Category: writing

Hello December

Hello December!

I hope the month is treating you well so far.  I also hope you’re further along in your Christmas shopping than me lol.  It’s a real problem, you guys.  There’s so much more to do, but I’ve been writing so all is well, right?  Just kidding.  But I did get a few presents today, so at least, it’s a start.

Speaking of writing, as mentioned in a previous post, this year I participated in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) for the first time.  It’s all about words/increasing word count, and I gotta tell you: It is a challenge!  But NaNoWriMo was also a lot of fun. :)  Every day in November I wrote down how many words I added to my WIP.  I tried to push forward and not look back.  This was hard, though, because I feel the need to fix things when they need fixing lol!

Anyway, for anyone who enjoys numbers, here are my stats.

Most words written in a day: 1,684 words

Number of Days I wrote: 26 days (the other 4 days I edited (hey, I couldn’t help myself!))

Word count at the end of November: 40,104 words

I had about 12,000 words prior to starting NaNoWriMo–which means I added about 28,000 words!!!  I wanted to significantly advance the story, and that definitely happened.  Also, the more I write this book, the more I love it <3.  Sometimes the words just won’t come, but they did in November, and I’m very thankful for that.

On another note…I ordered proofs for the NINJA GIRL paperback!!!! 0__0  WOOHOO!!!!!  They should be here Thursday, and I’m so excited to add it to my shelf with ADORKABLE.  Ahhh!  They are going to look so awesome together. :)  If all goes well with the proofs, I should have NINJA GIRL up on Amazon and available in paperback before Christmas.  Fingers crossed!

Happy reading,

Cookie O’Gorman

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! :)

NINJA GIRL Book Playlist

First, I want to give a huge thank you to YA Bound Book Tours and to everyone who participated in the NINJA GIRL Book Blitz!  You are awesome, and I appreciate you so much for helping me spread the word.  I’ve mentioned that one of my biggest fears as a writer is that my books won’t find their audience, and that remains true today.  Every recommendation to a friend, every review/post/tweet truly helps.  So again, thank you!!!

Second, I wanted to share my book playlist for NINJA GIRL!  You may have already seen it, but I wanted it for my website as well lol.  Also, on Goodreads, a reader created her own book playlists for both ADORKABLE and NINJA GIRL, and I thought that was so cool!

If you’ve read NINJA GIRL, you’ll see several of the songs mentioned in the book–but others may be a surprise :).  The full playlist will be at the end of the post.  Alright, let’s get to it:

“Ho Hey” by The Lumineers–or “Snow Hey” if we’re talking about the swoon worthy rendition done by the one and only Ash Stryker–absolutely represents how Ash feels about Snow.  *sigh*  When he sang to our ninja girl, she definitely got the message.  And I mean, seriously, what girl wouldn’t love a guy putting her name into a song like this? <3

“I Am the Best” by 2NE1 represents Snow’s confidence in martial arts, self-defense and just taking on anyone who challenges her.  She may be insecure when it comes to boys and her own femininity, but when it comes to kicking butt?  Snow is a true badass!

When Nicki Minaj comes in and goes off on this track, it is Snow all day, every day lol!  But  “My Chick Bad” is the perfect song to express how Ash feels about Snow’s strength.  He’s impressed by it, finds it attractive; basically, he’s got it bad for our ninja girl–and even though he’s a country fan, I think Ash would totally agree with this choice (minus the 2nd verse bc Ash is a Southern gentleman :)).

Ah, that voice <33333.  Patsy Cline is timeless and truly one of the greats, and her songs are so so incredibly perfect for this little YA romance.  Snow’s tough on the outside.  Ash is confident/cocky.  But they both have their insecurities, and Patsy exposes them all.  The car scene where Ash and Snow have a Patsy Cline battle, speaking to each other through their song choices, too afraid to voice their feelings, is one of my absolute favorite scenes.

Okay, I LOVE this song.  It is so innocent and lovely.  I think the chorus is like what Ash was trying to convince Snow of all along: I’ll be yours, if you’ll just be mine.  Then the part near the end where she sings by herself, and it’s so exposed and real…that’s Snow finally admitting her feelings and how much she cares for him.  Snow and Ash, the honesty, the pure loveliness of this is what YA and romance is all about.

Happy reading,

Cookie O’Gorman

NINJA GIRL Book Playlist

  1. “Ho Hey” by The Lumineers
  2. “I Am the Best” by 2NE1
  3. “Sparks Fly” by Taylor Swift
  4. “Fans” by Kings of Leon
  5. “My Chick Bad” by Ludacris & Nicki Minaj
  6. “In For The Kill” (Skrillex Remix) by La Roux
  7. “Lies” by BIGBANG
  8. “Someone Like You” by Adele
  9. “Miss Atomic Bomb” by The Killers
  10. “Crazy” by Patsy Cline
  11. “I Fall to Pieces” by Patsy Cline
  12. “Call Your Girlfriend” (live) by Lennon and Maisy Stella
  13. “Marry You” by Bruno Mars
  14. “Come By Fire” by Sara Jackson-Holman
  15. “Little Bit” by Lykke Li
  16. “Emmylou” by First Aid Kit

To Readers, With Love

Writers shouldn’t read their reviews.

I know, I know…but it’s just so hard to do in reality!  If there is a secret to this, please let me know.  I actually somewhat agree with the sentiment because if you’re anything like me a bad review can make you question everything.  (To be honest, I question everything anyway…ugh.)  Here’s the thing though: Sometimes what reviewers write isn’t bad.  Sometimes what they write…is wonderful.

And if you don’t read the reviews–or only read the bad ones that stick in your head forever…and ever…and ever and ever and ever–you might miss a kind word that could make your day! :)

I’m not even going to lie.  I read the reviews.  Yes, some of them hurt; that’s something that hasn’t changed since publishing  ADORKABLE.  Some of the harsher comments cut straight to the bone.  But a lot of people had nice things to say, and I wanted to share a bit of that brightness with you!

Here are some of the wonderful things people had to say about NINJA GIRL:

Ninja Girl is such a great young adult read. I fell in love with Snow and Ash.”–Lissa at Boundless Book Reviews

“I love the characters. Not only is Ash everything I hoped for, but Snow is one of my favorite young adult protagonists. Ever. She’s intimidating and unsure all at once and pulls it off in a thoroughly believable way. I adore her loyalty to her mother, her responsibility to her job, and her very vulnerable heart.”–T.H. Hernandez at Adventures in Writing, author of The Union Series

“Cookie O’Gorman follows up the appropriately titled Adorkable with the delightfully entertaining Ninja Girl, an equally fun read featuring a kick-butt, strong and smart female main character and enjoyable plot.”–Jennifer at Never Too Many To Read

“A cute contemporary with kickass fighting, girl power and diversity.”–Kati at To Be Read

“This novel moves at a stellar pace. Honestly, there was never a dull moment! If you weren’t swooning over Ash and Snow together you were watching Snow kick some serious butt or having these great moments of individual character growth. I loved every page.”–Lauren at SERIESous Book Reviews

“Ninja Girl was funny, entertaining and daring at the gender roles swap, but it worked out so well and naturally that we can’t even imagine it any other way.”–Annelise at The Book Adventures of Annelise Lestrange

“A really kick ass romance that will have you swooning and cheering.”–Jessica at Writing Pearls

“This was such a brilliantly fun read. The writing was punchy, the plot packed and twisty, and the underlying themes very contemporary and on-point.”–Christina Philippou at Writing Round the Block, author of Lost In Static

“I loved how much I bought into and believed in the characters and the storyline. Cookie O’Gorman is a great writer. I can’t wait to read more books by her. Ninja Girl was a great read for me.”–Michelle at Book Briefs

“I loved the romance between Ash and Snow. The writing was smooth and easy to read and the pace was even throughout the book. I can’t wait to read more by this author!”–Poulami at Daydreaming Books

I am very thankful to YA Bound Book Tours and to everyone who helped with the NINJA GIRL blog tour.  I titled this one “To Readers, With Love” because I want you to know how much I truly appreciate every read, review and post.  Whether it is for ADORKABLE or NINJA GIRL, if you’re a blogger/reviewer/reader, I wish I could write it across the sky in letters, but I hope you believe me when I say: Thank you so much!  You are awesome!!!

I hope you all have a great week!

Happy reading,

Cookie O’Gorman

A Very Good Week

Book baby #2 (aka NINJA GIRL) has officially been out a week!  Woohoo!!

And it has been quite a time let me tell you :).

Someone left NINJA GIRL‘s first review–its first 5-star review–on Amazon very quickly after the book was released.  If you are the sweet soul who wrote it, I just want to say: Thank you sooooo much!  You have no idea how excited, relieved and thankful I was to see that :).

My mom got me my favorite cupcake to celebrate the book’s release.

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And because she is wonderful, she also got me a cookie (no picture, but it was yummy ;)).  Then later, this happened…

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NINJA GIRL was a #1 Hot New Release on Amazon!  Oh yeah, and this happened…

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NINJA GIRL hit #1 in Canada on Amazon in its category!!!  My jaw literally dropped when I saw this, and I thought, “Canada, you are awesome.”

Also, in the U.S., NINJA GIRL was #2…right next to ADORKABLE,which celebrated turning 1-year-old at #1 on Amazon!  Ah, I love my book babies <3 <3 <3.

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Needless to say, book-wise, it was a very good week, and I am so very thankful to everyone who made this possible <3.  Your support, your kind comments, reviews, ratings and recommendations to friends mean everything.

Thank you for reading my books–and YAY!  I can now say “books” plural lol.  NINJA GIRL is out there, you guys!  If you haven’t already, I hope you’ll give it a try :).

Happy reading,

Cookie O’Gorman

NINJA GIRL Release Day!

ninja-girl

So today is the big day!  It’s release day for my second book baby, and for some reason, I just want to throw confetti, hand out cookies and say, “It’s a girl!:)

Ahh, I really can’t believe it.

May the Force, Bruce Lee and Taylor Swift be with you, little book!

NINJA GIRL is finally out there.  Bookworms everywhere can read Ash and Snow’s story.  Oh, and I hope they do and love it!  I hope readers find a kindred spirit in tomboy/awkward/still-totally-kickass Snow.  I hope they fall hard and swoon even harder for Ash (like I did <3).  I hope everyone will embrace the girl power, the diversity, the kickassery and, of course, the laughs and the romance.

If this sounds good to you, I would love it if you would give NINJA GIRL a chance :).

Thank you so much to everyone who supported my first book–and thank you to those who asked about my next.  I hope you enjoy this second release and that it gives you all the feels.  As always, if you do read the book, please let me know!  Hearing from readers is truly one of my favorite things <3.

Happy reading (and Happy book birthday, NINJA GIRL!),

Cookie O’Gorman

NINJA GIRL Giveaway!

Okay, so a lot of things have happened in the past few days.

Several people helped with the cover reveal of NINJA GIRL last week, and I just gotta say: YOU ALL ROCK!  Thank you so much for your support!  I received some awesome book mail from my Hungarian publisher–which really brightened up my Saturday. <3  I reached my goal of 70 people adding NINJA GIRL to Goodreads pre-release (which is sweeet :)).  And I set up the giveaway below–because of course, we had to have a giveaway to mark the awesome/kickass/splendiferous occasion of NINJA GIRL‘s upcoming release March 30, 2017.

And yes, I have always wanted to use the word “splendiferous” in a sentence.  This seemed like the right time :).

The NINJA GIRL Giveaway will run from March 23 until April 13, and the winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card!  There are several ways to enter, and that means tons of chances to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now, I’m off to try and add NINJA GIRL on Amazon, hoping for no hiccups and that the process goes smoothly.  I wish you all the best of luck with the giveaway, and I really hope you’ll check out NINJA GIRL when it comes out next Thursday!!! Ahh, can’t believe it’s so close!

Hope you have a great week!

Happy reading,

Cookie O’Gorman