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As an author, one of the biggest, most exciting moments (after selling the book, of course!) is the cover reveal. I haven't gotten mine yet for WANTED:  DEAD OR IN LOVE, but today...right now....I'm going to show you my great friend and super-fantastic author's cover for her upcoming novel, HOLD TIGHT (Omnific Press, August, 2013). So hold onto your laptops, folks...because here it is!!

NOT SO FAST...

First we are going to show you a bonus reveal––Embrace, Cherie's first book in the series, has a new cover to match Hold Tight.

This is the new cover for Embrace, book #1, to match Hold Tight.


EmbraceFINAL



Title: Embrace (Embrace, #1)

Released: December 2012

Madison is familiar enough with change, and she hates everything about it. Change took her long-term boyfriend away from her. It caused one of her friends to suddenly hate her. It's responsible for the death of a local along with a host of other mysterious happenings. But when Madison meets a hot new guy, she thinks her luck is about to improve. Madison is instantly drawn to the handsome and intriguing Isaac Addington. She quickly realizes he's a guy harboring a secret, but she's willing to risk the unknown to be with him. Her world really spins out of control, however, when her best friend becomes delusional, seeing things that aren't there and desperately trying to escape their evil. When the doctors can't find the answers, Madison seeks her own. Nothing can prepare her for what she is about to discover. Dangerous, intoxicating, and darkly romantic, Embrace is a thriller that will leave you spellbound.
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And now...the moment you've all been waiting for....

 


Here it comes...



 




Hold Tight-cover reveal




WOW! I'M DYING OVER HERE. GREEN WITH ENVY AT THIS GORGEOUS COVER! Can't wait to read this! I saw several sneak peeks during our critique groups and absolutely LOVED it! *flops over from heart palpitations.

Title: Hold Tight (Embrace, #2)

Author: Cherie Colyer

Publisher: Omnific Publishing

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Age Group: Young Adult

Expected release date: August 20, 2013



Sixteen-year-old Madison Riley and her friends discover they aren’t the only supernatural beings in Gloucester, Massachusetts. These new creatures are more dangerous than ever, and this time Madison risks losing more than just her friends.

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About the Author

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Cherie Colyer writes young adult and middle grade novels. She loves finding new stories that keep her up late reading. While her favorite genre is realistic paranormal/fantasy, if the book is beautifully written with characters that come alive she’s all over it.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cherie.colyer

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CherieColyer ; @CherieColyer

 

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I love reading. A LOT. And I love coming up with really cool story ideas––knowing who is going to do what and how it's all going to end...BUT....writing it down, in chapters and sentences with realistic dialogue, seems impossibly hard. I do a lot of this:



I love to revise, too. Taking the words and tweaking them, squishing them into submission, and making the sentences convey what's in my head when I'm looking at them a second or seventh time is awesome. But coming up with the original stinky wording and dialogue is hard for me. It kind of reminds of me of how I tell my 7th grade students, "Write in your journal. About anything. Here's a starter if you need one." But to me, it feels like I'm faking it. The same way NANOWRIMO can feel. It's like I can't make myself write junk just to get it down, but I know I need to push myself to get it down faster because so much of it gets cut anyway.




Maybe that's just the way it works for some of us. It's like I have to grapple with the characters and the setting and the plot––especially in the first few chapters––then share it with my trusted critique group members (Thanks, guys! waving...) who set me straight on a lot of things, and THEN and only then, can I see the light. Slow start, lots of internal plotting as I walk around or when I'm in the sleepy nap stage but not quite asleep yet, and then the characters walk up and have a seat in my writing area, and we bang out the story.

How does it work for you? Rush through and go back when your first draft is complete....


....have a slow start but then finish fast like me?   




...or something in between?

I'd love to hear your thoughts!

'Til next time,
KYM

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Is Your New Story Idea BIG Enough?

We've all been there. You've got this great idea for a book, so after a few days or weeks of solid planning, you start sharing a little bit about the plot with your trusted someone, and that's when it happens. The Blank Look. Or the I'm-Trying-To-Be-Polite smile. Or worse, the That's-About-As-Interesting-As-Lint grimace.

You might try to cajole them into liking your idea, or embellish the idea a little bit with improvisation, or remind them of how interesting it is. The thing you shouldn't do however, is ignore the blank look. Your beta reader's initial response to the idea shouldn't be taken lightly. (A shout out for my daughter, Kaitlin, for being blunt with me about what works and what's Dullsville when I discuss story ideas with her.)

Here are a few options about how to improve your premise:

1) Ask your beta reader to be honest. What did she like or not like about your idea? Brainstorm the parts that weren't exciting to him or her and ask lots of "What if..." questions. Through your discussion, you might be led to a bigger story with more tension or interesting setting.

2) Look over the taglines of books in your genre on Goodreads and compare it to your own idea. Be honest with yourself. For example, when I read the description for Boy Nobody by Allen Zadoff (June 11, 2013), I realized how BIG his story is in comparison to my idea. A teen boy who assassinates strangers? Wow - no dweeby video game player here. While I still love my shiny new premise, I know I have to make it even bigger to keep up with the elusive and ever-changing "YA market." Here is the tagline from Boy Nobody:

They needed the perfect soldier: one who could function in every situation without fear, sympathy or anger; who could assassinate strangers and then walk away emotionally unscathed. So they made Boy Nobody-a teen with no name or history. The perfect soldier.



3) When you're fresh and have your caffeinated drink of choice nearby, open a blank Word document that says, "XYZ  Story Plotting Ideas," and let your imagination rip. Don't hold back––after all, you're the only one who is going to see this. Make up careers for your characters and/or his family and friends. Write the word OR.... a lot.  Example of free-flow plotting ideas:  Maybe my MC Patrick can work at a yogurt shop and meet the girl of his dreams (named Suze or Prinda?)....OR maybe he could work at a cemetery and meet the girl of his nightmares. Maybe she's the caretaker's daughter and she's home from college. Her best friend dies and he needs to comfort her. OR his friend dies and she sees his grief. (You get the idea). Don't limit yourself because one idea often bounces off another.

4) If after all the brainstorming and plotting, your idea just doesn't feel like it's going anywhere, you have two choices: a) write a few chapters to see if you're still excited by the idea, or b) put it on hold for now and keep thinking. I've had a few stories all plotted out, but the execution of the story wasn't making me all that excited. It felt boring and so I decided to shelve it temporarily. If I'm bored writing it, I can only shudder at what the reader would think. Know when to say STOP.

5) What has worked for YOU in the past?

Best of luck fleshing out your next story idea. Remember, go big or go home. You can always tone the story down later if the readers in your critique group tell you that your story exhausts them. Better that than having to wake them up to finish your chapter. :)

'Til next time,
KYM

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The results are in! I didn't have a ton of results, but I had a nice mix of authors, librarians, readers, and teens respond:



  1. Do you ever pick up author "swag" (bookmarks, pens, etc. advertising an author's newest book) at a bookstore, conference, or other event?


78% Yes
22% Depends on what It Is




  1. Do author giveaways influence you to buy the book?


22% Yes
67% No
11% Depends on what it is



  1. What kinds of author giveaways are you most likely to use and/or keep? (Choose as many as apply)


Pens 67%
Temporary tattoos 11%
Water bottle 33%
Key chain 22%
Bracelet  11%
Bookmark 56%
none of the above 0%



  1. If you attended an author event, what would you most like to "win?" (Please rank in numeric order)


A signed copy of the book  =
67% - 1st choice


A bag of all the "swag" =
44% 2nd choice / 44% 3rd choice


Free Skype session  =
22% across the board


Author reads/evaluates your first chapter = 22% across the board

T-shirt with cool book image or saying =  22% across the board


So...what do all of these results mean to me? Readers really like getting free signed copies of your book, followed by pens and bookmarks. But whether any of these items result in a sale is unknown. But the way I figure it, if you can give them something tangible that they can use again and again, readers are more likely to remember you. Good luck!

'Til next time,
KYM


If you want to take the survey, click here: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/SFW3SJK
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Insane Asylums...YIKES!

Writing paranormal stories has led me to look for creepy places and to ferret out  gruesome details.

And I must admit...I like it.

Blame it on not having YA books when I was a middle-schooler. Faced with reading sweet boring books with no violence, sex, or swearing (ugh!), I turned to Stephen King to get a taste of something scary and different, and of course, spine-tingling. (*swoon)

At the head of the creepy list:  insane asylums. Now they're called "psychiatric hospitals," but until 1970, people were packed off and put away in scary buildings for the mentally ill. Places that looked like this...


Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital
An 18th century "hospital" in Paris, France which chained mentally ill women up.




The first US psychiatric institution- early 19th century
Blackwell Island's Lunatic Asylum (their words, not mine!) in New York




Women doing laundry at the Texas State Lunatic Asylum, 1898
(I'm pretty sure doing laundry 24-7 would make me go a little nutty, too!)




Pilgrim State Mental Hospital - 1938 - New York
(So sad!)




St Kevin's Psychiatric Hospital - Cork, Ireland
Closed down in 2002. Doesn't look too inviting to me...

If the people weren't crazy when they went in these places, I'm sure the horrible conditions made them go insane. What places scare you the most? Graveyards? Dark alleys? Caves? Under your bed? (OK, truth be told, my closet is pretty scary, but only because I'm not sure what  living specimens are growing behind my gardening boots.)

'Til next time,
KYM
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The Journey to MY BOOK DEAL!

When a writer announces a book deal, everyone always asks, "So how'd you do it?"

It's pretty much the same answer you'd give to someone if they ask how you lost weight, (well, what I imagine I'd say if I lost weight, which I'm always striving for...), which is "lots of hard work and persistence."

I hate when people state the obvious. Of course, I know THAT much, but what are the deets, the down low, the real deal?

You want the details? You got 'em.

THE SHORTCUT:  Took me nine years, five novels, and three agents...but FINAAAALLLY, one of my novels sold! I'd been to acquisitions twice before, with two different novels (one each with two prior agents), but this time, Eric Myers of The Spieler Agency finally sealed the deal. *Picture me jumping up and down and tears streaming down my face when I got "the email." Okay, stop picturing that. I doubt it was a pretty sight. :) And yes, he sent me an email, so I didn't get "the call," but I suspect Eric was protecting his eardrums from my shrieks of uncensored joy.

THE PUBLISHER'S MARKETPLACE BLURB: Kym Brunner's debut WANTED: DEAD OR IN LOVE, about two teens possessed by the spirits of Bonnie and Clyde who soon discover that the legendary outlaws plan to continue where they left off, to Jacquelyn Mitchard at Merit Press, for publication in 2014, by Eric Myers at The Spieler Agency (World English).

THE TWISTY-TURNY LONGER VERSION: I wrote, revised, sent it through my critique groups, revised again, the whole shot for roughly 18 months. Started sending queries out to agents and got a "send the full manuscript" from Eric Myers. So I sent it, he loved it, and then he asked me to get it line-edited before we sent it out. So he gave me a few names of freelance editors, one of whom was former Scholastic editor, Jennifer Rees––who had edited the HUNGER GAMES TRILOGY! Naturally, I decided to utilize her expertise and have some development editing done as well. She shared some ideas with me and four months later, my manuscript was even shinier and prettier than before. Eric sent it out on submission and I was thrilled when Merit Press Books editor and fellow author (first Oprah Book Club author) Jacquelyn Mitchard, fell in love with it too. We changed the title from Gangster of Love to WANTED: DEAD OR IN LOVE (thanks to my daughter Karly for that awesome title!), which fit the story perfectly.

And now another sort of journey begins––revisions and book promotion plans, creating an author website and Facebook fan page, and anything else I can dream up. This being my debut novel, I know have a lot to learn. Hope you'll stick around and help me along because I can use all the cheerleading and advice I can get...starting now. What were a few things you wish you knew when after you sold your first novel?

'Til next time, KYM

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I'm so excited for you to meet Marian Manseau Cheatham, the author of Merely Dee - a gripping and heartwarming historical novel surrounding the sinking of the Eastland, a 1915 Chicago disaster that killed 844 passengers. Here's a quick peek at what her book is all about:

      The 1915cover photo Western Electric Employee Picnic is the social highlight of the year in Cicero, Illinois. Five steamers wait to ferry seven thousand passengers to the picnic grounds in Michigan City, Indiana. As teenager Dee Pageau packs her picnic basket and prepares to board the SS Eastland, she anticipates this will be the best day of her life. Dee hopes to spend time with her best friend, Mae Koznecki-but she also wants to get to know Mae's handsome brother, Karel, a little better. Dee has no idea that in a matter of hours, tragedy will strike...



Intrigued already? To purchase her book, click here:
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/merely-dee-marian-manseau-cheatham/1108201081


AUTHOR INTERVIEW
I had a chance to ask Marian some questions (some silly, some not) about her life and her writing process. Read on ~

1)    What made you decide to write a book in the first place?

I used to teach primary special education, and I would always read picture books to my class. I fell in love with that genre and used to spend hours in the library each week looking for the perfect books to match my curriculum or books that tickled me or touched my heart. After I quit teaching, I thought maybe I'd try my hand at writing picture books and quickly discovered I had absolutely no talent for this at all. Picture books are incredibly difficult to get just right. So I moved up to MG and then to YA where I landed safe and sound. I've been writing YA every since.

2)    Approximately how long does it take you to write a book––from a germ of an idea to the final draft?

Writing historical fiction is my passion. It's usually takes at least 6 months to do thorough research on the subject/time period. Then maybe a year to write the novel. So all in all, about 18 months.

3)    What would you say is your interesting writing quirk––certain music, lucky socks, favorite beverage?

I love the company of my 3 cats when I'm writing. They are usually very relaxed and happy to sit beside me on my desk or curled up at my feet when I'm lost in my work. I have only one pet peeve  - I hate when they walk on my keyboard. (As I wrote this sentence, my black cat, Onnie (short for Onyx) jumped onto my desk. She must have picked up a psychic vibe that I was writing about her.) Oh, and a nice hot chocolate always helps with the inspiration.

Marian and her cat

4)    What appears first in your mind when developing a new story––characters, plot, or setting?

The protagonist is always the first development in any of my novels. I have an idea of this person. Who is she? What's she all about? Where is she? What will happen to her? How will this change her? And I just go from there.

5)    What was a surprising thing you learned while creating your books––about yourself, the business, or about the world?

What surprised me the most when I first started writing was how much I really and truly loved it. I've had a few jobs in my life. But nothing, even teaching (which I loved), was as personally fulfilling as my writing. It nourishes me, keeps me sane, keeps me whole. I could never live without it. Guess they'll have to bury me with my laptop and Thesaurus.

6)    How many books have you written? Which is your favorite and why?

I've written several horrid picture books, 1 MG, and 5 YA's, only one of which has been published. The rest will remain securely buried in boxes. Early on in my career, I attended a writing seminar. The speaker told us that a writer has to scribe 2 million words before he/she becomes any good. At the time, I thought he was crazy. Now, I think that's a low ball estimate. For each novel, there are numerous revisions. There are many, many drafts that no one will ever read. Add all those revisions together with all those unpublished manuscripts, and you have a million (or 2) reasons to keep working at your craft.    
   
My favorite novel is Merely Dee because I'm obsessed with the time period and the actual historical event involved in the story.

7)    Why did you choose the route you did––to go with traditional publishing or to self-publish?

I decided to self-publish because I became frustrated with acquiring an agent for Merely Dee. Agent after agent said the same thing - Historical YA does not sell. But I believed in the story and gratefully, so did my husband. So we used some savings to self-publish and I've been happy with my decision ever since.

8)    Do you read reviews, and how do they affect your writing?

I enjoy reading reviews. Of course, a negative review stings, but I understand that not every book is for everyone. A positive review is very rewarding, especially one that encourages the reader to seek more information about the historical event. Merely Dee is based on the real-life capsizing of the SS Eastland back in 1915. I once had a reviewer tell me that she was so inspired by my novel, that she took a fieldtrip to Chicago to see the actual site of the disaster. What more could a writer want? I was thrilled and humbled.

9)    Top three bits of advice for writing a successful novel? 

*Join a critique group. Your writing is never as good as you think. A successful writer knows the value of another perspective.
*Have a quiet, organized place to work. Even if your workspace involves cats.
*BIC - Put your 'Butt In a Chair' and write, write, write. Perseverance is a writer's best asset.

10)   What's your favorite thing about being a writer?

I love the creativity. I never thought myself capable of being creative till I started writing. Then it just flowed. Hope the river never runs dry.

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If you want to read more about Marian's work, or get to know her even better, head over to her blog:

http://mimi-merelyme.blogspot.com


Thanks, Marian for giving us a bird's-eye view into your publishing journey - one that, in the word's of Karen Carpenter...has only just begun. ;)  KYM
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Hello everyone!

I'm so excited to share with you the results of my second author interview, this time of the prolific and successful, Susan Kaye Quinn!  I'm sure you want to read all about about her and her latest series, The Debt Collector, which sounds pretty freaking amazing. Check it out (interview follows):

The Debt Collector by Susan Kaye Quinn
From the author of the bestselling Mindjack series comes a new future-noir serial, The Debt Collector. The first episode, Delirium, launched in mid-March, 2013.



What’s your life worth on the open market?
A debt collector can tell you precisely.

Lirium plays the part of the grim reaper well, with his dark trenchcoat, jackboots, and the black marks on his soul that every debt collector carries. He’s just in it for his cut, the ten percent of the life energy he collects before he transfers it on to the high potentials, the people who will make the world a better place with their brains, their work, and their lives. That hit of life energy, a bottle of vodka, and a visit from one of Madam Anastazja’s sex workers keep him alive, stable, and mostly sane… until he collects again. But when his recovery ritual is disrupted by a sex worker who isn’t what she seems, he has to choose between doing an illegal hit for a girl whose story has more holes than his soul or facing the bottle alone—a dark pit he’s not sure he’ll be able to climb out of again.

Contains mature content and themes. For YA-appropriate thrills, see Susan’s Mindjack series.

Delirium is approximately 12,000 words or 48 pages and is one of nine episodes in the first season of The Debt Collector serial. This dark and gritty future-noir is about a world where your life-worth is tabulated on the open market and going into debt risks a lot more than your credit rating. You can find out more about the series at the Debt Collector website and facebook page. The Debt Collector newsletter is a special list just for episode releases.

Early Praise


“The street-smart science of LOOPER meets the cold, just-the-facts voice of DOUBLE INDEMNITY in this edgy, future-noir thriller that will have you holding your breath, looking over your shoulder, and begging for more.” —Leigh Talbert Moore, author of The Truth About Faking, The Truth About Letting Go, and Rouge







“Do you owe more than your life is worth? No worries. A more deserving person than you can benefit from that excess life—and someone else will get paid with it. Enter the Debt Collector.” —Dianne Salerni, author of We Hear the Dead, The Caged Graves, and The Eighth Day (HarperCollins 2014)





The first three episodes of Debt Collector will be released a week apart, starting Wednesday, 3/20/2013. The remaining episodes will release every two weeks. Delirium can be found on Amazon, Barnes&Noble, iTunes, Kobo. Or add it to your TBR on Goodreads.



Susan Kaye Quinn is the author of the bestselling YA SF Mindjack series. Debt Collector is her more grown-up SF. Her steampunk fantasy romance is temporarily on hold while she madly writes episodes to keep Lirium happy. Plus she needs to leave time to play on Facebook. Susan has a lot of degrees in engineering, which come in handy when dreaming up dangerous mind powers, future dystopias, and slightly plausible steampunk inventions. Mostly she sits around in her pajamas in awe that she gets make stuff up full-time.




Author Interview - Susan Kaye Quinn

  1. What made you decide to write a book in the first place?’

In the case of Debt Collector, the idea came to me on a car ride by myself and just wouldn’t let go. It wasn’t on my schedule, and I had no desire to write a new story – I was already plowed under with writing projects – but a really good idea will demand to be written. This was that kind of book.


  1. Approximately how long does it take you to write a book––from a germ of an idea to the final draft?

For a standard 85k novel, it’s always been about 6 months. Then along came Debt Collector and I wrote the first 12k novella in 3 days. With very little polishing after that, it was ready to go. I’ve never had something come to me so fully formed before – it was a little startling! The other episodes haven’t been quite as fast, but still… this story just pours out of me.


  1. What would you say is your interesting writing quirk––certain music, lucky socks, favorite beverage?

I must have tea. It’s not really optional.


  1. What appears first in your mind when developing a new story––characters, plot, or setting?

Usually premise – a character in a situation. For Mindjack, it was a girl who couldn’t read minds in a classroom filled with mindreaders. For Debt Collector, it was a good man with a bad power. I was on a long car ride, when my Muse popped up and slammed me with this story idea. It went something like this:

Muse: The Debt Collector.
Me: Er, what? Who are you?
Muse: When people's debts exceed their future potential contributions to society, he cashes them out.
Me: Whoa. Tell me more.
Muse: He extracts their life energy and transfers it to a "high potential" - someone who can use it to make greater contributions to the world.
Me: Holy Crap. That's a great idea.
Muse: He's a good man with bad power. And it's future-noir.
Me: Future-noir! Cool! Uh, what is that exactly?
Muse: Dark. Gritty. Futuristic but retro at the same time.
Me: Oh... like Blade Runner... Holy Crap, this is awesome.
Muse: You're welcome.



  1. What was a surprising thing you learned while creating your books––about yourself, the business, or about the world?

I was surprised how much I would cry. And jump around. Also giggle to myself.


  1. How many books have you written? Which is your favorite and why?

Er… I had to actually go back and count:
Published: 4 novels, 4 novellas/short-stories, soon-to-be 1 nine-part serial (which will be like 3 short novels in length)
Unpublished: 4 novels (one of which will remain unpublished forever, thank God)
Twinkle-in-my-eye-plotted-but-not-drafted: 1 novel
Plotted-and-pitched-to-publishers-on-spec-but-never-sold: 1 novel

And my favorite book is always the one I’m currently writing. I have to be in love with it or it just doesn’t work.


  1. Why did you choose the route you did––to go with traditional publishing or to self-publish?

My first published novel was a YA romance with a small press. After querying and not landing an agent for my MG novel, I queried agents with Open Minds (Mindjack #1). I had a lot of agent interest in that, but then self-publishing started to take off and I realized that was the better option for me: I would get my work out sooner, I could control everything, and I could write the other two books in the series, which I was dying to do.


  1. Do you read reviews, and how do they affect your writing?

Reviews are wonderful and I greatly appreciate everyone who writes them. But reviews are for readers, not writers – they help other readers know if this is a book they would enjoy or not. I rejoice for good reviews, because it means I’ve found a reader who enjoys my work. For bad reviews, I’m sad they didn’t like it, but I’m sure they’ll find someone else they like to read. I don’t take it personally – there are books for every type of reader out there.

I do, however, really enjoy getting feedback from fans while I’m still writing a series. While I was writing Books 2&3 in Mindjack, the fans who wrote and told me what they loved, or scenes they hated, or characters they were rooting for… that motivated me like no one’s business. Enjoying that circular process, where the reader shares the work with the writer while it’s being created, is part of why I decided to serialize Debt Collector – I hope to get some of that same feedback from people who are reading the series as I write it.

  1. Top three bits of advice for writing a successful novel?

Write a lot. Get critique partners. Learn how to tell story, not just craft words.


  1. What's your favorite thing about being a writer?

I get to make stuff up for a living. How do you beat that?


**** Thanks for the interview, Susan! I can't wait to check out your Debt Collector series....but I think I'm going to need to keep a sharp knife on my nightstand while I do. The very idea of a debt collector scares me! Best of luck! xoxo, Kym
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EMBRACE
Madison is familiar enough with change, and she hates everything about it. Change took her long-term boyfriend away from her. It caused one of her friends to suddenly hate her. It’s responsible for the death of a local along with a host of other mysterious happenings. But when Madison meets a hot new guy, she thinks her luck is about to improve.

Madison is instantly drawn to the handsome and intriguing Isaac Addington. She quickly realizes he’s a guy harboring a secret, but she’s willing to risk the unknown to be with him.

Her world really spins out of control, however, when her best friend becomes delusional, seeing things that aren’t there and desperately trying to escape their evil. When the doctors can’t find the answers, Madison seeks her own.

Nothing can prepare her for what she is about to discover.
             
Dangerous, intoxicating, and darkly romantic, Embrace is a thriller that will leave you spellbound.


I had a chance to chat with the talented Cherie Colyer,  a YA author with Omnific Publishing, about her writing journey. She's open and fun, a real pleasure to talk to. Loved her book, too! Read about her writing process below:

Author Interview:



  1. What made you decide to write a book in the first place? My husband. I used to tell him about these ideas I had for different books. One day he said, why don’t you write one of them down. So I did, and I’ve been writing ever since.


  1. Approximately how long does it take you to write a book––from a germ of an idea to the final draft? Oh, wow. If we count from the time I first start to think about a new idea to the time I’ve written the book, two or three years. If you start the clock from the time I write the first chapter to when I finish the novel, three to six months.


  1. What would you say is your interesting writing quirk––certain music, lucky socks, favorite beverage? I like to write in the family room where the television is on and the family is moving around. I’ve become very good at blocking everyone and everything out.


  1. What appears first in your mind when developing a new story––characters, plot, or setting? A snippet of a scene. With Embrace it was of a girl running through the halls at school.


  1. What was a surprising thing you learned while creating your books––about yourself, the business, or about the world? My protagonist’s mom is usually dead. My mom—who is a wonderful woman—happened to point that one out.


  1. How many books have you written? Which is your favorite and why? Six or eight, a few of those will never see the light of day, however. I can honestly say I don’t have a favorite.


  1. Do you read reviews, and how do they affect your writing? I do read reviews. I believe it’s good to know what readers liked and didn’t like about my book so I know what is working and what I can improve on.


  1. Top three bits of advice for writing a successful novel? Write what you are passionate about, be open to criticism and willing to revise, and never give up.


  1. What's your favorite thing about being a writer? Being able to make things up to weave together my own stories.



Author Bio:

Cherie Colyer’s imagination extends far beyond her Illinois roots through her love of books and reading. The discipline of her career as a Network Technician provides an opposing mindset for her fictional stories. Cherie combines her fascination of all things mythical with her passion for writing to weave together middle grade and young adult stories. Her young adult paranormal romance/ thriller, EMBRACE, is now available.
She enjoys spending time with family and friends, meeting new people, writing, reading, and loves a challenge. While she has had many great experiences, her most satisfying experience is seeing her children and stories grow into their own exciting and distinct entities.

Buy Links:
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Embrace-ebook/dp/B006NST1Q2/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1347149573&sr=8-8&keywords=embrace
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/embrace-cherie-colyer/1107995306?ean=9781936305964

I’m always happy to hear from readers:
Website: http://www.embracenovels.com/
Blog:  http://cheriecolyer.blogspot.com/
GoodReads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12931061-embrace
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Cherie-Colyer-author/250631921629169
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CherieColyer

Book Trailer:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=BXJQTyRN6L8
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There seems to be two camps on this issue: share your early work with those in your critique group, or hide it until it makes more sense so you're not embarrassed or swayed by others' opinions. I've always been pretty much in the "rip my chest open and let the bleeding begin" camp.
http://fc05.deviantart.net/fs71/f/2012/267/2/2/chest_rip_by_brainblower-d5fq64v.png     Why?

Usually I plot out my story in its barest form all the way through to the end, and then write to fit that skeleton, ready to change things if a better twist comes to me. When I share my early work with others, while I've invested quite a bit of time in plotting and figuring out the basic personalities/strengths/goals of the characters, I haven't spent all that much time being "with" my characters yet. So when I start writing the first draft, it's like any new relationship I've been in––it takes awhile to get to know the person, to appreciate their hidden talents. And perhaps observing what behaviors aren't so great.

Although I'm sometimes (okay, often) embarrassed to hear comments that point out gaping holes in my storyline or polite remarks on dreadful character traits that somehow I missed, those suggestions are always therapeutic. If my critique partner explains that my MC is a spoiled brat who they hope fails miserably and was this what I wanted?, I need to change her––FAST! And I do. I imagine meeting this person in real life, and try to alter her so that she still fits my vision of the story, but is compelling to readers at the same time.

If, on the other hand, I've waited until I've written the entire first draft to share, I worry that I'd be too invested in my characters and plot to want to change much. Like bringing out my newborn for people to admire, only to have them point out the flaws. I imagine that it would be more difficult to want to make sweeping changes that would resonate throughout the whole story (and maybe feel a little sad that my newborn isn't as cute and cuddly as I had hoped).

Your turn:  Do you share your novel while it's still a sparkle in your eye, or wait until you've given birth to the newest member of your writing family? I'm sure there are pros and cons to both, and I'd love to hear how you work.
http://inspirewriters.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Writers-Group.jpghttp://attemptedwriter.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/writers-block.jpg
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