Wednesday, August 31, 2011

An interview at Mostly Reading YA

In which I share a few thoughts about the debut year and offer some advice to aspiring writers...

And, for your viewing pleasure,
a random blurry picture.
At the SCBWI - LA "Forty Winks"
party with my friend, Dawn.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Some pix from SCBWI-LA

I am a terrible photographer, both aesthetically (keep the heads in the frame, please!) and as-in I usually forget my camera or am too embarassed to ask people to pose for a snap.  That said, here are a few pix from an amazing conference.
Of course I must start with chocolate - the amazing finish at the SCBWI awards luncheon!

Quintessential LA - a vending booth not of candy or water but of acne cream.
Met an adorable troupe of dancers - here we are posing with Audition!
Lunch with awesome writer chics - mostly from Western Wa (our chapter rocks!).
Deb Lund, Molly Hall, ?, me, Sara Easterly, Sara Nickerson, Nuria Coe.
Me and awesome Bookanista pals Gretchen McNeil & Jessi Kirby
A big batch of Bookanistas at Rock Sugar, including
me, Gretchen McNeil, Jessi Kirby, Cori Jackson,
Shana Silver, Shelli Johannes Wells and Veronica Rossi

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Bookanistas: THE FOX INHERITANCE by Mary Pearson

How did I miss this?  A new book by Mary Pearson is on its way to bookshelves in just days!  I haven't gotten my hands on an arc of The Fox Inheritance, but I LOVED The Adoration of Jenna Fox.  Wanna know how much? Here's my REVIEW.

I like the way they've picked up on the blue and the puzzle piece motif of the Jenna Fox paperback edition to create this new story's cover. The book releases August 30.  Can't wait to buy my copy!

What's going on with the other Bookanistas this week...?

Elana Johnson revels in Write Your Book Now!
LiLa Roecker is gaga for Imaginary Girls
Christine Fonseca celebrates Circle of Fire – with giveaway
Shannon Whitney Messenger catches The Eleventh Plague – with giveaway
Megan Miranda is transfixed by Between
Shana Silver delves into The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
Corrine Jackson celebrates her “Blogiversary” by presenting YA Authors on Lessons Learned

Monday, August 22, 2011

Teen Writing Workshop on Wednesday!

Tday, I am finishing preparations for my


on Wednesday, August 24 from 6 – 7:30 PM
at Woodinville Library
17105 Avondale Road NE, Woodinville, WA
For more information, call 425.788.0733

If you know a Western WA teen interested in writing, come on by!

Here's the blurb: Through theater games and writing exercises, explore the connections between actions and words and find new ways to bring your stories to life. Plus get some fun info on getting a book published!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Goodreads Giveaway: Annotated Arc of AUDITION!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Audition by Stasia Ward Kehoe


by Stasia Ward Kehoe

Giveaway ends September 17, 2011.
See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Thursday, August 18, 2011

A Write On Con Writing Tip for You...


This week, many of the Bookanistas are taking a break from published-book love to share some tips about the writing process for WRITE ON CON.  Here's mine.

"And then what happens?" is THE question for the writer--the storyteller.  Don't get me wrong, I could say a lot of things about characterization, setting, word choice, pacing, avoiding info-dump, revision techniques, and on and on.  All of those things are hugely important.  BUT when you get down to brass tacks, all of those finer techniques must be applied to a STORY.  It's the core of your elevator speech, the stuff your editor will be trying to convey on the jacket copy and, most of all, it's your light in the storm that is writing a novel.  Here are three times to put this standard to use:

1. FIRST DRAFT: As each chapter concludes, ask yourself this question.
2. REVISION: As you review each chapter or section of the book, be sure you can answer this question with something other than, "And then the MC reflects on/thinks about/wonders if..."  Check to see that something else HAPPENS at reliable intervals as your story moves along.
3. THE ENDING: Reread the final pages of your book, then ask one more time. Whether you decide to answer on the page or not, you should know this answer in your head because it speaks to whether you've ended the story in the right place.  Have you reached that point when the next AND THEN isn't necessary for the reader to leave satisfied at some level?  And, if you're writing a trilogy or other continuing work, it's nice to hit send with a sense of where you're going next!

WE INTERRUPT THIS BOOKANISTA BROADCAST…to celebrate WRITE ON CON! For some fun writer insights and pep talks, click along to…Christine Fonseca, Beth Revis and Jessi Kirby.

And, we know you MUST have your Thursday Bookanista reviews so here you go!

Veronica Rossi loves Legend
Shana Silver serves up a Maureen Johnson double feature of The Last Little Blue Envelope & The Name of the Star
Scott Tracey is awed by Anna Dressed in Blood
Bethany Wiggins howls over How to Take the Ex Out of Ex-Boyfriend
Carrie Harris is in a frenzy over Stupid Fast
Gretchen McNeil is spellbound by Witch Eyes
Carolina Valdez Miller and Shelli Johannes-Wells are passionate about Possess
Matt Blackstone blogs From Bedside

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Do you have a manuscript ready to submit?

Is it time to push your little darling out the door?  I know, I know, I'm probably the last person to give advice on submitting your manuscript, as evidenced by my post at Literary Rambles.  But maybe that's why I think this awesome WriteOnCon contest is so cool.

IF you've got the ms but are nervous about submitting, maybe the chance at $1,000 and possible agency representation will help boost your confidence.  Check out this amazing contest, sponsored by The Reading Room - open through August 17 - HERE.

HURRY.  You've got ONE MORE DAY!!!

Monday, August 15, 2011

This Monday, I digress for POSSESS

Ever hear voices? You know, the ones telling you to stop watching Dance Moms and get back to work on your manuscript? Well, Bridget Liu hears different ones. Scary ones!


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Guest Posting at the Contemps

Okay, you've gotta be curious.  Head on over!
This is me
This is Wayne Gretzy
(he is much richer)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


I’ve learned from fellow 2011 debut authors...

1. Despite all the pressure to blog, tweet, and market, just do what feels confortable and be yourself. It'll work out better in the long run.

2. Keep writing your fiction. Find the time to do the thing you love that brought you here in the first place.

3. Though writing is a solitary task, you are not alone. Reach out. A hand will find you.

Monday, August 8, 2011

I'm ba-ack!!!

A full report on my amazing weekend at SCBWI-LA will be coming soon.  But right now I've got to prepare for tonight's meeting of my Teen Readers Advisory Group.  We'll be discussing "judging a book by its cover."  I'm interested to get real teen reactions to some of the covers that I adore and input on things that draw their attnetion to certain books on store shelves.  Should be interesting...

Friday, August 5, 2011

Leavin' on a jet plane...

Okay, I actually left yesterday but thanks to the magic of Blogger's posting options, I'm telling you now.  I'm in...

And, though Rodeo Drive is in the pic above, my trip is all about SCBWI's HUGE LA conference.  I'm so excited to meet up with bloggy friends, agent buddies, and former Washingtonians who now write and illustrate in other parts of the world.  And, oh yeah, there'll be keynotes and lectures and all kinds of neat stuff to learn.  Tell you all about it next week!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Bookanistas: MY LIFE, THE THEATER & OTHER DISASTERS by Allen Zadoff

Plot without spoilers...Adam Zeigler is a techie. He helps run lights for the high school drama club actors who are preparing for their spring production of A Midsummer Night's Dream.  Still mourning the death of his father and struggling to find a way to relate to his away-at-college big brother, Adam is content to operate in the shadows, following the school adage that "techies and actors don't mix." Then, a girl named Summer, an egomaniacal student designer named Derek, a quirky best friend named Reach, and a hilarious drama teacher named Mr. Apple can help Derek find his own way into the light.

Of literary interest...Shakespearean chapter titles add a delightful layer to this behind-the-scenes drama. Adam's memories of his dad looking at a Rothko painting, describing the light in his workshop, and dissecting a glow stick in the woods give readers insight into the person Derek can become if he allows his own talents to shine.

Finally, just gotta say...As a complete Gleek, I love a good drama tale and this one is special, not just because of its unique "techie" point-of-view.  While filled with lighthearted, humorous moments, MY LIFE, THE THEATRE, AND OTHER TRAGEDIES is, at its core, an honest high school story about a young artist-in-the-making.

What are the other Bookanistas applauding this week...?

Elana Johnson and Scott Tracey find wonder in The Near Witch

LiLa Roecker sings out about Where She Went

Christine Fonseca adores A Scary Scene in a Scary Movie

Corrine Jackson delights in The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

Veronica Rossi is wild about Wildefire

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Wordy Wednesday: Winner!

The winner of STRINGS ATTACHED by Judy Blundell is...



You can enter to win this month's 3-AUTOGRAPHED-BOOKS giveaway HERE!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Sunday book signing

As I gear up for the Stages on Pages book tour this fall, I am paying much closer attention to what goes on at bookstore events, particularly multiple author programs.  This past Sunday I had the pleasure of hearing Kimberly Derting, Lisa Schroeder, Mandy Hubbard, Cat Patrick, Eileen Cook and Suzanne Young speak at Third Place Books.  Three things I enjoyed about their program:

1. Nice focus question.  Each author took a few minutes to share a bit about the inspiration behind their latest novel.
2. Camaraderie & humor. The panel was friendly and lively with authors taking turns fielding and answering questions.
3. Prizes & treats. Who ever minds eating Jelly Bellies and having the chance to win free books or CDs? Not moi!

See my name in the middle?
It was also great to meet two amazing book bloggers: Sarah of Sarah's Random Musings and Candace of Candace's Book Blog, who asked me to sign this cool author autograph bag.  It's the first time I've been asked to sign anything (besides my own bookmarks). It felt very surreal...but nice!  

Of course, I couldn't resist getting some autographs myself.  So...without further ado, this month's giveaway is THREE SIGNED BOOKS--whoohoo!!!  Enter here!

Monday, August 1, 2011

A Secret Revealed

Or was it a secret?  I mean, now that I think of it, have I mentioned or hinted at it here already?  Okay, no more teasing.  Here's the news (drum roll please)...

I'm taking Audition on the road!

Yes, that's right.  It's a book tour folks!  But I won't be alone.  The tour is called
and features lots of awesome authors who write about the performing arts.  Want to know who? Click on over and check it out!