Multi-Genre Anthology Contest: The Box in the Attic

 There’s a contest going on and I thought I’d share with everyone. If you’d like the details, please see the press release info I received. Best of luck to all that enter!

BP submission

 BP logo‘Backstrip Publishing’ is the product of the need for helping independent authors get their voices heard. A need for wholesome and clean books was the precursor for creating a new platform to launch aspiring and seasoned authors into the literary world.


Marcy Rachel started as a book cover designer, focused on independent authors, back in 2011.  Her desire to help authors and their constant support made her expand her services to other graphic designs, interior book formatting, and web developing. Her determination and willingness to help others impulsed her to create ‘Backstrip Publishing.’ Marcy and her team are eager to work closely with authors by being that reinforcement they need, and more.

We believe that awesome stories should be presented the same way. Independent authors want their books to have the best cover, to have flawless editing, and they also need to market their books on top of all the plotting and writing. You as an author should not have to lose sleep over these things, especially because you don’t have the resources. At BP we will take care of you so you can have more free time to write and put most of your energy on your stories…and consequently into the hands of your fans.

About the Anthology

Anthology Title: ‘The Box in the Attic’

PROMPT: The main character is cleaning an attic (writer decides who’s attic). They find a small box with an item that will change everything.

Basic Rules:

Only one submission per person.

A submission fee of $5.00 is required and payable through PayPal upon submission.

The writing prompt is given as a guideline.  You decide where in the story this scene takes place.

Authors will have a 3-month period to write their story and submit it.

What you will do:

The authors get a writing prompt to base their story on for this anthology. You decide the characters’ names, age, gender, etc. You also decide what genre(s) you want to write.  The whole concept of this exercise is that the common aspect among the stories is the prompt — the scene finding that important item in the box located in the attic. Consequently, this is a multi-genre Anthology. It will be fun to see how different authors have a different take on the same prompt.

For further information or to register for the Anthology, please visit:



Do you really want to hurt me?

Songs just catch me in the moment and I have to share. Sometimes I wonder what I’ve done to cause some people to doubt my good intentions. I’ve just noticed that things aren’t what I thought they were and I’m not sure what I’ve done to cause it. Perhaps I fan girled too hard? I came on too strong? In the end I’m just hurt and confused. I’m not sure.

Either way, some feelings have been hurt, mainly mine. Like the adult I am, I’m dealing with it through song, and just learning to say it’s okay.

“Do You Really Want To Hurt Me?”

Give me time
to realize my crime
Let me love and steal
I have danced
inside your eyes
How can I be real
Do you really want to hurt me
Do you really want to make me cry
Precious kisses words that burn me
Lovers never ask you why
In my heart
the fires burning
Choose my colour
find a star
Precious people always tell me
That’s a step
a step too far
Do you really want to hurt me
Do you really want to make me cry
Do you really want to hurt me
Do you really want to make me cry
Words are few
I have spoken
I could waste a thousand years
Wrapped in sorrow
words are token
Come inside and catch my tears
You’ve been talking but believe me
If it’s true
you do not know
This boy loves without a reason
I’m prepared to let you go
If it’s love you want from me
Then take it away
Everything is not what you see
It’s over today

#UtopYA Survey Results

I didn’t go to Utopya this year, and I might not ever, but I am a curious girl and I had to create a survey.

Here are the answers and I hope this helps!

How organized was the event Did you patronize the sponsors Which panel was the most interesting? Authors- What was your experience like? Authors- How many books did you bring with you? Would you go again? How many books did you bring home (ebooks included)? What was your budget? What was your main goal during Utopya?

Net = network. I couldn’t fit it in the chart to be clear.

When did you start saving money for Utopya?

There were two questions I couldn’t make into a chart based on the answers.  I found the answers to be quite insightful.

What new ideas should Utopya do for next year?

Because of the different rooms the exhibitors are in, I think it would be worthwhile to have standing banners outside each room labeling the area. I was in the room closest to the bookstore, but a LOT of people coming through thought it was part of the bookstore, and only the large room at the end was Area 51.

Meet the bloggers tables

Have more panels for readers. I found a lot if them to be more for authors. Close the exhibitor hall when running panels! There were so many more I wanted to attend but felt bad for abandoning my table to listen in.

Event wide dinner one night

Keep on keeping on -wise words of Amy bartol

Change the hotel, CHANGE THE HOTEL, less segregation between Area 51 and Area 51.5, awards shouldn’t become a popularity contest, too much about cover models.

Official breaks for lunch. That’s it. All else was awesome.

Make sure the internet actually works in the hotel rooms. I had to go to the lobby.

All day signing instead of just exhibitors. Less letting people self promo in panels

More social events

Audiobook panel

I think that only authors attending the event should be nominated for awards. 90% of people who won weren’t there and were probably never planning to attend.

genre panels like the pitfalls and joys of writing steampunk, but even more I would love to see a panel on writing diverse characters either in color or sexuality in YA.

I thought the event went great. Only thing I didn’t know was where food was served so I missed that perk on my ticket. I had fun going out to lunch so next year I know I don’t even need the food option.

Maybe nix one of the blogger awards and have a best anthology award?

I think panels could be split into different tracks: beginner, intermediate, and advanced. That way each level of writer can get the most out of each panel. For some panels, this is irrelevant, but for others, it is crucial for tailoring to your audience. Otherwise it’s too simple for advanced writers and too confusing for beginning writers. I’d also like it if name tags said “Author,” “Blogger,” “Reader,” etc under the name. Or perhaps different colors for the different categories. This would help newbies a lot to help figure out who they’re talking to so they can tailor the conversation accordingly. I also think the registration desk on the first day could be more organized. I stood in a line for a long time, not knowing I was in the wrong line until I got to the table. So maybe signs or people directing traffic could help with that.

It was frustrating that the only times to see the author tables was during panels. I’d love to do both.

Include more authors and maybe only let authors sign for one day. It would be enough. That way you can give more writers a shot and it keeps it fresh.

Breaks in the signing rooms so authors can attend panels

Next year I won’t be there, because it’s on Father’s day. Please don’t let it fall on Father’s Day in 2016!!!!!! I am so disappointed I won’t be there!!!

email loop, maybe?

Consider a different hotel.

Two sided name badges

Hotel needs better staffing to accommodate but the actual con was fabulous special tracks (panels) for fans, authors, newbies try and get all the authors in one room versus 3 separate rooms

Have more time/opportunities to visit the exhibitors. There was a only a small window available before the panels and then right after the panels. I missed a lot of authors/exhibitors because of the lack of time


What author did you HAVE to meet?

Anna Cruise
Casey L. Bond
Quinn Loftis
C.C. Hunter
Jennifer Armentrout, but since she was unable to attend, I found a huge love in Sylvia Day and of course Adam and Carol Kunz!
Sylvia Day
Amy Bartol
Michele G. Miller
Tiffany king
Megan Curd
Lila Felix
Nancy Straight
Casey Bond
N. L. Greene
V.A. Dold
Carol Kunz
LP Dover
Mary Ting
Rysa Walker
C.C. Hunter
Too many to list!
C. J. Redwine
Sylvia Day
Amy Miles
Carmen Jenner
Chelsea Fine
Didn’t know any beforehand.
Sylvia Day, Shelly Crane, Rachel Higginson, Lila Felix, Jennifer Armentrout (but she couldn’t make it), Jamie Magee, Chelsea Fine, Heather Lyons,
Carol Kunz
Shelly Crane and Rebecca Ethington.
Quinn Loftis
Magan Vernon
Amy Bartol
Amy Bartol
Miranda Kavi
Bella Roccaforte
Jo Micheals and Casey Bond
Too many to list! They were all amazing!
Misty Provencher
Inger Iversen
Gennifer Albin
Kristie Cook, Ginnnifer Albin,
ALL of them are amazing but Casey Bond is my best friend so I had to see her
Nancy Straight
Jamie Magee
Stars Huchton
Misty Provencher

Round Two BETAS!

I’ve made quite a few changes and now I’ve sent out the story to a few betas. The ratio of waiting to hear back and not being a total douche about it is a fine line.

All I can think is: do they hate it? Do they understand what I’m going for? Will this get trashed on Goodreads? Uuugh. The cycle of feeling great, to insecure, then back up to great is a horrible emotional roller coaster.

While I wait I am Beta Reading for another author and it’s a romance story. I’m not a fan of romance, but there is a paranormal element in it, so I’m looking forward to that part. It’s refreshing to see someone else going through the same struggle. As a writer, I look for specific feedback, and I beta read the same way I would want to hear comments. Being on the other side of things is different for sure. I like to think I’m helping and it’s rather satisfying to be a positive change for people.

Doing some Beta Reading is better than chewing off my nails waiting for my own to reply to me.

The whole writing process is a mixture of blood, sweat, and tears that doesn’t seem to let up. I suppose that’s what creativity does to people, it whispers in the night, just before sleep sets in.

Ah, I’m rambling. Sigh. Don’t check email, don’t check email, just let it go, …

Yup. Just wait. Just going to wait right here.

And the sky was made of amethyst

Growing up in the 90’s I loved the Grunge movement. I wore so much plaid it was obnoxious. The day I stopped wearing baggy jeans guys actually asked me if I lost 10lbs. I didn’t want them to see my body, as a teenager, I was so self conscious. I just didn’t want to be noticed. I listened to angry rock and one of my heroes was Courtney Love. I started wearing plastic barrettes in my hair to school and rocking the tie WAY before Avril. I believe she was in elementary school at that point.

Anyway, nothing understood me like my music did. The crescendo of the drums, the wah wah of the guitars, the beat of the bass, all of it in tune with my heartbeat. I lived for music, concerts were the be all end all and life wouldn’t go on if I didn’t attend.

The intensity of life, the passion of it all, the unknown was scary and yet I tried to be brave in the face of it all.

I met my first boyfriend and he was so mysterious. He made my heart beat and my knees weak. He gave me hope and made me feel brave. With him I could do anything. It was the bitter break up after that made me realize I was who I was because of my own beliefs. It wasn’t anything to do with relying on someone else.

That night I knew the average life I was going to have with him was over and the dream was dead. It was time for a change, and my music got me through it. I relied on my anger to fuel me and it wasn’t a healthy period. Thankfully, things changed, but my music was always there, my faithful companion.

Thank you to all the musicians who will never know what they meant to a scared and confused kid.

Hole – Violet Lyrics

And the sky was made of amethyst And all the stars were just like little fish You should learn when to go You should learn how to say noMight last a day, yeah Mine is forever Might last a day, yeah Mine is forever Well they get what they want, and they never want it again Well they get what they want, and they never want it again Go on, take everything, take everything, I want you to Go on, take everything, take everything, I want you to And the sky was all violet I want to give the violent more violets And I’m the one with no soul One above and one below Might last a day, yeah Mine is forever Might last a day, yeah Mine is forever When they get what they want, and they never want it again And they get what they want, and they never want it again Go on, take everything, take everything, I want you to Go on, take everything, take everything, I dare you to I told you from the start just how this would end When I get what I want, then I never want it again Go on take everything, take everything, I want you to Go on take everything, take everything I want you to If I don’t mind you don’t mind Go on take everything, take everything, I want you to Go on take everything, take everything I want you to Go on take everything, take everything, I want you to Go on take everything, take everything, take everything, take everything

UtopYA Survey 2014

If you don’t know, UtopYa is “the first-of-its-kind convention for women writers of supernatural YA and NA fiction, and their fans!” I figure this is something I should look into and what else – do a survey about!


Here’s the link:

Just 11 quick questions. Not like the last survey I did. I learned this time to keep it simple and the drop box is your friend! Nothing like trying to figure out what people mean versus seeing a clear cut answer.

Either way, I hope many people answer as I’d love to get a perspective about this conference and share it with others.

Please feel free to share this post to anyone you know who went.

Thank you!

Editing: Time and butchering + a little help from my friends

I’ve cut out quite a bit out of my WIP and it’s really become a matter of creating a patch quilt now. The next step is to go over everything and smoothing it out.

Sure, I can just leave it to an editor to fix up, but I really don’t want to make it harder. The time and effort it takes to create a story is unbelievable. Who would have thought. I had grand dreams of only requiring a year to write and then six months to edit. Oh, no, no, no. Writing a novel doesn’t work that way. At least, it hasn’t worked out for me that way.

My writing process has been a cycle of being impressed with myself to doubting in the next breath.

I can really only go forward and do the best that I can. What a banal sentence. Sigh. Let’s just get this going shall we?

Things really take their own time and I have only myself to blame and congratulate. The solitary life of a writer I suppose. I have been lucky enough to have a tremendous support system on my Facebook page. I honestly love how my friend are always so positive. I think every writer need some kind of cheering squad to get through those “everything I write is garbage” moments.

I’ve branched out to Google+, and I find the audience is very different. The main difference is that I find I can speak to more authors and people on their way to becoming authors at once. The communities are very active and I’ve found I’m really interested in reading what people are also going through.

I haven’t really given Twitter a bit enough chance. I suppose I will when I have something to say. I find Twitter just a place to go blah, blah, blah. I’ve heard so many times “You need a social platform” to be successful, and I do, just not in all social channels. I mean, honestly, you’d need an assistant to keep all this together.

It all comes down to what I decide and that’s on my shoulders. I have no choice but to make the best of it.