In Which I Meet The Doctor and Travel through Space and Time (i.e. Get a Book Deal)

You guys.


You have no idea how long I've wanted to write this post. (Since I was seven, basically.)

I mean, really, who WOULDN'T be ecstatic about meeting the Doctor and traveling through time and space with him? This is what happened to me. Sort of. Well, not exactly.

But something just as cool happened.

Basically, this was me early last week:

First I couldn't believe what was happening.

Then I realized it wasn't all a dream.

And I was very pleased.


Extraction is going to be published by St. Martin's Press!!

Here's the official PM announcement:

Here's what it says in case you can't read that:

Nineteen-year-old film student Stephanie Diaz's debut EXTRACTION trilogy, about a girl who wins escape from a life of brutality on her planet's surface only to face the cruel realization that her new life within the core has its own set of horrors, pitched as Divergent meets Ender's Game, to Kathy Huck at St. Martin's, at auction, in a three-book-deal, by Alison Fargis at Stonesong. (world)

Yup. You read that right. A trilogy. And it was pitched as Divergent meets Ender's Game? My life is pretty much complete.

The tentative pub date is Spring 2014!

**Update: You can now add EXTRACTION to Goodreads.

I want to hug ALL of you right now. Especially my agent, Alison Fargis, who believed in me and made all of this possible. My family, who has always been supportive of my writing endeavors. My friends who've put up with me constantly gushing about imaginary people. My readers, who've seen all my writing flaws and for some crazy reason still turn the page.

To name a few individuals whom I owe a million thanks to (but there are many more): Jennifer, Emma, Kelly, Karen, Riley, MarcyKate, Amanda, Hafsah, Kacey, Leigh Ann, and Taryn. Not to mention ALL the fantastic writers over at Agent Query Connect, which was my first writerly home on the internet.

I love you all. So. Much. This couldn't have happened without you.

P.S. This was especially cool because we accepted the offer on the one-year anniversary of the day I finished the first draft of Extraction. Fun little factoid.

Now I'm off to get started working!


Top 10 Books Coming Out in 2013

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the girls over at The Broke and the Bookish!

A more proper title for this post is:

Top Ten Books I Needed Yesterday

1. Shades of Earth by Beth Revis
I literally die when I think about this book because I want it so badly. It's coming out in January! So soon, but not soon enough.

2. -gent (Divergent #3) by Veronica Roth
It would be so great if she titled it Detergent.

3. Reboot by Amy Tintera
Ever since I read the blurb for this, I've been SO psyched. Plus I met Amy, and she's a fabulous person.

4. Unravel Me (Shatter Me #2) by Tahereh Mafi
I'm such a fan of Tahereh's writing. And Tahereh in general.


5. Siege and Storm (The Griesha #2) by Leigh Bardugo
Shadow and Bone was perfect. I cannot wait for this.

6. Splintered by A.G. Howard
I'm a MEGA fan of Alice in Wonderland, and this is a dark redux of that, and the cover is amazing. I'm pretty much drooling for this.

7. Prodigy (Legend #2) by Marie Lu
I was lucky enough to borrow my friend's ARC of this, and it's phenomenal. I need a copy stat.


8. Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins
CRICKET BELL. That is all.

9. Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis
I've known Mindy since I met her over at Agent Query Connect, but I have yet to read a substantial piece of writing by her. And her book sounds fantastic. I can't wait.

10. One by Leigh Ann Kopans
Leigh Ann is one of the most amazing people ever, and her novel One, which I was lucky enough to read, is beautiful. It will be out sometime in 2013! Get ready, people.


What books are you looking forward to reading next year? Let me know what I should add to my "to-read" list on Goodreads!


Publishing is Different For Everyone

Psst. I have a secret. A good thing. Stay tuned. ;)


There's been a lot of talk on the internet lately about self-publishing vs. traditional publishing, good books vs. bad books, fast deals vs. deals years in the making, and so on. I figured it was about time I chime in with my view of things.

I don't know about you guys, but I've spent many, many hours googling author publication stories. Like, a LOT of hours. In fact, right before I wrote this blog post, I was stalking Beth Revis's website to see what her story was like, even though I'm pretty sure I've done that before. I was googling J.K. Rowling's story the other day. Mindy McGinnis (a.k.a BBC) has many wonderful stories about submission hell and successful authors over at Writer, Writer, Pants on Fire.

And you know what I've learned?


There are many paths to success. And that's the way it should be.

Some people spend months and months and months on submission, and their book ends up selling in a major deal at auction. Others don't sell their first book, but their second is a crazy success. Others pick the self-publishing route and find readers that way.

It can take years to find success; it can take days.

That is OKAY.

This doesn't mean those whose success stories take longer are worse writers than those whose stories take less.

There are so many factors that play into publishing success. Talent is one, but others include perseverance and luck.

And yes, we all know what this means: it's possible to have limited talent but get lucky and land a publication deal, or still find a readership through a different venue.

But this also means that those with talent and perseverance can find success.

I believe you will find success, if you don't give up. 

The beauty of the publication industry is that this isn't a race. We are all searching for one thing: readers. People who love our stories. You might find them through a traditional deal or by self-publishing, but the important thing is that you find a way to get your work out there.

The way and the how are going to be different for all of us.

And that is OKAY.

It is okay if it takes you ten books to land an agent. It is okay if it takes you one.

It is okay if you receive one offer of rep. It is okay if you receive five.

It is okay if you want an agent. It is okay if you don't.

It is okay if you want to self-publish. It is okay if you don't.

If you want to put your stories out there, find a way. Find your own way - whatever way works best for you. Don't look at any one way as worse or better than another. There are good traditionally published books and there are bad ones. There are good self-published books and there are bad ones.

Make your book the best you can make it, and then pick one of the many routes to publishing. Pave your own success story. Find your readers.

And how should you respond to those who put down your path or your writing? Like THIS:

Be persistent, and you will find the readers who love your book. They are the ones who make everything worthwhile.

Repeat after David Tennant:

I believe in you.

Go forth and conquer.


Sunshine Blog Award

So, I feel sort of awkward accepting this award which was sent to me by the lovely Amanda Foody. Because let's be honest, although I may be full of sunshine in real life, my blog isn't exactly updated often enough for it to sparkle with golden rays.

BUT, I'll accept the award anyway. It gives me a reason to post something new, after all!

Here are the eight questions I'm supposed to answer:

1. What is your favorite Christmas/Festive Movie?
It's a tie between Elf and The Nightmare Before Christmas.

2. What is your favorite flower?
I've been asked this question before, and I still don't have an answer. I'm gonna go with aster flowers, because "aster" means "star" (I'm pretty sure), and those are my favorite.

3. What is your favorite non-alcoholic beverage?
Tea. Wild berry tea, to be specific.

4. What is your passion?
Writing stories. Especially if they have to do with space or aliens or love or magic.

5. What is your favorite time of the year?
Autumn, when there's a nip in the air and it's perfectly acceptable to wear pajamas all day.

6. What is your favorite time of the day?
Very late at night, when everyone in my house is sleeping and I can watch The Walking Dead or Modern Family or act out scenes from my book in my room without anyone laughing.

7. What is your favorite physical activity?
Swimming or hiking! But I have to be hiking somewhere pretty, or it feels like exercise.

8. What is your favorite vacation spot?
It's a tie between two vacation homes owned by my aunt and uncle. The first is an old farmhouse in Vermont that's been around since the 1800s, with a field and forest behind it, and a tin roof that makes a whole bunch of noise when it rains. The second is this CRAZY beautiful lakefront house in Montana, which is also surrounded by a forest. If I lived in either one forever, I'd die happy.

I'm horrible at picking other blogs to present this award to. Especially because it's almost midnight and I'm in the middle of rendering a film project that's taking way longer than it should.

So, YOU, whoever is reading this, if you have a blog, I'd put money on the fact that it's made of sunshine. Please accept this award.

(Forgive me. I know this method of presentation is cheap.)