Category Archives: Publication

Look what I got in the mail today!

Guys, for the first time EVER, I held a real book with my name in it somewhere. Words I wrote! In my name!

This is hugely exciting! Like, for serious. I love the cover of this book, especially because I have always had a thing for Dali and the clock in the center reminds me of The Persistence of Memory. Even better than cool covers, though, is opening the book and seeing this:

SEE THAT?! My story is second! SECOND! I mean, fourth if you count the two introductions, but still! That’s pretty good placement. Also, I’d like to direct your attention to the page numbers. Yes, I did manage to write a 21 page story and still slap the label “short” on it. According to the word counts for the Hugo Award, “Whatever It Takes” technically qualifies as a novelette. But for the purposes of the anthology, we’re still going to call it a short story.

Even better than all that, is flipping to page 7 and getting to look at the opening page of my story:


Only 11 days until people will have their own copies of Doorways to Extra Time! Until then, I’m going to hug mine and pet the cover and flip through the pages about a million times.

On a last note: Anyone who gets a copy and reads my story, come back and let me know what you think!! 😀

Counting down to release day! 13 days!

My short story “Whatever It Takes” releases in 13 days! That’s when the anthology, Doorways to Extra Time, will be available to the big, wide world. August 27th is coming up fast and so is the start of my monthly giveaways! I’ll be giving away one copy of the Doorways anthology every month between now and December. Details are still forthcoming, but it will happen soon! Until then, you can enter to win one of five copies on Goodreads!

To celebrate the ever-nearing release, I’ll be posting short snippets of my story here. Six total before release day! And, yes, my story is long enough to pull six snippets from without spoiling anything! At the end of the month, I’ll also activate the first character bios on, the four named characters from “Whatever it Takes.” From there, we’ll be getting closer and closer to the release of Sing Sweet Nightingale and your first really deep dive into my dreamworld.

Whatever It TakesFor now, though, without further ado, here is snippet number one!

A shadow passes over her face, but she shakes it off fast as she leans forward, her bright-blue hair swinging over her shoulder and clashing with her pumpkin-orange shirt. “You think you’re the only one who wants to bring back someone they love? Everyone loses someone. It’s inevitable. Everyone thinks they’re willing to give up everything to get that person back. There aren’t many who are actually capable of it.”

My breath catches in my throat as my brain processes her words. Nowhere in that speech did she say what I wanted was impossible. She just said most people aren’t willing to make the necessary sacrifice.

“I’ll do it. Anything. Whatever it takes.”

So excited to share this story with everyone! And even more excited to see this book release. That means we’re one step closer to celebrating Sing Sweet Nightingale!

Keep Calm and Write On.

Stepping Down (c) Craig Lucas

Stepping Down (c) Craig Lucas

I’m finished with this round of edits on Sing Sweet Nightingale.

I’ve turned in the first draft of The Dream War Saga Book 2.

I’m waiting on revision notes on a project from my agent.

I’m on hold with my co-authored series while things happen. Good things.

Basically, I’m suddenly like an airplane that wants to come in to land but keeps being told by air traffic control to circle. It’s awesome because it means I have a lot going on and people who are willing to help me, but it also means I’m kind of at loose ends right now. Between projects. So… what do you do?

Start a new one. 🙂

The best thing to do in these situations is let a new idea take center stage for a little while or go back to an idea you maybe didn’t have the time to develop earlier. I have more than enough of the latter to keep me occupied, so right now I’m tinkering with a story involving a death, a conspiracy, and a lot of mystery. I’ve never written anything like it before, so it’s both difficult and fun to force my brain down meandering paths I’ve never traveled. I don’t know if this project will ever see THE END or if anyone except me will ever read it, but that doesn’t make the journey any less enjoyable.

One thing I think can be forgotten in the press to get published and to make a career of it and all that is that writers need to play. We need to write drafts that don’t work to figure out what does work. We need to meet characters we hate so we know how to write ones we’ll love. And we need to create stories for ourselves sometimes. Just because it seems like fun.

Maybe this book will one day sit on a shelf next to all my other ones. Maybe not. Right now, I’m not worried about that. Right now, I just want to see what happens next.


An interview and a little bit of news!

Microphone (c) Acuzio

A while back, I received an email from the wonderfully sweet Amy Trueblood over at Chasing the Crazies. Which is an awesome title for a site. Amy asked if I would be interested in participating in a series of interviews she has been doing called Writer Odyssey Wednesday (W.O.W. for short). Of course, my answer was, “YES, PLS. WHERE DO I SIGN?”

The idea that I’ve finally reached the point where I can legitimately be included in a series like this is still a little strange. My debut release is nine months away (250 days, but who’s counting?). It feels like forever. In fact, it’s so far away that it still doesn’t seem real. But that’s just in my head, apparently. To other people, I’m already there. I made the deal, signed the contract, and am officially an author with credits to my name. Wow is right.

So, I agreed! Amy sent me a list of great questions and now you can read both those questions and my answers! I talk about my strange relationship with querying, how I found my glorious editors at Spencer Hill and my wonderful agent Danielle Chiotti, as well as a little bit about Sing Sweet Nightingale and the process of writing it and finding it a home. Click here to see!

In other news, this morning I sent a new book to my wonderful agent Danielle! It’s the second in a contemp series I co-wrote with my bestie Lani Woodland and I cannot wait until these books find a home and I get to share more details about them. I adore these characters and this world and everything about writing them. It’s FUN. There’s a lot to be said about partnering on a book with someone, too. Especially someone I get along with and work with as well as Lani. co-writing is probably not for everyone, but if you find the right partner, it’s divine.

In other other news, I’m heading back to Manhattan next week!! For the first time ever, I’m going to spend the Fourth of July in the Big City. Of course, that’s not the purpose of the trip, but it’s still convenient timing. I’m actually going in celebration of my sister’s 25th birthday and my cousin’s wedding (she’s getting married at the BRONX ZOO! How freaking cool is that?!). The reason for the trip doesn’t matter, though. I still get to spend an awesome week in New York City with people I love. I even get to drop by the Upstart Crow offices and meet some more of the interns and agents in person. So many fantabulous things packed into one trip! If you’re not already following me on Twitter or Facebook, go fix that! I’ll be posting about my trip on those two places more often than on my blog. Easier to access on the go!

That’s all for now! I’ll check in again soon. 🙂

My trip to DC! Or the parts I can tell you about anyway. ;)

My photographers Jeremy West, Jeffrey West, and Lauren McCall testing out the flash

I can’t tell you much about my cover shoot, but the process was fabulous and I want to make sure I officially thank the entire team responsible for the amazingness of the day. My models were all FANTASTIC, the photography team was totally behind the vision for the series, and my editors were as excited to see everything start coming together as I was. THANK YOU EVERYONE! I will remember this day for the rest of my life and the awesomeness of it all is hard to put into words.

In addition to the day of photo-shooting, I also got to spend a few days visiting with my editors, my family who lives in Maryland, and wandering around DC! By the end of the trip I had more than one person tell me I could come stay with them if I felt like moving and it was SO HARD to pack my bags and come back to Florida. Luckily the weather has been nice in Florida this week (meaning low humidity and tolerable temperatures), so it wasn’t as bad as it could have been.

I wish I’d taken more pictures of Maryland, but most of the non-photo-shoot pictures I have are from my day sightseeing in DC. To take a look, just click the link below!

I can’t wait to see the cover for Sing, Sweet Nightingale (hopefully by the end of April!) and am so excited to share it with you all (definitely at the end of May!). Check back on the blog for more updates and information as it gets closer to that time! <3

Continue reading

The view from my side of the fence.

In an industry where change has occurred rarely and at a slow pace, the past decade has brought an avalanche of new ideas, technology, and problems. Publishing as a whole has dealt with all this in ways both good and bad and, honestly, I don’t know enough about the details of those decisions to even begin to tell you which is which. One of the things I do know has happened because of these changes has been the rise of the small press both in number and in prestige.

Despite this, many people within (and outside) the publishing industry don’t know much about small presses. Or equate them all with the vanity presses of old. This is just not the case. And my editor (and fellow small press author) Danielle Ellison has teamed up with the girls from Tangled up in Words as well as various industry professionals to help shed more light on the pros and cons of publishing with a small press.

They’re calling the series Small Press 411 and it started with a post yesterday. And now? Now there’s already a post with questions answered by agent Julia Weber! I’m thrilled by this blog series because the information needs to be out there for those still doing their research on the publishing industry–and even for those already in the industry.

Simply based on my own experiences, small presses are awesome! Granted, I’m still at the beginning of the process, but the most important part of publishing–to me–was finding an editor who understood my vision for my book and was willing to take the time to help me get there. I ended up with TWO! I call that lucky and I’m more than happy that Danielle is now taking the time to spread the small press love.

Take the time to check out what’s already up and look for a LOT more posts over the next three weeks. Even if you already know about small presses, you may be surprised by what you’ll learn!

A semi-anonymous interview?

One of the best benefits of Twitter has been meeting meeting other authors and editors and book geek type people. One of them, @MissDahlELama, otherwise known as Dahlia Adler, has been putting together a group of anonymously answered FAQs she calls Perpetual WIPs. Her most recent edition is specifically concerning pre-pub authors, that vague middle ground in between book deal and publication. I’m not saying I participated, but I’m not saying I didn’t, either… O.o

Unfortunately that’s all I have time for today, but you should definitely check out The Daily Dahlia and her (so far) three part Perpetual WIPs series for writers: Querying Writers, Agented Writers, and Pre-Pub Writers.

See you around!

Mind the Gap.

Mind the Gap (c) Suserl

Mind the gap.

When speaking literally it means “watch where you’re stepping, idiot. There’s a hole in front of you.” Metaporically, however, it can mean a lot of things. Including “watch where you’re stepping, idiot. There’s a hole in front of you.”

Heading into a career in writing (or, really, living as a human being) you have to be mindful of the gap between expectation an reality. This not only applies to how you expect things to be (how you expect the world to treat you or accolades you expect to receive) but also what you can expect from yourself in a certain situation. And, because it’s easier, I’m going to pick on myself as an example for this.

I’ve already talked about NaNo last year and how I wrote over 100,000 words in a month. That’s amazing, right? And because I did it once, I should be able to do it again, right? Consistently. That can be the expectation, but it isn’t necessarily the reality. It wasn’t this month, anyway. I plugged away and barely made it half that length. I have a lot of words, but no book to show for NaNo. If I let myself, I could completely beat myself up over not living up to my own standards, but where will that get me in the long run? Nowhere. Frustrated and depressed and too annoyed to work on anything. My productivity will plummet and I’ll end up even more frustrated. Not a good thing.

Taking success and failure as they come is an important life lesson. Letting stress spur you on but not cripple you is too. It’s not easy to learn, but it’s worth the time it takes. Aim high, but don’t flog yourself mercilessly if you don’t hit those goals. Always try to do better than you did last time, but don’t hate yourself if you can’t. It’s a fine line and a hard thing to balance, but it will make you a lot happier in the end.

In other news, I’m getting photography credit in a publication for some shots I took in Europe back in 2007! Does this, like, officially make me a photographer? Because that would be kinda cool. 😀

A permanent state of overwhelm.

Had meeting with my editresses this weekend. They asked lots of questions and made lots of suggestions on the structure and shape of The Dream War Saga series. I went into state of complete overwhelm. In fact, I feel something like these girls (aka my sisters) about to be sucked in and swept away by the Pacific:

Seriously. This happened. Read about it here.

This isn’t the first time I’ve felt this way with this series. Now I’m beginning to think that this state of overwhelm is going to be a near-constant thing in the career path I have chosen. In fact, I’m thinking that, without it, you’re probably not doing your job as well as you could be. At least, I think that might be true for me. Not if I’m working with people who are really going to challenge me.

A good editor/critique partner will not only say, “I liked this and I didn’t like that,” they’ll look at the world you created, see that dark corner you left unexplored, point at it, and then say, “Well, what about going in that direction?”

Maybe that new direction will be a good one, maybe it won’t be. Maybe the path will suddenly open up before you lit with streetlights and marked with road signs and maybe you’ll have to hack your way through underbrush to get where you want to go. Either way, even if you feel completely overwhelmed by the amount of work before you, I can almost guarantee your story will be better for it. And, honestly, isn’t that the point?

At this time last year I was…

Agenda 3 (c) Dragan Rusov

For some reason it hit me yesterday that a year has passed.

“Well, of course it has,” you say. “Technically a year has passed every single day.”

True, but it’s more significant this month, at least to me. This is National Novel Writing Month and this is the month where everything started changing for the better very quickly in my life.

Quickly is a relative word, especially when we’re talking about writing and the publication process, but looking back I have to admit that everything did happen very fast. “How so?” you ask. To illustrate, here’s a recap of my year from November 2011 to November 2012:

November 2011: Begin writing novel version of Sing, Sweet Nightingale for NaNoWriMo
December 2011: Go back through SSN and make significant changes because, you know, first drafts and all.
January 2012: Frantically try to polish first 30 pages to submit to writing contests; squeeze in under the deadline of said contests and then try to forget I entered them
February 2012: Begin planning trip to BEA in NYC
March 2012: Find out SSN is a finalist in one of the previously mentioned contests
April 2012: Finalize plans for BEA 2012
May 2012: My birthday! Also, I find out SSN won the Marlene Award!
June 2012: Attend BEA. Crash a party at Lani Woodland’s insistence. Meet Danielle and Patricia. Send Danielle and Patricia my book. Have first Skype call with Danielle and Patricia about possible revisions.
July 2012: SSN officially becomes a future publication from Spencer Hill Press!
August 2012: Get so-called preliminary edit instructions that somehow turn into a rewrite project. Spend month stressing.
September 2012: See August
October 2012: Send SSN revision off to betas and CPs. Breathe sigh of relief. Later this month, spend ten hours in one week on Skype with Lani plotting books 2 and 3. Even later this month, do more tweaks on SSN and send book plus new outlines plus notes plus other random goodies to Danielle and Patricia
November 2012: Send EVEN MORE goodies to Danielle and Patricia. Wait with barely concealed anticipation/eagerness/terror/etc. for scheduled editorial Skype chat. Also, begin NaNo, this time working on three projects at once including the as yet untitled Dream War Saga Book 2.

That has been my writing-related year. I did other things too–finish first drafts of two different contemporary YA projects I really love, write a short story in TDWS universe, connect with the amazing Twitterverse of writerly people, and other things I can’t even think of right now–but the timeline above are my big moments and why realizing a year has passed since last November is a nostalgic moment for me. November is also the home of Thanksgiving (my favorite holiday!), so I wanted to take this time to have a gratefulness moment. Sometimes it may feel like the ultimate goal (holding a physical copy of my book) is so far away, but at least the end is finally in sight. I’m working with editors I adore and I have a support network who is amazing. All-in-all, this past year has been very good for me. I’m even on track to knock out most of my New Years Resolutions! 2012 was great, 2013 will be even better, and I have high hopes that 2014 will be a banner year!

Don’t forget to enjoy the moment you’re in. You never know when you’ll suddenly be standing a year in the future going, “Wow. Remember when…?”