Tuesday, November 16, 2010

News from Carlsbad

So, all this time that I was in my writing Carlsbad Caverns, I accumulated a bit of news. We're seven weeks out from Unearthly's release on January 4th, and it seems like every few days something amazing happens. Reviews are pouring in like crazy on Goodreads, people are pre-ordering the book on Amazon, and all kinds of fun stuff like the completion of the book trailer is happening in the meantime. So keep checking back, because these things are all going to go live very soon.

The rights to Unearthly have sold in a number of foreign countries, bringing the total list up to:
the UK
and Australia/New Zealand, which will publish in January as well, with this lovely cover:
Squee! I love my US cover oodles, but the Aussie cover really took my breath away! Just look at that smoky forest!

This past week a few of the big reviewers have run their reviews of Unearthly, and they've all been positive.

Kirkus Review said:
After receiving visions of saving a teenage boy from a forest fire, 16-year-old Clara Gardner (one-quarter angel-blood), her half-angel mother and her younger brother relocate from their suburban California home to Teton County, Wyo., so Clara can find this mysterious boy and realize her angel purpose. Despite the ever-growing surge of angel stories and its hefty length, this solid debut novel stands out with even pacing, fully developed characters, vivid descriptions of the West’s rugged beauty and Clara’s independent spirit. As she learns more about her gifts and angel lore—particularly fallen angels known as Black Wings—from her evasive mother and a fellow angel-blood classmate, Clara struggles with her mother’s expectations of her purpose (is she just a heavenly puppet?) and her desire to acknowledge her human side (does she have any control of her own life?), as well as her feelings for both Christian, the boy from her visions, and rodeo star Tucker. The cliffhanger ending, with an unexpected twist, leaves plenty to ponder until the sequel. A divine supernatural romance. (Paranormal romance. YA)

And Publisher's Weekly also gave Unearthly a STARRED review, which is beyond awesome.

To top it off, my author page on HarperTeen went live this week.

I've sent my draft for Book 2 to my editor now, which means I'm no longer caught in the tunnel vision of writing all the time--so I can actually pay more attention to all this stuff. I know I've said this before, but it's incredibly surreal. Yesterday I was chatting with fellow debut writer Courtney Allison Moulton, whose book Angelfire is coming out this spring from HarperTeen, and she said, "When are we going to wake up?" I knew exactly what she meant. This feels like the best dream ever.

Now to catch up on my emails. . .

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Pressing SEND

Yesterday I turned in a draft of the as-of-yet-untitled Book 2 (yes, for those of you who have just finished Unearthly and have been fretting over it, there is a sequel) to my lovely editor, F, at HarperCollins. It was quite the emotional experience when I pushed SEND. It took me back to this same week last year, when I sent F my first revised draft of Unearthly.

Here is one of the most important things I learned this past year:

I am extremely lucky/blessed to have an editor like F, who, in this crazy-busy day and age in the publishing world, still takes the editing part of her job so seriously. F has a gazillion things on her plate at any one time, (seriously, a GAZILLION) but she never loses sight of the book. She doesn't say, "okay, good enough," and move on to the next item on her to-do list. She stays with the book, with me, until the book is as finely crafted as it can possibly be.

Last year when I turned in a draft of Unearthly to Farrin, I thought it was pretty good. It was all polished up, in my mind.

I had no idea how much better it would become. It is worlds better. And that's all because of F.

I heart F.

So as I pressed SEND this time, I was so excited, because I knew that this new book was about to get the benefit of F's discerning eye and amazing brain. And I got so emotional about it, because I know that it's about to go from something "good enough" to something wonderful.

Pressing SEND also was a big relief because it means, at least for a few weeks (until I get my first round of edits back from F), that I can have my life back. You know how I talked about "the cave" before, the place where writer's mysteriously disappear to when they are working on their books? I have been in the Carlsbad Cavern of writerly caves this past couple months. As evident by my lack of blogging. Or emailing people back. Or doing dishes/laundry/pretty much anything else. All my time and energy has gone into WRITING. THIS. BOOK.

And now it's out of my hands for a little while. Le sigh. Now I can have afternoons at the park with my son. And homecooked dinners again. And time to knit, because it's getting cool out, (as cool as it gets for Southern California) and my fingers always get the urge to knit this time of year.

Take a deep, cleansing breath with me, won't you?