Sunday, March 31, 2013

Why My Love Life Sucks Goes on an Xpresso Book Tour at the End of April!

I'm so excited. My latest novel,Why My Love Life Sucks,  is a funny story about geeks, gadgets, girls, vampires, and the most unlikely of friendships--and it will be going on an all-reviews tour at the end of April thanks to Xpresso Book Tours! 

Here are the blogs that have signed up and the dates they will be posting reviews: 

April 29th

May 2nd
-The Next Chapter
-Spiced Latte Reads  

May 3rd
-Krystal's Enchanting Reads
-As Palavras Fugiram   

May 4th
-Teen Blurb

If you're one of the book bloggers who has agreed to review my latest novel, thank you! Give yourself a round of applause, because you are geeking awesome. 

If you're not, would you like to join the fun?  If this book sounds like something you might like, email me at shevia at hotmail dot com with your preferred digital format (for Kindle, Nook, Apple device, or other) before April 29th, and I will be happy to send you a free digital copy in exchange for an honest Amazon review. 

Geeking out from all this awesomeness, 


Thursday, March 21, 2013

How a Writer's Mind Works

I’ve noticed a contradiction.

On the one hand, I believe that everyone has a story worth telling. I don’t care who you are, there’s a story only you can share with the world, and the world will always be missing something if you don’t tell it. You might not know what that story is or how to tell it, but that story is there.
On the other hand, I’ve come to realize that writers are different. We don’t think the same way that other people do. John Green was on The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson recently, and they talked about it. (In case you don’t know, John is a bestselling writer of funny, sad, geeky, wonderful novels for teens, like The Fault in Our Stars, and Craig has written a novel, as well as an honest, funny, and moving memoir.) John pointed out that writers are always seeing the possibilities in everything, and we choose to write the possibilities that make particularly good stories. That’s very true. I know I’ve always been that way, and it makes me weird. I don’t see the world the way most people do. I don’t take anything for granted. I’m always seeing possibilities, always asking, “What if?”

So how can I believe that everyone should tell his or her story, when I also believe that there’s something about the way writers think that make us different? Not special, just . . . different?

Maybe it’s our job to show our readers the possibilities.

Maybe we need to plant questions in our readers minds that stay with our readers after the book is closed. Maybe we need to plant these questions to help our readers see the world in new ways. 

And maybe in doing so, we can hope that they too will start to see the possibilities in everything, including in themselves and the stories only they can tell. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Taxation without Representation (Satire)

James Otis, Jr. said, “Taxation without representation is tyranny,” yet there are millions of Americans who are taxed and who receive no benefit from the taxes they pay. They aren't even allowed to vote. This, my friend, is taxation without representation, and it is tyranny!

I’m talking, of course, about the dead. 

Not only are they taxed, but they’re taxed simply for being dead. It’s true. It’s called “Estate Tax,” and it’s an outrage! How can we allow these Americans--who cannot even speak up for themselves--to be treated so unfairly under the law?

So I say, “Let’s give dead people the right to vote!” 

And when the zombie hordes come to my door in search of brains, I’m going to tell them just that. I’m going to make protest signs for them and send them to Washington, DC. 

Washington is already filled with brain dead, corporate zombies, so they should fit right in.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Want to Get Over Your Fear of Public Speaking?

Are you afraid of public speaking? I was, until I read How to Deliver a TED Talk by Jeremy Donovan.

You see, I'm a writer. I like to write. I like sitting alone at home in a t-shirt and yoga pants with just my characters for company.

But writers have to sell books, and I hate the marketing part of it. 

Don't get me wrong: I adore my readers! But I don't want to be the kind of writer who goes on Twitter and shouts, "Buy my book!" I want the readers who want to read my books to read them because they want to read them. And then there's the whole t-shirt and yoga pants thing when it comes to author visits, vlogging, or making YouTube videos. No one wants to see that. And I'm embarrassed about the way I look, because I'm no Anne Hathaway. I'm also embarrassed by the way my voice sounds.

So what do you do in a situation like that? How do you get over your fear of putting yourself out in public?

Well, being a writer, the first thing I did was look to books for the answer. I bought Video Nation by Jefferson Graham, which is a book about creating video for the web. That turned out to be pointless, because its answer for everything is to spend hundreds and thousands of dollars on equipment. A friend recommended Talk Up Your Book by Patricia Fry, and I knew within the first few pages that was the wrong book for me, because it claims that personality sells over 80% of books. Hello, how many bestselling books have you bought from authors you've personally met? Have you met J.K. Rowling? How about James Patterson? Rick Riordan? I didn't think so. And her answer for what you do if you feel self-conscious about your weight is to lose weight. Really? Many anorexics think they're fat. So is that book saying they should lose weight? Kind of bad advice, don't you think?

So then I finally got to How to Deliver a TED Talk by Jeremy Donavan, and this book is everything a great TED Talk should be: clear, concise, easy to follow, and inspirational. This isn't just the best book on public speaking I've ever read: it's the best nonfiction book I've ever read. They say if you give a man a fish he'll eat for a day, but if you teach a man to fish he'll feed himself and his family for a lifetime. This book is the ultimate TED Talk, because it uses the TED format to teach you how to inspire others with your own ideas worth spreading.

The video review I've posted here is the first one I've made where I'm talking to the camera without feeling self-conscious because of the way I look and the way my voice sounds. Is it great? No. But I know the more I practice, the better I'll get. It's just a small step, but it's a giant leap for me. And I feel a lot better knowing it's not about selling anything. It's about sharing ideas that will improve lives. That's exactly why I write!

So thank you, thank you, thank you, Jeremy Donovan, for helping me get over my fear.

And for anyone who is afraid of public speaking, buy this book! You'll be so happy that you did.

Blog? Get a free reviewer's copy of Why My Love Life Sucks

If you blog, and you'd like a free digital reviewer's copy of my funny, teen, sci-fi novel--Why My Love Life Sucks---sign up at Xpresso Book Tours by clicking here.

This will be an all-reviews book blog tour for Why My Love Life Sucks for one week starting April 9th. Places are limited, so the sooner you sign up, the better your chances of being included. Since blogs will be linking to each other (and I'll be proudly showing off my favorite reviews here and on Facebook and tweeting excitedly about them), this could also be a chance to help you promote your own blog.

Each book blogger chosen will get a free digital copy of Why My Love Life Sucks to to review AND another digital copy to give away to one of your followers. In addition, one paperback copy and a $25 gift certificate to one of my favorite online stores, ThinkGeek, will be given out to a lucky winner during the tour! You can get a cute D&D, Princess Bride, Doctor Who, Star Wars, Star Trek, science geek, computer geek, gamer geek, comic-book geek, or all-round geek tee with that gift certificate, so what are you waiting for?

I'm so excited! (But I guess you can tell.) Sign up today, so you don't miss out, and good luck!