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Win These Bookmarks

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Read, read, read and read some more. And with these bookmarks keep your place in those books you love. Anyone who comments on my Chapter One when I post it up on Feb 29th has a chance to win these! It’s open internationally so post from anywhere. Here they are:

The quotes on the bookmarks are:
Far left – Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take but by the moments that take your breath away
2nd from left – Dare to Go Far
3rd from left – Faith Hope Love The greatest of these is love

Oh and btw? It’s T-minus 6 days until we can Leap Into Chapter One!

It’s Official – I’m going to be live on the Radio for Lasera

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So I’ve just had it confirmed that I will be doing a 10 min segment on Radio NL’s Jim Harrison Show on 610 AM here in Kamloops BC and I couldn’t be more excited! I’ll be on air on Tues Feb 28 from 9:08am to 9:18am. I’ll be talking all about Leap Into Chapter One On Leap Day and possibly even doing a Q&A about writing at the same time.

You can access the website to Radio NL here. Make sure that even if you’re not in Kamloops go there on Feb 28 and click ‘Listen Live’ (top right corner) to hear the segment! Thanks for all the support from everyone.

Oh and btw? It’s T-minus 7 days until we can Leap Into Chapter One!

If you want more info on Leap Into Chapter One On Leap Day click the tab above ^^

I’ll be posting every day until the big day – pics, sneak peaks, writing articles, writers’ groups + more – so keep reading!

Leap Into Chapter One On Leap Day – Some Details & A Contest

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So as the day gets closer and closer there’s going to be more and more going on for Leap Into Chapter One. Keep an eye on the posts here as there’s going to be a number of surprises even before we finally get to Chapter One.

A couple details:

On Feb 29th I will be doing a live author reading of Chapter One at the Teen Advisory Board Meeting at the North Shore Library in Kamloops, BC. The meeting starts at 6:00pm. I’ll be looking for feedback and I’ll also be doing a Q&A session about writing and publishing.

I will also be doing a podcast of Chapter One so that those who are unable to read can listen to it and for those who wish to hear the chapter read in the author’s own voice. Keep an eye out for the link to that!

And now for the Contest!

On March the 1st I will randomly select one of the comments on Chapter One and that person will win five gorgeous bookmarks! The better to read with of course. In the very near future I will post a picture of the bookmarks but in the mean time, make sure to mark your calendars for Feb 29th and leave a comment after you’ve read Chapter One. Leave a critique, a suggestion, a question, whichever. Anything and everything is welcomed. (This is a family friendly site though, keep it G-rated with no profanity please). Oh and the even better news? This contest is open internationally! So no matter where you are be sure to post. 😀

And spread the word! I’ve included a pic of the promotional poster I will be peppering all over Kamloops and Calgary. Take a gander and then share it! Share it on facebook, email it, maybe even print some off and give them to your friends! Most especially share it with the teens in your life: nieces, nephews, sisters, daughters, sons, brothers, friends. Please help me get the word out about this great event and a book that I truly adore.

Cheers!

p.s. If you’d like to print this poster off, email me on the contact page and I can send you a higher quality file of a larger size. Thanks!

Shouldn’t Have Gotten ‘Caught’ Reading

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When books get us in trouble. 😀

My husband caught me reading the first time but not the second. (Don’t worry he’s not a blog follower 😛 ) And what I’m talking about is those times when I really SHOULDN’T have been reading — not the: I could be doing laundry, or there’s a sink full of dishes that need washing, or there’s homework that needs finishing — but an oh my gosh my reading has added so much stress to my life.

Yes I’ll admit it, on two separate occasions I read 3+ books in less than 5 days while in the process of moving. Like packing absolutely everything into boxes cause we were moving far enough to need a uhaul kind of moving. Both times we were within a week of our move out date. :S Yeah I know.

The first time my husband kept coming home from work and seeing me with the book open and only one measly little box packed. By the time I was working my way through book two of this series he told me I wasn’t allowed to buy the third one. I did anyway and finished it in two days. –sheepish grin– The series I read was the Twilight series. (Before the fourth was published thankfully– I think it would’ve been a whole lot worse if that had been the case) Yeah I read first three of those books with boxes all around me, while still working an 8 hour work day. My husband was none too happy that I’d bought the third one and read it, but what could he do? It was already done, and he knew me. That’s one reason why I love him, he understands about me and books.

The second time this happened I wised up. Again still a frantic gotta get everything in boxes mode but I was reading the Rhea Jensen mystery series. All of the covers for these books are very similar. I didn’t open them around my husband all that much. –that way he wouldn’t see which one I was reading, therefore realizing I’d moved on to the next book. I also didn’t use a bookmark having learned my lesson a number of months before that. (He’d seen where my bookmark was in The Mocking Jay and was shocked when there was no longer a bookmark in it the next day. “You finished it already?”) I finished the fours books in that series as I was both packing up an entire 3 bedroom townhouse and watching and playing with my 21 month old son. Not a lot of packing got done.

Despite the fact that I got totally and completely caught up in these stories when I really shouldn’t have, I still think it’s funny. Books have that kind of power over me, especially if they’re exceptionally good books that I fall in love with.

Anyone else have a ‘Yeah I really shouldn’t have been reading then’ story?

Those books’ll get ya every time.

Biggest Newbie Writer Mistake, Not Using ‘Said’ Enough

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For all you new authors out there there is one book that I consider invaluable: ‘Self Editing for Fiction Writers. How to Edit Yourself Into Print‘ by Renni Browne and Dave King. Get it from the library or buy it, or steal it, whichever, just go read it.* Now! Go, what are you waiting for? (okay so maybe finish reading this post first but then go!)

One of the most interesting things I found in this book, — which totally threw me for a loop by the way  was their section on the word ‘said’. A newbie writer will try to find any other word for dialogue. Using flowery and descriptive words to communicate how the character is speaking. Doing this screams amateur. Both authors of this book are senior editors and they definitely have first hand experience with this. Most of the time if a reader can’t tell how something is said by the actual dialogue, the words your characters are using aren’t strong enough or specific enough. The words you use and how you use them should say exactly how that character is feeling. 
Said is unobtrusive and as such the eyes tend to skip over and simply understand, therefore leaping ahead to get to the good stuff. When an author uses a word like grimaced, the eyes won’t pass over it as easily. This happens most especially when the verb used all of sudden changes what the dialogue was supposed to do. 

For example: 
“I really truly love you. You know that?” he said.

Shows how a man might say this to a woman. 

“I love you” he screamed.

Throws the reader off. You don’t how or why a man would scream something like that. 
Use said. Use said. Use said. 
I could keep talking about this for a very long time, but I don’t want to take away any of the time you could be using to read this fabulous book. 
As Renni Browne and Dave King said:
“You want your readers to pay attention to your dialogue, not the means by which you get it to them.” 
– page 89, Self Editing for Fiction Writers
Keep on writing, keep on reading and keep on editing!  
*okay, so don’t actually steal it. 😛 As authors we want to support other authors and buy their books right? 😀