Friday, August 26, 2011

Signed Contract for Sweet Bytes Today!

Big thanks to Noble Young Adult!

I Have News!!!!

Woo Hoo! I finally have news, and since today is Friday, it's News Day!!!!

So back in May, I bid on a "book chat" from the Brenda Novak Auction for Diabetes Research and ended up winning it. That means that readers will be taking a look at Fallenwood, my fantasy novel, and chatting about it over at the Evil Editor blog -

The Fallenwood chat is coming up on Saturday, September 3rd, noon Eastern time, 9am Pacific time.

Please come and join in if you can!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Welcome to Hell House...

I didn't set out to write young adult. It happened purely by accident. After I'd published my first novel, a contemporary romance, the publisher sent out a submission call for "holidays gone wrong" short stories. I'm always up to a challenge, so I decided to wrack my brain and see what I could come up with. Almost immediately, my head was filled with every holiday fiasco I could fathom, and each scenario centered around a teenager. Characters filled my head with chatter, and Holiday Hell House was born.

There’s no place like Hell House for the holidays…
At least that’s what Danielle Stewart hopes for as the director of Hellsner Halfway House for Troubled Paranormal Teens. But all her plans come to an abrupt halt with the help of bickering teens, unannounced zombies, and a portal to hell, among other things. When the arguing leads to things quite literally going up in smoke, will Danielle find that her true calling lies elsewhere, or will the help of an unexpected angel show her the family she has longed for is right before her eyes?

That one small story opened up a new world for me. These characters screamed for my attention, demanding their stories be told. I'm typically more of a plotter when I write, but this time, I just seemed to be able to take a back seat while the characters drove their own stories.

Teenage fairy, Sora Starwind, was the first to demand her fair share of my time. Always honest, sometimes rude, Sora was banished from her people and wasn't too happy about it at all.

Sora Starwind just wants to have a normal life. Well, as normal as a banished teenage fairy living in a halfway house for paranormals can have. Squashing her magic mishaps is just part of the equation. Catching the eye of a certain hottie named Liam Crawford would be a plus, if she could only figure out how to not act like a complete dork around him. Then a surprise visit from her estranged mother brings an ultimatum that threatens to turn Sora’s world upside down. Unexpectedly faced with her past, Sora has to find the inner strength to deal with her banishment, but there’s more to her story than even she knows…

Sora came to life so brightly in my head, and her story kept surprising me at each and every turn. But then, Mr. Liam Crawford laid a secret of his own on her, and made her life even more complicated than it already was.

Teenage fairy, Sora Starwind, is finally making her way in the mortal world. The guy of her dreams, Liam Crawford, has asked her to his school’s Spring dance, and she finally feels, well, normal. Trouble is, Liam has a secret of his own that brings with it a whole new set of complications. Not only does Sora have to worry about Liam’s friends liking her, she also has to guard his secret, and deal with the school harlot that wants Liam for her own. Add a pair of obsessed paranormals that intend to unleash more chaos than just ruining her evening and Sora finds her newfound control stretched to the brink. Can she find more answers than questions this time, so that this first dance won’t also be her last?

I'm truly enjoying the ride this series is taking me on. There are so many stories to be told, I hope I can keep up with them! Zombies, fairies, shifters, ogres, imps - Hell House has them all! And I'm so excited to be able to share them with you!

--Christle Gray was born and raised in Ohio, but lives in Kentucky with her husband and one frisky black cat. She's a Gemini, which means she's of two minds about everything, and has more projects in progress than she can ever hope to complete in one lifetime. Her interests vary as widely as her opinions, and she's in no short supply of either. Just go ahead and ask. One of the many voices yammering on in her head is bound to answer.

Visit me on the web!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Another Introduction...

Hello All!  So many introductions over the past few days your heads are probably spinning! Its all good, I promise. Just think of all the blog posts you'll be reading by so many YA authors in the next few months. I have a feeling we'll have lots to say!

My name is Ella Jade (totally not my real name but I thought it sounded nice) and I'm a relatively new author. I've been a writer for as long as I can remember but I never had the courage to do anything about it. Let me just say inspiration comes in strange places. If you would've asked me three years ago if I'd ever be a published author of YA fiction I would've said, "Um, no..."

Let me explain...

Christmas 2008

My husband stuck a copy of Twilight in my stocking. I'd always been an avid reader of horror and vamps are my weakness so he thought it was weird that I hadn't read the book yet. He said if I didn't want to read it, it was no big deal, he saw it in the store for like $2.99 and just picked it up to help fill my stocking. The book sat on my nightstand until about mid-January because I thought it was a "tween" novel and didn't think it would be for me. One night nothing was on TV and my kids were asleep so I picked the book up and never put it down. Seriously, I wanted to take it in the car and read it at stop signs (I didn't go that

I read all four books within days, went to the theater to catch the first film because I didn't think Robert Pattinson was Edward. I was wrong...he's Edward. And, my obsession for all things Twilight was born.  My kids are mortified when I go to the premiere of the movies at midnight by myself, but hey we didn't have this kind of hysteria when I was growing up!

Anyway...I googled "obsessed with Twilight" and stumbled onto this Fan Fiction website. I had no idea anything like this existed. I read some incredible takes on the original stories for weeks but that wasn't enough. I had to give it a try. I never thought anyone would read one word I had to say but here I am almost three years later and I continue to upload a chapter a week of my versions of how I would've played it.

So, back to the topic of inspiration...

Had it not been for the series or that Fan Fiction website, I never would've had the courage to submit my own stories for publication. Writing in that forum fueled my own creativity and here I am sharing my original stories with all of you.

My first YA story Jocelyn's Choice is a coming of age tale of innocence lost. I had to dig deep and go back to my inner eighteen year old when creating Jocelyn but it was such a great journey. I had fun reliving all those first moments of young love. These characters stayed with me long after I put the pen down.

Jocelyn Andrews, a shy, awkward, high school senior, has never even been on a date until she meets Alex Jordon, the older, more experienced brother of her best friend Evan. Jocelyn falls hard for the charming player and wants to explore all of the “firsts” that go along with young love. Alex has no problem showing her what she’s been missing.
Alex is captivated by young, innocent Jocelyn and to his own surprise, only has eyes for her.  One night of careless passion leads to a life-altering dilemma. Alex must head back to Yale to finish an internship, having no idea what he’s left behind. Jocelyn must decide what to do on her own, forcing her to grow up much faster than she anticipated.
Reality sets in, decisions are made and Jocelyn has to live with her choices. Alex returns home to more than he ever bargained for.  Young love has never been more complicated as they deal with a teen pregnancy, social barriers, and concerned family members. Life sometimes throws a curve ball, but the unexpected isn’t always bad.
Thanks for letting me share. Until next time...

Stay Inspired!


Friday, August 19, 2011

Julie Particka Gets Comfy

Hi all! I'm Julie Particka, author of the Paranormal Response Team series (Book 1--Pretty Souls is available now from Decadent Publishing). I also write adult fiction under another name, but I talk about that a lot as is, so I'm going to stick with being this me while I'm here. Hope that's okay.

Honestly I hate introductory posts. I'd much rather just settle into a new place and get comfy. So I'm going to pretend it's just you and me hanging out.

You: Tell me about yourself.

Me: I'm the youngest of six kids and the only one that was planned. No, seriously. My five siblings were born in a six-year span, and then my parents waited seven years to have me. I look at it this way, they're Polish and Catholic. It took them five times to figure out what they were doing and at that point, the church kept telling them not to stop.

Anyway, basically I was raised in an environment with five moms (fortunately my brother never took on the mantle of playing dad)...which messes with a kid's head a bit. (That whole "it takes a village" thing? Yeah, I don't buy it.) Anyway, I tended to spend a lot of time with books to escape the everyday, and in the process fell in love with the...non-everyday. Sci-fi, fantasy, talking animals...I ate it all up (at different times).

After years of trying to be all serious and Plan B about my future, plan A (writing) started to crop up more and more. Then I ended up a stay-at-home mom and decided I was taking the opportunity to give Plan A a chance.

You: LOL that's awesome. So tell me about Pretty Souls and the Paranormal Response Team.

The PRT came into being in a rather bass-ackwards way. My husband and I were watching a show called The Middleman (never heard of it? Don't worry, not many have. Hence why it was canceled.) and it had the tagline "Saving the world so you don't have to". Which also happens to be the tagline for a series of books by a woman who used to be in my writing group. We started talking about how taglines get re-used and blah, blah, blah. And, somewhere in this conversation, I changed the tagline to "Saving the world before breakfast". (Yeah, I think I might have been hungry at the time.) Anyway, I liked it so much I wrote it down and pinned it to my handy-dandy little board.

I was working on a different project at the time, but the tagline kept staring at me. Little by little pieces started to fall into place. First, I knew it had to be about teenagers. Somehow, the "before breakfast" thing just screamed "before school" to me. Then I had this image of a group arguing about naming their little "super group" (which is basically the naming scene that made it into the book). And then two of my nieces came into play.

We were at a family party, and I was watching them and thought to myself "They could be sisters, but they aren't." It was a total lightbulb moment. So I have two foster sisters and I knew there was going to be a supernatural element somehow. Generally, werewolves and vampires are shown as enemies in fiction, and I loved the idea of going against that stereotype. That's where the PRT came from. It's envisioned as a 5 book series (I'm hoping to submit book 2 this fall).

Pretty Souls is the first book, and really anything I tell you is going to be what is in the trailer. So just to make things pretty, go ahead and check this out.

If you hate trailers, the book deals with my two heroines--Elle and Cass--tracking down a demon spawn who is ripping the souls from people in their town. Along the way they have to deal with school, tutors, bullies, and boy troubles. It's available from Decadent Publishing as well as Amazon and a bunch of other places. I hope you'll check it out!

Friday News: Noble Publishing Accepts SWEET BYTES

Just waiting on the contract!  It was a delightful and surprising twist in my authorly journey and I'm extremely grateful to all my fellow ePub YA authors here for their encouragement.  It was just the way the cookie crumbled, but turns out the cookie was chocolate!  (Not sure if that metaphor works, but I'm chocolate-deprived at the moment.  So, I'll go with it.)  I'll keep you posted on developments with Noble Young Adult  I'm really grateful for this opportunity. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Welcome Christle Gray!

She likes to genre-hop and this time she landed here with us!  After you scroll down and read Julie's post on ponies, please check out   Christle Gray


Since this is my first post here I thought I’d do a sort of introduction. My name is Julie Campbell. I write under the name J.A. Campbell because there’s already a famous Julie Campbell – Trixie Belden books anyone? Sheesh, taking my name… the nerve.

I’m an author, rider, reader, animal lover. My bio says I live in Colorado with my three cats, my horse and my dog, which would be true, except that my horse actually lives about 15 minutes from my house, but it’s close enough for bio purposes.

Reading is a passion that has past beyond obsession. I read almost as much as I write, devouring books at a rate that makes my Kindle almost necessary now that I have one. Otherwise I predict my floor would collapse under the weight of piles of books within the next five years. I read fantasy, urban fantasy, science fiction, both adult and young adult. Every once in a while I delve into realms outside of my main reading habits, but it is rare.

Writing is also a passion that has gone beyond obsession. Even if I never got published I’d write. It’s become such an integral part of who I am. I’m very lucky to have recently earned the title of author. That’s such an amazing thing to me. I still giggle when I tell people I’m an author. Guess what, I write young adult and adult fantasy and urban fantasy. Bet you never would have guessed.

I love animals. I always have. I grew up with dogs and my own horde began with Tux, my male tuxedo cat. He claimed me as a kitten and paved the way for the other two cats that have come into my life over the last eight years. I’ve also had my horse for almost eight years. She’s one of the best things that has ever happened to me. Every little girl dreams of owning her own horse. (Well, not every little girl, but close!) How lucky am I that I get to live that dream? Sabaska, my Arabian mare, is my inspiration for many story ideas, and she’s the main character of my fantasy novel coming out later this year called Arabian Dreams. Yes, I love to write about animals. Kira is my year old Border Collie puppy and she has also inspired stories. Doc, my vampire-hunting dog, is based off of her. I do have stories without animals in them. Senior Year Bites doesn’t really have any animals. I mention a deer at one point, but that’s about it.

Anyway, that’s more than enough about me. Thanks for dropping in. Tell me, what sorts of books do you like to read? What are your favorites?

Monday, August 15, 2011

Hello, my name is Ella Grey

Morning all. I've been writing since I turned 15, but I only got published last year, with Echelon Press.

My first short story 'What a Way to Start the Day' featured fire witch and thief Molly O'Brien.

I was then very lucky to be given the opportunity to write a series of eshorts and that's what I'll be talking about on this blog.

I write paranormal YA, and #1 in the series is called 'Searching for Michael'

Rachel Valentine was eleven when her brother walked out of their family home and never came back. Five years later, whilst watching TV she sees her brother's face in the crowd. Locked away at a convent, where her parents think she can't get into any trouble, Rachel plots her escape, determined to find her brother. What else is a sister to do?

Alone in London, she discovers that the search for her brother is attracting the wrong kind of attention. Then she meets a man who says he can help her, but is he just someone else with plans of his own for her? Something strange is going on and if Rachel's not careful, they'll be adding her name to the steadily growing list of missing persons.

I like writing about flawed characters, and Rachel is very flawed. Her dad is a secret agent and Rachel learnt several skills from him. She's fearless and is willing to do anything to find her brother.

I hope you'll join her on her adventure :)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

And Another New Author!

This blog is really hopping.  Welcome Ella Jade!  She started out with FanFic, like a lot of authors.  Pop over and check her out.  Ella Jade

New Author!

In case you haven't noticed, there's new book covers on the sidebar.  Jack Hessey joined us recently from Merry Ol' England.  Pop over to his website and check him out!  Jack Hessey

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Don't Push It

Want to know a funny thing?  Cool, but it’s gonna take a minute.
First, some backstory.
I wrote my first book when I was four years old, but I didn't start seeking publication until five years ago, my late thirties.  I remember it well, sitting there in front of the computer early one morning enjoying my 'hobby' of writing stories for my own amusement while drinking my first cup of coffee.  Then, all of a sudden, there was a crack of lightening (okay, not really) and a new character fell from the sky (uh, I mean popped into my imagination.) He turned out to be the perfect husband and father for my dynamic mother/daughter duo in a story which turned out to be
and I knew instantly that the time had come to seek publication.
Beats me why, exactly.
Okay, here's the funny part.
Even though that was the first of three novels I polished for submission before the fourth was finally accepted,
I still haven't learned how to properly tell it.
See, I sought out the advice of the legendary Jacqueline Lichtenberg and she explained to me about how I needed to tell my stories as my writing ability matured enough to tell each one.  Or, something like that.  It was a major learning curve and I realized The Star Captains' Daughter and my ability to tell it was not fully developed. 
Fast Forward and
It still isn't!
I just finished my third post-signing book, SWEET BYTES,
and I still canNOT properly tell The Star Captains' Daughter! 
Oh, you can read a poorly told draft for free at Feedbooks, but it's such a shred of what's actually logged away in my imagination.  It's just that SCD is a huge universe and I'm not highly evolved enough to comprehend it.  Sometimes, I worry I never will.  But, then, I realize I have to.  It might take a few years, but those characters are screaming for justice and I can't let them down.
So, I'll keep plugging away, learning, writing, growing, and writing some more.  One of these days, one of these days!  Just wait and see, one of these days, that story and my ability to tell it will mature. 
I have learned a couple of things in the past five years though.
1)      I need to start at the Beginning of the story.  Got no freakin’ idea when that is.
2)      I need to break the ‘universe’ down into smaller, more digestible morsels.  Got no freakin’ idea how to do that either.
Patience, my fair young apprentice, yes, I know, but sometimes I get restless down here on Planet Earth with stories in the Here & Now.  I mean, sure, they’re weird enough to be fun.  Half those Blood Suckin’ Dead Guys in the Ophelia Dawson stories are actually alien/human hybrids after all.  In Book Four, Ophelia’s going to find the original crash site and hive, which will be a knock-down, drag-out fight for sure.
Still…(((sigh)))…I really miss multi-vector attack torpedoes and galloping around the cosmos in my imagination.
The Moral of The Story, however, is
Don’t Push It.
Every dog has his day
And so does every story.
Just gotta keep plugging away and one day I’ll be growed up enough to tell this one.
I also gotta a really groovy Steampunk knocking around in my head too!  Dang, when will I get my voice-activated software?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Are You Creatively Comfortable? A Blog Post About “Finding Your Fit” by Rusty Fischer

First off, a big “HELLO!” and welcome to the Fabulously Young ePubs Blog! Here you’ll find tons of great new YA authors and it’s our hope that, while you’re here, you’ll always find great ways to connect with each other and tons of great advice on writing, publishing and even promoting YA literature.

Who am I? My name is Rusty Fischer and I am the author of Ushers, Inc. and a bunch of other zombie, vampire and werewolf stuff. Well, not so much the werewolf stuff so far, but… that’s coming.

I mention it only because it has to do with today’s post, about finding your fit and settling in where you feel the most comfortable – but still stretching and growing while you’re there. Now, onto today’s post:

Okay, so I was submitting some of my YA zombie stuff to an anthology this week and the editor casually mentioned that they had some room left in a few of their more “adult” anthologies. He didn’t mean erotic adult, necessarily, but horror adult.

Now, here’s the thing: I’ve tried writing grown-up horror stuff. You know, “adult” horror where you can cuss and slice and dice and kill and maim as much and as gruesomely as you like and no library will try to burn your book as a result.

I say I’ve “tried” writing that stuff because I’ve never actually finished any of it.

That’s because well, frankly, it’s embarrassing to read. I confess that I’m always embarrassed to read my own stuff just a little, but reading this stuff is just painfully, excruciatingly embarrassing!

It’s bad. Like, “Why did I ever think I could be a writer in the first place?” bad!

That used to bother me. I thought, “I’m a writer, I should be able to write anything, anytime, if only for the creative exercise.” But there are some genres where I just don’t “fit.”

I’m not saying that if someone locked me in a basement with a laptop and put a gun to my head and said, “Write an 80,000-word creepy, crazy adult horror novel while I stand here for days on end watching you type” I couldn’t, but… is that really the mental place I should be when starting a new project?!?

I’ve never been one of those writers who’s thought of writing as a “chore.” Yes, it’s hard work and lots of it, but I actually look forward to doing it and want to keep it that way. I get excited when a new story idea pops into my head or as I’m wrapping up the last chapter of an old one. I look writing back cover copy and query letters and settling into a groove with this character or that.

I’m not saying I don’t keep an eye on my word count and look forward to when I can tie a bow around another completed project, but I’m saying it’s not like digging ditches or parallel parking an 18-wheeler, either.

And craft? Shouldn’t we always be pushing ourselves just a little bit more? Trying new things, in new ways, as often as possible? Sure; absolutely. But… why can’t I do all that stuff where I’m the happiest? Where I fit in the most?

As writers we should always stretch our comfort zones, but I’ve found that I’m the happiest and at my most inspired when I’m “creatively comfortable.” I like writing YA. I’m comfortable there; creatively, physically and otherwise.

My voice rings truer, my sensibilities match up and it’s a good “fit” for my inner 17-year-old who would still rather cover his office walls with cheesy B-movie posters than framed wall art from Bed Bath & Beyond.

So when I stretch, when I grow, when I try new things or get a little bit edgier or switch from zombies or vampires to werewolves and ghouls, well, I want to do it where I feel most comfortable. And that’s okay.

How about you? Where do you feel most creatively comfortable? And how comfortable are you in how many genres?

Yours in YA,


Monday, August 8, 2011

Hello...from where make believe becomes real

1. What do you do when you are not writing? I enjoy a wide variety of interest. My top five are (1) cooking, (2) card making, (3) tarot/oracle readings (which I’m going to discuss on my blog on Wednesdays for awhile), (4) photography (also another blog topic – Tuesdays) and (5) reading – anything and everything.
2. Do you have a day job as well? Yes, I work in an urban self-contained school for serve emotional impaired children (ages 5 thru 26).
3. When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book? I started writing in high school but I’m the queen of half finished projects. So it wasn't until many years later that I actually finished one.
4. How did you choose the genre you write in? I love to read hi-fantasy and to create a world totally of my own imagination was too much temptation to resist.
5. Where do you get your ideas? I’ve always been interested in the reflection in the mirror concept which is I used for The Night of the Gryphon series. My next series is set up using the magic of Odin & the Norse. ( The Norse zodiac is a topic I discuss on my blog)
6. Do you ever experience writer’s block? No, but I do suffer from server procrastination and I will follow all rabbits down a hole
7. Do you work with an outline, or just write? Writing a series requires some note taking especially a hi-fantasy. I need to remember what I named an animal and what it looked like.
8. Can you tell us about your upcoming series? The Night of the Gryphon deals with five main characters, the hollow king & warrior queen & the prince of light. During the three books, they learn what it means to love, that all have the ability to be good or evil at different times, and they must decide how much they will sacrifice for each other.
9. What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why? Ovezara. To write a character who is evil is great.
10. Will you have a new book coming out soon? The Warrior Queen is the second book in The Night Gryphon. It will be released in January 2012. The first book, The Hollow King (the trailer - ) introduced the characters and the quest but The Warrior Queen can be read alone (I had someone read it that hadn’t read The Hollow King to make sure ;). Now of course, while you’re waiting for The Warrior Queen to be released feel free to buy The Hollow King. :D

Thanks for stopping by…next month I’m going to blog about when make believe becomes real…hope to see you then. Between now and then you drop in on my blog at where I’ll be discussing tarot cards, oracle cards, journaling, photography and much more.

Please leave a comment or e-mail me at if you any questions.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Guest YA Reader: Pick a Theme Song

***Kimber An here.  I call my YA daughter my secret weapon.  I can always count on her to tell me when something I write is crap.  So, I thought I'd share her unique perspective as a Professional Teenager.  She's going to throw things at me when she realizes I slipped her baby picture into this post!  Ha!  Can't help it.  Hard to believe this little baby is taller than me now.  That's what I get for mating with a skyscraper!

Take it away, Kimber Jr!***
Hi everyone! You might know me: I’m Kimber Junior from Enduring Romance. I’ll be guest posting here from time to time. Today I’ll tell you to pick “theme songs” for your book, character, romance, or situation. (Kimber An here: Jr always does most of this for me and it really helps too.)  Please note however, I am going to do a two-part thing because this is quite long, so you’ll just have to wait a little longer for Part 2. (hmmm…..where’ve we heard that before?)
You’re probably thinking: “What?! How’s that going to help me write better?” Well, let’s put it this way: it helps you really think about what makes up a good book. It also helps figure out your “tone”, or general feel, of your story. And plus it’s just plain fun to do.
Now there are three main types of songs: “sad” songs, “medium” songs, and “active” songs. “Sad songs” are songs such as “Sound the Bugle” by Bryan Adams, or “No Way Out” by Phil Collins, which are pretty sad and, in a movie, are generally played at the point when all hope seems lost.  (Kimber An here: Jr chose these two songs for me when I was writing Sweet Bytes.)  “Medium” songs are not sad but not particularly active, either. They are beautiful, and often very heartfelt, and they take their time about it. Some examples that come to mind include: “Look Through My Eyes” by Phil Collins, “Wunderkind” by Alanis Morissette, and “There’s A Place for Us” by Carrie Underwood. “Active” songs are the kind that make you want to get up and dance, or otherwise get you really wound up.  Some examples of this category are: “You Can’t Take Me” and “Get Off My Back”, both by Bryan Adams  (Kimber An here: Jr chose these two songs for Ophelia in Sweet Bytes to inspire her maturing into a Kick-Butt Heroine)  “On My Way” by Phil Collins, and “I Learned From You” by Miley Cyrus. A fourth category is movie soundtracks. These songs generally don’t have words (except for theme songs, usually) and are played during a movie. You usually don’t notice them at first but after you listen to them separately a few dozen times you can pick them out. These are very beautiful too but as they generally don’t have lyrics they aren’t the best choices for theme songs.
OK. So now we’ve got the three main types of songs. This is critical because the point of a theme song is to bring out the best of the book, character, romance, or situation. For example, you wouldn’t set a romance-y type song for a single character. And you wouldn’t set an “active” song for an “All Is Lost” moment. You’ve got to make sure the song-and especially the lyrics-fit the description.
The first type of theme song is for the whole book. First off, look at the overall tone of the book. Is it really sort of, well, I wouldn’t say depressing but not overly cheery either? Are there lots of deaths or other gloomy happenings? Well, then, a “sad” type song would fit best. Is it still not overly cheery but with fewer gloomy happenings and more laughs and more, well, morals and things that make you think? A “medium” song would probably cover it pretty well. Is it pretty cheery, lots of laughs, not too many gloomy happenings (though a word of caution: don’t put too few gloomies in there. If you do, it just won’t seem serious enough.) and has a happy ending? Well, then, I think an “active” song would fit just fine! Another note is that most “sad” songs have a happy ending. Though, there are exceptions: “No Way Out” by Phil Collins (the movie version: the theme song version does have a happy ending) doesn’t, and neither does “Where” by Lisbet Scott. Also, a general rule of picking theme songs is: LISTEN TO THE LYRICS! If you pick a song whose lyrics are the complete opposite of what you’re trying to say, even if the type is right, it just won’t make sense.
Well, that’s it for today! Next up we’ve got picking theme songs for characters, romances, and situations. Should be fun! Until next time, happy hippogriffs to you!
***Kimber An here: As a writer, I use the music to instantly transfer my imagination into the story's 'universe.'  With four children, I don't have time for a muse!***

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Mixing fiction with history

Hello YA fans and welcome to the blog. I'm excited to help promote YA fiction in Digital First format and hope it becomes "the next big thing".

Yes, there's a lot going on in paperback/hardback YA releases but for the "niche" stories--books that are too short/too long or too "different" for traditional corporate publishers to invest in, e-publishers will be the go-to places much as they were for the adult romance readers who craved the type of stories it took the "Big 6 publishers" a long time to embrace.

Enough blathering on business models, let's talk cool book characters ^_^

I've loved all things history and paranormal ever since I can remember. The most fun I have in writing is being able to combine the two the way I did in Falling Through Glass with Emmi & Kae (names presented in western order firstname, lastname)

Emiko (Emmi) Maeda

A descendant of the powerful Maeda family who once ruled over the Kaga-han, the most wealthy domain in Japan. Historically a family's wealth was measured in the amount of rice they could produce and sell. This was measured in units called koku. Kaga-han was known as the Million Koku domain. The Maeda estate in Edo (now Tokyo) was so vast that their mansion contained an indoor lake.

The Maeda of Kaga were allied with Japan's rulers from the days of Toshiie Maeda who was a general under warlord Nobunaga Oda.

The family would eventually align itself via marriage with both the Tokugawa Shogunate and the Imperial Court. It was Maeda money from the dowry of the bride of Prince Toshihito which funded the completion of Kyoto's Katsura Imperial Villa where Emmi stays with her ancestor Takehito. Emmi wears a gold dragonfly pendant in honor of the dragonfly which adorned the front of Toshiie Maeda's war helmet.

Kaemon (Kae) Nakagawa no miya

The son of Prince Asahiko, adopted brother to Emperor Komei as well as his closest advisor. The Emperor said that he and Asahiko were like "two different branches that had grown together". Not wanting his son to be merely a "useless longsleeves" court noble, Kae's father would have sent him to be educated in a domain like Aizu-han which boasted the Nisshinkan school for boys of Samurai rank. There he would have studied not only martial arts but also astronomy, Confucianism and medical science from both Japanese and Dutch sources.

While Emmi, her ancestor Takehito, and Kae are fictional Falling Through Glass does include many real historical figures such as Kae's father, Emperor Komei and his son Prince Sachi who would later become Mutsuhito, the Emperor Meiji.

A few members of the Kyoto patrol group The Shinsengumi also play a part in Falling Through Glass.

A major historical event was also used as a backdrop in the book. The Ikedaya Incident (also known as the Ikeda Affair).

Monday, August 1, 2011


I’m very excited to be here today with all of you. I think this should be a wonderful blog and I’m really happy to be a part of it! Although I am usually an adult author (yes, if you are under 18 stay far-far away from my other series) a book idea came to me and after I tried to write it 3 times unsuccessfully, it finally became clear to me what the problem actually was: my heroine was sixteen years old.
If you’re not a writer perhaps this doesn’t make a lot of sense to you but sometimes we, as writers, find that the story tells itself to us as opposed to the other way around. And thus Rachel Clancy and her unbelievable story was born.
If you’re unfamiliar with the story, let me introduce you to it by way of the first story: Initiation.
My name is Rachel Clancy. Thirty years before I was born, the world ended. Today is my sixteenth birthday. Today I will go Upwards to fight the monsters and, statistically speaking, I won’t be coming back—at least not still living.

Initiation is the story of sixteen year old Rachel Clancy, born with a specific set of genes that let her fight monsters, she has trained her entire life to kill Vampires and Werewolves. Knowing since birth what her destiny would be has not made the onslaught of emotions she faces as she journey Upwards any easier. It doesn’t help that her father is drunk and her best friend just doesn’t get ‘it.’

Rachel isn’t prepared for the level of deception she faces, and before long she will find herself on a quest she is in no way prepared to handle. What happens next will alter not only Rachel’s life but the lives of everyone she knows. She will learn beyond a shadow of a doubt that sometimes the monsters we know are worse than the ones we don’t and that love can surprise us when it comes from somewhere we never anticipated it.

If she lives, she will be a Warrior. If she doesn’t, no one will ever remember her name.

“My mother used to call this apple cider weather.”
I had been doing my best to pretend I was unaffected by Jason’s presence, but I wasn’t. He felt warm, even the distance we walked apart, like he was a hot presence in a world of freezing cold eventualities.
“I know what apples are. We get them sometimes. What is apple cider? Some kind of drink?”
“Breaks my heart that you live in a world with no apple cider.” The grimace on his face was a huge indication then he meant what he said. He really was…beautiful, in a way most guys, or even grown men, were not.
Jason seemed to light up from the inside out. Maybe it came from actually being outside all the time but his skin glowed with freshness. Or maybe it was a Werewolf thing, a monster thing.
“Do you do this all the time? Take on Warriors and not tell them why you’re holding them prisoner?”
He raised an eyebrow, his lips quirking into a smile before falling straight again. “Do you feel like a prisoner?”
“Do you answer every question with a question?”
“No.” He shook his head. “I did promise you answers. But first, tell me if you feel better out here? Less likely to hurl away all that fine turkey?”
I stopped walking and turned to look at him. “I feel much better, thank you.” I got my first look at the house we had just exited. I covered my mouth with my hand to suppress my gasp and I looked again. It wasn’t really a house—it was a giant tent—standing in front of a dozen giant tents just like it. I could see from where I stood how it was built. The walls were solid, but only because large beams in the ground held them up. I hadn’t thought to feel the walls earlier. Why would I? They had looked like concrete, but they weren’t, they were actually cloth and something else—vinyl, maybe?
“You guys are prepared to leave at any time, aren’t you?”
“We’re nomadic. We never stay anywhere very long.”
I couldn’t be sure, but I thought I heard sadness in his voice. I could ask him about it. He’d put his emotion right out there for me to hear it, which begged the question: just how well did I want to know Jason?
At some point, I was going to turn a corner with this Werewolf where I was going to start thinking of him as a living, breathing, cognizant being whose head I wouldn’t be able to cut off. I wasn’t sure I wanted to do that.
And yet…
“Would you rather stay put?” I spoke the words.
"Maybe. See, I can still remember what it was like, to have a house that was a home, to have neighbors, to go to school."

If you’re interested, you can find out more about Rachel here. I’ll be back the first Monday of every month to talk about Rachel, her life, and Young Adult writing. Hope you’re all well.
Thank you Kimber for putting this together!
Rebecca Royce