Friday, February 18, 2011


Friends, forgive me for not keeping up this week with blog tour information. (If you follow me on Twitter -- and if you don't, please do! -- or if you belong to Faking It Fans on Facebook, then you got the posts.) This was a crazy week with meeting with students to discuss their drafts individually. Seeing 40+ students in a three-day period is a mentally (and even physically) exhausting endeavor. However, I enjoy that one-on-one time, and there always comes a moment when I marvel over the writing and revision process, especially when a student's eyes open during the brief conversation. Yesterday I actually geeked out while discussing rhetorical situation with a student.

So, even though the giveaways are done (and congratulations to all the winners!), I'm going to provide you with the blog posts so you can enjoy the reading as well as the fun comment responses.

RJ Keller's blog showcased a chronology of Valentines, and we surmised that as we get older we figure out what it's really all about.

On Rob Kroese's blog, we made our case for WILS as a book for guys (and I'm glad a guy won the giveaway -- we hope he likes it!). In hindsight, perhaps we could've made our case better had we included more explosions...

Finally, Elspeth Antonelli's blog featured Sarah's and my relationship in the context of writing and revision. We especially enjoyed reading and responding to some of the comments.

Stay tuned for upcoming features and appearances. With the re-release of Faking It just around the corner, exciting times loom.

On behalf of Sarah and myself, thank you to all of our blog hosts, commenters, readers, fans, and ebook winners. We had a blast this week!

Monday, February 14, 2011

blog tour stop: Chick Lit Central

Today we're at Chick Lit Central. Sarah and I share our favorite Valentine memories that didn't involve the need to be in a romantic relationship. Please do check it out, and leave a comment to enter the giveaway. An ebook copy of Why I Love Singlehood could be yours!

And, if you haven't done so yet, read Sarah's guest post "A History of Valentines" right here!

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

special guest post: A History of Valentines

Today kicks off a week-long blog tour to promote Why I Love Singlehood. We'll be appearing on one blog a day, and I'll announce each appearance and link per day, so check in on a regular basis. It's worth your while if for no other reason than to win an ebook edition of WILS -- that's right, we're doing giveaways all week.

Most of you know that WILS begins on Valentine's Day; thus, my co-author and I thought this would be a good week to shine the spotlight on the book and share some of our thoughts about what Valentine's Day has come to mean for us. Moreover, we maintain that WILS is neither a dating novel nor a romance novel, nor even solely a women's novel. It's a love story. It has always been a love story.

And so, the first guest blog post takes place right here. It was written by my co-author and dear friend, Sarah Girrell. Enjoy.

A History of Valentines

Although Why I Love Singlehood was neither Elisa nor my first attempt at coauthoring (nor our first attempt at coauthoring with each other), it still posed quite a learning curve. Part of what made writing WILS so challenging was that as we moved through the plot, we had to explore what we really thought about relationships and where we stood on Valentine’s Day. Not surprisingly, we weren’t always on the same page (to say nothing of what our characters wanted or needed).

But I think, in retrospect, that our discord was a good thing. It forced us to really hash out our ideas, explore motivation and explanation, and reconsider those things which we originally held true. And, in the end, I think we both learned a little bit from our cast of characters.

This Valentine’s Day, as I pass seas of red-bagged candies, I see Kenny’s dad jogging by. When I look at conversation hearts, I imagine them penned in Beulah’s handwriting. And as I consider the holiday, Eva’s voice is in my ear.

When I was little I ached for Valentine’s Day, for the one time of year when it seemed really possible that a secret admirer might emerge and confess his love and respect for me. I dreamed of the days when we would spend countless recesses tucked into some corner of the playground sharing our deepest secrets. I longed to be showered with flowers and made noticeable by someone’s affection, as if his approval alone would make me impervious to zits and name-calling.

Imagine my surprise when, at 17, showered with flowers at school by my boyfriend of the time, I spent the entire Valentine’s Day embarrassed. I worried that my having flowers rubbed it in to all the other flowerless and boyfriendless women out there who, I was sure, were suffering as much as I had when I was single. I spent the majority of the day apologizing for nothing and handing flowers out to my friends.

But it wasn’t always like that. There was a time when Valentine’s Day was my favorite holiday of the year. Not because of the candy and cherubs and chocolates (or the ever garish comingling of red and pink, a combination that still makes my skin crawl), but because our closest family friends would come to spend the long President’s Day weekend with us.

It would start with their arrival after bedtime on Friday night, and the inevitable sneaking of a few cookies before bed. Then, we would spend the better part of one day making home-made valentines for each other, and another subsequent evening sharing them – unwrapping them like presents while we passed around cupcakes and cookies and bags of M&Ms – all talking and laughing at once, eating ourselves into a delicious, sugary oblivion. The rest of the time was spent subjecting our parents to innumerable plays and puppet shows and hosting our own personal “Winter Olympics” – during which we attempted to cram as many winter activities as possible into one day…skating, snow angels, forts and fights, cross country skiing and sledding galore – after which all participants were awarded with hot chocolate and an evening movie marathon.

I’ve been thinking about those days a lot this year. Our little conglomerate of families has scattered across several continents and some of us have passed on from this plane of existence. And still, I find my fingers itching to trace out hearts, eyes searching for the flash of glitter, ears longing to hear the crackle of doilies being pulled apart. Maybe that’s why this year I’ve decided to make my staff and patients mini-cupcakes to mark the day. At first I nearly balked at the idea, afraid that bringing any semblance of romance into the office might be awkward or inappropriate, but I’ve tossed that fear aside.

Because what I rediscovered while writing WILS is what my family had shown me all those years ago: Valentine’s Day isn’t about flowers and chocolates and whether or not you’re attached to anyone. It’s about celebrating the presence of love in the world, and taking advantage of the opportunity to make others smile.

So this year I’m going to do just that – one mini-cupcake at a time.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Interview with author Dawson Vosburg

At the same age I was dancing around my room and singing into hairbrushes, Dawson Vosburg was busy writing--and publishing--novels. This teenage author loves good books and good writing, and is already well on the road to producing both. Dawson took the time to answer some of my questions, plus share a new idea: sponsor a writer.
Take a look:

Tell us a little about your writing process.

I do NaNoWriMo every year, and usually it produces something usable. Double Life and upcoming Incognito were both written during NaNoWriMo. All of my first drafts are written in less than two months. Sometimes I'll procrastinate, then write the rest in a few days or weeks (like with my second book Terminal Velocity, also published now). Then I let it rest, read it, then edit the heck out of it several times till I like it (really, it doesn't get any more organized than that). Send it to an editor, read it over one last time, and there you have it!

Tell us a little about your influences.

The biggest influence on the Josiah Jones books has been Eoin Colfer's Artemis Fowl series. That really made me think that a secret agency book can be better than the typical and have a different feel to them. I really love Artemis Fowl, especially the early ones, because the characterization is so spot on.

I think, though, overall, my favorite influences are in the arena of fantasy. C. S. Lewis, J. K. Rowling, and J. R. R. Tolkien are the three Great Fantasy Writers in my mind. They all have the initials--I always wondered what was up with that. (laughs) Maybe I shoul be D. P. Vosburg.

What made you take the self-publishing route? Is there anything you would do differently?

I found out about self-publishing by web searching, long long ago. December of 2007. It was amazing to me that you could just put a book out yourself, with none of the submission crap I saw in the traditional industry. So I jumped on board faster than you could say "Lulu." Which was my first publisher.

There are lots of things I wish I would have done differently. Of course you always want to go back and fix things in your story, and there's plenty I'd like to fix. But as far as publishing goes, I wish that
1. I had discovered earlier,
2. I had given myself more time, and
3. I had more of a network to go with and had taken the time to attain all the knowledge I have now.

Tell us a little bit about this latest project (sponsor a writer). How did you get involved with it? Who's idea was it? How's it going so far? What is your goal?

I'm using (mentioned above) to raise funds for my next big book project called Incognito. Kickstarter is where people can back creative projects by pledging money for a project they like and support. If the project attains the money goal within the set timeframe, they receive the money. If they don't, no money changes hands. I heard about it from my (amazing) older brother David, who is himself in the creative industry of design. I decided myself to use it as the way to fund my next publishing venture.

I've really been locked down in the past as to how much I could do because of limited funds. I went into debt to my parents to buy books and barely made back enough to pay them back, and I really couldn't go that much further than that. Everything I wanted to do had a pricetag. Now that I've found Kickstarter it looks like that problem is pretty much solved.

The goal is to raise $3,000 total. It's been slow to start off--I didn't really have a convenient way to convey the message. Recently, though, with a video my brother David helped me produce, I've been getting new pledges every day for the past few days. We'll see how that gets going.

Thanks so much, Dawson, and best of luck to you!

To sponsor Dawson, please click here.