Wanted: Teen Writers

Wanted: Teen WritersThere’s so much to learn when it comes to being an author, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wished I started sooner. Writing a book is only part of the process. You also have to market your book once it’s released. I know from experience that helping an author with their book release is a fantastic way to learn what it takes to launch a book successfully.

Multi-published author Lesley Ann McDaniel and launch group veteran Mindy Peltier are starting a YA book launch group, and they’re looking for young adult team members. It’s a chance for teen writers to get a head start on the learning process.

If you’re a teen writer, don’t miss out on this great opportunity. If you know a teen writer, be sure to pass along the news. Visit Lesley’s blog for details about their YA book launch group.

Jupiter Winds

jupiter-winds-400Award-winning author C.J. Darlington makes her YA debut with Jupiter Winds, and she’s already off to a great start with an endorsement from sci-fi veteran Kathy Tyers (Firebird). Tyers calls Jupiter Winds “A fast-paced, character-driven space adventure that’s reminiscent of science fiction’s golden age.”

THE FACTS: C.J. is the award-winning author of the contemporary novels Thicker than Blood, Bound by Guilt, and Ties that Bind. Her new novel Jupiter Winds is a YA/space adventure/dystopian. She is a regular contributor to various websites. In 2013 C.J. co-founded Mountainview Books, LLC, an indie publisher of Christian fiction. She makes her home in Pennsylvania with her family and their menagerie of animals. You can find her on her website cjdarlington.com as well as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads.

THE FICTION: In 2160, a teenager becomes the bait to capture her missing revolutionary parents she thinks are long dead.

Grey Alexander has one goal–to keep herself and her younger sister Orinda alive. Not an easy feat living unconnected in the North American Wildlife Preserve, where they survive by smuggling contraband into the Mazdaar government’s city zones. If the invisible electric border fence doesn’t kill them, a human-like patrol drone could.

When her worst fear comes true, Grey questions everything she thinks she knows about life, her missing parents, and God. Could another planet, whose sky swirls with orange vapors and where extinct-on-Earth creatures roam free, hold the key to reuniting her family?

THE BIG QUESTION: If you could have a superpower, what would it be?

C.J.’S BIG ANSWER: I’d want to fly! That would be awesome, don’t you think? 🙂

Make sure to add Jupiter Winds to your summer reading list. It’s available through both Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

©2014 C.J. Darlington and Kim Vandel

Top 10 Ways to Show Tumblr Love to Authors

Top 10 TumblrToday’s guest post is by author and Tumblr addict Jessica Keller. 

Tumblr is a place for microblogging amazingness. Not just a place—it’s THE place. One of the best things about Tumblr is that it has outlets for everyone. The blog platform includes photo sharing, written entries, video uploads, music sharing, a platform just for quotes, and the ability to post links. The best part of Tumblr is that it attracts creative people, so books and stories are always welcome and reblogged. Tumblr is great because unlike Twitter, you aren’t limited by a certain number of characters and you can use as many tags as you want.

The one

If you’re an author who writes Young Adult Fiction or New Adult Fiction, you better have a Tumblr account. So many writers are focusing on connecting with readers on Facebook and building Pinterest story boards that they’re missing out on where readers are spending time. All the teens I know are active on Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram. We should be too. The latest Tumblr data shows that they host 187 million blogs. Don’t miss out on the fun we’re having over there!

 The Top Ten Ways to Show Author Love on Tumblr

  1. Follow the author on Tumblr and reblog their book news.
  2. Post a countdown to release day for a book you’re looking forward to. This can be as easy as doing a written post that just says “2 more days until BOOK NAME HERE—so excited!” Just like on Twitter and Instagram, make sure to tag your posts with the title, author’s name, genre, and any other fun tags you can think of: #Got to have it, #ya lit, #fiction books, #reading.
  3. Share the book cover. Once you upload a picture, you can click on it and add a clickable link. I always link book covers with their Amazon buy page so my followers can get their hands on a book I post right away if they want to. Make sure to tag it like you did the countdown and then add fun tags like #cover love, #so pretty.Doon
  4. Create memes (did you know the rise of memes happened because of Tumblr?) about the book using quotes or pictures that remind you of the characters. When you upload it make sure to tag the author, the title, the genre and add #ya lit meme.haunted
  5. If you’re an artist then Tumblr is the ideal place to display your fan art. Draw a scene from the book or what you believe a character looks like. Authors love seeing fan art and will always reblog it. With your permission most of us print out fan art and use it to decorate our offices…if I’m being honest!
  6. If the author (or someone else talking up the book) posts something book related, interact with them. Every time you respond that post is shared with your followers.
  7. Upload a video of your reaction to the book. You can address the author in the video or maybe act like you’re talking to one of the characters. Anything goes with reaction vlogs. Tag it appropriately and wait for all the interactions you’ll receive.
  8. If you love music you can make a playlist for the book and post songs that remind you of certain scenes or chapters or maybe a theme in the book. Tag music just like you would the rest of your posts.
  9. Take a photo of you holding the book when you first get it or a picture of you reading in your favorite spot. After tagging the photo with the author’s name, title, and genre, think of other tags like #reading place, #favorite place in the world, #this book is so good.
  10. Review the book. Tumblr doesn’t limit you on words, so you can make the review as long or short as you want. If you read lots of books then you can become a Tumblr reviewer and be known for that. You can come up with your own “star system” of measuring how much you liked a book (but don’t use stars…use something unique, like a kiss-o-meter or jars of Nutella…mmm….I’d do that…this book is worth four jars of Nutella).
Saving Yesterday
Here’s the start of a book review that the FictionCrush posted for my latest release.

Thank you for anything and everything you do to help authors. Without you there would be no more books.

DSC_0025Jessica Keller holds degrees in both Communications and Biblical Studies. She is multi-published in both Young Adult Fiction and Romance, is a contributor to writing focused blog—The Write Conversation, and has 100+ magazine and newspaper articles to her name. Her latest release is a Young Adult Fantasy – Saving Yesterday. You can find her at www.JessicaKellerBooks.com, on Twitter, on Tumblr, or on her Facebook Author Page. She lives in the Chicagoland suburbs with her amazing husband, beautiful daughter, and two annoyingly outgoing cats that happen to be named after superheroes.

©2014 Jessica Keller

The One

One_finalIt’s release day for The One by Kiera Cass, the final book in The Selection series. I preordered my special edition copy from Barnes & Noble, and it’s waiting for me along with a cup of tea and my comfy, oversized reading chair.

In honor of The One’s release, I thought I’d share the book trailer with you. You’ll get a good look at America’s gorgeous dress—a dress that looks a lot like (Dare I say it?) a wedding gown.

The big question is: Who gets your vote? Aspen or Maxon? (Warning: The state of our friendship may be affected by your answer.)

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a book to read. I need to know if my suspicions are correct.

©2014 KimVandel

Tweet Who gets your vote? Aspen or Maxon?

Top TEN Ways to Show INSTAGRAM LOVE to Authors

image005Today’s guest post is by Rajdeep Paulus, YA author and Instagrammer extraordinaire. 

Instagram is, in my opinion, the simpler, user-friendly version of Pinterest, and with a smartphone, it’s truly faster and easier to post pics all day long. The Selfie became Classic with Instagram. But like all the Social Media sites, Instagram filters as you like and interact with certain users. And that is my biggest hang-up with all of Social Media. Sometimes I feel like the creators of these programs are trying to brainwash me into thinking I need to pay attention to only certain friends and followers. Meanwhile, I’m missing out on some big news or fun pics from a friend I run into later that day. Now that my disclaimers are out of the way, if you’re a Young Adult Author, you MUST get an Instagram account. All the teens I know still use Facebook and Twitter, but the majority of their minutes are spent on Tumblr and Instagram. With the easy two-tap Like option, it’s no wonder!

Here are my TOP TEN ways to show some Instagram Love to your favorite authors:

  1. Follow the author on Instagram.
  2. Post a cover shot of the author’s book(s) and hashtag the cover name, genre, topics in the book, and fun tags like #mustread, #lovedit, #couldnotputdown, etc. TAG the author (similar to Twitter).
  3. Post pics of you reading the book in a fun place or with a coffee mug in your hand or with a bunch of crumpled up Kleenex surrounding you. Hashtag #tearjerker, #bepreparedtocryyoureyesout, and other fun phrases that give your followers a sense of what kind of ride they’re in for. Be sure to Tag @authorname.
  4.  ALWAYS Tag the Author Name and Encourage your friends to “FOLLOW” said author.
  5. Post a book-reading Meme that describes an author’s book, i.e., Best Books I’ve Read Ever. Invite Followers to add to the list and tag the authors they love. Or Use fun Picture Quotes Sites like LiveLuvCreate.com and post your favorite quotes from the book. And Hashtag the title. Tag the author.
  6. When an author runs a Giveaway with fun Book Swag, post a pic of the stuff! Hashtag titles, #bookswag, #IWon, #GotTheGoods, etc., and tag your sweet author who sent you fantabulous stuff.
  7. What I love most about Instagram is that you can SHARE the pics on Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook in a one shot dealio click. Follow the prompt on the bottom right of the posted pic.
  8. As an author, you can post an Instagram Challenge. For example, I asked my readers to post a picture of “Stones” (any fun stones … but one of the stones had to be BLUE) and add the Hashtag #SeeingThroughStones. It was one more way for readers to enter a Giveaway. As a reader you can post pictures of Hollywood actors who you think would be perfect for characters, scenes from the location of the book, or even a tasty food pic of your favorite character’s daily menu. Hashtag character names, titles, and the author.
  9. REPOST a Cover of a Book you love to support the author, especially when the book is newly out or just about to launch. There are REPOST Apps you can download that will make sure you give credit to the original person who posted. Or take a screenshot, but make sure to include the top part that shows who posted it first. The Key: Give Credit Always. 
  10. Readers can post short video clips reading from their favorite parts or doing a 10 sec commercial or 7 secs when it comes to Using Vine. The limited length makes Instagram vids more likely to be watched and it also tests your creativity! And that’s the best part about Instagram… It’s a chance for anyone to be a photographer, a movie producer, an artist and a writer!! #happyposting #nowgoforthandinstagramme #yougitthis #InstagramLove #authorlove #MakeUpAFunHashtagInTheComments 🙂

photo-26And, on behalf of all the authors out there, thank you from the bottom of our hearts for sharing our books and titles with your friends. Word of mouth and word on the street have become word on the smartphone and word on Social Media Street. And we appreciate every post, Share, and Like you put out there for us. 🙂

Rajdeep Paulus

Rajdeep Paulus is the author of Swimming Through Clouds and Seeing Through Stones, is mommy to four princesses, wife of Sunshine, a coffee-addict and a chocoholic. As of this June 2013, she’s a Tough Mudder. To find out more, visit her website or connect with her via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagramauthorcard

©2014 Rajdeep Paulus


cover image Mortis for websiteHannah Cobb takes us to a world of assassins and dark secrets in her YA fantasy Mortis.

THE FACTS: Hannah Cobb lives in Maryland, where she maintains a cover identity as a librarian by day and moonlights as a writer. When she isn’t writing, Hannah enjoys designing elaborate period costumes and collecting swords. Mortis is her first novel. You can find Hannah at http://hannahcobbauthor.weebly.com/

HannahCobb_5BWTHE FICTION: In an underground school rife with duels and deadly classes, Jane hides in the shadows to stay alive. She is the invisible assassin. But as she prepares to graduate from Mortis, Jane stumbles across secrets that reveal dark truths about her school. Will she embrace the darkness, or betray the school that raised her—and the boy she loves? Once Jane sets herself against her school, there is no turning back, because in Mortis failure always means death.

THE BIG QUESTION: If you could have a superpower, what would it be?

HANNAH’S BIG ANSWER: I would be telepathic, and either become an awesome CIA operative or use my mind-reading abilities to finally understand what motivates people to do both beautiful and terrible things.

Congratulations to Hannah! Mortis makes its official debut tomorrow, and you can get your copy from Amazon.

©2014 Kim Vandel and Hannah Cobb


Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000030_00047]I met Charity Tinnin in July of 2012 because of a blog post I wrote about dystopian fiction, and we couldn’t help but become friends. That’s what happens when you find someone who’s as obsessed with YA fiction as you are. (She also has the most awesome pair of pink high heels I’ve ever seen.) Today it’s her turn to talk about dystopian fiction and share the story behind her debut novel Haunted:

“As I write this, it’s Catching Fire Friday. (That is the official title for March 7, 2014, right?) I’ve been counting down the days to this, Divergent’s movie premiere March 21, and The One’s release on May 6. And yes, I have pre-ordered the Barnes & Noble Signed Extended Edition already.

Speaking of The Selection series, why did CW pass on the TV show? I do not understand. Cute boys, fancy dresses, reality TV, and a scary story world—what’s not to love? (Thanks for commiserating with me, Kim).

But I was a fan of dystopian lit before it became en vogue. I was the nerdy girl in high school devouring Brave New World, Alas, Babylon, and Uglies as fast as I could. And I’ll remain a dystopian fangirl long after the frenzy dies down. Why? Because I love the idea that one person can make a difference in a dark world. That no matter how bleak the world looks, there is still hope.

2014 AuthorPhoto (temp)Yet I never set out to write a dystopian series. Really. I was set on writing contemporary romances. Until, in 2010, Noah and Daniel State walked into my head arguing about the morals of liquidation, their version of execution. I didn’t pay any attention until Daniel threatened to kill off my other characters. (Okay, maybe his threat wasn’t that extreme, but he’s dangerous enough, alright?). So I set aside my WIP and gave the brothers NaNoWriMo to impress me. Six weeks later, as I typed the last sentence of Haunted, I knew I couldn’t put them away. Not until their story came to an end, and now four years later, I get to share the beginning with the world. I can’t wait. I hope you fall in love with my brothers like I did. Then we can all finish the journey together.”

THE FACTS: Charity Tinnin’s fascination with dystopian lit began in high school with Brave New World, so it’s no surprise that her debut novel, Haunted, would be a YA dystopian. In addition to authoring the State v. Seforé series, she’s a freelance editor and semi-professional fangirl. Join her on Facebook, Twitter, or her website.

THE FICTION: Punish the guilty or save the innocent? He can’t do both.

 As a liquidator, it’s Noah State’s job to carry out justice for the Elite—which is why they send him to Metro Area Four. There’s evidence of a resistance movement and chatter about a dangerous uprising. Noah’s orders? Stop it at any cost.

Failure means death. But Noah’s haunted by the blood spilled in his past and certain God has condemned him for it. Shedding more isn’t an option.

Then he meets Maddison James, a hospital apprentice with revolutionary leanings, and glimpses a future he thought was lost. A future within reach if they can survive his brother’s interference, a resistance more threatening than anyone imagined, and one unforgivable choice.

THE BIG QUESTION: If you could have a superpower, what would it be?

CHARITY’S BIG ANSWER: As a diehard Captain America fan (April 4th, peeps!), I’m going to say that since genetically enhanced individuals normally need little to no sleep, I want that. As a girl with chronic fatigue, I’d love to recharge faster. Think about how much more YA I could read then!

Congrats to Charity! Be sure to pick up your copy of Haunted from Amazon or Barnes & Noble today!

©2014 Kim Vandel and Charity Tinnin

Saving Yesterday

SavingYesterday_CVR_MEDOne of the best parts of being an aspiring author is getting to know other aspiring authors. When you’ve witnessed the ups and downs of someone’s journey to publication—all the work and all the waiting—you become invested, and you can’t help but celebrate when they succeed. It’s almost as good as having your own book published.

dsc_0097I met Jessica Keller online during the summer of 2012, and we were able to meet in person later that year. Her first novel, an inspirational romance titled Home for Good was published in 2013, but it’s her Young Adult novel that I’ve really been looking forward to. Today is the day, and it’s definitely one for celebrating as Jessica makes her YA debut with Saving Yesterday.

THE FACTS: A Starbucks drinker, avid reader, professional fangirl, and chocolate aficionado, Jessica Keller is multi-published in both Young Adult Fiction and Romance. When she’s not dancing in her car at a stoplight, you can find her at www.JessicaKellerBooks.com, on Twitter (@AuthorKeller), or on Facebook (Jessica Keller Author).

THE FICTION: Her blood holds secrets she never knew existed.

Despite the fact that she acts as a parent to her alcoholic father, Gabby Creed feels pretty normal. But her life is turned upside-down on her seventeenth birthday when a bracelet appears on her wrist and sucks her back through time.

Turns out she’s not even a little bit normal. She’s a Shifter—a protector of humans and of history itself. And she’s not alone. The other Shifters believe Gabby is special, even more special than the mysterious Michael Pace. Oh, and the Shades—seriously creepy creatures who feed off of human despair—are determined to capture her.

It’s all a lot to absorb. So Gabby’s grateful to have Michael as her Trainer—or she would be if she could get her rebellious heart under control. Then again, if the rumors about her blood are true, saving yesterday will be the least of her worries.

THE BIG QUESTION: If you could have a superpower, what would it be?

JESSICA’S BIG ANSWER: Excellent question! You know, I think at this point in my life I’m going to pull a Cyborg Superman and say I’d pick technopathy—the ability to manipulate technology with your mind. The whole “think and it’s automatically written on the computer” thing would be amazing. Yup, that would definitely make me hit my writing goals a million times faster!

Congratulations to Jessica! Be sure to join in the celebration and pick up your copy of Saving Yesterday from Amazon.

©2014 Kim Vandel and Jessica Keller

Movie Updates from Dystopia

Maze on abstract screenThe news has been disappointing lately for fans of YA dystopian novels, at least when it comes to TV adaptations. When it comes to the big screen, however, the news is much better. Four bestsellers hit movie theaters in 2014.

  • Divergent (Veronica Roth): March 21
  • The Giver (Lois Lowry): August 15
  • The Maze Runner (James Dashner): September 19
  • Mockingjay Part 1 (Suzanne Collins): November 21

There are sequels to come, and an adaptation of Joelle Charbonneau’s The Testing is also in the works for 2015, so dystopian fans should be in good shape for a while.

Have you heard of any other YA dystopian novels being turned into a movie?

©2014 Kim Vandel

TV Updates from Dystopia

woman  watching  tvBad news for fans who’ve been waiting for the TV adaptation of Lauren Oliver’s Delirium series. Oliver recently announced that Fox passed on the show. (I know. What were they thinking?)

Bad news for fans of The Selection too. The CW couldn’t find room in their schedule for the TV version of Kiera Cass’s novel. (Again, what were they thinking? Make room.)

But all is not lost. Both authors should be able to get their rights back, so their dystopian novels could still make it to the screen someday.

Until then, Lauren Oliver’s non-dystopian novel Panic releases in March and Universal has already optioned the movie rights.

Two novellas—The Guard and an extended version of The Prince—will be available February 4 as part of The Selection Stories. The first three chapters of The One are included, so fans will have a little something to tide them over until the book releases in May. You can also pre-order a special edition copy of The One from Barnes and Noble. (Been there, done that.)

Which book would you rather have developed into a movie or a TV series—Delirium or The Selection?

©2014 Kim Vandel

Update June 2014: The pilot for Delirium (you know, the one Fox canceled) will be available on Hulu for thirty days starting June 20, 2014. Don’t have Hulu? Don’t worry. It’s also available on watchwigs.com, and you can watch the trailer for the pilot right now: