CURRENT GIVEAWAY CONTESTS
Here are my current Giveaway Contests
THE TRAGICALLY TRUE ADVENTURES OF KIT DONOVAN through April 16th
THE PRINCESS AND THE PAGE through April 22nd
Natalie Lakosil Query Critique and THE STAR THIEF through April 22nd
Happy Easter Giveaway Hop through April 30th
Tracy Marchini Query Critique through April 29th
Upcoming Agent Spotlights and Query Critique Giveaways
Laura Spieller on 4/26/2017
Loren Oberweger on 5/10/2017
Alyssa Jennette on 5/24/2017
Bibi Lewis on 6/12/2017
Kelly Van Sant on 6/21/2017
ELLE COSIMANO INTERVIEW AND NEARLY GONE GIVEAWAY
I've got some exciting news! As part of a debut MG author Skilar Brown's guest post with her agent Tina Wexler on revisions on Wednesday, April 16th, Tina Wexler is offering a query contest. One winner will receive a query critique from her. The winner will be selected by random.org. So get your queries ready. So excited to offer this for you all.
Marcy Hatch's first book, WEST OF PARADISE, releases tomorrow. Here's a little blurb:
the adventure he always dreamed of - until he meets a beautiful but
deadly train robber. Katherine Kennedy can't believe an ignorant bounty
hunter has mistaken her for a criminal – until she sees the picture, which
looks exactly like her. Neither of them can imagine how the past has a way
of catching up with the present.
Go HERE to find out more. Congrats, Marcy!
Next I have two winners to announce.
The winner of my Lucky is Reading Giveaway Hop is Diah Didi who selected ALIENATED!
And the winner of GUILDED is Kristina Vallaste!
Congrats! E-mail me your address so I can send you your book. Please e-mail me by the end of Wednesday or I'll have to pick another winner.
Today I’m excited to have Elle Cosimano here to share about her debut YA thriller NEARLY GONE that releases tomorrow. This sounds like a fantastic crime thriller that I’m looking forward to reading.
Here’s a blurb from Goodreads:
Nearly Boswell knows how to keep secrets. Living in a DC trailer park, she knows better than to share anything that would make her a target with her classmates. Like her mother's job as an exotic dancer, her obsession with the personal ads, and especially the emotions she can taste when she brushes against someone's skin. But when a serial killer goes on a killing spree and starts attacking students, leaving cryptic ads in the newspaper that only Nearly can decipher, she confides in the one person she shouldn't trust: the new guy at school—a reformed bad boy working undercover for the police, doing surveillance. . . on her.
Nearly might be the one person who can put all the clues together, and if she doesn't figure it all out soon—she'll be next.
Hi Elle! Thanks so much for joining us.
1. Tell us about yourself and how you became a writer.
I wanted to be a biologist, but after three failed years in the hard sciences, I conceded defeat to the Gods of Math and successfully graduated with a liberal arts degree in psychology. I fumbled for a while after college, and finally settled into a long and profitable career in real estate, which I wouldn’t realize until fourteen years later, was deeply unsatisfying. I joked to my colleagues that one day I would have a midlife crisis and leave work to write a novel. I did just that in the summer of 2010, when I took a two-month sabbatical from work to write NEARLY GONE. I never went back.
2. Funny that you joked about it and then did it. Where did you get the idea for your story?
The idea for the mystery came from watching a co-worker read the personal ads at work. She was in the middle of a painful divorce, and she spent her free time making fun of the Missed Connections ads in the local paper. But when she thought she was alone, I couldn’t help but notice how lonely she looked while reading those ads. Like she was hoping that one of them might be searching for her. Nearly Boswell’s character grew from that image, of a lonely woman who was too ashamed to admit that she yearned not to be. And from there, both the character and the mystery were born.
3. That’s a cool way to come up with a story idea. And show how ideas are all around us if we look. I read that you did a lot of research for NEARLY GONE. Share a bit about it and any advice you have for other authors on research for a crime thriller.
Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty! It’s so easy (and tempting) to stay home and do all our research
4. That’s great advice to contact people when you need to for hands on advice. Because this is a thriller, the plot has to keep moving and raising the stakes is important. What did you learn about plotting out a thriller from writing this?
I learned that tension has to come from every direction. It has to be internal, as well as external. It has to be counterbalanced by the desires and needs of an antagonist with his/her own internal and external tensions. It has to be tested by the needs and desires of love interests and friends and red herrings, each with their own internal and external tensions. And I learned that to dig deep enough to find and reveal all these taut threads, I had to give myself permission not to hold back.
5. Awesome advice. Nearly sounds like a fantastic character with secrets to hide. Share a bit about her and what her character development was like for you.
Nearly wasn’t always named so. She had a different name. Maybe a more normal one. But when I sat down and thought through her character – who she was and how she felt about herself – the words almost, just about, and nearly kept coming up over and over again. Nearly had a beautiful ring to it, and a heartbreaking connotation that made me feel for her. Because, let’s face it, we’ve all felt nearly at some point in our lives. We all long to be whole, we all want to be enough, we want to exceed someone else’s dreams and expectations. And so her name began to shape the rest of her character. “Nearly”, and her vehement rejection of her own name, became the microscope through which I began to understand her motivations and self-doubts.
6. Yes, we’ve all been at that “nearly” stage at times in our lives. Your agent is Sarah Davies. How did she become your agent and what was your road to publication like?
I queried Sarah in the usual fashion, and she pulled me from her slush-pile. I had never met her, but I’d done my homework and I knew she was high on my list of dream agents. Sarah read quickly, and offered representation within a week. But she was clear that the manuscript needed work. A lot of work. It needed a full re-imagining. I spent the next year re-writing NEARLY GONE. Twice. After a third deep revision, Sarah declared it was ready, and we went on submission right before the winter holidays in 2011. Kathy Dawson at Dial/Penguin pre-empted a deal for the book, plus a sequel, in the early weeks of 2012. Since then, my editor started her very own imprint at Penguin, and NEARLY GONE has been included in the inaugural launch list for Kathy Dawson Books.
7. That must have been a great experience editing your book with Sarah’s advice. How are you planning to market your book? What advice do you have for the rest of us on what to do market-wise in the year leading up to a book release?
So much of the debut experience is trial by fire. There is no Debut Year For Dummies manual. The best thing I ever did was to spend my debut lead-in time building relationships and supporting other authors. I cultivated exceptional critique partners, became involved in several debut online communities, attended retreats and professional events, and I had a lot of great conversations with people who knew more than I did. Then I shared that knowledge with those who were a few steps behind me. We are so lucky to have such a supportive and open writing community in kidlit. The debut year does not have to be a lonely one, and there’s great advice all around us.
8. I’ve heard many debut authors mention the importance of connection with other writers. What are you working on now?
I just wrapped up the first draft of the sequel to NEARLY GONE. NEARLY LOST (working title) is scheduled to release in 2015. I’ve also completed a separate book I’m super-excited about. It will appeal to fans of NEARLY GONE, but it’s too soon to share details yet.
Thanks for sharing all your advice, Elle. You can find Elle at:
Elle has generously donated a copy of NEARLY GONE for a giveaway. To enter, all you need to do is be a follower (just click the follow button if you’re not a follower) and leave a comment through April 5th. I’ll announce the winner on April 7th. If your e-mail is not on your Google Profile, please leave it in the comments.
If you mention this contest on Twitter, Facebook, or your blog, mention this in the comments and I'll give you an extra entry. You must be 13 or older to enter. International entries are welcome.
Here’s what’s coming up:
On Wednesday I’ve got a guest post by MG Buehrlen and giveaway of her YA novel THE 57 LIVES OF ALEX WAYFARE about a girl who has visions of living in times in history. It’s another one I’m hoping to read and MG blogs at YA Book Central, a fantastic blog that helps promote authors and their books.
Next Monday I’m interviewing Maureen McQuerry and giving away a copy of her MG fantasy,
BEYOND THE DOOR. It sounds really good and I hope to read it.
Next Tuesday I’ll be participating in the Fool For Books Giveaway Hop. I’ll have lots of great newly released YA choices and I’m going to add some newer middle grade books as well for my middle grade book lovers.
Next Wednesday Louise Caiola will be here sharing a guest post on writing NA fiction with a giveaway of THE MAKING OF NEBRASKA BROWN, a NA story about a girl who must reclaim her memory that has gotten fantastic reviews.
And don’t forget Casey’s Agent Spotlights.
Hope to see you on Wednesday!
Posted by Natalie Aguirre on Monday, March 24, 2014