giveaway

New Website Giveaway (woo-hoo!)

FACT: I have not been as active blogging over the winter months as I should have been.

FACT: One excuse is that I was basically sick of trying to deal with Blogger after numerous issues, but was lazy and didn’t want to put in the effort to switch.

FACT: I finally took the time to switch, and my new site is with WordPress (which I LOVE) and is at http://www.csorensenwrite.com

FACT: To celebrate the switch I am having a…

giveaway

That’s right, the lucky winner will receive a $20 gift card to BN or Amazon.com, your choice!

Click on the link below to use Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway (note: okay, apparently everything isn’t 100% better on WordPress, so far, I can’t figure out how to get the widget to show in my post, so sorry for the extra step)!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can share with friends, follow or subscribe to my sites, and just basically enjoy all the fun and joy that come from helping a brother out;-)

Interview with Lana Krumwiede (Win a Signed Copy of ‘Freakling’ – Giveaway at Bottom of Post)

UPDATE: Congrats to Sam K. on winning the giveaway!

I had the privilege last month to meet with Richmond author Lana Krumwiede, not once, but twice.  First was at her book launch for her debut, MG novel, Freakling (which I love and reviewed last week).  I love to support local authors and had a blast (there were cupcakes and a magician, what’s not to love)!   She decided to have her launch at bbgb bookstore, a wonderful little independent children’s/YA bookstore in Richmond.  If you are in the area and have never been, you should go!

Then I got to hear from her again at the James River Writer’s Conference the very next weekend where she was on some of the panel discussions.  Apparently she didn’t think I was stalking her too much because she agreed to do this interview and to also give away a signed, hardcover copy of Freakling (see giveaway at bottom of the page).  How cool is that!?!?  No strings attached…just enter the giveaway by giving your email address or signing in with Facebook.

Thank you Lana for taking the time to write such a wonderful novel and for answering these questions for interested readers.  If you don’t already own a copy, you can purchase it at your local bookstore, or online by clicking here:

1. What was your inspiration for writing Freakling?

I wanted to write an inversion of the super-hero story. There are plenty of stories where a person discovers latent powers at the beginning of adolescence. I thought it would be interesting to tell a story where a person loses their power at this critical time. There are plenty of stories about a person with a super power trying to fit into a world of ordinary people. I wanted to tell a story about an ordinary person trying to fit into a world filled with super powers. I think we all feel that way some (or maybe most?) of the time.

2. As with many fantasy/sci-fi novels, there are some very unique names (i.e. Taemon, Yens, Moke).  How do you come up with names for characters?

I was looking for names that were different, and yet had a familiar ring to them. Most of the names are variations of names that exist in our world, which speaks to the idea that Taemon’s world is an alternate version of our own. Yens’s name came from the idea that his is ambitious and passionate, driven by his desires, while Taemon is much more reserved, though strong in his own way. The name Taemon is a mixture of strong sounds (the explosive t) and weak sounds (the murmured sound of m), which also represents his character. For the names of the supporting characters, I wrote down lists of traditional names, then mixed and matched syllables (Wiljamen, Solovar, Hannova). Challis, however, was an exception. I used to teach swimming lessons and once taught a little girl named Challis (which is a town in Idaho). I loved that name and always knew I would use it in a story someday. It seemed to fit Taemon’s long lost aunt perfectly.

3. I personally love the use of Mam (for mom) and Da (for dad) in the book; it adds an authentic feel to the setting and helps me feel more in tune with the world you are creating.  What made you decide to use those names?

I wanted Deliverance to feel like a futuristic place, but still have some earthy qualities. I liked the idea that the future doesn’t always mean moving on to something new. Sometimes we reach back for comforting things in our past. The terms “Mam” and “Da” have an old-world feel to them, which plays nicely against the dystopian feel of the book. Psi, and the lack of physical touch that came with it, has created this subconscious yearning for some of the old ways.

4. What are other books/projects you are working on right now?

I’m just finishing up the sequel to Freakling, which is untitled at the moment. There are a lot of fun things in the book, unexpected consequences of Taemon’s monumental decision at the end of Freakling.  Taemon travels to places beyond Deliverance, so we get to see a little more of his world and learn about the big picture, which Taemon was unaware of in the first book.

Also, I am working on a picture book with Candlewick, which has been a very nice change of pace. I hope to be able to share details about that soon.

5. When did you decide that you wanted to “be a writer” and become serious about it?

About three years ago, we moved from Boise, Idaho, to Richmond. Before that, I had been caring for my youngest daughter and working part-time at the YMCA; writing for children’s magazines was something I did on the side. When we arrived in Richmond in 2009, part-time jobs were impossible to find. Even the substitute teacher lists were full. At this point, I was about halfway into the first draft of what later became Freakling, and I decided to treat writing as my new job. It took me about 6 more months to finish the novel, and then work on a killer query letter and researching agents.

6. What is your writing routine?

I’ve never been very good with routines. Every day is different for me. I try to write for at least two hours each day, but even that doesn’t always happen. There are other times where I write up to 6 hours a day. I would love to get myself into a good writing routine. I think routines can really help with productivity. Still working on that.

7. What are some of your favorite books of all time and why?

The Giver, by Lois Lowry. Among the Hidden, by Margaret Peterson Haddix. I love these stories because they are filled with important ideas, moral dilemmas, and high-stakes emotion. I love that the writing is spartan and very direct, yet the images are clear and the storytelling is superb. That’s what I love the best–a well-told story that demands your attention, gives you something to think about, and stays with you.

8. If you could meet any author, who would it be and why?

I would love to sit down with Margaret Peterson Haddix and thank her for the blurb she wrote for Freakling. She is one of my favorite authors and it meant so much to me to read her lovely endorsement of my book.

9. What advice can you give aspiring writers?

There are many ways to be a successful writer. It’s more about persistence than it is about talent–persistence in improving your writing, moving on the next story, learning the skills you need to meet your goals. If you keep doing that, you will be successful. It may not happen as soon as you’d like, but it will happen.

10. Last but not least, in your bio it states that you enjoy pie and board games.  What’s your favorite pie and what kind of board games do you like?

I guess I’m American through and through, because I love a really good apple pie. With vanilla ice cream. And caramel. Mmm . . . there’s nothing better. As for board games, I love any kind of word game like Scrabble, Boggle, or Bananagrams. I can hold my own with Clue or Monopoly, but word games are my favorites.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Welcome Cover Contessa Visitors! How About a Thank You Giveaway!?

Thank you Brooke for having me on your blog today!  It is an honor and a privilege.
Welcome Cover Contessa readers…so glad to have you.  Have a look around.  You can read more about my interactive blog series ‘Sentence to Start‘ (and enter to win a weekly gift card), submit a sentence of your own, vote on the sentences submitted last week, and read the stories that come from past reader submissions.  My book reviews are here and you are welcome to get more information about my debut YA novel – MAIDEN.  If you enjoy the visit, please let me know your thoughts and feel free to subscribe.

Sentence to Start – Week #3: Time to Vote!

You continue to amaze me…keep them coming!  And don’t forget to read the stories that come from the sentences, too;-)

Here are the top 10 sentences from last week (chosen randomly).  Voting is open to anybody, so spread the word.  If a sentence you submitted is on here, well then you definitely want to have your friends stop by and vote for it!  Just give them this shortened link: 

Vote for the one you think would make the BEST starting sentence to a story.

The sentence that gets the most votes will win a $5 ecard to Amazon or Barnes and Noble!

The 3 sentences with the most votes will be my prompts for next week.

Voting ends Thursday, October 4th, at midnight.

Have fun!

Sentence to Start #3 – Top 10 Submissions (Sept 24 – 28, 2012)

Sentence to Start – Week #2: Time to Vote!

I LOVE all the submissions…keep them coming!

Here are the top 10 sentences from last week (chosen randomly).  Voting is open to anybody, so spread the word.  If a sentence you submitted is on here, well then you definitely want to have your friends stop by and vote for it!  Just give them this shortened link: http://bit.ly/Uxa9Dd

Vote for the one you think would make the BEST starting sentence to a story.

The sentence that gets the most votes will win a $5 ecard to Amazon or Barnes and Noble!

The 3 sentences with the most votes will be my prompts for next week.

Voting ends Thursday, September 27th, at midnight.

Have fun!

Sentence to Start #2 – Top 10 Submissions (Sept 17 – 21, 2012)

Winner of ‘Sentence to Start’ – Week #1

Congratulations to Justin Y. for submitting the sentence that received the most votes this week!

Great job, Justin!  A $5 ecard to Amazon or B&N is on it’s way.

Here it is:

“It was the last thing in the world he’d consider, and the first thing he’d run away from, but he was in a strange place, starving and no other option had presented itself.”

So many questions.  Who is ‘he’?  Where is he?  Why is he starving?  What is going to be the ‘it’ that is the last thing he would consider?   Justin’s sentence will be turned into a story for this coming Monday’s edition.

The sentences getting 2nd and 3rd place votes will be featured on Wednesday’s and Friday’s edition.  Be sure to check back!

Second most votes:

“Here’s the thing about lying: it works. And that’s the truth.”  (Submitted by Lana K.)

Sidenote: I have to admit, this was my personal favorite of the week!

Third most votes:

“He sadly looked on as the world he loved got smaller and smaller.”  (Submitted by Brian T.)

Can I Just Say THANK YOU? – 100+ Fans on FB Giveaway!

UPDATE: Saturday, September 22 (10:42am)

Congratulations to Sarah W. for winning the giveaway!  Thanks to all those who entered and everyone for the continued support.

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You guys rock, you really do!

Response to my writing and to the blog has been more than I could have ever imagined.  Over the weekend I went over 100 ‘likes’ on my Facebook page and, I must admit, I was really excited.

So I wanted to do something to show just how grateful I am…

A GIVEAWAY!

(I know you are very excited…try to keep it in)

Enter by clicking below.  Only requirement is that you ‘like’ me on Facebook.  Giveaway ends Friday night at midnight and winner announced Saturday.

Good luck to everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sentence to Start – Week #1: Time to vote!

Great submissions this week.  I love to see how all of your imaginations work.

Here are the top 10 sentences from last week (chosen randomly).  Voting is open to anybody, so spread the word.  If a sentence you submitted is on here, well then you definitely want to have your friends stop by and vote for it!  Just give them this shortened link: http://bit.ly/OAvF8B

Vote for the one you think would make the BEST starting sentence to a story.

The sentence that gets the most votes will win a $5 ecard to Amazon or Barnes and Noble!

The 3 sentences with the most votes will be my prompts for next week.

Voting ends Thursday, September 20th, at midnight.

Off we go…

Sentence to Start #1 – Top 10 Submissions (Sept 10 – 14, 2012)

Win a Free, Paperback Copy of the ‘The Greatest Choice’

UPDATE: Saturday, September 8 (1:24pm)

Congratulations to Melissa J. for winning the giveaway!  Thanks to all those who entered and everyone for the continued support.

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Response to the re-release of The Greatest Discovery as an ebook has been so much more than I expected.  I was thinking maybe a couple of dozen might get downloaded, people who had read it before that would want it digital or new friends that might be curious.

In the last week there have been over 100 downloads!

As a very small way to say thank you (a very big thank you), I am giving away an autographed, paperback copy of my second novel, The Greatest Choice.

The Greatest Choice – a prequel to my award winning first novel, The Greatest Discovery – was first published in 2007, but it has been revised, edited and relaunched just last month.  Paperback copies are available on Amazon.com for $7.99.  Ebooks are available for download on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords for $1.99.

Enter the giveaway below using Rafflecopter.  (NOTE: I have used Rafflecopter before on other sites to enter giveaways, but this is my first time using it for a giveaway of my own.  Hopefully there are no snags.  If you have a problem, please email me or comment).  Giveaway starts on Tuesday and goes all the way through Friday night, midnight.  Winner will be announced on Monday.

The only requirements for entering the giveaway are that you have to login to Rafflecopter using your Facebook account or email. It’s not a requirement, but you are more than welcome to “like” my Facebook fan page and subscribe to my blog if you haven’t already (I’m sure your friends would like to know about the giveaway as well).

Thanks again for all the wonderful support and best of luck!