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Voting is open for the 2011 Bookie Awards. If you’re not sure who to vote for then you can always vote with me. I’d like to see Allison Pang win as Debut Author & Best Fantasy because her book, A Brush of Darkness was my favorite adult fantasy of 2011. I’m also voting for Lisa Kessler in the Demon Book of the Year category for her novel, Night Walker. BUT, if I can only sway you once I’d like to see Entangled Publishing take the Best Publisher category. Why? Because I’d like to see an e-publisher take it instead of the traditional publishers.

Let’s shake it up this year! VOTE HERE: http://t.co/IJtHdDR

10. Debut Author of the Year

Jae Lynne Davies
Gayle Donnelly
Sarah Gilman
Ann Mayburn
Deena Remiel
K.D. King
Dani Harper
Jenn Bennett
Ranae Rose
Laurie London
Sierra Dean
Virna DePaul
Abigail Barnette
Kevin Hearne
Laura Kaye
Bianca Sommerland
Cari Silverwood
Darynda Jones
Allison Pang
Lia Habel
Jean Murray

11. Demon Novel of the Year

Night Walker by Lisa Kessler
Daughter of Lust–Ann Mayburn
Eternal Rider-Larissa Ione
Secrets of the Demon – Diana Rowland
Demons Prefer Blondes, Sidney Ayers
A Brush of Darkness by Allison Pang
Blood of the Fallen by Dakota Rebel

18. Fantasy Novel of the Year

Darkfire Kiss by Deborah Cooke
Spectyr by Philippa Ballantine
Shalador’s Lady by Anne Bishop
Deadly Captive by Bianca Sommerland
Three Days of Dominance by Cari Silverwood
Shadowfever by Karen Marie Moning
Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison
Ghost Story by Jim Butcher
The Difference Between by Stephanie Burke
Knightfall by Berinn Rae
A Brush of Darkness by Allison Pang

28. Publisher of the Year

Tease Publishing
Entangled Publishing
Decadent Publishing
Sourcebooks
Berkley
Dreamspinner Press
Harper Collins
Samhain
Xcite Books
Harlequin
Smashwords.com
Ravenous Romance
Resplendence Publishing
Carina Press
Loose ID
St. Martin’s Press
Kensington
Changeling Press
Lyrical Press
Phaze Books
Siren Publishing

I’m so excited to announce that I have accepted a publicity internship with Entangled Publishing. If all goes as expected, I’ll move into a full time publicity position in about six months.

Hey wait, I thought you wanted to pursue a writing career?

I still do! I have a novel with an editor right now that I’m hoping to submit to agents over the next couple of weeks. That dream isn’t dead or put to the side by any means. However, since creating the YA Fantasy Guide, I realized I love publicity. I have so much fun playing around with social media and interacting with readers that I really want to learn as much as I can from experts.

Why Entangled Publishing?

I originally found EP while reviewing young adult fantasy titles on Netgalley. I started to research and discovered an article about the founder, Liz Pelletier. EP is an exciting new take on eBook publishing, and quite frankly, I wanted to be a part of it.

What will you be doing for them?

Mostly, learning as much as I can from experienced publicists. My knowledge has been mostly self taught so I know I have a lot left to learn. If you want specifics, I know I’ll be helping out on their new blog and working with a new young adult writer that’s about to debut. Truthfully, I’d like to get my hands into every aspect of EP that I can.

What will happen to the YA Fantasy Guide?

Everything will continue as it always has. We will keep updating our reviews and recommendations, provide author and agent interviews, contests, and chats on twitter. Adding EP into my life just means more access to upcoming authors, editors, publicists, and books. Tehehehe, and don’t think for a minute that I won’t use that to my advantage. ;-p  

Entangled sounds awesome, where can I get more info?

  • You can find their new/upcoming titles here.
  • Do you have a fab novel you want published? Check out their guidelines here.

Stacey O’Neale is a full-time writer and co-owner of the Young Adult Fantasy Guide. She’s had several articles and book reviews published, but spends most of her writing time on the revisions to her debut young adult fantasy novel. You can also follow her on Twitter.

This weekend, I was invited to the 12th annual Baltimore Comic Con at the Baltimore Convention Center. Baltimore’s Comic Con has been called, “…the antidote to San Diego.” by the Washington Post. San Diego’s Con has drifted away from comic book lovers and now focuses on the big draws like television shows and movies. In contrast, Baltimore’s Con is purely about the comics and that’s why I love it.

This year’s guest of honor was Stan “The Man” Lee. Not sure you recognize the name? He’s known as the architect of Marvel Comics. Still not sure? Ever heard of Spiderman, the Fantastic Four, the Avengers, the Incredible Hulk, Thor, Daredevil, Iron Man, X-Men, or Doctor Strange? Stan was the co-creator on all those comics. Yeah, he’s pretty much a rock star and legend in the nerd world. He was gracious enough to sign autographs and sit for pictures with hundreds of his adoring fans!

In addition to Stan, the weekend was jam packed with lots of amazing activities including the Harvey Awards and panel discussions with amazing guests. The weekend included a costume contest that brought out some outstanding competitors. I’ve included pictures of my favorites. Hundreds of vendors attended the event selling collectables that ranged in price from one dollar to well over fifty thousand. Cards, comics, toys, posters, decals, and clothing for miles.  

But the best part of the weekend for me was talking to the talented people behind the comics we all know and love. Naturally, I couldn’t go home empty handed. I purchased some cool stuff from the awesome guys at FUBAR. I’d tell you what that stands for, but it’s above a PG-13 rating. Let’s just say it’s lots of zombie goodness. I also purchased a comic that I’m happy to say is marketed toward the female comic fan. Monica Gallagher was on hand to sign her new series, Gods & Undergrads which is a modern comic based on aspects of Greek mythology.

If you’ve never been to a con, it’s a great fun for everyone in the family. Make sure to check it out next year and don’t forget your superhero costume!

Stacey O’Neale is a full-time writer and co-owner of the Young Adult Fantasy Guide. She’s had several articles and book reviews published, but spends most of her writing time on the revisions to her debut young adult fantasy novel. You also follow her on Twitter.

I had an experience recently with a very frustrated author that prompted this article. She was a debut author trying to get bloggers to review her upcoming release. She had contacted me through twitter asking if I would review her book. Two days after her initial request, she started to send messages to me that sounded borderline frantic. The messages ranged from, “Why won’t you respond to my request?” to “Is this because I went with a small publishing house?” Feeling the desperation and inexperience in her words, I did respond because I wanted to offer her a little advice. Knowing how many of you are out there in the same situation made me think that what I said may also benefit you.

Things to keep in mind when you’re requesting a book review.

You are not the only person out there with an upcoming book release. When you contact a blogger (especially one with a popular website) you should know that most get daily requests from authors, publicists, and publishers asking that they review their novels. In most cases, it has nothing to do with your method of publishing and everything to do with timing. The YA Fantasy Guide has six reviewers on staff. When I get a request, I email my reviewers and ask if anyone wants it. We read and review as much as we can, but it’s impossible to take on every request we get.

Attitude will get you everywhere or nowhere. You will find very little success asking for reviews through twitter. It’s 140 characters which leaves very little room for you to talk about yourself or your book. And, quite simply, it’s unprofessional. You’re asking someone to take time out of their day/week/month to do something that ultimately benefits you. Keeping that in mind, don’t ever freak out if it takes a while for a response. Most reviewers do what they do for fun so many have jobs and it could take some time to get back to you.

Personalize your request. Ask yourself these questions: What have you done to make your request stand out? Did you generically ask for a review or did you tell them why you wanted them specifically to review it? Did you read their review guidelines and follow the instructions? Have you done any research on that blogger? Have you followed that blogger and made comments on other areas within their blog? Have you contacted them on twitter to discuss books that don’t include yours? Have you offered to write an article or do a giveaway along with your review request? I can tell you that I personally have taken on additional books when I know that the author did their homework. The extra effort does make a difference.    

I hope you take this advice because it will help you score more reviews. Good Luck and Happy Writing!

Stacey O’Neale is a full-time writer and co-owner of the Young Adult Fantasy Guide. She’s had several articles and book reviews published, but spends most of her writing time on the revisions to her debut young adult fantasy novel. You can read her advice for aspiring writers on her blog The YA Fantasy Freak or you can follow her on Twitter.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 25, 2011 -

Streaming live on Fate Radio starting on Wednesday July 27, at 12:30 p.m. Eastern time, on her show The Eclectic Artist Cave, writer and host Joann Hamann-Buchanan will be adding Stacey O’Neale as a weekly guest host for a new feature called, The YA Corner.

This portion of the show will discuss a variety of topics including but not limited to current trends in the young adult market, book recommendations, book related announcements, writing tips, social media for authors, and the publishing industry.

Stacey is the co-owner of the YA Fantasy Guide. Her website receives an average of thirty-five thousand hits per month and has a following of over ten thousand on twitter. The YAFG features interviews with NYT best-selling YA fantasy authors and literary agents, book reviews and recommendations, monthly contests, and articles for aspiring writers. In addition to her website, Stacey is a full-time writer. She’s had several articles and book reviews published, but spends most of her writing time on the revisions to her debut young adult fantasy novel. You can read excerpts from her novel and view her book trailer on her blog.

Join, Joann Hamann-Buchanan on The Eclectic Artist Cave via the internet or on the Tune In App on your smart phone. Joann’s love of the written word is apparent and she loves hosting The Eclectic Artist Cave.  Her show is the best showcase around for writers who love to talk about their work and the written word. The show starts with a half hour of music and then a live guest followed by more music. Guests have included writers like David B. Coe, Stephanie Osborn and Paul Levine. The Eclectic Artist Cave has also had up and comers like Lindsey Grey and Charlotte Blackwell. She has also had publishers and editors on to talk about some of the do’s and don’ts in the publishing world.

In addition, Joann has a novella coming out soon called Soulless Light about a young girl who is forced to watch her village burn to the ground then killed over rumor and speculation.  Her spirit then is given the chance to get revenge on those responsible for all the bloodshed, but will it cost her more than she is willing to risk? Tune in and find out who her next guests are going to be and keep a look out for her debut novella, Soulless Light.

I’m very excited that we’ve added our website onto Facebook. Through Facebook, we plan to offer: additional contests, articles, author interviews, and interaction with readers. You’ll have the opportunity to write on the page and tell US what you’d like to see on the website.

We want to build up as many fans as we can get so we’ve decided to hold a special contest exclusively on our Facebook page.

To Enter:

All you need to do is “like” us on Facebook. We will pick a winner from that list. You can click onto the link on the right side of my blog or the link from the YA Fantasy Guide website.

Prize:

A SIGNED COPY of Bloodhound (Beka Cooper series, book 2) by Tamora Pierce. Anyone who follows fantasy knows that Tamora is legendary. This is a rare signature and perhaps a collectable in the years to come. Definitely not a contest you want to miss.

Date:

Contest will run through September 30th. Good Luck!

 

I read this fantastic article in Writer’s Digest magazine so I had to share since it’s not available online. The article is written by Scott Francis, an associate editor at WD Books and magazine and the author of Monster Spotter’s Guide to North America.

Grab a kitchen timer and kick-start your creativity with these 10-minute freewriting prompts.

  1. Turn on the TV or radio – the station doesn’t matter – and listen for just a few seconds. Write down the first phrase you hear, and let that serve as your prompt. How you use it is up to you: It can be the first line of your story, a bit of dialogue for a character, or whatever you wish.
  2. You discover a loose floorboard in the corner of your attic or the back of your closet. Without too much effort you’re able to pry the board loose. What do you find underneath? Something frightening? Something nostalgic? Let you imagination delve into the details – what it looks or smells like, reasons you think it might be there, emotions it stirs in you, etc.
  3. Imagine the best (or worst) possible thing you could receive as a gift from someone. Write about opening the package and discovering what’s inside.
  4. Think of a favorite accessory or piece of clothing from your past – a hat, scarf, glove, belt buckle, or anything else that evokes vivid memories. Freewrite based on images that come to mind.
  5.  Recall a place from your childhood that intrigued or frightened you. Describe the details you remember about that location – were there things about it that you always wondered about? An unopened door, an untaken path or darkened patch of woods? Write about what might have awaited you there.
  6. Your phone rings in the middle of the night. Reveal what happens in the next ten minutes.
  7. Pick a minor character from a favorite movie or TV show, and explore the main plot from that character’s point of view. Write about the aspects of the story that only he/she would’ve known.
  8. Plan the perfect crime. You have ten minutes.
  9. Describe the first time you drove a car (or the first time you remember riding in one). What kind of car was it? Who was with you? Include sights, smells and sensations.
  10. You find a bomb in an unlikely place. The timer says – you guessed it – ten minutes. Now what?

Stacey O’Neale is a full-time writer and co-owner of the Young Adult Fantasy Guide. She’s had several articles and book reviews published, but spends most of her writing time on the revisions to her debut young adult fantasy novel. You can also follow her on Twitter.

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