Monday, July 11, 2011

Celebrating My Blog-O-Versary! With an Exciting Contest For YOU!

Yesterday was my blog-o-versary and I've decided to make it last a WHOLE WEEK. Yep. A week. A week of old posts and a superfantabulous contest. Just for you.

If you missed my craziness on Sunday, here's the deets recap on


I've read some pretty cool books lately, and I wanted to share some of them with you. Here's what could be on YOUR TBR plate:

Or . . .OR you could just pick out your own book with a $15 Amazon gift certificate.

So yep - that's what's up for grabs! You could win one of eight books or an Amazon gift card. What do you have to do?


Yep - that's it. Leave a comment. Every day you leave a comment this week (Sunday July 10 through Friday July 15), you get an entry in my contest. OOOH! And while you don't have to follow my blog, or tweet, or blog about my fab-o contest, I will give you extra entries if you do!

So here's the recap on the entry thing:

+1 for every day you comment

+2 if you're an old faithful (follower, that is) PS - let me know this. I AM forty and mucho forgetful.

+1 if you're a new follower

+3 if you tweet about the contest (leave a link in the comment one day please)

+5 if you blog about it or attach the contest news to your sidebar! (leave that linkage too!)

So enter away, peeps! Contest will run until Friday July 15 11:59 EST. I'll tally up entries and announce winners on Saturday.


And as part of my blog-o-versary celebration, I'm posting some of my oldies, but goodies all week. Here's a fave from summer 2010. Enjoy!

They're Just Not That Into Us

Recently I was having a chat with my friend who I’ll call Gigi (PS—I really do call her that). She’d just gotten dumped by some stupid head boy she’d been dating because he was “too busy” for their relationship.

Too busy? Really? Why not just say “I’m returning to my digs in Tunisia” or “I just got bit by a rabid alien and will be in intensive care for the next century.”

Too busy? Come on, we all know what he really wanted to say.

“I’m just not that into you.”

If you haven’t seen aforementioned fabulouso movie, I think I just summed up the premise. Woman (Gigi) imagines every man she meets is Prince Charming yet shifts through countless jerks while trying to figure out the rules to the dating game. She befriends a committed bachelor bartender (Alex) and he helps her interpret the signals. Like when the guy who asked for her phone number doesn’t call after a week and she tries to reason every excuse in the book as to why he hasn’t. Why she renews a relationship with the same guy every Monday, accepting the fact that he breaks up with her every Friday just so he can have his weekends free. Or—you know—the guy who breaks it off because he’s “too busy”.

Alex quickly translates each and every scenario as “He’s just not that into you.”

He tries to impress upon Gigi that she is not the EXCEPTION. She is the RULE. She is not the girl who will run into the guy a year after he blew her off after a first date and they'll reconnect and live happily ever after.

She has to be the RULE.

I’ve had my share of Gigi moments in my funky writing adventures. Like Gigi, I tend to overanalyze eve-ry-thing. And so naturally, I over-analyzed every form rejection I’d receive. When someone would say a polite “no, thank you” to my EXCEPTION book with the pleasant tag “Your work deserves energetic and passionate representation”, I’d think, awwww, they really liked me. Or when I received the rejection on my partial that raved about my beautiful writing, my heart did a silent squee until my friend received a verbatim rejection on her partial. Rejection after rejection, I’d think maybe if I just tweaked this or… or maybe they’ll want to read it again if I cut a few more thousand words.

The reality: They just weren’t that into me. Not everybody will be. Heck, JK Rowling was rejected by, like, everybody.

At a YA Panel at one of my faboo writers conferences, agents fielded questions on a variety of topics including word count and “what grabs you”. One agent explained that
Harry Potter and Twilight are the exceptions, not the rule. If you’re writing YA, keep your word count under 80K and hook the reader within the first few pages – ensure whatever’s going to happen to your protag happens right away and let the conflict fly from there.

And there I sat with my 160,000 word YA novel with a slow albeit enigmatic beginning—so not the RULE.

Be the RULE.

I get it. We live in a video-game society with a repressed economy. Publishers just aren’t going to take many chances on debut authors who write Harry Potter-esque stories that rival the length of Twilight.

So I came back from that conference determined I was going to write THE RULE. And I did. And six months later, I banged out a 74K paranormal thriller that takes off like a rocket from page one.

Currently, I’m parading though revisions on my RULE, writing the synopsis and the query. Within the next three months the RULE will see its share of critiques and additional revisions.

And in November, I shall query the RULE.

While still secretly hoping my other novel can be the next EXCEPTION.

So . . . what's YOUR story? A RULE or the EXCEPTION? Comment away and win a faboo prize!


  1. Good example. I think my current WIP is more of a RULE and not an EXCEPTION. I'd love to write something that could be an EXCEPTION someday.

  2. My current WIP is definitely a RULE, but I try to make my short stuff the EXCEPTION.

    Congrats on the blogversary. I didn't realize ours were so close.

    Old follower and I tweeted using @alisonmiller20.

  3. I'm an old follower. Not sure if this is open to international folks, but if so I'm in! My email is tay [dot] sedai [at] gmail [dot] com :)


    I'm a total new follower, but I plan on sticking around :D

    I will tweet using @jolenebperry

  5. Yay! Happy anniversary! What a great giveaway, my dear!

    So excited you'll be querying soon. Well, before long anyway... Eeep!

  6. Hey Allison! I was just catching up on your posts.Looks like you had a fab beach trip. And huge congrats to your friend for her agent signing! Always good to hear that happening.

    Happy blogoversary too! I'm not far behind you on that. What a great giveaway! I tweeted for you. :)My most recent story is on the cusp of the rule. It's MG fantasy at 65k but since there's world building it's allowed. But just barely....

    I love that movie. It's so so cute!

  7. I have not seen that movie! I need to watch it. I've wanted to, but never got around to it.

    Most of the time, I'm a rule follower which is a good thing, but makes me feel a little boring too. LOL. Oh and I over-analyze everything.

    Happy blog-o-versary!

  8. Thanks for all the love and pimpage, peeps! You're all fabulous!

  9. Yeah, I did the same thing. I thought my 147,000 word MS would be the exception, but it never was. Still dwindling it down. Now I'm down to 103,000 words. Still too long.

    aliciacald at gmail dot com


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