Tuesday, March 26, 2013

I've Got The Date!!!

Okay, everyone, there's good news and bad news. First, the good news! Penguin released my check, which means they have fully accepted the changes on the manuscript (my editor was happy happy happy!) so I'm doing a conga dance in Colorado complete with sparklers. Huzzah! BUT, here's where you will see the power of the author (not!) when it comes to a manuscript. My book was supposed to be on the Fall 2013 list, but they pushed it back because the list was full and I was working on the revisions yadda yadda yadda. So my heart was heavy as we discussed the situation of a Spring release. In the end I was satisfied that they were making what Penguin considered a prudent choice by pushing it back to Spring since they said they could give it more attentions etc. and get the word out more easily to the buyers. However, I JUST RECEIVED an email from my editor, telling me the Powers at Penguin had a meeting and decided to make The Dead Giveaway a lead book for the Summer Read program. As in summer of 2014. I read the email and immediately called her office, but in the three minute lapse of time it took for her to send the email and for me to read it and immediately punch in her phone number, my editor had skipped out of the building - she's currently in South East Asia for three weeks. I then called my agent, wailing about the length of time you all would have to wait, and he said these decisions happen and it's all about what's on the Penguin list and it's just part of the process. So I suppose I'm going to have to suck it up and deal with the fact that the release date is off in the horizon. But it is at last a firm date. PLEASE stick with Cameryn and Justin while the days of the calendar fly by. I'm working on The Enemy in the Walls so that The Dead Giveaway and then The Enemy in the Walls can be released Summer and then Fall - that's something to cheer about! The forensic television deal is still on the table, (it is supposed to be pitched in April) so I'll let you know what/when/if anything happens on that front. The television deal with National Geographic is moving forward as well, but that deals with Mysteries in our National Parks, which is of course a different series entirely. The Book of the Dawning is well underway, and then I will finish up Dragonfly Eyes! somewhere in all of this. So, to recap, there's good and not so good, but we're moving forward and that's a wonderful thing! Last but not least: when things like moving release dates make me want to tear my hair out, something will happen that puts my problems into perspective. One of those 'reminders' just happened to me in the saddest possible way. My friend's grandson was left in an at-home daycare for one day last Thursday, and the caretaker shook his little seven-month-old body so hard he had a massive brain hemorrhage. His name is Leyton, he's in a coma, and the prognosis is not good. Yesterday, the doctors allowed his parents to hold him, perhaps for the last time. My husband and I are going to a prayer & candlelight service for him tonight. So please, all of you, send good thoughts/prayers for this little guy who has been so terribly injured, and remember to look at the difference between disappointment and tragedy. Then hug someone and tell them you love them. Because the one thing writing forensics and paranormal stories has taught me is that you never know what's coming. Just make sure today counts.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Fun Article Questions!

Hi all! I was asked to answer questions for an article by my fellow (and amazing) author Veda Boyd Jones, and I thought I'd share my reply with you! (Since there is still no news...) The article will appear in Children's Writer sometime soon. (The date is not locked in as of yet.) Enjoy! 1. I am currently reading DANCE OF SHADOWS by Yelena Black, which is beautiful and compelling. The book I've read that constantly simmers in my subconscious is THE LIFE BEFORE HER EYES by Laura Kasischke. A novel centered around a character's brief life and untimely death, TLBHE is what I call a 'perfect book'. It's theme of what-would-you-think-of-in-your-last-moment-on-earth haunts me, but also reminds me to live every day in a loving, purposeful way. The writing is incredible - each page is an indulgence for me as a reader. Kasischke is a poetic master. 2. I primarily read Young Adult books, but I mix in a lot of adult books, both fiction and non-fiction. And with five grandchildren in my familial mix, I find I'm reading aloud about kittens and puppies one minute before curling up with a delicious mystery (those are just for me) the next. The truth is, my reading is nothing short of eclectic. Which suits me because I love it all! 3. Why do I read the types of books I read? I think I devour a rainbow of books because there are many sides to me as a person. Reading about history fascinates me since today is interconnected with yesterday, and I live for those 'aha' moments when a causality clicks into place. I love getting lost in a romance or pitting my mind against the author of a great mystery. (Kudos to the writer who can fool me - a fist pump when that happens!) I find I get completely and emotionally drawn into an author's alternate world: when Rue died in THE HUNGER GAMES, I wept through an entire box of Kleenex. I'm talking a Mount Rushmore pile of crumpled white tissue by my side, which was doubled when I read the epilogue of MOCKINGJAY. Every day I plow through our newspaper (I also keep up online) so that I can grasp our political and international landscape, but at the same time I'll confess to gobbling up each installment of TWILIGHT, actually standing in those long midnight lines. So for me, reading is like a well-balanced meal - I eat my veggies, but I always include dessert! 4. Yes, I belong to a book club with my daughter. It's so much fun to unpack the meaning of a book with others! Plus (surprise!) I love to talk. But I clamp my lips tight when someone describes a passage that particularly resonated with her, because as an author I make it a point to listen to what touches a reader. That's an author's gold! 5. My favorite magazine is Psychology Today, but I loves me some People Magazine (gossiping about celebrities doesn't count, right?) as well as assorted news magazines and The Denver Post. 6. I read every chance I get. Since I have the privilege of working from home, I actually have to resist temptation and keep my eyes on my computer screen instead of my Kindle/hardcover/paperback novels stacked high on my desk. They sing their siren song while I try to create my own novels, and, oh, my, not reading them is like constantly dieting (I have to do that, too!). Reading is my candy - I must force myself to regulate. On a side-note, the Kindle Paperwhite saved my marriage, since it allows me to read discreetly in bed without disturbing my poor husband. (Come to think of it, I don't think I've ever gone to sleep without reading first.) I find listening to another author quiets the 'writer's voice' yammering inside my own head. The only downside is that I've been known to buy a sequel in the wee hours because I just have to know what happens next in a series and downloading on Kindle is so easy. The electronic book store is always open! 7. Since I've completed book five and am currently writing book six in my forensic mystery series, I would say THE CHRISTOPHER KILLER, THE ANGEL OF DEATH, THE CIRCLE OF BLOOD and THE DYING BREATH. 8. Reading is like breathing to me - I'd die without it! On Mar 10, 2013, at 11:18 AM, Veda Boyd Jones wrote: I've been assigned an article for Children's Writer: Reading Habits of Successful Writers. We've all said if you want to be a writer, you must first be a reader. So... 1. What are you currently reading? What's the last book you read that's still in your mind? 2. Do you read primarily adult books or books for children? 3. Why do you read the types of books you read? 4. Belong to any book clubs? 5. What about magazines and newspapers? Do you read the Wall Street Journal for financial news or People for the latest celebrity gossip to use in a book? 6. When do you read? Special time set aside or on the fly? 7. What book would you like marketed in parenthesis behind your name? 8. Any other comments about reading?

Monday, March 11, 2013


Greetings to all my favorite people! Now you're getting a taste of the waiting game right along with me - my agent is on it and we're still watching the clock slowly tick by.... Fun, isn't it? (Not!) I'm so glad I've got so much else to keep me busy, including book six of the forensic mysteries. It's soooo scarey I'm waking up at night, peering into dark corners, which is sort of a psychological spillover from my work during the day! As far as The Dead Giveaway, please hang in, hang on, and I'll let everyone know the second I do! :) Until then, enjoy the first hints of spring!