Monthly Archives: May 2007

"Headliner: Man Burns Books in Protest"

From Yahoo news:

“Tom Wayne has amassed thousands of books in a warehouse during the 10 years he has run his used book store…

But when he wanted to thin out the collection, he found he couldn’t even give away books to libraries or thrift shops; they said they were full.

So on Sunday, Wayne began burning his books in protest of what he sees as society’s diminishing support for the printed word….

‘I think, given the fact it is a protest of people not reading books, it’s the best way to do it,’ Bechtel said. ‘(Wayne has) made the point that not reading a book is as good as burning it.'”

Upset people aren’t buying books that you’ve collected over ten years? Fine, protest.

But do you have to burn them?

Actually, he’s taking the time to stop in between burnings to apparently sell the books at a bargain…

“Dozens of other people took advantage of the book-burning, searching through the books waiting to go into the flames for last-minute bargains.”

Hah. No, I would not intentionally burn books in an act protest. I couldn’t do it.

"Three-day Weekend"

I had a good weekend. I hope you guys enjoyed yours too!

Saturday: I went to see Pirates of the Carribbean: At World’s End. Okay, I have a big soft spot for lost treasure adventure movies. Love the Indiana Jones films. Love the Mummy films. Love The Romancing the Stone films. And I love the Pirates of the Carribbean films too!

It was awesome to watch the characters again. The special effects were fantastic and there was always action, action, action. Yes, it was nearly 3 hours long and others might have thought the story was going in different directions, but I didn’t care. It served its purpose and it entertained the heck at of me. I have to say the ending for Pirates 2 irked me, and so did 3! argh. Still loved it, though. :)

Spoiler Alert in the comments!!

Sunday: It was my mom’s birthday. I had the day all planned. Clean the house. Check. Bake birthday cake. Ummm. Cook dinner. Check. This is what happened. I had the cake mix in the cake bowl. I had the cake tins greased. And I had my casserole dish for the lasagna all set out on the counter. As I was reaching for the glass measuring cup in my spice cupboard above everything I had set out, the glass soy sauce bottle fell straight smack in the middle of my glass casserole dish–which suddenly burst into hundreds of shards of glass. I couldn’t believe it. Glass everywhere. On the counter, on the stove, on the floor, in the cake mix, and stuck to the cake tins. The cake was lost and nearly the lasagna. The soy sauce bottle good as new. So I had to rush to the store to buy an already made cake and a foil tin for the lasagna. What a day.

kelly redMonday: Remember the fuschia episode with the hair last year? I decided to go red this time. And it’s actually kind of tough taking a pic of yourself while in focus. haha.

What did you guys do?

"Face To Face"

My Friday post is at Teen Fiction Cafe. I’m sharing a list of my School Experiences. heh-heh. Very innocent, I swear! ;)

This past week I’ve had a few people come up to me and tell me, “I read your book”.

Okay. So when an actual person, non-writer, tells you this in the flesh, this sort of goose bumpy, uneasy, little feeling rushes straight across your body.

You have to shift from regular daily life to writer mode and this thought goes through your brain, This person read my words, my story. yikes.

You plaster a smile on your face and say, “Oh thank you!” Because come on, whether they liked it or not, they bought your book so that’s totally cool.

And then you listen as they go on about your book…

First off, it’s awesome when someone totally gets GG and enjoyed the story. Yay! I’ve been gratefully for all the cool people who have went out their way to let me know how much they have liked it. I actually didn’t think it would connect with so many adult readers, and I am just so happy about that.

What is kind of a surreal is when readers are sort of “iffy” about it. Like they are thinking of the words to describe your book and trying to tell you they may have liked it, may not of… Sometimes readers who are not accustomed to YA or commercial fiction won’t connect. And that’s okay. GG is not going to connect with everyone. And writers got to have that tough skin when some people are compelled to say how much they disliked a book. *gulp* haha.

But one thing I keep hearing was that the readers think Graffiti Girl is pretty realistic, and that is one compliment I can hold on to. I am proud to have a layer of realism to my storytelling.

One reader told me that she felt so bad for the kids I wrote about. In a way this is good, because I want people to feel for my characters, right? The thing is I probably held back a little with Graffiti Girl. Sadly, we live in a world where bad things happen to people. Too many times to our youth. I’m not going to ignore that.

I realize everyone grows up differently because of social classes, cultures, and where they lived. So through a reader’s eyes, GG might be really edgy, and to another it might be pretty light. One of the reasons I started writing Romantic Suspense was because I tend to put my characters through really bad stuff, and then have them prevail in the end. Beat the odds, you know?

And even though I held back, that didn’t stop me from writing the same type of “beat the odds” story with GG. :)

My pal Jana DeLeon asked me to write a guest blog about my road to publication, so I did. It’s on her blog and she’s so kind to be giving away a copy of GG! Please stop by!

"Interview"

I’ve been interviewing authors for about two years now, and I mentioned it’s a lot different on the other side of the questions. I try to be myself. I try to make it interesting, and sometimes I just try to answer the questions the best I can. haha.

Like with my writing, the only way I’m going to build up my interview skills is through experience. So I’m thankful to Bethany K. Warner for interviewing me for her Author Answers column. Bethany is a reporter in Wisconsin and I really enjoy reading her interviews.

Check out my Q&A if you have a couple of minutes, and stay and read the other awesome authors she’s chatted with. :)

"Industry Blogging"

Miss Snark has retired. Was it that long ago when everybody was trying to solve the mysterious agent behind the Snark?

When Anna Genoese left Tor, she stopped blogging about the industry.

Nadia Cornier seems to have stopped sharing her wisdom.

Agent 007 has disappeared.

But it’s not just a few industrial blogs that have decided to stop, author blogs are not as updated as much as they used to be. I’ve felt the pressure to blog, especially if I’ve already blogged about a writing topic. It’s difficult to come up with something fresh.

Thankfully we still have some great industry blogs keeping us informed.

Pubrants
Galleycat
Buzz, Balls & Hype
A Newbie Guide’s To Publishing

"First Book Signing"

The book signing went great!

Yes, I was really nervous. On the drive to Borders, I was thinking, what have I gotten myself into? I’m not the best at being the center of attention.

A table was set with books spread out, and the manager told me I could set the table up as I wanted since I brought some promo items. Sorry, the pics are pretty basic, and you can click on the pic for a larger view. :)

In case anyone is wondering my shirt says, “I got skills”.
It’s a graffiti shirt with paint dripping off the lettering. :)

Borders#2

Borders#3

I went non-stop from 2:00 – 3:30 and then I got a lag and I was glad I decided to stay until 4:00. :) The truth is I knew mostly everyone who bought my book who were friends and family–love ya guys!! haha. I probably wouldn’t have done so well in a town I didn’t know anybody. I sold out my books, and luckily brought my own box of author copies to swap the store because I still needed a few more copies.

Borders#4

Borders#5


I heard somewhere to bring your own extra copies just in case. I did, and I ended up selling about ten more. What the Borders Event Director told me was that the publisher estimates how many to send to the store for the signing, so there were about 50-60 copies sent the prior week. I’d sold some during the week, and then the rest at the signing. So that was really cool. This is the display they had for me in the children’s section for the past week, with one in front of the store too.

borders display #1

I was even brought flowers from some really cool friends–see the flowers in the vase?–and I had friends from my Monterey Bay Chapter come by too!

Borders#6

It was a great first experience, and I even got asked where to find some books and the lady huffed past me when I couldn’t tell her where! :)

"We’ll See…"

Today I was going to babel about the book signing this weekend, but there are pressing matters, such as the notification that my publisher is altering their boilerplate contract in a way that is not in an author’s best interest.

The Author Guild’s announcement flew through cyberspace. I read it on myspace bulletins, blogs, and forums. It traveled like lightening.

Simon & Schuster has changed its standard contract language in an attempt to retain exclusive control of books even after they have gone out of print. Until now, Simon & Schuster, like all other major trade publishers, has followed the traditional practice in which rights to a work revert to the author if the book falls out of print or if its sales are low.

The publisher is signaling that it will no longer include minimum sales requirements for a work to be considered in print. Simon & Schuster is apparently seeking nothing less than an exclusive grant of rights in perpetuity. Effectively, the publisher would co-own your copyright.
The new contract would allow Simon & Schuster to consider a book in print, and under its exclusive control, so long as it’s available in any form, including through its own in-house database — even if no copies are available to be ordered by traditional bookstores.
Other major trade publishers are not seeking a similar perpetual grant of rights.

And then I got a phone call from my agent telling me she was looking into the matter since I have a new contract coming.

So I will hope for the best until I get the details.

Have a good weekend. I’ll let you know how the signing goes. :)

GCC: 3Qs with Joshilyn Jackson
GCC: 3Qs with Lara M. Zeises
GCC: Musical Theater Interview with E. Lockhart
GCC: Interview with Julie Kenner

"status"

It’s been crazy at the Parra iMac. haha.

Day one of the release of GG was hours, and I mean, hours at the computer. There were postings and announcements to be made, contests to be blabbed, wonderful congrats to thank. And blog tour interviews. I’m not complaining by no means, just a little tired.

Yesterday was a little calmer and I scratched a few more things off my to do list. Friday I’ll probably be nervous about, you know—

MY FIRST BOOK SIGNING.

*GULP*

I have mailed out flyers to family and friends. Sent e-mail reminders. So at least I know I’ll get a handful of visitors. :) I did manage to slip in the book signing within a couple of newspaper calendar events. The writer who contacted me about a review and piece is swamped but will get to me as soon as he can. I’m grateful to him since he will be reviewing my book for two large newspapers and doing the profile piece.

I’m also being asked casually to do speaking events at schools and book clubs. I’m nodding with a smile, until something is actually set up. I’m happy to talk to kids, it’s those speaking skills and nerves I must brush up on.

And that’s the status at the Parra iMac…

Winner of the GG giveaway for my blogging friends is Hulles! Hey there, Hulles, e-mail me your mailing address, please!

GCC: Interview with Sara Rosett
Blog interview with Reviewer Melissa

GCC: Also, it’s not an interview but author Joni Rodgers put together a really nice post for my tour on her blog! Thank you, Joni!
GCC: Interview with author Paula Chase
GCC: Interview with author Elizabeth Lenhard