Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Dr. Seuss Cupcakes

Mmmmm... Dr. Seuss Cupcakes!!!

Want the recipe?

All you have to do is answer the following question. You'll find the answer in my new novel, Sprinkles and Secrets:

What is the name of Sophie's Mom's home-based business?

Isabel's Mom's business is It's Raining Cupcakes. But what is Sophie's Mom's called?

Send the answer to: lisaschroederbooks(at)gmail.com (with @ instead of at) no later than Friday, October 14th, and I'll send everyone who gets it right the recipe on October 14th.

Good luck and happy reading!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Monday Motivation - the first draft is YOUR story

"Writing is rewriting... If you fall in love with the vision you want of your work and not your words, the rewriting will become easier." - Nora DeLoach

I love that quote. The first draft is about getting the story down that you want to tell. The words might not be the right ones. The scenes might not be the right ones. The characters may be flat and dull. But it's okay. Write because you have a story to tell and fall in love with that story. Later, you will revise to take care of all those things.

Just get the story down - and let yourself fall in love with it.

I've been writing 1,000 words a day on my WIP. Sometimes I go back and tinker with earlier chapters, and I know some writers don't let themselves do that because they'll do that forever. But for ME, that tinkering often helps me get back into the story - back into the world that can be hard to reenter at times.

That's the thing about first drafts. We have to figure out what works for each of us. I've learned what works for me. I now know I can do 1,000 words a day pretty easily in an hour or two, if I open the document, read some of the previous day's work, tinker if necessary, and start writing.

I also know that the reentry is easiest if I leave off in the middle of a scene, in a place where I can pick right up and keep going. Sometimes I leave myself notes to remind myself what I want to happen. But I now know it's so much easier to get writing when I've left off in the middle of something rather than the beginning of a new chapter. Blank pages are HARD, so I try to avoid them as much as possible when writing a first draft.

Figure out what works for you. Write to get the story down. Remember, it's YOUR story in the first draft. Don't worry about anyone else. Write for yourself. Fall in love with it.

There's plenty of time later to do the work to make other people fall in love with it.

Friday, September 23, 2011


Thanks to everyone who entered for the Leisl & Po contest.

The winner is Kate!!! 

 Kate I'll be e-mailing you to get your mailing address. Congratulations and thanks again. Happy Friday!!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

I love my job

Tuesday, the US women's soccer team was at NIKE World Headquarters, where my husband works. They had let employees know that they were allowed to come out from 3:30 to 5:30 and see the women play, get some autographs, have hamburgers and hot dogs, etc. It was really meant to be a celebration of this great team. My husband asked me if I wanted to come down, and it was such a beautiful afternoon, how could I say no?

The CEO of NIKE took the field with a microphone and asked Coach Pia and Abby Wambach some questions before the women started playing.

There was a moment, toward the end, where Abby said, "I feel so lucky to do what I love. I have the best job in the world." Coach Pia then piped up with, "No, I think I have the best job in the world." And then the CEO said, "And I think I do."

I thought to myself, Well, really, I do.

And as I watched Abby kick the ball around with her teammates later, I thought, every day, they go out there and do their best. They play because they love it. Yes, girls look up to them, and yes, they inspire others to be the best they can be, and so much more.

But ultimately, it's all about the love they have for the game they are playing.

And so it is with us, writers.

I love books. I love reading. I love writing. Yes, there are bad days. Yes, some days it's really, really hard. I bet Abby would say the same thing about her job.

But in the end, I really do love it. And that's what it comes down to in the end.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Happy Book Birthday and Dr. Seuss Cupcakes

It's here, it's here, September 20th is here!
It's the official release date of Sprinkles and Secrets.
Here's my final surprise for you!

Because SO many kids e-mailed me asking if I had the Dr. Seuss cupcake recipe from It's Raining Cupcakes, I went ahead and developed a recipe! Do you remember the Dr. Seuss cupcakes? She decides to try a Dr. Seuss cupcake at a very special bakery toward the end of It's Raining Cupcakes.

If you'd like to have the recipe, all you have to do is e-mail me the answer to this question at lisaschroederbooks(at)gmail.com (replace (at) with @) by Friday, October 14th, and on October 15th, I'll send everyone who gets the question right the recipe as an attachment.

Here is the question: What is the name of Sophie's Mom's home-based business? 

Keep in mind, this is SOPHIE, not Isabel. The answer is NOT It's Raining Cupcakes. You have to read Sprinkles and Secrets to find out the answer to this question!

Happy reading and good luck!

And finally, here is the last Fun with Cupcakes video. Guess what I'm reading to my cupcake friends?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Giveaway - ARC of LEISL & PO

As you probably know, the day we've been counting down to is almost here!! Make sure you stop by tomorrow because I have a one last surprise to announce, and if you plan on reading Sprinkles and Secrets, you definitely want to hear about this surprise!

But today is a different kind of surprise. Today I want to give away a really special middle grade novel because as much as I love reading YA, MG novels have a special place in my heart. I love them in a different way. The 10-year-old reader in me gets SO excited about a heart-warming MG read.

A friend picked up an Advanced Review Copy of this book for me at ALA, and I really enjoyed it. And I want to give some lucky reader a chance to enjoy it too.

Yes, this is the highly anticipated LEISL AND PO, written by NYT bestselling author Lauren Oliver. Lauren, like me, writes YA and MG, and she does both with incredible talent. Wow.

I loved this book. Loved with a capital L. It's really like nothing I've ever read before. Here's the description from Goodreads:

Leisl lives in a tiny attic bedroom, locked away by her cruel stepmother. Her only friends are the shadows and the mice -- until one night a ghost appears from the darkness. It is Po, who comes from the Other Side. Both Leisl and Po are lonely, but together they are less alone.

That same night, alchemist's apprentice, Will, bungles an important delivery. He accidentally switches a box containing the most powerful magic in the world with one containing something decidedly less remarkable.

Will's mistake has tremendous consequences for Leisl and Po, it draws the three of them together on an extraordinary journey.

So what do you have to do to enter to win? 

For one entry - just comment here.

For another entry, I'd love it if you'd help spread the word about Sprinkles and Secrets somehow. I don't care how, you can tweet about this contest, post the cover of my book on your facebook or blog, share one of my "Fun with Cupcakes" videos somewhere. It's up to you! Just help spread the word, and you are entered again. And this contest is open INTERNATIONALLY!!!!

In the comments, just let me know what you did, and that's it! (Make sure you let me know how to contact you, too, if you don't have contact info. on your blog).

GOOD LUCK!!! I'll pick a winner Wednesday, September 21st, 9:00 pm EST.

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Friday Five

1. Let's start with this, shall we? Oh Vampire Diaries, you did NOT disappoint. I laughed when Damon got out of the bubble bath and walked through the house. Yeah, the director knows how to give the viewers what they want. That scene at the end, where Stefan calls Elana? *Sob* Overall, what a fantastic episode - so much going on!

2. I said on twitter one day this week, when lots of people seemed to be talking about new shows this season, that I am glad I'm not alone in my love for good TV. For me, it can be really hard to turn the writerly brain off. And a good TV show helps me do that. I also think studying story, in whatever means, is never a bad thing.

3. My teens seem to be adjusting to the school year okay. Partly because I am the sleep nazi, and make them go to bed between 9 and 9:30. My older one reads for a while, which is fine, I just want to make sure they get 8-9 hours of sleep on school nights. They need it! And the bus comes at 7:10, which is early. An interesting side note, this summer, when they could sleep in, they would sleep 10-12 hours a night. The 16 YO grew 2 inches over the summer, the 14 YO 3 inches!! Wow.

4. Some exciting nomination news - The Day Before is on the consideration lists for YALSA's Quick Picks AND Best Fiction for Young Adults. Yay!!! And I'm thrilled Chasing Brooklyn is a Missouri Gateway Preliminary Nominee. My agent has 3 clients on that list, which I think is awesome.

5. Sorry the blog has pretty much been all Sprinkles all the time! I'm sure regular readers are tired of it, but for people who happen to stop by after reading It's Raining Cupcakes, I wanted to make sure the information about Sprinkles and Secrets was front and center. I have a couple of more things planned next week, and then no more book releases for a long time. Kind of sad. But you know what I'll be doing - writing new books!!! Oh, and revising the ones I sold this year I suppose. :)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Reading Guide available for Sprinkles and Secrets!

Woo hoo, one more WEEK!!!!

I have a couple of surprises to share with you, but I'm not going to tell you about them all at once. No, see, I must keep you on the edge of your seat!

I will share one surprise with you today, though.

I have developed a reading/discussion guide for teachers or book clubs or even just individuals who might like to have one while they read Sprinkles and Secrets. 

To have a copy sent to you, just send an e-mail to: lisaschroederbooks(at)gmail.com (with the (at) removed and the @ sign in its place). I will e-mail you back and send the document as an attachment.

I have just a few more Fun with Cupcakes videos to share with you, and I've saved the best for last! Here is one where my kitty, Sparkles, shows us that she loves cupcakes too. Awwwwww...

Friday, September 9, 2011

Another book is born

Yesterday a few early copies of Sprinkles and Secrets arrived in the mail.

Yay! I'm sososososoSO excited about this book, mostly because of all the wonderful notes I've gotten from young readers who have enjoyed It's Raining Cupcakes. I worked hard on this book to make it another fun read about Sophie and Isabel. See, this is me saying, I worked hard, I REALLY hope you like it!

I have to say, though, when I got the package, it was hard to open up the book, because I knew something inside was going to make me tear up. Back in January, my editor had asked me to submit the acknowledgements and dedication. At that time, my friend Lisa Wolfson (Madigan) was fighting for her life. I was hoping for a miracle, and I really believed she would see this dedication when the book came out. Sadly, as some of you know, she lost her life to pancreatic cancer in February.

Here's the dedication:

Yes, the musical WICKED is a part of the book. And that's all I'm going to say, because, you have to read it, of course!!!!

I have to say, seeing your words made into a beautiful book never, ever gets old. I'm really proud of this book and can't wait until it's out in the world for kids to enjoy!!!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Speak Now with Taylor Swift

When I heard Taylor Swift was coming to Portland, I knew I wanted to take my 12 year old niece. She's a fan, as I am. I find Taylor's music so very honest, and the reason she is so popular is because she writes what it feels like to be a teen girl.

What. A. Show.

The set changed again and again. She changed (clothes, about 6 or 7 times, I lost count). Each song was like a short theatrical performance, with musicians and dancers and at times, fireworks and acrobats! It was amazing.

Yes, each song was a little story she played out on stage. And the fans ate it up. I couldn't help it, I teared up a few times as the voices of thousands of people joined in, singing her songs that we all know by heart. And what I loved was Taylor took all of it in too. All of the love in that room, for her and her music, she would stop and just take in the cheering, smiling and smiling, sometimes for an entire minute, just standing there. That's what really moved me, I think - all of the joy and love in that huge arena.

At one point, she walked through the crowd and sat against a lovely tree that was all lit up and slowly spun around. There, she played her guitar and sang to the other end of the arena. So magical.

For her encore, she came out on a couch in a beautiful gown with her guitar and sang Fifteen, the song that speaks to every teenage girl about what it feels like to BE that age, when every little thing is such a BIG thing, and the first love feels like it's going to be it forever and ever.

The arena lit up with lights and you could hardly hear Taylor because the crowd was singing so loud.

Magical. That's really the only way to describe it. I truly feel honored to have been a part of it for one night!

Get your sweet treat recipes!!

I want to make sure you know that over at Novel Novice, they are counting down the days to Sprinkles and Secrets by posting some favorite sweet treat recipes by other middle grade authors!!

Last week, to kick off the series, Sara from Novel Novice gave us a recipe for peanut butter cup brownies. (YUM! I will definitely make these - sounds SO good!)

On Monday, author Lindsey Leavitt shared her recipe for banana pudding. (I am also going to make this - it sounds like an easy version of banana cream pie, which is my FAVORITE).

You'll get a new recipe every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, all the way up to September 20th. Only a couple of more weeks and the book will be here! Yay!!!

Monday, September 5, 2011

It's so nice to be nominated!

I haven't been blogging much lately - sorry about that! I haven't felt well for the past week, mostly with a headache that won't quit, and being on the computer doesn't help it, of course. Although this morning I did power through 1,500 words on a new project I'm really excited about.

I have things to talk about, things I want to say, but I have a feeling I'm going to have to limit my computer time for a while longer, until whatever this thing is decides to give me a break. (Please, let that be soon).

SO, making a list is an exciting thing for an author. And I have the chance to make a few of them, so I just wanted to say here, because I want the universe to hear me, I would love, love, LOVE to make the final lists of the following:

Chasing Brooklyn is a preliminary nominee on the 2012-2013 Missouri Association of School Librarians Gateway Readers Award.

Chasing Brooklyn is also a nominee for YALSA's 2012 popular paperback list - yay!!!

And finally, The Day Before is a nominee for YALSA's 2012 Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers list. I Heart You, You Haunt Me made this list a few years ago, and it was such a great thing for my book.

Thanks so much to the librarians who helped me get on these lists, and if I don't make any of them, it was really nice to be nominated. Maybe I should go buy myself a cute dress to have as a consolation prize?

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Look what's in the October Scholastic TAB

I was so excited when my friend, Lindsey Leavitt, let me know we were in the October Scholastic TAB together. In case you don't know what TAB is, that's Scholastic's book club for middle schoolers. If you go HERE, you'll see her book is even mentioned in the video! Cool!! My editor sent me the actual flyer a couple of days ago, which was fun to see.

I HEART YOU, YOU HAUNT ME came out in January, 2008. And while it's still on shelves and continues to sell, which makes me happy, I love that this will help it reach a whole new group of readers!

I love this video, which shows what Scholastic book clubs means to kids and schools. I'm so happy to be a part of it!