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Tag! You’re It! GUTGAA Festivities!

September 8, 2012

GUTGAA (the ” Gearing Up To Get An Agent” blogfest hosted by Deana Barnhart) has a game of tag going on.  I was tagged by the awesome and awesomely talented A.P. Alessandri. Check her out on her blog or on Twitter at @apalessandri. Check her out!

Here are my answers in the tag game:

What is the working title of your book? GRIPPED, an edgy young adult contemporary novel.

Where did the idea come from for the book? I have always tended to gravitate toward edgier subjects. I’ve also seen the devestating effects of alcoholism, and wanted to write a book that would make people think.

What genre does your book fall under? Young Adult Contemporary
 
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? I’ll start thinking about a movie deal when it actually gets published! 
 
What is the one-sentence short synopsis of your book? Seventeen year old Taylor has it all. But she hasn’t gotten where she is alone. She’s an alcoholic. When she is dumped, her drinking spirals out of control. She shows up at school drunk and is almost expelled. After a fight at a party, she gets behind the wheel of her car, crashing into a tree. The accident leaves her near death, and she ultimately has to decide whether to give up alcohol, or continue to put her life in danger by continuing to drink.
 
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? I’m going to start querying soon!
 
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? It took six months to write the first draft. Then I put it aside for another six months and completed a middle grade project. I picked it back up and have been revising for the last four months. I hope to query soon!
 
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? There is a romance subplot, that’s kind of fun, and makes the book a little lighter.
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Tag! You’re It! GUTGAA Festivities!

September 8, 2012

GUTGAA (the ” Gearing Up To Get An Agent” blogfest hosted by Deana Barnhart) has a game of tag going on.  I was tagged by the awesome and awesomely talented A.P. Alessandri. Check her out on her blog or on Twitter at @apalessandri. Check her out!

Here are my answers in the tag game:

What is the working title of your book? GRIPPED, an edgy young adult contemporary novel.

Where did the idea come from for the book? I have always tended to gravitate toward edgier subjects. I’ve also seen the devestating effects of alcoholism, and wanted to write a book that would make people think.

What genre does your book fall under? Young Adult Contemporary
 
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? I’ll start thinking about a movie deal when it actually gets published! 
 
What is the one-sentence short synopsis of your book? Seventeen year old Taylor has it all. But she hasn’t gotten where she is alone. She’s an alcoholic. When she is dumped, her drinking spirals out of control. She shows up at school drunk and is almost expelled. After a fight at a party, she gets behind the wheel of her car, crashing into a tree. The accident leaves her near death, and she ultimately has to decide whether to give up alcohol, or continue to put her life in danger by continuing to drink.
 
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? I’m going to start querying soon!
 
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? It took six months to write the first draft. Then I put it aside for another six months and completed a middle grade project. I picked it back up and have been revising for the last four months. I hope to query soon!
 
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? There is a romance subplot, that’s kind of fun, and makes the book a little lighter.

GUTGAA Meet N Greet

September 5, 2012
tags:

Where do you write? Anywhere and everywhere. With a hectic life, I take what I can when I can. I’d write at Starbucks every day, if I could. But most of the time, I’m usually sitting on the sofa in my living room with my laptop. Not very glamorous, haha!

Quick. Go to your writing space, sit down and look to your left. What is the first thing you see? If I’m sittin on my sofa and look to my left, there’s a window. Outside of the window is our side yard.  
 
Favorite time to write?  Definitely the morning, when I’m fresh. I’m a morning person through and through!
 
Drink of choice while writing? Chai tea lattee!
 
When writing , do you listen to music or do you need complete silence? I definitely can’t listen to music when I’m writing. I’m more of a silence is golden person.
 
What was your inspiration for your latest manuscript and where did you find it? I tend to gravitate toward edgier subjects. So, for my current WIP, I chose teenage alcoholism. I’ve seen alcohol distroy too many lives first-hand, so it’s a topic that’s near and dear to my heart. It’s also a topic I don’t see addressed in a lot of YA. So, I went for it.
 
What’s your most valuable writing tip? If you can dream it, you can do it (Walt Disney)  

Lisa Burstein Contest Announcement

July 2, 2012

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Lisa Burstein, author of Pretty Amy, is having a contest and giving away THREE chapter critiques! This is an amazing opportunity. Check out all of the details here:

http://www.lisaburstein.com/Contests_.html

The Writer’s Voice Contest!

May 3, 2012

Plot Summary from Query:

Taylor Stewart leads a life that, while privileged, is wrought with pressure-filled expectations. Although she has successfully navigated her way through the first three years of high school meeting, and often exceeding, these expectations, she has not done so without a little help. Taylor is a teenage alcoholic.

Alcohol has been the perfect partner, helping Taylor be outgoing, funny, and popular. It also offers an escape from her pressure-filled life, while numbing the bitterness, hurt and resentment she feels towards her absentee parents. When she is unexpectedly dumped by her star-athlete boyfriend, she is finally pushed past the tipping point and the delicate façade she has built begins to crumble. She begins to rely even heavier on alcohol to simply make it through the days. And the more she uses alcohol to hold everything together, the more her life spirals out of control. The end result is catastrophic and threatens to change the course of her life forever.

Gripped is an edgy, contemporary young adult novel, complete at 61,000 words. The manuscript is available upon request.

First 250 Words:

The noise blaring from the speakers is palpable.  She can feel the bass pulsing through her body, reverberating in her bones. Every thump and pulse of the techno mix is speeding up the rhythmic beating of her heart.

The heat radiating off of the bodies in the dank, crowded room is stifling. She is sweating through her clothes. She drags the back of her hand across her forehead, which is slick with salty sweat.

She stumbles through the crowd, trying to push her way out. The smell of stale beer and body odor is making her feel nauseous. She can feel the contents of her stomach trying to angrily push their way up her esophagus.  She has to get out of here, now, before she throws up.

Her chest feels tight and heavy, like a weight is pressing down on her heart. Her legs are wobbly, barely able to support her body and keep it upright. But she keeps moving, parting the crowd with her hands, slipping through the tiny cracks of space between bodies.

She can feel the pricking of tears on the inside of her eyelids. She can’t cry now. She has to keep it all inside her for a little longer. At least until she can get out of here.

Divergent – Veronica Roth

June 1, 2011

I had heard some really good reviews on this book, many of them comparing it to the Hunger Games trilogy. I thought about it for a while, and figured, what the heck. So, I purchased this book for my Kindle. The next day I came down with the death cold. The only upside to the death cold was a lot of free time. I devoured this book in a little over a day.

 Divergent, which is the first of a trilogy, starts to tell the story of a dystopian Chicago, which has been divided into five factions, each dedicated to one of five virtues (Cando, Abnegation, Dauntless, Amity, and Erudite). Beatrice Prior is born to an Abnegation family and, upon her sixteenth birthday, is forced to select a faction to which she will dedicate the rest of her life. She is forced to choose between staying with her family, and branching out on her own.  Beatrice makes a surprising decision, and reinvents herself as Tris, plunging herself into a new, exciting, and terrifying life.

 This book is the debut novel of Veronica Roth, who is only 22 years old. It’s really, really good. The society she creates is vivid and believable. The characters are real and tug at your emotions. It is everything a great book is made of. The only downside to reading this book right now is that I now have to wait until the next one comes out. You can bet I’ll have this one on pre-order from the time it is available.

Wintergirls – Laurie Halse Anderson

May 26, 2011

I cannot say enough great things about Laurie Halse Anderson. She is such a fabulous and compelling author. I read Speak quite a few years ago and was so impressed with it. It was so different, so emotional, and so real. When I recently came across Wintergirls, I knew I had to read it.

 Wintergirls is a hauntingly accurate portrayal of two teenage girls with eating disorders. Like so many other teenage girls, I suffered from serious issues with food and self image as a teenage girl, which only made this book that much more chilling and haunting for me. It forced me back into an extremely uncomfortable place in my life.

 In Wintergirls, Lia and Cassie are childhood best friends who come to suffer from their own unique eating disorders, started when the girls made a pact as young teens. Cassie is bulimic, and Lia is anorexic. Now 18, the girls are no longer friends. However, one winter night, Cassie calls Lia 33 times before she passes away. The death shocks Lia, who begins to withdraw further and further into herself and into her destructive and deadly behavior.

 In my opinion, this book, along with Speak, are must reads for every teenage girl in America. It is so brutal, so honest, so raw, so filled with emotion that it leaves you speechless and feeling wrung out by the time you finish the last page. I only wish there had been a book like this when I was a teenager. Maybe I wouldn’t have felt so alone and vulnerable.