Thursday, October 25, 2012


Celebrating fall in the Ozarks with my pup:

Wishing you all a happy and sun-filled autumn!

Thursday, October 18, 2012


There's something about the arrival of a new season that makes me want to update the ol' "About Me" pic here at the blog...A gal can't keep displaying a picture of herself in a short-sleeved T, surrounded by greenery, when everything green is starting to disappear, after all.

I've heard some authors say they really dread having their pictures taken.  I've never minded it, though.  Actually, truth be told, I like it.  Sitting down for a new book jacket photo always feels like a celebration.  And I know how much I personally enjoy seeing new candid shots on my fave authors' blogs (many of my favorite authors are long-distance friends these days, and I know that a candid pic on a blog can feel like the next-best-thing to seeing someone in person).  Besides, I didn't start blogging or online networking until I'd sold my first book.  If I'm providing a publisher a picture for a jacket or simply updating an online profile, I always feel like new shots are being taken because I'm an author with books in the works.  The thrill of that, of being a professional writer, never wears off.

I have learned over the past few years that any picture, whether it's a promo photo or a less formal blog shot like the one I recently had taken, dramatically improves when you happen to be looking at someone you really dig.  My most recent "About Me" photo is proof enough of that:

Also, my PLAYING HURT celebration giveaway closed, and I was thrilled to send the winning copy South Korea.  I don't think I'll ever not be surprised by the idea of someone so far away reading my work. Makes me get all those excited tingles just thinking about it, actually...

I say it all the time, but I mean it: I love my readers.  Seriously.  Love.

Monday, October 8, 2012


I have to admit, I've been focusing my attention for the past few months on the two books I currently have in development.  I've had the nose to the old grindstone, whipping up revisions of both my next YA, FERAL, and my forthcoming debut MG, THE JUNCTION OF SUNSHINE AND LUCKY.  And besides that, I've also been thinking ahead to that whirlwind that always accompanies a book's release: I've had trailers on the brain.  And Skype visits.  Blog tours.  Ustream chats.  Print ads.

...But I've been pleasantly reminded lately that activity is still buzzing regarding both of my previously-released books (my debut first appeared on store shelves in '10, the other in early '11).

I bumped into this lovely picture / quote from A BLUE SO DARK on Tumblr recently:

I also found A BLUE SO DARK's cover being discussed at Born Bookish, and a lovely review of the book recently popped up at My Words Ate Me.

New numbers in from my publisher also indicate that book buyers are still snapping up my second YA (and first romance), PLAYING HURT.  In fact, the numbers pleased me so much, I'm holding a giveaway!  I'm giving one signed copy of the book and two signed bookplates; the giveaway runs through October 15.  (If you have any trouble with the Rafflecopter form below, feel free to enter by commenting on the post.)

I also want to take a moment to thank my incredible readers for their support.  And yet another thanks goes out to my bloggers, for helping to spread word of my work online.  If I've said it once, I've said it 1,487,690 times: I don't know where I'd be without you guys.  You're the absolute best...

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, October 1, 2012


I’ve long insisted that Halloween is my all-time favorite holiday.  “The wax lips!” I always say.  “The candy corn!  The plastic hatchets!”
But my Halloween love is actually about far more than that.  Just as my love of ghost / scary stories is about far more than the fake blood.  (While we’re at it, when I say I love horror stories, I’m actually more of a fan of a psychological thriller than a complete slash-and-dash bloodbath…)

It’s recently occurred to me, though, that the real reason I love Halloween is a pretty writerly one: it gives me chance to make stuff up.

Catherine Ryan Hyde smartly commented on a post at my MG blog, Smack Dab in the Middle, that one of the biggest misconceptions about novelists is that they consistently write thinly-veiled autobiographies.  Like our own Catherine, I also write completely fictitious, invented works—none of the situations or characters featured in my books are ripped from my own life.  I get a serious kick out of making stuff up.  Creating a whole world completely of my own invention.

Yep—grape-flavored bloodshot eyeballs will always have an incredible amount of charm.  But even when I was little, the costumes were always what I loved most about Halloween.  I loved figuring out—usually by mid-summer—how I was going to dress up.  And I don’t really mean that I looked forward to being someone other than me.  I mean I loved figuring out how to create a mummy or hobo or bobby-soxer.  (Only one year in all of the—ahem—fourteen that I trick-or-treated did I have a store-bought costume.  Looking back, it was by far my least favorite.)  I loved the getting-to-make-it-up.

But that’s what we get to do every day as writers.  On the page, we get to dress up and become a fictional “I.”  We get to look at the world through someone else’s eyes.  We get to invent. 

Ditto for the horror flicks.  I’m a complete sucker for the tension-filled scenes you know so well: the protagonist is standing on one side of the door; a strange noise has just erupted on the other.  The protagonist begins to breathe hard, slowly reaching for the doorknob.  At this point, my mind always goes into overdrive as I imagine what is on the opposite side of that door. 

Again, as is the case with Halloween, I get to make it all up.  Until the opposite-side-of-the-door is revealed, of course.  But I love those who-know-what’ll-happen-next moments.

…I haven’t quite decided what I’m going to be yet this year, what I’m going to wear to greet the trick-or-treaters who will ring my bell.  Right now, I’m having too much fun imagining the possibilities, making up a hundred different scenarios, imagining this year’s who-knows-what.
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