Wednesday, April 22, 2009

One Whole Year!

Yes folks, it was one year ago today that HEX HALL stopped being just a manuscript and began it's journey to bookdom! SO hard to believe it's been that long!

Now, I've told the story of THE CALL here and here, so I won't rehash it, but needless to day, April 22, 2008 was one of the greatest days of my life. In fact, if it weren't for Small Son being, you know, born and all, it would be THE greatest day of my life.

You see why the day that brought this guy into the world trumps even a book deal!

But this is not the time for reminiscing! This is the time for...WINNING SOME STUFF!

And since this is such a big occasion, I needed a BIG giveaway. Now, if you know anything about the South, you know that we love us some gift baskets. Seriously. A gift basket is the go to gift for any occasion. I've seen people bring gift baskets to funerals, people. Yeah.

So in keeping with that tradition, my big giveaway is a Hex Hall Basket made by your truly!

"But, Rachel," you may be asking, "whatever will be in this basket?"

And my answer to you: Awesome. That is what will be in this basket. Pure, unadulterated awesome.

Okay, seriously, it's made up of stuff that is related to Hex Hall. There are books, obvs, including Kathryn Tucker Windham's 13 Georgia Ghosts since Hex Hall is set in GA, a collection of Flannery O'Connor short stories, since she is the Queen of All Southern Gothic, and a copy of Anne Rice's The Witching Hour, since that's the book that most inspired me to write Hex Hall.

But there are also some fun surprises, as well as a sweet $25 Barnes and Noble gift card! All for one of you, my lovely blog readers!

PLUS, if you're an aspiring writer, I'll throw in a first 3 chapters and/or query critique on top of the Basket of Win (although please understand, this doesn't mean I can give your chapters/query to Agent Holly. I can only help with the writing/structure, not the business-y side). If you're NOT an aspiring writer, no worries. I'll give you something else!

I'll also be giving out second and third place prizes of, you guessed it, MORE BOOKS!

So what do you have to do to be eligible to win this bounty? It's easy. In the comments, tell me about one of the best days of YOUR life. You know, one of those days that fills you with magic and sparkles and the overwhelming need to make gift baskets.

I'll leave the contest open until April 29, so one week. Then I'll pick a winner in the super scientific way I always pick these things: write the number of the comments on little pieces of paper and let Small Son pick them out of a bowl.

"Yes! Your basket-y fate rests in my tiny hands!"

Now tell me about your most fabulous days!


December said...

how exciting!
Lets see - the best day of my life so far, probably my wedding day.
I was never one of 'those girls' who knew that I'd wear an empire cut tea length gown in champagne, and carry matching lilys wrapped with golden ribbon.

The thought of my actual wedding scared the crap out of me. It was this big void, and everyone was looking at ME the BRIDE to fill it with something very ME. I had the guy. He pitched a church wedding. I nixed that, since I get itchy anytime I walk into a church. (no offense, its just not my thing)
NO - I want something outdoorsy, something laid back, relaxed, something wildly fun, with tons of booze and music. But oh NOS - we live in Wisconsin, where the weather is totally unpredictable. Do we plan 2 weddings? one on the beach, one under a tent?

Whamo- I saw The Day. Me and The Big Guy, on the beach at sunset in the tropics, barefeet and smiling.

I fought with my parents - I lost a few bridesmades and got a few reality checks on the way.

But the day came, and it was PERFECT. Relaxing, sunny, warm. I was calm, he was calm, and to this day (3 years later) everyone who went still says "we should go back to that resort, and do a reunion." the mix of people was perfect, the resort was spectacular and me - the bride, was HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY!

Shelli said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shelli said...

The moment I met my hubby.

About 9 months earlier my fiance had called off my wedding after 10 years of dating, 2 years of living together and 2 weeks BEFORE our wedding. bridal Showers had been given, gifts opened, invitations sent, we even met with the pastor.

The moment I met my husband animal behavior at the Atlanta zoo and in teh same class. I was sitting in the backrow hungover from the night before.

He was in the front (such a good student). They asked us what was our favorite part of the zoo. everyone said a specific animal but he said "I like to look into an animals eyes and see their true spirit." (actually sounds corny as I am writing it). My literally felt my heart flip-flop. What was even better? he had an English accent - yummy!(My thought - aw this guy is sweet)

Outside, we did our rounds at each animal exhibit calling out facts we knew about the varius animals. When we got to the gorillas, the instructor asked.

"Why is a male gorillas head larger than a females?"

My hubby said, "because men have bigger brains."

i was the only one who laughed histerically. Everyone else thought he was serious which was pretty tough on him considering it was mostly females. (my thought: aw this guy is hilarious).

I still did not have the nerve to talk to him.

That afternoon, we went to the cafe for lunch. I wasn't too social at the time, still cynical and brusied from my bitter break-up. I was in the line trying to sift out enough money for an ice cream cone.

I didn't have enough until he reached over my shoulder and said, "its on me." (again, in an english accent) (My Thought: This guy is cute)

Obviously we started dating.

Even though I was not sure at the time where it was going, my hubby made me believe n love again. He made me believe in second chances.

And I learned to believe that sometimes you have to go thru hell to find your heaven.

Stacy said...

Great contest! Every loves a gift basket :)

Best day of my life had to be my wedding (and since we celebrated for a week...i would say the best week of my life LOL). We had a destination wedding in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. The resort made the wedding planning super simple and all i had to do was show up...get married...drink champagne..and hang out with family and friends. It was awesome. This year will be our 5 year anniversary and we are thinking of going back to the same resort.

Prince Balthazar said...

Hi Rachel,

I wants me a gift basket. And some other southerny stuff. I used to live in Alabama when I was a wee one and we still have family there.

So the best day...hmm, tough one.. wedding day was great of course.

But one that really sticks out for me is a comment from an editor. A while back I sent the middle grade novel I am working on to an editor who runs a workshop to get manuscripts in good shape.

He doesn't promise that his critique will get you an agent or a deal, but he does say he can give you a better chance of making that happen.

Anyway, he got my manuscript and in a few weeks got back to me. This is what he wrote:

I really enjoyed this. At various times I saw echoes of Narnia, Susan Cooper’s magnificent DARK IS RISING sequence and one of my favourite YA fantasies, John Gordon’s THE GIANT UNDER THE SNOW, but it works in its own terms.

This was my first real critique from a professional and it made me really happy. It was then that I realized that possibly, if I worked hard enough, I just might be able to realize my dream.

Name: Annie said...

One of the greatest day of my life was the day I finished my first "first draft" That day I realized I could write a beginning, a middle and a end to my story. Before I always had a beginning and a ending somewhere in my head but had a hard time writing the middle. In Feburary of this year I finally wrote a middle to my ending! LOL.
Yeah, I have yet to get married or have a child. so this is one of my greatest day!


Anonymous said... best day? hmm...i could say graduating nyu or getting to meet my favorite rock band THE ACADEMY IS or finishing writing my first book back in fall '07 (that i now want to rewrite b/c it's kinda sucky)

...but my best day...

the PHILLIES winning the WORLD SERIES last year! i love watching sports, esp philly sports. i'm a philly girl living in nyc (boo mets). love love it when the city of brotherly love finally won a championship since the 80's.

Sally said...

Oh, this is an easy one. :) My three most fabulous days were the ones on which I had my kids. I know that's pretty cliche and corny, but not only are my kids the best things that ever happened to me (I can say that now because they're all in bed! LOL), but I also loved the whole pampering and being waited on hand and foot at the hospital. Yeah, the pain sucked, but the freebie backrubs and unlimited turtle cheesecake were oh so worth it. :P

Anyhow...CONGRATS on the anniversary. No need to enter me in the contest (though it sounds fab!), because I think I've already gotten a better prezzie--I read the book!!! LOL *happy dance*