Friday, February 20, 2015


I was recently nominated for the Inspiring Blogger Award by the always-lovely Susan over at TheArtofNotGettingPublished.

I'm inspired myself--by all the bloggers who take the time to write thoughtful reviews.

Just as my books are my work, I view a blogger's review as his or her work, as well. I take them seriously, I respect them, and I listen. I've been reading blog reviews long enough now that I've begun to learn how readers--well--read.

I was writing at my own mini-rolltop desk when I was little more than six years old. I think I've always read as a writer. Always tried to dig into the nuts and bolts of a piece, figure out how, exactly, a writer pulled a book together. I remember mining books in elementary school for techniques I could put in my own short stories (totally serious).

Bloggers (especially bloggers who read as readers only, not as writer / readers) have taught me, over the past few years, that it's not about literary bells and whistles--it's the story, stupid. It's a compelling plotline. It's (maybe more importantly) about connection: connection between the characters on the page and between the characters and the reader. It's about providing something fresh--not obtuse, fresh. A fresh take on a standard trope. A never-before-seen quirky protagonist.

Over the past few months, I've been taking those lessons into revisions. Both the rewrites for my next YA and the edits for my first indie book (an NA rom-com to release in the next few weeks) have been a completely different process because of the insights I've gained reading blog reviews.

So thank you, bloggers, for your hard work. Thanks for your honesty, for your thoughtfulness. Thanks for pushing me, every step of the way, to be better. You are, as I said earlier, as inspiring as it gets...

Monday, February 9, 2015


Last week, I turned in the revision of my next YA. This was by far the most extensive rewrite I've ever done. I mentioned it before at the blog, but what started out being a 75K-word manuscript became, in the course of about two days after receiving my editorial letter, a 30K-word manuscript.

I've learned more about writing in the past year than any other year on record (thank you, bloggers). And more than I've been leaning on the power of the pen lately, I've been relying on the almighty scissors. I did turn in a 62K-word manuscript, but this rewrite would have been much different had I been hesitant to cut so much of the original draft from the get-go.

...It looks as though I've finally embraced the old killing your darlings lesson. Man, that was a hard one to get through my skull...

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