Friday, August 31, 2012

Do You Ever Read A Book More Then Once?

YA Indie Carnival is having this Friday off because of Labor Day Weekend. I'm currently in China so no Labor Day for me :)

Instead I thought I'd post about the kinds of books I read during my holidays.

When you know you're getting some time off and you can bury your nose in a book, guilt free, what do you go for?
Something by an author you've never read?
Something in a different genre than what you're used to?
Or do you stick with the familiar? A safe guarantee of a good read?

Me? I like to jump back into a story I've read before. It's fun to hang out with favourite characters again. Even though I know what's going to happen, I still enjoy it. I desperately wait to get up to favourite scenes or points of tension. If anything, re-reading books helps me get more out of them. I notice more the second, third, fourth time around.

Now I tend to have very long gaps between re-reading books so more often than not I've forgotten most of the details, bar those few special scenes that are burned into my brain. Even so, at least once a year, I like to read a book I've already enjoyed before.

My best re-reads are: The Mark of the Lion Trilogy by Francine Rivers and The O'Malley Series by Dee Henderson. Ooo - I also love Dee Henderson's series about the marines. That's awesome.
I must have re-read all those books at least three or four times.

So - how about you?
Are you a re-reader? And if you are, what are the books you always go back to?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

So Many Things To Tell You!!

Well, it's time for my monthly progress report. I usually do this at the very beginning of the month, but since I missed August 1st - due to flying to China! - I'm going to do one today :)

As many of you know, August has been a quiet month for me. With shifting the family to China, I thought it was best to pull back from social media and writing commitments. Getting settled in China has had its ups and downs, but we are slowly finding out feet and I've been really pleased to get back into writing much faster than I thought I would.

So - this is where I am at...

- Betwixt is now edited, and formatted, up to an Advanced Readers Copy point. I have four proof readers helping me catch any line edit errors. The book is set in California, so I also have an American friend who is going to be checking that the text doesn't house any kiwisms that I may have missed :)

- Because I am ahead of schedule, I have moved the release date of Betwixt, forward to November 5th. This will give the book time to filter down through all the sale channels and it will be available for purchase everywhere for Christmas.

- I have spent the last couple of weeks rounding up reviewers and have been delighted to find out that some of them have read the book already... not only that, they have absolutely loved it. Needless to say, it has been an encouraging week :)

- A Tale of Many Reviews is also hosting a blog tour for me in December. If you are a book blogger and would like to sign up for it, you can follow this link... Betwixt Blog Tour.

- The cover is good to go and I will be sharing that with you next week. I know some of you have already seen it, but for those of you who haven't yet... excitement!!

- I have also finished the book trailer for Betwixt. I'm not quite sure when to reveal that. At this stage, I'm thinking October, so you'll just have to wait and see. I'm really happy with how it's come out. Hopefully it'll hit the mark and make people want to read the book.

- The last piece of exciting news I'd like to share is that I had a brain explosion about three weeks ago and from it a new trilogy has emerged. It is a YA Fantasy Romance series. I've never come up with anything like it before, but I am so excited that I've decided to shift my other planned books and make 2013 the year of the Elements Trilogy. It'll be a ton of work, but I say... bring it on!

So that's me for August. September will be all about planning this new trilogy and working on marketing stuff for Betwixt.

What are you up to?
I'd love to find out where you are at in your writing/reading/blogging journey :)

Friday, August 24, 2012

YA Indie Carnival - Off To College

YA writers and bloggers unite each week to share their thoughts on what it's like going indie in today's publishing world.

With moving to China, I had to let a few things go. YA Indie Carnival was one of them, but I am VERY pleased to be back on board with this awesome group.

Today's post is all about going to college. So far, I haven't actually written any "off to college" type scenes. I'm sure they will come, but for today I thought I'd talk to you about the actual experience.

In New Zealand, my home country, not many students go off to college. Not like they do in the States. A large portion of them stay at home and make their way to University each day. It's a great way to save money, but man - I so wished for that college experience. I think it's really healthy for kids to go off to college. I know it would have been a little scary and sometimes overwhelming, but I would have loved the adventure of it. A chance to spread my wings and work things out on my own.

Did you go off to college?
Are you at college now?
Was it/is it a good experience?

If you'd like to read some more about the whole college thing, check out the blog links below.
And don't forget to check out the YA Indie Carnival site for all the latest updates.

1.Laura A. H. Elliott2.Bryna Butler, author Midnight Guardian series
3.Heather Self4.T. R. Graves, Author of The Warrior Series
5.Suzy Turner, author of The Raven Saga6.Rachel Coles, author of Into The Ruins, geek mom blog
7.K. C. Blake, author of Vampires Rule and Crushed8.Gwenn Wright, author of Filter
9.Heather M. White, author of The Destiny Saga10.Liz Long | Just another writer on the loose.
11.Ella James12.Maureen Murrish
13.Valerie Sloan14.YA Sci Fi Author's Ramblings
15.A Little Bit of R&R16.Melissa Pearl

Monday, August 20, 2012

This is me... in China!

Hey everyone :)

Well, the brief hiatus is now over. I'm back and it feels SO good to be here.

We arrived in China August 2nd and I have to be honest and admit that it's been a very challenging couple of weeks. With sickness plaguing each family member in turn, we were at the doctors three times in the first week! Then of course there is the massive language barrier and I can tell you that being dropped at the wrong location, in a city you don't know, and having to try and sign language your way out of it, is not a fun experience.

In saying that, Suzhou is a very cool city. I really like it. Living in another culture is a total eye opener. The smells in the supermarket definitely raise the eyebrows and the driving habits are going to be something to get used to. I love all the people - their friendly faces and eager smiles. Everyone thinks little Brody is adorable with his blond hair and they all want to wave at him and say hello.

We bought e-bikes yesterday, they are a bicycle with a battery pack that you plug in each night. I'm really looking forward to scooting around with the family and checking out some of the amazing sculptures and sites in Suzhou. There are so many things to do here. I am sure I will never get bored.

So although I have many challenges ahead of me, I also know that life is meant to be lived and I feel as though I am definitely doing that. Writing is a saving grace. It is so awesome to have that constant in my life and my current project is coming together nicely. I have also been lucky enough to be struck with a total brain explosion in the last week, which will hopefully turn into a fantasy trilogy. I've never tried anything like it before and I'm really excited. My brain takes very long walks into this new world while I'm walking to buy my fruit and veggies or taking Brody to the playground. It's a morning routine I've come to love.

So that's me for now. I'm hoping to start posting regularly again from now on. Fridays will be all about the YA Indie Carnival and then I'll do one other regular post a week. I'm aiming for Mondays/Tuesdays - depending on your time zone :)

I hope everyone else is doing really well.
I'm looking forward to catching up on everyone else's news.

(Photo is the view from our apartment window)