What’s Up Wednesday: Near The Finish Line

But it’s only a prelimary race . . .

In other words, the first draft of the next book is done, and I’m frantically finishing up this round of edits. Then off it goes to my editor and I hold my breath and wait. Continue reading

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When Irish Ears Are Smiling

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Welcome to my life. I am researching and writing my next book, which is based on the gods of ancient Ireland – the Tuatha Dé Danann, to be specific – and name pronunciation is really making my head swim. Not to mention, many of the names of these gods have gone through several iterations, and can be spelled a half-dozen different ways, depending on when in time they were written about, or where in Ireland you find the narrator of the story. Continue reading

Happy Book Deal Anniversary To Me!

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Two years ago today, at 4:30 in the afternoon, my life completely changed. I was a single mom with two kids, barely any money in my bank account, and a dream in book form. The phone rang, Swoon Reads offered me a two book deal, and I became a genuine, bona-fide mainstream YA author.

It still feels surreal, even now that the first book has been out for five months, and book two hits the shelves in the spring. Even now that I’m working on a third book unrelated to the first series.  Continue reading

Confessions Of A Crazy Car Writer

Careless driver listening to music

I’m writing in my car

Turn on the radio

I pull a thought closer

It just says no

I say that I don’t like it

But I know I’m a liar

‘Cause when I drive

Ooooh-oooh fiiiii-re . . .


You heard me. I write in the car.


Before you scratch your head over a vision of me propping my keyboard on a steering wheel or madly typing text into my phone as I drift across the lanes of the highway, know that I am a car-talker.

That’s right, a car talker.

I talk to myself in my car. I talk to others, too – coworkers, friends, family members, other drivers, my kids, political figures (don’t get me started), celebrities – pretty much anybody is fair game. When my marriage fell apart, I had numerous, lengthy conversations with my ex (none of which he was in attendance for, of course), and God only knows how many times my kids have been spared a lecture only because I already had it without them.

But lately, I’ve started really working through my books this way, having conversations with characters, playing ‘what if,’ sequencing through logistical problems in setting or plot – my car is like my idea zone, where I can muse aloud and blather and pontificate to a captive audience of me.

It’s honestly where I do my best writing, (some of which is occasionally brilliant) but alas, my scumbag brain doesn’t remember half of it, and the half it does remember contains little of the witty dialog or engaging commentary I came up with on the commute into work. It’s a pale echo, at best.

I keep telling myself I should record it all, but then I’d have to actually remember to set my phone to record and then remember to turn it off before I get to the office and that’s not really likely to happen with regularity. I’m lucky if I remember to be fully dressed when I head out the door in the morning (Seriously, I drove to work barefoot once!).

I guess you could say I owe my next book in part to the Pennsylvania Turnpike.  Whatever works, y’all. Whatever works.

What’s Up Wednesday: Writing And Mentoring

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I have been laugh-out-loud crazy busy. Borderline psychotic, even. What kind of idiot thinks they can fully research and write a first draft in six weeks? This kind, apparently. But the really weird thing is, I woke in the middle of the night a few days ago and had a sudden revelation about a cool plot hook and ever since, the  book has pretty much been writing itself.

So I’m plugging away, and God willing, we’ll have an awesome book (in hardcover!) circa 2019. Continue reading

Story Outlines, Story Outlines, Story Outlines . . .

outlines

When typing is problematic, we do things the old-fashioned way. Got derailed on my current project, but post-it notes and a visual outline really got me back on track and sent my plot in a much stronger direction.

Then I got on a roll and had to outline two more projects that are traipsing through my head.

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Today, I am a one-woman writing MACHINE. BooYAH!!

Have a great weekend – see ya on Monday, hopefully with a completed first draft!