#FicFest Blog Tour!


#FicFest Blog Tour


What is #FicFest?

Are you a writer? Do you have a full, edited manuscript ready for submission? Then #FicFest might be just the contest for you! No doubt you’ve seen other
contests on Twitter where contestants have a chance to get their manuscript pitch out in front of top literary agents. This is one of those — but with one major difference. #FicFest is open to ALL genres! That’s right, every kind is welcome from Paranormal Romance to Erotica, Dystopian to Time Travel. And each manuscript falls into a specific category: Picture Book, Middle Grade, Young Adult, New Adult, & Adult.

So, why are we doing this? There are 15 mentor teams, three to each manuscript category. These teams consist of 1 Head Mentor and 2 Assistants. Once submissions open (April 24, 12AM), each team with choose 3 manuscripts and 1 alternate to go forward into the agent round. This is what sets #FicFest apart from other contests. In others, there’s that one genre (Young Adult (cough, cough) which seems to attract all the mentors; not here. No one category can possibly overwhelm the others:there will be an equal amount of chances for each genre when it comes time to be seen by agents!

45 manuscripts in total will be ushered through to the agent round, will 15 held as alternative in case someone needs to drop out of the running. Nine manuscripts from each category will make their appearance in the agent round. No more, no less. NINE each. 9 Picture Books, 9 Middle Grade, 9 Young Adult, 9 New Adult, and 9 Adult. Ever felt like you didn’t have a chance after submitting because only a handful of editors favored your genre? You’ve now found your balanced fighting ground.

2016 Timeline

March 20 @ 12PM EST

  • Guidelines & Theme Reveal (Host Blog)

March 27 @ 7PM EST

  • Meet the Team Leads & Their Members! (Team Lead Blogs & Host Blog)

April 3 @ 6PM EST

  • Agent List Announced (Host Blog)

April 17 @ 7PM – 10PM EST

  • Q & A with Team Leads & Host (Twitter – Using #FicFest)

April 24 @ 12AM EST – April 25 @ 11:59PM EST


April 26 – May 3

  • Teams will chose their finalists/alternate

May 4 @ 10AM EST

  • Finalists/Alternate Reveal (Team Leads Blogs)

May 5 – June 30

  • Revisions

July 8 @ 12AM EST – July 14 @ 11:59PM EST


As this blog is being posted early in the #FicFest timeline, I will be updating this frequently with info from Tiffany Hoffman, the event host.

To check out Tiffany’s website and blog, click the links below!


RAINING DOWN RULES by BK Rivers – Book Review


Rating: 3 out of 5 stars


Jemma Bowers lives by a set of rules she has compiled for the past three years, a list created through a devastating event when she was seventeen that made her question everything about herself. Now, called back to her childhood home to care for an ailing grandmother, Jemma meets two men who force her to rethink the rules she has guarded herself with for so long – Jordan, bad boy rockstar who threatens to bring her fantasies to life, and Vic, hunky fireman whose charm and wicked dimples seem determined to knock her off her feet. She can only find true love by following her heart and trusting herself.


This book fits the checkmarks I always find in a romance: unexpected arrival of love interest just when the lead isn’t looking, life’s turmoil creating tension, and – of course – intense physical moments. In fact, I think the sexy bits were some of the best written ones! I enjoyed feeling Jemma’s nervousness, doubt, and eventual pleasure if she succumbed to her desires. However, through the piece, it felt like the editor hadn’t really done an efficient sweep into the prose. After the repetitive language, spliced usage of contractions, no punctuation to signify compound sentences, and quite a few of those hang-on words usually deleted in a thorough edit, I was left feeling this novel could’ve shined much brighter had the editor taken just a little more time.


Jemma is a complicated, meticulous character, and for the most part she comes off understandable. Who wouldn’t be playing emotional tug of war when choosing between a rockstar and a fireman? However, I assumed as I read that this was a close first person, but more often than not the character was explaining in detail how she was feeling about certain events instead of allowing me to infer and project these thoughts from her actions. The parts I felt more in tune with Jemma were the sexy scenes, when the majority of explanation came through in her reactions to each man’s touch. Jemma’s rules are a great, telling fact about her, but I didn’t find out the reason behind these rules until around 170 pages into the book! I’m not saying this was badly done but, for me, I couldn’t understand why Jemma acted the way she did for the entire first half of the book.

Vic is by far my favorite character. Despite coming off slightly stalker-ish at the start (running into her three times in one day? No town is that small), he evolved into a caring, dependable, and incredibly likable guy. He really is the type every girl dreams of being with at least once in their life. His affection, patience, even his jealousies fit into the person Rivers was trying to convey, so I count his character a major success.

Jordan…how do I explain Jordan? Yes, the fantasy appeal is there. He’s hot, he’s dangerous, he’s famous (and no doubt has a sexy singing voice). But the temper, the addiction, and the occasional physical violence had me turning off from him damn fast. He became a great character of struggle and survival, but as a potential love interest? I spent most of the book wondering why on earth she would risk hurting Vic for this guy who left bruises on her wrists. This could, obviously, be personal preference, though. Being the one to help a guy reach their potential is a constantly seen relationship.

Gran was PERFECT. Do you hear me, readers? PERFECT. I wish my grammy was as witty and snappy as Jemma’s. Her story is heartbreaking, but that proves she was a character one could easily connect with. From the moment she appeared on the page, she was unforgettable.

Final Rating:

This is a fun, fast read. Maybe a vacation flight, hanging by the pool, or just when you’re in the mood for some innocent, sexy tension. For me, Jemma just became rather unlikable by the end of the book. I could not understand the choices she made and the ruin she risked until finally coming to her senses in the final pages. That, paired with the lackluster editing, left me with – while not unenjoyable – a diminished impact. I would still recommend this to anyone looking for a quick, relaxing read with on point writing in the sexier sections.

AN EMBER IN THE ASHES by Sabaa Tahir – Book Review

Title: AN EMBER IN THE ASHES by Sabaa Tahir

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars



Laia and Elias, the two character views from which the story is told, both have problems with the current Empire. Yet, both are on separate ends of the spectrum – one a Scholar whose people have been forced into subservience, the other a high born Martial whose duty is to obey without question any command the Empire gives. When Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, she has no choice but to enter the Martial world she fears to attempt his rescue, a move which leads her to Elias and the Fate that connects them.


Tahir is a genius at taking a world foreign to the reader and submerging them until it is all they know. Her prose is sophisticated, sharp, engaging, and still leave room to fill in backstory. I loved the fact that, despite hardly knowing the rules for this universe, there were no info dumps of explanation. Little by little, the logistics took shape through the actions or dialogue of Tahir’s characters. The only reason this book is not a 10 out of 10 is because it is a slightly slow start. Though it began with immediate action, I didn’t find myself getting sucked into the storyline until the first few chapters had passed. Once I got there, though, WHAM! I was entangled.


Somehow, this book has found a way to make a character who emanates self-pity evolve and garner understanding and even acceptance from the reader. I usually hate characters who feel sorry for themselves too much, but Laia has a great progression of overcoming her fears and realizing she is much more than she seems. Elias, in comparison, is hard-edged and secretive from the beginning, but is rounded out with so many human emotions – compassion, friendship, yearning – that he is at once someone you can become fixated on.

Even the secondary characters feel unavoidable. Their placements make sense, and each adds to the plot in a significant way. Except for the character of Zak, who is more of a shadow than flesh. I think this was purposeful, as he is his brother’s less evil twin (can I say that?). Yet, we are provided small insights which are never fleshed out and leave the reader with a question mark over their head. His was the only faltering in getting to know, but he still seemed central to situations.

The Mythological Tie-Ins:

I LOVED how Tahir used fantastical creatures – jinn, efrites, ghouls, just to name a few – and weaved them into the storyline so effortlessly. She practices a totally new view on the storybook creatures, and then blew my mind by making them ESSENTIAL to events. It was so skillfully done, I barely saw it coming, but I feel it is one of her greatest successes in the book.

Final Rating:

If you’re not into holding your breath with anxiety until the next in a series is released, this is NOT the book for you. Now that I’ve finished, I can’t believe I have to wait for the story to continue! This is a great blend of action, mythological concepts, and inner morality all disguised as a captivating and enjoyable read. It is long – 446 pages – but you really read it quickly, barely feeling the length. I definitely recommend this novel.


CONVERSION by Katherine Howe – Book Review

Title: CONVERSION by Katherine Howe

Rating: 1 out of 5 stars


The Salem Witch Trials is a term recognized by everyone, but what began the whole event is anything but past news to the citizens of Danvers, Massachusetts – originally named Salem Village until 1752. Jumping back and forth from 1706 to 2012, CONVERSION details how a Mystery Illness spreads through the female students at St. Joan’s Academy, consisting of altered speech, twitching and shaking, or even complete hair loss! Howe blurs the line between legend and fact as the town struggles to determine what is ailing their daughters and how they can overcome it.


I was honestly shocked to find that, from the first two chapters, this was a book I would struggle to finish. I am an advocate of finishing every novel I start, even those I don’t enjoy. CONVERSION is told from two separate storylines that switch every few chapters; the character of Ann Putnam narrates the 1706 chapters in first person, while Colleen Rowley dominates the 2012 chapters in third person. This switch in perspective (mainly the  constant altering from 1st to 3rd person) immediately threw me off. I read the first chapter – Ann in 1706 – and every time after I switched to Colleen, the words just felt strange. I kept wondering what was wrong, when I realized I was still stuck thinking the text should be in first person. The effect is jarring to the rhythm of the novel, and it eventually became so distracting I had to really work to finish the book.

I could have gotten past that. Perspective is all a matter of, well…perspective. However, I am a copyeditor at heart, grammar and spelling to the bone. This novel commits the one act a traditionally published book has no right of. The entire book struck me as being self-edited. In that, things obviously slip through the cracks. Found on nearly every page are constant unnecessary words, primarily “that.” Think I’m just being a snob? I swear I’m not. I am one of those writers who fiercely oversuses this word in my first drafts. But once published? I don’t understand how that gets through. Here’s an example from page 180:

“–but I was still skeptical. Then my suspicions were confirmed when we had an unfortunate incident of some students falling ill during a school assembly. I’ve gotten permission from those families to share that the second wave of students had no direct connection with the first, including their pediatricians. There simply wasn’t enough evidence to suggest that a vaccine could be responsible for the cluster of symptoms that we were seeing. Unfortunately it was very difficult getting the school to acknowledge that there might be another underlying problem.”

Do you see what I mean? “That” occurs four times in this paragraph alone, and the only one you could make an argument for is the first. The writing style of the entire novel is more of the same, and it became something I noticed every time.

If you could live with the recurring, unnecessary words, I have something no reader could miss. At three different occasions, the author uses the word “gantlet.” I have researched this, and it is in fact a variant spelling of “gauntlet,” so Howe is technically not incorrect. Yet, her characters are from Danvers, Massachusetts; this is a novel set in the United States. Every time I saw “gantlet” instead of “gauntlet” I became confused, wondering if I was really reading the meaning correctly.

Finally, my last comment on the writing – though I could go on, but I am TRYING not to be too bitchy; I apologize if I’m failing – was the lack of execution in this book. I have read Howe’s previous work THE PHYSICK BOOK OF DELIVERANCE DANE. Though not my favorite, I found it suspenseful and engaging. CONVERSION, though, is a compilation of repetition and feeble character purpose. Every time Colleen entered the school, she described the gargoyles hovering over the doorway – in specific, minute detail each time. I wanted to smash the gargoyles into stone dust by the third description. One time is plenty to understand this is a convent turned school which verifies certain appearances. Colleen also didn’t seem very logical in her actions, and especially wasn’t relatable, but I will go more into that within the Characters Section.

All in all, I was very surprised that Speak publishing – imprint of Puffin Books – would produce a novel with such careless writing and unlikable characters, plus an ending that gives no answers but appears awkward in its attempts to be clever.


There is a very large group of characters forming the focus of this novel. It consists of a few popular kids, Colleen and her friends who seem to teeter just beneath this popular definition, and one goth/independent outsider. As a group and individuals, each one felt unlikable. Howe’s writing of the teenage speech – keep in mind these are supposed to be seniors at an elite high school trying to get accepted to top ranking schools – is almost comical. The girls come off vapid, self-absorbed, and even bitchy at times. Never did I feel one sounded like a genuine example of sixteen or seventeen year olds today. If you disagree, and you’ve had experience where the majority of people in one place embody this concept, I apologize and feel very sorry for you.

I will only mention the main character Colleen and then her “best friend” (I use that term loosely) Emma. Colleen is competing for valedictorian; she is supposed to be smart and driven. Howe’s character does seem to stress out and need to do things to keep her grades up. But the person Howe initially sets Colleen to be is not played out the more you read. Colleen skips her reading for a class and fails a quiz. When allowed to do extra credit, she actually ends up waiting a decent amount of time before starting, and then never even finishes the report by the final page. there is one scene where Colleen tells her friends she hates high school and is ready for it to be over, listing why she hates it. I felt in tune with her friends when they were shocked by her confession. Yet, this revelation is breezed over and never goes deeper than a one-time flare of drama. She also admits to the reader that her big theory about the cause of the Mystery Illness will make people think she’s insane, yet she runs to four different people – two of which are adults in meaningful positions – and confides all. Colleen felt immature and unrealistic all the way to the last pages.

Emma, Colleen’s oldest and (maybe) best friend, is like a blurry picture. You can see the outlines of things through it, vague and unfocused, but you can never obtain a sharp picture. Emma is distant and shares nothing with her friends or the reader for most of the book. She sits there, a certain expression on her face, while saying nothing. When her big reveal comes, I found myself wondering, “How the hell is this the girl I’ve been reading about?” She is a ghost, and the responsibility Howe places on her towards the end of the novel feels abrupt and underserved.


Yes, anything sporting the words “Salem Witch Trials” will immediately catch my interest. I was very excited for this book and couldn’t wait to start reading. But connecting Howe’s Mystery Illness and the hysteria of past events was difficult at best. This has been labelled a “creepy read,” but I felt no suspense and no excitement as I continued through the plot. Howe tosses theories in every direction, but at the end contradicts the answer she had settled on. She intentionally leaves the end vague, and I understand wanting to do that. Just not for this novel. It simply doesn’t work. I was severely disappointed in her attempts to connect the two events, to give a suspicion of magic trumped by modern science, but then overrule it again with another assertion of possible mystic cause. It felt like going around in circles and coming out empty handed. Even in her Author’s Note, Howe admits trying to show her students a connection to a real life Mystery Illness and the Salem hysteria. None of the students understood. You’d think their confusion would have been a red flag in the writing of this book, but Howe wrote it anyway. Just like her students, I fail to see a completed connection since she juggles back and forth between two.

Final Rating:

The only reason I gave this book 1 out of 5 stars is because I liked to seeing a glimpse into the Salem Trials, primarily Ann Putnam’s role and the horror we feel watching a game turn into real life for the town. It was interesting seeing someone try to tie an event like that to our modern world, even if it is my opinion that she failed in the attempt. I also love the cover of this book. Great tie in to some of her 1706 scenes. The final worthy note to make is the romance between Colleen and the character of Spence. It was refreshing in that it didn’t overwhelm the story and evolved at a believable rate. For characters themselves, plot, and writing ability, the book was really a letdown.

RED QUEEN by Victoria Aveyard – book review


A world divided by blood – the Reds, everyday humans destined to be the serving class of a harsh and dangerous life, and the Silvers, godlike nobility who rule over the Reds without compassion or understanding – finds hope in one Red girl who is more than what she seems. Amidst princely romances, betrayal, and one Red rebellion, a kingdom is forced to take a second look at their existence, and what it could be in the future.


The Writing:

Victoria Aveyard has a wonderful style that leaves you completely ensnared in this world she has created. The writing is strong and leaves very little in question with her vivid imagery. It is a dystopian novel that disguises itself in silk gowns and battle armor.



I thoroughly enjoyed the figures on both sides of the ruling class. Mare, the female protagonist, is strong, empathetic, yet still realistic according to the life she has known. She grows up in a town mired in mud and is forced to abandon her family for a palace and a false identity. With that background, I loved her smart mouth, quick feet aided by past thieving, and stubborn heart. She becomes an ultimate sympathetic character who is torn between duty and emotion. The same goes for Cal and Maven, the two male characters who enjoyed most of the novel’s spotlight, who are both so complex and driven that you are never able to get a firm hold on their true personalities…and that was a good thing!


There were a few characters who didn’t really garner much notice from me, though, mostly because – with such a list of characters to remember – it felt as though the author couldn’t afford to spend much time on their structuring. The characters who stick out to me the most as needing more attention to their storyline are Gisa, Evangeline, and King Tiberias.

  1. Gisa, Mare’s sister, does get a decent bit of page time. She is clearly one of Mare’s driving forces – the successful, talented little sister who is loved by all, yet is ruined through a favor to Mare – and the reason Mare finds herself in the situations we see throughout the novel. But Gisa’s personality shifts (understandably, of course) towards the middle of the book, and at moments it became confusing. There is a teaser that the next book contains more towards grasping the person Gisa becomes.
  2. Evangeline is a typical female villain – angry, dangerous, extremely powerful, and hungry for recognition. In today’s world of creating villain’s with humanistic traits to make them seem full realized, Evangeline fell flat. Don’t get me wrong, she worked for what the novel needed, an adversary on (maybe) level ground with Mare. Still, just as I am with Gisa, I hope to see more from her in the sequel.
  3. King Tiberias is my biggest complication for characterization. Tiberias is the reigning monarch of the Silver world, the one who controls everything we see go on in Red lives, yet he is given very little explanation. Instead, we are mostly told his character through others. For example: details of his former marriage before the now Queen Elara, his feelings towards his son Maven, and his attitude towards the Silvers he rules. This was all vaguely alluded to, but we never even see much from him until the very end, when it’s too late to do much with the information.



This story flowed wonderfully; the pacing felt exactly right, never making me slog through the words or wish I could fast forward events to the important parts. Moves by characters were calculated and reasonable in enhancing the plot, especially where it concerned those living in the palace who played the game of deception to a T in order to survive. I felt full by the end, too, eager to see what comes next but perfectly happy where the story had led and ended. Mare’s development as the book progressed was not only realistic, but inevitable, and Aveyard does a great job making you feel a part of the victories and failures of every plan Mare becomes part of.


The One Con:

My one complaint was the ROMANCES in this book. One makes complete sense, one was a little iffy but then is revealed as pivotal to the plot, and the third was simply eh. You could make arguments for all, I will concede. Yet, nothing in any of Mare’s interactions with these three characters felt like evidence for their love toward her. The first boy we are introduced is an obvious connection – friends since childhood – but the second and third appear more and more confusing as the book continues. Mare is sarcastic, abrasive at times, and only rarely seen as anything that could result in romance. So, I guess personally, I had a hard time believing she could be the object of three boys’ love.


Final Rating:

Upon completion, I fully enjoyed this book and am eager to read the next. This is a world that I assume, though it is never specifically stated, is really a dystopia of today’s world map. Aveyard disguises it enough through “magical” abilities and breathtaking world building that I forgot to imagine it as a futuristic view of today. It was another world, wholly encompassed in its own rules and passions, and I loved immersing myself within it.

When and Why You Shouldn’t Listen to Feedback

Hello, all! I apologize for the recent disappearance. In the last month, I have had a plethora of papers to write and tests to take and CP mss to read. But – as it is the last day of finals – I will share a blog post that has been ruminating in my mind for the last few weeks.

When is the point where you stop listening to certain editing advice and stand up for something you love? Where do you draw the line and say, “This is MINE, and it shall not be lost!”?

This year, at Emerson College, I found that line. Well, at least, I think I did. Critique classes are always a toss-up in whether or not you are surrounded by valuable insight…or the not so valuable. For instance: People who don’t even read the edits you spent hours painstakingly going over on their physical copy? Those who merely listen to the verbal feedback and throw all other papers in the trash? Most likely, those people are the not so valuable.

(Do you hear the bitter, high-pitched keen of that sentence? Good.)

deal with it

So, how can you tell which feedback is great to utilize and which is so tactless it’s not worth the air spent voicing it?

  1. If someone says they simply didn’t like it, with no reasoning to follow up that statement.
  • You don’t like my character? Ok, what about her was off-putting? You…you can’t remember. Oh…you just couldn’t get past the first paragraph because she was so annoying. Uh-huh, so what you’re saying is you read the first page so you’d be ready to at least say SOMETHING in class, and then went on to play World of Warcraft. Gotcha. Well, we will just skip you. Thanks for playing!


2. When they clearly are mixing up your work with another’s because they can’t even focus on the specifics.

  • Critique: “You did some great world-building in here, but I think you have some location issues. Like, there are really no skyscrapers in Nebraska unless you go to a huge city.” Writer: “What do you mean? My story is set in New York.” Critique: “Well, see, that means there’s a problem, because I definitely didn’t picture New York while reading this.” Writer: “I wrote about the view from the Statue of Liberty!”


3. When they say you should do a complete rewrite, because you’re comedic satire should have been more serious to bring out the deep issues.

  • This one is a hard one because, for many stories, there is meaning behind what you’re writing. However, just because someone “thinks it too fun and light” doesn’t mean you should do a severe turnaround and make your lead a homicidal maniac or depressed cubicle worker, just because they said so. You know what is at the heart of your piece, argue for it!

Now, I’m not saying all critique is crap. Listen closely! Quite a lot of feedback is subjective and NECESSARY! You need that push back, that person questioning all of your literary motives, the person realizing your character’s name is spelled differently on pages 2 and 4. But just because one person says something they think is mandatory to help your writing, that doesn’t mean you have to take every single syllable of advice and force it into the story. As writer, we are emotionally attached to what we create, and sometimes you have to step back, hear what they are saying, and decide if it’s really right for you.

Example time: I wrote two short stories for my critique class this year. One I had already submitted to a magazine and gotten great feedback for. The other was a satire I had simply gained the start of through a moment of alcohol-induced genius.

Many people in the class were AGAINST the feedback I’d already received for Story #1. They said my character was too bitchy, too unrealistic, and too mopey. News flash! This was a story based off a true life event where a girl’s brother is lying in a coma, and she is learning how to cope. I did receive some advice that I willingly took to the page. I wasn’t delving deep enough, scared of my own experience. There were others, though, that set my teeth on edge. Certain people kept calling moments I had personally experienced as “totally impossible to actually happen in real life.” Even after explaining how these were, in fact, plausible and reality-based, the same person continued to argue against them. This is the perfect example of someone whose argument is more important that the actual bettering of a story. The piece ended with a line of dialogue as well, a fact one person had a mountain of hate towards. Yet, I held my ground, refusing to cut the dialogue. I had reasons, they attributed to the piece in its entirety, and by the time I brought my final edit back, the person had to admit that it finalized the story in a strong, definitive way.

Standing up for your story is pivotal, but so is acknowledging adverse opinion. You have to make the choice of where to lock the doors and refuse to listen or where to hit that delete button until your fingertip hurts.

Final reminder? Don’t ever listen to that jerk who says it wasn’t likable because it sucked. Critique should be help to move forward, not to slam on the brakes. If someone tries to negate any possible positive addition to your work, it’s time to put in the earplugs and walk away. There are so many out there who will assist you in bettering your work or even just seeing it from a different angle. Don’t waste time on those who would rather just erase the entire thing.

The Infinity Dream Awards

Alright then! The amazing B.K. Rivers, Author has nominated me for the Infinity Dreams Award. I will play my part and then call out some crazy talented writers to follow suit. Here’s what it entails:

  • Thank and follow the blog that nominated you.
  • Tell us eleven facts about yourself.
  • Answer the questions that were set for you to answer.
  • Nominate 11 bloggers and set questions for them. (I probably won’t do 11, let’s be real, so I won’t judge if we fudge the numbers here)

11 Random Facts

  1. The first book I ever wrote was actually a Buffy the Vampire Slayer fanfic. But it wasn’t actually Buffy. It took place after the known Buffy-verse, where another girl had been chosen (though I kept Spike in it, hehe).
  2. I’m the type of nerd who not only knows/remembers how to diagram sentences, but also really enjoys it!
  3. Most people don’t believe me, but I am a completely natural pale-ass blonde.
  4. I am a senior in Emerson College’s Writing/Publishing degree program, and I hate that I never find time to pleasure read because I have so much homework reading.
  5. I met my boyfriend online, and we have currently been dating for one year and two months. Take that relationship statistics!
  6. I have a cat named Keiko. My former roommates call her a demon, but she’s MY demon!
  7. Once I graduate in the spring of 2016, my goal is to find a position as a literary agent or start my own business as a freelance editor.
  8. I love singing as well as writing. I took two years off before college to join a performing group to teach kids overseas through music.
  9. I’m the girl who has way more guy friends than girls. That’s just how my personality goes!
  10. White wine, whiskey, and cider are my faves. Hands down, if I’m drinking with you, one of those three shall be ordered.
  11. Last but not least, I have three tattoos: a feather quill writing a heart made from music notes, Japanese symbols combining “circle of life” and “once in a lifetime” (personal memories from three months I spent in Japan), and a John Green quote.


11 questions from who nominated me

1. Is there a certain snack you like to eat while writing?

Not particularly. Honestly, if I’m hungry, I’ll just go for whatever might be within arm’s reach or whatever looks appetizing at the café I’m in. =]

2. What do you do to get in the mood to write?

Sometimes I’ll reread what I wrote the previous day. I don’t think there’s really a jumpstart to it. If I’m not motivated that day, I’ve just got to force my butt into the seat and start.

3. What is your favorite obscure word? Use it in a short pitch for your WIP.

It’s not really obscure, but I love the word “debacle.” My WIP is about a young girl who learns she is the last remaining descendant from an evil, Celtic Wiccan mythology, and the Tuatha De Danann order are determined to wipe out what they consider her “dark” magical line. The book confronts the debacle that ensues as she tries to decide if the people she cares for are really worth trusting.

4. What is one food you can’t live without?

Chicken! I’m a picky eater, but I can always depend on chicken!

5. Name a celebrity you would love to spend a day with. What would you do?

Anna Kendrick, and I don’t know! We’d probably just go out and get milkshakes and maybe sing a little ’cause we’re that awesome.

6. If you could take a class in anything, what would it be and why?

That’s a tough one. There are so many interesting things out there to learn! Since I’m a writing student, I have a lot of required classes, so I’d love to know more on creating my own website, but a legit one. Like, one that handles selling editing services or book products and networking and such. It’s so hard!

7. What is one book you can read over and over again, and why?

I’ve read The Giver by Lois Lowry at least six times. Not only is it on the shorter side, so it doesn’t take long, I can always come up with new thoughts on characterization or meaning. I also don’t necessarily need to read it with the thought of its sequels. It can stand on its own. I’ve also read Cornelia Funke’s Inkheart many times for her great imagery and descriptions of imagination.

8. What inspired your current WIP?

I was a part of the Pitch Wars competition and saw advice on what a lot of mentors were interested in seeing in manuscripts. Combine with that I’m Irish and have always been fascinated with the legends behind it, I figured I could do a pseudo-retelling mixed with magical realism in modern day.

9. Who is your current book hero, and why?

I have no current book hero, sadly. I seem to love flawed characters best, because they are most human, so I don’t make heroes out of them. Makes for interesting reading sometimes.

10. If you could live in any time period, what would it be and why?

Jane Austen times. I’ve always felt strangely drawn to them, like I was there in a past life.

11. Which would you rather be, a vampire or werewolf, why?

Neither if I’m being truthful. Massive amount of hair and eternal life are not interesting. But if I have to choose, it’ll always be vampire. Wolves have never held any fascination for me. Sorry, doggies!


Emily.K.Bee, Erika Winterlia, Brynn Barineau, Tracy C. Gold, Jessica Bloczynski, Samantha Joyce, & Monica M. Hoffman

My 11 questions to the new nominees:

  1. What are your goals for the remainder of 2015?
  2. If you had to wear one item of clothing for the rest your life, what would it be and why?
  3. Favorite flavor of ice cream?
  4. How many bookcases do you currently own?
  5. Do you have any half-finished manuscripts hidden away in a drawer somewhere? If yes, summarize one.
  6. Do you prefer writing with a pen or pencil (or keyboard!), and why?
  7. Is there a favorite book you go to for inspiration when writing a tough scene? If yes, what is it and why?
  8. Do you insist on solitude for writing, or can you indulge in background noise?
  9. Serial comma: yay or nay?
  10. Favorite season?
  11. The final and most important question from Buddy the Elf: