Freebie Friday #8

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Enchanted (Channie, Book 1) – Charlotte Abel

Taken (Channie, Book 2) – Charlotte Abel

Hot Under the Collar ( Lords of Lancashire, Book 2) – Jackie Barbosa

Whiskey Dreams (Sleepy Hollow, Book 0.5) – Ranae Rose

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Welcome Melynda Price!

Hello, Hallie,

Thank you for hosting me on your blog today. I’m looking forward to this interview and would like to mention that I’m having a giveaway for a copy of Until Darkness Comes. Details to win will be included at the end of the interview.

1. What’s the first book you remember reading and why did it stick with you?

Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret.
This book was about a young adolescent girl entering puberty and trying to find her way. It was a great story that stuck with me because the main character was easy to identify with.

2. What’s your writing process and what do you find to be the most difficult part?

I’m a pantser. With the exception of the book I’m currently writing, I didn’t know how they were going to end until the ending. LOL. I try to let my stories write themselves rather than following a structure or an outline for them to fit into. For me, I think it flows better
that way. Because I’m a pantser, I have to go back through the story a couple of times to layer and connect the dots. Sometimes that can be tedious.

3. Which writers inspire you and which aspect of their writing do you find most impressive?

I really like Lara Adrian‘s Midnight Breed Series. What appeals to me about her writing style is that she has great characterization. Each of her characters have strong personalities that come through in each story. It pulls me in and I can bond with her characters. I think that’s one of the greatest challenges for a writer, to diversify your characters and create them in a way that the reader can bond to them.

4. What is the most challenging aspect of writing for you (ex. plot, characterization, pacing, grammar, etc.) and how do you overcome this?

By far, writing the ending is the toughest for me. I find it difficult to end a story in a way that doesn’t feel cut off, rushed, or leave trailing loose ends. I try to be very cautious not to do this, but it takes a conscious effort and it doesn’t come easy for me.

5. Everyone has that one BIG lesson they learned the hard way, do you mind sharing yours? How has it influenced your writing?

Learning to write a query letter that doesn’t scream “I don’t knowwhat I’m doing!” There are a lot of newbie errors to be made in drafting a query letter, and at one time or another, I’ve probably made them all.

I could probably paper my walls with the rejection letters.

I studied a lot of query letters and the art ofwriting them. I knew I’d finally gotten it right when I started getting manuscript requests. One of the things I’m working on is
developing a page on my website called “writing tips.” I’m including examples of synopsis and query letters as well as links to some good websites I found to be very helpful. Hopefully, other writers will find this useful.

6. If you could nominate two characters for best Hero and heroine, who would you choose?

Hmm…that’s hard to say, but Midnight Rising was one of my favorite books. I’d have say Tegan and Elise would be good nominees for best hero/heroine. They’re two dynamic characters with great chemistry that really hooked me.

7. Now, to get on to your novel, Until Darkness Comes. Choose three words that you believe best represent it.

Deception, Temptation, Romance.

8. I know all authors hate this question, but I think it’s really important for readers who are unfamiliar with an author–Which two previously published books do you feel Until Darkness Comes is most like. And include which aspects are similar (pacing, tone, atmosphere, romance, character types).

Wow, this is a very hard question. I’ve been told Until Darkness Comes has a certain Twilight appeal. Like Twilight, it’s a series that follows that same two main characters, and it’s a book that appeals to a YA and adult audience. I guess the other book would be Hush, Hush. Although the story lines have nothing in common, they’re both a romance about an angel and a mortal woman. This, too, is a series that follows the same two characters. I think people who enjoyed reading those books will like Until Darkness Comes.

9. For readers interested in keeping up with you and your work, can you list all places you can be found?

Anyone who’s interested in following me can do so through my blog, www.melyndaprice.com. My email and contact links for facebook and twitter are listed on my website. I post excerpts from my WIP’s every week, and am currently doing a Bonded in Exile excerpt.

Thank you so much, Hallie, for hosting me on your blog, and to everyone who stopped by today. I’m giving away a copy of Until Darkness Comes. Enter to win by going to my website, www.melyndaprice.com, “follow me” and leave a message that you’d like to be entered to win in a comment. Good luck!

I would like to thank Melynda Price for stopping by, and encourage you all to swing by a grab a copy of Until Darkness Comes, or enter to a copy at her blog.

Writers’ Toolbox: Stephie Smith’s Contest Chart for Writers

Stephie Smith has composed a wonderful chart for those of you looking to enter a writing contest. Her list of contests is current and full of all the important information.

If you are looking for a way to get noticed, or add some credits to add to your query letter, winning a writing contest is a great way to do it. Agents and publishers like to know that your manuscript has already received recognition. Not to mention, it shows that you probably have been networking and that will help them sell you and your book to prospective publishers because you’ve already made a name for yourself.

Writers’ Toolbox: Urban Dictionary

Before you use that word or phrase, check it out on urbandictionary.com.  You never know just what the kids are using it for these days, and you definitely want to avoid uncomfortable misinterpretations.

Example: She was carrying two large jugs with her.

(if you can’t figure out what’s wrong with that sentence, you might need to visit the urbandictionary–but please use with caution)

Alpha Male Monday: Emmett Cullen

Emmett Cullen makes alpha look good. Everyone else can fight over Jacob and Edward, but Emmett wins every time with me. He is not a man to do anything halfway. Emmett plays hard, works hard, and by the sound out it (“So it’s still standing? I would’ve thought you two had knocked it to rubble by now. What were you doing last night? Discussing the national debt?”)
he loves hard, too.

Species: Vampire
Occupation: Student (sorta)
Weaknesses: Overestimation of his strength
Special Qualities: SENSE OF HUMOR, Immortal, sexy

Writers’ Toolbox: Duotrope’s Digest

I have to thank Caszie for introducing me to Duotrope’s Digest. It’s the go to place if you’re looking to get published in the fiction or poetry market. They have the most comprehensive list of publishers that I’ve come across, and they have a detailed search engine. You just type in all the details of your manuscript, and tada, you have a suitable list of publishers to submit to. Better yet, they have response time stats and acceptance rate stats, and they gather this information through their submission tracker; which could be highly beneficial to you if you’re looking for a way to keep up with all of your outgoing submissions, and publishers you’re interested in.

Written Right Wednesdays: Darkfever

Since we’ve been on the topic of hooks this week, I thought I’d share with you one of my favorites. The Fever series by Karen Marie Moning is superb, and in my opinion Darkfever has one of the best hooks of all time.  (Click on the quote for a full excerpt of Darkfever)

“My philosophy is pretty simple–any day nobody’s trying to kill me is a good day in my book.”

Beautiful! There is a reason this book is a bestseller, and it’s Moning’s ability to suck you into the story. Her writing is suspenseful and intriguing. When writing your hooks–scratch that, when writing your entire manuscript, you should incorporate this same atmosphere. Readers want to feel the tension. Make me want to read more. If your first sentence isn’t good enough grab my attention, chances are, neither is the rest of your story. I’m not saying this to be cruel, but you need to realize that first impressions last the longest. Think of Twilight. Why do you think so many people made it through the insanely slow pace of that book? The prologue! It catches your attention.

“I’d never given much thought to how I would die–though I’d had reason enough in the last few months–but even if I had, I would not have imagined it like this.”

Whether you love or hate Twilight doesn’t change the fact that that’s a good opening line, because it makes the reader curious. Who’s going to die? Why? How? What reasons did the narrator have to think he/she would die?

Your hook should create questions, so that people have a reason to move forward.

Writers’ Toolbox: Pub Rants

Landing an Agent is no small task. It takes hard work, dedication, and a little “know how.” If you’re manuscript is in agent-ready condition then I’d say you’ve already mastered hard work and dedication, now you need someone to show you the ropes. Agent Kristin Nelson is just the woman you’re looking for. Nelson is the President and Senior Literary Agent of Nelson Literary Agency, LLC. She’s represented bestsellers such as Gail Carriger, Ally Carter, Sara Creasy, and Sherry Thomas. She’s experienced and successful, which makes her blog, Pub Rants, a must have. Nelson keeps it updated with the latest news in the publishing industry, and helpful pointers on how to land your own agent. Give it a click, you won’t regret it.