Wednesday, February 24, 2010

BLOG TOUR February 25th - March 10th, 2010

WELCOME AUTHOR, ANGELA MORRISON

Today, I’d like to welcome author, Angela Morrison to my blog. She’s making the rounds, promoting her new book SING ME TO SLEEP which will be released in March of this year. For those of you who have read my review of SING ME TO SLEEP as well as TAKEN BY STORM, you can imagine what an honor it is for me to help Angela promote her new book.

My review of SING ME TO SLEEP, http://kymmcnabney.blogspot.com/2009/09/sing-me-to-sleep-wins-my-heart_11.html

I’ve asked Angela several questions in regards to writing and the book SING ME TO SLEEP. So, take a few minutes to watch the book trailer of SING ME TO SLEEP before reading the Q&A.






Here they are:

Q: How long did it take you to write, SING ME TO SLEEP?

A: SING ME TO SLEEP was the first project I've written under contract. I got the go ahead on the concept and started writing the first of September, 2008. When you write under contract, things have to be worked out ahead of time. I had a rough three act plot summary that my editor and I and kicked back and forth. And she finally got approval for. I had an idea of the three main characters and where they needed to go. I wrote night and day that whole month. The story just poured out of me.

Rough drafts are usually my nemesis. I squeeze them out one word at a time. I write my first drafts--usually just a scene's dialogue--by hand. When I get stuck, I take a break and type up the rough drafts--adding setting details, actions, emotions. I usually get stuck after one scene--five pages or so. With SING I just didn't get stuck. My husband was traveling most of the month. My son was in school all day and playing video games all evening. I closeted myself in my bedroom in our high rise apartment in Singapore and wrote.

By the end of that month I had a first draft. A miracle. Truly. I didn't write that draft without unseen help. I researched and revised and sent it to my critique friend's and Matt's mom. Matt is the young man I dedicated SING to. With lots of valuable feedback to help me out, I revised one more time and then sent it my editor just before Thanksgiving.

Q: How many rewrites did it take?

A: Not as many as I usually have to do. I was freaking out that it was horrible. My critique pals calmed me down. There were those two revisions before I sent it to my editor. She cried and cried reading it on the bus going home for Thanksgiving. I did one more revision for her and then it went to copy-editing.

Q: What inspired you to write this story?

A: Desperation. I had that contract and Razorbill decided to wait on the sequel for TAKEN BY STORM. My daughter sang with the Junior Amabile Singers when we lived in London, Ontario. As a volunteer mom, I got to watch them a lot and travel with them to competitions. You know us writers--we're always spying on people. I thought the youth choir world would be a cool setting for a novel. Unique, too. But I didn't have a story. When I had to opportunity to go back to this idea, something had happened involving one of my daughter's dearest friend's in Amabile's famous young men's choir that inspired me to pitch this idea to my editor. This was a story that needed to be written. I prayed a lot while I wrote it. I feel ushering this story into the world was a great privilege--a huge blessing. I am so grateful.

Q: What do you believe is the greatest message this book will instill on its readers?

A: Different readers will find different truths and messages that speak to them. That is the reader's responsibility--to take away from the story what they need or want. As an author, my responsibility is to present the characters as honestly and openly as possible. My hope is the reader joins them on their journey. That journey is complex. Each reader will find their own truths as I delve into my own truths to bring them this story.

Q: Did this book take on a life of its own when you started writing, or was it pretty clear what you were going to write before you got started?

A: Even though my editor and I had a basic plot worked out before I got the green light, the story took over--almost from the very first. A plot summary never says how you are going to show something or what scenes are needed along the journey. In fact, sticking to the plot summary in a couple of instances caused problems with the story that my editor asked me to fix when I revised it for her. I was happy because I didn't like those elements. For me, the characters drive the plot. I wake up in the morning with them talking in my head--go to bed with lines from the next scene I need to write on a piece of pink paper by my bedside. I listen for inspiration. A lot. And scribble as fast as I can when it comes.

Q: Are you a planner or a seat-of-the-pants, writer?

A: By nature I'm a seat-of-the-pants writer, but as you can tell from my earlier answers, you kind of have to become somewhat of a planner when you a writing a book under contract or are looking to sell a novel before it's written. It is a lot better to have contracts than work entirely on spec. Morning pages (see Julia Cameron, THE ARTIST WAY) have helped me a lot with that. I record plot ideas and scene fragments--a page or two of dialogue--that filter into my conscious brain as I'm waking up. I save those in a pink box until I have time to work on that project. I've got lots of projects in different stages of development. You always need to have books in the pipeline. The writing process and the publishing process takes so long--that you need to stagger them. When I've been thinking about a novel for YEARS, I have a lot of the plot worked out. Lots of dialogue for possible scenes scribbled. That doesn't mean it won't surprise me when I actually sit down and write it. I always get surprised.

Q: Will there be another book to this story?

A: Nope. I did write an epilogue that got cut. Razorbill suggested I post in on my website after SING comes out. I think I'll do that. Harriet Bushman, the composer who wrote the wonderful music for "Beth's Song," on the trailer, and I are talking about writing a musical stage adaption of SING ME TO SLEEP. So you could see that on the horizon.

Q: What are you working on now?

A: Just this past fall I wrote the sequel to TAKEN BY STORM--UNBROKEN CONNECTION. I love how it turned out. That's one of those books I've been thinking through FOREVER. Still, when I did the research, I got a big surprise. And that led to surprises in the plot. My agent gave it a big thumbs up. Razorbill has it now. I'm hoping they decide to publish it. No news yet.

I have three other projects in the pipeline: CAYMAN SUMMER, the final book in Michael and Leesie stormy saga; MY ONLY LOVE, a heartbreaking historical romance inspired by my Scottish coal mining roots; and MY TIME ASSASSIN, a time-slip adventure that I'm turning on its head. I'm replacing the modern heroine with a Bronte-esque Victorian maiden. Think Jane Eyre meets the Terminator--but my assassin is no robot.


I’d like to thank Angela for allowing me to interview her. I’m excited to see what she comes up with next. If any bloggers have any questions for her, she’ll be stopping by throughout the day to answer them. You can post them right here in the comment section.

NOW ON TO THE CONTEST

It’s easy to enter for a chance to win an autograph copy of SING ME SLEEP. Below are several ways to increase your chances of winning.

Good luck!

1+ Ask Angela a question on today’s blog tour in the comment section (For each comment/question. You can have more then one).
2+ Become a follower on this blog
3+ If you’re already a follower of this blog
4+ Post Sing Me To Sleep's Book Trailer on your blog (I'll need the link).
5+ For each post you reference the contest on my blog (on your twitter, facebook, etc. I'll need the links.)
6+ Become a follower on my other blog, FOR THE LOVE OF BOOKS, MUSIC, AND MOVIES, http://fortheloveofbooksmusicandmovies.blogspot.com/

The contest will run until March 10th, so hurry up and start accumulating your chances to win.

Please post in the comment section what you’ve done, along with the site links.

My review of TAKEN BY STORM, http://kymmcnabney.blogspot.com/2009/08/book-review-taken-by-storm.html

For more of Angela's blog tours, http://web.me.com/angelamorrison/Angela_Morrison/ChatSpot_Blog/Entries/2010/1/13_Sing_Me_to_Sleep_Blog_Tour.html

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

DON'T MISS OUT

Hello Everyone,

Tomorrow is the big day, the day of the blog tour with author Angela Morrison. It will also be the launch of the contest for a chance to win a signed copy of SING ME TO SLEEP.

See you tomorrow and good luck.

Blessings.

Kym

Monday, February 22, 2010

ABC CHALLENGE

Here’s a fun little writing challenge I recently took. This is something I’m sure many writers have done, yet I had not. You need to write a story using the alphabet. The alphabet must be in order, the first letter of each sentence, not using names, and each line being only one sentence.

This is what I came up with.

A WALK DOWN THE ISLE

Although I was nervous, I still proceeded down the isle.

Beyond the first row, Butch was waiting for me, all dressed up in a snazzy suit and tie.

Can this really be happening?

Did I doze off and into a dream?

Everyone loves, Butch Hamilton.

Frankly, I didn’t know what to think of him at first.

Guys like him didn’t like girls like me.

He was tall, and dark and handsome.

I know, the typical hunk, right.

January was the month we met.

Kind as he was, I never thought he would look at me the way I looked at him.

Loveable Butch is what most called him.

My mom even liked him, which is saying a lot because she didn’t like most men I dated.

Not that I dated much.

Oh no, I was never that lucky.

Plenty of times I had wanted too, though.

Question was, would my mom approve?

Right now as I made my way down the isle I had to wonder how I, Casey Richards, got so lucky.

Sounds from behind me had me wanting to turn but I knew I shouldn’t.

The others around me looked back briefly but I still kept my eyes forward.

Under any other circumstances, I would have turned to see what they were seeing.

Veering to the right a bit, I felt a dizziness sweep over me.

What would I do if I passed out, now?

X-rays may be needed if I hit my head, and that would not be a good thing.

Yes, everyone was back on track, there attention was where it should be.

Zip down the rest of the isle, and I’d soon be Mrs. Butch Hamilton.

Friday, February 19, 2010

SING ME TO SLEEP BLOG TOUR UPDATE


Hello Everyone,

I received back the answers to the questions I present to author, Angela Morrison. You don’t want to miss this. Make sure to stop by on February 25th for a blog tour with Angela. You can post questions; she’ll be stopping by periodically to answer them.

Secondly, Angela is offering an autograph copy of SING ME TO SLEEP. Don’t miss out on a chance to win.

Hope to see you on February 25th. Until then, happy reading.

Kym

Monday, February 15, 2010

WHAT I'VE LEARNED ABOUT WRITING - ENTRY #9

When I was first faced with the idea of starting a blog, many things made there way through my mind.

Did I want to put myself out there for all so view?

Did I have anything to say?

Would anyone read it?

And if so, what would they think?

So I took a deep breath and made the decision that life was too short, and to go for it.

What I’ve found from having my own blog:

That I have more to say then I thought I did.

That writing ones thoughts, and feelings, and likes and dislikes, can be very therapeutic. It’s like journaling on a whole other level, if you will.

I’ve also come to the realization, as I have in my ministry as well as in all that I do…Even if one person is touched by what I've written or said or done, and is a better person for it, then it was worth all the effort and time which leads me to a quote I once read.

"You can’t help everybody, but you can help a few. It’s that few that God will hold us accountable for.”
Bob Pierce

Friday, February 12, 2010

DEAR JOHN


DEAR JOHN, wow! This is only the second book I've read by Nicholas Sparks, the first being A WALK TO REMEMBER. And thought A WALK TO REMEMBER was good and one of my favorite movies, it was nothing compared to DEAR JOHN. Then again I imagine it didn't help that I watched A WALK TO REMEMBER several times before I read the book, and that the book was very different, yet the same if that makes sense, then the movie.

After reading DEAR JOHN, I now realize what all the hype is about Nicholace Sparks'. This book was well written and so much more. I was down to the last hundred or so pages when I slipped under my covers around ten PM.

I could not stop! I had to know what happened. When I finally turned the last page, through tears, I read the clock on my headboard. It was two AM.

ROMANCE: Oh yea, it has it. Loved that the POV was John's. What a remarkable character transformation.

GROWTH: That too. John went from a self-centered adolescent to a caring, loving, selfless man.

WARMTH: How could one not feel all warm and fuzzy inside experiencing John's love for Savannah, as well as for his father?

The next morning I felt as though my life had been alter just a bit because of John's story. Honestly, I wanted nothing more than to sit down and start from page one, rereading each and every word. For now, as a writer, I've been inspired and challenged with a jolt. Its novels like these that are at the heart of where I strive to one day be as a writer.

I'm excited to see the movie, DEAR JOHH but will need to let the written words sink in and settle, first. I don't think I can handle the movie just yet. My emotions are still reeling from the written words.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

BLOG TOUR ANNOUNCEMENT

On February 25th, I’ll be hosting a Blog Tour with Angela Morrison, YA author of SING ME TO SLEEP, and TAKEN BY STORM.

What’s a blog tour? I’ll have a list of questions that I’ve given to Angela that she’ll be answering. On top of that you can post questions of your own. She’ll be stopping by throughout the day to answer them.

There will also be a contest the following week for a chance to win an autograph copy of, SING ME TO SLEEP. Believe me, you don’t want to miss out on this. What an wonderful opportunity to get an autograph copy of this amazing book.

If you think the book trailer is great, wait till you read the book!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

NEW BLOG

Come check out my new blog, FOR THE LOVE OF BOOKS, MUSIC, AND MOVIES. I thought since I review so many books on Amazon, I’d start my own review blog. Stop by and become a follower.
http://fortheloveofbooksmusicandmovies.blogspot.com/

Monday, February 1, 2010

INTERVIEW

INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR
ANGELA MORRISON

Coming soon: Interview with Angela Morrison, author of
SING ME TO SLEEP, and TAKEN BY STORM.