Monday, February 25, 2013

Off The Page & Unplugged

Josh Adams, Lisa Williams Kline and Betsey Thorpe at
the Women's National Book Association
Some days I'm social media savvy, because every writer should network online. Many days I'm in my writer's cave, at the keyboard, because I live on the printed page. But my best days are spent in the company of my bibliophile friends - in real life.

So last Tuesday, I attended the Women's National Book Association joint meeting with Charlotte Writers’ Club, From Book Idea to the Bookshelf: The Process and Business of Publishing. 

The event drew a crowd of over 150 writers. Disclaimer. - Though I'm the WNBA Charlotte membership chair, the crowd was there to hear from the distinguished panel:

Kelly Bowen, Publicist at Algonquin Books
Josh Adams, Agent at Adams Literary
Betsy Thorpe, Editor at Betsy Thorpe Literary Services
Sally Brewster, Bookseller at Park Road Books
Amanda Phillips , MarComm Manager at Baker & Taylor, book wholesaler
Lisa Williams Kline, author with releases from Zondervan, Delacorte, and Cricket

So. Lots of great advice. Lots.

Kelly Bowen shared a publicity story about Algonquin release WEST OF HERE by Jonathan Evison.

at IndieBound
Since the story is set on the Pacific coast, WEST OF HERE got an interesting introduction to the book buyers' world. A nifty printed map, historic-style photo postcards, and a galley were shipped off in one of those wooden boxes that fishermen use for smoked salmon. You know the kind - wood with a cover that slides out. The clever part of the launch was the salmon company label on the top.


Some recipients put the box straight in the fridge. Word got out a few days later and the galleys were rescued from cold storage.

Reminder: Writers should NOT come up with cute ideas like that to catch an agent's attention.

Josh Adams recommends that writers:

1) Write like crazy.
2) Read like crazy.
3) Put stuff out there and query.
4) Put themselves out there and network- preferably in real life.

He also mentioned that the odds of finding an agent are not in our favor.

For example, the statistics at Adams Literary are something like this:
1/1,000 if you cold query
1/100 if you meet Josh, Tracey, or Quinlan at an event
1/20 if you are referred through an industry contact

Don't like your odds? Do something to change them. Attend conferences, workshops, etc.
Just don't stalk. Or send creepy gifts.

Thursday, February 21, 2013


My critique partner is at it again with her new YA contemporary release. Check it out!

A companion to The Truth About Faking (link) (not a sequel; the books can be read out of order), The Truth About Letting Go (link) takes readers back to Shadow Falls, or more specifically Shadow Creek, with Ashley Lockett as she learns about friendship, love, and letting go.

Get me
The Truth About Letting Go (link) by Leigh Talbert Moore

Ashley wants to smash everything in her once-perfect life. Charlotte wants to walk in Ashley's seemingly charmed shoes. Colt wants to turn Smalltown USA on its ear--with Ashley at his side. Jordan wants to follow his heart--but Ashley is the one sacrifice he never expected to make. Up until now, Ashley Lockett has followed the rules. She's always done the right thing, played it safe, gone to church. And then her ideal life is shattered when her dad dies suddenly. Now she's miserable and furious, and she decides to do everything opposite of how she lived before. She rejects safety, rules, faith, and then she meets Jordan. Jordan has big dreams, he's had a crush on Ashley for years, he's a great kisser... but he's also safe. Enter Colt. He is not safe, and he's more than willing to help Ashley follow her plans.

Get it today on Amazon * Barnes & Noble * iTunes * Kobo Add it on Goodreads.


I feel Colt laugh, and he looks down into my face. That’s when he seems to realize what I’ve been acutely aware of for the last several minutes—our bodies are pressed together. “It’s awesome, yeah?” he says. “Adrenaline rush.” “Yeah,” I breathe. “I guess.” I’m not sure if he’s going to kiss me until he does. His mouth covers mine, and energy mixes with the alcohol flooding my body. Our tongues slide together, and I grip his shirt so I don’t collapse.  Every single bit of this is wrong, and there’s no way I’m stopping it. It’s back, that good feeling. The sadness has been pushed out again, and in its place is this rush, this rush of adrenaline like Colt said.  He pulls back and smiles at me. “We’re going to start dating. Now. You’re my partner in crime.”

About the Author:
Leigh Talbert Moore is a wife and mom by day, a writer by day, a reader by day, a former journalist and editor, a chocoholic, a caffeine addict, a lover of YA and new adult romance (really any great love story), a beach bum, and occasionally she sleeps. -The Truth About Faking is her debut young adult romance (on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, and Kobo) -Rouge is her first New Adult romantic suspense novel (on Amazon). Leigh loves hearing from readers; stop by and say hello! Blog * Facebook * Amazon Author page * Goodreads * Twitter * Tumblr

Monday, February 18, 2013

The Karacabey Horse

My story needs a new horse. Doesn't matter what color, but I think black would be nice. I always loved Black Beauty.

Ottomans loved their horses too. Since the empire stretched into Arabia, Anatolian horses were cross bred with Arabians at will. New breeds were made. The one that eventually became known as Karacabey was the most important - sort of the goldendoodles of their day. Everybody wanted one. Turkey even gifted the the Queen of England with a Karacabey once.

But then...  Then.

People moved on. People wanted thoroughbreds and European jumpers, and so the Turkish government sold the last of the documented Karacabey breeding stock. Years later, they realized their mistake, too late. The horses had been cross-bred until the Karacabey line was lost. Extinct.

If I could time travel back to 1980, I'd buy all 3,000 of the horses auctioned off that day.
Couldn't have cost much. The USD-TL exchange rate was crazy low.
Who cared about a stable closing way deep in the Bursa province anyway?

I'd like to imagine a herd of Karacabey somewhere out in the fields near the Marmara sea. Roan, chestnut, bay, gray, and black. Maybe some farmer has a barn full hidden in plain sight, and some day they'll be discovered, like a priceless Van Gogh.

The government has since reestablished the Karacabey stables as a thoroughbred stud farm. It's impressive with:

1,235 acres
790 stalls,
1 hospital, plus other veterinary facilities
250-person staff including
118 grooms,
10 veterinarians &
11 veterinary assistants

The most famous horse bred at the barn since the reopening is bay stallion, Sabırlı - translation: Patient One (April 9, 2001). Sired by Kentucky Derby winner, Strike the Gold, Sabırlı has a pretty nice record of his own. With 51 starts, 26 wins, 10 places, and 8 third place titles, all totaling about $3 million in winnings, he's a top stud at Karacabey.

Watch Sabırlı win at Dubai in the clip below:

Karacabey Stables Photo gallery

Monday, February 11, 2013


HYSTERIA by Megan Miranda
Last week, I went to the book launch for HYSTERIA by local author, Megan Miranda.

I waited patiently in line with my critique partner, watching the stack of books dwindle, hoping there would be enough. (Note to self: buy the book as soon as you walk in the store next time.)

Beth Revis, author of the ACROSS THE UNIVERSE series, was is line behind me, being her sweet self. (I've noticed the YA authors in North Carolina look out for each other, and it's just one more reason I want to join the ranks.)

It was so nice to see the many supportive fans, friends and family of author- Megan's dad beaming over her as she signed book after book. Juxtaposition at it's finest, I tell you, because I have no idea where a girl like Megan gets such creepy ideas. No idea.



Mallory killed her boyfriend, Brian. She can't remember the details of that night but everyone knows it was self-defense, so she isn't charged. But Mallory still feels Brian's presence in her life. Is it all in her head? Or is it something more? In desperate need of a fresh start, Mallory is sent to Monroe, a fancy prep school where no one knows her . . . or anything about her past.But the feeling follows her, as do her secrets. Then, one of her new classmates turns up dead. As suspicion falls on Mallory, she must find a way to remember the details of both deadly nights so she can prove her innocence-to herself and others.

Part of the excerpt from the back cover:

   "You're sending me to Monroe," I said. I phrased it like an accusation, but it still came out sounding like a question. This wasn't the first time Dad had tried to send me to Monroe.
   "Over my dead body." Mom had said back then.
   Apparently, two years ago, my mother had lied. Apparently, any dead body would do.

Read the first chapter here.

About Megan Miranda:

Megan graduated with a degree in Biology from MIT and spent her post-college years working in biotech and, later, teaching high school Science. She now lives in North Carolina with her family. FRACTURE is her first novel.

Megan also belongs to the Women's National Book Association, Charlotte Chapter, where I'm the membership chair - remember?

If you missed the HYSTERIA launch, Megan will be at the WNBA-C “Meet the Authors” event on

Monday, March 11, 7 – 9 PM
Park Road Books, Park Road Shopping Center
4139 Park Road, Charlotte 28209

Saturday, February 2, 2013

DUMAN & Anatolian Rock

Duman photo via Hurriyet Daily News
I wanted to post about DUMAN because they were at IstanbuLive in NY, but now I have double the reason:

My New Adult Turkish soap, Kuzey Guney had a scene with Duman song - Ruyanda Gorsen Inanma.

I used up half a box of tissues on that scene, partially because of the song. (I used the other half of the box on the next scene, when the girl came to find/save Kuzey.)

Now I'm compelled to post something.

A little history:
DUMAN - the direct translation of the word is smoke, but the name comes from one of their titles: Halimiz Duman. The phrase is a Turkish idiom meaning “our situation is dire". So DUMAN means dire as well as smoke.

As a writer, I <3 double meanings. Don't you? 

Music by DUMAN is also double edged. It falls into the weird but satisfying category known as Anatolian rock. The style mixes up rock and grunge with a type of Turkish folk music called the türkü.

Ruyanda Gorsen Inanma is a good example of DUMAN's distinctive sound. The base is a melancholy türkü, but instead of the saz (lyre), there's an electric guitar. 

Lyrics from DUMAN, and my own translation of Ruyanda Gorsen Inanma.
Note: This song is poetic and chock full of idioms. I chose my understanding over direct translation.

arkadas sen bu degilsin                       My friend you aren't this (ref:sad state)
gorunus sadece giysin                         Appearance is only a garment
arkadas niye gucendin?                      My friend why did you let them break you?
alistim, karistim ben sana                   I got used to you, I got mixed up with you
ruyanda gorsen inanma                      If you see this (ref:sad state) in your dreams don't believe it

arkadas sen bu degildin                      My friend this wasn’t you
bilinen sadece ismin                            The incident was only what you named it
arkadas niye degistin?                        My friend why have you changed?
alistim ay ay ay ay ay                          I got used to you
karistim ben sana                                I got mixed up with you
ruyanda gorsen inanma                      If you see this in your dreams don’t believe it

arkadas sen bu degilsin ey ey ey         My friend you aren’t this
yasayan sadece fikrin ey ey ey            What you experience is only your idea
arkadas niye gucendin?ey ey ey          My friend why did you let them break you?
alistim vay                                           I got used to you
karistim ben sana                                I got mixed up with you
ruyanda gorsen inanma                      If you see this in your dreams don’t believe

sana boynumuzu egeriz sanma           Don’t think we’ll surrender to you (ref:enemy)
hakkimizi gelir aliriz zorla                 We will come claim our right forcefully
saklayacak yuzum yok yok                  I won't hide myself away no no
ruyanda gorsen inanma                      If you see this in your dreams don’t believe it
ruyanda gorsen inanma                      If you see this in your dreams don’t believe it
ruyanda gorsen inanma                      If you see this in your dreams don’t believe it

Scene from Kuzey Guney with actor, Kıvanç Tatlıtuğ:

Speaking of the saz - Kivanc sings a türkü and plays the saz some other episodes.
I'm saving my thoughts on that for next time. ;)


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