Friday, July 13, 2012

My Brief Hiatus

For any of you who haven't heard, my husband and I are moving to China with our boys. My husband has accepted a teaching job at an international school in Suzhou (near Shanghai).

We fly out on August 1st.
Exciting and super scary all in the same heartbeat.

There is so much to do and I know the move is going to be a massive adjustment for our family.

In preparation for this, I am slowly pulling back from my social media commitments. Unfortunately, blogging is the first to go :(

I am actually very sad about this. I am going to miss blogging very much. Thankfully Brenda is keeping the YAlicious blog going, so you can still keep up with our news from there.

So goodbye for now. I WILL be back in September. Looking forward to catching up with everyone again then :)

Sunday, July 8, 2012

One Of My Motivations

Before having children and jumping on the writing train, I was a school teacher. I taught 11 - 13 year olds. Such a great age and so much fun to interact with.

One of my main motivations when I started writing was to produce fiction for those kids who didn't love reading. The amount of times I'd sit with a student trawling through a plethora of books, trying to find something that would spark their imagination. It was all about finding something they were interested in, and that was written in a simple, fast-paced manner.

So - when I decided to really get serious about writing, one of the things I carefully considered was making sure my work was easy to read, fast-paced, filled with a ton of action and dialogue, and because I was one of those girls that hated reading at school, I also wanted to make sure each of my stories had a strong romantic element. I swear, if books like the ones I write and the ones that are readily available today were around when I was a kid... I would have gotten into reading a lot sooner.

This is why I have started writing YA. I have some adult stories that I want to write eventually, but for now YA is where I'll kick around. The beauty with YA is that adults seem to enjoy it just as much as teens do :)

I think books are filled with magic. I think they ignite the brain and teach children things they can't learn anywhere else. I take my hat off to people like J. K. Rowling who have written books that have children scrambling to get to the bookstore. Now, I'm not sure if she specifically wrote those books with her children in mind or whether she just had a really massive story that she had to get onto paper, but I think it's important to consider what motivates us.

Why do you write?
What do you want your books to achieve?

Saturday, July 7, 2012

And The Winners Are...

Wohoo!!! The winners for the Forbidden Territory Blog Tour have been picked by

And the winners of the Prize Packs are...

- Artemis
- Rose
- Marla

And the winner of the Grand Prize is...

- Jen Hutchinson

Congratulations winners!! We will be in touch via e-mail within the next 24 hours.

Thank you so much for everyone who checked out this blog tour. We really hope you enjoy the book when you get your hands on it.

Thank you also to all the amazing bloggers who participated in the tour. You are all officially legends!!

Monday, July 2, 2012

So Many Things To Tell You!!

Well, it's the beginning of July and you know what that means... time for my  monthly progress report.

June flew past so fast, my head is still spinning, but I had a ton of triumphs. A few highlights were...

- I finished my first draft of Betwixt and have had a few critique partners get back to me with really positive comments. Such a thrill :) Today is the day I promised myself I'd get it to my editor, so after this post, I'm doing my final read through then flicking it off to her. Nervous!

- I spoke to the New Zealand School Librarians Association. What an awesome bunch of people. School librarians rock. They are always so enthusiastic and encouraging. They love to get kids reading... and so do I. It's always such a buzz meeting them. Subsequently, I've managed to arrange two school visits in a couple of weeks, plus also sell some more of the trilogy. It was a great chance to promote Forbidden Territory too.

- Another totally spunky thing that happened, was I popped into our local library to ask if I could leave some Forbidden Territory bookmarks on the counter. They were so excited they ended up inviting me to the FUSE launch party, which is a initiative to get teens reading. How cool is that?!? Brenda's coming down to join me and we'll have fun chatting to the kids and promoting our new book...

Which brings me to July!!
Wow - there is SO much to celebrate this month. I will try to be brief as there really is a lot to say :)

- The release of Forbidden Territory!! Wohoo!!! The book can be purchased from Amazon stores or through Smashwords...

- Speaking of which, Smashwords is having a huge July sale. A heap of books are available at discounted prices - some are even free. If you'd like to pick up Forbidden Territory for 25% off, just click the link below and use the coupon code SSW25.

- Another fun thing happening this week is the Forbidden Territory blog tour. You can check out the schedule and enter the giveaway here. There are some pretty fun prize packs to win.

- Brenda and I are also running another giveaway through Goodreads. If you'd like to win a paperback copy, you can enter here. There are two up for grabs :)

- And the last thing I wanted to mention was the INDIEpendence celebrations going on. There are some fantastic indie authors to discover. It's definitely worth taking the time to discover them.
INDIEpendence Day Celebrations.

Thank you so much for all the blog tour participants who have given their time to read and review Forbidden Territory for us. You are all such fantastic people and we have LOVED working with you :)

Whether you're cooped up indoors with rain pouring outside (c'est moi) or lounging on a hot sunny beach somewhere (hopefully you!), I hope you have a wonderful July!!