Friday, December 23, 2011

The Final Countdown (to win my book)

So, wanna win SHIFTING? You have until midnight!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Monday, December 19, 2011

Shifting (my book) Preview

So a lot of you know I've written a book. And maybe some of you don't.
Well, if you're curious about it--my book (SHIFTING)--and want to see if you might like it, follow this link.
You can take a peek at the first two chapters and see what you think! Here's the Amazon link . . . you know . . . just in case. ;D

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Writer On the Side

Mom in the middle. That's me. Writer on the side, but Mom in the middle, where it really counts.
Don't get me wrong. I love writing. LOVE it! In fact, I recently sold two books to my publisher, Walker Books, and I am so excited for the world to read them!
But for me, being a mom is my number one priority. Because when I write a book, I have all the tries I need to get it "just right." But with kids? If I mess up, I can't go back and fix something by tweaking a scene, or changing the ending. With kids, every single day matters.
I had this epiphany a while back. Childhood is fleeting! It goes by so quickly. Time seems to be speeding up on me and before I know it my kids will be grown and I'll be all alone wondering where time went.
Therefore, my kids come before my writing. Always. I don't think I could instill morals and values into my writing if I didn't first live them in my daily life. So in essence, the fact that I have children, these tiny beings whom I love with all my heart and soul, is what gives me the overwhelming emotional power to write stories that touch other people.
So here are a few things that I have learned along the way:
--Always put your kids first because if they are happy and content, so are you. And if you are happy and content, then you can write beautiful stories.
--Put pieces of what you learn from your kids into your writing--they teach unconditional love, after all, and isn't that what makes life worth living? And books worth reading?
--Revel in the fact that you are lucky enough to be blessed with kids, because the people who dearly want children but can't have them wish more than ANYTHING (even more than you wish you were published, or you wish you were on the NY Times bestseller list) that they were in your shoes.
--Be content with what you have. Want what you already own/have accomplished, and you'll find joy in life. Don't look at other people's grass and marvel at how green it looks from where you are. I guarantee you that they will have grubs at one time or another!
I guarantee you that when you're on your deathbed you won't think, Man, I wish I wrote one more book. But you might think, Man, I wish I spent more time with my kids.
So, what have you learned from life?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Mom or Author?

How about both? Of those two things, being a mom is my top priority. That is why, sadly, I haven't blogged since October. Life got tough for a little while. And now it is back to normal (which means only slightly insane). In lieu of that, I decided to do a few blog posts over the next few weeks about how to achieve your goals as a writer while also being the mom (or dad) that your kids deserve. Because they deserve the best. And so do you! (Check out this amazing article, "What We Wish We Knew Then.")
I am the proud mother of four small kids, and they take up a whole lot of my time. All of my time, actually, between the hours of seven a.m. and 8 p.m. So how do I write and yet raise a healthy, balanced family (because even my husband needs some raising)?
It is all about time. You ABSOLUTELY have to manage your time. Make every single moment count and don't waste a single second on useless stuff like . . . watching television. Or playing bejeweled. Or (cringe) Solitaire (guilty). Or, dare I say, Facebook and Twitter.
Here are a few totally random time-saving tips:
1. Learn to chop vegetables like a pro. I am not kidding! Do you know how fast I can make a salad now that I can chop a carrot in less than 30 seconds? A bell pepper in 60 seconds? When I can whip up a healthy meal in minutes, I have time to spare for other things.
2. Be organized! Everything should have a place, and never put something down! Put it away. (Or be like me and follow your kids from room to room picking up their toys--or make them do it.)
3. Make your kids accountable for their own messes--especially their bedrooms. In my house? NO TV until kids are dressed (the older ones do it by themselves), bedrooms are spotless, and beds are made. If they clean up after themselves, that makes a lot less for me to do.
4. Have a set bedtime for your kids and enforce it every single day. As soon as all kids are in bed, focus on writing.
5. Every evening put a load or two of laundry in to wash/dry so that it is ready to fold first thing in the morning. Do this every day!
And then, when the kids are in bed, it just so happens that the house is more-or-less clean, the laundry is folded and (if I'm really on the ball) put away, the husband is happily watching television, and you are free to do whatever you want (which is write novels in my case).
Now, tell me what you do to make writing possible (even if you don't have kids because you're all probably just as busy as me).

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Amazing Marlene Stringer

This past October I had the pleasure of meeting my agent, the incredible Marlene Stringer (in the photo, holding someones adorable baby).
Here's what she's like in person:
She is absolutely bursting with energy.
She wears sassy skinny-leg pants.
She's incredibly sweet.
She knows the book business--both the legal side and the creative side.
She's quite possibly the best agent around.
Here's what she's looking for:
Contemporary & Urban Fantasy
Women’s Fiction
Historical Fiction
Science Fiction
Young Adult/Teen
Middle Grade Fiction
Our agency represents select non-fiction, including parenting, history, music, sports and popular science. If your manuscript falls between categories, or you are not sure of the category, query and we’ll let you know if we’d like to take a look.
She's temporarily closed to queries until the new year, so start polishing them up to send on January 1st. And good luck!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Writer's Block

A lot of people have asked me lately if I have any tips to help beat writer's block. Because, seriously, being trapped in your own writing, with a tiny view of the story ahead, is miserable! Sort of like being all dressed up with nowhere to go. Or being stuck in a fortress with the most amazing forest just around the corner . . . and you can almost see it! So here are a few tips.

First of all, if you're not clear on your vision, how are you going to write it? And I'm NOT talking about the ending of the story. Just the next three, five, ten pages. No more. Because if you can decide where your story needs to go in the next few pages, then you can sit down and write it. Baby steps people!

Another tip that works for me: get your ipod, download music that fits your story, and then go on a nice long walk. Even if it's on the treadmill. If you're like me, the story will start to flow.

Also, maybe you just need a little break to give your story time to grow, ferment, germinate. I thoroughly believe writing is like cheese. The longer it has to sit and ripen, the stronger it becomes.

Spend time every day on the computer. WRITING, mind you, not playing on facebook or bejeweled blitz. Even if all you're writing is blog posts. Or character bios. Just get in the habit.

Lastly, if all else fails, just write the darn story! Force it out, one-thousand words a day. Don't worry about typos, plot, prose, because all of those can be fixed. That's the beauty of writing--you can change anything and everything. It just has to be written first.

Now, if you still need some inspiration, go here and here. Best of writing luck!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Drawing My Way Out of a Paper Bag::By Angela Felstead

Before we get to Angela's post let me give you guys a little info. For those of you who already know her, Angela is married to my cousin. That's right--I, Bethany Wiggins, am Angela Felsted's cousin! She has a book coming out--a book of poetry.

Second, Angela (author of My Poetry Place blog) is an incredible musician. When she told me she would do a guest post on my blog and I could pick the subject, I was thrilled! I asked her about the creativity difference between writing and making music.

Lastly, Angela's book is on sale for pre-order here (go ten rows down). And here is an amazing video she made.

Drawing My Way Out of a Paper Bag
by Angela Felsted

First off, anyone who has read The Little Prince is likely familiar with this picture. It represents the difference between how adults and children see things, because where a grown up may see nothing more than a rumpled hat, the child sees an elephant inside a boa constrictor.

Since I am artistically challenged, I draw my elephants in a different way entirely. Poems are my sketches; music is my paint, and the emotions I convey are determined by my color palette.

In the first year of my marriage, whenever I got angry with my husband, I’d practice on the main floor and tear into the Walton Viola Concerto until music reverberated off the hard wood floor.

“Are you imagining ripping my head off?” hubby would ask, more conscious of the aggression in my playing than I was.

“Of course not,” I’d lie.

His eyes would go wide, and he’d get this frightened look on his face, like he was a little boy and I was his mother about to scold him.

Later, when I was calm, he confided that it scared him when I express my anger through playing the viola. I didn’t have to speak or voice my feelings when I put them into music. The sounds and notes I produced screamed them for me. Though I did not write those notes, I could bend them to my will.

Music was my conduit.

Poetry is different. When I write poetry, I decide which word goes where. I am the master and creature of my universe, even when the words I choose rebel and misbehave, even when I need to rewrite everything at least ten times. Please don’t get me wrong, Poetry is a conduit too. But being the one who patches it together, I’m forced to ask myself if the words I employ are up to task, if I need to tell the reader about my elephant, or if the mention of his tusks and trunk speak louder by themselves.

Sometimes less is more.

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Truth About Editing aka Steeped in Words

I had someone ask me (hi Janae) what the editing to publication process was like for me. Let me just say--being an author isn't so much about writing. It's about editing. Or rewriting. Take your pick. The smallest part of publishing a book (for me at least) is the initial writing of it!

Here's sort of how things went for me.

I wrote a book in six weeks (The Birth Of SHIFTING).

I edited it for six-ish weeks. Maybe more like eight weeks (and then I re-edited/revised/cut/ rewrote/polished it a whole lot more over more than a year).

Jump ahead to the part where I get an agent. No edits. Agent shows it to Walker Books. Walker books wants it but they want more Navajo lore. So I . . .

REWRITE THE BOOK AGAIN (at least the first half)! With Emily Easton's brilliant insight/suggestions.

And after that, I get an editorial letter stating the weak parts of the plot, what needs to be changed, what sounds too contrived, what sounds too cheesy, what sounds too boring, etc. So I . . .

REWRITE MAJOR PORTIONS OF THE BOOK AGAIN. And then I send it back to my publisher.

A few weeks later, I get a hard copy of the manuscript with notes in the margins, gramatical corrections, more notes in the margins, more gramatical corrections, notes in the margins, and I . . .

REWRITE IT AGAIN. But not as much of it this time. I also go through the document and correct improper grammar, fix punctuation, spelling errors--the stuff that was noted in the hard copy. I email the revised doc. back.

(repeat the last two paragraphs twice or so)

A few weeks later, I get an email asking me to clarify a few parts of the plot and please rewrite the epilogue (which I did, and now it is an awesome epilogue where before it was mediocre). And I email it back.

A few weeks later I get another hard copy of the manuscript, a version that has been proofread by a copy editor. I go through the entire manuscript and make sure I agree with all the changes (I do). I UPS it back.

And then I get the manuscript that is printed just like the actual book will be printed, and please read and make sure everything is how I would like it to be (It is). I UPS it back.

And then I get the advanced readers copy. But there's a little problem. The new and final cover has a girl with her hair turning into a snake. There used to be a snake scene in the book, but in all the rewriting and editing, it's been removed. So I write a new scene with a snake (actually replace a fairy scene with a snake scene).

By this time I feel as if I'm so steeped in my manuscript, the words are bleeding out onto my skin.

And then, and then, the book is finally done!

So there you have it. The truth about edits. Writing isn't really writing. It is REwriting.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Happy Birthday SHIFTING!

That's right. My book is released today!!! So to celebrate I'll tell you five interesting but totally random facts about the journey that led me to today.

1. After I wrote this book I was at a neighbor's Christmas party when a guest pulled me aside and told me about his face-to-face run in with a skinwalker. This was a grown man. And he was TERRIFIED! He trembled as he told me about the skinwalker chasing his car. :/

2. My author photo was taken on Friday the 13th. I was six weeks pregnant.

3. Shortly after I completed the first draft of SHIFTING, I moved. All of my NEW neighbors have the same names as the characters in my book--and they aren't typical names! (Danni, Penney, Bonny, Jenkins, Connoly--okay, the name in the book is O'Connell but it's close). My PUBLISHER even has the same name--almost--as my neighbor: Emily Easton (publisher) vs. Emily Eaton. Hmmm. Sort of freaky.

4. I lived in Silver City, New Mexico, where SHIFTING takes place. I never saw any skinwalkers there. Tarantulas, on the other hand . . .

5. The girl on the cover of SHIFTING IS NOT ME AS A TEENAGER! She resembles me slightly. All of my neighbors ask if this was done on purpose. No! The people who made my book cover have never met me! It is a coincidence!

Thanks for all of your support, everyone! I can't believe this day is here.

Oh, and if you want to buy my book, click here.

If you want to order a signed copy of SHIFTING from my local bookstore, call this number: 435-789-4742
And tell me, do you think skinwalkers really exist?

Thursday, September 22, 2011


That's right.

I'm giving away two copies of my book to celebrate its release this coming Tuesday.

So check out the Goodreads widget on the right. --->

See it? Now click and enter.

Good luck!

Hope you

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Contest of Awesome and Moi!

Well, of course I think it is an awesome contest. This blog is giving away my book! And get this . . .

My book, SHIFTING, comes out in SIX DAYS!

Haven't ordered it yet? That's okay. Just go here or here.

And another thing . . . People are liking my book! Check out the reviews on Goodreads. And then go order my book.

You won't be sorry.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Now, This Would Rock (A Very Non-Writerly Contest)

So something you don't know about me is that I used to snowboard. A lot. I could tear it up . . . er, the mountain tore me up.

Anyway, what does this post have to do with writing (besides the fact that I get to brag about a hobby other than writing)?

I found this contest on Facebook. It's a company that makes custom snowboards. Custom snowboards you say? Yes. Custom snowboards.

would it be
to have a snowboard
custom made with


If you "like" their page (one of the requirements) and fill out the teeny tiny entry form, you just might win a custom snowboard.

And . . . You're SO welcome!

(And no that is NOT me in the photo. Unfortunately.)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Best and Worst of Times

If someone would have sat down with me on January 1, 2011 and said, "This is what your year is going to have:

The worst flu of your life (boo).

Chicken Pox (boo).

A beautiful new baby girl (yay).

Your Advanced Readers Copy of SHIFTING (yay).

Your daughter will fracture her skull (boo).

You'll sell your next two books to Walker Books (yay).

You'll throw your back out and be bedridden for nearly two weeks (boo).

You'll receive your first published book in the mail (yay)."

If someone sat down and told me all of that--and the year is only 2/3 over--I don't think I would have believed them. It has definitely been the best of times. And the worst of times. I'm happy to say that the hard things made me grow, made me wiser, made me more grateful for my health and my kids' health. And the hard things made the good things even sweeter.

Anyhow . . . my book comes out on September 27th! If you want to help me out on Goodreads, click here and vote me best book of September.

And here, here and here are a few places you can read interviews and reviews of SHIFTING.

Any may you have the best of times!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Laughing at 2 a.m. Type of Book

So, I'm an adult who loves young adult books. In fact, I love them so much I also write them. My book, SHIFTING, comes out next month guys! I'm freaking out here!!!

Anyhow, on to the Bookanista* book review.

Sixteen-year-old Giovanna Petrizzo finds it hard enough to fit in. Three years since her family moved to Texas, she’s still the newcomer compared to everyone around her. It doesn’t help matters when her twin brother, Dante, takes on the mayor’s son by running for class president. The least she could expect, though, would be for her boyfriend, Jesse, to support their cause. But Jesse’s apparent defection triggers Giovanna’s rash emotional side, and before she knows it, she’s turned Jesse from the boy of her dreams to the exboyfriend she dreams of winning back. ~Amazon

Janette Rallison is one of my all-time favorite YA authors. She's amazing. Her books are hilarious. While I read this book, I was laughing so hard I had to burry my face in my pillow. Did I mention it was two in the morning because her book is good enough to lose sleep over?

The Main Character: Giovanna is far from perfect. In fact everything she attempts to do goes heinously wrong. Which is why I adore her. She reminds me of moi.

The Love Interest: Jesse--sigh--is wonderful. And horrible. He and Giovana break up at the beginning of the book and he is absolutely infuriating throughout, yet utterly lovable. If you want to know what I mean you'll have to read the book because I'm not going to elaborate and spoil all the good stuff. So just check out the book.

*Bookanista: We are a group of writers in various stages of the publishing process who have banded together to recommend/review the special books of our peers.

For more reviews check out:

Veronica Rossi loves Legend
Shana Silver serves up a Maureen Johnson double feature of The Last Little Blue Envelope & The Name of the Star
Scott Tracey is awed by Anna Dressed in Blood
Carrie Harris is in a frenzy over Stupid Fast
Gretchen McNeil is spellbound by Witch Eyes
Carolina Valdez Miller is passionate about Possess
Matt Blackstone blogs From Bedside

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Tears of Joy, Gratitude, and Goodness

I got online today and found a surprise that made tears come to my eyes. GOOD tears. JOY tears. GRATITUDE tears.

Elana Johnson, author of POSSESSION, blogger of awesome, is doing a blog tour for me--out of the kindness of her heart! (sniffle sniffle)

So if you want the chance to read and blog about an advanced copy of my book, SHIFTING, go here and check it out!

Thanks Elana!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

A Tea and Crumpets and Skeletons in the Cupboard Type of Book

CHIME: Since her stepmother's recent death, 17-year-old Briony Larkin knows that if she can keep two secrets--that she is a witch and that she is responsible for the accident that left Rose, her identical twin, mentally compromised--and remember to hate herself always, no other harm will befall her family in their Swampsea parsonage at the beginning of the twentieth century. The arrival of Mr. Clayborne, a city engineer, and his university-dropout son, Eldric, makes Briony's task difficult. Clayborne's plan to drain the swamp has made the Old Ones unhappy, particularly the Boggy Mun, who has plagued the village's children with swamp cough in retaliation. When Rose's lingering illness turns into a cough, Briony knows that she must do whatever it takes, even revealing her secrets, to save her sister. While thwarting the advances of an arsenic-addicted suitor, Briony must also deny her feelings for Eldric, even as he helps her solve the puzzle that has become her life. Exploring the powers of guilt and redemption, Billingsley (The Folk Keeper, 1999) has crafted a dark, chilling yet stunning world. Briony's many mysteries and occasional sardonic wit make her a force to be reckoned with. Exquisite to the final word. (Blurb taken from Amazon)

This book is as exquisitely mysterious (or mysteriously exquisite if you prefer) as its cover. I ate up the words, one by one, like I hadn't eaten in a decade.

What I liked about this book: The writing! Franny Billingsley can take an ordinary situation and write it in a brand new, tea-and-crumpets-and-skeletons-in-the-cupboard sort of way.

What I liked about the main character: Briony always underestimates herself, which made me her biggest cheer-leader. Also, she's full of wit minus the snark, which was refreshing. Don't get me wrong! I love snark. But the voice in this book is so unique, I am STILL thinking about it, a week after reading it.

So, if you want something fresh and dark and abstract to read, READ CHIME!

We are a group of writers in various stages of the publishing process who have banded together to recommend/review the special books of our peers.

Combined, we reach over 10,000 followers. (Crazy right?)

We recommend and review all kinds of children's books, but focus mainly on YA, middle grade and now, picture books. (yes picture books too! Shocker!). As fellow writers, we have decided to only recommend books we absolutely LOVE, therefore, we do not post anything negative!

Yes, that's right! We give nothing but love! There's enough negativity in the world.

We post every Thursday covering a variety various book topics– upcoming ARCs, books we love, diamonds in the rough, classics, and even dish out some cover love from time to time.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


"Desires dictate our priorities, priorities shape our choices, and choices determine our actions. The desires we act on determine our changing, our achieving, and our becoming."

". . . What we insistently desire, over time, is what we will eventually become. . ."

In my desire to become a published writer I have given up a lot of things. Like Television. I own a TV, but it doesn't get any reception--no TV shows at all. And movies? I watch the occasional movie with my husband. (TRON anyone?)

How about sleep? Do you give up sleep? (I am yawning as I type this, waiting for my three-month-old baby to wake up for a late night feeding.) And why is it easier to give up sleep at night instead of waking up really early in the morning???

How about friends? I have friends. We only do stuff during the day because once I have my kids in bed, I am glued to the computer chair.

Sanity? That one comes and goes for me actually.

But you wanna know what I won't give up? Family time. Because I desire more than anything to be the best mom to my kids that I can be. I vowed that if I ever "made it" I would never put my writing ahead of my husband and children. And I don't. I do not write during the day. Period. I would rather give up sleep than give up time spent with my kids.

So what do you give up in your desire to become a writer? And what things will you never give up? (And yes, those second biggest feet in the photo are actually mine!)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A Glimpse Into the Brain of Matt Blackstone

Before we start the interview with the author of A SCARY SCENE IN A SCARY MOVIE, here are just a couple of random things about Matt Blackstone.

He lives in New York. He teaches school. His wife makes quilts. And of course he's a writer.

Anyway, on with the fun . . .

What is A SCARY SCENE IN A SCARY MOVIE about, in 40 words or less?

It’s about a teenager with OCD who can’t tell the difference between his obsessional thinking (which seems as real and frightening as scary scenes in scary movies) and his lonely reality as a high school outcast.


Teachers often say that loud, disruptive students are thorns in their sides but most would admit that the truly dangerous ones—dangerous, at least, to themselves—are the quiet, aloof ones who fly under the radar because they nod politely at their teachers. They play the game well, well enough to get promoted, but they are anything but well.

A SCARY SCENE IN A SCARY MOVIE is the result of seeing a growing number of my students isolate themselves. Rene’s rituals and magical thinking exemplify what it means to be mentally ill, or at least socially inept, in a high school setting that demands academic prowess and social fluency. I wrote this book to offer hope to wild card teenagers (what teen isn’t a wild card these days?) or those who begrudge their parents (sometimes deservedly so), question conformity, and feel so desperate and alone that the only safe place is inside their heads. But what if even that place isn’t safe?

How long did you work on this book?

The first draft was surprisingly quick—about six weeks. I started it on a train ride and couldn’t type fast enough. Then next day, I took it with me on a family vacation to Mexico, where I typed at the beach, at the pool, on local sweaty bumpy buses to and from Chichen Itza, on the plane ride home, and then every morning and night until I finished. I spent two months revising it before I sent it off, mumbling a prayer at the mailbox. Editing was slower than I’d imagined, but I enjoyed every step of the process.

How was your journey to publication? Long, short, how many rejections?

You get close to a manuscript. It’s your blood and sweat and tears and time—all that time!—and if you’re lucky, you’ll finish a few drafts and become even closer. You’ll become friends. Not friends of friends or Facebook friends or John McCain’s “(my) friends,” but friends. Real friends. Friends as tight as family. Homies—yup, you and your manuscript become homies.

You know deep down, really deep down (if you dug long enough to reach China) that your homie is only a Microsoft Word file, a stack of paper filled with words, words that make a book—not even a book, almost a book, but it’s your baby, your friend, your homie and though you don’t have a history of ascribing love and friendship to inanimate objects, you can’t help but feel sad and scared and apologetic when you mail it out because you’re tossing your homie into the wild all by himself and suddenly you understand why in Cast Away Tom Hanks screamed “I’M SORRY WILSON! I’M SORRY! WILSON I’M SORRY!” when the current carried his volleyball away.

You take back all the times you’ve mocked that scene when punting a basketball out of your little brother’s reach—“I’M SORRY SPALDING, I’M SO SORRY”—because now your homie is alone and you’re alone and all you can do is wait. If you emailed your materials, your only option is to click “refresh.” You realize that refresh is a terrible word, a truly terrible word to describe what you’re going through because you feel a lot of things, but none of them are refreshment.

You hate yourself for throwing your characters into the wild. (Refresh.) You hate that they’re all alone and buried in a pile of slush. (Refresh.) You picture them slashed and bloody and shredded into a million little pieces. (Refresh.) You feel bad for James Frey, author of A Million Little Pieces, for getting spanked by Oprah on national television but you envy him now. (Refresh.) You hate the word “refresh” and hate that you’ve been a sucker for it all your life: soda, slurpies, Gatorade, frozen lemonade—all them tasty but none of them nearly as refreshing as a glass of water. (Refresh.)

But all you can do is wait.

This happened to me. All of it. I didn’t call my manuscript “Wilson,” but it was my buddy. My homie. My pride and joy. You All in the Kool-Aid But You Don’t Know the Flavor was a memoir about my Teach for America experience, from the boot camp of summer Institute to the streets of West Baltimore; from political corruption ($50 million was stolen from the city budget) to crumbling schools (my principal at Frederick Douglass High School changed students’ grades to improve our graduation rate)—things got so bad that HBO spent a year in our school filming Hard Times at Douglass High).

So I was invested. But after three months of revision and three rounds of submission all I had to show for it was a note from my agent that said there was nothing more to do.

A year later, right before that family trip to Mexico, I decided to give it another shot.

Four months later I had a two-book deal.

Anything else you want to share about your book?

I’m running a Twitter contest from Monday July 4 to Friday July 8 (to win 1 of 10 signed hardcover copies of A SCARY SCENE IN A SCARY MOVIE) that encourages people to share their quirks and thus lessen the stigma (and fear) that OCD sufferers feel on a daily basis.




Twitter contest--to win 1 of 10 autographed hardcover copies of A SCARY SCENE IN A SCARY MOVIE!!!

So there you have it. A glimpse into the inner workings of Matt Blackstone and his amazing novel.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Writing Fears

You know when that lightning idea strikes and all of a sudden you have this stellar concept for a new book? I know you know this feeling.

Here's my question. Is it only me, or are you guys ridiculously paranoid about sharing new ideas for fear that they'll get stolen?

And what extremes do you go to to keep your manuscripts safe? Me? My fear is that the computer will crash and my story will get lost, so in addition to having Carbonite, I email myself all of my manuscripts.

How about you? What are your writing fears?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

New Extremes

I have heard of all sorts of crazy things writers do in an attempt to finish their manuscripts. Things like:

  • Don't put on makeup, don't brush your hair, and wear a robe all day so that you can't go out of your house (Erm . . . that would me be. Downside is when someone knocks on the door and you answer it).
  • Shave half of your head so that you look too horrible to be seen in public until the hair grows out. Spend housebound time writing.
  • Send your modem to school with your kids (before wireless) so that you can't get online for eight hours a day.
  • Handcuff yourself to your desk and send the key to work with your husband.
What extremes do you go to?

(And that is not me in the photo)

Monday, June 13, 2011

Congratulations Veronica and Elana!

My first congrats goes to Veronica Roth, author of DIVERGENT (and fellow Bookanista). The Bookanistas made a celebration video of creative genius because, well, Veronica's book is AWESOME! And it is #6 on the NYTimes Bestseller list! Wow. So deserved.

To see the aforementioned video of creative genius, follow the link (and this time I am in it).

And a second congrats to Elana Johnson, whose book POSESSION was released last week. I had the pleasure of attending her launch party and can I tell you--it was the biggest launch party I have ever been to! Elana is loved. Her book is loved. Last week was a week packed with awesome.

(The picture of shoes? It rocks. That's why it's on there. Too boring without it.)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Bad Taste In Boys :: A Bookanista Book Review

All right, first of all I must respond to my anonymous commenter who informed me that because I have nothing negative to say about the books I am reviewing, my reviews aren't really reviews. So, just for the record (and I have said this many times before) I ONLY REVIEW BOOKS I LOVE, BOOKS ABOUT WHICH I HAVE NOTHING BUT GOOD TO SAY.

Anonymous also pointed out that I should have learned how to write a proper review, pointing out a book's weaknesses, in school. Well, if they taught how to write a review in high school English, I was asleep that day. And I didn't go to college (okay, I did a little bit of college, but never any English classes). So I only write good things. ;) If you don't like it, don't read it.

And now, on to the review.

Someone's been a very bad zombie.
Kate Grable is horrified to find out that the football coach has given the team steroids. Worse yet, the steriods are having an unexpected effect, turning hot gridiron hunks into mindless flesh-eating zombies. No one is safe--not her cute crush Aaron, not her dorky brother, Jonah . . . not even Kate! She's got to find an antidote--before her entire high school ends up eating each other. So Kate, her best girlfriend, Rocky, and Aaron stage a frantic battle to save their town . . . and stay hormonally human.

This book is awesome! The humor! The characters! The broken off body parts! Carrie Harris does a phenomenal job of making totally disgusting things, like a zombie biting a chunk out of the main character's lip, seem not so disgusting--and she does it with humor. Pure genius. No wonder Carrie Harris is married to a ninja doctor.

This book has romance, horror, science, medicine, a nerdy/hilarious sidekick brother who wears elf ears, humor, dismembered zombies, medicine. And it's teen appropriate. Brilliant job, Carrie!

Bookanista=a group of writers who reviews books. And we only review books we love! Wanna find out what writers read and love? Check out these other blogs:

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Elana Johnson's POSSESSION rocks!

Book review time again, guys, and this is a book I have been so excited to review! And I was lucky enough to read this book a long time ago, before the author had an agent!!! And just so you know, Elana Johnson is one of the most awesome people in real life.



Vi knows the Rule: Girls don’t walk with boys, and they never even think about kissing them. But no one makes Vi want to break the Rules more than Zenn…and since the Thinkers have chosen him as Vi’s future match, how much trouble can one kiss cause? The Thinkers may have brainwashed the rest of the population, but Vi is determined to think for herself.

But the Thinkers are unusually persuasive, and they’re set on convincing Vi to become one of them….starting by brainwashed Zenn. Vi can’t leave Zenn in the Thinkers’ hands, but she’s wary of joining the rebellion, especially since that means teaming up with Jag. Jag is egotistical, charismatic, and dangerous: everything Zenn’s not. Vi can’t quite trust Jag and can’t quite resist him, but she also can’t give up on Zenn.

This is a game of control or be controlled. And Vi has no choice but to play.

What I like about the characters: Their personalities. They are each so individually developed that they feel real. Vi (the MC) is tough--way tough. And she thinks for herself (when she isn't being brainwashed, LOL).

And Jag. Can I just say Totally Swoon-worthy? That sums him up in a nutshell. (Plus he sorta looks like my dear husband ;-D)

What I like about the writing: Voice, voice, voice!!! The voice is what sets this book apart from every other dystopian novel out there. Vi is the narrator and she's hilarious. Hers is a voice you don't forget and you could recognize anywhere.

The other thing: Elana does such a masterful job of weaving mystery and uncertainty into this book that you'll not be able to put it down once you pick it up. She's BRILLIANT!

For some other bookanista reviews made of awesome, check out:

Thursday, May 5, 2011

My Book was Blogged!!!

I know what you're thinking if you read this blog "regularly." Because lately I haven't been blogging that regularly (see this post if you don't know why I haven't been blogging regularly lately).

So, anyway, you're more than likely thinking:

Seriously? Bethany Wiggins put up two posts in one day? Something must be wrong.

Something's right is more like it!

Someone blogged about my book, SHIFTING!!!

Wanna check it out? PLEASE do! And leave this little lady a comment because it would make my day and probably hers. Go HERE (my book is the last on listed)!

Dream Big

Just a little something for you guys to think about.

In the words of Brandon Flowers . . .

. . . our dreams will break the boundaries of our fears . . .

For the whole music video, click here.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

I'm Back! And a Bit About Indecisiveness

Hello fellow bloggers/blog readers! I must apologize for the lack of blogging this month. Me and mine have had a difficult month (for a hint at our hardships, see the chicken). But now that we are all healthy again, it seems like the sun is shining a little brighter, the flowers are blooming, and the weather has turned warm. Then again, it could be that spring arrived while we were quarantined to our house!

Anyhow, on to writing stuff. So, my 2-year-old has a new favorite movie. She's watched it about 500 times this month (not much else to do while your sick!). And we've all memorized the songs.

Can I hear a woo-hoo for Disney's Tangled!!!?

Anyhow, we were watching the extras on the Tangled disc and you know what?

The movie had three different beginnings before they finally decided which one was the best! Sound a little indecisive?

This indecisiveness totally sounds like me! But it is typically my endings that get changed. My point is, nothing you write is set in stone (unless it is being published and by then, it will be perfect). So embrace change--Disney does, after all, and they've been in the story-telling business for a looooooong time! Think of different endings/beginnings and don't be afraid to write more than one! Sometimes the best comes after the story is written.

And just so you know . . . It is GREAT to be back!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

DIVERGENT :: A Bookanista Review (aka Veronica Roth = Genius)

Veronica Roth's DIVERGENT = Wow. That's all I have to say.



This book is proof that you can write an outstanding story, with really tough characters, without using sex or swearing (okay, there are a few minor cuss words). And for a writer to be able to do that, she has to be a pure genius. So I guess Veronica Roth = GENIUS!

Blurb from Amazon:

In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves… or it might destroy her.

And in the words of fellow Bookanista Veronica Roth--via Amazon again (these are precious words so read them twice!)

Q: What advice would you offer to young aspiring writers, who long to live a success story like your own?

Roth: One piece of advice I have is: Want something else more than success. Success is a lovely thing, but your desire to say something, your worth, and your identity shouldn’t rely on it, because it’s not guaranteed and it’s not permanent and it’s not sufficient. So work hard, fall in love with the writing—the characters, the story, the words, the themes—and make sure that you are who you are regardless of your life circumstances. That way, when the good things come, they don’t warp you, and when the bad things hit you, you don’t fall apart.

(By the way, this book comes out May 3!)

For more Bookanista reviews, check out:

Elana Johnson visits Dark and Hollow Places
LiLa Roecker gets silly over Spoiled
Christine Fonseca has a passion for Possession – with giveaway
Shannon Messenger marvels at Moonglass – with giveaway
Jamie Harrington adores Invincible Summer
Shelli Johannes-Wells is in the grip of Possession
Scott Tracey bathes in Blood Magic
Carolina Valdez Miller interviews Invicible Summer author Hannah Moskowitz
Jessi Kirby praises Playing Hurt
Shana Silver presents a Guestanista gushing over Between Here and Forever
Gretchen McNeil parties over The Anti-Prom
Carrie Harris sings out about Shift
Rosemary Clement-Moore applauds Abandon
Sarah Frances Hardy enjoys Me Jane
Matt Blackstone loves Like Mandarin
Corrine Jackson delights in The Duff
Stasia Ward Kehoe discusses Displacement

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Princess of the Midnight Ball :: A Book Review

Is it already Thursday? I swear time is speeding up. SWEAR! Anyhow, Thursday means a book review. And if you want to know what books other writers LOVE, you have to check out the links below! My fellow Bookanistas will only review books that they can gush about.

Last week I read Jessica Day George's Princess of the Midnight Ball.

Rose is one of twelve princesses forced to dance through the night in an underground palace. The key to breaking the spell lies in magic knitting needles, an invisibility cloak, and—of course—true love. Inspired by "The Twelve Dancing Princesses,"this novel is as captivating as it is fresh." -From Amazon

What I liked about this book: Seriously? You really want to know? The knitting! Or, more importantly, Galen, the guy who does the knitting. Have you ever thought of knitting as sexy? Well, IT IS! Read the book and you'll see what I mean.

What I Liked About the Characters: Galen. Yes, the knitter again. He's also a rugged soldier with an awesome work ethic (I must be getting old if I think a guy's work ethic makes him attractive) and cheerful disposition.

I like the princesses, too. They're all named after flowers. And they're all unique.

The Other Thing I Liked: Jessica Day George can really write! She's got a talent for weaving words into mental images. Things feel real in her writing, sincere, and true.

So if you need a captivating, beautiful book that will hold your attention from the beginning to the end, check this one out!

In other news, Check out Jessi Kirby's blog for an awesome giveaway!

As for the funky spacing on the links below, all I can say is: Sometimes I hate you! (All right, hate might be a bit strong, but I think you know what I mean.)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Keturah and Lord Death :: A Book Review

So, it is Bookanista Thursday again, which means my fellow writers and I are reviewing books that we LOVE. (For a list of Bookanista author bios, click here.) That's right. If one of us is reviewing something, it means we Lurrrrrrrrrve it. So today I am thrilled to rave about Martine Leavitt's book Keturah and Lord Death.

The one thing I have to ask, though, is: WHY ISN'T EVERYONE TALKING ABOUT THIS BOOK??? IT IS AMAZING!

Lost and hungry after following a stately hart through the forest, Keturah encounters Lord Death, who is ready to take her. Keturah spins a story that she leaves unfinished and extracts from Lord Death a promise that if she finds her true love in a day, she can go free. But Lord Death is falling in love with her, and as the villagers begin to sense her alliance with this horrifying figure, her life twists and turns on itself. -Exerpt from Amazon

What I liked about this book: Martine Leavitt is an incredible writer! She is a pacing and setting genius. Not once was I bored with her prose, and not once was I bored reading about the small-village setting of this book, or the many memorable characters. Pure Genius!

What I liked about the main character: Keturah is a smart, selfless sixteen-year-old. She outwits death (and more than once), she puts her friends happiness before her own, and she takes the initiative to solve her own problems.

What I liked about death: He is utterly untouchable . . . at first. But even death has his weaknesses. Like falling in love with Keturah. And letting his love for her give up his death-hold on others.

The other thing I liked: The ending! It was a dose of perfection that left me utterly satisfied. I closed this book and went to sleep with a smile on my face. No cliff hangers, no to-be-continued, just perfect satisfaction.

Now, if you want to know what these other writers fell in love with enough to blog about, click on a link below.

Elana Johnson reveals the cover of The Eleventh Plague
LiLa Roecker wonders What Happened to Goodbye
Christine Fonseca wants to be Like Mandarin
Jamie Harrington falls for Falling Under
Shelli Johannes-Wells visits Dark and Hollow Places
Beth Revis discovers Lost and Found
Carolina Valdez Miller is wild about Wither
Megan Miranda swoons for Anna and the French Kiss