1. I wouldn’t be able to publish my fourth book in less than 3 weeks without the support of my husband (both emotional and financial). Me going the self-publishing road was a common decision, something we’ve talked about and agreed on.
2. It’s definitely not a sprint, but a marathon. My sales are definitely better than last year, but I’m still struggling, I’m still not making a living out of my writing. But I’m trying to make sure it happens very soon.
3. I am so grateful for all the support and the sharing of knowledge. Honestly, you have no idea how Riley Edgewood is amazingly kind and wonderful. I’ve found out so much about the industry thanks to her and her ever-inquisitive mind ❤ And I’m grateful for the encouraging words of my friends. And for my husband telling me at least once a week. “I believe in you.”
4. I’m still learning. Trying to get more involved in publishing, trying to give back more. I’m also taking writing classes.
5. This is my job. I wake up at 5.15 every day (yes I do go to bed super early). I work around seven hours a day. Sometimes more, sometimes less. And I do work on certain weekends.
6. At least 30% of my working time is not spent on writing. It’s spent learning about the craft, learning how to write better, learning about the industry, trying to make sure I find ways to connect with my readers.
7. I love my job. And again I know how lucky I am.
I am so very pleased today to be part of BREAKING FENCES blog tour.
BreakingFences by Juliana Haygert
(The Breaking Series)
Publication date: June 2014
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult
All Beatriz “Bia” Fernandes wants is to prove herself—to her family and friends—though it’s hard to prove anything with an overbearing father and three famous polo-playing older brothers. After her acceptance into college results in a heated family argument, the Brazilian girl leaves everything behind to find her own American dream.
College life away from home is perfect until the people she believes to be her friends turn on her. With lies and rumors threatening to suffocate her, Bia turns to her only freedom. Riding.But one thing gets in the way of her escape. Garrett Blackwell and his bad cowboy attitude. Working at the ranch is his obligation, bugging Bia is his newfound hobby. His thick skin and easy grin don’t hide what Bia already knows—this misunderstood and lonely cowboy fights his own demons. Brushing horses’ coats and mucking out stalls shouldn’t be this sexy, and it isn’t long before he becomes a part of her distraction.
However, escaping won’t solve her problems, and it’s up to Bia to break down the fences around her and prove her strength—not to her family and friends, but to herself … and for Garrett. Because standing on her own doesn’t have to mean standing alone.
** Companion novel of Breaking the Reins. Can be read out of order.**
While Juliana Haygert dreams of being Wonder Woman, Buffy, or a blood elf shadow priest, she settles for the less exciting—but equally gratifying—life of a wife, mother, and author. Thousands of miles away from her former home in Brazil, she now resides in Connecticut and spends her days writing about kick-ass heroines and the heroes who drive them crazy.
I really really enjoyed the first novel in THE BREAKING SERIES – I thought it was compelling and I felt very invested in the characters.
I am happy to report that I felt the same way about BREAKING FENCES. Actually, what I found most interesting is how some experiences Bia had were similar to mine when I first started college in the US, even though I am happy to report that I never had anything as dramatic. While, at certain times, I felt like “wow, could that really happen?”, I still felt for Bia.
This book also has a big focus on horses, and I find that refreshing. Plus, I love seeing the interaction Bia had with them. The family aspect is also very well developed…plus there’s a hot romance.
Today is release day for BEHIND THE SCENES! This book sounds amazing. I know I cannot wait to get my hands on it and I am so excited to be going behind the scenes with Dahlia on her book’s birthday.
At first, I thought I would give you a glimpse of what is going on behind the scenes with ONE, TWO, THREE, maybe doing a short update or sharing a few pictures. But looking back at my own publication journey, I think the spotlight should be on Dahlia…not on my book (even though they are very connected :-)).
I “met” Dahlia during #PitchWars – she picked me as one of her alternates, and let me tell you something, Dahlia is not only as knowledgeable as she appears to be, she’s also very supportive and sweet and basically went the extra mile for us.
The funny story was that I “thought” I had sent my query to Dahlia, I even announced it on Twitter…but then apparently a glitch happened and she didn’t receive it at first. One of the lovely ladies working behind-the-scenes on #PitchWars that year gave me a nudge, letting me know that email never went through.
I panicked. Really. I mean I had announced it, I had mentioned how excited I was. Luckily, there was still a few days left in the contest, so I quickly resent my pitch to Dahlia.
Who then asked for the first 50 pages of ONE TWO THREE.
and…then on December 12th, 2012, I received THE email from Dahlia, letting me know she picked me as an alternate, going into details about what she liked in my first 50 and what she thought I should work on.
She then gave me even more detailed feedback on the first chapter, going into line editing on what I sent her. She apologized for taking 3 days to give me feedback. Three days! That’s nothing! 🙂 Here’s the disclaimer: On top, Dahlia didn’t have to do this for alternates. She didn’t. And she totally did it for us.
Behind the scenes, she also gave me advice when an agent requested my manuscript via the contest but someone else in the agency also had it, or how to let other agents know that I had an updated manuscript. (additional disclaimer: my updated manuscript was still not ready at that stage. Gosh, I clearly queried WAY too early with ONE TWO THREE).
Dahlia really gave me very valuable feedback and Dahlia has been amazing in my self publishing journey as well. She has not only been supportive, she also answered some of my questions and as always, as been lovely, funny and sweet in all her interactions.
Dahlia helped shaped ONE TWO THREE in what it is today. Dahlia helped me become a better writer. Dahlia helped me in many ways.
Behind the scenes, Dahlia is as sweet and wonderful as she is on stage. Yes, she will kick you in the pants when she needs to (but she might offer a macaron afterwards). I’m very grateful to her and I CANNOT WAIT to hold her books in my hands.
High school senior Ally Duncan’s best friend may be the Vanessa Park – star of TV’s hottest new teen drama – but Ally’s not interested in following in her BFF’s Hollywood footsteps. In fact, the only thing Ally’s ever really wanted is to go to Columbia and study abroad in Paris. But when her father’s mounting medical bills threaten to stop her dream in its tracks, Ally nabs a position as Van’s on-set assistant to get the cash she needs. Spending the extra time with Van turns out to be fun, and getting to know her sexy co-star Liam is an added bonus. But when the actors’ publicist arranges for Van and Liam to “date” for the tabloids just after he and Ally share their first kiss, Ally will have to decide exactly what role she’s capable of playing in their world of make believe. If she can’t play by Hollywood’s rules, she may lose her best friend, her dream future, and her first shot at love.
Dahlia Adler is an Assistant Editor of Mathematics by day, a Copy Editor by night, and a YA writer and blogger at The Daily Dahlia, YA Misfits, and Barnes & Noble at every spare moment in between. Her debut novel, BEHIND THE SCENES, releases from Spencer Hill Contemporary on June 24, 2014. She is represented by Lana Popovic at Zachary Shuster Harmsworth.
We have to talk. This is not a break-up letter. Don´t worry. However, you may have noticed that my blogging has been…hmm…quite sporadic recently. The main reason is that I´m spending every single free minute I have with ONE TWO THREE (and on Twitter :P) As soon as I know for sure my manuscript is as pretty as I can make it, I will be back on a more regular basis and with fun things (like a giveaway or two :P)
But…I do continue to read blogs and I thought I´d share a few with you in case you missed them in the past weeks…
February Compliment Challenge – Where you challenge yourself to compliment one person a day and where incredibly nice and generous Jessica donates to classroom in needs. Intrigued? Ready to spread the love? Then don´t hesitate to head over Jessica´s blog and check it out.
The post where Christa announced her second book BLEED LIKE ME sold (you can already add it on Goodreads.com by clicking on the title)…If you haven´t read her conversation with her agent, Sarah LaPolla, you should! It will make you smile and go “aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawwwwww” for Christa. Because she´s awesome. And because her story sounds great. And because that particular retelling of the phone call is just funny/adorable/so her.
This video by Kelsey made me smile, laugh and nod!
Did you see the adorable group picture on Jaime´s blog from SCBWI? And she and her sister, Erin, made it to the agents´ round of Cupid’s Literary Connection’s Blind Speed Dating! If you read Jaime´s entry, you´ll see what wonderful writing I get to read 😀
And then there´s this inspiring post by Alex on multicultural stories. She´s definitely taking the high road in her answer to some comments she received.
If you love YA contemporary novels, both Katy and Jessica Love are recommending two this week and they sound amazing!
…I revealed my first name…I used to go only by “commutinggirl” and I used the opportunity of a Road Trip Wednesday to finally say “Hello, my name is Elodie and I´m a writer.” in the post “Pshhhhh top secret”
…I finished the first draft of my manuscript PLAYING WITH FIRE. One that now needs a rewrite and which hasn´t yet been seen fully by anyone but me: The Two Magical Little Words.
I read ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS for the first time. It has now become my security blanket. When I feel down, I know I can turn to Anna (and Etienne) to lift me up.
…Hosted my first Giveaway. It was the “I love reading” giveaway where two books were up for grabs (one for the reader of my blog and one for someone younger than them to spread the love of reading). Jessica Love won! 😀
Hubby and I went to see a Klitschko fight! It was amazing!
I took a deep breath, reread my email a thousand times over, adding this subject line…asking Jaime if she would like to try out this CP thing. She said yes, and I not only got a wonderful Critique Partner with an eye for detail (and an amazing manuscript), I also got a new friend!
It´s the month I plunged into JELLICOE ROAD, and wow…the ride was amazing! I love this book. Really. I think it´s even my favorite read of the year. (Thanks again, Katy for gushing about it!)
During our road trip, we experienced so many things. We reconnected with friends, we created new memories, we laughed a lot…We also went back to that little Bed and Breakfast I fell in love with back in 2007…
Got deep into Jaime´s manuscript and into drafting ONE TWO THREE…
Started making yummy desserts 😀 (Thanks to Katy again as she shared some of her favorite websites)
I read and loved MY LIFE NEXT DOOR…and the author, Huntley Fitzpatrick, agreed to let me interview her! (reading this post always makes me smile)
Yay! I was one of the lucky three winners of the query contest of Taryn (Queroine extraordinaire as I now like to call her or as she puts on her blog: writer, reader, lit agency intern, and freelance editor).
Celebrated my 31st birthday!
Celebrated our one-year anniversary…
Met my baby niece
Met my newborn niece for the first time
Traveled to Russia…
Deep into revisions
Felt like a rock star
I attended a webinar by Sara Megibow…and she tweeted about my overview. Sara is truly amazing and so happy I took that webinar to see how an agent goes through slush…and at the same time, her comments on my query helped me go through yet another round of revision.
I started a class on revision by Mandy Hubbard, I learned a lot and met many wonderful writers….
…Got deep into Awkward
….Found our cutie patoutie at the shelter
Our new cat – Peter – found at the shelter
…Went to the Frankfurt Book Fair and hung out with great people from SCBWI
Both Katy and Christa had some exciting news to share! I´m so happy for those two lovely ladies. One snagged a wonderful agent, and the other revealed the cover of her book (one I think every teenage boy and girl ought to read) I love other people´s good news!I entered PitchWars and made it as an alternate!!!! 😀 And? Have you seen who´s teamed up with the wonderful Dahlia? I´m so happy about this….I received this beautiful ornament from Jessica (perfect for ONE TWO THREE…)Spent quality time with my hubby at the Christmas market….And…my friend Alex got an SCBWI award and will be going to the conference in NYC!!!! (see her blog for all information :D)Only a few more days until 2013…
2012 has been full of surprises, of ups and downs, of never-ending revising, of happy moments…for me and for others.I´m thankful for you! For your comments, for our interactions, sometimes for our angst-ridden emails, for the support you give me, and for being there. Really, the internet is great but it´s especially wonderful for having enabled me to connect with all of you!
See you in 2013! (and I´m sure I´ll share many more of YOUR happy news :-))
I believe there is hope for us all, even amid the suffering-and maybe even inside the suffering. And that’s why I write fiction, probably. It’s my attempt to keep that fragile strand of radical hope, to build a fire in the darkness.
LOOKING FOR ALASKA is the type of books which made me feel, think and laugh. Some of the characters reminded me of JELLICOE ROAD because of the way they were developed: fully layered, fully there in the story and fully jumping out of the pages.
Summary from Goodreads:Miles Halter is fascinated by famous last words and tired of his safe life at home. He leaves for boarding school to seek what the dying poet Francois Rabelais called the “Great Perhaps.” Much awaits Miles at Culver Creek, including Alaska Young. Clever, funny, screwed-up, and dead sexy, Alaska will pull Miles into her labyrinth and catapult him into the Great Perhaps.
As I´ve mentioned before, I am not used to read from a guy´s perspective. Sometimes, I even wonder before getting into a book with this type of POV if I will really enjoy it. Being in Miles´ (aka Pudge) head didn´t feel forced in any ways, shape or form. I had high expectations for this book which can translate in me waiting with my fluttering heart to be amazed, on the look for the sentences, for the special moments. This usually means that I enjoy the story but I can get too busy trying to find its greatness to really enjoy it. Does it make sense?
With LOOKING FOR ALASKA, I had a bit of this modus operandi where I was in the story without being in, until I let myself just read…
I started to think about what one may go through when one is looking for The Great Perhaps or the questions we ask ourselves when faced with tragedy. The beauty of the book was that I didn´t feel forced or pushed one way or another. I appreciated this. John Green mentions in an interview with The School Library Journal: “It’s a funny book, but it’s also a book about the universality of suffering and grief and forgiveness and whether or not there’s a reason for radical hope”.
The universality of emotions. So important. So true. No matter where people come from. Those were conversations I remember having in High school with my friends and it resonated.
And then there are the characters. As I mentioned, when reading, I was quickly falling in love with them: their quirks, their interaction, their passions, their humor…
My favorite one has to be The Colonel. John Green gives us the privilege to get to know a gentleman in the making. The Colonel doesn´t have it easy, he´s difficult, bossy and moody but he´s there for his friends (at least tries to be), he shows so much respect for his mother…He´s also funny. Alaska is interesting. So full of life. Bigger than life. Tortured. Unsure. Sure. Full of contradictions. They´re all growing up as the story goes…
Some of my favorite quotes:
(…) but if I hadn’t imagined it, I would never have gotten to the Creek at all (p. 54)
Now I understood why the Colonel was short – he couldn’t afford to be any taller (p. 91)
I’ll say “Thanks”. Man, she helped fill out my application to this place. And she let me come here, and that’s no easy thing when you come from where we do, to let your son go away to school (p. 116)
After so much kissing that it almost started to get boring (p. 123)
I could not go alone, and going with anyone other than the Colonel would amount to alone (p. 148)
It always shocked me when I realised that I wasn’t the only person in the world who thought and felt such strange and awful things (p. 213)
So tell me, what book are you anxiously waiting to read?
Thank you again so much Kat for this award! I am now going to be able to showcase some of my past posts which can fit the seven provided headlines.
Let me tell you something, it´s really not that easy but it´s fun to look back 😀 I have been blogging since September 10th, 2011, so not a year yet but keeping this blog updated is really amazing. Not only did I meet wonderful people, I am also having a blast with it!
Most Beautiful Piece
This one is beautiful to my heart because this is the post with which I shared a few pictures of my wedding.
If I am looking at the one which received the most comments (almost 100! well counting my replies I think but still :D) , it would be the flash fiction I did for the Campaigner Challenge. It was also the first flash fiction I ever wrote.