Sep 28, 2011


1. Check out Banned Book Week on the YA Muses blog this week!

2. I'm going to be speaking at the CWC meeting October 8th. If you're local, I hope to see you there!

3. Book recommendations from the Bookanistas!

Elana Johnson interviews Elle Strauss, author of Clockwise
LiLa Roecker discusses S R Johannes' e-book experiment
Christine Fonseca  is wowed by The White Assassin - with giveaway
Shannon Whitney Messenger loves Lola & the Boy Next Door – with giveaway
Beth Revis delights in The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer – with giveaway
Shelli Johannes-Wells falls for Fracture
Carolina Valdez Miller adores Ashfall – with giveaway
Jessi Kirby marvels at The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
Shana Silver steps up to Audition
Corrine Jackson is crazy about Cracked
Stasia Ward Kehoe swoons for Swan and To Dance

Sep 26, 2011

Goodreads ARC Giveaway

1. Harper Collins is giving away TEN copies of UNDER THE NEVER SKY. Check it out!

2. Paul Rudd is awesome. (This is only one of many reasons.) Who else has managed to hang onto an AOL email account? Raise your hands. Let's not live in shame any longer!

Paul Rudd in US Weekly

3. DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE by Laini Taylor releases tomorrow. Go. Buy. It.

That is all.

Sep 23, 2011

Comic Con NYC!

1. Guys. Guess who gets to be on a panel at Comic Con in NYC?

By far one of the coolest things to ever happen to me. I guess I should wait until after I go before I say that? Nope. Don't need to wait. Mark Hamill is going to be there. Jason Mamoa. Kim Harrison. Brandon Sanderson. Tahereh Mafi, whose SHATTER ME just shattered me, really... gah!!! I'm. So. Pumped!!!

2. Have you seen the book trailer for THE UNBECOMING OF MARA DYER? Amazing! That's how you do a book trailer. Congratulations to Michelle Hodkin, who is a great person & class act. I can't wait to read MARA next week!

3. Quotable Friday. This week, my husband's words from a few days ago. Spoken in one of many recent pep talks given to encourage me through the pressure of deadlines for one book, marketing demands for another. I thought this was quite smart (but don't tell him I said that.)

You can't teach experience.

Some things you have to just slog through and figure out on the fly. And there's a certain release in that. I don't know how to handle much of what doing. Learning as I go. Bungling about a little, but I'll figure it out. And so will you. Here's to learning as we go, everyone.

4. Finally, for no particular reason, I give you Ivan.

Sep 19, 2011

YA Muses Writers Retreat

I spent the past weekend with Talia Vance, Donna Cooner, Katy Longshore and Bret Ballou, my blogging partners at YA Muses. We secluded ourselves near Estes National Park and spent the days writing, relaxing, critiquing and laughing.

A few thoughts I had over the weekend:
  • Nothing is as inspiring as being surrounded by talent.
  • Nothing is more grounding than a group of friends.
  • Nothing is as good for the soul as laughter.
  • Critique sessions are better with a fire and s'mores.
  • Elk are gorgeous but they make funny sounds.
  • I need to see more of Colorado.

I'll dig in a little deeper over at the YA Muses on Thursday, but for now here are a few pictures.

YA Muses in front of Bear Lake

Big Fella, the Elk bull with the mostest

The walk to Bear Lake. Gorgeous.

Sep 15, 2011


1. We're looking at dialogue at the YA Muses this week. Want to hear what we have to say about talking?

2. I couldn't get to a review of my own today, but check out these great recs from the Bookanistas.

Elana Johnson is in a tizzy over Texas Gothic
LiLa Roecker  celebrates Something Like Hope
Christine Fonseca  is transformed by Shifting
Shannon Whitney Messenger takes a shine to So Silver Bright – with giveaway
Scott Tracey is on board for Starship Academy
Beth Revis shouts about The Name of the Star
Shana Silver loves Lola and the Boy Next Door
Rosemary Clement Moore is distracted by Alien Invasion & Other Inconveniences
Sarah Frances Hardy adores Birdie’s Big Girl Dress
Stasia Ward Kehoe takes a fancy to Fracture
Carolina Valdez Miller goes gaga for Glow and Shifting – with giveaway

Sep 10, 2011


A quick heads up:

Friend and fellow Apocalypsie Jill Hathaway is hosting a giveaway of UNS on her blog. It's open internationally. Thanks for doing that, Jill!

Also, make sure you check out Jill's book, SLIDE. I'm expecting an ARC of this in the mail any day and I can't wait to read it. It sounds awesome.

Sep 9, 2011

Quotable Friday & So Much More

Hi guys. Another week, huh? Hope it's been a good one for you.

1. Today, I'm over at BRAVE NEW WORDS shining a spotlight on my favorite scene in UNDER THE NEVER SKY. Curious? Check it out.

2. MY FRIENDS ARE AWESOME - (That sounded mean. I didn't mean it to be mean. I'm sure your friends are awesome too.) It never gets old seeing your friend's name in Publisher's Marketplace. Donna Cooner and I met in a critique group almost two years ago. She had just signed with an agent and I was in awe of her. I still am. Her writing is funny and heartbreaking and so gooood. It's a thrill to see other people recognize her incredible talent. Here's the announcement for her recent UK sale:

Donna Cooner's SKINNY, about a girl whose obesity and negative thoughts stand in the way of her dreams of becoming a singer and finding love, until she begins a long, hard journey of self-discovery and reinvention culminating in gastric-bypass surgery, only to find that love was never dependent on her size, to Stella Paskins at Egmont UK, in a two-book deal, for publication in Fall 2012, by Julia Churchill at the Greenhouse Literary Agency

I have had the privilege of reading SKINNY and it is ten kinds of fabulous. Congratulations, Donna!

Fellow Apocalypsie Miranda Kenneally's next two books were announced in the same bulletin. Here's a brief snippet:

Miranda Kenneally's PLAYING PARKER, about a 17-year-old girl and the inappropriate relationship she develops with the school baseball coach, and BAD, BAD THING, about a teen girl with strong Christian beliefs who can't get over the role she played in helping her best friend get an abortion.

I can't wait to read Miranda's debut CATCHING JORDAN. Really, really can't wait. YA + Football + Romance = Awesome. I know it. How can it not? Also. Have you seen the cover? LOVE it.

CATCHING JORDAN drops December 1st. Congratulations, Miranda!

Finally, two Apocalypsies' film deals were announced as well. I talked about Tamara Ireland Stone's deal last week. Congrats to Dan Krokos for selling rights to his YA Thriller FALSE MEMORY to RKO Pictures. This is another book I can't wait to get my hands on.

What a week, Apoxies! I'm so proud to be part of such a talented group.

3. BLOG TOUR - A shout out to Kari Olson for coordinating a blog tour for UNDER THE NEVER SKY through The Teen Book Scene.  I'll post more details when I have them. Thanks, Kari. I can't wait!

4. QUOTABLE FRIDAY - Last week, I went for inspirational. This week, we're going craft. We're going nuts and bolts, people. A reminder to me, and to you if you need it, about writing emotion. This is from CHARACTERS, EMOTION & VIEWPOINT by Nancy Kress.

In fact, naming emotions is usually a poor way to portray them. Even when authors say something like "Fear gripped him," the abstract naming is supplemented by other, more visceral techniques. This is because the aim is not to label the emotion; it is to make the reader experience the same emotion the character does.

Now go forth and don't name emotion, convey it.

ps. I'm feeling happy. Are you?

Sep 6, 2011

Cool Writerly Things & News

1. Story Masters - Three huge writing gurus. One weekend in Houston, Texas. Have you heard of this? Donald Maass, Christopher Vogler and James Scott Bell. It's like Woodstock for writers, people. Be there. If you can't be, then read their books, yes?

2. 826 Valencia - This is a non-profit founded in San Francisco by the brilliant Dave Eggers. Have a look at what they do. You'll be inspired. It'll make you feel good about the world again.

3. Moi - I wanted to tell you about all the awesome things I did this long weekend, but... I worked. A lot. Which was good. I got on a decent streak with the writing. Yesterday, I gave myself a break and played football in the street with my kids, my husband and their friends. You know what? Throwing a spiral feels so good. And it's much easier than writing a good scene. (I'm sorry, but it's true.)

In addition to writing Book Two, I've been asked to gather some of the world-building materials I used to create the UNS. I hope you find the behind the scenes stuff interesting. (Do you?)

Finally, Ivan is now, at eight months, up to eight pounds. Any guesses on how big he'll get? I'm thinking thirty pounds...

Sep 2, 2011

Quotable Friday

Van Gogh, Self Portrait 1889

Hi, all.

This week was all over the place for me in terms of writing productivity. I had a few days that were killer, and a few that were utterly wasted. So for Quotable Friday, I'm sharing one of my favorite quotes about persistence in art. It comes not from a writer but a painter, who also happened to be quite eloquent, as I think you'll see:

"But on the path I have taken now I must keep going; if I don't do anything, if I do not study, if I do not go on seeking any longer, then I am lost. Then woe is me. That is how I look at it; to continue, to continue; that is what is necessary. But you will ask: What is your definite aim? That aim becomes more definite, will stand out slowly and surely, just as the rough draught becomes a sketch, and the sketch becomes a picture, little by little, by working seriously on it, by pondering over the idea, vague at first, over the thought that was fleeting and passing, till it gets fixed."

Those are Vincent Van Gogh's words in his letters to his brother, Theo.

Next week--or probably sooner--I will work seriously. I will ponder and go on studying and seeking. I will continue. Because Vincent is right: that is what is necessary.

I hope, wherever your passion lies, that you choose to continue too.

Have a great long weekend.

And do try, if you can, to move like Jagger.

Sep 1, 2011

We Have A Winner

1. Winner! - First, thank you to all those who entered to win the ARC of UNDER THE NEVER SKY. A year ago, I had just signed with my agent. To think that the Microsoft Word document I was working on then is now a physical book is insane. It makes me so happy to know that you guys are looking forward to reading UNS. UNS is looking forward to being read by you!

Alas, I only have one ARC to send out. After a randomly generated number, Lauren of 365 Days of Reading is our winner. Congratulations, Lauren! Hope you enjoy it. (To be honest, I hope you love it. I do. I suppose that's obvious.)

To all those who didn't win this time, keep an eye out. UNS will be available on NetGalley soon. And if you miss it there, well, January 3rd will be here in no time!

Also, you are all winners. You know that, right?

2. I read an insanely good book recently by Laini Taylor. I know you're not surprised, because it's Laini Taylor. Dang, I'm so fangirl all of a sudden. But for reals. Her new book is amazing.

3. Fellow Apocalypsie and local girl, Tamara Ireland Stone, just hit one out of the park, scoring a film deal for her novel TIME BETWEEN US. Here's a description of the book:

A teenage girl falls in love with a boy from the near future who can take her anywhere in the world at the speed of thought. But while his unique ability to travel through space and time has brought them together, both know that time will inevitably knock him right back where he belongs.

Doesn't that sound great? Congratulations, Tamara!

4. Book Report -- Meaning the report on my book in progress. Still waging war against Book Two of the NEVER SKY trilogy.  I've got a long way to go, but I'm finally starting to win. If any of you writers out there are struggling right now, then let's just do a quick group hug. Sometimes it just ain't easy.

Thanks, all. Have a fun and safe Labor Day!