Sunday, January 31, 2010

Contest reminder...

...the contest to win a copy of ALL ABOUT VEE at Harmony Book Reviews ends Feb 2nd!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Congrats to the Winner of All About Vee!

At The Story Siren, Kristi hosted a contest for a signed copy of ALL ABOUT VEE as part of my bookish experiment to release the sequel to Vee, THE RISE OF GINNY COOPER. And the winner is:


Kory, I will send you a copy signed to you, unless you tell me otherwise. I'm happy to sign it to a friend or school, whatever you choose.

Yay! Many congrats! And thanks so much to everyone who entered, all 212 of you - wow!

And big thanks, as always, to Kristi the Story Siren herself, for hosting the contest and the sequel release. It'll be available on her site until Februray 12th!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Is it the end...


Today at The Story Siren, Kristi is posting the 4th and final installment of the sequel to ALL ABOUT VEE. As before with parts 1, 2, and 3, it's available exclusively at her site and for absolutely no cost. And you can enter to win a copy of ALL ABOUT VEE there too - today's the last day for domestic and international entries!

This has been so much fun - I've learned an awful lot about the process, about how I might do things differently if I were to do something like this again, and what I might recommend to others. In a few days or so, I'll post about that. And in the meantime, I'd love to hear from readers of any of the parts! Please feel free to post here or to email me at leigh at leighpurtill dot com.

Cheers, everyone, and extra special thanks to Kristi for being my fabulous host!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Contest info!!

Harmony at Harmony Book Reviews is giving away a copy of ALL ABOUT VEE at her blog. You can enter by posting a comment on this post about the contest or this post which was my guest blog. Contest ends Feb 2nd! Thanks, Harmony! And thanks to all who enter!!

Kristi at The Story Siren is giving away a signed copy of ALL ABOUT VEE at her blog also. This is part of the "bookish experiment" I am doing there with THE RISE OF GINNY COOPER - the fourth and final part of which will be posted on Monday. Her contest ends Monday, January 25th. Enter to win! Thanks, Kristi!!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Random Thoughts on a Friday

So-called news stories

1. Conan v. Jay - another late night hype. As of yesterday, Conan was walking away with $45 million for himself and crew and a vacation for 9 months, because you know someone is gonna snap him up for their own network in September. And Leno gets his old job back, which is fine with him because he's a workaholic who couldn't spend all the money he has in 50 lifetimes.

While HH, a Conan fan, has sworn to never watch the Tonight Show again, I could not care less. I find it unbelievable that late night ratings are so important that NBC has to pay out an incredible amount of money to someone to NOT work for them. Really? I mean, really? The people I know watch all the funny bits on YouTube the next day and never even see the commercials or whatever that the networks want them to see. What is so gosh-darn valuable about late night?

Frankly, I think it's a holdover from the Dave v. Jay days when the networks were much more powerful and late night ratings actually meant something. I'd rather watch repeats of The Simpsons as I fall asleep. And to be honest, I was always a Letterman fan - I'm from the east coast, what do ya want from me? I like snark. And my fondest memories of the Tonight Show were watching Johnny Carson with my grandmother in the summer time. Clearly, I'm not the demo anyway.

Just send me the funny YouTube clips.

2. Cindy McCain supports gay marriage - I think it's terrific when formerly conservative political figures come out in favor of liberal domestic policies. Wonderful. Enlightening. And far too late. It's very nice that McCain and her daughter approached a website supporting gay rights in order to volunteer their faces and names to their NoH8 campaign. Wonderful. Enlightening. But where was she when her husband was the governor of Arizona and put the smackdown on gay marriage there? And where was her voice when he was running for president on a pro-family platform?

It does this country far more harm than good when political figures and their spouses keep their real beliefs hidden only to espouse them long after the campaign is over. For the average citizen who may have been debating the issue internally to hear after the fact that the person they held up as a role model or political influence had contrary personal views to their public ones actually stifles the possibility of change.

3. Religious references on military weapons - a manufacturer of rifle scopes has been putting references to Biblical scripture on weapons supplied to the US military. Um, what? One company, who shall remain nameless because why give them any more facetime than they already have, has been inscribing Biblical references such as, JN8:12, apparently referring to John 8:12: "When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, 'I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.' "

This goes against the Constitution's very definition of separation of church and state, not to mention the discrimination of non-Christian soldiers. Plus, it's just all-around icky to associate the Bible with weapons (don't get me started on the actual contents of the Bible!). It's kind of like saying, "God wants you, his child, to go out and kill." Yeah, no.

4. Various sex scandals - John Edwards had a baby with his mistress. Tiger Woods had affairs with just about every woman he met. Who cares and who cares again? Humans are flawed. They will do what they have to in order to preserve themselves and their places in society. Get over it and do the right thing.

Okay, that's Leigh's "Eye on News" for this morning. LOL!! You know what I'm excited about? Part 4 of THE RISE OF GINNY COOPER is coming to the Story Siren on Monday, January 25th. That's the last section! The final part! When you find out the answers to all of your burning Vee-related questions! No, seriously, just enjoy it.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Guestblog at Harmony Book Reviews!

Today, I'm guest blogging at the fantastic Harmony's blog, Harmony Book Reviews.

My post: "When Characters Blog"

Check it out! You might learn a few things you didn't know...

Thanks for having me, Harmony!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Jealousy and the writer

Recently, the American Library Association awards were announced (the Printz, Caldecott, Newbery, etc.) and some truly amazing writers won prizes. Congrats to them all. I wasn't familiar with most of the books on the lists since some were picture books and others were for young readers but I did recognize many of the names. That's the thing about this writing business: it's a small one. It just has a very wide reach. Or it can if you're lucky.

When you first begin writing seriously, you see the many books in your genre and think, "I can write as good - no, I can write better than that!" You see people getting published every day, new books arriving on store shelves every week and think, "If that guy can get published, so can I!" But the longer you go without being published, you begin to get jealous of all the writers who do, especially if they're your friends. You wonder if certain wheels were greased; whether there was a personal connection, a previous relationship, a media platform you don't have.

You are the green eyed monster. And that's okay - we all go through that.

But the more time you spend pursuing this crazy idea of yours to become a professional writer, the more words you get under your laptop, the more you realize that your friends getting published and becoming successful has less to do with them and more to do with the business itself. Over the course of a career, so many things can change for a writer: one year you get a multi-book deal at auction but the next year, the contract is canceled because the first book tanked. You may sign with a high-powered agent only to have her drop you when your book doesn't sell. A beloved agent or editor could leave the business just when you thought you were hitting your stride. These things happen to everyone all the time.

And that's when you realize that there is a massive element of luck (I think it's being added to the periodic tables soon) when it comes to writing success. You could have it this year and your friend could have it next year. Both of you could sell books - or neither could. Sure, my eyes used to be a little green. I would get frustrated when people I knew were getting deals and I wasn't - or they were getting more of an advance or more marketing dollars or awards or fan emails - but now I know my luck could change too. I have every shot at getting those things too but it's nothing I can count on. I simply have to keep writing, keeping imagining, and keep supporting my friends. Their success is good for us all. It means publishers are publishing, readers are buying, and if my friend hits it big, maybe she'll write me an awesome blurb for my next book.


Monday, January 18, 2010

Are you ready for Part 3?

Here it is! Part 3 of THE RISE OF GINNY COOPER at The Story Siren!



Plus you can enter to win a free signed copy of ALL ABOUT VEE! And yes, international readers are welcome to enter too.

Did I

Gotta love free.

And while you're there, check out Kristi's post about covers and whether or not the content inside relates well. Among books like Justine Larbalestier's controversial "Liar" cover is mine. Readers familiar with Vee know she is well over 200 pounds yet the cover, below, is of a gorgeous young woman who clearly is not heavy.

Why? This was my question too. Well, according to my editor, this is modeling's idea of plus-size. Yeah, right.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Random Thoughts on a Friday

I just realized that I have been so focused this month on THE RISE OF GINNY COOPER experiment at The Story Siren that I haven't done any non-book related blogs at all.

But there are so many awesome non-book related things going on that I have to mention:

1. American Idol started again and I miss Paula. I only saw the Boston auditions this week so I didn't see Mary J. Blige but what I saw on Tuesday was really a bummer. First of all, I disliked Kara last season and while she seems to be a little more tolerable now, I still would rather see Paula in that middle chair. And second, um...Boston? Where was the talent? I lived in Boston for a while and I'm embarrassed for New England. And there wasn't even any good snarking! Sheesh!

2. Denzel has a new movie out and I'm intrigued. "The Book of Eli" looks like a Mad Max-type post-apocalyptic road movie with major amounts of cliche (trench coat and sunglasses? Gary Oldman as an over-the-top bad guy?) but I love Denzel. He, Tom Hanks, and Will Smith are probably the only three actors (along with actresses Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchett and Tilda Swinton) that I will watch in just about anything they do. Oooh, could you imagine a movie with ALL of those actors in it? Get going on that, Hollywood!

3. Lost returns in 2 weeks and I'm nervous. Last season! Last episodes! Last chance to tie up all the loose ends! Is it even possible? I have watched every season of this show, even the so-called bad ones that other people used as an excuse to stop watching. I can't claim to have even the slightest clue about how everything fits together but I am waiting with baited breath, as they say, for the conclusion. I have faith in these writers and I really hope they don't let us all down.

4. Haiti had a major earthquake this week and I'm humbled. And grateful. When you live in an earthquake-prone area like Southern California, there is always the chance the ground could begin shaking under your feet and you will be powerless to stop it. But when it doesn't happen every day, you get complacent. This Haitian earthquake reminds us all here in LA that we could get one like that too. The big difference? Most of our buildings are in much better condition to withstand the shaking; the people of Haiti were not so lucky. Their structures were very poorly built and that's a primary reason so many people died.

To end this on a more upbeat note, I just read that aid is flooding in to Haiti and George Clooney has planned a fundraiser with MTV for later this month.

And one last one...

5. Part 3 of Ginny Cooper will be up on Monday January 18th and I'm excited again. I hope people are downloading and enjoying it. And if they do read it, I hope they let me know!

Monday, January 11, 2010

The experiment continues!

Today at The Story Siren...check out Part 2 of the THE RISE OF GINNY COOPER for free download, available exclusively at Kristi's site! Parts 3 & 4 will be posted on the final two Mondays of January.

Here it is...

Thank you, Kristi!

And be on the lookout for a new video about why I did this whole experiment to begin with. As soon as my Ninja Webmaster finishes it...chop, chop!!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Anyone check out Ginny yet?

Just curious to know if any readers out there have downloaded the first (free!) section of THE RISE OF GINNY COOPER at The Story Siren (an exclusive!), and if so...any thoughts?

My experiment will continue next Monday at The Story Siren and I will also soon have a short video I made that explains the origins of the book and the experiment itself.

Happy reading~

Monday, January 4, 2010

FAT GIRLS IN LA, Book 2: The Rise of Ginny Cooper

Let the experiment begin...

To download the pdf for section 1, please visit The Story Siren. She has your exclusive access to the first quarter of the ALL ABOUT VEE sequel!

And be sure to enter the contest to win your own signed copy of VEE! My first international contest. Cool.