Thursday, February 20, 2014

Sci-Fi YA Panel with Beth Revis, Amie Kauffman, and Meagan Spooner

This past weekend, I had the wonderful opportunity to attend an author event (my first ever!) with Beth Revis (Across the Universe series), Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner (These Broken Stars). Lissa Price (Starters and Enders) and Jodi Meadows (Incarnate) were supposed to be in attendance as well, but sadly, snowstorm Pax had other plans. Beth, Amie and Meagan were fabulous, though, and I was so excited to get to see them!

The three authors first chatting among themselves and with readers about some commonly asked questions that they get. It was so hilarious to get to hear them talk about their own writing processes (apparently Meagan likes to talk to herself and act out scenes). I don’t want to play favorites, but Beth was definitely my favorite out of the three. She just has a fun personality and is super hilarious. She told a story about a time when she was enacting a scene with her husband. This particular enactment just happened to require a fake gun and Beth being held in a choke hold by her husband, and the UPS man just happened to be dropping off some packages at that time. ;)

Both books (Across the Universe and These Broken Stars) are set in space, and it was interesting to hear some of the research the authors had to do. Lots of visits to the NASA website! Apparently it’s now known that the Russians are much more daring in space than Americans…records of various accidents and stunts have proven that to be very true. Whenever Amie or Meagan mentioned anything regarding plot/climax in relation to the space topic, Beth would chime in and reiterate her love for explosions. She really does love blowing things up. Exclusively in her books, hopefully.

Some people asked about writing advice or book covers (the dress on the cover of These Broken Stars got a lot of attention…apparently these three draped it over a statue at Biltmore, just for fun!). My favorite question, though, was “Which authors are you most thankful to be friends with, excluding the present authors?” I know for a fact that Beth is pretty chummy with Lauren DeStefano, and Meagan mentioned Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss). Stephanie is another author I’d love to meet- she’s a fellow North Carolinian like Meagan and Beth. Beth then went on to mention the time she met J.K. Rowling, and almost threw up. I’m tellin’ ya, this woman doesn’t get any more hilarious. Everyone was in stitches.

When I had Beth sign my book, she was like, “Shelby?! Like the city? I have a character in A Million Suns named Shelby!” And I was like, “Awesome, that’s cool.” And then she was like, “But I kill her off.” And I was all, “Ok, I guess that’s cool, too.” Ha.

I had such a fun time just listening to Beth, Amie, and Meagan talk about writing and their books. And it was great chatting to fellow English majors in line! Finally, people like me! I really felt like I belonged. I’ll definitely be keeping my eyes peeled for YA author events in my area. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #26

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

Nearly Gone by Elle Cosimano
Release date: March 25th, 2014 (Kathy Dawson Books)
Pages: 388

Bones meets Fringe in a big, dark, scary, brilliantly-plotted urban thriller that will leave you guessing until the very end.

Nearly Boswell knows how to keep secrets. Living in a DC trailer park, she knows better than to share anything that would make her a target with her classmates. Like her mother's job as an exotic dancer, her obsession with the personal ads, and especially the emotions she can taste when she brushes against someone's skin. But when a serial killer goes on a killing spree and starts attacking students, leaving cryptic ads in the newspaper that only Nearly can decipher, she confides in the one person she shouldn't trust: the new guy at school—a reformed bad boy working undercover for the police, doing surveillance. . . on her.

Nearly might be the one person who can put all the clues together, and if she doesn't figure it all out soon—she'll be next. [Description from Goodreads]

What are you waiting on this Wednesday? Leave a comment or link below.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Top Ten Reasons I Love Being a Book Blogger

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created by The Broke and the Bookish

1) Getting to share my opinion with YOU! I love hearing others’ thoughts on books they’ve read, and giving my input as well!
2) Growing to love books through other people. There are several people I’ve met through blogging whose opinions on books are so impeccable, that I’ll literally read anything they suggest.  
3) Makin’ new friends. =) I’m really bad at connect with people online, but I’m working on it.  
4) Expanding my reading horizons. Reading things I normally wouldn’t read, and loving it!
5) Having a reason to be super analytical/critical when reading. I think as I’ve blogged, I’ve become more critical about what I read…which, I think, is a good thing.
6) Getting inspired by authors and fellow writers. You don’t have to be a blogger to get inspired, but over the years, I’ve heard tons of good advice that’s helped me in my own writing pursuits!
7) Picking out blog templates. That’s half the fun, right?
8) Having an excuse to spend an appalling amount of money on books. Not joking. I legitimately use this as an excuse. It’s downright shameful.
9) The free books. I’m not gonna lie and say I don’t like this part of the business. I’m not blogging BECAUSE of the free books, but it is a nice added bonus.

10) Honing writing skills by writing reviews. You don’t get better until you practice, practice practice…. and practice some more. 

Saturday, February 15, 2014

A Valentine's Day Love Letter from Emily White

A Love Letter from Emily White to her Readers:

It's a month for love and there's nothing I love more about the publishing life than meeting new readers. That's why, a few months ago, I made a pretty huge announcement. I doubt it had any far-reaching effects. And I seriously doubt many people even heard about it. But I want everyone to know:

After doing ALL the things and checking off ALL the lists, I never really felt like I'd accomplished anything in my career. I'd grown up dreaming about signing a contract with a publishing company, and I did that. But after that was done, I dreamt about the next contract, and having my books read around the world, and maybe hitting a bestseller list. And I did all that. But still not so much happiness. I had moments of happiness. Of absolute joy, even. And it hit me last November that those moments came when I was meeting new readers or getting emails from them. They came in certain minutes of the day when a reader tweeted me or sent me a private message on facebook. 

I realized that I just Not hitting milestones. Just you. 

And I want more of you. More awesome moments on twitter or facebook! More readers who become friends! More! More! More!

And I also want to make you happy. Because you're awesome, and you deserve it.

So I made the announcement that my books would be free. All of them, for all time. Old ones and new.

I know a lot of people might think I'm crazy. A lot of people who think I should get paid for my hard work. But that's the thing. To ME, readers are the payment. Especially readers I get socialize with. 

Now, since November, a hard reality hit me. Amazon doesn't allow free so much anymore, and I am by no means skilled at the computer. And since my decision to give my work away for free doesn't necessarily mean I want to force an inferior product on you, I've had to hire an interior designer to do all the formatting and make everything pretty and easy to read. She's doing an AMAZING job on FAE right now, and as soon as she's done with it I'll be sending Elemental to her.

So with that in mind, I've had to get my thinking cap on, and here's what I've come up with:

My books will ALWAYS be free on wattpad and smash words, and you may find the links below. 

Unfortunately, the free version on smashwords will be formatted by me and contain some errors in that regard. I might get better at this over the years. I'm really hoping I do so that quality AND free can go hand-in-hand. I will also upload all my books on wattpad chapter by chapter, which doesn't have any formatting problems since it's a simple copy/paste.

Amazon and Kobo will have the beautifully formatted and designed interior version for $.99. There will also be a paperback version on amazon that will be the very lowest createspace will allow me to price it.

I hope all of you enjoy my books, and I hope you realize just how much I appreciate each and every one of you. Without you guys I'm just a crazy loon with voices in my head. :)

Author Bio:

Emily White is a nerd. 

She prefers her men fully clothed and donning bowties, her commas British, her books cheesy with big, overly-dramatic explosions, her characters awkward and endearingly real, and watching her movies in authentic turn-of-the-century theaters. When not exposing her nerdy self to the world, she's creating her own friends and putting them in horrible, yet sometimes humorous situations.

Reviews for Elemental:

"I'm calling it right now. Elemental is the beginning of the next big YA series. And here's why:

Does Elemental have a strong female voice that young women can admire?




Is it nauseating and cringe-worthy romance?

Heck no. I can safely say that I could give a copy of Elemental to my guy friends without fear of getting punched in the nose.

Thorough world-building?

Double Triple Quadruple Check.

A kick-ass plot?

Check POW!

Seriously, this book is great and you should most definitely CHECK it out." --Dan Cohen, author of Masters of the Veil

"Blending aspects of science fiction, fantasy, and romance, debut author Emily White’s Elemental is an incredibly intriguing...start to a series." --Foreword Reviews

"Here is another one of those stories that really had me from the first page. There was a constant unraveling of the story as the world became more and more magical and dangerous. The need to turn the pages to figure out how dangerous Ella really was. It all really builds in anticipation each chapter and even a bit of romance thrown in. I would recommend this first to science fiction lovers and secondly to fantasy readers... I didn't just like this story, I loved it." --Krista (CubicleBlindnessReviews), Goodreads

"The ending is amazing! Yes, a lot of questions do get answered, but we're left with a few and with a small cliffhanger too! Which is amazing and was so perfectly well written! I can honestly say that this is one of those rare books were you are satisfied just enough to be able to wait a bit for that next book to be released!" --The Bumble Girl {Margie}, Goodreads

"Let me tell you that I loved the worlds Emily created in this book... I felt like I was there--aboard ships, on other planets. This is one of those stories where the setting is a character in itself. It added to the conflict and hiked up the tension." --Kelly Hashway, Author of Touched by Death

"Elemental is a pounding, relentless story of a young girl facing trouble and terror from all sides. Sure, Ella has been imprisoned for most of her young life, and sure, she’s got people trying to actively kill her- and a god searching for her so he can destroy her- but she’s also fighting a power within herself that is even more frightening than anything her enemies can throw at her... The atmosphere is disturbing and the danger is ever present. Altogether, this is an exciting science fiction fairy tale for girls and boys alike, with touches of romance and lots and LOTS of action." --Kendra Saunders, author of Death and Mr. Right and Inanimate Objects.

"I mean, who thinks of combining dystopia with faeries? It’s ingenious! And the story line and writing just completed the whole thing, with great staging. All the events flowed together perfectly, leading up to an amazing climax. Perfect work, Emily White." --Emily @ Emily's Crammed Bookshelf, Goodreads review

Review for To Love or Die in a Steamy-Reamy World:

"To Love or Die in a Steamy-Reamy World is a delightful anthology of short stories that all take place in Steamville. This steampunk themed book is filled with colorful characters who find themselves in fairly normal situations, which makes their tales relatable as well as entertaining. I loved that author Emily White tied each of the individual stories together not just with the location, but through the everyday interactions that people have when living in a small town." --Compulsion Reads