Tuesday, March 1, 2016

What's Up 2016

Hey Blogosphere!

Long time, no see. You look good. You been working out? Eating right? You look amaze balls! I've missed you. *awkward high five/fist bump/hug action*

Anywayzzzzz, we should catch up, yeah? Totally. I've got a few minutes. You wanna sit down criss-cross-applesauce for a minute? Cool.

I know you've got places to be, people to see, so... yeah, what's up with me:

  • I've been having a blast being a Tennis Pro at DragonRidge Country Club and Southern Highlands these last couple of months. Love the sunshine, love the people, love being active. It's the shiz. I get to work with the likes of these beautiful ladies: 

  • I've also teamed up with my mom and sister sharing and selling DoTerra Essential Oils. I know, I know...random, right? Well, it wasn't until I faced some health concerns last year that I decided I needed to focus on my health and the health of my family. It's been empowering to learn how to take control through a safe and natural solution. Me and my sista' will be launching our new website EssentiallyMoms.com in the next few weeks. So look out for some fun YouTube videos on that!

  • AND...I've rediscovered my love of writing. I'm working on two (or three) different projects right now. Writing will always be a passion of mine, even when it goes into hibernation mode due to stress, pressures, and just LIFE in general. In fact, today I'm featured in a podcast by web designer, neighbor, writing colleague extraordinaire, Joseph Stevenson. He's crazy brilliant with computers and marketing and design. You gotta check him (and the interview) out. HERE: Joseph Stevenson Podcast He's also an American Ninja...so there's that. 
Look at me talking about myself this whole time. I'm such a spaz! So what's going down with you? 

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Pitch Wars 2015 Bio

Pitch Wars 2015

Today the mentors for Pitch Wars are posting something about themselves and what they’d like to critique for the writing contest. (What is Pitch Wars? Basically, if you are a writer and you want an agent, this contest is an opportunity like no other.) This year I will be co-mentoring with my rock star mentee from last year, Mara Rae, who FYI landed an agent via this very contest!

So for the something about myself…here's some stuff:

Stuff I used to do:
  • Play tennis at San Diego State University;
  • Live in Paris and speak fluent French; and
  • Act like someone else on stage and camera for my Theater undergrad degree. 
Stuff I currently do:
  • Practice law part-time;
  • Mother handfuls of children full-time;
  • Coach Tennis; and
  • Write Young Adult novels. 
Also, I like bullet points:
  • Some people like to call me a B-Word...for all sorts of different reasons! But for this contest, I'm going to say it stands for Best Choice of Mentor Ever!
  • I’m represented by Sarah Davies of the Greenhouse Literary Agency. 
  • My young adult contemporary thriller novel, KILLING RUBY ROSE, (Amazon Children's Publishing/Skyscape) was released as a Kindle First pick in April 2014 and quickly became an Amazon #1 Bestseller in Teen/Young Adult Books and #4 Overall in the Kindle Store. Traditional release in paperback and all other formats was on May 1, 2014.
  • Book 2 in the RUBY ROSE series, RESISTING RUBY ROSE, released October 28, 2014. And also became an Amazon bestseller, blah, blah, blah...

What I’m coaching for the contest:

For this contest I’m coaching Young Adult manuscripts. I've only had to endure about one million revisions on RUBY ROSE (from critique partners, to beta readers, to agents, to acquiring editors, to developmental editors, etc.) so I'm a bit of an expert on which kinds of critiques help and which kinds help not-so-much. I've always believed that in order to deserve the help of others, I must be generous in giving back whatever help I have to offer. I will take my job as a mentor seriously and make sure to include helpful advice--not just tell you what I think you want to hear. Perhaps the number one thing that helps me in critiques is when the critiquer not only points out a problem, but offers solutions and examples as to how to solve the problem.
Stuff I like to read: protagonists with sass, cleverness, and an ability to make me smile with their ingenuity. I like surprises, twists, high-stakes, and above all...kissing! Or the almost-kiss, which can sometimes be way better! I dig contemporary, fantasy, historical (if there's kissing), thrillers, maybe a dash of horror, post-apocalyptic, and anything with a beach scene (even if it's sci-fi). I sort of love the dark stuff, but not too dark--I already have issues, I don't need any more. A few zombie slayings are however welcome.

And for some stuff about Mara:

Hey all! I'm so excited to be assisting Jessie, my kick-ass mentor who helped me land my agent, John Cusick of Folio Literary Management, last year. Team B-Words racked up a ton of requests: 12 for me, and 8 for our alternate, Jocelyn. I tied for second place behind my dear friend Elly, but this year I want to win! 

A little about me: I'm a triplet born on Leap Day, currently living in Lima, Peru, with my diplomat husband and our two sons. I grew up in Southern California but have since lived all over the place, including six states, England, and Russia. I have a rather narrow comfort zone and I'm constantly living outside of it, and I wouldn't have it any other way. You can read a little more about me and my novel, WINTERSOUL, at www.mararutherford.com to get an idea of what I'm all about.

Now down to business: I've worked as a copyeditor so I have excellent editing skills, and I like to think I'm a good mix of critic and cheerleader. I definitely prefer Fantasy (Contemporary, High, Urban, you name it) though I do read a little of everything. I skew toward Upper YA and I like things a little dark and creepy-in-a-good-way, like Neil Gaiman. Some of my favorite books are Daughter of Smoke and Bone, The Scorpio Races, and A Darker Shade of Magic. Most importantly, I've been in YOUR shoes, and I know how exciting and stressful Pitch Wars can be. I'll be here to answer questions, give you pep talks, and help you make the most of this amazing opportunity.

Go Check It All Out Here:

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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Some News

So I haven't been around the blogosphere much lately. There are a few bullet point reasons for this:
  • 2014 my debut year as an author and it was a doozie! A whirlwind of awesomeness and dreams coming true and whatnot.
  • 2015 began with a new set of challenges that sidetracked me for a bit.
  • I regained a love of reading, and immersed myself in books (as opposed to so much focus on writing/editing/promoting).
  • Some ying-yang, ebb-flow, type of stuff kicked in. Lawyerly stuff. Personal fitness stuff. Kid stuff.
But one of the most recent, high powered bullets for my online absence is:
  • I became a Tennis Pro.
Yeah, you read that right.
A. Tennis. Pro.
Here's my new tennis-y headshot...

One thing I'm big on in life is taking advantage of opportunities that present themselves. Many moons ago, tennis was the biggest part of my life. From training everyday for hours after school to playing in college at Weber State University and San Diego State University, and then from coaching to playing professionally overseas, tennis was my "thing" for a long time. Since hanging up the racket, I've had some other "things" to focus on. Becoming a mother of four, a lawyer, a published author...yeah, a few other things took my focus.

A few months ago, a really cool tennis opportunity presented itself. So I went and got certified by the USPTA, and now I'm the newest member of the Dragon Ridge Tennis Staff. It's a beautiful place full of amazing people.

It's going to be a great new adventure for me. I'll still be writing and lawyering and mothering, but also now tennis-ing.
So there's that. 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

DPK and the Woven Book Tour

Hey y'all!

I'm bloggin'! So there must be a good reason, right?

The answer is yes. Yes, a very good reason, indeed.

And the reason is this:

"What is DPK?" you ask. "Is it a secret anagram? Or acronym? Does it stand for Dr. Pepper King? or Delicate Platypus Kingdom?"

"No, no, no, dear friend," I reply. "These are the initials of dear friend, David Powers King. The man. The myth. The legend. See."

"What a nice looking young man with an epic nickname," you say. "Tell me more about the legend of DPK."

"Where do I start? How about with bullet points?!"

  • Once upon a time DPK wrote a fantasy book with a friend Michael Jensen.
  • They sold the book to a small publisher who turned out to be unprofessional (i.e. unfairly discriminatory since they  wouldn't publish Michael's biography to include his husband).
  • There was public outcry.
  • A huge literary agent heard the cry all the way from Utah to NYC and offered to represent DPK and Michael, and obtain a much, much, much better deal with the national and highly respected publisher Scholastic.
  • The book, WOVEN, released last month and is receiving all kinds of amazing reviews like this one: "It’s not often that you read a fantasy that feels as epic and original as Woven by King and Jensen. Clever, well-paced, and full of intrigue, it’s a superb read. Highly recommended."

    —James Dashner, author of The Maze Runner

  • Behold... 

Buy the book HERE.
Or enter to win a signed copy of the book HERE.

You're welcome.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Finally Friday: Upcoming Event in SLC

Jessie’s Bullets: Cock It and Pull It.

Friday, February 6, 2014
  • __3__ Gratitudes (two uninterrupted hours per day while the kids are at school so I can work and pretend to be a hipster, watching New Girl on DVR while I walk fast on my treadmill, these amazingly low gas prices!!! *amiright*)
  • __4__ Units of Caffeinated (or otherwise non-water) Beverages (though I have started to drink 20 oz of water between each better-tasting-beverage)
  • __1 hrs  Spent Writing (working on an outline for a new story)
  • _1__  Culinary Delights/Disasters Created With Own Hands (Left over Stoffers lasagna...not my finest moment.)

So...I'm doing an awesome author event in Salt Lake City this coming Tuesday night (February 10th)!

It's at Weller Book Works at Trolley Square (607 Trolley Square, SLC) at 7:00 pm and it's going to be fabulous, for too many reasons to count, but I'll give you some:

  • Courtney Alameda's debut YA horror, SHUTTER just came out this week! It's getting awesome buzz and tons of great reviews. Courtney is not only the hottest librarian Provo has ever had, but she's a brilliant writer and loyal friend. Come buy her amazing book!
  • J. Scott Savage is basically the most prolific, generous, and most beloved middle grade author I've ever met. He's written the Farworld Series for Shadow Mountain/Deseret Book and the Case File 13 Series for Harper Collins, among others. Come buy his amazing books!
  • The Wells Brothers. Dan Wells is the author of the John Cleaver Series (I AM NOT A SERIAL KILLER books) and THE PARTIALS Series, which I studied like text books when I was writing my books. And Robison Wells is the author of the critically acclaimed YA thriller VARIANT (among other books), as well as an out-spoken and powerful voice for those with mental illness. Check out this honest and sincere article he wrote about understanding mental disorders. Come buy their amazing books!
  •  Jenn Johansson will also be there. She's the author of the Nightwalker Series, including INSOMNIA and PARANOIA, and her brand-spanking-new release CUT ME FREE which is all kinds of Stephen King-esque. Come buy her amazing books!
  • Everyone who comes will receive a raffle ticket with the chance to win a $20 bookstore gift card and lots of other fun prizes. 
Basically, all these awesome people (who also tend to write frightening stories) will be there, being completely non-frightening. I PROMISE: Everyone is totally normal* in real life, even though we write some scary shiz. (*normal is overrated.)