Wednesday, June 19, 2013

What's Up Wednesday

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly meme, started by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk, that helps readers and writers touch base with blog friends and let them know what's up. If you'd like to join in, you can find the link widget on Jaime's and Erin's blog posts. 

What I'm Reading

I've had to fit my reading in between the cracks lately, so I'm not reading anything very quickly, but at the moment I'm really enjoying the copy of The Fifth Wave I picked up at BEA. I'm also gradually slogging my way through A Clash Of Kings. I'd like to finish all the Ice & Fire books before the next season of the show starts, but holy LONG. It's kind of painful when you read and read and don't even advance 1% on the progress bar. I do have some binge reading time coming up because I'm leaving tomorrow for a 17-day vacation. I've got some fun ARCs, but I don't like to bring physical books on vacation with me, so I'll be hitting the backlog of awesomeness on my e-reader.

What I'm Writing

I'm racing for the finish line right now in the first draft of the sequel to THE LOST PLANET--hoping to get it done before take-off at 7pm tomorrow! I may treat myself to a little champagne on the flight if that happens, because writing a sequel on deadline is to writing the first book like motocross racing on a mudslide is to taking a two-week bike tour of Provence. This is a draft that's for my eyes only--I was figuring it out as I went, so right now the front end doesn't match the back all. But at least the hard part's done!

What Else I'm Doing

As I mentioned, I'm leaving tomorrow for a vacation, aka the European wedding tour. We're going to an old friend's wedding in Bonn, Germany this weekend, and then joining a group from the wedding party to vacation in Israel for a week. I've never been to Israel before, and I'm so excited to see it! Afterwards we're flying up to Istanbul for the wedding of one of my husband's best childhood friends and to spend time with family--including my husband's brand new nephew! I love Istanbul so much and I can't wait for sunny, tea-filled mornings and warm Bosphorus evenings. (And don't worry, we'll be perfectly safe there.)

What Inspires Me Right Now

I can't listen to music while I'm writing, but I do keep a playlist of music for getting into the mood of each book. If you're curious about these kinds of things, here are two of the main songs from the playlist for the book I'm drafting:

(Note: Apparently you need to have Spotify installed for these buttons to work...blerg. Embedded YouTube videos of these songs don't play on Blogger, but if you really want to listen to these tunes, you can check them out on YouTube: Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites, and Allegretto from Palladio.)

Monday, June 10, 2013

Imogen Howson interview over at OneFourKidlit

Hey all! I just wanted to let you know that today over on OneFourKidlit I'm interviewing Imogen Howson, author of the breathtaking YA space thriller LINKED, which comes out tomorrow from Simon & Schuster!! Imogen was super fun to interview and kind enough to send me her very last ARC all the way from sunny England.

LINKED has it all--page-turning action, beautiful writing, crazy twists, and a romantic lead so swoony that even I (who am NOT a romance reader) had a huge crush on him. I highly recommend you check this book out.

To learn more about how Imogen wrote LINKED and what she used as inspiration for describing foreign planets and spaceships, go read the interview here!

Friday, June 7, 2013

BEA recap!

I'm a little late with my BEA recap, but sweet Moses was I exhausted when I got home. I slept on the entire six-hour flight back to L.A., came home, went to bed and slept for five hours, woke up totally disoriented, ate a sandwich and watched Mad Men with my husband, and went back to bed. SO TIRED. (Maybe going to Vegas the weekend before BEA wasn't the best plan...)

Anyhow, I'm caught up on sleep and feeling human again and here to tell you that BEA was excellent! I didn't spend a ton of time on the trade show floor, but how inspiring is it to be surrounded by thousands of book lovers? I got to meet fellow OneFourKidlit authors Susan Adrian and Erica Cameron (who came to my signing and got my very first ever signed ARC!), and lots of other awesome online writer friends. Hooray for meeting IRL!

One of the big highlights of the trip for me was that I finally got to meet and spend some time with my editor, Liz Szabla, who is utterly gracious and cool and reinforced my belief that I am working with the very best people. She also introduced me to fellow Feiwel author James Preller who is the nicest guy ever and has a new MG horror series coming out. Perfect Halloween gifts for my nephews, yes?

My ARC signing was on Friday, and it went splendidly. So bizarre and wonderful to meet people who are excited for my book! Here is photographic evidence of how I grinned like a maniac the entire time, with the delightful Anna Roberto of Macmillan looking on.

(Side note: Yes, I am aware that I hold my pen funny. I've always held it this way, except for a few years in elementary school where I was made to hold it the "right" way with a pencil grip. As soon as I was able to take the pencil grip off, I tried out this old way again, thought Yes this feels better, and never looked back. Sorry, most excellent Bruce Township Elementary teachers--you did your best.)

The whole experience went by so quickly, and I'm very grateful I had the opportunity to be there, meet so many incredible people, and learn so much. Now I'm settling in for the long haul (235 days to go!), and putting nose to the grindstone on book 2. It's definitely a different experience than writing the first book, but I'm learning a lot about myself as a writer (sloppy first draft! revisions are my friend!) and it's going pretty well.

A final word of BEA advice: If you're going to go, go with a friend. The fantabulous Liz Briggs flew out with me, and it was so nice so have someone to touch base with during the day and decompress with in the evening. Also, did you know that she has mad ninja skillz when it comes to getting highly coveted ARCs? I gave her my little wishlist, which included The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater and Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein, and wouldn't you know:

Ninja! <3