Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011: My Year in Review




January: In launching Entwined Publishing I was able to catapult my writing hobby into a career. I met a lot of wonderful people and made some amazing connections. Since then, I've learned so many things so fast that at times my head was both spinning and swimming in the new knowledge. 

February: I celebrated my tenth year of marriage and was surprised that someone like El Senor has actually put up with me for this long.

March: I learned about book covers; Sheryl Clark Productions did a great professional job for The Ocean. She was attentive to details and produced a timely product that met my expectations. 


April: I e-published my debut novel The Ocean. It was amazing at the support I received. I still remember how nervous I was. I was literally up all night freaking out wondering if I could really do this. When you create something, whether it's a novel, or art, music, or anything, you worry if it will be accepted, especially when you put all of your heart into it. That's how I felt. 

May: I learned a lot about promoting. I made a lot of connections, and learned about print formatting. I'm surprised that I didn't get a bald spot on the side of my head from all of my hair grips of frustration.

June: I e-published Analogy of my Heart a collection of poetry that I had written from high school to present. I don't really talk a lot about this small book. I wrote poetry when I had difficulty working through my emotions, but this book is close to my heart also. Lyrics and poetry really are my first loves.  

July: I printed The Ocean. My Grandmother bought ten copies immediately, and began passing them out to all of her friends. I was also able to share my book with those who didn't have e-readers. 

August: My mother lost her battle with cancer. I didn't mention it publicly, because it was a personal matter. I mention it now because it has really impacted my life more than I thought it would. My mother and I weren't close, and she lived so reckless and carefree that I honestly thought she would out live everyone, even me. I find myself grieving for a mother and a relationship that I had already mourned for years, and thought that I had moved past. Love is blind, and still hurts when it is severed.

September: I prepared for the first simultaneous e-publish/print publish for Generations. Q7 Associates put together the covers for Generations. I really enjoyed working with them this year on this project and others, and look forward to continuing to work with them in the future. It was another stressful time, though moved smoother than the first print formatting. I gained confidence realizing that the more I do this the faster and easier it will become. I also began learning more about creating covers.

October: Entwined Publishing had it's first public appearance in Avon, Indiana. It was a very exciting day for the company. I also released Generations 1: Book of Enlightenment. My debut Paranormal Series. I felt as though I was holding it up to the sky and watching it take flight. I'm so proud of the products Entwined has produced. I'm not the best at grammar, but I'm glad I have a great support team who is willing to help me with it.


November: I focused on writing. I wrote a large portion of Becoming a Butterfly. It is crazy how your personal life can affect you professionally and vice versa. I learned that lesson, and had to let go to move on.

December: Family, it is the most important commodity you  can possess. In the end friends come and go, but your family will be with you, they know you better than anyone else, and they love you in spite of yourself. 

This year has been full of peaking highs and deep lows for me, but what would life be without them. I just know that as long as I am feeling something, that means I'm still living. I am so grateful to all the people I have met along the way: the indies, the traditionals, the aspirings, the bloggers, the readers - all friends. Thank you for joining me in this journey. Happy New Year.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good nook.

If you receive a Nook or Kindle for Christmas, congratulations. Whether you are new to e-books or a seasoned e-reader, as a special holiday promotion, Entwined Publishing is offering both of my novels (The Ocean and Generations 1: Book of Enlightenment) and Analogy of my Heart  for .99 on bn.com and amazon.com.

This is a limited offer, that I'm excited to give to you for the holidays.  Merry Christmas, and have a Happy New Year.

The Ocean

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/ocean-mia-castile/1100482789?ean=2940012485519

http://www.amazon.com/The-Ocean-ebook/dp/B004YF16E6/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1324753996&sr=8-2

Generations 1: Book of Enlightenment

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/generations-1-mia-castile/1106556449?ean=2940013263345

http://www.amazon.com/Generations-I-Book-Enlightenment-ebook/dp/B005U5MGU2/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1324754095&sr=1-1

Analogy of My Heart

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/analogy-of-my-heart-volume-1-mia-castile/1103561537?ean=2940012957146

http://www.amazon.com/Analogy-my-Heart-1-ebook/dp/B0055HYPGS/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1324754165&sr=1-1

Friday, October 28, 2011

Untitled #4


Make this madness go away
Make the night turn into day
Hold me till my sorrows pass
Shield my heart from life’s hard blast

Give me strength to carry on
Another night so tough and long
When I’m with you I can be
The person you believe me

Make my scars turn soft again
Make love, last, never end
Give me hope that once was stolen
Clear my cobwebs vastly woven

A new chapter in my life ahead
Leads me quietly to your bed
And kissing your sweet gently lips
I no longer can dwell on my hardships

Be the man I believe you be
Take my love I give so true
You deserve more than you’ll get
And if we parted today I’ll never forget

Those long nights when you held me
And let me wander you completely
Because when I’m with you I can be
The person you believe me.

                              -Analogy Of My Heart

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Generations Blog tour begins Tomorrow.  I'd like to thank the bloggers who are participating.
  • Monday:  http://bellebooksx.blogspot.com/
    Tuesday:  http://klearsreviews.blogspot.com/
    Wednesday:  http://k-booksxo.blogspot.com/ 
    Thursday:  http://readingawaythedays.blogspot.com/
    Friday:  http://www.wovenmyst.wordpress.com


We are running a contest.  One prize is an ecopy of Generations the other is a signed printed copy of Generations.  The winners names will be drawn from all the entries. To gain entries: you must 1. comment on each blog post (each comment gets you one entry into the drawing. 2. tweet the blog post that day with the hash tag #generations (each tweet earns you another entry.) and 3. post a link on facebook to the blog entry.(Allowing you yet ANOTHER entry) The winners will be announced during the Virtual Launch Party Saturday at 6pm est on USTREAM. Good Luck and I hope you enjoy the blog tour :D

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Generations 1: Book of Enlightenment Playlist


As with every project I work on, I have a playlist for Generations 1: Book of Enlightenment.  Generations is the first project that I began back in 2008.   Some of the songs were added in revisions, but I think the feel of the book speaks through the playlist.  If you love the book and playlist as much as I do, you can purchase all these songs from iTunes and find the playlist on my page: ping/miacastile.

Thunder - Boys Like Girls
Borders - The Red Threat
White Room - Eric Clapton
Party At A Rich Dude's House - Ke$ha
Someone Like You -  Boys Like Girls
Shattered - O.A.R
World Of Changes - Demi Lovato
In Your Eyes - Jeffrey Gaines
All The Time - OneRepublic
I Will Follow You Into The Dark - Death Cab for Cutie
Your Love Is A Song - Switchfoot
I Must Be Dreaming - The Maine

Saturday, September 10, 2011

I will never forget

September 11, 2001
I remember. . .
      that I was eight months pregnant with my beautiful daughter, and on bed rest. nothing fit me, I waddled when I walked, was in my first year of marriage, and saving to purchase a home.  I woke up that Tuesday morning preparing for a day of soap operas and day time talk shows, but only found I was coming into the Today show just after the first plane had crashed into the the tower.  (I usually caught the last hour of the today show.)  I watched the second crash and frantically tried to reach my husband, or my sister, my dad, or my grandmother.  No one answered the phone and I was panicked.  I lived thirty minutes away from my family and I wasn't allowed to drive, so instead of driving over to their house, I blew up their phones.  I cried, I freaked out, I questioned what kind of world was I bringing my daughter into?  What kind of world did I live in?  I prayed, for all the souls lost, and the souls left behind in shambles.

        that the silence in the sky that followed was like nothing I had ever seen before or since. It was surreal, almost as if we lived in a parallel universe where America really had enemies.  Before the attacks it was just a story on the news.  After the attacks it was real, the victims had faces, names, stories, and then we heard about the people, who were stuck in traffic, overslept, missed their flight, and the expressions on their face of disbelief, that "that could have been me."

      that it was a different world, we had a different outlook, and it changed us.  We grew up fast, and learned that the world can change in an instance.  I'm proud to be an american, and will honor those who have passed on.


I will never forget...  






Thursday, August 25, 2011

Generations I: Book of Enlightenment

The Official Generations I Book Trailer is here.  

Ellie Solomon has always been sort of a loner. Between her brother (who is the only family she has left) and a few friends (that are more his friends than hers) she lives a boring life. The one person she confides in is her Guardian Angel who visits her dreams. He is her best friend, too bad he's not real. When strange wolves with red eyes begin chasing her one evening, a mysterious boy and his dog saves her, catapulting her into the secret of her parents fate and who she really is. Together, with her new friends she embarks on a journey that leads her to the destiny of her Generation.


video



















Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Pebbles



Walking down this road,
I dropped pebbles by the side,
Every time I thought about you.
Sometimes, a smile across my face,
Sometimes, embarrassed by my mistakes,
Sometimes, it just seemed like the right time.

This road it twists and turns,
There are peaks so very high,
 Valleys that dip deep and very low,
Sometimes, I wonder how far I have to go.
Sometimes, I stray from the path,
Sometimes, I realize, I can’t read the map.

Walking down this road,
I look back to where I’ve been,
I see milestones all along the way,
Sometimes, pebbles seem so small,
Sometimes, they were life changing, after all,
Sometimes, stones have a life all of their own.

This road twisted and turned,
And the lessons I have learned,
Have given me memories I can't replace,
Sometimes, a smile on my face,
Sometimes, embarrassed by my mistakes,
But it all just seems to happen at the right time.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award


I was honored to be nominated for The Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award by D.F. Matthews of Reesloveofwriting.blogspot.com.

http://reesloveofwriting.blogspot.com/2011/06/how-sweet-is-this.html

Part of the nomination is sharing 7 facts about myself and nominating some other blogs that I enjoy.  so here goes.

1. I am addicted to peanut butter.  more than chocolate, more than cake, peanut butter is my weakness.

2.  I sometimes talk my kids into watching cartoons downstairs so I have an excuse to watch them too.  I think they might be onto me though.

3. I like to write either late at night when the house is quiet, or when I first get up and my mind is well rested.

4. I sing to my kids as if our life were a musical.  I sing to them when they are in a bad mood too, until they laugh because it's the only way I know to cheer them up.

5. My favorite fruit used to be strawberries, but now it is cherries.

6. I love dogs, especially tiny ones and huge ones that could knock you over.

7. Now Playing on my Ipod:  Nicki Minaj Dear Old Nicki

And now I will nominate some great blogs for this award

1. www.klearsreviews.blogspot.com
2. www.wovenstrands.wordpress.com
3. www.wordluster.blogspot.com
4. www.reading2alba.tumbler.com
5. www.leahplozano.blogspot.com
6. www.jmann32.blogspot.com
7. www.allieburke.blogspot.com
8. www.tymothylongoria.blogspot.com

With this nomination come duties.  1st, share some facts about yourself, and 2nd, nominate some great blogs too.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

I had them in stitches.

I firmly believe that every experience can be a learning experience.  Just today I had a minor surgery that required anesthesia.  Don’t ask me what I had done please, just know it wasn’t cosmetic and was medically vital. J  Anesthesiologist and the narcotic concoctions they mix up can be a lot of fun.  So here are today’s lessons, that I will share with you free of charge.

1.      Do not insist that the book is called Water for Elements.  When under drugs assume the other person is correct.
2.      Do not attempt to blog.  I repeat, do not attempt to blog.
3.      When texting friends realize and appreciate that you will gush of how much you love them.  Accept it.
4.      Forgive yourself for telling the nurse and the other nurses how pretty her eyes are, especially when “She” is a large man in his fifties.  This coincides with #3.
5.      Have someone there to help you sort out your medicine once you get home.  You CAN NOT do math heavily sedated.
6.      Do not insist to a friend you have a “gross but funny” story to tell them.  You will realize later it was very much gross, and nowhere near funny.
7.      Telling time is next to impossible, so instead of trying to be smart, just ask someone what time it is.
8.      Understand that you may not feel the pain now, but you will when the I.V. meds wear off, don’t be a hero, take the prescribed dose.
9.      It might not be best to tell those checking up on you how you really feel in descriptors.  Use expressions like “rough” “extremely sore” or “a lot of pain but hanging in there” and stay away from dog excrement analogies.
10.   Did I mention you probably shouldn’t blog?

Life lessons are always good to have around.  Hope you learned from mine, class dismissed.

Monday, June 27, 2011

An excerpt from Analogy of My Heart Volume 1


My Retrospect

I smiled when you told me you loved me,
I cried when you said there was no way,
I was content when you held me,
I was demanding when you said you couldn’t stay.

I sighed when you spoke of forever,
I laughed when you tried to be serious,
I was sad when you said “Goodbye forever”,
I was alone when my tears came delirious.

I spoke softly when you came back to me,
I broke my will that said not to let you stay,
I was broken hearted when I realized you couldn’t be,
I was alone when my dream went away.

My life moves on as the sands fall through the glass,
And my most joyous times you were not there.
Yet I still remember those nights that should have lasted,
Those are the days that I hold dear.



Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Abandoned Letter

La fin.  El Final.  The end. 

I stand on the steps of the monument and just stare up at the black night, my breath a red fog in the frigid air.  What is an end but simply another beginning? I know by releasing her from my heart, I will be free and able to live with a clear conscious.  I close my eyes and envision stars above the smog that has canopied the city.  I can almost see them, clear and shining.  I wish I could go there, far away, and watch the human ants scurry about their busy days.  But that is not my fate, not tonight.  I grip the letter in my hand.  The envelope yellowed, from all the days that I fingered it, and held it; willing myself to open it just to be sure those were the words I wrote that cool afternoon.  I wondered if she would still remember that day.  My mother and I had that huge fight, and both said things we didn’t mean.  Dishes broke, doors slammed, and footsteps creaked up the stairs.  I cried in the kitchen; I cried while wrote her this letter.  I sealed and stuffed it in a drawer to hide it from her.  It’s fitting that today is New Year’s Eve, the epitome of all the clichés of starting over.  I don’t think I could do this if it wasn’t a resolution though.  So I place the letter on the monument and turn to walk back to my car, providing myself the finality I need.

I’d spent days crying, I couldn’t believe that she’d left.  She never left me alone for this long.  I felt lost, empty; I was abandoned, regardless of the reason.  Then, like it was any other day, she silently appeared in the great room and smiled at me.  It wasn’t a memory or my imagination; she was there.
               “What are we going to fix for dinner?” she asked like she hadn’t been gone for months.
               “I already ate,” I stammered as my heart dropped into the pit of my stomach.  My mom sat down on the couch beside me and didn’t say anything at all.  We sat like that for hours.  I watched the sun cast shadows from one side of the wall to the other.  Then finally I felt her arms around me, cold.  My body reacted with shivers, goosebumps and all the tiny hairs standing on ends.  Even if I wanted to, I couldn’t return the embrace.
               “I’m sorry,” she said as she tried to hold me close to her, much like she did when I was a child.  After that, things seemed to return to a new normal.  We spoke in passing, not about anything too deep.  I’d mumble under my breath, but she always seemed to hear me answering with a distant voice from another room.  I wondered if she were reading my mind; answering me before I spoke.  She came back different with anger that became unbearable.  I felt as if I was a child again, and making all the mistakes I did as a little girl, hiding my dirty hands under my skirt; so she wouldn’t make me go wash them before dinner.  That was when I decided to try to talk to her about letting me go; I’d told her goodbye once already.  Then we had our fight, and she did the worse thing she could ever do to me, she ignored me.

I thought the worse day of my life was when I rushed her to the hospital.  She had been in bed for days coughing and wheezing as I gave her medicine much like she were the child and I was the mother.  The doctor told me that if the symptoms worsened to go to the emergency room.  They worsened and I rushed her to the hospital.  She winced in agonizing pain every time she coughed terrifying me.  They took her right in giving us a room immediately.  Pneumonia, not just pneumonia, but double pneumonia; and the infection had spread to the blood.  Within hours she was on a ventilator.   Suddenly, the days slowed down, with minutes ticking to a crawl, giving us a brief reprieve from the inevitable.  I shared my fears, hopes and wishes in those final hours.  She never woke up; and I buried her in the cemetery on the wooded hill we rode by so many times during our life together. 

I feel a stirring as I now stand outside my car.  It’s like she knows that I have to move on, just as she will, too.  I don’t know if heaven is as beautiful as they say; once she lets go of me she will be able to finally rest.  I hope that one day I will get to see her again and I’ll tell her of my adventures, and she will tell me of hers.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Amazon Now Selling More Kindle Books than Print Books


Amazon began selling hardcover and paperback books in July 1995. Twelve years later in November 2007, Amazon introduced the revolutionary Kindle and began selling Kindle books. By July 2010, Kindle book sales had surpassed hardcover book sales, and six months later, Kindle books overtook paperback books to become the most popular format on Amazon.com. Today, less than four years after introducing Kindle books, Amazon.com customers are now purchasing more Kindle books than all print books - hardcover and paperback - combined.

"Customers are now choosing Kindle books more often than print books. We had high hopes that this would happen eventually, but we never imagined it would happen this quickly - we've been selling print books for 15 years and Kindle books for less than four years," said Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO, Amazon.com. Since April 1, for every 100 print books Amazon.com has sold, it has sold 105 Kindle books. This includes sales of hardcover and paperback books by Amazon where there is no Kindle edition. Free Kindle books are excluded and if included would make the number even higher.


*from KDP Newsletter

Confidence



Confident, they think I’m confident.
Have I got news for them!
I changed my dress 5 times and still don’t like it;
I fuss over my hair and try to hide it.
I hold my head high so I won’t get lost,
And tell others to be strong inspite--
“Learn from my mistakes”


If I could do that I’d be rich.
Confidence is a state of mind.
If you think I’m confident tell me when
So I can continue to act like that.
I can learn from your mistakes
And lead the way to confidence.
Confident. they think I’m confident.

Friday, June 17, 2011

The Ocean Blog Tour

Thank you to everyone who participated in the blog tour this week, Emma for organizing it and reviewing The Ocean; Kayleigh for interviewing me and reviewing my novel; and Phanee and Lesley for providing parts of an excerpt.  This was my first blog tour and it was a great success.  It was a pleasure working with you wonderful ladies.  If you missed any of the stops the blogs are listed below, follow them and comment on the posts to show your support.


 Kay @ K-Books: http://kayleigh-m-books.blogspot.com/ (Interview) 
 Phanee @ Funny Wool: http://funny-wool.blogspot.com/ (Book Excerpt)
 Emma @ BelleBooks: http://bellebooksx.blogspot.com/ (Review)
 Lesley @ My Keeper Shelf http://mykeepershelf.blogspot.com/ (Book Excerpt)

We are running a scavenger hunt for the tour.  the first three people who leave a comment with the code phrase will win an e-book of The Ocean.  the final part of the code is the following:

                                "helping me."

Good Luck :)

I will be promoting a couple new projects over the next few months.

Analogy of My Heart Volume 1 was released Tuesday for only .99.  It is a mixture of poetry that I have written over the years, and I hope those who read it enjoy it.

Generations, my debut paranormal series will be release this coming October.  I will be sharing more information about it in the coming months.


Thank you for being a part of my journey.


Love,  Mia

Sunday, June 12, 2011

My First Blog Tour

I'd like to thank Emma  for organizing my blog tour that begins Monday the 13th.  We will be running a contest along with each article posted.  The schedule is as follows:


13th - Kay @ K-Books: http://kayleigh-m-books.blogspot.com/ 
14th - Phanee @ Funny Wool: http://funny-wool.blogspot.com/
15th - Emma @ BelleBooks: http://bellebooksx.blogspot.com/ 
16th - Lesley @ My Keeper Shelf http://mykeepershelf.blogspot.com/
17th - End the tour with Mia @ http://miacastile.blogspot.com/

Each blogger will provide part of a code phrase.  Friday I will provide the final part to the code.  The first three people to post on my blog the correct code phrase will win.

Please be sure to follow each blog and comment too. 

Monday, June 6, 2011

All The King's Horses and All The King's Men

I thought this was the perfect place to sit. 
To my east i saw the city and all the bustle.
Cars and trains moving on their way,
People going about their busy day.

To my West I saw the sun set.
Over the forest's tall green trees.
As the birds chirped and the squirrels squeaked,
I leaned in closer to take a closer peak.

I didn't realize i'd climbed so high.
I didn't even consider why i shouldn't have
but i did, and as i leaned closer to take a peak,
i lost my balance and gripping on the wall so sleak.

Down ward tumbling, falling fast
My life escaping me flashing past.
I saw my loves, waving goodbye
A mistake i'd made so easily, why? 

A thousand pieces, broken, there i lay.
Eye witnesses gathered, but stood too far away.
Mobile phones calling 9-1-1
To tell the king's court what i had done.

So all the King's Horses, and all the King's men
couldn't put broken me, together again.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

An Unexpected Delivery

(I decided to participate in @Wovenstrands flash fiction challenge for May.  I will say it was a challenge, and consumed me with worry.  I was totally out of my element, but it was a GREAT learning experience.  I look forward to the next challenge and hope you will join me too. but for now enjoy my story.
http://wovenstrands.wordpress.com/2011/05/02/may-flash-fiction-challenge/#comment-774 )
     A mysterious box was sitting on my doorstep.  It was large and I stepped around it as I unlocked and opened my door, surveying it.
       “What’s in the box,” the voice that came from behind me startled me.  I didn’t have to turn to know who it was.  Braxton leaned against the post; his military haircut made his face more angular.  He’d shed all his baby fat in the time he’d been away.  He seemed so much older than only the almost year that had passed.  I entered the entry way and sat my things down on the bench just inside the door.  I turned and faced him again; suddenly in the memory of the last time I’d seen him, the two of us, sat under the large weeping willow in the field between our neighborhoods.  We always met there.  It was three days after he’d turned eighteen, and we’d watched the sun set, and sat there talking for hours.  We’d both announced that we had something to tell each other.  He made me go first.  I reluctantly told him that I loved him, and wanted to be with him.  Not only was he my best friend, he was the love of my life.  His response was a kiss, gentle and sweet under the bright midnight moon.  But the next day he was gone.  Boot camp.  He didn’t tell me he’d enlisted and he left without saying goodbye, no emails, no texts, and no phone calls.  He just left. 
       “Do you need help with that box,” he motioned to it.
       “No, I don’t need anything from you,” I glared at him a moment before I surveyed the box again.  He backed away from the box, and turned to leave.  I tried lifting the box but it wouldn’t budge.  What the heck had my parents ordered?  
     “Um,”  I said as I gulped, swallowing what was left of my pride.  “Can you help me?”  I heard his smirk but I didn’t look up. 
       “Sure,” he said, as he came back up and lifted the box easily, carrying it inside.  He put it down in the foyer.  “Wow, it even smells the same in here,” he paused and gave me a small smile.  “Somethings never change.  I’m sorry for the way I handled things last summer; I should have never left like that,” the sincerity poured from his eyes. 
       “Me too,” I said as I looked at my feet.
       “Can we talk,” his smile widened hopeful.
       “Sure, can we meet at the willow,” I ask.  He creased his lips and nodded before he turned to leave through the front door.  I wondered what we would talk about.  I hoped he would explain why he left like he had but I guessed I would find out soon enough.  I looked back down at the box and considered opening it, when I saw the name.  Lucille Bartron, my neighbor.  I sighed and walked through the front door, the box was now my parent’s problem.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

I'm Sorry What Was The Question?

A few months ago I put this blog together, after I invited questions from my friends on facebook and twitter.  Here are a few of the responses I got.  It was fun putting this blog post together.  I welcome your questions for the future, and would love to have another question and answer session.

What made you begin writing?

I began writing poetry when I was thirteen.  All through high school I carried a journal book that had cherubs on the cover of it that I filled with my poetry.  I would pass it around to my friends whenever I added a new poem.  Sometimes a waiting list formed among them to read it, which I thought was pretty cool.  I constructed the poems in margins of class study notes, and anywhere else I could write, folders, binders too; nothing was off limits when inspiration hit. 

Who are some of your favorite Authors?

This is such a hard question.  There are so many great authors out there.  I truly enjoy Amanda Hockings, Richelle Mead, Susan Colasanti, Lauren Kate and Alyson Noel.  They round out the top five, but honestly there are too many to name.  There have been so many series that I’ve enjoyed!  

Do you have any advice for aspiring Authors?

Follow your heart. Write about what you know. Don’t try to impress anyone, because if you are true to yourself, then your reader will get it.  Take a chance on yourself.  If someone tells you that you can’t, believe in yourself.  Maybe you can’t do it one way, but work it out and make it fit you.

Where did the idea for The Ocean come from?

I had family that lived in St. Petersburg, Florida.  Growing up we spent many winter breaks in Florida.  I began writing The Ocean around the same time I began writing poetry in high school.  The moment that actually triggered The Ocean was simple.  I was at St. Pete beach, and shared a few stolen glances and smiles with a boy.  I remember thinking “what if.”  So in my story, the boy had enough nerve to actually speak to the girl. 

Who is your favorite non-lead character in The Ocean?

I think Gianna’s best friend from pre-school Abby would be my favorite non-lead character (although she has some substantial competition).  She is confident, sarcastic, level headed, and smart.  She has an awesome sense of fashion.  She is a fierce protector of her friends; that make her beautiful and amazing.

Tell me about Travis and why I should get to know him.

Travis is sloppy, and forgetful.  Everyone likes Travis because he’s honest, nice to anyone.  He enjoys surfing, sports, and hanging with his friends.  When he meets Gianna he’s not looking for a girlfriend, however he feels drawn to her.  He is all for having a good time, but you will watch him develop and grow too.  

Tell me about Gianna and what she’s about.

Gianna is holding herself together for all of her saddness.  If you looked at her you would assume she has it all figured out but that is only appearances.  She is strong willed, and a thinker.  She decides things for herself and no one can change her mind. She has a subtle sense of humor, that is will ender her to you.    Making the most of having to live in a new town, with a father she doesn’t know, becomes easier as she leans on her friends, and Travis.  

Thanks for taking the time to check in with me here.

Until next time,

Mia

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The BOOK-LAUNCHANATOR

With the Release of The Ocean This week, I have been from one end of the emotions spectrum to the other.  Stressed over a mishap that I won't bore you the details of, but ended up pushing back the release two days.  Excited over all the rave reviews I'm receiving that are making my heart skip with joy that the readers understand my characters so well.  Humbled because of how huge this all really is.  Overwhelmed, because no matter how much we planned, we still didn't know what to expect, or what would work and what didn't, technology wise anyway.  All I can keep telling myself is the next launch will be easier.  I have more stories to tell, and more characters to meet.  This is the first of many launches.  I'm not stopping, quitting, or slowing down.

This has been such a huge roller-coaster, just when I think I might want to get off, it throws another loop into the track.  My heart skips and I get that gushy happy feeling all over again, squealing and clapping my hands with joy.  So when it comes to a stop and the safety bars lift over my head what am I going to do?  I'm going to run down the exit ramp, around the display and get right back in line to take my turn again on the BOOK-LAUNCH-AN-A-TOR *read in echoing monster truck announcer voice*

The Ocean is now available on Smashwords.com and coming soon to barnesandnobel.com.
http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/51497

Amazon Link:
http://www.amazon.com/The-Ocean-ebook/dp/B004YF16E6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&s=books&qid=1304104256&sr=8-1

Monday, April 11, 2011

A Lyrical Experiment

I will be running a mini contest from Wednesday through Saturday this week.  The concept is simple.  I will randomly post a lyric from a song in The Ocean Playlist.  The first person who responds will be the winner.  You can find the Playlist for the ocean here on my website/blog and on youtube.com/miacastile.

The Rules
1.  You must be 13 years of age or older
2.  The post will appear as #theocean #playlistcontest  'lyrics,'
3.  The correct response will be @miacastile #theocean #playlistcontest song title and artist
4.  This is strictly a twitter contest.  If by chance the post appears on Facebook, there will not be a winner chosen from Facebook.
5.  This is open to anyone with a postal address.

The Prize
A personalized postcard and a bookmark.

**All Lyrics verified from elyrics.net**

I Got My Windows Down Rollin'

One of my favorite things about spring and summer is driving on the highway with the windows down, music blaring and singing at the top of my lungs. In those sheer moments of happiness no one judges your voice, or how wild your hair looks.  No one can even hear you if you are alone, it is you and the passion, well, and alertness to the road and other drivers because safety first, but you know what I mean.
     When my older sister got her license she and I would take road trips just for the road trip.  We would crank the music, having to yell at each other as we talked, because it would be silly to roll up the windows and turn the music down, just to hear the conversation.  We felt free, elbows hanging out of the windows and our hair blowing around whipping our faces.  We'd talk about boys, best friends, and anything else that popped into our minds.  When we returned home after putting two hundred miles on her car we'd spend half of the night rehashing what we'd already obsessed over.    
     As you get older, sometimes you forget about the simplistic fun things you did when you were younger.  I love piling my little ones in the car, plugging in my ipod and asking  "Hey guys, do you want the windows down rollin'?"  They usually cheer and clap their hands. and we roll down the windows and turn up the music.  Whether it's a five minute drive or three hour drive, I've shared with them a little bit of something that made happy memories for me as a young girl.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Ocean Playlist

I always make a play list when I write.  I am very music driven.  Sometimes I loop a song as I write a scene, or if I want to recapture feelings a character has for another, I’ll listen to a bunch of songs that remind me of that one.  I’m sure there are a lot of Authors and writers that write like that.  So the Ocean was no different for me.  The Ocean is so near my heart because I began writing it as a teenager.  It’s definitely not the same animal that it began as, though.  Names changed, plot lines rooted and grew, but the main story stayed the same.  


There were some I chose for obvious reasons, Beyonce’s Dangerously In Love isn’t only one of my go-to songs but it is Gia’s favorite song.  Travis’ favorite is Simple man by Lynard SkinnardDavid Cook’s Permanent was written for his brother struggle with cancer, it has such a beautiful message of love.   The acoustic version of Hero/Heroine by Boys Like Girls, is beautiful.  I am partial to any version of a song that is acoustic, and really, if I’m being honest any Boys Like Girls song.  They always end up on my playlists.  When I wrote the scenes for Travis and Gia as they fell in love, I played a few song songs.  Feels Like Tonight by Daughtry, John Mayer’s Freefalling(which is one of my ultimate faves), Stars and Boulevards by  Augustana, On Fire by Switchfoot and I’m Yours by The Script.  They are all such romantic songs.

The conflict songs were a little harder to come by, I chose Jesse McCartney’s It’s Over, Dancing With Tears In My Eyes by Kesha, and Don’t Speak Liar by We The Kings.   I’m generally not one for conflict so I really dug deep to make these scenes work.

***I hope this give you a little insight to Travis and Gianna.***

You are Amazing,

Mia