Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year!

It's that time again!

2014 brought with it many ups and downs, but I am determined to make 2015 the best year yet. I don't care what anyone says: a new year is a clean slate. It's the chance to create a whole new world. To let go and move on. To start over. To try something different. To reach that goal.

If you don't know where to begin, check out my Setting Goals post from a couple of weeks ago.

Time to stop dreaming and start doing!

Be Brilliant! :)


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Holiday Sign-Off!

Powering down for the holidays!

I hope you have a very Merry Christmas!

See you soon!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Setting Goals: Five Things on Friday


It's among us.

It's hard to believe, actually. This past year flew by (cliche to say, I know).

Right now my writer friends and I are taking stock and setting goals for the new year, as a lot of people are, I think. Because of the "clean slate" that another year brings, it's a popular time to really sit down and think about what we want to accomplish.

In my particular circle, there's a lot of talk of "quality" over "quantity," more balance, spending more time with those who matter--not rushing, I guess. When nothing is holding you back, it's easy to want to plow forward--to write and release everything you can as soon as you can.

(Which might have worked for Indie writers back in '11 and '12, but didn't work in '14, and probably won't work in 2015, either.)

There are so many things vying for my attention from day to day--kids, day job, house duties (not cooking, because I don't really do that--lol), connecting with readers, writing. When I look back on 2014, it's easy to think I accomplished absolutely nothing.

But . . . when I put it on paper, I actually did as much as I set out to do.

On a personal front, I wanted more balance. I started meditating toward the end of the year, and while I'm not as consistent as I should be, I'm much more focused on what matters and the vibes I send out into the universe. 

I also wanted to blog more and tweet more.

On the writing front, I did a major revision on a project early in the year. Over the summer I worked on a duology (still working on this), but I revised and added for a total of 160,000 words. At the end of this year, I wrote and released my Christmas novella. I would've loved to have that duology finished, but the truth is I needed to step back for a while and focus on something else.

I also got the paperback versions of two of my books formatted and ready to release.

So in actuality, and though there were some "lean moments," I hit on every goal I set for myself last year in some way. 

I'm about to sit down and write out my goals for 2015--projects I want to finish, and new ones I want to tackle. 

So . . . in the spirit of the season, here are five things I try to remember when goal-setting:

1. Write the Goals Down

It's proven that just in writing your goals down, you're more likely to accomplish them.

2. Make them Specific

Don't just say you want to "read more" or "write more." Write down how many books you want to read a week. Determine how many words you want to write a day, and which story (or stories) you want to write.

3. Create a Plan and Set Deadlines

What will it take to read a certain number of books in a year? Trips to the library? Penciling "reading time" into your schedule? If I wanted to read six books a month, that's one book every five days. With due dates, that's two individual trips to the library. The first and fifteenth could be designated library days. I could find a quiet place and read for thirty minutes after dinner every evening....

Get an action plan together.

4. Get Out of the Way

I fully believe that we are in control of our own destiny. I'm not a fan of assigning blame, or even letting past events or situations affect our today and tomorrow. Don't sabotage your goals with a negative mindset. Believe in yourself.

5. Remember WHY These Goals Were Set

Maybe it's to become more well-rounded. Maybe it's to step outside of a comfort zone. The "why" is just as important as the "what" and "how." This is what you will return to when the road gets tough. 

So . . . what do you want to accomplish in 2015?

Your goals don't have to be reading or writing-related, either. Make this the year you get healthy--both physically and spiritually. Make this the year you save for that trip. Learn that language. Work for that promotion. Make that career change. Go back to school.

Step into your "discomfort" zone.

And, as always: Be Brilliant!


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Purging ALL the Things!

I am apparently in a Purge Purge Purge mood.

Delete Delete Delete

Omit Omit Omit

I say that because I trashed about 5,000 of my "darlings" on this last read-through of the WIP.

I say that because I trashed two bags' worth of my daughter's desk junk yesterday.

I tossed entire paragraphs that didn't flow and markers that did not work.

And no one should have 500 crayons. No one. I mean, how many ceruleans could one possibly need?

I am all about some minimizing streamlining editing right now.

(In both the real world and my fiction world.)

And you know what? It's hard, but I don't miss those paragraphs as much as I thought I would. And the daughter? There was a meltdown, but when I saw her working happily at her desk that afternoon, I knew I made the right choice.

I have another POV to work on starting this week, and my next job is the daughter's room.

And then the playroom.

And then all of our closets . . .  until there is nothing left to purge. Nothing, I say. ;)

Be brilliant!


Thursday, December 11, 2014

On Revising

So . . .

I shelved the project I was working on (furiously) over the summer. I had a solid first draft of the story (dueling points of view) at the time. The story was told--there were no more scenes to write, etc.

They say you should put your work aside, you know, and I am all about what "they" say is right.

So I stepped back to get some perspective, and while I was waiting for whatever to happen that was supposed to happen, I wrote my Christmas novella.

Since I recently sent that project out into the world, I decided it was time to go back and re-open this story that had been "simmering" for the last few months. And . . .

Oh. My. God.

I'm going to be honest:

I would be embarrassed to put my name on this story right now.

Have you ever had a project like that?

It was like a facepalm/light bulb moment, where it was: "This! This is why they say it's good to step away! This is why you stuff your work in a drawer and forget about it! So you can come back with fresh eyes and a new perspective!"

Well, my fresh eyes fell right out of my head and my new perspective vomited all over the floor.

I'm exaggerating, but the point is this: first drafts suck. They do. ALL first drafts suck. I don't care who you are or how long you've been writing. Your first draft is never the best draft. This is just part of the roller coaster.

The good news is:

There's nothing wrong that cannot be fixed.

I've got Scrivener notes out the yin-yang about what this story needs. I have scenes to omit and rearrange, passages to delete, a few storyline matters to rework, key points to zero in on, etc.

I also have my handy dandy John Truby book--Anatomy of a Story--(which Sarah Ockler highly recommended to me, and I now highly recommend to everyone else!) to help me straighten this mess out. 

At any rate, I'm thankful I took this time away from the story. I'm thankful I did NOT go ahead and send it to my agent for her opinion, because then her fresh eyes might have fallen out of her head, too, and I can't be responsible for something that horrible.

I know there's this pervasive pressure in our "now now now" society to "create create create" . . . but don't rush.

There's nothing wrong with a story that cannot be fixed, but you can't rush the process.

That is all.

Be Brilliant! :D


Sunday, December 7, 2014

Cool Writer/Reader Things: Booktrack

So maybe I was living under a rock--I don't know--but I got an email last week from Chazz over at Booktrack (who is super nice and helpful, by the way).

I had never heard of this site, though Hugh Howey has, apparently, so it wouldn't surprise me if I'm last to know everything.

Either way, soundtracks for books? 


I am *ALL* in.

So I signed up and signed in and decided to work on a preview of the novella--just an excerpt. It didn't take long at all, and now there's a song and a few sound effects, and it just sounds so sweet and festive. . . .

If you haven't had a chance to preview Once Upon a Christmas Eve yet, I hope you will.

And I hope you'll preview the version at Booktrack, because it is super-cool.

Oh, and if you're a writer, this site is free and SO easy to use. I'm not kidding.  Hugh Howey loves it, I love it--I figure that's about all the testimony you need, right? ;)

Seriously, though, I'm excited about this site and what it offers right now, and I'm definitely keeping my eye on it for future projects.

So . . . what are you waiting for? Go read and rate and share! 

When you're done with the novella preview, check out "Twas the Night Before Christmas." My daughter *loved* it. I'm sure we'll read it a dozen or more times between now and the 25th.

I love music, I love books--mixing the two is just the *ultimate*. 

Like a kid on Christmas morning. ;)


Friday, December 5, 2014

Fact on Friday: Christmas Edition

So if you've read my new Christmas novella, you know that on the way to Olivia's house, she and Jonathan start talking about their "favorite things."

Jonathan's favorite Christmas album is Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton's Once Upon a Christmas, because it's a family tradition. 

Your fun fact for this beautiful Friday is that this happens to be one of MY favorite Christmas albums. Like Johnny Baby, my parents listened to this on vinyl record, and I eventually got it on CD for my family.

It's a classic.

Oh, here's my proof:

And here's my favorite song:

And, you know, just searching the names "Kenny and Dolly" and seeing all the duets listed affirms that I was *not crazy* in thinking those two were married when I was growing up. They sang everything together.  

Your BONUS confession is that, like Olivia, the Michael Buble Christmas CD is in my car right now, and my least favorite Christmas song is "Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time." It's kind of overplayed around here.

So, join the discussion!

What are your favorite (or least favorite!) Christmas songs or albums? Any traditions? Guilty pleasures? Post them in the comments.

Let's chat!


P.S. You *HAVE* to come back by on Sunday. I have something super-cool to show you. It's novella-related, obviously, and at this point I'm worried I'm not going to be able to keep it to myself until then. We shall see. ;)   

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Five Ways to Turn "One Day" into "Today"

On Monday I posted a blog about the "Four Things that Changed my Writing World." At the end of the post I tossed out a few questions.

I wondered what it was that kept people from following their dreams and meeting their goals.

I have an aunt, for instance, who loves writing. Years ago, she was inspired while on a walk. For months afterward, every time she was on that walk, she would plot the story in her mind. I'm pretty sure she was close to having it all mapped out. The only thing left was to actually get the words on paper.  She hasn't, as far as I know. We eventually stopped talking about it, because 

It was always an "idea" that never became an "action." 

For me, that was extremely frustrating.

I didn't understand the disconnect.

What lies between good intentions and goals and action? What is this void? What is this black hole of nothing that sucks us in and keeps us from living up to our potential?

I honestly don't know, but if it came up in conversation today, here's the advice I would give my aunt: 

1. Call yourself what you want to be.  

I don't care what it is: writer, painter, cross country skier, or the best office manager or teacher in your department.  Give yourself the label. Write it on the mirror, on a sticky note, post it on the fridge---anywhere you will see it. Say it. Repeat it. All the time.

Even if you've never written a whole chapter or picked up a paintbrush: 

The first step is acknowledging you have
something to offer the world, and then owning it. 

2. Set realistic goals. 

Figure out what it is you want to learn or accomplish most and get a game plan together. Add a deadline.

(I will read one book related to my career field by Sunday afternoon. I will paint one landscape each week for a month. I will write one thousand words a day until my novel is complete.) 

3. Get the tools you need to make the job easier. 

Get the apps. Take the class. Buy the book. Locate the supplies. If it's important to you, it's your responsibility to make it happen. No excuses. 

4. Make time to accomplish the goals you set. 

Even if it's just an hour on weekends, or thirty minutes a day, every step (even the small ones) takes you closer to the end result. 

You're not failing as long as you're trying,
 but you have to schedule the time, then protect it like mad. 

5. Find someone who will hold you accountable. 

For me, it's readers waiting for my next book. For you, maybe it's a spouse or a sibling or a best friend. Maybe it's your iPad, and the reminder you set for yourself each day. If someone expects something from you, and you know they're going to ask about it, you're more likely to make accomplishing the task a priority. At most, you'll get the job done. At the very least, it will save you the awkwardness and discomfort of having to fumble through the excuses.

All that to say: Please don't be my aunt, and don't spend another second dreaming about "one day."

One day I'll write a novel.
One day I'll sign up for a pottery class.
One day I'll audition for community theater.
One day I'll sit down at the piano again.

Do it today. I dare you. :D

That is all!


Monday, December 1, 2014

Four Things that Changed my Writing World

I love writing.

I do.

Even when I can't.

If I'm excited about the story I'm telling, or working on an intense scene, I can tear through some words--no joke. Sometimes, though, the words don't come, or the time to write just doesn't present itself (in addition to writing, I also have a telecommuting day job and two kids to wrangle). Some days, writing just can't be a priority. I know you understand. You're there, too.

However. . . .

I made a few changes in the last year so that I could write more consistently (at least five days out of seven, if not every day).

Here's how I managed:

1) I Sent Myself a Reminder

I have my iPad set up to "ding" every day at three o'clock in the afternoon.

The message that appears?


If I want to be a writer--if I want to get the books written--I have to make writing a priority. Three o'clock is actually a pretty inconvenient time for me, and, unless it's the weekend, I'm usually working.

But this simple statement sends a powerful message:

Writing is important. 
You want to write books, not grade papers forever. 
Remember why you're here. 
Make time for what you love to do.

The message also validates my goals and dreams. This is my way of owning who I am.
2) I Re-scheduled my Writing Time 

This past year I switched out my afternoon/late night writing routine for morning writing sessions.

(It was a necessity, as I was mostly sleep-deprived and a zombie by nine/ten o'clock, anyway.)

I realize that not everyone is able to do this, and, for others, it means getting up super-early. I don't have anywhere to be, though, so when the baby started waking up consistently for a bottle at 7am, I decided to go ahead and start working. My mind is clear, I'm fresh, and the kid is content (for a while, at least). Even though I'm not a "morning person," I discovered that I could easily pound out 1,000 words before my day even begins.

Now, when my iPad reminds me YOU SHOULD BE WRITING, I can smile and think: got it. If I'm lucky, I'll have a few minutes before I crash in bed to work on my ms, but it's okay if it doesn't happen, because I've already met my word goal. 

This means I'm not frustrated at the end of the day; 
I set out what I accomplished to do first thing. 

3) I Started Doing Timed Writing Sprints

I use my iPad for this, too, and a free app called 30/30 to manage my tasks and keep me focused. When I have a small window of time to write and I'm trying to stay distraction-free, I plug in a 30-minute writing sprint and go. 

There's something about a clock ticking to zero that motivates my fingers--
that keeps them moving.

The app is great, but any kind of timer will do (oven, microwave, stopwatch, egg timer, etc.).

4) I Started Using Scrivener

This was actually a gift to myself last Christmas, and it was the best $45.00 I have ever spent. This software is AMAZING. Honestly? I don't know why I spent so many years writing in MS Word. I can keep my photos, brainstorming sessions, and "outside" links all in one place. I can outline. I can jump from chapter to chapter or section to section. There's a built-in thesaurus and dictionary. I can even export to MS Word, or compile a mobi or epub file directly from my chapters.

I actually look forward to opening my Scrivener files each day. 
It does all the dirty work for me, so I can focus on the writing. 

It's a great feeling.


So what's keeping you from writing more consistently? Time? Focus?

Or maybe you don't write. Maybe you have some other longing--something you want to do or be. Something you want to accomplish.

What's stopping you? What's keeping you from making this happen?

I'll be back with more later this week.

In the meantime. . . .

Be Brilliant!


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

To all my stateside readers:

I hope you have a

safe and happy 

Thanksgiving holiday!

Sunday, November 23, 2014


Need new books for the holidays?
 Try some guilt-free one-clicking from The Indelibles!

Need new books for the holidays? Try some guilt-free one-clicking from The Indelibles.

My Paper Heart:

One Wild Night:

Third Daughter:

Open Minds:

Day of Sacrifice:


Sun & Moon:



Celestra Series:

The Soulkeepers:



The Fool:

Grasping at Eternity:

3 AM Kisses:

Beautiful Stranger:

The Guardian:

Prom Impossible:

Vampire Lies:




Blood and Snow:
My Paper Heart:
One Wild Night:
Third Daughter:
Open Minds:
Day of Sacrifice:
Sun & Moon:
Celestra Series:
The Soulkeepers:
The Fool:
Grasping at Eternity:
3 AM Kisses:
Beautiful Stranger:
The Guardian:
Prom Impossible:
Vampire Lies:
Blood and Snow:

Friday, November 21, 2014

Contest Winner and Another Announcement!


You're our lucky winner from yesterday's contest!
Send me an email at and we'll get your ebooks to you!

Thanks for entering! 


In other news, and this isn't exactly news if you're subscribed to my newsletter, but I've gotten *SO MANY* emails over the years about Cross My Heart not being available in print.

Well. . . .

I am pleased to announce that is no longer an issue. 


are officially available in paperback!   

What do you think?

I'll admit, I squealed a bit when they arrived in the mail.

I love ebooks, but man--there's nothing like holding a book and flipping pages and seeing every word written in physical form. 


I'm a geek, I know.  

If you want the latest and greatest at the earliest, make sure you're signed up for my newslettter! 

Link in the sidebar. --->

Otherwise, I hope you have an awesome weekend! 

Any cool plans? 

I'm trying to get as much Christmas shopping done online as I can. Also, I'm hand-drawing some note cards as an "extra" for some of the lady family members, so it will be an artsy weekend for me--a nice break, actually. :D

Be Brilliant!


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Christmas Novella Giveaway!

In honor of RELEASE WEEK, 
fellow Indelible Lee Strauss and I are giving away  
a Christmas Novella Prize Pack!


Peace and Goodwill, A Contemporary Romance Novella

and my latest:


Leave a comment on this blog post telling us

Something you want for Christmas this year

The contest closes at midnight eastern on Thursday, Nov. 20

Winner will be chosen at random
Check back Friday to see who wins! 

(The winner will need to contact me with an email address.)
(If we don't hear from said winner within 24 hours, a new winner will be chosen.)

Ready? Set? 

Good Luck!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Christmas Novella is LIVE!


Okay. That was a bit dramatic. Seriously, though. . . . 


It's Officially Live!

Once Upon a Christmas Eve: A Novella

A chance meeting on Christmas Eve 
will change Jonathan and Olivia’s lives forever.


(You may now return to your regularly scheduled programming.)

Sunday, November 16, 2014

On Writer's Block

It was like I woke up one morning and it was GONE.

It came out of nowhere--this not knowing.

Where this story was heading.

The words I needed to tell it.

All. Gone.

And no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't find them. The words I did find I couldn't make work.

It went beyond "spewing crap," which I encourage every writer to do, even when it's hard: just get something on paper.

I couldn't even spew crap, and it was one of the worst feelings ever, because I AM writing, and writing is ME: we are not one without the other. And at the time I honestly didn't think I would ever get past this block.

Writer's Block

I've been blocked before--sure. I'm a writer. It comes with the territory. But being pregnant with my second kid brought more than just a block. Before, whenever I was stuck, I could do what all good writers suggest and it would work:

Take a break. Read a book. Take a nap. Work on another project. Go for a walk. Movie binge. Go back to the last place everything "worked" and take a different route. . . .

All sound advice.

But what do you do when you're pregnant and puking your guts out every morning, on vitamins and Unisom to make it through the day, and you Just Can't Write?

I knew I needed to get as much written as possible before the baby came, because I would be worthless the first few months after he was born (at the very least), but every time I tried the session would end in anger and frustration and tears. I would write for "hours" with only a few sentences or a paragraph to show for it. 

So I gave up. I put the laptop away. I quit.

I felt like such a failure.

I worried I would be forgotten--that, by the time I was able to publish again people would have moved on. 

I felt incomplete.

So I started drawing--something I've always enjoyed, but never really made time for. And it helped. The block, it seems, only divided the "word" part of my brain from my fingers. Everything else seemed to work just fine.

Drawing became my outlet. My release. It kept me centered. Sane.

Until the baby was born and I was too exhausted to even care about making up stories. Until the holidays passed. Until I started to feel more like myself--still sleep-deprived, but more able to deal with it all. Until one day I picked up my laptop and opened the file. . . .

Here, I confirmed rather quickly that yes--everything I'd tried to add to my story while pregnant was utter crap.

And I fixed it. I removed and reworded.

I was back.

And now I'm here to remind you that this, too, shall pass--whatever it is you're dealing with right now. Whatever is keeping you from giving 100% to your writing or your passion: the block doesn't last forever. 

There are unfortunate realities--realities we have no control over. It's better to just admit that they exist and move on from there. We can't change the reality, but we can choose our attitude--how we deal with it. 

Fact: I had to stop writing for a while. 

It was upsetting, yes, but I began to see it as an opportunity to focus my attention elsewhere. I had to realize that "failing" at writing for all those months didn't make me a failure as a person. 

What's most important is that I learned from the experience and returned at the appointed time. 

And you will, too.

That is all.  :D


Friday, November 14, 2014

Guess What's Coming Soon?

A chance meeting on Christmas Eve
will change Jonathan and Olivia's lives forever.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Who's vs. Whose

So I was doing a round of proofreading today when I realized that I have a problem with the difference between who's and whose. It seems that when I'm storytelling my fingers want to use the words interchangeably. And . . . yeah. This can't happen.

I'm not even sure what made me look up this rule, but it's actually pretty simple:


A contraction for who is or who has

For example: Who's coming to dinner?


Shows possession

For example: Whose grandmother is that?

The best way to fix this is to replace the word with who is or who has.

Who is coming to dinner? Yes.
Who is grandmother is that? Um, no. 

I saw one error, which made me notice the discrepancy in the first place, then I thought there could be others, so I did a simple search for the word "who" in Scrivener (this can also be done in MS Word). It pulled up a bunch of other words (whole, whom, etc.), but I was able to quickly scroll through and determine which of these were misused.

And yes, there were others. *sigh*

We are all fallible. :)


P. S. I don't know how many stories I've sent into this world with such a simple mistake. If you locate one, just don't tell me. I'd rather not know. :D

P. P. S. Boring post, I know. Sorry!

Sunday, November 2, 2014


Are you signed up for my newsletter? Because 

I have news, and I will be sharing it soon!

And if you want to be the first to know, well, your name better be on that list.

I don't spam. 

In fact, this will be the first letter I've ever sent out.

So if you want to stay on top of all things Katie Klein, the link is in the sidebar.

No pressure. . . . ;)

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

On Love

I love this blog post by friend and fellow writer, Kurtis Scaletta--just read it this morning.

He talks about writers and their "One Big Thing." 

"There’s a saying that is applied sometimes to writers: The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing. Some writers are always exploring new territory, and others keep to their small bit of ground and find endless wealth there."

I've never thought about it in these terms, or what my "One Big Thing" is. 

I'm editing two new drafts right now (yes, two!), and when you lay all of my books side to side, I'd have to say that my thing is love. That is my common thread. My message.

My one big thing is that you can find true love no matter where you are or what you're going through. Life is hard, but love can save lives. It's not always easy (in fact, loving someone is sometimes the hardest thing my characters have ever done), but in the end it's worth the risk and the struggle. 

So now you know what I've been working on all these months, and what I will always come back to in the future, even if I stray--

Love Stories.

That's where I find my endless wealth and inspiration. 

True Love.


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Only Reason to go to Disney World

We were outside on the swings tonight enjoying this last bit of summer when my daughter confessed that she was worried about Disney World.

"Why?" I asked.

"Because I feel like I'm too old for Disney Princesses now," she said. "It won't be any fun for me."

"Are you kidding?" I replied. "Now's the best time to go! Because while the rest of the littles are running around trying to find Anna and Elsa, you and I get to hunt Jack Sparrow and Flynn Rider." ;)

The only reason to go to Disney World.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Sorry So Silent!

I know. . . . 

*radio silence*

It's all for a good reason, though. I'm making so much progress on my summer writing project(s). I've hit some major scenes, am approaching a climax, and I just outlined the last few chapters this morning.

Unfortunately, it's slow going because I'm working against a day job and an active little guy on the verge of crawling/walking.

I feel pretty good, even though this is a rough rough ROUGH draft and there's a lot of work left to do.

So . . . yes, it's quiet in these parts, but I feel like you forgive me. :D

Thanks for hanging in there!


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

TFIOS Song Obsession

I have yet to see TFIOS, but plan to remedy that v. v. soon. 

I'm re-reading the book in preparation. It's just as wonderful as I remember.

Also, I have become obsessed with this song from the soundtrack:

It is currently on "repeat."

That is all. ;)


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Random: On Trending

Here's your random thought for the day:

Why do I always fear the worst when I see someone trending on Yahoo? My first instinct is always a moment of brief panic as I think: "Oh, God No! Please don't let him/her be dead!"

As if people/celebrities cannot trend unless they have passed away. 


The Duchess of Cambridge trends when she forgets her panties.

The Kardashians trend because. . . . Okay, I have no idea why these people trend.

Still, it doesn't matter how many irrelevant links I click; I am forever seeking out those who have died--hoping they haven't.

It's like my grandparents reading the obituaries in the newspaper, searching for friends and acquaintances, just to stay "in the know."

Welcome to the 21st century.

It's random, I tell you. So. Random.

That is all.


P.S. I actually didn't even plan to post this. I came online to research something really fast, got caught up in Facebook and Twitter and things trending, and here I am. I swear, the internet can be such a time suck.

That, and I have v. little self control. :)

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Top Three Favorite AI Moments

I haven't really commented on American Idol this year, just because I tend to keep my opinions to myself. I will say that I'm happy Caleb won, though I think Jena had a real chance, and both were so great that I would've been happy with either as the winner. 

I also thought the top three (+Alex) were the best--which says something about the judges and the votes, this year. . . . So . . . Yay for talented people reaching the top!

In no particular order, these are my three favorite performances from the top three contestants. 

Alex: "Say Something"

Jena: "Creep" 

Caleb: "Faithfully"

And I'm sorry, but as a bonus: There is *nothing* but chemistry between these two. At the very least, I hope they remain best friends forever.

Caleb and Jena: "It's Only Love"

That is all. :)


Friday, May 2, 2014

On "We Need Diverse Books"

I love the WE NEED DIVERSE BOOKS campaign going on right now.

I've heard this battle cry for years--and totally agree--but the issue was revisited in force after BookCon announced its panel of great children's authors . . .

And they were all white guys.


Because apparently women do not write children's books. Neither do those of different races or socioeconomic backgrounds.

Oh, but these are the powerhouses.

And then someone brought John Green into the mix and I'm all: "I'm sure John Green recognizes this disparity--he is a super smart guy. However, backing out of the Con probably isn't an option (contracts and such), so don't call for it. Or crucify him when he can't. He will find a way to get the message out. He is on our side. I promise."

In fact, he's already working on it, and so are plenty of other authors.

Some of my favorite tweets from the #weneeddiversebooks twitter campaign:

So . . . yes, get the word out so others recognize the need. 


You're forgetting this is the twenty-first century. 

Newsflash: The gatekeepers no longer hold the keys to getting your book to the masses. 

In fact, Fuck the Gatekeepers.

If you have a diverse book for Middle Grades or YA (or even adult markets) that you can't get past an editor's desk because "we already have a similar book on the docket" because apparently one or two "diverse" characters per season is all the houses can handle at a time, find another way to get your book to the people.

They say no, you say: Yes. I will. Because I believe in this story and the characters in it.

Then self-publish it. 

I'm not going into a how-to, because that's not the point of this blog. I just want to let you know there's an alternative. And that alternative is to take matters into your own hands.

This is not a debate about the pros and cons or even if self-published books should be considered "legit." (Hint: They should.)

I'm just saying: 

If you have a story about a diverse character that isn't getting through the "traditional" way, make your own way

I don't care what anyone thinks about self-publishing. That book isn't doing anyone ANY good sitting on your hard drive.

Self-publish it. Promote the shit out of it. And voila:  

A World Where Diverse Books Exist, Available to Every Audience.

*End Rant* :D

Please follow the twitter campaign today--there are some fantastic tweets going out. 

Readers: Buy diverse books--Send a message to the houses (or authors!) that publish them.

Writers: Even if you can't get past the gatekeepers, it's not over. You have options. 

That is all.

~Katie Klein~