Update – Blog Format

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Sorry, I know I JUST did a blog update post, but I’m super busy right now (I know, story of my life, broken record status there) so I thought I’d do a post about what I’m thinking of doing with the blog.

I mean, other than what I am doing.

First, I’ll get some more reviews up soon. I’ve just finished up book 2 in the Lux series, so I’ll get that review written up and posted soon. I’m working on Ouija for the Halloween Read-a-Thon, so I’ll hopefully get that one taken care of, too. (I’m so behind with that it’s not even funny…) I’m actually looking through other people’s blogs (finally) so I’ll drop some comments and likes. I’ve been missing out on people’s posts so I’m trying to do rapid fire catch-up! Which is only about half effective, because I can’t spend any more time on it right now…

Later. Definitely later.

Anyway, the other thing I wanted to mention was the formatting, right? I don’t necessarily mean design (though if people have comments on that, feel free to share! I’m still practicing the whole design thing, so yeah, hints are great), but rather content? And scheduling.

Poo, Mondays.

First, I was thinking of doing a Book to Movie Monday post. You know, talk about all the YA books that have been bastardized, I mean, turned into movies? So many of my favorites are movies now and some of them have bombed so bad… Others I’ve enjoyed, though I like them for different reasons than the book. I don’t know if I’ll be able to do it every Monday though… So maybe an every other week thing? What do you guys think?

That Weird Day Before Monday…

Second, I was thinking of an NA Sunday. This blog is all about YA, but I’ve read *some* good New Adult books (though not many). I was thinking I could have a sort of “free” day with Sunday and post NA books instead of restricting only to YA. Do you think that would be okay? Or would it just throw off the whole feel of the blog?

Because Everyone Loves Thursday.

Third, I wanted to do a Throwdown Thursday OR a Throwback Thursday. I could compare two books (like Vampire Academy versus Strange Angels or The Hunger Games versus Divergent – or more aptly, against Battle Royale, but I haven’t read that one yet…) and maybe do voting for a winner in the comments? What do you guys think? Like the idea? The other one, the Throwback, would be going back and talking about books I’ve read in the past that I really enjoyed instead of maybe some of the newer ones? (Though, really, I’m so behind on the times sometimes…)

And The Rest Of the Whatever Week.

I have a couple of other ideas floating around – a Freebie Friday, talking about books I’ve gotten for free or as ARCs and maybe doing a Wednesday Recap or a Terrible Tuesday for books that I’ve really disliked and why – but those three are the big ones I was really thinking about.

I’d love to hear from you guys! How do you set up your blog? Do you like to do a system of what to post when or do you do it more fly by the seat of your pants? Should I just nix the themes and stick with how things have been?

Leave me your opinions below! And I’ll do a real post sometime soon!

sincerely3

E.C. Orr

Review: Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout

**Hey guys! Let me know what you think of my new reviewing format! I’m going to be using this template in an effort to make more accurate and unbiased – or at least informative – reviews!**

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First, the two main reasons that people are going to have issues with this book: The excessively hateable hot and cold of Daemon and blame it on the ‘mones (hormones) mentality.

Second, the reason they didn’t relatively impact my rating: The writing was freakin’ good, even when the characters were being stupid/annoying/generally unbearable.

Third, the moment I fell in love with this story:

“I hated Daemon Black—if that was even his real name—with the vengeance that equaled the solar power of a thousand suns … The son of a bitch blew up my laptop.”

How many stars do I give this? A solid 3.98. Because my god the writing is addicting! Even when I thought people were being dumb or I was having a WTF Mate moment! It’s that good.

Let’s begin with The Butterfly Inducing Writing.

What I enjoyed personally:

That Armentrout has once more brought me into this fairly fantastical and slightly unrealistic story with no qualms. Aliens? No problem. Crazy dark shadows coming to get you? Sure thing. Sexy boy next door who is so ‘effing mean you have to like him? Yep, still there with you. Really, it didn’t matter what was going on, I still bought it because Armentrout successfully drew me in with her writing. Katy was consistent, even when she felt like she was all over the place. Being in her head effectively made me feel like I was her—both loving and hating Daemon right along with her. It was great. Armentrout is very effective with the first person and puts you right smack dab in the middle of what our MC is feeling.

What I felt was a little questionable:

There were mistakes. Spots where the story seemed to jump forward—weren’t they just on her porch? How are they now walking in the forest? I wasn’t sure if these scenes were maybe forgotten/meant to be added to before the final product or if it was a transition issue, but I noticed it a couple of times and felt it was a little jarring. These were the only moments that really took me out of the story and I didn’t appreciate that. Thankfully, they were few and far between.

Moving on to The Twilight With Aliens Story.

What I liked:

That there was no insta-love. Yes, there is no denying that Katy was instantaneously drooling over Daemon—and really, can you blame her?—but as soon as he speaks, she hates his guts. It’s really quite refreshing. They both try so hard to hate one another, to not let the other get under their skin, that it moves the story along mostly through romance (once more, the “genre” of the piece is merely a vehicle for romance) without making you want to gag about how goo-goo they are over each other. I really appreciated that.

I also liked the “other form” of the Luxen. I won’t get into specifics here, because I’m trying to stay spoiler free, but I will mention that their other form is humanoid but with some noticeable differences. It’s a little weird, but I liked that they weren’t just basically humans from another planet. They are intrinsically different and I think that adds more credence to the whole love story. It’s real love if you can overlook such a large difference, yeah?

What I didn’t like:

How much of a jerk Daemon is.

Okay, let me clarify, I hated that he was such a jerk to Katy—and that she still liked him/spends time with him regardless. Now, it’s not so simplistic as all of that. There are reasons which sort of justify it all, but in the end, Daemon is such a jerk to her—whether he actually cares or not is besides the point—that it’s really hard to think “hm, I can totally see myself overcoming this small personality flaw to see the inner beauty”. Because, really, when a guy’s a jerk, he’s a jerk. Period. Chances are, you’re not going to change him. And there are reasons/explanations, blah blah blah, but it made it really hard to see why Katy was so hung up on him (I don’t care how sexy he is) until really late in the book. That’s slightly problematic for me.

Additionally, I kept feeling like this was Twilight while I was reading it. Not in that horrid, bad fanfiction kind of way, but rather this is what Twilight *should* have been. Well-written, charged with danger and emotion, full of things actually *happening* not just “Oh, Edward looks like a Greek God!” But the similarities remain. The outcast characters who are… different. The bubbly sister who just loves and cuddles you, insisting her brother is your long lost love. Not to mention the whole “I hate you, but not really” hot cold thing with Daemon… I mean, this reads so much better, but I just couldn’t shake the feeling, no matter how I tried.

And finally, the Whole. Damn. Thing. With. Simon. Seriously? Everyone told you not to be an idiot. I’m not saying it was Katy’s fault, because Simon was the a-hole, but I wish she had listened to the instincts that everyone else seemed to have. Especially since she didn’t even like him. Again, not her fault. Never her fault. But I did want to shake my head at her a little. I couldn’t help it.

Next, Le Characters.

What was good:

The snark. Oh my god, the snark. It was all over the place and it was beautiful. I want all of my characters to be jerks to each other now. They need to have witty, scathing comebacks and they need to make comedic, totally inappropriate, I like to make you made hilarity. Like, all the time. Seriously, I really enjoyed the dialogue in this and that is because Armentrout made some wicked lovely characters here. Screw the romance, them verbally sparring with one another made me want to get a flag, throw on a foam finger, and paint my face like Braveheart. It was awesome.

It made me like Daemon even when I hated him, and that’s pretty darn impressive. Additionally, I actually did like Katy. She wasn’t just a “oh, I’m so plain” Jane. Instead, she was a self-aware, struggling to find herself teen. She didn’t want to be Jane. Instead, she wanted to be Joan. As in badass Joan Jett. I appreciated that she tried to go against her initial, shy instincts and fight back. I think it showed us some struggle and growth.

What was bad:

Um, I hate to say it, but Dee. See, I liked her. A lot. She was fun and bubbly and the kind of BFF everyone wants. Beautiful and fun, but so over the moon for you that she forgets all that and slums it with us poor mortals.

But that’s sort of the issue. She’s known Katy for 2.436 seconds and there’s our insta-love… She just has to be Katy’s friend. Nevermind the danger or the problems it causes. She has to. Even though she doesn’t know a darn thing about this girl. Nope, nada. Just that she’s the new neighbor. It felt too much like a means of introducing the romance and giving us a reason why Katy and Daemon would ever hang out despite their mutual hatred. I just couldn’t buy it, even with the reasons Armentrout supplied to convince us of why she would do this.

Also, is it just me, or is Dee basically Alice from Twilight? Serious.

Finally, a section for Tropes and Other Much Hated Things:

Paranormal As A Vehicle For YA Romance – or SciFi in this case. A bit of But Why Would He Want Me? And a smidgeon of It’s Dangerous For You To Be With Me – But I Want You Anyway.

Really, other than some of the typical teenage romance stuff and some Must Have scenes in YA (the dance, Halloween night, a moment in the woods/at the beach/otherwise outdoorsy smoldering hottimes), I didn’t feel this was excessively tropey. Yes, Katy was sort of Plain Jane. Yes, Daemon was a wee bit Greek God of Hotness. Yes, Dee did embody the Pretty Best Friend. But I feel like most of them moved past these molds also, or at least made an effort to.

Also, Katy was saved a lot by Daemon—but she did some saving, too! It was pretty awesome considering she’s only human.

Would I recommend this? Yes—if you enjoy teen romance, love-hate relationships, a little bit of paranormal (because it reads more like paranormal than SciFi), and you appreciate some snarky characters.

sincerely3

E.C. Orr

Book Information:

obsidianTitle: Obsidian (Lux #1)
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
ISBN: 1620610078
Language: English
Approximate Length: 335 pages
Stars: ★★★★☆
I have an ebook mobi format.

Sex in YA – Appropriate?

WARNING: Before continuing, please be advised that this post shall contain certain terms that may not be appropriate for younger readers or might make some readers uncomfortable. These terms will be used for the purposes of properly defining terms such as erotica and will be centered on sexual euphemisms for genitalia. If you are uncomfortable with these terms, please read no further. If you would like to read the gist of this post, but are thoroughly offended by the terms, please leave a comment or contact me on another page/post/email and I will be happy to provide you with a summary minus the terms. Thank you.

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Continue reading “Sex in YA – Appropriate?”

Review: Mortality by Kellie Sheridan

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Okay, so, I really wanted to give thus five stars, but there were a lot of little mistakes throughout that really just needed another set of eyes to fix. All the same, I can’t completely ignore it, so this is actually a 4.5 star review!

So, this was an engrossing tale of the zombie apocalypse that has torn apart society. In the wreckage, people have tried to rebuild, but it’s like the wild west, lawless and dangerous and not always for the reasons you expect.

At first, I kinda didn’t like Savannah. I thought she was a little too eager, a little too cocky, but by the end of the book I wanted her to ride off into the sunset with the guy of her choosing and Apocalypse Boy BFF Zack who is one of my favorite characters. He’s the strong, loyal, realist guy in all of this and it makes him very likeable. Alex is a jerk, Cole I’m undecided on (still) and Marybeth can shove it where the sun don’t shine.

Plot. It was well thought out and decently original, though it follows most of the same tropes of zombie apocalypse stories, but they were well done, coupled with a fast paced style and flow that makes them engaging and worth reading. I at first didn’t understand why Zarahs story was so important (beyond the obvious) but by the end I appreciated their paralleled tales.

All in all, I would recommend this to any zombie fan, especially if you like YA, strong (but not over the top) female characters and a good look at what it might be like to make it through the end – one way or another.

sincerely3

E.C. Orr

Book Information:

mortalityTitle: Mortality (The Hitchhiker Strain #1)
Author: Kellie Sheridan
ASIN: B014AYUCR2
Language: English
Approximate Length: 211 pages
Stars: ★★★★☆
I have both a boxset ebook copy and a physical softcover copy.

Update

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I feel as though I should apologize! I haven’t been on my blog much lately and I feel sort of bad for that. October has turned into a super busy (and way stressful) month for me, which irks me to no end.

Where are the pumpkin spice lattes? (And, well, everything really.)

Where is the pumpkin carving?

Where are the bad horror movies?

WHERE IS MY DARN COFFEE??!?!

Oh, wait, that last one isn’t really an October thing… Anyway, I really just ended up swamped by work. Deadlines got moved up (which was not my idea) and as a result, I can’t get anything done on time. Worse, everyone wants me to do MORE. More revisions. More writing. More outlining.

Whatever.

All of this accumulates until we are left with just one thing: An annoyed E.C. (Who is prone to random crying fits that really have no bearing on anything and are making my significant other stare at me as though I’ve grown a second head… but we won’t talk about that.)

Anyway, I really just wanted to let everyone know that I haven’t forgotten you all! This has been an awesome experience to reenter the blogging sphere and I’m not giving it up. I just haven’t had the chance to be as active as I’d like. But I’ll get started on some more posts, some much overdue comment replies and some blog perusing. Additionally, I swear I WILL get back to my How To Write A Novel series.

Eventually, lol.

There you have it folks. I’m not done yet, just having that pesky Life Happens problem. I’m still doing the Halloween Read-a-Thon (which, if you haven’t checked it out, link is here; my TBR is here) and have started Ouija! I’m about 25% through.

Stay tuned for updates. And feel free to comment below with… well, whatever you’d like! Tell me what YOU do when life gets in the way! How do you deal with stress? What’s eating you lately?

Sharing is caring!

sincerely3

E.C. Orr

P.S. – I just found out how to delete stuff off my Kindle that I didn’t want. Lol. I feel accomplished.

Review: Sam I Am by Heather Killough-Walden

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I was pleasantly surprised by this!

This was a well written stor and despite some mistakes, I really enjoyed the read! The author managed to pull threads of my favorite holiday through to create an original, engrossing tale. I obviously loved the Halloween elements and enjoyed the idea of Sam altogether. I wish there had been a bit more on the magic witchcraft side of things, but I appreciate the fact that the story didn’t drag because the author was trying to explain everything. There were a few plot holes or at least things that I felt needed more explaining, but the story was pretty well formed and mostly coherent.

The characters were decently developed. I think Logan was edging towards too perfect, but just barely. Dom was everything I want in a male lead and I liked that there was a useful adult in the mix – unusual in YA. I hope to see more of Meagan in book 2.

Overall, I am impressed. I hadn’t been expecting much.l, but I got a great, fun, Halloween read out of it. I would recommend to fans of Halloween, mild romance, and some supernatural fun. Will definitely be reading book two!

**I should make a quick note on this. Yes, I really enjoyed this book. I did not, however, feel that it was truly groundbreaking or extraordinarily amazing. I thought it was MUCH better than expected and enough that I didn’t feel bad for paying the three bucks to read it. And I will read the others, too. But if you don’t like Halloween and you get easily distracted while reading, this probably isn’t for you. I personally really liked it, but I think there are a lot of readers that might not feel the same way.**

sincerely3

E.C. Orr

Book Information:

sam-i-amTitle: Sam I Am (The October Trilogy)
Author: Heather Killough-Walden
ISBN13: 9781301163373
Language: English
Approximate Length: 147 pages
Stars: ★★★★☆
This is currently only available in ebook format.

Bookish Book Lover Tag

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Thanks to mreadsbooks for tagging me! And sorry for taking so long to do this one – I lost the link  -.-; I love, LOVE that this one is so long! They’re so much fun that way. 🙂 On with the tag (finally)!

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  • Use the banner!
  • Answer the questions with LOTS of book covers!
  • Tag your bookish friends!

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heart…books are you currently reading?

The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee | Seeing Evil by Jason Parent | The Boy with Words by C.E. Wilson | Flawless (Pretty Little Liars #2) by Sara Shepard | House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski | The Independent Publisher by Jarrod Jenkins

I’m always reading a lot at once these days, but the ones I’m currently focusing on are Seeing Evil (it’s a RAR that I need done by the 6th of October), Boy with Words (an ARC that I’ve had for a while), and The Thousandth Floor. The others are just what I go back to when I have spare time and don’t feel like reading anything else. Flawless is just tedious at this point and House of Leaves is really complex, but I’m determined to finish!

heart…the last book you finished?

The F#ck It List: #1: The Best Friend by Rae Lynn Blaise

This was… okay, but not really what I usually read. It’s smut and very short and basically PWP, so I wasn’t super thrilled with it. The writing was *okay* so maybe if it had been longer, I would have enjoyed it more. But if you just want a short smut read, this isn’t a bad choice.

The one before it is more appropriate for this blog!

Courage (The Dreughan, #1) by Lena North

Not a great read, but not utterly terrible. Also not in my typical genre, it was a fantasy. The idea was great, the execution only so-so. But it was okay.

heart…favorite book you’ve read this year?

Okay… I can’t pick just one. SO, here we go. My favorite books from this year! (There are a lot!)

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan | The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin | Night Broken by Patricia Briggs | Unveiled by Lysa Daley | Mortality by Kellie Sheridan | This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers | The Dead of Summer by Heather Balog

I guess if I absolutely HAVE to pick one, I’d say This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers. It’s sort of hopeful and heartbreaking all in one. And it was a gift from a super special awesome best friend of mine, so that gives it some extra brownie points!

heart…genre you’ve read most this year?

Hm, I think YA Paranormal takes the cake. I’ve actually read a bit more of a variety than I usually do this year – there were some contemporary, some zombies, some romance and fantasy and urban fantasy – but I think the strongest thread through my Have Read list has been paranormal.

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heart…genre you’ve read least this year?

Haha, nonfiction? Smut? Historical fiction? There are a lot of genres I shy away from, honestly, and it’s because I mostly don’t enjoy them (such is the case with nonfiction). I’m not strictly opposed to Historical fiction, but I have a harder time getting into it. I have to be in the right mood, I suppose.

REIGN
My guilty pleasure… Reign — 2013 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

heart…genre you’d like to read more of?

Horror! I love horror movies, yet I rarely read specifically horror books. Sometimes zombies, often paranormal, but rarely horror. I’m going to fix that this coming month, but I was a little surprised with myself when I realized I hadn’t read much in the way of horror!

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Trick ‘r Treat (2007)

heart…how many books have you read this year – and what’s your goal?

I’ve actually surpassed my goal! My Goodreads reading challenge goal was 50 books and I just surpassed it at 52 books! And I’m hopefully not done yet. There are a lot of books I still want to read, so we’ll see what that number ends with. 🙂

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heart…last book you bought?

if-i-was-your-girl

If I Was Your Girl by Mereditch Russo

It came TODAY! I’m so excited for this book – I’ve been eyeing it since I first saw it on Goodreads and I finally just splurged. I’ve heard a couple of different things about it, but I love the cover and the idea of the story, so I’m really hopeful!

heart…book you’re saving up to buy next?

Fear the Drowning Deep by Sarah Glenn Marshall | Caraval by Stephanie Garber\

There are a ton that I want, but those are the top two!

heart…how many books you last checked out of the library?

Three. I’ve just switched to a new library (we’ve moved in the last year) and one of their rules is that you’re on probation when you get a new card. So I’m limited to three books until I’ve been proven trustworthy lol.

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I miss the U of A library…

heart…book you can’t wait to read?

ouija

Ouija by Katharine Turner

It’s kind of silly, but I’m super excited for this because it’s the one that really kicked me into October/Halloween mode.

heart…series you recommend to everyone?

I know this is going to be cliche, but I’m going to say Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling.

I want to mention that I *would* recommend The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins to most people, but I also know that it’s not for everyone. I personally love it and think that most people should at least give it a shot. But THG is different than HP. It deals with things that maybe younger kids aren’t really equipped to deal with yet. HP does eventually, too, but it did it in such a way that you grew up with the kids and I think that is a little different than THG. And I think that HP is a little milder regardless.

heart…author you’re hoping writes more?

Heather Balog. I loved The Dead of Summer and I really hope that she writes more. She has several adult books, but I wasn’t all that interested in the summaries. Really, I want her to write more YA books, because this one was SO unexpectedly good. Loved it.

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Heather Balog

heart…a few books your heart adores?

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater | Divergent by Veronica Roth | Sisters Red by Pearce Jackson | This Is Not A Test by Courtney Summers | The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

heart…series’ conclusion that makes you sad?

Divergent by Veronica Roth.

Look, everyone had their issues with Allegiant. I’m not necessarily saying that I didn’t approve of the ending or that I hated the series because of the ending. Instead, I’m saying that it made me sad. It broke my heart. And that’s for two reasons. First, because of what happened (not going to spoil it if you haven’t read it). I’d grown so attached and… yeah. That was just heartbreaking. Second, because it was OVER. I’d devoured these books and it was truly upsetting to know there would be no more. Even if I didn’t like Insurgent and Allegiant all that much. I still hoped that the series might somehow get better again and return to the amazingness that was Divergent.

heart…books on your wish list?

O.O SO MANY BOOKS. OODLES AND OODLES OF BOOKS. Seriously, there are a ton. I’ll list only a few, but know that there are MORE!

 

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…and anyone who wants to do it!

(Also, if you’re doing this, just tag whoever you want – no minimum number for tagging!)

Thanks for making it to the end guys! Hope you have as much fun as I did!

sincerely3

E.C. Orr

Musings

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Every so often, I look up the books that I’ve ghostwritten. It’s a very strange experience, but sometimes it’s just really nice to see that I do, in fact, have something published out there. Maybe it’s only half mine, or maybe it’s completely mine, and maybe legally it isn’t mine at all, but at least I can look at it and think, “I accomplished something.” Even if no one will ever know it.

It really can be an awesome experience – but it’s also sort of sad. It makes me feel bad, because I can’t share with anyone what I’ve done. There is no excitement with my friends over book covers and release dates or anything else for that matter. All of which is only a small, small portion of writing. But sometimes, it’s an important one.

Yes, it’s awesome that I have finished something.

Yes, it is awesome to see it floating out there in the world.

Yes, it is awesome that I can honestly say that I’ve done, more or less, what I’ve set out to do.

But it’s also heartbreaking to know that I can’t claim it as mine. And it makes me want to ask, “Why do you guys need a GHOSTWRITER? Why can’t you just  hire me and I can be your author?”

Wouldn’t that make more sense? Wouldn’t that be awesome?

Ah, but there are logistic issues with that. I’m a ghostwriter – not a writer-writer – because I need the money up front. You (meaning: client) are hiring a ghostwriter so that you do not have to pay royalties and can set up a fast write and release scheme that will (hopefully) earn you more money and your author more followers.

So are we saying that in the end my life’s dream is all tied up in money?

Yeah, pretty much.

It’s a sad, pathetic thing, but if you’re hoping to be an author and make money, you’re probably dreaming. You can be an editor and make money. You can be a publisher and make money. But you can’t be an *author* and make money.

If you’re looking to do that, you’re probably going to do it my way. Ghostwriting. Yes, there are those out there who have made it big. Cassandra Clare, J.K. Rowling, Veronica Roth, Suzanne Collins, etc. etc. But they are the exceptions, not the rule. And do you know how many times Rowling was turned down before she was picked up by a publisher? Some ridiculous number. I think it was around 10 or so times. And do you know what she was doing while they were turning her down? Probably starving, or close to it. Because you make money for working and if writing is your work, then you’re probably not making a lot of money.

It’s the sad truth, folks, but few and far between are wealthy – or even breaking even – as authors.

My recommendation? Make sure that your significant other can and is willing to support you as you endeavor to reach your dreams of writing. Because you’re probably not going to make it without a little help.

Sorry guys. I really didn’t mean to be so bleak about all of this, but I can’t help feeling sometimes that I’m just being drug through the mud so that someone else looks spotless holding my trophy. (Exaggerated, but feelings so often are.)

All of this started because I went and looked at my most recent project to see if it had been published yet. (It has this month.) I saw how pretty the cover was and I felt utterly depressed to see the name of the author on it.

I’ll have to remember for next time that I cannot be trusted to look up my own work.

Ultimately, I’d like to say that I understand this is part of my job. I know what I’m getting into and I signed up for it, but sometimes it’s hard to remember why I do this. (Then I’m broke like I am this month and I TOTALLY remember again. It’s nice to have money.)

What do you guys think? Do you think ghostwriting is maybe a little unethical – or totally valid and okay so long as the client pays the ghostwriter accordingly? Do you have any personal experience with ghostwriting or these feelings? Am I just being moody (probably; sometimes my hormones just like to have a little party)?

Let me know in the comments below!

sincerely3

E.C. Orr

Writing: Unluck by E.C. Orr

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I haven’t posted anything of my own writing on here before, but I was thinking about it and maybe I should. After all, if I’m going to go around running my mouth about “how to write a novel” I should probably give you guys an idea of how I write, right?

Anyway, I’ve been working on a handful of different things (my personal stuff, not my work stuff which I can’t share because of legal reasons; NDAs anyone?) that are at varying stages of undone. I was trying to pick something that I could share that was short, but good – the hardest part, really… some are just awful – and I decided I would just wing it with the prologue of my would-be-novel Unluck. It’s about a group of teens who are cursed by what’s known as the “unluck”, something that was placed upon their family generations ago by a sea witch.

Here’s the opening scene:

We stand in a row, a line of evenly spaced bodies, bare feet tucked into the damp sand. Thirteen of us, thirteen kids on the edge of adulthood, standing beneath the moonlight at the water’s edge, just staring. From here, it looks like eternity. Like the night sky pin pricked with white cap stars and rolling nebulae of impossibly beautiful colors. Colors that don’t exist in a black ocean, that couldn’t possibly be shining from beneath the waves, but somehow are.

It’s not beautiful like it should be though, not to us, not to me. It’s just an endless ocean with dark secrets and promises, beckoning us to search.

We stand there together for long minutes, just long enough for the waves to start lapping at our ankles. The water’s cold against my skin, sending a skittering of goosebumps up along my flesh, but I don’t flinch, I don’t shiver. I just stare. And then I take a step forward.

We all do, in unison. That first step is always together, a joint effort on our part, a reminder that we are in this together, as one. After that first step though, we become disjointed and erratic. Sawyer shakes out her wispy blonde hair, longer than it was, but only barely brushing her moonlit shoulders. Beside her, Jessica is already thigh deep in the water, Emma and Rileigh trailing after her, all three looking like sirens about to call poor, hopeless men to their untimely deaths. Casey is carefully undoing his shirt, frowning at it, muttering about nice clothes and not having any foresight, because that’s Casey. He’s the kind of guy that reminds you this isn’t magic—or maybe it is and he’s just on the wrong end of it.

Levi cannonballs into the water and it splashes at me. Several drops hit the sirens in front of me and I can see Jessica glare, but no one speaks. No one ever speaks.

I’m halfway into the water, my hips finally submerging into the icy, lulling waves. Ahead of me Sawyer waves me forward. She isn’t under yet, but her shoulders are only barely above the water, pale and silvery in the moonlight. I can tell even from here that her clothes are gone and maybe I’d blush at the thought that I’ll lose mine, that everyone will lose theirs, too, except that it happens the same way every time and maybe I just can’t make myself care anymore.

Besides, I’m not looking at Sawyer. And I’m not thinking about Levi losing his shorts or Casey mumbling about his ruined slacks or Jessica bravely removing her bra before she’s even completely under.

No, I’m not looking or thinking of any of them. I’m looking at him.

I turn back, twisting my body at the hips, because I can’t not go forward and I can’t go back, but I can look. I can watch as he stands there, taller than me and everyone here, even Levi. I can see that he waits longer than the rest of us, but not from fear. There has never been fear in his eyes, the color of the sea, of crashing waves, of foam and summer and storms. No, he’s not afraid. He’s waiting.

When his gaze catches mine, that’s it. My breath hitches and everything slows. The world seems softer in that moment, the sounds far off and whispering, the waves stilled as though the ocean is holding its breath, too. Then he takes a step forward. And another. I don’t move and his eyes don’t leave mine, not until he’s standing beside me. Beneath the surface, I feel his hand brush against mine.

Then he looks away and we dive.

I know it’s very short, but there you have it. The opening to Unluck. I’ll try to post more excerpts from my own stuff once in a while. Let me know what you guys think and share some of your own stuff, too, if you’ve got it!

sincerely3

E.C. Orr

Unpublishable Fiction to Full-Time Freelance via Meg Dowell

A great look on how to make something out of your passion for writing – and a look at how you might find  your career unexpectedly. How it might be something different than you originally thought.

Meg Dowell always posts great stuff, so if you haven’t checked out her blog, mosey on over and take a look! I highly recommend her. 🙂

It took a long time for me to realize I would probably never be a great novelist.

via How I Went from Writing Unpublishable Fiction to Full-time Freelancing — Novelty Revisions