Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Back, Or Moving, Part One

I'm back! Apologies for the blog absence...

I wish I could say I'd been to BEA, or on a nice vacation, but no. I've been hauling stuff from location A (house) to location B (apartment), where our family will temporarily be parking. The kitties have already fluffed the place up, so that makes location B home sweet temporary home now.

I won't bore you with my uhaul stories, but instead share the link to whadup in MG according to Publishers Weekly.

And in case you're wondering, Moving, Part Two to location C won't be until August-ish, so no worries. I'll keep you in the know on all things kidlit.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Picture It

Teen Read Week is this October, from the 16th through the 22nd! Okay, so that's still a long time off, but I'm all about getting excited ahead of time. This year's theme is Picture It, and it's focused on graphic novels, illustrations, etc.--very cool and fun, especially for your reluctant reader. And for me, too.

Check out all the cool stuff YALSA has on the website, especially if you're a librarian (we *heart* you!). There are mini-grants and everything--free money for libraries, which we like.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Monday Music: Tapdancing On The Table

It's a little gloomy here in Colorado this Monday, so I thought a little tapdancing on the table was in order. Christopher Walken is the man, right?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

On Process

My good writer pal Jenny blogged yesterday about process, and how she's still figuring it out. I'm kind of with her in that respect. I thought I had it all figured out when I got ready to write DOUBLE VISION: I would drop the kids off at school, and then I'd write in the morning, and deal with random domestic nonsense in the afternoon. Simple, no?

Well, no. As it turned out, selling your house, dealing with all the stuff that comes with that, preparing to move--it's time consuming and brain zapping. Even when I would carve out a few hours to write, Lincoln Baker wouldn't show up for some reason.

So I tried getting up at 4:30, before Life is up, and before my brain is taken over by domestic nonsense. And it worked! I'd easily write 2,000 words before the rest of the house was even up, which was a sweet deal. Okay, so I ended up a little sleep-deprived, but it was worth it. And my cat Xena (see pic) kept me company, which made the whole early morning session even better. I still don't know why it's so much easier to write at that early hour (maybe because Lincoln Baker (my main character) is in Paris, and it's eight hours later there?), but it worked like magic. So that was an interesting lesson learned about my process.

How 'bout you, writer pals? Any surprises for you when it comes to process?

Monday, May 9, 2011

Thursday, May 5, 2011

On Friends And Conference Pants

I went to Pikes Peak Writers Conference this past weekend, so my brain is still a little foggy from all the information and talking. Remember my hermit status for the past few weeks? Going to a conference after that is like rolling out of bed and jumping into a cold ocean on a January morning.

My first conference ever was one a little bit like this one: you get to pitch, to editors and agents! So back then, I dressed nicely, in my conference pants, and carried a bag with my manuscript and fancy business cards. I was a Writer, ready to meet Publishing Professionals.

Of course by now, five manuscripts and as many years later, I'm not so fancy anymore. I've traded in my conference pants (they were kind of itchy, to tell you the truth) for my trusty jeans, the ones without the holes, and I've embraced my less fancy side. Because over these years of conference-going I figured out: it's not the editors and agents that will remember you years later, it's your fellow writers. I tell my fellow conference attendees this, especially the fanciest-dressed ones. If you're walking and talking for three days, you really want to be comfortable, trust me. You won't get a book contract because of your conference pants.

At PPW conference, I was surprised to find how many writer friends I really had, ones who were (very loudly at times :-) tooting my horn for me. Plus I made some new friends, and I even learned a ton of new stuff.

Biggest lesson: I have to come out of my writing cave more often. Sure, it's comfy to hide out with your snacks and notebooks, but it's really fun to meet your writer peeps. And a heads-up: looks like Pikes Peak Writers Conference is going to really knock your socks off next year, so consider coming out.

How 'bout you, my writer pals? Any favorite conferences/conventions you've been to?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Books And Boots

I don't talk about this a lot, because this blog is for YA Sleuthering, but my better half wears combat boots. And let me tell you, life can be mighty spartan for soldiers who are serving overseas.

For those of you wanting to bring books to soldiers, check out GalleyCats's list of places you can donate, or share your books (for my writer peeps). Trust me when I say: you'll make someone's day.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Unfortunate Side-Effects Of Hermit Status

It's May! How did that happen? I have no idea.

I finished my first draft of DOUBLE VISION, so it's time to come out of my writing cave for a little while, and get adjusted to the daylight. Apologies if I'm squinting a little.

The good news is that I finished the first draft of DOUBLE VISION (don't you love to use all-caps for titles? I do, it seems more urgent and fabulous that way), so now it's editing time. My main man Lincoln Baker got into lots of trouble, so I'm having a blast working on the book and actually look forward to edits. The bad news is that the Edgars have been announced before I even made it all the way through the teen noms, sigh... But I suppose you can't do everything, even if you get up at 4:30 a.m..

Anyway, here are the winners! Congrats, and I can vouch for the Best Juvenile winner--a fun early reader mystery.

And I plan to be getting my YA Sleuth on a little more this month. Because you missed me, right?

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...