Posts Tagged ‘girlfriends cyber circuit’

One quick thing before I move on – if you’re a fan and you can’t find Fangtastic in your local bookstore, I would love, love, love you to order it through customer service.  Reports are that though stock’s been bought for on-line distribution, people aren’t finding it in their chain brick & mortar store, which could change if enough people are heard.  Thanks so much!

Now, more interviews and more giveaways!  The great gals of the Girlfriends’ Cyber Circuit are hosting me in style (just the way my heroine would want it)!

Stephanie Kuehnert’s Women Who Rock Wednesdays (comment for a chance to win a signed copy of Fangtastic)

Sydney Salter’s blog (talking about vacation karma and other good things, also with a chance to win)

YA Fresh with Kelly Parra (research and what I wanted to be when I grew up)

Jennifer Echols’s blog (talking books)

Denise Jaden’s blog (who do I love?)

Gretchen McNeil’s blog (about anything from process to guilty pleasures)

Sara Hantz’s blog (about writing and inspiration)

I’m very excited to have Girlfriends’ Cyber Circuit sister Eileen Cook here with me today, talking about the writing process and her new book UNRAVELING ISOBEL.  I might also be a teensy, weensy bit jealous about this incredible quote for it from Lisa McMann, bestselling author of the Wake trilogy, calling it “Thrilling and creepy, super sexy, and so very hilarious.”  Kirkus Reviews likes it as well, saying,“This blend of paranormal romance, murder mystery and quirky, coming-of-age narrative offers tasty moments….Cook gives readers a fast-paced plot, a likable narrator, and interesting characters.”


Isobel’s life is falling apart. Her mom just married some guy she met on the internet only three months before, and is moving them to his sprawling, gothic mansion off the coast of nowhere. Goodbye, best friend. Goodbye, social life. Hello, icky new stepfather, crunchy granola town, and unbelievably good-looking, officially off-limits stepbrother.

But on her first night in her new home, Isobel starts to fear that it isn’t only her life that’s unraveling—her sanity might be giving way too. Because either Isobel is losing her mind, just like her artist father did before her, or she’s seeing ghosts. Either way, Isobel’s fast on her way to being the talk of the town for all the wrong reasons.

INTERVIEW with Eileen Cook:

What is your writing process like?  Are you a plotter or a pantser?  Do you schedule time to write each day or are you a spree writer?

My writing process has changed. I used to lean more towards being a pantser, but I find I do more and more plotting. I still need to leave some holes in the plot to be discovered as I write, but I find it easier now to head off with a clear direction of where I’m going. I’ve become a big fan of film writing books like Save the Cat and use their techniques to help me plot out where I’m going.

I want to have a writing schedule, but my life seems to involve too much chaos.  I try and write a bit each day. If I go more than a day or two without writing I find I lose track of the story, especially if it is early in the book.  The initial relationship with the characters feels fragile to me at that point, if I don’t check in regularly I feel I could lose them.  I like to set weekly word count goals rather than daily. This gives me the option to write only a few words one day and on another write for hours.

What is the hardest part about the publishing process for you and how do you get through it? (For me, it’s copyediting and barbecue chips.)

The most difficult part of the publishing process for me is accepting the things that are outside of my control. There are times when I catch myself focusing on things like sales, or timelines, and have to remind myself that I can’t do anything about it.  I try very hard to keep my focus on the writing, which is very much in my control.  The best way to cope is liberal consumption of chocolate and spending time on the sofa with my dogs and a good book.  It’s hard to stress when rubbing a dog belly.

We drop your hero or heroine on a deserted island.  Quick, what are the three things he or she can’t live without?

Isobel couldn’t live without her sketchpad, pencils, and a book.

If your story were a film, who would you cast?

I am terrible at casting because I want to cast Colin Firth. Not because there is a role for him in the film, but because I’d love to meet him.  I would be tempted to cast unknown actors. I like when you can lose yourself in a movie without comparing how the actors were in a different movie.


Eileen Cook is a multi-published author with her novels appearing in six different languages. She spent most of her teen years wishing she were someone else or somewhere else, which is great training for a writer.

You can read more about Eileen, her books, and the things that strike her as funny at  Eileen lives in Vancouver with her husband and two dogs and no longer wishes to be anyone or anywhere else.

As promised yesterday, I’m pleased to present an interview with adult and YA author Jeri Smith-Ready, one of the contributors to the new ENTHRALLED anthology, edited by Melissa Marr & Kelley Armstrong.

First, she tells us a little about her story, “Bridge” –

In the world of the SHADE novels, everyone seventeen and under can see and hear ghosts, but no one else can.  So when Logan Keeley dies and his eighteen-year-old brother Mickey blames himself, they can’t ease each other’s pain or reconcile their rage.  Over the course of SHADE and SHIFT, Mickey sinks into a near-suicidal depression over Logan’s death.

“Bridge” is the story, told in free verse, of how two brothers, with the help of a stranger, forge the chasm between them to find a lasting peace.


“A solid collection of stories…Sarah Rees Brennan’s ‘Let’s Get This Undead Show on the Road’ follows a vampire in a boy-band and stands out with its perfect blend of snark and sincerity. It’s followed in a one-two punch by Jeri Smith-Ready’s intense and earnest ‘Bridge.’…This collection is ideal as a sampler tray for paranormal readers looking to pick up new authors to follow or to further explore the fictional worlds they already know. —Kirkus Reviews

A standout among the many paranormal-themed anthologies. — Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (Recommended review)


What is your writing process like?  Are you a plotter or a pantser? Do you schedule time to write each day or are you a spree writer?

I’m somewhere in between a plotter and pantser.  I usually have a rough outline/synopsis before I start, but then I never look at it while I write the first draft.  It’s when I rewrite that I get super analytical, using spreadsheets and index cards and programs like Scrivener.

When I’m drafting, I set a word- or page-count or scene goal and I keep going until I’m finished.  I don’t necessarily start first thing in the morning, though.  When editing, I set a kitchen timer to work a certain number of hours.  I pause it when I take a break, even just for a few minutes.  In the last week of each phase of editing, it’s usually set at 12 hours, which means starting in the early morning and going until late at night.

What is the hardest part about the publishing process for you and how do you get through it? (For me, it’s copyediting and sour cream and onion chips.)

First drafts, by far.  To me it’s like sculpting air.  I get through it using a NaNoWriMo spreadsheet that tells you not only how many words you have to write today, but how many words you’ll have to write EVERY day if you slack off.  Fear is a powerful motivator.

We drop your hero or heroine on a deserted island.  Quick, what are the three things he or she can’t live without?

1.    His guitar

2.    Pizza

3.    His girlfriend Aura, who would be the one to figure out how to survive and/or get off the island while Logan sat around playing guitar and whining that there was no pizza.

If your story were a film, who would you cast?

I’m really fuzzy on who I’d cast for Logan and Aura, so I’d say to Hollywood, “Surprise me!” But Zachary should be played by Matthew Lewis (Neville Longbottom in the Harry Potter films).  Have you seen him lately?  He grew up into quite the hottie.  And for Zach’s dad Ian, none other than Craig Ferguson.

Are there any contests or upcoming appearances/interviews/etc. you’dlike to plug?

At 12:01 Tuesday, September 20, I’ll be posting the lyrics to “Forever,” the song Logan wrote for Aura in SHADE (before he died), the one he sang to her while she “slept” the night before his testimony at the trial.  I promised I would write and release the lyrics if Zachary from SHADE received 5,000 votes in the final round of the YA Crush Tournament last month (he received over 21,000 votes in his second-place finish).

In real life, I’ll be at the Baltimore Book Festival Friday, September 23, doing panels at 1:30 and 3pm, a reading at 2pm, then signing books from 4-6pm, at the Maryland Romance Writers pavilion.

Then I go to Seattle for the King County Public Library book festival, where I’ll be appearing with the Smart Chicks 2.0 tour on Sunday, October 2, 1-4pm.  Can’t wait!


Jeri Smith-Ready has been writing fiction since the night she had her first double espresso. Her nine published books include two series for adults and the SHADE trilogy for teens, about a world of ghosts only the young can see, which concludes May 2012 with SHINE.  Like many of her characters, Jeri enjoys music, movies, and staying up very, very late.  Visit her at, or on Facebook ( or Twitter (, where she spends way too much time.  Logan himself can be found on Twitter @keeley_logan, as can his rival/”brother-in-pulp,” Zachary Moore (@moore_zachary).  The boys love to chat with each other and with their real-life fans.


Well, it’s been coming for quite awhile, my break-up with LiveJournal.  However, I’m very pleased to be moving over here to WordPress, where I blog monthly with Magical Words, and to have as my very first post here an interview with Girlfriends’ Cyber Circuit sister, Jennifer Echols, whose new YA novel, Love Story, released this month from Gallery Books.  A writing major, a stable boy…what more could you want?


From Jennifer Echols, the award-winning author of Going Too Far and Forget You, comes LOVE STORY(Gallery Books; July 19, 2011; $11.00), a provocative and powerful story of teen romance, set against the bustling world of a New York City university.

For Erin Blackwell, majoring in creative writing at the New York City college of her dreams is more than a chance to fulfill her ambitions – it’s her ticket away from the tragic memories that shadow her family’s racehorse farm in Kentucky. But when she refuses to major in business and take over the farm herself someday, her grandmother gives Erin’s college tuition and promised inheritance to their maddeningly handsome stable boy, Hunter Allen. Now Erin has to win an internship and work late nights at a local coffee shop to make her own dreams a reality. She should despise Hunter… so why does he sneak into her thoughts as the hero of her latest writing assignment?

Then, on the day she’s sharing that assignment with her class, Hunter walks in. He’s joining her class. And after he reads about himself in her story, her private fantasies about him must be painfully clear. She only hopes to persuade him not to reveal her secret to everyone else. But Hunter devises his own creative revenge, writing sexy stories that drive the whole class wild with curiosity and fill Erin’s heart with longing. Now she’s not just imagining what might have been. She’s writing a whole new ending for her romance with Hunter… except this story could come true.

“A tremendously talented writer with a real gift for developing relationships.”

– Romantic Times Magazine

Interview with Jennifer Echols:

What is your writing process like?  Are you a plotter or a pantser?  Do you schedule time to write each day or are you a spree writer?

I think of myself as a plotter and a plodder, writing every day, but I’m really not. Though I’m a very organized and methodical person, my writing tends to be pantsy and spree-ish. It won’t behave.

What is the hardest part about the publishing process for you and how do you get through it? (For me, it’s copyediting and sour cream and onion chips.)

Publicity! I’m a private person and I don’t like talking about myself. I wish I could just put my book out there and everyone could pretend it materialized from nowhere and enjoy it.

We drop your hero or heroine on a deserted island.  Quick, what are the three things he or she can’t live without?

Erin would need a pen and paper and her face cream, so her looks don’t go, just in case she gets rescued.

If your story were a film, who would you cast?

I get this question a lot, and it’s so hard for me! I don’t watch enough TV, and my characters are so real for me that it’s hard for me to think of someone to play them. It would be like casting yourself.

Are there any contests or upcoming appearances/interviews/etc. you’d like to plug?

There are lots of giveaways of Love Story and other prizes all over the web. You can find the links on my blog at

Congratulations on your fabulous new release!

Thank you so much Lucienne!