For Readers & Writers

from Susan Dennard

July 18, 2014
So I'm off to Philadelphia today to RUN IN THE COLOR RUN with my fellow #YARunsA5K fundraisers!! EEEEE! I'm so excited. Even my mom is coming to jog with me (she's, like, so much faster than I am, though).

Let's to do this, Team Jogging Misfits!! :D

For the Misfits:
T-Minus 4 Days + Signed Books!
I'm afraid I don't have much in the way of extra scenes or fun giveaways to share this week--at least not in the newsletter. There are, however, some cool posts going on around the web.

First off, the e-version of Something Strange & Deadly is STILL only $1.99 across all stores! You can get all the vendor links here. (Guys, I'm totally at rank 610 in the Kindle Store right now! That is, like, almost the best SS&D has ever done on Amazon!! I'm freaking out! :D)

Epic Reads has a series recap that includes character bios and the Top 5 Moments from each book! (Warning: This is spoiler-y if you haven't read Something Strange & Deadly, A Dawn Most Wicked, or A Darkness Strange & lovely!)

The Strange & Ever After Blog tour is going on, complete with reviews, excerpts, and a GIANT giveaway! You can also check out my guest post on the 5 things ever good good gothic novel needs.

Last, but definitely not least, get a signed copy of Strange & Ever After--or the entire series! You can pre-order it from Schuler Books, and then I will sign and personalize the books when I'm there next week for a signing! Plus, shipping is only $1, really can't go wrong. :)

For instructions on how to order a signed copy, head here and to order the book, head here. And don't miss our signing if you're in the Grand Rapids, Mi area!!


For the Daydreamers:
An Exercise in Romance

A friend of mine is teaching a workshop on romance in YA, and she was asking me for some ideas for exercises to give the students. Since I'd just done this whole series of posts on romance, she thought I was a good person to ask. ;)

Though I've never taught any romance-related exercises myself, I happened to remember an exercise from a panel I attended at an RT. The panel was about writing romantic and sexual tension--about heightening the senses to draw in the reader--and I thought I'd share what I learned.

Step 1: close your eyes (after you've read this, of course!) and imagine the way a lover/partner/potential love interest smells. This is the only sense you have, and I want you to inhale EVERYTHING that you notice. Maybe he/she smells like cottony detergent with just a bit of deodorant lingering in there. And oh! Toothpaste--you smell his toothpaste. He must have just brushed his teeth.

Step 2: How do those smells make you feel VISCERALLY? On a purely physical level, what are you feeling? Does the smell of his detergent make your chest tighten up? Or maybe chill bumps slide down your neck and arms...Or maybe it actually makes you feel nothing at all, and you realize this guy/gal isn't the one for you!

Step 3: What do you feel EMOTIONALLY? When your chest tightens, do you feel excited or maybe a little scared? Maybe a lot scared? Or perhaps all you want is for him to lean in and kiss you...Or maybe you lean in and kiss him.

Step 4: Repeat steps 1-3, but now use sound. What do you HEAR? His shallow breath? Her knuckles cracking because she's nervous? His voice as he murmurs your name?

Step 5: Again, repeat steps 1-3, but now we're doing touch. Are his palms rough with callouses? Is her hair damp because she just showered? Is his shirt a smooth, ironed cotton because he's on his way to the office? Or maybe her dress is a knit, stretchy fabric (that leaves little the imagination when you look at it and now leaves little the imagination when you touch it).

Step 6: Finally, repeat steps 1-3, but with taste. This doesn't have to assume you're kissing or engaging in something intimate. ;) You can "taste" things in the moment--like your own toothpaste or maybe the coffee you just drank (and MAN you wish you had time to go brush your teeth!). Or, of course, you could taste him/her--his toothpaste/coffee or her flavored lip balm.

What have you got written down? Hopefully lots of juicy sensory, visceral, emotional details to infuse into your romantic scenes. ;)

Now, to wrap up the week, here are the best writing-related links I discovered this week:
See you next week, my friends! And don't forget: if you have any questions about ANYTHING, drop by the forum to ask. Thanks for reading!

Oh, and BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR STRANGE & EVER AFTER which drops next Tuesday!

photo by Emily Rae Photography

Copyright © 2014
Susan Dennard
All rights reserved.

110 West 40th St., Suite 410
New York, NY 10018

I'm a misfit, a daydreamer, an animal-lover, and a (now gluten-free) cookie-eater.