Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Season's Readings Giveaway

Today is a good day.

Today is a day I get to announce a giveaway I'm participating in with some other amazing YA authors that features eight Advanced Review Copies of some of the most highly anticipated YA novels of 2015 PLUS a special holiday bonus, a darling UK edition of MY TRUE LOVE GAVE TO ME.

Check it out!!

From upper left to lower right, here's what one VERY lucky person will get:

Book 1 - MY TRUE LOVE GAVE TO ME edited by Stephanie Perkins (Macmillan, UK, 10/14)
Book 2 - ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES by Jennifer Niven (Knopf, 1/15)
Book 3 - ALL FALL DOWN by Ally Carter (Scholastic Press, 1/15)
Book 4 - THE REMEDY by Suzanne Young (Simon Pulse, 4/15)
Book 5 - THE DEVIL YOU KNOW by Trish Doller (Bloomsbury, 6/15)
Book 6 - THINGS WE KNOW BY HEART by Jessi Kirby (HarperTeen, 4/15)
Book 7 - THE WALLS AROUND US by Nova Ren Suma (Algonquin, 3/15)
Book 8 - ALL WE HAVE IS NOW by Lisa Schroeder (Scholastic Point, 7/15)
Book 9 - THE GAME OF LOVE AND DEATH (Arthur Levine Books, 4/15)

Some of the books will even be *signed* by the authors!

Are you excited?
I hope so!

To enter, see the rafflecopter below (sorry, to keep costs down, it's limited to US only).

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, November 10, 2014

Magical Moments

I'm pretty sure I've talked about magical moments here before. This is what I call those moments when I'm writing and out of the blue, the perfect thing comes to me -- something I didn't see coming. As writers, we live for these moments, let me tell you!

Last week I did a bunch of Skype visits and one of the classes asked about a favorite spot in I HEART YOU, YOU HAUNT ME. (It's actually one of the most tweeted, tumbled things from my books, too).

Ava, the main character, who is being haunted by her boyfriend, Jackson and was happy about it at first, has this conversation later on, with an ex-boyfriend, Nick.

"Was it hard," I ask. "Letting go?"

"Not as hard as holding on to something that wasn't real."

When Nick first showed up in the manuscript I wasn't sure why. Like I told the students, when someone or something shows up and I kind of scratch my head over it, I let the story unfold to see what happens and to see if maybe that person or thing holds a purpose I don't know about yet. Nick proved his purpose to me right here. He gives Ava the answer she needs at this moment in time, without knowing that's exactly what she needs.

This little snippet of conversation was very much a magical moment and gave me goosebumps as I wrote it. It was just what the story needed, and I didn't plan it. It just...magically appeared.

There is no way to make magical moments happen other than to show up, day after day, and write. They come without warning, and often when you least expect them.

So now, I'm off to write, hoping, as always for one or two of those magical moments to make their way on to the page.

Have a good week!

Monday, November 3, 2014

The writing process is not a one-size-fits-all

As I mentioned last week, November is National Novel Writing Month. For those of you who have never heard about it, and are curious, here's the web site where people sign up, and during the month of November, they keep track of the words the write every day, with a goal of 50,000 words by the end of the month.

50,000 words equates to about 1,667 words a day.

I've written most of my books with the goal of 1,000 words per day (or 4-5 pages per day if the whole thing is in verse, b/c my verse novels aren't very long). I find I can *usually* do that writing in the span of 2-3 hours, and still have time to walk the dog, check in on social media sites, run errands, make dinner for my family, watch TV or read in the evening, etc.

That 667 extra words every day may not seem like a lot, but to me, it is a LOT. I'm so used to my 1,000 words a day, I find I'm having to really push myself, which I guess is the point. I think what is going to work for me is to do one round of writing in the morning, and then take a long break in the afternoon, and come back and write more from like 3:00 to 5:00. Breaking it up gives my brain a much needed rest or something. Unless I really get going in a scene during the first writing session and don't want to stop, in which case, of course, I'll keep going. (I love when I get in the "zone" or whatever and get fully immersed in the story, but unfortunately, it doesn't happen as much as I'd like).

It's always interesting at book festivals and conferences to hear authors talk about their writing processes. Newer writers always seem to be curious about this. And I get it, you want to hear from successful people and see if you can learn something. But I kind of believe everyone has to find their own way in that regard, by simply trying different things. What works for me might not work for someone else. Some people can't write until everyone in their house goes to bed. That is DEFINITELY not me, since often times, in my house, I am the first person in bed, snuggling up with a book! I am a morning person all the way, and the more I can get done in the morning, the better. Some people like writing by hand first and then typing it into the computer. (To that I say, what? No way!!!) I often hear authors say they can't start writing until they know how the book ends. That isn't me either. In fact, with my most recent YA, ALL WE HAVE IS NOW, I didn't have any idea how the book would end until about 3/4th of the way. I guess I like to be surprised?

Kids I visit with during school and Skype visits often ask about process, and I try to make sure they know that everyone is different. The way I do it isn't the right way, it's just the right way FOR ME, and over time, they'll figure out the right way for them as well.

And now... I'm off to write!

Have a good week!

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!