Friday, January 30, 2015

Countdown to Valentines

Valentine's will be here soon, a day to focus on the people we love.

In anticipation of that day, we'll be dropping the price on two books (the first book in both of my series). Watch for more details about an e-book sale for Whisper Falls and I Wish.

We'll also be sharing news about the sequel to I Wish. Stay tuned!

Sunset last night from the Carolina shore...

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Best gifts you can give an author

Have you ever wondered what you as a reader can do to give back to your favorite authors? There are plenty of things you can do to say thank you--and most of them are completely free; they only cost a little time.

  1. Buy our books (okay, so this one isn't free)
  2. Leave a review
  3. Tell your friends
  4. Send fan mail
  5. Request our books at the library
  6. Resist "download for free" sites
We love when you buy our books, of course. But we also love it when libraries buy them--so please ask your library to carry your favorite books.

Please leave reviews, especially with online-retailers. For less-well-known authors, it is hard to get promo if we don't have 30+ reviews on Amazon. I'm facing this issue with my book I WISH. I'd like to buy an advertisement, but it's not likely to happen because I WISH doesn't have enough reviews on Amazon.

Recommend your favorite authors and books to friends, family, the twitterverse.

Send fan mail.  Trust me, we love for readers to contact us. Writing is a hard and sometimes lonely business.  Knowing that readers are enjoying a book and loving the characters as much as we do is amazing.

Please don't download from "free sites."  That is stealing from the author. Only 15% of authors earn enough from book sales to be able to write full time. I can't afford to quit my day job. (Plus, just a warning, a lot of those sites will drop malware on your computer.)
I'm at the beach with 5 other writers this weekend. We're working on our next books and brainstorming with each other.  Here's a photo of the view from the deck!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

I WISH question - Will there be a second book?

Will there be a second I WISH book?

Yes, and a third one!

The I WISH series is a trilogy. Book 2, Wishing for You, will release on 13 October 2015 and book 3 in 2016.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

I WISH question - Who would be in the dream cast for I WISH?

Who would be in the dream cast for I WISH?

I would love to see I WISH made into a movie, so (naturally) I've thought about who ought to be cast. I'd never be allowed to influence that--but it doesn't hurt to dream!

Here goes. My dream cast.

Lacey Linden

I see Hayley McFarland as the heroine of I WISH. Like Lacey, Hayley looks sweet, fun, and friendly--with a hint of steely resolve when she needs it.

Eli Harper

Eli is Lacey's high-school friend and Henry's soccer coach. Eli is biracial, hot, and athletic. I see Jacob Artist (from Glee) as Eli.

Kimberley Rey

Kimberley is Lacey's best friend. She is Latina and disabled, struggling with lingering issues from childhood leukemia. I think that Christian Serratos would make the perfect Kimberley.


Our hero Grant

When I first wrote I WISH, Grant was blond. He stayed that way through multiple drafts, long enough for me to think that he looked like Theo James.

 Then I worked with the cover designer for I WISH. She let me choose the male model whose face we would license for the book covers. (We only used his eye on the cover for book 1.)

image by FanAboutTown
Before long, whenever I would think of Grant, I would see the face of the cover model. So I changed Grant to have brown hair. He kept his green eyes, because all benevolent supernatural beings are green-eyed.

When I went out looking for an actor with brown hair and the right height (approx. 6 ft), I found an actor named Grant--and he has green eyes.  Grant Gustin (The Flash) is perfect!

(Images for all but Gustin were found on wikipedia.)

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Great review of I WISH from School Library Journal

I'm so proud of this review from School Library Journal for I Wish. For an author, it's great when a reader--especially a librarian--enjoys and "gets" my book.

Gr 9 Up—You wouldn't wish Lacey Linden's life on anyone. She races between school, work, home, and the flea market where she hawks her valuables just to pay the bills. While at the market one day, Lacey buys a music box for herself in a rare moment of indulgence. She soon discovers that the music box holds an unexpected surprise: a "Benevolent Supernatural Being" named Grant. The genie offers her one wish per day for a month, but the wishes must be humanly possible. 

Langston wisely limits the power of wishes, so there can be no easy fixes to complex problems. Lacey cannot simply wish away her debt or her mother's trauma. This allows the story to remain grounded in the everyday struggles and relationships of Lacey, her friends, and her family. It is all the better for it, putting the focus on the compelling and sympathetic characters. Lacey's narration alternates with brief status reports from Grant, a clever device that gives readers insight into the enigmatic being's motivations. 

While Lacey and Grant's burgeoning romance is predictable at times, the denouement offers enough twists and unresolved questions to have readers wishing the next book was already available.—Tony Hirt, Hennepin County Library, MN 

Monday, January 5, 2015

I WISH question - How were the character names picked for I WISH?

How were the character names picked for I Wish?

Picking names for characters in a book is a tough thing to do, especially since I try to avoid the names of people I know. I don’t want them to think that I’m basing a character on them.

I Wish, however, is full of characters named for specific people. I doubt I ever do that again. So here are the names and why I chose them.

Grant – Originally, I named my genie Grant for a weird reason. Genies “grant” wishes. It was just a place-holder until I learned him better and knew what his name should be. But a couple of things convinced me to keep it. Every guy I know named Grant is both cute and nice. I like that track record. Also, I looked up the meaning of the name and discovered that Grant means “great”. It was a perfect fit for the hero of I WISH.

Lacey – In my first draft of the book, the heroine’s name was Molly, which never quite felt right.  My heroine was determined, fiercely independent, and intensely loyal to the people she loved.  That profile described my grandmother.  So I renamed my heroine after Grandmother Lacey, and that felt exactly right.

Henry – I named Lacey’s brother after Prince Henry of Wales. Just because.

Eli – Lacey’s friend (and Henry’s soccer coach) is named after Eli Manning, the quarterback for the New York Giants. I received my undergraduate degree from the University of Mississippi. The Manning family is practically royalty for Ole Miss alumni. (And, yes, I use the name Peyton in another book.)

Kimberley – Lacey’s best friend started life as Adriana. But I ended up not liking the character, so I completely rewrote her. When I did, I needed a new name. About this same time, the receptionist at my family physician’s office asked me to name a character after her, and there you go. We had our Kimberley.

Crystal – Using the Social Security Administrations popular baby names website, I asked it to give me the Top 25 names for the year 1977 (approximately when Lacey’s mom would’ve been born.)  Name #25 is Crystal.

Sara & Sean – the twins are named after my great-grandmother Sarah (but I dropped the “h”) and my nephew-in-law Sean (but an entirely different spelling.)