Monday, August 31, 2009

I Almost Forgot...

To tell you about my interview at The First Novels Club!

They asked me some really great questions...

PLUS you can totally find out which Chipmunk I'd date!

That's, people. Run!!!

Saturday, August 29, 2009


1) Have your first WTF moment when you open your editorial letter and see that your editor (even though she starts the letter by saying that it’s “a good first draft”) basically hates your manuscript.

She has marked (for deletion) perfectly good jokes, she thinks your characters might be unlikable, you clearly don’t know the difference between “lay” and “lie”, and what does she mean you can’t kill puppies and babies???

Realize that, not only does she hate your manuscript, she hates you too.

2) Take a step back. Have a glass of wine (this step may also be substituted by any of the following: Xanax, one pound bag of M&Ms, an entire bottle of wine, a shot (or three) of tequila, a carton of ice cream, or a nap).

Let her words sink in. Remind yourself that you’re not, in fact, an idiot with no grasp of the human language, that people really do think you’re frickin’ hilarious, and that maybe that baby/puppy deserved it.

3) After you’ve talked yourself down, consider that maybe, possibly, just perhaps there’s a reason your editor gets paid the big bucks (and by big bucks, I mean slave wages) to do her job. She has a knack for this sort of thing. Could it be that she’s right? Start to doodle (not in pen, of course, that would be ridiculous!) some notes, potential outlines of what *her* version might look like if the woodsman doesn’t rescue Little Red, if Big Bad turns out to be the real hero of the story. Save the baby, and maybe just *kick* the puppy. Move this to there, and that to…waaaaiit! What’s this? Is this even possible…??? I think it is!

She’s actually right!!!

4) Stop effing around and get to work, this time in permanent marker. This is not a drill, you’re on a deadline after all. Start shredding that manuscript that you once loved like your own child. Show no mercy. Gut it. Eviscerate. Break it down and build it back up.

(During this stage you may need to assign a responsible individual to make sure that your children/pets are fed, you shower on a regular basis, bills are paid, and that you lay/lie down on occasion).

5) After several weeks of living on unsuitable junkfoods and caffeine, you’ve done it. Go ahead, congratulate yourself, you’ve earned it. Write a sappy email to your editor thanking her for helping turn your book into a…*sniff*…go ahead and say it…A MASTERPIECE. Hover over the Send button, relishing the moment, and then proudly jettison your masterpiece off to cyberspace (aka. New York City).

6) Now, sit back and wait anxiously for your editor to read your newly improved work, hoping she’ll like all the changes you’ve made as you begin to fill your tormented writer’s mind with thoughts of: “What if she hates it?”…“Did I interpret her notes right?”…“Should I have really saved the baby?”

No wonder she hates you…

Thursday, August 27, 2009

More Secrets About Me (Oh, and the Bloggies!)...

I told you I wouldn't be able to stay away! What's it been, two days? And already I'm back?

So, here's the deal, I've been nominated for the Kreativ Blogger Award by Jeanette (Little Miss J) and Brit at Dream the Dream (hopefully I'm not forgetting anyone)...and now I have to spill. Tell secrets, that is. Seven of them. Like I needed an excuse to talk about myself.

Here goes, seven random things about me:

1) I’m always cold. Always. Even in the middle of summer I carry a sweater wherever I go because once I step into an air-conditioned building, I’m freezing again.

2) When I was little I talked a LOT. In an effort to remind me that I was talking too much, my mom used to tell me “Silence is Golden”.

3) I hate the expression “Silence is Golden”.

4) I learned the F-word when I was four and I made a song out of it. I got caught singing it and got in trouble.

5) I learned to whisper-sing when I was four.

6) I like to swear. This has been a problem with my kids…they’ve been exposed to more than a few curse words.

7) A tree fell on our house during a windstorm a few years ago, landing in our daughter’s room and punching her door frame into the kitchen downstairs. Fortunately, we were at the neighbor’s house across the street…my husband was watching from the window when it fell. The neighbor kids learned some new curse words that day.

Okay, so now I get to pay it forward, and I've decided to pass the award on to some of the great bloggers that I've met in person.

1) Sarah @ Sarah's Random Musings: Besides being the first reviewer I met in person, she has an interview of me on her blog today.

2) Khy @ Frenetic Reader who helped me put together the amazing Tenner lunch in LA. Thank you, Khy! ;)

3) Vania @ Reverie Book Reviews who was also at the Tenner lunch, and is working on a super-secret project for me!

4) Catt @ The Dreamer Reader who made the MOST amazing shirt for the lunch, with all of our books on it (I'm still waiting for my t-shirt, Catt. Just sayin').

5) Alicia @ Shooting Stars Magazine who is the sweetest thing ever, and I adored meeting her (and her awesome mom) at lunch!

So, here are the rules:
1. Thank the person who nominated you for this award.
2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog.
3. Link to the person who nominated you for this award.
4. Name 7 things about yourself that people might find interesting.
5. Nominate 7 Kreativ Bloggers. (Yes, I know I only named 5!)
6. Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate.
7. Leave a comment on each of the blogs.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


For those of you who don’t know yet, I got my editorial letter last week for book two. It wasn’t bad. And by not bad, I mean I think my editor might actually be a genius! I’m completely excited to be working on revisions with her notes. Except for the part where I hole up in the house for the next six weeks with nothing but Skittles and tea.

What about the kids, you ask? Fortunately, school’s about to start, they’re the district’s problem now.

Oh…not the kids…you were asking about the blog…

Hmm, well…I’ll try. No guarantees. Hang in there, though; I’m sure I can pull out a gem or two for you. And, WOW, will they be spectacular. Totally worth the wait. Totally! Just sayin’.

As for me, I can’t wait to see how everything comes together on the book! She’s a genius, I tell you. A frickin’ genius.

And you know that I totally won’t be able to stay away. Not really. Not from you guys!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Interview With Deb Jennifer Jabaley!!!

Four little words written in lipstick mean Emily must say goodbye to everything she knows. Emily Carson has always been a good girl. So when she throws a party the night her parents leave for vacation, she's sure she'll get busted. What Emily doesn't know is that her parents will never return. That their plane will go down. And the only thing left amidst the wreckage will be a tray table with the words: Emily please forgive me scrawled in lipstick - her mother's last words.

Now it's fall in New York City and Emily's trying to pick up the pieces of her shattered life. Her public tragedy captures the attention of more than just the media - and soon two very different boys at her new school are pursuing her: the cute, popular Owen, and the quirky chemistry partner slash pastry-baker-by-night, Anthony. But even with such delicious distractions, Emily can't let go of her mother's mysterious apology. Does she have the courage to face the truth?

With help of a whole new kind of family - one that includes a make-up artist to the stars, a teen hand model, and a wacky hairdresser - Emily must choose between the boy who makes her forget it all, and the one who encourages her to remember, and ultimately, heal.

Honestly, doesn’t LIPSTICK APOLOGY sound great???

And now for the part you’ve all been waiting know you want it! The interview.

Seriously, Jennifer, feel free to elaborate as much as you want, except, of course, for the one-word BONUS question.

Here we go:

1) Would you rather be the Bestselling Rockstar Author or an Acclaimed Literary Award Winner?

Rockstar Author, absolutely!

2) Make people laugh, cry, or hide under the covers?

Cry and laugh, sometimes at the same time.

3) Retire early or just keep writing from your beach house(s)?

Beach house, baby!

4) FaceBook or MySpace?


5) After a period, one space or two?


And your bonus question: What ONE WORD of advice would give to any aspiring writer?

COMMIT (love that!)

To find out more about Jennifer, and her books, check out her website at!

As for me, we’re breaking out the Derting house-on-wheels for a weekend of campfires, s’mores, and all manner of outdoor shenanigans. What're you guys doing???

Monday, August 17, 2009


Want another chance to win a copy of THE BODY FINDER??? Check it out, Danielle at The Book Blogger is having a great contest. And by great, of course I mean she's giving away a copy of The Body Finder. The contest ends September 10th and it's EASY to enter!!!

Also, I've been invited by Melissa Marr, Kelley Armstrong, and Alyson Noel to join their SMART CHICKS KICK IT TOUR:

Sept 2010 Tour **** 8 Cities **** 6 Authors/City **** All YA Paranormal

Our Tour, Our Way

Author tours are usually organized by the publisher. All we have to do is show up, which is great, but we started thinking maybe we'd like to try something different. Organize our own tour, just the way we want it. Pick the cities. Pick the authors. Organize the events. So, in Sept 2010, we'll do just that.

It's Your Tour, Too

Setting up our own tour is great. But it's not really about us. It's about the readers--getting out and meeting them. We'll be looking for input from readers to help us make this the kind of tour they want, too. And because we can't get to every city, we'll also be setting up a virtual tour component. We're still in the planning stages, but watch this page for more details.


Appearing at Every Stop
Melissa Marr
Alyson Noel
Kelley Armstrong

Appearing at 2-3 Stops
Holly Black
Cassandra Clare

Appearing at 1-2 Stops
Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Sarah Rees Brennan
Rachel Caine
Kimberly Derting (THAT'S ME!!!!)
Becca Fitzpatrick
Jackson Pearce
Mary Pearson
Carrie Ryan
Jeri Smith-Ready
Jessica Verday
Rachel Vincent


Sept 2010


We're still working on the list. Check out the discussion page to suggest a city.

I don't know what cities I'll be in yet, but it's only a year away, so mark your calendars! ;)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

THE REST OF MY SCBWI TRIP (another post in pics)

I didn't have my own camera so I pretty much had to "borrow" pics off of other people's sites.

This was at The Blue Moon Ball with Graeme, SF Hardy, Christy (peeking in from behind), Heather, me, and I-am-so-sorry-I-don't-know-your-name (if anyone knows, please comment so I can stop feeling like such a jerk!)

My roomie for the weekend, Shelli (psst, she's going to be a superstar!) and Bill Cochran as the Angry Astronaut. Bill thought he got robbed in the costume contest since he fit the bill (no pun intended) (of course it was intended!) for both "blue" and "moon", dressed as one of America's heroes. But I have to say that without the Tang, he was really just phoning it in. (Maybe Big Octopus Lady deserved to win.)

I'm just saying, Bill.

And I'm not even sure what to say about Paul and Tyler. Do they not look like something from a Dr. Seuss book? Okay, so do we want to know how they handled the bathroom situation? Wait! No! I'm pretty sure we don' least not after the lengthy explanation of men's room etiquette they gave us at dinner Sunday night. (I smell a board book!)

Christy, SF, and me. I got nothin' snarky to say...they both look gorgeous!!!

I had a hard time saying goodbye to everyone (Me, Jay, Shelli, Katie, Paul, SF, Tyler, and Bill way in the back!)...can't wait to do it all again next year!!! Seriously, I may need one of you to make a YouTube video of the "voice" (I just can't get it out of my head).

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

TENNER LUNCH and DEBS DINNER (a post in pics)

Khy, Catt (who made the most brilliant shirt with all kinds of stuff about the Tenners, Jay Asher, and Kami Garcia & Margie Stohl), and Alicia (all pictured with Suzanne Young) were just three of the lovely bloggers who made the day so fabulous!

Me with Suzanne Young...

...and with Khy.

Vania (our fourth beautiful blogger) with THE Holly Black. My attempt at being "aloof and cool" in front of Holly came across as "who-the-hell-are-you" resulting in one very famous author thinking I had no idea who she was. I had to remedy that the next day by explaining to her that I was trying not to fan-girl all over her. (Leave it to me to make an ass of myself somehow!)

Okay, so Khy put together these AMAZING gift bags for each of the authors in attendance. She must have spent hours searching through our books, blogs, websites, and possibly even our trash to uncover our innermost secrets because She. Nailed. Them!

This was mine, all packed into a popcorn tub:

The popcorn tub because my main characters go on a date to the movies, the police car because my main character's uncle is a cop, the other car (because you'll have to read why), the mascara is my favorite brand (and only a loyal blog reader would know that!), ditto with bubble gum (I LOVE bubble gum), and the coloring book is because I used to make homemade coloring books and go door-to-door selling them when I was a little girl. On top of that, she wrote the sweetest note ever!

And, yes Khy, I will "Stay Gold"!!!

So, after a long day of excitement, I got to meet up with the Debs (and Lisa Schroeder, pictured here with J.E. MacLeod) for dinner that night (Thanks, L.K. for planning such a great evening!). It was loud and wonderful and like being with long-lost friends.

And this was just Friday!!!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


So, I thought my first post after the SCBWI would be about the awesome people I met (and layered with all kinds of inside jokes that only they would understand). But I couldn't resist posting this little gem instead. You'll just have to wait for my witty recounting of SF's future Keynote Speech and my new friend Bill's sad story about how he couldn't talk to girls until he was like...well, let's say thirty. And by sad, I mean funny. Yes, yes, surprise, I will be poking fun at others. Don't say I didn't warn you.

But until then, check this out: It's a contest. For MY BOOK!!! *jumps up and down screaming* *and then more screaming* (okay, maybe that last part was just me)

That's right, you heard ARC of THE BODY FINDER is being given away at And Anything Bookish. Okay, so there's some other stuff, too, but whatever. It's THE BODY FINDER! And it's a contest! And it ends on August 25th!!! ;)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Interview With 2009 Deb MEGAN FRAZER

So I have just enough time for one more installment of The 2009 Debs Interviews before I jet off to LA for a weekend of SCBWI conference fun! Today we welcome Megan Frazer, author of SECRETS OF TRUTH & BEAUTY:

When Dara Cohen was little, she was crowned Little Miss Maine. That was then. Now Dara's seventeen and she's not so little anymore. That's just one of her many problems. Another is that her control-freak mom won't get off her case about anything. Yet the one that hurts the most is the family secret: Dara has an older sister her parents tried to erase from their lives.

Welcome Megan! Feel free to elaborate as much as you want, except of course for the one-word BONUS question.

(Pay special attention to Megan’s answer to the bonus question (I LOVE IT!).)

So, Megan, here we go:

1) Would you rather be the Bestselling Rockstar Author or an Acclaimed Literary Award Winner?

Wow, this is a very tough question, because it's basically like, "Who do you want to like you, the critics or the masses?" and I'm someone who wants everyone to like me. To a fault. I think, though, I'd be happiest with a bit of both, not at the extreme of either. I guess that's a cop out, but it's an honest cop out.

2) Make people laugh, cry, or hide under the covers?

Laugh and cry at the same time. Even though I hate cutesy combinations of words, I am thankful for "dramedy", because that's something I really enjoy, and I hope I'm able to create.

3) Retire early or just keep writing from your beach house(s)?

Writing from the beach house. Or lake house. I'm not picky.

4) FaceBook or MySpace?


5) After a period, one space or two?

I've been converted to the one space.

And your BONUS question: What ONE WORD of advice would give to any aspiring writer?

Live. (Did you see that? Awesome answer, Megan!)

For more information about Megan and her books, check out her website at! And be sure to check out SECRETS OF TRUTH & BEAUTY in bookstores now!!!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Claudia Gray is my new BFF!!!!

In keeping with my new Full Disclosure Policy, I have news. Let me repeat: I. HAVE. NEWS!!!

That’s right, Claudia Gray (the amazing author of EVERNIGHT and STARGAZER)…

(yes, that Claudia Gray, right there)

...has decided to blurb THE BODY FINDER!!!!!!!

So, alongside Melissa Marr’s brilliant quote, now there will also be Claudia’s dazzling words:

"You'll be drawn in by the love story -- and kept up all night by the suspense." – Claudia Gray, New York Times bestselling author of STARGAZER

OMG…YAY, right?!?!? Can I tell you how squishy I feel inside?

Claudia, I think I may be in love with you!

Seriously, how weird would it be if I open-mouthed kissed her when I saw her again??? Too much? Okay, so maybe a nice thank you note instead...

Saturday, August 1, 2009


Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you probably already know that this is a GINORMOUS release day of two of the most highly anticipated books for the fall season. So I just had to do a shout-out for my friends, fellow-Deb Michelle Zink for her debut novel PROPHECY OF THE SISTERS, and for my agent-mate Maggie Stiefvater for her novel SHIVER.

In case you didn’t already know, PROPHECY OF THE SISTERS is about twin sisters Lia and Alice Milthorpe who have just become orphans. They have also become enemies. As they discover their roles in a prophecy that has turned generations of sisters against each other, the girls find themselves entangled in a mystery that involves a tattoo-like mark, their parents' deaths, a boy, a book, and a lifetime of secrets.

Lia and Alice don't know whom they can trust.

They just know they can't trust each other.

I love a good prophecy, and twin sisters who are at opposite ends of the spectrum…can you say spooky????

Plus, I’ll be meeting with Michelle on her Seattle tour stop in September (don’t worry, I’m sure I’ll be sharing pics). PROPHECY OF THE SISTERS is the first in a trilogy and the buzz is HUGE! I can’t wait to get this one!!!!

And, seriously, I think everyone already knows what SHIVER is about too, but here you go:

For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf—her wolf—is a chilling presence she can't seem to live without. Meanwhile, Sam has lived two lives: In winter, the frozen woods, the protection of the pack, and the silent company of a fearless girl. In summer, a few precious months of being human... until the cold makes him shift back again.

Now, Grace meets a yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity takes her breath away. It's her wolf. It has to be. But as winter nears, Sam must fight to stay human—or risk losing himself, and Grace, forever.

Umm, wolves + love story + tragic circumstances that threaten to part them forever = WIN! At least that’s what EVERYONE is saying!!! I just got my copy in the mail and am (impatiently!) waiting for the chance to slip it to the top of my to-be-read pile.

CONGRATS to both Maggie and Michelle!!!!!!! :)