Alligators Overhead Trailer

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Insecure Writers' Group and AtoZChallenge 2015

IWSG Sign Up 

I'm getting good reviews on my books, so I'm very lucky, but there are times when reviewers write things that make me feel like the kid caught doing something bad and hauled in front of the principal. That principal thing only happened to me once, but when I remember the experience I know what insecurity and shame for not doing the right thing feels like. 

We writers are such a vulnerable lot. We want to do the right thing. We don't set out to make ourselves insecure or ashamed by writing badly, but we can't wow everyone, can we? And when we fall short, one thing we can do to keep our keels on the even, is to remember we have a lot of people who support us, who understand exactly what it's like to be called up in front of the principal.

AtoZ Challenge Sign Up

Now I hope you're all signed up and ready for the April Challenge. If you haven't done that yet, get going. It'll be fantastic. Click on the Sign Up List and look at all the people you can hang out with--Including the Muffin Commando Squad. Yvonne Ventresca, Carrie Butler, Donna McDine, Patricia Lynne, Elizabeth Seckman, Tyrean Martinson, Tara TylerTammy Theriault, and me. You'll get to know more about us in the weeks to come.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Good News and On The Writing Side of Life

Good News

Ronnie Polaneczky To The Rescue

A young couple had lost 13 days of work waiting for the reliable and ever-efficient technicians from Comcast to arrive, but to no avail. When A news columnist, who is used to hearing complaints about Comcast service or lack thereof, was so touched by a young couple's story that she took desperate measures. Ronnie Polaneczky called CEO Brian Roberts's 92 year old mom.  

The couple had their service the next day. This is double good news: someone cared enough to step in and help strangers, and Mom still rules!


On the Writing Side of Life

Last week I visited SARAH FOSTER'S blog and read her post about symbolism and getting messages out to others. 

I'd just been having a conversation with someone who knows me quite well, and he said, "Your books are all about who you are and what you believe in." I think I said something like, "You're nuts." I can be subtle once in a while.

But Sarah's post caught me up short. That guy who knows me, knows me, I guess. Because when I thought about each of my books, they did have messages about things that are very important to me. It has just taken me a while to figure all of that out. And here I thought I was simply telling stories.

What I hope is that my work never moralizes. I'd hate to be accused of using my writing as a soapbox. Didactic writing is a bore.

I've just started to shred an old manuscript and set it free from some very self-conscious prose. So this was a chance to think about the underlying messages this story might have. I was surprised to find one of my lifelong philosophies dead center. I've always loved to see justice in our world, and this story will be all about finding it, even after death. I'm a romantic at heart, and if you can't have your justice in this life, then I think you deserve it afterward. It's never too late. 

What about your own stories? Do they have your philosophy at their core? Have you read books that you recognized their underlying message, but appreciated it because it deepened the story? Any favorite books with messages? 

Have you signed up for the #AtoZChallenge yet? If not, better get going.


My Quote for the Day

"Ultimately, the only power to which man should aspire is that which he exercises over himself." Elie Wiesel

Monday, February 23, 2015

Good News and Hat's Off Corner With Kai Strand

Good News

Benji Baker is one lucky guy. He was in Australia, about to reunite with a father he hadn't seen in years. Before the reunion, Benji went ocean kayaking where he suffered an epileptic seizure. Proof that fact is stranger than fiction, he was rescued by his father. Neither of the them knew who the other was until later.

Alligators Overhead gets a new look!

The Hat's Off Corner Welcomes Kai Strand!

Being good isn’t so bad – oh, but it’s so good to be bad.

Excerpt from Super Bad:

Source stepped in front of her, balancing on the edge of the curb. He grasped her shoulders and stared her straight in the eye. “Everything, everyone, will be all right. You have to believe that, Sandra.”
Tears flooded her eyes again. She hated that she didn’t believe him. “I’m scared, Source. I’m afraid Whisper will never wake up. Or that I’ll never walk right again. I’m worried about Mom’s state of mind. I’m scared the world will never right itself, and all this violence will become the new normal.”
Source drew a ragged breath and lightly dragged his thumb across her tear-stained cheek.
Closing her eyes, as though afraid to see the full truth, she whispered her biggest fear. “I’m scared we’ll never find Jeff.”

SUPER BAD The unexpected conclusion to the Super Villain Academy series.

The world is in chaos. Violence and thievery reign. And with the supers still balanced, it’s only getting worse. Without good versus evil, the supers care less and less. In order to restore purpose, the world needs its super heroes and its super villains, but the one who balanced them in the first place is missing.

Sandra’s concern over finding her brother, Jeff, isn’t her only problem. Her pathetic excuse for super powers has left her needing a new ankle. And though she’s still very much committed to her boyfriend, Source, she’s growing unreasonably attracted to Set, the boy who double crossed Jeff by stealing his girlfriend.

When Sandra is taken and held as bait by kids who want to unbalance the super world, it becomes the inciting event that changes things for supers everywhere and forces them to answer the question, “Hero or villain?”
Super Bad is scheduled for release in June, but there have been whispers of it releasing sooner. Don’t miss out. Subscribe to Kai’s mailing list and be among the first to know.
King of Bad - Jeff Mean would rather set fires than follow rules. He wears his bad boy image like a favorite old hoodie; until he learns he has superpowers and is recruited by Super Villain Academy – where you learn to be good at being bad. Is Jeff bad enough for SVA?

Polar Opposites - Heroes and villains are balanced. After Oceanus is kidnapped, Jeff learns the supers are so balanced, they no longer care to get involved. Ironically Jeff’s superpowers are spiraling out of control. Will they find Oci before he looses it completely, and will they find her alive?
Win a $10 Amazon gift card or an ecopy of either King of Bad or Polar Opposites. Plenty of chances to win. Open internationally. Enter here:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the author:

When her children were young and the electricity winked out, Kai Strand gathered her family around the fireplace and they told stories, one sentence at a time. Her boys were rather fond of the ending, “And then everybody died. The end.” Now an award winning children’s author, Kai crafts fiction for kids and teens to provide an escape hatch from their reality. With a selection of novels for young adult and middle grade readers and short stories for the younger ones, Kai entertains children of all ages, and their adults. Learn more about Kai and her books on her website,

My Quote for the Day: "Far too many people are looking for the right person, instead of trying to be the right person." Gloria Steinem

Do you think you could ever write a story like the Good News one of today and not be accused of using coincidence? What do you think of Kai's latest book? Great cover, right? And what do you think of Alligators Overhead's new cover?