A To Z Challenge: N Is For Nope

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Okay, so I fell off the map last week. You’ll have to excuse me, but a whole bunch of stuff hit at once, the day job heated up, and I had to prioritize. The blog is fun, but it’s not payin’ the bills, if you know what I mean.

One of the hardest things I’ve learned in being a working, published writer is the importance of saying “Nope.” Continue reading

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A To Z Challenge: M Is For Monday, When It Should Have Been Friday

When it rains, it pours. And then you clean your gutters. Except my gutters are overflowing. I was supposed to do this letter of the alphabet last week, but just didn’t have the time to devote to it.
woman in green dress under umbrella on countryside flooded field

That’s me, standing in an elegant flowing gown in the middle of a deluge.

Which is a good thing (And yes, of course I wear elegant, flowing gowns all the time. Why do you ask?) and even a great thing. I have a lot of writing work to do. I have a lot of paid writing work to do. Continue reading

K Is For “Koi No Yokan”

Couple in love on a bench

I know, it’s quite a mouthful. But bear with me, here.

Koi No Yokan is a Japanese phrase which has no direct English translation. It describes the sense upon first meeting a person that the two of you are going to fall in love.

I write YA books, and my YA books have an element of romance. Koi No Yokan is figuring prominently into two different projects I’m working on. One, because one of the main characters is so absolutely sure about it, and another because the protagonist definitely felt Koi No Yokan, but argues herself out of it for a myriad of reasons. Continue reading

A To Z Blogging Challenge: J Is For Joke

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I think every one of us has had that one friend who just gets us.

They’re the ones we share the inside jokes with, they’re the ones who call us on our stupid behavior, and they’re the ones who play off us best.

In my upcoming novel, Traveler, Ben is exactly that kind of friend to Jessa, and his jokes made for some of my favorite moments in the book. Take this scene, for instance… Continue reading

A To Z Blogging Challenge: I Is For Interesting

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Do you know how you write an interesting story?

You start out with an interesting idea and you write a somewhat interesting story.

Then you go back and reread it and realize it’s boring you to death in certain spots and confusing as hell in others, so you rewrite it.

And then you’ve got a mostly interesting story.

So you reread it again, pull it apart, move some stuff around, take some stuff out, and ask a few trusted people to read it.

They tell you it’s interesting. In places. Just not all the way through. Continue reading

A To Z Blogging Challenge: H Is For Hero

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I’ve been giving a lot of thought to heroes lately. What makes a good one? It’s not enough that they’re a genuinely decent person – after all, some of the best heroes are the ones who aren’t the shiniest, or nicest, or most morally upright.

Think about Severus Snape and his selfish motivation and scathing tones, or Katniss Everdeen with her unfriendly manner and total reluctance to be what everyone wanted to make her – these aren’t heroes on white horses swooping in to save anybody’s day.

I think the one thing you see in all heroes is one thing I touch on in my book: Resilience. Continue reading

A To Z Blogging Challenge: F Is For Fear

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[ An excerpt from my upcoming YA novel, Traveler ]


I realize that I must have dozed off, because I’m opening my eyes again. It must have only been for a few seconds. I also realize from the adrenaline pumping in my veins that something has startled me awake.
I lay very, very still, listening.
There it was again. The voices.
They’re getting louder, a lot louder. I can even make out the words.
See…? Footprints. We weren’t over here today, and there was that dust storm yesterday morning. These are fresh.
Keep it down. Let’s start checking the houses.
They’re small feet.
A kid?
Or maybe a girl.
Yeah.
There was a wealth of inflection in that last word that makes my breath freeze in my chest. Continue reading

A to Z Blogging Challenge: E Is For Editor

eI spent the weekend doing one last little cleanup on my book after one more editor read through and had a few more comments to make.

And again, I am amazed by how much you can get out of a fresh set of eyes. Every read-through gives me something else to chew on, every revision makes it all that much better.

That’s not to say I roll over and nod wildly at every single change, mind you. I’m very lucky in that my editors and I have a great working relationship, and I’ve been able to push back on a few points because they were integral to the story in my point of view, and after explanation, they saw where I was going with that. It’s very much a give-and-take and together, we’ve made on hell of a book. Continue reading