I’m so thrilled to share the wonderful news that I’m co-authoring THE STAR SHEPHERD with the incredibly talented author/illustrator Dan Haring!
THE STAR SHEPHERD is a heavily illustrated middle grade novel and such a wonderful, special story. I’m so excited that this book will be published and that our agents had the brilliant idea that Dan and I should collaborate on it. It’s been so fun to write and I can’t wait to share it with you in Fall 2018!
2017 is going to be an interesting year. In 2015 and 2016, I had new books coming out but this year, I do not (I know! Sad!). However, I do have a new middle grade series beginning in early 2018 which I’m very excited about and a couple surprises in store for 2017 too (sorry, you’ll just have to wait and see :P). So this year my focus will be on looking head and laying the ground work for the great things on the horizon in 2018.
Which essentially means writing lots and lots of words. Words in books (at least 3!), but also words in letters to my state representatives, house and senate committees, etc. about issues that are important to me. 2018 is also a year for midterm elections and a pivotal opportunity to gain ground for the rights the incoming administration threatens. I know a lot of people say that writers should keep politics out of their books and online presence — personally, I think that perhaps they don’t quite understand the nature of writing. Writing is a conduit for freedom of expression. It is a thing we are able to do freely in this country due to the protections of the First Amendment. Writing is an inherently political act, and like it or not, we (at the very least) subconsciously imbue our works with our own moral, ethical, and political undertones. Ignoring that, denying that, feels dishonest to me.
I think recognizing this is particularly important when writing for children. Teens and tweens are much smarter than they are often given credit for being, and they’re aware of what’s going on in the world. Avoiding those issues is doing them a disservice and denying them the chance to process their fears in a safe space: within the pages of a book. Themes of being bullied, parents getting a divorce, family members battling a disease are seen in all types of fiction from contemporary to fantasy to post-apocalyptic. Tackling any of the many potential issues from the incoming administration is no different — it’s about to become a real part of our lives. Looking the other way will not change that. So, I’ll be doing my part in the ways that I can. Writing stories and writing letters and doing what I can to help create positive change.
Anyway, it’s tradition for me to post my fiction writing goals on my blog each year to keep myself accountable. Last year, I managed to complete all the “Must Dos” and all but one of the “Want To Dos” which is not too shabby. Maybe this will be the year I’ll finally cross everything off this list!
Finish editing Shadow Weaver Finish drafting secret MG project
- Draft the sequel to Shadow Weaver
- Prepare to launch Shadow Weaver
WANT TO DO:
- Finish drafting YA sci-fi retelling of Helen of Troy
- Revise YA cyborg novel
- Revise YA fantasy novella
- Begin all-out rewrite of my very first novel (this has been on many years’ “might do” list – obviously the “might” turned into “not-quite-yet”).
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS FOR 2017? SHARE IN THE COMMENTS!
Well, 2016 is nearly over. In some ways that’s a blessing, and in others it’s pretty darn terrifying. It’s impossible to ignore the impact of this year’s election. The hate and fear-mongering that plagued it managed to taint even happy, exciting events. So I’m keeping it short and sweet this time. Here’s hoping there are some rays of light in 2017 too.
Highlights of 2016:
- Ravenous was published!
- I moderated a panel for the fabulous Class of 2K16 at ALA Midwinter
- I got to meet a longtime writer friend (Amy Trueblood, whose blog is an excellent resource, btw) at NY SCBWI
- I had the opportunity to present a couple workshops at NESCBWI (aka, my favorite writing conference)
- I got to do numerous events with author friends including Monica Tesler on our MG Sci-Fi & Fantasy Conversations series.
- We sold the Shadow Weaver duology to Sourcebooks!
- Monstrous was published in Russia and Poland
- Monstrous hit the NYT Bestseller List for Children’s E-Books at #5
How did 2016 treat you? What are you looking forward to in the new year?
It’s October – the perfect month for stories about monsters, wizards, witches, and magic. Because of that, I’m posting a chapter from Precious, the prequel novella to Monstrous originally published as bonus content in Ravenous, on Wattpad every day for the next 12 days. If you’ve read Monstrous (and even if you haven’t!) and want to know more about what led up to Kymera’s transformation into a monster, check it out at the link below!
Princess Rosabel is trapped between her desire to see the world and the dark deal her parents made that keeps her confined in Bryre’s castle. With the help of her best friend, Ren, she’ll do whatever it takes—even courting forbidden magic—to save her family from the wizard’s wrath and earn her freedom.
Happy Summer! I have very fond memories of lazy summer days reading on the porch or under a tree. It was a favorite past-time for this introvert bookworm.
So, since it’s summer and I just announced my next middle grade duology last week, how about a summer reading giveaway? And since my books have that creepy fairy tale retelling feel, I thought I’d give away a set of MONSTROUS and RAVENOUS along with two of my favorite YA retellings, SPINNING STARLIGHT by R.C. Lewis and THIS MONSTROUS THING by Mackenzi Lee. One lucky reader will win them all!
The Details: The giveaway will run from today through midnight Sunday August 7, 2016 and is open internationally. One winner will be selected for the prize pack. Enter below, and good luck!! 😀