January 2013 - New York Times Bestselling Author, J. Sterling

Book Paintings!

Book paintings?!

What the heck is a book painting you ask? 

Many moons ago in a land called Instagram there lived a painter, an author and a reader.  One day the reader tagged the author in a sketch of The Perfect Game and the author proceeded to ask intelligent questions like:


And thus, my Perfect Game painting was born.  :)

And so were these other two paintings I bought for my author friends, S.C. Stephens
And Samantha Towle

Aren't they freaking cool?
I think so too.  Obviously.
So anyway, Danielle (that's the painter from the land of Instagram) has set up shop on facebook where you can go and order your own painting!  From whatever book you loved- although if she hasn't read it yet, you'll have to help her out and make sure you tell her what elements you want on it.
They're pretty unique gifts and they are even more awesome in real life if you can believe that!  Not to mention that they are affordable as well! I just wanted to give her a little shout because I believe in her talent and I want nothing but great things for her. 
If you're looking for a cool, one of a kind painting, look no further than Pushy Girl Paintings.  :)


What Does New Adult Mean to You?

I have a question for all you readers out there (and authors too)...  What does the term "new adult" mean to you?

I classify my books as New Adult when the main characters are either college aged, or in their early 20's. The story may not necessarily appeal to the true YA audience because the characters are doing things they can't relate to yet (interning, working full time, living with their bf's, etc). It's about a period of time in our lives when we're not necessarily sure where we're headed. We're still figuring things out. It's that in-between stage between high school and true adulthood. We've all been there.  

Now my characters in In Dreams are in college, but I wrote that book in a younger voice, with no sex, very little swearing, etc. I classify it as YA because it reads as YA, even though the characters are no longer in high school. I felt like the situations the characters go through was appealing enough to a younger audience that they wouldn't feel like they couldn't relate.

I honestly think that if your main characters are in high school, then your book is Young Adult. At least that's what i've always just assumed as a reader. Young Adult = high school aged stories. No matter if they're having sex, swearing, doing drugs, etc-  high school kids have sex, swear, do drugs, etc. 

But i've seen some high school aged books being called New Adult. So i'm wondering, are we classifying that category based on subject matter of the book, the way the book is written, or the age of the characters?! 

I honestly don't know. 

I honestly am asking.

If we want the category to be taken seriously by publishing houses, readers and bookstores, then it needs to be consistent, does it not?

So I wonder- what does New Adult mean to you?  When you're a reader and you grab a New Adult book, are you assuming the characters are at least college aged, if not older?

Talk to me people.  :)

Jack Carter's online!

While i'm slaving away on The Game Changer (still totally and completely in love with the cover by the way... how about you?)... just wanted to make sure you all knew that Jack F'n Carter is online!!!

He has a facebook page and I cannot be held responsible for the crap that comes out of that boys mouth. Or the pictures he posts.  *ahem* ladies, i'd go see the pictures he's been posting. *wipes drool*

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/JackFnCarter

He's also on Twitter where he seems to do a lot of tweeting with one very famous lead singer (aka Jake Wethers *swoon*) and one very foul mouthed D-Bag (Griff). Those boys are too much when they're together.  See for yourself.

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Jack23Carter

Jack's also the featured Boyfriend at The Boyfriend Bookmark this week. They even scored an exclusive interview with him!!! And trust me when I tell you that you do NOT want to miss out on that interview. 



Alright, back into the writing cave I go.  :)

Just to clear some stuff up

I get a lot of emails everyday that ask a lot of the same questions, so i'm going to try to address them here.  :) 

1- Before the Dreams (the follow up to In Dreams)
This book was SUPPOSED to be released in the Fall of 2012.  I think you can all guess WHAT book I actually released in the Fall of '12. ha! BTD got put on the back burner to The Perfect Game. It's halfway written and I will attempt to finish it and release it by the end of this year. I know, I know, I totally suck and I know y'all have been waiting FOREVER for me to write it and I apologize. I can only write one book at a time and I'm really sorry for the wait. I will of course update everyone on any and all new releases as they're written!  At least I didn't leave you on a cliffhanger, right?!  This is just another example of a book I wrote that I had no intention of writing another-  I am sensing a theme here.  lol 

2- The Game Changer
No matter how many times I seem to post about this, I still get tons of emails, posts, etc asking the same question. :)  I DO NOT have a firm release date for TGC right now. I am literally in the middle of writing and working on it as we speak. It's nowhere near done.  Sorry, but that's the truth.  I will post a release date as soon as I feel comfortable that it's a date I can make! The last thing I want to do is post a date and then push it back and push it back again.  I know how much that sucks (ahem, see post #1).

3- Goodreads
I need to address something about goodreads so that i've said it... I don't go there much. I think it's because I had such a rough time when I released my debut novel that I ended up with nothing but hurt feelings and icky emotions. So I try to avoid Goodreads for my sanity and keep in mind that it truly is an awesome place for readers, and not really for authors (unless all the readers love you then it's freaking amazing). So if you need a timely response to something, I wouldn't email me there. Honestly, I rarely (if ever) check my goodreads emails. I do click through the friend requests, but then I hop right back off in order to avoid reading something about how much I suck that will make me want to cry.  lol  :)

4- You want to write a book
I'm really excited that so many of you want to write your own books. I think that's great!!! fantastic!!! and wonderful!!! Truly, I do!  But I can't even begin to tell you the sheer number of emails I get in regards to helping you write your books, give you advice, answer questions, how do you go about doing it, how do I do it, how do you self publish, will I read your book, etc. I'm happy to help anyone when I can, but my time is extremely limited at this point and it's very hard to answer all these questions when I need to write my own book.  (does that sound horrible and shitty?!  i hate sounding horrible and shitty)  But that's why I created the FAQ page on this website-  I put a lot of advice and help for all you debut writers out there.  So if you want to write a book and you have lots of questions, go there first!  :) 

5- Will I be in Las Vegas, or Boston, or Florida?
I've recently added an APPEARANCES page on my website so that you can see all the scheduled appearances I have coming up!  If i'm going to be there, it will be on that page!  And if you live anywhere near, you better come see me.  :)

I think that's it for now. I hope this has helped clear up some of the confusion...  I love y'all and am so thankful for you!  :)

The Game Changer Cover Reveal!

I am so freaking excited to share my new cover with you!!!  I've been holding on to this baby for WEEKS now! 

W E E K S !!!

Michelle over at Indie Book Covers has outdone herself on this one! 

I am in love!  :)  So in love! 

It's so cool!  And pretty. And sad.  And awesome. And perfect!!!!

I will post an OFFICIAL RELEASE DATE as soon as I'm certain I can meet it. So as of now, there is no set date. But it won't be any later than June- that I can assure you.   :)
And just to be clear, THE GAME CHANGER is the follow up to THE PERFECT GAME. Jack & Cassie's story continues in this book.  Speaking of, i'd better get back to actually writing it! 
Here are the links to the two teasers i've posted so far (just click on them):
I hope y'all love the cover as much as I do!!!!  And I hope you're just as excited for this book as I am.  Although honestly, I really need to freaking write MORE or it will never come out and we'll just have a gorgeous cover to look at with no book!  LOL


You guys!!!!

YOU GUYS!!!!!!

YOU GUYS!!!!!!!

Can you hear me YELLING?!?!??!?!?  :)

The Perfect Game has sold over 100,000 copies!!!!!

One. Hundred. Thousand. Copies.

*please send some hot guy over with a fan and grapes cause i'm about to faint*

Just shy of being released for 3 months and we've reached this HUGE milestone!  I'm so flipping blown away.  I have never been here before!  I've never been anywhere close to this before so I'm at a loss for words.  (not really, it's just that The Game Changer is taking all my words at the moment). 

I wanted to celebrate because this truly is a freaking enormous event for a self published author. Hell, I think it's an enormous event for ANY author.  :) 

So I was sitting here this morning, trying to thing of a way that I could THANK all of my readers. I thought about doing another giveaway but quickly tossed that idea aside.  I'm sorry, but too many giveaways start to feel disingenuous and like i'm trying to buy your readership. Which I totally am, dur.  :) 

Then I realized that the perfect way to tell you all THANK YOU would be for me to post another teaser from the upcoming follow up book, The Game Changer! 



So here you go:
(and by the way, THANK YOU SO MUCH for reading my book. And for telling other people to read it. I know it probably seems like I say that a lot- or say the same things over and over again, but it's just that you don't understand. The only way I can do something as freaking unbelievable as this... is with YOU.  Because you read it and loved it and then told your friends to buy it-  i'm in this place.  This amazing, beautiful, mind blowing place.  So yeah, I may thank you a lot. I may say thank you for the word of mouth. For writing reviews on Amazon. For telling people on Goodreads to give the book a chance. For gifting copies of it to your friends. For posting about it on Facebook. For tweeting on Twitter.  For ALL OF IT.  Hell yes I tell you THANK YOU a lot. Because I mean it.  Because I am thankful. And because you guys are the best freaking readers in the whole entire world and I FLIPPING APPRECIATE YOU. Okay?  Okay. :) 

So here you go!

TEASER #2 from THE GAME CHANGER- Coming Someday in the Future lol

I closed my eyes, drinking in his vow. Part of me cringed, acknowledging the vulnerability that coursed within me. I needed to be stronger than this. But as much as I wanted to believe that Jack's mistake with Chrystle was a one time major screw up, I’d be lying to myself if I said I wasn’t fearful.
I was.
And I wasn’t sure how not to be.
“Do you believe me?” he asked, his expression filled with worry.
I fought back the tears that formed in my eyes, “I want to.” I longed to bottle my anxiety up and put it on a shelf where it only came out for special occasions, but I didn’t know how. Right now it lived on the outside of my skin, like an extra layer of warmth I couldn’t shed no matter how hot I became. My emotions had taken full control over every other part of me. I’d become victim to my own insecurities.
“I’ll show you,” his forehead pressed against mine as he continued. “I’ll never lose you again.”
“What if I want to be lost?” I teased with a serious tone and watched as he pulled his head from mine.
“I won’t let you.”
“You won’t let me?” I mocked, secretly loving the way he wanted me.
Jesus Cassie, you’re a fucking nutcase right now. Pick an emotion. Pretend like you’re in charge here.
“No. I won’t let you. End of discussion,” his mouth remained stoic.
“That wasn’t really what one would consider a discussion.”
“Because there’s nothing to discuss. I’m not leaving you ever again. And you’re not leaving me. No matter how pissed off I make you, or how frustrated. I fucking love you and I’m not going anywhere.”
I attempted to fight back the smile that formed. “And I love you. But really, if you ever cheat on me again I’ll cut your nuts off and hang them from the Empire State Building.” 

Why it takes so long to write a book!

I know that some of you don't understand WHY the heck it takes so long to write a book!  Some other authors seem to bust out a book a month- which is awesome for them... unfortunately, i'm not one of them.

I thought i'd tell you the two biggest things that take up my time because you've probably never even thought about it before. 

#1-  RESEARCH!  Even the stupidest, smallest detail needs researched if I don't know anything about it. For example-  Jack & Chrystle splitting up... what are the laws in Alabama for an annulment?  Can you get one? If you can, for what reasons? How do you file one? How long does it take to process? Seriously. I look up all that sort of stuff before I write about it so that the picture I paint is as accurate as possible. Sometimes I'll find that i've spent hours researching things for ONE paragraph (and sometimes ONE statement or sentence) in the whole story!  It's crazy town!  :)  Research is time consuming, but I don't know a single author that doesn't do it. Writing about a jail scene? They're researching what the person wears, what the rules are, who can visit and when, etc. Writing about a baseball player heading to the major leagues?  They're researching where the minor league teams are located, making a list and then going through the list to see which Major league team makes the most sense. I look up everything if I don't already know. EVERYTHING! I reach out to my friends in the business for a more realistic approach (had to reach out to a big LA publicist friend the other day for some questions). I researched Cassie's major and compiled a list of all the classes she could take and then I chose the ones she did. I have the college schedule printed out so I know when they break for Christmas, Spring Break, when school ends, starts, etc.  I have the Mets schedule printed for game dates, times, days off (ha), etc. 

#2- THESAURUS.COM  i.am.not.joking.  God I wish I was. But I seriously suck at vocabulary. I write the way I talk. 100% the way I think, talk, my friends talk, etc. So I tend to repeat the same things over and over and over again. I swear I spend half the day writing and the other half looking up words in the freaking thesaurus.  And even then my editor still has to make it all better.  lol

So there you have it. Those are the two biggest things that "take away" from my writing time and suck up my days. If you're a writer, what are yours? 

So you want to write a book PART 3

Cause it's so much fun to piss everyone off, I figured i'd just keep verbally vomiting so you don't have to.  lol

This one will be short.  But it's still the truth.  Well, MY truth anyway.

You need to have integrity as a writer. 
And you need to stay true to yourself and the stories you choose to tell.

I know you want to write a book that connects with people. And i'm sure by now you've read all the "popular" self-published books just trying to figure out what those books have that yours doesn't. But what you don't realize is that it's all a crap shoot. I'm not kidding. Timing, what's trending, who is buying and reading books, exposure, what else is out there, how over or under saturated the market is, what people want, what they're sick of reading, where the moon is aligned in your sun sign, etc.  Whatever sold two weeks ago might not sell two weeks from now. Readers are fickle. You shouldn't be when it comes to your writing.

The biggest thing for me personally is- I know that I could take the route of writing in a certain manner, or about certain topics for shock value simply to make a buck, but that would be completely disingenuous of me. I'm a smart person. I know what sells in the same way that marketing genuises learned that sex sells in advertising. I could do all sorts of things to ensure that people will talk about my books once they've read the last chapter. But I can't do things that don't feel real to me. That doesn't mean that my stories won't break your heart, or have painful topics in them... because they will. But what it does mean is that you can rest assured that the story came from my heart and not my wallet.

Listen, I want readers to love what I write, but I want to know that my story came from the right place. I don't write for the money. I write because of the way it makes me feel to put my story on paper. And for the way that people react to it. No matter how few or how many the number- the genuine feeling you get as an author is the same.

So my advice to future writers out there:

Just be you.

Write the stories that make you FEEL like you are being true to your calling.
You will find your groove. You will hit your stride. And you won't feel like you sold out to do it.

There's nothing more beautiful than being successful doing something you genuinely love to do.

Now go do it.  :)

Giveaways and Surprises- Oh My!

I'm the featured author over at Brandee's Book Endings for the whole week!!!!  I'm late in telling you.  LOL


You can win one of two SIGNED paperback's of The Perfect Game RIGHT NOW!  Head on over to her website or her facebook page for details on how to enter!  I'd tell you, but I have NO CLUE what she's making my kittens do for this stuff!  lol  :)


There will be interviews.

There might be more GAME CHANGER teasers.

There might be other cool stuff in the works, but I can't tell you. Because you have to follow along all week! 



So head on over to Brandee's... show her some love by "liking" her facebook page.  And don't forget to enter to win a paperback of TPG!!!  WEEEEEEEEEE!  :)


back to the writing cave.  it's coming along everyone...   :)