Category Archives: Lani Woodland

Recap: BEA 2012

The first sight of the Javits Center (I’m not gonna lie) made me a little scared. How in the world was I going to see everything they stuffed inside a building this huge in only three days?! I’m telling you right now, I didn’t do it. I missed things. I missed a lot of people, books, events, talks, conferences, and I don’t even know what else. For anyone who hasn’t gone but plans on attending, it’s impossible. DO NOT go there with the hope or the expectation of seeing it all. It won’t happen and you’ll only be disappointed. Plus, you’ll end up stressing yourself out. And that’s never fun.

Technically, BEA ran from Monday-Thursday, but the main exhibition hall wasn’t open on Monday. In fact, a lot of the displays were still in pieces. I know because Lani and I walked around almost tripping on piles of plywood and rolled up carpets. We used the time to get out badges before the lines got crazy long and also to learn the layout of the floor. One thing I will say for the organizers, the exhibition hall was very well labeled. I rarely had a hard time finding my way around! Having attended more than a few large scale conventions in other industries, I know that this level of organization isn’t easy. I applaud whoever was in charge of that exhibition hall. Fabulous job!

Before flying out to NYC, I went online and looked at the schedule of talks to be given during BEA. Unfortunately, I only attended one of them. The picture here is from the YA Editor’s Buzz Panel Tuesday morning and even though I got there right on time, the room was so packed I had to stand in the doorway. I take this as a very good sign for the future of YA literature! Interest is strong and only seems to be growing. I picked up all five of the books mentioned on the panel and they all look brilliant. Trying to figure out what to read first is a problem, but it’s a really great problem to have! 😀

One thing I found amusing every time I walked into the building was the ads. For example, the steps seemed to be brought to you by Cassandra Clare. The entire front entryway appeared to be sponsored by Dean Koontz (seriously–there were posters of his book on the doors, the floor, the walls, everywhere!). And I think a book trailer for one of James Patterson’s new books was practically on loop on the TVs. Honestly, it seemed like overkill for already established authors. Just a couple of signs that said, “Hey, don’t forget this author you already like has a new book coming out soon” probably would have been more than enough. I did like the steps, though. There was more to it than pictured here and I thought it ended up looking pretty cool.

As amazing as free books are, my favorite part of BEA was the people. Authors, publishers, blogger, book lovers, booksellers, and industry pros all gathering together in one place to celebrate their shared obsession is so much fun! I met authors like Shannon Hale (pictured here signing the new Princess Academy book), Diana Peterfreund, Rebecca Serle, Lauren Oliver, Yvonne Woon, Susane Colasanti, Maggie Stiefvater (who actually recognized me from a signing a YEAR AGO in Coral Gables O.O!), Ally Condie, Kody Keplinger, Elizabeth Miles, Elizabeth Eulberg, Dan Wells, Mike Mullin, Jenifer Armentrout, Jeri Smith-Ready, Angela Corbett, Myra McEntire, Jamie Manning, Tiffany Truitt, and so many more! There’s something incredibly inspiring about being around that many creative people in the same week. Inspiring and a little intimidating!  

That being said, free books were still pretty amazing. By the end of the day on Thursday, I’d collected sixty-six books. Sixty-six! And I was selective, taking only books I knew I’d actually read or that I planned on passing on to a family member. If I’d just let myself grab anything I saw, that number probably would have been in the three digit range. Because I promised I would, I added a list below the cut of the books I adopted during BEA. Overall, though, it was awesome. I definitely plan on attending next year. If everything in my plan goes right, I may be using the time to apartment hunt, too! Come hell or high water, I’m moving to that city in 2013!!

Tessa, Brenna, and Maggie signing their short story collection
The Curiosities

Four of the Pendrell authors and their publisher

Author Title Publisher Release
Accardo, Jus Touch Entangled
Adler-Olsen, Jussi The Absent One Dutton Aug-12
Albin, Gennifer Crewel PSG Oct-12
Banks, Maya Enticed by his Forgotten Lover Harlequin
Barclay, Linwood Trust Your Eyes Penguin Sep-12
Cahalan, Susannah Brain on Fire Fire Press Nov-12
Carr, Robyn Sunrise Point Mira Romance
Catmull, Katherine Summer and Bird Dutton Sep-12
Colbert, Stephen America Again: Re-Becoming the Greatness We Never Weren’t  Hatchette Oct-12
Colman, Rebecca Heaven Should Fall Harlequin Oct-12
Condie, Ally Matched Speak
Cooner, Donna Skinny Point Oct-12
Diaz, Junot This is How You Lose Her Riverhead Books Sep-12
Doty, M. Surviving High School Poppy Sep-12
Edwards, Selden The Lost Prince Dutton Aug-12
Ellison, Kate The Butterfly Clues Egmont
Gidwitz, Adam In a Glass Grimmly Dutton Sep-12
Gillham, David City of Women Putnam Aug-12
Gratton, Tessa & Stiefvater, Maggie & Yovanoff, Brenna The Curiosities: A Collection of Stories Carolrhoda Lab Oct-12
Gudenkauf, Heather One Breath Away Mira Jul-12
Hale, Shannon Princess Academy: Palace of Stone Bloomsbury Aug-12
Han, Jenny & Vivian, Siobhan Burn for Burn Simon & Schuster Sep-12
Herbert, Brian & Anderson, Kevin Hellhole Tor
Hurley, Tonya The Blessed Simon & Schuster Sep-12
Jobling, Curtis Wereworld: Rise of the Wolf Viking
Keplinger, Kody A Midsummer’s Nightmare Poppy Jun-12
Khoury, Jessica Origin Razor Bill Sep-12
Kingslover, Barbara Flight Behavior Harper Nov-12
Koryta, Michael The Prophet Little Brown Aug-12
Krumwiede, Lana Freakling Candlewick Press Oct-12
Lehane, Dennis Live by Night Morrow Oct-12
Levithan, David Every Day Knopf Aug-12
Maas, Sarah J. Throne of Glass Bloomsbury Aug-12
Magnum, Lisa After Hello Shadow Mountain Sep-12
Marr, Melissa Carnival of Souls Harper Sep-12
McCoy, Shirlee Running for Cover Love Inspired
McEntire, Myra Hourglass Egmont
Meloy, Maile The Apothecary Putnam
Messenger, Shannon Keeper of the Lost Cities Aladdin Oct-12
Miles, Elizabeth Fury Simon Pulse
Miles, Elizabeth Envy Simon Pulse Sep-12
Miller, Ashley Edward & Stentz, Zack Colin Fischer Razor Bill Nov-12
Moyes, Jojo Me Before You Viking Dec-12
Mullin, Mike Ashen Winter Tanglewood Oct-12
Oliver, Lauren The Spindlers Harper Sep-12
Patterson, James Confessions of a Murder Suspect Little Brown Sep-12
Paul, Fiona Venom Philomel Oct-12
Paver, Michelle Gods and Warriors Dial Aug-12
Pearce, Jackson Fathomless Little Brown Sep-12
Perry, John The Art of Procrastination Workman Sep-12
Rhodes, Morgan Falling Kingdoms Razor Bill Dec-12
Roberts, Sheila Better Than Chocolate Harlequin Oct-12
Saintcrow, Lillith The Iron Wyrm Affair Orbit Aug-12
Serle, Rebecca When You Were Mine Simon Pulse
Sheinmel, Courtney All the Things You Are Simon & Schuster
Spooner, Meagan Skylark Carolrhoda Lab Oct-12
Stiefvater, Maggie The Raven Boys Scholastic Press Sep-12
Straub, Emma Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures Riverhead Books Sep-12
Thomson, Jamie Dark Lord *The Early Years Walker Oct-12
Tracey, Scott Demon Eyes Flux Oct-12
Truitt, Tiffany Chosen Ones Entangled
Various Authors The Atira International Book of Mysteries Atira Books
Wells, Dan The Hollow City Tor
Wiprud, Brian The Clause Midnight Ink Oct-12
Zhang, Kat What’s Left of Me Harper Sep-12

Events: Oh, The Anticipation!

Every once in a while I get to go on a trip I’m so excited about I almost don’t want to go because then it’ll be over. In less than a week, I’ll be leaving on one of those trips.

I took this from the top of the Empire State Building in 2007.

Starting Thursday afternoon, I will be in NYC for ten glorious days! The trip is a combination of things starting with a family vacation, moving into a business trip, and ending with a visit at my friend’s house in Brooklyn. It will be fabulous and I plan on filling up more than one memory card with photos while I’m there! 🙂

The centerpiece of the visit, though, is definitely the week-long fun of Book Expo America, one of the largest book and publishing related events in the world and the ultimate gathering of booksellers, authors, and industry pros from all over the planet.I’ll get to meet agents, editors, authors, and other awesome people through a series of conferences, lunches, and events. Plus, there will be a couple hundred booths with information, ARCs, and other goodies. People bring empty suitcases with them to this event just to cart home all the stuff they collect during the trip! And to make an already amazing thing even better, I’ll be spending the week with the beautiful Lani Woodland! I haven’t seen Lani in person since… 2008, I think? So, in other words, it’s been WAY too long. 

If I have the chance, I’ll post during my trip, but otherwise I’ll do a detailed recap when I come home. Is anyone else going to be there? Come join the fun!

Writing: Landmark Moments

I realized this morning that a landmark moment passed yesterday without nearly as much pomp and circumstance as it deserves. I’m going to try to make up for that now.

Yesterday, I hit The End on my second first draft in the last ten days! No, this doesn’t mean I wrote two full manuscripts in ten days, but I did write the endings to two books and therefore moved two more projects from the “ideas that may or may not ever get finished” pile to the “Yay! It’s done!” pile. In this instance, it just so happens the two books exist in the same universe, so I feel even more accomplished than usual. One of them is the novel Lani and I have been collaborating on, the other is one that I began before my project with Lani–but somewhere in the middle of writing we decided to connect the two stories with a couple of secondary characters. Neither first draft is anywhere near polished (my solo book is missing a subplot and our collaboration went off on a tangent halfway through, so we need to go back and rewrite the first part), but finishing a first draft is still a certain measure of success, one I feel the need to commemorate.

Anyone have any recent writing successes they want to share? Sometimes we don’t have people in our lives who appreciate the thrill of some of our small successes, so share them here and I’ll celebrate with you!

Surprise!: Random Acts of Kindness

A smile. An encouraging word. A thoughtful gesture. Each day people interact with us, help, and make our day a bit brighter and full. This is especially true in the Writing Community. 

Take a second to think about writers you know, like the critique partner who works with you to improve your manuscript. The writing friend who listens, supports and keeps you strong when times are tough. The author who generously offers council, advice and inspiration when asked.

So many people take the time to make us feel special, don’t they? They comment on our blogs, re-tweet our posts, chat with us on forums and wish us Happy Birthday on Facebook.

Kindness ROCKS!

To commemorate the release of their book The Emotion Thesaurus, Becca and Angela at The Bookshelf Muse are hosting a TITANIC Random Act Of Kindness BLITZ. And because I think KINDNESS is contagious, I’m participating too!

Today I am thanking Lani Woodland for being a constant source of inspiration, determination, joy, and laughter. I absolutely cannot be on the phone with Lani without smiling, even when I’m having a bad day, and her energy is infectious. She pushes me to write more, to write better, and I adore her for it. 
I would offer her my writerly services as a thank you, but she knows she already has those! So, instead, I’m promising a really first-rate dinner while we’re both in Manhattan for BEA. On top of the ones I already owe you. You may not end up paying for food at all on the trip, Lani! 😉
Love you!!! 

Do you know someone special that you’d like to randomly acknowledge? Don’t be shy–come join us and celebrate! Send them an email, give them a shout out, or show your appreciation in another way. Kindness makes the world go round. 🙂

Becca and Angela have a special RAOK gift waiting for you as well, so hop on over to The Bookshelf Muse to pick it up.

Have you ever participated in or been the recipient of a Random Act Of Kindness?  Let me know in the comments!

Random: Google And Cracked

Right now I am experiencing the joy of new love with Google Drive. I’ve been using Documents to Go for my file synchronization for a few years now, and for most of that time it worked perfectly. Recently, though, we’ve been having some problems. Then I heard about Google Drive.

Google Drive gives you 5 GB of free storage that will automatically sync to any PC, Mac, or Android based mobile device (iOS coming soon) with the Drive app installed. So far, it works like a dream and has simplified my file sharing system immensely. Speaking of file sharing, Drive also gives you the option to share files, folders, or your entire drive with individual users or the entire interwebs. While I don’t plan on making my first drafts public domain at any date in the foreseeable future, this is an amazing tool when collaborating on a novel with another writer who lives on the other side of the country! (I’m staring at you, Lani!!) I’ll let you know if I run into any problems that dim my fondness for this program, but right now the desktop applications are nearly perfect and with a couple of upgrades, the mobile apps will be too.

Now, because I’m still low on time, here are some articles I think you might find amusing, all found on Just a warning, though, these contain foul language to some degree.

7 Commonly Corrected Grammar Errors (That Aren’t Mistakes)

18 Images You Won’t Believe Aren’t Photoshopped

5 Gender Stereotypes That Used To Be The Exact Opposite

The 5 Depressing Lessons We Learned From Highlights Magazine

Writing: Collaboration

People have this image of writing as this solitary art where a writer is locked away in an office or bedroom or within their own head for weeks or months or years trying to get their ideas down on paper. While this image isn’t exactly wrong, it isn’t always right either. Everyone needs friends; writers are no exception. Sometimes, though, what’s even more awesome is having a partner.

My friend Lani Woodland and I have recently decided to try collaborating on a new project. I have never worked with anyone on a novel and it’s especially difficult in this case because Lani and I live on opposite coasts of the country. We’ve only been working on it for a couple of days, but so far I’m enjoying the change.

With a writing partner you are guaranteed to have someone to bounce ideas off of, someone who will care whether or not you add the main character’s cousin to that one scene in chapter four, someone who won’t think you’re crazy when you start spouting off sections of dialogue to see how it rolls off your tongue. That kind of energy can help spur you forward in your writing, to get through your section so you can pass it off and see what your friend will return to you.

Of course, it’s not all good times. Conflicts can crop up in a myriad of places and unless you have a clearly defined decision-making method, you may get stalled more often than you want. More likely than not, you and your writing partner will argue over style, dialogue, characters, and even punctuation if you’re feeling particularly contentious. However, if you have enough common ground to stand on, the resulting story or novel could be something beautiful neither of you could have created alone.

How will co-writing work for me? So far, it’s fantastic! Now I just have to wait and see how the rest of the story unfolds from here.

More resources:
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