Category: doing what you love

NINJA GIRL Fan Art!

I love fan art!  It is one of the coolest, most thoughtful, best things out there, and it has personally helped me find books/movies over the years that have become some of my favorites!  I love it when a reader takes time out of their busy schedule and creates a picture, drawing, video etc.  They put not only their time but their talent into making that, and it means so much.

As much as I love it, though, I never really expected anyone to make fan art for my work.

But someone did, you guys!!!!!

I got this tweet from Alyssa last Friday (it was sent a couple of days earlier, but I didn’t see it until then).

Ahhhhh! Isn’t it awesome?!? <3 <3 <3

I couldn’t stop staring *____*.   Snow looks SO perfect, strong and kickass and so dang cute!  (Sidenote: I’d always thought Snow would be doing a high kick on the book’s cover but never found the right pic.)  And then take a look at the bad guy–notice his wince as our NINJA GIRL is kicking butt and taking names.  And then, oh my goodness, Ash!!!  He is possibly my favorite part of this whole scenario.  His little heart eyes as he watches Snow are…sigh…perfection <3.

The tears came even though I tried to stop them.  They were the good kind of tears because I was just so moved.  Alyssa didn’t have to make this; she didn’t have to draw an action scene of NINJA GIRL.  But she did, and I am over-the-moon grateful for this!  Go check out her instagram (@fanbookart) and while you’re there look at her other amazing pieces.  I’m particularly fond of the Harry Potter drawings ;).

This was such a cool and unexpected surprise.  To get to see Snow and Ash drawn like this…it is just incredible, made me cry like a baby.  Honestly, I still can’t stop looking at it.  If I ever see Sally and Becks from ADORKABLE rendered this way, going by my previous reaction?  Well, we better get the tissues ready lol.

To Alyssa and all of the other fan art creators out there: You are amazing, and as a writer and a lover of awesome things to fangirl over, I am SO thankful for your talent and your thoughtfulness.

It’s almost the middle of November, and I’m still NaNoWriMo-ing.  Surprises like this and the encouraging comments I’ve heard from other readers/writers definitely have given me the drive to push forward.  I’ve added over 11,000 words to my WIP, and I’m hoping to add more.

I hope you are doing well and are having a great week!

Happy reading,

Cookie O’Gorman

NaNoWriMo

November is National Novel Writing Month.

If you’re a writer, you probably already knew this lol!  But if not, basically, the goal is to write a novel (or about 50,000 words) in a month.  That’s actually a bit short for a book–a typical YA romance ends up being between 60,000-80,000 words–which is somewhat of an arbitrary range, but when I started writing, I did a LOT of research on this.

FYI, my rough drafts were always short of the normal length.  *Le sigh*

But anyway, back to NaNoWriMo.

I’ve always thought about participating.  There’s even an online community/website here!  Sooo…this year I’ve decided to try and stick with it.  I haven’t signed up–mostly because I feel like the people may have their own friends/groups, and I’m nervous about introducing myself, getting to know new people yada yada yada.  Maybe someday I’ll finally take the plunge, but for now, I’m staying in my hermit writing cave lol!

My personal NaNoWriMo goal is to write every day and to significantly advance my current WIP.

If that means 50,000 words…awesome.  If it means I get to “The End,” that would be even better.  If not, though, I’ve decided to be proud of the progress and enjoy the journey.

Confession time: I’m a slow writer.  Also…I only work on one story at a time.  Gasp, I know!  There are people who can work on several stories at once.  It still baffles me when authors are able to put out multiple books a year!  Truly, I envy and respect those writers SO much.  But right now, that’s just not me.

So again, my goal is to write, write, write!

Currently, I’ve added about: 561 words (Nov. 1) and 1,248 words (Nov. 2) to my WIP.

I hope this post didn’t bore you too much, just really wanted to share this with you guys :).  Wish me luck, and I hope you all have a great weekend!

Happy reading,

Cookie O’Gorman

A Jedi, A Bad Guy and A Porg

Hi readers!

You’ve probably already seen it, but I’m sharing something that made me go WOW and totally fed my inner-geek this week.  My girls–Sally Spitz and Snow-Soon Lee–would be all about it, and I am as well :).  The light sabers, the female jedi who looks like she’s going to be a major Force in the universe (pun intended lol ;)), a bad guy that I can’t help but love (that voice!!!), and of course, the cutest creature in all of the galaxy: the Porg! <3  Here’s the trailer for the upcoming movie, Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

Sooooo, what did you think?  Like I said, you’ve probably already seen it, but man!  That was an awesome trailer.  I also thought that glass/crystallized fox-thing was really cool.  That said, I really hope nothing bad happens to the crystal fox-things or the porg.  That would make this writer very upset :/.

In other news, the Happy Fall YA’ll Giveaway has ended and the winner of a signed copy of ADORKABLE will be announced next week!  Yay!  And you guys, I’ve been writing, working on my newest manuscript.  I know you’re probably like, “Duh, isn’t that just what you do?  Write?”  Well, sometimes the words won’t flow, but recently they have been–and this book!  Gah, I’m loving it.  Double yay!! I hope you all have a great weekend.  And of course, may the Force, the porg, and Becks be with you :).

Happy reading,

Cookie O’Gorman

Never Have I Ever

Every writer has dreams.

Every person has dreams, but I’m pretty sure writers have specific writer-ly dreams.  Dreams about their book babies and how readers will embrace their work.  Off the top of my head, I can think of about ten that would apply to most people (write a book (bonus points if it’s a book you love); get a literary agent (I actually had one for a while!); publish a book; have people read said book etc.).  I won’t bore you by listing them all lol!  But I thought I’d talk about a few of my dreams that have yet to come true.

Caution: This post contains writer-ly “nevers” that may be embarrassing, revealing, and TMI.

You have been warned.

Never have I ever: done a book signing.  I know you’re probably like, “The ADORKABLE paperback’s been out a year!  What are you waiting for???”  Welllll, one reason I haven’t done a signing is because I’m self-published, and I’ll just say: bookstores are still snobby to self-pubbed people–especially if you use Amazon/Createspace.  Another reason is, though I’d love to do it, I’m not sure anyone would show up.  There, I said it.  I’m scared…scared people wouldn’t show…scared they would…ugh.

Never have I ever: participated as a writer at a book festival.   Pretty sure there’s a way to make this happen, I’m just not sure how lol.  And again, who would visit my table/booth/little corner anyway?

Never have I ever: spotted someone I don’t know reading my books.  I’ve seen a handful of people I do know reading my books (paperback and/or ebook), and I just wanna say: I seriously LOVE these people!!!  I fangirled every time, and it truly warmed my heart.  Now to happen upon a stranger reading ADORKABLE or NINJA GIRL in a shop/restaurant/train/walking their dog?  I would love that dog forever! 😉

Never have I ever: hit the New York Times, WSJ, or USA Today Best Seller Lists.  Yeah, I’m thinking this will Never (with a capital “N”) happen, but…dare to dream, right?

There are many more, but I’ll stop there.  I think a big part of it is fear–and that makes me wish my inner NINJA GIRL would come out.  And okay, I know this was supposed to be about “nevers,” but I want to end with a few dreams that have come true–mainly to remind myself, that they actually happened.

Writer-ly Dreams That Have Come True:  I got to see the ADORKABLE library book! (Bethany from Washington, you seriously rock!!!)

Adorkable library book

Both ADORKABLE and NINJA GIRL have hit #1 in their categories on Amazon (multiple times and in multiple countries).

Adorkable Best Seller

Ninja Girl Best Seller

One of my books has been translated into another language–specifically Hungarian (again, I <3 Hungary!).

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A few of my students have asked me to sign copies of their books.

People from all over the world have messaged/left reviews/commented about how much they enjoyed the books.

And that brings me to my biggest writer-ly dream that has come true, and it wouldn’t have been possible without YOU.  I published my books (ADORKABLE and NINJA GIRL), and people actually read them!  Real readers, awesome book-ish people, Harry Potter-loving, YA romance-reading, Korean Drama-watching, Book Boyfriend-collecting people, my kind of people, have actually read and liked my books!!!

I gotta say that was, is and always will be my greatest writer-ly dream.  What are your dreams and goals?  I’d love to hear about them, and whatever they are, I sincerely hope they all come true!

Happy reading,

Cookie O’Gorman

P.S. Just a reminder, if you’d like to win a signed copy of ADORKABLE, there’s still time to enter the Happy Fall YA’ll Giveaway! :)

5 Things and The Happy Fall YA’ll Giveaway!

Hello October, and happy fall everyone! :)

I haven’t posted in a little while, but it was for a great reason, I promise.  To make up for my absence, I’ve got a new “5 Things” post and an awesome giveaway for you guys!!!  I wasn’t sure what to write to be honest–it gets like that sometimes.  My mind goes blank; I can’t find the words, don’t feel like I have anything to talk about etc.–but I came up with something that I hope you’ll like.  So here is my list of “5 Things I Love About Fall.”

  1. Fall weather.  It’s just the best.  Hoodies, warm socks, crisp cool air, your favorite book and a nice blanket.  It’s the perfect reading weather, you guys, what more can I say? :)
  2.  It means I made it through September.  Remember that “great reason” for not posting?  And maybe you remember I had mentioned something about putting together an event for a great cause?  Well, everything came together, and although I was my typical awkward self, if my count is correct (can’t know for certain yet because all of the funds have yet to be totaled), we managed to raise about $5,000 for a local charity that supports children and families battling childhood cancer!!!  It made me realize there are still good people in the world and that maybe we can make a difference.  We held this event on my Aunt Pat’s birthday, so I hope she saw and was proud.  I still miss her every day.
  3.  Falling and getting back up.  So, at the charity event, I actually fell down some stairs in front of an audience full of people–picture that girl Tai from Clueless at the school dance, and you’d have a pretty good picture of what happened lol.  But I got back up, said “I’m okay!” and kept going.  Did I mention I was awkward?
  4.  Outlander on Starz.  If you haven’t read the book yet, for goodness sakes, GO READ IT!  If you have and you’ve been watching the show, I think you know what makes me love fall: James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser.  Enough said *sigh* <3.
  5. The Happy Fall YA’ll Giveaway!  I’m giving away a signed paperback copy of ADORKABLE on Goodreads, and over 600 people have already entered 0___0.  The giveaway started on September 28 and will run through October 19 when a winner will be randomly selected.  So what are you waiting for?  Enter here for your chance to win!

I really do love fall–and not for the pumpkin spiced everything like most people lol…though, the smell is nice.  Since it is perfect reading weather, if you haven’t read them and need a new book, might I recommend YA romances ADORKABLE and NINJA GIRL?  I hear they’re pretty good. 😉  I hope you’re doing well, reading great books and having a happy fall so far!

Happy reading,

Cookie O’Gorman

An Unexpected Kindness

Last week, I happened upon an unexpected kindness.

Seriously, I googled my author name (yes, I do that from time to time :)), and when I saw what came up?  Oh man, my heart!  It clenched; I literally sighed; my eyes got a little watery, and it was such a nice moment.  The ladies over at Star-Crossed Book Blog are celebrating their 3 year blogiversary!  Yayyy, go ladies!  To celebrate, they’re doing a giveaway as well as posting about one of my favorite topics: Book boyfriends.

I love book boyfriends.

I think I’ve said this before, and it’s still totally true.  Book boyfriends are *sigh* the best, and there so many amazing ones out there!  I have a ton of much-loved BBFs on my shelves; you probably do, too, right?  I don’t think I could pick a favorite (tbh, I probably could pick a few, but I wouldn’t want to upset all the other BBFs lol).

So anyway, the Star-Crossed ladies are doing posts about BBFs, and guess what?

They included Becks (twice!!) from ADORKABLE on their list of Kindest BBFs <3.  You can see the post here!

Ugh, Becks is kind.  He is thoughtful.  He is smart and wonderful, and this was absolutely unexpected and so thoughtful.  What they said about Becks/the quotes they included…I just loved everything about it.  I felt so honored that they included Becks on their list, and I can say with certainty that Becks would have felt honored and loved it, too :).

Kindness matters.  It really does.  I always try to focus on the positive, but September is a hard month.  And this was such a nice surprise.  I don’t think it can be stated enough: I’m so thankful for my ADORKABLE and NINJA GIRL readers.  You guys lift me up, and I truly hope my stories do the same for you <3.

Happy reading,

Cookie O’Gorman

 

 

Sharing the Love

It’s the end of August which means it’s time to share the love and announce the winner of the 5000+ ADORKABLE Readers Giveaway!!!  Still can’t believe so many people actually read something that I wrote…just wow *__*.  Without further ado, the winner of the giveaway is:

Bilqees B.!!!

Congratulations, Bilqees, and thank you so much for entering–and for adding NINJA GIRL to your Goodreads shelf!  I will be sending your $25 Amazon gift card shortly.  Again, thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway and helped to make it a success.

To share even more love, spread good karma and hopefully contribute some positivity to the universe, I’m running a Kindle Countdown Deal.  Starting today and running until September 7, 2017, ADORKABLE will be available for just $0.99 on Amazon and Amazon UK!  Got any friends who you think might enjoy a lighthearted best-friends-to-lovers story?  Anyone you know need a pick-me-up of the sweet YA romance variety?  Well, look no further lol!  Sally and Becks are here, and their story will make you laugh, swoon, and feel all the fluttery feels (at least they do for me :)).

If you will please help me spread the word, I’d greatly appreciate it; I love finding new readers!

I’m really in the spirit to share the love–my NINJA GIRL and ADORKABLE readers, rock!!!–so there will definitely be more giveaways to come.  Be on the lookout for those, and I hope you’re having a great week!

Happy reading,

Cookie O’Gorman

I <3 HUNGARY!!!

So first of all, here is my ADORKABLE shelfie :).

adorkable shelfie

Not sure if I’ve mentioned it, but in addition to YA romance, I am a BIG fan of YA fantasy–obviously lol.  You’ll also notice the Slytherins outnumber the Gryffindors in this picture *gasp*.  (Although I’m pretty sure Captain America would be a Gryffindor.)  And next to those guys, I have my book babies, Kamuzások, kavarások and ADORKABLE <3.  Four copies of ADORKABLE–one for each of the places the book is sold–and one copy of my beloved Hungarian debut!  Speaking of which…

hungary

To all of the LOL readers who posted their shelfies: Imádom, imádom, imádom!!! <333333  I just loved looking at all of your beautiful book pics–and seeing that you’re #TeamBecks ;).  Tija, I feel like you are my bookish fairy godmother or something, and I am so so grateful to you!   I might get this wrong, but…köszönöm! Köszönöm szépen!  You all rock and so do your awesome bookshelves :).

Thank you for making my week, and I hope you have a great one, too!

Happy reading,

Cookie O’Gorman

Super Secret Shelfie

I mentioned a “super secret assignment” in my last post, and okaaay, it’s not really a secret.  BUT if someone could help me with this, it would be pretty freakin’ super :).  So here’s the deal.  Last week, I was in L.A. for a few days, and one of the places I really wanted to go was the Los Angeles Public Library.  I was seriously looking forward to it!

You get why I’d be excited about this right, fellow bookworms?

Books, shelves, readers, books, card catalogs (are there still card catalogs lol?) and…I mean, seriously, all those books!!!

And I really wanted to go there for one book in particular.  If you look up the ADORKABLE paperback on Goodreads, there’s a button for “libraries.”  I happened to click on it, not expecting much.  I knew when I decided to self-publish that libraries probably wouldn’t order my book(s) just like bookstores wouldn’t stock them.  It’s one of the dreams I kind of gave up on because of the stigma attached to being self-pubbed/using Createspace etc.

But when I clicked, I got a shock!

ADORKABLE, book baby #1, was actually available at 11 libraries!!!  There were copies in Indiana, New York, Wisconsin, South Dakota, Idaho, California and Washington.  And some of them were even checked out!  Several branches of the L.A. Public Library had the book, and I was hoping to visit before I left–but alas, I never got the chance :(.

Now, I know this is a long shot, but I decided to ask anyway.  If you live near any of the libraries that carry ADORKABLE, could you do me a favor?  Could you take a picture of ADORKABLE on the library shelf and post it somewhere so I can see?  Or if you have the paperback on your shelf, would you mind taking a shelfie and posting?  I’d love to see a picture of the book in its natural habitat!

It’s kinda silly, I guess, but it was one of those author-ly dreams I just never thought would come true.  I should do a post about those sometime because they are many lol.  If you accept this super secret shelfie assignment, I’d be forever grateful.  If not, that’s totally cool, too!

I hope you all have a great weekend surrounded by amazing books <3.

Happy reading,

Cookie O’Gorman

A Nice Surprise

Okay, so I just got back from a short (but awesome) trip to California!  Los Angeles to be exact.  And I come home to find this on my doorstep…

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It was in a bag with a note from one of my former students who moved away.  The note said since I’d shared a few books with her, she wanted to share a few of her favorites with me <333.  Seriously, it was such a nice surprise.  (Thank you, Jaida!!!)  There’s only one book in there that I’ve already read and own (The Westing Game), AND she is the same student who let me read her copy of Kasie West’s P.S. I Like You, my first book by West and one that I enjoyed immensely!

Anyway, ahhh like I said, it was so thoughtful.

I’m very fortunate to teach several thoughtful young adults who are smart, talented and just wonderful.  The readers in this age group are fantastic as well and make me want to write the best books that I can for them.  I actually had one reader leave a great comment on my last post.  She’d read ADORKABLE, like it a lot, and was wondering when NINJA GIRL would be available in paperback because she loves reading real, tangible books.  I loved that comment because to be honest I’m not sure if/when I’ll be publishing NINJA GIRL as a paperback.  I mean, I would love to add it to my bookshelf.  But I honestly haven’t had time to get it together and wasn’t sure if anyone (besides me) would want NINJA GIRL as a real, live book anyway.  But I guess they do :).

And that…is so awesome!

Another nice surprise, and I am very thankful for her comment, those great books and all of my wonderful students.  Next week, I’ll post more about my trip to L.A., and a super-secret assignment, something fun my readers may be able to help me with ;).

Have a great weekend, and I really hope some nice surprises happen for you as well!

Happy reading,

Cookie O’Gorman