Sunday, January 13, 2013

Liebster Part Deux, Meet L.E. Pate

So, I f-ed up, and I'm not afraid to admit it. I do it so infrequently that I know my readers will be shocked. But, it's true. I'm human.

Remember the prestigious Liebster Award I was given by author Dylan J. Morgan yesterday? I was on cloud 9 for having my blog recognized by another author and shared within the Twitter-verse and beyond. I spent three hours promoting our Liebster Awards, blogging my response, and crafting exceptional questions for the bloggers I gave the award to. 

Then, I got a Tweet from the beautiful and talented author, L.E. Pate, also known as Lindsay. It was simple enough, "Did you ever put up your Liebster Award?" I was thinking, "Why, yes. I just blogged about it! What great timing, thanks for asking." But something made me pause. Think, think, think. 

Ah, yes! Over the Christmas holiday, while I was in a flu-induced stupor, I vaguely remember a tweet about receiving a Liebster Award. When we got home from Asheville, I couldn't remember who sent it, where I saw it, or what it was. Then, as we took down Christmas and prepared to ring in the New Year, I promptly came down with strep throat. Then, I passed it onto my husband. And next, my son. Twitter was forgotten for a few days. My blog was set aside. Novel, who has time to work on a novel? Liebster Award? What's that?

But, then, I got Lindsay's sweet reminder today. She hadn't forgotten about me or my responses. But, I felt like a big ol' pile of poo. When someone takes the time to recognize you, in any way, it's a huge honor. Lindsay has over 1,100 followers on Twitter and took the time to look at my blog, nominate it for an award, and have the good grace to ask me nicely if I'd had time to post it yet; you know, instead of saying, "Hey bitch! I took the time to nominate yo ass. What's up with you not responding?!"

So, this blog is an ode to the sweet, talented, extremely creative, and amazingly forgiving, L.E. Pate. Please take the time to check out her blog and her Liebster Award answers so you can get to know her better. 

Because I just blogged about my second Liebster Award yesterday, I don't want to bore readers with another random 11 facts about myself. But, Lindsay took the time to think of 11 fun questions for her nominees, so I want to give them, and her, their due respect. Plus, I know you are curious!

1. What is your favorite thing to rant about? Without a doubt, it would have to be poor grammar.  

2. What is your favorite aspect of writing? The solitude. After having little ones up my ass all day (grabbing onto me, asking a zillion questions, and just needing things), I love sitting down at my computer, alone. I enjoy the absolute silence that surrounds me and allows me to go inside my mind and create something from nothing.

3. What makes you feel the best that you have ever felt? By far, when I am eating healthy and exercising. The best I have ever felt was when I was on a raw foods eating plan (lean protein, fresh fruits, and veggies) and was training for a half marathon. I felt alive! I was more confident. I had more energy. I slept better. Sex was at its most enjoyable and gymnastic (sorry, TMI?). I could run without getting winded. I just felt strong in mind, body, and spirit.  Sadly, that's not where I am at the moment. It's where I will be in three months though. So, please check back with me in April and hold me accountable!

4. How structured are you with your writing? Very unstructured. Writer Jes Young once described her writing process as very organic, and I think this describes mine perfectly as well. I have an idea about what I want to say. I have an idea of where I want to end. But I will never sit down and do an outline. I will never force myself to write x number of words a day, or beat myself up if I can't. I actually enjoy the process of writing and I like to be inspired as the creativity comes. I like getting manic bursts of genius and going on a writing binge for three days until I've used up all of my passion and am drained of every ounce of imagination. Then, I breathe. I run or walk or do yoga. I take time to read and to be inspired by others. Then, I start the process again. 

5. What has been the best book you have read in the last year? It is so, so hard to pick just one. Especially since several of my friends have had their books debut in 2012. But, I'd have to say my very favorite was Underneath, by Jes Young. Last year, I was introduced to Jes Young when I stumbled upon her book Tab Bennett and the Inbetween on Amazon. Jes's writing drew me in from the very beginning with her realistic voice and snarky, beautiful protagonist. Jes can deliver a funny, yet poignant, one-liner like few others. I found myself laughing, cheering, swooning, getting angry, and sitting on the edge of my chair in anticipation. It's everything a book is supposed to do, but not all can deliver. 

I immediately researched to find out when her next book in the Princess of Twilight and Dawn series was scheduled for publication. Upon doing so, I learned that Jes was an amazingly down-to-earth author who was very approachable and responsive, and who was just as interesting, quirky, and snarky as her protagonist. I then had an opportunity to work with Jes and help edit her second novel, Underneath. I love, love, love collaborating with creative, smart, funny women who inspire me. Not only was Underneath an amazing second novel in the series, but it was much darker, grittier, and sexier as Tab begins to grow into her new role as the Light Elvish queen and embrace her darker side when confronting her father, Daniel, the dark king. I must have read that book about eight times while editing it, and I loved it the eighth time as much as I did the first. Now that says something!     

6. What is your favorite genre of books to write? To read? To write, I'd have to say Young Adult Urban Fantasy, the genre I'm starting my career as a novelist in. It's so fun to be able to take liberties with characters that you just can't do in mainstream fiction. I have to say, as a reader, I love coming of age novels--when they are well done. I love The Age of Miracles, The Keeper of Dawn, The Razor's Edge, and The Fault in Our Stars.

7. What or who inspires you to write? I had a fairly tumultuous life growing up. I needed the escape that reading provided. It allowed me to tune out the pain and chaos, and lose myself in the sense of wonder, beauty, and adventure that's married in literature. I have been so deeply touched by so many books while growing up. They helped shape me, guide me, grow my imagination, encourage me, and save me. I want to do the same for a reader someday. If just one person says to me that they were touched or inspired or influenced by my writing, then I will consider my life as a writer a success.

8. How do you picture your writing career developing? I always thought I would go the traditional publishing route, but the more I read and research, the less I'm convinced that will be the case. (Though, to be honest, if an agent or publisher came knocking at my door, I sure as hell would answer!) I always thought I would start with children's books because I wrote a picture book years ago that I adore and know would be successful; but I have yet to submit it. I will publish it one day, but it will likely come after my YA trilogy because those characters are banging on the inside of my head, asking to come out and be heard. Ideally, I'd love to have my entire trilogy written, published, and successful within the next three years. (I, of course, see it being optioned for film as well!) From there, I think I'd stay in the YA/NA genre, but may try my hand at traditional fiction and see where it takes me.

9. Who is your favorite classic author? Why? Is Judy Blume considered a classic yet? No? Okay, then I'd have to go with Jane Austen. I mean come on: dry humor + female protagonist + love story + social disparity = what's not to love?

10. Do you enjoy writing true to life events or creating your own world? True to life, with a twist. It's why I love Urban Fantasy. I'm not so much into creating my own world or going the historical route. I like to read and write books that are mainly current (+ or - 100 years) and "realistic," even in the fantasy and paranormal genre; I like fiction with a dark edge.

11. What is your favorite short story you have ever written? It was a very short, short called Two. It was an assignment for a creative writing class I took 11 years ago. I wrote it out of pain after my father died and I turned to running for comfort; while it is fiction, there are traces of me within it for sure. (I'll share it on my blog later this evening.) It may not be the best representation of my work, but it has so much raw emotion in it; it takes me back to a very difficult, but beautiful time in my life. 

Thank you so, so much for sticking around for my answers friends! Thanks again to the lovely, and amazingly patient L.E. Pate, to whom I publicly declare that, "I owe ya one!"

It's not every day I f-up; but when I do, I do so royally!
Peace out, friends.


  1. Oh my goodness! You did not have to do or say any of that!! I just wanted to make sure you got the message from before and I wasn't sure you had ever seen it! You go with your 2 awards! You desearve it:) You're blog is beautiful and you are a sweetheart! Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

  2. You are more than welcome. Thanks for understanding the light-hearted humor of the situation and not thinking I'm a total douche-bag. :) I truly meant everything I said in my blog. I love reading the story you are writing with Corey. That is so fun! Thanks again for letting me wax poetic on you for a bit :)