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Writer Wednesday Welcomes: Brandi Kosiner

Today I’d like to welcome another fabulous writing woman to Musings. Her name is Brandi Kosiner and she is incredible. It’s not often I get the chance to interview a fellow YA writer, lover and enthusiast, so when Brandi offered to take part in Writer Wednesday, I bounced around a little.  Can you tell, I’m crazy about her? You will be too.

 

Bio:

Brandi Kosiner is a writer of YA contemporary and a reader of most things YA especially paranormal romance and contemporary. She’s a mom to an energetic and opinionated two year old and has been married for four years. While those pursuits take up the majority of her time, she also likes to watch hockey (Go Canes!), bowl, swim, hang with her small group from church and take walks. She is a big fan of House and Vampire Diaries and always makes time to watch.

 

How long have you been writing? If not all your life, then what was the catalyst that got you writing seriously?
Well, I’ve always wanted to write, pretty much as long as I’ve been reading. I wrote a few short stories and children’s books when I was in school, but those really should never see the light of day.
What really got me serious about writing was actually taking the NaNoWriMo challenge. It got me disciplined to write everyday. But even before that, the ones that encouraged me to join, a lovely group of twitter ladies who give me feedback and help me keep as sane as I ever am. They’ve helped me edit, and helped me to have faith. Their words and their own novels have kept me encouraged as well as my blog readers who’ve shown interest.

You write contemporary YA. What is it about YA that draws you in?
I suppose it is the immediacy. But I also still relate better with their emotions and perspectives than I do with adult. I think that in a YA you get down to the plot and what the ones that I love the best are the ones that are character driven. I also like that they are shorter and I can read in a day or two.
The abundance of hot, broody, sensitive, and amazing boys in the YA genre also help to spark my interest =)

Tell us a little bit about your writing.
Well, I’ve written two books, both contemporary YA, and I am planning my third. The first, Fractured is loosely based on a relationship that I was in. Her family and most of the details are fiction, but the emotions and the journey come from a real place. It is a story that I felt needed to be told. It is about seventeen-year-old Meredith who’s depressed after her father dies. She goes to college and meets Kaden, who helps her to heal and she falls in love for the first time. Kaden isn’t all he seems though, he has a darker side that she starts to fear. She is able to make excuses for his mood swings and yelling, and even eventually his fists, while she clings to the boy who made her feel whole again.
When I Wake is a dual narrative about Jessie and Ben. Jessie wants to get back in the saddle again after a riding accident and Ben wants to make it to the NHL to live out his dreams and to give the money to his family. But when an accident that Ben feels is his fault leaves Jessie in a coma, he struggles to make the right decisions about his future. When Jessie wakes, she has limitations, but still dreams on getting back in the saddle again. She feels like the world is moving on without her, and she doesn’t know if she can keep up.

Have you taken classes on the craft? College or online? or does it come naturally?
I’ve listened to some online seminars, but I’ve learned the most from reading, editing my own story with the help of others, as well as critiquing others’ work.

Do you have a story to share about the writing life? This can be anything you want to add, a tough experience, or life as a writer who also has a little one to watch, or friends who think your dream is a little nutty? anything you want to share
Well, I have a two year old, and we are also trying to get pregnant, so some days, my writing gets pushed to the back burner. But I’ve made time for it, and my husband and parents have been very supportive in the evenings, giving me time to write and edit. But I’ve also spend many hours of naptime, and hours late into the night writing. I’ve a bit of querying, and the rejections have been hard, though I have had a full request that was later rejected, and a few awesome writer friends to give me a lot of help and encouragement that my story can make it even if it does need some work. All the changes so far have really been the best for my manuscript even if hearing there’s something wrong was hard at first.

WHat has been the best thing to happen to your writing life? Social media, crit group or partner, a book, etc.
The groups of writers, both published and yet to be published that I’ve mentioned several times already. A few of my favorite authors have taken me under their wing and that means so much to me. They’ve read my work, let me read theirs, and have just otherwise been my friend. Some I met through twitter, others through emails, and some through blogs.

Do you have any advice or words of encouragement to others who are thinking about writing more seriously or those who are feeling lost in this ginormous tidal wave of writers.
First–write what you love. It can be tempting to jump on a trend, but if you’re wanting to be published, that trend very well could be dead before you are even ready to submit to agents.
Second–get people you trust to edit your work. Some for reader reaction, others for grammar, flow, and looking for telling rather than showing which is a weakness of mine. Revise. Then try to find another set of eyes and repeat.
Third–yes it’s hard to break through in the publishing world, but it’s not impossible. Write a beautiful manuscript, make it the best you can, and hope that an agent falls in love. But don’t put all your eggs in one basket–keep writing. Get another idea and repeat the process.
You can learn more about Brandi by following her around the web

My author site:
http://brandikosiner.blogspot.com/
My book blog:
http://blkosiner.blogspot.com/
My twitter:
http://twitter.com/#!/brandileigh2003
My goodreads:
http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/2614253-brandi

Editing Reveals Bad Habits

My agent returned my most recent manuscript to me a couple days ago. She graciously read and edited it for me because she’s wonderful. I, on the other hand, was devastated. This time around I wanted to really impress her. It’s been a year since I wrote the previous manuscript which she represents, and I felt I’d come a long way in terms of my self editing. In some ways, maybe I have, but the gallons of red markups sent me staggering. I thought I’d take today to talk about one reoccurring mistake I make. Maybe it will help someone else.

I can not cannot seem to compound my words. I made this same mistake a hundred times in the last manuscript, and I did keep my eyes open for them this time, but I still racked up a ton of lost words when I made the changes to compound all those bad boys.

Badboys?

No. See, now I’m just trying to compound everything, like hashtags on twitter. Also a manuscript no-no.

I make plenty of other errors too, like the fact I can’t use a comma to save my life no matter how hard I try to memorize the rules for their use. And, I add too many dialogue tags. No, not the ones we’re warned show we’re amateur, like “she whispered softly”, or “he yelled loudly” or “she asked curiously.” Nah, I abuse and overuse the regular old “he said” “she saids” – like a lot.

Now, back to those pesky compound words. It’s important to compound them if they are indeed compound. The same way you’d never type out a sentence about the reliability of the United States mail men. <–mailmen, you must acknowledge other compounds and treat them as such. I desperately need to heed my own advice. I regularly leave compound words separated and they don’t like it. Not one little bit. They belong together.*cue romantic music and butterflies*

Now for an exercise in humility and humor, I shall proceed to list the compound words I managed to overlook in my new manuscript. A hem…

drive way driveway

head band headband

mail box fingertips

black mail blackmail

wash cloth washcloth

cotton mouth cottonmouth

level headed levelheaded

finger nails fingernails

Okay, I’m sure there were many more, but I’m feeling so silly at this point , I refuse to admit to any more anymore dumb mistakes LOL

In My Easter Mailbox & Mailbox Monday

My mailbox floweth over this week LOL. I have so many awesome words to read that my head is a little woozy and I’m drooling a bit from my slack jaw. I am in pure YA bliss. Here’s what I got:

From the local library:

The Liar Society byLisa & Laura Roecker

Kate Lowry didn’t think dead best friends could send e-mails. But when she gets an e-mail from Grace, she’s not so sure.

To: KateLowry@pemberlybrown.edu
Sent: Sun 9/14 11:59 PM
From: GraceLee@pemberlybrown.edu
Subject: (no subject)

Kate,
I’m here…
sort of.
Find Cameron.
He knows.
I shouldn’t be writing.
Don’t tell.
They’ll hurt you.

Now Kate has no choice but to prove once and for all that Grace’s death was more than just a tragic accident. She teams up with a couple of knights-in-(not so)-shining armor–the dangerously hot bad boy, Liam, and her love-struck neighbor, Seth. But at their elite private school, there are secrets so big people will do anything to protect them—even if it means getting rid of anyone trying to solve a murder…

Wither by Lauren DeStefano

By age sixteen, Rhine Ellery has four years left to live. She can thank modern science for this genetic time bomb. A botched effort to create a perfect race has left all males with a lifespan of 25 years, and females with a lifespan of 20 years. Geneticists are seeking a miracle antidote to restore the human race, desperate orphans crowd the population, crime and poverty have skyrocketed, and young girls are being kidnapped and sold as polygamous brides to bear more children.

When Rhine is kidnapped and sold as a bride, she vows to do all she can to escape. Her husband, Linden, is hopelessly in love with her, and Rhine can’t bring herself to hate him as much as she’d like to. He opens her to a magical world of wealth and illusion she never thought existed, and it almost makes it possible to ignore the clock ticking away her short life. But Rhine quickly learns that not everything in her new husband’s strange world is what it seems. Her father-in-law, an eccentric doctor bent on finding the antidote, is hoarding corpses in the basement. Her fellow sister wives are to be trusted one day and feared the next, and Rhine is desperate to communicate to her twin brother that she is safe and alive. Will Rhine be able to escape–before her time runs out?

Invincible by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Just when he thought things couldn’t get any worse…

Nick Gautier’s day just keeps getting better and better. Yeah, he survived the zombie attacks, only to wake up and find himself enslaved to a world of shapeshifters and demons out to claim his soul.

His new principal thinks he’s even more of a hoodlum than the last one, his coach is trying to recruit him to things he can’t even mention and the girl he’s not seeing, but is, has secrets that terrify him.

But more than that, he’s being groomed by the darkest of powers and if he doesn’t learn how to raise the dead by the end of the week, he will become one of them…

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder — much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Clary knows she should call the police, but it’s hard to explain a murder when the body disappears into thin air and the murderers are invisible to everyone but Clary.

Equally startled by her ability to see them, the murderers explain themselves as Shadowhunters: a secret tribe of warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. Within twenty-four hours, Clary’s mother disappears and Clary herself is almost killed by a grotesque demon.

But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know….

City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

Clary Fray just wishes that her life would go back to normal. But what’s normal when you’re a demon-slaying Shadowhunter, your mother is in a magically induced coma, and you can suddenly see Downworlders like werewolves, vampires, and faeries? If Clary left the world of the Shadowhunters behind, it would mean more time with her best friend, Simon, who’s becoming more than a friend. But the Shadowhunting world isn’t ready to let her go — especially her handsome, infuriating, newfound brother, Jace. And Clary’s only chance to help her mother is to track down rogue Shadowhunter Valentine, who is probably insane, certainly evil — and also her father.

To complicate matters, someone in New York City is murdering Downworlder children. Is Valentine behind the killings — and if he is, what is he trying to do? When the second of the Mortal Instruments, the Soul-Sword, is stolen, the terrifying Inquisitor arrives to investigate and zooms right in on Jace. How can Clary stop Valentine if Jace is willing to betray everything he believes in to help their father?

In this breathtaking sequel to City of Bones, Cassandra Clare lures her readers back into the dark grip of New York City’s Downworld, where love is never safe and power becomes the deadliest temptation.

City of Glass by Cassandra Clare

To save her mother’s life, Clary must travel to the City of Glass, the ancestral home of the Shadowhunters — never mind that entering the city without permission is against the Law, and breaking the Law could mean death. To make things worse, she learns that Jace does not want her there, and her best friend, Simon, has been thrown in prison by the Shadowhunters, who are deeply suspicious of a vampire who can withstand sunlight.

As Clary uncovers more about her family’s past, she finds an ally in mysterious Shadowhunter Sebastian. With Valentine mustering the full force of his power to destroy all Shadowhunters forever, their only chance to defeat him is to fight alongside their eternal enemies. But can Downworlders and Shadowhunters put aside their hatred to work together? While Jace realizes exactly how much he’s willing to risk for Clary, can she harness her newfound powers to help save the Glass City — whatever the cost?

Love is a mortal sin and the secrets of the past prove deadly as Clary and Jace face down Valentine in the final installment of the New York Times bestselling The Mortal Instruments.


In My Mailbox is a meme from the Story Siren designed to help book lovers unite, meet, greet and follow one another in our quests to find the next most awe inspiring, tear jerking, mesmerizing or just entertaining new tome.

Mailbox Monday is a meme hosted this month at Passages to the Past. This is one more incredible way to get to know one another, build your following and find great new sites to add to your dashboard.

What was in your mailbox this week?

Bloggers! Be sure to follow me if you like what you see. I always follow back!!  & I love making new bookish friends!

Get In The Mood Dude

I’m a big supporter of Nike’s slogan “Just do it.” I find it applies to all things you know you should be doing. How many times have I not wanted to hit the gym? What if I didn’t? Let me tell you: I’d be chubby (ier) and feel awful. I’d be in tatter pajamas surrounded by empty Poptart wrappers, and my kids would bring the house down if I never did the things I didn’t feel like doing.

If I didn’t write something when I knew I should be writing, I’d never be published. Imagine only doing what you want to do. It sounds a whole lot better than it is because we’re human and we tend to not always want what’s best for us. Sometimes we’re in a funk or feeling lazy or just not-in-the-mood-dude.

I learned long ago that not-in-the-mood-dude doesn’t get very far ahead in life. I don’t wanna be that dude.

So, it’s a long weekend. Take advantage of the time you have to write and steal a few minutes to get your brilliance on paper. You’ll be so glad you did and you might find that the more you write the more inspired you feel to keep writing. That fact is true for all sorts of things. The mroe you do it, the more you want to do it. Whatever it might mean to you ;)

Get busy now before you lose your motivation. Get-IN-the-mood-Dude.

It’s the Blog Hop & Follow Friday!!!!!

It’s time for the Blog Hop & Follow Friday again! I love this part of the week because  I’m meeting so many awesome bloggers, writers, readers *sigh*. So to all of you hopping with me I’m smiling widely like a doofus and waving frantically as always!!

Blog Hop is hosted over at Crazy-for-Books and Follow Friday is hosted at Parajunkee. These memes were created to help make the web smaller, and introduce us bloggers to one another. We can find sites and meet people and follow those we love! We increase our followers and we get some fun new sites to add to our dashboards too. Its a big win-win and I am thrilled to be taking part again this week.

So the question this week at Crazy for Books is: If you find a book you love, do you hunt down other books by the same author? Yes! I love love LOVE finding a new author to love! LOL. Anytime I read something that gets me excited, I will immediately begin collecting her other titles. Every writer has their own voice and personality to fuel the story and I find that transcends. It’s there in most of their other titles as well. I know it’s not always the case, but it is often enough that I’m rarely disappointed.

Parajunkee’s question of the week is : What’s on your playlist right now?

My playlist is out of control LOL, but here are the top 10 when I bring it up:

1. Lincoln Park              6.Nickelback

2.Pink                                7. Carrie Underwood

3. Katy Perry                 8. Miley Cyrus (Hey, I’m being honest)

4. Black Eyed Peas       9. Casting Crowns

5. Train                          10. Blink 182

 


Thanks everyone for stopping by! Leave a comment and tell me if you follow! I always follow back!!!

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