New Book Deal!

So that news I was talking about finally went up late last night. 🙂

Moonset will tentatively be released Spring of 2013, so it’s not a horrific wait, either! 😉

This is  a special book to me, because its one of those books that sprung up from literally one line of dialogue (though that line is sadly not in the book any more).  Concept, setting, plot, all of it came out of one line of dialogue, just fully formed.  I wrote the first draft like a crazy person, pretty much pulling a Kiersten White (though it took me 6 weeks, not 1). 😉

Unlike the world of Witch Eyes, in Moonset, witches are far more plentiful, though just as secretive.  Witches are divided into Covens (the magical upper class) and the Solitaries (the lower/middle class), and the Moonset kids are stuck in the middle. You can find out more by clicking on the Moonset tab above.

And because inevitably someone will ask me, there IS a gay character in Moonset, but he’s not the main character.

Major thanks to Mr. Karsten Knight, who helped me turn the pitch from drab to fab.

I’m super excited to keep working with Flux, and my editor Brian, and definitely couldn’t have done ANY of this without rock star agent Ginger Clark!  Seriously, you guys, she’s amazing.

And don’t worry, this news doesn’t mean that the wait for Demon Eyes/Phantom Eyes will be any longer than normal. The Moonset series will be coming out in between those books.

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Guest Vlogger Week and a Writing Update

So this week on the YA Rebels we changed it up on you a little bit.  Instead of having to listen to US you got a lot of fun advice from a variety of young adult authors.  Click the links to go to their videos (but trust me, they are ALL worth watching).  While you’re there, consider leaving them a comment letting them know what an awesome job they did!

So in other news, I sent MOONSET out into the big, scary world.  This leaves me temporarily projectless, and reminds me of that whole adage about idle hands.  So I went and dug out my list of projects I’d set down at the beginning of the year.  I actually decided to put SPIRIT GAMES into the writerly trunk for now – its just not there yet.  But instead, I have a NEW project that’s nibbling on a corner of my brain.

My writing goals for 2010:

  • Complete edits on WITCH EYES for editor Brian.
  • Finish writing MOONSET.
  • Outline SECRET PROJECT
  • Pitch/short outline for MOONSET sequel
  • Once edits are done, finish writing sequel to WITCH EYES.
  • Complete first draft of SECRET PROJECT (which has the coolest title ever)

Contracts, Finished WIPs and More!

This week has been a week of….events.

We found out Saturday morning that our family dog had a very serious tumor, and if it was worse than they imagined then they were going to have to put her to sleep.  Which they ended up doing, because the cancer was just too severe, and she would have only been in pain.  Having had this dog since I was a teenager, it was a blow to say the least.  (Note – the super happy rest of this post was written earlier in the week, so don’t think I’m being completely flippant or anything).

I got my contract!  You can see a glimpse of it in my YA Rebels video, which can be seen down below!

I have FINALLY finished the first draft of MOONSET!   I absolutely LOVE the ending.  It makes me giddy.

Speaking of WITCH EYES, (wait, I wasn’t?  #seguefail) I should be expecting my first editorial letter from Editor Brian sometime in the near future.   It was SUCH an exciting feeling to get the contract and have it be REAL, that’s for sure.  I’m SO ready to delve back into Braden’s world, and see how my writing holds up after a few years away. 😉  Plus, I’ve got a good chunk of the WITCH EYES sequel written, so once I know how the first book is going to turn out, I’ll be able to jump back into THAT.  Busy busy!

EDIT:  Err, video will be up soon apparently. :*(

A Photo Contest & Submissions Talk

I’ve been a bad blogger.  However, this is not entirely my fault.  Things have been crazy busy/annoying around here, and part of that involved taking a pretty significant step back from the computer for a little while.  So while I keep MEANING to blog, I always put it aside since I’m working on other things.

Down below you can check out my video from this week’s YA Rebels – the topic was the Submission Process.  Like I say in the video, I didn’t have any really fun stories (and I was surprised that some of the other rebels didn’t tell THEIR really interesting stories).  From start to finish, I think I was on submission for about fifteen months or so?  (I forgot to mention the exact figures in the video).  But that time also included a significant edit to the book and the time between signing with my agent and getting all the contract stuff done, her reviewing the book to see how many edits they’ll need (initially) etc.

Also, in the video I mention that there is a contest for authors – Vania from VLC Photo has occassionally done a mini-shoot for several different books, my most favorite having been one she did for Victoria Schwab for THE NEAR WITCH.  This new contest is to win a chance to have her do one for your novel as well.  The contest is opened to agented authors, or authors whose books have already sold.  So if that applies to you, and you’re intrigued, check it out.  I absolutely ADORE Vania’s work, and if you like photography or even just the occassional book-related shots, you should subscribe to her blog.  And be sure to tell her that I sent you! 🙂

And in other news, I’ve still been slaving away on MOONSET.  There were a couple weeks there where I needed to step back and kindof evaluate where the story was going, but the last few days I’ve been back in the saddle trying to finish a first draft.  You may notice that my target word count has increased.  That’s been kinda necessary. 😉

MOONSET:

85303 / 100000 words. 85% done!

Confronting Superstitions

I am as superstitious as the next person when it comes to my writing.  I must do it this way, I must clear that off my desk before I write.  There’s always something.  Its something I think most of us can relate to.  Everyone has their writing foibles, bad habits, quirks, or superstitions.

For the past 9 months or so, I’ve been struggling to break mine.  Do you know what the worst one was?  When I was working on edits for WITCH EYES for Colleen (way back at the end of 2008), I would get on the computer in the morning during my free time before work…and I had to win a game of Spider Solitaire (set on Medium) before I could open my writing file.

Now if this was regular solitaire, or Freecell, no big deal, right?  Play a game, MAYBE two, then get to writing.  No, but Spider Solitaire is SO MUCH HARDER.  There were really bad days where I spent hours losing game after game after game before I finally got close to winning.  That was a habit that had to go.  So one day I just refused to Spider Solitaire even though my hands were shaking with a need to fill up my free cells with a King or a 7.

Then it was smoking.  I had to smoke while I worked.  (Yes, I was a smoker).  So I quit smoking.  And let me tell you, those first few rounds of edits were ROUGH.  I wanted to start drinking just to take the edge off.  Going from a crutch to no-crutch is a very humbling experience.  Because suddenly, despite the fact that you averaged 1,000 words a day since pre-school, the 5 words you’ve written since Monday are the worst words that have ever existed in the history of man.  And God forbid you add a sixth word to the pile.  It will immediately make all 5 words before it even worse.

It used to be I couldn’t show anyone my WIP without immediately panicking that the unfinished book was now RUINED.  (This one happened as recently as last summer).   Or the one that said if I put my funny, awesome lines of dialogue out there in the universe, someone was going to point out they were terrible, and/or derivative.  I also felt like I couldn’t edit as I went along – I’d have to wait until the draft was done to make changes.  Yeah, the fix to this one was easy: write a terrible book.  Now I tweak as I go, because it stops me from wandering, and it also reminds me where I was going.

The only quirk I really subscribe to now is not so much a writing superstition so much as it is convenience.  I have to have my computer facing the window so I can look outside while I write, and I have to have headphones to drown out the normal apartment sounds going on around me.

So this is my challenge to you.  Have a superstition that maybe makes your writing life harder than it does easier?  Challenge it.  See if you can do it without giving in.  Give it time, push through the pain.  Maybe it’ll work for you too.

Randomness:

Some of you may have heard about the YA Rebels, a new vlog group that has started up consisting of a bunch of YA writers.  I’m the Saturday over there, and a lot of interesting people are filling in the rest of the week.  (But we know Saturday is the most important, right?) You can go here to see the channel, and my intro video from last week, in which I talk about how I got kicked in the face is right here.

And the writing update for week 1 of 2010:

MOONSET:

27648 / 80000 words. 35% done!