Thursday, May 21, 2015

I think I'm in love - COVER!!

You guys, my first fantasy novel has a cover and oh my gosh, I love it so much.

As I type this, a box of Advanced Review Copies are making their way to my house and I can't wait to see the book in all of its glory. Beautiful black and white sketches by Nicoletta Ceccoli grace the interior pages and they just make the book so special.

This book (for ages 8+) has been in the works for a long, long time, but it's happening - it's finally happening!

Coming March, 2016!!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Cavalcade of Authors West

It's been a week and a half since I've been back from this fabulous event, but I have so much going on in May, I haven't posted about it yet. Shame on me! So here's a quick rundown.

First of all, Cavalcade of Authors has been an annual event in the Tri-cities, Washington for a while now. I went a few years ago, and had a really great time, and met SUCH wonderful people, I was ready to move there. I kid you not. But my husband has a pretty good job here and my kids don't want to move, so you know, we didn't do that. But I loved my time there!

When a group of librarians and parents decided to bring a similar event to the west side of Washington this year, they asked if I might like to participate as an author and of course I said YES!

Junior and senior high kids sign up to attend three workshops put on by authors in the morning. Doesn't that sound amazing? I mean, honestly, I kind of want to go next year and be a student and go to three of the sessions!

The authors also took turns doing panels where we answered questions from the audience. Here I am with my panel: Marissa Meyer (THE LUNAR CHRONICLES),  Richelle Mead, (VAMPIRE ACADEMY) and Terry Trueman (STUCK IN NEUTRAL). Can you believe that? I was like looking around me going, dang, is this really my life???

I didn't take many pictures - but here's another one with my good bud Kim Derting (THE BODY FINDER, THE TAKING, etc.)

After lunch, the kids are able to buy books and t-shirts and get them signed by the authors.

If you ever get a chance to go one of these Cavalcade of Author events, you should totally go! It's a great, great time!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Reading a book, over and over again

I get a lot of notes from kids and teens that go something like, "I love this book so much, I've read it XX times."

And I'm always like, wow. That's a LOT. I mean, to me, anything over three times is a lot. I rarely re-read books, so I'm easily impressed, I think.

For the middle grade set, they often say this about IT'S RAINING CUPCAKES.

For the Young Adult crowd, the book that gets that kind of comment the most is CHASING BROOKLYN.

I'll usually respond with a thank you note, and say how glad I am that she's enjoyed the book. And I go on to tell her I do have other books, if she might be interested?

But it's kind of a strange thing - sometimes I don't think she really is interested. Because there will never be another book like THIS book. And I realize, of course she is right. A favorite book is a special thing. They probably do read other things, but for whatever reason, they return to their favorite books again and again.

We never know what might happen with a book when we're in the middle of creating it. Some end up being semi-hits, some are misses, and very rarely, they are hits far and wide. Once we release it, we hope the book finds someone (maybe a lot of someones) who likes and appreciates it. Every time I get a note from a reader telling me a book is a favorite, that she has chosen to spend countless hours emerged in the pages, I smile. No matter what else I do in my life, I am honored to have done that.

Sometimes I think about these books and what it is about them that makes readers feel this way about them. I think it's probably not one thing, but a lot of things rolled up together. It would be great if we could find the magic formula. But each book is unique and different and you just never know... With every book we read, we begin anew, to decide where this particular book falls on the list of favorites. Or least favorites, as the case may be.

After all, what fun would it be, really, if it was all predetermined, and we didn't have to do that? It's the beauty of reading - beginning each book and letting it take you on an unknown journey. The possibilities are endless - and I love that!