Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I Wanna Be A Millionaire...

For fun, check out Forbes' list of 10 Highest Paid Authors. Two kidlitters on there: Stephenie Meyer and J.K. Rowling, so that's good news: we're reading kids books.

Monday, August 30, 2010

To Represent, And Some Good Advice For Writers

To represent: over at the Reading Kitsap blog, writer friend Brian Thornton talks about his new book The Book of Bastards: 101 Worst Scoundrels and Scandals from the World of Politics and Power.

He gives some really great advice for writers on networking (and not your typical nonsense), so go over there and read it.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Free Short Mystery

If you love mysteries (check), short stories (check), and things that are free (check again), you don't want to miss the free short story by Charles Todd called The Girl on the Beach that'll be available to download on August 31. It's a marketing technique publisher HarperCollins is trying out, which seems like a good thing to support. Long live shorts!

Check out the full story here.

On Flying

Earlier this year, I had a parent-teacher conference for my daughters—all good news, which is always nice. My oldest was lauded for her storytelling, and I smiled. Then the teacher told me about my youngest, a somewhat shy girl, “It’s amazing what stories she writes. Way ahead of her peers.”

And I cringed. Because what writer wants their kids to grow up to deal with the cards publishing deals us every day? Better to be a doctor, a vet, anything else.

In a few weeks, The Young Authors Club starts up again at my local high school, where I help teen writers with dreams of becoming an author someday. So many kids signed up that there’s concern of where to hold it so there’s room; I joked that I usually lose a few once I explain how hard the road to a published novel is.

I sounded like bitter divorcee at a wedding. Yuck.

And who am I to be that bitter anyway? If it’s so bad, why don’t I just give up, go work at Wal-Mart or something?

I know why, and if you’re a writer, I bet you do too. It’s because the payoff isn’t at the business end. There will always be hurdles: finishing a manuscript, getting an agent, a publisher, getting enough sales to keep a series going. Getting paid a decent wage, if you freelance, like me. The biz part never gets easier.

The best part of writing is when you sit down and disappear in the story. I see it in both my daughters, my students, and I’m reminded myself now that I’m starting the first draft of a new story again. It’s like flying, high on imagination.

Who cares what we all grow up to be? The fun is in uncovering the story. And those blue smocks just do nothing for anyone.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

For A Laugh

Check out this blog: Oh Crap. My Parents Joined Facebook.

Funny, particularly those parents who beg their kids to be friends on FB. The parent in me sympathizes, the YA writer cringes. I'm torn.

Monday, August 23, 2010

On Crime And Darkness

Today over at Mulholland Books, author Megan Abbott talks about crime, crime fiction, and what our reactions say about us (readers). She says some very smart things, including this:

"...crime novels lay bare what we know on some deeper register: that our hearts are mysteries even to ourselves. And that, when we read crime fiction, we are permitted a clandestine tour into our own most-secret chambers."

Good stuff. Read the rest of it here.

Friday, August 20, 2010


Everything is blooming here in Colorado. Gorgeous, but killer for this girl with allergies. Plus it's hot, which makes it hard to think and post something interesting here.

So I thought I would recommend a movie for your Friday, since that's all I got. The movie is The Brothers Bloom: funny, interesting and unexpected. I recommend it; it's out on DVD, so no need to leave the house.

Happy weekend, all!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Don't Forget The Fun

There’s something about teaching that’s incredibly rewarding. I’m teaching a workshop for From the Heart Romance Writers (the online chapter of RWA) right now, called Writing for Teens. The people who signed up are enthusiastic, smart, and their concepts are really blowing me away. Some great YA and MG writers come down the pipeline--watch out people..

I’m even learning new stuff, which is always a nice byproduct of teaching. Students point out newsworthy stuff I didn’t know, and by teaching, I’m reminded of the things I already knew but kind of forgot.

Like that being a writer is the best job ever, even when the pay isn’t that great. It's fun. I just started writing the first draft of a middle-grade manuscript that’s a blast to dive into. It practically writes itself. After spending a long time editing, and writing only freelance for the pesos, it’s just like a little vacation to write fiction.

Fun. It’s why we show up at the computer. Almost forgot about that; it’s good to be reminded sometimes.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Free YA Audiobook Downloads

Sync has YA audiobook downloads right here. And they're free! There are selected titles each week, so your choice is limited. But it's free (!), and a great chance to try a new author.

Your Monday just got better, didn't it?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Katniss On The Big Screen

I'm sure all of you Hunger Games Trilogy fans are dying the read Mockingjay when it comes out at the end of this month. I know I'm looking forward to getting the answer to the KILLER CLIFFHANGER of book two. I cursed Ms.Collins for about a week, honestly.

Anyway, check out this article on the casting of Katniss for the Hunger Games movie. To tide you over for now.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

YA Covers And Beautiful Hair

I loved this post on the anotomy of a cover, as told by YA author Nancy Werlin.

Check it out. Who knew hair could look that good?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Adult YA Reader

There's an interesting essay by Pamela Paul in the NY Times about the growing amount of adults who read YA. Lots of stats there for us number geeks, like that one in five 35-44 year-olds read YA for fun.

I liked this quote from author Lev Grossman: "I think young adult fiction is one of the few areas of literature right now where storytelling really thrives."

Couldn't agree more.

Monday, August 9, 2010

2010 SCIBA Book Award Finalists--YA

I had not heard of SCIBA until today, so there's a new award to add to the long list. It's the Southern California Independent Bookseller's Association's award. Who knew?

Here are the children's nominees (scroll down a bit). Some more to add to the TBR pile.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Free Online KidLit Conference

This online KidLit conference looks awesome, and it starts this Tuesday. And it's free, which we love. How did I miss this??

No idea.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Top 100 Thrillers

It's here! NPR released its list of the top 100 thrillers as chosen by us, the audience.

Many good titles in there; as for YA, I only spotted The Hunger Games, but let me know if I missed one.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Choose Your Adventure--Together

In the latest new tech, S&S has launched a novel project featuring author Jodi Lynn Anderson called Loser/Queen. Here's how it works: the author posts a chapter (or in the beginning, four), and readers get to vote how the story continues. The finished novel will be published in December.

The story is a little girly for my taste (though there is a hint of mystery, which we like), but still. This sounds like a lot of fun.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Good Advice

Sometimes (well, actually very often) someone else says it so much better, and I just say: "what (s)he said."

Like over here, at Patti's.

Follow along with the MIDNIGHT AT THE BARCLAY HOTEL blog tour!

I'm so excited for the Aug. 25th release if MIDNIGHT AT THE BARCLAY HOTEL...!  If you want to join the fun, follow along with the bl...