Saturday, July 23, 2016


So I've made an official website for author stuff. This blog is still pretty attached to my personal life and I'd like to draw the line a little clearer, especially as a military spouse in these ugly times. Might leave what's here up, though. Haven't quite decided.

You can find me over at

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Talko Tuesday, July 19th 2016

I once ran a half marathon where toward the end, the course ran under the highway. Right before you went into the underpass, you saw the high school where everything ended. It was right there. Just on the other side of the highway.

You could hear the music.

You could hear the cheers.

It was so close you could taste it.

But when you came out of the tunnel, the path didn't go up and right, it went down and left. That's when I realized the last mile marker had been 11, which meant 2 miles to go. So I plunged into the woods, trying to ignore the sense that I was losing elevation in addition to going the wrong way. That feeling melted away, however, when the path finally turned back and I saw the treeline. I burst into the sunshine with a "Yessssss!"

And that's when I saw it. The path didn't look exactly like this:

But it was close.


Back and forth.

For another mile and a half.

And that's what my copy edits experience was like.

I got the manuscript back from the publisher about 9 days earlier than expected, but also about 2 days before the "very earliest" I could reasonably expect it. I had until July 14th (2 weeks) to turn them back in. This is not a complaint. 

Ever flexible, I made a plan of attack: I would go through the manuscript in the first week, making (or denying) corrections, then I would make a "clean" copy with changes accepted/rejected and comments deleted. After a couple days off from the book, I would read that on my kindle, making notes of places to check, change, or smooth. I did all this while prepping for a road trip and to teach a 2.5 hour class at the writing center. 'Cause I'm Batman!

Everything was on track until I came home from teaching my class, totally braindead, but happy. I had an email from the head editor of the publisher saying wonderful things about all the revisions... but... well, to sum up, she wanted stuff added. Like two chapters worth. I was too fried to react more than this: 

We're gonna need a bigger book.

And I'm not complaining. I totally wanted to do the things. But I only had five days until the deadline, and I still needed to read the manuscript again and also drive 600 miles with five kids in a minivan. So I asked for more time, which they gave.

Here's the cool part.

This road trip was so grandparents could take 3/5 of my kids camping, leaving me with two teens that mostly wanted to be left alone. I had more free time than I've had in years.

We went hiking, we picked blueberries, we went to a theme park. And I still hit the ORIGINAL deadline of July 14th. Medal. T-shirt. Banana.

Look at me and my bad self!


And since this blog entry has gone long, I'll just link to my other news item, that I have a (not-final) jacket description of the book posted on Goodreads. Oh, and a new title if you didn't know.

And last but not least...


I was set for Fall 2017, but the release is now set for... 

June 20th, 2017

Are you excited? I'm excited!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Talko Tuesday, June 14th 2016

Okay so nothing happened that changed anything this week, but a lot of things are happening. Got it?

I'll explain. First off, this baby finally came:

It may shock you to realize how much work I put into editing my manuscript for the publisher when I hadn't actually signed the contract (also: hadn't received a dime), but it's okay. Contracts, especially from bigger publishers, take lots of time because lawyers charge by the hour and bigger companies have more to lose. So this is standard procedure. I sweated blood over the last couple months to make this book better for them not because I was worried they'd drop me or something (though frankly, every debut author has this fear deep down), but because I trusted my agent and my editors and my publisher enough to know this was all going through.

That being said, signing the contract was a huge relief and getting paid will be pretty nice.

(I'll explain how advances and stuff work in another post.)

As a subtext, it was worth noting a section of the contract was struck out, namely the part saying I would deliver the revised manuscript by such-and-such date. Translation: what I turned in a couple weeks ago was acceptable to the level that only copy-edits (style, grammar, punctuation, typos) are left. My edits are good to go.

**wipes sweat off brow**

Copy edits will arrive in a few weeks. Good news: They will come at a time best for my schedule. Bad news: Copy edits are waaaaaaay more complicated than they sound.

Fun news: The book is done enough that the marketing team at the publisher is going through it. So far they love it (yay!), but from other authors I know this means soon there will be copies going out for cover blurbs, and I will be having talks with a publicist at some point. These were also things I don't think could really start happening until the contract was signed.

Meanwhile I have lovely things to focus on. The Swankies (debut authors of 2017) have an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) sharing network, and I got my first, Frostblood, this past week. I'll be reviewing it on Goodreads soon, but I'll say now that I liked it, it was easy to read, and I look forward to buying my (soon-to-be) 12 year-old a copy when it comes out. It safe and appropriate for kids that young (many YA books are not).

Otherwise I am editing (with a green pen) a chapter book written by the daughter of a friend. She's young, but she's got real talent. I only wish I could help her faster, but it takes focus for more than 5 minutes, which has been hard to find lately. Beta reading - which I am doing for another Swanky right now, and the book is sooooo good so far - is easier to do in small snatches, as was reading Frostblood.

Also coming up soon I will be heavy-beta reading the manuscript of a USNA classmate. Looking forward to that.

Been writing bits for my work in progress (writer slang is WIP) and more on what I hope will be a sequel to this book that's being published. Need to focus on the latter, probably, though the other one is good for preventing fatigue. Getting ready to teach my first class at the local writing center, too! (Can you see why I'm glad copy edits aren't coming for a few more weeks?)

So that's what I meant by nothing has happened, but things are happening.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

What I'm Reading Wednesday, Volume I

Here is a list of books I've picked up in the last week. I tend to leave them scattered around the house and pick them up according to mood.

On the Meldon Plain by Pam Brondos
         Good, but a bit slow at this point. I lost my copy under a pile of papers and recently just found it while cleaning my desk.

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas (finished)
        Predictable as the first book, though I liked it better than A Court of Thorns and Roses (Tamlin was kind of lame as a love interest and the whole "3 tests" was just overdone IMO), but this is not a young adult book. Very explicit sex.

Insurgent by Veronica Roth
        Very easy to read. Also fairly easy to put down.

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
        Every time I pick this up, it makes me depressed about my own writing.

Henna House by Nomi Eve (finished)
        Incredible historical fiction about Yemeni Jews in the early 20th century

The Crescent Spy by Michael Wallace (finished)
        Good Civil War historical fiction. I only wish I knew how much of it was true!

The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski
        Enjoying the world building, but it's easy to put down for me.

Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas.
         Why isn't this grabbing me? Not uninteresting or unpleasant, just very easy to put down and forget.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Talko Tuesday: June 7, 2016

I'm going to try to make Tuesdays a day for updates and news.

Soooo.... edits.

Yeah. Been through 2 rounds now.

Intense. Brain-frying. It is so much harder to do things with other people depending on me. It's all made worse by the fact that it usually takes me 2 tries to get something right. Always has.

Which makes me suspect the stuff I just turned in will need more than a curry comb.

And I can't say more because I'm just waiting to hear back whether it's good enough to head into copy edits.


There's other things going on behind the curtain that I don't know about yet because I've been focusing on these edits. I'm in this weird limbo of not being able to do anything other than the edits, which is probably a main reason I've thrown myself so hard against that wall.

I wish I had more to say on the book front, but maybe next week I'll have more.

In other news, I'm going to be teaching two classes at the local writing center this summer! Not only that, but I have students (plural!) signed up in both!

Also your local Barnes & Noble is hosting B-Fest this weekend for young adult books. Even though I don't have anything to give or say, I'm participating as a volunteer. Obviously I have a vested interest in making this a success so they do it next year.

What I'm working on most outside DAS BOOK:
           A Cinderella retelling I call A Rather Unusual Shoe.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

I'm on Goodreads and so is DAS BOOK

Superbusytimes going on right now, and on top of that, the Edit Letter of Doom has arrived.

Just kidding, it's not that bad.

help me

I'm 2000- 1901% sure that the title is going to change, but you can do something very cool RIGHT NOW. You can go to Goodreads and mark my book as "Want to Read."

Do eeeeet.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Behind the Scenes: Preparing to Prepare

During the various parts of this process, I feverishly researched what the next step would be like. So while I was revising, I also beefed up on the query process. Before even I had my SuperAgent, I researched submissions to publishers, because what else are you going to do while waiting weeks to hear back?

Not much info on submission, by the way, other than it sucks because it's like Fight Club: First Rule is you don't talk about it. At any given moment you could have someone making a career altering decision about your book and the last thing they want to find when they look you up is your TMI despair or temper tantrum on a blog or in a tweet. You can't vent on how many rejections or close calls you've had. Sometimes this lasts years.

I'd like to throw back the curtain on that process, but I'm sorry not sorry for not having a lot of details to tell- my book sold very quickly (about 10 weeks, a couple weeks of negotiating some details, and we announced about 6 weeks later), and for that I am endlessly thankful. Like, every-day-prayers-of-thanks grateful.

But the desert of the submission process is made even more difficult by the lack of info on the next steps of editing, cover design, interior design, marketing... I get dizzy just thinking about it. I was recently inducted into the Swanky 17s, which is a group for debut authors releasing in 2017 (btw- I still can't believe I can call myself an "author"). As of right now, I'm not listed as an author, but everything is volunteer-run and there is so much going on that things take time- no complaints. We have private forums to discuss news and exchange info and support freely.

It. Is. Amazing.

And we're in different places in the publication pipeline- some are getting ARCs and copy edits soon. Information: I haz it!

But it's not public, so as I go along, I want to share what's going on with it as I can. A lot of things will be after the fact. Everyone's process is going to be different- some books need very little editing and some need complete re-writes, so my journey will not be yours. It will be something you can read about which I could not.

So my status now?

-Waiting on my editing package (NOT a complaint, this shizz takes time)
-Building my Goodreads Author page (clicky HERE... someone please tell me is this doesn't work)
-Brainstorming possible title changes (want to have the best one, which may be the original, but we won't know until we think about it real hard)
-Blogging (check that box today)
-Supporting other 2017 Authors
-Reading and reviewing other books (which is HARD when you read something you don't like)
-Mentally screaming in joy and terror as I see book bloggers tweet their excitement over my book
-Writing more stuff

Wish I had more exciting things to report, but I'll settle for knowing plenty of excitement is on the way.