read it to my little inspiration, my three-year-old daughter, Samantha. I hope she loves it.

Novel Update and More

Oh dear. It’s November.

I think it’s about time I paused and updated you on what’s going on with my novel and why I haven’t been blogging recently.

My manuscript has been with my editor the last two weeks. In the meantime I’ve kept myself busy—maybe a little too busy.

Ever since I became a mother a little over 3 years ago, I’ve thought about creating (writing and designing) my own children’s books and self-publishing them. Mostly because I wasn’t satisfied with some of the books I was reading to my daughter. But I put my ideas aside for a while because I was busy taking care of her and was focused on writing. But now that my daughter goes to school in the morning and I’ve sent my manuscript out to my editor, I have a little time to spare. So I thought it would be a good time to start creating my own children’s books. So far, it’s going well. Since my daughter loves Goodnight books, I decided to create a Goodnight book I hope she will love and hopefully other kids will love too. I am also working on a book on First Words, plus a few other ones.

I have one more week before I get my manuscript back. My goal is to get the Goodnight book to print by the end of November. I know it sounds a little crazy, but that’s the funny thing about inspiration, when it hits you—it’s hard to stop. Just like when you get an idea for a story in the middle of the night and you must write it down.

It’s a lot of work, but it’ll all be worth it in the end. It will be a nice gift for my little Samantha.

I will have a separate website for my children’s books, which I will share here soon.

Do you have kids or nieces and nephews under the age of 5? What are their favorite books?

The Making of My Book Cover

As some of you may already know, aside from being a writer, I’m also a graphic designer. If you’re self-publishing your book(s) like I am, and you’re designing your book cover, or if you’re getting it designed, I hope this post will be helpful to you in some way.

The Design Process
Before getting started, I made sure to keep the following things in mind:
1. My book cover has to stand out as a thumbnail and as a large image.
2. The message has to be clear and simple.
3. The design has to fit my genre, which in my case is contemporary fiction.

I knew from the beginning that I wanted two things on my book cover:
Coffee and the color, mustard yellow. If and when you get a chance to read my book, you’ll see why.

Coffee: I thought of quite a few image ideas for coffee. I thought of using coffee rings, coffee mugs, espresso cups, coffee beans, coffee shops and the list goes on. Below are only some of the images I considered, which I took myself, except for the last one on the right.

Because my novel is a love story, I wanted that to be clear on the cover. The challenge was how to show that using a coffee image. I thought about using an image of a cup/mug with a heart shaped coffee froth/foam, but for some reason it seemed too common. Later, I came up with the idea of coffee beans shaped into a heart. I searched the web to see if they already existed and found a few online, but none of them looked right for my book. That’s when I decided to create my own coffee bean heart. In order to do this, all I needed was a camera and a bag of coffee beans that I would shape into a heart on a sheet of paper.

It took many tries. Below are only a few examples.

Mustard yellow: I always knew I wanted this to be the background of whatever image I would end up picking.

In February of 2012, I designed a few versions of my book cover. Below is what I originally picked as my final design.

In September of this year, I went back and looked at my original design and thought that the solid mustard yellow seemed too rich. I wanted it to be simpler but still punchy. That’s when I thought of adding the gradient.

Here is the final design of my book cover, front, spine and back. I’m still editing the copy on the back cover, so what you’ll see here is for placement only.

HIGHCover_Resized

Designing my book cover was such a fun break from writing and editing. I would definitely do it again.

An Excerpt for You


In honor of fall, I thought I’d share this excerpt from my upcoming novel, HIGH.

What is it about the fall that seems sentimental and romantic? There is something magical and mysterious about the way the leaves drop to the ground and how they shimmer in red, gold and brown, creating a blanket of memories. And as you watch the trees become bare, a sweet nostalgic feeling exists inside of you, as you stroll the sidewalks that glisten with traces of rain sprinkled across each path like little jewels. Your heart beats in a different rhythm as your thoughts dwell and wander about. You remember things that should be forgotten because they broke your heart once, and yet you allow them to linger for a while, for the sake of reminiscing. You parade with the hopeless romantics and the broken hearted down the streets, alone, reliving moments that once was. You hold on to these memories until the last day of fall, hoping that by winter, you will forget them all.

(Thoughts of Sonja Fines from HIGH, a novel by Corey M. P. (page 222)