Showing posts from February, 2012

What I Learned from My Debut Novel

My first published novel started with notes about a man learning about a woman who lived a world in-between reality and fantasy. Before I knew it, I had names, places, a plotline and subplots. I never intended to write a series. Yet, I had. My initial draft was penned on unlined printer paper. When I finally sat to type it, I needed to learn how to format a manuscript. Title page, slug lines, double spaced true type font all stuffed into a tidy package. The easy part was over. I had to write query letters to agents who I thought might want to represent my baby. The hook was written and re-written. My author bio drove me crazy. The synopsis haunted me. Still, I wrote them. And out they went. I waited and I waited. Some had the courtesy of sending a reply, even if it was a canned one. Many did not. The noes poured in. The most heart wrenching replies were the ones who said that they enjoyed my work but, it wasn’t a good fit for them. Onwards I pressed. I believed in my wo

The World In-between on Indie Snippets

An approximate 300 word snippet of The World In-between is available on Indie Snippets. Read the excerpt here .

A Generous Birthday Gift

Tuesday the fourteenth was my birthday.  To celebrate, I wish to share with you a coupon for my debut novel, The World In-between. Leap into a hidden world known only to those who have been there.  Fall in love.  Battle for magic.  Find your inner strengths. Take 34% off (makes it $5.93).  This offer is good only through Smashwords.  Smashwords offers every format for whatever e-reader you have or in an easy pdf format to read on your computer. Find the ebook on Smashwords here. At the checkout, enter coupon code: VY67U (not case-sensitive). The coupon expires February 29th. Happy Reading! --IE Castellano

Writer’s Workshop – Trends: Chocoholics with fangs

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, we are bombarded with chocolate. Commercials entice you to buy chocolate covered strawberries. Cooking shows feature chocolate in every recipe. Stores sneak chocolate candy into aisle after aisle. All because of a cliche or a very clever marketing scheme. Women love chocolate. We want to eat nothing but chocolate. Bathe us in chocolate then enrobe us in more chocolate. At one point in my life, I enjoyed chocolate. Now, the Mayan food of the gods bores me. Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy a tasty piece of dark chocolate on occasion. It is just the onslaught of the chocolate trends has pushed me into chocolate doldrums. Trend weariness happens more often than we like to admit. People see something popular and grab. What started as something lovely, morphs into a barrage of garbage. Those who contribute to the trend can find success before the inevitable happens. Often the problem with riding trends is that we are left with a gapi

My Birthday Suite

As the days begin to explode with pink, my birthday inches closer. In a little over a week, I am going to be older than I am now. Profound, I know. I thought it would be a good time to give you my backstory. The wind blew white across the land that February. Already a month late, I was not waiting for a little snow to subside. While my dad was helping my mom to the car, the dog escaped through the back door. Marble loved to run and did so often, to the chagrin of my parents. Fortunately, his dark coat was easy to spot against the mid morning whiteness. Too far back? My love of the English language began early. With my parents reading to me constantly, I learned to love the fine art of storytelling. Reading at bedtime. Reading at other times. Reading while we all sat in the family room. Reading around the table. Family time included a book of either nonfiction or fiction in most genres from the classics like David Copperfield to Greek and Roman mythology. After reading, di