Thursday, August 15, 2013

SKY JUMPERS giveaway, link to MG questions, and SJ's origin

I am buried so very, very deeply in my revision cave, it took hours to climb back out! (Only not really. I'm actually just below the surface-- there's still a blog tour to write posts for and kids to get ready to go back to school this week and dinner to make, you know?) Anyway, how about a few updates?

I'm thrilled to announce that there's another giveaway of a SKY JUMPERS advanced reader copy (ARC), and it's also open internationally! There's a link to enter just right over there ----> in the sidebar.

Speaking of SKY JUMPERS... The American Booksellers Association just unveiled their list of Best Books for Children of 2013, and SKY JUMPERS made the list! (In case you were wondering, yes. This is what I use to get me over that feeling when I cross something off my to-do list, and realize that there are five more things on it than there was an hour ago...)

Yesterday I did a Q&A live forum event for WriteOnCon. I had so much fun! Everyone asked some very insightful and helpful questions. If you missed it and want to read through the questions and answers, you can right here, in the WriteOnCon forums.

Ever wondered what was the inspiration behind Sky Jumpers (including the soaring through the air that you see on the cover)? I've posted my origins story over at the Crowe's Nest.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

WriteOnCon forum event TODAY

Just a quick note-- I'm doing a WriteOnCon forum event in just a little bit. It's a Q&A, and the subject is Writing and Publishing Middle Grade. Come join me if you can today (Wednesday) at 1:00 Eastern. Here's the link:

If you want to come and can't make it, I'm pretty sure they are going to post the transcript later. I'll give a link when I get it. I hope you've had a chance to partake of the awesomeness that is WriteOnCon!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Comic Con Recap!

I've been meaning to do this post for a week and a half. Things have been so crazy busy lately! And only looking busier on the horizon. Seven weeks left until release. Holy frijoles. Seven weeks. That's both terrifying and exciting. And lookie! If you want to enter to win an ARC of Sky Jumpers and haven't yet, there's a link right over there on the right.

Are you planning to go to WriteOnCon? (If you don't already know about it, It's an absolutely FREE online writer's conference! I can't recommend it enough. Go to for more info)

I'm doing a forum event on Wednesday, August 14 at 1:00pm Eastern about Writing Middle Grade, and I'd love if you came! If you'd like to submit a question ahead of time, you can in this WriteOnCon form.

So my family and I headed off to Sunny San Diego for Comic Con (and a trip to the beach and to Sea World). It was pretty darn incredible. Have you ever been there? I hadn't. San Diego is nice and friendly and super clean. And a full 35 degrees cooler than home, which, I've gotta say, didn't suck.

And Comic Con. Guys, Comic Con. It was the Texas-sized and Vegas-bright and made you feel like that dog on UP and there were squirrels everywhere.

This is the building, which looks strangely like a concept drawing, doesn't it? But you can tell it isn't by my finger in the top left. ;) Seriously, though, the thing is HUGE. See? If it weren't for those tall buildings down there at the end, you couldn't even tell where it ends!

The inside.

The entire bottom floor of the convention center held the exhibition hall. Everything was big and bold and fascinating and I swear, it doesn't matter how many times you walk through it, it's impossible to see it all. (And you gained one level of maneuverability for each hour you spent "walking" through it.)

People all around wore costumes from simple to elaborate. Waiting in lines felt sort of Disneyland-ish, because there was so much to entertain all around you! (See the guy in flames? There were lights in the flames, so they actually looked like they were burning!)

Fan of The Walking Dead? They had a prison in the middle of the exhibition hall, filled with zombies! You could stand in a line to actually walk through the prison grounds, to see if you could get through without becoming a zombie yourself.

And not all the zombies were within the prison walls....

There was even a pirate ship in the bay!

This was the beginning of Random House's booths that ran on both sides of the aisle, the entire length of the middle section of the hall.

And check it out! My book is on the wall! In some very good company, I might add. My book is feeling quite star struck.

And I got to do an ARC signing! I had a line and everything. It was pretty surreal.

Speaking of lines..... Upstairs was where all the good stuff happened, like panels and previews. This was the line for Ballroom 20. You can't even see the end of it-- it turns left a some point way back there, and continues to the end of the walkway. Then it continued behind me for a ways, then turned and went inside the building and back along the entire distance it came. But it was totally worth it to stand in the line. Becaaaaaaause.......

I got to see Joss Whedon. Dude. I.... I... I can't even. I just.... :'o) This is bucket list stuff here, folks. Dream come true. This man is a genius. Watching his commentaries on Buffy/Angel/Firefly episodes taught me how to be a writer before I even became a writer. He gave me the tools I needed to start writing, and then gave me the inspiration to not only start writing, but to plow ahead and to give it everything I had. I owe this man a lot, and I was thrilled to be able to hear him speak in person.

And you guys, my daughter. I know I've extolled her amazingness before, but it just doesn't cease. Girl's got some serious boldness. She's eleven, and although she never made it to the front, she stood in line for the full hour, waiting to ask Joss a question. Waiting to have herself projected onto four 20 foot screens, in front of 5,000 people, to ask JOSS a question. She's my hero.

It was incredible. The whole week was incredible. I'd go back again in a heartbeat.

Oh! And one last bit of info-- I wrote a short post at The League of Extraordinary Writers about how writers control people's minds. True story. Scientifically proven and all. Check it out.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Quotes and Cookies: Easy reading

Guess where I am right now? Here.

Hanging out in a cabin in the mountains with a group of writers, writing our butts off. Or, in my case, revising my butt off (I have third round edits due in three weeks). I'm pretty sure I've mentioned before that I LOVE revising. Moreso than drafting even. I love seeing the ms get better and better with each round.

But just because I love it doesn't mean that it's easy. In fact, sometimes it's bang-my-head-against-the-keyboard hard, you know? Which is why I love this quote:

"Easy reading is damn hard writing."

~Nathaniel Hawthorne

Yeah it is! But at least all that work comes with a payoff as sweet as easy reading. Hey, speaking of sweet payoffs and hard things, how about we commiserate over some hard, crunchy cookies that are just begging to be dunked in milk.

photo credit: Ruthieki via photopin cc

Have a fantastic weekend!