Monday, April 28, 2014

Whisper Falls Question - What subgenre do you write?

What subgenre do you write?What subgenre is the Whisper Falls series? 

The Whisper Falls series is magical realism.  In the magical realism subgenre, the main story is realistic in every way except one. There is always one magical element.

For instance, a story could be contemporary in every way except the hero can read minds. A historical novel can be completely immersed in 19th century South America, only the heroine can see glimpses of the future in Europe.

The point of magical realism is not the supernatural element. It is about how the characters react to, live with, or hide that extraordinary circumstance.

In the Whisper Falls series, the magical element is the ability to travel between present-day and a different year in the past. Mark and Susanna (the main characters of Whisper Falls) encounter a waterfall who permits them to travel between Mark's life (in 2016) and Susanna's life (in 1796). Otherwise, their stories are realistic for the time in which they ordinarily live.

Some readers might assume that this supernatural element makes this a time-travel book. I think it is better to consider this series to be magical realism with time-travel elements.

The point of Whisper Falls is not the time-travel, it is how Mark and Susanna react to and deal with the fact that the distance between their homes is measured in years, not miles.

[I often get questions about the Whisper Falls series.  I'll answer each of the most commonly asked questions in a separate blog post. You can navigate to them from my website, too.]

Friday, April 25, 2014

Whisper Falls Question - Is Neuse Academy fact or fiction?

Is Neuse Academy fact or fiction? Did you use a specific private school in the Raleigh area for Mark’s high school?

Neuse Academy, the fictional private high school that Mark attends, is a composite of three local private schools.

There were several attributes that I wanted for Neuse Academy. I couldn’t find one school in the area that had all of those attributes, so I visited the web sites of several local private schools and found 3 that seemed to have the academics, activities, sports, extracurriculars, and atmosphere that I wanted for Mark. He gets the best of the best in his school.

[I often get questions about the Whisper Falls series.  I'll answer each of the most commonly asked questions in a separate blog post. You can navigate to them from my website, too.]

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Whisper Falls Question - What do you know about teens?

I often get questions about the Whisper Falls series, writing YA, researching history, or what it's like to be an author.  I'll answer each of the most commonly asked questions in a separate blog post and include them in the FAQ on my website too.

What do you know about teens? What qualifies you to write Young Adult (YA)?

I have two kids in college, so I’ve lived through the process of parenting teens. I do recognize, however, that my daughters and their friends might not be typical of American teens in every region of the country, so I’m grateful to have an editorial staff that brings different perspectives to both my books as well as the dozens of other YA books they edit. 

My junior editor is in her early twenties (recent college graduate and former teen). My senior editor teaches social studies to eighth-graders, so he’s surrounded by teens throughout the school year. Even my 18-year-old reads all of my books multiple times to ensure that I’m keeping things realistic. I’m lucky to have such a solid team of people to find and point out my mistakes.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

live chat on wednesday

Join me and the team tomorrow 9 PM EST for a live chat with

You can also join in using

Ask me about writing, the Whisper Falls series, the new I Wish series starting in November... whatever you like!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

chat, giveaway, and more

I'll be chatting on Wednesday. So visit me on twitter ( @langstonEtc ) and watch here for details. I think it's set up for 9pm EST ( 2100 Eastern US).

The giveaway ends today (Sunday). Be watching your email or here for the announcement of who'll be receiving the prizes.

Amazon has Whisper Falls (Book #1) on sale for $1.99, kindle edition.

photo of a redbud tree
And lastly, I had a book signing yesterday for A Whisper In Time. There was a great turnout, and we had a lot of fun. I enjoyed all sorts of questions. We talked about book covers, the publishing industry, the people who've helped me, who would make a great voice artist for the audiobook.

I had a bowl of chocolates on the table where I was signing books. A lady who just happened to be browsing in the bookstore came over and picked up a piece of candy.  My husband started to talk up my book.  By the time she left, she had purchased books 1 & 2.

My husband is a keeper!

The tree above is budding in my front yard. Spring has finally arrived in North Carolina.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Writing in the hospital

My daughter's surgery went well. She expects to be discharged after rounds today.

While we're waiting, I'm sitting in her room, checking out I WISH one more time before we send it to the printer for advanced copies (ARCs).

author sitting in hospital with laptop

Yes, a writer's job is never done!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

I'm a mom today

I began to write in January 2000. My first 3 or 4 manuscripts were not good, but I was learning. Just like any sport or art form--whether it is ballet, sculpture, or basketball--you have to take lessons, practice, and not give up.

Fourteen years later, I have two books in print with two more coming out later this year. It was a long, hard journey, but it's finally paying off.

I have two daughters, both in college now.  For that whole 14 years, they had to put up with a lot. Messy house. Boring meals. A mother who wanted to be left alone at night.  And they were amazing about it (most of the time.)

Dear Daughter 1 has a chronic illness. Today she's having surgery to manage some of the symptoms.  For the next two days, I'll be camping out at the hospital. She's old enough to do this on her own--but I'm a mom. I can't stand not being there. So she's humoring me and letting me show up :)

I'll take my laptop with me, and I'll be writing in the waiting room. It would be too nerve-wracking otherwise. So losing myself in a new story is a great way to stay occupied.

Enjoy A Whisper In Time. And I'll see you when I get back.

P.S. If any of you have ordered a paperback and it hasn't shipped yet, hang it there. More copies are on the way.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Book birthday!

Today is the book birthday for A Whisper In Time!

There are lots of ways to celebrate: price drop, giveaways, interviews.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Help me as we welcome A Whisper In Time!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Tuesday is Launch Day

A Whisper In Time releases on Tuesday!

It is the second book in the Whisper Falls trilogy--the part of the story that forms a bridge between Whisper Falls and the final book Whispers From the Past.  So, while there are no cliffhangers, A Whisper In Time leaves a few small "story threads" dangling that you'll have to wait until the third book to have resolved!

If you haven't read Whisper Falls (book #1)...

  • On Tuesday (Apr 8th), the price will drop to $1.99 on Whisper Falls - Kindle edition! The price drop will last throughout April.
  • We have a giveaway going. You could win a copy of Whisper Falls!
  • The first three chapters of Whisper Falls is available on scribd during the month of April.

I'll be posting every day this week with news and fun information about this series.

photo of purple iris

Here is an iris from my yard. It's my favorite flower. The weather was beautiful in North Carolina this weekend--and it is not so beautiful today. So I hope this photo cheers you up as much as it cheers me.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

6 days til A Whisper In Time

We have less than a week to go until A Whisper In Time releases!

To celebrate, I'm a guest on several blogs.  And entering the giveaway will continue to April 13th!

Guest Post on Jessabella Reads: The Middle One
Guest Post on Racing to Read: No Apology From Me
Excerpt on KellyVision: Scene from Chapter 8

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Counting down 1 week and Thank You Mary

One week from today is the release of A Whisper In Time. I can't wait for people to get their hands on the next stage in Mark and Susanna's story!

But first, let me pause and give a word of gratitude.

I needed to research some information for a pair of books, one that is mostly written and one that I'll probably get started on this summer.  I planned a trip to Williamsburg, then contacted a high school friend who lived there--to ask her if we could meet for coffee.

college of william and mary

Mary did so much more than that. She welcomed me into her home and accompanied me on my forays into the surrounding areas. Perhaps, best of all, she introduced me to other people who love history--people who were willing to share their ideas and knowledge so that the worlds I'll be creating in future books will be richer and more authentic.

Thank you, Mary! You have taken hospitality to a fine art and I am deeply grateful.