Archive for the ‘People I Love’ Category
November 2nd, 2012 Posted 6:09 am
One of the coolest things about the writing life is the writer friends who come along with it. I met one of these amazing people, Lindsey Scheibe, at a SCBWI monthly meeting and critique session a few years back. She read from a manuscript she was working on, and I knew right then I wanted her for a critique partner – and a friend!
We’ve shared tears, laughter, soup and manuscripts – and now it is my great pleasure to share the cover of her upcoming debut novel, Riptide, with you!
Isn’t it gorgeous? It should be one of your Must Reads for next summer!
Here’s the super-short pitch:
A seventeen-year-old is training for a big surf competition — her ticket out of an abusive household — and trying desperately to keep from falling in love with her best friend.
September 25th, 2012 Posted 8:07 pm
One of the things I’ve heard other writers fret about is the dreaded poorly-attended signing. From what I’ve picked up, this usually happens in a town pretty far from the author’s home, at a bookstore that either didn’t advertise the event, scheduled it against some major community festival/football game/shindig, or is a cursed venue for some reason (maybe they offended a zombie priestess or the local coven).
I know I’ll have one or more of these in my future. But recently, I’ve been a part of two small signings – intentionally small – that were sheer joy as an author to attend! Both of these were house parties, hosted by a person I knew well, and to which she invited her close circle of friends. People brought their own books for me to sign, and the hostesses provided a few more (which at least one of the gals bought from our local indie, Bookpeople! Yay!). There was wine, food, reading, signing, and wonderful questions in an intimate setting.
I know time is an real issue for authors (you see how spotty my blogging is getting? That’s for a reason, folks! So… busy…), and large events can seem like the best use of that precious time. But those are the places my friends warned me about – big, impersonal at times, and not at all sure to draw a crowd.
I think making time for small signings may be a very good idea! Want one-on-one time with your readers, and their parents/teachers? Try one! You’re guaranteed the most comfortable chair in the house, and you might even get a sidewalk chalk drawing to welcome you in!
So, new authors out there? Every once in a while? Go small. (No matter what I said last week.)
August 30th, 2012 Posted 4:28 pm
Well, I’m as busy as a bee these days – and I haven’t forgotten I promised you pictures of the Big Launch. But you may have to wait. SO MUCH TO DO.
I’m doing a talk on queries, pitches, and synopses at the local SCBWI monthly meeting on September 8, 10 a.m.
Then, the following Saturday, I’m doing this!
Cool, huh? I get to read to kids, and support an amazing literacy initiative!
In addition to these things, I’m writing guest blogs and trying to remember to pick my kids up from the bus stop. Hey, I remembered one of them today, so that’s good, right?
Never mind. So, anyway, in the Land of Free Things… places to win my book this week include:
The Mother and Daughter Reading Team blog! (Um, there are NO entries yet here. So, I would think GO HERE FIRST!)
So, what are you waiting for? Go win free books!
(And I’d like to wish a wonderful launch week to Apocalypsie Claire Legrand, author of The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls, one of my favorite MG reads of the year! Read it now, unless you’re phobic of bugs, in which case DO NOT. Happy Book Birthday, Claire!)
August 21st, 2012 Posted 2:17 pm
I am a soppy, sentimental, squishy person. I always have been, even if sometimes I hide it. I’ve been humming the words to this tune all week, and thinking about all the people I love, all the ones I feel so grateful to for this day.
An acknowledgments page just doesn’t cover it.
I am overwhelmed with gratitude. Thank you to all the people at Razorbill and New Leaf – especially Laura, Emily, and Suzie. Thank you to my amazing family and Writer Friends. My Writer Friends! Cynthia, Samantha, Joy, Nan, Shelli, Lindsey, Lizzie – too many to count. You are my tribe, and I’m so glad I found you.
Thank you to the book bloggers who have taken time to write and post reviews – and to Jen, for setting up my tour!
Thanks to Dave, who gaily canceled the fun cable channels, magazine subscriptions, and spent down the savings so I could have the time to write. And thank you to my kids, who have learned to cook their own dinners… and how to read manuscripts like professional editors.
Now I have a party on Saturday to get ready for – and you are invited! Bring an (un)healthy appetite – there’s going to be a whole lot of sweetness at Bookpeople on Saturday.
August 12th, 2012 Posted 7:55 pm
I’m going to get real here, friends: It’s not all that fun right now.
I mean, sure, it’s fun, everyone’s excited about the book coming out, I’m baking a million cupcakes for the launch party at Bookpeople on the 25th… and I’m happily excited, I swear! But, the past few days, that excitement has been seasoned with a healthy dose of nerves.
It’s sort of like when you finally get on the big roller coaster you’ve been dying to be on for so long, after waiting in line for hours, and you’re going up that enormous first hill, with the clackity-whirr of gears grinding underneath you… and the “happy excited” flips ever-so-slightly into the “oh-crud” kind?
No, I have no idea why. Except that it’s not every day that your Life’s Dream comes true, is it? And mine is about to hit. And if I learned one thing from having a super-colicky Screamer Devil Baby almost 13 years ago, it’s that Glorious Life Changing Events never turn out exactly the way you’d think.
So, think about me this final week. And, if you still want to win a book by/from a Nervous Nellie debut author, you can enter here:
1. Vonna Carter’s blog has a guest post by moi, with a link to my new Splendid Academy website! Win an ARC, and instant fame/notoriety as a meal-planner for the school.
2. Mod Podge Books has a few days to run on a contest for a SIGNED coy of the FINAL BOOK! Seriously, you want this one.
3. I’m giving away a copy of Baba Yaga and Vasilisa the Brave in honor of Joy Preble’s launch of Anastasia Forever. Extended until Wednesday!
Now, I’ll just go eat a few more squares of chocolate until these nerves pass. They will pass, right?
August 7th, 2012 Posted 6:10 am
One of the very best things about being a writer, at least in Central Texas, is the company. There are SO MANY amazing writers here! And if you are lucky enough to live here (and come out of your writing cave occasionally), you get to meet them, talk to them, and learn what amazing people they are in addition to the whole “genius writer” thing.
Last year, I had the chance to go to a retreat with a bunch of friends at a place we like to call the Lodge of Dead Things. It was wonderful, of course. But one of the best parts was getting to know author Joy Preble.
Seriously, she is funny, smart as a whip, kind, generous, and her writing! Gah! If I hadn’t loved her so much, I would have had the tiny teeth of jealousy tearing at my innards for weeks after that retreat. She’s a rockstar.
And she has a book coming out – the third in a series! Which I own, and NO I am NOT giving it away on the blog, it is MINE ALL MINE. But… when I was talking to Joy, we realized that we both have the character of Vasilisa the Brave in our books, both of which are coming out in the next two weeks — so I thought we should celebrate.
Don’t worry if you don’t know the story of Vasilisa. It’s okay, and you’re not alone. Heck, I know at least one reviewer/kid with an advance copy of Sinister Sweetness who had never hear d of Hansel and Gretel, and they still got the story. BUT, dear friends, if you get this book and THEN read Joy’s or my books?
YOU WILL BE CHANGED FOREVER.
Okay, well, maybe if you read it, then Joy’s book. My book mostly just makes people hungry, then nervous.
Anyway… HERE is what I AM giving away to celebrate: One brand-new copy of Baba Yaga and Vasilisa the Brave, by Marianna Mayer.
I will also throw in a bookmark of Joy’s , one of mine, and maybe even a few other little goodies because I love Joy that much and want to celebrate her awesomeness.
So, in the comments section, tell me what your very favorite fairy tale is for one entry. And if you tweet about this, tell me that, too, and I’ll enter your name another time!*
So, hooray for Joy! And hooray for you, dear readers — August is filling up with fun fairy tale-ish b0oks!
*This contest is good for North America only, please! Contest will end on 8/14.
August 2nd, 2012 Posted 6:08 pm
Oh, friends. There are parts of this whole debut author thing that scare me to death. Mostly it’s the technology-related stuff. (You may have picked up on the fact that I’m really the tiniest bit afraid of Twitter, even though I use it. And these nights I wake up in a cold sweat, having nightmares about Skype visits gone horribly wrong.)
So, making a book trailer would be one of These Evil Things, right?
Not if you are married to the world’s awesomest husband. WHICH I AM. And he happens to be an amazing photographer, AND a computer whiz. (My momma always told me to “marry tech support.” Thanks, Mom. Good call.)
This book trailer thing is going to be so much fun. I think.
In any case, we’ve been Very Busy taking pictures of kids with the most insane amounts of inappropriately sweet junk food… and then giving the food to the kids who model for us, of course. (One kid ate his entire PIE right after his photo shoot. A whole pie. There is a picture book I adore with a dog who did this. Buy it now.)
In any case, the trailer will be unveiled at my book launch party at Bookpeople in Austin, Texas on Saturday, August 25. (To which you are all invited. Go, buy your plane tickets!) I think it will be awesome. Here is one of the models. (My kid!)
Once you’ve enjoyed ogling my cute kid, trot on over to the ModPodgeBookshelf blog to read a new guest post I wrote on re-naming my main character in Sinister Sweetness… and enter for a chance to win an ACTUAL first-edition, SIGNED copy of my book!
And if you want to read some amazing reviews for Sinister Sweetness, check out the Mother-Daughter Reading Team, or Pure Imagination! Thanks, y’all – you’re very lovely, and I would totally bake you a pie. A whole one. Just for you.
More later in the week on the Amazing Joy Preble… for whom I would bake an entire kitchen full of pies. She has an awesome book coming out… and I’m going to do something very special for the occasion!
July 15th, 2012 Posted 12:53 pm
Well, Aloha, friends! I just got back from a two-week vacation-of-a-lifetime in Hawaii, and I’m feeling very, very happy.
Not just because of this:
But also, because of this:
SQUEEEEE! (I totally deserve to squee. I mean, “fresh, mesmerizing, new AND classic? Pardon me while I swoon.)
I’m so happy! And I’m ALSO happy because while I was away, TWO amazing writer friends posted interview/essays of mine on their blogs, with ARC giveaways of the aforementioned “fresh, mesmerizing, etc.” book.
So, hurry! Before the contests end, trot over to Laurisa White Reyes’ A Thousand Wrongs blog and enter her contest (also check out her amazing blog. She’s doing it right, y’all!). Then nip over to Claire LeGrand’s site for ANOTHER Sinister Sweetness ARC giveaway, and the story of my lifelong love affair with Pippi Longstocking.
Can I just say how cool it was to see this post go live when I was doing this with my kids?
What a great month! And to think that in one more month (plus a few days), Sinister Sweetness will be out in the world! *nervous trembling*
Okay, now I may need another mai tai.
Write well, friends, and don’t forget to try something new this week. Possibly not breadfruit, though. Blech.
June 2nd, 2012 Posted 3:18 pm
So, I may have mentioned that when I signed my book deal with Razorbill, my youngest son asked for a pony.
I explained that I wasn’t actually J.K. Rowling, and that ponies are expensive, take a lot of care,* blah blah blah. When pressed (oh, yes, the kid kept at it), I said when I made a million dollars at this writing thing, we could get a pony. (I figured he’d be about forty if it ever happened, and past the pony-wanting years. I’m sneaky like that.)
But there’s no harm in dreaming – I mean, that’s what gets us through this whole writing life some
days years. The thought of someday, seeing your name next to your heroes, seeing your book at the book fair, buying that pony and pony butler’s services with your ginormous royalty checks. *sigh*
I had a tiny part of that dream come true today, friends. I was sitting at breakfast, reading the Austin American-Statesman paper. I turned to the Books section (as one does), and there was a great article about YA fantasy, and why it is so freaking awesome, and why everyone should buy their kids fantasy books every day of their lives, isn’t the REALITY of middle school enough to merit the escape into fantasy, people… sorry, got on my soapbox. Cynthia Leitich Smith spoke extremely well about the topic, and I was waving my pom poms. Yay, Cynthia! Yay, YA fantasy books!
Rick Riordan? Check.
Cynthia Leitich Smith? Check.
Marissa Meyer, James Dashner, Veronica Roth? Checkity check check.
Nikki Loftin? Wait… who?
Oh. My. Heavens.
My book was there. Right next to (as my son pointed out) the photos from the Hunger Games and Harry Potter movies.
It took some explaining that, no, we still weren’t getting the pony yet.But ice cream? Oh. yes. Time to celebrate!
Isn’t this the coolest thing? I’m so happy today.
* When I explained to him that he’d have to clean a barn, he amended his wish for just a pony. He also wants a “pony butler” to clean up the poo. I’m going to have to write some seriously bestselling books, people.
April 27th, 2012 Posted 4:40 pm
Oh, friends, I am a VERY busy little bee down here in Texas. I have a super tight deadline for a new project, and I may be away from the blog more than usual for the next two months. (For an idea of how tight the deadline is, my word quota to hit for TODAY alone was 4,000. Not quite there yet…) Still, I have my Wonder Woman Underoos, an enormous stash of chocolate, and a family grown accustomed to cereal for dinner. I will prevail!
Still, I had to share the two lovely pieces of news I had this week, and one from last week as well.
Last week’s news: I had a poem accepted by the Texas Poetry Calendar, an anthology of poets from Texas, or who write about Texas. The calendar comes out in 2013 – but you can always pre-order a copy! Or pick one up at Bookpeople when the time comes.
This week: My day started with a Facebook message from a writer/teacher I met in Houston a year ago. She teaches 6th grade Pre-AP English, and had assigned a book report. One of her students asked if she could report on a book that isn’t out yet – her mom had snagged an ARC of it at a conference, and the girl had read it and loved it.
Of course, the book was mine, and my teacher friend and I both squealed with delight. I will TOTALLY be sending the autographed bookmarks to that class! I can’t even tell you what a rush it was to think some kid who I am NOT genetically related to read my book, and loved it enough to do a report on it. So. Freaking. Cool.
Then, at the end of the day, my friend and fellow writer/blogger Samantha Clark posted her incredibly thoughtful review of Sinister Sweetness. I’m overwhelmed. Samantha is so smart, and reads so closely – with an eye to the construction of the novel, as well as the overall result. Thank you, Sam.
Now, it’s back to the page for me. And then off to New York next week, where I will do writerly things with my agent and editor, birthday celebration things with my mom and sisters, and shopping things… well, not so much of that. But still — New York!!!
PS – If you want something fun and fresh to read by a local author who is diving bravely into the non-fiction self-publishing waters, check out my funny, lovely friend Pamela Hutchins. I think How To Screw Up Your Kids sounds like fun… wait. Did that come out right? Good luck, Pamela!