Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Tell the Truth Tuesday

1. I've watched every episode of Gallery Girls at least three times. Chantal scares the crap out of me. If some poor hipster and Freddie Krueger had a baby, slapped some red lipstick on her and then raised her to have a really bad work ethic, the product would be Chantal. I can't stop watching. Can't. Stop.

The fabulous Joy Preble said it far better than I ever could: "Chantal scares the pee out of me. I want to drag her to the suburbs & force her to eat at Olive Garden, non-ironically."

Yup, that about sums it up.

2. Stacey took new author pictures of us. They're pretty amazing. The best thing about having your sister take your pictures is that she tells you when you need to suck in your stomach or if you're making that wonky face you always make when you smile. Sadly, the one that best depicts our personality and relationship isn't exactly book jacket friendly.

I'm pretty sure that's how I look almost all of the time (minus the photoshopped hair) which makes me want to laugh and cry at the same time.

3. Laura has decided that our blog tour for The Lies That Bind should be exclusively vlog content. I wasn't on board until she promised that we could make an opening sequence that involved her doing a calypso jump.

4.  I keep debating about whether or not to keep my bangs (or as the fabulous Loretta Nyhan calls them "fringe"). Stacey and Laura are both in favor of them, but I'm worried it's some kind of conspiracy theory. Yes, this is the kind of thing that keeps me up at night.

5. I loved the Newsroom. I don't care if people think it's unrealistic. I'd watch the news way more if it was written by Aaron Sorkin.

6. The Regulator is watching the kids for us over the weekend which involves an overnight stay at my house. I'm kind of terrified. She's never stayed at my house unattended before. What is she going to say about my junk drawer? What if she notices that I haven't cleaned the blades of my fans, EVER? I have Xanax for the plane ride, but I think it will be much more useful to keep Regulator anxiety at bay.

7. Our house is officially ready to go back on the market, sadly I think we're the only people who care. But look how pretty it is! My real truth is that sometimes I don't want to leave...

And feel free to judge me for the ginormous TV. I don't mind. Really. I'm a television whore. TV is a very real priority in my life. Sabrina Soto can take her "no visible TV when selling a house rule" and suck it.

Ok, spill. What's your truth this Tuesday? Tell us everything in the comments.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Maybe someone needs this today. WE DID.

Amy over at Chasing the Crazies recently asked us the following question:

Was there ever a time you thought about giving up on your writing dream? If so, what motivated you to keep writing?
Here's a sneak peek at our answer:
Many, many times. Just last night Lisa called me and said she wanted to give up. When I asked her why, she said she felt like we could never be good enough. We commiserated for approximately 2 hours (our standard phone call length) and hung up with a renewed sense of hope. Yes, there are incredible, fantastic, award-winning, we-bow-down-to-you-genius-writer books out there. Books that make you want to hold the delete button, slam your laptop shut and GIVE UP. Will our books be amongst them? Maybe? Never? Definitely? In our dreams? Who knows! The beauty is in the trying. If you give up, you'll never know if you could have gotten there! One of the best parts about writing is that there is no race. People will always need books to read. As a result, people count on us to get better (or something like that). None of our books will ever be as perfect as we want them to be. In fact, we have a pact to NEVER read a final copy of the published book. There's just no way we wouldn't want to change something and that would kill us in a very slow and painful way. So we write. And we delete. And we re-write. And we complain. But at the end of the day we hope. Because you just never know. That next big book could be right around the corner. And I don't know about you, but I want to be a part of it.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Win an ARC of The Lies That Bind (and more)

Ok, so in a startlingly unoriginal turn of events we're giving away signed copies of THE LIES THAT BIND and THE LIAR SOCIETY in a Twitter contest.

To enter all you have to do is retweet this tweet.

When we hit 100 RTs we'll include some awesome books by fellow Get Real: Contemps on Tour authors Miranda Keneally and Janet Gurtler.

If we pass 100 RTs, well, we'll just have to add more awesomeness.

You've got until noon EST tomorrow (August 17th) to enter, so GO! Tweet and win!

I am a Writer. No really....

It's that wonderful week between camp and school where I'm left without childcare. Thank God for this amazing 12-year-old who lives up the street who came over this morning to help out for a few hours so I could escape to First Watch for some much needed writing time.

I love First Watch because they give you your very own carafe of coffee and there's free WiFi and it's relatively quiet. I mean, really what else can a girl ask for?

Well apparently, the staff are also well versed in writer shame because today this happened:

Waitress: Can I get you anything else?

Me: Nope, I'm all good. Is it ok if I hang out here for a while? *gestures awkwardly at computer*

Waitress: Oh sure, you writing the next great novel?

Me: I wish. I actually am a writer.

Waitress: (visibly shocked) Oh, how cool! What do you write?

Me: Mysteries for teens.

Waitress: Anything I've heard of?

Me: Well, probably not, but it's called The Liar Society.

Waitress: Oh, I have heard of that! (Editorial note: I'm 99% sure she's thinking of Pretty Little Liars, but I'm going to pretend that's not the case to protect what's left of my writerly ego)

Me: Oh, cool! *bobbles head awkwardly* (Editorial note: I never know what to say when people acknowledge our books and I almost always end up doing some weird nodding that probably makes me look like I'm having a seizure) I'm, uh, we're just starting the third book now.

Waitress: Nice...but um, you're on Twitter.

Me: *Looks at computer, flushes with shame* Oh, uh, yeah, but I was just going to um, I have the word doc open on here somewhere....*clicks aimlessly on computer*

Waitress: Oh, well, I guess I'll just leave you to it. You know what they say, butt in chair.

Me: Yeah. People do say that.

Right, so it's Thursday and I've been write shamed and my waitress is getting a huge tip.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The People Behind the Con: Shannon Messenger

Shannon Messenger is WriteOnCon's #1 cheerleader. Girlfriend is BUSY. She has so many books releasing this year we can barely keep them straight and she still managed to carve out some time to help us keep the conference running smoothly this year. And she wouldn't miss an Underbelly for the world.

We'll always know her as WriteOnCon founder, but my guess is that everyone else is going to know her as a New York Times Bestseller!

Check out her gorgeous books below. Preorders are encouraged!

The People Behind the Con: Nikki Katz

No one likes getting stuck. Or when something doesn't work the way it should. Or when your WordPress post looks wonky. This is where Nikki Katz comes in. She's the kind of girl who says "Yes" to the questions, "Does anyone know how to fix the messed up looking sidebar on the website?" or "Who can create comment threads in the forums?" So yeah, everyone needs a Nikki around because if we tried to HALF of what she does, all of our brains would explode. And that would be very messy.

We also had the honor of meeting Nikki IN PERSON at ALA in Anaheim. She is just as adorable and sweet as she is online and the entire exchange only confirmed the fact that we must be friends and that WriteOnCon would go down in a ball of flames without her.

And no one wants WriteOnCon to go down in a ball of flames.

Here's to Nikki, Forum-extraordinaire, WordPress-magic-worker, website-fixer and 100% fabulous! As a sidenote, we've also learned that Nikki wants to be a contestant on Survivor. And we think she'd win.

Now stop slacking.

The People Behind the Con: Jamie Harrington

We hope you've enjoyed the first day of WriteOnCon. If you're anything like us, you've learned a ton! And yet there's still so much more to come.

Over here, we're celebrating and right now we're celebrating the genius of Jamie Harrington. Hilarious, ridiculously smart, marketing-guru, server-understanding, YouTube Customer Service-navigating, Underbelly creating, Live Event coordinating JAMIE HARRINGTON. If you don't know Jamie, you need to because she has single-handedly made us cry from laughter more times than we could ever count. Also she frequently rocks pink hair which automatically increases her awesome factor by multiples of ten.
She's the kind of gal who says, "I'll take it from here..." and you know she will and much better than you ever could. Jamie is one of the smartest writers we know and we are lucky to learn from her. Just last night she rocked our world with her opinions on Pinterest, which as many of you know, is extremely close to our hearts and our procrastination efforts.

Here's to you, Jamie Harrington, genius comedienne. We love you and could never pull WriteOnCon off without your ridiculous breadth of knowledge. When our heads are about to explode with technical questions, we blindly look to you our fearless techie leader.

Group hug!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The People Behind the Con: Elana Johnson

Honestly, this post should be one sentence long.

Without Elana Johnson there would be no WriteOnCon.

Yes, we have an amazing team who works together to put on this incredible event, but there is never any doubt that our leader is the amazing Elana J. She does EVERYTHING. Seriously. She bosses us when we need bossing. Nudges us when we need nudging. And cries with us when we're so tired we don't think we can load another blog post. And she manages to do it all with a huge smile on her face and endless amounts of generosity and love for her fellow writers.

Our Tuesday Truth: There's no one in this world quite like Elana Johnson and we'd be completely lost without her in our lives.

We're half way through SURRENDER and holy CRAP it's good. It's also the perfect book for us to be reading right now because despite the fact that it's not a sequel, it perfectly re-introduces her world and seemlessly integrates characters from POSSESSION. More on this to come, but we need this you guys, we need this so bad. Sequels are freaking hard! So there you have it, in addition to being an advocate for aspiring writers Elana is also a phenomenal writer. Go buy your copy of POSSESSION and SURRENDER today. You won't regret it.

The People Behind the Con: Dustin Hansen

This time last year, Lisa's eyes were burning as she tried to cobble together vlog footage, create an introduction that looked professional and a well-edited video without any editing experience whatsoever. There were also desperate emails sent to me requesting my use of a random program we call the RIPPER that was purchased when Stacey and I created the famous Glee birthday video when Lisa turned 30. Who knew my RIPPER purchase would come in so handy.

Meet Dustin Hansen, aka Saving Grace. Dustin actually knows what he's doing. Don't you just love people who know what they're doing? Dustin has access to incredible editing programs and, oh, I don't know Photoshop instead of Paintbrush and did I mention that he knows what he's doing? He's also the genius behind our Wascot. I can barely do a Google image search and Dustin creates icons! So...yeah...you want this guy on your side.
Here's how Dustin rolls. Lisa and I will joke around about trying to secure Stephen King for WriteOnCon 2012. Everyone will laugh, hee hee, ha ha, good luck and Dustin will non-chalantly mention that he's neighbors with Stephen and that he can totally ask him to support the conference the next time they run into each other taking out the trash. Yup. Welcome videos, vlogs, mascots, exit videos and your all around idea man, Dustin does it all. We would be lost without him and he makes a mean Sticky Chicken. KEEPER.

See you at the conference!

The People Behind the Con: Carolin Seidenkranz

Remember back in high school when your teacher would announce that for the next three weeks, you'd be working on a project? And that project would account for some ridiculous percentage of your grade and not only that, but you'd be working in *gasp* a GROUP. Or consider Project Runway, when the contestants are placed on a team. They usually whine and cry, someone gets burned by a hot iron or poisonous dye, they throw each other under a bus during judging and at least one person disappears in the middle of the night, dramatically thrown back sheets and hastily sewn together clothes the only evidence of their existence.

Failed high school group projects and Project Runway be damned because there is absolutely no way WriteOnCon 2012 would exist without a very special group of individuals. For the next two days, we'd like to share with you why we absolutely love our group  members.

Meet Carolin Seidenkranz. Instead of seated behind us in one of those butt-numbing chair-desk units, Carolin is time zones away in Germany, reading, writing and forever impressing us with her ridiculous knowledge of things we can't even begin to wrap our collective heads around like revamping forums and archiving threads and creating ninja accounts.

She always has a virtual smile to offer and encouraging words. Carolin is basically the team member everyone is crossing their fingers to get paired with and we feel honored to plan with her. Raise your morning mimosa--CHEERS!

Now if you haven't already done so, go learn something!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

What are you waiting for?

Us: Hey.
You: Hey.
Us: Have you entered The Reading Room and WriteOnCon's first 450 words/first page contest?
You: Um...no?
Us: Wait, you're kidding right?
You: Um...yeah...I'm kidding. I totally entered. *clicks to check out contest*
Us: Phew. We thought you were crazy.
You: No, I'm not crazy. *realizes $1000 is the prize* HOLY CRAP!
Us: WHAT? Oh my gosh, you sound crazy!
You: Oh...nothing...I just was re-reading my amazing entry.
Us: That's what we like to hear.

We truly hope you are not the "you" in this scenario. Clean up those manuscripts. Make it happen. You know you want to. GOOD LUCK!

When I did a Google image search (yes, I still do Google image searches for kicks) for $1000, the image below came up (as well as some other gems I'm not allowed to post on this blog). I think we can all agree that $1000 in the bank is so much better than an $1000 dish of paella.

Don't call this a comeback

So it’s been a minute. Or 10. Or truthfully more like 2,102,400. At least we think that’s how many minutes there are in 3 years, but let...