Friday, April 30, 2010

It's that time of the week:

(Every Friday I interview a different person and share that interview with you. Perhaps they will be a fellow-author. Perhaps one of my neighbors. Maybe the bagger at the grocery store. A member of my family. A follower of this blog. Maybe it will be you! Hey, it could happen.)

In the name of further recuperating from the joy that was the LDStorymakers Conference... another retrospective. This time, we're revisiting some of my favorite moments from interviews with "imaginary friends."

And, yes, next week we'll be back with real INFF.

Jacob Black... I particularly enjoyed Scenario #1 from Jacob's Game

SME: Scenario #1: You realize that you are insanely attracted to, say, a cheeseburger, fries and thick chocolate shake--you know, something that you would eat in a heartbeat, day or night, 365 a year, in your sleep, without missing a beat. Do you start dating the value meal or do you make a discreet exit and leave the poor menu items to live out their life in peace?

Jacob: Wait? What do you mean I'm "attracted to" the burger and stuff? That doesn't even make sense. Why would I be attracted to something I want to eat?

SME: It's hypothetical.


Jacob: I'm pretty sure I wouldn't date a Happy Meal.


Mr. Darcy... Totally digged his reaction to his portrait.

SME: So, what do you think?

Mr. Darcy: You've drawn me too thin.


Maybe that wasn't as great as I remember.


Edward Cullen... I think my favorite part was The Fabulous Game.

SME: *smiles back awkwardly, wondering which temperament to prepare for next* I have invented an entirely new game just for you. In fact, you are probably the only person on the entire planet who could possibly play this game.

Edward: *forehead creased, all traces of happiness have vanished* I do try to blend in.

SME: *clears throat in confused nervousness* The game is entitled "Answer the Questions In Sarah's Mind." I'm just going to sit here silently and you have to answer whatever question enters my mind--since you can read thoughts and everything.

Edward: *a sudden blinding smile* Alright.

SME:

Edward: No, you do not smell as good as Bella. *intensely thoughtful expression* She's like a drug to me.

SME:


Edward: Not at the midnight showing. *a melancholy sigh* Bella and I will go at a less conspicuous time.

SME:

Edward: *crooked and amused grin* I really have no influence there. Stephenie will decide if Midnight Sun is ever completed.

SME:


Edward: I'm not sure I'm in favor of her finishing it. *clenches fists, jaw set in frustration* Living through those early months of torture was hard enough without reading it spelled out in detail on the page.

SME:


Edward: *rolls eyes and looks unexpectedly irritated* I don't bite people on demand.

SME:

Edward: You will have to ask Jacob-- *a growl* --yourself.

SME: *tries to hide the sarcasm* That was loads of fun.



SME:
*cue exit music* Well, this has been "I Need Friends" Friday. Come back next week when I will make another friend!!



If you'd like to be interviewed for "I Need Friends" Friday, shoot me off an email: friends at sarahmeden dot com!
I am looking for anyone and everyone, whether or not you think you are interesting. You'll get a fantastic stick figure portrait of yourself, a little promotion (if you're looking for that sort of thing) and the opportunity to tell your friends and family that you've been interviewed by SME, er... by ME!


(ignore "Read More!")
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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

It's Wednesday. Let's go walkabout.
(I'm bringing along a few of my mates as I wander through the vast wilderness of the publishing industry, learning the ins and outs, and having a grand adventure.)

Walkabout, Week 34:

Memorable Moments from the 2010 LDStorymakers Writers Conference

* I put books in the bookstore and people bought them. Crazy--Crazy COOL!

* Okay. True story. Boot camp began at the unearthly hour of 7AM, though registration began at 6:30. I do not believe in 6:30AM. I am still convinced it is some kind of mythological thing used to convince people like me that we are missing something by sleeping to more reasonable hours of the morning. But I digress... Heather Brown, Annette Lyon, Michele Holmes and LuAnn Staheli and I demo'd for the boot camp attendees how to give and receive a critique. Being the cooperative, giving person that I am, I volunteered to write a "fake-o" excerpt for our little group to read and offer feedback on. Thinking I would be very clever and entertaining, I wrote a little piece that I entitled "I am Not a Cereal Killer"--a spoof on Dan Well's Whitney Award-winning novel "I am Not a Serial Killer."
Sooo... imagine my horror (little pun there for those of you familiar with Dan's book) when I realized that he was one of the bootcamp table leaders. Yeah. He was In. The. Room. Did not see that coming. I don't think he hates me now. I'm pretty sure he enjoyed it. And, ahem, I'm really hoping he truly is NOT a serial killer.

* I had an epiphany in Julie Wright's [A little aside to say how ridiculously perfect Julie's last name is for an author. Okay. I'm done. Back to my list.] class on putting emotion into our writing. I've had that feeling that something was off in my current Work In Progress, but hadn't been able to pinpoint just what that somethin-somethin was. I figured it out in Julie's class. Thanks!

* I sat next to Lisa Mangum at Saturday's lunch. That was a lot of fun. We talked about writing and editing and ways to dupe the doorprize giver-awayers into thinking we had won the fabulous prizes they were giving away. Ahem. I mean... we planned nothing nefarious or underhanded.

*The repeated trips I made from the ballroom for big group sessions to the other side of the hotel for breakout sessions and perusals of the bookstore definitely counted as a workout. Bonus!

*Kari Pike, aka my own personal apothecary, kept me alive and well throughout the conference. And she made me smell like Christmas. Mmm.. cloves!

* I saw my fantastic editor, Kirk Shaw, across the room multiple times, though I never actually got to say hi. I had forgotten how much taller he is than I am. That's a good thing to remember about someone.

* I taught a class on description and setting. I was in a really big room. Bigger than I thought it would be. Fortunately, I couldn't see over my own laptop, so I didn't realize just how many people were there until I wandered out from behind the podium. I had already warned the audience that I was, and I quote, "a complete dork." I'm not sure they believed me when the class began. They probably believed me by the time the class ended. Ask anyone who attended about the fabulous prizes I gave away, the saga of Dan and Bubba and the discussion of unsisterly affection.

* Janette Rallison and I discussed at length the intricacies of genetics. I'm not kidding. We did. We had no idea what we were talking about, but still came to the conclusion that we had been quite thoroughly lied to in high school biology class.

* I also taught a class on self-publishing. The fantastic Howard Tayler sat in on the class and offered his expertise to the discussion. All-in-all, I believe the class went well and those who attended got some good information.

*Okay, I'm gonna take a quick nap, because recapping all of this is reminding me just how very, very, very tired I was by the end of the conference. (PSST.. My level of exhaustion--I was out of commission Sunday and Monday and barely returned to the land of the living on Tuesday---has convinced me that next year I will stay at the hotel instead of making the trip to and from each day.)

*I'm back. Let's talk about the Whitney Awards banquet. First of all, I got to wear a super cute dress that I made from a circa 1952 dress pattern. I sported my ultra fab 3" brown stilletos. The dinner was beyond yummy. I got to present the Whitney Award for "Best Romance" to Liz Adair for her book "Counting the Cost." And I did not fall off the stage or down the steps, something I worried about more than a little. The entire Whitney Gala was beyond great!


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Friday, April 23, 2010

It's that time of the week:

(Every Friday I interview a different person and share that interview with you. Perhaps they will be a fellow-author. Perhaps one of my neighbors. Maybe the bagger at the grocery store. A member of my family. A follower of this blog. Maybe it will be you! Hey, it could happen.)

Guess what? I'm at a big ol' writers conference rubbing elbows with a bunch of not-rich, somewhat-famous authors (did you know that 99% of authors aren't even remotely rich, and they are almost as not-famous as they are not-rich? Little trivia for you.)

Anyway... So this week's INFF is a retrospective, 'cause I know those are a fav!

My Favorite
"Reasons This is the Best Blog Interview You've Ever Done"


"Sarah's psychic shoe vibe" - Claire Waite

"Being interviewed for INFF boosts my coolness factor through the roof!" - Karlene Browning

"I've never before laughed out loud during an interview." - Donna Hatch

"TGIF it’s time for INFF!!!" - Nurse Margaret

"Thinking about Mounds bars always brings joy. Not Almond Joy, just joy." - Ginny Miller, aka My Mom

"I was asked questions about Jell-O. That has never happened to me. Definite high marks for that." - Tristi Pinkston

"I realized I'm super cool because I'm w/in 5 degrees of JK Rowling." - Annette Lyon

"I'm on Sarah's blog. (Seriously, I feel like I should wave to my mom or something. Hi, Mom!)" - Regen Brianne Jensen

"I got to feel historic." - Jewel Busch

"We got to talk to each other in the same room without speaking at all." - Paul Eden

"I learned the word 'prognosticators'." - Victoria Allred

"I got to engage in witty repartee with the next best thing to Stephen Colbert!" - Tanya Parker Mills

"Fun memories of vomiting re-lived." - Rebecca Irvine

"I got to demonstrate the little-known "in case of emergency, remove shirt" first-aid technique." - Jacob Black

"It was short." - Hubert, age 9

"I got to chuckle warmly." - Santa Claus

"I got to use Canadian spellings." - Rachel Starr Thomson

"Sarah is the best interviewer in the world!" - Rachel Rager

"Because I didn't know before that I've missed fewer baskets than Michael Jordan." - Heather Justesen

"I was able to establish once and for all that Robert Pattinson and I are not, in fact, the same person. *scowls. then smiles crookedly. then sighs. then chuckles. then looks extremely unhappy. but recovers and grins*" - Edward Cullen

"I gave good answers." - Bertha, age 6

"1. The game was mercifully short.
2.I am not obligated to display the portrait anywhere.
That is all I can think of." - Mr. Darcy


"I enraged countless tweens who should be doing something better with their time." - Steve Busch

"It's live." - Miss Mae

"Because I got to completely avoid housework guilt free for part of a morning." - Shantel Gardner

"I got to talk about bathrooms." - SME, speaking on behalf of Engelbert, age 8

"I got to show off my new-found ability to spell the names of Korean dishes that most people have never even heard of." - SME, speaking on behalf of Penney

"I still had enough time between questions to check on my pot of boiling moose bones." - Andrew Turley

"Boots with spurs are HOT!" - Marsha Ward

"I got to make up characters on the spot." - Rachel Rossano

"I got an awesome stick-figure picture of me." - Ashleigh Miller

"I have a much better chance of getting a platinum mine this year." - Aubrey Mace

"I am glad I don't have a unibrow in real life." - Liz Swick

"Now I think I understand the whole, 'I have no friends' thing you're experiencing." - Sarah M. Eden, as interviewed by SME.



SME: *cue exit music* Well, this has been "I Need Friends" Friday. Come back next
week when I will make another friend!!




If you'd like to be interviewed for "I Need Friends" Friday, shoot me off an email: friends at sarahmeden dot com!
I am looking for anyone and everyone, whether or not you think you are interesting. You'll get a fantastic stick figure portrait of yourself, a little promotion (if you're looking for that sort of thing) and the opportunity to tell your friends and family that you've been interviewed by SME, er... by ME!


(Don't forget to enter April's Giveaway!!)


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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

******UPDATED!!!******


It's Wednesday. Let's go walkabout.
(I'm bringing along a few of my mates as I wander through the vast wilderness of the publishing industry, learning the ins and outs, and having a grand adventure.)

Walkabout, Week 33:

Verifiable Truth:
  • As of yesterday evening, "Courting Miss Lancaster" is ranked #10 in General Fiction at DeseretBook.com
Half-truths
  • I am completely prepared for the classes I'm teaching and being a boot camp sergeant at the Storymakers Conference this weekend.
Lie
  • Aubrey Mace is full of it. No, that's not the lie. That is absolutely true. The lie goes something like this: Remember the ultra-cool giveaway I mentioned over at her blog, the one where I made up two stories about my life and provided one true story and anyone who guessed correctly got entered? Remember that? And remember how I made no guarantees about that contest? Here's why I didn't make any guarantees: Aubrey Mace is full of it. She claims the true story was #3, and that, my friends, was a bouncer. A banbury tale. A big, ol', stinkin' fat lie. (PSSSTTT... The actually true story was #2.) [PPSSSSTTTT...I want to make this clear: I love Aubrey. She's pretty much one of my favorite people. So don't think this is like a big Aubrey hate fest or anything. Just goofin' off as usual.)
  • ***UPDATE!*** Turns out, this is kinda mea culpa! When I sent my stories to Aubrey, I inadvertently indicated that story #3 was the true story. Wow. A prime example of how tone doesn't translate over the email. SOOO... Aubrey and I, being the totally honest, upright, dependable people we are, have decided to give a second copy of "Courting Miss Lancaster" to a lucky winner from amongst those who did choose story #2! Head over to her blog to find out who that winner is!

(ignore "Read More!")
3

Monday, April 19, 2010

Clue #4:


April's uber-mysterious giveaway prize weighs:







(ignore "Read More!")
7

Friday, April 16, 2010

It's that time of the week:

(Every Friday I interview a different person and share that interview with you. Perhaps they will be a fellow-author. Perhaps one of my neighbors. Maybe the bagger at the grocery store. A member of my family. A follower of this blog. Maybe it will be you! Hey, it could happen.)

Today's guest is Claire Waite, a fantastic photographer. Claire is the genius behind the author photo at the back of "Courting Miss Lancaster" as well as the amazing photos of me on this website. Aren't you impressed?

Time to meet Claire!

SME: Welcome to INFF!

Claire: Thanks! I am happy to be here.

SME: So. I'm going to fill you in on a little plan I have...

Claire: Ooh! Is it a secret plan? I love secret plans

SME: I am going to stealthily swing by my favorite cupcake shop (located a calorically-dangerous close distance from my house) while my kids are in school so I don't have to share, but I can't decide which flavor cupcake to get. Which would you choose? Snickerdoodle, Grasshopper, Butterfinger or Marbled Chocolate Cream Cheese?

Claire: Marbled chocolate cream cheese, for sure!

SME: That sounds pretty ridiculously fantastic, doesn't it?

Claire: Yeah- I think you are going to need to send me one of those suckers

SME: Next time you are up in my neck of the woods I may just have to share with you my uber-secret cupcake place!! So, just to depress me... what's the weather like in the Phoenix area right now?

Claire: It was 80 with a great breeze yesterday. I actually just got home from hiking at Thunderbird Park with my girls... it was GORGEOUS out!

SME: Yeah. It's snowing here right now. *sigh* I suppose I'll be happy about it come June/July. But right now... not so much.

Claire: I will be so jealous of you come June & July. I really do not like Phoenix in the summer

SME: I happen to know that you are an amazing photographer *does a very Vanna White wave toward the author photo on the website* Have you always had an interest in photography?

Claire: Yup. Got my first camera when I was like 11... it was a really weird kodak that used 110 film. Basically these odd little cartridges that pop into the back of the camera.

SME: And that has developed (yup, pun intended) into a full-blown business. When did you decide to start doing it professionally?

Claire: In high school, while taking photo classes and spending hour upon hour in the dark room developing my own film, I decided that one day I would own a Nikon and have a photography business. Then I grew up and forgot about my dream until October of 2008. That's when I bought a Nikon and launched Claire Waite Photography.

SME: Do all your clients slip as quickly into the ultra-fake, "I can't possibly keep smiling" smile as quickly as I did?

Claire: Uh, I do not know what you are talking about! I totally do not think you were fake smiling. I sure wasn't. You kept me rolling in laughter that whole session. Don't tell my other clients, but your session still goes down in history as one of my all time favourites.

SME: I am a little goofy. But, boy, by the end of that session my smile muscles were killing me.

Claire: Well you did great. And I love the photos we took during your session.

SME: They look darn good inside a certain book, don't they?!?!

Claire: I likey! I am super excited for you- you know, having a book published. I am really excited for me too though! I love seeing my name and photo in print.

SME: I have a game for us to play, because I just roll that way.

Claire: Sounds like fun. I like games!

SME: In honor of your great photographs of me and the kinda ridiculous ways in which they have been used on this site, I have invented a game entitled "I did NOT take that picture!" I will show you a succession of photos in the state in which I used them here on my website and you get to decide which is your favorite. In the end, you'll get to pick your absolute favorite.

Claire: I can do that. How exactly do I win this game? I really like to win.

SME: You win pretty much by default. Not bad, eh?

Claire: Definitely my kind of game!

SME: Which do you like better... Sarah as a Knight or Sarah as Zorro?!

Claire: Sarah Zorro for sure. You rock that mask.

SME: Score!! Okay, Photographic Face-off #2: Sarah as JK Rowling in a store surveillance camera OR Sarah as a medieval scribe?!?!

Claire: Sarah as JK Rowling... have you ever thought about going blonde? I'm especially loving the bangs.

SME: # 3: Sarah as Robert Pattinson or Sarah as Taylor Swift!?

Claire: Sarah as Taylor Swift- its the blonde hair again! And I'm a Taylor Swift fan

SME: I'd probably need a wig to get my hair to look like that, but it does look pretty hot, huh?

Claire: Yup. Sarah as Taylor Swift is one hot mama

SME: Okay, the big question of the game: Which doctored photo was your overall favorite?

Claire: Sarah as Zorro hands down

SME: Awesome!! I'm sure you had no idea when you took these pictures that they would be used so... creatively.

Claire: No idea at all

SME: Speaking of creative pictures... I have a fabulous stick figure portrait just waiting for you!

Claire: So exciting! This is the part I've been waiting for...

*draws a fabulous portrait!!*

Claire: LOVING the flipflops... are those yellow flowers on them? So cute. (I'm a shoe girl)

SME: Yup. Big ol' yellow flowers. All this snow and cold weather has made me long for the sunny weather in AZ, so I went with flip flops on the portrait!

Claire: I pretty much wear flipflops every day from March through November, so great choice

SME: It's my psychic shoe vibe... I just sense these things about people.

Claire: Love it

SME: That brings us to the final question of the interview. Top 5 reasons this is the best blog interview you've ever done. Ready. Go.

Claire: 5- Its kind of the only blog interview I've ever done
4- Your psychic shoe vibe- I'm loving those flip flops
3- I got to talk about photography and that is pretty much my second favourite topic to talk about (my girls would be first!)
2- I won an awesome game
1- Sarah as Zorro. Need I say more?

SME: Yea. I think I know what I'm going to be for Halloween!

Claire: You totally should.

SME: Thanks for stopping by and being my INFF friend!

Claire: Thank you for interviewing me, and being my friend!

SME: *cue exit music* Well, this has been "I Need Friends" Friday. Come back next week when I will make another friend!!



If you'd like to be interviewed for "I Need Friends" Friday, shoot me off an email: friends at sarahmeden dot com!
I am looking for anyone and everyone, whether or not you think you are interesting. You'll get a fantastic stick figure portrait of yourself, a little promotion (if you're looking for that sort of thing) and the opportunity to tell your friends and family that you've been interviewed by SME, er... by ME!


(Claire gets 2 extra entries for April's giveaway prize--which is gonna be amazing!--if her interview receives 5 or more comments!!)


(ignore "Read More!")
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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

It's Wednesday. Let's go walkabout.
(I'm bringing along a few of my mates as I wander through the vast wilderness of the publishing industry, learning the ins and outs, and having a grand adventure.)

Walkabout, Week 32:

5. There have been a lot of guesses about April's Giveaway Prize and the guesses have been cool. I am also too cool to tell you if anyone has guessed correctly. Whaaaaaaaat?! *strikes a "cool" pose*

4. "Courting Miss Lancaster" is (as of this posting) ranked #3 in Romance, #3 in Historical and #14 in General Fiction over on DeseretBook.com! Not bad for a cute little book from a basically unknown author. So thanks to all you readers!!

3. The LDStorymakers Writers Conference is in just over a week. I'm teaching two classes and am going to be a Boot Camp instructor. That makes me cool, right?

2. This picture was taken at a Seagull bookstore a few days ago.
It's a shot of the "Best Sellers" shelves. Yup. That's "Courting Miss Lancaster" ranked #10! (And a huge shout out to Annette Lyon, whose "Band of Sisters" is in the #8 slot.) Thanks to Heather Moore for sending me the picture!


1. The uber-cool Aubrey Mace is holding a contest on her blog. The prize is an autographed copy of "Courting Miss Lancaster."
To play, go to her blog. There you will find three tidbits about me--only one of which is actually true. In the comments section, guess which story is the real one. The winner will be chosen from among those who guess correctly!
(Psst, if you already have a copy, you could always use this one for Mother's Day, a friend's birthday... you name it!)



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8

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A Big Ol' Clue About
April's Amazing Giveaway Prize

Here's is an itty-bitty glimpse of April's prize for your dicipherment: (is that even a word?)


Soooooo..... if you think you know what the prize is (and I really hope you do), leave your guess in the comments [so you can get your five extra entries] and then spread the word. I happen to know there are a lot of people dying to get their hands on this thing and this is an unforeseen opportunity that isn't likely to happen again!!!!


(ignore "Read More!")
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Saturday, April 10, 2010

Valuable Information About
April's Amazing Giveaway Prize

The estimated value of this prize is debatable, but some sources claim it's somewhere around:

$500

Like I said, debatable. But that's what I've heard.



(Remember. This is a clue. Try to think of why this particular bit of information might tell you what the prize is?!?!!?)
8

Friday, April 9, 2010

It's that time of the week:

(Every Friday I interview a different person and share that interview with you. Perhaps they will be a fellow-author. Perhaps one of my neighbors. Maybe the bagger at the grocery store. A member of my family. A follower of this blog. Maybe it will be you! Hey, it could happen.)

Today's guest is Karlene Browning. Karlene is an avid reader, a blogger, a shoe fanatic and a scentificator (that's a word I made up that means she creates fragrances). Doesn't she sound really, really cool?

Let's get to know Karlene!

SME: Welcome to INFF!

Karlene: Thanks so much for having me. I love your INFF interviews.

SME: Gee, thanks!

Karlene: I confess, I'm a secret INFF stalker.

SME: So... what's your favorite cake flavor?

Karlene: Chocolate. Are their other flavors?

SME: Apparently. *shrugs* Pressing question #2: In what order do you prefer to assemble a s'more?

Karlene: Graham. Chocolate. Burnt marshmallow. More chocolate. Top with Graham. You're bringing back memories. I can't eat sugar so I haven't had a s'more in about 12 years.

SME: I was feeling nostalgic. Aaahhh... the smell of campfires and dirty kids (at least that's how campouts always worked in my family)

Karlene: Mine too.

SME: Speaking of campfires and lost opportunities for bathing... Suppose you were stuck on a desert island with only one type of food, one book and one pair of shoes. What food/book/shoes would you want to be castaway with?

Karlene: Can we assume we can get all the nutrients necessary for life from chocolate?

SME: On my hypothetical desert island, nutritional requirements are taken care of regardless of the food source!

Karlene: Good. Then chocolate. Definitely. As for the book, I'm taking my Kindle. (I know. I cheat.)

SME: Cheating is allowed at INFF. Just so you know.

Karlene: And shoes. Hmmm...hard question because I love shoes... I know. I'd take a pair of spike heeled red leather boots that fold down to make a pair of red flip flops.

SME: Wow. Fashionable, fun and useful. Sounds like the perfect choice.

Karlene: Of course, on a desert island, you never know when a trunk of shoes might float up on shore.

SME: Perhaps you have been marooned along with a very large shipment of high-end shoes. It could happen.

Karlene: It certainly could!

SME: What's your favorite continent?

Karlene: Normally I'd say North America because our toilet paper rocks. (Have you ever been to Europe? I haven't, but I heard their tp sucks. And some places in Asia don't even use tp. Shocking!) But lately, it's been a little too cold for my liking, so I'm thinking somewhere closer to the equator. Wait. Do

SME: Perhaps you could brush up on your Spanish and Portuguese and head to our Southern hemisphere counterpart... South America. Only 2 letters difference between the two continents, you realize.

Karlene: Uhm. Too much work. I'll stay in North America. *sigh*

SME: Choice noted. I have invented an entirely new and marginally exciting game, if you'd like to give it a try.

Karlene: Sure. I think. It won't make me look dumb will it?

SME: Nope, though it will probably make me look borderline mental.

Karlene: Borderline mental is highly under-rated.

SME: You create fragrances (or did for a while, at least). So we're going to play a game called, "What's That Smell?"

Karlene: Cool!

SME: I am so very, very picky about perfumes. I pretty much have the world's most sensitive sense of smell--it really bugs sometimes. So your task, should you choose to accept it, is to create a virtual fragance for me that won't make me gag or pass out or crawl into my bed in utter agony. Harder than it seems, FYI.

Karlene: I am also very picky. Bring it on!

SME: I'll give you some very crucial information about me, which you can then use to conceptualize my ideal scent. Then, in order to be crowned INFF winner, you have to describe that scent (hence the "virtual" thing--it's not real) and I have to like it. Ooohhhh! Tough one!

Karlene: *takes a boxing stance, bouncing on toes, beating knuckles together* Ready.

SME: Info About Me #1: I definitely have a sweet tooth.
#2: I am a redhead. (Don't know what that has to do with anything, but there you go.)
#3: Not a fan of musk. At all.
#4: Anything stronger than a faint whisper of scent makes me literally ill.
And last, but not least, Info About Me #5: I would rather not smell like something to eat just in case I run into any really hungry people.


Karlene: Okay, give me a minute... *humming the Jeopardy theme song* ... Okay, got it! I'm giving you a two-fer.

SME: oooohhhh!!!

Karlene: The first fragrance is simply coconut and egyptian musk. I know you said you didn't like musk, but trust me, this is so light you won't smell it at all. And the coconut is just a hint. Mixed together, they make a soft and wonderful lotion.

SME: That sounds fabulous... and I'm taking your word for it on the musk.

Karlene: The second is for days when you want your vivacious personality to explode. It's called Sunshine and Pomegranate and contains Pomegranate (of course), Grapefruit (which makes you look younger--although you don't need that effect yet) and a touch of Cinnamon. No, it doesn't smell like food... it just smells happy!

SME: I was looking at the list of ingredients and thinking... those are all alarmingly edible. But your words of reassurance calmed me a bit. Hmm... Pomegranate (love), grapefruit (makes me think of growing up in AZ) and cinnamon (yummy... er, I mean... this will smell happy, not tastey)! *sniffs both fragrances* I think.... I approve!! You are the INFF champion!!

Karlene: Yay! Thank you.

SME: On that high, let's take a stroll over to the portrait gallery and take a look at the fabulous portrait I drew of you!

Karlene: I've been waiting to see this all morning.

*the aroma of sharpies, which is not as yummy as cinnamon, fills the air*

Karlene: I love it!!!! I love how you show my hair as sleek and soft. And those are awesome glasses. But the best part is the boots! Where can I get a pair just like those? (If you ever get tired of writing, you can make a boatload of $ as a shoe designer.)

SME: *smiles* A little bird told me you like fashionably busy boots, so I thought up a cute pair for you. So glad you like them!

Karlene: *singing, "these boots are made for walking... and that's just what they'll do..."

SME: Perhaps they would be found in that ill-fated shipment of shoes you'll stumble across on that deserted island!


Karlene: That would just make my day! You don't happen to have a map to that island do you? Those boots would be worth the trip.

SME: I'll get on that. In the meantime... traditional final question: Top 5 reasons this is the best blog interview you've ever done. Ready. Go.

Karlene: Listed in order of importance. Last being most important.
#5. We got to talk about shoes (...these boost are...* Sorry. Got distracted.) AND chocolate (which I think should officially be recognized as the most important of the six major food groups).
#4. I got to cheat and nobody gave me any grief over it. (My kids are always accusing me of cheating at board games. But I don't. I swear. Cross my heart.)

SME: Neither do I *ahem*

Karlene: #3. I got a one-of-a-kind, incredibly flattering picture of myself wearing some totally cool boots. (Can I use this as my official bio pic on my website?)

SME: Um... yeah!

Karlene: #2. Being interviewed for INFF boosts my coolness factor through the roof!
#1. I can now say I'm officially friends with Sarah M. Eden, romance writer extraordinaire and one who writes romances that I actually read more than once.

SME: I read them more than once, as well. I read them A LOT. It's a sickness. But one I'm willing to live with.

Karlene: We all have our burdens to bear.

SME: So true. *sigh* Thanks so much for being my INFF friend, Karlene!

Karlene: Thanks for having me.

SME: *cue exit music* Well, this has been "I Need Friends" Friday. Come back next week when I will make another friend!!



If you'd like to be interviewed for "I Need Friends" Friday, shoot me off an email: friends at sarahmeden dot com!
I am looking for anyone and everyone, whether or not you think you are interesting. You'll get a fantastic stick figure portrait of yourself, a little promotion (if you're looking for that sort of thing) and the opportunity to tell your friends and family that you've been interviewed by SME, er... by ME!


(Karlene gets 2 extra entries in April's giveaway--which is gonna be really cool, so she's gonna really want those extra entries--if her interview receives 5 or more comments!!)


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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

It's Wednesday. Let's go walkabout.
(I'm bringing along a few of my mates as I wander through the vast wilderness of the publishing industry, learning the ins and outs, and having a grand adventure.)

Walkabout, Week 31:

First, a couple cool things:
  • I will be doing a book signing this Saturday from 11am-1pm at the Provo (UT) East Bay Seagull Bookstore - 1326 S University Ave. Stop by and say hi so the staff doesn't think I'm a total loser!
  • A fantastic photographer--she took the fabulous photos of me that appear on this site and in the back of Courting Miss Lancaster--is doing a giveaway on her blog and the big ol' prize is an autographed copy of CML as well as a $50 gift certificate that can be used toward a photo session or custom designs (she does fabulous cards, announcements, etc.). Stop by and check her out: Claire Waite Photography

Okay! Now for CLUE #1

Just a recap, because I care about keeping you informed... and because I enjoy building tension unnecessarily.

I'm giving away a prize so fantastic it will blow your mind. It is really, really, really super cool. Because I will probably never give away something this cool ever again as long as I live (slight exaggeration in order to create added anticipation), I'm not even telling you what it is. You get to guess.
Anyone who guesses correctly, although I won't tell you if you do, gets 5 extra entries. AND, if you knew what the prize was you would covet those entries!!

So... the first clue is:


That clue is more helpful than you probably realize. Get your entries in and keep checking back for more clues. I may even post some on days I don't usually blog. Oooooooo!!!!


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Friday, April 2, 2010

It's that time of the week:

(Every Friday I interview a different person and share that interview with you. Perhaps they will be a fellow-author. Perhaps one of my neighbors. Maybe the bagger at the grocery store. A member of my family. A follower of this blog. Maybe it will be you! Hey, it could happen.)

Today's guest is Donna Hatch. Donna is the dynamic author of two fabulous new novels, Queen in Exile, a fantasy, and Guise of a Gentleman, a regency-era romance. Both novels make their debuts this month! Donna can be found on the web at her website and blog.

Let's get to know Donna!


SME: Welcome to INFF!

Donna: Thanks so much for having me

SME: Let's get to the hard-hitting stuff first! What's your favorite ice cream topping?

Donna: Ooooh. That's tough. It's a toss up between cararmel and my sister-in-law's homemade fudge topping. Butterscotch is right up there. I'm sort of an equal opportunity sweets lover.

SME: I have a feeling you are a fan of sundaes--talk about an equal opportunity dessert.

Donna: Especially if I can have more than one scoop -- one for each flavor of topping!

SME: Do you prefer your toppings on good ol' vanilla, or do you like to mix it up?

Donna: Vanilla if there are toppings to be had, but I like the other flavors without toppings.

SME: I have noticed a pattern with authors--we like to give each other advice. It's some kind of sickness. Can you think of any good writing advice you've received over the years?

Donna: I've gotten tons of good advice. Be persistent is one of them. Another is, when you get a bad review or bad feedback from a reader or critique partner that it's okay to cry, rage, have a fit, eat chocolate. (very important) Then roll up your sleeves and get back to work.

SME: Or cry while eating chocolate. Two birds... one stone.

Donna: I cry first, then eat chocolate. That way the flavor of the chocolate isn't ruined.

SME: That will be filed away as Donna Hatch's bit of writing advice! What's your favorite continent?

Donna: I've only ever been on one - the North American - but I'm absolutely fascinated by New Zealand. Which, really doesn't count as a continent at all. I'm dying to visit England some day since it'd be nice to actually see the country where all my novels take place.

SME: So it's sort of a three-way tie: North America, Europe and... does New Zealand count as part of the Australian continent? Hmmm...

Donna: Shrug. Obviously geography isn't my strength. This is like picking a favorite flavor of ice cream if you've never tried more than one.

SME: This is investigative journalism at it's best... I ask the tough questions!

Donna: I'm exhausted already.

SME: "Exhausted" is something you need to get used to. I understand you have TWO books coming out in the very near future.

Donna: Yeah, well, honestly I wouldn't recommend it. My Regency was actually moved up from a release date of April 16 to last week, and my fantasy was moved back from February, twice, to April 1. It's April Fool's Day, so I'm sure there's some irony in that.

SME: You get to undertake an INFF first: Two book blurbs back-to-back! Give us all a quick pitch for your bookS!

Donna: The Guise of a Gentleman: A young widow's quiet world is shattered by a impulsive gentleman of many secrets. When she is dragged into his world of violence and deceit, she may not survive the revelation of his past or still love him when the truth is revealed.


Queen in Exile: The last surviving member of her family, a princess must place her life, and the fate of her kingdom, into the hands of a trained killer. But accepting her destiny, and her own dark powers, will mean losing the man she loves.

SME: They both sound fantastic. I don't envy you the crazy schedule you'll have over the next few weeks, though!

Donna: I figured I can start breathing again in May.

SME: How about a game? Games are fun and relaxing!

Donna: I like games.

SME: I'm bringing back a favorite game of mine, but with a twist in honor of your double release! We're going to play "Rapid Fire Q&A," where I ask you a series of questions and you have to give the first answer that comes to mind without explanation or details. You, however, get to give the first TWO answers that come to mind!!

Donna: I'm scared already.

SME: It's easy. And there are no wrong answers!

Donna: Okay bring it on.

SME: What's your favorite vacation spot(s)?

Donna: Beach! and Mountains.

SME: Place(s) you'd like to live?

Donna: The afore mentioned beach and mountains

SME: What you wanted to be when you grew up

Donna: a ballerina and an actress

SME: Favorite teacher(s)

Donna: Mrs. Hildebrant and Mr. Dante

SME: favorite letter(s) of the alphabet

Donna: L and... A

SME: TV show(s) you remember from your childhood

Donna: Flipper. Little House on the Prairie.

SME: favorite invention(s) of the 20th century

Donna: disposable diapers. computers

SME: Wow, Donna! Every answer was correct. You're the winner! How do you do it?!

Donna: I like to win.

SME: Which brings us to the part of the interview where you get to see your portrait!

Donna: It can't be worse than anything I draw. Unless there are snakes coming out of my hair.

SME: I try to avoid portraying my guests as evil mythological creatures.

Donna: Oh, right. You're not my brother.

*SME, who is not Donna's brother, draws a fabulous portrait!!*

Donna: Beautuful!!!! I wish I was that thin! (But I do usually wear clothes)

SME: I, too, wear clothes. But I can't draw clothes, thus the need for stick figures.

Donna: I understand. I can't even draw shoes that well.

SME: I decked you out in a fab pair of brown Sketchers!

Donna: Thank you!

SME: Comfortable and cute--what more could a girl ask for in a pair of shoes?

Donna: Um, sexy? Oh, wait, that's the body I'd like to have. Comfortable and cute is fabulous for shoes.

SME: And now for the final question of the interview... Top 5 reasons this is the best blog interview you've ever done. Ready. Go.

Donna: 1.) I've never laughed out loud during an interview
2.) I've never had my portrait offered by an interviewer
3.) My spelling and grammar will be corrected.
4.) I didn't have time to agonize over my answers
5.) and...drum roll please...I got interviewed by one of my most favorite authors!

SME: *bows deeply* Thank you. Thank you. Best of luck, Donna, on your releases!

Donna: Seriously, this was lots of fun.

SME: So glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for being my INFF friend!

Donna: Thanks for having me!

SME: *cue exit music* Well, this has been "I Need Friends" Friday. Come back next week when I will make another friend!!



If you'd like to be interviewed for "I Need Friends" Friday, shoot me off an email: friends at sarahmeden dot com!
I am looking for anyone and everyone, whether or not you think you are interesting. You'll get a fantastic stick figure portrait of yourself, a little promotion (if you're looking for that sort of thing) and the opportunity to tell your friends and family that you've been interviewed by SME, er... by ME!


(Donna gets 2 extra entries in April's giveaway if her interview receives 5 or more comments!!)


8

Thursday, April 1, 2010

March's Winner

It's been a great month, hasn't it?
  • The Holiday of Coolness.
  • "Courting Miss Lancaster" made its debut.
  • I didn't die of pneumonia. (Trust me. That makes the list.)
  • Over 200 entries in March's giveaway. 200!!

A big ol' muchas gracias to the folks over at random.org for giving me a great deal of credibility and relieving me of the stress of attempting to randomize these drawings.

The winner is.... Aubrey Mace! Um... you are pretty much the luckiest person ever. I mean, c'mon. An INFF t-shirt. Who has one of those? You do!!


April's Giveaway Prize

Okay. This is me: "April's prize is going to be... April Fools!!"
This is you: "What?"
Me again: "I'm not telling."
You: "That's lame."
Me: "Hello. This is me. I'm always lame."
You: "Pretty much."
Me: "Wait... what?"

This month's prize is a big ol' mystery. Why? Because it is that cool!!! No, really. It's uh-may-zing!!

Get your guesses in, leave comments and stay tuned for clues. Anyone who can guess ahead of time (though I'm not going to tell you if you're right) will receive five extra entries! Count 'em FIVE!

You'll want to enter. Trust me. No, really. Trust me.
Enter.
Now.
More than once.


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