Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Help me name a character!

Naming characters are super fun!  I search name databases, look up origins, meanings, popularity, all in the hopes of coming up with a great name.  Now, it's your turn to give it a try!  I'm hosting a contest to allow YOU to name one of my supporting characters in my latest book, scheduled to be sent to publishers or self published summer 2014!

Here's how it works:

In the comments section of this blog, leave your entry as well as a brief explanation for why you picked it.  All entry's received between now and October 15th will be eligible.  Starting October 16th - October 21st, everyone will have a chance to vote for their favorite.  The winning name will be used in my latest novel.

Details and Regulations:

The name must be MALE.
The name must include a first and last name.  Nicknames are accepted as well.
The book is a historical fiction set in the 1920s.  The supporting character will be of Italian decent, although the name doesn't have to be traditional Italian.  A lot of immigrants either willingly had their names changed to fit into American society, or unknowingly had it changed through confusion at Ellis Island.  For example, the character may have been named Lazzaro Rossi but changed it to Larry Ross.
The character will be 22 years old.
The name can not be one that has popularly appeared in the news, movies or other books.  Please no Al Capone, Johnny Two Fingers, Fat Tony, ect.

Deadline:  October 15th 5pm EST.  After that, I'll compile a list and everyone is welcome to vote either through my blog, facebook account or twitter.  Voting ends October 21st at 5pm EST.  I'll tally the votes and announce a winner within 24 hours!

Thanks so much for participating!  I look forward to seeing what everyone comes up with!

Monday, September 16, 2013

My first writing rejection

I've had many personal rejections in my life - the boy in high school who said I was too chunky to be his girlfriend, the college that said I didn't meet their high level of academic excellence, the arrogant rube job interviewer who went out of his way to make me feel small and stupid for even applying for the position.  I've been told I'm too stupid, too fat, too ect...ect....So when I decided to go into writing - I mean REALLY decided to give it a try - I knew I'd be rejected.  It simply comes with the job.

Prior to my launching my writing career, I started my own home bakery.  I LOVE to bake.  Second to writing, it's my favorite activity and if the state laws were more relaxed in my current home place, I'd still have my bakery.  But back when I was operating, I'd participate in various craft fairs / trade shows in order to get my name out there as a baker.  Specifically, an allergy-friendly baker.

Talk about rejection.  Just as I learned (or relearned) when I published my first book, no one really cares when you do someone cool.  For example, just like I have family members who still haven't bought a copy of book, I had family members who never once bought any of my bakery items.  When I sold at craft fairs, I had people complain that allergy-friendly didn't taste as good as regular, and they refused to even try my treats.  I had my cookies called "dry", my cupcakes critiqued as "not enough flavor" then "too much flavor" and my cakes as "way too expensive".  But I didn't take it personally.  Food, like literature, is subjective and not everyone is going to go gaga over what you're selling. (Although I should say that I did get positive reviews, not only back when I had a bakery but currently with my writing.)

So if you're in a subjective field, you need to have a tough skin.  Yes, words hurt, but take the constructive criticism and throw away the rest. 

I received my first rejection today in regards to an article I hoped to get published.  It was a very professional email rejection, nothing terrible.  I simply started brainstorming other places I could submit my article that may be interested.  Just because they didn't like it doesn't mean it's terrible.  It just means it wasn't for them.

In general, the arts tend to boil down to preference which makes it difficult at times.  Or difficult a lot of the times.  But whenever I start to get discouraged, I think of some of the pop singers out there that are making millions who, in my opinion, can't hold a tune.  I figure if there are enough people in the world to make those singers stars, then surely there's an audience for what I want to accomplish.  At least, I hope.

Friday, September 6, 2013

An Interview with Lily Stover

Meet the lovely Lily Stover, heroine of A Light in the Darkness
Recently, we sat down with Brett Byron, hero of A Light in the Darkness.  Today we post the interview with Lily Stover, the story's beautiful heroine.
Me : Lily, thank you so much for agreeing to speak with me today.

Lily : It's my pleasure, Nicole.  Thanks for coming all the way out to the ranch.  I hope you didn't get lost along the way!

Me : Oh, not at all.  The Byron land is absolutely beautiful!  Did you fall in love with it instantly?

Lily : When I first stepped foot on the ranch, I did find a certain peace that I haven't experienced elsewhere.  It's absolutely beautiful, especially coming from a busier town, you know? Plus, being able to stay here while my brother Scott went through that difficult time turned out to be such an amazing blessing. Everyone here really made me feel at home.

Me : Are you referring to Brett?

Lily : (Laughs) Um, I wouldn't say Brett was leading the welcome wagon, although we did warm up to each other.  Rebecca, Brett's sister, really went out of her way to make me feel comfortable.  She's an amazing young woman and turned into a good friends.

Me : Let's switch gears a little bit and talk about Scott.

Lily : Yes, Scott is my baby brother.  Well, technically my half brother.  My mother married his father when I was a kid.  She thought she was doing me a favor, you know?  Like everything would be better if I had a father, but as you know things didn't work out like that.

Me : Yes, I'm aware of your past.  I can't imagine...

Lily : It's ok.  I mean, it's not, not really, but through faith I've been able to deal with that chapter of life.  And I think, well, at least I hope, I did the best for Scott that I could.  I know now that no matter what God's in charge, not me.  I've been reminded of that over and over, especially in the past year after what happened to Scott on the ranch.  No matter what, God's in charge.

Me : That's a great lesson, not only for you but for the readers as well.  Is there anything else you'd like to tell the readers?  Anything you want them to know about you?

Lily : Just that I hope they enjoy our story!

Me : Thank you so much Lily for joining me.

Lily : Thanks for having me!