You all were busy this weekend, as I woke up to more than a thousand reviews on Goodreads.
I guess that means it’s time to take a look at the poll for deleted scenes…
I think one of the hardest things I had to cut from All the Ugly and Wonderful Things was most of Donal’s story after he was taken away from Wavy. When one is a famous, established author, one can get away with producing a sprawling 800-page saga, but publishing frowns on that for unknown, unestablished writers such as myself. So most of Donal’s life with Sean got axed early on, because it required the reader to follow and invest in two rapidly diverging story lines.
Because that’s such a big chunk, and I’m essentially a devious person, I’m not sending it all out at once. I’ll send the first two chapters tonight, and the next two when I hit one of the other two goals. Over on Amazon, only 26 reviews to go to hit 200. Mwahahahahah. If you’ve already written a review on Goodreads, it’s easy enough to copy and paste over to Amazon or B&N.
Or you could try giving your friends who’ve reviewed on Goodreads sad puppy eyes to convince them to post their review elsewhere. Here, you can use Josey.
Posted in books, Writing | Tagged All the Ugly and Wonderful Things, book reviews, deleted scenes, Donal, lost scenes, sad puppy eyes | 2 Comments »
Once, again I went to my trusted neutral third party to pick winners for my audio book giveaway, and the winners are …
Marla Milrad (who entered on this here blog)
Kell Donaldson (who entered on Facebook)
Marla, I don’t have contact info for you, so drop me a line.
I have a few things to get caught up on, and then there’s likely to be a poll about what deleted scene you want to see first …
Posted in books | Tagged All the Ugly and Wonderful Things, Audible, audio book, book giveaway, free books, freebie | 2 Comments »
When the audio book of All the Ugly and Wonderful Things went on sale, Audible sent me the ten promotional copies that were promised in my contract. “Use one for yourself and the rest to promote your book with giveaways” their overly cheery email suggested. I promptly did a couple of little giveaways and passed out a handful of the promotional codes.
I didn’t plan to listen to the audio book, but then people kept asking me if it was any good. Writer friends were curious how the narration of sixteen different narrators turned out. So I downloaded it, intending to listen to a few snippets. Instead, over the course of the last week, I listened to the whole thing.
It is weirdly compelling. The narrator, Jorjeana Marie, did an amazing job, particularly in light of the fact that the sixteen narrators span from a five-year-old boy to a seventy-year-old woman, and include college girls, old men, drug-dealing heavies, and half a dozen random strangers. She makes it compelling. Nothing weird about that.
The weird part is to find myself compelled by my own work. I have been over this book so many times, I couldn’t give you an accurate count. A few hundred at least. I’ve read it aloud at least a dozen times, because that’s one of the best ways to do revisions. Read it out loud and really listen to the rhythm of it. I was sure that at this point in time there weren’t any surprises for me, but I was wrong. Hearing someone else read it reminded me of details I’d forgotten and introduced me to beats I didn’t even realize I’d written. Weird.
All this to say that I still have some promotional codes to give away, and if you’re willing to take my biased opinion, it is weirdly compelling. To enter to win, leave me a comment with your favorite audio book. Now that I’ve taken the plunge, I’m curious.
(Because Audible is world rights, this is open to international folks, too.)
Posted in books, Weirdness, Writing | Tagged All the Ugly and Wonderful Things, Audible, audio book, book giveaway, freebie, giveaway, Jorjeana Marie, multiple narrators, weirdly compelling | 10 Comments »
I’m officially kicking off my wild sighting giveaway!
To get your own signed bookplate, you have to do three simple things:
- Find a copy of All the Ugly and Wonderful Things out in the wild (your local bookstore, your library, public transit, etc.)
- Take a picture. You with the book, if you’re not shy, or just the book, if you are.
- Post it on whatever social media site you prefer, tell where you found the book, and tag me. I’m on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Ello, and this here blog. If you post somewhere else, just send/post a link.
I’ll get back to you to find out where to send your signed bookplate. I’ll give signed bookplates to the first 50 wild sightings I get, and I’ll pick five random winners to receive additional book swag in the form of key chains, necklaces, and mix tapes.
Posted in books, Writing | Tagged All the Ugly and Wonderful Things, book swag, bookplates, books in the wild, freebie, giveaway, signed bookplates, signed books, wild sighting | 8 Comments »
Fairly early on in All the Ugly and Wonderful Things, Kellen gets arrested while he’s out drag racing with Wavy. The deputy who picks them up tries to make an overture of friendship toward Wavy. It’s clear that he thinks something is wrong with the situation and that she is in need of protection.
… before we could walk out, the deputy reached across the desk and handed me a piece of paper.
“If you ever need anything, Wavy Quinn, you call me,” he said. That’s what was written on the paper, his name—Deputy Leon Vogel—and his phone number. I stuck it in my pocket and followed Kellen outside to the car.
Later, when Wavy’s parents are doing drugs and fighting, some of my early readers asked me to explain why Wavy wouldn’t call the police. I was startled, because it hadn’t occurred to me that for many people, calling the police would seem like the solution to a problem, rather than a whole other problem. The same people who have sometimes wondered how I could have kept my mouth shut as a kid, knowing my father was manufacturing and selling meth. I realized I needed to include an explanation in Wavy’s narrative, to help people understand.
Deputy Vogel told me to call him if I ever needed something. It’s what they taught in school, too. They said the police were there to help you, but I don’t think they knew what happened when the police came to your house. Cops ruin everything. They kick in the front door, throw people on the floor and handcuff them. They break things and steal things. They lock you in a patrol car, make you spend all night in the police station wearing your nightgown, and then send you home with strangers. That’s why I would never call Deputy Vogel, no matter how much Mama and Liam fought. I’d thrown away the paper with his number as soon as he gave it to me, because I remembered what happened the last time the police came to our house.
There are kids who call the police on their parents. I knew a few when I was younger, and you sometimes read about it in the news, like this 10-year-old boy in Pennsylvania. I hate to see those stories, because I can imagine how bad things must be at home when calling the police seems like the only escape. When taking a chance on strangers seems less dangerous than continuing to trust your parents. I can’t help but think of Victoria Martens from my post last week, and wondering if there was ever a point where she considered calling the police. If she ever had a chance.
Wavy chooses the devil she knows over the uncertainties of going into foster care, and the likely risk of being separated from her brother and from Kellen. As the story progresses, she begins looking for other ways to escape her parents, and so do real kids in these situations. It’s worth remembering that their solutions don’t always make sense to those of us on the outside. That doesn’t mean their solutions are inherently wrong. They’re just outside our understanding.
Posted in Family, Life, Uncategorized | Tagged choices, Donal, drugs, escape, foster care, Jesse Joe Kellen, police, solution to a problem, the devil you know vs. the devil you don't, turning in your parents, Victoria Martens, Wavy | Leave a Comment »