Tuesday, October 28, 2014

NaNoWriMo Pep Talk from Kami Garica

In October, you were busy plotting your novel, or—if you’re like me—pinning motivational quotes on your Pinterest boards. Now it’s almost November, and the plot that seemed perfect a month ago reminds you of Harry Potter or Star Wars, and those motivational quotes aren’t as motivating as you thought.
It’s the 11th hour, and Doubt is paying you a visit. Giving Doubt a name is helpful. I call my unwelcome friend Ozzy because he sounds suspiciously like Ozzy Osbourne from one of my favorite bands, Black Sabbath. Whatever you call him, Doubt’s endgame is always the same: to keep you from writing. There are so many reasons why you shouldn’t write this book, right? Here are a few of the things Doubt whispers in your ear:
  • You’re too busy. You have a job, or kids, or a spouse, or a pet, or a pint of chocolate ice cream waiting for you. How can you possibly find time to write? So what if Ray Bradbury wrote Fahrenheit 451 on a typewriter during his lunch breaks?
  • Your idea sucks. Now that you’ve read over your idea a few times, it’s clear that your idea is worthless—and there is no way to fix it. Real authors come up with ideas that are completely formed from inception, and they never outline or rework an idea, or call a friend sobbing because they think their plot isn’t salvageable.
  • Your muse is MIA. Everyone knows that when real writers sit down in front of their computers, the words just pour out. Real writers have muses who whisper ideas to them in their dreams and solve their writing problems. There are, of course, a limited number of these muses—and to date, they’ve all been assigned to other writers who are not you.
  • You aren’t qualified to be a writer. You don’t have an MFA in Creative Writing; maybe you don’t even have a degree, which everyone knows is a requirement for successful writers. Harper Lee, Ray Bradbury, Charles Dickens, Jack Kerouac, and William Faulkner are the only exceptions to the rule. Or maybe you have an MFA, but now that it’s time to start writing, you don’t know how you earned that degree in the first place.
Here’s the truth, from me to you:
  • Most writers are “too busy” to write. We have spouses, or children, or dogs, or cats, or gremlins we’re responsible for. Some writers even have another full-time job that (gasp) has nothing to do with writing. Yet, they still write. Instead of finding the time to write, you make the time to write.
  • As far as having a plot that sucks, welcome to the first draft of every idea I’ve ever had. If you don’t believe me, ask one of my writer friends; most of them have endured at least one of my sobbing phone calls, during which I insist that my book is broken beyond repair.
  • And the muse? I have no idea who has one, but if anyone does, I’d like to know so I can stage a kidnapping.
  • While it’s wonderful to have an MFA, you don’t need one to be a writer. At the end of the day, the only thing you need to be a writer is an idea and a pen. Your job is to write the best song, poem, story, or book you can.
Here’s the million-dollar question: how are you going to write this book if you’re afraid to start writing? Give your friend Doubt a name, and then block his calls.
I’m not a fast writer. I type with three fingers, and there’s a video on YouTube to prove it. The way I finish my novels is one word at a time. Don’t focus on 50,000 words or 30 days. Just write one word at a time, and focus on hitting your word-count goal one day at a time.
So start writing your novel. I’m waiting to read it, and I’m rooting for you.
XO Kami

Kami Garcia is the co-author of the Beautiful Creatures series, and the author of Unbreakable and Unmarked.

Release Day: All Broke Down by Cora Carmack

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Yowza! We are extremely excited to bring you the Release Day Launch for Cora Carmack's ALL BROKE DOWN!! ALL BROKE DOWN is a New Adult Contemporary Romance novel being published by HarperCollins, and it is the 2nd book in The Rusk
University Series.




All Broke Down

About ALL BROKE DOWN

In this second book in New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Cora Carmack’s New Adult, Texas-set Rusk University series, which began with All Lined Up, a young woman discovers that you can’t only fight for what you believe in . . . sometimes you have to fight for what you love. 

 Dylan fights for lost causes. Probably because she used to be one. Environmental issues, civil rights, corrupt corporations, and politicians—you name it, she’s probably been involved in a protest. When her latest cause lands her in jail overnight, she meets Silas Moore. He’s in for a different kind of fighting. And though he’s arrogant and infuriating, she can’t help being fascinated with him. Yet another lost cause. 

Football and trouble are the only things that have ever come naturally to Silas. And it’s trouble that lands him in a cell next to do-gooder Dylan. He’s met girls like her before—fixers, he calls them, desperate to heal the damage and make him into their ideal boyfriend. But he doesn’t think he’s broken, and he definitely doesn’t need a girlfriend trying to change him. Until, that is, his anger issues and rash decisions threaten the only thing he really cares about, his spot on the Rusk University football team. Dylan might just be the perfect girl to help. Because Silas Moore needs some fixing after all.



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Excerpt:

I think I get it then. That decision I saw in her eyes back in the kitchen. That’s what this, what I’m about for her, too. I’m just another part of whatever rebellion she started earlier today. About doing what she wants, not what’s expected of her.
“We’re not talking about me, though,” she says. “So you went to meet your friend, and then what happened?”
She keeps her eyes down as she picks up the gauze and begins winding it snugly around the knuckles of one hand, and then the other.
“He said the wrong thing.”
“Which was?”
“Dylan.” Now it’s her that’s pushing too hard. I didn’t want to talk about things with my friends, and I won’t talk about them with her, either, no matter how gorgeous she is.
“I’ll guess. You were mad about what he did, and he wasn’t sorry.”
“This isn’t middle school, Pickle. He didn’t hurt my feelings. He said some shit he had no business saying, and it pissed me off. The end.”
“But you don’t think some of that anger stems from what you feel is a betrayal of your friendship?”
She finishes taping down the last of the gauze, but doesn’t let go of my hand.
“I think you’re analyzing me again. Making things more complicated than they are.”
“And I think you’re just a guy who doesn’t like to admit he has feelings.” She drags out the word, teasing me with some goofy smile on her face. I turn my hand over so I can clutch her wrist. I curlmy other bandaged hand around her waist and pull her closer.
“I feel plenty of things.”
The teasing stops. She swallows.
“I wasn’t talking about that kind of feeling.”
With her standing and me sitting, I’m eye level with her chest. I see the sharp rise and fall as she sucks in a breath. I want her in my lap again, straddling me this time.
“Doesn’t mean we can’t talk about that kind of feeling. Or experiment with it.”
“Is that Stella girl an ex?”
I cough, surprised. My throat twists uncomfortably, and it takes me a couple of solid breaths to get a hold on myself.
“Ah, no. Stella and I have never dated.”
“Have you—”
“Do you ever run out of questions?”
“Not ever.” She turns playful again, and I’m done doing this the careful way. If she wants a rebellion, I’ll be the one to give it to her. I want her against me, and I’m tired of waiting.
I pull her forward, insinuating my knees between hers, and her body naturally follows, settling across my thighs. Her lips part, but she catches herself before she gasps this time. I keep her steady with my hands at her waist and say, “I’ll make you a deal. A question for a kiss.”
Tentatively, she lays her palms against my shoulders. They rest there, her grip light and casual. She ponders my offer for a moment, and it drives me mad that she can do that while our hips are inches away from alignment.
“Okay then. Are you—”
I cut her off. “Not so fast, Dylan Brenner. I’ve already answered one question. We’ve got to settle up first.”
I wrap her braid around my hand like I’ve been waiting to do all night, and I use it to pull her head back just enough that I can crush my mouth against hers.

And don’t forget to grab your copy of ALL LINED UP Today!

All Lined Up

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HeadshotAbout Cora Carmack

 Cora Carmack is a twenty-something writer who likes to write about twenty-something characters. She's done a multitude of things in her life-- boring jobs (like working retail), Fun jobs (like working in a theatre), stressful jobs (like teaching), and dream jobs (like writing).

She enjoys placing her characters in the most awkward situations possible, and then trying to help them get a boyfriend out of it. Awkward people need love, too. Her first book, LOSING IT, was a New York Times and USA Today bestseller.      

Website ** Twitter ** Facebook ** Author Goodreads ** ALL BROKE DOWN Goodreads



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