Read All About It!

Reading Song of the Day: “My Number” by Tegan and Sara

This past weekend, Quita and I attended the CNU Writers’ Conference and saw some very cool people speak, such as author Katherine Paterson (Bridge to Terabithia), and agents Michelle Wolfson (Wolfson Literary) and Mitchell Waters (Curtis Brown, Ltd).

While there, we heard two very interesting statistics:

1. 70% of readers only read about 30% of books (meaning they stop a third of a way into reading a book), and

2. In a bookstore, you have about 3 seconds to catch a reader’s attention.

I have to admit, I’ve stopped reading a few books that I was forced to read–and by forced, I mean books that were required for school (sorry Great Expectations). But now, if I buy a book, I don’t care how annoyed I am with a story–I’m now financially invested! Plus, as a writer myself, I know how much sweat and tears go into those pages–I would be riddled with guilt!

But what do these stats tell you? Well, that we as a society have lesser attention spans. With all the new technology updates, we’re used to being rewarded fast. For a book to be successful, you have to draw the readers in quicker and make them care about the characters (which is why we discussed the importance of first lines here).

I got into a great mini-Twitter discussion when I posted the first stat, but we would love to hear all of your thoughts on both of these. Do you stop reading books? If so, why? Also, what draws you attention when you’re strolling in a bookstore?

Psst…don’t forget to swing by here and ask us questions. We’ll answer them on Monday! 🙂

WIAWAB Acknowledgements Blogfest!

Writing Song of the Day: “Thank You” by Jay Z

Okay, so our sister from another mister, Blue Lipstick Samurai, is throwing a WIAWAB Acknowledgements Blogfest–or “When I Actually Write A Book, You Will Be Acknowledged.” Here are the rules:

Write an acknowledgement blurb for 12 people, with 12 reasons. But not just ANY twelve people:
•3 people you know IRL.
•3 people you know online.
•1 person who has died.
•1 person you never met.
•1 person you met once.
•1 couple (so, 2 people).
•1 author.

Pretty tricky, huh? Nevertheless, we wanted to give it a stab. Here we go…

Pam’s Choices:

3 People I Know IRL (In Real Life):
1. Quita:
Because she’ll hit me if I don’t.
2. Trisha:
My cuz and Quita’s older sis. She was technically the first writer of the family because she’s the oldest, and I used to love copying everything that she did.
3. Tee Tee:
My niece, and favorite cranky teenager. She keeps me “hip.”

3 People I Know Online:
1. Racquel: Okay, technically this is cheating because I met her in my MFA program first–but since she lives so far away (*cries*), we mostly communicate online. She’s our adopted little sis–not to mention co-founder of Black Fox Literary Magazine.
2. Blue Lipstick Samurai: Hello? She comes up with awesome blogfests like this–not to mention she’s the coolest teenager aside from my lovely niece.
3. My Paper Hangover Crew…oh, and Abby…oh, and Erinn…oh, and Jamie…oh, and the lovely ladies from YA Highway…Gah! Far too many to thank…how about just all my awesome followers??

1 Person Who Has Died: Okay, sentimental moment, but I’d have to thank my uncle, Duke (and Quita’s dad).

1 Person You Never Met: I’ve technically never met my super agent, Sarah LaPolla, so she’d obviously have to go here. 🙂

1 Person You Met Once: Ummm, I have no clue. I hardly remember ANYONE I’ve met if it was only once. Hmm, well, I did see Kirsten Hubbard for a millisecond at LA SCBWI–and I think she’s a pretty fantastic writer. So, there you have it…

1 Couple: My mom and dad. Well, they aren’t actually together anymore, but come on! It’s my mom and dad! I’d have to thank them somewhere.

1 Author: This is so unfair. I have too many favorite authors! Okay, okay, if I had to choose, it’d be the lovely Judy Blume. Hey, she’s the one that made me fall in love with words.

Quita’s Choices:

3 People I Know In Real Life (IRL):
Okay…sorry but this gonna be slightly repetitious:

1. Pam: cuz she’s my cuz…and she makes me write better.
2. Trisha: My older sis who used to write with me and Pam on a daily basis. She was a part of our first critique group and I hope she starts to write again soon.
3. I have to tie all of my nieces and nephews (cheating, I KNOW!) Tee Tee (like Pam said), and the boys b/c they are 5, 4, and 2…so much material there.

3 People I Know Online:
Okay, I’m going to try to not repeat all of Pam’s choices (btw- our online friends are interchangeable- meaning ALL of the people in both mine and Pam’s choices would be thanked by BOTH of us)

1. Racquel– duh, same reasons Pam said 😛
2. Alicia- for providing such dry wit and support whenever necessary. And also for the fact that she is willing to BETA read for me 😀
3. Jamie Manning– for being such an awesome support and providing excellent eye candy on Fridays…and also being willing to BETA read for me!

1 Person Who Has Died: My daddy. We lost him almost three years ago (April 24th, 2008) to cancer. He left us way too soon. He won’t get to see me get married or sell my first novel, but I know he’ll be looking down on me.

1 Person You Never Met: R. L. Stine for assuring me with his books that I NEEDED to write thriller, mystery, horror-esque novels at some point in my life.

1 Person You Met Once: Michelle Wolfson (cheat alert and Mitchell Waters), for showing me that agents really ARE just people and it’s not so bad to go up and introduce yourself.

1 Couple: Can I cheat here and say my mom? Just b/c I would definitely thank her and I didn’t get to put her anywhere else, yet. After dad passed though, mom is technically a “couple” on her own. She has always been strong and there for me whenever I needed her. She supports my dreams and because of her pushing me to wake up every morning and go to school, I’m where I am today.

1 Author: Like Pam said, this is a mean one. We luvs our authors! I guess I would have to go with Joyce Carol Oates b/c she writes Young Adult with just as much badassness as her Adult works.

You Win Some…And You Win Some

“Winning” Song of the Day: “Right In Two” by Tool

First of all, sorry for the Charlie Sheen quote–it had to be done. Secondly, are you ready for some winners from our TWO HUNDRED followers contest???

We had TWO prize packs up for grabs for TWO winners.

Two…it’s such a nice number. Why don’t we take a moment to admire some unique two’s:

Wow…the number 2- spelled out!

A snaky two…

Elmo says “hi” from his two…

Two people hanging out on a two…

A balloon filled two…

Have you had enough two’s??? Hope not b/c we still have to announce our TWO winners! Without further delay…

The Winner of the Reading Prize Pack is…

VIVIEN!!!!

The Winner of the Writer’s Prize Pack is…

ERINBERRY!!!!

Thanks to EVERYONE who entered. And don’t worry, you know we’ll have more contests for you later!!! Winners, check your e-mails for further insturctions 😀

WAIT! Before you go. We have a favor to ask. We’ve noticed that a few of our bloggy pals have been requesting questions from their followers. We would like to do the same. Ask us ANYTHING! How do we start writing new WIPs, how do we like to drink our coffee, how do we manage to not kill one another every day…whatever! We’ll collect the questions and answer them next Monday, April 4th, 2011! We look forward to your questions!

Debut Author Challenge # 4: The Liar Society by Lisa and Laura Roecker

Reading Song of the Day: “Liar” by Henry Rollins Band

As you all know by now we are participating in the 2011 Debut Author Challenge hosted by the wonderful Story Siren. We’ve already let you know about three awesome 2011 debut novels (check out the debut challenge label to read our thoughts on XVI, Across the Universe, and Like Mandarin), and now we’re gonna share another review!

This month, I read The Liar Society by Lisa and Laura Roecker. Me and Pam look up to them. Why? Because we are dying to write a book together and they did it so flawlessly!!! Because they are uber friendly and always respond to us whenever we talk to them around the inter-sphere. Also, because, well, they’re cool as shiz!

Here is what GoodReads has to say:

Kate Lowry didn’t think dead best friends could send e-mails. But when she gets an e-mail from Grace, she’s not so sure.

Sent: Sun 9/14 11:59 PM

Subject: (no subject)

Kate, I’m here… sort of. Find Cameron. He knows. I shouldn’t be writing. Don’t tell. They’ll hurt you.

Now Kate has no choice but to prove once and for all that Grace’s death was more than just a tragic accident. But secrets haunt the halls of her elite private school. Secrets people will do anything to protect. Even if it means getting rid of the girl trying to solve a murder…

Now for the fun stuff…

Top Four Things You Need To Know About The Liar Society:

1. Kate is both believable and likable. The protag. Kate recently lost her best friend, Grace. She could’ve been whiny, annoying, and too depressed to keep the reader intrigued. But she is strong, intelligent, and willing to do whatever it takes to solve the mystery of what really happened to Grace.

2. Hot guys abound. There’s a hot black guy who Kate had a crush on when she started at the “upper school” of her private school. Then there are hot, rich brothers (double the hawtness). Then there’s Grace’s boyfriend–hot, rock star, druggie type (yes, drugs are bad but he still seemed hot) and finally there’s hot, sensitive but dangerous, Liam. He’s hiding something, but he looks so good doing it.

3. Secrets, clues, and underground lairs oh my! This has all of the proper makings of a true mystery. If you’re longing to get your Nancy Drew on then following along with Kate while she works toward the truth will satisfy that itch.

4. It feels so real. Everything described in the novel seems like it can happen. For instance, Kate has to hop on her bike whenever she can’t find a ride, we’ve ALL been there! There are no unexplained events and the characters are all fleshed out–from the “mean girls” to Kate’s nerdy next door neighbor.

If You Like…

Books: Gallagher Girls Series by Ally Carter, The Fourth Stall by Chris Rylander, and The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting…then you’ll like The Liar Society.

Movies: Brick (We luv you Joseph Gordon Levitt), Just One of the Guys, and The In Crowd…then you’ll like The Liar Society.

Have you read the Roecker sisters’ masterpiece? What are you thoughts? Have you ever had to solve your own real life mystery?
***BTW- Did ya know??? We’re having a contest! There’s still time to enter. Click here for the deets :D***

RTW: Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Reading Song of the Day: “Neighbors Know My Name” by Trey Songz

One more ‘gin it’s time to road trip with our pals over at YA Highway. This week’s prompt:

Which book character would you like most as a next door neighbor?

This couldn’t BE any more fun! Pam and I already want to live all up in the books that we read. I can’t tell you how many time we turn to each other while reading a book and say, “Man, I wish these people were real!” Sad, but true. And I know that all of you out there agree with us. Okay, without further adieu, here are our answers!

Pam’s Choice:

Simon from Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series. Yeah yeah, I know. Jace is the hawt one–the bad boy. And I have to admit that I swoon along with the rest of the world whenever he comes on the page. But his golden locks and witty banter can only get him so far. If he had some cute retort every time I walked to the mailbox, I may want to start pulling my hair out. I’ll take Clary’s loyal best friend, thank you very much. Why? Didn’t I just mention he was loyal? Aside from that, he has the same self-deprecating sense of humor as me, and we could stay up most nights listening to cheesy rock music and coming up with names for his band. Even though most of the world has vampire-fatigue, this is one bloodsucker that I’m not tossing aside. BTW, could City of Fallen Angels come out like, tomorrow please??

Quita’s Choice:

This was really hard for me, considering that I read a lot of cryptic books with mean characters…but after some thinking I came up with a good choice. I would want to live next door to Seth from Lisa and Laura Roecker’s The Liar Society. Not only b/c this AWESOME book is fresh in my mind, but because Seth is so uber SA-WEET. He always looked out for Kate, even when she was being less than nice to him. We could spend our time looking into conspiracies and doing one of my favorite activities… eating! I can always count on him to bring some snacks while we peruse the web for the latest government cover up.

Tell us, what book character would you want to be your neighbor?

A Few Announcements:

1.) Thanks to EVERYONE who contributed their first lines to our First Lines Critiques (Day 1-click here, Day 2- click here, Day 3- click here) that we held last week. Thanks for being so brave and allowing your fellow writers to share their opinions. A BIG thank you to, all of you who not only contributed lines, but also commented on the other first lines provided. Although the number of comments were not through the roof–there was some good quality critiquing occurring and we hope that the authors got some feedback that they can work with.

2.) Did you see we’re having a contest???!!! Well, we are! Click here to enter. You have until Saturday (March 26th, 2011) at midnight EST to enter.

200 Followers? I Smell a Contest!

Celebrating Song of the Day: “It Takes Two” by Rob Base & DJ EZ Rock

We’ve been very, very busy, dear followers. So busy we didn’t take time to stop and smell the flowers–AKA, pause to notice we now have OVER 200 FOLLOWERS!!

Time for a dance break:

Man, we have some sweet, sweet moves.

Anywho…we figured this occasion shouldn’t go unnoticed, so we’ve decided to have a small contest!

Here’s the deal: since we’re celebrating 200 followers, we’ll have 2 winners that’ll each win 2 prizes.

First, the Readers Prize Pack:

Second, the Writers Prize Pack:

*Please Note: Moleskin and pens may not look just like the pictures, but they’ll be just as awesome!

What do you have to do? Just fill out the form below! You have until Saturday, March 26 at midnight, EST to enter. We’ll announce the winners next Monday! Good luck–and thanks for following!

ALERT: An Agent Wants YOU!

Paying it Forward Song of the Day: “You” by Breaking Benjamin

My lovely cuz/sis found an AWESOME contest this past week and brought it to my attention. Since I remain on the hunt for an agent she directed it my way. The awesome peeps at YAtopia are offering a chance for unknown writers to get their work out there!

They are allowing us to enter a pitch to THE Ammi-Joan Paquette who does not accept unsolicited material. Talk about a once in a life time opportunity! All you have to do is:

A.) Creat a blog post, Tweet, or update status your status on Facebook about this fantabulous contest!

B.) Leave your name, e-mail address, title, two sentence pitch, and first line of your manuscript in the comments of their blog.

C.) Hold your breath and wait!

Click here to enter and learn more about this contest. DON’T MISS IT–or do miss it. Hell, that gives me a better chance 😉