What’s New in Publishing Blogs this Week

May 9, 2008 at 7:23 am | Posted in Blogs, books, publishing, writing, young adult | 3 Comments

It was a lean week in terms of time for research, but we still came up with a few posts we’d like to share with you this Friday.

The week started with an exciting announcement about a new line: Belle Bridge Books, posted by Deb Dixon. The blog post states:

“What we are looking for is writers with unique voices who create strong fantasy, dark fantasy and urban fantasy stories with compelling characters–male or female.

We’re looking at some young adult. Very excited about that. If you’re interested in querying, head on over to the website: http://www.bellbridgebooks.com/

If you’ve got a suitable project, we hope you’ll give them a query and we wish you luck!

Junta42, a content marketing and custom publishing blog, posted its NEW TOP 42 BLOGS LIST. The list includes a variety of content marketing blog sites, ranging from online marketing, new media, viral content, and blogging — all things we envision could help a writer in some way. Check out this wealth of information HERE.

Lynn Viehl of the Paperback Writer shared a clever post this week in which she makes STORY VOWS, or the TEN PROMISES [she’s] MADE TO [her] WIP. While all 10 resonate with us, we want to give a special highlight to vow #4: “I will give you the best I’ve got, not whatever’s left over after the rest of the world is through beating the hell out of me for the day.”

Every so often we need some tough love to help kickstart the writing, and our friend Barb at the Moody Muses had a lot of love to share this week. Check out her TOUGH LOVE POST FOR A DEAR FRIEND in which she asks, How bad do you want it? Barb, we love you for your tough love and friendship!

And since we Purple Hearts have a lot of interest in YA books and the writing of such, we thought we’d close out the week by sharing this next blog — not because it has anything to do with books or publishing, but because it’s a great glimpse into the life of a teen fashionista. We loved her post this week on CHANGE YOUR SHOES, CHANGE YOUR DAY. We [purple] heart her!

So that’s it for now. As always, please share your suggestions in the comments section of today’s post. And don’t forget — at the end of the day today, we’ll choose one lucky winner to receive a copy of Nancy Haddock’s debut novel, La Vida Vampire. To be eligible for the drawing, post a comment to Nancy’s Honorary Heartlette guest post by the end of the day today.

Have a great writing weekend!

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Heartlette News: Tina Ferraro Book Sense Pick For Spring 2008

February 22, 2008 at 11:40 am | Posted in books, Honorary Heartlette, new releases, news, Tina Ferraro, writing, young adult | 2 Comments

We’re lucky in our friends here at Purple Hearts, but there’s nothing lucky about Tina’s being named to the Spring 2008 Book Sense Children’s Pick list.  It has everything to do with her being hard-working, talented and witty!

She was one of only 7 authors listed under teen reads. Here’s what they had to say:

HOW TO HOOK A HOTTIE: A Novel, by Tina Ferraro (Delacorte Books for Young Readers, $8.99, 9780385734387 / 0385734387) “Ferraro captures the high school voice perfectly with this enjoyable romp about a smart young girl’s desire to make money, only to come up with a slightly harebrained plan that is not what she bargained for. A good, fun read for girls 14 and older.” —Maureen Palacios, Once Upon a Time, Montrose, CA

Check Tina’s Guest Blog out HERE and her author’s website HERE.

Chemistry research- it’s not just a high school class

February 15, 2008 at 3:32 pm | Posted in hero, heroines, Meg, research, young adult | 1 Comment

Last week I talked about hotties and this week, since yesterday was Valentine’s Day (and since I’m horrible at research), I thought I’d continue along this vein and focus on chemistry. You know, that elusive quality between two people that catches your breath, causes a lump in your throat, makes you smile or touches your heart. It’s invisible, but you see when it’s there, and know when it’s not.You see it in the movies. The two main characters’ eyes meet and the screen comes alive; the temperature in the theatre turns up a notch. You forget you’re surrounded by strangers and find yourself holding your breath. Some random examples are: Kimberly Williams-Paisley and Patrick Dempsey in Lucky Seven, Jude Law and Cameron Diaz in The Holiday, Ashton Kutcher and his love interest in The Guardian.

On television, I live for The Office. The first few seasons, when Jim would gaze longingly at Pam across the room or when they would joke around. Ahhh. A shit-eating grin always spread across my face. And I feared all summer that their chemistry would not continue if they started dating (yes, sometimes I exert too much emotional energy into my entertainment world) as often happens (cite the Dave and Maddie fiasco of Moonlighting), but never fear, Jim and Pam are hotter than ever. I also noticed it last night as I watched the Masterpiece theater’s version of Northanger Abbey (and yes, I know for true Jane Austen fans, these versions don’t measure up). When Mr. Tilney smirks at Catherine Morland, a silly flutter goes through me. The two actors have that special something that brings a sunny day to normally dismal London (or Bath in this case). Or what about Sydney Bristow and Vaughn. Or Pacey Witter and Joey? The list goes on and on.

And in books, I’ve had my heart skip a beat as I read many novels. Nora Roberts is the queen of chemistry. Rarely does she write a book not swimming in it. Others noteworthy to mention are: Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight (yeah, I know, I continue to rave), Mildred Lee’s The People Therein (my all time favorite book as an early teen) and…

Chemistry between the hero and heroine is hard to come by. Usually I’ll watch or read something and I’m left feeling empty, that something’s missing. I don’t feel the characters or the story. I’m probably the only one in the world who’s glad McDreamy has moved onto Rose in Grey’s Anatomy. I think they have that special something. That extra fizzle that I never felt between him and Dr. Grey—wow, I can’t even remember her first name right now. That’s how forgettable their interactions are for me. LOL

And that’s the ultimate goal with your characters. You want the reader to remember them long after they close the book. You want them to be so lifelike and full of energy together, that the reader begs for a sequel and dreams of the characters.

How do you create this chemistry in your writing? Well, research. You watch those movies and television shows with your thesaurus nearby to determine the words to capture what you see. Or you write down the responses of the hero or heroine in the books and see how you can regenerate them (without plagurizing). Or you people watch- one of the best ways to garner information on human interactions.

<>As for my own research, I might elaborate Jessica’s grand idea of bridal research (Jess- I love this idea and will go with you anytime!). Since I’m stuck on the YA, maybe I will pull a 21 Jump Street and go undercover in a high school (when I walked the halls of one a few years ago, I was asked for my hall pass, so maybe I could pull it off). Or hang out at the mall or local dining establishment. Maybe that’s what I need- immersion in the world I want to build. And the world of YA is much easier to visit than a sci-fi fantasy. Or is it?

-Meg

<>

And the Winner is. . . .

February 8, 2008 at 5:46 pm | Posted in books, contests, Honorary Heartlette, Tina Ferraro, writing, young adult | 3 Comments

RACHEL!

 Congratulations, Rachel. Email me at briaquinlan@aol.com with your address and we’ll make sure you get Tina’s newest book, How To Hook A Hottie.

 I know you’ll love it as much as I did – you’ll have to let us know!

Book Giveaway – How To Hook A Hottie, by Tina Ferraro

February 7, 2008 at 5:02 pm | Posted in books, career, contests, Tina Ferraro, writing, young adult | Leave a comment
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One more day until our February Honorary Heartlette Tina Ferraro gives away a FlanTastic copy of her latest book How To Hook A Hottie.

If you haven’t checked out her guest post, you can see it HERE and enter join the fun to win your own copy.

 Good Luck!

What I learned from a Hottie Band

February 6, 2008 at 12:40 pm | Posted in Bria, career, creativity, inspiration, music, writing, young adult | 6 Comments

Not long ago I heard a bunch of bands play out at a club and got a valuable lesson in writing (not to mention hotties.)

The first band came on – a bunch guys in their teens. Not bad. The sounded like a garage band and I think the sound guy was doing them a disservice in the still empty bar by having them amped so high the singers words were indistinguishable. But I enjoyed the show.

The second band came on, guys in their late 30’s/early 40’s. It was obvious they were all good at what they did. The made the band before them sound even more unfocused – the were a lot of fun and their set flew by.

The third –First Ave – band came on next. These guys had it going on the moment they started their individual sound checks. I turned to my friend and said, we’re going to like these guys, I know it.

A couple weeks ago, I wrote my vows to my craft, and one of the things I swore was that “I will behave professionally when representing my writing and myself and I will work at it as though I am already being paid.”  These guys did that.

The got on the stage and worked it like they were already rock stars (but not in an obnoxious way.) Individually they sounded great, coming together as a band, the sounded well  – I don’t know the music term for it, but if I was reading a novel, I would say “Their writing was tight.”

The worked the stage at every angle: Good music, professional (ok, rock star, but that’s what they’re striving to be) and hard work.

Hard work? How in the world could you know they were putting in hard work, Bria?

No one, no matter what their craft, gets their sound (words/paragraphs/chapters to us) that tight without a lot of focus, practice and dedication. I just wish I could bottle their charisma too!

I challenge you to check them out HERE and find your own new form of inspiration. What makes you think about your writing in a new way, who really challenges you?

Go Look inside and then Go Write,
-bria

Book Giveaway – How To Hook A Hottie, by Tina Ferraro

February 5, 2008 at 2:13 pm | Posted in books, contests, new releases, Tina Ferraro, writing, young adult | Leave a comment

Three more days till our February Honorary Heartlette Tina Ferraro gives away a FlanTastic copy of her latest book How To Hook A Hottie.

If you haven’t checked out her guest post, you can see it HERE and enter to win your own copy.

 Good Luck!

What Makes a Hottie?

February 4, 2008 at 7:27 am | Posted in character, hero, Jessica, Tina Ferraro, writing, young adult | 5 Comments

In having Tina Ferraro with us this week, we thought it might be a fun topic to talk about hotties.

I’ve had this conversation with my guy-friends and girl-friends alike – what are the qualities you find attractive? And it’s almost always a chicken-and-the-egg kind of discussion . . . you notice someone because you find him attractive, but then you get to know him and are attracted to his other qualities, which then makes him even more physically appealing . . . and those other qualities are what keeps you attracted. Or you get to know him and you learn about all those un-redeeming qualities and, on second glance, you wonder what the heck ever attracted you to him in the first place.

Either way, would you have even given him the time of day without the initial hot little zing that the first glimpse sends shooting from your tummy to your toes?

I admit, I am a sucker for tall, dark, and handsome . . . devilishly, deeply brown eyes . . . a crooked smile . . . beautiful teeth . . . has a great set of hands . . . and is someone who looks good and is as comfortable when he’s dressed up as he is when he’s casual.

I have to say, though, I think hotties come in all shapes and sizes. A bald muscle-man is just as yummy as a lean, nerdy-intellectual-in-glasses. It’s all about how comfortable he is with himself and how he treats the girl in his life.

And how adorable is it when he has some sort of idiosyncratic habit – maybe he crinkles his eyebrows when he concentrates, or ducks his head when he’s embarrassed, or stuffs his hands in his pockets when he doesn’t know what to say. Maybe his voice drops to a softer, hushed, intimate tone when you’re alone together . . . something that speaks more about the way he feels about you than any words can relay.

I love a guy who is intelligent with a smart sense of humor. Someone who has opinions based on experience, not someone who spouts off just to hear himself talk.

But I’ve also learned it’s not all about the packaging. That he’s at his hottest if he’s well-mannered, holds the door for me, or offers to help me carry my bags. That he shows concern, looks out for me, gives me space, or is there for me when I need him most.

My favorite kind of hottie is the one who makes the best kind of friend.

So in the spirit of hottie week here at the Purple Hearts, what makes your hottie list?

Post a hottie comment to any of the blog posts this week to be eligible for our end-of-week drawing to win a copy of Tina Ferraro’s How to Hook a Hottie.

Thanks for visiting! Keep writing!
-Jessica

Honorary Heartlette – Tina Ferraro

February 3, 2008 at 11:03 am | Posted in books, career, contests, Honorary Heartlette, Tina Ferraro, writing, young adult | 44 Comments
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Why YA?

                

My fourteen year-old niece recently read my work-in-progress and commented to her father (my brother) that “Aunt Tina really understands how teenagers think.” My brother, grinning, responded, “That’s because Aunt Tina still is a teenager.”               

This story greatly amuses me. For on one hand, I’m a responsible adult who manages my writing career, the comings-and-goings of my husband and our three teenagers, and some community service projects. But strip all that away, and I’m a person who is giving herself the happy teen years now that she was too cranky to appreciate the first time around.               

For ever since I made the change from writing adult romance to YA romance, I’m having more fun than an adult should be allowed. There’s nothing better than shutting out my real world of property taxes, laundry, and my impending Empty Nest Syndrome and letting myself sweat the small stuff: my complexion, my grade on a test, or what hero’s text message REALLY means. I love the idea that my whole life is still ahead of me, and is full of endless possibilities.  I could still make my first million before my first wrinkle, “hook a hottie,” and look fantabulous in tight jeans.                

Because when I’m writing for teens, I *am* a teen. Not today’s teenagers, necessarily, not trying to get inside my kids’ heads and live parallel lives. I float back to those thoughts and feelings of my own day, and I write from that perspective–while trying to create storylines, characters and sometimes odd things that would have appealed to me (like uses for an unworn prom dress, a hexagon to define romantic compatibility, and 26 much-needed tips on ways to kiss your next boyfriend). Naturally, I use my kids as sounding boards on slang, present day electronics, and trends, and occasionally a subplot or scenario will arise from something I see or hear from them. But that’s all secondary to my own creativity. The elements of my books start and end with me.                

So that’s my good news for those of you without kids or teens who are interested in writing YA. Don’t feel that put off by a lack of teen contact. You can always find one to read your first draft, chat with other YA authors, or research teen trends through books and the internet. Most important is tapping into your inner teen and remembering what intrigued you, scared you, thrilled you. And to create those characters and storylines. Times have changed, but teenagers really haven’t.                 

And if you’re like me, you’ll find yourself completely engrossed in your stories, laughing out loud at the keyboard, and looking at the world with a revitalized, fresher view. Nothing wrong with that. So excuse me if this sounds like a cliché, but when people ask me, “Why YA?” I am tempted to say, “Why not?”  Because writing YA fills me in a way no other genre does.                

And I am, like, toh-tally okay with that, okay?                                             

Tina is (very generously) giving away a copy of her new book How To Hook A Hottie to one of our commenters at the end of the week- Just let us know what you’ve done to hook a hottie to get in on the giveaway action!

Writer V Reader – The Wishlists

December 26, 2007 at 12:48 pm | Posted in books, Bria, writing, young adult | 2 Comments
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Our month of favorites is coming to an end, but I have one more week to throw a list against the wall and see if it sticks.Last week I attempted to hunt a book down.  All the libraries in my area listed it as being in-house, but each time I got there, it was gone. At the first library I noticed something I thought was odd, and checked at each consecutive stop to see if it was pervasive. The Luxe  by Anna Godbersen, was promptly displayed on all the YA “New In” shelves.  I asked a librarian if teens didn’t typically take off the “New” shelf and she said “Teens typically take what they want.”So what’s going on here? Ask a writer, YA or otherwise, if they’ve heard of this book that’s only been released this month and almost all of them will answer in the affirmative and say they’ve been waiting to read it.    I called some teens and asked them what they thought of it – “the what?” – was their general response. 

BUT, mention Stephenie Meyer, and kids go crazy. So, while out to dinner with three English teacher friends, I asked them what they thought of the beloved Twilight series. None of them had heard of it. Once I described the cover, one teacher said she’d seen kids reading it, but it hadn’t sounded that interesting to her.  Where’s the jump between long-awaited book in writer’s circles and with readers.  What sucks in teen readers but leaves “literary adults” out cold? 

  I’m hoping this doesn’t happen to the two books I’m looking forward to most this month: Tina Ferraro’s How To Hook A Hottie and the final book of Libba Bray’s trilogy, “A Sweet Far Thing.”     So, I’m dying to know – what books have you as a reader or writer, been surprised by their success or lack of success? I’d love a chance to grow my ever expanding TBR pile.

  Then, Go Write-bria 

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