Friday, April 19, 2013

Class of 2K13 Blog Post

I have a new blog post over at the Class of 2K13 site today, discussing: Language, Sex, Violence, (generic) Lucky Charms, and ANOTHER LITTLE PIECE. You can find it here

Monday, April 15, 2013

Can You Take It?

How have two weeks passed already? It doesn't seem possible, but it must be true, because it is time for another blog chain. Today Alyson is kicking things off with this question:

Have you developed thick skin as a writer? How do you handle having your work critiqued? Do you love revising? Hate it?

This is a wonderfully timely question, because RIGHT NOW (not right this exact minute, at this exact minute I am writing this blog post) I am working on my first round of editorial revisions for my book that will be coming out next year.

When I received the editorial letter from my wonderful editor, Erica Sussman at HarperTeen, I had the exact same reaction as did with the letter for ANOTHER LITTLE PIECE. And that was, "Wow. She is good."

I didn't feel hurt or upset or anything like that at all. This is no doubt because - once again - Erica is so wonderful and really good at saying, "This character is so great, BUT..." and then going on to list the things that need to be changed. The end result was that I didn't feel attacked, but rather like she and I were on the same team and had the same goal of trying to make my book be the best that it could possibly be.

And for me that was a really awesome and even empowering position, because (and I think most writers feel this way at some point, or at all points) after grinding my teeth through a first draft and then finishing it up and cleaning it up and sending it out - I was so close to it that I couldn't see the difference between what was total crap and what was golden.

I should also mention that besides my brilliant editor, I also get feedback throughout the terrible first drafting stage from my wonderful crit partner (and the creator of this topic) - Alyson. Her critique style is actually really similar to my editor's in that she makes sure to mention what is working, while also being totally straight-forward about the things that are stinking like last week's trash.

So I don't know if I've developed a thick skin, so much as I've been extremely lucky in finding really super people who give me the best critiques and notes ever.

Those are my thoughts for this blog chain, but this is only the start of it! Keep following along by checking out Sandra's blog tomorrow!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Giveaways and Excerpts

If you are interested in getting a sneak peak at what hides behind the beautiful cover of ANOTHER LITTLE PIECE, then you are in luck.

Last week Blythe Harris of Finding Bliss In Books celebrated her blogoversary with eight days of giveaways.  She also invited a bunch of debut authors to join in the fun and among them was... me! My contribution was an exclusive excerpt from ANOTHER LITTLE PIECE. Blythe is also giving away an ARC and some very cool ALP swag. You have 31 days left to check it out - not only how to win a copy of ALP, but a bunch of other amazing debut novels.

And speaking of giveaways, don't forget to that HarperTeen is giving away 25 copies of ANOTHER LITTLE PIECE though Goodreads. You have until May 11th to enter that one.

Also, I recently did an interview with the BloggerGirlz that you can find here

And finally, this past Saturday I was part of the Lucky 13s #bookblitz on Twitter. For anyone who missed it, random numbers were tweeted and the Lucky 13s responded with a line from that page number. If you want to check out the random quotes from ALP you can find them on my Twitter feed or my author page on facebook

Monday, April 1, 2013

The Non-Fiction Report

It's time for another blog chain and that's no joke (yep, that's it for my obligatory nod to April Fools Day - a holiday that I kind of hate). Sandra is kicking of the chain with this question:

We all know it's important to read fiction if you want to write fiction, but what about reading non-fiction? How much non-fiction do you read? What kinds of non-fiction books do you read, and why? Has reading non-fiction influenced your fiction writing style?

Okay, so this question makes me feel a little guilty, because my non-fiction reading has been nearly non-existent lately. Memoirs (more on the creative end of non-fiction, I know) used to be a large part of my to-be-read pile, but the last one I read was Jeannette Walls' THE GLASS CASTLE. I've also really enjoyed Jon Krakauer's INTO THIN AIR and INTO THE WILD and Michael Pollan's THE OMNIVORE'S DILEMMA, and have been meaning to read one of Malcolm Gladwell's books that look to be in a similar vein. But I haven't yet.

The reason I haven't been reading more non-fiction isn't due to lack of interest, but rather lack of time. I squeeze reading in during doctor's appointments and at the end of the day in the space between climbing into bed and turning of the lights (although, this is actually a terrible time for me to read, because I inevitably get sucked into my book and hours pass before the lights go out and then I am very cranky the next morning).

Still, I feel that non-fiction is important and while I may not have time for a book, I do get some into my word diet in other ways. 

Number one is through the news. I listen to the news on NPR and follow a lot of their online coverage as well - like this recent story through Planet Money about the surprising rise of disability. I get my local paper on the weekend. And everyday The New York Times is kind enough to send me an email with a listing of their top stories. I tend to read the human interest stories and political stories that feel important like last weeks Supreme Court hearings.

Number two is through NPR podcasts (yes, I know, I do love me some NPR). I download This American Life, RadioLab, and Pop Culture Happy Hour onto my iPod and then listen during my commute to work or the grocery store or wherever. Yes, I do often end up sitting in my car, long after I've reached my destination because I want to keep listening, but that is a small price to pay.

And number three is...

Okay, I don't have a number three. Or I didn't, but now I do - I am putting Outliers: The Story of Success onto my 'want to read' list. It's there and I am going to read it... one of these days...

How do the rest of the blog-chainers get their non-fiction fix? You'll have to keep following the chain to find out, and that means checking out Sandra's blog tomorrow.