Monday, August 31, 2015

Deadline Week Rundown

This is what last (deadline) week looked like for me:

Monday - Friday:

6 am - Woke up, drank coffee, and worked on my revision for the new book.

7:30 am - Woke the kids up, drank coffee, and got them ready for school.

9 am - Returned home from dropping off the kids, drank coffee, dinked around on the internet and/or called my agent / editor to freak out over my impending deadline and book issues.

10 am - 4 pm WORKED WORKED WORKED on the revision, eating lunch at my desk. Also drank some coffee.

4 pm - Picked up my kids. Homework. Shenanigans.

6 pm - Threw something together for dinner and shuttled the kids to various activities and / or found a movie for them to watch so I could WORK WORK WORK on my novel.

8 pm - Bedtime for kiddos, which is always a circus entitled, Tricks My Children Do To Avoid Going To Bed. I should charge admission for this. . .

9 pm - WORKED WORKED WORKED on the novel.

12 am - Went to bed. Stared up at the ceiling thinking about the revisions.

1 am - Fell into fitful sleep in which I actually revised my novel in my dreams. All night long I wrestled with phantom lines.

5 am - Woken up by two cats jumping all over me who had decided it was time for the human to WAKE UP AND PLAY. Threw ungrateful cats out of the bedroom.

6 am - Started all over again.



Behold the oh-so-glamourous life of a writer! It went like this until Friday, where I'll add -

11:52 pm (8 minutes before my deadline) - Pressed send to give the draft back to my editor

12 am - Went to bed, stared up at the ceiling for no good reason.

3 am - Finally got my brain to turn off enough to fall asleep. But that's okay because it's Saturday so I can sleep in. . .

5 am - Woken up by my 4 year old because she was cold. Also, was it time for cartoons?


The weekend was a total blur- not even sure what I did there--maybe cleaned up the house and had some friends over for both me and the kids, ate donuts and pizza, played the game Munchkin for the first time, which was highly entertaining, but mostly just sat still with my brain going DUHHHHHH DOHHHHHHH DERRRRRRRR.



Which leads me to this morning, which went like this:

7 am - Woke up and laid in bed for a while.

7:30 am - Woke the kids up and got them ready for school

9 am - Returned home and threw myself into my To Do pile: finished several writer errands I've been procrastinating on, like signing up for YASH and filling out my author profile stuff they make me do for every book for the new book, sent a barrage of emails

10 am - Stared at the computer.

11 pm - Spent an hour making homemade banana bread. The house now smells amazing.

12 pm - Ate leftover pizza and took a shower so long it would have made Al Gore cry.

1 pm - Stared at the computer.

1:30 pm - Wrote a bizarre blog post about my schedule for the past week.

2 pm - Eyed the notebook for the next project. . .

2:03 - Picked up a pen.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Novel #6

So last Wednesday I finished the first draft of my sixth novel!!!!


 . . . which I can't tell you much about yet.

*frowns* Well, that's no fun.

What CAN I tell you?

Hmm, well:

-It is a stand-alone.

-It is NOTHING like my last (solo) standalone, (i.e. THE LAST TIME WE SAY GOODBYE) in that it is not a straight contemporary, and it will probably (hopefully) make you laugh more than it will make you cry. (I did sniffle a bit writing a scene or two at the end there, but that's just me. I'm emotional about the needs of my characters.)

-It is also nothing like my last (group) standalone (i.e. MY LADY JANE) in that it is not a fantasy, and I am not writing the point of view of a sixteen year old boy.

-It was a blast to write, because I've had this story in my brain for, like, three years now and it was awesome to finally get to write it.

-It was the fastest I've ever written a book.

-It's probably the roughest first draft I've ever produced, which is both exciting and terrifying for me, because, at this point, so much could change.

-The main character is EVIL. I love her so much. I also kind of hate her. She and I have a love-hate thing going.

-It is mainly set in Manhattan, and also a little bit in Malibu, and I listened to Taylor Swift's new album a lot while I was preparing to write it. Like, a lot a lot. Welcome to New York.

-It will (fingers crossed) be out Fall 2016.



These last few days I haven't even really known what to do with myself, because I have been working SO HARD for the last six months and my brain just wants to keepgoingkeepgoinsomuchtodo. I spent a few hours today playing SKYRIM, which, I kid you not, I have not played since May 2012. And the whole time I was playing I felt vaguely guilty, like I was betraying my writer self by letting my video-gamer flag fly for even a little while.

But that's how it goes.

If you need me, I will be over here either a) working on my mad-bow-skillz or b) pacing while waiting for my editor to tell me what she thinks.

Either way, it's always good to be at that place where I've written a NOVEL. It feels like a miracle every single time.


Monday, June 1, 2015

The Last Time We Say Goodbye in Italy

It's June! (How did that happen?!)

This month THE LAST TIME WE SAY GOODBYE is coming out in Italy. (June 16, to be exact). The publisher there (Harlequin Mandadori Editore) has been so wonderful and proactive, so there's going to be an official Italian blog tour, starting today, featuring lots of exclusive content from me and other sources.

And here is the Italian cover:



Beautiful, right? I love it.

So if you're Italian, or if you speak Italian, here's the link to where you can buy the Italian version.

Ciao!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Playing Catch Up

Wow, I have been absent from this blog for a long time. Sometimes this crazy, unreal writing life of mine leaves me very little time for anything else. What have I been doing these past few months? Well, let's see:

1. In February I went on the Epic Reads tour with Victoria Aveyard and Jasmine Warga to Chicago, North Carolina, and Florida. This was so fun, especially because I got to meet two lovely debut authors and get to know them beyond their books. These girls were so smart and funny and great to be around. Some highlights of this tour include: a. being in a Chicago cold spell that was so fierce that they cancelled school and my nose hairs froze (but I did get to eat the most amazing pizza), b. getting to interact with so many amazing readers and booklovers, c. HARRY POTTER WORLD at Universal Studios, and d. Girl Scout cookies that a wonderful reader brought us.

Book tour!

2. In March I went to New York City to throw a book launch for my friend Jodi's new book, THE ORPHAN QUEEN. We had an awesome event at seriously the best children's book store I've ever been to (Books of Wonder!), ate dinner that night at a place that uses chocolate in everything on the menu (Max Brenners!) and then tearfully said goodbye to my friends (it was okay; I'd see them next month). I spent an extra few days in New York researching for my new book (which takes place in NYC), meeting with my HarperTeen editor, and hanging out with my agent--who is one of my favorite people in the world.

A picture my agent took of me outside of a restaurant in New York

3. In April I went to ENGLAND with the Lady Janies. In case you missed this from an earlier post, the Lady Janes are myself, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows, three authors who wrote a book together this year about the Lady Jane Grey called MY LADY JANE. (Click here to go over to the Lady Janies page and find out more about this.) Anyway, in between the first and the second draft of the book we went to England to do some research and work on the revisions all together.  I'll save the highlights for the Lady Janies web space, but I will just say that it was the best trip ever. We wrote, we laughed, we took a gazillion pictures and video, we got lost, we got found, we wrote some more, we laughed some more, and we enjoyed every bit of our adventure.

The Lady Janies at Windsor Castle

4. In May I went to Texas to take part in the Romantic Times Book Convention, which was, as usual, both overwhelming and awesome. I was on a couple of brilliant panels, the first on how to throw a successful launch of your book (led by the always-charming Victoria Scott), and the second on writing tips and techniques led by Aprilynne Pike. On this second panel was Alyson Noel, Rachel Caine, Claudia Gray, me, and . . . Kathy Reichs. KATHY REICHS, as in the real life forensic anthropologist who writes the books they make the TV show BONES about. She may have asked me to pour her some water. I may have poured her a glass, and then poured some water on the table. Because I am smooth that way.

My view from the giant book signing at RT. That's Rachel Harris on my left.


5. I worked my backside off all this time on MY LADY JANE. Yesterday we turned in our final draft before the book goes to copy edits, and I have serious revision hangover. I would be just lying on the couch going GAHHHHHH for a few days, but I can't. I have a draft due on my next solo book (which I can't really tell you about yet) coming right up.

So consider this the part where I peek out of my writing cave, wave to you all, and then . . . crawl right back in.

I'll be out more at the end of summer.

I hope.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Epic Reads Tour

I'm moments away from the big black car coming to pick me up for the Epic Reads tour! I am so excited to meet my fellow tour-mates: Victoria Aveyard and Jasmine Warga. I read both of their books last month and loved them. Yay for new friends!

I'm also super excited to see the readers and bloggers who are going to show up in Chicago, Chapel Hill, and Florida! See below for dates and times. Yay for old friends!


See you there!

xoxo

C

Monday, February 9, 2015

Backstage


Tomorrow THE LAST TIME WE SAY GOODBYE is on the shelves. I have nervous stomach. This is normal. Usually it feels like Christmas Eve at book launch; I'm excited that the day has finally arrived, and nervous to see if readers will respond to it, and thrilled to see the real book on a real shelf in a real bookstore. Usually at this point I'm swimming in newly-purchased swag, exhausted by all the blog tour stuff I've been writing (one year, I think it was with HALLOWED, I actually wrote nearly 20,000 words worth of interview/marketing stuff in the weeks leading up to publication. Good grief--that is like 1/4 of a book!) determined to enjoy the day (which to me means a mani-pedi, lunch out, and a trip to the bookstore to see the book in the wild), and just slightly nauseated.

But this book feels different.

Last night I had a dream that I was backstage. I spent my high school and college years as an actress in local theaters, so this is a typical dream of mine. It usually goes like this: I'm backstage, nervous, and then I go out there and either a) can't remember my lines and have to improv the whole play (which I suck at, btw) or b) go out there and get that beautiful-and-slightly-out-of-control high of simply letting myself go. That's when the magic happens. I perform, but it doesn't feel like performing. It feels like me.

You can tell I miss the theater.

In last night's dream, I was waiting backstage in that cozy blackness with the smell of sawdust and hairspray, waiting, waiting, for the show to begin. I took my place at center stage, and the curtain rose. Slowly. There was a huge crowd out there in the dark, the biggest crowd I'd ever seen. A spotlight flared up on me. Silence fell over the crowd. And I felt. . .

Naked. Not physically naked (although I'm sure I've had those dreams, too, gah), but naked in the way that  all of those people had come and bought their tickets to see ME. Just me. Standing there in front of them. No lines. It wasn't that I'd forgotten them so much as there were no lines, in this play. No costumes. No makeup or fancy hairstyles. Just me.

And I had a choice: improv (which remember, I suck at) or let go.

I took a deep breath, and woke up.

It's hard to describe how vivid the dream was, or how perfectly it captured what I'm feeling now, as I wait for February 10 to arrive, the day of my book, this book that I put so much of my heart (and tears) into.

Tomorrow.




Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Another Giveaway and A Bit of News

Wow, time is moving fast. THE LAST TIME WE SAY GOODBYE comes out in two weeks!

I got another wonderful package in the mail--5 real copies of the Australian version of TLTWSG.



Pretty, right?(See below for how another rafflecopter, where you can win a copy or one of the last 2 ARCs before the book actually comes out.)

Which brings us to how, yes, TLTWSG is going to be available in some other countries:

Here's the list so far:


  • Australia from HarperAustralia (Happy sigh--I love my Australian fans and I will someday finally get over there to meet them!)
  • Italy from Harlequin Mondadori
  • Germany from Darkiss
  • Hungary from Maxim Konyvkiado


I also wanted to announce that TLTWSG will be available as both an ebook and an audiobook, all out on February 10th.


a Rafflecopter giveaway