Tuesday, October 28, 2014

National Novel Writing Month will be here SOON!

I've never officially participated in NaNoWriMo, which happens during the month of November, though I've done variations of it. I think I've always been scared that I would "fail." As in, that I wouldn't reach the goal of writing 50,000 words in one month.

But I've been thinking about what I tell kids during school visits. Trying something and having it not go the way you'd like doesn't mean you've failed. To try is to do, and that is definitely *not* failing.

Failure is when you don't try at all.

So, I'm going to try it. I may or may not reach 50,000 words, but whatever happens, I'll certainly have more words on a new project than I do now.

Usually when I'm drafting a new project, I try to write 1,000 words a day. This will require about 1,667 words a day. It's more, but it's not a *ton* more. I'm sure some days I'll write less and some days I'll write more, and I suppose the idea is that in the end, it all balances out. Maybe. Hopefully.

I do like to revise as I go. That's how I work best. It'll be interesting to see if I have to scale that back in order to accomplish what I need to. Or will I just let things around the house slide a bit more and spend more time at the computer than I usually do? I don't know, but I guess I'm going to find out!

If you want to be my buddy over at the NaNoWriMo site, my user name is LisaSchroeder.

Someone on twitter told me there is a fun kind of energy that happens during the the month of November, and that excites me. Good, positive energy is super helpful when trying to get a rough draft down on paper. I just about have a solid outline done on the project I want to work on, so with the outline as my guide, and some tea and cookies for nourishment, I'll venture out into the NaNoWriMo wilderness and see what happens.


Thursday, October 23, 2014


It's popping up in places on the internet and I just got a few galleys so I'd say it's time to share this beauty with the world.

This will be my 7th YA novel and I have to say, it is my new favorite cover! I LOVE IT!!! I love the colors, the font, the starry sky and the bridge that looks very much like the Vista Bridge in Portland, which plays a part in the story.

This is speculative fiction, in the vein of THE AGE OF MIRACLES and LIFE AS WE KNEW IT (both of which I read and enjoyed) about two teens who have just a little over twenty-four hours before a giant meteor is due to destroy much of North America and decide to spend their last hours helping to fulfill as many last wishes as they can.

Coming in July, 2015 from Scholastic!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Tomorrow is release day for CHARMED LIFE #4

This year has flown by. Seriously, how is it even possible we have reached October and the date when the last CHARMED LIFE book comes out? Wasn't I just writing this series yesterday?

Kind of unbelievable.

So far, the series has told Caitlin's, Mia's, and Libby's stories. Now readers get to read Hannah's story. Hannah lives on a small farm in Tennessee with her older twin brothers and her parents. Next door, on the same property, are her grandparents.

This book is special to me because I based the farm on my grandparents farm, where I spent many happy days growing up. My grandparents had mules and rode them, well into their seventies, as they went on excursions (mostly in Eastern Oregon) sometimes camping for up to a month.

The barn in the book, where Hannah discovers a surprise upstairs at one point, is like the barn my grandma helped build when she was just eight years old. She grew up on the property and later, when she got married, her and my grandpa built their own house there. Years later, they built a bigger house, and the old little house became the garage. My grandma would tell the story of going to the river bed with the buckboard, all by herself, to get rocks for the foundation of the barn.

Here's a brief description of the book:

It's finally Hannah's turn to wear the lucky charm bracelet -- and not a moment too soon!

Hannah's parents have a surprise for her, and she's sure it's her dream come true: a horse of her own. Instead, they've gotten her a mule!

Everyone says she can still ride the mule, even in the 4-H parade, but how silly will that look? Hannah is so embarrassed, and she needs the luck from her Cabin 7 BFFs' charm bracelet more than ever.

Don't tell the other characters, but I think Hannah's story is my favorite. I suppose you can see why?

Happy Monday!

Monday, October 13, 2014

From my mail

It's time, once again, for another edition of "From My Mail!"

Readers send me notes via regular mail as well as e-mail, and I appreciate every single one of them. I try to respond to e-mails within a few days and regular mail within a couple of weeks. If I'm busy drafting a book or traveling, it may take me longer.

Here's what some readers have been saying recently:

"I think you're an awesome writer that has amazing ideas in your brain all the time. I love how you made the characters with love and care, especially Isabel." ~ Anamika

"I enjoy your books so much I could give you a hundred reasons why I love your book It's Raining Cupcakes, but I'm only going to give you three, and here they are... 1) It's different than other books 2) the details 3) the character's names." ~ Natalie, age 9

"Your novel Chasing Brooklyn has truly touched my heart. It was absolutely beautiful. I have never written a fan letter to an author before but I want to thank you for the message I received through your writing." ~ Jori

"I love I Heart You, You Haunt Me so much, I didn't want to put it down. Most books I read it takes me 1-2 weeks, but your book, it was hard for me to go eat dinner with my family." ~ Cali, age 13

"I am a middle school reading teacher. On a recommendation from our media specialist, I planned a unit on I Heart You, You Haunt MeHoly Wowsers!! My students absolutely love(d) it!! I had several students take the book home and finish it the same day we started. In just two weeks they've already completed Chasing Brooklyn and The Day Before. In fact, I constantly see students reading your books who aren't even in my class. You have become a sensation at our school. So many teens that had "given up" on reading, have a new found love for literature." ~ Mr. B.

Yeah, that last one pretty much made my week. This business is not always easy. It's competitive and there is no guarantee, ever, when it comes to the future. It's like Project Runway in that regard, one week you're in, but the next week, you very well could be out. So hearing my books matter somewhere makes the angst and uncertainty of it all a little easier to take.

Have a great week!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Did you know...

Quick post today because my to-do list is a mile long. Okay, not really. It just feels that way. At the top of the list are clean the bathroom and work on a synopsis. Ugh, happy Monday to me.

A few things to tell you about.

Did you know...

there is a wonderful discussion guide for Caitlin's Lucky Charm, the first book in the CHARMED LIFE series? Scholastic has put it together, so if you are in a book club or are a teacher/librarian at school, please do check it out. HERE is the link. There's even a recipe for Snickerdoodle cookies - yum!!

that I will be at the Vegas Valley Book Festival in two weeks, on Saturday, October 18th? I'll be on the Tweens Read panel at 1:00 and the More Than a Love Story panel at 2:00. If you're in the area, I'll hope you'll come see me!

I will be doing a newsletter 3-4 times a year? I'm calling it a quarterly newsletter, but I may not do it exactly four times a year. Anyway, it's the best way to stay up-to-date with book releases, appearances, etc. plus I'll be giving sneak peeks you won't get anywhere else AND will be doing special giveaways that are only for subscribers. The first issue will be going out SOON, so sign up HERE if you want to be in on that.

Okay, that's all I've got for today. Have a great week!