Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Mythology behind the creation of Madison’s world

by Cherie Colyer

Madison’s story takes place in modern day, but since there is a supernatural element there was still a world that had to be created and rules that had to be followed for the reader to believe the impossible is possible.

World building is one of my favorite parts of writing fantasy. It’s like being handed a magic wand and being told I can make anything I desire come true. All I have to do to make it true is want it bad enough. The possibilities are endless. I suppose it’s like giving an artist a blank canvass and a palette of paint and telling him to go at it or letting a teenager loose in their favorite store and saying the sky’s the limit.

To create a fantasy world that others will believe in, the unknown must fit flawlessly into everyday life. Forces that are beyond our understanding have to be able to blend in with the scenery.

This is where a lot of the research I talked about in my previous guest post comes in handy. I started by understanding what is believed to be true from legends and myths and built on these ideas by putting my own spin on them. Hopefully what I’ve ended up with is a story that will entertain and leave the reader wanting more.


Embrace Launch Party Guest Posts!

Embrace Launch Party Posts!
Kim Winters, Kat's Eye Journal          
a novel by Cherie Colyer

Madison is familiar enough with change, and she hates everything about it. Change took her long-term boyfriend away from her. It caused one of her friends to suddenly hate her. It’s responsible for the death of a local along with a host of other mysterious happenings. But when Madison meets a hot new guy, she thinks her luck is about to improve. 

Madison is instantly drawn to the handsome and intriguing Isaac Addington. She quickly realizes he’s a guy harboring a secret, but she’s willing to risk the unknown to be with him. 

Her world really spins out of control, however, when her best friend becomes delusional, seeing things that aren’t there and desperately trying to escape their evil. When the doctors can’t find the answers, Madison seeks her own. 

Nothing can prepare her for what she is about to discover. 


Prizes: To celebrate the release of her debut novel, Cherie is giving away an eCopy of EMBRACE and 5-Embrace Hemp Bracelets today. There are three ways to win:

1) Leave a comment here or at any of the Party Posts.
2) Tweet about the Virtual Party or any of the Party Posts with tag #EMBRACEnovels
Nothing could have prepared her for what she’s about to discover. #EMBRACEnovels @CherieColyer #YA avail NOW www.cheriecolyer.blogspot.com
Celebrate the launch of EMBRACE by @CherieColyer #EMBRACEnovels #paranormal #YA avail NOW http://www.cheriecolyer.blogspot.com/
3) Facebook (tag Cherie Colyer, author) about the Virtual Party.
Celebrate the launch of teen paranormal thriller/romance novel EMBRACE by Cherie Colyer, author and enter for a chance to win Embrace prizes! http://www.cheriecolyer.blogspot.com

Do all three and you will have three times the chances to win! Leave a comment at each stop of the tour for a chance to win the Grand Prize.

If you haven’t already, remember to stop back by Cherie’s blog or click here to fill out the form to ensure your entry is counted.


Saturday, December 17, 2011

MeeGenius PB Contest in Naperville Newspaper!

Good News!  The Naperville Sun newspaper published an article about my picture book submissions being accepted into this year's MeeGenius New Author Contest!  If you're local, please check out page 33, or click the link below to read the entire story:

Naperville Sun Times Story

Tomorrow is the last day to vote for my picture books in the MeeGenius New Author Contest!  If you haven't voted yet (some are saying they somehow voted twice!), please follow the links below and vote! 

Weed'em and Reap! Story

The Double Trouble Twins Story

Thank you to everyone who supported me in my writing journey thus far to getting published!  It means so much to me to know that I have so many fans rooting me for me and encouraging me to reach my dream. 


Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Power of Social Media

"You're on Twitter? I'd never join that site."

"Facebook is getting out of hand."

These are all common responses I hear when I tell friends and family about my social media activities. So, here's why I have chosen to join the social media craze:

I joined Facebook back in college (when it was originally thefacebook.com) and connected with high school friends and summer camp colleagues.  It was great to continue frienships that may have slipped since we weren't all in the same city together.  What's great about this website is not only the connections you can make but the networking opportunities it provides.  Now you can "Like" a company's webpage and follow all of their updates simply from the News Feed.  This is incredibly interesting information to have access to when only just years ago the only access people had were company websites that may or may not have been updated regularly. (and certianly not with daily updates).  According to Facebook.com, there are more than 800 million (yes MILLION) users and a startling 50% of active users log on each day.  Excitingly enough, I even had the chance to interview Chris Hughes, co-founder of Facebook, about the early stages of the site for my school newspaper back in college. 

For me, Twitter is different. I use it to connect with my field of interest: publishing.  I thoroughly enjoy spending hours a week scrolling through various updates from the experts on the current state of the publishing market, the pros and cons of the digital revolution and, of course, learning more about the agents and editors and what types of stories they are looking for -- just in case I have one to share with them.  If you're new to the Twitter-sphere, just know it can get overwhelming . Many people tweet everything from drinking coffee in the morning to brushing their teeth at night, while others are more conservative with what they post.  However, you can tailor your Twitter account to however you want it. If one to were to hack into my account, you'd be crazy not to see how up-to-date I am on the publishing industry. I love engaging in Twitter parties, reading about upcoming book tours, and gauging everyone's opinion on the lastest publishing industry announcement.  (Guilty admission: I may follow a favorite celebrity or two ...!)

I think if social media works for you, join!  Some join for the mere act of conversing with current friends and family, connecting with long lost friends from grade school or a plethora of other reasons.  Should you decide to join, feel free to add or follow me!

So what social media tools do you use? What have you found to be successful?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Picture Book Contest -- Please Vote!

It seems only fitting that when I received the exciting news that two of my picture books were accepted in the 2011 MeeGenius New Author Contest last week, it was also Picture Book Month!  I am elated to be able to share my passion and my hard work with other avid readers and writers in the online community, but especially to children who read picture books to escape, brighten their day or laugh. 


My twin brother and me -- covered in powder!
Please help me vote for my picture books! The winner will earn the opportunity to see their story come to life online and digitally, as well as receive $1,500 and a publishing contract!  Who wouldn't see that as a dream come true?! 


Feel free to share the links with friends, family and co-workers. Thank you for all of your support!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Let the Games Begin...

Coming in March of 2012, Katniss Everdeen and her rebellious, strong-willed personality will grace movie screens all over the nation.
My excitement.  Since the day I began The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, I knew immediately it was going to be one of those reads where I couldn't put it down.  I'd find myself aching to continue reading the minute I woke, flipping through chapters in between spoonfuls at breakfast, and sometimes catching a paragraph or two at a red light.  How often does a story enthrall you so much you find yourself fighting to jump back into the story at every free chance you get?  This was one of those moments for me.  To see the Reaping and Katniss throw herself at her sister's mercy, the moment she rises up into the arena for the first time, the elaborate costumes Cinna creates, and the ultimate ending to a fictitious story that somehow felt so real.  How can it not be absolutely amazing to see unfold on the big screen?

My concern.  All three books are told in the viewpoint of Katniss; however, what makes these books quite different than your Harry Potter or Bella Swan tales, is the amount of internal thought shared with the readers.  We find ourselves learning about Katniss' past and the moments that led to her becoming the young woman she is today.  We find out her fears, her strengths, her weaknesses, all through her internal thought process, even if her actions contradict her own mind and heart.  While I remember thinking how great a movie would be for this series, I also wondered how they would successfully portray Katniss' character.  In my opinion, a good way to do so would be to have consistent voice over throughout the movie, similar to the way Twilight opens with Bella's introduction.  It should be necessary in parts that call for it, and not included when the scene takes control. 

You can check out the official movie trailer below:


Let me know what you think!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Did They Just Say That in a Picture Book?

Most people probably have heard or seen by now the very unique titles splashing children's books over the past six months.  What am I referring to?


The first distinct profanity picture book (yes, geared toward children) hit bookstores nationwide with the title "Go the F**k to Sleep."  Surprising (and yet should we be?) many, it hit the NYT Bestseller list, peaking at #6.

And now, the use of this type of vulgar language seems to be a trend.  Other titles hitting bookshelves include:

1) "If You Give A Kid A Cookie, Will He Shut the F**k Up?"
2) S***t My Dad Says

First and foremost, let me clarify.  I'm not an idiot, I understand the humor in what started off as a joke on Twitter or Facebook, ended up being a bestseller, especially with the irony involved.  However, from a writer's standpoint, I have to state that by publishing these types of books, it goes against many rules we've learned at conferences. I can't begin to elaborate on the feedback I've received from many in the industry on how to strengthen my picture book stories.  I can tell you, not one comment was to add profanity into it.  More or less, everything came down to does it relate to children?  Will they find it funny? Entertaining? And most of all, will it be a book that kids will want to pick up and read over, and over, and over, and over again....

I feel these types of books hit only two distinct aspects:

1) Uniqueness.  Can't argue with that.
2) Targets parents.  No they aren't the kids, but who is ultimately buying the books for their children? Some may even purchase it just because of the hilarity behind it all.

Maybe it's geared more toward parents, and less for children after all.  The beautiful illustrations and humorous prose certainly elicits a giggle or two from even the most exhausted parents. And who can't use a laugh or two?  Who's to say parents can't enjoy a picture book geared toward them after a long hard day's work?

I can't help but think about how the FCC has eased its restrictions on profanity on TV and what constitutes a "bleep" today.  Back in the day, you wouldn't hear any swearing, where as now, some are blurted right out.  Is this a sign that swearing is becoming part of our daily language and now is seen as common?  If that's the case, I can't help but wonder, first TV, now children's books...what's next?

Overall, whether this trend continues or is a flash in the pan, writers (and readers) simply need to keep in mind one thing:  we write because we love it.  We do it to see our stories told and hopefully can live on for generation after generation.

H*ll yeah.

Monday, November 14, 2011

MeeGenius Picture Book Author Contest!

It's official!  I've officially entered not one, but TWO of my picture books in this year's MeeGenius Author Challenge 2011!

Courtesy of MeeGenius.com

Submission deadline was November 1st, and voting begins on November 28th.  I will be posting the link to the website on the 28th where you'll be able to read my two stories (and hundreds of others!) and vote on your favorite.  Winners of the first voting round move on to get their story illustrated.  The Grand Prize includes a publishing contract, $1,500 in cash, and a MeeGenius library donated to any school of the winner's choice.

Wish me luck!

A Little About Me...and My Spark

Courtesy of deviantart.com
As I mentioned in my profile, I love writing.  There are times when I get the writing itch so badly, I just need to grab a pen or my computer and jot down my ideas.  Before you know it, if you're anything like me, you have written several picture books and finished a Middle Grade novel.

And then there are books. When it comes to reading, there's  something about escaping to new worlds, meeting unique characters, all the while traveling along those unexpected twists and turns that lead you to the end.  Or is it the end?  Sometimes it's not and you're forced to wait for the sequel...and then third third....and the fourth....before you know it, a movie is in production. 

So where did I get my *spark*?

When did I find my passion to write children's books?  (Wrote my first one called "Baby Carrie" when I was only six! I still have it, however, it's very difficult to read since I wrote it pencil...hmmm).  After I graduated college with a Journalism degree, I was dead-set on moving to New York City and pursuing a job in magazines.  I had already visited the exquisite Conde Nast building in 2006 and was pretty sure my first job would be there.

However, that didn't go as planned.  Landing a job in the publishing industry while not actually living in NYC, proved to be more difficult than I had previously expected.  So difficult, that I considered myself lucky if I even got the formal "another candidate has been chosen" email.  But if you're anything like me, you didn't give up. I knew I'd find my calling, I just had to be patient.

I didn't expect it to be when I was cleaning out my old room in my Mom's house.  As we were going through a myriad of high school creative writing stories, stacks of newspaper clippings I wrote at my college newspaper, and a plethora of other school-related items, my Mom pulled out a children's story I wrote when I was a senior in high school.  I hardly even remembered writing it but there it was.  The concept was fresh, unique and had a nice storyline.  My Mom's exact words were "This is adorable!"

Looking back with the knowledge I have now, the story definitely needed work, but it was at that precise moment that I realized my calling wasn't in magazines, it was in writing children's stories.  It all made sense.  At that point, even in my early 20s, I still enjoyed reading children's books no matter what age it was geared toward or genre it fell into.  Heck, I was the only one in my family who still had a library card and actually used it!   (And for those that are wondering, yes, I moved to a new apartment last month, and already got myself my new library card). 

That moment will forever stand out for me, and it should.  It's these types of moments that people tend to treasure, because to some people our memory is all we have.  Others tend to scrapbook about it, take pictures or create song lyrics.  And others...we realize we have stories to tell.  So we grab the closest pen or computer...and write the night away.

What was your *spark* moment?