Friday, September 30, 2011

More of the Funny

WARNING: This won't leave a good taste in your brain, but it WILL help you to remember to use the Oxford comma (between the final two items in a list, along with the "and").

Thanks to Stephanie for this link. 

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Random and Funny

Thanks to Stephanie for the link.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


As said on Facebook yesterday:

Dear Book Pirates: 
Taking the stuff we worked months on and passing it around to strangers without paying us doesn't make you a good person. You're not stealing from a faceless corporation; you're stealing from a small group of authors and editors who won't be able to continue putting out the kinds of books you love if people don't pay them for their efforts. We're not asking a lot--a few dollars buys you hours of reading enjoyment, and the legal versions all have sharing enabled, so you can share your copy with your real friends and family. So please, knock it off. 

Long story short, don't download books from "sharing" sites. You're hurting real people.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Gay in YA

There's a bit of a controversy going on right now about the role of gay characters and gay relationships in YA fiction.

Personally, I'm comfortable with gay characters and gay relationships portrayed the same way straight YA characters and relationships are. But I also can see why agents and publishers might think it could hurt sales in the heartland. And I like the idea that it's out there, available, for people who DO want to read stories with gay characters. People are free to write what they want without fear of being censored or persecuted. And people are free to NOT read it, as well.

Many years ago, I did a fundraiser for Lambda Legal (a nonprofit that provides legal protections to members of the GLBT community). I got the most vitriolic, nasty, and poorly spelled hate mail I have ever seen.

So I think it comes down to this: the people who would be most offended these days may well be the least likely to be reading books in the first place.

What do you think?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Mind-Reading: For Real

Cognitive mapping is now getting so good that researchers are beginning to recreate the images in a subject's visual cortex--basically pulling an image out of someone's brain. Cool, huh?

Read the full article here:

Friday, September 23, 2011

Flight Delays

Those words send cold shudders through most travelers. I, on the other hand, have been able to get a lot of work done this morning. However, even I have my limits. Really, the delay should not exceed the actual time the flight would take; wouldn't we all agree that's a reasonable rule?


Anyhoo, I'll be in California eventually (although it might've been faster to walk---grrrr). And then I'll be relaxing in the sun, a cool drink in my hand, enjoying the good life... until the earthquake hits and the resulting mudslide buries me.

And on THAT thought--

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

What Do Amazon Sales Rankings Mean?

Hi folks, Here's a good article on what the numbers really mean:

And here's another to keep in mind:

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


In two days, I'm heading to Southern California for a week. I want to set up some entertaining stuff and leave it scheduled to post, just in case I have access problems or something while traveling. Soooo, if you have a funny YouTube video, a great article on writing or publishing, or anything else that you think might be of interest, please send me a link through the Ganzfield contact form (watch out for the ninjas) by Friday.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Want to be in a Book Trailer?

Dan Cohen's Masters of the Veil is coming out next March, and we want YOU to be in the book trailer.

Read the details at:

Please spread the word!

Monday, September 19, 2011


We've all seen them--book covers with "New York Times Bestseller" on them. But what does this really mean?

Alan Rinzler posted a great article about it last week :

In the end, it's always a good thing for an author to have a book on a bestseller list, and there are a lot of ways to get there. But if it were easy, everyone would do it.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Half-Blood Book Trailer

Check out the third Half-Blood book trailer!

And Amazon is shipping copies early. They aren't s'posed ta, but they are. So, if you can't wait to read it, now you don't have to.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Spread Goodwill Like a Bad STD

I want you to try something. As you are going about your daily business today, notice the good stuff... and then give people feedback about it. When someone writes something funny on Facebook, "like" it. Compliment someone's necklace in the store. Catch your kids being good. Give your significant other a hug just for being him/her. Build people up and help them grow, rather than criticizing their efforts and tearing them down.

There's so much competition, closed-mindedness, and outright cruelty in the world. I hope we can put some points in the "Humanity is kind of awesome" column, too. It's easy to make the world a better place--just try it.

Happy weekend!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

I Want This

I'm a bit obsessive when it comes to germs, so this might be the perfect thing for me:

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

First Borders Giveaway

I got some goodies at Borders, and here's the first offering:

This is part of a GREAT series; I LOVE Nicole's writing style.

For this giveaway, there's a twist, though. Post a comment below with your name (your first name or your blog name is okay) for a chance to win. For additional chances, get SOMEONE ELSE to post your name (or blog name). So get your friends to post yours (tweet them!) and you can post theirs--up to ten posts from each person. Entries must be posted by midnight EDT Wednesday, September 21st. I'll post the winner the next morning.

Good luck!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

R.I.P. Borders

I went to pick over the carcass in Concord, NH this past weekend. Borders is now filled with just the ghosts of books. I carved out a little piece of the YA section to carry away, since most of what remained was 75% off. Some of my purchases will be given away here in the next few weeks.

They still had a few copies of Minder and Adversary in-stock. Yeah, of course I bought them! But it was the first time I'd ever seen my work on the bargain shelf, and that wasn't a good feeling. At least I was in good company with Richelle Mead; they had a ton of Last Sacrifice copies still in-stock.

In any case, there are still millions of readers in the country and the world. But the places we buy our books have changed, and while we may sigh and wallow in wistfulness over past practices, we need to embrace the new reality and make it work for us.

Monday, September 12, 2011


Please, people--follow the rules of punctuation in your queries and manuscripts! I don't want to stifle your creative process, but commas, quotation marks, semicolons and their various friends and relations exist for a reason. They define and support the text.

Think of them as the underwires and SPANX of prose.

So, if you aspire to write, PLEASE learn proper usage. Read Eats, Shoots & Leaves if you'd like an entertaining education on the subject. I'll forgive occasional typos, but constant errors make writers look ignorant and make their work unreadable.

And I give a posthumous "thank you" to Dr. Cole, who used to take 10 points off for every mis-use (by omission or commission) of a semicolon on our papers.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Fan Trailers

I LOVE this; a fan has made a book trailer for Half-Blood:

Unfortunately, she used a BUNCH of copyrighted material. Fortunately, I'm pretty sure Joss Whedon, at least, would be cool with it.

And he'd do an AMAZING job directing a Half-Blood movie. Just sayin'.

Thursday, September 8, 2011


Maybe because it's a French term, so modern Americans don't know what it means.

Hello, people! If someone sends you an invitation, PLEASE let him/her know if you're going to show up! We're having a birthday party for our 6-year-old twins this weekend, and nearly half of the invitees still haven't rizvipped.


So, how many goodie bags do we need? Somewhere between 16 and 33. And now all my childhood anxiety over being the last kid picked for teams in gym class is bubbling up again.


Um... if I hold a query contest here later this month, will people submit queries?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Half-Blood Video Review

How cool is this?

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Great Query Contest is Coming...

I looked at the calendar this week and realized A) I need to make a dentist appointment and B) it's fall again. As long-time BFFs know, I try to have a query critique and contest each fall. Soooo, start polishing those queries, because the contest's a-comin'!
I'm going to limit entries this year to the genres I know enough about to offer helpful feedback, specifically:
  • Young Adult/New Adult (e.g., high school and college age)
  • Fantasy
  • Sci-Fi
  • Paranormal Romance
I'll take query letter submissions via email (not yet! Wait for the official rules to go up!), and then post the original query ripped to shreds with sharp, sharp claws with helpful comments. Winner gets an additional mauling a partial critique. BTW, at least one Spencer Hill author was discovered through this contest. Keep an eye out for the contest to start later this month, and spread the word to those who might be interested, since I'll also give a prize to the person whose link brings the winner into the contest. 

Happy Monday!  

Friday, September 2, 2011

Book Layout

I'm getting several preliminary galleys prepped this week, and so I'm spending a lot of time thinking about fonts. Does anyone have a "favorite" font? Serif or sans-serif? 10-, 11-, or 12-point? And what about the section breaks? Do you like to have a little picture or ornament? How about starting new chapters with oversized initial characters? What appeals?

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, September 1, 2011


Check out the Spanish publisher's trailer for Half-Blood: