Booktubing: Stranger Than Fanfiction by Chris Colfer

Some of you may know that I have a YouTube channel that I run with my family, called Geektastic. Well, sometimes I do book related things, and occasionally, I’ll cross-post them here, because I think my target audience may find them interesting.

So, below, please enjoy my booktubing premiere, and if you enjoy, please like it and subscribe to our channel. We’d love to have you!

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2017! The Year of the Manzanos!

As the holidays approach and I sit down to write my last blog post of 2016, I’m reminded of just how erratic my year has been. Politics were the pits, tons of celebrity favorites died, and a general malaise settled over the world. Things were not looking so shiny. We took some personal hits this year as well. My Uncle Bobby died after a long and grueling battle with cancer. My son was diagnosed with ADHD and anxiety disorder, which has really kicked up recently and has us struggling to find the answers. My husband and I had our own respective health issues, one that landed me in the hospital having a small, but not fun, surgical procedure. I ended my publishing contract with no book to show for it.

But there was light toward the end, at least with my career. There was Pitch to Publication, two short story publications, and an Editor’s Choice Award. And there was the prospect of next year on the horizon. Next year, when I start to query The Order of the Key again, in hopes of finding an agent who will love it. And next year when I embark on two new projects that aren’t exactly about my writing, but have some interplay with that career.

Allow me to introduce you to my two new projects. Or should I say OUR two new projects.

geektastic-bannerGeektastic: My son, Logan, wanted to be a YouTube sensation. My husband, Ismael, missed doing reviews. My sister-in-law, Megan, wanted to start a BookTube review channel, but didn’t know where to begin. I wanted a way to show off how damn random we all are, and wanted to have a place to openly be meta about geeky things.

This is what lead to Geektastic. We put our minds together, and decided to create a YouTube channel/blog where we could openly discuss all of the wonderful things that make being a geek so kickass…and so that we could offer an alternative to adults. Fun, kid-filled YouTube channel with gaming, toys and memorabilia, that speaks about some more sophisticated television, books and movies, but in a way that’s totally family friendly.

We’re still working on our first video, but it will be available in January. In the meantime, you can view our website and go follow us on our social media links, because we want you along on our adventure. Check it out at www.geektastic-manzanos.com.

inkwell34434The Inkwell Council: After leaving my work at Fantasy Works Publishing behind me, I was told by one of the writers there that they would miss my editing work. I am also constantly asked by my close circle of writer friends to read their stories, to help polish them up. I came to realize, I could help new writers. Maybe not with entire manuscripts, but I could read their first three chapters, and offer suggestions. It wasn’t about money. It was about giving back to a writing community that gave to me.

A discussion with Ismael revealed he missed writer’s workshops. Last to join was Megan, who was trying to make a living doing freelance edits, but didn’t have enough exposure and wasn’t sure how to build a client list. Moving forward together, we created The Inkwell Council, a manuscript editing service with specific rules. Basically, if you have no writer’s critique group, and you want someone to polish up the first three chapters of your Fantasy manuscript (we could only do one genre we could all agree on) we’ll be there for you. For rules and specifics of our program, please visit us at http://www.theinkwellcouncil.com/. Submissions officially open in January. Please also follow us on social media, which is linked on the website.

Add these two amazing projects to querying The Order of the Key, writing a new short story, and brainstorming on three other novels, and there is a busy year ahead. And the best part of it, is I will get to work with a big chunk of my family, whom I adore.

So, what’s new with your year? Anything exciting to look forward to? New projects? Let me know in the comments.

Either way, here’s to you and yours in the new year. May 2017 be a bright, shining light, leading as far away from 2016 as possible. 😉 Happy Holidays!

Links to Fall For

Ha!  How do you like my title?  Just me, punning.

So, what’s new in my career?  My world?  The writing world in general?  Check out my collection of links from the season.

– I wrote a review of Kelley Armstrong’s latest release, Omens for G-Pop.net.  You can find it here.

– My little sister (or really, my husband’s little sister, but I’ve known her since she was two and we’re super close, so DAMN IT, I claim her) got her first short story published.  Check it out.  It’s on page 45.

– This has less to do with writing and more to do with the other pieces of my puzzle, but my wonderful nephew, Genaro, and his awesome Mama, Jeannie, were featured members on CNY triathlon’s website.  Having recently attended one of Genaro’s triathlon competitions, I just wanted to use this platform to say again how incredibly proud I am of them both.

– If you’re anything like me, every story is an ensemble piece.  Check out this blog post on Helping Writers Become Authors about how to make strong supporting characters.

– I like writing.  I like television.  I like any article that throws these two together.  Check out this article that discusses what you can learn as a writer from watching television.  Only warning – beware, the subject matter is a bit dated.

– Ever feel like you wish you could toss the outline?  Check out this article – It discusses the benefits of writing without an outline.  I find that I use my share of these techniques, although I do still keep an outline.  I don’t necessarily agree with the negative outlook on outline he discusses, but the point of view is interesting.  Thoughts?

– Once you are in the editing phase, it’s time to look into critique partners.  Here’s an article on how to guide your critique partners so that they give you the most useful critique.

– Some things you just have to let go of – R.I.P. (for now, anyway) Dark Galaxy.

– It never hurts to have a list of literary magazines that will pay for your work!

– Contrary to what I always thought I’d be doing as a writer, it seems I’m a writer who writes romance into whatever other genre she’s working with.  For instance, I can’t just seem to write an Urban Fantasy – it’s an Urban Fantasy/Supernatural Romance.  I can’t just write a comedy, I write a romantic comedy.  So, this article was a bit of fun for me – and pretty accurate about life and romance novels:

Please be sure to come back for a visit at the end of this month to check out the things I’m thankful for!  In the meantime, I hope you have a great Thanksgiving!