Sunday, March 31, 2013

Buckling up for April

Whew.

Fan Club, March was a doozie.

For those of you don't know, I lost my mom to a very brief, and unexpected bout with cancer on March 15. It's amazing how your world can completely change direction in 3.5 weeks time, but that's exactly what mine did. It drastically changed course and started heading down a path I didn't like. It was a road that didn't include my dear friend for evening phone calls to rehash the events of my day. It didn't allow me couch-time with my personal adviser for those much-needed parenting tips. And it made no room for my biggest editorial cheerleader to root me on through the most exciting experience of my life. It was a path I knew I'd head down one day...but I wasn't ready for the one day to be today.

Now we're sixteen days out, and I am so grateful to report that the road doesn't seem quite so lonely anymore. It's true that my heart is still mending, I imagine that is a wound that will never fully heal, and I still find myself bursting into tears at the most unexpected times, but I'm learning that while God may have taken my angel to heaven, He replaced her with a lot of other angels, each one eager to help fill in the gaps her absence has left behind. (Holy run-on sentence!). And along with these amazing supporters has come the desire to pour myself back into the busyness of my life--not because I want to move on and forget her, but because living my life is the best way to honor her.

And with that, I am now eager (and slightly terrified) to face what I anticipate to be one of the busiest months of my life. Between my first edit letter (due any moment), having my wisdom teeth pulled, a visit to a local high school to hang w/the teenage book club (insert Fear Factor moment here), a couple of blog interviews, a photo shoot, and a wedding anniversary, April is going to be one heck of a month--but I'm ready for it. I am SO ready to start heading down this new road. And while I know her footfalls won't be audible from this earthly vantage point, I have no doubt Mom will be walking beside me every step of the way.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

THE NEXT BEST THING! A bloggity hop. (sort of)

Okay, you all know that I love a blog hopping meme about as much as a brick to the face, but since my sweet pal A Lynden Rolland did it, (and passed the cooties on to me), I thought I'd give it a go. Turns out...it was pretty fun!

What is the working title of your book?
SUMMER ON THE SHORT BUS

Where did the idea come from?
I honestly don't know. I do remember coming up with the title while under the blow dryer (a lot of amazing/ridiculous ideas take root there) but as for the concept...I think it just sort of evolved on its own.

What genre does your book fall under?
Contemporary YA

What actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Oh boy!! THIS is a fun question.

So, Cricket Montgomery is our protag. She's a pretty, snarky, self-absorbed seventeen year-old who has no regard for other people, their feelings, or how they might view her. In other words--she's a bitch. Because Cricket's leading man will be a VERY familiar face, I expect that she'll be less familiar around the box office.

Britt Robertson as Cricket (Thanks to: http://www.brittrobertson.com)







 And, as some of you know already, Quinn is Cricket's love interest. He's a smarty pants boy with a heart for disabled kids and...oh yeah, happens to be a dead ringer for Zac Efron.


Zac Efron as Quinn DeYoung (Thanks to: http://www.people.com/people/zac_efron/photos#21131231)





What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
This is the story of what happens when people stop being politically correct and start getting real. (Yes, I'm aware that sounds a lot like The Real World motto)

Is your book self published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency?
Running Press Teens, a division of the Perseus Group, will be publishing this book in the spring of 2014.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
About 4 months. I had a fairly substantial edit after a round of unsuccessful queries, but the initial manuscript didn't take that long.  

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? 
Erm...yeah... *scratches head* Um... Not sure that I've ever seen a book like this before. There are certain things I've recognized in terms of the voice. There's a whole lot of snark and irreverence in this book, and I've definitely found that in some other YA novels, but as far as the premise...to my knowledge it hasn't been done before. Which is as exciting as it is scary. It's very possible it hasn't been done for a reason. Heh.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
(WARNING: This response is going to sound a lot deeper than intended)
I have a seven year-old daughter who has cerebral palsy. She's the coolest, sweetest, most likeable person I've ever met, but  not everybody sees those things in her. They get caught up in her strange behaviors, or lack of abilities. I won't say that my daughter inspired me to write a book about how we all need to embrace each other and look past our differences (there's no message here), but what she DID inspire were characters who are different--and how those differences are what make them cool, or not cool. Funny or not funny. (that didn't make a lick of sense, did it?)

What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?
You will laugh hard when you read this book. Sometimes you might not like why you're laughing--but you will laugh.



So here's the deal, now I'm supposed to tag two other authors and force encourage them to participate in this little activity. But...you guys know me and rules. I LAUGH IN THE FACE OF RULES! Instead, I decided to swoon over two debut authors that I've fallen in love with this year. 

The first is my pub sister, Cori McCarthy. Cori's book, THE COLOR OF RAIN, is a wild, intense ride that will take you places you never dreamed of going. I can't say enough wonderful things about this book. It's gripping, sad, uplifting and inspiring--and, oh yeah, there are hookers & hot guys, too! Swing by Cori's site for more information, and be sure to check out my interview with her in April over at the Valentines blog. THE COLOR OF RAIN is available on May 14!

The second author I want to introduce you to is, Jennifer Salvato Dotkorski. Jen's hysterically charming debut, HOW MY SUMMER WENT UP IN FLAMES, screams contemporary YA! This book is funny, sweet, endearing, sarcastic and had plenty of attitude to keep this snark-master entertained for hours. The book, published by Simon Pulse, will be available May 7. Be sure to catch my interview with Jen over at the OneFour KidLit blog in May.

ONE LAST THING...

This post never would have come together if not for my dear friend, Amy Rolland (mentioned above) thinking that something I was doing was worth blogging about. *nods to Amy* So, sweet friend of mine...thank you for believing in me and this quirky little book enough to tag me and make me do something I hate to do. You must really care :)

Amy's amazing debut, OF BREAKABLE THINGS, will be released in spring 2014 by Month9Books. BUY IT!! (Or I will hurt you)

YES. YOU MAY SWOON.