Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Road Trip Wednesday- The One That Got Away

This Week's YA Highway Road Trip Wednesday Topic:
What book is your 'one that got away?' (What book have you always been dying to read but still haven't yet?)

So, it's Book Expo last year. I get in line early for a book signing I want (can't remember which one). I get done early. The line next to mine is even longer. Check my list. Definitely YA, so I ask what this one is about. A helpful person in line tells me it's Persuasion in a Sci-Fi setting.

Jane Austen and Sci-Fi? Together? I'm so there...with bells and whistles and cymbals on.

I head for the end of the line. Wait thirty minutes. With only ten minutes left and no word from officials, I'm hopeful they can keep the signing going after the appointed hour. Usually, if they have to cut a line off they would have done it by then.

Five more minutes. Finally, someone comes out to inform us that there are only a few more books left and the rest of us will have to leave empty handed.

Deep Sigh.

This one never did come out in an audio version, though I've checked often. I have a feeling that if I'd gotten a copy that day it would have been one of those few and far between books I actually take the time to read instead of listen to.

What about you? Any potentially favorite book you've put off reading? Any near misses at Book Expo or other conference?

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Road Trip Wednesday- Best of April

This Week's YA Highway Road Trip Topic: What was the best book you read in April?

Okay. I did listen to some good YA and some adult fiction this month, but when I looked over my list, the one that stood out most for me was non-fiction.

Yes, I'd heard about 3D printers and their use in medical prosthetics, but this book opened my eyes to the future...I mean, the future that is now...a time when anyone with an idea and a few thousand dollars can go into manufacturing...on their own.

It's exciting, all these new open doors. Sort of like the self-publishing world for writers.

Personally, I can't wait until the day when I can order Earl Gray tea and it will appear on a shelf in the
wall, a la Jean-Luc Picard...that future may be closer than we think.

What About you? Read this book or something like it? What was your best of April?

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Road Trip Wednesday-Have Towel Will Travel

This Week's Topic: If you could visit any country with a fictional character as your guide, who would you pick and where would you go?

Okay, so this is a bit of a stretch since I'm not sure there are any countries in outer space, but I'd pick
a visit to the universe with Ford Prefect as my guide.

I'd just need to grab a towel and remember, above all, not to panic:)

What about you? Where would you visit and with whom?

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Road Trip Wednesday- Best Book of March

This week's YA Highway Road Trip Topic: What was the best book you read in March?
Next book in the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series. First off, I enjoyed this one as much as the first one. The story is continuing well. But the thing I loved about this one is that...not to reveal any spoilers...but there is a great twist toward the end that totally got me. And I so appreciated how she revealed it.

What about you? Have you read/heard this one? What was your March favorite?

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

We Interrupt This Life For Basketball Season

I can't believe I've been MIA from the blogosphere for over a month. It wasn't intentional. I have three or four posts saved as drafts that just never made it to the publish button.

My daughter plays basketball. My husband coaches the team. They played in two leagues (three if you count her in-town rec games) plus four tournaments this season, averaging a game every other day or so for the last three months.

We're all exhausted, though my crock pot has proven to be the true hero of the season...without it we'd be broke from eating out too much:)

I'm going to be back with Road Trip Wednesday tomorrow. I look forward to catching up with my fellow bloggers then...just wanted to let you know why I've been gone.

Also, I am going to have a How Many Have You Read/Heard Contest Blowout soon. It's been a few months, so I have lots of books I've listened to and lots of ARCs/books for those who have read/listened to them too.

What about you? Is there a season/event that interrupts your blogging?

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Road Trip Wednesday- What I love Most About Writing

This Week's YA Highway Road Trip Topic: It's (the day before) Valentine's Day! Let's jumpstart the lovefest by blogging about what you love most about writing (and/or reading)!

I'm going to totally cheat and repost the declaration of love I wrote for last year's Valentine's Day Road Trip. It covers all the things I love most about writing.

For the love of gerunds and active verbs.
For the love of idioms and twisting them about.
For the love of strong female protags who don't always play by the rules.
For the love of creating love interests who deserve the protag's attention.
For the love of cutting and slashing, saying more with less.
For the love of all the worlds and stories that live inside my head.
For the love of YA Bloggers and fans who I share this love with.
For the love of the words that make it all possible.

This is why I write.

Also, if you're in the mood for a light Valentine's Day short story, check out my Cupid's Carol HERE.

What about you? What do you love most about writing/reading?

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Road Trip Wednesday- Best of January

This Week's YA Highway Road Trip Topic is: What's the best book you read in January?

I did have a great if minimal YA listening month in January. Nevertheless, one book did stand a few body parts and seances above the rest:

First off, it's historical...yippee! Set in the roaring twenties (when slang was just the bee's knees) and in NYC (woo-woo).

A fabulous multicultural cast of characters with several POVs and intertwining story lines.

What more could we ask for? Nothing. Well, except the next book in the series. NOW, please!

What about you? What was your best January read/listen?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Road Trip Wednesday- Humor With Purpose

This week's YA Highway Road Trip Topic: Good for a laugh: who is your favorite comedian or funny book and/or movie?

I have an immense amount of respect for humor. I grew up on Alan Alda, George Carlin and Robin Williams. Comedians who, yes, did their share of wacky stuff, but mostly used humor to make a point...or, more precisely, many points.

This goes back way farther than those comedians though. Like nursery rhymes as political satire.

I feel like humor can get away with more than straight talk. It can make people listen and think of issues in new ways. It can open eyes and change people's perspectives on things. It can galvanize people who already have that opinion to go out and do something about it.

That's why my favorite funny book is:

Beauty Queens, first off, has the best and funniest cover ever. The book made me LOL for real many, many times. And, most important, it reminded me of why I'm a feminist and that we still have a long way to go...But at least there's a clear-headed woman out there willing to write the truth in the guise of an outrageous and funny story.

What about you? What's your humorous favorite?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Road Trip Wednesday- My Retirement Bookstore

This Week's YA Highway Road Trip: Imagine you get to open your own bookstore. What would it look like? What kinds of books would you sell?

This answer is easy, as I've been dreaming about this for longer than I've been writing novels.

My husband has a comic book collection and I have tons of books. So, long ago, I came up with the idea of having a used bookstore/comic book store in a small coast/beach town. We'd sell used paperbacks and comic books along with new magazines and comic books. We'd have a two for one trade in deal for the paperbacks to keep the stock moving. I also have a huge children's collection so we could keep the younger set busy reading on their vacation too.

I imagine an old victorian house remodeled with the bottom floor as the store...lots of cozy nooks and crannies for those rainy beach days or when you just need to get out of the sun for a bit.

The top floors would be our living space. We'd shut down in the winter to go visit grandkids in our RV...well, that last part really is a dream since my husband is not the RVing type.

What about you? What would your bookstore look like?

Friday, January 11, 2013

How an Agent Hunt is like selling on eBay

I've become a seller on eBay these last few weeks (which is also why I haven't done much blogging lately).

My mom and grandma were into Hallmark ornaments...way into them...which has left my sister and me with enough  ornaments to fill five Christmas trees (no exaggeration).

I finally got around to going through all of them this holiday season to see which ones might sell on eBay. Then, after the holiday, I put some of them up for sale.

How This Turned out Like Agent Hunting:

First off (like querying), it's least it was for me...plunging into an unknown process...hoping I don't do something stupid and screw things up. And it also takes time, more than you'd think.

Once knee deep in the system, it became easier. Then checking my bids became like checking my email during querying time, hoping for good news, sometimes getting bad news, sometimes getting surprises.

Before I started on eBay or querying, I thought there'd be nothing more embarrassing than getting zero bids on an item or a form rejection letter, but once you've had a few nibbles, the rejections are easier to take.

Then you sell (or get a request/offer from an agent), and this brings on a whole new set of things you hope not to screw up on.

With eBay or querying, you can do your research, check out the market ahead of time, make sure you're putting the right item/book out there and sending it to the right customers/agents. This works in general, but there are exceptions...times when the seemingly perfect item/manuscript gets no nibbles from the seemingly perfect customers/agents. And other times when an item/manuscript will surprise you and get lots of attention from unexpected sources.

The overall advice is the same, do your research but also cast a wide net... when that doesn't work, write another book and keep casting...because you never know when/where you'll start getting nibbles, and soon you could have a bidding war on your hands.

What about you? Ever sold on eBay? Did you find it similar to querying?

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Holiday Hangover/Best of 2012

First off, I don't have an alcohol-induced holiday hangover...The holiday rush is quickly being replaced by an equally long if different to-do list, but I'm still feeling the pangs of that lost holiday feeling.

And, speaking of the holiday rush, I had every intention of being around in the Blogosphere the last few weeks...such fun end-of-year topics and debut author books to write about...I even have two draft posts that never made it to the publish button. So, I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season.

And now, a little late, I'm going to share my YA favorite listens of 2012:

Best Second Books in a Series: Pandemonium- Lauren Oliver
                                                 The Red Glove- Holly Black

Best Historicals: Grave Mercy- Robin Lafevers
                          Gilt- Katherine Longshore
                          Wrapped- Jennifer Bradbury

Best Unique Premises: Starters- Lissa Price
                                       What's Left of Me- Kat Zhang
                                        Forgotten- Cat Patrick

Best New Series: Under The Never Sky- Veronica Rossi
                            Cinder- Marissa Meyer
                            The Selection- Kiera Cass

Best Unexpected Favorite: Au Revoir Crazy European Chick- Joe Schreiber

Best Contemporaries: Grafitti Moon- Cath Crowley
                                       The Fault in Our Stars- John Green

Best Ongoing or Ends of Series: The Gray Wolf Throne- Cinda Williams Chima
                                                        Mastiff- Tamora Pierce
                                                        Goliath- Scott Westerfeld

Best Unique POV: Blink and Caution- Tim Wynne Jones

Best Settings: Scorpio Races- Maggie Steifvater
                      Dreamland Social Club- Tara Altebrando

Best of Show: Every Day- David Levithan

What about you? Read any of these? What were your 2012 favorites?

And stay tuned for an End-of-the-ARCs New Year Blow Out contest next week!