Interview: GifGrrl

Today on the blog, I’m joined by a very talented friend. As well as being a talented writer, Claribel Ortega is the founder and mastermind behind GifGrrl, a really amazing company.

In case you’ve been living under a rock, a gif is a moving picture! Like this:

BroodyDATE

Oh hey! It’s my book! Looking sharp!

I adored this gif, and I wanted to talk a little bit more to the creator! Without further ado, I’ll jump into the interview!

CD: Tell me a bit about yourself and GIFGRRL.

CO: It really all started as something to do for fun. I loved watching the covers of books come alive and seeing the authors reaction when I made them a gif. Eventually though, I realized that I could do that and also pay my bills! So I started GIFGRRL and now it’s pretty much a second (third??) full time job.

CD: What do you love about creating the gifs and trailers?

CO: I’ve always loved video editing. It’s been a hidden but well cultivated talent which started with my dad’s giant 1980s camcorder and some low-budget windows editing software. Making gifs/promo material is more than just trying to sell a product to me, it’s about telling a story. Maybe not the full story, but a tiny slice of what the book is trying to say. Bringing things to life, characters, book covers, the spirits of dead punk-rockers, are just a few of my favorite things.

 

giphy-copy.gif

CD: What’s one book you’d love to make a trailer for?

CO: It’s hard to pick a favorite, but WANT by Cindy Pon comes to mind as one of the best I’ve made so far. It just really captures the theme of the book, the colors and the motions were all on point. I also adored STARFISH by Akemi Bowman because that cover is just SPECTACULAR and it was so much fun to work with!

wantgif

CD: Are there any challenging parts?

CO: Time management! I am a full-time book marketing human and author on top of running GIFGRRL. In just over a month I’ve already gotten over forty individual and two giant bulk orders. It’s a lot for a grrl to take on, but I have coffee and the cuddles of my doggo to help keep me going. Can you tell us a bit about the process? First, I stare at the book cover. Then I light candles and pray to the GIF-Gods™ – then I read the synopsis and stare at the book cover some more. I eat some snacks. Usually cheese-puffs. Sometimes I ask the author questions. I gather stock video/photos that capture the feel of the cover for me and start editing/manipulating them to further match the tone. I search for fonts that are similar to the one on the cover. I put it all in a blender and eat another cheese puff. One I have all the materials and my fingers are orange, I start putting it together. I then cut, and edit, and stare until I’m happy. One gif can take anywhere from ten minutes to two hours, depending on how involved I get.

Dissent

This is the BroodyBook Illustrator’s webcomic!

CD: What inspires you?

CO: Many things! Music, books, chasing a sense of completion/fulfilment through art. Cheese-puffs.

lhof.gif

CD: What’s your favorite part of the process?

CO: When I get an author’s cover and the ideas start flying at my face. The best feeling is when I just know what I want to make. Sometimes it’s a challenge to get my vision to match the end product, but I enjoy figuring out how to make it all come together. And then of course once I deliver the final product to the author and they tell me how much they love me! Being able to help people who are graphically challenged or have no idea HOW to build buzz for their books brings me joy. I just like helping people.

-*-

Thank you so much for a wonderful interview, Claribel! And remember, you can order your own gifs from this talented artist here: Gifgrrl.com

Broody Book Preorder Prizes!

It’s that time of year! In which BroodingYAHero himself wants to send you prizes for preordering his lovely book! Preorders are super important, so Broody And I want to say thank you!

If you’ve already preordered, great! Send proof to broodybook@gmail.com, and fill out the form! CLICK HERE FOR THE FORM

Thank you! Here are locations to pre order:

Want to preorder an AUTOGRAPHED COPY? Go here: Books Of Wonder Link

 

Other links

AMAZON: LINK HERE

BARNES AND NOBLE: LINK HERE

BOOK DEPOSITORY (free international shipping!): LINK HERE

INDIEBOUND: LINK HERE

AND NOW….

THE PRIZES

EVERY PERSON (including international) who preorders will get:

-STICKERS! Label the characters in your life with this set, designed by ReadAtMidnight!

 

-Also, this LARGER sticker, for the most important character of them all: Broody Himself

TeamMe

-Broody Bookmarks!

But that’s not all! You’ll also get…

Three limited edition Broody postcards, drawn by Grace Fong (Fictograph) Each one of these seven limited edition cards captures a different aspect of our adorable hero

Preorder (or email your library request form) a copy of BROODING YA HERO- Becoming A Main Character to win

Want these prizes? Just email proof of your preorder/library request form to BroodyBook@gmail.com then complete this form: FORM HERE

PLUS

Preorder by September 1st, and be entered to win an incredible BROODY BASKET including:

-A BroodingYAHero Tote Bag

-your very own Broody Notebook to jot down your main character adventures

Screenshot (23)

-A #TeamMe tee shirt!

-A set of two custom candles from Novelly Yours:

Evil Ex Girlfriend: An icy, but surprisingly sweet scent

BroodingYAhero: Only the Most Swoonworthy Scent in all of the World.

And a…

Your choice of a BROODY or BLONDIE blanket! That’s right! This cuddly fleece blanket will keep you warm as you read all about these character’s adventures!

Questions? Email BroodyBook@gmail.com

CLICK HERE FOR THE FORM Once You’ve Preordered

In case you need those links again…

Want an AUTOGRAPHED COPY? Go here: Books Of Wonder Link

AMAZON: LINK HERE

BARNES AND NOBLE: LINK HERE

BOOK DEPOSITORY (free international shipping!): LINK HERE

INDIEBOUND: LINK HERE

How Do I Do It All?

Spoiler: I don’t.

I’m writing this on a lunch break from work, while answering emails, working on a group project for grad school, and apologizing to friends for missing yet another happy hour.

But I did it, the little voice inside my head whispers. I’m a debut author, a successful (insert day job role here) and a B+ (nobody’s perfect, right?) grad student.

I was also a volunteer, a Student Council Board Member, and an intern, up until this month, when I realized there was simply too much on my plate.

So, I’ve scaled back but it’s certainly still a lot. There are sacrifices made (I haven’t seen a movie since Rouge One premiered, haven’t watched an episode of TV in over a year, I see most friends about once  a month…) but I’m proud of myself at the same time.

source

Forward progress is progress, no matter how tired you are!

In the interest of honesty, here’s my daily schedule! Feel free to share yours in the comments.

Here’s an example of my usual day

  • 6: wake up. Yoga/coffee
  • 6:30-7:30: write some words for the new book
  • 7:30-745: get ready for day job. Wonder why I have no matching socks. Order socks from Amazon
  • 8am: dash out the door, catch the train.
  • Train ride: edit what I’ve written
  • 8:30-lunch time: day job!
  • Lunchtime is for emails/blog posts/post office runs. Yes, I know I can mail online. Yes, that doesn’t allow me to do book rate
  • After lunch, it’s back to work. Then, train ride home is for more emails.
  • 6pm: exercise time or laundry or other household tasks.
  • 7-8 is for marketing promo
  • 8-10: schoolwork! (luckily its an online class)
  • 10-11:30 answering any leftover emails
  • 11:30: preparing lunch for the next day, household tasks, shower
  • 1am: bed

nap

So, there you have it! On the weekends, there’s more writing and school, as well as any tasks like haircuts, and MAYBE if I’m lucky some socializing.

This schedule is also why one sick day can throw me off for over a week.

Hopefully, I’m not doing this schedule forever, (I mean, I’ll graduate. Someday. Maybe) but for now, it’s what works.

And if you’re my friend and you haven’t seen me, this is why. I’m sorry.

 

Raffle: Donate and WIN BIG

Hi everyone! From June 14 until June 30th,  I’ll be running a very special raffle. Keep reading for details!
Linnea Gear is the illustrator of Brooding YA Hero: Becoming a Main Character. She’s incredibly talented, a friend of mine, and an all-around awesome person.
Take a look at her art!
Recently, one of Linnea’s close friends has faced a really tough situation regarding domestic violence” and there’s a GoFundMe set up to help this friend and her family.

To help her friend, Linnea and I are running a special raffle!

Simply email proof of your donation (any amount counts!) to broodybook@gmail.com to be entered to win. EVERYONE who enters will receive Broody swag, and a handwritten thank you from Broody himself!
Donate here: GoFundMe Link
Now, let’s talk about the GRAND PRIZES. 
Writer Prize: An edit of your first 100 pages! Not only will I provide detailed edits on character, voice, etc, but Broody himself will chime in with (probably useless, but very amusing!) advice. This is a one of a kind feature! You’ll also get a mailed package of fun Broody Swag and an autographed bookplate!
Art Prize: Linnea will draw and color any OC or character of your choice. (No nudity please.)
Runner up prizes:
3 runners up will receive a preorder of BROODING YA HERO: Becoming a Main Character, plus a personalized, autographed bookplate! (international okay, as long as The Book Depository ships to you!)
If you can’t donate, please share on social media! Thank you.
So, to recap. Any donation amount will get you BROODY SWAG+Thank You letter from him. PLUS, you have a chance of winning a preorder or a manuscript edit or CUSTOM ART.
This will run until June 30th!
Thank you so much for your donations. This means a ton to Linnea, Broody, and me. ❤
Donate here: GoFundMe Link

How to Jump from One Story to Another

This is one of those times I’m going to blog about something I’m admittedly struggling with in the hopes it inspires me, (and maybe you too!)

Namely: changing from one creative project to another.

You may have encountered this before. Perhaps you’re trying to draft one story while you wait on edits for another. Or you’ve sent your first manuscirpt out to the query trenches, and now you need to write something new.

Maybe, like me, you’re a debut author who is also trying to write a new book.

It’s not easy, to split your thoughts, your hopes, your creative enegry between two projects. I’ve come up with a few ideas, but I’d love to hear your thoughts too!

  1. Image board!
    I admittedly do this the old-fashioned way, where I print out random things that give me story-related feels, then tape them to a posterboard I hang by my writing nook. It’s a great way to get some visual inspiration. However, most people I know use pinterest… which is the exact same thing, without the whole “attempting not to glue yourself to bits of paper.”
    Here’s a mini version of mine for my new project.Untitled design (1)
  2. Playlist!
    One of my all-time favorite things to do! Simply hop on spotify, or 8tracks, and start adding songs to a list that will give you all the feelings of your main characters.
    Here’s one for my next story: link to spotify
  3. Pretend to be your main character
    Okay. Maybe don’t do this if your main character is a brain-eating zombie or something, but I find a little method acting can be a lot of fun. Maybe it’s eating a food (not brains!) that your character likes, or perusing a store they might frequent. Have fun with it!
  4. Art!
    If you can, draw your characters! Or commission an artist (I’ve found amazing ones on Tumblr!) to draw them for you.
    Here’s a sketch the amazing Linnea did of my new MCs. I love how she captured their personalities too!Untitled

    Okay! So I’ve shared my favorite ways to start a new project. Now, tell me, what are yours?

Upcoming Release: FREEFALL by Joshua David Bellin

Hi all! I’m here to share a teaser image for an upcoming YA sci-fi that I SO excited for! FREEFALL by Joshua David Bellin promises to be a thrilling, suspenseful epic! Check out the blurb below, share the image, and add it on Goodreads!

This wild ride of a novel is out Sept. 26th! Preorder your copy today.

FREEFALL: The fate of the human race hangs on the actions of two teens from very different backgrounds in this thrilling sci-fi adventure.

Love

In the Upperworld, the privileged 1% are getting ready to abandon a devastated planet Earth. And Cam can’t wait to leave. After sleeping through a 1,000-year journey, he and his friends will have a pristine new planet to colonize. And no more worries about the Lowerworld and its 99% of rejects.

Then Cam sees a banned video feed of protesters in the Lowerworld who also want a chance at a new life. And he sees a girl with golden eyes who seems to be gazing straight through the feed directly at him. A girl he has to find. Sofie.

When Cam finds Sofie, she opens his eyes to the unfairness of what’s happening in their world, and Cam joins her cause for Lowerworld rights. He also falls hard for Sofie. But Sofie has her own battles to fight, and when it’s time to board the spaceships, Cam is alone.

Waking up 1,000 years in the future, Cam discovers that he and his shipmates are far off-course, trapped on an unknown and hostile planet. Who has sabotaged their ship? And does it have anything to do with Sofie, and the choices—and the enemies—he made in the past?

About the author: Joshua David Bellin has been writing novels since he was eight years old (though the first few were admittedly very short). He taught college for twenty years, wrote a bunch of books for college students, then decided to return to writing fiction. He is the author of three science fiction novels for teens and adults: the two-part Survival Colony series (Survival Colony 9 and Scavenger of Souls) and the deep-space adventure Freefall. Josh loves to read, watch movies, and spend time in Nature with his kids. Oh, yeah, and he likes monsters. Really scary monsters.

Website: http://www.joshuadavidbellin.com

Blog: http://theyaguy.blogspot.com/

Twitter: http://twitter.com/TheYAGuy

So, are you on the edge of your seat? I am! You can preorder Freefall here: link.

Brooding YA Hero: Becoming a Main Character (Almost) as Awesome as Me

Hi!
Broody here. I’ve stolen Carrie’s blog, (as well as all of your hearts) to share some exciting news.

My cover has been revealed! Check it out over on Bustle.com! The amazing author Zoraida Córdova interviewed Carrie (although she let me sneak in a few lines, which is nice)

A little about my cover. You might notice I look slightly different from my Twitter photo. That’s all right. I change appearances as the plot demands, and this book demanded a little more leather-jacket swagger. However, the art for both is done by the talented Linnea Gear! Linnea also has an amazing webcomic, DISSENT, which you all should read.

Did you look at my cover yet???

Okay.
Fine. Maybe you don’t want to click on the link to the cover.

If that’s the case, keep scrolling.

Tada!

bbecea7d-7d77-48b6-b921-1dc5e8290fce

Join Broody McHottiepants as he attempts to pen Brooding YA Hero: Becoming a Main Character (Almost) as Awesome as Me, a “self-help” guide (with activities–you always need activities) that lovingly pokes fun at the YA tropes that we roll our eyes at, but secretly love.
As his nefarious ex, Blondie DeMeani, attempts to thwart him at every turn, Broody writes the best book ever on main character status.

Pretty handsome, huh?

Well. You know how to make it look even better? Get a copy to put on your shelf!

Preorders available at the below locations! (and save your receipts! Email proof-of-purchase to broodybook@gmail.com to win a special preorder prize. Open internationally!)

Amazon: link here

Barnes and Noble: link here

Book Depository: link here

Indiebound: link here

 

And for updates, subscribe to my newsletter! link!

 

xoxoxo

File_000

Talking Tropes with Jess Cluess

Hi! Carrie here! I’m pleased to unveil a new, ongoing feature on the blog, TALKING TROPES. These will be fun interviews with some really great authors, where we discuss their books, their favorite stories, and also tropes they love, and tropes they hate. One of the things I’ve noticed as BroodingYAHero is that people sometimes fall into the thinking that all tropes are awful, and that’s not true. Some certainly are, and some are overused to the point of absurdity, but some tropes are useful tools!

In this inaugural blog, I’ll be interviewing the fabulous Jessica Cluess, author of A SHADOW BRIGHT AND BURNING, one of my favorite reads in 2016! It has some FABULOUS trope subversion that you need to read to believe.

Oh, and I’ll also be doing a giveaway of its sequel, A POISON DARK AND DROWNING, so definitely read until the end!

Without further ado, let’s begin!

23203252

  1. So, first of all, your book is incredible! Can you tell me a little of your inspiration for it?

J: Thank you! I got the idea from Nicholas Nickleby, actually. There’s a scene where Nicholas physically stops an assault on a defenseless boy. Since it’s set in Victorian England, I wondered how a girl of the time might have managed something like that. Then I had this image of her blasting fire out of her hands, and bam. That was it.

  1. One of the things I loved about A SHADOW BRIGHT AND BURNING is how complex all the characters are. Without spoilers, it’s fair to say no one is quite as they seem. Do you have any favorites among the cast?

J: I think my two favorites are Henrietta and the magician Hargrove. Henrietta’s the lead and the narrator, so it’s very fortunate that she’s one of my favorites. I’d have a hard time writing the series if I didn’t like her! As for Hargrove, he’s got a lot of secrets, but he also has a lot of fun. I enjoy characters who enjoy themselves. He doesn’t angst endlessly over his past, and I admire that.

  1. What other books/tv/movies have you enjoyed this year?

J:  Man, where to start? Traci Chee’s THE READER, Tara Sim’s TIMEKEEPER, Roshani Chokshi’s THE STAR TOUCHED QUEEN, Alwyn Hamilton’s REBEL OF THE SANDS, Emily Skrutskie’s THE ABYSS SURROUNDS US, all incredible 2016 YA debuts. Then there’s CARAVAL by Stephanie Garber, too!

untitled-design-1

I’ve been spoiled with the incredible amount of great books I’ve read. That’s an excellent way to be spoiled, of course. As for movies and TV, I find I have less and less time these days. One thing I’m currently deep into is Mr. Robot. It’s really doing wonders to increase my paranoia, so…actually, that’s not a good thing. Eh. What can you do?

  1. Let’s talk tropes. I know you’re a fan of BroodingYAhero. Are there any other character tropes you love?

J: Ah, Brooding YA Hero is one of my favorite things on the internet. I can’t wait for the book. Hmm. As far as tropes go, I’m a sucker for the ‘person has to confront their past’ storyline, in pretty much any form. I think the only way to really move into the future is to contend with past failures or problems. Also, it’s heavily dramatic. I’ve come to realize that a lot of my stories deal with characters having to deal with secrets from the past, be it family or society. The cycle doesn’t end until you break it, so to speak.

  1. Any you hate?

J: That asshole YA hero who always says and does asshole things? And then people call him charming? That’s not charm. That’s being a jackass. There’s a difference.

49a9298aad20b88fbe60b480579649729f0e7a20_hq

(okay, Harry probably isn’t that trope buuut it’s just too perfect a gif)
  1. What about plot tropes?

J: I love the ragtag bunch of heroes coming together and realizing they need each other, even if they want to kill each other. I really, really dislike plots that are built upon constant misunderstanding and miscommunication. That’s forcing characters to behave like idiots so that we can have a story.

  1. What’s one piece of writing advice you have for aspiring authors?

J: Originally, the hero of Star Wars was going to be named Jason Starkiller. It was a very, very different script, and not a very good one. My point is that your first draft is not going to be close to what you see in your head on the first try. Don’t get frustrated. Learn to love the rewrite process, because it’s what separates the Jason Starkillers from the Luke Skywalkers.

Thank you again, Jessica, for this awesome interview!

And now, for the giveaway!

  Click HERE for a Rafflecopter giveaway

Cover Reveal: GOLDEN by K.M. Robinson!

Do you love fairytale retellings?

How about badass heroines saving the day AND finding love?

I DO!

That’s why I’m so excited to take part in the cover reveal of GOLDEN by  K.M. Robinson 

When the girl with the golden hair betrays everyone, not even she has hope of surviving.

The stories say that Goldilocks was a naïve girl who wandered into a house one day. Those stories were wrong. She was never naïve. It was all a perfectly executed plan to get her into the Baers’ group to destroy them.

Trained by her cousin, Lowell, and handler, Shadoe, Auluria’s mission is to destroy the Baers by getting close to the youngest brother, Dov, his brother and sister-in-law and the leaders of the Baers’ group. When she realizes Dov isn’t as evil as her cousin led her to believe, she must figure out how to play both sides or her deception will cause everyone in her world to burn.

If her allegiances are discovered, either side could destroy her…if the Society doesn’t get her first.

Check out the cover after the jump!

Continue reading

Little Things To Keep You Going

Taking a break from all the fun and squeeing over my book that sold, I wanted to talk about something a little less fun.

How to keep yourself moving forward creatively when the state of the world (or your personal life) make you want to curl up in a ball and never leave your bed?

sulkingdog-1

I wish I had an easy answer. I certainly do not.

First of all, whatever’s got you feeling this low, your feelings are valid. Secondly, please don’t be afraid to seek help, or at least reach out to a friend or family.

But maybe it’s not depression. Maybe it’s just the mean reds, as made famous in BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S

mean-reds

Holly Golightly: You know those days when you get the mean reds?

Paul Varjak: The mean reds. You mean like the blues?

Holly Golightly: No. The blues are because you’re getting fat, and maybe it’s been raining too long. You’re just sad, that’s all. The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you’re afraid, and you don’t know what you’re afraid of. Do you ever get that feeling?

Sound about right? Somehow, for me as a writer, I run into these mean reds often. I read an amazing book, and it throws me into a deep sulk that I’ll never be as good of a writer as that one is. Or I’ll get feedback that I don’t know how to handle, and I’ll feel like a fake writer.

Or, you know, there will be an election, and the whole world will catch on fire. That too.

Regardless of what’s got you feeling like crap, I wanted to share a couple of my favorite small things to cheer up:

  • Look at old photos of good times.(also BACK UP YOUR PHOTOS. ahem.)
  • Have a cup of tea. I’m not sure what it is about tea that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy, but it works every time.
  • tumblr_mb7taljdfo1qfx0b8o1_500
  • Go for a walk. I was amazed to realize my saddest days are also my lowest step count days.
  • Write something fun. Like fanfic.
  • Treat yourself to a fancy pastry. If it’s got a French name, I bet it’s super fancy and very yummy.
  • dc3f1f66c776390e54768e4dc0fde1a38b4932ff626169cef19391a0ebe94f2b
  • Watch a movie. I just watched LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP and found it absolutely adorable.
  • Call a friend/family member/someone you’d like to be friends with.

Binge a series. May I suggest YURI ON ICE? Cutest show EVER.c596942844b963666866f1c4c3d216a7

So, tell me, what helps you get out of a creative bout of the mean reds?