I’ve Moved

***This blog has officially moved to a shiny new home at http://www.ciaraknight.com. Sorry for any inconvenience, but this will allow for a more enjoyable and interactive future. Please change your links accordingly and hop on over for all the regular blog posts and so much more!***

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Manic Monday

Yep, that’s an appropriate title for my Monday, MANIC. Atlanta is facing the worst ice storm since 2000. We are hoping not to lose power, but if we do I will be back as soon as possible. Schools are already closed as of Sunday night, and I probably won’t be able to get my son to the hospital for his tonsillectomy, adenoidectomy and tubes surgery. Below you can view some photos of the calm before the storm. Photos of our back deck and front porch. Now remember, this is the south and all this snow fell in one to two hours.

If I have power tomorrow, I’ll post some current pictures. If you don’t hear from me, well, you’ll know I don’t have power and blogging will resume as soon as possible.

Oh, but I can’t leave you just with ice storm news. Go down a little further. You’ll find something fun.

Pics of our snow-white home.

Now for the fun. My hubby’s version of a great romance book trailer. πŸ™‚

What do you think?

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Steampunk Saturday

During research for my Sci-Fi with Steampunk elements, I ran across a bunch of cool gadgets. I’d planned on sharing a pictures on Saturdays until my friend, Bart, sent me this. Now, I had to share this with you. πŸ™‚

Okay, I have to admit, this is a cool cake.

Here are the rest of the wedding photos.

What do you think? Crazy or cool?

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Flashback Friday Sir-Mix-A-Lot style

Okay, I normally post things more appropriate for middle schoolers, but this flashback is just too funny to pass up. How many of you danced to this song back in the day?

Now, a better question. Who wiggled in their seats while listening to it today? How flippin’ hilarious is this? πŸ™‚

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Second Talent Thursday

Bio provided by IMBD:
Gwyneth Paltrow is the daughter of producer Bruce Paltrow and actress Blythe Danner. After attending the Spence School in New York City, she moved to California where she attended the University of California in Santa Barbara, majoring in Art History. She soon quit, realizing it was not her passion. She began acting in the Williamstown Theatre play “Picnic, ” with her mother. In 1991 she appeared in her first film, Shout (1991) with John Travolta. She met Steven Spielberg and was cast in his film Hook (1991). After a bit part in the 1995 film Se7en (1995) she began dating her co-star Brad Pitt. She appeared in The Pallbearer (1996) and Emma (1996) and received her first Oscar nomination in 1999 for her role as Viola in John Madden’s, Shakespeare in Love (1998)

We all know her as the amazing and versatile actress, right? πŸ™‚

And some less serious roles.

Now for her second talent. Singing. Okay, I know. I’ve said that before. We won’t mention some of the past second talents. *bows head in shame* But, give this a listen before you judge to harsh. πŸ™‚

So, what do you think? Does she have a second talent?

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Almost Published with Heather Howland

Hi Heather! I have to tell you, I’m a HUGE fan of your website. I utilize it when I give workshops at local middle schools. Everyone LOVES your tagline. Did you develop the site yourself or did you pay to have it done?

I’m glad to hear the tagline is resonating with people! As for the site, I spent two painful months last summer taking accelerated HTML classes so I didn’t have a blank look on my face whenever my friends talked about coding. Most useful form of torture I’ve put myself through to date–I highly recommend it. If you HTML skills, tweaking the countless website templates out there to fit your needs is easy.

Tell us a little about what you write. On your website you have listed a genre called biopunk. Could you explain what that is?

Dark, gut-wrenching literary YA is where my heart is, but I also write paranormal romance, dystopian biopunk, and slightly-less-dark edgy YA. Everything I write has strong romantic elements. If genetic manipulation and biotechnology play a large part in your plot/world building, you’re probably writing biopunk!

You’re represented by Becca Stumpf of the Prospect Agency. Please tell us how you came to the decision to sign with her? Is she your first agent?

I heart Becca! She judged two categories of a contest I won and requested my manuscript after hearing I’d separated from my first agent. Talk about instant agent-author mind meld! While she busied herself reading everything I’ve ever written (!!), she encouraged me to query the book so I’d be confident in my decision to sign with her. Though I received several offers the following week from excellent agents, Becca’s vision for my books, her enthusiasm, and her ability to tease out the elements I can’t see in my stories won me over in the end. Also, she’s made of awesome.

Could you explain a little about the process of working with your agent?

Becca prides herself on giving her clients just enough editorial support to make our manuscripts shine without getting in the way of the creative process. I come to her with ideas for future stories or problems I run into while revising and, together, we brainstorm the best possible way to proceed. Pretty much everything that comes out of her mouth is sparkly and fresh, which I love.

Please tell us a little about your exciting career as an acquisitions editor for Crescent Moon Press (CMP). Who is CMP? Does this help in your quest to publication?

Crescent Moon Press is a boutique publisher of fantasy, futuristic, and paranormal romance. Our titles are release both in print and electronic formats, and are available through all the major chains like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Powells.
I love to edit–sometimes more than I love to write, which is saying something! There is nothing more fulfilling than discovering new talent, signing manuscripts I love, and working with authors to hone their craft and develop future books. I joke that I have both of my dream jobs.

As far as my quest toward publication, having a somewhat insider view of the industry is the most helpful aspect of my job. I feel far more prepared to pursue my own writing career.

I read on Savvy Authors you won the Lori Wilde contest and received a full scholarship to take her class. Congratulations! How is the class? Would you recommend it? If so, is this for a newbie or more advanced writer?

Lori is my hero. A few years ago, I took my first genre fiction class through Ed2Go–Romance Writing Secrets, taught by Lori Wilde. In three months, I devoured something like 75 romance novels–the first I’d ever read–and managed to grasp concepts no other writing instructor had been able to get through my head. She’s a phenomenal teacher, so when I found out she’d be teaching yearlong mentorship courses at Savvy, I started spreading the word.

The class is definitely not for newbies. Lori delves deep into characterization and plot, focusing on nuance instead of teaching broad techniques. A writer will definitely want to have at least one manuscript under their belt and a fairly solid grasp on craft before enrolling. At the moment, she’s offering 6-month accelerated versions of the class as well as the yearlong version for those of us who write ridiculously fast.

Do you work with critique partners or loops?

Critique group all the way. I’m extremely lucky to have found the group of girls I work with!

What has been your biggest obstacle in your writing journey?

Learning the industry was probably the biggest obstacle. I started out as a literary writer with mad screenwriting skills, so my stories were at least close when I decided to pursue publication, but there are so many things a writer has to know before querying their novel! Once I joined RWA and started participating in writing groups and workshops, tons of information came pouring in.

If you could give any advice to new writers, what would it be?

Before you start querying, join writing organizations, learn everything you possibly can about the industry, and hone your craft with the help of talented and likeminded critique partners. Beyond that, master the art of patience. Despite the rare overnight success stories we’ve all heard, there’s a lot of hurry-up-and-wait in the publishing industry!

Thanks so much for taking the time to be here with us today. Good luck with your manuscript out on sub. I’m sure I’ll have you back soon for my Debut Book blog series!

Thank you for having me. I look forward to seeing who’s up next!

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You Can’t Beat Free!

Every Tuesday this month I’ll be sharing blogs that offer free learning opportunities. Yep, that’s right, learn to write for FREEE!!

Please help me welcome my first guest to this blog series, Corey J. Popp.

Corey J. Popp is a published freelance writer of human interest and technology articles. Like most writers his aspirations are much higher. He hopes to someday publish his own novel.

His blog began as his personal writer’s notebook, a place where he could keep notes about the workshops he was taking and the books he was reading as he studied the craft of novel writing. On a whim he began autopublishing his posts to his Twitter, Facebook, and Google Reader feeds. Over the past 90 days he’s developed a small but devoted online readership, scoring a few retweets and an increasing number of reader comments, especially following his post on “Designing complications using the fortunately / unfortunately method,” his most popular post to date.

He says he “reads as a writer” which means he analyzes novels in order to learn the craft, techniques, and literary styles of other authors. He reads bestselling novels and authors within his genres of interest: Adult and young adult thrillers, suspense, fantasy, and the steampunk subgenre of science fiction. Give his blog a visit and follow him on Twitter @coreyjpopp.

So, what do you think? Are his posts helpful? Did you learn something new today?

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