Sunday, September 23, 2012

Who's More Excited?

Eeeekkkkkk!
     It doesn't get any better than finding out your client is about to get a contract with a terrific house. I know I should be most excited about contracts for ME! But it turns out, things don't exactly work that way.
     I am so much more excited for my clients. Go figure! I'll be back in the near with some amazing news!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Affect vs. Effect...Led vs. Lead



Do you stumble over which word to use?
Its or it’s. There, their, or they’re?
Then, you’re simply like the rest of us. Each of us has a word or words that trip us up from time to time.
He gave it to Bonnie and me. He gave it to Bonnie and I?

There are no excuses with the net for us not to look them up and correct them before submitting our manuscripts. If it’s worth writing, it’s worth writing right!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Review/Pineapples in Peril

Cheryl Lynn Martin's Pineapples in Peril
Just when you thought you were all grown up, along comes the Hawaiian Island Detective Club to prove you're still a child at heart. Leilani and her friends are smack dab in the middle of a mystery. Smashed pineapples everywhere. Mmm, I can smell them from here, sweetly announcing there's a mystery at hand.

Cheryl has a way with writing for middle schoolers, but little does she know, she has this writer hooked on the mysteries as well. Leilani reminds me what it is to be young again with all the enthusiasm only a young teen can have and get away with it. Your tweens are gonna love Pineapples.


Spend some time with Cheryl and get an idea what makes her tick!
Cheryl, you seem to know a lot about Hawaii. What inspired you to write this book?
I have always loved Hawaii ever since I lived there while attending The University of Hawaii. I combined that with my interest in writing for ages 8-12 years and The Hawaiian Island Detective Club was born!

Any other books in the series?
The three books in this series are entitled Pineapples in Peril, Menehunes Missing, and Ukuleles Undercover.

Any interesting experiences while living in Hawaii?
Yes! I learned to surf, got scared by a pipefish while snorkeling (thought it was an eel!), nearly lost my suit while body surfing, ate every kind of island food I could—including poi, took hula classes, and performed at my dorm’s luau. I loved every moment of island life!

***

What is the writing process like for you?
When I’m writing a new book, I mark my calendar for ten weeks of 5,000 words each week and dedicate several hours each weekday to reach that goal. I do any catch-up word count necessary over the weekends. My books are all around 50,000 words! I do very little editing when I’m in the “writing mode!”

Do you know at the beginning of the mystery who will be the culprit?
Not usually. I’m not a “plotter” but I do need to know what the mystery is and also something about where I’m going. The in-between can take many unusual turns before the real culprit is revealed.

What is your favorite and least favorite part of being a writer?
Favorite: Coming up with a great new idea for my next book. Also, reaching the end!
Least Favorite: Because I write “Seat of the Pants,” I hate having to go back and “fix” things that don’t work anymore when I go off in some strange new direction!

What advice do you have for new writers?
If you’re goal oriented, try setting a reasonable word count goal that allows for you to get ahead at times and gives you make-up time as well. Also, set aside that time to simply sit down and write—don’t go to any e-mails, facebook pages, etc. It’s all about planting yourself in front of that computer and pounding out the words!

***

What is Pineapples in Peril about?
Leilani Akamai and her two best friends, Maile and Sam decide to investigate the vandalism taking place in the pineapple fields near their homes. They’ve been The Hawaiian Island Detective Club for years, solving pretend mysteries. This is their chance to solve a real one. Unless, of course, Kimo, Leilani’s annoying ten-year-old brother ruins everything. And then there’s Maile’s 16-year-old brother who’s the love of Leilani’s life.
Ahh . . . the angst of adolescence!

Do your characters ever get into messes?
Oh my, do they! When they’re planning stakeouts and following people, Leilani and her friends have found themselves in some weird and sometimes scary situations.
Which character is most like you, and why?
Probably Leilani. She is determined, yet in many ways has issues with her confidence. She also finds herself in trouble a lot, even though it always seems to be her brother’s fault. Yup, I have a younger brother! When are Books Two and Three of The Hawaiian Island Detective Club coming out and what are their titles?
Menehunes Missing has a tentative release date of February 5, 2013.
Ukuleles Undercover will probably be out in the summer or early fall of 2013.

***
Who or what inspires you?
I was first inspired to write as a child, reading Nancy Drew. I knew at that young age that I would one day write a mystery!
Striving to do what God has placed in front of me motivates me to keep pressing forward. Sharing wholesome mysteries filled with fun, humor, mishaps and unexpected moments for kids to enjoy also motivates me to continue this amazing journey.

Tell us a little about your family:
I have a great husband, three amazing kids and Lilly, a Persian cat who’s definitely “The Queen.”

How can your readers connect with you?
My website address is www.cheryllinnmartin.com I also have a blog all about Hawaii at www.lifeinflip-flops.blogspot.com
You can also connect with me on my facebook author page at www.facebook.com/authorcheryllinnmartin
Twitter at http://twitter.com/clinnmartin
If “tweeters” would like to comment on The Hawaiian Island Detective Club, they can add the hashtag: #HIDC









Friday, September 7, 2012

Querying an Agent



Tell me, what do you send to an agent to get his/her attention?
Do you go to their site ahead of time and check to see what they want?
Do you blanket the net with hundreds of emails designed as generic spam?
What kind of responses are you getting?
Just curious to find out what people deem as appropriate to send to an agent they've never met.
Perhaps, if you give me some "honest" answers here, we can wade through and decide how best
to approach an agent and get a positive response, a full read, or a contract!

Hmmm, the chocolate does look pretty good, but a great query is even better...

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Great New Blog!

Looking for a fresh new face in blogging? This is it:
http://emilycreynolds.blogspot.com/2012/09/pineapples-in-peril.html

Emily Reynolds writes novels with comedic punch! And her blogs reflect her sassy attitude. Stop by and follow Emily all the way to the fun!

Former Editorial Assistant to Terry Burns of the Hartline Agency, Emily is loaded with industry info and writing suggestions.

Stop by, say hi, and learn what Emily is all about!

This week she's reviewing Cheryl Martin's new book, Pineapples in Peril.