Your Drink of Choice

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Nothing beats coming home after a long day at work and curling up in bed or in your favorite reading chair with a good book and a good drink. Today, we are changing things up a bit and having a little fun pairing what your drink of choice should be with the genre of the book you are currently reading.  As a side note, please drink responsibly!

Science Fiction & Tequila. This combination is inspired by the infamous feeling of tequila. You know… that feeling of being attacked by a monster and completely forgetting the entire night and all its surrounding events with just a few sips. Sci-fi novels tend to have a hidden monster, whether they are aliens, robots, or humans of the future. Regardless, both will have you cowering in fear by the end of the night.

Fantasy & Absinthe. If you’ve heard of the notorious side effects of absinthe, you know where this is going. With a good fantasy novel comes mystical creatures, dragons, epic fight scenes with knights adorned in fancy metal suits and wielding dangerous swords, and sometimes a wizard with a long beard and pointy hat. Old-school absinthe (containing agents that make it a hallucinogen) can transport you to the magical world of the fantasy book you are reading. I can’t imagine you’ll get much reading done, though.

Romance & Water. This pairing is obvious. Romance novels are exhausting- from the erotica side of romance to the more contemporary and hopeful, but almost unattainable, romances. What better way to replenish yourself after a night of undying, fictional love than to stick to the best drink of all: water?

Mystery & Whiskey. When I envision someone drinking whiskey, I imagine them pondering over an event in their life or their own future. A classic mystery novel will bring out your inner detective, making you wonder who committed the crime, why they did it, and how the protagonist is going to stop the antagonist. So, why not pair the drink that makes you think with the genre that does the same thing?

Horror & Gin. In this pairing, gin makes you feel fun and feisty…and yet it is a very dangerous type of alcohol. A good horror story will make you feel the opposite of fun and feisty. The point of it is to instill fear within the protagonist and yourself, the reader. It only makes sense to make up for the fun and feisty feeling you’re missing out on while reading the book with your drink choice. Opposites do attract after all. Maybe you won’t end up giving yourself those week-long nightmares either.

Thriller & Moonshine. Oh, moonshine. If you don’t know what moonshine is, it is high proof alcohol. In less than a minute, moonshine can slap you with complete drunkenness. Guess what also slaps you in the face (or brain) with a surprise? A brilliant thriller novel.

Poetry & Lattes. Poetry is such a delicate genre. You’re always thinking about the meaning behind the simple verses. The beauty of poetry varies from person to person, but what better way to enjoy it than to sit down in a coffee shop, poetry collection in hand, with a highly-caffeinated latte in the other?

Comics/Graphic Novels & Soda. First, there is a huge difference between comics and graphic novels. A comic is broken down into issues and the story is about your favorite super hero or group of kids meddling around. Meanwhile, graphic novels are exactly like your typical novel, but told with art. There is a complex and deeper meaning to the tale the author is trying to tell, and most of the time it only takes a novel or two to get the story across to the reader. We decided a carbonated pop can pair well with your favorite superhero/villain combo or a more intricate graphic novel.

Drama & Rum. Drama novels make for wonderful beach reads. And most beach reads should be paired with a mixed rum drink. Originally a Caribbean-based alcohol, rum has found its way to many beach bars across the country. Sit back in your beach chair, dig your toes in the sand, keep yourself occupied with a rum and coke, and throw yourself into a good drama or novella.

Action/Adventure & Beer. Imagine this: Tom Cruise starring in another action movie about his adventures trying to save the world…that whole concept takes approximately 120 minutes to pan out. Whenever you sit back and relax with an action/adventure movie (or in this case, a novel or two), crack open a cold one and let all the action pan out before you.

Classics & Wine. What better way to bring this post to a close than to pair a good ol’ classic read with a glass of fine wine. Everything gets better with age! But with that being said, you don’t want to wait too long or else the wine will go bad. At least you’ll still have the book!

A Reader’s Dream Fulfilled

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Imagine a world where you, the reader, don’t have to browse bookshelves pondering if you’ll enjoy the book you’ve selected. Oh, wait… there is a world like that.

Book of the Month has been in effect for 90 years. “90 years of literary heritage,” is how they like to put it. It is a monthly subscription service built to your liking. There are a handful of different packages you could pay for, varying from receiving only a month’s subscription up to a year – meaning up to 12 new books to jump into. What better life could there be?

Every month you are given five books to choose from – some are popular best sellers and others are debut books from rising authors. You get the opportunity to pick the book you wish to read with the help from the judges. Judges range from publishing professionals to popular writers. Typically there are five judges each month. Each judge picks a book and writes a brief reaction to the book of their choosing. They explain why they picked the book and why the member should read it, along with some of their favorite scenes or characters. A synopsis and preview of the book is also provided through the BotM website. Members can vote on whether they enjoyed the book as well. The website rates the books like Rotten Tomatoes, minus the green vomit image next to the percentage. What’s also fun about BotM is the exclusive branded items they have for members. If a certain amount of money is put towards the membership, a free tote is included with the package!

BotM is a great option for avid readers who try to maximize their reading options. Or to the new reader who just isn’t sure how to find their next read. \ The benefits of the service make it enticing- you read the books you want to read, you pay a lot less for a hardcover, and you can skip a month if none of the options are appealing. The power in your hands is used to create more pleasurable reading for yourself and it’s likely that you will discover a book you never would have else wise. A reader’s dream is bound to come true with access to BotM endless possibilities.

Read on.

The World of Wattpad

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In 2006, Wattpad was created. With 11 years under the company’s belt, the free platform for writing has accomplished plenty. People behind Wattpad have built ties with major publishing houses (yes, we’re talking Random House, HarperCollins, Simon and Schuster, and Sourcebooks). One success story from Wattpad is Anna Todd with her AFTER Series, originally published online. Of course not everyone gets to see the rise to fame like Todd did, but services like Wattpad are making their mark on assisting authors to get noticed.

From 2014 alone, 85% of Wattpad’s traffic and usage came from mobile devices. Each month, there were 35 million unique visitors, including users. OVER 100,000 chapters are uploaded each day and OVER 2 million dedicated writers use the service

If you’re not involved or familiar with the platform, Wattpad provides a few different services. As a member, you have access to “Clubs,” which are groups for members who seek help from one another or feel the need to discuss topics relating to writing. Wattpad is also known for The Wattys- an award system created to reward writers for their stories with members participating in the votes. There are also many writing contests held for writers to challenge their own ability and to earn some credentials to their name. There is a collaborative space for beginners to learn from the stars of Wattpad how to navigate the website and how to create a fanbase. Lastly, Wattpad also hosts a writing exercise for participating writers called #JustWriteIt, a 30-day writing challenge.

As a writer, there are some pros and cons with joining Wattpad so if you’re interested in being published or if you are still deciding if the service is right for you, you will want to consider both sides:

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Write on.

The Publishing Journey: The Ultimate In(query)

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The query letter is usually your first step to seeking a literary agent or publisher. It can be the scariest step you will take because after you hit the ‘send’ button or as soon as you drop the envelope in the mail, you are putting yourself out there for rejection and criticism. But, the query letter doesn’t have to be scary; it doesn’t have to be something that you to lose sleep over. You can’t think of a query letter as your complete life story, but rather a mini billboard sign highlighting what you have to offer. If an agent or publisher isn’t looking for a story like the one you have wrote, then no amount of information is going to convince them take you on as a client or to offer you publishing deal. Query letters should be  a short and sweet summary of your manuscript, aim for 300 words or less. Keep in mind that your audience is most like a very busy individual, receiving an influx of other letters from plenty of other decent writers.  Stay humble and don’t come off too ambitious. Don’t attach or include  a sample of a chapter right away in the first letter; leave a cliffhanger to have the reader of your query letter yearn for more. The more you leave them wanting, the higher chance you have for your work to be reviewed.

There are a few key points to keep in mind when writing your query letter:

  • If there is one, add a personal connection with your audience. With a link to the individual, they may be inclined to read your letter with more care than the last one.
  • Going off the previous point, even without the personal connection, DO NOT copy and paste 80 of the same letters to different agents or publishers. It makes the letter incredibly impersonal, seemingly desperate for a form of recognition. Think about that particular agent or publisher and why you would be a good fit for them based on their current client and book list. Do you compliment their current author and books well or do you fill in a missing gap they might not have?
  • When a cliffhanger is added to the quick summary of your story, you shouldn’t give away the entire plot.
  • The biography in your letter should include (if possible) your own credibility in writing.
  • Keep the tone consistent in your letter. A good letter will keep consistent language; if it’s a lighthearted story, keep a gentle tone – if it’s a comedy novel, include some humor.
  • A common mistake is assuming the guidelines to agents, editors, and/or publishers are all the same. Read the guidelines with care…since they do determine your fate with possible representation or a possible book deal!

A query letter is vital to your publishing journey, so take your time to write it. Don’t forget to reread copies of your letters before you send them to your prospective representatives checking for grammar errors, misspellings, and to make sure you are getting the message you want across to the reader. This careful attention could change your fate.

Write on.