Book Fests and a Giveaway!!

I love meeting my fans. I enjoy chatting with them and answering their questions. Some tell me how my books affected their life. How the issues my characters were facing felt similar to the issues they faced in their own lives. Others have specific questions for me or for my characters.  Some just want to get their book signed and snap a selfie with me. Whatever connection they feel to my work, I really have a great time meeting them. It’s probably my favorite part of being an author. What’s the best way to do that? Well, I have book signings at book stores and I attend book fairs, conferences and events with other authors. I also speak at middle and high schools.

And I’ve got some of my favorite events coming up…

On November 3rd, I’ll be at The Origin Event in Austin, TX. I’ll be there with a host of other authors, and we’ll all be signing our books—and chatting with our fans. There will also be bags of swag given out to attendees. This one usually sells out, so get your tickets now.

Then, Feb. 1st, I’ll be back at Teen Book Fest by the Bay at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, TX.  I’ll be there with over 50 other YA authors. I’ve been going to this fest every year for a while now. I go back because it’s always a lot of fun.  This event is FREE.

On May 15-19th, I’ll be in the Big Easy. That’s right, I’ll be at the Book Lovers Con in New Orleans, LA. They’re calling this the “Ultimate Reader Experience” with lots of events like Voodoo Vampire, an evening of dinner and dancing with the undead and the huge Book Bash Book Signing.

 

 

 

 

 

Have you ever been to a book festival? Which one? Do you attend author’s book signings? If you and I met up at a book festival, what question would you ask me?   I’ll give away a tote filled with book swag to one person who tells me the question they would like to ask.  And I’ll try to answer these questions in the next few blogs. (Sorry, this giveaway is limited to U.S. residents only.)

Writing Advice

Every now and then I like to give some writing advice on my blog because so many of my readers are also writers. I also get a lot of emails from young (and not so young) fans asking for advice.  So here’s a handout for a talk I give about five things to know before you cozy up to the computer and start writing.

Five Things You Need to Know About Writing Before You Get to Work

By C.C. Hunter

Point of View–POV

POV basically means who is telling your story.  Whose head are you in during this particular moment, in this particular scene?  That is your POV character.  Think of your POV character as your camera, your recording device, and your only method of gathering story data.  If your POV character can’t see it, you can’t describe it for your readers.  If they can’t hear it, you can’t let your readers hear it.  If your POV character doesn’t know it, you can’t tell it to the reader.  If your character wouldn’t think that way, then you can’t write that way.

Goals

What are your character’s goals?  What does she/he want right now and does this goal tie in to what he/she wants as a long term story goal?  Is the goal hero/heroine worthy?  In other words, wanting to become a cheerleader so you can be popular is not a worthy goal for a heroine/hero.  But wanting to become a cheerleader so you can finally feel as if you fit in at your new school . . . that is a hero/heroine worthy goal.

Motivation

The most important question to ask your characters is “Why?”  Why do they do what they do?  Why do they want what they want?  Why do they fear what they fear?  Generally, the answer to the “why” questions will lead you to your character’s motivation.  In real life, sometimes we don’t always understand why we do things.  Sometimes in our books, the “why” may not be clear to the characters, but it definitely needs to be clear to the reader.  The reason for this is simple.  It is human nature to want to understand what motivates people.  If a reader can’t understand the reason your characters are reacting and acting in certain ways, they may not believe in them.

Think about it this way:  Motivation leads to caring.  When an action is good, understanding the “why” behind the action increases the reader’s anticipation of seeing the character achieve his or her goal.

Motivation also leads to understanding. When a character’s actions or emotions are somewhat misguided, hard to grasp, or lean toward the unethical (lying, breaking a law, behaving badly), motivation becomes even more important.

Conflict

A writer’s job is to be mean to their characters.  To say no to everything the character wants and make him/her work harder.  Every story, every scene in a story, needs conflict to be interesting.

Hooks

If you want a reader to read your book, you need an opening hook.  But that’s not all.  You also need an ending hook to every scene.  And you need chapter hooks, too.  So, what is a hook?  A hook is basically anything that instills curiosity or a question in a reader’s mind.  It is the thing that propels the reader to turn the page and keep reading.  It can be new or an unexpected piece of information.  It can be a startling action.  i.e., She looked up and saw the eighteen-wheeler coming right at her.   It can be a character about to come to a conclusion, or even a character internally asking a question that will lead to a realization that puts everything into a different perspective.   i.e., If Johnny showed up today, it would mean he cared.  But if he didn’t show up…What would that mean?

So tell me, are you a writer or do you want to become a writer?

 

 

 

What Are You Reading?

There are quite a few recently released books that have a lot of buzz. I’m always on the lookout for a new author, someone I’ve never heard of. I’m also keeping an eye on what some of my favorite authors are releasing. Here’s what I’m reading at the moment.

Shattered Souls by Mary Lindsey

I just finished reading this one. I really enjoyed this spooky tale of a girl who can talk to the dead.

A thrilling debut story of death, love, destiny, and danger.

Lenzi hears voices and has visions – gravestones, floods, a boy with steel gray eyes. Her boyfriend, Zak, can’t help, and everything keeps getting louder and more intense. Then Lenzi meets Alden, the boy from her dreams, who reveals that she’s a reincarnated Speaker – someone who can talk to and help lost souls – and that he has been her Protector for centuries.

Now Lenzi must choose between her life with Zak and the life she is destined to lead with Alden. But time is running out: a malevolent spirit is out to destroy Lenzi, and he will kill her if she doesn’t make a decision soon.

More Than We Can Tell by Brigid Kemmerer

I’m getting ready to read this book and I can’t wait. I loved her Letters to the Lost.

With loving adoptive parents by his side, Rev Fletcher has managed to keep the demons of his past at bay. . . until he gets a letter from his abusive father and the trauma of his childhood comes hurtling back.

Emma Blue’s parents are constantly fighting, and her only escape is the computer game she built from scratch. But when a cruel online troll’s harassment escalates, she not only loses confidence but starts to fear for her safety.

When Rev and Emma meet, they’re both longing to lift the burden of their secrets. They connect instantly and deeply, promising to help each other no matter what. But soon Rev and Emma’s secrets threaten to crush them, and they’ll need more than a promise to find their way out.

From the author of Letters to the Lost comes a new compulsively readable story for fans of Nicola Yoon.

 

So tell me, what are you reading?

Winner!!

The winner of a tote filled with swag is Morgan Ann. Congratulations! Please email me at cc@cchunterbooks.com with your mailing address.