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BLARGH: August 2010

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Be A Character In SWEAR Contest

HOW AMAZING to see so many people enter the Novel Novice contest to become a character in SWEAR, the sequel to SWOON. Enormous thanks again to Sara of Novel Novice for hosting this special event as the culmination of SWOON week, and for her help in narrowing the field to a handful of semi-finalists.

All the entrants were awesome, so I knew it would be tough choosing a winner. In fact, it proved impossible. Two entrants offered well-written and thought-provoking answers with attitudes, ideas and attributes that were eerily similar. They favor the same historical era, hold comparable theories on the existence of magic—even the way they describe their physical characteristics is similar. Since picking between them would have been unfair, I have no option but to declare that the SWEAR Character Contest has co-winners—Erin Hampton and Lexie Wohlfort.

Reading their entries truly allowed the character to bloom. So when SWEAR comes out, just about a year from now, you’ll get to know a 1920s vixen named Earline Burnside, called Early because she’s way ahead of her time. She embodies what Erin sees as someone “living impulsively and dangerously on the edge,” in a period Lexie loves because “all the dancing, parties, and jazz music make me feel like I would be welcome there.” Physically, Early’s got Erin’s unique grin and Lexie’s petite stature—as to the unusual, ever-changing brown-to-gold-to-green eyes, sorry, but another new character in SWEAR already happens to have those!

Like all the characters you first came to know in SWOON, as well as the new ones you’ll encounter in SWEAR, Early is neither 100 percent good or evil, but complex: smart, funny, sexy, sparkling, opinionated, vain, insightful and self-destructive. I hope you’ll enjoy reading her as much as I’m enjoying writing her, and I thank Lexie and Erin for their inspiration.

I also want to thank the other semi-finalists Lesley Jones, Courtney Rae, Aseal Tineh and Jaclyn Colello, as well as the seventy-or-so entrants who took the time to think about SWOON and SWEAR and enter the contest. It’s readers like all of you who make writers like me. Your support means so much, especially when deadlines loom and distractions beckon. I hope you’ll be captivated by Sin, Dice, Pen, Ruby and Marsh—as well as Tosh, Antonia, Bone and of course Early—when SWEAR hits shelves in August 2011.

Till then, SWOON on!

FYI: Other SWOON contest winners from this summer include Heather McClung, Stefanie Rizzi, Jessica Parker, Livia Delgado, Jenni Hicks, Makayla Skubel, Alicia Guerrero, Amy Fiumara, Ashley Kearns, Raquel Vega-Grieder, and Nicole Kevren. Please be sure to check my BLARGH for upcoming contests this fall—including a back-to-school event with Anastasia Hopcus, author of SHADOW HILLS. Remember to sign up at the INK page of to join the mailing list—you’ll get advance notice of contests, giveaways and special events and be kept in the loop on all things SWOON and SWEAR