Entries in novel (3)


My Debut Checklist in Progress

(republished from The Class of 2k12)

So, SCARLET has not yet launched.  It will do that quite soon (ahem!  Valentine’s Day! ahem!) but this is a blog of debut authors, so I’m going to go ahead and give you the down and dirty details of what I’ve done so far–and maybe at the end of the year I can tell you what really paid off and what didn’t!

Don’t hold me to that.

Join a group. Like…um…this one.  I’ve never had a kid, but I imagine it’s kind of like having a baby when NO ONE YOU KNOW HAS EVER HAD A CHILD and trying to figure out how to go from there.  Get help.  Get friends.  It’s going to get confusing, exciting, frustrating and thrilling, and you need someone who is going through the same thing.

Pick swag. For me, this was tshirts, postcards, a few stickers and a few hair combs. You DO need something for giveaways.  You DON’T need to spend much.  Buy something fun (I love my tshirts) so you can say yes when people ask–which they will.  Be ready.

Buy Photoshop (and learn how to use it). From swag to stickers to postcard layouts, to website banners, headers, footers and everything in between, I use Photoshop constantly.  The cheap one–don’t go crazy.  I’m not graphically talented, but it saves me a lot of time and effort with a designer.  I DO design my own website (on the supremely easy SquareSpace) so this really comes in handy.

Send postcards. I sent postcards to all the indies I could find (and Indiebound lets you find a lot) and could justify the cost of sending to.  This has paid off.  I sent them to schools; this has NOT paid off.  Find English teachers’ email addresses and email them–it’s much, much more effective.  (If you want to know what to do with them, Saundra Mitchell explains it wayy better here)

My swaggy tshirts!

Plan a party and schedule a vacation. Somewhere in all the interviews, contests, reviews and copy edits, you’ll have this flicker of a moment where you’re just like “wasn’t this supposed to be the funnest thing EVER?” because it doesn’t feel like it.  Which is when you get over that feeling, and schedule yourself some fun time.  I’m having a pre-launch family and friends party to take the night off and actually celebrate (because I have NO IDEA how to do that) and…welll…scheduling a vacation is still on my to-do list.  But I already recognize how much you need to schedule some down time into the madness.  Plus I've been sending my two best buds emergency Mexican-and-Margaritas-night-needed texts. 

Say yes to everything physically possible. Interview? YES!  Donation?  Yes!  Giveaway?  Of course!  Kidney?  Ye–wait, what? YES!  Right now I have no idea what will pay off, what will get my name out there, what will be that magic ticket to the Willy Wonka factory (which is where we’re all trying to go…right?).

Find some way to reinvest your heart. I haven’t launched yet, and this is madness.  It’s such a learning curve, it’s such a crazy new process that I have no experience in–and that gives me anxiety!  And then add on the squishy feeling of this thing that was once super personal becoming super public (and weirdly unattached to you) and it’s easy to get emotionally depleted.  So whether it’s time with your family, committing to a passion project (cough GLOW!!! cough), taking time off, or even working on something that will never see the light of day, find a way to protect your heart and have it do little heart push-ups.  This is an amazing process, this is a growing process, and your heart needs to be Schwarzenegger’ed out to survive with your creativity intact.


start of something new

so for a while now, it's been a dream of mine to kind of combine reading and writing and empowering young women to find their own personal voices, and i haven't known how to go about it.  i dreamed of starting a center with the thousands i would get from my writing career, etc, but lately i've been really agitated about it.

it really sucks to be a girl right now!  ever!  now maybe less than ever, but the things that girls have to think about and consider that they should never ever have to really suck.  like can i walk home alone?  can i walk to the T alone?  does this skirt pose a safety issue?  is having my hair down salacious?  if i acknowledge that i have a sex drive, does that make me a slut?

and then all this doubles over into literature, and my concerns bubble and magnify.

so basically, the long and short is that i started a new blog.  it's called speakeasygirls.  it's gonna be fun.

Janice Hardy's THE SHIFTER

Ok, so I haven't been sleeping much due to no longer taking heavy duty pain meds, and last night I finally read the book that I pre-ordered two weeks ago and then didn't really feel well enough to read in the hospital (or after).

Oh, my, god.  First off, I loved it.  I found out about it through Kristin Nelson's blog (her agent, as it were), and was really interested by the promise of a fairly unique fantasy and I fell helplessly in love with the story.  Nya is my kind of narrator, with a gentle introspection and lightly self-deprecating humor while still being powerful, loving, and a little flawed.

Taken from Janice Hardy's site:

Fifteen-year-old Nya is an orphan struggling for survival in a city crippled by war. She is also a Taker—with her touch, she can heal injuries, pulling pain from another person and storing it inside her own body. But unlike her sister Tali and the other Takers who become Healer’s League apprentices, Nya’s skill is flawed: she can’t push that pain into pynvium, the enchanted metal used to store person to person, a dangerous skill that she must keep hidden from forces occupying her city. If discovered, she’d be used as a human weapon against her own people.

Rumors of another war make Nya’s life harder, forcing her to take desperate risks just to find work and food. She pushes her luck too far and exposes her secret to a pain merchant eager to use her shifting ability for his own sinister purpose. At first, Nya refuses, but faced with some difficult choices. As her father used to say,
principles are a bargain at any price, but how many will Nya have to sell to get Tali back alive?

Seriously, this book just rocked.  The world was believable and real, and Hardy struck this great cord between "fantasy speak" and contemporary speak that always kept me a little off kilter and totally engaged.

And OMG, the romantic interest is hootttt.  Loved him. But don't believe me; read an excerpt here.

I can't wait for the sequel.  Congratulations on a stunning, terrific debut, Janice!