Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Author: Marni Bates Guest and Giveaway!

Brought to you by Rockstar Book Tours...

Decked with Holly
Marni Bates

Page Count: 272
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult
Release Date: 25 September, 2012
K-Teen (Kensington)

Holly Dayton is about to go way out of her comfort zone...

Spending Christmas vacation on a cruise with her two cousins from hell isn’t Holly’s idea of a good time. And when in a moment of seasick-fueled desperation she lurches into an open suite—she’s greeted with an eyeful of pepper spray. The culprit? A gorgeous guy calling himself Nick. But when Holly goes to make her exit, she gets the shock of her life: a corridor crammed with screaming teenage fans. Because Nick just happens to be Dominic Wyatt, drummer for ReadySet—one of the hottest bands in America.

Suddenly rumors are swirling, and Holly’s face is captured on countless phones and plastered all over the Internet. But the band can’t risk a scandal destroying their family-friendly image, so Dominic convinces Holly to be his fake girlfriend—just for two weeks. How bad could it be to be fauxmantically involved with one of the cutest rockstars on the planet? Holly’s about to find out...

Writing Tips I Wish I'd Known Since the Beginning

Best tips I wish I had known from the beginning:
  1. This job only works if you sit down, ignore your Twitter feed and actually write. So, y’know... do that. 
  2. Write what you want to read. 
Seriously. If anyone tries to tell you what you should be writing, ignore them. Fun fact: when I first started writing, my older brothers told me that my work would never sell unless I added a school for wizards to it. I believe their exact words were, “JK Rowling wouldn’t be famous if she wrote about her high school gym teacher, Marni!”

But I did what little sisters do best: I ignored their terrible advice.

I’m really glad that I did too. Wizards just aren’t my scene.

Learn to embrace Twitter.
That’s where you will meet some of your best friends/most supportive fellow writers. If people hassle you about it, tell them that it’s a tool for professional networking. And then you can vent about it to your friends in 140 characters or less.

Build a soundtrack for each book.
I find that music really helps me connect with my characters. So if there is a line or a sentiment behind a song that reminds you of anyone in your story, I suggest adding it to the playlist. The only downside to this technique is that you will never hear your favorite songs quite the same way again. Totally worth the trade-off though.

Learn to deal with rejection.
I know how much it hurts to hear that someone isn’t interested in a project that has become your heart and soul. But dealing with rejection (over and over again) is a huge part of landing this job. You have to be willing to face months, possibly years of hearing, “Sorry, it’s just not the right fit for me.”

My mom can confirm that she has been on the receiving end of more than one heartbroken phone call. She has also seen me stress eat my way through more bags of marshmallows than I would like to admit.

But I can promise you that every time someone does say yes though... it’s amazing. And all those moments of pain and frustration feel like a very small price to pay for the opportunity to get even one step closer to your dream.

Being published probably won’t make you any less insecure.
At least it hasn’t made me any less insecure about my work. I still have bad days when I stare blankly at my equally empty computer screen. I have occasionally been known to speculate on just how much bad karma will be headed my way if I claim there has been a recent family emergency that has interfered with my ability to meet my deadline.

(Way too much bad karma to ever try it. And I’ve yet to actually miss a deadline although I’ve certainly lost sleep to make a few of them.)

This brings me nicely to my next bit of advice though...

Read all bad reviews aloud to a friend.
It’s easy to accept intellectually that not everyone will like your work, but it’s really fricking hard to remember that when you click a review and watch your work get torn to shreds. Some authors suggest avoiding reviews altogether, but I think they can be a great opportunity to see how well certain messages are coming across to your readers.

Unfortunately, bad reviews can also put me in a multi-day writing funk where I can’t bring myself to look at my latest work in progress. If I’m approaching a deadline, I won’t even let myself read anything that might mess with my head and/or self-esteem.

But if you’re like me and you know that eventually you’ll crack and read all the 2 star reviews: get yourself a bad review buddy who can help you joke your way through it.

Last but not least...

Find an artistic outlet that doesn’t directly involve writing.
Whenever I’m stuck or feeling unmotivated to write, I bust out my idea notebook and start doodling in there. If I need an extra boost of inspiration I will cast actors to play my characters and then collage my way through the work in progress.

Recently, I’ve also become hooked on making stop-motion animation book trailers! As a special bonus it’s technically work-related so I don’t feel guilty for working on it when I should be writing.

I hope you like it!

And on that note... it’s back to the writing cave for me!

Best wishes,

About the Author

Marni Bates began her writing career at the age of 19 with her autobiography, Marni, for HCI’s Louder Than Words series. Her debut novel, Awkward, has been translated into Portuguese, Spanish and Hungarian and has been optioned by Disney Channel as a made for TV movie. She has three other novels with KTeen; Decked with Holly, Invisible, and Notable, as well as a short story in Ambush Books’ Magical Mayhem anthology.

In her free time she can be found reading romance novels, rollerblading, singing really loudly (and off-key) in public and... watching copious amounts of television. You can visit her at www.MarniBates.com, check out her author page on Facebook, follow her on Twitter at @MarniBates, friend her on Goodreads, or do all of the above! Really. It would make her day.

You can follow the entire tour by clicking here!


Thanks to Rockstar Book Tours, there is one copy of Decked with Holly up for grabs!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Rules and Disclosure:
Giveaway ends January 15th at 11.59 EST (your time).
Open to US readers only.
Winners have 48 hours to claim their prize once they are chosen, or else their prizes will be forfeited.
I am in no way responsible for the prizes, nor for shipping and handling.
As a reminder, you do not have to follow my blog to enter, though it is always very much appreciated ❤ Plus, you get extra entries ;) Please also be courteous and follow the author/tour in some way, as they are providing a prize for all of y'all :)
Good luck!