Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Getting the Reaction You Want

I was thinking about this topic over the weekend, whilst geeking out at Pi-Con in a most pleasant manner. Basically, we writers would love for everyone to connect to our work in the same soul-deep way we do. However, realistically, that just won't happen; even a series that people swoon over like Twilight has a huge number of bashers and haters.

I feel like authors who push their work too hard are kinda like this dog:

The moral of this little video is that you're not going to get the reaction you desire from everyone you meet, and that's okay. Because there are a lot of people out there who WILL throw the stick for you.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

May the Odds Be Ever in Your Favor

Books adapted as movies can be a mixed bag. Some breathe new life into an already wonderful story. Many many many disappoint fans of the book, especially in recent MG/YA adaptations. I'd name names, but that might hurt might chances of getting movie deals with the production houses that put those duds out.

Actually, that might not be a bad thing--sort of a self-selection for awesomeness.

So, when I first heard The Hunger Games was becoming a movie, I started seeing scenes in my head. Now the first trailer has come out, and the energy of it seems like a wonderfully faithful to the book... except that Katniss wouldn't make all that NOISE walking through the forest! Hello? Foley people? Take it down a few notches! How would she ever frikkin' HUNT? That's the amount of noise an actor might make walking through nature, not someone who has to hunt to live--someone who's been doing it for years!


Monday, August 29, 2011


Pi-Con really is one of my favorite cons. There's such a wonderful sense of nerdly camaraderie! I love talking books, and, with thirteen panels, I really did a bunch of it. I got to hang out with a bunch of Spencer Hill Press people, as well.

As for the hurricane... my husband and kids lost power back home in New Hampshire, but everyone's okay. We just got a bunch of wind and rain here--no real problems or damage. I stayed on an extra day, though, just in case, which seems like a good idea, since my normal driving route would have taken me through Brattleboro, VT:

Friday, August 26, 2011


If you're in central New England this weekend, stop on by and check out Pi-Con. And if the hurricane hits, stay on the extra day for the slumber party!

Happy weekend, and east-coasters, stay safe!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Greetings from the Editing Cave

Sorry for the spotty posting of late--I've been editing. I love blogging and Facebooking (is that a word?) and otherwise staying in touch through the interweb, but it's a huge time-suck when I have a deadline! So, how do you keep a balance?

And if you don't keep a balance, feel free to keep me company over on Facebook:!/pages/Ganzfield/116604475016600

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Kiersten White is my Hero

Check out her Rules of YA Genre post, but not somewhere people are going to scowl at you for laughing out loud:

Awesome Excerpt #1:

Dystopian: Must have a main character with the letter X or Z in their name. If you have no characters with Xs or Zs, you are doing it wrong and you have not written a dystopian.

Awesome Excerpt #2:

Paranormal Romance: Must describe the love interest boy as well-muscled at least once per chapter. Also the words "brooding" "mysterious" and "agony" have to feature prominently. Type of creature that the boy is does not matter, so long as he mysteriously broods in well-muscled agony.

Monday, August 22, 2011

ARC Do's and Don'ts

ARCs--Advance Reading Copies--are printed by the publisher several months before the release of the book. We do several things with them that we hope will generate sales, including sending copies to reviewers and book buyers for places like Barnes & Noble and Amazon. We also give a few to other authors we hope will give us a nice blurb.

So, if you'd like to receive ARCs, you need to fall into one of these categories. If you do, we'd love to hear from you. We get a lot of ARC requests at Spencer Hill, and most of them are from people who have a book blog, write for a high school or college paper, or have another official outlet for posting or printing reviews. We also send them to the big reviewers like Kirkus and School Library Journal.

But we've been getting a ton recently from people who just want a free book. To those people, I want to say, "Thank you for your interest. Please BUY a copy when it comes out, so we can stay in business and continue to put out awesome books." 

The thing about it is, ARCs cost money to print--more than books in an offset print run. And they cost money to ship. For us to send you a copy, we need to believe that your review will generate enough sales to cover those costs. That's fair, right?

Sooo, if you request an ARC, please:

DO include your name and a link to your platform, whether it's a blog, an ezine, a newspaper, a Facebook page, etc. It's also nice to include your stats like number of followers/readers, but this isn't necessary, since we'll check out your platform before sending anything.

DON'T promise a good review. Be honest. If you don't like the book, we'd be happier if you said nothing at all and passed the book to another reviewer who might like it more. If you do post a negative review, please explain dispassionately what you didn't like, rather than just saying, "It sucked."

DO post or print a review in the requested timeframe; we send ARCs out to generate interest around the time of the book launch. It's nice that you want to review books that have been out for a year, but we ran out of ARCs months ago. We may be able to make an exception and provide copies of the early books in a series if you're reviewing the most recent installment. But please read every ARC you receive and post or print your review in a timely manner.

DON'T sell (or try to sell) the ARC. We're happy if you'd like to keep it or give it away to another reviewer, one of your readers, a friend, or your great aunt Edna. But don't sell it; that's considered a really bad faux pas in the publishing world.

DO build up your platform. We're much more likely to send copies to reviewers with a large number of followers, although we also make sure that the reviewer's tastes are a good fit for the title in question. But size matters--we want to get the word out to a large number of people, so the more readers you have, the better off you'll be.

DON'T forget to send a link or complimentary copy of the paper or magazine to the ARC provider when you publish or post it. We'd love to read your thoughts.

DO let me know in comments if you say "arc" or "A.R.C." when you say the word "ARC" aloud. I'm conducting a poll.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Book Launch-Day 5

Oh, I guess I should have been numbering all week. Oh, well. Anyhoo, the winner of the signed set of Ganzfield books is...


Congrats, Nat! I'll email you to get your address.

Happy Weekend, everyone!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Day Three-Character Names

My main character in the Ganzfield books, Maddie Dunn, has a rather matte, drab name. This just seemed to fit, especially since it made her the opposite of Bella Swann. I wanted Maddie to have a name that acted as social camouflage, blending her into her surroundings. It made her specialness seem all the more amazing, since she was such an everygirl.

So, what do you like in a character name? Rowling's all have deeper meanings, e.g. Remus Lupin. Many YA books have characters with unique names that make them stand out even before you get to know them.  Got a favorite?

BTW, the launch day giveaway will be open through tomorrow:, so please check it out if you haven't already.


From Accused
(Contains a couple of spoilerish comments, but nothing that will ruin anything for you)

“We’re going to Aruba.”
Trevor leaned one elbow on the check-in counter as he handed the airline employee our passports. His eyes met mine, sharing a secret meaning behind the words. I grinned back, holding my thoughts behind a mental shield. Boston’s Logan Airport was crowded and hundreds of minds stomped across mine. I needed to keep from sharing them with Trevor—who’d pick them up through our special connection—so at least one of us would be able to concentrate.
—passports here someplace —
—so stupid we have to take off our shoes—
—remember when the blood-sucking airlines didn’t charge us to check a bag—
—already want to go home. This trip is going to—
—forgets to feed the fish while I’m gone, they’re all gonna die, and the apartment will smell like—
—can’t pack lightly to save her life. What’s in this bag? Rocks? Is she bringing designer rocks to—
—put the carry-on in front of me and wear the backpack, maybe they won’t notice the extra—
In about eight hours, Trevor and I would be in Aruba. The two of us were renting a house for a week—with its own private beach. Giddy amber sparkles passed through me at the thought. This trip took the phrase “dream come true” to a whole new level. And after the past few months, we really needed the down time.
The desk agent handed back our passports, gave us boarding passes, and then directed us to the security line. Trevor took me by the hand and led the way through the crowds—he knew how hard it was for me to focus with this many people’s thoughts pressing down on me. Sometimes being telepathic sucked.
It didn’t help that I was also functionally mute, thanks to that fight with Isaiah last spring. At least I could project my thoughts to others so I could still communicate. We tried to keep all that G-positive mental ability stuff low profile, though, so the whole getting-part-of-my-brain-burned-away thing kinda limited my social life these days.
We’d only been in the security line for a few seconds when I felt the cool touch of mental recognition. Madeline Elizabeth Dunn. Goosebumps prickled along my arms—everyone who knew me called me Maddie.
I twisted to look behind me, trying to make the move look casual. At the second flash of recognition, icy yellow tendrils of fear shot through me.
Maddie, what’s wrong? Trevor wrapped a protective invisible arm around me. I dropped my mental shield, wincing with him as my thoughts suddenly body-slammed his.
Someone’s targeting me. At least two of them.
Trevor’s grip tightened on my hand and his face hardened as he glanced around us. Four more people with my face in their thoughts approached, joining the first two.
They’re cops.
The uniformed transit police approached us cautiously. “Madeline Elizabeth Dunn?” one of the officers asked.
Ah, hell. The repeated use of my middle name couldn’t mean anything good.
What do they want? Trevor’s thoughts flashed to us making a break for it. Trevor could stop bullets with his telekinetic ability—he also could use it to move really fast.
I think… they’re going to arrest me. I tightened my grip on his hand. There were too many witnesses here—too many security cameras for him to try anything.
Maybe taking a vacation right now hadn’t been such a good idea. 

Want to win the whole set? Check out yesterday's post:

Monday, August 15, 2011

Book Launch-Day 1

And Accused is officially out... now!

I'm really excited about this one, and I want to share the giddy. Sooo, I'm going to offer a signed set of the first four Ganzfield books here in a giveaway. And I'm making this one international. 

To enter, post a response to this question: 

Who is more of a Jedi? 
A) Trevor 
B) Zack
C) I have no idea who these guys are, so I need to win these books

I'll give you one chance for your post, and an extra chance for being a follower, as well as for each link you post to Facebook, Twitter, your blog, etc. Please include the links in your comment and post by midnight (EDT) Thursday, August 18th. I'll use to pick the winner and announce on Friday. 
Check back throughout the week for more launch festivities and giveaways. Happy Launch Day! 

Friday, August 12, 2011


Thanks to everyone who participated in the Blog Jog!  The winner of the prize pack is:


Congrats, Claudia!

Please be sure to stop by here all next week; we'll be having a virtual launch party for Accused, with Ganzfield book giveaways and other fun stuff.

Accused (Ganzfield)

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Upcoming Book Launch

Hi folks,

Accused comes out next week, and I've got a virtual launch party in the works here starting Monday. I'll have a giveaway and some other cool stuff; please put any special requests you might have in the comments below.

However, both Amazon and Barnes and Noble have the e-book versions up early! Check them out:

Accused by Kate Kaynak: NOOK Book Cover

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Series You Should Be Reading

Jennifer L. Armentrout raved about this one on her chat last night.

What under-read book or series do you recommend?

Monday, August 8, 2011


I've been quoted over at iLive, iLaugh, iLove Books today:

I love being quoted. I feels like my ego is blowing out the candles.

Seriously, though, check out the giveaways that Lucia has over there--books and SWAG galore!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Zombie Smurfs

Welcome to Disgruntled Bear! I post five times weekly about writing, reading, editing, and promoting YA paranormal/sci-fi/fantasy books. And when I run out of interesting things to say about those topics, I usually put up a funny video, link, or picture:
If you're just jogging through, your next stop is Charmaine Gordon at: If you get lost in the links, you can always follow the breadcrumbs back to

So, we're having a giveaway here at the Bear this weekend:

The Body Finder (hardcover), Accused (signed paperback), and a SWAG pack of Spencer Hill Press bookmarks, cards, stickers, and the ever-popular Half-Blood guitar pick
To enter, just follow this blog and leave me a comment before midnight (EDT) on Thursday, August 11th. Your comment can be about anything: your favorite type of cheese, whether you believe Neil Patrick Harris can make the new Smurf movie watchable, a tip for surviving a zombie apocalypse, etc. Or just say, "hi." I'll use to pick the winner and ship the above-pictured prize pack to a U.S. mailing address.

Happy Blog Jog!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Geek Reference That Makes Me Smile

And a non-geeky video montage here that'll give you major wanderlust:

Check back here Sunday for the start of the BLOG JOG. Blog Jog--woohoo! Tons of freebies and other cool stuff.

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Fangirl Goes SQUEEEEE!

OMG, have you all seen this? It's an e-book short story from Link's POV that takes place after Beautiful Darkness.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


Hi folks,

Our distributor is redesigning the sales interface for its website, and they are very proud of the fact that they will display the logos of their publishing partners.

My first thought: "Uh-oh. We don't have a logo."

Well, we have a mockup for one now. What do you think?

Please leave a comment; this is just a mockup, and we still can tweak, change or discard at this point. Basically, we want something simple and non-cheesy that will look good on letterhead, bookplates, book spines, websites, and the like. Does this do it?

Monday, August 1, 2011

Good Stuff

Congrats to Ednah Walters on the launch of Betrayed today. You still have a few hours left to win a bunch of goodies:

And this makes me feel like humans don't suck: