Imagination doesn't just mean making things up. It means thinking things through, solving [problems] or hoping to do so, and being just distant enough to be able to laugh at things that are normally painful. [Some people] would call this escapism, but they would be be entirely wrong. I would call fantasy the most serious, and the most useful branch of writing there is.
--Diana Wynne Jones

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Dark Divine Launch Party and Free Stuff!

Author Bree Despain's paranormal romance The Dark Divine officially launched at a lovely little Salt Lake indie bookstore, "The King's English," on Saturday, January 2, and if you missed the party, I'm sorry, because I went, and I got free purple nail polish to match my book cover.

But you'll get a second chance to win not only the nail polish, but a signed copy of Bree's book. I tell you about it in a minute.

Because first I have to say, I'm in print! Uh...well...my name is in print.

First, go buy a copy of Bree's excellent book, The Dark Divine, which you will like so much better than Twilight, whether you love Twilight or not, then open up the back to the acknowledgments page and there I am.

I will explain.

I need to begin with a story, of course. Pull up a log.

There was once--about three and 1/2 years ago--a writing conference with a writing workshop like no other, with a wonderful, brilliant writing teacher named Martine Leavitt, who is also a wonderful, brilliant writer (if you haven't yet, you must read her Keturah and Lord Death and  Heck Superhero, and when you finish those move on to Tom Finder and The Dollmage, and...I have to stop somewhere, I guess).

This class was my kick-start into the fiction-writing world. In it I discovered that maybe I could write after all, and got an inkling of the fine, tall stack of books I needed to read, and a massive list of resources for navigating the publishing maze.

Mostly,  from Martine I got inspiration.

I met my agent, Stephen Fraser, at that conference, and was thoroughly impressed. That's the agent I want, I was thinking by the end of the week, but it took a couple of years before I dared submit anything to him. I didn't want to be rejected by my ideal agent.

In Martine's class were also a lot of gifted writers, one of whom (Bree) is now in print, and another about to be (Matthew Kirby, The Clockwork Three, also a great book which my relatives will be getting for next Christmas or birthdays, depending on its release date), and some of whom, Jamie, Julie, Gaylene, Kim, and Bree, turned into my critique group.

Hence, my name on Bree's acknowledgment page. Yes, we count ourselves lucky we got to read and critique it two years ago. And we've been following her path to publication with interest, excitement, and all that: from submissions, to Bree's finding her agent, the birth of her blog and website, to the offer from Egmont USA, and finally the release, at last. I feel like an aunt. Does baby have a touch of my nose? My hair or eyes? I'm thrilled. I feel like handing out bubble-gum and birth announcements. Which this pretty much is, if you haven't noticed. Actually, I'm handing out the baby, which is Bree's after all, not mine. More in a second.

So, the launch party. I hate getting my picture taken so that part was painful, but everything else, especially seeing so many writers and friends and writer-friends, was fun.

First, Bree, reading from The Dark Divine:



My cute daughter, with my friend and great writer A.E. Cannon (The Loser's Guide to Life and Love) and me:

Ann was the one who read my first 15 pages of Thrushbeard (which was about all I had, since it was a picture book first) and insisted that I finish and send it out. Bree and I were also in the same Ann Cannon workshop together in 2008.

My critique group sisters: Kim and Julie, minus Gaylene, Jamie, and Bree, who was busy signing.

With Julie and Matt Kirby, whose book I'll be giving out to my relatives this year:

Bree and me (matching purple shirts, except one of us--not me--has a chest and one doesn't) and my cute daughter:

Congratulations, Bree!

All right, now the FREEBIES:

So, here's the deal. I have an extra copy of The Dark Divine signed in purple ink, as well as matching official Dark Divine nail polish and I'm giving them away. To you. All you have to do is

become a follower or  subscribe to my blog and  

leave me a comment telling me that's what you did,

or, if you're already a follower, leave a comment before Wednesday, January 13th at midnight and tell me that's what you are,

and I'll enter you in my prize drawing.

I'll announce the winner Thursday, Jan., 14th,  and that person will need to email and tell me where to send it. If you're under age 18, I'll need your parent to write and give me consent.

Questions? Leave a comment :)

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