Thursday, February 26, 2009

One Agent's Trash...

This is a great reminder of why you should never be too discouraged by a rejection letter from an agent. Finally, proof that they really don’t know everything.



And can I just say, poor Janet!

Two in One Week??? Author Interview: J.E. MacLeod!

It’s that time again: Release day for another Deb! *YAY!*

This is another of the books I’ve already told you about, this time by the lovely and talented J.E. MacLeod, her debut WAITING TO SCORE:


Quirky, smart, and good looking, Zack Chase is a book-loving, talented hockey player.But he doesn't want to turn pro like his late dad, despite his mom's hopes. New in town, Zack's pitted against obnoxious Mac, the hockey team captain with something against Jane, the alluring Goth-girl who's caught Zack's eye. As incidents on the ice and off force Zack to decide what he really wants, he copes with sore losers, other people's drinking problems, and the consequences of making out with too many girls. As Zack focuses even less on hockey, he discovers other ways he wants to score in life, especially as a 15-year-old guy with spiking hormones. He's being chased by hot little Mona; his best friend Sheila has curves that make him sweat; and he'd like to show Jane that he's not another typical hockey player. Soon Zack finds out the hard way that people have secrets and burdens all their own, and that some actions have tragic, far-reaching consequences.

And the interview you’ve all been waiting for…drumroll, please!

I call it The Six of One, Half Dozen of the Other Interview. It’s five questions, plus one bonus. Feel free to elaborate as much as you want, J.E. (except, of course, for the bonus question!):

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

Bestselling Rockstar Author.

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

Make people cry and then laugh through their tears.

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

Keep writing from the beach house. Maybe a cabana boy could serve me drinks?

4) FaceBook or MySpace?

Facebook.

5) After a period, one space or two?

OMG. Don't torment me.:) I use one.

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

Believe.

Let me just repeat that, people: BELIEVE! (Great, GREAT advice!)

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m kind of diggin’ the sports themed debuts this week
(even though I know that there’s so much more to these books than just sports!).

If you’d like to find out more about J.E. or her amazing book, check out her website at http://www.jemacleod.com/. And thanks, J.E., for sharing this amazing day with us!!!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Release Day Interview with Kurtis Scaletta!!!

First of all, congratulations to my fellow Deb (yes, he's a guy!) Kurtis on the release of his long-awaiting MUDVILLE!!! I've told you guys about it before, and now it's finally here:

Welcome to Moundville, where it’s been raining for longer than Roy McGuire has been alive. Most people say the town is cursed—right in the middle of their big baseball game against rival town Sinister Bend, black clouds crept across the sky and it started to rain. That was 22 years ago . . . and it’s still pouring.

Baseball camp is over, and Roy knows he’s in for a dreary, soggy summer. But when he returns home, he finds a foster kid named Sturgis sprawled out on his couch. As if this isn’t weird enough, just a few days after Sturgis’s arrival, the sun comes out. No one can explain why the rain has finally stopped, but as far as Roy’s concerned, it’s time to play some baseball. It’s time to get a Moundville team together and finish what was started 22 years ago. It’s time for a rematch.

So, this is what I call my Six of One, Half Dozen of the Other Interview. It's five questions, plus one bonus question. Kurtis, feel free to elaborate as much as you want (except for the bonus question, of course!)

Here we go:

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

Something in the middle with a reasonable fan base (so I can keep on writing) and respect from the reviewers.

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

Mostly the first with a little bit of the second and, in my second novel, a little bit of the third.

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

Retire from my day job and then write from my lake house.

4) FaceBook or MySpace?

You've reminded me that I haven't checked my Facebook notifications in ten minutes or my MySpace feed in a week. Guess which one I'll do first?

5) After a period, one space or two?

The two-space rule died with computer word processing because type is no longer monospaced.

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

Revise.

*confetti and streamers*

Great answers, Kurtis, and thanks for playing!

For more information about Kurtis and MUDVILLE, check out his website at http://www.kurtisscalleta.com/. (Or just go to Amazon and order it!!!)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

MY ROAD TO PUBLICATION

In honor of my new blog layout, I thought I'd do a timeline of the order that my dream finally came true...because seriously, that's what this past year has been like. A dream!

Mid-May - Finished THE BODY FINDER. There is much celebration in the Derting household!

5/28/08 - Went to the BEA in Los Angeles where I pitched to seven agents and editors (including my first-choice agent, Laura Rennert) in their three-minute Pitch Slam sessions. Got the go-ahead from six of them to send sample chapters. Yee-freakin’-Haw!!!

6/2/08 (8:00PM) - Submitted sample chapters to Laura Rennert via email. (Psst, she’s the only agent I submitted to…I gave her kind of a head-start.)

6/2/08 (later that night) - Got an email back from Laura requesting the complete manuscript. My husband literally came running into the room and jumped on the bed while I was asleep to tell me! Naturally, I didn’t sleep for the rest of the night!!! :)

6/9/08 - Right before I was going to send out samples to the rest of the agents and editors I’d met, Laura made a preliminary offer for representation via email (she was almost finished with manuscript at this time). We scheduled a phone conversation for later in the week.

6/12/08 - My first phone conversation with Laura Rennert, Super-Agent. She offered me representation and emailed me the contract. WOW! It’s real at this point, I have an agent!

6/13/08 - Laura leaves to New York on a previously planned trip, and while there, she pitches THE BODY FINDER and gets a great response from editors.

Around the beginning of July - Submissions start to go out.

8/1/08 - Met Laura in LA at the SCBWI, and she tells me that she’s just received a call from an “interested” editor. (What the holy hell does that mean?) We won’t know for certain until after the weekend. *sigh* LONGEST. FIVE. DAYS. EVER!

8/5/08 - First official offer comes in (You can read more about “getting the call” here).

8/8/08 - A second offer comes in from another publisher, and negotiations ensue. This sounds exciting, but is actually very slow and boring, with long lags in between calls and emails. Time! Ceases! To! Move!

Around 8/14/08 - At last, a final deal is brokered with HarperCollins.

9/12/08 - Because they have decided to put me in the Fall 2009 slot, edits start even before the contracts are signed. You can read more about the editing process (which I freakishly LOVED!) from my earlier post. We used TrackChanges and did everything electronically rather than using hard copies.

10/10/08 - Edits completed (first round).

10/13/08 - Second round edits arrive from my editor (mostly just minor changes).

10/13/08 - I make the corrections and send those edits back to my editor.

10/22/08 - The contract arrives! I am officially “under contract” with HarperCollins!!!

11/10/08 - Saw my first jacket copy (written by my editor). Man, that makes it seem so real!

11/16/08 - Went to NY (met fabulous editors, PR and Marketing…AND saw a Naked Cowboy!).

11/17/08 - My deal is formally announced in Publishers Weekly, on Publishers Marketplace, and on my blog!!!

11/27/08 - Copyedits arrive, and I spend two weeks learning the difference between “one another” and “each other”, and discovering my glaring overuse of commas. SWEET!

12/9/08 - Copyedits are finished after a little back and forth with my editor, and I can breathe a sigh of relief at last. I finally understand that copyeditors are our friends!

1/23/09 - Page Proofs arrive. They are beautiful! I love the font they’ve chosen and the treatments that the art department gave the chapter breaks! (Currently, I am still pouring through them, looking for errors and making minor revisions.)

1/29/09 - My first SNEAK PEEK at the cover (which, unfortunately, is still hush-hush).

2/8/09 - Sent in the completed manuscript for Book 2 to my agent!!!

9/22/09 - THE BODY FINDER’s official release date!!!
This has truly been the most amazing year ever. I’d like to thank my family and my friends…all of my amazing blog followers…of course, my agent and the brilliant editors at Harper…the Academy, *sniff*…you like me, you really like me!

(Nice '80's Hair, Sally!)
No, not time for the speech yet???

Fine, fine, I’ll save it. For now. But I’m gonna keep it close…just in case!
EDITED UPDATE: Obviously this post was written before my new release date of March 16, 2010 was announced. But everything else is the same!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Soooo...?

You told me what you thought, and I listened. It was pretty much unanimous (sorry, Purple. I can call you that, right? We're on a first name basis now, aren't we???)...simpler is better.

Yes, I heard some suggestions for minor tweaks in the code. Tweaks. In the code. (That's HTML for those of you who don't speak computer-ese). I do not speak computer-ese. I do not tweak. It was all or nothing.

And nothing it is!

So, here we are.

I like it. It's understated. Subtle.

Some candles to set the mood (Tambiance, some might say...well, only a few might say that). Nice colors to soothe the eyes. Nothing glaring. Nothing jarring or jolting.

Just what you asked for.

S.I.M.P.L.E!

Now, If I hear anyone complaining, I just might turn this thing around and go home....

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

TOO BUSY???


I think the new layout is a little too busy.
So, I'm asking you, and I need honesty. REAL HONESTY, PEOPLE! Not the fakey, WE LOVE IT! crap that you might give your boss when you don't want to hurt his feelings because his new hair plugs look like doll hair. I want to know that I have spinach stuck between my teeth or toilet paper hanging from my shoe.

So, tell me...

What do you think?

Is simple better???

Sunday, February 15, 2009

ACT FAST!

I'm late posting this, so QUICKLY hop on over to the Debs site today and enter to win a great prize pack!




Each one is packed with almost thirty treats, delights, novelties and oddities! We keep getting new Debs, so we keep adding more prizes! Want to take a peek?




And an extra sweet, TWO of these bags have a Bonus Tabasco Lolly in them. If you're lucky enough to receive a Bonus Debsness bag, you'll win a FIFTY DOLLAR GIFT CERTIFICATE to the bookstore of your choice. (As long as the bookstore of your choice sells gift certificates online!)

All you have to do is post a comment before 12:01am EST until 11:59pm EST, February 15th, 2009 to enter! The next drawing is a month away, so don't miss this opportunity!!!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

WooHoo!!!

So, how cool is this???

Over on Em's Bookshelf, Em did a series called Meet the Panelists in which she interviewed the Cybil Award panelists she worked with for 2008.

And...

One of the panelists, the (dare-I-say-it?) brilliant Tirzah from The Compulsive Reader listed some of the books she's looking forward to reading in 2009.

Which books did she choose, you ask? Go ahead, ask!

Well, there was Crazy Beautiful by Lauren Baratz-Logsted, The Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink, The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan. Oh, and was there one other...? Yes. Yes, there was!

The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting!

Are you kidding me?! Even to be mentioned in the same (*gasp*) breath as those other authors?!?!?

Okay, if she's messing with me, I'm in serious pain.

If she's not, I think she might just be my new BFF... <3

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

So, how much of a dork am I???

I got a sneak preview of my (super secret) cover for The Body Finder from my editor the other day, and I was so excited that I printed out a copy and taped it to a book that was just about the right size. And then I walked around looking at it from every possible angle to see how my book might look when it's printed up, all shiny and real.

And even though my printer sucks, and the tape beneath the edges was fairly obvious...it was beautiful! My husband practically had to stop me from signing the book it was taped to.

I wish I could share with everyone, but my editor says no. :(

I promise, though, as soon as I get the "thumbs up" from Harper, you guys will be the first to know!!!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

My Fellow Debs (A Season of Awesome!)

I'm a little late for some of these, but I wanted to let you know about the amazing Debutantes January and February releases (and one from March, but only because it cheated!)



by Stacey Jay
Available Now!

Q: HOW MANY ZOMBIES DOES IT TAKE TO RUIN A SOCIAL LIFE?

A: NOT MANY.

Megan Berry is a Zombie Settler by birth, which means she's part-time shrink to a whole bunch of semi-dead people with killer issues. All Megan really wants is to go to homecoming, but when you're trailed by a bunch of slobbering corpses whenever you leave the house, it's kinda hard to score a date. Let's just say Megan's love life could use some major resuscitation.

Megan's convinced her life can't get any worse - until someone in school starts using black magic to turn average, angsty Undead into scary, hardcore flesh-eating Zombies. Now it's up to Megan to stop the Zombie apocalypse. Her life - and more importantly, the homecoming dance - depends on it.

by Jenny Moss
Available Now!

Life in Winnie’s sleepy town of Coward Creek, Texas, is just fine for her. Although her troubled mother’s distant behavior has always worried Winnie, she’s plenty busy caring for her younger sisters, going to school, playing chess with Mr. Levy, and avoiding her testy grandmother. Plus, her sweetheart Nolan is always there to make her smile when she’s feeling low. But when the Spanish Influenza claims its first victim, lives are suddenly at stake, and Winnie has never felt so helpless. She must find a way to save the people she loves most, even if doing so means putting her own life at risk.

Winnie’s take-charge attitude will empower and inspire readers, as Jenny Moss’s lyrical writing beautifully captures the big-time worries of a small-town girl.

by Erin Dionne
Available Now!

Thirteen-year-old Celeste Harris is no string bean, but comfy sweatpants and a daily chocolate cookie suit her just fine. Her under-the-radar lifestyle could have continued too, if her aunt hadn’t entered her in the HuskyPeach Modeling Challenge. To get out of it, she’s forced to launch Operation Skinny Celeste—because, after all, a thin girl can’t be a fat model! What Celeste never imagined was that losing weight would help her gain a backbone . . . or that all she needed to shine was a spotlight.

A hilarious debut featuring friendship, family, mean girls and even celebrity crushes, Celeste’s story is a delicious treat that doesn’t add a pound.

by Saundra Mitchell
February 10, 2009!

Iris is ready for another hot, routine summer in her small Louisiana town, hanging around the Red Stripe grocery with her best friend, Collette, and traipsing through the cemetery telling each other spooky stories and pretending to cast spells. Except this summer, Iris doesn’t have to make up a story. This summer, one falls right in her lap.
Years ago, before Iris was born, a local boy named Elijah Landry disappeared. All that remained of him were whispers and hushed gossip in the church pews. Until this summer. A ghost begins to haunt Iris, and she’s certain it’s the ghost of Elijah. What really happened to him? And why, of all people, has he chosen Iris to come back to?


by Cynthea Liu
February 19, 2009!
Chinese-born Cece was adopted when she was two years old by her American parents. Living in Texas, she’s bored of her ho-hum high school and dull job. So when she learns about the S.A.S.S. program to Xi’an, China, she jumps at the chance. She’ll be able to learn about her passion—anthropology—and it will give her the opportunity to explore her roots. But when she arrives, she receives quite a culture shock. And the closer she comes to finding out about her birth parents, the more apprehensive she gets. Enter Will, the cute guy she first meets on the plane. He and Cece really connect during the program. But can he help her get accustomed to a culture she should already know about, or will she leave China without the answers she’s been looking for?

by J.E. MacLeod
February 23, 2009
Zack Chase, new in town, gets a crash course in the dangerous, fast-paced lives of local teen athletes. A good-looking, book-loving hockey star, Zack's also expected to be a womanizing, alcohol-abusing party animal, but it's not who he is. As jealous, obnoxious team captain Mac hounds him, Zack falls for Goth-girl Jane and befriends her teammate brother, both with their own secrets. Tragedy strikes and affects them all in this true-to-life debut novel, giving readers an insight into the lives of high school students and athletes.
by Kurtis Scaletta
February 24, 2009!
Welcome to Moundville, where it’s been raining for longer than Roy McGuire has been alive. Most people say the town is cursed—right in the middle of their big baseball game against rival town Sinister Bend, black clouds crept across the sky and it started to rain. That was 22 years ago . . . and it’s still pouring.
Baseball camp is over, and Roy knows he’s in for a dreary, soggy summer. But when he returns home, he finds a foster kid named Sturgis sprawled out on his couch. As if this isn’t weird enough, just a few days after Sturgis’s arrival, the sun comes out. No one can explain why the rain has finally stopped, but as far as Roy’s concerned, it’s time to play some baseball. It’s time to get a Moundville team together and finish what was started 22 years ago. It’s time for a rematch.

by Sarah MacLean
March 1, 2009
(but recently spotted on bookstore shelves!)
Seventeen year old Lady Alexandra is strong-willed and sharp-tongued -- in a house full of older brothers and their friends, she had to learn to hold her own. Not the best makings for an aristocratic lady in Regency London. Yet her mother still dreams of marrying Alex off to someone safe, respectable, and wealthy. But between ball gown fittings, dances, and dinner parties, Alex, along with her two best friends, Ella and Vivi, manages to get herself into what may be her biggest scrape yet.

When the Earl of Blackmoor is mysteriously killed, Alex decides to help his son, the brooding and devilishly handsome Gavin, uncover the truth. But will Alex's heart be stolen in the process? In an adventure brimming with espionage, murder, and other clandestine affairs, who could possibly have time to worry about finding a husband? Romance abounds as this year's season begins!

Seriously, these are some hawt books so if you get a chance pick them up for yourself, your friends, your kids, your husbands. Think birthdays, thank-yous, or just an afternoon curled up on the couch!