Sunday, September 30, 2012

Writing Seasons

September has been an absolutely chaotic month for me. I had an incredibly productive summer for first drafts. I finished one first draft - added between 25 & 30k, then joined camp NaNo and wrote another 60k. I finished off that draft in the first week or so of September.

Now I`m in revision mode. I`m back to the story I finished in the early part of the summer. I'm doing a read through right now, doing minor revisions and seeing what needs to be done. While I'm moving at a decent pace, I feel like I'm back to snail mode.

Is it the difference between first draft writing and revising? Or is it the day job taking back a huge portion of my day and energy? Or is it all in perception?

My favourite part of the process is first draft writing. I LOVE this stage and could probably do it forever. I have so many ideas calling to me all the time.

But I've learned to enjoy the revision stage too - and during the school year, it's much easier to do revisions than first drafts. So, I'll try to enjoy the less frantic pace of revisions while I hope for more time in the coming months.

How about you? Do you have certain times of year when you prefer to work on different stages of the whole process?

Monday, September 24, 2012

Release Day for Uncontrollable

Yay! Uncontrollable is out today!

Uncontrollable is the second book in "The Nature of Grace" series by S.R. JohannesUntraceable, the first book in the series, has won and been nominated for several awards including Winner of the 2012 IndieReader Discovery Award (YA), 2012 Georgia Author of the Year (YA Nominee), and a finalist in The Kindle Book Review's "Best Indie Book of 2012 (YA)".

Kirkus reviewed Untraceable as "A thrilling story is a dramatic entanglement of mystery, deception and teen romance.  The action flows like a brisk mountain stream interspersed with rapids, holding suspense to last page."

If you like a page turner, you will love this series!

Head over to Mundie Moms for a Big Uncontrollable Launch Party with tons of prizes and then over to SR Johannes blog for even more.

To continue on with the blog tour, check out the line up! Where SR talks about anything from marketing to writing to her books to personal interviews and giveaways.

Book Summary

As 16-year-old Grace recovers from tragedy, her science class is chosen by Agent Sweeney at the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to help with research on the new "Red Wolf Reintroduction Program". 

While she’s excited about helping with the conservation of the endangered wolves, Grace knows this means being outdoors in the worst winter recorded, in a place she no longer feels comfortable. It also means working closely with Wyn (her ex) and his annoying girlfriend (Skyler), a girl whose idea of getting close to nature is picking silk plants and growing fake plants. 

After a couple of wolves show up dead, Grace almost quits. However, when a fellow project team member goes missing, Grace continues the assignment under a renewed suspicion that someone might be sabotaging the conservation program. She quietly begins to hunt for clues. 

Little does she know, she is being hunted too. 

On Sale Now! 

Uncontrollable is on sale in paperback and ebook at all major
booksellers including Amazon, iBooks/Apple (coming soon),
 Smashwords, and B&N.
If you haven't read Untraceable, you can get it in paperback and ebook
at all major booksellers including AmazonAppleSmashwords,
and B&N.

Author Bio

S.R. Johannes is the author of award-winning and Amazon bestselling Untraceable (a teen wilderness thriller) and new tween paranormal, On The Bright Side. She has also published short novelettes as well as a teen romance anthology with 16 other authors titled, In His Eyes.  Uncontrollable, the sequel to Untraceable, is scheduled for September 2012.

S.R. Johannes is a winner of the 2012 IndieReader Discovery Awards (Young Adult) and was also recently nominated for 2012 Georgia Author of the Year (Young Adult). Untraceable was also recently named a Finalist in The Kindle Book Review's Indie Book of the Year (YA)

After earning an MBA and working in corporate America, S.R. Johannes traded in her expensive suits, high heels, and corporate lingo for a family, flip-flops, and her love of writing.  She lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her dog, British-accented husband, and the huge imaginations of their little prince and princess, which she hopes- someday- will change the world. 


Follow S.R. online on her websiteTwitterFacebook, and Pinterest

You can also sign up for her newsletter to keep up on author or book news.
I'm thrilled to be able to help Shelli launch her latest book! I love this series - Grace is such a terrific character. I love the setting of the story too - both in a small town and in the surrounding forests. And of course, the story is packed with exciting twists and turns. I know it's a little early, but the series would make a fabulous Christmas present for any lovers of YA!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Favourite Genres

Genre Favorites Blogfest, September 17, 2012
One blogfest, four favorites!

Ninja Captain Alex J Cavanaugh is at it again! Another awesome blogfest with fun questions. Click on Alex's link to check out the other people contributing.

Favourite Movie Genre: Science Fiction
  •  even though my favourite movie of all time is probably the Lord of the Rings trilogy, I have to go with sf, not fantasy. There are SO many great sf movies - starting with Star Wars (although some folks categorize this as fantasy) , through the Star Trek movies to Serenity to so many more. Love them!
Favourite Music Genre: Rock
  •  this one is really tough for me. Even tougher than books. I listen to a wide variety of music and love most of it. I'd have to say I prefer the lighter rock to heavier rock, but there's nothing quite like a rock beat to get you moving!
Favourite Book Genre: Romance
  •  I love watching a relationship develop between the two characters, knowing there's a Happy Ever After in store for me. I LOVE books in so many genres (sf, fantasy, suspense, adventure,...) but time and again I find myself going back to romance.
Favourite Guilty Pleasure: ...
  •  this was tough - once again, there are so many to choose from! I love a lot of old cheesy music especially, but I think my biggest guilty pleasure is a movie, but not from my favourite genre. It's Miss Congeniality. Sandra Bullock is so much fun in this one. So many scenes make me smile - lots of fun!
Help me out here - tell me one of your guilty pleasures from one of those categories! Please!! :)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


I'm over at From the Write Angle today talking about 3 Twitter hashtags I think most writers (especially aspiring writers) will find helpful. I hope you'll pop on over to join the conversation and tell me your favourite writers' hashtag! See you there!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Steampunk Your Wardrobe & a Winner!

I'm SO excited!!!

My incredibly multi-talented crit buddy Calista Taylor has another new book out. This one is a craft book called Steampunk Your Wardrobe published by Fox Chapel Publishing. Calista made all the crafts, figured out the lighting, took the photos and wrote the instructions & the commentary! (See what I mean about multi-talented?)

Amazon has sent me an email informing me that my pre-order is delayed ... because there's not enough in stock. How cool is that????

Although... I am VERY annoyed I don't have my copy yet. *sigh*

Calista also has several novels out and about - and they are fabulous!
  • Jack - A Grim Reaper Romance is a very cool story based on the Jack the Ripper legends ... and so much more!
  • One Last Kiss is a prequel to Jack and is a Grim Reaper Romance as well. It's also FREE
  • Virdis - a Steampunk Romance & Mystery is also FREE!
  • Devil on a Sparrow's Wing - part 2 in the Virdis series
If you like crafts, fashion, and/or steampunk, this is definitely a book you have to have!!

How about you? Any interest in branching out into both fiction and nonfiction? What's your specialty?

I used a very scientific method to choose a winner from my previous post. I hollered down the stairs and asked my kids to choose a number. And the winner is...

Sharon K Mayhew!!! Yay!!!

Congratulations & I'll forward your name to Shelli! :)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Shelli on Shorts & a Giveaway

I'm thrilled today to be part of the Uncontrollable blog tour! This is one of my favourite YA series! Shelli (aka S.R. Johannes) is here today to answer some questions I had about writing shorts. Take it away, Shelli!
1.   Short stories have become very popular recently. What drew you to this writing form?

My attention span is short J Actually, I have tons of books I have started that I never subbed so I drew from there. Suffocate came from one of those ideas that just never panned out.

After Untraceable, I wanted to keep my writing momentum for my readers without feeling pressured to put out Uncontrollable sooner. I knew I could not force out Uncontrollable any faster or it would not be as good. Short stories only take me a few weeks to write because they are only 15,000 words so they are a nice break. Suffocate was that for me. A step away for a few weeks and a nice beginning to a full story. (#2 in Oct and #3 before xmas)

2.   What is the biggest difference in your approach to writing a short as opposed to writing a novel?

Nothing. It is shorter in word count but you cannot take short cuts on quality or substance. I still make sure I have character arcs and intriguing plot points. I find short stories are actually harder in the sense that you have to get the reader to attach to a main character pretty quickly and you can’t bog it down in back story. So it is a more delicate writing process. Every word has to count and mean something.
3.   Was it easier to write Unspeakable which is part of your Nature of Grace series or to start with something completely different in your story Suffocate?

Unspeakable was actually much harder than Suffocate because It was from Mo’s perspective. I found I didn’t know Mo as well and could not get into his head. My Critique Partner actually read the first draft and said Mo was “boring”. It was awful. I didn’t know him as well as I know Grace so I had to dig much deeper to find him, his voice, and a male POV. I also had to make sure he didn’t come across as “creepy guy in woods” and or “boring nature guy”. The hardest part was making it exciting with enough tension but without giving away Untraceable secrets.
4.   I loved the ending of Suffocate. Do you handle endings differently in shorts and novels? Or is it more individual to the stories themselves rather than the writing form?

I personally love wrapping up one thread in a book while still leaving another loose thread dangling. I tend to have some of that in all my books. I never plan a series, but if I do leave a thread, I can come back. My first goal is to satisfy the reader with a good ending but my second goal is to keep them wanting more. Maybe leave a question that might bring the reader back if I decide to continue that series. I think this is personal though. What I don’t like is a cliffhanger that doesn’t wrap up the story I’m reading. That’s is so annoying and actually turns me off the next book.
5.   Shortbread, short cake or short ribs?

I don’t eat red meat or pork so ribs are out. I’m going to say short cake b/c I love sweets – though now they all have to be gluten free (boo hiss!)

Thanks so much, Shelli! I finished Uncontrollable in less than 24 hours. It is AWESOME! Grace is a strong character and she can make my heart break. She also makes me laugh and cheer. So many terrific characters in this one. I love the setting too. Trust me, you want to read this book!

Shelli is going to give away one e-copy of Uncontrollable today! All you need to do is comment on this post today (Sept 5th) in order to qualify.

So do you write or read shorts?