Subjectivity.

December 11, 2013
I've devoted a post to this word before, but after the insanity that is #PitchWars, I thought it might be helpful to offer a little refresher.

Here goes.

What's your favorite movie of all time? WRONG. It's Tombstone.
I don't understand why Starbucks sells hot chocolate.
I can't believe some people actually think Mockingjay made any sense at all in relation to The Hunger Games and Catching Fire.
NFL Football is stupid. It should just stop after college.
Fall is the best season. Summer is too hot. Winter is too cold. And spring is just annoyingly indecisive.
Dogs are great, but cats are better.

So. If you disagree with any of the above sentences, does that make you WRONG? (I mean, aside from  number 1, of course. Because, obviously.) Since I only order coffee from Starbucks, or hated what Suzanne Collins did to Peeta in Mockingjay and couldn't stand the decisions Katniss made because THEY MADE NO SENSE, or think that the whole world should permanently be 70 degrees with orange-leafed trees year-round….does that mean that hot chocolate, Mockingjay, and all other seasons should cease to exist?

NFL football has millions of fans. (I have no idea why, because its rules are stupid and the teams are no fun and there's no excitement of a new freshman class and and and…) Plenty of people hate cats. There might even be like, one person, maybe, who doesn't think Tombstone is a good movie.

Just because I personally prefer one thing over another doesn't mean that every one else feels that way. It also doesn't mean that everyone who disagrees with me is wrong. Our tastes are just different. And that is OKAY.

Two people read the same book. One of them writes a glowing review, fangirls over the author, and writes poetry in the book's honor. The other uses the book as a doorstop and preaches its plot failures to everyone that will listen. Neither of them is wrong, and neither of them is right. Or they're both wrong and they're both right. Regardless- we all get to have our opinions.

You KNOW these things.

The trouble is, now something you've created is the subject of this subjectivity. There's no guarantee that everyone will love our books. We can't even hope that everyone will LIKE our books. It's a really difficult thing that we all have to find our own ways of dealing with--but the most important thing is to remember, this isn't about YOU as a person. You created something. You put it out in the world. People will respond to it however they like, based on their own personal preferences and experiences.

All we really have control over in this entire process is the product we create--we craft it, we send it out to critique partners and beta readers, we hear the feedback, we make the changes that we feel are necessary, and when we are sure that it's ready, we let it go and hope for the best. After that, the reader--whether s/he's a judge in a contest or a literary agent or an editor or Reader McSweetface at the book store--gets to form his or her own opinions about it. That's the way it works.

You can't be arrogant enough to believe that your book is above subjectivity. You're going to have your haters. You're going to have your fans. There's a tendency to forget all the positive feedback in light of a few negative comments--but don't judge your book's worth (or your own) on something as fickle as someone else's opinion. Let the readers do their job and you do yours. Keep working. Write the next book. Gain more fans and haters. Repeat.

Isn't it pretty amazing that you wrote a book and people are reading it and forming opinions on it?









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Cover Reveal! SALT by Danielle Ellison

December 5, 2013
So you know how I've told you guys repeatedly that my editor rocks? That she (and the rest of my incredible team at Spencer Hill Press) helped me turn my book into something I never imagined it could be? That without her push, I would've given up too soon?

In case you weren't aware, that editor is Danielle Ellison. She's awesome, and I love her, and I'm so thankful she loves my book like I do.

And TODAY, Danielle and Entangled Teen are revealing the cover for her  book, SALT, releasing in early 2014! Check out the gorgeous cover, exclusive excerpt, and enter to win an eARC!

On to the reveal!



About the Book
SALT
Author: Danielle Ellison
Release Date: January 7, 2014
Publisher: Entangled Teen

Penelope is a witch, part of a secret society protecting humans from demon attacks. But when she was a child, a demon killed her parents—and stole her magic. Since then, she’s been pretending to be something she’s not, using her sister’s magic to hide her own loss, to prevent being sent away.

When she’s finally given the chance to join the elite demon-hunting force, Penelope thinks that will finally change. With her sister’s help, she can squeeze through the tests and get access to the information she needs to find "her" demon. To take back what was stolen.

Then she meets Carter. He’s cute, smart, and she can borrow his magic, too. He knows her secret—but he also has one of his own.

Suddenly, Penelope’s impossible quest becomes far more complicated. Because Carter’s not telling her everything, and it’s starting to seem like the demons have their own agenda…and they’re far too interested in her.

Exclusive Excerpt!
 “Jealousy is cute on you, Pen.”

“Don't call me that,” I snap, pushing my coffee away from me. “And I'm not jealous.”

He leans back on the chair. "Sure. And I don’t think you’re adorable." I jerk my eyes up. He’s smiling. Screw this—this is so frustrating. I tap my foot under the table.

"We're stating the facts, right?" he says.

“Right,” I say.

I don’t have time for this. And what is wrong with this coffee? I feel like I swallowed a fire and it’s all just burning at my stomach.

“You look sick again,” he says.

The poorly—or perfectly—timed waitress comes back with Carter's coffee and a whole tray of drinks. Carter, obviously, flirts again. I don’t know if he’s doing it to get a reaction out of me, but I’m not going to give him one. I watch him and say nothing, but the whole time it feels darker inside my head and my stomach whirs. It’s more empty, and more full, and unsettled at once. The waitress turns to leave a when it happens.

The waitress coughs, as if she suddenly can’t breathe, and trips. She flies across the air. The tray spills all over a table of four. I gasp, horrified. Another waitress grabs her by the waist, trying to give her the Heimlich. The waitress coughs out the gum. She’s crying hysterically, apologizing to the customers dripping with water.

The weirdest part? As soon it happens, all the fury that was building up inside of me disappears. It’s calm again, normal. The change is so sudden that my fingernails dig into the table. All I can hear is the waitress’s cry. 

"I don't know what happened," she sobs over and over again. I close my eyes. Everything inside me is completely still. No storm, no clawing, no emptiness or fullness. In fact, I’m suddenly starving.
Carter's looking at me when I open my eyes. There's something unsettling in his gaze, something suspicious.

“I gotta go,” I say. He starts to say something. I don't stay long enough to find out what it is.
Somehow I just did magic.


About Danielle:
Danielle Ellison is from a small town in West Virginia. She spent her childhood pretending to fly and talking to imaginary friends. When she grew up, she finally flew away (in an airplane) and started traveling the world. She hasn’t stopped yet, but someday she may decide to settle in one place. Her real life friends would definitely like that; they would probably also like if she stopped talking to her characters out loud.

SALT comes out in January 2014, and then it's sequel. In October 2014, FOLLOW ME THROUGH DARKNESS (book one of the BOUNDLESS Trilogy) comes out. She's got a busy few years! 

Website/Blog/Twitter/Facebook/Goodreads


Giveaway Details:

1 eARC of SALT International

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Author Photos!

December 1, 2013


I got really insanely lucky because one of my best friends, Bret (this Bret), married a super sweet, wonderful, funny, charming, and crazy talented photographer, Cilla, of Priscilla Baierlein Photography. Cilla started taking photos professionally nearly a year after Lauren was born, just as a little side job because it's something she loves. When she asked if I'd mind to let her take pictures of Lauren to help build her portfolio, I was like, "Sure!" because obviously who doesn't want a million pictures of their kids? But I wasn't expecting what I got. Her photos were incredible. Until I saw what Cilla could do with a camera, I never really understood photography as an art form. All the professional photos I'd ever had done were in a studio or a carefully staged session (like my wedding).

Basically, Cilla showed up with her camera and just followed us around. She directed a little bit, like telling us to go to the front yard or near a window or wherever the light was best, but for the most part, she just started shooting without saying things like, "Tilt your head," "Look this way," etc. (She does family photos for us every year now, and every time, I'm always like, "I have no idea how she got any pictures at all because we were in constant motion.) But every time, EVERY SINGLE TIME, she manages to capture moments so beautifully that it blows my mind. She is MAGIC.

It didn't take long for other people to take notice of her talent, and she was able to start taking photos full-time. I remember thinking how awesome it was that she found this thing she loved to do and figured out a way to make a career of it all on her own.

When I found out Between would be published, I knew I'd need a nice author photo for the back of the book, and Cilla's the only person I'd trust to take such an important photo.

A couple months ago, she took some pictures of me while she was doing our yearly family photo shoot.  The pictures were great. As always, Cilla takes gorgeous photos. But as I looked over them, they didn't really feel like me. (I was wearing a button-up shirt. Like a grown up. With a collar. And my hair wasn't dyed or anything.) Cilla and I decided that both of us got caught up in the idea of what an Important Official Author Photo was supposed to be, and Cilla was nice enough to be like, "Yeah, these really aren't you. Let's redo them. Wear your favorite t-shirt and we'll go to your parents' farm."

This is her busiest time of year, guys. It was INSANELY nice of her to offer to redo the photo shoot instead of saying just use one of the SEVERAL PERFECTLY FINE PHOTOS I ALREADY TOOK OF YOU.

So we did another round a week ago. And they are ME. I'm so happy with them. Here are a few! (Also, to anyone in Central Kentucky area, in case it's not clear, I cannot recommend her enough.)


That very last one is the one I chose to be The Photo. :) Thanks for putting up with a post filled with my face. Love you guys.

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About Megan

Visit my website! meganwhitmerwrites.com

Loves kissing scenes and funny t-shirts. Knows the words to most 90s rap songs and entirely too many broadway musicals. Talks too much. Laughs too loud. Doesn't dance nearly enough. Swear words make me giggle. If we meet, I'll probably hug you.

This blog is for my writing news, but I'm sort of a wanderer so you'll probably hear a lot about my family and food too. That's sort of my life in three words: Family, food, and writing. Oh, and t-shirts.

My young adult novel BETWEEN will be published by Spencer Hill Press in July 2014.