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Saturday, December 29, 2007

Super Cool New Blog-- Author2Author

Come visit a new group blog called Author2Author. We're 5 young adult writers at different stages of our writing journey chatting about our tumbles and triumphs and everything in between-- 5 days a week! Here's the line-up:

Kate Fall (Miss Apprentice Writer) on Mondays
Emily Marshall (Miss Awaiting an Agent) on Tuesdays
Deena Lipomi (Miss Recently Repped) on Wednesdays
Me (Miss Soon-to-Pub) on Thursdays and
Lisa Schroeder (Miss Pinch Me I'm Pubbed) on Fridays

We're super excited and the fun starts this Monday-- 12/31. Please visit us:
(You can get the LJ feed here:

Monday, December 3, 2007

Revising The Espressologist

Revisions are hard.

About a month ago I got my first revision letter from my editor, filled with notes and helpful suggestions for things to change. At first, it was kind of overwhelming. I thought my book was already in good shape. But after spending lots of time thinking about it and playing around with different things, I tackled her notes and came up with a good draft. I was almost about to e-mail it back to her when one of my super fantastic critique partners offered to give it a look. And found more problems! Ack! There were some inconsistency problems that I swore to her were not in there but when I went back and re-read-- yup. She was right. Critique partners are INVALUABLE. So now I've updated the draft again and I think, or I should say hope, it is ready to go back to my editor. I re-read the book again tonight and luckily, I still love it. I'm not sure how many rounds of revisions we'll go through with this book but it can only get easier after the first round right? Ok, I'm crossing my fingers and off to hit send on the e-mail...

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


I am currently editing THE ESPRESSOLOGIST and working on a Middle Grade, NIGHT AT CLAIRE'S. My latest fun news is that THE ESPRESSOLOGIST will also be coming out in German from ullsteinbuchverlage ( shortly after it's release with FSG. I can't wait to see what it looks like in another language!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Friends and "Rules"

I've been thinking a lot about "rules" lately. You know, those unspoken rules between friends,that everyone just seems to know without having to discuss? Those things you don't do to each other and the lines you don't cross. Unless you are a sucky friend of course. For example, don't date a guy your friend dated (especially if it was serious). And, don't make out with your friend's boyfriend under any circimstances (if you still want her to be your friend). Well, I've been thinking and I'm wondering who came up with these rules? How did we all figure them out? Or are they all just common sense?

Take the "I called it first" rule. On THE HILLS last week, Heidi's friend Elodie told her that she wanted to apply for the new snazzy promotion at work. So, she "called it first". Heidi decided she wanted the job too but didn't speak up at that time. She went ahead anyway and applied and got the job. Elodie was pissed. Heidi was the villain of that week's show. Why is that right? Normally, you'll never find me defending Heidi (I'm a Lauren fan), but just because Elodie "called it first" no one else can want/get the job? Puh-lease.

This also happens with matters of the heart. For example, in college, I liked this guy, let's call him "Rick". I had several classes with "Rick" and we always sat by each other. And flirted. I figured after some time flirting he would eventually ask me out. Enter my friend, let's call her "Allison". "Allison tells me one day that she is "so in love" with "Rick". She has a HUGE HUGE crush on him. I hadn't told her that I did too. But she now basically won all crushing rights for having spoken it out loud first. (Totally not fair right?) So, I let her talk about her crush and I kept quiet about mine (still flirting though. When "Allison" wasn't around that is.) Then one day, I'm having a party and "Allison" says let's invite "Rick" over so I can declare my love for him. Ok, sure. She has me call and invite him and I do. He's over in like ten minutes. "Allison" declares her love for him and he just looks stunned. He mumbles his way through a "let's be friends" speech and then looks at me and says, I thought YOU were going to ask me out. I didn't know what to say. Perfect timing for me to stand up and yell, "Yes, yes it is me! I've had a crush on you all semester!" But nope. I did nothing. How could I? "Allison" was sitting there all crushed over her rejection. So "Rick" left and I really didn't see him around much after that. There was no happy outcome that day and why? Because she "called it", or rather him, first.

Stinkin' rules.

What about you guys-- do you adhere to the "called it first" rule like I did? Or ignore it and do what you want like Heidi did?

Note: Don't shed any tears for me over missing out on "Rick"-- soon after that I met and married my wonderful husband (we just celebrated our 8th anniversary) and we have three super cuties-- so all is well in the end. :-)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Book Ideas

People often ask me where my book ideas come from. Since I recently finished revisions on Revenge Queen and I just finished the first draft of Boy Swap, I am currently obsessing over what to write next while I wait for my fabulous critique partners to critique Boy Swap. It's a strange feeling, at least for me, because I feel a bit panicky if I don't have a big list of ideas to choose from. So here's what I do:

1) Create a Word document and lazily call it Ideas.doc. Leave it open on my laptop all the time.
2) Study everything, everywhere. Look at what people are saying and what they are doing. Exp., Saw a couple of girls bullying another girl. Hmm...bullies. What can I do with a bully?
3) Stare off into space a bunch and reflect on different experiences I had in jr. high and high school. Can I use anything as a springboard and turn it into something cool (because just using one of my experiences would be B-O-R-I-N-G.)?
4) Start twisting any ideas that are sparking together. How can ____ be made cooler/weirder/more fun/crazier?
5) Obsess about this a lot. Whenever I'm not doing something else, think about what I can write about.
6) Watch TV. Read lots of magazines. Surf the Web. Keep up with what is new and fun and keep on pondering away.
7) Run to my open Ideas.doc throughout the day and type short little notes that could turn into something later.
8) Do 1-7 for about a week. Then, try and write a bunch of back cover blurbs (few paragraph summaries) for my various book ideas.
8) E-mail blurbs to my writing friends/critique partners and ask them which book(s) sounds the coolest.
9) E-mail the coolest ideas to my agent and see which one is the best.
10) Start writing.

I'll show you a real example too. I finished Espressologist and was doing my obsessing over what to write next. Made lots and lots of notes and wrote lots of blurbs. I was watching TV one day and a lady on a talk show was talking about how she wanted to get revenge on her cheating boyfriend. And I thought, wouldn't it be snazzy if you could just pay someone to do that for you? Shortly after that, I had the blurb for Revenge Queen (which I absolutely LOVED writing. I love, love, love this book):

Ariana Covington is every parent’s dream: intelligent, beautiful, kind, and giving. She’s a straight A student and loved by all at Thomas Jefferson High—especially the teachers and administrators who wish more students were just like her. No one, not even her best friend, knows that she is running a revenge Web site for the school. You paypal her the cash and she’ll carry out your revenge for you. She is successfully running her double life until someone pays her huge to commit the biggest revenge act of all on her best friend in front of the whole school.

So that is what I do anyway! I'm about to enter the blurb writing stage so I'm off to work...

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Espresso Love

I love espresso. And coffee. Totally addicted. By 10 a.m. every morning I have to make myself a nonfat iced mocha (with my shiny red Starbucks Barista espresso machine) or I lose my mind. Seriously. My kids say-- "Mommy go make your coffee milk" (their name for it) if I get off schedule. I've been doing this for years.

My kitchen is, you guessed it, entirely espresso themed. The walls are a pretty pumpkin color and I have cappuccino and espresso mugs on the walls and various cafe signs all around. My favorite is one over the entrance way that says "Espresso Yourself". There are also tiles with cafe scenes around and a framed picture of me, my husband, and two of our kids having drinks outside a cafe in Paris (that had the absolute best chocolaty espresso drink I've ever had in my life--and I'm still trying to figure out the recipe). I won't post the picture because there was a weird flash thing and for some reason my husband has a shadow around his mouth that makes him look a bit like a tall Barney Rubble so he probably wouldn't want me to post it. :-) But I will show you my newest addition to my kitchen decor. I found the cutest cafe shop chalkboard last week--and I can write my own specials on it. Yay! I'm like a mini-Starbucks!

I know my love for espresso is what prompted me to write THE ESPRESSOLOGIST. Because I've spent so much time in coffee shops and after awhile I felt like I really could tell what type of drink each person "was". So why not start matchmaking right? Instead I wrote a book about it.

There are still two more years before my book comes out (which seems like forever) but I'll be drinking lots of espressos and doing lots of writing to pass the time.