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Who Are You Again?

It’s a big world out there. Tons of authors. Tons of books. Innumerable aspirings like you and I.

Today, I want to encourage other writers to put themselves out there. If you are more of a lurker than an online personality, consider changing that up. So many writers I know make comments like, “You know how it is being an introvert. Writers have a tough time with all the self promotion.”

I get half that. I’ve never really been known as an introvert. However, I think most people regardless of personality have a a little trouble with self promotion. Some don’t, but most find it awkward to say the least.  Some call it branding yourself. Some say establish an online presence. You can call it what you want, but the goal is to network. Get to know people in the industry. Meet other writers, established authors, agents, editors, readers – especially readers. Have fun letting loose. It’s okay to be silly and happy and confident. Make friends.

I know it doesn’t always come easy, but at least there’s a degree of separation over the web. You aren’t in a room full of others wondering if you have spinach in your teeth or if your skirt’s tucked into your underpants. Writers are so good to one another. I’ve met some of my closest friends online. They get me. Don’t miss out on the camaraderie, encouragement, knowledge that’s waiting for you. Then, when your manuscript is contracted, you’ll have people to surround and support you, lift you up, fan your page, buy your book.

So, to those lurkers, say Hi. Tweet me! I want to meet you! I guarantee you so does everyone else.

Blog Hop & Follow Friday! 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 I gave you £50 (or $80) and sent you into a bookshop right now, what would be in your basket when you finally staggered to the till?

Oh! I’d buy:

1. Wicked Appetite by Janet Evanovich

2. DemonGlass by Rachel Glass

3. Smokin Seventeen by Janet Evanovich (Preorder, so wouldn’t be in my basket LOL)

4. Matched by Allie Condie

I have quite a few books on preorder so I have to wait for them, like 5. Passion by Lauren Kate, 6.Forever by Maggie Stiefvater, and 7.Original Sin by Lisa Desrochers. If only my basket collected ARCs!

I heart YA. Can you tell? LOL!!!

Parajunkee’s question this week is:

Just like Ashley said (love it) “Ashley the girl…” who are You the Boy/Girl, instead of You the Blogger?

Well, I am Julie the wife, mom, teacher, writer, reader and friend. My house is crazy. My kids are crazy. I am crazy. My life is a circus, and I love it. It suits me just fine. As long as someone keeps the coffee coming, I can handle whatever comes my way LOL!

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

Win DemonGlass by Rachel Hawkins!!!

I’m sure you all remember my rave review of a YA I recently read. The title was Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins. It was so much fun! I had waited for-ever to get my hands on it and when I did I devoured it. THEN I learned the sequel was due out and I flipped. Well, guess what? The utterly fabulous CJ Redwine has an interview with amazing awesomesauce Rachel on her blog today – which is delish I will add- AND she’s giving away a copy of the sequel to Hex Hall — DemonGlass!!!

I want it!

I want it!

I want it!

You definitely want it too, so stop over at the blog, leave a comment, tweet it out and be entered for an incredible new YA!

Go for it! & Good luck!

Freak-Their-Freak Cliffhangers & More

Writerly advice from the writing addicted: Don’t forget to freak-their-freak. Readers WANT to shake the book violently, scream at the what-the-heck-just-happened moment and then dive back in before the moment escapes them. If you read as much as I do, and I assume if you’re reading this blog, you are a voracious reader, then you know what I’m saying.

It doesn’t matter what genre you write. It doesn’t matter how old you are. We want a larger than life Holy-Frickin-Cow moment as often as possible. My kids beg for more every night because childrens books have the cliffhanger chapter ending on lock. They KNOW it. A good romance writer leaves you thinking? Is that IT? They’re walking away? or OMG her ex is back? Or KISS ALREADY!

If you’re writing suspense, you should be all over this.

Have you made each chapter in your WIP a separate chunk of material? It should have a point. There should be a beginning, a middle and an end. Unlike the book itself, the chapter ending should stop on a tense note or turning point so the reader needs to turn that page. The beginning of the next chapter should work out that previous conflict and build to the next one. Keep the reader on the edge of their seat.

In addition to the cliff hanger chapter endings, don’t forget to add over the top, believable but unlikely to happen in an everyday situation events. I hate when I read something and roll my eyes thinking “That’s so fake. This was contrived. Never happen. Don’t believe it.” BUT I LOVE to read something that flows right over the edge where I know it could happen and the event triggers something: embarrassment, passion, fear, excitement, then I squeal and keep reading.

I beta for many people these days. One thing I notice in the newer writer is their story telling. Its easy to fall into a narrative. Readers don’t like narrative. We want to jump in and assume the personality of the MC. I want to feel like I can see, hear, smell, taste, experience what they’re doing. Writing isn’t telling a bedtime story. It’s a whole different art form.

Make the events count, keep them swirling. Some large events take center stage, while others wait then return. Keep that MC treading water without catching too much of a break. Just like real life, we juggle all the crazy. Kee your MC busy. If its not her house exploding, it’s being late for work. Vary the stress and keep it coming! I hate when my house explodes and my boss jumps my case because it made me an hour late for work. I can’t afford to lose my job now, I have to rebuild my house! Where am I going to stay now? I’m homeless….enter ex-boyfriend who wants to reconnect but I just blew him off the night before. Now, I gotta crawl back begging for a couch to sleep on  BUT boss catches me and yells at me to get to work, then ex’s new woman walks up and glares. He didn’t mention her when he was trying to hook up with me five minutes ago. Back to no place to stay, plus he’s all satisfied I tried to make up and she’s my new enemy. Crap. My boss is still staring. I’m gonna get written up. Text from insurance company, explosion was intentional so an investigation will lead to longer cleanup time. Ahhhhhhhhh!!!!

Okay, so that was off the top of my head. All could and maybe have happened to you, except the explosion, but it wasn’t a unicorn, so you believed me. You get behind the boss and boy drama and the poor woman is going in circles now. Voila! I just freaked-her-freak.

I’d love to hear some of your fantastic ideas for keeping those MCs on the edge!

Review: Freshman Year & Other Natural Disasters

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