Thursday, April 30, 2009

A blog in letters

Dear Agent S.,

Thank you for taking the time to talk with me yesterday. I'm so glad you like the latest YA project! I have been thinking about some of the things you suggested, and I plan to write a new first chapter this weekend, when I have a big chunk of time. I'm excited to move forward on this, and I REALLY appreciate your help. A lot.

Yours truly,


Dear JCPenney,

This weekend I will be visiting. With two kids and a husband in tow. I hope you have gotten more of a selection in your young men's section than the last time we visited. The kids need some slacks and a nice shirt for a wedding in a few weeks. We don't want a suit, nor do we want t-shirts and shorts. Something in between, although you seem to have trouble with that concept. Think about it - there is more to life than the beach and funerals.

Yours truly,


Dear NBA,

My kids and I have been disappointed to miss The Biggest Loser the past two weeks. Can you pick a different night for games? Please??

Yours truly,


Dear Jennifer Donnelly,

I know I'm really late reading A NORTHERN LIGHT, and I honestly don't know what took me so long, but I have to tell you that I think your book is in my top ten all-time favorite books. I finished it days ago and still, I find myself thinking about Mattie and hoping she's okay. What a story. Thank you!

Yours truly,


Dear Maureen Johnson,

You did an incredible thing in April, implementing BEDA, encouraging people to blog everyday in April. Alas, I didn't join in, but I'm now doing my own thing for May called ANOBIMWI, otherwise known as Almost No Blogging in May, Write Instead. Yes, I realize if everyone participated in ANOBIMWI, what a sad blogging world it would be. But I have a big book to write, not to mention an author's event, a wedding, a kid's birthday, Mother's day, Memorial day, Free Comic Book day, the Wolverine movie, and ten other things I could list but won't.

Without you, I probably wouldn't have come up with ANOBIMWI, so thanks!

Yours truly,


Dear friends,

If you read Author2Author, I'll see you there every Friday. If not, I'll see you in June! I'll miss you. Be good!! Remember, the Beatles said it best - love is all you need. And in case you don't believe me...


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Book recommendation - YOU ARE HERE

So, the last two book recommendations I did, WINTERGIRLS by Laurie Halse Anderson and IF I STAY by Gayle Forman BOTH made the NYT bestseller list. Coincidence? Maybe not! Maybe I have the touch! :)

By the way, I buy and read a lot of books by friends in the blogging community, but I don't necessarily do a Book Recommendation. I'm using this feature for those special times I get an ARC and can do a nice little review before the book is out, to help with the buzz and all that. But anyway, I digress. This is not supposed to be about me, it's supposed to be about Jennifer E. Smith's latest book, YOU ARE HERE. Isn't the cover beautiful?

I loved Jennifer's first book, THE COMEBACK SEASON. LOVED it! So of course I said yes when I was asked if I might read an ARC of YOU ARE HERE and provide a little quote for the book if I was so inclined.

Jennifer writes the way I wish I could write. Beautiful prose with little treasures on every page. And her characters are richly developed and unique. In YOU ARE HERE, we meet Emma who has never felt like she fit in with the rest of her family. When Emma discovers a birth certificate and a death certificate for a twin brother she never knew, she feels like maybe there's a reason she hasn't felt completely whole, and feels the need to go searching for her other half. Her next door neighbor, Peter, has been wishing for a way to escape the small town they live in and ends up coming along, making for an interesting, and endearing, road trip.

The cover of the book will say, "YOU ARE HERE doesn't just take you on a memorable road trip, it takes you on a journey of the heart." ~ Lisa Schroeder, author of I HEART YOU, YOU HAUNT ME

YOU ARE HERE is released May 19, 2009, but you can pre-order it from Powell's Books if you'd like.

Happy reading!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

This doesn't help my obsession with Taylor Swift

If I had to list my top ten albums of all time, it would be really, really hard. Maybe even impossible.

But one of the ten would most likely be Def Leppard's Pyromania. It came out my sophomore year in high school and it brings back incredible memories. And "Photograph" is probably one of my all time favorite songs.

I think another of the ten would be Taylor Swift's latest, called Fearless. I've played it more times than I should probably admit. Her song writing abilities are incredible, and I love the music and her voice and well, everything! A few months ago, when S&S asked me a set of questions for their new web site, one of them was if I could change places with anyone, who would I choose. I said no one, because I do like my life, but it would be SO FUN to be Taylor Swift for one day.

And so, when I saw on Jay Asher's blog that CMT did a Crossroads (a special feature where they mix a country star and a rock star or band and have them perform together) starring Taylor Swift and Def Leppard, I immediately went to my DVR and searched for it. And happy day, I found it and have watched it more than once, because it is an hour of awesomeness.

Here, for your viewing pleasure, is a little bit of awesome just for you.

Monday, April 27, 2009

ARCs & Bloggers - One author weighs in

There's been a lot of talk lately about ARCs and book bloggers.

You can read some fasincating discussions

Here (Presenting Lenore)

and Here (Reviewer X/Steph)

and Here (the Story Siren)

and Here (The Tea Cozy)

Roger Sutton of the Horn Book Magazine even had a little bit to say.

A few thoughts from me:

1) In the past three years, the YA world has exploded with new books and new authors. Do you realize how many more books are on the shelves now then this time three years ago? A LOT! I honestly can't even think about it very much or it freaks me out. Anyway, and so it seems, the same can be said for book bloggers. If a teen wants to start a book blog, I say go for it. But don't do it because of the free books, don't do it because you want to be one of the "cool kids," and don't do it if you don't have the time to put time and effort into your blog. Do it because you LOVE books and want to share that love and help get good books into the hands of readers.

2) I think a lot of bloggers wonder how some of the other bloggers have become so popular. Well, guess what. No surprise here. The same reason an author's books become popular. They work hard at content! They spend time working on their craft!!

3) Authors and book bloggers alike need to remember the golden rule - do unto others as you would have them do unto you. When I approach bloggers about reviewing one of my books, I do it in a kind, respectful way. And I try to approach people I've gotten to know a little bit, by visiting their blogs. Then, if they don't want to, or can't because they're booked, I hope they'll be honest and tell me so. I'd much rather have you tell me the book doesn't interest you than get a book you never planned to read or review.

Turning it around, if a blogger *really* wants to read and review one of my books before it comes out, and they don't know how to get in touch with the marketing folks, I have no problem with a kind, respectful e-mail asking me for a review copy and giving me a link to their blog. I usually don't have ARCs myself, so I have to forward to my publicist. Am I selective about which requests I forward on? Yes, I am, as I think I should be.

Having said all that, I do want to make one thing perfectly clear ---

I ♥ book bloggers!

My first book, I HEART YOU, YOU HAUNT ME had a lot of excitement around its release, and a lot of that was fueled because of bloggers. They liked the cover. They liked the premise. They were excited about it! The second book, FAR FROM YOU, was a much quieter book. It didn't have the exciting hook. To top it off, a year after the first one's release, there were many more big and exciting books to compete with. But thankfully, there were some book bloggers who took the time to read it and wrote reviews, who helped me with contests, etc., even when it wasn't one of the "big" books people were talking about.

So thank you, book bloggers. You hard work DOES make a difference for a book. And I just wanted you to know I appreciate your time and efforts!

Friday, April 24, 2009

The End is awesome, but what about getting there?

Yesterday YA author April Henry talked about how she always enjoys having written, but doesn't always enjoy the writing. She even took a poll, to see if others felt the same, and you can see the results here. She compared it to running, and I totally agree. But I told her there are days where we get in that zone and I think each time we sit down to write, or go outside to run, we hope we'll find that wonderful place. Some days it's just plain hard, no doubt about it.

It reminded me of a blog post YA author Christine Fletcher (author of the amazing TEN CENTS A DANCE) did awhile back which she called Chasing the Dragon. Her blog is here, and you'll have to scroll down a little bit to read this particular blog. But hey, stop and take a look at the beautiful Hawaii pictures on your way down - they're lovely!

Anyway, here is a snippet of what Chris said in her blog post on Chasing the Dragon:

"The first time I hit the zone--that state in which a scene unfurls seemingly with no effort, in which the characters take on life and act with no regard for the author's preconceived ideas, the state in which (as one author once put it) the writer seems to be taking dictation from God himself--I was hooked. Entirely and forever. That first experience was long before I began writing novels, long before I could reliably write even two pages a week for my writing class. But from that day to this, every time I sit down at the computer, I hope that
lightning will strike. It usually doesn’t. But the promise of it always brings me back."
YES! That is exactly it. And I have to say, I must be lucky because if I have a big chunk of time, I often do find that zone and can write pages and pages and get swept up and away into the story. The key for me is having the time, and often that's the biggest challenge for me.

Like Chris said in a comment on my blog yesterday, "I write just so I can tell myself the story."

Exactly! And sometimes getting started on a new day is hard, but once I get going and I'm in that story, I want to know what happens next, and it's one of the reasons I've never really outlined. I have a general direction of where I'm going, but I love just sitting down and seeing what happens next! It keeps it exciting and fun for me.

So yeah, I love having written, but I also love writing a lot of the time too. Not all the time. There are certainly days where it's like running uphill in mud. But I try not to think about those days. I like the other ones MUCH better!

What about you? Do you find that zone often or not?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

One day at a time, one word at at time

The busy season is upon me.

For me, the season of thousands of renewal letters at work. For the kids, the season of tests and research projects at school. Citations are oh so important these days, I guess, putting the name and page number of your source after the sentence, whether it's a direct quote or just a summary of a point. Back in my day, you simply did a bibliography. At least that's what I remember. Anyway, the kids are gathering information, struggling a bit to get the outlines written, and after that there will be rough drafts, and so on and so forth. The 6th grader is writing about Oskar Schindler, the 9th grader is writing about tanks in WW1. Exciting stuff, huh?

I have some health issues I'm trying to resolve which is frustrating me (nothing serious, just those two horrid words - hormone imbalance) while my 11 YO decided to pull a muscle and come down with a nasty cold all in the same week. He's staying home again today, with his daddy, who will no doubt find some fun ways to entertain him.

And yet, through it all, I write. I write because I love it and perhaps because it is a necessary escape from all the demands of life. It's not much during the week, some words in the morning first thing, and again at night before bed. But I plug along, each time, happy to return to my characters and the story.

I've always believed it's good to have things to look forward to, so those times when life is dark, you have a light shining brightly, waiting for you on the other side.

For me, right now, one light is Disney World, and the other light are simply the words - The End. I love the process of writing, of course, but isn't it just oh so satisfying to get to the end? To do that which at times seems almost impossible?

One day at a time. One word at a time. That's how I get through.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day and Wednesday Winky Links

Happy Wednesday! I have a few links to share with you all today.

First of all, I'm wishing everyone a Happy Earth Day!

Today is a great day for us to take some time to reflect on what we can do to help save this precious earth from further and further destruction. I care deeply about this issue, but it's hard for me to know what to do. Here at home, we use the compact flourescent lights, recycle as much as we can, etc. But I wanted to do more. So last year I joined the World Wildlife Fund. For a very reasonable amount each month, I'm helping them to not only work to protect imperiled species like the sea turtle, tiger, elephant, rhinos, great apes, and more, but also helping them to initiate projects that remind the world of the important issue at hand. You may or may not not realize that WWF is the organization who initiated the Lights Out Earth Hour many of us participated in last month. The web site says this:

"WWF is working to build support for an international agreement that will sharply reduce greenhouse emissions and prepare the world for the disruptive consequences of climate change. We also are engaged in efforts to ensure that U.S. Government policies and initiatives are consistent with those international objectives."

At this point in time, I can't think of a better investment. If I don't invest in earth's future, my grandchildren or even my children may not have a comfortable, beautiful place to live! If you are looking for a way to help save our beautiful Mother Earth, perhaps you'll consider giving to World Wildlife Fund. You could probably even do a one-time payment today, as a way to do something to honor Earth Day.

Second link - yesterday, agent Nathan Bransford talked about book concepts and how originality is somewhat overrated. I thought it was an interesting post, and I shared with him another one that tries to define high concept by agent Holly Root, which I also think is worth reading.

Third link - I loved Mary Beth Kelsey's first MG novel, TRACKING DADDY DOWN, and now her second one is just about out, and she's having a contest to give one away! The book is titled A RECIPE 4 ROBBERY and you can see the cover and enter the contest HERE.

Finally, I love this post Liz Gallagher did at the Toll Booth in response to a question I asked her about writing details and description. It's worth a click and a read, I promise!

Have a great day!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

These summer like days

I headed out on a walk last night just before twilight, and it felt so much like summer, it was amazing. At the park, a few families were finishing up their picnic. At the school, a family was playing kickball. The smell of barbeques lingered in the air, like a warm summer evening, and yet, the sweet smell of blossoming trees was everywhere, which made it totally different, in a good kind of way.

I took a few pictures to share.

It is much easier to go to work on rainy days, let me tell you.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Life and Death

It was a gorgeous, warm, fun-filled weekend. An author event Friday night. A bridal shower Saturday, celebrating the happiness of a beautiful, loving friend. On Sunday, an amazing Easter Cantata at church followed by a fun picnic in the park with my family. Everywhere, the trees are in bloom and it just makes my soul sing to be outside in the sun.

And yet...

Saturday afternoon, I heard the news that a beloved long-time radio DJ had lost his battle with cancer Friday night. I didn't know Les personally. I'd never met him. But his positive outlook and love of life gave me a wonderful start to my days. He was never fake on the air. Instead, always very real, and calm, no matter what was going on. As they played music Saturday afternoon, and had staff come in to join in the remembrance of him, I couldn't stop crying. He lived such a full life, and he was loved by so many. Someone called and said, Les would want us to be outside today, enjoying the blossoming trees and this beautiful Oregon weather.

And the caller was exactly right. That's what Les would have wanted. He was a huge animal lover and it was suggested that as a way to honor Les and all he did in our community (and he did A LOT, supporting and promoting so many worthwhile causes), we could take our dogs for a walk, or spend some extra cuddle time with our cats. I loved that.

That wasn't the only death that made me pause this weekend. Someone I know knew the woman who was killed by her husband in the murder suicide in Maryland. She shared the woman's blog address, and I went and read these posts from this woman, a loving wife and mother, who could have been any of us, and in an instant, so tragically gone.

And finally, last week, a note from a girl through my web site who shared with me that she lost her dad, Dr. John P. Pryer, 12/25/08. He died in Iraq from a bomb as he was walking back from Christmas mass with his friends. He was the only one who died. She talked about my book and then asked, "Have you lost anyone close?" And through that question, I was able to share some things and we had a little e-mail conversation back and forth. It meant a lot to me.

Sometimes I'm asked why my YA books thus far are about death and moving on. I think it's because no matter who we are, at some time or another, we will experience the death of a dear loved one. It's sad and it's hard, but it's as much a part of life as eating and drinking. We may not be sixteen when it happens, but it will happen. I suppose I hope that something there in my books, even if it's not something that is relevant at that moment, will stick with someone and be remembered later on.

Life is so beautiful. Hard at times, yes, but still, beautiful. And every day, precious. Our job is to remember that, and live accordingly.

That's what Les would want.
That's what Frances would want.
That's what John would want.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Dream Big!

I often google images to help me as I'm writing. You do that too, right?

This is a house that one of my characters lives in.

photo credit:

Isn't it great? I love it. I want to go to that house, walk in, smell the ginger snaps baking in the oven, and see the daisies freshly picked, sitting in a Mason Jar full of water. Then I want to take a cup of tea and a plate of cookies and sit on the porch and dream.

Dream of a book that's finished and is the most fantastic book EVER.


Friday, April 17, 2009

First draft process

I know everyone does it differently. Some do it so they must do a certain number of pages a day, some do word count, some do a certain number of hours of BIC time, etc.

I do best with word count. So, my goal is to do 500 words a day on the weekdays and 1,500 a day on the weekends. I really want to try and have a first draft done in two months, before our vacation to Disney World.

I'm excited about this book!

It will have:


I love this stage when it's fun and exciting. Let's see how I feel in 2-3 weeks. :)

Happy Friday!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Thankful Thursday

I'm thankful for:

~ the sun! They say it is arriving today and staying through the weekend! This makes me so very happy.

~ the beautiful spring flowers I see on my walk. I think I'll take my camera next time and take some pictures and share.

~ 2,000+ words on my new book, tentatively titled HOPE HAS WINGS.

~ A little review on that made me smile. It says, "This book is amazing. Lisa is my second favorite author. She is amazing. This is a book you should read." The author of that review? baby_vampire. That explains the "second favorite author," yes? :)

Hope you have a great day!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

False Starts and New Beginnings

Over the weekend, I started a new book. As in, writing a new book. Yeah, remember a week ago, I was wondering about what project to start next, or whether to even start at all?

Well yay me for starting!!


I got to about 2,000 words and thought, blah. Blah, blah, BLAH.

It just wasn't doing it for me. I mean, I know writing a book isn't easy. But there has to be a love there for something about the story. And I didn't have love for any of it. Not the characters, not the weird story that sounded good at one point but suddenly sounded pretty terrible, etc. Some of this may have had to do with the fact that in doing a bit of googling, I found a book that's been a world-wide bestseller with a similar premise (although hasn't really taken off here in the US, which is probably why I hadn't heard of it). I started off a bit discouraged, and it only went downhill from there.

So, I decided to scrap it. Boo hoo. A false start. And for a minute, maybe even a day, I felt a little bit like a failure. But, are false starts a failure? No. Because I tried. And I do believe any time we try something, there's no way you can call that a failure.

After I got that emotional stuff out of the way, I needed a new idea. Something more fun. Something exciting. Something with a heart fluttering element in it. I had a few things written down in my idea notebook, so I went to the library, sat in the teen section, which was pretty quiet at noon on a Monday, and looked at those words I'd written down. Words I liked. Story elements I thought would be fun to write about. I scribbled some more. Doodled. Thought. And something popped up. What if I combined a couple of these elements somehow?

And then the proverbial light bulb went off. I had an idea. My heart started racing. Could it work? Was it wonderful or weird?

I decided I needed to run it by someone and see, so yesterday I shared it with the idea queen, Suzanne Young. She has great ideas and takes those ideas and makes them into books REALLY quickly! She's amazing.

The verdict? She said she loved the idea! And then she helped to shape it and form it even more.

I have some research to do, and I need to start doing some character sketches. But I'm excited. And the thing is, if I hadn't admitted the other one wasn't working, which was hard at the time, I wouldn't have gotten to this place where I have something new and better.

Who knows what will happen, but I'm excited!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Happy News for a Monday

My brother's getting married!!!

I'm so excited for him and for his fiance and her daughter. They will be wed on the 4th anniversary of their first "date", May 21st, which has such a wonderful story behind it.

My brother had come off a very difficult divorce and wasn't really ready to start dating yet. He had heard the Portland Opera was going to be putting on a Mozart performance, and he likes Mozart, so he went to Ticketmaster to see what tickets cost. When he clicked on "best seats available," front row tickets came up. He hurried and grabbed them because he thought, if I'm going to the opera, I might as well do it right.

And then suddenly, he realized, he had two tickets to the opera and no one to go with. He didn't feel like he could really take a guy friend to the opera. And although he had a few girls who were friends, front row tickets were pretty spectacular, and he didn't want his friends to feel weird about it, to think it was more than what it was. So, one of his friends suggested trying Craigs List. She said, there's a "Platonic Only" section. She really pushed him to try it!

So he put up an ad that said he had a ticket to the opera available, he wasn't looking for a relationship, he just wanted a fun night out, and if someone was willing to go, he'd provide the ticket, and she could buy dinner.

Shortly after he posted the ad, across town, a couple of women friends were hanging out and one of the ladies said, have you ever checked out Craigs List? Tish said she hadn't. So Tish was toodling around Craig's List, for the VERY FIRST TIME, and happens to click on the "Platonic Only" section. Recently she had been thinking about how she used to go to the opera quite often when she was in the bay area and missed it. When she saw the ticket available ad, she clicked on it. Oh, she thought, he wants a date. Even though it said he wasn't looking for a relationship, the whole thing sounded a little strange. And really, wasn't it? Going to the opera with a guy she never meant? Who knew what kind of guy he might be?

Still, she e-mailed him. She said she'd be happy to take the ticket off his hands, to pay for it, but she didn't think she was interested in dinner and all of that.

He e-mailed her back and somewhere in that e-mail back, he happened to mention that he was a "closet headbanger" and he'd actually never been to the opera, but played instruments in a band and did like Mozart.

Those two words got a conversation started. And so, they e-mailed back and forth for a few weeks, and finally, she agreed to go with him to the opera. The night before, they met for a drink, so they could get the awkwardness of meeting for the first time out of the way. She said when she walked in, and saw he wore glasses, she thought, Oh no, I'm a sucker for guys who wear glasses. She thought she'd just wear a nice pant suit to the opera, but after she met him and talked with him, she knew she wanted to look NICE. So she spent the entire day the next day shopping for a dress, and she found a spectacular one.

And guess what she's going to wear at the wedding, four years to the day of that date? Yes, that dress!!!

I love this story because it reminds us to get out there and take chances. So many things had to fall into place for them to meet. And yet meet they did. The universe brought them together, and still, it was each of them who had to take a step forward and say yes to something scary and different.

So YAY for love! And YAY for taking chances!!! 

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Three things on a Thursday

1. I'm so happy that FAR FROM YOU is an ALAN pick for April! Thanks to for letting me know, and congrats to her because TAKE THE REINS is there as well! You can read the reviews HERE.

2. I'm blogging over at The Crowe's Nest today, wishing everyone Happy Poetry Month and talking about writing verse novels. You can read the blog

3. Finally, for Katie, and anyone else who is afraid to submit, afraid of what comes next, afraid of failure, as we all are at one time or another, I give you this quote:

"And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom." - Anais Nin

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

I Heart Book Bloggers

Time for another interview! Today I'm lucky to have have the wonderful Page Flipper, aka Chelsea, ( stopping by. So without further ado, let's get started!

1. Can you tell us a little about yourself and how you came to be a reviewer of books?

Sure! My name's Chelsea and I'm a raging bookaholic. This kind of answers both questions – two birds one stone, right? (Which is actually something I'd never use in regular context, considering I’m an animal-loving hippy vegetarian. Poor birds.) So, I took my bookaholism and decided to turn it into something good. A type of support group, if you will, where I can share my opinion on books with people who actually care to hear it, UNLIKE my family and friends. *cough*

2. What are your favorite and least favorite parts of being a reviewer?

I love, love, love connecting with other readers, authors, and publicists. I was my own solitary book lover until now. No one really got my love of books – and now, I know a huge group of people who are just as crazy about them as me! It’s been great. My least favorite? Hmm. Tough. I love so much of it! I guess it’d be the stress. I try not to let it get to me, but I have so many books to read! And so little time! I always feel bad when a review book has been sitting on my shelf for too long.

3. What's your process of writing a review? How do you handle it if you have more things you don't like than you like?

Hmm. I don’t really have a process. I just try and give a bit of the summary – to let readers know what the book’s about and if they’d be interested. Then I give my opinion. I try to do it in a laid-back, casual way; it’s much more fun for me to make it more of a discussion than just a review, and I hope my blog readers see it the same way! I handle the dislike/like gently. I can (almost!) always find at least one thing I like in a book – after all, agents and publishers, etc, put their money into each published because they believed in it that much. I always tell my real opinion, though.

4. Have you ever had an author write to you, upset about a review?

Not really. I’ve had authors comment or slightly defend elements in their books that I’ve written negatively about, but nothing mean. I’ve had a few pushers, though - authors who continuously ask me when I’m going to review their book. It’s understandable, especially if they personally sent me their book, but it adds more pressure! I’ve got a lot of books to read.

5. I'm curious if you finish all the books you start. Do you comment on your blog about a book you don't finish?

I usually do – like I’ve said, there’s most always something I can find enjoyable in a book. I horribly disliked THE RIFLE by Gary Paulson; it was a full book basically detailing everything about a gun, but I kept chugging along. It had some depth to it in the very end, but boy was that book a pain to read!

6. How many books would you say you read, on average, per month? Where do the majority of these books come from?

Ack. That’s hard, because I fluctuate. I usually read at least one book a week, but there’ll be other weeks when I go through one a day. But with that pesky “life” thing, and my lurvely blog, my time is usually consumed. About half of the week is also sucked into the mindless, vapid stories of chattering chicas and idols of the country (AKA – television.) I wish I could live without sleep! (note from Lisa: Hey, me too!)

7. What's one interesting thing about you that not many people know?

I like to act, and I practice in front of a mirror when no one’s looking. Dorky much? I’m way too shy to pursue it, though!

8. If you were going to order a dozen cupcakes, what flavor would you get and who would you share them with?

I was reading WINTERGIRLS by Laurie Halse Anderson a bit ago (amazing book, btw), and in one section they were selling pomegranate cupcakes – they actually had pomegranate seeds sprinkled on top! I’ve never tried anything as rich or crazy as that, but I’ve been craving ‘em ever since! Can you crave something you’ve never tasted? Anyway, I guess it’d only be right to share them with Laurie. I wouldn’t mind. (note from Lisa: I agree - amazing!)

9. What book(s) are you especially looking forward to in the coming months?

The first one that pops into mind is Being Nikki by Meg Cabot. I loved Airhead by her, which is the first in it’s series – such a great idea, and delivered so well. But 2009 is a great year, so this answer is endless. (note from Lisa: Hear that Debs? A great year - I couldn't agree more!)

10. If someone wants to send you a book to review, how can he/she contact you?

I have all my contact info on my blog! Just head to my blog and check out the sidebar. Aside from email, I frequent Myspace and Facebook. Totally addicted!

Thanks Chelsea - your blog is great! And so are you!!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Choose my own author adventure

I have not one, but TWO ideas for a new YA book.

Two! At the same freaking time!

That's like a record for me.

So Path A would be to write the urban fantasy verse novel.

Path B would be to write the big, scary, plot-driven book that's been floating around in my head for awhile.

And Path C? Path C would be to write neither. To just take the rest of the year off and wait. Wait and see what happens next year with the books coming out. Enjoy the summer with my kids (as much of it as I can, anyway, since the day job gets in a way a bit).

I've always written during this time of waiting. I've always dove right in to a new book while waiting for the next to come out.

In many ways, it would be nice to take a long chunk of time off. But that scares me perhaps even more than the big, plot-driven book does. The more time away from the page, the harder it is to come back, I think.

And there's a part of me, deep in my soul, a part of me that whispers - this could be the one. The one? Yes. The one that could change my life. How often do authors have life-changing books? Hardly ever. I know that. And yet, the dream is always there, I can't deny it.

For now, today, I'm not going to decide. It's a beautiful, sunny day and I am fortunate to be at home. I'm going to take my cup of tea out back on my patio and lose myself in a good book for a couple of hours. I'm going to have lunch with my husband. I'm going to pick up my kids from school with a Dairy Queen treat as a surprise. I'm going to make my family a good dinner and then go for a run while it's in the oven. I'm going to help the kids with homework.

Yes, I'm going to enjoy this day. And I will have faith that when it's time, the right path will reveal itself to me.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Book Angels #5 and #6

Time to say thank you to two more book angels, Stephanie and Heather, because two more books have been passed on to make someone's day a little brighter.

You can read Stephanie's post HERE and Heather's post HERE.

Thank you ladies!

I'm so glad there are angels like you in the world!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Friday Five

1. Look at this cute Liz Claiborne jacket I got at the thrift store for $7.99!! I took it to the cleaners, brought it home and only then realized the pockets were even still sewn shut. As soon as I saw it, I had that spine-tingly chill I get when I find something I love and I know it'd cost me at least ten times as much in the store.

2. Some of you may see me wearing that jacket in Chicago for the ALA conference in July! I booked my flight last night - hooray!!!

3. It is amazing to me how quickly prices change on flights. I had been checking 24 hours earlier and tickets were $100 less. I am not good at making snap decisions, especially when it comes to travel! But lesson learned, when there's a great deal, you need to snatch it up, just like at the thrift store!

4. I am SO excited - the mailman brought me an ARC of Lisa Mantchev's EYES LIKE STARS. I have heard wonderful things about this book. Now that my revisions are done, I can get back to the books I abandoned and finish them so I can start this one. Can't wait!

5. Tomorrow spring FINALLY arrives - sunny and 65+ degrees! Pedicure, HERE I COME!!!

Happy Friday!

Thursday, April 2, 2009


Good News Piece #1 -

Last week I did a list of Wondering Wednesday questions. One of the things I was wondering about was whether FAR FROM YOU would ever be reviewed by "School Library Journal." I don't have to wonder anymore! It has been reviewed, along with a bunch of other on-line friends, so hooray! Here's the link if you want to check the April reviews out! Here's a snippet of the review for my book:

Gr 8 Up—"Schroeder weaves Alice in Wonderland (both Alice's namesake and her mother's favorite book) references throughout the book to echo the topsy-turvy nature of her protagonist's life. It is this roller coaster of emotions to which many teen readers will relate. A quick, yet satisfying, novel in verse."—Jill Heritage Maza, Greenwich High School, CT

Good News Piece #2 -

A wonderful librarian made a book trailer for the book. Isn't that amazing? You can see the trailer here.

Good News Piece #3 -

Another wonderful librarian is giving away FOUR copies of FAR FROM YOU, thanks to my generous publisher. So far, she only has four entries, so your chances are pretty good if you want to enter to win.

Good News Piece #4 -

This week I've been contacted by a middle school teacher and a media specialist, saying very nice things about me and my books. One of them asked about doing a Skype visit with me! I've been dragging my feet in trying to figure Skype out, but I guess it's time. Kate, I may take you up on that offer to test it out with you and some of your students!

Good New Piece #5 -

My editor sent me this beautiful multi-page, colorful brochure S&S is putting out promoting poetry. In the section on verse novels, my books and I are in there along with Sonya Sones and Ellen Hopkins. Me! With them!! I can't believe it.

Good News Piece #6 -

I am sending bookmarks to the teacher and media specialist to hand out. They were THRILLED when I offered them. I still have tons of I HEART YOU bookmarks that need a home, so if you are a middle school or high school teacher or librarian or know of any, please contact me and I'll be happy to send you a bunch of bookmarks for your kids!