Thursday, February 13, 2014

...and then one day, the little girl who loved to write realized she had to stop writing blogs in order to write more books.

if you're looking for updates on books, appearances, and other general happenings, please visit my website for the most up-to-date information! it's easy. click the pic below or click here.

if you're looking for more in-depth info, check out the FAQ tab above or cruise through the blog archives to the right --->

thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

teen readers rock

Um, seriously? It does not get any cooler than this:

I'm so honored that BUTTER made YALSA's 2013 TEENS' TOP TEN list!

28 nominees and 32,000 votes means a lot of teens were out there reading, and a lot of librarians were connecting kids with books. How awesome is that?

To all of those teen readers and librarians who spent a little time with Butter over the last few months, thank you Thank You THANK YOU, from the bottom of my heart. you so completely rock.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

the road to book 2

I am having a moment.

Later this morning, I will be sweating over my laptop, stressing about new words in a new manuscript. This afternoon, I will be hosing off my car after a very muddy trip to the mountains. And tonight, I will be cleaning up a scrapbooking mess I made in the living room.

But right now... right this second... I am having a moment -- a good one. I have the day off work, and I'm starting it off on the back patio watching the sun shine on the yard and drinking a cup of coffee (iced. This is Arizona after all. It's only 8:30am, and my temperature gauge already reads 90 degrees.)
This sunny caffeinated moment is how I am celebrating the launch of my second book, DEAD ENDS. (out today!)

I remember, after selling BUTTER, thinking the 2 year wait to publication would feel like a lifetime. In hindsight, it went by in a flash. But that flash was nothing compared to how fast it seems DEAD ENDS was published. We sold this book in the spring of 2012, so it's been a little under 18 months from sale to pub. For all but 1 of those 18 months, I was also planning my wedding, so I had very little time to obsess about this launch the way I did the first time around.
In fact, this quiet moment right now may be the very first time I've actually reflected on the road to book 2 at all.

I wrote the first draft of DEAD ENDS the month after we sold BUTTER, in part to keep myself from clicking on my email inbox every two seconds. *Best advice ever, by the way! There is a lot of waiting around on the path to publishing. Use that down time to write something new! Once edit letters and blog requests and cover comps start rolling in, you may find your writing time is being eaten away!

After my speed-drafting, I sent the manuscript (then-titled Billy D. & the Bully) off to one of my crit partners, who told me what I already suspected - I had a good start, some great characters... and not much plot.
So I spent the next 9 months or so rearranging, revising and rewriting. By the end of the year, with more help from crit partners, I had something worth submitting.
It was another few months before we sold it, and then I hit a wall of "now what?"

See, the first time around, every moment is a milestone.
book sale? champagne dinner out on the town!
cover reveal? splatter the internet!
launch party? everyone you know is coming!

It's a two-year-long party to celebrate a dream come true. But if book 1 is the dream, what is book 2?
It took me some time to figure out BUTTER wasn't the end of a journey but the start of a new one. And DEAD ENDS is the first step down that new path - a path that forks off in many directions, like a "choose your own adventure" book.
Do you want to write full time?
Do you want to explore a new genre?
Do you dream of longevity as an author?

It's a path of nothing but possibility, and it's a little intimidating, because once your biggest dream comes true... do you dare dream bigger?

For today, my dream is this: that readers who pick up DEAD ENDS will meet Dane, Billy D. and Seely... share their journey... and find something to love.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Rebel Bully Geek Pariah

once upon a time, an aspiring author wrote a manuscript. it was a huge accomplishment, because after decades of writing, it was the first time she ever got to "The End" in one of her stories.

but that story was bad - like so many first attempts at novels. this would-be writer had a lot to learn, and by the time she understood what needed to be fixed, it seemed less daunting to just write an entirely new book.

so that first book went into the trunk to collect dust. the writer pulled it out every so often to steal things from it - scenes, ideas, snippets - until finally this aspiring author became an actual author and nearly forgot about that first trunked story.

until one day... she opened the manuscript looking not to steal from it but to rebuild it. she held this idea that had been so close to her heart in her hands and thought, what if? what if this book could see the light of day? what if the only line that stays the same is "The End" and the rest could be rewritten from scratch?
what if your first love was "the one" after all?

i'm pleased to announce my own "first love" is coming to bookstores in 2015!

i can never make those PM announcements fit on my blog! so, in case you can't read the pic, my next book will be REBEL BULLY GEEK PARIAH, a story of 4 teens with nothing in common until they find themselves on the run, with only each other to trust. part thriller, part Breakfast Club on wheels.

and if you can read the pic, you'll see there's a 4th book coming after that, but more on that in the pretty distant future! ;)

Monday, August 19, 2013

and on we go

*blows dust off blog*
*clears throat*
*taps mic*

oh my. where in the world have i been?

well, for starters, i was here:
that's me in the dress!

and then i was here:
when you're having a BIG FAT ITALIAN WEDDING, planning can kind of take over your life. but now things are settling back down, and it's time for BOOKS to rule my life once again!
on that note, i have some exciting events coming up in the next few months!
first, and most important! i will be celebrating the launch of DEAD ENDS with a signing at Changing Hands on Saturday, September 7th at 5:00. if you're in Arizona, i hope to see you there!
coming up in October, i'll be presenting at the SCBWI AZ annual conference, along with an incredible lineup of authors, editors, agents and more (including my own fabulous agent, Literaticat herself, Jennifer Laughran!) click here for more info and registration!
then, in December, i'm thrilled to be a guest author for the St. Louis Public Library's incredible Read It Forward program. i went to college (and attempted to write my first novel!) in Missouri, so this event will feel like going home.
more news to come, but that might be just about enough for my first blog back! stay tuned...

Friday, June 28, 2013

Dead Ends Jacket Reveal

Two big Ws have kept me away from the blog for far too long - Writing & Wedding. But as soon as this wedding planning winds down, I will be gearing up for the release of DEAD ENDS in September!
And you can't have a book release without a cover, right? If I was thrilled when I saw the front cover for DE, then there are no words for how I feel about the full jacket. Well, maybe one word. Amazeballs.
Are we still saying amazeballs? I'm usually behind on these things.
Anyway, enough of the drum roll. Check out the jacket!

I love it love it love it. Every inch of it. The whole thing just begs you to lean in closer. And for those of you who may have read an advanced copy of DE already, how cool is it that Seely is on the back cover?!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

ARC Winners!

we have a winner!!!!!!!!!!!!
actually, we have 2.

thanks to all who entered the giveaway for an ARC of DEAD ENDS. i was pretty blown away by the response. the two winners were chosen by my favorite random number generator,!

i know i promised to announce the winners here on the blog, but i hadn't banked on clever email addresses that don't make every winner's name clear. since i don't want to give anyone's email address out here, i'll give you the winning numbers instead.
#10 and #92

10 & 92, you each got an email from me. CONGRATS!

for those who did not get an email from me, GOOD NEWS! you can still win a copy of DEAD ENDS on goodreads. there will be 5 winners, and the contest is open for another month. click here to enter!

thanks again!