Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Navigating The Editing Nexus, Review of LTUE 33, and A Book Signing at Jordan Landing Barnes & Noble!

Hey gang! Hard to believe February is nearly over. I must have traveled on the edge of a black hole for a millisecond too long.

A few things to throw out there: First, I am in the editing zone right now. This can be a dangerous thing. For me, it manifests in memory loss. Things like "forgetting to pay the bills" to "forgetting to watch the Oscars." I will get back to writing new material; hopefully I'll have some cool news to share with you even sooner than that.

LTUE 33: I said I would recap on this event, though I'll be perfectly honest. Not only was it one of the better symposiums I've been too, but it was also the busiest. A majority of the weekend was a blur. On a surprising note, I had three panels on Thursday that all ended up being two-person panels. For one, I stepped in as moderator. It's fun to ask questions that you haven't prepared! But seriously, it was a blast. I had the honor of sharing great panels with much bigger fish in the author universe who were nice enough not to eat me.

And of course, the reveal of J. Scott Savage's steampunk dragon...

Michael Jensen and I getting our steampunk on!

Folks flew in from all over, like Texas! And I had the privilege to again mingle with the aspiring talents of Matt Hayes and Jackson Porter. Watch for these guys. They'll be writing superstars one day.

Lifesavers. Each and every one of you!

And did you know they served Romulan ale? How could I pass up an experience like that? I think I may have ordered one or twelve ...

You know that's right!

My only regret is not taking my camera out more. My resolution for next year is to do that. Maybe I can afford a decent camera then. LTUE was another blast, and you know I'll be there next year!

Jordan Landing Signing: I'm going to the Oquirrh Elementary Literacy Night this Thursday, so we're having a signing at the Jordan Landing Barnes and Noble, Friday at 6:00 pm. Follow the link for the address. This is the last Utah signing we have scheduled for who knows how long, so this is a great chance to catch us together.

That's all I have to report. I'll catch you next week for IWSG!

Does anything strange happen to you while in the editing zone? If you went, how was LTUE for you? See you at the signing?

I'm David, and it's back to the editing room (aka, basement)!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

WOVEN Giveaway Winners, Updated Schedule, A Long Overdue Thank You, and This Is What's Next For Us!

Now that the WOVEN tour is over (does it have to be over?), things will be getting back to normal on this star ship. I'm returning to my weekly posts on Wednesdays, or more if something special pops up. I've had a lot of catching up to do and a plethora of things to take care of that's not related to writing (what else is new?). Still do, but let's cut the chatter and announce our awesome giveaway winners!


Jay Noel
Bish Denham
C. Lee Mckenzie
and Sydney Abott

Congratulations! Your package is already in the mail, so your signed copy, thimble, and swag should arrive sometime next week.

Thank you for participating in the WOVEN blog tour & giveaway!

*     *     *

My schedule has really filled up! I've got something going on every month through September. For those of you who couldn't make it to the launch or the Orem signing, we're signing at the Jordan Landing Barnes & Noble, Friday 27th. See my updated schedule here.

*     *     *

I want to step beck for a second to thank you, for the millionth time, for how wonderful you have been these last few weeks--for sharing WOVEN across the blogosphere and beyond. The reach was so great that I was not able to keep up with everyone. So if for some reason I never visited your blog during the tour, I am truly saddened. There is only so much a full-time employee and a father of three can do.

From the very foundations of my being, you have my thanks. Michael Jensen is highly appreciative of your time and enthusiasm as well. Thanks for making this the best debut two authors could ask for.

*     *     *

So what's next for us? I'm in the middle of two big deadlines for two different submissions. We've been asked a lot if there is a sequel to WOVEN. Yes, we are working on one, and we're turning the first 100 pages in to our agent at the end of the month. Simultaneously, my agent and I are prepping my zombie novel THE UNDEAD ROAD for submission at the end of the month as well. It's already done, just need to do what needs to get done to send it to the right places.

Do you think I said "to" too much in that last sentence?

Moving on ...

*     *     *

I better get back to work. You're wonderful. You're beautiful, and for those of you wanting a recap of LTUE, I'll post that next week.

See you then! :)

How's life been for you these last few weeks? Any news I missed? What are you reading? Have you picked up a copy of WOVEN?

I'm David, and Grodd is coming ...

Friday, February 13, 2015

The WOVEN Blog Tour & Giveaway: Wrapping Up The Blog Tour With A Great Review By Donna K. Weaver!

All good things must come to an end, sadly. Today's last tour stop is hosted by Donna K. Weaver. Check out her review of WOVEN!

This has been an incredible tour, the best debut book launch Michael and I could have hoped for. We've heard that sales are going well, an exclusive paperback is available on the Scholastic school fair fliers, and young readers are already calling for a new adventure in this world we created. It's a good thing we're a good leg into another!

A lucky few got to read a sneak peek of the sequel last night. Their enthusiastic response was priceless. Now we have to finish it.

To one and all who helped make these last few weeks a truly special experience, you have our utmost thanks and gratitude. And this is only the beginning. What a wonderful tapestry we have woven.

If you are going to be in Provo tonight, LTUE is hosting a MASS BOOK SIGNING at the Provo Marriott at 8:00 pm. This will be our last signing for a while, so come with your copy and we'll sign it! 

Giveaway Details:

Sign up for the giveaway in the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win what you see below: a free hardback copy of WOVEN signed by both authors, two cards and a stamped postcard for you to share, and a thimble, one of the many magical items you will soon read about.

This is the last day of the giveaway! Sign up now for a chance to win a free signed copy! Hurry now and sew your seam!

Help Nels and Tyra find the needle that can restore reality! Copies of WOVEN are available at major booksellers and these online sellers:

I'm David, and the winners will be announced on Wednesday!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

The WOVEN Blog Tour & Giveaway: Interview Swap With the Author of The Eighth Day, Dianne Salerni!

Today is a double interview stop, where Dianne Salerni, author of The Eighth Day and its newly released sequel The Inquisitor's mark, and myself ask each other the same questions and take over each others blogs with our answers. Be sure to visit Dianne's blog for my post.

But before you do that, take it away, Dianne! Feel free to click on the covers. They double as portals to where you can find the book:

Fun Fact: Woven and Inquisitor's Mark released on the same day! 

Which character surprised you most during the writing of the book? would be the MC’s best friend, Billy Ramirez. In the first book, Billy is Jax’s geeky friend who doesn’t know anything about Jax’s secret life in the eighth day. Billy suspects something’s going on, but he gets left behind when the action picks up. (Literally. He’s left standing on the street in his LOTR pajamas watching the bad guys kidnap Jax in a hearse.)

In The Inquisitor’s Mark, it's Billy that gets abducted by Jax’s long- lost, nefarious relatives. He’s bait, to entice Jax to meet them. To be honest, I didn’t know hat I was going to do with Billy’s character once his role as bait was fulfilled. But Billy had his own plans! Apparently, you can’t read all those SF/Fantasy books without picking up a few tricks for getting out of locked rooms, garbage chutes, and rescuing damsels in distress.

Explain the significance of your title to the story.

In the eighth day world, families descended from Arthurian times bear a tattoo of their family crest on their wrists. This is their “mark,” which is needed to fully access their magic. Jax is an inquisitor, which means he can compel people to answer his questions.

While writing the first book, I asked my teenage daughter to design Jax’s mark using a scroll, an eye, flames, and a bird of prey. I suggested a falcon, but she used an American bald eagle instead. This was problematic, since Jax’s family came from medieval Wales. I didn’t want to make my daughter mad (anyone with teenage girls will understand), so I wrote into the story that the tattoo artist changed the bird in Jax’s tattoo.

I had no idea at the time that my daughter’s inability to follow directions creativity was going to give me the premise for Book 2. Jax’s altered tattoo is essential to The Inquisitor’s Mark.

Some people like to write first drafts and hate revising. Others are the exact opposite. Where do you fall on this spectrum?

I hate first drafts with a passion!!!! My characters never follow instructions (much like my daughter). I usually have an ending in mind, but only the barest idea of how to get there. Usually, I don’t know what the story is really about until I type The End on the first draft. THEN, I can roll right into revisions.

When you hit a snag in your plot -- something you can't figure out -- how do you get yourself unstuck?

I make lists. Lists of things that could happen. Lists of things that cannot happen because they would derail the plot. I write out the motivation/goal of all my characters and how that would influence their actions. Sometimes, I explain the problem to my husband. He suggests things. While I’m explaining why none of his ideas will work, the solution will often present itself in my explanation!

Do you have any favorite stories that helped inspire yours?

Like Billy Ramirez, I’m influenced by many science fiction and fantasy books. Stories grounded in Arthurian legend played a part, since my book focuses on modern descendants of those people. My idea to have characters swear loyalty to a liege was influenced by Lois McMaster Bujold’s Vorkosigan space opera series. And I play a little bit with time travel in The Inquisitor’s Mark, introducing tunnels that are literally chewed through time by magical vermin. That’s gotta be pure Doctor Who, right?

Do you do any research for your books? What is your process like?
For The Eighth Day, I climbed the Pyramid of the Sun in Mexico as research for writing my climactic scene. I didn’t go anywhere quite as exotic for The Inquisitor’s Mark, but there’s a scene where the heroes are being chased through the Central Park Zoo in NYC. Originally, I had them hide in the polar bear exhibit – basing the scene on photographs I found online. Unfortunately, the real polar bear died around the time I turned the book in, and the future of the exhibit is uncertain. My editors suggested switching to the snow leopard exhibit, but that one is fenced in over the top. So, my family took a train ride into NYC to visit the Central Park Zoo – just so I could figure out how to break into the leopard pen.

What events led to deciding that writing is what you want to do?

When I was a kid, I only ever wanted to be two things – a teacher or an author. I started out as a teacher. After publishing my first book in 2010, I spent 4 years being both a teacher and an author, which was wonderful but exhausting. Sadly, recent changes in education caused me to decide it was time to leave the profession. So, starting last June, I jumped into the business of writing full time. (Eeek.)

Your cover is awesome! Can you say how it ties into your story?

Jax’s estranged relatives live in a luxury apartment building in Manhattan, but when Jax goes there to trade himself for his kidnapped friend, he discovers that the creepy basement of this building is the place where everything’s happening. There are secrets down there – jail cells with prisoners, research labs with trapped magical animals, and experiments with time itself. I don’t know if the basements in NYC buildings really look like the one on my cover, but that is some sinister-looking plumbing!

Giveaway Details:

Sign up for the giveaway in the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win what you see below: a free hardback copy of WOVEN signed by both authors, two cards and a stamped postcard for you to share, and a thimble, one of the many magical items you will soon read about.
This is the last week of the giveaway! It ends February 16th at midnight. Winners will be announced February 18th on this blog. Hurry and sign up now for your chance to win, and best of luck!

Help Nels and Tyra find the needle that can restore reality! Copies of WOVEN are available at major booksellers and these online sellers:

IndieBound   Amazon   Barnes&Noble   Books A MillioniTunes

If you'd like to help us spread the word at any time, feel free to email me and I will send you an info packet. Thank you for stopping by. Check back tomorrow for the next tour stop and other news. 

Doesn't Dianne's books sound exciting? Are first drafts super hard for you? Do you dare tamper with the plumping under New York City?

I'm David, andI sure hope they find Billy...