Monday, May 21, 2012

The Near Witch Blog Tour Giveaway Winners!

I had a great time being a part of The Near Witch Blog Tour which celebrated 
the paperback release of The Near Witch
In case you didn't catch everything, here's what you missed:

5/8: Character Interview (Wren) - Hannah @ The Book Vortex
5/9: Character Interview (Lexi) - Marla @ Starting the Next Chapter
5/10: Victoria Schwab Magical "If" Interview - Shalena @ Writer Quirk
5/11: Character Interview (Cole) - Kelly @ Bookshelf Banter
5/12: Victoria Schwab Video Interview - Sara @ Through the Looking Glass 
5/13: The Ash-Born Boy Playlist - Lindsay @ The Violet Hour
5/14: Victoria Schwab's Favorite Books - Hannah @ The Book Vortex
5/15: Release of The Near Witch paperback and The Ash-Born Boy short story - The Ash-Born Boy
5/16: Review of The Ash-Born Boy - Marla @ Starting the Next Chapter
5/17: Day in the life of Victoria Schwab - Kelly @ Bookshelf Banter

Now to the giveaway winners!

The first giveaway was via Rafflecopter for 
a special signed hardcover of The Near Witch and signed bookmark.
The winner of this giveaway is:
Christina K.! 

The second giveaway was via Twitter for a paperback edition of The Near Witch, and the winner of this giveaway is:
Lauren @ The Housework Can Wait!

Winners, you should have an email from me in your inbox.
Please respond within 7 days with a valid mailing address or I will have to pick another winner.

Thanks to everyone who participated in the tour and the giveaways and congratulations to the winners!!!

Write Stuff [20]

Write Stuff  is based on the Wannabe Writers meme hosted by Sarah at Confessions of the Un-Published. This meme is what prompted me to start Writer Quirk, so I am thankful to Sarah for creating it.

I'm going to continue straying from the usual format and just give a brief update about where I am and what I'm working on.

In my last Write Stuff post (here) I talked about the issues I was having writing the second draft of my first novel. I eventually decided to stop working on that draft and focus on creating an outline for a new version. I gave myself the month of April to complete this outline. After working my butt off (I really wish this was a literal statement) I completed my outline two days before the May 1st deadline. Yay!

So now I have a complete outline made of roughly sixty-two scenes split into four acts. The entirety of it was sent to my writing pal and friend Meg (of Myth-illogical) for a quick review. I began writing what is my third draft of this novel on on the first day of May. I have given myself a four month window to complete this new draft so by the end of August, I should have a complete draft. My goal with this one is to have something worth revising and not have to go through another rewrite.

I chose my deadline so that I could have September as a buffer if I need it and the month of October to work on an outline for NaNoWriMo instead of going in mostly blind like the last two years. November, being National Novel Writing Month, will be just for that, and then in December I will take a writing break, because I'm going to need it. ^_^ Hopefully in January I will be able to begin revisions on my third draft. I will try to update my progress here every so often to let you know how its going. And that is where I am!

So my lovely quirks, where are you at in your process? Have any writing goals or deadlines that you are working toward? Let me know in the comments!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Today=AWESOME (The Near Witch Paperback Relase & WQ 2 Year Blogoversary!)

Today is Tuesday, May 15, 2012 and today = awesome. 


1. Today is the release of the paperback edition of The Near Witch! If you haven't read this ah-maze-ing novel (my thoughts found here), you should, and what better time than with this new edition? Also, if you buy the paperback, it comes with the first chapter of Victoria Schwab's upcoming YA novel, The Archived, which I am insanely excited about, like kitten-with-a-ball-of-sparkly-yarn excited. The Near Witch + The Archived Chapter 1 is way more than worth the few dollars it costs so go get your copy! (You can buy it here or here or here or here.)

2. If you have seen my interview with Victoria Schwab (found here) you know I am giving away a signed hardback edition of The Near Witch. BUT, if you tweet about The Near Witch before 12:01AM CST on May 16th, I will pick one tweeter to receive a paperback edition of The Near Witch! The only other rule besides the deadline is that the tweet must contain the hashtag #thenearwitch and link my twitter handle (@writerquirk). Now don't tweet the messages directly to me, just make sure to have both of those components in the tweet and do it before the deadline.  

3. Lastly, today is Writer Quirk's two year blogoversary! WOOOT! Because I'm running two giveaways right now for The Near Witch, I'm holding off on a blogoversary giveaway which will allow me to gather more prizes for my lovely quirksters! I'm thankful for all of my readers and visitors and I'm hoping for another awesome year! ^_^

Thanks again for reading and don't forget to check out The Near Witch!

Sixteen-year-old Lexi, who lives on an enchanted moor at the edge of the village of Near, must solve the mystery when, the day after a mysterious boy appears in town, children start disappearing.

Victoria is the product of a British mother, a Beverly Hills father, and a southern upbringing. Because of this, she has been known to say "tom-ah-toes," "like," and "y'all."

She also tells stories.

She loves fairy tales, and folklore, and stories 
that make her wonder if the world is really as it seems.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Near Witch Blog Tour - A Magical "If" Interview with Victoria Schwab + Giveaway!

I absolutely loved The Near Witch (for proof, click here) and for my stop on The Near Witch Blog Tour, I got to interview the amazing and adorable author, Victoria Schwab. Magic and witches feature prominently in her debut so I decided to ask Victoria seven magic and witch related "if" questions (seven because it is the most magical number). Hope you enjoy! ^_^
WQ = Writer Quirk
VS = Victoria Schwab

WQ: If you were to star as the witch in a fairytale, which kind of witch would you be?
VS: Considering I tend to root for villains, am power-hungry, and have an epic evil laugh, I'm going for Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty.

WQ: If you could have a magical animal as a friend, what kind of animal would you choose?
VS: A really, really big talking wolf, like in Princess Mononoke.

WQ: If you had only one spell to help you around the house, what chore would you use it on?
VS: Laundry. I really, really hate doing laundry.

WQ: If you could magic items into your possession, what would you conjure first?
VS: Tea. If I were REALLY powerful, I'd magic a full tea tray complete with pot, cups, scones, and sandwiches and tea cakes. I do love tea.

WQ: If you had the ability to magically travel to your favorite place, what kind of magical transport would you use?
VS: TARDIS, obviously. I know we're blurring the lines of magic and sci-fi here, but COME ON. TARDIS. Especially if I could magic a David Tennant into it to keep me company.

WQ: If you could turn a fictional character into a real being, who would you magic into our world?
VS: Magnus Bane from The Mortal Instruments. Oh, oh, oh, and the hot vampires from The Vampire Diaries. Yeah, that's right, ALL of them.

WQ: If you had to go toe to toe with the Wicked Witch, how would you win?
VS: That's hard. Her evil laugh is almost as good as mine and I reaaaaaaally don't like monkeys. I think I'd have to magic a narwhal sidekick, and have them douse her with arctic water. Either the cold will get or, or the melting will.

A big thank you to Victoria for playing along and giving great answers! I am right there with the David Tennant, narwhals, and smexy vamps! And Victoria, if you want to share some ARCs of your upcoming novels (The Archived and Vicious) I will gladly do all your laundry. ^_^  I may not be magical but I will work for words!

And now for the giveaway! Using the Rafflecopter widget below, you can enter to win a signed hardcover edition of The Near Witch. But not only is this copy signed and comes with a signed bookmark, Victoria also drew a NARWHAL in it! Isn't is beautimous?!

All the standard WQ rules (found here) apply. 
Good luck and thanks for reading!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, May 6, 2012

From Where I'm Standing [8]: SOKY Book Fest

On April 21, 2012, Megan (of Myth-illogical) and I hit the road again to attend the Southern Kentucky Book Fest (SOKY) in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

Unlike our previous journey to Nashville, we arrived ahead of schedule and had absolutely no trouble finding the Carroll Knicely Conference Center, part of the campus of Western Kentucky University. The parking lot was packed but we found a spot after just a few minutes and went in to stalk meet some of our favorite YA authors.

Our intention was to relax and walk around a bit before attending two of the YA panels being held, but as soon as we saw that many of our sought-after authors were sitting at their tables, we ran made our way over and proceeded to fangirl over them.

The first person we met was Kelly Creagh, author of Nevermore and Enshadowed. I have wanted to read Nevermore since I first heard of it, but I had never gotten a copy. Well, I'm glad I waited because I was able to buy my copy and get it signed (at SOKY you can't bring your own books to be signed). Kelly was also super-super sweet and gave us lots of swag (which my quirksters will be seeing in a giveaway!). She also had stuffed ravens on her table and gave us purple-ink pens which makes her that much more awesome.

Thankfully, all the YA authors were seated near each other, so next we saw Rachel Hawkins for the second time. We talked with her and Megan bought and had signed a copy of Spell Bound (my review here). Next was Jackson Pearce, author of Sisters Red, Sweetly, and most recently Purity (my review here). I got copies of both Sweetly and Sisters Red and Jackson graciously signed them. I also told her that I read and reviewed Purity as part of the Southern Book Bloggers ARC Tour and she asked me flat out what rating I gave the book. I was honest with her and we talked about the novel, and yes, she is as cool in person as she is in her videos.

Next we talked with Victoria Schwab, one of my most favorite YA authors ever and the creator of the amazing The Near Witch (my review here). To show my love, I gifted her with a sparkly, special edition Pinkie Pie My Little Pony. I think she loved it. Then I got another copy of The Near Witch, which she signed (and drew a narwhal in!), to giveaway in The Near Witch Blog Tour coming up next week to celebrate the release of the paperback edition.

Victoria also shared some love-a-ly sekrits about Vagabond Puppies, one of the novels she was working on last year. And no, I will not share them as I cannot break the sparkly pony pact of trust. ^_^

After we bought (way too many) books, we headed to one of the meeting rooms for the YA Paranormal panel. The featured authors where R.A. Nelson (author of Throat and Teach Me), Rachel Hawkins, Kelly Creagh, and Victoria Schwab. Each author took some time to talk about their books, their journey to getting (and parting with) an agent, getting published, and answered questions from the audience. The highlights were Kelly Creagh sharing some cool stories about things that happened to her while writing Nevermore and Victoria Schwab revealing the premise behind her upcoming novel, The Archived. Rachel Hawkins brought the funny (I was laughing enough to make my face hurt) and I was really glad to get to learn about R.A. Nelson, who worked for NASA, has written some interesting stories, and had quite a journey to getting where he is today.

After the paranormal panel came the YA Contemporary Panel. This panel featured Jackson Pearce, Ty Roth (author of So Shelly), and Dori Norman (author of Taming Clancy). The authors were introduced by the moderator and then each read a section from their novels. Having read Purity, Jackson chose one of the most humorous portions of her book to read and had the room cracking up. Ty Roth shared the prologue of his novel, while Dori Norman read a section where her main character learns she should have listened to her friend. Then came questions from the audience, with a minor author-audience stare down (Jackson said it would happen). The authors were lovely and funny and it was great getting to hear Jackson speak and learning about the other two authors.

After the panels were over, Megan and I headed back to the large room with all the books and author tables (seriously, I will never get over the sight - that many books and authors in the same room was simply amazing). We stopped by the table of Alecia Whitaker, author of The Queen of Kentucky (she had been swarmed before so we had missed her). I had heard of The Queen  of Kentucky (her debut) but not much about it, so we got to talking about the book and let me tell you, Alecia is one of the sweetest people you will ever meet. She shared with us about her process of getting published and told us about a novel she has in the works that sounds like so much fun and which got us on the subject of beauty pageants. Then I got a copy of her book and she signed it and wrote me a sweet note. And I'm a total spaz as I forgot to get a picture with her! So instead, here is a photo of Rachel Hawkins photo-bombing Meg and Victoria Schwab's photo:

While we were with Alecia, the other YA authors returned to their tables, and it appeared I had made Rachel Hawkins a teensy-bit sad by giving Victoria Schwab a pony. I didn't have any more sparkly ponies, but Rachel said that was okay, so I dug around in my bag for a while (like an idiot, because as Megan reminded me several times before it sunk in, I had left them in the car), and eventually I gave Rachel three ponies to choose from. She picked Roseluck, a very pretty pony, and was mollified.

Photo Credit: Rachel Hawkins via Instagram via Twitter

We hung around for a little while longer, chatting with the authors and having lots of giggles (and me making a fool of myself) before leaving with a happiness high. It was a great trip and I couldn't have had more fun or been more impressed by the awesomeness that makes up these YA authors. I also want to thank them for not calling security due to my excessive fan-girling.

L-R: K. Creagh, R. Hawkins, J. Pearce, A. Whitaker, V. Schwab

Thanks for reading about our latest YA adventure! Stay tuned for the next From Where I'm Standing, which should be coming your way later this month! ^_^

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Giveaway Highlight: Book Nerd Reviews

There is a huge international blogoversary giveaway going on at Book Nerd Reviews. I love this blog and Melissa does an amazing job and she is rewarding readers with some amazing prizes! There will be five winners who get to pick one of twelve books (see below) if they win. It is an easy Rafflecopter giveaway, so get on over there!

Just click the image below to enter!