Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Creativity or wasted time? Your call.

Yesterday I was playing around on I like to read the threads (which are like chats or online conversations) about the contest.

One of them was about "casting" for their book. They wanted to know if anyone else had casted the characters for their books. And I thought, "What a fun idea!" Stephenie Meyer casted for Twilight way back before it was even optioned for a movie...but she wrote a NY Times Bestseller, teen sensation, American Harry Potter that turned into an actual movie.

Anyway, I won't dwell on that.

So last night I thought it would be so much fun to find the faces that match the names. I could not use real actors, try as I might. It just seemed wrong to me because these characters aren't actors. They're real to me. So I had to find real people (not that actors aren't real).


When I put Pyper on paper (haha, love the alliteration), I had one face in mind, with someone else's colors. That makes no sense, I'm sure, but I'll explain in a second. While I was writing, I remembered seeing a book cover (two, actually) with a profile view of a girl, and her red hair was a curtain around her face, like she'd just moved her head and her hair is whipping around to catch up.

Last night while I was searching for pictures of Pyper, I found her!

I seriously have seen this on book covers twice, for Tantalize, by Cynthia Leitich Smith, and The Homeplace, by Gilbert Morris. However, if I ever get to pick the cover of my book (hahaha, dream on, right?), it will be this gal, even though she's been used twice already. She was seriously the model Pyper.

And the colors I mentioned earlier...This Pyper's hair isn't dark enough. It's more of a strawberry blond. Pyper's hair is red. Dark red. I had a roommate in college, Liz, who had the most gorgeous red hair and dark green eyes you've ever seen. She told me once color is the kind that doesn't come in a bottle. Which is totally true (and I used that line in the book). So after over an hour of looking at pics, I never found one with the right colors. Oh well. Use your imagination for that one.

I'm sure you want to see a front view of Pyper. So did I. So here she is (with the wrong hair color):

I know the pic seems wrong to you. She's wearing a dress. Where's her black shirt and worn out jeans? Where's her black gloves? But trust me. This is her. I wish I could elaborate, but I can't. I'd give too much away. Just know that when (not if) you read the rest of the book, this picture of Pyper will come back to you and you'll go, "Ohhh..."

Kael is near and dear to my heart, but I get so irritated with the guy at the same time because he's a frustrating person.
Anyway, I found two possible Kaels that appealed to me.

Kael A: This is the best I could find of this particular Kael. He had a dozen or more shots on, but in most of them he had a blond wrapped around him, and in some cases he was missing a key feature: a shirt. So I'm not going to put a picture of a bare-chested Kael on my blog. Sorry. Just keeping it rated G.

Kael B: For reasons I can't explain, when I first saw this picture I went, 'Oh, that's him!' But the longer I looked at the pic and the more other faces I had to compare it with, I started to doubt myself. His hair is a little long, but that's ok. Anyway, this was another Kael and I just had to share. I felt like I was being unfair if I didn't put his face on here.

We don't get much from the book (dumb author) except that Kael's hair is shaggy brown and his eyes are a brown-green. Both of those guys fit, but I'm not sure which fits more.

This is Baler. Hands down, no question, this is him. Ok, maybe his hair is a little poofier than Baler's, but everything else is spot on. How come I know and you don't? Because chapter two cut off right before we get a more detailed description of Baler. I picked this image last night. This morning I read the rest of the chapter and it described this guy right here:

He looks like little brother material, huh?

I found a lot of pictures of gorgeous gals who could have all been Summer except for one thing. They weren't. They were all smiling and happy and playing on the beach. They just did not embody the image of Summer.

She was a hard one to find, but I finally found her:

High cheekbones, sharp eyes, snooty attitude. That's her.

And last but certainly not least:

And interesting thing happened when I went looking for Raven's picture. I searched for teenage girls with black hair (as opposed to blond hair when I searched for Summer). When I went looking for the blonds, I got a lot (and I mean a lot) of girls on the beach, or on cell phones, or kissing guys.

When I searched for the dark haired beauty, I got a lot of dancers and athletes. Stereotypes, anyone?
Anyway, I looked for a good ten minutes and hadn't found any Ravens. And then I thought about a movie I just saw and realized that Raven was in it. And then I thought, "Ok, if I had my choice of actresses, Raven would be ___."

I'm not going to say their names because then you'll remember what movies they're in (if you've seen them) and I think that'd ruin it.

So here's Raven A:

You know her, I'm sure you do. But this was the cleanest pic I could find of her. Apparently she likes to pose almost nudie. And I think this one is Raven to a 't'. Or R. Or V. Or whatever.

Here is Raven B:

You may or may not know this one. I'm guessing not unless you watch the Disney Channel. The problem with this Raven is that in all her other pics she was too innocent. So I had to find her most snooty picture, which was kind of hard to do.

So. There they are. The cast of The Gifted. Of course that's not all of them. I didn't find Robyn (Pyper and Baler's mom) because there just isn't enough about her for you to care yet. And I didn't find some of the other key characters because that would have been too confusing. And it might have given too much away.

And I have a few other pics up my sleeve for after the book is published (see, I'm being positive) and you can read it and then I'll give you the pics I found.

So what do you think? Did you find someone else that matches better? If you did, let me know and I'll post their faces here. Which Kael and Raven do you like better?
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Monday, April 20, 2009

Who? Me? Never.

If you can imagine me, sitting at my computer in a bright green sweater with my hair up in a bun, you will also see that I am rolling my eyes and crossing my arms. (It's difficult to imagine since I'm also typing, but pretend I'm not typing, just throwing a fit.)

This is me in denial.

I just got my Publisher's Weekly review for my book. Apparently it's been on my stinkin' site since yesterday and I just didn't even see it. But I read a lot of people on amazon commenting about their PW reviews and thought, "Hey! Where's mine?" So I went looking and voila. It was on my webpage under editorial reviews...go figure.

So, for those of you who are biting your nails to figure out what on EARTH is going to happen next...the nice man (or woman) at Publisher's Weekly has written the Reader's Digest version for all the world to see. And here it is.

"From Publishers Weekly

"With its odd character names and troubled teenage protagonists, this competent contemporary fantasy aims straight for the “Twilight” audience. “Miracle child” Pyper Wynn drowned and came back to life but she came back with amazing powers. Hiding her telekinetic abilities has made her into a social outcast; her best friend is her little brother, Baler. When Kael, the hottest guy in her high school class, shows interest in her, Pyper’s sure it’s a set-up but his persistence wears down her resistance and he has her mom’s seal of approval. Then Pyper meets Kael’s mom and discovers they are Fae. They tell Pyper that she is the Gifted, the champion born to fight for them in the epic battle to choose the new King of the Fae. Relieved to know there’s a reason for her talents, Pyper begins to train for the upcoming battle but Kael’s warning to tell no one, especially Baler, creates some misgivings. As the battle draws near, Pyper’s questions about her place in the Fae world as well as her relationship with Kael must take second place to taking action, no matter the cost to herself. This gritty YA fantasy manages to smoothly blend modern teenage angst with enough elements of the fantastic to make an entertaining, if somewhat melodramatic, read."

So. There you have it. Now you know. Unless you don't know. And if you don't know, then I'll tell you. Fae = fairy. Yes, The Gifted is about fairies. I'm just relieved he didn't tell you the end!!

I only hope your not disappointed. I cringe at the thought, and then I remember I'm not that should count for something.

I was delighted to discover that The Gifted would appeal to "Twilight" fans, being a Twi-hard Fan-pire myself. But I completely skipped over all the good stuff, like "competent," "entertaining," "smoothly blend" and went straight for the guts. The bullet at the end of the shiny barrel.


He called me melodramatic. Me.

Ok. Fine. I'm melodramatic. But did you have to say it for everyone to see?! Sheesh. Give me a little privacy, allow me a shred of pride, please.

But in the end, my feelings were hurt for only a second until I realized a) the review is about The Gifted, not me. And b) a synonym for melodramatic is sensational.

Ha! I'll take it. I'll take my mediocre review and frame it on my virtual wall for all to see.

So there.

PS. I never ever, ever, ever said Kael was the "hottest guy in her high school class." That's enough cliche to make me barf. Seriously.

PPS. If you've ever written a novel or story of any kind you will find that characters tend to come with names. I don't love the name Pyper. I fought it tooth and nail...and I lost. That was her dagum name and I can't help it if it's odd. But quite frankly, so is she. So there you go.

The Last PS. I promise. I completely ignored "gritty" because it could mean course and rough, or it could mean determined, resolute, courageous. How on earth am I supposed to know which one it is? So I'm ignoring it completely before I give myself a complex. Pin It

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tax day: a good day? It is if you're me...

Why is today a good day if you're me? No, it's not because I've already done my taxes. No, it's not because today is my day off and I'm still sittin' around in my bathrobe. No, it's not because I won the lottery...because I didn't.

Today is a good day for me because I just found out that I am in the top 100 semi-finalists for the Amazon ABNA contest!!!!!

Yes, you know my book that I've been trying to shove down your made it to the next level!!!!

Last time I had to wait ALL day before I heard anything. This morning I got on the website and saw the announcement. Tada!!

Go to and click on "Fantasy" and you will see little old me...well, The Gifted by little old me.

I honestly figured I wouldn't have not great news for you because I've read some of the other entrants and discovered they were filled with blood, vulgarity and sex. Mine is not. I don't write that and I don't want to read it. So I figured I'd be out. But hey, here I am telling you the good news!

I told my sister-in-law, I could really get used to having good news to share! Good news seems it's been few and far between for us up until recently.

So from here the 100 will be narrowed to 3. Just 3. I'm pretty positive this is as far as I go, but I'm not discouraged or upset. I'm already looking for an agent or publisher that will take me. (I've had a lot of people ask me if I'll try to get published. The answer is a resounding yes.) The problem is I legally can't submit my manuscript anywhere else until I'm booted from the contest.

I feel so blessed to have made it this far and I am EXTREMELY grateful to you for your support. I know I keep saying that, but I keep meaning it too.

Wish me luck! Pin It

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Today is the last day

Tomorrow I find out part of the fate of my book. This is the fork in the road. Either I continue on in the contest, or I find someone else to publish my book. Hanna tells me I need to be more positive and have more confidence...I'll try, but no promises.

Hopefully I'll have good news for you tomorrow (or probably Thursday actually).

So this is your final call if you'd like to read my excerpt.

Thanks everyone, really. Wish me luck (though most likely my "fate" has already been decided).

PS. Kadie -- if you're reading this....STAY AWAY as long as you possibly can! It's snowing here!!!! Pin It

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Three to go.

It's been three weeks since I found out I'm a quarterfinalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest. Since then I have received so many kind emails and calls from people telling me I'm brave for entering the contest (though I don't feel brave) and that I'm very talented (though I don't feel talented). Thanks so much for your support.

I've also received thirteen amazing reviews on! Thank you so much! I know that you had to have made a purchase in the past on before you can leave a review. So if you weren't able to, that's ok. I understand and I appreciate the thought. As Edward says, "It's the thought that counts. I should know." Yes, I just quoted a fictional character. No, I'm not ashamed of it.

Now I have one more week before I find out if I made it to the semifinals or not. Editors from Publisher's Weekly are reading the manuscripts (the entire book, not just excerpts) for ALL the quarterfinalists. They will score the MS on a couple of different things, including the reviews (so thanks again!!) and then the top 100 scoring MS will make it to the semifinals.

After that an expert panel of 3 people will read the remaining 100 manuscripts and choose the top three. Then members will vote on the winner based on the excerpt (which will be extended an additional 5,000 words).

Ok, so back to where I am in the contest. I will find out next Wednesday if I've made it to the semifinals. Even though my "chances" (percentage wise) are better to making it to the semifinals than they were to make it to the quarterfinals (20% as opposed to 5%), I am not very confident right now. I kind of think this is as far as I'll make it. Which is still amazing! I feel very honored to have made it this far. Even though a guy posted on a website that all the excerpts he's read (including mine) are rubbish, we don't deserve to be there and we should be ashamed of our work. Can you guess who didn't make it this far? Anyway. My work isn't rubbish. I deserve to be here. And I am not ashamed of myself. But whether or not I'll make it any further in the contest is up in the air.

So three weeks down and one to go. Hopefully this time next week I'll have good news for you. Maybe not, but that's alright.

Thanks again for your support and kindness. You guys are awesome!

If you still haven't checked the excerpt for The Gifted by Deborah Andreasen (that's me!), here it is:

I still can't believe I've got my own Amazon page!
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