Thursday, August 11, 2011

Angela WRITE Now Picks a Fight on the Internets

I once said I’d use this song if I ever had to go back in time to kick someone's butt. Well, why put off until tomorrow what I can use in a metaphorical sense today!

Tell That Mick That He Just Made My List of Things to do Today:

I wouldn’t piss to put you out…

It’s not that I am a violent person. I’m not. But I believe in things, and I even believe in some people. If you are unfortunate enough to try and tear down something I stand for, or attack someone I have personal faith in, I will not just turn my back. Even if it is just some ignorant troll on the internet.

I refuse to just ignore zealots who attack things or people that are important to me. I just wont do it. I am sorry if you think this makes me a bad person.

In specific regards to writing; I spend a lot of time on my blog and in my writing chats I run disproving inaccurate things people have said about publishing. I also spend a lot of time showing people where they can find the information they need from creditable sources. Does that make me an expert? The world may never know, but I do understand a fair amount about the process. I’d say 95% of what ends up on this blog is about writing and publishing. So it’s offensive to me when people spew out that I am ignorant to whole thing. When they attempt to discredit me behind a smoke screen.

Tell me I am wrong and call me an idiot, but do it to my face.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

I’m Taking Over the World with Ali Cross. The GOOD NEWS Is You’re Invited.

I’ve told you about living under rocks.




When: Saturday, February 4th (with kick-off Friday night)

Where: my brand new fancy-dancy website: NinjasWrite!

What: Ninja Novel Con (NiNoCon) a writer's conference that blows the lid off the box

Take the rest of August to put your own mark on this first annual conference by playing our #ninjatag contest!

Come up with the best tagline for our new conference and YOU could win a $50 Amazon gift card

and, even better, bragging rights!

To enter, just tweet your tagline using the hashtag #ninjatag.

You can enter as many times as you like between now and September 1st!


ALSO I need to talk about this:


My friend @ponies_studios is designing the real cover, until then this is a rather sad display of my limited skills that will serve as a placeholder when I talk about it.

What is Haunted Souls for Haunted Souls? It’s an Anthology of ghost stories that are Christmas/ Holiday/ Winter related. All proceeds will be going to Operation Homefront.

How can you be a part of this awesomeness? It’s easy, write a story and then submit to me at my email address you have on file or tell me on twitter and I can send you my address. When you send it to me, I will forward it to a panel of readers that will decide if you make the cut. Stories must be received by October 3rd.

Story Details: As previously stated they must all be ghost stories that are Christmas/ Holiday/ Winter related. They must also be between 3k-6k words in length, and as free of mistakes as you can get it yourself. I will have people who will help in the editing the final version, but since you are competing against others you wont be putting forth your best product if you don’t absolutely try to make it perfect.

What is a free pass, and how can I get one? If you have previously worked with me in other anthologies/ or in a different professional setting, and would like to be a part of Haunted Souls just let me know and I will keep a spot warm for you. Since I know we have other deadlines, since you do not have to be prescreened you may have until October 15th to complete your work.

BREAK! Now comment on NiNoCon and Haunted Souls below!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

How to Be a Better Writer THIS WEEK

This is the second installment of how to be a better writer. Last week we focused on how to be a better writer TODAY and you can find that here:

How to Be a Better Writer TODAY

Now, on to how to be a better writer this week.


Step #1 Sit down.

Step #2: Acquire the tools needed to make your weekly schedule, and then do it. Angela WRITE Now has mad OCD like you would not believe. She is the queen of the scheduled chaos but she does understands that not everyone can live this way so remember the key points.

Write down all your commitments that have to be done at a certain time. Like when you are at work and when you have to not forget to pick up the kids. Figure out when you have time to write (edit, revise, etc.) write those times in your schedule. Best not to get a little carried away with your first time. Looking for the perfect time slot? Try #writingatgunpoint Monday-Thursday on twitter at 6:30 PDT and the most important part; write when you say you will.

Step #3: Pick one day a week (at least) and commit to improving yourself as a writer. I think as artists, we know what we need to improve on even if we don’t want to hear it.Take this time to make yourself better. You can read up on how to write a killer query letter or review comma usage. You can do what you need to do, and no one else need know about it.

Step #4: Agree to help a friend. Preferably with their writing. Offer to read something for them, critique something for them, tweet some helpful links, or… I don’t know, start an online writing conference with an arch rival and then get some KILLER names to sign up to teach classes at it. Any little thing helps.

Step #5: Remember everything you needed to do to make yourself a better writer TODAY.

BIG announcements coming your way soon, but I maybe just let one slip. The rest of them involve all my releases happening at the back half of the year, and how you can be a part of a very important one. Details coming soon!

WHAT? I can’t say anything!

That doesn’t mean I can’t be sneaky and post a link to the thing I can’t mention on my blog. Look for something to your right that kicks butt.

Need more of a clue?

Friday, August 5, 2011

A Call 4 Action, and the Top 10 Most Motivational Songs 4 Writers (at least the ones I could think of last night)

Do you know Mike Mullin? He is author of YA book Ashfall out via Tanglewood  this October and I am absolutely in love with him. (As a writer and friend,not that other way which would get us both on trouble.)

Incase you haven’t been paying attention, recently Mike announced that Ashfall had been chosen by the American Booksellers for Children's 2011 New Voices project. Like ten books win that award, so way to go Mike!

Anyway I told you that, to tell you this: Barnes & Noble is not currently planning on carrying Ashfall. I know, it’s a travesty. So since the book is currently available to preorder on their website, we are trying to amass a large enough order to make them change their mind.

Help the cause, preorder here:

Then let me know if the comments if you did. You never know, I might enter the people who do into a little contest of my ownWinking smile

Now on to something not quite as cavity inducing.

The TOP 10 Most MOTIVATION songs 4 Writers
(In no particular order.)

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

1. Coffee’s for Closers by Fall Out Boy. FOB is one of my favorite bands of all time, and that’s because their lyrics are AWESOME.

Reasons I think this song is motivational:
The title- You guys might not know this but I majored in Drama in college and was highly involved in theatre from the age of 11. A whole year before I wrote my first book. Coffee’s for Closers is an often done monologue. But that’s why it’s motivational for me. The lyrics are what I think should help you.

“I will never believe in anything again.” I can’t count the number of times I have been disillusioned as a writer. How many times I lost my belief in the process, myself, anything. I have felt that I would never believe in anything again, I have been so wounded, so crushed, so lost. But making sure you do is really the only way you can succeed. “I want everything.” What’s the matter? Don’t you?“Preach electric to a microphone stand.” They are making a reference to what they do in their band, but I think about what it’s like being a writer in the world of social networking. Can I get a hallelujah? Oh wait… that’s another FOB song.  “I’m a mascot for what you’ve become and oh oh I love the mayhem more than the love.” I feel like the internet is changing me into someone else… I don’t think I can stop it, and I am not sure I would even if I could. Sometime love the insanity that comes from being the hopeless artistic type more than anything else.

2. Livin’ on a Prayer by Bon Jovi. Because doesn’t that what it feel like being a writer to you?

“Cause it doesn’t make a difference if we make it or not.” Because it doesn’t, if you are a writer you are a writer. No matter what anyone else tells you it is who you are, it is what you feel and no one else can take that away. “For love, we’ll give it a shot.” Every single day of our lives. “You live for the fight when that is all that you got.” Sometimes I think if I let the world stop me for just a minute. I would never pick myself back up. So I keep fighting for Angela the writer and hope it pays off, because with out that I have NOTHING.

3. The Hook by Blues Traveler I hear that word WAY to often in the world of writing, so it’s all too appropriate.

“It doesn’t matter what I say so long as I sing it with inflection. That makes you feel what I’ll convey, some inner trust of vast reflection.” How many times have you heard it’s the VOICE that really matters? (On a unrelated note I got a rejection today from an agent that said she loved the voice but that it was too similar to something else on her list) “Because the hook brings you back.” It sure does. Actually those whole SONG has a lot to do about writing. I mean “suck it in suck it in if your rin tin tin or Anne Boleyn.” REALLY

4.Eye of the Tiger by Survivor and I am not really going to explain that one, I think you already know why. But I will say that KAREN got that song stuck in my head for like six months.

5. Born for This by Paramore

“Oh, I just keep on falling, back to the same old. Where’s hope when misery comes crawling.” This it what I feel like every time I have a set back. “With your faith, you’ll trigger a land slide. (Victory)” I can always hope so. “Tell me, do you feel the pressure now?” YEP  “We were born for this”

6. White Blank Page by Mumford & Sons I know this song is about love, but what I think about when I hear white blank page is what I feel when I have a new project “Her white blank page & a swelling rage, rage
You did not think when you sent me to the brink, the brink
You desired my attention but denied my affections, affections”
Doesn’t your muse feel that way to you?

7.Man of la Mancha by Linda Elder

Few books will ever have such characters as Don Quixote. If you get a chance google all the lyrics, but a man that fights wind mills? That is motivational. “Onward to glory I go!”

8.Let’s Kill Tonight or Tonight Tonight by Panic! At the Disco who BTW is my favorite band of all time. I start every night/evening writing session with this song these days.

“If I retreat. Words, wars, and symphonies.” “Let’s kill tonight! Kill tonight! Show them all you’re not the ordinary type!” Who among us wants to be ordinary? Knock em dead kids.

Anyway there were two songs that vanished off my playlist this morning and are now unavailable so here are youtube videos of them in their place.

They are C’mon by Panic! At the Disco & FUN.


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

And You Thought You Were Done With Standardized Tests

I often make this comparison out loud, but I never have blogged about it. Query letters are standardized tests for writers.

I’m from Texas y’all—and even though I’ve lived from sea to shining sea there are some things you never forget.


Do you remember standardized tests for writing? Follow the same drab five paragraph format or lest you be FAILED. You must include these EXACT things in each paragraph or lest you be FAILED TWICE. You had a page and a half in which to do this, girlie hand writing be damned. Artistic flare? I don’t even think so.

That’s how I feel about query letters. I feel like no matter how good your content is, you’re sunk if you don’t follow their rules. Only for the standardized test people are forced to teach you how to take it, for query letters it’s more of a crap shoot, because not every agent is dealing with the same set of rules.

Sure, there are some things you absolutely must do—but how? Execution is everything, and when not everyone is looking for the same important bits and you are forced to shove complex story lines and many many words into only a handful of paragraphs you have to use a combination of generalized plot points and exciting pieces.

And yes, there are some experts out there that can teach you how to play the game. What to say and when, and that may improve your odds.But these kings and queens of the query letter often disagree about the best way to do things, or what exactly is the query crux.

Don’t forget your #2 pencil.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Personalities or Pigeon Holes

Ever notice how successful writers tend to write the same ‘types’ of books? I can think of exceptions, but for the most part authors tend to stick within closely related genres.

The doe eyed side of me wants to believe that’s because they want to write that kind of book. It is not a stretch to believe an author would prefer a specific genre, or feel more comfortable with one. BUT, the cynical side of me, the side that reads about the world of publishing every. single. day. knows it’s probably because they have been pigeonholed into whatever they were first successful in. 

I worry about this, almost obsessively.

But why Angela? Don’t you only write Paranormal Romance books?

HA HA nope.

Last year, I wrote at least one book for four different “Smart” boy book series. Barneby Knotts—which you can see the many first pages of here:

The Notorious Dogoodes: In a world where super heroes exist, Teddy DoGoode is not one of them.

Red Zeppelin and the Books of Tomorrow: Ottie and Everett quest to save the real books of the outer lands before they are recycled. Alt: 2 kids fight book banning and the e-books of the future.

Heroes & Vallenez: Vic Vallenez is not a Villain, but he’s not a saint either. When you sell information to the highest bidder, certain hazards come with the job.

Then this year, so far all I have written is young adult novels.

Pigments of My Imagination which is a paranormal romance, smart boy boy hybrid. It’s got the eternal romance with enough plot twist to make it another Da Vinci Code prequel. But I digress, it is not a paranormal romance, and neither is the book I am writing for the 3 Day Novel Contest working title: SCORNED

Here are some upcoming and current YA novels that are not para/supernatural.

Cloakers: Ancient Mayans believed some animals had the power to cloak themselves as human, and they should know, they created them.

Those Damned DeLeons: 3 brothers sell the temporary possession of their souls to the king of the underworld to repay their father’s debt. It does not end well.

Now since I know you were wondering, here are the true paranormal romance titles:

Skeleton Lake: Skeletons do regret. Drowning was the easy part. The beautiful but ghastly bones of broken boys & false flesh are now Marlow's whole world.

Place Holder Title: “Vampire Money” which I will talk about in an upcoming vlog/blog

Desdemona: A book that will effectively have taken me 10 years to write when it’s done, and I am still not good enough for it.

To see where everything falls on the Angela WRITE Now spectrum I have created a handy chart:


I am banking on some of you guys being Percy Jackson fans, if you read that genre you will definitely like my middle grade books. If not, well I worry they might never see the light of day. Wouldn’t that be depressing?

Anyway I want you to think about the kinds of books you write. Are they the “same” kind of book? Totally different? Now I want you to think if that is a good or bad thing and let me know.

Now I know what you’re thinking… Ang middle grade and young adult books are similar. Well sure, some are, but comparing Heroes & Vallenez to Skeleton Lake is like comparing Artemis Fowl to Twilight. There are huge gaping holes where the audience does not over lap. Yes, I know many of you enjoy both of these kinds of books, but if you are reading my blog, lets be honest, you’re a book person. Book people are freaks.