Cover Reveal - Asleep from Day

TeaserI haven't posted twice in one week in a long time, but today is a special day. Another one of the writers in my amazing Pitch Wars '14 group is revealing her cover today. Besides having a fun name, Margarita is also a fabulous writer, so I'm thrilled to help show off her lovely cover.

First, here's a note from Margarita: 

Hi there! I’m super-excited to share the cover reveal of my debut novel, Asleep from Day. Before we get to the main event, I wanted to share a little about what inspired this book:
 
Back in the ‘90s, I came across this human interest news story that stuck with me ever since. A guy met a woman on a bus in Boston, they chatted for a few minutes, and the woman left before he could get her number. The guy was so taken with her and eager to find her, he plastered fliers all over the city with details of their brief chat (which, at one point, mentioned Kevin Bacon—insert Six Degrees joke here). Remember, this was in the 1990’s, back before Missed Connections and social media. He didn’t have online tools to help him find the woman. The fliers got so much attention, news outlets picked up the story and the guy ended up on TV talking about his search for this woman. I don’t remember if he ever tracked her down, but I was fascinated by the lengths this man went to for a woman he met for only a few minutes. It was romantic, sure, but also a little crazy and strange.
 
Many years later, the seeds of that story took root and grew into something different as I found my premise: What if a girl met a guy and spent a seemingly perfect day with him, then got hit by a car the next day and completely forgot him? What if, as she started to remember, she wondered if those memories were real? What if she had strange dreams and surreal experiences that made her worry she might be making him up and question her sense of reality? Add a 1990’s Boston setting and Asleep from Day was born.
 
It had to be the ‘90s, because technology makes it easier to find people and back then, it was easier to lose track of someone. It had to be Boston because I lived there during my college years and wanted this book to be my love poem to that city.
 
In terms of genre, here’s the thing: I like stories that aren’t one thing. I get more excited when a book or movie or show has layers of different genres. And I got more excited
 
about this story when adding layers to it; I wanted it to be realistic yet surreal, romantic but twisted, with darkness and uncertainty to balance out the sweetness. It’s not psychological suspense or romance or mystery, but it has elements of all of those.
 
For the cover of Asleep from Day, I was hoping for something dreamy and a little strange, but still beautiful. I love the final design Terry Montimore came up with.

About the Author

 Margarita Montimore
Margarita Montimore received a BFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College. She worked for over a decade in publishing and social media before deciding to focus on the writing dream full-time. She has blogged for Marvel, Google, Quirk Books, and XOJane.com. When not writing, she freelances as a book coach and editor. She grew up in Brooklyn but currently lives in a different part of the Northeast with her husband and dog.
 

And here's the cover!!

Asleep From Day cover

It's soooo pretty! I love the colors and how the whole thing conveys the merging of genres Margarita talked about.

About The Book

Astrid can’t remember the best day of her life: yesterday.
 
A traumatic car accident erases Astrid’s memories of September 9th, the day she spent with an oddly charming stranger named Theo. Ever since, she’s been haunted by surreal dreams and an urgent sense that she’s forgotten something important. One night, she gets a mysterious call from Oliver, who knows more about her than he should and claims he can help her remember. She accepts his help, even as she questions his motives and fights a strange attraction to him.
 
In order to find Theo and piece together that lost day in September, Astrid must navigate a maze of eccentric Boston nightlife, from the seedy corners of Chinatown to a drug-fueled Alice-in-Wonderland-themed party to a club where everyone dresses like the
 
dead. In between headaches and nightmares, she struggles to differentiate between memory, fantasy, and reality, and starts to wonder if Theo really exists. Eventually, she’ll need to choose between continuing her search for him or following her growing feelings for Oliver. Astrid might go to extreme lengths to find what she’s lost . . . or might lose even more in her pursuit to remember (like her sanity).
 
It sounds like a great read - I can't wait! Asleep from Day will be released in paperback and ebook on January 10, 2018. Pre-order it here and be sure to add it to Goodreads.

Tweet Tales Tuesday Week 261

15 Minute Tweet TalesLast week, I talked about the project for the grant my brother won, so this week it’s time to talk about mine! The grant I applied for is called the Artists Ventures Initiative, and its purpose is to help artists in South Carolina turn their art into a business. Over the years, I’ve absorbed a lot of knowledge about writing in a variety of formats, so I applied for the grant to start a business of online writing courses. I was thrilled when I won because the grant will be a huge help with initial startup costs and marketing to get the word out once the classes are available. 
 
I’ve already started putting together the first class, and it’s called Writing Like a Hollywood Movie Crew. If you read last week’s post, you might remember that was what I presented at the SCBWI-Carolinas conference. It was a distilled version of the eventual online class. At the conference, I talked about five positions on a Hollywood movie crew and how they can help your writing, whereas the online class will have twenty-one. People in the audience seemed enthusiastic, and several people contacted me later to say my examples really helped them, so I have high hopes for the full online course. 
 
It has taken longer than I expected to put the lessons together, partly because I’ve been learning about the video editing software as I go. My brother helped me film all the “on camera” sections, which were painful because I HATE being on camera. The lessons will be a mix of me on camera, PowerPoint slides, animation, and then my narration. Which is another stumbling block, since I also hate hearing my recorded voice. I’m in complete denial of how awful my voice is, so to be confronted with it again and again and again is … not fun. 
 
Plus, you know that saying, “Perfect is the enemy of good”? Yeah, I’ve always been a perfectionist, and I’m really struggling. As I record sections, if my voice bobbles at all, or I stumble over a word, I feel like I have to record everything all over again. I need to be able to let things go as “good enough” or I will never actually complete the lessons and release the course. But despite some of the parts I don’t like, I really enjoy the actual creating the lessons part. Sometimes I think I missed my calling as a teacher.
 
Of course the biggest challenge in creating this new company was coming up with a name. I didn’t want it to focus soley on writing because my brother was interested in creating some courses about social media and YouTube, plus I wanted it to be a place my artistic friends could also create courses if they wanted. Therefore the name needed to cover a bigger range than just writing. I also wanted to incorporate dogs somewhere in the name because I plan to use the Rish family dogs as part of the marketing. 
 
After much brainstorming and overuse of a thesaurus, I decided on Transmedia Mutts. Transmedia storytelling tells a narrative across multiple media platforms, so I thought it fit the fact that multiple ways of telling stories would be covered. And then of course Mutts for our pampered pooches. 
 
The next step was designing a logo, but since I have no artistic skills at all, I called in the big guns – Will Bryan, who designed the amazing posters for my short films Saying Goodbye and High Heels & Hoodoo. He came up with a logo that’s fun, eye-catching, and memorable. Thanks, Will!!!
Transmedia Mutts logo
The logo is now front and center in the Transmedia Mutts’s social media accounts. Check them out … in fact, give them a follow. Pretty please!!! They will be a source of writing tips, social media advice, and best of all – cute doggie pics! 
 
 
If you want a sneak peek at what the lessons will look like, I have an intro lesson up on the website. And right now, I also have the PowerPoint presentation from the SCBWI conference up there, too, so you can learn even more! Due to the hosting software, you will have to create an account to access it, but I think it’s totally worth it. ☺
 
And now for this week’s Fifteen Minute Tweet Tales:
 
rasceta - the creases on the inside of the wrist.
 
10/17 - He holds her hand, sliding his thumb back and forth over her rasceta. She swallows a moan, then tries to smile as he introduces his folks. 
 
Play along and write tweet tales for the above word. If you’re willing to share, post them on twitter with the hashtag #15tt or add them below in the comments because I’d love to read them. Any thoughts about this week's tweet tale or #15tt word?

Tweet Tales Tuesday Week 260

Oh dear. It’s now been TWO MONTHS since my last post. That’s … not great. But in my defense, it’s been a packed two months. I’ve been out of town for large chunks of it, and I’ve been working on two big projects.
 
Here’s a quick rundown of some of the happenings. 
 
The most exciting thing was the eclipse. I was lucky, since I live in Charleston, my brother in Columbia, and my sister in Greenville - all three in the path of totality - I figured I had a place to watch no matter what the weather. 
 
It was obvious from the first 10-day forecast that Charleston was going to be a no-go, so I knew I was going to have to travel. On the day before, Greenville was predicted to be clearer than Columbia, so my brother and I headed up there. My sister planned eclipse-themed food and drinks, and we had a blast. The weather was gorgeous, and the eclipse was truly a mind-blowing event. Mother Nature is freakin’ cool. It was so surreal that even now it kind of seems like something I watched on TV rather than something that really happened. 
Siblings watching the eclipse
Diamond ring right before eclipse totality
Eclipse totality
Diamond ring after eclipse totality
Then the next weekend, I was a presenter at the SCBWI Carolinas conference in Charlotte.  My presentation was called Write Like a Hollywood Movie Crew, and I spent tons of time working on my presentation because I felt like such an imposter. When the big morning arrived, I was super nervous, but I think it went well. At first there were projector issues, so I almost simultaneously had a heart attack, fainted, and barfed because my presentation was extremely reliant on visuals. But only a few minutes after my session was supposed to start, the IT guy got it working. People laughed when I hoped and were very engaged. And I got a lot of compliments afterwards, although that could have been because I bribed them with cups of popcorn at the start.
Jocelyn Presenting
I had a great time at the conference and met lots of fun writers and publishing folks. Plus I absorbed the surge in creative energy I always get at these events.
 
Then the next week was a retreat with my writing group, the Sisukas, in Beaufort. Unfortunately, that was also the week that Hurricane Irma was bearing down on South Carolina, so we were mostly stressed and nervous about potentially having to evacuate. After two nights, we decided to cut the trip short so everyone could get home to make hurricane plans. Fortunately, Irma shifted enough that I didn’t have to evacuate, but she sure made a mess. 
 
And then the week after that, I had another writing retreat with a different group of writers in Nebo, NC. I know, I’m a lucky gal! It was five days of writing while taking in the gorgeous view and enjoying the company of accomplished and hilarious women. 
Lake at Nebo
Writers at Nebo
In between all the travel, I’ve been hard at work on two big projects. Earlier this year, I mentioned I was working on grant applications. Well, I won my grant! Whoo hooo! And my brother won his grant! Double whoo hooo! And we’ve been focused on getting both projects up and running. I’ll talk about my grant project next week, but this week, I’m introducing his. 
 
His grant project is to create an anthology of short horror films via a contest. At the last minute, we decided to do a contest for a winning screenplay as well. So I’m pleased to present Grave Intentions!
Grave Intentions
We’re now accepting submissions here: https://filmfreeway.com/festival/GraveIntentionsAnthology
You can check out our website here: http://www.graveintentionsanthology.com/
 
We also don’t have many followers on our social media, so if you want to give us a pity follow we’d REALLY appreciate it!
 
If anyone you know makes or writes short films that would broadly fit into the horror genre, please (pretty please!!!) let them know about our contest. 
 
Whew! Okay, I think that’s the big things. If I were a good #15tt tweeter, I would make up for the last eight weeks of 15 Minute Tweet Tales that I missed, but I’m just going to pretend like that didn’t happen and only do one for this week. Sorry, not sorry!
 
purlicue - the space between one's forefinger and thumb when extended.
 
10/10 – He stares at the purlicue of his right hand. The cat’s neck will fit perfectly & the yowling will finally stop when his fingers clench.
 
Play along and write tweet tales for the above word. If you’re willing to share, post them on twitter with the hashtag #15tt or add them below in the comments because I’d love to read them. Any thoughts about this week's tweet tale or #15tt word?

Tweet Tales Tuesday Week 259 + Book Release

Gah! I'm doing a terrible job keeping up with my 15 Minute Tweet Tales this year. The last few weeks have been busy, so I'll use that as my excuse. I'm planning a post for next week to share what I've been working on, but for today I want to share someone else's good news. 
 
It's release day for Kellye Garrett's HOLLYWOOD HOMICIDE!!
 
I'm so thrilled for her! I met Kellye during PitchWars ’14, and we bonded over being mystery writers. It's been so fun watching her book come to life, and today it's out in the world. Congrats, Kellye!!
 
Hollywood Homocide
Hollywood Homicide
Book 1 in the Detective By Day Series
Publisher: Midnight Ink
Release Date: August 8, 2017
 
Dayna Anderson doesn’t set out to solve a murder. All the semi-famous, mega-broke black actress wants is to help her parents keep their house. After witnessing a deadly hit-and-run, she figures pursuing the fifteen-grand reward isn’t the craziest thing a Hollywood actress has done for some cash.
 
But what starts as simply trying to remember a speeding car soon blossoms into a full-on investigation. As Dayna digs deeper into the victim’s life, she wants more than just reward money. She’s determined to find the poor woman’s killer too. When she connects the accident to a notorious Hollywood crime spree, Dayna chases down leads at paparazzi hot spots, celeb homes and movie premieres. She loves every second—until someone tries to kill her.
 
And there are no second takes in real life.
 
Kellye GarrettAbout Kellye Garrett
Kellye Garrett spent 8 years working in Hollywood, including a stint writing for the CBS drama Cold Case. People were always surprised to learn what she did for a living—probably because she seemed way too happy to be brainstorming ways to murder people. A former magazine editor, Kellye holds a B.S. in magazine writing from Florida A&M and an MFA in screenwriting from USC’s famed film school. Having moved back to her native New Jersey, she spends her mornings commuting to Manhattan for her job at a leading media company—while still happily brainstorming ways to commit murder. Her first novel, Hollywood Homicide, will be released by Midnight Ink in August 2017. It’s the first book in the Detective by Day series.
 
Connect with Kellye
 
You can order it on Amazon.
 
And now it's time for 15 Minute Tweet Tales. Although it feels a bit like cheating, I'm going to skip the tweet tales I missed the last few weeks for the sake of getting this posted. So here's this week's word:
 
porceltor - a little hole in the sink used for draining the water before an overflow occurs.
 
8/8 - The sink overflows, splashing red water everywhere. Her husband's foul habits had clogged the porceltor. Even in death he vexes her. 
 
Play along and write tweet tales for the above word. If you’re willing to share, post them on twitter with the hashtag #15tt or add them below in the comments because I’d love to read them. Any thoughts about this week's tweet tale or #15tt word?

Tweet Tales Tuesday Week 258

15 Minute Tweet TalesOops, I kind of missed the 15 Minute Tweet Tales target yesterday. Nothing exciting going on, just a Netflix binge and time got away from me. Before I knew it, it was Wednesday and time to sleep. And then it was time to wake up to a #15tt word that is perfect for sleepy people:
 
pandiculation – a stretching and stiffening of the trunk and extremities, as when fatigued and drowsy or on waking, often accompanied by yawning.
 
7/11 - He watched her pandiculation each morning with an adoring smile. Then his mom confiscated his binoculars & told her mom to buy blinds. 
 
Play along and write tweet tales for the above word. If you’re willing to share, post them on twitter with the hashtag #15tt or add them below in the comments because I’d love to read them. Any thoughts about this week's tweet tale or #15tt word?

Happy July 4th + Tweet Tales Tuesday Week 257

Happy 4th of July! I hope you’ve had a fantastic day celebrating with family and friends. Freya also wanted to wish you a Happy Independence Day.
Patriotic Freya
Unfortunately, she is now feeling much less celebratory. She is not a fan of the sky boom booms. She didn’t use to mind them, but within the last two years, fireworks, thunder, and the lawn mower have become the enemy. I guess it’s a result of her hearing changing as she’s gotten older. 
 
The really weird thing is that she often hides in the bathtub. The reason it’s so weird is that she HATES getting baths. Like she hates them so much that she won’t step foot into any bathroom, even if treats are offered. So I don’t understand why she not only goes into the bathroom but the actual bathtub to hide. 
Freya in the bathtub1Freya in the bathtub2
After a while in the tub this evening, she decided that wasn’t safe enough and pushed her way under my desk. So she’s hanging out there now with her crazed fireworks face. Poor girl. I feel bad laughing, but she’s just so darn cute!
Freya under desk1Freya under desk2
 
Anyway, I somehow missed last week's tweet tales again, so we have two again for this week’s 15 Minute Tweet Tales post:
 
15 Minute Tweet Talesoctothorpe - another term for the pound key or hashtag.
 
6/27 - "I keep seeing photographs on the world wide web labeled octothorpe blessed. What does that mean?" They try not to laugh at Grandpa.
 
ophryon - The official definition is the craniometric point in the midline of the forehead immediately above the orbits, but it boils down to the space between your eyebrows.
 
7/4 - A zit sprouts on her ophryon & gets bigger every day. Then a horn pokes through & she becomes the unicorn she was always meant to be.
 
Play along and write tweet tales for the above words. If you’re willing to share, post them on twitter with the hashtag #15tt or add them below in the comments because I’d love to read them. Any thoughts about this week's tweet tales or #15tt words?

Tweet Tales Tuesday Week 256

Oops, I missed a Tweet Tales post again last week. I was frantically writing my newest short screenplay to apply for the SC film grant again. But I got it finished and revised multiple times and then submitted on Sunday morning, a record 36 hours before it was due. It’s a ghost story set at the Dock Street Theatre – I think it would be so fun to film there, so fingers crossed that we win. 
 
As for other happenings, my mom’s birthday was yesterday, and since Sunday was Father’s Day, the whole family met at the lake this weekend to celebrate both occasions. And of course all five dogs were along for the ride. This is the first known photo of all five pooches at the lake at the same time.
Five dock dogs
 
And then later, we managed to get all five canines AND all five humans in a picture at one time. It was a Father’s Day miracle!
The entire Rish clan
 
My sister took a TON of pictures of the pups swimming, so if you enjoy adorable dogs in lifejackets paddling in the water or jumping from docks, then make sure you’re following me on Instagram or Twitter. I post dog pictures there every day with the hashtag #cutedog, and I’ll be posting lake pics all summer long. 
Bear, Kali, and Remy ready to leap into the water
 
And now for two weeks worth of 15 Minute Tweet Tales:
 
nemophilia - the love of spending time in forests; a fondness or liking for forests, woods, or woodland scenery.
 
15 Minute Tweet Tales6/13 - She's always had strong nemophilia, but with each news story, she spends more time among the trees. Until one day she never comes out. #15tt
 
obdormition - when an arm or leg goes to 'sleep' as a result of numbness caused by pressure on a nerve.
 
6/20 - Newly adopted dog has sad past. Scared of new "mom." Finally creeps over for cuddles. Mom not moving no matter how bad obdormition is. 
 
Play along and write tweet tales for the above words. If you’re willing to share, post them on twitter with the hashtag #15tt or add them below in the comments because I’d love to read them. Any thoughts about this week's tweet tales or #15tt words?

Tweet Tales Tuesday Week 255

This week I’ve been writing a short screenplay to apply for the SC Film Indie Grant. This is the same grant program I won to make my short films Saying Goodbye and High Heels & Hoodoo. It’s such an amazing program, and I can’t believe how lucky we are to have it in our state. This year I’m working on a ghost story/thriller that takes place in a very Charleston location. Fingers crossed! It’s due on June 19th, which is still plenty of time for a deadline driven gal like me.
 
I’m also missing my nieces and nephew after dog-sitting them last week. My sibs sent me picks to show they miss me, too, so I thought I’d share.
Hi from Remy!
Bear and Kali snuggling
 
And now for this week’s 15 Minute Tweet Tales offering. This week’s word is really gross, and I can’t believe there’s a word to describe it, but here ya go:

15 Minute Tweet Tales

mucophagy - the consumption of the nasal mucus obtained from nose-picking. 
 
6/6 - Mason kept bullying Flor, so she started an Instagram account of all the pics she'd secretly taken of him called Mason's Mucophagy.
 
Play along and write tweet tales for the above word. If you’re willing to share, post them on twitter with the hashtag #15tt or add them below in the comments because I’d love to read them. Any thoughts about this week's tweet tale or #15tt word?

Tweet Tales Tuesday Week 254

I've had a lot of stuff going on the past few weeks, so I got behind on tweet tales again. I've been working on several grants I'm applying for, I spent a week dog-sitting my nieces and nephew (who think beds are for dogs not humans), and I've been doing research for my next novel.

Pups in bed

But I want to get caught up again, so here are the latest round of 15 Minute Tweet Tales

lunt - smoke or steam, especially smoke from a tobacco pipe.
 
5/16 - She crouches on balcony over his favorite smoking spot. When she sees lunt, she shoves stone planter. The crash lets her know she's free. 
 
15 Minute Tweet Tales
lunula - small crescent-shaped structure or marking, especially the white area at the base of a fingernail that resembles a half-moon. 
 
5/23 - She notices the lunula on each finger is a different fluorescent color and calls doctor panicked. Roommate giggles as she hides markers. 
 
minimus - the fifth digit; the little finger or little toe. 
 
5/30 - Every profanity I'd ever heard spewed forth when I slammed my minimus on the chair. But since baby was sleeping, it was in a whisper.
 
Play along and write tweet tales for the above words. If you’re willing to share, post them on twitter with the hashtag #15tt or add them below in the comments because I’d love to read them. Any thoughts about this week's tweet tales or #15tt words?

Tweet Tales Tuesday Week 253

On Saturday I went to a screenwriting workshop given by Peter Fox. It was pretty basic, but it’s always important to be reminded that when I’m writing a screenplay, I need to 'write in pictures' not words. Since I go back and forth between novels and screenplays, I sometimes slip into prose mode rather than the blueprint mode that’s needed for scripts. 
 
The cool part was that the workshop organizers invited me to have lunch with Peter and several other folks involved with making movies in South Carolina. I felt like one of the cool kids! And I got to eat with a Hollywood star! After his stint in Army Wives, Terry Serpico moved to Charleston, while continuing to act in movies and TV shows like Purge: Election Year, Michael Clayton, The Inspectors, and the upcoming Star Trek: Discovery. That’s him standing next to me – he was super nice! 
 
Terry Serpico
 
I’m now working on a short script to apply for the film grant again – maybe I should write a part just for Terry! 
 
And now for this week’s 15 Minute Tweet Tales word:

15 Minute Tweet Tales

lemniscate - the infinity symbol; a variety of quartic functions producing similar figure-of-eight closed curves. 
 
5/9 - When I get off bus, I notice a lemniscate in driver's pupil. Then see it in my barista's eye. Then my cubemate's. Afraid to look in mirror.
 
Play along and write tweet tales for the above words. If you’re willing to share, post them on twitter with the hashtag #15tt or add them below in the comments because I’d love to read them. Any thoughts about this week's tweet tales or #15tt words?