Happy Holidays from Florida!

Yes, we really do resort to wrapping palm trees in lights for the holidays in Florida. ???

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Seven weeks to Island of Exiles!

Did you know? Island Of Exiles is only SEVEN WEEKS AWAY! Each Tuesday until then, I’ll talk about my immense love for this world.

This week? Why fantasy at all? My existing backlist makes it obvious I enjoy writing other things, so why this? And why now? Most of the picture books I best remember (like Strega Nona & Everyone Knows What a Dragon Looks Like) included magic.

My Dad read Hobbit to me and introduced me to movies like Willow and The Princess Bride. It was all lovely & fascinating. When I could pick my own books, I gravitated towards the ones with magic and adventure and plausible impossibility. I discovered Tamora Pierce early, & she quickly became my first ever favorite author. Tortall & Evelyn were places I lived in. I read my way through a lot of what my library (and, later, various bookstores) had to offer me, and I loved the beauty of it all.

Fantasy is familiar novelty, safe adventure, a testing ground for new theories & thoughts, and an escape that can teach you about reality. Anything can happen in a fantasy world so long as you ground it in the reality the characters know and accept. The scope of that is awesome.

When I was in high school, it finally occurred to me that I could try writing one of those books I loved so much. I had NO idea what I was doing, so what I ended up with was thinly veiled, unfinished, nonsensical Tamora Pierce fanfic. I should point out that I didn’t know what fanfic WAS, but somehow I still managed to write it.

After college, I tried again. My first novel attempt was more paranormal than fantasy, but I grabbed a new fantasy idea fast. That book isn’t #IslandOfExiles, but they’re connected. They exist in the same world, and I could absolutely bring it back in. But CollegeWIP didn’t work either. It was too big, too complex, and too much for baby author Erica. I put it aside. Reluctantly.

Then, I wrote. More paranormal and more contemporary. I learned. I grew. Eventually, I had a new idea. But could I write it? Fantasy was still a great love of mine, but the writing of it had become a scary, impossible target, one I wasn’t sure I could reach. But I *REALLY* wanted to create a sweeping fantasy, and that desire was stronger than my fear of getting it wrong. So I grabbed this new idea, remembered everything I loved about fantasy, and tried one more time to build my own universe.

What I came up with then is only partially what you’ll get a chance to read in February. So much changed as the book developed. Things that didn’t? The Nevada-like setting, the militaristic society, the style of magic, & the sibling bond at the story’s core.

What Kate Brauning saw in the original mess of a proposal I gave her I will never understand, but she helped me make real a dream. Island Of Exiles is the achievement of a goal I set in 2001. It’s taken me FIFTEEN AND A HALF YEARS to finally have my fantasy world.

We’ll let that number sink in for a moment.

Fifteen. And a half. YEARS.

I don’t know what will happen once the Ryogan Chronicles trilogy is out and done. I don’t know if I’ll write more in this world. Maybe one day I’ll find the right spark to help me create an entirely new world with a new system of magic and new social issues. Maybe Ryogan Chronicles will be it for me in fantasy, my one shining, magical moment in the annuals of fantastical history.

All I know if that in seven weeks, my first fantasy baby will be out in the world, and I am BEYOND excited to share it with you all.

Visit Shiara! Order Island Of Exiles.

Buy it from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Books-A-Million | IndieBound

Add this book on Goodreads.

Only Three Weeks to Nemesis!

Three weeks from today (THREE! WEEKS!), Nemesis releases. Three weeks from today, I close out a series for the first time.

Getting an official “The End” is amazing. I have 3 series running now, and neither of my others is close to over. Granted, Assassins is a duology instead of a quartet or quintet, but original plans had Dream War or Laguna ending first. Life and publishing happened, so somehow it’s come to pass that the third series I started is the first to cross the finish line.

It’s sad, in a way. I feel like I missed the chance to really live in this world. The writing and editing of both books were a whirlwind. However, it might be best. The Assassins stories are bloody and dangerous in a way my other books aren’t. Writing a series like Assassins, and especially a book like Nemesis, when the world too much reflects the subject was hard.

In three weeks, though, you can meet Blake and reacquaint yourself with Kindra and the Calvers. They’re fighting a modern war, and the conclusion of that complicated battle closes out the arc started in Discord. In three weeks, I say goodbye to a cast of characters for the first time. Maybe by then I’ll know if I’m more excited or sad.

Help me celebrate the end! Preorder Nemesis.

Buy it from: Riptide/Triton | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book DepositoryBooks-A-Million |IndieBound |
Add this book to Goodreads.

 

Three books, three tours.

2016 has been a dumpster fire in so many ways for so many people, and I would really love to start 2017 on a positive note. To that end, I’m running paperback blogger tours for three of my books: Discord, Nemesis, and Island of Exiles.

To participate, there are only two big qualifications: 
1) Own or contribute to a YA review blog
2) Be willing to mail the book to the next on the list

Readers will be invited to mark up the books, highlighting favorite passages or writing notes in the margins, and the book will get sent back to me at the end of the tour to be kept as a special keepsake. Additionally, all participants will get special behind-the-scenes info on the book they’re reading AND they’ll get the chance to vote on what content they see. As an added bonus, bloggers who are willing to coordinate one of the tours will receive a special gift from me when the tour ends!

Right now this will be US only, mostly because I can’t ask one blogger to cover the cost of shipping overseas. HOWEVER, if there’s enough interest, I’ll buy a copy through Book Depository for a separate international tour.

Signups open today, Monday December 12, 2016, and they’ll stay open for more than a month with the books getting shipped to the first participants just before the new year. The tour itself will continue for several months to give each reader time to enjoy the book and get it sent off to the next blogger.

If you have any questions about the tour, email me!

ASSASSINS: DISCORDMore Info | Signup Form
ASSASSINS: NEMESISMore Info | Signup Form
ISLAND OF EXILESMore Info | Signup Form

Coming in 2017!


In the first two months of 2017, I close out one series and immediately launch a new one. I can’t wait for both of these very different books to be out in the world!

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Look what I got!


How do you know you’re working with amazing people? They send you a freaking ornament with your book cover on it! Thank you SO MUCH, @bethany.robison! I’m actually excited to put up my Christmas tree now. ?

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Giveaway Alert!

Giveaway Alert!

Do you like books? Do you like mysteries? Well, now you can have both!

Here’s how it works:

Our 140+ participating authors will sign and wrap a book. You enter by following the instructions below. You can enter on as many author’s pages as you want, so be sure to hit all of their pages for more chance to win!

If you’re one of our lucky winners, you’ll receive a book, but you won’t know what you’ve won until you unwrap it.

To enter:

*your task (either signing up for a mailing list, following a Blog, Twitter or Facebook account)

Then fill out this form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeQmnuadU70ZfdNLA8iqcWAxZth1QKQniWRVM_2XLRtm2gNsw/viewform, checking off which actions you’ve completed and enter your email and mailing addresses. For more entries, click on the link for each author. You must complete the task AND fill out the form for your entry to count. All entries will be verified.

That’s it!

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Look what I got today!


Look what I got today! Nemesis is a real book and I have them in my hands and YAY! Only two months until this releases into the wild. ?

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Welcome to the future!

Y’all? I have NEWS.

It’s official! There will be another trilogy from me in the world eventually, and I am absolutely THRILLED to be working with Kate Brauning at Entangled Teen again! Collaborating with her and the Entangled team on the Ryogan Chronicles series has been a true pleasure. Now we’re taking the partnership INTO SPACE.

explodingstar

Erica Cameron’s PAX NOVIS, a YA trilogy pitched as The Expanse meets Star Trek: Voyager, in which the human colonies spread across the Milky Way have been at war for centuries and everyone depends on the resources carried by massive cargo ships. And though they don’t know it, some stowaway teens hiding on-board the NOVIS may be humankind’s only hope when these ships start to vanish, to Kate Brauning at Entangled Teen in a three book deal, for publication in 2018, 2019, and 2020 respectively, by Eric Smith at P.S. Literary (World).

Basically, soooooo muuuuuuch SPAAAAACE.

spaceeverything

It will be a long while yet before I can share anything (before I have anything at all to share, honestly), but this series has a fantastic team behind it. Eric is working with us now and I think his input will help make the PAX NOVIS universe than I ever could on my own. With him and Kate? This is going to be EPIC.

But, seriously y’all. I’m working on so much cool behind the scenes stuff for this series. There will be spaceships. And maps. And cybernetics. And spaceships. And a complicated intersystem conflict. And fun and/or dangerous new tech. And ships the size of small cities, because what would a sci-fi be without spaceships and have I mentioned the spaceships yet?!

spaceships

It’s probable that more news on these books won’t come until late 2017, but I guarantee you I’ll be working on it in bits and pieces throughout the year. Maybe, maybe, I’ll even share some pieces as I go. ;D

The Friday Five – November 12

THE FRIDAY FIVEYes, it’s Saturday, but we’ve already established I’m bad at schedules. Additionally, this week has been hard in a lot of ways for a lot of reasons. It can be hard to find the good in these kinds of weeks, but it matters more than ever now.

So, my Friday Five, post-Trump edition.

  1. I was able to go to Miami this week for the Gemina signing! Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff were both delightful, and it was fantastic to be able to hand them each a stack of books to sign, all of which are now back on my shelf with the rest of my signed books collection.
  2.  Almost everyone in my Twitter community has been amazing this week. Graceful even in their outrage. It’s a privilege to be able to work with these people, and I hope they’ll continue showing me all the ways I can work to ensure the next four years don’t turn into a train wreck.
  3. Cashew milk ice cream. I can’t eat much dairy, and this stuff is a serious blessing on the days when I really need to drown my sorrows in chilled chocolate.
  4. Even if it came too late, I have seen a number of stories about people who voted for Trump realizing exactly how awful he is and beginning to work with the rest of us to mitigate the damge he’s going to try to do. I hope more people follow their example and that Trump’s clear racism, misogyny, and bigorty becomes the turning point for this country. We can survive it if something good is waiting at the other side, I just wish it hadn’t had to come to this.
  5. Book news. More details on this one later, but for now? Book. News. 😀