Wednesday, March 31, 2010

March Debut Winner!

I am embarrassingly overdue posting my March Debut Contest winners. My only excuse is that I’ve been TOTALLY absorbed in Original Sin revisions, which I just sent off to my truly fabulous agent. =)

I want to say hi and welcome to all you new followers. Hi!! The competition this month was a lot stiffer. We had 316 points accumulated by 59 different entrants—almost twice as many as last month—so thanks for spreading the word!! You guys rock!

And the winner is *drum roll*

Congratulation!!! *throws virtual confetti*

Have one of these-->

You get your choice of one of the following:
Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
Forget Her Nots by Amy Brecount White
The Line by Teri Hall
The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

Check in tomorrow (which actually starts in 10 minutes) to see my April Debut picks and enter the April Debut contest!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Pinch Me

Some things are too good to be true. For example: when one of your all time favorite authors reads your book and likes it, and then recommends it to others! *keels over*

It’s moments like this that make me think maybe my book doesn’t totally suck. Maybe it’s even pretty good. So, in this Author Appreciation Week post, I want to express my gratitude to Melissa Marr, not only for recommending my book, but for teaching me to be “fearless”. (That was the word my truly fabulous agent used to describe Original Sin.) If I truly am “fearless,” it’s because Melissa Marr was fearless first. There were several times that I looked back at what I’d written and thought that maybe it was too dark. But then I thought about the themes in Ink Exchange, and “fearless” really is the only word to describe them. So, because of Melissa, I had the courage to write the story that Frannie and Luc gave me—the story that was authentically theirs.

And, since she plugged my book, I’ll plug hers. (like she really needs my help O_o) I love her Wicked Lovely series. She has a new FREE ebook called Stopping Time up on all major booksellers. It’s a short story sequel to Ink Exchange and it’s being posted in two parts. Here's the link to download the first half. And here's the link to pre-order the second half, which will post on March 23rd.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Author Appreciation Week

So, Author Appreciation Week. When I think about authors who have influenced me as a person, the list is lengthy, and I’ll get to some of them later this week. But, when I think about authors who have influenced me as a writer, there are two that I need to mention first and foremost.

Just over a year and a half ago, I got the crazy notion to write my daughter a book for her birthday. The only thing of any length that I’d written up until that point had been my doctoral dissertation, and I’d hated every second of it. Additionally, the only YA I’d read up until then had been the Harry Potter books. Naturally, since I was writing for my soon to be 14 year-old, I wanted to find out what she was reading, so I scanned her bookshelves. Twilight and all its sequels were front and center, so I read them, but I wanted a sense of what else was out there. I went online and found the names Sarah Dessen and Laurie Halse Anderson all over YA websites, so off I went to my local bookstore. I came home with Dreamland and Speak.

And was blown away.

I literally read them back to back in one day, and couldn’t speak. I was stunned. Who knew that YA literature could be so meaningful, relevant and necessary? No disrespect intended toward J.K. Rowling or Stephenie Meyer, but the depth of the issues that are dealt with in Sarah Dessen’s Dreamland and Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak, and the grace with which they are handled, is nothing short of amazing. We want to think that our own daughters would be never end up in abusive relationships or in situations where they could be sexually assaulted. But it happens.

These authors not only made me realize that YA literature is not just “fluff,” and that nothing is off the table, but they offer teen girls a resource, albeit fictional, to explore these issues, and, if parents are smart, an opportunity to discuss them. And they both continue to write about timely and timeless issues that are so important to young women.

Hats off to them and others like them who aren’t afraid to tackle the tough issues.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Under Pressure...

Thought I'd start us off with a little music. A blast from my childhood:

That woman screaming...? Yeah, that was me...

The amazingly talented, and overall fabulous Heidi R. Kling is sponsoring Author Appreciation Week,so over the course of the week, I'll be sharing some thoughts on authors who have influenced me in one way or another. But today's post is about some of the challenges that authors face on the road to publication, such as, working under deadlines. Or in other words, all about me! O.O

I’ve got a whole lot of Personal Demons related stuff going on right now. Personal Demons copyedits showed up on Friday, and they're due back this week. I was looking forward to them, but when I saw all the RED, they scared the snot out of me—until I realized most of the red marks are for the typesetter and have nothing to do with me or my screw-ups. Whew!!

I’m also working through revisions of Original Sin (PD #2) which is very exciting. It’s seriously edgy and dark, so I was a little nervous about it, but my readers seemed to like it, so…maybe it’s okay. O_o

But then I started worrying a little about book 3, (never fear, book 3 is not the actual title O_O) because, what I found writing Original Sin is that I ended up going back and changing a few things in Personal Demons for tie-in. Original Sin is due to my editor by June 1st, so I’d like to have the first draft of book 3 done before then. That way, if something in Original Sin needs to change, I’ll still have time to do it.

See, the deal is, book 3 is the first thing I’ve ever written under contract. I’m finding it to be an interesting experience. I wrote Original Sin in November to pass the time while we were on submission with Personal Demons. But now, with deadlines for Original Sin looming, the pressure is a little different. When I wrote Personal Demons, I didn’t even have an agent, and wasn’t sure anyone but me would ever read it. With Original Sin, I knew I might be wasting my time, because if Personal Demons didn’t sell, there’d be no point in a sequel. So again, there was the likelihood that no one but me would ever read it. But now I KNOW someone other than me is going to read book 3. My seriously cool editor. And she’s going to expect it not to suck to be really good. *bites nails*

So it was a little nerve-wracking that the voices in my head had stopped and I pretty much had no idea where book 3 was going. I was lost in the literary desert with no plot. And with no voices and a silent Muse, (Orlando was nervous, I think. I know he never really looks nervous, but he’s only human.) I was feeling a little screwed.

The good news is that Orlando's back. *grins*

You can tell, just from the look on his face, that he's serious about getting some work done. So that means, when I can rip my eyes away from him, I can write, cuz Frannie, Luc and Gabe are starting to have conversations in my head again. The bad news is that they’re keeping me awake at night, but that’s okay. And the really good news it that they gave me the entire plot arc for book 3 last week, so right now, they’re my BFFs. In which case, they can keep me up all they want. Sleep is over rated anyway.

So, don't feel bad about thinking to yourself, she's nuts. I know that already and I won't take offense. I'd love for all you sane people to tell me about your WIP. How does the process work for you?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

I'm featured in GalleyCat!

So, I was in the middle of Original Sin revisions when I got the link to this from Colleen Lindsay on Twitter. The German deal is obviously nothing I didn’t know already, but it's in GalleyCat! Yay! This is so fun! (or funny looking if you look at the picture)

This makes me want to do that.-->

My German editor, Katharina, left a very nice comment on my post about the deal. I can’t wait to work with her. =)

Now I'm gonna go have one of these to celebrate.

What’s your big news?

Friday, March 5, 2010

PERSONAL DEMONS release date!

I've been waiting.

It's something that you have to get used to in publishing. The thing about that is, patience is a virtue I seem to be seriously lacking. I'm an instant gratification sort of person. I WANT STUFF NOW! When I think about why waiting is so tough, it really boils down to control and keeping busy. When I hand my project off to someone else, I have no control, and it's maddening. So maddening, in fact, that I can't focus enough to work productively on other projects and I end up obsessing and pulling my hair out.

But those of you in the publishing mill know that things tend to move slowly. You write your book and submit to agents. Then wait.

An agent takes you on and submits your book to publishers. And you wait.

A publisher buys your book. And you wait.

You wait for your editorial letter. (Though, my seriously cool editor was rocket fast with mine.)

You wait for your contract. (Just got mine yesterday. Here's me signing! Yay!!)

You wait for your cover art. *drums fingers and blows out a sigh*

Your copy edits. *folds arms across chest and taps toe*

Your pub date. *clenches teeth and wonders what the…*

What…? I have a pub date? REALLY!!!

So, I'm waiting for one less thing now. =) The official (but may possibly change) release date for Personal Demons is SEPTEMBER 14, 2010!!! Yay!

I was going to put a ticker on my blog but Sprout, who does all the cool publishing tickers, just went out of business =( Trying to figure out Widgetbox. Ticker coming soon!

Still, it's very exciting, and each step makes it feel a little more real. But I'm still dying to see what they come up with for a cover. *bites nails*

So, I'm passing the time working on Original Sin. My crit partner and agent have it and they're always spot-on with their feedback, so I can't wait to see what they say. My contract for Original Sin (that I just signed! *throws confetti*) says the delivery date is June 1, so that gives me some time to smooth out the rough spots.

What are you waiting for? Something special? Like, maybe my March Debut Contest? Some amazing YA debuts this month! Don't miss your chance to win one!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Those Beautiful Creatures, Kami and Margie

So, I mentioned Friday that I had a blast Thursday with Beautiful Creatures, Kami Garcia and Margie Stohl. They have some seriously funny stories that had us all ROFL. If you have a chance to catch a signing, don't miss it! Here's the link to Kami and Margie's blog post on the signing. (Where I stole borrowed these pics from.)

What I haven't mentioned (except to them) is that Kami and Margie are my own personal good luck charms. My truly fabulous agent (aka: The Book Fairy) sent me a Beautiful Creatures ARC when we went on submission with Personal Demons. It took me a few weeks to get to it and, the day I picked it up and cracked it open, we got our first offer. Those Caster Girls are really something. Truly magical...

They thought we should all rub my lucky ARC for...luck. :D

They made their big announcement this week. There are going to be FOUR books in the Caster series. Yay!!! If you haven't read Beautiful Creatures, you should. And if you have, you it again, I guess, cuz their next one won't be out until fall. But, just for the record, they totaly rock!

Monday, March 1, 2010

March Debut Contest!

4/1/10 note: If you got here through and old link, go here for my April contest.

Wow! February is toast. Gone. Poof. It’s March 1st! Time for a new debut contest! You can’t wait, can ya?

This month there are a TON (literally—I weighed them) of really amazing YA debuts. I had trouble choosing just four, but I’m happy with my choices and I’m so totally going to read them all! (You guys don’t mind a gently used prize, do you?)

So…a reminder of the contest and the rules:

Below, I’ve posted my four debut picks for March. All you have to do to enter to win one is comment on this post before noon pacific time on Friday, March 26th. One winner will be chosen using the randomizer and I’ll post the winner after noon on the 26th. The winner will then be allowed to choose one title off my picks list OR a signed ARC or copy of PERSONAL DEMONS (when I get them)! Yay!

In addition to commenting (for which you get one point) you can earn extra points each month as follows:

Old follower: +3 points
New follower: +2 points
Link to my contest post on your blog or twitter: +1 points
Dedicated post with link to my contest on your webpage/blog: +3 points
Add me to your sidebar blogroll: +2 points

Also on your entry, please remember to tell me how to find you (email address).

And remember, there will be no rollover points. Points start new every month.


My March debut picks are as follows:

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
Forget Her Nots by Amy Brecount White
The Line by Teri Hall
The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

Good luck everyone! Remember to enter early and enter often. (Joking—only one entry per person please.) And spread the word!! The more the merrier!