Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Internet Book Fair

Do you remember book fairs? Or maybe those fliers you got in school telling you about all the latest children's paperbacks? (Those fliers were my favorite things about elementary school.) Today something just as exciting is going on. It's the Internet Book Fair Blogfest. It's a great opportunity to find out about all the new books that are available. You can visit each author's/book's blog, read blurbs and reviews and, if you're interested, follow the links to buy to the book. So click on the link and enjoy the fun! To find out more about my book, keep reading below.

At the end of the post is a list of hot links to the other books in the book fair. Enjoy!

Here's info on my novel, Screwing Up Time.

Mark Montgomery is a slacker content with his life. He’s a senior at New Haven Prep, has a great friend, and after graduation he’ll get a brand new sports car from his parents, assuming he stays out of trouble. Then, she comes into his life—Miranda with her I-just-escaped-from-a-Renaissance-Fair clothing. Only, she hasn’t. She has come from Bodiam Castle in the Middle Ages and demands a secret ingredient and a book of recipes for traveling through the treacherous colors of time. Although Mark has never even heard of either before, he must find them, or Miranda will die. To save her, Mark must break into a psych hospital to visit his grandfather who once tried to kill him, pass through the colors of time, take on a medieval alchemist, prevent Miranda’s marriage to a two-timing baron, and keep it all hidden from his parents. The sports car is definitely in trouble.

Buy Screwing Up Time for $2.99 at Amazon or BarnesandNoble.com

Here are some Amazon reviews.

"...I enjoy historical fiction and love time travel so...I decided to try this one out. I absolutely loved it! The characters were funny and felt like real people, and I quickly connected with the main characters in the story (which is a major factor for me in books...if I don't like the characters, I'm not going to finish the book). The plot moved along at a good pace, never feeling slow or labored, and I was so drawn in to the story that I could hardly stand to put the book down. I don't dare to do a plot summary for fear of giving something away, so all I can say is I highly, highly recommend this book, and am looking forward to reading more of the series!"

"This YA novel is a fun and witty read! The characters came to life and as I read I found myself eager to find out what happened next. I highly recommend this book and look forward to the next in the series!"

""Screwing Up Time" was fun to read and very hard to put down. The fact that Bodiam Castle has it's own web page [...] makes the book even more intriguing. The characters feel like old friends after only a few chapters. I could see the country side and feel the movement through time. Thanks C. M. Keller for the great escape for a short time anyway. Can not wait for the next installment."

Here's are links to the rest of the books in the blog fest.

1.M.A. Leslie2.Le Vanity Victorienne
3.www.lachesispublishing.com4.Dianne Hartsock
5.Susan Kaye Quinn6.Kai Strand (The Weaver)
7.Kate Avery Ellison8.Nancy Stewart Books Blog
9.AdoraPet Children's Books to Nourish a Happy Mind10.William & Pamela Deen
11.My Sister Is My Best Friend12.REMEMBERING NINE ELEVEN
13.MARIE AND THE SEA TURTLE14.Nancy Lynn Jarvis
15.Donna J. Shepherd16.1 Zany Zoo
17.Shelley Buck Author SIte18.http://tinyurl.com/5rby7oc
19.fiddleeebod20.Urban Mythos
21.The Underwear Dare22.Ashfall
23.A Day in Doha24.The Golden Pathway
25.CLOCKWISE by Elle Strauss26.Jessica Bell @ The Alliterative Allomorph
27.Signs of Trouble28.The Doll by J.C. Martin
29.J.L. Campbell @ The Character Depot30.Once Upon a December Nightmare by Cherie Reich
31.Nicole Zoltack32.Lyon's Legacy by Sandra Ulbrich Almazan
33.The Night Watchman Express by Alison DeLuca34.THE LEGEND OF VICTOR STANDISH
35.Indies are GO!36.The Legacy of Kilkenny
37.Silent No More38.Angela Fristoe @ Turning the Pages
39.The Once and Future Wizard by Tom Averna40.200 SHORTS
41.Screwing Up Time by C.M. Keller42.Connection of the Minds
43.Double the Trouble44.A Second Chance
45.Ghost Dog of Roanoke Island by C.K. Volnek46.Stranger on the Shore
47.May I Have this Dance48.If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor
49.Erotic Deception (Romantic Suspense) by Karen Cote'50.Shadows Steal The Light
51.Reluctant Companions by Christine London52.Hog Wild by Christine London
53.Sunshine Boulevard54.The Turn of the Karmic Wheel, Monica Brinkman
55.Spirit Stealer56.Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend
57.Under the Hat58.Screwing Up Time by C.M. Keller (blog)
59.The Chronicles of Caleath60.Larion Wills/Larriane Wills
61.Nathan's Angel by Melissa Bradley62.Culloden Spirit by Anita Davison
63.Trencarrow Secret by Anita Davison64.Killer Valentine Ball Chris Verstraete
65.Stephen Tremp Breakthrough Blogs66.The Powers by S. Durham
67.Madeline Sharples @Choices68.Hostage Heart by Chelle Cordero
69.Rachel's Children: Surviving the Second World War70.Hostage Heart by Chelle Cordero
71.Hyphema by Chelle Cordero72.Impeccable
73.45 Minutes by Kristen Young74.Final Sin by Chelle Cordero
75.To Be Continued by Charmaine Gordon76.Now What? by Charmaine Gordon
77.One Pelican at a Time78.http://goo.gl/EWgYg
79.Love's Long Shadow80.Patricia Lynne's Journey Through the Pages
81.Anne Gallagher - Regency Romance Writer82."I Believe"
83.Johanna Garth, urban fantasy, Losing Beauty84.OnWords Blog
85.Getaway by DD Symms86.Jennifer M. Hartsock

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Today I start editing. People have asked me what that’s like. So I took a photo of the things I use to get started.

When I edit, I print the entire manuscript for the first time. After I did that this morning, I discovered to my horror that I forgot to insert page numbers. Now I’ll have to go through the entire novel and write in the page numbers. YUCK!

Before you feel too sorry for me, I have to go through each page by hand anyway and highlight (with my pink/yellow/green/blue highlighters) all the notes I’ve left myself in the text. When I’m writing a first draft, I don’t want to get bogged down in the text so I’ll leave myself notes. For example, “This scene is painful, fix it,” or “Add in the backstory for this scene,” or “Character X needs to be in this scene, add in later.” Editing is when I fix those things.

The green notebook and fountain pen are for making notes to myself about the themes, subplots, and character development that need to be added or refined in the text. I use a fountain pen because it slows me down and makes me think more deeply as I write.

The flags (I need a lot more of these) is how I mark the text. For example, in Screwing Up Time all the romantic/relationship scenes got marked with a red flag. The time traveling scenes got marked with a green flag, etc., etc., etc. This makes is easier for me to verify/correct scenes. When you make even a small change in scene, you have to make sure that it doesn’t affect other scenes. If it does, more rewriting.

The post-its are for making notes and sticking them on the page. (Obviously.) Sometimes a section needs a lot of work, and I use the notes to make a list of suggestions to myself. Sometimes I don’t have the time to fix something, but I don’t want to forget what I decided to do so I leave myself notes—occasionally a whole page is covered with yellow post-its. (I need to buy a lot more of these too.)

I think the red pens are self-explanatory. When I’m editing, my purse, my car, my nightstand, and every room in the house has multiple red pens lying around, you never want to waste time looking for a red pen when you have a great editing idea.  The pens in the photo are leftovers from the SUT edit. I’ve got a bagful waiting to be opened for this book.

Then there’s the printout, which looks surprisingly slim. That’s because it’s single-spaced and because I underwrite. When the book is finished, it will be 20 to 30% longer.

Enough writing about writing, my fingers are itching to edit. I’m craving those red pens, which will hopefully turn my first draft into a story worth reading. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Personality Quiz

Last Friday, I finished the first draft of the Screwing Up Time sequel. (Imagine me throwing confetti and dancing around the house.) In honor of that auspicious event, I've made a quiz. If you click on the "Quizzes" tab  just above the blog date, it will take you to a Screwing Up Time personality quiz. Take the quiz and find out which SUT character you are most like.

I hope you enjoy it.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


In a recent author interview, I was asked about my research into Bodiam Castle and its integration into the novel. And it’s been an amazing experience. When I first started writing Screwing Up Time, the castle existed only in my mind. As I added more detail, I decided to look at pictures of real life castles. When I found the picture of Bodiam Castle, I couldn’t believe it. Here was an almost exact replica of what only lived in my mind. As I researched the castle’s history and lore, I discovered the legend of the woman in red (who in my novel was already Miranda). Then, I knew that Bodiam Castle was going to be the site of my novel.

Of course, picking a real place as a setting can be very difficult, especially if it’s not down the street. So I bought and borrowed books. I looked up websites. I did everything I could to accurately ground my novel in Bodiam Castle. And I thought I was done. I turned my attention to other editing issues. When I was doing a final editing pass, I decided to add more detail to a section on the castle, so I went back to my sources. But I couldn’t find the exact information I wanted. So I googled the castle. I was amazed at what came back. In the time since I’d started the novel and finished it, people had posted their personal vacation photos online. I found scads of photos of all the interesting parts of the castle, usually with people next to them so that I could have a sense of scale. It was an amazing bounty of knowledge. And then, I discovered that some of my resources were inaccurate. Things at the castle had changed. A room that had had a grass floor now had a floor of loose pebbles. Oops. I went back and rewrote that. Most of the changes were small, but so important to render the kind of accuracy that allows readers to be transported.

I would strongly encourage people that are using real locations in their novels to view personal photographs that people make available online. It helps to see what things look like under different lighting and from different angles. View Google maps to see what your character would see as he/she walked down the street. And don’t trust your memory of the places—places change and memory becomes distorted. We have so many options now to keep our writing grounded, use them.