Now Making Book Trailers for the Summer!

While writing book three this summer, I will also be working on book trailer commissions. If you are in need of a book trailer, please contact me and let me know. All trailers will have a flat fee of $75. I will use youtube’s audio swap music tracks unless the author wishes to cover the price of purchasing the rights to another song.  Here’s the book trailer I did for LUMINOSITY:

 

 

I Love This Article – Pixar’s 22 Rules of Storytelling

This post was originally posted here and they are not my own.

 

 

These rules were originally tweeted by Emma Coates, Pixar’s Story Artist. Number 9 on the list – When you’re stuck, make a list of what wouldn’t happen next – is a great one and can apply to writers in all genres.

  1. You admire a character for trying more than for their successes.

  2. You gotta keep in mind what’s interesting to you as an audience, not what’s fun to do as a writer. They can be very different.

  3. Trying for theme is important, but you won’t see what the story is actually about til you’re at the end of it. Now rewrite.

  4. Once upon a time there was ___. Every day, ___. One day ___. Because of that, ___. Because of that, ___. Until finally ___.

  5. Simplify. Focus. Combine characters. Hop over detours. You’ll feel like you’re losing valuable stuff but it sets you free.

  6. What is your character good at, comfortable with? Throw the polar opposite at them. Challenge them. How do they deal?

  7. Come up with your ending before you figure out your middle. Seriously. Endings are hard, get yours working up front.

  8. Finish your story, let go even if it’s not perfect. In an ideal world you have both, but move on. Do better next time.

  9. When you’re stuck, make a list of what WOULDN’T happen next. Lots of times the material to get you unstuck will show up.

  10. Pull apart the stories you like. What you like in them is a part of you; you’ve got to recognize it before you can use it.

  11. Putting it on paper lets you start fixing it. If it stays in your head, a perfect idea, you’ll never share it with anyone.

  12. Discount the 1st thing that comes to mind. And the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th – get the obvious out of the way. Surprise yourself.

  13. Give your characters opinions. Passive/malleable might seem likable to you as you write, but it’s poison to the audience.

  14. Why must you tell THIS story? What’s the belief burning within you that your story feeds off of? That’s the heart of it.

  15. If you were your character, in this situation, how would you feel? Honesty lends credibility to unbelievable situations.

  16. What are the stakes? Give us reason to root for the character. What happens if they don’t succeed? Stack the odds against.

  17. No work is ever wasted. If it’s not working, let go and move on – it’ll come back around to be useful later.

  18. You have to know yourself: the difference between doing your best & fussing. Story is testing, not refining.

  19. Coincidences to get characters into trouble are great; coincidences to get them out of it are cheating.

  20. Exercise: take the building blocks of a movie you dislike. How d’you rearrange them into what you DO like?

  21. You gotta identify with your situation/characters, can’t just write ‘cool’. What would make YOU act that way?

  22. What’s the essence of your story? Most economical telling of it? If you know that, you can build out from there.

I Have an Agent!

I also wanted to announce that yesterday I signed with an agent! His name is Eric Ruben and he’s pretty awesomesauce. I’m so excited to actually have an agent, and I look forward to hopefully seeing my career grow even more than it already has.

I should also have another good announcement soon to come…so keep checking back!

Top Ten Things That Inspire My Writing: Part I

I thought I’d lend everyone an insight into what inspires me to write in general. Then maybe you can tell me what inspires you to write too!

1. My students. They inspire me every moment of my working day. I started to write Young Adult fiction because of them. I always mention one student in particular, Melinda, who would come in with a book to read every day, and every book would have some dark, gothic cover with a gothic-looking girl on the front dressed in some black prom dress with eyeliner all over her face. I don’t now why, but I’ve always been drawn to what Melinda would read, and I’d always ask her what book she is currently working on. It’s because of her and my other students begging to read my writing that I sat down and started to create LUMINOSITY.

2. My friends and family. I’ve always been writing, be it short stories or poetry or letters to my bestie, Gina. In fact, she just sent me a picture the other day of a letter I sent to her in the mail, and I had scribbled all over it in the most obnoxiously-poor grammar you have ever seen. Oh God, it was awful. But, in some way, my family and friends have always encouraged me to do more. It wasn’t until I moved to Baltimore that I started to bond with a current friend, Stephanie Dray, who is also an author. She always pushed me along and encouraged me to stop writing as a hobby and start writing seriously. I had the amazing opportunity to intern for her during grad school, and because I was an intern, I got to read and give feedback on her historical novel, Lily of the Nile. Now, I already knew what an amazing writer Stephanie was because of the worlds and stories that she had created in other pieces of her work, but Lily of the Nile was the first historical book of hers that I read through, and I was simply awe-struck. She has a style of word craft and storytelling that is unmatched by others, and trust me — I read a LOT of historical fiction. Even in writing LUMINOSITY, I was influenced, in part, by the work of Stephanie Dray. So, as you can see, my friends and family have a huge impact on my writing.

3. Music. Music moves me. I am one of those people who will hear a song and cry because it’s so moving. I’ll be in the middle of belting out a tune, and my voice will cut out because I’m so suddenly overcome with emotion. Sometimes certain lyrics inspire me to create a story around them, and sometimes a whole album will inspire me to write. What immediately comes to mind is My Chemical Romance’s last album, Danger Days: The True Story of the Fabulous Killjoys. If you are into dystopian, apocalyptic anything, this album is for you. And make sure you watch the music videos while you are at it! I also know a lot of other authors do this, but I like to create “soundtracks” for my writing that I will listen to on loop until I am done writing for that day. I love when authors include their “soundtracks” in their books because it lends so much insight into their process.

4. Other Authors/Stories. I think this is a gimme, really, and doesn’t have to be said. All of us are inspired by those who have written before us. Not a single author out there hasn’t been inspired by an author that they’ve personally taken interest in. Some of my favorite authors are George R.R. Martin, the Bronte Sisters, and Ernest Hemingway. I have a whole list that would probably go on forever, but that’s just a taste of the authors that I love.

5. Art. I am a very creative person. I love to paint, I love to take photographs, I love to create — period. Sometimes, I don’t think people understand that writing is only the tip of the iceberg for me. My need for craft goes much deeper than literature. One year, at a high school where I used to teach, the art department held an art show, where anyone could go and see the student art and then purchase what they like. It was great because the students’ artwork now had a purpose greater than a grade, and I got to see the creativity of students that I wouldn’t have ever seen before. There was a student in particular who had a style that I gravitated to. All of her art was so deep and mysterious, I was just taken away with it. I ended up buying one of her paintings which shows a girl’s face on one half, and is covered with newspaper clippings on the other half. The whole painting is spattered with black writing ink, and in the corner are the words “It has a name.” Sadly, she didn’t put her name on the painting, and I can’t remember it…but I wish I did because I’d probably buy all of her artwork! But anyway, my office consists of my writing space, my bunny rabbit, the “It has a name” painting on the wall, my book cover poster hanging by my desk, bookshelves, and then my painting space where I sometimes feel inspire to take a brush to canvas. It’s quite a mess, but I think that’s typical of artists. Ha.

Stay tuned for part two of my “Top Ten Things That Inspire My Writing” blog post! But in the meantime, why don’t you tell me your top five inspirations for writing. Leave a comment below!

LUMINOSITY E-Book Release! Happy Halloween! **CONTEST**

That’s right! Luminosity is officially out in e-book form, and ready for YOU to purchase it. 🙂   If you have an e-reader, you are in luck!
So far, Luminosity  has been getting great reviews! Here’s a peek at some that I have posted on my webpage:

“This book was so much better than I could ever have imagined!…I give this a well deserved 5/5.”  -Head Stuck in a Book

“I really enjoyed this book.  I love science fiction, romance, and dystopian novels, and when these elements are all combined into one, it is even better.  The premise of this story was unique and fresh. “ -Always YA At The Heart

“Despite the snippets of information I felt like someone had tipped a box full of jigsaw puzzle pieces in front of me and then left me to it. I had all the information, but not a clue where any of it was going or how it was going to get there; and there lies the beauty of Stephanie Thomas’s style of writing. It wasn’t so much the actual twists as opposed to the”how” things came to pass that was truly intriguing.” -The Library Mouse

“This is such a well written story, I read this in one sitting. It is that addictive you don’t want to put it down. The characters are well fleshed out and the world building is extremely well done.  I’ll be eagerly awaiting the next book in this fantastic series.” –Sezjb from Goodreads

Luminosity is the type of book that will keep you on the edge of your seat and reading long into the night. It’s nonstop action, mystery, and suspense. Purrs and tail waves to Thomas for a wonderful job well done. – What the Cat Read

How awesome is that? So, if you are curious about it, and you want to jump the gun and buy it before it comes out in bookstores, now’s your chance!
Oh, and did I mention that I’ll be having a give-away as well? Yup! If you buy the e-book, you can enter to win a give-away! The first place winner will win a Luminosity zip-up hoodie, the second place winner will win a signed poster of the book cover, and third place will win some book swag! Woo! Stuff!

To enter the raffle, you will have to visit my webpage  or visit the facebook page and use rafflecopter to submit your entries. 🙂 Good luck, and happy reading!