Thursday, May 26, 2016

High tide and low tide

I listen to a lot of podcasts on my dog walk every morning. I recently started listening to one called "Millennial," about what it's like to be in your twenties in this day and age. I've really enjoyed following her story as she tries to figure out what she wants to do career-wise and the challenges she faces in looking for work. Since I have a son who is about to graduate from college, and because things are quite different from when I graduated from college years and years ago, I find it all very interesting.

In one of the early episodes (sorry, not sure which one), the host, Megan, was talking to an older coworker (at the restaurant where she works part-time) about success, and he said something that really resonated with me. He said something like: In life, it's impossible to always feel like everything is going well and that you're exactly where you want to be in terms of success. It's like the tide - it ebbs and flows. Sometimes you'll feel successful, like the high tide, and other times, the tide will go out and you'll feel dissatisfied with the way things are going. You just have to ride it out. Eventually, the tides will turn again.

I love that. To simply know that high tide all the time is impossible sort of takes the pressure off. A little bit, anyway.

Monday, May 23, 2016

In the land of no contracts

It's always a bit of a strange feeling for an author when a contracted book (one that a publisher has bought and is scheduled to be published) is turned in. On the one hand, there is this huge sense of relief - the book is done and the editor is pleased. Hooray!

But it also can be a bit nerve-wracking. The book is done, so now what? Because books are published so far ahead, authors also have to be thinking ahead. I'm now thinking about 2018, wondering if I'll have any books that year. If I don't sell something here in the next little while, I may not have anything published in 2018 and as someone who relies on this writing gig for income, it's really not good to skip a year.

I try not to worry, but it's hard. It's really hard. It's like this little nagging voice in the back of my head all the time - you need to sell something, you need to sell something. The fact that publishing is the slowest business in the world doesn't help. Once an author has something to sell, it can be a loooong time before a sale actually happens. Editors are busy. Most of them read submissions during their "off hours."

So, I'm busy working on coming up with a couple of proposals for future series. I'm also working on a manuscript I don't want to sell on proposal because I want to make it the best I can without any deadline pressure. And I have a completed manuscript on submission now.

Just like when I'm writing sometimes, I'm not sure what's going to happen next. But I hope I don't have to wait too long to find out!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Attention Seattle People - Come See Me!

I'll be at Third Place Books on Saturday, May 21st at noon participating in Scholastic's Summer Reading Road Trip. Try saying that five times fast. They'll have copies of my latest middle-grade novel, Sealed With A Secret, available for purchase that I'm happy to sign for you! Not sure about other books - you can always call and ask.

There will be other authors there too and lots of fun things happening. So if you're in the area, please stop by and check it out! You can learn more about this particular event HERE


Monday, May 9, 2016

Sealed With A Secret

Sealed with a Secret appears to be available now from online retailers and is popping up at some bookstores already, so yay!

Here's the description from the publisher:

When Phoebe finds a beautiful antique at a flea market, she's not sure if it's as valuable as it looks. But inside she discovers something truly amazing -- a letter, written during World War II, from a young woman to her sister who's been evacuated from London. The letter includes a "spell" for bringing people closer together: a list of clues leading all through the city. Each stop along the way adds up to magic,

Phoebe is stunned. Not only has she found a priceless piece of history, but the letter is exactly what she needs -- she's also separated from her sister, though not by distance. Alice leaves for university soon, but in the meantime, she wants nothing to do with Phoebe. They used to be so close. Now that Phoebe has this magical list, maybe she can fix everything! That is, unless she accidentally makes everything worse instead...

From the author of My Secret Guide to Paris comes an unforgettable trip through London, with secret treasures around every corner!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Can't find a book you want in the bookstore?

Just a friendly reminder that you can ask to order a book you're looking for. Doesn't matter if it's an independent bookstore or a big chain. They are happy to order it for you AND it really helps the author when you do this because then the store knows there is interest in that particular book.

Coming May 10, 2016