Wednesday, July 24, 2013


Sometimes you see a quote that just resonates inside of you. 
Today I came across this quote and fell completely in love with it. 
"She turned her cant's into cans and her dreams into plans." 
It's so simple, but it means so much to me. 
 I haven't always done this in my life--in fact I think it's extremely difficult to act on your dreams and carry out goals. So many times I've thought of life plans, dreams, and goals that I wanted to accomplish, but then I got scared.
 So often I become insecure and convince myself that either the dream is too big, or difficult, or that I'm not good enough. 
Why? Why is it scary to dream big? 
Before I got published I hardly told anyone that I was working on a novel. I had so many family and friends that were shocked to find out I was getting published. The common response was, "I didn't even know you were working on a book!" 
I suppose I was afraid of failure. I didn't want people to feel bad for me if I couldn't get published. 
But why did I care? Failure is a necessary part of growing and learning, something that I try to always keep in mind. 
This summer I've started to create some very big goals. Some days I wake up confidently ready to conquer anything. A lot of the time I question myself. 
Now I want to change that. That's one of my new goals. 
I don't want to be afraid to dream big. I want to go forward boldly and face fears. I know it will be hard, but it's worth it. I hope you'll join me on this journey. Let's turn our cant's into cans and our dreams into plans! 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Book tour in California

Last week I got to spend time in California. Traveling, for me, is like a breath of fresh air. It gives me new inspiration, motivation, and a sense of adventure. Traveling helps me become a better writer. 

On this adventure we got to visit several Barnes & Noble so I could sign copies of The Siren's Secret. First we started at the Studio City Barnes & Noble near Hollywood. 

Next we stopped by the Grove Barnes & Noble. So many books. Seriously though, look at all those levels! If you stop by this store, keep an eye out for The Siren's on the "What Teens Are Reading Now" table. 

After that, we got to see Conan live. A fun experience, but a little strange. All sets look so much smaller in real life. Somehow I always forget that and I'm surprised every time.

Next we stopped by the Calabases Barnes & Noble to sign more copies of The Siren's Secret.

That night we went to eat dinner and stumbled into the Pacific Rim premiere. I hate to be one of those people who just jumps in line because there's a crowd of people, but it was fun to see everyone freaking out as the actors came by. I promise I did not become that crazy fan, well at least not then. That moment came the next day. 

Pretty Little Liars anyone? THIS IS ALISON'S HOUSE! This is when I turned into one of those weirdo fans who can't breathe because they're so excited. This is on The Warner Brother's Studio lot, and I felt like a kid in a candy store. Pretty Little Liars and Harry Potter stuff everywhere! 

This is the barn where Alison first disappears. Spoooooky. 

The Friend's set was really fun. They kept everything at Central Perk just the same as it looked on the last episode. 

There's Ellen's parking spot! Oh boy, see now I sound like one of the crazy fans again. Who takes pictures of people's parking spots? 

Harry, you can't drive through here! 

The Howler from Mrs. Weasley, shrieking and all. 

Can you name which three characters these wardrobes belong to? 

After all the fun in Los Angeles, we headed to San Diego to sign more books, visit family, and stop in Old Town. One of the coolest places in Old Town is called the Mormon Battalion Historic Site. If you've never been before, I would definitely recommend it! 

The San Diego Barnes & Noble. I spy, with my little eye, a siren on a shelf up high...

Jumping for joy--and not caring how silly I look. I love California. 

San Diego waves crashing, and only SEVEN jellyfish stings. 

Last stop on the way home was the St. George Barnes & Noble. If you're from any of these areas, you'll find signed copies of The Siren's Secret along with bookmarks inside. Thanks for letting me share my adventures! 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Interview With T. Lynn Adams

This week I had the absolute pleasure of interviewing T. Lynn Adams, author of Lair Of The Serpent. T. Lynn is a fantastic author and a friend of mine. I loved getting to know her better through this interview, and I am so amazed with all her adventures in writing (that sounds familiar). She's had so many exciting life experiences that led her into writing, and her novel has even been optioned for a movie! Enjoy the interview and excerpt from Lair of The Serpent! 

How did you get into writing? 

IT'S HERE!!!I've always written for my own pleasure but I started my paid career when I was fifteen. I walked into a newspaper office, told the editor I would like to see a series of articles written on a certain subject and he challenged me to write them. I did, he paid me and ran that series and that started my career as a writer.

Your book was optioned by Hollywood, tell us about that exciting experience! 

That was exciting. Hollywood producer Kevin Buxbaum saw an article about my first book, Tombs of Terror. The article intrigued him so he ordered the book and read. He loved it enough to track me down himself and option the movie rights. He is best known for the Academy Award-winning Life of Pi and Avatar. It's been fun to visit with him about the process of turning a book into a movie. We've also shared some ideas for an entirely different movie concept and that has been exciting, too. 

What’s your ideal movie cast for your novel? 

Everyone asks me that but I really don't have any ideas. I've worked with editors for so many years that I absolutely trust the ideas of others and I feel that same way about Kevin Buxbaum.

What else are you working on right now? 

I'm working on a great new YA series that blends fantasy and reality in a way I've never seen before. It requires intense research to make sure everything is accurate. Accuracy is important to me. So far the beta readers are loving it and I love the way it really digs into a world that is hidden all around us. How was Lair Of The Serpent influenced by your time spent in Peru? The orphan Chey is a composite of the many street orphans I knew in Peru. I am gratified that so many readers connect with Chey. If they every come across a street orphan in their life I want them to see a Chey-like potential in every one and do their best to help.

What advice would you give for aspiring writers? 

Write what you love. Weave your passions into your writing. It makes it easier to write and your readers will feel the emotion that you've invested.

You are the editor for a regional agriculture newspaper, how has that influenced your writing?

A lot! After spending hours each day writing articles for them I sometimes don't feel like I want or should spent more time writing on my own projects. It's a balance between work and family and passions that so many writers face.

When do you like to write? 

As my family knows, I could write 24/7. I love to write.

Favorite snack while you write?

I don't snack when I'm writing but I do like to keep a glass of ice water nearby. Add some sliced fruit to the water and I'm in heaven.

You have a big family, how have they influenced your writing?

My husband is my go-to expert for anything outdoors. My teenagers are brutally honest about what works and what does, even about the dialogue; and my younger children always keep me coming up with new bedtimes stories that I'd like to illustrate and sell one day.

Would you be willing to share an excerpt with us from Lair Of The Serpent? 

You bet. Here is an excerpt with Chey and Jonathon the first morning after Delia has been kidnapped.

Thank you so much! 

Excerpt from Lair of the Serpent
by T. Lynn Adams

He left the room and made his way down the hallway to the staircase. This time, instead of going down, he followed them up to the rooftop. There, in a corner of the roof and away from everyone, he sagged to the dirty cement, his body braced against the retaining wall. Slow and anguished, he drew up his legs, his knees bent. “Oh, Delia,” he moaned. “Why did this happen? Where are you?”

Unable to answer either question, his hands locked behind his head and his forearms pressed against his temples. He doubled over and tried to stop the trembling in his stomach, tried to retain control.

But the questions haunted him with increasing resonance until he could only cry out his frustration and let tears roll down his face. Rage, helplessness, and sorrow unlike any he had ever before experienced flowed out of him as he rocked on the roof beneath the Cambodian dawn.

He did not hear movement across the cement, only saw the dirty feet surrounded by sandals made from discarded tires.

“I sad for Delia too.”

Startled and embarrassed, Jonathon pushed away the tears and looked toward the voice and the sunrise. “What are you doing here, Chey? How did you get up here?”

The orphan pointed toward the wall. “I climbed.”

“Just now?”

“Last night. Good to sleep here and not on street.” Chey crouched down in front of Jonathon. “My maè, my mother, said tears always mean good heart. Bad hearts no have tears.”

Jonathon clenched his jaw. “Right now tears mean a broken heart.”

“Good hearts get broken sometimes.”

The teenager wiped his upper lip, trying to stay in control. Still watching, Chey ventured forward. “Delia liked letters you send. I saw her here, reading them many times after work.”

The announcement made Jonathon breathe out an exclamation of hurt, and he pushed to his feet. “I have to go.”

“Go where?” Chey straightened, moving after him.

“I don’t know. I just have to go . . . run . . . somewhere, anywhere.”

Ready to follow him, Chey descended the stairwell a step behind the American. “I run too.”

Not able to argue, not wanting to think, Jonathon did not protest. As he exited onto the street, he pushed his broken body to move and forced it to run. He would concentrate on the pain, relish every biting step, because it would drive away everything else that hurt worse.

But it didn’t work. Silent tears still wet his face in the cool morning.

Chey ran in silence beside him, his rubber sandals slapping the earth beside Jonathon’s shoes.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Great Summer Reads Hop and Giveaway

July 13th Update: 

Congratulations to Ariel on winning the Ebook of the Siren's Secret! Thank you so much to everyone who participated during the Great Summer Reads Hop! 

Today I am taking part in the Great Summer Reads Hop by Author Cindy Bennett! As part of the hop I am giving away an Ebook of The Siren's Secret! Enter my giveaway and then click on the Linky List below to hop over to the other blogs participating to win more awesome prizes! 

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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

BYU Writing Camp and Disney Princesses

Last Friday I had the privilege of speaking to kids at a BYU writing camp. It was such a great experience, and I couldn't believe how passionate the students were about writing. Most of them were already working on novels and were eager to talk about the publishing process. They had writing prompts, exercises and classes over the weekend. They also had many opportunities to share their work, which is so important.
I wish there was a camp like this around when I was in Jr. High! 

After teaching at the writing camp, I ran to Lehi Costco for a signing, and look who stopped by! I was very happy to visit with a fleet of Disney princesses. I guess you just never know who you'll meet at signings!