Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Road Trip Wednesday- You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth

This week's YA Highway Road Trip topic:

Write a dialogue between two of your favorite YA characters


Okay, I know there are a lot of amazing fan fic writers out there. I also have a lot of favorite YA characters who I'd like to hear more from...The thing is, I can't seem to bring myself to do the writing. I can't speak or think or act for someone else's characters because those characters aren't mine.

Sooo, I'm going to totally wimp out and play matchmaker between some of my favorite YA charaters:

First off, I'd like to partner up Kat from Heist Society and Evie from Paranormalcy (two of my all-time favorite female protags) to work a case together...paranormal or high end art thievery...I just have a feeling they'd make a kick-ass team.

Next, there has to be someone out there for Tiny from Will Grayson, Will Grayson. David Levithan, if Paul from Boy Meets Boy has messed it up again with Noah then maybe you should give Paul and Tiny a shot...I'd definitely pay to read that one.

Finally, I want to do a little genre-bending to pair up Adina from Beauty Queens and Gale from Hunger  Games since those two characters (both of whom I like sooo much) get shafted so badly on the romance end of things.

What about you? Which two YA characters would you like to see together?

Thursday, January 19, 2012


CHEATER BEATERS, my YA novel about a girl who starts a P.I. agency to catch cheating boyfriends, is going to be released as a series through Coliloquy, a newly-launched e-publisher.

Yay!!!!!!! (I thought that news deserved a few extra exclamation points)

It means turning my 75K word novel into eight or nine 40-50K “episodes,” each with extras like case notes, side scenes from different POVs, and possibly even multiple plot paths. The cases could turn out in different ways or the main characters may end up dating different people, depending on choices made by readers.

Sound exciting? To me, too.

This new interactive format for fiction ebooks is compatible with Kindle.

Check out these titles already available:

Witch's Brew- Heidi R. Kling

Dead Letter Office- Kira Snyder

Carcania- Liz Maverick                          

What about you?
Heard of Coliloquy? Are you revved about the idea of interactive fiction? Looking forward to one of these titles? Did you ever read those Choose Your Own Adventure books as a kid?

Monday, January 16, 2012

Why Audio- Playaways

I haven't written about my love of audiobooks in a while. In my non-blogging life, I get asked/tell people about audiobooks from time to time, and I keep forgetting to tell people about Playaways...unless me holding one is the reason the topic comes up.

They're fairly new. You can probably get them at your library. They're like an Mp3 player with one book on them. You add a AAA battery and your own earphones.

I'm listening to this one now. I use them mostly for shopping, vacuuming, and hauling things in/out of the house...times when I need to be on the move. You can aso play them on regular speakers/boomboxes that have an audio Mp3 plug.

I put audiobooks on my regular Mp3 players too...I shop Audible and my library has free ones I can download...but this is a good alternative for those who haven't entered the digital age yet, would rather keep their Mp3 players dedicated to music, or find CD audiobooks inconvenient. Also, sometimes you just get different/newer book choices from your library with this media.

What about you? Anyone seen or used Playaways?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Road Trip Wednesday- What's in a name?

This Week's YA Highway Road Trip Topic

If you couldn't use your own name, what would your pseudonym or penname be?

This one's a little complicated. It's not that I can't use my real name,  but I already write under a psuedonym.

Hoffine is my maiden name.

There are a few different reasons I use it:

First off, my married name is almost as common as Jennifer...and that's saying a lot because it doesn't get much more common than Jennifer, esp among women my age.

Next, I wanted a little bit of cushion between my web and personal lives. I say a bit, since now that I've joined Facebook for High School Reunion purposes, that cushion is about as thin as a sheet.

Most important, and the reason my very first queries went out with the name Hoffine on them, is that I promised my dad that if I ever published anything it would be under his name, since he had no sons to carry on the name for him. Of course, as an education major, I think he figured that would be in a professional journal or maybe a curriculum book, but I think he'd approve of YA, and my writing. I still hope to do him proud with his name.

What about you? What name would you use?

Friday, January 6, 2012

New Year and New Winners

First off, for my How Many Have You Read/Heard Contest this month, the winners are: Alison and Patti. (I'll be sending out emails later today).

Now, as I ate the leftovers of my traditional New Years beef cheese ball and Reubens this week, I've read a lot of takes on what the New Year means to everyone.

Resolutions or no resolutions, I've decided it is a good time to take stock of what's working/not working, what's important/not important, and where I want to go from here.

But what I think is most important is that we stop for a moment and try to see the big picture. The holiday season is when we do that for others...our family, friends and the world. New Years is when we do that for ourselves.

Whatever form that takes for it lists of goals and resolutions, meditation, or just a silly movie with the ones you love most...we should all take the time to reflect before plunging back into the madness and forgeting about these things until next year.

And my resolution, you might ask?

To be open to all the possibilities this year will bring.

Ahhh, that felt good.

And I hope the same for all of you!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Road Trip Wednesday- Take Me Away

This Week's Topic

Describe your dream writing retreat. Where would you go? Who and what would you bring?

They say you can take the girl out of the country but not the country out of the girl.

Still, when this country girl at heart thinks of a writing retreat, I become an Oregonian again. I want water, ocean and sand. Not a peaceful balmy paradice with palm trees, but a rugged shoreline with pine trees and waves crashing onto rocks.

And my retreat itself? Nothing with stilts, as I'm not the type to thumb my nose at mother nature, but a victorian style house set cliffside:

(add a wrap-around porch and a large greenhouse in the back)

My actual writing space would be the top turret room, surrounded by windows facing the ocean. Desk for my computer and a window seat with plenty of pillows and throws for reading/research and laptop work. Built-in drawers and bookshelves will cover the rest of the non-windowed space. Oh, except for the built-in alcove for the small fridge and coffeemaker.

Ah, paradise.

(The rest of the house will be so my family can be there with me.) 

What about you? What would be your writing paradise?

Monday, January 2, 2012

How Many Have You Read/Heard Contest and Debut Authors Challenge #12

First off, HAPPY NEW YEAR everyone. Hope you had a wonderful holiday season!

I have two ARCs to give away this month:



But...before I list my December listens (you can get an entry for each one you've read), I want to mention my twelfth debut author for 2011. I listed it as one of my November listens but forgot to review it:

Two gorgeous tigers turn out to be gorgeous guys in disguise.

As an author, what I found even more facinating than the were-tiger story and the adventures in India to break their curse, is Colleen Houck's road to publication, which started in self publishing and self e-publishing.

More on that HERE.

I applaud any author's efforts to self publish. It's a brave thing taking on all your own marketing. It's a shot in the dark...but going the traditional route can mean being responsible for most of your own marketing anyway...making that more of a shot in the dark these days too.

Go HERE if you're interested in doing the 2012 Debut Author's Challenge.

Now, for my December listens...sad to say that between the Christmas music and movies plus my traveling, I only got four YA books in this a few non-fiction books I'm not listing here.

Let me know which ones you've read/listened to. You'll get one entry per book.

 Set in the seventies, about a boy who finds outlets to survive an abusive father.

This one kept you guessing until the end.

A great series, starting with The Maze Runner (if you haven't read it yet).

Probably my favorite zombie series so far. I've already ordered the next one from my library.

Loved this sequel as much as If I Stay.

Let me know which ones you've read. Hope I hit on something. I'll announce winners on Friday.