Hot Author, Cool Deal

13 08 2014
Judith Tewes Author

Judith Tewes

Jumping for joy that one of my friends has a new book out under her pen name, Judith Tewes. And she’s doing a Rafflecopter giveaway (scroll down for details). To celebrate, I invited her to my blog. I was planning to serve a cool glass of sweet tea to cool us off in the summer heat, but as you’ll see, Judith prefers the frigid weather of the north, so hot chocolate may be her beverage of choice. In spite of her preference for cold, Judith’s writing remains HOT, HOT, HOT. If you pick up her latest release from Bloomsbury, you’ll see what I mean (details below).

But first, I’ve asked Judith to tell us a little bit about herself so you can get to know her better.

How has where you’re from and/or where you have lived (or visited) influenced your work?

I’m the daughter of an army brat, so my family moved around quite a bit. We’ve lived across Canada, from coast to coast – Summerside, Prince Edward Island to Nanaimo, British Columbia. But I’ve spent most of my adult life in Alberta. We currently live in a small northern Alberta town…lots of forest, lakes, and wildlife, cold temperatures…and lots of snow.

I think that’s been the major influence on my writing. The cold. The snow. Every book I have published thus far is set in the late fall / winter. I even have a feature film project set in the dead of winter. Lol Fall and Winter are perfect seasons for paranormal stories or contemporary tales of finding yourself. Maybe it’s the added sense of isolation, or quiet, the extra challenge of trying to get the simplest task completed when your fingers are frozen, or the comfort of a hot mug of coffee on a cold afternoon – or – I just like to make my characters suffer on as many levels as possible. 😉

What sensory details do you surround yourself with while writing?

I always have music cranked or a movie playing in the background while I write. I respond to the tones, moods of the music or scene playing. My typing speed even picks up with faster paced songs. I’ve tried to write in absolute silence, and it just doesn’t work.

I do have playlists for certain projects – dark/ haunting tunes for my paranormal and lighter/ romantic/ angsty ballads for my contemporary.

However, the fact that I get up super early in the morning to write means I always have my earbuds in, so my blasting music doesn’t wake the entire house.

You manage to wear many different hats (screenwriting, asst. publisher, author with multiple pseudonyms, library tech, musician/ songwriter, etc. How do you balance your various roles and why/how are each of them important to you?

Balance is a constant struggle. Sometimes there are deadlines that take precedence, and everything else has to be put on hold until “mission accomplished,” but I’m usually able to divide up projects/ promotional tasks by day of the week or focus on a few things in the morning and others in the afternoon. The beauty of my day job (elementary school library technician) is that it relates to my publishing efforts.

My background as an author comes into play at the school where I’m often asked to do writing workshops for classes and makes it very easy for me to present to schools during author visits. I can switch hats – talk as an author, share tips with the teachers, talk shop with the library staff – and am familiar with most of the titles the students are reading, from picture books to young adult fiction. I’m lucky to have a career that compliments my passion and my art.

Oh, and I’m a firm believer in to-do lists.

How is your Judith Tewes’ release different from your other books?

Judith Tewes is the pen name for my edgy contemporary young adult and new adult fiction. Judith Graves is the name I use for my paranormals, so genre is the main difference and is the main reason I chose to write under different personas. All the better to market with. 😉

How are they similar?

Well, there’s winter. Lol. But also, across the board my characters are quirky and sarcastic. I love to write strong female lead characters with snarky attitudes that mask their vulnerability. And I can’t seem to resist throwing in some serious heat/ romance.

I know you’re a dog lover. Can you tell us what you like best about dogs? (Feel free to share pics & talk about how they came into your life & what they mean to you.)

Follow me on any social media site, and you’ll soon meet my crazy pups. I’m one of those fur-moms. lol My husband and I have three labs. Here they are below. Willow is our sweet yellow-lab female, and the boys are Higgins (chocolate), and Grimm (silver).dogs

Aww…

You know your question about balance? I’d say our dogs provide that the most for me. When I’m sitting too long at the computer, they’re nudging my elbow to be walked. When I’m mulling over a plot hole, they’re game for a round of fetch at the lake. When I’m celebrating the sale of a new project, they dance around the house along with me.

They keep me grounded, and my clothing accessorized with tri-coloured dog hair. Wouldn’t have it any other way.

Thanks so much for visiting, Judith and for sharing a bit of your life! It’s been great to have you.

And here are the details of Judith’s latest release from Bloomsbury Spark:

About My Soon-To-Be Sex Life: Charlie is down to her absolute. Total. Last. Resort.

Judith 500x500

Despite a thoroughly comprehensive list of potential cherry poppers, er…suitors, and careful plotting, Charlie is three weeks into her devirginzation campaign, still untouched, and getting desperate. In the movie of her life, this aspiring screenwriter is giving herself a PG, for please, get some.

Her project goes into freeze frame when her mom checks herself into rehab and packs Charlie off to live with her estranged, or just plain strange, grandfather, Monty. How is she supposed to get a date when she has to go pick up his Depends?

Enter Eric, a hot rehab grad on the road to redemption, and the only one who can make Charlie rethink her strategy. The more she gets to know him, the more convinced she becomes that is the one, and not just another to add to the list of people who will abandon her.

In this hilarious and heartbreaking story of one girl’s detoured road to womanhood, Charlie’s list develops a life of its own – right when she realizes there’s so much more to lose.
MSTBSL Final Cover

Book on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21462279-my-soon-to-be-sex-life

Buy Links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/My-Soon—Be-Sex-Life-ebook/dp/B00LL2VNBG/

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/my-soon-to-be-sex-life-judith-tewes/1119856111?ean=9781619635388

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/my-soon-to-be-sex-life/id894192283?mt=11

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/my-soon-to-be-sex-life

Books-A-Million: http://www.booksamillion.com/p/My-Soon-Be-Sex-Life/Judith-Tewes/Q244464221?id=6059783024487

Here’s the book trailer:

Click on this link for

a Rafflecopter Giveaway

 

About Judith Tewes: Multi-published, award-winning author, screenwriter, and playwright, Judith Tewes resides in small town Alberta, where she: writes, sings, plays bass guitar in an all-woman band, walks her three crazy labs, and suspects she’s living the life of a superhero’s alias. A commercial writer writing under several pen names, Judith’s work includes: paranormal, steampunk, and contemporary young adult fiction, as well as thriller, horror, and dramatic comedies for the stage and screen.

 

Visit Judith here:

WEBSITE

FACEBOOK

Author Page

TWITTER

TUMBLR

PINTEREST

GOODREADS

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Writing Process Blog Tour

7 04 2014

Module One cover

Texas writer and illustrator Mark Mitchell, known for his wonderful watercolors and many picture books, invited me to join this writing process blog tour. I’ve been lucky to be part of his online class Make your Splashes – Make your Marks. Mark wrote about his own process on his blog.

I’m also fascinated by the history of this blog tour, which spans continents, so I traced my invitation back a few links. Akiko White, the winner of the 2014 Tomie dePaola award for her illustrations made out of cake (yes, they’re awesome and delicious), tagged Mark. And she had been tagged by Australian award-winning author Christopher Cheng, who put together the wonderful PAL slide show for SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair, and I appreciated the opportunity to participate in that.

Now after that lengthy introduction, I’m ready to answer the questions they posed:

1.) What are you working on?

WANTED: Book 4

WANTED: Book 4

At the moment, I’m finishing two books to turn in to editors this week. I’m working on the final chapters of Grace Avenged, Book 4 in the WANTED series, which will be coming out in December 2014 in the UK. Book 1, Grace and the Guiltless, released in February in the UK. (Books 3 and 4 will be coming out there in May and August.) The series will also release in the US with different covers beginning in August under Capstone’s new Switch Press imprint.

Final edits are also due this week on Cyber Self-Defense, a book I’m cowriting with international cybercrime expert Alexis Moore. That will be coming out in October 2014 from Lyon’s Press.

Cyber Self Defense book cover

October 2014

I’m also editing a picture book to turn in to my agent as well as developing a chapter book series while taking a class with Hillary Homzie and Mira Reisberg. And Alexis Moore and I are working on two more nonfiction books together along with a picture books series.

Of course, all these projects are only the tip of the iceberg. I also have a quite a few other projects in various stages of completion and many more submerged underwater in my subconscious. And that doesn’t count all the books I’m editing for others.

2.) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I write in so many different genres that it’s hard to compare my work to others’. I have picture books (fiction and nonfiction), chapter books, middle grade novels, YA novels and nonfiction, NA nonfiction, adult nonfiction and fiction, along with short stories and articles for both children and adults. I’ve also had a few illustration projects and hope to do more of those. I’m in my 3rd year in Hollins University’s Picture Book Writing & Illustrating MFA.

Book 1 ~ US edition

Book 1 ~ US edition

3.) Why do I write what I do?

The main reason I write is because I love to learn and explore new things. I get excited about sharing my knowledge with others, and writing is a wonderful way to do that. When I come across a new idea, I ask: Who would be interested in this? The answer is almost always a different age group, which is why I’ve written for so many age levels.

I also believe that writing is a form of self-discovery; it helps us understand not only ourselves, but also others. It keeps us from taking things for granted, teaches us to look beneath the surface, and reveals the beauty in everything.

Writing also keeps alive the wonder and awe of childhood. To me, there’s something magical about creating new worlds and peopling them with characters I’ve imagined. Children still believe in that magic, so I’m most drawn to writing for them.

4.) How does my writing (or writing with pictures/illustrating) process work?

I used to wait for the muse to strike, but now I’ve learned that if you sit down expecting to write, the words will come. With all my deadlines (5 books in the past 7 months), I don’t have the luxury of waiting for words to come, so right before I go to bed, I read over the notes of what I plan to write the next day or I pose a problem if I’m not sure what should come next. Then I go to sleep and let my mind arrange the words or solve the problem. When I wake up, I write. My best writing is usually done right after waking or late at night (from 1-3 a.m. is my sweet spot).

I’ve trained myself that the minute I sit down to write, my mind is ready. I don’t need rituals or to spend time agonizing over what I should write, I just do it. Not everything that goes down on the page is good writing, but you can’t revise what isn’t there.

I’m halfway between a pantser and a plotter. I need more of an outline for nonfiction, but when I write fiction, my process almost always begins with a vision of a story opening and a dramatic ending. I usually also see key scenes in my head. I jot them down or just remember them. I use those as mile markers along the way. Then when I write, I record whatever scene is most vivid in my mind. I don’t think I’ve ever written a book linearly. I write bits and pieces here and there.

Once I have all the key scenes down, I work on tying them together. I usually dread this part of the process because I always go in thinking I’ll have to put in boring transitions, but almost always my characters surprise me by doing something unexpected, so it ends up being more fun than I anticipated.

Another important piece of my process is running my work by my critique groups. I find letting others read my work and offer their opinions and suggestions greatly improves anything I write.

I’ve tagged three awesome writers who will share their processes on their blogs next Monday:

Joan Holub‘s new trucky, constructiony picture book is Mighty Dads (illustrated by James Dean, creator of Pete the Cat). Her picture book Little Red Writing (illustrated by Melissa Sweet) garnered 3 starred reviews and spots on many Best Of lists. She co-authors 3 series with Suzanne Williams: Goddess Girls, Grimmtastic Girls, and Heroes In Training. Find out more about Joan and all her other fantastic books at her website and on Facebook and Twitter.

Mighty Dads book trailer

 

Judith Tewes resides in small town Alberta and is a commercial writer writing under several pen names. MY SOON-TO-BE SEX LIFE launches with Bloomsbury Spark in June. As Judith Graves she has a recent release cowritten with Dawn Dalton, KILLER’S INSTINCT, a monster-hunter tale with loads of action.

 
 

 

Army wife, author, and new mom Tracy E. Banghart has an MA in Publishing and an obsession with cupcakes. She has written and published three novels for young adults; her latest, SHATTERED VEIL, a sci-fi adventure, just received a starred review from Publishers Weekly and 4.5 stars from IndieReader.

 

shattered veil front





Free and Bargain E-books

30 03 2012

Pass it on… Some great bargains for lovers of YA books are available this month:

FREE, yep, that’s right, FREE for the next few days (for Amazon prime members). It will be only 99 cents from April 1 to May 1:

Island Sting Check out Island Sting at Amazon.

Spirited Anthology by Maria V. Snyder

Anthology by authors Maria V. Snyder, Candace Havens, Shannon Delany, Jill Williamson, Judith Graves, Kitty Keswick, Dawn Dalton, Linda Joy Singleton, and others...

Spirited available on Amazon for 99 cents!! It has augmented reality by Karl Gee.

Under My Skin

Under My Skin regularly $4.99, available for 99 cents on Amazon for a limited time.

And for adults, check out Dancing with the Devil, by Cate Masters, FREE on Amazon for a limited time. For other great bargains, check out the Leap Books site on April 1, 2012, for some great bargains.

And for a blog about FREE and BARGAIN BOOKS, see Downtown YA.





Ready to Party??

20 05 2010

Art by Salvatore Vuono

Although Tuesday is the first day of sessions at BEA (BookExpo America) in New York City, one of the highlights of the day will be the Teen Author Carnival held that evening from 5-8 pm at

Jefferson Market Branch Library
425 Avenue of the Americas [at 10th St.],

Hosts of the event are: Devyn Burton, Mitali Dave, and Korianne Wey.

Here’s the star-studded list for that event:

Author List:

  1. Heidi Kling – Website
  2. Jeri Smith-Ready – Website
  3. Holly Cupala – Website
  4. Michelle Zink – Website
  5. Stephanie Kuehnert – Website
  6. Elizabeth Scott – Website
  7. Judith Graves – Website
  8. Alexandra Diaz – Website
  9. Barry Lyga – Website
  10. Jon Skovron – Website
  11. Tonya Hurley – Website
  12. Amy Brecount White – Website
  13. Linda Gerber – Website
  14. Melissa Walker – Website
  15. Kieran Scott – Website
  16. Courtney Sheinmel – Website
  17. Michael Northrop – Website
  18. Lauren Oliver – Website
  19. Ned Vizzini – Website
  20. Melissa Kantor – Website
  21. Susane Colasanti – Website
  22. Violet Haberdasher – Website
  23. Eliot Schrefer – Website
  24. Sarah Darer Littman – Website
  25. Gayle Forman – Website
  26. Sarah Ockler – Website
  27. Sarah Mlynowski – Website
  28. Maryrose Wood – Website
  29. Kody Keplinger – Website
  30. Simone Elkeles – Website

So if you’re ready to party, this is THE place to be on Tuesday, May 24, 2010.





Next Up: BEA

18 05 2010

Art by Salvatore Vuono

So I’ll soon be off to the Big Apple and have lots of plans while I’m there. One of the first is to meet all the cool authors in the Class of 2k10. These authors have been working hard to promote their titles as a group.

They’re following in the footsteps of other classes before them. Class of 2k7 kicked things off when Greg Fishbone gathered a group of that year’s debut MG & YA authors together to help promote their books. Authors from that first year include (from the list on Greg Fishbone’s website):

Class of 2k7 Alumni

Spring Semester 2007

  • Ruth McNally Barshaw – Ellie McDoodle: Have Pen, Will Travel (Bloomsbury)
  • Kelly Bingham – Shark Girl (Candlewick)
  • Julie Bowe – My Last Best Friend (Harcourt)
  • Laura Bowers – Beauty Shop for Rent (Harcourt)
  • Paula Chase – So Not The Drama (Dafina/Kensington)
  • Cassandra Clare – City of Bones (McElderry Books)
  • Rosemary Clement-Moore – Prom Dates From Hell (Delacorte)
  • Karen Day – Tall Tales (Wendy Lamb Books)
  • Aimee Ferris – Girl Overboard (Penguin)
  • Paula Jolin – In the Name of God (Roaring Brook)
  • Carrie Jones – Tips on Having a Gay (ex) Boyfriend (Flux/Llewellyn)
  • Rose Kent – Kimchi and Calamari (HarperCollins)
  • Constance Leeds – The Silver Cup (Viking)
  • Elizabeth Scott – Bloom (Simon Pulse)
  • Joni Sensel – Reality Leak (Henry Holt)
  • C.G. Watson – Quad (Razorbill)
  • Sara Zarr – Story of a Girl (Little Brown)

Summer Session 2007

  • Sarah Beth Durst – Into The Wild (Razorbill)
  • Ann Dee Ellis – This Is What I Did (Little Brown)
  • Jeannine Garsee – Before After and Somebody In Between (Bloomsbury)
  • Judy Gregerson – Bad Girls Club (Blooming Tree Press)
  • Stephanie Hale – Revenge of the Homecoming Queen (Berkley Jam)
  • S.A. Harazin – Blood Brothers (Delacorte)
  • Thatcher Heldring – Toby Wheeler: Eighth Grade Benchwarmer (Delacorte)
  • Marlane Kennedy – Me and the Pumpkin Queen (Greenwillow)
  • Melissa Marr – Wicked Lovely (HarperCollins)
  • G. Neri – Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty (Lee and Low)
  • Rebecca Stead – First Light (Wendy Lamb Books)

Fall Semester 2007

  • Sarah Aronson – Head Case (Roaring Brook)
  • Jay Asher – Thirteen Reasons Why (Razorbill)
  • A.C.E. Bauer – No Castles Here (Random House)
  • Autumn Cornwell – Carpe Diem (Feiwel)
  • Greg R. Fishbone – The Penguins of Doom (Blooming Tree Press)
  • Sundee T. Frazier – Brendan Buckley’s Universe & Everything In It (Delacorte)
  • Jo Knowles – Lessons from a Dead Girl (Candlewick)
  • Eric Luper – Big Slick (Farrar Straus & Giroux)
  • Suzanne Selfors – To Catch a Mermaid (Little Brown)
  • Heather Tomlinson – The Swan Maiden (Henry Holt)
  • Tiffany Trent – In the Serpent’s Coils (Mirrorstone)

Recognize any names? Bet you do. Many of those authors went on to make names for themselves. So I’m betting the Class of 2k10 will too.

So pack your bags and join the fun. Follow the Class of 2k10’s slogan:

So who’s in the Class of 2k10? Here’s the list of this year’s stellar authors:





Celebrate Children’s Book Week

11 05 2010

I’m lucky enough to be part of this illustrious group of authors who will be celebrating Children’s Book Week at Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, NC. Here’s a press release about the event:

CELEBRATE CHILDREN’S BOOK WEEK WITH SEVEN LOCAL AUTHORS

Chapel Hill, NC, May 16, 2010—Join seven local children’s and young adult authors for a reading, question-and-answer session, and booksigning. Hear excerpts from David Macinnis Gill’s award-winning Soul Enchilada (Greenwillow); Bonnie J. Doerr’s eco-mystery Island Sting (Leap Books); Carolyn McAlister’s retold folktales ¡Holy Molé! (August House) and Brave Donatella and the Jasmine Thief (Charlesbridge); Maryam Tabibzadeh’s poetic Persian Dreams (Dream Books); Laurie J. Edwards’ biography of R&B singer Rihanna (Lucent) and thriller/romance from the anthology Summer Lovin’ (Wild Rose Press); Adrienne Ehlert Bashista’s picture books on Russian adoption, When I Met You and Mishka: An Adoption Tale (DRT Press); and Anne Runyon’s seasonal picture book, The Sheltering Cedar (Portal Press).

Attendees will be treated to a sneak peek at two of Leap Books’ most recent paranormal releases: Freaksville by Kitty Keswick and Under My Skin by Judith Graves. These teen novels have unique graphics and illustrations by Canadian artist Val Cox.

Leap Books, a newly launched publisher of teen and tween books, is sponsoring this Children’s Book Week . Featured authors are all local members of SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators), an international organization that provides networking, education, and support for authors and illustrators of children’s books at all stages of their careers.

The American Booksellers Association began Children’s Book Week in 1919. In 1944 the Children’s Book Council (CBC) took over the role of promoting reading and literacy through Children’s Book Week activities. Each year in May, CBC sponsors a nationwide week of events to encourage children and teens to read. A list of these events, as well as related online activities, can be found at the CBC website.





Share the Love…

10 12 2009

For those of you interested in collecting badges, here’s # 6 of the Leap Book collection. They’re spreading around the Internet at a rapid rate. Teen bloggers from around the world are collecting them. And now that Leap Books authors have been posted on the 2010 Debut Author Challenge and gone public with the Class of 2k10, they’re being asked for more ARCs (advance reader’s copy). Leap Books had so many requests for ARCs that they’re holding a contest to award ARCs. That’s what this badge is all about. So if you’re interested in trying for an ARC, snag the badges, post them on your blog or social media sites, then let Leap Books know by emailing them at  . Find out more about the contest here. And see the rest of the badges.

And two of the authors–Bonnie J. Doerr and Kitty Keswick–have started on their blog tours… so watch for them on the teen blogs. Author Judith Graves will soon follow. as will Jacqueline Horsfall. Get ready to Leap!