Thursday, November 21, 2013

Words and Winners

Let's talk numbers.

The other day, the choir director at our school asked how many words my novel was. Whispering Minds is a little light with 67,000 words, as many YA novels fall between 65k-85k.

He asked because he writes weekly columns for several regional publications and is tossing around the idea of getting into short stories on his way (maybe) to writing a novel.

I write on both ends of the spectrum, and can tell you that both short stories (500 words and up) and novels are equally intimidating.

That said, I have another short story accepted for an anthology on Regret. Such a yummy theme in all its hindsightedness. I'm willing to bet that if we knew the lasting consequences of our actions, we wouldn't do half the stupid stuff that fills our days.

And one of those things filling my days is accumulating words. I am crazily writing my 2013 NaNoWriMo project and failing miserably thanks to my MC's sex/nationality change. Ugh. Yet I push on toward reaching that goal of 50,000 words in thirty days.

Which is why you haven't seen me.

Which is why you may not have realized that my Goodreads Giveaway ended. It did. And now ten new winners will receive 67,000 of my words that I carefully constructed in 2009 for NaNoWriMo.

Congrats to all the winners of all the prize packages for my Whispering Minds giveaways. May your November be filled with wonderful words that take you on amazing journeys.

And if you're looking for a few words of your own, I recommend that you read the novel Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein. I've read it three times this year. Twice in the last week. Partially because I'm helping a speech student cut a few hundred words from it for competition, but mostly because I love it. As an FYI, this amazing novel has four and a half stars.

There, did you see all the numbers I threw at you? Now it's your turn.

What is your NUMBER ONE fave novel of a) all time or b) this year? I'm looking for a few good prose pieces for my speechies.

Until Next Time,


Saturday, November 9, 2013

That Moment When Your Main Character Switches Nationalities--and Gender

So, ten thousand words into my next novel and my main character up and decides to have a sex change. No, not in the novel. She's not a transvestite. She just decided the story would best be told by a male. A Japanese American male.

Two reasons:
  1. There are not nearly enough Japanese main characters in contemporary novels. Certainly, the Japanese characters I've seen are usually the side kicks, if you will. They don't typically have main roles and they usually get portrayed as over-the-top, stereotypical, science-geek, martial artsnerds. But guess what? There are hot Asian males out there with rippling pectorals and not a pocket protector in sight. Enough said.
Yeah, that was one and two. Hot guy of an otherwise, underrepresented descent.

All this means is that I now have a whole slew of research to do before continuing my novel. Enough said.

But, before I go, I do want to say one thing. As a young child, I grew up the minority. In my neighborhoods, European Americans (because I hate the term white as it describes nothing beyond my blonde hair and blue eyes and doesn't differentiate between my fellow EA's with black hair and brown eyes and olive skin) were not prevalent. Instead, I played with kids from vast and varied backgrounds and loved the diversity. 

I guess that's why I want to make sure my novels are not white-washed.

Thoughts? Opinions? Suggestions? Cultural information that I could use when writing?

Saturday, November 2, 2013

And the Winners Are...

I would like to thank all the participants of my Whispering Minds 10 Day YA Giveaway. I appreciate the support you've provided me, as well as the continued support of the written word in general.

Without readers, there would be no use for us writers!

Anyway, I'm pleased to announce the winners of my giveaway. I have contacted each winner via email and will be mailing out your prizes as soon as I receive your info. For those who didn't win during this giveaway, remember you can still enter to receive a free copy of Whispering Minds on Goodreads. And/or, stay tuned for future contests--I have one planned each month into April. So without further ado:

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Goodreads Book Giveaway

Whispering Minds by A.T. O'Connor

Whispering Minds

by A.T. O'Connor

Giveaway ends November 15, 2013.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

Friday, November 1, 2013

Whispering Minds YA Giveaway Wraps Up

Last chance to win one of Ten Giveaway Packages including 7 books and much more.

The hours are counting down on these great novels:
Splintered, The Collector, Crewel, The Fall, Want to Go Private?, Not a Drop to Drink and Whispering Minds.

Enter Below To Win one of the following:

  1. One copy of Want to Go Private? and a sample of Granny’s Homemade Chai Tea.
  2. A WTGP? technology pack with a sample of chai tea and a USB drive with a cut chapter from Whispering minds. If you win this, you will be one of only two readers to find out what happened to Gemini’s missing night.
  3. A copy of Not a Drop to Drink and a sample of Granny’s Homemade Chai Tea.
  4. A Drop to Drink Pack with a large sampling of tea and a personalized travel mug from Tervis to put it in.
  5. One copy of The Collector and a scrumptious tea sample.
  6. One copy of Crewel and a tea sample from Granny to tempt your taste buds.
  7. A Crewel Weaver Pack that includes a copy of The Fall, a Native made dream catcher and tea.
  8. One copy of Splintered and a sampling of Granny’s chai tea.
  9. Your own personal therapy in a box: Group Therapy coffee, a stress ball and some of Granny’s pumpkin chai tea.
  10. The Whispering Minds Prize Pack with a USB drive (and Gemini’s missing chapter) , all three kinds of Granny’s Homemade Chai Tea (vanilla, spiced and pumpkin), a Tervis travel mug to drink it in, an iphone 4 case, sticky notes to help you remember things(because Gemi often does not) and a physical copy of Whispering Minds.

Thanks for supporting the written word!

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