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.

 

Thank You…

Indiegogo made me “indiegaga”. What an experience that was. I’m so glad it’s over. Well, technically, there are 4 hours left before Poetry for Paris expires, but I’ve stopped counting.

For you guys who aren’t familiar with Indiegogo or Kickstarter, they’re websites that help artists raise funds to fulfill their goals/dreams. Friends have been telling me about it for years, so I thought I’d try it. Let’s just say, I’m not sure I’ll do it again.

And here’s why. For starters, asking for money from anyone is an awkward thing. Of course, this is a little different. It’s asking for pledges for the sake of art. I mean, I saw successful projects on Indiegogo and Kickstarter that blew my mind. Some people were raising thousands of dollars to go on trips to get inspired or to study their art. So, I figured, maybe asking for pledges to help make something creative happen wasn’t too bad, right? Eh, I still felt awkward about it (maybe it’s just me). To the point where, I wanted to make sure I was offering something back to those who pledged. I went from offering to write poems, to offering my Graphic Design services which I haven’t really used in a couple of years, just so I wouldn’t feel bad about “taking” their pledge. In the end, I reached my goal. Thanks to family and friends I’ve met through the blog world. You know who you are…thank you again.

And so my dear fellow writers and bloggers, I guess the lesson here is, sometimes we do have to go a little “indiegaga” to chase our dreams.

Thank you for putting up with me the last few weeks. It’ll be back to business after this.

Good night.

The Versatile Blogger Award!

Wow. A few days of not blogging feels like a year of not working out. Well, it feels great to back. It feels even better because
I just found out that the lovely Robin Coyle nominated me for the The Versatile Blogger Award! Thanks for thinking of me Robin.

Blogging is fun, but it’s a lot of work. Learning that people dig what you write is satisfying. Getting comments on your posts can be inspiring. Receiving awards like this one is encouraging. It makes it all worth it in the end.

The rules of accepting the nomination:
Thank the person who nominated me. Done.
Include a link to his/her blog. Done.
Nominate fifteen blogs I enjoy and follow. Yikes. I don’t have 15, but see below.
Inform said bloggers about their nominations. Done.
Lastly, share seven things about myself. Done. See below.

7 Random Things About Me:

  1. I wrote my first poem at 14. I knew then that I wanted to become a writer.
  2. I wrote my first book as a novella, but later changed it into a novel.
  3. At one point, I wanted to become a professional poker player.
  4. Traveling inspires me.
  5. I’m a foodie.
  6. I’m obsessed with Paris in the 1920’s.
  7. I was a Graphic Designer for 10 years. I am so much happier now as a writer.

Here are my nominations:
The Canary
Sara Flower
Julie McKay Covert
Writing is Hard Work
Writing at Midnight
The Year of Wonderful Weekends
Lori’s Lane Blog
The Short and the Long of It

Thanks again for the nomination Robin!

An Interview with Dina Silver, Author of One Pink Line

Here it is, as promised, my interview with a self-published author.

I discovered Dina’s book, One Pink Lineon Amazon.com and was very impressed with the rave reviews. I knew I had to interview her. Dina was kind enough to let me do just that.

See below.

When did you know you wanted to become a writer?
I’ve been working as a writer in the ad industry for about 15 years, and I’ve always wanted to write more than headlines and direct mail pieces. Before I wrote my first book, I started writing it as a screenplay, but decided to convert it to a novel somewhere along the way.

What inspired you to write One Pink Line?
One Pink Line is inspired by the story of a friend of mine. Once she told me about herself and her family, I was so touched by what a wonderful and touching young life she had lived, that I immediately asked her if I could write about it.

If you were to tell us about your book in one sentence, what would it be?
A great love story.

How long did it take you to write your novel?
About three months to write, and about seven months to edit.

Who read your book before it got published? Are you part of a Writer’s Group?
I am not part of a writer’s group. I hired a local editor, and had a few friends and family members read the manuscript. Some read it more than once.

Is your book only available electronically or do you also have printed copies?
Printed copies are available through Amazon.

How do you market your book?
Honestly, I spend hours every day trying to market my book. I’m always trying to reach out to book bloggers, reviewers, and other self-published authors like myself. I have found that the “indie” book community is extremely supportive! There are so many writers like myself who have come together to help other writers gain a presence and get the word out on each other’s books.

Did you ever consider getting a Literary Agent or did you always know you wanted to self-publish? How did you decide?
I actually had an agent, and was under contract with her for a year. She was shopping around my first book, Kat Fight, and was unable to find a publisher for it. During that year, I discovered self-publishing, and did a ton of research on it that lead me to believe it was the perfect path for me. So I chose not to renew my contract with my agent, and have been absolutely thrilled with my choice. I will say that I am a complete control freak, and you almost have to be to self-publish successfully, because you do everything yourself. However, I did publish through Createspace (who I HIGHLY recommend) and they will do a bunch of the upfront work for you. But once it’s out there, you need to really work to get your book noticed…and it will be so rewarding when you do.

Describe your experience with self-publishing. How long did the whole process take?
Partnering with Createspace took about three months. But I went through them because I wanted to have paperback copies available too. If you’re strictly going the eBook route, it will take much less time.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of being self-published?
The biggest advantage, as far as I’m concerned, is that you maintain the rights to your work. The other big advantage is that you can make more money per book, and you can have your book published in record time. Most traditional houses take 18 months to get your book out there.

Would you recommend self-publishing?
I would highly recommend it! However, make sure you have a perfectly edited manuscript, great cover art, and the ability to market yourself. Oh…and a good book!

Have you joined writing competitions?
I have entered One Pink Line in three competitions…results are all still pending. Cross your fingers for me!

What genre does your book belong to?
It falls under Contemporary Fiction & Women’s Fiction. 

What makes you unique as a writer? Describe your writing style.
I hope what makes me unique is my wit. I really try to write a great story with a thread of humor throughout.

Who is your favorite author, and why?
Hmm, I might have to say Jane Austen.

Define a good book.
One that I can’t put down. One that keeps me thinking about the characters as I’m trying to fall asleep.

Define a good writer.
Well, there are so many different types of writers, but I guess they all share a similar passion for storytelling. That’s what really comes through in the great ones.

What is your favorite book? What are you reading now?
Favorite book of all time is Pride & Prejudice. Right now I am reading Mockingjay (third book in the Hunger Games trilogy)

How has being a published author changed your life?
It’s been a gift. I truly believe this is what I was always meant to do.

How do you balance being a writer and a mom?
I have one beautiful boy who is in third grade, so I have lots of time to write when he’s at school.

What inspires you to write?
Great stories.

Are you working on your second book?
Yes! My second book, Kat Fight, will be out in June.

What tips can you give writers who are considering self-publishing?
Here are a few:

  • Edit, edit, edit!
  • If people you trust give you great criticism, take it
  • Hire someone to design an eye-catching, professional cover for your book
  • Get involved in social media
  • Get involved with the site Goodreads
  • Reach out to book bloggers
  • Once your book is out there being read, ask people to leave reviews for it on Amazon
  • Good luck!

Thanks Dina for giving me the opportunity to interview you. It was such a pleasure.

If you’d like to learn more about Dina Silver, visit her website.

One Pink Line is available on Amazon.com.

Thank you for stopping by and I hope my two interviews were helpful.