I'm author ELLE STRAUSS and welcome to my website!
I write fun, lower Young Adult (teen) fiction to do with whimsical things like time-travel, fairies and merfolk.
When my serious side peeks out, she's called LEE STRAUSS. She likes to write upper YA about real things that have happened in the past, or made up things that could quite possibly happen in the future.
This blog is about books, mine and other fab authors', but occasionally I'll share about other topics.
Thanks for dropping by!
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Monday, November 29, 2010
Friday, November 26, 2010
We celebrate Thanksgiving in Canada, too, but our approach is much different.
Thanksgiving in Canada is always on a Monday, and it’s two months away from Christmas, the second Turkey feast day, instead of one. In Canada you can choose which day you want to cook and eat your Turkey, it can be Saturday or Sunday or Monday, whatever suites each family’s schedule best. This arrangement often leads to more than one turkey dinner eaten over the weekend but it does make celebrating at more than one family home possible if the families don’t live too far apart. Anyway, there’s a bit of Canadiana trivia for you Americans on this fine Black Friday.
2. Great contest over at Jade Hears Voices—you could win Anna and the French Kiss. That is, if I don’t win it first!
3. I’ll leave you with this awesome video to get you into the Christmas Spirit (if Black Friday isn’t doing the trick ;) All I can say is Wow and that first singer is very brave.
Have a great weekend!
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Monday, November 22, 2010
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Revising can be hard, or it can be liberating, depending on how you view it. You can look at it as taking your carefully plotted, written and finished manuscript and tearing it to pieces. Destroying all your hours of work. Making you feel like a worthless loser who really can't write at all. (And if that's how you feel, take two deep breaths and then keep reading this post. It'll get better, I promise!)
So how do you get to the point where you enjoy revising? First, find a good critique partner (or partners). Any good CP (or agent or editor) is going to give you suggestions you can see value in. They might sting at first, but they should eventually make a ton of sense. The "why didn't I think of that? You're a genius!" kind of sense that brings a grin to your face. Not all suggestions will, but if the majority do, you know you have a good partner (imo). For me, those moments where I'm grinning and typing furiously as I see the diamond emerging from all my coal dust, that's when I get excited and remember just how much I love revising.
I learned this lesson for the first time when I was lucky enough to have a friend of mine (who happened to be a former acquisitions editor and a published author) read my WIP and edit it. She only marked the first fifty pages because it took so long. (Then she told me to find all the similar mistakes throughout the rest of it.) Every one of those fifty pages were marked from top to bottom in red pen.
So remember the next time you get revision notes back, it means someone thinks your writing is worth their time and effort. That's actually a pretty big compliment, don't you think?
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Friday, November 12, 2010
Today I'm privileged to host Tamara Hart Heiner's Blog Tour for the release of her debut YA novel PERILOUS. Read on to find out why Tamara chose to publish by small press and how you can enter to win a Kindle!
But before we get started I have a couple announcements: Today is the last day to enter to win THE SHIFTER by Janice Hardy. I will post the name of the winner tomorrow, so please check back.
And, some of you may remember how I said I was taking a Fall Blog Break in October and then didn't? Ahem, well, now I'm going to, for reals. Next week I'll be unplugging but will be back on the 22nd.
So, without further ado, Tamara Hart Heiner!
ES : How long did it take you to write Perilous?
THH: To actually write the first draft took me...(mentally calculating)... I think a year. And then I spent another three years revising.
ES: Do you remember what inspired the story?
ES: How did you find your publisher?
ES: Why did you decide to go with a small publisher rather than the traditional route?
ES: Do you have an agent?
ES: If not, how did you find dealing with contracts and such?
ES: Does the small publisher help with promotion/marketing etc?
ES: What are the top three things you have learned about self-promotion?
3) You've got to find other people to toot your horn.
ES: What is your next step? Do you have another book in the wings?
Thanks, Tamara! Really interesting info, there.
Tamara is also hosting to contests two celebrate her release, one book and one Kindle (wow!)
Kindle giveaway: This contest is point-based and begins Oct. 15 and ends
Dec. 15. Whoever has the most points wins the Kindle. There will only be
one Kindle given away. Here are the points:
1 point: blog comment (can comment on all the blogs, multiple times, on
1 point: follow Tamara's blog (http://tamarahartheiner.
1 point: retweet
2 points: blog about the blog tour
5 points: purchase the book (ebook or paperback, must email Tamara the
confirmation email) if you buy the book in a store you can mail Tamara a copy of the receipt.
Add up all your points as well as your proof (links, etc) and email it to Tamara at the end of the blog tour (tamara at tamarahartheiner dot com)
Thursday, November 11, 2010
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
- Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918) Canadian Army
Lest We Forget
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
- The chili we had at the party had an acrid taste; it was harsh and unpleasant.
- Long after the fire had been put out, we could feel the acrid sting of smoke in our nostrils.
Monday, November 8, 2010
UPDATE: Please let us know if you have any experience with Disqus and what you think about it.
Friday, November 5, 2010
Lisa Schroeder is an incredible YA author and someone whose blog I've been following for a while, so you can imagine how stoked I was to get the email saying that I was chosen (thanks Randomator!)
So here it is--drum roll please:
Here's the blurb:
This book sounds incredible! I can't wait to read it. Please check out Lisa's website for more info about her and the rest of her books. You will find her blog site on my side bar under Authors Who Blog About Writing & Publishing.
Don't you just love it???
PS: Today is the deadline for my First Blogiversary Celebration Contest. Click HERE for a chance to win your choice of four books!
Thursday, November 4, 2010
I haven't read the book, but I have to say I just love THE HEALING SPELLS book trailer. It has a mini movie feel that really pulls you in with the story-telling voice plus the sound track is amazing. (And I believe it is for sale. See Kimberly Griffiths Little's blog for more info).
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
This week’s word:
STOIC (STOH ik) adj indifferent (at least outwardly) to pleasure of pain, to joy or grief, to fortune or misfortune
*Nina was stoic about the death of her canary; she went about her business as though nothing sad had happened.
•We tried to be stoic about our defeat, but as soon as we got into the locker room, we all began to cry and bang our foreheads on the floor.
Monday, November 1, 2010
I suck, I’m a fraud, this is as good as I get… you know that voice. The relentless nattering of the unwelcome guest, Self-Doubt.
But for some reason this time around, I can’t seem to give it the boot. As much as I imagine opening the front door and hoofing Self-Doubt to kingdom come, as soon as I turn around, there it is.
I know that I have an agent, and I’ve written more than one book, and they’re out there somewhere, but in my honest tormented state I just have to moan, “Why is it taking so long?”
That’s when Self-Doubt does its happy dance. This is the end of the road, it says. Your blog and your manuscripts, that’s the end. This is as far as you’ll ever go.
The problem is I find myself believing it. Maybe I have reached the height of my ambition. Maybe it is only downhill from here.
I push Self-Doubt into the corner and command it to stay. It complies—for now, but I see its evil little grin.
But you know what? I’m in good company. Even established authors and NYT bestselling authors fight with Self-Doubt. Authors like Aprilynne Pike and Sarah Dessen. Sarah Dessen wrestles with Self-Doubt! How can that be? Is it just an occupational hazard? If you want to write, plan on company?
I think the answer is yes. Every writer I know, no matter where they are in their journey, struggles with Self-Doubt. Looking for an agent? Self-Doubt is there. Looking for an editor? Self-Doubt will be there too. How about sales of that new book? Will it sell out or will it tank? See that bad review? Yeah, in the middle of all those good ones, there’s a big, ugly bad one! And look at so and so who just got a movie deal, and I can barely make rent. Big Self-Doubt.
So what’s a writer to do?
I’m not sure. How do we make friends with Self-Doubt? It’s obvious that it’s not going to leave. Perhaps we should make up the guest room and give it its own TV. Maybe a bowl of soup. Anything to keep it occupied. If it won’t leave, at least keep it distracted so it will stop talking to you.
What do you do to keep Self-Doubt at bay?