Saturday, February 27, 2010

Vote Vote Vote!

Just a quick weekend announcement:

Summer's Song is up for Book of the Week at The Long and the Short of It review site ~ and I'd love your vote!

The review, 4.5 Books, is a really nice one. In part, the reviewer said, "Assumptions, misconceptions, misguided actions on the part of main and secondary characters alike, ensure the reader will stay glued to the page to the end to unravel all the intertwining threads of mystery. But when the truth is uncovered will Damien and Summer's relationship survive the fallout?

Ms. Boniface's fluid writing and vivid imagery work as strongly on the scene setting as they do on her characters, and make for a clever and intriguing read. For me this book is a keeper."

The winner of the weekend poll just gets bragging rights and a little bit of free publicity, but hey ~ I'll take it!

Hope you have a great weekend...we'll be digging out here!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday Fun Facts: 28 Inches of Snow and Counting!

Yes, that's right: we've been hit by the storm that's pounding the Northeast right now. It's been snowing pretty steadily since TUESDAY afternoon, and we haven't had school the last 3 days. Our county is in a state of emergency, and poor hubby has tried to keep up with plowing the driveway with mixed results. There's nowhere left to put all the snow!

I've managed to get out and take a few pictures of it, though, so here you go: a photo montage for this Friday...

Drifts (and crazy icicles!) along the front of our house

Trees along our driveway (this pic is from early yesterday)

Our driveway, early yesterday

Me standing in our backyard this morning = 28" of snow! And we're supposed to get more throughout the day...

At least this gives me lots of time to write!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Writers' Wednesday: Audio Books and Tips from Writer's Digest

"Trouble knocked on the door, but hearing laughter, hurried away." ~Benjamin Franklin

OK, let me just say, it is really really cool to hear your book read aloud by someone. I just got the audio files of Lost in Paradise, which is releasing next month in audio book, and I spent last night listening to some of it (I guess I'm actually supposed to be listening for any errors, sort of like a Final Line Edit in audio form). It's kind of like the first time I saw my writing in print, holding the actual book in my hands. Only this time I'm hearing someone else read my words. So cool!


And from the March issue of Writer's Digest, some interesting articles, including...

"What's in a Name?" (about how authors name their characters - what do you do? a former teacher of mine, turned playwright, wanders through graveyards for inspiration, choosing a first name from this headstone, and a last name from that one...)

"Write Like Stephen King" (about how to insert suspense into your writing, in effect by dropping hints about conflicts to come down the road)

"The Reluctant Writer's Guide to Handselling Your Book" (best tip from this one: introduce yourself to shoppers by saying, "Hi, I'm today's author" and putting your book in their hands. once it's there, it's a lot harder for them to put down without at least looking at it)

Monday, February 22, 2010

Monday's Mentionables: Revising, Revising...

"You can approach the act of writing with nervousness, excitement, hopefulness, or even despair, the sense that you can never completely put on the page what's in your mind and heart. You can come to the act with your fists clenched and your eyes narrowed, ready to kick ass and take down names. You can come to it because you want a girl to marry you or because you want to change the world. Come to it any way but lightly. Let me say it again: you must not come lightly to the blank page." ~Stephen King

I'm in the process of trying to revise Entwined, with the goal of submitting it to Samhain by the end of March. Originally, it was 80K words long and I was thinking of targeting a different publisher. In the last few months, though, and especially since looking at it again, I've changed my mind. Soooooo I'm trying to go back through and tighten. It's tough, but I'm making some progress. The biggest thing I've found is that it drags in places. A lot. I haven't looked at it in probably a couple of months, which is valuable time away, because it's allowing me to cut large sections and "kill my babies."

Conflict on every page.

I read an article once that talked about this - and conflict doesn't have to be gun-slinging action or tormenting mind games. But it does have to be a nugget of intrigue that makes the reader turn to the next page. This, I've found, is what Entwined lacks the most right now. I think this is partly because I originally thought of it as a "literary romance" which means I could dwell on the lovely language rather than the forward movement of the plot (literary fiction tends to be character-driven a little more than plot-driven, allowing for that). But now I'm realizing that it lacks in compelling plot - and so this is where my focus lies now.

Bottom line: it is so important to put a draft of your book away when you finish it. You'll never get distance from it otherwise, and that distance is crucial in being objective about what it needs, and what's already beautiful :)

Have a great Monday!