Monday, August 29, 2011

My nutshell

To all writers, aspiring or otherwise...

My writing history in a nutshell-

Wrote first book. Sold it immediately to a small press. It went into a bunch of stores and with the help of over 50 book signings and tons of school visits, sold thousands.

Wrote more books.

Got an agent.

Rejected a few times from publishers, but in the meantime sold second book of series to the same small press at agent's advice.

Said book was not given a chance. It made it into almost no stores. Four months later, it's only sold a few hundred copies.

Agent decided YA wasn't her thing. Told me to find a new agent.

In the meantime, wrote another book that agent said she loved.

More rejections. Lots more.

Now studying for my TCRG exams and not writing at all. Could only focus on one big thing at a time.

Miss writing. So much. Fantasize about writing my next novel. Dread the next slew of rejections.

Wondering if I'm crazy for not giving up.

But insane enough to know that rejections will never win. I am too addicted to writing. Even when I fail.

But I want to succeed. Badly. Bad enough to write better. To face the future.

Because I'm convinced that one of these days I will get there. Even though I have no proof.

Friday, August 26, 2011

The last drops of summer

I'm reading the ARC for THE DEATH CURE by James Dashner. It doesn't stop moving. Kind of like my week.

Which explains why I haven't finished it yet.

Soon though.

Okay, I need to send you all over to the Lateiner Gang Book Review Spot so you can sign up to win a copy of Alvor or Wings of Light. Dave talked me into giving away four books, but I'm not going to do it unless we get a bunch of people over there.

And while we're at it, if you leave a comment here, I'll give you an entry to their giveaway. Simple. You have to visit their blog for more entries.

Coming soon, second grade for my twins, fifth grade for my son, High School for my oldest guy and preschool for the baby girl of the family. I know we're starting later than usual, but I'm barely keeping up. I guess that's what happens if you leave town in August. Doh.

We have sacks of school supplies waiting for their new classrooms and this morning my kids are going through their entire wardrobes sorting out what still fits. School is in the air. It's the early mornings that we're going to have to get used to.

So, tell me what your favorite part of this time of year is!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Testing... Testing...

I'm back. I nearly fell off the internet planet for a couple weeks, but I've landed smack dab on earth again and my list of things to do has become significant.

To spare you a travel-log, it sufficeth to say that New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania were in my recent past and not only did I learn valuable driving tips, how not to land a penny on Ben Franklin's grave and other life skills, I found a side of Pennsylvania that I've only hoped existed.

They really do have enormous butterflies constantly visiting the flowers just outside the window... just like my story Alvor. Who knew? It was amazing.

And now that I'm back in Idaho, I'm looking forward to the adventure of school, studying for my Irish exams, and most delectably, WRITING. Oh how I miss it. I've put myself on a writing diet so I could focus on studying.

Where I thought the fire would extinguish and I would finally realize that deep down inside I've only pretended to be an author- the opposite has happened. I've seen more clearly what my next book needs. I see my career from a different perspective. I know I'll write another story and I've got a better idea of what needs to happen next.

So what am I saying? I hate to admit it, but taking a break from the pressure of succeeding has done me a lot of good. Instead of being stressed daily about whether my writing is good enough to see my dreams come true, I've been able to process what I need to do and how I'm going to do it.

And my writing advice to you? Well, I don't have any. This is the first REAL break I've taken from writing for four years. And my days are literally numbered. I know exactly when I'm going to get my manuscript back out and start again. Had it not been for something as huge as studying for my TCRG I would have never done it. But I'm glad I did.

Are you stressed to the point that it's taking over you life? Your every other thought? Maybe it's time for a break. Maybe. Just a short one. you never know where it will lead.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Free Writer's Conference- WriteOnCon

If you love writing, want a chance to visit with editors, agents and authors, but don't want to pay a lot of money and spend time traveling, then check out WriteOnCon.

It's coming up August 16-18. The conference allows live online chats and question/answer sessions. The best part, besides that it's free, is that you can read all the info after the conference is over.

No matter what your schedule is, you don't have to miss this incredible opportunity.

Who is participating?

Agents include Michael Bourret, Mary Kole, Holly Root, Joanna Volpe, Natalie Fischer, Marietta Zacker, and Sara Megibow, Steven Malk, and many more people you’ll want to learn more about.

Authors and editors too.

It's an education you can get at home without the expensive registration fee.

Elana Johnson, author of POSSESSION helps run it. And I'm super excited. I will have the chance to get to know her better over the next year as we organize for the 2012 LDStorymkaers conference. Have you read her book? Do it. This is a tell-everyone-to-read it kind of story.

And speaking of cool author friends of mine, a big congratulations to Jeff Savage. He just landed a 3-book deal with Harper Collins for his Middle Grade series. Way to go Jeff!

And now a little plug from Jeff Savage about my newest book WINGS OF LIGHT (Oh, yes. You need this book)

“Warning: If elves, spells, dragon-riding, intrigue, mystery, danger, romance, and intercontinental pizza hopping are too much for your heart, you should NOT read this book. Otherwise, pick it up, take it to the cash register, pay for it through whatever means possible, take it home, lock the door (you won’t want any interruptions), and read it- NOW! Laura Bingham has penned another novel that fantasy readers of all ages will devour.” J. Scott Savage, author of Far World series

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Dashner Does it Again

My friends over at the Lateiner Gang Book Review Spot managed to get their hands on an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) of The Death Cure. Which I think is totally awesome. Okay, yeah, a little jealous, but then I already know I'm going to buy this one. The end of The Maze Runner series. Action-packed stuff.

Dave's reading it right now and will be posting his review, so check his blog for that.

For those of you who have never met James Dashner, I'm going to tell you (again) what a great guy he is. Down to earth. Thinks he might look great in a Speedo on the beach, but, uh, no that image may forever be burned into my imagination. Ouch. I wish you would have never said that James.

And in case you haven't picked up on it, he does have a sense of humor too.

Check out the Maze Runner series if you haven't already. What's taken you so long? Oh yeah, and go read my books too.

Friday, August 5, 2011

A Winner, and other stuff

Thanks for joining my evil scheme! We had more than 25 places called. Hopefully we'll see "Wings of Light" in more stores and libraries.

Thanks to, our winner of the $25 gift certificate was ChiChai Hana

Yesterday I had two different people tell me that they REALLY WANTED Book 3 of the series. I just smiled. What I was really thinking was, "If you want it so bad, go tell 25 people to read my book."

If you love a story, you should tell everyone. Write reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. Tell your friends that you loved a story and they should read it too. I am constantly making book recommendations- obviously other than my own book :)

People want to read what you liked. It saves them time. They don't have to sift through the hundreds of books in their favorite genre, they can go straight to the one that someone else liked.

And, people, I'll say this next part out loud... there's not going to be a third book unless I can sell a decent number of this one. Yeap. I have other things I'm working on. Things that have nothing at all to do with this series. YA novels, and one MG, but unless I see a demand for a third book in the Alvor series, I'm holding off.

It's not that I don't love those few people who have read "Wings of Light" and are asking for more. I do. But writing is a business too. Yes, it's an art, but at the end of the day, I have to do what's best business-wise.

So, how do we get the third and final book of the Alvor series into your hands? Get as many people to read/buy "Wings of Light" as we can. I need to sell a few thousand, not just a few hundred.

Otherwise, the next published book you'll see from me won't be an Alvor book. I have my sites set on other things. And I have to. I'm a writer, an artist, a mom and a full-time trying-to-do-it-all-whether-or-not-I-can lady. I want to make everyone happy, but sometimes I need a little help.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Books I've been reading

It should come as no surprise that regardless of what else is happening in life, I manage to squeeze reading time into it. Sometimes, it's only a few minutes, but it all adds up to a book read after a while.

I usually have a thing about watching a movie before I've read the book. I always read it first. but in the case of "I am Number Four" I watched the movie...twice. Then read the book.

While I rarely review books, I'm thinking this one is so popular that it won't hurt. And I learned a few writing lessons along the way.

The movie made the characters more relate-able, real, and made me sympathetic for them. The book was a lot more cardboard in terms of character development.

The book had a lot more detail and a cooler turn of events when it came to the legacies and how they fought the battle in the end.

So where the author fell short, the movie people jumped in, and where the author had better stuff, the movie people cut it into bits.

My lesson: develop the characters. Give the readers a character that not only seems real, but that they can't help caring about.

Plot counts. While the characters make the book, the plot makes all the difference. Something cool needs to happen or we'll get tired of reading it and loose interest.

More books I'm reading/read lately.

The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan. Confession on this one... I drug my feet getting to this book because I thought it would be too much like all the other middle grade fantasies I've read. I was pleasantly surprised to have been proven wrong.

Illusions by Aprilynne Pike. Again, I was wary that she wouldn't be able to top her last book. Series can be hard to write, but I enjoyed the new elements and characters and felt she breathed fresh air into this book.

Possession by Elana Johnson. I just started reading this (I know, finally, but I've been saving it for dessert.) I was right. This book is dessert. I love the voice. Completely. Combined with the fast plot, so far, all I can do is think about this book when I'm not reading it. Seriously. You need this one.

Now it's your turn. And while I'm at it, check out Wings of Light.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

It isn't over yet...

Today's theme: It isn't over yet.

For those who haven't entered my Evil Scheme Giveaway there's still time. We have to have 25 to make the contest complete.

Also, due to an employee changeover in both the national and publicity marketing department from my publisher at the time of it's release, Wings of Light never saw the "light of day". It never found a home in a brick and mortar store.

But it's not over yet. With the help of some new marketing people, there's a pretty good chance we'll get to have Wings of Light get into Costco and Barnes & Noble. We'll probably have to start close to where I live, but there's still hope.

And that is to say, there is always still hope. No matter what happens in life - there is always hope. It isn't over yet. As long as a new day waits, a new opportunity is there. Disappointments strive to take over the day, but like my husband said last night, "I keep waiting for something to make your day." And I said, "Sometimes you have to make your own day."

I hope you're not giving up on what may seem like your impossible dreams. The fight to get there makes you stronger, and you will never be the same because of the battle.