Monday, October 31, 2011


Yes, oh, yes: I'm donning my Raggedy Ann garb to get in the spirit of the best holiday going.

Never to be outdone, though, Jake decided he wanted to wear the wig, too...and of course, he looks far cuter in it...

Happy Halloween—from both of us! May you all have the goriest, ooziest, gooiest Halloween yet!

Thursday, October 27, 2011


Okay, it’s official: book trailers are addictive. I’ve talked about it before on the blog—wanting to get some practice in before doing the trailer for my MG, THE JUNCTION OF SUNSHINE AND LUCKY. Before, I’d been a bit hesitant to do a book trailer, worrying that the images chosen might be a bit of a distraction for bloggers (in the same way that a music video can occasionally be an intrusion into a song).

But now that I’ve finished the trailers for both of my published YAs, I don’t think I’ll ever have that worry again…

Below is the trailer for my second YA, PLAYING HURT. Feel free to share online—and don’t forget to “like” my Facebook author page. Once I hit 200 fans, I’m doing swag giveaways!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


I've always been an enormous fan of literature...I've never quite been able to get enough of the written word. Even when I was small enough to ride inside a shopping cart, I could never allow my mom leave the grocery store without first letting me grab a Little Golden Book.

The busier I get, though, the more intrigued I get by audiobooks. There's something kind of...old-school about getting your stories told to you. Kind of makes me think of families gathered around radios, in the pre-TV era.

So I was delighted when a copy of TELL ME A SECRET arrived, straight from the author herself. (Holly Cupala and I both released our debut novels in '10, and it was a joy to share all the nervous energy and the triumphs with her as our books moved through development.)

I already knew I loved TELL ME A SECRET; I read the novel when it released in '10. But the audiobook, which I listened to this past weekend, is a pleasure in itself. Just holding the audiobook gives you the same tactile pleasure that holding a new book provides—it's packaged beautifully. And there's something just so...delicious, really, about slowing a book down. Face it—most of us bookworms have learned to read on warp speed. But when a book is read aloud, the phrases get a chance to permeate in a completely new way. And Jenna Lamia, who narrates, is especially good with dialogue; the dialogue is acted, rather than simply read.

If you get a chance to get your hands on a copy of Cupala's TELL ME A SECRET audiobook, you absolutely should...and don't forget to mark your calendars for Cupala's sophomore novel, DON'T BREATHE A WORD, due out in January!

As for me, the listening experience was so enjoyable, I'm going to gravitate toward more audiobooks in the future.

...How about you? What's your experience with audiobooks? How do you think they stack up to the printed page?

Thursday, October 20, 2011


It's absolutely no secret what a fan I am of Catherine Ryan Hyde. I've loved her work for years, and was beyond-words flattered when she blurbed my debut novel, A BLUE SO DARK. She's also one of my all-time favorite authors to interact with, and I'm always inspired by the way she reaches out to and connects with her readership.

That being said, I'm sure my fellow Catherine Ryan Hyde fans will delight in knowing that she has returned to the adult market! Catherine recently put up a post on her own blog that serves as an open letter to her US adult readers, but I'm so excited about this development, I had to shout it from the rooftops, too: Catherine has just released two previously UK-only adult titles here in the US; they're available as e-books for an incredible price ($2.99). Click the links below to head straight to their Amazon pages...Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got books to order!

Second Hand Heart

When I Found You

Monday, October 17, 2011


I'm eyebrow-deep in yet another revision. And I'm so keen on getting this one whipped out, I'm not letting myself listen to my new Pistol Annies CD until I'm done (it's become the dangling carrot that absolutely makes my mouth water...)

In the midst of my self-inflicted music diet, though, new music finds me, anyway. I've recently discovered Will Hoge, and he's quickly become one of my favorite singers...I swear, his voice gives me goosebumps. And his song "Even If It Breaks Your Heart" has become one of my all-time favorite tunes, as well.

Really...doesn't this song sum up how we all feel about writing?

Thursday, October 6, 2011


I've decided, with my first MG in the works, to get in on the book trailer scene...and in order to prepare for doing the trailer for THE JUNCTION OF SUNSHINE AND LUCKY, I've decided to get my feet wet by doing trailers for both of my published YAs: A BLUE SO DARK and PLAYING HURT.

I really love the finished product for A BLUE SO DARK...I also loved getting a chance to celebrate my debut novel. If you love the trailer as much as I do, head over to my author page on Facebook, and become a fan! And spread the word, because as soon as I hit 200 fans, I'll be doing some giveaways of quickly-dwindling author swag!

Also, if you're a blogger who would like to be on my mailing list (in order to get news and promotional opportunities sent straight to your inbox), fill out the form here!

Without further ado...A BLUE SO DARK:

Monday, October 3, 2011


As I said before on the blog, September was a crazy-busy month of revisions. We’re talking global revisions, for my forthcoming MG, THE JUNCTION OF SUNSHINE AND LUCKY. For some reason, the tech world decided to conspire against me during the rewrite—first my computer completely melted down, and I wound up with a new-to-me tower which, to be honest, drives me no less crazy than Frank, my previous computer. (Yep, Frank. I spend so much time with these gadgets, talking right to them when they get cranky, I figure might as well go all the way and give each of them a name. For the new tower? Clarice.) As soon as I finally got the new tower up and running (printer installation alone took two hours with HP tech support), lightning struck a utility pole near my house—and it wasn’t even raining!

Yeah. I know.

But for every loss of electricity, there is, in fact, a bright spot. No Internet also means no distractions. I spent hours upon hours on the back porch with my pages and my NEO (so many that a “Because You’ve Been Working So Hard” bouquet made its way to my kitchen table).

I have to say that I’m really proud of the end result.

Long story short, revisions are sent—on time, despite our little difficulties. (Whew #1.)

Also, last weekend, Sarah Ockler, the author of the Republic-banned TWENTY BOY SUMMER, came to Springfield for some events during Banned Books Week. Which, let’s face it, took guts. No one knew if any naysayers or protesters were going to show up for the events, or what the overall response was going to be. Thankfully, though, Sarah got a really warm reception from the side of the Ozarks I have always known and loved. (Whew #2.)

Though I was working like the dickens (literary pun intended) trying to wrap up my revisions, I was thrilled to be able to meet Sarah at the Library Center. Sarah is every bit as lovely in person as she is on the page, and she wrote a really beautiful inscription in my own copy of TWENTY BOY SUMMER (an inscription that officially moved the book from the “Favorites” shelf in my bookcase over to the “Prized Possessions” shelf):

“For Holly, a fellow YA writer and book lover who knows the importance of telling honest, difficult stories! Keep writing your truths, and keep searching for the red piece…”

See what I mean? Just beautiful…
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