Look what I have! Guys, Deadly Sweet Lies is coming so soon and I can’t wait to share it with you omg!
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Look what I have! Guys, Deadly Sweet Lies is coming so soon and I can’t wait to share it with you omg!
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It was nerve-wrecking to call in and hope that I could come up with off-the-cuff answers that made sense, but I think that I succeeded. The conversation revolved around the theme of emotional abuse, something that is a key element in the book and very important to me personally. I am immensely thankful to KPRS 103.3 in Kansas City and DJ Julee Jonez for helping me spread awareness on this important issue.
On her website, Julee had this to say about it:
One in three adolescents in the U.S. is a victim of physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner, a figure that far exceeds rates of other types of youth violence. What’s more alarming? Only 33% of teens who were in a violent relationship ever told anyone about the abuse. But would teens pick up a book about emotional abuse? Author Erica Cameron, who was in an emotionally abusive relationship, figured out a way to marry the theme with a creative read in her debut novel, “Sing Sweet Nightingale”, the first volume of The Dream War Saga, a four-book young adult series. Listen in as we chat about the read and the serious issue of emotional abuse.
If you didn’t get the chance to hear the interview live yesterday, you can still listen to the whole interview (it’s only about five minutes!) online for free here. If you are looking for additional information and resources about emotional abuse, check out my resources page for information on emotional abuse and gaslighting, an incredibly invasive and insidious abusive technique.
At 11:30 CST on Monday March 9, tune in to Hot 103.3 FM KPRS in the Kansas City area (or online) as DJ Julee Jonez interviews me about #singsweetnightingale and the impacts of emotional abuse. If you listen, you could possibly win one of three copies of my book that she’ll be giving away!
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I’ve known since about this time last year that there would be a lot of deleted material from Sing Sweet Nightingale that I wanted to post online and share with readers. The only thing I wasn’t sure of was how and where to post it. Finally I decided to have a little fun with it and create a blog tour specifically for the extraordinary amount of material I wanted to post.
Really. It’s a lot. Word-count-wise, it’s basically a novella’s worth of material.
The sections come from all over the book–old beginnings, old endings, and moments in the middle that no longer exist. Some of these scenes still contain canon information while others involve sub-plots and story elements that no longer apply to the Dream War Saga as a whole. You will also have the chance to win one of three prizes including a signed copy of the book and some jewelry I made!
Lucky for me, a group of fantastic bloggers also thought this would be a wonderfully fun idea and agreed to help me make this happen! Below is the schedule for the next two weeks so that you know where to find each day’s scene:
November 3 – A Backwards Story
November 4 – Kissed by Ink
November 5 – Queekie Girl Reads
November 6 – Chasm of Books
November 7 – Bumbles and Fairy-Tales
November 10 – Books Complete Me
November 11 – KellyVision
November 12 – Falling For YA
November 13 – WhoRU Blog
November 14 – Pandora’s Books
In December, these scenes will all be arranged chronologically and posted on The Dream War Saga’s official site. For now, head over to these blogs on the dates listed and get a behind-the-scenes look at the editing process of Sing Sweet Nightingale.
Welcome to the next stop on The Woods trail of Zoraida Córdova’s Halloween Book Trail! I got to answer some fun questions about Halloween and desert islands and fear and all sorts of things. Check it out here and then continue on your journey through The Woods!
If your MC went trick or treating, what would they dress up as and why?
The last time Mariella went trick or treating it was in sixth grade. She and K.T. teamed up and they went as Antony (Mariella) and Cleopatra (K.T.). They made pretty much everyone treat them like royalty all week and everyone called them Tony and Cleo for the rest of the year.
Hudson didn’t go trick or treating much as a kid, but J.R. thought Halloween was amazing. The October before J.R. died, Hudson took him trick or treating for the first time. J.R. dressed up like Hulk—Hudson even painted the kid entirely green for the occasion—and he picked out Thor for Hudson. Since Hudson’s hair is so short, J.R. insisted on a wig. This insistence came in at the last minute so the only one Hudson could get was meant for young girls and was therefore too small for his head, too long, and had bangs. It looked ridiculous on him but it made J.R. happy and that was pretty much all that mattered anyway.
What scares the pants out of you?
Honestly, the intangible is more frightening to me than the tangible. And I’m not talking about ghosts. Spiders and heights and small, dark places are all less frightening to me than betrayal and abandonment. Those concepts and actions can do much longer lasting damage than a lot of other things worth being afraid of.
Do you legit believe in ghosts and things that bump in the night? (We won’t think you’re cray)
I’ve never seen anything, but yes! The universe is too vast and complex for there not to be things that we haven’t seen or can’t understand. What I don’t think is that any of it exists in the forms we have stories about. Vampires, werewolves, quasi-corporeal ghosts, etc. all may be based in something real, but most of that probably comes from the collective imaginations of humanity. Speaking of the human collective, the theory of universal consciousness is something I’m pretty much 100% sure is real.
If you were stranded on a deserted island or haunted house, what number are you to die and how?
Probably first. And it would be some stupid accident on my part or the fact that I exercise, like, never and am incapable of pulling myself up should I fall through broken floorboards or over a cliff or off a roof or something. Or, since I know nothing about shooting guns, I’ll misfire and hurt myself. Really, don’t trust me when things go to hell. I am not the person you want with you in a horror movie or zombie apocalypse or even on a deserted island.
What magical/supernatural creature do you secretly want to be?
I’ve never had an extremely strong desire to be a magical/supernatural/mythological creature (it seems like the cons really outweigh the pros most of the time; I would possibly make an exception for having the Gift out of Tamora Pierce’s Tortall world), but there are a few I would have loved to meet and/or have. Pegasus has always fascinated me as have fairies (the tiny, spritely ones, not the evil, manipulative ones). What I’ve really always wanted, though, is a dæmon out of The Golden Compass. I would jump on a chance to visit that world and meet my dæmon in a heartbeat!
It has been amazing watching this cover pop up all over the internet. In fact, I was so enthralled by that happening that I forgot to post it here! Which is such a ridiculous fail I can’t even begin to comprehend how it happened! I’m making amends now:
Nadette Lawson knows when you’re lying.
Every night for the past two years, the Balasura have visited her dreams, enticing her to enter their world. And every night she’s seen through their lies. Now, they’re tired of playing in the shadows and they begin to stalk her in the waking world. It’s no longer just an invitation; if Nadette doesn’t join them, they’ll take her family. Forever. She needs help, and the haven she’s seeking may be just out of reach.
Julian Teagan is a master of deception.
To survive, he has to convince the world his mother isn’t useless, that everything’s fine, otherwise he’ll lose what little he has left in this life. He knows the lying won’t be enough to keep him and his mother in the shadows, but it’s all he knows. The only light of truth is Orane, a Balasura who sees past Julian’s facade and challenges him to face the darkness.
Then Orane is killed, and Julian learns his mentor was far from innocent. The Balasura have hunted children like him for centuries, and their next target, Nadette is his one chance at finally being a part of something real. If Julian can just convince her to trust him…
So, a few things. It may be obvious by now that this next book is not going to be told from Mariella and Hudson’s points of view. Instead, I get to introduce you to characters only tangentially mentioned in Sing Sweet Nightingale. Not only introduce you, but let you dive inside their heads and live there for a while!
I am very excited about this fact, but knowing it made it so hard to bite my tongue these past few months when people told me how much they couldn’t wait to see more from Mariella and Hudson! Our two narrators from SSN aren’t disappearing, but book 2 lets us see their world expand. We’ll meet new people, go new places, learn new things… it’ll be like summer camp! Kind of. Not really.
I can’t say much more about the book now, but I can tell you that my publishers and I have plans to release some really special deleted scenes from Sing Sweet Nightingale over the summer and also give you the option of meeting DreamWeaver in the short story “Whatever It Takes” if you haven’t already read the story from the Doorways to Extra Time anthology. There will be more, but details are still in the works. Check back every so often for news as I can share it!
Until next time, lovelies!
*dives back into her massive pile of works in progress*
I love fiction and art inspired by other things. I think this is how we start as creators of new art, by loving and recreating the work that has come before us. I started seriously writing within the world of Twilight fanfiction. While I do have some issues with trying to make money off of something that is obviously someone else’s work, fiction, poetry, music, and art inspired by other works are not only a natural part of an artist’s evolution, it’s a necessary one. In fact, one of the things I’m really excited to see if fan art of my series.
I just never expected to start seeing it so soon!
Already I have seen several graphics made with quotes from the books, a sketch, and now a poem! This landed in my inbox last night and I requested permission to share it because HOW COOL IS THIS?! The poem below was inspired by Mariella from the beginning of Sing Sweet Nightingale and written by Kayla DeGroote.
Who knew someone,
Especially someone like me,
Could live in such complete and utter
I haven’t said a thing
Not a word, not a sound, not a single noise
You’d think it’d be hard
To live without a voice
But silence is easier
Than words I could ever say
It hurts those I’m close to
But I refuse to give in
Because I do it for him
And he’s all that truly matters
He’s all I really need
I’ll love him forever
And with my silence,
It’s something we’ll have
He’s turned my all my dreams
Into a beautiful Paradise
A reality I’d never have
In the real world I live in
So I will bite my tongue
Swallow my words
Hide my voice
And take pride in my silence
Soon we will have eternity
And to make that happen,
I will gladly be mute
Who knew I so easily could?
Thank you so much for sharing this with us, Kayla! 😀
Even though it’s kind of expected, I didn’t do an official launch party for the release of my debut novel Sing Sweet Nightingale. Instead, I had a whole release weekend of events! It was busy and crazy and so many levels of amazing I don’t even know how to describe it.
Plans for this weekend o’ awesome began last year when my editress Danielle Ellison warned me to block out the weekend of March 8th. “You’re going to be in Virginia,” she said. Since I had no reason to protest, I didn’t! I started making plans to join my editress, her bookstore One More Page, and the Arlington Central Library at Washington Lee High School in Arlington, Virginia for the inaugural NoVaTEEN Book Festival.
Turns out that it was going to be more than just the festival! On Friday, I joined Diana Peterfreund at Yorktown High School in Arlington, Virgina to talk to two different groups. Since this was my first ever school visit, I was really nervous, but it went so well! The kids were respectful and interested and they asked good questions. Lelia from One More Page Bookstore in Arlington coordinated the event for us and she was so sweet! All in all, it was a great morning.
Saturday was the main event, NoVaTEEN Book Festival at Washington Lee High School! It started with a keynote speech by the incredible Phyllis Reynolds Naylor at 10 and ended with a group signing at 4. In between were larger panels in the school’s auditorium and smaller sessions in several of the nearby classrooms. I joined Jon Skovron and Lea Nolan for a “breakout session” at 11 where we spent a lot of time discussing the different constructs of hell and then I got to sit back and listen to other people talk for a couple of hours before my own main-stage panel! At 3, I joined fellow debut author Elle Cosimano and veteran Victoria Schwab along with moderators Elisa Nader and Aimee Agresti for a discussion on Bad Boys and why they’re so amazingly attractive. I got to talk about my early love for the rogue George Cooper from Tamora Pierce’s Alanna series and what makes the difference between a bad boy and a villain. Somehow, I didn’t make a fool of myself, so I call the whole day a win!
Sunday, I headed to Alexandria, Virginia for a solo signing and talk at the cutest bookstore: Hooray for Books! During the event, we revealed the title for The Dream War Saga, book 2: Deadly Sweet Lies. The staff was fantastic and I hope I get to go back there soon!
And then, Monday, my mom, my uncle, and I spent the afternoon at the International Spy Museum while I played #iSpy with Marni Bates on Twitter. It was a blast!
So now, pictorial proof:
But that’s not all!
I flew home Tuesday morning, grabbed lunch, rushed to work, made my students write essays because I didn’t have anything else prepared for them, rushed home, jumped online, and did an hour-long live chat with the girls from Reading With Me! We gave away prizes and I answered a lot of questions. But don’t worry! Even if you missed the live event, you can still watch the whole video on YouTube! Or by clicking play on the video below:
Phew! Now I’m home and a little sad because all of those awesome things are over! But now I get to start working on my thriller work in progress again and then jump into edits on DEADLY, so I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to keep busy! 😉
I just want to say one last thank you to everyone who made this weekend so special. There’s far too many people to list individually, so just know that if I saw or spoke to you this weekend, you’re part of the list. Thank you so much! <3
Eek!! Look at the pretty! And it’s BLUE! Anyone who knows me will know how absolutely thrilled I am by that fact. 😀
I can’t share anything but the title right now, but know that the full cover is coming soon! May 30th during Book Expo America, to be exact. Stay tuned for more details as I get permission to share them!
When I woke up this morning, my phone was already desperately blinking at me, filled with messages and alerts from Twitter and Facebook. Friends and family and colleagues had started early in the morning spreading the word about my debut novel’s birthday. It was an amazing feeling and as the morning wore on, the posts kept coming, poring in so quickly it was (and still is) impossible to keep up!
There are so many people who deserve thanks for their part in this process, but there are several that I feel the need to call out here.
My sister Haley has always been my first and biggest fan. She’s the kind of fan who remembers my books better than I do and brings me presents because they remind her of an old story that, at this point, will NEVER see the light of day. She’s already read Sing Sweet Nightingale more times than anyone but me and my wonderful editors and even sat with me in my bedroom one weekend while I read the entire 105,000 word book to her. Her enthusiasm for what happens next in my stories is one of the things that keeps me writing quickly, wanting to get her the next chapter as soon as I can.
Although Haley may be the first true fan of my writing, my mom, Corey, was always the first real fan of me. No matter what I thought I wanted to do, she was there supporting me in it. Driving me to dance classes and dress rehearsals and competitions when I was little, helping me with homework, encouraging my hobbies–she did it all. Most importantly, though, my mom believed wholeheartedly that I was exactly the person I should be, no matter how weird that person was. I couldn’t have asked for a kinder, smarter, more supportive mom and a lot of how Dana Teagan relates to Mariella in Sing Sweet Nightingale comes from how amazing I know my own mother would be in that situation.
All of my friends have been fascinated by and supportive of my writing aspirations, but Lani Woodland has literally been there since the beginning. Like Haley, Lani has read almost everything I’ve ever written and been one of the first people I call when I get stuck or things go wrong. Or when things go right! Without Lani, Sing Sweet Nightingale would not have been born. It also wouldn’t have found such a loving home with Danielle Ellison and Patricia Riley at Spencer Hill. Thank you for everything, bestie!
And then there’s Spencer Hill. Danielle and Patricia jumped in to my corner from day one. They took my vision for The Dream War Saga, pulled out the bits that I didn’t know wouldn’t work, and helped me put the whole thing back together into a shape that was even better than what I’d started with. My wonderful editresses have been crazy perfectionists who demanded more than I thought I was capable of. They have been cheerleaders, publicists, and, best of all, friends. I cannot imagine this series in any other hands and I am so thankful that Lani introduced me to Danielle and the rest of my Spencer Hill family. They have put SO MUCH WORK into this series already and we’re only now publishing the first book. What I’ve learned over the past eighteen months or so, though, is that they’re brilliant and, most importantly, they’re almost always right. I adore my editresses and I honestly do not know how to thank them enough for everything they’ve done and everything we have yet to accomplish together. <3
My agent, Danielle Chiotti, has been invaluable for the past year. Helping me keep my head when edits overwhelmed me, guiding me through revisions, teaching me all the things I didn’t know, and generally going WAY beyond what is technically required of a literary agent. She’s proven herself ten times over and I am so lucky that she chose to take me on. Even more so, I’m SO looking forward to working with her over the coming years!
There are so many other people who have played small but extremely significant parts in my life over the past few years. The team at Spencer Hill who have been working behind the scenes for eighteen months to make sure this book was perfect–Kate Kaynak, Cindy Thomas, Britta Gigliotti, Rich Storrs, and so many others! My fellow SHP/SHC authors–A.R. Kahler, Sarah Guillory, Dahlia Adler, the Rock sisters Joanne and Karen, Megan Whitmer, Mary Gray, Rachel Harris, and Kelsey Macke–have been nothing but supportive and generally wonderful! And then there have been friends like Asja Parrish and Taylor Thompson who willingly gave up their free time to read a new draft of my book or bloggers like my fabulous Dream Team and everyone who volunteered their time for the blog tour hosted by Jamie and Rachel at Rockstar. It’s amazing how many people have already been a part of Sing Sweet Nightingale‘s life and it’s completely mind boggling how many more people are about to join the party now that the book has been released in to the wild.
Thank you to absolutely everyone! This day has been wonderful and all of you have played a part in that.