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  • 07/09/12--14:28: Mad About Maddaddam?
  • Here’s your chance to be immortalized in a new novel by a legendary best-selling author!

    Want to be a character in Margaret Atwood’s new novel Maddaddam? Well, if you have an extra $10,000 to spare one way to do it is to head on over to www.indiegogo.com/fanado and claim the perk as part of Fanado’s Go Mobile campaign:

    Your name - or the name of a friend of nominee - as a character in Margaret Atwood’s forthcoming novel, “Maddaddam”, or as a Gardener Saint. Bragging rights with all your friends - you’ll be surprised how cleverly Margaret weaves you into her story.

    But what if you don’t happen to have $10,000? Well, if you’re a poet, a wannabe poet, or serious Atwood super-fan, it turns out you’re in luck! Margaret received so many sad messages from people who would love to be a character in Maddaddam, but can’t afford it that she has made a special character available exclusively for Wattpadders!

    Here’s the big news: Anyone who enters the Attys, our upcoming Wattpad poetry contest, will be included in this special draw! Full details and all the rules will be announced on July 24th! So, join up, join in, get writing now and make sure you’re ready to win… 

    Maddaddam follows Oryx and Crake, and The Year of the Flood in Margaret Atwood’s acclaimed dystopian near-future trilogy. 

    Oryx and Crake  Year of the Flood


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    You may already be familiar with Life’s a Witch by Brittany Geragotelis, a.k.a. BrittTheBookSlayer, which received more than nineteen million reads when she first introduced it to you right here on Wattpad. 

    Thanks to your enthusiasm and Brittany Geragotelis’ storytelling talents, she landed a book deal with Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing to release the Life’s a Witch saga.  The three book series begins with a prequel, What the Spell?, the story of Brooklyn Sparks, a witch who has just come into her own powers.  With Brittany Geragotelis, Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing is thrilled to exclusively reveal the cover with all you Wattpadders.

    For those of you who can’t wait to read the story of Brooklyn Sparks and the backstory of Asher from Life’s a Witch, S&S Children’s will release What the Spell? in three eBook installments starting on October 9, 2012.  Life’s a Witch will be released in hardcover in May 2013.  Keep an eye out for more updates from BrittTheBookSlayer.

    Meet Brittany for a Q&A, and get a sneak peek of her new book “Life’s A Witch,” at the PlayBook event at the Chelsea Market in NYC, July 11th! Listen to her recount her publishing journey at noon, or join us later in the day and talk to Maria from Wattpad HQ. 


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  • 07/10/12--12:56: The Influence of Pop-Culture
  • Wattpad brings you a guest post from Claudia Lefeve, author of the teen sci-fi Parallel:

    While there are many authors I admire, and whose books have inspired me to become a writer myself, I can’t say that they alone influence my writing. I also turn to other mediums for inspiration.

    Television innovators like Joss Whedon and J.J. Abrams ignite that creative spark that gets my writer juices flowing, as well as other screenwriter/directors, such as John Carpenter, Wes Craven, and Robert Rodriguez (to name a few). It’s not just their storytelling that inspires me, but the style in which they tell they story. Regardless of the media outlet, the end result is still the same: to tell a good story.

    But for me, the influence of popular culture icons isn’t limited to just inspiration. I often employ pop-culture itself as a literary device. I use elements of music, television, and yes, even books, to create strange new worlds. Or at the very least, to give color to my stories. It’s just another way to add imagery to my varied tales.

    Which is probably why Etta Fleming, the main character in PARALLEL, is a movie junkie. In this respect, she’s very much like me in real life. She finds herself going to an alternate world, which doesn’t share her knowledge of books, music, movies, or TV shows. In her new world, Frankenstein was never written, Hollywood doesn’t exist, nor did Doc Brown invent the time-flux capacitor. Because of this, she’s able to use her knowledge of pop-culture from her previous reality, in order to relate to her new world.

    My characters tend to have a mind of their own, so I’m thankful my main character shares many of the same favorites as I do and is able to create analogies based on her extensive television trivia knowledge, so she can better explain things like time-travel, parallel universes, and paradoxes. Because much like Etta, who hasn’t grasped the concept of traveling and alternate realities, I myself don’t fully appreciate the complexities of quantum physics… yet. 

    Check out Parallel on Wattpad!

    Destiny has a way of catching up.

    Saddled with powers she doesn’t understand, Etta Fleming’s world is turned upside-down the day she meets Cooper Everett, the man who transports her to an alternate reality. A reality she was meant to be a part of. One minute, she’s an orphan living at Dominion House for Girls, an institution for delinquent foster kids, then finds herself attending the exclusive Dominion Hall Academy.

    Plucked from the only world she’s ever known, Etta now has to deal with an aunt she never knew, a boyfriend she doesn’t know, and a best friend who can’t know.

    PARALLEL is the first book in The Travelers Series.

    Also available on:


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    Wattpad is a proud sponsor of HPEF’s eighth Harry Potter fancon, ASCENDIO, which will rock in Orlando, Florida from July 12-15!

    Ascendio’s hosting NIGHT OF A THOUSAND WIZARDS 2 an amazing private party in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando on July 12; for $155, attendees can: 

    • Enter Universal’s Islands of Adventure® after 2 p.m. on July 12!
    • Enjoy exclusive access to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter(TM) at Islands of Adventure from 10pm until 1am!
    • Get a $20 gift card to use towards dinner and snacks at Islands of Adventure on July 12!
    • Wear costumes in Islands of Adventure after 2 p.m. on July 12!
    • Meet Harry Potter film cast members Afshan Azad (Padma Patil) and Chris Rankin (Percy Weasley)!

    • Discuss Harry Potter in the Hog’s Head with other fans and Potter Pundit John Granger!
    • Enjoy desserts, Butterbeer(TM), Pumpkin Juice, tea and coffee included with your ticket, from 10 p.m. til 1 a.m.
    • Zip through lines for The Forbidden Journey, Dragon Challenge and more!

    Tickets for Night of a Thousand Wizards are still available on Ascendio’s website and there’s still a few rooms available at Ascendio’s host hotel, Loews Portofino Bay Resort at Universal Orlando Resort.

    Don’t forget to check out Wattpad’s Reception and table at the Authorpalooza on July 12th, PLUS our info session on Saturday, July 14th. Meet some of the Wattpad crew and learn more about the most popular community of readers and writers.


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    Wattpad brings you a guest post from Rebecca Sky, author of The Love Curse, an adventure romance! 

    Hi Wattpaders, Rebecca Sky here and boy do I have a special treat for you! I often get asked, “Do you make your own book covers?” In simple the answer is, yes. Today I’m going to explain how I do and the special treat is …wait for it… professional graphic artist and novelist Ken Stacey is going to help me!  

    The first thing you should do when making a cover is find covers that you like. I force my friends to wander bookstores with me and point out covers that catch their eye—I know, I know, I’m bossy! ;) When I have an idea of what style of book cover I want to do, (eg. clean and simple, bold graphic prints, colorful, dark and moody) I look online for pictures to use that fit the style, my personality and my story.

    I use royalty-free stock images. The reason I pick royalty-free sites to choose my pictures from, is that once you’ve edited the photo it belongs to you. Not the photographer or the model, you. This is handy if you ever want to sell your book, because no photographers will be coming after you asking you to take down their picture or pay them for it. My favorite site for this is www.sxc.hu. Make sure to read the fine print on the photo; each one has different restrictions. Sometimes I also buy a picture, this is the less cost effective way. The sites I use are shutterstock.com and istockphoto.com. Of the two, Shutterstock is the cheapest.

    “That’s nice and all, Rebecca, but how do you edit those images?” you ask.

    Well, thank you for asking. For the covers you see on my Wattpad profile I use an online photo-editing program called Pic Monkey. There are many different sites out there but I think Pic Monkey is the most user-friendly. Just upload your picture and play around with their tools. My favorite one is the cloning tool. It duplicates anything you click and moves it to another place. This is great for things like adding flames, erasing things or making someone’s hair longer. They even have tools to help you change eye color or whiten teeth.  One of the tools I use most is the sticker overlay option. They have some really cool shapes and images, like roses and buttons, and you can also upload your own pictures to add to the cover you’re editing (when doing this make sure you play around with the blend modes).

    “Ok, we’ve listened to you, now we want to hear what Ken has to say.”

    I’m glad you said that because I’m dying to hear what he has to say about book covers and illustrations too. My Wattpad fans compiled some awesome questions for him. Here they are.

    Interview with professional graphic artist and novelist Ken Stacey:

    Tell us about yourself and what you do- I’m a comic book author/illustrator whose pet obsession is aviation! B^) I decided at age eleven to become a professional comic book writer/artist, a dream that was realized in 1974. Since then, I’ve worked in the industry as author, artist, art director, editor, and publisher, chronicling the exploits of Spider-Man, Harry Potter, and the Star Wars gang, to name but a few. In addition to creating my own intellectual property, I’ve also collaborated with other writers, including Harlan Ellison, Isaac Asimov, and Douglas Coupland. I’m the recipient of an Eisner and an Inkpot award, and was inducted into the Joe Shuster Awards Hall of Fame in 2009, a lifetime achievement award honoring Canadian comic book creators for their contributions to the industry.

      

    How long have you been drawing? Since I could hold a pencil - or other drawing implement!

    How did you take it from hobby to profession? I’d never characterize what I do as a hobby - it was always a passion, and making the transition to pro, which happened in 1974, seemed inevitable!

    Have you ever made book covers? Yes indeed!

    What advice would you give to someone making their own book covers? Ensure that the design, typography, illustration and/or photo is intriguing enough to get the audience to pick it up!  

    What program do you use to edit pictures online? Photoshop, of course!

    How do you get pictures for online? Take ‘em with my digital camera!

    What was it like working with J.K.Rowling and can we see some of the work you did for the Harry Potter Series? I never had any direct contact with Jo, but believe she had approval of the gaming cards I produced!

      

    Finally how do we find your books? Online in the secondary market, as they’re all out of print! http://kensteacy.blogspot.ca/

    Well there you have it folks. People say don’t judge a book by the cover, but we almost all do. Now you have some tools to make awesome stand out covers to attract readers to your books! If you have any questions I’d love to help you out, just stop by my wattpad profile.

    Love others and keep well read,

    Rebecca 

     


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    Which version of “Stardust House” by Adri Mars do you like better- 1, 2, 3, or 4?


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  • 07/16/12--05:50: Wattpad Workshop Week 8
  • CHARACTER: THE PULSING HEART OF A GOOD STORY

    Welcome to the Wattpad Workshop Series!

    Start anytime.

    These are free workshops for Wattpad writers who want to be inspired and challenged. You’ll come away with new ideas, new techniques and, most importantly, you’ll generate lots of new writing. The workshops run every Monday on the Wattpad Blog.

    To join in: read the post and get writing – post your writing on the Weekly Workshop Series Discussion Thread!

    The workshops are run by Alice Kuipers, bestselling author of Life on the Refrigerator Door, The Worst Thing She Ever Did and 40 Things I Want To Tell You. Visit her at www.alicekuipers.com:

    Week 8 (Missed the earlier writer’s workshop? Join in with this week and go back to check out Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4, Week 5, Week 6 and Week 7!)

    All characters have sayings, gestures, habits and personal objects that are unique to them. This week, we’re going to be thinking about the material goods in a character’s home, bag, office, locker, or wherever, we’re going to be listening to our character’s voice, studying them as they move, and trying to figure out from these details who these characters really are.

    Let’s think about OBJECTS first of all.

    If a female character lives in an apartment with nothing but fluffy teddy bears and Hello Kitty dolls lining the walls that shows you something about her, right? If she has a small dog that she dresses in sunglasses, if she only drinks cream soda with ice made from the water of a river in Fiji, if she has a romance novel in her purse, do you get a sense of who she might be? The things a character owns are HINTS for a reader.

    Now, imagine you were given two suitcases to go through. One was full of neatly folded clothes, neatly filed paperwork, on top of which lay a photograph of two young children, smiling. The other bag was messy, stuffed with scrunched up T-shirts, a novel by Arthur Slade poking out. What assumptions would you make about the owners of each of the bags?

    How about the objects a character puts in a shopping cart?

    What do your characters buy and what does it say about them?

    What books does your character own and read? What movies?

    Every object that you place in a character’s possession gives you as the author the OPPORTUNITY to give the reader hints about your character.

    Moving on from objects, think about how your character SPEAKS. Is there a particular word they use all the time, a quirk of language (each character in your book might have one of these, which is a great way for a reader to feel like they are getting to know your characters).

    For example: Does your character always use the word, ‘like’, as a filler in sentences? Or does he enjoy long words that most people never use?

    Now think about in what way your character talks. Do they shout? Or whisper? Do they rattle out sentences or think before they speak?

    Can you see how all these details make a character different from someone else (both in real life and on the page)?

    Does your character have a ‘characteristic’ GESTURE? Do they wipe their nose all the time or pick at their front tooth? Do they giggle a lot? And what are their HABITS? What does your character do every day, every week?

    Notice the word I used there: CHARACTERISTIC. What we’re thinking about this week are your character’s CHARACTERISTICS – the things that are TYPICAL of them as a person, the traits that make them unique.

    If you’ve already finished a novel, I suggest going through and making sure that your character’s CHARACTERISTICS are the same all the way through. And, this is key, that EACH OF YOUR CHARACTERS has DIFFERENT CHARACTERISTICS. If all of your characters are pushing their hair back from their faces, texting all the time, etc, can you see that it makes it hard for a reader to distinguish one from the other?

    If you haven’t started your book yet, use this opportunity to think about each character’s traits so you know them all well before you begin.

    This week’s writing prompt:

    Moving forward from the character interview that we did last week, we’re going to answer more questions about our character focusing on their CHARCTERISTICS.

    This time, it’s not the character answering the questions, but you as the writer.

    What would your character pack on a trip?

    What objects are in your character’s room?

    What books has your character read in the last year?

    What three habits does your character have?

    What would be something typical that your character might say?

    Describe a typical gesture your character makes.

    And this is a bonus question, suggested by BurntWords (thanks for your input!), and it’s an excellent one: Tell me one of your character’s secrets.

    Post your writing here at the Weekly Workshop Series Discussion Thread! I’ll read it and give feedback as often as I can.

    Commit to your writing by joining in in this and all the upcoming workshops:

    • July 2nd-July 30th: Character - The Pulsing Heart of a Good Story
    • August 6th-Sept 3rd: Dialogue - Hear Those Voices On The Page
    • Sept 10th-Oct 8th: Take It To A New Level - Fixes For Your Fiction
    • Oct 15th-Nov 12th: Kickstart Your Writing - Trying New Things To Fuel Your Writing

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    Wattpad brings you a guest post from Anthea Sharp, author of Feyland: The Dark Realm, an urban fantasy novel! 

    What if a computer game was actually a portal to the Realm of Faerie?

    That idea took hold of me two years ago, and I started writing Feyland: The Dark Realm. The book features two teen gamers—Jennet and Tam—who must overcome their differences and work together to save one another, and ultimately the mortal world.

    I’ve read urban fantasy for years, and always loved stories of people transported into fantastical realms. The first books I remember being able to read by myself were Fairy Tales. When I was seven years old, I was given the complete set of Andrew Lang’s colored Fairy books and devoured them until they were completely falling apart. 

    While I don’t have actual experience with the faeries, I am a gamer girl. From the early days of Zork, to World of Warcraft, I’ve enjoyed playing in fantasy-based computer worlds. I started thinking about the similarities between the experience of gaming and the tales of mortals who are transported to fairyland.

    Both are fantastical experiences, full of magic and danger. Time is distorted, with mere minutes translating to hours passing in the outside world. Despite its dangers, mortals are fascinated by the lure of the magical realm, and pine for it—sometimes desperately—when back in the real world.

    What if, in a near-future world, computer games immersed the player even more completely? And what if a game became a portal to someplace beyond fantastical—the Realm of Faerie? Those were the musings that planted the seed of Feyland in my mind, and the more I thought about it, the more fun I had imagining the story, and all the troubles my characters would face, both in-game and out.

    The game of Feyland will feel familiar to anyone who has played a fantasy-based MMO—that is, until the magical elements appear and start skewing the game-play. My favorite part of writing the story was throwing all kinds of crazy curveballs at my hero and heroine. Just when they think they have things figured out, everything changes again. Not only is the game messing with them, they each have their own issues to sort out, plus an attraction that threatens to upset the delicate balance of their in-game alliance.

    Even though there are a few inside references, the reader doesn’t have to be a gamer to enjoy the story—just a fan of adventure mixed with a bit of fantasy/sci-fi and a touch of romance.

    Once I had the concept of combining high-tech gaming with the Realm of Faerie, I knew I wanted to incorporate elements of old faerie ballads into the novel. The Ballad of Tam Lin, in particular, features the guy getting rescued by the girl. It was really fun doing a modern re-telling of the elements of the ballad, and sprinkling bits of faerie lore all through the book. 

    I’m delighted to offer the complete novel of Feyland: The Dark Realm at Wattpad. I’ve had rave reviews from a wide spectrum of readers: gamers, teens, adults, fantasy readers, speculative fiction folks, romance readers. I can hardly wait for this story to reach more readers!

    The second book in the trilogy, Feyland: The Bright Court, is now out, and the final book, Feyland: The Twilight Kingdom, will be released this fall. The novels are available as print books, as well as in all ebook formats, from most online retailers.

    I’m excited to be part of Wattpad’s Writer Partner Program. Happy reading, everyone!

    Come visit/friend/follow me~

    Website: www.AntheaSharp.com 
    Wattpad: http://www.wattpad.com/user/AntheaSharp
    Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5294897.Anthea_Sharp
    FB: www.facebook.com/AntheaSharp 
    Twitter: http://twitter.com/antheasharp


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    Here’s a new guest post from David H. Burton, author of the steampunk fantasy novel Scourge: A Grim Doyle Adventure.

    BoysLet me start by saying I’m a father of three boys. 

    It’s hard to find books for them. 

    Extremely.

    On top of that, two of them are reluctant readers.

    I struggle with it every time I set foot in the bookstore or library. I wish I could say that even my avid reader was easy to buy for, but no. He reads the same books over and over because he has trouble finding books that appeal to him.

    Percy Jackson? Yes. Harry Potter? Definitely! Hunger Games? No. Kane Chronicles? No. Anything other than HP or PJ? Pretty much, no.

    Now, let’s add one more dimension to this.

    My boys have two dads. Yes, you read that right. My same-sex partner and I adopted three little boys (brothers) about four years ago. It’s a nice story. One I love to share.

    And Tango Makes Three When we adopted them, we searched for books that had two dads. It was a bit of a struggle. We wanted them to learn about the diversity of families, but in particular we wanted the books to reflect families that were similar to our own. 

     Fortunately, we found a book titled And Tango Makes Three - a lovely tale based on a true story of two male penguins that paired up at the Central Park Zoo in New York. If you  haven’t read it, I highly recommend it no matter what your family make-up is. It’s important for children of all family backgrounds to read it. 

    Magic Thief

    I did get somewhat lucky with Sarah Prineas’ The Magic Thief. In it, the main character has two caregivers (for lack of a better term) that are both males. And their interactions are akin to a same-sex couple, even if they’re not. There’s another book you should go read. It’s wonderful!

    Unfortunately, we’ve struggled to find anything further that captures their attention and is reflective of our family make-up. Particularly as our boys have gotten older.

    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want all the books my children read to have LGBT elements. That would be ridiculous, but it would be nice to have one here and there that they can identify with. And it doesn’t have to be the focus of the story either, just even a passing mention would be something.

    I do have to say that it was nice that Rowling revealed that Dumbledore was gay. It certainly made for an interesting part of our dinner conversation at the time, but I found it bothersome that it was never mentioned in the book itself. It was more of an after-thought. 

    So why wasn’t it mentioned? Why wasn’t it included in the story?

    And that’s when my children’s novel began to change. 

    When we adopted the boys, Scourge had taken a completely different form, one in which the main character was female, had a mom and a dad, and had one sibling.

    It changed significantly after that.

    First, I made the main character a boy. It seemed that was what my boys were drawn to: male protagonists. 

    ScourgeSecond, I introduced two dads. It wasn’t a difficult change - they’re minor characters. But I felt it important to make that change. And why not? Why couldn’t a mainstream story with a fantasy/steampunk slant have two dads in it? And I didn’t want it to be an afterthought. It was going to be right out there where you couldn’t miss it. I could be alienating a whole demographic who wouldn’t want to read it - I’m fine with that. And my boys would back me up in a second. 

    Third, I paid attention to my boys’ interests. What captured their attention? What about certain games and books engaged them? What elements ensnared them?

    Last, and by far the most interesting change, was in the dynamics of the siblings themselves. The story went from two to six siblings, and the interactions of my boys had a huge impact on the development of the characters. The little nuances between them, things that I’d forgotten from my own childhood, made their way into the story - a glare here, a tongue stuck out there, sibling rivalry, spats, and yet also the tight bond that holds them together, the strength of the bond that got my boys through the foster system. 

    I learned so much from them and the novel took a different turn - one I hadn’t expected. And I love where it’s gone! It’s a much better story. 

    It was only natural that I chose to dedicate the book to my boys. They were the best thing that ever happened to us - and that’s reflected in almost everything in our lives, including my writing.

    Be sure to check out David’s novel Scourge: A Grim Doyle Adventure on Wattpad or find him at davidhburton.com


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    Wattpadders got together in Dublin on July 18th 2012 to celebrate reading, writing, and all things Wattpad!

    If you’ve organized a Wattpad Meetup in your town, send us your photos and we’ll share them on the Wattpad blog.


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    Wattpad brings you a guest post from Romi Moondi, author of Year of the Chick:

    Love.

    Having it. Losing it. Obsessing about not having it. Looking for it again. Finding something real. Trying to make it last.

    What I’m saying is…I think about love every day.

    Do you?

    When I was deepest in my phase of “obsessing about not having it,” I started a blog called “Year of the Chick.” In keeping with the title, this blog ran for all of 2008, and it was a quest to find love in a year to avoid arranged marriage.

    (Oh yeah, I have an Indian-Canadian background and super-strict parents; did I mention that?)

    This blog covered everything from picking up guys in grocery stores, to dealing with slick investment bankers at the fanciest bars in Toronto.  Sometimes it was true, and sometimes it was ridiculous, which is exactly how I’d describe my novel “Year of the Chick.”  This book is inspired by my blog in many ways, as it follows an Indian-Canadian girl’s mission to find true love…or some love…or any love. It’s all to avoid spending the rest of her life with some man her parents search for on websites and in newspapers (yes, there are arranged-marriage classified ads).

    As a side note, this book is totally fictional and not the least bit autobiographical…ahem.

    I finished this “Year of the Chick” in 2010, and published it last year via digital book retailers everywhere. The response has been great via Amazon reviews and reader comments, so now I’d like to share it with the Wattpad community. I hope readers far and wide will enjoy the cultural aspects, and also relate to modern issues like meeting a man on the Internet (yes, that happens in this book!).  I’m also happy to say that a sequel called “Last-Minute Love” was published just over a month ago. So if you like what you read in “Year of the Chick,” there’s plenty more in book two, and a third book to come in 2013!

    Before I go, I’d like to thank the fine people at Wattpad for letting me guest-post here. I’d also like to tell all the writers out there to never give up! I know that sounds cheesy but I really mean it. When I first decided to write a novel, I felt somewhat alone in the process, both because it was a weird thing to pursue with a full-time corporate job, and because my parents thought (and sometimes still think) it was a waste of time. There was no “Wattpad” when I started out (am I aging myself? Be quiet, I’m not that old), but now we have this incredible community where you can post stories as inspiration comes, and get a ton of encouragement along the way! So keep up with it, because there’s no rule that says dreams expire by a certain age (I’m aging myself again).

    Happy writing and happy reading, because I  hope you’ll enjoy my humourous tale of love (and Internet obsession, haha)!

    Sincerely,

    Romi

    PS: I also love interacting with readers, so feel free to leave Wattpad comments and I will respond!

    Facebook Author Page 

    Amazon

    Start reading Year of the Chick on Wattpad!

    An awkward family homecoming at Christmas.

    A humiliating public weigh-in, with two judging parents as the audience.

    The announcement of a deadline for arranged marriage doom. And that’s just the first two chapters.

    In “Year of the Chick,” Romi Narindra must find love before her parents find her a husband. But this is North America, not Calcutta! Who lets their parents choose their husbands?! Easy to say, less easy to live through, as this book takes you deep inside “awkward Indian living in the West.” To escape her fate, Romi wades through the waters of secret-dating, where self-consciousness is at an all-time high, and experience at an all-time low. It’s the sort of thing that would turn almost anyone into a man-crazy freak with romance tunnel-vision, and that’s exactly what happens to her. All the while, a lack of inspiration in her corporate job leads Romi to her love of writing, in what quickly becomes a man-quest play-by-play.

    From whiskey-breath scum bags to uni-brow creeps and everything in between, Romi and her wingmen come up empty time after time. And that’s when she meets a fellow writer. On the Internet. So will it be arranged marriage doom, or an Internet affair that’s not as creepy as “To Catch a Predator”? Time will tell in the “year of the chick,” a twelve-month quest to find love.

    Tick-tock.

    ——————————————————————-

    Year of the Chick” is book one of a series, and book two is available now at Amazon! LENGTH: 74,000 words or 284 pages DISCLAIMER: this book contains profanities, blunt accounts of the dating scene, and many awkward family moments. Enjoy! 


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    Which version of Darrell Pitt’s “Diary of a Teenage Superhero” do you like better - left or right?


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    Watch our video interview with legendary writer Margaret Atwood, author of “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “Alias Grace,” and “The Year of the Flood,” among others.

    Want to hear her thoughts on the future of reading, writing, and publishing? Listen in on our discussion as she talks about why she joined Wattpad, interactive storytelling, her new tech venture Fanado, and the upcoming poetry contest that she’s judging on Wattpad.

    Plus:

    The Fanado fundraising campaign is almost over! Support Margaret’s innovative project to connect fans and their fave authors, singers, and celebrities. There’s a whole bunch of perks available - a subscription to Margaret’s original Wattpad Comix, a chance to meet Paulo Coelho, and more! Check it out!


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    CHARACTER: THE PULSING HEART OF A GOOD STORY

    Welcome to the Wattpad Workshop Series!

    Start anytime.

    These are free workshops for Wattpad writers who want to be inspired and challenged. You’ll come away with new ideas, new techniques and, most importantly, you’ll generate lots of new writing. The workshops run every Monday on the Wattpad Blog.

    To join in: read the post and get writing – post your writing on the Weekly Workshop Series Discussion Thread!

    The workshops are run by Alice Kuipers, bestselling author of Life on the Refrigerator Door, The Worst Thing She Ever Did and 40 Things I Want To Tell You. Visit her at www.alicekuipers.com:

    Week 9 (Missed the earlier writer’s workshop? Join in with this week and go back to check out Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4, Week 5, Week 6, Week 7 and Week 8!)

    “Description begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader’s.” – Stephen King, On Writing

    So far in these workshops on character we’ve thought about our characters’ habits, gestures, deepest secrets and favourite foods. We’ve got to know them on the inside. This week, we’re thinking about what our characters’ look like and figuring out how to include this information in our stories. Stephen King in his masterful book On Writing (I haven’t recommended this to you yet, but I do recommend it highly) gives a good example. He says if you describe a character as a ‘pimply faced high school outcast’ you should trust that we’ve all met someone like that. He suggests letting THE READER fill in the rest using their imagination.

    The best time to include physical description is when you introduce your character. If you don’t tell your reader until the tenth chapter that your character has a limp and woolly grey hair, they’ll be surprised (and annoyed) you didn’t give these details before.  They will have an image of the character in their heads from the first moment they meet the character on the page.

    Our exercise this week is to introduce a character. We’re going to write an opening of a scene, with action and dialogue, including some physical description.

    Before you start, here are six tips to make your character introduction, including your physical description, stronger.

    1-     Think very carefully about key words that define this character, words like ‘pimply faced high-school outcast’. Cut the rest. Trust your reader.

    2-     Remember how important action is to character. Is there a way that the action can give hints about the character’s physical self? For example: She couldn’t lift the chair, although she tried. It was too heavy for someone so fine-boned.

    3-     A friend of mine, author Maria Meindl, suggests thinking with all five senses when you describe. How could you use this advice in your introduction of your character?

    4-     Watch for clichés. Don’t describe someone GENERAL describe someone SPECIFIC. Focus on a key detail about the character so we can see them clearly in our minds.

    5-     Is your character looking in the mirror? STOP RIGHT NOW! One of the ‘tricks’ writers use is to have their character look in a mirror/reflective surface to describe what their character looks like. But thousands of writers have done this before. Push yourself a little harder to find a way to introduce your character.

    6-     When you describe someone (or something) describe in VISUAL ORDER. Don’t start at someone’s head, then pop to their feet, then focus on their tummy. It makes it hard for a reader to follow. Work top to bottom, left to right as you visualize your character – the same way we read a page.

    This week’s writing prompt:

    I’m using an image prompt this week – the backs of two people, a woman and a boy, on a ship (I’m all about ships in these workshops, I guess because I was just in Vancouver!)

    Use this image to write a scene introducing these two characters. Write no more than 300 words. (If, instead, you’d rather use a character you’ve already been working with, that’s fine with me).

    Post your writing here at the Weekly Workshop Series Discussion Thread! I’ll read it and give feedback as often as I can.

    Commit to your writing by joining in this and all the upcoming workshops:

    • July 2nd-July 30th: Character - The Pulsing Heart of a Good Story
    • August 6th-Sept 3rd: Dialogue - Hear Those Voices On The Page
    • Sept 10th-Oct 8th: Take It To A New Level - Fixes For Your Fiction
    • Oct 15th-Nov 12th: Kickstart Your Writing - Trying New Things To Fuel Your Writing

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  • 07/23/12--10:52: Conspiracy Novels
  • Wattpad brings you a guest post from David Mark Brown, author of Lost DMB Files:

    Conspiracy Theories. What would the world be without them? While some ring hollow and others are petty or cruel, many have made our world a better place. Some of the best conspiracies out there were originally constructed for the sake of great literature. Since researching how to create a top notch conspiracy theory for the sake of my next novel, I’ve developed my top 5 list of most impactful literary conspiracies (created first within literature rather than the other way around) that have changed our world for the better—or have they?

    Most Impactful Conspiracy Novels

    Dreadful Sanctuary by Eric Frank Russell

    While not popular by any means, Dreadful Sanctuary blazed the path of the alien conspiracy. Blending science fiction and political thriller, this mostly forgotten novel laid the groundwork for many of our favorite contemporary conspiracy theories. The moon landing? Area 51? Alien invasion of popular figures?

    The Da Vinci Code: A Novel (Robert Langdon)by Dan Brown

    On the opposite end of popularity, Dan Brown’s religious conspiracy thriller has spurred countless other publications debating the “truthiness” of his fictional novel. This is of course the true test of the effectiveness of a literary conspiracy. When an author can write a fictional novel (which by the way means it’s not factual) and generate scads of argument, then he/she has done the job well!

    The Manchurian Candidate by Richard Condon

    This creepy conspiracy thriller inspired at least a half-dozen modern political cover-ups! While typically literature and film follow after a conspiracy develops a head of steam, this novel put the cart before the horse. Before his time, Condon made a generation believe that military experimentation and brainwashed snipers were rampant. Of course, in the 21st century we know they are! Thanks a lot, Condon!

    1984 by George Orwell

    Okay, this isn’t technically a conspiracy novel. But can you think of a book that has done more to make the current earthly populous more paranoid? Big Brother has bewitched us ever since Orwell created him. For decades we have used the terminology of Nineteen Eighty Four as the foundation for political conspiracy lingo. Maybe all this is a bit of personal “doublethink,” but where would the New World Order by without Orwell?

    The Illuminatus! Trilogy: The Eye in the Pyramid, The Golden Apple, Leviathan by Shea and Wilson

    Lastly, Dan Brown’s primer. While Brown (and others) are making gobs of money by blurring reality for hordes of paranoid readers, Shea and Wilson deserve some credit for getting the snowball rolling. As Maniac Muslim has recently made breath-mint clear, all conspiracies must eventually point to the Illuminati. Why? Because of this book. *Warning: if you take this novel seriously it can kill you. (People do it all the time. Just read the reviews.)

    All of this just goes to show you, while fact might sometimes be stranger than fiction, fiction is almost always more entertaining. So Write it! Read it! Review it! and Share it!

    Read Lost DMB Files free on Wattpad!

    Lost DMB Files

    “The most startling discovery to never be made.” Some conspiracies remain theories. Others become obsessions. Exhumed 100 years after their penning, the Lost DMB Files will reinterpret the way you see the world, or the way it sees you. Product Description: Dime novelist and pulp fiction writer, David Mark Brown, mysteriously disappeared during the 1930’s. Until recently, his obscure writings had all but been forgotten. Violent conspiracy theorists contend his fiction preserves a secret history, a history able to reclaim our future, if the war it unleashes doesn’t destroy us in the process.


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    Fanado is going where no one has gone before: it’s a brand-new way for fans to connect with their favourite musicians, authors (like Paulo Coelho!), and artists from around the world.

    Join Wattpad in supporting this innovative project by our fellow Canadian & multi-award winning author Margaret Atwood.

    Only 5 days left to grab some campaign perks by donating to the fundraiser! You could subscribe to the new Wattpad-themed comics, or meet a favourite artist!

    Help them reach their goal of raising $85,000!

    Find out more!


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  • 07/24/12--11:06: FORTUNE'S FOOL CONTEST
  • FORTUNE'S FOOL CONTEST:

    “If you suddenly discovered that you have psychic abilities, would you thank your lucky stars or curse the day you were born? For Nell Marchand, her new powers are a bane she would prefer to ignore. But when a desperate father pleads for her help in finding his missing daughter, she cannot turn her back on them. 

    Check out FORTUNE’S FOOL, the first book of the Nell Marchand Psychic Socialite series, and enter to win a prize package from author Jane Sevier in honor of the upcoming second Psychic Socialite book.

    About the Contest

    Post a comment here in response to this question: “If you had a reading with a psychic or medium who had the true sight, what would you ask him or her?” Be sure to write “CONTEST” before you respond so we know which comments are contest entries.
    We’ll accept entries from July 23 to August 16, and you can enter only once. The winner will be chosen using random.org’s List Randomizer.

    Grand Prize

    One grand prize winner will be chosen chosen using random.org’s List Randomizer. The winner’s prize package will include: 

    A romantically historic Secret Mini Tarot deck by artist Marco Nizzoli. 

    One of the resources Jane used in drafting FORTUNE’S FOOL, TAROT FOR WRITERS, which teaches writers to use tarot cards to brainstorm story ideas, develop dialogue and plot, and unleash their creativity.

    An autographed paperback copy of FORTUNE’S FOOL.”

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    Welcome to the first Wattpad Poetry Awards! The contest rules, prizes, and requirements are finally up on Wattpad, so visit the new The Attys 2012 page to check them out!

    Win Prizes!

    Be a character in Margaret Atwood’s next novel! Or get her feedback on your poems! There’s tablets, T-shirts, anthologies and more!

    Sign-up to get a reminder when The Attys 2012 contest begins.


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    We’re happy to welcome UK author Adam Lowe on Wattpad! His dystopian Troglodyte Rose: A Rose in Any Other Game will be part of our Featured Story list starting tomorrow!

    Adam’s poetry debut has recently been nominated for the Guardian First Book Award:

    Guardian First Book Award reader nominations: Precocious by Adam Lowe

    A vivid picture of emotions, deeply felt, but with a clear-eyed view of the ways we humans live, love and sometimes betray. In “Traces of Invasion”, the first line “I started with your sock drawer, looking for clues” tells us all we need to know about nagging suspicion in a relationship, before ending with the damning fall of the polaroid, “like it was buried treasure”. Acerbic humour peeks through in Mary, who declares “This time I’ll rely on a real man” and demands “a shy child, all burps and cuddles; flesh, not thorns”, ending delightfully with “Next time, try Madonna.”

    -Guardian UK

    We can’t wait to see what else Adam has in store for the Wattpad community!


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    The red star symbol in the Wattpad app tells you that the story has been updated! This usually means that the writer has uploaded one or more new chapters.


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