STRANGE ENCOUNTERS with THE SEER|
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|Thursday, March 22nd, 2012|
|From 4 books to a spin-off...
When I finished writing the 4th THE SEER, SWORD PLAY
, I was told there wouldn't be a 5th.
I got this call on my cell while taking a walk by a lake, and I still remember
having walked a mile and being out of breath but feeling really good. Then
my phone rang and my hopes soared to the sky. I was sure it was going to
be a call asking me to write the 5th THE SEER. But no...it was a "sorry, no."
And it was strange how my body raced with an exercise high so the disappointment
didn't hit me until I got home. Then I think I cried.
But months later my editor changed his mind (maybe had something to do
with THE SEER being honored by YALSA as a Quick Pick selection) or that
sales were just going well. I was so thrilled to write what I thought would be
the final THE SEER book, and I put romance, spying, horses, camping,
astral travel, murder and a long lost sister in the story so I could give readers
an exciting conclusion.THE SEER #5, FATAL CHARM
, came out in 2007.
The series really was over now, and I had to keep telling fans when they
asked for a 6th book, that it just wasn't going to happen. There was one day
when I had several emails asking for another book and I just screamed at my
computer because I hate disappointing kids.
I kept busy and happy writing the DEAD GIRL trilogy. Read the first chapter
on my website.
But I missed Sabine from THE SEER and still received emails asking for a 6th THE SEER.
Then a miracle happened. A new editor at Flux asked me to write a 6th THE SEER
plus a spin-off novel starring THORN. I was sooo happy! And since this really would
be the end of THE SEER series, I put in all kinds of excitement and romance. I basedMAGICIAN'S MUSE
on the memory of visiting a master magician and learning about
apprenticeships and the secrecy of the mostly male magician world. I put in some
feminism themes and created the ghost of woman magician who literally died on stage.
There's also a storyline with Dominic that completes the short story at the end
of DON'T DIE DRAGONFLY (large-sized newest edition only has short story).
To read first chapters of all 3 of my series check out the FREE
short story:DARK LIFER'S REVENGE
Thanks to all of my SEER fans. You're the reason there's a 6th book and now a spin-off with Thorn that could be the beginning of a new series..
The spinoff to THE SEER, BURIED: A GOTH GIRL MYSTERY
, has been published. You can see all my books on my website www.LindaJoySingleton.com.
|Monday, March 12th, 2012|
|Saturday, March 3rd, 2012|
|Waking up at SCBWI writing conference retreat....
I'm waking up for my 2nd day at Asilomar, a conference facility by the ocean near Monterey, and I'm looking forward to my second day of SCBWI conferencing.
There are editors, agents and lots of wonderful writers here. It's so enjoyable to have "book talk" for an entire weekend; sharing woes and triumphs with people I usually see only once a year as well as new friends I hope to make. While posting to blogs like this is fun, too, I always hold back on specific editor/agent dealings for professional reaasons. So getting together with other writers is the best time to vent, boast and congratulate.
It was great to congratule Cyn on her upcoming book, and see Betsy's new book, and admire Sue's great DRESS picture book and many others. I carpooled to Asilomar (over 200 miles one direction) with writer-friends Linda Whalen (we are becoming The Linda's) and Lori Mortenson, who has an amazing pictue book coming out this year with Harper called Cindy Moo. And I got to show off my own new book, BURIED: A GOTH GIRL MYSTERY, which is now out from Flux.
Well my makeup in on and my hair curled, so all I have to do is get dressed then meet everyone for breakfast at 7:30. Asilomar has new owners and is completely different. The ocean, though, always in the background remains the same.
|Saturday, February 25th, 2012|
|BURIED-A GOTH GIRL MYSTERY Facts
1. BURIED sold to Flux with the title The Finder, which the publisher didn't feel was strong enough. Ironically a tv series recently came out with that title. I pushed to add the "mystery" title so it's clear this is more Nancy Drew than Twilight.
2. Thorn was based on a kohl-eyed teen in my ballet class.
3. The dedication page thanks a few special librarians who have supported SEER and DEAD GIRL series. Thanks for the YALSA honors.
4. BURIED moves Thorn from Californian to Nevada.
5. Sabine and Manny firm THE SEER offer advice to help solve the mystery.
|Friday, February 24th, 2012|
|Sunday, February 12th, 2012|
SCBWI writer friends are so great to hang out with. During lunch last week we talked about submitting, rejections, agents and we made plans to attend a book event. It's so good to talk with other writers who understand the crazy mix of solitary days, challenges of family life vs. writing schedules, the sting of rejection and the hope of The Call.
I'm writing a new book and challenging myself to make a first draft in 2 months. A few days where family came first but I'm close to my goal schedule.
A fan on Facebook today posted that she wanted to live in my THE SEER series.
Best. Comment. Ever.
|Wednesday, February 1st, 2012|
|A SNEAK PEEK: SPIRITED
Last year I was invited to contribute a short story with a paranormal them to an anthology from Leap Books titled SPIRITED
. I was super excited, especially when I found out that some fantastic authors would be joining me.
Since my THE SEER
has some amazing fans, I wanted to give them a new story with favorite characters Sabine and Dominic. So I wrote PHANTOM OF THE PROM
; a ghost, prom, romance.SPIRITED
is out now online and in March a paperback comes out, too.
This book is split up in three different genres of stories: PAST, PRESENT and FUTURE. My story is in the PRESENT category. I thought it would be fun to share the titles and authors for each story:
SPIRITED paranormal Anthology, edited by Kat O'SheaTHE PAST
1. Strangeways vs. the Wraith by Judith Graves
2. The Senet Box by Jill Williamson
3. Stained by Mark Finnemore
4. Thread of the Past by Dawn DaltonPRESENT
5. The Cold One by Candace Havens
6. Death becomes Her by Kitty Keswick
7. Oast House by Carmen Tudor
8. The New Girl by Maria V. Synder
9. Aftermath by Halli Dee Liburn
10.Phantom of the Prom by Linda Joy SingletonFUTURE
11. Night Queen by John W. Otte
12. To Hell and Back by Shannon Delany
13. The Story of Late by Heather Kenealy
Hope you check out our stories!
|Sunday, January 15th, 2012|
|Friday, December 30th, 2011|
|The Mystery of the Gift that Never Existed
Backstory: About 10 years ago I was inspired by my childhood memories of a visit to Peterson's Rock Garden in Bend Oregon, loving the glittering rock art, and started writing a book that would go through many title changes to become MY CASTLE ROCKS. For research, I visited the real rock garden and fell in love with the tiny bridges, buildings and glittery world in quartz, obsidian and other dazzling rocks. I especially loved the pink quartz.
Lately ROCKS has been on my mind because I spent the last 2 months revising the manuscript I started so long ago. I had to put it aside while I wrote THE SEER, DEAD GIRL and upcoming BURIED. I had some helpful comments from a few editors who saw the original version and I finally had time to make these rewrites. When I sent it to my agent Weds, she wrote back that she fell in love with it and "it was amazing."
So I was thinking of this book and rock art and this morning I woke up early with a startling memory. Hadn't my husband given me a pink quartz chunk for a gift? I could see it in my mind but couldn't remember every having it in this house. We moved here in 2005 and other things had been lost in the move--had this been lost? Put away in a box? I couldn't remember...
So I looked in closets and shelves. Nothing. So I looked in the past, by pulling out my journals and skipping to holidays where I would have received a gift. Nothing. So I called my husband, and he reminded me that he and my daughter HAD taken a trip to Oregon and searched for a pink quartz for me but ultimately didn't buy one. Still, he'd told me about this so vividly that I could see the rock in my mind. It's the trick memory can play, altering facts so that unreality seems real.
Mystery solved...but I have a feeling I may get that pink quartz someday (g).
PS -- My husband and I have an agreement that when ROCKS sells, he'll build me a wishing well out of real rocks from our property, like the rock art my story is based on.
|Thursday, December 22nd, 2011|
When I was a kid, I was wild about everything dog. I collected photos, had a dog-cat club with my best friend, drew dog pictures, and made list of dog names. For a short time I even wanted to be a vet, until I realized needles and blood was involved. So I wrote animal stories instead, like the classic: Termite the Terrible Puppy.
So this morning I'm working on rewrites and watching the news (with my dog Lacey curled up beside me) and on the news they have a poll to name a dog. I never click over to news sites but I couldn't resist this. The puppy was so cute, too, all small and curly and white. Some of the names to choose from were Snowball, Bear, Coco, Tater, Dizzy, Sunny, Parker, Rocky, Miles, Cosmo, Coltrane, Oats, etc. I had to vote of course. I was leaning toward Coco until I read it again and saw it was a male puppy. So I picked Cosmo then checked the %'s and found that it wasn't the most popular name. Can you guess which name is leading with 17%?
It's up at www.gooddaysacramento.com
Linda...very skilled at procastinating instead of working on my book.
|Tuesday, December 20th, 2011|
|POPULAR LIKES vs UNPOPULAR LIKES
Doesn't it feel great when you're talking about music-tv-movies-books to someone and find out you have the same taste. "I love it too" -- four words that connect us with each other. Having something common is a unversal Superglue that unites people.
Not having anything in common can be interesting, too, and sometimes you can convince a friend to try something new. Or by liking something unique, you feel unique, too.
So I thought I'd share my list of things I like that are POPULAR or SHOULD BE.
THINGS I LIKE THAT ARE TRENDING IN POPULARITY:
BOOKS MADE INTO MOVIES:
Girl with Dragon Tattoo (Swedish translated to English) plus upcoming movie
Terra Nova (not sure if this is popular or not!)
Two Broke Girls
Survivor, Amazing Race, Project Runway
Harry Popular...I mean...Potter
Twilight -- yeah, I liked them which is less popular now than last year
Hunger Games-soon to be as popular as Twilight once the movie comes out
BOOKS THAT ARE GAINING POPULARITY AND IF THEY AREN'T THEY SHOULD BE:
Liesl and Po
The Future of Us
Terrier trilogy by Tamora Pierce
And a picture book called PIRATE NAP by Danna Smith which is so fun to read that kids will beg "Again!"
Under the topic of "chocolate"...I love chocolate which is always popular especially at holidays.
Cats. Writers and cats, we just understand each other.
Music -- I have an odd mx of popular (Katy & GaGa) & Coldplay) and vintage (Beach Boys, Abba) on my Pandora app.
And I love musicals -- already have tickets for my family to go to see WICKED in June -- with a great song called "Popular."
|Sunday, December 4th, 2011|
|THE CHRISTMAS GIFT THAT KEEPS GIVING....
A book, of course. But add a childhood story to the book and it becomes more than a book; it becomes a never-ending story (which was an amazing movie of the same title by the way...but I degress....)
The story of this Christmas-theme book begins when I was 13 years old. I was shy, unpopular, insecure and bursting with creativity that often came out in the inventive crafts and games my best friend and I created (but that's another story). When I couldn't hang out with my best friend Lori, I spent time with my other best friend: books
. I loved reading so much and had discovered girl mystery books. My favorites were the Nancy Drew and Judy Bolton
series (rivals in publishing, but best friends on my bookshelves). So I wrote two fan letters--the first went to Carolyn Keene care of Grosset & Dunlap. I never received a reply (ghosts can't write fan letters after all). So I wrote a letter to my other favorite author, Margaret Sutton, original creator and author of 38 Judy Bolton mystery novels. And Margaret wrote back.
I was SO thrilled to have a letter from my favorite author. I showed it off at school the next day and will never forget that thrill, especially when I get the opportunity to give the same thrill to a fan of my books. Well, my relationship with Margaret didn't end there. She recognized something in me, maybe passion for writing, and we kept sharing letters. I met her in person at my high school graduation party (just my family in the kitchen, with Margaret as the celebrity guest).
PHOTO: Linda (age 17) Margaret (age 71)
As adults Margaret and I kept in touch mostly through holiday cards but when she moved to Berkeley, just an hour away, I visited her. On one visit she gave me the address for a group of her fans who had started a newsletter, The Whispered Watchword. Meeting other Judy Bolton fans was amazing. Even more amazing, through serendipity, one of the other fans has been given the beginning chapters of a new Judy Bolton mystery by Margaret and told she could do whatever she wanted with it. She gave it to me.
Now to understand how HUGE this was, imagine your favorite series and how you felt when it ended. I'd read all 38 Judy Bolton mysteries many times and longed for more. Just one more mystery,
I wished. And now I had the opportunity to make it happen. But I had no synopsis or outline to go by, only 3 chapters that ended dramatically with a ambulance siren. I knew these books so well, better than I knew my own writing style. And I was thrilled for the chance to finish this book. So I reread Judy's and studied the style. I typed like I was possessed, and in three weeks had finished the book which Margaret titled THE TALKING SNOWMAN.
Several months later, I met Margaret along with some of her fans in Pennsylvania at a Judy Bolton reunion. I showed Margaret the manuscript, and while she pointed out things that would need to be edited, she was very positive, even impressed that I came up with solutions to the mystery and also guessed much of what she had planned. Of course, I couldn't include her trademark "something that really happened to the author" so she took the manuscript from me and added this scene herself, making editing marks and returning it to me for completion. And years later, I self-published THE TALKING SNOWMAN, a new Judy Bolton mystery co-written by Margaret Sutton and me.
Fans were so thrilled to have this book that I didn't need to advertise. Word spread and they found me. It didn't feel right to profit from a work of love, so I priced the book low; enough to cover my expenses. The first 500 books sold out so next time I printed 1,000. And I continue to sell these books to fans who stumble upon the www.Judybolton.com website and are stunned to find there are more than 38 books.
I wrote an introduction to SNOWMAN which begins: THIS BOOK IS A GIFT.
THE TALKING SNOWMAN is a Christmas story that keeps on giving to readers who love Judy Bolton; the girl heroine who wasn't perfect like Nancy Drew which endeared her to readers like me who watched her age from 15 to mid-20's; a teen to a young married woman.
And the 38 books of the original series have all been reprinted by Applewood Books so new readers can fall in love with Judy, too. Go online and search for Applewood's reprint of the first Judy Bolton book: THE VANISHING SHADOW, based on a real flood.WIN A BOOK!
Make a comment on this blog and I'll randomly pick a winner who can choose one of my books as a prize. I have copies of my SEER, DEAD GIRL, STRANGE ENCOUNTERS series, as well as TALKING SNOWMAN to choose from.
|Monday, November 28th, 2011|
|Friday, November 25th, 2011|
|Mystery Lovers list of kid-book recommendations
I have over 5,000 books in my (mostly girl mystery) series collection.You can see some on my YouTube page under my full name.
I love to find current books, aside from vintage titles like Anne of Green Gables, Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden and Judy Bolton. Of course, Judy just came back in print in affordable paperback editions for a new generation of readers (and book collectors).
So here are some you may want to check out.
1. The JUDY BOLTON
mysteries (38+ extras) are back in print from Applewood.
These are the mysteries that inspired my childhood love of books and my ambition to write.
Begin with THE VANISHING SHADOW and HAUNTED ATTIC: http://www.amazon.com/Vanishing-Shadow-Judy-Bolton-Mysteries/dp/1429090219/ref=sr_1_12_title_0_main?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1322238698&sr=1-12
I probably should add that I co-wrote another Judy, TALKING SNOWMAN, with Margaret Sutton before she died a decade ago, which I self-published for fans. (No Kindle on this one -- paper books only).
2. Not a series but a gem of a middle grade which I loved:FROZEN IN TIME
by Ali Sparkes. Time travel & mystery
3. TOMORROW GIRLS
by Eva Gray
Paperback series for those who liked Hunger Games but hunger for younger with a cast of girl characters.
In this series, US is at war with Canada and girls are shipped off to a secret boarding school.
4. BUDDY FILES
by Dori H. Butler
Very young chapter book series for starting kids/grandkids off with mystery.
For a short book, these are surprisingly well-crafted with building mystery & animal fun.
5. SAMMY KEYES
-- This (Trixie Belden-like) series has gone from midgrade to young YA
with about a dozen titles. I consider it a must-have for any girl series collection, and I
buy them new. Love the "clue-styled" dust jacket.
6. EMERALD ATLAS
by John Stephens. Sort of Harry Potter-Narnia mix. One of my
favorite books of 2011, and I'm very eager for the next one.
7. RUBY RED
by Kierstin Gier-- this one is my favorite of 2011. Time travel with a clever, interesting heroine.
8. WHITE CAT/RED GLOVE
by Holly Black - mysterious, magical, intriguing. Feels like a detective novel in style.9. POISON STUDY/MAGIC STUDY...
everything by Maria V. Snyder
10. THE AGENCY,
historical girl spy mystery by Y.S. Lee
Linda Joy Singleton www.LindaJoySingleton.com & www.facebook.com/lindajoysingleton#1. DEAD GIRL WALKING/DEAD GIRL DANCING/DEAD GIRL IN LOVE (Flux/) YALSA Popular Paperback
Ghosts Whisper to Psychic Sabine in THE SEER series (Flux)THE SEER #6 MAGICIAN'S MUSE (Flux)
BURIED - A Goth Girl Mystery March 2012 (Flux)Follow me : www.twitter.com/LindaJoySinglet
|Monday, November 14th, 2011|
|Importance of writing friends
Most days are very quiet for me since I live in a rural area and my husband works long hours. I'm lucky to have my daughter living close by and my weekends are usually busy. But most days it's me alone with the dogs and cats and computer. So I schedule in writer-friend time, usually every other week with my critique group and also lunches with two close writer friends. I keep in touch with most author friends via online but talking in person is fun and inspiring.
Last week I had lunch with Danna Smith and Linda Whalen to celebrate Danna's recent picture book sale. She had an agent in the past but is currently shopping for a brand new shiny agent who loves pic books. In the meantime, she sold this clever nonfiction book on her own. I'm really excited for her.
Sharing someone else's success is always so wonderful.
Every writer should surround themselves with supportive friends. Reach out from beyond the keyboard and invite some friends for lunch.
|Sunday, November 6th, 2011|
|Sunday, October 23rd, 2011|
|Friday, October 14th, 2011|
|Friday, September 30th, 2011|
|My career is on the rise....Yeah!
For a year I've been working obsessively on a book that scared me to write. The idea came to me in Jan 09 when I wrote 4 pages. I kept thinking about this book-- science fiction YA trilogy. When I spoke of it to my friend Linda Whalen she told me that I sounded so excited like never before and she encouraged me to write this book. I felt in my heart I was meant to write this book.
Then my career slowed...after selling a SEER spinoff, Buried, Jan 09, I haven't sold anything else. Lots of hope just no actual contracts. I finished writing Buried then rewrote a middle grade mid-2010. Occasionally I'd pull out those 4 pages and fall in love with the SF YA idea all over again.
Finally nov. 2010 I decided to try nanowrimo challenge of writing a 200 page book in a month. For 2 weeks I wrote 8 pages a day and reached 100 pages on this SF YA. That's all I could do before stopping to go back and do what I've learned works for me - rewriting. I needed to figure out where the book was going before I could write any more. Slowly the book took shape. I finished Part 1 with a shocking murder. Part 2 was much harder since my heroine moved in with a new family and lots of drama. Part 3 sent my heroine somewhere exiting with more risks.
I had to stop writing for 2 weeks in April to write a story about Sabine from The Seer for an anthology called SPIRITED due out soon. But then I wrote like crazy and finished with 385 pages in July. My agent suggested cutting and the next 2 months were crazy editing that tightened the book to 352 pages.
So it's been over 2 1/2 years with no new sales but because of that dry spell I've had time and emotional energy to complete a book I'm proud of. My agent loves it, too. And editors are seeing it now.
Other things are happening.
* Buried comes out in March.
* Spirited anthology comes out soon in ebook form then in paperback in March.
* 9 out of print books (Regeneration and My Sister the Ghost) are being reprinted in French Canadian.
* I'm part of a blog tour called Crossroads in October.
And now I'm starting to plan the 2nd book in my trilogy.
Things are definitely looking up. And I can't wait to see what happens next!!
|Tuesday, August 30th, 2011|
Random Things in my Life:
MY GUILTY PLEASURE.....Big Brother. Anyone else obsessed with this show?
AUDIO BOOKS....Just finished listening to MATCHED in my car -- great book.
Now listening to THE HELP, and afterwards plan to see the movie.
PETS....My dog Lacey had surgery last month for a cancerous lump on her back.
It's gone now and she's great. I took her to the groomer today. She's little and always look so cute after a grooming.
BIRTHDAY....My little girl (all grown up!) has a birthday this week. I bought a gift for her at a Pear Festival.
REWRITING.....Since finishing a 90K science fiction/midgrade in July, I've been working on revisions. Over halfway done.