fun

#TenDaysOfTruthwitch

The first novel of the Witchland series is ALMOST HERE! Join me to celebrate the launch of Truthwitch! Starting tomorrow, I’ll be discussing stuff like best friends, new years resolutions, and of course, fantasy books, tv and movies! And all in the spirit of Truthwitch, of course!

There’ll be free prizes! And fun parties! And did I mention the free prizes?? 😏

The basic plan is to celebrate #TenDaysOfTruthwitch, starting on the US release date (January 5th) and ending on the UK release date (January 14th). Starting on January 9, I’ll be challenging YOU ALL to join in! And each day, I’ll pick a random participant to win a signed copy of Truthwitch as well 2 other YA novels!

Check out the graphic to the right or the full schedule below!

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#TenDaysOfTrutwitch

 
Prizes: Beginning January 9th with the Reader Challenges, I’ll be giving away a copy of Truthwitch + two more novels EACH DAY!

Rules: For the Reader Challenges, entries must be posted by 9pm ET on each date below. Winners will be chosen every night at 10:30 pm ET. International entries are accepted!!!

Schedule:

TenDaysOfTruthwitch21/5: Truthwitch publishes in the US!!! #TruthwitchParty + a quick celebratory Twitter chat at 9PM ET! Make sure to use the hashtag #TruthwitchParty to join in! And there might be some prizes given away DURING the chat!

1/6: A live google hangout chat with moi & Alex Bracken at 8PM ET! Use the hashtag #PassTruthParty to ask Alex and me questions. We’ll each pick 10 to answer during the chat, and then we’ll take 5 more during the chat!

1/7: Reddit AMA on r/Fantasy! Drop by the forum any time during the day to ask whatever question your heart desires!

1/8: Misfits & Daydreamers giveaway + behind-the-scenes cover story! Learn how the cover for Truthwitch was crafted in my newsletter, and also enter an EPIC giveaway!

1/9: Reader Challenge #1: #ResolutionsFor2016! Show your bravery and share a truth! What do YOU want to accomplish in 2016? When posting, use both hashtags #Resolutionsfor2016 and #Truthwitch!

1/10: Reader Challenge #2: #BestFriends! Best friends 4eva! Friendship is at the heart of any adventure. Celebrate friendship by posting a pic of you and your Threadsister/brother using both hashtags #BestFriend and #Truthwitch!

1/11: Reader Challenge #3: #InTheWild! Getting that post-holiday shopping in? While you’re out, snap pics of Truthwitch by Susan Dennard in the wild and share online! Use both hashtags #InTheWild and #Truthwitch!

1/12: Reader Challenge #4: #Shelfie! Winter is…finally here. Post pics of your your fantasy book shelf, and you get a double entry if Truthwitch is on there! Use both hashtags #Shelfie and #Truthwitch!

1/13: Reader Challenge #5: #Recipes! Party treats time! Share a recipe for a fun snack inspired by your favorite novel, show or movie. You get a double-entry if it’s inspired by Truthwitch! Make sure to use the hashtags #Recipes and #Truthwitch!

1/14: Truthwitch publishes in the UK!!! Party time again, this time with #ClanChat!  Join me and the #Witchlanders on twitter at 10:00 AM ET to celebrate the UK launch of Truthwitch! Clans, fans, and fellow authors will get together to talk about their favorite fantasy novels, shows and movies. Make sure to use the hashtag #ClanChat to participate!

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So there you have it, my dear readers! #TenDaysOfTruthwitch. It starts tomorrow! Finally. I am so sick of talking about this book, and I am SURE you’re sick of hearing me talk about it. 😉

I hope to see you in the Twitter-verse, and if not there, then perhaps on the #PassTruthTour!

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Current TV Favorites

Because I’m currently obsessed with iZombie and looking for ANY excused to talk about it, I thought today’s blog would be about the TV I’m enjoying right now.

(And I’d LOVE for you to chime in with your favorite shows! I’m always on the lookout for more!)

Watching Now

iZombie (the CW, Hulu): I love, love, love, love, LOVE this show. Liv Moore = everything I missed about Veronica Mars, and the humor! The banter! The sexual tension and murder mystery in every episode! It’s so good, guys. I really can’t recommend this enough. And if you’re a Veronica Mars fan, then what are you waiting for?! This is THE show for you!

Black Sails (Starz, Amazon Prime): I’m only 4 episodes in on this show, but it’s SO good. In fact, I think each episode gets better than the one before–raising the stakes, pushing characters to their limits, and just going to some DARK places I don’t see often on TV. It’s definitely R-rated, though, so younger readers should probably stay away. 😉

The Wrong Mans (Hulu): The first season of this show was one of my favorite TV experiences of 2014. To my surprise (and delight!), season 2 has proved to be EVEN FUNNIER. We’ve only got one episode left, and I am so sad about this. 🙁

The Daily Show (Comedy Central, Hulu): This is a nightly requirement in my house. Jon Stewart is nothing short of genius, and I honestly trust NO ONE ELSE for my news. (Well, I trust him and NPR. That’s about it.) Seriously: if you’ve never watched the Daily Show before, there’s no time like the present! 😉

Recent Binges

Broadchurch (Netflix): This show was dark, creepy, and VERY intense. I couldn’t stop, though, and I was SO pulled in by the incredible acting and gorgeous setting. If you enjoy murder mystery, then this is a great show to binge.

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix): At the suggestion of some friends (*waves at Rachel & Katie!*), I started this show a few weeks ago…and couldn’t stop. It’s SO FUNNY and has such a heartwarming message in each episode.

The 100 (Netflix): I’ve only seen season 1, so no spoilers please!! That said, I cannot WAIT to binge season 2! This show took me completely by surprise. The pilot is kind of terrible, but things really pick up after that. I couldn’t believe how many times I was brought to tears watching this show.

Galvant (ABC, Hulu): This musical comedy took me COMPLETELY by surprise–in the best possible way. Sarah J. Maas and I watched it during our annual NYE trip together…and were hooked. We literally rewatched it all immediately after the first round. So. Funny. SO. Clever.

More Obscure Shows You Shouldn’t Miss

Moone Boy (Hulu): This was my favorite show of 2014. It was so heartwarming, so hilarious, and so unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. Chris O’Dowd NAILS it. Do not miss this show–seriously.

Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries (Netflix): This show took me 100% by surprise last year. The first episode is a bit hokey (okay, the whole SERIES is a bit hokey), but I just fell in love with the characters and the 1920s setting. Plus, the romantic tension for our leading lady  detective–ungh!! It’s SO great!

Peaky Blinders (Netflix): Season 1 of this show was one of the best TV watching experience of my WHOLE LIFE. I still think it is almost flawless storytelling. Too bad they ruined it ALL with season 2. Still, if you can, watch only season 1 and prepare to be blown away.

Emma Approved (YouTube): Emma remains one of my favorite Jane Austen’s, so I wasn’t surprised when I fell head-over-heels for this adaptation. SO cute, SO bingeable, and ungh the final kiss!!!! It was SO worth the wait. 😉

Now you all TELL ME what you’re watching!

Please, please! I’d love to have more stuff to add to the queue!

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Changing the Focus of My Blog

Hi everyone!! *waves frantically*

It has been 2 months since I last posted–can you believe it? It doesn’t actually feel that long, and I won’t lie: it has been great for my creative self to not have to worry about blogging.

Because, here’s the thing, guys: I’ve run out of things to say when it comes to writing.

I’ve written 560 posts, 38 newsletters, and who knows how much additional content on Pub(lishing) Crawl, Let the Words Flow, and other blogs across the interwebosphere.

That’s pretty insane when you think about it, and to be honest: I’m really proud of what I’ve built. I won three different awards for “Best Writing Blogs” in 2014, and I launched the Misfits & Daydreams (and got to watch that really take off).

I love my newsletter–like love it. It feels wildly intimate, and I find people are more likely to email me directly than they used to be (which is wonderful!). So I will 100% continue to wax poetic about writing, publishing, etc. on there. I’ll also continue to answer all questions put to me in the forum.

But I’d love to take this blog in a new direction.

You see, I’m not just a writer. Like, I actually have a number of hobbies (gasp!) and passions (double gasp!) that have nothing to do with books.

I make bath and body products–makeup too. I tap dance. I go to the dojo three times a week. I have an unhealthy obsession with good, good coffee. I LOVE fashion (even if I don’t always have the guts to follow it), and I love makeup application/techniques even more.

I love dogs (I’m sure you all knew that), and have a weakness for any and all unlikely animal pairings as well as cute baby animals doing cute baby animal things.

I like food (especially gluten-free cookies), and I really care about what sorts of ingredients and chemicals go into my body. So no surprise: I spend a lot of time cooking and finding new recipes to try (especially new gluten-free cookie recipes).

I enjoy DIY house projects. My husband and I bought a wreck of a house two years ago, and since then, we’ve been fixing it up all by ourselves–and on a very tight budget. No surprise: but I’m a huge fan of Ikea hacks and yard sales. 😉

Maybe a lot of you already know this stuff about me, but I’d love to dig more deeply into all these things and to connect with other people who are interested in them as well. Plus, I think it would give YOU ALL, my incredible readers, a deeper understanding of who I am.

I mean, if you enjoy my books or my writing advice, then you might also enjoy understanding where it all comes from. I’m one of those ANNOYING people who sees a life lesson in everything–so be prepared for blog posts in that vein.

Now, I’m not saying I won’t still write about writing or publishing–I absolutely will. And again: I’ll still discuss those things and answer questions in the Misfits & Daydreamers.

But for 2015, I’m going to give this new, fresh direction of content a try.

You tell me: What kind of non-writing stuff would you like to hear about? You can ask me anything–honestly, you can! Or, if you’re not comfortable leaving a comment, don’t ever hesitate to email me directly: susan @ susandennard.com

Also: If you all have ANY QUESTIONS about writing or publishing, I’d still love to get those! Hearing what you guys want to know helps me create content for the newsletter. 🙂

 

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My Favorite Writing Music of 2013

To preface this post, I should apologize for being away so long. My trip to Australia was fabulous, and I’ll eventually put up photos on Facebook…though to be honest, I haven’t even looked at the photos we took yet. My husband tends to go overboard with the camera, and I think we took close to 3000 pictures in 2.5 weeks. Yeah. Not even exaggerating there.

NaNoWriMo was also fabulous for those two weeks that I participated. I was super pleased by what I managed to produce, and since getting back from my vacation, I’ve been hammering out even more words. Yay for recharging creativity!

So yes, drafting a new book has kept me away since I got back. I’ve also been planning/writing a blog series that I hope to put up in January. It was originally going to be just one post, but as I wrote, I found I had a lot to say on the subject. It’s all about embracing fears and not letting them block off your creativity (which has happened to me. Many times.), so it’s a good topic to start of 2014 with.

BUT, to close 2013, I wanted to share my favorite musical releases of the year. These are some of the albums I listened to on repeat while I was drafting all my various projects. Of course there were other albums I listened to as well, but the selections below are the ones that came out in 2013. Note: these aren’t in order of favorite but rather of when I discovered them throughout the year.

I hope you enjoy!

1. Classics, Vol. 1 by Two Steps from Hell

Let’s be honest. These guys (Nick Phoenix and Thomas Bergersen) could pretty much scratch their nails on a chalkboard and I’d still be obsessed. (Somehow, they’d make it the most epic, empowering nail/chalkboard combo ever.)

Oh man, do I imagine some insane battle scenes to “Earth Rising”. Interstellar battles, naval, kaiju–whatever. This music is what I’m playing when I write those especially wild fight scenes. Though I usually start flying around my room pretending to fight the monsters myself when it hits the 1:37 mark. Not even joking.

“Birth of a Hero” makes me want to write about exactly what the title says: the rise of a hero. This piece gets especially epic at the 1:22 mark.

2. Pacific Rim Original Movie Score by Ramin Djawadi

So if you read my blog or follow me on Twitter, you know I’m obsessed with Pacific Rim. Sarah J. Maas and I have already planned out an elaborate fanfiction in which we are Jaeger copilots sent out to battle the nastiness from the portal.

There is literally no other piece of music on this planet that makes me want to kick more ass than the main theme to Pacific Rim. Slow-mo walking scene as Sarah and I board our Jaeger (named Heartless Glacier (don’t ask why))? Check. Wind from some unknown source in the shatterdome blowing through our perfect hair? Check. Monster-crushing badassery on the way? Oh hell yeah…

So “The Shatterdome” track is one of my faves because it just feels so sci-fi. I listen to it on repeat when I’m drafting The Starkillers. Well, I listen to this whole album on repeat, but especially “The Shatterdome”. I really like it when the chorus comes in at 1:35. Doesn’t it just sound like the marching music for an interstellar space fleet?

3. The Golden Age by Woodkid

I’ve professed my Woodkid love before. I got hooked after I heard “Iron” on the cinematic trailer for Assassin’s Creed: Revalations in 2011. Then, when his full album came out this year, I fell into an abyss in which I listened to NOTHING but Woodkid for about 3 weeks. Yeah, he’s that good.

Also, I should point out this is really the ONLY epic music I listen to that has lyrics.

Doesn’t that music + video make you want to write REALLY COOL FIGHT SCENES? It certainly does for me, and in my project Truthwitch, I have a character who is entirely based off Ezio in that one trailer. Peppery beard and all. 🙂

Okay, I’ve blasted my love for this song before, but it’s worth repeating: “Run Boy Run” is so emotionally moving that your heart will never feel the same again. Seriously. After the 1:13 mark, I become completely overcome by joy and power and awe.

Also, let’s discuss the AMAZINGNESS that is the music video. I literally cry every time I watch it. Just look at the joy on the boy’s face at the 3:12 mark.

4. Lindsey Stirling’s self-titled album

This girl is incredible. Her music, her dancing, her insane devotion to producing more…I am honestly wowed by her skills. And I just love her music. I mean, dubstep. Gah, it’s brilliant.

“Shadows” is one of my favorites to listen to when I write or–more often than not–when I cook dinner. The beat just gets me hopping around.

“Elements” is my definitely my favorite video and song by Lindsey Stirling. It’s just…ungh. LOOK AT THAT GIRL MOVE! And listen to how well everything fits with the music! I literally feel like a failed waste of life whenever I watch this video.

5. Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag Original Score by Brian Tyler

As anyone who knows me knows, I am obsessed with the Assassin’s Creed soundtracks. Every darn one is brilliant, and the latest one (IV: Black Flag) might be my most favorite of all (although this one, which hasn’t released yet, might even top Black Flag).

Despite the fact that Black Flag only recently came out, I have listened it to at least a hundred times in it’s entirety. It’s just the most PERFECT music for my story, Truthwitch, since so much of that book takes place at sea.

The theme song, HOLY CRAP. I love how it starts so elegantly, like a fine parlor room in 1715, and then it just goes all high-seas-adventure on you at the 1:05 mark.

This track, “Lay Aboard Lads”, is my second favorite on the entire soundtrack (though I really love the entire thing). I can so vividly imagine the build-up to a wild sword-fight, and then bam! At the 1:14 mark, let the great battle begin!

So there you have it–my favorite to-write-by music that released in 2013. And, just because I’m currently obsessed and can’t wait for the album to release in January, here’s some music to the upcoming Assassin’s Creed game (called Freedom Cry).

Now you tell me: what were your favorite musical releases of 2013?

Oh, and happy holidays!! I’ll see you in 2014! ♥

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Paperback launch and 1 MONTH UNTIL BOOK 2!

My friend Erin got a paperback today...and she's awesome for it.

But what really makes this day special is that I am now officially allowed to declare “Paperback Writer” by The Beatles as my personal anthem. Okay, not that I particularly identify with the lyrics in this old gem, but it IS one of my all time favorite Beatles tunes.

To celebrate the launch of the paperback, I am giving away a signed copy of it!

AND, to celebrate the fact that A DARKNESS STRANGE AND LOVELY RELEASES IN EXACTLY 4 WEEKS, I’ll also be giving away a signed ARC of it!

YAY for Eleanor and the Spirit-Hunters going to Paris!! I am just so excited for you all to read the sequel! To get YOU as amped up as I am, I have prepared a bit of lead-up PROMO to celebrate the book 2 launch in 27 days. So stay tuned for twitter giveaways, blog tours, new extra content, and more!

Now onto the giveaway. It’s open INTERNATIONALLY and will run for two weeks–so start your engines…and GO! ♥

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Pub(lishing) Crawl: YAGB Tour Recap!

We were in the Chicago Sun-Times!

We’re BACK FROM TOUR! And by we, I mean Sarah J. Maas, Erin Bowman, Kat Zhang, and myself.

We survived our epic road trip, our 10 signing events, and our 8 workshops with only a few minor hiccups. Honestly, we could not have asked for a more smooth, fun, and gratifying tour.

For those of you who DIDN’T know about the self-hosted tour that four of us Pub(lishing) Crawl ladies recently undertook, then you can read more about the idea here. Otherwise, read on as I give a quick recap of the past 2 weeks. (Read more…)

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My Current Jams

Rather than my usual trailer music, movie score, videogame soundtrack fare, I’ve been listening to some actual tunes with lyrics. I generally don’t keep up with modern bands, and at Edgefest, my friends Sarah J. Maas and Erin Bowman were getting pretty grumpy with my totally negative attitude toward new alternative rock (I think my issue is with the word “alternative” which I still associate with the grunge kids of the 90s. Yep, I’m that old).

Well, I take back my anti-modern-music declarations (hear that, Erin & Sarah? YOU WERE RIGHT) because I discovered two bands at Edgefest that I adore. Capital Cities makes me want to shimmy and slide (and they were the only band to get almost every author signing to dance!) while A Silent Film makes my heart all achy and tender.

(Read more…)

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TAKEN releases, Edgefest, and Dusting Off Old Projects

I have been taken by TAKEN. Now it's YOUR turn!

I’m sure many of you noticed that on Tuesday, Erin Bowman’s Taken released. Erin is a dear, dear friend of mine, and it feels like forever that we’ve been twiddling our thumbs and waiting for her book to launch. I mean, I read an almost finalized version back in January of 2012, and I’ve had to bite my tongue to NOT spoil this awesome story for new readers. (BECAUSE THE HEIST IS JUST SO COOL!)

But now Taken is out. Now Erin’s fabulous hero, Gray, can entertain the rest of the world as much as he entertained me.

Erin (a.k.a. Ders, a.k.a. Donatello, a.k.a. Black Bandanna Badass): I just KNOW Taken will captivate the world, and I am so honored and pleased to be your friend. I’m so glad we could share this seemingly long and epic journey to publication–and it’s only the beginning! (Read more…)

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Some Random Facts about Me

A few weeks ago, when I asked you guys to give me topic ideas, someone gave me a ton of questions about ME. Like, questions of the what’s-your-favorite-color variety, so I thought, why not answer those questions and hear about what YOU guys like too!

So onward.

I wish I knew who painted this so I could give them credit and stalk all their other art.

Favorite color: It’s a three-way toss up. I love me some sea foam green for living space–walls, specifically. I adore that yellowy green of a full-grown pasture (especially when the wind whips through it and makes the green shift and flip). Then pretty much any shade of the sea is guaranteed to make my lungs relax, my heart swell, and my general happiness soar.

I can tell you that pretty much EVERYTHING in that picture of Howl’s Moving Castle is my favorite. The green, the metal gray, the spray of flowery colors, the lake, the stormy sky…I have that image as my background for my phone and both my computers–and it has been the background for years now. I just feel instantly relaxed every time I see it. (Read more…)

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How I Met My Frenchman

Me, looking awesome as Link from the Legend of Zelda. Admit it: you want my shield.

I imagine most of you don’t care to hear this story, but someone asked and I thought, “Why not? It’s not the most terrible story ever.” Plus, I have super sparse internet right now (like, only when I’m at a coffee shop), and this seemed like an easy enough post. 😉

Once upon a time…

Ha. Just kidding. It all happened one fall Friday when I was in graduate school for marine science. My department was hosting a costume party, and I was dressed up as Link (from the Legend of Zelda).

I looked pretty BAMF with my home-made shield and costume (or I sure thought I looked BAMF…though I didn’t win the costume contest), and an hour or so into the party, I was a wee bit tipsy and being quite the social butterfly—something I normally am not.

As I sat talking to a fellow grad student at the bar where this party was hosted, a young man in a Hawaiian shirt with a camera around her his shirt entered the bar. (Read more…)

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