Birthright – A Witch Eyes Short Story

So, awhile back, when Witch Eyes was nominated for the 2011 Debuts awards, I said that if it won, I’d write a short story and gave you guys the options to suggest what you wanted to see.  Now, along with all this craziness, there were edits and drafts, and all kinds of real life stuff.  But! I did not forget that I owed you all a story.  So here it is, as a thank you to you all.

The prompt I selected was something that struck me the moment I read it.  I knew it was  different story than what the request had in mind, but I also knew that it was right. So here it is, all about how a teenage Catherine Lansing fell in love, and what that meant for Jason Thorpe and Belle Dam itself.


Love and death had always been entwined in my life.

Continue reading

I sense disturbances in the Force

Some fun things I get to announce.

  • First and foremost, I’ve accepted representation from Ginger Clark at Curtis Brown.  I’m so, so excited.  I queried Ginger with my new project, MOONSET, which was pretty scary at the time.  Even if you’ve had an agent before, it’s just as hard and stressful to go through the stages of  querying again.  But I know I’m in good hands, and so excited to get to work with her.
  • WITCH EYES has been added almost 500 times on Goodreads.  Probably by the time most people read this, it WILL be over 500.  That’s weird to me, because I think of my book as this nice little niche book. 😉
  • I’m almost finished with the sequel to WITCH EYES, which has gone back to the original title of DEMON EYES.  I’m writing the finale right now, and I have so much love for this book it’s not even funny.  I’m not someone who shares scenes or snippits with other writers while I’m still writing, but I cannot stop talking about some of the dark and creepy moments in the second book.
  • I’ll get to share my cover for WITCH EYES (which, if it’s anything like the cover comp I saw a month ago, is going to be AMAZING), probably sometime after the first of the year.  The cover is hands down exactly what I would have wanted had I designed my own cover (except way better, because as we know, my way involves crayons…).

I have been a slacking little blogger in the last few weeks.  But I’m going to change that after the first of the year.  So I’ll be back and blogging more regularly then.  In the meantime, I hope you all have a safe and happy holiday season!  Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do!

Listen to WITCH EYES Playlist

So I’m a huge music person.  I have to have playlists for everything – every character usually has a theme song, important parts of the novel have their own playlist (like action sections, or dramatic moments).  And I thought it would be kind of fun to show a little insight into the kinds of songs that were on repeat a lot when I was working on WITCH EYES.

Right about now, I’m probably somewhere in the middle of Colorado Springs, missing my safe little apartment in Ohio.  Pray for me!

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

Edit Letter!

I got my first official edit letter for WITCH EYES yesterday.  Everyone please make note of the enthusiasm and optimism so that in a month you can all point and laugh and say “remember when you thought everything was perfect?”  Its really interesting to actually SEE someone break down my book into all its little pieces, and point out a few things that even I hadn’t noticed before (or if I noticed them, then I forgot it later on).

The best thing was that there was a comment in the marked up version of the manuscript that said “This is my favorite line in the whole book.”

And I…uhm…don’t even remember writing it.  It never once stood out to me in the entire process, never once thought about it as more than just a passing line. In any event, I have been very happily working all morning, and I’m about to get back to that, but I wanted to put it in writing that I am currently super excited, jazzed, and can’t wait to polish this book up to its best.

Anyway, in honor of edits I give you two of the very best Edit Letter videos on Youtube.  One by the hysterical Lara Zielin, and the other by our very own Leah Clifford from the YA Rebels.  Watch them both, they’re both fantastic!

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 Couple of Videos

Just a quick update to share two really cool videos.

The first is an Spanish promo for the final season of Lost.  It’s fan-made, has no new footage, but its still really awesome.  Chances are if you’re a Lost fan you’ve already seen this around the internet somewhere.

The second is more personal.  A writer friend sent me an email the other day mentioning my agent, and a book she thought was mine.  So I went and watched the video, and sure enough it was Colleen talking about the road to selling my book.  It was super sweet (and features a new Colleen client at the end, too!) and was a real ego-boost when I was avoiding my writing yesterday.  I consider Mondays my own personal day of rest, and I won’t write on Mondays (because they are evil) but yesterday was a panicked “must clean everything in sight” day for other reasons.  So seeing that video was so much fun.

Fast forward to about 3:40 if you want to hear the part with Colleen.  The other stories are just as interesting though!

Witch Eyes Info

Since a couple of people have asked now, I figured it was a good time to put up a little something about what Witch Eyes is about for those who don’t know.

Witch Eyes is a cross between Smallville and a modern, gay Romeo and Juliet.  A deadly supernatural feud divides the town of Belle Dam, Washington.  In the search for the secrets of his past, Braden returns here after abandoning the only family he’s ever known.  His gift of the ‘witch eyes,’ something he considers a curse, makes his magic exceptional, but is killing him a little more each time he uses it.  He’s immediately gets drawn between the two rival witch dynasties, each of whom hope to use him for their own ends.   His life grows even more complicated when the one guy he’s interested in turns out to be the only guy in town he can’t have.

There’s also a book trailer link in the sidebar, if you’re interested.  It was done by my friend and writing partner, Leah Clifford.  There’s also a link to her blog so you should check it out!

Edit:  You can read the PM announcement of the deal over on my fantastic, amazing agent’s blog over here.

An Exciting Announcement!

I am beyond thrilled to announce that WITCH EYES and a sequel are going to be published by Flux starting in the summer of 2011!

First of all, I could NOT have done this without my incredible agent, Colleen Lindsay.   She’s kinda like that big sister I never had, who ADORES teasing me and doing the phone/email equivalent of mussing up my hair.  But she’s believed in Braden’s story since the beginning, and has been so great along the way.  I mean, this is a woman who told me that when she was reading the full, she shouted at the manuscript while out in public when the characters were riiiight on the cusp of doing something.  C’mon, how could you NOT enjoy that?

And I’m so thrilled to be working with Brian Farrey at Flux.  Even when he was sick, he was still incredibly funny and insightful when I talked to him.  Plus, when I asked him his preferred way of communicating with his authors?  OUIJA BOARDS.  Is that not the most awesome answer ever?

WITCH EYES was the book that, while I was writing it, I knew it was The One.  So I’m so incredibly thankful and happy to have found that I’m not the only one who thinks its good!

So thank you to everyone over the years for all the kind words and support!!!!

Before I Come Undone

I’m not as far along in the edits as I’d like to be (for my own sanity) but paying the bills is becoming slightly more important.  I know, priorities, right?

I’m in the middle half of the book, and there’s a bunch of shifting going on.  One of the problems I was having with the story was because of the pacing.  Not the pacing itself.  Just the fact that because I was trying to keep things moving, and keep things "balanced" the setup in a few scenes is really…weird.  So what I did was take a handy little sheet of paper, and sketch out a list of each day the story takes place, and the list of major events that happens on those scenes.

And what I noticed is that on two of those days, if I shifted some of the scenes around (and in one case changed the first half of the scene to better reflect what’s going on) then things should progress a lot smoother.  For example, there’s a major actiony scene that takes place on a Thursday.  And the effects of it continue on through Saturday.  But in the middle of Saturday, there’s a scene where Braden’s having coffee.

Really?  The world’s about to end and you’re stopping for coffee?  It just didn’t make a lot of sense.

But by blocking it out, I can see how things should progress in a different way, and think that should alleviate some of my concerns.  Plus, it’ll give me some nice downtime before I really get to mess up poor Braden’s little world.  Which is always, always fun for me.

Still haven’t come up with any really fun snippets in editting the last two days.  But that’s mostly because the section before this was pretty okay.