Sally Bosco

Author of Dark Fiction

My novella DOUBLE CRUSH is now published!

Double_Crush_5 inWhat if you developed crushes on a guy AND a girl, and both of them liked you back? Tough problem, you say? Well yes, actually it is.

I’m pleased to announce that my young adult novella, Double Crush, is now available from JMS Books / QueerTeen Press. This is my first attempt at a novella, so I’m really excited about its publication.

Warning!!! Double Crushes can be hazardous to your (mental) health.

Here’s the plot:

When Project Keylight begins shooting a science fiction film in her small New England town, seventeen-year-old Piper Handy jumps at the chance to apply for the job of production assistant. During the shoot she becomes friends with a guy and girl, Mia and Evan, who will be going to her high school in the fall. What she doesn’t anticipate is that, as she’s dealing with one disaster after another during the shoot, she develops major crushes on both Mia and Evan. When both of them seem receptive to her attentions, she has some difficult decisions to make.

Can Piper avert disaster as she navigates her way through the minefield of teenage dating? Read Double Crush and see. It’s being offered at a discounted price from the publisher this week and will be available from Amazon and other retailers next week.

Here’s an excerpt:

“Mia! You startled me.” All I can think of is getting her to a different street so Evan doesn’t see us together.

“Your dad can wait for a little while, can’t he?”

“Um…yeah, I guess so.” I pull on her arm. “Let’s go over one street.”

She pulls in the opposite direction. “Let’s go to my house.”

Her house is in the direct path Evan will take to my house. “Let’s go a different way.”

“Why?” Stubborn now, she pulls me back in the other direction.

“There’s something on the next street I want to show you.”

“Okay then.” She follows me.

My heart is beating like a cappuccino machine. I don’t know why I’m so afraid of Evan seeing us together. What would that mean, anyway? That Mia had followed me home because she needed to talk? Evan is pretty perceptive, and he might guess the truth. And I’d blow my chance at having a boyfriend for school in the fall. But what am I saying? I love Mia.

“Come on, let’s go to the cemetery,” I suggest.

“What? The cemetery? Why?”

“It’s kind of spooky and fun. There are some beautiful sculptures in there.”

She shrugs. “Okay, I guess.”

The Wildwood Cemetery is surrounded by a black wrought iron fence with little spikes on top. It’s waist high and not meant to keep anybody out. I find the gate, and it opens easily. “Wow! We’re in.”

“Yeah. Cool.” Mia looks a little apprehensive. “Is it illegal to go into a cemetery at night? I don’t want to get arrested.”

“No. The worst that would happen is that they’d ask us to leave.” I hope I’m right.

“Okay. I feel better about it.”

“All we have to worry about now are the ghosts,” I kid.

She gives me a sideways look.

We enter through the gate, and the moonlight throws creepy shadows along the tombstones. The scent of moss and jasmine drifts on the night breeze. She presses in toward me to get as far away as possible from the grave markers.

“Some of these are really lovely. Look at this angel that’s overlooking some kind of family crypt.” I point out an ornate sculpture of angel with stone wings.

“Yeah, creepy though.” She rubs her bare arms.

“Let’s sit on this bench,” I suggest. There’s a concrete bench that has little roses carved into the sides, and it’s overlooking a small garden. It’s hard to tell in the dark, but the flowers look like yellow marigolds and pink petunias.

Mia sits. She’s in a short skirt, so she winces a little at the cold stone and places her hands beneath her thighs. “It is very peaceful here,” she says.

“Yes.” It’s so quiet, I can hear her breathing, which is a little more rapid than it should be. She must have warmed up, because she takes her hands out from under her thighs and places them in her lap, palms up.

Neither of us says anything, but she reaches toward my thigh with her palm still upturned, then gradually flips it over until settles it onto my lap.

I jump a little, more out of surprise than anything, and she pulls away.

I grasp her hand and bring it back toward me. “No, I didn’t mean to do that. It’s just that I…I don’t know. This is…different for me.”

“Me, too,” she says, squeezing my hand. Then she leans forward and gives me a kiss. It’s not an “acting” kiss; it’s a real kiss with real feeling.

Her mouth is so soft and so sweet, I could get totally lost in it. Her hand reaches for my shoulder and pulls me toward her. My heartbeat speeds up and I feel myself get totally carried away. The softness of her skin is so foreign to me. That is, it isn’t foreign because it’s just like my own. It’s foreign in that I’ve only felt a boy’s kiss before. This is so soft and sweet, and I like it so much.

Neither of us seems to fancy talking much. We drop down to the grassy ground by mutual consent. She gets on top of me, and I think I’ve never been happier in my whole life. We kiss like that for a long time, and I reach this peak of excitement.

Then we hear a noise. “What was that?” she whispers.

“Shhhh. Maybe it’s a guard.”

“Maybe it’s a ghost,” she says, and we giggle.

We both pause holding our breaths.

“Who’s there?” It’s a man’s voice, and his flashlight shines on us like a spotlight. “What are you doing here?”

My heart is hammering so hard I think I’m going to pass out, and I squeeze Mia’s hand. I hope hope hope he’s not a maniacal killer.

Review of THEN AND ALWAYS by Dani Atkins

I continue my exploration of alternate realities in young adult fiction with my review of Then and Always by Dani Atkins. It’s an addictive read that keeps you guessing about what’s real and what isn’t. But then that’s my favorite kind of fiction.

Click here to read my full review on Inveterate Media Junkies.

Bosco_062514_YA_ThenAndAlwaysCover

 

Jobsite’s RETURN TO FORBIDDEN PLANET is a Campy Riot

A mash-up of 1950’s sci-fi, 1960’s pop songs and Shakespeare’s The Tempest, Return to Forbidden Planet is an entertaining romp from its first moment to its last. This was one of the most fun nights in the theater I’ve spent since Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

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Loosely based on The Tempest, the plot unfolds as Captain Tempest (Jonathan Harrison), Science Officer Gloira (Heather Krueger) and crew become locked in a tractor beam from planet D’Illyria. This planet is inhabited by a sinister scientist, Dr. Prospero (Owen Robertson); his delightful daughter Miranda (Amy E. Gray); Ariel a faithful robot on roller skates (Jaime Gaingrande-Holcom); and an uncontrollable monster, the product of Prospero’s Id. And wackiness ensues.

The hugely talented cast and musicians rocked the Jaeb Theater. Actor, Spencer Meyers (who played Hedwig in the Jobsite Production) stole the show as Cookie, the comedic sidekick. His rendition of “She’s Not There” was a delight; Heather Krueger’s strong voice really stood out; and Jonathan Harrison did a fine job as the Captain. The final “Born to Be Wild” and “Monster Mash” roused the audience with a well-deserved standing ovation.

Director David Jenkins has really outdone himself with this one. Return to Forbidden Planet is a definite go-see.

For showtimes and tickets, click here.

 

 

Jobsite, Return to Forbidden Planet, David Jenkins, Jaeb Theater.

My Debut Column for Inveterate Media Junkies – Introducing a YA Lit Junkie

Really excited about my debut young adult column for “Inveterate Media Junkies.” This month I’m reviewing Ann Brashares’ THE HERE AND NOW, about a group of travelers who have escaped to our current time from a ghastly future.
Click on the link below to read my review:

Sally Bosco’s Young Adult Bookstore™ – Introducing a YA Lit Junkie.

The Here and Now

Cover Reveal for Al Wendland’s Novel, The Man Who Loved Alien Landscapes

I first met Al Wendland in 2001 when I attended Seton Hill University in pursuit of a Master of Arts Degree in Writing Popular Fiction. Al was one of the co-creators of the program, which focused solely on genre fiction. His enthusiasm for the program was infectious, and I grew to love the program. I’ve been an avid Seton Hill supporter ever since. In fact, I loved the program so much that when they offered an MFA in 2011, I returned to Seton Hill U and earned that degree as well.
Al is now Program Director for the Seton Hill U Writing Popular Fiction MFA program. He first opened my eyes to the Sublime in writing. A concept I’d never heard of. The sublime is a term used in regard to the features present in a Gothic or Romantic piece of literature. It is concerned with the spiritual wonderment experienced by an individual after he or she is emotionally affected by an awe-inspiring situation that is almost always related to a scene of natural grandeur. For that reason I’m really looking forward to reading his novel. I’m pleased to take part in the cover reveal for The Man Who Loved Alien Landscapes!

What could draw poet, explorer, loner and paranoid Mykol Ranglen away from the relative peace of his own ring-in-space habitat?He has no choice in the matter as one by one acquaintances are murdered or disappear altogether. Propelled by ever changing and deepening mysteries Mykol embarks to uncover secrets which could make people rich beyond their wildest dreams…or tear apart human civilization.

The escalating quest takes him through worlds of many dangerous extremes, leading him to confront the deadly alien Fist of Thorns, extinct species refusing to give up their power over the future, and those racing against him to uncover the secret first. But in the course of his pursuit, he must also face his own secrets. And some of these are even more dangerous.

The Man Who Loved Alien Landscapes by Albert Wendland

Cover Art by Bradley Sharp

Foreword by William H. Keith

Space Opera Paperback coming from Dog Star Books in June 2014

~~~

What They’re Saying About The Man Who Loved Alien Landscapes

“Mystery, heart-pounding adventure, and the dazzling wonders of far-flung space play significant roles in Wendland’s breakout novel, all while gifting us with a mesmerizing tour of alien landscapes destined to get under your skin and remind you of the very reason science fiction exists: Not to escape to other worlds, but to find ourselves within them.”
–Diana Dru Botsford, author of THE DRIFT and FOUR DRAGONS

Inside are alien worlds and titanic space habitats and a brilliant and paranoid hero, all skillfully blended together with long-vanished galactic secrets. Science fiction… good science fiction, by a college professor of literature who loves good SF.”
–From the foreword by William H. Keith, New York Times Bestselling Science Fiction Author

Jared Leto Wins Oscar for Best Supporting Actor!

“For those of you out there who have ever felt injustice because of who you are or who you love, tonight I stand here in front of the world with you and for you.”

These were the closing world of Jared Leto’s acceptance speech for having won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for playing HIV-positive transgendered woman, Rayon, in the film The Dallas Buyers Club. This is very exciting for transgendered people everywhere. It signals a level of acceptance by society that is gradually becoming mainstream.

The Dallas Buyers Club is based on true events of Ron Woodroof, a Texas man who was diagnosed with AIDS, sought alternative medicine, and eventually started the Dallas Buyers Club, selling medicine that hadn’t been approved by the FDA to other patients. Woodruff is played by Matthew McConaughey. Rayon and Woodreff become friends, and Rayon eventually (and reluctantly) becomes Woodroof’s business partner.

Jared Leto Dallas Buyers ClubJared Leto displayed a tremendous amount of sensitivity in playing the transgendered Rayon. In interviews he said that he had only two weeks’ notice before starting the role of Rayon. In that time he completely starved himself, and that act f starvation put him in touch with his character’s vulnerable condition. He needed to stay in character during the entire shoot in order to maintain his focus.

The Dallas Buyers Club was nominated in several categories: best picture, best actor, best supporting actor, costumes, editing, makeup and hairstyling, and original screenplay. The Dallas Buyers Club did win the Oscar for best costumes, and Matthew McConaughey won for Best Actor.

In his acceptance speech, Leto gave special thanks to his mother Constance. She’d been a single, teenage mom, but still she found the resources and courage to raise her children to be hardworking, creative people who weren’t afraid to pursue their dreams. Leto further said, “To all the dreamers out there watching this, in places like the Ukraine and Venezuela, we are here, and as you struggle to make your dreams happen, to live the impossible, we’re thinking of you tonight.”

Marketing Tip #1: Deconstruct the Marketing Approach of a Similar Novel

This blog post will be the first in a series of marketing tips for writers. In promoting my book, Cevin’s Deadly Sin, I wanted to hone in on what works in our digital age for reaching the widest audience. Out with the book signings where you might reach a couple of people. In with trying to get reviewed by an online journal that has the potential to reach thousands of people.

First of all, we’re no longer “marketing,” we’re finding our target audience and providing content that interests those people. It’s the idea of providing value and building a community, rather than hard-selling your book.

Marketing Tip #1: Deconstruct the Marketing Approach of a Similar Novel:

Choose a book that is similar to yours and do a search to see how the publisher marketed the book. First of all, choose a successful, well-known book, then take a look at the following:

  • Who reviewed this book? Send review requests to those reviewers. “Since you enjoyed X book, I thought you might like to read and review mine.” Don’t ignore the power of the book bloggers. They have helped to boost the careers of many indie authors.
  • Where do interviews for the book’s author appear? Send interview requests to those sites.
  • Did the author write any blog posts? Generate a list of possible topics and send a relevant one to that blog. Blogs and journals are always looking for content.
  • Do a search for articles about books that share your target audience. Write to the article’s author and ask her if she’d be interested in reading your book. This has worked very well for me and actually generated some recommendations for other reviews.
  • Make note of web pages that appeal to your target audience and interact with them by offering to write articles, join chat groups, etc.
  • Keep a simple spreadsheet of your contacts. That’s the only way of keeping it all straight.

These steps seem simple, yet they accomplish a wonderful goal—finding your target audience. I’ve found that by performing these steps, I’m connecting with people who want to read what I’ve written. And I’m building a base of readers for my future books.

Do you have any marketing tips you’d like to share?

Happy Promo-ing!

Sally

Book Review: Platform-Get Noticed in a Noisy World, by Michael Hyatt

platformPlatform-Get Noticed in a Noisy World, by Michael Hyatt is a really excellent book about developing your platform, and though it’s not specifically geared toward writers, I found that there were a lot of ideas I could use for my writing.

For example, he has an interesting take on writing blog posts. Use a blog post template,  with the following elements: Lead paragraph, Relevant image, Personal experience, Main body, and end with a Discussion question in order to encourage responses.

He recommends making video interviews of other authors and post them to your blog. Send the interview ahead of time, and record the interview through Skype.

Post your own videos in which you speak about various aspects of writing or of your books.

Create a public speaking tab on your website:

  • Have a “check my availability” button. This is less presumptuous than a “book me” button.
  • Post a one-minute welcome video.
  • Did you know that there is iPad teleprompter software? It is HDi Pro2.
  • Include a photo of yourself speaking

Hyatt tells us to Kiss Marketing Goodbye. Marketing is dead. Tribe-building is the new marketing. It’s about participating in a dialogue with fellow travelers and building relationships.

  1. Discover your passion.
  2. Volunteer to lead.
  3. Be generous. When you lead by serving and giving, people follow.
  4. Provide a way to communicate.

Write informative guest posts on other people’s blogs.

Offer to give away a free e-book in exchange for people signing your mailing list.

He emphasizes the importance of using Twitter to build your brand. Some useful tips are:

  • Customize your Twitter page with your photo, info about you and a link to your blog or web page.
  • Comment on and re-tweet other people’s posts.
  • Keep your posts short enough to re-tweet.
  • Post often, but don’t over-promote. Offer interesting content to your readers

Become an Amazon Associate and use an affiliate code in links to your own books. This generates extra income every time someone buys one of your books through your link.

Hyatt offered some ideas for novelists, such as:

  • Post excerpts from your novels.
  • Backstory your novel: why you wrote it, how did you settle on the story, did you do any research.
  • Behind the scenes look at what the life of a novelist is like.
  • Write “directors notes” for your book: why you chose to start with a particular scene, did you have to delete or add scenes to improve the story
  • Interview your editor: Ask your editor what her day-to-day job is like, what’s it like to work with writers, get stories about best and worst experiences, what prompted her to get into the business

Hyatt has many more ideas and recommendations that are applicable to writers. This book is a great read for anyone interested in developing and building a platform, and I’d highly recommend it.

Happy Valentine’s Day, Johnny Weir!

Johnny WeirHappy Valentine’s Day, Johnny Weir! Johnny Weir is an award-winning Olympic figure skater who is known for his fierce style sense and reputation for being outspoken. I’ve admired his fashion for quite some time now, but I especially admire him for flying in the face of Russia’s anti-gay stance by dressing in his Chanel + Hunger Games fashion for his Olympic commentary at Sochi.

According to a recent Huffington Post article, Johnny’s inspiration for his Olympic fashions is Stanley Tucci’s flamboyant character from The Hunger Games. (In fact, some say that Tucci trumped Jennifer Lawrence in the famous dystopian epic.)

Johnny has been posting his fabulous outfits on his Instagram account all week. I’ve posted a few here. Also below is a video of his flawless  short skating program from the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver.

Since Cevin’s Deadly Sin has been published, I’ve been noticing articles about trans and gender questioning people everywhere–from Facebook adding a new “trans” category to their gender classification choices to trans models being in major fashion shows. The world is gradually opening up to accept people in all of their varieties. There are still some who disapprove, but, to quote Victor Hugo, “All the forces in the world are not so powerful as an idea whose time has come.” The time has come for inclusion of all shades of gender.

Yes, Johnny Weir is a true American hero, standing up for what he believes in and furthering the cause of gay and gender queer people everywhere.

JW instagram

Today’s look. Thank you @ericksonbeamon, RAI LA, @RICKOWENSONLINE, and @BPCM. by @johnnygweir

JW instagram

Today’s Look: Blazer Vintage @Chanel, Jewels @joomilim, Leathers @GPugh_Studio, Wedges @RICKOWENSONLINE by @johnnygweir

JW instagram

Today’s look and two flames: Billy Reid NYC jacket, @joomilim necklace, RAI LA leather leggings and @RICKOWENSONLINE wedges. by @johnnygweir

This is Johnny’s short figure skating program from the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. (tweeted by Johnny himself yesterday) It’s a great example of artistry, talent and hard work combining to transcend the the physical medium and lift the performance into the realm of the divine.

Cevin’s Deadly Sin is Live Today!

Cevins_Deadly_Sin_72dpi3inWriting Cevin’s Deadly Sin has been a wild ride for me. Literally six years in the making, seeing the culmination of my work published is a huge thrill for me. First, this is a departure for me, before I’ve always written horror and paranormal. For this project that didn’t fit. At first I toyed with the idea of having a cross-dresser vampire or cross-dresser werecat, then I decided, no. This story needs to be told in a realistic fashion.

Cevin’s Deadly Sin is the story of a closeted hetero teen cross-dresser. In most ways he’s a normal kid, yet has that one difference he has to hide. It makes him feel that no one will accept him for his true self. It’s the story of feeling like an outsider, and who hasn’t felt that way at one time or another?

This was my thesis novel for an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. I struggled with the plot tremendously and ended up scrapping and rewriting the entire book after graduation. Then once I had it finished, it was difficult finding a publisher. Publishers told me they liked it, but they didn’t know how to market it. Cevin is hetero so he didn’t fit into the LGBT category, strictly speaking. He doesn’t want to have surgery to become a woman, so he doesn’t fall into the transgender category.

My present publisher, Queer Teen Press, is a little more broad in its content, so they seemed like a good fit to me. I was so happy when they accepted it for publication.

Why did I write this book? I’m fascinated with gender. How much of it is inherent and how much is from upbringing? Why do people in our culture react so violently against someone who defies gender?

I have cross-dresser friends, and I’ve interviewed a lot of cross-dressers, and I know that they had no support groups they could access during their school years. I’m writing Cevin to help them out—to bring awareness to the public about cross-dressing and help CD kids to realize that they’re not alone.

Also, how do we treat those who are different in some way? Tessa is totally taken with Cevin, but when he tries to tell her about how he’s different, she doesn’t want to listen. She becomes afraid and pulls away from him.

In many ways, this is a universal story. Has there ever been a time when you felt like an outsider?

Link to purchase Cevin’s Deadly Sin:

Queer Teen Press logo small

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