Saturday, March 16, 2013




Saturday, February 16, 2013

Things That Are Awesome!

-I’ve raved about this already but I recently read an ARC of REBOOT by Amy Tintera and it’s so awesome y’all. You don’t understand. You need to preorder this one or at the very least add it to your Goodreads to-read list.

-This birthday cake I made for my son. Anyone who follows me on twitter or who is a friend on my personal Facebook will have seen this picture already, but this beast took me hours to make and I think that at least earns me bragging rights via several social media forums. Witness the handmade construction signs, the “dirt”, the construction tape around the base…tell me that is not one cool cake for a 3 year old! (It's lopsided but ignore that part). 

-This gift basket. After I heard that I’d landed an agent to represent film/TV rights for HEXED, my sister surprised me with this. It’s possibly the most thoughtful gift in the history of ever, for several reasons. Firstly, I wasn’t expecting it AT ALL. Like, not even a little bit. Secondly, because it’s so well thought out. The theme on this one is “Movie Night”. Inside are movies, plus the books that inspired them. She even got me Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants, which is especially thoughtful since my editor, Wendy, edited that series. There’s also nachos and salsa—my favorite!—and a cozy TV blanket that matches my living room d├ęcor. How awesome is this gift?

-And finally....Fancy websites are awesome!!!  I asked the completely amazing Hafsah over at Icey Designs to take on the task of designing me a new website and blog. I forewarned her that I’m picky—incredibly picky—but ahh, how she doubted. I think I can now safely speak for her when I say that she probably needs therapy for post traumatic stress disorder, along with the photographer who took my author photo and my husband.  BUT, we came out of it with such a fantastic website that I like to think it was all worth it (We won’t ask Hafsah her opinion on that). But seriously, bless that woman. She’s a saint.

Thus, this blog will be moving in a few days. My website is already up and running, and I'm so excited to finally share it with everyone! Check it out!!!! 

You can easily reach the new blog via my website, but if you’re looking for the direct link it’s this:

I’m going to work things so that hopefully anyone searching for my blog over here will get redirected to the new site, but it also doesn’t hurt to re-subscribe to my new blog to be on the safe side.

Thanks for all the support, guys.  And if you’re looking to have a website designed or to revamp the look of your blog, go with Icey Designs. You will not be disappointed! 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Why it's taking so long for my book to come out

Approximately 3756 times a day I get asked when my book is coming out, and nearly 100% of the queriers are SHOCKED when I tell them that it isn’t until March 2014. (And I got my book deal almost a year ago, so imagine the shock when I got asked back then!). Often times when I give this response, someone mentions their friend or relative whose book is coming out next month, and wants to know why mine isn’t coming out that soon too.

Fair enough.

But it’s a bit of complicated answer, so to save anyone from having to hear my awkward, rambling, nonsensical speech once again, I thought it was about time I did a blog post for the non-writers in my life to explain.

There are a couple different ways a person can go about getting a book published. One of them is traditional publishing and another is self-publishing.

Traditional publishing is when a publishing house (such as Random House, Harper Collins, etc) buys the book rights from the author. They pay the author an advance against future earnings, edit the book together with the author, design and package the book, market the book, and distribute the book to the public.

With self-publishing, the author basically becomes their own publisher. The author provides the funds to publish their book (for example on Amazon), as well as to create a cover. The author is also responsible for editing, marketing, distribution, etc. of their book.

Both forms of publishing are valid ways to get a book out there into reader’s hands. Each has their own positive and negative aspects, and no one way one way is better than the other. But I’m not going to get into detail on that because that’s not the point of this post (and also no sane author willingly enters a conversation about traditional versus self-publishing).

Why my book is taking so long to come out:

When you self-publish a book, you’re in charge—your book comes out when you’re ready to put it out. When you publish through a traditional publisher it takes much longer to see your book on the shelf (on average 1-2 years from the time you get a book deal).

My book is coming out through a traditional publisher: Random House.

1-2 years is a long time, right? Some might say painfully long. But a lot goes on in that time. A LOT. Here are some of the things:

  • The book’s editor writes an editorial letter for the author, marking all the areas that she thinks need work on a broader level. This can be anything from ‘This character isn’t working for me’ to ‘I think this particular plot needs re-thinking’. The letter can be anywhere from a single page to 30 pages long (a friend’s letter was 28 pages!). Creating this letter takes time—sometimes upwards of a few months as editors have many authors on their list and other demands on their time. Of course it also takes time to complete the changes after the author receives the letter, also sometimes months. Once the changes are made and the author ships the book back to the editor, the editor needs to read it again and:
  •  Line edit, which is basically when the editor goes through the manuscript looking for issues on a sentence level (And that’s if you’re lucky enough to get through just one round of major edits!). The editor is now looking for things like awkward wording, repeat words, sentences or paragraphs that need clarifying, etc. The editor then sends the line-edited manuscript to the author to review, make changes, and send back. When this is done:
  • The book goes to the copy editor, who looks for spelling and grammar errors that may have been missed and also for consistency issues. In my experience, copyeditors are geniuses. (Fun fact: If you’re my copyeditor, then you had to properly format ‘I want to tap that ass’ with the right quotation marks. I like to think that she loved her life when this happened). The author then receives the copyedited manuscript to read over, accept the changes, and send back to the editor. After this comes:
  • First page passes, wherein the book is printed out with the proper font and spacing that will appear in the final book. This is sent to the author, who will read it over, accept, and then send back to the editor. Are you noticing a trend here? After this comes:
  • Advance reading copies (ARCs): these are uncorrected advanced copies of the book that come out several months before publication. They’re sent to reviewers and book bloggers and are used in giveaways and probably a lot of other things I don’t know about yet because I’m not yet at this stage.
  • Of course during all this time, there’s a lot going on behind the curtains that the author never sees. The art department is busy creating a beautiful cover for the book. Marketing and publicity are generating media and public interest in your book. The subsidiary rights team is hawking your book to foreign publishers all over the world. And I know I’m probably missing many steps here.

This is all to say: it seems like a LONG time (and it is a LONG time), but a lot of really great and important stuff is going on during that time. So it’s all good. And stuff.

I’m starting to wonder if this blog post was more to make me feel better.

**For a complete guide to publishing from the point when the book is written see author Alison Cherry’s post here. Also add her book to Goodreads while you’re at it! 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

The one where I convince my friend to like YA

A friend of mine claims to dislike YA. It’s shocking and awful and hard to believe, but it actually gets worse: Paulina This nameless pal of mine says she doesn’t just dislike YA, she *hates* it.

Where is a fainting couch when you need one?

So this is obviously unacceptable and must be rectified immediately. And so I’ve struck a deal with my friend. A deal wherein she can only say she hates YA after she reads ten books of my recommendation. Being a good sport, she’s agreed.

I’ve thought long and hard about what books to recommend. This is obviously really important, and I feel a big responsibility to get it right. At first I tried to tailor my suggestions to the adult books ,my friend likes, but in the end I decided to go with my gut and pick my absolute favorite, 5 star reads. Books that I devoured in a day. Books that made me stay up late in the night, be late for work, and neglect personal hygiene to read. I hope I’ve made the right decision!

And so without further ado, here they are. The books that will convert Paulina to a YA lover:

·      Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
·      The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
·      The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
·      Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
·      Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
·      Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
·      Graceling by Kristin Cashore
·      Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty
·      On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
·      Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma

Can’t wait to hear what she thinks! (Also, I’m jealous of her life that she gets to read all these amazing books for the first time.)

Monday, February 4, 2013

Fun stuff is happening!

I have a film agent! Jody Hotchkiss at Hotchkiss and Associates will be representing film/TV rights for HEXED.

Jody recently sold the film rights for ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD to Stephanie Meyer of Twilight fame…and now he’s repping my book! How freaking cool is that?! There aren’t enough exclamation marks to express my excitement over this.

***To be clear, this doesn’t mean the book is being made into a movie or even that anyone bought the rights, but I now have a film agent who loves the book and is looking to sell the rights, which is a step in the right direction.

My heart is beating all funny.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Book Review: Reboot by Amy Tintera

So I just finished reading an advance copy of REBOOT and . . . Wow. Just. Wow.

The blurb, from Goodreads:

Five years ago, Wren Connolly was shot three times in the chest. After 178 minutes she came back as a Reboot: stronger, faster, able to heal, and less emotional. The longer Reboots are dead, the less human they are when they return. Wren 178 is the deadliest Reboot in the Republic of Texas. Now seventeen years old, she serves as a soldier for HARC (Human Advancement and Repopulation Corporation).

Wren’s favorite part of the job is training new Reboots, but her latest newbie is the worst she’s ever seen. As a 22, Callum Reyes is practically human. His reflexes are too slow, he’s always asking questions, and his ever-present smile is freaking her out. Yet there’s something about him she can’t ignore. When Callum refuses to follow an order, Wren is given one last chance to get him in line—or she’ll have to eliminate him. Wren has never disobeyed before and knows if she does, she’ll be eliminated, too. But she has also never felt as alive as she does around Callum.

The perfect soldier is done taking orders.

Guys, real talk: this book is too good. I am reduced to one and two word sentences after reading this book.

-Callum so sexy
-Want Callum
-So bad

It’s hard to understand how one book could be this amazing. I loved every single minute of my life while reading REBOOT. Do yourself a favor and add this one to your Goodreads list. Preorder it. Stand in line at your local bookstore until it comes out in May. Stalk the author on twitter or in real life until she agrees to give you an advance copy (Okay, so maybe not that last one).

Just do whatever it legally takes to get this book into your life. You’ll thank me later.