Friday, March 16, 2012

Friday Five -- Bret Ballou

Don't forget to comment below for a chance to win an ARC of GILT -- details here.

It is my great pleasure to introduce a newly refurbished Friday Five on the blog!  I've combined the Friday Five and Follow Friday posts and will host a new writer every Friday, including all their details.

I am especially delighted that my first guest is the wonderful Bret Ballou.  I met Bret at a writer's workshop where he was in the first critique group ever to hear the (now deleted) first chapter of GILT.  He amazed me with his ability to bounce back from criticism and return to the table with a kick-butt revision.  I'm proud that he is a writer-friend, and even more so that he is a friend.


1.  What is your earliest memory?
It must’ve been just after my second birthday. My parents were having our house built in mountain forest outside of Albuquerque and we were at the construction site. I was standing with my mom in the dining room, watching an electrician install an electrical socket. I was fascinated by all the colorful wires. Every time I’m in that room, I still think about how cool that moment was.

2.  What is your most unappealing habit?
Wow, Katherine, you ain’t pulling punches are you? This isn’t frivolous Friday Five. Ok, so I’ll give you one of my most unappealing traits instead of a habit. I’m a pretty structured person and a planner on top of that – so anything last minute that throws my routine or plan outta whack forces me into grumpy pants. In the end, I deal with the situation (and most the time, without killing anyone), but I’m trying to learn to “roll with the punches” a bit more, ‘cause life sure seems a lot simpler for those that do.

3.  What is the worst job you’ve done?
One of my first engineering jobs was designing instrumentation for urological surgical procedures. To say some of these instruments looked like torture devices out of the GILT era is putting it lightly. And then I actually attended procedures to see them used on real, live patients. Ugh. People, pray for urinary tract health (especially, men). The job was interesting, paid well, and I learned a lot, but the things I saw…oh, the things I saw.

4.  What do you consider your greatest achievement?
For me, it’s the fact that I’m able to handle (so far, at least) writing, a full-time engineering job, and a pretty active family. I’ve pushed myself far beyond what I believed my capabilities were and keep stretching them. I enjoy getting up at 5 every morning to write (seriously). I would rather write than watch TV (most the time). And, while I’ll always have publication-related goals, what I really want is to tell the best effing story I can.

5.  Who would play you in the film of your life?
This one’s easy. Since I was about 14 years old people have said Jake Gyllenhaal and I are doppelgangers. I think it has mostly to do with the eyebrows, but about 80% of people I know have said the whole, “Hey, you know who you look like…” So, I guess Jake would be a good choice.


Bret's currently working on a middle grade adventure (I'm reading a draft now, and it's fabulous).
Bret blogs Fridays on the YA Muses.
You can find Bret on Twitter here.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

I Have a Website! (and, as promised, a party!)

My website has a long and checkered history.  I started trying to build one myself more than a year ago and failed miserably.  Give me words any day.  Suggest I jumble some images and fonts together and make them pretty?  Not happening.

But in November, I was lucky enough to be guided to Maddee James and Xuni and she worked with my every thought and need to put together a beautiful, moody, suitably historical but not "historic" design with just the right amount of romance thrown in.  I am forever indebted to her.

So now I want to celebrate!  I recently had a birthday, so I'm still making my way through the world's biggest chocolate cake.  And I'd like to share some of my good fortune with you.

So I'm giving away prizes to four lucky winners!

I have a collection of gorgeous swag from the Class of 2k12 - bookmarks, stickers, buttons, postcards, you name it.

I have an ARC of the middle grade novel REMARKABLE by Lizzie Foley, which debuts next month.  It's absolutely delightful and I hate to give it up. From Goodreads: Not everything in the town of Remarkable is remarkable, even though the terribly interesting and even more terribly talented people won’t admit this to just anyone.

I also have an ARC of the brilliant historical YA novel GRAVE MERCY by Robin LaFevers.  Atmospheric, historically lush and romantic, but with a kick-butt, no-nonsense herione.  From Goodreads: Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny.

And I have one lonely little ARC of GILT that has been waiting for this moment to find a good home.

This giveaway is open internationally, and there are a number of ways to enter.

  • Comment below, telling me what you think of the website.
  • Follow the blog.
  • Follow me on Twitter.
  • Go and see my Facebook page -- I would love it if you "Like" it, but officially can't put that in my entry rules.
  • Tweet about the website!  For instance: Go and see @KALongshore's new website! She's giving away an ARC of GILT: (hint: check the blog).
  • And comment on any post on the blog before the deadline!
You can enter as many times as you like.  Contest closes at 11:59 pm EST on Tuesday, March 20th.  I'll name the winners in the blog the next day.

Monday, March 12, 2012


I have a venue!  And a date!

I'm delighted to announce that the launch party for GILT will be held at the Avid Reader at 617 2nd St., Davis, California at 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 19.

There will be books and door prizes and hopefully cupcakes.  Don't worry, I'll keep you informed of all developments as the day gets nearer.  Anything else you want to see there?

In other news, I hear the website is almost finished!