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Elizabeth Scott

contest winners and links

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Congrats to CPlusha, who won the recipe contest with her story of high school brownies that were so good that people risked detention for them--and for the recipe itself! Congrats also go to Krista, who won the fake boyfriend contest--I think she had me at "the age of MySpace" which seems like a hundred years ago -- but wasn't!

Moving on, I've got loads of links to share:

Bob Mayer on the "good old days" of publishing -- "Way back in the days of Faulkner, Hemmingway, the Algonquin Round Table, etc. it was just as hard, but different. Then you had to schmooze, make contacts, get known. Gee. It’s kind of the same now too."

Do you sometimes need to tell, rather than show, in a story?


"Social Media Networking has taken all the fun out of my Internet social life."
-- great article on the pressure authors feel to blog, tweet, etc.

Following up on this, a great article about how some authors use facebook (and twitter, and, I'm sure other social media) as a way to promote their books over and over (and over) again -- there are also loads of links in this article as well, so be sure to check it out!

Very interesting article on characters--should you know more about them than your reader does (or will?)

Pimp My Novel on why publishing runs off a returns-based model, and a breakdown of what's currently going on in the Random House vs. Andrew Wylie showdown

Over at Murderati, signing the praises of good editors

Acclaimed YA author Sara Zarr muses about writing and the possibility of moving on -- "From the outside in, maybe whatever I do next won’t look that different from what I’ve been doing. Maybe it will. All I know for sure is that in the midst of being smart about the practical needs and realities, I want to be a beginner again at something creative, to always be a learner, to be bold and risk failure. I want to have faith that when I step off the comfortable path, I’m not going to freefall forever."

Nathan Bransford on high-concept

Dear Author has a bunch of interesting information and links here, but what really caught my eye is the following: Laura Lippman's latest book sold more, its first week out, in ebooks than in print (granted it was about 740 copies more, but still) and--only 4,000 copies sold in the first week gets you on the adult NYT extended fiction hardcover list???

Finally, how awesome would this be? Baking in the Betty Crocker Test Kitchens

And for my husband, who loves root beer floats, I'll be making the following: Root Beer Float Cupcakes

Intereview with Kristina Springer! (and yes, there is a FREE book involved!)

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Girlfriends' Cyber Circuit (GCC) is a webring of YA novelists, and I'm happy to be part of it because I get to talk to other YA authors about their books--which, well, how awesome is that? (And I think we all know how much I love YA!)

Today I'm talking to Kristina Springer about her new novel, My Fake Boyfriend Is Better Than Yours (what a great title, right?)




Me: Tell us about your book in ten words or less!

Kristina: 2 BFFs + 2 Fake Boyfriends = Trouble


Me: What's the best writing advice you've ever been given?

Kristina: Let the rejections roll off your back.


Me: What do you wish you'd known about being published/publishing before your book/first book came out?

Kristina: How important the first three months after a book’s release are.


Me: What's the last book you read that you loved so much you had to tell everyone about it?

Kristina: Kristin Walker’s A Match Made in High School


Me: Random Bonus Question Time...What's your favorite salad dressing?

Kristina: Ranch.


Thank you, Kristina, for stopping by! And for you, lovely readers, I'll be back with last week's contest winner--and more!--very soon, but in the meantime, has anyone out there got a fake boyfriend story, or know of one? If you do, and have a US mailing addy, post it here by midnight TONIGHT, August 30th, and the best one (IMO) will get an ARC of Andrea Cremer's Nightshade OR an ARC of Cassandra Clare's The Infernal Devices (winner's choice!)

quick contest and mmm....food

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Just reading these recipes made me feel better! (At least while I was reading them :-)

100 Grand Cupcakes? YEP!

I always wondered how Baked Alaska was made...

Four-ingredient (!) Nutella Brownies? Yes, please!!!

And I'd also like to give away a copy of one of the best YA novels I've read in ages, The DUFF by Kody Keplinger. (US mailing addys only)

For your chance to win, just tell me what your favorite dessert is (I know you're shocked by this one!) by midnight EST tomorrow, August 27th--and make sure you leave a way to contact you!

The one desert that sounds the most awesome to me wins, or if there is so much awesomeness that I can't decide, I'll use the random number generator.

urgh.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I came down with a cold this weekend and bam! It's like everything shut down. I still feel pretty bad, actually, but I had to drop by here and say hi to everyone--and say congrats to the winner of ARC of Beautiful Darkness, Lynsey, who once saw her mother open a can of green beans, and--well, she hasn't touched them since!

I'm getting ready to head back to bed, but I have loads of links that need to be shared...and check back next week for your chance to win a copy of Mockingjay!

A writer's worst fear, or Honey, I Deleted Your Novel

From Writer Unboxed, posts on cliffhanger chapter endings, common writing mistakes, and a great one on burying all your I can't(s)

More problems at Dorchester (and news on that here as well)-- and Barnes and Noble

Agent and author Nathan Bransford on writing query letters -- and a good explanation of what publishers do

An editor talks about passing on a book--this one is fascinating, as editors don't usually open up so publicly about books they've declined that have gone on to do well

Pimp My Novel guest post on envy

From Muderati, What Is A Writer? and a lovely post from Tess Gerristen on The Unplanned Career--"And that no, most of us don't plan out every move in our career because baby, in this career, there ain't a lot of planning you can do.

Maggie Stiefvater offers advice and encouragement about writing in-- Seven Steps to Writing a Novel

insomnia bites

Thursday, August 19, 2010

I'm one of those people who needs eight hours (nine is better) of sleep or I become zombie-like, sitting around blinking and doing things like deleting all the links I wanted to share!

Thank goodness that I'd also saved them in a file. It's like I knew I wasn't going to get any sleep last night!

Anyway, here there are and as I'm sure there will be more typos than usual, I ask for your forgiveness in advance:

The YA Blogosphere is buzzing over Ellen Hopkins being invited--and then uninvited because of "objections" (read: CENSORSHIP)--to a book festival in Texas. Almost all of the other authors who had been asked to attend the festival have now withdrawn, in protest, which I think is awesome. Two of the authors have great blog posts up about this: Pete Hautman on the festival and what happened and Melissa de la Cruz, another author was was invited and backed out when Ellen was uninvited--on how she lost out on something she loved due to censorship

The folks at Orbit have done yet another chart of trends in fantasy book covers--Castles had better start looking over their back because dirigibles (!!) are starting to grow in number...

Over at Murderati, a post about something I think most writers (or at least, this one) have to deal with--learning how to get out of your own way

Pimp My Novel on great first lines -- I admit, offer me a good first line when I pick your book up when I'm browsing the bookstore, and chance are I'll buy it. (Is anyone else the same way??)

E-books are most definitely making their presence felt--they've started hitting the USA Today bestseller list (which is a very, very big deal) -- While I have yet to meet a YA writer whose e-books sales have been over ten percent of their total sales (is there anyone out there who writes YA and whose e-books sales are higher than ten percent of their total?) there's no doubt in my mind that e-books sales are going to become hugely important--and fast--for adult authors, particularly those who write genre fiction.

Agent and author Nathan Bransford wants to know what you'd do if you were in charge of publishing

More on Barnes and Noble's problems

Beloit University's Mindset List for the Class of 2014 -- I love these lists, not only for what they say about those the list is about, but for who is writing them as well. (I mean, J. R. Ewing??? Really???)

And, of course, a few tasty bites--Peanut Butter Mud Hen Bars (just trust me!!) and Chewy Salted Pecan and Chocolate Chip Squares

Also! Don't forget that your worst meal could win YOU an ARC of Beautiful Darkness...

wow! and links

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

You all have most *definitely* experienced some awful dinners--keep those comments coming and YOU could win an ARC of Beautiful Darkness!

Today, I come bearing links--and some cool news:

Genreality on the dreaded blank page -- "Sometimes when I sit at the computer, confronted with a blank screen, my mind goes blank. Whatever idea I had in the car on the way home from Starbucks vanishes. Or the whole scene I envisioned dwindles to two uninspired sentences. Then my heart starts to pound and my hands sweat, just like stage fright, which only makes the blankness worse, as my mind spins in panicked circles. I can’t think of anything. Why can’t I think of anything? What if I NEVER can think of anything EVER AGAIN????"

Pimp My Novel has an update on Borders' financial situation

Allison Winn Scotch on how she tries not to write the same book over and over again -- "Because now, on my fourth book, this is a huge concern of mine, and something that I am taking very strong steps to protect myself against. But at the same time, I’m also aware of the fact that quite simply, this is also who I am as a writer: I have a voice, a way of writing, a tone that is present in all of my books, and I think that readers have come to expect that from me…so I’m trying to toe this line, to figure out the balance between recreating my work and challenging myself and not, say, offering a work so different that no one recognizes the threads that tie all of my books together."

Agent and author Nathan Bransford on writing and...Keith Hernadez

Over at Writer Unboxed, an entry asking what makes you fall in love with a book?

So, what exactly is a big book? (aka High Concept) -- "If you can tell your story in one line and everyone who hears it can see exactly what the movie or book is - AND a majority of people who hear it will want to see it or read it - that’s high concept."

Author Linda Howard talks very candidly about how health problems have impacted her writing

Do you like closed or open endings?


Seems there's a e-book price war going on over in the UK
(and why is it that I can buy books and DVDs from amazon.co.uk but not books for my Kindle???)


Finally, I'm thrilled to announce the arrival of The Contemps, a collection of authors celebrating (and writing!) contemporary YA:

Celebrate realistic YA with The Contemps!

ARC of Beautiful Darkness, anyone??? :-)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Breaking out of writing lock-down again (I'm so sneaky!)--to let you, wonderful readers, know that I have an ARC of the following:

Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Would you like to win this ARC?

Well then, all you need to do is have a US mailing address, make sure you leave a way for me to get in touch with you in your comment and then tell me this:

What is the worst meal you've ever had?

For me, I didn't think anything would top having to eat real Brunswick stew (the kind that yes, is made with squirrel meat) until several years ago, when I went to a holiday dinner, helped myself to the mashed potatoes, took a bite...

And discovered they were turnips.

And that there were no potatoes. Just turnips. Who does that to someone? And on a holiday, no less?

So yes, share your worst meal with me--and don't forget to leave a way for me to contact you! I'll take comments through this Friday, August 20th, and then the person who has suffered through (IMO) the worst meal--well, that person gets the ARC of Beautiful Darkness!

escape from writing lock-down!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

I'm in the middle of a writing lock-down at the moment--I know there are some authors who can write twelve to fourteen hours a day, every day, for years (or their entire lives!) but as for me--well, long story short, I sneak away to see you, lovely readers, as a tired mush of goo with aching hands...

And links!

Want to see what a super enormous PR push for a book look like? Check out this article on Scholastic's marketing plans for Mockingjay

If you've ever lost part--or (shudder!) all of something you've been working on, this blog post will hit home, plus there's some good suggestions for on-line backup storage space.

Are you keeping your ego in check?


And because I'm me--Dark and Milk Chocolate Brownies

link explosion!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Another week, and another link explosion--there's a lot going on, so I'll get to it right after I say congrats! to rabbithigh, who won the movie contest--thank you all for your suggestions! (I ended up spending the weekend working, but maybe, one day soon, I'll get to the movies after all...)

Also, with September fast approaching, I will be sending a message (and yes, a members-only contest) to my mailing list in September. If you'd like to join, click here to find out how. I send out no more than four messages a year, at the most, in case you were wondering.

Now on to all those links!

Pimp My Novel on having/working with people who have publishing industry experience and why it is helpful to authors

And, of course, the Dorchester saga has a new page--they are moving to doing just "digital" books (aka e-books)--with more, updated info here.

Dorchester has been having financial problems for ages (they made the blogs months ago when then sold of the most profitable parts of their backlist to another publisher--I want to say one of the romance divisions over at Harper, but I'm not positive) but naturally, this move has caused a lot of blog discussion.

Pimp My Novel wonders if we're getting ready to see the death of mass market paperbacks (as far as YA goes, I'm not seeing it, but I've certainly been wrong before!), Dear Author wonders if some authors will simply stop writing, and Jim C. Hines points out that people have been saying traditional print is dying/will die soon for about a decade (I've certainly been reading about it since I started this blog, and I will tell you, things really kicked into high gear when the economy tanked)

Really, instead of worrying over whether or not people will be reading paper books or be reading book on electronic devices I would instead worry, as Betsy Lerner has pointed out, ""I don’t need one more person asking me about Kindles and IPads and what they mean to publishing. What they mean is that some people are going to read on screens, but most people still won’t read at all."

And that, I think, is the biggest thing publishing--and all authors and aspiring authors truly need to be deeply concerned about--not how people read, but how to get people *to* read in the first place.

A Fireplace, A Chair, and A Tea Cozy on Readers’ Advisory

Dystel & Goderich Literary Management on typos and typo-spotting

Genreality on The Good Stuff -- a great little piece about holding on to the good moments in publishing (and it goes for life too!)

Do you have to write a million words before you're ready to write professionally?


Fantastic blog post at Murderati about the RWA convention and the importance of romance readers (they read a lot, and are passionate about it--what's not to love??)

Nice post about attending a workshop about being a first-time novelist--held by the author--and the author's agent -- also, some really good tips for people getting ready to dive into the world of publishing.

In the vein of the above post, another one on entering publishing--a nice reminder that writing (and publishing) *is* a business

Last week, on twitter, I talked about trying to make homemade ice cream (without an ice cream maker). The end result? Unsatisfactory! (I cheered myself up by reading one of my favorite recipes--for a extraordinary-sounding chocolate cookie semifreddo)

And then I read this--there was an Ethel M store open for a few years in the Tysons Corner Mall, and my husband loved that place and still talks about their toffee. Maybe I should take him out there for the tour???

Finally, one of the most amazing reviews of The Unwritten Rule I've had the pleasure of reading. (I actually cried when I was done, I was so happy) -- and, as always, it provided me with a reminder that so many of YOU bring so much brightness to my days, and for that, I am so, so thankful.

mmm, cake--wait, I mean links! Then cake. :-)

Thursday, August 05, 2010

I'm loving the movie suggestions--keep them coming (and possibly win 3 ARCS!)

I also have a bunch of links to share:

Dear Author has some very interesting news about Barnes and Noble

Agent Janet Reid has a great blog post about twitter

Pimp My Novel on the importance of being nice

Agent Jessica Faust on why an editor's response time can vary

Donald Maass has a wonderful blog post about creating characters that readers never get to actually "see/meet"

Ah, it's nice to know I'm not the only bookaholic out there

Want to be an agent? Then please read this

Editorial Ass on publishing options

If you click on only one link, make it this one--a truly outstanding post on overpromotion

Salted Butter Cinnamon Buns?
Sign me up!

Of course, I also have to save room for a flourless chocolate cream cheese marble cake (!!)

it's raining hives--I mean FREE BOOKS!

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

I was going to do a video blog this morning, but as I am currently a wee bit hiveish -- well, as I adore you all so, trust me, you SO don't need to see that!

So instead I am going to do this:

Give away (to anyone with a US mailing addy)

an ARC of Sophie Jordan's Firelight
an ARC of April Lindner's Jane
AND
an ARC of Jennifer Donnelly's Revolution

How can you get all of these ARCs?

Simple!

Tell me what movie I should go see this weekend.

Yep, that's it! Let me know what movie you think I MUST see, and be sure to leave a way for me to contact you!--by midnight EST this Friday, August 6th.

Then, I'll either pick a winner, or if a bunch of you pick the same movie I end up seeing, I'll pick a winner at random.

(Also, congrats to Sarah and Karen--Sarah won a copy of one of Melissa de la Cruz's YA novels, and Karen won a copy of Kieran Scott's She's So Dead To Us! And many, many thanks to both Melissa and Kieran for their great guest blogs last week!)

hey there linkys!

Monday, August 02, 2010

As you might have guessed from last week's guest blogs, I have been on vacation--and yes, it was lovely! I am not a very good relaxer, but my husband (bless him!) did his best to get me to try.

Of course, as all vacations do, I've come home, but am immediately back at work and on my way to New York for meetings. I will announce the winners of last week's contests (feel free to still enter if you have a U.S. mailing addy!) later this week.

And, in the meantime, I offer you up links--I itched to get online and share last week, but was urged to do such shocking things as have a conversation without being online at the same time (!!!):

Over at Genreality, a gentle, but much needed reminder that in order to write YA books, you have to remember what being a teenager is like

Agent Jessica Faust's interesting post on spending money to make money

From Murderati, a post on movie/tv shows based on books and how they can change sales (hint--it means good things!!) and on breaking in--and out (Once you sell, it's amazing. But then you need to break out, or sell big...)

Agent Jennifer Laughran with a refreshing take on "celebrity" books--I see them lambasted so often and I always feel like screaming BUT THEY SELL! And yes, you may hate that, but if it sells, you know what? It gives that publisher more money to take a chance on YOU. And how can that be a bad thing?

Over at Writer Unboxed, a simple secret weapon....

Dear Author on online promotion -- As someone who has been asked to "friend" or "retweet" or who-knows-what a blatant "BUY MY BOOK!" (or worse still, the "BE A FAN OF!!") this really resonated with me. Of course we all want people to buy our books. Of course we want readers who will buy all our books. But I--as old-fashioned a thought as it may be, can't help but think it will come from writing the best books you can and being--well, yourself.

And, of course, no link session would be complete without stomach-tempting recipes...

Root Beer Cake with Root Beer Cream Frosting

Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirled Cheesecake
(!!) -- just go and look at it. Look at IT!!!

Finally, what may be the single greatest video of all time:


(For feeds that strip out links, it is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ArIj236UHs --watch and enjoy, scholar!)