Saturday, February 26, 2011


So, I've been meaning to start doing contests for a while now, but I never quite got around to it until this weekend. Without further ado, here is what you can win:

A. A copy of Incarceron, by Catherine Fisher. This is the first book in a series, and Taylor Lautner from Twilight is set to play the lead in the movie version when it comes out. I bought Incarceron at The King's English (I know that's not particularly relevant, but I think it's always good to support independent book stores).

B. A ten page critique by yours truly. I know I have absolutely no credentials when it comes to critiquing, but I thought this might be a nice prize for some of the younger followers on this blog (I think there's a fair number of you). Also, it never hurts to have a second pair of eyes :).

So, how do you enter?


~You must be a follower.
~You get one entry for commenting on this post (include your email address).
~You get an additional entry(s) for tweeting and/or blogging about this contest (provide a link, please).

There you go! The drawing will be open until Sunday, March 6, at which point I will randomly select two names. I don't expect to get many entries, so you might as well try!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Advice for Young Authors: Write the story you want to write

I know, I know....this is a totally generic topic for my weekly advice post, but I think it's too important to ignore. There are so many people out there who decide to write a paranormal romance novel because it's "the thing." Same with dystopian, which has grown more and more popular over the past couple years. Now, if you've always wanted to write a dystopian story, good for you. Go ahead. Knock yourself out. But if you choose the genre simply because it's hot right now, you're doing it for the wrong reasons.

First of all, genres go in and out of fashion. A lot of dystopian novels have come out recently. However, if you start writing a dystopian story right this minute, by the time it gets published the whole dystopian craze will have most likely faded. Publishing takes a long time, usually two or three years. Don't rely on current fads when deciding which story to work on.

The other issue is purely coming from an artistic standpoint: if you don't love the story idea, your book isn't going to be the best it can be. I learned this with ENCRYPTED. I was never very passionate about the story concept, so it didn't turn out as well as I had hoped. When you write what you want, you're tapping into the passion that drives most artistic ventures, and this will naturally reflect in your writing/characters. Never settle for something less; in the end, you'll probably regret it. I think a perfect example of this is The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary Pearson. When she first wrote this book, people told her it wasn't "commercial" enough to be published and reach a wide audience. I personally adored the story - it's become one of my favorites, and I have to say, I am so glad Ms. Pearson didn't listen to what other people told her.

In conclusion, write what you want. Write what you love. Don't get caught up in trends, because when it comes down to it, trends eventually fade. Good writing will never go out of style.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Guest Post

Hey everyone,

Just to let you all know, I did a guest post over at Throwing Up Words, the blog of Carol Lynch Williams, Ann Dee Ellis, Carol's daughter Kyra, and formerly Ally Condie. Check it out if you have a moment :).