Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Books Are Like Salad in a Bag

image from www.freedigitalphotos.net

Picture this scenario: You want a salad, but you're too lazy tired busy to chop everything and put it together. What's the answer? Salad in a bag!

I love salad in a bag. It's the easiest thing in the world to prepare. Open bag. Dump in bowl. Add dressing. Eat!

If you're anything like me, you always have the best intentions. You see the salad, you buy it because it's easy, take it home, put it in the fridge, and forget about it. Then a few days later, you move a container of sour cream and discover the bag of salad again. You take it out and dump it in a bowl, but you notice that a few pieces have gone really brown and gross around the edges. So you start to pick them out. As you do, you notice more and more pieces that have gone bad. Soon, the pile of bad lettuce starts to outgrow the pile of good lettuce, until you get to the point where you wonder if there's anything good left in there at all or if you should just chuck the lot of it.

Turns out the same thing happens with books.

I got the edits back for my book today. Here's a picture of my editor.
From author Jon Keegan's Blog

I know it's the editor's job to pick apart a manuscript and help the author make their book even better, but I'm beginning to feel like my book is the salad in the bag. There is so much that needs to be chopped, it's sorely tempting to just toss it all.

It's irritating and frustrating. But in the end, the salad book will be better because all the gross, bad parts are gone. And just when I thought I was making Caesar salad, it may end up being a tossed salad. The finished product is going to be very different from what I originally envisioned. And also from what I've already shared with you!

So this Sunday, there will be no snippet. In fact, the snippets from the previous weeks will probably not make it into the final product. And in the meantime, be prepared to find me tired, cranky, and with considerably less hair than before.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Sunday's Seven Sentence Snippet #3

Today's snippet is a little different. It is written from the point of view of "The Bad Guy".

With a sigh, he flipped to the next paper. X5. He had reported early that morning because he thought it was important. That was out of the ordinary. X5 was one they usually had to track down for his polygraphs. But at seventeen the subject wouldn’t be in the regular program much longer. He’d be moved into the Reproductive Program where he could prove his worth by fathering as many Gifted little brats as he could.

The bad guy's name is Slater. He's the head of operations at the Bunker. Subjects in the regular program at the Bunker have to take a polygraph every day to tell about any visions they've had. The regular program is made up of kids age 12 - 18. At 18 they get moved into the reproductive program with a pre-chosen mate so they can produce more Gifted children. Basically, they're kept like rabbits.

Image from www.freedigitalphotos.net

In this book we don't hear much about the reproductive program, but in book 2 this is explored in greater detail. I've started working on the second book and my goal is to have it finished by June, so I can get to work on the third and final book! 

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Sunday's Seven Sentence Snippet #2

Here is today's snippet!

It didn’t tell how we were forced to remain in a Government Bunker, living like rats in a cage, breeding on demand and occasionally getting killed off for outliving our usefulness. Not that I’m bitter. Really, I’m not. We are well fed, clothed, and educated. We have the opportunity to go out in the sun for regular exercise and are allowed to socialize with each other. We even get to watch videos or play computer games sometimes. But as I looked at a photo of a small family clinging to each other in the Shelters I couldn’t help feeling that something was missing from our lives here.

By Ykmyks (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

In today's snippet, X5 is reflecting on life in the Bunker and he compares the Gifted to rats in a cage. The children who live at the Bunker are all there because they have specific psychic gifts, usually the ability to have visions of the future, though there are others. Though the Gifted have been told the Bunker is run by the government, the truth is that it is controlled by a very secretive group called The Consortium. 

In order to ensure a good supply of subjects, the Consortium has a strict Reproductive Program. Subjects are matched based on their genetics and the likelihood of producing offspring who have inherited those traits. And once the offspring are produced, they are taken from their parents to be raised by the workers at the Bunker. 

So while the Gifted have their physical needs met and are kept in comfort, they have never been outside the Bunker, just as rats are kept in their cages. But although he can't yet identify what is missing, X5 has always had the nagging suspicion that he needs something more. The longing for that something more is part of what drives him to do the things he does throughout the book. 

Friday, 15 March 2013

Coming soon: Blood Hex by Erin Butler

My fellow Evernight Teen author Erin Butler is super excited about her upcoming release, Blood Hex. I know exactly how she feels! So when she asked if I'd help her reveal her hot-off-the-press new cover, I jumped at the chance. 

And here it is:

I have to say that I love the covers that Sour Cherry Designs does for Evernight Teen. I can't wait to see mine!

Blood Hex by Erin Butler

Two girls. Four centuries. One curse.
Isabella started it—all because a boy fell in love with her—but it ends with Sarah.
They meet in secret, Isabella and Thomas, during the witching hours while the rest of the villagers hide behind locked doors. And even though she's scared, she wants Thomas more. He'll protect her from the night, from his father who'll decide her future, from the paranoia-fueled hunting parties taking away innocents.
Centuries later, seventeen-year old Sarah runs away to an aunt she never knew she had. Her dad? Dead. Her mother? A liar. All she wants is memories of a father she never got—memories her mom refused to give her—memories she is determined to get from her aunt, her father's journal, and a town full of crazies.
What she discovers is her father's death isn't as innocent as everybody claims, and everyone—the Wiccans, the townies, even her quasi-boyfriend—all seem to be hiding something. The secret the history-rich town lives to keep entangles Sarah into a centuries old witch curse.

Interested in finding Erin? Check out the following links:

Monday, 11 March 2013

Sunday's Seven Sentence Snippet

Image from www.freedigitalphotos.net

I posted the following snippet from my book on Facebook today:

I turned on my tablet and tapped the history textbook icon. A table of contents popped up and I tapped the number 4. A picture of a large, barren landscape, dotted with ruins, topped the page, with the title, “Disaster Strikes”. The caption identified it as, “Denver in 2013, one year after a large meteor crashes to earth obliterating 75% percent of the world’s population.” I glanced up at Teacher 3. She had a map displayed at the front. It was extremely old and it looked strange with so much land on it.

Each Sunday between now and the release of my book (which I still don't have a firm date on), I'll post another to give you a peek at what you might find inside, along with a little background that didn't make it into the final cuts.

An important part of the premise in the X5 series (yes, there will be more) is that the world has changed a great deal due to the impact of a meteor in 2012. I had to look at quite a few sites to see what kinds of things might happen to the Earth if such a thing actually happened. Most of them agreed that so much debris would be thrown up into the atmosphere, that all light from the sun would be blocked out and most living things would die off. Just like the dinosaurs. Luckily, some people were able to build an underground habitat and preserve a variety of plant and animal species in anticipation of humanity's return to the surface. Most sources thought this period would last approximately 2-3 years.

The snippet talks about how the map of the Earth "looked strange with so much land on it." Another probable outcome of a giant meteor hitting Earth would be the almost immediate melting of all the polar ice caps, kind of like global warming in extreme fast forward. As a result of this, the sea level would rise dramatically. This was where I found a lot of disagreement over just which parts of the earth would be submerged. So for my purposes, I figured that survival would depend not just on having an underground habitat, but on having one that was still well above the new sea level. That's why I chose Colorado as my setting. The Rockies should be high enough to avoid the water. Any maps of the Earth that X5 and his classmates would have seen would certainly have a lot less land than the maps of our time. 

The final version of this classroom scene had a great deal cut out of it because it was boring exposition. However, I will be creating a page for deleted scenes, so you'll get to see some of the things that didn't survive the editing process. Stay tuned for next Sunday's Seven Sentence Snippet!

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Epic Facepalm

Image from www.meme.at

I got to spend some time with my lovely sister last night at an Epicure party (holy heavenly yumminess, Batman!) and we got to chatting about my book. She very kindly shared my author page on Facebook, and a former co-worker of hers went and checked it out. And pointed out a VERY glaring error I had made.

In my first post, I attributed the lyrics from "Closing Time" to Green Day. But in fact, that song is by Semisonic. As soon as she mentioned it, I knew she was right. And I'm an idiot!

So in a pathetic attempt to rectify the mistake, let me try to explain. At my wedding, hubby and I wanted to have two of our favourite songs played - "Closing Time" and "Time of Your Life" (which is FOR SURE by Green Day). I often associate the two songs with each other because of that and my poor brain was very tired the day I wrote that first post.

Okay, I know it's a very flimsy excuse, but I hate when I make a mistake like that, especially when I KNOW what's right.

So for all you Green Day and Semisonic fans out there, I'm sorry! I solemnly swear that I will heretofore check all sources before quoting them as fact!

Have you ever had one of those facepalm moments? I'd love to hear about it! Then I don't feel so bad!