Dark Days Author Tour and HWC

Mar 15, 2013

Hey, Healthy Writers! I'm afraid my report today is dismal. Earlier in the week, I strained a muscle, which pinched a nerve. I'm writing this with numb, tingly fingers and a sore bicep. That, coupled with the fact that our bedroom and storage room flooded and our bed is currently in the living room, means I did practically no exercise this week. Here's to a better next week!

In other news, I'm lucky to live in a place with LOTS of author events. Last week, me and my crit partner Chersti got to attend the Dark Days tour! Dan Wells, Kiersten White, Brodi Ashton, Debra Driza, Claudia Gray, and Lauren Oliver, all in one place. The Q&A was hilarious, the authors friendly, and the company entertaining.

I even got to chat a bit with Natalie Whipple and Jenn Johansson, who are awesome and local, so I get to see them at a lot of local events. Natalie was a bit surprised I wanted a pic with her, but I'm just prepping for when she's even more famous. ;) And sadly, I couldn't find Jenn again for a picture.

I got Fragments signed by Dan Wells (which is tough, since he lives in Germany now), and stayed after to chat with him. Seriously, folks, if you haven't read Partials, check it out! It's brilliant. I'm a huge Dan Wells fan ever since he was my instructor at a "boot camp" several years ago. And especially since reading his mind-twisting books.

So, my friends, have you done any fun writerly/readerly things lately? Who are some of your favorite authors you'd love to meet?

The Other Half of a Good Writing Career (and Giveaway Winners!)

Mar 11, 2013

First things first, folks: the winners of the Mustaches for Maddie Giveway!

Winner of a free copy of The Inventor's Secret by Chad Morris: JESSIE OLIVEROS!
Winner of a 30 page and query critique from me: MARLA!
Winner of a query critique from Hannah Bowman: MELANIE FOWLER!

I'll be contacting the winners today. Thank you all so much for participating and not only spreading the word about Chad's book, but for making Maddie smile. She's smiling a lot, I hear, and recovering well.

It's so amazing to me how incredibly supportive the writing community is. Not only did I see mustache pics that made me giggle, and read literally hundreds of people's support for Chad, but the internet was full of loving people this past week. I've seen people spread the word to help promote Poison by Bridget Zinn, who passed away before she could see her book on the shelves (it releases tomorrow, can't wait!). I've heard about the Overcoming Adversity anthology, to support a young man with cerebral palsy getting to a good university. Everywhere, I've seen good people helping other good people.

When I very first talked to my agent on the phone about representation, one of the questions I asked is what she expected of me as a client. It basically boiled down to this: write good books, and be a good person. And really, that's the basics of a successful writing career. Of course you have to write good books-- that's just a given. Being a good person-- being kind, loving, supportive, honest, helpful, encouraging, trustworthy, dependable, etc.-- is the other half. It shows in your writing, and it shows when you interact with people.

And let's be honest. Being a good person is important not just for writing, but for life in general. And I've seen soooo much evidence lately that we're all pretty good people inside.

So, my friends, thank you. Thank you for being good. Thank you for being kind. Thank you for being you. I have a ridiculous amount of warm, fuzzy feelings I'm directing to all of you!

Mustaches for Maddie-- a Giveaway for a Brave Little Girl

Mar 1, 2013

UPDATE: See a video of Chad, Maddie, and mustaches in the news! 

Today, instead of the usual Healthy Writers Club about my own health, I want to focus on the health of a little girl named Maddie.

Earlier this week, writers Chad Morris and Shelly Brown wrote about their daughter, Maddie, who had just been diagnosed with a brain tumor. In a whirlwind, they were all rushed into a world of tests and surgeries. Chad's book, The Inventor's Secret, comes out next week, but he wrote about how his dream of his daughter "having all the chances in the world" seriously trumps his book dream.

Maddie is doing well, recovering from successful surgery. On Facebook, Chad and Shelly said their daughter finds mustaches HILARIOUS, and asked for pictures of people with mustaches to make her smile.

So here's what we're going to do.

Because Chad's focus is on his daughter, we're going to help him get the word out about his book. And at the same time, we're going to make a brave little girl smile. I'm giving away one copy of his book, The Inventor's Secret, what I've heard is a thrilling time-travel adventure for middle-graders. I'm also giving away a critique of your query and first thirty pages by me. AND my brilliant and awesome agent, Hannah Bowman, is offering a query critique!

To enter the giveaway, all you have to do is spread the word! Option 1: share YOUR biggest secret on Twitter, Facebook, or your blog, and link back to the contest so we can spread the word about Chad's book.

Option 2 (and 3 and 4): Use some yarn, use a finger, use some makeup or Photoshop, and take a picture of you, mustachioed to bring some cheer to Maddie! Then tweet, Facebook, or blog your picture for Maddie to wish her health and spread the word about Chad's book.  On Twitter, use the hashtag #mustachesformaddie so we can all share the joy! (This is in addition to your secret-sharing post above-- you can get multiple entries for multiple tweets/blogs/Facebooks!) Just fill out the Rafflecopter below, and I'll pick a random winner next Friday!

Here's a sample tweet or Facebook status-- you can just copy and paste with your own mustachioed pic added:

Post a mustache pic and win @ChadCMorris's book to help his sick daughter! #mustachesformaddie http://bit.ly/Z6DtPB

And if you think Chad's book sounds like fun and want to order a copy to support him, it's already available on Amazon!

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

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