I was recently tagged in The Next Big Thing…read the post to learn more about my current WIP: THE TIME TRAVELER’S SECRET

My completed manuscript BLOOD OF ISIS, is on query! 

My other WIP – CONFESSIONS OF A PRE-TEEN WITCH is going through an outline phase.   I’m much more of a pantser but with this book I’ve found myself getting stuck a lot more…hence: never underestimate the importance of a well thought out plot outline.  AHH…wipmadness!

Today is the last day of BOOKTOBERFEST!  

The interviews, book reviews, and other posts will still be around however the giveaways end at 12:01 AM tomorrow so enter today 🙂

AND…NaNoWriMo starts tomorrow!!!

The Next Big Thing: Week 21

Hello Everyone,

I was tagged last week in The Next Best Thing by Ally Malinenko & Beth Fred, which is where I get to share with you my current WIP.  I was also tagged in a similar Next Week Thing awhile ago.  But the exciting thing about this post is that you will be one of the first to get a sneak peak at what is to be my NaNoWriMo Project!!!

What is the working title of your work-in-progress?

The Time Traveler’s Secret

What is the genre?

YA Sci-fi (maybe/probably dystopian…I didn’t plan/want to write a dystopian but it’s turning out that way)

Where did the idea come from?
Oh haha, this is a great story:

Once Upon A Time…I had this disease called writer’s block, now usually when I get this disease I just write because technically I don’t actually believe there is writer’s block (I know, I’m confusing you).  Anyway, I was trying to find creative writing prompts to get me started then I found this sentence: 

It was less than a second, maybe less than half a second, but it changed everything.  

It came from http://writingprompts.tumblr.com/.  And no I don’t plan on using this sentence, exactly.

Well after I saw that I saw this:  

So then I kept thinking time traveling detectives, it changed everything….boy you should see the word doc I have on this, it’s a jumble of incoherent thoughts, and that’s how I knew I was on to something brilliant ;).

Well after all of that craziness, I came up with some more stuff, which I’ll share in a later questions, including the main character’s name: Maia.

And, of course, me being the mythology obsessed person I am, the name Maia was chosen for a particular reason.

And that folks is how a story is born.

What actors would you choose to play your characters in a film version?

No idea, I don’t even know all of the characters yet…but I will update this when I do 🙂

Write a one-paragraph summary:

No judging…this is a blurb-in-progress…no it’s not really one paragraph:

Rule #1: The Authority is Supreme

Rule #2: Do not be seen

Rule #3: Always be on time

Maia is a good girl.  As the daughter of The General –the leader of The Authority, the rulers of Phynicia, she’s an example of the model citizen: she does what she’s told, no questions asked.  As a member of Phynicia’s time traveling force, it’s her duty to go forward/backward into time to complete missions. 

The nature of these missions are known only to those who they are given and the mysterious “Authority”—the ones who dictate the missions.

As first in her graduating class Maia is the first to receive her an unaccompained mission: go back in time and kill Dr. William Carver

Maia knows this is a great honor yet she’s hesitant, although it’s against her teachings to ask questions she wonders why she has been chosen to kill this man who’s crime is unknown to her.

On the day of her mission something goes wrong, she arrives at the site too early and runs into Dr. Carver’s son Zane.  At that moment a member of The Authority’s guard arrives and kills Dr. Carver…

Now Maia and Zane are on the race of a lifetime, flitting forward and backward through time to find out why Dr. Carver was killed, what really caused earth to go into its Second Dark Ages, if the authority is to be trusted, and Maia’s place in all of this.

Yet what Maia doesn’t know is eventually a decision will have to be made, a decision of whether to save Zane’s world, the world of the past, or to save Maia’s present and thus her future.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

An Agency.  Hopefully BLOOD OF ISIS will garner me an agent however if it doesn’t, I plan on querying this one/one of the MG ones I’m working on

How long did the first draft take to write?

Not written yet…just outlines and words LOL

What other books would you compare this to, in your genre?
As well read as I consider myself to be, I’m not super into YA books with time-traveling themes (unless I’ve forgotten older titles I’ve read)…so as for right now I have no idea nor have I heard of anything similar (minus the million YA dystopian books with themes of resisting “The Authority”.  However if you’ve read Veronica Roth’s Divergent, part of the idea for The Authority came from the Erudite…if you’ve read it, you should get my meaning…the other inspiration was Marx’s The Communist Manifesto.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

  1. My crazy thought process
  2. The Twilight Zone (original TV series)
  3. Divergent 
  4. The Communist Manifesto (the reason why is complicated/long but if you want to guess/know you can comment below)
  5.  My intense love for all things sci-fi & dystopian 
  6. My want to write something along these lines for a while

What else about this story might pique the readers’ interest?

Well it’s definitely going to be fast-paced…it will include time travel, to different worlds and times, mysteries, clues, and romance 😉  I’m in love with it and I’ve barely written it yet…it’s so different from BLOOD OF ISIS…exactly what I need.

Thanks Beth & Ally!  I’m tagging:

E.R. Arroyoher book Sovereign is out!!!

Julia Byers

Emma Meade…she has a great book out too!!!

Cecilia Robert

Help! – The Publishing Process

This is a super helpful post…great advice for any newbie writer 🙂

Whimsically Yours,


The Blabbermouth Blog

I’ve been in a number of conversations recently where I explain to people what I do. I think a lot of people think I’m sitting around my house reading books and eating bonbons. (Maybe that’s just my family… ) Anyway, I’ve explained it a bunch of times now, and that’s forced me to go through the “how publishing works” spiel, to get to the part where I explain what a literary agent does. Then a friend of mine sent a friend of hers to me, because her friend was writing a book and she figured I’d be able to help her figure out the whole publishing thing. After writing the friend’s friend a big old e-mail, beginning to explain how the whole process works, I figured I’d put up a blog post for folks just getting started down this road. So this one’s for you, newbies!

#1. Write a kick-ass…

View original post 1,109 more words

Interview with Teen Author Stefan Bachmann

Meet Stefan!  

He’s a fellow 19 year old writer who’s the author of  the MG novel THE PECULIAR :)


Hello! My name is Stefan Bachmann, I’m 19,  I was born in the US, live in Switzerland, and wrote THE PECULIAR, which came out on September 18th from Greenwillow/HarperCollins and several other publishers around the world.

It’s a gothic/steampunk/faery fantasy set in an alternate 19th century where faeries and English have been forced to form a fragile society. This society is suddenly threatened when changelings begin appearing in the river, dead and covered in sinister red markings.  A young changeling named Bartholomew Kettle, and a spoiled aristocrat, set off on an adventure to right wrongs, save their lives and those of their families, and perhaps rescue their entire city . . .

What is the first story you remember writing?

A really, really terrible fan-fiction story based on The Hobbit/Lord of the Rings. I did a blog post about it at one point, so you can see the full extent of the bad. It had sticker illustrations. And typos.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

When the book sold, about a year ago. I’d gotten a few short stories and flash fiction pieces (stories under 1,000 words) published before that, but a book feels so much bigger. I was very, very happy when I got the news.

How did you get the idea for your book?

I’ve always liked history, 19th century and English history especially, and after a while I got really into European folklore and steampunk as well. I suppose the premise came from wanting to write a book with all my favorite elements in it, which is what The Peculiar ended up being.

What is the best piece of constructive criticism you ever received?

It was probably a note from my editor next to a crossed-out sentence during the revision process. I’m not sure of the exact words she used, but it was something along the lines of“Your sentences have to mean things. They have to be necessary.” That sounds super obvious, but it’s so important. It’s important to delete things that aren’t necessary – words, sentences, scenes – and make sure everything in the book is relevant and ties in with something else. I always try to go through a book or story at least once and just get rid of everything that doesn’t need to be there. There’s usually a lot more than I expected.

How do you overcome “writer’s block” ? 

Writer’s block for me translates to “I don’t think I can do this, writing is hard, I’d rather watch a movie, maybe I’m not cut out for this after all.” So basically I just have to force myself to sit down and write. I write even if it’s all lame for the first hour. Because it gets better after that, and I can always go back and edit the first hour of junk.

Are you a full time writer?

I’m not. I might like to be someday, but right now I split my time between being a music student and a writer. Both are notoriously unstable professions, but I suppose this way I always have a different unstable profession to fall back on.

Coffee or tea?

Water.  (Such a rebel… )

Fun Fact about yourself most people don’t know?

I used to take rock-climbing lessons, and would scurry up vast artificial walls. This may not sound particularly fun, and it wasn’t, but if you know me now you’d never guess I did anything like that.

What was your writing & publishing process for your book like, from start to finish?

I started writing The Peculiar in 2010 when I was sixteen. I finished it in the fall of that year, polished it until December 2010, and then sent off my very first query to a UK literary agency. I waited for three months. I got my first rejection. That rejection was very, very good for me. I polished the manuscript, queried a different agency, was rejected again,  polished all through 2011, and on my tenth query, Sara Megibow of Nelson Literary Agency offered to represent me. After a quick round of edits, she submitted the manuscript to publishers in  New York. We had a great response, and the book went to auction one week later with several large houses competing for it. Greenwillow Books, an imprint of HarperCollins, won the auction, and now I’m with them. They’re great, and my editor is the best.  I feel very lucky to be published by them.

What is some advice you would impart to teen writers who wish to be published?

Read a lot, write a lot, always try to improve. And don’t pay attention to people who tell you you should wait, or that teenagers are awful writers and shouldn’t bother. Everyone is terrible at first, adults, too, but that’s no reason not to start early and work to become better.

If you could have breakfast with anyone dead or alive, who would it be and what would you eat?

I don’t think I’d much enjoy having breakfast with a dead person, so I’d have to say breakfast with John Williams of film music fame. And we’d eat CAKE, of course, because this is John Williams.

What is the next book you want to write?

I just handed in THE PECULIAR’S sequel, so once revisions on that are done I have a bunch of other ideas buzzing around that I’m looking forward to working on. I’d like to try some YA, and maybe another middle grade, a standalone this time. We’ll see!

Last words???

Thanks for having me on the blog! 🙂

Thank you Stefan, and best of luck with your two “unstable” professions 🙂  Thanks for the great advice!

Check out the other Teens Can Write TOO! week posts!

Whimsically Yours,


Interview with YA Writer Stephanie Diaz

Meet Stephanie who, at the time of this interview, was a fellow 19 year old writer and is a college student.  She’s now 20!!! Happy belated birthday.  But for the purpose of Teens Can Write TOO! Week she’s a writer who has some great words of wisdom for us all 🙂


I’m Stephanie, a 19-year-old writer (I’ll be 20 on October 7!) born and raised in Southern California. The book that got me my agent and will be on sub pretty soon is a YA sci-fi called Extraction. It’s about a girl named Clementine who wins an escape from a settlement on a planet where the moon is poisonous and children are killed off when they turn twenty. Only, she has to leave a boy who’s very special to her behind.

UPDATE: EXTRACTION sold to St. Martin’s Griffin and will be published on July 22, 2014. So Stephanie’s going to be a published author, YAY, I can’t wait to read it!!! (you can add it to Goodreads, here!)

Enjoy the interview 🙂

 What is your favorite place to write?

I’m constantly struggling with finding places to write where I won’t be distracted by the internet! My bedroom is nice. But I really wish I had access to an ocean cave or a glass room in the middle of a forest (preferably during a storm). Somewhere far away and pretty.

 What is the first story you remember writing?

A YA fantasy about a girl who discovers a magical world of fairies and elves hidden by the lake in her neighborhood.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I can’t quite remember the first time, but by third grade I was writing stories all the time.

If you could be any character from a book, movie, play, or musical who would it be and why?

I’d be Tris Prior from Divergent, because she’s brave. 

When & why did you start writing?

I’ve been writing since I was so young, it feels like I was born with a need for words and stories ingrained in my brain. I’ve stuck with them because they’re my release and my comfort. 

How do you overcome “writer’s block” ? 

Usually it means there’s something not quite right about what I’ve written recently, or the way the plot is headed. So, I go back to the last point where things were working, and then I try to think of a brand-new, inspiring place to head from there.

Are you a full time writer…why/why not?

I study film production at San Diego State University, so sadly I can’t write full time yet. I hope someday!

Coffee or tea?

Tea! (wild berry and chai are my favorites) 

Fun Fact about yourself most people don’t know?

I sing and play guitar. I have some videos of original songs up on youtube. 😛 

How did you find a literary agent?

I found my lovely agent, Alison Fargis of Stonesong (without whom Extraction would not be anywhere near what it’s become), through the good old querying process. I had a lot of help from writer friends and a few other supportive agents along the way. 

–how long did it take?

I signed with Alison six months to the day after I sent my first query letter for Extraction. But I queried two other manuscripts in previous years—the first when I was 13. All in all, it took me six years of writing/revising/querying.

–what was querying like for you?

With Extraction, I received two revise-and-requests from agents before Alison read my manuscript. So, the six months of querying were fraught with periods of intense revisions. Some days I’d feel like Extraction was “the one,” while on others I was exhausted and ready to turn my attention to a new manuscript. I did garner a number of requests—26 in all, out of about 130 queries—and those kept me going. But I was close to giving up at times, and was never more so than on the day I received a rejection letter for my second R&R. 

The next day I got an email from a different agent asking when a good time would be to talk on the phone. A week later, after four offers of representation and a weekend of hair-pulling/nail-biting, I signed with Alison. 🙂

 What is some advice you would impart to teen writers who wish to be published?

Remember that you’re young and you have lots of years ahead of you. Keep writing, no matter what. And take time to live and enjoy the world. 🙂

 If you had/have an animal spirit which animal(s) would it be…why?

Either a bear or a sea otter.  They’ve always been my favorites.

 What is your favorite childhood book and/or author?

It’s a tie between The Giver by Lois Lowry and The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman.

What is the next book you want to write?

To cope with my impatience/worry about the impending submission process for Extraction, I’m working on a YA fantasy that’s Pirates of the Caribbean meets Shadow and Bone, with dragons. 🙂

Thanks for stopping by Stephanie, best writing wishes to you 🙂 I look forward to seeing your books in stores!

Whimsically Yours,