The YA giveaway hop is now over. But wow was that fun while it was going!! Sadly, there can be only one winner. You were all so great I wish I could send everybody something, but maybe next time . . .
I am celebrating for the winner, see . . .
I’m a dork, I know. It’s okay.
Tiffany Drew @enterthedrew is the winner! Yay Tiffany!
Have a great day everyone!
I finished editing the galleys for Hazzardous Universe: The Magician’s Last Words at 2:30 am the other night night (or is that the other morning?).
While reading the galley’s I got my first look at the interior artwork, and I love it! Kevin really is awesome and talented. I’m still creeping out over the image of the alien doll floating past the space ship window. This is definitely not the kind of toy parents will be rushing out to buy for Christmas.
We’re filling up our schedules with school visits and book signings so if you are interested in having Kevin, or I, or both of us, come to your school, get booked now because space is filling up fast (could that then be described as the expanding universe? Since space is filling up . . . oh, nevermind). Also . . . Kevin and I are in the process of creature creation for book HU3 The Corridors of Eternity. This is your chance to get your artwork in a book! Draw us a picture of an alien creature. It can be as wacky or cool as you’d like. Give us a paragraph of background description on what your creature eats, where it lives, and what its life is like. The contest will run through February 14th of 2012. Why February 14th, you ask? Well, because it’s Valentine’s Day, and I LOVE aliens, of course! The winner of the contest will get a totally out of this universe T-shirt featuring Hap Hazzard and his cohorts, free copies of HU1, HU2 and HU3 when they all available, and your creature featured in HU3. If you are the winner, you will be giving us permission to utilize your work in HU3. We reserve the right to edit, or add modifications to your drawing so that it is stylistically similar to the drawings in the rest of the book. You will retain ownership of your work, but will also be allowing us to use your work in any marketing or display in regards to Hazzardous Universe. So let’s recap the rules so everyone knows what is up:
Creature Creation Rules and Regulations
- Artwork must be the artist’s own original creation. Copying someone else’s work will not be tolerated.
- Art design may not contain any profanity or vulgarity.
- Art design will be judged on originality and creativity.
- A person may enter as many times as they would like.
- Winner will receive T-Shirt, 3 Books and publication in the third book in the Hazzardous Universe series. They will also be formally thanked in the acknowledgement’s page.
- Entry format accepted: *Copy* of original artwork needs to be submitted by the traditionalists in a format no smaller than an 8×10. Digital art needs to be 300dpi in jpg format. Please do *not* send originals because we cannot guarantee we will be able to return it to you.
- Each entry must be labeled with contestant’s full name, age, phone number, e-mail, and school’s name if the entrant is under the age of 18.
- Entry deadline is February 14, 2012.
- Winners will be announced by March 15, 2012.
- Winners may be required to provide proof of identification to claim their award.
- There will be three winners from three different categories Adult 18-218 (if you’re older than that, email us and we’ll see what we can do ), Young Adult: 13-17, and Children: 5-12
- All entries/submissions become the property of Hap Hazzard and his crazy friends. Again . . . PLEASE DO NOT SEND ORIGINALS. Waiver/ Disclaimer Any and all Entries in the Hazzardous Universe Creature Creation Contest (collectively the “Entries”) shall be deemed, and shall remain, the property of Hap Hazzard and his crazy friends. Hap Hazzard and his crazy friends shall not be subject to any obligation(s) of confidentiality with respect to any Entries, nor is Hap Hazzard and his crazy friends liable for any use or disclosure of any Entries. Without limitations of the foregoing, the entrant hereby grants Hap Hazzard and his crazy friends a worldwide, perpetual, non-exclusive license of every kind and nature throughout the universe, and Hap Hazzard and his crazy friends shall be entitled to unrestricted use of the Entries for any purpose whatsoever, commercial or otherwise. The Entrant shall also have unrestricted use of his/her entry for any purpose whatsoever because Hap Hazzard and his crazy friends are just sharing like that. Send entries to info (at) hazzardousuniverse.com OR mail them to PO Box 130 Oak City, Utah 84649
We’ve already received some really amazing creatures. if you haven’t submitted yet–hurry and get to it because Valentine’s Day is only three weeks (ish) away.
I decided to start the year with a january Blog Hop giveaway. So read to the bottom if you want to participate.
I love the poem by Tennyson: Ring Out Wild Bells. Love it. It’s been put to music in the LDS hymn book, and it’s haunting and beautiful and feels full of promise all at the same time. The song gives me chills. I was disappointed we didn’t sing it on new Year’s Day in Sacrament meeting, but maybe next year.
With two books coming out within the next three months, I have been insanely busy. This means I haven’t blogged very much, which is probably a relief to everyone because then they don’t have to hear me whining over edits, over the fact that every time I think I’ve uncovered the secrets of the comma I realize I haven’t uncovered anything at all, over the fact that my kitchen counters are never clear, over the fact that Mother Nature is a real slacker with the whole winter thing.
I’m really glad I spared you all of that whining. Lucky you guys!
But since it is tradition that I start the year by looking back at the previous year, I’d decided I’d better write *something*. I had things I wanted to do last year, and things that actually were achieved.
Writing. I had tons of writing goals. Long term . . . short term. I wanted to write three books. I wrote two and three quarters. I would have made this goal except the year ended with all kinds of stuff getting piled on me at once and honestly . . . I have three kids who need to know they’re loved. I had to put something aside, and the work in progress was that something. It’s mostly done . . . which feels quite the same as mostly dead. I will pick that up again in another week or two. The two books that did find their way to completion are also the two coming out in the next few months. Olivia (which is part of the series written with Josi Kilpack, Heather Moore, and Annette Lyon) is coming out in February. And Hazzardous Universe: The Magician’s Last Words (Loving that title!) is coming out in March. The book that is mostly done is called Capes and Curls. It’s a fairytale retelling featuring Little Red Riding Hood and Goldilocks. It’s been a fun write, and I cannot wait to go back to it.
I wanted to read 70 books and I read 78. One of these days maybe I will be as well read as Jessica Day George. But probably not. That girl is a machine! I fell in love with Jim Butcher’s writing over the year and ended the year with James Dashner’s Death Cure. It was an epic ending to the series. It was fitting and believably human. I genuinely loved it. if you haven’t read it–then a pox upon your head. Dashner did a great job and Death Cure was a great book to end my reading year. Thanks James.
I wanted to get into shape. But one ACL snap and torn meniscus later, I am just grateful to be walking. I’ve come to the point that I can walk without a limp most of the time. I still struggle on stairs. I can do them, but sometimes if my knee is really hurting, it’s slow going. A rather severe depression overcame me at the time I injured my knee. It’s strange how a physical ailment can have such an emotional impact. I’m clawing my way out of it. Some days are great and there’s no pain at all. Others are less than great. It is the way of things.
I wanted my kids to be safe and happy. They are that for certain. I’m so grateful for the joy those three kids give me. I love listening to them laugh and hearing their ideas. I love the way they see the world and the fact that they aren’t afraid to share their thoughts with Mr. Wright and me. I love their jokes and hard work, and the way they care about others. Families are important things. And not every day is perfect in any family, but every day is worth experiencing because they are there: parents, siblings, in laws, nieces, nephews, children, spouses. I’m glad for the people in my life.
It was a good year. I was able to do some cool things and spend time with cool people. I’m glad to have another year at my disposal. Maybe I’ll get three books written this year . . .
I wish all of you a great New Year. May you accomplish your goals and be happy. As a way to kick off the year, I’m joining
New York Times Bestseller
else like it.”
Hugo, Nebula, and World
Fantasy Award Winner
So my editor wrote to me last week to let me know that I’ve had some push back on release dates for next year’s line-up. Olivia–the first book in the Newport Ladies Book Club Series won’t be out until February instead of January, and Hazzardous Universe–The Magician’s Last Words won’t be out until March. Each got pushed a month. I think it’s cute that my editor for Olivia wrote with an almost apologetic tone as though she worried I’d be unhappy or something. I am not at all unhappy.
The push back was because they wanted to get the cover right and it’s taking longer. I am *so* okay with that. I would much rather wait a month and get a superb cover than be early and not really ready to be marketed. People say not to judge a book by its cover, but we all do, and I want my cover, and the rest of the covers in this series, to be right. And yesterday the girls I’m writing the Newport series with and I received a sneak peek into our covers and they are so dang ADORABLE! Worth the wait! I’m excited to unveil them to you. They are bright and shiny and as Heather Moore stated, they make you want to visit Newport and relax with a good book on the beach.
In the mean time, I am writing a new book! And it has been fun! I love starting something new. I mentioned elsewhere that beginning the writing on a new book was like that long luxurious stretch first thing in the morning. It just feels good.
I’m doing nanowrimo for the first time ever and it’s been a nice motivation. But I spent the last several days going over Galleys, so no new writing has been accomplished. Next week it’ll be back to work! Be on the look out Olivia’s cover will be posted as soon as I get greenlighted to share.
Now that Dan Wells and Larry Correia have outed me on Twitter as someone who’s willing to play role playing games, I might as well confess that the carpool requirement down to World Fantasy was actually really fun. My character in the Warhammer Universe was Magland the Rat Catcher. I had a dog named Stink-Eye. And my cohorts were Veppar (played by Larry in a Boris and Natasha Russian accent for the entire drive to and from California) and Captain Starfire–who is not a unicorn no matter what Jessica Day George says(played by Steve Diamond). Dan was the game master, and I honestly laughed so hard in places I had tears running down my face. It really does pain me to admit how much fun role playing can be.
I actually took notes at World Fantasy in some of the panels because some great information was shared, but that’ll all be in a different post. What I want to say now is (girl scream) I met Neil Gaiman (another girl scream)! And he told me he loved my hair! eek! He is adorable, and I showed great restraint in not proposing to him. But more than adorable, he gave such great information. I learned new things and felt motivated again. It was a good experience. I also got to spend some time with Guy Gavriel Kay and may I just say, that man is charming and sweet and sincere and good, and he is one amazing writer! If you haven’t read Under Heaven, what are you waiting for? I roomed with Jessica Day George and her sister Jennifer and had a really good time with them. They are some of the funniest people I know. Our room looked like something out of a Disney fairytale with curtains hanging over the head board and all the woodwork in the room etched and scrolled like pieces of art posing as furniture. It was nice to see Lee Modesitt and his daughter Catherine again and get to go to lunch with them. I know I say this all the time, but there is something truly awesome about the friendships in the literary world. These are my people. They’re all smarter than I am and much better read, but they remain my people. It’s part of the reason that I keep writing. I must have the excuse to be where they are, doing whatever it is that they’re doing.
It was an awesome convention and I walked all over this labyrinth resort–miles and miles it felt like and got along quite well on my busted knee. I even managed the car ride without too much difficulty because Larry was good to stop often enough that I could stretch it out. I was feeling quite capable and awesome about how well I’d managed this new little blip in my life only to come home and lose the fight to a snowstorm. Wood stairs + wet snow = one twisted leg and screaming in a snow bank. Awesome . . . or something like that. I’m on the mend AGAIN. It’s my own fault for not being careful, but I’d grown used to the knee and could walk without a limp most of the time. I almost didn’t even remember that the knee had a problem until people pointed out the brace and asked what happened. I’m sure it’ll be okay, but it’s been frustrating.
I am doing nanowrimo this year so if anyone wants to buddy me my name is julie Wright and yes I did fail to cap the j because I am cool like that.
My Not So Fairy Tale Life is now available on Kindle!
and on Nook!
My Not So Fairy Tale Life is probably the first “good” book I’ve written. My first two books were rough because I hadn’t had enough experience writing to make them anything else. They were naive, and a bit embarrassing. I’ve received my rights back from the publisher to those first two books. I am sooooooo grateful to have those books out of print.
I hated to hear when people would tell me when they’d read one of those first two books. I had to refrain from offering them a refund and apologizing while at the same time assuring them I really have grown as an author, and my current writing reflects that growth. I never apologized for my third book, My Not So Fairy Tale Life.
But when it went out of print and I received my rights back on it and decided to do a little bit of a touch up on it, my cheeks burned. There was a lot there that gave me cringing pangs. Again, it was a little naive, a little overly idealistic. As I went through the manuscript, I rolled my eyes at several cheesy things in the book. But then half way through, I realized I WOULD NOT have ever written some of those weird things. So I checked the version from my publisher against the original draft I still had on my hard drive. And realized I HAD NOT written those cheesy little scenes or overly cutesy dialogue. My editor had, apparently, taken great liberty with my manuscript. I remembered getting the edit and him saying, “Don’t compare with your old manuscript; just read it for flow.” Being an obedient little author, I did exactly that. I did notice some of the changes in spite of not checking against my original manuscript. He had changed a full ten pages where he’d taken out my scene and replaced it with something he’d written. I slapped STET on that one and rewrote the scene a third time. He later told one of my friends that I simply didn’t understand that he got to write a scene in every book he edited.
O . . . kay.
I was so annoyed with the ten pages changed, I failed to notice the little things. But I noticed them this time around, and happily, they’re changed. That’s the beauty of getting my rights back; I was able to make changes that needed to be made. I was able to correct the spelling to Jane Austen’s name and tone down the cheesiness. It was a liberating exercise. I am truly grateful for my current editors who never put me in positions like that. I’m fine with editors telling me to fix problems–that’s what I hope they’ll do, but it’s weird for entire scenes to be rewritten.
And now the book is out there on its own. I’m excited to see what will happen with it. I have several books available on Kindle through my publisher, but this is the first time I have a title available that belongs to me alone. It’s a fun new adventure!
AND . . . because I have the rights back to everything except the design, My Not So Fairy Tale Life has a classy new wrapper. I really love the new cover. Go over and see for yourself!
So . . . several weeks ago, I went to the park in St. George with my kids. My kids call it the spinning park. I call it Satan’s playground.
I snapped the ACl in my left knee in half and tore the meniscus while playing at Satan’s playground. What could I have done to snap my ACL in half? Excellent question. What happened was I forgot I was nearly forty years old.
Don’t worry; I remember now.
I jumped off a spinning platform. You know that Newton guy and his three basic laws of motion?
I hate that guy. He was totally right. An object in motion DOES, in fact, want to stay in motion. My body was spinning to the left. I jumped out straight and landed straight so my feet and lower legs were no longer moving in spite of the fact that the rest of body was still in state of spin.
That was when pain unprecedented started.
I said a zillion swear words and screamed bloody murder in a park full of children. Actually I only said one swear word, I just said it a zillion times. I’m awesome like that. I apologized to the kids after, but the damage to their eardrums and fragile psyches was done. Much like my knee, that damage cannot be undone.
So I went to meet with the surgeon, found out how much surgery to get a replacement ACL would cost, and decided I might just want to see if I can live with this. Holy finances Batman! And not just the finances, but the rehabilitation to get the knee back to work after the surgery sounds horrendous, and I’m just not up to any more pain. Plus, I really hate the way your brain fogs and swirls away when you’re going under anesthetics. I may be a crazy writer, but I hate feeling like I’ve lost control of my mind. No surgery for me–at least not until I am sure that’s the best option.
Now, I’m working my knee out and re-learning how to walk. Stairs are a little precarious still, but I went hiking on crutches the other day, so life is almost back to normal. If you can still hike, you can do anything
In other news . . . A couple of years ago Josi Kilpack and I went on a western US book tour together. Not only did we have a blast, and not only did I learn that Josi is an amazing person to put up with me the way she did, but we had a conversation about how much we wished we could have Heather Moore and Annette Lyon with us. From there, Josi came up with the brainchild of all four of us writing a book series together.
We met the ladies for lunch when we got home and pitched the idea to them. We were all on board. And that was the birthplace of the Newport Ladies Book Club. We each wrote from the viewpoint of a different character so in each of the books, you’ll get some of that character’s story, but only by reading all four books will you get the full picture or find out the endings to the other character’s stories. It was great fun to write the books–to get together and discuss the characters, and great fun to read the finished products, because each story is so unique and interesting.
Last week we received news that the series has been accepted by our publishers, and we are now looking forward to the release of the series! My character’s name (and consequently the book title) is Olivia, and I really loved writing her story. but more than that, I loved coming together with these three other women and creating something new. It was a testament to me about how friendships are so important, and how we, as women, all have so much to bring to the table and offer each other. Another thing that struck me is how often people influence our lives and yet have no idea they’ve had any impact at all. There are many women who have been there for me through the years–women who likely don’t know how their few kind words saved me in moments of despair. How I want to say thank you:
To the grandmother who stayed on the phone with me when I was scared late at night and my folks weren’t home yet.
To the mom who drove me on my paper route when it was cold.
To the woman who called me one day and invited me to church even though she’d never met me before and I was just a name on a roll sheet, and in that one moment changed my entire future.
To the girls who got me through the teenage years and as women are helping me get through the old lady years.
To the countless strangers who complimented my hair, or clothes, or worked to make me feel comfortable when I was feeling dowdy, ugly, and out of place.
To the online people who have never even met me and yet who encourage me with their words.
To the lady in the hospital who was unlucky enough to get in the elevator with me when I felt like my life was falling apart, who told me to take the moment to cry out whatever was hurting me so much, but then to move on because life was beautiful if I would only be willing to look at it.
To those blogs I visit online when I just need to laugh because their outlook on everything is awesome.
To the women in my town who showed up en masse on a day where everything else went wrong.
To my sisters of both the natural and in-law variety who love me even when I’m absurd, who make me laugh, and let me cry, and who care so very much.
To my daughter who reminds me of all the beautiful potential in the world.
To the women at Covenant and all the authors who encourage me, inspire me, and stand by me as a writer.
To the three women who were willing to let me write a series with them.
To all those women, THANK YOU!
It’s amazing to me how much we need each other–to support one another, to bear up each other’s burdens, and to simply be kind to one another. it’s amazing to me how often I witness women stepping up to the plate to do what is needed–to hug when needed, to kiss better when needed, and to love everywhere.
Help Tristi celebrate her new novel in two ways. First, come participate in the two-week-long blog contest, where you can win a book nearly every single day! All the details are up on Tristi’s blog.
Second, come to the book launch!
You are invited to an
Saturday, August 13th
Pioneer Book, 858 S. State, Orem
12 – 4 pm
Games, prizes, balloons, face painting,
and Dutch oven cobbler
prepared by world champion cook
will all be there to sign books.
This is one book launch event
you will not want to miss!