Yet Another Interview

This is turning into the week of interviews! I have another up today as part of Writer Odyssey Wednesday over at Chasing the Crazies. I discuss writing, queries, and connecting with my agent, Alison Fargis. Check it out if you've got a second!


Some Pretty Cool (and some "meh") Updates

Hi guys! Hope your week is going well so far.

Mine was sort of not so fun yesterday, seeing as I became a brace face again. Evidence:

At least they're not as painful as I remembered them being. And hopefully they'll be off by the end of the year. (Cross your fingers and toes for me, please.)

Other slightly cooler things:

1. I purchased this wonderful pair of fingerless gloves/wrist warmers (which I'm wearing in the picture above) from Etsy. They're making writing in my cold room so much easier! Etsy is basically the greatest.

2. My edit letter came in last Saturday! Which means I'll be holing up in my room even more than usual! I'm so excited, though. I can't wait to make Extraction ready for you guys to see.

3. I have a guest post today over at Writer Writer Pants On Fire, the blog of Mindy McGinnis (author of Not a Drop to Drink). Mindy sent me a list of questions related to Submission Hell and I responded! Hopefully my answers will be helpful!

That's all for now. Ttyl!


My TMJ Story

Happy Friday, guys! It's raining in San Diego today, which is always lovely except for the fact that I have work tonight and we always receive an influx of guests hungry for soup (and smoothies, for some odd reason) on rainy days.

I made another vlog the other day that I wanted to share with you. This one is a bit more personal, dealing with something I've had for a couple years now: TMJ.

Hope you all have a great weekend!


Extraction Hints Through Song

(Thanks to Michelle4Laughs for inspiring me to write this post.)

What's up, internet? I decided it'd be fun to share some minor hints about my novel Extraction today. And seeing as I've been in a singing mood lately, what better way than to use song?

Sorry, you're not gonna hear me sing. Not today. There are already plenty of videos of that already.

I've always been a crazy big fan of music. Which isn't that special, I know, but it's led to the point where I often have serious trouble writing scenes when I don't have the music that fits the mood. I tend to prefer instrumental pieces--scores from movies like Apollo 13 and Jurassic Park have been recent picks--but I also have some songs with lyrics on my Extraction playlist.

So, if you'd like some hints about the book...here are some of the lyrics from my writing songs that fit a character or a moment way too perfectly (Though often metaphorically. Keep that in mind):

But you can skyrocket away from me, and never come back if you find another galaxy. (Boats and Birds by Gregory and the Hawk)

I still want to drown whenever you leave; please teach me gently how to breathe. (Shelter by Birdy)

And I'm a goddamn coward, but then again so are you. (The Lion's Roar by First Aid Kit)

Stars are falling all for us. (Your Guardian Angel by The Red Jump Suit Apparatus)

And there will come a time, you'll see, with no more tears. And love will not break your heart but dismiss your fears. (After the Storm by Mumford and Sons)

Take your time 'cause your up against space; sweep up the tears running down your face. (End of All Time by Stars of Track and Field)

There are more...but that's all I'll give you for now. :)

Oh! Except one other thing. Many months ago, my gorgeous and talented friend Riley Redgate wrote a song for Extraction with lyrics based loosely on a poem from the book. Her song is titled "Long Gone." Check out her snazzy piano-playing skills and beautiful voice!

Do you guys have lyrics that fit your novel way too perfectly? Feel free to share in the comments!


Cover Reveal: RECLAIMED by Sarah Guillory

Happy Monday, all! I have a GORGEOUS cover to share with you today for an upcoming contemporary from Spencer Hill. You may have seen it already, as it's slowly making its way around the interwebs.

Title: Reclaimed
Author: Sarah Guillory: Website / Blog / Twitter 
Publisher: Spencer Hill Contemporary
Release Date: October 15, 2013 - in paperback and ebook 

Let me (and Sarah) know what you think in the comments! And be sure to add Reclaimed on Goodreads.

Jenna Oliver doesn’t have time to get involved with one boy, let alone two.  

All Jenna wants is to escape her evaporating small town and her alcoholic mother.  She's determined she'll go to college and find a life that is wholly hers—one that isn't tainted by her family's past. But when the McAlister twins move to town and Jenna gets involved with both of them, she learns the life she planned may not be the one she gets.

Ian McAlister doesn't want to start over; he wants to remember.

Ian can’t recall a single thing from the last three months—and he seems to be losing more memories every day. His family knows the truth, but no one will tell him what really happened before he lost his memory. When he meets Jenna, Ian believes that he can be normal again because she makes not remembering something he can handle.

The secret Ian can’t remember is the one Luke McAlister can’t forget.
Luke has always lived in the shadow of his twin brother until Jenna stumbles into his life. She sees past who he’s supposed to be, and her kiss brings back the spark that life stole. Even though Luke feels like his brother deserves her more, Luke can’t resist Jenna—which is the trigger that makes Ian's memory return.

Jenna, Ian & Luke are about to learn there are only so many secrets you can keep before the truth comes to reclaim you. 


Author Talk + Shades of Earth Launch

I am SO RIDICULOUSLY EXCITED because Shades of Earth, the third book in Beth Revis's Across the Universe trilogy, comes out today. I've been waiting to read this book for months and months. And you know what's even cooler??

Penguin launched Across the Universe into space. (click for the video)

Maybe it's just me, but I think that's one of the greatest marketing campaigns for a book. Like ever.

Today is also cool in another respect. Why, you ask?

I have my very first author talk today!

I was invited to speak with some students at a learning center after the local paper ran an article about my book deal. I'm super nervous. Crossing my fingers it goes well and I don't make a horrible fool of myself.


Monday Thoughts

Some things that were on my mind over the weekend:

1. BBC'S Sherlock has rammed its way into my heart. It's clever and funny and I mean come on, it stars BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH (a beautiful man) and MARTIN FREEMAN (the adorable Bilbo). If you haven't checked this out yet, go go go!

2. Now for something completely different: gun laws.

There have been far too many shootings lately, as I'm sure you all know. On Saturday, something happened very close to home for me. I was at work when I learned there was a roadblock out on the street due to a manhunt. The police weren't allowing anyone into our shopping plaza. It turns out, an armed man chased his girlfriend into the local cinema (where my friends and I go ALL the time, so this is, uh, pretty scary). The police ended up shooting the man because he was considered a serious threat. Thankfully, no one else was harmed. But it scares the crap out of me. I don't know what the right solution is, but something needs to change.

There's an article with the full story from Saturday here, if you're interested. It was covered by British press: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2261570/Reading-Cinemas-shooting-Tom-Billodeaux-wounded-police-screening-Les-Miserables.html

That's all for now! Hope you guys have an excellent week. Stay safe.


Author Photos - Help Me Choose!

I woke up bright and early this morning to have some fun taking author photos!! My friend's photographer mother, Melinda Casteloes, was kind enough to help me out.

***Update: Thanks for all your help, everyone! The fairly unanimous decision is that Option 5 is the winner. Here is my official author photo:


Fun Facts

Happy Thursday, everyone! My intro post is up over at the OneFour KidLit blog. Check it out to learn some fun facts about my life and EXTRACTION!


Waiting on Wednesday - SHADES OF EARTH by Beth Revis

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. This week, I'm crazy excited for:

Shades of Earth
by Beth Revis

I've been a fan of the Across the Universe series for over a year now, ever since I ran across this trailer for the first book:

This series is chock-full of mystery, love, and starlight. With the final book landing next Tuesday, I'm ecstatic. And also terrified. Beth has no problem killing off her characters, after all.

Here's the plot synopsis of SHADES OF EARTH, courtesy of Goodreads:

Amy and Elder have finally left the oppressive walls of the spaceship Godspeed behind. They're ready to start life afresh--to build a home--on Centauri-Earth, the planet that Amy has traveled 25 trillion miles across the universe to experience.

But this new Earth isn't the paradise Amy had been hoping for. There are giant pterodactyl-like birds, purple flowers with mind-numbing toxins, and mysterious, unexplained ruins that hold more secrets than their stone walls first let on. The biggest secret of all? Godspeed's former passengers aren't alone on this planet. And if they're going to stay, they'll have to fight.

Amy and Elder must race to discover who--or what--else is out there if they are to have any hope of saving their struggling colony and building a future together. They will have to look inward to the very core of what makes them human on this, their most harrowing journey yet. Because if the colony collapses? Then everything they have sacrificed--friends, family, life on Earth--will have been for nothing.


*screams in delight*

Seriously, if you haven't check out this trilogy yet, jump on it.

Pick it up SHADES OF EARTH next Tuesday, January 15, 2013 at your local bookstore!

You can also order it at one of the following links:

Barnes and Nobles

What books are you waiting on? Let me know in the comments!


Living as a Writer

Happy Monday! I hope you all had an excellent weekend.

Today I want to talk about what it's like to live as a writer. But not exactly about the part of it that you're probably thinking of. When us writers talk about living as writers, we usually talk about:

1. the number of caffeinated drinks we consume per day
2. the number of minutes hours we spend on twitter
3. the number of meals we miss
4. the number of words we did or didn't write
5. the number of times we wanted to rip our hair out or haul our laptops at a window

And so on.

And that's an important part of being a writer. Whether we're stuck in the drafting cave or the revision cave, we're bound to have days where those five things make us either unwilling or relieved to get some sleep at night.

But there's another part to living as a writer. And it's something I don't see people mention a whole lot, which makes me worried. Because it's super important.

What part? you ask.

The part where you "x" out of twitter, close your laptop, go outside, and actually live and see the world.

I think as writers, we tend to think that words are the most important thing. That any day where we don't bust out 2k or tweet at least fifty things or outline two new novel ideas is a catastrophe for our human condition.

But I disagree. I think we're missing out. Not just on parties, dates, and other social events, but on stories. The very fodder we could use to write more books. And every story doesn't have to be a book--sometimes a story can simply be a story, one that we tell our kids about or document in photos, or cling to when the going gets rough.

There's a whole world outside, after all. There are adventures to be had, in the starlight and on the streets drenched in rays of sun. And, I promise you, many of these adventures are just as good if not better than the ones we write about and read about in books.

I know writing can be a great escape. I know it's a beautiful form of expression and it can make for the best kind of day, but I think we'll become better writers if we set aside other days for more worldly endeavors.

Go for a drive, hike a trail in the wilderness, hang out at a park, watch some meteors fall, laugh with your friends at a restaurant in the evening, have a movie night.

Step away from your computer and your words for a little while. Just live.

The words won't disappear.

Some of my favorite places I've visited out in the world:


Cover Reveal: Disconnect by Imran Siddiq

I have the honor today of helping unveil a cover!

The talented Imran Siddiq has penned a YA sci-fi novel. The ebook will be out February 22. Mark your calendars, and check out the awesome cover for Disconnect, Book One of the Divided Worlds trilogy:


In space, love has boundaries.

Dirtying fingernails in sewers is fast approaching worthlessness for Zachary, a 16-year old Underworld scavenger. When footage of an Overworld girl, Rosa, is discovered, his intrigue heightens at why she expresses sadness with a lavish lifestyle.

In meeting Rosa, Zachary is scorned by her opinion of the deprived. She pities him and provides a means for them to communicate. With time, friendship and something he’s never felt grows; love for another human. Knowing Rosa calls him when it suits her isn’t enough; he wants to meet her, but how? Relationships in Underworld are few, let alone the impossibility with those above the ceiling.

Underworld will suffer when plans to conquer Jupiter’s moon, Europa move ahead. Worse is Rosa’s father, a disgraced Overworld ambassador, approving the plan.

Zachary must defeat the prejudice of the worlds, sneak within opposing forces, lose friends and challenge Rosa’s sadness. In doing so, a twisted secret is uncovered that may devour the reason he lives; Rosa.

The Author:

Imran Siddiq may have tried to leave Leicester a few times, but its become his place to wake up to two cats, freeze when the heating’s off and most of all, get down to writing. A veteran of writing festivals, a presence on Twitter and gobbling up all forms of Star Wars and Lord of the Rings, he hopes he can bring a smile to others in the same way that he had, aged 5, reading with a torch under his duvet. Imran’s preferred genre is YA Sci Fi, and he has a tendency to throw a droid in each novel - literally throw.


All for One and OneFour Kidlit

I hope you all had a fabulous holiday!

I'm popping in today to let you know the blog for children's authors who debut in 2014 is officially up and running. I'm grateful to be a part of it! Head over to OneFour Kidlit to discover some new authors and books to add to your to-read list.