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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Mission vs Machine

There are easily hundreds of posts on the interwebs dedicated to reminding people the differences between "their" vs "there" vs "they're" and "your" vs "you're." Not to mention all the posts reminding people that "a lot" is two words and "irregardless" has never been a word. (You should check out Hyperbole & a Half's post about "alot" because it's funny.)

Today I am going to share with you a personal grammatical struggle of mine that makes no sense. I often write things that sound similar to what I want to say (like that one time I wrote "fart sailing" instead of "start failing" and when I caught in edits, I laughed for like twenty minutes).

One that I've done more than once - in hand written notes and outlines, so there's no possible excuse for autocorrect mucking things up - is I write the word "machine" instead of "mission." Like, "She has to leave on an important machine." Some machines are important, I suppose, but that's not what I was going for.

Now, I know the difference. Verbally, I've never once said, "Hey, let's watch 'Machine: Impossible' starring Tom Cruise" or "I'm going to go throw some laundry in the washing mission."

So I don't understand why my hands don't know what my brain does. But I should really come up with some fancy memes for myself to put up to remind myself of the difference.

Friday, May 2, 2014

The Hollows: New News!

Before I get started on the news about the graphic novel, I want to answer the question I get most often: Will there be a third book in the Hollowland series, and when will it be out? The answers are: yes, but I don't know when, and as per my policy I enacted (more info that in this blog Ideas vs Things), I don't want to say more until I know for absolutely certain when it will be released. But I can say that I am working on it and will you let you know more the second I have details.

But now onto the new news about the graphic novel!

The Hollows graphic novel is finally available as one complete novel. (Previously it was only available in ten issue installments). It's currently only in digital format, but the paperback copy is available for preorder and will be out June 30, 2014.  For those of you that haven't heard about, the graphic novels was adapted by Tony Lee from my novel Hollowland, and it expands the novel by adding more information about the beginning of the zombie outbreak.

Here's the description from Dynamite of Amanda Hocking's The Hollows: A Hollowland Graphic Novel:

Welcome to the world of Amanda Hocking's bestselling novel Hollowland, as never seen before! It's Day One as a new pandemic sweeps the globe, and all over the world people are turning into mindless zombies. But for five people -- siblings Remy and Max King, med student Blue Adams, rock star Lazlo Durante, and teenager Harlow Smith -- it's the start of a journey that they can never return from! Learn for the first time how the characters of Hollowland started their journeys as we go back to the very beginning of the story! Amanda Hocking is the New York Times bestselling author of the Trylle trilogy and six additional self-published novels. Hollowland is the first book in the young adult dystopian series The Hollows, and Amanda has personally overseen and approved this Hollowland graphic novel project. 

Now here are some links on where to get the digital graphic novel:

Comixology http://tinyurl.com/p36qsvb

Also, as another fun fact, Comixology is having a huge sale on horror comics this weekend (including The Hollows), so you should check that: here.

For preorders on the paperback graphic novel (due out June 30, 2014):

Amazon http://tinyurl.com/kr4gw3s
Barnes & Noble http://tinyurl.com/oeyadhj
Powell's http://tinyurl.com/njjbnu5
Walmart http://tinyurl.com/nrkrfzx
IndieBound http://tinyurl.com/psrdmwf

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Distractions & Balance

So. I'm still working on blogging more, which obviously is not my strong suit lately, but I'm determined to somehow figure out how to get back into it on a weekly to bi-weekly basis. I think that seems like a reasonable frequency to blog, because honestly, my life is not exciting enough to blog about every day.

For instance, I've spent a better part of the morning trying to get an Icy Hot patch to stick properly on my neck/shoulder area, and I also spent too much time trying to convince my dog not to destroy the cats' toys and let the cats actually play with them.

Below is a destroyed Peeps Bunny-style cat toy, with catnip filled stuffing torn out of it, as evidence that my dog does what she wants: 


My work days usally alternates between getting distracted on the internet until I turn it off, yelling at the dog and cats to behave, actively writing and getting work done until the animals do something again which interrupts my flow, and then I go back to getting distracted by the internet. And that's how I write books.

Some people have children, like more than one, sometimes even infants, and they manage to write books. I am in awe of them. Literally in awe. I don't know where their energy and motivation comes from, but it must be some magical deep well within them that I am forever jealous of.

I don't write with the same ferocity I once did. I knew at the time, when I was writing 10-14 hours a day for several weeks at a time, that it wasn't sustainable. I knew that if I tried to keep it up forever, I would risk burning out in a very severe way.

And if I'm being honest, I do think that I got close to that point. Especially in conjunction with the amount of time I was spending online, reading reviews, responding to people, obsessing over publishing. Everything was happening at once, and I was still trying to write books overnight, and nobody ever really taught me about balance.

I mean, I've heard of moderation, obviously. I know that exists and people do things in moderation all the time, and from what I'd heard, it was supposed to be very healthy. But I've always been all or nothing - it's a feast or a famine, no in between.

The past year or so, in particular, I've been trying to create more of a balance for myself - with my friends, family, pets, and with my eating habits, sleeping, and exercise, and of course, with my career, writing schedules, and online interactions.

If you look through my pasts blogs, I was blogging pretty regularly until November 2012. Then there is a rather stark drop off, where I was still blogging, but it wasn't the same. The big change was my gramma's death in December 2012.

After that, I started reevaluating everything. Looking at my life and how I was living it and how I would want to be living it in ten years. Losing Nanny was hard for me in a lot of ways, but one of the good things that came out of it was my realization that I needed to change.

So the long and short of it is that I'm going to make a concerted effort to make blogging part of my balance. It is something I have enjoyed a great deal in the past, and I think it's a fun way to connect with people about a variety of things.

But alright. I promise this is my last blog where I write about not blogging. The next one will be entirely different.


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Something Grim This Way Comes

Grim - the dark, fun anthology I wrote a short story - is out today. They're all short stories based on Grimm Fairy Tales, and the one I did is called "The Pink." Since it's a more obscure story, I decided do a retelling in the way that the Drew Barrymore film Ever After is a retelling of Cinderella, and less the way Clueless is a retelling of Jane Austen's Emma. It was fun to write, and all the other stories in the anthology are dark, twisted, and entertaining, so it's definitely worth checking out.


In case you missed the info on it, here it is:
Grim

Inspired by classic fairy tales, but with a dark and sinister twist, Grim contains short stories from some of the best voices in young adult literature today: Ellen Hopkins, Amanda Hocking, Julie Kagawa, Claudia Gray, Rachel Hawkins, Kimberly Derting, Myra McEntire, Malinda Lo, Sarah Rees-Brennan, Jackson Pearce, Christine Johnson, Jeri Smith Ready, Shaun David Hutchinson, Saundra Mitchell, Sonia Gensler, Tessa Gratton, and Jon Skrovron.


Friday, February 7, 2014

ZOMG Updates

You guys won't believe it. I've actually updated things on my blog. I had links about pre-ordering Elegy, and that came out like six months ago. It actually just came out in paperback on Tuesday (it was out only in hardcover and ebook before). So yeah, I needed to update stuff.

So here's some stuff that's new:

-FAQs are updated with new questions and expanded answers

-Watersong tabs are updated, with correct links, and Elegy has finally has the awesome trailer up (if you haven't seen it, you really should check it out)

-Hollows Graphic Novel is updated. The entire series is out digitally now, and there's links to get each issue. The ten-part series should be out in paperback form sometime this year, but I don't know exactly when yet. I think soon-ish, though.

-There's a tab for the Kanin Chronicles. I don't have a lot of info under it yet, but there will be more info coming soon. I am super psyched for you guys to check them out.

-Upcoming Projects. It has more on the anthology I contributed a short story to, Grim, which is coming out in a couple weeks. That was a lot of a fun, and lots of amazing authors contributed great stories, so you should definitely check it out when it comes out.

-I even updated the About Me. So that's fun.

I guess those are the big things. It doens't sound that exciting, but it took awhile. Longer than it probably should.

I'm feeling very excited about things. Writing is going well, and I am genuinely very excited to start sharing things about the Kanin Chronicles with you.

And to end things, here's a pic of my dog Isley from when she first met my cat Sophie (Isley is much, much bigger now):