Posted in Guest Posts, Miscelaneous Musings, Q&A, The Writing Life, Uncategorized

2017 Ch1Con Blog Tour

Hello readers! It’s that time of the year again – I’m participating in the Ch1Con 2017 Blog Tour, an annual tour in preparation for this year’s conference, which brings original content from the Chapter One Young Writers Conference team to a number of fantastic, writing-related blogs. You’re on one of those right now!

If you haven’t heard of it, the Chapter One Young Writers Conference (Ch1Con) is a writing conference entirely by and for young writers. The team is composed of a number of high school, college, and early-twenty-something writers, who work to create a unique, inclusive experience for young attendees. The conference, with its subset focus on the young adult novel, brings teens together to hear from accomplished speakers their own age, participate in professional workshops, and celebrate the influence young writers have on the world.

The first Ch1Con took place in Chicago in 2012 with six teenagers in attendance in person and countless others attending via an online live stream. It was an experiment limited to members of the Scholastic’s Write It community and their friends: could a group of teenagers from across North America really get together and run their own conference? The answer soon became apparent: yes. So, eager to get others involved in the fun as well, the team took the conference public in 2014.

This year, Ch1Con is bigger and brighter than ever, with more opportunities, cooler giveaways, and a new roundup of fantastic speakers headlining the conference on Saturday, August 5th in downtown Chicago, Illinois. Registration is currently open on the Ch1Con website for writers ages eleven to twenty-three and at an early bird discounted price of $49.99. The speaker lineup is up on the website now, featuring Kody Keplinger, author of a bevy of YA hits including THE DUFF (now a major motion picture!), literary agent superstar Brent Taylor, more.  (There’s also pizza, but more on that later….)

For my stop on the tour, I had the opportunity to interview not one, but three really awesome people who are involved with Ch1Con: Ariel Kalati (Associate Online Administrator), Emma Rose Ryan (Tumblr Expert), and Brett Jonas, Chief Creative Consultant.  All three are terrific writers, and through Thursday night Ch1Con Twitter chats, we’ve become Twitter-friendly in the past few months. 🙂

Here’s how our conversation went: Continue reading “2017 Ch1Con Blog Tour”

Posted in Q&A, The Writing Life, Uncategorized

Q&A Blog Tag!

In September, Nate Philbrick shared the Q&A Blog Tag on his site, and left the tag open to anyone who wants to participate.  I thought I’d give this tag a go.  Since I write all my posts months in advance whenever I have a free minute to sit and write, that’s why you’re only seeing this post now. 😛

In terms of rules: basically, you get tagged to answer ten questions.  Thank the asker, let them know you participated, answer their questions in a blog post, then tag a bunch more people with ten questions of your own.

So yeah, thanks, Mr. Philbrick!  That said…

Here are the ten questions I must answer:

1. Favorite fiction genre to read?

As embarrassed as I am to admit it, at the moment, my favorite fiction genre is fan fiction.

2. Free weekend: would you rather stay at home and relax (alone or with a select few) or go out and make big plans?

What’s most likely to happen is I’ll stay at home and relax because my big plans to go out just didn’t work out, or I’m too tired to make them happen. 😛

3. Favorite season? (Of the year, you Netflix addict).

Volume Three of RW—  Oh.  My favorite season is Autumn.  It’s a nice, happy medium between the hot, sweltering Summer and the cold, numbing Winter.

4. Best thing to do on a rainy day?

Baking Reese’s peanut butter chip cookies.  Next-best thing?  Eating them all.

5. Hardcover books or paperback books? (Don’t even try “but kindle…?” My post, my rules).

Now that I’m reading bigger books, I find I prefer paperbacks.  They’re far less bulky.  I hate reading on the computer.  I hate it.  All my textbooks at school are eBooks, which makes them all the more unbearable!

6. Favorite speculative (fantasy, sci-fic, etc.) film?

The Matrix and Star Wars: A New Hope.

7. You’re stranded in a forest (no way out). What’s your best shot at getting food?

Well, assuming I’m not running for my life from a apologetically no-longer-famous Hollywood superstar, I’d probably try to catch fish and not die from berry poisoning.

8. Would you rather be able to breathe underwater or have camouflaging abilities?

Hm….  I think I’d rather have camouflaging abilities.  That seems like an ability I’d use more often.

9. Name an animal that you’re terrified of, for whatever reason.

I don’t think I’m particularly terrified of any animals.  Irrationally, anyway.  I think I have a healthy level of respect and caution around most animals, but I wouldn’t consider myself terrified of any.

10. Hugs: the solution to most of life’s problems, or a space-invading nuisance?

It really depends on the circumstance and the hugger. 😛

 

I’m not going to tag anyone specifically.  If you’re reading this and you like blog tags, consider yourself tagged, and feel free to share the link to your post in a comment below. 🙂

That said, here are ten things I’m dying to know about you:

  1. Boxed macaroni and cheese or homemade?
  2. If you could be any character from your favorite book, movie, series, etc., who would it be and why?
  3. If you’re a writer, what are your writerly goals for the coming year?
  4. You have a time machine, but it can only take you in one direction along the timeline (with the exception of being able to take you back to the present).  Would that direction be forwards, or backwards?
  5. It’s a snow day.  Are you indoors or outdoors?
  6. If you could make a soundtrack for your book (or a book you enjoy), what would be some of the songs on it?
  7. What’s the last book you read?  Did you like it?
  8. How do you feel about keeping books in the bathroom?
  9. Nutella or peanut butter?
  10. What’s the best book-to-movie adaptation you’ve ever seen?
Posted in Miscelaneous Musings, Q&A, The Writing Life

Q&A Session #1

You guys asked some awesome questions – I hope you’ll find my answers just as awesome! 🙂

My Writing Routine

Ms. Evelyn Krieger said she would like to know about my writing routine.  (Pardon me while I stop hyperventilating about being asked a question by a real, live, published author!!!!)

My routine starts off with a few minutes (or on some days, a few hours) of daydreaming to prepare my mind for the task.  I let my ideas formulate over the course of the day, and then, once all my chores are out of the way, I find a quiet place to set up the tools of my trade (either my laptop or my trusty mobile device, headphones, and my favorite music), and let the words flow like endless rain into a paper cup.

I’ve also adopted a new strategy to motivate myself on days when words tend to flow like … a parched desert wasteland: tell myself I’ll only write for 15 minutes.  I usually end up writing for an hour.

And as a given, my routine only works when I’ve had a good night’s sleep the night before! 😀

How many books did you work on before you published Secrets in Seaport?

This one came from Lars. 🙂  If I lump all thirteen drafts of a horrible fanfiction together as being one book (which the public will never, ever, ever, ever, ever read), I’d say I finished writing three books prior to publishing SIS.  (I promise the other two were original stories!)  There were definitely countless other book projects I started writing before then, but have yet to finish.

Let’s face it, authors’ brains are bursting at the seams with ideas.  The hard part is finding an optimal way to apply them.

Fanfic vs. Original Fiction

Lars also asks how often I write fanfiction over original projects.   Great question! 🙂

Fanfictions are much easier to write than original fiction for so many reasons.  For starters, I already have a full cast of characters to portray, and plenty of settings to put them in, thanks to the creative thinking of other people. 😛  I particularly enjoy writing fanfictions where absurd things happen, such as putting characters in atypical situations (let’s put the White Orc on a luxury cruise to the Bahamas, Princess Leia in a babysitting job, or Earth’s favorite time lord dancing ballet).

Last-last year, I was churning out Doctor Who fanfics like all of time and space was going to end tomorrow.  The fanfic to original fiction ratio of 2013 was about 60:40.  A little embarrassing now, but at least my fanfictions were of the Whovian variety, not Tom Hiddleston or One Direction!

Lately, though, I have been curbing my enthusiasm for fanfic-writing (or, as William Shatner might call it, getting a life) and sticking mostly to the real stuff.  Currently, I’m working on one big fanfiction, and I have four original projects I’ve been tinkering with.  The ratio is more like 45:55 now, and I’m happy with that. 🙂