From Imagination To Publication

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Final Title Decision

From the time I signed with ZOVA books until now I've been using a working title in reference to my debut novel, coming out in February. Like Twilight, once called Forks, working titles may not always be the best fit. Maybe the working title doesn't have that pizazz it needs for sales, maybe it's used by other authors, or maybe there's a George Clooney movie coming out the month before your book with the same name. For any number of reasons, a final print title needs to be decided on at some point. One that you and your publisher feels is right.

Over the weekend, as I said in my previous post, I was able to sit down with ZOVA to make some decisions. One was the official and final title of my book.

Series Title:
Children of the Gods

Book One:

I wish I could show you the cover design that goes with it, because it really ties everything together. It gives you a sense of what and who the book will be about, but since that isn't available at the moment, here is a little snippet from the press release:

Mrs. Therrien's young adult title, Oppression, tells the story of a young woman who discovers that she belongs to a secret society of individuals with extraordinarily long life spans and unusual abilities. Fearful of prophecies about their only daughter, her parents kept her hidden from the world – and the society – for as long as they could. But when their own untimely deaths leave her to fend for herself, the truth of her origins and the fateful prophecy find her at last. Joining the ranks of such widely popular works as the Twilight Saga, The Hunger Games, and the Mortal Instruments series, Mrs. Therrien's paranormal romance/adventure promises to be the next fan-favorite in its genre.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Exciting Announcement Tomorrow!

The Southern California Writers Conference in Newport Beach was as productive as the San Diego conference. This time it was because I got to sit down with my publisher for almost four hours discussing all the juicy details about my book (the kind of details that make me squirm with anticipation). Is it February yet?

I pretty much cornered Matt Pizzo, the CEO of ZOVA Books, and interrogated him about what was to come. In the process I came to understand why he is CEO...he wasn't wearing his cape, but he should have been. He's a publishing superhero.

We made some big decisions, designed the cover, and talked formatting, timeline for ARCs, and international publishing. I know, right?! This is really happening.

I can't share most of what we discussed yet, but we did make one decision that I will be announcing tomorrow. It's finally time for the fun part! Okay so maybe this whole process has been "the fun part." I guess I should say the SUPER fun part.

Stay tuned....

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Writers' Campaign Challenge #2

As part of Rachael Harrie's Platform-Building Campaign we've been given a second challenge:

Write a blog post in 200 words or less, excluding the title. It can be in any format, whether flash fiction, non-fiction, humorous blog musings, poem, etc. The blog post should:
  • include the word "imago" in the title
  • include the following 4 random words: "miasma," "lacuna," "oscitate," "synchronicity,"
If you want to give yourself an added challenge (optional and included in the word count), make reference to a mirror in your post.
For those who want an even greater challenge (optional), make your post 200 words EXACTLY!


(From here)
I stand in line. Inching forward. Waiting my turn.
My eyes stare at the brunette in front of me.
Her hair won’t be brown for long.
The guard that blocks the exit is bored.
His mouth hangs open every few minutes, 
like a robot programmed to oscitate.

I’m scared. I don’t want to be an Imago. 
I want to run.
I watch the girls emerge from the transformation room. Perfect. Beautiful. Empty.
I can see the vacancy in their eyes as they 
try to remember who they once were.
We call that look Lacuna.

It’s my turn. They let me stare into the mirror one last time.
A miasma of terror chokes me. I can’t breathe.
I imagine throwing myself from the window. If I can break it, maybe I can survive the fall. Escape.
I look back at the door in front of me, but before I can enter I hear the shatter of broken glass exploding into the room.

Without thinking, I make a run for it. My feet leave the floor, and I plummet toward the earth.
Suddenly I believe in synchronicity.
My arms open in the rushing air. I don’t care if I die. I’m free.

...If you would like to vote for my story, click the "like" button under entry #54 on this list.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Speaking of The Host....

So...back in 2009 they announced that The Host was going to be made into a movie. Well, I've been waiting! They cast the lead as Saoirse Ronan ("Hanna," "The Lovely Bones," "Atonement")...but WHEN, right? Some news came out a few months ago that I just stumbled across. Maybe you already knew but they have a release date!!! Read the press release HERE.

(from here)

March 29, 2013

Road Trip Wednesday - Cover Lover

Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question that begs to be answered. In the comments, you can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.

We'd love for you to participate! Just answer the prompt on your own blog and leave a link -- or, if you prefer, you can include your answer in the comments.

This Week's Topic: What are your all-time favorite book covers?

Strangely most of my all-time favorite books are not my all-time favorite covers. I do like these though...

Iron Witch
Hold Still
Imaginary Girls
The Host

Hush, Hush
Under the Mesquite


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Winners of the Flash Fiction Challenge!

From Rachael Harrie's Blog:

And now to the winners...*drumroll*

People's Choice Awards

First Place: Jessica Therrien (46 votes)
Second Place: Erin L. Schneider (45 votes)
Third Place: 1000th.monkey (41 votes)
Fourth Place: Claire Hennessy (38 votes)

Judging Round

The prizes below have been awarded based on the standard of your entries, as judged by a panel of 68 judges! Once the judges had determined the 12 Finalists, I decided which place each Finalist would be awarded. And boy was it hard, the entries were all SOOOO good!

Here are the Finalists and their prizes:
  1. First Place: M.C. Rogerson
  2. Second Place: Juliana L. Brandt
  3. Third Place: Barbara V. Evers
  4. Fourth Place: Jessica Therrien
  5. Fifth Place: Jocelyn Rish
  6. Sixth Place: Christine Tyler
  7. Seventh Place: 1000th.monkey
  8. Eighth Place: Candy Fite
  9. Ninth Place: Leah Denman
  10. Tenth Place: Christine Rains
  11. Eleventh Place: Alynza Smith
  12. Twelfth Place: Chantele Sedgewick 
From  Me:

Congrats to all the winners of the flash fiction campaign challenge!! All of the stories were wonderful, and I can't believe mine did so well. Thank you to everyone who voted for my story. Picture me doing my happy dance. Not sure what that looks like? You're writers...use your imagination. Me. Wiggling. Hopping around. Rocking out. Maybe a little air guitar.
Super thanks to everyone who has commented on posts, followed my blog, found me on Twitter, or liked my Facebook author page. What goes around comes around...I'll get you back!

    Monday, September 19, 2011

    Ants In My Pants/My Epiphany

    Aside from having ants in my pants (as I await the announcement of the winner of the flash fiction challenge AND the SCWC in Newport this weekend) I’ve been a little busy beaver plotting and scheming the sequel to my debut novel. Now that The Descendants has officially graduated to the line editing process, I feel more comfortable moving forward with the storyline. I sort of had to put that process on hold for a while as I reworked pieces of the book. I couldn’t continue to write the sequel until the major plot points of the first novel were nailed down. Now, I am having so much fun coming up with what happens next.

    Being in book world got me thinking. What was it that made me fall in love with YA novels? What book opened up my world to its awesomeness?

    When I think back to a time when I actually was a young adult, I can remember the exact moment it happened. I used to think I hated reading. I tried to like it, but every time I picked up a book, I couldn’t bring myself to finish it. As my friends began to discover books and lose themselves in stories, I kept my secret to myself. In Jr. High I toured around with the smart kids…you know, those over achievers? I was one of them (still am, really). So the fact that I hated reading made me feel ashamed and embarrassed. What was WRONG with me?

    Then one magical day in San Francisco (oddly enough…in the exact apartment my debut novel takes place) I picked up a book called Harry Potter and the whatever….(okay, Sorcerer’s Stone).
    (From here.)
    I didn’t have a clue what I’d found, no idea that once I opened it my life would change. I looked at it with indifference.

    “Have you read that?” my friend asked.
    I shrugged. “No.” Of course I hadn’t. I didn’t read.
    “Take it. It’s good.”
    I didn’t want to be rude. “Okay, sure,” I said, feigning excitement.

    Little did I know it would be my epiphany.

    You can probably guess what happened after that. Once I’d read the first chapter I couldn’t put it down. Turns out I DIDN’T hate to read, what I hated was being forced to read things that didn’t appeal to me. My mom never understood how she could be such an avid reader, and her smarty pants daughter couldn’t get past the first ten pages of her favorite books. We both know the answer now. She reads realistic and very depressing books! That just isn’t my thing. I want to be carried off to a new world, or at least a world that’s fascinating and different than the mundane happenings in normal life. Hence my love for YA (Specifically YA Paranormal/Fantasy etc.).

    What’s the moral of the story?

    Read what you love, and you’ll love to read.

    What was your epiphany? Do you remember the day you found your favorite genre? What books have inspired you?

    Friday, September 16, 2011

    Holy Smokes! Breaking Dawn Awesomeness...

    Wednesday, September 14, 2011

    Road Trip Wednesday!

    Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question that begs to be answered. In the comments, you can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.

    We'd love for you to participate! Just answer the prompt on your own blog and leave a link -- or, if you prefer, you can include your answer in the comments.

    This Week's Topic:
    What themes, settings, motifs, scenes, or other elements do you find recurring in your work?

    Love. It’s probably the most obvious answer. Maybe even a little cliché, but I write what I like to read, and in every novel, I look for love. As it says before the first chapter of The Host, "love is the best part of every story." I truly believe that, and a good love story is present in everything I write.

    I’m not particular about settings. I do however, like to set stories in places I’ve lived or know really well. I feel I can’t write honestly about a place I’ve never been to in person.

    *An interesting side note about THE DESCENDANTS is that it was originally set in San Diego (because that is where I live now). After my publisher read through it, they suggested changing the setting to a more relatable city. At first I was in disagreement, but when I started exploring the idea, I really enjoyed reliving my childhood memories in San Francisco. I was born there and spent many summers at a friend’s house above a coffee shop in the Lower Haight. Turns out that exact apartment was the perfect place to put my main character, and the setting works better than I could have imagined.

    As far as motifs, I like trees. For me they symbolize strength. Trees are sprinkled throughout THE DESCENDANTS, and I only really noticed after I’d written it. Then, when my English teacher mother  asked about symbolism in my novel, I told her about them.
    “Of course I meant to do it,” I joked with her.
    “It was probably ingrained in your subconscious,” she decided. “I trained you well.”

    Feel free to play along! What themes, motifs, settings, scenes or elements do you find recurring in your work? Leave responses in the comments or reply on your blog and link back to the YA Highway :)

    I'm feeling the love!

    This Campaign is crazy-awesome. Not only did I just find out that The Soulless is one of the 12 finalists in the flash fiction challenge, but I've received two blog awards this week!

    First, some thanks are in order:

    Thank you Rachael Harrie for creating and managing the Platform-Building Campaign. You've truly changed my blogging world! Also thanks to everyone who "liked" my flash fiction story on her site or commented on my blog. I'm so grateful for all of it.

    AND...Thank you a million x infinity x 7 Tia at Depression Cookies and Elizabeth at Elizabethannwrites for the blog awards!


    Tia was nice enough to share the Liebster Blog goodness. This blog award goes to awesome bloggers with under 200 followers (although many will pass that number up soon).

    Now it's my turn to hand out some Liebster love. To the following five:

    1. Rachel at Rachel Bean
    Her heading subtext cracks me up, "I read. I write. I control the world (well eventually)."
    I read it. I laughed. Sold.

    2. Madeline Mora-Summonte at Shellshank Redemption
    Her flash fiction story was so well written. I still think about it. 

    3. Avery Marsh at Creative Type
    My favorite flash fiction piece of all.

    4. MissMK at Twenty Everything
    She's not a Campaigner, but she may be joining in for the fun. Her latest publication will be released in the Decemeber issue of Glamour magazine

    5. Andy Rane at Andy Rane
    His flash fiction story was 100% dialogue, which I thought was genius.

    Don't forget to:
    1. Show your appre­ci­a­tion to the blog­gers who gave you the award by link­ing back to them.
    2. Reveal your five picks and let them know by leav­ing a com­ment on their blog.
    3. Post the award on your blog.
    4. Bask in the cama­raderie of the most sup­port­ive peo­ple on the internet—other writ­ers.
    5. And best of all—have blog­gity fun and spread the love.


    Elizabeth was the sweetie that gave me the "Versatile Blogger" award. 

    To the following 15 I'm passing it on:

    1. Rachel at Rachel Bean
    2. Madeline at Shellshank Redemption
    3. Avery at Creative Type
    4. MissMK at Twenty Everything
    5. Andy at Andy Rane
    6. Jess at Write. Skate. Dream
    7. The Blogger Girlz at The Blogger Girlz
    8. LadyJai at Snippets From My Mind
    9. Jocelyn at Exploring The Magic of Stories
    10. Tameri at Tameri Etherton
    11. Mina at Mina Burrows
    12. Ryann at Novel Addiction
    13. Bess at It's the world, dear
    14.Kelley at Flowers for Ghosts
    15. Ciara Knight at Writing to the Edge of Darkness

    Don't forget to:
    1. Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to them in your post.
    2. Share 7 things about yourself (see mine here).
    3. Pass this Award along to 15 recently discovered blogs and let them know about it.

    Saturday, September 10, 2011

    Flash Fiction Favorites

    As part of Rachael Harrie's Platform-Building Campaign, participants were asked to submit a 200-word flash fiction piece beginning with the words, "The door swung open." Nearly 400 stories were submitted, and so many of them were great. I'm sure there are a ton I haven't read that are amazing. Out of those I have read, I wanted to feature my favorites on my blog. The following five really stood out to me, and though many others did too, I can't post them all.

    In no particular order:

    1. Fulfillment
    Entry #48 - By An Alleged Author
    Blog - An Alleged Author

    2. The Hatch 
    Entry #68 - By Avery Marsh
    Blog - Creative Type

    3. Filthy, Rich
    Entry #253 - By Madeline Mora-Summonte
    Blog - The Shellshank Redemption

    4. The Choice 
    Entry #157 - By LadyJai
    Blog - Snippets From My Mind

    5. Sweet Revenge 
    Entry #197 - By Jocelyn Rish
    Blog - Exploring the Magic of Stories

    If you find yourself liking these stories just as much as I did. "Like" them on Rachael Harrie's site.
    Thanks for sharing all of your wonderful stories everyone! It has been a blast getting to read them :)

    Monday, September 5, 2011

    Writers' Campaign Challenge #1 - Short Story

    As part of Rachael Harrie's Platform-Building Campaign we've been given the following challenge:

    Write a short story/flash fiction story in 200 words or less, excluding the title. It can be in any format, including a poem. Begin the story with the words, “The door swung open” These four words will be included in the word count.

    If you want to give yourself an added challenge (optional), use the same beginning words and end with the words: "the door swung shut." (also included in the word count)

    For those who want an even greater challenge, make your story 200 words EXACTLY!

    I decided to take on the added challenge of making my story exactly 200 words and ending it with "the door swung shut." I hope you enjoy it!


    The door swung open.
    “They’re coming.”
    My stomach tightened as Brad slid the deadbolt into place and turned the couch into a barricade.
    “How long?”
    The sound of the soulless flinging their bodies against the door was my answer. The knob twisted and voices began to hiss. They’d find their way in soon.
    The soulless only wanted one thingour hearts. Those who’d already lost theirs had slowly been taken by madness, joining the hunt for more.
    “If we surrender they’ll let us live. We won’t lose ourselves if we have each other.”
    I felt the steady chug of my heart beneath my ribs and shook my head violently. “I’m not going to just hand over my soul.”
    Another body slammed against the door, and I jumped into Brad’s arms. He held my head against his chest, and I listened for the steady beat that always gave me comfort. Only this time, it wasn’t there, and I lost myself to unconsciousness.
    When I awoke, the room was silent. I sighed with relief. Just a dream.
    Then I saw it, the incision below my sternum. I looked up in horror, catching sight of Brad’s heels as the door swung shut.

    ...The Soulless is entry #138. If you feel like voting for it click the "like" button below my name on this list. Thanks everyone!...

    Friday, September 2, 2011

    Campaign Game #2 - First or Favorite Post

    Hey Blogger Bunch! Since the 10-Facts-About-You post was such a hit, I thought it would be fun to play another get to know you game. We all got into blogging for a reason (maybe it was just to blog for fun or maybe you're trying to sell or promote your book). Whatever your motivation for starting a blog, let us know by re-posting your first post. If you think your first post is super boring and really says nothing, then re-post your favorite post. This will tell us all a little more about why you're blogging or maybe just a funny story to make your fellow Campaigners laugh.

    Make sure to post a link to your blog in the comments so we can check it out :)

    Here's mine...

    FIRST POST: March 13, 2011

    Southern California Writers Conference (SCWC)

    They told me I needed a website.

    "What if I'm not even published yet..."
    "You still need one."

    I'm not sure if this counts as a website, but I guess it will do.  Nothing but good came from the conference, so I suppose I should listen to their advice.

    Not only did I meet two of the most amazing writers/friends at SCWC, the experience may end up being life changing.  I submitted the first 20 pages of my completed manuscript for an advanced read with two agents and an author.  I never thought the author would open the door to opportunity, but she did.  She introduced me to a publisher who requested my full manuscript.  It was more than I could have hoped for.

    I waited for two weeks before I heard back from them, and was so excited when I read the email that I accidentally smashed a snail as the jumping and flailing ensued.  Poor snail.  Brian said it was his time to go.

    They offered me a Winter 2012 publishing slot.  It still hasn't sunk in.  I sign the contract tomorrow.

    Here we go...

    Thursday, September 1, 2011

    Blogger Game - 10 Random Facts About Me

    Hey all! I was asked to join this blogger game where you post 10 random facts about yourself. It should be fun and help us Campaigners get to know each other. If you're playing, post a link to your blog in the comments so we can tour around and mingle with you.

    Here are mine...

    1.       My taste buds have a weird love for lemons with salt   (I tried to convince them that lemons are no good, but all they say is…gimme gimme gimme).

    2.       I’m strangely attracted to perfect teeth (no surprise, my husband’s are flawless, straight and pearly white)

    3.       I have a fancy feast cat named Romeo. He prances around like a prince, and yes, he’s spoiled.

    4.       I like to take my time with really good books. Sometimes it will take me months to finish. Usually I say I’m really busy, but truthfully, I don’t want it to be over!

    5.       I’m a lover, not a fighter.

    6.       I’m always cold. ALWAYS. If I’m not, my husband calls it CODE RED, and things get serious real quick.

    7.       If I could replace my pointer finger with anything it would be a watermelon LipSmackers that never runs out.

    8.       T.V. is my kryptonite (Vampire Diaries, Biggest Loser, Glee, Entourage, Storage Wars, Burn Notice). Don’t give me crap…I know. I’m trying to cut back.

    9.       I’m still excited about Twilight. So what!

    10.   No matter what I’m doing or where I am, I’d rather be in my pajamas.

       *Oh. One other thing....I like to daaaaance!
    Check out more wedding pics here.