BLOG HOP MONDAY

Today I have the distinct privilege of introducing you to some fantastic authors by way of a Blog Hop. Becoming a writer is an incredible journey. When I first started, I spent a lot of time alone, staring at my computer screen, which I still do, but now I’m surrounded by all these authors who spend a whole lot of their time helping other writers. I’ve grown so much as a person and a writer thanks to the wonderful people who’ve given me and my work a chance to shine. I’m so grateful, and I still have a long way to go!

First, we rewind to last week, where Hannah R. Goodman posted about me on her blog.

Hannah R. Goodman, Founding Editor of Sucker Literary, Writer Woman, and all around amazing person.

Hannah Goodman, M.Ed, MFA, is the author of YA novel, My Sister’s Wedding, which won the first place award for The Writer’s Digest International Self-Publishing Contest, 2004, children’s book division. She published the follow-up, My Summer Vacation, in May 2006, which went on to win a bronze IPPY in 2007. The third Maddie book, Fear of Falling was released in the fall of 2009 and was praised by teachers and readers for tackling subjects like homophobia and coming out. She’s published young adult short stories on Amazon’s Shorts, in an anthology entitled Bound Is The Bewitching Lilith, and in the journal Balancing The Tides. She also has written columns for The Jewish Voice & Herald. Her newest endeavor is SUCKER LITERARY MAGAZINE, featuring undiscovered and new YA authors.

A former high school English teacher, she now owns her own small company, The Write Touch, offering a variety of services for clients of all ages–from tutoring across the content areas in writing and reading for elementary through college students to resume writing and career counseling for adults. She assists in the college application process, from SAT prep to writing the college application essay. Additionally, she is a writing coach and consultant to authors and would-be authors. She teaches her homegrown writing course Releasing The Writer Within, as well. Hannah is a member of the  Editorial Freelancers Association and SCBWI as well as a graduate of Pine Manor College’s Solstice Program in Creative Writing. She resides in Bristol, RI with her husband, two daughters, and three cats: Lester, Maisey, and Judy.

Contact Hannah:

Twitter: @hannahrgoodman
Now, for the authors who will hop after me. (Haha…that sounds amazingly hilarious.)
Let me introduce Justine Manzano. Writer. Blogger. Twitterer. Justine didn’t give me much to go on, so I became a super sleuth, finding out all about her in my spare time. (Stalker style. That’s right.)
Justine Manzano is a writer of many genres who lives in Bronx, NY with her husband, son, and a cacophony of cats. Her short fiction appears in the anthology Things You Can Create and Sliver of Stone Magazine and will appear in the upcoming inaugural issue of The Greenwich Village Literary Review.  She maintains a semi-monthly blog at JustineManzano.com and works as a fiction reader for Sucker Literary Magazine.  Her twitter account is at @justine_manzano, where she shares all of her news and views on writing and life.
Check out Justine’s story “Tunneling” HERE.
Next, we have Shannon Alexander.

Shannon Lee Alexander is a wife, mother (of two kids and one yellow terrier named Harriet Potter). She is passionate about coffee, books, and cancer research. Math makes her break out in a sweat. Love and Other Unknown Variables is her debut novel being released October 7, 2014. She currently lives in Indianapolis with her family.

Contact Shannon:
Blog: Wandering through the Words http://www.wanderthewords.blogspot.com
Twitter @shanlalexander

And most exciting of all, here is Shannon’s cover for her debut novel.
Charlie Hanson has a clear vision of his future. A senior at Brighton School of Mathematics and Science, he knows he’ll graduate, go to MIT, and inevitably discover the solutions to the universe’s greatest unanswerable problems. He’s that smart.The future has never seemed very kind to Charlotte Finch, so she’s counting on the present. She would rather sketch with charcoal pencils, sing in her pitch-perfect voice, or read her favorite book than fill out a college application.

Charlie’s future blurs the moment he meets Charlotte. She’s not impressed by the strange boy until she learns he’s a student at Brighton where her sister has just taken a job. At Charlotte’s request, Charlie orchestrates the biggest prank campaign in Brighton history. But by the time Charlie learns Charlotte is ill and that the pranks were a way to distract her sister from Charlotte’s illness, Charlotte’s gravitational pull on him is too great to overcome. Soon he must choose between the familiar formulas he’s always relied on or the girl he’s falling for (at far more than 32 feet per second). 

Now, I’m supposed to introduce 3 authors, but sometimes things happen and people back out last minute. You know who you are. So I post their stuff anyway. You eat that slice of guilt pie.
LASTLY, I have my good friend and author, RLL.
Here is a picture of an ice cream cone. (It’s a long story…you should read it.)
I like to embarrass RLL. He’s a self-proclaimed curmudgeon, but he’s actually done a lot of things for me (the most prevalent of which is drive me crazy). He’s a smart guy. He teaches me things and forces me to see the world through Scottish tinged glasses. Plus, as you’ve probably already realized, I’m an excellent stalker.
RLL has published many a book, which he’s ridiculously modest about. I know that sounded sarcastic, but it wasn’t meant to. He’s seriously a nice guy. (I bet he’s blushing right now. He’s probably going to kill me. I should run…)
Contact RLL:
Twitter: @RLL_author
That’s all the blog hopping I have for today. I’ve promised myself that I will spend the day writing, and I fully intend to. Check out the above authors. Leave them some comments. Spread the love.
All the best,
Kacey
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SUCKER BLOG TOUR – DAY 1 – INTERVIEW WITH HANNAH GOODMAN

If you haven’t heard by now, I’m working for the fabulous Sucker Literary. My very first project? THIS BLOG TOUR!

logomark_color_web_medWelcome to the very first Sucker Blog Tour – I’m so excited to bring you an interview with Founder/Editor Hannah Goodman. Let me tell you from working with this woman – she is a force to be reckoned with! She is taking the Young Adult Genre by storm and letting fledgling authors have their say in a very tight, and often unforgiving, market.

You started Sucker after searching the market and finding it lacking in YA. How is Sucker different from what’s out there?

Sucker Literary is the only literary anthology that focuses on YA short fiction ONLY. It is also the only literary anthology out there that includes images with stories. Sucker Literary is the only literary enterprise comprised of an all volunteer staff, including marketing and website design and development and has a staff who functions in multiple capacities including writing. From the quality of the writing and the publication to the way we function as a staff, there really isn’t anything out there like us

Ideally, where is Sucker five years from now?

An entity in the publishing world that is larger than just a publication.

Sucker has a mentor process for submissions. How does this work?

I field the submissions to our readers. Then our staff of 25 plus readers must fill out feedback sheets, which include whether or not a piece should be accepted, rejected, or mentored. Then they send those back to me, and I read EVERY SINGLE one. How long does that take? Depends on the 900 other things I have to do. But I always make time for Sucker!

I have a day job, my own writing, and a family with two kids under ten. SUCKER LITERARY is my labor of love, but in order for it to happen and to happen in the best way possible, each part of the process takes a lot of time : )

Decisions about accepting and mentoring come from initial recommendations (on the feedback sheets) from readers, but ultimately the piece must resonate with me. This part of the process also takes some time and cannot be rushed because I want to publish the VERY best work from emerging writers of short form YA fiction.

Once final decisions are made regarding pieces, notes and feedback sheets are given to the folks we have agreed to mentor or accept. And they, like all of us on staff, have lives filled with many other responsibilities. I do not like to rush their process of revising. So that part of the process can take more weeks or months. Revising can also take a round or two and so add a few more weeks or months onto that. Once revisions are completed, well, that’s a whole other timeline and blog entry!

The folks we agree to mentor are given 1-2 rounds of notes and revisions. Sometimes a piece doesn’t come together in these 1-2 rounds. Those folks sometimes are invited to resubmit with further revisions for the next reading period. But other times, it’s time to part ways. Rejecting those folks is very hard. Sometimes they do submit again, and they still haven’t gotten the piece where it needs to be. My least favorite thing to do is tell them no. . . again. But I provide reasons why and also encouragement to keep going because sometimes it’s just not a perfect fit and they can go elsewhere and find a home for the piece.

I’m a teacher by trade. Our writers, even those whose pieces we accept, go through revisions. The difference between a piece that’s accepted for publication and a piece that makes it to the mentoring round but not to publication has to do with foundation of the story. If a story has plot holes or under developed characters after 2 rounds of revisions, then it’s not ready to be published. 

Sucker seems like a “brand name,” what kinds of stories fit the Sucker brand?

Edgy, sassy, humorous, intelligent, bold, colorful, thought provoking, engaging.

Perks of Being a Wallflower is a good example of contemporary fiction that we like. Feed by M.T. Anderson for the dystopian genre. Carolyn Mackler’s novels are the kinds of romances we like. But don’t think that’s all. I am pretty open to anything. Just take a look at our first two volumes. 

As the editor, what is the most challenging part of publishing Sucker?

My day job! Translated: TIME

Publishing is a lot of “who you know,” who’s on Sucker’s Most Wanted list?  (Who do you want to notice Sucker?)

Carolyn Mackler

John Green

Stephen Chbosky

Erica Lorraine Scheidt

Just to name a few.

What advice can you give rejected writers?

It’s cliché but true: don’t give up. Also, each rejection brings you a step closer to the right fit in terms of agent or publisher.

How does the upcoming Sucker Volume Three differ from Volume Two?

I’ll tell you when I finish making decisions about submissions. So far, it’s pushing the edge a little bit more than volume 2.

Open Door Day is coming up, what’s that all about?

24 hours of opening the “doors” to submissions for volume 3. No mentoring and no feedback. Send your very very best.

Running a literary magazine is hard work, what keeps you coming back for more?

Insanity. An electric impulse to create and make things grow.

Include anything else you want-

I love you, Kacey!!!!! And my entire staff and all supporters!!!!! (She really said that! I swear!)

Hannah Big LolliHannah Goodman is a YA author represented by Erzsi Deàk of Hen&ink Literary Studio. Her YA novels have won awards and garnered praise but her proudest endeavor is Sucker Literary. She owns The Write Touch, offering a variety of services for clients of all ages. Hannah is a member of SCBWI as well as a graduate of the Solstice MFA program at Pine Manor College. She resides in Bristol, RI with her husband, two daughters, and three cats: Lester, Maisey, and Judy. More about Hannah can be found on her website: hannahrgoodman.com

Now for Sucker Literary, Volume 2!

Sucker Literary Vol 2 Cover

When Alex’s bandmates invite a girl to sing lead, a battle of the sexes becomes a battle over something unexpected. . . A girl tells her friend about hooking up with longtime crush Fred, but his kisses are not what makes that night in his car memorable. . . A therapy session with Doug might just make Jason go insane again. . . Wallflower Aubrey hooks up with Gordon after the cast party, which would be fine if he weren’t the most forbidden fruit of them all…Savannah certainly doesn’t sound like a convict’s name, so maybe hanging out with her isn’t all that dangerous. Miki is committed to getting over Dex, yet she can’t get him off her answering machine—or her doorstep. In between puffs of cigarettes and attempts to smear lipstick on her face, Allie’s grandmother dishes out advice that maybe Allie should take. . . And finally, what’s a girl to do with Satan as both her boss and father? Nine short stories pose the questions we obsess over whether we’re growing up or all grown up: Who should I love? Am I doing the right thing? Is there ever an end to heartbreak? In its second volume, SUCKER continues to showcase the very best emerging talent in young adult literature and give (some of) the answers to Life’s Big Questions along the way.

Sounds great, right? Because it IS!

Get Sucker in all these places:

Amazon

Sucker Literary

Facebook

Goodreads

Sucker Free Day is July 20th and 21st. Get a FREE digital copy of Sucker Literary Volume 2 on Amazon.

Sucker is looking for more short stories for Volume 3. Get the details for Open Door Day (August 1, 2013): HERE.

Don’t be a Sucker, follow our tour:

July 1stKacey Vanderkarr

Featuring Sucker founder:

Hannah Goodman

July 3rdStephanie Keyes

Featuring Sucker author:

Ann Karasinski

July 5thLisa Voisin

Featuring Sucker author: Paul Heinz

and an excerpt from Sucker

Literary Volume 2

July 7thVincent Morrone

July 8thBook Reviews by Dee

Featuring an interview with Sucker author: Claudia Classon

July 9thWrite All the Words

Featuring Sucker author:

Josh Prokopy

July 10thLiving Fictitiously

Featuring an interview with Sucker author: Suzanne Kamata

and an excerpt and giveaway of Sucker Literary Volume 2

July 12thTanya’s Book Nook

Featuring an excerpt, giveaway, and review of Sucker Literary Volume 2

July 14Catrina Beeny

Featuring Sucker author:

Kelly Samuels and an excerpt from Sucker Literary Volume 2

July 15thThree Book Reviewers

Featuring an excerpt from

Sucker Literary Volume 2

July 18thLiving a Fictional Reality

Featuring a review of Sucker

Literary Volume 2

July 20thBrooke Blogs

Featuring a review of Sucker

Literary Volume 2

July 21stPage Flipperz YA

July 24thCellar Door Books

Featuring Sucker author:

Aida Zilelian and a review of Sucker Literary Volume 2

July 26thMartha Allard

Featuring Sucker author: Candi Fite

July 29thWe Do Write

Featuring an excerpt from

 Sucker Literary Volume 2

July 30thJustine Manzano

Featuring Sucker founder: Hannah Goodman and Sucker Social Media Director: Kacey Vanderkarr

July 31stKacey Vanderkarr

Featuring Sucker author:

Mima Tipper

Thank you Hannah and Sucker. It feels great to be a part of something so wonderful.

All the best,

Kacey


WHIRLWIND

Good morning everyone! I’m stuck at home with the plague, so I thought I’d take a moment to reflect on this amazing week. It’s truly been a rush and a ton of fun.

Antithesis CoverMonday was the cover reveal for Antithesis. There aren’t words for how exciting this is, to see my book with a cover, to know that in a couple months I’ll be able to hold it in my hands. Wow. WOW. People have been so nice, too. My friends on Facebook have been working overtime promoting Antithesis, and I love them for that. It’s great to have a support group and I really appreciate everything they’ve done for me.

On Tuesday, my short story, First Shift went live on the Inkspell website. This is a FREE READ, and it’s still up, so if you want to get it CLICK HERE.  

First Shift

First Shift is the catalyst for Antithesis, and the reason Liam finds himself in Gavyn’s bedroom over two years later. It was really interesting for me to write the before, sad, too. I hope you’ll enjoy it.

Wednesday and Thursday flew by in a flurry of posts and tweets and updates. I really don’t mean to annoy people on Facebook, but if I connect with one new person for every post, then it’s worth it. Writing is a thankless job, and just because the book is written doesn’t mean I get a break. Advertising could make or break Antithesis, so I want to give it every opportunity to get out there. So share it. Read it. Love it or hate it, it doesn’t really matter. Just read.

I’ve also become heavily involved with SUCKER LITERARY, which is a Lit Anthology that features emerging young adult authors. I feel really strongly about Sucker. There just isn’t a place for emerging YA. It seems like it’s either make or break, and there’s such a flooded market, that it’s hard to find solid advice. Sucker is incredible in this way, because they mentor writers. If they feel they can help you grow as a writer, they will mentor your story, regardless of whether they accept it for the anthology. Hannah Goodman, the editor and founder of Sucker, has a great vision and I’m honored to be on board. Look for an upcoming blog tour featuring the second volume of Sucker Literary. You can find Sucker on Amazon HERE. And on Goodreads HERE. 

 

Give it a try, I think you’ll be surprised by the combination of grit and heart that makes Sucker Literary a great read.

In the next few months, my writing group, The Flint Area Writers, will be accepting submissions for a faerie anthology. I’m REALLY excited about this. We have a fantastic set of writers to build the crux of the anthology, and we’ll be accepting general submissions from the public as well. So if you’re a writer, get writing your faerie stories! The submission period runs from August 1 – September 30, and we’d love to read your story.

Stories-from-Fairyland-Promo3There’s a lot of awesome things coming in the future and I’m so grateful to be involved in all of them. If you have the time, take a second to like my Facebook AUTHOR PAGE and add Antithesis on GOODREADS.

After all, I wouldn’t be here without the support of this great community and all the writers that have encouraged me along the way. Now – to actually do the important thing: WRITE!

All the best,

Kacey