Help Me Revise

As this NaNoWriMo draws to a close and I complete another novel draft, I’m turning my eye to two things: a month off, and revisions. I’ve taken December off the last few years, and since I keep a pretty strict writing schedule all the rest of the year, I really look forward to catching up on reading, giving my house a good clean, and just being able to do exactly as I please. If I end up writing, great, but my focus will be on refilling the well and starting 2015 strong.

And with that in mind, I want your help! I’m making 2015 the year of revisions and really focusing on honing books I’ve already written along with new drafts, and I’d love to hear from you: which of these projects should I revise first in 2015? All three are YA contemporary and books of my heart- so which sounds the most interesting to you?

HARROW’S ROW: A teenage girl in a small mountain town must uncover the secret giving the town’s leader power before her twin is forced into a modern day arranged marriage.

RUBY AND GLASS: When a girl moves in with her grandparents in their seniors-only community and a homeless boy gets a job at the local college, she must set aside her fear of becoming as flighty as her mom and he his fear of becoming like his abusive dad in order to save themselves from the local white supremacist group.

WINTER BLUE: A boy crossing the country to meet the dying grandpa he’s never known connects with a girl trying to keep a failing radio station alive when he calls in to her Sour Songs radio show, and when a freak snowstorm hits, they are thrown together for a Christmas unlike any other.

You can read more about these on my Books page if you want more information- and then let me know, which project should I revise in January 2015?!



Liebster Award!

Hi friends!

I was tagged by the lovely and outrageously encouraging Kate Winell for this fun award, which means I get to answer a set of questions, then spring another set on some of my unsuspecting compatriots! (Evil laughter)

So, without more chatter, my questions!

What do you write; genre, catergory, etc?

I write MG and YA, both contemporary and fantasy. I’ve dabbled in NA contemp too. One of my new most favorite things in the world are retellings, and I expect to write several in the next year or two 😉 You can see more about what I write on my books page!

When do you write?

Almost always at night. I work full time so night is when I have the time to immerse into the story. If I can I do sometimes like to squeeze in 1k before work though. Makes me feel supremely accomplished.

Why do you write?

I write because I love stories. I think stories make us and shape us and let us understand ourselves and the world. Also, if I didn’t tell stories my head would be SUPER crowded.

Computer or notepad, pencil or pen?

Almost always my computer for drafting, but a pen and notepad for initial plotting, for drawing story arcs, brainstorming, freewriting, etc.  I also like to do at least one round of edits on paper.

Noise, if so what kind, or silence?

Noooooiiiissseeeee!!! I thrive in loud environments like visiting my parents and the chaos of all the family being home. I’ve written at coffee shops, in a lobby waiting for my sister to finish an audition, in a moving van, on a swiftly deflating air mattress in Florida, on a basement floor during a tornado watch, and inside a closet. I like noise and change in my environment, and I always have a Pandora station picked to match the WIP. Or, sometimes, just one song on repeat. I wrote half of the book before my current WIP listening to Pompeii by Bastille. Do you KNOW how many times one song can play over 35,000 words? DO YOU?

Describe your current WIP in less than 20 words.

Robin Hood meets Mulan plus magic 🙂 Alternatively, Robin Hood from Maid Marian’s perspective.

Agent or editor – which would you rather be?

Ooh. Probably agent. They are crazy busy and overwhelmed but they get to be part of every stage from dream to first sentence to wicked middle doldrums to glorious completion. I love helping people develop ideas!

Which book do you wish most of all you’d written?

I am desperately jealous of Vicious by V.E. Schwab. Absolutely in my top ten best books ever, probably the top five. Vying for top slot.

If not a writer, what’s your dream job?

I love my dayjob, wherein I spend hours building with Legos, playing games, and coloring pictures and get paid for it. My other most favorite job was working in Life Enrichment for seniors.  Basically I love jobs where I get paid to have fun and listen to people’s stories! But for me that ultimate dream still would be to be able to make a living writing, and just fill in with my other passions.

Dream date – doesn’t have to be a book character.

Oooh. Well just going by level of attractiveness, I’d say Zac Efron, because holy moses. BUT Gilbert is always going to be my number one book boyfriend, followed by Peeta, and of course, sappiness in full swing, I sure hope I get to go on a date with someone smart and funny and oh so handsome who turns out to be my husband some day!


Thanks Kate – those were really hard, but very fun! And now I get to pick ten questions and a handful of victims! 😉

1) What is the weirdest thing you’ve researched for a book?

2) What book character would you be for Halloween?

3) What is the best writing snack? Defend.

4) What is your life quote?

5) Kissing or killing scenes?

6) Most recent book you bought?

7) Best book you wrote in 2014?

8) The seed that sparked your current WIP is…?

9) Pantser, plotter, or somewhere in between?

10) The shippiest couple ever to ship  in the history of ever is…

And I tag my AMAZING Pitchwars TeamHooked mentor, Brianna Shrum, and my outstanding teammate Margarita Montimore, as well as the delightful Tabitha Martin and my sunshine Marissa Fuller! Haha, bet none of you saw that coming!!

Martyrs and Thieves Part 3

Iiiiiiiiit’s Wednesday, which means serial novel day!! You can find the previous parts by clicking the serial tag on this post 🙂


“Start talking then.” Vivian deliberately turned her back on him, scooping feed mixtures into bowls and beginning to distribute them to the cages closest to her. Maybe if she ignored him, she’d feel slightly less powerless.
“I thought when people negotiate business deals, they start with small talk. Feel each other out a little.”
When she turned around to give feed to the blue dragon, Elen was already there. Her attention caught on his teeth for some reason, sharp and predatory. Why weren’t Saul or her father stepping up? She could handle things herself, but it didn’t mean she always wanted to.
“We don’t need small talk. I have no interest in finding out more about you than is absolutely necessary,” she said.
“Hurtful. And maybe unwise.”
She shut the cage door too hard, setting off a chorus of cries from the baby dragons nestled beneath their mother.
“Just tell me what you want enough to come marching in here. You’ve never had an interest in the labs before.”
Elen leaned comfortably on the table, studying her as she measured herbs and seeds.
“Not that you know of. But I make it my business to keep unnecessary parties out of my business.”
“Which means you want something specific to our company. To these labs. Or you wouldn’t be here.”
“Just so.” Elen’s face tightened down, good humor vanished as easily as he’d shown it. “I want the company. If you want it plain and simple, that’s what I’m really here for. I expect it’ll take some time before you’re willing to part with it, and I don’t doubt there’ll be some messiness involved. But that’s what I’m after, in the end.”
Vivian stared at him, the bowls in her hands forgotten. “What?”
Elen sighed, pulling the hardbacked chair away from the wall and dropping into it. Every move he made was calculated, graceful in a way that was simultaneously threatening and enchanting. Vivian studied him carefully. She read the creatures in the lab every day, searching for the balance of their magic that would let her create potions humans could consume without killing either the creature or the person. She watched what they ate, when and how they slept, how they dealt with their young. The mission to make the magical accessible was the cornerstone of everything Armain Industries did, so studying living things and reading their secrets was easily the most important thing she did from day to day. And judging by the company’s success, she was relatively good at it.
But from Elen she gathered only silence, a strange gray peace that should have been easy and instead seemed dangerous.
“I know you’re not stupid, so let’s agree that so long as I speak slowly, you’ll at least make an effort to understand.” Elen crossed his legs and leaned back in his seat, turning an escaped seed over and over between his fingers as he spoke. “There’s a great deal of profit to be made in the business of marketing magic. And for whatever reason, you’re willing to pass it out to whomever shows up.”
“That’s how we make money. We make the potions, and sell them to the people who need them.”
“Ah, but you don’t. You sell them to the people who want them, which is an entirely different issue. Wanting is well and good, but need. Need is expensive. Need is an opportunity.”

A Day For All The Things

Here’s a little roundup of the crazy, fabulous, interesting things occurring this week/month:

NaNo started! As of writing this post Sunday night, I’m at 7k with no real idea what’s going to happen and a whole lot of absolute delight in the story! This is my Robin Hood retelling, although at this point I’m pitching it as Robin Hood meets Mulan plus magic 😉

The Dark Carnival Anthology is out which means I’M PUBLISHED!!! Or at least, it should be out- there’s been a bit of a glitch with Amazon, but hat’s all fine because one way or another it’ll work out and I AM SO EXCITED!!! I can’t even tell you what it was like to open a book in my Kindle app and see my name next to a story title there.

I’ve had the plague for the better part of the week, including a fever and racking cough. I got kicked out of work Friday afternoon and didn’t get to go to a family wedding I’ve been waiting for for ages. It remains to be seen if I will attend the workshop I’m scheduled for tomorrow (today) or not.

I submitted my PitchWars entry! If you don’t know what it is, PW is, in sum, an amazing yearly opportunity to be chosen to receive a mentor and work with them extensively for approximately six weeks, then participate in a showcase where agents can see your pitch and first few paragraphs and make requests. I was so outstandingly fortunate that I got chosen by Brianna Shrum to be part of Team Hooked, and my alternate showcase is coming up November 6th! More to come 🙂

so there you have it- November is starting out pretty amazing for me, and I hope it’s just as glorious for you! Stay tuned for Wednesday’s excerpt of my NA urban fantasy serial, and Thursday I’ll talk about a blog award I got!