Monday, July 31, 2006

Contest Promo

From Lauren Barnholdt's Blog Introducing....THE REALITY CHICK BUZZ THE BOOK contest!

The PRIZES:(1) Your choice of either an iPod Shuffle, OR a fifty dollar gift certificate
(2) An autographed copy of REALITY CHICK by Lauren Barnholdt
(3) A copy of the August issue of Teen People, which lists REALITY CHICK as a Can't-Miss Pick for August
(4) Free tuition to a session of Lauren's YA writing class


STEP ONE: Simply copy and paste this whole message (including the info about the contest) into any blog, message board, email list, myspace bulletin, or anywhere a lot of people will see it!

REALITY CHICK by Lauren Barnholdt is NOW IN STORES!

Going away to college means total independence and freedom. Unless of course your freshman year is taped and televised for all the world to watch. On uncensored cable.

Sweet and normal Ally Cavanaugh is one of five fresh people shacking upon In the House, a reality show filmed on her college campus. (As if school isn't panic-inducing enough!) The cameras stalk her like paparazzi, but they also capture the fun that is new friends, old crushes, and learning to live on your own.

Sure, the camera adds ten pounds, but with the freshman fifteen a given anyway, who cares? Ally's got bigger issues -- like how her long-distance bf can watch her loopy late-night "episode" with a certain housemate...

Freshman year on film.
It's outrageous.
It's juicy.
And like all good reality TV, it's impossible to turn off.

IN STORES NOW!Check out Lauren on the web at or on her myspace at

STEP TWO --Email Lauren at lauren (at) and let her know you've posted about the contest and the book, and you'll be entered to win the prize pack! The winner will be picked at random on September 1st. The more places you post, the more entries you get. Have fun and good luck!!!

Friday, July 28, 2006

Slash & Burn

Apart from playing about on MySpace - oops did I say playing I meant networking! - I've also been polishing Lil to get her nice and sparkly in readiness of submitting to agents.

As I send the witches each chapter (or three or four) as I finish them, I edit along the way taking into consideration their suggestions, and the theory here is at the end - there shouldn't be too much left to tighten, polish and tweak.


Okay well it is a good theory but doesn't quite work in practice. Especially when the end product comes in several thousand above and beyond what I originally anticipated.

Sooo... I've been cutting. I slashed over half a chapter from the first 40 pages (suggested by brilliant cps) although I did have severe palpitations at the thought (as Amanda and Pat probably remember from that msn chat!) but the beginning is a lot tighter now. While I would have tidied it up during edits, left to my own devices there's no way I would have seen there was so much... how can I put this... waffle?!

Last night I lost a further 8 pages. Great news! By the time I got to THE END today, I'd added another three. Argh! While I was cutting, I was also adding! Bad move. Except the adds were essential! (Honest!)

Monday, July 24, 2006

MySpace Junkie

I get very fidgety when I've no book to work on. I know I have 400 pages of Lil to edit but I just can't face it at the moment - and besides, everyone says it's a Good Thing to leave the ms for a few days at least before going back to it. Sooo... sounds good to me!

The problem is, I can't physically stay away from the computer for any length of time. So instead of resting my poor eyes what have I been doing?

Well aside from revamping my blog and tidying up my webpage (and chatting to witches via msn which I don't think counts unless we call it... oh yes I've got it - brainstorming!) I've only gone and got a MySpace page. And this was after saying, as late as Saturday morning, that I didn't think it was worth me doing one until I actually had, well you know - a book to promote or something?!

But as the witches will attest, no sooner do I say that I could never do this, or can't ever see myself doing that... off I go and do it. Three years ago I knew I could never write a novel that was longer than 50k - six months later I wrote one that came in at 80k. Two years ago I baulked at the thought of writing in first person - a year later I'd written three in first person present tense. Though I suppose that does mean I'm open to trying new things!

But - back to the MySpace page. OMG. I love it. My youngest daughter, who is a total computer whiz, fixed it up for me last night. Oh, my slide show. I keep having to hop on just to gaze in total rapt delight at the hunks. Especially the divine Hugh Jackman (who my daughter accidently named Huge Jackman at first hahahah I nearly didn't get her to change that!)

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Tarting up the Blog

After Sara and Amanda revamped their blogs, I decided to jump on the bandwagon and tart up my own one, which had been very pink and girly for waaaay too long. I rather love the black ones, because they are dark, sexy and mysterious but unfortunately I have trouble reading them, so in the end I picked a nice yellow.

Ha! Not really.

Ahem. Okay Lil update. Spent several hours yesterday hopping backwards and forwards between the first three and last three chapters making sure everything tallied. When I could no longer focus on the computer screen due to splitting headache and throbbing eyeballs, I shot the whole thing off to the witches.

HUGE sighs of relief my end this morning. So far, no gaping plot holes have been discovered, and all comments/suggestions/crits are easily fixable.

I'm taking the weekend off though, and will get back into the edits next week when my brain is less fried.

Thursday, July 20, 2006


After what feels like forever but, after checking my diary (yes I'm that anal, I actually wrote in my diary when I started this one!) is in fact 19 weeks and four days - not sure how many hours - Kill Lil is finished!

Typed THE END this afternoon and goggled at the page for about 20 seconds trying to pluck up the nerve to hit word count. I had visions of it being in the region of 110k which would NOT be a good thing, but thankfully it came in at just a shade over 102k. Totally relieved I immediately closed the doc and collapsed under the desk in a freaked out heap.

There's a lot of editing and polishing ahead but hey - it's done! I'm soooo happy - there were moments when I seriously doubted I'd ever manage to tie up all those pesky loose ends I'd created. As soon as I've given it the final run through, it's off to the witches for their invaluable comments, crit and suggestions.

Oh yeah. And I'm completely knackered.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Happy Birthday Sara!

Enjoy your champagne and takeaway!

It's one of those very strange quirks that all the witches, no matter which birthday we celebrate, remain eternally twenty-nine!

Monday, July 17, 2006

Scorching Regency

A couple of years ago, while at the RNA conference in the UK, I met up with a fellow member of the RWAustralia, Anna Campbell, who was touring Europe at the time.

We kept in touch and I was thrilled to bits when her novel was recently picked up by Avon (after a bidding war!) Because Anna always referred to this novel with a cute acronym, I sort of assumed it was a light hearted Regency romance - perhaps a comedy of manners.

Man, was I ever wrong! Anna's website is now live and she has an excerpt posted. It's dark, incredibly sexy and has a baaaad hero! All I can say is go and read it. Now. And swooooon.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Honing the Historical

One of the many reasons I wanted to attend the RNA conference this year was to catch Michelle Styles, Harlequin Mills and Boon historical author, workshop on Making Your Historical World Come Alive. Now, strictly speaking I'm not writing an historical since my setting is mythological and the time period is so-called prehistory, but since it's definitely not contemporary I really wanted to soak up her advice.

So I was really happy when she offered to send anyone who was interested the notes from her workshop. And they are proving to be very helpful.

I especially liked the section on imagining your novel is a movie and then justifying each scene in terms of the budget available, as to whether or not that scene is working hard enough. Since I always imagine my novels are movies unfolding in my head (I've never pretended I'm not deluded!), I can really relate to this, and it makes a lot of sense to me.

Once I finish with Lil and start on the editing (oh joy... yeah right...!) I'll be using Michelle's notes to help tighten and polish. Considering I've just hit 91k and STILL have a fair amount of loose ends to tie up, I definitely need all the help I can get!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Ideas from Space

Amanda's been talking about where writers ideas come from on her blog today, and it got me thinking to my own early efforts. And it was a bit of a shock to realise that, from an early teenager, I've always managed to somehow incorporate aliens, space or time travel.

It's a shock because when I first started to write seriously seven years ago, I focused firmly on straight contemporary romance (apart from my first M&B effort, which included a fallen angel but let's not go there). But thinking back, all my early stories were not only a bit on the weird side, but they rarely had happy endings. For instance, one of my space epics ended up with the crew missing the re-entry window and bouncing off Earth's atmosphere into goodness knows where.

In fact I used to bump off my characters on a scarily frequent basis!

So although my wip is entirely different from anything I've ever written before, in actual fact all I've really done is get right back to my very early writing roots.

So, Sara, are you sure you no longer want that motel in space idea, because I have to say the premise is becoming more appealing by the second!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Sara Hantz Sells!

Hooray! Such exciting news. One of the witches, Sara Hantz, has just sold her debut novel, titled The Second Virginity of Suzy Green, to Flux publishing!

It's been murder keeping my mouth shut about this, but now it's all official, because it's in Publisher's Marketplace.

Sara Hantz's debut THE SECOND VIRGINITY OF SUZY GREEN, about a girl who
joins a virginity club in her new town to try to make a new start, to Andrew
Karre at Flux, by Sara Crowe at Harvey Klinger

Sara's chronicled her brilliant sale story on her blog - I love sale stories and this one is a cracker! I got all emotional just reading about it again!

Huge congratulations, Sara. This is wonderful news, and we're all so proud of you and can't wait to see our Suzy on the shelves!

And - yes! Due to living down under I just so happened to be happily snoring away at every critical step. It's just got so way beyond a joke now, I mean what is the mystical link between the witches receiving fantastic news from NA and my nasal passageways?

Thursday, July 06, 2006

You Had Me At Halo

Crawling from my sick bed to post this fantabulous news from PM...

Fiction: Women's/Romance Amanda Ashby's YOU HAD ME AT HALO, in the vein of All of Me, about a woman who dies with unresolved issues and comes back in the body of her geeky co-worker in order to sort them out, to Anne Bohner at NAL, in a nice deal, by Jenny Bent at Trident Media Group (NA).

Yay Amanda! Won't be long before our Holly hits the shelves now!