Pitch Wars 2017 Mentor Wishlist!

 

Hello and welcome to #TeamVictoriousSecret! If you’re reading this, then you’re probably a potential mentee and chances are, you’re already scrolling down to the wishlist and I lost you at “Hello.” If you’re still with me, you’re about to get to know me and Kristin and learn why we are the perfect mentors for YOU! If you have no clue what I’m talking about and stumbled on here while Googling ideas for a fantasy baseball team name, then click HERE to find out what Pitch Wars is all about!
 
WHO WE ARE:




Kristin Smith

Hi there! I am so excited to be co-mentoring Pitch Wars this year with my friend and critique partner, the very talented Beth Ellyn Summer. Beth and I have a great love for many of the same books, and we are dying to find that ms we immediately connect with and will go to battle for.



Im a YA author who loves jewelry and scarves, and would trade summer for fall any day. Im the best-selling author of the YA near-future thriller Catalyst (released Nov. 16 from Clean Teen Publishing) and its sequel Forgotten (released April 17). You can find my books in your local Barnes and Noble or online HERE.


Fun Facts:



I LOVE to dance and may or may not be the Just Dance champion in my house.



If you take me to a karaoke bar, I might not be the one drinking, but Ill certainly be the one singing.
 
 

I play a killer game of Scrabble, but I suck at drawing—my biggest claim to fame would be stick figures and flowers.

I have a slight addiction to chocolate, and I’m a strong believer that if a dessert doesn’t have chocolate in it, then it’s not considered a dessert (except for creme brûlée—I can always make an exception for creme brûlée).

I love to laugh (no, seriously, I LOVE to laugh).

I’m a Southern girl by birth and by heart, but I’m fascinated with big cities.

 
As the only girl in a house of six boys (1 husband, 5 sons), I’m WAY outnumbered, which is probably why I love rom coms so much.



I love broadway plays, music, Zumba, sunsets, the ocean, my family, the piano, reading (of course), and a million other things.



You can read more about me and my books at kristinsmithbooks.com OR connect with me on Twitter: @SwordsStilettos OR find me on Instagram: @kristinsmithwrites


 
 
 
Beth Ellyn Summer:


Hi! I am so thrilled to be a Pitch Wars mentor with my good friend Kristin Smith. There is something so crazy exciting about this contest, and the lead up to it every year reminds me of the electric buzz just before a concert’s about to start. We can’t wait to find the manuscript that makes us fan girl!
 


I’m a YA author in love with makeup, words and pretty pastel things. My debut novel, AT FIRST BLUSH was published by Bloomsbury Spark in April ’17. Check it out HERE.
 


I firmly believe books > movies, but I do love television about as much as I love books. I’m a bit of a TV addict. I spent my college years interning at NBC for Conan O’Brien and Jimmy Fallon (which means I possess the answer to the age old question: how many interns does it take to change a water cooler?) Also: please don’t tell my journalism degree, but my favorite news source is Colin Jost and Michael Che on Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update.



Fun Facts:



I live, breathe, sleep, eat, exist for fitness (yes, I’m one of *those* people) with a special love for HIIT (actually HIIT classifies as a love/hate relationship), weight training, core work, and yoga.



I have a cat named Penny Belle who loves to “hunt” my laundry downstairs at night and “present” it to me in my room upstairs which is adorable, as well as incredibly helpful.



The Roots once wrote a song about me and Whoopie Goldberg eating frozen yogurt together on a desert island.



I can’t for the life of me remember high school math, yet Britney Spears’ entire dance routine to “Crazy” is still somehow embedded in my brain (and feet) for all eternity.  



I can solve Wheel of Fortune puzzles with, like, three letters. Sometimes less.



I love Hanson. Yes, Mmmbop Hanson. Yes, they still have a fan base.



As I mentioned above, I love makeup. My main character in At First Blush is a makeup guru. But I can’t apply eye liner to save my life, and the one time I did a decent wing, I took 7,000 selfies to document the occasion.



To learn more about me and my writing check out www.BethEllynSummer.com or connect with me on Twitter and Instagram @BethEllynSummer
 


NOW ON TO THE GOOD STUFF!


We are interested in YA in the following genres: contemporary realistic, contemporary magical realism, contemporary suspense/mystery/psychological thrillers, fantasy/speculative fiction



Here are some things wed LOVE to see:



-VOICE, VOICE, VOICE (If you have an ms with a voice that truly stands out, we are the mentors for you!)
-Romance (were a sucker for great romantic tensionhowever, the romance doesnt have to be part of the main plot; it can be a subplot and wed be happy)
-Complex family dynamics
-Unreliable narrators (If you have anything that can be comped to We Were Liars by E. Lockhart, we want to see it!)
-Love triangles (done right!)
-Complicated or flawed characters
-Twists and turns we dont see coming
-Stories told in an unusual way (with letters or text messages, etc. Think Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher)
-Fairy tale retellings
-High concept plots (Think Pretty Little Liars)
-Own voices
-Writing that grounds us in the characters every emotion
-Artistic characters: dance, painting, acting, singing, writing, photography, etc.
-Anything that can make us laugh or cry (preferably both!)
-Anything a la Pretty Little Liars or Gilmore Girls
Characters dealing with the death of a loved one (Think The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson)
-Boarding schools
-Phantom of the Opera inspired retelling
-YA version of the Bachelorette
-Foreign settings
-Anything with cooking
-Anything that can be comped to Sarah Dessen or Stephanie Perkins
 
 


THE BREAKDOWN:



CONTEMPORARY:



It’s no secret that we LOVE contemporary YA. So, if you’ve got swoony boys, complex characters and unique plots, we’re your girls. We love the light and fluffy stuff (humor is always a plus) but on the flip side, if your character is gritty and dark, we want it too! In short, when it comes to contemporary, to quote Sharpay Evans, we want it all.



We love strong female friendships, but Beth has a love for the slow burn and inevitable heartbreak of close friendships falling apart.



Beth is also addicted to Disney shows and movies, so if your book is anything like High School Musical or Teen Beach (think What You Always Wanted by Kristin Rae), she will move heaven and earth for it! (bonus points for manuscripts with musical elements: rock stars, concerts, etc.)




Kristin is a sucker for voices, so if you have a voicey ms that can make her laugh (or cry) she’ll fight Wonder Woman-style for it.

Kristin would love to see anything that could be comped to Sarah Dessen, Stephanie Perkins, or Kasie West. Shes also a huge fan of Phantom of the Opera, so if you have a contemporary version of this classic masterpiece, shed love to see it. Kristin ships stories that have emotional depth, such as dealing with the death of a loved one, so if you have a ms a la The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson or Hold Still by Nina LaCour, please submit to us.



MAGICAL REALISM:



We are looking for magical realism in a contemporary setting. Think If I Stay by Gayle Forman or Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver. Or anything else you think we’d love.



FANTASY/SPECULATIVE FICTION



Were looking for low fantasy or light sci-fi. So if you have an epic fantasy or anything with dragons, trolls, or unicorns, we are probably not the right mentors for you. We’re also not the right mentors for spaceships or aliens. However, if you have a superhero ms a la Wonder Woman or anything as badass as that, wed love to see it! Most of all, we want impressive world-building and unique plots.



Some favorites include: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater, The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer, Defy by Sara Larson



CONTEMPORARY SUSPENSE/MYSTERY/PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLERS:



We are open to thrillers and books that mess with your mind. If you have a suspenseful or psychological thriller that can keep us turning pages late into the night, wed love to see it.



Specifically, we want anything a la Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard, The Darkest Secret by Pintip Dunn, or a YA version of The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins.



***



We know this is a wide range of interests, but mostly if you have a great story with a ton of VOICE and a lot or a little bit of romance (remember, romance can be a subplot), then we want YOUR manuscript!



FAVORITE BOOKS, MOVIES, & TV SHOWS:


Kristin



Favorite authors: Lauren Oliver, Jandy Nelson, Jenny Han, Kasie West, Stephanie Perkins, Sarah Dessen, Suzanne Collins, Jennifer E. Smith, Gayle Forman, Jennifer Niven, Rainbow Rowell, E. Lockhart, Kiera Cass



Favorite books: The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson, Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver, All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven, We Were Liars by E. Lockhart, The Fill-In Boyfriend by Katie West, The Selection Series by Kiera Cass, Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins, Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell, Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins



Favorite movies: Kate and Leopold, Youve Got Mail, Family Man, Batman Begins, Wonder Woman, Titanic, Life As We Know It, The Holiday, My Best Friends Wedding, Dirty Dancing



Favorite TV shows: Gilmore Girls, Pretty Little Liars, Reign, Switched At Birth, Modern Family, Vampire Diaries, Drop-Dead Diva, Poldark, Hart of Dixie



Beth


Favorite authors: Kasie West, Sophie Kinsella, Kiera Cass, Stephanie Perkins, J.K. Rowling, Morgan Matson, Emery Lord, Sarah Dessen, Harlan Coben, Jenny Han, Allie Larkin.

Favorite books: Shopaholic series by Sophie Kinsella, Anna and the French Kiss, by Stephanie Perkins, Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, The Selection series by Kiera Cass, Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard, This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen, P.S. I Like You, by Kasie West (all by Kasie West), The Summer I Turned Pretty series and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before series by Jenny Han, My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick, The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord.

Favorite movies: Dirty Dancing, Pretty Woman, Harry Potter, Titanic, High School Musical 1, 2, 3, Camp Rock, Teen Beach Movie, Frozen, The Little Mermaid… All things Disney.

Favorite TV shows: Friends, The Middle, Modern Family, Gilmore Girls, Younger, Sex and the City, Everybody Loves Raymond, The King of Queens, Wheel of Fortune.

NOT FOR US:


There are some things we know would not be right for us, and as a potential mentee, you want a mentor who will be a champion for your work. With that being said, here are some things were not looking for:



-The murdering of darlings is about all the blood we can handle, so please: no horror!
-Erotica
-Incest
-Rape
-Cruelty or death of an animal
-High fantasy
-Dystopian (while we LOVE dystopian, its such a hard sell right now)
-Paranormal in the form of vampires, werewolves, or shapeshifters



WHY YOU SHOULD CHOOSE US (aka OUR GENERAL AWESOMENESS)


We love nothing more than finding that special something in a manuscript and exploring ways to make it come alive, while maintaining the structure and integrity of the story. BUT, that said, we’ll push you to work hard and encourage you to make real, deep changes. Revisions aren’t about cutting and pasting bits of the story and rearranging. They’re about digging deep into structural edits and discovering new scenes (and sometimes characters) in the process. So be ready to kill some darlings and do whatever it takes to make that ms shine. Oh, and we LOVE brainstorming! So we’ll always be available to bat ideas around and work through snags. In short, as long as you’re willing to put the work in, we’ll be there for you every step of the way!
 
Don’t forget to stop by Kristin’s blog and say ‘hi’! You can visit her HERE.
 
 
Be sure to check out the other mentor’s bios HERE!
 
 
Also, did you catch our puzzle word? You should have seen it in red

Summer in the City Giveaway!

At First Blush and Alterations Summer in the City giveaway Twitter post

It’s finally summer! A time for fun, beaches, books, and TWO giveaways! One giveaway is US only and the second is open internationally.

ALTERATIONS and AT FIRST BLUSH both feature strong, driven, talented teens navigating fast-paced New York City fashion internships, first loves, and social media versus real life.

In ALTERATIONS, we follow Amelia Blanco as she leaves behind her lifelong crush to attend a New York City fashion design program, make new friends and discover hidden talents. But when she returns home to Miami, she must reevaluate her idea of Pinterest Perfect in life (and in love).

In AT FIRST BLUSH, beauty YouTuber Lacey Robbins is on the cusp of a million subscribers. Interning at On Trend magazine seems the best way to get to that magic number, but rebranding (and falling for) the cover boy, an arrogant pop star, could destroy everything she’s worked for, forcing her to choose: YouTube life or real life?

We want you ready and equipped for whatever you’ve set out to do this summer, whether it’s at the beach or at work! We’re giving away FOUR prizes: one winner will receive an ebook of ALTERATIONS and Stephanie’s emergency fashion and sewing kit:

Emergency beauty kit prize

A second winner will receive an ebook of AT FIRST BLUSH by Beth Ellyn Summer plus a prize pack including e.l.f. brand lip glosses, highlight/blush sticks, cream highlight/blush, and eyeshadow brushes.

Beth make up gift

TWO International winners will win a copy of ALTERATIONS or AT FIRST BLUSH!
To enter, see below:

US ONLY GIVEAWAY: Ebook & Summer in the City beauty prize packs:

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INTERNATIONAL ENTRIES GIVEAWAY: Ebooks

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Blog Blitz for FORGOTTEN!

Forgotten
Kristin Smith
(The Deception Game #2)
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: April 25th 2017
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult

The epic tale of Sienna Preston continues in this second installment of the exhilarating Deception Game series.

Seventeen-year-old Sienna is no stranger to heartache and loss. But this time, it’s different; someone―or something―has tampered with a loved one’s memories, and she’s determined to get answers.

The trail leads her to the glittering skyscrapers and modern luxuries of Rubex, the Capital of Pacifica, where she infiltrates the government’s Agency for Intelligence and Genetics. But answers are not always easy to come by, especially when her own memories may have been altered. Luckily, Zane Ryder is there to help her put the pieces back together, his devotion and concern muddying the waters between friendship and something more.

When Sienna gets too close to uncovering dark Agency secrets, she’s framed for the murder of a prominent government official, sending her on the run. Sienna’s heart may be torn about who she loves, but none of that really matters anymore―because the only thing that awaits her now is a death sentence.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

Grab book 1 for only 99¢!
Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

EXCERPT:

“How do you know so much about motorcycles? Did your dad ride?”

She laughs outright at my question. “My dad on a motorcycle? No way. Dad was a mixture of leather, coffee, and books. Not oil, sweat, and grease.”

After lying down on her back, she scoots up next to the bike, checking the rims and spokes to make sure there’s no damage. “It kind of became a hobby of mine after my dad died. Do you know the junkyard off Chantilly? Never mind, of course you don’t. Anyway, I found Harley there when I was looking for some old furniture to decorate our trailer with.” She looks up at me. “We didn’t always live in a trailer, you know.”

I try to hide my surprise. I assumed the opposite. “What happened?”

“After Dad died, Mom became sick. We couldn’t afford to live in our house in the suburbs anymore, so we sold it and everything in it, and found the trailer on the outskirts of town. That’s when I dropped out of school and started taking on odd jobs.”

She says it all with such a matter-of-fact tone, but I sense the truth. It was hard for her. It was more than any teenage girl should have to deal with. But she’s too strong to admit it.
“I don’t know how you did it,” I say.

She sits up, wiping her hands on her shorts. Unconsciously, I find my eyes shifting to her bare legs.

“I didn’t have a choice,” she says. She rises to her feet, straddles the bike, and bounces up and down a little. I can only assume she’s checking the chassis to make sure everything is working properly.

“Anyway,” she says. “When I found Harley, I took her home, researched antique motorcycles, and fixed her up. There’s a shop near the Hollow that sells parts, so that’s where I headed after I got my first paycheck.” She pats her bike fondly. “Never regretted it.”

I watch as she turns the key and the engine roars to life, bringing a brilliant smile to her face. I want to tell her all the ways I think she’s amazing, how she’s unlike any girl I’ve ever met, how I find her beautiful, resourceful, intelligent, and intriguing, but she doesn’t want to hear those things. Not from me anyway.

 

Author Bio:

Kristin Smith writes young adult contemporary and science fiction novels. When she’s not writing, you can find her dreaming about the beach, beating her boys at Just Dance, or belting out karaoke (from the comfort of her own home). Kristin currently resides in the middle-of-nowhere North Carolina with her husband and five incredibly loud but extremely cute boys. To read more about her obsession with YA novels or her addiction to chocolate, you can visit her at kristinsmithbooks.com.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

GIVEAWAY!
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Cover Reveal for FORGOTTEN by Kristin Smith!

GUYS! I am SO excited for my friend Kristin ….FORGOTTEN, the second book in her Deception Game series is out this summer and here’s the cover! Isn’t it amazing???

I loved CATALYST so much so you can bet I’ll be reading this one!

*******************

COVER REVEAL AND GIVEAWAY:

Clean Teen Publishing is pleased to share the cover reveal for the second book in the thrilling DECEPTION GAME series by Kristin Smith. FORGOTTEN is scheduled to release on August 21, 2017. Readers can grab a copy of the first book in this exciting young adult dystopian series at your local Barnes & Noble store, as well as at all online retailers. Check out the new cover for FORGOTTEN and be sure to enter the giveaway!

FORGOTTEN by Kristin Smith

(The Deception Game, #2)
August 21, 2017
Pre-order your copy here
 
Book Blurb:
 

The epic tale of Sienna Preston continues in this second installment of the exhilarating Deception Game series.

Seventeen-year-old Sienna is no stranger to heartache and loss. But this time, it’s different; someone―or something―has tampered with a loved one’s memories, and she’s determined to get answers.

The trail leads her to the glittering skyscrapers and modern luxuries of Rubex, the Capital of Pacifica, where she infiltrates the government’s Agency for Intelligence and Genetics. But answers are not always easy to come by, especially when her own memories may have been altered. Luckily, Zane Ryder is there to help her put the pieces back together, his devotion and concern muddying the waters between friendship and something more.

When Sienna gets too close to uncovering dark Agency secrets, she’s framed for the murder of a prominent government official, sending her on the run. Sienna’s heart may be torn about who she loves, but none of that really matters anymore―because the only thing that awaits her now is a death sentence.

 

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY:

BOOK ONE IS NOW AVAILABLE IN STORES AND ONLINE!

CATALYST by Kristin Smith
(The Deception Game, #1)

Too pretty.
Too smart.
Too perfect.

In a crumbling, futuristic Las Vegas where the wealthy choose the characteristics of their children like ordering off a drive-thru menu, seventeen-year-old Sienna Preston doesn’t fit in. As a normal girl surrounded by genetically modified teenagers, all of her imperfections are on display. But after the death of her father, everything she’s ever known and loved changes in an instant.

With little skills to help provide for her family, Sienna clings to the two things that come easily—lying and stealing. But not all thief-for-hire assignments go as planned. When a covert exchange of a stolen computer chip is intercepted, she becomes entangled with a corrupt government official who uses her thieving past as leverage, her mother as collateral, and the genetically modified poster boy she’s falling for as bait.

In order to rescue her mother, there may only be one option—joining forces with the Fringe, an extremist group, and their young leader who’s too hot to be bad. Problem is, these revolutionaries aren’t what they seem, and the secrets they’re hiding could be more dangerous than Sienna is prepared for. In the end, she must be willing to risk everything to save the one thing that matters most.

CATALYST (The Deception Game #1) Teaser:

 

Author Bio:

Kristin Smith writes young adult contemporary and science fiction novels. When she’s not writing, you can find her dreaming about the beach, beating her boys at Just Dance, or belting out karaoke (from the comfort of her own home). Kristin currently resides in the middle-of-nowhere North Carolina with her husband and five incredibly loud but extremely cute boys. To read more about her obsession with YA novels or her addiction to chocolate, you can visit her at kristinsmithbooks.com.

AT FIRST BLUSH Pre-Order offer is LIVE!!!

 

Soooo it’s been a long time coming but AT FIRST BLUSH debuts in less than two months!! My book will be available 4-4, and I have a fun pre-order offer!! Details here:

 

 

ALTERATIONS is here!!!

Guys, I don’t know how to explain how happy I am to say that ALTERATIONS IS HERE!!! This book is amazing, the author is amazing, and can we take a sec to talk about the cover???

Alterations
by Stephanie Scott
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Release Date: December 6th 2016
Bloomsbury Spark

Summary from Goodreads:

If anyone saw the prom boards Amelia Blanco makes on her favorite fashion app, they’d think Ethan Laurenti was her boyfriend. They wouldn’t know that all the plans she’s made for them are just dreams, and that she’s the girl who watches him from the kitchen while her parents cook for his famous family.

When Amelia’s abuelita enrolls her in a month-long fashion internship in NYC, Amelia can’t imagine leaving Miami–and Ethan–for that long. As soon as she gets to New York, however, she finds a bigger world and new possibilities. She meets people her own age who can actually carry on a conversation about stitching and design. Her pin boards become less about prom with Ethan and more about creating her own style. By the time she returns to Miami, Amelia feels like she can accomplish anything, and surprises herself by agreeing to help Ethan’s awkward, Steve-Jobs-wannabe brother, Liam, create his own fashion app.

As Liam and Amelia get closer, Ethan realizes that this newly confident, stylish girl may be the one for him after all . . . even though he has a reality TV star girlfriend he conveniently keeps forgetting about. The “new and improved” Amelia soon finds herself in between two brothers, a whole lot of drama, and choice she never dreamed she’d have to make.

Buy Links:

https://www.amazon.com/Alterations-Stephanie-Scott-ebook/dp/B01M59LROR/

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/alterations-stephanie-scott/1124822027

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/alterations-2

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/alterations/id1166705649?mt=11

https://play.google.com/store/search?q=9781681191928

 



About the Author
Hello! I write Young Adult stories about teens who put their passions first. I’m an active member of Romance Writers of America and its online YA chapter YARWA, and I mentor writers in online pitch contests. I love dance fitness and cat memes, and Pinterest is driving me broke. I live outside of Chicago with my tech-of-all-trades husband. You can find me most often online on twitter and Instagram at @StephScottYA. My debut ALTERATIONS about a fashion-obsessed loner who reinvents herself releases 12/6/16 from Bloomsbury Spark, and I’m a contributor to the young adult short story anthology WELCOME HOME out in spring 2017.

 

 

Author Links:


GIVEAWAY:
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Catalyst Is HERE!!!

I am SO THRILLED for my friend Kristin! Her debut novel, CATALYST is out in the world TODAY. I am so beyond excited to read this one. I know it’s going to be absolutely amazing!! Read on for info about the book, and an interview with Kristin!! <3

 

Kristin Smith’s debut novel, Catalyst, releases today! 

 

Catalyst
Kristin Smith
(The Deception Game, #1)
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: November 21st 2016
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult

Too pretty.

Too smart.

Too perfect.

 

In a crumbling, futuristic Las Vegas where the wealthy choose the characteristics of their children like ordering off a drive-thru menu, seventeen-year-old Sienna Preston doesn’t fit in. As a normal girl surrounded by genetically modified teenagers, all of her imperfections are on display. But after the death of her father, everything she’s ever known and loved changes in an instant.

With little skills to help provide for her family, Sienna clings to the two things that come easily—lying and stealing. But not all thief-for-hire assignments go as planned. When a covert exchange of a

stolen computer chip is intercepted, she becomes entangled with a corrupt government official who uses her thieving past as leverage, her mother as collateral, and the genetically modified poster boy she’s falling for as bait.

In order to rescue her mother, there may only be one option—joining forces with the Fringe, an extremist group, and their young leader who’s too hot to be bad. Problem is, these revolutionaries aren’t what they seem, and the secrets they’re hiding could be more dangerous than Sienna is prepared for. In the end, she must be willing to risk everything to save the one thing that matters most.

Catalyst is a thrilling adventure of danger, romance, intrigue, and deception.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo

**Look for Catalyst on the shelves of Barnes and Noble stores nationwide, coming in December!**

Interview with Kristin Smith (Questions from her critique partner, Leandra Wallace)

What inspired the story of Catalyst?

The premise of Catalyst actually came to me in a dream (boy, does that sound cliché or what?!). But in my dream, it was the story of a man who was a matchmaker by profession in a society where everyone is matched. (No, I had not heard of Matched by Ally Condie at the time). He had a horrible dilemma because he was in love with a woman he wasn’t matched to. Gradually, that idea evolved into a society where the wealthy choose genetic matchmaking and modification for their children. And the main character became a “normal” girl who has red hair and freckles.

How would you describe your writing process?

Eclectic. Lol. No, seriously, I wish I could say that I sit down and outline every detail of the novel before I begin, but the truth is, I pretty much wing it. Even when I do try to write an outline, I tend to stray from it. I draw inspiration from everything around me, whether it’s music, books, movies, or nature. When I’m writing, the scenes come into my mind like a movie reel, and I try to describe what I’m seeing, feeling, hearing, smelling, etc. so the reader can be immersed in the moment and feel like they are a part of the story.

If you’re in the candy aisle at the store, what calls your name the loudest?

Oh, hello, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Where have you been hiding?

Having written a dystopian novel yourself, what are some of your favorite dystopian novels?

Ooh, this is a tough one! I have so many favorites! But I have to say that hands down, The Hunger Games is my all-time favorite. Suzanne Collins broke the ceiling when she wrote that series, and she left a high mark for other authors to live up to.

The second runner-up would have to be Divergent. I absolutely loved the first book, especially Four. 🙂

And I can’t forget about The Selection Series, which I believe I devoured all of those books in the space of two days. (Sorry, my children! That’s why I was MIA during that time period!)

Your main character, Sienna, is a red-head (and has a sassy ‘tude to match). Did she spring from your imagination as a red-head, or did that come later?

As soon as I imagined her, she had red hair, green eyes, and rode a Harley. It’s funny because in the book, Sienna is so critical of how she looks. She’s surrounded by gorgeous genetically modified people and all she can see are her “imperfections”, but her features are actually what make her stunning and unique. I hope that girls who read this book will catch that message. They are beautiful and unique, and they need to stop comparing themselves to others.

What are three things in Catalyst that you think people will enjoy the most?

Can I really only pick 3? Well, I think they’ll enjoy all of it, but if I HAVE to narrow it down…

1) Zane and Trey, who in my opinion, are both yummy!

2) The kissing.

3) Sienna’s experience in the underground Compound.

If you could go on a writing retreat with one other author (dead or alive), who would it be?

My first thought was to pick an author I greatly admire like J.K. Rowling, Kiera Cass, Sarah Dessen, or Veronica Roth, but there’s really only one person I’d like to go on a writing retreat with: my critique partner, Leandra Wallace. We’d have so much fun eating junk, talking books, and bouncing ideas off of each other!

What is a piece of writing advice that has been most beneficial to you?

Don’t give up. This business is hard to break into, but you can’t let it break you. Know that failure is necessary to experience success.

As all writers typically need ‘refuel’ days, what do you find fills back up your creative well?

For me, binge-watching Netflix or reading a good book helps to get the creative juices flowing again. Oh, that and about a pound of chocolate.

Lastly, where is the best place to get ice cream in North Carolina?

Well, I’m more of a gelato fan (love me some gelato!), but if I had to choose, I’d say the tiny little walk-up shop called Bruster’s. They make the BEST sundaes with brownies and ice cream and fudge sauce and whipped cream. YUM!

Author Bio:

 Kristin Smith writes young adult contemporary and science fiction novels. When she’s not writing, you can find her dreaming about the beach, beating her boys at Just Dance, or belting out karaoke (from the comfort of her own home). Kristin currently resides in the middle-of-nowhere North Carolina with her husband and five incredibly loud but extremely cute boys. To read more about her obsession with YA novels or her addiction to chocolate, you can visit her at kristinsmithbooks.com.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Blog

 

 

 

 

 


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Guest Post by Stephanie Faris!

I am so happy to have my friend Stephanie join us today on the blog! She has two brand new books out, her first two in the Piper Morgan series, and I can’t WAIT to read them! Congrats Stephanie, and now here is her guest post! <3

 

Conquering FOMO in Your Writing Career

by Stephanie Faris

You’re sitting at home on a Saturday morning, scrolling through your Twitter feed, only to see it filled with updates from the latest big conference. A group of authors who write for your publisher are scrunched together, smiling for the camera. Or a fellow author is showing off all the books she bought from the conference bookstore. Or maybe you’re forced to scroll through update after update about all of the great workshops.

We’ve all been there. Even if we had a big, fat bank account and could attend a conference every week, eventually we’d miss one and it would seem like the best conference ever. We’d be sure we’re missing out on the one opportunity that could make all of our dreams come true, all because we’re sitting at home.

Social media does this to us. No matter what’s going on in our own lives, there’s always someone who seems to have it better. When you look at your social media accounts as a whole, it’s easy to feel like every other author on the planet is either doing a book signing or conference workshop all the time. That isn’t the case, of course. If you select one author and watch her updates, you’d likely find most of the time she’s sitting at home in her sweats, feeling the same FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) you are. But she doesn’t post that. Instead, she only shares when she’s out there being a true author.

For those who aren’t yet published, FOMO can be huge. It’s easy to feel like everyone is landing an agent or publishing deal. It’s also easy to worry that you’re the only one not spending every extra dime on conferences where you can hone your craft and pitch agents. Not true at all. Interestingly, Imposter Syndrome plays into this quite a bit, too. Every ambitious person feels as though we’re not worthy of anything good we’ve received. Any minute now, the world is going to figure that out and we’ll be banned from ever calling ourselves “writers” again! Trust me, some of the most talented writers out there admit to suffering from Imposter Syndrome from time to time.

The next time you feel FOMO, take a look at your own social media account. See it through the eyes of someone who has accomplished much less than you have. If you think “everyone else” is doing more than you are, take a look at one author’s account. Note the large gaps of time between those conferences, bookstore events, and publishing deal announcements. Chances are, she suffers from FOMO on a regular basis, too.

Blurbs:


When Piper Morgan has to move to a new town, she is sad to leave behind her friends, but excited for a new adventure. She is determined to have fun, be brave and find new friends.

In Piper Morgan Joins the Circus, Piper learns her mom’s new job will be with the Big Top Circus. She can’t wait to learn all about life under the big top, see all the cool animals, and meet the Little Explorers, the other kids who travel with the show. She’s even more excited to learn that she gets to be a part of the Little Explorers and help them end each show with a routine to get the audience on their feet and dancing along!

In Piper Morgan in Charge, Piper’s mom takes a job in the local elementary school principal’s office. Piper is excited for a new school and new friends—and is thrilled when she is made an “office helper.” But there is one girl who seems determined to prove she is a better helper—and she just so happens to be the principal’s daughter. Can Piper figure out how to handle being the new girl in town once more?

 


Bio:


Stephanie Faris knew she wanted to be an author from a very young age. In fact, her mother often told her to stop reading so much and go outside and play with the other kids. After graduating from Middle Tennessee State University with a Bachelor of Science in broadcast journalism, she somehow found herself working in information technology. But she never stopped writing.

 

Stephanie is the Simon & Schuster author of 30 Days of No Gossip and 25 Roses. When she isn’t crafting fiction, she writes for a variety of online websites on the topics of business, technology, and her favorite subject of all—fashion. She lives in Nashville with her husband, a sales executive. 


Links:


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AT FIRST BLUSH COVER REVEAL!!!

I am SO EXCITED to finally share with you all the cover to my debut YA novel, AT FIRST BLUSH, coming out with Bloomsbury Spark later this summer!

So! Without further ado….

Well. Let’s do the blurb first. 😉

******************************

Lacey Robbins has one goal for the summer: hit one million subscribers on her YouTube beauty channel. Working as an On Trend magazine video blogger is just the platform she needs to get there, but falling for the cover boy, rock star Tyler Lance, was not part of her plan–especially since his dating history is longer than her Sephora wishlist.

She can’t avoid him for long though, not when it’s her job to film vlogs with him. As Lacey and Tyler grow closer on and off camera, her channel becomes popular for all the wrong reasons, and the two YouTubers she’s working with officially hate her. Lacey’s only solace is spending time with Kendall Wynn, On Trend’s resident makeup artist. Kendall’s scattered, care-free approach to makeup reminds Lacey why she ever picked up a tube of lipstick in the first place.

Nothing about this summer is going according to Lacey’s perfect plan, and pretty soon she learns that filming makeup tutorials is easy. It’s real life that could use some editing.

*************

And here….it…is!!!

At First Blush Cover

 

 

ISN’T IT AMAZING?? It’s so “me.” and I know Lacey would approve! I adore everything, from the bold black font against all the girliness, to how clean and bright everything is. And I love all the little details, like the adorable, sparkly kiss print, and the fall-out from the shadow swatches that have the brushes in them.

Huge, gigantic, massive thank you to the ridiculously talented Jenny Zemanek who designed this beauty, and my fantastic editor, Meredith Rich, for her incredible insights and for bringing me along for the ride. To be able to say you’re in love with your first cover is a really thrilling thing, and I consider myself EXTREMELY lucky. 🙂

If you haven’t already and you’d like to, you can add AT FIRST BLUSH on Goodreads !

Thank you so much to Leandra, Stephanie, Kelly, Kristin, Medeia, Chrys, Adriana and S. Katherine for shouting out the AFB love with me from the rooftops, and showing it off on their blogs/SM! Make sure you go over and say hi throughout the day/week to these awesome girls!!

Today:

Leandra

Stephanie

Medeia

S. Katherine

 

June 9th:

Kristin

June 10th:

Kelly

June 13th:

Chrys

Adriana’s Twitter and IG

COMING SOON…COVER REVEAL FOR AT FIRST BLUSH!!!!!!!!

 

Check back next Wednesday, June 8th, at noon for the cover reveal for AT FIRST BLUSH!!! Any guesses as to my cover’s prominent color???? Post your guesses in the comment section!

I’ll also be partying it up over at the following blogs between June 8th and June 13th:

Leandra Wallace

Medeia Sharif

Kristin Smith

Kelly Hashway

Stephanie Faris

Chrys Fey

I hope you’ll all join me next week! <3