Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Guest Blog: YA Paranormal Author Meredith Shea Wood

Many thanks to Meredith for providing our Runner-Up prize of a signed copy of Panthan's Crucible and providing us with a wonderful Guest Blog. It's been great learning more about Meredith!  Enjoy!
Panthan's CruciblePanthan's Crucible
First of all, I wanted to say that I am so excited to have the chance to participate in this contest. I know some of you might be asking, “Who the heck is Meredith Wood?” Don’t be ashamed. I still wonder this every day. I thought I’d give away a few tidbits about myself and in doing so, I’ll feel like I know who I am for a day or two.

Hm, what are some things people like to know about authors?

Maybe some of their favorite authors?

Okay. I can do that. I love Charlaine Harris, though I loved her way before she became so famous with True Blood. When I first heard she’d signed over her Sookie books to Alan Ball I was ecstatic and figured I’d never survive the wait. But I did, and what’s worse, I realized I now had to share her world with others. After some careful thought, I realized I have jealousy issues with anything or anyone I hold dear to my heart. That’s probably not a good thing to reveal about yourself though, is it?

We should move on.

Maybe talk about my paranormal Panthan’s Crucible?

Sometimes life takes us for a ride where the good and the bad live in the same gray area. This makes it difficult to distinguish between the two. Maybe there is no right and wrong. Maybe it’s about choosing the best path for you. In Panthan’s Crucible Grayson and Laura learn this the hard way.

If you’d like to know a bit more about my world of Panthans, you can watch the book trailer here:

I’ve been asked a time or two how old I was when I made the decision to become a writer. I can’t remember. So I guess the answer to that question is: I’ve wanted to be a writer forever.

Now, I do know that I can’t write in coffee shops, bookstores, well, anywhere in public really. If I want to write, I have to do it at my computer desk with the door shut and my music blaring. Ah, music. That is the biggest inspiration for my writing. And I stress the word music, not style, because I listen to everything: classical, opera, rock, pop, country, and all the in-betweens.

Right now, I’m working on two projects. The first is Panthan’s Abyss, which is the second book in my Panthan Series. I’m also doing revisions on a contemporary young adult called Push. If that isn’t enough to keep me busy, I’m also waiting on the release date for my upcoming young adult Somewhere in Between. You can watch Somewhere in Between's book trailer here:

This probably brings us around to wondering why I choose to write for the young adult market. It’s really simple. Teens are complex creatures, but I get them. Completely get them. I also want them to know that I believe their problems are very important. I did the teen thing and I’m doing the adult thing now. Through the years, my opinion has stayed the same: Life is harder as a teen than as an adult.

Maybe you know me a little better now. Things could change though so if you’re interested you can always find me on Twitter here:, my Livejournal Blog here: or my fan page on Facebook here:

Oh, and before I hand this contest back over to Karly and Michelle I thought I’d say a few things to those aspiring authors out there.

Don’t ever, ever be ashamed to say, “I’m a writer.” Really. Because it doesn’t matter whether you’re published or not. It doesn’t matter if you have ten best sellers or one hundred out there. In the end, we’re all on equal ground. We’re all still pounding away on our keyboards hoping that last paragraph we wrote doesn’t read as badly as we think it does.

Also, download one of those memo apps for your cell phone. When the moment of inspiration strikes, they are so much easier to jot down notes on than scrounging around for scraps of paper and an ink pen.

Meredith Shea Wood

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Interview with YA author Kristina Springer

Welcome to the new followers we picked up yesterday and be sure to tell your friends about us. Even if they don't want to compete, they can still enter to win awesome prizes in the coming weeks!

Next up in our author spotlight is Kristina Springer, author of The Espressologist. She's agreed to autograph a copy of The Espressologist for one lucky winner! She's so talented and we're pleased to have her visiting today!

 How old were you when you knew you wanted to be a writer?

I've always loved writing and knew I would do some sort of writing from about college on, but I didn't know I would write fiction until around five years ago.

Who are some of your favorite authors?

Meg Cabot and Lauren Myracle 

What inspired The Espressologist?

I was sitting in a coffee shop on a date with my husband when a woman walked in and I knew she was a venti carmel frap. It gave me the idea that you could tell a lot about a person from their coffee drink and then I thought why not try to matchmake based on that.

What is the main thing you hope readers will gain from your book?
Lots of laughs.

Where is your favorite place to write?


Why did you choose to write YA fiction?
I had an idea for a book and it happened to center around four girls in high school. I gave it a shot and loved writing YA and have been doing so ever since.

Do you have any upcoming books or projects to share?

My Fake Boyfriend is Better Than Yours comes out 8/31/10 and Pumpkin Princess will be released in the fall of 2011.

Where can our readers find you on the web?

@TinaSpringer on Twitter

What would you tell other aspiring YA authors?

Be persistent! It's a long road but a great one.

The Espressologist

Monday, June 28, 2010

Interview with YA Fantasy author Leah Cypess

This week we're featuring interviews of the amazing authors who are taking part in the prize portion of our competition. Remember, to take part in YA Flash Death Match, all you have to do is follow.

Author Leah Cypess has graciously donated a signed bookmark gift pack for three lucky voters! She's awesome and inspiring so check out her interview out below...

How old were you when you knew you wanted to be a writer?

I have confirmation when I was eight-years-old, I told my grandmother I would be an author when I grew up. But I have a feeling I made up my mind even before that.

 Why did you chose to write YA fiction?

I've always liked YA, and the four manuscripts I wrote before Mistwood were always intended to be YA.  Originally, I thought Mistwood was going to be my first attempt at an adult fantasy novel... until some time after I finished it, when I realized there was nothing stopping it from being YA as well.

What is your favorite book?

Only one? Are you kidding me? ;) For now, I'll say The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle, and then keep going before I get a chance to change my mind...

Who are some of your favorite authors?

Rattling off the first 5 that come to mind: Megan Whalen Turner, Juliet Marillier, Dave Duncan, Sharon Shinn, Connie Willis.

What inspired Mistwood?

An image in my mind of a supernatural creature being hunted in a misty wood. I have no idea where it came from, but it popped into my mind one night, and I picked up a pen and started writing.

What is the main thing you hope readers will gain from your book?

The main thing is a really enjoyable reading experience -- the kind that makes me close a book with a happy sigh.

Do you have any upcoming books or projects to share?

I'm currently working on the revisions for a companion book to Mistwood... currently scheduled to be published in 2011 (though it does not have a title yet).

Where is your favorite place to write?

The New York City subway. I lived in Brooklyn and worked or went to school in Manhattan for many years, and those long commutes were incredibly productive.

What would you tell other aspiring YA authors?

Well, first I'd direct to them to an awesome article by Jennifer Crusie, which I reread recently and remembered how much I love: Rats with Islands: How to Survive Your Publishing Career. Its basic message is to not give up, but she says it far more eloquently than I could.

And second, I'd add that it's important not to pin all your hopes on a single manuscript, no matter how great it is.  I wrote and submitted four manuscripts before Mistwood.  They all got positive responses -- each one got at least one revision request from an editor, and one went to the acquisitions committee at two different imprints -- but eventually, when each had been rejected by every publisher in existence, I had to move on to the next manuscript. If I had remained focused on my first book, or written sequels instead of completely new books, I never would have gotten an offer for Mistwood.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Gift Card Winner: Kathy Fenton White

Kathy Fenton White

Who is Kathy Fenton White?

First and foremost I am devoted active duty military wife living in Texas with my wonderful husband of 20 years and three great kids. In a previous life (before kids), I was a graphic designer and marketing professional. I now enjoy my role as a busy stay-at-home mom running my kids to soccer and basketball games.

Last, but certainly not least, I'm an aspiring YA novelist. I've always had a dream to someday write a book. But that always seemed like just a dream until recently. The idea for a book came to me last year out of the blue. I started writing....and now I can't stop.

I have a notebook full of ideas for new stories that I update weekly (sometimes daily) as they pop in my head. My WIP that I finished in early December desperately needs to be edited but I can't get this idea out of my head for a whole new story. guessed it, I'm currently writing the new story.

Watch for me someday on a bookshelf near you. Until then, you can check out my progress at or find me on Twitter at @kfentonwhite.

Congrats to Kathy!! And, because I feel a need for full disclosure, I know Kathy in real life (imagine that!). She is my sister's best friend and has been since I can remember. I'm just glad she's allowing me to tag along on her writing journey!

Next week we'll be featuring the authors who are donating prizes to our contest starting next month!!!!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Gift Card Winner: J.L. Jackson!

J.L. Jackson

Future New York Times Bestseller! Mother, sister, teacher and student for life with a wild imagination who loves to write.

I recently finished a YA historical novel set in 2248 B.C. in Ancient Egypt. The story came to me when I was researching a chapter in an adult fiction novel I was working on and couldn't get this character out of my mind. She is amazing and I had to get her story out. I am currently in the editing process.

Congrats J.L.! Be sure to visit her on the web at

YA Flash Death Match is starting soon. If you want to be a participant and enter to win our awesome prizes, don't forget to become a follower of the blog and @YAFDM on Twitter!!!!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Barnes & Noble Gift Card Winners!

On Saturday I used a random number generator to choose the winners for our first contest - 2 $5 Barnes & Noble gift cards.

Our winners are:

J.L. Jackson


Kathy Fenton White

Congrats ladies!!!!!

Since we love our readers, we'll be giving each one of them a day to shine. Come back on Wednesday to learn more about J.L. Jackson and Friday to see Kathy Fenton White.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Who Wants a Gift Card?

Since our contest doesn't officially open until July 7th, we didn't want you to sit here and be bored. No, no, no - we want to liven up the party!

So, this week you have the chance to win a $5 Barnes & Noble gift card. In fact, we're handing out two!

There's about nine billion ways to win, so check out the rules below.

Leave a comment for one entry (hard, right?).

Here's how you can get extra entries:

+1 - Follow @YAFDM on Twitter
+1 - Follow @karlkirkpatrick on Twitter
+1 - Follow @michellesussman on Twitter
+1 - Follow YAFDM's blog through Google Connect
+1 - Follow YAFDM's blog through Networked Blogs
+1 - Follow Karly's blog through Google Connect
+1 - Follow Karly's blog through Networked Blogs
+1 - Follow Michelle's blog through Google Connect
+1 - Follow Michelle's blog through Networked Blogs

+2 - For Tweeting, FBing or blogging about YAFDM

Tell us how many extra points you earned & how (links for the +2, please). And make sure you identify yourself in the comment, just in case you aren't uber-connected and don't have one of these fancy-schmansy accounts we can use to trace you back to your email address.

This part of the contest is for readers and writers! You don't have to write a damn thing to enter this part of the contest. If you love to read, then you deserve a chance to win too. Karly & I aren't picky about who's visiting.

Have fun and good luck!!! Entries are accepted from now until Friday, June 18th 12:00AM CST.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Prizes for July

For our first month, we have a dazzling array of prizes from some fantastic YA authors!

Grand Prize for Winner of the Death Match:

Critique - of your query AND first 5 pages of manuscript
signed copy of Thief

from fantasy/horror author Sarah-Jane Lehoux
Available here.

....and this awesome blog award...

Runner-Up Prize:

Signed copy of Panthan's Crucible

from YA author Meredith Wood
Panthan's Crucible
Panthan's Crucible

Topic Choice Prize:

Signed copy of The Espressologist

from YA author Kristina Springer

If we pick your topic for the Death Match, you win!

The Espressologist
The Espressologist

Voter Awards:

Three lucky voters will receive:

Signed Bookmark Gift Pack from Leah Cypess,YA author of Mistwood


 On Monday we'll have a special contest for all of our new followers...I hear some Barnes & Noble gift cards will be involved!  You could be our first winner!!!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Welcome to YA Flash Death Match

Being a writer is difficult.  You toil long hours, all by your lonesome, with few chances to share the fruits of your labors.  Many of us are aspiring, 'pre-published' authors, looking for ways to share our writing with the world.  We have contests for everything in America - singing, modeling, dancing, surviving - even a contest for just being 'talented.'  But there are few contests for unknown writers.

The time has come to change that.  Here at YA Flash Death Match, we are giving aspiring Young Adult authors the chance to shine.  In our competition, you will get a chance to show the world what you have to offer.

Every month, we will pit two aspiring YA authors against each other.  A topic will be chosen by the audience and you will get a few days to create a piece of YA flash fiction (a scene or story) of less than 1,000 words. 

Fans of YA will appreciate the opportunity to meet YA authors, both published and pre-published, as well as read a fabulous selection of new, unpublished YA fiction every month.

Please be sure to visit the Details & Rules section and find out how to be eligible to participate as a contestant or contribute topics.  Also, check out the Timeline link, so you don't miss out on any part of the contest.

Make sure to join our blog or visit us on our Facebook, Twitter or personal blogs. The only prerequisite is that you be a follower of one of those so we can keep you in the loop. Thank you so much for stopping by and check back for interviews, writing tips and more!