Wednesday, February 22, 2012

YA GUEST BLOGGER!--The Book of Your Heart

Welcome Mari Mancusi to WRITERSBLOCK BUSTER!

She's talking about SKATER BOY and the book of YOUR heart.

SKATER BOY: The One that Got Away...

You always have that one book you've written. The book of your heart. Maybe it's a little autobiographical. Maybe it just reminds you of a simpler time. Whatever the reason, when you flip open this particular book, it just makes you smile.

Skater Boy, is like that for me. My first ever young adult novel, originally published in mass market paperback in 2005. Even though I didn't love the cover (which was made to resemble the popular iPod advertisements of the time) I felt there was something special inside. Maybe it's because it has a little bit of my own story, wrapped up in fiction.

Yes, one of my very first loves was a skateboarder. One my parents didn't approve of. And though our relationship didn't have a happily ever after and I now admit my parents were probably right, I always managed to retain a soft spot for those rag tag boys and their boards. So maybe it isn't surprising that the book still holds a special space in my heart.

Unfortunately now it's long out of print and hard to find. And when librarians or readers ask about it, I've had to shrug my shoulders. Heck, even the wife of my former boyfriend found me online to ask about obtaining a copy. (Which was, um, a bit awkward to say the least!)

But good news! Thanks to digital publishing, Mrs. Skateboarder and all the rest can finally read the book again. With a hot new cover that I adore and updated pop culture references to align with the times. (My husband calls me George Lucas for always updating my old books. (There are actually 3 different versions of Boys that Bite and Stake That if you read closely!) He thinks the books should be a moment in time. I, however, prefer to keep things fresh!)

In any case, now the book of my heart, the one I thought had turned to paperback pulp forever, is now breathing new life online. And I'm able to share my favorite story with brand new tween and teen readers who weren't old enough to check it out the first time around. And bonus--with self-publishing, I can do it for a bargain price, avoiding the traditional publisher overhead.

We're living in a thrilling time for publishing. It's a little scary, with things changing so fast. But it's a little awesome, too. Five years ago, an author was powerless, her books disposable at the whims of bookstores and publishers. And so many stories died forever, after only a few months on the shelves.

Digital publishing changes all that. Now old stories can come back to life. Authors can take charge of their careers. And readers can only benefit, with a wider selection of material to choose from. And that, to me, seems like a true happily ever after.


PS No, I'm never letting my daughter date a skateboarder.

SKATER BOY is available for $3.99 on Amazon, B&N, iTunes
Contact Mari

Twitter: marimancusi

Monday, February 20, 2012


You remember the movie THE TRUMAN SHOW?

What we thought was the horizon was only a wall camouflaged by the publishers, part of the magical cage we all chose to live in because we were taught it was the only way to be happy, fulfilled writers. Well, someone found the door in the sky, and the writers are all escaping.

The agents, planted among the cast to keep the writers distracted, don't have many left to work with. But there are some. Does this mean it would be a great time to get an agent's attention? Probably. An editor's attention? Probably.

What you need to know is, the games are live.

There are two of them.
Which game are you going to play? Personally, L.L. Muir is playing them both. But first, I'm going for the bow and arrows! Proof here.
It doesn't really matter as long as you know the rules and payoffs for both.
But be careful about what you sign; you may have more leverage than you thought. You might be the only actor left on the lot. But you'll never know if you're not keeping up.

Unlike The Hunger Games, you won't be risking your life if you take some time to view the pile, look at your options, seize your best opportunities.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A HOLY CRAP MOMENT--and remembering a dream

You remember that commercial where the chick says, "Don't hate me because I'm beautiful?" Well, this is going to be one of those commercials, baby.

Don't hate me because I'm...GOING TO SCOTLAND!

Yes, sports fans--and mixed metaphor fans--I get to blow this taco stand and get the hell out of Dodge. No, not NOW, but a year from June-ish. (This summer is all about getting my boy to Disneyland.) But come the spring of 2013 Hubby and I are going to tour it on a motorcycle.

I know this probably bores you to tears, but know this: going to Scotland has always been the end game. Discovering I was Scottish, when 12 years old, had a helluva lot to do with me becoming a writer. I can remember how excited I was the day after I found out. I remember the hallway at South Davis Junior High. I remember the Formica flooring! I remember the dim lighting and the side of the library where I found that first Scottish novel. And I remember thinking that if Scotland weren't on the other side of the world and in another century, I would have liked to live there. (I was told there was no Scotland anymore, that it had been swallowed up by England.) It was years later when I saw Scotland on a current map that I realized real people lived there, in real time. And the dream began.

I'm so glad I won't be going on a senior citizen tour.

And what has made it possible? Finally publishing a Scottish novel. Scotland has brought me to Scotland. Obviously, Scotland wants me there!!! I'm just trying to make Scotland happy.


Saturday, February 11, 2012

Book Reviews - Bookin' It Reviews: Introducing Going Back For Romeo by L.L. Muir

Book Reviews - Bookin' It Reviews: Introducing Going Back For Romeo by L.L. Muir: Bookin' It reviews, in cooperation with Bewitching Blog Tours, welcomes author L.L. Muir here today to share her latest release, Going Back ...

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Just a little fishy advice.
Keep swimming. Just keep swimming...
You stop swimming, you die.

For the rest of this week, I'll be attending Life, The Universe, and Everything--The LTUE Writers Conference. I'm not going just because I'm on some panels. I'm not going just to let everyone know about my latest release--although of course I am.

I'm going because there are plenty of things I can learn from other local writers--and let me tell you, there are some big boys and girls attending. The state produces great writers as if the climate and soil is perfect for them.

And if I don't keep learning and keep believing that there is something to learn, I'm dead in the water, baby. Just like Susie Wong, my lovely calico fish that was just belly-up in the bowl one morning when I was nine. I was certain the one I decided was the boy fish, Kung Fu, had harassed her to death. Turns out I was right. They were fighting fish, apparently. Doh!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Mary Martinez guest posting!

For a surprise and a change of pace, I've invited author Mary Martinez to guest blog here on writersblock buster. A change is as good as a vacation, as an old workaholic boss used to say. So here she is, Mary, from Mary's Garden Blog. Her story is great...
Thank you, L. L., for inviting me to visit your blog. Since it’s Valentines month, I’m going to tell you a story about how I met my husband.

It was a long time ago in the ancient time of life after divorce. I was a single mom with three kids, and poor. One weekend the girls at the office wanted to go to Studebakers a local hang out in downtown Salt Lake City. So I scrambled to find enough for a babysitter, which left exactly 2 dollars for the cover. Yes, I drank water all night. And the guys that were asking me to dance were babies!

This was long before ‘cougars’ or I may have been tempted.

All of us were standing around and one of my friends said, ‘last one on the dance floor buys pizza.’ I was broke I couldn’t afford to lose. Literally. So I pointed to a guy, dark hair, mustache and glasses and asked “Does that guy, the one who looks like Sonny Bono, look older than me?” and when the unanimous vote was ‘yes’ I went and asked him to dance.

We got along great, I thought he was cute and I think he thought I was too, then I told him I was getting a divorce and it would be final in August (this was June or July). He seemed disappointed, and then informed me he didn’t date women who weren’t divorced yet. DANG.

So the summer passed and I went to Studebakers with my friend from work and as it so happened, it was August. Guess who was there? I had a bit of money in my pocket and ordered a beer and asked the waitress to take it to him. But while she was gone to get the order he came over and asked me to dance. Unfortunately, the beer never made it to him because we were on the dance floor. We danced all night and as he walked me to my car I told him about how I’d ordered a beer for him. He thought that was ‘sweet’.

The next night I had a date with an old high school crush that I’d met at the reunion a few weeks before. Well, let’s just say it didn’t turn out and when I got home the night was still young. I said to the babysitter “Can you stay longer? I want to go see if the cute guy is at Studebakers again.” AND HE WAS!

With another woman.

I danced a bit with some friends and then I thought I’d better go home so the babysitter could also. Besides I didn’t want to hang out and watch him with this other woman. As I left I caught the waitress and bought a beer—paid for it this time—and pointed out where he was sitting and said to tell him this is the beer that got lost last night. And then I walked out the door and went home.

The following day he called me and we talked for four hours. And we’ve been together ever since, 23 years.

There you have my story. Or did I make it up? What do you think?

You can find out about my new Beckett Series at

You can find me on twitter @marylmartinez
Or visit Mary’s Garden Blog