Liebster Blog Award & The Next Big Thing

Alternatively titled: THE LONGEST BLOG POST EVER



Hey there. So how was your ThanksgivingChristmasNewYearValnetinesDay? Good? Me too. 

Now that we’re caught up…

So despite the fact that I’ve pretty much left the blog here like a baby turtle who should find its way to sea all by itself, people have nominated me for awards. Which is really, really cool because that kind of means the blog pretty much did it. Good job, baby turtle. Good job. 

I think I’m going to Frankenstein these award posts together here. So I present to you the “I Liebster Your Next Big Thing Award.” Erm. “The Next Big Liebster”… You know what? Let’s move on. 

The Liebster Award goes like this:

1. Thank the blogger who presented you with the Liebster Award, and link back to his or her blog. (Thanks, Jessica Schley!)

2. Answer the 11 questions from the nominator; list 11 random facts about yourself (NOTE: I have done the 11 facts thing a few awards ago, so in the interest of space, I’m eliminating those. But let me tell you, I am a FASCINATING person.), and create 11 questions for your nominees.

3. Present the Liebster Award to 11 bloggers, who have blogs with 200 followers or less, whom you feel deserve to be noticed. Leave a comment on the blogs letting the owners know they have been chosen. (No tag backs.)

4. Upload the Liebster Award image to your blog.

The Next Big Thing (Thanks, Shannyn Schroeder!) goes like this:

***Use this format for your post
***Answer the ten questions about your current WIP (work in progress)
***Tag five other writers/bloggers and add their links so we can hop over and meet them.

Since Jessica’s eleven questions for me incorporate the questions from TNBT, I’m going to smoosh them in here. Just you watch. It’s going to be awesome. Like Slutty Brownies.

1. What’s your favorite part of writing?

I really like words, I guess. I think it’s amazing how you can piece them together to create and build wonderful things. That probably sounds weird, but I think you can give two different people the same seven words and tell them to assemble those words in a sentence and get totally different results depending on the order of the words and even punctuation. (This is why commas are important, people…more on that later.) 

2. Who is your favorite character? (Yours, or anyone else’s?)

This is always such a hard question for me to answer because if I love a book I’ve just read, that character always becomes my favorite for a while. So this means that right now my favorite character is Park from ELEANOR & PARK by Rainbow Rowell. That book made me want to hold hands. Real bad.

But favorite character of all time, huh? Anne from ANNE OF GREEN GABLES. I wanted to be her when I was a kid. (But I also wanted to be Jessica from SWEET VALLEY TWINS/HIGH, so I’m not sure what this says about me…)

3. What do you absolutely have to do before writing/to get settled in to write?

Make sure my kids are fed/changed/busy/orbetteryetsleeping. Not much! If I’m writing in a public space, I need my coffee and my headphones. Otherwise, wherever my laptop is open, there I am. 

4. What books are on your nightstand?

Off the top of my head (since I am too lazy to go upstairs and look) I know I have books by Jasper Fforde, Stephanie Perkins, Ally Carter, John Green, David Levithan, Markus Zusak, Veronica Roth, Cassandra Clare, Nina LaCour, Kristan Higgins, and Sarah Ockler. Plus my Nook, which has way too much to list. (My nightstand is more of a bookshelf, and not just because it has books, but because it is actually a shelf.)

5. Laptop or desktop? Mac or PC?

Laptop. PC.

6. Do you have a playlist for your writing? (I don’t…I feel like I’m the only person!)

You are not alone, Jessica! I listen to music when I write in public places just to drown out background noise, but usually something instrumental because I like lyrics too much and then…SHAKE IT OUT, SHAKE IT OUT, SHAKE IT OUT, SHAKE IT OUT, Ooh wooaahh!


So I don’t really have a playlist that goes with my book. 

7. What’s your favorite genre to read, besides the one you write? 

It’s like asking me to pick a favorite kid! (The one who is not screaming…)

Well, I love contemporary, since that is what I write. But I also really enjoy dystopian/post-apoc/sci-fi books like DIVERGENT by Veronica Roth or the newly released MILA 2.0 by Debra Driza.

8. Tell us about your WIP/recent release/upcoming release! 

*Smooshes in The Next Big Thing questions*

What is your working title of your book?



Where did the idea come from for the book?

A long time ago…like 18 months, maybe 2 years?…I participated in a blog chain with some people from Absolute Write. One of the prompts was to highlight how two people handle their relationship and suddenly I was envisioning this girl who was a grocery store cashier and the snarky text messages she sent to a co-worker she thought was cute. Then the way she changed her behavior when he said she was hot and then again when she found out he was actually a jerk. The cashier and the grocery store wound up becoming the main character and the setting of CLEANUP, though she and it have changed a lot since that original blog post.


What genre does your book fall under?

Young Adult Contemporary Romance


Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

I SUCK at this. I think the actors I envision as my characters are probably way too old to actually be my characters and my target audience would picture someone totally different.  But, I shall do my best to be hip and cool and with it enough to know who the young actors are these days (ouch, my back hurts, has anyone seen my arthritis meds?)


Leah would be Kaitlyn Jenkins from Bunheads (by the way, I really hope they bring it back next season because I loves the Bunheads).


And if you face morphed Skylar Astin with with Corbin Bleu, I think you’d have Blake. (OK, so Skylar’s dimples and his personality as Jesse in PITCH PERFECT with Corbin’s hair and eyes)


What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

I also suck at this. It’s a wonder I’ve gone anywhere at all with this book :).


A seventeen-year-old grocery store cashier knows she can never afford both things she wants most in the world–her dream convertible and her dream college until she’s presented with a scholarship opportunity that could change everything, possibly even herself, but maybe not for the better.  And then, you know. Cute boys.


Or something like that.  


Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I am presently seeking representation and am working on a few specific things to meet that goal. That’s all I’ll really say, but you there. Yes, YOU! Cross your fingers for me (and also tell me to get to work).


How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

I think it took me seven months to write the first draft? And it has been revised and beta read and revised and read a few times since then. 


What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I think readers who enjoy funny/voice-y contemporary YA will enjoy my story, so the fans of Stephanie Perkins, E. Lockhart, Sarah Ockler, and books like theirs. (Though I feel like a giant dweeb saying so. I look up to those authors so much.)


Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Besides the blog prompt? In some ways, just life in general. I’ve been in my main character’s spot before (though not exactly, of course). But making the choice between what you want and what you think you’re supposed to want, or making the choice between who you are now and who you think you’re supposed to become. That’s pretty general, I suppose. But I liked the idea of exploring this through the mundane everyday-ness of the grocery store and, of course, choosing between two boys. 


What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

It’s funny. At least I think it’s funny. Look, I’ll juggle or something if you’ll laugh at least once reading it (provided any of you get the chance to read it 🙂 ).


*Crawls back out of the smoosh*

9. What book are you reading today?

I just finished ELEANOR & PARK, so I have to decide what to read next. I also recently finished THE REECE MALCOLM LIST by Amy Spalding. I really liked both books. 

10. Where do you stand on the Oxford comma? 


11. Give one piece of advice to your blog readers—could be writing related, or totally not.

Use the Oxford comma.


Next, the 11 bloggers I am tagging. You all may choose which award you want to accept, or smoosh them both. Up to you! 

  • Rachael Allen (Debut author of SEVENTEEN FIRST KISSES, which will release next fall from Harper Teen)
  • Dawn Rae Miller (Author of LARKSTORM, NIGHTINGALE, and the anxiously awaited book 3 in The Sensitives Trilogy. Also the New Adult novel, CRUSHED)
  • Selma Wolfe (Author of the newly released DETECT ME)
  • Alina B. Klein (Author of RAPE GIRL and amazing advocate for rape survivors everywhere)
  • Dana Alison Levy (Author of THE FAMILY FURNIVAL, which will debut from Delacorte/Random House fall 2014)
  • Kara Taylor (Author of PREP SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL, which debuts in July from St. Martin’s Griffin)
  • Monica Fumarolo (whose short story was recently published with the book DEAR CASSIE by Lisa Burstein)
  • Michelle Painchaud (Debut author of PRETENDING TO BE ERICA, which releases in 2014 from Viking/Penguin)
  • Jamie Blair (whose YA debut, LEAP OF FAITH releases this fall from Simon & Schuster Children’s)
  • Jennifer Walkup (Debut author of SECOND VERSE, which releases October 1st from Luminis Books)
  • Kate Boorman (whose YA fantasy novel, WINTERKILL I am positive we’ll be hearing BIG things about soon. Very soon.)

Next, my eleven questions.

  1. Who would win in a staring contest, Harry Potter or Percy Jackson?
  2. You’re out of black ink on deadline day, in which color do you print your manuscript to send back to your (perhaps hypothetical) editor: Cyan, Magenta, or Yellow? Why?
  3. Tell us about your book.
  4. An asteroid is screaming toward Earth and only one dance craze is allowed in the hidey-hole that saves humanity: Gangnam Style, The Electric Slide, The Macarena, or The Harlem Shake. Which one do you save? (And you’re not allowed to say none) Also, if you are brave enough: Post a video of you doing said dance. THAT’S RIGHT. AN OPTIONAL CHALLENGE!
  5. What book are you currently reading?
  6. Who is your favorite author? (I give you permission to cry that you can only choose one and then I’ll let you choose, say, two or three if you must)
  7. What inspired you to become a writer?
  8. What’s your favorite eReader?
  9. Favorite internet distraction?
  10. Favorite fictional boyfriend?
  11. If you write drunk and edit sober, name the drinks for each. (Like mine would be wine and coffee)



4 thoughts on “Liebster Blog Award & The Next Big Thing

  1. hahaha I love it! Still feeling bad as I was under the impression I was to choose the amount of people nominated… *sigh* I feel like I should re think and nominate 7 more people..sigh. Anywho love your blog! No more baby turtle, gotta have more new posts to read!

  2. I think my reading tastes are similar to yours, Erin (not to mention an absolute insistence on the Oxford comma). I need to check out some of the authors you named that I’m not familiar with.

    Best wishes with CLEANUP! (And get back to work on it.) 🙂

  3. Yay! Love it. I confess to having selfishly chosen my questions to find out who I would have a bunch in common with. 🙂 Instrumental music writing soundtracks FTW!

    And yes, get back to work. CLEANUP seems amazing, and I wish you best of luck with it.

    Now to go meet all these people you tagged…

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