Emma Dryden

T minus 9 days until I attend the SCBWI summer conference in Los Angeles. I booked the conference during a time I was seriously depressed hoping that I’d get excited and enjoy the experience. True to my optimism I’m excited and can’t wait to see some new and old friends and soak in all the wonders a conference like this will have for me.

One of the splendors will be Emma Dryden of drydenbks. I’ve signed up for her ROBUST REVISION craft intensive.

In case you can’t attend the SCBWI conference and therefore will miss Emma’s insights click here to listen in to her interview on World of Ink blog talk radio. She covers craft, impatience, publishing options, SCBWI, and more. Listen, Enjoy, and Please Share! http://ow.ly/zqkqR

Contest. Win a signed copy of BOOMERANG and first 5 page & query critique



New Adult Novel

New Adult Novel

And I’m having a contest celebrating the launch! It’s super easy to enter. Just take a photo of your favorite pet reading and post it to my twitter account @hgrilla. (one photo per person please)

Prizes include: a signed copy of Boomerang, a query and first five-page critique and maybe a surprise for your pet–Query and critique by one of the two authors who are Noelle August, Lorin Oberweger and Veronica Rossi.

Noelle August (aka Lorin and Veronica) will select a favorite photo and I will announce the winner here on Monday, July 21st.

Deadline for the photos is Sunday, July, 20th at 9PM Eastern. Please tell two friends.

Here are our pets loving BOOMERANG:
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Check out the BOOMERANG interview in USA Today. Visit the August Noelle website. Want to learn more about Lorin and her uber (yes I brought back the 90s) editorial talent? 1404529265570

Do you know about Veronica’s other projects?

Great! Post your pet photos and I will announce the winner on Monday evening. Good luck. and most of all enjoy the book!photo

book launch and did I mention prizes?

We’re celebrating the launch of Lorin Oberweger and Veronica Rossi’s novel, BOOMERANG by offering a weekend long EVENT! It’s part book-signing, part fundraiser for an AWESOME organization, and 150% fun. (Yes, we checked that math!)

New Adult Novel

New Adult Novel

Extravaganza, Part One:

Join us at Inkwood Books on Saturday, July 12 from 4-7 for a book-signing and to help launch Lorin and Veronica’s awesome new book into the world.

The first 80 people who PRE-ORDER the signed book through this page are also eligible to attend the super secret after-party from 7-9 (or later), where there will be FREE food, drinks, and MORE fun. Location to be sent upon registration.

In addition, we’ll donate $2 for every book sold through this page to an amazing organization called Bess the Book Bus (bessthebookbus.org), which travels around the entire US, bringing FREE books to kids in need.

AND THIS JUST IN: The awesome Generation Give will MATCH those funds! Woot!

That’s kind of an unbeatable deal, right? For the price of a trade paperback, you can come support some awesome authors, enjoy a strictly invite-only after-party, help support a fabulous independent bookstore, AND give the gift of books and reading to kids.

Extravaganza, Part Two:

In FURTHER support of the awesome Bess the Book Bus organization, writers are invited to attend a completely donation-based writing workshop on Sunday, July 13 from 9:30-12:30 PM. We’re still firming up the speakers and the venue, but we’ll have a humor writing class, led by memoirist and Certified Laughter Coach, Christina Crall-Reed; a class on world-building, led by editor and award-winning author, Brenda Windberg; a class on deep scene structure with author and editor Lorin Oberweger, and more! (Curriculum may vary.)

Please note that 100% of the proceeds from this class will go to support the Bess the Book Bus organization, so dig deep and know we’ll give you a challenging, fun learning experience, and your registrations will help put books into kids’ hands around the country!

Light food and beverage will be provided.

See the EventBrite page to pre-order!


More Nightmares

Condensed version of my nightmare from last night:

An evil spirit enters the body of a friend and slowly contaminates my home with negative energy and people until they don’t allow me enter my own home.

I watch them destroying my home through a large window from the front yard. Many more negative entities fill the space until the air around the house turns red.

My book is trapped inside the demon filled house. I try breaking in through the back door where there is a pool but the seven deadly sins are being acted out by those souls who foolishly entered the house.

I’m overwhelmed emotionally and physically disturbed by what I see. A man approaches me, trying to entice me. All I want is the printed copy of my book in the library. He puts his arm around me and I feel the evil ooze over my skin like the mucus of a slug. I turn and say, “I believe in God!”

The man morphs into a seven foot demon with putrid skin and horns simultaneously all the people turn into beasts and attack me. I repeat, “I believe in God!”

They steal my voice. It disappears as they asphyxiate me. I repeat, “I believe in God!” over and over. I pray for help.

A seraph appears and gets me to the library. But my book is not there. The demons catch up to me and surround me. The angel doesn’t help me defeat the monsters attacking me or lead me to my book.

I ask the angel why he has come if he won’t help and he said, “In a little more time.” I think ASSHOLE HELP ME!!!! In real time my leg cramps and I have a muscle spasm in my left leg causing me so much pain I wake up.


Yes, this is my imagination at work. And yes I will use it for a story. And yes, I woke up and searched for my book, which I’m happy to report is printed out and sitting on my desk, an electronic copy is on my desktop and backed up to a hard drive. FU devil!



Goodness I’ve been quiet here for a while. Sorry about that. I’ve been dedicating all my time and effort to my second Young Adult Novel Dear Dead Drunk Girl. The writing of it requires all my brain power.

However, I can recommend books that are already in the world. And it’s nearly summer so instead of worrying about what you may look like in a swimsuit or who’s going to win The Voice, I think you should pick up Noelle August’s Boomerang.  It’s the first in a New Adult Trilogy by Noelle August.

New Adult Novel

New Adult Novel

I had the great pleasure of reading an advance copy. If you follow  @noelle_august on twitter you may win free stuff, including chapters and an ARC. (Advanced Reading Copy) and you can get goodies including chapters 1-19 for free and chapters 20-38 for .99 if you click on the link to Amazon here and above! BOOMERANG

Let me say it was a super fun read and the characters have goals and personalities and it’s set in Los Angeles, my stomping grounds for 18 years. I read it in 2 days because well, I couldn’t put it down.

Here’s what it’s about: 

Welcome to Boomerang.com, the dating site for the millennial gen with its no-fuss, no-commitments matchups, and where work is steamier than any random hook-up.

Mia Galliano is an aspiring filmmaker. Ethan Vance has just played his last game as a collegiate soccer star. They’re sharp, hungry for success, and they share a secret.

Last night, Ethan and Mia met at a bar, and, well . . . one thing led to another, which led to them waking up the next morning—together. Things turned awkward in a hurry when they found themselves sharing a post hookup taxi . . . to the same place: Boomerang headquarters.

What began as a powerful connection between them is treated to a cold shower courtesy of two major complications. First, Boomerang has a strict policy against co-worker dating. And second, they’re now competitors for only one job at the end of summer.

As their internships come to an end, will they manage to keep their eyes on the future and their hands off each other, or will the pull of attraction put them right back where they started?

Now go get yourself a copy.


YA Lucky Agent Contest

Want to pitch or practice pitching? Check out the Guide to Literary Agents Lucky Agent contest.

Some basic info:

The 15th (free!) “Dear Lucky Agent” Contest on the GLA blog. This is a recurring online contest with agent judges and super-cool prizes. Here’s the deal: With every contest, the details are essentially the same, but the niche itself changes—meaning each contest is focused around a specific category or two. So if you’re writing young adult fiction, this 15th contest is for you! (The contest is live through EOD, Wednesday, April 9, 2014.) See the sight for the details and fine print. See you there!

 contest for YA writers check it out  

First 250 Words of Dear Dead Drunk Girl, my WIP

Sneak peek at the first 250 words of Dear Dead Drunk Girl written by me! Great edits and feedback provided. What’s your take? Click the link below and let us know.

First Page Feedback: Dear Dead Drunk Girl

Quick pep talk for those of us in revision hell

It finally sank in. This draft of my book is not going to be the draft of all drafts. It will not fix all my plot problems. It will be written in beautiful un-perfection with typos and bad grammar. I told myself, self, “So what! It’s just a draft!” And my self is listening. I said, “Keep going!” And that’s what I’m going to do. That goes for all of my other writers friends too. Let’s do this!

Read Across America

Today I participated in Read Across America at the Whitewater Middle School in Charlotte, North Carolina. I was flattered the school reached out to me and was nervous about speaking to a class of sixth grade middle schoolers about writing.

On a wet, rainy day, I headed North on the 485, squeezed passed an all lane closing accident at exit 65 and made my way up to this impressive school.

I was walked into a class that was enjoying a substitute teacher…yikes! My hat goes off to all teachers, but subbing a middle grade room, that takes a special someone. I read my short story Finger Paint (available for a free download at Stone Crowns Magazine). I think a few may have been surprise that my story had a free-floating finger kept in a pickle jar.

Some students listened, others not so much. But that didn’t stop me from trying a writing exercise after I read. I asked the students to give me a few random words. I got: happy, scary, bouncing balls, and table. Then I asked them to try to write something during the next five minutes with those words in it. A few expressions were like…WTH? several got into it, others ate sunflower seeds.

6 students handed me their stories. I think that was brave of them. And I was proud that they tried. I wanted to feature a couple of the stories handed to me. I was impressed with what 6th graders can do. Enjoy!

I always worried about this house. Well, it’s not really the house it’s more of the kitchen table. Last week I was doing my homework in the kitchen when I was writing my answers, the table was moving. The week before that, I heard bouncing balls right beside it. The last night I woke up to get a cup of water, and the table was in my room. It’s something wrong with that table. 

This story is about a table no wait a funny scary table no I don’t know what to write scary funny table with boucing balls no that’s lame. I have to write a um…hold on. Bouncing balls went flying though a table and a scary cat jumped in the window and…

Great work! Who knows we may be reading their work on day soon.