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

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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 and Children’s Book Update

So far, the late nights have paid off.

I’m finally done editing my book. Yay! Next step is to format it, and then send it out to print.

I’m also done with my children’s book. I sent my files to CreateSpace yesterday and am now waiting to proof them sometime today.

Here is the cover of my children’s book. It’s a goodnight book designed to prepare babies, toddlers and young children for bed, at the same time, teach and remind them of their first words.

GoodnightCoverBlog

Goodnight World is the first book from Sammy’s Books. I created Sammy’s Books because I wanted to design a collection of beginner books for little kids. With the use of simple and straightforward designs, I hope to help little kids focus and learn, and still fun.

My daughter’s name is Samantha. That’s where Sammy comes from. That’s her on the logo. I am still working on the website.

It’s pouring here in San Francisco—perfect weather to stay inside and write. How’s the weather where you are?

Novel and Children’s Book Update

So far, the late nights have paid off.

I’m finally done editing my book. Yay! Next step is to format it, and then send it out to print.

I’m also done with my children’s book. I sent my files to CreateSpace yesterday and am now waiting to proof them sometime today.

Here is the cover of my children’s book. It’s a goodnight book designed to prepare babies, toddlers and young children for bed, at the same time, teach and remind them of their first words.

GoodnightCoverBlog

Goodnight World is the first book from Sammy’s Books. I created Sammy’s Books because I wanted to design a collection of beginner books for little kids. With the use of simple and straightforward designs, I hope to help little kids focus and learn, and still fun.

My daughter’s name is Samantha. That’s where Sammy comes from. That’s her on the logo. I am still working on the website.

It’s pouring here in San Francisco—perfect weather to stay inside and write. How’s the weather where you are?

Tips I Learned from My Editor

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I overate, as usual.

Now that I’ve gone through my whole manuscript and read all the markups (a dozen times) from my editor, I thought I’d share what I learned with all of you. I think these are helpful tips we can all use the next time we write.

Let me preface by saying that most of the edits I got were focused on making sure my manuscript aligns with the guidelines of The Chicago Manual of Style and that the spelling choices of certain words match Merriam-Webster’s.

Okay vs. OK:
Per Merriam-Webster’s, use OK.

Toward vs. towards:
Use toward. (Both are acceptable, but toward is preferred in American and Canadian English.)

Numbers:
• As a general rule, all numbers at the beginning of a sentence should be spelled out.
• Spell out whole numbers one through one hundred.
• Spell out numbers in dialogues.

Time:
• When using o’clock, the time should be spelled out (e.g., The meeting starts at five o’clock in the morning).
• To show exact times, use numerals (e.g., The last bus leaves at 11:30 p.m.).

Commas:
In direct address, use commas (e.g., Thank you, Adam.), and after yes and no (e.g., Yes, I will be there.).

Capitalizations:
Per Chicago professional titles are generally only capitalized when used with a name.

Foreign words:
Foreign words and phrases are usually italicized unless used commonly.

Watch out for overused words:
Turns out I used “deep breath” more than a dozen times. Yikes.

Well that’s it. I hope you guys find these tips helpful.

Have a great weekend!