Something Like Awesome . . .

Trish Doller Trish Doller  writes books (her website says so), but you find those in the doller bin where she works at B&N as a bookseller. Hahaha! Sorry, but you know I can’t resist a corny joke. For the record, her last name isn’t pronounced like dollar, and you should know this because there’s no doubt in my mind you’ll become her biggest fan if you pick up one of her books. I just finished Where the Stars Still Shine a few weeks ago, and it was so awesome, I emailed her right away to see if I could get an exclusive interview. Everybody give it up for Trish, woot woot!!

Tell us a little bit about Where the Stars Still Shine. What was the catalyst for this particular novel?
Stars began with a trip to Tarpon Springs, which is a small tourist town on the Gulf coast of Florida. There’s a significant Greek-American culture there and a lot of the tourist attractions revolve around Greek food and the sponge diving industry. So while I was walking around the tourist area, I started thinking what it would be like to be dropped into that town and expected to be Greek. And when I started thinking about who I might drop into Tarpon Springs, Callie’s character started coming to life.
How long have you wanted to write? Are you a plotter or a pantster?
I’ve been writing for as long as I’ve been able to write, but I didn’t write with an intent to be published until about 2006 when I had an idea that wouldn’t let me go. I tend to be a pantser when I write, but I do have a rough plot in my head. I know the direction I want the story to go and then I let the characters take me there.

 

Tell us about your publishing journey. How has the experience been so far?

something like normal
My publishing journey started in early 2008 when my agent sold my first book to Random House. I was working on revisions when my editor was laid off. My new editor wasn’t in love with the book so my contract was cancelled and that book was never published. While we were on submission again, I started working on the book that would become Something Like Normal and after sending the first few chapters to my agent, she decided to submit it to a few of her favorite editors. Bloomsbury bought it and the rest is pretty much history. Bloomsbury bought Where the Stars Still Shine and they’ve also bought my upcoming book, which is still untitled. I’ve been really happy with my experience. Both of my books are doing well and I’m always thrilled to hear from teenagers who love them.  where stars still shine

 

 

Were you ever tempted to censor yourself when writing this novel, especially in the famous chapter twelve?
I think I had moments when I worried that maybe I’d gone too far, but it was more important that Callie learn what a healthy sexual experience looks like. And I think there’s a positive message for all girls that sex doesn’t have to be shameful and that a good partner considers your needs as well as his own. As a parent, I know that’s a really uncomfortable thing to talk about with girls. We don’t like to think about our daughters as sexual beings. But I’d rather take the heat for writing a scene that’s “too sexy” than not talk about these things.

 

Tell us what you’re working on now. Will there ever be another story featuring Callie and Alex . . . at least a short story or novella showing us what happens to them five or ten years down the road? *gets down on hands and knees and begs with hands folded in prayer*
My next book is a sexy (because this is me) psychological thriller about a girl who takes a dangerous road trip with two boys—one of whom is not what he seems. It’s still untitled but it will be coming out in either June or July 2015. I’m also working on a full-fledged adult novel about a young woman who goes to sea in an effort to get over her boyfriend’s suicide. That one is just a manuscript right now—no book deals to report—but I’m really excited to write that one. And as of right now, I don’t have anything planned for Alex and Callie, but they might make a cameo appearance in my next planned YA novel.

Oh, I love the sound of that idea!! Thanks so much for stopping by, Trish! Be sure to check out both of her A*W*E*S*O*M*E novels!! What’s everyone else been up to? See Divergent yet? I saw it twice already, and when I finish writing 18 Thoughts (over 70,000 words now!), I plan on celebrating by seeing it again. I’m swooning over Theo James (Four), especially after I found out he’s a musician too. Check out this adorable video of him singing (I think I just got pregnant watching it).

 

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Rise Of A New Dynasty

Sorry I haven’t been good about hopping around to visit everyone this week. We’re on spring break, which means I’m in  my writing cave, busy at work on 18 Thoughts (the third installment of the My-So Called Afterlife Trilogy). I did have a really cool start to my break on Friday/Saturday when I participated in a huge reading festival, but I’m saving that story for my next Insecure Writer Support Group post 🙂
But today you’re in for a treat! Katie Teller, the author of the best-selling KIYA trilogy, is here for an exclusive interview!
J: Tell us 3 words to describe your personality
K: I asked my hubby for these so they might be a bit bias – Fun, bright, and lovable.
J: Give us a sneak peek into what your daily writing routine is like.
K: Routine? Wow, I wish! I fit it in whenever I can. I usually try to get up before my sweet child and do a little in the morning, then squeeze in a few hours during “nap time” in the afternoon, then a few more before bed. Basically, if I have a moment, I use it.
J: What’s the inside scoop on Kiya 3.
K: Kiya 3 is my personal favorite of the trilogy. Everything comes to a head, secrets are revealed, and Naomi finds her peace. It’s by far the most emotional book, with things you know are coming, and twists you won’t expect.
J: What’s your favorite craft book? Favorite fiction book?
K: I don’t actually read craft books. I’m your trial and error girl. I learn better that way, by doing. Always have.
My favorite fiction book? Hmm… Ella Enchanted has held out as a beloved favorite since I was a kid.
J: Can you give us a fun tidbit about yourself?
K: I’m really into singing and sports. I originally started studying to be a P.E teacher, until I uprooted and moved across the world to marry my hubby. It’s funny where life leads you.
Kiya 3

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Tut has grown into his position as Pharaoh, but he is a wild young man. Naomi fears for him, not only because of his recklessness, but because he has put his trust in Ay–the man determined to destroy Naomi—despite her and Horemheb advising against it.

Meanwhile, death and slavery hang over Naomi and her family. With fear of the booming Hebrew numbers causing talk of enslaving them, conscription is reinstated and Naomi fears
for the lives of her other children. Especially since Ay’s children are now adults, and just as dangerous as their father. They threaten to take Itani, conspire against Tut, and pushing for power.

But Tut is in trouble. While Ay’s daughter draws Horemheb’s attention, and Naomi deals with the struggles of her family, everyone’s distraction could spell death for the young Pharaoh.

It is funny where life leads you! Thanks for taking time out of your busy day to stop by, Katie!
What have you been up to everyone? Do you forgive me for neglecting you?

Fate, Truths, and Worms

Today Author Elizabeth Seckman and I are swapping blogs . . . you can check out my guest post about fate on her blog here. If you’re looking for my Wormfest post, scroll to the bottom 🙂

Hi Jamie!!!     elizabeth seckman

Thanks for swapping blogs. I think I like you side bars better. So neat and tidy…amazing you trusted my sloppy self to take over!

Don’t worry, I’ll clean up when I go 😉

Congratulations on your new book, 18 Truths! Love the title, btw.

I missed the opportunity to join the 18 Truths blog tour, so I am so happy to get a second chance to finally tell some truths…

 

1. I’m afraid of going into the basement alone at night. Dittos on the outside. My imagination starts creating evil creatures in unlit corners and I can’t take it. 

 

2. I couldn’t read proficiently until I was in the third grade. 

 

3. I failed kindergarten. 

 

4. I almost failed the first and second grades. (I probably could have been diagnosed with a phobia, but that wasn’t as cool in the seventies as it is now!)

 

5. I was an extremely shy child. If a stranger talked to me, I would hide. 

 

6. I hated school until my best friend, Kelli, moved to my town in the third grade.

 

7. By the fourth grade, I was repeatedly put in the corner for talking in class.

 

8. I wrote my first “book” in the sixth grade. (a two page novel…LOL)

 

9. My first kiss was with my husband. I was in the seventh grade; he was in the eighth.

 

10. By the time I was in the eighth grade, I was so good at faking book reports I am almost ashamed. I would win prizes for so many books read…only half of them actually existed.

 

11. By the time I hit high school, few people would have ever guessed I was shy. I still loathed new situations and public speaking, but I was content and happy in my little pond. 

 

12. My freshman year, my husband asked me out on a date and I asked, “Why?”

 

13. I once called my husband ignorant in front of our entire history class. He still reminds me of the moment. 

 

14. My high school did compatibility matches and my husband ranked as my #1 match and I was matched in the top 5 on his. Would I maybe want to go out on a date? No. Told him if he was the last guy on earth, I’d possibly become a lesbian.

 

15.  I asked my husband to prom because I didn’t want another girl to have him. In college I told him he was going to marry me. (You’re seeing I have some serious issues, right? Yes, he is a very patient man.)

 

16. My husband and I were married for ten years before I told him what he did in high school to make me so vengeful. To this day, he says, “Seriously? That made you THAT mad?” (It was a comment not fit for a nice blog like Jamie’s!)

 

17. I have a potty mouth. I’m banking on Jesus getting my fractured self into Heaven.

 

18. I only do my hair when I am going “out”. I rarely ever go “out”.

Fate Intended is the third book in the Coulter Men Series.  Trip is the last of the Coulter sons to find love. He’s a handsome man with all the skills a young spy needs to succeed. But when it comes to love, he misses the target. Jane is a sweet beauty who may or may not be wanted for murder. She’s hiding out as a cleaning lady when chance brings her and Trip together. It looks like a happily ever after is in the cross hairs until reality tries to destroy what fate has intended.

Fate

Elizabeth Seckman is a simple chick with a simple dream…to write stories people want to read.

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In honor of Wormhole Week, Stephen Tremp, Alex J Cavanaugh, and L. Diane Wolf are hosting this blogfest:

Wormfest

Name one thing where science advances mankind, and one where technology with unforeseen consequences will go too far and set mankind back. (And they can be the same thing.) Example: De-Extinction, or bringing back extinction species through back breeding, genetic engineering, and cloning. With all the breakthrough discoveries mankind is on the cusp of, are we playing God? 

I’m going to go with artificial limbs and medicines for science advances. And for going too far I’d say Big Bro watching us. After the Edward Snowden incident last year, the Obama Administration and the “Intelligence” community (HA!) have been under fire for reading emails and monitoring the Internet of regular citizens with no cause–essentially invading our privacy and throwing our rights out with the baby in the bath water or whatever. I’ve never been good with idioms 😉

How would you answer the above question? Do you believe in Fate? Did you LOVE Elizabeth’s 18 Truths as much as I did?! If you’re in the Fort Myers area this Saturday, I hope you’ll come hear me speak under the teen tent at 12:45pm at the Southwest Florida Reading Festival 🙂

Criticism or Encouragement–Which One Will You Believe?

Perhaps if we’re friends on Facebook, you recall this status from me on January 29th, the day after 18 Truths came out . . .

“129 books–that’s what I sold yesterday. So far from my goal of 500 And on top of that, I have people bad mouthing me behind my back? Seriously, you may be broken if you think inspiring young people to DREAM BIG & to READ & give back to charity isn’t something I should be promoting? And congratulations, b/c now you’ve broken me, too. I don’t feel like working on book 3 anymore, & I don’t know when I will.”

After some much needed encouragement, a nap, and some chocolate, I pulled myself together and pressed on. Good thing too, because just 3 weeks later, this happened after my publisher ran a BookBub 99 cent Kindle deal for my first book, 18 Things . . .

Feb 21 sales

That’s #114 in the whole Kindle store!!! Almost crossed “Make it to the top 100 of Amazon” off my bucket list. Sooo close. And I was #1 in Children’s Paranormal, #1 in Children’s Coming of Age, and #2 in Children’s Fantasy . . . I really liked that one because I found myself in a Suzanne Collin’s sandwich (Catching Fire was #1 and Hunger Games #3). The trend continues! Both of my novels are still trending in those first two categories. But with success comes a great feeling of vulnerability. Envy happens from people you thought you could trust, people in the industry and even people who aren’t.

It seems God always leads me to the right book at the right time. My ladies Bible Study group is currently reading Unglued: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions by Lysa TerKeurst. Chapter 10 is titled “Negative Inside Chatter.” And I quote, “Realities based on runaway feelings rather than truth always lead to one thing–insecurity . . . Toxic thoughts are so dangerous because they leave no room for truth to flourish. And lies are what reign in the absence of truth.”

Yep, I’m finding my own personal set of 18 Truths inside Lysa’s book.

Have you ever had a friend who was the exact opposite of what you need? She/he put down everything and everyone in your life, under the disguise of trying to be helpful. *Raises both hands high in the air* I’ve kept some of these relationships alive because I felt like they’re probably the only people being honest in my life, but why do I give them such control? I wrestle with enough negative influences in my world without being bombarded by them in my so-called friendships. So I finally realize I need to discontinue some relationships because I’m beginning to be influenced in a negative way toward things. Instead of me appreciating the blessings of this journey, these people were leading me to focus of the few things that were wrong. That’s not how I want to live my life.

It was actually a story titled How the Brain Takes Criticism I saw on CBS Sunday Morning show that lead me to severe these relationships (check out the article if you have time). That, and the sudden loss of my twelve-year-old student last week. Life is simply too short to feed the negative.

Can I just encourage you that we don’t have to covet what someone else has. That means we think God is insufficient to supply for us. Maybe you haven’t been through enough to believe that yet, but I have, so let me reassure you! When we hold onto faith that our best days are ahead, we can celebrate the success of others instead of being bitter about things. If you didn’t get something, trust that it’s only because God has something better for you down the road. But you can never drag anger, jealousy, or bitterness to the place God has for you. So seriously, let it go. Those are such wasted emotions. Choose to be inspired by the success of others . . . it means dreams really do come true 🙂

The Insecure Writer’s Support Group is a blog hop that posts the first Wednesday of every month, founded by Head Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh. P.S. My publisher dropped 18 Things to 99 cents again because I’m part of a huge festival tomorrow and Friday and on the news Friday to promote my books! Also, 18 Truths is on sale for $2.99 through the weekend, too! Hope you’ll check them out or help spread the word 🙂 🙂

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