Friday, September 14, 2012

Final Day

On the final day of my blog tour, two bloggers post reviews and I'm thrilled with both of them.  Dalene posts about her hesitation to read my book and is now so glad she did at A Date with a Book.

And I didn't plan on saving the best for last, but it just worked out that way.  I am thrilled to share a review from Books Down My Pillow, where Camila from Chile posts about her love of the book and how the story moved her to tears.

It is overwhelming as a writer to know a reader has been touched by your words and moved by your characters.  It makes every sacrifice and effort for our art worth it.  This first tour has been fun and rewarding in so many ways.  I'd like to thank all the tour hosts for reading my book and featuring me on their blogs.


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Writerly Wednesday

Many people are curious about what writers go through to learn their craft, so I thought I would periodically share some of the things I've learned here.

I think story analysis is a huge part of learning the craft of writing, and I think it's a great tool for students to use, as they are constantly asked to analyze what they are reading. Analysis also helps when having to formulate ideas for stories as well.

So as a writer of character driven stories, I naturally look to the characters within the story to analyze it first. By always looking at character first, I dissect the story, using the characters as the foundation and building up from there.

For example, we know the character arch is an illustration of how the character changes within the story, but how do they change, and why do they change?  To answer these questions, we need to ask ourselves, what does the character want? The main character will risk it all at some point for what?  What is that one thing that means everything to the character? And finally, do they get what wanted at the beginning of the story or did they figure out by the end of the story, they really didn't want what they thought they wanted?  Or, did they have what they wanted all along, but didn't realize it until the end of the story (when they're done learning their character lesson)?

For example, in the very beginning of the Wizard of Oz, Dorothy wants out.  She wants to be in a better place.  And by the end of the story, she realizes she was in a good place, she had everything she ever wanted at home, she just didn't realize it.  So her want really was about feeling at home within herself, which became her character arch, her lesson.

Any writing questions you're dying to ask, from story analysis to the mechanics of writing to the life of a writer?  Drop me note in the comments section or send me a message on my Facebook page (click on my photo at the right).

And be sure to check out a few corner stops on the tour: My Cozie Corner and Kaisy Daisy's Corner.

Thanks for dropping by!


Monday, September 10, 2012

Manic Monday - One Inspiring Quote and Three Reviews

Anyone who knows me, is aware of my lack of gross motor coordination and therefore, lack of knowledge concerning sports and sports figures.  But over the weekend, while perusing the internet for some quotes, I ran across this one from Arnold Palmer, who just happens to share my mother's birthday and birth year.  Happy Birthday to everyone born today!

"The road to success is always under construction."  - Arnold Palmer

And check out three interesting blog stops for today:  Reading with ABC, A Case of Reading Insomni and A Chick Who Reads.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Ann Brashares and day #8 on the tour

Part of becoming a fiction writer requires reading a lot of fiction within your genre and specifically authors who you love, who write the kind of stories you wish you could write.  And when I say I read a lot, I mean a lot.  As in a book a week.  So while writing several novels over the last decade, I've read a lot of books too, and all exclusively on the craft of writing and in the young adult genre.

I thought each week, I'd highlight one of these books I've read over the years, as a few of them are still selling, and still being talked about, even years after their release. I'll also post a review of new books on the scene, some of them published by traditional publishers, others by indie authors.

Today I'm going to talk about a book from an author who impacted me very early on in my journey and confirmed in my mind who I wanted to become as a writer.

I read Ann Brashares, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants in 2005 (it was released in 2001).  The Sisterhood portrays four teen girls with four separate lives and character arcs, and the way Ann got into their heads, I was mesmerized by them and their story.  And while reading her book, I realized how much I wanted to write character-driven stories grounded in reality. I wanted to tackle real-life issues and entertain my readers at the same time, just like Ann.

I loved how each girl over one summer, faces real life challenges, challenges teens are faced with everyday. I won't go into much more detail, as the book is a little old, but I love how Lena, Tibby, Bridget and Carmen all learn separate lessons, but all of them tie into our (sometimes desperate) need for love and companionship.  I'm so thankful for Ann for her words and her style and for continuing to inspire me to write from the heart.

And finally, stop by Window on the World where Teressa posted a very nice, honest review of Wish I Could Have Said Goodbye.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Raising Awareness + A Review

Friday August 31, was International Overdose Awareness Day.  In coordination with that effort, a vigil was held last Thursday night where hundreds of people gathered on Roosevelt University's Schaumburg campus to participate in a candlelight vigil to remember those affected by drugs.  The vigil marked the first big event and gathering in Illinois in an effort to raise awareness and try to put an end to the sudden epidemic of teen drug use and overdoses in suburban Chicago. Read The Chicago Tribune, Daily Herald and The Beacon-News reports here.

Also, Senator Matt Murphy is sponsoring an awareness presentation on Heroin tonight, September 5th from 7pm -8:30 at Hersey High School and on Thursday, September 6th at Fremd High School.  More information on these events here.

And finally, the big blog tour continues.  Check out a review on Stressed Rach's Blog.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Days Five and Six

I'm going to start combing my stops and will now only post on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays.   Today, I'm featured on two blogs.  The first stop is at the Reviewing Shelf, and the second one is at Kristy Centeno's blog where I write a guest post on the subject of fear.

Thanks again for joining me and have a great day!