Friday, June 15, 2012

Tears in the Rubble: Did you know?


Here are some interesting things you probably don’t know about Tears in the Rubble…

The bar Ophelia’s is named after one of Shakespeare’s characters.

The scene for Taylor and Layla’s “first date” was a pizza place originally called Crust Lover’s (because at the time I couldn't come up with anything else).

For about 3 years Tears in the Rubble was lovingly referred to as “The Barn Story”.

The story was originally a love triangle between Taylor, Layla, and Ben, but they just wouldn’t have it.

Taylor’s last name at one point was Daniels then I realized his last name was Scott and his middle name was Daniel.

I started writing this as a young adult piece.

There were two different beginning to Tears in the Rubble

It had a prologue at one point, but I decided to use the prologue in chapter one as a flashback instead.

There you have it a few fun facts about my little world.  Don't forget the rest of Taylor and Layla's story is coming soon!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Welcome Lila Munro...


I'd like to welcome the talented Lila Munro today.  She's here talking about planning and setting goals.  Something I'm sure we all could use some insight on.  I'm so excited she's stopped by to chat.  



Fail to Plan = Plan to Fail

Good morning everyone! And thank you, Britni, for having me over today. It’s a pleasure to be here. Although I’m not accustomed to hanging around the PG13 world, I do occasionally, and although a bit rusty at it, I’m going to give it a whirl. ;) Actually, it’s kind of nice to be able to write about something other than my genre choice (which is quite naughty) for a few minutes. While I love my genre choice, there’s so much more to writing than what I choose to write. In fact, I used to make it my life’s business to talk about all aspects of writing on my blog, but fell away from blogging so much on my own platform earlier this year as I went out into the world and guest posted more and more. Later this year I plan to make a return to writing on my own blog more and doing as I did before, offering a bit of advice each week to new and aspiring writers. I hope it’s good advice. I don’t consider myself an expert or anyone else for that matter because the market is so fluid and particularly in the e-book world there is never any concrete, tangible proof that any one single thing is the key to the magic kingdom, so to speak. One thing I do know, however, is if you fail to plan, you in essence plan to fail.

You absolutely, positively must have a plan. Without one, you’re the equivalent of a rudderless ship in choppy waters and your compass is broken. A recipe for disaster if ever there was one.

For some, the plan is as simple as they want to write a book and see it published. It’s a bucket list item and this would fulfill their goal. Write one book. See it published. Mission accomplished. Being as I’ve worked both sides of the fence in this industry, I’ve seen many people come and go on just this plan alone. They publish one work, they are happy, all is well in their world. This plan is quite simple. This percentage of writers isn’t concerned with sales, not concerned with marketing. They want one thing and one thing only, to see their name on Amazon. And that’s okay. Every writer has a different goal and therefore their plans will vary, be simpler or more complicated accordingly, but the need to plan still applies. And it’s when the goal becomes more complicated the plan should as well. Where we fail at times is in the actual forming of the plan and subsequent execution.

I’ve been at this a while now and as my definition of what my goal was became refined, so did my plan. I didn’t realize the importance of the plan at first, but once I did, my life as a writer became much easier. The first year, I knew one thing. I wanted published. Past that I had no idea what I wanted from this life. That first year was fairly simple…at least until I hit the six month mark and became discontent and realized my lack of planning was leading to failure. I was naïve in thinking all I wanted was to become published. I wanted more. I wanted fans and readers and more money and name recognition and a different publisher (no Rebel Ink Press wasn’t my first press). I wanted a lot more than I thought I did or had recognized at first. How did I get there? It’s at this point that most people’s sense of survival kicks in and the whole publishing industry becomes a dog eat dog world and things tend to get dirty. This is the point where the will to survive separates the bucket listers from the endurance club. Your goals sort of define where you fit in and who will talk to you and who’s willing to help you.
Year two my goals shifted from I merely wanted published to I wanted it all. While I still had no real sense of how to get there, I knew one thing, name recognition was imperative. Blogging and all the free advertising I could find. That was the plan. It wasn’t defined, it was rough, it wasn’t in writing. Just blog my butt (see  I can write it clean) off and get my cover art anywhere I could find a free or inexpensive slot to house it. Well, this sort of worked. It was at some point during the end of year two I discovered I had again failed to plan, or at least plan properly.

Year three…I planned to succeed. I realized I had to have a defined planned with specific ways of making the plan work. In other words, I had to get down to business and set down goals to paper with the steps I would have to take to get to the end of the rainbow. I needed a clear cut map, a GPS, and a boy scout tagging along for good measure. I had to plan! This fly by the seat of my pants gig wasn’t getting me where I wanted to be, which was another issue in and of itself. I wasn’t totally sure where I wanted to be. You see the cutthroat world of publishing is exhausting at times to say the least and I had discovered there were certain people, places, and things I just simply wanted no part of. So, I sat down and started my resolution to success. It wasn’t the new year officially, but it was my new year. By the way, new writers, this flailing about wondering where you’re going is not unusual. Don’t feel like if you take three years to get it together and define yourself and your goals you’ve failed. You’ve not. You’re just simply taking a while to figure out what you want and how to get there. This is common.

My new plan is on paper and even has a title: 2012 Goals and How to Get There. Yes, I got that anal. I do not under any circumstances want to fail. I want to succeed! The goal: Increase Readership, Increase Name Recognition, Decide What’s Next (as in…am I Big Six shopping?). It’s clear cut, it’s concise. It defines what I want to accomplish. Step one: Commit to blogging at least once a week on my own blog. Step two: Research the pros and cons of what’s next. Step three: Guest blog at a reputable site at least four times a month. Step four: Develop and maintain positive meaningful relationships with positive meaningful people. (This means network—know it and use it!) The list goes on with specific advertising strategies and an advertising budget—where and when, where I want to see a review of my work by year’s end, contests I will enter, etc. It’s on paper and outlined. It’s my business plan.

You see, we’re all running a business. Our writing is our business and we are the vehicle from which it either succeeds or fails. No good business flies by the seat of their pants. They have a clear cut plan. It defines the goal of the company and outlines how to get there.

Are you a bucket lister or a member of the endurance club? If you’re in this for the long haul you must define yourself and your direction, because if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

Thanks again, Britni, for having me by and letting me chatter away today.
~~Lila Munro

Lila Munro currently resides on the coast of North Carolina with her husband and their two four-legged kids. She’s a military wife with an empty nest and takes much of her inspiration for her heroes from the marines she’s lived around for the past fifteen years. Coining the term realmantica, she strives to produce quality romance in a realistic setting. Her genre of choice is contemporary romance that spans everything from the sensual to BDSM and ménage. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading everything she can get her hands on, trips to the museum and aquarium, taking field research trips, and soaking up the sun on the nearby beaches. Her works include The Executive Officer’s Wife, Bound By Trust, Destiny’s Fire, Salvation, Three for Keeps, the Force Recon series, the Slower Lower series, and the Identity series. She’s a member in good standing of RWA and Passionate Ink. Currently she’s working on sequels to several series to be released throughout 2012. And has a brand new line scheduled for winter 2012-13. Ms. Munro loves to hear from her readers and can be contacted via her website http://realmanticmoments.blogspot.com Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/Lila_MunroPinterest at https://pinterest.com/lilamunro/Goodreads at http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4200524.Lila_Munro  You can also contact her via email at lilasromance@gmail.com

Thanks again for stopping by Lila!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Fictional Couples


This is a fun one!  I love to read.  And I love movies.  And we all know I LOVE cheesy teenage dramas.  So here are my top ten fictional couples.


1. Romeo and Juliet
        This should need no explanation

2. Allie and Noah
        The Notebook

3. Kevin Arnold and Winnie Cooper
  The Wonder Years

4. Joey and Pacey
  Dawson’s Creek

5. Buttercup and Wesley
  The Princess Bride

6. Ezra and Aria
        Pretty Little Liars

7. Chuck and Blair
        Gossip Girl

8. Baby and Johnny
        Dirty Dancing

9. Lois Lane and Clark Kent
        Superman

10. Kevin and Nina
        The Low Notes

Many of these are books as well as movies or tv shows.  But hey a good couple is a good couple.  This really shows everyone what a dork I am.







Sunday, June 10, 2012

Rebel Ink Press: New Release Blog Hop


Just wanted to say hi and thanks for stopping by!  Take a peek at my recent release. And stay tuned for part two...coming soon!


Blurb:

Layla Swanson grew up in the lazy, small town of Hollow Oaks and can’t wait to get out.  She has big dreams and big plans in the big city.  Layla has worked hard and her senior year is nearly at its end.  She can’t wait to go away to college.  And she’s one step closer to getting what she wants. Layla isn’t letting anyone get in her way. 
Taylor Scott may not be your typical country boy, but he doesn’t mind Hollow Oaks.  His dreams may not be marked on paper and set in stone, but it doesn’t mean he doesn’t have them. 
A chance meeting between the two childhood friends may have Layla second guessing her longtime plan. Their rekindled friendship is leading them down a path neither one could have foreseen.  But with Layla leaving for college, many challenges face them, especially when she so stubbornly sticks to her solo plan.
Is Taylor’s love enough to convince Layla to let him in?  Or when everything falls apart, will Layla run away?    


Here's a sneak peek...

Excerpt:

…Taylor glared at his brother until movement on the porch caught his attention. He looked just in time to see Layla bounding down the wooden steps. Taylor swallowed thickly and from the corner of his eye he saw Jackson’s head jerk to the left. Both boys watched as her green cotton sundress moved around her legs, her pale blond hair streaming behind her, her pink lips split into a grin. 
"Oh… shit," Taylor said under his breath. Layla Swanson is hot was Taylor’s first thought. His second thought was when had that happened? They'd been best friends for most of their lives. Taylor wasn’t sure how he had missed the transformation from bossy tomboy to whatever it was Layla had become. He'd seen her yesterday and yet he could swear she looked different. Beside him his brother was nodding in agreement. Taylor shot him another glare which only earned him another snort from Jackson. 
"Layla Swanson’s all grown up," Jackson whispered, drawing out the words just as she pulled the passenger side door open, ducking the swat at the back of his head. 
"Morning boys," she called cheerfully, ignoring their fighting. When Taylor didn’t respond because he was too busy staring, she pushed on his shoulder playfully. "What, do I look bad?" 
She glanced down at her dress and ran a hand over her hair before biting down on her full, glossy bottom lip and looking back up at him. He continued to stare helplessly as her lip slowly popped out from between her white teeth. Shaking himself, Taylor cleared his throat trying to think of a response, something to smooth over the awkward moment. Maybe she hadn’t noticed he was staring. He hoped so anyway. 
"No," he trailed off. Really smooth, Taylor cursed himself silently. 
He climbed out of the truck and let her slide into the middle seat before he got back in. Over her shoulder, Jackson caught Taylor’s eye and raised an eyebrow questioningly. Taylor shrugged lightly and closed the door. 
They rode in silence for a while. A very uncomfortable silence if anyone were to ask Taylor. Normally, they would have teased each other and talked while Jackson ignored them, but today they just sat. Layla stared straight ahead and Taylor looked out the side window watching the fields blur by. It was awkward and easy to feel the tension in the truck. It felt to Taylor that it was almost a living, breathing thing. 
"Are you sure I look okay?" Layla’s voice broke through the silence. Taylor could hear the nervousness there and he wanted to say something to make her feel better. Still at a loss for words, he turned his head and met her hazel eyes. Taylor opened his mouth to speak but before anything came out, Jackson spoke up. 
"You look great, Layla." The compliment was smooth and simple delivered in a lazy way, and it made Taylor mad. 
She turned away from Taylor and to his horror, he watched his brother reach up and tug on 
her hair playfully before he let his arm rest on the back of the seat behind her... 


You can buy Tears in the Rubble at: Amazon, ARe, Barnes & Noble, and BookStrand.



Thanks again for stopping by!  To keep updated stop back by or find me on Facebook.

Don't forget to head back to Rebel Reasoning to check out more from Rebel's great authors.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Thursday Thirteen: Places I Want to Travel


I'm taking a stab at Thursday Thirteen.  So here it is!  13 places I want to travel.  Some are here, some are not.



1. Boston, Massachusets
2. Greece
3. Tahiti
4. Hawaii
5. Jamaica
6. Belize
7. Miami, Florida
8. Ireland
9. Spain
10. Cabo San Lucas
11. Costa Rica
12. Bahamas


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Things I Learned Publishing a Novel




This whole thing has been an adventure, a learning experience full of new and surprising things.  Some things were expected and some things weren’t.


1. I handle criticism better than I thought I did.  The editing process was daunting and a bit overwhelming.  I was worried that I would be offended or just completely stubborn when it came to the suggestions made.  I went into it with and open mind and thought about each change as a reader and it went pretty smoothly.

2. Designing covers isn’t for me.  I love my cover for Tears in the Rubble, but designing it just wasn’t my cup of tea.  While I have a creative eye blending the elements was a job left for Rebel’s wonderful cover artist.  Maybe it has something to do with my indecisiveness.

3. People will always assume that you based the story off of an experience, or a character off of a person.  I’ve been asked a lot of funny questions but most people assume the male and female characters from Tears in the Rubble are based on my boyfriend and me.  I can tell you that is in no way true.

4. Marketing is hard.  Especially marketing a book.  I have to market myself for my full time job too.  This is very different though.  Knowing what works and where to put your blurb and cover is time consuming and sometimes tedious.

5. People are under the assumption that if you are having a book published you are going to be famous and make tons of money.  Not the case.  I won’t instantly be the next Stephen King or Nicholas Sparks.  I didn’t get an advance to write my book and I probably won’t ever.  It doesn’t mean it isn’t worth it though.

6. Independent publishers are frowned upon by bookstores.  Self-publishers as well.  They may not say that but it sure seems to be the truth to me.  They will sell your eBook left and right but not you’re paperback.

7. It’s a really good feeling to have people love something you’ve created.  I know there will always be fans and there will always be haters.  Not everything is for everyone.  I’m sure there are those out there that read or will read my stories and not enjoy them, but that doesn’t matter.  The only thing that matters is the people that do like it.  The ones that love it and the ones that share the fact that they love it.

8. There are places that my obsessive compulsive habits come in handy.  And that would be in writing.  Making sure things add up and that my timeline flows.  I always notice things like that when I read a book and when it came to writing my own story I double and triple checked those things.

9. I love this.  Writing that is.  I will do it as long as I can.  No matter how much money I make or don’t make.  I just want to share the world in my head with everyone around me.

10. I have an incredibly strong and wonderful support system.  There was a time that probably wasn’t true.  I’ve done some weeding and become much pickier about who I let into my life.  And the people that are left are amazing.  They are there for me when I need them and have never judged me.  Without them this would have been a whole lot harder.

So there you have it.  Ten things I learned publishing a novel.  Some of them are personal, some professional, and some are just my little observations.

If you're curious about Tears in the Rubble head on over to the tab at the top and check it out.  Part two is coming soon!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Coming Soon: From the Rubble

Alright everyone!  Here it is!  An official announcement about From the Rubble (the sequel to Tears in the Rubble).  I know I've hinted at it but it really is happening.

When I first finished Tears in the Rubble I wasn't thinking about  a sequel.  Maybe that's because I've never been one for tying a pretty bow on everything.  Maybe it was because I knew in my head the next steps for my characters.  But really there's so much more to tell, and I want to share it with you all.

I don't have a date yet.  When I do I'll share.  In the mean time, if you haven't read Tears in the Rubble you should get started.  Head here to see all the place you can get it http://britnihillwriter.blogspot.com/p/tears-in-rubble.html.


From the Rubble blurb:


In the wake of a terrible betrayal, Taylor and Layla bury their feelings for the other, good and bad, just to get by day to day.  Forced together because of their daughter, Taylor struggles to forgive Layla so he falls into the role of fatherhood, naturally striving to be the best father he can be.

Layla’s guilt overwhelms her as she fights herself over her feelings for Taylor.  After all, she doesn’t believe she deserves another chance.  She’s already had too many.

Making a family out of a broken relationship won’t be easy, but with both Taylor and Layla pushing forward, will they ever find a new normal?  Will they ever confront their feelings for one another?


Stay tuned for more news and spread the word!