Thursday, August 30, 2012

August is Awesome

Jeff Hargett over at Strands of Pattern has been hosting a month long introduction of writers we may not know and some we already love. I’m absolutely honored that he asked me to guest post today. So I wrote about something that has been on my mind a lot lately. But if you want to know, you have to stop by—pretty please :)


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Cassie’s got it goin’ on!

Doesn’t that title just say it all? Yep! It does :) 

Cassie Mae is hosting her new agent Brittany Booker on her blog today. So go learn a little bit about Brittany and if you have a burning question for her about writing, agents, querying, etc…she will answer all your questions in the comments!

Don’t miss out the opportunity to pick an agents brain! You heard me! Run don’t walk :)


Tuesday, August 28, 2012


from (aka Brent)

I want to blame my lack of blogging on Hurricane Isaac just pounding my city, but all I got was a little bit wet :( I sure hope everyone else gets off so easy.

I love blogging, I really do, but lately I’ve felt like it has been one epic fail for me. I knew the move would take all my time, but I really thought once I got settled down things would get right back on track and I would be blogging 5 times a week like normal. But it just hasn’t happened that way.

There are days when I don’t touch my key board, and when I do I want to be writing. So I’m going to go back in time about a year, when I was blogging not every day and only when I had time or something worthwhile to say (but that is debatable :)

I’m hoping this will ease a little of the “you must be superwoman” pressure I put on myself. I need to learn balance, so this is my attempt.

Now I want to know—How to you balance blogging with the rest of your life?


P.S. I’m not going to lie, the whole “beware the pictures” thing has really hit me hard. I miss them L

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


Okay, I know I came back from a break just a few weeks ago, but y’all are going to have to forgive me another one.

WriteOnCon is this week and I just can’t seem to focus on blogging with this going on.

And I’m embarking on a big rewrite that is demanding LOTS of my attention. I need to get this right and I need most of my brain to do it.

I love you all. Keep up the hard work and the good news coming. I’ll see you next week :)


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Won’t You Be My Neighbor—Kyra Lennon

How is everybody this morning? Great I hope. I have a real treat for you. The lovely and talented Kyra Lennon is right in the thick of the blog tour for her book Game On and she consented to let me interview her. Yay for me!
Angie: Kyra, I'm so excited to have you. Are you ready for all my weird questions?

Kyra: It is quite an honor to be interviewed by you, you were one of my first blog idols, LOL! I'm ready for the questions! :D

Angie: Thanks Kyra. I'm totally flattered :)

I think that most people know this, but just in case they don't, you live "across the pond" in Great Britain (which I'm super jealous about by the way :). That leads into my first question...What is one thing that Americans believe about England or the English people that isn't true?

Kyra: Well, you have to come and visit so I can show you the best of the English countryside! :D 

This is a great question! There are many myths about English people, but one of my favourites is that all English people speak with a very crisp accent. There are many accents all over the country. Where I live, people talk like Hagrid from Harry Potter! ;)

Angie: That sounds like tons of fun. I love Hagrid's accent :) When my boys were little I would read Harry Potter to them and I would try to do the accents. I thought I was pretty good until my son said, "Why does Hagrid sound like a cowboy?" Yep I suck at the English accent :) Can you pull off an American one?

Kyra: LOL! The accents are pretty hard to master for English people, it must be even harder with an American accent! And no, I'm not so good with accents. I feel like I can pull off an American one, but when it comes out of my mouth it sounds ... weird. Definitely more practice needed in that area!

Angie: In one of my favorite books there is a character that tries to do an English accent, by adding "cherrio" and "pip pop" after everything she says. I think I'll try that :)

How about a fun personal question. What's something people don't know about you that they should? Pip-pop :)

Kyra: Pip-pop? Really? LOL! Cheerio is a good one, though. A couple of years ago I had a friend from Romania staying with me and he found it hilarious when I said, "Jolly good." :D 

Hmm ...I think people should know that I have quite an addictive personality - in a good way, I think! It started when I was a kid. One of my best friends and I went through phases of movies, games etc. We watched Grease, Grease 2 and Chorusline pretty much on repeat and I still know them word for word! Even now, if I like something, I will immerse myself in it. I don't have time to watch movies over and over now. My obsessions come in the form of foods, music and TV shows these days.

Angie: Grease 2? Really? I'd say "jolly good" but you's Grease 2. I'm just teasing. I know how you feel. I have a bit of an obsessive personality too. But let’s call is passion instead of obsession :) Jolly good!

Kyra: Grease 2 isn't as bad as people say! I actually prefer many of the songs. "I need a cool rider, if he's cool enough, he can burn me through and through!"  Hee hee! But yes, passion is definitely a less scary word than obsession. *nods*

Angie: I'll concede some of music is good :)

I want to ask you about your book Game On. This story is a really fun read. I would laugh as I read it and my kids would ask what the story was about I said, "soccer and kissing". So my question...Are you a "football" fan? How did you know enough about it to write your story?

Kyra: It's so nice to hear that you found it funny! 

Yeah, I do like football a lot. I used to be more of a fan than I am now (it was another of my "passions" :p ), so I used what I already knew, then did some additional research about how things work behind the scenes. I had a blast learning about some of the lavish things some teams have at their training grounds! The things I didn't know were really interesting to me and while I couldn't apply everything I learned to the story, a lot of it will be useful for future books in the series.

Angie: I admire authors that do lots of research for their books. I've yet to do that, but I'm toying with the idea. Cherrio :)

I'll try not to spoil anything, but I have a question about Radleigh :) The bad boy character has been done in so many books. I loved the twist you gave the relationship between Leah and Radleigh. How did you make Radleigh not the typical bad boy?

Kyra: That is the best compliment ever! I'm pleased Radleigh isn't the typical bad boy, because as you said, it has been done many times. I guess I tried to make him real by knowing why he behaves the way he does. Although the reader doesn't know - and won't for a while - for me to have it in my mind while I wrote him made it easier to correctly form his personality. He's pretty complicated, in some ways even more so than Leah, but that just made him all the more interesting to write!

Angie: Again I don't want to give things away, but I loved how this wasn't a Beauty and The Beast story. He wasn't magically changed by love. As a reader I really appreciated his complications. How long did it take you to flush out his character?

Kyra: his might sound weird, but I didn't feel like there was much work to do on him. I was very aware that the "changing for love" concept might sneak in but that's not the story I wanted to tell. I just felt like I knew Radleigh McCoy so forming his personality was quite simple. I had to make small tweaks here and there, but for the most part, he just flowed out of my brain and onto the page the way I intended.

Angie: I have a few characters that have written themselves. I love when that happens :)

Alright its time for the pageant question (do they even have beauty pageants in England?). I've got a good hard one for you but I'm pretty sure you can handle it. Jolly good :) If you could go back in time what is one decision you would change and why?

Kyra: I'm pretty sure there are beauty pageants here but they aren't as big as they are in the U.S! 

I tend not to dwell on decisions I made in the past because they brought me to where I am, and made me who I am, but I guess one thing I wish I hadn't done was choose to quit college. I studied Performing Arts for a year which I absolutely loved, but I was painfully self-conscious. So much so that I convinced myself that I just wasn't good enough. But aside from that, no regrets!

Angie:  I try and learn from my mistakes too, so I can turn regrets into lessons. Performing Arts! That is pretty cool. Now you just get to tell stories through a different medium. Do you find that PA and writing are at all alike?

Kyra: Yes, they are quite similar. I think writing can make you feel quite exposed sometimes, because even though you aren't writing about yourself and your own life, parts of you will always show through. With Performing Arts, singing and dancing can make you feel very exposed because you are really putting yourself out there for other people's judgment. And acting and writing are very similar. In both cases you sort of become someone else for a while.

Angie: Very true :)

I think we have time for one last question. I know this is like picking between children, but...What is your favorite part of Game On?

Kyra: Hee hee, my favorite parts are the ones which are most spoilery! But I do love every interaction Leah has with Jesse Shaw. Their friendship was very natural, and by the end of the story it's really strong. There is a particular scene between Leah and Jesse after a huge reveal that I am very fond of, though. But that's all I can say without giving things away!

Angie: That will have to do then :) Thanks so much for stopping by. I'm so excited for people to read your book. Can you leave us with something awesomely English?

Kyra: Something awesomely English? I was very tempted to link to a photo of David Beckham, but instead, I will leave you with a phrase to translate! 

Cheers for this blinding interview, Angie! If you fancy having a butchers at my new book, it only costs a couple of quid on Amazon! 

How was that? LOL!

Angie: That was brilliant!!! I think I got everything but "butchers" :)

Kyra: LOL, to "have a butchers" means "to have a look". It comes from the Cockney rhyming slang, "butcher's hook." - Cockney rhyming slang is very odd! 

Thank you very much, this was a really fun afternoon! <3

Angie: I love it :) And it was a pleasure.

Game On is such a fun read here is a little more info on Kyra and her new book.

Game On Synopsis
After swapping her small town life to work for one of the top soccer teams in the U.S, Leah Walker thought she could finally leave the ghosts of her past behind. However, when she meets serial womanizer, Radleigh McCoy, the memories of her old life come swarming back, and she is forced to ask herself whether she has really changed at all. 

Buying links:

Monday, August 13, 2012

Lessons in Storytelling—Doing Backstory Right

I’m super bummed the Olympics are over. I think I enjoyed them more than I ever have.

I had a “writerly” thought as I watched. One of my favorite things about the Olympics is the personal stories of the athletes. And I noticed that the media was very smart about how they told these stories. I realized this is the key to doing backstory right.

The first step I noticed is they give us a dramatic situation. What is more dramatic then the Olympics? Not much :) We are immediately hooked into the drama of who will win and who will lose.

Then they give us the backstory. At this point we care because we already want them to win.  And after the backstory we really want them to win.

So easy formula. Make us care about the character first, then give us the backstory! I know this is story tellin 101, but it is still a nice reminder.

Lay it on me…what did you learn from the Olympics?


Friday, August 10, 2012

Friday Funnies—Olympic Thoughts

My kids are finally old enough to get something positive out of the Olympics—like hard work, passion, and dedication. *Sigh* Or so I thought. This is what they got instead:

11 year-old: “Water Polo makes no sense. They should call it water soccer.”
Me (thinking): He’s right

13 year-old: “I want an Olympic tattoo.”
Hubby: “If you win a medal you can get one.”
13 Year-old: “Okay. (pausing to think) You know I never will.”
Hubby: “I know.”

11Year-old: (watching synchronized diving) “Someone should do synchronized mustaches.”
Me: (Holding back my laughter)

7 Year-old: “I wish everyone wore more clothes.”

11 Year-old: “The hulk could beat everyone here!”

13 Year-old: “Why aren’t video games in the Olympics, but riding horses is?”

So, you are welcome world. I will unleash them on you at 18 :) Have a great weekend.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Random Ramblings—Book Contest Winner

You all cracked me up guessing some of my books. You guys were much better than I thought you would be :) But I do have a definitive winner.

Congrats to:

She got an impressive 55 books correct. 
So contact me at my email dangelinacothran(at)gmail(dot)com and I will send you your Amazon gift card.

I have four honorable mentions:
Danielle and Melissa Sarno both guessed 41
And Chantele Sedgwick and CassieCook both got 36

You ladies rock.

I had so many people wonder what the colorful books and the series with faces were, I took a little pic for you. I recommend them all :)


Agatha Christie - Love her!

Wow this is a bad picture, but the books are the Pendragon series. Love it :)

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Crafting Corner—Hardcore

A few months ago author Shannon Hale wrote a post on being a hard core writer (you really should read it). She said the following…

“I've discovered that I can be hardcore as a writer. I write when the words are flowing. I write when they're not. I write when the story delights me and I can't wait to see what happens next. I write when the story is murky and sticky and complicated. I write when I'm energized and feeling great. I write when I'm sick, pregnant, have newborns, am grumpy, sad, confused, angry, and so tired I can barely keep my eyes open. I'm hardcore, baby.

I on the other hand am NOT hardcore :) I’m kind of a wimp. I need quiet and peace to write. I need no distractions and no stress. You can guess how much writing I’ve gotten done in the last few months. NONE.

But I’m jumping back in and trying to finish my second book (Sorry Emily for all the whiny emails). While going through chapters I’ve already written to see what I can use and what needs cut, I found this gem of a paragraph smack in the middle of a chapter.

Oh my gosh I need some words, but my brain is mush and I want to scream. So I’m going to push out some crap so I can make my goal even though it will be completely unusable. So should it even count? I don’t know. I don’t care. I just want to be done writing for the night!

Hardcore? Nope. But it sure made me laugh :) It took me a minute to realize I was saying it and not my characters.

So I need your help. What do you do to push through the times you don’t want to write?


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Won’t You Be My Neighbor—Ilima Todd

Welcome everyone to "Won't you be my neighbor". It’s hot outside. Is it hot where you are? You will never guess who I ran into here in Florida. The delightful IlimaTodd!

Angie: What are you doing kickin' it in the Sunshine State?

Ilima: Beach vacation, baby! We flew from Utah to Atlanta where we met up with my husband's family (he's in the middle of 7 kids) and drove the caravan down to the gulf coast. Sand, beach, sun, pool, Olympics on TV, and playing with cousins from dawn to dusk. It's been wonderful. Are you loving Florida, especially since you're just about unpacked?

Angie: I like it so much more than I thought I would. I love rain and green.  If I could just transplant all of my family and a few mountains I may never leave :)

Before I ask my first question I have a little bit of set up for the people. A while back I won a book on Kelley Lynn's blog and when I gave her my address she said, "Do you know Ilima Todd? She's a writer that lives in American Fork Utah too."  I was totally surprised because I did know Ilima but I had no idea she was a writer. We had both been on the costume committee for American Fork Youth Theater. Ilima can sew a great costume! Seriously the girl has skills. I on the other hand am mostly good at bossing people around :) 

Ilima: Small world, huh? That's too funny that Kelley introduced our "writer selves" to each other. As I recall, you were the costume queen and I was just a lowly peon. I do like to sew though, and along with most other things, I wish I had more time to do it. 

Angie: That leads up to my first question...I have found that writers tend to be pretty creative people. What creative things do you go besides sewing and writing?

Ilima: Back in the day I used to run and do triathlons, play guitar, and tap dance—I was a regular Ginger Rogers. Four kids later, I'm lucky if I have time to get dressed before noon. Seriously though, besides writing, reading, and the occasional sewing project, my time is spent homeschooling or carting my kids around to activities like youth theater. 

Angie: I have no idea how you write and home school. Seriously! Do you have some kind of schedule? Fill me in because I need more structure in my life.

Ilima: After lunch every day, the little ones have a nap while the older ones do school individually, so sometimes I can squeeze in an hour or two of writing then. But mostly I write late at night after the kids (and husband) have gone to bed. I have a hard time focusing with interruptions, so a silent house is a treat. And I am so not a morning person.

To be honest, I am far from supermom. Can you say paper plates, frozen lasagna, and a cleaning lady?

Angie: You have a cleaning lady?!?! I'm so jealous! I'm a late night writer too and not a morning person either. I don't think you can be both :)

Okay how about a fun question? I know you are a fan of the love triangle, if you could put three famous literary characters into a love triangle who would you pick and why? (they must be from different books)

Ilima: Oh, man. That's a hard one. Can one of the characters be me? I'd love to have to choose between two swoon-worthy guys. Haha. 

Okay, I'm gonna pick Katniss from The Hunger Games, Brigan from Fire, and Cricket from Lola and the Boy Next Door

Even though Katniss is kind of a reluctant hero who can be unlikable at times, I just want to give her a big hug and say, "You go, girl!" And she totally deserves something happy in her life. 

Brigan is my favorite fictional male character--a tough, strong, leader yet thoughtful and compassionate too. If I have another child, I'm naming him Brigan. Or her. Either way. :) 

And Cricket because…hello? It's Cricket! And if you haven't read Lola yet, stop what you're doing and read it now. Except read Anna and the French Kiss first. Because hello? St. Clair? 

Do you like how I squeezed in one more guy in there. I swear, I think I might invent the love octagon.

Angie: Those are great choices! I've never read Fire. I guess I need to meet Brigan, but I'm a St. Clair fan all the way!

Next question...This is a fun one. You announced on your blog last week that you have got an agent!!! So exciting! I also read that you had multiple offers of representation. How did you pick who to go with? And what three questions do you think are crucial to ask a prospective agent (when we all get "the offer")?

Ilima: I have two agented CP's and had an inside view to their "getting an agent" experience. The one thing that struck me was how much their agents LOVED their manuscripts. I decided that's what I wanted—someone who was as passionate about my book as I was. And in talking with Jennifer and Katherine of Veritas Literary, it was like chatting with my girlfriends about a book we all loved. They loved my world and characters and caught my vision for the novel. And when Jennifer said she was upset with me because the boys in my book were both so delicious and she wished Nine could've had them both, I may have fist-pumped on my side of the phone.

Hmm, three crucial questions? Off the top of my head: 1) What are your plans for revisions on my book? 2) How do you think it will stand in the marketplace? 3) What are the details of the contract? 

I would also do research online to make sure the agency is legit and has a good reputation

Angie: That is so exciting to think that somewhere out there in the world is an agent that loves your book as much as you do :) And those are great questions. I don't think I would have thought of number 2. In fact I'm not sure I know what it even means *she says sheepishly*. Can you elaborate?

Ilima: I probably just worded it weird. It really means—how well will it sell to a publisher today? This was important to me because my book is sci-fi – dystopian – futuristic – post-apocalyptic, and I know  the market is flooded with these genres right now.  Luckily, my agent thought my story was very original and unique enough to stand out among the rest and doesn’t think she’ll have a problem placing it. So…that question might not be a concern for some.

Angie: No, I think that is a really good question. It is also great to see where they see your book selling.

So speaking of your book REMAKE, this is something I'm really interested to know (and I'm sure other people are too). First off I've heard it is written beautifully, but I have a question about the concept.

On your website it says "In a time when people choose their genders, Nine wants to be remade into a boy hoping it will make her brave." Are you at all worried that people will think the concept of a girl wanting to change her gender to a boy is I just know that people will judge on the idea alone. Am I even making sense?)

Ilima: I know it's an edgy concept, and as I was drafting it I worried readers might put the book down for this very reason. Since then, though, so many have told me I walk the line between too-controversial and just-controversial-enough very well. Without giving too much away, I'll just say I think I handled it well and no longer have any reservations about sharing it. I took some risks with this book, and I think they paid off…you'll just have to read it and find out! :)

Angie: I'm planning to! I think there is no better place to tackle hard topics than in stories. You can give a voice to real issues and empathy for characters we might not normally understand.

Last question. Are you ready for it? Tradition dictates that it must be a pageant question :) So...What are three words that best describe you? And why?

Ilima: World peace. Wait, wrong pageant question. Three words to describe me? Ridiculously good looking.

Okay, seriously:

1) Naked—First off, I think clothes are annoying and wish we could just all be naked all the time. But I'm naked emotionally as well. I'm a terrible actor and I wear my heart out on my sleeve. If I'm upset, you know it. If I'm happy, you know it (clap your hands :). So though at times this can be really annoying and/or embarrassing, you always know where you stand with me. 

2) Mother—I think this word encompasses so many things: patience, love, self-sacrifice, joy. It is my most honored role and one I feel so blessed to have.

3) Avocado—Not only is it my favorite food in the whole world, but it perfectly describes me. Lumpy, smooth, squishable, delicious, solid middle, goes with everything, green, likes warm weather, you can hold it in your hand...maybe it doesn't perfectly describe me, but they are delicious!

So yeah: Naked mother avocado. Sounds about right. Also, it could double as a band name.

Angie: LOL! That is the best answer ever! Can I give you an 11? What am I saying? Of course I can. This is my show!

I love it! Can't say I'm a fan of avocados or being naked but I love the symbolism of your answer. I agree it would be an excellent band name :)

I'll let you get back to your vacation, but thanks so much for taking time to hang out with me. I'm so excited for you! Please let us know when your book sells to publishers!

Ilima: Don't worry, I'm sure I'll be shouting that news from the rooftop. :) Thanks for the fun chat, Angie!

Angie: Anytime :)

If you all haven’t been to Ilima’s blog you really need to go! She is always full of great tips and beautifly written posts.

Happy Tuesday everyone! Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, August 6, 2012


Sorry no post today :) The Olympics sucked all my time this weekend. GO USA!


Friday, August 3, 2012

Friday Funnies—Hehehe :)

I’m a Twilight fan but this still kills me. And if you missed my contest yesterday come check it out. You could win a $25 Amazon gift card. Have a great weekend!


Thursday, August 2, 2012

Random Ramblings—Book Contest

I collect hard back books. Since starting this blog I’ve realized that not everyone loves them like I do. They look so pretty on a shelf and they hold up nice to lots of re-readings, but...

Packing them across the country is a pain! I think I had over 30 boxes of books. I’ve gotten them all unpacked now and they look so beautiful in my new bookshelf.

So in celebration of my move, one year of blogging, and reaching 300 followers (when I wasn’t looking) I wanted to have a little contest.

Here is a picture of one of my book shelves (I have seven bookshelves total, but not this big). Whoever can name the most titles from this book shelf wins a $25 Amazon gift card :) Easy right?

Okay here are a few rules 
  1. Don’t cheat. Lots of you are my friends on Goodreads. Don’t go see what books I own. Just remember they might not be in this book shelf anyway.
  2. That is it. I have no other rules :) 

So leave your list in the comments. I’ll keep the contest open until August 10th. I’m excited to see if you can guess the books from the spines. This should be a little bit hard.

Good luck!

Here is a little different angle...

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