Starry…Blog Post

Oh, hello, friends. I have a new blog post up at EMU’s Debuts today called “No Fault in These Stars.” I know, it’s the cleverest title you’ve ever read, totally not derivative of any bestselling YA books or famous Shakespeare quotes or anything. Here’s a visual hint as to what it’s about:

Oh, wow, three whole stars!

Oh, wow, three whole stars!

OK, that wasn’t actually a very good picture to share, because it doesn’t have a lot of stars in it. February wasn’t exactly my most productive month when it came to drafting. April was much better–click over to the post to check out that pic and more. 🙂

In other news, the wonderful Krista van Dolzer of Mother.Write.Repeat. has sold her debut middle-grade novel to my very own editor, Shauna Rossano at Putnam! I’m so thrilled for everyone involved, but especially for you readers, who will get to experience the awesomeness that is THE REGENERATED MAN in 2015.

I can’t think of too much more news to share…well, except that Animal Planet is apparently coming to my house this weekend to interview me about parasites, but that’s probably a story for another day.

Happy May!

Cover ideas, book 2 obsessions, and more

I’ve got a new post up today at EMU’s Debuts called “Obsessing about book 2.” Because, ya know, worrying about the book that’s actually getting published just isn’t enough. 🙂

Speaking of that book, many people have been asking for updates recently, so here’s what I’ve got.

1) The book is still scheduled to come out in Summer of 2014. I don’t have an official release date yet.

2) My editor and I are still trying to come up with the perfect title. I’ll keep ya posted!

3) I recently finished a second round of edits on the book, and am feeling good about how they turned out. I imagine that there will be some more tweaking before the text is set, but for now, I’m pretty happy with where things stand.

4) My publisher is starting to think about cover designs, which is very exciting, and my editor asked me to share a few of my favorite MG covers. I have no idea whether they’ll end up influencing the ultimate design, but they are pretty so I thought I’d share a few here, too!

I love the nighttime cityscape and the silhouetted boy. And the title!

I love the nighttime cityscape and the silhouetted boy. And the title!

I love the new Harry Potter cover--Hogsmeade by night!

Oooh, the new Harry Potter cover–Diagon Alley by night!



So, it seems that I am a fan of nighttime scenes and the color blue. Which probably means that Gladys will end up having a bright pink cover, but you know what? That would be fine. Pink is actually a really important color in the book, and also, MY BOOK IS GETTING PUBLISHED NEXT YEAR, so what do I have to complain about? 🙂

Back on the radar!

Fair Coin

One of my favorites of 2012!

I have a new blog post up at EMU’s Debuts today: EMU’s Best Under-the-Radar Kids’ Books of 2012!

If you’re looking for a couple of book recommendations–or have some of your own to share–we’d love to have you stop by.


Another of my favorites of 2012!

As you may have noticed, this blog has been under the radar a bit lately, too. I have approximately 400 excellent excuses for that, but rather than bore you with them, I’ll just say that once my current round of edits on Gladys Gatsby get done (probably in March), I do have big plans for some exciting new features here. In the meantime, you can always catch me on Facebook or Twitter…and here are a few posts I’ve done elsewhere over the last couple of months:

Bring on 2013! @ Writer, Writer, Pants on Fire

Bouncer Interview with Tara Dairman @ Cupid’s Literary Connection (where I was “Bouncer Myrtle” in the still-ongoing Blind Speed Dating event)

It’s Launch Week for BLAZE! @ EMU’s Debuts (Seriously, check out BLAZE by Laurie Boyle Crompton, a terrific new YA book!)

I hope that the new year has been treating you well so far. 🙂

Two new blog posts

I know, it seems like I’m blogging everywhere but here these days!

I have a new post up today at EMU’s Debuts called “Based on True Events”–it’s about the surprising way that reality sometimes sneaks into fiction. If you’re a fellow writer, I’d love to hear about a scene or aspect of your book that readers wouldn’t guess was drawn from real life!

The post also contains cute (and totally relevant) pictures of my former bunnies. 🙂

And Andy and I also have another post up on our travel blog called “Shark, Whale, Lamb-dog, and Other Foods of Iceland,” which clearly requires no further explanation.

Hanging out with some Icelandic rotten shark

Happy reading!

New post up at EMU’s Debuts

Hello, faithful blog readers! I have a new post up today over at EMU’s Debuts called “What to Expect When You’re Expecting an Editorial Letter.”

If you are hoping to receive such a letter yourself one of these years, you might like to check it out. If you’re my mom or my aunt or someone else who isn’t sure what an editorial letter* is, you might be less interested.

So I turned in my first round of revisions on Monday, and am heading to Iceland (!!) for a week this Friday. When I get back, it’ll probably be time to start revising all over again, though I’ll try to squeeze in a travel recap post of sorts.

Happy Wednesday!

*For the record, an editorial letter is the long note that your editor writes you about all the aspects of your book that need some work, accompanied by a deadline by which you need to make the revisions.

Kidlit authors gone wild!

To celebrate the launch of NERVE by Jeanne Ryan, the EMU’s Debuts (the group of kidlit debut authors I blog with) challenged the Friday the Thirteeners (a group of YA authors debuting in 2013) to a dare-off.

Well, today the video results are posted, and holy moly, you have GOT to go check them out!

The EMUs, for example have an interpretive dance about dead chickens, a romantic ode to a doorknob, the world’s most painful conference critique section, and even yours truly stuffing her gullet while reading from MATILDA. 🙂 (Happy belated birthday, Mr. Dahl!)

And The Thirteeners, for example, have a novel scene performed by condiments, an all-original movie trailer in which Bella Swan hooks up with The Count (yes, that Count, from Sesame Street), and the funniest story I have ever heard from the perspective of a carrot.

Seriously, why are you still here? Click! Go! And leave comments on both blogs for two chances to win a signed copy of NERVE!

It’s launch day for Katerina’s Wish!

I’m so thrilled that my friend (and fellow Coloradoan) Jeannie Mobley’s gorgeous debut novel, Katerina’s Wish, is hitting bookstores today! Last week, we had a launch party over at EMU’s Debuts (featuring a post by yours truly on how to make Czech plum dumplings, which are an important meal in the book), and now the book is out in the world. You should strongly consider getting yourself a copy–after all, it’s received starred reviews from Kirkus and Publisher’s Weekly, not to mention five stars at Goodreads from me. 🙂

Here’s my review.

Katerina's WishKaterina’s Wish by Jeannie Mobley

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Quite simply, I adored this book. It reminded me of the very best historical fiction I read as a kid, in that I didn’t feel like I was learning a history lesson at all–I just felt totally immersed in the world of the story and invested in the fate of the main character’s family as forces beyond their control threatened to crush them.

With skeptical-yet-hopeful Katerina, the author creates a wonderful character to guide us through life in a turn-of-the-century coal camp. She concocts various schemes to try to earn enough money to get her family out of the camp and into possession of a piece of land they can farm. But the powers that be at the camp aren’t about to let her have her way so easily.

I hope that this book finds its place both in classrooms and far beyond them, because anyone who enjoys a beautifully-written and tension-filled story will love it.

View all my reviews

You can read the opening pages of the book here on the Simon & Schuster website. Go get’em, Trina!

Monkeying around

Hi, folks! Today I’ve got a new post up at EMU’s Debuts,“A Fly on the Monkey Bars,” that’s basically about spying on kids while they read your book. It also features some handy-dandy, one-of-a-kind, Gladys-inspired computer art by yours truly. Come check it out!

Also, have you been following the MSFV Success Story Blog Hop? We have a new interview every day for the first two weeks of August, and they all feature authors who have found agents and/or a publishing deal through contests held at the Miss Snark’s First Victim blog! You can start here with the first one and follow the links through the days. My interview of David Kazzie will go up here on August 15.

My plans for today include some teaching, some writing, and some birthday-cake-baking. What are you up to?

Launch week for Flying the Dragon!

Just a quick note to say that it’s now officially LAUNCH WEEK (woohoo!) for my friend and agency-mate Natalie Dias Lorenzi‘s lovely middle-grade book, Flying the Dragon, over at the EMU’s Debuts blog. Today I have coauthored a post with another writer named Tara, in which we interview editor Emily Mitchell and agent Erin Murphy and give away a signed copy of the book. Come check it out! (And come back every day this week–we’ll have new posts up daily to celebrate this book’s release.)

If you’d like to know more about the book before you leave this page, here’s my review from Goodreads:

Flying the DragonFlying the Dragon by Natalie Dias Lorenzi

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Every time the characters in this book had a meal, I got hungry for Japanese food–to the point where I actually ran down to the Asian grocery store for ingredients and made myself some yakisoba. =)

More seriously, this was a lovely, sweet read about the challenges of trying to live between two cultures. The two main characters, Japanese Hiroshi and his American cousin Skye, were so easy to connect to; you could really feel their frustration as they tried to learn each others’ languages and as Hiroshi struggled to adapt to life in America. The author did a terrific job of making the most mundane American actions–like eating spaghetti with a fork, or calling a teacher by her last name–feel foreign to Hiroshi. And when Hiroshi shows up at school wearing a face mask because he has a cold, Skye’s mortification for her cousin is almost palpable.

Clearly, I loved many little moments in this book and look forward to its release so that others can enjoy it, too!

View all my reviews