Saturday, February 25, 2012

Thank you, Pandora's Key, The Key to Tartarus, and a small step...

Hi Everyone,

THANK YOU for being so supportive of the new cover for Pandora's Key.  The feedback has been resoundingly positive and I'm relieved and super happy:-)  I feel like the new cover really reflects the feel of Evangeline's journey and every time I see it, I can't believe it's my book!

I've just finished my first run-through of the edits my FABULOUS editor Emma Dryden did for The Key to Tartarus, Book Two in The Key Trilogy.  WOW!  Emma is amazing and I'm so excited because the idea of writing a mediocre second book is HORRIFYING and I can say now that The Key to Tartarus is (in my opinion) shaping up to be super cool!  There's more adventure--more romance--more at stake (believe it or not!) this time around.  And the best part is that I can't stop thinking about Book Three and how I'm going to do the trilogy and Evangeline justice.

On to, "a small step."  So I entered the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest.  Amazon accepts 5,000 entrants in General Fiction and 5,000 entrants in Young Adult Fiction.  The first cuts were just announced and I made it to the next round.  That means I'm one of a thousand entrants in my category.  Doesn't seem like much, but we authors take validation anywhere we can get it!

Anyway, next Amazon will winnow the entrants down to 250 based on judges reading an excerpt of the book.  On March 20th Amazon posts the quarter-finalists' excerpts online (www.amazon.com/abna).  After that it's up to Publishers Weekly to rate and review each manuscript.

Whew, that's a lot of hurdles to get past!!  Once the top 50 are chosen, Penguin has a judging panel and they'll decide who wins:-)  I'm not expecting to win (though I want to win, I do, I do!) but I'd really like to move farther in the competition.  And the reason I think I can is because of all of YOU who love Pandora's Key and give me a shot on confidence every day.

YOU make me want to keep writing.  YOU make my day when you write a note on my Facebook Fanpage, give me a 5 star review on Amazon and Goodreads, or Skype with me about Pandora's Key and share your thoughts.

THANK YOU!!!

xo
nan

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

NEW COVER

Hi there,

So I did like my first cover for Pandora's Key because it was clean, simple and powerful.  However, it didn't feel quite right for Evangeline's story, which is a mix of old and new with Evangeline caught in the middle of a tug of war between her ancestry and her reality.

Enter Claudia at Phatpuppyart.  She's in INSANELY talented artist and book cover designer and it's her creativity that led to a new cover for Pandora's Key.  Mostly, I tried to stay out of the way because I'm super creative with words, not art:-)

Please check out the new cover for Pandora's Key on Amazon and Goodreads and let me know what you think!!!  *It will be changed on my website, Facebook, and the e-reader and POD versions of my book soon.

For me, the girl on the new cover IS Evangeline and I couldn't be happier with the final product.  It feels magical, mystical, and looks stunning.  Thanks Claudia!!!!!!

xo
nan

Saturday, February 18, 2012

I'm back!

Hi everyone,

So I went on a vacation... except that instead of lounging around I used my time to read 1-2 YA books a day!!!!!

Yep, I'm all caught up on vampires, aliens, werewolves... okay, I'm not caught up but I read about 20 YA books and LOVED most of them!  In particular, Shatter Me and Obsidian were favorites except I didn't like SM's ending but can't fault the author for her blatant attempt at a movie deal (I think she got one:-).

I focused only on YA books because, well, that's my genre right now and because I think that some of the most creative books out there are young adult and a lot of adults know this, too, and are secretly reading YA titles.

I realized a few things after reading all those YA books.

1.  I need a new cover for Pandora's Key.  That's not to say I don't love my cover, but it's just not quite right for PK.  I want readers to see an image of Evangeline that comes from my imagination, and I'd like the magical, supernatural, urban fantasy feel of my book to be better conveyed.

*Please write me on my blog and let me know what you imagine seeing as the cover for Pandora's Key!!

2.  I shouldn't be afraid to delve more deeply into Evangeline's and Raphe's mutual attraction.  In the very first draft of Pandora's Key I REALLY explored this facet of the story, but I think I went too far and scared my editor:-)  So as long as I'm coming up with a new cover, I may add some scenes to the original story.

*Let me know what you think of this idea!  In The Key to Tartarus, Book Two of The Key Trilogy, things definitely get steamier between Evangeline and Raphe...

3.  There are so many amazing readers looking for great stories with twisted plots and deep, flawed, empathetic characters.  This makes me want to work even harder on Book Two so I don't disappoint anyone!

Please write me on my blog or Facebook Fanpage and let me know what you think about Pandora's Key, the cover art question, and what you'd like to see happen in Book Two of The Key Trilogy.  Not only will I write you back, I'll listen to what you have to say and you might see your ideas incorporated into The Key Trilogy:-)

xo
nan