Feb17, 2014 |
Update: Today is the LAST DAY of my big blog tour. I would like to thank Merp Squad for doing such a phenomenon job. Nikki kept on top of everything so well. I would highly recommend them to any authors out there looking for a great blog tour. Thanks, Nikki!!
I’ve updated all the links below to go directly to the tour post instead of the general blog. These amazing book bloggers are really the lifeblood of the reading world these days, and I’m so grateful to them for everything they’ve done to help spread the word about Ask Again Later.
There is still time to enter the giveaway! Just go to one of the links below and follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter box. Couldn’t be simpler! I hope you’ve all had as much fun with this tour as I have!
Hmm, is there something happening today that I meant to tell you guys…? OH YEAH! It’s SO close to Ask Again Later’s book birthday and that means it’s Blog Tour Time!
I am so excited to be working with MerpSquad for this tour! They have done a phenomenal job of setting up a fantastic tour and I can’t wait to see it all play out!
Monday, February 17, 2014 Liza @ Reading with ABC
Tuesday, February 18, 2014 Jess @ Such a Novel Idea
Wednesday, February 19, 2014 Fahima @ I Read, Ergo I Write
Thursday, February 20, 2014 Jessica @ Read My Breath Away
Friday, February 21, 2014 Nova @ Out of Time
Monday, February 24, 2014 Nuzaifa @ Say It with Books
Tuesday, February 25, 2014 Jennifer @ Reading and Writing UF, Paranormal, and Romance
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 Patricia & Rosario @ The Unofficial Addiction Book Fan Club
Thursday, February 27, 2014 Montana @ The Book Belles
Friday, February 28, 2014 Jennifer @ Donnie Darko Girl
Monday, March 3, 2014 Melanie @ YA Midnight Reads
Tuesday, March 4, 2014 Rachel @ Paper Cuts
Wednesday, March 5, 2014 Rachel @ The Procrastinator’s Corner
Thursday, March 6, 2014 Amber @ The Mile Long Bookshelf
Friday, March 7, 2014 Nichole @ YaReads
It’s been a blast working with all these bloggers to create a fun tour! I hope you visit every stop and enter to win the grandprize! Learn more at MerpSquad’s site!
Jan25, 2014 |
Four years ago, back in the days when I was on blogger, I wrote a post called “The Weight of One Million Words.” In it, I wrote about Malcolm Gladwell’s idea that if you do anything for 10,000 hours, you’ll become an expert. In writing terms, that’s often translated to 1,000,000 words. Back in 2010, I calculated that I had written a million words already and I was hoping that meant I was finally ready to reach the next level.
I guess I wasn’t too far off the mark. At the end of 2010, I got sick. Sick enough to be off of work for long enough that I eventually didn’t have a job to go back to (Don’t worry, I’m fine!). And while I was stuck at home, unable to do a whole lot, I got the inspiration to write a book. Or more accurately a new version of an old book. And that’s the book that got me super-agent Laura Bradford.
Since 2010, I’ve written, rewritten, edited, and re-edited. I’ve taken a job as a professional freelancer and left that job. I’ve blogged, I’ve guest blogged. I wrote some more. I thought about writing at inappropriate times.
After poking around my hard drive for a bit, I was able to get a rough total of what I’d written since January 25, 2010. Turns out, it’s right around another million words. Some really incredible things have happened in my writing life since the last time I took stock, and right now I stand on the precipice of even more.
Was one million words the secret? Not in a magical incantation kind of way. But in terms of prioritizing writing and writing as much as I can, yeah, it was the secret.
Two million words might seem like I’m standing on top of a mountain, but in reality I know I’m just in the foothills of the Himalayas*. I’ve got a faithful team of sherpas to help me and I am raring to get climbing!
* Note: This is the closest I would ever even dream of getting to the Himalayas. I’ve watched those shows. I don’t go places with an official Death Zone.
Jan15, 2014 |
I know, I know, it’s January 15th already. Sorry. It’s been a little crazy around here.
This is the third year I’m running my own personal book awards! It’s been fun to look back over everything I’ve read and really think about the books at the end of the year.
As always, the books are in no particular order in the categories below, because I find it too hard to choose favorites when it comes to book.
So, without further ado…
Favorite Reads of 2013
This book is kind of a placeholder for the entire body of Christopher Moore’s work. I <3 him so hard it’s almost painful. So many of his books intertwine with crossover characters and worlds it’s hard to pick a favorite. But there is something particularly magical about this story, and I couldn’t be happier that there’s a sequel due out in 2014!
Say what you will about Stephen King’s recent books–no doubt it’s all been said before anyway. This one was so intensely researched and beautifully crafted, I have a hard time believing anyone would find major fault with it. Was it a bit slow at times, maybe. Was it so immersive in the historical period that I would have followed the main character anywhere? Oh yeah. I’ve never been that interested in the assassination the way some people are, but man did this book suck me in!
It’s been months since I finished this book and I can still come to the verge of tears if I think about it too long. It was a tour de force. Like nothing I’ve ever read. It lived up to the hype, and then went on to blow my expectations up in my face–so so powerful. And if you’re an audiobook person, this is a masterwork. The readers are so perfect. It’s like listening to the greatest actresses you’ve ever seen on stage or screen.
4. World War Z
by Max Brooks
I only regret it took me so long to discover this book. I came to it through the movie, sadly, and the book was something I started listening to because my husband already had it in our audible account. Wow. This is NOT what I expected a zombie book to be. At all. Don’t be put off by the subject matter. And once again, if you’re an audiobook person–hell, even if you’re not–this audiobook is state of the art. An impressive cast of celebrity readers. I loved it. LOVED it. And I’ve become a little obsessed with surviving the zombie apocalypse since I finished.
5. Just One Day
by Gayle Forman
I think that Gayle Forman might be a wizard. She does magic with words. I read Just One Day and Just One Year, and while I love them as a duo, I really loved the character of Allyson, so I had to choose the first one as my favorite. This book made me want to go back to Paris so badly! I loved Allyson’s development throughout the story and how much she really came into her own. A great read.
Five Books That Made Me Feel Like a Hack as a Writer in 2013
1. Code Name Verity
by Elizabeth Wein
To say that Wein created an innovative structure would be like saying Michaelangelo was pretty handy with a paint brush. This book is a masterwork, truly. I think it should be required reading in high schools and colleges. I have rarely been so haunted by a book. Rarely suffered such book hangover. I want to sit at Wein’s knee and try to absorb some of her skill.
2. Good Omens
by Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman
Once again, Neil Gaiman appears in this category. As I said last year, if Gaiman doesn’t make you feel a little bit like a hack as a writer, you’re probably not reading very carefully. Working with Terry Pratchett, he creates a world so full of creative characters, humor, bizarre occurrances, and tightly woven mythology that you’ll hardly believe it’s not real. Brilliant, hilarious, so fun.
by Rainbow Rowell
Is Rainbow Rowell the best writer on earth? Probably not. But somehow, she takes the same words we all have at our disposal, and puts them together in such a way that you fall in love with her characters. I know everyone went nuts over Eleanor & Park, and I read that, too, but Fangirl just felt so real to me! I related to Cath even when I was so mad at her!
by Christopher Moore
And once again Christopher Moore hits this category. As much as I love his contemporary stories, his historical retellings make my jaw hang loose. How he manages to write in a (admittedly not exact) Shakespearean style while still maintaining his signature silliness and engaging characters is beyond me! This is another book with an upcoming sequel and I am fairly gagging for it!
5. World War Z
by Max Brooks
I know, a zombie novel. What blew me away about this book was the amazing variety of voices in the interviews. Brooks created totally believable characters from all around the world in the most unbelievable situation you can think of. The complex socio-political environment he creates is unparalleled. I loved this book so hard, while simultaneously gnashing my teeth over my inability to think of plots this complex.
Favorite Female Characters of 2013
I related so strongly to Cath is was almost uncomfortable at times. I was a lot like her as a freshman in college (though I was not an internationally famous secret fanfic writer). She was real down to the last drop. Although it was kind of a “small” story (no alien invasions, secret babies, etc) I found myself wondering what would happen to her next.
2. Allyson (“Lulu”) from Just One Day
by Leila Sales
Here’s another character I related to hard. Such a good girl who wants so badly to be anything else. I loved following her on her journey through spontaneity and the painful recovery from it. Lulu and I could be besties. We should be.
3 & 4. Queenie and Maddie from Code Name Verity
by Elizabeth Wein
Rarely have I felt so passionately about characters as I did about the ones in this book. Queenie and Maddie. I’m getting choked up just thinking about them as I write this. They are so richly developed, so brave, so perfect for their time and yet still compelling to a modern reader. Elizabeth Wein, my hat’s off to you for all time.
5. Amy from A Million Suns
by Beth Revis
I’m so late to the Across the Universe series, it’s embarrassing. But man, I loves me some Amy! She is realistically spunky, smart, emotional without being moody…she’s the kind of character I’d like to see more of in books.
Favorite Male Characters of 2013
1. Willem from Just One Day/Just One Year by Gayle Forman
I’m not sure I’d actually want to date Willem, but for a book boyfriend, he’s pretty freakin’ dreamy. I love a man with an accent, and then he does Shakespeare? Please. Where do I sign? I can do without the obvious player status, but other than that, yum.
2. Park from Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
No one has ever made holding hands sound as good as Park. He is so adorably nerdy and so loyal and sweet! I can’t decide if I want to make him my book boyfriend or keep him as a pet. You know what I mean? Oh Park you sweetie!
3. Ben/Zombie from The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
I like Ben’s honesty. There was just something about him that compelled me. I thought he was the best character in the book. The affection he had for his sister and the way he took on Sammy as a surrogate sibling. It might not be the best alien invasion novel ever, but I liked Ben enough to put him on the list. Evan on the other hand, be gone with you. You annoy me.
4. Devin from Joyland by Stephen King
If I hadn’t read so many great books this year, this one might have made the top 5 list overall. There was just something so atmospheric and immersive about it. And the pulp-inspired cover? Please! How fantastic is that? Dev was such a great character. The kind of guy you’d like to know in real life. The perfect amount of youthful obsession with the ex-girlfriend without going into annoying territory. He was brave but humble, interesting, and relatable. Great character.
Jan02, 2014 |
Once again, I’ve kept a list of the books I’ve read this year, and I’m happy with my results! Fifty books is better than I’ve done before, and I’d like to do it again for 2014! Below my list, I’ve also got a list of all the books I’ve read with my son. We’ve actually read way more books than the ones that are on this list, but I only add new ones each year. Of course each year, we read plenty of old favorites over and over again.
Books I’ve Read 2013
- Lamb – Christopher Moore
- Blind Spot – Laura Ellen
- A Dirty Job – Christopher Moore
- Personal Effects – E.M. Kokie
- Bloodsucking Fiends: A Love Story – Christopher Moore
- Transparent – Natalie Whipple
- Wanderlove – Kirsten Hubbard
- Getting Over Garrett Delaney – Abby McDonald
- Coyote Blue – Christopher Moore
- Another Little Piece – Kate Kayrus Quinn
- Island of the Sequined Love Nun – Christopher Moore
- The DUFF – Kody Keplinger
- Mila2.0 – Debra Driza
- Butter – Erin Jade Lange
- The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove – Christopher Moore
- Fluke – Christopher Moore
- Crushed – Dawn Rae Miller
- The Stupidest Angel – Christopher Moore
- Bite Me: A Love Story – Christopher Moore
- Inferno – Dan Brown
- Just One Day – Gayle Formann
- Fool – Christopher Moore
- Joyland – Stephen King
- 11/22/63 – Stephen King
- FML – Shaun David Hutchinson
- The Fifth Wave – Rick Yancey
- Code Name: Verity – Elizabeth Wein
- The Magicians – Lev Grossman
- 45 Pounds (More or Less) – K.A. Barson
- Headhunters at My Door – J. Maarten Troost
- ADD-Friendly Ways to Organize Your Life – Judith Kolberg and Kathleen Nadeau Ph.D.
- The Spectacular Now – Tim Tharpe
- A Million Suns – Beth Revis
- The Wind Through the Keyhole – Stephen King
- Doctor Sleep – Stephen King
- I’m a Stranger Here Myself – Bill Bryson
- Roomies – Sara Zarr & Tara Altebrando
- The Wicked Girls – Alex Marwood
- World War Z – Max Brooks
- Perv – Jesse Bering
- Just One Year – Gayle Forman
- Allegiant – Veronica Roth
- Duma Key – Stephen King
- The Zombie Survival Guide – Max Brooks
- Skinny Dip – Carl Hiaasen
- Good Omens – Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett
- Eleanor & Park – Rainbow Rowell
- Revelations – J.A. Souders
- Me, Him, Them, and It – Caela Carter
- The Disappeared – Kathryn Rusch
Books I’ve Read to/with My Son 2013
- Baghead – Jarrett Krosoczka
- Goodnight, Monkey Boy – Jarrett Krosoczka
- Chicken Dance – Tammi Sauer
- Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? – Dr. Seuss
- Nate the Great and the Lost List – Marjorie Sharmat
- Nate the Great and the Missing Key – Marjorie Sharmat
- Nate the Great and the Fishy Prize – Marjorie Sharmat
- The Shape of Me and Other Stuff – Dr. Seuss
- Wynken, Blynken, and Nod – Eugene Field
- Oh the Thinks You Can Think – Dr. Seuss
- Are You My Mother? – P.D. Eastman
- Oh Say Can You Say? – Dr. Seuss
- Oh Say Can You Say Dinosaur? – Bonnie Worth
- The Little Witch and the Riddle – Bruce Degen
- This Moose Belongs to Me – Oliver Jeffers
- If I Ran the Circus – Dr. Seuss
- I Am Snow – Jean Marzollo
- I Spy Ultimate Challenger – Jean Marzollo
- Where Do Balloons Go? – Jamie Lee Curtis
- Max for President – Jarrett Krosoczka
- Giddy Up, Cowgirl! – Jarrett Krosoczka
- Walter the Farting Dog – William Kotzwinkle
- In the Night Garden – Barbara Joosse
- The Three Bears and 15 Other Stories – Anne Rockwell
- Puss in Boots and Other Stories – Anne Rockwell
- Nate the Great and the Fishy Prize - Marjorie Sharmat
- Nate the Great and the Missing Key - Marjorie Sharmat
- Nate the Great and the Lost List - Marjorie Sharmat
- Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? – Dr. Seuss
- The Shape of Me and Other Stuff – Dr. Seuss
- Wynken, Blynken, and Nod – Eugene Field
- Baghead - Jarrett Krosoczka
- Goodnight, Monkey Boy - Jarrett Krosoczka
- Chicken Dance – Tammi Sauer
- Nate the Great and the Musical Note - Marjorie Sharmat
- Nate the Great and the Snowy Trail - Marjorie Sharmat
- Duck! Rabbit! – Amy Krause Rosenthal
- The Great Paper Caper – Oliver Jeffers
- I Spy Fantasy – Jean Marzollo and Walter Wick
- Kel Gilligan’s Daredevil Stunt Show – Michael Buckley
- The Insomniacs – Karina Wolf and the Brothers Hilts
- Little Blue and Little Yellow – Leo Lionni
- Little Red Monkey – Jonathan London
- Who Bop? – Jonathan London
- My Buddy, Slug - Jarrett Krosoczka
- Sunday Chutney – Aaron Blabey
- I’m Bored – Michael Ian Black
- Punk Farm on Tour - Jarrett Krosoczka
- Nate the Great and the Stolen Base – Marjorie Sharmat
- My Many Colored Days – Dr. Seuss
- Grandpa Green – Lane Smith
- That’s Not a Good Idea – Mo Willems
- I Spy School Days – Jean Marzollo and Walter Wick
- I Spy Ultimate Gold Challenger – Jean Marzollo and Walter Wick
- I Spy Ultimate Challenger – Jean Marzollo and Walter Wick
- I Spy Mystery – Jean Marzollo and Walter Wick
- The Little House – Virginia Lee Burton
- Pig Kahuna – Jennifer Gordon Sattler
- Oh Nuts! – Tammi Sauer
- Secret Agent Splat! – Rob Scotton
- Earth to Clunk – Pam Smallcomb
- Mario Makes a Move – Jill McElmurry
- Sky Color – Peter H. Reynolds
- Little Pea – Amy Krause Rosenthal
- Stop Thief! – Adam J.B. Lane
- Edwina, the Dinosaur Who Didn’t Know She Was Extinct – Mo Willems
- Dinosaur vs. Library – Bob Shea
- The Butter Battle Book – Dr. Seuss
- Bartholomew and the Oobleck – Dr. Seuss
- Hunches in Bunches – Dr. Seuss
- Daisy-Head Mayzie – Dr. Seuss
- Sun Dance, Water Dance – Jonathan London
- A Big Guy Took My Ball – Mo Willems
- The Day the Crayons Quit – Drew Daywalt
- Miss Nelson Is Missing – Henry Allard
- New Socks – Bob Shea
- I’m Here – Peter Reynolds
- Stop Bugging Me: But That’s What Friends Are For – Daniel Cleary
- I’m Not – Pam Smallcomb
- The Happy Hocky Family Moves to the Country! – Lane Smith
- Sydney’s Star – Peter Reynolds
- So Few of Me – Peter Reynolds
- Snowbots – Aaron Reynolds
- Gerald McBoingBoing – Dr. Seuss
- I Had Trouble in Getting to Solla Sollew – Dr. Seuss
- Madam President – Lane Smith
- 13 Words – Lemony Snickett
- Al Pha’s Bet – Amy Krouse Rosenthal
- Bedtime for Mommy – Amy Krouse Rosenthal
- This Plus That: Life’s Little Equations – Amy Krouse Rosenthal
- Dawn – Uri Schulevitz
- Don’t Slam the Door! – Dori Chaconas
- Dream Weaver – Jonathan London
- The Boy Who Cried Alien! – Marilyn Singer
- Big Plans – Bob Shea
- Jumanji – Chris Van Allsburg
- Exclamation Mark! – Amy Krouse Rosenthal
- Dinosaurs Before Dark – Mary Pope Osborne
- Knight at Dawn - Mary Pope Osborne
- Mummies in the Morning - Mary Pope Osborne
- Pirates Past Noon - Mary Pope Osborne
- Night of the Ninjas - Mary Pope Osborne
- Afternoon on the Amazon - Mary Pope Osborne
- Midnight on the Moon - Mary Pope Osborne
- Ghost Town at Sundown - Mary Pope Osborne
- Lions at Lunchtime - Mary Pope Osborne
- Vacation Under the Volcano - Mary Pope Osborne
- Dragons Love Tacos – Adam Rubin
- Chalk – Bill Thomson
- The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore – William Joyce
- Bawk & Roll – Tami Sauer
- Tuesday – David Wiesner
- The Big Elephant in the Room – Lane Smith
- Golden Retrievers are the Best! – Elaine Landau
- Enemy Pie – Derek Munson
- The House Book – Keith DuQuette
- Sector 7- David Wiesner
- The Circus Ship – Chris VanDusen
- Big Chickens – Leslie Helakoski
- Alexander, Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday – Judith Viorst
- Alexander, Who’s Not (Do You Hear Me? I Mean It!) Going to Move – Judith Viorst
- Wag! – Patrick McDonnell
- The Story of the Golden Retriever
- Russell the Sheep – Rob Scotton
- Can You See What I See? Toyland Express – Walter Wick
- I’m Not Going to Get Up Today – Dr. Suess
- Lulu Walks the Dogs – Judith Viorst
- Lulu and the Brontosaurus – Judith Viorst
- Day of the Dragon King – Mary Pope Osborne
- Viking Ships at Sunrise – Mary Pope Osborne
- Hour of the Olympics – Mary Pope Osborne
- The OK Book – Amy Krouse Rosenthal
- Little Hoot – Amy Krouse Rosenthal
- It’s Not Fair – Amy Krouse Rosenthal
- I’ll Fix Anthony – Judith Viorst
- Pizza Kittens – Charlotte Voake
- The Tenth Good Thing About Barney – Judith Viorst
- Just in Case – Judith Viorst
- Nobody Here But Me – Judith Viorst
- June 29, 1999 – David Wiesner
- Hurricane – David Wiesner
- Hug Time – Patrick McDonnell
- South – Patrick McDonnell
- Knock Your Socks Off: a book of knock-knock jokes – Michael Dahl
- If I Ran the Zoo – Dr. Seuss
- Lemons Are Not Red – Laura Vaccaro Seeger
- Green – Laura Vaccaro Seeger
- Splat the Cat – Rob Scotton
- Russell and the Lost Treasure – Rob Scotton
- Glasses: Who Needs ‘em? – Lane Smith
- Dogs Don’t Have Pockets – Sean Raffaelli
Dec13, 2013 |
Sunday was my birthday. I won’t tell you how old I am, but it probably isn’t that hard to figure out. I’m not someone who normally worries too much about my chronological age, because A: there’s nothing I can do about it, and B: no one can make me act my age.
This year, my first thought upon the clock making the grand switch to midnight on the 8th, was “This is how old I’m going to be when my book comes out,” which sort of made it a magical number, regardless of what it was. It got me thinking about how much I’ve learned in the 16 or so months since I got the call that I was going to be a for-real published author. And that got me thinking about how much I’ve learned in general. As a student of life if you will.
So I decided to share, in no particular order, some of the wisdom I have theoretically gained in my time on this earth.
- Do what you love, no matter what anyone else thinks about it. Unless you’re a serial killer. That’s the sort of passion you should keep to yourself.
- Any vegetable can be improved by oven roasting. This includes tomatoes. Especially tomatoes. Just trust me.
- Your first draft isn’t good enough.
- It’s not worth keeping poisonous people in your life, no matter who they are. Slip away gracefully and most of the time, they won’t even notice.
- Not everyone will like what you do and that’s okay. You don’t like everything everyone else does, do you? If you don’t believe me, maybe you’ll believe Wil Wheaton.
- You probably don’t drink enough water.
- Whatever stage you’re at in your writing career is hard.
- Getting to the next stage will not make it all sunshine and rainbows.
- It’s still the best job I’ve ever had.
- Don’t worry about what you look like when it’s below freezing outside. No one will be laughing at you when you still have all your fingers and toes.
- Resist the urge to give a reason when you can’t do something (or just don’t want to). Be polite, say no, and close your mouth.
- There is such a thing as a natural talent, but without putting in the time, it won’t get you anywhere.
- Don’t say anything on the Internet you wouldn’t be willing to say in person.
- If you receive a gift from someone and you can thank them in person, you don’t have to send a thank you note.
- If you can’t thank them in person, you should send a thank you note.
- If you don’t want to send out Christmas cards, don’t.
- Whatever size underwear you think you should buy, get the next size up. Possibly even two sizes up. Your butt will thank you.
- Spontaneity is intimidating sometimes, but it can be fun.
- Put on your pajamas as early as possible on any given day.
- Audiobooks make walking the dog awesome.
- Don’t stop writing to research if you’re in the flow. Make a note to yourself and come back later.
- Don’t worry about how many words other writers can do in a day.
- It is always easier to be kind and honest. There’s a lot less to keep track of when you run into people you haven’t seen in a while.
- If you are ever offered the chance to be part of a flashmob, take it.
- When you find yourself in a position to perform a random act of kindness, seize it. You’ll improve not only someone else’s day, but your own.
- Acting professionally doesn’t have to mean being stuffy, but it does mean you show up, pay attention, be polite, and try not to do stuff you’ll regret.
- Puppies are incredibly hard work.
- Babies are incredibly hard work, but at least they don’t make you go outside in the freezing cold when they have to pee. On the other hand, they need you a lot more than puppies do.
- Avoid 24-hour news channels.
- Refuse to be ashamed of what you read, listen to, watch, enjoy. Likewise, it’s okay if you don’t like the thing everyone else is reading, listening to, watching, and enjoying. They’re not any more wrong for liking it than you are for not liking it.
- Try things you’re not sure you’ll enjoy because you might be surprised.
- You don’t have to know what you want to do with your life no matter how old you are.
- No matter how hard you try, some of your efforts will fail.
- You should probably apply another coat of sunscreen.
- All of these suggestions will be easier if you take my advice on the underwear thing.
Nov25, 2013 |
This year, I have a lot to be thankful for. Let’s face it, EVERY year I have a lot to be thankful for!
To celebrate Thanksgiving, the members of the The Class of 2k14 decided to have a mini-blogfest. You can find out what the rest of my classmates are thankful for this year at the class website!
As for me, I can’t contain myself to just one thing. So, I’m going with a list! (You might be seeing a lot of lists out of me in the coming months. The main character of next book, TOP TEN CLUES YOU’RE CLUELESS, has a habit of making lists and after spending so much time with her, I just can’t seem to stop myself!!)
I’m Thankful For…
- The opportunity to be part of the Class of 2k14! So far, we’re shaping up to be a pretty fantastic class, if I do say so myself. From glowing Kirkus reviews to Most Anticipated Book Lists, these amazing ladies have created an outstanding group of books and I am so proud to be in such great company!
- The team at Harper Collins who has made the process leading up to my debut as painless as possible. I feel like I won the publishing lottery!
- My agent, Laura Bradford, who continues to work her butt off for me! I wish her tasty treats and pleasure reading for the holiday.
- The friends and family who keep me excited about my upcoming book birthday even when I’m deep in the No-One-Is-Going-To-Read-This-and-Those-That-Do-Will-Hate-It-and-I-Will-Die-in-an-Internet-Flame-War-by-April zone.
- The YA Community both on-line and in-person who make me laugh, send encouragement when needed, and keep writing the most amazing books on earth!!
- Cheese. I’m deeply grateful for cheese. It’s the Wisconsinite in me.
You know those quotes from other authors that are on the covers of some books? Well guess what–I am the luckiest little writer in the world because I got AWESOME ONES!
Maybe you’ve heard of Huntley Fitzpatrick? You know, the author of the fantastic, MY LIFE NEXT DOOR, and the upcoming WHAT I THOUGHT WAS TRUE?
Well, she is as lovely and kind as you might expect if you’ve read her book. And she was generous enough to read an advanced copy of ASK AGAIN LATER and let us put her thoughts on the cover. Thanks Huntley! You should totally read her book, by the way. And pre-order her new book, WHAT I THOUGHT WAS TRUE while you’re at it. Because Huntley knows how to write the swoon-worthy romance, I assure you!
And perhaps you’ve also heard of Shaun David Hutchinson? Author of THE DEATHDAY LETTER and FML?
Well Shaun has been so delightful to this newbie. I started by fangirling him on Twitter, then sent him an email that literally had “OMG I’m terrified to send this!!” in the subject line. But he’s super nice and so funny–what a shock if you’ve read his books, right? He is also gracing us with a new book soon and you should probably put it on your to-read list. It’s called The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley. I know! You want to read it based on the title alone, right? I do.
Anyway, to celebrate my good fortune to have these two amazing authors give my book their seal of approval, I’m holding a BIG OL’ GIVEAWAY!!
GRAND PRIZE: Choose one book by each of my blurbers, PLUS get an ARC of ASK AGAIN LATER–there aren’t many left!!
FIRST PRIZE: Choose any book by ONE of my blurbers.
SECOND PRIZE: A $5 gift card to the bookseller of your choice and an autographed ASK AGAIN LATER bookmark.
THIRD PRIZE: An autographed ASK AGAIN LATER bookmark.
Easy to enter. All you have to do is share one of these images below on the social media of your choice! There are some optimized for Facebook, others are square for Twitter or Instagram. Any should work on Tumblr. I’ll have them all up on my own social media if you prefer to go the easy route and “Share” from mine.
(Glitter background images courtesy of AssassinM)
Unfortunately, since I have to ship a few of these things myself, I can’t offer this contest internationally. But that still leaves a whole lotta peeps in the US! The contest will run for 2 weeks, so get your social media engines revved!
Nov04, 2013 |
Good morning! It’s been a LONG time since I last blogged, but fear not, because today I come bearing gifts!
First of all, I’m super excited to share with you guys that my critique partner, BFF, and all-around swell gal, J.A. Souders, is about to unleash the second installment of her RENEGADE series on the world! That’s right, tomorrow is the big deal when REVELATIONS hits shelves. Have you found yourself wondering what happened to the anmesiac Evie once she got to the surface world? I bet you have! And now you get to find out!!
To celebrate her book birthday, Jessie is on a blog tour right now and she’s giving away fabulous goodies. You can find today’s stop on the tour here, or check out the whole schedule at Rockstar Booktours.
Second, the Class of 2k14 is still busily giving away all the books from the Class of 2k13. This week, my awesome mentor K.A. Barson is up. We’re giving away a copy of her book, 45 POUNDS (MORE OR LESS) to anyone in the whole world. Yes, that’s right, it’s an international giveaway and I can’t wait to ship it off to the lucky winner.
45 POUNDS (MORE OR LESS) is the delightful story of Ann who sets a goal of dropping 45 pounds before her aunt’s wedding. It’s a fantastic, fun, and funny read about some very serious subjects but K.A. handles it all deftly. You’ll love Ann from the start. If you’re a fan of contemporary, you’ll want to add this to your to-read pile, for sure! And if you enter now, you could win a copy for free! Just follow the link or click the image to enter!
Finally, for those of you keeping track, we are now only 5 months and 1 week away from my own book birthday! I’ve got preorder buttons at all your favorite booksellers, and stay tuned for giveaways. Thanks to everyone who has already added ASK AGAIN LATER to their Goodreads lists! I can’t believe how quick the debut is coming!
Also, I’m about to turn in copy edits on TOP TEN CLUES YOU’RE CLUELESS. I can’t wait to tell you guys more about this story!
Good luck in the giveaways and happy reading!
Sep03, 2013 |
I spend most of my time talking about my debut novel, Ask Again Later, these days. But I’m also lucky enough to have a second book coming out, too! Did you know that?
At this point, it’s expected to come out at the end of 2014–I know, two books in one year? I’m either super lucky or just plain crazy. (Don’t hold me to that release date either. If there’s one thing you can be sure of in publishing, it’s that a release date isn’t set in stone for quite a while!)
And now I can share the title with you!
Top Ten Clues You’re Clueless
There’s no official jacket flap copy yet, but I’ve got a little something cooked up for you in the meantime. Stay tuned for the official one, and eventually a fabulous cover to go with it!
Ten Things That Could Happen in this Book
1. Someone commits an act of accidental vandalism
2. A large amount of money goes missing.
3. Someone assaults a Salvation Army bell ringer.
4. A foot race passes through the meat department.
5. A lock is picked.
6. Someone steals a pregnancy test.
7. The police are called.
8. A ham goes on an unexpected journey.
9. Someone gets kissed.
10. Six teens are accused of a crime they didn’t commit (probably).
It’s Christmas Eve, and Chloe Novak and her friends are about to face the strangest shift at GoodFoods Market ever.
Huzzah! I’m so happy I get to start sharing tidbits about this story at last!
Aug21, 2013 |
If you’re not already familiar with Chuck Wendig‘s blog, Terrible Minds, I don’t even know if we can be friends anymore. At least not until you get over there and start reading. Well, maybe not if you’re easily offended by naughty words. And maybe not if you don’t want to be a writer. And okay, if your parents would be mad that you were reading something with a lot of naughty words.
But the rest of you–NO EXCUSES!
Chuck had a few guest posters recently, and one of them is the talented and hilarious Delilah S. Dawson, who you should probably be following on Twitter if you enjoy that sort of thing. If not, please see paragraph one.
Anyway, Ms. Dawson put down one of the best blogs I’ve ever seen. It’s called 25 Steps to Being a Traditionally Published Author: Lazy Bastard Edition. I won’t do the Bad Internet Etiquette Thing of reproducing the entire piece here, but I will give you a couple choice quotes, then wait patiently while you go read the rest. Warning: NSFW. Caveat: Make time outside of work, it’s worth it.
This is a pretty darn good account of what my own journey was like, so at least you know it’s the “normal” experience for 2 published authors. Which is nice.
On with the quotes!
2. THE FIRST RULE OF WRITE CLUB IS WRITE
This is no secret. Writing is a hugely complicated casserole of grammar, rhythm, vocabulary, pacing, plot, character, word choice, and time spent on task. You can’t edit, revise, or rewrite a blank page. So no matter how good you are, no matter how much you doubt yourself, no matter how elusive your saucy minx of a muse might be, sit your ass in that Ikea Poang chair and write like a mofo. Whether you go by Malcolm Gladwell and Macklemore’s proclamation of 10,000 hours or Stephen King’s avowed 1,000,000 words, you have to put in the time and effort to learn how to write with any skill. You must squeeze out one complete book before most of this advice applies at all. See rule 1.
13. DON’T LET QUERYING MAKE YOU CRAZY. BECAUSE IT WILL
No one watches an inbox as creepily as a querying writer. Every ping, every refresh could be the answer to your wildest dream. Or a soul-crushing form response that subtly indicates your general suckitude. If you just sit there, waiting, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Go out in the world and do something worth writing about. Start writing your next book. Read something so engrossing that you don’t even hear that adorable whistling sound my phone makes when I get an email. Go hang out on Twitter and yap it up with other writers, never ever mentioning that you’re querying or that you just got a rejection and can’t stop chewing on your beard.
Okay, now quit hanging around here and go read the rest!