Wednesday, August 20, 2014

SPARK has a new title AND I'm now on Facebook!

For me, coming up with a title sucks. Finding one you like and then realizing two years later that you have to change it really sucks.

That's what happened with SPARK. When trying to come up with a title three years ago, I knew I wanted something simple that encompassed the story's premise. SPARK was perfect. Fast forward three years later, and the title has been stamped on the cover of a slew of books, including several YA novels.

Before I even signed with my publisher, I was told I'd have to change the title, because the last thing they want is someone to go on Amazon looking for my book and end up purchasing something by a different author. I get it and totally agree, but I have to admit, the idea of changing the title of my book made me a wee bit sad and a whole lot anxious (I have to think of another title!?!?!). For three years, SPARK was the title of my story, and it felt a little bit like renaming your kid after realizing there are five other kids with the same name in his/her Kindergarten class. It might make sense...but...but...that's my baby's name :-(

However, I am happy to say that I found a title I'm THRILLED with. And the best part is, I got to come up with it myself (small press perk #896)! So without further adieu, Spark is now.....

Into a Million Pieces
It actually comes from a line in the book, and I feel like it encompasses a major theme in the story (and that's all I can say about that without giving too much away).

Onto other news...

I am now on Facebook!! Let me rephrase that, I now have an author page on Facebook. I'd love it if you "liked" it. I'll be posting fun stuff on there, like my cover reveal (no details yet, but I know it's being worked on) and release dates. Once my book is out in the wild, I'll post links to interviews, guest posts, and reviews (and the good stuff--GIVEAWAYS!!). Here's the link to it Hope to see you over there!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Goats in the Windy City!

On July 16th, I traveled to Chicago to meet up with a bunch of writer friends whom I've known for about three years (some of them longer). We had all met through various social networks (QueryTracker, Twitter, Blogs), and eventually about a dozen of us congregated in a private group on Facebook. We call ourselves "The Goat Posse" (needless to say, there's a long, strange, complicated story behind the name). The group has gained some members over the years, but wanting to keep the group close and tight-knit, we decided to close the pasture gates when the group reached eighteen--super cool, super talented--members. Most of them are listed here.

This year, eight of us were able to meet up in Chicago for three days of fun, laughter, and writing (okay, half of us did some writing, the other half decided to tour the city, and seeing as how I'd just finished my content edits and needed a break from writing, I was in the latter group :) ). These girls are some of the most amazing people I've ever met. We're all different ages, come from different parts of the country, have different styles of writing, and different personalities, but somehow we got along amazingly well. Maybe it's our love of writing that ties us all together or our understanding of what each other is going through as we find our way through the publishing world. Either way, getting to hang out with these ladies was one of the greatest experiences of my life.

Here we are in the limo (goats travel in style, yo), on our way to the book signing (see the next picture).

At Anderson's Bookshop, where authors (and fellow goats) Bethany Crandell, A.G. Howard, and A. Lynden Rolland participated in a Q&A and book signing.

One of my favorite pictures, taken at Navy Pier. Hard to believe, but the background is REAL! So beautiful :)

Here we are, crammed into an elevator (LOVE THESE FACES!)


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Why the Radio Silence?


That's right, I received my edits from my publisher around the beginning of April, and I officially finished the first round about two weeks ago. Currently, I am semi-eagerly awaiting round two. Let me just say that all the things they say about the "dreaded" edit letter, the marked-up-to-high-heaven manuscript, the "this is what sucks about your labor-o-love" phone conversation... it's all true. It'll cause anxiety that'll make you double your Xanax dosage, stock-pile Rolaids, and rock back-n-forth in the fetal position while crying out for your "mommy."

They're scary, yo.

But they're a good thing. After you calm down, you realize that your editor is a freaking GENIUS, and that while she is going to kick your ass and take names, you know your book is going to kick ass and take names after it's done and shining like a new pair of patent leather 6" heels (they're so purdy they bring a tear to my eye!). And that, my friend, is a beautiful feeling. True, after week three of editing, your house will start to resemble an episode of "Hoarders," and your family will get used to you spending most of your time in your bedroom (or wherever you write). They'll know that even when you "take a break" from working, you're body might be present, but your mind is still trying to come up with a catchy name for that freaking coffee shop your main character passes on a daily basis (GAH!!!).

So that's what I've been up to. I'm still here. Barely. With a few less marbles rolling around in my head and more loose screws than a traveling carnival. But I'm here. :)

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Happy Release Day to BETHANY CRANDELL!!!

Today is a HUGE day for my very dear friend, Bethany Crandell, and I couldn't be more happy for her. Her book, SUMMER ON THE SHORT BUS, is finally out!

*tosses confetti* *pops cork* *screams the news from the rooftop*

I remember reading this book very early on, long before her publishing deal, and thinking, holy crap--this girl is AMAZING! And then, of course, a wave of fear swept over me when I realized she was reading the manuscript I was querying at the time, which in my opinion, paled in comparison. Of course, being the incredible, supportive, and all-around lovely human being she is, she gushed about my book (even if it wasn't my best work at the time), and ever since then we've been huge fans of each other's work. Like I always tell her, I'd read ANYTHING she wrote, because her voice pulls you into the story and makes you FEEL. Whether it's laughing or crying, I always know I'm in for a ride (of the emotional variety) when I open up one of her manuscripts.

So, enough of my ramblings, let me introduce you to SUMMER ON THE SHORT BUS!

Summer on the Short Bus
(Taken from Goodreads)

Spoiled, Versace-clad Cricket Montgomery has seventeen years of pampering under her belt. So when her father decides to ship her off to a summer camp for disabled teens to help her learn some accountability, Cricket resigns herself to three weeks of handicapped hell.

Her sentence takes a bearable turn as she discovers the humor and likeability of the campers and grows close to fellow counselors. Now, if she can just convince a certain Zac Efron look-alike with amazing blue eyes that she finally realizes there's life after Gucci, this summer could turn out to be the best she's ever had.

If you're looking for something different...a book with a main character who's honest, maybe not always likeable, but real; I highly recommend checking out this book. You will laugh, root for the underdogs, and maybe even feel a little uncomfortable at times. SUMMER ON THE SHORT BUS is so different than everything else out there and easily one of the best young adult contemporary books I've ever read. I can't wait to see what Bethany Crandell comes out with next!

Monday, March 31, 2014

My Writing Process--The Blog Tour

Hellooooo! I thought I'd poke my head out from the rock I've been under to participate in the "My Writing Process" Blog Tour. A shout-out to the fabulous Precy Larkins for tagging me! Precy is a dear (and incredibly talented) writing buddy of mine, whom I've known for a few years now (bonus: she's a fellow goat posse member!).

I don't think there is a wrong or right way to write, and I definitely don't think my process is anything special. You simply do whatever works best for you. And well, this is what works best for me :)

1) What am I working on?

I'm expecting the content revisions on my young adult paranormal, SPARK (title to change) from my editor any day now, and I have my most recent project out with beta readers, so I guess you could say I'm in between projects right now.

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

As for the novel I have coming out, SPARK, I've been told by several people that it has a very strong contemporary feel to it. Some have even referred to it as "light" paranormal, so I think it'll appeal to a wide range of readers--lovers of contemporary and fantasy. Also, the story is about a teenage succubus, which is a topic that hasn't been done to death in the world of young adult paranormal. To answer the question on a larger scale, I think my work is different, because no matter what I write, no matter how serious the topic, I always throw in snippets of humor. That's just who I am and how I write. If I tried to keep things 100% serious, I wouldn't enjoy the process and would probably hate the end product.

3) Why do I write what I do?

Again, in the broad sense of the question, I enjoy writing young adult fiction because it's what feels natural to me and what I'm most comfortable writing. It feels genuine, whereas writing books for the adult market (which I've only done once--my first book) feels...more forced, like I'm not being true to my voice. More specifically, I enjoy writing contemporary and paranormal because I like stories that are realistic or realistic with just a little bit of the fantastical.

4) How does your writing process work?

I have a job and a family, so finding time to write can be difficult, but like I always tell people, if it's important enough to you, you'll make the time. And I do. I try to write or do writing-related work at night for about an hour or two after the kids go to bed and on the weekends. I tend to slack off a bit when I'm editing, but when I'm drafting, I'm much more strict and will make myself write four pages every day (or about 1,000 words/day). My goal is always to finish a manuscript within three months.

This is the part where I'm supposed to tag some people to share their writing process, but I think most people interested in doing so have already been tagged, so I'm going to skip this part :) I hope everyone has enjoyed reading about my writing process. As always, thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Books I'm Excited About: THE SEERS

I couldn't wait to get my hands on this book, because not only is THE SEERS the anticipated follow-up to THE HOLDERS, which I gushed about here, but it was written by one of my dearest writing buddies, Julianna Scott. I actually got to meet Julianna last month while she was in town for a signing, and I can tell you that she is just as lovely in person as she is online. By the way, if you ever get the chance to meet an online writing friend in person, go for it!! It's so incredibly cool to sit face-to-face and talk about writing stuff with someone who GETS IT!

Anyway, enough of my babbling, check out the blurb (not to mention the beautiful cover) from Goodreads.

The SeersAfter nearly being drained of her ability and betrayed by a man her father trusted, Becca Ingle was left with one clue — Ciaran Shea. He holds the key to the downfall of the power-mad Holder, Darragh, and can ensure the safety of both Holder and Human kind alike... but is he willing to help?

Becca, Alex, Jocelyn, and Cormac set out for Adare Manor to meet with the Bhunaidh, an aristocratic group of pure blooded Holders of whom Ciaran is a rumored member. However, when Becca discovers that they might not be the only ones after the information Ciaran has, everyone begins to wonder if Bhunaidh might not be as uninvolved with Darragh as they claim.

A race to uncover Ciaran’s secrets begins, where the line between friend and foe is blurred, and everyone seems to have their own agenda. Becca will have to call on every ability at her disposal to uncover the truth, all the while knowing that sometimes the answer is more dangerous than the question.

*Rubs hands together* Sounds fabulous, doesn't it? I loved it and highly recommend it! If interested, you can read my review here.

Thursday, January 23, 2014


Sometimes you write a story, and regardless of the mountain of rejections you get from agents, or the kindly-worded, yet heart-breaking, passes from publishers, you just can't bring yourself to give up on it. For whatever reason, the story continues to float around aimlessly in the back of your mind, and so every so often, you take it out, read a few chapters of it, and you remember why.

This is what happened with SPARK.

I started the book almost three years ago. During those three years ago, I queried it to an inch of its life, got an agent, went on two rounds of submissions with it, left my agent for it, and started submitting it to [carefully selected] small presses. My goal was always just to find a good home for my baby. I wanted a reputable small press. One with beautiful covers, great editing, fair contracts, and--for lack of a better term--good people. And I'm happy to announce that I found that with Red Adept Publishing.

SPARK (title to change) will be published!! I can't even begin to explain how excited I am (and a bit terrified at the same time, if I'm being honest). A release date hasn’t been determined yet, but it’ll probably be around late fall/early winter. It'll be available in e-book, print, and (eventually) audio formats.

I just want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart to those of you who've supported me, in one way or another, from the beginning. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!