Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Ear To Ear

First off, a huge THANK YOU! to everyone for the kind words left here and on Twitter about my good news. Having friends share in my excitement just makes everything that much better!

Now the party's over and it's time to get back to work. In the spare minutes of my day, not only am I trying to squeeze in my own writing and the (admittedly fun) task of critiquing for my CPs, but I've also set up a kind of ridiculous reading challenge for myself. In general, my book-buying rules are: cookbooks in book form, fiction in e-form. I've seen some of your pictures of overflowing bookshelves rooms, and I would be in the same boat if I didn't buy the majority of my reading as e-books. The only area I break this rule is for middle grade, because I when I'm done with those books I like to send them to my nephews.

Here is my current stack of unread middle grade:

Three of these I bought just last week in a fit of "I'll just make time!" delusion.

The challenge I'm facing is that I'm flying to Michigan in mid-September to visit my parents, and my brother is bringing his family to visit too. If I can read all these books by then, I can bring them with me and avoid shipping them. More importantly, I'll get to talk with my nephews about the books and tell them which ones were my favorites and ask what they've read lately. Right now they really love to read, and I'd like to keep encouraging that.

What do you think, can I read these six middle grade books in 22 days? I'm a fast reader so this sounds ridiculously doable to me, but the determining factor is free time, of which I have very little. How much time are you able to set aside for reading?

Monday, August 13, 2012

Happy news!

It is my absolute delight to announce that I am now represented by Joanna Volpe of New Leaf Literary! Joanna reps some really excellent authors like Veronica Roth, Kody Keplinger, Susan Dennard, and Leigh Bardugo, and I can hardly believe that I get to work with her!

For those of you interested in how this came about, the answer is: massive amounts of serendipity. Joanna has actually been closed to submissions for a while now--you may have heard how she recently opened her new agency? But back in May she offered a full manuscript critique by random drawing to anyone who pre-ordered a copy of Leigh Bardugo's SHADOW AND BONE from Books of Wonder in NYC. I was all, Hey, a fabulous signed book and a chance at a great critique? I'll buy a ticket in that lottery! And then holy crap, I won! I won't share the chat I had with my CP Liz when I got this news, because it's about 85% shocked profanity. I was so thrilled.

Like most (all?) writers, I am a daydreamer. I imagined how cool it would be if she read my book and loved it. I didn't realistically expect this to happen--it wasn't like she'd requested material from me, you know, on purpose. So when I got her email asking if we could set up a phone call, I told myself, Don't get your hopes up, lady! Maybe she just wants to tell you in person that your story is crazypants!

But instead she told me she loved it, and she offered me representation. And then my head exploded.

I've been busting my tail on the same book for a long time, revising and tweaking until I wanted to club myself unconscious rather than open that doc again. I've learned a ton from the entire process, and I wouldn't even be close to this point if it weren't for all my awesome critique partners. And for SHADOW AND BONE--which, by the way, is an *excellent* book. Buy it, read it, love it!

And Leigh Bardugo, if you ever read this: I think I owe you a drink.