Wednesday, August 25, 2010

It's begun!

Was amazed and delighted to see that HAUNTED is available for pre-sale on B& Crazy!!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Random Thoughts on lots of stuff, including Haunted

Classes start tomorrow. Back to my education roots this year and teaching senior English - which I'd started to miss. So it's back to Beowulf and Canterbury Tales and Macbeth and a little Dante thrown in for good measure. We'll start w/Orwell's 1984 and eventually wander our way to the Romantics, the Victorians... a little Frankenstein, a little Dracula... And cause I've got "connections" now (in quotes lest anyone mistake me for a person with power - which when you tell civilians you've got an agent and a publicist they sometimes do, which often makes me giggle) - maybe we'll get some author Skype time in with the Sourcebooks author Bekka Black, whose cell novel iDracula is coming out at Halloween. We will see...

Copy edits are just about done. Okay - that's a longer story. But that's what the cabernet is for, right?

Brainstorming for my upcoming Dreaming Anastasia 1 year anniversary post. Yes! 9/1 will be one year since my debut novel debuted! The phrase, "May you live in interesting times" has been rattling through my head. But more on that soon. One hint: something new and thrilling is brewing with that first novel. Let's just say that when readers comment, Sourcebooks listens... (I promised I wouldn't tell. So I'm not.)

Getting a lot of questions about HAUNTED, which is awesome. I'll be part of the Crossroads Blog Tour that Judith Graves has organized for October, writing part of a ghost story with other authors for Angela and Tynga at and telling a real life scary story for Jessica's Haunted Halloween event at Confessions of a Bookaholic - both events also in October.

Fall is filling up in many ways: if you're an Oklahoma librarian, you'll see me at Encyclomedia on the New Voices panel; if you're an English teacher, I'm part of a Retelling the Female Hero Journey panel at NCTE in Disney World in November. And of course on February 1st, HAUNTED will arrive in stores!

We're still working on the back copy, so this is not exact, but here's a preview:
Anne Michaelson’s world turned upside down last year when handsome, blue-eyed and temporarily immortal Russian Ethan Kozninsky showed up. Now six months later, Anne still has powers she doesn’t fully understand. She’s still dreaming about Baba Yaga’s forest. And she’s definitely still got feelings for Ethan, even though she’s got a new boyfriend—the very normal and very sweet lifeguard Ben Logan.

But things are about to get even more complicated. There’s a wicked Russian folklore mermaid stalking Anne. With her heart torn between Ben and Ethan, Anne’s search for the rusalka’s identity reveals deep and startling secrets -- including the true source of Anne’s powers.
As the romance heats up, so does the danger. Will Anne’s powers be enough to help the rusalka get what she wants? Or will the longings of her own heart get in the way?
And so it goes.
I think I've got a birthday in there somewhere. Glad for that. :)
Finally got rid of my beloved pink Razr phone today; I am now a Blackberry girl; hope it's not beyond my learning curve. Oh little Razr phone - how forgiving you were each time I dropped you. How slow and primitive you were each time I texted.

Til next time...

Sunday, August 15, 2010

And it's the last Sunday of my summer

So what do I post?
Panic? Me?
Cause why would I feel panicked?
Because I have to sit through a solid week of school inservice?
Because I need lesson plans for 1984 - that pesky summer reading those 12H students were supposed to do. Oranges and lemons said the bells of St. Clemens. Room 101. Big Brother. 2+2 =5. Do it to Julia.

Okay - maybe that covered that topic.

Copy edits. Due on 8/23. Gotta finish that. Let me interject here that I am totally lucky to have the same exact copy edit team that I had last time. So copy editor Matt can tell me that I've somehow switched Ethan from Marlboro's to Winstons. That it was Professor Olensky who'd smoked the Winstons. It looks like this : AU: Did you mean to do this?

Answer - um, sure Matt. But for you, buddy, I'll change it back.

WIP - gotta finish by Labor Day.

9 weeks of lesson plans? Well, there's always that inservice week.

And the HAUNTED publicity mill has just kicked into medium high gear. Publicist Paul and I plotted world domination on the phone for a solid hour Friday afternoon. You guys are going to be thrilled.

Son's getting married in May - we're supposed to talk about rehearsal dinner this week. Shouldn't I be looking for a dress or two? 10 pounds!! Possibly I shouldn't go downstairs in a second and eat left over Chinese take out for breakfast. Possibly...

And lots of other stuff.

It was a crazy, hazy summer. In the last week or so I've been to both a wedding and a funeral. In between I watched Bethenney Getting Married, the Lost Footage. All of it honestly taught me what my Uncle Harry used to say: Man plans and God laughs. Or - life's what happens while you're making plans.

Temps outside will hit 98 today.
But the mall is filled with boots and sweaters and leggings.
Nurse Vickie called and my blood work shows that thyroid levels and vitamin D levels are back where they need to be. Was on the phone w/Publicist Paul at that moment. He offered a hearty wahoo.

In short - to steal from another crazy working mom - Kate Gosselin - it may be a crazy life, but it's mine. And I am profoundly grateful for every crazy second.

More cogent thoughts, soon. I promise.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Establishing Place... and making me hungry

My original editor and I once had a conversation about history. "It's the small details," he said, "that make history feel real in fiction." And I agree. When you're establishing a sense of place and time, it's the little things - stuff that's specific to that city or town or time period or whatever. Like this Italian beef sandwich with two kinds of peppers that I just ate in Chicago at a place called Bobo's on West Irving Park. We had - very sadly - come into town for a funeral. Husband's mom had passed away very suddenly, adding to what has already been quite the long, long summer. But even with death, there is food. In fact, in my experience - always with death there is food. And if you need an Italian run hot dog joint to establish a Chicago setting, think of this sandwich. There were french fries, too. But they didn't make it into the picture.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

SCBWI LA and beyond

Back from SCBWI LA. Always, always wonderful to listen, learn, and catch up with friends, my darling cowgirl agent, meet new people, just soak in everything. Plus LA. I've got a little love affair going with LA. Took me awhile - but I do. This trip, I got to explore Culver City, see the Culver City Hotel where the cast of Wizard of Oz (yes, munchkin shenanigans!) stayed, see Culver Studios and Sony... Plus a decent meal at a little restaurant called Rush. Next year, I vow to get out to Malibu...

This year I was focused on craft. So the character development workshops w/Carolyn Mackler and Rachel Vail were honestly where I needed to be. Rachel Vail's Form to form a character check list? Gold, baby! Serious gold. What I have learned since about a character in a book I'm working on has been phenomenal. I started typing how she saw herself and then out popped her larger story about why she'd done some of things she'd done in the story. I'd always known her surface reasons. But there were deeper reasons to mine. And I hadn't. Having done so now makes such a huge difference that I'm flabbergasted!

So that's the short version, dear reader. Next time I'll post on some of the writers I met and their wonderful books that are coming out soon, including the fabulous Crystal Allen.

Til then, if you haven't yet read Nothing Like You by Lauren Strasnick, it's out this week in paperback. Lauren is a phenomenal talent; her spare, wrenching prose puts me to shame. And those last two lines- they make me weep every time. Her MC Holly has recently lost her mother, gets involved with the absolutely wrong boy, and the spiral that happens from there will dig in and grip you forever.

Til next time... and maybe some news about Dreaming Anastasia and Haunted. You never know.