Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Screwing Up Alexandria Update

Things are still on schedule for the release of Screwing Up Alexandria next week Friday, June 6. Right now, I'm doing the formatting, etc.

Early next week, I hope to post the cover art. So make sure to check back.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Release Date

Exciting news! I finished my proofread of Screwing Up Alexandria. Now it’s off to my proofreader for one last check. The release date is scheduled for June 6! So if you’re interested in a chance at winning an e-advanced reader copy of the novel, be sure to sign up for the Screwing Up Time mailing list.

Also author Megan Easley-Walsh (whose historical thriller Across the River is being published by Winslet Press this summer) is featuring Screwing Up Babylon on her blog today. Check it out here

Friday, May 9, 2014

Tagged: My Writing Process

(If you haven't already signed up for the Screwing Up Time mailing list, please do. I will be giving away an e-ARC--advanced reader copy--of Screwing Up Alexandria to one person on my mailing list. The sign up is on the right side of the blog.)

Melanie Crouse, YA author of Hidden Magic and co-author of Alchemy, tagged me in a blog hop where authors answer four questions about their writing process. (Melanie is one of my wonderful beta readers. Thanks so much, Melanie!)

My Writing Process

What Am I Working On Now?

Right now, I’m proofreading Screwing Up Alexandria. In this book, the characters took me to three different time periods. It was a blast. I can’t wait to share it with you. (One of my beta readers said it was my best book yet. I hope so.)

How Does My Book Differ From Others In Its Genre?

Unlike most young adult books, the Screwing Up Time novels are written from a guy’s perspective. I wanted to explore what would happen if a guy from 21st century America ended up in the Middle Ages, ancient Babylon, Alexandria, Uruk, or even the future.

Why Do I Write What I Do?

I write young adult because it’s such a creative genre. As a writer, you can explore just about anything. And young adult protagonists are incredible. They are finding out who and want they are—making decisions that will define the rest of their lives. For example, in Screwing Up Time, when Mark decides whether to break into the psych hospital, he’s really deciding if he’ll risk everything to do the right thing.

How Does My Writing Process Work?

I am a seat-of-the-pants writer. But that doesn’t mean I just sit down at a blank page and start typing. Okay, sometimes I do. But usually I plan and research first. For example, with the Screwing Up Time novels, I research the time periods I’m sending my characters to before I start because I think the setting is so important that I view it as a character that helps drive the story.

When my initial research is done, then I sit down to the blank page. And let the characters and the setting drive the plot. They only invite me along to record their story.

On now to other writers. I’m tagging Kimberly Afe, author of The Headhunter’s Race, and Misha Gericke, author of The Vanished Knight.

Don't forget, sign up for my mailing list for a chance to win an e-ARC of Screwing Up Alexandria!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Reading Writer

(If you haven't already signed up for the Screwing Up Time mailing list, please do. I will be giving away an e-ARC--advanced reader copy--of Screwing Up Alexandria to one person on my mailing list. The sign up is on the right side of the blog.)

Writing has changed the way I read. I don’t know if it’s true for all writers, but I read differently now. And I don’t mean that it makes me a more critical reader. In some ways, it does. In other ways, it makes me a more compassionate reader.

But the big difference is that I notice things now that I wouldn’t have noticed before. Currently, I’m reading a NYT bestselling thriller. As the author spins her story, little details about the characters stand out. And I know that those details aren’t random filler—they are subtly preparing the reader for a twist at the end. In other words, the details lead me to suspect that the “guilty” party really isn’t guilty. He’s the victim.

And I wonder if it’s less “fun” for me as a reader. If I weren’t seeing these hints for what they are—preparations for the reversal at the end, would the novel be more exciting? Does seeing the hand of the author behind the scenes spoil its effect? After all, one of the things writers try to do is disappear. We work to leave no trace of ourselves in the text. So, does being a writer and knowing the “tricks of the trade” spoil the experience? Perhaps.

But there is another facet to the experience. As a writer, I appreciate the text more. I see the nuances and skill. I suspect it’s a “forest and trees” issue. I can’t have the same kind of “forest” experience anymore, because I see so many individual trees. But those trees can sure be gorgeous—the texture of the bark, the shade of leaves, the strength of the branches. Maybe it’s just exchanging one experience of beauty for another.

On the other hand, if I’m completely wrong about the thriller, it would be very cool. And you’ll hear me squeal because I’ll have seen the forest and the trees.

What are your thoughts? If you’re a writer, does it change your experience of reading? And if you don’t write, would you as a reader want to notice the machinations of the writer in the text?